August 2017

Twitter is like alcohol – it doesn’t change you, it reveals you. And what it reveals is that there are a lot of dumbasses out there.

Take Joe Walsh. This ex-Illinois Representative took exception to a satirical magazine’s cover cartoon celebrating God drowning fascists with Hurricane Harvey. The cartoon was inflammatory and insensitive – and Walsh was within the bounds of reason to say so. He tweeted, “French rag Charlie Hebdo mocks Harvey victims as Neo Nazis” – fair enough. But he added that “Charlie Hebdo makes fun of everyone but Muslims. Cowards”

Walsh forgets that Charlie Hebdo is infamous for cartoons skewering Muslims. So notorious that incensed Muslim terrorists massacred 12 and wounded 11 in an attack on their Paris office.

The internet called Walsh an idiot. Walsh replied in kind, tweeting, “Only an idiot would think I wasn’t aware of the attacks. My point is Hebdo has gone soft on Islam since the attack”. Sorry, Joe, there are no mind readers. You said something dumb. Man up and own it.

On the Christian front, Joel Osteen took heat for keeping his Houston megachurch resolutely closed at the height of Harvey’s flooding – while at the same time tweeting out pointless pablum such as, “God is still on the throne. He brought you through in the past; He’ll bring you through again”. And, “Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding. That’s peace when it doesn’t make sense”.

Excoriated for his indifference while Mosques – and even furniture stores – around him were throwing their doors open, he first claimed the building was flooded. Then, after pictures showed it sitting high and dry, Osteen offered the ludicrous plaint that, “We were just being precautious, but the main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter then.”

Dear God man, if humanity didn’t give you direction, didn’t the Lord give you an instruction manual? You know, the one you use to beat gays over the head?

Not to be outdone, Donald Trump used a Harvey visit as a means to aggrandize himself and his crowd size – while also copping free ad time for a $40 cap. But it was his claim that he had seen the damage ‘first hand’ that raised eyebrows. As he tweeted, “After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!”

First, journalists traveling with him called that claim crap. And then confirming his words were nonsense, Trump posted an Instagram of himself staring first hand at a TV screen – not a drop of water or victim in sight.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn’t about to let common sense come to the party. Here’s her defense of Trump’s claim:

“He met with a number of state and local officials who are eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster. He talked extensively with the governor, who certainly is right in the midst of every bit of this, as well as the mayors from several of the local towns that were hit hardest. And detailed briefing information throughout the day yesterday talking to a lot of the people on the ground.” 

Adding with a flourish, “That certainly is a firsthand account.”

Sanders has away to go to overtake Kellyanne Conway as Trump’s most slippery spokesperson – but she is catching up.

Perhaps abashed, although more likely through political calculation, Trump pledged to give $1 million to Harvey relief. In ecstasy, son #2, Eric, tweeted he was, “So proud!!! Let’s see if or the acknowledges this incredible generosity. My guess: they won’t…. “

Only, they had – three hours earlier. I won’t say Eric is dumb. But he makes Don Jr. look smart. And that’s incredible.

Let me close with one thought. Trump promised money – he didn’t give it. Given his history, let’s wait for the receipt before cracking the champagne.




From Prayer to “Piss Off”, Evangelicals React to Harvey.

August 29, 2017

  When a hurricane hits God’s country, you can be sure that his fan club will be fired up and spreading the Word. Sure enough, as Harvey hit Houston, Christian leaders were extolling the virtue of prayer and cash. I have to say that I don’t remember the same enthusiasm for addressing death and destruction when Sandy […]

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In Pardoning Arpaio Trump Bets It All on Racism.

August 26, 2017

  Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio – on a Friday night, in August, during a hurricane. In the (political) old days, this would have been a ‘news dump’. A story designed to sink into the weekend, buried beneath a bigger event. But with the desperate need to fill time, cable-news networks have hours to devote to every […]

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My Father Didn’t Use to Be a RWNJ – What Happened?

August 22, 2017

Do you have a crazy dad, uncle or brother? Was he always like that? Or is the craziness an acquired affliction? Here, I’m talking politically. Specifically about those relatives, who in their youth were centrist or close to it, sometimes even quite liberal, who have now veered hard right. You do? If so, he may have been […]

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Trump Says Heather Heyer Is no Better than a Neo-Nazi.

August 19, 2017

Another week in the Trump presidency winds down – and like most of the previous ones, it is well called the ‘his worst week’ yet. Trump is a man celebrated for his faults – so steeped in wickedness and disregard for humanity that it takes great endurance to wade through his failings and pick his worst. But let’s […]

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The Far Right Embraces a Sinking President – And Vice Versa.

August 17, 2017

The white right has claimed that Confederate statues are nothing more than cultural symbols. That to tear them down is to deny history or at least revise it. They maintain the fiction that the civil war was a fight for states rights  – and not to preserve slavery. A claim the southern states themselves repudiated […]

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Trump Speaks from the Heart – and the World Hears the Evil.

August 15, 2017

Trump loves Nazis. In his initial comments, he blamed the violence in Charlottesville on ‘many sides’. It took two days – and a whole lot of criticism – for him to condemn neo-nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK by name. And even then, while he said the required words, his heart wasn’t in it. Then […]

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What Trump Did on His Summer Vacation (So Far).

August 11, 2017

In the news this week, one crazy haired madman, with his finger on the nuclear trigger, dared another crazy haired madman to fire his missiles. The threat came with Wagnerian Gotterdammerung as Trump warned Kim Jong-un that there would be ‘fire and fury‘ because America was ‘locked and loaded‘. Is his script written by the NRA […]

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Trump Declares a National Opioid Emergency. Now What?

August 10, 2017

Donald Trump declared opioids a national health emergency – but did so two days after his Secretary of HHS said that it was premature to do so. An administration about-face which raises questions about Trump’s sincerity – if Trump’s lack of follow through on everything wasn’t already enough to cause doubt. Add in the fact that […]

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