Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Cyber Ninja Eats Bamboo, Shoots and Leaves


I've been snarking about stuff on the internet for a long time now, but we have moved from "No one on the internet knows you're a dog" to "The dog money is good money", so I might be getting old and confused. But I do know what a grift looks like, and this incompetent silly-ass stuff looks like one to me. And politicians who support it are actually worse

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Republican War on History

 

I guess I want to open this one with Nikki Haley (who may or may not be thinking of running in 2024, keeping in mind she would definitely step aside if Trump wandered into the race), who is critical of critical race theory, as she told Dennis Prager. Because it makes white kids sad. Because you know, there isn't anything so depressing as being told people with your same skin color are basically criminal and capable of terrible violence, I guess? You know, the way people of color are sometimes depicted, too--because racism exists, and Nikki Haley sometimes knows it, and sometimes, when it is convenient, she would prefer not to. 

After so painfully informing us that tearing down statues of Confederates and colonizers was a form of "erasing history", Republicans are now preferring that some history not be specifically taught because it is too controversial.  From Tennessee to Arizona, state legislatures are trying to stop the teaching of critical race theory or the 1619 project, even though it isn't always clear that the people trying to ban these things know what they even are. 

I mean literally, they don't know thing zero. Just recently, a lawmaker in Tennessee somehow got the idea that the 3/5th compromise had something to do with representing Black people and trying to end slavery, instead of being a way for the white men of slave states to gain additional representation according to the number of Black bodies they held in bondage. This is more than mere ignorance of the facts, but a case of someone who, even with the facts laid out before them possessed an utter inability to place them into context. 

But this isn't rare. A Louisiana legislator alleged that there were fine points to slavery. More than one. Actually. But despite what we think about slavery, it isn't even really over in this country. For example, the carceral system, even enshrined in the Constitution, permits a degree of slave labor. Who today argues against raising the minimum wage, or even argues about whether one should exist? (After all, what is unpaid and low paid labor but a form of reducing choices, creating dependencies?) And we also deny full citizenship rights in this country, such as voting rights, to felons--but who in the US is more likely to run afoul of the law? Even explicitly due to racism? Even explicitly to disenfranchise them? Or even lose their lives in a conflict with the law? 

Critical race theory is basically just connecting dots that actually exist, in the way that the 1619 Project is just covering actual historical events like slavery, colonialization, segregation and so on, without the whitewash. As near as I can tell, some Republicans aren't even mad about critical race theory as such or whether it's Marxist (because come on--is that so wrong?) as they are with the teaching of any Black history when it isn't even February. (And don't get them started on leap years!) They want to be the party of Lincoln, but not acknowledge what happened next, and after that, and so on. What happened after 1964 Or 1965

I don't think I'm ok with the idea of ignoring the loud signaling on the right that we need to not call things what they are for the sake of "unity" or bipartisanship, because that's how massive steps backwards get made. Especially not when they are actively trying to disenfranchise people based on race, right out in front when we're looking right at them, and aligning themselves with avowed hate groups and have haters and conspiracy theorists run as Republicans

The question that has been recently posed: Is the US a racist country? is really inadequate to discuss where we are. We are definitely at a crossroads. We have a past that is racist. Racism exists in the present day. The question to me really seems to be--can we work to eliminate it? Racism can not be necessary to what it is to be American, and to live up to our democratic ideals and in the interests of justice under the Constitution, we should act to be anti-racist. But as Ibram Kendi explains, you have to chose--racist or anti-racist. To be neutral implies consent to the system of racism. And yes, it exists as a system. It has been enshrined in law, even in laws we forget the origination of, and is perpetuated in implicit bias--the kinds of things we think, but don't think about

Republicans also have a war against the word "woke"--a word that as a white person I know was not ever meant to be put in my mouth. The idea of wokeness has existed as a form of situational awareness for people about the means of their own survival existing in a hostile dominant culture. Conservatives have now landed on "Woke Island" in full combat gear, to fight against the reaction to their Plymouth Rock forebears. They have been made uncomfortable for being called "white" as a label. They should be uncomfortable if that label addresses what they stand for and what they do--whether they stand for white supremacy, or reject it.

