Three Things: This Week’s Massive Dickhead Award Goes To…

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

This last week was bad. We were swamped with dickheads, more so than usual, and some of them bigger dickheads than the usual fare.

There are so many it’s worth assessing who was the champion dickhead this week.

Below are my top three. Tell us in comments who you’d have picked for this week’s Massive Dickhead Award.

~ 3 ~

WINNER: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R, NC-10)

This asshat became the Acting House Speaker after the ultra-fascist faction of the GOP House Caucus led by Matt Ephebophile Gaetz forced the feckless Kevin McCarthy out of the speaker’s role.

McHenry chose to come out swinging rather than settling calmly and rationally into the speakership.

Within hours of McCarthy’s removal, McHenry booted Nancy Pelosi out of her office while she was out of D.C. escorting Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s body back to California. She was not accorded a reasonable amount of time to attend the funeral service and return to D.C. to clean out her office.

He then blew off the Congressional delegation in need of air transportation to California for Feinstein’s funeral.

…the House Republican leadership did not allow a plane to transport the late Senator’s colleagues from DC to SFO. After the late Senator passed, Rep. Zo Lofgren contacted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to request air transportation for colleagues to attend the memorial service.

This is a courtesy any delegation is traditionally afforded to allow members to travel together to honor a member who passed away. But, Rep. Lofgren, who’s the delegation representative, never heard back from McCarthy. According to Thompson, she made the same request of Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry but also didn’t get a response.

“It’s just sad commentary on the House Republican leadership where they wouldn’t allow a plane to come back so her colleagues can pay tribute to this great legislator, great Senator remarkable leader,” Thompson said. “I’m assuming some people will not be able to make it because of that.”

Sloppy if not arrogantly thoughtless. A slap at the state which is the fifth largest economy in the world, with the largest congressional delegation, as if McHenry doesn’t think anything of winning Democratic seats in California.

There have been 39 representatives and senators who’ve died in office since 2000, and at no time has there been such a pointed dickishness toward the congressional delegation traveling to funeral services, regardless of the political party in control of the House or Senate.

But this is McHenry’s SOP, has been since at least 2008. He demonstrated his sloppy thoughtless arrogance then:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon told a North Carolina lawmaker Tuesday that he couldn’t re-air a video he’d shot in Baghdad after accusations surfaced that he breached operational security in detailing enemy rocket attacks.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, a Republican, traveled to Iraq with other lawmakers for the first time on March 22. The video was the second incident stemming from that trip that has drawn unwanted attention to McHenry. Earlier, he was criticized for berating a guard in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone for not allowing him into a gym there because the congressman did not have the proper identification credential.

The new criticism stems from a video that was featured on his Web site last Friday. Shot in the Green Zone, it showed McHenry gesturing to a building behind him and saying that one of 11 rockets “hit just over my head.” Then he named two other places struck by the rockets.

As in 2008, his unthinking reflexive behavior is a sign McHenry is not capable of governance, only peevish pettiness which pisses on the American public and their needs for rational effective government.

Our country deserves and needs better than massive dickheads who believe owning the libs is the job for which the American public pays them. It’d be nice to think the GOP thinks so, too, but they actually allowed McHenry to pull this bullshit and spit on congressional comity at a time when it’s most needed to negotiate a budget. Thanks to North Carolina’s persistent partisan gerrymandering, the GOP ensures both NC-10 and the country are stuck with this prize-winning jerk, at least through the 2024 election.

~ 2 ~

SECOND PLACE: Vladimir Putin

Killing 50 civilians including a child with a missile, wiping out half the village of Hroza while its residents interred a loved one is both a war crime and the height of dickishness.

Way to win hearts and minds, Pooty, you kidnapper and murderer of children.

You’d think he’d have learned something from U.S. errors in places like Iraq and Afghanistan but nope. He just doubles down on his criminality.

Added asshole-ishness: this agitprop trying to stir up shit between the U.S. and Israel immediately after the attack by Hamas.

Unlike Putin, POTUS can walk and chew gum, isn’t hiding in their ill-gotten fortress of solitude, and isn’t obsessed with toxic nostalgia for the past like the decades-plus effort to restore the USSR.

The U.S. also has a defense budget larger which makes Russia’s look like nothing – we can manage more than one challenge.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? All Russia has in its arsenal is cheap influence operations amplified by cringelords?

Speaking of cringelords…

~ 1 ~

THIRD PLACE: Elon Musk

Why this guy bothers with American citizenship is beyond me given his reluctance to respect its government.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday sought to force Elon Musk to sit for a deposition as part of an ongoing investigation about his purchase of Twitter, now known as X.

The SEC said Musk failed to appear for testimony as required by a May subpoena despite agreeing to show up last month at the SEC’s office in San Francisco.

Musk waited until two days before the scheduled date to notify the SEC he would not appear, regulators said. They’re now seeking a court order to force Musk to comply.

Musk’s response this week was pure DARVO:

Elon Musk called for an overhaul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday, the same day the agency sued him in an effort to compel him to testify about his purchase of Twitter, the platform now known as X.

“A comprehensive overhaul of these agencies is sorely needed, along with a commission to take punitive action against those individuals who have abused their regulatory power for personal and political gain. Can’t wait for this to happen,” Musk wrote on X in response to news of the SEC suing him.

So predictable: deny the abuse, reverse victim-abuser order. Poor Musk is the victim, won’t somebody deal with the mean old SEC?

The acquisition of Twitter by this narcissistic git very much needs investigation. As noted previously, Musk was so desperate to avoid Delaware’s Chancery Court after he sued to stop his acquisition last year that he threw in the towel and proceeded to buy Twitter.

What is it that Musk doesn’t want revealed in public record?

An alleged proponent of free speech, Musk appears to have shrugged off an egregious persecution of civil rights though it’s his platform which has been at the heart of the Saudis’ charges and death sentence against Saudi citizen Mohammad Alghamdi for their tweets.

Besides blowing off the SEC’s subpoena and blowing off free speech, Musk also managed to both screw up his own company’s product and spit in the face of media outlets which have continued to bolster the sagging social media platform.

Musk decided headlines make tweets look bad so he’s had them removed. Before the change if a news outlet included a link to a news article in their post, the article’s headline would appear next to an image served from the link so that users would know what the link was about and the tweeter could add a prefacing blurb in the tweet’s body.

Now the user must allocate their post’s text to adding a headline. Jay Peters at The Verge does a better job of explaining the problem (red markup mine on image below):

In short, Musk stiffed news media the most with this move which he claims improves the platform’s aesthetics.

Ri-ight. Because all the white supremacists and TERFs and other haters don’t damage the platform at all.

Bloomberg’s finally coming around about the moral argument against the former bird app, but it’s infuriating they can’t see the business argument is right there, too, thanks to Musk’s constant degradation of service.

What happens when journalists are targeted by intelligence operatives because Musk has decided maintaining privacy of personal data shared with the former Twitter is now an inconvenience, or that data is just another fungible to be harvested without regard to users’ privacy and security and the FTC’s consent decree?

~ 0 ~

Honorable Mention:

Matt Gaetz, because a pumpkin has more smarts and savvy than this shit stirrer who launched the ouster of Kevin McCarthy thereby setting McHenry loose to be a bigger dick than usual.

At some point we need to call Gaetz and his wrecking crew anarchists because that’s what they are – they don’t give a fuck about the republic and keeping it, they just want to destroy it.

