Saturday, October 31, 2020

A word from our special election correspondent, Moshe


Again this year, we know that most of you are waiting to learn whom The Spy will endorse in the Presidential election before casting your ballot.  Very wise.

In this hour of national catastrophe, we do not take this responsibility lightly.  We have ruminated about this choice endlessly.  To help us, we have enlisted the help of a great writer and thinker whose previous pronouncements have often been described as “prophetic.”  So please ponder these words of wisdom from our coreligionist, Moses:

You stand this day all of you, before the Lord your God  . . . your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp . . . . See I set before you this day life and Joe Biden, death and Donald Trump . . . . If your heart turns away and you give no heed , . . I declare to you this day that you shall certainly perish . . . .

 The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.  The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. [In other words, California – Ed.]

The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies.  . . . Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.  The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.  The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.  At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

. . . .Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand.  A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days.   The sights you see will drive you mad.  The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. . . .

The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. . . . They will be the head, but you will be the tail.

All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey . . . and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. . . . Because you did not serve . . . joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. . . .

If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name . . .  the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.   He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you.  The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey . . . .  Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you.

 . . . . You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.  The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before your life and death, Biden and Trump.  Choose life – if you and your offspring would live . . . .


Our Special Correspondent would like
a word with you

[Deuteronomy] , ch. 30 v. 15-19, ch. 28, v. 20-67 (excerpts)

You listened last time (except for the idiots who voted for Jill Stein in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania).  So we're going to count on Moses again this year.

In 2016, we thought that Moses was talking metaphorically about life and death, like any good Reform Jew.  

Now that the Orange Whiner of Death sacrificed 235,000 human lives on the altar of his vanity, corruption and incompetence, we're not so sure.  

Maybe this time we should read these words the way Hasids do.  

You know, literally and seriously.

Stay safe out there.


The Editors


Sunday, October 25, 2020

You Read it First in the Spy (and Lots of Other Places tbh)

Of all the things President Trump has destroyed, the Republican Party is among the most dismaying. 

“Destroyed” is perhaps too simplistic, though. It would be more precise to say that Mr. Trump accelerated his party’s demise, exposing the rot that has been eating at its core for decades and leaving it a hollowed-out shell devoid of ideas, values or integrity, committed solely to preserving its own power even at the expense of democratic norms, institutions and ideals.

. . . the Republican Party’s dissolution under Mr. Trump is bad for American democracy.

. . . Today’s G.O.P.  . . . has instead allowed itself to be co-opted and radicalized by Trumpism. Its ideology has been reduced to a slurry of paranoia, white grievance and authoritarian populism. Its governing vision is reactionary, a cross between obstructionism and owning the libs. Its policy agenda, as defined by the party platform, is whatever President Trump wants . . . .

With his dark gospel, the president has enthralled the Republican base, rendering other party leaders too afraid to stand up to him. But to stand with Mr. Trump requires a constant betrayal of one’s own integrity and values. This goes beyond the usual policy flip-flops — what happened to fiscal hawks anyway? — and political hypocrisy, though there have been plenty of both. . . .

His presidency has been an extended exercise in defining deviancy down — and dragging the rest of his party down with him.

Having long preached “character” and “family values,” Republicans have given a pass to Mr. Trump’s personal degeneracy. . . .  

For all their talk about revering the Constitution, Republicans have stood by, slack-jawed, in the face of the president’s assault on checks and balances. Mr. Trump has spurned the concept of congressional oversight of his office. . . .

 Despite fetishizing “law and order,” Republicans have shrugged as Mr. Trump has maligned and politicized federal law enforcement, occasionally lending a hand. . . .

Not that congressional toadies are the only offenders. A parade of administration officials — some of whom were well respected before their Trumpian tour — have stood by, or pitched in, as the president has denigrated the F.B.I., federal prosecutors, intelligence agencies and the courts. 

. . . They have pushed the limits of the law and human decency to advance Mr. Trump’s draconian immigration agenda.

Most horrifically, Republican leaders have stood by as the president has lied to the public about a pandemic that has already killed more than 220,000 Americans. . . .

