Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Notes from a Dying Nation

Just a random collection of what passes for Republican government, compiled in the last day and a half or so:

Congressman Steve King:  "Trump needs to purge Leftists from executive branch before disloyal, illegal & treasonist acts sink us."

Funny, I grew up associating the term "purge" with Joe Stalin.  Well, if Putin can turn out to be a far better leader than Obama, why not Stalin too? Remember Trump saying this:

"[Putin] has very strong control over a country," Trump said during the town hall, which was hosted by MSNBC and NBC...he's been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader."
Strong control over a country...this, from the same people who have screamed for eight years that Obama was a dictatorial monster running roughshod over the Constitution.  And may I point out that, by this standard, Idi Amin and Muammar Khadaffy were also better leaders than Obama?

Ed Klein, Fox News:  "[Obama] must have known about it, but it's my guess -- and I don't know how you feel about it, but -- that it's more likely that it was Valerie Jarrett and Ben Rhodes who were part of this, and Obama -- or the architects of this, and Obama was informed. You know, Obama is not exactly the most engaged guy when it comes to these kind of details. I mean, he spends an awful lot of time watching ESPN and reading books."

And now a new low in deliberate Republican projecting their worst characteristics on Democrats.  For most of Obama's Presidency, he was absurdly accused of being stupid, ignorant and lazy.  This is not because that accusation was anything but grotesquely absurd, but because it has become a standard Republican practice to cover up the insane inadequacy of their corrupt leaders by shouting endlessly that Democrats are even worse, so Obama was accused of being what Bush actually was.  Now that the lazy, ignorant Trump, who can't even be bothered to read the bills he is signing, is President, all of a sudden Obama is not a detail guy, and spent his time binge watching ESPN (for which there is absolutely no evidence) or (heaven protect us!) reading books, a grotesque misuse of his time if ever there was one.

Ben Carson:  “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships who worked even longer, even harder for less.  But they too had a dream, that one day their sons, daughters, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness.”

I'm not going to get into another dissertation here about how much Republicans love to get some corrupt black guy to mouth their most hateful racist claims, but really, you want a proof that God doesn't exist?  The fact that a lightning bolt didn't immediately blast Ben Carson out of existence the minute he said that should be all the proof you need.

And how about this news?

"Khizr Khan, the father of the Gold Star soldier that Trump spent so much time smearing during the election, has had to cancel a scheduled appearance on a Canadian TV station, because  his "travel privileges are being reviewed."  Mr. Khan has been an American citizen for 30 years.  What does the phrase "travel privileges" even mean when applied to a person like that?"

So now, on top of purges, we are about to have American citizens who oppose Trump banned from traveling? Just how much farther do we have to go before we have concentration camps and gestapo roundups?  How long before we see their bank accounts being seized, and their companies destroyed? And I am not speaking hyperbolically here- six weeks in, and Trump opponents do not have the right of free travel?  Where will we be in two more months?

Talking Points Memo:  "Congressional experts who spoke with TPM said the President has no authority to direct lawmakers’ investigations, and that it is a bizarre move for the commander-in-chief to ask Congress to investigate himself."

Although, God knows, someone needs to do it; preferably a commission with some psychiatrists on it.

And a new tweet from our President:

"122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!"

Our President, who has access to the information gathered from about two dozen intelligence agencies, got this piece of "information" from Fox News.  And let's be clear:  it turns out that  Fox reported that, allegedly, 122 people released from Guantanamo returned to the battlefield.  Trump just made up the part about them all being Obama releases-so clever of him.  Actually, 113 were released by George Bush.  Only 9 were released by Obama.  I'm anxiously awaiting an apology from Trump.*

And while we are on this subject, let me point out again that one of the most miserable moments of the Obama Presidency was when he did not free every single one of these people held in Guantanamo without charges.  Even our Constitutional scholar of a President seems to have forgotten this:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial"

Keeping people in prison for ten and fifteen years without even charging them hardly fits that requirement.

*Just sarcasm there; I'm not really waiting for an apology.


Hugh Jim Bissell said...

There is a concert of John Cage's Organ 2/ASLSP in Halberstadt, Germany, going on now. It started on September 5, 2001, and is scheduled to be completed sometime in the year 2640. The last note change was in 2013, and the next change will occur during the next decade.

Compared to that, ten to fifteen years is speedy.

[For something shorter: construction on New York's Second Avenue Subway began in 1929. The first section opened on January 1, 2017.]

Green Eagle said...

Excuse me for asking, but are you any relation to Jim Bissell, the production designer? I worked on three shows with him a number of years ago.

Hugh Jim Bissell said...

Only in the sense that all humans have a common MRCA.

Green Eagle said...

Okay, just wondered. I worked on Always, Arachnophobia and The Rocketeer with Jim, but I haven't talked to him in a long time.

Magpie said...

I loved The Rocketeer.

As I recall the villain was a glib fascist arsehole who rises in the entertainment industry and sells his country out to a hostile foreign power.