Thursday, February 29, 2024

Russia's Predictable Designs On Moldova



Now that Russia-aligned MAGA House members are blocking aid to Ukraine causing it to have military setbacks, war criminal and Russian thug Vladimir Putin has become emboldened to pursue his aggression. His second invasion of Ukraine two years ago was based on the false premise that Russian-speaking people in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine were being persecuted by the Ukrainian government. It's reminiscent of Hitler's tactic in invading Czechoslovakia and Austria prior to World War II "to protect ethnic Germans", and Russia's assault on Georgia in 2008, when it created South Ossetia and Abkhazia as breakaway "republics". 

With the same tactic in mind, Putin has turned his attention to the small nation of Moldova, a small landlocked country between Ukraine and Romania and a former Soviet republic, and its small ethnic Russian population of Transnistria along the Ukrainian border. From CNBC:

"The West is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin's next move closely after pro-Russian officials in the breakaway region of Transnistria in Moldova appealed to Moscow for 'protection' against the Moldovan authorities.

Russia's Foreign Ministry responded Wednesday by saying protecting that the interests of the residents of Transnistria — calling them "compatriots" — was one of Russia's priorities and that it would carefully consider the request, the ministry told RIA Novosti.

Analysts believed that Putin could use his state-of-the-nation address — an overview of the current situation in the country, and Russia's goals at home and abroad — to make an announcement about Transnistria. However, he was tight-lipped about the region in eastern Moldova that Russia has backed since the collapse of the Soviet Union." (our emphasis)

Putin likely believes that having additional Russian troops "invited" to the Transnistria region bordering Ukraine could cause Ukraine to divert troops to their border there to forestall another front of the war. At a minimum, such a move might sway the Moldovan government into a less pro-West, pro-European Union position that they currently have. The situation is on the radar of the White House, given Putin's increasingly aggressive moves:

"The White House said it noted the development with U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, stating on Wednesday that 'Given Russia's increasingly aggressive role in Europe, we are watching Russia's actions in Transnistria and the broader situation there very closely.'"

We watched the situations very closely in Georgia in 2008, and Ukraine's Donbas in 2022, and that didn't deter Putin, who has come to expect us to be bystanders in his brutal aggressions.

(photo: Sergei Bobylyov / Sputnik / AFP via Getty Images)

 

Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)


 (Michael de Adder, @deAdder)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Rob Rogers, Tinyview.com)

(Kevin Necessary, gocomics.com)


 (Ted Littleford, @tedlittleford)

(Bruce Plante, caglecartoons.com)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)


 (Ed Wexler, caglecartoons.com)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)


(Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly)

(Jack Ohman, Tribune Content Agency)

(Ed Hall, Artizans.com)


Tweets / Xeets Of The Day

 

About the Trump immunity case and SCOTUS --


 

 

 

 


Didn't he say he was once worth $10 billion? Liar, liar. -- 


 


What's the Malignant Loser's grift of the day you ask? -- 



Human / turtle hybrid Mitch McConnell: a legacy to be ashamed of. -- 



Clean bill of health for President Biden, including a neurologist's opinion. -- 



Hunter Biden pushed back on MAGAts about Kushner's $2 billion from Saudis. --


 

Bringing justice to the January 6 Trump insurrectionists -- 


 


Report from the battle front in Ukraine. -- 



Now if they could just make the hemorrhoids disappear.... -- 


 

Republican Blocks Bill Protecting Access To IVF

 



Should there be anyone foolish enough to believe that Christofascist Republicans aren't intent on protecting, preserving, and expanding the Republican Alabama Supreme Court's egregious ruling on embryos being children, read on:

Senate Republicans have blocked legislation that would protect access to in vitro fertilization, objecting to a vote on the issue Wednesday even after widespread backlash to a recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that threatens the practice.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi Republican, objected to a request for a vote by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who used IVF treatments to have her two children after struggling with years of infertility. Duckworth’s bill would establish a federal right to the treatments as the Alabama ruling has upended fertility care in the state and families who had already started the process face heartbreak and uncertainty.