Let’s hope this next week we run into fewer dickheads.

Who’s on your list of Massive Dickheads from this past week? Who has screwed over more people and undermined democracy in a big way? Share your nominees in comments.

This is an open thread.

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194 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    A side note: I am fully aware that I’ll get trashed for using the lable anarchist for Gaetz and his ilk versus nihilist.

    Gaetz and his cohort want to abolish this democracy and replace it with a fascist autocracy. A plan for a Christianist autocracy has been in the works since the early 1980s and the emergence of the Council for National Policy. They may be serving up death but it’s death to those who do not subscribe and submit to their white supremacist view of the world. Were Gaetz et al true nihilists they’d seek death to all — but nope, they very much want their own asses saved and in complete control and they’re comfortable using state-sanctioned violence to their ends.

    As for the anarchist left: what is it being built to replace what is being torn down? Where’s the left’s contra-CNP?

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Thank you for the clarification. I think finding the right term for Gaetz, et.al. is important and challenging. The best I can come up with is that they think they’re the shock troops for the fascists and the fascists see them as cannon fodder. Cf. Madison Cawthorn.

      As for the “contra-CNP”, I’d expected to look more like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee than the CNP.

      • Rayne says:

        In re: naming Gaetz group — if the left doesn’t name them effectively and use it consistently in a narrative, the anti-Trump faction can’t segregate themselves from them without drawing fire from the rest of the GOP on themselves. We’re going to have to give them a ladder out since they can’t figure out how to do it themselves.

        I can see an new SNCC; I’ve been hoping a new Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) emerges. There are a number of youth-led groups which might yet form an umbrella — like David Hogg with March For Our Lives and Gen-Z for Change which Olivia Julianna left recently.

        • JimmyAnderson says:

          Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark, labels Gaetz coterie as “the Jackel Caucus” – seems appropriate .

    • harpie says:

      Rayne: Gaetz and his cohort want to abolish this democracy and replace it with a fascist autocracy.

      William Ockham: they think they’re the shock troops for the fascists and the fascists see them as cannon fodder

      These two thoughts give me an excuse to share this, which is part of the mass of vague notions of possible connections swirling around in my head recently.

      America needs to talk about the right’s ‘Red Caesar’ plan for U.S. dictatorship “Thought leaders” of the far right talk openly about a 2025 dictatorship. People need to be alarmed. https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/red-caesar-right-american-dictatorship-20231005.html Will Bunch Oct. 5, 2023

      I would nominate Steve BANNON a “Dick for All Weeks”.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Oh, Stevie Bannon definitely qualifies, as do his patrons and those of every other dickhead. The Red Caesar plan, for example, is overt Fascism. It blames the left for corruption so bad, govt has to be torn down and replaced with a new Caesar, to run an overt American Empire.

        I wonder if its proponents have thought through the incessant, byzantine, and murderous palace intrigue that plagued the often short administrations of those Caesars.

        • JimmyAnderson says:

          Why….. of course they have.

          Imagine all those eyeballs and clicks.

          Take in the opportunity for grift.

          After all – those leopards never ate my face.

      • ExRacerX says:

        *dingdingding*

        We have a winner!

        Bonus: A phallus wearing multiple collared shirts is surely more visually offensive than one wrapped in a bowtie.

        Re: “Red Caesar,” if the Red Emperor has no clothes, a certain “mushroom with yeti pubes” crowned with olive leaves over its golden combover springs to my mind’s eye.

        Okay, gotta go wash my brain now.

      • Tom-1812 says:

        I think they’d soon have problems with the word “Caesar” judging by the number of diners and greasy-spoon restaurants I’ve seen over the years advertising “Ceasar Salad”. Better go with “Red Czar” or “Tsar”. Minimize the syllable count.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Trump the terrorist leader trumps all of them. Gaetz and Bannon made themselves tools in hopes of serving their own ends. Trump’s end is trump, towering over all forever, and he fully embraced violence as a means to this end years ago.

        Because he is a coward that violence must be done by contractors, but those seem plentiful and willing to perform for no pay.

        Most disturbing: that a once-major political party has also embraced terror as a central strategy. This is not a joke anymore, if it ever was.

    • scroogemcduck says:

      Interesting. I think there are anarchists in the MAGA coalition (Steve Bannon for example) and nihilists (McConnell and the others who believe only in power) and authoritarians, and also a few fascists. There are precious few small d democrats.

      • Rayne says:

        Bannon has claimed he’s a Leninist but when he’s described his beliefs he’s closer to a Ledeen-ian universal fascist, those who subscribe to creative destruction and the opportunities for sowing their brand of fascism in its wake. Bannon could give a shit about the working class except as a means to an end.

        • MsJennyMD says:

          “I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too.”
          Steve Bannon

        • KathyS EastEuropean says:

          Lenin also didn’t give a sh*t for the working class, just like Bannon. USSR was a totalitarian military regime whose leaders planned to conquer the whole world through “international revolution of the proletariat”. The problem was that in October 1917 there was no working class aka proletariat in the Russian Empire. There was serfdom, the most cruel serfdom ever, in the whole world during the whole period of the Middle Ages.

          And Lenin & Stalin started to “create” “working class” through “the collectivization of the land”, the “free peasants” worked only for a piece of bread almost till WWII, no salary, no pensions. The 2 Golodomors were intentional, the agriculture was providing money for the military industry through exports of grain, “no need to feed the peasants, no food for them, they are too many, we will change them with tractors, let them die”. The “industrialization, electrification… etc.” was a creation of military factories or factories and plants, supporting the military one.

          That’s why they could not produce even soap or shoes, everyday commodities were deficient, there were periods when there was no soap and washing powder in the shops. Soap with rations and coupons, bread in a village only with coupons.

          Believe me, I have lived in this totalitarian regime till my 25th year, my grandma lived in a village, the vacations I spent there. She used to send me to the village shop to wait for 2 hours in a queue for the milk to arrive, twice a week, only 2 times in a week some milk was supplied. There was a restriction how much milk one can buy, 2 l for instance and just that! In a village. If someone is in front of the queue, they can have some milk, but often the last one got nothing. My grandpa used to keep 5 sheep, in order to have some own milk and some cheese, it was forbidden to sell sheep’s milk if it was too much for us but a neighbor needs some or even to sell some chicken eggs.
          The “Revolution of the Proletariat” was “let’s make several million tanks and reach Normandy with them”. All was lies. That’s why the USSR collapsed, no inventions, oppressed people do not invent, they do not work, everyone lies because it’s safer to lie than to tell the truth. The regime ran out of money in the 80s. And the military balloon imploded.

          [Moderator’s note: Blank line returns have been added to improve readability. A paragraph end tag/return is not enough to space between paragraphs. Please also keep in mind optimum comment length is 100-300 words; the long the comment, the more likely readers on mobile devices will scroll by and not read. /~Rayne]

    • ducktree says:

      No mention of Netanyahu? The Palestinians have been suffering his war of attrition for generations.

      • BirdGardener says:

        I saw your post last night, and could not find the words to respond. I have never supported Netanyahu, quite the opposite. But—the day after the deliberate slaughter of hundreds of civilians and the deliberate triggering of an all-out war that is likely to slaughter thousands more, (& when there have been street demonstrations celebrating this slaughter!)—how is this a good time to say ‘Netanyahu is a dickhead too!’? I’m sure you don’t mean this, but in the context of both what’s happening now and world history, it can come across as ‘these attacks on civilians were deserved.’ Not what you said or meant, but it is what others are saying and meaning—and that’s how your post hit me.

