Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star)

(Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal)

(Ed Hall,

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Dave Whamond,

(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

(Rick McKee, Counterpoint)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Tom Curry, The Big Bend Gazette, TX)

(Rob Rogers,

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News)

(Ken Catalino,

(Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Examiner, KY)

How the world sees Trump:

(Tom Janssen, Trouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

(Oliver Schopf, Der Standard, Vienna, Austria)

(Michael de Adder, Toronto Star)

QOTD: Trump As An Abuser

"Having had a night to sleep on it – and sleep very soundly – I’m much closer to what I said was the downside possibility for the President: not just a missed opportunity but a self-immolation. This was truly the worst of Trump: racist, belligerent, angry, unstable. I’ll give the man his due. Trump can be if not funny then jocular, entertaining in a predatory, roguish way. Last night had none of that. It was pure id and an id under threat.

Beyond all the individual offenses one of the underrated sub-themes of anti-Trumpism is exhaustion. One of the deepest traumas of living in the home of an abuser stems not from the outbursts of physical violence, verbal abuse or manipulation but the accumulated stress of ambient tension, uncertainty, the reflexive, unshakeable hyper-vigilance. It is exhausting in a profound way. Trump is exhausting – I suspect even for some who share his dark values. This was 90 minutes jam-packed with everything that makes Trump exhausting. Living with an abuser means being trapped in close quarters with the abuse, being unable to run. In a month voters get the chance to walk away."  -- (our emphasis)  Josh Marshall of TPM with his reaction to the hate-filled, unstable performance last night of bigot and fraudster Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump.

Trump's "Proud Boys" Urged To "Stand By" For Election

This was bound to happen sooner rather than later:

Let's be clear about the brownshirt thugs that call themselves "Proud Boys" and whom demagogue and racist con man Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump asked to "stand back and stand by" last night. The Southern Poverty Law Center has this to say about this violent right-wing group:

"Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville."

After Trump issued his call for "his people" to go to polling places and intimidate voters who they suspect will be voting against Trump, we can expect some in this group of young thugs to take him up on it and try to cause disruption. State and local officials have been forewarned, and now they need to be ready to respond to any coming provocations, no matter now large or small.

But, much of this is distraction and voter suppression tactics, though. Here's the best advice:


Mid-Week Song: Landslide

This may not be a song about the Biden-Harris landslide we need in November, but multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Sufjan Stevens' new song "Landslide" released last week might nonetheless put you in the proper frame of mind. The song's from his new album "The Ascension" will be out Friday on CD / LP.

Sarah Cooper: "How To Drugs"

Sarah Cooper, ladies and gentlemen:

Reactions To Last Night's Shitshow

We may need to inject bleach after all, just to get cleansed after last night's epic, unhinged shit- flinging by autocratic wannabe Donald "I Alone Can Fix It" Trump, which we mostly avoided. Here are a few reactions, and some instant polling showing viewers were turned off by Trump's ugly performance: 


The instant polling by CNN bears out the points made above:

Six in 10 debate watchers said former Vice President Joe Biden did the best job in Tuesday's debate, and just 28% say President Donald Trump did, according a CNN Poll of debate watchers conducted by SSRS. [snip]

About two-thirds said Biden's answers were more truthful than Trump's (65% Biden to 29% Trump), and his attacks on the President were more frequently seen as fair. Overall, 69% called Biden's attacks on Trump fair while just 32% said Trump's attacks were fair. [snip]

A majority of debate watchers (57%) said that Tuesday's debate did not affect their choice for president, while the minority who said they were moved were more apt to say they became more likely to vote Biden (32%) than Trump (11%). Biden was, however, viewed as having better addressed concerns about his candidacy (59% Biden to 37% Trump).

We're likely to have more reactions as the dust settles.

BONUS: Vox has a summary of reactions and polling for last night indicating Biden "won". Here's an interesting metric:

"Then we have the focus groups. Republican pollster Frank Luntz convened a focus group of 16 purportedly undecided voters from swing states, and in general they had kinder things to say about Biden’s performance than Trump’s.

Asked to describe Trump in one word or phrase, the responses were: “horrid,” “chaotic,” “unpolished,” “crackhead,” “ehh,” “puzzling,” “un-American,” “unhinged,” “an ass, but a confident ass,” “classic Trump,” “forceful,” “unhinged,” “bully,” “arrogant,” arrogant,” “typical.”