My whiteness doesn't bother me (does your conscience bother you--tell the truth?) What bothers me is whether I do right. I think the problem is seeing morality as an identity and not a practice. You aren't good because of whiteness, blackness, wokeness, religion, or any other "ness" or "ism". You have to live your correct life. That means taking in what is and isn't so, and what did and didn't happen. Facts matter, and reasons why matter. Intent matters. Results matter. But in the end, it's what you do. Right now. History doesn't hurt you--it informs, even if it vicariously tears at your soul to know what others have lived through, even if it should tear at you to know what people live through right now. That is the human condition. 

But you can not address a wrong, or solve an injustice, by refusing to even confront or name it. To refuse to do so, and to reject naming, shaming, and blaming so decisively, is to share in the wrong by aiding and abetting it. It is a statement of intent to continue. 


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Good for FaceBook


It's their platform, it's their choice, and after all, it's not like he doesn't have his own platform now. Because he's a blogger of some sort , I understand. 

UPDATE: To elaborate on the decision a bit, it seems that Trump would have to drop his Big Lie and admit wrongdoing in the violence of January 6. Admit he's wrong, he lost, and is responsible for something bad? 

Sure. Whatever. As near as I can tell, the Myth of the Stolen Election is going to be a whole industry, not just for Trump but the GOP, as well as memory-holing the insurrection. I don't see it.

UPDATE: Attention-seeking babyman tried to post with his new handle to Twitter:


and got shut down because for some reason, social media thinks trying to overthrow legitimately elected government by spreading lies and making his followers fightin' mad is...bad actually? 

Wish more Republicans would understand this is bad. Actually.


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Grubby Little Man Still Lost

 

The Phantom of Mar-a-Lago urgently wants to flip the term "The Big Lie" from meaning the relentless propaganda of his followers that he somehow actually won his election to meaning the actual reality in which we live--the one where he lost, isn't in office anymore, and is actually just a sad, broken human being who doesn't happen to occupy the highest office in this country. The one where people breathe a sigh of relief some mornings because they don't turn on the tv or log onto social media wondering what atrocity of poor judgment the gilded-toileted orange fucknut has managed while his handlers were passed out from exhaustion. The reality where our allies think maybe we aren't on a slalom down the rugged chute to hell in a leased golf cart. 

The one where he doesn't have executive privilege or immunity.

This looks like something simply sad, but it's really malicious. (Sad is actually Lin Wood, who is pretending that he has seen Trump still in the White House and purports that Biden is dead and/or lost in a landslide. I don't understand what this sort of thing is for, and suspect there is an organic issue going on. Or one hell of an play at an insanity defense for an as yet committed or disclosed crime. Sheesh.)

Right now more than half of Republicans think that Trump probably did win, but there was significant voter fraud. 

There's no proof of that. There never has been proof of serious voter fraud. PACs and what not were preparing the field for claims of voter fraud before the election even took place. The claims of voter fraud seem to be what Republicans want to talk about because they can't address why their policies of, basically, "tax cuts for the rich and fuck everyone else" aren't more wildly popular. But instead of litigating how a party hopes to manage their future with increasingly hopeless lying fuckwits who will do actively nothing except chum the discourse with treats for their Pavlovian-trained audience, I'd like to focus on Trump, because I have been Ahabed and now I can't do anything but hunt the white supremacist whale now. 

He never should have won in the first place, and in the second place, he wanted to offer Puerto Rico and cash value for Greenland, and lied about ever trying to get aid to the island after two hurricanes, and even blocked investigation into why aid was being delayed. For another thing, whatever shakes out from plumbing his campaign (in 2016 or 2020) and its relationship with Russia, he was badly compromised. He was a corrupt real estate developer and reality tv personality. How in the hell was this supposed to make him enough to lead a country? And after four years, multiple failures, a miserable COVID-19 response and a severe economic downturn--all of which he showed no capacity to handle in terms of policy, as he tried to finesse them as PR challenges--was he supposed to win?

