A Desperate Fraud…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Desperation…

Trump: We’re opening everything back up!
Experts: It’s not safe…
Trump: Fuck you!  Back to work!

Trump: We’re sending your kids back to school!
Experts: It’s not safe…
Trump: Fuck you!  We’re sending your kids back to school!

Experts: Trump is behind in the polls.
Trump: Let’s postpone the election.  You know…for SAFETY!
America: Fuck you!

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The conservatives are pretending that Covid-19 isn’t that dangerous.  A great proponent of the position is Mr. Herman Cain, a man who knows a thing or two about virus and contagion because of things he read on the internet.  Let’s ask HIM about the…what?  Killed by the not dangerous virus?  Hmm…

JobLossesPhoto

Why, it’s almost as if it doesn’t matter if you believe in the virus – the virus believes in you!

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I see the GOP allowed the disaster relief (please stop pretending it’s “stimulus”) in the unemployment payments to expire.  That’s likely to go as well as their choice to pretend the virus isn’t dangerous.  I don’t know if they’ll replace it or not, though I DID see there’s at least a possibility.  Usually, one can count on the GOP to do exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time.  Why should THIS time be any different?

It turns out, one can tell story after story.  But if the story is fiction, so is the outcome.  (See ‘Atlas Shrugged.’)  The GOP decided that the $600/a week disaster relief was “paying people not to go back to work.”  All they had to do was pretend there was work to go back to (there isn’t), child care is still readily available (it isn’t), anyone who got sick could just go to the doctor (they can’t), and demand was just the same as it had always been (it’s not).

(Is NOW a good time to mention that if an “extra” $2400/month is paying people more than they can earn at work we need to reevaluate how workers are paid in this country?)

WITH the payments, people DID keep buying things – that was the point.  It was only a trickle but it kept some things going.  It was better than nothing.  Now, maybe, we get to see what “nothing” looks like because one can always count on the GOP to do the wrong thing.  Fantasy “solutions” to real-life problems will have real-life consequences no matter how many stories are told.  We’ve got countless thousands out of work.  We KNOW the airlines are chomping at the bit to lay off tens of thousands more on October 1.  There’s no telling how many more will be idled between now and then…and the GOP is just whistling past the graveyard…

When one looks forward, the road ahead looks dark and troubled.  In history, poverty leads to desperation.  Desperation leads to crime and violence.  Violence often turns into revolution.  The closest I can come to a silver lining?  Trump is desperately trying to do everything – anything – he can think of to salvage his failed maladministration.  As it happens, he seems truly incapable of doing the things that might actually do the job.  It was actually simple…well, straight-forward.  Controlling the virus would have protected the economy but the cons couldn’t control the virus without demonstrating a proper role for the Federal government and that violates their ideology.  So?  People are going to die who didn’t need to and the economy will crash despite the stories proffered by the “think tanks.”  I (think? suspect? hope?) that by November 3, even conservatives are going to want this guy gone…the smart ones already do

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Every election of my lifetime has been described by someone as the most important election of my lifetime.  THIS one truly is – and nobody had to tell me.  The United States has become a failed state and a pariah among civilized nations.  The economy is crumbling and promises only to get worse as long as the virus is rampaging.  As it stands, the US isn’t even going to START fighting this virus until January 21, 2021 and THEN only if Biden wins.  Trump’s got the deplorables and the Russians.  Are decent Americans going to be enough?

I’ll tell you this: You need to vote like your life depends upon it.  Because your life depends upon it…

The Hand-Basket…

Well, it looks as though the cons are still looking for some narrative that makes George Floyd the bad guy in his murder.  He was on drugs, you know?  Smoked a joint, that’s probably what did it.  No, Fentanyl, that was it!  He was dead already, he just hadn’t died yet.  But, SINCE he was dead already a grown man sitting on his neck couldn’t POSSIBLY had done any harm.  Besides, there was an Asian cop AND a black cop in the area so a white man sitting on a black man’s neck until he was dead couldn’t POSSIBLY have anything to do with racism.  Besides, they knew each other from before.

