Tuesday, March 7, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ MARCH 7, 2017 ~ LATE MONDAY EDITION



MELTDOWN MAN

After the inexplicably ebullient praise heaped upon him following Tuesday night’s address to Congress, which saw even those fake news-spreading cucks over at CNN declaring it “the moment Donald Trump became President”, most of us knew it was only a matter of time before something happened that would knock him off kilter. For those of you keeping track, it took Trump all of three days to spectacularly lose his shit, taking to Twitter to accuse his predecessor, President Obama, of illegally having the phones at Trump Tower tapped during last year's hard-fought election campaign.

Then he mocked Schwarzenegger's Apprentice exit.

There are many reasons why Trump's accusations are preposterous, which is why all but the most devoted Redcap cultists are pretty much brushing it off. But what are the real motives behind Trump's unprecedented and so far groundless accusation that President Obama had Trump Towers' phones tapped?

For my money, Trump is running scared. And that's because his Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Bedford Forrest Sessions III, had to voluntarily recuse himself from any Justice Department investigations of Trump or face more serious censure after it was discovered he'd misled Congress about having met with Russian representatives during his Congressional approval process.

Which brings up another innocent question... How long will Sessions last before stepping down to "spend more time with his family"? I mean, it's not like he got the job thanks to his looks! And now that he's incapable of quashing or fucking up any investigation into the boss-man's lifelong parade of chicanery, he's literally of no use whatsoever to Trump anymore.

My prediction? Sessions will be gone by April Fool's Day. Let's just hope he's not taken care of the way the Rooskies are back to handling things. And yes, I am referring to the recent death of Alex Oronov, the Russian "entrepreneur" who, along with fellow "entrepreneurs" Jeff Cohen and Felix Sater, was instrumental in putting together that much-discussed "Ukraine Peace Plan"--more accurately described as a list of blackmail demands--that somehow mysteriously made its way into Trump's hot little hands.

You know what? Come to think of it, with all these loose ends being tied up so definitively, if I were in Trump's shoes, I probably wouldn't waste time worrying about Obama right now.
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SUGGESTED READINGS


1. Over at the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik asks "Did the Oscars Just Prove that we're Living in a Computer Simulation?" The short answer is, of course, NO, YOU FUCKING IDIOT. But that doesn't mean a decent writer can't have fun batting the idea around like a metaphorical ball of yarn between his metaphorical little kitten feet... which is exactly what Gopnik does, here, bringing up a few decent points in the process. It begins with a recap:
Last night’s Oscars bizarreness was not just bizarre but bizarre in a way that is typical of this entirely bizarre time. The rhythm of the yes-they-won-oh-my-God-no-they-didn’t event, with “La La Land” replaced by “Moonlight” as Best Picture, was weirdly like that of . . . Election Night. First, a more or less expected, if “safe,” result was on its way—although Hillary Clinton never got all the way to the stage, so to speak, the result did seem safely in hand at 7 p.m., according to the polling—and the expected and safe people were ready to deliver their touching but obviously polished pieces. Then the sudden confusion and visible near-panic of people running around in the background of the stage, with the same slightly horrified spirit that one felt on Election Night as shocking results began emerging from the exurban counties in Florida. Then, yes—can this be happening?—the revised and unexpected result.
But then things veer into High Weirdness territory:
The people or machines or aliens who are supposed to be running our lives are having some kind of breakdown. There’s a glitch, and we are in it.  
Once this insight is offered, it must be said, everything else begins to fall in order. The recent Super Bowl, for instance. The result, bizarre on the surface—with that unprecedented and impossible comeback complete with razzle-dazzle catches and completely blown coverages and defensive breakdowns—makes no sense at all in the “real” world. Doesn’t happen. But it is exactly what you expect to happen when a teen-ager and his middle-aged father exchange controllers in the EA Sports video-game version: the father stabs and pushes the buttons desperately while the kid makes one play after another, and twenty-five-point leads are erased in minutes, and in just that way—with ridiculous ease on the one side and chicken-with-its-head-cut-off panic infecting the other. What happened, then, one realizes with last-five-minutes-of-“The Twilight Zone” logic, is obvious: sometime in the third quarter, the omniscient alien or supercomputer that was “playing” the Patriots exchanged his controller with his teen-age offspring, or newer model, with the unbelievable result we saw. 
There may be not merely a glitch in the Matrix. There may be a Loki, a prankster, suddenly running it. After all, the same kind of thing seemed to happen on Election Day: the program was all set, and then some mischievous overlord—whether alien or artificial intelligence doesn’t matter—said, “Well, what if he did win? How would they react?” “You can’t do that to them,” the wiser, older Architect said. “Oh, c’mon,” the kid said. “It’ll be funny. Let’s see what they do!” And then it happened. We seem to be living within a kind of adolescent rebellion on the part of the controllers of the video game we’re trapped in, who are doing this for their strange idea of fun. 
The thesis that we are in a simulation is, as people who track such things know—my own college-age son has explained it to me—far from a joke, or a mere conceit. The argument, actually debated at length at the American Museum of Natural History just last year, is that the odds are overwhelming that ours is a simulated universe.
Or not. You can read the rest of the essay and judge for yourself. One thing is certain, however... it sure is fun to read about!


2. Amanda Guinzburg's horrifying account of what it was like living in a Manhattan apartment building owned by Jared Kushner--entitled Gaslight Nation: America's Next Landlord--will have you shaking your head in disbelief. I know that was my reaction, which is why I did a little digging of my own after reading it. Turns out it's factual. The first paragraph gives you a pretty good taste of that weird yet familiar metro-malevolent vibe that surrounds New York City real estate:
After the first fire a young man with very pale skin and black hair who did maintenance in the building whispered to me that he heard it had been set deliberately. We’d previously discussed the election, then still in the heat of the primaries, and he’d informed me Donald Trump was definitely going to win. I said that was ridiculous and he replied, not unapologetically, that America would never elect a woman to its Presidency. I dismissed his mutterings of arson and conspiracy with a similar roll of my liberal over-educated eyes. I lived in a stout white hundred-year-old former grocery warehouse abutting the East River in North Williamsburg. It occupied an entire city block. A few months after I moved in it was announced the building had been purchased by Jared Kushner along with several partners and would be undergoing complete condo renovations. They changed the name from 184 Kent to Austin Nichols and hung a huge flag-like banner off the side scribed with elegant font. In the New York Times they advertise the addition, among other things, of a “jam room.” 
Reading this entire article only takes six minutes, according to Medium, so why not do so? It's good to take a cautious glimpse into the soul of your superiors every once in a while. Helps you stay real.


3. James Wolcott's latest for Vanity Fair, entitled Why the Alt-Left is a Problem Too, explores a poorly understood phenomenon that has, until now, suffered a bit of a nomenclature problem. We can't just call them "Bernie Bros", because... well, Bernie isn't running for anything now, and he pretty much disowned them anyway. And calling them, as yer old pal Jerky's been doing, "Leftier-than-thou", or the "Looney Left", doesn't do a very good job of explaining just how utterly shitty people like Glenn Greenwald, or Chris Hedges, or other people who often claim to be "on our side" often turn out to be. Wolcott writes, in part:
Disillusionment with Obama’s presidency, loathing of Hillary Clinton, disgust with “identity politics,” and a craving for a climactic reckoning that will clear the stage for a bold tomorrow have created a kinship between the “alt-right” and an alt-left. They’re not kissin’ cousins, but they caterwaul some of the same tunes in different keys. 
The alt-right receives the meatiest share of attention in the media, as it should. It’s powerful, vicious, steeped in neo-Nazi ideology, nativist white supremacy, men’s-rights misogyny, and Ayn Rand capitalistübermensch mythos, and it heralds a conquering hero in the White House in President Donald J. Trump, while the former executive chairman of the venereally right-wing Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, functions as despot whisperer, trickling Iago-ish poison into Trump’s receptive skull. The alt-left can’t match that for strength, malignancy, or tentacled reach, but its dude-bros and “purity progressives” exert a powerful reality-distortion field online and foster factionalism on the lib-left. Its outlets include not only Jacobin but also the Intercept, one of whose co-founders is the inexhaustible Glenn Greenwald... Web sites such as Truthdig, Consortiumnews, and Naked Capitalism; and anomalous apostates such as Mickey Kaus... A Tumblr site devoted to “Trumpian Leftism” captures the intellectual flavor of their temperaments. 
So, what are a few quick shortcuts you can use to help identify a member of the "alt.left"? One helpful hint is if they regularly appear on any RT programs. Another is if they argue that we need to look the other way at Russian belligerence and capitulate absolutely to all of Vladimir Putin's demands, unless we all want to die in a fiery Armageddon of nuclear holocaust. So basically, Glenn Greenwald. He's their poster boy... although I suppose an equally good case could be made for Chris Hedges. Which is too bad, because at least he can write! Anyway, finish the story. It's worth the read.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

Watching Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan whistle their way past the graveyard of American democracy on their way to constructing the deregulated, privatized oligarchical hellscape of their dreams is like watching two men building a mansion in the middle of Chernobyl.

- the always awesome and now downright obligatory Charles P. Pierce straddles his perch atop Vanity Fair and explains "Why Republicans Can Never Fully Separate Themselves From Trump".

DDD EXTRAS
  • I've created a new blog! The Mediavore! From Cult to Canon, from Classic to Trash, this is the place to find out what yer old pal Jerky thinks about all the latest media! Cinema! Books! Music! Comics! Television! Bullet Reviews! In-depth Analysis! If you have any suggestions, don't hesitate to send them along!
  • If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on whatever day of history that it happens to be when you're reading this, why not check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog? You're sure to find something of interest, guaranteed!

THE TAKEAWAY

Sorry for the abbreviated DDD. I'll have more substantial stuff for y'all soon!

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