Driving my '72 Capri so fast (over 100 mph) the butterfly vent closures snapped shut. Because the car didn't have factory air, and the dash vents were directly connected to the outside.
Constant paper cuts on the side of your right hand, because when you rolled down the driver's window, you'd cut your hand on the Thomas Guide stuffed in the door compartment in case you had to figure out how to get somewhere.https://t.co/Yr2jtdyB4r— JunkyHat (@Popehat) May 11, 2021
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
It's a very good article, detailed and thorough (an admitted rarity at Raw Story). That quote alone, in the tweet, speaks volumes.
'You can’t tie me to white supremacy': Inside the fight over 'critical race theory' in America's richest county https://t.co/f6JAyv20Bq— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 11, 2021
"Since white people are in a state of privilege with regards to racial issues (meaning they can choose not to think about racial issues that don't affect them) they may respond to the whole discussion of race with discomfort."
That's exactly right, and exactly the problem with addressing our national "hidden wound." I don't have to think about being stopped by a cop for DWB (Driving While Black), yet I've seen cops do that to black drivers. (I used to sit and wait for my wife to leave work in St. Louis County. I often observed police stopping drivers for some reason, I never knew why. The drivers, 100% of the time, were black. The sole black seminary professor told us stories of being followed, regularly, in department stores. He looked as "gangsta" as I do, but he was black. Nobody pays attention to me in department stores. I had to think about those things to realize how much I've never had to think about racial issues. I'm a white male, I walk through the world confident nobody's going to bug me, approach me, consider me for assault. My daughter doesn't. She explained that "hidden world" to me, too. It opened wider when my wife nodded in agreement with my daughter, and said she knew what her daughter was talking about. I've known my wife for 50 years. I never even suspected. Yeah, I have a lot of white male privilege.)
That quote in the tweet deserves to be put in context:
Broadly summarized, according to a slide in a presentation by the consulting group that provided the training, critical race theory "analyzes the role of race and racism in perpetuating social disparities between dominant and marginalized racial groups."
Mineo told Raw Story that people who oppose critical race theory don't deserve to be stigmatized.
"Being against critical race theory doesn't mean that someone holds the position of a white supremacist," he said.
The "slide presentation" is the same one that quote above came from. The summary of critical race theory is seriously deficient, but so it goes. Being against CRT doesn't mean you're a white supremacist; but it also doesn't mean you either correctly understand CRT, or that you aren't a racist. And let me say here "racist" means having any opinion on blacks based on skin color rather than individual character, or being blind to the world we've created and defended since at least 1619 that preserves white male privilege above all else. Yeah, that sounds harsh. Truth hurts. If you think that's "in your face," I sympathize. But the problem is you, not the truth.
Gotta be honest.
So white people can't say they see the world in terms of race, or prefer the system of laws and historical benefits (I recently heard a simple economic commentary that black Americans in general don't have the history of family assets their white counterparts do, and so have a harder time entering into the wealth created by home ownership. My grandfather ran a used car dealership before I was born. He lived in a house built by his brother, a carpenter. My father made his money from the GI Bill and going to college, where he got training to be a CPA. He did well in the post-war boom, and helped me finance the house I now own free and clear. He also put me through college, back when it was state-supported and frighteningly cheap. He had wealth to pass on, and I benefit from that, directly and indirectly, now. I've owned three houses myself, as he did in his lifetime. That's a helluva lot of privilege I absolutely take for granted because I don't own two or three houses at once, or have the assets of a Bill Gates. Most of us don't, but most white people have greater advantage and benefits than most non-whites in this country. Is that due to racism? Or is it just the natural order? Or do we even think about it all that much?). What we (white people, I mean) certainly don't do is see it in terms of race, or racism. Racism is bad; and I'm not bad. I just want to take care of my family, and preserve my property interests by being sure my neighborhood retains its value. And that means concern for who lives there, among other things.
Flip it around: you don't have to be a white supremacist to be a racist. It's actually much easier to be a racist, than it is to be a white supremacist. To put it in other terms, it's much easier to just not care about religion, than it is to be an avowed atheist. One is a casual indifference, the other is an activity. Of course, if "none" is your default position (and that mainly means you don't have a church membership, or consider yourself a member of a church, synagogue, mosque, what have you. Technically I'm a "none," but I'm certainly not an atheist, or even a non-believer), that doesn't affirmatively harm others. But to say you aren't a racist because you aren't a white supremacist doesn't mean you don't still happily take advantage of the privileges afforded to you if you are white in America. It just means you are walking through life with your eyes closed.
Orwell said the hardest thing to see is what's right in front of your nose. It's easier to ignore what's in front of your nose if your eyes are closed. I'd amend his observation, and say the hardest thing to do is to get people to open their eyes. It is happening (I would not give you false despair); but it's going very slowly. Most people are quite comfortable with their eyes closed. So much so I sometimes think the "original sin" is comfort. (I actually think the O.S is selfishness, but remaining comfortable is pretty much the first effect of selfishness.)
