From humorist Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, 6 May:
Trump Furious That Another Baby Is Getting All the Attention
“The choice is simple. We can stand up to this President in defence of the country and the constitution and the liberty we love, or we can let the moment pass us by. And we have seen what happens in other countries when they let the moment pass by. I do not know what Attorney-General Barr will choose. I do not know what my Republican colleagues will choose. But I am certain there is no way forward for this country that does not include a reckoning with this clear and present danger.”
The War of the Words
Thus, Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, declaring war on the Trump regime over its refusal to co-operate with House inquiries into the Mueller report, Barr’s lies and Trump’s taxes.
Nadler gave Barr two days in which to comply with requests for further explanation of why he fudged and lied about the report before he had even read it, but Barr failed to show up, saying he had better things to do. Democrats have held him to be in contempt, although no proceedings have been initiated.
A constitutional standoff is ensuing, with deadlines looming for more evidence and disclosure, the refusal of the White House to allow any now or previous staff to comply with Congress’ demands, and mounting numbers of Trump’s favorite distraction, pointless but time-consuming law suits pending.
It’s all a bit like the climate emergency, everyone knows it’s real but no-one really wants to think it so nothing is done. Doing something is an admission of responsibility for an unknown future that most people can’t imagine ever arriving. The Mueller report was utterly damning, but it’s easier to hang on to Barr’s lies than admit America is in the power of international gangster-capitalists, as evidenced by Trump’s hour-long suck-up phone call to Putin on Thursday – and to try to do anything about it by taking decisive legal actions, including arrests.)
So, Trump spokesmouth, Sarah Sanders has described Nadler as “pathetic”, and called for him to resign, while House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has accused Barr outright of lying to Congress – an impeachable offence. “What could possibly be motivating the attorney-general of the United States to disrespect the constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, the right of Congress to know?” she asked at a press conference on Capitol Hill this week.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, reports The Guardian, has warned that Barr’s theory of Trump’s innocence, that he couldn’t be guilty of obstruction if there was no crime in the first place – a stance repudiated by vast numbers of legal specialists – puts the country on a “road to tyranny”.
And meanwhile, floppy-haired former White House Counsel, Don McGahn, who gave more than 30 hours testimony to the Mueller team, is under subpoena to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on 7 May. Trump has ordered him not to go, which looks to most observers very much like witness tampering as McGahn is no longer a Government employee.
Mueller however still is, technically. Thus Mr Trump is apparently within his rights to silence him. Which he is doing, ordering him not to testify on the grounds that Mueller owes him “two years” of his presidency back; while the Attorney General has declared the investigation is over, leaving 37 per cent of voters convinced of the president’s innocence. With one bound, he was free.
Whether the war of words between the White House and Capitol Hill will descend into something even uglier this week will have to be seen: Republicans inevitably are accusing Democrats of conspiracy, while Trump, still under 16 other criminal investigations, clings to the Barr view that the Mueller probe was a waste of $34 million (unlike the $100 million bill for his golfing excursions) and just a “hoax”.
Has anyone else been getting interference with their electronic communications recently? Like a lot of intermittent buzzing on the lines of their digital devices? Is it solar flares or just a Chinese conspiracy?
We need more information.
It pours but it never arraigns
370 former federal prosecutors have signed a letter saying Trump would be charged with obstruction if he wasn’t president – on the basis of the Mueller report.
While Trump honored his friend, Tiger “Tom” Woods, in the Rose Garden, Treasury Secretary Steve “Stephen” Mnuchkin was telling Congress he had no intention of honoring their legal subpoena to release Trump’s tax records.
And Attorney-General William Barr was refusing to release an unredacted version of the Mueller report even to top-level security-cleared specialists on the Congressional Security committee.
A massive constitutional crisis is brewing.
And all to protect the arch-criminal in the White House. Why would anyone do that?
Absolutely no inference of innocence is surely now possible. He must be arrested immediately.
But of course, no-one has the guts to do it. After all, he is The President!
These pathetic Americans and their worship of authority is repulsive to all free men. They would rather a filthy, lying criminal sat in the White House, continuing to commit treasonous offences, than have to admit to what they elected and drag him out in chains.
PS the “chains” metaphor is not a metaphor. It is a deliberate reference to the accusation that the undocumented migrants Trump uses illegally as cheap labor at his trashy golfing resorts are expected to work overtime for nothing.
Is he insane or just monumentally stupid?
Sunday, and Trump’s wee thumbs have been busy announcing three more things:
One, trade talks with China are going “historically” well. Another high-level delegation from Beijing with a caravan of 100 retainers is due in Washington shortly. Two, he is slapping new tariffs on another $200 million worth of Chinese goods, just to teach them a lesson. Three, he believes the tariffs are costing China bigly and are responsible for his great economic figures. (The latest tariffs announcement sent markets plunging again.)
The Washington Post is scratching its head today. Chinese consumers and industry do not pay the tariffs, American consumers and manufacturers do. The higher price is on the American side, not on the Chinese. Tariffs merely make exports less competitive, but in the case of trade with China there are, presumably, fewer American manufacturers competing in the first place as they make all their stuff, like Trump’s MAGA hats and Ivanka’s whatever, ego, in China, where their costs are now 25% higher. That is how tariffs work.
This has been pointed out, I imagine, to Mr Trump time and time again, and he still does not seem to get it.
Others may or may not have pointed out, too, to the Great Mind Without Which, that the Stock Market is not the economy, that job numbers always uptick in the spring, that low unemployment is a curious feature of the generally sluggish global economy currently – we have record employment here in Britain too, despite all those immigrants – that the increase in jobs began under and has continued rising since Obama, and that (doubtless, economists will start to realize) hugely costly extreme weather events in the US, floods and wildfires have contributed mightily to that 3.2% GDP growth, that Trump’s capricious trade and immigration policies have actually cost tens of thousands of blue-collar jobs* and that his fiscal policy has benefited, literally, only the top 1% of the population, taxes having actually increased for the “squeezed middle” majority who may soon also be losing all or much of their entitlement to insured healthcare.
Meanwhile, in another tweet Trump blasted the New York court for initiating an investigation into financial improprieties at the National Rifle Association. The NRA put around $70 million into his and the Republicans’ 2016 campaign and he’s clearly concerned they may not be able to repeat the trick this time.
No-one seems particularly concerned that $30 million of that general political spending came allegedly from donors in Russia, thanks to the efforts of the spy, Maria Butina, who infiltrated the organization and is now serving an 18-month jail sentence. Otherwise, says The Guardian, the NRA has announced financial losses of $64 million. In other words, their political campaigning to ensure that Second Amendment rights keep the dumbfucks buying their beautiful AR-15s has all-but bankrupted them.
The Pumpkin expects, however, that the American people will notice that here is yet another egregious example of Trump’s utter disdain for the rule of law.
It is far from the only time Trump, himself an “unindicted co-conspirator” facing 16 separate criminal investigations, has blasted the Justice Department for licensing police enquiriess in cases of suspected criminal activity, merely on the grounds that he personally doesn’t think the suspects have done anything wrong, that he doesn’t approve of or that doesn’t benefit him.
Five more years!
Former CIA man turned author and TV pundit, Malcolm Nance – who says he has read it twice – makes a great point about the Mueller report.
It didn’t even start to look into whether or not Trump is a compromised Russian asset, and what his financial relationships are with Russian banks. It focussed purely on the issue of collusion.
Having previously taken a cavalier attitude to the prospect of Mueller testifying to the House Judiciary Committee, Trump is now panicking and has attempted to order Mueller not to attend.
*ProPublica reports that compared against Trump’s claim that he has created 8.9 million new jobs since taking office, when carefully examined the actual figure (attributable to his policy of interfering in corporate decision-making) is 792.
The Washington Post reports, the cost of ‘new’ jobs in the steel industry thanks to tariffs has been $600,000 – each.
Filthy scumbag politics #1
“Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has joined the board of a company that operates the largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children in the US.
“CBS News reported on Friday that Kelly is now a member of the board of directors at Caliburn International, the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services. The latter is the only private company operating migrant shelters. (Yes, Trump has found a way to monetize his filthy crimes against humanity.)
“Kelly previously oversaw the implementation of Donald Trump’s hardline immigration practices while serving as the department of homeland security secretary during the first six months of the administration. He then served as Trump’s chief of staff from July of 2017 until his resignation last December.
