AB5 Solved!

This is getting more and more complex – and it really doesn’t need to. In 2009, the world was introduced to a new type of cab company – one in which drivers and riders connected through an app instead of dialing the phone. That was pretty much the difference: how the driver and rider connected. The company is known today, as ‘Uber’ but was founded as ‘Ubercab’ so it’s pretty clear that even THEY know they’re a cab company that uses an app to connect driver and rider.

The thing is, Uber didn’t want to take responsibility for their drivers as employees so they started insisting they’re NOT a transportation service. They call themselves an “app-based company.” It’s clear to anybody paying attention that Uber IS a transportation service. After all, what good is their app without the drivers? But our society has devolved to a point where one has only to form a sentence and said sentence must be treated as equal to all other sentences. (Yes, it’s exactly as stupid as it sounds…)

So…Uber forms a sentence – says they’re an app-based company – and California is flummoxed. California wants the drivers classified as employees since no Uber driver works without Uber’s direct involvement. So the California state legislature passed Assembly Bill 5 which attempts to reclassify so-called gig workers in a way that might force Uber to accept it’s responsibility to it’s drivers. The thing is, AB5 created MASSIVE problems in the work force and the economy as one industry after another was inadvertently impacted. California started issuing waiver after waiver and finally put out – in the form of AB2257 – a long list of job categories exempted from AB5 strictures.

It won’t be long until they’ve exempted everybody BUT the driver services like Uber and Lyft at which time the driver services will take AB5 BACK to court and claim it’s unconstitutional because it’s AIMED at Uber and Lyft.

So I got to thinking about what makes an actual “app-based company” and I think I’ve stumbled onto something. I used ‘Spotify’ as my model. (Full disclosure: I signed up for Spotify, once, but don’t use it much and have no other ties to them…) Spotify really is an app-based company. What I mean is, I can download the app, sign up as a user, tell the app what kind of music I prefer, and begin listening. Easy. At no time do I have to interact with a Spotify representative to use the service. And THAT’S the key…

Rather than trying to create legislation to correct the problem and then legislation to try to correct the issues created by the previous legislation and then very likely needing to create even MORE legislation to try to clean up the problems from the earlier legislation, I propose that for legal and tax purposes California simply define an “app-based company” as a company that provides it’s products or service without any representative of the company directly interacting with the general public.

If Uber can deliver it’s product without drivers, fine, they’re an app-based company. If they can’t, they’re not. It really IS that simple. As a transportation company, they can take responsibility for their drivers just like all the other cab companies do…

AB5 was originally introduced by Lorena Gonzalez from the San Diego area. If anyone can get this idea in front of her, it might help to eliminate a bunch of legislative entanglement in the future…

Cognitive Distortion…

RBG’s Seat…
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing was a bit of a gut-punch to those of us holding on to the vain hope that maybe, just maybe, there’s some path to saving this once great nation. (There isn’t.) I’m hearing lefties out there swearing up one side and down the other they’re going to fight the corrupt GOP-controlled Senate to stop them from foisting another Sour Cream Court “justice” on the American people.

“Don’t you remember,” they shout angrily, “when the GOP said they can’t put a nominee up for a vote in the last year of a Presidency?”
“Didn’t you know,” I reply, “They were lying their hypocritical asses off at the time?”
“We’re going to fight to stop them!”
“Excellent. Which exact mechanism did you plan to employ?”
“Um…we’ll make angry phone calls!”
“Yeah, that’ll do it…”

It’s hard to say what kind of impact the passing of RBG is going to have on the upcoming “election.” BOTH sides were sort of pointing to the so-called “High Court” as the big prize for winning. Who gets to appoint the next “justice?” Now? Well, we know the answer. Trump. THREE Supreme Court nominations (one stolen, of course) for the dumbest man in the history of stupid! And the court’s decisions will reflect that for years to come. Or at least until the revolution, whichever comes first…

Then I see speculation that perhaps the GOP will hold off on naming someone as an enticement to getting GOP voters out. That doesn’t make sense to me. Look, we all know that Trump isn’t going to win this “election” unless the Russians are successful. If, say, the internet goes down on “election” day, Trump loses. Do you think the GOP is going to take a chance with that seat? No. They’ll have some Federalist Society toady appointed by the First Monday in October.