        If it helps anyone understand—the day after 9/11, did you react by calling Bush a dickhead, or were you caught up in the horror of what was happening?

        The quoted bit of this is from Rayne, below, because she said it better than I can manage: it would help if you could keep in mind the “emotional and psychic complexity for folks who are related to communities in conflict.”

        I sincerely apologize if I have expressed myself offensively.

        • Rayne says:

          Consider the fact Haaretz published an op-ed which said Netanyahu bore part of the blame for the attack. There’s a direct link and a link through archive.ph in this comment thread to that op-ed. In essence, Israelis think Netanyahu is a dickhead.

          Consider also Netanyahu also pushed for a “reform” of the judiciary which drew massive protests because the “reform” would create a court more hardline right than our SCOTUS. It looks like a gross abuse of power since Netanyahu had been indicted for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in 2019 and cases against him are still not wrapped up.

          You point to 9/11, but you must also recall the rise of the anti-Muslim surveillance state which rose almost immediately in its aftermath in tandem with illegitimate military action, costing the US at least a trillion dollars over time. Bush-Cheney certain made dickheads out of themselves with their opportunism. Bush-Cheney continued to use the terror alert system in 2004 to influence public opinion ahead of their re-election. Dicks, the both of them.

          All of this is familiar territory to the U.S. — a deadly terror attack used to excuse war and to change public opinion. But imagine a corrupt former leader using such an attack to change the subject from their corruption.

          Netanyahu is a dickhead. He was one long before Hamas’ attack. It’s a reasonable concern he’ll use the horror to become an even bigger dickhead, because doubling down on bloodshed while committing war crimes like starving Gaza of food, water, and medical help is massively dickish and will only increase radicalization in Palestine. In calling Netanyahu a dickhead I sympathize with Israelis who are fed up with his corruption and with Palestinians who have simply had enough.

  2. scroogemcduck says:

    Can’t argue with those three, but I feel the need to mention McHenry’s bow-tie. I knew nothing about him, but as soon as I saw a picture of him with his ridiculous bow-tie, I just knew he was going to be a complete dickhead.

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah. What is it about bow ties when not worn as part of formal wear? You just know he’s always worn one as a right-wing virtue signal — “Look at me, I’m a massive dickhead!” like that jackass Tucker Carlson.

  3. OldTulsaDude says:

    The U.S. has become the script for a Hope-Crosby movie: 🎼We’re on the road to Venezuela🎼🎬

  4. bbleh8ch says:

    Hmm, seems like we got three different weight classes here. Pootie-Poot is a (an?) HISTORICAL-level dickhead. Kinda hard to compete with a guy who’s got a second-world army doing his dirty work. Melon(head) Usk is definitely world-class, but comparatively he’s a flash in the (bed)pan. Maybe responsible for some hundreds of deaths, but nothing like Vova. And McHenry’s just a run-of-the-mill authoritarian dickhead who temporarily has power to abuse, although admittedly he’s made the most of it. But he probably hasn’t killed anybody (loser!).

    Vova and Melon are gonna be around a while. And the first word that sprang to mind when I read about him ousting Pelosi was “dickhead.” So for a weekly award, I’ll give it to him. Almost punching above his weight he is.

    • Rayne says:

      McHenry is fucking up the country’s ability to respond to short-term crises and long-term issues like the budget. Which means he’s fucking with the ability to fund EVERYTHING this country does including aid to Ukraine.

      Is Vlad a goddamned horror show? Yes. Has been since he killed Russians to assure he became president in 1999. But this country can’t address the ongoing crisis he’s causing in Ukraine if McHenry can’t lead his caucus effectively and to do what’s best for the U.S. and NATO.

      Elmo is the amplifier for both of these major assholes.

      • bbleh8ch says:

        Hmm, thought you were asking for votes. My mistake I guess.

        That said, McHenry has no power to “lead” in anything except proceedings to elect a Speaker, and even there he only serves as chair. He can’t call votes, he can’t bring legislation to the floor, he can’t even get rules passed. And I don’t know that a week’s time-out on a Speaker election (during which horse-trading is proceeding apace btw) is hamstringing the country very much; arguably it’ll be faster to separate them and let them cool off a bit.

        • Rayne says:

          The continuing resolution expires on November 17. McHenry has already had the power to position the GOP as open to doing the work required but even right-wing talking heads like Charlie Kirk say the GOP’s lost control of the narrative on budget. McHenry owns a big part of that at 5 weeks from D-Day.

          • bbleh8ch says:

            The first sentence is undeniable; the others are highly debatable. (Personally I give it somewhere around even odds that they’ll kick the can again.)

            However, I REFUSE to budge from my initial position that this is all in good fun. For more serious political debate (which implies nothing about its absolute seriousness), I engage frequently at LGM. Cheers!

        • SilverWolf501 says:

          McHenry did not even have the power to oust Nancy Pelosi from her office and the push-back was not adequate. IMHO

  5. rattlemullet says:

    My vote is for the entire Republican Party, for the obviously reason they’re collectively a sack full of dicks. They are a cult of liars, they denier reality, cruel to their fellow Americans and are endangering on a daily basis the Constitution.

  6. Legonaut says:

    A current-affairs take on the trolley problem. Is it just about the lives ended/impacted this week, or the potential future impact on lives for dick moves in the present? What of dickishness a year ago that’s paying off just now?

    That’s the problem with full-scale dickishness — they’re never dicks for just a week.

    • Rayne says:

      Who was the Massive Dickhead of the Week a year ago? Pooty was a major dickhead then, too, but he’s been a dick for +20 years. Because he’s so persistently dickish it’s worth noting when he’s exceptionally so.

  7. Datnotdat says:

    Rayne, I agree with your opponents. I think nihilists is a better term for these dickheads. I think anarchists imagine the “control” most of us feel is needed for society to function can come from within each person, that it doesn’t need to come from a government. Nihilist, on the other hand (I believe) don’t want any “control” externally or internally. The only thing they want is all their fantasies indulged. They see the Public Health Dept. might occasionally deny their fantasy, so smash the Public Health Dept. The see the FBI deny their fantasy, so smash the FBI. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    When you point out to an anarchist there are other people in the world, they say, “No problem. We can make it work.” (They don’t deny that other people exist. They deny that the problem of other people can only be solved with a government.) When you point out to a nihilist there are other people in the world, their response is “No there aren’t.” Nihilist can see other human bodies in the world, what they can’t see is that those other bodies deserve anything, that those other bodies might have some valid claims on their nihilistic selves. For example, in our current situation, nihilists can’t see that other peoples votes should count. (In my taxonomy I’ve made nihilist and fascist two objects that are nearly coterminous.)

    There are objects and attitudes in our world that should be “smashed”, but when your response to every problem is “smash it” then you are a nihilist.

    • Rayne says:

      Your argument about control as the differentiation between anarchists and nihilists doesn’t work. The far right wants control, they just don’t want everyone have control of their lives. But perhaps cis-het white males don’t recognize this the way women/persons of color/LGBTQ+/disabled do because lived experiences have become so widely different.

