Tag Archives: John McCain

How many more whacks can the Pussygrabber piñata sustain?

A woman hits a pinata of Donald Trump during a protest in Mexico City, on October 12, 2016 (AFP Photo/RONALDO SCHEMIDT)

AFP photo

A woman takes a hit at an effigial piñata of Pussygrabber during a protest in Mexico City in October 2016, before our long national nightmare officially began in January 2017.

For better or for worse — now, for worse — the United States presidency was built to be durable. The president, whether actually elected by the majority of the voters or not (tellingly, neither of our last two Repugnican “presidents” were), gets a fairly long term of four years, plenty of time with which to do plenty of damage, and it’s incredibly difficult to remove a sitting president.

Unless the president obviously, unarguably is incapacitated, such as through coma or death, he gets to remain in office, and sure, you can impeach him with a simple majority vote of the U.S. House of Representatives, but to actually remove him from office then would take at least 67 votes in the U.S. Senate. That’s never happened in our nation’s history. (I generally am against super-majorities, especially super-majorities of two-thirds. If we must have a super-majority, to me it shouldn’t have to be higher than 60 percent.*)

When we have a shitty president, our options aren’t many. Ensuring that his party doesn’t control both houses of Congress helps, and I am confident that the Democrats will take back the House in November. (Fivethirtyeight.com right now gives them a 78.2 percent chance of doing so.) That will be yet another significant blow to the Pussygrabber piñata, which has taken many hits so far.

Not that Pussygrabber would flinch all that much (at least publicly) after losing the House; he’s never understood or respected the U.S. Constitution, so he’ll still try to be a dictator. He’ll try; he’ll be slapped down by the checks and balances that the nation’s founders wisely and presciently built into our system of governance.

But, as I have noted before, Pussygrabber does make the cockroach jealous in terms of his ability to survive what should have killed him.

The pussy-grabbing tape publicly revealed in October 2016, for fuck’s sake, should have ended him.

And it’s been nothing but a parade of books about the Pussygrabber White House, first Michael Wolff’s best-selling Fire and Fury, then White House insider Omarosa Manigalt Newman’s Unhinged (which, whatever we think of her, still sits at No. 60 on Amazon.com’s top-100 selling books list as I type this sentence), and now, Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White Housewhich because of pre-orders right now is No. 1 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list (it officially come outs on Tuesday, which is September 11…).

When people independently are reporting the same things, um, yeah…

There have been plenty of other whacks on the Pussygrabber piñata, of course, including the indictments and convictions and guilty pleas of Pussygrabber associates, most notably of former Pussygrabber “presidential” campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Pussygrabber personal attorney Michael Cohen (which didn’t happen even a full month ago), and plenty of wholly self-inflicted hits, such as Pussygrabber’s disastrous meeting with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin in Finland in July, during which he surreally casually treasonously threw the United States of America under the bus.

Old-school Repugnican John McCain got in a postmortem dig by barring Pussygrabber from attending his recent funeral, which was attended by Barack Obama and George W. Bush, as well as by Joe Biden and former U.S. Sens. Russ Feingold and Gary Hart and current U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, all Democrats.

The New York Times last week released that interesting, anonymously-penned op-ed titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” and tag-lined “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The op-ed didn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know, wasn’t much new, except that it purportedly was written by someone still working within the Pussygrabber regime (my best guess is that it was lodestar-loving Mike Pence, who would personally benefit immediately upon Pussygrabber’s exit), and of course Pussygrabber made the situation even worse by tweeting:

Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!

Wow. Let’s unpack that: Saying or reporting anything that “President” Pussygrabber doesn’t want you to is tantamount to threatening “National Security.” Wow. No First-Amendment or whistle-blowing protections for us peasants where it comes to Mad King George!

To equate yourself with the nation (and your ego with the nation’s security) itself is beyond insane. Pussygrabber is not the United States of America; he is an aberration and an abomination. We know this now; indeed, we have known this for some time now, and we don’t need to wait for the historians inevitably to record his “presidency” as such.

And The New York Times is not “failing.” In fact, this never has been true during Pussygrabber’s “presidency,” and Pussygrabber will lie pathologically about anything, will spew even lies that easily are thoroughly debunked.

Forbes reported back in July 2017 of the Times that “the paper enjoys 2.3 million paid digital subscriptions, up 63.4 percent from a year earlier. Its stock is currently trading at a nine-year high, hovering around $20 per share and giving the company a market capitalization of about $3.2 billion.”**

Forbes added: “Like most traditional media organizations, the Times has weathered setbacks thank to falling print subscriptions and ad revenues. But Trump’s presidency appears to have breathed new life into the organization. Since the election, the Times has made itself a must-read, trading political scoops with The Washington Post on an almost daily basis.”

The Times reported 2.9 million online subscriptions last month and published this graphic:

Indeed, I renewed my online subscription to the Times after years of dormancy because I value the Times’ and The Washington Post’s fairly relentless coverage of “our” illegitimate, dangerous “president” (I subscribe to both online, and yes, their current success has a lot to do with the unelected maniac in the Oval Office).

But back to that “presidential” tweet: Most chilling about it, of course, is Pussygrabber’s dictatorial assertion that “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her [the writer of the anonymous op-ed] over to government at once!”

Who the fuck does Pussygrabber think he is — Vladimir Putin? (That was [mostly] rhetorical, but feel free to answer it literally.) Although Pussygrabber has done his best to be a human wrecking ball of our republic, in the end, although sometimes slow, such as the Mueller investigation, in the United States of America the rule of law still applies.***

The Times legally does not have to divulge its sources, and the specious “National Security” argument won’t work. Further, at least one federal former prosecutor says that the author of the anonymous op-ed has broken no law at all, either by having provided the piece for publication or by having admitted to any illegal activity within the piece itself.

Another whack to the Pussygrabber piñata is planned to come later this month, when Michael Moore releases his new film on the unelected Pussygrabber regime, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” a twist on the title of his 2004 film about the unelected Bush regime, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which remains the highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Here is the poster for “Fahrenheit 11/9”:

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Pussygrabber’s “win” of the White House was announced on November 9, 2016, and thus “Fahrenheit 11/9.”

True, “Fahrenheit 9/11” was meant to help to deny “President” Bush a second term in the 2004 presidential election and failed to do so, but I’ll take just about any new movie by Moore, and, again, it should be yet another whack on the Pussygrabber  piñata, followed by the Repugnicans’ loss of the U.S. House of Representatives later this fall.

And, of course, Pussygrabber’s approval ratings remain stubbornly stuck around the low 40s, which not only doesn’t bode well for the mid-term elections in November — widely considered to be a referendum on Pussygrabber — but doesn’t bode well for his “re”-“election.”

