Aww jeez somebody needs a nap

The dudgeon’s high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna whinge and prattle on…

We Are Watching A Slow-Motion Coup D’etat

This coup d’etat is not only about President Trump. It represents not the rule of one man or even many, but by the multitude of our elites.

James Downton is so wound up with ressentiment du dorque he can barely think. Anyone who questions the fitness of President Donald Trump is either a bankrolled actor or conspirator. If I recall, it was only yesterday…

After a steady stream of emerging controversies and even impeachment talk, President Donald Trump’s approval rating has once again hit a new low among registered voters.

According to the latest Morning Consult/Politico survey, 53 percent disapprove of the president’s job in office, while 41 percent approve.

…we saw he was 12 points underwater. That’s territory Obama never saw in eight years. To be clear: this is not a poll of Yale’s Whiffenpoofs. So don’t go and tell me that Alinsky saboteurs have taken wrenches to the country’s power structure.

This is also the third time just this month that the president’s numbers have hit a new low in the Morning Consult/Politico survey.

Like all narcissists, Donald cannot handle serious responsibility. So yeah, he’s destroying himself. He’s just not that into reality, dude. Nay, Downton:

Since November 9, 2016, forces within the U.S. government, media, and partisan opposition have aligned to overthrow the Electoral College winner, Donald Trump.

To achieve this they have undermined the institutions of the Fourth Estate, the bureaucratic apparatus of the U.S. government, and the very nature of a contentious yet affable two-party political system.

Oh the slings and arrows, etc. If you, the reader, get off on the likes of *whoosh* Publius Decius Mus *golf clap* jabbering about “the totalizing power of the administrative state” versus sunday sunday SUNDAY “virtue, morality, religious faith, stability, character and so on in the individual,” well then. Today is your lucky “final option to head off the transformation of the American republic into an administrative state where bureaucrats would wield an immutable regulatory dictatorship over the American citizenry.” And, don’t forget, the machine that goes PING.

Let’s cut to the chase. SHORTER James Downton, pedigreed fool, The Federalist:

Nancy Pelosi fired James Comey so America could be run by Mike Pence.

Is it just me?

I thought the news dropped a bombshell yesterday.

Report: Trump Told Russians He Fired ‘Nut Job’ Comey Because Of Investigation

If you’re anything like me you’ve been reading up on what fairly amounts to obstruction of justice. And you just picked your jaw off the floor. But first, the statutory reveries of the New York Times:

There have been comparisons of Mr. Trump’s statements to the Watergate cover-up that toppled President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. The “smoking gun” recording in that case, however, was much more incriminating as Mr. Nixon told H. R. Halderman, his chief of staff, six days after the break-in that the C.I.A. needed to tell the F.B.I. “don’t go any further into this case.”

Okay, boss. Post after post, time after time, I keep coming across the same thing.

1.) Intent.
2.) And the intent?
3.) At the time, what was his intent?

Whether Mr. Trump could be found to have the requisite intent is not clear from the memorandum Mr. Comey is reported to have written about their conversation in February. Asking the F.B.I. director to “let this go” regarding Mr. Flynn is the type of ambiguous comment that might not be interpreted as directly interfering in the investigation, and therefore insufficient to establish a corrupt intent.

Quote: “…ambiguous comment that might not be interpreted as directly interfering in the investigation, and therefore insufficient to establish a corrupt intent.” The take-home is that until you can get inside The Donald’s head and see he meant to impede the investigation, proving obstruction is nearly impossible.

Then yesterday.

Washington (CNN)– President Donald Trump bragged to two top Russian officials last week that firing “nut job” FBI Director James Comey eased “great pressure” on him, The New York Times reported Friday.

“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to the Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak came one day after Comey was fired…

This is “intent”, right? Anyone? Bueller? Looks to me like a confession. It’s as if he just remembered to send the hangman’s noose out for gilding. If you want to know why Trump acted the way he did, I’d start there.

Am I the only one amazed by this?

And in the wake of a Friday New York Times report in which Trump is said to have told the Russians “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,” after firing Comey, Toobin believes a statement like that might just be an admission of guilt.

“If you just parse the words that Donald Trump says, it does seem very close to a confession of obstruction of justice,” Toobin said. “He is talking about James Comey, who was investigating him and his campaign in connection with the whole Russia campaign matter, and he says ‘I fired him and the pressure’s off.’ It doesn’t seem much more complicated than that.”

