Au revoir!

May. 20th, 2017 05:22 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

I've never seen anything as fucked as Cheetolini's stupid overseas trip - comprised mainly of him wandering aimlessly through the Middle East while indiscriminately firing off his mouth and cocking his POTUS Twitter account at folks like the loaded weapon it actually is in any angry and temperamental six-year old's hands.

Question, apropos of nothing: would you let your angry and temperamental six year old run a POTUS Twitter account for say, any normal POTUS? Would any sane or thinking person? No, of course not. Yet this six year old is not only running that account, he's running our entire fucking country because some Trumpists both in and outside of Russia thought they should let him. Thanks, y'all.

This trip is gonna go very badly. Why? Two things. There are many, many more things, but let's just focus on two.

  1. He's turned tail on Israel, giving their code-worded, "highly classified" info to the Russians while boasting he gets such "great intel". And now he's going to Israel, because of course he is. I mean, that won't be awkward or anything.
  2. He's supposed to give a speech in Saudi Arabia; guess who's writing it? That's right, smart people: "American Carnage" speechwriter and destroy us some MOOSElims broNazi Stephen Miller because who could do a better job of wording the words? I'm sure it'll go over just swell!

If I were the betting type (and oh, I am) I'd place wagers on which country does the thing first in which something something something will there be a White House procession with Clydesdales is this WWIII are we all fucked now. Obviously I'm a bit biased on how this might turn out, but not in the way you might think.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

The Republicans have washed their hands of this country.

I'm starting to think Trump could break out an Uzi on live TV at his next address to the joint chambers of Congress but as long as he only hits Democrats (the more the merrier, of course) there will be no recourse and no stopping him; no public outcry will change a damn thing, nor will it result in any charges or end up in any impeachment because the Republican's plans are set (and don't think Russia doesn't know and isn't taking advantage of this; they do and they are).

Republicans are handing the keys of US power over to the rich while giving the rich two huge tax cuts to help them take the reigns: one in the form of stripping viable and affordable health care away from the vast majority of Americans; the other in the form of simply giving them another huge tax cut, because why stop at just one tax cut when you can eventually convert the rich into tax-exempt status, two gigantic tax cuts at a time.

Meanwhile, Trump allowed Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov - and by extension, Putin and all of Russia - to flat-out troll us over Comey's firing even as Russia state news agencies published what were supposed to be unpublished pictures of this same meeting, which the US press was not even allowed to sit in on or photograph, all while opening us up to possible espionage in the form of the photographer's so-called "camera". Then Trump immediately handed Russian ambassador Kislyak state intel about ISIS for Russia to do whatever they want with, and all this just one day after he fired FBI Director Comey to obstruct the FBI investigation into his Russian dealings, clearly breaking US law and even more clearly trying to hide not just something, but likely a whole lot of things.

Against all this, including Russia's latest order (likely directed solely at the US) to not respond to North Korea's threats with anything but meek offers of negotiation, if the silence from the Republican faction of Congress was any more deafening my eardrums would split open and pop out of my head onto the floor, which is not nearly as disgusting of an image as what might happen next in this country.

If this is all the reaction Republicans will ever have then we're done, all so we can watch them hand this country over to the elite (which will suit Russia just fine, as oligarchies have always kinda been their thing).

Enjoy the show, folks.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Is that most of the time, what you're seeing probably isn't one. While Matthew Inman's descriptions (including visual) of why one might feel uncomfortable around new-to-them facts rings true and sounds rather like a fact, a new study suggests the backfire effect may be "a very rare phenomenon" that's not impossible to overcome.

People entrench around factually wrong information for many reasons: personal or in-group bias, feeling an emotional or intellectual discordance, thinking their view of life or actual way of life is under threat, rhetorical or semantical differences, philosophical disagreements...whatever. Calling it a backfire effect - and explaining it by what goes on in your amygdala - does little justice to what disbelieving a fact actually involves. It has little to do with brain chemistry, which I'd say is more a part of the process of fact-disbelieving than its direct cause.

Let me change your mind: people can be convinced to change their minds through a process called "factual intervention".

Which reminds me: people can convince themselves they hate something. Anything. Matthew's image of a house with walls scrawled over with formative reasons for disbelieving facts, which bizarrely enough includes the phrase "hatred of cilantro"? Cilantro is probably on there because it's not something you hate - there are several genes that actually change the flavor of it for some of us. Judging by how I think soap cilantro tastes, I also have the little buggers.

While I'm on the topic of not accepting facts, and while I'm still on the topic of science in general (yes, starting this paragraph counts), science is never a settled question. Some of the latest food studies seem out to prove it by pronouncing butter bad for us again and salt better for us than we thought. It can even help people lose weight, but in doing so increases loss of both fat and muscle, so I'd take this news with a pretty large grain of, uh...

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Timeline to dismissal; updates with ongoing Russian contratemps*, Flynn revelations that tie in, and other still-unfolding events


Disclaimer: I began this timeline on May 11th and keep it updated so I can process what's going on, which is why it's not formally constructed and lacks obvious chronological dates (but as far as I'm aware, it is in chronological order of when each event actually occurred). For more of what you might be looking for in timelines (though I can't guarantee they are or will ever be kept up-to-date) you can try this one by NPR or this Google search.


Yes, French, as also seen in the title. But things are getting so dire even French can't do this ongoing mess any justice.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Updated 5-12-17

What strikes me most about this week's news is that the Head Cheeto is nothing if not a series of easy-to-spot patterns. In this post I discuss two of them.

The first pattern is clear: being his ally/friend/insider/toady/admirer/boot polisher/vote fixer - as much as he insists upon being emotionally and politically worshiped to inflate his oversized and incredibly thirsty ego - will not help: witness the political corpses of Manafort, Page, Flynn, Comey, McMasters (whom Trump is said to be routinely enraged at - the phrase "was heard screaming at him" is used a lot, so we're counting McMasters down, yo).

