Friday, March 31, 2023

Front Pages Announce Trump Indictment


(click to enlarge)

What a 24-hours. Save your paper if the front page headlines the Malignant Loser's indictment. It's a piece of history, and a satisfying one at that. A partial collection:

And a nice shiv from Rupert's Rag: 

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Michael de Adder,

(Matt Wuerker, Politico)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Nick Anderson, Counterpoint)

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

(Rob Rogers,

(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Andy Marlette,

(Dan Misdea, The New Yorker)

Tweets Of The Day


On the Malignant Loser's (first) indictment (more here and here) --










Happy Friday, tiny hands! --




Weekend Music


We were sad to hear news of the death of Keith Reid, lyricist for the groundbreaking British band Procol Harum, on March 23. The band has a special place in our hearts, and Reid -- who wrote the lyrics for almost all of Procol Harum's songs -- contributed to the unique, baroque aura of the band through his Edward Lear- like lyrics, even though he never played an instrument.  Of the most popular lineup, only guitarist Robin Trower, bassist David Knights, and organist Matthew Fisher now survive.  Here are two early songs, "Shine on Brightly," from the 1968 eponymous album and, of course, their classic "A Whiter Shade of Pale," from their self- titled 1967 album. 

"And so it was that later/ as the miller told his tale/ that her face at first just ghostly/ turned a whiter shade of pale."

Turkey Clears The Way For Finland To Join NATO

Turkey's parliament has voted unanimously to approve Finland's application to join NATO, clearing the way for full membership for the Scandinavian neighbor of Russia. Hungary's parliament voted on Monday to accept Finland's application by a wide margin. Turkey had objected to Finland's tolerance of Kurdish groups hostile to Turkey in Finland, demanding the extradition of activists. 

Finland's neighbor Sweden had applied to join NATO at the same time in a package deal that would significantly upgrade NATO's military clout given those countries' military sophistication and preparedness. Finland's military and its 800 mile plus border with Russia makes it a vital asset in protecting the West from aggression from Putin's terrorist state on NATO's northern flank. Sweden, however, is facing the same opposition from Hungary and Turkey for similar reasons, and it's doubtful that Sweden's application will be approved any time soon.


More Than 30 Counts In Trump Indictment?


Donald Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in an indictment from a Manhattan grand jury, according to two sources familiar with the case – the first time in American history that a current or former president has faced criminal charges.

Trump is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

The indictment has been filed under seal and will be announced in the coming days. The charges are not publicly known at this time.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has been investigating the former president in connection with his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election. Grand jury proceedings are secret, but a source familiar with the case told CNN that a witness gave about 30 minutes of testimony before it voted to indict Trump...  (our emphasis)

It's being reported that the indictment won't be unsealed today, so we won't necessarily know what are the specific counts.  But, for example, depending on whether falsifying business records (one likely charge) is committed in the second degree or first degree (the former is a misdemeanor, the latter a felony), criminal felony charges are very much in play for the Malignant Loser -- and that's only one possible area of business fraud, not to mention campaign financing violations.

More off and on today.

(Image: via Giphy)

A New Member Of The "J6 Choir"?


Last night, Stephen Colbert announced the indictment of the Malignant Loser to his ecstatic audience at the start of his monologue, covered the Dominion lawsuit against Fox "News," Disney going medieval on Bootsie DeSantis, and wife of bowling alley flasher Rep. Lauren "Bobo" Boebert's ignorant questioning of a DC official.  Good times.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

DeSantis Action May Undermine Wingnut Media

Florida's fascistic book- banning and COVID- spreading Gov. Ron "Bootsie / Meatball Ron" DeSantis is eager to limit First Amendment rights of news organization by making it easier in Florida to sue them for defamation. Ostensibly aimed at progressive and moderate press critics of his increasingly authoritarian regime, Florida's Il Duce and his radical legislature are proposing sweeping changes in the state's defamation laws. Given Fox "News" serious trouble with the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit, and the way the far right media ecosystem plays fast and loose with the truth and conspiracies, their proposal is more likely to boomerang on his media allies, as some have noted:

"The legislation, fashioned to punish media outlets over their coverage of conservatives, would turn the state into a battleground over the future of the First Amendment.

