Tommy CarcettiTommy Carcetti's Journal
That's all I can really say right now.
Former President Donald Trump, currently running for the Republican party nomination for President in 2024, announced today that in the wake of the recent death of his wife Melanias mother Amalija Knavs, he will need a period of at least ten to twelve months in order to appropriately mourn his mother-in-laws passing.
My mother-in-law, Am-m-a-lee-jee-a Ka-ka-novs, was once a beautiful young woman from the nation of Slovakia, located in the Baltic Peninsula in the furthest reaches of Asia, Trump remarked at a recent campaign event in Keane, New Hampshire. Then she got oldreally, really oldand no longer beautiful at all, and because of that, now shes dead. And thats a horrible, terrible thing, when women get old and not beautiful. So, Im going to need some time to process that in the best possible way I can, which is to spend my time here in front of you making America great again and not wasting it sitting inside any courtrooms for any phony witch hunts.
Trump said he would not actually be pausing his campaign, but rather that he had merely asked his attorneys to file motions with all courts in which he currently has criminal and civil matters pending, asking to stay proceedings indefinitely in order for him to deal with his crippling grief.
Before she died, and while she was so, so, very old, Amankathats what we all called her, Amankatold me, Sir, dont let that Unspecial Prosecutor Jack Smith or Sleepy Joe or those crooked Judges and those haters and loser RINOs keep you down, sir, Trump claimed. She told me, Sir, if I do die, my death is on their hands. Avenge me, siravenge me by winning the election in the greatest landslide this country has ever seen!
Trump said he would be celebrating the life and legacy of his mother-in-law Amelia by traveling the country to places such as New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Maine, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and other states, and proclaiming the one message that she most strongly believed in, which was that foreign immigrants from abroad were poisoning the blood of our country.
Trump also said he needed time to visit his mother-in-laws grave, located underneath the maintenance shed at the Trump National Doral Miami golf course, where he states she was buried according to his wishes and pursuant to ancient Slobanian tradition.
Trump warned that should any presiding judge deny his motion to stay proceedings, it could send him into the depths of deepest despair, which could only be remedied by visiting his wifes ancestral homeland.
Sources close to the former President stated they later observed Trump asking his attorneys whether the country of Solaria had an extradition treaty with the United States.
DETAILS AT ELEVEN
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) announced today his support for a plan that would condition any further aid and support for Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia with construction of what he termed as a totally bitchin waterpark in his home district.
Speaking before reporters, Johnson explained his thought process behind the policy move.
While like all Americans, we offer our continued prayers and emotional support for the Ukrainian people in their fight against Russian aggression and occupation, there are nonetheless limits to be had, Johnson said. We must first look towards our own needs before those of all others, and especially the needs of parents in Northwestern Louisiana desperate to take their bored children someplace new on a hot summers day.
With that, Johnson announced that any further packages of military aid and surplus equipment intended for the beleaguered European country must be paired with funding for Aquapolis, a sprawling new 32-acre water theme park to be constructed in suburban Eastwood, Louisiana, just outside of Shreveport.
Were not just talking about some rinky-dink little regional water park with a splash pad and a couple of small slides, Johnson continued. Aquapolis is going to have it allover a dozen slides, including two side-by-side racing slides, a massive wave pool, a rapids rafting ride, a fast-paced water coaster and plenty of room for lounging, sunbathing and splashing galore. And if Ukrainians value their freedom and independence enough, theyll understand that Americans too have a right to summertime fun and recreation. Otherwise, theyre more than welcome to take on Vladimir Putin all by themselves.
Johnson pushed back against the notion that withholding invaluable equipment such as anti-tank missiles and fighter jets necessary for Ukraine to conduct counter-offensive operations unless funding for Aquapolis is approved was in any way an improper demand.
Yes, Ukrainians have seen virtually all of the city of Mariupol reduced to rubble, Johnson said. They saw citizens in Bucha murdered in their own homes and their bodies left lying in the streets. So, they would be in the perfect position to emphasize with Shreveportians desperate to beat the August heat.
