Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Political Violence By The Numbers

I've seen the following graphic a couple of places lately, but I think it reveals a fact that should be made clear to every American, so I'm posting it here, too.

I have often heard that right wingers commit more acts of political violence than any other group in this country, but I had no idea how one sided this was.  These people are monsters, and the President and leaders of his party are monsters too.  Today, Trump announced his intent to abrogate the Constitution by an "executive order." And with the Supreme Court now fully packed with corrupt Republican appointed Justices, who can say that he will be stopped if he tries?  Meanwhile, more and more criminal thugs with guns are out there to destroy anyone who gets in his way. 

In a sane country, this man would be impeached in one day if he tried to do this.  But we don't live in a sane country any more.  We live in a country where some destitute people fleeing terror a thousand miles from the United States are more of a threat than these fascist killers that roam among us.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Trump Treason Again

And on a massive scale.  We've seen this guy repeatedly make decisions that hurt the security of the United States and our allies while favoring the interests of Vladimir Putin, over and over again.  Now, here is a gigantic one which has received almost no coverage in the mainstream press, and what coverage it has received has missed the point entirely.  In fact, even left wing sources seem not to have recognized the real significance of this action.

What I am talking about is Trump's stated intention to abrogate the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, negotiated by Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980's.  This treaty forbade either country from deploying any land based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometers.

The United States did in fact destroy about 1,000 nuclear missiles after this treaty was signed (the Soviet Union destroyed about 2,000.)  But other than the financial loss, the treaty meant little to us because our supposed enemies, the Soviet Union and China, were well over 5500 kilometers from our missile bases, which were located in the middle of the United States.

The situation for the Soviets, however, was considerably different, as can be seen from a glance at this map:
In fact, the forbidden range for Russian nuclear missiles includes virtually all of Europe.  And that is the point:

The U. S. abrogation of this treaty will allow Vladimir Putin to deploy nuclear missiles targeting the entire continent of Europe.

Let the NATO nations try to stand up to Russia then.

Sorry to resort to big red letters here (something that I have never done before,) but I think it is important for Americans to realize what an act of treachery, of out and out treason, Trump's backing out of this treaty will be.  For essentially nothing in return, Trump will be enabling Putin to hang a sword over all of Europe, if they dare to try to stand up to him.  This is a massive, horrible payoff to Putin for putting Trump into the White House.  Here is your collusion, Mr. Trump, written in gigantic letters for all to see.  Here is your betrayal of not only your own country, but of all our European allies, in order to benefit Putin. 

In a sane country, this action alone would be the end of Trump's Presidency, and in fact the end of his life outside a Federal prison.  But I guess we don't live in a sane country any more.  Too bad, really.

Wingnut Wrapup

Sorry, people, Wingnut Wrapup seems to be back, at least for a little while.  I just feel that most of us in the rational world are still only vaguely aware of the hatred and lies that make up the steady diet of right wingers.  Not that I feel happy about exposing you to it all, but we need to be aware of the massive amount of stuff like this that is out there.  I know these Wingnut Wrapups tend to be long, but let me assure you that I could make any one of them on any day four times as long and not come even close to including all of the massive amount of this garbage that is out there.  What follows is nothing but a representative sample.

Now, a little coverage of the Republican party writhing in agony as it attempts to blot out the truth that the MAGA bomber and the Pittsburgh terrorist are a product of their own actions.  I just want to note first, that it is only a couple of hours as I write a good part of this since the latest right wing mass shooting, and I have already heard a Republican on TV saying this is not the time to talk about gun laws, because of course they went there.  Needless to say, their whining and phony outrage will be much further developed in future days.  Anyway, back to the subject, starting with how things work out for you when you just can't stop lying: a master class in the subject from the legendary Stupidest Man on the Internet, Jim Hoft:

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Report: Bodybuilder Cesar Sayoc Admits the “Pipe Bombs” Wouldn’t Hurt Anyone – And He Didn’t Want to Hurt Anyone...Many pundits suspected they were fake bombs meant to scare the public...It looks like those people were right."

Except, of course, that Jim is lying.  Jim's "reports," of course, come from who knows where. The FBI stated that these are absolutely real bombs.  But boy, if right wingers ever need lying, they need it now.

And here's a reader comment:

"He just made the FBI look like idiots."

They caught a serial terrorist bomber in three days.  Boy, that makes them look like idiots.  And a reply to this brilliant remark:

"Not idiots, dishonest and unethical political animals trying to hurt Trump and the GOP."

Trying to hurt the GOP by catching a terrorist.  Well, they said it, not me.

"Next question. Where did the money for the false flag op come from? Who was the paymaster?"

Yup, they are still on to the false flag thing.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Egomaniac BARACK OBAMA Can’t Stop Talking About Himself at Milwaukee Campaign Stop"

Ha.  Talk about projection.  Even if it were true, which it of course is not.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Bomber Won’t Stop Trump Crowd in Charlotte From Chanting “CNN Sucks!”

And Jim and every other Republican is really proud of that.

"CNN does suck — and is hateful to President Trump and his supporters.  The bomber couldn’t change that."

The bomber couldn't change what degenerate scum Republicans are, either.   Except, of course, by providing them a chance to do the nearly impossible: make themselves look more like out and out Nazis.

Joseph  Farah, World Net Daily:  "STOP DEMS' BULLYING WHILE THERE'S TIME...If you don’t approve of someone’s politics, you smash their face or harass their family to coldcock a candidate.   If such a thing were commonplace on both sides of the political divide, it would be – well, “deplorable.  But what we see happening is on virtually just found on one side – Team Democrats"

Guess he forgot about Charlottesville, or Republican "Proud Boys" gangs attacking liberals in the street.  Or the President of the United States encouraging violence at every stop of his Nuremburg rally tour.  Or guns and bombs.

