How do we clean up this administration?

General Wackjob Flynn has resigned overnight, and now new old untrustworty people are being considered for the job of national security advisor; David Petraeus among them. Hey, didn’t he resign under a cloud, for sharing classified material with his mistress? He sounds perfect for the job.

We have a crisis here. The president is manifestly incompetent, he is surrounded by malevolently incompetent advisors, and we don’t seem to have a way to extract him from office. The Electoral College was supposed to be a mechanism to block unsuitable candidates before they took office, but that was exposed as a sham. There is supposed to be a way to trigger impeachment proceedings, but the other branch of our government, congress, is packed with cowards, lackeys, and lickspittles who are going to block any action on that front…and even if they chopped off the head of this monster, there’s a line of succession packed with incompetents.

We’re under the clock. A noted historian says we have maybe one year to fix this predicament.

The marches were very encouraging. These were quite possibly the largest demonstrations in the history of the US, just in sheer numbers on one single day. That sort of initiative has to continue. The constitution is worth saving, the rule of law is worth saving, democracy is worth saving, but these things can and will be lost if everyone waits around for someone else. If we want encouragement out of the Oval Office, we will not get it. We are not getting encouragement thus far from Republicans. They have good reasons to defend the republic but thus far they are not doing so, with a few exceptions. You want to end on a positive note, I know; but I think things have tightened up very fast, we have at most a year to defend the Republic, perhaps less. What happens in the next few weeks is very important.

To stop an onrushing tyranny, we need to check presidential power. How? At this point, we shouldn’t be intimidated by the ugly line of succession, because I think it’s more important to send a message that presidents don’t get to be dictators…and that they ought to be competent at doing their job. (That last requirement ought to send a chill down the spines of every Republican, which may be why they aren’t doing something about the rogue gossamer-haired sphincter running amuck in the White House.)

So what are we going to do?

Clear and present danger

Jebus. All it takes to be qualified to participate in discussions of national security with our Resident* is to cough up for a $200,000 membership to Mar-A-Lago? I’m out. I can’t even imagine having that much money, period, let alone be able to throw it away on a country club. But at a dinner with the Japanese president, the American Resident* basically invited everyone at the table to peer at incoming information about a North Korean missile launch. Suddenly, I’m sure, every foreign intelligence agency has perked up at the idea that they can get access relatively cheaply, just by paying this old clown for the privilege.

I am kind of terrified. Didn’t we just have an election where the far right was shrieking about Clinton’s email server and the possibility that spies might compromise its security? I wonder how much it would cost to buy an email account on that server.

And then, christ, one of the hack fat cats and Trump supporters took photos and bragged of having hung out with the security guy carrying the nuclear football. Said hypothetical spy who bought his way into Mar-A-Lago can now look forward to snatching access to the biggest weapons system on the planet, or at least stealing it to prevent a response.

This is totally bonkers. I’m not normally one of those paranoid doomsday-preppin’ kinds of kooks, but maybe I should start pricing guns and giant tubs of survivalist chow.

Nosferatu! <crosses self>

I do not believe in the supernatural, but the evidence is growing that the Trump regime is so desperate for support that they are raiding graveyards — probably Nazi graveyards — to dig up the undead and prop them up on a stage. Case in point: look into the dead eyes of Stephen Miller. He’s horrifying.

He even appalls Joe Scarborough. I think we’re going to have to invade the White House with buckets of holy water and wooden stakes and torches sometime soon.

Morris got a shout-out from Rachel Maddow

Everyone has been telling me that they saw my face on Rachel Maddow’s show, but what’s more interesting are all the other faces. I haven’t seen the show myself (we don’t get MSNBC on our local cable), but I’ve been sent the screen cap:

MorrisIndivisibleOnMaddow

That’s our local Indivisible group which met for the first time earlier this week. The meeting was held at the public library, not on campus, and while there’s a healthy leavening of university faculty and staff, there was also a solid turnout from community people who are already thoroughly disgusted with the Trumpian regime. We’re already making plans to throw the rascals out. Keep that in mind when “flyover country” is dismissed as a uniform red mass.

You should read the Indivisible guide — it’s full of good advice to keep the pressure on our representatives in congress.

Deplorable DeVos is in

Betsy DeVos is unfit and incompetent; worse, the policies she champions destroy children’s opportunities. She’s a political hack who basically bought her position by donating $200 million to the Republicans.

She was just confirmed by a 50-50 vote in the Senate, with Pence as the tie-breaker. She is the new Secretary of Education.

