Monday, November 30, 2020

They Started It

My sister sent me a long text this weekend, consisting of Republican grievances from the last four years, which she lifted off a friend’s Facebook group. She was pretty pissed and wondered if there was a Democratic version.

I don’t know about another version but I’m willing to comment and debunk the original. It was the usual list of exaggerations, half-truths, and mountains made of mole-hills. Lots of extenuating circumstances were left out. Lots of projection of their own verified faults onto their enemies. You know, same old, same old. So let’s dig in. My responses are in blue.

Let us all be a United States again,” from former Vice President, Joe Biden. "We're at war with the virus, not one another."

The problem is we have memories.

We remember the women’s march the day after the inauguration.

               You mean the one that was bigger than his inauguration? Funny, that’s what happens when a     misogynist gets elected president, and whose backers seek to take away women’s rights over their own bodies.

We remember the 4 years of attacks and impeachments.

               This is coming off of eight years of attacks on Obama. You don’t like the negativity and animosity? You started it, from birtherism down to the color of the guy’s suit. Also, no one gets impeached without committing crimes. If your hero wasn’t a crook, he wouldn’t have had to worry about impeachment.

We remember “not our president” and "RESIST."

Was Obama your president? Because Mitch McConnell “resisted” every piece of legislation Obama put forth, once he had to power to do so. Just because it was Obama’s.

We remember Maxine Walters telling followers to harass us in restaurants.

We remember the Presidents spokesperson being kicked out a restaurant.

If you’re going to get up on the People’s podium and tell obvious, verifiable lies, threaten and belittle the press, then I don’t feel so bad if you might have to get your salad to-go.

And I don't have to remember the death threats surrounding election officials whose only crime was not illegally tipping the scale towards Trump, because it's happening right now.

We remember hundreds of Trump supporters physically attacked.

WE remember unarmed black people getting killed by the police, over and over and over again. We remember the president issuing many words of support for the abusers and none for the abused. We also remember groups of “Boogaloo Bois, and “Proud Boyz” coming from all over the country to incite violence and mayhem wherever there was a peaceful protest. And I remember the president’s encouragement to them too.

 We remember Trump supporters getting Doxed, and fired from jobs.

That, I don’t remember. I remember people getting fired for writing or saying irretrievably stupid, sexist, or racist things. The fact that stupid, sexist, racists support the president says more about him than us.

We remember riots and looting.

And the white supremacists were there for all of it. Not for nothing, though, if the police were saving their most brutal behavior for use on middle-class white people and had been for decades, they’d be rioting too. Riots don’t happen in a vacuum, they happen when people are pushed to the limit.

We remember “a comedian” holding up the President’s severed head.

               I remember Obama effigies being hung and burned, to zero outrage from the right. What’s your point? You have hurt feelings about what KathyGriffin did? I remember a famous saying about feelings that Trump fans used to promote with glee. So now you want to cry when YOUR feelings get fucked?

We remember Robert de Niro yelling “F" Trump” at the Tony’s and getting a standing ovation.

I remember a Republican congressman yelling “You lie” at Obama during a State of the Union address, which was unprecedented in its brazenness.

We remember Nancy Pelosi tearing up the State of the Union Address.

Am I missing something? Is there something sacred about a pre-event copy of a speech? Or are we just clutching pearls and grasping at straws now?

We remember the total in the tank move on the mainstream media.

               I don’t even know what this means. But blaming “the press” for everything is as unimaginative as it is inevitable from the right.

We remember the non-stop and live fact-checking on our President and his supporters.

You say that like it’s a bad thing. Fact-checking is the very essence of a journalist’s job, not to parrot whatever garbage is being dispensed from the briefing room. Most importantly, if the president and his followers weren’t lying every single time they opened their mouths, the press would have no reason to fact-check.

We remember non-stop in your face lies and open cover-ups from the media.