Because, lets face it, Splash Kingdom Oasis just isnt going to cut it anymore, he added, referring to Shreveports other water park destination that opened back in 2010.
Sources close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky describe him as being somewhat baffled by this most recent turn in events, but in a video statement released online, the leader nonetheless vowed to do everything it would take to receive the continued support of the United States.
My American brothers and sisters, what is most important in all of this is the well-being of the next generation, Zelensky said. American children, free to have a place where their summer camp can take them for a carefree couple of hours. Ukrainian children, free not to be forcibly kidnapped by members of the Russian military and sent to far-off corners of Russia to be re-educated. We all remain forever one in the same in our problems and struggles.
Johnson seemed to echo the Ukrainian presidents concerns about the perils faced by all parties going forward.
I am sure that Ukrainians are fearful about the prospects of losing their homeland to an oppressive foreign invader, Johnson said. Just as some eight-year-old kid might be fearful the first time he stares down the Big Zipper Tornado Funnel Slide. Bottom line is if he is able to take that plunge, so should they. Let's help that little boy out, okay?
DETAILS AT ELEVEN
BREAKING NEWS: Further embarrassment as new Speaker "Mike Johnson" revealed to be AI-generated non-entity
Shortly after seemingly ending a 22-day impasse that saw the ouster of previous Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and three subsequent failed Speaker-Designates, House Republicans suffered an unexpected embarrassment as it was revealed that the newly elected Speaker, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, did not in fact exist in reality in any physical shape or form.
Instead, the alleged individual known as Mike Johnson was ultimately determined to be a completely AI-generated non-entity created by a series of complex computer algorithms based entirely on internet data collected on an agglomeration of existing Congressional Republicans.
To say Im embarrassed is a bit of an understatement, one House Republican remarked. I mean, I could have sworn Mike Johnson was an actual person. Honestly, the name sounded familiar enough. And I saw that he was a Republican from Louisiana, so that checked out. So, who was I to know that it turns out he was just an AI generated bot?
Suspicion grew about Johnsons existence when none of the 435 members of the House could ever remember ever having any sort of prior interaction with him either face-to-face or by any other means of communication.
While pictures of the alleged Mike Johnson widely circulated throughout the media prior to his election as Speaker, many people missed certain hints that those photos were actually created by AI image generating programs.
There was a certain unearthly glossy sheen to all the pictures of the guy that just didnt sit right, MIT Data Tech analyst Tom Peters said. That, and the fact that he appeared to have seven fingers on his right hand, an abnormally long neck, a third leg, and his suit jacket blended seamlessly into his bare left arm.
Information in the fictitious Johnsons official biography and various press releases also set off some red flags.
His bio states he attended The University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Peters noted. But in reality, there is no such school. There's a University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and a Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. There must have been some crossed signals that ChatGPT was unable to independently justify.
Peters said that Johnson was created by AI programs tasked with creating the profile of an archetypal Republican in Congress.
A white male with a common sounding Anglo-American name, coming out the Southeast, expressing doubts about the validity of the 2020 election and signaling opposition to various policies of President Biden such as providing further military assistance to Ukraine, Peters said. All in all, computers couldnt have made a more perfect Republican.
Despite the underlying shame of electing a Speaker of the House whoas facts revealednever actually existed, House Republicans say they have no current plans to replace the Faux Mike Johnson with an actual sentient living human being as Speaker.
To be perfectly blunt, Mike Johnsons everything we wanted in a Speaker, even though hes nothing more than a very long string of zeroes and ones, a Republican congressperson was quoted as saying. We wanted someone who would cause government to come to a complete halt, thus sabotaging any efforts President Biden might have sought in progressing his agenda for the countrys interest. And who could be more perfect at doing that than someone who doesnt actually exist in reality?
DETAILS AT ELEVEN
Other than the fact that it is horrible. All of it. Every little bit of it.
I'm not even going to attempt to assign blame, or take sides, or claim who is justified or what.
The entire situation, dating back years to decades, is complex and difficult to an exponential degree.
And every action seems to cause a reaction that only seems to compound upon itself, and by that point, any justification of anyone's actions seems to become more and more muted as the actions and reactions ping-pong.
In this respect, it is nothing like the current situation with the Russia-Ukraine War, which is pretty much as cut-and-dry as you can get when it comes to right and wrong.
The only thing I can say for certain is that any atrocities or hostilities directly targeting innocent civilians can never be justified. Ever. No matter who engages for it, or whatever reason they claim to do so.
And that's the only tiny slice of moral clarity that I can get out of this entire morass.
One of the most enduring lies about Joe Biden perpetrated from the Right claims he openly bragged about getting a Ukrainian Prosecutor General Shokin fired in 2016, supposedly to protect his son Hunter who sat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.
This lie first started making the circuits in 2019, when the scandal of Donald Trump extorting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to deliver dirt on his prospective opponent Biden under threat of security guarantees came to light, ultimately resulting in Trumps first (but not last) impeachment.
That lie was easily debunked by documentable facts in 2019. It takes a mere few minutes of internet research to confirm that the claim is a lie. And it remains just as easily debunkable (if not more so) today.
Despite this, the lie continues to persist and live on in circles in the Right. And nowdespite being so easily disprovableRepublicans in Congress have made it a central and very public accusation in their Quixotic quest to impeach President Biden, 7 years after the facts of the story took place.
First things firstthere was no investigation of Hunter Biden (or Joe Biden) by Ukrainian authorities. There has never been an investigation of Hunter Biden by Ukrainian authorities. Technically, the investigation at issue wasnt even into Burisma itself, but rather Burismas founder Mykhola Zlochevsky. That investigation in Ukraine had been spurred on in good part by a prior investigation of Zlochevskys assets in the United Kingdom in 2014.
Now what is true? That Joe Biden in January 2018as former Vice Presidentrecounted the facts behind Shokins firing during an event hosted by the Counsel for Foreign Relations. Specifically, Biden said that when he was sent as envoy by the White House to Ukraine in late 2015, he delivered an ultimatum to then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko: replace Shokin as Prosecutor General, or risk losing a potential US aid package to Ukraine.
But thats as true as the story will ever get. Because as a 5-minute Google search of the facts from sources contemporaneous to Shokins ultimate firing in 2016, its very clear that everyonenot just Joe Biden in some mythical effort to protect his son against a non-existent investigationwanted Shokin gone. That Vice President Biden was acting as a messenger of official White House policy. That this was also the policy of numerous other entities, including the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank because they believed Shokin was doing too little in fighting internal corruption. That Shokin wasnt even a real threat to any investigation against Zlochevsky/Burisma because he had essentially abandoned efforts in that pre-existing investigation.
Just a handy reference for reporting about Shokinnot from 2019 or 2023, when Republican spin on the subject beganbut from 2016, when Shokin was actually fired and there was no hint of controversy at all to the story.
First of all, we know the State Department under President Obama wanted Shokin gone:
In addition, Western officials pushed for months for the resignation of Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin, who was accused of being incapable of reforming his office, seen as one of the country's most corrupt.
Shokin stepped down in February on the same day that Ukraine's parliament narrowly defeated a no-confidence vote in Yatsenyuk's government.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the latest installment of its $40 billion aid program, which has been instrumental in stabilizing Ukraine's anemic economy, could be held up unless changes are made.
"Every week that Ukraine drifts internally, that reform is stalled, IMF and international support goes undisbursed, and those in and outside the country who preferred the old Ukraine grow more confident," Nuland said on March 15.
We also know the European Union wanted Shokin gone:
The European Union has welcomed the dismissal of Ukraine's scandal-ridden prosecutor general and called for a crackdown on corruption, even as the country's political crisis deepened over efforts to form a new ruling coalition and appoint a new prime minister.
Ukraine's parliament voted overwhelmingly to fire Viktor Shokin, ridding the beleaguered prosecutor's office of a figure who is accused of blocking major cases against allies and influential figures and stymying moves to root out graft.
