When In Doubt, Tell The Truth

Resist This Asshole
Above: Donald Trump. His hands have not been edited in any way, they are actually that small.

I have been concerned about the course of politics in the United States for several years now, but one reason I didn’t decide to record my thoughts and feelings on the subject is because many of my insights feel a tad obvious to me. Being reasonably intelligent and informed doesn’t make me The Sage Of The South or anything like that, so why bother stating what’s reasonable?

And yet here I am, and I’ve got something obvious to say that needs saying, because the fact that it isn’t being universally blared out of every radio, television screen, cellphone and tablet in the country is very distressing to me.

Donald Trump is not fit to be president. I don’t mean that he’s a crook, though he is. I don’t mean that his election was illegitimate, though it was. I don’t mean that no member of the GOP is fit to be president, though they aren’t. For the sake of this post, we’ll call all of the above just my opinion, man.

Donald Trump isn’t mentally fit to be president. His attention span is too short, his ego requires constant massaging, he lies constantly, and he says shit like this:

BEIJING — President Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea sent a shudder through Asia on Wednesday, raising alarm among allies and adversaries and, to some observers, making the possibility of military conflict over the North’s nuclear program seem more real.

With North Korea responding that it would, if attacked, strike American military forces on Guam, analysts warned that the escalating statements increased the likelihood of war — perhaps one based on miscalculation, should one side’s fiery statements be misread by the other.

As a good liberal, my sense of fairness would be greatly offended if I didn’t add that Trump later added that he probably shouldn’t have said that- because “it wasn’t tough enough”. Our country’s foreign policy used to be “talk softly and carry and big stick”, but we’ve changed it to “talk loudly to distract from your tiny hands.”

I’ve been beating this drum since the moment he was elected, and I’m not going to stop. This is not a political issue. This is not an issue of my team losing and your team winning. This isn’t even about criminality and collusion with Russia- those are also grounds for removal, in my opinion, but you don’t need to consider them to know Trump has to go. This is a test of patriotism, of who’s going to put their country before their political tribe.

For the right, if there are any reasonably sane people left out there, this means accepting that Trump has got to go- he’s a danger to the world because he’s mentally unstable. I sincerely doubt that anyone on the right who isn’t convinced of this will be convinced by anything other than (perhaps) an actual mushroom cloud. I hope I’m wrong about that.

For Democrats and leftists, this means accepting Mike Pence as President, probably. Yes, he’s a true-believer, more mentally competent than Trump, and will still require resisting, but to those who say “he’d be more dangerous!!!!”, I’m begging you, just consider the people of Southeast Asia right now. How sleepless their children’s nights must be, how much stress they are all under, because nuclear war looks and feels real to them. Trump is fueling that fire, because he stupidly thinks there are winners and losers in a nuclear war. (There aren’t- all of humanity loses even in a limited nuclear war- another obvious truth that nonetheless needs stating.)

Trump watches too much cable news, plays golf all day, and doesn’t understand the government he heads. He is dangerously incompetent, probably mentally ill, and has no interest fulfilling his duties. He’s an insane person who is, by turns, lazy and destructive. He must be removed from office, and no one should need Robert Mueller to come to that conclusion.

With all the talk about litmus tests on the left, I’m making this my personal one starting now. If after everything that’s happened since Jan. 20th you still think Trump shouldn’t be removed from office immediately through impeachment or resignation, I’ll know that whatever you might say and however cleverly you might say it, you’re not a patriot, and not suited to commenting on American politics.

 

The Dissident Peasant Podcast Episode 4

This week’s episode! Mueller Watch continues! Trump’s crowing about the economy is bullshit! Americans reap what they sow in Minnesota! The Dissident Peasant teaches democrats how to win!

Share and enjoy.

Jeff Sessions Is Playing To An Audience of One

Above: Artists’ rendering of an extremely racist and impish-looking man.

Imagine you are the “beleaguered” Attorney General of the semi-senile orange fascist currently occupying the office of President of The United States. You had to recuse yourself from investigations into said president after becoming his earliest senatorial supporter (and because you embarrassingly perjured yourself in your confirmation hearing).

That same previously-mentioned fascist has been making it clear, whenever he can, that he’s not happy about this investigation, and was counting on you to shut it down, which you don’t feel you can do. You truly enjoy your job, shutting down the civil rights division and litigating against plaintiffs looking for freedom from discrimination based on perceived gender roles, keeping people from voting and ramping up the drug war- lifelong dreams in danger of a sudden death, because you might get fired.