      Example: My daughter and I are worried about my daughter taking business trips to red states while pregnant, and what saying no to those trips might mean for her career; I’m worried about getting her reproductive care in an emergency without both of us being prosecuted by a state government. My husband and son aren’t experiencing those kinds of concerns at all.

      Anarchists have brought us to this schism. Nihilists are the ones on the sidelines who refuse to vote, both sidesing everything, saying fuck you all.

      • Datnotdat says:

        Rayne,
        it’s easy to empathize with your daughter and all who love her at the prospect of her traveling to a red state. I don’t find, however, that this example elucidates why you feel anarchist is a better term than nihilist for the dickheads that are the focus of your post.

        • Peterr says:

          “The only thing they want is all their fantasies indulged.”

          This is where your nihilist/anarchist language falls apart. They *do* want an FBI, but they don’t want it to go after them — just their enemies. They wanted the FBI to lock up Hillary over her emails. They want the FBI to go after Hunter Biden over his laptop. They want a strong FBI to take down their foes, and a sufficiently-controlled FBI to leave their lawbreaking alone.

        • ExRacerX says:

          We might try employing the Big Lebowski standard:

          Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?

          Walter: No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

  8. magbeth4 says:

    While I share the stated sentiments, I must express my dismay at the choice of language to describe these people with unfortunate characteristics and behavior. I must defend the English language which has a full repertoire of wonderful words with which to describe despicable behavior. Crass obscenities just don’t do the best job of putting these people in their place as destroyers of decent political behavior. One would have to look at the still masters of the English language, the English, for such talents.

    This website has a large number of obviously brilliant readers, many of whom, by their language, must be college graduates with some holding law degrees, a qualification which generally means one has learned how to use language well. When such people “get in the gutter” they lose their credibility as intelligent beings. The perfect take down of someone who deserves it, deserves a well-chosen description, not a gutter “belch.”.

    When we use gutter language, we reduce ourselves to the level of those we seek to criticize.
    So, please try to rise above the hoi-poloi and use your brilliant brains, creatively.

    As for my take on Mr. McHenry and his bow ties. There is never anything wrong with wearing a bow tie, except the person’s behavior while wearing one. His pettiness is apparently his operating mojo. Where as, Putin is evil incarnate. Period. Now for Mr. Musk…he will self-destruct as all ego-maniacs do, eventually. Mr. Trump is an example for him to ponder.( End of language rant.)

      • JimmyAnderson says:

        Of course.

        And yet you often post to denigrate and castigate those here, who refer to DJT with a derogatory ‘nick-name’ – and we are instructed to defer to your undoubted extensive experience and knowledge of what is acceptable and tolerated on this site.

        I wonder which extant is it that we are extolled to adhere to BMAZ?

    • Rayne says:

      You’re entitled to your opinion but you can get bent on policing language by contributors here. We have always had potty mouths here and we’re not going to stop now.

      Think about what you’re objecting to in this post: not the assholes who damage democracy, not a child murderer, not a fascist Nazi enabler, but the goddamned language used about them.

      They’re dickheads. They aren’t using grey matter or their hearts. They’re thinking with little more than engorged tissue.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        The terms are entirely appropriate. In our house, we refer to DJT only as Dickhead. Putzy Pimp for Vlad. The Great Flatulator for Jordan. This nomenclature emerged totally organically.

        C-SPAN should put tea party GOP party affiliation as (AA) instead of (R): Anarchist Assholes. YMMV.

      • magbeth4 says:

        The language used in this post only adds to the violence of our political scene. We, as liberal, intelligent people who abhor all things “Trump-ian,” “Jordan-ian,” “McHenry-ian,” “Musk-ian”, Republican (as the Party is now constituted) might consider that violent, nasty language weakens our arguments against Tyranny,
        against Insurrectionists, against bigotry, hate for “the Other,” and all the other evils we listen to every day. There is nothing wrong with saying we abhor certain people because of their actions which affect millions of people, and, if you are of the Generation which is comfortable with crude epithets, you have every right to say whatever you want to say. But, you reveal a certain meanness of spirit to criticize someone who may agree with your displeasure of the nasty people in a certain political Party. I am offended, personally by the ugliness, overall. I come here because I respect
        Wheeler. In the future, I shall reserve my time for her posts which add to my knowledge and help me to understand legal procedures.
        She does so with a grace of language and brilliance.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol. Thanks. I do not give a flying fuck about your “time”. But if you want to “reserve your time”, as you profess, maybe give some time spent with people who actually go to courts and do that as to “legal procedures”.

          And, “violence”? Really? Reserve away. Do not waste our time though.

        • ExRacerX says:

          “She does so with a grace of language and brilliance.”

          …not to mention her “legendary potty mouth.”

        • BirdGardener says:

          “…if you are of the Generation which is comfortable with crude epithets…”

          ??? Every generation has people who are comfortable with profanity, and people who are not. Thinking of literature across the ages, I recall characters from both camps, even during puritanical periods.

          Personally, I’m tired of generation-linked caricatures (that’s what these over-broad assessments are). I heard them when I was young and thought they were bizarre; I hear them now when I’m old and they’re still caricatures, just with new cohorts inserted into each part of the eternal complaining between generations.

          Meh!

          • bmaz says:

            Yes, meh indeed. I grew up around sports. And then in the defense attorney world, which basically makes sailors on shore leave look like pikers. We are who we are here on this blog, and will likely stay the same. Take care of yourselves, we will do the same.

    • LadyHawke says:

      How about some extremely polite obscenity from the other side of the pond:
      Lily Allen’s “F*ck You (Very Very Much)”? (Not going to chance messing up a link to the YouTube here, but easy to find.) I’ve been singing it in my head lately whenever I see these republicans or Musk.

    • pablointhegazebo says:

      Way back in 1966 I was a draftee in basic training in Ft. Dix. Cold and crappy. Our drill sergeant, perhaps because of my height, referred to me continually as Little Dickhead. He kept it up. By the end of our training if it wasn’t as obvious to us as it was to him, we were all going to Vietnam. He called me Little Dickhead with a smile, because it was all he could do to try to keep me safe. I have no problem with the phrase; I don’t regard it as a pejorative.

    • ernesto1581 says:

      There is no need to append the definite article to “hoi poloi” nor should it be hyphenated.

    • NickBarnes says:

      If you think we English are less profane in our language than our trans-Atlantic cousins, I’m guessing you don’t know many of us. The English (and our neighbours) have raised creative profanity to a poetic art. The same goes for those of us with higher degrees. Nobody swears better, more filthily, or more elegantly, than an English PhD.

      • ExRacerX says:

        Agreed—plenty to go around. The most obvious difference is the go-to genitalia-based insult.

        In the USA, they call me a dick; in the British Isles, I’m invariably a cunt.

      • Rayne says:

        LOL yes, all of that.

        Away, you starvelling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish!
        Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

        But should I use instead the King’s English and call each of these rapscallions “whoreson zed” it wouldn’t do the job. It would dilute the effect because Americans don’t learn epithets like “whoreson” and I need to speak American English to represent the American perspective.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Love the title, post and comments. Salty language has been out of whack for eons. It’s about time systemic bias gets an adjustment to be inclusive for men. Even words or phrases like “bastard” or “son of a bitch” misplace where the emphasis should be. Why should women have to be any part of that? Dicks and dickheads are fully responsible for their behavior. Shift blaming in the existing language is a deficit. I say, let’s get rid of the old terminology and embrace a more accurate set of circumstances. And, while we’re at it, maybe a few more terms should be added, just to balance out the over abundance on one side and the lack of terminology on the other.

