I’m Pro-Fairness…

By now most of us understand that the radicalized conservatives (No, NOT “antifa”, not BLM, not progressives, not Democrats) who attacked the Capital, intending to kill the Vice President of the United States thought they were engaged in a patriotic movement. No, really. Sure, attacking one’s own country is NOT generally considered “patriotic” but there they were, defiling the building and killing cops. So, how could they? The short answer is, they were deceived by the conservative media bubble. Most people are pointing the finger at trump, himself, and clearly he bears much responsibility. But over time I became aware that the Donald is just another incurious old man sucked into the fraudulent world of conservative media, which means it’s hard to say how much he started and how much he was just repeating tired conservative lies that appealed to him.

Like many other people alarmed by the radicalization of the right, I’ve been looking for answers to the question of how we get valid information out to the real world in the face of constant undermining by monied interests in conservative world. My favorite answer is an amendment to the First Amendment which reads, “any organization that identifies itself as a news organization shall not present false or misleading information.” Accurate information is vital to the health of any democracy and requiring news outlets to tell the truth seems…existential. But, of course, the misinformation/disinformation campaigns doing so much damage to this once-great nation are not accidental. Some very wealthy people have spent great amounts of their lucre to deceive the American public and they’re not about to let such a thing as “honesty” interfere with their goals.

For me, Plan B is the return of the Fairness Doctrine. This is pretty straightforward. In 1949, the Federal Communications Commission created and implemented a rule called the Fairness Doctrine that said any broadcaster that used public airwaves to editorialize was required to provide equal time for opposing viewpoints. It was a good rule. It helped maintain perspective for most Americans. Of course, there are people who stand opposed to the Fairness Doctrine – people who gain from the lies and people who believe the people who gain from the lies. As far as I’m concerned there are no decent, honest people who oppose the idea of fairness in broadcasting.

The most common response I get when I bring this up is that it’s not necessary. There are so many outlets out there, I’m told, that people can easily get opposing viewpoints when they want them. That’s what I call a philosophical argument. Technically, it’s true but it lacks practical application. That is, yes, people could get opposing viewpoints by switching the station – but they don’t. In fact, in conservative world, they’re constantly and heavily admonished to never, EVER tune in to opposing viewpoints. People have a tendency to just turn on their favorite station and leave it there all day. So Tucker Carlson comes on at 8pm and tells some conservative lie. Hannity is on at 9 and he repeats the lie followed by Laura Ingraham, repeating the same lie. If nobody is representing the truth, how can people know they’ve been lied to? Fox “News” claims to be fair and balanced but everybody outside of the conservative bubble knows they’re not. Since average Americans do NOT seek opposing information, the Fairness Doctrine would ensure at least exposure to competing ideas. (Truthfully, I think the impact would be greater in radio than television these days but it would provide some balance in both…)

Broadcasters opposed to honesty often throw up yet another canard: do you know how much it would cost, constantly having to give away airtime for equal time? Why, yes. Yes, I do. Let’s see, subtract that, add those, carry the one and…Zero! Yes, that’s correct. It would cost absolutely Zero more. How do I know? History. You see, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Around here, we have a radio station, KGO, that has been broadcasting talk radio since before Reagan launched the conservative war against America – that is, when the Fairness Doctrine still applied. Back then, under the Fairness Doctrine, KGO put a liberal on for three hours, then a conservative for three hours. Then a liberal, then a conservative. They punctuated each segment with journalism. It was a very good balance. Because their programming represented opposing viewpoints, they never had to give time away for opposing viewpoints. Simple.

I know it’s not a perfect solution. What with the ONAN crapfest, “NewsQuacks”, “Misinfo Wars, and “Q-anonsense people can easily hide from reality. But they’ll have to work a bit harder to avoid the truth if broadcast networks are required to provide equal time. I’ll tell you this: as nearly as I can tell, the alternative is to simply sit back and let powerful, monied interests lie this once-great nation into oblivion…

It’s What They Do…

I don’t oppose the filibuster. I just oppose the bastardized version our Congress is using these days. The difference? The filibuster USED to be an exercise in stamina. If a person (or group) wanted to filibuster some bill or another, they had to physically control the floor of Congress for as long as possible. No, not like the conservative morons of January 6th. You had to talk and refuse to yield the floor. It was a Hail-Mary kind of play. IF you could pull it off, you MIGHT win your point. But somewhere along the way, the filibuster rules changed. Now, any Congress critter can simply declare an issue “filibustered” and it’s TREATED as though the process was carried out successfully. It’s not the same and it has created a situation in which the tyranny of the minority rules the day. There are many pieces of legislation out there awaiting disposition but under the right conditions any of them – all of them – can be blocked by ONE person declaring “filibuster” – and it’s what they do. I would prefer to see a person have to go through the process rather than simply declaring they might…

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I watched Bill Maher and his panel from the February 26 episode of ‘Real Time’ discuss the power supply failures in California and Texas. This particular show’s panel was made up of two Democrats, Senator Jon Tester (D – Montana) and Ezra Klein. They focused mightily on how government regulation has interfered and caused problems. Not one mention – not one – of the fact that in both states, the power companies are privately owned and operated under the supposedly watchful eyes of corrupted “oversight” boards. In California, the corrupted oversight board is the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and in Texas it’s the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Every time private corporation PG&E sets California on fire with some neglected piece of equipment or some cost-saving maintenance failure, the resulting damage is NOT because of too much government regulation. It’s because there’s not enough. Texans who suffered, perhaps died, in this most recent cold snap did so specifically BECAUSE Texas didn’t want regulations. “Leave it to the free market,” they said. Compliance with regulations would have required them to winterize their equipment. Sure, that would have saved lives and prevented all of that suffering but it would have cost the power companies some small portion of their precious lucre. Can’t have that.

