Monday, December 5, 2016

Conspiracy Corner: #PizzaGate: Fake Pedophile Conspiracy Theory Won't Die in Post-truth Trump America

It's not difficult to get sucked into a conspiracy theory. I've written a few times about my brief dalliance with 9/11 Truthers. It was between the infancy of the movement, and when they started to get fairly nutty.  Which is a pretty short space of time. At first, you feel like you've discovered something. Next, you start to see a few "aha!" type puzzle pieces that fit into a fascinating narrative, then those moments pile up with surprising speed. "How deep does this go?" you wonder to yourself, and then--if you are lucky--you start to notice the holes in the theory. And the "fact"-spackle that doesn't quite fit. Eventually, if you don't get sucked in completely, you abandon the whole thing, because they've basically spoiled the soup with crazy.
Image from source, New Yorker
For me, it was "there were no planes."  Which barely scratches the surface of the crazy to be found if you continue to follow with a more skeptical eye. Most conspiracy theories work on exactly the same sort of structure. And you could probably argue that you shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. But that's assuming there is a baby.

And if I used that particular old cliche to describe the #PizzaGate conspiracy theory, they'd all probably say that I'm in on it. Because oddly enough, the latest conspiracy theory to take political junkies by storm has managed to tie Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, David Brock, MediaMatters and more to a child prostitution/kiddie porn/pedophile sex ring. Seriously. And, according to every fact-checking source out there, it's utterly baseless. As in: nothing to it.

But the #PizzaGate Truthers will not be swayed, and they're deluging the fact checkers with even more adamant "proof" that they're right. They will not be persuaded that it's untrue. What's worse, it's already lead to a crazy guy attacking the place, not to mention death threats and other harassment. Over an invented, "fake news" generated conspiracy theory. Which totally makes sense in post-truth Donald Trump's America.

On a side note, I can't help but notice that the exact same personality profile of your typical PizzaGate Truther matches that of the many of thousands of Josh Duggar supporters of several months ago. So, apparently outrage about fake child molestation by liberals is far more outrageous than real child molestation by conservatives. Or something.

[Excerpt]

THE AGE OF DONALD TRUMP AND PIZZAGATE

When trying to understand what has befallen Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C., over the past few weeks, should one start with the gun or with the lies? Both are durable; both are dangerous. The gun is an AR-15-style assault rifle that a man, reportedly a twenty-eight-year-old named Edgar Maddison Welch, carried into the restaurant on Sunday. According to press accounts, Welch waved the gun, pointed it at an employee, and then fired, thankfully not hitting anyone. . .

Read more at: The New Yorker

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Hitler (A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

Another great classic Christmas song parody by Rocky Mountain Mike, celebrating life during the Trumpageddon. This time, of course, to the tune of, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.


The Electoral College Chipmunk Song (A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

You couldn't make me sit through Alvin and the Chipmunks, or any of the squeakuels. But this parody by the great Rocky Mountain Mike is worth a spin. Spot on!


The Resistance with Keith Olbermann: Fortifying Words on Life During Trumpageddon

I love that GQ Magazine is providing the great Keith Olbermann with a daily platform, for what are essentially "Special Moments," of the type he used to proffer on Countdown on MSNBC. But I do wish his platform was bigger, louder and as prominent as it used to be. Viva la resistance!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Active Shooter Bizarre Attack at OSU Campus

UPDATE: Apparently, it's NOT an shooter at all. Seemingly, the same apparatus in place, and policies for an active shooter were used to deal with a kind of bizarre and convoluted attack. Which doesn't make it a whole lot better, but there you go. Here's a link to the updated story at: Columbus Dispatch

I think it's all over, and as far as I know, nobody (except the shooter) died. But having moved back home to central Ohio, I'm a bit surprised to have a What Happens in Vegas moment back here. All kinds of weird news events end up being central to Las Vegas, my formal home. Here, I'm always surprised when something becomes a national news story. But there you go.

[Excerpt]

Ohio State shooting: Nine transported to hospitals, one suspect killed

Law enforcement sources say nine people have been transported to hospitals and a suspect has been killed in an active shooter situation at Ohio State University.

Read more (with video) at: Columbus Dispatch

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Keith Olbermann Presents the Easy Way to Get Rid of Trump

Sunday, November 20, 2016

SNL Skewers Post-Election/Pre-President Trump

Image from source, NBC
Saturday Night Live's first Trump depiction since the election is pretty funny, rightly skewering the man himself (clueless and in over his head), Kellyanne Conway (guiltily feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders) and Mike Pence (stiff and unpleasant). But I have to say, Alec Baldwin seems a lot less into it. It's actually surprising that he appeared, since he'd said he was hanging up the wig. My guess is that he agreed based on the number of returning SNL vets in this week's show, Kristin Wiig's hosting, and just putting a bow on the depiction. I'm betting it's back to Darrell Hammond in the future, or or some new cast member.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Donald Trump Again Easily Baited into Tweeting up a Storm

Ladies and gentlemen, the future President of the United States:





Sooooo presidential.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

SNL: Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton at the Piano

Image from NBC
Saturday Night Live had a big challenge this week, in how to respond to the surprise election of Donald Trump. Like much of America, it was fairly clear that SNL thought Hillary would win it, and actress Kate McKinnon probably saw some fairly good job security in that. But, lamentably (except for comedy), Trump improbably won. Unfortunately, tragedy+time=comedy, and it's too soon for an awful lot of people. So, how to open the show, one that for every new episode featured McKinnon as Hillary and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump?

This was their answer, incorporating a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, and his classic song, Hallelujah. I'll go out on a limb, and predict an Emmy for McKinnon. And for the record, Baldwin has stated that he doesn't wish to play Trump in the future. Which isn't surprising, though if Trump becomes more comedy than tragedy down the line, I'd expect a repeat performance.

Blast from the Past: Potential Secretary of State JOHN BOLTON!!! in 2007

When I saw that the transition team for (oh, please don't barf, keep typing) President-elect Trump [*urp!*] has thrown former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton's name into the ring for potential Secretary of State, first I had this stomach discomfort. Then a shriek of, "Our number one diplomat is going to be a man with no diplomatic skills whatsoever???" And then, my darkly humorous inner voice conjured up something from the past. It was how Rachel Maddow--then a host on Air America Radio--used to refer to the white mustachioed rabble-rouser. To see what I mean, play this clip from something called The Rachel Maddow Podthing, a precursor to her eventual The Rachel Maddow Show. You're likely to get a kick out of it, if for no other reason than just seeing the kind of fun she liked to have when she wasn't a semi-serious, pseudo news anchor on the teevee machine.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Senator Elizabeth Warren on What Comes Next

Image from Huffington Post
I love this woman. I can't express how much, she's just awesome. So awesome, that I really think if she'd been the candidate or if she had been the running mate, we might have had a very different outcome on Tuesday night. I am all in if she runs in 2020, and think of the slogans that could go with that number! She's tremendous.

[Excerpt]

President-Elect Donald Trump

This wasn’t a pretty election. In fact, it was ugly, and we should not sugarcoat the reason why. Donald Trump ran a campaign that started with racial attacks and then rode the escalator down. He encouraged a toxic stew of hatred and fear. He attacked millions of Americans. And he regularly made statements that undermined core values of our democracy.

And he won. He won — and now Latino and Muslim-American children are worried about what will happen to their families. LGBT couples are worried that their marriages could be dissolved by a Trump-Pence Supreme Court. Women are worried that their access to desperately needed health services will disappear. Millions of people in this country are worried, deeply worried. And they are right to be worried. . .


Read more at: Medium


Russia Admits Continuing Contact with Trump Campaign

Nobody will read this post (or those like it), or watch this video who should. And if you could force them to, they'd play it off like it's no big deal. But if they were being honest, if we all were, we know the answer to Rachel Maddow's hypothetical "Storytime." If the Russians were meddling in the McCain/Palin campaigns affairs, meddling in the outcome of the election, and it was discovered that the Obama campaign was in cahoots? The outrage from the right (and from many other quarters) would be deafening.
 [Story continues below]




I'll go further than that. If the scenario had played out that way, Republicans would have done everything in their power, would have used every tool in their toolbox to prevent the inauguration of Obama. Failing that, they'd have spent the next weeks, months and years investigating the connection, making hay of it in the news, and probably at best attempting to impeach, and it's not too far fetched to imagine them looking toward charges of treason. Does anyone really doubt that? 

Everyone's hair should have been on fire over the near certain Russian involvement in Wikileaks' hacking and distribution of Clinton campaign emails. It was a bigger story than the gossip contained therein. And when the circumstantial ties to Russia and Trump operative Paul Mannafort (and others) are also known, a narrative isn't hard to form. This should have been the focus of the "October surprise."

Here's hoping that more people than Rachel Maddow are staying on top of this story. But as long as she is, maybe she'll have the same success she had getting the Chris Christie Bridgegate story into the mainstream.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Howard Dean to Run for DNC Chair

Image from source, Politico
As a rule, I can't stand the head of either national party. Most recently, Reince Priebus and Debbie Wasserman Schultz were both on my shit list. Before them, there are many that stand out as supreme assholes. Ken Mehlman. Terry Mcauliffe. Ed Gillespie. Awful, just awful. But there have been a couple of tolerable ones, and occasionally, a decent person rises to the top. But the only one I can think of offhand is Howard Dean. And he's currently running for the head of the Democratic National Committee.

This is very good news for Democrats, who were surprised into finding themselves dealt a devastating loss when all indications showed otherwise. Given the relative closeness of the election, grinding out a percent or two here and there would have made the difference. Dean has shown the ability to do that.

In a job that requires spinning, and deft pivoting, Dean is one of the few that does so with skill, and far less disingenousness than the rest. I'm stoked, and hope he wins.

[Excerpt]

Howard Dean: I'm running for DNC chair

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said he is running for his old job atop the Democratic Party.

"The dems need organization and focus on the young," Dean tweeted Thursday. "Need a fifty State strategy and tech rehab. I am in for chairman again. . ."

Read more at: Politico

#DrainTheSwamp? Newsflash: The Swamp is Still There, and They've Elected Swamp Thing

One of the late additions to Trump campaign rhetoric was #DrainTheSwamp a hashtag for social media, and a commonly repeated phrase by Donald Trump and his surrogates. It was part of Kellyanne Conway's late-in-the-game efforts to make Trump seem more "presidential." Was it what pushed him to his unlikely victory? I don't know, to be honest. But it's just one more promise that Trump can't fulfill, and has in fact shown every sign of ignoring.

Trump Thing
Because the swamp is still there. Most career politicians will keep their jobs, or segue into different ones during the (hopefully brief) Trump reign. Mitch McConnell will still be Senate Majority Leader, and may finally complete his transition into a tortoise. Most of the Senate and House is intact. And the new White House? Well, looks like the cabinet is going to be crammed full of an otherwise hilarious melding of Trump's inner circle, and the cartoonish political faces that drive liberals crazy: Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Rick Scott, undoubtedly Kellyanne Conway herself, and a rogue's gallery of other familiar faces. Still pretty swampy, and headed by Swamp Thing himself, the rotted pumpkin faced, lumbering ogre with the bad combover.

The one consolation that Democrats, liberals and progressives have is, that if Trump fails, it will be entirely, utterly of their own doing. He's got every available piece of government on the same side. He's got his crew all running it, and Kellyanne to play disciplinarian. If this thing goes off the rails (and I will be shocked, moreso than Tuesday night if it doesn't), they'll own every bit of it.

But, make no mistake. They're going to shed some of their current fan club regardless. Trump can't possibly deliver on a wealth of his promises. His "day one" pronouncements are impossible to achieve on day one. He's not going to #DrainTheSwamp. If he gets his wall, it's not going to be what he promised or envisioned. He'll likely get a recession or depression on his (again, hopefully brief) watch, and has no real tools to fix it. He's going to piss off the base by either shifting gears, or simply not being able to do what he promised to do. And he'll have a boatload of insiders as advisers and cabinet members. 

I have a lot more to say about this, but I'm going to have to do it in batches. More to come.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Idiocracy

I woke up this morning about five am. This after having stayed up nearly until two, watching the horror show that rolled on into the wee hours. When I woke up, I briefly wondered, "could that really have happened?" I mused for a few minutes that maybe something had happened to change things radically. That just maybe a miracle happened after I switched off the lights. But, when The Other Half awoke a little while later, and silently scrolled through his Facebook page without uttering even a sound, I knew that it wasn't to be. I knew he'd have nudged me awake with the news.

The world's worst winners (proven in the past) will gloat. Are gloating, I'm sure. I have no doubt. But I tell you, America, this one is different. Different in profound ways. Other losses were absorbable, for the most part. Though we may have hated it when our chosen candidate lost, we didn't fear for the future, didn't have this much trouble even envisioning what was coming down the pike. This time? I'll be honest, I hope I'm wrong, and that the machinery that is in place--the checks and balances--will hold, and that a President Trump isn't quite the disaster I think is coming.

But truthfully, I think a tragic error has occurred. I think the Trump hangover I predicted for Republicans will still come. Actually, I've said all along that win or lose, there would be a massive Trump hangover. I just was unsure whether we'd all have one, and now I know. We get it first, we Hillary voters (and those nutty, counterproductive Johnson and Stein voters, thanks for that, guys). And again, I hope I'm wrong.

This is going to take a while to process. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tremendous Hillary Clinton "Closing Argument" Ad to Katy Perry's Roar

Fabulously done, heartstring-pulling ad, to an uplifting song, with masterful imagery. Trump has nothing like this. Trump could do nothing like this. Go vote. Be heard. Defeat Orange Hitler!


Friday, November 4, 2016

HOLY SH*T (You've Got To Vote) [Funny or Die]

Hilarious and Hillary-ous. Important messages can really be driven home by humor, and this is the FUNNY side of Funny or Die. A must watch, trust me.


Bill Maher's Whiny Little Bitch, Live! Facebook Comedy Special

There's not much time for anti-Donald Trump humor, so I'm attempting to get this Facebook Live video up on the blog for people to enjoy before the election. If it posts successfully, enjoy! And here's hoping that The Donald reverts to being a C- or D-list reality celebrity after Tuesday.







Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Donald Trump Club! (Rocky Mountain Mike Parody-Palooza #5)

Who knew D-O-N-A-L-D T-R-U-M-P would fit so well into the Mickey Mouse Club theme song? Apparently, Rocky Mountain Mike did. And it's perfect.



EDITOR'S NOTE: I've been neglecting the blog a lot lately, and as such, I've also neglected to post a bunch of very funny, election-related song parodies by Rocky Mountain Mike. Not that the guy made famous on The Stephanie Miller Show needs my help, or is even affiliated with this blog. I'm just a fan who loves to share! So, please enjoy this and several other parodies.

For more Rocky Mountain Mike, go here. And buy his album, Politically Incoherent on Amazon!

Simply All Deplorable (Rocky Mountain Mike Parody-Palooza #4)

To be fair, Hillary Clinton said only half of Donald Trump's followers were in the basket of deplorables. But after feigning outrage (briefly), many of them took the insult as a badge of honor, so just point and laugh if they bring it up as something awful. Mike takes the famed Robert Palmer song, Simply Irresistible, and gives it a Trumpian twist.



EDITOR'S NOTE: I've been neglecting the blog a lot lately, and as such, I've also neglected to post a bunch of very funny, election-related song parodies by Rocky Mountain Mike. Not that the guy made famous on The Stephanie Miller Show needs my help, or is even affiliated with this blog. I'm just a fan who loves to share! So, please enjoy this and several other parodies.

For more Rocky Mountain Mike, go here. And buy his album, Politically Incoherent on Amazon!
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