Friday, January 29, 2021

Blood Libel for Fun and Profit

One strange development personally from the era of Former Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser Twice Impeached Inciter of Insurrection is that it has forced me to reassess the impeachment of President William J. Clinton.

For most of my life following that event, I had classified it as an impeachment "just for a blow job." Living through the Carnage Era, however, has changed my thinking dramatically. I mean, it's downright hypocritical to speculate and ponder the incredible capacity presidency 45 might have had to have been compromised without also thinking that, perhaps, a president who had an inappropriate affair with an intern and lied about it might also be considerably open to compromise.

So. While I still think there was considerable overreach by the Starr investigation—and we're going to discuss another bit of that in a moment—I find that, in this, the Post-Carnage Era, the impeachment of President Bill Clinton doesn't look that askew after all. I can no longer honestly spit that Clinton was impeached over a mere BJ.

Because as long as Clinton was arm-in-arm with his lie, anyone who knew about it, say, Linda Tripp, could really jack him up. Capacity for being compromised is a real danger of that office. And Clinton invited it in like it was a pretty girl. Aside from the considerable mission creep in his practice, Ken Starr may have done us a favor. It almost makes me regret wishing I had a huge spitball on me that one day when I walked past him on 18th Street that one day.

So. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Talk about a person who became a household name right quick. QAnon adherent and U.S. representative for Georgia's 14th district. She's said that "Q" is a "patriot." She has said that the United States is experiencing a "Muslim invasion" because some of that faith had won national office. (For those who did not get the memo, the United States Constitution explicitly bars any religious test for holding office. Article VI. Clause 3. "...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.") She's said that Democrats are "trying to keep black people in a modern-day form of slavery." She has said that if she were black, and she walked by a statue featuring a figure from the Confederacy, "I would be so proud."

And this is just the stuff she plays on the Borscht Belt.

I read this morning that this person believes in something called "frazzledrip." And I am not going to explain to you what that is except to tell you that it is hideous blood libel. And, as we have just gotten done observing Holocaust Remembrance Day, I do not mind that what little hair I have left is on fire that BLOOD LIBEL is what got us THE HOLOCAUST. And this country is just playing with it like it's a paddle-ball. It is horrifying.

But this didn't just start last week. Oh, no. These Untied States of America has been been up to its belly button in this muck for decades. Remember when I was writing about Ken Starr and that spitball I wished for?

On July 20, 1993, a man named Vince Foster was found dead in Fort Marcy Park off the George Washington Parkway in Virginia, outside Washington, D.C. If you know the parkway, you know that one could probably find some isolation on that road pretty easily. It winds around a lot, and the traffic is whizzing by and doesn't care. Many convenient pull-offs. This tragedy quickly spun up conspiracy theories, mainly and ridiculously placing Foster's death at the feet of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Vince Foster was a friend of Bill Clinton's since childhood. I cannot imagine having to face these lies on top of facing a friend's self-inflicted end. Losing someone one cares about to suicide is incomprehensible enough on its face without having to face horrific lies implicating you as the culprit. How un-peaceful. How horribly cruel.

Starr's predecessor Robert Fiske had included mention of Foster in his interim report, concluding that Foster had committed suicide. In fact, as a piece by Sean Wilentz reported in September 2018 in the New York Times: "Official accounts by the National Park Service in 1993 and by a Republican congressman, William Clinger, the ranking member of the House Government Affairs Committee in 1994, came to an identical conclusion, as did a bipartisan report of the Senate Banking Committee early in 1995."

As Wilentz continues to report, there was a fellow in Starr's office who was still interested in pursuing this lie, despite it now being rebuffed by the previous investigator, the National Park Service, and a congressional committee. Wilentz reported at the time that this fellow wanted a "'full-fledged' investigation of the Foster matter."

And that fellow now sits as a United States Justice on the Supreme Court. His name is Brett Kavanaugh.

Look. I'm sure Christine Blasey Ford's testimony held weight for many folks. But I would have preferred to hear more during those hearings about Kavanaugh's involvement in pursuing this horrible blood libel against the Clintons.

Which gets me back to ol' frazzledrip. A word of advice. Do not google this unless you have a strong constitution. It is a horrific scenario. I have framed for you how horrifying I find the Vince Foster lies to have been. This is worse. Much, much worse. And Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is in the United States House of Representatives, is reported to believe it is true.

