Battlestar Galactica: Six Of One (S4/E3)

Battlestar Galactica: Six Of One (S4/E3)

Rating: ***

Written by: David Weddle & Bradley Thompson

Directed By: Michael Rymer

 

Baltar isn’t long in cumming, either. (Hey, this is the second half of a cliffhanger; you shouldn’t have expected anything else but an abrupt lede.) Good thing, too, because he and one of the comely cultists are barely into the afterglow (or intermission) when the woman who came to him begging him to pray for her sick little boy in Crossroads comes to him again with the same little boy in a coma, dying of some sort of brain fever. He panics. Silently, but he panics. He doesn’t know what to do. His natural weakness makes him reluctant to disappoint these people; his ego doesn’t want to lose their devotion; and his pecker doesn’t want to lose such easy access to such choice poontang. And then there’s that quasi-better nature, the part of him that begged Gaeda to blow his head off back on New Caprica; the tragic part of his character that wants to be a good person but knows, with crystal clarity, how incapable he is of attaining any sort of redemption, doomed as he is by his legion of faults.   It’s that part of him that leads him to his knees in what is, if not genuine prayer, then certainly a candid confession of his legion of sins, its authenticity credified by there being no immediate audience for his muttered contrition. He even offers himself in the child’s place if it will save the boy’s life.

It would be fun to say that at this juncture Gaius had to take a piss. In fact, the slut he boinked earlier lures him down to the head for the purpose of making him look less like a cult leader and more like a televangelist. I guess we can call him “Fundamentally Oral Gaius” from now on. Since we all know how much he loves oral.

But God does indeed move in mysterious ways. Two guys, shown briefly early in the first Act, obviously gunning for the ex-president/vice president, burst in on this little makeover, grab the razor and threaten to decapitate Gaius. Remembering his earlier supplication, he tells them to go ahead. Whether that was simply bowing to the apparently inevitable, an expression of being dead tired of living with this battlestar-load of guilt, a genuine conversion to monotheism, or his version of chicken-hearted machismo, it pays off in deliverance from the last source you’d have expected: his trystmate, who suddenly morphs into an ass-kicking warrior princess. And when the two return to the cult’s lair, lo and behold, the little boy is, yes, miraculously healed.

Yeah, it was at once wince- and guffaw-inducing, but what the heck, so is the Baltar character. Just when you think they can’t do anything else with him, the creative staff re-invents him again. John Colicos would be spinning in his grave, only there’s no way he could ever keep up.

A brief scene between the Adamas provides, I fear, the moral for this final season. Father offers son his commission back. Son declines, citing a need to “move on” – into, appropriately enough, the “profession” Baltar just exited: politics. After some more small talk, Lee asks his dad how he’d be reacting if it was his kid brother Zak who had climbed out of that Viper, even been a Cylon. “Would it really change how we feel about him?” he asks.

Pragmatically the answer would seem to be, “Frak, yes, it would!” Cylons, even the humanoid models, are still ultimately machines, programmed to be the destroyers of their Human creators – like the ill-fated Boomer. Yet there is also her “sister” Athena, a Cylon that knows what she is yet consciously chose to side with the Humans. Are the Cylonoids totally programmed, or has taking Human form opened the door to free will and all the flaws to which it is heir? Are Tigh, Tyrol, Tory, and Anders living time-bombs like Boomer, or can they choose their own path, like Athena?

But if the latter, what would be the point of their being designated models #8 through #11? If there’s no longer any difference, then what has the point of this entire series been? That we’re all Gaius Baltars now?

Yes, be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

Back in the Presidential suite, Starbuck and Roslin are having a stare-down – precisely the stare-down you would expect, actually.   For a woman dying of cancer, looking down the barrel of a gun probably isn’t the harrowing experience it would otherwise be. How much less so for a woman with balls the size of honeydews. I’m not sure if Kara instinctively knows this or just has it dawn on her, but then again I really don’t understand why she burst in there in the first place. Neither did she, from the looks of it, as her dialogue indicates frustration over the fact that the people listened to and followed Roslin’s vision (way back on Kobol) but they’re ignoring Kara’s, and it’s just not fair! So she hands the gun to the President and tells Roslin to shoot her if Roslin is so sure she’s a Cylon, declaring, “I’m no more a Cylon than you are.”

A fascinating choice of words, that, what with Roslin sharing the same dream with the #3 (Athena) and #6 models. As well as the President taking Starbuck up on her offer and pulling the trigger – and missing. Now Roslin is no soldier and therefore no Annie Oakley, but could even she really miss entirely from THAT close a range? Or was she….programmed to miss because the Cylons are using Kara to mislead the ragtag fleet away from Earth?

