Monday, July 31, 2023

Headline News - Weasels at Large

I saw several headlines on my News home page that made me want to go, "Hmmmm.” Here’s one:

We cannot allow this to stand.”

He doesn’t say, “Let’s see the evidence,” or “Where’s the proof?” Or even, “How could he be so stupid as to be caught trying to destroy evidence?” No, he goes straight to demanding that due process gets overturned and we go straight to acquittal. Or, not even acquittal, but dismissal of charges, for no other reason but that he and some other people don’t like it.

Why not just admit that “Rules are for the little people (and Democrats), and don’t apply to us.” I mean, how else can you interpret something like this, other pushing than a whole second set of standards?

There’s your real headline: “Republican weasel thinks he and his allies are above the law.”

When Republican politicians say “Law and Order,” it’s “Law” for us and Order… another private jet,” for them.

Moving on…

Obviously, Attorney General Kobach (of Kansas) didn’t watch any of the January 6th committee hearings, wherein they laid out in great detail how TFG was up to his nose in planning a demonstration outside the Capitol and literally banking on them preventing the Congressional votes from being counted. Again, we see them trying to weasel around things like eyewitnesses, phone text records, and video proof.

It wasn’t just “expressing thoughts about the conduct of an election,” it was a president, after having been told by everyone, the media, Congress, his own staff and family, that he lost the election, nevertheless summoning a mob to violently overthrow a lawful government operation, for the sole purpose of keeping himself in power.

Given the power of the office, you can’t judge him in the same manner as when Cooter, down at the bar, rages about overthrowing the Commie Democrats. Cooter doesn’t have the means to facilitate such a thing and a president absolutely does.

If TFG didn’t think he was liable for the 1/6 uprising, why would he be trying to find out if he could pardon himself? Further, why else would his congressional minions like MT Greene, Gym Jordan, Ted Cruz, and the rest be seeking pardons for themselves?

This behavior is fine, to Republicans. But could you imagine what it would be like if President Biden were to pardon Hunter? They’d be apoplectic. And that’s because, again, they see themselves as above the law.

Moving on again…

Once again, we have a Republican operative openly discussing ways to keep popular opinion out of legislation that a small but vocal minority wants to pass. Think of that in terms of what America should be all about. This is supposed to be a democracy. Our government is supposed to enact what a majority of the citizens want. It is NOT their job to keep the will of the majority from affecting a position only favored by a few radical wingnuts. (Yes, if you think the government should have the right to force women to give birth against their will because the “rights” of an un-sentient blob of plasma supersedes those of a pregnant woman, yes I think you’re a radical wingnut.) The people are supposed to speak and the elected officials are supposed to get it done.

This is what Republicans do. They know their positions aren’t widely supported, but do they alter their positions? No, they game the system so that what they want remains in place. They enact Voter ID laws that ask for IDs that are the least available to their opponents. They limit voting precincts in their opponents’ stronghold areas and reduce the number of voting machines in those few precincts, thus doubly ensuring the lines will be huge. They rail against anything that will make voting easier, mailed ballots, early voting, drive-up voting, and even bringing refreshments to those wilting in the long lines expressly created by Republicans. They want to make it hard to vote… a chore… something that takes up your day. Because that’s the only way they win. Suppress their opponents’ votes and disguise their own intentions.

If they ever came out with an accurate “platform,” that truly showed what their goals were, their showing would make George McGovern look like Attila the Hun.

Cut taxes to the wealthy.

Kill Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Complete abortion ban.

No more than rudimentary education for the masses, no critical thinking skills taught.

End all foreign aid and humanitarian operations.

End immigration, especially of non-white people.


Eliminate the EPA.

Drill the planet for raw materials and fuel until there’s nothing left but a dried-up husk.

End the estate tax. Hell, end taxes and the IRS altogether, which will…

End public services. I could go on…

All these things cost money that could otherwise be funneled back up to the 1%. And the filthy rich donor class who run the Republican Party are eager to find a way to make that happen.

