Ignorance Is Strength

Day #155: the childish outburst continues:

The most interesting thing about this comparison is that Trump equates Clinton’s “collusion” with the Democratic Party to his campaign’s collusion with a hostile foreign power. Unintentionally revealing!

Shortly after that tweet, Trump sat for a tuggie an interview with Fox & Friends’ Pete Hegseth and elaborated on his bizarre complaint yesterday that President Obama didn’t stop the Russians from sleazing him (Trump) into office:

Note that Trump, who has received the most highly classified intel for many months now, claims he just learned this from the Washington Post story published last week. As Stelter rightly points out, the WaPo story inspired debate about whether PBO should have done more to counter Russian interference, not whether he addressed it at all.

As Stelter says, everyone has known for months — before the vote — that the Russians interfered with the election; only Trump and his surrogates have consistently denied it. PBO took action against the Russians for it, and we know Trump knows that too, since he has removed or attempted to remove every sanction placed on the Russians. Trump even kissed Putin’s ass shortly before the inauguration, praising the Russians for demurring on a response to PBO’s sanctions and providing a wink-wink signal that the sanctions would be short-lived:

Fox Friend Hegseth didn’t follow up because that’s not the role of the state propaganda organ’s presenter. Trump is counting on brazen lies and the inversion of observed reality at every turn to carry the day. Why not? It’s worked so far.



Flake News

I think whether the Obama administration should have revealed the extent and intent of Russian meddling prior to the election is a legit question. But not from this fucking guy:

Good Christ. What we have here, fellow citizens, is a creature utterly devoid of any beliefs, strategy or principles — just a dim, gelatinous hairball lashing out at anything that threatens his extra-dainty, super-fragile ego.

And the biggest threat to Trump’s self-regard is the very existence of Barack Obama, a man who is effortlessly and obviously Trump’s superior in every conceivable way. That drives Trump batshit crazy.

Trump will do anything to ameliorate the threat to his self-esteem — anything to obliterate his better’s accomplishments. Wreck the healthcare system. Throw the immigration process into turmoil. Screw his own base. Sow chaos in congress. Toss his subordinates under the bus. Undercut his own messaging strategies.

Nothing is too nonsensical, self-destructive or reckless. Buckle up.



Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus

Trump’s exchange this morning with Fox News “reporter” Ainsley Earhardt (approximately one minute in) is fascinating, in the sense that the visual effects of the aerodynamic heating of an asteroid hurtling toward the planet would be briefly interesting:

Not gonna click? I don’t blame you. I wish I hadn’t seen it. To summarize, Trump brags that he tweeted about non-existent tapes to intimidate a witness, James Comey. As we know, Comey subsequently cited that incident as the reason he arranged the release of memos in a successful bid to get a special counselor involved in the investigation of Russian election meddling.

We know this investigation, which grew exponentially more serious once a special counselor became involved, is eating Trump up. It has prompted White House aides to take extraordinary measures to keep Trump from exploding, including morning play-dates to distract Trump from cable news coverage and keep him from obstructing the investigation even more.

But in the clip above, Earhardt calls the witness intimation tweet “smart,” and Trump agrees that it “wasn’t very stupid.” Even though it blew up in his fucking face worse than any Acme product ever maimed Wile E. Coyote.

I guess Earhardt was this morning’s play-date. And really, you couldn’t have found a more likely specimen if you created an amalgam of every woman Trump ever hoped to grope.

I sincerely hope the folks who are orchestrating these charades are as rattled, anxious and enraged as their boss.



Só Tinha de Ser Com Você

The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding hearings today about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. WaPo has an overview, but it’s nothing we didn’t know or suspect.

Summary: The interference was aggressive and unprecedented. At least 21 states were targeted — maybe more. There was also a massive propaganda element designed to sandbag Clinton and promote Trump, who naturally isn’t concerned about it.

When news like this makes me want to reverse engineer a shop-vac so I can shotgun several gallons of bourbon, what I do instead of that is either go traipsing around in the woods or listen to music like this:

Highly recommended!



Shallow Roots (Open Thread)

Check out this cypress tree on the bank of the Suwannee River. It’s an old tree. That particular stretch of the river has had two “hundred-year” floods in the past eight years:

But the tree endures — so far — because of its unique root structure. It has adapted to living in a flood-prone area, something non-tree Floridians are also going to have to do.