"Republican voters were certainly not happy about eight years of Barack Obama. But they fielded bad candidates and they lost. So, they bided their time until Trump showed up"

Oh yes, they bided their time.  They never called Obama a Communist or a Muslim, or accused him of not being an American citizen.  They never compared him and his wife to apes, or spread a malicious rumor that the first lady was an ex football player who had a sex change operation.  They never called him the antichrist.  They never accused him of being a gay prostitute or of having committed multiple murders to silence his critics.  They never held dozens of Congressional "hearings" to air entirely made up scandals.  They never worked day and night for eight years to destroy everything he tried to do.  And they never unleashed a plague of racism in their followers because Obama committed the sin of being born black.  What a load of crap.

Gavin Wax, American Thinker:  "We Are All Proud Boys Now"

Proud Boys.  Nazi thugs.  Our own domestic Sturmabteilung.  A certified Aryan supremacist hate group.  I mean, I guess we all know that is what Republicans really believe, but I didn't think they were quite ready to announce it out loud yet.

T. S. Weider, American Thinker:  "I brought my kids to a rally held by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday."

And you haven't been charged with child abuse yet?

Josh Kantrow, American Thinker:  "Within hours of the discovery of the attempted mail bombings, President Trump issued a strong statement that "in these times, we have to unify.  We have to come together, and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."

Of course, that was not enough for the Democrats and their media allies, who blame the president, even though we have no idea who the culprit is or his what his political motivations were."

Whoops- last Thursday's news.  Things look a little different now.  To Normal people, anyway.  To Republicans, nothing has changed.

Erwin Haas, American Thinker:  "Michiganders want global warming."

They are all for the extinction of the human race.  As long as they get a tax cut.

T. LaDuke, Red State:  "Did The Media And The Democrats Hateful Rhetoric Make Cesar Altieri Sayoc Snap?"

Yup, they're going there.  They made him send bombs to themselves- a notorious liberal strategy, blowing yourself up for the revolution.

Red State:  "Startling New Evidence In Obama Administration’s Illegal Operation Choke Point Campaign and Cover-Up"

Never heard of "operation choke point," did you?  Well, get ready.  They seem to have finally worn out all the other bogus scandals they invented, so here comes a new one, and it's as big a lie as all the others.  Any bets who will be the first Republican in Congress to hold two or three years of hearings on this?

Andrea Ruth, Red State:  "New Poll: Cruz Maintains Advantage Over Beto with Ten Days To Go"

The people of Texas are really stupid.  No, really, what else are we supposed to think?

Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media:  "Nader: Bernie Sanders 'Hasn’t Returned My Call in 21 Years"

The best thing I have heard about Bernie since the election.

John Hawkins, PJ Media:  "So What if the Saudis Killed Jamal Khashoggi?  If the Saudis kill a Saudi citizen, why is it our problem?"

Just spit it out there, John, let us know how you really feel.  By the way, I'm guessing that you don't think it was our problem when the Germans killed several million German citizens.  To you that was probably just a good start.

And here's a good excuse:

Roger Simon, PJ Media:  "Does It Matter Which Crazy Sent the Bombs?  Despite the vehement protestations of partisans on cable news, Twitter, etc., it shouldn't matter whether a crazy of the right or left sent the growing number of crude pipe bombs to Democratic Party politicians and their supporters in the media and Hollywood."

It would have mattered a hell of a lot if the bomber had been a Democrat, of course.  And now, how about a wingnut comedy break?

Sorry, I don't get the joke.

Alana Roethle, Town Hall:  "Keep Tax Cuts And Deregulation On Track In Kansas"

Because of course that is what Republicans' backers want.  Here's a brief excerpt from a 2017 issue of Forbes magazine, hardly a bastion of left wing thought:

"The Great Kansas Tax Cut Experiment Crashes And Burns...Just as President Trump is ramping up his push for a major tax cut that he believes will pay for itself through faster economic growth, the Kansas template for that approach has crashed and burned. After four years of below-average growth, deepening budget deficits, and steep spending reductions, the GOP-dominated Kansas legislature has repealed many of the tax cuts at the heart of Governor Sam Brownback fiscal agenda."

Meanwhile, Democrats in California have built the fifth largest economy in the world, with a State budget surplus and increased funding for roads, schools and other public needs.  But why would that record stop Republicans from giving even more money to the rich sociopaths that keep them in power?

"It is a lesson unlikely to be missed by congressional Republicans"

Ha ha, who would have ever expected that Alana would be wrong about that?  Republicans, the world champions of missing the message.  Unless, of course, it comes with a lot of hatred.  Or money.

Humberto Fontova, Town Hall:  "'The Biggest Defeat in Our Nation’s History'—The Cuban Missile Crisis"

Never heard about Vietnam, Humberto, huh?  Or Afghanistan?

Andrew Anglin, Daily Stormer:  "HAPPENING: Pittsburgh Synagogue Shot Up – Eight Dead...Please Jesus Christ let it be Moslems."

Sorry, Andrew, it was a Nazi just like you.  Time to raise that false flag.  Oh wait, too late for my advice; they are already on it:

"This appears to be the ultimate disaster.  It is fake, of course."

Beat me to it, Andrew.  And now for another inevitable response from Andrew:

"Arabs almost always get reported as “white male.” Basically, everyone who isn’t an actual Negro gets reported as that.  This could be an actual normal Islamic terrorist attack that is completely unrelated to fed false flag hoaxes."

Right.  We'll get right on checking out that theory.  Thanks for your contribution to a mature discussion of this tragedy.

And let's just hear from Alex Jones.  I mean, why not?

"INFOWARS PREDICTED IT: LEFTIST VIOLENCE TO ESCALATE AHEAD OF MIDTERMS...As Infowars predicted, leftist violence has escalated to unbelievable levels as a crazed anti-Trump gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing at least eight people and wounding several others...Infowars Predicted It: Leftist Violence To Escalate Ahead of Midterms

...Obama Activates His Domestic Army To Carry Out Violent Attacks Ahead Of Election"

It's just like a military attack on the country for Democrats to campaign.  And Alex asks this vital question:


No comment on what the actual President of the United States (sad to say,) and long time business partner of the Saudis, should be coming clean about.

And how about some deflection?