But in doing so, DeSantis has sparked warnings from the right that his attempts to target the mainstream media will result in headaches for conservative outlets as well. Among the most vulnerable, opponents have said, could be the media organizations that have done the most to promote DeSantis amid his ascent in the GOP.

'I understand the emotion behind this bill, but you cannot legislate on emotion and this bill is a sword that will cut both ways,' said Trey Radel, a former Republican colleague of DeSantis in the US House who hosts a weeknight radio show on a Florida Fox News affiliate. 'This bill has the potential to stifle, if not shut down, center right media and conservative talk radio.'”  (our emphasis)

DeSantis is so preoccupied with creating culture war issues in his run up to a campaign for the Republican / Seditionist / Shooters Party nomination he's starting to step on his own shoelaces, much to our approval. If he and his legislative cohort unintentionally bring down their allies on the right via their defamation laws, we're all for that.

(photo: D'oh! Joe Raedle / Getty Images)


BREAKING: New York Grand Jury Indicts Trump


News broke this afternoon that the disgraced former President and habitual criminal Donald Trump has been indicted by the grand jury convened by the Manhattan District Attorney, sources have told CNN:

"The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been investigating the former president in connection with his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election.

The decision is sure to send shockwaves across the country, pushing the American political system – which has never seen one of its ex-leaders confronted with criminal charges, let alone while running again for president – into uncharted waters."

The Malignant Loser predicted that he would be indicted last week, and held a rally in Waco, TX, in which he blasted Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg as he has done on his social media account.

No details as to the specific charges, nor the arrangements for the Malignant Loser to appear in court. Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina confirms that his client has been notified of the indictment, according to the AP.

This is a good day for the rule of law in America.

BONUS:   Just yesterday, the Malignant Loser praised the same Grand Jury, perhaps thinking he could schmooze his way out of an indictment:


Today's Cartoons


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(James MacLeod, @MacLtoons)

(Nick Anderson, Reform Austin News, TX)

(John Buss, @repeat1968)

(Pedro Molina, Counterpoint)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Dave Granlund,

(Chris Britt,

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

(Ward Sutton, Boston Globe)

(Randy Bish, @Bishtoons)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Paul Noth, @PaulNoth)

Tweets Of The Day


The depravity at the heart of the Republican / Shooters Party, cont'd. --




Photos of children killed in mass shootings should be thrust in Rethugs' faces --  

Republican auxiliary group busted for huge illegal drug cache --  

"Bobo" Boebert wets herself in hearing, won't take "no" for an answer -- 

Russia and the Malignant Loser: partners in destruction --  

Remembering another crime of the Russian terrorist state -- 

Hats off to this gymnast! --  



Letters We Wish We'd Written Dept.


From today's Washington Post:

Regarding Eugene Robinson’s March 24 op-ed, “Trump’s GOP rivals still haven’t figured out a way around him”:

It’s not the Republican candidates but rather the party’s voters who will require a come-to-Jesus moment before the GOP, and the country, can move past this dysfunctional period.

It is an ingrained human trait to powerfully resist discovering you were wrong, conned or misled. Former president Donald Trump attracted the support of many of his followers by telling them countless untruths, many of which they believed. Unless or until these supporters come to realize they have been lied to and conned and are actually mistaken about things they hold to be true, not only will they remain loyal to Mr. Trump but they will also resent anyone who tries to dissuade them of what they so fervently believe.

This country desperately needs educational efforts against misinformation to begin very early in a child’s education, as Finland does. It might be too late in the United States to correct that deficit in many adults. GOP voters, especially Trump supporters, would call discovering the truth indoctrination, or worse yet, being woke.

