The above is pretty interesting. I talk about a number of things, specifically how much life would suck after the end of the world.
by Shelt Garner
A number of things are happening at the same time on a macro historical level at the moment and there’s a least a chance that they will begin to influence each other.
As I understand it, Brexit is going to happen on Jan. 31, one way or another. I haven’t really kept up with how “hard” it’s meant to be, but it’s definitely going to cause some disruption in things in the short term.
We are rushing towards a pretty unsatisfactory conclusion on impeachment, with Trump being acquitted out of hand by the Senate for no other reason than the entire Republican Party is beholden to House Trump and only see democracy as a means to an end.
We haven’t had a pandemic in just under over 100 years. If we had a once-a-century pandemic given modern transportation, there’s a good chance the death toll would be far higher than any of us could possibly imagine.
As of right now, these three things are happening separate of each other. But there’s a least a small chance that will change. There’s a chance that there may come a point in the near future when they begin to at least influence each other in some way.
Say, for instance, that somehow we get a longer impeachment trial, long enough that the economic effects of Brexit begin to influence politics in the United States enough that public opinion begins to shift on Trump. This is probably highly unlikely — Trump’s probably going to be acquitted in a matter of hours, it seems. But if there was a longer trial, then there’s more chance that if the Wuhan virus begins to kill people at pandemic levels in the next few weeks, then all three things would influence each other.
What’s more likely to happen is something like this — there’s a short trial. Trump’s “vindicated.” And then all breaks loose. Then we see the one two punch of Brexit and Wuhan strike. It is the stress of finally having a crisis that is not a self-own that drives Trump completely bonkers. And given that use of the 25th Amendment to remove a president is a dead letter, then we would have a worse-case-scenario on our hands.
Trump complete and total lack of leadership would only make a bad situation far, far worse. In the end, the fate of humanity might be at stake and I honestly don’t have a ready answer as to the outcome.
And so we find ourselves waiting for the impeachment trial of one Donald John Trump, 45 president of the United States. Though there’s credible evidence that he was at least aware of Robert Hyde’s intentions to contact goons in Ukraine to physically harm Marie Yovanovitch in an effort to eliminate her as a problem for a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor who promised Trump dirt on Joe Biden, the Right is more concerned about transgender athletes ruining the Olympics, so, lulz. With that in mind, I thought I would do something of a personal deep dive into the issues associated with the Trump’s Senate trial and its implications, no matter the outcome. Though Maggie “Trump Whisperer” Haberman of The New York Times thinks I’m just a hayseed rube, I need to get some things off my chest nonetheless.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi keeps mentioning the apocryphal comment by Benjamin Franklin about the nature of our newly established government. Well, Nancy, we couldn’t keep it. Though Trump is nothing more than a vessel for some pretty titanic macro forces in American political life, he’s accomplished his historical purpose — he’s a transitional figure that marks the end of the American Republic. I say this because it’s pretty obvious that a President Pence isn’t going to, like, put the tyrannical genie back in the bottle. President Pence is a Republican — an a homophobic theocrat at that — and as such he may very well keep much, if not all, of Trump’s team going forward. So, in a sense, not only will nothing change, but it will get worse because Pence is not a deranged lunatic but someone who will establish the conditions for someone like President Kooch to put me in an ICE Camp where I become just another victim of the coming American Killing Fields. I say this not as a form of hyperbole or some sort of Infowars level of bonkers conspiracy — all signs point to the existing ICE camp infrastructure being weaponized within 10 years, if not far sooner. They’ll first throw the homeless and mentally ill (to keep them safe and prevent gun violence) into the campus with undocumented immigrants and then, as I’ve mentioned, work their way up. Prove me wrong on this one, folks.
Either Trump is acquitted or he’s not. If he’s acquitted, then he pardons half a dozen high profile people, rants about the need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment,” indicts another half dozen political opponents, and potentially is extremely brazen in his efforts to get the actual human beings who make up the Electoral College to vote for him. He could bribe them or dox them, you name it. And the only reason I’m not snatched in the middle of the night by ICE agents by about 2022 because of my anti-MAGA ranting online is Trump’s simply too incompetent to do the necessary governmental shenanigans to make it possible. It will still happen, but it may be the Cuccinelli or Kobach administrations that do it.
Meanwhile, if Trump is somehow miraculously convicted we will simply punt this same future down the road a few years. We can delay this dystopian future, but we can’t prevent it. I say this because between 2020 and 2040, we’re going to reach peek “Ok, Boomer.” We have to wait until the youngest of the angry old male Baby Boomers shuffle off this mortal plane on a macro level before the browning of America kicks in an AOC becomes a viable presidential candidate. Though, I think a more likely outcome is America in the 2040-2060 will likely be a toxic mixture of modern day Venezuela, Apartheid South Africa and Putin’s Russia. Though, given how rapidly the globe is warming, there’s a chance all we’re going to have some pretty rapid population movements that may change that dynamic in some pretty dramatic ways. Preventing our dystopian future would require a tragedy of such magnitude that if we were given the two options as a choice by God, we probably would be torn. Do we really want 20 million people to die in a limited nuclear exchange with the DPRK that we blame on Trump? Would that be worth it? Though, if you really wanted to be gratuitously sanguine, you might say if Trump goes so fucking bonkers that he collectively scares us so badly that we won’t elect Republicans president for a generation that might do the trick as well.
No matter what happens with Trump’s coming impeachment trial in the Senate, we’re in a new era. People will mark post-WWII America like this: 1945-1963, 1963-1973, 1973-1989, 1989-2001, 2001-2020. A liberal trope exists that we’re always just a few hours away from this or that otherwise normal event happening that will bring Trump down and everything will go back to normal. This is a result of both desperation and an unwillingness to admit that political tribalism and negative polarization have reached such extremes that Trump is now nothing less than an act of God.
He is completely immune from any sort of accountability. The only thing stopping him establishing an American Fourth Reich is he’s nothing more than a deranged version of Chauncy Gardner in Being There. As such, Trump is a transitional character in American political history. While I have no doubt he will call for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” once he’s acquitted in the Senate, there’s a decent change he may simply turn into a mental puddle before can do it.
But once the idea is out there, it will one of his fascist white ethnostate advocating successors who finish the job. Such a Constitutional Convention will be sold to liberals as an opportunity to pass the ERA, but in reality it will be a Trojan Horse used to codified American Carnage into the Constitutional through a series of Enabling Acts. The ICE camp infrastructure will be weaponized and that will be that. Initially they’ll start with the homeless and the mentally ill and work their way up the political foodchain until the usual suspects of Jews and homosexuals (transgenders!) will be thrown into the camps as well. There will be American Killing Fields and people like me will get nothing more than our name etched on a monument at some point in the distant future — if ever.
Shelt Garner is writing his first novel.
by Shelton Bumgarner
So MAGA is waiting with baited breath for the Durham Investigation to save Der Fuhrer from being impeached. This is very possible. The impeachment is supposed to wrap up on Dec. 9th as I understand it. It could drop a big turd in the impeachment process and Trump will yet again survive to tyrant another day.
If you are looking forward to this, please eat shit. Fuck you. Rot in hell. I say this only because Trump is such a racist misogynist tyrant that if you support him you’re a piece of shit.
But the question is, of course, will the Durham Report do what MAGA expects it to do? Given how Trump was able to escape justice after the Mueller Report — only to turn around and do the same thing 24 hours after the “poor optics” of Mueller’s testimony to Congressional pardoned him — I’m inclined to think that our criminally incompetent “president” is likely to escape even being formally impeached.
It’s all very tragic. The only thing keeping us from going full autocratic plutocratic theocracy is, well, Trump’s a piss-poor president. I’m not saying he won’t somehow manage to pull this off in his second term, I’m just saying it may be The Kooch, or Kris Kobach or Tom Cotton that history ultimately decides finished the job.
As such, I’m patiently waiting for an ICE agent to track me down at some point in Trump’s second — or third — administration put me in a camp and murder me after torturing me for some time. I’m a man of peace, words and ideas, so all I can do is just work on my novel and brood. I feel a little like the Man in a High Castle in that respect. Whenever I get mad about how fucking insane Trump is on a criminal level, I use that as motivation to keep plugging along on the political thriller I’m writing.
There are a number of different possibilities. One is that the plot works. Another is it all just gets muddled and yet Trump is still at least impeached. And, lastly, it’s possible that 60% of the population realizes the whole thing is bullshit and it doesn’t work.
Only time will tell.