I’m sure there would be some people that could be convinced to go along with such a platform, especially since it would be sure to own the Libs. Oh boy, how they could roll around in those salty liberal tears. But on the whole, Republicans would get beaten so badly they’d never leave their gilded throne rooms again.

So instead they suppress voters and game the system to keep a true populist agenda far from the halls of government.

Just look at what Ohio is doing to keep an abortion referendum from passing… they’re jamming in, at the last minute, a special referendum to require any future referendum to pass with at least 60% of the vote, rather than the current standard of 50%. (And of course, they’re using the 50% threshold for that one.) They’re sneaking this issue into what is projected to be a lightly attended August election, so the highly motivated anti-choice wingnuts have a chance at outnumbering the rest of the rational voters who may be too busy trying to make a living than spending a day standing in line.

All this is being done because they’ve seen how even in the Red States, people will turn out in droves to keep abortion legal. And the LAST thing they want is for it to be made plain how unpopular an abortion ban really is. It’s bad for the brand.

So let the games begin…

Monday, July 24, 2023

The End of America

Last week saw a story published that represents the most serious threat to the way our country governs, and even the Constitution itself, that I’ve seen in my lifetime. The New York Times ran a story, corroborated by the Trump campaign, about how in a second administration, TFG plans to remove the autonomy from the Justice Department and other administrative agencies, substituting loyalty to HIM over loyalty to the Constitution.

This would be bad enough in the hands of a sage and serious person with the purest of motives. But in the hands of a petty, petulant, tyrant? It’s the end of our country as an institution of freedom. Suddenly, we’re Saddam’s Iraq. Or North Korea.

With the power to prosecute and jail his enemies via the Justice Department, destroy their finances through the IRS, or regulate them to extinction through the applicable oversight agencies, this will become the United States of Trump. A whole country in service of a single egomaniac who has the self-control of a colicky toddler.

And I’m sure he’ll find a way to rope in a military/police faction, by adoption, or just starting his own, essentially turning him into a warlord.

Do you think there will ever be a fair election again? Hell, there may not even be ANY election again. They’ve finally figured out how to get around that petty matter of “public will” being articulated through elections. A plan like this only works if there are no further changes to who’s in power.

Is this the country our Founding Fathers imagined? Hell no, in fact, they took tangible steps to ensure that nothing like this would ever happen. This country was formed at the very core as a way to remove control of a country from a single man, “royal” or otherwise.

All the teary-eyed paeans to the US Constitution and veneration of the Bill of Rights coming from these “Constitutional Originalists” are pure lip service. If this comes to pass, you might as well break into the National Archives and tear those documents to pieces.

What I don’t know yet is the mechanism by which such a power shift would be executed. It can’t be that a president can just decide he gets all the power. I would think it would have to go through Congress. That could be the fail-safe that keeps this whole thing on the rails, assuming Democrats have control of at least one House. Although I certainly make room for the possibility that even a self-decreed self-anointment may likely be blessed by the stacked Supreme Court. That’s why at least three of them were appointed, to do their master’s bidding.

So far, I haven’t heard a single Republican criticize this effort, which now becomes a new plank in the GOP platform… perhaps the ONLY plank. They’re all in on it because they mean to grab some for themselves. Hell, Mitch McConnell and his mega-donors will probably have TFG rubbed out once all the steps have been taken and the pieces are in place. He’s not going to let all that power get wasted by some narcissistic ass clown.

With that kind of power in hand, you’ll see the real Republican agenda. IRS? Gone. Minimum wage? Gone. Social Security and Medicare? Gone. Food assistance? Gone. Reproductive freedom? Gone. (OK, they’re halfway home on that one already.) CDC and National Institute of Health? Gone. Any program that serves the average citizen will be replaced with more ways to siphon money upward.

