Tag Archive for authoritarian

Rewind: WMDs In North Dakota?

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.

Here’s our very first article from our May 19, 2003 issue. Back then the Republicans had just invaded Iraq on the false claim that they had Weapons of Mass Destruction. This gave rise to the imperialistic Bush Doctrine which states that the United States has the right to invade a country if they are suspected of having WMDs or being a threat in any way, which opens up a host of possibilities for abuse of power and violation of civil liberties. But that doesn’t matter to the authoritarian Republicans as Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer proved by repeatedly doing his impersonation of a Stasi agent telling people they should watch what they say. So basically, the Republicans haven’t changed since 2003, they’re just exposed thanks to Trump and the attempted Jan. 6th insurrection to overthrow the government.

Bush Says North Dakota Has Weapons of Mass Destruction

President George Bush said today in an emergency press conference that he suspects North Dakota may have weapons of mass destruction and that he will push for complete disarmament or he will invade.

“Our intelligence has detected missile silos in North Dakota,” said Bush. “They have become a menace to the world. Their leader is worst than Hitler! I’ve seen footage of people being fed into wood chippers. If we do not stop them, a nuculyar castastr…catatat…boom-boom could happen. If they do not disarm, we will invade in twenty four hours.”

Jarrod Dayson, an alert reporter from Newsblog then reminded the president that North Dakota was in the United States and that the missile silos housed American nuclear weapons. Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, then interrupted the president, whispered into his ear and rushed him from the stage. He then commandeered the press conference explaining, “I apologize for the president’s latest statements. He awoke early from his nap and was having nightmares after watching the movie Fargo last night. North Dakota is a wonderful state and Governor Hoeven is not worse than Hitler. He was just repeating statements that he heard Bill Clinton say when he was president. Thank you.”

Fleischer then barred Dayson from any further press conferences stating in an irritated tone, “How dare he question the president of the United States! He must be for terrorism!” Forces from Homeland Security appeared and ushered Dayson on a plane to Guantanamo Bay.

Slava Ukraini

We’re in the last week of 2022 and there were several huge stories throughout the year: COVID-19 continued its assault on the human race, NASA sent another rocket to the Moon after fifty years and the Democrats preserved democracy for a little while longer and managed to pass major legislation in the process. But probably the biggest story on the world stage was the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the emergence of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a symbol of democracy for the world.

Last week President Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Washington and he gave a impassioned speech to Congress. Zelenskyy is very media savvy and made a convincing argument for the United States’ continued support of Ukraine in their battle against Russia. The Russians thought they’d roll over their neighbors, but the Ukrainians have resisted admirably. How much longer will this war continue? Despite rumors of a cease fire coming soon, it appears that the war will more than likely drag on for most of 2023. Zelenskyy has said that the Ukrainians will never give up and we believe him. At least the United States has committed to helping Ukraine obtain freedom and democracy for its people.

Slava Ukraini!!! Support Ukraine!!! Support Democracy!!!

Slava Ukraini!!! Support Ukraine!!! Support Democracy!!!
Slava Ukraini!!! Support Ukraine!!! Support Democracy!!!

GOP: Iron Fist Fascism Rule

We’ve noted with alarm over the last twenty years the Republican party’s slide to authoritarian fascism and yes it started during the Bush administration. Remember after 9/11, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer spewed forth these chilling words that all Americans need to “watch what they say, watch what they do”, forgetting about free speech and stepping toward a big brother-esque society. The the Patriot Act was passed as if to provide an exclamation point. Of course, the crowning point of the Dubya and Dick Cheney’s presidency was the clusterf*ck quagmire in Iraq which was shoved down American’s throat with gusto by the corporate media costing us trillions of dollars over the long haul. So yeah — the Republicans have been at this kind of iron-fisted power grab for some time now.

