If we were looking for one word to sum up the orange hairball, his circus of a campaign and his abortion of a presidency, I can’t find one that better sumps up both. One that means both ‘disregard for what demands regard’ (such as facts, truth, his promises, the vulnerable, the health of the planet, the dignity of his office — the list goes on and on) , ‘disrespect for the law and its institutions’, and ‘worthless and despicable’.

This morning the worthless and despicable orange hairball denies again that that there is any evidence whatever that he or his team had dealings with Putin, but at the same time insists that whoever leaked all that undeniable evidence of him and his team dealing with Putin needs to be tracked down and punished.

The longer GOP game must be to let Trump talk his Trumpshit as much as he wants, so long as he passes their bills, wait for the ripe moment and then ditch him in favor of Pence, so Pence can run in 2020 as an incumbent.  If they jump too soon the the orange floater might fail to flush; if they wait too long then their boy Pence will have too much orange stink on him. How long is too long -from their jaded perspective- to leave this floating orange hairball festering in the bowl?

meanwhile, back here on earth…

…and speaking of the evolutionary ability to recognize faces, our old friend Steve King (R-Whitebread, Iowa) is talking about what’s really bothering him;

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

And just to ensure he’s not been misunderstood, he clarifies;

He’s a thinker, is our Steve.

“I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same”

And he doesn’t mean mocha brown either.

And the massive blowback in Congress at such blatant racism?
Hmmm. Let me get back to you on that, OK?
I’ll have my people call your people.

It gave David Duke a boner, though.

just in case you were thinking about moving -> sanity reigns supreme in Iowa’s 4th congressional district.

Ecology? Biology? Science? Planetary context?
Biosphere?  What the fuck is that?
Elitist twaddle, that’s what.
Angels dancing on pinheads, innit.

Blue Tie Trump

Somebody took him to the woodshed. Even so he’s still spouting YUGE lies, still fanning fear and hatred of Those Who Are Not Us, still failing to deliver any concrete at all.

And only for a fleeting moment or two being himself up there (the ‘record’ amount of applause for the SEAL he didn’t kill, no way, those generals killed him).

The biggest lie?  I reckon it was the bit about no more ‘trivial fights’.  To do that he’d have to keep his blue tie on, which is to say inhabit his woodshedded impersonation of himself, 24/7.

That just ain’t possible.

Biggest thing I noticed he didn’t read out was the usual Republican psalm about balancing the budget.

He thinks he’s a great negotiator. But at some point he’s going to have to actually negotiate some actual thing. Instead of just talking shit.  Ain’t even close to happening yet.

about those shiny objects…

We have reflexes for essentially the same reasons that bacteria have them. They can’t help but use them and neither can we.

We also can think, and sometimes we even do, but nobody thinks while their reflexes have taken control. Nobody thinks while their reflexes are in charge because thinking requires attention, and paying attention is the polar opposite of reacting reflexively.

This business of an outrage every twenty minutes keeps our reflexes on the playing field and our attention on the sidelines and out of the game. I’m not saying that’s why they do it, only that it’s one effect of doing it.

“Promise and then deliver something for the reflexes to get excited about every few seconds, and everyone’s attention span is effectively reduced to zero.”

Still, I do believe that that is why they do it – I just don’t have access to Steve’s notes (assuming that he makes notes). I suspect it because he can’t have helped but notice how well this trick worked for Trump in the campaign, just as Trump must have previously noticed how well it works in the reality TV trade.

Promise and then deliver something for the reflexes to get excited about every few seconds, and everyone’s attention span is effectively reduced to zero.
Theologians and philosophers can and do argue endlessly about whether free will actually exists, but I have never heard anyone claim that there can be free will without choice, or that there can be choice without some kind of awareness that is more than purely reflexive. We are without even the illusion of free will when we are in the grip of one reflexive command after another.

Being under the constant control of our reflexes is tiring, not to mention unpleasant for people who have gotten used to thinking even a little. One consequence of this was well expressed by the famous psychologist Terry Pratchett:

“…people don’t like change. But make the change happen fast enough and you go from one type of normal to another.”

On December 7 of 1941 we were at peace, on December 8 we were at war, and well before new year’s the new normal of war had thoroughly sunk in. Sunk into a population that had collectively refused to go to war for two years of nearly constant thought about it, then embraced doing exactly that one Sunday morning without the barest trace of thought.
Steve knows that. Our Steve’s a thinker, yes he is.

He’s hardly the first politician to notice this. I used to be a poll watcher, and in ’72 I was supposed to watch the last paper-ballot precinct in Chicago. Paper-ballot precincts were designed for stealing votes (there are simply so many good ways to do it!), and I was supposed to keep them from being stolen (ha!). I showed up at 6 AM and met the precinct captain — the guy who would do the stealing — and we kicked the rules around over coffee. He was a hell of a nice guy, and he seemed to take a real paternal interest in me. He said:

* “You seem like a bright kid, so I need to do what I do in the first half hour. I need to be done before you even begin to figure out what you’re seeing. After that, we’ve both got a long, boring day coming up.”