“During his time at the White House, Kelly was a forceful advocate of restricting even legal immigration and supported the president’s policy of separating families at the US-Mexico border.”
(The Pumpkin apologizes profusely, he has lost the reference to this extract.)
A 3-star general, supposedly a man of honor, now profiting not only from his former position but from the misery and terror of hundreds of fleeing families, child abuse, General Filthy was imported to the White House as one of the “adults in the room”, a Chief of Staff who would restrain Trump’s wilder and more baseless impulses.
And so it proved, for a while at least.
Within months, however, he went native and, after a shameful public spat with a Florida congresswoman in which he accused her falsely of lying about comments Trump had made to one of her constituents whose husband had been killed in a terrorist ambush in Niger, and seemed instead to traduce the memory of his own son, killed by an IED in Afghanistan, he was reported to have remarked that even very young childen separated from their mothers at the border were being taken “wherever”, as if he really didn’t care.
He subsequently lied on many occasions that he had nothing to do with the policy, which has led to more than 1500 children going untraced, possibly never to be reunited with their families. But that’s okay, because they are, according to Kelly’s master, only animals.
And then he had the gall to joke that working at the White House was the worst job he had ever had.
What a fucking corrupt, lying little monster this decrepit apology for a man has turned out to be. And how true it is, that everything and anyone Trump touches turns to shit.
Jacob Wohl is an American far-right conspiracy theorist, fraudster, and internet troll. He was formerly an online blogger and a columnist for the website The Gateway Pundit. (Wikipedia)
Born: 12 December 1997 (age 21 years)
Parents: David Wohl
Filthy scumbag politics #2
“Bumbling conservative provocateur Jacob Wohl pitched investors this spring on a scheme to use fraudulent news stories to manipulate political betting markets, according to a fundraising document obtained by The Daily Beast.
“The document indicates that Wohl attempted to raise $1 million to fund the Arlington Center for Political Intelligence, which he claimed would ‘make shit up’ to profit from bets on political races and would suppress Democratic turnout in 2020.”
I feel sure investors seeking a sound home for their hard-earned savings would jump at the opportunity to “make shit up”, it improves the smell of money 100 per cent.
The Beast also reported:
“Last November, Wohl and GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman were involved in a botched attempt to smear Special Counsel Robert Mueller with trumped-up sexual-assault allegations. Their press conference turned comical when the purported victim failed to show up … the woman … later accused them of making it all up.”
To carry the scam out, Wohl created a false-front online organization of made-up former intelligence officers, all of whom turned out to be himself.
Young Mr Wohl’s masterstroke was the conspiracy theory that a Democratic staffer, Seth Rich, who died after a street mugging, was in fact murdered on the orders of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, to silence him over the other conspiracy theory, that they were operating a pedophile ring out of the (non-existent) basement of the Comet PingPong cafe popular with Democratic staffers in Washington. 40% of Americans polled said they believed it.
Then there was the speech he gave at the CPAC Conservative conference, in which he claimed Democratic Muslim congresswoman, Ilhan Omar was married to her own brother (TYT), and many other scams of the kind, designed to wreck people’s careers and lives and to so muddy the waters that Trump shoots through the sewer into another four years of profitable mayhem.
So, what has this nasty little piece of attention-seeking Trumpian excrement scraped from the bottom of the Golden Bowl been up to now?
Well, the Daily Beast reports, he has been going around, propositioning gay young Republicans to testify falsely that they were sexually assaulted by Pete Buttigeig, the openly gay Democratic candidate hoping to run in the primaries for the 2020 election. But they caught him on tape.
When his first mark refused to co-operate, Wohl wrote a tweet apparently on behalf of another young man, and when that guy tried to recant, he got his dad, David Wohl, to post it on his Twitter account. (Little Jacob is banned from the platform).
The victim, college student Hunter Kelly recorded part of the conversation. He has since had to go on Twitter himself to deny that he made the allegation, but not before it was already widely circulating on alt-right media.
Many people are asking why the little shithead Wohl isn’t in prison, as so much of what he is doing involves making up the same kind of false criminal allegations as almost got TV actor Jussie Smollett banged up last month over inventing a racist attack, although that case was dropped.
In the post-truth era, it’s getting harder and harder to get justice or recantation against the liars. They just make more shit up, and on we all go, in a foul-smelling cloud of unknowing.
