Eating Monkey Brains

Of the many professional Trump detractors 1, Charles Pierce is both the most voluminous and scathing.

Scrapie is a prion disease, similar in its effect to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease) and to the wasting disease that afflicts herds of deer, and to kuru, a disease first seen among tribes in Papua New Guinea that was transmitted in part through the ritual cannibalism of the tribe’s dead. Elsewhere in Asia, the custom of eating the brains of a monkey was responsible for cases of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, yet another prion illness. Once established in the victim, prion disease destroys the human nervous system. It eats away at the higher functions of the brain. So, when I talk about the prion disease that afflicts the Republican Party, and the conservative movement that is its only life force any more, I do not use the metaphor idly. The party has lost what’s left of its mind…

…It did not begin with Donald Trump, god knows. It was there when Bob Dole, who is looked upon now with nostalgic fondness, declared that he represented all those people who didn’t vote for Bill Clinton, an unprecedented public statement by the leader of an opposition party. It was there when various influential Republicans met on the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration and declared open warfare against his agenda before they even knew what it was, and this in the middle of the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. It was there when they meddled in the care of Terri Schiavo and it is there in their pathological insistence that supply-side economics works. It cost Merrick Garland a seat on the Supreme Court. And it was the direct cause of the election of the current president*.

Just on Monday, the President* of the United States declared insufficient applause at his State of the Union address to be a treasonous act. From The New York Times:

“Can we call that treason?” Mr. Trump said of the stone-faced reaction of Democrats to his speech. “Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

The White House dismissed this as simply a “tongue-in-cheek” remark by our laff-riot president*. I guarantee you that most of his intended audience, fed as it is with daily doses of the monkey brains by its favorite radio and TV stars, did not take it that way. They cheered because, in their minds, he meant every word. 2

Pierce is spot on in his analysis; the GOP is like one’s dodgy aunt who lives in your basement, totally ’round the bend, of whom one does not speak in polite company. The president* is what happens when she’s let out.

Eating Monkey Brains

Show 2 footnotes

  1. I’ll take Charles Blow for most serious.
  2. Not to mention the president*
    does mean every word of it. And more…

No Winners, Just Losers

As a friend on FB put it yesterday…stupid fucking Democrats.

Trump’s (first) shutdown of the government lasted what? Two and a half days? And even that was too long for the Democrats.

Lordy lordy lordy, we tried,” you could hear the Dems quailing. “We tried to protect several hundred thousand young immigrants –immigrants who were brought to this country by their parents, through no dissembling of their own– from deportation. We tried! But we were afraid we’d lose our comfortable jobs! But is was harrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd!

The Senate Democrats  –as betrayed by Chuck Schumer– gave in to GOP demands, in exchange for a handful of magic beans promise from McConnell to address immigration in the coming weeks. They helped pass a bill not markedly different from the one on the table Friday.

Again from our FB friend:

Here’s why that’s idiocy:!

1. Mitch keeps his word [ Hahahahaha – jes’ kidding!] and holds a vote. IF the bill passed, would Zombie-eyed Granny-Starver Paul Ryan bring it up for a vote in the House? Ah, hell no – see earlier traitorous action vis a vis Rubio.

2. If ZEGS DID bring the immigration bill to a vote in the House, would the House Freedom Caucus kill it? [Pro Tip: YES.]

Mid Morning UPDATE: Apparently getting shot has made Rep. Steve Scalise cranky; he’s telling everyone who will listen the House is NOT going to entertain an immigration bill. You’d have to shoot him to get him (again)to change his mind.

3. If an immigration bill should make it through Congress, would Comrade Racist veto it? [Pro Tip: Why are you even asking this? Of COURSE the president* would veto it; he’d NEVER risk alienating the 33% of GOP Deplorables who are his base.]

4. But Trump promised to sign said legislation. [Pro Tip: You trust Trump to keep a promise? C’mon over here, son, I got a bridge you gotta buy…]

The above is why Dems rightly believe any immigration reform must be attached to a must-pass legislation; though separating the issues SOUNDS reasonable, it is not in this case.

