Roaming Charges: Waiting for My Man

+ Trump is acting like a mob boss. So sayeth Noah Rothman on the pages of Commentary. But surely hat’s giving Trump far too much credit. The Trump Syndicate is more like what Godfather III would have been like if Fredo was the only Corleone brother to survive and ended up running the show… in other words, a Mel Brooks movie.

+ What kind of mob boss can’t even keep his consiglieres in line? Michael Cohen, who once vowed to take a bullet for Trump, folded “like rat” before prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, pleading guilty to a slate of charges without even copping an immunity deal. Cohen was so eager to sing that he publicly implicated Trump in a conspiracy to buy the silence to two former paramours, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. Cohen offered this juicy bit of inculpatory evidence gratis. Thanks for nothing Don Donald.

+ Meanwhile, as the legal walls close in, Trump could only vent his anger in yet another tirade about his other useless lawyer, J. Beauregard Sessions. “Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done, or he should have told me,” Trump puffed. “He took my job, and then he said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself.’ I said, ‘What kind of man is this?’ ” Mr. President, that’s the same question we’ve all been asking ourselves…

+ It’s hard to tell who is the weaker of the two men, Trump, who is too cowardly to fire Sessions or Sessions who is too little self-respect to resign. Instead, Sessions spat out this turgid tranche of twaddle:

+ “Effectuating?” What kind of MAN says, “effectuating?”

+ It’s clear that Sessions will swallow any humiliation from Trump in order to keep his fantasy job of kidnapping kids from central America and filling the federal prisons with black and brown people.

+ While the poor rot in jail for lack of bail money on minor charges, sleazeball fixers, like Michael Cohen, sip Glenlivet before copping a deal on major felonies…

+ Leave it to Michael Cohen to ruin a good Scotch by drinking it on the rocks…

+ Even Trump’s old pal David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer who apparently kept a locker full of smut about Trump and his political and business opponents, has flipped, striking an immunity deal with federal prosecutors. What’s the world coming to when Trump can’t trust his own Pecker?

+ Instead of sending Giuliani out to babble chop-logic on the Sunday morning talk shows, Trump should give the nation an object lesson in constitutional rights by proudly taking the Fifth Amendment and demonstrating to his law-and-order followers that its not the last refuge of a guilty conscience.

+ One of the stranger bit players in the RussiaGate Follies is a spy-grifter named Felix Sater, a man who has been informing for so long he’s now informing on people he once informed to…

+ The right has made many transformations in the Age of Trump, none more spectacular than their adoption of a post-modernist perspective on reality as a subjective narrative.

+ The ever-excitable Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, blurted out that “no more serious criminality could be alleged” about a president than the conspiracy to hush Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

+ I can think of many more serious acts of criminality than paying off your former sex partners. For starters, aren’t there still more than 500 children who have been stolen from their parents?

+ Joe Biden is backing Tom Carper, a white, male, corporate incumbent, over Kerri Harris, a social justice advocate who would be the first woman, first black person, and first openly LGBT senator from Delaware. At least Biden’s consistent…

+ George W. and Laura Bush will receive the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia on Veterans Day. Can the Apocalypse be far away?

+ Melania Trump is prepping for a solo trip to Africa as part of her “You’re Not a ‘Shithole’ Country, But My Husband’s a Shithead Apology Tour”…

+ Meanwhile, her husband mentioned Africa for the first time in a Tweet , sparked by a vile FoxNews screed from Tucker “the Yuppie Bigot” Carlson, where he ordered Pompeo Maximus to study “the large scale killing of white farmers.”

+ There have been no such massacres. In South Africa, blacks account for 80 percent of the population and still own less than five percent of the land.

+ The USSR was once the prime sponsor of Mandela’s African National Congress. Now Putin’s Russia is serving as a refuge for white plantation owners and spreading (using RT and other outlets) the same racist lies as Trump about about post-apartheid land reform in South Africa.

+ Betsy (known as “Ditzy” by Trump) DeVos wants to use a federal grant program to fund guns in public schools. Pretty soon Cruella will be giving out subsidies to Blackwater to provide “security” in schools…

+ Even before Trump’s gutting of air pollution standards, life expectancy rates have been on the downward slide in the US. You don’t have to kill off Social Security, if you engineer your political economy so that most of the population dies before they become eligible for it…

+ Whistleblower Reality Winner, who leaked NSA documents revealing Russian interference in the 2016 elections, was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison, a term that prosecutors bragged was the “stiffest in history.” This vicious and appalling sentence went almost unnoticed on the editorial pages of the 350 newspapers who chastised the Trump administration for calling the press the “enemy of the people.”  And shame on much of the Sputnik Left for staying silent about the Winner case because her disclosures didn’t fit their own fragile narrative about the 2016 elections…

+ Memo to Washington Post: Democracy doesn’t die in darkness, it dies in silence…

+ Someone recently asked me to describe what I mean by the Sputnik Left and I said you’ll know it when you see it. The best definition I could come up with was: political activists who rigorously apply Chomsky’s lens to the NYT, WashPost, and the Guardian, but regurgitate as gospel whatever they read or hear on RT or Sputnik.

+ Senator Mitt Romney: “No man this century better exemplifies honor” than John McCain.

+ Dear Willard, I’m not sure why you limit your assessment to men (especially when you have “binders full of women“), but even by your own terms I could think of 1000 more honorable men off the top of my head (and if they still published phone books I could randomly name 100,000 others), none of whom ever called for anyone else to be bombed…

+ One of McCain’s most revelatory quotes: “I see no military option in Ukraine and that is tragic.”

+ Trump’s trade-whisperer, the China-bashing, tariff-weilding Peter Navarro, was once a Pelosi-loving, Hillary-grooving new Democrat. According to an amusing profile in TIME,

in his memoir Navarro singled out “street-smart, savvy” Nancy Pelosi for praise, but Hillary was his favorite: “gracious, intelligent, perceptive, and, yes, classy,” he called her, expressing puzzlement that many Americans seemed to hate her. “Okay, so … this uppity woman has made it all too clear to Middle America that she’d rather be an activist first lady than rearrange White House furniture,” he wrote. “But so what? This is the dawn of the 21st Century.”

+ One of Trump’s few black defenders is a talking head named Paris Dennard. Although Trump claims not to watch CNN, the president lavished Dennard (who is paid to defend Trump on CNN) with praise after he forcefully (if hypocritically) argued that Trump’s sexual indiscretions had no bearing on his fitness for office. “Wonderful,” Trump clapped on Twitter. Two days after this glowing endorsement, Dennard was placed on leave by CNN after it was revealed that Dennard was fired from his position as an events planner at Arizona State University’s John McCain Institute for International Leadership  for sexually harassing students, including an incident where he “pretended to unzip his pants in [a grad student’s] presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures.” Dennard continues to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

+ Meanwhile, there’s word that former swimsuit model and Trump communications staffer Hope Hicks is back in the arms of former Trump White House errand boy and serial-wife beater Rob Porter.

+ If you’re not a misogynist, Trump will never really trust you…

+ With Jared’s “Best of All Peace Middle East Plans” stalled, Trump warned that a one-state solution would mean that “the next Prime Minister of Israel would be named Mohammed.” Well, it’s about time…

+ Abandoned by the Trump right and reviled by the anti-war Left, neocons, always a small but disproportionately violent population, were at risk of extinction, until they were given safe harbor by the TV Left.

+ Democrats in Congress who own stock in Boeing:

– Tom Carper (D-DE)
– Kathy Castor (D-FL)
– Steve Cohen (D-TN)
– Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
– Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
– Gary Peters (D-MI)
– Brad Schneider (D-IL)
– John Yarmuth (D-KY)

No wonder the biggest war-making Pentagon budgets in history have sailed through the Congress with the solid backing of Democratic Party politicians, even though the weaponry is being put into the hands of a man they publicly vilify as a mentally-unstable agent of a foreign power.

+ Chris Collins, indicted last week, and Duncan Hunter, indicted on Wednesday, were two of the earliest congressional endorsers of Trump. The swamp is being drained, one political grifter at a time.

+ Like his old man (known on the Hill as the Congressman from Raytheon), Duncan the Second was all about the troops. His wife Margaret Hunter dropped $200 for a pair of sneakers at Dick’s Sporting Goods, which she claimed she needed to attended an annual dove hunting event for wounded warriors. Dove hunting shoes? Are they the Dick Cheney brand?

+ When Hunter told his wife he was desperate to buy a new pair of Hawaiian shorts, but he was out of money (they had overdrawn their checking account more than 1000 times), the crafty Margaret told him to buy them from a local pro shop so he could later claim they were actually golf balls for meant for, yes, wounded warriors.

+ Shortly after being indicted, Duncan “Fuck the Navy” Hunter wrapped himself in the full-Trump: “This is the new Department of Justice. This is the Democrats’ arm of law enforcement. It’s happening with Trump and it’s happening with me.”