Kristinn Taylor, Gateway Pundit:  "After Synagogue Massacre, Democrats Must Denounce Anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan"

Really.  As loathsome as he is, Farrakhan had absolutely nothing to do with this bombing or synagogue slaughter, but it's Democrats that must do the denouncing.  Republicans?  No one for them to denounce; it's not their fault.

Joe Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Stunning! Obama Claims the Trump Administration is Not Honest"

Jim Hoft's brother in a little friendly rivalry for that title of Stupidest Man on the Internet.  Anyway, back to Jim:

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "LIBERAL MEDIA OUTRAGED That Bouncer-‘Bomber’ Story Won’t Sway Trump Voters"

And you know what? We are outraged.  Outraged that so many of our fellow citizens are morally depraved subhumans that have decided that patriotism consists of wallowing in hatred and violence.

And we can always count on Before It's News for the most vital take on things:

Before It's News:  "Alert: Meet the Laughably Fraudulent Patsy Just Arrested for Democrat-Staged Fake Bombs"

Mainly depending on one of the all time favorite criminal line of defense, "If I really did this, would I have been so stupid?"  Yes you would have, Cesar.  You support Trump.

So, let me not leave before getting right down to how they really feel:

Henry Makow:  "This atrocity will also pathologize opponents of the NWO by portraying them as racists and extremists.  Two years ago, I asked, Why do Jews put themselves in the line of fire by refusing to acknowledge, let alone renounce the satanist Masonic Jewish conspiracy?"

Yeah, that's a question that a lot of us are asking.  Why won't Jews admit that the most hateful Nazi delusions about them are true?  Then everyone would leave them alone, right?

And let me just end here, with an urgent plea from Before It's News:

"All Wicked Hearted Unrepentant Temporal Nations That Blatantly Defy The WILL/WORD Of THE MOST HIGH POWER Of Spiritually Melanated Hebrew-Negro Israel Will Be Supernaturally Destroyed By HIS Fiery Hellish Wrath Judgements And Through Many Enemies That HE Allows Evil Spirits To Wickedly Guide In Order To Attack And Destroy Other Enemies As They Are Greatly Decreased In Numbers Leading To Their Ultimate Extinction. BeWAR3, Many Unrepentant Sins And Abominations Have Almost Filled Up The Supernatural Fiery Hellish Cup Of Wrath That Will Surely Be Poured Out Upon These Wicked Hearted Heathens And Time Is Quickly Clocking Down For The USA/Mystery Babylon The Great Which Is Under A Double Portion Fiery Hellish Wrath Curse As Foretold In The Book Of Revelation. We Must Spiritually WAKE UP Hebrews-Negroes And Other Natural Seed Spiritual DNA WORD Bearing Children Of The MOST HIGH POWER Of ISRAEL Because Time Is Definitely Growing Short. Please Let’s All REPENT, HOSEA 2:16, ISHI Is Our Only Way Unto Eternal Life. SELAH

TOP STORIES (It Has Begun And It’s Only Going To Get Worse For This Godforsaken Wicked Eagle Nation Of Esau-Edomites-New Age Romans-The World Bully Brutish British Kingdom. All Wicked Hearted Unrepentant Kingdoms/Nations/Countries Only Exist For A Limited Amount Of Time Before They Are Destroyed Because Of Their Sins And Abominations! SELAH)"

If anyone out there has a clue what this means, please contact Green Eagle and reveal the truth to him.  He's losing sleep over it.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Republican Delusions, In One Graphic

In a previous post, I paid some attention to the graphics on the recent right wing terrorist's van.  I would like to focus on a single one of these graphics because it so fully displays the fictional looking glass world that Republicans live in.  Here it is:

I would like to list the claims made in this illustration, and discuss them briefly.  And these are the claims made in this one illustration:

(Democratic) Refusal to recognize radical Islamic terrorism
 This is, of course, simply a total lie.

The criticism of law enforcement
As if it is an act of subversion to comment on the obvious out of control behavior of the nation's police forces.

Fast & Furious  Gunrunning operation
Blamed on Democrats, even though it was started by Republicans, and of course an almost nonexistent problem outside the fevered minds of rage-drunk Republicans.

IRS scandal
Again, it simply never existed, except as a Republican lie

Race Baiting
Yes, the Democrats are the ones doing the race baiting

The abomination of giving health care to 22,000,000 Americans

Benghazi cover up scandal
Another gigantic Republican lie, played out in front of the American people for years

Obama's illegal executive orders
Obama's use of executive orders was totally in line with the use made by past Presidents, and mainly extended to noncontroversial things like creating national monuments.  On the other hand, Trump has used executive orders constantly, to evade and flout the law, over and over again.

Paying ransom to Iran
A lie.  Iranian money was returned to Iran after it was confirmed that Iran had kept its end of international agreements.  To have kept the money would have been nothing but a multi-billion  dollar theft.

DNC main stream media collusion
Anyone who reads this blog knows how ludicrous this claim is.

VA Hospital scandal
The truth:  The VA hospital system regularly receives patient evaluations that are far more positive than the civilian hospital industry.  The only major criticism of the VA is wait times, which are one hundred percent the result of Republican funding cuts.  One more example of  Republicans deliberately sabotaging government programs and then claiming  their failure proves that government doesn't work; an open strategy of the Republican party for decades.

Deleted government e-mails
Absolutely zero proof that anything of substance was ever deleted.  On the other hand, the Bush administration "lost" 22 million e-mails before it left office, without one Republican ever saying a word about it.

Clinton's illegal e-mail server
The e-mail server was not illegal; it was in conformation with the practice of previous Secretaries of State; and there is absolutely no evidence that any information on that server was ever compromised.  Yet, the Republicans, with the cooperation of the mainstream press, turned this gigantic lie into the most covered issue in the 2016 election.  On the other hand, we now know that Trump's criminally irresponsible use of unsecured means of communication has absolutely resulted in the Chinese and Russians spying on his conversations, and not one Republican gives a damn.

