A year ago, I wrote the following about the incoming Trump presidency:
He’ll be a strutting, tweeting, TV nation Mussolini while the real business of government is carried out by Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, and they are going to unleash the most reactionary, corporate friendly agenda we’ve ever seen. It’s going to be worse than Bush’s first term. It’s the Koch Brothers’ country now, and they’re going to nail down the plutocracy and make it a permanent fact of our national life.And so it’s come to pass. Regardless of its final details, this tax bill will nail in the plutocracy forever. But, hey, did you hear Trump called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” at a ceremony honoring the Navajo code talkers from World War II, and that he did it beneath a portrait of Indian killer Andrew Jackson, no less? What will that awful, awful, hideous orange vulgarian say next? Titter titter. Let’s discuss it for a week.
Now the Republicans are planning phase two of the putsch, cutting Medicare and Social Security. Paul Ryan is walking around literally looking like he’s splooging in his slacks. After all, his life-long dream of making Ayn Rand’s vision of America a reality is about to take a giant leap forward. But, hey, did you hear Donald Trump just gave a speech supporting pedophile Roy Moore for the Senate? What will that awful, awful, hideous orange vulgarian say next? Titter titter. Let’s discuss it for a week.
Coming up next, the end of net neutrality. This means that the one area where you can find alternative opinions and independent news, i.e., the one medium where you can find fundamental criticism of the emerging corporate order, is going to be strangled to death by a cartel of monopolies, and the Internet is going to become exactly like cable TV. But, hey, by then the awful, awful, hideous orange vulgarian will have made some outrageous new tweet for the pundit class to feign outrage over and titter about for the rest of the news cycle.
The Republicans have found the ideal front man, a shrewd con artist who knows instinctively how to manipulate and distract the media while they systematically dismantle the country and refashion in their interest.
And whither the resistance, the one led by the youthful energy of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton? Well, Chuck and Nancy are doddering around looking for their spectacles and muttering about Russia, although Chuck is also taking time out to party in the Hamptons with Jared and Ivanka, and Hillary is still going around blaming everyone but herself for her defeat. Viva la Resistance!
The war is over and we lost. The Republican’s agenda, once passed, will become permanent. It will become permanent in part because the Democrats will do nothing to overturn it. When they regain power, and they will at some point, they’ll tell us that they’re not going to dwell on the past, but, rather, do the work the American people elected them to do, and the next mushy, centrist, DNC approved creature who sits in the Oval Office will look us straight in the eyes — because that’s what his consultants tell him Real Leaders do — and boldly inform us that it’s time to move forward.
From the New York Times:
Executives at Mr. Weinstein’s film companies who learned of allegations rarely took a stand, cowed by their volatile boss or worried about their careers. His brother and partner, Bob, participated in payoffs to women as far back as 1990. Some low-level assistants were pulled in: They compiled “bibles” that included hints on facilitating encounters with women, and were required to procure his penile injections for erectile dysfunction.Ed. Note: A real man would have had the women do the injections for him too, amirite or amirite? Jeez, does a guy have to do everything for himself around this place?
What a pathetic excuse for a man must be the specimen who couldn’t find a better use for $450.3 million than this:
After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold on Wednesday night for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015. The buyer was not immediately disclosed.
From the New York Times:
Separately, Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, told The Associated Press in an interview published on Wednesday that “there’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” She added, “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts.”What a sad, terribly sad thing to read. Imagine the blindness in which a loyal and loving daughter of Trump must have forced herself to live.
Following the address we made on November 13, 2017, which we believe our main broadcaster, the Fox Entertainment Group, was directed not to publicize, the situation in our country has moved to another level. Firstly, we wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the United States of America and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.
As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy. To the civil servants, as you are aware, there is a plan by the same individuals to influence the current purging that is taking place in the political sphere to the civil service. We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.
To the generality of the people of the United States of America we urge you to remain calm and limit unnecessary movement. However, we encourage those who are employed and those with essential business in the city to continue their normal activities as usual. Our wish is that you enjoy your rights and freedoms and that we return our country to a dispensation that allows for investment, development and prosperity that we all fought for and for which many of our citizens paid the supreme sacrifice.
