Tuesday, January 31, 2017


I can't really do better than Ben Wittes on the horrific clusterfuck that is His Fraudulency's executive order barring entrance to the United States of nationals (including resident aliens and persons with valid visas) from seven Muslim-majority nations.
"But in the rational pursuit of security objectives, you don’t marginalize your expert security agencies and fail to vet your ideas through a normal interagency process. You don’t target the wrong people in nutty ways when you’re rationally pursuing real security objectives.

When do you do these things? You do these things when you’re elevating the symbolic politics of bashing Islam over any actual security interest. You do them when you’ve made a deliberate decision to burden human lives to make a public point. In other words, this is not a document that will cause hardship and misery because of regrettable incidental impacts on people injured in the pursuit of a public good. It will cause hardship and misery for tens or hundreds of thousands of people because that is precisely what it is intended to do."
But I do want to stop for a moment and point out one specific point from this tissue of diaper gravy the Tangerine Toddler seems to have scraped out of his britches that pounds home the points that 1) this was not intended as a national security measure, and 2) if it was intended as a national security measure as such it is a complete, utter, moron-grade-stupid fail;


Why the fuck, if you had so much as a functioning hindbrain, would you put all Iraqi nationals on an "anti-Islamic-terrorism" no-entry list in 2017?

Iraq is, at the moment, at least notionally a fucking U.S. ally. The U.S. spends millions subsidizing the Iraqi government and military. Thousands of GIs are now, right now, at this very fucking minute, in the field alongside the Iraqi Ground Forces, fighting those very booga-booga Islamic bad guys the Islamic State.

A tenth of a second of real thought - which appears to be a tenth more than the Fraudulency Administration put into this goddamn thing - would reveal that any Iraqi national holding a U.S. visa, or a green card, or applying for refugee status, has about a 99.9% chance of being or doing so because he or she worked for the U.S. government. Translator, liason, contractor...the chances are fucking impossibly huge that anyone you'd catch in your cunning terrorist-catching net would be some former heroic translator who had spent years risking his ass alongside those troops you purport to support and love.

I could go on. Why the hell throw Iran into this pottage and leave off Pakistan and Saudi; chock-full of wahhabi madrassas cranking out fundamentalist kooks by the turbanful?

But screw that. It's Iraq on this idiot bucket list that tells me that this had nothing to do with actual security. It was just about Il Douche and his merry band of Trumpeters taking their Islamophobic dicks out for a bit of a wave.

I lived with asshole officers for twenty years. Interspersed with true combat gods a lot of these jokers lived to thrill themselves with their own importance, showed a ridiculous enthusiasm for getting their troops killed for Duty, Honor, Country, and whose shoulder insignia often looked to my lowly enlisted scum self a hell of a lot like chips.

I got used to the idea that I could get killed because somebody in command of me was an evil, callous, careerist assholic sonofabitch.

But stupid?

I always resented and still resent the idea that my life could be endangered because one of these fuckers was just too bone-stupid to walk and breathe simultaneously.

Maybe that's why I'm more irritated by this as an example of His Fraudulency's stupid incompetence rather than his evil racism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism.

I can hate Darth Cheney as an slimy immoral bastard and yet in a backhanded way respect and fear him as a true Evil Boss, a dangerous and wily enemy.

But Trump just makes me want to shift my rifle into my off hand and dopeslap his idiotic toupee off the back of his head like Moe does the other Stooges, growling "Get your shit together, you stupid fucking oxygen thief! How the hell did you get this job, you goddamn brain-dead numbnuts?
Update 2/1: As just another example let me throw in this story from Tucson, Arizona, about a little family that barely beat the ban into the U.S., but whose extended family is now stuck on the outside.

Why is this another dopeslap on Hair Furor and his Bannonidiot?

Because the people are Syrians, yes...but they're Syrian Kurds.

For fucks sake! The Kurds - in case you've been asleep for the past, oh, fourteen fucking years - have been the U.S. most effective and consistent military and political partner in the Fertile Crescent of Iraq and Syria.

Keeping Kurds out of the U.S. because they're Syrian makes as much sense in 2017 as forcing Free French back to Vichy made in 1942.

How the fuck does His Fraudulency and his idiot band manage to keep from lighting the whole damn White House on fire?

I have no damn idea.


Ael said...

The reason that those chosen countries are on that list, is because it is *Obama's* list.