Okay, me and Jeffrey Toobin. Now all we need is is about a dozen red state Senators, which shouldn’t be all that hard… *whistles*

A candy-colored clown they call the sandman (in dreams)…

I don’t enjoy seeing my country torn apart by shameless lying, political chaos or naked treason. I’d prefer the folks in charge merely do whatever it is they’re supposed to do without making a fuss. But if we’re going to suffer through bad times – and with Donald Trump those are guaranteed – then I’ll take my entertainment wherever I can get it, perverse as that might be.

While the rest of us now have to keep up with the daily crimes of Trump while trying not to shear our shaking heads off, like one of those talcum-and-graphite extras in a Tool video, Trump’s believers are having an altogether different experience. Though you could also say they’re astonished at someone’s behavior, that someone would be us. We’re the ones who are committing something like crimes.

All This Impeachment Talk Is Pure Trump Derangement Syndrome

Well this didn’t take long, did it?

This is the libertarian take at Reason.

Donald Trump, the most-unlikely and least-liked president in the history of the United States, had barely celebrated his first 100 days when calls for his impeachment started flying faster than Anthony Weiner dick pics at a Girl Scout cookout.

Nick Gillespie, Fonzie of Freedom, isn’t much interested in Trump’s impressing, pressing, firing and then Tweet-threatening James Comey. The FBI Director was reportedly investigating somebody important about something at the time, but you know how the lamestream media are.

For the good of democracy, don’t you see, the Republicans must not only be kicked to the curb in the 2018 midterms, but the president himself must be thrown into the street, just like he once tried to evict that old lady from her house in Atlantic City!

Italics his, as well his use of short-sheeting irony. If you think he can’t keep up the Neslon Muntz act for an entire post, well…

That man in the White House is vulgar, disrespectul, maybe even dangerous. So what?…the 1990s called, they want their sex scandals back!

…think again. Credit Nick for trying “They hate him even more now AMIRITE?!” as the ultimate head-desk take.

For something a little more adult, in the murder mystery vein, try this guy:

Gregg Jarrett: Comey’s revenge is a gun without powder

James Comey was lying in wait.

His gun was cocked, he took aim and fired. But his weapon was empty…

Jarrett is an attorney and a Fox News regular. You can bet his phone is full of voicemails from the boys upstairs.

Now, only after Comey was fired, the memo magically surfaces in an inflammatory New York Times report which alleges that Mr. Trump asked Comey to end the Michael Flynn investigation.

…Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the President of the United States. Failure to do so would result in criminal charges against Comey. (18 USC 4 and 28 USC 1361) He would also, upon sufficient proof, lose his license to practice law.

What’s this all about? Well, I’m guessing it’s now Jarrett’s job to do something with the dead body. So he’s propping it up with a coat rack and shuffling its feet around with his hands.

But by writing a memo, Comey has put himself in a box. If he now accuses the President of obstruction, he places himself in legal jeopardy for failing to promptly and properly report it. If he says it was merely an uncomfortable conversation, he clears the president of wrongdoing and sullies his own image as a guy who attempted to smear the man who fired him.

Either way, James Comey comes out a loser…

If all this sounds senseless to you allow me to throw in my two cents, at least as much as I understand it. Jarrett is putting forth a legal argument you might call the “Five Second Rule.” If Trump somehow obstructed justice with respect to the FBI Director, what follows is a test of legal sufficiency and human will. James Comey has a mere few minutes to run over to the Supreme Court with his hair on fire and collapse on the front steps. Unfortunately ‘minutes’ is not much time and, once it’s up, then It’s All Entirely Legal, Jimbo. Also something something hummina you have the right to remain silent, hump.

Speaking of time, mine is short but before I go let’s get some other reactions. Paul Ryan?

“We need the facts. It is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president, but we have an obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party is in the White House, and that means, before rushing to judgment, we get all the pertinent information.”

Trump is the victim here – there’s a meme for you. As usual a prominent Republican is being unfairly accused of subverting democracy, molesting teen boys, shotgunning friends in the face while drunk, etc. Also:

“I’m sure we’re going to hear from Mr. Comey about why, if this happened as he describes, why he didn’t take action at the time,” Ryan said. “So there are a lot of unanswered questions.”

