Monday, January 30, 2023

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The good:

Petr Pavel, a retired general and former senior Nato commander, has swept to the Czech presidency after a landslide victory over the former prime minister Andrej Babiš in an election overshadowed by rows over the war between Russia and Ukraine.

With nearly all the votes counted, returns showed Pavel prevailing by the emphatic margin of 58.3% to 41.68%, the largest ever recorded in a Czech presidential poll and reflecting an advantage of more than 958,000 votes nationwide.

Pavel’s supporters immediately hailed the result as a victory for liberal democracy over oligarchic populism, which they believe Babiš represents.  [snip]

He called his win a victory for “truth, dignity, respect and humility” and vowed to seek national unity after an election campaign widely denounced as bitterly divisive. “We have different views on many things, but that doesn’t mean we are enemies,” said Pavel. “We have to learn to communicate with each other.”

In a highly symbolic moment, he then received the congratulations on stage of Zuzana Čaputová, Slovakia’s president, who – like Pavel – has spoken out against populism and invoked the values of Václav Havel, the one-time dissident who was the first post-communist president of the former Czechoslovakia.

The outcome represented a personal vindication for the pro-western Pavel, who was forced to deny false eve-of-poll reports of his own death announced on a counterfeit version of his campaign website, sparking allegations of dirty tricks and a police investigation.

It also amounted to a humiliating rebuff for Slovak-born Babiš, 68, a billionaire tycoon who stood accused of running a shameless, scorched-earth campaign after portraying Pavel as a warmonger for his support of military aid to Ukraine. At one point, Babiš even appeared to question Nato’s collective security arrangements by saying he would never send Czech troops to Poland, a fellow member of the military alliance, if it was attacked by Russia...

Now, if only Hungary's Orbán, another Putin/ Trump pal in NATO, was as vulnerable to removal.  Still, perhaps this is a sign that right- wing populism is in retreat in Europe.

The bad:

The good news is many Republicans want to leave Donald Trump in the dust. The bad news is so many of them are just as odious.

Case in point: Mike Pompeo.

This choleric guy, who was plucked from back-bench House obscurity by the Trump team and inexplicably elevated to CIA director and Secretary of State, is clearly maneuvering to run for president in 2024. It’s obvious in two ways: He has sought to make himself more telegenic by losing massive amounts of weight and he’s seeking to romance the right-wing donor class and Duh Base by singing all of MAGA’s greatest hits.

Earlier this week, he said on TV that “the left” had “exploited” the violent events of Jan. 6 insurrection and that the day had ended in “glory.” Apparently “the left” is exploiting the courts, which continue to send insurrectionist thugs to the slammer, and bending the minds of the 140 Capitol cops who are still reeling from the physical assaults they suffered that day.

And a year ago, for instance, on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Pompeo lauded the mass murderer as “very savvy…very shrewd…elegantly sophisticated…one who is not reckless but has always done the math…He is a very talented statesman.” Right. Putin is so talented he has united the western world against him, strengthened NATO, and wrecked the economy of his own benighted country. 

Putin is arguably a clear and present danger to world peace, but Mike Pompeo disagrees. A few months ago he decreed: “The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten. It’s not a close call.” In case you didn’t know, Weingarten runs one of unions that represents public school teachers.

Actually, Pompeo has been off his rocker for a very long time. Remember Benghazi, the faux-scandal that House Republicans like Pompeo tried to pin on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? That ginned-up brouhaha ended when a string of congressional panels – the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and three others – all concluded that she’d done nothing perfidious or criminal. But none of that mattered to Pompeo, who insisted on NBC News that she was guilty of something. He was asked, where’s the evidence? He replied: “In my heart.”...

The arrogant asshole also smeared Jamal Khashoggi in defense of his Saudi pals.  So Pompeo, DeSantis, Youngkin,  etc., etc.  The horse race media will try its best to sanitize these bums, but remember the Angelou maxim:  "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

The ugly:

The man accused of brutally attacking former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer last year expressed regret on Friday that he didn’t do more, according to a jailhouse call that he reportedly had with a California news station.

David DePape shared a stunning lack of remorse for the violence during what was described as an unexpected phone call to KTVU, the San Francisco TV station reported. The call followed the public release of police body camera footage capturing the incident.

“I want to apologize to everyone. I messed up. What I did was really bad. I’m so sorry I didn’t get more of them. It’s my own fault. No one else is to blame. I should have come better prepared,” he told KTVU reporter Amber Lee, according to audio of the call posted online.  [snip]

DePape, who is behind bars on charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and kidnapping, which he’s pleaded not guilty to, reportedly refused questions from Lee reasoning that it could jeopardize his criminal case. Regardless, in the call’s recording he appears to admit to plotting and carrying out the Oct. 28 attack while defending it as taking a stand for Americans’ freedom.

“You’re welcome,” he says after acknowledging the video footage capturing the early morning home invasion that hospitalized 82-year-old Paul Pelosi.

“Freedom and liberty isn’t dying, it’s being killed systemically and deliberately,” he says in the recording. “The people killing it have names and addresses so I got their names and addresses so I could pay them a little visit. Have a heart-to-heart chat about their bad behavior.”...

This deluded loon, like his cult leader, doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.  FAFO.


seafury said...

Maybe a 2028 contender for public office? After all, He'll be released soon with a public apology from the justice dept. After the Ashley Babbit act passes congress with overwhelming support.

Mart said...

The "enemy of the people" press should let folks know Pompeo negotiated the release of 5,000 Taliban terrorists as part of his plan to get us out of the forever war in Afghanistan.