Month: January 2017

So it’s the Ice Queen’s Kid?

So, Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch, the daughter of Anne Gor butsuch Burford, known as the “Ice Queen” by her staff during her brief tenure as the worst head ever of the EPA, is Donald Trump’s selection to replace Antonin Scalia.

I’m glad that the speculation is over, because the speculation had some of the stupidest sh%$ ever written, such as this paean to the alleged brilliance of Clarence Thomas, but this guy is actually to the right of Scalia, particularly with regard to administrative rulings.

The Democrats are promising a filibuster, but, true to form, the right wing Democrats upon which the establishment lavishes so much aid, are already lining up to knife the party in the back.

WV Senator Joe Manchin (Father of the Epipen profiteer) has already announced that he will not filibuster the appointment, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp has pretty much said as much.

The Republicans have threatened to nuke the filibuster, but they will do so eventually anyway.

If your Democratic Senator votes for cloture, don’t vote for them for reelection.  They don’t deserve your vote.

Yeah, She Does Look Like a Terrorist

Trump Spokesthug Kellyanne Conway thinks that its silly for her to go not to breeze through airport checkpoints because she doesn’t look like a terrorist. (Translation: White people are never terrorists)

Not so much:

Maybe it is because I am part Irish, or because I am flying to Dublin this week to present at the Trinity Economic Forum, but Kellyanne Conway’s claim that though she does not “resemble” any “terrorist,” she has to go through security checks at airports, stunned me. Given her name and looks, that struck me as a bizarre statement. Surely, she must “resemble” some of the IRA terrorists. It took me four minutes of research to find an Irish terrorist that she resembles.

This is a photo of Conway.

Now, we all know what she means when she says that she does not “resemble” a terrorist – she does not look like her origins were the Middle East.  She looks like her family origins were in Northern Europe.  (Yes, I know, we all share African origins.)  Her family name was “Fitzpatrick” prior to her marriage.  Her dad was Irish and her mom Italian.  She went to Catholic schools.

It is no surprise, therefore, that she closely resembles terrorists.  Conway (nee Fitzpatrick), meet the famous Irish terrorist Dolours Price who grew up attending Catholic schools in Belfast – and helped blow up Old Bailey.

I dunno ……… I think that Ms. Conway does resemble a bone fide terrorist, and a particularly nasty one (she also facilitated an IRA hit on a mother of 10) at that.

Note to self: Perhaps Going to Catholic School should put people on a DHS watch list. (Not really)


The video really makes things clear: Many of Trump’s policies are extensions of Obama’s: Mass deportations, coddling the big bankers, implicit and explicit support for torture (Under Obama, they were not prosecuted, they were promoted to run the agencies), etc.

What’s more the consequences of these policies led to a Completely Foreseeable backlash which put Trump in office.

Quote of the Day

McConnel’s obstructionism and Trump’s birtherism were obnoxious but they didn’t destroy Obama’s agenda. Failure to push for card check, Medicare for all, voter registration, prosecuting Wall Street fraud and war crimes, new trade deals, authorizing the extra-judicial murder of US citizens, and overthrowing the government in Guatemala, Ukraine, and Libya were the real disasters.

James F.

He also notes that, “In 2008, Obama was really popular and he had the support of his own party. Obama failed to ram through his agenda because he refused to rally the people who put him into office.”

There is a saying in politics, that Republicans fear their base, and Democrats hates their base.

Obama is a fairly strong argument for the final clause in that statement.

I Didn’t Go There, but Other People Are

On Friday, I made it a point to reflect on other victims of the Holocaust.

I did so in a way that specifically mentioned Jews.

Saturday, I took a rare day off from blogging, and on Sunday, I noted, among other things, that Trump had not mentioned Jews at all in their Holocaust Remembrance Day message.

Given the sh%$ storm that erupted, it was at the end of this post, though.

Now Tim Kaine, of all people, is saying that the omission of Jews is a form of Holocaust denialism:

Senator Tim Kaine said on Sunday that it was “not a coincidence” that the White House did not mention Jews or Judaism on Holocaust Remembrance Day yet Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“The final solution was about the slaughter of Jews,” said Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate in her defeat by Trump in November, in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “We have to remember this. This is what Holocaust denial is.