Remember this: it was a straight party split, with only two Republicans voting against her nomination. Trump’s other nominees for other positions are just as, if not more, odious than DeVos, and aren’t getting as much protest — they’ll sail through, too. The Republicans will bear full responsibility for the nightmare scenario we’re locked into. We must resist even more, and tear them down.

They’re going to fight back, too, and we can already see what they’re up to. Someone infiltrated a pro-Trump meeting, and got a snapshot of their plans.

They have a team that monitors the public blogs and event postings of the Liberal groups (specifically mentioned Indivisible and MoveOn.) They laughed at the Indivisible Guide when one leader said “the Liberals will never get organized and carry any of this out, the snowflakes give up too easily, “a little heat and they melt.” They talked about the “visit your representatives office event” that was planned for earlier in the day which was posted on MoveOn and all over FB. They also were at their reps offices, and a handful admitted to going to the Democratic representatives office in their own district to have their voice counted.

They have a team who spies on FB posts. When the man who was with us asked how to do it, he was told that if he was a member of Pantsuit Nation it’s almost an automatic in into most closed groups, and then once you are in one, you can get invited to others. Someone on their team joins all the public and open groups. Their report included reading a few actual posts, in a mimic whining voice, where the members were posting their concerns and frustrations and why bother. They actually cheered this. One leader applauded the report and said, “we don’t care if they like what we have to say, we don’t need them to agree with us. We just need them to give up, shut up and stay out of our way.”

They’re organized and fanatical, and willing to engage in dirty tricks. We can’t just sit back and let it happen.

The Morris Indivisible group is meeting at the public library at 7pm tonight. If you’re local and you care, I expect you to be there.

Life on the internet

I do rather feel like I’m yelling out my window, but I’d like to think that I have better coordination than to allow the purple sludge I’m drinking to dribble all over my chin.

Actually, where do I get a bottle of purple sludge? Does it help? Does it numb the pain? Maybe it’s more effective when it leaks onto your chin for some cutaneous absorption.

Dear Trump* administration: please stop enabling these comics

SNL started the same year I began college. It’s practically medieval. It’s had some substantial ups, and lots of ghastly downs. Isn’t it about time it died? (no, please, don’t say the same of me yet). But then a collection of clowns take over the government and suddenly it’s inspired into absolute brilliance.

That’s just amazing. Sean Spicer is just a walking, talking target — he’s never going to recover what little reputation he had. And Betsy DeVos is such an airheaded jebusite, if I wasn’t hoping more that her nomination craters, I’d be looking forward to Kate McKinnon’s future roles playing her.

But please, don’t. As much as I like them and think they are wonderfully talented, I’d like to see McCarthy and McKinnon unemployed.

This must have been the “triumph” the papers are talking about

I remember Jimmy Carter’s failed attempt to rescue hostages in Iran. It was a disaster from start to finish.

With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ending in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last ditch attempt to save the hostages. During the operation, three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 transport planes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages were not released for another 270 days.

Note that Carter took responsibility for the failure, because that was the kind of guy he is. The screw-up in the rescue mission is one of multiple factors that contributed to his defeat by Ronald Reagan.

Compare and contrast with Trump’s recent gung-ho attack on terrorists (maybe) in Yemen.

As it turned out, almost everything that could go wrong did. And on Wednesday, Mr. Trump flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be present as the body of the American commando killed in the raid was returned home, the first military death on the new commander in chief’s watch.

The death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens came after a chain of mishaps and misjudgments that plunged the elite commandos into a ferocious 50-minute firefight that also left three others wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed. There are allegations — which the Pentagon acknowledged on Wednesday night are most likely correct — that the mission also killed several civilians, including some children. The dead include, by the account of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Qaeda leader who was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2011.

Did Trump take responsibility for the failure? Of course not. That’s not the kind of guy he is.

Mr. Trump on Sunday hailed his first counterterrorism operation as a success, claiming the commandos captured important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world. A statement by the military’s Central Command on Wednesday night that acknowledged the likelihood of civilian casualties also said that the recovered materials had provided some initial information helpful to counterterrorism analysts. The statement did not provide details.

Carter paid a political price for his blunder. Trump won’t — he’s already spinning it into a victory.

At least Carter’s mistake didn’t murder any little girls.

The cranky old man is also yelling at Australia

I don’t get it. Now Trump is antagonizing Australia.

It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.

Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.

At one point Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “This was the worst call by far.”

Another thing I don’t get: “triumphant week”. Who is having a triumphant week? Trump? Because all I see is a floundering asshole lashing out everywhere he can in the face of his unpopularity.

This lunatic and his administration are destabilizing our relationships with the rest of the world, and picking fights with our friends, acting like a belligerent drunk.

“Triumphant”. Fuck.