This did not start with Marjorie Taylor Greene. It did not start with Brett Kavanaugh. This stuff may be as old as the dirt that grows your potatoes. And it is wicked and injuring. But of my examples here, one of its proponents is a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the land. The other is 1/435th of the power of the purse.

Why do we keep rewarding this?

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Strange One

There was so much news to digest today that I had to turn it off and go to Turner Classic Movies, where they were featuring 1957's The Strange One. It's about this military school student who bullies everyone around him and oversteps his bounds drastically until all of his colleagues make him sign a confession and then throw him out of town on a train. I'm serious. That's the movie.

Does that sound exactly like today to you at all?

You know I've played around with my pet names for the current president a lot. Sippycup. Sharpie. Always Preznit Carnage as an honorific. But that last part has always been different because he's always screwing up in some different or unusual way that requires a new variant. But after today, that stops. From now on, the official pet name for the current chief executive of these Untied States is:

Preznit Carnage the Incursion Inciter.

Because that's what he did, and that's what he did. He invited people into Washington, D.C., a place I called my residence for 14 years and one of my homes for many years before that. Background: My Dear Old Dad moved to Washington when I was like 12, so I spent much time there as a youngster, exploring anywhere I wanted on the Metro, which was actually safe and worked well at the time. Later, I moved there and had a career as a journalist and as a web-slinger for a medium-sized trade association. 14 years. And when you have that much Washington in your experience, you tend to take an attack on the Capitol PERSONALLY.

In 1989, Sen. Claude Pepper died, four days after receiving the National Medal of Freedom from Pres. George H.W. Bush. My Dad and I went to pay our respects to Claude in the Rotunda, where he lay in state. Another time, Dad and I were momentarily detained by Capitol Police as some muckety-muck from overseas walked through with his entourage. I have roots in the building. Memories. It was a visual background to much of my life and many memories. I have been in that chamber as a tourist and as a student. And I still revere that site and the democracy that those people create and nurture in it every day.

We're going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, we're going to walk down to the Capitol-- And we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.

Preznit Carnage the Incursion Inciter invited these people to the President's Park South, also known as the Ellipse. This is the staging area for the annual Easter Egg Roll. This is the site of the Christmas Pageant of Peace. White House garden tours start here. And this is where Donald J. Trump gathered his marauders and gave them their marching orders. This is where the bloodshed started. From here, people were eventually crushed to death, or shot, or [allegedly] tased their balls to the point of fatal stroke. From here is were many more were injured. And it could have been so much worse. When those hairy gross marauders took the chamber, they were looking for Vice-President Mike Pence.

We want to be so respectful of everybody. And we are going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country. Because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution.

Trump mentioned his own vice-president to the crowd and was throwing chum in the water. Tell me he wasn't doing that on purpose. Tell me he wasn't intent on harm to the man who has spent the last four years looking at the back of his head like it was a delicious cookie straight out of the oven. Those people went in looking for Mike Pence, and they said so, and I do not even want to think about the headlines had they found him.

He invited these people to Washington, D.C. He held an event for them. He spoke at that event, and he told them to go to the Capitol. Rudy Giuliani borrowed from Game of Thrones in the weirdest way, calling for "trial by combat." He told them to go up Pennsylvania Avenue.

So we are going to--we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give--the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try--give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're try--going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.

He told them to go, and they went. People were shot to death. People were crushed to death. People probably spread bug-loads of SARS-CoV-2. There was lots of smoke. They made our Capitol look and feel like New Caprica, after President Baltar had signed the kill orders, and the Cylon forces going on the hunt. Yes. It was that bad.

So I am buoyed by the Democrats' plans. We've called for his resignation. Beyond that, we've called for his removal via the 25th amendment. Beyond that, we're going to impeach. A fourth option would be to shove him in a prison cell with a fresh copy of the Washington Post and a pistol, but I reckon Ernst Röhm's fate is too good for this eczema shit who still has the title "President" for 12 more days.

I don't know about you. But I want every lever thrown at this that can be thrown. I want impeachment. I want pressure on Pence and the Cabinet to exercise the 25th. I want pressure on him to resign. I want investigations. I want subpoenas. I want people to get divorced for this; I want them impoverished; I want boils on their skin and diarrhea pouring out of them constantly. I am so angry about his event that I am ready for giant Earth-holes to just open up and start sucking up every Trump and Trump-related asshole in the whole wide world.