They clearly don't care about the people being affected.
They simply grabbed a convenient previously generated list of muslim-type countries and ran with it.

Now they have a ripost when getting criticised about their evilness: "Don't blame us, blame Obama".

Of course, the response doesn't withstand a moment's scrutiny, but it doesn't have to.

Malice yes, stupidity less so.

Syrbal Moore said...

I especially like how his seven country list does NOT include ANY of the countries that actually have produced terrorist caused deaths in America. I see a lot more Labyrinth walking ahead due to his idiocy.

FDChief said...

...it is *Obama's* list"

??? "Obama's list"...of places that make good bakalava? WTF? Sorry, Ael, this makes no sense to me.

As noted, Labrys, yes; the places that HAVE generated takifiris aren't included. But they do ahve something in common; Trump has significant business interests in them. Shocking, I know, that His Fraudulency would put his private profit above the public good.

mike said...

Ael -

Obama's list???? I call baloney on that canard that the rightwing kooks are trying to push on the net and the media. That list came straight from Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz 14 years ago. No amount of Breitbart bull-scheisse can change that.

Ael said...

Sorry Mike, the INA was enacted under Obama.
He gets to wear it because he could have influenced it.

Now, that doesn't excuse that Trump's minions chose that list as it had countries that suited them. (and thus making it Trump's list now).

But, they did deliberately choose that list because of the powerful riposte that it offered.

Anonymous said...

Bad policy and unforeseen outcomes.
From a sensible intelligent president to a less than sensible one.
We are still in Afghanistan, we are still in Iraq, we are still muddled in Stupid Wars, something candidate Obama railed against in '08 but continued as president.
One diddles in shit, one will be splattered with it.
With Trump, it's becoming very obvious he has no understanding of anything or anyone political outside his narrowly defined bubble of existence.
He's put Iran "On Notice".
Imagine what the Iranians are thinking now? Anyone else in that area, anyone else with interests in that area?
THAT should be our deepest concern now, Obama will be cited justly or not.
I sincerely hope that our military commanders will have enough sense and personal courage/integrity to cringe at the possibility of taking our people into war under Trump's leadership and that the major powers outside the US will be circumspect


FDChief said...

The part of the US Code you cited, Ael, mentions Iraq and Syria. That's not a "list". And the citation of those two countries obviously didn't constitute a "ban", since Iraqi and Syrian nationals were admitted to the U.S. up until last Friday.

So this appears to be a case of buying the Fraudulency Administration's push to link this portion of the USC and their fairly-obviously-outside-the-framework-of-immigration-law EO.

Sorry. Don't buy it. Nice try, tho. I'll give it a 7.5 with deduction for not sticking the landing.

FDChief said...

There never was a chance for a Democratic president to walk away from the Middle East with the GOP screaming RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM!!!!! every time some camel takes a shit outside Mosul. Lots of candidates rail against stuff that they find themselves mired in once they take office. I wish we had a better Democratic Party but it's hard to blame them for not being able to clean up the epic shit that Dubya took all over the Fertile Crescent.

I don't really think that the Tangerine Toddler wants to start a war. He's got too much to do here and too much money to make. What I worry about more than foreign war is that he and the GOP may just, possibly, break the system of republican government past effective repair. I worry that (as I wrote long ago) that this could be t=our Revolt of the Gracci; the place where, to save their own power the GOP breaks the rules laid down in 1789.

And, like Rome, we won't know that for years. It took 70 years for the Roman Republic to go from the fall of the Gracci to Caesar. We may look back on 2017 as our first steps towards the Empire.

mike said...

Sorry AEL, that is incorrect. Obama authorized waivers, not bannings. The right wing hate machine has always tried to blame everything on Obama, or Hillary, or Bill, or the poor old Georgian peanut farmer, or even Roosevelt. Breitbart has now brought it to an art form. You need to get a filter in order to sift through their lies and muck.

mike said...

bb -

"We are still in Afghanistan, we are still in Iraq, we are still muddled in Stupid Wars, something candidate Obama railed against in '08 but continued as president."

Hey, don't blame me for 08. I went for Hillary in in the 08 primary, and took a great deal of crap for it at my county caucus. Was told I was a warmonger. Was told that if Obama was made Perz then we would get out of Afghanistan, out of Iraq, and no more stupid wars. Was told by a woman whose son was a soldier in Afghanistan that Obama would bring him home, and that Hillary was a monster that was trying to get her son killed.