    • iamevets says:

      Kurt Vonnegut spoke about this–how he didn’t swear because swearing was overused and in his view often depicted a laziness of language and messages being lost due to the overuse of graphic language. (probably not the most accurate statement his statements but that was the gist of what i took away from it.

      And for a long time i never sore in honor of this idea and of Vonnegut.

      But.

      There is a time and a place to accurately describe particular ideas people and behavior. When a newspaper hesitates to call something a “lie” because that is a strong word and “disinformation” or some other watered down word is more “palatable”, then the accuracy of the message is lost. Call things what they are.

      When behavior and ideas become more extreme, more extreme language is needed to accurately convey that behavior. The nice lady doesn’t change the world. The nice words don’t describe that absolute evil and horror that these people are unleashing on their fellow humans.

      Any criticism should be on their behavior, not the words used to accurately describe their behavior.

      Trump gets away with his criminality because people are too nice (or afraid) to stand up to him (and his horde). Fuck That.

      And fuck anyone complaining about language when these dickheads are running around being dicks, with death and destruction in their wake.

      • Rayne says:

        That. In Vonnegut’s time we had an entirely different media ecosystem. We also had a GOP which asked a president of its own party to resign or risk impeachment and conviction supported by its members.

        Now we have media which sucks up to soft-handed slack-assed dickheads who believe they are entitled to respect they’ve never earned. Fuck that and call it what it is — bullshit.

      • Matt___B says:

        I’ve noticed that on some MSNBC shows, since 1/6, they sometimes allow salty language to slip through in their broadcasts. It’s not consistent. During the 1/6 hearings when projected slides of direct quotes were shown, some anchors were emboldened to read them straight over the air. At other times for the displayed word “bullshit”, they will say “BS” or “bull-bleep” or “expletive” vocally with the uncensored words visible on the screen. They still won’t display “fucking” onscreen instead displaying the asterisk version “f*****g” and saying “eff-ing”. It’s all over the map, but the absolute prohibition of showing or speaking these words seems to breaking down at times…

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Some hosts let it through in the original, for example in the first airings of the J6C hearings when they showed video of the mob. I dearly wish there would be less self-censoring, and in particular less self-conscious self-censoring. Rachel Maddow drives me nuts with her prissy apologies for reading words like “ass” and “piss” out loud.

          For the love of God, we know you’re a good girl, Rachel!

      • CovariantTensor says:

        It’s been a long time since I read Vonnegut’s novels, but I seem to recall a fair bit of potty-mouthiness. I’m thinking specifically of an episode in “Breakfast of Champions” where a character, forgot his name, goes on a rampage after coming to believe the whole universe is designed to trick him, inhabited by machines. He goes to a bar where his brother, who has come out as gay, is playing the piano, attacks him and calls him a “goddamned cock-sucking machine”.

        But it’s true that overuse of foul language loses its expressive value after a while. It’s one thing if you’re a master of language, like Vonnegut. It’s another if you’re a second rate stand-up comedian, who apparently thinks he needs to swear every other word in order to be funny.

        Another example is Cleese and Palin in the famous Monty Python cheese shop skit. Cleese’s anger is ever so slowly escalating and when they get to the Camembert, Palin says it might be runnier than he likes, and Cleese replies “I don’t care how fucking runny it is” (cleaned up for TV, alas). There were no profanities beforehand. You get the impression Cleese is getting really pissed. [spoiler: a homicide follows]. Continuous streams of profanity can be funny occasionally, but this was a masterpiece.

  9. scroogemcduck says:

    I understand your point of view, but I also think there is a time and a place for obscenity when it is used sparingly and with precision. It is shorthand, and conveys a very clear, concise message.

    On McHenry’s sartorial choices, these are also a form of shorthand. A cashier wearing a bow-tie conveys pretention. A Congressman wearing a bow-tie conveys “look at me, I’m the bow tie guy”. For a Republican specifically, the bow-tie conveys “I’m the bow tie guy from the Tucker Carlson school of Conservatism”, or more concisely, “look at me, I’m a dickhead.”

    • Rayne says:

      Fuck off about the obscenity. Seriously, you have no goddamned idea who you’re hanging with when you police language here.

      And this, “A cashier wearing a bow-tie conveys pretention” is a crock, too. How many cashiers who wear bowties do so willingly? Be specific about whose pretention this is.

  10. William Conner says:

    Absolutely McHenry is largest although it is hard to distinguish him from Republicans overall.

    • Rayne says:

      I guess that’s where his bowtie and brush cut combo come into play — differentiation in a class of white dudes who all look and sound the same with a few exceptions like Jim Refuse To Wear A Jacket Jordan and Matt Owns Stock In Hair Product Manufacturers Gaetz.

      • Peterr says:

        Now that Jordan has launched his run at the speakership, I’ve seen him in a jacket more often in a week than I have all year.

        • Rayne says:

          YES. Exactly, although in appearance only because Nessman was a lot more human even if only a fictional character.

          • bmaz says:

            As god is my witness….

            “Les Nessman : I don’t know. A man and his two children tried to kill me. After the turkeys hit the pavement, the crowd kind of scattered but, some of them tried to attack me! I tried to jam myself into a phone booth. Then Mr. Carlson had the helicopter land in the middle of the parking lot. I guess he thought he could save the day by turning the rest of the turkeys loose. It gets pretty strange after that.”

              • bmaz says:

                A day or two ago, we were recalling Twilo and walnuts. Now less Nessman. This is the greatest blog going, thanks to all of you.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    McHenry is a creepy, snotty dickhead, but I don’t think he’s thoughtless. I think he works hard at. It’s all he works hard at.

  12. wa_rickf says:

    Rayne, your list and your reasoning for placing them is fine. Kudos.

    I knew about booting Nancy and rekeying the office door – but did not know about the delegation transportation for DiFi. THAT was an over-the-top dickies move. What an asshat.

  13. TPA_kyle says:

    McHenry is the congressional version of the TV character Beverly Leslie from Will and Grace. (With sincere apologies to Leslie Jordan. RIP)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Oh, yea. We could use some of those 300 odd senior military appointments he’s been planting his ample ass on for months. There’s also McConnell and his whole leadership, which has let him get away with it.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        That’s not what gets him into the Dickhead Hall of Shame by itself, a key contributor is his claiming he’s the biggest military supporter because his daddy died in WWII. Well, my namesake uncle was killed at Malmedy in the massacre which by his dickwaving logic means I beat him on motives.

        Also, like every other member of the Senate Armed Services Committee where Tuberville proclaimed this I also happen to be a veteran (Cold War, AFEM for escorting Kuwaiti tankers) so when Tammy Duckworth had a shot at him in response he got off light.

    • MsJennyMD says:

      “There is nobody more military than me.” Tommy Tuberville, 7/11/2023
      Says the man who was a football coach with no miliary experience.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      God save us from “Coach.” Coach is the grade of airplane ticket I buy for short flights. It shouldn’t be a United States senator. This one is dumber than a tray table. But significantly more malevolent.

  14. Jay says:

    How about Hamas deciding the best way to show their displeasure with Israel’s right turn was to go out and be the nightmare Israel’s far right says they are?

    • wa_rickf says:

      Years turning into decades of oppression, and essentially living in a community prison does take its toll. Your mileage may vary.