As did the International Monetary Fund (IMF):
The president has come under pressure at home and internationally for refusing to replace a long-time loyalist, Viktor Shokin, as chief prosecutor. Mr Shokin has been criticised for failing to bring to justice any of the snipers who killed dozens of protesters in central Kiev in the final days of the revolution, and for dragging his feet over investigating senior officials and businesspeople. Taras Kuzio, a Ukrainian political analyst, tweeted that the crunch is coming for President Poroshenko who has to choose between finally supporting anti-corruption efforts or losing IMF money.
Other NGOs also calling for Shokins ouster included the Atlantic Council:
1. The main priority is reform of the prosecution and courts. Ukraine adopted a law on prosecution, but Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin managed to take control of the reform process, minimizing the change. Shokin has to go and the reform of the prosecution needs to start anew under new leadership. Similarly, the countrys 10,000 judges need to be lustrated and new judges appointed in a reformed court system.
Now, notably in the face of such a rebuttal, certain persons on the Right have nonetheless insisted that, no, Shokin actually was investigating Burisma at the time he was fired and therefore was somehow a threat to Joe/Hunter Biden. Of course, this doesnt explain everyone else wanting Shokin gone. But even this is blatantly false.
The fact was, Shokin had done next to nothing in terms of the Zlochevsky/Burisma investigation. Shokin took office on February 10, 2015 and remained in office until March 29, 2016. The only action on the Zlovhecsky/Burisma front during this time period was a seizure order of Zlochevskys assets. However, that order was actually entered on February 2, 2015by Shokins predecessor eight days before Shokin actually took office. Zlochevsky appealed that order in the courts. It was tentatively struck down by the courts on December 25, 2015 but then reinstated by the courts on January 27, 2016, with the order being published on February 4, 2016. The most important thing to know about this is that Shokin himself had nothing to do with any of itit was all initiated by his predecessor and then fought over in the courts. And theres no evidence Shokin himself had done anything productive at all regarding either Zlochevsky or Burisma during his roughly 1 year in office.
People on the right have disingenuously claimed the February 4, 2016 published order reinstating the asset seizure was somehow the work of Shokin. It was not; it was simply a reinstatement of the February 2, 2015 asset seizure initiated by Shokins predecessor.
This is all laid out quite well by the Washington Post (possible paywall):
Its also discussed in detail in a 2020 House interview with former US Envoy George Kent (who testified during the first impeachment hearing):
The Right (including a recent piece by opinion columnist Miranda Devine in the worst newspaper in the country, a.k.a. The New York Post) has also cited to a couple of items of correspondence in 2015 that they claim the State Department and European Union were actually pleased with Shokins work; the actual items of correspondence reveal nothing more than some vague general compliments that were likely meant as attempts at encouraging a further crackdown of corruption; nonetheless, the subsequent statements from 2016 show that it was unequivocally clear that both the State Department and the EU felt that Shokin had ultimately failed in his mission and needed replacement.
The bottom line is that most recent lie being pushed by Republicans in favor of impeachment is nothing but a Zombie lie, long discredited but nonetheless persisting on despite its lack of any sort of truth.
Well, maybe we political nerds do.
Most ordinary Americans probably don't. Even those who were around in the 90s.
Whitewater was the byzantine, nebulous "scandal" alleged against the Clintons that lead to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor--first Robert Fiske, but subsequently the late and infamous Ken Starr.
Ask anyone what Whitewater was actually about and it's doubtful they'd tell you.
There was something about a land deal in Arkansas, a defunct savings-and-loan, bank records, billing records, and--wait, your eyes are glazing over already, right?
It all was terminally dull, confusing, and most importantly of all, didn't seem to actually implicate the Clintons in anything. The hope was that it would lead to something scintillating and shocking that would outrage Americans and turn them against President Clinton. Or at least mire them in rumor and innuendo of wrongdoing.
But nobody cared. Nobody had any sort of reason to care, because there was nothing to care about. It was the biggest non-story of non-stories.
Once Starr had commandeered the Special Prosecutor ship, he realized the Americans' complete sense of apathy towards the Whitewater story. And thus he somehow was able to parlay it from a vague, confusing two-decades old financial matter into allegations of more recent inappropriate personal behavior by President Clinton--namely the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil suit. How he managed that turn of events, I'm still not 100% sure. But nonetheless, it eventually lead to the discovery of a consensual relationship between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, which Clinton subsequently denied under oath, and in turn which Republicans ultimately used for purposes of impeachment.