Comey is the real bad guy. That’s the other meme. Whatever the FBI Director did, I’m sure it’s a whole lot worse than anything that humble public servant Donald Trump has done. And you know that Comey is a Republican, right? Fat lot of good that will do him in the coming weeks and months…


ADD:

He makes it harder to lie, doesn’t he?

This is real? Seriously?

This is interesting. We have a chief executive under fire for collusion with the Russians who’s willing to risk his presidency by dropping our most sensitive national secrets on…the Russians. In front of shocked attendants and aides, Trump enlightened the foreigners visiting the White House. He’s got plenty of chutzpah. He’s got a penchant for driving the narrative into deep water.

At first hearing, there’s the must-be-kidding-me frisson of shock. But then the threadbare Trump dissonance creeps in, like the tide. Hell, he could’ve done it. You’re stuck between being quik-thrilled at the prospect of his treason and the hopelessness of it being true. The President just did something that would’ve gotten any chief executive before Ronald Reagan summarily hanged.

Yes I’ve read the take at LawFare, and they’re sounding like sensible conservatives. We’ll take it while we can:

Fifth, this may well be a violation of the President’s oath of office. Questions of criminality aside, we turn to the far more significant issues: If the President gave this information away through carelessness or neglect, he has arguably breached his oath of office.

There’s more to this “Oath” than I ever understood, and I’m grateful for that.

Congress has alleged oath violations—albeit violations tied to criminal allegations or breaches of statutory obligations—all three times it has passed or considered seriously articles of impeachment against presidents: against Andrew Johnson (“unmindful of the high duties of his oath of office”), Richard Nixon (“contrary to his oath”), and Bill Clinton (“in violation of his constitutional oath”). Further, two of the three articles of impeachment against Nixon alleged no direct violation of the law.

It’s all mysterious to me. I know that what’s obviously wrong is wrong, but I don’t know what counts for enough to dispense with the biggest threat to the country we’ve seen in our lives.

No, not Virginia!

We’ve barely noticed little Charlottesville in all the chaos that has become our Cartoon Nation. Maybe some uppity crackers will take pity on the town?

Several dozen torch-wielding protesters gathered in Charlottesville’s Lee Park just after 9 p.m. Saturday, chanting “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend” and “Blood and soil.”

After about 10 minutes, Charlottesville police arrived at the scene following an altercation between protesters. The crowd quickly dispersed with no further incidents, according to police.

Thanks volks. They seem nice.

The group congregated in Lee Park by a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is slated to be removed from the premises later this year following a February city council vote. Earlier in the day, protestors had also gathered at nearby Jackson Park, voicing their commitment to protecting what they called their “white heritage.”

Call me paranoid, but my spider sense is definitely tingling. I think this has something to do with the current president – but what exactly? Eh, hmmm. Gonna sit right here and stroke my chin for a bit, you go on ahead…

I beg your garden. I never promised you a rose pardon.

Chris Cilizza is no longer at the Washington Post any more, he’s over at CNN now. And if you’re trying to remember which part of Mouthpiece Theater he was, whether he sat on the right or the left, forget it. He looked and acted just like the other guy.

New digs aside, Chris still does the same old schtick. ‘I told you all to SHUSH.’

About that Rose Garden health care photo with all the white guys….

House Republicans marched to the White House on Thursday afternoon to celebrate their victory: Passage of the American Health Care Act…

You’ll likely notice — as the Internet did very quickly — that there are only white men visible in that picture. Which is not a great image to be sending to the country following the passage of a controversial healthcare law and while fighting back against the stereotype that your party is largely populated by, wait for it, white men.

I was blissfully unaware:

1.) That any American political party full of white men had a “stereotype” problem. I was not aware this perception was somehow unfair. The GOP tends to be as much “whitey” as a wolverine tends to be “bitey.” And…

2.) That any Republican was “fighting back” against this.

In addition I don’t recall Donald Trump being sheepish about his race. Nor do I remember him being interested in a non-pejorative way in anybody else’s. I do however recall him winning in November and becoming our president.

It is entirely possible that Chris is blissfully unaware of who and what the GOP are. Hint: They dominate all three branches of our government and the vast majority of the legislatures in our paler states.

There are two women in the photo, by the way. But one is obscured by Vice President Mike Pence and the other’s face cannot be seen behind Texas Rep. Kevin Brady.

