Saturday, February 29, 2020

Twit Tweet, Thwap

Twit tweet by former beauty consultant- turned Senator:


And, finally

Today's Cartoons -- Coronavirus Edition, Cont.

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Thompson, USA Today)

(David Horsey, Seattle Times)

(Michael de Adder,

(Jimmy Margulies,
(Dave Granlund,

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Chris Britt,

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Bob Gorrell,

(Matt Wuerker, Politico)

Taliban "Peace Deal" Less Than Meets The Eye

With the coronavirus and bad poll numbers dogging pathological liar and con man Donald "Cheat-o" Trump, today's announcement of a "peace deal" with the murderous Taliban will certainly be fluffed to the max by Trump, his media lackeys and his cult (and likely some gullible Beltway media). Not so fast. As conservative foreign policy expert Max Boot explains, the deal isn't much of a deal at all:
"It has been heartening to see a steep reduction in violence over the past week — a U.S. precondition for signing the deal — but there is no agreement on a permanent cease-fire, much less a resolution of all the issues that divide the democratically elected Afghan government from the Taliban. What was signed on Saturday is an agreement to try to reach an agreement. To get even this far, the United States had to drop its long-standing demand for intra-Afghan negotiations to precede a U.S. troop drawdown. Now the Taliban will enter the talks, scheduled to take place in Oslo, in a stronger position after having already achieved their chief demand — a timetable for U.S. withdrawal within 14 months." (our emphasis)
Boot goes on to describe three possible scenarios, the ugliest of which is the most likely:
"The ugly scenario would look like South Vietnam. The 1973 Paris Peace Accords brought an end to the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam, but North Vietnam began violating its terms at once. Two years later, the weakened state of South Vietnam was overrun by a North Vietnamese blitzkrieg. America’s abandoned allies had to flee or be consigned to brutal 'reeducation' camps."
No one should be shocked that an ignorant narcissist fighting for his political (and, post-election legal) survival would spin this shaky deal as a "win" to his cult. His only goal is to claim a "win", regardless of the likely consequences to follow, which he's clueless about. He'll lie about it anyway.

In his simplistic and narcissistic way, he thought he could march in and schmooze an agreement for denuclearization with North Korea's cunning Kim Jong Un, only to have been played by Kim like a cheap fiddle (and after "falling in love" with the tyrant, too). If Boot's ugly scenario is realized and the Taliban reimpose their religious tyranny on the people of Afghanistan, they will have Trump to blame.

Coronavirus "Victim" Donald Trump

World- class moron and existential threat Donald "Impeached Forever" Trump flails around looking to distract from his predictable mishandling of the coronavirus crisis --

--  Blaming the media for exaggerating the threat and undercutting his "nothing to see here" message;

--  Calling coronavirus a Democratic "hoax",  and saying Democrats are "politicizing" the crisis (by pointing out how he's weakened our country's ability to respond, his anemic response so far, and his concern about his political fortunes and the stock market rather than human suffering).

Right- wing media is, when not promoting insanely paranoid theories, flummoxed about how to cover the crisis while continuing to promote the interests of Dear Leader.  It can't be easy when your "product" is a pathological liar who also happens to be a narcissistic ignoramus.  He'll continue to step on any message meant to project an air of calm, rational situation management because, well, see previous sentence. 

Eric Levitz writes why this the- man- and- the- moment test for Trump is going to turn out badly:
The mogul became a great businessman by playing one on TV. He turned himself into a viable candidate for the presidency by having the audacity to present himself as such. And throughout his first term in office, Trump has overcome indisputable evidence of his own gross malfeasance through sheer force of mendacity (along with a little help from his friends). The president’s “fake it till you shake it” strategy has gotten him out of one improbable jam after another. In collusion with Fox News and congressional Republicans, Trump transformed his campaign’s manifestly unsavory contacts with a foreign government into a tale of FBI overreach; his well-documented attempts to engineer legal troubles for his domestic political foes into a story about a “witch hunt” over a “perfect phone call”; and a historic rebuke by members of his own party into “total exoneration.”
Thus, from one angle, the fact that Trump is trying to bluff his way out of an incipient pandemic makes sense.
But from every other angle it’s batshit insane. [snip]
It is not clear why the Trump administration believes it’s “nothing to see here” messaging is tenable. An impeachable offense may be in the eye of the beholder. But Fox News can’t immunize its viewers against the reality of a highly contagious disease. And Senate Republicans can’t hold a vote to make an epidemic go away. When Americans start dying, how are these clips of the president assuring the public that it is safe — or of the White House chief of staff scolding the press for covering the public-health crisis, and painting Donald Trump as the supposed outbreak’s primary victim — going to look?
And if the president lacks the requisite foresight to safeguard his own best interests in the face of a pandemic, what does that say about his capacity to protect ours? (our emphasis)
Of course, the answer to that is, "Even if he had the intellect and skills, protecting our interests is the least of his concerns."  Trump's narcissistic personality disorder prevents him from relating to the needs or suffering of others.  For an incompetent real estate developer with such an affliction, the damage caused is limited;  unfortunately, we've already seen for an incompetent "president" with the affliction, the damage is compounded a million- fold.  And there's more to come owing to this crisis, one Trump can't bluff his way out of.