This is such a bombshell, I can’t believe the Republicans ever let a word of it escape. They must be pretty confident in their voter suppression tactics for 2024. And the fact that this story hasn’t become political suicide just shows how fucked up this country really is.

This. Must. Be. Stopped.

Right in its tracks. The fact that it’s even been proposed shows how little the Republican hierarchy cares about the will of the people. It’s All Power, All the Time. And they’ll use every emotional ruse in the book to misdirect their misguided fans until they find out way too late, that they’ve made a tragic mistake.

Democrats need to make this campaign issue number one. Every candidate needs to ask his opponent if he supports such action and get them on the record. And if the answer is not “Hell NO!” then rip them to shreds for even considering such an assault on American Democracy.

There is no “both sides” bullshit on this one. Nothing analogous has ever come from the Democratic side, this is 100% Republicanism. This is a heinous power grab, being executed by a wannabe mushroom dictator. They tried to wrest power from the voters once already on January 6th, and this is round two. If we allow it, we deserve the dystopian hellscape that’s guaranteed to follow.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Cocaine Bluz

My first thought when the story broke about the bag of cocaine found at the White House, was that it was probably a plant. But then the more I thought about it, and the more information that rolled in, the more sure I’ve become. It just doesn’t make sense any other way.

·         The obvious and immediate reaction is “Who the hell would be so daring as to bring their coke to the White House, but then leave it in some storage cubby?”  Do they have drug-sniffing dogs at the White House, because I know the metal detectors won’t pick it up? Why wouldn’t you keep it with you? It’s not like anyone will randomly ask you to turn out your pockets. It doesn’t make sense.

·         Isn’t cocaine still really expensive? I mean, maybe it’s a bargain now, I don’t know, but last I heard, the cost was nothing to sneeze at. What user would buy a supply and then walk off without it? It doesn’t make sense.

·         There were no fingerprints on the baggie. So we’re to believe that some coke fiend who’s brazen enough to smuggle drugs into the White House, who intends to come back and retrieve his stash, is going to wipe the prints from the bag? Or wear gloves in July? This doesn’t make sense either.

·         No one was identified on camera as leaving it there? Sounds like someone knew where the cameras were, maybe an insider or past regular visitor.

These points only make sense if the intention was to leave the blow there all along. Republicans are trying desperately to smear President Biden with something…anything! But nothing is sticking. Hunter’s laptop… nothing meaningful. Influence, payoffs, bribery, inside lobbying… they got nothing but accusations from people trying to save their own asses. Zero proof, zero evidence, zero impact.

So what do you do when your party’s entire focus is scandal-mongering? You create one yourself. They send a lackey into the White House with instructions on where to leave the coke. I’m pretty sure they knew where they could get their hand on some.

“Did someone say, ‘Let’s blow this place?’”

They’re in and out without issue, then it’s just a matter of waiting until the stash is found and revving up the Right-wing outrage machine. Finally, there’s “proof” of something, because there is now a tangible piece of evidence that can be pointed to.

They ignore the fact that Hunter Biden, as well as all of the Bidens, were out of the office at Camp David during the entire period in question. That’s just more of the cover-up. Basically, any exculpatory evidence is considered part of the cover-up. That’s how everything plays with the Republican Conspiracy Theorists. Discard anything that doesn’t fit their narrative. Heads, I win, tails, you lose.

Best of all, it plays right into the pre-arranged talking point of Hunter Biden (and by extension, his whole family,) being coked-up maniacs, hell-bent on running this good country into the ground. (How, I don’t know. By making the average person’s life better? Turning the economy around? Pushing for student loan relief? Bringing down the price of insulin? Republicans seem to have a problem with all of that, but can’t really tell you why.)

But that’s the problem. The Biden Administration has quite a few wins under their belt, so Republicans have to find a way to distract the public and throw some stink on the Administration. And then suddenly, they find coke in the White House.

