Monday, August 28, 2023

By Hook or By Crook

I mentioned in some prior posts that the Republicans are now completely comfortable with gaming the system to get what they want. They don’t try to change minds, they change rules. They rig systems right out in the open. They cheat and lie. And they accuse their opponents of doing the same but never seem to have any proof.

This is such a widely used tactic now, that it might as well be a plank in their party platform (if they ever actually create another one). Here are some current examples:

Setback: Losing the “Youth Vote.”

GOP Solution: Raise the voting age! Who cares what they think if they can’t vote? They can have any gun they want and be forced to have babies, but they’re not old enough to reasonably consider their vote.

Also, put the squeeze on by eliminating the Dept. of Education, cutting funding for schools and programs, keeping student loan interest rates high, purging faculties of suspected liberals, and replacing them with reliable conservative or religious mouthpieces.

Setback: Unpopularity of strict abortion laws, losing the “Woman” vote.

GOP Solution: Since The People keep voting for referenda that support the right to reproductive freedom (by either refusing to enact harsh limits or passing privacy guarantees), not only are Repubs refusing to propose abortion-limiting referenda, they’re trying to kneecap the process by attempting to enact higher thresholds for passage of any referendum, or raising the degree of difficulty in even proposing one. (See: Ohio.)

In another angle, because abortion has become such a wedge and they’re becoming much less successful at attacking abortion in the states, they’re now pushing for a national ban. That takes the states out of play completely and puts the matter in the hands of the 6 bought-and-paid-for, anti-abortion Supreme Court justices. All they need is a way to weasel it past Democratic rivals in the legislative and executive branches, through either elections or horse trading.

Late Update: Now the Ohio Secretary of State has rewritten the language for what is to appear on the referendum ballot to add loaded terms like “unborn baby” in place of “fetus” or “embryo.” He also eliminated language describing the other ramifications of the referendum, covering contraception, miscarriages, and fertility treatment. See? They never stop trying to erect barriers to The People’s Voice, when it differs from their party goals. Deter them on one front and they just open another.

Setback: Their Orange Idol is being prosecuted by the state of Georgia, with irrefutable evidence already public, where the possibility of a pardon is non-existent.

GOP Solution: Pass a law allowing them to fire the prosecutor. Is the prosecutor doing anything illegal or inappropriate? No, they just don’t like that “one of theirs” is being charged. Doesn’t matter what he did, fire the prosecutor.

And to keep the rage stoked, Rep Gym Jordan opened an investigation into the Georgia investigation. That they clearly have no jurisdiction over the matter is irrelevant. It’s all a dog and pony show to be peddled on Fox “News” and the like.

Setback: TFG’s presidential campaign is very much in danger, if not by the various indictments, but by prospective voters. He’s already lost the popular vote twice.

GOP Solution: Create an “independent” third party, to peel away votes from Biden. The No Labels “party” is a smokescreen created by wealthy Republican donors who can read the tea leaves and know TFG is toast. If they can’t push his bloated corpse to victory on his own, they can at least attack opposition voters by hyping a Democratic Trojan Horse. Guys like Manchin or Lieberman have no real chance of winning, but if they can steal enough votes in one or two tight swing state races, it may allow a devoted MAGA crowd to turn out and grab another Electoral College win.

Setback: Losing enough close elections in former blood-red states that they no longer have veto-proof majorities.

GOP Solution: Run a candidate as a Democrat who agrees to flip to Republican after winning the election. See: South Carolina.

Also, pass a law allowing the state legislature to overturn election results they don’t like, as they did in Texas. They set up the standard so that it only applies to one county, the largest one in the state, which “coincidentally” happens to include Houston and skews Democratic.

Democracy is meaningless when a legislature can just set aside any election result they don’t like.


Some other stuff:

I didn’t watch the first Republican debate because I’d rather ram a sharp stick in my eye than watch two hours of that blather. But I heard that Vivek Ramaswamy made a big splash. But I’m not worried about him for two reasons.

1.       Though he may be posturing to be named a VP candidate, TFG will never choose a running mate who’s as big of a spotlight hog as he is. See also: “MT Greene.”

2.       More importantly, no one named Vivek Ramaswamy will ever win the Republican nomination.


This cracked me up and pissed me off at the same time:

Excellent response… funny. But to me, much like Junior, he misses the point.

“Violated his due process???”

Due process is precisely what’s going on. You have an investigation, testimony, evidence, indictments, charges, and a trial. That’s due process and he’s getting all of it, right up the old wazoo. The part Junior is looking for is probably the part where rich people pay other people to look the other way. That’s the kind of process this family is used to.

“Tainted the Grand Jury?” No one even knew who they were until after the fact. How the hell are they being “tainted.” If the jury was tainted, it was by an overwhelming pile of evidence. Junior wouldn’t recognize “taint” if it was right in front of his nose, which it probably was, considering where his head’s been for so long.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Indictments Went Down in Georgia

As the possibility of indictment grew large in Georgia, one of the first things I asked myself was, “Great, it’s a state charge so it’s not eligible for a presidential pardon, but what about a pardon from the Governor?" It would be the perfect “out” for TFG and a way for Governor Kemp to make his way back into the good graces of MAGA.

Then last week, (right after I submitted my weekly post, unfortunately), I got my answer:

Five seconds of Googling confirmed it, which I supposed I could have done in the first place, so that set my mind at ease a bit. And since then, several other blogs who are learned in the ways of politics have addressed it as well.

All Georgia pardons are done via a 5-member pardon board. And even if they were packed with red cap-wearing MAGAs, the law says that a pardon may only be applied AFTER a sentence is served, following conviction. It is literally impossible for it to be a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

So what happens next? Do the Republicans go, “OK, this is pretty serious, so we might have to wrap our heads around a conviction and time served?” Hell No! This is America and Republicans don’t let a silly thing like The Law stand in the way of their pursuit of power.

When in trouble with the law, just change the law! That might as well be in their GOP Platform. Through speech and actions, it’s apparent that Republicans only consider “The Law” to be something applied to their enemies, political, social, or philosophical.

Can they pull that off? I don’t know, but nothing surprises me anymore. Stuff that conspirators used to mutter in the dark to each other is now trumpeted on the front page. There used to be a sense of shame, or fear, or just a sense of what’s right and wrong, but that’s long gone. All that’s left is the pursuit and maintenance of political power and the ability to use it against those who are not on “the team.” Everything else is secondary at best, and irrelevant at worst.

As far as I’m concerned, and I’ve said this many times over the past few years, there HAVE to be consequences when a president commits the kind of malfeasance we’ve seen under the last Administration. As a country, we cannot allow a president to run roughshod over traditional laws and standards, enrich himself via the power of the office, persecute political foes, rig the election apparatus, or threaten the peaceful transfer of power. When one does, like TFG has, he has to be penalized for it in such a way that no one else tries it again.

If that doesn’t happen, we cease to be a free democracy and instead, we become just another banana republic.

Even if we could obtain some kind of guarantee that TFG won’t run for office again, in return for dropping prosecution, it still rings the dinner bell for every other maniac who thinks they can loot the office and then golden parachute their way back out. The hell with the second term, they can just make bank in one term and walk away unscathed. We can’t have that if we want to continue the ideals of the Founding Fathers. Or merely be a free and democratic country.


I loved this:

Yes, my daddy wants your vote, your money, and your adoration, (not necessarily in that order), but he doesn’t want to actually be seen with you.”

Is this not the Trumpiest tweet ever?

Oh, heaven forbid we allow the little people to set foot in the gilded palace, without a mop or some hedge trimmers (or bolt cutters) in their hands. Call Security! Now who’s got the blow?”

Poor Junior. No matter how desperately he toadies up to his dad, he’s always playing for second place.


And lastly, I saw this posted on one of my conservative friend’s FB stream:

"And I remember when conducting an insurrection on national TV, with property destruction, attempted assassinations, and police deaths, would have earned you treason charges and the death sentence. What’s your point?"

Respecting the Flag??? Someone was trying to skewer a DC cop with a flagpole, for cryin’ out loud. How is that respect for the flag? MAGAs routinely fly the Nazi and Confederate flags. How is that not an insult to Old Glory herself? Hundreds of thousands of people died fighting against what those two flags represented. 

Rodney Dangerfield got more respect than what they’ve shown our flag.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Gaming the System

While I was thrilled that Ohio’s Proposition 1 went down in flames, I’m not as optimistic about any deeper changes coming.

To recap, Prop One was a dirty trick unleashed by the GOP-controlled Ohio state legislature, solely to hamper the efforts to enact statewide abortion guarantees via referendum this fall. It went like this:

·       GOP passes bill eliminating “quickie” August referenda because of low turnout and high costs.

·       GOP realizes there is vast support for a November referendum guaranteeing reproductive freedom.

·       GOP develops their own referendum to increase the point at which a referendum passes, from 50% to 60%, and slides it into the August slot they just wanted eliminated. They know a 60% threshold will be much more difficult to achieve. It also may have given them grounds to legally challenge the abortion referendum, because it also called for petition signatures coming from all 88 counties, rather than around half, which was the previous benchmark.