Continue reading “Jeff Sessions Is Playing To An Audience of One”

Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

Cue the countdown for some some incoherent and angry tweets from the orange man-child currently occupying the Oval Office:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate allegations of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The grand jury began its work in recent weeks and is a sign that Mueller’s inquiry into Russia’s efforts to influence the election and whether it colluded with President Donald Trump’s campaign is ramping up, the Journal said.

Other reporting makes clear what the grand jury is likely to be focused on:

Federal investigators exploring whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian spies have seized on Trump and his associates’ financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The web of financial ties could offer a more concrete path toward potential prosecution than the broader and murkier questions of collusion in the 2016 campaign, these sources said.
I, among many others, originally thought that the reason Trump never wanted to show his tax returns to the public is because they would show him to be much more highly leveraged and less wealthy than he claims. But with Trump freaking out when learning Mueller would have access to those returns (uh, yeah, why wouldn’t he receive access if he has reasonable suspicions they’re evidence to a crime?), it now appears that the real reason is because they would raise troubling questions about his financial ties to global organized crime.
I’m happy to hear the wheels of justice grind forward, but less happy that I have such an obviously-guilty idiot for a president who requires investigating. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton once deleted some personal emails and is a bitch, so who knows if we’d be in better shape with her in office than Trump.

The New New Colossus

The New New Colossus

Like the old titan of Greek xenophobes,

Tribute to violence and symbol to all;

To guard our state beside our ocean wall

Stands a mighty woman, whose stoney globe

Shines upon foreign vermin, and she goes

by Mother of War. From her valiant hand

Beams world-wide warning; her hard stares command

All those who’d dare to pass beneath her frame.

“Keep strange lands, your foreign scum!” threatens she

With furrowed brow. “Keep you your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send just the wealthy, successful to me,

Through our latest Trump-branded golden door.”

The Dissident Peasant (August 2, 2017)

Updated from Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)

upon this occasion.

The Dissident Peasant Podcast Episode 3

In this episode, an Internet argument actually changes someone’s mind! Reince Priebus’ career prospects are looking up! The GOP’s Wealthcare bill fails! Mueller Watch Continues!

Share and enjoy. STAY DISSIDENT SERFS.

 

Let’s Not Fall All Over Ourselves to Praise “Moderate” GOP Senators

Above: Senator Ed (R- Peach Creek)

The Senate had votes on three different wealthcare bills recently, and all of them sucked, and none of them passed! (There were also votes on a bunch of amendments, but this was all for show.) The GOP didn’t quite manage to pull off their Goldilocks routine, as some senators voted bills down because they were too cruel, and others voted bills down because they were not cruel enough.

But the hot “heroes” of the moment are surely John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski, rebelling as they did against the least ambitious of the three bills, the one touted as simply a vehicle for getting to a conference committee with the House of Representatives. (Because the GOP cares so much about careful and prudent governance, the Senate demanded assurances that their bill would not simply be passed by the House as-is, because it sucked. They were received.) Each voted no.

Susan Collins has been hinting obviously in interviews that she is VERY WORRIED ABOUT RURAL HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES. She was and is clearly ready to vote for a bill that includes a few extra billion dollars for her state, if she can get away with it. What a hero!

Lisa Murkowski received a call from the Interior Secretary of the United States, who proceeded to clumsily threaten her with a reminder that Alaska has a lot of land managed by the federal government. (Nice state ya got there, be a shame if anything were to happen to it…) However, when the person attempting the intimidation is so obviously incompetent with dismal poll numbers, it tends to piss off the subject and redouble their resolve. Murkowski may have voted this bill down anyway, but Trump made her vote definite. So really, Trump’s the hero with an own-goal- truly the alphas are BACK IN CHARGE.

And finally, John McCain. Though the senator, representing the great state of Arizona Bullshit Sunday Talk Shows, could have simply voted no on the motion to proceed earlier, he decided that might deny John McCain some fawning media coverage as The Last Honest Man in Washington. It was nothing but pride and a fit of pique that caused McCain to be the 51st ‘no’ vote on this sham of a proposed law. He’s not a hero for this vote, he’s a vain and shallow old man who likes attention and is generally a total asshole.

Citizens, if they want to remain citizens and not just peasants, should reward good behavior by their elected representatives, no doubt. So I am glad these three voted the way they did, as far as that goes. The problem is that “that” doesn’t  actually go very far at all, as a wealthcare bill in the House of Representatives was a dead a month ago, and yet they soldiered on. These three aren’t heroes, but specific cases where pecuniary interests and political pressure forced three politicians not to take a vote that would leave their careers and reputations in tatters.