To political parties we urge you to discourage your members from engaging in violent behavior. To the youth we call upon you to realize that the future of this country is yours. Do not be enticed with dirty coins of silver. Be disciplined and remain committed to the ethos and values of this great nation.
To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government. What the Department of Defense is actually doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict.
To members of the defense forces, all leave is canceled and you all are to return to your barracks with immediate effect. To the other Security Services: We urge you to cooperate for the good of our country. Let it be clear that we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.
From his Air Force One press gaggle:
China likes me. China likes me. And I get along with them; I get along with others too. I get along very well with Angela. You people don't write that. I actually get along really well with Angela. You know, they had that handshaking event. I was with her for a long time before that. And somebody shouts out, "shake her hand, shake her hand." And I didn't hear them. So by not shaking her hand, they said -- I have a great relationship with her. I have a great relationship with Theresa May. I have a great relationship with Justin Trudeau, who I just left.
I think I -- I'll be honest with you, I think I have a great relationship with every single one of them. Every person in that room today -- you had what, 15, or so, or 18? Asia Pacific … And I've got to fix what we have with Mexico, who was there today too, who I also have a very good relationship with. And I have a great relationship with France. Some of you were in France with me, with the Eiffel Tower dinner. We have a great relationship with Emmanuel … There's nobody that I can think of that I don't have a very good relationship with.
…but who knew? Fascinating stuff from the Monell Chemical Senses Center:
In the study, 82 heterosexual and homosexual men and women were asked to indicate their preference for the odors of underarm sweat collected from 24 odor donors of varied gender and sexual orientation. Subjects made four comparisons, evaluating and chosing between odors from (i) heterosexual males versus gay males, (ii) heterosexual males versus heterosexual females, (iii) heterosexual females versus lesbian females, and (iv) gay males versus lesbian females.
Homosexual men and lesbian women had patterns of body odor preferences that were different from those of heterosexual men and women. In particular, gay men were strikingly different from heterosexual men and women and from lesbian women, both in terms of which body odors gay men preferred and how their own body odors were regarded by the other groups. Gay men preferred odors from gay men and heterosexual women, whereas odors from gay men were the least preferred by heterosexual men and women and by lesbian women.
…a turd in the punchbowl. From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Floyd Abrams is the nation’s most prominent First Amendment lawyer, and he almost always argues in favor of free speech. But he has struggled with the case of a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.The underlying issue here, which no court has seen fit to address, is whether any wedding guest would be dumb enough to eat a cake this man had been forced to bake.
A wristwatch that once belonged to the late Paul Newman, a movie star, was just auctioned for $17.8 million:
“The significance of this watch cannot be overstated,” said Paul Boutros, a senior vice president with Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, the watch auctioneer.
As we all know:
Trump received five deferments from service in Vietnam: four for academic reasons and one for bone spurs – calcium buildups – in his heels. In 2015, he said at a news conference he couldn’t remember which heel the bone spurs had affected. His campaign said it was both.
In July 2016, Trump told the New York Times: “I had a doctor that gave me a letter – a very strong letter on the heels.” The problem had been “temporary” and “minor”, he said, adding: “Over a period of time, it healed up.”
But the fine print in the interesting graphic below tells a different story. Those things on the so-called “president’s” heels were originally diagnosed not as bone spurs, but as birthmarks. And since birthmarks don’t heal up over a period of time, it should be easy enough to settle this thing once and for all.
Just show us your heels. Please.
…as far as it goes. Right from the start I thought the so-called “president” was getting a raw deal on his call to the Gold Star widow. Trump could have and should have said something like, “Really? I was trying to say how much I admired somebody brave enough to face death for his country knowingly. I’m truly sorry if that didn’t come through.”
But once again, Trump made his automatic reach for a lie whenever faced with the slightest challenge to his perfection. Which wound up dragging his chief of staff John Kelly down with him.
At least you’re not dead like Philip Larkin, who wrote this in 1978:
Most people know more as they get older;
I give all that the cold shoulder.
