Friday, October 30, 2020

Trump is Poisoning Every Aspect of Our Lives


There are plenty of people in this country who are stupid enough to believe that doctors "get more money if someone dies from COVID" and that's why you can't ignore what Trump said today in Michigan.

It's a blatant lie. It has to be labeled as such. It has to be refuted and dealt with. It's too dangerous to let it stand. No, doctors are not getting "more money" if they say that someone has died from COVID-19. It's to the point now where a blood libel like this is not even news because it has been overwhelmed by a hundred other pieces of excrement dressed up as presidential statements to the public.

Good God.

The credibility of the presidency is, I would have to say, smashed to fucking bits. It will take decades just to build up what little is needed in order to get people to believe even the most basic things. It will come down to the president asking people to evacuate due to a possible natural disaster and an untold number will die because they don't believe what they're being told.

Trump's utter destruction of everything normal and decent didn't begin with the decision to lie. George W. Bush carried that ball as far as he could. This reliance on bar stool pronouncements didn't start with Trumpism, but it sure picked up steam when Reagan used it to denounce "welfare queens." We are really paying for it now, aren't we?

Accountability begins with the ballot box and the entire GOP is running away from the voters right now. They are trying to game the system. They are using the law like a battering ram, trying to get out of here as fast as they can with whatever they've stolen. This is the first president in history who may have to be chased into exile and dragged back to face justice in a jumpsuit fitted with adult diapers and a spit hood.

Every once in a while, a snippet of outrage like this just gets to me. I can't even function as a real blogger anymore. I have to let so much of this just go by me or I'll get wrapped up in my own bullshit. It is exhausting, it is scream-inducing, it is overwhelming. Trump and his enablers are smashing the entire system into dust as they flee the scene of the crime. Dead Americans everywhere and our media complex is openly wondering if Joe Biden isn't "taking COVID-19 too seriously."

Come on, Election Day. I am really spent. I am so beaten down. Let's just get to where we can think straight again. Fucking hell.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

President Obama for MVP


I think the coverage of this year's presidential campaign has been awful for a lot of reasons. One, it is impossible to properly campaign if you're trying to mitigate the impact of a terrible pandemic. Two, the media keeps forgetting that Trump is an impeached president who has killed over 225,000 Americans because of his willful incompetence. They seem to view the COVID-19 response as something "out of his hands" or that it is an "act of God."

President Barack Obama understands this and his presence on the campaign trail is an absolute necessity at this point. The Guardian has better coverage of his impact than you're going to get from The New York Times or pretty much anyone else:

Obama mocks Trump: 'He’s jealous of Covid’s media coverage'

Barack Obama has taken the stage for his drive-in rally in Orlando, Florida, where he is addressing hundreds of Biden supporters as they stand alongside their cars.

“One week Orlando, we’ve got one week -- si se puede -- one week until the most important election of our lifetimes,” Obama told the crowd.

The former president once again sharply criticized his successor over his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Obama noted Trump has complained about how much coverage the pandemic has received, as the death toll continues to climb.

“He’s jealous of COVID’s media coverage,” Obama said. He accused Trump of having “turned the White House into a hot zone” after two coronavirus outbreaks among the president and his senior staff.

“Florida, we can’t afford four more years of this,” Obama said. “We cannot afford this kind of incompetence and disinterest.”

This is a straight up declaration of what President Obama said and it comes without any of the mealy-mouthed qualifications that you get with American media entities. There's none of the bullshit that injects the attitude that President Obama maybe shouldn't criticize his predecessor or the idea that Democrats have failed to lead during the COVID-19 pandemic as well

It delivers the killer line--Trump is jealous of Covid's media coverage--and this is what makes it devastating. 

Case in point, this petty, frivolous piece of floating shit from Glenn Thrush, who can't contain himself in trying to make President Obama no different and no better than the man who rose to prominence promoting racist birther lies:

Former President Barack Obama bounded off the stage in Philadelphia last week after his debut as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s 2020 battering ram and pronounced himself pumped — and even a bit delighted at the chance to troll his troll, President Trump.

“Oh man, that felt good,” Mr. Obama told a friend in a phone call — and he let Mr. Biden’s staff know that the ungainly format of the event, a “drive-in rally” where he addressed hundreds of supporters in cars in a stadium’s parking lot, had worked surprisingly well, according to several people close to the former president who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

In 2016, Mr. Obama took his whacks at Mr. Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Then he stepped up his criticism of his successor during the 2018 midterm elections. This summer, during the virtual Democratic convention, he offered a damning jeremiad against the president, warning that Mr. Trump’s re-election would “tear our democracy down.”