Then, asked to describe Biden, the responses were: “I was surprised at how well he did,” “better than expected,” “definitely more professional than Trump and I think he’s more a people person,” “competent,” “politician,” “showed restraint and compassion,” “politician,” “predictable,” “nice guy but lacking vision,” “coherent,” “leader,” “attentive and rehearsed,” “somewhat evasive,” “humanity and integrity,” “predictable,” “presidential.”

BONUS II:  Favorite Bidenism, uttered after incessant interruptions -- "Will you shut up, man?!"

BONUS III:  LGM's Erik Loomis --

It is literally your civic duty to NOT watch the debates. You are missing nothing of interest. These debates are contributing to the destruction of our republic. They’ve been worthless for years and now they are outright toxic. Literally anything you do is a better use of your time and better for our nation. Just. Don’t. Watch.

Advice taken.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"It Was All A Hoax"

A snippet from the latest installment from the New York Times on malignant moron Donald "Art of the Steal" Trump's tax returns and brilliant businessman facade:

From the back seat of a stretch limousine heading to meet the first contestants for his new TV show “The Apprentice,” Donald J. Trump bragged that he was a billionaire who had overcome financial hardship.

“I used my brain, I used my negotiating skills and I worked it all out,” he told viewers. “Now, my company is bigger than it ever was and stronger than it ever was.”

It was all a hoax.

Months after that inaugural episode in January 2004, Mr. Trump filed his individual tax return reporting $89.9 million in net losses from his core businesses for the prior year. The red ink spilled from everywhere, even as American television audiences saw him as a savvy business mogul with the Midas touch.

Twelve years later, that image of the self-made, self-saved mogul, beamed into the national consciousness, would help fuel Mr. Trump’s improbable election to the White House.

But while the story of “The Apprentice” is by now well known, the president’s tax returns reveal another grand twist that has never been truly told — how the popularity of that fictional alter ego rescued him, providing a financial lifeline to reinvent himself yet again. And then how, in an echo of the boom-and-bust cycle that has defined his business career, he led himself toward the financial shoals he must navigate today.

Mr. Trump’s genius, it turned out, wasn’t running a company. It was making himself famous — Trump-scale famous — and monetizing that fame(our emphasis)

That Trump is the king of tax- dodging/ fraud and an incompetent businessman on an epic scale is no longer a question to be argued by rational people.  He's been conning his marks and suckers via various media since his name first appeared in the public eye.  Now it's all coming out for voters to decide if a "thing" of such low character, criminality and incompetence should be rewarded with another term in the White (Supremacist) House. 

History already has it's first draft written.

Judge To Kentucky AG: Release Taylor Jury Record

After days of stonewalling, weaselly Kentucky Republican Attorney General and de-facto attorney for the Louisville police department Daniel "Black Bill Barr"Cameron has been forced by a judge to release the record of grand jury proceedings in the death of Breonna Taylor. Three Louisville police officers were involved in the killing of Taylor last spring when they executed what appears to have been a no-knock warrant on her apartment. 

Only one of the three officers was charged with a crime -- wanton endangerment for firing into other apartments-- and none were charged directly in Taylor's death. Under questioning, Cameron has finally admitted that he never asked the grand jury to look at any homicide charges, confirming suspicions that he went into the case with the objective of protecting the police from more serious charges. A member of the grand jury has filed a lawsuit claiming Cameron used the grand jury "to deflect accountability and responsibility for (the indictment) decisions.” Can you say "prosecutorial misconduct"?

Under the judge's ruling, members of the grand jury are at liberty to discuss the proceedings, which will likely show Cameron was acting in bad faith in bringing his minimum charges against the police to them. When you cease becoming "for the people" and instead become "for the power" you wind up in Cameron's situation. He's another one that needs to go.

Tweets Of The Day -- Let Us Prey








They're made for each other.


Today's Cartoons - Trump Tax Returns Edition

(click on images to enlarge)

(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)

(Ed Hall,

(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News)

(Bill Day,

(Dave Granlund,

(Jeff Stahler,

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(J.D. Crowe, Alabama Media Group)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Dave Whamond,

(Michael de Adder, Halifax Herald, Canada)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

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

(Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly)

(Ken Catalino,

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

"He Screwed The Country Way More"

Stephen Colbert wraps up the Trump tax returns gift- that- keeps- on- giving, noting of Trump's measly $750 tax payments in 2016 and 2017, "Trump paid Stormy Daniels $130,000;  he screwed the country way more."  The risible myth of Trump the Genius Businessman is also an easy target for Colbert.