I spent my second quarter-century
Losing what I had learnt at university
And refusing to take in what had happened since.
Now I know none of the names in the public prints,
And am starting to give offence by forgetting faces
And swearing I’ve never been in certain places.
It will be worth it if in the end I manage
To blank out whatever it is that is doing the damage.
Then there will be nothing that I know.
My mind will fold into itself, like fields, like snow.
There! Feel better now?
News from a Virginia friend of mine, long since retired as a lieutenant in the Arlington police department. Unfortunately the world is not full of people like Florence.
The book you sent me by Wally Lamb is getting around. I just ordered it for yet another person who has become interested in working in the jail. Our wretched incarceration system drives me crazy. I have been working in the DC jail for over 4 years now and can count on my two hands the number of white Anglo faces I have seen. That alone says something is terribly wrong…
One inmate said to me, “I heard that you don’t get paid for coming. Then why do you come every day?” I gave him the usual blab blab but he wasn’t buying any of it. He leaned over and whispered, “I know why you come. You are working off your community service.” I love it. What a kick!
We had a GED graduation a few weeks ago. Seeing inmates with caps and gowns over their orange jumpsuits, processing in to the sounds of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ on a tape brought me to tears.
…when the Russians meddle in our elections? From declassified CIA documents:
The Nixon administration’s decision for a covert CIA role in the 1970 campaign continued the practice of the preceding Kennedy and Johnson administrations, which for nearly a decade had directed clandestine Agency actions in Chilean electoral politics. During Chile’s 1964 presidential contest, for example, CIA had channeled $3 million into the coffers of the eventual victor, Christian Democrat Frei. A year later the Santiago Station, working closely with the American Ambassador, used covert funds to help defeat as many as 13 leftist candidates who might otherwise have won congressional seats. In 1969, CIA operatives spent several hundred thousand dollars opposing congressional candidates allied with Dr. Salvador Allende Gossens, an avowed Marxist and founding member of the Chilean Socialist Party. In addition to funding political parties secretly, the Agency had carried out extensive propaganda activities and subsidized anti-leftist newspapers and radio commentators.
From the New York Times:
After years as a sleepy federal backwater, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission became one of Wall Street’s most aggressive watchdogs during the Barack Obama administration.
Now the agency — which is responsible for policing a broad swath of markets and financial machinery, from trading in commodities to digital currencies to the complex derivatives that helped torpedo the financial system in 2008 — is shifting its law enforcement strategy: It will increasingly look to banks and other financial institutions to come clean on their own about misconduct and problems in the market.
The commission’s director of enforcement, James McDonald, plans to unveil the new framework in a speech Monday night at New York University. It is premised on the idea that large financial institutions, given the right incentives, have the potential to be invaluable partners for law enforcement.
“We start with the shared understanding that the vast majority of businesses want to comply with the law,” Mr. McDonald will say Monday, according to a draft of the speech reviewed by The New York Times.
From Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, pp. 61-62:
“The tension between the actual and the possible is transfigured into an insoluble conflict, in which reconciliation is by grace of the oeuvre as form: beauty as the “promesse de bonheur.” In the form of the oeuvre, the actual circumstances are placed in another dimension where the given reality shows itself as that which it is. Thus it tells the truth about itself; its language ceases to be that of deception, ignorance, and submission. Fiction calls the facts by their name and their reign collapses; fiction subverts everyday experience and shows it to be mutilated and false. But art has this magic power only as the power of negation. It can speak its own language only as long as the images are alive which refuse and refute the established order.
Think about this for a moment, bearing in mind that the last actual invasion of the United States occurred in 1812:
ONE OF THE most controversial proposals put forward by Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential campaign was a pledge to make tuition free at public colleges and universities. Critics from both parties howled that the pie-in-the-sky idea would bankrupt the country. Where, after all, would the money come from?
Those concerns were brushed aside Monday night, as the Senate overwhelmingly approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending, enough to have fully satisfied Sanders’s campaign promise. Instead, the Senate handed President Donald Trump far more than the $54 billion he asked for. The lavish spending package gives Trump a major legislative victory, allowing him to boast about fulfilling his promise of a “great rebuilding of the armed services.”