Pussygrabber’s average approval ratings have been historically low, which is like a constant hitting of the Pussygrabber piñata, weakening it even further and further, if only slowly.

Will there be a final, spectacular, perhaps inevitable blow to the Pussygrabber piñata? And who will strike it? Robert Mueller at any time? The Democratic-controlled House finding its spine and impeaching him? Bernie Sanders beating him in November 2020?

We’ll see, but in the meantime, this will, methinks, remain a fairly slow-moving train wreck.

We’ll probably finally see that piñata spew its contents all over the ground one day, but by the time that comes, we might be too exhausted from our long national nightmare to be able to derive all that much pleasure from it.

*On that note, the threshold for a new U.S. Supreme Court “justice” to be put on the bench used to be a vote of 60 or more in the U.S. Senate, until Yertle McConnell changed the Senate rules in 2017 to require only a simple-majority vote for Supreme Court “justices” in order to get Pussygrabber’s picks seated on the court.

The only way for loser Pussygrabber to “win,” once again, was to cheat.

**Forbes does note that maybe Pussygrabber, who is no wordsmith, means that The New York Times is “failing” in its coverage of him and his “presidency,” but most often when Pussygrabber criticizes a company, his criticism is that it is not doing well financially, even though he’s had six bankruptcies.

***It is because there are so many competing different interests within the United States, I surmise, that no one group of people can have power indefinitely, as it is the case in the thugocracy of Russia, which Pussygrabber wants to replicate here in the U.S.

(In March, Pussygrabber remarked that it’s great that China now has a president for life, and that maybe the U.S. will have that too someday. Maybe Pussygrabber was joking, but “jokes” like that aren’t funny. It wasn’t funny when George W. Bush “quipped” in December 2000, “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”)

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On the late, not-great John McCain

The late U.S. Sen. John McCain has been lionized over the past week — when you die, you become a saint, even though everyone dies, just as everyone shits and pisses and farts — and I’ve yet to say anything about it. I don’t want to say all that much; he has received too much postmortem attention as it is.

John McCain, who was “my” senator (when I lived in the God-awful state of Arizona) from 1987 to 1998 (when I finally left Arizona), was not a great guy. He staunchly believed in American exceptionalism and imperialism and militarism and white-collar gangster capitalism. While perhaps McCain was not overtly racist, as American exceptionalism and imperialism and militarism and white-collar gangster capitalism always have vastly disproportionately benefited white Americans, there you go.

When I lived in Arizona I remember McCain’s television campaign ads. He used the Vietnam POW story endlessly. What’s the good in being a POW if you can’t exploit it for personal and political gain later? (He did ease off on the POW thing in his failed 2008 presidential run, but then again, the POW thing had gotten him that far.)

McCain left his first wife of about 15 years, Carol (she’s now 80), with whom he had a daughter (and he adopted her two existing children), to marry the younger, apparently much more attractive, and, perhaps most of all, quite rich Cindy (who now is 64), who had been a blonde cheerleaderAccording to Wikipedia, McCain’s first marriage “falter[ed] due to [McCain’s] partying away from home and extra-marital affairs.” (That link is to the reliable Arizona Republic, by the way.)

In his very first term in the U.S. Senate, McCain survived the savings and loan scandal (he was one of “the Keating Five”), which should have been the end of his political career. But: Arizona.

McCain was not a moderate. McCain was not bipartisan, even if that were a good thing. He was a Dr.-Strangelove-level fucking wingnut, replete with his chilling refrain of “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”

McCain only pretended to be above it all. That made him only a sanctimonious prick, because what he actually stood for was quite dark. He knew that he himself, being an over-privileged white man whose lifelong opportunism had served him quite well, never would have to suffer the consequences of his own horrible actions and decisions. He ensured that he himself always would be quite safe and much more than comfortable.

No brand of Repugnican is good for the United States of America, be it the smug, Goldwater-style Repugnican that largely if not wholly died with McCain, or be it the openly craven, Pussygrabber-style of Repugnican that we see today. The two types differ only in style, not in substance.

I have two words for John McCain: Good riddance.

P.S. It always has struck me that McCain’s opposition to Pussygrabber was more out of sour grapes than out of anything like principle. McCain had wanted to be president for years, and lost in 2000 and in 2008, and then here comes the likes of Pussygrabber — not a Vietnam POW but a Vietnam draft dodger — to become “president.”

That drove McCain insane, methinks. He viewed it as a colossal injustice, I am confident.

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Too few dare call it treason

Updated below

Vladimir Putin puts his hand on President Trump's arm as they look out at a crowd

Getty Images photo

At yesterday’s surreal debacle in Helsinki, Finland, U.S. “President” Pussygrabber looks bewildered while Russian dictator Vladimir Putin looks quite confident (after all, Putin has been grabbing Pussygrabber by the pussy for some time now). At the debacle yesterday, Pussygrabber proclaimed, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that was responsible for the meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, offering as his “evidence” for this assertion that “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” It’s time to panic.

It was clear that there was something seriously wrong before “President” Pussygrabber’s first day in the Oval Office.

As I wrote back in December 2016:

… In that thus far he has lost the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than Gee Dubya did [in 2000] — if we think that it’s at all important that in a democracy the candidate who actually earns the highest number of votes of the people actually is the one who takes office — Trump is even more illegitimate than George W. Bush was, but Bush’s illegitimacy was worsened with the blatantly partisan — and treasonously anti-democratic — involvement of his brother, Florida elections chief Katherine Harris and the wingnutty members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

That said, it still has yet to be determined exhaustively how and how much Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Trump rather than Billary into the big chair in the Oval Office. Arguably, Trump’s having had the help of a foreign government to win the White House is even more treasonous than anything that Team Bush ever did to steal the presidency.

The Washington Post has been all over Trump’s ties to Moscow, with recent news stories such as these:

A rather clear pattern has emerged, and it’s pretty fucking funny (in a sick and fucking twisted way, not in a humorous way) that the American right wing, which for decades was opposed to the “evil empire,” very apparently has as its “president” a treasonous piece of shit who has colluded with that “evil empire” in order to win the presidency — with the “evil empire’s” full expectation, of course, that in return, “President” Trump will do its bidding (in Syria and elsewhere).

True, Trump’s die-hard, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging supporters don’t care even if he’s in bed with Vladimir Putin, perhaps even literally, but these self-defeating dipshits are only a minority of Americans. The majority of us Americans — not just Democrats and Democratic leaners, but also old-school, non-Trumpist Repugicans, too, as well as most so-called independents — take a U.S. “president”-“elect” colluding with a foreign government very, very seriously.

