Monday, April 24, 2023

Where's Nelson Mandela When You Need Him?

In their ongoing campaign to wrest control of elections from voting citizens, the GOP once again showed who they were, last week, when a presenter at a Republican Donor’s Retreat gave a speech on how they needed to “combat” voting on college campuses.

Lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, who has represented Republican organizations, individual lawmakers, and right-wing groups such as the National Rifle Association, said, “"What are these college campus locations? What is this young people effort that they do? They basically put the polling place next to the student dorm so they just have to roll out of bed, vote, and go back to bed."

Cleta, whose name sounds like what you would call a group of Cletuses, thinks it’s a bad thing to make voting too easy. Well, too easy for people unlikely to vote Republican, anyway.

Lest anyone claim that Cleta is some kind of outlier on the subject, note the complete lack of disavowal on the part of national, or any other, Republicans.

They’ve been working on stamping out college voting for some time now… There have been 11 states, so far, with proposals to eliminate the use of college IDs, tuition, or housing receipts as voter IDs. Texas is considering a bill that would ban college campuses as polling places.

This is what you need to throw in the face of the next person who tells you that voter ID requirements are merely a way to fight election fraud. When you look at these actions, there is zero content that addresses fraud; it’s 100% voter suppression.

It’s obvious that Republicans have no interest in trying to persuade young people that their ideas are better. They’re just going straight to preventing the perceived opposition from voting by any means necessary. And I understand that, given their toxic policy intentions. It’s hard to sell the continued protection and enrichment of the 1%, forced births, White supremacy, and evangelical Christianity.

Republicans know that young people are especially butt-stung over Dodd and the toppling of Roe, and are not thrilled by being so aggressively disenfranchised, so they have to find some way to overcome the severe unpopularity of their platform. How else can they ensure that the views of 30% of the country, or less, take precedence over those of the rest of us?

Between this voter suppression, closing and under-staffing voting precincts, gerrymandering, packing the courts with ideologues who are happy to ignore case law to bless their noxious legislation, and running candidates who plan to switch parties, the GOP is working overtime with their efforts to turn the future USA into the old RSA. What’s the redneck word for “apartheid?” Anyone? I’m sure they’ll let us know soon enough.


Ohio, desperate not to let Texas surpass them in red state ratfuckery, is trying to sabotage a possible state constitutional amendment to support reproductive rights because they know it would pass easily.

They’re taking a two-pronged approach:

·         Proposing a hurry-up referendum to change the threshold to pass further referendums from 50% to 60%.

·         Holding that election in August, when the expected turnout is light. The Religious wingnuts will be sure to show up. Politically passive people may not even know what’s at stake and the Republican State government will ensure it stays that way. They’re counting on “election fatigue” to weed out the casual supporters.

So then, if it passes, it will be that much harder for the majority to see their collective will translated into reproductive freedom and minority rule will be enshrined into Ohio law.


Lest we completely succumb to the bleakness that is the current political landscape, there IS some good news to be found today.

“Ding dong, the whiney little bitch is dead.”

Now, I’m as happy as anyone to see that pious, pampered piece of monkey shit gone from his lair at Fox, we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. They’ll just pop another talking head in there who will spew the same lies and misinformation, and pretty soon, he or she will be the next Worst Person in the World. But still, we can at least have a moment.

“People familiar with the situation” say that his firing came straight from Rupert Murdoch and is related to a discrimination suit filed against them by former producer, Abby Grossman.

I think there has to be more to it. Fox has been dancing with these kinds of lawsuits for years. It would take a lot for them to can the face of their network. I’m sure the Dominion lawsuit didn’t help, but he wasn’t the only one that came out of those depositions looking like a schmuck.

No, I think there has to be something more going on behind the scenes. I mean, all we have to go on is what the people at Fox are saying… and since when can we trust THEM to tell a painful truth about themselves?