It’s disappointing to me that even on a panel comprised only of left-leaning people, they STILL couldn’t manage to point the finger of responsibility where the responsibility belongs: corporate boardrooms. The only failure of government I can see was the failure to seize the power companies and run them in accordance with regulations and without consideration of what the stock price is doing. I’m old enough to remember when the wind could blow in California and not even affect PG&E equipment. Of course, that was before “deregulation…”

Maher is currently irritated that he’s been trying to get solar panels installed on his house for something like 1,200 days and can’t seem to find a route through governmental rules and regulations and so can’t get the panels installed. To borrow a bit from Bill, I can’t prove this, I just know it’s true. I’d bet the governmental regulatory morass interfering with his transition to solar is no accident. My guess is, if you followed the history of those particular restrictions, you’d find vested parties behind every one of them. In this case “vested parties” refers to the fossil fuel industry.

Imagine if you ran a horse-drawn wagon building company in the late 19th century, understood what this newfangled “automobile” was going to do to your industry, and had the ability to block the arrival of cars for 50 years. The numbers vary but the first successful car was built in around 1885. They were not great. The first successful cross-country trip in a car happened in 1903, eighteen years later. Using the same scale, had our hypothetical wagon builder been able to forestall the introduction of the automobile for 50 years, the first cross-country trip wouldn’t have happened until 1953! But it would have happened. Once invented, cars were inevitable – because they’re better.

The same is true of renewables. They’re coming. They’re inevitable because they’re better. Decentralized power will eliminate many of the problems we just accept from the centralized grids of today and I’d rather suffer a solar “spill” than an oil spill any day. But a very small portion of our society will lose their golden goose. Without the ability to manipulate a market people can’t refuse, some of these business “jeniuses,” as they like to present themselves, might have to get real jobs. So, they stall. It’s what they do.

Science has been warning about Climate Change for a long time. The first climate warnings were sounded in 1938! Push-back in the form of disinformation from the fossil fuel industry has left them in control ever since. 83 years! In fairness, practical alternatives have not existed throughout that entire time. Once they started being pursued more aggressively, they took a bit of time to develop the technology to a useful degree. No new technology springs forth fully developed. But they’re here now. They’re commercially viable, ready for use, and better…

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I hear Donnie Dumbass is giving a speech at CPAC today. CPAC is a conservative convention. I believe the acronym stands for ‘Crappy People Acting Crappily’ but you shouldn’t quote me on that. The dumbass is widely expected to announce that he’s the presumptive front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2024. I don’t know. It looks to me like he’s going to spend more time running from the law than running for the White House. (Hope springs eternal, I guess…) I read a bit by Robert Reich in which he points out that the dumbass “only” has a steady 38 percent approval rating. But 38 percent of the registered voters in this once-great nation (roughly 239,000,000) is still 93 million people. That’s quite an army. Especially with the Republicans doing everything in their power to suppress votes.


Conservative Christian’s current golden idol…
Made in Mexico!

I hear still-sane Republicans wondering aloud how they can free the GOP from the clutches of trumpery. I know the answer, if only generally: find an even crappier person! For whatever reason, the deplorables have taken to finding the very worst examples of humanity and throwing in with them. They first latched on to George W. Bush, aka, “43” – an under-developed human being if ever there was one. When they couldn’t have him anymore, they found an even worse person, Donald Trump. I don’t know how the trumpsters are going to find anyone worse than the Donald – but I have faith they will. It’s what they do…

Liars Gonna Lie…

Two stories, side by side. One, “Uber drivers entitled to workers’ rights, the UK Supreme Court rules.” and two, “‘I can’t keep doing this’: Gig workers say pay has fallen after California’s Prop 22.” I’d say the UK got it right and California got it wrong. It was inevitable that corporations would exploit the workers once they were allowed to and the UK is telling them they’re not allowed to.

After Prop 22, Safeway eliminated all of it’s union grocery delivery people and replaced them with “gig” drivers. Uber drivers and food delivery workers are now reporting (try to act surprised) that their pay is falling, just like the ‘No on 22’ people said it would. Why, it’s almost as if ride-share and food delivery companies lied in their advertising. Now we’ll have to go through the process of overturning 22 to protect workers. Sadly, I often find myself wishing my fellow Americans were smarter…

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Have you been following the spat between Australia and Facebook? Australia realized that Facebook was profiting from the work of Australian news outlets without compensating the outlets for the news. So, Australia came up with a plan to have Facebook compensate the news outlets. Predictably, Facebook threw and tantrum and blocked ALL Australian news from it’s pages. And so the standoff begins. Will Facebook pay for the news they post or will Australia back down to keep Facebook online? My guess? Facebook will back down. Australia has only to maintain the course. What is Facebook going to do, really? Leave Australia? It’s a balancing act of greed. Zuckerberg doesn’t want to lose all of that beautiful information he gets – for free – then sells about his users and there are, after all, other social media sites. He’ll end up paying because it’s the cheaper option…

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Texas, as you may know, is in the grips of a winter storm unlike anything they’ve seen for a long time. Because of Republican mismanagement and stupid conservative ideals, people are dying in Texas. A couple of weeks ago, Texas was agitating to secede. NOW, of course, they come, hat in hand, and beg for Federal assistance. Once the emergency has passed, they’ll be right back to complaining about the Federal government and talking secession again.

