Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Republican Party is Now the Party of Sedition


When Woodrow Wilson urged Congress to adopt the Sedition Act, he could not have imagined a case where the members of the party that opposed him would openly act against democracy itself.

Two Republican members of the House of Representatives tell CNN that they expect at least 140 of their GOP colleagues in the House to vote against counting the electoral votes on January 6 when Congress is expected to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

President Donald Trump's Republican allies have virtually zero chance of changing the result, only to delay by a few hours the inevitable affirmation of Biden as the Electoral College winner and the next president.
 

There have been no credible allegations of any issues with voting that would have impacted the election, as affirmed by dozens of judges, governors, election officials, the Electoral College, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Supreme Court. But Trump is determined to claim he didn't lose -- which he did, significantly -- and many GOP politicians either share his delusion or fear provoking his wrath -- even if that means voting to undermine democracy.

Both a House member and senator are required to mount an objection when Congress counts the votes. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said Wednesday he will object, which will force lawmakers in both the House and Senate to vote on whether to accept the results of Biden's victory. Other senators -- including incoming ones -- could still join that effort, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately urged Republicans not to do.

Trump has been pushing for Congress to try to overturn the election result as his campaign's attempts to overturn the election through the courts have been repeatedly rejected.

So, we're prisoners of a thing Trump doesn't want to do, and that's accept the will of the American voters. Got it. And we're prisoners of an idea that a member of Congress can say or do whatever without fear of prosecution because we understand that there is a norm that says that an elected official in this country at the Federal level can engage in hyperbole and sedition and treason and you can't do a thing about it because fuck you, that's why.

What's really shocking is that we're going to go through with this Kabuki Theater on January 6 and there's going to be a lot of upheaval and scorn and madness and then Biden will be certified as the president elect because there's the law and then there's what Republicans want to believe and that's that.

Republicans in Congress belong in prison for acts of sedition if they follow through with their promise to try and subvert the will of the voters. The election happened. Trump lost. Biden won. Any other version of these events is a self-flagelating delusion of grandeur. All because of Trump and the horror of his presidency. Come on, you dumb shits. He isn't even going to remember who you are when he's done taking money from the voters in your district. Quit being as bad as the rubes you're already fooling.

This is, fundamentally, a stupid country that is full of people who are disengaged from active participation in responsible civic activities. Far too many Americans just yank that old voting lever for Republicans because they can't be bothered to pay attention to what's being done. If you go into your garden variety shithole where Republicans always win, you'll find misery, death, ruin and opioids along with heavy subsidies from the government and nary a chance in hell of someone solving real problems because it's easier to wave a bloody shirt around and act irresponsibly. 

You might find a handful of people who get it but they're swamped by endless reams of extras from the set of Idiocracy who think Trump has done a swell job.

Well, here's to having some nice things in 2021 after Biden comes in and fixes all the broken shit. Cynicism is for the shitheads who forget how hard Clinton and Obama worked to put this country back together after Republican presidents fucked everything up. My hope is that the media will tell Biden's story a little better, but I'm prepared for eight years of Hunter Biden's laptop stories because I'm a realist after all and nobody seems to be getting any smarter.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Rupert Murdoch is Abandoning Trump

 


There's no point betting on Trump's political future anymore. This abandonment of America's worst president ever is not an accidental thing. This is part of a plan to purge Trumpism and shift to a "friendlier" version of conservative ideology that will allow the GOP to rally around a Tom Cotton or a Marco Rubio and win back the White House.

The New York Post‘s shocking front page plea to President Donald Trump to “Stop the Insanity” is opening eyes throughout the industry on Monday morning.

In a scathing rebuke, the Post’s editorial board implored Trump to give up his attempt to overthrow the election.

“You’re cheering for an undemocratic coup,” the editorial board wrote.

Trump getting ripped in the pages of major newspapers, is — of course — nothing new. But this particular criticism is sure to hit home — given that it comes from a paper Trump repeatedly praised in the run-up to the election, and one which has been largely sympathetic to his cause throughout his term.

Many observers viewed the stunning condemnation as an unmistakable signal that Post owner Rupert Murdoch is abandoning the president.

Democracy is not one of those things that Murdoch has ever cared about (see Britain, Australia, et al). He doesn't care about the Trump family's access to money and power because they're never going to be rich enough to pose a threat to the people who finance the Republican Party in America. 