Like what? The Coronavirus is serious? Masks help stop the spread? The president’s campaign team regularly worked with the Russians and knew about the stolen Clinton emails in advance and knew when they were going to be published? Every one of those (and many more) are stone cold facts. They just get labeled as lies as a defense mechanism by the least truthful administration in history.

We remember the President and his staff being spied on.

               Our intelligence agencies spied on the Russians. Whose fault is it that Trump associates kept turning up on the wires? (Again, that’s a FACT, as verified in the Mueller Report. Which in no way “exonerated” the president or his staff.)

We remember five Senators shot on a ballfield.

               Yeah, that was bad. No question. But how come when it’s a Democrat, it casts dispersions on all, but when some right-wing nut-job shoots up a public place, he’s just a lone wolf?

We remember every so-called comedy show turn into nothing but a Trump hate fest.

Gee, comedy shows make fun of the president. That's happened every day since… let’s see…the invention of television. Suck it up.

We remember 95% negative coverage in the news.

If the president wants praise, he needs to do something praiseworthy. (Aside from lowering taxes for the richest of the rich.) What are his great accomplishments? Anyone? “ Cutting regulations = spewing pollution into the atmosphere and allowing banks to resume screwing its clients. “Religious freedom” = allowing discrimination of any kind as long as the discriminators can site a religious reason. Seriously, what did Trump actually do himself?

 We remember the state governors asking and getting everything they ask for and then blaming Trump for their problems.

You remember wrongly… obviously through the rose-colored lens of Fox “News.” Governors had to fight each other for supplies, and sometimes even the federal government, who frequently confiscated states’ purchases. No one had “enough” until long after it was needed. Kicking a nationwide problem to the states to solve demonstrates an appalling lack of leadership. The fact that you think he should be praised for his COVID response shows how little you know about what’s really happening. If Trump had exhibited even the minimum of leadership, like telling the country from the onset that distancing and masks work, these things wouldn’t have become a political issue and we wouldn’t have the highest death count from COVID in the world. (And still spiking.) This is an impeachable offense, right here.

And this is from July. It’s even worse now.)

We remember a Trump top aid verbally assaulted in two DC restaurants.

               Again with the restaurants? This is just list-padding.

We remember people banging on the Supreme Court doors.

I remember groups of heavily armed conservatives taking over statehouses in an attempt to intimidate the legislators within, who were trying to formulate a pandemic response… you know, after the president threw it to the states. Why is it that Republicans are more upset about the prospect of buildings being assaulted than people? 

We remember that we were called every name in the book for supporting President Trump.

               Names like fat, ugly, crazy, lazy, sleepy? Oh and I remember some choice names for President Obama, that we don’t say in polite company.

We remember that Hollywood said they would leave after Trump was elected but they stayed.

               Hollywood would leave?” You’re reaching, here. Seriously.

 This list is endless, but you get the idea.

The list certainly seems endless but that’s only because it’s basically fact free. Republicans are experts at ignoring their own faults and pointing the finger at their opponent, and they’re usually the same faults.

The fact is, conservatives working through Fox “News” and talk radio have coarsened politics into a take no prisoners, zero-sum game. Never compromise, never admit defeat, never admit you’re wrong. Always attack. And when the opponent reaches his limit and responds in kind, Republicans clutch their pearls and claim offense. It’s a race to Victimhood, to which only they are entitled.

I’ve had it. The Obama years turned into a full-on Republican assault on civility, tradition, and rational politics. They don’t get to start the fire and complain about getting burned too.

 I remember everything too.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Old Electoral College Try

In the aftermath of the 2020 elections, I’m seeing a lot of upheaval, especially on liberal sites, about the Electoral College. We’re seeing its limitations (or features, depending on your point of view), as a way for the last two Republican presidents to lose the popular vote but win the election. If we were just counting up votes, Biden would have been considered the winner by the day after Election Day, at least.

But the Electoral College requires us to go state by state and through a convoluted formula, depending on 50 different voting systems, structures and regulation sets to come together and crown a president. That makes for a lot of room to attack the process, which the Trump campaign is vigorously trying to do.