Maybe he’s been believing his own bullshit for so long, he’s going to mimic his beloved/behated orange idol and make a run for office, maybe even president.

Then again, that’s a pretty remote possibility. I don’t think he could handle the kind of scrutiny that comes with a run for office. He certainly couldn’t run against TFG… he’d get mincemeat made out of him. There’s too much footage of Tucker fawning at the altar of Trump that could be used to cut him off at the knees.

Anyway, I expect there will be more information forthcoming, be it from the inevitable leaks, or legitimate investigative reporting.

Man, I hope it’s someone who has embarrassing pictures on him…

Monday, April 17, 2023

MAGA at the Movies

Do ever see sometimes during political arguments when someone posts a graphic showing all the things that, if they were proposed today, would get labeled as Socialism by the Right and get shot down?

Thinking about this made me wonder about movies, specifically if some older movies were released today, would the audience accept them in quite the same way?

Upon further review, I think it’s highly unlikely. With today’s ultra-polarized, talking-point-driven, political-team-sports masquerading as politics, a third of the country might have different rooting interests from the ones originally envisioned. To explore this, let’s take a look at:

The MAGA Guide to the Movies 

Monday, April 10, 2023

The Week Republicans Showed Their Cards

Last week may well go down in history as the exact time US Republicans showed themselves as the party of anti-democracy autocratic dictatorship. All over the map, we saw Republicans doing their best to thwart the will of the people in deference to a small, vocal, band of racist and religious wingnuts, and toadies of the billionaire class.

Last week, we found out:

Justice Clarence Thomas received millions of dollars worth of gift trips and resort accommodations over many years, from a known billionaire conservative political donor, without including them on the mandatory financial disclosures. His defense was that he was an old and dear friend of the family who had no business before the court. Which is quite ludicrous, considering the amount of dough he spreads around to other Congressmen. And it’s even more telling that he also donated to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Do you think his donations may have had an effect on the way both senators continue to thwart any major Democratic initiatives? Or is that all just one big coincidence?

And the idea of this guy not having business before the court? How about Citizens United, which gave this guy the very right to buy off those two senators and whoever else could help him. Every decision SCOTUS made, from trashing the Voting Rights Act to upholding gerrymandering, to assaulting abortion benefits Republicans and therefore benefits this guy.


We had a woman run for state senator in North Carolina as a Democrat and then switch to Republican, just a few months into the job.

Is this the new tactic from the Right? Instead of running against an opponent from a hard Blue district, just run an imposter who can switch teams. This is one of the most depraved things I’ve ever heard of. It shows the lengths these people will go to subvert the democratic process.

Her seat is important because it gives Republicans a veto-proof Senate, so they can override the Governor at will. There’s nothing you can tell me to convince me this move wasn’t planned ahead of time because, at this time, political differences are so stark, there is little cross-over. A Venn diagram would show the parties in two unbroken circles, several feet apart. Nevertheless, this was her defense:

Seriously? What was cast aside was the will of a majority of voters who thought they were voting for a pro-choice, pro-health care, pro-Make the Rich Pay Taxes, pro-Social Security Democrat,.

Look, you can’t advertise steak and then serve chicken. Or in this case, a bowl of rocks. This one reeks of pre-planning, especially since North Carolina doesn’t have a provision for recall elections.

It looks like NC Democratic leaders are going to have to do a much more thorough job of vetting future candidates.


A federal judge in Texas banned the abortion drug, mifepristone, which is the safest of the two available and has been used safely for over 20 years. He basically banned it on a technicality, that the FDA didn’t test it properly. This is an area over which no court has ever asserted authority. The judge overlooked the long history showing the drug to be safer than Tylenol and accepted the many dubious, unproven, and just plain false claims presented by the plaintiff, who sought this exact judge because he was already well-known for being anti-choice. Hey, the Supreme Court is now ruling based on personal beliefs rather than legal precedent or validity, why wouldn’t it filter down to the rest of the court system?