Ohio Jobs: Trump Promises Broken

With the recent bombshell about lying con man and business buffoon Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump's tax returns showing not only massive debt and failure, but his contempt for taxpayers, the debate tonight in Cleveland, Ohio will have that topic as a late-breaking issue. But, as Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post notes, the state where the debate will be held has suffered significant job loss and economic dislocation as a result of Trump's broken promises:

"When President Trump steps on the debate stage Tuesday night in Ohio, no doubt he will claim the Buckeye State as his turf — living proof of his economic prowess, his ability to deliver an American manufacturing renaissance.

'It’s incredible what’s happened to the area,' he said Monday, in remarks at the White House previewing his talking points about supposedly resuscitated Ohio factories. 'It’s booming now.'

It’s a lie.

Not only because the poorly managed pandemic recession has destroyed 720,000 manufacturing jobs on net nationwide, including 38,000 in Ohio alone. Also because even before covid-19 broke out, Trump had deserted Ohio's manufacturing workers.

Just ask the laid-off workers themselves whether they agree that their fates represent, in Vice President Pence's terms, 'promises made, promises kept.'

'They’ve betrayed the American worker, they’ve betrayed all those people who voted for them and supported them,' says Dave Green, the former president of the UAW Local 1112, which represented workers at a now-defunct General Motors plant in Lordstown, about an hour away from the presidential debate stage."  (our emphasis)

Former VP Joe Biden finds himself with a 5 point lead in new polling in the state of Ohio. Taking the opportunity to nail Trump on his broken promise to bring jobs back to Ohio, as part of his "Scranton vs. Park Avenue" message to working families, would make use of a great opportunity.

(photo: The closed Lordstown, OH General Motors plant. Ross Mantle / NY Times)

Monday, September 28, 2020

National Security Threat: Foreign Debt Compromises Trump

Career con man and fraud Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump has been exposed as tax cheat and deadbeat in the bombshell New York Times article from yesterday. Other journalists are adding to the context of his tax write-offs and massive debt, and specifically how his debt is a national security threat. Here's longtime Trump watcher Tim O'Brien writing in today's

"Trump has been bloviating about being worth $10 billion ever since he entered the 2016 presidential race, a figure that simply isn’t true. He’s worth a fraction of that amount, and the larger his indebtedness becomes, the more strain it puts on his assets. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a particularly brutal toll on the sectors in which the Trump Organization operates — real estate, travel and leisure. If Trump is unable to meet his debt payments, he’s either going to have to sell assets or get bailed out by a friend with funds. Trump has never liked to sell anything, even when it’s hemorrhaging money. So if he’s tempted to save himself by getting a handout, that makes him a mark.

If Trump was still just a reality TV oddity, that wouldn’t be earthshaking. But he’s president, and the trade-offs someone like him would be willing to make to save his face and his wallet taint every public policy decision he makes – including issues around national security. If Vladimir Putin, for example, can backchannel a loan or a handout to the president, how hard is Trump going to be on Russia?" 

Indeed, and it's not just speculation for the upcoming hundreds of millions (at least) in debt that he's personally on the hook for: it's leverage that's likely been applied to him over the past few years, pre-and-post presidency by foreign lenders (Deutsche Bank, Russian oligarchs, Saudi sheiks, etc.). 

We'd also recommend reading Dan Alexander's extensively researched piece in today's which suggests that Mango Mussolini's debt is upwards of $1.1 billion.  Since U.S. financial institutions stopped loaning to him after his multiple bankruptcies, the $1.1 billion borrowed from foreign, shady sources makes him even more susceptible to foreign pressure and influence. In other words, a national security threat.

(photo: "Vlad, I'm a little low on cash this year....")

Tweets Of The Day -- Taxing Times For Trump









Because there's a old Trump tweet for every occasion -- 



Trump Wanted Daughter To Be His 2016 Running Mate


As Donald Trump’s top campaign aides began a discussion in June 2016 about who the presumptive Republican presidential nominee should select as his running mate, the candidate piped up with an idea.