Yeah, it’s a challenge getting around that whole ‘grown man sitting on another man’s neck until he died’ thing but the conservatives will keep trying.  They’ll repeat their false mantra as many time as necessary to internalize it…

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The truth is, I’m really kind of tired of conservative bunk.  This has been going on SO long, it’s just boring.  Yeah, I know.  You can form sentences.  You can be contrary.  You don’t need no stinkin’ evidence.  Someone’s opinion is every bit as valuable as someone else’s evidence.  Cons form contrary sentences just because they can.  It’s predictable, dependable, even.  Pick an issue.  If there’s ANY risk a con will be exposed on something, there WILL BE a counter story.  Can’t prove it?  No evidence?  Doesn’t matter, that’s the story and they’re sticking to it.

I operate on the axiom that a position that depends on falsehood for it’s defense doesn’t deserve to be defended.  Conservatives operate on their own “rule” that a position that depends on falsehood for defense has been cleverly defended and defending a false position could NEVER go wrong.  That’s why trash talking Covid-19 made it go away and ignoring global warming caused the great cooling (only 100 degrees at the North Pole the other day!) and it totally explains how all of those protestors keep forcing government possibly-cops to beat them and shoot them in the face.  That’s why sitting on a man’s neck for nearly nine minutes couldn’t POSSIBLY have done any harm.  That’s why they ALL insisted they wouldn’t mind being water-boarded – so long as none of them ever were…

All one need do is state their preferred position and – voila! – preferred position becomes absolutely, unalterably true.  How nice.  Here, let me try…  ‘All conservatives always use logic, intelligence, evidence, and expertise to arrive at conclusions.’

Well, crap…that didn’t work…

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I heard on PBS the other day that Trump has talked to his handler Putin as many as eight times since March.  The wanna-be dictator getting advice from the pro?  Perhaps they’re strategizing the next “election.”  How many Russians does it take to preserve the power of an insane person?  Sounds like the set-up of a bad joke.  I hope we never get to find out – but I’m scared.  I’m CERTAIN that if the “election” is left up to Americans and Americans alone, Trump is gone.  But I’m NOT certain that the “election” WILL be left up to Americans and Americans alone.  I oppose Russian interference.  Conservatives defend it.  Trump is depending on it…

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One of the stories the conservatives cling to is that the government – their government – would never take their guns.  Cons have told me that they KNOW military and law enforcement would refuse an order to violate people’s Second Amendment rights.  I agree.  My response is always that the cops and/or military (increasingly difficult to tell the difference these days) won’t be told they’re taking the guns of law-abiding citizens.  They’ll be told they’re protecting their loved ones from terrorists.  Cons always laugh at me.

So what’s the story of the protestors in Oregon?  Why, they’re terrorists destroying a once vibrant city and turning it into a flaming hellscape.  Trump’s possibly-cops gestapo seem to be very much enjoying their violations of Americans First Amendment rights.  They’re certainly enthusiastic about it…

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I wish Biden would stop dithering and just pick a freaking running mate, already.  I also wish he’d pick Susan Rice.  The only REAL knock on her is that she has never run for public office before.  But the more governing experience Americans can put into the Oval Office and the Congress to undo all the damage done by trumpery and the conservatives, the better off we’re going to be…

Diseased…

So…as Trump degenerates, he’s escalating.  In a bit of political theater apparently intended to whip up some support from his base, unidentified possibly-cops are grabbing protestors in Portland Oregon, putting them in unmarked vehicles, and hauling them away.  These possibly-cops are said to be from the border patrol a division of the Department of Homeland Security.  The Governor of Oregon and the Mayor of Portland have asked the possibly-DHS thugs to stand down.  The DHS has responded that they’re “on a mission” and will stay whether the Governor wants them there or not.

I wonder if the Governor can call out the Oregon National Guard to protect Oregonians from the possibly-DHS thugs?  She won’t, of course.  But it causes me great concern.  Apparently, there’s no depth to which Trump won’t sink to try to protect his position – including invading states he doesn’t like.  Conservatives have long said they object to Federal overreach.  My guess is, right now, the cons are all in on Federal overreach…

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There’s a guideline I use to judge the strength of a given position: Do I have to change or pretend not to know things I already know in order to try to “win” some political position?  If so, I should probably reconsider my position.  Here’s a topical example.

Let’s say I had asked you one year ago today what you might be able to tell me about face masks.  After thinking about it for a minute, you would likely tell me that you know doctors and surgical staffs use face masks against the spread of contagions in operating rooms.  You might also mention your knowledge that Asians have been wearing face masks against spreading illness and against pollution for years, perhaps decades.  You know what you would NOT have heard?  You would NOT have heard about how masks choke you out and force you to re-breathe your own carbon dioxide.