Jim Nagle, Reston

We'd argue that it is too late to correct the toxic reality deficit in the many adult MAGAts, after decades of sewage being fed into their heads by right- wing media and other sources.  We likely will have to wait until they shuffle off this mortal coil via a disease they weren't vaccinated against/ another bad health decision, or a gunshot from one of their favorite weapons of choice.

Is Weisselberg Cooperating With The DA?


Trump Company chief financial officer and convicted felon Alan Weisselberg has been cooling his heels at the infamous Rikers jail in New York for months, until now refusing to roll over on his crime boss, the Malignant Loser. But his firing of his Trump-funded attorneys may suggest that he's flipped and willing to testify against him:

"Weisselberg, who is serving a five-month sentence in Rikers Island after pleading guilty to 15 felony counts related to a tax evasion scheme, is no longer being represented by attorneys Nick Gravante and Mary Mulligan, according to WNBC. Despite his earlier guilty plea, prosecutors have considered a new round of insurance fraud charges to try to pressure him to cooperate with the Manhattan district attorney probe into the 2016 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, The New York Times reported last year."  (our emphasis)

Legal experts commenting on the situation say it could mean that he's cooperating and doesn't want his Trump-funded lawyers involved, or it could mean he wants a new team to defend him on the potential new felony charges. It could explain the slow-motion activity of the Manhattan DA's office relating to the Stormy Daniels hush money scandal, since Weisselberg had direct knowledge of the illegal payments to her by the Malignant Loser. As former Justice Department official Harry Litman notes:



Bad Good Smile!

We did Nazi this coming:

Toxic image board 4chan has managed to stay online for the past seven years—amid boycotts and advertiser flight, after being implicated in several mass shootings, even as it was identified as a source of the conspiracy theories that inspired the January 6 insurrection—thanks, in part, to a $2.4 million investment from a major Japanese toy company.

A partnership agreement, obtained exclusively by WIRED, shows not only how current site owner Hiroyuki Nishimura acquired the far-right message board but also how Japanese industry helped finance the deal.

The text of the deal shows that Nishimura invested $800,000 of his own money, plus $4.8 million from his company—using cash from a major Japanese telecommunications company. But the most surprising part of the deal came from Good Smile Company, which acquired a 30 percent share in 4chan for its $2.4 million investment.

The relationship came to light as a result of New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into the Buffalo supermarket mass murder in May 2022.  James office is also considering "whether 4chan could face civil or criminal liability for 'promoting, facilitating, or providing a platform to plan and promote violence'" though it appears criminal charges won't be filed.

Stepping back for a moment, here's just a reminder of what 4chan is all about:

It birthed QAnon, grew the incel movement, and was cited by multiple mass shooters around the world as a direct source of inspiration. Its users generated a dizzying amount of disinformation around the 2020 presidential election, deployed swattings to go after their detractors, and produced an enormous amount of far-right, racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and queerphobic memes. 4chan users consider the site an American political kingmaker, and it has helped corrode the political culture of Canada, Australia, and Europe.

In short, its a Fount of Fascism.

The Wired article goes on to take a deep dive into other aspects of Nishimura's involvement in toxic social media:

Nishimura founded the image board 2channel in 1999 and quickly cemented himself as a cult figure in Japanese culture. Even before he inspired Chris Poole, 4chan’s founder, to start the English-language knockoff, Nishimura had given millions of Japanese—particularly young men—the freedom to speak anonymously, candidly, and bluntly. That, in turn, generated an ironic, anime-obsessed subculture that traded in a particular brand of hard-right, anti-feminist, anti-Korean, and “identitarian” politics.

That disruptive talent made Nishimura an attractive figure in Japan’s otherwise conservative media culture. In the early 2000s, Nishimura forged a partnership with another young entrepreneur who had risen to become chair of telecommunications firm Dwango: Nobuo Kawakami.