One last quote from that slide presentation:
"Critical theory is essentially a religion. Call it wokism, neo-Marxism, neo-racism or identity politics; it utterly lacks in humility and forgiveness and is practiced with religious zealotry."
Usually what people claim for their opposition is what they themselves are proclaiming in the first place. "Religion" has become an empty term, a placeholder for false ideas, unfounded and untrue, but held zealously by its proponents against all challenges and non-adherents to the idea. It's an odd replacement for "conspiracy theory," which is really what's being described. "Religious zealotry" is an echo of the rise of terrorism supposedly rooted in Islam, but terorism and conspiracy theories spring from a common taproot, and that taproot is the refusal to take responsibility. Oh, the opponents of what they think is CRT think they alone are taking up the responsiblity to protect America:
The Virginia Project launched a "Program on Un-American Activities," which charged that topics like "critical theory, critical race theory, queer theory, equity, transgenderism, cancel culture and other forms of Cultural Marxism" were being wielded as "ideological subversion" against the United States.
That kind of zealotry is actually a way of discarding responsibility, of replacing responsibility to others with responsibility to an idea. When the idea alone matters, people don't matter. That sounds like religion to some people, but "Religion is responsibility, or it is nothing at all." And the hardest part of that kind of responsibility is that it starts first with the individual, and never really gets beyond that. I am not responsible for you until I am at first fully responsible for me. Making myself responsible for you (especially if you seek an abortion and I oppose it strongly; or if you don't support the political ideals I do) relieves me of being responsible for me. You are the problem I must solve; I'm not a problem at all.
To the extent proponents of "wokism," or "Neo-Marxism, neo-racism, or identity politics" (and no, I don't really know what any of those terms mean; they are pretty much just shibboleths, nothing more) lack humility and forgiveness, I would agree with the criticism of them in that quote. But humility and forgiveness starts with me. Those are my "problems." I can't expect it from you if I'm not practicing it myself, and to practice it I must extend it to you. That is what my religion teaches. That is how my religion is responsibility. And if it isn't that, my religion is nothing at all.
And any religion that is grounds for insisting I must make you change or see you defeated, is no religion at all. It is, in fact, my religion that teaches me to see my racism, my hidden wound, the privileges I have inherited and continue to take advantage of, for what they are. It is up to me to change or to see my sins defeated. That is my responsibility.
And responsibility is the hardest thing to face, of all.
I ran into this “argument” the other day (on “Bad Legal Tweets,” which will tell you a great deal already). The argument there was, if you can require a baker to bake a cake, you can require Twitter/Facebook/Google to host what you want them to host/allow content from anyone who wants to post it.
19/ Again, what?!? Here's why, Larry: Because this isn't 'Nam, there are rules. Namely, the laws that make it a civil rights violation for a physical place of public accommodation (which doesn't include websites, by the way) to discriminate on the basis of race. pic.twitter.com/HUfX6iIcQb— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) May 11, 2021
That last line is my favorite, because I've come to favor simplicity in argument on a public forum. I could spend a long time trying to explain to you exactly why the Civil Rights Act doesn’t apply in this discussion, and why there is no general legal principle applicable to internet platforms requiring them to do what some American conservatives want them to do. Much easier to simply point out that when there are at least five companies identifiable as social media platforms, by definition there is no monopoly. You don’t have to understand the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to understand that. Now maybe you want to show collusion between the five, a conspiracy to control the market, but Twitter dropped Trump in perpetuity; Facebook is going to revisit its decision again in six months. Kind of hard to see how they’re working together to control the market, on this basis.
12/ More hysterics. You'd almost think Larry believes that the Facebook police is going to come take him away for a conversation he had with his neighbor on his front lawn.— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) May 11, 2021
And Larry, if there are at least five companies you're complaining about...it isn't a monopoly. pic.twitter.com/hetx5np5lu
That's as close as the Court has gotten so far, and Thomas’ opinion shows little understanding of the law and no understanding whatsoever of the internet, so Lordelpus if we ever get close to the courts without a better case than these clowns want to bring.
21/ Ye Olde Common Carrier is an argument that many latch on to and few understand. Websites aren't common carriers, and trying to force them to treat all speech equally would violate the First Amendment. See more here: https://t.co/RHZBBOTe4a & here: https://t.co/ugYxWtfzRS\...\— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) May 11, 2021
It is, however, providing hours of entertainment:
"Unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate," McCarthy says in a letter explaining why the party has to purge a member of the leadership team for too much free thought and debate. https://t.co/F30ndfVxoa— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) May 10, 2021
"I feel it's okay to go ahead and express what you feel is right to express and, you know, cancel culture is cancel culture no matter how you look at it, and unfortunately I think there are those that are trying to silence others in the party," Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) told reporter Frank Thorp.But Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) disagrees."I don't think it's being canceled in terms of she's being silenced," Hawley told Elizabeth Landers.
Hawley's expertise here is paramount:
Now that's entertainment! (BTW: being a best seller on Amazon really doesn't mean that much. The NYT bestseller list is the report of thousands of booksellers across the nation; not just one big one. It makes a difference; but not to the ironic humor of this tweet!)
Thanks for making The Tyranny of Big Tech a best seller all week on Amazon! You can get your copy here https://t.co/hhFfIdthrY— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 6, 2021
Hell, even Politico knows better.
Grassley famously stoked the “death panel” rumors in 2009 among the same conspiracy elements of the base who he’s now humoring on the election. Time is a flat circle. https://t.co/Ov3XQzD4a1— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) May 10, 2021
What was your first clue?kids-in-hazmat-suits-if-they-have-to-attend-class-at-all are simply going to shift to vaxxers v. anti-vaxxers, along the same battle lines. Recently a local superintendent told a class of high schoolers certain adults, and she explicitly excluded teachers, were behaving like children, while the kids in school were behaving like adults. The kids all said they knew that already.
Officers who killed Breonna Taylor should not have fired their weapons, internal investigator finds https://t.co/ljlHS1FPan— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 11, 2021
Expelling Liz Cheney from leadership won’t gain the GOP one additional voter, but it will cost us quite a few.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 10, 2021
I really just wanted to see that again. We could use quite a few more Democrats like Biden. And the Josh Hawley Clueless About How This Works Award goes to:
Biden adds: "People will come back to work if they are paid a decent wage." https://t.co/TTCtFDbEZW— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) May 10, 2021
Q: Is this a metaphor? And a follow up: is it a metaphor we should be worried about?
1/ Claremont continues to send its...uh...best (such as it is) with this rather flimsy and unserious piece from Larry Greenfield in @JewishJournal's 'The Speech Project.'https://t.co/JhVqSU5wy7 pic.twitter.com/0GoXSM6QR1— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) May 11, 2021
Onward thru the fog? Or forward over the cliff? Because Trump is about as popular as toe fungus.
Lindsey Graham on Trump: "The people who are trying to erase him are going to wind up getting erased.” pic.twitter.com/oNxbjOLeF5— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 11, 2021
Apparently the DOJ wasn't clear enough in its last missive:
Leader cult alert https://t.co/xOqhBbxXsr— Ruth Ben-Ghiat (@ruthbenghiat) May 11, 2021
That or it's that old Reagan joke (no, really, to you whippersnappers too young to remember!) about the kid put in a room filled up with horseshit. He grabs a shovel and starts digging. "Why?", he is asked. "With this much shit there's gotta be a pony somewhere!" Apply that as it fits, and let it stand for the fact these clowns got nothin', and they won't be satisfied with that.
Jesus on a pogo stick. https://t.co/4HV7w1aRFh— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 10, 2021
Clean-living horses of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea are free from scourge of drug abuse. pic.twitter.com/ScqbI3qI8N— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) May 10, 2021
Oh, what a paradise it seems!
All women in Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea enjoy freedom to criticize Donald Trump.— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) May 10, 2021
North Texas suburbs in turmoil after being identified as a hotbed of rightwing extremism: report https://t.co/WU14Zi7epY— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 10, 2021
What is evident across this county — where in the 1970s the oilmen-rancher TV drama “Dallas” was filmed — is that extremism has gone mainstream in certain pockets of America. Hard-line sentiments that would have been whispered only years ago are now spoken unabashed. That worries Alonzo Tutson, a Black Independent, who said right-wing radicals here are everyday people who say “howdy to you at soccer practice. They just blend right in.”
I have to stop here and say: "Yeah, well; same as it ever was."
In my junior year in high school, a year after the "black" schools in town were shut down to force integration with the much better funded/supported "white" schools, a small fight (we called it a riot at the time) broke out on campus. Half the campus was involved, the other half was in class (it was during one of four lunch breaks every day). Some students joined despite the fact it wasn't their lunch break, so half is about right. It was noisy but not really ugly. I ended up leaving campus with my closest friends and my wife-to-be (then my girlfriend). We were shaken and scared, but in the end the event came to nothing but early dismissal for the day for some of us.
It was the parents I encountered later that shook me. I knew who the rednecks were (we didn't call them "racists" then. We were all racists, actually, but some were more virulent about it than others. The "rednecks" were the virulent ones) on campus; and who their parents were. But I ran into a lot of adults, here and there, at school events later, like football games, or at church, or on weekends, who made it clear the blacks were the problem and while they couldn't go back to the schools they came from (and to be fair, many blacks resented losing their schools; especially the ones forced to my school, Robert E. Lee. No wonder, huh?), they needed to be put in their place.
Until then, they had "just blend[ed] right in." It was the beginning of a long education for me; but that's not the story here. The story here is: what's changed?
