MAGA Crazy…

I know people who go to concerts performed by…um…yesterday’s bands and want to hear only the songs they first heard 40 or 50 years ago. I know musicians that play the music that was popular when they learned to play and rarely, if ever, play anything that came out after, say, 1979. So, I “get” the phenomenon of people preferring to hear what they heard before. If you’re a con, that means going to a Former Guy rally and listening to his paranoid rants about how everyone is out to get him and everyone else is out to get any con they can. He just had a rally and, apparently, he “played” all of his hits: ‘Mexicans are bad people,’ ‘The Commies Are Coming,’ and his hit, ‘Nobody Can Negotiate But Me.’

For me, I like listening to the oldies. There’s some good stuff there. But I think new stuff is good, too. Former Guy played to a room of about 500 but insisted there were “thousands” just outside the doors. You know, where no one could see them. It’s hard to believe people still come out for his shtick. He gave tribute to his most enduring hit: “Waaa, I won!” and his fans ate it up.

The thing is, I see people counting him out in the media nearly every day but I also remember people counting him out, over and over, during the run-up to the 2016 election. Then he won. I still think the base for Former Guy is shrinking but I also think that if he can manage to wrangle the nomination again, they’ll just swallow what little pride they may have left and vote for him anyway. (In their tiny little minds, it’s “anyone but Biden.”) I still remember January 6th, 2021.

If the cons are stupid enough to put him back into the Oval Office – and they are – he won’t leave. Remember how close he came to not leaving the last time? One of the tales cons tell is that he stole the classified documents he stole “accidentally” because there was so little time for him to prepare to move out of the White House. Actually, he had nearly three months. He just squandered that time trying to prove reality was false and fake was real. Hell, he’s still trying to prove it.

By now, there are only two possibilities: one, he truly believes he won. That makes him delusional and dangerous. Two, he knows darn good and well he didn’t win but sticks to his fraudulent story anyway. That makes him calculating and dangerous. Either way, he’s dangerous. I don’t know why nobody (with the power to do so) anywhere in this once-great nation has invoked the 14th Amendment prohibition against him ever holding public office again. The fact that we can’t or won’t protect ourselves from a known, wanna-be dictator is stunning to the mind.

I’ve read many articles about all the legal troubles he faces. I see people all around him going to jail, one after the other. I see Former slithering through every instance seemingly with ease. His “organization” was recently found guilty of tax fraud. The company was fined $1.8 million dollars. But Former can pick that up from his supporters in a day. The struggling work-a-day lackeys will pay the business genius’s fines happily – even when it means eating cat food for the rest of the month. (They really are not deep thinkers…)

This country – hell, the entire world – watched his orchestrated coup attempt unfold on January 6th. Anybody but a MAGA loyalist knows about the crimes committed. The January 6th commission laid them bare – on television. The fact that nobody seems able to do anything about it is rather embarrassing – and super frustrating – to sane Americans. Cons immediately started denying the events of January 6th. It’s gotten so bad, they now insist there’s not even such a thing as a ‘January 6th’ on a calendar. We jump straight from January 5th to January 7th. They all know it. January 6th is just a liberal plot.

I think the MAGA cons are terrified, delusional little people – but they’re dangerous. The very fact that they have so successfully rejected facts and verifiable information while so readily embracing delusions makes them impossible to reason with. Just yesterday, I wrote about the frothing cops who murdered Tyre Nichols. He tried reason. I wrote that those cops were locked in a pack mentality. At the risk of violating Godwin’s Law, I see in the MAGA cons the same froth for their guy as the brown shirts of 1930’s Germany. The brown shirts were locked-in, too. Wrong about every detail, ready to murder for their wrongheadedness. Pack mentality. Reason had no place for them, either. Now the MAGA cons are doing the same and, make no mistake, they’re being groomed to become the same frothing pack that rears it’s ugly head from time to time. We saw it once on January 6th – and that was just the Overture. There’s plenty more crazy to behold. All they need is their dear leader to unleash them. What makes you think he won’t?

I’ll tell you this: If we let this crazy sumbitch anywhere near the levers of power ever again, we get what we deserve.

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Holy Gods. Speaking of crazy cons, this David DePape guy is a classic. He’s the guy who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer – right in front of the cops. (Look, believing in the “evil” of Nancy Pelosi is bad enough. Going to her house is over the top. Attacking her husband with a hammer is outrageous. But doing it right in front of the cops? On a police body-cam? Well, that’s just downright stupid…)

DePape is in jail now and, I suspect, will be for a long time to come. On the day the body-cam footage was released, he called in to KTVU, a local television station. He said he had an important message for America. “You’re welcome!” Then he apologized and said that what he did was “really bad.” But as he rambled on, it became clear that the “really bad” part was that he hadn’t been more prepared. In his pea-brain, his error was in not getting “more of them.” His nearly-coherent rant touched on several of the preferred MAGA con talking points, not one of which is true. He actually believes himself an effing patriot! If I may quote Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon…”

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I’ve got to say, I’m so excited about today’s Niners @ Eagles match-up I can barely contain myself. I can only imagine how excited the players, themselves, must be. (Makes sense. They’re doing all the work.) It promises to be one of the best football games ever. These two teams are very well matched. As nearly as I can tell, there’s only one area where there’s any separation between them. The Niners have a great running game. The Eagles have an average run defense. Hell, even the experts can’t really pick a winner. The Eagles are a 2.5 point favorite. The thing is, teams usually get a three point boost for playing at home. If the Eagles got a three point boost but the line is only 2.5 points, the Niners appear to be a .5 point favorite. That’s not a lot.

There’s an old saying in football: “Offense sells tickets but defense wins championships.” The Niners have the number one defense in the league. But guess who’s got the number two defense? Yep, the Eagles. The Eagles have a pro-bowl level Quarterback and the Niners have a rookie. That should – in most cases absolutely would – guarantee an Eagles advantage. (I’m sure it’s one of the things folks are focused on in Philly.) But the rookie in this case is Brock Purdy. Yeah, he’s a rookie. But he’s also already knocking down some of Joe Montana’s early records. So far, he’s played brilliantly. I’d bet Purdy is the de facto starter going forward…

Listen, I’ve been a football fan since Jesus wore short pants. Anything can happen in these games. Sometimes, what pencils out as a great game falls flat for some reason. It could happen, here, too, and if it does, so be it. But I’m expecting a great game. I wouldn’t bet on it, though. It’s just too close in too many ways to pick a winner I’d put my hard-earned money on. But I’m pulling for the Niners…

I’m also pulling for the Bengals over the Chiefs. I’d like to see a Stupor Bowl rematch between the Niners and Bengals.