Yeah, sure, they’re Texicans but, like it or not, they’re Americans, too, so I support the aid. But I might attach some strings. I might require them to connect to the national grid and comply with Federal regulations so they could at least BUY some electricity from elsewhere when their stupid conservatism fails yet again – and it will. Also, and just for fun, I’d request Lyin’ Ted Cruz go public with a statement acknowledging climate change and disavowing deregulation…

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The cons have clearly decided the best way to handle the failures of conservative policies is from the standard playbook. Lie. THEN, of course, they have to lie about lying. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, eh? Lying con Governor Abbott of Texas comes out and lies that the power problem in Texas is because of the failure of renewables. He knew darned good and well the problem was fossil fuels and conservative policies. But as a con, he can’t SAY conservative policies failed miserably and people are dying – including an 11-year-old kid who died of hypothermia in his own bed. So? Lie. Thinking Americans know immediately that he’s lying but cons will embrace the lie – because it’s all they’ve got.

Lyin’ Ted ‘fled’ Cruz takes off to Cancun rather than suffer the effects of poor conservative policy positions the rest of Texas is stuck with. He left his dog in the freezing house. His office put out a statement declaring the attempted escape a “long-planned” holiday. (A lie.) Lyin’ Ted then blamed his kids. (A lie.) Then, Lyin’ Ted claimed he was only escorting his kids to Cancun and always meant to come right back. (Another lie.) The truth is, Ted just did what ANY Texican might do if they had the resources to avoid the effects of conservative policies – run away. It’s a key component of conservative policies. Rich people NEVER have to suffer the effects of their conservative policies and they really don’t give a rat’s tail about the little people who have to do the actual suffering. “Screw them, cut my taxes. It’ll help everybody.” (Another lie.)

After Donnie Dumbass incited his extremist base to attack Congress and try to kill some of the members – you know…as a show of their “patriotism” – even the cons realized (after they had failed) that might have been a mistake. So? Lie. They immediately started in on how it was secretly liberals and “Antifa” – a non-existent group – pulling a false flag operation. It wasn’t. They were Don’s Cons trying to do his bidding.

Two anti-masker morons (based on yet another lie, of course) in Florida decided they had a clever ploy to avoid protecting their fellow humans: lie. They pretended to be US Marshals and threatened to arrest the employees of the resort they were staying in for asking them to don masks. Just to be on the safe side, one of them also flashed a laminated card declaring his medical exemption. But thinking Americans know those cards are yet ANOTHER conservative lie – so an employee of the resort called actual cops – who showed up with an actual US Marshal. Now the lying cons are sitting in jail, arrested for impersonating federal officers. No word on whether they’re wearing masks now…

The list goes on, of course. This outrageous separation from the truth has gotten SO out of control, I have come to the conclusion that if a conservative says something, the BEST response is to assume it’s a lie. They lie about everything, all the time. Conservative lies used to just be irritating. Now they’re actively killing people. Of course, the cons will just lie about THAT, too…

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There’s an old saying that if you can’t say something good about the dead, don’t say anything. Rush Limbaugh is dead? Good! There’s a piece in the NY Times inquiring if we MUST dance on Rush’s grave. I submit, it’s not a requirement. But certainly it’s an opportunity.

Rush enjoyed tremendous success. Unfortunately, his “success” was in undermining America and misleading millions. His willingness to harm a once-great nation is the single most important thing that will be remembered about him. Count me in as one who happily dances on Rush’s grave…

I Guess We Couldn’t…

In 1787, a woman called Mrs Powell asked Benjamin Franklin if the founders had delivered a Republic or a Monarchy. Franklin’s famous reply was “A Republic, if you can keep it.” In truth, I wish I had been more surprised but the whole world knew the Republicans were going to nullify the impeachment LONG before they “swore an oath” to be impartial. They were rather vocal about it. I’m quite used to the notion that the Republican party has no honor and will ALWAYS do what’s worst for America. For THEIR part, I’m also quite used to the notion that the role of the Democrats is to lose – what I call the ‘Colmes Effect.’ (Alan Colmes was a Fox “News” personality who pretended to be a liberal. His job was to “lose” debates with Sean Hannity, thereby making the conservative position LOOK far stronger than it ever has been. Of course, he had to go out of his way to present the dumbest possible arguments but he was good at that and always came through.) Either side could have run the question of constitutionality by the SCOTUS and neither side did – giving the Republicans exactly the out they needed – a move that appears to have served both “teams.” (The Dems pretend to have “fought,” the GOP gets the “win.”)

Then, once sure Trump had been protected, Moscow Mitch gives this speech in which he insists the Dumbass is guilty of inciting insurrection, calling him “practically and morally responsible,” but then claiming Congress couldn’t act because Trump is out so there is no point in trying to remove him. Obviously, there’s no point in trying to remove someone who’s already out but the Republicans held on to that moot point for all they were worth and completely, dutifully ignored the reason for impeachment in that case: being barred from ever running again. I guess we’re all just supposed to forget that the only reason the impeachment occurred AFTER Trump left office is because his loyal sycophant, old Moscow Mitch himself, refused to reconvene the Senate while Trump still infested the Oval Office.

Trump could still face criminal charges, of course, but my guess is he won’t. I suspect he COULD face civil charges, too, if someone – perhaps Officer Sicknick’s family or maybe the “Q-anon Shaman” – was of a mind to try to go after him that way. Listening to naive Republicans in Congress pretend that Trump’s era is “over” now because of all of this is just saddening. So far, every time someone has said, ‘This far and no further,’ Trump just blows past the line and keeps pushing further and further.