But, if you stretch the frame out a bit, you see that there were more women there — just outside of the frame of the first picture…

So, as is often the case, the picture seized on by the social media horde — especially the liberals within it — doesn’t tell the whole story.

So, as is often the case, Chris is smart and you’re dumb. By a quick count there are forty people in the photo and every one of them is a white man. But this is of absolutely no consequence, of course. Thirty-one percent of the country is somehow ninety-nine percent of the GOP…so? Is there some point to this? What matters is that liberals missed seeing part of a woman’s face behind Mike Pence. JACKALS.

In addition, though it can’t be seen – “in the photo” – there’s another woman there. She’s standing behind a white man (…and who isn’t?). There’s also a mosquito having a petit mal seizure, a gopher digging a fabulous burrow, and a flaming World War II bomber circling behind the White House. Trust me, they’re all there “in the photo.” But how hard did you look for them? Did you even try? Pfft, you people.

Amazing that Chris would call out anyone who commented on this. If somebody can’t see the point, it’s him.

The post-vote celebration is a photo opportunity. It’s public relations. It’s been entirely arranged by the White house and the GOP. Gathered at the center of it, along with Trump and Pence, are the bigwigs in Republican politics. It’s a political statement: These are the people who matter.

Cilizza isn’t bothered by this in the least. Not by The Warriors-style confab or the seventies-era Apartheid. He’s too busy scanning photos with a magnifying glass to care. HOORAY he found part of a woman’s face, so the day is won. Now he gets to lecture us about seeing the bigger picture…

Republicans are the most disgusting…

In ramming a dangerous healthcare bill through the House without anyone having seen it – including their own congress members – and without the Congressional Budget Office having any time to score it – giving Americans no warning of what’s about to happen to them (…so long insurance…) – Paul Ryan and the Republicans have hit Peak Scum.

Congratulations jerks. I thought maybe Dennis Hastert, the former Republican Speaker of the House who turned out to be a serial child molester, had set the unattainable bar. But boy was I wrong.

House Republicans have scheduled a vote today on a mystery bill that will repeal Obamacare and replace it with…nobody knows. Which, I suggest, is not how anyone interested in public service should behave. Any time millions of people’s lives are at stake (and there’s no doubt about that) you would expect such people to understand their responsibilities and act accordingly.

But that’s not what we’ve got. Instead we’ve got a bunch of grown men and women knowing nothing about healthcare, caring nothing about the consequences of denying it to millions of people, and skulking around like a gang of thugs – a church-going horde of Reagan-n-Randites jacked up on adrenaline and operating by way of late night calls and back room huddles, in between the usual slapping of backs and praying for FREEDOM. And almost every one of them is ‘unable to comment on the bill’ (which would give Americans some warning) because ‘Well, I haven’t seen it’. Which of course is entirely by design.

With only hours to go, a few internet folks have gleaned a few details of what could soon become law. And it’s WORSE than what you’d ever guess. There’s little doubt why AHCA II (The Immiserating) is a more precious secret than our current nuclear missile deployments.

What’s the Rush? Sarah Kliff tells us that’s it’s all part of a Republican long game where tax cuts are king. They don’t care how much screeching and wailing the American public does after realizing their insurance has been reduced to a smoking crater. Why is that? Because the rich get massive tax cuts! AMERICA WINS.

You’ve got insurance through your employer? You’re getting screwed, too. You’re white, work hard, and you voted Republican. You think you’re safe? HAH. The Republicans threw in a provision to exempt your boss from having to pay for certain expensive illnesses. If you fall into that category, expect to pay thousands to hundreds of thousands more out of pocket.

Special Ed kids, too? The developmentally disabled? In order to tally up bigger government savings – meaning bigger tax cuts for the wealthy – Republicans have drastically cut Medicaid expenditures. This means that schools who provide education and therapy to our most vulnerable children will be hard-hit, and will likely abandon services unless the states pick up the rest of the costs. Given that most state legislatures are right-wing batcaves, good luck with that.

Finally, Jonathan Chait:

They are rushing through a chamber of Congress a bill reorganizing one-fifth of the economy, without even cursory attempts to gauge its impact. Its budgetary impact is as yet unknown. The same is true of its social impact, though the broad strokes are clear enough: Millions of Americans will lose access to medical care, and tens of thousands of them will die, and Congress is understandably eager to hasten these results without knowing them more precisely. Their haste and secrecy are a way of distancing the House Republicans from the immorality of their actions.