“I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?” Trump asked the assembled group, according to a new book by his former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates set to be published Oct. 13.

Trump added: “She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!”

In Gates’s telling, Trump’s suggestion of naming to the ticket his then-34-year-old daughter — a fashion and real estate executive who had never held elected office — was no passing fancy.

Instead, he brought up the idea repeatedly over the following weeks, trying to sell his campaign staff on the idea, insisting she would be embraced by the Republican base, Gates writes.

Trump was so taken with the concept of his eldest daughter as his vice president — and so cool to other options, including his eventual selection, then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — that his team polled the idea twice, according to Gates. (our emphasis)

The ignorant pustule honestly (a word seldom associated with Trump) thinks of himself and his family as an autocratic criminal dynasty.  Moreover, in his out- of- control narcissism, he sees his daughter as some kind of distaff, alter ego version of himself, whom he has publicly lusted over.  That drives the "ick" factor up even more.

Meanwhile, unloved failsons Don Jr. and Eric toil away trying to get daddy's love and attention working his daddy's base up to a lather or trying to avoid testifying about daddy's fraudulent Trump OrganizationSad!

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon: Working The "Rigged" Con

 (click to enlarge)

If it's been less than clear before, Mango Mussolini's desperate desire to remain in power is explained in his tax returns that the New York Times has reported on in an epic piece of investigative reporting (see post below). For him, it's clearly a matter of Presidential immunity, staying out of court and prison for probable tax evasion and fraud, and at some point, bank and wire fraud for manipulating the value of his assets to obtain foreign loans. 

Monday Reading

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

Less than 48 hours before the first Presidential debate, dynamite goes BOOM!

The bombshell of Mango Mussolini's tax avoidance, business incompetence and mountain of debt (much held by foreign entities) is another story that would bury any other president or politician.  But, as we know, the committed Trump Cultist hears and sees only what its Dear Leader wants them to.  However, the average Joe Lunchbucket taxpayer should be bristling at the thought that the supposed billionaire paid ZERO taxes for many years and only $750 in 2016. In other words, he's paid more in hush money to his porn star hookups than he has in taxes. His enormous debt, with payments coming due, and the real prospect of undue influence by foreign debt holders is a huge national security red flag.  Needless to say, this is a huge story with major on- going implications.

File under "I Hire The Best People":

Brad Parscale, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump who was replaced by the President less than four months before the 2020 election, was armed with a gun and threatening to harm himself at his Fort Lauderdale home on Sunday afternoon, according to police and campaign officials.

Police responded to a home in the upscale Seven Isles neighborhood around 4 p.m. in reference to a man barricaded inside a house. When officers arrived on the scene, they made contact with the woman, the man’s wife, who had called 911. She told police that her husband was armed, had access to multiple firearms inside the house and was threatening to kill himself.  (our emphasis)

What a collection of crooks, psychopaths and traitors.

No surprise here.  The Washington Post endorses Joe Biden for President this morning:

In order to expel the worst president of modern times, many voters might be willing to vote for almost anybody.

Fortunately, to oust President Trump in 2020, voters do not have to lower their standards. The Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, is exceptionally well-qualified, by character and experience, to meet the daunting challenges that the nation will face over the coming four years.

Those challenges have been, to varying degrees, created, exacerbated or neglected by the incumbent: the covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed more lives in this country than anywhere else in the world; rising inequality and racial disparities; a 21st-century, high-tech authoritarianism ascendant in the world, with democracy in retreat; a planet at risk due to human-caused climate change.

Underlying them all is the question of whether U.S. democracy is any longer capable of meeting even one such challenge, let alone a host of them. Here is where Mr. Trump has done the most damage — and where Mr. Biden is almost uniquely positioned for the moment. He would restore decency, honor and competence to America’s government.

The Post led up to this endorsement in an eight- part series they called "Our Democracy in Peril."

Biden also got endorsements over the weekend from former Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Ridge, who served as the first Secretary of Homeland Security under Dumbya, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (14.8 million Twitter followers).

Moody's Analytics has a message for voters who still think Mango Mussolini and Republicans would be better for the economy:

Moody’s Analytics, an economic-research firm, has published an economic forecast weighing the effects of Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s proposals. It finds Biden’s plan would produce dramatically faster job growth and higher wages for most workers.