Whether out of fear, fealty or willful ignorance, these so-called leaders are complicit in this national tragedy

As Republican lawmakers grow increasingly panicked that Mr. Trump will lose re-election — possibly damaging their fortunes as well — some are scrambling to salvage their reputations by pretending they haven’t spent the past four years letting him run amok. In an Oct. 14 call with constituents, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska gave a blistering assessment of the president’s failures and “deficient” values, from his misogyny to his calamitous handling of the pandemic to “the way he kisses dictators’ butts.” Mr. Sasse was less clear about why, the occasional targeted criticism notwithstanding, he has enabled these deficiencies for so long. 

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, locked in his own tight re-election race, recently told the local media that he, too, has disagreed with Mr. Trump on numerous issues, including deficit spending, trade policy and his raiding of the defense budget. Mr. Cornyn said he opted to keep his opposition private rather than get into a public tiff with Mr. Trump “because, as I’ve observed, those usually don’t end too well.” 

Profiles in courage these are not. 

Mr. Trump’s corrosive influence on his party would fill a book. It has, in fact, filled several, as well as a slew of articles, social media posts and op-eds, written by conservatives both heartbroken and incensed over what has become of their party.

But many of these disillusioned Republicans also acknowledge that their team has been descending into white grievance, revanchism and know-nothing populism for decades. Mr. Trump just greased the slide. “He is the logical conclusion of what the Republican Party has become in the last 50 or so years,” the longtime party strategist Stuart Stevens asserts in his new book, “It Was All a Lie.”

–  The New York Times, October 25, 2020



Republican strategists blame their poor showing on President Bush's record-shattering unpopularity and the financial meltdown that threatens to plunge the world into a new Depression. Therefore, top GOP'sters . . . insist that the Republicans should concentrate on the core principles for which their party is famous.

According to these insiders, Republican success rests on a three-legged stool: Stupid Crap, Dumb Shit, and Utter Rot. Each has a vital role to play in any Republican resurgence, they argue.

Stupid Crap. "Stupid Crap is at the core of what it means to be a Republican," said highly leveraged animal abuser Wilfred M. Romney of Massachusetts Michigan Utah  New Hampshire.

In the category of Stupid Crap Romney . . .  places the economic and fiscal policies that have brought this country to the edge of ruin. "Budget busting tax cuts for the rich, deregulating large corporation so they are free to destroy the global economy and pollute the environment – this is the kind of Stupid Crap that we need to emphasize if we are to return to our rightful status as America's permanent majority party," Romney said.

Dumb Shit.  The popularity of Gov. Sarah Palin demonstrates to influential Republicans that a Dumb Shit [Surely, Dumb Shit? – Ed.] can excite the electorate. In an exclusive interview with the Spy's Ann Colt .45, Gov. Palin expounded: . . . "When you think of Dumb Shit, you think of preventing high schools from teaching contraception while celebrating illicit unprotected sex that leads to bastards being raised by 17-year-old mothers. Dumb Shit? You betcha."

"And let's not forget that abortion thing because it's so important that women should control their own bodies and I'm a woman and I ought to be able to control your body."

Gov. Palin also cited anti-immigrant hysteria, injection of fundamentalist Christian doctrines into public schools, and protecting the rights of mental patients, degenerates, criminals, and wife-beaters to purchase guns no questions asked at "gun shows" as other vital aspects of Republican Dumb Shit.

Utter Rot. Creepy adulterer Rudy Giuliani . . . insists that any Republican revival must be based on Utter Rot.

This category, according to the beloved father and former NYC mayor, includes invading countries we don't like to prove that we can push people around and when that tactic blows up in our faces blaming those who counseled against such military adventures in the first place. "It's important to peddle the Utter Rot that we are this close to victory in Iraq and therefore anything bad that happens after January 20 is the sole fault of radical redistributionist Barack Obama and his adviser Rev. Wright," Giuliani insisted.

Giuliani also urged Republicans to campaign on violating international law and standards of decency by torturing any poor bastard turned over to U.S. forces by anyone claiming that the person had aided an insurgent group and then using specious claims of national security to prevent the American people from learning about U.S.-committed war crimes. . . .

Finally, he stressed the urgent need to violate the constitutional rights of Americans and assert, contrary to the text of the Constitution and 200-plus years of tradition and jurisprudence, that the Executive has an untrammeled right to do whatever the hell it wants as long as it claims that it is acting in the interest of national security. "That's the absolute core of Utter Rot," Giuliani concluded before leaving to join his former consigliere Bernie Kerik for an "important client meeting" at Scores.