(Image: via Jimmy Kimmel Live)

Vid: Trump Comes Back To Haunt Graham

Dem candidate for the U.S. Senate Jaime Harrison is running against slippery Trump towel boy Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham this November. Harrison ran this devastating ad on Fox while Trump was in South Carolina campaigning for Graham. Well done!

Save for Moscow Mitch McConnell, there are no Senate Rethugs we'd like to see beaten in November more than Graham. So if you're inclined, contribute to Jaime Harrison's campaign.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Tweet Of The Day -- Winning

It was "only" down 357 today.

Today's Cartoons -- Coronavirus Edition

(click on images to enlarge)

(Rob Rogers,

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, PA)

(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)

(Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader, KY)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)
(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Andy Marlette, Pensacola News-Journal, FL)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Michael de Adder, The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia)

(Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly)

(Steve Benson,  Arizona Mirror)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Walt Handelsman, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

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

Cover Of The Week -- Coronavirus Epidumbic

Next week's cover of The New Yorker nails it.

(click on image to enlarge)

So we have a way- over- his- empty- head incompetent in the Oval Office when a deadly worldwide crisis hits. We'll see what price we pay for the frivolous choices others have made.

(Image:  cover art by Brian Stauffer)

Weekend Music Twofer

Real Estate, a Brooklyn- based group we've featured before, has a new album out today, "The Main Thing."  We're featuring two songs from that album, the title track and the timely "Friday." Hope you enjoy.

Trump's Flailing Response To Coronavirus

Seth Meyers takes "A Closer Look" at incompetent blowhard Donald "Impeached Forever" Trump's flailing response to the coronavirus outbreak, his appointment of Mike "Dense" Pence to oversee the nation's response, and what Trump's real priorities are:  managing information to put the rosiest light on the situation for his own political survival.  A nice companion piece to the post below.

BONUS:  Looks like coronavirus czar Dense is taking his new task seriously. Dense seems to like to have nothing to do.

Black Trump Cultists Entertained At White House

You can't say that demagogue and race baiter Donald "Nothing To See Here" Trump is worried about the spread of the coronavirus. After delivering incoherent remarks on Wednesday in the White (Supremacist) House Press Room that boiled down to "nothing to see here" sprinkled with numerous lies and wishful thinking, it's clear that Dear Leader thinks his sycophantic towel boy VP Mike "Dense" Pence has everything under control.

Maybe that's why he devoted much of his time yesterday to meeting with the two lunatics that call themselves "Diamond and Silk" (a.k.a. Zirconium and Polyester), who are social media's biggest African-American Trump cultists. Other black Trump cultists were present, including rageaholic wingnut Candace Owens, for Trump's lame salute to Black History Month. You can bet that they all are getting some sweet walking around money from a Trump-backed organization, like Zirconium and Polyester have. He also spent nearly an hour with the producers and cast of a right-wing conspiracy play that hammers the "deep state" FBI and some agents/officials that were investigating Trump's treasonous behavior before they were fired.

His fantasy bubble is big, but it won't keep the virus out.

BONUS: You can't say Dear Leader isn't classy, either:

(photo: Josh Wingrove/Bloomberg News)

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Quote Of The Day -- The Non-Reckoning

"The question of how to scrutinize presidential candidates who aren’t congenitally dishonest, corrupt, or incompetent—when their opponent is Donald Trump—has been vexing journalists since before the 2016 election. Back then, their refusal to faithfully convey the differences between the candidates on matters of basic fitness for office handed Trump the presidency, and ignited widespread calls for the industry to reckon with its failures.

