Distractions or Delusions?

I continue to be impressed with the depths the cons will go to in an effort to deny facts they don’t like. I persist in believing they’re mostly being deceived by the conservative bubble but after awhile, it really doesn’t matter.

If I understand this correctly, George Soros created the Coronavirus because he wanted Bill Gates to get a vaccine that will make China cry and the Nashville bombing was a ploy to cover up the whole thing. Okay, maybe that’s not quite right. But it DOES make as much sense as the alternative facts being peddled in the bubble. Whatever it is they’re smoking over there in con-land, it’s too powerful and their cognitive abilities are paying the price.

I read a letter to the Editor in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat this morning in which the writer was expressing his anger that over fifty courts have refused to even consider all of the evidence the trump campaign has. I believe the writer was sincere. He simply doesn’t know that the trump legal team didn’t bring any evidence, just…well, trumpery. He should know it. He could know it. He doesn’t WANT to know it. So how does one communicate with someone who has made a conscious choice to be wrong and insists on stubbornly sticking to their wrongheaded position? The answer is, you don’t.

On the up side, social media is much quieter. Boring, even…


I’ve been watching as various (non-journalistic) outlets complain about the assorted and sundry elements found in the Covid relief bill. The thing is, Congress – in it’s never-estimable wisdom – pushed the Covid relief bill as part of a government funding bill. So cash relief for struggling Americans and unemployment enhancements are part of Covid relief and aid to foreign countries is part of the government funding. Putting the two out together was the perfect opportunity for opponents to misrepresent – and misrepresent they will…


The question in my mind is whether the dumbass knew he was putting the GOP in such a precarious position with his demand for $2,000 dollars in place of the $600 the GOP was willing to go or was it just part of his tantrum? Moscow Mitch has shown ALL Americans that as long as he’s in charge, Americans are on their own. (Well, poor Americans, anyway. Congress is ALWAYS there for the rich.) When the dumbass called for more, Senate Democrats were quick to seize on the $2,000 dollar option. Republicans were forced to come out and say no, exposing their true colors.

I presume that down in Georgia, Democrats are hammering the message every day: it doesn’t matter which party you belong to, if you need a bit of help through this crisis you didn’t create, you’d BETTER vote Democrat because the Republicans have made their position clear: they HAVE to offer something as a political ploy to try and help in Georgia but it will be as little as possible and there will be nothing after this so…make that $600.00 last.

It’s cruel and it’s blind. The actual economic impact from Covid hasn’t even hit yet but it’s been racing at us for months like a freight train that can’t stop. As more and more people fall through the cracks, they’ll get desperate – then angry. I imagine Mitch’s plan is to try to point that anger at Biden. The cons will buy it. Hell, they’re already angry at all the failures of the not-yet-extant Biden administration. I don’t expect thinking people will, though. I don’t know what the one percent think will happen but history says it’s not going to be good for them…


I was confronted by a couple of my con friends who wanted to know why I refused to give the dumbass the credit he deserves for bringing the vaccine so quickly. It turned out to be a beneficial exchange – for me, anyway. You see, I DID have concerns about how quickly the vaccine was developed. I trust science and if scientists say it’s safe, well, okay. But in looking into whether or not trump deserves credit, I discovered some things I thought I’d share here for your (possible) peace of mind. What follows is my (slightly edited) response:

Here’s the thing: you guys are acting like trump donned a lab coat and started peering through microscopes and cutting RNA. (I get that. When the reality of the Chosen One falls short, glorifying stories ensue. Always.) But he didn’t do that. He doesn’t even seem to understand Covid-19 is real. Now, the one thing we CAN agree on is that Operation Warp Speed (OWS) promised a huge pot of money for development of a vaccine, yes? As you’ve indicated, the conservative bubble is crediting OWS with the unprecedented speed of development. As is usually the case, the conservative bubble is twisting the details to present a less than accurate complete picture.

You see, it’s not like the world was sitting around waiting for Americans to develop a vaccine. Most of the first world knew of the need and began working on options long before OWS. OWS was launched in May – only FIVE months AFTER the need for a vaccine became apparent. So…late to the party. How late? Well, the company that actually developed the first successful vaccine was NOT Pfizer. It wasn’t even an American company. It was created by a small German company called BioNTech. It was in human trials in Germany in MARCH. That would be two months BEFORE OWS even launched.