I will only add that if you ever happen to come across Rep. Paul Ryan, you should free to haul off and punch his face. (Oh I would like to say that but, because I am a decent guy, unlike him, I won’t…)

The unrelenting smartypants of Mark Penn

Don’t you just love it when a spectacular failure wants a no-backsies do-over as Wold’s Smartest Man? Mark Penn has re-surfaced with an op-ed in The Hill.

Today we live in a polling bubble …

How else can one explain that although many polls showed a close race last November, almost no one (myself included) predicted a lopsided victory for Donald Trump in the Electoral College.

…he asked? After running Hillary’s first-to-worst campaign in 2008, Penn has, uh – what has he done? Oh, that’s right, nothing. It’s the politics game: He effed up on a grand scale, now he’s a made man.

The Hill, of course, is in no mood to take any note of Penn’s epic incompetence, stupidity, or penchant for giving candidates sterling advice like this:

Penn advised Clinton not to apologize for voting for the Iraq War, insisting that “It’s important for all Democrats to keep the word ‘mistake’ firmly on the Republicans.” Clinton followed this strategy. She would only apologize six years later in 2014.

So, we get this editorial. And why shouldn’t we, when it’s JUST. THIS. HOT?

Why the polls are wrong about Trump. Again.

…except for being wrong about the polls being wrong, this is a great headline. After Comey dropped his last-minute bombshell, the voters shifted about a net 5 points away from Clinton. The few groups who were still polling picked up on it, but most the big names had already packed up. Gone home. Still – look out!

…several of the same organizations are using their polls to proclaim that he has had the worst start of any modern president and the worst ratings of a president at this time in his presidency. While Trump is no FDR when it comes to forming a political coalition, a fairer reading of the polls and the election results shows his performance is probably 5 or 6 points better than is being touted…

Mark’s a science-pollster, so he would know. Let’s get knee-deep in the varnish stripping and number crunching and regression analyses, shall we?

There are several reasons for this mismatch between likely reality and the interpretations we are seeing.

Wait. “Likely reality”? This is about your feelings? I thought you were a polls guy, Mark. Where are the data?

Most polls have moved away from voters or likely voters to U.S. adults with no screen for registration or even citizenship. And the questions often focus on storylines and narratives critical of Trump. Rarely are they written from the perspective of having missed the major swings and economic discontent that upended the election.

Screening? Storylines? Narratives?! What’s wrong with asking “Do you have a favorable view of Trump?” What’s so fuzzy about that? This apparently is the newer and wiser Mark Penn, the not-spectacularly-stupid genius. He’s going to sidestep facts and figures now, y’know, all that stuff that Trump made a mockery of, cough.

The current crop of stories also sets Trump ratings expectations, as though America went through the typical process of coming together around the winner.

Jesus Christ. Donald Trump is so divisive a figure that America couldn’t “come together” over his election. This is why polling can’t measure his true popularity, get it? Me neither.

Instead we had recounts, Russian conspiracies, investigations and rallies unlike any seen after any election.

Because of unforeseen events, acts of god, black swans and forces majeure, not that any of these is a crime perpetrated by one of the candidates – a well-known pillar of society – the perception of an unpopular president is seeping into the data. Now say my name! Mark Penn!

The country was sharply politically divided on Election Day and remains that way today. That is the backdrop of any realistic assessment of what is happening in America.

The country was deeply divided on Election Day, not that it was anyone’s fault, not by way of anything you could call relevant, and there’s certainly nothing to see here. But if Americans have known about and hated this Donald Trump for a long time, it only means they harbor a secret love for the guy. It’s just buried deep inside. ‘Wish I knew how to quit you, Adolf.’ THAT’S the hole that Mark Penn will be digging in for all eternity, Sisyphus in reverse. Hup – is that the phone?

*Ring*

YOU: Hullo?

MARK: Hi my name is Mark. I’m conducting a poll on people’s political opinions. I’d like to ask you some questions about President Donald Trump…

YOU: Fuck him.

MARK: Ah yes, I see. Of course. Then again, on second thought, you might saaay…

YOU: Fuck him.

MARK: GAH. Okay, fine, but what about this? What if, uuh, what if he….