I did vote for Obama in the general election because my only other choice was 'bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran' John McCain. But my county caucus mates never forgave me. They still consider me a warhawk.

FDChief said...

The '08 rhetoric drove me nuts, Mike, because as I noted above the Bushies had shat the Middle East bed so thoroughly that I doubted any Democratic administration would be able to just walk away. I tend to give Obama credit for drawing down both the A'stan and Iraq missions to the degree he could, tho with no good public accounting for the actual geopolitical danger - if any - posed by the Sunni muj means it's really hard to assess how valuable or not the remnants of those occupations/MAC missions are (or the drone war, for that matter)...

But bitching because Obama didn't use his Green Lantern Magical Peace Power to undo the clusterfucks the Bushies created is more than a trifle harsh.

Anonymous said...

>>There never was a chance for a Democratic president to walk away from the Middle East<<

So much for Profiles in Courage!
But then there's his work with Iran and Cuba, under what conditions and why, I don't think we'll know for a long while. For Cuba, the opposition is localized in Florida, easy pickings.
I can never know what it's like to be black, and president. But for some reason, he won in 08, dropped "the mike", and wandered off from his true power, his voter support, into some vague secret bargaining with the Philistines who declared from day ONE that they would stop him from doing anything.
For me, that is the Puzzle of Obama. It's like he never believed in what a democracy can do, is capable of, and that is what an organized and dedicated group of people can do with clearly defined goals.
We're seeing that in the popular opposition that our Toddler receives wherever he Toddles off to. Harley Davidson, Trump is a Toxic Toddler.
I'm convinced beyond a doubt that Bernie demonstrated in his campaign the first beginnings of what we right now can see be done.
But Bernie lost fair and square on a rigged board.


Anonymous said...

>> I went for Hillary in in the 08 primary<<

I was an Edwards guy until he went cock-up.
Maybe if possible when we elect presidents, the spouse gets to run things?

Maybe Michelle would've been worse than prez "Bait and Swithch", but she seemed well-grounded in principle.


FDChief said...

Basil: I'm as happy as anyone to dopeslap Obama for continually trying to reach out to the GOP long after it was brutally obvious that they were wingnut loonies intent on obstruction. But how does that make him somehow guilty of not using his Bully Pulpit Powers to galvanize the Lefty Masses?

Where were these masses rallying and roaring for single payer? Where were the Lefty lynch mobs marching on Capitol Hill with rope and torches to hang the bastards from Goldman Sachs?

It's easy to protest atrocities; horrors have a way of frightening people into the streets. But I saw no evidence of the Sanders crowds trying to push Obama leftward before 2016. And there's no excuse for that. This is supposed to be a self-governing republic. If We the People need a Man on Horseback - either to lead us or terrify us into action - then we might as well accept that we fail at governing ourselves...

Anonymous said...

Dopeslapping former presidents is still useful in analyzing why we're in the condition we're in today. Taking stock, assessments, etc.
Assuming as I do that DS-ing someone I can't physically touch isn't more than a judgmental rebuke.
And most definitely, what the previous prez and his party did during the last 8 years helped produce our Touchy Toddler and they got their behinds reamed politically nationwide, especially in electorally massive states in the middle north. Other matters chipped in their bits too, like the quality of our media and commentary, a certain portion of which rarely passes the smell test.

Single-payer roaring:

>>The "single-payer" activists had struck again. As Obama and congressional Democrats work to hammer out landmark health-care legislation, they face increasingly noisy protests from those on the left who complain that a national program like those in Europe has been excluded from the debate.

The White House and Democratic leaders have made clear there is no chance that Congress will adopt a single-payer approach -- named for the idea that a single government-backed insurance plan would pay for all Americans' medical costs -- because it is too radical a change.<<


Quoting, sorta, high-ranked Obama administration sources & Obama himself "Fuck you, you activists! Go home and sit with thumbs up your asses as we cuddle up with some lovely Friends Across the Aisle who need some serious cuddling."


You'll need to refine your statement about Men on Horseback. We've always needed ( ? ) or had that, whatever the type of human organization.
I mean, isn't that how you got the title "Chief"? :)


Anonymous said...