So I can see the attraction in creating the simplicity of a popular-vote election system. Place the votes, count the votes. Whoever gets the most, wins. Why over-think it?

I know some people say that we need the Electoral College or else presidential candidates will ignore everywhere but the big population centers. I don’t think that’s a big deal because presidential candidates already ignore whole regions because they mainly campaign in big swing states. They practically live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, plus Florida and Arizona. The rest of the south, it’s already known they’ll go Republican. The northeast? In the bag for Democrats. Same with New York, Illinois and California. So either way, some states are going to get ignored. Tit or tat. Pool or pond.

Here in reliably-blue Maryland, up until this year, we hardly ever even see national political ads. I think this year was different because they ran a lot of ads on TV solely to appease or antagonize the TV-Watcher-in-Chief.

Still, when I see the calls to eliminate the Electoral College, it’s depressing to me that people are dwelling on it because it’s a complete waste of time. The Electoral College isn’t going anywhere within our lifetimes, because it is included in the Constitution. To change that would require an amendment to the Constitution and that’s just not going to happen. Hell, we can’t even get an amendment passed saying that women are equal to men, which should be a basic understanding of the modern world.

So we’ll never get the 38 states needed to ratify such an amendment, nor will we ever get it through Congress, short of a veto-proof/filibuster-proof Democratic majority. That’s because the Republicans will never, EVER go along with eliminating their single best chance to win the presidency again. They NEED the Electoral College because they can’t count on continued racism to carry the wagon and there just aren’t enough rich businessmen to win the election for the Republicans.

At first, I thought having each state reformulate its approach to assigning electoral votes would be a good idea, like Nebraska and Maine did so that the will of different regions are reflected in the end result. But the problem with that is that it will become another way to gerrymander. Whoever is in power will draw the districts to favor their own party. Gerrymandering has already ruined the House of Representatives; no sense in skewing the presidential race the same way.

What I’d like to see happen is to have a bipartisan commission recalculate the division of electoral votes. I remember seeing the calculations once, (I don’t have the energy to research this point again) where when you divide California's number of electoral votes by their population, you get the figure of how much of a vote each person represents. And when you divide, say, Wyoming the same way, the voting power of one person in Wyoming is measurably higher than one person in California. So if they redid the whole scale to accurately reflect the distribution of Americans across the country, we might come closer to one person/one vote. Just let it be guided by the math. But again, the Republicans have no incentive to play along. The system serves them just fine the way it is.

What, you think we can appeal to their sense of fair play? They’re trying to overturn a legitimate election right now. There is no fair play, only the preservation of their own power and advantage.

Maybe at the state level, we can learn some lessons from what’s going on today. States who care about basic fairness should look at the ways Trump’s teams of lawyers are trying to overturn the will of the people. Maybe tighten up some loopholes and simplify the processes, so that a handful of mid-level operatives don’t have it in their power to refuse to certify an election, just because someone badly wants them to. (Or they badly want to themselves.) And maybe establish some legal penalties for having private meetings with one of the presidential candidates who is actively trying to steal the election. They should at least pay for their own Dom Perignon.

But aside from some tweaks, I think we’re stuck with the Electoral College. The only way to get rid of it is to have so many people opposed to it that politicians would be forced to act. And if we ever had that many people on one side, the Electoral College would no longer be an issue anyway.

 And now, a little…


I saw this on Facebook this weekend. As usual, it’s a simple argument that leaves out large swaths of information, which is has to in order to appear to make sense.

First off, in 2017 there was plenty of election meddling because the FBI and every other US intelligence agency said so. It was so apparent that our spooks were surveilling Russian operatives all over the place. You might have heard about it when their taps on the Russians revealed they were speaking with Trump’s campaign staff. It ended up with an impeachment some people were talking about.

Also, the Russian election campaigns were more about spreading disinformation and discord than actual hacking, although there was some of that, too. President Obama wanted to bring it to the public but for reasons that escape me, acquiesced to Mitch McConnell and kept the information limited.

