Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Keep Writing That NaNoWriMo Project: The 2019 Affair

I'm digging in my heels and getting sh-t done.

I promise.

Like the last 12 times.

It's gonna be a book about aliens! And trump making it worse.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

What If You Held a World Series and trump Got Booed At It? (w/ Update)

It'd probably sound and look a lot like this:

And it didn't end there, as reported via NBC News (by Richie Duchon):

Some fans broke out into chants of "Lock him up!" after Trump was shown on the stadium's big screen during a moment to honor a group of Marines...
The chants against the president harked back to campaign rallies in 2016 during which fans of Trump would often break into chants of "Lock her up!" in reference to Hillary Clinton.

So here's trump and his White House handlers, probably thinking that in the wake of this weekend's raid against the ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that he'd be received in public as a hero, cheered on by fans or at least respectfully applauded while the stadium cameras flanked his appearance with views of military servicemen/servicewomen.

You'll notice from Jesse Yomtov's Twitter video that the crowds cheered the Marines, booed trump, and went back to cheering more Marines. trump and his people didn't fool a damn soul.

Whereas Obama's reception following the death of Bin Laden was positive, it's pretty clear that outside of trump's comfort zone - his MAGA rallies - trump is not going to be received well at all.

This is where Machiavelli's warnings ring true: In the matter of being Loved or Feared as a leader, always avoid the worst possible outcome of being Hated, which trump is to more than 60 percent of the population (and to 90 percent of a solidly Democratic place like the entire Northern Virginia-Boston corridor).

For all the talk about sports being a pure American pastime and how rabidly conservative those fans could get, that's more myth than fact. Liberals and Moderates (Go Rays) are just as obsessed with sports as Conservatives. I've been racking my brain for the past hour trying to think of a "safe place" trump could appear in public where the sports crowd would openly cheer him. For all the Red state places - maybe Texas, maybe Arizona, most likely Tennessee and/or Alabama - you have to remember the cities are heavily liberal enclaves (or at least with enough moderates to make you wonder).

For all the hype about NFL fans getting enraged about athletes kneeling for Black Lives Matter, that is just a vocal faction: There's an equally large anti-trump faction who'd boo trump (especially anybody who rooted for a USFL team back in the 80s).

This has to be a shock obviously for trump. he has lived with the fantasy that wherever he goes people will cheer him (and maybe even be grateful to him). To have an entire stadium boo him and even chant "Lock Him Up" - a clear and direct insult aimed at trump - is not going to improve his constantly dour mood. I'm willing to bet as soon as he can, his next set of tweets will insult every Nats fan from here to back again.

And the next week is going to be him forcing himself onto crowds to make them cheer for him, by hook or by crook. trump won't be happy until he forces reality to fit his bubble.

Gods help us.

Added: People are reminding each other on Twitter how the Nationals had the ceremonial First Pitch thrown by Chef Jose Andres, a vocal critic of trump's and essentially the best guy to symbolically punch trump in the face every chance that arises. There's no link to video yet but I've heard - I'm not watching, I swore if trump showed up I wouldn't - that Andres got a standing ovation. That is sweet stuff.

Update 11/3/19: And then trump tried attending a fight night in New York City, for an Ultimate Fighting Championship (he and the UFC league owner are good buddies, because trump hosted the UFCs back when no one else would). THAT did not go so well either (via Balloon-Juice).

The polling may say one thing - that trump has 40 percent approval - but the real world is clearly showing something else. We have to remember most Republicans getting polled are vocally giving him support simply because of their partisan affiliation: Because they HAVE to approve their own guy even when he's screwing up. But when given an opportunity, in a public place that's NOT a rally, surrounded by communities that aren't all MAGA hat wearing a-sholes, there are a lot of Americans who will express this level of vitriol when they can.

This never happened to Obama in public places to the sporting events he attended. Dubya had some boo birds for the baseball games he went to - especially after 2005 - but he never got this level of vocal hatred from the fans.

trump is arguably the most reviled President Loser of the Popular Vote of modern memory.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Taking Note of the Mueller Report, As Things Get Worse

By the by, I finished reading the Mueller Report.