The short-fingered vulgarian, the serial philanderer, the grubby little man--this is the Pied Piper of Scamming that the entire Republican party is following so blindly? To give her her due, Liz Cheney is trying to set the party straight. And it isn't because she' s so uniquely upright or honest, but because she understands the grotesque error of letting the party lead with the dumbest possible motherfucker on the planet and fail to reverse course when shit is fucked up. You have to acknowledge failure in order to show you have learned. That's just reality. 

Trump is a grubby little man, and he lost. The Republicans who want to do better than he did should be kicking him in the slats on the way out the door of his fail-basement, instead of trying to give him little awards and hoping he'll play nice. He's a nevershouldabeen. A fluke. He prospers because Republicans are mostly too weak to fail him properly. Again and again and again I will say, the power he has is that which he was yielded by the immature and spineless people (Ryan, McDaniel, McCarthy, and, sadly, McConnell--old enough to know better and too yellow to care) who let him rampage. And the yellow press on the right needs some real looking into for who funds them. Whoever funds Trumpaganda needs shutting down. He's the wedge of an axe against our unity at home. He is our weakest link.



Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Red Meat Diet

 

Consider if you will a world where Republicans will, for hardly any reason at all, insist that the current president is going to ban hamburgers because of cow farts, and I'll show you a world where the former president still thinks maybe he could have won that last election, and there's a bunch of ninjas in Arizona trying to prove him right. 

The Twilight Zone? Sadly, no. This is America, a country internally divided because people are looking at two different realities, one that exists in the material world, where germ theory and evolution and a round planet are kind of understood to be real things, where democracy is the thing where people get to vote and where the widely available public historical facts pretty much indicate that slavery and segregation and all that were bad and racist, and um, the other one that Republicans seem to be living in. 

You know, the one where kids (who aren't getting vaccinated right now) wearing masks might be a sign of child abuse (is it just me who sees a Q shout-out in one of Tucker Carlson's latest rhetorical abominations, or is my brain just uniquely broken by trying to rappel down the Q rabbit hole on a digital shoestring?) and where Kamala Harris' book is being stuffed in welcome bags to the migrant kids that are, one who was a certain kind of person might insinuate were invited into the US by Biden's policies already in a sort of replacement theory way except yeah, totally hinting at it in that way, also, too. Because criminy, I have heard of people inviting migrants to the US to swell voting rolls in a particular way, but I didn't think any asshole would be so cynical as to also assume it was to plump book sales.

I mean, there's conspiratorial thinking muscle, and then there's conspiratorial thinking muscle on steroids. And with plenty of red meat for protein. 

I've been saying this sort of thing for more than a minute, but I'm developing the conclusion that additional conspiratorial thinking on the right is increasingly a kind of vice-signaling thing. You know, like where if the CDC says masks are good, then fuck no! I'm not wearing them, and if Michelle Obama wants my kid eating vegetables, then fuck no! they are eating hot chips and sprinkling extra salt on, and if the libs want clean air fuck no! we're buying the biggest truck possible and maybe even rolling coal, and if...etc. Like when cigarettes were bad so Rush Limbaugh sucked on cigars until he got cancer and died.

I'm saying it's not a perfect system, but I kind of get it. They're so punk they're Pat Boone. They're so metal they're formica. They're so edgy they're a Nerf football with the ends chewed off. They are different and not made like other men. They eat red meat. They have mad guns. 


They have mad guns specifically because somebody might take them . Robbers are totally going to come to this house to take guns because guns are expensive and this is a totally fucking expensive pile o guns. It's like people deciding they are going to give up and go be racists now because the libs made them that mad by saying stuff like, I dunno, racism actually exists. 