"Three years later, a reckoning has not happened, and in its absence, Trump has set about trying to recreate conditions under which the press will hound his 2020 opponent about a small number of trivial sins while his ubiquitous, mortal ones dissipate into the background
."  Brian Beutler, on how "The 2016 Emails Nightmare Is About To Repeat Itself." We've said this many times before, but corporate journalism is as amoral as the existential threat in the Oval Office, and shares at least one basic characteristic:  it's all about the money.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Jimmy Margulies,

(Stuart Carlson,

(Bill Day,

(Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

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

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)

(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News)

Tweets Of The Day -- Winging It

Theory: Trump Can't Pardon Stone Under Constitution

As we watch the case of ratf*cker extraordinaire Roger Stone move through the appeals process, the degenerate friend of corrupt, lawless liar Donald "Impeached Forever" Trump is confident that Trump will pardon him before he serves a day in jail. Stone, who was sentenced to 40 months in prison plus a fine of $20,000, failed in his latest appeal for a new trial, but will drag out his case as long as possible waiting for that gift from Dear Leader. But one expert, Brown University professor Corey Brettschneider, believes that Trump's impeachment voids his ability to pardon anyone connected with his entire criminal enterprise:
"Many scholars agree that once a president has been impeached, he or she loses the power to pardon anyone for criminal offenses connected to the articles of impeachment. Less noticed is that even after the Senate’s failure to convict the president, he or she does not regain this power.

Under Article II, Section II of the Constitution, the president is given the “power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” Pardons are supposed to be used as acts of mercy. The framers thought of the pardon power as a “benign prerogative”—prerogative because it was mostly unchecked by courts or Congress, but benign because presidents would use it for the public good.
But the framers knew not to place blind trust in the president to wield the power justly. That’s why they explicitly forbade a president from exercising the pardon power in “cases of impeachment.” The clause prevents the worst abuse of the pardon power: a president’s protecting cronies who have been convicted of crimes related to the president’s own wrongdoing." (our emphasis)
According to Brettschneider, the Republican Senate's "acquittal" of Trump doesn't change the circumstances. A court challenge to a Trump expected pardon is unlikely to happen, even if it's as egregiously corrupt as this one would be. But if it takes the smirk off of Stone's face to think it's a possibility, go for it.

(photo: Oozing evil)

Pence In Charge Of Coronavirus Response: Worry (UPDATED)

In a clear sign that malignant narcissist and bungler Donald "Rump" Trump wants to keep spinning his happy talk on the coronavirus outbreak without official contradiction, yesterday he named his adoring lapdog, VP Mike "Dense" Pence to be in charge of his administration's response. (ed., what, master Jared wasn't available?) That means that information disseminated to the public will have to be cleared through Pence, who only has an eye on putting the best face on the crisis ahead of the elections and calming the turbulent stock market for his boss.

If public health is your primary concern, putting Pence in that role signals that presidential politics is Trump's only concern. Pence's track record while Governor of Indiana in handling a health crisis is disastrous. Pence opposed a clean needle exchange effort in the wake of an outbreak of HIV/AIDS, allowing the disease to spread:
"As Governor of Indiana, an HIV/AIDS epidemic flourished until he allowed public health—not ideology—to direct policy & response," tweeted Leana Wen, the past head of Planned Parenthood who now teaches at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. "I hope he now follows the guidance of the exceptional career public health leaders @CDCgov & in the admin." (our emphasis)
We believe Ms. Wen's hopes will be dashed. Pence is only qualified to stand behind Trump looking adoringly at him and praising him like a god.  Count on him bending every bit of data and every advisory to deflect accountability from Trump if the crisis worsens. Fortunately, the public health service and CDC have dedicated and humane professionals who will fight his political motivations.

BONUS:  There's already speculation Pence is being set up as the fall guy for when the sputum hits the fan.  Perhaps Trump caught him measuring the drapes in the Oval Office again?  Sad!

BONUS II:  For your consideration --

BONUS III:  But above all, "Message:  don't worry!" --

UPDATE:  It seems one of Dense's main jobs will be to control what information about the virus gets out from government scientists, by routing it through Dense for approval.  Everyone please bend over, put your head through your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.

(photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

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

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Dave Whamond,

(David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star)

(Clay Jones,

(Milt Priggee,

(Peter Kuper, The New Yorker)