But Seriously: Mitch McConnell Is A Monster

And it’s getting more widely noticed…

Charlie Pierce:

There simply is no more loathsome creature walking the political landscape than the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. You have to go back to McCarthy or McCarran to find a Senate leader who did so much damage to democratic norms and principles than this yokel from Kentucky. Trump is bad enough, but he’s just a jumped-up real-estate crook who’s in over his head. McConnell is a career politician who knows full well what he’s doing to democratic government and is doing it anyway because it gives him power, and it gives the rest of us a wingnut federal judiciary for the next 30 years. There is nothing that this president* can do that threatens McConnell’s power as much as it threatens the survival of the republic, and that’s where we are.
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Christmas in the American Gulag

Matthew 2:16-18

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”

The Book of Trump:

An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in United States custody early Christmas Day, according to the United States Customs and Border Protection.

The boy died just after midnight on Tuesday at a hospital in Alamogordo, N.M.

Moral leadership:

In a Christmas morning question-and-answer session with reporters, President Trump touted his administration’s immigration policies and demanded further funding for a border wall. While he castigated migrants, the president did not bring up the boy’s death hours earlier.

I’m not going to belabor the obvious: we all know that America is led by monsters, and that it falls to us to do what we can, large or small, to beat them back.

Yeats’ “The Second Coming” has become almost a cliché, but its early lines, read as I choose to do now, are less a report than a challenge:

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

I don’t know if I’m the best (Narr: he’s not), but I hold this conviction absolutely: American concentration camps are evil.  And I feel my intensity rising: the House is just the beginning.

And with that, cherish those you love today — and my apologies for harshing the mellow of the season.

Images:  Peter Paul Rubens, The Massacre of the Innocents, 1612.

Jerg Ratgeb, Flight into Egypt, between 1515-1521.

 

 



Raw Venality Open Thread: When Your Only Instrument Is A Racist Dog Whistle…

Eventually, even the media stenographers start to lose patience:


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Late Night Pulped Friction: Whitey Bulger (Probably) Died As He Had Lived

The parenthetical in the title is because the first breathless news reports out of Bulger’s home town said that the corpse was ‘so badly beaten as to be unrecognizable’ — exactly the suspiciously B-movie detail that *would* finish a novelization of Whitey’s career. But the sordid truth seems to be that the old man was killed by a professional thug from the Massachusetts sticks, apparently in the hope that one more murder would bump up his own status among the other lifers.

And just as Bulger survived to be a very old man by playing various law enforcement agencies for a bunch of grubby bureaucrats equally torn between envy of their targets and burning hatred for their interbureau rivals, the circumstances of his death have left many questions that will bedevil the FBI and the US Bureau of Prisons.

The Boston Globe, no suprise, is going all out on Bulger’s life and death. (If it weren’t for the Red Sox victory parade, Whitey would probably have had the entire front page to himself.) And who could blame them, given such material?

James “Whitey” Bulger’s life played out like any number of the violent Hollywood movies it spawned, reflecting a Boston that is no more, when bookmakers and gangsters peopled the taverns of the city’s working-class neighborhoods; when the locals wouldn’t dream of turning in the neighborhood hoodlum; when gangland murders were commonplace; and when the FBI was so hellbent on taking out the Mafia that it helped gangsters like Mr. Bulger kill rivals and rise to the top of the Boston underworld.

Mr. Bulger, one of America’s most manipulative criminals who eluded prosecution for decades because he was protected by corrupt FBI agents, was killed Tuesday in a federal prison in West Virginia. He was 89 and was serving two life sentences for 11 murders.

Mr. Bulger was charismatic and vicious, well-read and heartless. He persuaded a Jesuit priest to serve as his parole sponsor, torched the Brookline birthplace of John F. Kennedy during antibusing strife, kept house with two women in different locations at the same time, and routinely took naps immediately after shooting people in the head. He loved animals, crying over a puppy being put down, yet secretly buried at least six of his victims, denying their loved ones the bodies…

In his teens, James Bulger ran away with the circus, and when he returned home he took up with a much older woman who was a stripper in a traveling burlesque show. The stripper scandalized Mr. Bulger’s mother by sending him postcards from the road.

Mr. Bulger’s propensity for rule-breaking graduated to crime. He was a tailgater — stealing off the backs of trucks that took goods from the freighters on the South Boston waterfront.

In a neighborhood where hardly anyone had a car, he had one. When he wasn’t driving around town with his Jayne Mansfield-lookalike girlfriend Jacquie McAuliffe, Mr. Bulger often scouted for opportunities — not necessarily for crime, but to buff his credentials as a hoodlum with a heart of gold.
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Good News: Rep. Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King’s Re-Election Is Under Threat


 
I’ve said for years that Steve King seemed to take pride in being the most out’n’proud racist in Congress — whenever another Repub rep said or did something particularly vile, ‘Cantaloupe Calves’ King would rush to top them. But his position was impregnable, per conventional wisdom, because the agribusinesses located in his district gave him unlimited funds to remind the local racists to vote for him. That may finally be changing…


 
Full props to Judd Legum for leading this protest:


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