·       Ohio citizens recognize this blatant end-around of their own will and vote down Prop One 57%-43%. (See, they didn’t come up with “60%” by accident.)

So, just like in Kansas and a couple of other red states, the right to an abortion was upheld by general vote. Naturally, many on the Left were celebrating this victory as a sign of more changes coming.

I wish they were right but I disagree. I don’t think it means anything in the bigger political picture. Sure, it’s linked with one party more than the other, but it’s not the same as pulling the lever beside someone’s name with a “D” beside it.

Like I said when the Kansas vote happened, “I think this motion was shot down because it was just an issue. There were no “politicians” tied to it, therefore, no personal baggage or smears. (Although I’m sure there was plenty of misinformation passed around.) I believe a lot of Republicans voted to maintain the right to safe abortions because they could do it without having to vote for a damned liberal snowflake commie pedophile Satan-worshiping Democrat.”

Look at who voted for these stooges who tried to game the system, in the first place. I don’t think it’s likely that they’re totally in play, when it comes to voting for people. Democrats should make a major push to flip the Independents, though. Just keep reminding people who is pushing the abortion bans and who is fighting to keep healthcare decisions private. Perhaps they can peel off a few rational Republican voters as well, but I’m not looking for a big sea change here. People are reluctant to admit they’ve been wrong.

Speaking of gaming the political system, remember back in April, when a NC state representative flipped to Republican after successfully campaigning as a pro-choice Democrat?

Here’s what I wrote about it at the time:

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.”

“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.

Now cut to last week’s headline:

Man, sometimes it sucks to be right.

Yep, she was a wavering Democrat when she was approached by the Republican House leaders and persuaded to run in the Democratic primary. (Like it should have been any of their concern.)

It’s fine if she wants to serve as a Republican, but FFS, run as a Republican! You can’t campaign as a pro-choice Dem in a hard-blue district and then turn around and disenfranchise every voter who voted you in! It’s the dirtiest of dirty tricks and Republicans would have a collective hemorrhage if this went the other way around.

I’d like to see an investigation into her finances, campaign and otherwise, to see if there was a mysterious windfall round about the time she was recruited by the GOP, and in April when she flipped. I’m betting that someone provided more than just “moral” support.

In other news of the warped:

This isn’t even about “Woke,” this is about suppressing the idea that children can be friends regardless of race, or in other words, promoting blatant, obvious, racism. A parent complained about a classroom poster that illustrated different colored children holding hands. The parent claimed it was promoting a personal ideology. She said her child was “traumatized and had to switch classrooms.”

How badly must these parents have fucked up this kid to have such a poster cause a meltdown?

What it was promoting was NOT being a bigoted, racist, asshole. But then this is Conroe, Texas, (about 30 miles north of Houston), and they apparently demand the right to be bigoted, racist, assholes. I mean, is cross-racial friendship really that controversial? Maybe in 1950, but surely not any longer. Except maybe in Conroe, I guess.

See, this is one more step in using the education process to promote Republican ideology/racism. After all, the best way to fight racism is to see Black and White children become friends early on. Then they begin hearing the inevitable racist remarks, they have their own experiences to fall back on, which may keep the racist messaging from taking root.

This parent, and the school system who is supporting her, is falling right in line with the new conservative ethos. (Well, maybe “Old” conservative ethos, which was kept better hidden back in the day.)

Perhaps the people of Conroe, Texas might allow for a more poster favorable to their own points of view, say, one depicting brown people on one side, white people on the other, and a giant razor wire-topped wall in between. And a moat filled with Ex-Lax, alligators, and explosive mines.

Sure, that’s a “personal ideology” too, but I’m sure the school board would approve that one.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Trial and Error

We had a bit of news last week, wherein a certain former president is being charged with some more felonies and starting to show the strain. And it’s almost as bad as the straining done by people trying to diminish his actions and get him off the hook.

First, we had a call from the Divine:

Yes, pay no attention to the orange cretin behind the curtain, just keep listening to Fox “News. They’ll tell you everything you need to know. Republican Jesus has a plan. Republican Jesus supports everything the Bible’s Jesus decries and TFG is his prophet. A Proper Profit Prophet. Now keep going to trade school, because who needs to listen to a bunch of eggheads? Plus, these BMWs won’t fix themselves.”

Why are we not surprised TFG is already trying to find a more favorable judge before his trial even starts?

We have to keep in mind, if something isn’t rigged in his favor, he thinks it’s unfair. It’s the Way of the Wealthy. As far as he’s concerned, he should only have to do business in front of judges that he appointed and they are obligated to be loyal and back him at every turn. Is that too much to ask? Believe me, as soon as his pet judge Cannon does something he doesn’t like, he’ll try to get her removed too. And she’s already on thin ice after trying to stall the documents investigation a few months back.