Indeed, The Angel of Political Death looms over “President”-“elect” Donald Trump, its scythe at the ready for swift use at any moment. …

Admittedly, however, Pussygrabber is much like a cockroach; you think that now he’s dead, he has to be — and he’s not. The recording of him bragging about routinely sexually assaulting and battering women should have been his end, but it was not. (I, for one, never will let it go, and therefore for a long time now I have refused to use Pussygrabber’s real surname unless I’m quoting another source. And never do I call him the president without quotation marks around the title, because, as always was the case with George W. Bush, I refuse to give an illegitimate president legitimacy by using the title without the designation of illegitimacy.)

Admittedly, I could stomach only a small amount of video from yesterday’s debacle in Helsinki. As he was taking the side of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (whose supposed claims of innocence are “proof” enough for Pussygrabber) over the side of the American people in the question of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I watched a flailing, addled Pussygrabber repeat like a brain-damaged parrot, “Where’s the server? Where’s the server? Where’s the server?” like the abjectly moronic baby-boomer asshole that he is.

I, for one, don’t give a flying fuck about any Democratic server. I care that “my” president embarrassed and sold out my nation to the likes of dictator-thug Vladimir Putin yesterday.

No, I’ve never been big on the Cold War — until Pussygrabber’s hostile takeover of the Repugnican Party, that always was the domain of the American right wing — but the Cold War isn’t over, and Russia isn’t our friend.

Admittedly, the Billary Clinton camp’s early focus on Russia to me seemed like possible if not probable bullshit, simply an attempt to divert attention from the fact that the unlikable Billary — Barack Obama back in January 2008 called her “likable enough,” but she wasn’t likable enough to have won the Electoral College in November 2016, very apparently — ran a shitty, shitty campaign.

Since then, however, the many, many connections between PussygrabberWorld and Russian operatives and the absolute refusal of “President” Pussygrabber to hurt Vladimir Putin’s feewings make it clear enough that the Pussygrabber regime is in bed with the Putin regime.

On top of this overwhelming circumstantial evidence, we have the American intelligence community’s official proclamations that Russian operatives did their best to throw the 2016 presidential election to Pussygrabber.

Even outgoing (good riddance!) Speaker of the House Repugnican Paul Ryan proclaims that “They [Russian operatives] did interfere in our elections – it’s really clear. There should be no doubt about that.”

“Ryan, R-Wis., said he has seen intelligence that left no doubt that Russia interfered in the election,” reports USA Today, but nonetheless, Ryan also proclaims that Russia’s meddling had no “material effect” on the election. (Specifically, he said, “It’s also clear that it [the Russian meddling] didn’t have a material effect on our elections.”) Party over nation, you see. Must! Protect! The! Repugnican! Party!

Russia didn’t sink resources into throwing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Pussygrabber in order to have no “material effect,” but the fact of the matter is that when operatives are operating in the shadows, it can be difficult to impossible to say, with certainty, how effective they were or were not. That’s part and parcel of operating within the shadows.

The historical fact that Pussygrabber took the Electoral College with only around 80,000 more votes than Billary got in just three critical Rust-Belt states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) — Vanity Fair notes cleverly that you could fit all of these voters inside of “a mid-size football stadium” — demonstrates that of course the Russian meddling very well may have had a very material effect on the fucking election.

To put Pussygrabber into the White House, Russian operatives didn’t need to convince that many voters in that many states, for fuck’s sake. It apparently turned out to have been a pretty easy job. Paul “Party Over the American People” Ryan sorely needs to go fuck himself sore.

Arizona Repugnican U.S. Sen. John McCain, his conscience apparently freed by the fact that he’ll probably be taking the big dirt nap any time now, said of Pussygrabber’s little stunt in Helsinki yesterday that “No prior [American] president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”

Yup.

McCain also said, “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.” (McCain’s full statement is here.)

I agree with John McCain, and it pains me to write those five words.

Again, unlike McCain, I’ve never been a Cold Warrior. That’s a function of the difference in our ages (31 years) and our lifetime experiences and of our political orientations (I am registered with no political party, and “democratic socialist” describes me the best [I’ve been waiting patiently for others to come along for some time now, and they are coming along]).

And with old-school Russian Communism dead and perpetually “elected” dictator Vladimir Putin at the helm, today’s Russia is not the same Russia of the Cold War.

Therefore, although I’m not easily unsettled, perhaps especially after the eight long years of the unelected George W. Bush regime and the first year and a half of the unelected Pussygrabber regime, to watch Pussygrabber blithely hand the United States of America over to Vladimir Putin yesterday, as though the USA were just another piece of land for Putin’s Russia to fucking annex, unsettled me deeply.

This should be the beginning of the quick end not only of the unelected Pussygrabber regime — minimally, Pussygrabber must be reined in after the Democrats take back the U.S. House of Representatives this coming November — but it should be the beginning of the end of the Repugnican Party as a whole.

Tragically, however, there aren’t enough patriots left in the United States of America; they call themselves “patriots” the most often and the most loudly and the most obnoxiously and the most tackily, but instead of actually protecting the nation, they protect the treasonous Pussygrabber, no matter what he says and does, and because Pussygrabber is in bed with Putin, they protect Putin, too, if not directly, then by their treasonous acquiescence.

P.S. Back in December 2016 I also pontificated, “If [Pussygrabber] makes it to Inauguration Day 2017, I don’t see him making it to Inauguration Day 2021.”

I stand by that prediction. Unless the Democrats royally fuck it up again by fronting yet another stunningly unlikable candidate like Billary Clinton, I can’t see Pussygrabber getting a second term.

Pussygrabber’s Russian-related treason, coupled with everything else, should be enough for the Democrats to take back the House this coming November, and if the Democrats do their job in the House starting in January 2019, they’ll cripple Pussygrabber as much as possible in the last two years of his first and only term.

With significant Democratic opposition in the House, hopefully Pussygrabber would decide that being child-king isn’t fun anymore and he would decide not to run for a second term, or, if he does run, he is defeated soundly (by Bernie Sanders, most preferably). After all, even the widely despised Billary Clinton won almost three more million votes than Pussygrabber did in November 2016.

It should be a job that even the Democrats can do.

Update: Wow. So this is Pussygrabber’s “defense” of his treasonous defense of Russia yesterday. What he said yesterday was:

… My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others; they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But I have confidence in both parties. … I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails.

So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people [Russian agents indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for election interference]. I think that’s an incredible offer. …

Within the context of everything else that he said yesterday, including jaw-droppingly surreally praising Vladimir Putin’s good-faith-I’m-sure offer to help American investigators to investigate Russia, Pussygrabber today actually claimed that it was just one misspoken word: “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’” Pussygrabber actually claimed today, adding, “Sort of a double negative. So you can put that [the word “wouldn’t” for “would”] in, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.”