The FBI is apparently looking into it, but slowly. Commentators warn, it’s only a matter of time before one or other of Wohl’s vicious conspiracy theories crosses the amplification barrier of Trumpian media like InfoWars, 4chan or Fox & Friends and makes it onto the agenda as a serious discussion on CNN or ABC, where it could achieve devastating credibility.
Prepare however for more of the same. The 2020 election promises to be the filthiest scumbag politics you will ever have witnessed or read about in history books. It’s only just beginning.
Postscriptum, or filthy scumbag politics #3
Tweeting out more than 60 times in one day, poor crazy Mr Trump has intervened directly on behalf of his friend, the insane, bellowing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the antisemitic Black Nationalist Islamic leader Louis Farrakhan, the floppy-haired gay homophobe Milo Yannopoulos and other scumbag fascists whose Facebook accounts have been suspended for spreading hate speech and lies. CNN reported:
“The president shared more than a dozen tweets about the subject on Friday night and Saturday morning. And he conveniently avoided the fact that some of the banned users are extremists who make a living by deceiving their fans.
“His posts were a rallying cry, full of resentment toward Big Tech. He said “It’s getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!”
Not once has Mr Trump voluntarily breathed a word of criticism against these self-publicizing neoNazi vermin who have crawled out from under their rocks preaching fear and hatred and violence and lies ever since he got elected. He delights in enabling and promoting extremism and (most) acts of terrorism committed by white supremacists, which he knows excites his Evangelical base as they pray daily for the Final Battle against Islam, Armageddon, and the Rapture.
Oh, but then he bitterly lashed out at the Firefighters’ Union of America, whom he had been hailing as America’s finest only moments earlier, on National Firefighters’ Day, for endorsing the Democrat candidate, Joe Biden. Nazi extremists are many good people, but firefighters aren’t, apparently. In fact, he was pretty insulting. Hopefully they’ll let the White House burn, no-one in it needs rescuing, they’re all Heaven-bound.
Among the storm of his tweets, most of which attacked the Mueller probe, claiming total exoneration and demanding apologies from the “Left Wing Media” for ever doubting him, hailing his wonderful relationships with his friend Putin and the tubby little serial-killer, Kim Jong-un, praising the stunning miracle of “his” economy, that has brought more untold wealth to the top 1%, was this, for National Prayer Day:
“On this day of prayer, we once again place our hopes in the hands of our Creator. We give thanks for this wondrous land of liberty, & we pray that THIS nation – OUR home – these United States – will forever be strengthened by the Goodness and the Grace & the eternal GLORY OF GOD!”
Mad as a box of poisonous jungle frogs, and twice as dangerous.
Filthy scumbag politics #4
“A candidate to serve as an MEP for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party once praised a colleague for using a Nazi slogan in the European parliament and has a history of using vulgar and obscene language about women in social media posts.
“John Tennant, who according to polls is expected to win a seat in the European parliament as one of Farage’s three candidates in the north-east, also made references to being intoxicated and suggested that Liverpool fans were criminals.
“In other cases, Tennant made a joke in which he referred to sex acts involving a young girl.”
I’m going to assume for the sake of the rest that the report in The Guardian, based on excavation of Tennant’s fairly recent Facebook pages, is not just Fake Nooze cooked up to discredit this slimeball – one of many nutters Farage has attracted to his absurd single-issue party, for which the fish porters of Sunderland seem more than inclined to vote, imagining that it will soon form a government and raise their standard of living immeasurably, while restoring Britain’s greatness, sticking two fingers up at Froggy and lowering the price of fish.
A spokesthing for the soi-disant “Brexit” party dismissed the report as “low-grade stuff” and “offence archaeology”, which has at least made a welcome-ish contribution to our rapidly accelerating stock of neologistic figures of speech.
Assiduous readers across the media spectrum will of course recall that one of Nigel’s chief preoccupations while serving as three-times leader of the now alt-right, overtly racist fringe UKIP party, whose officers probably outnumber their voters, was kicking out members whose extreme views and insane statements were making the party unelectable.
Such is the calibre of the blowflies that Farage attracts around himself, that several controversial Brexit officers have already been politely asked to seek help elsewhere.