I keep thinking back to ancient Rome, when Rome transitioned from Republic to Empire. THAT transition was done very much like THIS transition. All of the institutions of Rome the Republic remained. Caesar even left dissidents in the Roman Senate to speak out against him. Not enough of them to effect real change, of course, and certainly not enough to protect the Republic. But the move maintained the illusion that everything was “normal” in Rome. Ancient Rome used to keep it’s citizenry informed of the news using newsreaders who would literally stand out on a corner and read out the day’s events. Even THAT practice continued, for a time, after the fall of the Republic but the quality of the information the people received was…diminished. (Can you say Fox “News”?) The work-a-day Romans never knew what was hitting them. It all LOOKED the same. It just didn’t ACT the same.

Many people know that Hitler once tried, unsuccessfully, to take over Germany. He faced legal consequences but the state ended up showing leniency. A few years later, THAT bumbling idiot was Germany’s new “Fuehrer” and millions of people died. So now our own bumbling idiot, Trump, has tried to seize control over the United States and failed. But the state has shown leniency. History is not promising when it comes to the “let’s just close our eyes and hope he goes away” strategy. Mostly, I suspect this once-great nation will have it’s very own strongman/dictator in the next few years. The cons have been working for that end going on forty years, now, and their finish line is in sight, if not already behind us…

Yes, I’m quite well aware all of this sounds like hyperbolic, sky-is-falling stuff. I’m also quite clear that the process MAY not have played out, yet. As mentioned, it’s still possible someone could prefer criminal charges against the criminal. Recent history suggests that will NOT happen, though. A sign of the collapse of our society can be found in the transition from “a nation of laws” to “a nation of laws for the little guy.” It will be a sad day when Biden gives the inevitable, upcoming “It’s time to look forward, not backward” speech. But I’ll be no more surprised (nor disappointed) by THAT betrayal than I am with the Republicans who know – to a person and without question – that Trump is guilty as charged but still refuse to defend America…

Prosecution Rests…

Okay, so I had the opportunity to watch some of the dog-and-pony show from Washington, D.C and I have a few thoughts. Before I get to the trial, though, I want to mention my deep and abiding respect for Officer Eugene Goodman of the Capitol Police. As I watched the riot unfold, it seemed to me that some of the Capitol police were…not entirely opposed to what was happening – perhaps even “on-board.” Just an impression. But Officer Goodman? That dude was everywhere, helping all the victims, and just…doing the right thing. Props to you, Officer Goodman. I wish we had more people like you.

Okay, so back to the trial. First, I don’t think there’s any rational argument against the idea that trump incited the insurrection. (I mean, sure, people can form sentences but are they rational sentences?) It will be interesting to see how the defense responds. Here’s my guess: the defense is going to argue that, sure, a bunch of hyped up nut-balls attacked Congress and tried to kill it’s members and the Vice-President. We all saw the video, there can be no denying. But they didn’t do it because of trump. Simple. Yes, they did it, not trump’s doing. They’ll simply ignore the question of why trump didn’t do anything but praise the attackers along with any other inconvenient features of the House Manager’s arguments. Then will come the vote and the same people who voted against the process being Constitutional will vote against conviction, pretending they do so because they think the process is unconstitutional.

Now, I know Mr. Raskin tried to short-circuit that particular cowardly end-run by pointing out that the Senate debated and voted on the issue and determined, by vote, that the process IS constitutional. That won’t stop people who refuse to do the right thing from seeking ANY cover they can – and that’s all they’ve got. (Now seems like an EXCELLENT time to point out that the trial only took place AFTER the dumbass left office in the first place because the soon-to-be complicit Senate refused to re-convene to address the question before trump left office.) But I have a question.

Why did neither side actually take the question to the Sour Creme Court? Corrupt as they are, the so-called High Court is sitting right now. If EVER there was an issue for that court, this is it, right? It’s a direct question of what is and is not Constitutional. The Republicans could have let themselves and their dear mis-leader off the hook by asking for a SCOTUS ruling. Unless, of course, they suspected the court would not rule in their favor. Likewise, the Democrats could have cut off the cowardly retreat by asking for a ruling. Unless, of course, they suspected the court would not rule in their favor.

As a citizen of the United States of America, first and foremost, I would like to know how the court stands on the issue. If neither side can say with confidence they would win – and I mean enough confidence to actually pose the question to the people with the answer – we really CAN’T know if the process was constitutional. I’m not sanguine about people just…voting for what’s “constitutional,” you know? (Don’t be pedantic. I understand about Amendments…)

I have long understood that, rightly or wrongly, American Presidents don’t go to jail. Ever. Bush 43 started not one but TWO illegal wars in violation of the Geneva Conventions and is guilty of war crimes. He gets to live out his days down in Texas – painting. That’s more than his victims will ever get. But his position has what Reagan called “plausible deniability.” He said someone said they saw Bin Laden in Afghanistan so…off to Afghanistan. Turned out to be a Curve ball. Swing and a miss… Iraq was less…plausible… but people were scared. It’s VERY easy to scare some people…

I thought it would ever be thus, no American President ever going to jail. But there’s nothing debatable – no “plausible deniability” to trump’s actions. Because he couldn’t accept his loss, he tried to foment a rebellion. He tried to overthrow the American government and seize power for himself. I understand the actions in Congress are viewed as a foregone conclusion. Republicans will nullify the proper verdict. But I’m hoping the House Managers have laid out such a compelling case, criminal charges will follow these political charges. Trump delighted in shaking up precedent and tradition. Here’s hoping he topples one more by becoming the first President in the history of this once-great nation to face criminal prosecution of his actions. If the President of the United States can foment rebellion against the United States without consequence, the future of this country is…bleak…

Party On, Dude…

I’ve noticed that as the cons come slithering back to Facebook they’re trying to re-establish themselves as defenders of the cops, the so-called ‘Blue Lives Matter’ crowd. Personally, I think that ship has sailed. Your team, confronted by a cop doing his job, trying to keep you from attacking the Capitol and murdering members of congress and murdering the Vice-President of the United States – you know…as a display of your “patriotism” – murdered the cop. You didn’t “just comply” as you so often insist is the problem with people of color. You didn’t “follow orders.” You murdered the man.