More, the Pfizer/BioNTech partnership didn’t use OWS money. They self-funded. I’m not trying to be unfair. OWS DID sign an agreement with Pfizer to buy 100 million doses and knowing they had access to the American market certainly didn’t dissuade Pfizer. This particular forward thinking move was offset a bit by the administration’s decision to NOT commit to another 100 million doses Pfizer had offered without risk – which now means we’ll all have to wait longer. Either way, because Pfizer self-funded, they were not going to get paid at all if they didn’t come up with a success.

Actually more important to the development speed, though, is the fact that most of the drug companies had a head start. Because of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), both forms of Coronavirus, scientists knew where to start. They had already started working on vaccines for those two forms in the past. They stopped the SARS effort because of money when SARS petered out. But they STILL had the information they needed and scientists had continued working on a MERS vaccine since 2013. In short, this current vaccine became available so quickly because the world had already been working on it. Much of the groundwork had already been done before anybody had ever even heard of Covid-19.

Trump DOES deserve credit for this: his complete failure to effectively address the problem in the first place created HUGE waves of infections (and deaths). That gave the testing protocol lots and lots and lots of potential test subjects. In other words, if Trump had been better at flattening the curve, testers would have had to wait longer to find viable subjects. So, I guess there’s that…


Best hopes and wishes from My Bacon Press to you for the upcoming new year. We’re finally getting rid of the vile pestilence – and Covid-19 is going to go away, too! Happy New Year!

Egyptian Rivers…

I believe Joe Biden is just offering up an olive branch to the Republicans when he says he thinks he’ll be able to work with them but I wish he’d stop saying so. It sounds nice but naive. The Republicans aren’t even pretending to work across the aisle. Their “position” is that Democrats are illegitimate. Moscow Mitch declared at the beginning of Obama’s administration that his goal was to ensure Obama was a one-term President. (Job well done, eh?) I haven’t heard him say the same about the incoming Biden administration but Republicans certainly have already retreated to their anti-Democrat stance. Joe may be willing to work with Republicans but Republicans WILL NOT work with Joe. Period. Joe needs to approach his new job with a firm grip on that knowledge. I’m wary because “reaching across the aisle” was the line that shielded Obama from accomplishing too much for the American people…


I’ve got to say, trump’s meltdown is becoming SO severe I’m starting to feel sorry for him. I mean, up until now I felt, in order, contempt then disbelief. After that came embarrassment. I genuinely felt embarrassed for him. Now? Jesus, it’s just…SO pathetic. Losing to Joe (60 times!) seems to have really and finally broken him. NONE of his usual coping techniques – the “tools” that have taken him this far in life – (denial, name-calling, threats, bribes, lawsuits, and tantrums) have worked. No matter WHAT he does, facts remain facts and he knows – everybody knows – that HE’S the biggest loser!

You know who else thinks this current trump show is pathetic, disgusting, and embarrassing? Karl Rove! Karl says that Americans LOVE a comeback story but they HATE a sore loser. A rational person would get it. When Karl Rove says you’ve gone too far, you can rest assured you’ve gone too far!

As a result of the trump tantrum, 45 is doing as much damage as he possibly can on his way out the door. He’s rolling back regulations. He’s still firing people and installing lackeys. He’s STILL got his cowed and cowardly Senate pushing as many “conservative” judges as possible. He’s like a little brat with a gun and an endless clip. He’s just blasting away at America in every way he can at every chance he gets.

Okay, well, that didn’t last long. I’m back to contempt…


Generally, I don’t have anything against the Swedes. They seem like nice enough people. But I sure got tired of hearing about them from the anti-mask, anti-lock-down contrarians. Apparently, the Swedes were going after the misinterpreted form of herd immunity. You know, the one where we just let people get sick and die off until the bug just…stops. In this model, the “immunity” is derived from the near-extinction of the herd. It’s exactly the kind of “misinterpretation” (read: lie) the Heritage Foundation or Cato are famous for and apparently, Sweden fell for it.

Now, because they didn’t react well to the pandemic, Swedes are dying at record levels – just like in the good old USA – and for the same reason! Stephen Colbert said it best: “It’s almost as if doing nothing has done nothing.” Well, it IS decreasing the surplus population. Ebenezer Scrooge would be pleased…


In the meantime, Congressional Contrarians continue to obstruct efforts to help Americans most in need as a result of the feckless response to trump’s pandemic. This is going to be a rough ride because I’m certain Moscow Mitch has already pegged the impending economic disaster as a great political opportunity. All he’s got to do is prevent any (or, sufficient, at least) disaster relief from reaching Joe Six-pack. (To hell with desperate American people. It’ll be good for the party!)