Nevertheless, despite the preponderance of self-seeking publicity whores like the preposterous former Tory MP, Ann Widdecombe, the polls are showing that Brexit has a decent margin and is expected to win – in the sense that in a multinational assembly, any single national party can win – the European Parliament elections at the end of the month.
(You know, the same European Parliament that relies for its existence on a functioning democracy which the well-expensed Farage wants to keep on pretending does not exist in relation to Britain’s interests, which he of course alone represents. How stupid exactly is the British electorate?)
Proving that too many British voters have become as ignorant, crass, self-centred and insensible – and as apparently indifferent to their own fate and happy to be screwed over by the very rich – as any MAGA-hat wearing cretin in the base of Trump’s dumbfucks.
GW: and the beast goes on
India: With winds gusting to 205 km/h, Cyclone Fani is officially the strongest storm to hit the Indian Ocean coast since 1999, with widespread flooding. Although weakening, the gigantic cyclone is pushing up to Kalkota and on into the Ganges Delta, in Bangladesh, where over 2 million people have been evacuated. 12 people are known to have died so far. Winds from the huge storm have extended far inland and are being blamed for blowing tents away at Camp 2 on Mount Everest. There’s a warning of heavy rains and snow as far away as Nepal. (Times of India) As Fani stalls only a few miles inland, The Weather Channel adds: “Updated surge guidance Friday shows the potential for around 4 meters (13 feet) of storm surge atop astronomical tides along the concave coast of far northeast Odisha state …”
Prof. Paul Beckwith of Ottawa U. reports, the track of Cyclone Fani (pron. ‘Foni’) was a highly unusual one, being a rare storm that started south of the equator where the northerly east-west Coriolis force falls to zero, and then somehow moved north and east.
Aftermath: The Indian government and the UN have praised the response to Cyclone Fani, the vast evacuation of around 3 million people in total, that kept casualties to a minimum. Even so, Al Jazeera reports, 21 people in India and another 34 in neighbouring Bangladesh were killed, and rescuers have yet to reach outlying communities.
USA: Believe it or not, more “Scattered severe thunderstorms will continue to flare up from Texas into parts of the mid-Atlantic through late week, producing damaging wind gusts, large hail and potentially a few tornadoes. Heavy rainfall from these storms could also trigger flash flooding. Rain and thunderstorms will continue to roll through the southern Plains Friday. A few strong to severe thunderstorms, along with locally heavy rainfall, will also move through the Ohio Valley into parts of the mid-Atlantic Friday.” (The Weather Channel).
Floodlist (Copernicus) reports, 4 May: 2 fatalities were reported in separate incidents in Oklahoma. Quoting the National Weather Service, the Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers are forecast to reach moderate or major flood stage at many locations. Parts of the Mississippi River have already reached record levels. ABC News reports more than 50 tornadoes touched down in 24 hours across Texas and Arkansas, tearing off roofs and bringing down trees. Central Texas also saw torrential rain, just about 10 inches over 24 hours in places near Austin. SkyNews 7 is reporting on rivers flooding as far east as Chicago. And ABC reports, another series of destructive storms is in the forecast for next week.
South America: Rescue teams in Bolivia are searching for 3 people missing in a landslide that occurred in the capital, La Paz on 30 April. Over 400 people were left homeless as houses collapsed. Many parts of Bolivia have seen higher than average rainfall during April. (Floodlist) 30 people died in events involving heavy rainfall in Bolivia between January and March.
Australia: a massive belt of storms pushing up through the SE into Queensland has dumped over 100 mm of rain in places. At the same time – remembering next month is midwinter in the southern hemisphere – temperatures up in the NW corner around Broome are in the high 30s C, high 90s F.
Various news outlets are reporting, a number of Australian cities are facing acute water shortages after years of drought. Many reservoirs are down to 50% of their capacity, close to the levels at which restrictions are applied.
Europe: “A very intense (and historically unprecedented for May) Arctic front is moving south across Europe this weekend (3-5 May) and is expected to bring unusually low temperatures, snow and dangerous frost into some vulnerable areas (as far south as North Africa) on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Some areas could experience morning temperatures well below zero, which would be potentially devastating for vineyards and agriculture. Overall, very cold days are expected across much of the continent through mid-next week, while it remains mild and warm across the Iberian peninsula.” (Severe-weather.eu)