NOBODY ever heard of such a “threat” until the useless buffoon in the Oval Office decided to fight a deadly global pandemic with wishful thinking and insults.  THEN, some deceiving conservative “think” tank (Heritage, Cato, etc) came up with a story and sold it into the conservative bubble.  Suddenly, there’s a group in this country that will tell you – for a little while, anyway –  about the dangers of mask wearing.  The position is politics, not science, and to MY mind, when there’s a political motivation behind some position, the best thing a thinking person can do is hold on to information they already have.

I know the anti-mask movement is nationwide but in the area I live, the anti-masker’s adopted position is even weaker for one reason: this is fire country.  Over the course of the last several years, we’ve suffered one major fire after another.  Pollutants in the air were visible and everywhere.  We were ALL wearing masks.  We all learned about the N-95’s.  Never once, did I hear anyone complain that the masks might choke them out.

Wear a mask.  At this point, it’s pretty much the only protection Americans are going to get against Covid-19 until decent leadership arrives…

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Here’s just one example of how dumb/evil (you choose) trump is.  When Covid-19 hit, he feared (correctly) that the fallout from the pandemic was going to hurt his re-election bid.  So, he decided (incorrectly) to ignore it and call it names.  That hasn’t worked, of course, but now that he’s chosen his wrongheaded position, he’s going to stick to it no matter HOW many Americans he kills.

Had he been smart (or even marginally competent) he would have put Fauci in charge.  Let Fauci do his job, manage and defeat the virus, then – as trump will always do – take the credit for the success.  If Fauci fails (which he wouldn’t, since he’s the expert) trump has a fall-guy to blame.  Either way, trump COULD have won this thing.  But he was SO incompetent, he couldn’t even protect himself…

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In every country that has defeated the pandemic, they’ve used pretty much the same model: testing, tracing, and isolating.  Those of us unfortunate enough to be victims of the ‘Greatest Country on Earth’™ hear only about testing, testing, testing.  The tests results are slow.  People can infect others for DAYS between taking the test and getting the results.  I’ve heard nothing about contact tracing in the US.

It looks like Covid-19 is going to keep tearing away at this once-great nation from sea to shining sea until January 21, 2021 when President Biden begins an authoritative response – fighting conservatives every step of the way – that SHOULD have started in January, 2020.

One can only guess at how many Americans trump will have allowed to die by then…

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As it happens, there is one area of agreement I have had with many trump supporters: I didn’t believe him, either.  That is, I thought his shtick during the 2016 campaign was just that, shtick.  After the Russians put him in office, I thought (hoped?) he’d change his behavior, you know?  Just…stop performing and do the job.

It has been mind-boggling to discover he wasn’t performing and it wasn’t shtick.  What we’ve seen from Donald Trump seems to be the very best he has to offer.  I think we can all be forgiven for not believing such wreckage of a human being could function on this planet for 74 years.  NO ONE will be forgiven for continuing to support him now that we know…

Leadership…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “We are seeing at the moment that the pandemic can’t be fought with lies and disinformation, and neither can it be with hatred and agitation.”  She also said, “Fact-denying populism is being shown its limits.”  She didn’t specify any particular country so…there’s no way to know who she might have been referencing…

American flag
Where stupid reigns supreme!

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I’ve been reading, recently, that the Trump campaign has found it’s voice and is going to run on a “law and order” platform.  THEN, Trump commutes the sentence of Roger Stone, a felon convicted of lying to Congress, tampering with witnesses, and obstructing a House investigation.  So much for THAT angle.  The only message he can offer now is that he supports the law but only when it doesn’t apply to him and his…

…I submit his base won’t care, though…

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There was this…oh, okay…”person” by the name of Ayn Rand.  She’s mostly known for writing fiction intended to appeal to the 13-year-old-boy mind.  She has this quote, “Reason is not automatic.  Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.”

This seems to be the driving mantra of conservatives, these days.  If you’re unclear as to her intent, let me re-phrase her comment for her.  “If you’re an unreasonable asshole, you can’t lose!”  Now…technically, this is correct – as far as it goes.  The part she failed to mention is that you can’t win, either.  See, if you’re wrong, you’re wrong and your refusal to admit you’re wrong doesn’t make you right.  It just makes you wrong AND an asshole.  Sadly, I have some experience with this.