This coming election is startling and the most dangerous of the 21st century. There are 299 out of 569 Republicans running for office who are fully on board with the Big Lie pushed by the twice impeached, classified document stealer TFG. Many of these people are guaranteed to win because of the districts, counties and states where they live. If this happens, then democracy is doomed in these places because these fascists will never allow a non-conservative, non-Republican to ever win an election again. Period. This is why we’ve highlighted the important races of Senator, Governor and Secretary of State here in Arizona, our home state. These QAnon loving loons are drunk with the Trump Kool-Aid and will no doubt push their agenda with an iron fist backed by TFG and his MAGA Moron militias, not to mention his enablers in Congress.

Republicans don't want to govern, they want to rule with an iron fist.
Republicans don’t want to govern, they want to rule with an iron fist.

Finchem’s Fascist Farce

It’s time to get back to our final review of Arizona GOP whack-a-doodle candidates. We’ve already mentioned fluff-brained gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and plutocrat butt kisser senatorial candidate Blake Masters. We focus in this post on perhaps the most insidious and dangerous of the Trumphumpers, Mark Finchem, who is running for Secretary of State. In Arizona, the Secretary of State is second in command since there is no Lieutenant Governor. The Secretary of State is also in charge of certifying election results and keeping records of campaign finances. This is why Finchem is dangerous – he is an election denier and has openly stated that he would have overturned the 2020 election in favor of TFG despite there being absolutely no evidence of voter fraud. He’s also stated that if he loses the upcoming election he will not concede, just like Trump.

But first, who is Mark Finchem? The way he dresses and acts, you’d think he’s a native Arizonan. But he was born and Michigan and moved to AZ and adopted the garb and persona of a rough and ready, independent Arizonan. Basically, he’s a poser. But the conservative rubes eat it up which is why he was elected as a state representative for Legislative District 11 which represents about 225,000 Arizonans in Pinal and Pima counties which covers the northwestern parts of the Tucson metropolitan area up to Casa Grande and Maricopa. Finchem’s been married four times, so he’s got TFG beat there. Other Arizona Republicans have called Finchem a “political gadfly” and “one of the dumbest” members of the state legislature.

Why is Finchem so dangerous? Wow, where do we start? First of all, Finchem is a QAnon true believer and a 9/11 truther. He attended the Capitol riots on January 6th which should disqualify him completely from running for office. But he stated that he didn’t go inside and was just a witness which apparently makes everything square in his fevered mind. He is an Oath Keeper, which is a far right wing, anti-government, extremist militia group and has kept ‘treason watchlists’. He’s a supporter of TFG’s Big Lie and said fraud was rampant in Arizona despite several audits saying there was no voter fraud. We repeat: NO VOTER FRAUD!!! His opponent in the Sec. of State race Democrat and native Arizonan Adrian Fontes is a former Maricopa County Recorder and lost his re-election race in 2020. We would think if there was fraud Fontes would arranged for his own re-election but that didn’t happen. Even his Republican opponent in the Recorder race Stephen Richer said there was no fraud. But does that matter to these MAGA Morons? Not one bit. They’ve drank the Trump kool-aid and plan to use every one of his vile obstruction tactics including not conceding and contesting any results they don’t like.

Finchem debated Fontes this past week and according to most reviews, Fontes owned the Republican screwball. Finchem acted unhinged for most the thirty minutes doubling down on his debunked conspiracy theories while Fontes remained calm, cool and collected answering in even measured responses. Among his most egregious assertions, Finchem cited the discredited “2000 Mules” movie, which made unproven claims about widespread ballot harvesting in the 2020 election. The two sparred on many issues including mail-in ballots which Finchem wants to eliminate. Finchem is also in favor of letting the state legislature select the Senator instead of letting the people. Apparently, Finchem has conveniently forgotten the Seventeenth Amendment which guarantees the citizens the direct vote of Senators. Like with the mail-in ballots, Fontes pressed Finchem to admit he favors taking away the vote from the people, but the loony wingnut kept hemming and hawing and dodging the question because he knows that his position is colossally undemocratic and would expose him for the fascist he is.

