Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Today In Moscow Mitch

It's Putin and profits over patriotism every time for Moscow Mitch and his proteges:
Two former top staffers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have lobbied Congress and the Treasury Department on the development of a new Kentucky aluminum mill backed by the Russian aluminum giant Rusal, according to a new lobbying disclosure.
The disclosure comes as Democrats are pushing the Trump administration to review Rusal’s $200 million investment in the Kentucky project — concerned that the mill will supply the Defense Department — and as McConnell weathers criticism for helping block a congressional effort to stop the investment. 
The Russian firm was only able to make the investment after it won sanctions relief from penalties the Treasury Department initially imposed in April 2018 on Rusal and other companies owned by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and Kremlin ally accused of facilitating Moscow’s nefarious activities, such as seizing land in Ukraine, supplying arms for the Syrian regime and meddling in other countries’ elections. 
Attention over the sanctions relief deal has focused on McConnell, given his role in halting a bipartisan congressional effort to stop the penalties rollback. McConnell told reporters in May that his support for lifting the sanctions was “completely unrelated to anything that might happen in my home state.”  (our emphasis)
I think that can be read as quid, meet pro quo, Moscow Mitch!  ("My stars, how can anyone accuse me of being a dishonest, cynical POS?") 

Who else is in the picture but disgraced former Sen. David "Diaper Dave" Vitter!
Former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who’s now a lobbyist representing Rusal’s parent company, EN+ Group, gave McConnell “a heads up” on the Rusal deal prior to its announcement, according to a disclosure filing first spotted by The New York Times. 
Hey, it wouldn't be a (Republican) party without Diaper Dave!

BONUS:  Andy Borowitz's headline ftw --

"Putin Denies Mitch McConnell Is Russian Asset: "He Has Never Been An Asset To Any Country"

Twit Tweet, Thwap

Twit tweet:


Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Tom Curry, Big Bend Gazette, TX)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)
(Clay Jones,

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Rob Rogers, Counterpoint)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Mid-Week Birthday Twin Spin

Today is the 60th birthday of Bill Berry, founding member and drummer for the iconic band R.E.M.  Berry left the band in 1997, and was replaced by various other drummers for live and studio work.  Generally retired from the music business, he's now a hay farmer in Georgia (!). We're featuring one song from the Berry era and one from several years after he left the band, because why just play one R.E.M. song when you can play two?  "What's The Frequency Kenneth?" (the title a reference to an incident involving Dan Rather several years earlier) was released in 1994 and "Imitation of Life" in 2001, both reaching the top of the Alternative Rock charts.  A little trivia:  the suit bassist Mike Mills wears in "What's The Frequency Kenneth?" was once owned by Gram Parsons.  Hope you enjoy.

The Clear And Present Danger Of The Ratcliffe Nomination (UPDATED)

(BREAKING 8/2 :  Trump withdraws Ratcliffe nomination)

The briefest exposure to the thing would- be despot Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump wants to place in the Director of National Intelligence position should give any rational person the hives.  Far- right conspiracy huckster Rep. John "Emphasis On The First Syllable" Ratcliffe (R- Trump's Colon) has clearly demonstrated his bona fides to Trump by being:

(a)  a shameless Trump enabler and defender eager to do what he's told;

(b)  a résumé fluffer with no intelligence background and a hostile, "Deep State" conspiracy nut; and

(c)  see (a) above.

In other words, he'd be a good fit in Trump's cabinet of grifters, liars, sycophants and incompetents.

It would also appear that Trump has a very specific mission for Ratcliffe should he become DNI:
Trump’s choice of Republican Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas as the next director of national intelligence, has been greeted with scant enthusiasm by his fellow Republicans and charges by former intelligence officials and Democrats that he is unqualified and will frame intelligence to suit the president.  [snip]
“I think we need somebody like that in there,” he [Trump] continued. “We need somebody strong that can rein it in. Because, as I think you’ve all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok. They have run amok.”  (our emphasis)
This position, unlike almost any other in this rat- infested regime, is one that must never be filled by a political hack like Ratcliffe, who can be counted on to tell Trump what he wants to hear and not what he should hear.  Great damage has already been done by Trump in undercutting our intelligence community by his self- serving slanders and finger- pointing.  Putting a Trumpist cipher like Ratcliffe in a position to carry out a political purge of our intelligence apparatus, to the benefit of Trump and his Russian handlers, constitutes a clear and present danger to our country.  Stopping this transparent power grab is of the highest priority.