*Click*

Oh no one hundred days

I’d say Donny is in a bit of a pickle.

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday about the “ridiculous standard” by which he will be judged on his accomplishments during his first 100 days in office.

His 100 days will be up Friday. Which means everybody – even historians – will be staring at him. But friends, what could Ginger Augustus possibly have to brag about? He’s got no iron Muslim ban. He’s got no towering wall. He’s got no triple-A affordable Trumpcare. I can’t find a piece of legislation anyone can point to and cry out “Donald Trump!”

“This man is without experience, and it’s showing,” said Robert Dallek, the presidential historian and author of multiple books on presidents, from Roosevelt and Truman to Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan. “Particularly in his dealings with Congress, he’s been an utter failure in the sense that he’s gotten nothing passed. He’s issuing all sorts of executive orders, like immigration limits; they’re failing. The attempt to get health care reform failed. I’d give him failing marks for his 100 days.”

But – eep – wait. There are still a few days left. There might be – maybe – time enough to re-vamp the country’s whole health system.

Just in the last couple of days, the White House was raising stakes for another health care bill with talk of a potential deal between moderates and conservatives. Trump’s team wants another vote this upcoming week (while a government shutdown looms Friday).

He’s got 120 hours. That should be time enough to throw a trillion dollars at the rich and tens of millions of people off their insurance. Before his fellow Republicans pull the plug on the government, that is. HEY you haven’t heard the Chief talk much about that, have you? Being the CEO of a dead letter office? As of Saturday? Heck maybe he could use a break.

Meantime, experienced congressional leaders were trying to tamp that kind of talk down. Expectations-setting is a big part of success in politics, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Trump who appears to think the bigger the expectation, the better.

He even added this wrinkle Friday: “We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” Trump said, vowing to release his tax reform plan ahead of the artifice of the 100-day mark. “The process has begun long ago, but it really formally begins on Wednesday.”

Oh, I forgot – he’ll be re-writing the federal tax code. Yuppers, might as well take a swing at that while you’re on a roll. Keep an eye out for that, folks, that’ll be Wednesday. That’ll be in between raiding the Deep State pantry for supplies and building an ark.

[100 days] was part of his stump speech in the final week of the campaign — he asked his crowds in Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and elsewhere to “imagine what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a Trump administration.”

I’m betting John Q. Public will actually remember Donny talking about his glorious first few months. Because Johnny was standing right there in front of him, at one of those endless rallies, when ‘100 days!’ made its unfortunate way past his slurving lips. Now what?

One man’s view of Bill O’Reilly

After twenty long years of cable TV supremacy, the king of right-wing news has been fired by 21st Century Fox.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”

The empire takes another hit. Not too long after the world caught up with Fox impresario Roger Ailes, the bald round disgusting 76 year-old, it turned on his favorite employee: The bald tall disgusting 67 year-old, Bill O’Reilly. Between the two of them, boss and pal sexually assaulted some shocking number of thirty-something News Babes. Everyone had finally had enough.

For a lecture of well-actually on O’Reilly’s sustained success, you might try this piece at Breitbart.

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd called O’Reilly a “leader” in the conservative movement, which is more wishful thinking than reality.

In truth, the secret of O’Reilly’s success was that he was a centrist. He hit the elusive sweet spot that many media outlets covet, but few actually bother to pursue.

Ask a true conservative: Bill-O wasn’t successful because he spouted the sort of populist racism, paranoia and misogyny that reminded high school football players of their coaches [jealous, Breitnerds?]. He was a ratings hit because he was a middling presence. He was your comfy Boise-Buffalo news personality, like Tom Brokaw. Or Tim Russert.

And while your head plays out the cartoon of the Cable King going network mainstream, you can peruse Media Matters’ list of his broadsides leveled at “Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Low-Income People, The LGBTQ Community, Muslims And Refugees, and Immigrants“. Such was his disdain for people who weren’t FOBs [white male, aging, conservative] that Bill-O’s broadcast assaults can’t at first be appreciated – only cataloged and indexed, like a baseball card collection. As media people might say, you can see how closely his “fundamentals” mirrored somebody like Charles Kuralt.