When I was a young man, a friend of mine and his at-the-time girlfriend once gifted me a knife for a birthday present.  It was a little two-blade pocket knife.  They told me it was a Swiss Army knife.  THEY meant it was made by the Swiss Army Knife company.  (It’s important to note the knife bore the logo of the Swiss Army Knife company…)  Because it wasn’t the 50 blades and a corkscrew variety, I said it wasn’t a Swiss Army knife.  I kind of meant it as a joke because it was so different from what people envision when one thinks of a Swiss Army knife.

My friends were surprised by my response and assured me that it was, in fact, a Swiss Army knife.  For reasons I can’t explain to this very day, I just went into full-on Ayn Rand asshole mode and insisted it was NOT a Swiss Army knife.  That was my position and I dug my heels in.  (No, I’m not describing my proudest moment…)  Bear in mind, I had NO basis for my position.  I had NO information to support my position.  THEY had bought the knife.  They knew who made it.  It bore the Swiss Army Knife company logo.  But they could not – under any circumstances – get me to confess it was a Swiss Army knife.

Short version?  They moved from surprised to confused to irritated to outright angry.  You will not be surprised to learn that my bad attitude ruined the party and they left early and angry.  (For the record, we’re still friends.  I apologized and they graciously accepted…)  The point is, at no time was I correct.  Sure I couldn’t lose the argument because I wouldn’t confess the error.  But I couldn’t WIN the argument, either, because I was just absolutely, completely wrong.  I was just being a contrarian, in the best Ayn Rand asshole tradition.

It’s clear to me that the conservative bubble has tapped into – and plays on – that contrarian model for many, many people.  I think it explains the anti-maskers.  I’ve watched for years as one issue after another comes out and immediately, the conservative bubble goes into overdrive making up “defenses” or just planting the contrarian asshole position in their base.  Covid-19 was such a threat, though, that initially, even the conservative bubble thought it best to use masks and play it safe.  After all, the conservative base is made up of olds and they’re very vulnerable.  But then, someone in the bubble noticed that it had created a kind of unity and the ONE THING the conservative bubble CAN NOT tolerate is unity.

Next thing the world knew, the US started seeing armed old men marching on state capitals and demanding “liberty” (that is, “liberated” from their homes) and the anti-mask movement was born.  Now, many of them are being “liberated” from their lives but the anti-maskers are dug in and will readily declare there’s not anything anyone can do or say that will change their minds.  I believe them.  They’re still wrong, though.

There’s an old saying, a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.  We, the people, can never do better than our weakest link and I believe the conservative bubble intentionally creates “weak links.”  Since the absolute weakest link currently occupies the Oval Office, I think the rest of us had better buckle up for the long haul because we’re in for a rough ride unless and until competent leadership can be found…

Loyal Losers…

YOYO
By now, we all understand the traitor Trump’s failed strategy for dealing with Covid-19: ignore it.  Now, there’s information that the White House has unified it’s message into ‘We’re going to have to learn to live with it.’  I see the message as “Screw you.  You’re on your own.”  We are, too.  Since the White House has abandoned it’s proper leadership role in this matter, we’re just left to fend for ourselves.

This is the small government, leave-it-to-the-states approach conservatives think they’d enjoy.  This is what it looks like.  One state makes a good decision based on science and it’s neighbor makes a different, poor choice based on some guy’s gut feeling.  The science state ends up losing to the gut feeling state anyway because viruses don’t give a fig about your politics…or mine.

Decent leadership would have been nice during this time, though…

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It’s the economy, stupid!
The truth is, Trump thinks he’s going to revive the economy and that (and his Russian buddies) will get him re-elected.  So he chose to ignore Covid-19 and try to force the workers back into the fray – an acknowledgment that workers, not the so-called “job creators,” are the life-blood of the economy.

Forcing people back to work has had two predictable results.  One, the June Jobs Report looked, comparatively, fairly good.  Two, Covid-19 infections have shot through the roof.  States that were trying to “reopen” are now starting to “reclose.”  I’m guessing the July Jobs Report won’t be so rosy…

For now, the deniers will point out (they’d better hurry, though) that deaths have not spiked.  Deaths always follow the infection rate.  The why is simple: more people start showing up at hospitals.  At first, the hospitals are able to care for the sick but before too long, the number of sick begins to overwhelm the capacity of the hospitals and the facilities have to go into triage mode – that means picking and choosing who gets care and who dies.  THAT’S when you’ll see the death rates spike.

