temptation

The Silence of Cowardice

#AmericanAtrocity | #WhatTheyVotedFor

For the fourth straight day there was no WH briefing. No officials to explain how the admin plans to return the separated kids to their parents. This is how the briefing room looks.. a few reporters waiting for answers that aren't coming yet. #whereistheplan #whereispresssec [Jim Acosta (@Acosta), via Twitter, 22 June 2018.]

This spectacle is precisely what it looks like. Jim “The Animal”α Acosta tweeted, Friday

For the fourth straight day there was no WH briefing. No officials to explain how the admin plans to return the separated kids to their parents. This is how the briefing room looks.. a few reporters waiting for answers that aren’t coming yet. #whereistheplan #whereispresssec

Sarah Huckabee Sanders. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo)—and that is the Show. Regardless of whether Sarah Huckabee Sanders is able to cope with her job or, after all this, notβ, the Trump administration has skipped out on the daily briefing since, and every little bauble of temptation, we look at, each pretense of a shiny new thing we give our attention, is not the American atrocity playing out before our eyes.

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α See Gstalter, whose ironic headline for The Hill, “Fox News’ Jesse Watters: Reporters who act like ‘a wild animal’ should lose press passes”, ought to make some sort of point.

β See, Nuzzi, “CNN reported that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t want to do the briefing alone, and was waiting for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to arrive and enter the room with her”. Nor should anyone pass over the point that the Nielsen briefing on Monday was the last before the press room silence Acosta records.

Image note: Top — Tweet by Jim Acosta (@acosta), 22 June 2018.  Right — White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

@Acosta. “For the fourth straight day there was no WH briefing. No officials to explain how the admin plans to return the separated kids to their parents. This is how the briefing room looks.. a few reporters waiting for answers that aren’t coming yet. #whereistheplan #whereispresssec”. Twitter. 22 June 2018.

Gstalter, Morgan. “Fox News’ Jesse Watters: Reporters who act like ‘a wild animal’ should lose press passes”. The Hill. 14 June 2018.

Nuzzi, Olivia. “Inside the Disastrous White House Briefing on Trump’s Child-Separation Policy”. New York. 19 June 2018.

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Perspicacity, Not Clairvoyance

#PutiTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (AP Photo)

This is just a note to file away. No reason. Never mind. Anyway, Digby reminds:

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that so much of the information in question was republished on a website called HelloFLA by a Florida Republican and former congressional staffer named Aaron Nevins, who was connected to Trump associate and longtime political operative Roger Stone. It could be completely random that among the core group of Mueller antagonists, those calling the probe a “coup d’état” and demanding purges of members of the “deep state” are Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who proposed that Mueller’s funding be cut off, and the aforementioned Rep. Francis Rooney, who’s been all over TV talking about purging the FBI.

Indeed, as journalist Marcy Wheeler pointed out a while back, one of the ringleaders of the movement to discredit the Department of Justice and Robert Mueller, Rep. DeSantis, directly benefited from Guccifer 2.0’s leak to Nevins after the latter published five documents regarding the DCCC’s recruitment of DeSantis’ Democratic opponent, George Pappas. According to The Wall Street Journal, Guccifer 2.0 even sent a link with a HelloFLA article directly to Roger Stone, who told reporters he didn’t forward the hacked material to anyone—the answer to a question nobody asked.

If Mueller’s team is looking into the digital operation and Roger Stone’s interactions with Guccifer 2.0, as one would expect them to do, then these shenanigans in Florida are also coming into view. That may explain why this little circle of Sunshine State GOP congressmen are so anxious to shut him down.

Flip a coin. Heads, say something, it turns out to be nothing, you end up sounding paranoid. Tails, say nothing, and, well, it’s a complicated tale of tailored traditions having to do with four words best left unsaid. And that’s the thing; say nothing and there will never be any temptation to say those words, but that probably is not so important as the point that such opportunity means something happened.

(more…)

The Buggiest Pun Yet

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 6 September 2016.So … right.

You probably don’t want to know.

Except you know you do, don’t you?

Mmm. Naughty, naughty.

It’s okay. You can blame Adam.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 6 September 2016.