BONUS:   Greg Sargent asks the cogent question --
A major political battle is taking shape, and at its core is a key question: Can President Trump and his loyalists continue to organize large swaths of the government around the single, overarching goal of shielding his corruption, misconduct and wrongdoing from any and all accountability?

BONUS II:  Intelligence community alumni weigh in --

UPDATE:  It's getting even more ominous, as it appears a purge is about to begin.

QOTD -- Ready To Fight

"I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for the President of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for. I don't get it. Our biggest problem in Washington is corruption. It is giant corporations that have taken our government and that are holding it by the throat, and we need to have the courage to fight back against that and until we're ready to do that, it's just more of the same. Well, I'm ready to get in this fight. I'm ready to win this fight."  -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) blistering former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and the rest of the "can't do", under 1 percent gnomes taking up space at last night's Democratic debate.

BONUSDelaney just cut it for us, trashing Warren on (wait for it) "Fox and Friends." Nope.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Moscow Mitch Is "Incensed"

A thousand tiny violins begin to play:
Senator Mitch McConnell is usually impervious to criticism, even celebrating the nasty nicknames that have been bestowed on him by critics. But Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is incensed with his new moniker, “Moscow Mitch,” and even more miffed that he has been called a “Russian asset” by critics who accuse him of single-handedly blocking stronger election security measures after Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
It seems to be getting to #MoscowMitch, or #MoscowMitchMcTreason, if you prefer.  He's "incensed!!"  Keep cranking it up and maybe he'll self- combust! (You can always contribute to Amy McGrath, too.)

(Image:  screenshot via Wonkette)

Tweets Of The Day

(Usual caveats, something something...) Loser!

"Restoring Democracy"

The damage being done every day by existential threat Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump and his rotted- out party of enabling cynics will take years to undo -- if it can be fully undone at all.

One of the first priorities of the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives was to pass H.R. 1, the "For the People Act of 2019." The bill recognized the broken state of our democracy, rendered so by decades of Republicans putting their thumbs on the scales through voter disenfranchisement, gerrymandering and voting fraud, and proposed action in several areas:

1.  Put restrictions on campaign financing, particularly undisclosed "dark money" funneled through super PACs;

2.  Require release of tax returns by presidential and vice presidential candidates; and

3.  Create a national voter registration program and make Election Day a national holiday, and create nonpartisan commissions to draw election districts.

Many progressives, ourselves included, believe this is just the starting point to restore American democracy, and that even bolder actions need to be taken.  (This, of course, presumes that a Democrat wins the presidency in 2020 and that Democrats hold the House and take the Senate, all becoming more realistic by the day.)

Infidel 753 has some additional measures Democrats must take to restore majority rule in this country should they regain power.  Go to the link for how he fleshes them out, but briefly they are,

1.  Abolish the Senate filibuster;

2.  Pass legislation to expand the Supreme Court;

3.  Pass legislation eliminating state- level gerrymandering and voter suppression laws; and

4.  Pass legislation guaranteeing election security.

We, too, think that a comprehensive attack on the systemic biases Republicans have introduced into election processes is overdue, especially given the example of the past nearly 2 1/2 years of where such biases can lead us. When it's easier to vote -- through automatic voter registration, voting by mail, etc. -- turnout goes up, and Democrats are generally the beneficiaries.  Moreover, there's a strong public hunger for the corruption that election reform addresses to be cleaned up.

Democrats need to be uncharacteristically bold in taking this on, should they sweep in 2020.  H.R. 1 laid down a minimal marker for the restoring democracy agenda;  additional reforms such as the ones Infidel lays out must also be part of the package.  We can't flinch when we get this opportunity, because we can never be sure we'll get another chance.

BONUS:  As if on cue, Senate Democrats are introducing a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United abomination.  Largely symbolic right now, but it has to start sometime.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jen Sorensen,

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Steve Benson,

(Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe)

(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Lost Trump History!