Biden’s proposals would lead to 18.6 million new jobs during his first term, and the average American’s income (after taxes) would increase by $4,800. Trump’s policies would lead to an increase of 11.2 million new jobs by 2025, with minimal real income gain for average households.

The main reason Biden’s plan would produce a faster recovery is that it would increase short-term deficit spending. With interest rates very low and demand depressed, an infusion of deficit spending can accelerate growth quickly. (our emphasis)

Here's how they chart out job and GDP growth under several scenarios (click on images to enlarge):

As always, we strongly recommend heading over to Infidel 753's latest link round- up for many more roads to enlightenment (or at least some finely curated links to posts on multiple topics from around the Internet).

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Abundant Dark Matter

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, September 21, 2020: Resting on the tail of the Great Bear in the constellation of Ursa Major, lies NGC 5585, a spiral galaxy that is more than it appears.

The many stars, and dust and gas clouds that make up NGC 5585, shown here in this Hubble image, contribute only a small fraction of the total mass of the galaxy. As in many galaxies, this discrepancy can be explained by the abundant yet seemingly invisible presence of dark matter.

The stellar disc of the galaxy extends over 35 000 light-years across. When compared with galaxies of a similar shape and size, NGC 5585 stands out by having a notably different composition: Contributing to the total mass of the galaxy, it contains a far higher proportion of dark matter.

Hotspots of star formation can be seen along the galaxy’s faint spiral arms. These regions shine a brilliant blue, contrasting strikingly against the ever-black background of space.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Tully

Acknowledgement: Gagandeep Anand

BOMBSHELL -- Trump The Tax Dodger

 Surprised not surprised:

The New York Times has obtained tax-return data for President Trump and his companies that covers more than two decades. Mr. Trump has long refused to release this information, making him the first president in decades to hide basic details about his finances. His refusal has made his tax returns among the most sought-after documents in recent memory.

Among the key findings of The Times’s investigation:

  • Mr. Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years that The Times examined. In 2017, after he became president, his tax bill was only $750.

  • He has reduced his tax bill with questionable measures, including a $72.9 million tax refund that is the subject of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Many of his signature businesses, including his golf courses, report losing large amounts of money — losses that have helped him to lower his taxes.

  • The financial pressure on him is increasing as hundreds of millions of dollars in loans he personally guaranteed are soon coming due.

  • Even while declaring losses, he has managed to enjoy a lavish lifestyle by taking tax deductions on what most people would consider personal expenses, including residences, aircraft and $70,000 in hairstyling for television.

  • Ivanka Trump, while working as an employee of the Trump Organization, appears to have received “consulting fees” that also helped reduce the family’s tax bill.

  • As president, he has received more money from foreign sources and U.S. interest groups than previously known. The records do not reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia. (our emphasis)

 Some initial reactions --








This has to come up at Tuesday's debate.  When and if it does, there'll be flop sweat rolling from Mango Mussolini like a waterfall.  This throws him off any script he might have right before this critical head- to- head with Joe Biden.  Biden should definitely pound him and remind taxpayers what he must think of them ("suckers" and "losers") at every opportunity.

SCOTUS Vacancy Motivating Democrats More

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) righteously flays Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (Bearded Weasel-TX), and reminds us what's on the line in the election and the Barrett SCOTUS nomination:

To prove her point, here's polling from two battleground states on the difference the rush to confirm another Mango Mussolini nominee is making in firing up our voters:

Looks to us like "advantage Democrats," especially if they keep drawing attention to the points Sen. Klobuchar made. To do otherwise during this debate would be political malpractice.

Sunday Reflection: A Blues Milestone

"Life is something like a trumpet. If you don't put anything in, you won't get anything out." Legendary African-American musician and composer W. C. Handy, who considered himself to be the "father of the blues." Credited with self-publishing the first blues song, his "The Memphis Blues" on this day in 1912, Handy brought Mississippi delta blues / Southern rag music to wide public attention as a distinct musical genre. He followed up with "St. Louis Blues" in 1914, and continued to blaze a trail for blues artists that followed him. Handy once defined the blues this way: "The blues. The sound of a sinner on revival day." That's about as close as comes.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Thompson, USA Today)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Kevin Kallaugher, Baltimore Sun)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Tom Curry, The Big Bend Gazette, TX)

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(David Rowe, Finanacial Review, London)

(Alan Moir, Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia)

(Alan Moir, Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia)