January 21, 2023

DOJ assures Jim Jordan will become Jimmy the Snarling Jester Jordan

 DOJ  assures Jim Jordan will become Jimmy the Snarling Jester Jordan 
By Hal Brown



My illustration added this image to one of Jim Jordan which I modified from a color photo.:
There are jesters and there are jesters.
Click below to enlarge. 
Lower right: In Batman, Jester is the son of the Joker and Harley Quinn. His mother sent him to be trained by an assassin in order to fulfill his father's wish to kill the heroes.

I added my illustration to the article 

DOJ signals to Jim Jordan that it won’t share information about pending investigations from The Hill, but it could be on any of the various stories about this announcement from the Justice Department.

I have no doubt that the bloodthirsty Jim Jordan is salivating at the prospect of pouncing wolf-like onto his Democratic Party victims and devouring them with his incisive incisors.

This DOJ announcement is more than a "not so fast buddy boy." The Department of Justice is telling him in no uncertain terms what the J in DOJ stands for. They are telling him that he is not the king of the hill (and The Hill) that he fancies himself.

My understanding is that the DOJ may comply if asked, or subpoenaed, to provide information about other matters besides ongoing investigations, in other words, about concluded investigations. The fly in in ointment for Jordan is this from The Hill:

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte said in the letter, obtained by Politico on Friday. “Longstanding Department policy prevents us from confirming or denying the existence of pending investigations in response to congressional requests or providing non-public information about our investigations.” 
If I am interpreting this correctly, all the DOJ has to do is refuse to provide information without explaining why they are doing so.

If or when the DOJ provides information I think Jordan will find that he is on a snipe hunt, literally a fool's or jester's errand. They will bluster and bloviate about all the damning evidence of malfeasance they'd uncovered, but like with Benghazi time will show that there was no there .

The same goes for attempts by the Oversight Committee looking into the so-called weaponization of the DOJ,    as they spin their wheels investigating the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the origins of Covid, Big Tech, oh, and the biggest nothing-burger, Hunter Biden. 

No - there - there... not here, not here, not here, not there, not there, not there, sorry dudes and dudettes, not anywhere.

Jim Jordan, the former wrestling champion in the 134 lb. weight class,  and OSU wrestling coach accused of covering up sexual abuse at the college (something that earned him the nickname of Gym Jordan) likes to fleck his muscles. 

Like the typical winning wrestler on the mat, Jordan is very aggressive. I had a couple of friends in high school who wrestled. One of them went on to be a college wrestler. He handily pinned me in about a minute in an intramural wrestling competition. I can attest to the fact that although very aggressive when in a match, they were mild mannered everywhere else.

Not so with Jim Jordan. Not only is he aggressive but obnoxiously so. If he was the least bit likable we might have cause to be a tiny bit worried. The same goes for just about every prominent House Republican. For example, likable in the same sentence with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and others, is the very definition of an oxymoron. 

Update: On MSNBC commentary, an observation that if DOJ refuses to give some information the House committee can take it to court, but these cases can take months or even years to resolve.
Republican never-Trumper Stewart Stevens just noted what I did mentioning Marjorie Taylor Greene and (I think) Paul Gosar saying that they aren't even likable people and who would want to be sitting next to them.




January 20, 2023

Will the public ever recognize instantly who the initials JRB stands for?

 Will the public ever recognize instantly who the initials JRB stands for?
By Hal Brown

Look up FDR and you will find...

 247,000,000 results on Google. The initials LBJ and JFK are readily associated with the two presidents.

Look up JRB on Google and while there are 8,820,000 results none, at least on the first page, refer to Joseph Robinette Biden.

Click above to enlarge

The text I used for the illustration on this blog is from this Salon article by historian Robert S. McElvaine's article ... 

Of course some presidents no matter where history ever ranks them end up being referred to by three initials even when their middle names were fairly well known. Harry S. Truman never became HST, for example.

The reference to President Biden as JRB, who is usually referred to as Joe Biden rather than Joseph Biden, jumped out at me. I think using the three initials was an attempt by the author to equate him with FDR and LBJ.

I agree with the author's assessment. 

I think that Biden's (JRB's if you prefer) accomplishments have been drowned out in the GOP noice machine. He's been like Pablo Casals or Jascha Heifetz playing a solo during  a shit-throwing battle between screeching monkeys.