The bet that they are going to make is a safe one. They are counting on Trump to flame out, buried in legal problems and rising debts that will emasculate his children and leave the door open to a somewhat craftier version of the same thing, preferably something that will play well on Fox News and allow Murdoch to fend off the pretenders who are coming for his empire. This is not a foolish thing to pursue. The American voter will be relaxed and indifferent by the 2022 midterms and the GOP will probably win back the House and enlarge their hold on the Senate. After four years of stagnation and sanity, they'll sweep another fucking Republican into the White House, one who promises tax cuts and winning at any cost all over again.

I've seen this movie and I'm not buying tickets to it. Unless we fundamentally define the GOP as the party of Trump forever, they're going to take advantage of America's short attention span and win back everything they've lost.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Infuriating

 


I never know how angry I'm supposed to get but this is pretty infuriating:

As Americans celebrate the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine, many of the doctors and nurses first in line for inoculation say a victory lap is premature. They fear that the optimism stirred by the vaccine will overshadow a crisis that has drawn scant public attention in recent months: the alarming shortage of personal protective equipment, or P.P.E., that has led frontline medical workers to ration their use of the disposable gloves, gowns and N95 respirator masks that reduce the spread of infection. 

At St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Minn., health care workers who treat Covid-19 patients are required to reuse their tightfitting respirator masks up to six times before throwing them away. Although soiled N95s are sterilized each day with ultraviolet light, Chris Rubesch, 32, a cardiac nurse, says the masks invariably sag after two or three shifts, leaving gaps that can allow the virus to seep through. “Our days are filled with fear and doubt,” Mr. Rubesch said. “It’s like driving a car without seatbelts.”

Many of the shortages are the result of skyrocketing global demand, but supply chain experts and health care providers say the Trump administration’s largely hands-off approach to the production and distribution of protective gear over the past nine months has worsened the problem. That has left states and hospitals to compete for limited supplies. Price gouging has become the norm, and scores of desperate institutions have been duped into buying counterfeit products.

President Trump has made only sparing use of the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law that allows federal agencies to coordinate the distribution of scarce goods and force companies to prioritize government orders. The D.P.A. can also provide grants to companies that need help ramping up production.

I think the thing that really hits home is that the New York Times insists on being somewhat "fair" or "reasonable" with its weenie language when it comes to the demonstrable fecklessness and incompetence of the Trump Regime. Here, you can see that I've chosen the word "regime" instead of "administration" because it is, demonstrably, a "regime" in that it does not operate in the interests of the American people. It functions like a criminal enterprise designed to enrich Trump and his family. Thus, it is a regime.

When the Times uses the phrase "largely hands-off approach to the production and distribution of protective gear " I want to throw things out the window and bellow vast strings of illegal profanities at the poor woodland creatures who live behind the property. This is not fair to them, but goddammit I don't know what else to do.

They've had forever and a day to fix this. They didn't fix it. Apparently, they don't care if people live or die. Is that fair? Yes, because incompetence kills. Accountability is important. And we need some serious accountability for the fact that medical workers don't have enough PPE.

Trump and Jared Kushner set out at the beginning of 2020 to ignore the COVID-19 crisis because they figured it was only going to kill people in "blue" states. It has killed Americans everywhere, of course, and this strategy failed to get Trump re-elected. Nevertheless, we are at the end of one calendar year and we still have shortages of the things that will protect front-line medical workers.

Meanwhile, Republican politicians are elbowing each other in the ribs while fighting to get ahead of your grandpa and grandma to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. These are the same people who spent the past calendar year mocking everyone for wearing masks and doing nothing to ensure that people would have enough to eat and a chance to live long enough to get said vaccination.

Seriously, fuck all these people. There aren't enough jail cells to go around.

You'll Take What We Give You and You'll Like It

 


There will be a stopgap, half-assed stimulus and it's better than nothing.

The package would send direct stimulus payments of $600 to individuals, half the amount provided in the first round of checks that went out in the spring. As with the first round, the payments will only be sent to people below a certain income level, though it wasn't clear Sunday where that would be set. 
Eligible families would receive an additional $600 per child -- which is $100 more than Congress gave families in the first round of relief last spring.

Everyone who relies on unemployment benefits gets something, but not much. 

The jobless would receive a $300 weekly federal enhancement in benefits for 11 weeks, from the end of December through mid-March under the deal. The amount is half of the earlier federal boost, which ran out at the end of July.
Also, the agreement calls for extensions of two other pandemic unemployment programs that were created in the CARES Act in March. Both are currently set to expire at the end of this week, affecting an estimated 12 million people.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program expands jobless benefits to gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, the self-employed and certain people affected by the coronavirus. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program provides an additional 13 weeks of payments to those who exhaust their regular state benefits.

Blaming the Democrats in the House and Senate for how paltry and miserly this deal is ridiculous. They passed extensive, substantive benefits for Americans back in the Spring. The Republicans in the Senate blocked those benefits. And then, we had an election. Virtually every one of the worst Republicans imaginable got re-elected. There is a massive disconnect between the American voter and understanding who actually is responsible for kicking them in the head.

The voters in Kentucky, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas who could have changed out their corrupt GOP Senators for people who would vote to help them said, nah. We like being kicked in the head and going bankrupt. 

You get the government you vote for. And if you're getting screwed because of that, well, it's not my problem. I voted specifically to help people all over the country. I voted a straight Democratic ticket. Anyone who thought voting for Joe Biden and Joni Ernst was a bridge too far, fuck them. They will get what they deserve.

Stumbling Towards a Fascist Takeover of America

 


Every access journalist in Washington D.C. is being inundated by panicked Trump Regime employees and no one knows what to do about it:

A meeting President Donald Trump held to discuss overturning the election result alarmed some White House staffers -- people who are used to Trump's inflammatory and anti-democratic rhetoric.

With only a month remaining until President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office, Trump has been ramping up his efforts to remain president, while also trying to convince millions of Americans that election fraud is to blame for his presidential loss.

That's nothing new. But a heated Oval Office meeting Friday in which Trump heard arguments about invoking martial law to stay in office had some Trump officials sounding the alarm to the press.

Michael Flynn, Trump's pardoned former national security adviser, discussed the martial law plan on right-wing television network Newsmax last week and was invited to the White House Friday.

These efforts to sound the alarm to the press have all the hallmarks of watching someone who works for a company that is circling the drain reach out to anyone and everyone and ask for a new job in order to save themselves. This is not something that should strike us as surprising or new. But this is the Trump Regime we're talking about. No one should give any of these individuals a chance at redeeming themselves with a wingnut welfare type job, let alone a legitimate career rehabilitation opportunity.

What is obvious is that the Trump people will likely become pieces of the new establishment that will have legitimacy conferred upon them and a place at the table all but laid out for their new found status as members of the club that You Ain't In.

The president, his half-assed legal advisors, his newly pardoned traitorous general, and whoever else is left to constitute the dregs of the worst presidency in American history all met to argue about how to overthrow the government. The media ought to be screaming for Trump's head but it's business as usual and no one can be bothered to raise a ruckus during the Christmas holiday week.

This is how lesser countries stumble into fascism and come out the other side worse for the wear. Our country is ridiculous and sad. You can't even get the proper amount of outrage from people who are addicted to pretending Her Emails and Hunter's Laptop are actual issues to be discussed.

As a special bonus, Trump is trying to kill Fox News on his way out the door. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of fools.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

President Grievance Strikes Again

 


Millions and millions of Americans are suffering but Trump only cares about his latest grievance against the world:

The US Department of Energy on Tuesday finalized a pair of new rules rolling back water efficiency standards on showerheads and other consumer appliances, punctuating President Donald Trump's long-documented water flow grievances in the final weeks of his administration. 

The new showerhead rule goes after the two-and-a-half-gallon-per-minute maximum flow rate set by Congress in the 1990s. Under current federal law, each showerhead in a fixture counts toward that limit collectively -- but the Energy Department's new rule means each showerhead individually can reach the limit set by Congress.

The department also established separate product classes for residential washers and dryer units that have cycle times of less than 30 minutes and meet lower efficiency standards. 

"Today the Trump Administration affirmed its commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and safeguarding consumer choice," Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said in a statement. "With these rule changes, Americans can choose products that are best suited to meet their individual needs and the needs of their families."


Who needs substance anymore? Why bother governing? Trump is in it for himself and that includes making sure that his shitty properties can use cheap showerheads.

Some day, when we're suffering through a shortage of clean water and other natural resources, we'll look back fondly on the substance-free presidencies of Republican presidents and wonder, "how did anyone ever fall for these jackasses." And then we'll look at the shower head and go, "oh, yeah. That's how it happened."

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Plan is to Steal Everything That Isn't Nailed Down

 


It will be hard to convince people that the Trump family will leave the White House without stealing government property, if only because they seem like the sort of people who are into that sort of thing.


If they're already doing the inventory and separation of Trump family property from White House property, then I think we can see where all of this is going. Melania has started asking about where she, and maybe not Trump himself, can go when all of this is over. There is no provision for her outside of a $20,000 per year pension for First Ladies, which only kicks in after the president himself is deceased.

It will be easy for the people who voted against Trump that they stole things. That will be the narrative no matter how honest or diligent this process ends up being.

And, at some point, someone is going to come to President Joe Biden and show him the problem of what to do with Melania. She is clearly going to separate herself, post-presidency, from Trump and then force the government to "take care" of her needs as they relate to Secret Service protection and living arrangements. She will be a continuous burden to the U.S. Government for the rest of her life and there will need to be special provision for First Ladies (and possibly First Gentlemen) who are divorced from former presidents and cannot provide for themselves.

What's even more telling is that there is now a concerted effort to leak as much of this as possible and set it up so that there is pity for the displaced and discarded members of the Trump family. They are all going to be a pain in the ass in their post-presidency existence. We will probably never be completely rid of them and their bullshit.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Evil Should Never Be Normalized Like This

 


I guess we will now get to sit back and watch the Trump Regime's vicious liars cash in on their infamy:

Former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway has signed a multi-million dollar deal to write a book about her time in the White House, the Daily Mail reports. The exact price tag is unknown, but is expected to exceed former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s $2 million advance for his memoir. While the Daily Mail quotes an anonymous insider stating that Conway will write “the most unvarnished, eye-popping account of her time working for the president,” she has publicly remained loyal to Trump, campaigning for his re-election and speaking at this year’s Republican National Convention.

Conway repeatedly, and with gusto, broke the law as a spokesperson for the evil that is Trumpism. She has enough Hatch Act violations to warrant her own slew of pardons. Her inability to raise her children and function like a normal human being is already well documented. 

But what do we do with such people? Giving them money for their "experiences" is a way of laundering the evil things they have done. Yes, there's capitalism at work here. There's an audience for crass liars and the lies they tell. It's "entertainment" to watch a person use their mouth to savage others in the public sphere. Never mind that they told lie after lie after lie to do it. We don't value the truth anymore. We don't care about a person's ethics. We could give a shit if they have an ounce of credibility. It's all about the game, the hits they score, the soundbites that get repeated, the headlines that are created out of their atrocious leaks of information.

Never forget that there is a media complex that has used Conway as a confidential source for decades and has created whole entire news cycles out of material designed to manipulate public opinion. The reporters who protect Conway's identity and launder her filth are just as bad as she is but aren't worth as much to the publishers. They only get a few hundred thousand dollars for their bullshit as an advance because they're not the "star" that is Conway.

How fucked up is that this person is considered important in the first place? If credibility mattered, she'd be begging for change down at the nearest bus stop.

If you pay this wretched person millions for their story, aren't you, in effect, endorsing the rehabilitation of her reputation and giving the next flaming asshole an incentive to do exactly what Conway has done and that's profit from the suffering of the American people at the hands of a fascist Republican president? And if you ignore the media personalities who enable her, well, you're just rewarding the whole rotten infrastructure, aren't you?

Seriously, fuck these people. They will pay no price for what they have done and, instead, will be amply rewarded for doing horrendous things to our society.

The Best Governor in America

 


Gretchen Whitmer is the best governor in the country. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration is extending a three-week closure of bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters and the Detroit casinos by another 12 days in an effort to get COVID-19 cases under control in the state.

The governor said Monday the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' public health order shuttering those businesses will be extended through Dec. 20.

With one-in-five patients in Michigan hospitals having COVID, MDHSS Director Robert Gordon warned "it's unlikely we'll be ready to do (reopen) in 12 days, but we will do so as soon as we can."

State officials want to see a sustained decline in the COVID testing positivity rate, the number of new cases per 1 million residents and the percentage of COVID patients occupying hospital beds, Gordon said.

