Aldous Pennyfarthing

Michelle Obama takes on Trump's electoral obstinance: 'Our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego'

I have to hand it to Michelle Obama. She's a better person than I am. (Not an especially high bar, but still.)

Today, in the wake of Donald Trump's one-manbaby poo-fling-palooza, she took pointed jabs at Trump without all the blood-letting that often accompanies such screeds.

And it amply demonstrated what a breath of fresh air the Obamas were and how much we continue to miss them.

Via Instagram:


This week, I've been reflecting a lot on where I was four years ago. Hilary Clinton had just been dealt a tough loss by a far closer margin than the one we've seen this year. I was hurt and disappointed—but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won. The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do. So my husband and I instructed our staffs to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power—one of the hallmarks of American democracy. We invited the folks from the president-elect's team into our offices and prepared detailed memos for them, offering what we'd learned over the past eight years.

I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me. Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger. That wasn't something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside. So I welcomed Melania Trump into the White House and talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had—from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it's like to raise kids in the White House.

I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody's ego. Our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don't like them or wish it had gone differently—the presidency doesn't belong to any one individual or any one party. To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories—whether for personal or political gain—is to put our country's health and security in danger. This isn't a game. So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation's leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.

Gee, imagine that. Doing the right thing even when your opponent baselessly accused your husband of being an illegitimate president … because he was Black.

All Trump has done to me is plunge me into a yawning spiritual abyss and drain the last dollops of hope from my black, bloodless knot of a heart. It's not like he ever attacked me personally, though.

This country doesn't deserve the Obamas, but we're sure glad they're still around to act as a moral compass for a nation that's listing and taking on water every day — thanks in large part to the daily tantrums of the president-eject.

Obama on Trump: 'Complaining, lying, doesn’t-take-responsibility-for-anything type of figure'

One thing I'll never understand until the day I die is how so many people ascribe "toughness" and "manliness" to Donald Trump. (I'll also never quite get how someone who clearly looks more like an adobe hut than a human being could garner so much support, but hey, one thing at a time.)

Trump is the whiniest, tiniest chirping baby bird who's ever held public office — on any level. And yet people seem to think he's a tough guy. And while I'd prefer we dispense entirely with stereotypes about how men and women "should" behave (I never quite fit in with preconceived notions about masculinity, as I'm just as likely to watch Glee as I am a Green Bay Packers game), even by conventional and outdated notions of manly behavior, Trump doesn't come close to fitting the bill.

Well, I'm not the only one who's noticed. Our 44th president is hardly impressed with his successor on this score.

In a new interview with The Atlantic, President Barack Obama assesses Trump's appeal among men, and he appears to be just as perplexed as I am:

Trump, Obama noted, is not exactly an exemplar of traditional American manhood. "I think about the classic male hero in American culture when you and I were growing up: the John Waynes, the Gary Coopers, the Jimmy Stewarts, the Clint Eastwoods, for that matter. There was a code … the code of masculinity that I grew up with that harkens back to the '30s and '40s and before that. There's a notion that a man is true to his word, that he takes responsibility, that he doesn't complain, that he isn't a bully—in fact he defends the vulnerable against bullies. And so even if you are someone who is annoyed by wokeness and political correctness and wants men to be men again and is tired about everyone complaining about the patriarchy, I thought that the model wouldn't be Richie Rich—the complaining, lying, doesn't-take-responsibility-for-anything type of figure."

Ouch.

I can only assume Obama is trying to get Trump to burst a blood vessel in his neck so he stops tweeting nonsense and gets the fuck out of Joe Biden's chair.

And while Obama didn't mention Trump specifically here — well, it's pretty obvious who he's talking about.

And, hey, I sure wouldn't mind if he keeps it up.

Scotland may look at 'serious and long-standing concerns about Trump's business activities'

What I know about money laundering is drawn almost entirely from Ozark and Office Space, so I won't try to add too much to this. But here's a little more detail from the Scotsman story McLaughlin linked to:

An UWO is a relatively new - and rarely used - power which has been designed to target suspected corrupt foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through the UK.
The mechanism, introduced in 2018, is an attempt to force the owners of assets to disclose their wealth. If a suspected corrupt foreign official, or their family, cannot show a legitimate source for their riches, then authorities can apply to a court to seize the property.
Mr Trump and the Trump Organisation have always stressed that they did not require any outside financing for their Scottish resorts.

The 2024 election begins now, and our first order of business should be ensuring Trump can't vie for another term. A mob boss can run his crime organization from jail, and Donald Trump managed to "run" the country from his toilet — but prison is another story.

And, man oh man, if Scotland seized his golf courses, I might have to start believing in God again.

One can dream, right?

