Friday, February 17, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ FRIDAY, FEB 17, 2017


THE LONG COLLAPSE

Folks, you may have noticed that it’s been a while since yer old pal Jerky treated y’all to one of his patented DDD Executive Summaries. Today, after Trump’s eye-popping hour-plus press conference / public nervous breakdown, I figured I should probably start sneaking in a few before the now all but unavoidable catastrophic nation-wide pan-institutional collapse begins, at which point I’ll be too busy constructing and guarding my rooftop trebuchet to be typing this online drivel for you ungrateful fuckers.  

By the way, did you know that while Trump was doing whatever the hell that sorry spectacle was supposed to be, a number of his hand-picked staffers were being walked out of the White House by security personnel after six of them failed their mandatory FBI background checksNo word yet as to whether would-be White House aide Sebastian Gorka--the former Breitbart "News" editor with a penchant for Magyar haberdashery festooned with regalia borrowed from murderous anti-Semitic Hungarian secret societies--was among the turfed.

Speaking of personnel troubles, Trump having to jettison National Security Advisor Mike Flynn--and thus, by association, his wretched Pizzagater son Mike Jr--over his lies about both the number and nature of his contacts with Russian intelligence officials in the weeks leading up to Trump’s inauguration is genuine cause for celebration. Anything that forces Trump to make an abject fool of himself with the kind of pretzel logic bullshit spewed during today's presser--"Flynn is a great guy but I couldn't trust him anymore because he lied about a call that was no big deal anyway and I knew all about it and I only forced him to resign because of the media and Russia is fake news"--is an indication that this traitorous administration's vulnerabilities are very real, and very serious. Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward declining Trump's request that he take over for Flynn is another indication that this is so.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the collapse of would-be Labor chief Andrew Puzder’s nomination. Not that Puzder was a great nominee. Quite the opposite in fact. The fast food mogul's abysmal record on labor is second to none, he's a crass sexist boor, and his ex-wife was so terrified of him that she wore a disguise when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1990 to discuss his abuse of her during their 14-year marriage. But none of that mattered to the Trump White House. The real reason for Puzder's sudden disappearing act? Apparently, the dude just wasn't racist enough. You better believe that whoever they pick to replace Puzder won't be quite so "soft on border issues".

Which brings us back to the Big Picture, and yer old pal Jerky's decidedly pessimistic take on it. 

Yes, it's true, there are some signs that more Americans are waking up and becoming more vocal and active at the local level, with grass roots activism spreading so fast that some observers are likening it to a kind of nascent Tea Party for Nice, Reasonable People... and, as is to be expected, some right-wing pundits are now trying to float the idea that a bunch of people worried about losing their health insurance are all just "paid protesters". 

And yes, it's true that some in the faith community are brave enough to swim against the tide of current evangelical opinion by letting their parishioners know that Trump not only isn't a "true" Christian, he's actually pretty fucking close to being the exact polar opposite of one.

And, perhaps most importantly, it's also true that a senior intelligence official recently reacted to Trump's ongoing, ill-advised war on the intelligence community by coldly declaring to a journalistic friendly: "He will die in jail." And that's great. I mean, we're all keeping our fingers crossed, obviously.


And yet, when all is said and done, I still fear it may all be too little, too late. And I'm not alone in my apprehensions. Timothy Snyder, a Yale scholar and an expert on European history, is worried that time is already running out on American democracy. He recently declared:
"The story that Americans have told themselves from the moment he declared his candidacy for president, was that one institution or another would defeat him or at least change his behavior—he won’t get the nomination; if he gets the nomination, he will be a normal Republican; he will get defeated in the general election; if he wins, the presidency will mature him. That was what Obama said. I never thought any of that was true. He doesn’t seem to care about the institutions and the laws except insofar as they appear as barriers to the goal of permanent kleptocratic authoritarianism and immediate personal gratification. It is all about him all of time, it is not about the citizens and our political traditions. ... 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."
And there's the rub. Not only does America not have the luxury of waiting until the next Presidential elections in 2020, she doesn't even have the luxury of waiting for the 2018 mid-terms. Which means impeachment is the only solution. Which means finding enough Republicans who are willing to put nation ahead of party, to put what's right ahead of "winning", to recognize and rebuke the Trump personality cult... but also the absolutist, ideologically rigid political cult that the GOP has morphed into over the last three decades. 