The bottom line is this, folks: Mark Finchem is a bat shit insane, QAnon, Oath Keeper, fascist nutcase and is an absolute danger to Democracy. If he is elected Secretary of State, he will guarantee that only Republicans will win key offices in upcoming elections which is not only undemocratic but out and out fascism. We Arizonans need to make sure to vote him out this November 8th or we will never have fair elections in this state again and it might start an unfortunate trend that goes nationwide.

Update 9/26/22: Here are a couple more links to stories about Finchem.

Finchem Falsely Claims That Then-Vice President Mike Pence “seized power” from President Donald Trump and undertook “a coup” when he called on federal agencies to stop the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Finchem Embraces QAnon and 9/11 Truthers.

Oath Keeper, QAnon whackadoodle and supporter of Trumps Big Lie, Mark Finchem, guarantees that if elected he will ensure fair and balanced elections where no Democrats will ever hold elective office again but is in no way fascist.
Oath Keeper, QAnon whackadoodle and supporter of Trumps Big Lie, Mark Finchem, guarantees that if elected he will ensure fair and balanced elections where no Democrats will ever hold elective office again but is in no way fascist.

Cannon Misfires

We’re taking another brief interlude from our coverage of whack job Arizona GOP candidates to post about the absolutely unscrupulous and feckless U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, who was confirmed in the waning days of the Trump administration and nominated by the twice impeached megalomaniac man child himself and is also a member of the right wing conservative Federalist Society.

It appears that Cannon is staying loyal to her master by agreeing that a special master be chosen to review the classified documents retrieved by the FBI at TFG’s palatial estate Mar-a-lago in August which is precisely what Trump wanted. Then she appointed Raymond Dearie as the special master who is also one of the judges Trump wanted. Hmmmmm. See a pattern here? Can you say corrupt? Both Democrats and Republicans say that Dearle is honorable and above reproach so we’ll wait and see what happens in the coming weeks. But given that Trump always seems to get his way, we’re incredibly skeptical that justice will prevail.

Anyway judicial pundits have jumped all over Cannon and her fealty to her special master Trump essentially granting him the delay he wanted. These are ultra classified documents that Trump should not have. Those documents belong to the people of the United States not Donald Trump. Doesn’t the national security of 332 million Americans come before Trump’s reputation or feelings? Apparently not, as Cannon, in her briefing, basically stated that the reputation of TFG is paramount and that she doesn’t believe the FBI and the DOJ when they say the documents were classified. The FBI took pictures of the documents! They were classified! This is not a witch hunt! Trump took classified documents and his appointed lackey judge is trying to cover it up. Judge Cannon is utterly corrupt! She should be removed from office and barred from practicing law in the United States! Maybe she could move to Russia? Putin could use a good sycophant to support his crimes these days.

Corrupt Trump appointee Judge Aileen Cannon has decided that twice impeached former President Donald Trump's feelings are more important than the national security of 332 million Americans.
Corrupt Trump appointee Judge Aileen Cannon has decided that twice impeached former President Donald Trump’s feelings are more important than the national security of 332 million Americans.

Rewind: Fascist Checklist

We’re taking another brief detour from our review of insane, Arizona GOP, Trumphumper candidates to talk about President Biden’s recent speech on the MAGA Republicans embracing ‘semi-fascism’. We thought it was mostly correct but ‘semi-fascism’? Really? Because the Republicans have been embracing full on fascism for some time now. And now they’ve been openly proving it every day since TFG took office in 2017 and then incited an insurrection on Jan. 6th 2021 because they didn’t win. In their typical whiny, cry-baby manner, Republicans wailed that Biden was being divisive while forgetting about how Trump vilified anyone who disagreed with him during his excruciating tenure as CEO/Dictator.

We also thought it was interesting that no major networks like ABC, NBC or CBS covered Biden’s important speech. This reminds us of other occasions like when Obama gave a speech about his executive order on immigration in December 2014 and nobody bothered to cover it. If the media were truly liberal like the conservative Republicans always claim, then all those networks would have covered Biden’s speech. Liberal Media My Ass!!! It’s just more hypocrisy and deception from the well funded propaganda machine operated by corporate conservative Republicans.