Yup, all done! Treason averted!

Vox.com calls Pussygrabber’s latest lie (“would” should have been “wouldn’t”) “arguably the most bald-faced lie of his entire presidency — and that’s saying something.”

Yup.

Leave it to “very stable genius” Pussygrabber to only dig his hole even deeper by telling a lie that’s at the 5-year-old level. (As I said: he’s a child-king.)

Finally (I hope), I just stumbled across the news item that the author of the hysterical anti-Commie book None Dare Call It Treason, a wingnut who issued the paranoiac book in 1964, the year of Barry Goldwater, when the Red Scare wasn’t yet entirely dead, keeled over on July 10.

It’s freakish timing; the phrase “none dare call it treason” was in my mind, but until I read about the recent death of the author of the book of that title (after I already had titled this blog piece), I didn’t know that the “treason” referred to in that phrase was being in league with Russia to the detriment of the United States of America.

The fucking irony.

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On Russia, we’re not ‘moving on’

Depite “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s personally convenient edict that it’s “time for the country to move on to bigger and better things,” the Russian hacking allegations won’t go away, and that’s a great thing.

To me, the biggest sign that Russia did at least try to help Donald J. Trump become U.S. president by at least meddling in the politics of the 2016 presidential election is that “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber hasn’t remained neutral in the midst of these allegations against Russia, but surreally consistently has defended Russia — against the U.S. intelligence community.

Some — including Pussygrabber, of course — are arguing that the U.S. intelligence community got the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction story wrong, so the U.S. intelligence community must also be wrong about the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

But they conveniently forget or intentionally exclude (or, to be charitable, they never knew) the fact that the also-unelected, also-White-House-stealing BushCheneyCorp wanted to invade Iraq for the war profiteering (such as for Darth Dick’s Halliburton’s no-bid war contracts) and to turn Iraq’s oil over to Big Oil.

Therefore, the unelected Bush regime heavily pressured the U.S. intelligence community to “find” “evidence” of Iraqi WMD in order to justify the war that it wanted. Under the unelected Bush regime, the U.S. intelligence community was not free and independent; its members understood that to keep their jobs, they must submit to the unelected Bush regime’s corrupt and ultimately treasonous arm-twisting.

(Of course, when the Iraqi WMD story turned out to be uber-bullshit, as it was clear all along that it was — it was clear from Day One that it [along with “revenge” for 9/11] was to be an excuse to invade and take over Iraq — the unelected Bush regime called the U.S. intelligence community grossly incompetent.)

I’m hardly the biggest fan of the U.S. intelligence community, given the revelations that the U.S. government spooks have been spying on all of us, in blatant violation of our rights under the U.S. Constitution, and yes, the he-said, he-said of the Russian hacking allegations can be confusing, but when you have conflicting reports, you have to go with what’s most likely.

And what’s most likely is that Russia is guilty as charged.

Reports The Associated Press today:

America’s top intelligence official said [today] that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America’s 2016 presidential election but stopped short of using the explosive description “an act of war,” telling lawmakers such a call isn’t within the purview of the U.S. intelligence community.

In a joint report that roiled the presidential campaign last fall, the Homeland Security Department and the intelligence community said the U.S. was confident of foreign meddling, including Russian government hacking of Democratic e-mails.

In its assessment, the intelligence community has said Moscow interfered to help Republican Donald Trump win.

“We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement than we did on the 7th of October,” James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the GOP-led Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pressed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on whether the actions constituted an “act of war,” Clapper said that was “a very heavy policy call” more appropriate for other entities in the U.S. government to decide.

Clapper pushed back against a barrage of criticism leveled against U.S. intelligence agencies by Trump in recent days and the president-elect’s apparent embrace of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

During an exchange with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Clapper said “there is an important distinction here between healthy skepticism” and “disparagement.” He said the intelligence community is an organization of human beings and isn’t perfect. But he said U.S. spy agencies also don’t get the credit they deserve for foiling terrorist plots and other successes too secret to discuss.

Clapper said Assange is “holed up” in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, unable to leave without being arrested for breaching his bail conditions. Swedish authorities have investigated Assange for a possible rape, which he has denied.

Assange has “put people at risk” by leaking classified information, Clapper added.

President Barack Obama has received a report on the Russian interference and other foreign meddling in the U.S. election, according to Clapper. He and other senior U.S. intelligence officials said Russia poses a major threat to U.S. government, military, diplomatic and commercial operations. [Emphasis mine, because this is in rather stark contract to Pussygrabber’s contention that Russia is our friend.]

Clapper said lawmakers will be briefed on the Russian hacking report next week and an unclassified version is tentatively scheduled to be released to the public shortly after that.

CIA Director John Brennan said in a Dec. 16 message to employees that the FBI agreed with the agency’s conclusion that Russia’s goal was to support Trump in the election. Brennan wrote that he also had spoken with Clapper and said “there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.”

Clapper [today] declined to discuss whether Russia’s interference was aimed at backing Trump win. But he said Russia’s hacking “did not change any vote tallies.”

McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services committee, said “every American should be alarmed” by Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. There is “no escaping the fact that this committee meets today for the first time in this new Congress in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on our democracy,” McCain said.

The hearing comes a day before Trump receives a briefing by the CIA and FBI directors — along with Clapper — on the investigation into Russia’s alleged hacking efforts.

Trump has criticized their findings and even seemed to back Assange’s contention that Russia did not provide him with hacked Democratic e-mails.

But in new tweets early [today], Trump backed away from Assange. Trump blamed the “dishonest media” for portraying him as agreeing with WikiLeaks founder, whose organization has been under criminal investigation for its role in classified information leaks. “The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!” Trump wrote.

In fact, Trump has been dismissive about the certainty of the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian hacking with a reminder of past failures, specifically their reporting on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in the lead-up to the war.

Since then, Trump has derided the intelligence profession on Twitter, which has been widely reported by The Associated Press and other news organizations.

Appearing before the Armed Services Committee were Clapper; Marcel Lettre, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence; and Adm. Michael Rogers, National Security Agency chief and the top officer at the U.S. Cyber Command.

Obama struck back at Moscow in late December with penalties aimed at Russia’s leading spy agencies, the GRU and FSB, that the U.S. said were involved. The GRU is Russia’s military intelligence agency. The FSB is the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

But Trump easily could rescind the sanctions. So far, he has publicly refused to accept the conclusion that Russia is responsible for the attacks. Trump this week escalated his criticism of U.S. intelligence professionals, such as Clapper, by tweeting, without evidence, that an upcoming briefing on the suspected Russian hacking had been delayed until Friday, and said, “perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

Intelligence officials said there had been no delay.