If you’re looking for heroes to celebrate, start with all the people who marched, called, and wrote to make sure these Senators felt the heat. And hell, maybe give the Democratic Party a bit of credit, too- they were uniformly opposed to this sham of a process to kill poor people for money. I know it’s much easier to stand united in opposition than to design and construct laws, but they did the right thing nonetheless.

GOP Postmodernism Watch: Transgender Soldiers Edition

Let’s travel back in time! All the way back to June 2016 even, when this story ran in Time:

Updated: Jun 30, 2016 3:10 PM ET

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the ban on open service of transgender troops will be lifted, five years after a similar ban on the open service of gay men and women was formally ended by President Obama. The end of the ban is effective immediately, Carter said. “Implementation will begin today,” he said, promising a “step by step approach.”

Back in those halcyon days when facts mattered a little bit more and fascism was not so fashionable fascism-able? popular, they would run studies on this sort of thing:

Almost exactly a year ago, Carter had promised to review the ban. In comments made at a press conference at the Penatgon, Carter said the study of the possible implications of lifting the ban had shown there would be “minimal readiness impacts” and “minimal” costs, including coverage of medical care related to transitioning. As of his comments, transgender military members can no longer be discharged from the military because of their gender identity, he said.

What happened THIS morning, about a year later?

No study was conducted, no impact on medical costs ACTUALLY considered. There’s no need, because the United States government implemented the results of just such a study a year ago, when we had a president who was a touch more fastidious about the executive branch.

So why do it? Well, here’s the reason they gave a reporter when asked:

Oh. It’s an attempt to frame a wedge issue and split the Democratic party, and probably fires up Trumps more pious brown-shirts as well.

Human decency hasn’t mattered to the right for a long time, at least not the universal kind, but they used to have to at least pretend to give a shit about what’s true. Indeed, they would cast leftists as the dreamer out-of-touch types, contrasted with their rough, tell-hard-truths political philosophy. (“Black people are just genetically inferior, face facts libtard.” “Islam is a uniquely evil religion, and you can tell because most terrorists are Muslim, that’s just the way it is.” “We can’t afford anymore giant social programs, increasing the deficit is just too big a risk, so stop your fantasizing.” I could go on and on…)

In all cases, their insistence that THEY are the serious factual ones is an Orwellian word trick. Lies become their new tribal facts (deficits matter, black people are inferior, transgenders will hurt the military) and the truth becomes liberal propaganda/fake news. The transgender community is today’s victim in the GOP’s descent into a total and complete postmodern hellhole; which group will be next?

 

 

What Is Dead May Never Die

Squid monster
Above: One GOP staffer tasked with drafting sections of the Senate healthcare bill.

But rises again, crueler and stronger: 

Sen. John McCain, recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, will make a dramatic return to the Senate Tuesday to cast a critical vote on health care legislation.

McCain’s office announced Monday night that he would return Tuesday — a surprise to most in Washington who expected him to miss the crucial vote and return to Washington at a later date.
McCain is expected to get GOP leadership one vote closer to beginning debate on health care legislation, which is on the verge of collapsing.
Apart from being a reminder that fights for progress in this country are never truly won but always subject to attack by radicalized reactionaries and religious fundamentalists, I truly feel this event demonstrates a breath-taking and Shakespearean lack of humanity.
John McCain’s job, at one point in his life, was to drop bombs on people in a clearly genocidal and nonsensical war or US aggression. He was captured and tortured, and learned not one lasting lesson about the gravity and evil of war or the destructiveness of the US government’s foreign policy. Now, decades later, Death is looking him in the face in the form of a brain tumor. The prospect of his own mortality is likely firmly in his mind, the fear of which he shares with not just his country’s people but with much of evolved life itself.
Distracted as he is physically and mentally, threatened and afraid, this sick and elderly man is going to screw up enough will to drag himself onto an airplane, and fly to take a vote that ensures that the very same public he professes to serve will continue to lose sleep over how their families will be able to get medical care in the future. People will forego other expenses to take their kid to the doctor. They will pawn their jewelry and heirlooms, and never forgive themselves. They will cry and scream and rage in their lives because the threat of medical debt and painful death will drive them to it. Death will also look them in face, and John McCain will have shown Death to their doors.
The Capitol Hill switchboard is (202) 224-3121.