So…’Blue Lives Matter’…unless the ‘Blue Life’ in question is in your way. Then? Yeah, kill that guy! You don’t get to have it both ways and actions speak louder than words. When the equation is ‘Blue Lives Matter’ vs ‘you killed a cop without justification,’ I believe the murder MORE than I believe the slogan…

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I know the cons deny it, but rational people are all pretty clear that Donald Trump incited the insurrection in DC on January 6, 2021 because he’s a big, whiny-ass baby who simply could not accept his loss. (I suspect he had been guaranteed by his buddy, Putin, he was going to win and REALLY didn’t understand that the paper ballots changed things…) Liz Cheney (R, WY), among the last of what might be called “old school” Republicans voted to hold Donnie Dumbass responsible for his behavior. NOW, in an effort to prove that rational thought WILL NOT BE TOLERATED among the Republican Party, Wyoming has voted to censure Cheney. Basically, the Wyoming Republican party has voted not to support her anymore. They want her to return all financial contributions from the party AND they want her to resign.

I’d say the coup in the party is complete and all that’s left are some mop-up operations. The Libertarians decided to take over the Republican Party in an effort to gain some respectability. It worked for awhile. Now, though? The Libertarians HAVE successfully claimed the GOP but Libertarian “thinking” has destroyed the respectability it was trying to steal from the Republican Party. NOW, both the Libertarian Party AND the Republican Party are known to be bat-shit crazy and there’s no place left for common-sense, mainstream conservatives…

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I’ve been pretty stunned watching the cons simply pretend they have never even HEARD of this, what’s it called? Quirk anon? Q abscond? Kevin McCarthy (Traitor, CA) – the House Minority “Leader” – said, “I don’t know if I say it right. I don’t even know what it is.” Liar. In truth, I don’t think he’s a fan of the farcical ‘Q’ but he’s been on television talking about Q-anon…and saying it right…

Still, that works in today’s Republican party – simply pretending you don’t recall what you said…yesterday. The cons do it all the time. I’ve long said cons don’t have principles, they have positions of the moment…

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Count me OUT when it comes to recalling Gavin Newsom. Look, I think the guy did SERIOUS – maybe permanent – damage to his political future with one meal at the French Laundry. I don’t know ANYONE, left or right, who isn’t angry about that oh-so-stupid, oh-so-arrogant move. Even if we cut Newsom some slack for the vaccine rollout or the perplexing rule changes regarding who’s open and when and why, that one meal is going to dog that guy forever. But a recall? Now? No.


The end of a career?

Gavin stands for re-election in 2022. Check your calendar. That’s next year. Elections in California are EXPENSIVE. California has…other financial challenges right now and we don’t need to bleed off millions of dollars that could be used elsewhere to remove a governor one year early. It’s just stupid. Besides, the new guy won’t have any time to address any of these problems, either, so it’s really just a waste of money we don’t have and a further disruption to an already confused process. I won’t sign any petitions and I’ll vote against the recall, should it make the ballot.

But Gavin should take note. My objection to the recall isn’t based in my firm belief in the fabulous job he’s doing. It’s a simple, pragmatic calculation – a cost/benefit analysis that says the cost is too high and the benefit too low. When 2022 comes around? Sorry, Gavin. I’ll be checking my options.

Word is the French Laundry is one of the most expensive restaurants in California but my guess is Gavin didn’t expect it to cost him his entire political career. I hope that was one great meal…

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It’s hard to predict, on this Super Bowl Sunday, which narrative is preferred by the NFL. Is this Tom Brady showing the world that he didn’t NEED the Patriots to cheat to win? Is this the old generation (um…that would be Brady at 43 years old) passing the torch to the new generation (Patrick Mahomes at 25)?

To MY mind, Brady will always be saddled with four asterisks. The first three Super Bowls – those the Patriots are KNOWN to have cheated to win – and “Deflate-gate” in which not enough evidence could be accrued to prove one way or another (especially by the NFL who “searched” for evidence with their collective eyes closed and in the dark). To MY mind, Brady displayed consciousness of guilt when he smashed his cell phone with a hammer rather than let the NFL see it.

I don’t get to pick who wins today’s game – that’s the NFL’s job – but if I DID get to pick, I would choose the Chiefs. Let’s just pass the torch and get those asterisks out of the game once and for all…

Pseudo-Successes…

I think every rational American knows that evidence and testimony supported the idea that Donnie the Dumbass did what he was accused of doing in Ukraine and should have been found guilty in his first impeachment. But…Republicans are corrupt. They don’t CARE about evidence. They care about protecting rich people. Period. So, guilty or not, Republicans engaged in a bit of jury nullification and let the Dumbass off. I don’t think most people were surprised at the Republican’s feckless response but it was – and is – a major pain in the ass having to listen to know-nothing conservatives crow about trump being innocent when thinking Americans know he’s guilty.