Except for Mary, of course. We love Mary Trump, down to the acoustic guitar she casually leans on the wall behind her when she's interviewed.

But for all the rest of them, I want the Earth to gobble them up, starting with their faces.

I apparently am a lucky boy, for my wishes are starting to come true. Twitter today has disallowed Trump's tweets. And let me be clear that this is not undue censorship because the government is not initiating it, and because when you sign up for Twitter, you click on a EULA, and because obscenity is not protected speech, so SHUT UP. Facebook is shunning the dude as well. As is Reddit. Google is threatening to take Parler off its store. And, oh yes, Congress is going to impeach his humongous ass AGAIN.

Like many of you, probably, I have been subsisting through this negligent, lazy, purposely uninformed, wreckless, bullying, shitty presidency for four years, figuring hey, I survived W, I can do this. The problem is that we're not. We're not surviving this. We're up to 4,000 deaths a day from Covid-19, a crisis that, with much better management from the White House, could have been much less fatal. By the way, if you're looking for a job, sign up as a contract tracer. I have a friend and former boss who has been out of work for nearly a year due to Covid and has finally landed as a contact tracer. Wishing you just as much luck as our economy is just as much a morgue as those refrigerated trucks.

Aren't you tired of this? I'm so tired of this. And even though we've come this far, after what we saw happen Wednesday, I just don't think we can do it any longer. Not another day. Not another minute. Not another second. We have to do everything we can to end this presidency as soon as possible. I don't care how many days are left or what the chances are of a conviction in the Senate or what the political ramifications are.

Take every step possible to remove him as soon as possible. If I were king of the world I would doth decree.

So say we all.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Well, That Was Some Weird Shit

"Time for a shower."

This was the last line I typed into my personal journal at about 1:30 p.m. today. Previous to this, I had summarized some of what was going on in Congress on the TV.

I think the joint session approved a couple of states, and then they got an objection submitted in writing for Arizona. Now they’re debating. Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser is seeing "0-12" in the chyron right now and going "See? I won! Look! See? I won! Yippee!"

Little did I know.

My ablutions complete, I came back to my tube, expecting to witness an annoying, unnecessary, drawn out legislative process led by an extremist sect, to question some of the already most thoroughly-vetted national election results ever. I un-muted—I had muted the television when Ted Cruz was on, which I think is perfectly understandable—but I was ready and looking forward to it.

And then, the weird shit began to happen.

I was watching MSNBC (because of course I was). The pool cameras went to mute. Some in the chamber started gesturing weirdly. Vice-Preznit Pence was rushed out of the room. People started dashing around. At some point, official looking people rushed in. Soon, the reports limped in. The Capitol was being invaded. The safety of our Congress-critters was in question. They all went on lockdown. I've never seen the sweet, sweet Katy Tur every sound so upset.

(What? I have a crush. Who doesn't?)

That was a tough spot for me. Because I was feeling horrified and really really sad for my country. And because, right at that time is when I usually start logging into my tools for my day job.

I don't mind telling you that I momentarily considered calling in. And I do not call in unless I'm dead.

But I got it together for the job but kept an eye on the TV and an ear on another longtime media crush of mine, the one and only Randi Rhodes. And hearing her familiar voice freaking out right along with me, well, it helped.

Anyway, I can't help but think about Charlottesville. Remember Charlottesville? "Unite the Right?" Buncha honkies marching with tiki-torches uttering nonsense concerns about "Jews" "replacing" "us?" Heather Danielle Heyer assassinated by automobile? Yeah. Doesn't the energy of that day feel a teeny little bit like the same energy surrounding today's violent and terrifying assault on the Capitol?

Charlottesville was in August 2017. That's eight months following the inauguration of Preznit Carnage Sippycup Is The New Black. A whipped up crowd of undeservedly or misled angry white people with violent, destructive intentions seems to be an inevitable result of having this person as our chief executive. This seems to be his magick. Even if one doesn't think in terms of magick or energy, it certainly is telling that events that have the spittin' image of a putsch will bookmark this presidency in its legacy.

Notwithstanding some miracle, he has 13 days left. Buckle up.

Friday, November 20, 2020

A Vital PSA From Rachel Maddow

From last night's TRMS. Stick with it through her technical issues. Is worth it.