Basically, we're at a point in Cleek's Law where pointing out that the shit's fucked up might actually lead to Republicans actually eating shit. 

I don't know if it behooves me to respect that level of commitment or not but I'll watch it on YouTube. Because I guarandamntee the signifiers will be filming themselves doing it, since they chug milk, bleach and Trump's vomit right out in public where people can see.

Saying Trump won is a kind of vice-signaling--it isn't true, but Republicans will say it anyway. Calling right-wingers hypocrites doesn't work because the double-standard is the point. Just call them filthy fucking liars who believe dumb ass stupid shit. Respect is earned and they want a cookie for filling their diapers and painting the walls with their mess. I'm over it.


Saturday, May 1, 2021

TWGB: Rudy Giuliani's Going to Go Through Some Things

 

There are times when I wonder just how good a lawyer Donald Trump's free lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, actually is. For example, when search warrants were served on his residence and his office, he seemed to think the FBI would want Hunter Biden's hard drives, which he for some reason had lying around. But the thing is--it's not a warrant for Hunter Biden's stuff, it's a warrant for Giuliani's stuff, because he was lobbying to oust the US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, among other things. 

This isn't technically about Hunter Biden at all, even though Giuliani seems a little obsessed.

It's also a little hard to blame the Biden Administration for an investigation that was opened during the Trump Administration. It's especially hard to say Giuliani didn't know waaaayyyy back in 2019 that he was getting into some deep water, because the FBI warned him back then that he was making himself a target for Russian disinfo and spreading it hither and yon. 

Which gets at one of the things that has been eating at me since 2016--how in the hell does any reasonably intelligent person come to understand that Russia is trying to influence an election in favor of Donald Trump, and come away with the idea that it's because a Trump presidency is in the US's best interests? How in the hell, understanding what happened in 2016, were they still falling for it for the 2020 election?

The answer is that reasonable intelligence has nothing to do with it. The truth doesn't matter to people who want power for their own ends, and the idea that they are doing any of this for love of country is just sick and laughable. 

But as for the warrants, why! there was plenty of probable cause--I mean Giuliani wasn't actually making a great secret of what he was doing at the time with his classic op sec sensibilities. And as for his utter indignation that he was being searched when a covert warrant (so, uh, a perfectly legal previous search, right?) would have gotten the investigation everything they needed--

To paraphrase Stringer Bell, was he taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy and uploading it to his iCloud? (These TrumpWorld people--they don't learn. Not Roger Stone, not Giuliani, none of them.) Yeah, Giuliani is going to go through some things, Victoria Toensing is, Joe diGenova is....

And really, if they're looking for someone to blame, maybe they need to like, look within. Just saying!

UPDATE: The Washington Post has issued a retraction of its claims that Giuliani received a warning from the FBI, but for the love of all that's good--why would anyone with sense literally even need one

Friday, April 30, 2021

I am Feeling Confident

 

But you know, go ahead and wire me $250, 000 and send a detailed letter of all the nasty stuff you did. Because no one gets a pardon from Trump unless he understands what you did (I mean, whoever heard of a very open-ended broad pardon from a US president?) and be sure to throw in a lot of stuff about your loyalty.

Is loyalty rewarded? Uh, sure. I am confident. 

I am sure in Roger Stone's mind all of this was hilarious except the dude was taking screenshots. Because this is TrumpWorld. 



Thursday, April 29, 2021

Let Them Know, Joe!

 

President Biden's speech this evening presented us with good things--policies that will move us forward from the trials and tribulations of the pandemic, the resulting economic damage, and the deep divisions we still feel from the flame-out and attempted insurrection under the former guy, and they were presented with a fervid belief in the possibility and reality of America's greatness. It was a speech that promised to build on the successes of the first hundred days and invited the "other side" to please come along for the ride to do things that would be both really popular and beneficial.