Well, the parts of it that weren't redacted.

There's not much to say about it that hasn't already been said elsewhere by better legal experts. I'll just add my three cents by pointing out the three things the Report proves.

One: The first half of the Report is a meticulous and detailed review of how Russia attacked our 2016 election cycle, with a ton of laundered money to help trump and other Republican candidates and a spicy helping of psych ops via social media to suppress voting and distract voters.

You can argue the merits of the rest of the investigation until you're red in the face, but the evidence on this part is solid: Russia meddled in our elections, and there are things Congress - specifically the Senate, where election security bills are dying in the shadows - should act on to protect our rights as Americans.

Two: The second half of the Report tries to answer the question if trump actively worked with Russians - both to get their aid as well as provide information to them for their operations - but ran into enough Obstruction and lying to prevent a full understanding of what happened. While the investigations didn't get enough evidence of that, the Report did highlight how trump instructed his people to hinder those investigations long enough for trump's replacement Attorney General Barr to shut the investigations down (just as Mueller was getting close to trump's Inner Circle with Stone's indictments).

What Mueller left behind with his Report was a road map to how Congress could file Obstruction charges against trump, just as long as the Democratic-controlled House grew enough of a spine to do so.

Three: The Mueller Report revealed a glaring weakness in our legal and political systems. A lot of accountability and responsible governance relies on everybody acting in Good Faith. That is, a general acceptance by all parties - not just the political parties but the media covering the elections and the state/federal agencies overseeing the process - to adhere (mostly) to the rules.

What happened in the 2016 election cycle was a breakdown of that Good Faith. Our system wasn't ready to handle the likes of donald trump - an over-reaching, unstoppable force of lying and corruption - who abused and ignored the rules so often and so consistently that the agencies tasked to enforce them couldn't keep up. The ones that did uncover some of the rule-breaking - our intelligence agencies like the FBI - didn't see enough of the pieces to solve the puzzle fast enough (the details of the June 2016 trump tower meeting didn't come out until after the election). The pieces they did find got set upward to the Congressional level where the likes of Mitch McConnell refused to accept the evidence provided and denied our agencies a chance to warn voters before the election that trump was compromised.

Even Mueller's investigations was - still is - hampered by guidelines and administrative codes that prevented him and his teams from breaking through the lies and delays by trump's people. For all the arrests and indictments his Special Counsel's office could produce, there were glaring misses among the targets - why donnie junior wasn't indicted with what Mueller found out anyway remains one of the greatest flaws of the investigation - that highlighted what couldn't be done.

Above all, there was only so much Mueller could do. He was hampered by a major guideline - an Office of Legal Counsel memo from 1973 claiming a sitting President can't be indicted - that he felt couldn't be challenged or ignored. The argument for that memo relies on authority outside of the courthouses: the power of Congress to impeach Presidents for abuse of office ("high crimes and misdemeanors").

And this is where the Good Faith breaks down even further. Impeachment isn't a legal tool, it's a political one. It relies a lot on the willingness of both major political parties to see it through. When one party (Democrats) are reluctant to apply it and the other party (Republicans) are eager to quash it to protect their own corrupt boss, relying on Impeachment to resolve the high crimes of trump becomes impossible to comprehend. Even if the House Democrats follow through on their inquiries - currently on trump's Ukraine extortion efforts - and Impeach, there's every sign McConnell will simply toss the proceedings over the Senate railings and let trump crow "vindication!" in triumph.

It's sad to note that ever since the release of Mueller's Report, trump's own behavior has gotten worse: open acts of compelling foreign nations to dig up dirt on political enemies, threatening retaliation against the FBI for even impugning his Russian buddies, and making impulsive foreign policy decisions that clearly benefit Putin to the detriment of our allies.

Everything Mueller documented in his Report is replaying out again in real time. Only now, trump's gone public with it.

Because trump thinks he's untouchable now.

Which makes trump more dangerous than ever.

Gods help us.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Rise of Skywalker Official Final Trailer AND I AM NOT READY FOR STAR WARS TO END

Okay, I know there's a ton of spinoffs out there and there's no way the story will end here...