You have to admit that as headstrong as Kara is, a brainwashed version of her, convinced of a falsity that nobody could talk her out of, would be exceedingly useful. That much comes across when Adama, Colonel Cylon, and an entire squad of soldiers burst into the room and drag Starbuck to the brig, with her squealing that they’ll have to “kill her” to get her to shut up about their going “the wrong way.”

But that isn’t the biggest question of the moment. The biggest question of the moment is one we broached briefly waaaaay back at the top: Why DID the Cylons break and run after that raider encountered Sam Cylon? Turns out that it wasn’t far from what we thought – and sews the seeds of civil war in the ranks of “the Cylon.”

Remember when D’Anna Biers (Lucy Lawless) became first preoccupied and then obsessed with the Human polytheistic religion back on New Caprica as a means of learning the identity of “the final five” Cylon models?   And how her entire line was deactivated as, not punishment so much as quarantine against her thinking “contaminating” the other models like a virus?   Here, at last, we get some exposition on why at least some of the Cylon consider that to be a problem – and why others do not.

A Cylon base ship. One of the “hybrids” – the gibberish-spouting, goobath-entombed people who somehow maintain the operations of each vessel – is spouting gibberish as usual. Only a #2 (Leobin Conoy), a #6, and a #3 make the mistake (?) of listening to it, and arrive at (or jump to) the conclusion that it’s referring to “the final five,” and where they are – namely, in the ragtag fleet. They go to a #1 (Brother Cavin) with this revelation, only to be greeted with a rebuke for engaging in something that is “forbidden” (by “God Almighty, The Voice Of Reason,” he says – in intriguing suffix, that). The only word missing from his riposte was “heresy”. He reminds them that they’re machines, not people with free will, and they must follow their programming – which apparently includes leaving “the final five” alone in thought, word, and deed.

Since the raiders are now apparently coming down with the same “virus” of free thought as his (in Cavil’s mind) wayward colleagues, he decides to lobotomize them to restore them to their “proper function”. A decision which Conoy, Sharon, and Six take like the throwing down of a gauntlet.

A vote is taken. Since there are only six activated models, it’s not difficult to predict that it ends in a 3-3 deadlock, with the Cavils, Dorals, and Simons voting to lobotomize and the Sharons, Sixes, and Conoys voting against. Every Sharon, that is, except one: Boomer.

Six is outraged. There has never before been intra-model dissension. So established has this tradition of unity been that there has never been any formal proclamation (i.e. subroutine) requiring it.   But it has broken the tie, and given Cavin what he wanted.

I can’t help making note of why Boomer is still activated and not “boxed” like D’anna. She and Caprica Six were the ones responsible for the change in Cylon policy that led to the New Caprica disaster from their end of it. As that went less than fabulously, I’d have thought Boomer would have paid a price for that blunder. I’d wager the Sixes, Conoys, and other Sharons are now thinking the same thing.   On the other hand, Athena defected to the Humans altogether, so perhaps diversity of opinion was programmed into the Sharon line. Not that it would do the Cavils, Dorals, or Simons any good before the hour was up.

And now we bring this marathon review full circle by returning to the question with which this two-part final season premier began: who, or what, is this woman that looks, sounds, and acts like Starbuck?

Nobody knows. Most would like to believe it’s really her. President Roslin manifestly and vehemently does not, and even if she did, she refuses to risk the fate of what’s left of the human race (that portion of it not on Earth, anyway) on sentimental wishful thinking. Admiral Adama is in the same basic position, with the same responsibility – all the more so since Roslin is dying with nobody to take her place (at least, that he would be able to tolerate, much less respect).   He knows it all too well.

But he also knows how much it hurt to lose the woman he had long since come to think of as a surrogate daughter. Now she – or so close a duplicate as to not matter – has returned, and with the tantalizing carrot of which they’ve been dreaming ever since the destruction of the Colonies.

It’s the most painful conundrum one can imagine for Bill Adama. He copes with it the only way he knows how: first, by going down to the brig and baiting Kara until she provokes him (“You’re the president’s wet nurse”) into throttling her. To convince himself by her telltale reaction that she’s really Starbuck? Probably.   Didn’t seem to help, though.   Second, by drinking like….well, like Colonel Cylon while Roslin lounges in his quarters.

That sounds like a segue to something moist, but that’s not the relationship Adama and Roslin have. There’s (mercifully) never been the slightest hint of any “shippering” between the two, not even back on New Caprica, yet they interact as though they’re a decades-married couple. Particularly in this scene where they are clearly getting on each other’s nerves, and they both know why. Roslin reads him like a book and tells him why he’s conflicted about Starbuck, as exposited above. She tells him he’s afraid to live alone, and he retorts that she’s afraid to die that way, and die meaninglessly as well. Did he peg her? It’s not as clear. But as he leaves the room, she tugs on her hair only to have a clump of it come off in her hands.   Suddenly, even though she thinks she has resigned herself to her looming death, it’s like it becomes real and tangible.   It’s a gripping moment as she lets her presidential mask slip and begins quietly weeping. This time there won’t be any miracle cure. This time she really is slipping away. And yet her tears are perhaps not just for herself, but for Adama, who is guaranteed to suffer another loss no matter what he decides about Kara.