By all means, though, feel free to make angry phone calls. It won’t change the inevitable but it’s an EXCELLENT exercise in venting…

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Blind Love…
Have you ever been blindly infatuated with anyone? Of course you have. Percy Sledge wrote a brilliant song about it called, ‘When A Man Loves A Woman.’ His song is about a man loving a woman (obviously) but it applies to a woman blindly in love with a man, as well. In a larger sense, it applies to ANY infatuation that blinds one to reality. (Say…Cult 45?) So…with apologies to Percy…

When A Man Loves the Donald
When a man loves the Donald,
Can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else.
He’d change the world for the good thing he’s found.
When Don is bad, he can’t see it,
Donald can do no wrong,
Turn his back on his best friend if he put Donald down.

When a man loves the Donald,
He’ll spend his very last dime,
Tryin’ to hold on to what he needs.
He’d give up all his comforts,
And sleep out in the rain,
If Donald said that’s the way it ought to be.

Well, some men love you, Donald.
Gave you everything they had,
Tryin’ to hold on to your heartless love.
Saying, “Baby, please don’t treat me bad.”

When a man loves the Donald,
Down deep in his soul,
Don can bring him such misery.
Don is just playin’ him for a fool,
He’s the last one to know.
Lovin’ eyes can never see.

When a man loves the Donald,
he can confess no wrong,
he can never trust the real world.
Yes, When a man loves the Donald
You know exactly how he feels,
‘Cause baby, baby, Don’s his world.

When a man loves the Donald…

Losers and Suckers…

I find myself wondering how many military members trump lost when they found out he considers them suckers for joining and losers if they get injured or killed. Some, I imagine. If they’re true trumpsters, though, they simply pretended he didn’t really say that and put their vile little red hats right back on. At this point, it’s pretty clear to any of us outside the conservative bubble that those who insist on supporting him ANYWAY are the true losers and suckers…

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Speaking of losers and suckers, I ALMOST started to feel sorry for trumpsters. Imagine how many battles they’ve fought over Covid-19. They marched out, social warriors on social media, name calling, ruining friendships and other relationships, tearing their own families asunder – all in defense of the dumbass and his pretended position on trump’s pandemic – only to find out he wasn’t just wrong. He was lying the whole time.

I mean, how embarrassing to be so completely exposed for the gullible rubes they are.

But, like I said, I ALMOST started to feel sorry for them. Then I remembered, all I have is evidence in the form of a recording of trump himself describing in detail the dangers and threats of the virus, proving he knew. And as we know, trumpsters say, “Evidence, shmevidence!” See, trumpsters have faith. They disregard evidence just as easily as a snake sheds his skin.

I’ll be voting against trump because of all of the truths I know about him.
Trumpsters will be voting FOR trump because of all of the truths they refuse about him.

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I’m guessing there are STILL some suckers out there pretending climate change is a hoax. More faith over facts. Nice. I’d say events have overtaken your ideology. I’d say you were wrong but it’s really worse than that. Because you chose faith over facts, we ALL have to suffer the consequences. It was EASY to type contradictions into your computer and hurl epithets. It’s going to be far less easy to live with the consequences of your lies…

It’s weird living in and moving through the conservative hell-scape conservative positions have brought to us all. Orange skies are not the norm. When the sun is bright red, it’s a sight to behold – and then get back indoors where it might be safer to, you know, breathe. We’re supposed to go outside to meet with people because of trump’s failure on Covid-19 but we have to stay INSIDE because it’s not safe to breathe the air…

Trump’s America: just try not to breathe so much…

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I really feel like rich people, with the help of their conservative suckers, have won their class war. I’m still seeing articles and posts asking what we can do but I think we already know the answer: nothing. With the help of faith-based conservatives – and the careful manipulation of that faith – the rich people have destroyed this country and it’s government. The DOW keeps going (generally) up because the rich people know they’ve created the most incredible buying opportunity in the history of the world. It won’t take too much longer until they own most everything, leaving the vast majority of Americans out in the cold.

Believe it or not, THAT’S when the real squeezing will begin. THAT’S when things are going to get ugly. I’ve long suspected the conservatives who helped bring about this end think they’ve accrued to themselves some kind of a pass. Maybe, they hope, when the 1% starts squeezing in earnest, conservatives will be passed over. They won’t.

I don’t know how long Americans will tolerate a dictatorship. We’re a spoiled bunch and we know it. Because we’re spoiled we might have a short fuse regarding things being taken away from us but because we know we’re spoiled, we MIGHT just decide losing a few things here and there is somehow acceptable.

