Democracy “Reformed”…

Well, at least the GOP has finally just come out and admitted that they only want white conservatives to vote and anybody else voting must be cheating. I’m referring, of course to Georgia’s shiny new law that restricts voting rights and fair voting practices to the extent they believe possible. I THINK it’s called the ‘Fuck You America, WE Choose Which White People Get To Vote Act’ but that may not be exactly right. The cons are all on board and all very happy they don’t have to have any more fair and honest “elections” in Georgia, thank you very much. That one was more than enough. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R, of course) – who did NOT exactly gain his current position by presiding over a fair and honest “election” – said as he signed the bill, “After the November election last year, I knew, like so many of you, that significant reforms to our state elections were needed.” (They weren’t.)

Not ALL Georgians were on board, of course.


This is Georgia State Representative Park Cannon (D -Atlanta) being arrested for knocking on Governor Kemp’s door while he was announcing the official GOP return to Jim Crow.

I presume the ACLU had to let the racist, cheating GOP in Georgia pass their racist, cheating bill and then have their racist, cheating Governor sign the damned thing into “law” before they could challenge the vile action in court. The thing is, the Constitution gives states broad control over how “elections” are conducted in the individual states so without the help of the Federal government’s HR 1, ‘The For The People Act of 2021,’ there’s a chance the Sour Cream Court might uphold the latest “revisions” of democracy. Call your Congress critter in the Senate at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to support HR 1. The Heritage Foundation opposes it so, as a thinking person, you can take comfort that it’s a good thing…

It always startles me a bit to watch the way the conservative mind “works.” First, they lie and lie and lie about something until they believe it. THEN, once they believe their own lies, they decide to “take action.” Then, they DO take action and call it a job well done. It’s important to note that there is NO evidence supporting the pretense of widespread cheating in the 2020 “election.” None. In fact, when cons come out and claim the left is cheating you can bet your bottom dollar the right is cheating – or trying to. There’s a rule of thumb that became a general guideline that is now very close to becoming an axiom. The conservatives are ALWAYS doing what they accuse their opposition of doing. (Remember that the next time you hear some con spewing the Q-Anonsense about pedophile rings…)

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If you will recall, Georgia and other cheating GOP states are revising democracy because of their recent discovery that fair elections might go against them. After Donnie the Dumbass couldn’t get the Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to simply declare an alternate winner via trumpery, Georgia cons realized they needed to change things so they COULD, “legally,” simply declare their preferred candidate the “winner.” It seems so… simple. Hell, why even have the voting at all? What a waste of time.

As everybody now knows, the Dumbass then went on a rampage of b.s. and sent out his minions to insist that widespread voter fraud DID happen. They KNOW it. Sure, they can’t prove it and no evidence exists – but they know it anyway. It was the machines, they said. One of the manufactures of said machines, Dominion Voting Systems has responded to charges of widespread vote manipulation by their machines by filing HUGE lawsuits against the purveyors of the mendacity. The first one I heard about was filed against trump lawyer/not trump lawyer Sydney Powell in the amount of $1.3 BILLION dollars. Truth? I laughed out loud. What fun, seeing the chickens coming home to roost. Then they filed against famous fraudster Rudy Giuliani in the amount of $1.6 BILLION dollars. They’ve filed several more since then, most recently (as of this writing) against FOX “News” itself, also in the amount of 1.6 Billion dollars. Suddenly, though, as guilty as I think the defendants are in their deceptions, I’ve stumbled across a…concern.

As I said, I thought it was funny as hell Powell was about to “get hers” as the saying goes. She lied and lied and lied and the company she was lying about took action. Good. (By the way, I predict she’s going to lose. Her response is pathetic. ‘No reasonable person would have taken her seriously?’ Seriously? Cons DID take her seriously. Some attacked the Capitol. Some are passing laws to prevent future voting fraud like that which never happened in the first place.)

But…$1.3 BILLION dollars? Do they have any reasonable basis for believing that she could pay when she loses? CAN Dominion be damaged $1.3 Billion dollars worth? I need the help of my legal peeps on this one but I believe there is a legal concept of a punitive lawsuit designed and intended not to redress a wrong but, instead, to prevent any future criticism of the company, and it’s starting to feel like Dominion is doing exactly that.

Sorry…numbers. Dominion has filed against Powell for $1.3 billion, Giuliani for $1.6 billion, crappy pillow maker Mike Lindell for $1.3 billion, and now Fox “News” for $1.6 billion. That’s $5.8 BILLION dollars in “damages” for a company with annual revenues of – according to Dominion themselves – only $36.5 million in annual sales (per Forbes). According to the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative estimates, the number could be as high as $100 million dollars. It’s a private company. Numbers are hard to come by, but even using the higher number, Dominion is trying to “recover” 56 YEARS worth of revenues from the four? That seems…excessive…

Again, trusting that my legal peeps will let me know if I’m wrong about this, my suggestion would be for the defendants (all of whom I believe are guilty as charged) to subpoena the code for the machines. ALL of the voting machine companies are notoriously protective of their software. “Proprietary,” they call it. They don’t want ANYBODY to see their code under ANY conditions. But the code is the very heart of the question, right? The hardware doesn’t do ANYTHING without the software. Powell, et al, should NOT have made the charge without access to the software but now certainly cannot defend themselves against the punitive suits without access to the software – so that’s where I’d go.

Dominion might well stand down if they have to turn over their proprietary software – especially since said software might well end up being exposed to the world with only some low-level staffer blamed for the “mistake”, fired, and then quietly hired back in some new capacity…

I’ll tell you this; I really don’t want rich and powerful companies to be able to squelch dissent by simply filing a lawsuit destined to destroy – even when I agree with the principle behind the suit…

Nuance and Perspective…

Have you ever talked to a six-year-old about life and the way things work? It’s kind of awesome and I highly recommend it. Six-year-olds have a very limited perspective and almost no accurate information from which to draw in arriving at conclusions. That doesn’t stop them, of course. When you talk to them about the way things work, they just tell you how they think things work. Naturally, they’re not right. Ask them specific questions. They may not know the “correct” answer, but that doesn’t matter. They’ll take a shot and some of their stories are massively entertaining and incredibly imaginative. Six-year-old understanding. Occasionally, they even touch on something that’s pretty close to right but the positions of six-year-olds tend to lack…nuance and perspective. That’s fair. They’re six.

I realized the other day, talking to far right conservatives is very much the same experience. Only, they’re not six…

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I’ve become a bit surprised by how openly the GOP is in moving to exclude as many voters as possible. “We’re cheating to stop pretend cheating” is not a very convincing line. It’s one of those “every but only” things I’m often on about. That is, EVERY con knows the left cheated in the last election but ONLY cons know the left cheated in the last election. There’s zero evidence to support their pretended position. In fact, there are 60 court cases saying specifically that, no, there is no evidence of cheating. But lack of evidence never stopped a con from fighting for a position and, for them, the only thing MORE convincing is evidence against their preferred position.

So, they’re cheating – or trying to. GOP legislatures across the country are trying to enact laws that stop people from voting. Worse, these are carefully targeted laws intended to stop the “wrong” people from voting. It will be interesting to see how they play out in the courts. You KNOW the Dems will fight these laws. Each one of them will end up in the Sour Cream Court awaiting the judgement of the court’s cons. This is not the same court that gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Some of the faces have changed but the court remains ideologically aligned with the 2013 court. That makes it difficult to say how they might rule. If you live in one of those red states, it might do to contact your “representative” and let them know how you feel about them trying to take away your vote.

In the meantime, The House has passed HR 1 – “The For The People Act.” (Dems are terrible at coming up with catchy names for their bills but they’re getting better.) HR1 makes it FAR more difficult for the GOP to cheat in elections. So…guess who opposes HR1? Why, that would be the GOP! I’m a bit gobsmacked to hear them state outright that if HR1 passes it will hurt them at the polls. They’re actually saying, out loud, that they know they can’t win a fair election so they can’t allow fair elections. Lindsey Graham (R, of course) says he’ll filibuster HR1 – even if they go back to the talking filibuster and he has to actually talk for hours on end. Old Lindsey says whatever he needs to say in the moment so whether or not he actually would or could remains to be seen.

In the meantime, you could call Congress and let them know how YOU feel about fair voting in this once-great nation. (202) 224-3121 takes you to the Capitol switchboard and they can connect you with your Senator…

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I’ve written before that I’m opposed to the latest form of the filibuster and I support Biden’s position to return to the talking filibuster. The current message from the left is that the filibuster is bad and must be removed. But nobody in Congress is actually using the filibuster, anymore. They get the benefit of a successful filibuster block by simply declaring their intent to filibuster. That’s stupid. But a talking filibuster – the kind where a Congress Critter has to hold the floor in an extended attempt to block progress for some reason – might be a useful tool in a politician’s tool kit and I don’t think it should go altogether.

Another advantage of the talking filibuster is that the politician in question has to do so very publicly. One stands on the floor and talks. Meanwhile, cameras run and reporters record and everyone in the world can see who’s doing the interfering as opposed to this current secretive system in which some unknown pol declares opposition in the back rooms and whichever bill just…dies…

What might be called the ‘Declared Intent Filibuster’ has been an incredibly effective tool in helping the GOP attack and dismantle the United States of America and I think it’s always a good idea to remove weapons from the hands of your opposition. It’s clear they want to destroy this once-great nation. I think we ought to make them at least work for it…

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The other day, Joe Biden tripped while climbing the steps to Air Force One. Three times. The White House has assured everyone Joe is okay and blamed the wind – which I thought was a stupid defense. I don’t know what’s wrong with the guy but claiming he can be pushed over by the wind isn’t the way to project strength, you know? (I think I might have gone with wet steps from a leaky water bottle carried by someone who had already gone up.) Okay, so…here’s the thing. To nobody’s surprise, the right pounced on the trips. Some clever sod created a video of Donnie the Dumbass teeing off and then showed the ball hitting Biden just as he trips – as though the drive knocked Biden over. Then it cut back to the Dumbass teeing off again and a second ball hitting Biden and down goes Biden.