Lee and Kara do have a moist scene – well, a brief tonsilectomy, anyway – that seems to be opposite side of the coin from his father, as you might expect. He’s able to take that leap of faith that she’s the real ‘bucko and is telling the truth about knowing the way to Earth that his dad sorely wants to but can’t quite make himself do. Whether that’s because of his responsibility or his ingrained atheism – another of Roslin’s little insights that unnerved him – is conjecture, but he sure sounded like he “wants to believe.”

Bill Adama as Fox Mulder. My Lord, my Lord.

But Mulder never compromised. Adama does. He doesn’t turn around the fleet and follow Kara’s nebulous homing instinct. But he does give her a ship – a sewage treatment barge (the TCKS Demetrius), but it’s a ship – a small crew, two Vipers, and sixty days to prove him and Roslin wrong.

Will Kara find Earth? Probably not. But she’ll probably find something. And she probably won’t like it.

Any more than Cavil, Doral, and Simon enjoyed getting shot up by two centurions, freshly de-lobotomized by the Sixes, Conoys, and Sharons, who didn’t like what the other three models were doing to their raider “brothers”.   Who do they think they are, anyway – Humans?

I guess I have to give Ron Moore & Co. credit. They held out until the fourth season before they had the bad guys turn on each other. No wrestling promotion I’ve ever seen has made it past two.

Will President Twelve’s looming metamorphosis into Something Else heal the breach and save Humanity – including poor, unsuspecting Earth – at the same time? And will the Human diaspora make it to Earth in time for Lee Adama to ascend to the presidency and save us from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

Oops, got ahead of myself again. Darned perspicacity.

 

Next: The Fearsome Foursome’s secret gets out

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Battlestar Galactica: He That Believeth In Me (S4/E2)

Battlestar Galactica: He That Believeth In Me (S4/E2)

Rating: *** (out of four)

Written by: David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Directed By: Michael Rymer

It’s a year later, and the close of “Crossroads” still ranks as the biggest “WTF?!?” season-ender in the history of big and small screen science fiction, worse even than the “Evil Alien Nazi!” climax of Enterprise’s third season Xindi war arc. The latter was simply a non sequitur – a, well, evil alien Nazi sticking his face in front of the camera as the season finale went to black that had utterly nothing to do with anything that had unfolded on-screen in the previous seven months. But the former? A character that we ALL SAW PERISH when her Viper BLEW UP with no, zero, zip, nada, repeat, NO EVIDENCE of an ejection, that DIED unquestionably, unequivocally, conclusively, definitively, suddenly pulls up alongside former Major Lee Adama in the middle of the Ionian nebula and the final, genocide-finishing Cylon eradication of the battlestar Galactica and its last remnant of Kobolian humanity in a Viper that looked BRAND, FRAKKING NEW and calmly, matter-of-factly says to him that she’s been to Earth and has come back to take their people “home”. And, oh by the way, I’m alive.

This is one of those rare times that I’m of two minds.   On the one hand, the arbitrary resurrection of Captain Kara Thrace is an offense to my logic and an insult to my intelligence. I haven’t liked the metaphysical direction Ron Moore & Co. have been taking this show for quite some time now, but this is just silly. Starbuck CAN’T be alive. Yet there she is. The former Apollo himself exclaims, “Naw, naw, this is frakking crazy!” I don’t agree with you on much, Major, but on this we’re two peas in a proverbial pod.

On the other hand, this is obviously a major plot development that has a significant storytelling purpose. If the story turns out to be an intriguing one, much less entertaining, it might cover the “sin” of jerking major characters around and inserting the big, fat, Berman/Braga-class reset button that has heretofore been blessedly absent from BG.

Color me a skeptic. But as I’m still watching, we’ll see where it goes.

Lee is, as aforementioned, incredulous. Back on the Galactica, his father is enraged at what he considers to be a Cylon trick, and a cruel one at that. Although on the face of it, it’s difficult to see what the purpose would be of somehow capturing Starbuck, making the Humans think she was destroyed, then send her back to them right as the final attack is commencing. Why would a trick be necessary when overwhelming force is already being employed? Obviously something is up, obviously that can’t be the real Kara Thrace, but it’s difficult to see a Cylon connection to it.