Whatever happens, it’s been a great season. It’s been lots of fun watching these boys play. I hope every player on all four teams come away healthy and I hope I get to watch my Niners play two more games this season, today and in Arizona in two weeks…

The answer is yes. I AM ready for some football…

Seriously Messed Up…

Well, well, four of the Oath Keepers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy for their part in trump’s January 6th coup attempt the cons pretend didn’t happen. (We’re sure paying a lot to keep these morons in prison for something that cons insist never happened…) This is after their useless leader, Stewart Rhodes, was convicted of the same thing a few weeks ago. As a “defense,” they kept whining that the courts were prosecuting them and not their “inspiration,” the 45th so-called “President.”

Listen, they have a point. The former guy should be prosecuted. But that doesn’t mean the Oath Keepers shouldn’t be prosecuted. It means former guy should be prosecuted along with them. He still might be, but I’m not holding my breath. This country, despite her rhetoric, does not operate on the rule of law for all any more, if it ever did. There’s one set of rules for rich and/or well connected people, another, rougher set of rules for the rest of us. So far, several of the attackers have tried to defend themselves by blaming the former guy. “We just did what he told us to do.” Uh-huh. Guess what? You’re responsible for your actions. Someone tells you to do something illegal. You do it. YOU are guilty. Period.

I’ll tell you this: I hear these guys face up to twenty years. I hope they have to do every day of it…

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I really don’t know what the hell is wrong with people. Five cops beat a man to death. The dead man is black, of course. The thing is, so are all five of the cops. Hard to call it a racist thing when everybody involved is the same race. The victim is a man named Tyre Nichols. The cops are all fired, now, and charged with second degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. Body camera footage of the murder has been released. It’s a tough watch.

From the moment these asshole cops first confront Mr. Nichols, they’re shouting at him complete with the kind of expletives we expect from the bad guys in movies when they’re doing their crimes. From the way the cops are acting, I would have guessed Mr. Nichols was suspected of killing a cop, or a baby, or some other, particularly heinous crime. They force him to the ground, then keep telling him to get on the ground. He tells them straight up he’s not resisting. They threaten to tase him anyway and continue to assault him. (That’s not even the tough part.) At some point, Mr Nichols must have begun to feel like these guys were out to hurt him. He got scared – of the cops. He managed to get up and run. The killer cops give chase. As Nichols runs away, another cops says, “I hope they stomp his ass!” He says it twice. He gets his wish, too.

The cops catch up to him. In his last, few moments, he starts calling to his mother. Apparently, his house was only about 80 yards away. At no time did Mr. Nichols fight back or appear to resist. In fact, he tells the cops, over and over, that he’s complying. He DOES ask why they’re after him. He honestly doesn’t understand what’s happening or why, since he hasn’t done anything wrong. I’m sure the cons will “defend” the cops by pointing to the fact that Nichols got up and ran but it wasn’t defiance. By that time, I’m sure it was terror. He was being physically abused by the cops and had no idea why. But if it’s the cops doing the beating, who does one call for help?

Fortunately for my psyche, the public video goes dark as the worst of the beatings ensue and the version I saw resorts to descriptions. The video doesn’t resume until an ambulance is on scene to take him to the hospital. But, apparently, nobody even called for help for another 20 minutes after the beating. Mr. Nichols died of his injuries three days later.

The thing I find most chilling about the video is that the victim was trying to protect himself by pointing out to the cops that he was complying. He pointed out that they were “doing a lot,” meaning they were being FAR more aggressive than they needed to be. They told him to get on the ground as they pushed him to the ground, then told him to get on the ground again. He answered that he was on the ground. In short, he tried to reason with them. But those cops?

Those cops were in full-on pack mentality. I suspect that, in the moment, they never even heard the words that we coming out of Mr. Nichols’ mouth. They didn’t care that he complied. They didn’t care that he hadn’t done anything. They were not fully present, anymore. Their focus was on bringing down their prey. Mr. Nichols never even knew what he was being murdered for, that is, what the cops THINK he may have done. (The Memphis police said the initial stop was for reckless driving, clearly a death penalty offense…)

From time to time, human beings can be reduced to their most basic, animal instincts and pack mentality is one of them. These cops didn’t like being defied – even though they weren’t defied. Their good old boys club created the pack and the moment inflamed it. History is replete with other examples of such brutal pack mentality. But the history isn’t the part I find most chilling.

I’ll tell you this: These days, you can hear cons out there making the case that this is the exact kind of violence this country needs to put it back on “the right track.” The cons are not the deepest thinkers in the crowd. It isn’t their idea. They’re being led to it. The animal portion of the human animal instinct is being nurtured. The con media bubble is creating the pack and at some point, they might well be released by the conservative bubble to go forth and destroy. (Think January 6th.) When they are released, no amount of reason, no amount of calm, no fact or aspect will be relevant or able to stop them. The pack will just…attack…

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There’s a book out called ‘Myth America: Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past.’ Purportedly, it supposes to address all the conservative stories out there and debunk them, once and for all. I plan to read it, though I already know the cons lie about everything, all the time. They’ve built up a mythos that gives them permission to do all the horrible things they do that goes all the way back to the landings on Plymouth Rock and how the white settlers got to start off with a “blank slate” because there was nobody here. (The First Nations would beg to differ, having met the settlers onshore as they clambered out of their boats.)

The thing is, I like history so I read a lot of history and I’m very much looking forward to this book, despite the fact that I might very well know all of the information contained inside. I’m sure there will be details and events with which I’m not familiar. I don’t mean to paint myself as some kind of walking History Oracle. That’s why I keep reading. I just keep learning. Still, I don’t expect any grand surprises – to me. I expect that many on the left who pick up this book will nod in agreement. “Yeah, I remember learning that.” “Oh, yeah, I knew that, too.” It will be helpful and beneficial. Sadly, not to the cons who need it most.

Cons don’t read anything longer than street signs. I mean, I guess they can, they just don’t. Worse, even if a con DID pick up a copy and start thumbing through, they would set it aside again at near light speed. The last thing in the world a con wants is to be exposed to facts. Sad…

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Since the topic of the moment, here, is books, I’m currently reading one called ‘Walking the Nile’ by a guy named Levison Wood. Truth be told, I was not too excited to pick it up. What, after all, could it be about?
Page one: “I put my right foot forward, then shifted my weight over it. Then I put forth my left foot and, again, shifted my weight forward. Then, in an unexpected development, I moved my right foot forward and shifted my weight again.”
Page 322: “Having left my right foot behind me on the last step, I once again brought it forth and shifted my weight to it, taking yet another step – a step into the Mediterranean Sea. What a satisfying expedition.”

Fortunately, it is MUCH better than that. I borrowed the book from a friend who had recommended it. (Thanks, Joe!) As he handed it over, he told me, “I learned that Africa is a seriously messed up place!” The book really is about a guy attempting to walk along the Nile River from one of it’s headwaters to the Mediterranean Sea but there’s absolutely NO “left foot, right foot.” Instead, he explores the people and places he meets along the way and covers much history of the continent where the river passes. It’s a fascinating book and I heartily recommend it if you’re looking for something to read but I came away with the same feeling as my friend. Africa is a seriously messed up place…

Missing and Not Missing…

There’s a story in this morning’s Guardian saying Biden’s Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, is stepping down from his position. It was placed right next to a story about how still MORE classified documents have been uncovered in Biden’s possession. Well, no, that’s not right. The way these files keep being found, it seems more like he reads something, then just tosses it aside and it ends up in a pile of jetsam somewhere in some room, office, or garage. I suspect there’s an attempt to link Biden’s mishandled files with some failing on Klain’s part so Klain falls on his sword. I don’t think it’s going to work, though.