Not enficing immigration laws
Whatever "enficing" means, Obama deported more people than any other President.  The number of deportations has actually decreased under allegedly tough on immigrants Trump.

Iran nuclear deal
A highly successful deal negotiated by six world powers, which resulted in a cessation of Iran's nuclear program, but which Republicans have portrayed to the American people as some sort of act of pro-Muslim terrorist high treason.

Syria policy
No clue, really, what Obama was supposed to do differently here, except probably for a lot more bombing and killing.

And there you have it- a virtual encyclopedia of Republican delusions about Democrats, except for the Pizzagate stuff or the thing about them all being reptiles from outer space. This is the world of lies- lies told largely to themselves- in which Republican voters live.  It is a world of utter delusion, and it is destroying our country.

The Good Old Days

Remember when violence in the runup to a national election was something that happened in Bolivia or Uganda or Pakistan?

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Van

I really don't have much to contribute to the discussion about the MAGAbomber at this point, for obvious reasons, but I thought people might like to see this.  Unfortunately, the original photo is not of very high resolution, so a lot of this is hard to read, but I opened the best picture of the bomber van in Photoshop, corrected the perspective and used the sharpen tools as well as I could.  As I say, not so successful, but here it is:

Update:  Here, from the Washington Post, are much better images of all the van windows, with commentary on where these images come from.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Green Eagle Makes a Guess About the Saudis

Or specifically, those fifteen "tourists" who murdered Mr. Khashoggi.  I am labeling this a guess because I have absolutely no evidence to support my conclusion except a lifetime of experience watching people like this.

Mohammed bin Salman obviously never had the slightest thought that he wouldn't get away with this brazen crime without anyone really giving a damn.  Well, things didn't work out that way; it turns out that to journalists, the death of one journalist is more important than the massacre of thousands of Yemenis or hundreds of thousands of Syrians.  So he got himself into a little bit of a jam.  What to do now?

We hear that bin Salman has had eighteen people arrested in connection with this crime.  Not himself of course, but I will bet that the fifteen Saudi "tourists" in the Istanbul consulate are among the arrestees.

Now, Green Eagle's big guess:  I will be stunned if it turns out that a single one of them is still alive.  I am virtually certain that every one has met the same fate as Khashoggi himself: a quick death.  That's how you tidy things up when you are a monstrous dictator whose family disguises themselves as the "Kings" of a country that controls a large part of the world's oil supply, which provides the major reason bin Salman never expected anyone to complain about Khashoggi's death.

Maybe I'm wrong.  We'll see.

Update:  This news just in!

"U.S. announces penalties against Saudi agents in response to killing of journalist...
ISTANBUL — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday that the United States is revoking visas for the Saudi men accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul."

Penalties! Yeah, that'll teach them!  That will really hurt the Saudi leaders who ordered the execution- let them keep going on growing more and more rich dealing with the Unites States, but damned if we are going to let these guys in our country!  Because that is just what they are likely to want to do next!  Particularly if, as Green Eagle surmises, they are all already dead.

This is, however, enough of a response for the Washington Post to publish the story under the above headline.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Wingnut Wrapup

Most of the time these days I am too sickened by what is on the right wing internet, but here's a little of the more fun stuff, with a couple of non-internet things here too, starting off with an opinion piece from the allegedly liberal Washington Post:

Marc A. Theissen, Washington Post:  "Khashoggi’s disappearance is...a betrayal of President Trump.

Really?  How so?  Is he disappointed he didn't have a chance to get in there with the bone saw?  No, he never does his own dirty work, he always uses some discardable sucker.

"Many Democrats taking shots at the president as he tries to figure out a path forward need to check their hypocrisy. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Danielle Pletka pointed out, “if you can’t restrain yourself from blaming Trump, spare a moment to blame [President Barack] Obama for the war in Syria"

And for everything else on earth that right wingers don't like. I'm still blaming FDR for the Cleveland Indians losing the Series in 1954.  Give me a chance to catch up, Marc.

"Trump should make clear...that, unlike Saudi Arabia, the United States is not a monarchy."

He'll have trouble doing that until he figures it out himself.

Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "Tomahawk Warren's Native American Heritage Claim Got Scalped...And Liberal America Doesn't Know What To Do"

Except, of course, that the claim was proven to be absolutely true, not that such a thing is a concern to Republicans.

John Dempsey, Town Hall:  "Trump Has Freed the Republican Party from the Media"

He's freed them from the truth, anyway.  Form your own opinion about whether that is a good or bad thing.

Lauretta Brown, Town Hall:  "March for Life Unveils 'Unique From Day One' Theme Arguing That the Pro-Life Movement Is Pro-Science"

Did I just mention something about Republicans being free from the truth?  I think I did.

Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "Judicial Watch Files Bar Complaint Against Lawyers For Christine Blasey Ford"

Judicial Watch! Yes, they are still around, filing fallacious and meritless lawsuits against Democrats almost every day, and having them rejected out of hand by the courts.  Care to hear more?  Try this article from 2016, detailing their 20 lawsuits  extant at that time against Hillary Clinton, or this more general treatment of this organization.

Pat "Never met a Nazi I didn't like" Buchanan, Town Hall:  "Caravan Puts Trump Legacy on the Line"

If only a few hundred poor people from Honduras could do that.  It sure would make George Soros funding them look like an act of genius.

And the right is sure disappointed with Taylor Swift these days, because she didn't turn out to be Elsa Koch:

Octavio Rivera, Daily Stormer:  "I don’t get a warm tingle in my belly when I read one of my guys unironically lamenting the loss of Taylor Swift.  I have to tell you the truth.  Taylor Swift is probably a tranny.

Mr. Swift now acting like a soyboy would make perfect sense, if he is a soyboy. “She” must have been on puberty blockers and estrogen from an early age, and had some surgeries, but it’s still possible that “she” was born with a penis and a pair of testicles."