I’ll tell you this, though: it’s not going to end well…

Fictions and Follies…

Okay so, maybe I’m just jealous. I’ve kind of come to admire how my conservative counterparts just…insert their preferred reality in place of whatever is actually going on.

A pandemic that’s killed, so far, 186,000+ Americans because of trump’s inaction? Why, no! In the conservative bubble it makes FAR more sense that medical professionals and institutions would risk their professional licenses and certifications – not to mention the legal consequences – by lying about Covid-19 – just to make trump look bad.

So, to hear them tell it, 186,000+ Americans haven’t died from Covid-19. It’s only been like 6,000 or maybe 4,000 or hell, I don’t know, maybe 150 people and a cat. The thing I don’t understand? If you’re going to just make up a reality anyway, why not make it a perfect reality? Why include ANY Covid-19 deaths?

At first, I thought, this is how they make their lie seem credible – acknowledge and stipulate to a FEW deaths but deny the bulk of them. That doesn’t really track, though. ANY number of deaths surely makes Dumbass look…well, like a dumbass, right? So why not just deny ANY of them?

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Personally, I think trump humping the flag is every bit as disrespectful of the flag as someone setting it on fire. And at least the person burning a flag is expressing an honest emotion…

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Speaking of disrespect, the Atlantic reported this last week that trump counts military members “suckers” and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice “losers”. Okay, so the Atlantic leans left but Fox “News” confirmed and reported the story as well. Based on everything I’ve ever seen from the coward trump, I’d guess he DID say those things and I’d wager he’s just honestly expressing his true (and vile) position.

Sure, he can – and will – lie. Helpfully, his reality-replacing base will work as hard as they can to believe him. But nobody else will. The dumbass has no regard for the military. He just shines them on like Eddie Haskell. (Yeah, something of an archaic reference there…) Cult 45 will just overwrite what they know with what they’d prefer to know and keep going.

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I’m VERY excited about California’s new color-coded slow re-opening plan. Mostly because of the anticipation it creates for the inevitable new color-coded slow re-closing plan in the near future.

We can close and open and open and close all day every day for months years, days, weeks – whatever. If we’re not going to deal with the underlying problems the symptoms aren’t going to get better.

It’s a sad thing that so many Americans don’t seem to understand this…

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Pelosi! (You have to kind of spit it.) She’s trying to spin her recent hair appointment as a “set-up.” Truthfully? I think she WAS set up. But it was her own arrogance that allowed her to be set up in the first place. She didn’t know the rules? Bunk. When someone told her something different, she, of all people, should have known.

Okay, so the truth is, rich people get privileges in this once-great nation the masses don’t enjoy and, right or wrong, that’s just the way it is. I think she was wrong and ended up projecting a “do as I say, not as I do” message. But I STILL don’t think her disregard for protocol is anywhere near as damaging or dangerous as trump’s disregard for reality…

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Remember, because of Covid-19 the rules of the “election” are changing this year. Evil, America-hating progressives have to go first and have their votes in by November 3. Then, the god-loving, patriotic conservatives get their turn and start voting on November 4. Know your group and vote accordingly…

Reality Vs. Delusion…

I got into a discussion with a friend of mine about whether or not Jacob Blake was reaching into his car.  Was he or wasn’t he?  My friend thought he was.  I didn’t.  I think his right hand is on the door frame.  Then I realized, it doesn’t matter.

Was Jacob reaching into his car?  Maybe.  Is that a death penalty offense?  No.  Well, apparently, that’s a ‘no’ for white people.  It looks as though it clearly IS a death penalty offense for non-whites.  Like I said, I saw him bend over the way a person does to address someone in the back seat and that makes sense to me since he had his kids in the back seat.  But even if he WAS reaching into his car, the shooting isn’t justified unless and until you can say for certain WHAT he was reaching for…

Of course, the conservatives have tried to present a narrative to justify the shooting.  They always do – when it’s a cop shooting a black man.  That’s all distraction.  There’s nothing in the incident in which he was shot to justify being shot.

I’m not great at predictions but I’ll make one here: IF the body-cam video is ever released, I suspect it will NOT support the contention that Blake was reaching into his car…

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Of course, the unwarranted shooting of yet another unarmed black man by police has resulted in protests which prompted this young, Trump-loving, law-and-order type yahoo named Kyle (17) to murder someone.  It’s peculiar.  I haven’t been able to find out WHY Kyle started shooting in the first place.  I know the second guy he murdered was trying to wrest the gun away but why did Kyle murder the FIRST guy?