The penalties imposed by Obama came after he pledged a “proportional” response to the hacking of the Democratic Party and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. E-mails stolen during the campaign were released in the final weeks by WikiLeaks.

Again, “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber sorely needs to sort out his allegiance — whether it’s to the American people, the majority of whom voted for Billary Clinton, not for him (Billary earned 48 percent of the popular vote to Pussygrabber’s 46 percent, which is a lead of more than 2.8 million popular votes), or to Russia’s Gangster in Chief Vladimir Putin. (“Under Putin’s leadership, Russia has scored poorly on both the Democracy index and the Corruption index,” understates Wikipedia.)

I’m not sure what Repugnican Sen. John McCain’s motivation is in holding on to the Russian thing like a pit bull — I’m not sure if he’s motivated by pure, old-school, Cold-War-era American nationalism or by anger and frustration that the likes of Pussygrabber actually became U.S. president under the aegis of the Repugnican Party when he lost his presidential race in 2008 to the upstart from nowhere Barack Obama, or some mixture of the two — but whatever McCain’s motivation is, I’m glad that he’s doing it.

I mean, McCain’s proclamation that there is “no escaping the fact that this committee meets today for the first time in this new Congress in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on our democracy” certainly seriously calls “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s legitimacy into question, and I’m rather stunned that any Repugnican on Capitol Hill actually would do that, would actually put the good of the country before the Repugnican Party.

McCain’s having been a fixture in the U.S. Senate and within the Repugnican Party never has felt anything like a benefit until now.

All signs point to the Putin-led Russia having done its best to install Pussygrabber into the White House in a quid pro quo. (“President” Pussygrabber would allow Russia to do as it pleases throughout the world and would work to ease all sanctions on bad actor Russia.) That would mean that Donald J. Trump is a fucking traitor and that yes, Russia engaged in an act of war.

No, I’m not calling for the prosecution and/or impeachment of Pussygrabber for treason and/or a U.S. declaration of war against Russia — not yet.

But left-wingers should get their heads out of their asses and recognize that the idealized socialist Russia of yore is no more. Russia is now run by gangsters like Putin, and they don’t have the interests of the United States of America in mind.

War sucks, and a war with Russia is a poor idea, but allowing Russia to control the U.S. via its puppet in “President” Pussygrabber is a poor idea, too.

In the meantime, yes, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party should continue to suffer the consequences of the contents of the leaked e-mails. The content of those e-mails does matter, and, indeed, several DNC big wigs, including slimebag Debbie Wasserman Schultz, stepped down after the e-mails revealed that they colluded to benefit Billary Clinton and to harm Bernie Sanders.

But perhaps a reformation of the DNC was going to happen anyway, hacked DNC e-mails or not. The Clinton era is over, mostly because of Billary’s Al Gore-like “loss” on November 8, but also, methinks, because the November 8 election proved that Clintonism — this center-right bullshit that throws actual progressives under the bus and kisses the asses of Repugnicans in order to try to get their votes when they’re never going to vote for anyone using the label of “Democrat” anyway — can’t win presidential elections today, because no one is excited by DINOs/center-right sellouts except for DINOs/center-right sellouts. And there aren’t enough of them to win a presidential election, as November 8 demonstrated amply.

Under Clintonism on November 8, many if not most actual progressives stayed home or didn’t vote for president or voted for someone else for president (like I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the only progressive presidential candidate who was listed on my ballot), and of course when given the choice of Repugnican Lite Billary or Repugnican Pussygrabber, those who lean Repugnican voted for Pussygrabber.

The Democratic Party now belongs to progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Indeed, a recent poll showed that 44 percent of Democratic and independent voters would be excited by a Sanders run in 2020 and 34 percent would be excited by a Warren run in 2020. Forty-three percent would be excited by a Joe Biden run in 2020 and only 23 percent would be excited by Billary giving it a third try in 2020.

Sixty-six percent said they’d prefer “someone entirely new” running for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020, but who the fuck would that be, exactly? Obama has sucked all of the oxygen from the room for the past eight years and so the Democratic presidential-wannabe bench is pretty thin.

But I digress.

Yes, the hacked DNC e-mails easily could have swayed the election to Trump. Don’t get me wrong — I, for one, never, ever, ever was going to vote for DINO Billary anyway, but I surmise that the e-mails’ revelations induced many Berners who otherwise might have held their noses, taken an anti-emetic and actually voted for Billary to decide not to vote for Billary.

It’s impossible to tell how much the hacked DNC e-mails affected the November 8 election — they might (or might not) have been enough to cost Billary the critical Rust-Belt states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, which all together she lost by fewer than 100,000 votes, costing her the Electoral College* — but nonetheless, it’s the thought that counts; even trying to influence/interfere with another nation’s election (something that the U.S. has tried to do to other nations) is indeed an act of war.**

And it’s interesting, and perhaps if not probably telling, that no Repugnican National Committee hacked e-mails ever were released.

Again: All signs thus far point to Russia’s guilt and to Team Trump’s treason in a quid pro quo arrangement with Vladimir Putin, and we should proceed from there. We endanger ourselves if we don’t.

*That said, of course Billary didn’t campaign nearly well enough as she should have in the Rust-Belt states. Indeed, the presidential-election post-mortem is that Team Billary apparently believed that they had the Rust-Belt states in the bag (Wisconsin and Michigan, for instance, had gone to the Democratic presidential candidates since the 1980s) and thus didn’t need to campaign much in those states. Indeed, mind-blowingly, Billary made not one general-election campaign stop in Wisconsin.

**Of course, most if not all of the other nations in whose elections the U.S. has meddled haven’t had the ability to win a war against the U.S.; the U.S. usually is sure to pick on significantly weaker victims. Taking on Russia would be a whole new level, of course.

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Donald Trump is a hypocritical dick, but John McCain indeed is no war hero

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 1973, file phot, John McCain is greeted by President Richard Nixon, left, in Washington. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Sen. John McCain's military record at a conservative forum Saturday, saying the party's 2008 nominee and former prisoner of war was a

Associated Press photo

An ambitious John “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCain shakes the hand of President Richard Nixon in 1973, not too long after his having been held as a POW in Vietnam. The warhawk McCain shamelessly has used his POW status for political and personal gain ever since, and there probably isn’t a nation on the globe he thinks the U.S. military shouldn’t bomb.

Repugnican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona indeed is no war hero, but not for the reason that Repugnican presidential aspirant Donald “The Mouth” Trump infamously recently cited.