But nothing Mr. Obama has said during the Trump era compares with his gleeful slag-heaping of scorn upon Mr. Trump in the closing days of the 2020 campaign, part of a two-week burst of activity that will culminate in a joint rally with Mr. Biden being planned for this coming weekend, according to Democratic officials.

Fuck you, Glenn Thrush. You're the reason we can't have nice things.

President Obama is doing as much as humanly possible to save our democracy by standing up to Trump and by humiliating him for the horrible things he has done to the American people. This ain't no joking around. This shit is real. This matters. And we need to see what's really going on here. The media wants a horse race between two equal political parties. 

This is wrong. 

The Democrats are racing to save the idea of America and the Republicans are getting ready to steal the election and extract revenge upon every single person who has opposed their fascist grab for power.

Inconsequential Idiots


Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman are probably not going to go down as two of the most inept ratfuckers this country has ever seen:

Conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman have been indicted in Ohio, once more over a racist robocall aimed at minority voters.

Wohl and Burkman, who rose to some level of infamy online for blundering attempts to manufacture sexual assaults allegations against Democratic politicians and other Trump foes, have each been charged in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County with eight counts of telecommunications fraud and seven counts of bribery, a charge that includes attempts to convince people not to cast ballots. The indictment only adds to the growing mountain of criminal and civil problems facing the notorious pro-Trump pair.

In late August, a robocall that claimed to come from Wohl and Burkman warned voters not to use mail-in ballots, falsely claiming that the ballot information would be used to enforce vaccine mandates and collect on credit card debts. In the call, which was sent to 67,000 voters in the Midwest, according to prosecutors, a Black woman warned potential voters not to send in mail-in ballots or risk being fooled by “the man.

“The right to vote is the most fundamental component of our nation’s democracy,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said in a statement. “These individuals clearly infringed upon that right in a blatant attempt to suppress votes and undermine the integrity of this election These actions will not be tolerated.

I don't know what's funnier. Their inability to do anything right or their fervent belief that Trump knows their names and will pardon them for their crimes. Now that they face charges in Michigan and Ohio, a pardon from Trump will not save them from having to serve time in prison for their actions. And, I would think, that their history of making up sexual assault charges would factor into any sentencing decisions from a judge. It's not like they were pulling mere pranks. They were trying to destroy people and subject them to serious felony charges through their use of fraud and misrepresentation.

This incident speaks to a larger concern. How is it that these pro-Trump people do not see what their ultimate fate will be? They will be ignored and forgotten. If there's no reason for Trump to lift a finger to buy the silence of someone who has been brought up on Federal charges, you can bet that he will cut them loose and pretend that he has never heard of them.

There's no loyalty there. It's a one-way street. You are expected to die for the king and the king must not be troubled by your complaints or your pleas for leniency. Trump imagines himself American royalty, but it's only the illegal aspect of a reign of terror that he embraces. He just doesn't care about people suffering in service to his presidency. It is expected that many millions will hurl their bodies into the gaping maw of his criminality.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Breaking the Law Like it's Going Out of Style


When Mike Pompeo makes up his mind to break the law, he does it safe in the knowledge that he's going to get away with it:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is under investigation for potentially violating a federal law that forbids federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or while inside federal buildings over his address to the Republican convention in August.

The Office of the Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, launched a probe into Pompeo's speech to the Republican National Convention while on a taxpayer funded trip to Jerusalem on August 25, according to two House Democrats. 

It is the second investigation into potential Hatch Act violations that the OSC has opened into Pompeo, whose use of resources and decision-making at the State Department, along with his wife's, have triggered a series of investigations by the agency's inspector general.

"Our offices have confirmed that the Office of Special Counsel has launched a probe into potential Hatch Act violations tied to Secretary Pompeo's speech to the Republican National Convention," Rep. Ellot Engel, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations, wrote in a joint statement.

"This information comes on the heels of reporting that OSC is also looking into Secretary Pompeo's stated commitment to rush out more of Hillary Clinton's emails by Election Day and as the Secretary has misused State Department resources on his speech tour of swing states," the Democrats said.

Given the fact that Trump's last attempt at diplomacy resulted in being impeached, it's not outside the realm of possibility to conclude that no one has any idea what Pompeo actually does with his time. It could be that he is working on diplomatic matters and international relations. Or, what seems more likely, he's lining his pockets and forcing his staff to take care of his wife's inability to do anything for herself.