Fuck Trump. Fuck MAGA.
by Shelton Bumgarner
I am a nobody. No one listens to me. So when someone, anyone — especially someone from notable like Washington D.C. — looks at anything I’ve written it at least makes me curious.
It’s probably nothing. But all I know is, Trump is hanging out in the White House’s private residence a lot these days. And the whole administration is a bunch of criminal liars. So, it could be nothing, it could be that someone, somewhere knows enough about Trump’s mental and or physical condition to want to know what I’ve written on the political implications of him getting far, far worse.
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by Shelton Bumgarner
I’m not feeling so great about the chances that Trump will be convicted in the Senate. I say this because Republican defenses for Trump right now are pretty much just, “You don’t like our politics, fuck you.” So, all the Twitter liberals you attempt to use any fact-based logic with fucking fucktwit Republicans are wasting their time. Republicans are such cult that the moment a Democrat ever happens to be president again, they will impeach him or her the moment they have the power to do so. They will want to prove the point and also take some of the sigma away from being impeached so Trump doesn’t look so bad.
Not that I think there will ever be another Democrat president the way things are going. The dystopia is here. The bad guys have won. For the autocrat, all that matters is remaining in power. Everything else is a lulz. So we could have Trump dead-to-rights (which we do) and he will be acquitted and turn around and do the exact same thing. He will grow even more brazen to such an extent that election 2020 will be American Brexit. The whole thing will be such a massive clusterfuck — that Trump will win in the end — that it will be pretty self-evident our democracy, our Republic, is dead.
Trump will push for a Constitutional Convention at some point in his second term and I will promptly be “vanished” by a weaponized ICE.
Now, having said all that, there are still a few issues that I simply don’t know how they will play out. Trump’s mental state is getting worse and Republicans are so bloodthirsty on a rhetorical level that some pretty tragic things may happen when someone takes them both seriously and literally. Those two issues might be the things that bring down Trump at some point.
And, really, if you are MAGA reading this because my worst case scenario is your best case scenario — you’re a piece of shit.
But I think while it is exciting and interesting to see the impeachment process take place, we have to prepare ourselves for the absolute worst. MAGA will start murdering people in cold blood soon enough. Those of us lucky to be able to leave the country when that starts to happen will do so.
by Shelton Bumgarner
I just don’t see any clear-cut end to the impeachment process. Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t mean Trump won’t be impeached. And I’m not saying there isn’t at least a growing chance he won’t be convicted (somehow.)
But what I am saying is the macro trend in the United States is towards authoritarianism, fascism, plutocracy and theocracy. So, first, let’s look at it from the Republican side.
We’re reached a point where Republicans will have gotten their strategic goals for the near term, no matter what happens. They’ve gotten their plutocrat tax cuts and they’ve gotten their young hack MAGA judges. Thus, even if Trump is somehow miraculously removed from office, it will, in real terms, be only a symbolic victory for the center-Left. We still have a solid 20 years before the youngest of the Baby Boomers begin to drop dead and the Browning of America really begins to have a demographic — and political — impact.
Remember, if Pence becomes president, there’s a non-zero chance that while he’s a more traditional pol, he won’t get rid of Barr and he won’t get rid of Pompeo. Though the latter is likely to quit simply to run for Senator. Lulz! Pence will simple sugarcoat the fascism of Trump with a thin veneer of norm-respecting and theology. He’ll wait until just after he wins the presidency in his own right and then pardon Trump. Pence will assume that voters will have calmed down by the time he runs again in 2024.
But let’s look at it another way –what happens if the center-Left gets its best case scenario and, say, Nancy Pelosi becomes president? Republicans will use their plutocrat tax cut to demand we gut the social safety net at a minimum and may even use it as a bludgeon to get a Constitutional Convention to “to pass a balanced budget amendment.” So, in real terms, we would probably have just at about a year before Republicans win not only the presidency, but the House. Then we’re right back where we started from.
As I’ve said before, in a sense, our best case scenario might be either Nikki Haley or even Ivanka Trump becoming president because their far more likely to at least allow a free-and-fair election in 2020. And, if the economy goes south, they will get the blame, not the Democrats. But, remember, if a Democrat becomes president in 2020, they will likely have just about two years before the Republicans take the House and turn around and impeachment for simply not being MAGA.