And we did. Fourteen hours later we got down to the votes at the bottom of the ballot box and I finally figured out what he’d done, but by then it well and truly was done.

I never felt so helpless before, and I think I’m seeing the same thing happening now — get it done before they figure it out, which they will do eventually.

Being of that opinion, I become very frustrated at the notion that the important stuff can still happen, is still happening at congress-speed, at court-speed, at government-speed.

All that was the old normal.

* Some but not all of this paraphrasing is from ancient memory, but the part in bold is word for word.


(Ed note; the method of voting fraud referred to is the chain ballot technique, as Nat explains in a comment thread elsewhere. —9K’)

and from across the pond …

Haven’t had chance to go through that debate yet (it lasted three hours) but if you would like to skim through it, the Hansard transcript is here, and the video is here.

I presume the opener (Labour MP Paul Flynn) got some coverage with:

This is what happens when you try to smile, but are too arrogant and stupid to actually understand humor.

This is what happens when you try to smile, but are too arrogant and stupid to actually understand humor.

The President’s power is enormous, but unfortunately his intellectual capacity is protozoan. We are greatly concerned about the extraordinary actions he has taken. He has blundered into frozen conflicts around the planet that needed delicate handling; they needed the microsurgery of decisions such as those that have been taken in the past by statesmen. He has gone in and caused problems in every area in which he has become involved:

It is of great concern that the President behaves like a petulant child. How would he behave in a future conflict that might arise?

It is extraordinary that Trump, from the cavernous depths of his scientific ignorance, is prepared to challenge the conclusions of 97% of the world experts on this matter. He makes a bad science conspiracy theory conclusion when, apart from the nuclear issue, climate change is the most important issue of our time.

Our main concern is that we are in this position of surrealism, of an Orwellian world that is unfolding before us, where the theme that has been put forward by Trump is that lies are the truth, good is bad, war is peace and fantasy is fact. We see that with the figure of the Trump Big Brother, who is there, ever-present seven days a week and 24 hours a day, preaching from his one source of news—the only voice of truth.


I assume that none of his acolytes/press spokespersons have yet quite grasped that “protozoan intellectual capacity” was not a compliment.

more please, oliver

Trump, Putin, technobeat fan music, poisonings and shootings, sex tapes, and hooligans taking a shit on the hood of your car.

Oh yeah, and Gary Kasparov with radio-controlled flying dildos.

What’s not to like?


If you are not in the US the video link above may be blocked.  I don’t have a solution to this problem. Links which work in other countries, like the UK, come and go on YouTube as new uploads by people seeking to navigate around HBO’s copyright restrictions are detected and taken down.  The real, human, solution would be for HBO to realize this kind of work, especially now, is too important to be fucking around with geographical restrictions and just turn it all loose, but of course that’s not going to happen because both lawyers and bean-counters have smaller than average brains, which I know to be a scientific fact because I saw it on the internet.


In the meantime, try searching YouTube and with a bit of luck you’ll find a version that will play in your location before it’s taken down. People upload them all the time and HBO’s legal department is constantly playing whack-a-mole with them.

speaking of tone … (updated)

… change it just a little bit and you’re in a whole new world.

This is cleverly done, sassy is a useful word with great euphony, and we could use a laugh anyway, right?


Turns out this is the work of one Peter Serafinowicz, and he’s been doing this for a while now.  Follow this link to YouTube and you’ll find dozens of these going back all the way to last year.

The only changes he makes are to the soundtrack, the words themselves are exactly those spoken by Hair Führer in the original.

There’s now a shorter example from back in August embedded in the comment thread.

This is good work, and  exactly the kind of thing which will irritate the crap out of Hair Führer, so do help spread it around, if you please.

creeping closer …

Here’s Fox News’ standard-bearer Chris Wallace rather agreeably rotating Ridge Polebarn on the BBQ spit over Hair Führer’s “the media is the enemy of the people” ploy.

Wallace doesn’t go nearly far enough, and he has one hell of  long way to go before his integrity as a reporter even remotely approaches that of his late father Mike Wallace, but hey, this is Fox News after all, which is where most of Der Führer’s supporters get the, um, data which underly their understanding of the world.

We’re one month in, and Trump’s already gone a bridge too far for two of Fox’s heavy-hitters.

Trump is still on a roll, and still firmly in the driver’s seat, but this kind of thing, if it continues, will start to add up. And clearly Wallace is not ready to drop the Russian connection ball either, an outcome obviously high on Polebarn’s agenda here.

Watching Polebarn’s nervous swallowing, verbal floundering, plaintive whining, desperate attempts at obfuscation and misdirection and obvious lying (reference any introductory course on interrogation techniques to see the text book examples of  dishonesty “tells” on display here if you’re skeptical) is deeply enjoyable.