In any event, America is less safe with a corrupt, incompetent Secretary of State at the helm, especially one who doesn't believe in following the law.

Crazy Liz Peek Lives in Her Own Universe


The entire conservative media establishment lives in a reality bubble that cannot be pierced.

Welcome to the final week of one of the most vengeful and acrimonious elections in our country’s history. Very soon we will know whether Establishment Elites have succeeded in defeating a president who broke some glass in order to make our country great again.

 We will also know whether the campaign went on one week too long for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

New revelations that Biden apparently lied when he claimed no knowledge of his son Hunter’s shady business dealings in China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and elsewhere and that the candidate may in fact have been entangled in those activities, has rocked the campaign.

If you hear that being read from a teleprompter in Cecily Strong's voice, modified to mimic that of Judge Jeanne Pirro, you're well on your way to understanding why these people are nuts.

This election is vengeful and acrimonious because of all the dead Americans. It's hard to have a respectable and polite election when tens of millions of Americans are out of work, have seen their loved ones die, and are staring into the abyss of what happens when you let Republicans govern this country. If there's anything vengeful about this election, look no further than this fucking guy:

Joe Biden had a great week last week. He's put together a string of great weeks because he has brought empathy and understanding to the fight. His answers in the debate were measured and calm in the face of what has to be an onslaught of lies against his personal dignity. If anything, the fact that he didn't knock Trump on his ass for attaching his son is worthy of a Pulitzer Peace Price.

The campaign has not been "rocked" by any of Rudy's accusations. If anything, you have to praise people for not falling for a Russian disinformation campaign that appears to be run out of Guiliani's underwear drawer. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Rudy Giuliani Appears in the New Borat Film


Oh my God:

The reputation of Rudy Giuliani could be set for a further blow with the release of highly embarrassing footage in Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to Borat.

In the film, released on Friday, the former New York mayor and current personal attorney to Donald Trump is seen reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals while reclining on a bed in the presence of the actor playing Borat’s daughter, who is posing as a TV journalist.

Following an obsequious interview for a fake conservative news programme, the pair retreat at her suggestion for a drink to the bedroom of a hotel suite, which is rigged with concealed cameras.

After she removes his microphone, Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

I totally missed this in July because, well, the whole country was sliding into our current state of horror and desperation:

Just a few weeks after the Who Is America? star made a clandestine appearance at a far right rally and led the crowd in a racist singsong, Cohen managed to trick former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani into an interview at which he reportedly wore a pink bikini.

Page Six reported Wednesday that the British comedian, via his team, had set up an interview with Giuliani at a New York hotel to talk about the Trump administration's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The interview began with a woman asking Giuliani questions before someone who would later be indentified as Cohen burst in wearing a pink bikini.

“This guy comes running in wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit," Giuliani, the personal attorney to President Trump, told Page Six.

Donald Trump's personal lawyer and long time friend, everyone. Caught on film masturbating himself.

Granted, in the twisted universe of Sacha Baron Cohen characters, this could all be a mistake, a sendup, a bit of agitprop disguised to promote an otherwise empty vessel of a film.

But, wow. 2020, you magnificent bastard. 

Pope Francis and Gay Rights


Pope Francis is out to change minds and change hearts:

In a documentary that premiered Wednesday in Rome, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples, departing from the position of the Vatican’s doctrinal office and the pope’s predecessors on the issue.

The remarks came amid a portion of the documentary that reflected on pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT. 

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film, of his approach to pastoral care.

After those remarks, and in comments likely to spark controversy among Catholics, Pope Francis weighed in directly on the issue of civil unions for same-sex couples.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”

This is a stunning development, and it is important to see how this affects Catholics world wide. It should not be seen solely as a rebuke of what is going on with the United States Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett nor should it be seen as another attack on Trump. But it helps! 

Monday, October 19, 2020

More Russian Hackers are Flushed Out of the Woodwork


America's toothless, confused, doddering old Department of Justice has to turn to prosecutors in Pittsburgh in order to go after a rag-tag bunch of Russian hackers.

Six current and former Russian military officers sought to disrupt through computer hacking the French election, the Winter Olympics and U.S. hospitals and businesses, according to a Justice Department indictment unsealed Monday that details destructive attacks on a broad range of political, financial and athletic targets.