After describing the accomplishments that he uses to justify why FDR and LBJ were great presidents the author explains why he thinks Biden's two-year record stacks up well against "the very high bars set" by FDR and LBJ. Here are bullet points:

  • The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to stimulate the economy.
  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to provide for repairs and extensions to the nation's roads, bridges, railroads, water systems and broadband. 
  • The PACT Act, expanding health care and benefits for those who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service. 
  • The CHIPS and Science Act, funding advanced scientific research and investing $53 billion to manufacture silicone microchips in the U.S. 
  • The Inflation Reduction Act, which does more than any previous legislation to mitigate climate change, allows Medicare to negotiate with Big Pharma to cut prescription drug prices, begins to crack down on tax evasion by corporations and the very rich and much more. 
  • The Respect for Marriage Act, protecting both same-sex and interracial marriage.
  • A reform of the Electoral Count Act, making it more difficult to overturn an election, and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Biden has also excelled on the international stage far more than Roosevelt did in his first two years — and more than Johnson ever did. Biden rallied the forces of democracy to oppose Vladimir Putin's authoritarian aggression and aid Ukraine and revived NATO, which Trump had on the verge of collapse.
The future not only for JRB, for American democracy itself, depends on how well Democrats are able to, one, get enough voters to know about these accomplishments, and two and perhaps just as or more importantly, to care about how these benefit them personally.

Those who prefer to have a fascist authoritarian America where minority groups are marginalized (or worse) are a lost cause.  In their MAGA slogan "again" is a yearning for a pre-Civil War Confederacy. 

Those with even a rudimentary grasp of history wouldn't be bothered by the similarities between the rise of Hitler in the 1930's and what is happening in the United States today. To the contrary, they would applaud it.

--------- Addendum---------

Other articles by Robert S. McElvaine:

WHATTAYA THINK OF “SLEEPY JOE” & “DYSFUNCTIONAL” DEMOCRATS NOW, AMERICA? Aug. 2022

 
-------

Coincidentally, as I was finishing up this story the Cincinnati mayor was being interviewed on "Morning Joe" about how Biden's infrastructure bill was helping his city from improving transportation to increasing funding to the police in order to enable them to hire community resource officers to deal with mental health calls.

Postscripts:

Jennifer Rubin in a Washington Post Q&A answers this question: Will Republican lunacy ever cost them any significant number of voters?

There are multiple groups of voters who continue to support GOP candidates. The first is the hardcore cultists, who are beyond reason and persuasion. The second includes business interests, which go along for the tax cuts and anti-regulation policies. Those people are more reachable if they fear House Republcians are inviting economic chaos.

The final group includes habitual Republicans with an inordinate fear of Democrats. They can also be swayed. These are the voters who at some level understand that Biden is not a raving socialist; that our economy is recovering; that our international standing has improved; and that the side that is radical is the GOP. Biden's appeal to bipartisanship, good faith efforts to address the border and popular economic measures (e.g., infrastructure investments) are effective in persuading this group. Overall, the best thing going for Democrats is the unhinged, irresponsible conduct of the MAGA House.

-----

I posted links to this on Facebook, Tribel, Mastodon, and Twitter. On the latter I included the most popular hashtags with Biden including the one with the highest number, BidenWorstPresdientInHistory. I'll add replies to this tweet here if I get any.

January 19, 2023

New Zealand PM resigns, gives Tucker Carlson excuse to insult her looks and to make outlandish claims

 New Zealand PM resigns, gives Tucker Carlson an excuse to insult her looks and to make outlandish claims
By Hal Brown

 

I follow even minor New Zealand news because I have friends who live there and I often send them stories which end up being reported in the American media.

When I looked at The New York Times this morning I saw this on their website:

On MSNBC (click image to enlarge)









It was the top story on HUFFPOST:




Meanwhile on a major New Zealand news website the stories about the resignation appeared under an article about a wild kiwi egg:




The resignation gave Tucker "Tucking" Carlson an opportunity to demonstrate once again that he resides in a dark odiferous world of toxicity somewhere below pond slime.

I didn't know anything about her until today. From my reading today it became more than evident that  she has empathy. Carlson has antipathy to empathy and democracy and truth.

Tucker Carlson Announces Jacinda Ardern's Resignation By Mocking Her Appearance, HUFFPOST The giddy Fox News host made over-the-top claims about the outgoing prime minister.

HUFFPOST emphasized Carlson's mocking Ardern as "the lady with the big teeth" in the title, but this isn't his most disgusting comment.

