(Descending into) March Madness – Week One Gnus

Let’s start with some bad news, hopefully I’ll come up with some good news later.

First, to get it out of the way, the first Manafort sentence – WTF was the judge in the VA Manafort trial thinking, 47 MONTHS? “…an otherwise blameless life…”? This is the guy whose lobbying firm partners were Roger “Nixon Tattoo” Stone and Lee “Evil Incarnate” Atwater, the slimiest trio of political operatives in several decades. Not to mention all of his foreign entanglements with vicious dictators. “Blameless?!” And poor, poor Manafort, so “humiliated and shamed” during the court proceedings. Not “humbled and ashamed”, of course. No, he was “humiliated and shamed” because he had to be seen, even if just in court drawings, in jumpsuit and chains with graying hair, instead of his usual natty expensive suits and jet-black coif. Oh, and there’s the gout, can’t forget the gout- that’s what the wheelchair is for, to remind everyone. Funny how that gout hit him once he was jailed, because in all of the videos we see of Manafort going into and out of courtrooms, he seemed to be walking just fine.

That nominal sentence is a goddamn outrage. A slap on the wrist for an unremorseful lifelong thug, and (another) slap in the face to justice in these United States. I’d go on a good rant, but I’m concerned about my blood pressure. And sanity. 😦

Moving on…

For some reason which I don’t currently remember, I’ve been getting these ‘breaking news’ emails from “Christian Headlines”. Regardless…I got one this afternoon and the title of the article is pretty frightening: “Judge Lets Father Represent Aborted Baby in Wrongful-Death Suit.” Yeah, here we go down an extremely slippery slope, deliberately greased by religious fanatics and misogynistic politicians. This “personhood” nonsense is unconstitutional and dangerous.

According to the article by Michael Foust:

“An Alabama judge has let a wrongful death lawsuit proceed in which a father is suing an abortion clinic on behalf of his aborted unborn child…The lawsuit references a constitutional amendment passed by Alabama voters last year stating “it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.”

“The case in Alabama is chilling because it represents the real-life consequences of anti-choice ‘personhood’ policies, which, by design, seek to demote the fundamental rights of women, and are a stepping stone in the anti-choice movement’s ultimate goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women,” Kimmell [Adrienne Kimmell, V.P of NARAL Pro-Choice America] said. “To see it playing out in this case in Alabama should serve as a grave warning sign.”

(But the good news from Christian Headlines is that you can have “free devotions from Dr. Charles Stanley sent right to your door!” Okay, I was a Roman Catholic, so I have no idea what that means.)

Next…

We all remember what a mendacious git Judge Andrew Napolitano has been in the past. So he continues to surprise me in his appearances on Fox by his relative frankness regarding trump’s myriad legal troubles and appearance of guilt. I wish that Napolitano would apprise his Fox viewers of his opinion as published in yesterday’s Washington Times. Yes, sorry it’s the WT, but it’s actually worth the read. And while I take issue with a few things, i.e., his reference to trump’s “tormenters”; and his interpretation of the Republican-destroyed rule that “politics ends where the water’s edge begins” (that doesn’t mean that the House can’t hold hearings while trump is out “negotiating” with a murderous dictator), Napolitano did clarify some things about which I, at least, had been curious. Just one excerpt:

“Can a lawyer testify against his own client? What has become of the attorney-client privilege? These are sound questions that were not asked last week because of something called the crime-fraud exception. Normally, all communications between a client and his lawyer are privileged from revelation. The exception comes when the lawyer can demonstrate that he and the client were together engaged in criminal or fraudulent acts.”

You’ll have to read the rest, for some reason I can’t copy-and-paste from the Washington Times article.

Let’s get to some cheerier stuff…

Like the penguins in this snippet on Twitter – play it with the sound on, and watch all the way ’til the end. Enjoy!

Also, too…

April the Giraffe is due to give birth any moment, and you can watch her here.** April may have calved by the time I post this, but in that case the morning might bring us a little cutie like this:

UPDATE:  March 13th, 12:26am ET, still no baby giraffe.  I’ve heard that April was more than a month late with her last calf, so…watch this space!

**UPDATE!:  Baby BOY giraffe born approximately 12:42pm ET on Saturday, March 16th.  5′-11″ (taller than our own Zookeeper!) and 139 lbs.  Baby to be named in some sort of contest in the near future.  In the meantime, you can watch mom April and the little guy (with dad Oliver in the far pen) live, almost 24/7, here (The link is a new one, the one above has been taken down for archiving.)

Lastly…

Doesn’t everyone need a hug?