The indictment accuses the defendants, all alleged officers in the Russian military agency known as the GRU, in destructive attacks on Ukraine’s power grid; in a hack-and-leak effort directed at the political party of French President Emmanuel Macron in the days leading up to the 2017 election; and to impede an investigation into the suspected nerve-agent poisoning of a former spy and his daughter.

It should not even be up for discussion as to whether or not the Russians want to keep Trump in power and continue with their efforts to destabilize the political process throughout the West. This is what they're doing all hours of the day, every day until we take the necessary steps to put a stop to this.

We should break up Facebook. We should regulate all social media companies. We should analyze the means by which these companies exploit their users. Every American election from now on should feature paper ballots, no voter suppression of any kind, early voting, and no machine voting. And we should find a way to drive the Russians back into oblivion. The cost of hacking is minimal. The consequences of it need to be enough to deter anyone from engaging in it. 

If, on January 21, 2021, the Russian oligarchs were to wake up and discover that their assets around the world have been seized in a joint, worldwide effort to stop money laundering and fraud, it would be too soon. If the Obama Administration had one failing then it was believing that the Russians weren't dangerous enough.

Friday, October 16, 2020

No One Should Die in Jail


Reuters has an incredible story out today about the staggeringly high number of people who are dying in jail while awaiting trial:

The U.S. government collects detailed data on who’s dying in which jails around the country – but won’t let anyone see it. So, Reuters conducted its own tally of fatalities in America’s biggest jails, pinpointing where suicide, botched healthcare and bad jailkeeping are claiming lives in a system with scant oversight.

They tell the story of a man who was jailed and then left untreated for the injuries he suffered while in custody. Harvey Hill died after being held on a misdemeanor charge that would have brought him no time in prison and would have fined him no more than $500.

Hill’s is one of 7,571 inmate deaths Reuters documented in an unprecedented examination of mortality in more than 500 U.S. jails from 2008 to 2019. Death rates have soared in those lockups, rising 35% over the decade ending last year. Casualties like Hill are typical: held on minor charges and dying without ever getting their day in court. At least two-thirds of the dead inmates identified by Reuters, 4,998 people, were never convicted of the charges on which they were being held.

Unlike state and federal prisons, which hold people convicted of serious crimes, jails are locally run lockups meant to detain people awaiting arraignment or trial, or those serving short sentences. The toll of jail inmates who die without a case resolution subverts a fundamental tenet of the U.S. criminal justice system: innocent until proven guilty.

We have a serious problem here and it's time to wake up to the fact that we need serious reform of the judicial system as well as the way we handle people who are awaiting trial.

There is No Courage in the GOP

I think we have to stop expecting Republicans to do the right thing:

With less than three weeks until the election, Bush—as the only living former Republican president—would be in a position to stand up for American democracy if Trump loses but refuses to concede, as he has threatened to do.

There is a possibility that Bush's children will persuade him to make a brave, noble stand agains the man who destroyed Jeb Bush's chances of ever being president. I wouldn't bet on it precisely because Trump did the one thing that Bush really wanted, which was to make him the only Bush to serve two terms in office and thereby upstage his father. Bush and Trump have some daddy issues.

A "brave, noble stand" would be to come out and say, "vote for Joe Biden."

Bush is not likely to do that, either. He sees himself as retired—so committed to staying out of politics that he declined to make a cameo in the nonpartisan celebrity voting special that ran on ABC last month. “He’s a man of good manners and strong upbringing,” Marc Racicot, the former governor of Montana, who is an old Bush friend and his first Republican National Committee chair, told me. He posited that Bush’s reluctance to speak out is because “he does not want to make things worse.” Racicot, who, like Bush, didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, decided after watching the first debate that he would be voting for Biden this year.

Bill Kristol, long an unofficial leader of the Never Trump Republicans and now part of the pro-Biden Lincoln Project, told me he finds Bush’s silence “pretty inexplicable,” given the existential moment the country is facing.

“If not now, when?” Kristol said. “If you’re not going to blow the whistle now and say, ‘This is beyond the pale,’ when are you going to do it?”

“I would love it if he would—but no,” Whitman said. “He is just not that way.”

People who know Bush say he reveres the office of the presidency and the post-presidential tradition of avoiding criticizing successors—the modern standard before Bill Clinton and Barack Obama decided to stay active after leaving office. Bush fans want to respect that. They want to encourage it. But they’re running out of patience, and say it’s no longer possible to revere both the presidency and this president. Several Bush alumni, speaking anonymously because they are wary about knocking their former boss, told me that his approach was exemplified by the extended summer vacation he spent at the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. He’s done, they said. He’ll check in for short calls and meetings, but much of his attention is on being a grandfather and taking long bike rides, painting, planning an exhibit at the Bush Center on immigrants for the spring.