The article mentions "Dallas," but doesn't mention how Dallas proper (and suburbs, like McKinney) were a hotbed for TV evangelists in the '80's, alongside the eponymous prime-time soap opera. TV evangelists weren't white supremacists, but neither were they advocates for social justice or radical change. Their bread-and-butter was money and God's blessing on those who blessed the evangelists. They made out pretty well until it became painfully obvious they were just con-men. But they made out well in Dallas because they were all things the Reagan Era was: preachers of money and conservatism and white people in charge. It was never explicitly about race because it didn't have to be. Now it is, because it does:
Texas was home to three dozen of the 377 alleged insurrectionists arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, tied with Pennsylvania for the most of any state, according to a study by terror experts at the University of Chicago. Of Texans charged, 20 live in half a dozen rapidly diversifying blue counties around Houston and Dallas, including several in McKinney’s Collin County.
During the siege of the Capitol last Wednesday, Nick Ochs, left, and Dick NeCarlo, right, of the right-wing online streaming outlet Murder The Media pose in front of a message someone scrawled on a door. The pair insist they were covering the riot as independent reporters.
The study found that Texas’ rioters were older, more professional and had fewer ties to radical groups than past right-wing extremists. All came from counties that had lost white populations in recent years. Collin County’s white population has declined at a rate of 4.3% since 2015. The study’s authors cited increased fear among conservative whites that they would be overtaken by minorities in a “Great Replacement.”
“Now that Biden’s in office, a lot of people look to Texas as the counterpoint,” Paul Chabot, 47, a former San Bernardino reserve sheriff’s deputy, said last week at McKinney Coffee Company. He described the area as, “Living how America used to be.”
You don't need a dog to hear that whistle. And apparently we have California to thank for this:
Chabot said Collin County resembles Orange County 20 years ago, before cities diversified and demographics shifted. The same Newport Beach-based architects who designed Woodbridge in Irvine in 1975 designed Stonebridge Ranch in McKinney in 1988, where Chabot’s relocation company helps resettle Californians, many of them conservatives.
And I have to include this, if only because I noted these people at the time of the insurrection in D.C.
Andrews and her friend Lee Jenkins, a hair stylist, said they joined the crowd “storming the Capitol” but insisted most protesters were peaceful and didn’t deserve to be charged. The women said they had considered entering the building too, but decided not to because they feared the tear gas would aggravate Jenkins’ asthma.
After they returned to Texas, Jenkins’ Twitter account was removed. FBI agents interviewed Andrews at her home several times, she said. Neither woman was charged.
Photos Andrews had posted online were circulated. Although Jenkins — whose business had just reopened after the pandemic lockdown — lost some liberal clients, she said she gained conservative ones, as did Andrews, who works as a dominatrix.
Something extremely conservative about that, it seems to me.
“It’s all tribalism, and it’s a cancer on our country. It’s destroying us,” [Stan Penn, a Trump supporter] said of the infighting among conservatives that’s proliferated online.
[George] Fuller ]Mayor of McKinney] agreed. He said the acrimony of the campaign marred his victory and split his family, including at least one sibling who is a QAnon believer. The bitterness in his family, in his state, is resonating nationally. That troubles him.
“I’m thoroughly concerned for our country,” he said. “We’re on a self-destructive path.”
Well, some of us are. But it doesn't seem to be even the majority of McKinney, much less the country. I came across a quote from P.J. O'Rourke recently: "The internet--whose idea was it to put all the idiots on earth in touch with each other?" The other side of that coin is: they've always found ways to get in touch with each other. Now we've made it possible for the rest of us to listen in.
Something to be said for that, too.
Monday, May 10, 2021
Jen Psaki elegantly shuts down Peter Doocy after he claims 'unemployment benefits are so good' https://t.co/D6xWPucKIY— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 10, 2021
"We have looked at the data," Psaki explained. "We don't see much evidence that the extra unemployment insurance is a major driver in people not rejoining the work force. We actually see the data and our analysis shows that the lack of vaccinations, the lower rate, which is why I refer to the data and the week that it was taken -- it has an impact. Child care has an impact. Schools reopening has an impact.""But there's also the need to pay a livable working wage," she added. "And that's one of the reasons the president will talk about that this afternoon."Doocy disagreed: "Anybody who is making $32,000 a year is better off financially just taking the unemployment benefits. So is the White House creating an incentive just to stay home?"
Now, this is about three degrees removed from reality, to be honest. The states offer and operate unemployment benefits because it's a good idea even the meanest state can't get away from (ahem, Texas, ahem). They also set the terms for receiving such benefits, and in Texas, as I understand it, those terms include actively looking for a job. The amount allocated by Congress to extend unemployment benefits is not an endless benefit that will keep people at home paying their cable fees so FoxNews stays in business in perpetuity (unlike Social Security, which is indirectly subsidizing FoxNews, at least until the oldest Boomers die off). And the President can't really tell the states how to allocate funds, except very indirectly. By the time the message actually reaches the people on unemployment, through the machinery of government, many of them will either have returned to work (the ones with no other choice), and the rest will have gone to school or sold the house and bought an RV (yes, I actually read these stories in a WaPo by way of Anchorage Daily News report. Probably fewer such people in the country than than there are actual transgendered students in the entire country actively involved in school athletics, but we might as well make a big deal out of every little thing, huh?), or just decided to live on their investments (again, another group out there), etc., etc.