He called her “an appalling abuser of human rights of her own people” who’s the “most authoritarian leader that country has ever had.”

What was the horrendous abuse of human rights? 

It was her taking stringent measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. Unmentioned of course is the fact that they were extraordinarily successful:
Click above for story

Then Carlson went a step further, you really have to watch his delivery to get the flavor of how he said these words:

“What are the chances she was a puppet of the Chinese government?We don’t have enough evidence to prove that, but we would rate that as about 100% likely.”

Click above

Tucker Carlson towers over also-rans like Alex Jones for the title of the most egregious and influential lying far-right propaganda purveyors. 

He would, and should, be seen as a caricature like the DonkeyHotey depiction I used to illustrate this blog story. 

He should be the blundering clown stumbling like a two-sheets to the wind drunk onto the the circus arena.  



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Addendum:

Click above to read ABC News article


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January 18, 2023

Will Manhattan DA's case against Trump have deadly tentacles

 Will Manhattan DA's case against Trump have deadly tentacles
By Hal Brown



I read this article in RAWSTORY and the phrase shown above leaped off the page and sent me to DuckDuckGo Images to find man-of-war jellyfish.


The article begins:

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg may finally have changed his mind about indicting former president Donald Trump.

The recent conviction of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg gave a glimpse of evidence that could tie the ex-president directly to the tax fraud scheme, such as a memo he signed approving chief operating officer Matthew Calamari’s illegal request to reduce his taxed salary to cover the cost of his untaxed corporate apartment, reported The Daily Beast.

Here's the portion about the tentacles:

“This case has tentacles,” said Duncan Levin, a former prosecutor who now represents Jennifer Weisselberg and has been communicating with investigators.

The district attorney's office declined to comment on what Bragg meant about another chapter, but former prosecutors from that office say their experience leads them to believe prosecutors will go after Trump.

“For people who want a certain outcome — to go after Trump — it gives hope," said Catherine A. Christian, a former assistant district attorney who investigated financial fraud. "They’re going to be thorough. I’m doubtful he would have said ‘next chapter’ if they weren’t looking."

To tell the unvarnished truth I don't have anything particularly original to say about this. I just wanted an excuse to make a couple of illustrations. I leave it to readers to indulge in fantasies about the Teflon don Don falling into a jellyfish swarm.

I think he might a need a full immersion wetsuit rather than a coating of Teflon to protect him from the jellyfish swarming around him not only in New York (cue music video) but also in Georgia (cue video two).


Update:



Irrelevant to today's story, items to share:

Funniest puniest of the week:


More seriously, everyone should share this image.

This hopefully will be the final straw to break for Santos and humiliate McCarthy. It would be truly great if McCarthy has to take steps to remove him from the House, and at least to immediately kick him off his committee assignments. There are a number of Republicans who shoot their dogs because they can't hunt anymore, but far more are dog lovers. I just wish more articles shared this photo:

"He would say, 'oh well, that Jew will give more if you're a Jew," Morey-Parker quoted his former roommate.

I wouldn't say that you can make a firm judgement of how smart someone is by how they look, but then again.... (article)









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January 17, 2023

GOP in center of circular firing squad

GOP in center of circular firing squad
By Hal Brown

THE TITLE of the article below SAYS FRAGILE, I'd add "fractious about to fracture" to this title, and change the photo (click to see how below) - this dark triad, this danger to democracy if they have power, fighting among themselves can only instill hope for those who fear they will bring a fascist autocracy (MAGAism and America First) to the country.

I made my own version of the photo used to illustrate the article. Click above to enlarge. Here's the meaning of Dark Triad.

Also on RAWSTORY:

'Don’t be ugly!' Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert quarrel noisily in House restroom


The article in Daily Beast is behind a paywall but you can see their illustration:

We all watched the soap opera of the fight over McCarthy's nomination to be Speaker of the House which included an actual attempted assault.

One would think that this travesty for Republicans would have taught them a lesson about public fighting and even supposedly private bathroom outbursts of acrimony.

Too bad Debbie Dingell didn't take and share a video of the so-called noisy quarrel. It was called a near-screaming match between Greene and Boebert. Classy person that she is, Dingell said "what happens in the ladies room stays in the ladies room."

Who actually reported the incident - since apparently it was't Dingell, hasn't been reported. It would be interesting to know who it was, especially if it was a Republican.