This is our Open Thread – batten down the hatches, ’cause we’re in for some rough political weather!

Daily-iszh Gnuz

Sorry, It’s been a hectic couple of weeks at work, finished a monster reporting project today, back up for air and some vitamins.

And here’s the GNUZ~
Republican’s Narrow Edge In Solidly GOP District Spells Trouble For Party In Fall
H/T TPM
It may not spell ‘C E R T A I N D O O M’, but the Republicans are skeeert.
And rightwingfully so.

And,
Obstruction questions still on table for Mueller-Trump interview, Giuliani says
H/T Politico
Betcha tomorrow Trump fires Rudy and gets Hope Hicks to fill in.
At least she’s better looking, and that’s about all that counts at this point.

Finally,
Nearly half of Republicans say Trump should have ‘authority to close news outlets if they behave badly’: poll

H/T Raw Story
Now THIS is SCARY.
One of the fourteen signs Fascism is taking root.

Open Thread, come clean with it!

RUCerious @TPZoo

The Most Punchable Faces of 2017…and probably 2018, too.

wyeo1j1

I know, I know, I went for one of the easiest punchable faces with the middle Trump Weirdling — I want to punch him for his bizarrely patterned shirt and shiny textured tie, alone — but I thought we might need one of the more obviously punchable faces for starters.

So, while you’re thinking — seething, fuming, clenching your jaw and/or frothing at the mouth — about the most punchable faces of 2017, see if you can come up with one that’s not so obvious.  Someone who makes us think, “Yeah, that guy!!”  But feel free to post the obvious punchable faces too, because shits and giggles!

2016 — You were a crap year, and you know it.

2017 — You were truly fucked up, and we’re more disappointed/disgusted/discouraged than we thought we’d be right now.

2018 — Two things:  1) Please, I’m begging you, have mercy.  2) Do not take the phrase, “Can things get any worse?” as a fucking CHALLENGE!

Have fun all y’all, and have a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

Daily Gnuz

Tuzeday, erection, er..election day in Alabama. Will they or won’t they elect a pedophilie pervert to the U.S. Senate?

Meanstwhilze, here’z the gnuz…

Trump: Dems Didn’t Find Collusion, Moving On To ‘False Accusations’
H/T TPM
Dear Dumbass-in-Chief, it’s not the Dems investigating your orange ass, it’s the Special Counsel, a prosecutor, in your Justice Department. And he’s not effing done yet…

And

Nikki Haley Infuriated Trump with Show of Support for His Accusers: Report
H/T Alternet
Uh, Oh. She’s in deep doo-doo. Prediction – Nikki gets fired and is replaced by the mutantmoustached Bolton…

Finally,

Trump says Gillibrand begged for donations ‘and would do anything for them’
H/T The Hill
I do believe that this can easily be interpreted as implying that Senator Gillibrand is a prostitute.
And if that’s not sexual harassment, then nothing is.
Congrats tweetidiot-in-chief (note, cannot capitalize anything in that title..)

Open Thread, crossing fingers is hard to to when one of them is being used to salute a pedophile candidate.
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Mundane Munday, and herein be the Gnuz…

States preparing for children’s health insurance program to run out of funding: report
H/T The Hill
Salient quote: Nearly a dozen states are readying for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides insurance to low-income children, to run out of funding, according to a report from The Washington Post.
Five states are at risk of running out of funding for their individual programs by late December, according to the report. Other states reportedly have enough money to keep their programs afloat for a few more months at least.

Tax cuts for the rich, lumps of effing coal for the children. Republican’ts

And,

Congress stares down shutdown amid December deluge
H/T Politico
Lessee, Tax reform, gummint shutdown over budget, CHIP, DACA, Hurricanes, all in a septic stew of sexual abuse and groping allegations, a special pervert election in Alabama, Corker, Flake, Johnson, McCain, Collins not happy, what could possibly go awry>?

Finally,
‘Some actions can’t be forgiven’: Strategist says GOP will pay dearly for supporting Roy Moore
H/T Raw Story
Salient quote: Republican strategist Rick Wilson published a blistering essay at The Daily Beast on Sunday in which he said the GOP is committing an unforgivable sin by supporting “child-molesting, law-breaking, edge-case whackjob” Roy Moore.
Moore, he said, “will stain the Senate and the Republican party with his creepy sexual predilections, his contempt for the rule of law, his thinly-veiled racial animus, and his role in the firmament of Bannonite political arsonists.”

Just another day in wingnuttia, as the sexual predator prezidunce gives the sexual predator candidate a lift. How low will the Alabama electorate go, that is the question.