You have to weight these decisions based on the impact that they are going to have on working people. I see a number of other Democratic governors who do this, so there's probably an argument to be made that Jay Inslee or Tim Walz are just as effective. But the decision making process that Whitmer undertakes is as thorough and necessary as it needs to be. She has done more to keep people alive than virtually any Republican governor. Outside of Larry Hogan and Mike DeWine, they've largely been ineffective in terms of keeping people safe.

Ron DeSantis and Brian Kemp and Greg Abbott have so much blood on their hands that it isn't even funny. They lead the list of worst possible governors for me in terms of what they have failed to do and why they should be condemned for how they've handled the COVID-19 crisis. Every day is a dumpster fire of tragedy and loss in their states.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Thank God Joe Biden is a Normal Human Being

 


Do you know what did not happen today?

A post-election President Elect named Joe Biden didn't go to Georgia and hold a pity party with a bunch of idiots. He continued working on his new administration and he did so in a way that didn't call much attention to himself. He was, in other works, normal.

We need normal right now. We need someone working on our behalf.

We do NOT need all of this bullshit about a stolen election and we do not need Trump talking about how people will have their farms taken away (he really said this in Georgia, in a way that suggested what was supposed to happen in South Africa, and the media should really be up on this stuff). He talked about how he and his supporters were victims.

What is with this pathetic nonsense?

People on the left are not going to put up Biden flags and wear Biden hats and Biden merch and go around in boats, oversized trucks and rascal scooters, holding rallies and parades and cult of personality gatherings. We're going to keep trying to keep ourselves safe and work on getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And we're damned sure thankful Biden is as normal as can be. I know there will be bitching about his cabinet and all that. People who think Biden should be more left of center should keep pushing for that. I'm just grateful today. Grateful he's not insane.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Easily the Most Corrupt President in American History

 


File this in the category of oh my fucking God:

The Justice Department is investigating a potential crime related to funneling money to the White House or related political committee in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to court records unsealed Tuesday in federal court. 

The case is the latest legal twist in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration after several of his top advisers have been convicted of federal criminal charges and as the possibility rises of Trump giving pardons to those who've been loyal to him.

The disclosure is in 20 pages of partially redacted documents made public by the DC District Court on Tuesday afternoon. The records show Chief Judge Beryl Howell's review in August of a request from prosecutors to access documents obtained in a search as part of a bribery-for-pardon investigation.

The filings don't reveal a timeline of the alleged scheme, or any names of people potentially involved, except that communications between people including at least one lawyer were seized from an office that was raided sometime before the end of this summer.

 I didn't know you could buy a pardon from the President of the United States of America. We are going to reach the nexus of "hey, no big deal" and "it's not illegal for the president to sell a pardon" and "eh, what are you gonna do now that he's been thrown out of office." I think my head will probably explode when we do.

The Attorney General let this happen. In August of this year. He had evidence that the president could be selling pardons and he buried it. During an election. He covered for Trump. 

Trump could have been re-elected. He could have been given a second term after being credibly accused of selling presidential pardons before his first term was even up. Separate that from everything else--every other thing that has been done--and you have the worst of all possibilities. A scandal that would have destroyed any other previous president in and of itself and, here we are, not even shocked that it happened and resigned to the fact that nothing may ever come of it.

That's enough to knock you on your ass when you think about it.

To say that Trump has been the most corrupt American president of all time makes it impossible to really calculate how the gilded age presidencies were really just an excuse to collect bribes and make old bearded men the local postmaster of whatever town where you could do that. There was Teapot Dome, there were swindles and deals going back to the Founding Fathers, I get all that. But Trump has taken it to new levels of shamelessness that are going to be hard to calculate when a full accounting of his crimes is carried out. I'm all for holding the Biden Administration to that, by the way. I think it will be a serious mistake to shrug and do what we did in 2009 and let everyone walk.

There has to be a reset and a reform of how the Executive Branch functions in the wake of the Trump Regime. I think President Elect Biden needs to empower someone to carry out a comprehensive restructuring of the rules and laws for how each Federal agency is staffed and organized as it relates to the political appointees. Any Attorney General who presides over such lawlessness should be exposed to prosecution.

It's impossible to overstate how much of a mistake it was to not impeach William Barr when the Democrats had the chance in the wake of the handling of the failed Mueller Investigation. Barr should have been impeached a week after Trump.

Barr's fingerprints are all over what's been happening and he is now calculating his exit strategy from accountability. We cannot, as a nation of laws, let him slip away after all of this intentional damage.