The Russians were behind the WikiLeaks Clinton email dump, which tied the Clinton campaign in knots and doused them with embarrassing news on a daily basis. Again, this was discovered by federal authorities and intelligence agencies, not by members of Congress.

In the intervening years, the nation has learned a lot about how the Russians operate and how they sow distrust in the system. Many states have taken steps to combat attempts to tamper with their election apparatus, although many have not, leaving federal money to do so on the table. (They will deny Russian interference as long as they interfere in Republicans’ favor.) Why would we not learn from past mistakes?

So, yes, there was Russian interference in 2016 elections being called out in 2017, but it was not the kind of interference the Republicans are claiming happened this year, to which they’re trying to make a comparison. It was more to influence, less about hacking or intentionally losing votes.

Any complaints about Russian interference in 2018 and 2019 were still referring to the original cases. We held mid-terms in 2018 and the Democrats swept into the House. There were few elections in 2019, just local stuff, so there’s nothing to holler about there.

That makes the claim in this meme a misdirection. The last election WAS tainted, not only by the bias of the Electoral College but by a sophisticated disinformation campaign run by the Russians, who enjoy having a lap dog for Putin in a place where he can benefit them the most.

This year, they were still at it, and their effect is as yet, unknown. But the physical voting apparatus has shown to be in full working order, despite the desperate claims to the contrary from the loser. They know how hard they’ve been cheating… they can only assume that if they lost, we must have been cheating even harder.

Maybe it’s true, but I doubt it, and here’s why. All these charges they make in public, at press conferences, interviews, and speeches, are never made in court where there are penalties for perjury. They’ll run the bullshit for you and me, but not for the judge. Even the worst of the Trump shysters aren’t willing to go to jail for this asshole.

All we’re seeing are million-dollar charges with two-bit evidence.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Massage Parler

Now into the second week past the election, the deluded Right is still clinging to the idea that somehow the election was stolen from them, due to what must have been a vast criminal conspiracy that entailed more people voting for the other guy.

At every turn, both Republican and Democratic voting officials have stated that there were no discernable voting hijinks, other than random clerical errors that happen in every election. (And are statistically negligible.) Not a single investigation from people who are extremely motivated to find voting malfeasance has been able to do so.

You know, if it doesn’t quack, it doesn’t waddle, and it doesn’t float around on the water, it’s just not a fuckin’ duck, and it won’t become one no matter how desperately someone wishes it.

Even Fox “News” has been going, “You know, we think he won.” I mean, they called Arizona before anyone else, thus earning the Orange Turd’s ongoing wrath. I mean, where is a despot supposed to turn when his own state-run media stops backing up his lies? OANN? Hell, I couldn’t even find it on my Comcast system. I even tried to use the voice function. All I got was an error message that said this:

This television is equipped with a BS Chip. The BS Chip blocks the transmission of known purveyors of BS into households who might be either enraged or convinced by smoothly delivered lies, half-truths, skewed graphics, and logical fallacies. To view a channel blocked by the BS Chip, you must apply to the FCC and prove that you’re under 55 and your interest is purely academic. But we don’t recommend you do so. Surely there’s a game on somewhere, isn’t there?

I tell you, the tech in those “Smart TVs” is really advancing.

So, how do Republicans square these hard, cold, facts with the bullshit stories with which they surround themselves? Well, it seems that they’ve started their own social media site: Parler.

They got tired of having mean old Twitter and Facebook correct or block their fact-free diatribes and racist calls to arms, so they’ve taken their tiki torches and gone home to play in their own yard, where no one can tell them anything they don’t already know.