The point of all of this is manage people’s expectations. We’re in for a bumpy few months, no matter what. And there’s a really good chance Trump will escape political justice AGAIN and he’ll go full Hitler if he somehow manages not to go insane.
by Shelton Bumgarner
I just don’t know how the political fever that has gripped the nation is going to break. Either Trump escapes AGAIN, or we careen into something tragic and messy that at least heralds a new era.
A little background. I’m a political child of Watergate. Well into my teens, I felt the political echo of Watergate all around me. I watched a lot of mid-80s TV and there were an array of characters from Watergate who were all over the place on my screen. I did not know the context until much, much later. But now that I do, I realize that even under the absolute best of circumstance for the Republic a lot of very profitable political careers have already been made as part of the Trumplandia clusterfuck. Really, the only issue is context
Anyway, the point is, we’ve now reached the stage in the impeachment process where it might have suddenly dawned on House Trump that this is, in fact, an existential threat. They are going to bend every rule, break every law, say every lie they have to extricate themselves from a potential political death spiral. It’s at least possible they will win. In a sense, I would much rather we fight to win then lose than simply meekly allow the criminal fascists in the Republican Party to burn the Republic the ground in the name of “civility.”
My chief concern right now is the Russia investigation report about to be released by the Justice Department. Even the lengths they are going to spring this thing on us out of the blue without any leaks, it’s likely to be a very authoritarian document. It will be such a bullshit turd that its findings give Republicans something to rant about whenever the subject of impeachment comes up. The real unnerving part is what happens if that DOESN’T work. What if they win a news cycle or two but in the end the impeachment inquiry keeps on moving. It’s when what the two sides are talking about are so dramatically different that the entire political system is disconnected that there’s a real danger of something unprecedented in American political life since at least the end of Reconstruction– political violence.
That it hasn’t happened yet is really quite heartening. Republicans are so wrapped up in messaging the base, they have become completely unhinged. Some pretty mainstream figures are now laying the groundwork for some MAGA nutjob to hurt a lot of people. Republicans will — without missing a beat — pivot to how this is proof we have to stop the impeachment process because “people are getting hurt” and what Trump did wasn’t really that bad afterall, especially given what the Justice Department’s report on the Russia investigation said.
I still can’t pace out an endgame in my mind right now. It’s not obvious to me how this is going to end. A few more shoes have to drop for me to have a better sense of how likely I will meet an untimely demise in a weaponized ICE camp in Trump’s second term is. We’re definitely in the danger zone of such things for the next few weeks. One issue is that Justice Department review of the Russia probe. That will be a huge test. I generally think we’ll fail. Impeachment will be seen by Maggie Haberman and The Vogel as politically nonviable and it will peter out. Trump will crow that he was right all along and Barr will hand down bogus criminal referrals for people like John Brennan. And that, will be that.
But I can’t predict the future. A lot of things could blunt — or end — our near-term march towards authoritarianism. Trump could go nuts. Trump could go transactional with his Twitter offenses and there be a big backlash. Enough people might be enraged over what Trump did that they see through the bullshit of the Barr Report and the impeachment process zooms along.
Yet I’m very weary to be too optimistic. The press is so wrapped up in “being objective” in an era of asystematic political radicalization that they take the House Trump bait hook, line and sinker and darkness falls. At least I have a novel I’m writing. Maybe I’ll finish it before ICE drags me out of my bed in the middle of the night, never to be seen again.
By Shelton Bumgarner
The darkly comical thing about Republicans is they are so craven that they give the plot away in what they accuse their opposition of doing. One can often get a lot of insight into the Republican fascist mind in the crazy things they accuse Democrats of doing. If they have this or that bonkers thing at the forefront of their minds, then you get the sense that THEY are they ones who want to do that. It’s almost a dog whistle to the base. In a sense, they’re saying, “Don’t worry, fam, we got you.”
Anyway, it’s interesting how completely fucking obsessed Sen. Lindsey Graham is with outing the whistleblower long after much — if not all — of what was in the original complaint has been confirmed. Given that Republicans like Graham are so deeply bad faith in anything they say or do, every argument they are giving for why they so desperately want the whistleblower’s name to be common knowledge is total and complete bullshit.