How does the Republican Party choose among Stupid Crap, Dumb Shit, and Utter Rot in planning its comeback? The answer, according to influential Republicans: it doesn't. Although the current outlook is bleak, master political strategist Karl Rove radiates arteriosclerosis [Surely, optimism? – Ed.]: "The Republican Party, if remains true to its core principles of Stupid Crap, Dumb Shit, and Utter Rot, will come back bigger and better than ever. Have I ever steered them wrong?"

The Massachusetts Spy, December 1, 2008.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Republican Family Values: Where's Mama?

By Emma Goldman
Spy Immigration Correspondent

What happens when a debate is moderated by someone who's smart and not a white man in a suit?  We found out last Thursday, when NBC News's Kristen Welker '98 had the temerity to ask Pres Super Spreader about his policy of yanking babies away from their mother's breasts because mom was legally seeking asylum in the United States.

Her question was perhaps prompted by the revelation that at least 545 of these babies and children had not been reunited with their deported parents because no one in U Bum's regime thought to keep track of which child belonged to which parent.  

545 kidnapped kids are still waiting
to be reunited with mom and dad
Instead of moving heaven and earth and the various U.S. bureaucracies to track down these parents and reunite them with their traumatized children, the U Bum regime has in effect outsourced the job to nonprofit agencies who lack the resources (like armed security) to do the job:

The ACLU and others say the effort to locate the still-separated families has been hindered by incomplete government reports as well as conditions on the ground in the children’s native lands, including gang violence, remote villages, and now, the coronavirus pandemic.

With the elections less than two weeks away, the updated numbers ignited fresh outrage about one of the Trump administration’s biggest debacles, and one that sharply divided members of his Republican Party. 

Democrats seized on the new filing to remind voters that the family separations remain unresolved.

“Every day it seems we uncover new horrors perpetrated by President Trump and his administration,” Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival, said in a tweet.

It's one thing to work for the ACLU and give up the lush income of a big-firm lawyer (we'll get back to this).  It's another to lay down your life for it in the back woods of El Salvador and other places where human lives can be bought and sold for maybe 100 U.S. dollars. 

The 545 figure by the way is the number of cases the agencies are working on.  The actual number of children ripped from their parents by U Bum's  2018 “zero tolerance” policy is apparently unknowable:

Because of these IT deficiencies, we could not confirm the total number of families DHS separated during the Zero Tolerance period. DHS estimated that Border Patrol agents separated 3,014 children from their families while the policy was in place. DHS also estimated it had completed 2,155 reunifications in response to a court order, although this effort continued for 7 months beyond the July 2018 deadline for reunifying children with their parents. However, we conducted a review of DHS data during the Zero Tolerance period and identified 136 children with potential family relationships who were not accurately recorded by CBP. In a broader analysis of DHS data between the dates of October 1, 2017, to February 14, 2019, we identified an additional 1,233 children with potential family relationships not accurately recorded by CBP.  Without a reliable account of all family relationships, we could not validate the total number of separations, or reunifications.

And that's from that well-known pinko liberal pressure group, the Office of the Inspector General of the, wait for it, Department of Homeland Security.

You might think that a policy of forcible family separation would have been accompanied by a plan to reunite those families, at least in their native countries.  But you'd be overestimating the competence and underestimating the cruelty of the architects of this crime against humanity and the lackeys who carried it out.

Speaking of those mild-mannered functionaries who were only following orders, let's welcome into the dock former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, shown here in his new role as a commentator for CBS News coverage of the space program [Surely, a partner of King & Spalding, a ginormous fancy high-priced law firm? – Ed.]:


The indictment against this f**kin' guy requires a little tedious legal background.  To provide a threadbare legal rationale for wrestling nursing babies away from their mothers, the U Bum regime came up with the idea, also known to the Bush Administration, of indicting the parents for the misdemeanor charge of unlawful border crossing (although whether that law applies to those lawfully claiming asylum remains unresolved).

They had to file criminal charges because legally the immigration agencies cannot separate families.  But if mom is subject to arrest and detention in the criminal justice system, even though accused non-violent misdemeanants are usually released before trial in state systems, then mom could be hauled off by the Department of “Justice” while the child vanished into night and fog.

But Federal prosecutors are supposed to consider not only law but justice in making their discretionary charging decisions.  In the case of the babies and their accused misdemeanant parents, here's how it went down, according to The New York Times:

More specifically, Rod Rosenstein turned down prosecutors who had qualms about the selection process:

Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.