Speaking of which, Colonel Cylon hallucinates shooting Adama right between the eyes – you just knew it had to be a hallucination, because they did that gimmick two years ago – Sam Cylon is petrified of flying out to take on his own for fear of being turned against the Humans, on whose side he thinks he still wants to remain, until Chief Cylon gives him a pep talk in the midst of sabotaging all the Vipers to blow up in their launch tubes for all he or we know; and Tory Cylon does a strip tease on the bridge, because SciFi can’t risk losing the 18-34 male demographic completely, and because if President Cylon started taking off her clothes….

Oh, wait, that’s right, she hasn’t been officially, um, “revealed” yet.

Well, if they’re going to go full-bore Braga, that’s what they should do.

The battle rages, briefly. But it somehow doesn’t ring true. Five base ships should be able to tear through a single decrepit battlestar and its couple of dozen interceptors in seconds. Yet the entire Cylon thrust is halted cold, with the kamikaze destruction of but a single civilian ship and moderate missile damage to another.

And then Sam Cylon comes face to face with a Cylon raider, whose single red eye focuses in on Sam’s, which briefly flickers red.   Whether in kindred recognition or as a trigger for a particular subliminal subroutine is anybody’s guess, not that I’m particularly interested. But whatever the reason, it causes the Cylons to bug out, as it was obvious they were going to have to do one way or the other. Because, I’m guessing, Cylon does not fight Cylon.

Not yet, anyway.

Now that the frakking preliminaries are out of the way, let’s get back to the Starbuck impersonator.

No, no, wait, we gotta check on Dr. Baltar first. Don’t ask why, just play along.

After his utterly implausible acquittal on war crimes charges, Gaius, as you’ll recall, was left high and dry. He was a free man in every sense of the term: free to go where he wishes, free to associate with whom he wishes, free to get assassinated in more ways than even he can calculate, free to starve. That would, in fact, have been not only the just post-trial outcome, but an inevitability. Too many people hate Baltar for him to remain alive for long.   If, as Abraham Lincoln once said, a man can kill even the President of the United States if he wants to bad enough, how much easier would it be to off that “worthless piece of garbage”?

Not, apparently, as easily as the writers would prefer.   We’ve seen Gaius Baltar in many roles on this show: highbrow celebrity, sex-addicted patsy, unbalanced hallucinator, scientific expert, born politician, Cylon collaborator, Cylon prisoner, accused war criminal. But there’s one role for which, ironically, he’s even better suited. Can you guess what it is?

Would you believe religious cult leader? I know, I know, I wouldn’t at first glance, either. But when you start thinking about it, it makes a great deal of sense. It has the classic Baltar dynamic: a small band of (in this case) monotheists who, for gods’ know what reason, see him as some sort of really slimy messiah, take him in not out of the kindness of their own hearts, but to, yes, worship him.   Baltar is horrified at first – what passes for his better nature doesn’t want the attention, while his ingrained atheism scoffs at the very notion of a God or gods. He initially wears the expression of a man who says nothing only because he believes he’s surrounded by kooks who might be unpredictable if he insults them. But his overpowering narcissism is unable to resist the lure of having power, even over a small band of misfits. And it doesn’t hurt that most of them are hot-looking women who can’t wait to find out if he really is hung like a Tauran.

But if you think that Baltar appeared slack-jawed at the sight that confronted him, the resurrected (or replaced) Kara Thrace was on the other end of the astonishment equation, and several orders of magnitude enhanced. For my money, it’s been a while since Ron Moore & Co. produced a scene that rang so true in each character’s reactions.

The setting is the Galactica flight deck. Starbuck has just landed and is disembarking from her Viper. She’s all jazzed about finding Earth, tossing off to Chief Cylon (Tyrol) to have the film in her wing cameras developed. A state of mind that would be perfectly understandable and in character if not for the fact that she perished in a fiery explosion two months previous. She gives no appearance of the slightest awareness that she is back from the dead, nor of the state of mind she was in on her last flight to that death, or even of the general emotional downward spiral that she’d been in going all the way back to season one.   It’s like this Starbuck left the fleet months, even years ago, and a frakked-up doppelganger has been filling in for her up until now. Or two months ago, anyway.

Everybody else gathers around and just stares in shock.   All, of course, except for Lee Adama, who races over from his ship and engulfs her in a passionate embrace, followed by a Sam Cylon (Anders) encore.

Kara reacts completely in character, which is to say, exasperated puzzlement at the crew’s reaction to her. This quickly boils into angry outrage when Admiral Adama sends guards in to take her into custody. Colonel Cylon (Tigh) asks him, “Do you believe in miracles?” Adama replies, “No.”

This, too, is perfectly in character. To the Admiral’s mind, Kara Thrace is dead.   Therefore, whoever this person is, though she may look like Starbuck, fly like Starbuck, and sound like Starbuck, it cannot possibly be Starbuck. A Cylon duplicate? An alien impersonator? A miracle? There’s no way to tell. That makes her an unknown quantity, and therefore a danger to the fleet and its people until they can get to the bottom of just exactly who and what she is and, if it is Kara, what on, well, Earth happened to her over the preceding two months.