I guess we’ll have to wait until the trial.  From what I’ve heard, Kyle seems to have been EAGER to murder someone so…prison is probably the right place for him…

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Cult 45 held their convention.  From all accounts outside of the conservative bubble, it was a real bull session.  If anything any of them said was true it certainly didn’t make it into journalistic outlets.  Fact-checkers have issued pages and pages of “corrections” and findings.  Most people have commented on how bizarre the message was.  If we elect Biden, went the message, we’ll have rioting in the streets, rampant unemployment, and spreading contagions.  We’ll lose face with countries around the world.  The economy will crash and burn.

So, describing Trump’s America today and pretending it might become Biden’s America tomorrow is the best they’ve got?  Okay.

DystopiaBiden’s American, according to Trump…

It doesn’t really matter, though, right?  When I hear there’s such a thing as an undecided voter in this once-great nation, honestly, I just don’t believe them.  I feel like if a mock “election” were held today, it would come out pretty much the way it’s going to come out in November.  Trumpsters are going to vote Trump because of how awesome their day-to-day lives are today.  Everyone else is going to vote against Trump because of actual reality.  I have NO information that reality defeats delusion…

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186,883 Americans dead due to Covid-19 as of this writing.

The Dumbass “strategy” has been, “Ignore it.  It will go away.”  It hasn’t started working yet but it will.  Eventually, so many Americans will have died there won’t be anyone left to spread the virus.

The truth is most of the deaths have occurred in old people – useless folks from the point of view of conservatives. (Why else would they dismiss those deaths so blithely?)  The next largest group to be infected, though, are the working poor.  Here in brutal America, a large population of a desperately poor working class is a device used to keep wages low.

If enough of THEM die, employers may face the risk of having to pay a fair wage.  One might think the business community would want Dumbass to deal with Covid-19 just to help suppress wages…

Going Postal…

I’m reading about plans for the Republican Convention that runs this coming week. I read this sentence: “They have also recruited speakers who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 but will declare their support for him this time.”

Truth be told, I’m not at all surprised when I see people who voted for trump in 2016 but have regained their senses. But to think there are people out there who have seen trump in action and decided they should jump on the bandwagon now? THAT I would not have imagined. That seems like masochism in it’s most extreme form…

What horrifying tragedy do you suppose happened to those people that might cause them to believe they deserve trump?

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My front-end editor, WordPress, has decided to provide me with a new input format. No, there was nothing wrong with the old one. Sometimes sites just feel the need to make changes to justify their existence. (Wasn’t just being there enough?) Haven’t a clue how to use it so, please bear with me…

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The House has apparently passed a bill to try to rescue the Post Office. It’s nice political theater but the House doesn’t have any power to do anything on it’s own and the Senate is held by traitors. THEY’RE not going to do anything to stop the coup.

If House Dems want to impress me (they don’t), they should have DeJoy arrested. Let him answer charges in a court of law. Republicans rarely do well in actual courts. If it’s a crime to knowingly interfere with the smooth delivery of the mail, and according to 18 U.S. Code, subsection 1703(a), it is, DeJoy appears guilty as hell. Here, read it yourself: “Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, unlawfully secretes, destroys, detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail entrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof established by authority of the Postmaster General or the Postal Service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” (Emphasis, mine…)

His motive? He’s heavily invested in USPS competitors so, boring as it is, money. Now he has the opportunity to improve his personal financial position and he has embraced it. Sure, he can claim his sabotage of the postal service was unintentional. THAT story is undermined by the reality that even after it became clear that mail service has been hobbled, he maintains his changes. To my mind, THAT’S when he broke the law. THAT’S when his “changes” went from just stupid, poor management to criminal interference.

Conservatives, of course, have been conditioned to believe DeJoy is simply making needed cost-cutting decisions. (And, oh BOY, do they believe it. But then, they’ll believe anything…) The lying Heritage foundation wrote a paper that claims it’s all business as usual, nothing to see here. All of these changes are just standard operating procedure and the changes have been in the works for years, they claim.