Now they can claim there were a million MAGAts at the Million MAGA March and there will be no photographic evidence to the contrary. (Like this.) They can claim there was a vast rollout of Dominion voting machines bankrolled by George Soros, which changed Trump votes to Biden votes, without which Trump would have won Texas unanimously. They can forget about wearing masks because the Rona is merely a liberal plot to curtail their freedom. They can blow on dog whistles as long as they like and no one will ever make them feel like a racist because of it. In fact, it will remind them of the good old days, where the only thing you had to do before telling a racist joke is look over both shoulders.

I read somewhere that George Soros is one of the financial backers of the Parler platform. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it would be delicious if it were.

I hope that Facebook and Twitter don’t experience a mass exodus of conservatives, but it’s purely for selfish reasons. If they all leave, where else will I get my “Debunkery” material? I’m sure as hell not venturing over there. It would be terrible for my blood pressure.

Director’s DVD Commentary/Disclaimer: The BS Chip is a total fabrication, but wouldn’t it be cool if it weren’t? It just kind of leaped out of my head as I was considering if I could even find OANN on my assortment of cable channels. It happens.

Tales from the Hood

I’ve had this story circling the drain for months now but I’ve been waiting until I could marry it to a short primary topic. And here we are.

Our ice-maker is going screwy. You never really think about your ice-maker until you go to scoop out a fistful of ice for your gin and tonic and only come up with cold dust. Sweetpea and I go through a good deal of ice, especially in the summer, so this icy snafu went mission-critical a few months ago.

Upon investigation, we noticed that when the ice dumps, sometimes a couple pieces get stuck in the apparatus, which locks it up and prevents it from making any more ice. So we began checking on it more and more frequently, to either jiggle out the wayward wedge or melt it from the apparatus with finger heat.

One evening a few months back, I was endeavoring to unclog a piece of ice, but it was really jammed into the works. With nothing to grab onto, I had to settle for trying to melt it by pressing alternating fingers alongside it. It was in one of the rear-most slots, so I had to reach waaaay into the back of the freezer and curl my finger around the works from behind. It was kind of an awkward position.

At last, I felt the last of the ice chip melt away and the lever began to lower, signaling that it was resetting. The lever sits on top of the pile of ice (when you have enough ice to make one). When the pile of ice shrinks, the lever lowers and when it goes all the way down, activates more ice making.

What I didn’t know was that there are all kinds of gears and moving parts on the inside of the ice-making apparatus, right where I had my ring finger. As everything started moving, a piece of metal clamped down on my fingertip, locking it (and me) into place. As I pulled ever harder, this metal piece squeezed all the firmer, steadily increasing the pressure. Sweetpea was in the kitchen with me and I began to call out... “Honey… HONEY…”

I don’t think I said anything else in actual English because, at that point, I realized that I was about to be literally trapped there by the fingertip. I began to quickly consider the consequences. I mean, who do you even call for something like this? 911? The Maytag Repairman? How long would I have to stand there with my finger in the freezer and the ice-maker chomping on my finger?

I didn’t know how much force this thing was going to eventually apply but I decided I’d better pull my damned finger out of there no matter how much skin or flesh is scraped off. And I did.

I anxiously examined my finger for damage and was quite relieved to see that it was just a cut.

(This was AFTER it was all cleaned up.)

It was numb for a while but I was none the worse for wear. While it seemed like an hour-long ordeal, in fact, the whole thing, onset to escape, was over in about 15 seconds.

Good thing I got out, or else I KNOW my picture would have been on Facebook, or maybe even a video, with one finger stuck in the freezer and another one gesturing at the camera-person.

We still have to clear the ice-maker but I learned my lesson quite clearly. There is no more melting the ice with fingers. Now the first option, if it doesn’t pull out clean, is to shatter the ice with a knife handle.

A BUTTER knife. I do not intend to bleed all over our ice bucket. Even if it would make a more realistic Bloody Mary.

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Way Forward


So, how was your week?

Lol… geez, I swear last week seemed like a month of real-time. If I’m ever given a week to live, I’ll go back and try to channel that one.

I probably watched more cable news last week than I have in the last five years combined. But it paid off, didn’t it? We finally got rid of the orange pox on the nation’s political hiney. Not that he’s going quietly or painlessly… he’s more like an inflamed hemorrhoid that just won’t let go.