And just for an added comment, try this:

"The female brain does not really develop much after puberty. They’re emotional, self-centered creatures that would be entirely useless creatures if not for their wombs. They all also have severe mental retardation that is not grossly apparent to the untrained eye"

Although, if Taylor Swift is really a man, I don't get why this comment is in Octavio's piece.  And just to complete the story, here is an illustration from the article:

Not quite sure how that fits into the tale, but there it is.  And here she is, too:

A man, yes sir.  It's so obvious when you point it out.

And now, a major reason why I have pretty much stopped doing Wingnut Wrapups.  How can these paid liars hope to compete with the President of the United States?  Here is a series of comments that the President has made about the American jobs that will be lost if the United States backs out of the (largely fictional) arms deals we supposedly have with the Saudis:

Mar. 20, 2018: “We’re talking about over 40,000 jobs in the United States."  
Oct. 13, 2018: “It’s 450,000 jobs.” 
Oct. 17, 2018: “It’s 500,000 jobs.” 
Oct. 19, 2018: “I’d prefer that we not cancel $110 billion worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs.” 
Oct. 19, 2018 (a few hours later): “600,000 jobs, maybe more than that." 
Oct. 19, 2018 (a few hours later after that): “So now if you’re talking about – that was $110 billion – you know, you’re talking about over a million jobs.”

The entire US military industry currently employs about 360,000 people.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Illegal Aliens Chant “Si Se Puede!” as Caravan of Invaders Swells to 14,000"

It'll be 14,000,000 in a few days if we let Donald Trump do the counting.

And if you don't have enough to worry about, this is from a recent QAnon publication:

Really, what can you say?  It could be true.

Sarah Hoyt, PJ Media:  "Leftists Use Children to Make Political Points"

Republicans would never do that- at least after they are born.  On the other hand, no one needs to wonder about why Republicans put children in concentration camps.  We can all figure that one out.

John Ellis, PJ Media:  "The Greatest American Rock Bands of All Time"

Oh God, you don't even want to know.  Let it suffice to say that the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead weren't on the list.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "AWFUL! Classless Barack Obama Continues Midterm Campaigning"

Of course, it's just fine for Donald Trump to spend millions in taxplayer dollars flying all over the place for his egomaniacal Nuremburg rallies.

Christina Laila, Gateway Pundit:  "President Trump on Ted Cruz: “To Me He’s Not Lyin’ Ted Anymore, He’s Beautiful Ted” 

Okay then.  And how to explain Trump's sudden change of opinion?  Did he just realize that as loathsome as the guy is, he never cut anyone up with a bone saw, which is apparently enough to win Trump's seal of approval?  Well, here's an alternate explanation from one of the comments on this article:

"A great man is magnanimous in Victory. And Trump is that."

Like to ask Hillary about that?

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "DAG Rosenstein Must Answer, “What Crime the Mueller ‘Witch Hunt’ Was Created to Address?” If He Can’t He Should Be in Jail!"

What crime, Jim?  Treason, that's what crime.  Satisfied now?

Stanley Zir, Renew America:  "Chronicling Obama's coup: Revisited"

And what is the evidence of this coup that Stanley presents?  I kid you not, here it is:

"Last week, officials from Public Health England (PHE) proposed a sweeping measure to limit the number of calories that supermarkets, restaurants, and other businesses are allowed to have in their ready-to-eat meals. While the details are still being fleshed out, one specific proposal is a calorie limit of 928 for a pizza."

That was really the evidence.  An alleged limit on calories in pizza in England.  Evidence that Obama conducted a coup in the United States.  I mean, how can people be so stupid?

And a comment reprinted from an article Stanley wrote in 2011:

"I can just imagine, a few years from now, coming home and seeing my wife being taken away in handcuffs. And I ask her, "What is going on?" And she says, "I had an extra piece of cheesecake," as she's forced into the police car."

And that came true, didn't it?  Stanley's wife is now in prison for getting fat.  What?  She's not?  Surely you must be mistaken.  I mean, he is citing this fact as proof that he was right.

And now this shocking news:


After analyzing evidence presented from multiple parties, I have concluded that JFK Jr (along with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, and others) have returned from the dead to avenge the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK Jr’s Father)."

Oy.  This article features the following evidence, featuring an aerial view of John F. Kennedy's grave site, which is in the shape of a Q, an obvious reference, decades ahead of its existence, to QAnon.

Actually, I think they got the picture the wrong way:
See? Whoever designed this memorial was actually predicting the coming existence of P-Anon.

But at least one gigantic threat to our country is about to be resolved.

Before it's News:  "Hillary Arrest Warrant Issued to State Militias!"

And here I didn't even know that State militias arrested people.

"Hillary has been tied to assassination teams across the United States and needs to be arrested immediately.  State militias now authorized to arrest Hillary Clinton and others on sight."

And what for?  Benghazi?  the e-mails? the pizza parlor?  No, according to this article Hillary is to be arrested because she ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, which she did because he knew too much about the Clinton murder of Vince Foster. I kid you not, that's what they claim.

And lest you think there is no immediately practical advice to be found on these right wing sites, examine this, which accompanied the above article for some reason:
No word about keeping your skull wrapped in foil too, but it couldn't hurt.

And it just goes on and on:


but on the other hand:

"GREAT NEWS: Category 5 Hurricane Willa Headed Directly Toward 10,000 Migrant Caravan Path"

One hurricane is an evil liberal plot, the other one a welcome divine intervention.  And a couple more:

Spiders?  That's my guess.  Or else having to read any more of Wingnut Wrapup.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It

So, let me see if I have the facts right, now.  A middle aged reporter, successful enough in his career to write for the Washington Post and the Guardian, needs a piece of Saudi paperwork so he can marry his fiancee.  He is told that the paperwork is ready and can be picked up at the Saudi consulate in Ankara, Turkey, where he is currently staying.  He goes to the consulate with his fiancee, who he leaves outside, and enters to pick up this routine document.

Meanwhile, fifteen Saudi men, who the Saudis describe as "tourists" fly to Ankara in a private jet apparently owned by the Saudi royal family (nice way to travel, I guess,) travelling with equipment designed to dismember a dead body (never seen that in a Brookstone next to the travel chargers, have you?)  They go immediately from the airport to the consulate.  Then, a few hours later, apparently satisfied with their experience of foreign culture, they return to the airport, carrying several black garbage bags full of...something...with them, and fly back the same day to Saudi Arabia.

