Saturday 22nd of June 2024

10 days — 20 executive orders...


WASHINGTON — In just his first 10 days on the job, President Trump has already signed two proclamations,  seven executive orders and seven presidential memoranda. He's invented a new form of presidential directive — the national security presidential memorandum — and signed three of those.

And his chief of staff has signed another document — a regulatory freeze — that carries the same force as a presidential order. It's the most prolific use of executive action to start a presidency in modern history.

And he has more on tap.

They cover subjects as wide-ranging as national security, immigration, health care, manufacturing, energy and regulation. While the White House often uses the term "executive orders," the documents that Trump has signed have come in varying forms, all of which have the same force of law.

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loonies in history...

According to the ancient historian Suetonius, the Roman emperor known as Caligula loved one of his horses, Incitatus, so much that he gave the steed a marble stall, an ivory manger, a jeweled collar and even a house. Another chronicler, Cassius Dio, later wrote that servants fed the animal oats mixed with gold flakes. Famous for his madness and brutality, Caligula allegedly committed incest with his sisters, fed prisoners to wild beasts and had conversations with the moon—so coddling a beloved horse might seem among the lesser of his various evils. But did he really plan to make Incitatus a consul and only fail to do so because his assassination happened first, as Suetonius would have us believe?

Like much of what we think we know about Caligula, the story of Incitatus’ consulship comes from a writer who lived decades after the maligned emperor’s four-year reign. Historians think that Suetonius and Dio based their scathing accounts of his life on rumors and legends—or simply fabricated sensational tales that turned a not-so-great ruler into an epic villain. Many scholars reject the notion that Caligula terrorized Rome with his unbridled madness, arguing that his fellow lawmakers would likely have whisked him out of power for such conduct. So while Caligula might have had an unusual fondness for his horse, it’s unlikely the emperor went so far as to appoint the stallion.

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Trump is not the first mad leader, nor is "alternative facts" of today the new disinformation. Since ancient time, we've been submitted to delusions, fake news, rabid leaders and religious idiocy. AND HUMANITY IS STILL HERE... For how long is the next question considering that we're burning the planet at a rate of knots. The previous leading idiots, including the pope, were amateurs compared to our present crop of loonies.

we're all mad...


From Chris Floyd


We all have our private madness
I'm no exception to the rule
I know those waves of inner torment
So all-consuming and so cruel


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see toon at top

fantasy porn...

Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback



“Humiliation porn” is much about transforming the shame and pain of victimization and powerlessness into some kind of sexual pleasure. If mainstream institutions ignore a large number of people who feel powerless, victimized and angry, that’s easy pickings for a demagogue, who knows that a politician’s campaign promises may not hook a distrusting crowd but that providing them with pleasure—humiliation porn—is enticing and addicting.

We can thank mainstream American institutions—including the Democratic and Republican Parties and the mainstream media—for creating conditions that gave rise to Donald Trump, now the Humiliator-in-Chief. And we can thank the Donald for pissing on all taboos around offensiveness, resulting in reciprocal nastiness and the normalization of psychologically violent discourse. Before getting to the blowback to Trump, a few examples from the Trump humiliation porn collection.

One of the Trump faithful’s favorite “cum shots” is the humiliation of Mitt Romney, who had insulted Trump in the 2016 campaign but who naively believed that he was still seriously being considered for Secretary of State. If you had talked with Trump guys or had listened to their Alex Jones show, you’d know that Trump’s post-election maneuvering with Romney got these guys excited, as they fantasized about what was coming. They were ecstatic when, immediately after Trump instead selected Rex Tillerson, Trump advisor Roger Stone gloatingly told Alex Jones about Trump’s “torturing,” “toying” and “diddling” of Romney. For the Alex Jones brigade, Trump’s humiliation of Romney was his gift to them, providing his faithful with fantasy, orgasm and ejaculation.

At Trump campaign rallies, the cry of “lock her up” drove his faithful into a frenzy, as they visualized Hillary Clinton in prison being humiliated in all kinds of ways. Trump supporters don’t seem to hold it against Trump for his post-election reneging on prosecuting Clinton; as they remain appreciative for Trump providing them with that prison-porn fantasy image.