Maybe we overestimated his capability to use the court system to cling to power. From what’s been filed so far, his legal strategy has been as well thought out as his White House personnel decisions. Judges right and left, from the Right and Left, are throwing out his lawsuits as soon as they’re heard because they neither make sense nor contain proof.

Keep counting there, but stop counting here!

As I’ve said before, Republicans don’t believe in anything but that which helps them at the moment. But why Trump insists on stopping a vote count while he’s behind is beyond my capability to understand. Even with a court packed with Republicans, who are probably itching to make a decision that helps the team, apparently, there has to be some kind of legal cover onto which they can grab. Stopping the counting of legally-cast votes is kind of a big reach.

I bet the Supreme Court doesn’t want any part of this. Well, Roberts doesn’t; he’s the only GOP-Appointee who cares about SCOTUS’s reputation. He knows that finding in favor of the president to disregard legally-cast votes would turn the court into a supreme joke. If they can avoid being tarred with Trumpian legal feces, they can then get on with the mundane duty of sustaining Big Business’s ability to reap obscene profits at the expense of the earth, climate, and average taxpayer, and ensure the ruling status of the White, Christian, male.

While we didn’t exactly get the Blue Wave we were promised by the pollsters, it wasn’t exactly chopped liver either. Joe Biden has the highest ever vote count for President, which is, at the moment, 4.5 million more votes than Trump.

To me, the funny part of that is that it’s 6.1 million more than Obama got at his peak. What that says to me is that people were so put off by the orange menace that they got off their collective asses and turned out 6.1 million eff-you votes for Joe Biden. Either that or they just reeeeeally hated Hillary.

I am pretty disappointed in the rest of the elections though… losing seats in the House and not flipping the Senate straight away. I know there’s still the Georgia runoff, but I’m not optimistic about that, not while they have a GOP governor and secretary of state, both of whom have shown no qualms about putting their thumbs on the scale in favor of their side. Don’t be surprised if several hundred-thousand black people in and around Atlanta suddenly get dropped from the voter rolls in the next two months, under the guise of fighting voter fraud. Stacey Abrams may not have enough time to work another miracle.

How Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins survived, I have no idea. And Mitch, well, that’s a travesty. Kentucky deserves a crooked, scheming, slug, like him. This is the second time during the existence of this blog that I’ve had to accept that there will be six more years of this walking intestinal blockage. This guy is going to obstruct President Biden like a triple-decker cheese sandwich on cork. And now, after the Democrats raised the specter of changing the filibuster rules, without actually winning the Senate, I won’t be surprised if Mitch beats them to the punch.

He’s also said that he intends to block Biden’s cabinet nominees. But I’ve heard a couple good counter-measures. First, Biden can just appoint “Acting” cabinet members, just like Trump did. And if anyone complains that they’ve exceeded their maximum time in an “acting” position, then pay it just as much mind as Trump did. (Zero.)

But my favorite plan is for him to provide his full slate of nominees and when Mitch bottles them up, appoint a group of acting directors that are so reprehensible to the GOP, he’ll have no choice but to approve the original slate. People like Hillary for Secretary of State, Obama Director of National Intelligence, Robert Mueller for Attorney General, Al Gore for EPA, like that. The Republicans just spent four years playing no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners politics. It’s time for the Democrats to do the same. As the old established GOP slice of wisdom goes, “fuck their feelings.”

I also like the idea of appointing some Republican Senators whose home state has a Democratic governor, who can appoint a replacement. That’s some hardball to play.

But back to the races, I just don’t know how there can be a significant number of people looking at the last four years, which included the negligent homicide of over 225,000 people, and say, “Yeah, I want more of that.” More lies, more science denial, more hostility to our allies, more racism and persecution of immigrants, more condoning of police brutality, more of stuffing the LGBT community back in the closet, etc. Are there really 71 million of such people who think that’s the way things should be? It saddens me. Presidency or not, we have a lot of work left to do.