‘bucko is just as flabbergasted at being told that she’s been gone for two months as everybody else is at her very presence, and her claim that she’s only been gone six hours, which is, indeed, what her fighter’s clock indicates. But that’s not the only discrepancy. Though Doctor Cottle confirms that she isn’t a Cylon duplicate, she has suspicious gaps in her memory – specifically, in her flight to Earth and her flight from Earth back to the fleet. Then there’s her Viper. It has the same registry number, but other than that it is, according to Chief Cylon, not the ship in which Kara left two months back. That ship was full of dents, dings, scratches, and whatever battle damage was left intact because it wasn’t keeping the craft grounded. This one is brand new. And not only does the clock show only six hours flight time, but the navigational computer is blank. Or, in other words, a match for her memory. So there is no way of determining how Kara got to wherever she went or how she got back, to say nothing of her resurrection.

Now just about anybody else in her shoes would be able to at least understand why Adama, President Roslin, and the rest of the palace guard are being so cautious. As far as you know, you were only gone six hours, and you found Earth. YOU FOUND EARTH!!! And you’ve got the pictures to prove it. Or at least prove that you found an Earth-like world. You’ve come back with the info everybody’s been waiting for.   You’re expecting at least a warm welcome, even a routine “Hi, how’s it hanging?” Preferably you envisioned being carried around on the crowd’s shoulders with the entire crew chanting your name, like Adama was back in Exodus. Being greeted like a ghost at best, and the enemy at worst, wasn’t supposed to be on the program. But the obvious holes in your story that you cannot account for would compel you to see their point, if grudgingly. You’d probably want to solve this mystery as much as they, if only to restore your credibility and assuage your own doubts.

But this is Starbuck we’re talking about. Or at least a convincing fascimile. Whatever her temporary acceptance of her “special destiny” in Maelstrom, this is the old headstrong Kara Thrace back in force. She doesn’t care if she can’t explain how she got to and from Earth (and therefore whether she actually did); she knows she went there, returned, has a “sense” of the way back, and insists that everybody listen to her and follow her to their salvation. Anything less than that she considers a betrayal.   And she’s getting considerably less than that. What’s worse, with each jump away from the Ionian nebula, this “intuition” of hers fades a little bit more.   And she gets more distressed with each jump. Almost as if she’s been….programmed. Or psychologically conditioned.   Not that there’s necessarily much difference between the two, really.

There is a priceless scene where Roslin, Adama, Lee, and the Tigh, Tory, and Tyrol models are bandying about what to do with Starbuck and whether she might somehow be a Cylon after all, and the President muses, “There could be Cylons in this very room and we’d never know it.” The eyes of the three Cylons in the room all get as big as dinner plates. At least they didn’t look faux furtively at each other, the visual equivalent of stage-whispering, “Oh, frak, she’s onto us!” Almost as big as President Roslin (Cylon?)’s eyes got when Caprica Six told her that the other five Cylon models are “close”. Welcome to the final season’s ultimate plot collision course, the casualties of which will probably not be long in coming.

Like, in the last scene, where after another jump, and Kara telling Sam Cylon that if she found out he was a Cylon, she’d shoot him between the eyes (C’mon, Anders, why’d you look so shocked…?), she goes berserk on her two guards AND Sam, grabs one of their sidearms, bursts into the chemo-addled President Roslin’s temporary quarters on Galactica, and gives her an ultimatum: turn this bucket around or I pull the trigger.

Yeah, they’re MUCH more likely to listen to her now.

Next: Starbuck pulls the triggeror does she???

Gaypocrisy & Hillesbianism

Gaypocrisy & Hillesbianism

Well, I’m a little slow posting because this is quite a bit different than Blogger. I’m getting it though, slowly but surely.

Ever notice how quiet the homosexual/lesbian/transgender/various other freak rights groups are about how much money the Clintons take from regimes who imprison gays just for being gay?

The Clinton Foundation has accepted millions from Middle Eastern and other foreign governments that criminalize homosexuality – but prominent gay rights groups in America have stayed silent on the apparent disconnect between Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric and the donations.

“Unquestionably, they’re not standing up for their principles,” said Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee frequently talks about her support for the LGBT community, while ripping what she describes as discriminatory policies in the U.S.

“It’s outrageous that, in 2015, you can still be fired for being gay,” she told the Human Rights Campaign in an October 2015 speech. “You can still lose your home for being gay. You can even be denied a wedding cake for being gay.”