This reporter is now reported to have entered the consulate, and instead of picking up his paperwork and going back to his fiancee, decides to get in a fight with what we now know are fifteen people from the Saudi security service, in which he is (whoops) accidentally killed.  Rather than reporting this tragic incident and allowing the Turkish authorities to examine the body, they somehow allow the body to disappear, and it is never seen again.

That's pretty much the gist of it.  And what is the response of our President?

"Asked by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia’s explanation for Khashoggi’s death was credible, Trump said, “I do. I do.”

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Handy Purchase

Just in case you are planning to fly somewhere with one, Green Eagle's shopping guide has found this for you, available online for the low price of $76.02.
You just never know when one might come in handy on your foreign travels.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Deficit Monsters Rear Their Heads

Once again, we are about to suffer another round of one of the biggest lies in history:  the notion that Democrats and their social programs are responsible for the deficits that have plagued the country since Reagan took office.  Since that time, it has been the deliberate attempt of Republicans to destroy social spending, and thieve the money to give to their sociopathic rich backers, thus accomplishing two purposes: enriching their billionaires enough to keep them providing the money to flood the country with propaganda which keeps the Republicans in office, and also to achieve a long time goal of Republicans, deliberately destroying Social Security and Medicare, the two greatest Democratic contributions to the well-being of the American people.  Here is the hideously evil Mitch McConnell, being blunt about his intentions:

"McConnell eyes cuts to Medicare, Social Security to address deficit

Nearly a year ago, as the debate over Republican tax breaks for the wealthy was near its end, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) insisted that the tax cuts didn’t need to be paid for – because they’d pay for themselves...Whether the GOP leader actually believed his own rhetoric is an open question, but either way, we now know the Kentucky senator’s claim was spectacularly wrong. The Republican tax breaks have, as Democrats and those familiar with arithmetic predicted, sent the nation’s budget deficit soaring.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blamed rising federal deficits and debt on a bipartisan unwillingness to contain spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and said he sees little chance of a major deficit reduction deal while Republicans control Congress and the White House.

“It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem...Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid” funding constitutes “the real driver of the debt.”

Thus it has become necessary to delve into this preposterous, malignant lie, and once again point out the real source of government debt.  Here are two charts that pretty much tell the story.  I am sorry, but I was unable to find one graph that showed the entire time span; resulting in it being divided up this way.

To summarize this information:  The budget deficit in the last year of the Carter administration was $41 billion; seemingly a laughingly small amount after what we have seen since, but already enough for Republicans to demand cuts to social programs to deal with it. Under Reagan and Bush I, this number increased to $290 billion, or over seven times the last deficit under Carter.  The next Democratic President, Clinton, evaporated the deficit, and left the succeeding Republican President, Bush II, a $236 billion dollar surplus.  Bush II, through a combination of tax cuts for the rich and an unfunded war of aggression, precipitated an economic collapse which left the country with an annual budget deficit of $1.4 trillion dollars.  Obama, despite constant Republican attacks on everything he tried to do, reduced that deficit by over two thirds.  Now, from the moment the Republican Trump took over, the deficit is on the way up again, thanks in large part to the theft of six trillion dollars in tax money from the American people to give to the rich.  By 2019, the Trump deficit is projected to reach $984 billion, over twice the $438 billion dollar deficit left by Obama after superhuman effort to diminish the consequences of Republican economic malfeasance.  That number, due entirely to the corrupt actions of the last several Republican administrations, is almost exactly 24 times the deficit left by Jimmy Carter, before the Republican pillaging of the economy began.

And let us remember one more gigantic lie that Republicans are now telling.  Social security is entirely self funded, and does not receive one penny from the general government budget.  In fact, Republicans have raided vast sums of money from the Social Security funds, which they never had any intention of paying back.

This is the story, and do not ever let anyone tell you differently:  The national debt of the United States is virtually entirely due to Republican corruption and theft.  Of course, they will fight to the death the notion that the billionaire beneficiaries of that theft should ever have to give up a penny of their criminal proceeds.  No, it is, as usual, everyone else who must pay the price.  And the Republican party will continue pounding the American people to accept this monstrous deception as long as that party continues to exist.  After half a century watching this phenomenon, I am convinced that any path back into the light for the United States must involve the extermination of the Republican party, and the decisive demolition of the great economic lies that it has served up for a hundred years.

Yearly statistics for the federal budget deficit can be found here, if you are interested.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wingnut Wrapup

I know I promised to stop annoying you with these, but I thought it would be fun to see how the Republicans are lying their way out of the abysmal performance of Brett Kavanaugh in his recent Senate hearing.  So, here we go:

Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "After Ex-Boyfriend Nuked Her Testimony, Did Christine Blasey Ford Lie Before Congress?"

No, everyone could see she was sincere, even Trump.  But now a few days have passed so it's time for the Republicans to get back to smearing her.  What else did you expect?

Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "Grassley Slams Ford's Attorneys For Lack Of Candor, Again Requests Documentation on Her Polygraph and Therapy Notes"

Of course, Grassley refused to allow all the witnesses to testify at the the Senate hearing, but he feels free to slander Dr. Blasey Ford with absolutely groundless accusations that there is some sinister evil hidden in this material that she has absolutely no responsibility to release.  This is a sort of a reprise of the Hillary e-mail lies, when every right winger claimed that there was some huge hidden crime, which never emerged no matter how many tens of thousands of e-mails the Republicans pored over.

Michelle Malkin, Town Hall:  "Investigate the Senate Democrat Wrecking Machine"

See, the real malefactors here are not the Republicans, who nominated a belligerent, drunken liar and right wing hatchet man to sit on the Supreme Court, it's the Democrats who try to point this out.

"It is my contention that this grand unearth-and-destroy spectacle was planned, coordinated and facilitated by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats and their staffers."