This piece, that I’m writing right now is a primary difference between left and right in this country. If I were a Republican, I’d be defending Biden’s actions no matter what, despite the fact that mishandling classified documents is an indefensible act. There are a LOT of excuses we could toss out. We could take a page from the Republican playbook and simply pretend a) it never happened or, b) Biden declassified them with his mind or even c) the files all belonged to Biden and some functionary simply failed to cross out the classified markings. But the left doesn’t do that. We don’t pick and choose right and wrong based on the person in question’s political affiliations. We start off at “mishandling classified documents is bad” and go from there. It remains true regardless of the person doing the mishandling.

Truth be told, though, I would like to know the level of classification of those files. Are they confidential or Top Secret? Are they assessments of nuclear capability or personality assessments of world leaders? In practice, it makes very little difference. Classified is classified. Mishandled is mishandled. But I worry less if the files are confidential than if they’re Top Secret or higher.

To be clear, you can put me in the crowd that thinks that, overall, Biden hasn’t done a bad job as the President. But I DO worry about his age. It’s not an “ageist” thing. I don’t worry about the number, alone. My concern is not his age but rather, HIS age and the way the years are expressing themselves in him – and I really would prefer he not run again. I think the fact that he can’t keep track of classified materials is one good example of the way he seems to be experiencing some…set-backs of age.

I was treated to an opinion from conservative media that pretended the files were planted – by the DemocRATS! (Conservative dogma DEMANDS one capitalize the last four letters…) Because the Dems don’t want Biden to run again, they set him up to look bad. Okay, well, if we’re going with paranoid conspiracy theories, here, I like mine better: Donnie the Dumbass had someone plant some of the files Donnie stole in order to do exactly what it’s doing – giving the cons an out. But for those of us who continue to dwell in the real world, it’s most likely Biden just mislaid them – and then forgot about them entirely.

I hope he doesn’t run again. Yes, it leaves the Democrats with a problem. Which aging, corporate, oldster with yesterday’s solutions to tomorrow’s problems do they run in his place? For reasons I can’t understand, the Dems simply refuse to go younger, with fresh blood and fresher ideas. But now is the time. The cons are in disarray. At this point, it looks like they’re going to run the moronic extremist trump again or, perhaps the slightly less (but still) moronic extremist Ron DeSantis. With those as the picks from the right, the left has a bit of wiggle room.

I’ll tell you this: Every day, more and more Americans – true Americans – are catching on to the b.s. that is the conservative position and abandoning it. The extremist far right is finally losing ground but it’s going to take a bit of time for them to purge the problems from the party and in the meantime, the left can try out some new, younger talent…

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I’ll tell you this: I’m pretty excited about today’s playoff game between the Cowboys and the Forty-Niners. The Niners have enjoyed a bit of a dream season. They lost not one but TWO Quarterbacks making the third stringer the starter and dashing the hopes of the faithful – until it turned out that the third stringer is a bit of a ringer and plays like…well, he’s already breaking some of Joe Montana’s early records. No, I’m not prepared to call him the “next Montana.” THAT, he’s got to prove over time. There’s no short cut. But, given that time, he really might be able to prove it.

I have a friend who argues that the talent experts in the NFL saw something about Purdy they didn’t like, which explains why he was relegated to the last pick of the draft. My friend suggests these talent guys really know their stuff and, sooner or later, the flaw in Purdy’s play will be exposed. I’m not sure I agree with my friend on this. I’m not sure the talent guys really know so much. For me, the measure isn’t found in the number of late round drafts who didn’t perform. It’s found in the number of first and second round drafts who didn’t perform – ALL of whom were vetted by the talent scouts and dubbed first- or second-rounders.

Joe Montana was taken in the third round. Tom Brady wasn’t selected until the sixth round. Ryan Leaf (who?) was a consensus first round pick (though, in fairness, nobody said THE first pick…) So…maybe the “experts” are just plugging numbers into some formula and letting the algorithm sort it out. Purdy fell until the late rounds – infamously, now, the last pick of the last round – likely because he’s not what the NFL has termed tall enough to play Quarterback. (He’s just over six feet tall.) Now, though, it looks like Purdy will be the new starting Quarterback of the Forty Niners going forward. He should be. He’s the best player they’ve had at that position since, well, honestly since the Montana/Young years. But it took a series of unexpected events to get him there. Not ONE of the so-called “experts” found this, particular, diamond in the rough.

He faces what I think will be his toughest challenge today. I’ve been a Niner fan for a long time. As a result, I have…feelings about the Dallas Cowboy I shouldn’t write in this space. But one has to respect the talent and the success they’ve managed this season. They’re a VERY good team. But so are the Niners. In fact, on paper, largely because of Purdy (and the addition of Christian McCaffrey), I think the Niners are better overall. They should win what I expect to be a tough fight. Of course, that’s why they play the games, right?

Whoever wins, they’re off to Philadelphia to face a rather daunting Eagles team next week. This time of year, that MUST equate to an advantage for the Eagles. So these (hopefully) next two games will be the toughest the Niners have played this year. I don’t plan to miss a minute of it…

Wrong Answers…

Let’s say I landed a job because my resume read, in part, that I had a Master’s Degree from Harvard Business School, when I don’t, and I, personally invented the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which I did not (it was actually invented by Xerox), and I had saved a floundering international corporation from ruin with my insightful brilliance and careful guidance, also untrue. Then, my new boss found out none of those things were true. Do you think they’d feel like, “Well, we hired him. We chose that guy so now we have to stick with him?” Or do you suspect they might react to the news that my entire resume was – at best – “inflated” and show me the door? I say it’s the “door” thing. They did NOT hire the guy they thought they hired. They hired the fraudulent guy I pretended to be.

But the cons have signed off on George Santos (very much an R). They said that since the voters of his district elected him, he has the right to stay. Then they put him on committees to prove they care nothing for honor or honesty. Saying George Santos is a bad guy but was “duly elected” by the voters is false. The voters thought they were electing someone who had done some things George Santos has not done. Who else gets to lie on his resume, get caught red-handed, and keep the job anyway? The answer is George Santos and ONLY George Santos and do you know why?

Special elections. New York would have to hold a special election to replace him – and there’s no guarantee another Republican would win such a race, particularly with the electorate mad at the GOP (and getting madder) for, well, everything, really. The cons might lose ONE seat, so they would rather the seat be filled with a known scoundrel. Demonstrates a LOT about conservative ethics…

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Are you familiar with the Amazon Smile program? It was a way to help a preferred charity by simply buying things from Amazon. It took a few extra steps to set up but was easy to do. My preferred charity was a small local organization called SNAP cats.’ They rescue and re-home special needs cats. After I signed up, every eligible purchase I made from Amazon directed a small amount to the charity of my choice. It was not a single stream revenue source for charities. It was one of many sources.