As a courtesy we’re reposting a photo-toon from December 15, 2015 post which depicts a checklist comparing the fascists of the NSDAP(Nazis) party of 1930’s Germany and the 21st century Republican party (or more appropriately, crime syndicate!). As you can see, there’s not much difference and hey, looky there . . . both had a well funded propaganda machine. So if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . We repeat folks; the Republicans are full on fascists and every TFG enabler running for office needs to be voted out of office or we will lose our democracy just like Germany lost theirs in the 1930s!

The Republican Party has some eerie similarities to a certain right wing conservative fascist party from 20th century Germany.

Blake Masters’ Race

A few posts ago we commented on the newsreader who wants to be guvnah in Arizona, the woefully unqualified Trump acolyte Kari Lake. In this post, we’ll discuss the AZ GOP’s candidate for Senator, another Trump Humper named Blake Masters.

Masters is a young venture capitalist who wants to privatize everything like a good, conservative, christian capitalist. His mentor is billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel who’s about as right wing as they come. Masters is completely drunk on the election fraud nonsense and has stated that abortion should be banned nationally. He wants to eliminate critical race theory from being taught and blames gun violence on black people. He’s openly suggested that maybe social security should be privatized; not a wise move in a state filled with retired senior citizens. He’s anti-LGBTQ despite his buddy Thiel being a married gay man. We’d say without hesitation that Masters is a right wing, authoritarian, white nationalist fascist. He checks all the boxes and what’s more he’s very proud of it.

We’ve mentioned before about America becoming a corporate theocracy; a Holy Corporate Empire, if you will – and Blake Masters is one hundred percent on board with this kind of transformation. Corporations are authoritarian environments. Corporations are like little dictatorships. The corporation has a CEO and small board of advisers who make all the decisions for the company. If you don’t like the decision, you’re fired. Churches are authoritarian environments. The church has its leader who claims infallibility because he or she talks to God. If you don’t like what the leader has proclaimed, you are evil and one with the devil. Both institutions have very fascist tendencies – do what the leaders say or else. It’s no surprise that the Republican party is filled with these corporatist and religious zealots. They’ve been pushing since the Reagan administration to try and make the government like a corporation. The evangelicals have pretty much taken over the Republican party with their embrace of TFG and planting right wing zealots on the Supreme Court to overturn abortion. We have no doubt if given the chance, Masters would do everything possible to join church and state and corporate America together into a modern day feudal society because . . . you know . . . the Middle Ages were so enlightening and full of freedom for everyone. That’s right, you work during the day, go to church on Sunday and don’t ask questions like good little sheeple until the day you drop dead. Maybe, just maybe, our autocrat overlords will throw a pittance your way as a reward for allowing them to buy yet another car, boat or luxury property. Ahhhh! Unregulated capitalism!

Fortunately, at least for Arizona, he’s running against centrist Democrat Mark Kelly who’s about as likable as they come. Independents love him and moderate Republicans do, too. And what’s not to like; he’s an ex-Navy pilot, an engineer and he’s an ex-astronaut. Not only that, he’s done an impressive job in his two years as Senator helping get many legislative packages through Congress. And he’s voted with Republicans enough so that he’s not viewed as completely partisan.

Masters is behind in the polls and he’s desperately trying to backtrack on his abortion , election fraud and social security comments. With the DOJ’s case against TFG becoming more evident, it looks like his attraction to the crooked and traitorous Trump could sink him like a stone. Of course, there are a lot of MAGA morons here in Arizona which could make the race closer than it should be. Hopefully, there are enough competent election officials with ethics and morals who will make sure that radical right wing Republicans don’t try some kind of Trumpf*ckery to get MAGA candidates elected.

Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters states America should be a corporate theocracy, a.k.a. a Holy Corporate Empire, so that we can all make money for our capitalist masters until the day we drop dead.
Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters states America should be a corporate theocracy, a.k.a. a Holy Corporate Empire, so that we can all make money for our capitalist masters until the day we drop dead.

