Ixnay on the Ullshitbay


This evening, the Weather Channel reports a massive snowstorm down in Hell. In other news, the Wall Street Journal has sussed out why so many people voted for Biden: there were “organic decisions by millions of Democrats eager to defeat President Trump in November.”

Four days ago I posted a message from a Super Tuesday voter who had ceased from tergiversation. It turns out that millions felt exactly the same way.

This evening, many of the paid pundits are grossly overthinking the Biden phenomenon—and, in some cases, confessing error. (Here’s one example.)

On the one hand, I do not at all deny the complexity of the current political scene. On the other hand, sometimes we see more complexity than actually exists.

I still don’t know what goes on in Orange Man’s head. But I do know that the following working hypothesis is fully consistent with his behavior. The hypothesis is that every day he wakes up and says to himself, “Self, what can I do today to piss off and to terrify our minority population? And what can I do to manifest my utter contempt for learning, competence, and expertise? And what can I do to demean and terrify people of learning, competence, and make them hate my guts more than they have ever hated anyone else in their life?

And, I must say, Orange Man has done wonders in achieving his apparent ends. His means have been perfectly suited to his goals.  It has worked like a charm. In their thousands and in their millions, people have just had enough of his bullshit.

Arma Faecesque Cano

Eugene Robinson has a Pulitzer prize and a prestigious job writing punditry, and I have neither. But I think both of us are facing a similar problem: our respective muses are running dry.

In The scariest thing about Trump’s tweets, Robinson first sentence poses a rhetorical question that gets right to the point: “Of all the crackpots on social media, is any more untethered to reality than the president of the United States?”

Trump is amoral, cruel, and lacking in human empathy, but these characteristics are often found in people at the top of the heap.

He is a bully, but so are many Fortune 500 CEOs.

He is a hypocrite, but so are many politicians.

And, may I say, many people—especially those with power and authority—do not hesitate to sling the shit from time to time.

What truly sets Trump apart from the common herd is that everything, without exception, that he says is bullshit.

And that that slinging the shit is his ONLY tool for mastering a situation, asserting dominance, and getting his way.

To pick a random comparison, think of Lyndon Johnson or Bill Clinton. Yes, they would bullshit from time to time. But they had additional arrows in their quiver. Additional tools in their toolkit.

Two thousand five hundred years ago, in The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Aesop identified the fatal flaw in a life strategy based on serial mendacity. Today, Trump is the poster child for that life lesson.

Fear of Trump is rapidly dissipating. No one believes him. Those who pretend to believe him face the grave risk of losing what little shred is left of their reputation.

What more is there to say?

J.P. Morgan, Enemy of the People

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 10.14.11 AM

JPMorgan warns investors that Trump’s tweets on purported China deal appear ‘completely fabricated’

Say what you will about the folks at the top of the financial pyramid, but they did not get to the top of the pyramid by slinging bullshit wildly in all directions.

When the girls and boys over at J. P. Morgan attend an important meeting, you can bet your bottom dollar they will all be singing from the same hymnal about what the hell happened at the meeting.

Our plutocratic rulers are not amused by wilful incoherence.

Life Lessons from the Week that Was

head in the sand

If you are going to undertake a project of national importance, while under intense public scrutiny, it is wise to begin with an accurate general understanding of the relevant facts.

This is so, even if you have no morality and are perfectly prepared to tell all the lies you can get away with telling. Even in that circumstance, you need to have a good general understanding of the relevant facts. Because, inter alia, having an accurate knowledge of the facts will inform your decision as to which lies you can and cannot get away with.

Half of your constituents are women. Of your female constituents, an astonishingly large percentage will have vivid memories of one or more acts of sexual battery.

This fundamental fact limits your ability to argue successfully that you believe the victim but that the ideological purity of the Supreme Court trumps a history of bad behavior.

It was the last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

It would be well to remember this truth as you prepare to shovel on that last shovelful of bullshit.

Finally, if you are a Supreme Court nominee and a mean drunk, it is unwise to fortify yourself with several martinis prior to giving your testimony.


Quick!! Look Busy!


Trump Is Writing Fake Executive Orders Because He Doesn’t Know How to Be President

From Jonathan Chait:

If Republicans wish to pretend that Trump is really making America great again by signing pieces of paper asking people who work for him whether they have any ideas how to make America great again, more power to them. I can think of worse outcomes for this presidency than a theater of pseudo-action.

To wit,

A closer look at Trump’s latest executive orders, which Jonathan Swan has obtained, shows that the effort proves the opposite of its intended message. One of the new orders will create an office at the Department of Veterans Affairs that will “identify barriers to the Secretary’s authority to put the well-being of our veterans first.” Another will “review prior monument designations [of federal lands] and suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monument proclamations.” Another orders “a review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration.” And then there is “an interagency task force to examine the concerns of rural America and suggest legislative and regulatory changes to address them.”

These steps are not evidence of a government working productively. They are the kinds of steps that ought to have been taken two years ago by the president when he started his campaign. …  Trump has the vague idea that there are laws that are making life too hard for veterans, and fossil-fuel operators, and people in small towns, but he has no idea what those laws are. His “executive orders” are actually just using the government to start the process of designing his campaign platform for him.

And the Wall Came Tumbling Down

From the Washington Post:

In the face of fierce Democratic opposition to funding the wall’s construction, White House officials signaled Monday that the president may be open to an agreement that includes money for border security if not specifically for a wall, with an emphasis on technology and border agents rather than a structure.

Trump showed even more flexibility Monday afternoon, telling conservative journalists in a private meeting that he was open to delaying funding for wall construction until September, a White House official confirmed.

And from Politico: Congress set to deny Trump wall money.

Here’s a hint, numbnuts: don’t take a hostage unless you are prepared to pull the trigger. Because unless you are prepared to pull the trigger, you aren’t negotiating, you’re just shooting the shit.