So, here you have the only living Republican ex-president and what is he? 


Of course it's Bush. It's painful to even have to think about him, isn't it? No one has ever been more successful in disgracing himself than this guy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

At Least Let Me Pretend to be Loyal to Trump

 The minute Trump is hurled out of office, Amy Coney Barrett will align herself with whatever ultra-conservative entity replaces him. My money is on Senator Mike Lee and a newfound appreciation for fiscal discipline and not acting like a steroid--fueled madman in public.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is vowing to bring no “agenda” to the court, batting back senators’ questions Tuesday on abortion, gun rights and the November election, insisting she would take a conservative approach to the law but decide cases as they come.

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda, I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett said at the second day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The 48-year-old appellate court judge, nominated by President Donald Trump and on track for quick confirmation before the Nov. 3 election, also declined to commit to recusing herself from any cases arising from that election.

“I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,” she said.

Barrett's loyalty is to power not the law. She is counting on the absolute worthlessness and paralysis of the Republican-controlled Senate to hand her a lifetime gig that will place her well to the right of that other paragon of worthlessness known as Justice Clarence Thomas. She will sell that loyalty to whoever pays her bills off before she takes her seat. The Democratic Party has one option and that is to expand the size of the Federal judiciary and that's it. 

Trump is yesterday's news. There won't be a decision to hand him the presidency because he's about to go down in a landslide. Yes, voter suppression will make it closer than it has to be, but the cake is baked and nobody can save Trumpism from itself. What comes next is a more genteel form of white supremacy that will make Barrett a rock star for people who think convicted felon Dinesh D'Souza makes sense once in a while.

We're watching this woman trade her votes for access and nothing more.  The entire process is corrupt and the end result will be the destruction of the Affordable Care Act and virtually every single reproductive right that women still possess. The GOP is the dog that finally caught the car that it was chasing and now it's hanging from the bumper, not sure of how to proceed. Barrett isn't here to be a judge. She represents the last corrupt act of a Republican power structure that has been fighting to destroy women's rights for decades. If she was actually a judge we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Well, we had a good run as a country. Be prepared for decades of fighting to get back to where we stand right now. What a tragic waste.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Throw These Bums Out of Office


Politico is your go-to source for whiny Republicans who are being destroyed by Democrats who are able to raise tens of millions of dollars:

The online fundraising edge that Democrats have enjoyed for years has mushroomed into an overpowering force, with small-dollar donors smashing “donate” buttons over the last three months to process their disgust for President Donald Trump, fury with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and grief for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Propelled by the wave of money, Democrats have suddenly expanded the Senate battlefield to a dozen competitive races, burying long-contested states like Iowa and Maine in TV ads while also overwhelming Republican opponents in states like Alaska, Kansas and South Carolina that are suddenly tightening.

Where most of the top Democratic Senate candidates two years ago raised $4 million to $7 million in the third quarter of 2018, their contenders this year are multiplying those totals. Colorado’s John Hickenlooper raised $22 million, more than six times what his presidential campaign raised before he dropped out of that race in 2019. Iowa’s Theresa Greenfield and North Carolina’s Cal Cunningham each cleared $28 million.

And on Sunday, South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison announced a record $57 million third-quarter haul for his race against GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, where the most favorable public polling for Graham in the last month has shown him leading by a single point. Altogether, the money has given Democrats a TV spending edge in 12 of the 13 most expensive Senate races.

“The money is indicative [of] how much energy there is on their side, and the lack thereof on our side,” said Mike DuHaime, a Republican consultant. “I think we’re finding that Trump — the energy for Trump — is not always transferable, the same way it wasn’t transferable for Democrats from Obama.”

Nobody whines like a Republican or a banker who is all out of money. What this means is that John Roberts and his Supreme-Court-For-Hire are going to do whatever they can to reverse this trend. There will be some sort of reversal or finding that will make it so that only the money you get from a billionaire sugar daddy counts while the real voice of the people and their small donations are the real crime against humanity.

In the meantime, if you are still inclined to donate to Democrats who are busy trying to save the planet and the country at the same time, remember to analyze the candidates and their prospects for winning. There are close races that could be helped with a small donation. Please consider donating to Act Blue or to a general fund that can help provide services like getting out the vote and ensuring that the Blue Tsunami will wash away as much of the filth as possible.