At an event in Iowa yesterday, Trump declared of McCain: “”He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

The left-leaning Margaret Cho similarly quipped in 2008, when McCain was running for the White House: “I am not voting for McCain. I hope that is obvious. I am sick of everyone saying, ‘He was a good soldier. He was a good soldier.’ Um, yeah. He was captured. So he was not that good!”

(I don’t recall Cho’s comment as having created a shit storm then. Of course, she wasn’t running for president…)

To me, if the war was unjust, as the Vietnam War was, it’s difficult to call anyone who participated in it on the American side a “war hero.” How does something just and heroic emerge from something that was inherently unjust and unheroic?

Only perhaps if someone was drafted — forced into — fighting in an unjust war that he or she had recognized as unjust (which was not the case with McCain in the Vietnam War) might we be able to call his or her brave actions during that war “heroic,” but the war itself still remains unjust.

But with John McCain, it goes further than that. I lived in Arizona from my birth in 1968 to my overdue departure from the state in 1998, and I recall McCain’s television ads for his U.S. Senate bids. It was POW, POW, POW, POW, POW, POW. It was POW 24/7, all POW, all the time. (McCain, whose U.S. Navy plane was shot down over Vietnam in 1967, was captured and kept as a POW for five years.)

Clearly, the message was that you were to vote for McCain — or you hate POWs. (You hate freedom! You love Commies!)

I was shocked that McCain didn’t exploit the POW thing much, much more than he did when he ran for the White House in 2008. Maybe he wanted to and his advisers advised him to cool it, since it is unseemly to exploit one’s POW status for political and personal gain.

Those who are rushing to defend McCain against Trump right now are simply sheeple who can’t worship the U.S. military enough, despite the fact that the bloated-bey0nd-belief military-corporate complex has sucked up our national resources and is killing us like stage-four cancer and has caused untold suffering to millions and millions of innocent people abroad.

(Um, yeah, the U.S. military exists primarily to enforce the existing global socioeconomic status quo, in which Americans continue to enjoy a quality of life that is crazy-better than the quality of life of the planet’s average human inhabitant, and that comes at the average human inhabitants’ expense. “Spreading democracy” — riiiiggghhhht!)

That said, of course baby boomer Trump, who, like his fellow Repugnican baby-boomer chickenhawks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (and many others of that demographic), avoided the Vietnam War, so for him to be criticizing McCain’s performance in the Vietnam War is beyond hypocritical.

But I still say that McCain is no war hero, as not only was the war he voluntarily fought in unjust — Vietnam never had posed a real threat to the United States, and estimates of the number of people who died because of the war (the vast majority of them Vietnamese, of course) range from 1.5 million to 3.6 million, of which the hundreds of Vietnamese civilians slaughtered by mass-murderous U.S. troops in the My Lai Massacre of 1968 were only a tiny fraction — but also as that true war heroes don’t boast about their (supposed) war heroism for personal and political gain.

John McCain, whose almost-30-year Senate record has been unremarkable, for years has benefited from the fact that it’s taboo to openly disagree with or to show anything other than worshipfulness for a former POW. Had McCain never been a POW (which obviously was no accomplishment) and then shamelessly exploited it, I seriously doubt that he’d be where he is now. That’s some sick shit.

Still, it’s great to watch the infighting within the Repugnican Tea Party. “Clown car” is overused but it’s quite an apt description.

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Sooooo NOT ready for Billary

File photo of Hillary Clinton arriving to take part in a Center for American Progress roundtable discussion  in Washington

Reuters photo

The centerpiece of the presidential campaign of Billary Clinton — whose actual record is that of having collected titles instead of actually having accomplished anything — is that she is a woman, when even the wingnuts were poised to possibly put Sarah Palin in the White House in 2008. Billary has nothing except for her co-option of the “Democratic Party” label and the probably-fatal lack of imagination of today’s Democratic Party, which apparently sees nothing wrong with center-right political dynasties.

“Hillary Clinton Is About to Launch the Most Boring Presidential Campaign in Years,” a writer for Vice.com proclaims.

I wholeheartedly agree. This launch is scheduled to happen today.

Billary already was old news when she lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama. Recall that she came in at third place in Iowa in January 2008, behind the now-disgraced John Edwards at second place and Obama at first. True, it was close — Edwards got 30 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 29 percent, but, as Wikipedia correctly notes, “Clinton’s surprising third-place finish in the popular vote [in the first contest of the primary season] damaged her image as the ‘inevitable’ nominee. However, she remained upbeat, saying, ‘This race begins tonight and ends when Democrats throughout America have their say. Our campaign was built for a marathon.'”

In that marathon — and it was a marathon; it wasn’t until June 2008 that Billary conceded to Obama — Billary acted like the cocky hare, while Team Obama knew, like the tortoise knew, that slow and steady wins the race, as Obama carefully cobbled together delegates from regions around the nation that Billary apparently felt she already had in the bag and/or could afford to lose.

Billary also acted like a major asshole (I’d say “bitch” or perhaps even “cunt,” but that would be sexist, so I’ll be entirely equal-opportunity here) the more desperate she became to try to beat Obama. Although the states of Florida and Michigan had violated the Democratic Party’s rules and held their primaries too early — risking having their delegates not being allowed to cast votes at the convention, as the party had warned them might happen — and even though Obama had not even appeared on Michigan’s primary ballot, Billary insisted that she be given the delegates for the two states even though the two states clearly had violated the rules of the game (and again, even though Obama had not even appeared on Michigan’s ballot).

In April 2008, Billary, pathetically desperately trying to cast herself as one of the good old boys in the red-to-purplish states in order to scrape together some more badly-needed delegates, infamously referred to Obama as an “out-of-touch” “elitist” (based on remarks that he’d made at a fundraiser in San Francisco that were secretly recorded and were reported out of context; Team Billary really pounced on this opportunity to call Obama a limousine liberal, when Billary is the Queen — King? — of the Limousine Liberals).

I, for one, never forget a politician’s stunning display of low character. Either of the two crimes that I just mentioned — Billary’s tacking to the right and trying to appeal to what would become the “tea-party” set in order to try to beat Obama in the 2008 primaries, which was treasonous to the Democratic Party (which is what the Clintons always have been about: dragging the Democratic Party further and further to the right and further corporatizing it so that today it looks like Repugnican Lite), and her blatantly anti-democratic, power-grabbing demand that she simply be given the delegates for whom Obama did not even compete* — disqualify Billary from the Oval Office, but taken together, there is no question that the incidents amply showed Billary’s true colors.

There’s no way in hell that I’ll give this woman a penny, much more my vote.