They planned a political response to an openly partisan political choice.  How dare they?

Star Parker, Town Hall:  "Pro-Abortion Left vs. Kavanaugh"

Republicans know perfectly well that this guy will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, even though he has lied about it over and over again.

Lauretta Brown, Town Hall:  "Sen. Graham Tells Audience: 'Boo Yourself' After They Boo Him For Saying Kavanaugh Was Treated 'Like Crap'

So fucking what.

And now time for a wingnut "humor" break:
Of course, that line came not from the FBI, but from the Republicans' bought and paid for prosecutor that they brought in to grill Dr. Ford, after a thirty year career of trying people arrested by Joe Arpaio.

Chris Reeve, Town Hall:  "Studies: Networks Systematically Ignore Prosecutor's Report Detailing Problems With Ford's Testimony"

Studies?  Well a "study."  Produced by the "Media Research Center," a right wing lie factory headed by Brent Bozell, author recently of "The Vast Anti-Kavanaugh Conspiracy" and "The Media Crazy Train On Kavanaugh," and former head of the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Bozell once called Barack Obama a  "skinny ghetto crackhead" on Fox News.  So take the study for what it is worth.

Beth Baumann, Town Hall:  "BREAKING: Ford's Ex-Boyfriend Pens Damning Letter Detailing Her Helping a Friend Prep For a Polygraph"

All over the right wing world today, and a complete lie, which has been utterly denied by the person taking the polygraph test.

Brandon Morse, Red State:  "Donald Trump Jr. Reminds Whoopi Goldberg that She’s On Record Supporting a Rapist After She Demeans His Sons"

This is Red State's lead story today:  a movie actress once said something.  That's the best they can come up with, I guess.  And just to be clear, whatever she said, it was about Roman Polanski, who, as far as I remember, was never up for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

Brad Slager, Red State:  "The Christine Ford Legal Team May Actually Be In Legal Trouble"

This was about her attorneys turning down an "offer" from the Republicans on the Senate committe to have some Republican staffers fly out to California to take her testimony in private, at which point it would be buried a thousand miles deep, and none of us would have ever heard a bit of it.  No word about whether Judge Kavanaugh might actually be in legal trouble as a result of at least half a dozen lies he told under oath to a Senate Committee.

And, ready for some more right wing Kavanaugh "humor?"
Something every little boy is praying for these days, I guess.  No cartoon about how many girls have to pray not to be raped by belligerent drunks like Judge Kavanaugh.

T. La Duke, Red State:  "Creepy Porn Lawyer Tries Again"

So far, buddy, he's batting 1000.  Deal with that.

Toni Araiksenin, PJ Media:  "How I Discovered the Portland ‘Dog Rape Culture’ Article Was a Hoax"

Okay, okay, so I lied.  Not every item today is about Kavanaugh.  Sorry, just couldn't pass this one up.

Bridget Johnson, PJ Media:  "McConnell Wants FBI Kavanaugh Report for Senators' Eyes Only; Schumer Wants Public Release"

Gee, why do you think that might be?

Thomas Lifson, American Thinker:  "Shocker: Dianne Feinstein does not want the FBI report released" 

Just fine if Republicans want to do it, a horrible sin if Democrats do.  By the way, Dianne Feinstein is afraid that the Republicans will release the report with the names and addresses of all the witnesses, so they can be subject to the same sort of public smears and death threats already experienced by Christine Ford.  The Republicans undoubtedly want to pull a Devin Nunes stunt on the country, and leak a version of the report that is so mangled as to constitute one giant self serving lie.

PJ Media Staff:  "Lindsey Graham says Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh if his nomination falls short."

Oh, what a great idea.  That should be really fun.

Christina Laila, Gateway Pundit:  "McConnell Puts Schumer in His Place – Denies Schumer’s Request For an All Senators Briefing on Kavanaugh FBI Report"

I guess McConnell must know something about what the FBI investigation, despite Republican attempts to destroy it, might turn up.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "EPIC! Democrat Senator SLAMMED at Presser: “Do You Honestly Believe Judge Kavanaugh Was Leader of Teenage Irish Catholic Rape Gang?”

Sorry, Jim, you lost me with the word "Catholic."  After all, they would only be applying the lessons they learned from their religious leaders.

Chip McLean, Renew America:  "Democrats are destroying the nation in order to win...The fact is that the great majority of the senate Dems had already decided to vote against Kavanaugh before his name was even selected."

Talk about projection.  That remark is, of course, a vicious lie, as witness the overwhelming Democratic vote for Trump's previous nominee.  It is, however, true that despite their dissembling, every Republican was committed to voting for whatever right wing hatchet man Trump picked.

And let's just get down to the real craziness:

Kari Lee Fournier, Renew America:"My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations," stated a visibly angry and shaken Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the recent U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Not so fast, Judge Kavanaugh.... Many see this attack for what it is...your reputation is intact. This is simply part and parcel of things that are to happen according to Bible prophecy. Yes, those who know and read Scripture prophecy understand exactly what is taking place at both this hearing and with other world events. Things are rapidly winding down on earth. Plain and simple."

Well, if it's ordained by God, I guess you people had better stop blaming Democrats for it.

And one last taste of the big laughs wingnuts are getting from all of this:
See, it was Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi who supplied Kavanaugh with all that beer, and then forced him to perjure himself in front of the Senate committee.

And let's just finish this subject with a story from my favorite news source:


Man, try to top that one.
Anyway, this is getting repetitive.  Let's just move on to a few other choice tidbits from the wingnuts:

Alan Keyes, Renew America:  "Greater than Lincoln or Washington?  Alan Keyes says Trump UN speech akin to Babe Ruth's historic home run"

No comment that I could ever make could capture the sheer deranged lunacy of that remark.  And, by the way, not just Lincoln or Washington:

"Like David, the president of the United States enacted his gesture of defiance."

King David.  Trump is as great as King David.  Oh well...

Rick Moran, American Thinker:  "Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the dumbest politician in America?"