The left lost their collective mind over the video or, at least, pretended to. I doubt anyone was surprised the political opposition took advantage of an opportunity to make fun of Biden’s missteps. Does anybody remember the left’s response when the Dumbass couldn’t even walk down a ramp? Stepping into the Wayback Machine, Gerald Ford once slipped on AF One’s steps and Chevy Chase built an entire career on overplaying the fall. Biden knew his step struggle was going to be used against him. Here’s the thing: the video is actually funny.

I think the left should just laugh it off and keep on going…

Scams and Distractions…

I STILL say Daylight Saving is a scam perpetuated by the fossil fuel industry to cause people to use more electricity and natural gas than they otherwise might. As nearly as anyone can tell, the primary result of Daylight Saving is to get people up an hour earlier – when the last of winter is still clinging stubbornly to the calendar. That means people have to turn on lights and turn up the heater in the mornings for just a couple of weeks longer. Daylight Saving serves no other purpose and should be revoked…

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I noticed that Governor Abbott of Texas opened up his state fully – no restrictions. THEN, he started blaming “illegals” for coming across the border bringing Covid-19 into the state. It’s a classic “two-fer.” He gets to stand against science, a beloved conservative pastime, AND he gets to blame someone else for his own failures. In his mind, it’s a double “win” because the people he gets to blame for his own failures are more brown than him. Truthfully, I don’t care how many times he repeats his lies, the coming spike in Covid-19 in Texas will belong to Governor Abbott and no one else…

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I hear that the Orange Moron’s hotel in Washington DC has become something of an abandoned building. According to the Guardian, staff outnumber guests these days. This certainly creates the appearance that, perhaps, people were only staying at his hotel to curry favor with the chump in the Oval Office. That certainly seems to violate the emoluments clause of the US Constitution. But now that people don’t HAVE to stay there, they aren’t staying there. I also suspect that with the dumbass’s links to his January 6th insurrection, discriminating people are keeping their distance. Watch for yet another failed business enterprise by one of the biggest business failures in American history…

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Why don’t conservatives have to live the life they insist they want? I mean, I know the conservative rank and file want and need the Covid relief just as badly as everyone else. But the “representatives” they keep sending to Washington want ONLY to fluff the one percent. The GOP voted, en masse, against the Covid relief package. They said it is too expensive. Here’s a way to decrease the cost. Let’s just leave out registered Republicans in red states! No relief for Republican individuals, no relief for Republican-owned businesses, no relief for Republican controlled states.

When you think about it, most red states are poor, recipient states. (That means they take more government assistance than they generate in taxes.) Leaving them out of Covid relief SHOULD reduce the overall price tag considerably. I would think that would make them very, very happy. Maybe they’ll tire of their “rugged individualism” and start sending reasonable representatives to Washington again. Yeah, I know. Absolute denial of evidence means they never have to learn anything. For example? Well, every poor conservative in this once-great nation is about to benefit from Socialism! My guess? They’ll happily accept the Socialist relief check from the Federal government, then go back to bitching that Socialism and Federal governments are bad and have no place in life…

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I’ve heard the British Royal Family is in upheaval. There are headlines every day about which whiny rich person said what to which other whiny rich person and, oh, the problems they have! How dark will a baby be? Listen, I’m white so I may be out of touch, here, but does that HAVE to be a racist question? I mean, she’s half white and half black. He’s a blindingly white ginger. Isn’t it possible someone was just idly speculating about dominant genes?

Rich people have some pretty distressing problems…

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Speaking of which, my favorite news of the week is that Michael Cohen has been meeting with the Manhattan DA regarding the Trump Crime Family. Seven meetings, so far. John Dean, Nixon’s White House Counsel, says it’s only a matter of days until an indictment and Cohen says it’s not good news for Trump. Fingers crossed. I’d like to see the dumbass get what he deserves but I still say the devil loves his little minion and takes very good care of him. It will be interesting to watch this little drama of good (the Manhattan DA) vs evil (the devil’s favorite minion) play out. The thing is, I don’t think it will be contained to the Dumbass. It SHOULD encompass the entire crime family. Ex-Presidents don’t go to jail in the US but maybe the families of ex-Presidents still do…

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…