Nothing Will Stop Them From Being Assholes


Mark Meadows may be the Chief of Staff for Donald Trump's White House, but did you know he's also an asshole with no common sense?

When asked by a reporter to speak to the media outside of the farcical Amy Coney Barrett hearings today, Meadows got all huffy and walked away. Never has the sobriquet, Christ, what an asshole ever been more appropriate for a failed government official with no distinction or achievements.

Despite an overwhelming effort on the part of science-believing Americans, the GOP has wrapped itself around the idea that wearing a face mask is something they just cannot handle. It's a masterclass in victimhood whenever one of them is asked to wear a mask and do what is right for normal people in this country. 

I swear to God, if you think wearing a mask is something you can't handle, just admit that you have mental issues and we'll leave you alone.

Modern Policing is a Shakedown Racket

There is no need for this, other than to extract revenue from poor people. This is how local governments "raise taxes" without actually making rich people pay their fair share.

About 30 minutes east of Atlanta lies a small city led by a female mayor and an all-women council. The police chief is a Black woman, as is the municipal judge and the court solicitor.
The City of Pine Lake, Georgia, prides itself as a liberal oasis in an otherwise conservative-leaning state, a community that backed Stacey Abrams' 2018 gubernatorial campaign and has a history of gay or lesbian city council members. But there's a not-so-progressive reality in Pine Lake as well — systemic racism in the way the city has brought in revenue. 
Though the city has fewer than 800 people, the police department writes hundreds of traffic tickets every year along Rockbridge Road — a stretch of county road that skirts the edge of town — and court documents reveal that a vast majority of tickets are issued to Black drivers from the surrounding county and other cities. Black residents in the area say this stems from aggressive policing tactics that date back many years and still linger today.
The mayor and police chief disagree, and say it's simply a matter of who's frequenting Rockbridge.
"It is true that the majority of tickets are given to people of color," Mayor Melanie Hammet told CBS News. "The demographic reality is that a majority of those driving through Pine Lake are people of color."

If a municipality has revenue or cash flow problems, the solution is never to raise money through a bonding bill or an increase on property taxes. The police are not there for public safety. They are there to confiscate money from poor people and tie them up in a vicious cycle of fines, fees, mandatory court appearances, warrants, and arrests. 

This is the bullshit that pollutes our existence right now. Think of the untold numbers of people in America right now that have a bench warrant or an unpaid fine hanging over their heads because they went a little too fast through a contrived speed trap in the middle of nowhere. All the stress and pain and anxiety created by these traps built into our unfair legal system are constantly ruining the lives of people we don't give a second thought.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Calls Are Coming From Inside the White House


Trump is sick and everyone is lying to cover it up:

President Donald Trump interrupted himself during a call-in interview on Fox News Thursday night to clear his throat to the point of a stifled cough.

Host Sean Hannity did not acknowledge the moment and kept the interview moving.

Hannity did ask Trump how he was doing following his discharge from the hospital with COVID-19, and Trump said he was feeling "really great."

Trump also announced his plans to hold a rally "probably in Florida" on Saturday night and said he will get "the test" for COVID-19 on Friday to see if he's negative.

The president cleared his throat later in the interview when explaining how absentee ballots "are fine."

Trump went on to say many, many crazy things and the media is intent on "cleaning up" his disjointed, disturbing remarks. Future generations will not believe we lived through a time when the President could be an unstable idiot who has embraced full-blown fascism and insanity.

I challenge anyone to listen to this and conclude that the president is in his right mind.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Daddy I Did My Best


Low energy sex drone Vice President Mike Pence did very little this evening to thwart the rise of Kamala Harris to the exalted position of the nation's greatest auntie and the center of a new moral conscience. He interrupted because Daddy Trump told him that's how you win so he did what he could to please the man to whom he owes his political demise.

Debates are largely useless endeavors. If one side decides to ignore the questions and filibuster, and that seems to be the entirety of the Trump Pence strategy for surviving, the end result is a form of voter suppression.

Making the debates ugly and unappealing is a way of getting people to abandon the political process. Pence's diminished capacity was on display. Kamala looked ready to go to work and fix the mess that Trump has inflicted on the people. Pence looked like he needed a Mountain Dew and some Mother Time.

This will be known as the fly debate, or the only time we ever got to meet Pence's only black friend. For what seemed like eight Trump scandal cycles, a fly landed on Pence's head and stayed there. When your opponent is being humiliated, don't interrupt him and tell him he has a fly on his noggin. I believe that was a maxim of Napoleon.

