speaking of art…

…which someone around here was, somewhere, sometime in the last month or so, here’s August’s cover of Mad magazine.

As someone who cut his political teeth on Mad way back when they were taking the piss out of Kennedy—to the tune of  “When I was a Lad” from Gilbert and Sullivan no less;

…and he tousled his hair so carefuleee

that now he is the ruler of the whole countreee…

I have to say it looks like they got their groove back.

You want art?  I gotcha art right here.

 

83 Responses to speaking of art…

  1. KevinNevada says:

    On the subject of removing the OH.: the 25th Amendment still is a possibility.

    I know you guys all worship the Goldwater Rule, but I’m just an engineer, dammit, not a head-shrinker, so I can write this. There are signs that the O.H. is losing it. He hears voice in his head, conversations that never took place.

    Example: the one he claimed to have, with the head of the BSA. Didn’t happen.

    Example: the recent one he claimed to have with Mexico’s President. Also didn’t happen.

    (We all assume he lied about those, because he lies so often, but there is another possibility.)

    Example: the “covfefe” thing, could have been a mini-stroke, after all he’s 70 and under stress.

    Example: his use of language, never wonderful, has visibly degraded. The quotes from the new WSJ interview, and the full text of his NYT interview last month, show a mind turning into mush before our eyes.

    Another item: the Veep has kept a relatively low profile lately.

    Last week featured a stream of fuckups, notable even for this White House.

    We shall see if General Kelly can sort it out, or perhaps usher in a transition. Remember that aside from his personal ideology, he is sworn to protect the nation first and foremost. As we’ve discussed above, that conditioning runs deep in senior flag officers.

  2. KevinNevada says:

    SB:

    The nightmare scenario for use of nukes by the Dear Young Leader would be an air burst, about 100 miles up, tuned to produce an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) that would short out most operating equipment for a considerable distance. Cars, unshielded server farms, power systems, the works. Hospitals. Pumping stations. Airports.

    This would NOT have to be aimed very carefully. Just somewhere south-southeast of downtown San Francisco, 50 miles or so.

    Or, aim somewhere over the central LA basin, another fat target.

    It would not require precise targeting. And it’s not an original thought by your truly, this threat has been discussed in the open for decades.

  3. bluthner says:

    Kev,

    Sure a hundred mile high detonation over a major urban area would be devastating to all electrical infrastructure. If the ICBM could travel that far, if the warhead was able to function properely (if indeed they have even built one small enough to fit in the warhead), if U.S. missile defense systems did not take it down, but in return for that damage done Jong-un and his advisors -and he does have advisors- would lose all of Pyong-yang- every building standing, along with all of Nampo, all of Onchon, Kangso, Sariwan, and every military installation above ground in the country, and quite a few farily far below ground as well. It’s a small country and we would leave very, very little of it unscorched. Jon-un might have a handful of ICBM capable warheads, at some time in the next few years. The Blow-back would make whatever damage he might inflict on us insignificant. He is not in any kind of MAD situation with the U.S. He could hurt us, but we would erase his entire country. And he knows that. He is not going to launch a first strike unless he thinks he is on the death ground. No sane American president would ever push Jong-un into a corner where he thinks he is on the death ground.

    Which of course leaves out the current festering orange malignant tumour throbbing in the oval office at the moment. He has to be excised. With anaesthesia or without. But without delay.

  4. KevinNevada says:

    Bluthner:

    You weren’t joking about that sick mind . . . good final paragraph,there.

    Yes, any missile attack by NK, given their current level of capability, would be an enormous risk for them.

    And our missile defense systems may erase that threat. The uncertainty on that, creates even more risk on the NK side. Our level of testing of the anti-missile system is far more advanced than NK’s, of their ICBM’s.

    And yes, the real problem is that we do not have sane adult leadership on this side.

    It’s one yuge fucking problem. See my post above, a 25th Am. solution may soon be at hand.

  5. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    I can think of only one currently plausible 25th amendment scenario. Doesn’t mean there mightn’t be more later, but I can only think of one that could happen soon. Which is, the Joint Chiefs collectively go to McConnell and Ryan and say that they are convinced that Trump is actively trying to order a nuclear strike on North Korea – and he either has to be removed or the brass will have to give in to him very soon.

  6. bluthner says:

    That’s still a tough way through, Nat. Because Trump would resist, and that means a vote that needs 66 Senators on side. Which means some kind of hearing and debate, either in closed chamber (that leaks) or on the open floor. If the issue is Trump is trying to order a strike, then what has to be debated is: should we strike N. Korea with thermonuclear weapons. If there was anything more likely to goad Kim Jong-un into launching his few ICBMs, I can’t think of it.

    Add a wrinkle to your scenario, though: the Joint Chiefs get a troika of respected conservative fully qualified psychiatrists to declare Trump mentally unfit, and that gives the Senate something to hang their hat on when it comes to the vote. The topic for discussion is then Trump’s sanity, not salting the fields of the DPRK with radioactive fallout.

    Bringing in the shrinks adds a step, but not to bring them in would be fucking dangerous.

  7. KevinNevada says:

    I’ve just re-read the 25th.

    Permanent removal of a President requires two-thirds of BOTH chambers of the Congress.

    There is a process outlined, and time limits on how long it can drag out before votes are taken.

  8. Boy, I dunno.

    What would it take for the GOP leadership—that is to say the leadership of today’s GOP (not the GOP of Nixon’s day, or any other day)—to initiate a 25th process to unseat the very candidate whose evident madness and mendacity they have studiously ignored all this time?

    Unless there has been a profound drop in the support from Trump’s zealous followers, it would have to be something for which the GOP leadership would be willing to endure a party schism, because without a doubt that’s what they would expect to happen if they turned on Der Führer while his faithful comprise the bulk of the GOP electoral base.

    Dunno about you guys, but the prospect of the likes of Ryan and McConnell weighing whether it’s gonna be a party schism and all the electoral ugliness that goes with it on the one hand, or a glass parking lot in N Korea on the other, doesn’t leave me the tiniest bit reassured.

  9. NatashaFatale says:

    Bluth,

    My first assumption is that you’d get your 2/3rds if McConnell & Ryan are on board, and won’t get if they aren’t. My second assumption is that Trump doing his best to start a nuclear war on the sly and present it to the world, including congress, as a fait accompli is a scary enough prospect even for them. Of course I could be wrong about the second part. If I am, then I’m pretty sure that absolutely nothing else Trump could do would be enough to cost him his job. ;

  10. NatashaFatale says:

    Meanwhile, what on earth has gotten into CNN, that they’d print a fine little essay like this one?

  11. KevinNevada says:

    NF: CNN’s piece is one fine bit of writing.

    Sums the matter up quite well.

    I wonder if the London touts are running odds yet, on how long General Kelly will last.

    Squirrel???

  12. KevinNevada says:

    Two more items just this afternoon.

    1. The transcript was released of the O.H. talking with President Pena Nieto in January, where he tells the man that “I have to have Mexico pay for the wall, I’ve been talking about it for two years.” – and begs Pena Nieto to stop saying that it won’t happen. That he cannot negotiate with Mexico while they say that.

    Pathetic stuff.

    2. Mueller has now empaneled a grand jury. Only reason for that: early indictments.

  13. The transcripts of those phone calls are something else.
    Trump’s campaign promises to make Mexico pay for the wall were a classic example of what in Texas they describe as “your mouth writing a check your ass can’t cash”. So then he whines at Peña in an attempt to get him to save face.

    I read the entire transcript of the Turnbull call too, and not only is Trump grumpy, he simply sticks to a rant about items that Turnbull takes pains to explain, several times, are simply not true.

    And speaking of leaked transcripts, I cannot remember private conversations between a president and another national leader being leaked in their entirety like this ever before.
    Perhaps it’s happened, but I don’t recall it.
    I tried a quick search for previous examples too, and came up empty. This has got to be dramatically unusual at the very least, no?

  14. KevinNevada says:

    9T:

    Maybe they will hire Scaramucci back, to pursue this new leaker . . .