But…it took potential money out of Jeff Bezos’ pocket and there can be NO greater sin that taking money out of Bezos’ pockets, so the Amazon Smile program is being shut down. The story is that they just ended up with so many charities, they weren’t having a big enough impact on any one charity. As we’ve already seen they were never supposed to have that big of an impact. They were simply one stream and, hey, anything helps.

To me, it’s yet another reason to avoid Amazon as much as possible. I’m not saying “boycott.” Just “avoid.” If you can get something somewhere else, do so. Find what you’re looking for on Amazon. THEN, go to the company’s web page and order directly from them if you can. (If you can’t, you can’t.) It’s just Capitalism. That’s the story. But in order for any transaction to be honestly Capitalist, both parties must enjoy a legitimate opportunity to say “no.” So avoiding purchasing from Amazon is Capitalism in action.

The only way to stop these Capitalist juggernauts from steamrolling the world is if we close our wallets to them. Capitalism doesn’t work without Capital. So if enough of us close our wallets to Amazon, they’ll notice. If nothing else, maybe we can get them to return to their charitable donation program and at least pretend they care about something besides the bottom line…

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Let’s say I have a plumbing problem in my house. Is the correct answer a) address and correct the problem? or b) burn the effing house to the ground? If you chose b), you’re clearly a Republican.

If you ever needed proof that Republicans actually hate the United States of America, you’re getting it in the form of the current “budget battle” being waged by Republicans against all Americans and the country, itself. THEY will tell you, “No, the battle is against Democratic overspending.” But the spending is already set – and is quite bi-partisan. It’s most like running up your high-balance credit card, then quitting your job so you don’t have to pay the bill. If the money isn’t made available to pay the bills, the bills aren’t going to get paid. That isn’t correcting a problem or owning the libs. That’s burning down the entire economic structure of the United States – and the world. Defaulting on one’s financial obligations when one can pay isn’t shrewd. It’s irresponsible and destructive. The cons know this, of course, but that won’t stop them. In fact, based on all of the available evidence, that’s their goal…

It reminds me of the scene in ‘Blazing Saddles’ in which the new, black Sheriff of Rock Ridge is threatened by the oh-so-white townsfolk so he holds a gun to his own head and says, “Next man makes a move, the (I’m going to say…Sheriff) gets it.” Except it’s not a ploy on the con’s part. They WILL pull the trigger and blow out their own brains just to prove some moronic point. The vast majority of Americans, red and blue, will suffer as a result.

It’s been…something watching these fools trying to govern. The cons took back the House of Representatives in 2022 and came out shooting. Sure, they’re shooting their own feet, but they’re shooting. First they had their big “Speaker battle” episode, a little civil war among the ranks that effectively put the inmates in charge of the asylum. (It’s called the ‘tyranny of the minority.’) Now their sites are set on American financial solvency, which they’re against.

I’ll tell you this: It has become indisputable. Cons hate America. I know, they wave the flag more than anybody. They call themselves the “true Americans.” They “support the troops.” They insist on displaying their pseudo-patriotism at every turn. But it’s all a show. It’s all superficial bunk. Those trappings aren’t the meat and potatoes of a once-great nation. Waving the flag is performance art, nothing more. To hear them tell it – though not in so many words – they hate everything about the United States of America except the second half of the Second Amendment. And they only love that because (to them) it means that they may actually get to take up arms against their own country. Meanwhile, they oppose – and actively work to destroy – everything about this country that made it great in the first place and they’re not going to stop on their own. These days, if you vote Republican, you hate America. Period.

Irresponsible…

I once wrote a proposed law to address gun problems that I called The ‘Keep Your Gun Act.’ It took the position that people aren’t in much of a position to judge themselves no matter how clearly the rest of the world sees them. Hitler and his sycophants, for example, didn’t see themselves as evil – but everyone else does. In similar fashion, ALL people who own guns likely see themselves as “responsible” but we all know that not all of them are responsible.

We ALSO all know that every time someone proposes some common sense solution to address the gun problem in this once-great nation the NRA falsely promotes the idea that someone is coming to “take your guns” and the conversation dies at that point. So I decided to come at it from a different point of view. It’s MUCH harder to make the case that someone is plotting to take your guns if the law is called the ‘Keep Your Gun Act.’ It’s right there in the name: KEEP your gun.

The ‘Keep Your Gun Act’ is a two part law. One part raises the NRA’s rules of gun ownership to the Federal Law of Gun Ownership. As a quick review for those not up on the NRA’s rules, here they are:
1) Treat all guns as though they are always loaded.
2) Never let the muzzle point at anything you aren’t willing to destroy.
3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you have made the decision to shoot
4) Be certain of your target and what’s behind it.

The Keep Your Gun Act restricts law enforcement’s ability to simply “investigate” and then declare some event a “tragic accident.” In short, if someone except the owner has the owner’s gun or one of the four rules of gun ownership are violated, the gun owner MUST be charged accordingly. There are FAR too many good old boys who dismiss gun “errors,” leaving a dangerous weapon in the hands of a proven, irresponsible individual.

The other part requires people to keep their guns or transfer them legally. It sets out penalties for losing your gun through any other means and requires the gun owner to report the loss. (A successful defense requires a person to show the gun was stored as safely as possible, say, in a gun safe, for example.) If you don’t, you’re guilty of ‘Failure to Keep Your Gun,’ a Felony punishable by two years probation. If your “lost” gun is later used in a crime, you’re guilty of “Supplying a gun to a Criminal,” a Felony punishable by up to two years in prison. They’re both Felonies because a Felony precludes one’s right to legal ownership of guns. There’s already a process in place to have a conviction set aside and have one’s gun rights reinstated so it may not be permanent. It might be more of a “time-out.”

I’ll be honest, here. The goal IS to remove guns from irresponsible gun owners, as measured by their own reckless actions. MOST gun owners (even many irresponsible owners) never have an “incident.” Ergo, most gun owners would never run afoul of the ‘Keep Your Gun Act.’ Those who do? Society will decide if you’re a “responsible gun owner” through a fact-based court action.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you go out and buy a gun legally. Then you put it someplace where, say, a six year old can lay their hands on it, put it in their backpack, take it to school, and shoot their teacher. You’re not a responsible gun owner. Period. You shouldn’t be allowed to have guns because your irresponsible behavior puts the entire society at risk. And, bear in mind, I didn’t decide you weren’t responsible. YOU proved it…

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I’ve been on the fence about whether Joe Biden should run again or not. On the one hand, in real life, Biden has done a pretty good job. (Cons have no clue and think the world outside their doors looks like a ‘Mad Max’ style hell-scape.) On the other, Biden is pretty old. I have nothing against old people and I don’t think age, alone, should be the deciding factor. But when one sees signs of age-related “slippage?” Probably best not to put that person in the highest office in the land.

