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    • Two Lessons from France’s Yellow Vest Protests
      So, the Yellow Vests in France have French President Macron scared, and he has given to some of their demands, including raising the monthly minimum wage and getting rid of the diesel tax which sparked the original protests. Joe Penney at the Intercept has a good overview of the current state of play, which I […]
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Merry Christmas!

Everyone can celebrate Christmas. The vast majority of us get the day off. So enjoy it and if you are anywhere where the staff doesn’t get the day off, tip them generously and be especially accommodating and friendly.

I have a Christmas challenge. What are the ingredients of a Russian Kahlusion? BiFF gave me a couple of killer ideas. Killer as in I would be semi comatose after one. Two obvious answers are Russian vodka and Kahlua. But that’s the base. Give it your best shot.

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I’m trying to feel sympathy. Nope, I got nothing.

Tweet du Jour:

I can almost hear the angry lament from Graham and other Republicans.

The left HATES Trump

The left is vindictive

The left is envious of people who have money.

The left doesn’t care about American security.

Ok, that last one should never be said by anyone in a party that will allow Trump to make a unilateral decision about pulling out of Syria, unleashing ISIS and fucking the Kurds based on a request from an authoritarian dictator in Turkey.

What the left really hates is a party that has deliberately highjacked us and then governed as if the rest of the country doesn’t exist.

The reason Trump isn’t getting his fucking wall is because the majority of the politicians we elected to represent us think it’s a stupid idea.

WE think it’s a stupid idea.

We didn’t send our representatives to Washington to capitulate to Republicans every time they have a stupid idea. We expect everyone to negotiate in good faith to represent the will of ALL of us.

So I gotta ask myself:

Why do the Republicans hate the rest of us?

Why do they act like they don’t have to take “NO” for an answer?

Why do they think it’s ok do reprehensible things and expect us to feel sorry for them when their party is self-destructing?

I really don’t care, do you?

Rep. Ryan Rips Republicans

Here’s what Trump has to look forward to today: Losing, weakness, humiliation.

There’s no support for the border wall in the Senate. Trump either has to sign the CR to keep government open or he doesn’t sign it and it closes and the markets tumble even more.

The sensible thing would be to sign it. But the minute he does that, his hard core base of right wing crazies will accuse him of weakness. Right now, those crazies are the only ones keeping him in office. Once he loses them because he can no longer deliver and placate them, and Republicans are no longer afraid of them, Trump will be in serious trouble. Pelosi will have beaten him. He will be beaten –by a girl. An old, unfuckable girl. One who has a lot of power right now but a girl nonetheless. She’s not even Speaker of the House yet, the Republicans are still in charge of everything, and she beat him. She set him up last week and he took the bait.

And no one is chanting “Lock her up!” about Pelosi.

How does that look on Trump? Yep, he looks like the big orange limp dick that he is. Not only that but our global allies are pissed off at him, the market is collapsing and his defense secretary ripped him a new one in his resignation letter.

So, he’s boxed into a corner he didn’t even see coming because he thought he could make himself look big and scary and the Democrats would quake in fear when in actuality, the election of so many determined and resolute women has stiffened their spines. The bill goes to the Senate where it’s going to go down because Republicans haven’t got their own shit together to fund this stupid border wall. They’re waiting on Democrats to do the dirty work for them. But Republicans own the place right now. If it doesn’t get done, either because they don’t want it themselves or they failed to negotiate with Democrats in good faith, it’s all on them.

But why should Democrats help Republicans after 2 years of Republican swirlies when a.) they think the border wall is a stupid, ineffective idea that’s bound to line Trump’s pockets in some way and b.) this is a perfect opportunity to crack Trump wide open and expose him to his base as the tiny, weak, ineffectual infant that he really is who is throwing a tantrum and threatening to take the whole world down with him.

Let’s not forget that there’s something seriously wrong with his administration that was present from its inception. Its legitimacy is increasingly being questioned. A federal judge has used the “T” word this week. He’s seen what’s underneath all that redaction in the documents. We don’t know what it is yet but it sure sounds serious. That right there would get any other president escorted off the premises in normal times. No legislative branch would tolerate it. And we’re not even talking about how the TREASURY department was infiltrated by Russians through a Gmail account in 2016. That hardly got a mention yesterday and it should have alarmed everyone. What were the Russians looking for in our tax returns and finance information in 2016? Who did they succeed at compromising?

We don’t live in normal times. Before today is over, we may see the justice department decimated by a lackey and a new, even more infamous Friday night massacre. But the damage to Trump is done.

He will release his sound and fury and the walls will come a-tumbling down.

*****************************

This one’s for all of us who’ve been holding on and not accepting the “new normal”. Hold hands, look both ways before crossing, take care of each other.

Winter Solstice 2018

‘As the ray blends with the sun and water merges with water,
so blends the human light with the Supreme Light and becomes totally perfect’

— Guru Arjan

Ik-oNkaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbha-o nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhaN gur parsaad.

— From the Japji Sahib

If we’re all still here in the morning…

… the place is going to be different. This is the strangest and most disturbing day in American History that I can remember. Nixon’s resignation seemed orderly in comparison. I was too young to remember much of JFK’s assassination but I’ve seen the footage and it looked like Jackie kept us all together.