    It’s been a quiet week. Time for some fresh chaos.

  15. Squirrel says:

    Just back from France in time to read those transcripts . . .

    Worse than one might actually imagine; but the curious thing is that it looks as though the SILOPOTUS Jared’s going around trying to be vaguely accommodating (or something) without FILPOTUS either knowing exactly what he’s up to, or not having taken anything in.

    Either (and all ways) a disaster. Clearly, unless you’re Putin, you can’t do anything with that guy. If you’re outside the US, who do you trust on anything? The actual president (almost totally ignorant about any issue and the extent (and limitations) of his own powers; the son-in-law; Tillerman; or whichever general happens to pick up the phone while Trump’s watching Fox News?

    (Coming back from France, btw was a disaster. Had thought I’d allowed plenty of time, since last visit my train was cancelled and I only made my two connections with minutes to spare . . .This time, the train to catch my first connection was 50 minutes late; then my connection was only half the length it should have been, so I (and everyone else who had a reserved seat on coaches 1-10 ended standing in coaches 11-18) was delayed by again by 30 minutes; then held up by a signal failure . . .which would have meant I would have missed my (last of the day) London train by an hour or more . . .I abandoned ship (well, train) at Nimes and went back. No was was I going to stand squashed against 20 other people, their luggage and a bloody dog for 4 1/2 hours anyway. . .

    Got new ticket for today, allowed three hours extra between connections just in case, and everything ran to time. (Well, within 15 minutes, anyway.) Cost a bloody fortune for the Eurostar . . .Will be spending some hours—days? weeks?—now trying to get compensation from SNCF.

    Cartoon in today’s Le Monde: ‘SNCF retour a normal: “Le train parti avec une demi-heure de retard, et on ne vous dira pas pourquoi!” ‘ Too bloody true. I’ve promised myself I won’t complain about Southern Rail over here for at least a month . . .

    Returned brown squirrel; too brown, I presume, for the (very) white guy I sat next to on the tube home, who glowered at me, got up and pretty ostentatiously moved away. . .A Brexiteer, no doubt . . .)

  16. bluthner says:

    There is one possibility about those telephone transcripts that no one seems to discuss, so there must be a reason why it is nonsense, but transcripts of calls like that are taken at both ends. So what we could be seening is someone who has connections in both Australia and Mexico, who might have leaked the two transcripts to put dogs off her scent, make it look like the leak must be coming from inside the U.S. govt.

    I’m not sure I believe that, but hasn’t it got to be a possibility?

  17. NatashaFatale says:

    Bluth,

    One does wonder who would be able to get their hands on both transcripts. I’ll offer two possibilities: a more likely one that’s not much fun, and one I’d prefer (just for aesthetic reasons) to see emerge.

    The more likely one is a major intelligence agency, with NSA, CIA, FSB, and GCHQ at the top of the list. Trump has given the NSA and the CIA plenty of provocation, plenty of grounds for animus. FSB would be doing it just to mess with the US. If it’s one of them (or two of them in combination, which is where GCHQ would come in), we might learn something in a decade or two. We might.

    The one I prefer is that Peña Nieto and Turnbull got together to grouse over Trump’s foolery (So what did the moron tell you?), muttered a few things like “I’d love to release the transcript of that call but we can’t afford an outright break with the US”, and then realized – if we package them up together and hand them off to the press, we’d be in the clear…

  18. NatashaFatale says:

    Here’s a few lines from Trump’s campaign speech yesterday. The emphasis is mine.

    They can’t beat us at the voting booths, so they’re trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us, and most importantly, demeaning to our country and demeaning to our Constitution.

    My paranoia reflex has a hair trigger these days and the part in bold has it shrieking. Are those the first couple of bars of a literal call to literal arms?

    Usually I’m able to overrule that sense, to convince myself that he’s just having another good time at another pep rally. It’s not working this time. Those words in bold are just too powerful, too blood-stirring. They didn’t just leak out of his mouth in the usual way; someone who knew what he was doing put them in there first.