Kawakami and Dwango had set up a Japanese rival to YouTube and were trying to figure out how to grow it beyond just a platform to upload videos ripped from their American competitor. So they brought on Nishimura to apply 2channel’s charm to their new platform, Niconico.

Nishimura’s own company, Future Search Brazil, joined forces with Dwango—journalist Yoshiaki Sei reported that Nishimura took a 20 percent stake in Niconico. And in a matter of years, Niconico became the biggest video streaming platform in Japan.

Disney Company has a licensing agreement with Good Smile, but is letting it lapse in May after becoming aware of Nishimura's ownership of 4chan. 

There's much more detail on Nishimura and how an ostensibly benign company selling games and toys is supporting fascist enterprises.  But the best character summary of Nishimura comes from his partner Kawakami, via the journalist mentioned above:

“I think Mr. Kawakami’s description of Mr. Nishimura is fair and quite accurate,” Sei says. “Kawakami described Nishimura as a child who tears the legs off from a bug. And that he enjoys that.”

Let's hope it's "game over" for Nishimura.


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(R.J. Matson, CQ/ Roll Call)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Clay Jones,

(J.D. Crowe, Alabama Media Group)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Emanuele Del Rosso, CartoonArts, Amsterdam)

(Michael de Adder, Washington Post)

(Gary Markstein,

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

(Will McPhail, @WillMcPhail)

Tweets Of The Day

The Christofascist identity and gun culture--



The real cause of the Nashville school shooting, as seen on Murdoch's Fox "News" --


Meanwhile, judge rejects scrotum- faced Murdoch's excuse not to testify in person --


"Person, woman, man, camera, tv, also I got rid of NATO!" --



Dems need to get moving in critical Wisconsin Supreme Court election (voting details here) --



More good Democratic governance --


More and faster, please --



πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ --




Christie Aiming To Be Trump's "Critic In Chief"

Florida's book- banning, COVID-spreading fascistic Gov. Ron "Bootsie / Meatball Ron" DeSantis is losing steam among donors and voters in his likely bid for the Republican nomination. As the great hope of corporate Republicans who are tired of losing with the Malignant Loser, DeSantis hasn't hit back at the Malignant Loser's frequent and nasty attacks, worrying some of his followers that he's not up to the task. However, in the way that nature abhors a vacuum, the boisterous former New Jersey Gov. Chris "Traffic Cone" Christie appears ready to  engage with the Malignant Loser, if only for a kamikaze mission to tear some chunks off of the Malignant Loser's yuuuge rear end. Christie was in early primary state New Hampshire the other day testing his "Trump's a loser" message, as Politico reports:

"Christie reunited a group of his New Hampshire backers on Monday night, when he returned to the state for a town hall at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics — a prerequisite for any presidential hopeful — followed by a private dinner with close friends, former supporters and some donors.

Christie was cagey about whether he is actually running for president again. But if he is — he’s said a decision could come in 45 to 60 days — he spelled out a clear lane for himself as Trump’s critic in chief.

Christie doesn’t see one in what is shaping up to be the 2024 Republican field.

'They’re going to wriggle right up next to him and say "I’m almost like him, but I’m not quite as bad,” Christie said of his would-be rivals. 'Let me tell you something, everybody. That’s going to lose as certain as he lost in ‘20, as we lost the House in ‘18, as we lost the Senate in ‘21, as we underperformed in ‘22.'”  [snip]

'Trump said a few weeks ago: I am your retribution. Guess what everybody? No thanks,' Christie said. 'The only person he cares about is him. And if we haven’t learned that since Election Day 2020 until today, we’re not paying attention.'”  (our emphasis)

In some ways, the loud mouthed former New Jersey Governor was a forerunner of the Malignant Loser's style of cut-them-up politics, known for his nasty remarks and bullying. We'll see how long he's able to hang in with the Malignant Loser, but we're not optimistic about a long distance event between the two.

(photo: Christie and Trump, with Christie-nemesis Javanka sneering in the background/ Shawn Thew, Getty Images)