+ Memo to Duncan Hunter: Didn’t Beauregard Sessions leave the Democratic Party the same day George Wallace did?

+ Prisoners in 17 states went on strike this week protesting deplorable prison conditions and the use of prisoners for slave labor. Will Manafort, Collins, Hunter and Cohen join them or cross the picket lines?

+ Oakland Speaks!

+ Trump is crassly exploiting the depraved murder of an Iowa University coed named Mollie Tibbetts, allegedly by an undocumented alien. Meanwhile, the president has said nothing about the murder of a Colorado mother and her children by her white, American-born husband. Nor has Trump said a word about the 40 Yemeni students murdered by one US-made bomb.

+ Tibbets’ alleged killer, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, worked on Yarrabee Farms, owned by a leading GOP family in Iowa. Will they be charged as co-conspirators?

+ In the age of Trump with hundreds of millions of liberal dollars stuffing the useless pockets of the Resistance©, one of the most vital sites on the web, the Killed By Police database, has gone dark because of lack of funding. It’s not too late to pitch in a donation to the team that has provided such crucial information.

+ Admission numbers for Iraqis who helped the US government and are trying to come to the US as refugees (FY)

2016: ~5,100
2017: 3,000+
This year: 48

+ Under current laws, air pollution is so bad across the United States that it is cutting more than 4 months off of the life-span of American residents. Add to that grim number, the fact that Trump’s new plan to gut clean air standards will lead to a minimum of 1,400 premature deaths a year.

+ I like Trump because he had the guts to stand up and say he was going to shorten my life and then went ahead and did it. Most politicians might flinch, but Trump didn’t. Promise made, promise kept. You gotta admire that.

+ Here in Portland we may be dying a little sooner than the rest of you, as the air quality for much of August has rivaled the world’s worst

+ Trump: “You know what you can’t hurt? Coal.”

JSC: “You know what can hurt you? Coal.”

+ Who’s more dangerous? the MS-13 Gang or the EPA Gang for rolling back air pollution rules that will kill 1,400 more Americans each year?

+ The Global Ocean Heat Content Index is now officially in the red zone…

+ American Sickos: The same country that is obsessed by kitten videos is also sticking giraffe body parts on its walls and putting their heads to rest on pillows covered with giraffe skin.

+ Rio Grande river flows in southern Colorado and New Mexico are the lowest recorded in more than a 100 years….

+ Trump to a crowd of West Virginians, most of whom probably don’t own a single home: “We’re the smart ones. Remember. I say it all the time: you hear, ‘the elite’…you’re smarter than they are, you have more money than they do…let them have the word elite. You’re the super-elite. I’m smarter than they are. I have many much more beautiful homes than they do. I have a better apartment at the top of Fifth Avenue. Why the hell are they ‘the elite?'”

+ Trump later griped that the audience in Charleston was flat and unenthusiastic. When I looked at the crowd most of them looked either dazed on opioids, in a state of diabetic shock or gasping for breath from black lung disease.

+ Last week Trump condescendingly referred to Aretha Franklin as “working for me many times,” as if the Queen of Soul was his chambermaid. But when the invitation to perform at Trump’s inauguration landed in Detroit, Franklin wasted no time in rebuffing Trump.

Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks
His bedroom window
It is made  of gold bricks
Russian hookers stand around his door–
I ain’t gonna work at Trump’s casino no more…

+ To the barricades comrades, white Christian males haven’t faced a threat like this since Julian the Apostate! (Outside of South Africa, naturally.)

+ One of the men who restored the honor of White Christian Males in the post-bellem South was Gen. Julian Carr, a veteran of the War of Northern Aggression, who delivered this stirring speech at the dedication of the Silent Sam statue–recently toppled–on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel:

The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war, when the facts are, that their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South. When “the bottom rail was on top” all over the Southern states, and to-day, as a consequence, the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States—Praise God.

I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomatox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quite village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and Chapel Hill.

Hey, White Boy, You Chasin’ Our Women Around?

Sound Grammar

What I’m listening to this week. Still recreating my vinyl collection…

War ina Babylon by Max Romeo and the Upsetters

Irish Tour ’74 by Rory Gallagher

All Blues by Ron Carter

Booked Up

What I’m reading this week…

The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places by William Atkins

The Last Earth: a Palestinian Story by Ramzy Baroud

Maigret Travels by Georges Simenon

What Humanity Needs

David Quammen: “Humanity badly needs things that are big and fearsome and homicidally wild. Counterintuitive as it may seem, we need to preserve those few remaining beasts, places, and forces of nature capable of murdering us with sublime indifference.”

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3