Commentary Dumb Ass Hall of Fame

D.A.H.O.F. Returns: Blake Farenthold, Masterduelist

House GOPNobody  ever accused Mrs. Farenthold of raising a gentleman, and unconventionally telegenic Blake Farenthold, apparent owner of website and republican congressman from east Texas best known for a particularly unseemly sexual harassment complaint lodged against him (click here, beware eeeww factor), is not content to rest on his laurels. He likes to say that ethics investigators dismissed that charge, but only after he reached an undisclosed out of court settlement with the victim.

In a recent interview, the former right-wing radio schlock jock wanna-be lashed out at Duckythe failure of the dysfunctional Trump government’s inability to conjure up sufficient support to pass its deeply flawed repeal-and-replace of the Affordable Healthcare Act, placing the blame on “some female senators from the Northeast,” according to The Associated Press. Unable to muzzle his drooling yapper, the dashing troglodyte suggested what he felt was an appropriate solution. “If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” he bragged.

First of all: no, he wouldn’t. As Democratic Senator commented to Maine Republican Susan Collins, one the targets of Farenthold’s bile, “”Trust me — you know why he challenged you to a duel? Because you could beat the shit out of him.” Other Republicans who have come out strongly against the deeply flawed “TrumpCare” scheme include Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), either of which could easily thrash their corpulent colleague from way down south in Dixie.

True to form for all loudmouth bullies, Farenthold changed his tune once the story went viral, insisting that his venal rhetoric was all in good fun, his comments reflecting that ““Like the President, I am sick and tired of the left-wing biased media trying to make something out of nothing. This was clearly tongue in cheek”

Note the key phrase there: Like The President.

Plenty more to read about Farenthold, another one of those redneck republicans too full of themselves to even try to hide and hold back the stupid from foaming out of their mouths, and for this, Blake Farenthold has been  nominated to the “back in business” Dumb Ass Hall of Fame.

*The Dumb Ass Hall of Fame regrets squandering the opportunities presented by the current democratically elected leadership of the United States of America and is, once again, welcoming nominations.

Commentary Uncategorized

Don’t Count On Impeachments Before They’re Hatched.

The Interwebs are crackling with excitement over the possibility that finally, after an interminably frustrating 4 months in office (who thought he’d even last this long?) something might possibly stick to the, er, gold plated Teflon-coated skin of our embarrassment-in-chief. The word “impeachment,” along with “Russia,” and “Traitor” is trending, and Trump apologists are hunkered down and hiding, at least for the immediate future–Charlie Rose reports that no less than 20 Republican politicians have declined interview invitations. Twenty. This could be unprecedented, begging the question: have twenty politicians ever refused to talk on the same day before?

I remain unimpressed. I just watched a video on CNN of Paul Ryan, jabbering about how we know nothing yet, that he has to gather evidence, especially given the lengths that people have gone to in order to undermine The President. He wants to convey objectivity without breaking loyalty, and I suppose if I was a Trump supporter I’d appreciate his effort, but I’m well past the point where I give the President the benefit of a doubt. Trump has been managing his presidency like a performance art parody of a multi-cam comedy about a bungling President and his goofy staff. Think: dystopian photo-negative reimagining of that old Michael J. Fox television classic, Spin City. (Richard Kind character equated to Sean “Spicey” Spicer is perfection.) It would be hilarious, if only this was a real TV show, not the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the history of mankind.

Trump has lied on top of lies, generally refusing to recant on even the most obvious untruths. He lies for no great reason, with a conviction that suggests a pathological pattern of behavior, and he lies on grand stages about serious events. He lashes out at enemies, provokes allies, and slanders strangers, often as a calculated distraction from his own gaffes and outrages, but sometimes just for sport. Despite this behavior he is defended by those in his adopted party (most of his life, Trump voted Democrat, undoubtedly as a networking advantage in heavily Democratic New York City) not as dishonest and repugnant, but as a colorful maverick.

It is going to take a hell of a lot more than a little treason and a lot of bold lies to even consider articles of impeachment, must less dislodging this should-be Pariah from the White House. Fox News is pretty much calling fired FBI directed James Comey a liar, and the Teabaggers are circling the wagons, wrapped up in sticking it to “the man” in spite of the fact that few presidents have embodied the concept of “the man” more ably that pussy-grabbing, deal-breaking, bankruptcy-making Donald Trump.

The regressive core of the Republican party has refused to condemn Trump for childish and destructive conduct for plenty of reasons. Plenty of cowards fear him–not him exactly, although his impulsive vindictiveness certainly keeps some on edge. Rather, they fear the angry, desperate mob Trump whipped up with his phony promises and hollow nationalism, and which he still wields like a cudgel. Others are content to let him ride roughshod as long as he tears down and dismantles every component of government he can get his tiny little hands on. Some people just want to watch the world burn. Others sit back and watch Trump do it for them, like a wind-up monkey. They don’t care about international relations, or the welfare of the people, or anything outside of their ideological contempt for all things regulatory or administrative. And finally, you have the two types of opportunists. There is the Paul Ryan model, who believe in nothing beyond personal advancement. Remember how Ryan and his ilk loathed Trump until he won the primary, at which point they loved him? Beside them are the practical cowards, like Vice President Mike Pence, men and women who are smart and competent enough to see Trump for what he really is, but who are more than willing to ally with him if it means politically leveraging advantage for their own, narrow pet causes. For Pence, it is tearing down the boundary between Church and State, a particularly onerous trade shared by most evangelical theocratists, faith-healers, closeted hypocrites and snake-oil sellers of the Christian entertainment industry.,all of whom look blindly past Trumps gutter-crawl through marriage after marriage, his greed and idolatry, his coveting and his gluttony. I can’t say that Trump has murdered, but he seems to have the rest of the commandments and motal sins checked off like a movie serial killers “to do” list. And the christian activists couldn’t care less.