Forgot all about Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin, have you, Rick?  Oh, and that guy your party (and Putin) put in the White House.  In fact, the last two guys you put in the White House.

Capt. Dave Bertrand, ret, Before it's News:  "Civil War Alert: Once Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, All the "Stops" Will Be Removed By President Trump and His Military Support Team...ANTIFA is organizing violence against Conservatives at all levels nationwide...Twitter is complacent and helping the Communists by allowing hate content to proceed while shutting down all Conservative voices and comments...

Once Kavanaugh is confirmed, all the “stops” will be removed by President Trump and his military support team and those inside the Pentagon to assure a fair and legal midterm election while the 51,000 plus sealed indictments hang over the heads of the Communists now panicking like never before...If Patriots are successful, violence will turn into Civil War."

This vital information brought to you by Capt. Bertrand, not at all a crazy person, who also has this to say:

"Civil War Alert: Leftists Openly Plot Mass Executions of Conservatives as Democrats Release Home Addresses of Republican Senators"

And enough paranoia for one day, huh?  Well, how about one more:

Before it's News:  "The Incredible Kanye West Clone Setup, Explained!!  Kanye West Was Too Human For The Music Industry And He Ended His Life, That Night On The Stage To Bring You Truth, To Be Replaced With A Clone!!"

Yes, Kanye West is a clone.  And here is the evidence:

"Kanye West never used to smile… now he smiles all the time."

Well, I guess that proves that.

Now, let me close with this.  I have noticed the last year or so that the really crazy right wing garbage seems to have almost entirely migrated to videos.  My suspicion is that a majority of right wingers just can't read very well, and since they are far less interested in facts than in having their emotions twanged, videos are a far better medium to reach them.  There are tens of thousands of examples of this deplorable junk on line.  I thought you might like to try a couple of minutes of an example.  This one was picked pretty much at random; there's lots worse if you look.

Another Case Where Kavanaugh Would Have to Recuse Himself

A headline in the Washington Post today:

"Supreme Court contemplates whether man who cannot remember crime may be executed"

Or whether they should just take him out of prison and give him the appeals court judgeship that Kavanaugh formerly held.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Another Presidential Standard Crushed

Another simple rule of human decency trampled under the feet of Donald Trump.

Here's an episode in Presidential history that many of you may not remember.

From a 1970 story in the New York Times:

"Nixon Calls Manson Guilty, Later Withdraws Remark...
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (1970)— President Nixon asserted today that Charles Manson, a hippie cultist now on trial in California, “was guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason.”
But, faced with criticism that he had prejudged the outcome of the Manson trial, Mr. Nixon, issued a statement on his arrival here tonight saying that “the last thing I would do is prejudice the legal ‘rights of any person, in any circumstances.”
This remark caused a furor around the country, and very nearly resulted in a mistrial in the Manson case.  To Nixon's credit, he realized before the day was out that he had made a big mistake, and seemingly sincerely apologized for what he said.

This case set a standard that has been uniformly followed since that time: that given his position, no President ever comments on matters like this.  It has been a universal standard, followed by Democrats and Republicans alike, and would seem to be particularly inviolable in cases involving the President himself.  That is, it has been universal, until today:

Trump's remarks let his audience of subhuman scum to start cheering and chanting "lock her up," about a woman who is guilty of nothing.

Once again, Donald Trump has found a new way to degrade himself, the Presidency and the entire country.  And the Republican base loves it.  They love the hatred, the violence, the willingness to do anything, no matter how abominable, to get his way.  It's the way these nauseating people will act themselves if anyone is stupid enough to give them power.  We never have faced up to just how many loathsome, hateful people there are, particularly among white citizens in this country.  And it may have already sown the seeds of our destruction.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Last Straw?

Or just one more poison pill that the Republicans are happy to force down our throats?

From Daily Kos, reporting on a story at NBC News:

"NBC News: Kavanaugh contacted witnesses prior to publication of Ramirez assault claims...NBC News reports that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was apparently in personal contact with potential witnesses he believed would cast doubt on the allegations that he exposed himself to a female student during a drunken Yale party.
It would seem to be a very odd move for a Supreme Court nominee to be personally involved in speaking to witnesses in a preemptive attempt to discredit testimony against him"

Let's just be clear about this.  It is not "a very odd move." It is witness tampering.  It is subornation of perjury, a major felony.   And is there a person on earth, even one as big a liar as Lindsey Graham, or Trump himself, that would claim that this Yale law school graduate, this man who has been a judge for over a decade, does not know that?  Is there anyone in the country that thinks it was okay for this degraded specimen of humanity to contact potential witnesses and pressure them about their testimony?

And just to add to this sordid incident, it appears that Kavanaugh made these contacts before the publication of the Ramirez story in the New Yorker, contrary to Kavanaugh's claim that he never heard about Ramirez' claims before the story was published, which would amount to one more count of perjury.

No one expected Trump to be fair or civic minded in his selection of a Supreme Court Justice.  But isn't this a step too far even for Senate Republicans, appointing a Justice that breaks the most fundamental judicial laws right in their faces, and feels perfectly entitled to do so?

Wait, how foolish of me.  Republicans will do anything, no matter how petty, no matter how criminal, if it advances the interests of the rich sociopaths that keep them as slaves.  And they will do it while screaming out in self-righteous anger about what a dirty trick it is for Democrats to try to keep a monster like this off of the Supreme Court.

Just for Reference, in case you are wondering:

U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 73 › § 1512

(b) Whoever knowingly...corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—
(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(2) cause or induce any person to—
(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant’s sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.

(g) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, no state of mind need be proved with respect to the circumstance—

(1) that the official proceeding before a judge, court, magistrate judge, grand jury, or government agency is before a judge or court of the United States, a United States magistrate judge, a bankruptcy judge, a Federal grand jury, or a Federal Government agency

(Bolding by me.)  Note:  the law against subornation of perjury applies to all "official proceedings "
in front of any "government agency," which would presumably include the United States Senate.  Also note that the burden of the proof in a case like this is on the defendant.