And in the meantime, the economy is going back into limp-along mode.  Trump’s self-absorption is killing Americans…

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Amnesty
I think we on the left need to offer a short period of amnesty to trumpsters who would rather NOT be tarred with the stain of racism so closely associated with Trump.  By now, the evidence of Trump’s racism is so clear only the willfully ignorant could pretend they don’t see it (Keyword: pretend).  I even take into account how the conservative media constantly scrubs and white-washes (heavy emphasis on the ‘white’) Trump’s image.

But the mountain of evidence is undeniable.  As nearly as I can tell, Trump’s entire campaign strategy for 2020 consists of reaching out directly to racists with his “comforting” message of being one of them.  I think most people accept the idea that one can judge a man by the company he keeps.  (That’s a one-way street, in this case.  Trump’s acolytes might like to “keep company” with him but there’s no way in hell he would hang around with any of them.)  Trump keeps reaching out to white supremacists.  THOSE are his people.  THOSE are the ones he’s counting on for re-election.

That means we’ve come to a crossroads.  Look, you likely don’t see yourself as a racist.  Most racists don’t.  Maybe you really aren’t.  But how can you be okay with racism unless you feel it a bit yourself?  Perhaps your loyalty to Trump was based on other aspects of his policies.  Whatever.  You’re about to be stained forever by your association with the racist Trump.

lunch counter racists

Look at the thugs in this photo.  I’m particularly struck by the guy on the left, just to the right of the guy pouring sugar on the woman.  He’s just staring.  He’s not actively participating but he’s not doing anything to stop it, either.  He’s with the mob.  He allowed himself to be in the photo standing against equality.  He will forever be associated with this hateful little event because of where he chose to be in that moment.  And if you’re a trumpster, he’s you.

So…as a one-time good deal, I offer a short period of amnesty in which any and all heretofore trumpsters can publicly disassociate themselves with the Orange Disaster, and I’ll believe you and accept what you say.  How about, one week?  After that, I’ll know you’re at least…okay with racism.  Even if I don’t say so directly, I’ll understand you as a racist from here on out.  Fair warning: your association with Trump is about to become an entry on your permanent record, one you can’t erase…

…and we haven’t even started on his treason, yet…

Priorities…

So…have you heard the one about the Russians paying Taliban insurgents bounties to kill American soldiers?  Apparently, neither has Trump.  Or, at least, that’s his claim.  That’s his explanation for why he never took action against Russia.  He didn’t know about it.  (It’s funny to me how the hands-on, got-it-all-under-control so-called “President” never seems to know what’s going on around him…)  Also, it wasn’t credible.  He didn’t know about the thing that wasn’t credible so no action was taken.  Got it.  But that’s not quite right, is it?  He DID take action.  He invited Russia back into the G7.  Russia pays bounties on the lives of American soldiers and Trump rewards them?

TrumpShootsUncleSam2

I believe Trump is a Russian “asset.”  I really do.  There’s no other plausible explanation for why he’s so deferential to Putin.  If you think you can defend his feckless lack of response, I’d like to hear it.  As part of the exercise, though, please include your service dates.  I suspect that if I hear any defense of Trump’s failure to act at all, it will come from people who couldn’t be bothered to serve because they had “other priorities…”

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I guess nobody should be surprised to find that Covid-19 cases are resurging, particularly in the “Screw you!  This whole thing’s a fake” states.  And yet, some people still are – surprised, that is.  This latest surge was as predictable as sunrise.  More people are going to die, just because American business interests wanted workers to get back to work.  I mean, how are the Capitalists supposed to pad their wealth if workers aren’t producing revenue for them to steal?  And what, after all, are a few hundred thousand worker lives when it comes to maintaining the bloated lifestyles of the few?

Fortunately, America has a “President” who is right there working as hard as possible to take away what little and crappy access most Americans have to health care.  So, let’s try our hand at Fox “News” spin.  Workers aren’t “dying.”  Instead, they’re creating new job openings for other workers.  My, how considerate…

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Wow.  Facebook finds itself in an advertiser revolt over such a little thing as allowing unchallenged lies on it’s platform in an effort to boost Trump.  Predictably, Zuckerberg is doing as little as possible while talking about everything he’s doing to address the problem.  I think Zuck knows the lies benefit Trump and Zuck likes Trump.  But Zuck likes money, too.  So, how much money is Zuckerberg willing to pass up in order to support his preferred candidate?