Several clinics in the state announced they were pausing IVF services as they sort out last week’s ruling, which said that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law. The court said that three Alabama couples who lost frozen embryos during an accident at a storage facility could sue the fertility clinic and hospital for the wrongful death of a minor child.

Democrats have immediately seized on the election-year ruling, warning that other states could follow Alabama’s lead and that other rights could be threatened as well in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and the federal right to an abortion in 2022. Congress passed similar legislation in 2022 that would protect the federal right to same-sex and interracial marriages.  [snip]

Abortion opponents have pushed laws in at least 15 states based on the idea that a fetus should have the same rights as a person...

Now, is there anyone foolish enough to believe the Christofascist Republicans aren't coming for contraception next?

As has been noted, and made clear by the Chief Judge of the Alabama Republican Supreme Court, these crackpots believe in a pseudo- religious "Seven Mountain Mandate" calling on fundamentalists to impose their values on all American life.  These are the same people setting the "Project 2025" white nationalist agenda for a future Malignant Loser administration.  These are the same people behind placing the Trumpist extremists on the Republican U.S. Supreme Court that gave us the Dobbs decision. This is the same ideology floating around in MAGA Mike Johnson's fevered brain. This is what you can expect -- and worse -- should these fascist extremists take the White House.  It's a war on families and freedom, and the most vile government intrusion into the most personal decisions imaginable.

Believe them when they tell you who they are, ffs.

(Photo:  Christofascist goblin Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Jebusland / Michael Brochstein, Sipa USA via AP file)

Creeping McConnell, Creepy Trump, And Turd Dogs

 

Steven Colbert covers recent events not involving the latest Republican Supreme Court ruling abomination:  "Moscow Mitch" McConnell's giving up leadership of Senate Republicans, Michigan primary results, MAGA Mike Johnson's House Trump-Putin caucus, a former Australian PM's view of Trump, and the imploding impeachment farce involving Russian intelligence services feeding willing Republican dupes and useful idiots as the media focuses elsewhere.  Good, as usual.

Supreme Court Delays Immunity Decision

 

After the Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously ruled that the Malignant Loser did not have immunity for criminal acts while President, specifically those committed on January 6, it was hoped that the Republican-stacked Supreme Court might decline to review the case and send the case back to the District Court immediately for trial. Unfortunately, the Court agreed to hear the Malignant Loser's appeal, but not until April 22, when oral arguments are scheduled. SCOTUSblog has a timeline for the case, starting from when the Malignant Loser was indicted last August.

While legal experts described that drawn-out schedule as "expedited", it likely moves the District Court trial date (assuming the Court doesn't side with the Malignant Loser) well into the summer of 2024, with considerable doubt that it would conclude before the election.  There may be some economies in the schedule later regarding the District Court, but this ruling by the Supreme Court is a gift to the would-be dictator as it moves him closer to an election that he hopes will rescue him from justice. Stay tuned.

BONUS:  More discussion here, here, and here.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)


(Robert Ariail, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, SC)

(Patrick Byrnes, gocomics.com)

(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)

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

(Maarten Wolterink, Leiden, Netherlands)

(Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Jen Sorensen, gocomics.com)

(Joe Heller, hellertoon.com)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(David Horsey, The Seattle Times)

(Adam Douglas Thompson, The New Yorker)


Russian Hero Navalny's Funeral On Friday



After an unconscionable 8 day delay by Russian authorities in releasing the body of Alexei Navalny, his mother and supporters will be able to give him a funeral this Friday in a Moscow suburb, according to spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh. Even in Navalny's death, Putin's thuggish regime is still putting up obstacles against him:

"Few details have been released on the cause of his death, and Russian authorities initially refused to hand Navalny's body over to his mother Lyudmila. They finally relented eight days after he died.

On Tuesday, Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said his team were struggling to find somewhere to hold the ceremony - some funeral homes had claimed they were fully booked, she said, while others had refused when they found out who the event was for.