Recently, people have been discovering classified materials Biden was apparently responsible for in various places but, and this is important, not where they’re supposed to be. The first time? We were told they were co-mingled with papers regarding son Beau’s death. I thought Biden had misplaced them in his grief, still not okay but…understandable. The second time? I’m far less sanguine about the pretense that Biden handles classified information properly. But now there’s been a THIRD “find.” The “explanations” have “evolved” but always come to some form of “The President doesn’t know how they got there or forgot about them.” At some point, even the most loyal Democrat has to start questioning Biden’s handling of classified materials – and I’m not a Democrat.

It seems – at best – irresponsible. It does have the advantage, though, of demonstrating that, apparently, classified materials are mishandled on a fairly regular basis and the people responsible for those materials don’t seem to have a coherent system of tracking the materials and ensuring they’re properly returned. One of the most frustrating bits is that BIDEN has now opened the door to Former Guy generating a firestorm of “controversy” that may, yet, allow him to once again slither out of responsibility for his Obstruction of Justice.

I’ll tell you this: I hope Biden doesn’t run again. I think he’s too old, not because of his age, alone, but because he’s clearly showing signs of “slippage” and we simply should not have that in the most powerful office in the world…

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Ah, the debt ceiling. We’ve heard this story before. There are some conservatives who hate America so much, they will literally destroy it if they don’t get their whiny way. All they want is to comfort the wealthiest people and make everyone else suffer. That’s it. Now they’re in control of the House of Representatives and they’re already threatening to destroy the United States economic credibility if Biden and the Democrats don’t agree to harm old and disabled people. No, that’s not the way the phrase it. Of course not. But it IS the end result they seek and semantic games don’t change it.

“Spending cuts” is con-speak for cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. To be clear, they are NOT talking about cutting spending for the military budget. Not even one nickle. Nor are they interested in withdrawing government subsidies to multi-national corporations. They CLEARLY oppose giving the IRS the tools to find tax cheats, thereby increasing revenues to the government. They ONLY want to harm old and disabled people. I blame the Democrats.

Vicious MAGA-con desires to inflict harm on the most defenseless members of our society are nothing new. They’ve been whining about the social safety net for years – decades, even. They’ve even shut down the government in the past to make it happen, risking America’s standing in the financial markets of the world. The Democrats have known this for as long as everyone else. During the most recent lame-duck Congress, the Democrats held the power and COULD have raised the debt ceiling high enough to cover the next two years in one fell swoop – but they didn’t.

I’ll tell you this: Actions speak louder than words. When a person or group CAN prevent horrible outcomes, but chooses not to? That speaks volumes to me. The Dems could have removed this particular weapon from the cons but didn’t. By choice. It suggests the Dems are perfectly willing to risk what tiny, little social safety net still exists in our submerging nation in exchange for political posturing. That attitude didn’t work out well with Roe v Wade and it won’t work out well with the debt ceiling…

But What IS Truth?

There’s a guy named George Santos. He just got elected to the House of Representatives by…lying? Wait, let me check that. Yep. Lying. I’m not sure he shared a single, honest fact about himself. He inflated his resume, sparkled up his life accomplishments, and made claims of greatness that have been proven untrue. He’s the very definition of a lying liar.

So far, the GOP has chosen to do…nothing. Well, no, that’s not right. They’re going to weaken the powers of the Ethics Committee. Lying is a conservative stock-in-trade, why would they find it a problem? For them, it’s the Ethics Committee that represents the problem. Fortunately, new GOP Congressman George Santos is on the case and we can all rely upon him to negotiate the peace between left and right – just like he did when he negotiated the peace in the Middle East…

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As a measure of the GOP’s pretended desire for get government out of people’s lives, the Missouri State Legislature has just passed a rule requiring women to cover their arms on the state House floor. Those good old boys are threatened by a woman’s arm? I wonder what happens when they get a bit of…ankle… Yep, sounds like conservative “Freedumb” to me…

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Hey, is it true GOP Congressman George Santos wrote ‘War and Peace?’

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I can already hear the difference in tone regarding Biden’s mishandling of classified files and the conservative response to the former guy’s mishandling of classified files. Former guy whined. “Whaaa!” he whined. His supporters whined. “Those DemocRATS are being mean to our guy! Whaaa! It’s a witch hunt! Whaaa!”

Someone asked Democrat Chuck Schumer what he thought about looking into Biden’s mishandling of classified files and he said he supported the appointment of Robert Hur in the Biden case. Not ONE claim of a witch hunt.

Huh…

The GOP is already focused on the Biden files like a thirteen year old boy who has just seen his first real life boobies. (It seems to be having a similar effect, too.) Between Joe’s files and Hunter’s – something, they’re just sure of it – the children are going to be busy for awhile. Since their stated goal from their recent “closed door meeting” included eliminating Social Security, Medicare, AND Medicaid (at least according to CNN), I’m perfectly happy to let them engage in their respective performances, instead.

They’ve got at least THREE separate committees looking into the matter. Three. I kind of hope the Dems do things to stonewall and fight back. Mostly because it will be fun listening to conservatives explain why Democratic pushback is unconscionable so soon after explaining why their pushback was – and is still – perfectly reasonable…

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I was amazed to learn that GOP Congressman George Santos, not Neil Armstrong, was the first man to set foot on the moon…

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Former guy might be in more trouble. The Georgia Grand Jury looking into whether or not he tried to influence the election by calling the Secretary of State and pressuring him to try and “find” 11,780 more votes – because that was the number he needed to win – has handed down their decision and asked that it be made public. I heard that recording. He definitely did what he’s accused of doing. On the other hand, Georgia is a red state and jury nullification is a real thing -see Impeachments 1 and 2. (“Impeachments 1 and 2” sounds like books in the Bible…)

Georgia did the right thing when they told Former to get stuffed. Here’s hoping they’ll do the right thing again…

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GOP Congressman George Santos’ claims to have been the ACTUAL author of the works of Shakespeare strain credibility, don’t they?

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One of the most powerful conservative “stink tanks” in America is called the Heritage Foundation. There’s a report out that they spent MILLIONS of dollars in this last election on voter suppression measures in battleground states. According to the Guardian, the plan ‘proposed a two-pronged approach that would work to block moves by Democrats in Congress to bolster voting rights while at the same time pressing Republican-controlled states to impose restrictions on access to the ballot box. It said: “Where Democrats hold power, we must defend against bad policy. Where conservatives and our allies are in power, we must advance changes that protect the lawful votes of Americans.”’