The Newsreader Who Would Be Guvnah

The Arizona primary elections are over and unfortunately all of TFG’s lackeys have made the cut which is a scary proposition not only for Arizona but America and democracy itself. Governor candidate Kari Lake, Secretary of State wannabee Mark Finchem and Senator aspirant Blake Masters are all worshippers at the altar of the twice impeached orange haired megalomaniac and completely support the election fraud lies being spread by the MAGA morons. We live in Arizona and we’re progressive Independents so we feel it’s our duty to focus some light on these idiots who are colossal dangers to American democracy.

We’ll start with Kari Lake, Arizona’s answer to Sarah Palin; movie starlet looks and a cotton candy brain. Ms. Lake has been a newsreader at the local Fox (of course) affiliate in Phoenix for the last umpty-nine years. She has absolutely no experience in government or running for office. We wouldn’t even want her to run our local HOA. She’s nothing but fluff. But apparently she’s seen that brains don’t matter in today’s Republican party so she’s got a clear path to power. What’s funny is that Lake supported Obama in his presidential runs and before that supported Bush. How does one go from Bush to Obama to Trump? They’re not even close politically; one extreme to the other What exactly is her game? She’s bouncing around like a ping pong ball between the political parties. Her reasoning isn’t convincing and despite her Republican opponents hammering on that issue, the MAGA morons decided that if Trump likes her then she’s the chosen one.

But for Lake to win the governorship, she’s going to need the Independent voters (like us) in Arizona and despite what the local media says, the Indys are leaning these days to the left. Speaking for many of Arizona’s Independents, we abhor what the current Republican party stands for. They are filled with Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, QAnon conspiracy theorists, racist KKK members, anti-immigrant, anti-science, anti-women, bible thumping christo-fascists hypocrites who want to shove their religion down everyone’s throats with their guns fully loaded – (see the abortion issue). That’s why most Indys voted for Mark Kelly and Biden in 2020. But the Arizona GOP, led by the bat shit insane Kelli Ward, cannot admit they made a mistake with Trump and instead are doubling down on Trumpty Dumpty’s election fraud nonsense. They’ve done repeated audits (or fraudits) and checks on the 2020 election. There was no election fraud! Even sane, responsible Republicans say so. We repeat – THERE WAS NO ELECTION FRAUD! Repeating lies doesn’t make them true and Kari Lake is beating the drum loudly on the non-existent election fraud. And not surprisingly, Lake has repeated crazy GOP talking points after the FBI search warrant of TFG stating that the FBI should be defunded. Her Democratic opponent, current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, outclasses her in every way, shape and form. But we’ve seen that before many times here in Arizona. For example, the intelligent Terry Goddard has run repeatedly for Governor here, the latest in 2010 against Jan Brewer, a.k.a. Skeletor and should have been elected hands down. But the Republicans chose the incompetent Brewer and she got to wave her bony finger at Obama.

The scary thing about Lake is that conservatives in Arizona, especially white, right wing, christian men, will be suckered in by her charm and her spiel. She’s playing right from the Trump playbook. On primary night, she declared victory before all the results were in. The funny thing is that she claims election fraud is all over the place. How do we know, her winning the primary wasn’t fraudulent? Because in Trumpland, there’s only fraud if the Trump candidate doesn’t win.

Former newsreader and Arizona GOP candidate for Governor Kari Lake has shown proficient Trumpian skills for distributing deception about election fraud in Arizona.
Former newsreader and Arizona GOP candidate for Governor Kari Lake has shown proficient Trumpian skills for distributing deception about election fraud in Arizona.

Trump In The Toidy

Words can’t express the glee we’ve had this week with the news of the FBI issuing a search warrant at TFG’s palatial residence Mar-a-lago in Florida. With unsealing of the warrant today, we’ve learned that the twice impeached orange haired megalomaniac man child is under investigation for possible violating of the Espionage Act. We’ve been critical of Merrick Garland and the DOJ for seemingly doing nothing to bring the former CEO/Dictator to justice but we stand corrected. Garland has handled everything masterfully this week and we’ve got a huge case of schadenfreude, just like at least 81 million other Americans.