Harris won, Pence lost, and there was a moment in the debate when it became apparent that Trump should have gone with Nikki Haley when he had the chance.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020



A snippet of good news:

A grand jury indicted Mark and Patricia McCloskey Tuesday on charges of exhibiting guns at protesters in a June incident in their [St. Louis] neighborhood.

 Additionally, the grand jury added a charge of tampering with evidence for both members of the couple.

The McCloskeys were in court Tuesday, but the case was pushed back a week because the grand jury had not rendered a decision on whether or not to indict them.

Because this is 2020, I have to remind you that this happened in June. I know it seems like it happened sometime during the George W. Bush administration, but no. It happened less than four months ago.

The McCloskeys are incredibly prolific as litigators. They have a long history of suing people and filing nuisance lawsuits. If they were to lose their licenses to practice law, one would have to conclude that public safety and the greater good have won the day.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Wheezy, I'm Home


Is there a word for a president who doesn't give a shit about anything and just does whatever he wants and acts like a fucking toddler?

That would be our president. Here's Trump, standing on the balcony, waving to a crowd that isn't there, desperate to keep anyone from seeing him in a mask and trying not to pass out as he desperately gulps air. What a debacle.

Trump has fled Walter Reed and has taken up residence in the White House, thereby exposing every single person who transported him today and every single person still working in said White House. This is one of the most selfish and irresponsible things Trump has done since noon probably. Who knows what he does on a regular basis to expose other people to danger.

At some point, they will have to do an emergency airlift back to Walter Reed. Of course, thoughts and prayers for that never having to happen. But, here's the thing--this has already been a disaster for Trump. His numbers are tanking. He's in the process of dragging every single Republican down with him. When it really starts to go south on him, he'll burn the whole country to the ground in order to save himself. That includes exposing an untold number of people to a deadly virus he does not have the time to pretend to understand.

What the Trump family probably doesn't realize is that they will one day have a Secret Service detail as ex-president and ex-president's family. This is not the elite group that guards VIPs. This is the detail that will fuck with them day in, day out just for fun because they can. What are you going to do? Make me guard someone in the Trump family?

Won't that be a hoot?

The Maniac in Chief


This is just a snippet of Trump's Monday morning Twitter meltdown. He is being treated with a steroid that can induce mania and hyperactivity in adults. He is nonsensically tweeting out catchphrases in all caps. I think the men with the butterfly nets are woefully underpaid.

There is no question that the 25th Amendment to the Constitution has failed to protect us from a president suffering dementia, narcissistic personality disorder, and a whole host of undisclosed medical conditions. The list of things that Trump probably has or has displayed symptoms of, like rampant use of stimulants and morbid obesity, is off the charts. No Democrat would ever be allowed to get away with the things that Trump has done. Therefore, whatever protections we have in place are an abject failure and the American people have suffered because of this.

Trump is out of his mind this morning. The "Space Force" is a joke. Telling people Space Force and Vote is akin to encouraging them to think about one thing and then go do something else if they like that first thing. It's an indication of a mind that is panicked and racing through things.

Would you trust the person bellowing this series of statements (there are a dozen others, in all-caps, and they are just as ridiculous) to make a sober, well-considered decision about the safety of you and your loved ones? Because that's what's going on right now. Trump could be presented with a national security problem this morning and make a decision that could lead to the deaths of Americans.

The fact that no one is taking this seriously enough to transfer power to the Vice President is one thing. The fact that this has been going on for years is another. We need to reassess the powers and the procedures within the 25th Amendment and protect ourselves from another Trump.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

You Gotta Be Kidding Me


I find this to be a game-changing accusation, one worthy of figuring out. The implications of Trump being positive for COVID-19 and then exposing himself to other people is bad enough. We are at a point where he is hospitalized and his doctors and his handlers are frantically correcting one another, trying to establish a narrative that has no credibility. None of them are credible at all.

Trump exposed himself to his political opponent. He endangered Joe Biden's life as well as the lives of everyone around him. He exposed his own family to COVID-19. That's not just his erstwhile wife and his adult children and their spouses. He exposed his own juvenile son and his grandchildren to COVID-19 as well. He exposed everyone who works to keep him safe and secure and well fed and comfortable.

What a fucking disgrace.