Following his auto- hagiographic accounts of his 9/11 exploits, a Twitter meme has erupted (started by George Conway) -- #LostTrumpHistory.  Here are some samples from a very rich lode:

Monday, July 29, 2019

Trump Glorifies Himself As He Signs 9/11 Compensation Bill

Surprise! At the signing ceremony today for the 9/11 victims compensation fund (which was scheduled without enough notice for Democratic lawmakers to attend), narcissistic shitbag Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump (who had nothing to do with getting the legislation passed) tried to put himself heroically at the center of things, both today and on 9/11:
President Trump again pushed the envelope Monday during a signing ceremony to extend the 9/11 victims compensation fund.
“Many of those affected were firefighters, police officers and other first responders,” Trump said. “And I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”
It is not the first time Trump has touted himself while discussing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in comments ranging from tone-deafness to provocative to outright false or misleading...
Here are just a few of the shitbag's lies over time:
On 9/11, Trump called in to a local TV station and falsely said he would have the tallest building in downtown Manhattan after the World Trade Center towers fell.
In 2005, he campaigned against what would become One World Trade Center, saying the “terrorists win” if New York built it as it was designed.
In 2011, he said he predicted the 9/11 attacks (he did not). [snip]
During the 2016 campaign, Trump falsely claimed (then doubled down on the claim while mocking a disabled reporter) that “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks. He also said his Muslim ban would have stopped 9/11.  [snip]
After the attacks, Trump was criticized for taking a $150,000 grant for his 40 Wall Street building near Ground Zero, even though he previously said the building was undamaged.  [snip]
And New York City’s comptroller found no evidence that Trump gave $10,000 to 9/11 victims, despite Trump’s claims otherwise.
And, in character,
While touting the bill, Trump didn’t mention that his 2019 budget, if passed, would have reduced health funding for 9/11 victims.
So, what was Trump really doing on 9/11 and the days shortly thereafter?  In a 2016 article, Politico has a detailed description of the actions of both Trump and then- NY Senator Hillary Clinton.  It's quite a read (spoiler alert:  Trump was looking for cameras and microphones to give interviews, mostly about his buildings; Clinton was acting like a leader).  Then, on the one year anniversary of 9/11, Trump was on the Howard Stern radio show:
Trump that day was not on NPR. He was on Howard Stern’s show. It’s an interview that’s gotten a lot of attention of late because Stern asked Trump if he was in favor of invading Iraq, and Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so.” Throughout this campaign Trump has insisted—contrary to that statement—that he always opposed the invasion. But before Stern asked him that, the provocative host asked him something else.
“Probably the most important question I can ask you on a day like today is: Where is Melania, and is she naked?” Stern said.
“Well,” Trump responded, as the names of the dead were being read at Ground Zero, “Melania is now in bed—I’m in my office—and as to whether or not she’s naked, I’m not 100 percent sure.”
Class all the way.

Tweets Of The Day -- Racist Distraction

The Greg Sargent piece is a good take on why Trump needs to distract his white base with racist attacks.

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

California Garlic Festival Shooter Identified

The horrific outbreak of violence at yesterday's Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, which has claimed three lives so far (including a 6- year- old boy and 13- year- old girl) and many more wounded, was perpetrated by 19- year- old Santino William Legan, according to police.  He fits a familiar profile in the Trump era:
Legan also shared his views that include fringe white supremacist book written in 1890. Called “…one of the most incendiary works ever to be published anywhere,” by a noted anarchist, Legan quoted from the book in a post accompanied by a Smokey the Bear sign about fire danger. He wrote: “Read Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?”
According to the book Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Subculture, Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard was authored under a pseudonym. It is purported to expand on Friedrich Nietzsche’s “theories of master–slave morality and herd mentality …”

The book is described as being akin to Social Darwinism and includes misogynistic and racist principles “claiming that the woman and the family as a whole is the property of the man and proclaiming the innate superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race. The book also contains many strong anti-Semitic statements.”  (our emphasis)
You can count on several things:  that his violent anger towards "mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats" has resulted from the racist and eliminationist rhetoric coming from the far right, given license by the "good people on both sides" white supremacist in the White (Supremacist) House;  that his access to his weapon(s) of choice was unimpeded;  and that, in laying this massacre solely at the feet of "mental illness," the media will bend over backwards to ignore the political philosophy behind this horror -- so far that it can kiss it's own ass.

(Photo:  The alleged shooter.)

Monday Reading

As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

Racist shitbag Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump and his Pecksniffian son- in- law Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner both have intimate knowledge of rats and infestations:
Mice in the kitchen, filthy food prep areas and broken sewage systems are on the list of recent stomach-turning health code violations at a number of Trump-branded restaurants in the city, the Daily News has learned.