As I noted, Billary was old hat in 2008, but now, seven years later, she’s still on the kick that we should put her in the Oval Office primarily because she’s a woman, because it would amount to Billary cracking “the highest and hardest glass ceiling.”

The 67-year-old Billary largely is living in the past, apparently acting out her own old wounds; she apparently wishes to keep the glass ceiling alive primarily for her own benefit.

I’m not convinced that in 2015, years after Billary’s 2008 run, the American voters have a problem with putting a woman in the White House, despite Billary’s apparent claims of being the victim of sexism and misogyny.

In fact, in 2006, 92 percent of Americans said in a CBS News/New York Times poll that they’d vote for a woman for president if they believed that she is qualified. (In fact, that 2006 poll found that “Men are actually more likely than women to say the country is ready for a woman to be president. Sixty percent of men say so, compared to 51 percent of women.” [!])

True, in 2006 apparently no more than 60 percent of those polled believed that a woman would be elected president in the next decade, but in early 2014 a Rasmussen poll found that 77 percent of respondents believed that a woman would be elected president in the next 10 years.

So Billary can’t factually claim that she is up against the same level of sexism that she might have been in 2008.

But I don’t believe that Billary was fighting against sexism in 2008; in 2008, as she still is today, Billary was fighting against (in no special order) her own utter lack of charisma, her record of having held titles (first lady, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state) instead of having actually accomplished anything, her nauseating sense of dynastic entitlement (as I said, in the 2008 marathon she was the hare), and her stunning low character (to the list of examples of which I’ll add the fact that she kept her State Department e-mails on her own server entirely under her own control [control freak much?]).

However, it’s so much easier and so much more convenient to ignore one’s own glaring shortcomings and falsely claim that he or she is a victim based upon his or her mere membership in an historically oppressed group of individuals. (Vote for Hillary or you hate all women!)

I criminally have dragged my feet here in pointing out than in 2008 even the Repugnicans cast their vote for the ticket of John McCainosaurus and Sarah Palin. Given the fact that McCainosaurus was 72 years old when voters went to the polls in November 2008, there was a good chance that had McCainosaurus won the White House, we would have seen a President Palin, especially if McCainosaurus had eked out a second presidential term. (The life expectancy for an American white male is around 76 years. The oldest president in U.S. history, the execrable Ronald Reagan, was almost, but not quite, 70 years old when he was inaugurated in 1980.)

So given that even the wingnuts were poised in 2008 to potentially put the first woman in the Oval Office (albeit via the vice presidency), for Billary to claim that it’s a novel idea today is bullshit.

And it can’t boost Billary’s chances for 2016 that a Pew Research Center study released in early 2015 showed that “In all, 38 percent of Americans said they hope that a woman is elected [president] in their lifetimes, while 57 percent said it doesn’t matter to them.”

My stance is that I’m fine with having our first female president — just not Billary Clinton, who has demonstrated amply over many years that as president she would be lackluster at best. (And, of course, I could write a whole separate piece on how beyond fucked up it is that the American national political imagination is so bankrupt that we still have presidential candidates with the surnames of Clinton and Bush.)

The quality of the presidential candidate trumps his or her possession of the XX or the XY chromosomes, just as it does other superficial considerations, such as race, national origin and sexual orientation.

I want the most progressive president that we can get — period.

During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary season I supported Obama over Clinton, hands down, and race and sex had nothing to do with it; I perceived Obama as the more progressive politician of the two (and I still do, although perhaps that’s not saying much, given how much Obama squandered his political capital, especially in the critical years of 2009 and 2010).

As I have noted, my pick for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who probably isn’t running (it’s unlikely but not absolutely impossible that she’ll run). However, even if a yet another white male candidate emerges as a viable candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination (and if Warren doesn’t run, as probably will be the case), if he strikes me as progressive enough, I will support him, as much as I’d like to see Warren in the White House.

For diversity’s sake I’d love the 2016 Democratic Party standard-bearer to be Warren, who is a woman and progressive — a real Democrat, not the self-serving, dynastic DINO sellout that Billary is — but always, when push comes to shove, I’m going to support the most progressive candidate, regardless of his or her demographics.

Except for Billary.

If it comes down to only Billary — if she faces no viable challenger for the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination — then I will sit 2016 out. I will not participate in the fucking charade that Billary Clinton would make even a minimally acceptable president.

And I don’t think that I’m alone.

Most Democrats won’t admit how boring and unexciting the charisma- and character-free Billary is — she has co-opted the “Democratic” label, and they won’t go against the label in “polite” company — but the enthusiasm that Billary cannot and will not/would not instill within the Democratic Party base cannot bode well for the party in November 2016 if Billary is the party’s presidential candidate.

If Billary wins the nomination next year, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors will be much more enthusiastic than will be the Democrats in November 2016, and thus the members of the Repugnican Tea Party will turn out in droves to vote, especially after having been, in their sick and twisted minds, exiled to the wilderness during the eight-year run of the Communist Kenyan Barack Hussein Obama.

The brick wall is right in front of the Democratic Party, in plain view, but I expect the Democratic Party to be true to itself and drive right into it nonetheless.

After all, monarch Billary tends to get what she wants — whether it’s good for the rest of us or not.

P.S. I just watched “Saturday Night Live’s” clever and rather scathing (but deserved) cold open from last night. I always have suspected that Tina Fey’s spot-on Sarah Palin hurt the McCainosaurus-Palin ticket, and I have to wonder if, similarly, Kate McKinnon’s spot-on Billary Clinton is going to hurt Billary.

P.P.S. How could I have forgotten to mention Billary’s vote, as a carpetbagging U.S. senator for New York, for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War in October 2002?

It was, as a Huffington Post commentator has put it, probably the most important vote of Billary’s U.S. Senate career, and she wholly fucked it up. She did not vote for what was wise or what was right, but voted in the way that she calculated would most benefit her politically. (Twenty-one Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted no to the 29 Senate Democrats, including Billary, who voted yes, so it’s not like Billary had to vote yes; and the one Repugnican in the U.S. Senate at the time who voted against the Vietraq War, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, now is considering running for the White House as a Democrat.)

As the Huffington Post commentator notes of the October 2002 vote to give the Bush regime authorization “to unleash military force against Iraq at any time, without further consultation with Congress, let alone a declaration of war”: “The disastrous impact of that hideous example of strategic miscalculation is still with us, witnessed by the tectonic convulsions ripping the Arab world, and the rise of the Islamic State, which emerged out of the cauldron created by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.”