But published reports and figures provided by the Clinton Foundation on its website show the group has accepted millions from countries that prosecute and imprison gay people – and worse. The following is an overview of those contributions, as well as policies from donor nations as detailed by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

I doubt that anyone is seriously surprised at the Clintons’ hypocrisy. And by the way, Mrs. Clinton, nobody was “denied a wedding cake.” That couple had bakeries offering to make their cake for free. No, they and their loving, tolerant leftist buddies wanted to make an example of Christian owners simply because they disagreed.  Why is the ILGA silent on this issue? Gosh, you don’t suppose they’re hypocrites too?

Orlando Jihadist Wasn’t Just Targeting Homosexuals

Orlando Jihadist Wasn’t Just Targeting Homosexuals

At least not unless The House That Walt Disney Built has had a sudden and dramatic shift in the demographics of its longtime clientele:

As of Monday, investigators are currently scrubbing the Pulse nightclub gunman’s computer for any pictures or videos of Disney World that would suggest Omar Mateen cased the park or its surrounding areas as a potential target, according to the source.

When asked if any direct evidence was found so far, the source told Fox News “it’s still early.”

The FBI has also been in contact with security officials at Disney World to review security camera footage that would place Mateen at the park or at any of its surrounding attractions, the law enforcement source said.…

People Magazine reported earlier on Monday that Mateen’s ex-wife told the feds he had recently scouted Disney World.

I suppose it’s possible that Tinkerbell is actually a gender impersonator and is sharing forbidden “love” with Jiminey Cricket, or perhaps Mickey Mouse is doing things in a threesome with Pluto and Goofy that Darth Iger doesn’t want the world to know about, and Omar Mateen somehow found out about one or both in Baron Zemo fashion and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Or, more likely, Mateen was not just a homophobe, but an Islamic Fundamentalist on a mission of jihad to kill every non-Muslim at which he could point his Sig Sauer MCX carbine, and simply chose to “cleanse” the Pulse Nightclub because it was closer and more easily accessible.

Meanwhile, you know those “Christianists” that filthbags like Sally Kohn insist are REALLY responsible for the Orlando massacre….?

Hey right wing Christians desperately trying to point out that right wing Muslims are more anti-gay than you are: Your guilt is showing!

Last I checked, it’s not Muslim religious extremists shooting up abortion clinics and killing abortion doctors.

Islamic extremists kill LGBT people.

Christian and Jewish extremists just drive us to commit suicide.

Either way, .

So it’s “petty” to mourn the incredibly destructive role Christian Right ideology has played in US gay community?https://twitter.com/benhowe/status/742399390011232256 

Simple fact is that progressive Muslims recognize my fundamental humanity and equality as a queer person more than Christian right does.

Well, the snake-handlers that run Chic-Fil-A are donating food, water, and helping hands to their fellow Americans in Orlando:

Chic-fil-A, as any fan of the restaurant knows, is closed on Sundays. Normally. But this week Sunday was not normal as America awoke to the horror that took place in Orlando, Florida. In light of the tragic news, several Orlando locations of the Christian-owned restaurant chain and constant bogeyman of the paranoid left opened their doors and hearts on Sunday to help their fellow man.

As the Washington Examiner reports, they provided assistance, food and water, a place to sit down. They delivered free food and drinks to the police, fire, and rescue personnel at the scene. They volunteered in lines handing out supplies. They even gave out hundreds more to those who came to the Red Cross to give blood.

Employees of Chick-fil-A Lee Vista prepare to deliver free food and water to the scene of the terror attack in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, March 12. (Via Facebook)

Rumor has it is was the Christian thing to do, and had nothing to do with Sag Saeur MCX carbines.  And all out of the kindness of their hearts, as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Sally Kohn evidently had no comment that could be shoehorned into her Christophobic hatemongering agenda.  But don’t feel bad, Sal, because Mateen’s co-religionists will be shooting up synagogues and churches eventually, and probably sooner than you hope.  And you’ll be there in the quaking aftermath…to pass out the popcorn.

Orlando Jihadist Did Not Use An AR-15

Orlando Jihadist Did Not Use An AR-15

Okay, the other reason for this post is to glom the pic above.  I especially like the gun with the “BANG!” banner sticking out of the barrel, because that reminds me of the WWF bit that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin did with Vince McMahon back in 1998:

“McMahon 3:16 says you just pissed your pants”.  Ya just can’t beat the classics.

Much like the Obamedia stumbled down the steps and pooped their pants of firearm ignorance yet again.  Pistol, shotgun, squirtgun, raygun, rifle, it doesn’t matter, because they’re all AR-15s to the gun-grabbers:

Newsweek screamed, “ORLANDO SHOOTING PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON AR-15 RIFLE.”

Judd Legume of Think Progress squeaked, “The NRA’s Love Affair With The AR-15, Weapon Of Choice For Mass Murderers, In Twenty-Two Tweets.”

Always wrong Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post whined, “The gun used in the Orlando shooting is becoming mass shooters’ weapon of choice.”