I think of it like this. Let’s say you somehow managed to gain control over every McDonald’s restaurant in the world. You notice how much it costs to run the grills, so you have them removed. Sure, it’s a “cost-cutting” measure. It also seriously harms your business model in not being able to deliver your product anymore. I doubt you would STAY in control over every McDonald’s and DeJoy should NOT be in control of the USPS anymore. The dead chicks say so…

Even people so gullible they believe government should be run like a business don’t mean it should be run like a TRUMP business. They mean a successful business. They intend an efficient and effective venture, not some schlock operation.

No, DeJoy should take his “I’m just an incompetent moron” act to court – and then pay his fine and do his five years and let the Postal Service get back to doing their jobs…

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Speaking of which, remember: you don’t HAVE to use the Post Office to return your mail-in ballot. You can hand carry it to any one of several locations to personally drop it off. ONE thumb in the eye of TWO narcissistic criminals at the same time? Priceless…

Errata – Aug 17, 2020…

If nothing else, Covid-19 has certainly exposed every weakness, every failure of our society – and they are legion!  The owner class has always hated it but the New Deal made America great in the first place and unless and until we return to the same principles the future isn’t looking too bright.  Remember when Americans could do things like defeat a pandemic or deliver a letter?  Republicans are bad for America.

JFK said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”  Hopefully, after the revolution, we’ll build a better Republic.  That doesn’t happen often in history – at least not right away…

I think any and all evidence supports the position that the so-called “free market” is a failure for the largest number of people.  This is largely because of the tiny number of people who are hoarding the wealth of the nation.  I propose we start to fix this once-great nation here: we tax ALL wealth over one billion dollars at 90%.  The people hoarding that wealth stole it.  We don’t allow OTHER criminals to profit from THEIR crimes.  Why should we allow the modern Robber Barons of the world to profit from THEIR crimes?

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I saw this headline in the Guardian this morning: “Is Trump’s New Post Office Chief Trying to Rig the Election?”

Why…yes.  Yes he is.

Well, that was an easy quiz…

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10 Dollar note, dollars, money, American banknotes. Image shot 04/2011. Exact date unknown.
Apparently, we’re supposed to wish the economy back to health…

Congress left town without passing any disaster relief.  Yeah, sure, they call it ‘stimulus’ but it’s disaster relief.  If the businesses that are closed had been destroyed by, say, a tornado, not even a conservative would suggest anyone “get back to work” in the pile of rubble that once housed the business.  Not being able to go into the building because of a microscopic bug is no different.  It’s a disaster – now exacerbated by natural events in the Midwest.

But, apparently, it’s not a big enough disaster for Republicans.  They just HAD to make it worse.  First by trying to insult the virus into submission – which hasn’t worked.  Then by ignoring it – which also hasn’t worked.  The truth is, NOBODY likes the idea of the government paying all that money.  It’s just that there’s no better choice.  If the government keeps money in the pockets of the working poor, the economy has a fighting chance.  If not?

So now there’s a movement to just cancel rent.  Truth? We can’t just cancel rent.  The people who own the rental homes still have payments THEY have to make.  It’s the most glaring example of how economic pain trickles up.  It’s indisputable evidence as to why it’s so shortsighted to keep so many working Americans locked in desperation mode.  Anything goes wrong, anything at all, the economic fallout trickles up.

The renters trapped by the situation aren’t deadbeats.  The Senate Republicans act like all these down-and-out renters have to do is cash in a bond and all will be well.  FAR too many Americans have ALL of their “discretionary cash” tied up in “food” and “rent.”

Republicans are in a tight spot.  They CAN’T help Americans because their false ideology pretends that government can never do anything good.  But if they DON’T help Americans the economic fallout is going to spread like – well, like an unchecked virus.  Poor Republicans.  They’ll be damned if they do the right thing and they’ll be damned if they DON’T do the right thing.  Based on everything I’ve seen so far, I expect them to NOT do the right thing and the damage to compound.  It’s just what they do.

Never underestimate the amount of damage a Republican is willing to do just to try to prove a fraudulent point…

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Honest to gods, I don’t know what the Republicans can say about Joe Biden that 1) I can’t point to the same (usually worse) from their guy and 2) might change my mind.

I don’t give two figs about Biden.  I’m voting against Trump.  Simple…

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Speaking of voting, remember: you can pick up your ballot at the Registrar’s office and you can hand deliver your completed ballot BACK to the registrar.  No matter how hard the Republicans try to make it, vote on paper.  Don’t let Trump/Putin steal your vote!