If it wasn’t for cheating (and lying, of course) Republicans would never win an election again. Ever. As an American, I say that if you have to cheat and lie your way to power, you shouldn’t be in power…

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Say what you want about GOP Congressman George Santos. He’s a great man. Just ask him. He’ll tell you…

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I would like to take a second, here, and thank the 49ers for the entertaining season (so far). To the best of my knowledge, none of them read me nor would they care whether I’m happy or not, but still… They play in the first game of the Wild Card Round in the playoffs today against the Seattle Seahawks. The Niners should win but the weather is an balancing factor. If the Niners win? Great. If they lose? It’s going to put a damper on my enthusiasm for the rest of the weekend games and I’ll likely forget how much I’ve enjoyed the season.

It’s a good thing they just signed GOP Congressman George Santos to be the bell-cow running back. The ‘hawks don’t stand a chance now…

Trivial, Tricky, and True…

So…now that the Republicans have settled on a Speaker, they’ve decided to get down to doing the important things – like investigating Hunter Biden. Great. That really needed to be done, didn’t it? Here’s a primary difference between the conservative base and a left-leaning base: do your investigation. If you find something, follow it up and pursue a proper coarse of action. If Hunter committed a crime, he should be punished accordingly.

I’d guess the attitude displayed here is common among progressives and Democrats. Contrarily, the attitude from the conservative base when one of theirs gets caught committing crimes? Ignore it. Deny it. Defend it. Under NO circumstances is a conservative to be made to take account of their actions.

I’ll tell you this: Progressives and liberals believe in the rule of law more than conservatives…

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The other day, the Federal government released a jobs report. It said that companies had added workers. It also said that the wage gains those workers had been enjoying were slowing down. The Dow responded by jumping UP 700 points. Reducing wages for workers causes the Dow to jump UP? Of course it does. The other thing the Dow has gone up for recently was when the Fed announced they were not going to lower interest rates as a means to raising unemployment. My, that seems…counter-intuitive.

Do you know WHY the Dow goes up when life gets worse for the working man? Because the Dow is not the economy. The Dow is more of a CEO Happiness Index. When workers gain, profits slow. Profits don’t disappear. In America these days, multi-national corporation’s profits are obscenely high. (In this case, I can’t define “obscene” but I know it when I see it…) One could cut the profits in half and give the money to the workers who produce the wealth. The company would still be profitable. But not AS profitable. Lower profits means lower stock price and lower stock price means the CEO’s compensation goes down. (CEO’s get “paid” in stock, commonly, because the only get taxed at the Capital Gains rate of 15% percent rather than paying the working man’s rate of 32%.)

Every day on my morning news they “report” on what the Dow is doing as though that has something to do with anything, complete with a little pre-orgasmic shudder when the Dow goes up. Then they cut to stories about homelessness and deaths of despair and rising crime rates as though the two are not directly related. The “news” offers a wide variety of explanations as to why quality of life in America has consistently gone down for the working class while the owner class lives better than ever – and never once touch on the real reason: desperation and poverty. They’ve even tricked much of the population into applauding increases in the Dow and fearing the drops.

I’ll tell you this: All of this is the direct result of policies pushed by conservatives for the last forty years. “Deregulation,” they call it. It’s been lovely for the people with money and market power. Less so for everyone else. Every tick UP of the Dow is a tick DOWN in the quality of life for the working man…

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Human beings are not the fastest animal on earth. We can’t fly at all. We can only swim short distances, not too far from shore and not too deep. We don’t have weapons (tools?) attached to our bodies. We, the species, weren’t given any of the tools the other animals have yet, over time, we’ve out-done them all. We can cross greater distances at greater speeds in our machines. We can fly higher and faster than any naturally flying animal. We can “swim” across – and to the bottom of – oceans. We can destroy even the fiercest of creatures before they can get their natural weapons anywhere near us. We’ve out-done them all. How? Our brains, the gift we received from nature.

Not one of those achievements is frowned upon by the church. We used our brains to figure out solutions to every one of those concerns and everybody just cheered. But when we also used our brains to understand and figure out how to manage our reproductive process, the church stepped in and called that a sin. “Leave it up to our God,” they pretended. One can trace just about every problem the world faces today to the simple fact that there are just too many of us.

In 1970, the world population was estimated to be 3.6 billion people. Today? 8 billion. See, religions know that the best way to get new people giving them money is to have them born to that particular religion. It’s harder to convert someone than just raise them up in the “tradition.” The result? They disapprove of managing reproduction. Sure, the world would be a better place but the church(es) would lose money. The churches aren’t alone, though. Businesses also know that more people competing for jobs means less compensation required to get those jobs done. Overpopulation serves business in the same way it serves religion; it’s good for profits. But it’s all bad for the common man. We need fewer people. Period.

There’s a current trend among “the youngs” where they’re not having babies and people are hand-wringing and trying to find out why. Of course, pure Capitalism demands that the “answer” may NOT include “it’s just too expensive to try to raise kids anymore” so we’re told it’s probably social media. Oh, we’re also not supposed to mention that the world has become – again, thanks to corporate profit pursuits – far too dangerous and unstable to risk bringing children into it. Okay, so…video games! Let’s say it’s video games.

Corporate media will point their grubby little fingers at anything and everything except the real reason: overpopulation. Not having babies is the right thing to do. Not having babies should be encouraged by governments, not lamented. Not forced, mind you. That doesn’t work. Just…encouraged.

I’ll tell you this: I’m glad to see it happening and I hope the trend continues. It may prove to be too little, too late but if there’s going to be any chance at all of the human race continuing much longer, it will be found in having FAR fewer of us competing for increasingly scarce resources…

Difficult Decisions…

Well, ladies and gentlemen, what you’ve seen before you for the last four days is an example of the kind of governance we can expect from a party that no longer believes in government – the Republicans. After fourteen attempts, Kevin McCarthy managed to bribe and cede power to enough of the Freedumb Caucus to take the Speaker’s gavel on the fifteenth ballot. “Never Kevin” became “Okay, if you give me enough, maybe Kevin.” Six of them never did vote for Kevin, though. They voted “present.” Their abstention opened the path the McCarthy’s “victory.” One guy, Alabama Republican Mike Rogers, had to be physically restrained during an argument with Matt Gaetz. Quality work there, guys…

Voting in the new Speaker is supposed to be pro-forma. Now, it’s true the Democrats didn’t do anything to help the situation but they shouldn’t have had to. (And why would they? It was such fun watching these bumbling fools pretending like they know how to govern.) The Republicans have the majority and their choice for Speaker might well be the easiest legislative process they’ll face – and they couldn’t even agree on that. Lovely. I suspect the American government will be on hold for the next two years as the Freedumb Caucus obstructs…well, everything, really. On the one hand, this is good. They won’t be able to come together to do the harm they love so much. On the other hand, the government has things it’s supposed to do and those won’t get done, either.

Nobody should be surprised. The so-called Freedumb Caucus should never have had that kind of power. Hell, they should never have been elected to Congress in the first place. These aren’t principled opposition members. These are lunatic Libertarians pretending to be Republicans in an effort to achieve some level of relevance. They succeeded, too…for awhile. As time has passed, they’ve increasingly dropped their cover and become more openly vocal about their hatred of government, the American government in particular, and their desire to simply burn the whole thing to the ground if they don’t get their own, whiny way.