The Dynamite Martini Show

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 1 July 2016.You know, this was actually a Brexit joke, and at the time, sure, it seemed to have myriad other applications, most notably attitudes toward Donald Trump.

Think back, though. Try to remember what Donald Trump was doing and saying that had everybody horrified, mortified, terrified, apoplectic and wide-eyed. Two months. What trumpaholic trumptacle possessed the headlines two months ago?

Fraud and plagiarism, mostly. As July loomed, the Trump University scandal also tumbled into the Trump Institute branding scandal, something about “heebajeebees”, and questions of competence involving basic arithmetic that also happen to come up at a time when Donald Trump himself could be heard wondering aloud, “Why am I not doing better in the polls?”

As we looked toward July, people still wondered if maybe it would all sort itself out; Mitt Romney even piped up, revealing that one of his sons told him, “You’ve gotta get in, Dad, you’ve gotta get in”.

Naturally, things have only gone downhill from there. Certes, some articles of faith can become dangerous under particular circumstances or according to particular scale, but it really is a comfortable temptation. The superstitious would eye November as the next chance for this all to work itself out.

Never mind. Something about filler goes here. And no, we can’t actually blame Adam.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 1 July 2016.

Benen, Steve. “Trump vows to look into Muslim ‘Heebeejabees'”. msnbc. 1 July 2016.

Martin, Jonathan. “Trump Institute Offered Get-Rich Schemes With Plagiarized Lessons”. 29 June 2016.

Tani, Maxwell. “Mitt Romney: My son emailed me yesterday telling me to run for president”. Business Insider. 29 June 2016.

The Power of the Dark Sigh

Source Image: Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 11 May 2016. Modified w/apologies, of course.The setup speaks for itself.

With apologies to Adam Huber, of course. But come on, in a marketplace thriving on bad puns, how can anyone resist that kind of temptation? Just click, damn it. Do you feel lucky? Oh, right. Wrong film. Do not underestimate the power of the dark sigh.

“The Empire Talks Smack”, 9 May 2016

“The Empire Talks Smack — Part II”, 10 May 2016

“The Empire Talks Smack — Part III”, 11 May 2016

“The Empire Talks Smack — Part IV”, 12 May 2016

“The Empire Talks Smack — Part V”, 13 May 2016

We will, of course, update as remaining installments post. (Promises, promises.)

(Wow, we actually remembered to update a post. Yes, it’s surprising. Yes, that’s pathetic. Leave it alone, smackhead.)

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 11 May 2016. Modified w/apologies, of course.

A Twofer Temptation

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 15 April 2015.This is not exactly NRA territory, but still, thank heavens for guns and freedom and piss-poor excuses to make Hitler jokes, right?

Never mind, this isn’t actually about the politics.

But if you think that is a waste of ammoα, you should see the poor bugger in a knife fight.

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α “… more tardy than a speeding bullet at Hitler’s grave”.

Huber, Adam. “Dead Last Son of Krypton”. Bug Martini. 15 April 2015.

—————. “It’s Up For Stabs”. Bug Martini. 17 April 2015.

Christian Faith and Character in Idaho

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

Jesus Christ

The word from Laura Zuckerman of Reuters:

Serrano, Piss Christ (detail)Members of a county Republican Party in Idaho are to take up a measure on Tuesday evening that would declare the state a Christian one to bolster what the proposal calls the “Judeo-Christian bedrock of the founding of the United States.”

The resolution to be voted on by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee is non-binding, meaning it does not have the effect of laws or rules.

The proposal seeks that Idaho be “formally and specifically declared a Christian state,” guided by a Judeo-Christian faith reflected in the U.S. Declaration of Independence where all authority and power is attributed to God, the resolution reads.

The measure argues that the Christian faith is under “strident attack” in the United States, and cites as evidence the absence of Christian traditions and symbols in public institutions such as schools.

To the one, we have yet another reminder that for many, “equality” can only mean “supremacism”.

To the other, we have yet another reminder that conservatives prefer to pretend their piety before others than actually live their faith.

Bottom line: If the Christians can’t be Christian, why should anyone else?

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Image note: Detail of Piss Christ by Andres Serrano, 1987.

Zuckerman, Laura. “Republicans propose declaring Idaho a ‘Christian state'”. Reuters. 24 February 2015.