This time? Well, we can’t trust anyone in the Republican Party to do the right thing and the First Lady is a Slovenian Cruella De Ville wannabe who wears “I really don’t care” jackets to survey the places where we stash the little Honduran kids who’ve been separated from their parents. She’s probably still pissed off at the way we made fun of her Christmas trees.

Well, what should be done, people? This sounds like the perfect scenario for invoking the 25th amendment, now that our Jaime Lannister is leaving. Trump seems determined to take us all down with him. Someone should stop him.

Addendum: Any guesses as to whether Bob Mueller and Rod Rosenstein survive this putsch?

Foxholes.

Yes! I have been waiting for the magic formula of an all female podcast that I am compelled to listen to. The ideal podcast would let a group of intelligent, insightful, articulate women with a good sense of humor talk about current events without making me think of The View or Coffee Talk or some pink version of the news mixed with how you can make grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron in your hotel room for your picky eating kids on your next trip to DisneyWorld.

You know, unlike the kind of male dominated podcast run primarily by DC aristocrats, cultivated young opinion pundits of the future, or Obama bros, that feature a single female whose expertise is drowned out by dudes with whiny voices crackling with extreme cases of vocal fry.

And I think Virginia Heffernan at Trumpcast might have put together the perfect cast. It had to be Heffernan. She has a light hearted snarkiness, combined with a deft interviewing technique, that gives the podcast character but also momentum and focus. Sorry, MuellerSheWrote, I know you’ve got loyal fans but the structure of your podcast is meandering and leaves me feeling like I have ADD. I just let the episode play itself out like I’m listening to an Audible book that had great reviews but was read by a cast of distracting narrators. Nice try but no thank you.

This latest episode of Trumpcast titled A Foxhole in the Cyberwar features author Karen Schwartz and cyberwar expert Molly McKew. This episode was riveting. It’s like the three of them are working on a jigsaw puzzle, contributing pieces that the others were missing, to give the listener a picture of an America run by a cabal of criminal oligarchs. There may not be a single smocking gun. What we may be looking at is not so much a conspiracy as a lifestyle as experienced by jet setters who do not respect international boundaries any more than a “caravan” of Central American immigrants. They think there is no law that they can’t subvert. Our justice system is being put to the test to see if they’re right.

Check it out and tell me you don’t think they’re as good or better than Pod Save America or The Weeds or Political Gabfest. I dares ya’. I’ve been searching for a podcast that I’d actually be tempted to fund. There are so many out there that want a subscription but I can’t pay for every deserving podcast (sorry Preet). I’ve got other bills to pay. If I’m going to pay for a podcast, I want one that I’ve never heard before. I want to give money to one that would otherwise be drowned out by an ocean of already comfortably appointed and heavily promoted guys.

Run with it, Virginia.

************************

Walk to work music:

Ayayay!

There are 17 investigations going on involving Donald Trump.

17

I’m assuming most of you have read the WaPo story about how the Russians manipulated social media. But I think large news media might have overlooked where they themselves were manipulated. Specifically in the comments sections of the articles they ran on the candidates in 2016. I’m convinced that those sections were swarmed regularly by Russian or Republican infiltrators. The narrative in the comments sections could be shaped within minutes, the swarmers liking and promoting that narrative, leaving readers thinking that they were outliers in their support of Clinton.

People don’t like feeling like they don’t belong. It makes them uncomfortable. It even happens to me. Oh heck yeah. I read those sections and started to think I had BO and bad breath and was an ugly old post menopausal unfuckable who couldn’t string two thoughts together in any rational manner. Not true, BTW, but so what if I am? Am I not a citizen with a vote, entitled to representation?

I mean, there we were, characterized by the NYTimes and it’s readers as unenthusiastic supporters who could barely gather the energy to shake our Geritol bottles at Hillary’s rallies.

Then I realized that that’s exactly what the swarmers have in mind. If they can make you feel bad about yourself, you project that onto your candidate and start to question your fealty. It’s not so much to get you to vote for the stale orange marshmallow peanut as to make you feel embarrassed to align yourself with the good guy.

It worked brilliantly. Being an outcast, an irrelevant outcast, is too painful for many people. They don’t want to broadcast their support.

It just made me dig in.

Anyway, he’s a crook. It was clear from the beginning that he doesn’t even see his supporters as human beings. He’s spent his life doing what he wanted, taking what he wanted, and getting away with it.

But Mueller has checkmated him. He’s spun out investigations to the southern district of New York, northern Virginia and DC. The New York AG is pursuing an investigation into his charity and business practices. Maryland is doing emoluments. There won’t be anywhere for him to hide. No amount of money will make it go away. His whole underwear drawer is about to be sorted through publicly.

17

He’s not getting away with it this time.

******************************

I disagree with Rudy Giuliani that no one was robbed by the illegal payments to Daniels and McDougal that were intended to prevent Trump’s affairs from coming out days before the election.

We all were robbed of competence in government. We were robbed of our reputation, standing and influence in the world. Even the Trumpers were robbed. If they don’t know it yet, they soon will.

****************************

Walk to work music:

We ain’t dead yet: