Monday Reads: Surrealistic Politics and the Crazy of Being Counterfactual

“Melody of Rain” (2015), Michael Cheval

Good Day Sky Danceers!

So, my Senator Foghorn Leghorn is on TV embarrassing my state again.  I can’t even start with a decent opening paragraph I’m so livid right now.

Oliver Willis writes “GOP senator compares Kamala Harris to notorious drug kingpin”.  Of course this comes via Fox & Friends a notorious propaganda show rooted in conspiracy theories and lies.

Kennedy falsely claimed that Harris favors “open borders” — a frequent Republican accusation against Democrats. Like other Democrats, Harris supported a path to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants, as well as the decriminalization of border crossings, during her own presidential run.

Nevertheless, Kennedy continued in his lies about Harris.

“Making her the illegal immigration czar, as I said the other day, is like making El Chapo the drug czar,” Kennedy said. Biden has not created an “illegal immigration czar” position for Harris or anyone else in his administration.

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is a Mexican drug lord who formerly led the Sinaloa Cartel, an international drug and crime syndicate. Guzmán’s cartel produced, smuggled, and sold cocaine, meth, marijuana, and heroin in America and Europe.

Worth an estimated $1 billion, Guzmán has been accused of murder, assault, kidnapping, and torture. He is currently serving a life sentence in a federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Harris, when she was California attorney general, prosecuted drug traffickers reportedly affiliated with El Chapo’s cartel.

“Tauromachie” by André Masson, 1937. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Md. ©Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

The crazy thing is that there will be Republicans that will believe this and anything despite the facts on the ground.  I’m still not getting over my shock at this from Colby Hall at MediaITEe: “Shock Poll: Half of Republicans Believe False Accounts of January 6th Capitol Riots.”  You can feed these people anything and they’ll believe it!

A new poll by Reuters and Ipsos reveals that half of all Republicans believe false accounts of the deadly insurrection on the Capitol building led by Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

For those with a blissfully short memory, following the “Save America” rally at the White House Ellipse where former President Donald Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, the vast majority marched on the Capitol while Congress was in the process of certifying the Electoral College results amid baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud.

Protestors turned to rioters as they breached the US Capitol, attacked Capitol Police, and eventually took over the Senate chamber amid calls to “Hang Mike Pence” and shouts of “Where the f*ck is Nancy?”

But despite numerous videos that have emerged, many of which were shown during Trump’s second impeachment trial, half of Republicans polled believed that the insurrection was either a peaceful protest or led by leftists groups as some calculated way to make Trump supporters look bad. For real.

Frida Kahlo, La Venadita (The Little Deer), 1946. © 2019 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Analysts at Reuters/Ipso Facto argue that the inability of Republican elected officials to speak the truth coupled with  Trump’s continuing push of  The BIg Lie have contributed to the belief in the false narrative.

 Since the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have pushed false and misleading accounts to downplay the event that left five dead and scores of others wounded. His supporters appear to have listened.

Three months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to overturn his November election loss, about half of Republicans believe the siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists “trying to make Trump look bad,” a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found.

Six in 10 Republicans also believe the false claim put out by Trump that November’s presidential election “was stolen” from him due to widespread voter fraud, and the same proportion of Republicans think he should run again in 2024, the March 30-31 poll showed.

Since the Capitol attack, Trump, many of his allies within the Republican Party and right-wing media personalities have publicly painted a picture of the day’s events jarringly at odds with reality.

Trump’s Easter Greetings were unhinged and that’s putting it mildly.

The problem is that this craziness is translating into a portion of society so detached from reality that they are not only living in a vacuum, they are killing people.

I have argued that hyperreligousity that’s related to any fundamentalist brand of religion is a combination of mental illness and brainwashing.  However, I’m the economist on the blog and I should stay out of BB’s lane.  But seriously, THIS IS CRAZY.

Stephanie Nana, an evangelical Christian in Edmond, Okla., refused to get a Covid-19 vaccine because she believed it contained “aborted cell tissue.”

Nathan French, who leads a nondenominational ministry in Tacoma, Wash., said he received a divine message that God was the ultimate healer and deliverer: “The vaccine is not the savior.”

Lauri Armstrong, a Bible-believing nutritionist outside of Dallas, said she did not need the vaccine because God designed the body to heal itself, if given the right nutrients. More than that, she said, “It would be God’s will if I am here or if I am not here.”

The deeply held spiritual convictions or counterfactual arguments may vary. But across white evangelical America, reasons not to get vaccinated have spread as quickly as the virus that public health officials are hoping to overcome through herd immunity.

The opposition is rooted in a mix of religious faith and a longstanding wariness of mainstream science, and it is fueled by broader cultural distrust of institutions and gravitation to online conspiracy theories. The sheer size of the community poses a major problem for the country’s ability to recover from a pandemic that has resulted in the deaths of half a million Americans. And evangelical ideas and instincts have a way of spreading, even internationally.

There are about 41 million white evangelical adults in the U.S. About 45 percent said in late February that they would not get vaccinated against Covid-19, making them among the least likely demographic groups to do so, according to the Pew Research Center.

“If we can’t get a significant number of white evangelicals to come around on this, the pandemic is going to last much longer than it needs to,” said Jamie Aten, founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, an evangelical institution in Illinois.

And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur by Leonora Carrington, 1953, via MoMA, New York

These people are a problem.  Like, a serious national problem.  How can a democracy function with people that are actually counterfactual?

Meanwhile, Trump got dealt another blow when SCOTUS told him the Twitter block of his account was moot and threw it out.  All this is happening while Trump is trying to brand himself as the 45 which seems really flaky.

Now-former President Donald Trump had about 89 million followers on Twitter before the platform suspended his account earlier this year, but the Supreme Court signaled Monday it isn’t interested in how he got along –or didn’t–with some of them.

The justices dismissed as moot a high-profile case about whether Trump was on solid legal ground when he blocked several of his critics on his once-favorite social media website, wiping away a federal appeals court ruling that found Trump’s actions violated the First Amendment.

Both sides in the suit had agreed the case is moot since Trump is no longer president and no longer has access to Twitter. The company permanently suspended his account in January following the riot at the U.S. Capitol that took place following a rally the then-president held near the White House.   

L’Oeil Fleuri ( El Ojo Florecido) – Salvador Dali 1944

So WTF with the 45 branding thing?  This is via the UK Guardian:Donald Trump re-branding himself as ‘45th president’ to get away from ‘damaged’ name, say experts. Donald Trump has re-branded himself ‘The 45th President’ to get away from his old, ‘damaged’ brand, say experts.”  I doubt that works on the majority of us who wish he’d just go away.

In the past Mr Trump spoke often of the pulling-power he credited to his family name, from high-rises and hotels to TV shows, to stimulus cheques.

But his official, new website, 45Office, and collection of old tweets, @WhiteHouse45, diverges from both past presidents and decades of his own branding tradition, by not featuring his name in the title at all.

In his biography on the site it claims: “Donald J. Trump launched the most extraordinary political movement in history, dethroning political dynasties, defeating the Washington Establishment, and becoming the first true outsider elected as President of the United States.”

I’ve passed from livid to nauseous so I will end here.

Enjoy some Lil Nas X-Montero.   It’s a gorgeous video and world! Why the entire video is Surreal !! It will also piss a Trumper off and especially the crazy evangelical wipipo off ..  They are trying hard to cancel culture!

Have a good week!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Wednesday Reads

Good afternoon.

There was something about that image of the high heel and at vaccine 💉 …connecting women to science and how women are moving forward with Covid relief. (It also harkens back to the film High Heels by Pedro Almodóvar.)

The tag line to the film was, “Life can be murder in high heels.” And that is one statement you can’t argue with…even though we are living in 2021.

First some cartoons:

Ok…

All this makes this next tweet relevant…

On women:

Update here:

So true:

And I will end it with this thought:

Have a kick ass day…


Wednesday Reads: Me worry?

And good morning to you…

Some hard hits there…as usual, the political comics bringing the point home.

First tweet I saw when I started to write this post:

This is one of my favorite pictures…please click on that link and read more about Raymond Cauchetier.

Now for some news updates:

And one last thing…

#FuckBernieSanders

( And #FuckJoeManchin too!)

Ugh…

Try and stay safe today…


Wednesday Reads: 500,000+

Good morning…

Meanwhile, there was more going on yesterday…then a car crash in California:

Just the thought of this tweet makes me want to puke:

This news here also makes me sick:

Just end this with William Blake:

And that’s all for now… stay safe.


Sunday Reads: It’s a tRump Ass World….

 

I’ve guess you all have seen the latest paintings from the tRumptonian artist Jon McNaughton?

Bizarre Right-Wing Trump Portrait Gets Mercilessly Mocked On Twitter | HuffPost

A right-wing artist’s latest “heroic” image of President Donald Trump received some pretty savage reviews from people on social media.

Jon McNaughton painted a take on George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, except in this version Trump is commanding a boat filled with members of his administration.

“Trump endeavors to cross the ‘swamp’ of Washington D.C. as he carries the light of truth, hope and prosperity,” McNaughton wrote. “The murky water of the deep state is laced with dangerous vermin, perfectly willing to destroy American prosperity for their personal ideologies and financial gain.”

Take a peek at the link to see the various jokes, I’ve posted one of the funnier ones below, which conveniently also shows what the original painting looks like….

 

You can also see another new “work of art” (excuse me while I vomit) below…I don’t know what the name of that piece of shit is…but it must have Strangling the Mueller somewhere in the title.

 

 

Nah, see? It is called Expose the Truth. God it is fucking disgusting.

 

 

So, now that I have posted some of the visual images for the thread, I suppose I should get around to throwing some links in the pie as well.

 

I don’t know what to make at that tweet above… I know whatever is being done with the attacks on the press is dangerous. Just like the paintings of tRump strangling Mueller with a tie…it crosses the line.

Pastor at Trump rally prays to shield Trump from ‘jungle journalism’ | TheHill

From enemy of the people to jungle journalism….

The pastor delivering the invocation at President Trump’s rally in Ohio on Saturday called for God to shield Trump from “jungle journalism.”

CNN reported that Gary Click, a pastor and member of the Ohio GOP’s State Central Committee, delivered the prayer ahead of Trump’s remarks, asking for God to “protect our President and his family with a shield of faith, Lord.”

“That shield of faith against the fiery darts of the wicked one, Lord, against that jungle journalism that extorts the truth and distorts honesty and integrity every single day, gets in his face with lies and mistruths and innuendos,” Click continued.

I doubt they hired that preacher from craigslist.

Even Fox News is sensing the danger:

What The Heck Is Happening When Even Fox News Starts Making Sense? | Crooks and Liars

But tRump still threatens:

Trump: I ‘destroy’ careers of Republicans who say bad things about me | TheHill

President Trump bragged about his prowess in defeating the Republicans who oppose him, saying at an Ohio rally that he “destroys” the careers of GOP politicians who dare defy him.

“How do you get 100 percent of anything? We always have somebody who says ‘I don’t like Trump, I don’t like our president, he destroyed my career,’ ” Trump said.

“I only destroy their career because they said bad things about me and you fight back and they go down the tubes and that’s OK,” he added.

He is a fucking thug, and it looks like Sunday will only be used for more threats and blows toward Mueller.

Sunday shows preview: Trump’s attacks on Mueller probe ramp up | TheHill

Read more at that link.

Maybe something big is coming?

Trump voicing concerns about son being entangled in Mueller probe – CNNPolitics

 

I thought this was a true enough tweet below.

 

Yeah, that is gross:

Justice Clarence Thomas Is Having an Outsize Influence on the Trump Administration – Mother Jones

Twenty percent of the quiet justice’s former clerks owe their current jobs to President Trump.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is by far the court’s quietest and most conservative justice. He went 10 years without asking a single question from the bench, a streak broken in 2016, not long after the death of his friend Justice Antonin Scalia. Since then, Thomas hasn’t uttered a word in court. His opinions are so quirky and radically conservative that his colleagues on the bench often seem reluctant to sign on to them, making him perhaps one of the least influential justices in the court’s history.

But the court’s only African-American justice is having an outsize influence in one important sphere: the Trump administration. A new report by the AP’s Mark Sherman indicates that roughly 20 percent of the clerks—a total of 22—Thomas has hired since his confirmation in 1991 are either now working as political appointees in the administration or have been appointed by Trump to federal judgeships.

In other news, this headline got me thinking…what the fuck is she doing back? Hope Hicks Spotted Boarding Air Force One

Check it out, I wonder if this was agreed on at the summit:

Steven Seagal Named By Russia As Special Rep To US For Humanitarian Ties | Deadline

Russian President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to the US actor in 2016, and now Seagal will expand his ties, serving as a goodwill ambassador. He will receive no salary, the Ministry said, adding, “It’s a case of people’s diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy.”

Seagal’s new role was noted by Kremlin-backed TV station RT, who noted Seagal as welcoming the appointment.

“I’ve always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations,” RT quoted Seagal. “I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially.”

Don’t forget…

While Seagal is popular in Russia, he has been accused in the US of sexual misconduct.

In March of this year, two women who previously accused Steven Seagal of rape and sexual assault stepped forward to offer more detailed accounts of the actor’s alleged misconduct. Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom told reporters in a press conference that she will represent former Dutch model Faviola Dadis and one-time aspiring actress Regina Simons as they seek justice.

Actresses Juliana Margulies and Pamela Anderson have also complained about Seagal’s conduct during auditions.

Looks like DC is trying to make the relations between the Neo Nazis holding a rally and folks counterprotesting the racist KKK white nationalist fucks:

D.C. Metro Considers Separate Trains for ‘Unite the Right’ White Nationalist Rally – Truthdig

In an effort to head off violence between white nationalists and counterprotesters, the District of Columbia metro transit system is considering providing separate trains for those attending the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 12. The use of separate trains for such a purpose would be unprecedented.

In response to criticism, Jack Evans, chairman of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said in a Washington Post article:

“We’re not trying to give anyone special treatment. We’re just trying to avoid scuffles and things of that nature.”

 

It doesn’t look like special treatment helped the situation in Portland:

Portland protestor seriously wounded by flash-bang grenade fired by cops clearing way for alt-right marchers

Hundreds of far-right protesters from as far away as Florida gathered on the waterfront in Portland, Oregon for a “Freedom March” on Saturday. Dozens of those interviewed said they were there to utilize their “freedom of speech.” To do so, they came armed with bats, weighted fighting gloves, wooden poles, canisters of mace, knives, shields and body armor.

The police had declared a day earlier that all such weapons were illegal in Portland parks. But no effort was witnessed to confiscate the weapons or arrest the weapon-holders.

For hours, four lines of riot police kept the far right separated from a much larger crowd of anti-fascists. The Portland police seemingly wanted to avoid a replay of June 30, when they took a hands-off approach to another far-right rally that quickly degenerated into a violent brawl of about 100 people, resulting in five hospitalizations.

This time it was the police who sent protesters to the hospital. Later in the day, when the far right decided to march into the city, police decided to sweep the streets of counter-protesters. Neither side had permits, but police provided protection to the far right to march for two blocks.

To clear the way, police shot dozens of flash-bang grenades at more than 1,000 people who had gathered to oppose what they say are white supremacists.

 

There are exclusive pictures of the wounded at the Raw Story link.

About the latest tRump tariffs:

Here are a few links above various things….

There was a strange assassination attempt last night…WATCH: Speech By Venezuelan President Maduro Cut Off After Reported Explosion

Maduro was unharmed in the attempt, but many of the military members in attendance were seen reacting to the explosion.

Footage of the speech, circulated on social media, showed Maduro delivering a speech before the sound cuts out, and those on the stage duck. A camera then shows soldiers running from in a square, before the footage cuts completely.

According to Patricia Laya, Bloomberg News’s Venezuela Bureau Chief, the feed cut after an explosion was heard near the stage.

 

Orson Welles: actor, director… painter? | Film | The Guardian

Iam essentially a hack, a commercial person,” Orson Welles once said. “If I had a hobby, I would immediately make money on it or abandon it.” Self-deprecation aside, this most creatively ambitious and restless of US directors was hardly a hack. Welles did have a hobby, though – one he never abandoned or monetised, and one that is now shedding fresh light on a mighty career.

For in private, the great man worked quietly as an artist – yielding a vast, varied collection of paintings, drawings and doodles that has rarely been given serious scrutiny. That output is the subject of The Eyes of Orson Welles, a whimsical documentary by film critic, historian and lifelong Welles devotee Mark Cousins. An exhibition of the artworks, on which Cousins advised, is also now running at Edinburgh’s Summerhall galleries.

For those who think of Welles chiefly as the stern, booming talent behind such concrete American standards as Citizen Kane, Cousins’s film is revelatory, exposing a wry, playful, angry, often lovestruck man behind the Hollywood legend.

That is all I have today, hope everybody is doing well.

This is an open thread.