Health inspections at Trump properties from Midtown Manhattan to the Bronx’s Ferry Point reveal the President’s eponymous company still struggles to keep its day-to-day operations clean — though similar infractions have been reported for years.
Violations at the President’s crown jewel and Manhattan residence — Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue — are perhaps the most gag-inducing. (February 2019)
Trump's "Mr. Fix-it" doesn't do much fixing on his properties:
You can see why Trump's taken such a liking to the guy: he's a Trump man through and through. Trump will charge lower-income Americans extravagant prices for not-classes at his not-university, and Kushner will sue them for past rent when they get back home.

And so we're told the tale of collapsed drywall ceilings, mice in beds, nonworking appliances, and the usual signs you're living in a complex owned by someone who may or may not later end up in jail. Those go alongside tales of Kushner's company aggressively pursuing $5,000 judgments against deceased cancer patients, or people who have been made sick from the mold or rodent droppings, or people who got permission to leave their leases early from the local property manager but the head office never got the paperwork so screw you, that's why.
(May 2017)

Following the protests this weekend in Trump handler Vladimir Putin's Russia, the main opposition leader has suddenly developed an allergy (to a chemical agent?):
A day after an unauthorized election protest he planned drew mass arrests in Moscow, Aleksei A. Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, was hospitalized with a “severe allergic reaction” in jail, his spokeswoman said on Sunday.
“Over his whole life, Aleksei has never experienced an allergic reaction,” the spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, wrote on Twitter. But she said that his face was severely swollen and he had red spots on his skin.
Mr. Navalny was arrested on Wednesday and sentenced to 30 days in jail for calling a rally on Saturday to protest a decision by the election authorities to bar several opposition candidates from running for Moscow’s City Council.
The protest led to the arrests of more than 1,300 demonstrators. The rally was the latest in a series of street demonstrations staged as President Vladimir V. Putin’s approval ratings have dropped amid economic hardship.  [snip]
“As the doctor who treated Aleksei’s severe eye burn two years ago, I can say with confidence that both today and in 2017 what happened was a result of the damage inflicted by an undetermined chemical substance,” Ms. [Anastasy] Vasilyeva wrote on Facebook.
You can be sure Trump fantasizes about doing this to his political enemies, since he's encouraged his thug supporters to do violence against protestors at his Nuremberg rallies.

You may have seen this Trump ass- kisser at the recent Mueller hearing before the House Intelligence Committee.  Well, now he's his master's pick to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence:

David Rothkopf has an encouraging thread:

He's apparently so far up Trump's ass that he was considered to be a replacement for Jeff Sessions before Trump picked his Roy Cohn, William "Low" Barr, to be Attorney General.  We can certainly count on him to provide honest, unbiased intelligence to decision- makers, as well as non-partisan direction to the agencies he'll be overseeing.

Here's what reactionary, corrupt Republican governance in a State will get you:
Amid a flurry of ambitious state action on climate change policy, the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature has just passed an energy bill that represents an enormous step backward. It is the most counterproductive and corrupt piece of state energy legislation I can recall in all my time covering this stuff — the details must really be seen to be believed. [snip]
[T]he bill would subsidize four uncompetitive power plants, remove all incentive to build more renewable energy projects, and cancel efforts to help customers use less energy. It is a bill only a utility (and the lawmakers who do its bidding) could love, an extravagant gift to utility investors that hoses Ohio ratepayers.  [snip]
Gutting Ohio’s clean-energy mandates saves ratepayers a few dollars in the short term, but binds them to money-losing power plants and rising costs in the long term.
To put it plainly: the Republicans behind HB6 are telling Ohioans that halting the shift to cheaper power sources, halting reductions in energy consumption, and (re-)subsidizing increasingly uneconomic dinosaur power plants will save ratepayers money over the long-term. Black is white, up is down.
Here's what reactionary, theocratic Republican governance in a State will get you:
South Dakota’s Republican lawmakers said it was about history — the motto appears on money, on license plates and in the fourth stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It’s also likely to be discussed in the classroom, where historical inquiry is a key part of the state’s social studies curriculum.
But legislators said they wanted to make it more clear; they wanted to “reaffirm” it. So this fall, when students return to school, a new and compulsory message will greet them: “In God We Trust.” It’ll be the first new academic year since South Dakota’s GOP leadership passed a law requiring every public school to display the American maxim “in a prominent location” and in a font no smaller than 12 by 12 inches.
South Dakota joins a growing list of states that force their schools to display the motto. At least half a dozen passed “In God We Trust” bills last year, and 10 more have introduced or passed the legislation so far in 2019. Similar signage is going up in Kentucky schools this summer, and Missouri could be next.
They're the same rotted out, hypocritical Republicans, whether on the local, state or national level.