He wasted no time in making his displeasure with the proceedings known to his fans, by threatening the judge and prosecutors.

If you go after me, I'm coming after you,” he posted on his faux-Twitter social media outlet.

Isn’t that exactly what Al Capone said in “The Untouchables,” when he was threatening Eliot Ness? It figures that TFG would use a mob reference, as he fancies himself a mob boss. And by “I’ll come after you,” he means, of course, his MAGA minions, who began producing death threats immediately.

And it’s all just good old American “free speech,” too.

TFG’s apologists are desperate to make the January 6th case about free speech. The problem is that the indictment states clearly and directly that he is not being charged for his speech, but for specific actions, namely to create slates of fake electors and strong-arm VP Mike Pence into halting the ceremonial vote count so they could get the election rigging nailed down.

And even if Jack Smith WAS going after him for inciting his mob to attack the Capitol, the First Amendment is about the freedom to speak without government limitations, which he did.. It’s not about freedom from the consequences of one’s speech. If you call for the violent overthrow of the government to have yourself illegally installed as president, there will be consequences.

And as such, calling for attacks against the justice system participants calls for consequences as well. There is zero First Amendment impact here. But it’s what Republicans want you to think. All victimhood, all persecution, all the time.

They never make room for the fact that their guy committed blatant, obvious, crimes, right in front of everyone. And because they’re Republicans, the fight for the right to be above the law never stops.

Now we have a congressman who wants to defund the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security unless they “fix” their problems. Meaning stopping the legal and necessary prosecutions of their false idol (and building walls on the southern border.)

Roy told host Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday” that Congress should withhold funding from the two agencies over what he characterized as the Biden administration’s “weaponization” of the Justice Department and for “leaving the border exposed. And I can tell you right now for all my colleagues, I will not vote for a continuing resolution or any funding for DHS or DOJ if we don’t get changes to both,” Roy said. “I want the border secure. I want DOJ restored to following the rule of law…”

So, it’s partisan “weaponization” when the DOJ goes after a politician who commits obvious crimes, but it’s NOT weaponization to go after a politician’s son, who has zero role in the government and there is zero proof of any grand malfeasance. AND it’s also not weaponization to hold hearing after hearing on a Democratic presidential candidate who used a private email server, also with zero proof of a crime, or even a negative consequence from using said server.

These guys are talking out of their collective asses. They used the DOJ as an attack dog from the Bush presidency to this last one, who made it their primary job to investigate political opponents and their supporters. (Remember the big GW Bush push to find voter fraud? The DOJ spent millions of dollars looking for Democratic voter fraud and couldn’t find jack shit… other than several cases of Republican voter fraud, which disappeared immediately.

I can’t even, with these guys. I just can’t even.

I can see another important battle ahead and that’s to get these trials televised. Obviously, these will be the Trials of the Century. It would be in every American’s best interest to follow them closely, but that’s exactly why Republicans will do everything they can to prevent the broadcast.

The last thing they want is for unvarnished proof of criminality to become publicly viewed. They want their people to get all their pertinent information from Fox “News” and the like, where it can be sanitized, alibied, and whitewashed. Fox will cherry-pick clips to show that follow their chosen storyline and disappear everything else. They do NOT want to see clips of the testimony broadcast that shows the Emperor not wearing any clothes. (Which I agree, NO ONE wants to see, not even Melania.)

Just go back to the earlier point… “Pay no attention to the news. We’ll tell you what to think and what to do. Who are you going to believe, us, or your lying eyes?”

I’ve seen it wondered, in various corners of the internet, why TFG’s followers still follow him, despite the mountain of evidence that he’s a crook, a cheat, a swindler, a con man, and all around bad person.

I don’t think it’s complicated at all. It’s just the combination of Team Politics and the aversion to admitting they’ve been wrong (for eight years.) It’s hard for most people to admit they’re wrong, but especially for Republicans. That’s their trademark… never doubt, never retreat, never admit, always double down. Accuse them of whatever they say you're doing. That’s why they will support this guy right up until he leads them off a cliff.

You’d think he would have lost votes from the families of everyone who followed his lead on COVID and then died from it. But MAGAs still gotta MAGA, and so it shall be.

We will never be able to reason with them, we can only outnumber them. And then prepare the protests for how we “stole” the election. Again. Because that’s the mindset.

Either we win, or you cheated.”

Deny, misdirect, accuse, project.

We have to be prepared.