I don't see any avenue for the leaders of the GOP to remedy the situation by holding their version of the Mafia's Apalachin Meeting which was held to stop the feuding between various Mafia families. (It would have succeeded had not the police noticed all the out-of-state cars headed into a sleepy village and raided the meeting.)

The sociopaths in the Mafia knew what was best for their greater good. Not so with the sociopaths in the GOP because their narcissism overrides their good sense.

The self-defeating actions of the Republicans don't just involve individuals. For example as Thom Hartmann reports in "House Republicans are playing with fire" in Rawstory+ "the House Republican threat to crash our economy if Democrats don’t agree to gut aid to higher education, the EPA, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid... are playing with fire and appear to be blissfully ignorant of how destructive it could become." He writes:

Will this be our entre into Strauss and Howe’s “Fourth Turning”? Will House Republicans provoke a worldwide repeat of the Republican Great Depression that, history suggests, could easily lead the planet into another world war? 

Anybody who thinks cooler heads will prevail like they did in 2011 doesn’t know these Republicans. 

If they’re willing to offer excuses for Trump trying to overthrow the government of the United States, there truly are no guardrails to protect our nation from their avarice, stupidity, and willingness to destroy America for personal and political gain.

Buckle up. We’re in for a wild ride.

The term circular firing squad comes to mind thinking of what the Republican Party has devolved into. Ready, aim, fire!

_________________________

Related from Salon:

Heroes and villains: Fascists now control Congress — we can't afford to pretend otherwise


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January 16, 2023

For those panicking over America becoming a fascist country let's not forget Russia is committing war crimes every day

 For those panicking over America becoming a fascist country, let's not forget Russia is committing war crimes every day

By Hal Brown

This is not the first time the then Soviet Union committed genocide in Ukraine. Stalin did it through starvation rather than missiles.

Click above to read article.

It is easy to think America first, not in the Trumpian way, but because we live here and what is reported in the news about the MAGA cult and its aspirations effects democracy loving Americans each and every day as we worry, even obsess, about the country becoming an authoritarian state. 

If you're a news junkie like I am you also follow what Russia is doing to Ukraine. Today those paying attention to international news saw articles like this on HUFFPOST:

Excerpt: About 1,700 people lived in the multi-story building, and search and rescue crews have worked nonstop since Saturday’s strike to locate victims and survivors in the wreckage. The regional administration said 39 people have been rescued so far and 30 more remained missing. Authorities said at least 75 were wounded.

Click above to read article in The Guardian

Russia is committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, on a weekly, if not nearly a daily basis. Killing civilians in order to demoralize the country is their primary strategy since they are unable to win on the ground. 


In addition to using the killing of Ukrainian civilians as a strategy Putin is able to use poorly trained convicts and reluctant conscripts to amass waves of 100,000 troops at a time to be basically cannon fodder. 

The NAZI buzzbomb strikes and bombing raids against London targeted civilians as well and supplemented their military engagements against the Allied forces. However from my understanding their main strategy was to win army vs. army, air force vs. air force, navy vs. navy.


Back to current day Russia:

We saw this in June:

It is a travesty that they even are members of the United Nations' let alone a permanent member of the Security Council where they have veto power.


Anyone who values democracy should be taking a stand against Russia. Unfortunately millions of Americans take Tucker Carlson's words like this as a gospel:


Putin is Stalin without a mustache. I wonder whose side the likes of Tucker Carlson would have been on prior to and during World War II. I expect he would have been a leader in the German-American Bund (read article):
German American Bund rally New York, Madison Square Garden, February 1939. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense.

Men saluting Nazi and American flags at Camp Siegfried, New York on October 1937. Image by University of Southern California.

Had the Allies not needed the Soviet Union to fight the NAZI army on the Eastern Front the alliance between this despot and the Allies would never have happened and we wouldn't have had the Yalta Conference and this amazing historic photo.

(From left) Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference, 1945. Click above to enlarge photo.

To conclude:

“Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”

This famous quote is attributed to the American philosopher George Santayana and it can be accurately quoted as “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” as stated in his work, The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense. His work speaks mostly about the role of rationality in moral philosophy and general ethics.

The problem is with those protofascists who do remember history and rather than wanting to repeat it are trying their damnedest to change the ending so their side wins. They want to avoid the errors of the NAZIS and turn the United States into the Germany Hitler envisioned for the greatest German Reich (read article).

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Who will really be standing behind Biden in the State of The Union Address

 Who will really be standing behind Biden in the State of The Union Address By Hal Brown It's supposed to be the House Speaker, but who ...