Then as the fallout began to mount, Republicans doubled down on the condescension:

Yes, women have to deal with white men making rules about what they can do with their own bodies. And if men could give birth, they’d know how big a deal bodily autonomy is. Look how they pissed and moaned about goddamn vaccines, orating at length about the sanctity of one's own body and the absence of the government’s right to touch it. Except for women. Women are property to be owned and directed; that’s the Republican position. Might as well just put it on the Trump 2024 bumper stickers.

Republicans are asserting that these blobs have more rights than the woman, I mean “Incubator” that’s carrying them. As I’ve said before, endowing these collections of cells with human rights is a religious argument and religion has no place in US law. At least that’s the way it used to be before the theocrats took over.

Not to be outdone, Iowa’s attorney general has put a hold on offering Plan B contraception and abortions to victims of rape and sexual assault. It doesn’t matter how badly a woman is traumatized, Republicans are more worried about an un-sentient blob. But it’s totally not about controlling women, right? “You’ll have that baby and like it.”


Just to show that Republicans aren’t all about putting the screws on women.

An Oklahoma state representative got a change made to state law that would allow his wife to become a vehicle tag agent. He was arrested for it but that didn’t last long… the AG dropped the charges. Just professional courtesy from one white guy to another, I’m sure. What’s the point of getting elected to anything if you can’t do favors for your family and friends? For a moment there, it was almost like Oklahoma was showing a bit of integrity. Things are back to normal now.


 And then there was the Big One of the week, wherein the Tennessee state legislature expelled two Black representatives for taking part in a peaceful protest. They voted on a third legislator, a White woman, but she was not expelled. It’s a total mystery why the two Black guys had to go but the White lady could stay.  

The reason for the expulsion wasn’t that these guys broke the law; they were taking advantage of their First Amendment rights. They were expelled for “breaking decorum.”


Folks, it’s breaking decorum to fart in church. Sure people don’t like it, but you’re not excommunicated. Maybe, if someone crashed Easter Mass at the Vatican, pushed the pope out of the pulpit, dropped trou, and farted into the microphone, then maybe they might get excommunicated.

In reality, Tennessee Republicans engaged in the time-honored tradition of sticking it to an uppity Black man, just to show him who’s boss. And it also shows who’s a sniveling little bureaucrat that’s afraid of losing privilege. And as usual, when the shit blows up, Republicans double down.

This is no longer about teaching some punks a lesson, this is the blatant disregard for the citizens that voted these guys into office. They’re carrying out the citizen's business and the Powers That Be don’t like it. And rather than have a battle of ideals, they kick their opponents out of the game. AND, they try to cancel all future games.

It’s all over the country now… there is no bottom to which Republicans won’t sink, in pursuit of consolidating and maintaining their power. They’ll rig the game, cheat on the rules, sucker-punch their opponents, and buy off the refs. It’s zero-sum politics at its most pungent and they will never stop until they’re thrown out on their collective asses. IF, that is, we can survive the resulting riots, as they claim any election they lose must have been stolen.

Democrats need to take the gloves off because these guys will not play nice, or even honorably. That ship sailed a long time ago.


On a lighter (or just weirder) note, as I was pondering the charges against TFG and wondering how it was going to play out, I asked myself, “If TFG goes to prison, does he get Secret Service protection?” The very idea of it amused me. At first, I thought about how it would be quite the shit detail for the poor Secret Service guy, who probably thought he’d have a much cushier gig guarding the Second Coming of Julius Caesar. But then I remembered how he seemed to have no problem in surrounding himself with Secret Service Sycophants, who would delete their incriminating January 6th text messages on his behalf. He no doubt has fans in the Service, so they’d probably have no trouble finding volunteers.

But my question is really moot, for two reasons. First, I saw this over the weekend:

So there you have it. He’d have someone to listen to his bullshit while he’s doing time. That’s one way to make sure you have visitors. I don’t think he’d be seeing much of Melania.