“It’s either to deny that it happened, or many Holocaust deniers acknowledge, ‘Oh, yeah, people were killed. But it was a lot of innocent people. Jews weren’t targeted.’ The fact that they did that and imposed this religious test against Muslims in the executive orders on the same day – this is not a coincidence.”

Kaine spoke after White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, appearing on the same show, stood by the original statement.

“I don’t regret the words,” Priebus said, adding: “I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including, obviously, all of the Jewish people.”

On Friday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House said: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”

Pressed on the omission on Saturday, after criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and Anne Frank Center, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN: “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”

Certainly, one of the tropes of Holocaust deniers from the more antisemitic side of that crowd (there is also a more pro Nazi side) is to assert that the deaths of Jews,* and say that everything has to be viewed in the context of overall Nazi brutality.

Steve Bannon is clearly on one of those sides, and given that Trump just put him in every meeting of the National Security Council, it’s pretty clear that he is the power behind the throne right now.

So I am inclined to agree with Kaine’s assessment, though it is unclear to me whether or not this was Bannon freelancing or not.

In the final analysis, it does not matter, and my Orthodox Jewish friends and relatives who voted for Trump need to keep this on their list when asking God for forgiveness on Yom Kippur.

*Pretty much everyone ignores the Roma (Gypsies), because they are perhaps the most despised minority in the Western world.

You Gotta Love the Right Wing Media

Fox and its ilk are continuing to proclaim that the terrorist who shot up a mosque in Quebec is a Moroccan, despite the fact that this is not true.

The  Mohamed el Khadir, who is of Moroccan extraction in this crime was the guy who called 911:

A mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque last night left six people dead and eight wounded. The targeted mosque, the Cultural Islamic Center of Quebec, was the same one at which a severed pig’s head was left during Ramadan last June. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the episode a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”

Almost immediately, various news outlets and political figures depicted the shooter as Muslim. Right-wing nationalist tabloids in the UK instantly linked it to Islamic violence. Fox News claimed that “witnesses said at least one gunman shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’,” and then added this about the shooter’s national origin:

Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show

— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 30, 2017

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer exploited the attack to justify President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security,” Spicer said at this afternoon’s briefing when speaking of the Quebec City attack.

But these assertions are utterly false. The suspect is neither Moroccan nor Muslim. The Moroccan individual, Mohamed el Khadir, was actually one of the worshippers at the mosque and called 911 to summon the police, and played no role whatsoever in the shooting.

The actual shooting suspect is 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French Canadian who is, by all appearances, a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist. A leader of a local immigration rights groups, François Deschamps, told a local paper he recognized his photo as an anti-immigrant far-right “troll” who has been hostile to the group online. And Bisonnette’s Facebook page – now taken down but still archived – lists among its “likes” the far right French nationalist Marine Le Pen, Islam critics Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the Israeli Defense Forces, and Donald J. Trump (he also “likes” the liberal Canadian Party NDP along with more neutral “likes” such as Tom Hanks, the Sopranos and Katy Perry).

Clearly, we need to ban Katy Perry fans from entering the United States.

They are dangerous.

I Take One Day off from Blogging, and the Whole World Goes Pear Shaped

Trump just issued an executive order banning entry from seven predominantly Muslim countries.  Rather unsurprisingly, given the motley crew of racists populating his senior administration, this applies to legal residents of the United States (green card holders) as well:

President Trump on Friday closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.

In an executive order that he said was part of an extreme vetting plan to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” Mr. Trump also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations: He ordered that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.

There’s something that I think even Clarence Thomas would rule as unconstitutional before the ink was dry.

“We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said of Islamist terrorists during a signing ceremony at the Pentagon. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.”

Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump explained to an interviewer for the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christians in Syria were “horribly treated” and alleged that under previous administrations, “if you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.”

BTW, the Trump administration is now walking back applying the EO to green card holders.

This clusterf%$# was complete with Customs and Immigration refusing a federal court order to allow lawyers to talk to the detainees:


Early in the evening, a huge piece of news broke: Two federal judges, Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York and Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia, had made rulings that would stall the implementation of Trump’s anti-refugee executive order.

For the lawyers at Dulles Airport, Brinkema’s ruling generated a ton of excitement. She ruled that the travelers detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had a right to see lawyers. 


But lawyers who spoke to The Daily Beast said it’s also unheard of for government agencies like CBP to prevent people who have the legal right to live in the U.S. from seeing their lawyers. And that’s what was happening.

After Brinkema’s order came down, and lawyers at Dulles prepared to meet their new clients, the CBP balked, barring these lawyers from seeing their would-be clients. 

It’s gotten so bat that Richard Bruce Cheney is calling it a bad idea.

And in the bad idea area, Trump Trump put Steve Bannon on the National Security Council, while dropping the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence from the Principal’s Committee:

President Donald Trump is reshuffling the US National Security Council (NSC), downgrading the military chiefs of staff and giving a regular seat to his chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Mr Bannon, formerly the head of the populist right-wing, Breitbart News website, will join high-level discussions about national security.

The order was signed on Saturday.

The director of national intelligence and the joint chiefs will attend when discussions pertain to their areas.

Under previous administrations, the director and joint chiefs attended all meetings of the NSC’s inner circle, the principals’ committee.

I actually have mixed emotions on this, on one hand, he is clearly removing experienced voices in the American intelligence establishment from a major role, on the other hand, these American intelligence establishment has been a giant clusterf%$# of fail since well before the Bay of Pigs invasion.

And finally, and I am sure that Bannon had something to do with this. they issued a statement acknowledging Holocaust Rememberance Day which neglected to mention Jews at all.

I Am Losing My Motherf%$#Ing Mind

I was talking with Sharon* about our schedule for the weekend, and I noted that we needed to get me, “……… Those things with aglets on the end.”

I had forgotten the word for shoe laces, but I had remembered the word for the little tips of the shoelaces.

Clearly, I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

*Love of my life, light of the cosmos, she who must be obeyed, my wife.

Too F%$#ing Soon Folks, Too F%$#ing Soon………

Having nothing better to do, the Washington Post has taken to viewing the votes of Senators through the lens of the 2020 Presidential campaign.

Please, make it stop:

This tweet has gotten 85,000 retweets and likes in the past 27 hours.

The only person who voted “no” on every Trump appointment was Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Remember that in 2020.

— Rachel Gonzalez (@RachelRGonzalez) January 24, 2017

Remember that in 2020, indeed.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) name has come up as a potential Democratic presidential candidate before, of course — pretty much ever since she was appointed to replace that other female senator from New York who ran for president. Our own Chris Cillizza has put Gillibrand on his shortlist of leading 2020 Democratic candidates, and The Post’s Paul Kane, who covers her in the Senate, concurs.

Since that tweet, she broke her streak — voting for Nikki Haley to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations later Tuesday — but it is conspicuous that this former moderate congresswoman turned more-liberal senator has been so anti-Trump on the first few votes of the Trump era. She has now voted against three of four Trump Cabinet-level nominees, which is still more than any other Democrat.

For the love of God, can we wait until after the 2018 primaries, or after Trump leaves office, whichever comes first, before we start talking about the 2020 campaign?


Headline of the Day

Dems to David Brock: Stop Helping, You Are Killing Us

I am not surprised. He raised a huge amount of money, and much of it went for lavish parties and an army of paid trolls.

He’s been selling it as fighting Koch-sucker fire with fire, but it’s not: The Koch’s have been trying to destroy America, Civil Rights, and Democracy for decades, and they don’t go all ADHD humming bird every Presidential year.

I get that every political movement has its share of grifters, but David Brock’s tale of conversion from the right wing has passed its expiration date:

As David Brock attempts to position himself as a leader in rebuilding a demoralized Democratic Party in the age of Trump, many leading Democratic organizers and operatives are wishing the man would simply disappear.

Many in the party—Clinton loyalists, Obama veterans, and Bernie supporters alike—talk about the man not as a sought-after ally in the fight against Trumpism, but as a nuisance and a hanger-on, overseeing a colossal waste of cash. And former employees say that he has hurt the cause.


During Trump’s inauguration weekend, Brock held a conference for activists, politicians, and donors at a resort in South Florida to pitch his grand vision. All but one of the candidates currently running to chair the Democratic National Committee attended, conspicuously missing the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday.

Meanwhile, many Democratic grassroots activists and campaign alums have been giving his proposed plans some stern side-eye.

“His ability to produce wins for Democrats is nonexistent,” Jeff Weaver, former campaign manager for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential run, told The Daily Beast. “He does not have the kind of understanding of what kind of coalition you have to bring together to win national races—that’s his fundamental problem.”


It’s clear why Brock has acquired a long list of enemies on the more progressive corners of his own party. Brock’s political evolution is well-known: the former anti-Clinton right-winger who starting in the late 1990s transformed into a relentlessly pro-Clinton Democratic operative.

But the friction between Brock and Democrats is not merely limited to its more progressive faction—many alumni of Obama’s campaigns and White House, as well as Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 run, say they want Brock to stay far away from the Democrats’ future plans.


Another senior 2016 Clinton aide, who asked not to be named because the ex-staffer did “not want to deal with Brock’s bullshit,” described Brock and his organizations in 2016 as “useless—you might as well have thrown those [tens of] millions of dollars down a well, and then set the well on fire.”


“I met with him a couple times—he’s f%$#ing weird,” a former Obama administration official, who also requested anonymity, told The Daily Beast. “I felt like I was meeting Mugatu from Zoolander… I don’t know what the f%$# [Brock’s network] did besides raise a ton of money, and I don’t think the after-action report on 2016 says we need more David Brock. Probably the opposite is true.”

You know things are weird when a discussion of political operatives invokes Zoolander, but weird I can handle, weird, self-absorbed, and incompetent is another thing entirely.

This Has Got to Be the Single Most Corrupt Thing Said This Year

And it Wasn’t said by a member of the Trump administration:

“[Hillary Clinton] understands that a forensic exam of the campaign is necessary, not only for her, but for the party and other electeds, and for the Investors in the Campaign,” said a close Hillary Clinton friend in Washington who, like several others, declined to speak on the record because their conversations with one or both Clintons were private. “People want to know that their Investment was treated with respect, but that their mistakes wouldn’t be repeated.”

“Investors” in the campaign?


While I understand that this wasn’t said by the Clintons, it is emblematic of how thoroughly corrupt, and clueless, the Democratic Party establishment is, particularly the Clinton wing of the establishment.

We REALLY need to clean house, because these folks cannot see beyond their next big donor or consulting gig.

He’s Gonna Fold Like Overcooked Broccoli

Greek PM Alex Tsipras is insisting that he will go no further with austerity.

While I agree with his sentiments, Angela Merkel and her Evil Minions have turned Greece into the world’s largest debtor’s prison, Tsipras has been saying this for years now, and when push comes to shove, he folds:

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras dug in against creditor demands for more pension cuts and tax increases before a meeting of euro-area finance ministers to unblock the country’s bailout review.

“There is no way we are going to legislate even one euro more than what was agreed in the bailout,” Tsipras said in an interview with Efimerida ton Syntakton, to mark the two-year anniversary since he was elected on an anti-austerity platform. “The demand to legislate more measures, and contingent ones, no less, is alien not just to the Greek Constitution but to democratic norms.”

Euro-area finance ministers will discuss Greece when they meet in Brussels on Thursday, with Greece and officials representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund locked in a stand-off over how to complete the country’s second bailout review, now a year behind schedule. The IMF, in particular, views the projections shared by Greece and the European creditors that the country can reach a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2018 as too optimistic.

The IMF will make noises about the unsustainability of the program, but will then break its own rules and go along.

The Greeks will protest, and then capitulate.

Angela Merkel will use her “toughness” as a cudgel in the next round of elections.

The Greek people will continue to suffer.

Bet on it.