Donnie Dumbass KNOWS…

He can’t win honestly…

Perhaps, by now, you’ve heard that Donnie Dumbass has declared outright that he’s holding up money for the Postal Service as a means to disrupt the “election.”  The idiot said it right out loud.  He was on Fox Business on Thursday morning and said, “They want $3.5 billion for something that’s fraudulent … for the mail-in votes, universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion for the post office. They need that money so it can work and they can take these millions and millions of ballots.”  Trump added: “But if they don’t get those two items, then they can’t have mail-in ballots.”

NO evidence exists to support Trump’s lie that mail-in ballots increase fraud.  Conservatives believe it but ONLY conservatives believe it – because those guys will believe anything.  Thinking people prefer evidence and the evidence says Trump is – at best and as always – wrong.

But apparently, the cheating weasel isn’t taking chances that the Postal Service might get the job done anyway.  To make sure, sorting machines across the country are being removed.  The very sorting machines the Postal Service would use to sort, say, mail-in ballots.  You might want to read that again.  They’re actually pulling out sorting machines specifically to cripple the United States Postal Service’s ability to provide it’s Constitutionally mandated service.  It is, without question, an attack on America, an attack on the Constitution, and blatant cheating.

No doubt, Republicans will be out soon offering up some excuse, some kind of “defense.”  (They should be humiliated but, apparently, have no shame…)  They’ll be lying, of course, but that won’t stop them.  I’ll be curious to see how Republicans spin this but it’s already a “no-sale” for me.  His arguments are easily disproved bunk.  His actions are easily recognized voter manipulation.

There will be much writing in the coming days about the various kinds of damage and injury that will occur as a direct result of Trump attacking the Postal Service and I’ll let others discuss that for now.  But there’s another aspect of this I’d like to mention.

The reason Trump doesn’t want people using mail-in ballots is because he knows he can’t win if people use mail-in ballots.  No, I’m not “reading his mind.”  He SAID so, remember?  Out loud.  Really.  That’s stupid, saying the quiet part out loud.  What’s amazingly stupid is that in expressing his “thoughts” on mail-in ballots, he’s inadvertently giving away the whole game on computerized voting machines, right?

See, if one does a little thinking about Trump’s position, the fact that he confesses that he can’t win if people use mail-in ballots means he must believe he CAN win if people are forced to use the computerized machines, right?  Would people vote differently on the machines?  Or would those votes just be recorded differently on the machines?  Question: if he KNOWS he can’t win if people use mail-in ballots but believes he CAN win if people have to use computerized voting machines, how is he NOT exposing the fact that the voting machines are NOT secure?  If he can’t get help from Putin, he can’t win and Putin can only help by having his minions dial in and flip votes in the machines.

Think about it.  He’s said many times that if people use mail-in ballots, Republicans lose.  He’s right about that.  So he’s willing to go to ANY length to try to prevent people from using mail-in ballots.  There can only  be one conclusion: He’s admitting he feels like he has enough control over the voting machines to “win!”

My guess?  He thinks so because it was only the voting machines (and the Russians, of course) that put him in his current position in the first place.  Trump should never have been installed as President and his actions indicate that he knows it.  Mueller was right.  Trump cheated in the last “election” and he has every intention of cheating again.  (It seems highly likely that’s the reason the full transcript of the Mueller Report has never been released…)

I’ve been a vocal opponent of computerized voting machines since they were first introduced.  It seemed obvious to me that the company that builds Automatic Teller Machines should be able to produce a voting machine that kept a paper trail and provided a receipt…just like the ATM’s do.  It’s only since the introduction of computerized voting machines that We, the People started getting “election” results that didn’t fit.  It’s only since the introduction of computerized voting machines that We, the People started getting told that exit polls – the Gold Standard of polling – suddenly don’t work (in America).  Al Gore wins the 2000 “election”, Bush 43 gets the Office.  Hillary beats Dumbass by millions of votes in 2016 but Dumbass magically got just the right electoral districts to “win” the “election?”  Not buying.

As of this writing, I don’t have any ideas about how people should proceed in seeking justice.  We KNOW the corrupt Republicans in the Senate won’t do anything and as long as the Senate is in the hands of traitors, the entire Congress is impotent.  (For the record: I do NOT care a whit about party affiliation or political leanings in this.  If you support Dumbass’s assault on the Constitution, I count you a traitor.  Period.)