'One place told us that funeral agencies were forbidden from working with us,' Ms Yarmysh posted on social media. [snip]

Navalny's team had originally wanted to hold the funeral on 29 February, but 'it quickly became clear that there was not a single person around who could dig a grave on that day', Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on X.

He implied that the reason for this was because Mr Putin is due to make a major speech on the same day.

'The Kremlin understands that nobody will care for Putin and his address on the day of Alexei's farewell,' Mr Zhdanov wrote."  (our emphasis)

The fear of war criminal dictator Putin for Navalny and the movement for democracy now headed by his widow Yulia Navalnaya is palpable, using his security forces to arrest hundreds of mourners and to remove any makeshift memorials to him. Attendees at the funeral risk arrest by Putin's security forces, or harassment at the very least, and Navalnaya cannot risk arrest by returning to Russia.

BONUS: Navalnaya spoke to the European Parliament earlier today and urged them to defeat Putin.

(photo: Makeshift memorial in St. Petersburg. Artem Priakhin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

 

Tweets / Xeets Of The Day

 

Keep whipping your narrative, Republican- wired media! --

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Michiganders ...  --

 

 

Next up for Christofascist MAGAt Republicans: contraception --

 

 

MAGA Mike Johnson hears from abroad --

 


R.I.P. Fani Willis removal sideshow -- 


 

Dumbest peckerwood in the Senate gets his ass handed to him (again) --

 

 

Yikes!! 😲 (Also, 'sup with the dress shirt?) --

 

 

 

Mid-Week Song

 

If you're a long time fan of the Rolling Stones, you'll know that the founder and original leader of the band and the one who gave the band its name was multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones. He auditioned and hired Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who later became the iconic core of the group. Jones's 82nd birthday would have been today, had he not spiraled into depression, drugs and alcoholism and died in 1969 at the age of 27, joining the "27 Club" of musicians who died at that age. Here's the hit song Ruby Tuesday, one of the songs most identified with Jones, who plays the alto recorder in addition to providing backing vocals, on the track.

QOTD: Another Shutdown Looms On MAGA Mike's Watch

 

Heather Digby Parton, writing in Salon.com, calling for House Speaker MAGA Mike Johnson to put on his big boy pants and fund government operations, which are about to shut down soon:

"Here we are again looking right down the barrel of a government shutdown because one-half of one of the three branches of the federal government is completely dysfunctional under GOP leadership.

We're talking about the Republican House of Representatives of course. They are simply incapable of passing legislation. 2023 was the least productive year since the Great Depression with Congress passing just 27 pieces of legislation that became law. In 1948 President Harry Truman famously called the legislative branch the "Do Nothing Congress" because they only managed to pass 511 bills.

This is the third time in six months that the country has been on the brink of a shutdown because the hard right in the House is holding their breath until they turn blue. It's not clear what they want except perhaps to cause more chaos. The last time it cost Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., his job as Speaker of the House and the same fate may very await current Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., as well. There's nothing in his performance so far that suggests he has the skill or the desire to finesse this situation." (our emphasis)

Of course, many of the nihilistic clowns in the MAGA / Putinist caucus thrive on chaos, just like their cult leader the Malignant Loser, and won't do anything he doesn't want them to do (including shutting down the Veterans Administration, cutting food safety inspections, and a thousand other functions of government). When Johnson met with President Biden and Congressional leaders yesterday, all pressured him to let the Ukraine / Israel / Taiwan aid bill go to the floor for a vote, and true to form Johnson used the southern border situation as a counter -- a situation that the Malignant Loser wants to fester in order to use as a bogus election issue.

 

Republican Crime Blotter -- Momma, Don't Raise Your Sons To Be Felons

 


Maybe -- hear us out -- maybe the mother of this felonious delinquent should be paying more attention to her family, and not engaging in a carpetbagging run for Congress, or fondling dates in dark theaters:

The 18-year-old son of far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) was arrested on Tuesday afternoon following “a recent string of vehicle trespass and property thefts” in Rifle, Colorado, said police.

Tyler Jay Boebert faces 22 charges.