Of course, in order to actually impeach Trump, we would need to see enough Republicans willing to put the welfare of the nation and it’s people–including all the lazy poor and devious immigrants (or children of immigrants)–above whatever stake they have in the Trump administration, knowing that by convicting they will at the same time be admitting to their own culpability in enabling their President and his banana republic management of the nation. And even then, in the unlikely event that the house impeaches, and the senate does not acquit, we end up with Pence as President, with Ryan skulking in the shadows, at which point we’re forced to consider: what is preferable, an idiot child-king or a polished politician, when the overwhelming platform won’t change all that much. In many ways, Trump’s arrogant incompetence is a check and balance, revealing what might, under a more capable politician, have been hidden in shadows while at the same time stirring up a storm of angry resistance. I want Trump gone as much or more than the next guy, but I’m awfully wary of what comes next.


Craw-Stuck By Netanyahu Visit

Not awestruck, but craw, as in “stuck in my….”

netanyahuJudging from my personal Facebook page, there is a loudly enthusiastic minority of Americans who have whipped themselves into feverish, Dervish-like fervor over the visit of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his address to Congress. Not coincidentally, I noticed a flush of fawning articles on fly-by-night propaganda sites with names like–well, I’m not going to give them a single direct click to grab hits, but they’ve all got jingoistic titles and make references to “patriotism” early and often.  The kind of shit sites the links to which your brother-in-law keeps forwarding you, unsolicited.

All share a glowing reverence for Mr. Netanyahu in the vein of “now THIS is a REAL leader,” leaving us little to wonder about who is not a “real” leader, in their eyes.*  Many feature photos of this fellow in his youthful incarnation as a soldier–the word “badass,” one of my favorite modifiers, is bandied about shamelessly, an echo of the awed salivating over Jordan’s King Abdullah which followed that bold leader’s justifiably furious response to the ISIS execution by immolation of Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh.  No small irony there.

For all I know, Mr. Netanyahu is indeed a badass.  He’s certainly a savvy politician, as his recent, controversial visit to Congress has proven.  There’s an election coming up in a few weeks in Israel, something most articles about this visit fail to mention, but you can be damned sure the Israeli leader’s timing was carefully calculated.  There’s no doubt that flying across the sea to give his country’s patron nation the what for has played well with the Likud hardliners back in Tel Aviv. He’s doing his job and doing it well.

It takes a special kind of leader to spit in the eye of the hand that feeds you.  Aside from Afganistan, which is largely an American puppet state, Israel tops the list of foreign aid recipients by a considerable margin (the next being Iraq, yet another nation we pounded into dust).  We pay a great number of nations to either favor us over our enemies or to not be our enemies themselves, but we pay Israel just to be our friend.
Foreign Aid

Indeed, I must admit that I am honestly impressed by the weight of his balls, for lack of a better metaphor, although the crassness seems fitting in the context of a foreign leader who visited our country, stood before our leadership, and proceeded to lecture us on history, critique our diplomacy, dictate to us what our foreign policy should be, and directly insult the intelligence of a sitting President.  To put this chart in perspective, the $3.1 billion per year given to Israel annually could be spent alternatively by providing over $200,000 to EVERY one of the nearly 15,000 school districts in the USA. (More if leave out Wisconsin, whose governor says they already spend too much on education.)

Again, this isn’t about Netanyahu. He’s accomplishing his agenda willfully and effectively.  I can’t say the same for the Congressional Toads who kowtowed to him for no other reason than to agitate the Executive Branch.  If it were the leader of any other nation I’d feel the same way.  Hell, it pisses me off when that old Irish turd Bono finds his way to DC to lecture our leaders: you may be right, but it’s not for you to say so butt the hell out.

bull mooseNow, before you get all huffy and finger-pointy and start calling me bad words like “liberal,” let me tell you that you would be wrong. I’m about as non-partisan as you can imagine.  The only political party I fit into fell into history when Charles Evans Hughes lost the Presidential election to Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

I don’t trust Iran any more than Netanyahu does, but I don’t trust Israel either.  Why should I?  They have their own agenda, and despite their reliance on American tax dollars, they’ve never been shy about doing what they feel they need to do, regardless of it’s effect on us.

That doesn’t mean that I have to accept a foreign leader–ANY foreign leader–coming to Washington DC to loudly and disrespectfully shame and bully our government.  It is fine for me to do that, but I’m an American. It’s my yard, my dog can shit wherever it wants–but your dog..? No way.  And for the sake of argument, imagine if Democrats brought in French President Francois Hollande to give our Congress a piece of his mind!  Or Germany’s Angela Merkel?  The outrage would be thicker than Newt Gingrich’s iron hide.

John Boehner :: JamesonThe most shame goes to John Boehner, (my auto-correct desperately wants me to change that name to “Boner” and I’m just juvenile enough that sooner or later I’m going to do it) for being complicit to Netanyahu’s political stunt and inviting this outsider to raise his voice in what, by all accounts, is a family fight.  And shame on the media for reporting on the hissy fits and posturing while ignoring the finer details of this whole business–but then, if they can’t reduce it to a 90 second bit then they’d rather ignore it all together.

There has been precious little to respect about the Democrats lately, but I’m with them on this one.  And that sticks in my craw just as much as all the the rest of it.

 *The USA had a bona fide, decorated soldier who enlisted then volunteered for exceptionally hazardous duty, and was a documented killer as a potential President not all that long ago, but his service was slandered and his record largely disregarded by the same partisans who fetishsize Netanyahu, so the argument carries little weight.