I’ve come to believe that Donnie the Dumbass is going to beat THIS impeachment, too. Satan REALLY loves that guy and takes very good care of him. Every rational American knows the Dumbass (and his fellows) incited the insurrection. We’ve seen the video. You know, evidence. But the corrupt Republicans are dutifully taking up their defensive positions. They’re not preparing to defend America or the Constitution, mind you. They’re lining up to defend the insurrection. They’re lining up to defend the coup attempt. They’re lining up to support autocracy. Rational people can see it coming – conservatives protecting the traitor – and I fully believe Republicans will defend the Dumbass and nullify the process again. It sucks, knowing the guy is guilty but having to listen to the know-nothing crowd crow about trump being innocent again…

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I hate to keep bringing up the dumbass but it looks as though his legal team for the impeachment has dumped him. Apparently, there was disagreement regarding strategy. In the story I read from the Guardian, one of his supporters is quoted as saying, ‘“The Democrats’ efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is totally unconstitutional and so bad for our country,” said Jason Miller, a Trump adviser. “In fact, 45 senators have already voted that it is unconstitutional…”’

I can still do math! Turns out, if 45 (partisan) Senators have already voted that it is unconstitutional, well, um, that means, let’s see 100 minus 45 equals…oh, yeah, 55 Senators have voted that it IS constitutional. WHY, I wonder, have the cons suddenly decided that FEWER votes should always be the winner? The dumbass received something like seven MILLION fewer votes than Biden so of course he thinks he won. 45 Senators said the impeachment is unconstitutional so WHY won’t the majority listen to them?

I don’t know just how stupid a person has to be to keep consuming this radicalizing conservative bullshit but I DO know we’re going to get the chance to find out just how stupid many of our family and friends turned out to be…

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Speaking of stupid, Marjorie Taylor-Greene. She’s the “representative” from Georgia who has been scrubbing her social media in an attempt to cover-up her dedication to conspiracy theories. Fortunately for the rest of us, it hasn’t worked. It turns out, the internet is forever. One of the stupidest conspiracy theories held by the right is the idea that climate change is a hoax. In the face of year-after-year record breaking temperature increases, these dedicated deniers need excuses – or rather, “explanations” – for why more and more of the planet is literally catching fire and burning uncontrollably and old MTG has a doozy: Jewish laser beams.

It’s an awesome story because it simultaneously denies the reality of climate change AND tosses in a solid amount of racism, two staples of the radicalized right. Now, I presume she means Jewish-owned laser beams and not that the beams themselves are keeping Kosher. I’m no expert but I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and suggest that killing people with space-based, fire-starting laser beams is somewhat outside of the teachings of the Torah.

But right now, in the United States House of Representatives, we have a member who honestly believes in Jewish laser beams. This does not instill confidence for the future of this once-great nation…

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A couple more of the so-called “Proud Boys” got arrested over the assault on the Capitol. One of them, Dominic Pezzola, had bomb-making information and materials when they searched his home after arresting him. At one point during the January 6th insurrection police discovered that some America-hating “patriot” demonstrated his love of country by trying to blow up the Democratic and Republican national headquarters offices with pipe bombs. Now all they have to do is tie Pezzola to the bombs and, voila! – one less boy to be proud…

In other, potentially unrelated news, the leader of the fascist “Proud Boys” Enrique Tarrio has been outed by Reuters as an FBI informant. Naturally, he has denied the claim. I don’t know if it’s true or if the government is trying to undermine his credibility with his radicalized group but he WAS conveniently arrested and held before he could participate in the Capitol assault – thereby giving him an excuse for not being there and protecting his cover. (FBI: “Thanks, Reuters!”) It’s likely the FBI would have found these yahoos without any insider assistance but it seems equally likely that the FBI is getting an assist from the undercover “leader.”

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Boy, I’m in a quandary. On the one hand, I like the things Joe Biden is doing since he took office. He’s undoing the damage done by his moron predecessor. More, he seems to be moving in a more progressive direction than I had expected. All good. At the same time, I’m very concerned about the ever-increasing use of Executive Orders to get things done.

Radicalized Republicans refused – just…refused – to work with Barack Obama. Eventually, Obama realized he wasn’t going to get any cooperation from Congress – because Republicans hate America – and began using Executive Orders to get things done. But Executive Orders don’t carry the weight of law and the dumbass was able to simply revoke them with Executive Orders of his own. Biden has reversed many of 45’s stupid Executive Orders using his own but one can immediately see that the next time some bat-shit crazy moron is “elected” by the deplorables, Biden’s good works can be revoked with the stroke of a pen.

It’s poor practice because it makes the United States an undependable partner…

Scandalous…

It looks like the fights over voting are heating up. There’s been a bill offered in Congress to eliminate Citizen’s United, the foul ruling that allowed the richest of the rich to buy our once-great government and, well, do to it what they’ve done. It’s going to take a Constitutional Amendment, though, and we know the radicalized Republicans will never support the effort. How do we know?

While Democrats in Congress are trying to fix Citizen’s United, Republicans are trying to change voting laws in an effort to give themselves a boost in upcoming “elections.” Can’t win with your policies? Why, simply suppress your opposition by changing voting laws! One of the conservative geniuses in Georgia spelled it out. As reported by Politico, ‘“They don’t have to change all of them, but they’ve got to change the major parts of them so that we at least have a shot at winning,” Alice O’Lenick, a Republican on the Gwinnett County, Ga., board of elections in suburban Atlanta said.’