They include four felony counts of criminal possession of ID documents, one felony count of conspiracy to commit a felony and 15 misdemeanor and petty offenses, Rifle Police Department wrote on Facebook. [snip]

On the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office website, Tyler Boebert on Wednesday morning remained listed as a current inmate at Garfield County Jail.

No bond has been set for his release.

Tyler Boebert became a father for the first time last year.

His Boebert genes already being passed on at the age of 17!  He's following in his mother's footsteps (she became a "mother" at 18)!  Republican family values, Boebert style!

BONUSKarma is also a bitch.

(Image:  the mug shot / Rifle Police Department)


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)

(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)

(Rob Rogers, Tinyview.com)

(Dave Granlund, politicalcartoons.com)

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

(Nick Anderson, Reform Austin News, TX)

(Oliver Schopf, Der Standard, Vienna)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)


 (Bob Englehart, caglecartoons.com)

(Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Matt Percival, The Spectator, London)


Tweets / Xeets Of The Day

 

Bing bong bing bing bong....the Malignant Loser losing it. --


 

Former Australian PM notes the Malignant Loser's crush on Putin -- 


 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. -- 


 

Before heroic Alexi Navalny there was Boris Nemtsov, murdered by Putin nine years ago. -- 



After a year of Kremlin-fed lies, "Heil" Hannity keeps rolling along. -- 



Today's biology lesson. -- 


 

The Bible-thumper crime blotter, part infinity. -- 



Honesty is the best policy. -- 


 

Meme Of The Day

 

(click on image to enlarge)


(Source: X / Twitter)

QOTD: "Frog In Boiling Water" Moment

 

From MSNBC's opinion writer Zeeshan Aleem on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) fuehrer-fest last weekend, and the newly-accepted presence of Nazis, something that was discouraged years ago:

"According to an NBC News report, 'a group of Nazis who openly identified as national socialists mingled with mainstream conservative personalities, including some from Turning Point USA, and discussed ‘race science’ and antisemitic conspiracy theories.' (Hitler’s Nazi Party was officially called the 'National Socialist German Workers’ Party.') The reporter of the article has video of one of them giving a 'heil Hitler'-style salute in the lobby of the hotel where the conference took place and of other members of the group reportedly used the N-word.

This is a critical frog-in-boiling-water moment for the right: The mainstream organs of American conservatism are apparently acclimating to Nazis in their pot. That this group was able to mingle with participants at a high-profile conference, wasn't kicked out of CPAC, and wasn't appropriately condemned is a sign of how contiguous mainstream conservatism has become with white supremacist politics today." (our emphasis)

As the far right's cult leader gets more desperate with his multiple indictments, trials and fines, he will issue increasingly unhinged "orders" to his cult, including the depraved cretins that showed up at CPAC, to disregard rules and law and to seize instruments of power and justice. The "water" has been heating for some time, and the Malignant Loser can be counted on to crank up the heat quickly as the election approaches.

 

Kimmel Nails Trump's Racism, Delusion

 

ICYMI, last night, Jimmy Kimmel put the Malignant Loser on a spit and roasted his orange ass over his "appeal" to black people because of his indictments, his dance moves, and his cognitive decline . Also, he has a funny prank on his cousin Micki involving the Apple VisionPro and a pair of ski goggles.

Monday, February 26, 2024

What's That Musk-y Smell? Oh No! "Algorithmic Shadow-Banning"




Lunatic smearer of the Sandy Hook kids and other gun violence victims Alex Jones, complaining that the X social media site is "censoring" the vile and deceitful "InfoWars" account:

"'I'm calling this... algorithmic shadow-banning or algorithmic throttled shadow-banning where it's done a lot of different ways, but it's definitely going on. And so I think we're at the stage here of finding how bad the manipulation is on X, which, you know, it's total on the other platforms. [snip]

We need to have a discussion about that and find out why that is and what changes have been made, or is he doing what Google did 25 years ago where they're open and free at first could get everybody on the platform, and it works so great, and it's so wonderful. Then over time, they start bringing in controls until now it's a complete and total fraud."