Notice how many times the media phrases it as cocaine “near the Oval Office,” or “in the West Wing,” rather than "In a cubby area where visitors store their things." They’re playing right into the GOP’s hands. Granted, a juicy scandal is good for ratings, so you’d expect even the straight media to cover it. But they’ve bought into the Republican slant.

I think there’s also the possibility of this coke being unintentionally left by a visitor, but the odds against so many coincidences are vast. I believe that coincidences can happen, but when you start stacking them up and they all break just the right way? I don’t buy it. Nothing is THAT coincidental in the modern, zero-sum, ratfucking world of Washington.

Maybe in twenty years, another White House insider book will come out and someone will cop to the scheme. But until then, I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure unless the FBI has been less than forthright in their characterization of the case. I don’t believe there’s any action to cover for the Biden family or other Administration personnel… there are too many FBI agents that would love to break a big high-profile case like this. Regardless of political motivation, people usually seek promotions, notoriety, and pay raises, so I don’t see a cover-up lasting very long. But without hard evidence, it’s just another DC mud-sling-athon.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Sex Ed Hysteria

A couple of weeks ago, I received a troll comment containing a screed about what’s supposedly going on with sex education. The reason I consider it a “troll” comment is that it was completely off-topic from the post, mentioned backup graphics that weren’t in evidence, and had that breathless quality that says “I’ve been passing this around for months!

I didn’t publish it, as I said, it had nothing to do with the post, but I still wanted to take a look under the hood and give it a thorough examination.

Here’s the comment in its full raging glory (name edited, although it was surely an alias):

Read in full here or see below to go bit by bit.

“When the Sex Education in Public Schools Debates started, the normal people stated this would be a slippery slope… the Left said they were being silly…”

Ah, the Slippery Slope argument, one of the weakest of all rhetorical devices. They usually call for a series of highly unlikely actions to get to where they want us to fear going. Normal people don’t rely on Slippery Slope arguments, people with weak arguments do.

“We just want to teach biology to the kids to help prevent unwanted pregnancy…”

100% True

"Well, They Were Lying…of Course.”

Of course? Not hardly. There are no liberal committees devoted to turning the nation’s children into raging sex addicts, regardless of what the sex-averse and incel Right allege. And if there are, I’m pretty pissed about missing the meetings. Someone should have called me on the Blue Leftie Bat Phone we all have.

“The basic Sex Education curriculum is no longer “Basic”… it is now about Every Weird Sexual Fetish that those Leftist Lunatics can come up with…”

Oh really? That’s an awfully broad brush. I mean, there’s a huge difference between sex/health studies from, say, first grade vs. middle school, vs high school. Different levels should get a different level of detail. I wonder what they consider a “Weird Sexual Fetish? Probably just being gay. While they’re painting recognition of same-sex relationships as “grooming,” they might as well add some sizzle.

“Doubt me?”

 Every word.

“The following is graphic………but it is part of the curriculum the left wants to teach your children….. you need to know what they are doing….”

And here’s where we get to the missing graphic, which is no doubt as salacious as it is fake and misleading.

Just take a look at what was given by a Planned Parenthood Sex Educator–Planned Parenthood is one of the providers that commonly helps schools teach sex ed in schools, and it provides a lot of curricular material that is used by “educators”–to 9th graders at a school in Saskatchewan. It is an ABC book to teach Sexual terms.”

I would love to have a look at it, and I’d also like to know the audience for whom it was actually created. Look how the writer mealy-mouths the allegations… Here’s their gist:

·         It was created by Planned Parenthood,

·         Planned Parenthood  also helps guide school curriculums, (news to me, I doubt it, but OK for argument’s sake)

·         Therefore that makes this graphic an actual schooling tool.

The author claims, without evidence or proof, that this was used with a 9th-grade class in Saskatchewan. Is she sure it wasn’t Timbuktu? WTF? But even if true, any teacher in any area is capable of doing something unusual at any time. But that doesn’t make it a national or universal truth.