Picture a paunchy middle-aged man in a baseball cap, tossing and turning in fitful sleep on his Barcalounger. Call him Jake. He is a good American. He waves the flag on the Fourth of July, supports the troops, always roots for Team USA in the Olympics and never reads books. He hasn’t traveled outside of the United States because, as he often tells his kids, “there’s plenty to see right here.” He believes in God because everyone he knows believes in God; besides, being an atheist in America is still faintly disreputable, even mildly subversive, like being a socialist, and it can be personally and professionally damaging in large parts of the country. But he isn’t religious. He may go to church once or twice a year, but he usually just watches football on Sundays.
He thinks evolution, like climate change, is “just a theory.” He thinks this because credible sounding people on TV often say it. This is, in fact, how he gets all of his opinions: He hears credible sounding people on TV making assertions over and over and over again until gradually, subtly, they morph into his own beliefs. His friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers acquire their beliefs the exact same way.
This is how he came to believe that tax cuts are good but big government is bad; that free markets are natural and efficient, but socialism, whatever it is, is inefficient and potentially evil, although some social programs are okay for people who’ve lost work “through no fault of their own.” This is also how he came to accept the fact that America, despite its inherent goodness, is surrounded by enemies who seek to harm it, and so he never questions the military budget or the latest bombing campaign, even though he often thinks wars in the Middle East are pointless because “those people have been fighting for centuries and war is all they know.”
This is why he thinks America is soft on crime, in spite of the fact that it has more prisoners than any other country in the world. After all, didn’t he just see a story on the news about a pedophile who was released on parole and immediately went out and molested another child? This is also why he thinks Black Lives Matter is the exact equivalent of the KKK and that political correctness is responsible for provoking violence on the right. This is why he’s recently concluded that the country is moving too far to the left.
He falls asleep in his recliner every night with the TV on. Is he watching ESPN or FOX NEWS? Does it matter?…Read on
In honor of Labor Day, please watch this Orwellian “training” video Wal-Mart shows its new hires. It’s obnoxious anti-union propaganda delivered by annoying performers who, if there is any justice in this world, will be immediately kicked out of the Screen Actors Guild. It’s not enough that people must work horrible jobs for minimum wage, they must also receive political re-education to get their minds right. Note the condescending tone and the assumption that the employees are complete idiots. I can tell you from personal experience that this is one of the worst aspect of these kinds of jobs. In addition to shitty hours, shitty pay, asshole bosses and zero benefits, management treats you like a special ed kid. It is thoroughly degrading, as it is no doubt intended to be. Enjoy!
You may have heard that there were explosions at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas near Houston, but you’d be wrong. There were no explosions. There never have been any explosions, and there never will be any explosions. There were only a series of small pops:
Authorities said Thursday morning that there weren’t “explosions” at the facility but, rather, “small pops” followed by smoke and fire.See? No explosions, just “small pops” that produced fire and smoke. What part of that don’t you understand?
But Richard Rennard, an Arkema executive, said it was impossible to know for sure, since all the employees had left the site.
“These things can burn very quickly and violently; it would not be unusual for them to explode,” Rennard said at a news conference. However, he said: “We believe it hasn’t been a massive explosion; it’s just been these vapor release valves that popped” in one of the box vans.
I’m reminded of an interview with a military man describing a plane crash near an air force base some years back: “The aircraft decelerated and rapidly lost altitude, which caused it to impact with the ground.”
I'm also reminded of the heroic U.S. invasion of Grenada, which wasn’t an invasion, but a “pre-dawn vertical insertion.”
Then I’m reminded of the fifth grade, when the teacher was reprimanding my best friend for losing his homework. “I didn’t lose it,” my friend said, “I temporarily misplaced it!”
And I’m forced to reflect on the sad fact that our political, business and military leaders talk just like a fifth grader lying about not doing his homework.
Even in the face of tragedy, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well:
There have already been more than 500 complaints about price gouging during Hurricane Harvey over the weekend, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNBC on Monday.There are also reports that a woman in a second story apartment was charging people $300 to come upstairs and escape the flood. Natural disasters come and go, but the market is eternal.