  19. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    I think that Bannon is getting desperate. Word from the many leakers is that he’s sidelined for the most part, is not running policy on all fronts as he expected to – and now he has to run everything through a very tough Marine, with a low bullshit tolerance.

    Miller also, his cold-eyed side-kick, has probably enjoyed his last appearance as a spokesman about anything. He was a disaster again this week, rolling out the new immigration bill, which will have to endure the usual Congressional process of hearings.

    As for whether it’s a ‘fake story’, Mueller has his grand jury now, so it’s damned obvious to any sane observer that he’s already found real evidence of some crimes, committed by someone. Felony crimes. And Mueller continues to staff up with an outstanding team. The latest hire is an expert on foreign corruption, in following the money to the criminals who own it and the others who receive it.

    Madame Defarge continues to knit away, and the tumbrils will roll in due course.

    **
    As for the leak of the two transcripts, don’t forget that GCHQ has a branch operation in Oz.

    But I don’t think we have to look beyond the CIA as a likely source.

  20. Squirrel says:

    Nah.

    Most likely Don Jr left the transcripts on the photocopier and a cleaner picked ’em up and sent them off to the Post . . .

    (Trump’s Razor: “The simplest explanation that involves mere stupidity is probably the correct one.”)

    I mean, the WH seems to be full of people who think emails from ‘princerebus@hotmail.com’ or ‘ambassador.huntsman@ymail.com’ are real. . . I’m thinking of tweeting Don Jr from ‘@queeenelizabeth’ saying ‘One would love to have your dad at Windsor next weekend for a round of golf’.

    And then watch Air Force 1 take off for Ontario.

    Wouldn’t you just love to read the Trump/Putin/ambasador transcripts? (If the Kremlin ever makes them public, and who knows, one day they might . . .God knows what hostages to fortune that moron has left them with for future use.)

  21. bluthner says:

    I do like the idea that Nieto and Turnbull pulled a prank. But back in the sober world have to agree the morst likely scenario is that it’s come out CIA or NSA.

    And I’m right there with your shrieking hair-trigger, Natasha (though a hair trigger that shrieks must be something new in the world?) He’s at least trying to scare the GOP in Congress by calling up the mob he wants them to think is going to lynch them if they don’t back him up.

    But my sense is that even Republican senators and Congressmen are starting to back off a bit. Mueller is closing in, and his stink is getting so ripe now they can’t so easily pretend they don’t smell it, nor ask other people to pretend, and they don’t want to be left with too much of his stink on them if he’s going down. The ship isn’t exactly sinking yet, but rats do have a sense for leaks in the hull that maybe other creatures -like the mob at that rally- haven’t noticed yet.

    But what would this armed uprising look like if it actually, you know, involved firearms? Would the mob start killing FBI agents and Democrats? I guess those would be the first targets. Along with federal buildings of one sort or another. Myself I can’t see the country knuckling under to that kind of thing, but just the opposite. I can I see the Army moving in to stop riots and enforce curfews, but I can’t see them taking the side of the mob, even if Trump orders them to do so.

    Apparently Trump starts a 17 day holiday in New Jersey today. Florida too hot, it’s hurricane season. Will Kelly be able to keep tabs on him if he’s off at the golf course? I”m guessing he goes quiet for a little while, and then erupts like a dead-fish volcano.

  22. Squirrel says:

    Kevin:

    GCHQ isn’t supposed to be spying on any of the other ‘Five Eyes’. . but I do find it hard to believe someone hasn’t said “For god’s sake keep an eye on those morons over there so we get some idea of what craziness they’re getting up to before it’s too late . . .”

    At least, I hope so. Or if they are keeping to the letter of the agreement, I imagine they could always get it from the Germans or the French . . .or Mossad maybe?

    I did wonder a bit (I’ve probably read too much Le Carre) when GCHQ said the tale of listening in to Trump family phone calls was ridiculous nonsense . . .and they were very hurt, nay, possibly even shocked, at the very idea. They didn’t say they hadn’t been listening in to the people on the other end of the phone, though, did they?