Come February? It will be something else, possibly Trump’s penis substitute, er..his wall. If that wasn’t already snuck into this CR, of course.

Of course if you parse what Gríma Wormtongue actually said, it was that he “intended” to hold a vote; the distance between Wormtongue’s lies…er, words and the actual deed  can be measured in light years…

No,  there were no winners in this shutdown. The question is who lost the most: The ReThugs have to go at this again in 3 weeks; the Dems have that long to find their collective spines.

The only putative bright spot in all of this is the possibility both sets of jackasses come to realize that anyone who allows deportations of young people to take place will take it in the shorts come the fall elections.

Don’t hold your breath though; neither set of Congress critters are known for their common sense.

No Winners, Just Losers

7-Eleven Kabuki

Thank you. Come again.U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents blitzed dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday to interview employees and deliver audit notifications, carrying out what the agency said was the largest operation targeting an employer since President Trump took office.

ICE said its agents showed up at 98 stores and made 21 arrests, describing the operation as a warning to other companies that may have unauthorized workers on their payroll.

“Today’s actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable,” said Thomas D. Homan, the agency’s top official, in a statement.

Homan characterized the operation as a new front in the Trump administration’s broader immigration crackdown and its effort to increase deportations. ICE agents have made 40 percent more arrests in the past year.

At last count there were 10,500 7-Elevens in the United States.

ICE “hit” 98 of them and arrested 21 people. If nothing else the president* and his ilk should be outraged at the ridiculous ROI; isn’t The Dotard supposed to be a successful businessman?

The truth is the “raids” were but kabuki, formalized street theater straight out of the televised annals of Dragnet. The purpose? To satisfy the blood lust of the cryptochristian neo-confederate lard asses upset they have to talk to a Satish, Arya, Juan or Maria when they present their script/wrinkled dollar bills to the cashier when paying for their 64-ounce Slurpees.

7-Eleven Kabuki

It’s a Sicilian Russian Message

So…our “ambassador” to the UN, Nikki Haley, sent the below “note” to the other ambassadors before the UN Security Council voted on the president*’s Jerusalem declaration. 1

Hilariously, Haley begins in a threatening tone (“Great little country you have there. Be a shame something were to happen to it, ya know?”) then ends with a patented Miss Manners southern etiquette close, bless her lil’ heart.

The entire UN Security Council probably laughed, perhaps even out loud and in front Haley, as they read it. I bet after vote went against the president’s ‘resolution’ they all went out for drinks (sans Nikki, n’est-ce pas?) and high-fived each other.

I swear to Thor this group of imbeciles make third world dictators appear like revered statesmen.

It's a  Russian Message

Show 1 footnote

  1. Said vote going against the US, 14 – 1. Guess the other countries had not seen The Godfather movies. Or…you know…couldn’t quite see the president* as threatening as Marlon Brando. Or, given the nature of some of these countries, did not find the prospect of a severed horse’s head in their bed as a scary thing.

Surveillance Society

“Regular people, not just impersonal, commercially motivated merchants or advertising networks, can exploit the online advertising ecosystem to extract private information about other people, such as people that they know or that live nearby,” reads the study, titled “Using Ad Targeting for Surveillance on a Budget.” 1

The University of Washington researchers didn’t exploit a bug or loophole in mobile advertising networks so much as reimagine the motivation and resources of an ad buyer to show how those networks’ intentional tracking features allow relatively cheap, highly targeted spying…

…”If you want to make the point that advertising networks should be more concerned with privacy, the bogeyman you usually pull out is that big corporations know so much about you. But people don’t really care about that,” says University of Washington researcher Paul Vines. “But the potential person using this information isn’t some large corporation motivated by profits and constrained by potential lawsuits. It can be a person with relatively small amounts of money and very different motives.” 2

Surveillance Society

Show 2 footnotes

  1. The full paper is here.
  2. One thing that makes people put up with Apple’s closed system devices is their commitment to ‘differential privacy’; collecting data from the group, not the individual, as it were – see paper here. It appears we need more of that — not to mention a ton more usage of ad/script blockers by the masses.