Late-ish to the party, but here are a couple of luke-warm takes on last night’s special election losses:

1) After President Obama was elected in 2008, Democrats won seven consecutive special House races, retaining six seats and flipping one GOP seat to a Democrat. In 2010, the Democrats lost the House in a wave election. Just saying.

2) Via Stephanie (@echo_fish) on Twitter, Anna Maltese posted a message from a friend who is a political organizer. It’s required reading for anyone who is feeling Eeyorish today, IMO:

Trump, his odious sons, his liars for hire, et al, utterly devoid of humility or grace, are taking the classless victory laps you’d expect this morning. Good! Let them think narrowly retaining four seats in solid red districts means they don’t have to worry about 2018.

But we know the truth: There are no saviors, there is only working hard to change things. We’ve made significant progress. Now is not the time to get discouraged.

I know it’s hard. Progress is being rolled back. Outrageous shit is being done in our names. Truly ghoulish, horrible people are reveling in their assumed ascendancy. People who imagine themselves Trump’s opposites are just as brazenly spinning these results for their own purposes.

But the one sure way they win is if we cede the field. I refuse.

Now, feel free to discuss any topic — open thread!



GA-06 Election Night Result open thread

There is always an XKCD, always….

And here is the one for tonight’s election results from Georgia’s 6th District:

Open thread



Duck & Cover (Open Thread)

I took a road trip to the northern part of the state this weekend to visit my old grandma. Along the way, I saw this lovely wood duck:

Such a fancy head and markings! Here’s another shot of him, this time paddling toward me:

Interesting piece by Rebecca Traister: Can the New Activist Passion of Suburban White Women Change American Politics? She spent some time in the Georgia 6th with the women who are trying to get Ossoff elected. Here’s an excerpt:

Ann White, 63, is a former speech pathologist, the mother of teenagers, and a Democrat married to a Republican; she’s never been active in electoral politics before. “I just assumed that Hillary would win,” she said of the 2016 election. As the realization that Clinton had not won began to sink in, she felt herself changing. “The profanity filter on my mouth totally went away,” White said, describing a phone call days after the election with a like-minded friend from California. “I lost it, and my kids turned around and went ‘Whoa!’ Because they’ve never heard me say the F-word before.” White began to weigh the responsibility of taking a stand, “for people of color, for those who cannot afford health insurance, who are lesbian, gay and transgender, for immigrants. I’m a white older woman. There’s a lot of old white people that are [on the Republican] side right now. Well, I’m an old white person and I can be vocal too.”

[snip]

Women, said Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s House Minority Leader and a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, “understand that this has to be the beginning of something, regardless of what happens on Tuesday night. Because they’ve seen, for the first time, the real consequences of inaction. So you have women who are waking up and seeing that they don’t have the luxury of going back to sleep.” Abrams, who if elected in 2018 would be the nation’s first African-American woman governor, continued, “Among African-American women there’s been a long consistency of action, which has moved our communities closer and closer to political power over time. What you’re seeing in the suburbs now is a version of that. It is louder and more vibrant [right now] because there’s an election to circle around, but it’s not unlike black women who fought for civil rights, and women throughout the South who have pushed back on narratives about who we are and what we’re capable of accomplishing.”

The whole thing is worth a read. I’ve heard folks here and elsewhere express pessimism. Ossoff can’t win. We’ll never take back the House. Plutocratic influence and the conservative propaganda machine are too strong to counter. The election of Trump means all is lost.

I’ve succumbed to that brand of pessimism myself occasionally. It’s okay to lose faith from time to time; that’s what separates people who are capable of considering new information and imagining a variety of possibilities from closed-minded zealots.

But regardless, we’ve got to keep fighting. The people dragging us backward want us to feel dispirited and helpless. If that makes you angry, the best way to give them the bird is to keep resisting.

PS: I made my daily call this morning to Senator Bill Nelson to urge him to oppose the super-secret Obamacare repeal bill, which he will. Also called Lil’ Marco to register my objections to his upcoming cave on that same bill. All lines were busy. That’s a good sign.