Crisis Actors

We already knew the National Rifle Association laundered Russian money and spent $30 million to elect the corrupt and incompetent Trump and millions more to stock Congress with spineless toadies like Marco Rubio. This ensures that a dwindling cohort of gun-humping nutbags prevail in policy decisions over the will of the American people.

Now there’s proof that the gun manufacturers’ lobbying organization actively works with crackpots to harass and defame survivors of the inevitable massacres that occur as a result of those policies. Via The Post:

In the week after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 students and staff members and renewing calls for gun control, the National Rifle Association fell silent.

But the day after the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting, an NRA training coordinator based at the group’s headquarters in Fairfax, Va., sprang into action behind the scenes. He sought information countering the official version of the grisly, and familiar, events, which involved a lone gunman and a legally purchased firearm.

For support, he turned to Wolfgang Halbig, a conspiracy theorist intent on proving that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 26 students and staff members dead in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax.

“You have included me with a lot of Information since the Sandy Hook Incident and I do appreciate it very much,” the NRA coordinator, Mark Richardson, wrote on Feb. 15, 2018, according to emails published by HuffPost on Wednesday. “Concerning what happened in Florida yesterday, I have been asking the question and no one else seems to be asking it.”

He pushed the deluded idea that the gunman, a former student at the school, had not acted alone, posing questions about how he had gained entry and where he had kept his equipment…

In a sane country, it past misdeeds would have already made the NRA more toxic than a Chernobyl urinal cake, and no politician would dare accept a dime from it for fear of massive constituent backlash. In this country, not only do Republicans at every level continue to eagerly accept millions from this vile propaganda outfit, the current Republican president spoke at its convention last year, and he and his VP invited one of the blood-gargling sociopaths who lead the NRA to the White House immediately after the Parkland massacre to weigh in on policy, if not write drafts of legislation outright.

I understand the House Democrats are busy sifting through the mountainous evidence of the Trump administration’s unprecedented corruption. But I do hope they find the time to investigate and expose the NRA’s financial malfeasance and psychotic attempts to foment hatred toward victims in its fanatical cult following. Wiping that wretched hive of scum and villainy from the political landscape would not only strike a blow for good governance, it would be a favor to humanity.



His Picture Is NOT In The Dictionary Next To “Good Lawyer”

The incredible unveiling of Rudy Giuliani, Ace Defense Counsel™ continues apace, as Talking Points Memo documents:

After Giuliani claimed on Sunday that Trump never signed a letter of intent for the project, CNN obtained a copy of the letter, which contained Trump’s signature. [link in the original]

Chris Cuomo actually had the gall, the infinite gall, to brandish the signed letter, complete w. Donald Trump’s self-implicating scrawl, on live camera!  What’s an Ace Defense Counsel™ to do?

Never fear, never flinch, and always remember the last refuge of the fidelity-challenged: “who you going to believe, me, or your lying eyes.”

In the interview with the Daily News, Giuliani refused to acknowledge that he told CNN Sunday that “no one signed the letter.”

“I don’t think I said nobody signed it,” Giuliani told the Daily News.

Ummm.  Rudy.  There is videotape!

Anyway, says Ace Defense Counsel™, what’s a little light conflict of interest.  Seriously, folks, what do you expect a perpetually-skating-the-edge-of-bankruptcy to do?  And who the f**k cares anyway?

But Giuliani argued during an interview with New York Daily News that the letter is “bullshit because it didn’t go anywhere.” [link in the original]

According to this line of analysis by our Ace Defense Counsel™, if an attempted coition fails to reach fruition, it don’t count.   That is, one can remain mostly virginal, as long as you don’t fully enjoy yourself.

This is funny.  It really is.  It would be more so, of course, if it wasn’t so damn serious, if this weren’t the state of affairs that emerges when small time and stupid crooks wield enormous power.

But even as we live in fear for our selves, our republic, and the world…we can still take unfeigned pleasure at the sight of Rudy Noun-Verb-911 Giuliani showing himself to everyone being what New Yorkers have known for a long time: a Flatbush fugazi.
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Images:  Jean de Paleologu, Poster for Loïe Fuller at the Folies Bergère, 1897.
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Albrecht Cuyp, Cows in a River, c. 1650


Jesus Wept…While The GOP Laughed

I hope I never have enough snark in me to snark at this:

A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally with her father and a large group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.

This child was in CBP custody for more than eight hours before she started seizing.  When someone finally checked her out, they found that

she “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.”…

…An initial diagnosis by physicians at El Paso’s Providence Hospital listed the cause of death as septic shock, fever and dehydration, CBP said.

The quoted official response centers on a lie:

“Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances…”

If they had done so, of course, she and all the refugees in her group would have received water in less than one third of a day.

The warehousing and brutalization of refugees is being done in our name, by people and an infrastructure at the border that is at best ill-equipped and insufficient for the task, and at worse, deliberately engaged in a campaign of exemplary mistreatment designed to décourager les autres.

So children die. In the care and under the “protection” of the US government; our government.  As a result of a policy that uses neglect as a tool of border enforcement.

This policy, this explicit choice is Donald Trump’s. But it is far from his alone. The GOP controls Congress. It could have chosen not to be party to the misery and sorrows unto death.  It did not.

Every Republican in national office is complicit.  All of them share in this tragedy, and the others we’ve heard about and the (likely) many more we haven’t.  The moral stain on America as a whole ain’t fading anytime soon, and the reckoning won’t even be able to begin until the GOP as it is now constituted goes the way of the Confederate States of America.

Last thought: I note we are in the midst of the holiday season, the culmination of which, as conservatives hasten to remind us, is the day on which Christians remember the birth of the Prince of Peace. What Babies Would Jesus Starve?

Image: Albrecht Dürer, Christ as the Man of Sorrows, c. 1493.



John Bolton Is Worried About His War

Donald Trump says he told John Bolton when he hired him as National Security Advisor, “No, no wars.” But Bolton is a smart man who knows how to operate in the government to get his way. And his way is unabated hostility to the rest of the world. He has recently condemned the International Court of Justice. He supported the Iraq war. He is an advocate of preventive war against Iran and North Korea.

But the Jamal Khashoggi murder is standing in the way of a war against Iran. John Bolton must be sad. And, probably, working hard to find a way through this crisis. Read more



The Laughter

The Wall Street Journal has a headline tonight.

Trigger warning: Talk about rape below the fold. I find this very upsetting myself.

Read more