But let us not forget perhaps Bill’s greatest asset: He was exactly as he appeared. Unlike Brian Williams, who tried so hard to come off as the aw-shucks Jersey fireman gone large, O’Reilly was no fake. When Big Bill appeared to be faux-bragging about being a war correspondent, it was true: He was lying about being a war correspondent. Williams was decent enough to feel bad about telling people he’d been shot down over Iraq. But when O’Reilly got caught telling everybody he’d been right there in the Falklands War, his reaction was “Yeah? Fuck you.” He was such an authentic bully that when you called him on his bullshit, he wheeled around and poked a finger in your chest: This is on you, pal. You could probably chisel that on his tombstone.

He was equally authentic with women. He both believed and acted as if they were his de facto handjobs. If you were unfortunate enough to be one in his presence, he laid on thick the Fox Boi charm to make it clear: I’ll hump you in a heartbeat. This was no accident. Ailes knew this was what the FOBs wanted to see and hear [see Media Matters for the many cringe clips].

Luckily for everyone involved Bill needed no coaching. Young women were his masturbatory targets, especially if they worked there at Fox News. Any suitable employee within reach soon became his hand lotion and washcloth.

…the at-times “tyrannical and menacing” O’Reilly would masturbate while on the phone with Mackris, at other points suggesting she purchase a vibrator; engage in phone sex or a threesome with him; and listen to lurid details of his alleged sexual encounters with a cabana masseuse, airline stewardesses, and Thai sex-show workers.

Perhaps most famously, O’Reilly fantasized to Mackris how he’d like to shower with her and fondle her with a loofah, which he mistakenly called a “falafel thing” later in the call, according to a transcript.

So total was his self-appreciation for dominance, he never thought Mackris might not be interested in pleasing him. The idea he might try and conjure up the word ‘loofah’ – instead of ‘falafel’ – lest he be considered an idiot was laughable. What, does she really think he might not remember her name? After he wipes himself on her face? He’s Bill O’Reilly, Q.E.D.

If you guessed he might react badly to the protestations of such ‘things’, you’d be right.

Around the same time, former regular Factor guest Juliet Huddy received a $1.6-million settlement, over complaints that O’Reilly had pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011 while in control of her airtime, according to the Times. Her lawyers told Fox News that at one point the O’Reilly tried to kiss her, and when she pulled away and fell to the ground, he refused to assist her. He then allegedly worked to “blunt her career prospects,” the Times added.

In light of that anecdote, this isn’t unexpected:

According to court documents from his vicious custody battle with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, O’Reilly may have engaged in domestic violence. As Gawker reported at the time, the ex-couple’s teenage daughter told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she witnessed O’Reilly “choking her mom” as he “‘dragged her down some stairs’ by the neck.” O’Reilly had told his daughter that her mother was an “adulterer,” according to court transcripts, and that he struggled to stop himself from “going ballistic” around his family.

Dragging his wife around like a rag doll – that’s pretty much Tom Brokaw in a nutshell. Or is the NBC anchor nothing like what we saw on TV? Who knows, maybe he’s really a nice guy.

Taking the entirety of the O’Reilly story in, you might appreciate him, somewhat, in a perverse way. You could say he was something of a real life anti-hero. In some hot place deep within the American conservative Id, Bill-O was conceived to knock down growing threats to white male supremacy.

If post-1980s television were to be the medium whereby non-white-males got mainstreamed, so be it. If immigrants were going to be accepted, he’d be there to beat them back. If blacks were going to be normalized, he’d be there to pick and choose. If Muslims were going to be Westernized, he’d be there to re-Orient them. Bill would be the man to stand athwart multi-channel momentum, yelling ‘Stop!’

He did what he could for as long as he could. In the end though, it was his most personal and vicious campaign that did him in. If women were going to meddle in national politics, and the boardroom, and the workplace (particularly his workplace) then he’d be there too. And they’d either have to embrace their proper roles as women, as he saw fit – as sexual subordinates – or be destroyed. The money trails and lawyers’ claims testify to it: O’Reilly was a lawless patriarch in an enterprise that desperately begged for one.

That’s how one of the world’s biggest assholes rode low-born resentment to cable’s highest ratings. That’s how he was glorified and gushed over, given too much power and credibility, then quietly and consistently covered up, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

That’s also how Fox News’ women were mistreated. That’s how they were cracked-wise and kidded, how they were babe’d and short-skirted, harassed and sexually assaulted in the front offices – or otherwise cast aside – in one of America’s massive media corporations, year after year. While totally normal man Bill O’Reilly reigned supreme.