Meanwhile, cheating Texas Republicans want to reduce the number of days available to vote because – of course they do. Not to be outdone, the cheating Republicans in South Carolina want to implement new voter ID laws. Cheating Republicans in Pennsylvania want to implement voter ID laws AND limit absentee ballots. When one throws in Gerrymandering and other voter suppression techniques used by cheating Republicans it seems like they’ll do ANYTHING to try and “win” an “election.” Well, anything except offering a more palatable platform. THAT idea never seems to enter these cretin’s heads…

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The cons are starting to slither back to Facebook bringing their “alternative facts” (read: lies) and rejection of evidence with them. I’m not surprised. Once the circle-jerk known as “Parler” was shut down, they were bound to find their way back. I HAVE noticed there is not even a modicum of contrition over January 6th, though. It’s like it never happened or, at least, that it’s being hyped by liberal media. Whatever. I’m pretty sure I’ll have less grace for them than I used to.

I saw radicalized conservatives attack and defile the United States Capitol building and try to find and murder the Vice-President of the United States – all the while droning on about their pretended “patriotism” and ALL without a SHRED of evidence. As the saying goes, stupid is as stupid does. It pretty much dropped ALL of the pretense, though, and, for that, I’m grateful. This is not a loyal opposition with honest intentions. These are traitors. I don’t have as much grace for traitors as I do for the merely stupid.

The thing is, the Onan Network, Newsquacks, and Q-anonsense are still out there poisoning minds and radicalizing the gullible. Sure, a lot of the weakest thinkers will be going to prison now. But the One Percent’s radicalizing disinformation machine known as the conservative bubble – will just make more.

The truth is, I was glad when they absconded to Parler. Facebook got quiet and peaceful. Boring, even. But as it happens, leaving them alone and unchallenged in their little echo chamber helped to radicalize them faster and more deeply. At least being on Facebook means they might get challenged more often. I don’t know how to defeat the One Percent’s disinformation machine but I CAN demand evidence or brand them liars and, in my opinion, thinking people the world over should do just that…

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I’m glad President Biden stopped the Keystone XL pipeline. Apparently, Canada isn’t as happy but Biden is doing the right thing in making the move away from fossil fuels. I live in California. California has long been prone to fires but with the increase in global warming California is pretty much on fire somewhere all the time these days. Using the nasty-ass tar sands oil just so we can stay addicted to oil isn’t sustainable anyway so why keep polluting and why keep building infrastructure to support a dying technology?

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Sure, it’s only been four days but as it stands, I think Biden is doing a good job so far. I was VERY interested in voting for him in the 1988 election but he never made it that far. He was brought down by a plagiarism scandal. Can you imagine? THESE days, NOTHING qualifies as a deal killer. Bush 43 started not one but TWO illegal wars. He got re-elected anyway. Donnie Dumbass watched while nearly 400,000 (and counting) Americans died as a direct result of is failure and millions still voted for him. Biden had to step down because of misattribution. Good times…

Fallout…

Apparently, some of the rioters are upset. They are complaining that they now face prison and they just do not seem to understand why. They are asking the dumbass for pardons and, not surprisingly, the dumbass is not responding. I am no lawyer but I do not think he CAN pardon them at this point. The Constitution says specifically that he can pardon “except in Cases of Impeachment.” Having been impeached for the second time – an impeachment directly associated with his incitement to insurrection – I think his ability to pardon the attackers has been removed. (Constitutional lawyers, am I right?)

On the one hand, it’s kind of fun to watch these sad, betrayed suckers gaze in wide-eyed wonder as they try to grasp why so many are so angry with them – and why they’re likely going to prison. They’re only now beginning to understand that the dumbass was only too willing to sacrifice THEIR lives trying to benefit his own – and some of them STILL don’t seem to get it. Some do, of course. I’ve read where many in the trump camp are revolting. Yes, I know, they’re ALL “revolting” but I mean ‘reacting to being betrayed…’

I honestly believe the radicalized insurgents would readily strap on bomb vests and blow themselves up if the right person told them to do so – just like the Islamic terrorists they are always on about. Apparently, I’m not alone in this belief. The families and friends of the domestic terrorists aren’t helping to hide them. Largely, family and friends are working to identify and expose the radicalized insurrectionists and the FBI has more leads than they can follow up quickly. I expect they will all be followed up. It will just take a bit more time. I even heard, anecdotally, about a woman who changed her profile on some dating site to reflect her “conservative” values and when the conservative “incels” try to impress her with their presence in the Capitol, she just forwards the “proof” to the FBI. Nice.

I just hope the dumbass doesn’t slither his way out of this one, too. I know that traditionally, American presidents never go to jail. But trump has spent his life trampling traditions so, in this case, he should meet his devoted followers in prison. Perhaps they can all have a nice conversation about loyalty…

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I think Lauren Boebert isn’t going to last long in Congress and she MAY face criminal charges that put her in one of those cells with other radicalized traitors. She’s the Q-anon follower who tweeted out the location and movements of various persons of interest to the attackers. Talk about in on it. Directing insurgent traffic from inside the Capitol and on her own phone wasn’t the most brilliant move I’ve ever heard of.