In celebration of TFG finally appearing to face some justice, we’ve decided to repost a photo-toon from December 8, 2019. It depicts what a possible Trump Memorial might look like showing TFG sitting on his favorite throne dictating to his followers on Twitter, explaining COVFEFE and stating that we should all get over the fact that he’s a crook. At least we know now why he was obsessed with toilets flushing – that’s where he tried to put his torn up documents. Let this be the crime that puts him in a jail cell with a guy named Bubba who’s fond of spoonin’.

Plans are being made for the Trump Memorial which will feature America's CEO/Dictator Donald Trump sitting on his throne tweeting words of wisdom (like Covfefe) on his phone with his massive hands. The monument will be located in Washington D.C. in an alley behind a KFC next to a dumpster that frequently catches fire.
Plans are being made for the Trump Memorial which will feature America’s CEO/Dictator Donald Trump sitting on his throne tweeting words of wisdom (like Covfefe) on his phone with his massive hands. The monument will be located in Washington D.C. in an alley behind a KFC next to a dumpster that frequently catches fire.

SCOTUS 2022: American Taliban

The actions of the five and a half christian nationalists on the Supreme Court have shocked and disturbed not just democratic minded people in this country, but all over the world. Their recent rulings on abortion, prayer in public schools and restrictions on environmental regulations are regressing American culture back to the 19th century. In the abortion decision, Samuel Alito even cited precedence from a 17th century misogynistic jurist who believed that women were witches and property. The sanctimonious justices have also indicated that they may possibly turn back other things like LGBTQ rights, interracial marriage, birth control and even having fair and democratic elections. These authoritarian zealots want to turn America into a christian theocracy.

We’ve already seen how repressive islamic theocracies are. Take the Taliban in Afghanistan. Women are treated like they were in ancient times; like second class citizens. Basic human rights are pretty much limited to straight islamic men. The clerics run the country with an iron fist. Do we really want to turn our nation into a christian version of Afghanistan? Do we really want the American Taliban on the Supreme Court to dictate every aspect of our private lives? We thought the right wing wanted government out of our lives? Recent polls have indicated that Americans have little confidence in the current Supreme Court after their latest decisions.

Let’s face it, folks – the right wing justices are clowns. The Roberts court is a complete and total joke. Brett Kavanaugh will forever be remembered for his bold proclamation of liking beer, his unhinged rant against Clinton and the Democrats and his tearful, whiney defense of his dubious actions with Christine Blasey-Ford. The handmaiden justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation was jammed through despite it being an election year. Neil Gorsuch’s mother wreaked havoc on the EPA and now it’s his turn. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch committed perjury during their confirmation hearings when they stated that Roe was settled precedent. Clarence Thomas should be dismissed from the bench for his obstruction in the investigation of the Jan. 6th hearings. Why’s that? Because his wife Ginni was involved in trying to overthrow the election. And Samuel Alito should be disbarred for even thinking about quoting a 17th century jurist who believed in witches. And what’s a common thread amongst these jokers beside their holier-than-thou christianity? They’re all anti-science. They’re all skeptical of climate change, green energy, vaccines, gender science and evolution because it counters their close-minded, archaic views of the world.

The Supreme Court should not be political, but if these christian nationalists persist then the constitution much be changed so that the justices should be elected by popular vote. Therefore they should not have life time appointments – maybe just a six year term like Senators. The Democrats need to step up to the plate and check these zealot’s power while they still have some power. Maybe they need to channel their inner FDR and stack the court. The freedom loving American people will not accept an American version of the Taliban ruling over every aspect of their personal lives. We don’t want America to be a Holy Corporate Empire. This is the 21st century. Like we’ve said before many times, Americans need to connect to a 21st century database, not a 1st century database.

With their recent repressive and regressive decisions concerning abortion, guns, prayer and the environment, the justices of the Roberts court have established themselves as the American Taliban and a complete joke.
With their recent repressive and regressive decisions concerning abortion, guns, prayer and the environment, the justices of the Roberts court have established themselves as the American Taliban and a complete joke.