And then there is the Trump declaration, “I’ll build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it,” which brought the house down at Trump rallies. The first part, “I’ll build a wall,” is pleasurable to this disempowered group as it conjures up an image of a strongman protecting them and jobs, but it creates tension as Trump loyalists hate government spending their money for a wall. And so when Trump completes the phrase with “. . . and Mexico will pay for it,” this is orgasmic delight—tension resolved through humiliating a brown-skinned nation. (To be historically fair to Trump, American politicians have a long history of getting mileage from not only trying to humiliate Mexico but by stealing large parts of it.)

One reason that mainstream Democrats and Republicans were blind to the magnitude of Trump’s attraction is that part of being mainstream involves a denial and repression of raw emotions, including rage and humiliation over powerlessness. Thus, the mainstream view was: It’s crazy to think that Trump, with his never-ending spewing of politically-incorrect insults, could win the Republican nomination, and certifiably insane to believe that he could win the presidential election.

Yet in 2016, most Americans—as evidenced by the rise of both Trump and Bernie Sanders—were feeling powerless, victimized, and angry. Despising Hillary Clinton and the Democratic/Republican establishment was a sentiment shared by both Trump and Sanders supporters. However, beyond the policy differences between Trump and Sanders, the glaring emotional difference was that Sanders didn’t move into humiliation porn, which would not have attracted mainstream Democrats whom Sanders needed to win the nomination. But for the lucky Trump, there were few mainstream Republican voters remaining, and that’s why he gained steam each time he humiliated a mainstream Republican politician from “Little Marco” to “Lying Ted.”

To the dismay of Trump haters, they discovered that facts, reason and fear failed to stop Trump. And so now, anti-Trump forces have fully embraced psychological violence. Some of their efforts, I suspect, will be impotent but some of their violent efforts might well be quite effective.

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This explains the centrepiece of a full-blown New York Post where covers are often "sexy", "trumped up" and "simple" enough to transmit a short sub-message without any intellectual rigour nor the extruded ethical philosophy demanded by the truth. This also explain where the liberal media gets it wrong — by developing VERY long winded messages with tons of wordy intellectual roundabouts and no specific ethical philosophy demanded by the truth. The NYP images speak a million words. The others? No one can read more than 140 characters any more.

...and god bless YameriKa...


See toon at top...

what democratic systems?

Last night a friend, a staunch populist conservative, texted to say, “We are having our Caligula moment.” The Trump thing, of course. I thought of that reading Andrew Sullivan’s column this morning, especially these paragraphs:

The core concern was always deeper than this. It was that Trump doesn’t understand the Constitution he has sworn to protect; that he would abuse his executive power, to lash out at enemies; that he would undermine the rule of law by trying to get his way, consequences be damned; that he would turn vital democratic institutions, such as the Justice Department and the FBI, into mere handmaidens of his own interest, rather than guarantors of the public’s. And it is clear to me that the firing of Comey — while within the president’s Constitutional powers — falls squarely into this category. To fire someone who is conducting an investigation into your own campaign cannot help but be seen as an interference with the rule of law. It is to cast doubt on the integrity of that investigation, and its future. It undermines public confidence that the executive branch can enforce the law against itself. It politicizes what should not be politicized. It crosses a clear line.

And it also crosses a line when you keep lying brazenly about why you did it. You don’t pin it on Rod Rosenstein. You don’t pretend it’s about “showboating.” You don’t ludicrously argue that you’ve just finally realized that Comey did Hillary wrong. You don’t also say that you were going to fire him anyway. You don’t say the FBI was in turmoil under Comey, when it wasn’t. And you don’t say you want to get to the bottom of the matter when you have already declared the entire story a hoax. More to the point, you don’t lie about all these things and then go on television and blurt out the truth: “When I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russian thing with Trump and Russia … is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election.” Read that again. The president has just said on national television that the Russia investigation was in the front of his mind when he decided impulsively to fire Comey. He has admitted he wanted to remove the FBI director because his investigation — which is fast intensifying — was targeting his campaign. That is called obstruction of justice. His spokeswoman yesterday reiterated that, after the Comey firing, the administration hoped the Russia investigation, which was trivial, would be wound up soon.

Sullivan is right about this. Like Sullivan, I am skeptical that there is a smoking gun in the Russia inquiry, and I believe that Comey has made mistakes that could justify his dismissal. But Donald Trump has now admitted openly that frustration with the FBI investigation of his own campaign led him to fire Comey. Sullivan says that’s obstruction of justice that requires impeachment.

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We've been on the case for a while now: see toon at top.