20 members of the House of Representatives held up some 350 million people simply by being unreasonable, obstinate assholes. Talk about tyranny of the minority. And the tyranny will continue, all day, every day. They’ve now proven they can stop anything at any time just by stomping their rhetorical foot, holding their breath, and energetically shaking their head “no” until they do more damage to their already impaired brains.

The American people need to pay attention to this debacle as it plays out. Maya Angelou said that when someone tells you who they are, believe them. The Republican Party has just put on display exactly who they are for the entire country – no, the entire world – to see and it isn’t pretty. Or functional. Believe it…

I feel badly for the old-school Republicans. I know. I was surprised, too. The old-school had positions I disagreed with but they DID believe in compromise government and getting things done for the good of the country and Americans in general. This new breed? The disguised Libertarians? Useless. They were useless as Libertarians, which is why they usurped the Republican party in the first place, and now they’ve pretty much doomed the Republican party to the same irrelevance the Libertarians proudly enjoy today. Now, though, old-school Republicans who still believe in governance have no place to go. Nobody represents them.

I’ll tell you this: what we just witnessed from the Speakership battle is just a prelude to what we can expect for the next two years out of the dysfunctional House of Not So Representatives. If the American people can’t find a way to eliminate this sorry group of puny minded morons – and do it soon – this will be our future, the Idiocracy, indeed. That is NOT an exciting prospect…

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If you’re not a fan of American football, you might not enjoy this next bit. By now, you’ve heard that Damar Hamlin had a heart attack and collapsed on the field during a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. To be clear, there’s nothing organically wrong with Hamlin’s heart. He suffered a freak accident that stopped his heart. It happens in the US about 30 times a year, here and there. The NFL cancelled the game. Mr. Hamlin is fine, now, so we can get back to thinking about the implications of that decision without feeling like an insensitive s.o.b.

It’s playoff seeding time in the NFL. The team in first place gets a first round bye. That means they don’t have to play and they get an extra week’s rest. It’s their reward for being the best that season. The decision to cancel the game had huge implications. Before Hamlin’s event, the Bills held the number one seed. The Bengals were in a position to take it away from them and that was what they were playing for in that game. When the game got cancelled, the Bills no longer held first position. Neither did the Bengals. Now the Kansas City Chiefs are in first place and looking forward to the first round bye.

These days, professional sports are polluted by gambling again and one can openly bet on anything. People place bets on who will win the Stupor Bowl before the season even begins. I’d guess the same is true for conference champions. Think, for a minute, about the people who picked the Bills for conference champions and were well on their way toward winning money when the NFL stepped in and just…took the win away. I also found myself thinking about all the other money that was on the line. Cancelling that game likely cost the NFL and broadcasters and advertisers millions and millions of dollars. Local bars and restaurants hosting watch parties lost out on revenues as well. Millions – perhaps hundreds of millions – of dollars were lost in that one moment. To tell you the truth, though, I don’t care about that. The NFL and it’s associates will all be fine. It just seems so unfair to the players on both teams.

I’ve read that the NFL wanted the game to continue the night Hamlin went down but the teams refused. I understand both sides of the argument but I wonder if the players would have played had they known they were surrendering much of what they had accomplished by not playing. When Hamlin woke up, the first thing he communicated was a question: “Did we win?” It was the first thing he wanted to know. It’s exactly the kind of mindset one needs to succeed in the NFL and most of the players share it. Sorry, Damar, the answer is no, you didn’t win. You didn’t exactly lose, either, but you lost a lot anyway. The road to the NFL’s big game is going to be much tougher than it might have been for both the Bills and the Bengals and much easier than it might have been for the Chiefs.

Practically speaking, there was no good way to “fix” the issue. There was no time to squeeze in a replacement game without disrupting everyone else. There are no double-headers for one team in the NFL. The game is FAR too physical. They could have calculated the seeding based on win percentage. Maybe they did. That, too, would have left the Chiefs in first place…

I’ll tell you this: I’m going to look at it like an historical event I got to witness and I’m not going to let it dampen my enthusiasm for the games going forward. But the “what if” will be in my mind for the remainder of the playoffs…

New Year’s Day Grab Bag…

I’m pretty sure Gretta Thunberg whooped Andrew Tate in their recent dust-up. He is a well-established, poorly developed human being. She’s the well-established exact opposite. He didn’t like the idea of her running around trying to save the planet so he decided to troll her. He sent her a tweet bragging about how many highly polluting cars he owned and asked for her address to he could send her the details on each car and it’s massive emissions. I don’t know how she does it, but she commonly has tremendous answers for such trolls and Andrew was no exception. She replied, “Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at SmallDickEnergy@GetALife.com”

Okay, so that’s a win right there. He should have STFU and left it alone but, no. The guy IS after all an infamous misogynist and moron and would not, likely could not, let a woman whoop him. So, he responded and his response included being handed a pizza box from someone off screen. He told them to be sure NOT to recycle the box – another dig at Greta’s activism. Authorities in Romania recognized the box and went and arrested Tate – for human trafficking. Apparently, Andrew, his brother, and two other scumbags are charged with capturing, kidnapping, and raping women, and forcing the women to make porn for the men to sell.

That, alone, is a win, right? Getting a human trafficker to out themselves and get themselves arrested is just wonderful. But, just to be sure the message hit home, Gretta tweeted, “This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes.” That woman really IS going to clean up the planet, isn’t she?

His incel fans have hit social media to insist Tate is being framed. They’re trying to defend him! They know nothing about the guy except that they’d (secretly) like to have sex with him – but that seems to be enough for them. Evidence? No, the cops have that. His supporters have nothing but blind loyalty. I’ll tell you this: I’m never sure why these guys don’t just get over themselves, find a nice guy, and settle down but my respect for Gretta – already sky high – went even higher…

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I saw this actual headline: “Governor Kathy Hochul legalizes human composting after death.”

I didn’t even know a person could legalize…anything, really, after they’ve died…

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Barbara Walters died. I was sorry to hear it. She was a very good journalist. She didn’t take any guff and worked to make the world a better place AND created a path for other women to follow into journalism. Barbara was a person who makes me wish there was a heaven…

Bennie the Rat died, too. You probably know him better as Pope Benedict XVI. He helped the pederast priesthood of the Catholic Church protect themselves from repercussions of their actions AND worked to protect the church who worked so hard to protect the perverts instead of the victims. Bennie the Rat was a person who makes me wish there was a hell…

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On the topic of sexual abuse, I hear that some of the large organizations where sexual abuse was the norm – organizations like the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, and USA Gymnastics, for example, have taken to using bankruptcy laws to protect themselves. They file the bankruptcy claim and the judge sets the amount the victims have to settle for AND sets up a future fund for as yet unknown victims who will come forward at a later date – but NOW have to fight other victims for a piece of a smaller pie.