But this is the official Canon series, the one Lucas envisioned when he first drew up his outlines for a possible Flash Gordon reboot he wanted to film.

I started this when I was seven years old. I'm 49 now, but I don't want this part of my childhood to go away...

Who will be there with me when this happens, at long last...?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Fredos of the trump Mafia Have Lost Their Henchmen To the Feds

Goddammit I promised I was going to cut back on blogging due to personal crises I have to manage and THIS SHIT happens.

It has the keywords "Florida Man" in it. AS A FLORIDIAN I AM COMPELLED TO COMMENT.


Let's go into a little more detail, via Brad Reed at Raw Story:

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two henchmen who helped Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani arrange meetings with Ukrainian officials, have been accused of taking money from an unidentified Russian businessman and illegally funneling it to Republican candidates.
In the indictment released by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Parnas and Fruman are alleged to have “conspired to make political donations” to political candidates using money provided by a person identified only as “Foreign National-1.”
According to the indictment, this individual “is a foreign national Russian citizen and businessman who, at all relevant times, was not a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”
Parnas, Fruman and their associates used the money from this Russian national to donate to political candidates who were in positions to help them set up a medical marijuana business, SDNY alleges...

These acts do violate election laws regarding foreign funding.

The fun stuff happened when the news got out that the two men - let's call them Rudy Henchman 1 and Rudy Henchman 2 - were arrested at Dulles International Airport, attempting to flee the country. The reason for fleeing either had to do with avoiding testifying before Congress on their role in Rudy's Ukraine scandal-shopping, or with these charges that someone may have tipped them off about the day before...

Let's stick to Raw Story this time to Sarah Burris' article:

The two foreign-born men who have been helping President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani find dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his family were indicted and arrested early this morning while at Dulles Airport just west of Washington, D.C.
According to MSNBC, the men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were on an outbound international flight attempting to flee the country...

I had 50 cents on it them fleeing to Morocco - the closest nation without extradition to the U.S. - but it seems one was heading to Frankfurt and the other was heading to San Francisco to get a connecting flight to Asia by the looks of it.

Anyways, let me refresh this: BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I really don't want to be blogging tonight. I've got other things to do, baseball to watch - GO RAYS - and NaNo projects to line up. It's just... the whole madness of this plot twist - this ongoing criminal conspiracy of a mob family getting dumber and more reckless as the law gets closer to tagging and bagging them - required comment.

If I gotta quote from the mob movie classics, I gotta go with this...

Fredos everywhere, man.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

One Sentence About trump's Betrayal of Syria Kurds to Turkey

That goddamn Shitgibbon - with one phone call with Turkey's brutal despot Erdogan and most likely urged on by his overlord Putin - just betrayed an entire region full of ethnic Kurds - who have been the United States' most consistent ally in the Middle East because they are desperate for their own homeland that Turkey Iraq Iran and Russia would like to never see happen - and is likely cheering on the destruction of entire cities all because the Shitgibbon owns properties in Turkey and he's making blood money off of all that.

Actually I got another sentence here, and that's me hoping to God this eternal Shitgibbon gets impeached within the next 24 hours before he can cause more damage to our foreign allies and national security.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

The Reasons I Haven't Been Blogging Much and Probably Won't For October

For all the madness happening with trump's growing Ukraine scandal and the impeachment inquiry that finally triggered because it, and for all the stuff happening with Brexit that deserves attention, along with fifty other things ranging from climate change to police brutality to civil rights to protecting families from trump's ICE thugs...

I just can't keep up right now.

Work has been a mess for some time since 2018 when I got tabbed to serve as interim library director and coping with juggling two job duties at one time.

There's National Novel Writing Month coming up in November, and due to circumstances I had to take over as ML again which is tying up my free time.

And... I'm coping with some medical issues that's requiring me to focus on visiting doctors and maybe even getting prepped for surgery. I might talk about it later when I get a chance.

Simply, I'm just tired. I need a break of some kind. I'm sorry.

So for now, October is going to have to be a quiet month for me.

If something insane or dire that requires comment comes up, I may post something then.

Until then... well... wish me luck.