How this vicious fascist thug is still allowed to broadcast his filth is incredible, given the enormous judgements that fined him $965 million and $473 million for his lies about the victims of the 2011 Sandy Hook massacre and their families. But it's good to see Jones' knife out for Musk, though. Eventually, extreme right-wingers turn on each other as soon as they don't get maximum leeway to spread their venom.

(photo: Alex Jones and his deranged pie hole. Mike Segar / Reuters)


QOTD -- That's Some Gaudy Patter!

 

“When it comes to politics, we have moved on from being a Republican Party who turns the other cheek. [ ] And while we are laser-focused on winning in November, if someone spits on our shoe, we have no problem delivering a fist to their throat.”  -- Taylor "Knuckle Sandwich" Budowich, CEO of MAGA Inc., a Malignant Loser PAC for frothing fascist losers.  Tuff Taylor was commenting on reports that Florida's fascist Gov. Ron "Bootsie" DeSantis' was gearing up for a presidential run in 2028.  While we certainly hope these fascists are at each others' throats (figuratively, though), Tuff Taylor's remarks remind us of Sam Spade's the line in "The Maltese Falcon":  "The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter."


Tweets / Xeets Of The Day

 

The media's compulsion to disregard the Malignant Loser's weakness --

 

 

 

 

 

Just Security's invaluable "American Autocracy Threat Tracker" --

 


Ka-ching!  The Malignant Loser's interest keeps adding up --

 

 

SNL nails the Republican sycophants --

 

 

Adjust! --

 

 

Another aggrieved deadbeat MAGAt --

 


Correcting Russian lies at the UN --

 

 

Modi's India is "a main driver" of Russia's invasion of Ukraine --

 

 

Wait for it 😁 --

 

 

 

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

 

 (click to enlarge) 



Tom covers the news of tomorrow, from the crisis in Gaza, to the dangerously inane ruling on embryos in Alabammy, to endless chin pulling speculation by pundits in the broken media, who are blissfully optimistic about the Malignant Loser's actual intentions if (oh hell no) elected.

Hungary Votes To Ratify Sweden's NATO Membership

 



Finally, after much foot- dragging to appease war criminal/ murdering thug Putin, Hungary is in step with the rest of NATO:

Hungary is expected to ratify Sweden's NATO accession on Monday, clearing the last hurdle before the historic step by the Nordic country whose neutrality lasted through two world wars and the simmering conflict of the Cold War.

The Hungarian parliament's vote, which is expected to pass smoothly after a visit by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Friday during which the two countries signed an arms deal, will end months of delays to complete Sweden's security policy shift.
 
Prime Minister Viktor Orban told parliament on Monday that Swedish-Hungarian defence cooperation and Sweden's accession to NATO would strengthen Hungary's security.
 
"Therefore, I ask my fellow lawmakers to approve the legislation on Sweden's NATO accession in a vote today," Orban said.

Thank mastermind Putin's arrogant miscalculation for this historic moment:

Stockholm abandoned its non-alignment policy for greater safety within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
 
With Sweden following Finland into NATO, becoming its 32nd member, President Vladimir Putin has effectively achieved the very thing he sought to avert when he launched his war in Ukraine - an expansion of the alliance, Western leaders have said.
Sweden entering the alliance is a bfd:
The accession of Sweden, which has not been at war since 1814, and Finland is the most significant expansion of the alliance since its move into Eastern Europe in the 1990s.
 
While Sweden has ramped up cooperation with the alliance in recent decades, contributing to operations in places such as Afghanistan, its membership is set to simplify defence planning and cooperation on NATO's northern flank.
 
Sweden also brings resources such as cutting-edge submarines tailored to Baltic Sea conditions and a sizable fleet of domestically produced Gripen fighter jets into the alliance. It is hiking military spending and should reach NATO's threshold of 2% of GDP this year.
Sweden and Finland provide a powerful northern flank for NATO in its deterrence of Russian expansionism and aggression under Putin.  They will be welcomed in Washington, DC, at the annual NATO Summit, July 9-11.  
 
This is a very good day for NATO (and for the U.S.).