"We're gonna make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits" -- Biden pic.twitter.com/FzIAacnLlX— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 10, 2021
Two years before the 2020 election, the conspiracy that Donald Trump won the election was part of a plot cooked up by a Texas Republican businessman, reported a Washington Post exposé.
In a shocking report, the Post revealed Russell J. Ramsland Jr. pitched an idea that "seemed rooted in evidence."
The theory was that "voting-machine audit logs — lines of codes and timestamps that document the machines' activities — contained indications of vote manipulation." There was just one problem, they didn't have a candidate to test the theory.
How they got here from there is interesting; but the more interesting part is the "theory":
"ASOG's report claimed that audit logs for Dominion machines showed an alarming 68 percent 'error rate,'" said the Post.
While that might sound astounding, when a University of Michigan computer science professor conducted an analysis, it was revealed the audit log was "meaningless."
Pay attention; this is where the stupid comes in. Or, as Orwell put it: "Ignorance Is Strength."
Professor J. Alex Halderman, "who as part of the lawsuit examined the Antrim [County] results and the ASOG report at the request of the Michigan secretary of state and attorney general, wrote that audit logs record multiple lines for each ballot scanned and that many of those lines are 'benign warnings or errors' that have no bearing on the accuracy of the machines' count."
The example he gave was that ASOG was counting the warning "ballot has been reversed" to claim that votes were tampered with.
"But that entry means that a voter attempted to feed his ballot into the machine and the machine balked and spit it out — just as a vending machine often balks at a wrinkled dollar bill," said the report. Halderman's report explained that it happens "all the time."
ASOG then claimed that ballots were sent to electronic "adjudication" where officials manipulated them. Halderman's report found that Antrim County didn't even do an electronic adjudication. While ASOG may have found some security weaknesses, there was never any proof that the weaknesses were used by anyone to hack the election.
The earliest reference I can find to suggesting Reagan belongs on Mt. Rushmore is 1999. "History has already vindicated Ronald Reagan's positions, and we should honor him appropriately for his achievements." Five years later Reagan was dead, and the push began anew.
There is just one problem. It can’t be done.
I was at Mount Rushmore last year, and I asked one of the National Park Service rangers about adding Reagan’s visage to those of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt. He said it would be impossible. There is simply not enough space to add another face, and besides, it wouldn’t be safe.
Well, there wouldn't be just one problem. But still, it just can't be done. Some people wanted to see Trump put on the monument; not the least of those people being Donald Trump himself. CNN reported Trump talked to Gov. Noem about the possibility. Of course, it's a national monument, so South Dakota has no say in the matter. He also denied talking to her, for what that's worth. Just a few weeks ago he complained he'd already be up there if he were a Democrat. (The only Democrat on the mountain is the "original" Democrat, Thomas Jefferson. Washington eschewed party labels, and TR and Honest Abe were both Republicans.) So, sure, he didn't talk to Noem about it.
See what you can start with the simplest of Google searches?
I raise this because we are hearing once again that Donald Trump has converted the GOP into a cult, with himself as its fearless leader. The biggest problem with this complaint is all the "never-Trumpers" (who must be GOP to qualify; the rest are just Democrats or don't like Trump) who were Reaganites and Reagan acolytes for the past 40 years. More than a few of them wanted to see Reagan on Rushmore, or on a dollar bill (well, something larger than the dollar, but anyway) and probably canonized, if Benedict hadn't retired.
There was a ferocious cult around Reagan, from the moment he was nominated. And it lasted until Donald Trump became the new cult leader. There are historical parallels to this. Texas was a one-party state, and that party the Democrats, from Reconstruction onward (Texas was a state for only a few years before it joined the other Southerns and seceded, so those few years barely count). As the Democratic party became more and more identified with liberal causes, but mostly with civil rights and equal justice for blacks, Texans proclaims the party had left them, and almost overnight went from solidly blue, to solidly red.
Texas didn't really change at all. The labels changed, but the politics of the state went on as ever before.
The GOP didn't change because of Trump. The voters (the "base") did what they were expected to do since the days of Reagan: they followed Dear Leader. Reagan was a ditzy old man even before the Alzheimer's became obvious, and his handlers knew how to handle him. Trump was a clod of dirt in a suit, but nobody handled him and he didn't handle anything except his iPhone. But the differences between Trump and Reagan, or either man and their supporters?
Not worth bothering about. Mostly distinctions without a difference. Trump was more nakedly racist and nativist and xenophobic, but then the sequel always has to play into whatever latent strengths the original had, if only to strike the familiar chords. And those chords must always be struck harder in order to sound.
So now is the GOP going to "destroy democracy"? They tried with Trump, we are told. Truth is they tried half-heartedly, at best. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz had no plan at all to stop the election of Joe Biden. They didn't want the responsibility for the Constitutional crisis. Just as Donald Trump doesn't want the responsibility for the raid on the Capitol (and whether any actually leads him to answer in court is still an open question). But the people who physically entered that building are being held responsible, and the trials will take years to finish; not because they will be protracted affairs, but because there will be so many of them. The public is fully behind this: who do you think is giving all those names to the FBI?