I think We, the People are going to have to hit the streets – yes, AGAIN – and demand his removal.  I don’t mean impeachment.  Resign and walk away – or face the consequences.  (Sidebar to the NSA; loud and unruly crowds, riots, and demonstrations.  No one is “threatening” anyone, here.)  I, for one, will accept nothing less.  I once took an oath to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic.  Recently, it’s been ringing in my ears a LOT.  I’m not going to pretend Dumbass didn’t attack the United States of America in an effort to keep an office he never won, doesn’t deserve, and can’t administer…

The Deceptipublicans…

Here’s how you can know, for certain, that mail-in ballots are secure: if there was a dependable way to cheat with paper ballots, Republicans would already be doing it as aggressively as possible, just like they do with every other voting system – all the while whining about how Democrats cheat, of course…

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It seems the disaster relief talks have collapsed.  Republicans just won’t do anything to help working Americans.  They’ve come to believe their own rhetoric.  They think the 30 million (and growing) people out of work should just go out and take the 5 million jobs (and shrinking) available and the problem will be solved.

Republicans are now pretending that the additional $600/wk unemployment enhancement is discouraging people from going back to work.  It’s not the virus.  It’s not lack of day-care.  It’s not the lack of work to go to.  It’s that sweet extra $2,400/mo they can’t earn working.  The truth is, Republicans realized that the additional payment exposes the truly horrific pay structure of the United States for what it is.  Their story is their story, of course, but facts will continue to intervene.  Cutting off money from the people who spend is going to freeze the economy.  It really is that simple.

As it happens, the crashing economy is just a symptom.  The problem – obvious to anyone who will see – is Covid-19.  (170,000 dead Americans, so far…)  But Republicans decided Covid-19 isn’t real so it can be safely ignored.  It’s like having a deep gash in your Femoral Artery and only worrying about getting blood on the carpet.  Wrong focus.  I’m thinking ‘negative outcome.’

No one is going to fix the symptom – the economy – until they’ve addressed the problem – Covid-19.  Trump’s proposed payroll tax certainly won’t do it.  What good, after all, is a payroll tax cut to people with no pay because Covid-19 shut down their business?  No, the only chance of maintaining any life in our economy is an outright propping up.  But the Republicans have said no to that, too, under the delusion that magic is going to happen and all will be well.

At the rate we’re going, the US isn’t going to enjoy ANY leadership on “the Rona” until January 21, 2121 at the very earliest – and THAT assumes Biden gets sworn in.  In the meantime, Depression anyone?

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I wrote in my July 27 piece, ‘The Hand-Basket,’ “I operate on the axiom that a position that depends on falsehood for it’s defense doesn’t deserve to be defended.”  I was challenged by a conservative friend of mine who suggested conservatives agree with the statement.  It reminded me that conservatives often think their positions are as legitimate as anyone else’s.  They aren’t.  In fact, I occasionally have conversations with progressives who wonder how WE know WE’RE on the correct side of the various “issues.”  Turns out, there’s a way to tell.

On MY side, I use logic, critical thinking, and verifiable facts.  I’m allowed to rely upon experts and expertise and the scientific method.  On their side?  They have Sean Hannity’s hunches, Donald Trump’s assertions, and disinformation produced by conservative “think” tanks.  I feel pretty good about my chances…

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Conservatives refusing to admit defeat…

I know.  They never admit defeat.  But a refusal to admit defeat doesn’t mean one hasn’t be defeated.  Facts and evidence continue to roll over their opinions and assertions whether they confess it or not.  The trick is to recognize your victory when won and walk away…

A Desperate Fraud…

Listen, it’s difficult to quantify, I know.  I’ve been trying and it’s just VERY tough to determine.  I mean, I don’t know HOW stupid a person has to be to think that intentional sabotage of a constitutionally mandated government function is the same as proving it “inefficient” but I know we’re all about to find out…

As you may know, Donnie Dumbass put a political stooge, Louis DeJoy, in charge of the Postal Service.  His qualifications?  He gave a bunch of money to the huckster-in-chief AND, apparently, rivals the Orange Moron in stupidity.  So, in order to help Donnie’s Russian friends help Donnie in the upcoming “election,” DeJoy is doing everything in his power to destroy the United States Postal Service.  How?  Why, cutting service, of course.  First, no more overtime.  Then, just to make SURE the Post Office struggles, DeJoy has ordered mail sorting machines shut down early.  Finally, carriers have been told not to make multiple trips.  If your package (say…your heart medication) can’t be taken in the first run, your package won’t be taken at all that day.