And what the bloody hell is wrong with learning terminology? Ninth graders should be literate on biological and sexual terms. Like it or not, they’re capable of fucking, so they might as well learn the lingo.

“The left does not rest, they do not stop....they do not forgive, they do not forget.....there is no compassion or Mercy in them.”

You heard it… The Left is the Terminator! “Come vit me if you want to fuck!

“The Left will teach your children anything they wish about sex, and you are powerless to stop them.”

And there it is, with Sex Ed as it is with any “ed.” The right wants people ignorant. If only we could somehow explain, in simple words, that knowledge of an action does not imply intent to engage in it. And with sex, ignorance kills. Study after study has shown that depriving kids of sex ed and information on contraception does not keep them from having sex, it just makes it more likely for them to get pregnant when doing so.

Then if your child wants to become the other sex or want an abortion, the state will hide these facts from you and take over parental rights to your child to "take care of it".

I ask, when does a person have the right to self-determination? Not all parents are Ozzie and Harriet. Some are quite awful, ignorant, bigoted, violent, and controlling. Sometimes the State needs to assert control, when the parents are lacking in parenting fundamentals. Sometimes “hiding these facts” will save a child’s life. While I think that last snippet is overwrought hysteria, every situation is unique. Sometimes outside influence is necessary, and sometimes it’s not. There’s a lot of wiggle room and nothing is served well when surrounded in such hyperbole.

Again, you are legally powerless to stop them, not by the Constitution, but by the post-Constitutional government in place today.”

One hundred percent bullshit. There is no “post-Constitutional government” in place today, just one that is opposed by a bunch of sore losers and reality deniers.


I feel the only answer is age-appropriate and comprehensive Sex Ed classes in school.  Parents can feel free to supplement the classes with their own moral bent, but depriving information is never the way to go.  Because with a lack of hard-core, factual information, kids will get the dirt elsewhere: from TV, movies, their idiot friends, and Internet porn.  That information is guaranteed to be rife with rumors, innuendo, and misinformation that can potentially be fatal.  Is that really a good alternative?

I remember when I was in 6th grade and we were all gathered together for assembly with the boys in one session and the girls in another. Our principal, a tall, lean, dour, bi-spectacled man, led us through the biology of fertilization, culminating in the mysterious statement that “the man’s sperm then goes from the penis into the woman’s vagina.” Then he asked if we had any questions.

By this time, my little head was swimming. We were supposed to do that? With girls?? I was WAAAY too shy to even consider doing something like that, no matter how far into the future that would be.  And all of our parents, grandparents, neighbors and such did THAT? Gross! But still, one thing puzzled me even more, so I put up my hand. The principal called on me.

I stood up and asked my question: “How does the man know when the sperms are going to come out?

The principal coughed a few times, looked around furtively, and said, “Um, you’ll know.”

Well, that was no help! I didn’t know. I looked around and none of my friends knew. Hmm. I’d have to watch that.  I could be running around on the playground one day and bang! Stuff would be coming out and I’d have to hurry up and find a vagina to put it into.

See, there was so little context regarding the entire situation, our big Sex Ed Speech made everything an even greater mystery. 

(I bet my principal told that story for years. He ought to owe me a royalty.)

As it turned out, we 6th graders got most of our practical information from another classroom source: The Encyclopedia. Seriously. After lunch, before the teacher would get back to the classroom, one of the kids would do a “reading from the Good Book,” meaning the encyclopedia entry for “Sex” or Reproduction.”

I was still pretty sure the encyclopedia had it wrong. There was no way that was how babies were made. It was just too icky.