“Those two cases should not have been declined,” John Bash, the departing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Mr. Bash had declined the cases, but Mr. Rosenstein had overruled him. “Per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child.”

It must be such a thrill for clients of King & Spalding like Xerox, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Delta Air Lines and other blue-chippers to know that they can be represented by a man who committed actionable crimes against humanity while in government service.

How did we get here?  Surprisingly for us, we've got bipartisan blame to hand out, although of course President Tiny Toadstool and his Trumpublican enablers bear sole responsibility for the bestial family-separation policy itself and the shambolic cruelty with which it was carried out.

But we should pause to remember that outrageous human rights violations and the Republican Party go together like Dick Cheney and waterboarding, even if the only ones punished were clueless low-level troops who had to administer the fun:

The Republicans got away scot-free with torture under the Bush Administration.  Why then should Ron J. Rosenstein worry about a little child stealing?  Especially when the Obama Administration decided in a spirit of unreciprocated amity not to prosecute high-level Bush hacks for their crimes.

And speaking of the Obama Administration, when Pres PAB tried to deflect the blame for his monstrous child abuse policy by noting that the cages in which the newly-created orphans were held had been installed by his predecessor, he was – right.  It had nothing to do with child kidnapping, but according to real journalists at The Washington Post, on the question of who built the cages:

The article goes on to describe how the cages were actually used to subdivide portions of a warehouse used to detain different types of immigrants while allowing for ventilation.  And why were immigrants chucked into some warehouse to begin with?

The Obama administration responded to the outrage by rushing to expand its capacity to handle the new migration wave at the border, to adapt an infrastructure build to handle single adult men, not families and children.

That's not really the complete answer. The Obama Administration could have released these folks with notices to appear in Immigration Court and GPS bracelets but instead chose to immure them in an excellently-ventilated warehouse.

Why?  Supposedly to discourage others desperate to flee violence and persecution:

And even that's not the full story.  The point of the cages was not to deter other immigrants so much as it was to deter attacks on Democrats as “soft” on undocumented immigrants before the 2014 elections (which the Dems lost big-time) and somehow to gain Republican support for bipartisan immigration reform.  That worked out about as well as you would expect.

What have we learned from this sorry tale?  A few things:

1.  Letting Republicans get away with torture and other human rights abuses doesn't lead to kum-bay-yah.  It only provides them with incentives to try other horrible deeds on the theory that they will be able to get away with them and then make millions from the corner office of a fancy law firm.

2.  Turning over immigration policies to supposed centrists and moderates who built the body-snatching apparatus we have today is not a political winner for Democrats.  It only comes back to Biden you on the ass when you need the support of every Latinx voter you can get.

3.  Even by the standards of huge law firms, King & Spalding has terrible taste in partners.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

After the bunker scene



By Nellie Bly
Spy Washington Bureau with
Roscoe Arbuckle, Motion Picture Correspondent

Last week we described the excitement in Washington as the Republicans built toward their big bunker scene.  So far the rage and the sense of doom attendant thereto have not disappointed the most jaded connoisseur of political GΓΆtterdammerung.  How dare a reporter question President U Bum's decision to retweet insane conspiracy theories!  That's even worse than waiting for hours at Franklin's and then finding out they are totally out of brisket!

But as entertaining as the bunker scene is, let's not forget that the end of the credits roll doesn't mean there won't be anything left to watch, as we intimated last week.  After the bunker scene, remain seated for the spectacle of the Republican zombies rising from their graves as they return to devour us and our democracy.

Even as we enjoy watching shameless Republican former toadies and now traitors to Pres PAB like Sen. Ben Sasse escaping the bunker and running through the street of Nebraska, the thought of the sequel is giving us the chills.

Republicans are beginning to realize
they may need a little Wiederaufbau
after the election
You remember Ben Sasse, don't you, or, as he is better known to discriminating critics of the political scene, that f***in' guy?  He was the supposedly moderate reasonable intellectual who despite his moderation, reasonableness and intellectual gravitas faithfully supported Pres PAB by increasing production of wonder weapons by slave labor year after year [Surely, by voting to take away health care and to put a credibly accused sex offender on the Supreme Court? – Ed.].