The reason — they crave the opportunity to “kavanaugh” the whistleblower as one of several last-ditch efforts to prevent Trump from even being impeached. They want the entire country to look at everything the guy has done in his entire life instead of all the very public criming that Trump has done over last 40 odd years. They were impressed with how effective the character-based argument were against Kavanaugh and they want the opportunity to do it to the whisleblower to prove a political point. In their instance, they want to switch out their own losing fact argument for simply making everyone talk about the whistleblower’s equivalent of Squee, “boofing” and Beach Week.
That Republicans like Graham are essentially hanging all of their hopes on this strategy is rather bonkers, surreal and tragic. I’m not saying it won’t work. There’s a good chance it will. But there’s also a good chance that if they go all-in on destroying the whistleblower for daring to sound the alarm over the Dear Leader’s criminal activity, things may get out of control and, well, dun dun dun.
Graham and the rest of the Republican Trump sycophants won’t miss a beat, of course. Within 24 hours of the whatever Very Bad Thing happens because of their own overheated and overwrought political rhetoric they will have talking points written up for the MAGA sheep to graze on. They will include:
Democrats have to stop the impeachment process immediately, people are getting hurt.
House Democrats are at fault for starting the impeachment process and some of them should be charged for “involvement” in the incident.
Blah, blah, blah, let the people decide, blah, blah, blah
There might even be even more slinging of civil war talk at this point as, well.
The point is, Republicans are so absolutely devoted not to their party, but to Donald Trump on a personal level and Trump is nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner, they setting themselves up for having to defend the absolutely indefensible. They will gleefully do it because, lulz, democracy and human decency are for low-T betas, amiright?
How confident am I that this absolute worst case scenario may happen? Not very. But there is a greater-than-zero sum chance something along these lines may happen as Graham continues to bang the drum to out the whistleblower.
by Shelton Bumgarner
If you’re MAGA reading this from the Deep South and you think my worst case scenario is your best case scenario — please eat shit. Fuck off, you piece of shit MAGA traitor.
Trump’s going to be acquitted. In fact, to be brutally honest, given that Trump does NOT want to be impeached, there’s a pretty good chance he won’t even be formally impeached.
Bill Barr is lurking around, waiting to pounce. He’s likely to finally release his “anti-Mueller Report” just around Thanksgiving. As of right now, formal impeachment is set for sometime around Christmas. So, if past is preface, Barr plays the part of Q. He drops a big turd in the impeachment punch bowl. The press spends a week debating the merits of his totally bullshit report. Everyone begins to fear that John Brennan is going to be indicted. We’re so busy thinking about this totally surreal and nonsensical report — even if it appears to be backed up by “facts” — that the momentum for even impeachment fades and Trump escapes.
I say this quite sincerely because Trump is going to turn into a very moronic, very deranged Sun King at this point. He’s going to become so brazen after escaping justice AGAIN that it will be pretty obvious by no later than, say, February that there will NOT be a free-and-fair election in 2020. And pretty much everyone is going to stand around and watch it happen, too. Trump may “end” birthright citizenship via Executive Order. He may make rumblings about the absolute need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.”
The first part of his second term will be calling a snap Constitutional Convention and codifying American Carnage. Don Jr. will be America’s doofus Crown Prince. We’re going to be little more than Putin’s bitch. Tyranny will finally descend upon across America. Liberal-progressives in Hollywood will bounce from the country altogether and many in New York City and Silicon Valley may do the same. The ICE Camps will be weaponized and people like me will be “vanished.” We’ll simply not be around anymore. The ICE Camps will grow ever larger with not just scary brown people, but people like me.
I would note, however, in passing, that I can’t predict the future. The MAGA Right is growing extremely hysterical in its overheated, overwrought rhetoric. Things have stabilized enough for the time being that my initial fears of Trump finally losing his mind completely or there being significant anti-impeachment violence on the part of shithead MAGA people are beginning to subside.
So, in essence, I think by no later than Thanksgiving, the Mueller Playbook will kick in and a lot of liberal-progressives will scream at the top of their lungs that Trump was supposed to be impeached….and nothing actually happened. I used to think the impeachment train had left the station, but I’m beginning to doubt even that.
This week may be a big test of my predicting abilities. If we can make it through this week without the air completely draining from the impeachment balloon, then we’re in the clear…until next week. The bullshit Barr Report looms large in all of this. This week is also the first week where I’m growing a little bit more concerned about anti-impeachment violence on the part of MAGA. I only say this because their daily 2 minutes of hate is now completely focused on outing the Whistleblower and no good can come of that.