The economic time-bomb awaiting us all is in rent relief. As it stands, there’s a hold on rent payments for anybody who loses income because of Covid-19. Great. BUT…once trump’s pandemic is controlled, all back rent will become due. Yeah, good luck with that.

The very fabric of this once-great nation has been reduced to pure, selfish greed. It’s not like the majority of landlords out there are offering up units at the lowest price possible. The mantra is, whatever the market can bear, remember? They take top dollar and then squeeze a little harder. The working class is already working multiple jobs and scrambling desperately each month in an effort to make just one month’s rent. How the hell are they supposed to pay back nearly a YEAR’S worth?

Economists generally agree the economic downturn associated with trump’s pandemic isn’t structural. The thinking is that once the pandemic is controlled people will go back out and start spending again. Right now? I agree, it isn’t structural. But once those rent payments become due, it won’t be money that follows. It will be bankruptcies and evictions.

Yes, I get it. Landlords aren’t evil. They’ve made an investment. Their resources are often tied up in these units so the downturn is as devastating to them as to the tenants who stand to lose their homes. In this, the “Greatest Country On Earth”tm Congress could just make the payments. But, apparently, THAT would be a “handout” and we just don’t have enough for a handout to desperate Americans AND defense contractors (or Joel Osteen, who took 4.4 million taxpayer dollars for his megachurch that doesn’t pay taxes) so Average Joe is on his own.

Somehow, I don’t think the millionaires and billionaires running this once-great nation have a solid handle on what life is like for those of us born without a silver spoon…

Dems vs Progress…

I suspect the Dems had better get ready to get their asses handed to them again. On the one hand, they know they couldn’t have beaten the dumbass without the support of Progressives. On the other hand, they know that the Progressives didn’t come out for the Democrats so much as in their own interests – the enemy of my enemy is my friend, kind of thing. But here’s the thing; both statements are true. Progressives were serving their own interest…but Democrats CAN’T win without Progressive support – and they’re quickly squandering said support.

Progressives who manage to make it to Congress find themselves marginalized. The center-right Democratic party just doesn’t want to hear from anyone trying to help the American people. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (‘AOC’ to most) is arguably one of the most outspoken Progressives in Congress. She was fighting for a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees everything from health care policy to climate issues. Establishment Dems stood squarely against her. They were concerned that she would bring Progressive ideas to the committee.

The cracks in the alliance began almost immediately after the “election” as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were bypassed for office after office in the new Democratic administration, though the logic of not plucking Democrats from states with Republican Governors from the Senate is inescapable. So the Dems had built-in protection for snubbing Progressives that way. But marginalizing AOC specifically BECAUSE she’ll work for the majority of Americans? That’s a bad move with bad optics. Progressives are watching – and not happy.

The corporate supported/supporting Democrats tried to dictate to Progressives in 2016, remember? They insisted that Progressives will do as they’re told by the party, thereby inflicting Donald Trump on the world. Progressives allied with Democrats in 2020 – it’s true, for their own protection – to help the party undo the damage they created in 2016 but it was a temporary alliance, dependent entirely on gaining a bit of recognition for our contribution regardless of our motivations – because the Dems STILL need us. Putting AOC on the committee would certainly have been a way to throw Progressives a bone but they wouldn’t even do that…

Stupid Democrats. Independent Progressives have NO loyalty to your stupid party and I don’t expect they ever will. Democrats get to dictate to party loyalists and no one else. You do not, have not, will not dictate to Progressives how they vote and, for their part, they will not stay allied with a group that keeps poking them in the eye. We did not come out FOR your incremental baby-steps, corporate candidate. (Sadly, Progressives expect very little…well, progress…from the Biden Administration.) We came out against the Orange Moron. So far, Democrats have “recognized” the Progressive contribution by slapping Progressives in the face over and over. That’s probably not going to engender support going forward.

Look, everyone knows the Republicans are the Vanguard of the One Percent’s class war against Americans but Progressives see the Democrats as little more than the One Percent’s second rank. Sure, Progressives will help the Democrats against Authoritarians and/or Fascists but we STILL oppose the Democrat’s corporate, one-percent-loving agenda. Progressives STILL want to see the complete annihilation of this stupid, failed, and fraudulent “Supply Side” (aka, “trickle-down” or “voodoo”) economics and a return to the balancing effects of FDR’s New Deal – the system that made America great in the first place. The Dems are going to have to give us something – or they’re going to have to go it alone…

30,000? Uh, oh…

Have you ever seen one of those videos of people putting rubber bands on watermelons? Granted, you have better things to do with your time than sitting around watching videos of people putting rubber bands on watermelons but you should watch at least one. That way, for the rest of your life you’ll be able to say you’ve seen what happens and nobody can ever take that away from you! (Click here to watch a short one.) All right, since I know some of you didn’t click, I’ll tell you. As rubber bands are added, the watermelon begins to lose it’s shape.