      • ButteredToast says:

        Many people’s “mileage” (including mine) varies from yours. In my view, purposely murdering civilians (and gleefully showing off their bodies on camera) as well as taking hostages is never justified. Nor is using the people of Gaza as human shields, which Hamas has done for years. The suffering of Palestinians doesn’t change the fact that Hamas is a terrorist group—full stop. A terrorist group, by the way, whose tactics have done nothing for Palestinians but bring more bloodshed, and serve as a useful foil for Netanyahu and even further right Israeli politicians.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      It’s something of a snake pit there, and Bibi’s government hasn’t helped itself by its unilateral abrogation of the Oslo accords that arose among many other stunts. I want to make it quite clear that Israel does have a right to exist which Hamas refuses to accept by agreeing to UN Resolution 242, which is why we support them.

      Bibi on the other hand is in political hot water over his criminal activities, his attempts to shanghai the judiciary, and corruption and needed a distraction. Nothing distracts like a war from other things, but once a war is started it is very hard to stop.

      LGM seemed to think in its early hot takes that there was too much attention to the West Bank relative to Gaza which might be true. If one is into conspiracy theories this tie back to the infamous meeting in the Oval Office with the Soviets make me wonder if Putin is trying to bog us down in the Middle East by using the former client states to stir up trouble. Hamas can’t conquer Israel by itself so I do not see a reason to intervene. However, like he did in Afghanistan, Defendant-1 might have set up the conditions for failure in Gaza. Between that and the fact he won’t stop lying and STFU he will be Padishah Emperor of DIckheads for life (h/t Charlie Pierce).

      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/10/8/2198104/-Donald-Trump-s-mishandling-of-classified-information-likely-contributed-to-surprise-attack-on-Israel

      • Rugger_9 says:

        One of the things that the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) mentioned as critical for consolidating power was a ‘Pearl Harbor type event’ that could be used to silence critics. W and Darth Cheney used it after 9/11/01 to lie us into Iraq. While I’d be very skeptical of any claim that the Hamas attack was an inside job, I’m also sure that Bibi studied PNAC very well.

        • wa_rickf says:

          The 1997 Project (for a) New American Century is a blueprint to expand U.S. military presence into regions with oil. I am not one to believe that many who are signatories to the document {Rice, Libby, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Perle, Rumsfeld) ending up in the GWBush Administration was merely a happy coincidence – especially after Ws (s)election by the SCOTUS as POTUS in 2000.

          Gaining control of natural resources for financial gain seems to be a historical Rwing ambition.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Goes back millennia. The post-WWII formal disengagement from overt colonialism, for example, only led to its replacement by economic rather than political colonialism, and greater use of private armies to secure it.

  15. SunZoomSpark says:

    Rayne,
    I couldn’t agree more.

    A couple minor quibbles

    1. Dis-honorable mention

    2. Tiny flaccid dickheads

  16. bgThenNow says:

    Well, it’s a new week. I think it is really dickish of Biden to send more billions to Israel. The killing on all sides is terrible, but apartheid is wrong. The open air prison that is Gaza cannot be legitimatized.

    • fatvegan000 says:

      My feelings too.

      I wondered if Putin pushed Hamas to attack, as he could be certain Biden would leap to replace all the ammo Israel lays waste to and provide even more ridiculous amounts of aid. This gives the right more ammo for their campaign to persuade Americans that we are “wasting” our money by helping Ukraine.

      • Overt_Act says:

        It’s already been noted that the Hamas attack was an overt move by Iran to mess up the potential US/Saudi/Israel deal. This serves the interests of both Iran and Russia, so it seems likely that Putin had a hand in it. They would both love to see disruption in the international oil market for obvious reasons. A sharp rise in oil prices could effect the 2924 election, which would play into the Trump/Putin caucus of the Republican Party. Not that I’m happy about the Biden administration playing footsie with the Saudis or Netanyahu, but a hot war in the Middle East is an even worse outcome.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s an incredibly simplistic view of what’s going on.

      I wrote some time ago Israel’s relationship with Morocco was boosted very late in Trump’s admin, with Ukrainian pilots believed to be training in Morocco by Israeli pilots on the same kind of aircraft Biden is sending to Israel now. It’s all connected. Don’t be so shallow minded.

  17. Waffleses says:

    Since this bullshit is showing up here too, I feel compelled to nominate (for also-ran-small-potato dickhead commendation) the dickheads who feel the need to place blame for ruthless attacks on civilians on anyone other than those who chose to commit ruthless attacks on civilians. Especially because this entire fucked-up situation, despite unforced errors and inexcusable aggression from all participants, arose precisely because the direct predecessors of those now committing ruthless attacks on civilians refused to stop committing ruthless attacks on civilians 50/60/70 years ago.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You’ve never heard of vendetta. Listening to the complaints of both sides might cure that. In an odd break from its usual bothsidesing, American media tends to portray only one side with any understanding, and has done so for decades, covering reprisals but not what caused them. Engaging in war kills civilians who should not be dying, but you won’t stop it by listening to only one side.

      • Waffleses says:

        I’m not sure how you think you know what I have or have not heard of. What I do know is that I have ancestry (whom photographic evidence shows that I have a strong physical resemblance to) who lived and died in Jerusalem in the 1800’s, and whose burial place is unknown because when the Jordanians had control of Jerusalem they systematically destroyed all of the headstones in the Jewish cemeteries there. My grandmother was born in Cairo, because her father fled there ~1900 to avoid Arab persecution in Jerusalem, and her brother was killed there in the 50’s, also because of Arab persecution. And yet, I have no desire to slaughter or persecute Arabs.

        When people *intentionally target* civilians- families, daycare centers, shopping malls, commuter busses, dance clubs, music festivals- for brutal murders, call me strange but I don’t think saying “But they do have a point” is an appropriate response.

        There was a lot more to this post that I’ve deleted because arguing with strangers on the internet is dumb. But don’t tell me how to “cure” myself when you have no fucking idea who I am or what my experience is.

        • Rayne says:

          Let’s leave it right here, then.

          One of the challenges right now is the lack of perspective presented by media, including the avoidance of discussion we may be looking at an expanding proxy war which is served by deeper entrenchment into opposing positions, though none of us on earth are served by more bloodshed no matter whose blood is spilled.

          Certainly no one was served well by a missile aimed at an interment in Hroza, as a sad example.

          • Waffleses says:

            Rayne- this is just a note to you. Thanks for letting me put in my last 2 cents in on this, and sorry if it’s stinking up the joint.

            [Thanks – I’m leaving your comment here because I think it helps the rest of our readers understand the emotional and psychic complexity for folks who are related to communities in conflict. We’re not just fungible chess pieces. /~Rayne]

        • ButteredToast says:

          Thank you for sharing and also for your original post. I think there’ve been some disgusting apologias for Hamas offered online the last few days.

  18. skyscraper says:

    A minor thought about Musk saying removing headlines was for aesthetic reasons: My guess is that it’s a step towards removing all text and images so Twitter/X becomes all white.

    • Overt_Act says:

      Whitespace.

      Its name is a reference to whitespace characters. Unlike most programming languages, which ignore or assign little meaning to most whitespace characters, the Whitespace interpreter ignores any non-whitespace characters. Only spaces, tabs and linefeeds have meaning.