I’ve long held that NO organization or person who is fundamentally solvent or has a financially solvent parent company should be allowed to file bankruptcy under any conditions. I guarantee you, if YOU show up in bankruptcy court, they’ll take a very close look at your finances and if they determine YOU have the money to pay, you WILL pay. None of this “no, we’re fine, financially. We just want to re-organize” b.s. for you.

I’ll tell you this: It was bad enough when companies started doing it just to eliminate pension obligations they hadn’t fulfilled and didn’t want to fulfill but now being used to protect the perpetrators of sexual abuse from the victims? That’s just too over-the-top for me…

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So, that DINO moron Joe Manchin is trying to block commercial and consumer tax credits for electric cars because of…reasons. It’s my guess that his “reason” is that he’s a coal baron and fossil fuel supporter and that group is pushing back HARD to maintain the economic advantages they gain from killing the planet. In like fashion, here in California, PG&E, the corrupt main power supplier, is trying to unravel incentives for rooftop solar in a back door attempt to harm the rooftop solar industry and protect it’s own profits for awhile longer. Across the country, the cons are being encouraged to support the oil industry and more drilling. It’s all about money and control of the market so one can make MORE money.

I’ll tell you this: fossil fuels are finite resources. Using them all up at once is one of the stupidest things the human race has ever done…and we, the species, have done some incredibly stupid things over time. We make a lot of things from oil. A LOT of things. Burning up the remaining supply in our cars as fast as we can only means that ALL of those things either disappear or become ridiculously expensive – and that’s before we ever even get to the argument about climate change…

In-fighting and Conflict…

Well, the cons are at war again. The difference this time? It’s a civil war and it’s being fought on several fronts. There’s a fight for control of the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy wants the job but there are several far right members of that body that do NOT want McCarthy and that has sparked a battle. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert once sat shoulder to shoulder heckling the President of the United States during a State of the Union speech. Now they’re trading barbs, each claiming the true path to conservative heaven. Matt Gaetes is also in the fray, arguing against McCarthy. The far-right contingent prefer a guy who thinks McCarthy was just too cooperative with the Dems. There’s also the ever-present Former Guy/DeSantis battle.

The key to success in the conservative movement (aside from electoral cheating, of course) is solidarity. These guys have been moving lock-step with each other for a long time. In fact, I’d call it an impressive display. So long as their interests ran parallel, they worked together like a Swiss watch. (Sadly, they’ve been working to undermine America but that’s a different aspect of the topic.) But the key was in parallel interests. When they began to disagree among themselves as to whom is best suited to harm America fastest, the claws came out – aimed at their one-time compatriots. (OMG, pass the popcorn…)

They worked together so well for so long because they all perceived that working together best served themselves. Although it seemed like team play, it was cooperative selfishness. Selfishness is a feature, not a bug, of conservatism. One of the things I believe about the cons is that, sooner or later, everybody’s “motivated self interest” tends to clash and come into conflict and it seems to be happening right now. I can’t say for sure if it’s a long-term break or a temporary fracture but, for now, they can’t harm America while they’re trying to harm each other so…have at it…

I feel the same way about all of the “investigations” they’re promising to initiate. So long as they’re focused on “revenge” for delusional, perceived wrongs they won’t be doing much damage to the country so I hope they “investigate” as much as possible for as long as possible.

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Alright, I’m about to step in it with my own team again. It happens from time to time. I believe in the law over party loyalty. When the cons are wrong, I say so. When the Dems are wrong, I say THAT, too. If that bugs you, you might want to review your own priorities. Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee released the former guy’s taxes to the public. Once again, it’s a case of the Dems handing the cons a weapon in the culture wars. Now, don’t get me wrong, here. I want to see the taxes just as much as anybody else but the fact is, the Dems exceeded the scope of the law to do it and I don’t much like when the Dems are who the cons say they are. Now Former is out publicly whining about it. (And…my Gods does this guy whine. To hear him tell it, life is just…unfair to generational multi-millionaires) He insists it sets a dangerous precedent that the cons will wield in return. He’s also bragging to his base that the taxes will only show what a brilliant businessman he is. So…it’s a dangerous precedent to show what a brilliant businessman he is? Okay…

I’ve written, in this space, defense of the idea that the Congress has every right to see anybody’s taxes. That law was implemented after the Teapot Dome scandal in the early 1920’s. The law says they can see the taxes for legitimate legislative purposes. Releasing the taxes to the public IS a violation of Former’s privacy and NOT within the scope of the law. Don’t get me wrong, here. I want to see them as much as anybody else and I’ve wanted to ever since he promised to release them as soon as the IRS was done with the audit. (Promises made, promises broken…) He never did, of course. In fact, he wasn’t audited – even when he was supposed to have been! What’s more, I think the law should require candidates for high public office to release their taxes but that would entail a Constitutional Amendment so I don’t see it in the future anytime soon. Yes, it’s standard practice for more honest politicians to release their taxes but it is NOT a legal requirement. Former is a lying weasel (he DID promise to release them) but he was within his rights to renege on that promise.

The news started excitedly talking about how Former paid little to no taxes in the six years of the release. Well, duh! Rich people don’t pay taxes in this once-great nation, or at least not their fair share. Everybody knows that. (Well, not cons, of course. THEY think rich people pay too much and so they, the con rank and file, are happy to pick up the rich person’s tab. Deep thought is NOT their forte…) The real meat and potatoes of the taxes will be found in the details. Accountants are already pointing out that in order to avoid taxes like that, one has to have quite a bit of money. In other words, they’re all deductions for every American. Well, every American who can show losses of millions of dollars each year.

Based on various comments and testimony, Former likes to inflate the value of his holdings for loan purposes and deflate the values on the same holdings for tax purposes. All of these details will come out over time, as people get a look at the filings. We’ll also get to see which entities he’s doing business with in the first place. (Russia, anyone?)

There’s really only one justification for the release that has any credibility with me at all and, mostly, people aren’t using it. In an effort to hide his nefarious dealings, Former has gone to a ridiculous – dare I say “unprecedented” – amount of trouble because we all know that it’s best to hide one’s honest dealings as much as possible. He knew he was going to lose. The law is clear and the outcome was a foregone conclusion. His actual goal was to run out the clock. Had the law worked just a bit slower, the rulings might have been delayed until the cons took the House back and dissolved the committees, replacing the members with boot-licking loyalists and dropping the matter entirely. As it was, the committee didn’t get the forms until very nearly too late. They simply didn’t have enough time to review the forms properly so, releasing them to the public for further perusal was really the only option.

I’ll tell you this: in all candor, I’m glad he didn’t get away with his delay tactic but that’s a personal pleasure because I don’t like the way he manipulates laws to his very wealthy advantage. (I don’t like when ANY rich pricks do it, left or right.) If I was making some kind of ruling on the legality of releasing the taxes, I’d rule against the Dems. It’s weird. I’m happy to have a look at the forms but simultaneously unhappy that they were released illegally. Talk about conflicted…

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I hope everybody has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and that the new year proves better than the old one…