Trump and the GOP are going to "destroy democracy"? Hardly. Democracy is the rock upon which they founder. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are not comic book villains who want to take over the world. They've seen the work of government and by and large, they don't want it. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz don't want to pass bills, a la Ted Kennedy or Bernie Sanders: they want to get in front of TV cameras. Nice work, if you can get it. Frankly, if democracy was so fucking fragile an election scandal would founder it, we'd have failed in the days of the "machines" that bought and paid for votes. The system we have now is worlds away from the corrupt practices that passed for legitimate within memory green of some old enough; some of it going on in the 20th century just passed. (Lapham’s Quarterly recently featured an issue on "Democracy" which included a selection from the memoir of Harpo Marx, who recalled going to vote with his grandfather, a non-citizen and unregistered voter. He and his grandfather rode in a car sent by the local "machine" to get him to the poll, get his vote, and take him back home. Both grandson and grandfather, at the time anyway, considered it a grand part of America.) The past isn't over; it's certainly not that long passed. If we the people could destroy democracy, we'd have done it by now. We didn't do it in the Civil War, we didn't do it in the Great Depression (came much, much closer to anarchy and chaos then), and we're not going to do it now. Trump is not Vladimir Ilyich Ulonov; he's not going to master mind anything. The "audit" in Arizona already has the cockroaches scurrying just because the DOJ came in and fumbled for the light switch. As a country, we've survived violent suppression of the vote and subtle suppression of the vote. The only lie was when Justice Roberts declared the year of jubilee and eviscerated the Voting Rights Act. Democracy in America has always been a blood sport, and the winners have always been at war with the losers, and the fix has always been in, and the prospects for peace have alwasy been awful.
What else is new?
The GOP became a cult of personality when they canonized St. Ronnie as the second coming and son of George Washington. Now they've anointed Trump, just without all the historical palaver or any obeisance to good sense. Reagan had least had popular appeal. Trump is as appealing as a road apple. If Democrats lose offices, it will be because Democrats run lousy candidates at the local level. Same as it ever was. With a little bit of luck, or a little extra push from the state Democratic party, Beto O'Rourke could have retired Cruz. But where are the Betos of yesteryear, today?
We gotta figure this out, and the first issue is not to whine like the Republicans and motivate our base with outrages about their politicians. The opposite of that is not "bi-partisanship" (which voters don't really give a wet snap about); the opposite of that is accomplishment and good candidates.
The GOP has neither, and they have a demented old man as their figurehead. Let them wear that albatross. Give the people someone to vote for, and a reason to vote. The GOP is a cult now, not a political party. Trump will bear them all into the sea, and good riddance to the lot of them. They are not an essential unit of democracy. The nation will get along just fine without them.
Can the rest of us divorce Bill Gates, too?
In October of 2019 @JamesStewartNYT & I revealed that Bill Gates had been hanging out with Jeffrey Epstein & had found Epstein’s lifestyle “intriguing.” That’s when Melinda started talking about divorce, according to this story https://t.co/3b5nf27tbD— Emily Flitter (@FlitterOnFraud) May 9, 2021
Sunday, May 09, 2021
Seven people are dead after a shooting at a birthday party where friends, family and children gathered to celebrate early Sunday morning. https://t.co/ui17NSihhz— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 9, 2021
By the time officers arrived, six people were dead and one was severely injured.That victim later died in the hospital. The children at the party were unharmed and are now in the care of relatives.
...of a two-year old? Or evidence even the educated among us are ahistorical and too affected by video culture where all problems are solved in two hours or less, and whatever opens the story is directly connected to the conclusion coming soon!
Four months since January 6:— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) May 7, 2021
Arizona's "auditing"; Texas is set to become the latest state to use the big lie as a pretext for making voting harder; and Liz Cheney is getting defrocked for daring to tell the truth.
If 1/6 didn't move the needle, it's hard to imagine what will.
Where are the statues of Caesar? Napoleon? Ozymandias?
Worth noting too that debates over public monuments are as old as the “western tradition” itself, with Christian efforts to take down Augustus’s Altar of Victory igniting a decades-long paroxysm about the role of Rome’s polytheistic roots in the 4th century Christian empire https://t.co/0MhiLwNGGS— Ames Grawert (@AmesCG) May 8, 2021
Who cares what Michael Tracey thinks?
So the AZ “audit” is looking for evidence of ill treatment?— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) May 8, 2021
And the 60 lawsuits challenging the validity of state election results?
And the congressional attempts to throw out Biden’s duly-certified electors?
And the violent effort to stop Congress from certifying the results? https://t.co/KDYO0NrT0E
Saturday, May 08, 2021
...white people feel affected? Not just brown and black people?
