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Demeritocracy™

UPDATED BELOW

This construction worker is looking very confused.

Let’s be clear, former national security adviser Michael Flynn was not fired for lying. And he didn’t resign, he was fired. Oh, and the Trump Administration, to absolutely no one’s surprise, lies like a rug.

The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn
 Eli Lake / Bloomberg

If we are to believe the Trump White House, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn just resigned because he lied about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the vice president. As White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway told NBC’s “Today Show” on Tuesday: “Misleading the vice president really was the key here.”

Thence, an apologia for and a spirited defense of Flynn as “a fat target for the national security state.” We depart from our text and the subject of Russia. Because that is not the story. The story is about leaks, and the inevitable arc that the leaky ship of state is now about to embark on. Continue reading

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To Fester, not Uncle Fester

jeff-sessions NASA photo

The Senate voted Wednesday night to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions  —  (R-Ala.) as attorney general, capping a vicious debate that left Democrats and Republicans alike seething at times.  —  No Republicans went against Sessions in the 52-47 vote…

The late Charles Addams created a cartoon series given his name that became a television series and a series of movies. And, of course, weird, creepy old Uncle Fester was integral to The Addams Family. But his name has an older meaning:

fes·ter

v. fes·tered, fes·ter·ing, fes·ters
v.intr.

1. To generate pus; suppurate.
2. To form an ulcer.
3. To undergo decay; rot.
4.

a. To be or become an increasing source of irritation or poisoning; rankle: bitterness that festered and grew.
b. To be subject to or exist in a condition of decline: allowed the once beautiful park to fester.

v.tr.

To infect, inflame, or corrupt.

n.

A small festering sore or ulcer; a pustule.
[Middle English festren, from festre, fistula, from Old French, from Latin fistula.]

~ American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition.

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Spatters from the rotating blades

Week One: Pillaging is hard these days.

Behind closed doors, Republican lawmakers fret about how to repeal Obamacare
Mike Debonis / Washington Post

  —  PHILADELPHIA — Republican lawmakers aired sharp concerns about their party’s quick push to repeal the Affordable Care Act inside a closed-door meeting Thursday, according to a recording of the session obtained by The Washington Post.

tantrum-trump

It has taken precisely one week for the dominoes to have fallen in the manner that we all knew they would fall.  Trumplethinskin is about to launch an investigation into the voter fraud in the election that “legitimately” elected him, of which nothing has yet been heard from The Man Who Filibustered Himself™ although Paul Ryan, “Ayn You Glad I’m In Charge®” of the lower house has undoubtedly said something brave, common-sense and tersely meaningless.  Continue reading

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Has he nominated his horse to the Senate yet?

reporter

Trump believes millions voted illegally, WH says — but provides no proof

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump believes millions of votes were cast illegally in last year’s election, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday, but he wouldn’t provide any concrete evidence for the claim, which has long been debunked.

Character is Destiny, said the Greeks. (And WHAT a character this Trump fellow is! [RIM SHOT] )

Everything you and I have learned about existing in this “real” world devolves down to one basic fact: experience and expertise matter. A LOT. We don’t pick an EMT to do brain surgery, nor do we put a fast-food worker in charge of a rocket launch.  But we have, for reasons best left unspoken, handed a mental toddler the most lethal hand-gun of all time … loaded. Go figure. Continue reading

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Predicting the (Predicted) Bloodbath at MSNBC

Digital Visualization of a Violin

Digital Visualization of a Violin

Once upon a time, children, there was a  “liberal” television cable channel called MSNBC, which, after floundering for years as M(icro)S(oft)N(ational)B(roadcasting)C(Company), a partnership for the digital future that never actually went anywhere and which was, as General Electric’s poor little brother media property (GE being the largest defense contractor in the world) sometimes an embarrassment but generally not worth noticing, since the GE brass was usually watching CNBC, the business channel that they were VERY happy with. And, in the early G.W. Bush term, after Nine ‘Lebbin, MSNBC fired Phil Donahue, their top-rated host, for daring to question the upcoming Invasion of Iraq. And Joe Scarborough cheerled the invasion and the war and conveniently slithered away to become MSNBC’s LOWEST-rated host.

And Keith Olbermann had the temerity to question the election results in 2004, when no one else dared, even though it was the second consecutive election with serious questions about outcomes and exit polls. And MSNBC found an identity. And following Keith came Rachel Maddow, came Lawrence O’Donnell, came Chris Hayes, came the “liberal” tint to the network.

And then GE sold MSNBC to Comcast, who put the infotainment division under a Bush Bundler™ . Continue reading

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Of Chickens and Democracy

Hens in the yard of a hen house (licensed stock photo)

And the corruption of one of the most corrupt ages in living human memory continues, apace:

First on CNN: Trump’s cabinet pick invested in company, then introduced a bill to help it
Manu Raju / CNN

  — Washington (CNN) Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.…

Let’s face it, kids, there have now been more scandals in the prospective Trump (Mal)Administration with slightly less than a week to go BEFORE taking office than there have been in the ENTIRE Obama Administration, perhaps even eclipsing the number of FAKE scandals as well.  Continue reading

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Previewing the Upcoming Barbarian Apocalypse

The three pillars of the science fiction story are, traditionally, “What if?”, “If only,” and “If this goes on.”

robot00

The first two have embraced in the irrational proposition that if only all regulations and laws were suspended and greed is enshrined as our sole engine of governance, an Ayn Rand Utopia of strong individualists progressing civilization into an unsullied paradise will ensue.

It is the third we are concerned with herein:

House Republicans revive obscure rule that could allow them to slash the pay of individual federal workers to $1
Washington Post, January 5 at 9:59 AM
By Jenna Portnoy and Lisa Rein

House Republicans this week reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to a $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civil service. The Holman Rule, named after an Indiana congressman who devised it in 1876, empowers any member of Congress to offer an amendment to an appropriations bill that targets a specific government employee or program….

Though the House and Senate must vote to accept the amendment, we know that these sorts of riders are added all the time in the middle of the night. Therein lies the rub. Continue reading

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