Now that he's survived his Republican primary (as even the primitive reptilian brain of the Grifter-in-Chief was quick to note),


this f***in' guy has turned to rubbishing the demented grifter whose sagging bronze ass he'd been kissing for years:

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska unleashed on Mr. Trump in a telephone town hall event with constituents on Wednesday, eviscerating the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and accusing him of “flirting” with dictators and white supremacists and alienating voters so broadly that he might cause a “Republican blood bath” in the Senate. 

And why the sudden 11th hour revelation?  Tell us, Catie Edmundson of The New York Times:

But now, facing grim polling numbers and a flood of Democratic money and enthusiasm that has imperiled their majority in the Senate, Republicans on Capitol Hill are beginning to publicly distance themselves from the president. The shift, less than three weeks before the election, indicates that many Republicans have concluded that Mr. Trump is heading for a loss in November. And they are grasping to save themselves and rushing to re-establish their reputations for a coming struggle for their party’s identity.

A “coming struggle for their party's identity?”  What tf does that mean?  We'll take a wild guess: it means they want to save their own ass for future elections.  Now this f***in' guy from Nebraska failed to draw a strong Democratic opponent so Cornholers [Surely, Cornhuskers? – Ed.] are likely to return him for another six years to reinvent himself as other than a degraded spineless toady.

We're not finished with him yet, but for the moment let's just note he's one of the lucky few who aren't done after the bunker scene.

Not so for the tenth rate hacks who populate the U Bum Administration, sadly:

Have we heard the last of
Kellyanne Conway?
“Quiet conversations in Gmail are more active now than would be expected a month before an election,” said a senior Republican strategist who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations. “I have a buddy in the administration who is starting to quietly move his resume around, and he’s noticed people who he thought would be quicker to respond to inquiries have been less so. He called it ‘the Trump stink. How much Trump stink is on my resume right now?'” 

Trump stink? It almost sings, doesn't it? 

Basically, U Bum stooges have two alternatives: burrow their way into the civil service (we'll talk about that someday), or seek employment in the private sector, as did the flacks, shills, and plug-uglies in the George W. Bush Administration.

How did it turn out for them?  Depends if you ask smooth operators like Josh Bolten (raking in millions as a corporate lobbyist), or less-smooth mouthpieces like Fredo Gonzales (banished to the tumbleweeds of Texas without a sweet corporate-law gig).

But as any movie fan knows, just because zombies are six feet under doesn't mean they won't come springing back to life to ruin prom.  You'll be shocked to learn that two of cable news's brightest and most sententious lights served respectively as a hack Republican Congressman representing Florida's Redneck Riviera who impeached a duly elected President for lying about pootie (6 a.m. Eastern), and a flack for clueless lying war criminal George W. Bush, going so far as to smear his opponent John Kerry as “anti-fetus” (5 p.m. Eastern).  

If they can rise again, surely there's hope for down-home super spreader Mark Meadows or even Kellyanne Conway, who already looks like a walking zombie.

Our prediction is that the return of the Republican walking dead will be ever scarier than the current ranting and raving from the bunker, because one thing we know about Republicans: they have an insatiable appetite for devouring human lives (218,000 so far this year).

Let's go back to this f***in' guy, double-crossing Ben Sasse.  We were going to tell you that the real reason Sasse is trash-talking the leader he followed right up to the steel bunker door, but Ben Mathis-Lilley at Slate already did the hard work so let's just plagiarize him:


Yeah, that's it.  It's not that he and his fellow Republican toadies disagreed with President Super Spreader's evil policies.  They didn't.  They just don't want those horrible polices – tax cuts for the rich, no health care for the poor, denying the reality of climate change, tormenting LGBTQ persons, ripping babies out of the arms of their refugee mothers, inserting their mitts into women's genitalia – among others to perish in the ruins of the bunker:

Sasse occupied a crucial position in the Trump-era Republican Party as someone who was respected by movement insiders and outsiders alike. Like New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, Sasse gets liberals to treat his message seriously by demonstrating that he is well-read . . . .  Also like Douthat [Another f***in' guy – Ed.], the society he envisions in its place would be radically different and more primitive than the one that most Americans want.

Sasse believes—and has shown, with his votes and his words—that the government should have almost no role in guaranteeing citizens a basic quality of life, because the job is better done by “the Rotary Club and the PTA, the synagogues and the churches, the small businesses and local town meetings.”

And by Justice Handmaid telling you that your unwanted pregnancy is your punishment for being a fallen woman.  For some reason, that's always part of the libertarian utopia.

