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byronius

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Member since: Wed Feb 23, 2005, 03:32 PM
Number of posts: 6,081

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Reading Judt's 'Postwar' -- the Russians are doing to us what the Russians have always done.

Manipulating elections for fun and profit since 1917 because of deep national feelings of insecurity and powerlessness. Stalin really upped the game, though, stuffing ballot boxes and smearing or murdering political opponents without compunction. In Eastern Europe of the late 40's the classic technique was to co-opt the weak right-wing party while splitting the moderate left using infiltration, propaganda, and assassination. Judt's book sets forth powerful history that screams at me from the page.

For instance: the anti-Communist Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia 'jumped out a window' in 1948 -- sound familiar?

On 10 March 1948 Masaryk was found dead, dressed only in his pajamas, in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry (the Černín Palace in Prague) below his bathroom window. The Ministry of the Interior claimed that he had committed suicide by jumping out of the window, but it was at the time, and is still, widely assumed that he was murdered on behest of the nascent Communist government. Others in the country put it thus: "Jan Masaryk was a very tidy man. He was such a tidy man that when he jumped he shut the window after himself."


I don't wish to be unnecessarily bigoted about this; but since the GOP continues to do Putin's bidding on a daily basis to the destruction of all I hold dear as an American patriot, fuck that.

Russia's a spider. A weak, insecure, mean, stupid spider that always defeats itself in the end. But for the moment -- they are effectively running this country, and it is horrifying to watch actual Americans act as if Russia's sinister sneak attack is a good thing.

I look forward to the Reset, and the Reckoning.

Cleaning House.



New short little video from Randi Rhodes on the Blue Wave.

She had a great moment today when she said "How do I know we're going to take back the House and Senate? Because I've got a fire in me, that's why."

She's just so damned sharp. On it. All the time. Love her.

A testable theory about the FBI investigation of Kavanaugh that Feinstein has prompted.

From DailyKos:

Again, given the Republican’s complete disregard for due diligence or normal procedure and their curious dedication to doing this as fast as possible, it doesn’t make sense McConnell was worried about Kavanaugh’s writings. His positions are well known. Besides, look at how much impact his perjury has had on the process. No need to look, it hasn’t had any impact. That’s why I now think the paper trail McConnell was concerned about was not judicial or even legal. To be really damaging it would have to be something that could sink the nomination of a conservative, pro-life, Catholic Republican intent on overturning Roe v. Wade.

Sending something to the FBI regarding something that happened in the early 1980s is odd. Most every crime you can think of, short of murder, is going to be outside any statute of limitations that justifies a federal investigation.

However, a recent crime involving the structuring of financial transactions to avoid bank reporting regulations is a federal crime. We have seen this before. That is what Denny Hastert went to prison for.

Under federal law, whenever someone deposits or withdraws $10,000 or more from a bank account, the bank has to report the transaction to the government. This is a tool the government developed to help investigators track large criminal enterprises — say, drug rings or groups supporting terrorists — by being able to tell when people were coming up with mysteriously big amounts of money.

Putting in or taking out $10,000 or more at a time isn't illegal — it just triggers a report to the government. But trying to keep the government from finding out about the transaction, by using multiple deposits or withdrawals of $9,999 or less? That is a crime. That's structuring.


This brings us back to what I think happened here. I think Kavanaugh might have gone into crazy credit card debt so he could avoid triggering bank reporting of a large transaction. Sen. Whitehouse’s pointed questions about gambling may have been prompted by his experience with organized crime and his suspicion that the baseball ticket story was really a cover for structuring. He may have additional information about separate activities that would also require large covert cash payments. Given this latest development, it is reasonable to speculate this might be a payoff to keep something quiet from his high school days.

The fact that this matter was brought by a woman who wants to keep things private suggests this may have been something like an unwanted pregnancy. Whether the child was delivered and Kavanaugh was paying support, or whether the pregnancy was terminated and Kavanaugh wanted to keep that from getting out is completely unknown and speculative. This wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened — in this administration. (Broidy — I’m looking at you)

Regardless, this brings us back to the FBI. If Kavanaugh, for whatever reason, was structuring payoffs to avoid detection, that would be a recent federal crime and well within the purview of the FBI.

The fact the Republicans are holding up the nomination gives me confidence this is real and they know he could go down in flames. The only reason they would be so skittish is they know this has happened before.

My two cents.


Interesting speculation.

Mother of All Rallies.



Dancing to the KC and the Sunshine Band while espousing White Nationalism is the new Dada.

I had a dream last night that I was working for the Trump administration.

Really, what an effing horrifying nightmare. It was very third grade, everything about posturing and hair and loudness and chimpanzee tribalism. Stupid and mean and primitive and sick.

I've had bosses just like Donald Trump -- hellbent on doing the Supremely Stupid thing, and doing it twice and with great energy -- so my subconscious painted a very realistic environment from which I woke up feeling dirty and ugly and desperate.

I spent the entire dream following Donald around and trying to soothe him, listening to crackpot idiocy, jostling with other subordinates for attention --

Frankly, I wish I'd had the 'being chased by giant carnivorous cockroaches' dream, because this one was soul-draining and dark in a way that standard monster scenarios could not possibly replicate.

Oh god. Get it off. Get this stain off my soul.

Why? WTF?

Wonder what's happening out in deep space tonight.

Tremendous things. Other creatures billions of light years away are living and dying, loving and arguing, growing, talking, fighting.

Probably fighting off conservative autocracy in one form or another, because that's what lizard brains do, and probably every life form no matter how unusual has had to go through some type of lizard-brain stage.

Some planets and planetary systems will thrive, some will die off, some will die being born. We're one of them.

Right now. Out there. Can you feel it?

Escalator From The Top Floor.



Still the best depiction. A work of art.

And it will end just like this.

A short film I began writing the day after the election.



'Cascade' -- a budget killer-for-hire operating out of a fireplace store is warned by his cat he's about to be 'retired'. Set in the same world as the screenplay 'Weird Fresno' and inspired by the election of That.

Came out well. I'm proud of it. Excellent cast.

Smoke and ash drifted over my neighborhood all day today.

Hot, ugly, mean day here. People on edge everywhere. People driving crazy.

People going crazy -- a Trumpish cousin of a friend getting a divorce was insisting that his father-in-law is the Zodiac Killer, and that his ex is conspiring with black men on the internet, promising them sex in exchange for murdering him. She took all his guns -- all eight, including the AR-15, the illegal AK-47, the sawed-off -- how's he going to protect himself from all these black assassins?

I didn't want to start trouble with the guy -- he was talking a mile a minute, assuring me he and his ex are both off the meth now while displaying all the paranoia and the disconnected racing thoughts the drug triggers -- this is a man that should have zero guns. Zero. It made me think all the Trumpies must be stretched to the limit in a different way than we are -- you can live in that bubble until you step off the goddamned cliff and die in that bubble, or some survival mechanism kicks in and tells you to STOP. And when you're pledging allegiance to the Kremlin, that's the cliff-edge, baby. That's the Goddamned End Of It.

The smoke makes everything feel even more apocalyptic than usual. Checker at the Nugget smiles -- "I think I saw this movie on Netflix already.'

Yup.

Rough day in NorCal.

OMG Quislings Anonymous started DU to concentrate the smartest Democrats in one place!!!

They're right behind you!!! Save

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Uhhh, sorry. Keyboard slipped.

Yeah, no. QANON is some four hundred pound guy in his bedroom in Kansas mad at his Obama-voting mom for making him take out the garbage.

You think I'm joking.
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