I’m sure kids today are far hipper to such things, but still, they’re kids. Without proper context, it’s no wonder young people have so many misconceptions about sex. If we’re going to do something about curtailing abortions in this country, we can’t just preach “no sex” and then put the screws to young adults or troubled couples when something goes horribly wrong. And no matter what grade level, we can’t have schools pretending that gay people don’t exist. Imagine the damage being done to the kids of gay parents in Florida right now. Kids are liable to bring up any topic in the classroom. Teachers need to be able to deal with it with sensitivity and acceptance, without fearing for their jobs.

The world is just not the same as it was when today’s parents were kids themselves. Standards change, details change, and cultural moods change. We owe it to The Children to teach them openly and honestly about all facets of sex. 

Monday, July 3, 2023

How To Destroy Democracy in 6 Easy Steps

The 2023 SCOTUS term sure went out with a bang, huh? Geez, it was like a Federalist Society wish list, foisted upon the country by the Six Justices of the Apocalypse…

These are major hits on women, gays, and education, Republican Enemies 1, 2, and 3. To all the Democrats and Independents who didn’t vote for Hillary, this is what you’ve wrought, a wholly predictable assault on civil rights, human rights, and the right not to be taken to the cleaners by the banking industry.

Democrats need to come out on fire, this election season and hit these decisions hard. These were Republican priorities that almost exclusively benefitted themselves and their benefactors, at the expense of the average citizen. This is what happens when the Right is in power; they rig the system evermore so in their favor.

It’s especially galling that in the Web Designer sued for the right not to have to set up a web page for a same-sex wedding, it turned out that the plaintiff never actually fielded such an inquiry. She just wanted to discriminate on spec. Or her backers did… this had test case written all over it.

While in theory, it sounds bad to force someone to do something against their will, I think societal rules for business should supersede an individual’s cherry-picked mythological notions. If you open a business in America, you should serve anyone who walks through the metaphorical door. If your religion prevents that, then try another profession. It’s really no different than a vegan cashier refusing to ring up a customer’s steak.

And to make clear how egregiously discriminatory this is, just replace “gay” with “Black.” There is zero difference. Both are innate characteristics. If you can’t refuse service to a Black person, you shouldn’t be able to do the same to someone gay. Although I should pipe down about that… Banning service to Blacks is probably the next item on the Racist Right’s agenda.

Anyway, it’s not like Republicans are against forcing people into doing things they don’t want to do, like having a baby. They just prefer to be the ones doing the forcing. As I always say, Republicans don’t really do “principles,” they do “wanna’s.” They will espouse any principle they’ve decried in the past if it supports something they wanna do now.

The pursuit of education really took it on the chin as well. It’s old news that Justice Junket Thomas campaigned to get rid of Affirmative Action, after having used it himself, but it still makes my brain explode. “Benefits for me, but none for thee.” That’s the conservative motto, right there. Or in other words, “I got mine, now go eff yourselves.”

It’s revolting how Republicans frame this as eliminating discrimination. Yes, the poor downtrodden white kids. Such hardships you would never know. Because now, “Victim of Discrimination” = “White kid who didn’t get into his first college of choice.”

And then those who mortgaged the farm to get a college loan at an insane interest rate guaranteeing that it will never be paid off will continue to pour money into the open gullet of the banking industry rather than into the economy at large, where various vendors and employees can feel the benefit. That’s what Republicans are pushing for.

The more young people have to carry debt, the more dough rolls into the banks, and the more people have to accept crappy jobs for crappy pay because they have to keep servicing that debt monkey, the better it is for the top 1%.

That should be the next GOP Slogan: 

"Judge Smales in 2024: The world needs ditch diggers too!

It’s no accident that tuition has spiked over the last 30 years at the same time college loans became prohibitively expensive. The upper crust doesn’t want educated people, they want pliant workers who will take orders without question, and believe anything they’re told on Fox “News.”

And if it’s anyone who’s going to get those degrees, it’s gonna be nice, White, suburban kids, and legacy students. People who will take their MBAs with a shot of whiskey and replace their dads in the boardrooms one day.

Now, the only question is, will anyone remember this next November?

Happy 4th of July. Not.