That includes reports of up to $99 for a case of water, hotels that are tripling or quadrupling their prices and fuel going for $4 to $10 a gallon, he said in an interview with “Closing Bell.”
The Texas attorney general is threatening to slap these upstanding capitalists with fines of $20,000 or more. Apparently he didn’t get the memo, handed down by Fox News and John Stossel in the wake of Hurricane Sandy: Price gouging is good! It even quoted Milton Friedman, who is second only to Ayn Rand in the right wing’s pantheon of free market divines: “Price gougers save lives!”…Read on
I’d like to take this opportunity to blatantly politicize the catastrophe in Houston. Before I begin, however, I’d implore everyone to stop describing such events as “biblical.” I’d wager that modern disasters dwarf anything seen in biblical times. There is just so much more nasty shit that can go wrong in our marvelously complex world. A city of over two million people flooded with toxic water beats a plague of locusts any day.
English is one of the most varied and nuanced languages in the world. Use it. Come up with something new, Mr. and Mrs. Pundit (and while you’re at it, stop using the word “surreal” to describe anything out of the ordinary.)
Let me go out on a limb and say America will learn all the wrong lessons from this
biblical god-awful shit storm in the Gulf. Do not expect our society to begin thinking seriously about global warming. Do not expect us to change our ways one iota. In short, do not expect us to soberly reflect on this tragedy and its implications for the future. That is what mature and responsible adults do. We are not mature and responsible adults. This is the soul of contemporary America:
It is loud, loutish, grossly juvenile, militantly ignorant and stupidly aggressive (which is why, incidentally, I don’t think Donald Trump is an aberration, but is in fact is the perfect expression of who we really are). It is easily distracted by shiny objects and utterly incapable of thinking in terms of fundamentals. It is the malleable plaything of demagogues, con men, and asinine pundits who actually have people believing that cutting taxes on billionaires is good for the middle class, that permanent war is normal and healthy, and that global warming is a hoax. In the face of rising temperatures, we have people who think its cute to make their trucks do this:
Nations have distinct characters and character is destiny. We are exhibiting all of the same dysfunction as the the Greenland Norse, the Easter Islanders, and many of the other extinct civilizations chronicled in Jared Diamond’s Collapse. Like them, we are stubbornly resistant to change. We simply cannot and will not imagine any other lifestyle than the one we have. Nor can we honestly face our problems. Instead, we retreat into pathological denial and double-down on all of the stupid and destructive ideas that are responsible for bringing us to this pass in the first place.
Do expect the free market theologians and privatizers to swoop down on the Gulf like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, imposing market discipline and spreading charter schools around. At this moment, Betsy DeVos is probably on her knees with all of the other pernicious evangelicals in the Administration, giving thanks to her barbarous God for this heaven-sent catastrophe.
Do expect the corporate media to avoid mentioning climate change and focus instead on human interest stories and maudlin puff pieces about our heroic first-responders. Do expect the wicked Texas Republicans who voted against aid for Hurricane Sandy victims to change their tune and discover a new found love of big government spending.
The good new is that my predictions are often wrong. I hope I’m wrong again.
The space race is alive and well, but it’s not being conducted by nation states. As befits a degraded world run by oligarchs, this latest iteration of interstellar stupidity is being carried out by arrogant billionaires whom our culture, for reasons I will never, ever understand, considers to be visionaries.
According to Bloomberg Technology, which I’ve never been bored enough to consult until now, 16 of the world’s richest 500 people are invested in space travel projects to the tune of 513 billion. Apparently, they think humanity has done such a bang-up job managing the earth that we simply have take our show on the road. The universe must not be deprived of our gifts. The thought of some distant, forlorn alien species living without free markets, globalization, credit default swaps, corporate mission statements, fragmentation bombs, Wal-Mart, mountaintop removal and the iPod is just too fuckin’ much for a compassionate human to bear. It’s a wonder anyone can sleep at night knowing there’s never been a TED Talk in Alpha Centauri. Opportunity costs be damned, we must spread our wisdom through the galaxy.