That scandal Americans do remember.
Of course, the economy was absolutely roaring under President Clinton, and most Americans didn't feel the need to make an impeachment issue over what was at most a personal failing by the President.
Still, the Republicans got the impeachment of President Clinton that they had always wanted, as laughable and unpopular as it was. And despite President Clinton's obvious acquittal in the Senate, the scandal did still leave an embarrassing mark on his personal legacy.
But it wasn't over Whitewater.
It's not exactly clear what Republicans want to impeach President Biden over. They've drudged up various bank statements and made references to his son and his financial dealings. There's references to supposed shell companies and beneficiaries and money transfers and--your eyes are glazing over again, right?
This all is just Whitewater 2.0--a confusing twisted-up financial story that most likely won't reveal any actual wrongdoing by the President, and won't actually grab the attention of Americans by storm because it is neither straight-forward and simple (as was the case in Donald Trump's two impeachments) nor salacious and sexy (as it was with President Clinton's impeachment).
The bad news for Republicans in this case, however, is that there's unlikely to be a Lewinsky story at the end of the proverbial rainbow that they can massage into it in order to spice it up.
And so this, like Whitewater, will eventually disappear into the ether, never to be remembered and never to be understood.
After being indicted in Georgia for allegations of election interference in that state, former New York City Mayor and Donald Trump legal advisor Rudy Giuliani attempted to surrender himself today to officials at the security guard office for Six Flags Over Georgia, an amusement park located approximately 15 minutes outside of Atlanta.
Hello? Hello? Giuliani could be heard over the security offices closed-circuit surveillance system. Im here to turn myself in.
While Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis gave Giuliani and the 18 other defendants charged in the indictment until Friday, August 25th to surrender themselves to state law enforcement for processing, Giuliani jumped on the opportunity to attempt an alternate arrangement.
They told me I had to turn myself into the authorities down here in Georgia, Giuliani said. Well, you guys have badges and s__t, right? Hell, I figured if I had to do this, might as well do it at some place fun.
I bought myself one of those fast passes to help speed things along, he added. Best $85 I ever spent. Theres that Batman stunt show I want to check out when this is all done. Dont want to miss that!
Six Flags security personnel were reportedly miffed at Giulianis request, but attempted to humor the former mayor as best as possible.
For example, when Giuliani asked whether he would have to pose for a mugshot, security enlisted the help of a nearby caricature artist, who promptly drew up a whimsical portrayal which featured Giuliani with a cartoonishly large head riding a unicycle and holding an ice cream cone.
Finally, after processing Giuliani, security personnel presented him with a Bugs Bunny plush toy and told him he was free to go.
Giuliani, however, had one more request.
Can you tell me what place around here sells those soft pretzels? he asked. Because between you, me, and the moon here, I am famished!
DETAILS AT ELEVEN
A story I remember regarding Sidney Powell.
Back in mid-to-late November 2020, after the election had been called for Joe Biden but when the Trump team was first making waves about the "stolen" election, I recall a post on my Facebook feed. It wasn't from a friend, but rather one of those friend-of-friends. Obviously a big Trump supporter. Also a really terrible person in general, but that seems to go hand-in-hand with the prior fact.
Anyways, the post contained a picture of Sidney Powell, who I wasn't very familiar with, and an accompanying story from some right-wing source containing Powell's claims of a stolen election.
The post read something to the effect of (paraphrasing): "This is Sidney Powell. She's a highly respected attorney. If the things she's saying about the 2020 election aren't true, she could not only lose her law license, she could actually go to jail. So you have to ask yourself why would she ever put that all on the line and lie?"
Obviously, the last part was meant to be a rhetorical and not literal question, intended to insinuate that Powell would never say anything so important unless it was the God's honest truth.
And yet, here we are two and a half years later and Sidney Powell has:
1. Been proven to have spread lies about the 2020 election
2. Referred for discipline and potential disbarment in numerous jurisdictions
3. Identified as "Co-Conspirator Number 3" in the criminal indictment of Donald Trump, meaning she is at risk of being indicted herself.