Finally, we urge you to head over to Infidel 753's link round- up, a cornucopia of items of interest that he works hard to assemble every week.  We got wind of the South Dakota Bible- thumping bill (above) from one of his links!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Tweets Of The Day -- Confidence Man

So much laughing, er, winning!

Today's Cartoons -- Moscow Mitch Edition

(click on images to enlarge)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Chris Britt, Illinois Times)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Democracy Destroyer: Moscow Mitch McConnell

As someone who ranks as the most unpopular Senator in his own state, it's shocking that somehow Sen. Mitch "Moscow Mitch" McConnell (Shitheel- KY) continues to get re- elected, until you realize it's a state that, according to 538, is 23 points more Republican than the rest of the country. The benighted voters of that state haven't sent a Democrat to the Senate in 20 years.  That's a main reason Moscow Mitch feels empowered to allow Russian meddling in our elections.

Maybe if it ever dawns on them that their senior Senator is a bought- and- paid- for Russian asset, that might, might change (once again, we believe Democrat Amy McGrath has the best chance against him in 2020).  But even if he continues to decompose in the Senate for another 6 years, history has already made it's judgement.  He's a firmly committed destroyer of American democracy.  Looking beyond his all- out obstruction and sabotage efforts during the Obama presidency, the outrageous blockade of Merrick Garland and his stuffing the judiciary with right- wing cranks, and his refusal to bring any legislation passed by the House to the floor for a vote, Moscow Mitch's lasting, most egregious stain will be his enabling Russian despot Vladimir Putin to meddle in our elections.

Dana Milbank briefly notes Moscow Mitch's recent history blocking legislation to protect our elections, such as:
A bipartisan bill requiring Facebook, Google and other Internet companies to disclose purchasers of political ads, to identify foreign influence.
A bipartisan bill to ease cooperation between state election officials and federal intelligence agencies.
A bipartisan bill imposing sanctions on any entity that attacks a U.S. election.
A bipartisan bill with severe new sanctions on Russia for its cybercrimes.
McConnell has prevented them all from being considered — over and over again. This is the same McConnell who, in the summer of 2016, when briefed by the CIA along with other congressional leaders on Russia’s electoral attacks, questioned the validity of the intelligence and forced a watering down of a warning letter to state officials about the threat, omitting any mention of Russia.
One measure Moscow Mitch objected to would have mandated use of paper ballots in state election systems for a voter- verified paper trail.  Moscow Mitch's response?
"This is partisan legislation from the Democratic House of Representatives... It's just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia."
Yeah, that phony Trump- Russia hoax!  Moscow Mitch went on to say a reform like this would give Democrats the political upper hand in elections!  Funny how honesty, transparency and counting every vote advantages Democrats!

Well, let's not overlook another reason the ever- corrupt Moscow Mitch might be blocking plans to safeguard our elections:
The plans would likely burden the two largest electronic voting machine vendors in the United States, Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems, with new regulations and financial burdens. Together, the companies make up about 80 percent of all voting machines used in the country and both have far-reaching lobbying arms in Washington D.C. Many of those lobbyists have contributed to the McConnell campaign, reported Sludge last month, an investigative outlet that focuses on money in politics.  (our emphasis)
So, where venality intersects with protecting power and privilege, that's where you'll find the destroyer of our democracy, Moscow Mitch.

BONUS:  While he's busy helping himself and his friends in Russia, here's what's going on back home --

QOTD -- Rats!

"... [W]e would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to affect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.

"Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one." --  editorial in The Baltimore Sun, July 27, 2019.  We're Hackwhackers, and we endorse this message!

BONUS:  Speaking of infestations --

BONUS II#trumpisarat is trending now.

BONUS IIIMore pushback here.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Widespread Fires Erupt In The Arctic

As Europe just survived record-breaking heat, the Arctic region is experiencing a rash of wildfires that have burned approximately 500 square miles in the Russian arctic alone. Fires around the Arctic Circle have also been seen in Alaska and Greenland:
"'t's common for fires to burn during the Arctic's summer months, but the number and extent this year are 'unusual and unprecedented,' Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), a part of the European Union's Earth observation program, told CNN.

These fires are taking a toll on the atmosphere; they've released about 100 megatons of carbon dioxide from June 1 to July 21, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide Belgium released in 2017, according to CAMS, CNN reported." (our emphasis)
The fires are burning further north this year, and some of the fires are in peat soils, which burn far longer than forest fires. It's only going to get worse, as the heat that descended on Europe last week is heading north toward the fires and polar ice cap.