At some point – often without warning – the watermelon explodes. (Technically, I guess it implodes since the pressure is from the outside in. Either way, though, you end up with a mess of watermelon all over everything.) There’s even a challenge among people to see who puts on the last rubber band, that kind of thing. Really, it’s not what you think. Some watermelons can take as many as 1,000 rubber bands before breaking and the anticipation is pure suspense…

Have you ever heard of the Dow? (What, no segue? Don’t worry, I’ll tie it together…) Of course you have. It’s on every news report at some point. When it’s up, it’s often in a little box in the corner on the screen so we can watch our glorious economy grow and grow. (I’ve noticed that when it’s “off” – don’t say “down” – they hide the window…) Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has three rules about the Dow. One, the Dow is not the economy. Two, the Dow is not the economy. Three, the Dow is not the economy. Those three rules are axioms. The Dow is not the economy. But you know what? It used to be. Or, rather, it used to be a solid indicator.

When the Dow was created, it was the Dow Jones Industrial Average and it collected together the most important industrial stocks in this once-great nation, creating a useful snapshot of the overall state of the economy at a given point. “The Dow,” as it was referred to, measured the output of things companies made or built or moved. But those industries are, mostly, gone, now. They’ve either collapsed entirely, become only shadows of their former selves, or they’ve been off-shored. As those industrial stocks sank, they were replaced by financial services stocks. “The Dow” became the Dow Jones Index but continued, deceptively, to present under the same name. It confuses people who don’t realize it just ain’t what it used to be. Financial services make nothing, build nothing, move nothing but paper. They create financial value for a very small number of people almost always at the expense of a large number of people.

My favorite current example is Toys R Us. (Sorry, I don’t know how to type a backwards ‘R’…) Toys R Us was once a thriving, going concern. They were doing just fine, thank you very much. They did SO well, they caught the eye of financial services people – never a good thing. The money people decided they wanted to own Toys R Us so they borrowed a massive amount of money and forced a buyout. THEN they stuck the debt load on Toys R Us. Toys R Us didn’t create the debt. They wouldn’t have because they knew they couldn’t manage it. The corporate raiders took everything of value from the company and then let it collapse under the weight of a debt Toys R Us didn’t want or incur in the first place. Tony Soprano called the same behavior a “bust-out.” A few people made a LOT of money. Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs in one fell swoop and the domino effect of closed stores and lost jobs harmed the economy across the land.

Sure, maybe just a little, overall, in the grand scheme. But that is just one event. This kind of thing has been going on across the land in industry after industry for something like 40 years, now. Once upon a time, thanks to FDR and the New Deal, the United States really DID have the greatest economy in the world so they’ve been able to paper over the effects of their rampage for a long time. But the stresses of our gutted society are beginning to show through with unmistakable impact. We all know the list. We can’t provide clean water. We can’t fix our roads. We can’t educate our young. We can’t provide health care to our population. Homelessness is becoming epidemic. But the Dow is up! Woo-hoo! Oh, My GOD, the news readers excitedly report, the Dow just passed 30,000!

The thing is, I’ve come to understand a rubber band on a watermelon as a metaphor for each and every point tick up in the Dow. (I told you it would all come together…) You see, that 30,000 number represents nothing so well as the success rich people have had extracting wealth from everyone else. I understand the Dow as a CEO happiness index, not a measure of the health of the US economy. These days, CEO’s are happy when the company’s bottom line increases. As an example, the CEO of PG&E realized he could increase his take home pay if they just eliminated the expense of maintaining the lines and equipment – so they stopped. It worked, too. Keeping expenses down raised the stock value. The CEO got more money.

Sure, he literally burned Paradise to the ground, wiping out the lives and livelihoods of countless people. Just one rubber band. In fact, PG&E maintenance failures have now been faulted in many of California’s fires. A few more rubber bands. But that one guy made a LOT of money. One guy benefits. Thousands suffer. The Dow ticks up. A rubber band. Toys R Us is busted out. Another rubber band. Flint, Michigan can’t get clean, safe water. A rubber band. People can’t earn a living wage and are told it’s their own fault. Add a rubber band. People agitate, then protest. Cops deploy water cannons, each one a rubber band.