I do NOT understand why everyone isn’t terrified by this https://t.co/jye3xBdtQ9— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) May 8, 2021
This is getting out of control. Defendant is now yelling at judge “Is any of this negotiable? I used to be a free man... until you locked me up”. Copeland’s hearing is still several minutes away, he’s disrupting court ... and appears rattled by pretrial detention https://t.co/RNI2NLYXPv— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 6, 2021
Had a few like that in Family Law cases (child custody issues, mostly; sometimes property division).
Clientshttps://t.co/4YRpro9grP— OppressedAndCensoredHat (@Popehat) May 6, 2021
Not as unusual as the internet and mass media might lead you to believe. Yes, Truth is usually stranger than fiction.
Imagine being so deeply white that you're just figuring out the concept of court *as you're in court*.— A Long, Disappointed Sigh (@megamandrn001) May 6, 2021
You thought Aaron Sorkin made this stuff up for entertainment?
He’s screaming “F””” all y’all”. Arguing w judge over case number They’re trying to mute him. But he keeps unmuting https://t.co/RNI2NLYXPv— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 6, 2021
Deputy Federal Public Defender: "so, Thursday."https://t.co/VZA2vPs0AZ— OppressedAndCensoredHat (@Popehat) May 6, 2021
The court is about to order competency exam of this defendant https://t.co/46ziedvC11— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 6, 2021
I have a theory about movies and fantasy that I may come back to in another post. It connects here because basically everything you see in movies/TeeVee is fundamentally a fantasy, no matter how "serious" it is. But this mess with this probably emotionally disturbed (at least) man leads us to the other "legal" story that's a hot mess right now.
/2 Federal judge said if I had doubts about my client’s mental health he would have her taken in custody (first offender, nonviolent offense, likely short sentence or probation if convicted) and sent to the federal medical facility in Springfield, MO for a competency evaluation.— OppressedAndCensoredHat (@Popehat) May 6, 2021
Why is it so hard to understand that if your job pays less than unemployment benefits, the problem *isn't* the unemployment benefits?— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) May 7, 2021
The whole point of unemployment benefits is to be just enough to keep you afloat until you can find a livable wage, not one just as low.
I'd like to say it's just statistics, that we're the 2nd most populous state in the country, and deep red to boot. But I know better. More rabid assholes per square inch than anywhere else in the country. Most of them rich white people (who else can afford to jaunt off to D.C. in January to cause so much trouble just because?). Most of them from the Dallas area (again, if you knew Texas, is just “yup.”)
"The largest number come from Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida, in that order."https://t.co/Lz8FGGPRHg— Liz Johnstone (@etjohnstone) May 6, 2021
Based on his memoir, I'd call Obama a nominal Christian. Not a criticism, just an observation. His connection to the church is tenuous, at best. And the connection to church is an important part of being a Christian, IMHO.
today's dumbest controversy pic.twitter.com/XFN96lrnoQ— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) May 7, 2021
Some advisers are urging Trump NOT to support Kevin McCarthy for Speaker if Republicans win back the House in 2022 — and Trump is intrigued by the idea. My latest on a post-presidency Trump, w @jdawsey1. https://t.co/Hv9ok24AWC pic.twitter.com/XIYmsgmCr9— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) May 7, 2021
(Honestly, I think this would be the goad that would drive Democrats to the polls.)
(Someone already has) https://t.co/a8cKD5b8dY— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 7, 2021
Respectable white people marvel at the fact that Americans consuming right-wing propaganda inhabit a fact-free world. As a consequence, they do not take it seriously. People who insist on inhabiting a fact-free world are not just ignorant—not when democracy depends on the ability of individuals to associate and organize themselves for the purpose of self-rule. When huge numbers of people inhabit a fact-free world, and collectivist leaders police the integrity of that groupthink, they threaten not only democracy's ability to function minimally, but its survival. Liz Cheney is now being reassimilated into the collective. Democracy itself faces the very same fate. Do not marvel at these people and their fact-free world. Regard them as the danger they are.
I'm used to people inhabiting a fact-free world. I grew up among earnest young Southern Baptists who asked me earnestly (as only young Southern Baptists could do in those days) if I'd accepted Jesus "into my heart." The sub-text was that I wasn't a Southern Baptist (I was a Presbyterian, as foreign to their concept of the world as a Muslim, which was an unimaginable person in those days. Little green men from Mars were more plausible in my hometown.), so I must be in spiritual trouble. I responded to such queries by saying I wasn't sure which ventricle Jesus would fit into.
I just got tired of the question, and responded like a smart ass.
I had people earnestly tell me the leather peace signs attached to my leather sandals (it was the '70's, what can I tell you?) were Satanic emblems. Had I known then what I know now (that the symbol was created in the '50's by a British anti-nuke group), I'd have laughed louder and harder. But the concerned parent was earnest in her concerns; and as clueless as a goose. I soon learned most people are; and that "most people" included me.