There’s just one problem, the wrestling saying equivalent of which is not knowing the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch:

The rifle used by the Islami[c] terrorist in Orlando was instead a Sig Sauer MCX carbine.

SigSauer

….a modular, multi-caliber (able to swap to different calibers, including 5.56 NATO, 300 BLK, and 7.62×39) rifle system that sometimes utilizes STANAG magazines common to more than sixty different firearms, but otherwise has no major parts that interface with AR-15s in any way, shape or form.

This of course, will make no difference at all to the anti-gun politimedia, who don’t particularly care about factual accuracy and who likely wouldn’t be able to tell an AR-15 from a toaster oven if their lives depended on it.

And, of course, they don’t have to care, because (1) they want ALL guns confiscated from law-abiding Americans in blatant violation of the Second Amendment, and (2) they have private security details and bodyguards anyway that take care of that sort of thing for them.

Not that the Sig Sauer MCX carbine is any less deadly than the AR-15, obviously.  But the AR-15 is much better known, and if the Obamedia can play up that that was Omar Mateen’s primary weapon of choice, the Orlando atrocity can be tagged to it, and gin up renewed public support for gun-grabbing in general.  Or so goes the standard Obamedia plan.

And Muslim-control, which would be a much more effective and direct remedy to the real problem?  That’s “Islamophobic”, of course.

The anti-gun press may be “praying for Orlando,” but theirs has nothing to do with the victims or their families.

Is The Congressional Firewall Holding Against The Trump Effect?

Is The Congressional Firewall Holding Against The Trump Effect?

So far, the answer appears to be….yes.

But the night, as they say, is young:

Donald Trump will prove a boon to House Democrats, top campaign officials said Monday morning, though they conceded that a Trump drag has yet to exhibit itself because the election’s dynamics have been slow to solidify.

“This election is breaking late,” said Kelly Ward, executive director of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. “The dynamic of what is happening at the top of the ticket is taking a while to solidify,” leaving the House as a lagging indicator. Nevertheless, added New Mexico-3 Representative Ben Ray Lujan, who chairs the committee, “Whether people try to run away from Donald Trump now or not, the damage has been done.”

It’s mid-June, gentles; that’s awfully early for an election to “break,” even in 2016.  Just as the dynamic of what is happening at the top of the ticket has already pretty much solidified: The American electorate emphatically wants other viable choices besides the two most loathed figures in American politics today, but are holding their noses moderately less for Hillary Clinton than they are for Donald Trump.  He got a small post-nomination-clinching bump, which is now fading, and she may or may not get a bump after hers, but if she does, it will settle back down to that mid-single-digits margin by which she will eventually win in November.  Indeed, I would argue that the top-of-the-ticket dynamic has not only solidified, it has congealed.

The question has always been the effect down-ballot.  Coattails (positive and negative) have ceased to be an electoral phenomenon over the past generation, but the sheer stench and spectacle of Trumpmania figured to bring them back, though they also figured to have the least impact in the House.  The evidence thus far seems to reinforce that conclusion:

While a Trump effect on the House has been much discussed (see here, here,here and here, for example) it has yet to exhibit itself in terms of the shape of the House battlegrounds: A perusal back through the Cook Political Report’s ratings of House races, for example, shows a surprisingly stable battle for the House. The most recent chart, issued last week, rated forty-five GOP-held seats as competitive (with three in the “likely Democrat” column, two more in “lean Democrat,” fifteen toss-ups, thirteen in “lean Republican” and another dozen in “likely Republican”); one month ago there were forty-four competitive Republican seats, divided roughly the same way; the number was forty-three the month before that. Democrats have thirteen competitive seats, according to the latest Cook tally, and need to net thirty seats to regain the majority in the House.

Doesn’t sound like a “blue wave” election at the House level to me.  It might have been if the Dems had cared about electability and nominated Bernie Sanders instead, but as I have discussed for years now, Hillary Clinton inspires nothing other than heartburn.  She’ll win because Trump is an even worse alternative for every voter outside his Peronist personality cult, but dragging her own fat ass across the finish line will be enough of a burden without having to lift all those other boats at the same time.

But what about in the Senate, where the GOP was going to have a difficult enough time holding onto its 54-46 majority even before the ill-fated, ill-advised rise of the pompadoured prince?  Turns out there’s still some flickering hope there as well:

This lines up with polling seen in Senate and gubernatorial races. Trump’s negatives and lack of gain from Mitt Romney’s polling levels in 2012 hasn’t shown any impact on other Republicans. In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey still holds a substantial lead over Democrat challengers despite Trump’s lack of significant traction. In Utah, a poll taken a week ago shows Trump not even reaching 30% in a three-way race for the presidency in this deep-red State and only 36% in a two-way battle against Hillary Clinton. Governor Gary Herbert scores 56% from the same sample in his re-election bid, however. In fact, another poll in Utah shows much the same kind of race.