There are reports that Trump's secret service detail is angry. For what has to be the first time in over 20 years, the protective detail around the president is not leaking information and betraying the trust instilled in them. Look at the parade of disgraceful agents, beginning with Dan Bongino. Where are they when it is long past time to start talking about how unfit for office Trump really is and why have they been silent for so long.

The entire Executive Branch is a betrayal of the American idea. All of the cabinet officers must get together and decide whether or not they are going to put the Constitution first or their own short-term interests. There is no reason to even consider keeping Trump in office. They should meet, they should vote on whether or not to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump, and they should let Mike Pence be president until January 20, 2021. We already know that if there's a free and fair election, Joe Biden is going to win anyway.

Why continue with this debacle?

A Clear and Present Danger


Trump is hospitalized this evening and this is all likely due to a chain of events that are an indication of how incredibly stupid and irresponsible his entire "regime" truly is:

The White House learned of Hope Hicks' positive coronavirus test -- and exposure to the virus by President Donald Trump and others -- before Trump arrived in New Jersey for an indoor fundraiser on Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said, but allowed the event to go forward anyway. 

Hours after the fundraiser at Trump's Bedminster golf club, the president was diagnosed with COVID-19. 

"Hope Hicks, we discovered (her positive test) as Marine One was taking off yesterday," Meadows said. "We pulled some of the people traveling in close contact." 

Hicks, a senior advisor to Trump, traveled with the president on Air Force One and Marine One on Tuesday and Wednesday — however it is not known where, how or from whom President Trump and the First Lady contracted the virus. CDC guidelines recommend anyone in close contact with an infected person to quarantine, but Trump traveled to New Jersey and held the indoor fundraiser. Meadows did not explain why. 

"It was deemed safe for the president to go," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. "He socially distanced, it was an outdoor event and it was deemed safe by White House operations."

Who deemed it safe? Why did they become complacent in the face of overwhelming evidence that cases of COVID-19 are beginning to surge? Who put the safety and security of the people who were there on the line like this? It's beyond stupid. It's as if they have been living in an entirely different country where there is no pandemic.

It's here. It's real. It's not a hoax. The president is the biggest spreader of misinformation. He's a clear and present danger to the health and safety of everyone who comes near him.

Trump's actions should be impeachable. This goes beyond maladministration. It's a violation of his oath of office to put people in this kind of danger.

Friday, October 2, 2020

The Worst Timeline


Trump and his only significant inner circle confidante have tested positive for COVID-19. I'm not sure why it is relevant to point out that First Lady Melania Trump has it as well. When did she ever come into contact with Trump? They don't even live on the same floor of the White House.

After White House officials learned of Hicks’ symptoms, Trump and his entourage flew to New Jersey, where he attended a fundraiser and delivered a speech. Trump was in close contact with dozens of others including campaign supporters at a roundtable event.

It is worth noting that Bob Woodward's books about Trump essentially reveal a dysfunctional, incompetent screaming shit show of what we used to refer to as an "administration." What we have now is a barely functioning Federal Government that is riddled with temporary political appointees who are incapable and are currently shopping their resumes around the private sector. No one is "working" the way that a normal Executive Branch would be working right now, even in the run up to a general election. These are people who take long lunches and use every one of their available vacation days because they have no idea when or if they'll be fired by a Tweet.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for people who flaunted their immunity to a virus that has killed nearly a million people in the world? The contempt that has been shown for science and common sense is breathtaking. I will tell you that the institutional memory of the American people is short or non-existent. The result of all of this should be that no one is ever able to discount science or procedure or common sense going forward. I want to believe that we will never go down this road again. Hell, we'll be lucky if the next Trump can be kept out of office in four fucking years.

There are serious discussions about the continuity of the United States Government. There had better be a Secret Service detail protecting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi right now. Anything else would be malpractice and dereliction of duty. I am hoping there are reforms that make it a crime to fail to fill the essential positions throughout the government and that we find a way to de-politicize the Justice Department and the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, just to name a few. We should set up a ring of essential agencies that are staffed in five year increments and run by people who cannot be fired by a raging, out of control partisan president.

Here's a reform that needs to happen. Under no circumstances should the president be able to order his personal physician to lie about his or her health status. We should have that information. We should know whether or not the president weighs 239 pounds or not because this is ridiculous.

Watching the news coverage is infuriating. There are reporters who know exactly what's been going on for years. They know that these people are destroying our democracy and committing acts of violence against decency and they keep silent. They have so much contempt for things that are actually important that I find it hard to get worked up about what's going on.