Now the final question being asked remains, but it's no longer loaded or rhetorical; why would she put her reputation, career and freedom on the line to lie for Donald Trump?
An exciting presidential candidate by the name of Barack Obama is taking the country by storm. Americans everywhere are debating as to what song to use as their profile song for their Myspace Page. The Dark Knight dazzles at the box office, and a little known singer named Lady Gaga is preparing to drop her debut album.
And here at Democratic Underground, we get a message out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin from a 14 year old political wunderkind by the name of Asher Heimermann.
Or at least that's how he frames himself as being. And at first, it seems innocent and endearing. He seems just like a young kid who claims to be an Obama supporter who is raising money for Barack Obama's campaign. And most people applaud in good faith, because we like that sort of thing.
But then, the wheels seem to slowly start to come off the Asher Heimermann wagon.
Because while he claims to be doing this for Obama, he starts coming off as rather...self-absorbed.
He titles all his posts as "Comment from Asher Heimermann," as if it's some royal fiat or declaration.
He starts relentlessly pushing his own personal website and newsletter, which is all amazingly about him and only him.
And while he claims to be raising money for Obama, he's insisting that people send the money directly through him, as opposed to the campaign itself. Which probably isn't kosher in terms of campaign finance-wise. And seems mightily grifter-ish.
So some people begin to grumble and question his motives. Other people get defensive, and accuse the first camp of ganging up on a poor teenager who claims he just wants to be politically active. Fists fly. Accusations abound. Brother against brother. Father against son, and mother against daughter. Pretty soon Democratic Underground becomes all-consumed as to what do do with Asher Heimermann.
And at that point, Asher himself springs to action, and makes an important announcement to everyone on the website. He titles it "CONFERENCE CALL IN 15 MINUTES!" and demands that everyone here join him on a very important telephonic conference call where the topic will be exclusively about him and his activism and his tremendous value to the DU website.
At that point, the jig here is pretty much up for Asher, and he gets PPR'ed (or "Tombstoned" as we liked to call it back then).
The story for Asher doesn't necessarily stop there though. While he's no longer a mainstay here at DU, he continues to fashion himself a big deal in his hometown of Sheboygan.
In 2011 as a 17 year old, he runs for Sheboygan mayor. In 2012, he runs for the Wisconsin legislature. Of course, he doesn't come close to winning any of these elections, but it's enough to give him some press in the local media, the Huffington Post and even apparently on NBC's Today Show.
But what may have started out as cute when he was younger quickly turns into a local nuisance once he hits adulthood.
He decides to rig his car up with flashing lights, wear an official police-styled looking uniform, and go around to accidents in his area as self-described "Incident Response," but really would just take pictures of accidents and immediately upload them onto social media, even before families of victims can be notified.
He jumps on unfounded rumors of school shootings, creating alarm where none is warranted.
He's basically Kyle Rittenhouse--down to the Wisconsin birthright--but sans the double homicide, thankfully.
Understandably, locals are none too pleased.
But the Adult Asher Heimermann abides nonetheless.
He's created a new website titled--no joke---"The Executive Office of Asher Heimermann":
And if you read his "official bio,"--peppered with his many achievements such as being elected Freshman Class President, as well as various barbs at his former political opponents and classmates--you'll find that he claims to have long been a Republican activist since he was 10 years old, and that he claims to have supported Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
Which leads us to this very important question:
Were you playing us back in 2008, Asher? Were you?
Anyways, it's truly a train-wreck phenomenon, but still quite fascinating nonetheless: Tracking the trajectory of a malignant narcissist from adolescence all the way well into adulthood.
Profile InformationMember since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 02:49 PM
Number of posts: 42,978
- 2024 (2)
- 2023 (33)
- 2022 (32)
- 2021 (22)
- 2020 (24)
- 2019 (13)
- 2018 (17)
- 2017 (27)
- 2016 (14)
- 2015 (12)
- 2014 (15)
- 2013 (4)
- 2012 (4)