In order for the masses to get themselves aroused to effect change in their lives, AKA "Democracy in Action", they need good information.
Free Press thing.
We don't get that on a consistent basis.
Even from news sources that presumably shouldn't smell bad.



FDChief said...

Dunno how you get that out of the WaPo story, basil. What I get is the Obama guy saying "We hear ya but the politics don't work."

Hell, single-payer has been on the table since the Forties. Truman floated the idea when the British Labour government set up the NHS. Same problem; GOP wouldn't compromise and too many players (drs, hospitals, insurance cos) hated it like death.

And despite the article there was no broad groundswell pushing it. The public as a whole remained indifferent, and the protests were limited to a pretty small hard core.

I'll agree on "trade"; I didn't buy the benefits of agreements like NAFTA or the TPP. But...be careful. The minority that went for Trump didn't go there because Obama and HRC were shilling the TPP. Proof? Sanders.

Bernie offered all the populism Trump did only with 100% less racism and xenophobia. AND without the lies, the misogyny, and plutocracy, and the grifting. I've never seen such a perfect reason for Reagan Democrats to cross back to the Light Side.

Did they? No.

Because they LIKED the hate and the bragging and bullying. They liked the racism and pussy-grabbing and wog-bashing.

Should Obama have been more combative? Fuck, yes. He should have shut down 96% of the "war on terror" and prosecuted the war criminals. He should have returned the top marginal rates to Eisenhower's. He should have jailed the banksters.

But...I think you really underestimate the polarization. If he'd have done all that he'd have fired up our side...but he'd also have had the same wingnut 30% going even more nuts.

The simple fact that the GOP C.H.U.D.s went all in for Trump - a quite obviously unhinged grifter - tells me this was more than the TPP and her emails...

Anonymous said...

Ael: "Sorry Mike, the INA was enacted under Obama.
He gets to wear it because he could have influenced it."

No, because the current flustercluck was not seen under Obama.


Anonymous said...

>>Dunno how you get that out of the WaPo story, basil<<

I notice you've been reading some at LG&M
So this rebuttal is all your doing :)

But I've always believed that our people with leaders that have a bit of charisma or whatever it is that some people have that induces a popular movement to follow have the ability to change events and move the government to change policy.

What irks me about Obama is that after inspiring us to victory in 08, he went off to woo the "True Powers", leaving us to flounder and flail about.



FDChief said...

I was frustrated with the "hope" and "change" rhetoric of the Obama campaign, Basil, because I knew at the time how damn-near-impossible many of the changes would be. The nature and formal organization of the U.S. government meant that the sort of transformational events that favor progressive change are incredibly rare. We've seen only two in the past 120 years; the original Progressive movement of the Oughts and Teens, and the New Deal.

Both took place in very unusual political circumstances, and both enjoyed surroundings that we lacked in 2008.

All Obama had to be was a decent man and he'd have been the better choice. He was. He went a long way to cleaning the GOP sewer the Bushies befouled.

But to go further risked open war with the GOP. If he'd hauled Bush, Cheney, and Rove up on war crimes charges? Jailed the banksters? I'm not sure - and I'll bet he wasn't, either - that it might have meant civil war or as near as dammit. And I'm not sure I can blame him for not wanting to risk that...

That war may yet be coming. But I can understand why 2009 wasn't the time for it.

Talyssa said...

I think I'm still in shock that this ban actually happened. Maybe I'm naive, and politics has never been my strong point but I didn't realise that there were countries that actually blocked other countries from visiting them...except for maybe North Korea...and I never expected it would come from America!

FDChief said...

Sadly, Talyssa, most of us here didn't think that our country would be "one of those", either. But it's worth remembering that there's a lot of darkness here, certainly as much as in Germany in 1933 or Russia in 1917. The ground for autocracy is no more fallow here in the U.S. than in Italy in 1922.

The real danger here, IMO, is that Trump is turning out to be more impulsive, more brutal, more thin-skinned and angry than even his haters like me imagined.

AND he's surrounding himself with people even worse than he is, like Bannon; human crab lice from the diseased crotch of Breitbart and InfoWars. Actual Nazis! Who the hell thought THAT would happen!?

So. Not only is this bad - in the "standard GOP 2016 let's-go-Gilded-Age!" bad sense - it has the potential to become even "ruled-by-a-moron-advised-by-paranoid-actual-Nazis" worse.