Showing posts with label GOP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GOP. Show all posts

January 24, 2023

Kevin and Marjorie, sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G

Kevin and Marjorie, sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G
By Hal Brown

Scroll down for Jan. 25th update

The insert was manipulated by me to bring McCarthy within kissing distance of Greene.

When I looked at Salon this morning this was the main article:

Click above to read article

McCarthy's nauseating adoration for Greene continues throughout the article (in The NY Times), leaving it impossible to believe there's anything resembling reluctance on either side of this alliance.
The title uses the words "hopelessly devoted" plus the texts say nauseating adoration, indeed... I rather doubt these words were chosen at random.

And then there's this quote:


There are non-too-subtle implications here, so I'm going to come right out and say it. If it looks like an amorous duck, walks like one and talks like one, perhaps it is one.

I suppose you can say that the Devil made me do a wee but of tinkering with the image when I saw, like how anyone could miss it, how intimate these two appeared to be in the photo.

The "Kevin and Marjorie sitting in tree, K I S S I N G" was too euphonious not to use it in a blog for a title.

Democrats are  reveling at the level of Republican dysfunction within the House. Angry non-MAGA Republicans may be saying "you made your bed, Kevin, now sleep in it" bring up the image of Kev and Marge under the sheets. If I could draw I'd make a cartoon showing this.

The notion of a political marriage was not lost on journalists. Consider:

Lawrence O’Donnell Spots Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Strangest' Vow To Marjorie Taylor Greene

“He was not talking about his wife of 31 years, the mother of his two children,” the MSNBC anchor said of the House speaker's promise to the far-right congresswoman.

Excerpt: 

O’Donnell pointed to a New York Times article in which McCarthy was quoted as telling a friend: “I will never leave that woman. I will always take care of her.”

McCarthy wasn’t “talking about his wife of 31 years, the mother of his two children,” noted O’Donnell.Instead, McCarthy was reportedly making a political marriage vow to extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). 

The Times article — titled “How Kevin McCarthy Forged an Ironclad Bond With Marjorie Taylor Greene” — explained how Greene’s help was crucial in McCarthy finally winning his drawn-out bid for the speakership.

McCarthy “can only hope no one back home in Bakersfield, California, was reading The New York Times today,” O’Donnell added.

If you have a subscription to The New York Times you can read the article O'Donnell was referring to. Here's the photo used to illustrate it. The background suggests it was taking at the same time but a few moments after the photo Salon used was taken.


There's nothing wrong with hugging, however I don't see lots of photos of male Republicans hugging each other.

Excerpt:

Their political union — a closer and more complex one than has previously been known — helps explain how Mr. McCarthy rose to power atop a party increasingly defined by its extremes, the lengths to which he will go to accommodate those forces, and how much influence Ms. Greene and the faction she represents have in defining the agenda of the new House Republican majority.

“If you’re going to be in a fight, you want Marjorie in your foxhole,” Mr. McCarthy said. Both he and Ms. Greene agreed to brief interviews for this article. “When she picks a fight, she’s going to fight until the fight’s over. She reminds me of my friends from high school, that we’re going to stick together all the way through.”

It is a relationship born of political expediency but fueled by genuine camaraderie, and nurtured by one-on-one meetings as often as once a week, usually at a coffee table in Mr. McCarthy’s Capitol office, as well as a constant stream of text messages back and forth.

From reading this and other articles one might conclude that for the most part McCarthy a savvy political tactician and is manipulating Greene by giving in to her demands. I wonder whether the reverse is true with Greene using her wiles to manipulate McCarthy.

.......

Greene and her husband Perry divorced in 2022. Here they are in presumably happy times for the couple celebrating their 25th anniversary.

More photos here.

.......

Addendum:

Related or  not...

Click above to read 2015 NY Post article

Perhaps the gentleman prefers blondes.

Up close and personal with Marjorie Taylor Greene:



Update: Jan 25, 2023


Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy Share Love-In After 'Crazy' Speaker Race


Marjorie Taylor Greene aims to be Trump's VP pick in 2024 -- "She sees herself on the short list for Trump's VP," said former Trump aide Steve Bannon, who has spoken with Greene.


What a no-brainer this is. Of course MT Greene aspires to higher office.  This leaves only three options. She could run for governor. She could run for the Senate. She could be Trump's choice as his VP running mate, no inference meant by using the term "mate" intended. This would be her most likely ladder to the presidency since actuarial tables suggest Trump might not live to complete a term should he be elected. 