Or maybe Trump will continue to hold his super-spreader rallies and kill off the rest of his base, so they won’t be a factor in 2024.

We may not be able to pass any grand programs in the next two years, but at least we can have a go at undoing Trump’s heinous Executive Orders. I’m glad to hear that people in the Biden camp have been keeping track of what can be done by the President without having to pass the Senate. And whatever Trump passed by EO can be reversed by EO, and that covers a lot of damage.

I just wonder if he has to file EOs one for one, or can he just issue a single, comprehensive, “Screw Your Executive Orders” executive order. Maybe he could steal my suggestion from the debates and repurpose the (Cousin Vinny) Gambino defense and issue a statement saying: “I hereby declare that everything that guy did was bullshit. Thank you.” He has to use the word, “hereby,” because that makes it official in Trump-world.

I’ll allow it. Again.

If Trump wanted his executive orders to be permanent, he should have included the standard “no take-backs” clause. Any kid could have told him that. Doesn’t he have grandchildren or something? After all, Biden has been using the “I’m Rubber You’re Glue” defense for years, to repel all the malarkey.

Now, all we have to do is convince the Right that counting legal votes after Election Day does not constitute fraud. I keep seeing these football-themed memes saying something akin to, “We won the game but now they’re putting more points on the board.

Which would be wrong if it were true. A more accurate assessment would be like, “The game is over but the scoreboard operator was a couple days late in posting the score.” If the scoreboard zapped out mid-game, would a football game suddenly revert to 0-0? Of course not, because scorekeeping doesn’t change what happens on the field. The valid scoring plays would still be recorded. And the valid votes are being recorded now.

It’s not like the whole world couldn’t see this “protest” being set up in advance, in plain sight?


·        Hammered the message that mail-in votes are somehow inherently fraudulent, so that Republican voters turn out to vote on Election Day, while Democrats embraced mail-in voting.

·        Sabotaged the post office to delay delivery of mail-in ballots.

·        In some states, forbade the counting of early votes, for which there is no coherent reason to do so.

So now when the Election Day vote, which they sculpted, comes in early for Trump, they demand the count to stop, knowing the Dem votes had yet to be recorded. This was widely predicted and the Republicans did not disappoint. That’s exactly how it’s playing out.

How is it possible that all these late votes are coming in so heavily for Biden?” they whine.

Because the Republicans designed it that way, with their own words and deeds. They set up their eventual appeal during the course of the trial.

It’s really quite simple. You cast the votes. You count the votes. Whoever has the most, wins. (State by state, or whatever… same principle.) As hard as the Republicans have been cheating via voter suppression and gerrymandering, it stands to reason they think the only reason Biden won is because the Dems cheated better.

They don’t understand that if we WERE cheating, we’d have gotten rid of Mitch and Lindsey, and every other Trump abettor who still defile the Senate.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Thoughts on Election Eve

Tonight, on the eve of Election Day, we sit poised to possibly, probably, hopefully, maybe ending the most embarrassing and dangerous era in American politics. Like on the eve of any big game, I’m wary of coming off as overconfident and jinxing the outcome by offending whatever gods there are in charge of governance. Polling tells me I should be cautiously optimistic but Republican rat-fucking tendencies render me just cautious.

I feel I’ve done what I can. I’m not a joiner or public activist, so I’m not banging on any doors or making calls. I’m a writer, so I write. I’ve made my targeted donations. And my vote is in the can.

In fact, I got an email from the state of Maryland this morning telling me my vote has been counted.

That’s nice to know. Not that I’m worried about hijinks in Maryland. I think our state has it pretty buttoned-up, and we’re nowhere close to being a swing state. Suffice to say, no one really cares what happens here other than us locals.

They also gave me the opportunity to download my I Voted sticker. Unfortunately, you can’t download the sticky stuff, so I had no choice but to staple it onto my t-shirt. What the hell, it’s not like I leave the house, anyway.