He let us know: we could be creating good-paying jobs for the workers we currently have in a way that uses what we once trumpeted as American ingenuity and the spirit of invention. We could be working to provide cleaner water and safer infrastructure. We could be educating today's kids for tomorrow's jobs. We could be putting our money where our mouths are and invest in the future we want to see--because we believe in America. The ability to pull ourselves up and do better is within our reach, so let's get reaching. 

Joe Biden is in favor of the idea of America and the ideals of America. He just wants to do stuff better. Come on, man. Isn't that what we're about?

And you know what? I applauded the hell out of Biden's vision. He promises tough, vigilant national security and a robust economy--I'm for it. He wants us to reform immigration in a way that is not cruel and tries to confront the realities of migration in terms of the economic, political, and environmental challenges people are facing in their nation of origin. He's a realist, not an ideologue, but he does believe in the liberal tradition and the small "d" democracy that are this nation's great heritage. We are a nation made of an idea. And the idea is really good. We should probably do more of it.

( As a side note: Fuck you, Rich Lowry. We aren't a nation in the sense of people bound by blood, religion, or even a common tongue, and the expansion of this country's borders historically, combined with immigration, make the idea of thinking of us in simple geographical terms ludicrous. What are we? A creedal nation. An aspiration nation. An idea set forth by our nation's forefathers. The blood and soil notion has nothing to do with our historical or current experienced reality--but thanks for playing and demonstrating the limitations of trying to even perform discourse with today's "intellectual" conservatives!) 

Of course Republicans didn't like this speech.


Sleepy Ted Cruz might look like he's just dreaming about Cancun in the picture above, but I think he's really just closing his eyes because the idea of Democrats putting on their work boots to accomplish real things for their constituents while he's just slipping into his clown shoes every morning to do prat falls and seltzer sprays for great culture war justice might almost make him self-aware enough to develop an actual personality instead of just hating libs and calling it a personality. 

And I have nothing, not one damn thing, to say about Tim Scott's speech because there is nothing to say about it. It was a Republican rebuttal to a speech Biden didn't give about an America no one in particular lives in, and Joni Ernst, Bobby Jindal, or Marco Rubio all have done similarly out of touch responses. I am unmotivated by the GOP's message regardless of the face they put on it, because the message is always the same: Blame Democrats for stuff and do basically nothing but tax cuts and culture war. 

Anyway, my takeaway is that the man the Former Guy once called "Sleepy Joe Biden" is wide awake and ready to do stuff for the American people, and Republicans can't do anything but complain about it. And that just figures. And if they can't even do bipartisanship when it's good ideas that create jobs (do they hate jobs?) or provide health care innovations like lowering insurance premiums and drug costs and funding research for cancer and vaccines (so what, are Republicans in favor of high drug costs and cancer?) then fuck'em and let the electorate figure out who's putting in the hours. 

Joe let them know. And I am yet another woman (like Vice-President Harris and House Speaker Pelosi--the historic event of two women behind the president during an address of this nature) happy to stand behind this president and what he wants to do for us--like support VAWA, gun control, equal pay, protections for LGBTQ workers and so much more. 

To echo the sentiment from the last Democratic president: Yes, we can! And I want to believe we will.


Monday, April 26, 2021

Rick Santorum is an Ignorant Bigot


There's not great reason to really pay attention to Rick Santorum, former US Senator from the Commonwealth of PA, but it remains to be said, that if you ever do find yourself paying attention to him, it's probably because he's being an ignorant bigot, because he really, really is.

UPDATE: As a lot of people by now on Twitter have pointed out, by "we" he means "white people" and he's echoing the phrase "birth of a nation", after the 1915 movie also called "The Clansman" which revitalized interest in the KKK. What he's implying, by way of erasure of Native Americans, by erasure of African Americans and other non-white people, is that white people made this country and it's their inheritance. It's very much of a piece with the "blood and soil" language espoused by white supremacists and it is pure historical revisionism, but the political purpose of that language is pretty clear.