      This falls into the category or Esoteric Programming Languages which are “designed to be unique, difficult to program in, or just plain weird.”

      • RipNoLonger says:

        Oh, wow. So much heavy commentary here and now I need to look into another programming language – probably have 20 under my belt and am moving to the rusty one. Still, this fits nicely into an idea that the “white” superiority can be represented by empty spaces, ignoring any real content. I’m sure there are lots of incel/cellar-dwelling magats researching the Blanken Codex.

  19. elcajon64 says:

    On dickheads in bowties: As opposed to a necktie, a bow tie can’t be loosened. It can only be worn tied or undone. The bowtie can either be worn as a signifier of the uptight, or like Bowie on the Serious Moonlight tour. The necktie can be worn tight, loose, long, short, etc. To wear a bowtie is to commit to being a dickhead and signaling as such. It is binary and without nuance. Just as dickheads like.

    Also, anyone who sees a dickhead in a bowtie probably doesn’t know how to tie one and assumes the wearer doesn’t either (recall the peach-colored one from prom). They’re not bothered by the likelihood of the dickhead wearing a clip-on tie in public. Not a problem to be incompetent, just be a dick.

    • Rayne says:

      Good point about the binary nature of bowties. My son mastered tying them and has a collection for dinner wear, but he gave up on them because ADD isn’t kind to folks in a hurry trying to put on a bowtie.

      • bmaz says:

        Just say no to bow ties. Suspenders too. Occasionally in court I see somebody sporting both. It is unsettling.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          One of my pet peeves is suspenders decorated in the logo and colors of one’s alma mater, a practice usually limited to Ivy Leaguers. Ties, ok, but not suspenders (braces, if Chetnolian is about).

        • fatvegan000 says:

          My dad wears suspenders to keep his pants up. It’s pretty acceptable here among the lower classes, but I find it hilarious that an Ivy Leaguer would wear a pair.

          I can definitely see it being disconcerting in a court of law.

  20. harpie says:

    Yesterday, bmaz linked to Kevin Drum:

    The latest Palestinian war will end the same way as all the others https://jabberwocking.com/the-latest-palestinian-war-will-the-same-way-as-all-the-others/ Kevin Drum October 7, 2023

    […] Israel’s enemies have launched war after war over the past 50 years and they’ve been crushed Every. Single. Time. The result has been uniformly disastrous: settlements, walls, blockades, checkpoints, and massive oppression of Israeli Arabs. […]

    The same thing will happen this time. Thousands of Palestinians will die and Israeli retaliation will make the rest worse off than before. But I doubt that matters to the lunatics who run Hamas. […]

    It obviously does NOT matter to “the lunatics who run Hamas.”

    So, to whom is it a benefit? CUI BONO?

    • bgThenNow says:

      For sure the price paid will fall largely to long-suffering Palestinians. Our tax dollars in service to apartheid.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      I have to quibble with Kevin Drum’s conclusion that the only way to put a stop to the violence is for the Palestinians to surrender on Israeli terms. His assumption is that the Israeli government will even act honorably toward a Palestinian population that surrenders under Israeli terms. With all the hardliners in Bibi’s government I doubt there is an ounce of honor in that lot.

  21. RitaRita says:

    Maybe we should have two categories: Domestic Dickheads and International Dickheads.

    For Domestic Dickheads, I vote for Kevin McCarthy. He could have easily survived the speakership challenge if he had sought Democratic support. Instead, he trashed them. When he lost, predictably, he held an hour long pity party press conference and blamed Nancy Pelosi. His churlishness and failure to place country over party have thrown the House into disarray, at what is turning out to be a most inopportune time.

    The other 2 are Bannon and Gaetz. Matt Gaetz is neither an anarchist nor a nihilist even if his actions point in those directions. He is an opportunistic performance monkey, dancing to the tunes of whoever will pay him most. He doesn’t have time for philosophy. The organ grinder du jour happens to be Steve Bannon, whose philosophy appears to be chaos as a means to achieving a new order, which, for him, means restoring the rightful order of dynastic monarchy. It also may be true that he is just as frivolously opportunistic as Gaetz.

  22. SAOmadeLonger says:

    Years ago, when I was a bank teller, we had a wing-wong of the week contest for the worst or oddest customer. However, the customers who could win every week and were, therefore, in the running for Wing-Wong of the year, were exempt from wing-wong of the week. I think Putin and Musk are contenders for scum of the year. With Putin, at least, we can hope some Brutus challenges the Tsar (a word derived from Caesar).

  23. Cort Youngen Greene says:

    IMO, Brother West, Jill Stein and the tankies are the dickheads of the week. Gaetz (his dad also) is always in the top 10.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Calling himself an independent is another RFK Jr. lie. His funding is overwhelming hard right wing Republican. He’s a Trump-rivaling narcissist, and a destructive fantasist about vaccines, who wants to be a spoiler, which he seems to think will scratch some deeply-held anti-Democratic Party itch.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In their motion to continue, the defendants have repeatedly distorted the comprehensive, organized, and timely unclassified discovery that the Government has produced, in service of an attack on the promptness and thoroughness of the productions and an allegation that the Government is in “ongoing non-compliance.” ….The facts prove otherwise.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      [Defendants’] unfounded claims of Government noncompliance with discovery obligations do not support their request. Their claims about their inability to review classified information are distorted and exaggerated, and, in any event, the Government expects that the CISO will resolve any remaining issues this week. There is no reason to adjourn the trial date.

  24. klynn says:

    My list is too long for who to nominate! Although, Rayne, your list is pretty good. I’ll second harpie’s suggestion of Tuberville.

    On an opposite side of the spectrum of this award, I would support the idea of Larry Hogan for Speaker going viral.

    • Rayne says:

      Oh, I’m with you and harpie — I think Tuberville’s on my shit list this week.

      And Larry Hogan is an excellent choice!

  25. theartistvvv says:

    Mebbe he’s a little late for another revelation, but I think Clarence Thomas has a lot of potential to “win” this (and every) week, and tfg is never out the running. …

  26. gertibird says:

    I name Tubby Tuberville as a dick-head. He has weakened the entire US military just because he doesn’t want women in the military to have reproductive healthcare covered. His actions are hurting everyone’s security in the US. He is he ultimate dick.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This is an old complaint, but there is sometimes more freedom to express views contrary to the Israeli govt in Israel than in the US. Haaretz (partly paywalled), an analogue to the NYT as a newspaper of record, lays the blame for the Israeli-Gaza war on Netanyahu:

    [He] completely failed to identify the dangers he was consciously leading Israel into when establishing a government of annexation and dispossession, when appointing Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir to key positions, while embracing a foreign policy that openly ignored the existence and rights of Palestinians.

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/2023-10-08/ty-article-opinion/netanyahu-bears-responsibility/0000018b-0b9d-d8fc-adff-6bfd1c880000

    • ButteredToast says:

      How is your freedom to express views contrary to the Israeli government limited? I assume you mean more variation in newspaper editorial viewpoint.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I’m not talking about my personal circumstance. It is not new, news, or a conspiracy theory that the range of opinion in US media, and permitted to US political figures, is narrower than the views published in Israeli media, which are frequently vocal and critical of leading figures in govt. and their policies. In the US, it’s a third rail.