It was nice that they gave me a choice of styles though.

I like the one on the right… less schizophrenic. I can’t even tell what’s going on in the one on the left. All it says to me is, “Maryland is for Stoners.”

I took tomorrow off work so I can stay home, maybe run a few errands, and binge-watch CNN to see where the trouble is coming from. I probably should have taken Wednesday instead, because that would be when the real shit show happens, but you just never know. I thought it was going to be a long night in 2012, but that was wrapped up by 11:00.

I saw some people talking about making Election Day a federal holiday. I think it’s a nice idea but I don’t see how it will accomplish what it’s intended to do. They think it will give people an opportunity to vote without affecting their jobs or income.

At best, though, I see it as just another President’s Day or Labor Day, when government offices, banks, and big businesses get the day off while everyone in the service industry remains at work. Hell, we can barely close for Christmas as it is. The office people can already manage to vote; it’s the rest of the country that needs the time set aside.

It would be better for all if they would just make uniform standards to manage the process and be aggressive about soliciting votes. The current politicizing of the voting process cannot stand. Surely someone can come up with a formula looking at population density and calculate how many precincts and voting machines are needed to handle the volume. There’s no excuse for anyone having to wait for hours to vote. It happens because it’s by design. Don’t tell me any state government can’t find the money to provide voting machines. Show me their budget, I’ll find some cash in there.

It’ll be like that scene in the movie “Dave,” where Kevin Kline plays the president’s body-double and remains in the job after the president has a stroke. Then he has his accountant buddy help him look for ways to cut the budget and free up some money for a kid’s homeless shelter, over the protests of the crooked chief-of-staff. I’ll get the machines into all the right places and still have time to flirt with Sigourney Weaver.

Anyway, my point is that inventing a national holiday to vote won’t fix the problem because it’s the people working at gas stations or 7-11 or Walmart that we need to help vote. You think any of those places are going to close for a day when there’s money to be made?

We need a sane voting system. We need to drop the stigma regarding mail-in voting and get the post office back to peak efficiency. Maybe someone could figure out a secure way to vote via internet. It’s got to be possible. It’s the duty of a free nation to make it as simple as possible for its citizens to vote. Anyone putting up barriers is acting against the very fabric of this nation. The COVID has forced the states to become creative to facilitate voting in a way that doesn’t endanger the voters.

We just need to eliminate those who are vigorously trying to tamper with the system with lawsuits and sabotage. We need to keep random clowns from storming voting centers to “observe.” Republicans aren’t even pretending to want a fair election, they’re going full-on destructo-mode.

Texas is becoming a joke. They’re trying to invalidate 130,000 perfectly valid votes (from Democratic Harris County) because they voted from their cars. Seriously. Same voting machines, just used by people in their car. This is after it was approved every which way, in advance.

Then there’s the regulation of having only one ballot dropbox per county, which is insane. There is literally no good reason for that other than willfully making it harder to vote.

Then this weekend we saw the Trump pickup truck brigade, surrounding and threatening Biden campaign busses. People kept asking where the cops were. I figure they were in the pickup trucks with the rest of the yay-hoos.

All this effort to prevent people from voting… it tells you something. It tells you that the rich, white Powers-That-Be don’t like it when The People want their say. They want to keep things exactly the way they are right now so that they can continue to feed at the governmental trough, like it’s their birthright.

Money for anyone else is Socialism. More money going to The People means less for those who already have the most. And they know there are more of “us” than there are of “them,” hence the systematic suppression of votes. They used to say it was to combat (non-existent) fraud but they don’t even bother with that anymore.

So, with any luck, we’ll know Tuesday night if we can boot the inmates out from running the asylum, or what lengths the morally corrupt GOP will go to keep their death-grip on the levers of power. I’ve got a bottle of Maker’s Mark set aside for either celebration or the drowning of sorrows.

Damn it, I KNEW I should have taken Wednesday off.