The blood-curdling premise of the sequel to the bunker scene is that the Republican zombies will rise from the wreckage to push once again the same horrible ideas that the Tangerine-Faced Grifter had advanced for years, with their help.  We actually warned you about this two years ago.

But here's a chilling thought: even if Democrats prevail this year, if either they are too craven to unwind the institutional biases that have cemented reactionary Republican control for generations (just ask Supreme Court Justice and future D.C. Senator Merrick Garland) or the Democratic base fails to turn out in 2022 (as they failed in 2010 and 2014), the Republican zombies fleeing the bunker today will be back.

And they'll be out for blood.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Cue bunker scene



By Ida Tarbell
Spy Washington Bureau

Tyrants leave us in different ways.  Some are strung up at an Italian garage.  Some are stabbed in the Roman Forum.  Some are permitted a cushy retirement some place insulated from the vengeance of their victims.

But by far the most satisfying ending is the bunker scene.  You know, the one where the increasingly deranged dictator, knowing the end is near, rails against everyone and anyone, screams about conspiracies, and bemoans how by the time he got to Franklin's Barbecue, all they had was cole slaw.  

I'm done after the bunker scene
He's done after the bunker scene

And after four nightmarish years of corruption, cruelty, insanity and most recently appalling death and suffering, it looks like we're now getting our bunker scene:  President Super Spreader bounces off the walls of the White House, surrounding by a few “loyal” aides in hazmat suits, threatening vainly to rain death and destruction on his enemies, while accusing his former henchmen of disloyalty.

The orgy of self-destruction is fun to watch although we're still a little wary of how many lives are yet to be lost before Pres Super Spreader immolates himself. 

But then we were wondering about what happens to the tyrant's lackeys?  Do they loyally stick by him to the deep-fried end?  Or do they escape through the U Bahn tunnels to fight again another day?  Already many of the tyrant's most loathsome and up to now loyal henchmen are showing signs of fleeing the bunker to reach safety either in Argentina or as a cable news anchor.

Among the thuggish stooges now desperately trying to save themselves from the flaming wreckage that is the U Bum Administration is William “Torquemada” Barr, the hard-right Opus Dei operative who loyally led the mugging of the Mueller Investigation.  First he suppressed the Mueller Report, while lying about its contents.  Then he sought to counterattack by authorizing other Justice Department officials to pursue the insane theory that the investigation of the Russian interference into the 2016 campaign was a Democratic plot, so brilliantly executed that it had absolutely no effect on that campaign.

Surely a true believer like Torquemada Barr would not desert the bunker at this critical hour, you say?

Not so.  In turns out that Barr is chiefly interested in where his next meal is coming from, not to mention in keeping his license to practice law so that he can coin many more millions.  After all, he's the guy that made General Telephone what it is today.  Which is nothing, although he himself gobbled up over $40 million in compensation for his work as its General Counsel.

Thus from a safe distance he has let it be leaked to the press [Surely, known? – Ed.] that he will in fact not indict real President Obama for an insane conspiracy theory before the election or indeed ever.  

Cue bunker scene:

President Trump publicly pressured the Justice Department on Friday to move against his political adversaries and complained that Attorney General William P. Barr is not doing enough to deliver results of a probe into how the Obama administration investigated possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

The delayed report is “a disgrace,” and Trump’s 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, should be jailed, Trump said in a rambling radio interview, one day after he argued on Twitter that his current Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, is a criminal who should be barred from running. . . . 

Trump said he is disappointed in Barr over the federal probe, the results of which Barr has told Republicans will not be ready before the Nov. 3 election, said people familiar with the discussions who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

Katrina, get out now!
“If that’s the case, I’m very disappointed,” Trump said during an interview with radio host Rush Limbaugh. “I think it’s a terrible thing. And I’ll say it to his face.”

Later, he added: “That’s a disgrace. I think it’s a disgrace. It’s an embarrassment.”

Traitors, he's surrounded by traitors.

By the way, have you heard a single elected Republican condemn the endless threats to jail political opponents as the assault on democracy that it is?  Hint: it's still crowded in that bunker. 

As the sounds of shellfire come ever closer to the White House, we wonder who will be next to desert the bunker and live to fight again another day.