Turning back in time, let's look at his multi-decade friendship with the Clintons: he turned on Bill during his own presidential run to drag Bill's alleged "abuse" of women out into the open again - 20 years after the original accusations were levied, a time in which Trump and the Clintons remained close friends - and even had a few of the women speak out at press conferences and sit in on speeches to prove his point (which was something incoherent like, "See, I'm not the only one who does it ha ha").

Throughout his run for office he held his personal friend Hillary out for public skewering at rallies, speeches and on his Twitter - "lock her up", "hang the bitch" and a huge run on official campaign hate memorabilia being just a handful of the still-shocking, though inevitable results.

Zooming in to shortly after the election, the Head Cheese Puff highly praised Obama (after about 6 years of trying to convince us he was a jungle bushman - no big deal, right? That Obama even deigned to meet with this libelous orangutan is beyond my can even) only to turn on him recently to announce - adorned in the most perfectly paranoid mental regalia the world's ever seen - that Obama personally had him spied upon and wiretapped while he still resided at Chump Hour - a laughable allegation if ever there was one.

Have I missed any bodies in the political body count? I don't feel like Googling to jog my memory or complete this post, so if someone (or something) has turned up missing, feel free to dive in. ETA2: I missed Corey Lewandowski. And maybe a few others, but I still don't feel like Googling.

The second pattern is one of showmanship. I don't mean how he gave one "good" speech (though I'm not one to agree with the message - no matter how adroitly it's been phrased) out of an endless series of clunkers or being able to recite - if not actually speak in - complete sentences (good for him, because maybe he's not as demented as some people think - is he in good enough shape to stand trial? Based on his performance that night yeah, he's doing just fine... *wink wink*).

I'm talking about the art of distraction and his total mastery of it: there's nothing he won't do to get people to talk about anything but the Russian investigation, and there's nothing he won't do to keep it from happening.

These factors - paranoia and distraction - are keys to destroying his new career.

He's on his endgame. He knows it, we, the American people know it, and the world is catching on. Everyone's talking.

Obviously it would be in his - and our country's - best interests if he resigns, because he's been too busy since the election trying to make us look away from the Russians to get anything else done. It won't work; he's just needlessly wearing himself out juggling too many balls that have nothing to do with what's best for our country: there's no time or mental focus left for that. Which is doing a huuuuuuge disservice to the American people and the world at large. And it needs to stop.

To be clear: lobbing missiles at North Korea? Won't work. Turning American government into a malevolent dictatorship? Won't change a damn thing; if anything, it turns more of us against him. Firing everyone and their uncle? Won't cut it (though this is key to getting the right people to turn on him, so it's fairly important that he keeps on firing pretty much indiscriminately).

As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, "town coming coming down" come hell or high water, so it's time he pulls his head out of his lower regions and starts coming up with more reasons to work on his golf game or admire the shrubs gracing the main lobby at the NYC Trump Tower.

Because he probably won't resign (he doesn't want the job and never expected to have it, but has some too-strong desire to serve his out-of-control base* to walk away now; still, never say never) the endgame's pretty simple: dig for what you can, find and push it out into the open, and never stop working his paranoia. Rumors are essential. Various players gain his trust and expound upon his fears. Onto his (and other) Twitter(s) these rumors no doubt go, pushing him even further into conspiracy-theory basket case territory than he's ever been before.

Make him believe his time's up and one of two things could happen: a) he might yet choose to resign or b) he might break and admit what he shouldn't (highly unlikely, so focus more on a)), which will pretty much force impeachment hearings, should the Rs agree to it (and given enough damning evidence from any source, it might get to the point where refusing to hold hearings exposes their own complicity - I think we're at that point now, but the Rs clearly hold party above country, so it's going to take a lot more).

ETA1: he's gone with choice b) - witness the Head Cheese Puff's paranoia in action (and see this post for a condensed Comey timeline). So color me wrong about which part of my prediction to focus on, as it goes without saying at this point: FOCUS MORE ON b).

*Re: his "too-strong desire to serve his out-of-control base" (ETA3)? Figured that one out, too. It's not that. What he's doing is using them to gut protections for everyone else but the rich - which will also gut any and all protections for his base - before he declares MISSION ACCOMPLISHED AMERICA'S NOW GREAT AGAIN and hands the keys of power over to the people he's already going out of his way to further enrich through his presidency.

What made me think of it is the 2020 census. With the way things are going, there won't be one. But why take one when everyone but rich whites and their families and friends will long be disenfranchised?

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

It is not this, okay?

Update your DW posts (posted yesterday/today/tonight; if you know someone* who's posted incorrect info on this, then please let them know to correct it) to reflect the final version of the EO - otherwise you're spreading misinformation and sowing needless fear into people's hearts, and that's really not okay!

The new version of the Religious Liberty Executive Order does just two things: it lets religious leaders bully you from the pulpit tell you who to vote for, which is technically illegal, as the Johnson amendment still stands. The second part of the EO addresses that - not from a civil law point of view, more from a strictly financial one - by ordering the IRS to give "regulatory relief" to "religious leaders" *snorfle* who might eventually choose to bully you from their pulpits.

Did y'all read that last sentence? Wtf, right? I don't even know what that means! I almost never write anything I can't understand, so this has been really awkward for me.

*cries*

if anyone needs a hint that there's at least one person who has perhaps erroneously done this, I have one on my reading list - not a mutual, just someone whose public posts I sometimes read. No one's corrected them as of this writing, and we had a falling out on my blog a few weeks ago, so I won't be doing that, either.