Not to mention the more than 4,000 U.S. troops killed in Vietraq, the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have died because of the Vietraq War, and the cost of the Vietraq War to the U.S. taxpayers of more than $2 trillion — all of this at least in part because Billary and her craven ilk caved in to the post-9/11 hysteria which the unelected Bush regime used like the Reichstag fire.

*In  the end, Queen/King Billary pretty much got her way, unsurprisingly. As Wikipedia notes:

None of the top candidates campaigned in Florida or Michigan. The events were described in the media as “beauty contests,” and voter turnout in both states was relatively low when compared with record-high turnout in other states. Nevertheless, Clinton claimed wins in Florida and Michigan, and she flew to Fort Lauderdale on the night of the Florida election to thank supporters for what she called a “tremendous victory.” [Gee, reminds me of someone else who falsely claimed a victory in the state of Florida…] 

As the primaries continued, various groups tried to negotiate a resolution to the standoff between the [Democratic National Committee] and the state parties. The Clinton campaign advocated first for the results to stand and then for a new round of voting to take place in Michigan and Florida, while the Obama campaign deferred the matter to the DNC, while expressing a wish that the delegations be seated in some form. On all sides, Democrats worried that a failure to resolve the problem could lead to a rules or credential fight at the convention and low Democratic turnout in the general election in November.

On May 31, 2008, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee voted unanimously (27-0) to restore half-votes to all the Florida delegates, including superdelegates. The Michigan delegates were also given half-votes, with 69 delegates pledged to Hillary Clinton and 59 to Barack Obama; this proposed change [passed] by 19-8.

Michigan and Florida had flouted the pre-established rules and should have suffered the consequences. And how Billary was awarded more delegates for Michigan than was Obama when Obama hadn’t even appeared on the ballot escapes me, other than more evidence of the fact that the Clintons are fucking bullies with a colossal sense of entitlement — indeed, they wish to be a Dynasty.

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Walker might walk away with his party’s nod for the White House (Part 2)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker participates in a panel discussion at the American Action Forum in Washington

Reuters photo

Wingnut Scott Walker (photographed above about a week ago in Washington, D.C.) tops recent polls of Repugnican Tea Party presidential preference in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Those traits of his that his party’s base sees as bonuses, however, would be deadly to him in a national race. 

Sure, it’s still just a bit less than a year before the first 2016 presidential primary season contests begin in Iowa and then New Hampshire (Iowa’s caucuses will be on January 18 and New Hampshire’s primary will be on January 26), but Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is maintaining his momentum for his party’s nomination.

In a recent poll of New Hampshire voters, Walker came in at No. 1, with 21 percent, followed at second place by Jeb of the Bush Dynasty, with 14 percent.

After a first-place win in Iowa and/or New Hampshire, the front runner’s momentum exponentially snowballs, so Walker must be happy about how he is polling in Iowa and New Hampshire right now (No. 1 in both states).

Prognosticator/god Nate Silver, meanwhile, gives Scott Walker and Jeb Bush each a 25-percent chance of winning the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination.

(Silver also, unfortunately, gives Billary Clinton a 78 percent chance of winning the Democratic Party’s 2016 persidential nomination, with Elizabeth Warren at a distant second place, with a 7-percent chance. [If Warren actually were to announce, I think, we’d see her polling jump.])

Jeb Bush’s challenges, of course, include the fact that the last “President” Bush (I have to use the quotation marks, since George W. Bush never was elected legitimately in the first place) was one of the worst presidents in our nation’s history (we still are recovering from his debacle in Iraq, replete with the resultant blowback that is ISIS, and from the economy that he thoroughly wrecked) and the fact that Jeb is considered to be too liberal by his party’s far-right nut jobs.

Also, Jeb’s been out of elected office for a bit more than eight full years now, adding weight to the argument that he’s running primarily because of his surname.

Walker’s biggest challenge (aside from the fact that he is an evil, heartless, soulless, lying, thieving, colossal asshole bought and paid for by the Koch brothers and other plutocrats) is his lack of charisma; however, none of these qualities that we sane individuals would consider to be negatives (such as being evil, having no charisma and being the plutocrats’ puppet) should harm Walker in the Repugnican Tea Party primary season (where, in fact, these qualities are considered to be bonuses).

Walker tosses around the word “God” enough and mouths enough 1950s-era platitudes about Capitalism, God’s Chosen Economic System (despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary), to keep his party’s deeply fucktarded base of “Christo”fascists, pro-plutocrats and jingoists happy (and, of course, his whiteness appeals to his party’s white supremacists, of which there are many).

And while Walker is despised by many if not even most in Wisconsin, to the majority in his party, even though he’s just yet another stupid white man running for the White House, as a presidential contender he has that fresh-car smell (as Barack Obama might put it).

But can Walker win the White House?

Oh, hell no. Very most likely not.

The fairly-charisma-free Billary Clinton (who, indeed, very most likely will win her party’s 2016 presidential nod if Warren stays out) is a giantess of charisma compared to Walker, and the national electorate as of late has been rejecting right-wing white men, such as John McCainosaurus and Mittens Romney. Those of us who aren’t right-wing white men (and that’s most of us Americans, and a growing number and percentage of us Americans) are sick and fucking tired of these stupid white men running the show. (Which is why it’s necessary for the millionaires and billionaires to buy elections and for the Repugnican Tea Party to pass legislation in the states ensuring that only the “right” people are able to cast a vote.)

Also, the centerpiece of Walker’s politics has been his relentless attacks against the working class and the middle class, to blame them (us) for his state’s (and, presumably, the nation’s) economic ills. He has been able to make this work in Wisconsin, with the help of his billionaire sugar daddies, but in a nation that still is recovering from the economy that the last Repugnican occupant of the White House destroyed, a candidate whose political history has consisted of blaming the victims of our economic problems for our economic problems won’t go over very well on the national level.

And, of course, there is, I believe, a hunger for our first female president. While I wish that our first female president were an actual progressive, and not a sellout DINO-weasel like Billary Clinton, with a Billary Clinton presidency, at the minimum we could say that finally, a woman was in the Oval Office (and not as a secretary or as first lady).

The fact is that our system of “democracy” has become so corrupt, and our collective political imagination has become so fucking bankrupt, that it indeed is fairly easy to predict, a year out, how things are going to pan out in Iowa and New Hampshire in January 2016.

Scott Walker will, I believe, emerge as his party’s 2016 presidential candidate. While Nate Silver gives Walker and Jeb an equal chance, no one, that I can see, has the appetite for a third Bush presidency — except, perhaps, for those whose surname is Bush.

And Billary will, I believe, emerge as her party’s candidate — unless Elizabeth Warren jumps in soon. If she does, she has a fighting chance, but if she doesn’t, it’s all Billary’s, for better or for worse.

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