Inquiring minds want to know…

Flops…

Well, I’m a bit surprised but pleased to report that Trump’s little Nuremberg in Tulsa was a flop.  As usual, Trump “helped…”

TulsaRallyCrowd

On the right, this photo (without the Sharpie additions) will be dismissed as having been taken before or after the rally.  Still, there are FAR too many photos of the arena no more than two-thirds full.  The trump team had to pull down the outside venue that had been set up for the overflow – because the “overflow” never materialized.

I don’t mean to make too big of a deal about it.  The best explanation is that, despite what they’ll tell you in public, even conservatives were too aware of the risks of Covid-19 to take such an unnecessary chance.  Sure, for a haircut, yes.  But to listen to an old, washed-up TV guy riff on his “greatest” hits?  Why?

Alternately, I’ve heard that huge numbers of young people signed up for tickets they had NO intention of using as a joke, which is what caused the campaign to believe – and announce – that the rally was going to be a huge success with overflow crowds and people STILL being turned away.

I’ve looked at many photos of the event.  I found a few masks.  That surprised me.  For political reasons, conservatives have been conditioned to disdain the masks.  I didn’t expect ANYBODY to wear one at such an event.

I’m expecting Fox “News” to start – today – taunting people who still accept science with the idea that – as of today – there are no new cases of Covid-19 attributable to the rally.  Of course not.  There’s an incubation period.  Let’s see what happens to the infection rate starting in 10-14 days.  I’m guessing Fox will be silent on the subject by then…

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I don’t care about Bolton’s new book but I DO think he has a point about how badly the Democrats handled the impeachment.  The Dems are insisting that he should have testified and perhaps the process would have gone better.  It would not have.  The Dems insisted – insisted – the process must move forward at breakneck speed; so fast they didn’t even have time to collect and collate all of the information.  But they DID have time to sit on the Articles of Impeachment for something like three weeks.

I continue to believe that the job of the Democrats in this charade of a Republic is to lose.  They’re supposed to put up something that appears to be a “fight” but lose.  Rank and file Democratic and Progressive Americans offer all kinds of ways to win.  The Republicans offer misery and suffering to the masses and nothing else.  It should be easy for Dems to pull off victory after victory but they scrupulously avoid any path that might actually lead to a win.  It’s always true: actions speak louder than words…

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I guess the PG&E bankruptcy is moving forward.  I had a conversation with a PG&E employee who thought that the recent decision by the company to move it’s headquarters to a cheaper location would benefit rate-payers.  I laughed.  (He’s young.)  I explained that PG&E executives would benefit from the move; not the rate-payers.  Literally two days later?  PG&E was back at the trough seeking rate INCREASES…

It seems there’s NOTHING in this once-great nation that works in practice as described in the brochure…

Distortions…

I’m glad they’re taking down statues of traitors and I think they should rename the military posts named after traitors, as well.  I know.  BOLD, controversial stance, right?  For me, the question isn’t one of slavery.  Slavery is America’s original sin.  We’re stuck with it, that history, like it or not.  We can – should – learn from it and try to do better.

It seems like some people want to try to “solve” racism by pretending slavery didn’t exist.  When a statue of a confederate soldier, general, their “President” or whichever traitor they happened to be comes down, many suggest the Washington or Jefferson might be next because they owned slaves, too.  I would not support the removal of statues of Washington and I doubt that black Americans would want that, either, despite the fact that he owned slaves.

But people who took up arms against the United States of America?  People who actually fought battles against and killed US soldiers?  Why would any American want to celebrate someone like that?  Do these same people want a statue of Osama Bin Laden in their hometown squares as well?  After all, he attacked America, too.  How about Emperor Hirohito, the leader of Japan on December 7, 1941.  No.  Not them.  Just the guys who took up arms against the United States in a failed (perhaps “failing”) effort to keep slaves.

Racists are all proud that their team refuses to surrender even though a) they lost and b) they were completely wrong in every measurable way.  Sadly, racism is alive and well in America.  I just don’t think we should erect or maintain statues in it’s honor…

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Now might be the time to remember that slavery is all the proof anyone needs that the Capitalist class will do anything – ANYTHING –  in the name of profit.  Left to it’s own devices, unregulated Capitalism will literally kill people for money.  It’s really quite insane that any civilized society would continue to trust the Capitalist class to “do the right thing.”  They won’t.