Vid Of The Day -- Infested

The racist pig- man just can't help himself.  If he's interested in cleaning out crime- infested areas, he should start by vacating the White (Supremacist) House and taking all his grifting swamp creatures with him.


Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader, KY)

(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)

(Ken Catalino,

(Brian Carroll,

QOTD: Trump's New Rapper Bud

"As my colleague Philip Bump wrote: 'Since 2017, even Trump’s base is more skeptical about his views on race. Among Republicans, the density of those who say he respects racial minorities fell 14 points over the past two years. Less than two-thirds of evangelicals now think Trump respects minorities; nearly three-quarters did two years ago.'

"This leads some to believe that the attention the president is paying to a black rapper incarcerated abroad is not mainly about winning over black Americans but keeping existing supporters, mostly white Americans, from defecting." -- The Washington Post's Eugene Scott, writing on bigot Donald "Send Her Back" Trump's manufactured concern for rapper A$AP Rocky, whom you can bet he'd never heard of before.  It took mentally unstable musician and Trump fan Kanye West urging Trump to intervene with the Swedish government on Rocky's behalf, and Trump saw an opportunity.

That his base is more "skeptical" about Trump's easily grasped racism likely doesn't translate to him losing their votes. He's simply waving a shiny object to distract the mainstream press and low-information voters from his racist "send her back" scandal.

Republican Crime Blotter: Hiding From The Law

The Idaho Statesman reports that the former chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, Jonathan Parker, is being sought by police on three arrest warrants, including ones for witness intimidation and violating a no-contact order. The three new warrants were issued from July 16 to July 25.

In addition to those arrest warrants, Parker has three pending criminal cases. Last month, we wrote about Parker's stalking of his ex-wife and masturbating in the bushes in her apartment complex. Knowing the fugitive's habits, we're certain law enforcement in Idaho is beating the bushes to find him.

(photo: Ada Co. Sheriff's Department)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Pic Of The Day -- The Trump Effect

News item: "Three University of Mississippi students have been suspended from their fraternity house and face possible investigation by the Department of Justice after posing with guns in front of a bullet-riddled sign honoring slain civil rights icon Emmett Till.

"One of the students posted a photo to his private Instagram account in March showing the trio in front of a roadside plaque commemorating the site where Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River. The 14-year-old black youth was tortured and murdered in August 1955. An all-white, all-male jury acquitted two white men accused of the slaying."

BONUS:   The Trump Effect isn't confined to the Deep South, of course.  The contagion has spread to one of the most prestigious institutions in our country.

N. Korean Missile Meant To "Warn" S. Korea

North Korean tyrant and successful Trump manipulator Kim Jong Un's regime today said that the new short range, nuclear-capable missile it fired Thursday was a warning to South Korea for its weapons purchases and joint military exercises with the U.S.  Narcissistic demagogue and friend to tyrants Donald "Not Exonerated" Trump had a pointless photo-op last month at the Demilitarized Zone, where Trump got his picture taken with Kim, apparently thinking that passes for serious diplomacy. This is the result of "we fell in love."

The new North Korean missile is apparently quick to launch and difficult to intercept:
"South Korea’s military later said that the flight data of the weapon launched Thursday showed similarities to the Russian-made Iskander, a short-range, nuclear-capable missile. A North Korean version could likely reach all of South Korea — and the 28,500 U.S. forces stationed there — and would be extremely hard to intercept." (our emphasis)
What do you suppose are the chances that Russia, in their never-ending search for ways to destabilize and disrupt our alliances, may have "helped" North Korea in developing their new missile? Probably pretty high. Here's the strategy that North Korea is pursuing, assuming working level talks proceed on  a denuclearized Korean peninsula (something that North Korea would consider to be suicide):
"North Korea also may be trying to get an upper hand ahead of a possible resumption of nuclear talks. Pyongyang wants widespread sanctions relief so it can revive its dilapidated economy. But U.S. officials demand North Korea first take significant steps toward disarmament before they will relinquish the leverage provided by the sanctions.

'North Korea appears to be thinking its diplomacy with the U.S. isn’t proceeding in a way that they want. So they’ve fired missiles to get the table to turn in their favor,' said analyst Kim Dae-young at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy." (our emphasis)
All that work, when all Kim needs to do is send Trump another glowing, loving letter.

(image: The lovers.)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Chris Britt, Illinois Times)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

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

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)