Which means unless we get really, insanely lucky... it ain't gonna happen.

More soon. Keep watching this space. - YOPJ

***
SUGGESTED READINGS

Believe it or not... this is mild compared to the other shit.


1. Yer old pal Jerky has been based in Toronto for going on a quarter century now, and in that time, he's developed a healthy disgust for "Canada's Worst Newspaper"TM, the Toronto Sun. With the utterly middle-of-the-road Toronto Star, the tweedy and stuffy Globe & Mail, and the upstart neoconservative National Post, Hogtown does not lack for conservative opinions. But to call the Sun "conservative" is to miss the point entirely. The Sun's specialty, not to put too fine a point on it, is in ALWAYS being SPECTACULARLY WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. This Torontoist history of the Sun's stubborn wrongheadedness about everything from LGBTQ issues to South African apartheid to Pinochet to eugenics (into the late 80's!)... it's a long and sordid list. The illustrations are particularly eyebrow-raising.

2. Did you know that The Disney Channel once produced and aired a series about Donald Trump fighting crime with a black pirate's ghost?! The series was called The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage, and the synopsis reads thusly: "It’s the story of Barry Tarberry (Daniel Hugh Kelly), a businessman based explicitly on Donald Trump, and yes, he most certainly does buy a haunted mansion in the Caribbean. That mansion is haunted by the ghost of Black Jack Savage (played by Stoney Jackson in the pilot, Steven Williams in the rest of the series), who was an escaped slave who became a pirate in the 1700s, and who was eventually lynched for trying to save his people. Now, Barry Tarberry and Black Jack Savage have to save 100 lives… or they’ll both be sent to hell." Here's the intro:

To find out more about the series (and see more videos featuring its unique awfulness), head on over to Blumhouse.com.

3. Britcom veteran Frankie Boyle has penned an epic takedown of Trump that is so jam-packed with quality gags and zesty zingers, yer old pal Jerky was sorely tempted to run the whole thing! But of course, that would be wrong of me. So here's a chunk of it...
I actually think Donald Trump is going to prove a lot of people wrong, but sadly not George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, or whoever wrote the Book of Revelation. It says a lot about the man that building a giant wall isn’t even in the top five most Game of Thrones things about him. Of course, presidents always enter office with something to prove, it’s just rarely their sanity. ... You look into Trump’s eyes and you see the fear and confusion of a man who has just been told he’s got stage-four cervical cancer. He is a super-villain in a world without heroes, a man so obnoxious and unhappy that karma may see him reincarnated as himself. ... I’m in an unusual position in that I don’t support Trump being invited to Britain, but I do hope he comes. Britain is divided at the moment and nothing unites us like hating Americans. ... If the Queen ever has to shake Trump’s hand, she will put on so many gloves she’ll look like Mickey Mouse. ... My best guess at the great man’s next move is the hoisting of an enormous burning eye above Trump Tower. It’s a building for which the words tacky and gaudy somehow seem too jolly and frivolous. Close up, it looks like the memory stick where some giant alien sex-killer stores his worst atrocities, or a version of the black slab in 2001: A Space Odyssey, sent to restore our consciousness to the level of chimpanzees. Trapped inside, Melania Trump has a look that I’ve never seen before, the eyes of someone waiting with increasing impatience for Stockholm syndrome to set in. The look of a woman frantically trying to unlearn English, appalled to find that this only makes her understand her husband more clearly.
...and here's a link to the rest of it, which you most definitely should read at your earliest possible convenience. I mean, that "giant alien sex-killer memory stick" bit is killer! Line of the week, IMO.

***
QUOTE OF THE DAY

"For evil to take place, the acts of a few people are not sufficient; the great majority also has to remain indifferent. That is something of which we are all quite capable."

- Tzvetan Todorov, literary critic and historian of evil, passed away on the 7th of February. It was a particularly ill-timed passing.

DDD EXTRAS

If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on this day in history, check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog, where you will find out xxx!

THE TAKEAWAY

Now I remember why I stopped doing these things... They take FOREVER!

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