This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry." — Bette Midler on Aldous J. Pennyfarthing, via Twitter. The first history of the Trump error is complete! Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump is hot off the presses! Along with Dear F*cking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump, Dear Pr*sident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Letters to Donald Trump, you'll see the Trump years from a hilarious new perspective. Click those links, yo!

NY Post reporter refused to allow his byline on flawed Hunter Biden story: NYT

We've all seen this absurd Hunter Biden October "surprise" story by now.

In short, it makes no sense. A mystery figure dropped off a wet laptop at a Delaware computer shop, didn't leave his name, and never picked it up. It had all sorts of incriminating info on it, as well as a Beau Biden Foundation sticker. Uh huh. Because that's ordinary human behavior. And somehow Rudy Giuliani, who's been searching high and low for Hunter Biden dirt, got hold of it. And in no way is this the kind of Russian disinformation campaign the White House received a warning about just last year — a warning that specifically noted Giuliani's gullibility, by the way.

Well, it gets worse. One of the original authors of the story refused to put his byline on it because, well, he smelled bullshit.

The New York Times:

The New York Post's front-page article about Hunter Biden on Wednesday was written mostly by a staff reporter who refused to put his name on it, two Post employees said.
Bruce Golding, a reporter at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid since 2007, did not allow his byline to be used because he had concerns over the article's credibility, the two Post employees said, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation.

Well, that's some interesting information they neglected to share.

As deadline approached, editors pressed staff members to add their bylines to the story — and at least one aside from Mr. Golding refused, two Post journalists said. A Post spokeswoman had no comment on how the article was written or edited.

So who got the byline? Well, that's an interesting story. The lead author of the piece was Emma-Jo Morris, a former associate producer for the always scrupulous Sean Hannity. And, whoa, she never had a byline in The Post before. Her co-author? Gabrielle Fonrouge, who's been with the newspaper since 2014. And that's an interesting story, too.

Ms. Fonrouge had little to do with the reporting or writing of the article, said three people with knowledge of how it was prepared. She learned that her byline was on the story only after it was published, the people said.

Rudy Giuliani is not mentally all there, and yet The New York Post staked its reputation — such as it is — on the melange of coffee breath molecules and gross loose skin that comprise his essence.

Just shows you how desperate they've become.

Let's support Joe, and let's make sure we give him a Democratic Senate.

We have them on the run. Let's drown them in the river.

Former West Wing official on POTUS COVID: 'It’s as if the campaign ended yesterday'

The redoubtable Gabriel Sherman has a post-POTUS-COVID dispatch from the wondrous, maskless land of the West Wing, where no one ever gets sick from a coronavirus that's already killed more than 200,000 Americans.

(Guess this all makes sense. Washington, D.C., is a blue jurisdiction, and the administration doesn't really care about such places.)

Oh, and hey! We probably won't have to watch another train wreck of a debate. Isn't that nice?

Vanity Fair:

Campaign advisers are also gaming out how Trump's COVID diagnosis will play out with only 32 days left until the election. Sources I spoke with are doubtful the next two debates will happen. "There really can be nothing for 14 days. It's as if the campaign ended yesterday," a second former West Wing official told me. Republicans close to Trump are discussing what kind of message Trump should put out that might limit the political damage. "He could come out and say, 'Look, I had COVID and it wasn't that bad. It just shows that I'm strong and we should open up the country,'" the former West Wing official said. "He could make a mockery of it."

He could. Because this asshole can't stop being an asshole now. The best he can hope for for the next couple of weeks is being a sick asshole.

Oh, and Hope Hicks, who tested positive before Trump did, can't be happy with her boss's blasé attitude toward everyone else's well-being:

Meanwhile, Hicks has experienced more pronounced symptoms than the president. Two sources said she has had a high fever and a cough, with one source adding she lost her sense of smell. Hicks is said to be frustrated with Trump for taking such a cavalier approach to the virus. She was one of the few West Wing staffers to wear a mask in meetings, which her colleagues chided her for. "She was made fun of because she wore a mask," a friend said. Sources told me Hicks is also upset that news coverage has made it appear that she gave Trump the virus, when in fact no one knows where he got it. "It's so unfair she's sort of being blamed," the friend told me.

Well, Trump will never blame himself. Sorry, Hope. COVID can be a bastard to recover from, especially when you're trying to do it under a bus.

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Last night and this morning, I felt like crawling into a hole for the next 40 days or so. And not a deep hole. I didn’t have the energy or joie de vivre for a deep hole. It would have been a shallow hole. Barely a hole at all. Really, I would have just lay down in the dirt until my DNA fused to the worms’ and slugs’ and grasses’ much more upbeat genetic material.

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