Certainly crooked grifter Mike Pompeo, who daily abuses his office as Secretary of State to promote his own political future, seems to be looking at the emergency exits with newfound interest:

But Obama and Biden weren’t the only ones Trump implicated in crimes and suggested he wanted his Cabinet officials to target. He also expressed rare dissatisfaction with Pompeo, who he said should release some sort of new information on Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“They’re in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out, which is very sad actually. I’m not happy about him for that reason,” Trump said. “He was unable to get that. I don’t know why. You’re running the State Department; you’re able to get them out.”

So where are the emails, Pompey?  One hint may have come from The New York Times this morning, who viewed the topic of Hillary Clinton's emails with rather less interest than they evinced in 2016:

Neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Pompeo explained why they would release the emails now, in the final weeks of a hotly contested presidential campaign, given that they could have done so at any point in the past four years. Nor did they explain why they would seek to prove that Mrs. Clinton was too casual with emails containing classified information by releasing emails containing classified information.

When an aqueduct of Conventional Wisdom as sturdy as Maggie Haberman in effect threatens to cut you off without a drop, a thirsty pol like Pompeo would be well advised to listen.

What of the other gangsters?  We assume that Wilbur Ross and Ben Carson will sleep through the apocalypse without difficulty.  Others, like Chris “Trouble in Ft. Lee” Christie, have a few other problems right now, like where their next breath is coming from. 

The small band of courtiers in possession of the genitalia Pres U Bum likes to grab seems to have fled the premises, unwilling to do anything to jeopardize the future of future cable news hits like “Count-the-Dead Washington with Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway.”  Unthinkable, you say?  Hope and Kellyanne know full well what happened to those hard-core lunatics who successfully shut down the Dade County recount in long-ago 2000.  It's a fascinating story but one you're not likely to hear from MSNBC star and former Lily Pulitzer rioter Nicolle D. Wallace.

"Good morning, Pocatello! I'm Kayleigh McEnaney
and we're so glad you could join us
for Action News at 5 a.m."  She hopes.

Yet others are clinging to the burning dumpster as it sinks into the Potomac.  Mike “No flies on this guy” Pence won't survive the final fade-out.  And the pride of Harvard Law, Kayleigh McEnaney, assuming she survives, will be lucky to get the eye-opener co-anchor slot at a Sinclair affiliate in Idaho Falls/Pocatello, the vibrant 162d national media market.  Good Morning, Idaho!

What about those nearest and dearest to the soon to be departed tyrant?  As for Li'l Grifter, his future career as a Republican nominee for President has gone, shall we say, “off the rails.” Ivanka, Jared, and Eric are likely to find their new accommodations in Otisville, N.Y. to be not up to their standards, if Michael Cohen is to be believed.  And we'll bet Melania has already read up on extradition from dear old Slovenia.  Good news: no treaty!

Pres Super Spreader's loyal Senatorial allies, while not in the actual bunker due to COVID, may think they can escape by dumping their supremo down the same memory hole that devoured George W. Bush and Dick *cue screaming* Cheney, but before they plan to seize power from what they think will be  a weak divided Weimar America, they need to come to terms with a terrifying prospect.

A bunker scene doesn't actually have to end with the demise of its raving protagonist.  At the end, he can retreat to his redoubt in Palm Beach and, until his appeals are exhausted, he can continue to control the Republican Party troops by the simple expedient of calling into some Fox “News” true believer hatefest and issuing marching orders, which the survivors will be too craven to disobey.

So Lindsay and Tom and Ted and God only knows what other vile goober thinks he (or she – Hi, Nikki!) will survive to the 2024 elections should listen carefully to the high point of every bunker scene: when the tyrant raves about the importance of loyalty to the end.  And beyond.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Spy's Peerless Political Prognosticator Explains it all to You

Editors' Note: This has been an unusually eventful week in the nation's political life, in the same sense that the Hindenburg's last Atlantic crossing was unusually eventful.  It seemed like a good time to check in with the Spy's long-winded [Surely, long-time? – Ed.] Political Editor, the incomparable David Bloviator, and pass along his profound insights on the political merry-go-round to you, the humble reader.  Normally we interview the Great Man at his listening post in the National Press Club bar.  His listening post is for some reason unavailable, but we were nonetheless fortunate to conduct a virtual discussion with the peerless prognosticator at this critical hour.

TMS:    Mr. Bloviator, thank you for agreeing to talk to us.  How would you describe the political situation?

DB:  It is unprecedented.  The playbook has been tossed away.  The entire 2020 campaign has been thrown.

TMS: Thrown where?