I oppose so-called free market Capitalism for that very reason.  I also know Communism can’t work, has never worked, will never work.  So?  What’s left?  Regulated Capitalism that heavily taxes the highest incomes to prevent hoarding.  In short, the New Deal.  FDR was smart to call it that.  Far too many Americans just crap their britches when they hear the word ‘Socialism’ so the whole ‘Democratic Socialist’ name becomes a non-starter.  Some will just scream ‘Communism’ and run.  End of conversation.  I would like to call it ‘Social Capitalism.’  First, it’s a better description of what is, after all, an economic system but second, it prevents those who would distort from shifting the conversation.  After all, ‘Capitalism’ is still right in the name…

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Conservatives are STILL working to rig every “election” in this once-great nation, all the while screaming about liberals rigging the elections.  The tactics of voter suppression are so blatant, so old they’re not even hidden any more.  Minimal voting machines in places you don’t want people voting?  Done.  Removal of names on voter roles – perhaps because they “sound too black?”  Done.  Hell, cheating voting machines in the first place?  Done.

mail in ballot
Not a problem…

Now we have the mail-in ballot “controversy.”  In truth, there IS no controversy.  Mail-in ballots have been used in this country since the civil war.  They’re safe.  There’s somewhere between little and no evidence of statistically significant voter fraud with mail-in ballots.  One has to specify “statistically significant” because, in point of fact, there ARE cases of people voting more than once from time to time.  Inevitably, they’re conservatives.  This killer ex-cop, Dickhead Chauvin I think his name is, apparently voted illegally in Florida – twice.  But his extra votes – along with Ann Coulter’s and Rush Limbaugh’s – are hardly going to turn an election.

There’s only one party that works SO HARD to cheat in elections: the Republicans.  Sure, they constantly scream about how the Dems are trying to cheat.  They pretend that Democrats literally bus illegal aliens from precinct to precinct so they can cast illegal ballots and boost the Dems to victory.  Pure, unadulterated bullshit.  Quite simply, there are more liberals and progressives than there are conservatives in this once-great nation.  When we come out to vote, we win.  But that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

I say, the fact that conservatives are working so hard to prevent people from voting on paper is all the proof one needs that voting on paper is the correct choice…

Reversals and Revocations…

Okay, so the headline is ‘Barr says he didn’t give tactical order to clear Lafayette Park protestors.‘  But inside, if you read the story, there’s this: “He said he attended a meeting around 2 p.m. Monday with several other law enforcement officials, including Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham, where they looked at a map and decided on a dividing line. Under the plan, the protesters would be moved away from Lafayette Park and federal law enforcement officials and members of the National Guard would maintain the perimeter line, Barr said.”

So, basically, Barr is saying he didn’t say “1,2,3 go!”  He just “looked at a map and decided on a dividing line” with other law enforcement officials and then waited for it to happen.  He even got irritated it didn’t happen sooner.  That is one tiny, little fine hair he’s splitting…

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The NFL has reversed course on players kneeling in protest.  It’s the correct move.  (I wonder if Colin can get a job again now…)  It was never about the flag or disrespecting the National Anthem.  It was always about police abuse, especially toward people of color.

There’s a certain orange individual who is angry about someone making a good decision.  (That’s just his way.)  But look at the bright side: if Trump doesn’t like it, you know you’re doing the right thing…

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So…BOTH candidates oppose Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  Trump because Twitter exposed some of his lies, Biden because other platforms won’t expose lies.  I support Twitter and what they did so I guess I’m with Biden.  I think the other platforms should at least fact-check data on their platforms.

Conservatives always complain that the process is used to block conservative positions.  Well, kinda.  Conservatives these days dwell in a world of opinions, assertions, and anecdotes.  In short, a world where true and false fall second to personal preferences.  This, of course, means that many, most, perhaps ALL conservative posts would have to be flagged.  But that doesn’t happen because they’re conservative.  It happens because they’re false.

I recognize conservative’s right to embrace falsehood.  I reject the idea that their choice to embrace falsehood means I have to accept it as well.  Yes, you have the right to be wrong.  I have an equal right – and a higher responsibility – to be right.  But here’s the most important part:  in a democracy (or a constitutional republic) accurate information is the life blood of the society.  Allowing anybody to post whatever bunk that pops into their wrongheaded little brains without challenge is actually harmful to America!  For clarity, I say post it but flag it.

I really don’t care if conservatives say it makes it harder for them to lie.  Good!  That’s the point.  ANY position that depends upon lies for it’s defense doesn’t deserve to be defended…