If Trump is still neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in Utah three months after I first brought that to y’all’s attention, he’s going to get utterly and absolutely vaporized in just under five months.  Shinola, even poor ol’ Bob Dole carried the Mormon State by twenty-one points in 1996, and John McCain by twenty-nine a dozen years later, and those were the most desultory Republican efforts in the past half-century.

But then anybody who hasn’t drunk the Trump Kool-Aid has always known that he couldn’t win in November and that the point of his bid all along was to ensure the ascension of his good friend Commissar Thunderthighs.  The biggest threat of Trumpmania has always been the Whiggification of the GOP by the abject destruction of its brand by its subsumption into Trump’s corrupt, gutter-trash circus.  But if the party’s congressional majorities could survive Trumpageddon, so could the party itself, and perhaps the GOP civil war that demon-spawned it could be wound down in something resembling Lincolnesque, as opposed to Reconstructionesque, fashion.

Holding the Senate is still a long shot, but if Paul Ryan is still wielding the gavel next January and thus around to atone for his Trumpist sins, Trumpageddon will not have been, after all, an extinction level event.

Which simply means he’ll try again in 2020.  But one ELE at a time, I guess.

Obama Giving Up On Closing Gitmo?

Obama Giving Up On Closing Gitmo?

I’m shocked.  Stunned.  Stupefied.  Flabbergasted.  This just isn’t possible.  How can a “god” fail to get rid of something that should have, from day one, only taken the stroke of a pen, the law be damned?

Is The One a lame duck after all?:

The Obama administration is not pursuing the use of an executive order to shutter the Guantanamo Bay military prison after officials concluded that it would not be a viable strategy, sources familiar with the deliberations said.

Why not?  It worked for cap & trade, and two amnesties, and several other prominent items on the Obama Agenda.  What made closing Gitmo any different?

The conclusion, reached by administration officials, narrows the already slim chances that Barack Obama can fulfill his pledge to close the notorious offshore prison before leaving office in January.

The White House has said repeatedly that Obama has not ruled out any options on the Guantanamo center, which has been used to house terrorism suspects since it was set up in 2001 following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Right up until now, it would seem.  But again comes the question: Why?  It simply does not fit the eight-year pattern of the Obamidency.

Captain Ed suggests that the obstacle was that keeping Gitmo open had bipartisan support:

Without a path through Congress, there would be very little the White House could do to close the facility now, and almost no time in which to do it. Obama could attempt to close the entire Guantanamo Bay naval base and hand it back to Raul Castro, but that would almost certainly require Senate approval — and would create a political firestorm the likes of which have not been seen since the Panama Canal treaties of 1977. The Democrat-dominated Senate barely ratified the two treaties, with a single vote to spare on both. Obama wouldn’t be able to get any such treaty through this Senate, and attempting to try it without Senate ratification could trigger a constitutional crisis that could swamp out Democrats’ hopes in the upcoming election.

You mean like the constitutional crises that ensued after every previous use of O’s pen and phone and putter?  How about the Iran nuclear “deal” that was a treaty requiring two-thirds Senate ratification until that same GOP Senate decided to do Red Barry the favor of pretending it wasn’t and flipping that threshold to requiring a two-thirds vote to reject it?  Have those impeachment hearings begun yet?  Or did they already take place and I, the full-time blogger and podcaster, somehow missed them, unless they were shoehorned into the preceding three weeks of my “working vacation”?

C’mon, man.  Severing power from legal authority is the core of the Obama legacy.  Sure, Senate approval is required for a lot of things, constitutionally speaking.  But since when does Barack Obama give a frog’s fat leg about the Constitution?  Especially during his second term, when he was past having to even pretend to care about what the American people thought about anything, much less their elected representatives on either side of Capitol Hill?

Piffle.  If Barack Obama had, at any time in the past eight years, really wanted to shut down Gitmo, he would have done so, by whatever means necessary.  And he did not.  But does that mean he never truly wanted to cease housing captured jihadists there, or did he have another use in mind for the facility?  Perhaps the incarceration of….political prisoners?  Which in turn raises the question of whether he’s changed his mind about a coup de tat and self-installation as president-for-life.  Has that long-term plan/plot become something he’s simply too lazy to bother with, preferring to hand everything off to Mrs. Clinton, who will certainly not lack any enthusiasm for that tyrannical task?  It would definitely indicate his level of confidence in her ability to dispatch Donald Trump without more than a token modicum of effort.

I’m still not fully buying this story.  It’s just too difficult for me to believe that his ideological thirst for power could ever be slaked.  And besides, I’ve never been to the Caribbean.  At least the tab for that “working vacation” would have been picked up by the feds.

But there’s still a chance.  Stay tuned.