But the main reason it doesn’t matter is that I don’t think he’s ever going to see the inside of a jail cell. They just don’t put rich white-collar guys like him in jail. Certainly not at his level (being an ex-president.) They’ll find some other way to impose “punishment,” in a way befitting a privileged, wealthy, White male. They won’t even put him in one of those Camp Creampuff white-collar jails either. And they’ll find some kind of “cover” for it too… the fear of riots, the unwillingness to cause social upheaval, protection of Democracy… whatever.

But boy, would I ever love to be wrong on this one…

Monday, April 3, 2023

If the Indictment Fits, You Must Convict

OK, so he was only off by two weeks! Looks like there’s gonna be a show tomorrow (4/4/23) as TFG gets dragged in for prints and a mug shot. And to me, the funny thing is, according to the New York Times:

So how does that square with his big pronouncement two weeks ago that his indictment was imminent? It shows that he was lying through his teeth again, in yet another scam to gain headlines, sympathy, and donations. The grift never ends.

The usual shitheads are poo-pooing the whole thing, as expected.

So it’s the GOP position that law enforcement presence at protests is the root cause of violence? Would that count at BLM protests as well?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

It amazes me, the straws people grasp at to clear themselves from blame. I’ve heard more convincing alibis from 4-year-olds with pudding all over their faces, explaining how they haven’t been into the dessert.

I’d like one of these apologists to explain to me why anyone should disregard evidence of a crime that was solid enough to convince a grand jury to indict. What’s the rationale for ignoring a crime? Are we in favor of a ranking system where only crimes that are this tall get to go on the ride? The fact that there is such evidence precludes this from being a political revenge hit job. If it truly was, you wouldn’t have evidence like with the Benghazi investigations. The fact that they dissipated without a single charge shows there was nothing there to begin with but a political smear.

I’m sure tomorrow will be a spectacle but we have to remember that this is only one step on a long road. Getting a conviction will be an entirely different animal, and getting one that will hold up to judicial appeal will be even tougher. At every step of the way, there will be pressure brought to bear on the participants, to move in one direction or the other. I just hope they follow the law and the evidence, and let the chips fall where they may.

Déjà vu All Over Again

Really? We had another school shooting? Let me find my “Surprised” face. I don’t even know what to write about these anymore. The ground is well-covered. (I’d link, but you can just click the label “Smoking Guns” from the right-side label cloud.)

No shit. I don’t think this was an article that needed to be written. Maybe just a line that says, “See every other mass shooting article written over the last 20 years.

If you watch Fox “News,” the big story was that the shooter identified as Trans. That brought the Republicans up out of their seats, to demand action. Out of the 2500 or so most recent mass shootings, three have been done by Trans people. So obviously, there’s your problem! Not the other abundance of straight white males.

Maybe liberals should go out and claim that it was obviously a false flag operation on the part of religious conservatives. They seem to think that’s a solid argument to make every time their people are jammed up.

I’ve written before that I favor a ban on semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 and high-capacity clips. I don’t think these instruments of war belong in the hands of non-military citizens. Our citizens have plenty of other guns they can use for hunting and self-defense that are less likely to cause the kind of mass destruction we see with these rifles. And I know a similar ban worked in the past.

The problem is that there are so many more of these guns in circulation now than there were in the mid-nineties when the ban was implemented. And the overall issue is so much more polarized than it used to be, so I don’t see how a similar ban could be made effective. Too many people would refuse to turn in their guns, leaving mass arrests to be the only recourse, and no politician (or police force) would have the stomach for that. So on we go, doing nothing.

Maybe someday they will surprise me, but I think this has become our new normal.

While I spend time trying to dissect political arguments, sometimes you just have to let a Matriarch step in and lay a good old-fashioned smack-down on an idiot:


And on That Note…

…Let me leave you with the funniest thing I saw this week:

Change is in the air!