What she has to be careful of is that for the present she serves two masters, Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump. If these two have a falling out she will have to chose sides. 

That might not be easy. McCarthy has the power to derail her ambitions to be the unofficial Speaker of the House calling the shots whenever she thinks it will accrue to her benefit. On the other hand if she crossed Trump he would never select her to run with him.

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 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


Comment below or on Facebook or on Mastodon. You can make a reply on Twitter too.

January 11, 2023

Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come

 Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come
By Hal Brown, MSW



UPDATE: Jan. 29:


Original blog:

There's no word in English, or any other language for that matter, for the German word Schadenfreude. Following the German convention it is often capitalized, which is good since it means it doesn't need further emphasis here, although I am tempted to put it in bold. 

I experienced a delightful feeling of Schadenfreude when I read this article:

As far as I'm concerned, and I expect other Democrats too, the longer George Santos stays in the House the better. I am sure that many or most of the House Republicans wish he would just go away as quickly and quietly as possible. They may be able to sideline him but I have no doubt that he will make himself accessible to reporters eager to cover his every utterance. "If it bleeds, it leads" certainly applies to Santos, and he's hemorrhaging.


I am also watching reporters catching House Republicans being asked about Santos and enjoying watching them squirm as they deflect the questions.
Below top center, Steve Scalise:
Like Icarus, he is flying too close to the Sun

I don't think it is wishful thinking to be convinced that Santos will not be the first Schadenfreude inducer as the House Republicans in the Freedom Caucus, more appropriately called the Free-to-Be-Crazy Caucus, grind the necessary business of the House to a screeching halt as they go full-steam ahead on their vengeance train. 

I don't wish death or literal injury on anyone but I am reminded of incidents like this when a train went much faster than the tracks would support.

The more-or-less not mentally unbalanced GOP House members like Jim Jordan, for all his grimacing, screaming, and screeching may have stories like this written about him...


compared to the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert. and Matt Gaetz he's an exemplar of mental stability.

The Schadenfreude with Jordan probably won't come with his swatting at hallucinatory flying pigs during a televised hearing which he chairs. While I'd like to see him turn into a quivering mass of incoherence when one of the Democrats nails him I doubt it will happen. 

What I think will occur over time is that these hearings and investigations, especially the ones on the so-called weaponization of the federal government (read why this is the most dangerous) and Hunter Biden turn into Snipe hunts. I call it Schadenfreude delayed. When it happens...

.... for Republicans, and not in a good way... it will be a nightmare filled sleep they can't wake up from.

Updates: I really hoped George Santos would stay in the House for as long as possible, his being there causing rizik tsores (Yiddish for huge suffering) for Republicans. Now it looks like his days may be numbered. The Nassau County GOP called on him to resign. This makes it harder for House GOP to dodge the issue. 
I wonder who the aide by his side, who gets in the elevator with him, is.


January 10, 2023

Amanda Marcotte Said It All About The GOP House But Her Title Put It Mildly

 Amanda Marcotte Said It All About The GOP House But Her Title Put It Mildly
By Hal Brown

The lettering above comes from one of the images used to promote one of the versions of the Ray Bradbury novel of this name.

I was resting in bed after waking up this morning and thinking about writing something about what the next two years has in store for the country as the GOP turns the house into Benghazi on a malevolent mixture of steroids and psychedelics.   

Then I read this republished Salon essay by Amanda Marcotte on RAWSTORY.  (I like reading Salon articles on RAWSTORY because the later has a comments section and the former doesn't. If you prefer you can read this piece on Salon here.)

If it was up to me I would have changed the title of her essay. Instead of 

"Call it the Conspiracy Theory Congress: Things are about to get dangerously weird on Capitol Hill"


 I would have changed it to 


Call it the Conspiracy Theory Congress: Things are about to get treacherously weird on Capitol Hill

Amanda Marcotte addressed everything I was thinking and more better than I ever could.

I urge you to read what she wrote. I thought I'd bullet-point some of what stood out and it apropos that the word "bullet" in this term used in this particular context has another meaning. These are bullets aimed at the heart of our democracy.

  • The antics of various House committees, as they work hand-in-glove with Fox News to create and disseminate right wing conspiracy theories, will make an epsiode of Infowars seem downright sober-minded.
  • Having realized that they'll likely never get their desired ends through democratic means, they've determined democracy itself must go. And make no mistake: McCarthy and other GOP leaders are only too happy to go along with the program.
  • ...the current iteration of the GOP is functionally a fascist party and adheres to the knee-jerk fascist distaste for thinking, rational debate, and above all, letting facts guide your decision-making.
  • ...they will use the immense power and resources of the U.S. Congress to be a bullshit-generating machine. 
  • The hearings publicizing the conspiracy theories will be framed as "investigations," but no one should be fooled. The Republicans behind these lies, much less the right wing "journalists" who will elevate them, know full well it's all nonsense.
  • The purpose of these exercises in fantastical story-telling is, if anything, more diabolical than an old-fashioned desire to fool people. It's about a larger assault on truth itself, or more specifically, on the value that truth has in our society. The goal of the "alternative facts" crowd is to make truth no more relevant than lies.
  • The next two years of "hearings" will be much of the same: Lots of insinuations and false accusations, as well as incoherent ramblings that only make sense to those who are already well-versed in right wing conspiracy theories. Little, if any, effort will be put toward making any of these outlandish stories or conspiracy theories convincing. They aren't really meant to be believed. They are meant to alter the American relationship with reality so people lose all faith that the difference between true and false matters at all.
This all doesn't strike me as merely dangerous. I don't think it is hyperbole to say that treachery is what we as a nation is facing. 

Addendum 1: This is the second time I used an illustration form Something Wicked The Way Comes in a story. This is from May, 2016:

Addendum 2:

For whatever reason, Chris Hedges, the author of 

America's theater of the absurd: Our politics has become an endless carnival

Last week's power struggle between warring factions of charlatans, con men and "influencers" was only the beginning

 in Salon  decided to put, or allow to be poorly photoshopped, a clown nose onto President Biden as if he is cut from the same fascistic clothe as Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump. 

He wrote: The billionaire class, for the most part, prefers the mask of a Joe Biden, who broke the railroad unions. But it also knows that the goons and con artists on the far right will not interfere in its disemboweling of the nation.
This is the only reference to Biden in his essay. 

This is an example of bothsidesism. He isn't comparing apples and oranges. He's comparing an apple with a small bruise with a pit of venomous vipers.

Click "Read more" to continue.

January 5, 2023

The Bunion reports: Compromise candidate for Speaker is Ginni Thomas

The Burning Bunion reports: Compromise candidate for Speaker is Ginni Thomas
Hal Brown


This is a shameless ripoff of oft quoted satirical website The Onion. It turns out that The Bunion, my original  name, was an idea too good to be original. In 2014 there was a Boston University student satire website with the name The Bunion so I named this The Burning Bunion. I can only aspire to be somewhat as clever in my attempts at satire as the good folks at The Onion are.

Breaking news: A backroom deal was finally struck among House Republicans with a compromise candidate to be the Speaker of the House. It is Ginni Thomas. While she is politically the polar opposite of Nancy Pelosi one thing the two have in common is they like to wear colorful scarves. 

Democrat political fashion guru Lisa Bungalow told The Bunion in an exclusive interview "while I loathe her politics and when I see her on TV it already makes me nauseous, at least she will keep bringing a splash of color to the podium."

Bungalow noted that when she was with her husband Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas she often wears red to complement what, like Donald Trump, is a signature red tie.

Saturday night Live took notice of this:
Kenan Thompson and Aidy Bryant
Sparticum Voluminous of The Okey-dokey Online Law Review in an email to The Bunion wrote "this would be like getting a Speaker of the House and a Supreme Court Justice rolling into one as second in line to the presidency." He noted that "everyone knows that Ginni and Clarence Thomas share everything. She advices him and he advises her."


Update: I wrote this above yesterday. Was I prescient or what? This story was on HUFFPOST this morning:
I put a comment on HuffPost. Perhaps some readers will see it and click to read this story.

December 20, 2022

The GOP has gone beyond The Outer Limits


GOP has gone beyond The Outer Limits
By Hal Brown

The series "The Outer Limits" was never as popular as "The Twilight Zone" but I still rarely missed an episode of either of them when I was a kid. Both could have been used in the title for this blog. I went with The Outer Limits because I found an image I liked.

No extremist has beliefs too far removed from reality or too fascist to be embraced by the Republican Party as long as its adherents can be counted on to vote for their candidates.

The GOP welcome mat has been rolled out for adherents of QAnon, which is based on the premises that "an international cabal of Satanic pedophiles extract and consume a mysterious substance found in the bodies of trafficked children. They think well-connected devil-worshippers also control the United Nations, the global economy, and even the Oscars (Salon).

GOP members of Congress have refused to roundly and soundly condemned the NAZISM espoused by the likes of Ye and Fuentes. "Oh sure it's bad but - wink, wink - it's not really all that bad."

Between these two we have all the Republican politicians who have embraced the Big Lie. If they believe it they are delusional, gullible, and/or stupid as these three are not mutually exclusive, or they are craven, power hungry, and/or unethical as these three aren't mutually exclusive either.

The Republicans who are savvy enough to understand the inevitable demographic shifts in the United States realize this is their last chance to turn the country into a white supremacist fascist autocracy at the ballot box.

Their solution to this has been, and continues to be, to try to destroy fair elections.

Another way to look at the Republican Party as it is today is to compare it to the Democratic Party and consider which is the "big tent" party which embraces true democratic principles. Consider: 

Wikipedia defines big tent party as a term used in reference to a political party's policy of permitting or encouraging a broad spectrum of views among its members. This is in contrast to other kinds of parties, which defend a determined ideology, seek voters who adhere to that ideology, and attempt to convince people towards it.

This is how they describe how the term has been used in the United States. Consider especially the part which I highlighted below:

The Democratic Party, during the New Deal coalition, which was formed to support President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal policies from 1930s to the 1960s, was a "big-tent" party. The coalition brought together labor unions, working-class voters, farm organizations, liberals, Southern DemocratsAfrican Americans, urban voters, and immigrants.

The Blue Dog Coalition is a big-tent caucus of centrist and conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives, some of whom are socially conservative and fiscally and economically progressive or vice versa. For a brief period after the 2006 and the 2008 elections, when Democrats held a majority in the House, the Coalition wielded increased influence over the party, but its power declined again after most of its members were defeated or retired in the 2010 elections. Its Republican counterpart is the Republican Main Street Partnership.

To counter the New Deal coalition, the Republican Party was for much of its history a "big tent" party that encompassed a wide range of right-wing and center-right causes, including a wide range of politicians who were fiscally conservative and socially moderate or liberal and vice versa. During the 1970s and the 1980s, the Republicans attracted support from wealthy suburban voters in the South and MidwestNortheastern moderates, Western libertarians, and rural conservatives across the country. From 1968 to 1988, Republicans won five out of six presidential elections, with the only exception being a narrow loss to the Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976. The culture wars of the 1990s and the growing influence of the Christian right within the party have prompted the socially moderate and liberal sections of the Republican base, particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest, to begin slowly leaving the party in favor of moderate Democrats or independents.

What began in the 1990's as a slope which became more and more slippery as time passed became a precipice with the election of Donald Trump and more and more extremist Republicans. The moderate Republicans who remained in Congress now find themselves at the mercy of the extremists for their political survival.

The party became toxic to legislators like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger who maintained their ethical compass.

Many if not most of the episodes of "The Outer Limits" and "The Twilight Zone" were morality tales which ended with a lesson. Two classic Twilight Zone episodes come to mind. One is "The Obsolete Man" with Burgess Meredith as the librarian who survives the end of the word but realizes he still have his books to read, and then steps on an breaks his glasses. The other is "People Are Alike All Over" where an astronaut lands on Mars and is greeted by friendly seeming aliens and ends up in a closed room. Then the wall on one side goes up and he sees he's in a cage in a zoo being gawked at by a crowd of Martians looking at an Earth creature. The last lines are: 

Specie [sic] of animal brought back alive. Interesting similarity in physical characteristics to human beings in head, trunk, arms, legs, hands, feet. Very tiny undeveloped brain. Comes from primitive planet named Earth. Calls himself Samuel Conrad. And he will remain here in his cage with the running water and the electricity and the central heat as long as he lives. Samuel Conrad has found The Twilight Zone.

Among these 10 episodes of "The Outer Limits" you will also find many which were morality tales, for example "The Galaxy Being" which warns about man's hubris. 



I found Trump in Medieval painting of legal Hell

  I found Trump in Medieval painting of legal Hell By Hal Brown Okay, that's a lie. I added a stylized version of Trump (made by using B...