Winston Churchill has a quote, ‘The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” What that means is that past is prologue. History tells us not only where we’ve been but where we’re likely going. We’ve all been watching the financial gutting of our country ever since Ronald Reagan inflicted voo-doo (aka, “supply side”) economics on us. We know that the takers in our society, the richest 1 percent, will never stop taking and never stop using their exaggerated market power to KEEP on taking. But we ALSO know that eventually, people just won’t have enough to function in the world. Anger sets in. People look for someone to blame. Right now, poor people are being told their problem is OTHER poor people but sooner or later, people will figure it out. America has been fighting a class war and the rich people have taken an early and decisive lead. But look back. History makes clear that, sooner or later, there’s going to be one too many rubber bands on the watermelon.

The suspense is killing me…


This is true. I’ve got a serious conflict within me about wearing masks. No, I’m not opposed. I know they’re important and I understand why. Accordingly, when I need to wear one, I wear one. But after nearly a year having to mask up to buy milk, I’m REALLY tired of them. So, every time I have to don one, I find myself cursing trump’s name for his complete and utter failure to address the problem in a competent way. Or at all, really. But at the SAME time, I’m very aware that if Trump HAD addressed Covid-19 effectively, there’s a VERY good chance he might have “won” the “election.”

I wonder if there’s a word for being cursed (STILL wearing the mask) and blessed (rid of him) at the exact same time…

Just in passing, I find it a bit scary that TWICE, now, this country has been saved from collapse by illness. In the first case, the illness was Polio. FDR contracted it. In an effort to overcome it, he went to a natural spring said to have healing properties. While there, he was – horror of horrors (for a child of wealth) – exposed to the “common man.” It gave him an insight wealthy people don’t normally have. It gave him an understanding of what life is like for the non-trust fund crowd. That knowledge a) created the New Deal and b) created the greatest middle class (and economy) the world had ever seen. (Cons have since destroyed it…)

The second illness is the current Novel Coronavirus known as Covid-19. More than any other single factor, the failure of the dumbass to respond effectively to Covid-19 even as the death toll rose inexorably forced a change in the way elections operate and, likely, saved America from authoritarianism – at least for now.


The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for an election to steal. He was in a bind because he was WAY behind and he kept trying to make a deal…

(Sorry, Charlie…)

The GOP was nervous about the Dumbass giving a speech in support of their two candidates, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. They were nervous he would focus only on himself and his delusions about the recent “election.” They were mostly right, although he did, apparently, finally get around to encouraging his votaries to come out for the run-off.

They will, too. Right now, the cons are out whining about how unfair the election was and how rigged the process is. There’s a logical response to an unfair process: don’t participate. Some of the most extreme members are calling loudly (always loudly) on other cons not to turn out for the GOP. Some on the left are hoping the boycott catches on. I don’t mean to be a wet blanket, here, but it won’t. EVERY GOP and con voter will turn out dependably. They just do. Sure, they’ll be happy to complain about – well, about everything, really – but specifically, they’ll bitch about the unfair process right up until the day they participate in it again. But make no mistake, participate they will.

Interestingly, there may be a surge in paper ballots. I know lefties aren’t supposed to say this because the cons are saying it but there’s just too much evidence that the voting machines are not trustworthy or secure to ignore. I think so many being forced to use paper in November – confounding Trump’s “certain” win – demonstrated the point. Cons know they lost on paper, too. My guess is, they’ll boycott the machines in favor of paper this time. Dems and Progressives had better do the same…


Speaking of Dems and Progressives, I’m kind of sad-laughing at my Progressive counterparts. Generally speaking, they’re the most intelligent of our society. (Hey, is that blatant pandering or just self-serving cockalorum?) They understand things on a level most Americans do not – say, for instance, that FDR’s New Deal was FAR better than today’s Screwed Deal. But they’re all butt-hurt that Biden isn’t picking more Progressives for his cabinet. Progressives pretend that since they came out “to help the Democrats,” the Dems owe them something – some kind of consideration.

But for THEIR part, the Dems know Progressives didn’t come out “for them.” We came out for ourselves. More accurately, we came out for our country. We knew that Trump HAD to be stopped and for a short, wonderful while, there, the goals of the Democrats and Progressives converged to our mutual benefit. But Trump has been defeated – something like 46 times, now! (I mean, he is SUCH a loser!) Progressives immediately returned to, “Hey, let’s make this country better!” and the Democrats immediately returned to “Let’s make sure not to rock the boat too much” and the conflict heated right up again.

We’ll figure it out. The important part is that, for now, the dumbass contingent has been stopped…