Open Thread, chew thoroughly then take a cleansing breathe.

RUCerious @TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

A lovely stormy Toozday morning to ya, and here’s the Gnuz…

Sessions raises specter of special counsel on Clinton and uranium
H/T Politico
As the USA governmental apparatus rushes headlong into autocracy and dictatorship, taking lessons from Stalin, Hitler, Duterte and others…Fascista

And

Pence Denies Knowledge Of Dotard (sic) Trump Jr. Contacts with Wikileaks
H/T TPM
Ship, Sinking, Rats…

Finally,

GOP mobilizes against Moore
H/T The Hill
Amazing that some R’s are getting a conscience!.. Wait, that’s not what’s happening, it’s just another Todd Akin moment, they’re pants are on fire…

Open Thread, stay strong, but use deodorant…
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Evangelical Christians’ reactions/non-reactions to Charlottesville, via The Christian Post:

First, there are actually a couple of articles where pastors, etal, are finally allowing their collective conscience to break through. Here’s one, and here’s another

Of course, those voices are few, and they’ve got competition, i.e.:

Here’s an opinion piece from “guest contributor” Brad Huddleston, the title of which I thought promising, until I actually read it: “Charlottesville: Jesus Commands Us to ‘Tell The Truth’, So Why Aren’t We?” A few excerpts:

“I was in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the riots and what I observed and what I saw in the media’s coverage are, for the most part, two very different narratives.

Although the atmosphere was volatile everywhere I walked, I have to believe that it was Sovereignty that kept me away from the physical confrontations. I did, however, observe verbal ones. I saw various white supremacist groups filled with hate and evil intentions. They were armed with weapons and ready for a fight. I also watched members of Black Lives Matter as well as Communists/Marxists, carrying their hammer and sickle flags. They were also filled with hate and evil intentions.”

Sounds to me as though it wasn’t “Sovereignty” that kept him away from the physical confrontations, it was his own cowardice. So all he did was “observe” certain things, verbal interactions, certain flags, and interpret them in the light of his own prejudices [“during the RIOTS”.]  How dare he automatically credit BLM with “evil intentions”, when they were protesting against NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS! And if BLM were involved in extremely heated arguments defending their right to exist as equals in the face of horrifying insults, threats, violence, etc., who would blame them for hating everything that these armed, sometimes uniformed, Confederate-and-Nazi-flag-waving un-American RACISTS do, say, and stand for. The hammer-and-sickle flag-waving “Communists/Marxists”? The author ‘identifies’ them in a later section as the Antifa. I call bullshit. Apparently the author was so terrified he couldn’t even verify what these people were marching for/against.

“The media was slamming the various white supremacist groups (and they should). But I immediately noticed something very perplexing. Very little if any coverage was being given to the various Communist and Marxist groups and violent Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists. It was as if the white supremacists were the only ones who were filled with hate. I kept waiting and waiting for someone to show images of the reality that we, who were actually there, observed.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Let’s never forget that the Communists and Marxists have killed far more people than Hitler. Nevertheless, they are all equal in their evil, and all should be equally condemned. If they are participating in the same riot, they should share the same headline. Because white supremacists’ numbers are small, we should be far more concerned about their Marxist and their Socialist cousins. Our American universities have been cranking them out for years, and we’re now seeing the results.

Both extremes were represented in Charlottesville on that scary day. To give the extreme left a pass, and even affirm them, would make Hitler proud.”

I can’t even comment, I’m so gobsmacked by this. But I would like to ask Mr. Huddleston if any of the BLM or Antifa drove a car at speed into a crowd of human beings, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others; and how many BLM or Antifa were “ARMED WITH WEAPONS and ready to fight” as the Nazi/KKK and white supremacist pseudomilitary actually were?

And then we have conservative black pastors and others defending trump’s abhorrent remarks in “Black Christian Leaders Detest Claim That Trump Is the ‘Driver’ of Racial Division in America.” Here’s just one little slice of this twisted, surreal pie:

“Corrogan Vaughn, a political activist who ran against Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in the 2016 election, argued that those in the media who blame Trump for the racial tension in the United States are trying to turn Trump into a “villain.”

“Don’t make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the villainess of the media in terms of making something where nothing is,” Vaughn stated.

Oh, joy, keep screaming that the “media” is to blame, and this imaginary ‘alt-left’, ffs – like who’re you gonna believe, trump and the evangelicals, or your lying eyes?

For more, here’s the Christian Post’s Political page. Have fun.

This is our Open Thread – enjoy!