These assholes always have a story, of course.  In this case, DeJoy is pretending this is all about “cost cutting.”  It isn’t.  It’s about undermining the postal service because it has traditionally done a very good job – despite Republicans best efforts to undermine it.  The claim is, the Postal Service is running a deficit right now because of Trump’s pandemic.  That’s likely true.  (Who isn’t?  Everything that guy touches turns to crap.)  But if Congress can bail out Wall Street, Congress can sure as hell bail out the USPS.

Who won’t do it?  Republicans.  Who won’t do HIS job in the Oval Office?  A Republican.  Who opposes the USPS as provided for in the US Constitution?  Republicans.  Republican Mitch McConnell keeps blocking legislation from the House (400+ bills and counting!)  Sure, his lack of response is hurting AMERICANS (right AND left) all over the country, all day, every day.  But he’s got the Republican President’s back.  The Republican President is allowing Americans to die needlessly at an incredible rate, apparently, at least in part because he “thought” the virus was only going to affect Democrats.  It’s absolutely mind-boggling.

At this point, it’s getting easier and easier to make a case that the Republicans just hate the United States.  I know.  That sounds like hyperbole.  But the United States of America isn’t the land she sits on.  It IS the Constitution.  Without the Constitution, there IS NO UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!  But Republican ideology says the Federal government can’t function correctly and Republicans make every effort to make the statement true – even if it means killing themselves.

No matter how  you slice it, killing yourself just to try to win a political point is fucking stupid.  (Hey, take it up with Herman Cain…)  Destroying the Post Office just to try to win a political point is stupid.  Undermining the Constitution of the United States just to try to win a political point is exponentially stupid!  In my mind, anyone who supports any of those positions?  Do I need to say it?  Does ANYBODY need to say it?

Above all, Trump can’t let people use absentee ballots (though HE does).  He NEEDS the machines so his Russian buddies can hack them and control the outcome.  Let me put that another way.  Trump is pretending the safer voting method – mail-in – is rife with fraud because he KNOWS the oh-so-hackable machines are necessary to commit his own fraud.  It’s why conservatives are so thoroughly conditioned to fear and loathe any voting platform except those god-forsaken machines…

So…how stupid are YOU?  Do YOU know this is a transparent effort to interfere with the “election” or do you pretend it’s just business management?  The whole world is going to judge you based on your answer.  Warning, the stain may be permanent…)

I know, some Republicans will be out telling everybody about how inefficient the Post Office is and how they cheat on shipping costs and that it operates at a loss.  Of course, by now, most thinking people know that Republicans NEVER have factual information on their side so the only choice they have is to lie.  The “loss” the Post Office suffers is only because (wait for it) Republicans passed a law in 2006 mandating the USPS fully fund pension accounts for employees who had not even been born at the time!  That’s true.  75 years into the future – just to artificially add an additional burden to the Post Office.  It was GREAT sabotage from the GOP point of view.  It did much damage, which was the intention.  Republicans ate it up with a spoon…

The thing all Americans need to remember is that the Republican GOAL is to destroy the United States.  Steve Bannon said so when Donnie took office.  He said they were going to preside over “the destruction of the administrative state” and we’ve been watching it happen ever since.  Republicans LOVE it…for now.  Thinking Americans?  Not so much.  Eventually, even the rank and file Republicans are going to see what they’ve done by supporting all of this.  It’s not like THEY’RE going to be spared the consequences.

Here’s what you need to know.  It’s called a ‘mail-in’ ballot but you don’t HAVE to mail it in.  You can drop it at your polling place if it hasn’t been eliminated to try to keep you from voting.  If you live near your county Registrar’s office, you can take it straight to them.  (In Sonoma County there’s even a drive up window for your voting convenience.)  If getting to the Registrar’s office is too far, there are (or will be) little vaults placed around your area where you can drop you ‘mail-in’ ballot.  (Honestly, I don’t know WHAT they’ll do in the anti-American states…)

When you get your ballot in the mail, fill it out, and TAKE IT BACK PERSONALLY!  (Hand-carrying your ballot is a very good way to say “Fuck you, Donnie!”)  These guys are going to do anything and everything possible to cheat in this “election” – all the while screaming about how Democrats cheat, of course – and we have to do whatever we can to stop them…