DB:  Into chaos, of course.  Also for a loop, and into uncharted waters.  Speaking of waters, get me another double Chivas-and-water, you millennial whippersnapper.

TMS: Perhaps you have forgotten that we are meeting virtually and that I can't get you a drink.

The Great Man.  Room Rater: 0/10
DB:  [looks around for Scotch bottle; disappears from screen]  Dammit to hell, what is this world coming to?  Has anyone suffered much as I have?

TMS: Well, there have been 7 million cases of COVID-19 and 208,000 deaths so I'd have to say yes.

DB:  [returns to screen dropping ice cubes into a mug marked "WORLD'S GREATEST JOURNALIST."]  Now where were we?

TMS: You were saying that we are in uncharted waters.

DB:  Yes indeed.  As my esteemed colleague Maggie Haberman said yesterday: “In any event, the effect of even seemingly cataclysmic events on the race are hard to predict.” I couldn't have said it better myself.

TMS: I suppose that's right.  So where does the Presidential race go from here?

DB:  I foresee it will go off in directions no one can foresee.  We have never had a campaign in which the leader of the Free World is felled by illness.

TMS:  You mean Angela Merkel is ill, too?  I didn't know that.

DB:   You know damn well what I mean, you impudent pup.  But it could be bad news for the Biden campaign.

TMS:  Why is anything that happens bad news for Biden?

DB: Because it raises the specter of Democrats in Disarray.

TMS: They look pretty arrayed right now.

DB:  But you have to admit is was a stroke of genius for the President to take the attention away from his debate performance.

TMS: You mean replacing discussion of his insane debate performance by putting front and center the worst failing of his Administration?

DB:  No one controls the political agenda better than this President.  First he deflected attention away from his insults to the military through his tax returns.  Then he stopped scrutiny of his tax returns by raving through the first debate.  And now he get us to drop discussion of his debate performance by entering Walter Reed Hospital.  The man is a genius!

TMS: The man could be dead by Monday.  That's not genius, that's pandemic disease.

DB: In which case he will be more popular than ever!  And how will Biden deal with that challenge?

TMS: I'm going to guess by being elected in a landslide.

DB: But then he will face even greater challenges.

TMS: That's generally what happens when you take office in a time of epidemic and economic calamity.

DB: Biden must reach out.

TMS: To whom?

DB: To moderates who have supported the President in the past.  I spoke to patrons of a diner in rural Pennsylvania last week and they still supported the President.

TMS: That's because they're racists.

DB: You don't know they're all racists, as Chuck Todd has sagely noted.

TMS: Find me three that aren't.

DB: You're missing the point, man.  Biden must avoid the perception that he is too far left.

TMS: Why is it that Democrats must avoid the perception that they are too far to the left but Republicans, no matter how extreme, do not have to avoid the perception that they are too far to the right?

DB: Dammit, man, I don't make the rules; I just report them. And Rule #1 is never sit there with a mug of melted ice cubes.  [He pours himself another double]

TMS: How does the last-minute nomination of an anti-abortion rights extremist to the Supreme Court affect this political calculus?

DB: It is another Republican masterstroke because of the base.

TMS: What about the base?

DB: It firms the base.  Also fires up the base.

TMS: What about the three-quarters of Americans who don't want to go back to the days of coat-hanger abortions?  And what about the charge that Republicans who blocked Merrick Garland in 2016 are being hypocrites?

DB:  You forget that Mitch McConnell is a master.

TMS: A master of what?

DB: The Senate, man.  Also politics.  And its arcane rules, practices, and traditions.

TMS:  You mean because his majority blocked Garland in March 2016 on the grounds that the next President should make the appointment and now want to ram through Barrett in October 2020 simply because they have the votes?

The crack White House medical team
shown here preparing to brief the press

DB: Exactly!  He knows how to count.

TMS:  Seems like he knows how to lie his chins off.

DB: That too.

TMS: One last topic.  How will Black America's continuing struggle against inequality, racism, and unbridled police violence affect the election?

DB: It represents a danger to Democrats.

TMS: Why?

DB:  Because most Americans want law and order.

TMS: Isn't the right of a Black person to drive, walk, and live without fear of illegal police violence also a matter of law and order?

DB: Of course not.  

TMS:  Why?

DB: If you don't know why by now there's no use my explaining it to you.  But trust me, I'm white about this.

TMS: Thank you, Mr. Bloviator.