But I wonder how many of the 147 Republican House members or if traitorous Senators Hawley and Cruz will be expelled for their part in the attack. See, the Republicans are FAR more loyal to the party than the country. As a party, they KNOW if Congress does as it should and expels the traitorous members, their strength as a party will be weakened. I feel certain Republicans will opt to retain as many members – even disloyal traitors – as they can. You know – for the good of the party…

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I know that Moscow Mitch said he was glad the Democrats were pursuing impeachment a second time. People speculated that he was using the opportunity to be rid of the dumbass once and for all. I suspect McConnell is happy about it because he sees it as Democratic overreach he can use to take back the Congress in the mid-terms…

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The DOW seems to doing just great, thank you very much. It’s important to remember that ALL of this started because rich people were afraid they were losing too much power in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was intentional. It was planned. When you look for the guilty, look to the one percent. (Specifically, Charles Koch.)

The monster that is the radicalized right didn’t happen by chance and it didn’t happen over night. Nor was it the result of one party. Sure, Ronald Reagan introduced the ridiculously stupid concept of “Supply Side” economics but it was Bill Clinton who signed the law that opened the floodgates to the world of disinformation we all suffer from today.

I can’t really speculate on the details of how this all plays out but history shows, over and over, that accurate information is the lifeblood of democracy and the disinformation machine that was built, nurtured, and maintained by the one percent is destroying ours.

If it was up to me, I would correct the First Amendment to include; “any agency that identifies itself as a news agency may not knowingly present false nor misleading information.” We can’t really stop people from lying by pretending to be expressing their opinions but we CAN provide dependable news outlets…

To Hell With Those Guys…

He’s a tricky bastard…
He tricked a group of people into believing he was probably a pretty good business man, though nearly every business he ever started failed…
He tricked a smaller group of people into believing that he might make a competent president even though he lacked the experience or skills for the job…
He tricked a still smaller group of people into believing he was doing the job well – but spent the vast majority of his time watching television, playing golf, and sowing division and discontent…
He tricked a still smaller group of people into believing that people marching for justice were the bad guys and the people marching against justice were the good guys – then heaped praise on the true bad guys…
He tricked a still smaller group of people into believing he hadn’t done what he did in Ukraine – then convinced them someone else had done that very thing…
He tricked and even smaller group of people into believing a worldwide pandemic was a non-event, then that nothing could be done about it – and then played golf while (so far) 367,652 Americans died…
He tricked an even smaller group of people into believing the 2020 election would be, had been, and then was “rigged” and encouraged his loyalists to fight back and “stop the steal” – despite lacking evidence…
He tricked an even smaller group of people into sending their hard-earned money to the self-described master negotiator billionaire to fund lawsuits – then filed only frivolous suits and pocketed most of the money…
He tricked an even smaller group of people to come to Washington DC on January 6th to attend one last rally – that will certainly prove to have been a “super-spreader” event…
He tricked a smaller group of people to march on the US Capitol building, telling them he’d be with them – then he went home, in typical cowardly-trump fashion, and watched the whole thing play out on television…
He tricked an even smaller group of people into insurrection and committing felonies that carry at least a 10 year sentence – then insulted, denounced, and renounced those who did as he asked…
Now, finally, he sits, isolated, in his metaphorical bunker with only the last of his loyalist sycophants to pander to him – leaving nothing but wreckage, carnage, and death in his wake…

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Tantrums…
I’ve heard more than once since the attempted coup (mostly from the right) that impeaching the dumbass again would only inflame the radicalized right. What, you mean as opposed to any other time? The radicalized right is already inflamed and they’re going to remain inflamed as long as the conservative media bubble is allowed to continue infuriating and radicalizing conservatives.

Here’s what I know; no parent surrenders to the tantrums of a brat without creating a huge, ugly monster. The adults in the room need to do the right thing even if tantrums ensue. Donald Trump fomented insurgency and instigated an insurrection. Five people died as a direct result of his actions and bidding. If that’s not a high crime and misdemeanor, none exist. He MUST be impeached. He MUST be held to account.

If more of the radicalized right wants to learn about prison from the inside, I’m sure they can be accommodated…

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Oh, the Constitution…
Here’s a little bit from that Constitution cons are always pretending they love so much. This is from the 14th Amendment, Section 3:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial office of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

I mention it because there are a LOT of Republicans – sworn members of Congress – who supported this action. Sure they’re trying to run away from their support now but they did what they did and they should be censured, then removed. In fact, if I got to choose (I don’t) I would manage the order of operations this way: First thing Monday morning the House votes to remove every member who supported the coup attempt, then introduce the Article of Impeachment.

Sure, the radicalized right would whine and scream that their voices are being removed. Yep. They are. You want to argue politics? Fine. You want to advance ludicrous positions? Great. You want to foment violent insurrection against the Congress of the United States of America? You’re out. Period. It really IS that simple…

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Proudly Not Responsible…
I’ve noticed many on the right are SO proud of their actions – they’re blaming other people. The party of personal responsibility won’t take responsibility for what they did. Frankly, I don’t think they’re worth arguing with beyond pointing out that I support the arrest and conviction of EVERY person shown to have participated in the insurrection, politics and party affiliation notwithstanding. If Antifa was there they should go to jail right along with the moron cons who shot video and took photos of themselves trashing the US Capitol.

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Plan Your Sedition in Private…
Speaking of whining, NOW the cons are out whining that their favorite meeting place in social media – the site knows as “Parler” – is being taken off-line. Google has already removed the app from it’s play store. Apple said they’re going to do the same Monday if Parler doesn’t get it’s oversight act together. And Amazon, who hosts the site, has declared that the site violates it’s terms of service and have said they won’t host the site anymore. Why, it’s getting to the point where hardworking, honest, America-hating conservative traitors have no social media outlets available to plan their various coups, rebellions, and/or attempted assassinations…