They really are the scum of the earth

Balloon Juice points out that Republicans’ idea on health care–destroy it, remove it, and give the money saved to billionaires–is so awful, so indefensible, so downright evil that they’re reduced to whining, “So where’s your plan, huh?” when a Democrat like Hillary Clinton criticizes them. Within minutes, H-Rod replies with a link, “Right here. Includes radical provisions like how not to kick 23 mil ppl off their coverage. Feel free to run w/it.” Donald Trump is such a horrifying distraction that we must never forget what we’re truly up against: the spawn of Mammon and Sauron.

But does he use Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro?

Apparently the president of the United States posted a doctored Wrestlemania video showing him body-slamming and punching a guy whose head was replaced with the CNN logo. Predictable reactions include the observation that the man has utterly lost it, is deranged, unhinged, a pitiable nut job, and that encouraging violence against journalists is the sign of a tinpot dictator, every bit as un-American as burning the flag or crapping on the Constitution. I have both reactions, plus sheer baffled wonderment: He has time for this? Presumably some lackey did the actual video editing, but POTUS had to come up with the idea, describe the wrestling video to be fetched from the archives and what he wanted done to it, and approve and post the results. He had nothing better to do. With his own actions, he makes himself a goddamn poster boy for the 25th Amendment.

Update: Mock Paper Scissors reports the origin of the video (outside the White House) and the definitive comment thereon, from Steve M. of No More Mr. Nice Blog: “Leader of Free World Tweets Video Posted by Reddit User HanAssholeSolo.” Can we get a lawsuit from Lucasfilm?

Rehearsing my lines

My wife asked one day last week what I’d say if I actually met Resident Evil. Fortunately I am always prepared for this extremely unlikely eventuality–during the Dubya years, it was going to be just, “Mr. President. I hope you and the First Lady are well,” while refusing to shake his hand, but now it would have to be something special. Not shaking his hand, of course, is a given, unless I could spit in my hand first, but for the words I can’t do better than “Mr. President, please resign,” and hope he asked why: “Because you’re weak, corrupt, a Russian puppet, a disgusting human being, and you lie with every breath.” He wouldn’t ask, of course. I’d have to settle for spitting.

It’s more than Miss Universe Moscow

From Balloon Juice:

A guy neck deep in Trump’s shadiest finance deals suddenly hands ‘peace plan’ to Trump’s lawyer with apparent aim of toppling Ukraine’s govt? The ‘plan’ was to remove Poroshenko, let Putin keep Crimea in perpetuity and lift all sanctions.

But — but Vladi’s My Daddy tweeted I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING! Yeah, that’s right. Except those his son was thinking of in 2008 when he said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Shooting the messenger

Yesterday Pajiba pointed out that one of the reporters who best covered Feckless Leader’s reeling, rude, racist press conference — pointing out Vladi’s My Daddy’s many lies, urging honesty re Russia, and generally expressing all right-minded people’s dismay at having an unhinged lout living in the White House — was none other than Fox News’ Shepard Smith. Today, of course, we learn that loyal Fox viewers are, as the Weekly World News’ Ed Anger used to say, pig-biting mad and calling for Smith’s head. It’s not that (h/t Balloon Juice) Dolt 45 could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody without losing his diehard 30 percent supporters; it’s that he could sit in the Situation Room and press a button.

If this be treason

I read Pajiba for the entertainment news (a TV sequel to Love Actually? oh, shoot me now), but there’s also a righteous headline quoting a national security authority quoting a senior intelligence official: “He will die in jail.” He, of course, is Donald Trump a.k.a. Vladi’s My Daddy, whose raging tweets don’t actually deny the ties between his campaign and Russia but merely rant about the leaks revealing them — leaks that, according to the national security authority, are about to “go nuclear” as the intelligence community Trump bashed and belittled ends up being his worst nightmare, if not the savior of the Republic.

I urge you to read the article along with Betty Cracker’s piece in Balloon Juice, which admits it’s not ideal to have our intel community neck-deep in our politics, but this is no ordinary time:

It was an outrage when Comey stuck his big, fat, morally upright thumb on the scales in the waning days of the election. So why cheer the intel community on now, hoping they dump enough dirt to bury the Trump admin?

Because this isn’t a normal administration. Trump referred to me and the 65 million other Americans who didn’t vote for him as “enemies” in his New Year “message.” He’s done nothing to reach out to anyone other than his rancid fan base. He’s stocked the government with racists, misogynists and bigoted kooks, and his top advisers are openly fomenting a global white nationalist effort to undermine Western democracies.

The Republicans who control Congress are willing to go along with Trump’s anti-American agenda if doing so will allow them to cut taxes for billionaires and take away people’s access to affordable healthcare. They’ve said so outright, so they can’t be trusted to do their job and keep our government from being controlled by a hostile foreign power.

… So, spooks it is. No, I don’t trust them completely. No, I don’t think it’s a good idea for the intel community to manipulate domestic politics (and I wish we’d mind our own business abroad too).

But desperate times call for desperate measures. If it takes leaks to force the Republicans in Congress to work with the Democrats and do their goddamned jobs, then bring on the drip, drip, drip.

Remember Hillary Clinton warning us about Russia and the Trump campaign in the debates? It’s part of another Balloon Juice post, which includes a glorious Bob Vulfov tweet of today’s presidential briefing outline (“Honestly, we are pretty boned … No way around it, boss … We should send an Edible Arrangement to VP Pence”).

Snark across the sea

Comedian Frankie Boyle riffing in the Guardian:

Presidents always enter office with something to prove, it’s just rarely their sanity … He is a super-villain in a world without heroes … If the Queen ever has to shake Trump’s hand, she will put on so many gloves she’ll look like Mickey Mouse … He looks like aliens came to Earth and made a human costume after seeing one commercial for a car dealership …

We face a brief political period that, unchecked, will bring at least irreversible climate change and, at worst, nuclear war.

Way to bring down the house, Frankie. Buzzkill. (It’s still worth reading for his comments on Trump Tower and Melania.)

A deranged decree

Pajiba points out that the only thing Feckless Leader is doing that isn’t Putin’s or Bannon’s bidding is “that thing that everyone said would get him impeached,” i.e., keeping his ties to his and his family’s business interests. Today it was tweeting — apparently during his freaking intelligence briefing — and then sending his press secretary out to repeat that Nordstrom should stock his daughter’s schmattas by presidential, regardless of market, demand. Reactions ranged from “conflict of interest” to “crook” to “unconstitutional.” Me, I’m thinking of following my sonnet with a song to the tune of Steve Martin’s “King Tut” called “King Putz.”

All in all, his brain’s another brick in the wall

Today’s jingle of the day comes from a commercial extolling the filter tip of Pall Mall cigarettes:

Over, under, around, and through
Pall Mall flavor travels to you

Texas Senator John Cornyn reminded me of it by saying (h/t No More Mr. Nice Blog), in regards to the cost of Feckless Leader’s border wall: “I have concerns about spending un-offset money, which adds to the debt, period. I don’t think we’re just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it.”

B – b – but the wall won’t cost us a dime, because Mexico will pay for it! Get with the program, Corny! Between this and two Republicans opposing Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, are we seeing a rift between the GOP and Lord Boor?

Cue Steve Martin from the end of those old “Saturday Night Live” sketches: “Naaaah.”