  23. Squirrel says:

    Nat:

    I imagine Trump (and Bannon) think they can motivate some kind of mass brown/black/blue shirt uprising with their mini-Nuremberg rallies, but I think I’d wait until they start handing out AK47’s to those red hat wearing dumbos on their way out . . .

  24. KevinNevada says:

    Squirrel:

    glad to see you’re home safe, that tale of the trip was interesting, in the way that “may you live in interesting times” is a curse.

    Now that you’re back in the land of the touts . . . are there odds running yet on how long Gen. Kelly can last at the core of this clusterfuck?

  25. NatashaFatale says:

    Bluth – It’s a hair trigger on my shrieker gizmo.

    Sq – One thing those people do not lack for is firearms. Another is targets of opportunity.

  26. Squirrel says:

    Kev:

    Apparently not. Odds on either Paul Ryan or Pence being next Republican president shortening fast, though.

    Be surprised if Kelly can last out more than a few weeks after Trump’s golfing holiday is over though. Pretty clearly, Trump only has a handful of ideas in his head, won’t let go of any of them, is totally impervious to reason, and expects ‘his’ people to somehow make them reality. And aren’t generals supposed to obey orders from their commander-in-chief, not sit there bloody arguing about them? Especially if their arguments are clever?

  27. KevinNevada says:

    It will be Pence, if anyone, unless Mueller has something especially ripe on the Veep already.

    Your evaluation of our Dear Leader is spot on. That pattern works OK for the head of a property development operation, especially if it’s all juiced by regular tranches of ready cash from his pals in the East.

    For a person in his particular office, it’s a recipe for disaster, with chaos as a chaser.

    And NF is correct, shortage of guns isn’t a problem over here.

  28. Those words in bold are just too powerful, too blood-stirring. They didn’t just leak out of his mouth in the usual way; someone who knew what he was doing put them in there first.

    The minute I read them I thought “Miller”. He’s the primary speechwriter from what I’ve read, and it’s exactly his dog-whistle style.
    That bit about “your cosmopolitan bias is showing” at the presser is classic Miller too, as was the carefully-worded challenge about the poem on the statue of liberty pedestal, which has been a popular topic of conversation on StormFront and such places for years, and where there has now been much rejoicing. They, at least, know exactly what the new immigration policy is all about.

    So yeah, it’s about feeding, watering and weaponizing the base.
    But I think the threat is more directed to the GOP party establishment than anywhere else. It’s telling Ryan and McConnell et al that if you mess with me you’re looking at a party schism at the very least. Though if such words were to goose someone into direct action at some representative of “the deep state” I don’t imagine Trump would miss a chance to take advantage of it. “These people voted for me because they wanted my promises kept. If you break their hearts by blocking those changes, (thereby, and obviously this follows, failing in your duties as legislators), that’s on you, not me.”

  29. bluthner says:

    That “cosmopolitan bias” jibe is straight, but I mean beeline, from the Hitler Handbook. The Nazis used ‘cosmopolitan’ as a smear pretty muc constantly. So yeah, Miller to the bone. If Miller had a shrieker gizmo, what it would shriek is “Cosmopolitan!” Which is pretty much code for “gay nigger-lover” or worse. If there is worse.

    That botozed judge woman on Fox News joins with the canteloupe to promise “a national uproar” if Mueller “goes after one of the family members just to get at the president”. They are absolutely setting up the barricades. No one knows better than the canteloupe what kind of dirt there is to find, and at this point he can’t reasonably expect that they won’t find most of it.

  30. NatashaFatale says:

    Another thing you couldn’t make up on a bet: today a former special prosecutor revealed that he’s deeply troubled about how Mueller’s out of control witch hunt has strayed beyond its only legitimate target: the question of whether Trump colluded with Russia. Yes, that’s right. Ken Starr.

  31. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    one would think, after his horrible screwups at Baylor the past few years, that Ken Starr would have the simple human decency to just STFU.

    But that requires simple human decency on his part, so who am I fooling???

  32. bluthner says:

    Does make me wonder what depths we’d have to plumb to come up with something that could genuinely make Ken Starr feel even a faint glimmer of bona fide shame.

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