The usual suspects are involved, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Obama’s kitesurfing partner and brand new BFF, Richard Branson. But there are some unusual names on the list as well, such as Sheldon Adelson, a casino billionaire who was Newt Gingrich’s pimp daddy in the 2012 Republican primaries, as well as one Ricardo Salinas, described as a “retail and banking billionaire.”
Yes, in the future, Mars will be bustling with casinos, Amazon fullfillment centers and banks, all hooked up to the Internet with access to Facebook and the Washington Post Online. The only thing missing will be a native population to exploit. Maybe they can fly up the Bangladeshis after global warming completely floods out their country.
Our society’s greatest luminaries will be able to chill out among themselves, far from the sweltering earth, basking in each other’s genius and debating such relevant topics as the latest iPhone, the future of AI, or whether it’s better to use your left or right hand when masturbating. Markets and entrepreneurship will be praised, but the billions of dollars of government subsidies they’ve received will be kept strictly on the QT. Genius grants, you see.
I wish them luck. I hope they fly as far as my dreams can carry them, out into the distant reaches of space where there is nothing but cold dead planets and hostile alien creatures that feed on pretentiousness.
The generals are in charge and they got exactly what they wanted, a permanent war in Afghanistan. Its details will be hidden from the public and it will guarantee rising military budgets forever. The military-industrial complex will win out, no matter what stuffed dummy sits in the White House.
(The comedian Bill Hicks used to say that every new president is taken into a secret dark room and shown footage of the Kennedy assassination from an angle no one has ever seen before. He is then asked, “Any questions, Mr. President?” I’m starting to think something like this must be true.)
But don’t worry, Trump’s other main constituency will soon get its biggest wish too. According to CNBC, “multiple Wall Street strategists” are laying odds that the one thing Congress can get done this year will be, wait for it, tax cuts. The bad news is that Republicans probably won’t be able to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 or 20 percent as they’d hoped, but will have to settle for 25 percent instead. Nor will they be able to “eliminate popular deductions, like those for mortgage interest, charitable giving, or state and local property taxes.” Nothing in life can be perfect, I suppose. Perhaps they can eliminate those popular deductions next year, when, with any luck, the little people will be distracted by a brand new war or hit TV show.
If you look past Trump’s strategically outrageous tweets, you can see and smell a familiar thing. It’s called business as usual in America.
In a couple hours we’re leaving for a three-week vacation. It’s a cruise, so I doubt if I’ll be able to post much. Or any. See you later.
For days I watched the same Charlottesville footage over and over again on MSNBC and never could figure out exactly what was going on. Who were the good guys? Who were the bad guys? How could you tell? The commentators didn’t seem to know either. Maybe that’s what confused our so-called “president,” too. You think?
But this morning I came across this absolutely first-rate 20-minute episode from VICE News, in which an absolutely first-rate reporter named Elle Reeve cleared things up for me. Here she is interviewing a specimen named Christopher Cantwell, who predicts that someday he and his neo-Nazi pals will find a real racist to lead them:
“Not somebody like Donald Trump. Somebody who does not give his daughter to a Jew. I don’t think you could feel like I do and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl.”
This is from Raw Story about Ivanka Trump’s upcoming visit to India:
How do foreign leaders deal wth First Daughter Ivanka Trump? According to one anonymous diplomat quoted by Hindustan Times editor-in-chief Bobby Ghosh, the key is to flatter her and make her feel important — just as you would do with a visiting member of a royal family.
“We regard Ivanka Trump the way we do half-wit Saudi princes,” the diplomat told Ghosh. “It’s in our national interest to flatter them.”
The diplomat also told Ghosh that he found it “a shame” that the U.S. was now being ruled by what looked like a royal family — “but that is America’s shame, not Modi’s, or India’s.”
Remember, she’s the smart one of the family.
Can we file this under making America great again?
…by Henry A. Wallace, Roosevelt’s wartime vice president — the last true progressive to get that close to the presidency. Written in 1944, this essay needs only a few name changes to describe the America of our so-called "president.”
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party…
In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.
The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful.