        • ButteredToast says:

          As far as U.S. political figures, it’s not surprising to me that they’d try to avoid wading into the internal politics of a foreign country, at least one that is a U.S. ally–particularly in public. In U.S. news media, I’ve seen quite a bit of negative coverage of Netanyahu and his government. As much as deserved? No. But it makes sense that Israeli media would have more sophisticated coverage and offer more varied points-of-view (especially considering how poorly the U.S. media covers even its own country’s government and policies).

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Your logic misses the immediate pushback public figures in the US receive, should they criticize Israeli govt policies, pushback or propaganda that conflates being against a policy with the govt of the day, the state of Israel, and Jews in general, all very different things.

            • ButteredToast says:

              I’ve tried posting a response to this comment twice over the last 14 hours. For some reason it doesn’t even say the comment is in moderation; nothing shows up at all. I don’t know if it’s due to the length, or what.

              But the substance was this: some of the loudest critics of Israel do a good job of discrediting themselves. Some pushback, particularly against critics of specific Israeli policies, is in bad faith. But many people DO use “anti-Zionism” as a thin cloak for their anti-semitism. Yes, I’m aware that there are Jews who oppose Zionism. This doesn’t change the fact that among self-proclaimed “anti-Zionists” are many people who traffic in anti-Jewish stereotypes and subject Israel to standards they ignore when it comes to other countries. A statement by someone that they have nothing against Jewish people in general rings hollow if they simultaneously claim the only Jewish state in the world is the most evil country and should be wiped from the face of the earth, and hail a band of anti-semitic terrorists as freedom fighters.

              Palestinians deserve a strong defense of their human and civil rights, including during the present war. That’s different from the ugly defenses and rationalizations of Hamas that have emerged over the last few days…even while those “freedom fighters” take civilians hostage, torture, rape, and decapitate people of all ages, and gleefully show off their corpses. Anyone who expresses sympathy with the perpetrators of those crimes (not the Palestinian people, but Hamas) deserves every bit of the pushback.

              • Rayne says:

                I have not seen any comments authored by you prior to this one in auto-moderation in the last 24 hours.

                This bit: “a band of anti-semitic terrorists as freedom fighters” is an erroneous description since all peoples who emerged from Semitic-speaking people of the Levant are Semitic, too.

                • ButteredToast says:

                  Thanks. Evidently a browser issue on my end or something.

                  No, my description isn’t erroneous. “Antisemitism”/”anti-semitism” in common parlance refers to prejudice against Jewish people specifically. This is both the dictionary definition and the sense in which the term is used regularly by journalists and historians (as well as by anti-hate groups). What you say about Semitic-speaking peoples is true, but “antisemitic” isn’t related to linguistics and I’ve literally never seen it used to refer to prejudice and hate of all Semitic peoples. If you know of any use of it in the latter manner, please feel free to share.

                  • Rayne says:

                    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Semite

                    ADDER: Since I have to spell out this dictionary’s definition —

                    Semite noun
                    Sem·​ite ˈse-ˌmīt especially British ˈsē-ˌmīt
                    1
                    a: a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
                    b: a descendant of these peoples
                    2: a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language

                    And because extrapolation to the modifier seems particularly difficult:

                    Semitic 1 of 2 adjective
                    Se·​mit·​ic sə-ˈmi-tik also -ˈme-
                    1: of, relating to, or constituting a subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic language family that includes Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Amharic
                    2: of, relating to, or characteristic of the Semites
                    3: JEWISH

                    Semitic 2 of 2 noun
                    : any or all of the Semitic languages

                  • ButteredToast says:

                    Btw, my apologies if that came off as aggressive. Not my intention. I’ve just never, ever seen antisemitism used in the sense you say is correct. I’d use Islamophobia or anti-Arabism to refer to prejudice agianst Muslims or Arabs, respectively.

                    • Rayne says:

                      Right. YOU would use it.

                      YOU also will NOT police language here. If you don’t like the comments, you can find the exit.

      • Ithaqua0 says:

        Thanks for the links.

        Josh Marshall at TPM forwards a report that:

        “Ynet is reporting that ten days before the attack the Director of the General Intelligence Directorate of Egypt, Abbas Kamel, called Netanyahu and warned “something fierce will happen from Gaza”. Netanyahu, according to this report, reacted in a nonchalant fashion and said the IDF had its hands full with events in the West Bank.”

        while pointing out, fairly, that at the moment, this is just a “claim” (his words.) The end of Netanyahu’s career if it turns out to be even partially true.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Now, it appears that Netanyahu’s own intelligence services warned him about increased attacks from Gaza. Ultra-right wing Cabinet members dismissed them, calling them “leftists.” What I would call an own goal.

    • Rayne says:

      -phile is the correct suffix. Letter “p” has been added — was thinking hebephile at same time as ephebophile, apparently. Gaetz is known to be the latter.

  28. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    Holy fuck! Never in a million years would I have thought I would need to defend bow ties on this blog. I’ve been wearing them for longer than I care to remember. I tie them myself and regularly find myself asked to show someone near me in an airport line how to tie them when I’m traveling.

    Just because some well known right wing smarmy pus bags wear bow ties is not a reason to denigrate bow ties.

    Just think of all the important people who wore or wear bow ties:

    Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Archibald Cox, Huckleberry Hound, Erwin Schrödinger, “Ducky” Mallard, Fyvush Finkel, Bill Nye, Lester Pearson, Lurch on the Addams Family…. I could go on forever !

    My respect for bmaz has vanished. C’mon bmaz. Admit that you don’t have the intestinal fortitude to tie and wear bow ties. I dare you, no – double dare you – to tie and wear a bow tie next time you go to court.

    • CovariantTensor says:

      Didn’t Izzy Stone wear one? I’ve seen a portrait of Schroedinger wearing one. But Einstein? Seems against everything he stood for. Heck, he even thought socks were an unnecessary complication. The others, some fictional, probably not conservative dickheads, well taken.

  29. MsJennyMD says:

    The song “War” released in March 1970 is sadly still relevant today.

    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for?
    Absolutely nothing, uhh
    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for?
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again, y’all
    War, huh (good God)
    What is it good for?
    Absolutely nothing, listen to me, oh
    War, I despise
    ‘Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
    War means tears to thousands of mother’s eyes
    When their sons go off to fight
    And lose their lives
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztZI2aLQ9Sw)

  30. CovariantTensor says:

    There should probably be a distinction between misdemeanor dickheads, such as US politics is full of, and felonious and homicidal dickheads like Putin and Bibi (and I realize the clown show here can, ostensibly unintentionally, result in deaths throughout the world).

    Now, with the situation in Gaza, the latest attack by Hamas has achieved nothing and will achieve nothing save for imparting international legitimacy on the Likud government. Their recent power grab has vanished from the headlines.

    I came here hoping to gain some insight as to WTF is really going on, coming up short from the MSM. Thanks to a few posts, I’ve gotten some clues. Please keep them coming. But there must be some dickheads in this situation other than Bibi who deserve dishonorable mention.

    • Rayne says:

      Now, with the situation in Gaza, the latest attack by Hamas has achieved nothing and will achieve nothing save for imparting international legitimacy on the Likud government. Their recent power grab has vanished from the headlines.

      Think more deeply about Syria and how its degradation under internal conflict with external aid had a wider effect on the world — like the flood of refugees Ukip’s xenophobic Nigel Farage used to whip up anti-EU sentiment. Or how the timing of events coincided with the presidential cycle here in the US.

      This wasn’t just about legitimizing hardliners.

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