American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery…
On paper, Anthony Scaramucci is everything I despise: an arrogant, greedy, faux tough guy master-of-the-universe Wall Street hedge fund prick; a crassly materialistic, hyper-masculine adolescent man-child who brags about killing his enemies, skull-fucking the competition, and grabbing pussy; the kind of guy who uses terms like “cock block” and “front-stabber” and thinks he sounds bad ass doing it. To top it off, he has the seedy, loquacious manner of a car salesman or a late night TV huckster who pitches oyster shell enemas and personal power DVDs. He’s just like Jordan Belfort, the guy portrayed by Leonardo di Caprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. They’re cut from the exact same piece of greasy wax paper. They thrive like gut flora in American culture and they always will because that is what we are and that is what we value.
Still, I just can’t bring myself to dislike the guy. He was just too goddamned entertaining, and I simply can’t hate anybody who makes me laugh that hard. Hearing this sleazy, cologne-drenched guido answer a BBC reporter that, in fact, he had “no idea what’s going on with chlorine-rinsed chicken” but would gladly get back to her about it is just too, too good. It’s more than the sternum can bear. (It’s at about the 1:32 point of the video;here). He told us Steve Bannon tries to suck his own c**k and that Reince Priebus is an effing paranoid schizophrenic. He threatened to fire the entire communications staff at the White House because youse guyz in the press wouldn’t give up the leakers. He was the funniest clown in the biggest clown show on earth, and we won’t see his like again for at least another week.
There’s an element of genuine tragedy in Mooch’s speedy rise and fall. This preening cock-of-the-walk thought he was going to be first minister to the king — Cardinal Wolsey to Henry VIII, Mark Antony to Caesar, Boo Boo to Yogi — and then, poof, just like that he was gone, cut down and publicly humiliated in a mere ten days by a bigger, badder, more loudmouthed jerk than himself. Poor Mooch. He gave up everything to serve Trump. He sold his house. He sold his hedge fund. He committed everything to his new life in Washington. Then, tragically, in what should have been the best week of his life, Mooch traversed the full spectrum of defeat: He lost his job, his wife, his pride, his dignity, and he even missed the birth of his child. What did the White House say about Mooch’s inglorious shit canning? “ He served his purpose,” an aide said.
Mooch sold his soul for Trump, and Trump shivved him in the balls, loudly, gleefully and in full public view. There can only be one vulgar wannabe alpha-male in this house, Mooch, and you ain’t it.
“The President has really good karma,” the Mooch said of Trump in his maiden speech to the nation, “and the world turns back to him.” Indeed. Indeed it does, Mooch. Now go get your fuckin’ shine box.
It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for him. Almost, but not quite. Will there be a book deal? A tell-all expose about his vertiginous ten days in the White House? Perhaps a biography, or an investment guide, or a self-help/get rich quick manual for the masses — Let the Mooch show you his ten easy tricks for making more money, fulfilling your true potential and living the American dream! An appearance on Dancing with the Stars? A regular gig on Fox and Friends? Perhaps a tearful moment of clarity with Whoopie Goldberg on The View. A reality TV show: Cruising with the Mooch or Being Scaramucci. A late night infomercial selling hair care products. The possibilities are endless. America always has a place at the table for guys like the Mooch.
From Acta Herpetologica.
While most species of turtle exhibit secondary sexual dimorphisms that can be used to reliably infer sex, there are some species that are very difficult to sex … Therefore, we tested the novel method of using a vibrator to sex turtles by stimulating male turtles to evert their penises. Once a male turtle was captured, we attempted to lnduce an erection by applying an 18 cm, variable-speed, silver bullet vibrator to its shell and tail …
In general, turtles appeared to respond best when only the tip of the vibrator was touching them and when the vibrator had fresh batteries and was set on the fastest setting. Also, they seemed to respond best when the tip was held firmly against them (rather than allowing it to bounce), but not be pressed hard against them. Both allowing it to bounce and pressing it too hard generally resulted in turtles holding their limbs and tail tightly against the body, rather than relaxing. Additionally, it was often useful to move the vibrator around in small, slow, steady circles.