I was educated in Texas history by two old women who sincerely believed Davy Crockett looked like John Wayne and died valiantly at the Alamo (new research says he begged for his life before he was executed), and the Alamo itself was a brave stand for liberty. (The Texas battle for independence was all about slavery, which Louisiana allowed but Mexico, which Texas was then a part of, didn't. Even Sam Houston told Travis to burn the Alamo and leave it, and help him in the actual battle with Mexico. Travis was less brave hero than stubborn fool.) I was also taught Marxism was Communism was Socialism was all antithetical to American freedom and the free market capitalism that made America great. This at the end of an era of American socialism that began under FDR and continued through Nixon/Ford (the years I was in high school) and didn't come fully to an end until Reagan replaced Carter.
And there our cycle of boom and bust began with a vengeance, and the stability of the economy since the end of WWII was put through an historical shredder. But nobody acknowledged that fact, either.
So don't begin to tell me about a "fact-free world." I haven't even scratched the surface, and believe me just because your political opponents don't think the world works the way you do, it doesn't mean your "facts" are real and theirs are all falsehoods. Democracy managed quite well during the "Red Scare" (another fact-free assertion of national danger) and Reagonomics (as fact-free as it gets), and even under LBJ/Nixon and the Vietnam War (a military endeavor so fact-free it led to 1968), and political violence in the '70's. We've conveniently dropped the political violence of the '70's down the memory hole, replacing it with John Travolta posing under a glitter ball. Funny, that. We fear the possibility of violence just as our Senators fear the possibility of a filibuster. Either is enough to paralyze the system or the national discussion. Don't begin to talk to me about a "fact-free world." I won't have it. In fact, I'm likely to jam it down your throat.
"Regard them as the danger they are"? And what, you represent salvation and the guide to the Promised Land?
The irony is, this is the title of this commentary: "The GOP's bizarre obsession with 'critical race theory' has almost nothing to do with critical race theory." And this is the opening sentence:
The right-wing media apparatus, which is global in scale, has lately been making a fetish of something called "critical race theory" (CRT). This has prompted academics to defend it. It's not a radical political ideology, they say. It's merely a form of critical inquiry. It is not the boogeyman it's being made out to be. There's nothing to fear.
I've gotta say, that "which is global in scale" passing fancy echoes the "world-wide communist conspiracy" language of my youth. Any minute now we're gonna resurrect the "domino theory" as more countries succumb to "the right-wing media apparatus, which is global in scale."
But in the entire article you never get one hint, one reference, one suggestion, about what "Critical Race Theory" is. It is, in other words, as fact-free an analysis as the "fact-free world" it adjudges is inhabited by "the other side."
Go away. Learn something. Live longer. Or maybe just reflect that your experience is not a font of wisdom; that experience itself is not a guide to enlightenment, that maybe you know less than you think you know, that maybe history and reality are far, far more complicated than any story somebody told you, or that you now tell yourself.
Or at least get offa mah lawn. Punks.
Now, wait a minute:
"Trump largely spends his days watching cable news, calling allies and his small cadre of remaining political advisers, welcoming Republicans to his private club, dining to standing applause, playing golf and fulminating against the 2020 election results" https://t.co/ErUunJPKuV— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) May 7, 2021
So this is a fake video?
The one time leader of the free world who now lives alone in a hotel sharing buffets, common areas, and staff with strangers, yearns for attention and relevance so badly, he now stands on a patio step every night ranting to tens of people about a 6 month old election that he lost pic.twitter.com/xIuZ7jAkZD— Mystery Solvent (@MysterySolvent) April 30, 2021
Six months removed from his Election Day loss, Trump has emerged from his West Palm Beach hibernation — refashioning himself as the president of the Republican States of America and reshaping the party in ways both micro and macro," The Washington Post reported Friday."He has also privately revived his claims that he plans to run for president again in 2024, decrying what he views as the 'low ratings' of the Biden administration, said one person who has spoken with Trump recently," the newspaper reported. "He rails that President Biden is 'a disaster' and argues that 'Joe isn't in charge, everybody knows it's Kamala' — a preview of his likely message portraying Biden as an unwitting stooge of Vice President Harris, this person said. Nonetheless, Trump is not expected to make an official decision or announcement until after the midterm elections, an adviser said."
I can't read the article (pay wall; what're ya gonna do?), so I have to rely on Raw Story's version. But it's unclear, to begin with, how Trump has "emerged"? The article doesn't seem to quote Trump directly, but rather quotes an "advisor." And the picture it paints in that quote in the tweet is in sharp contrast to that video, where people are pointedly not even paying attention to the fat old man at the microphone interrupting the band's set (or probably talking while the band takes five). But the video and the article do agree that Trump spends time "fulminating against the 2020 election results." Which is all I expect him to do in the "rallies" his "advisers" have announced are imminent (I'll still believe it when I see it).
I really am wondering what "emerged from his Florida hibernation" means. I mean, the guy's not a bear, and this has the ring of "people are saying" about it.
"Trump's reappearance is fueled by an ego-driven desire to remain at the center of national attention, said former advisers and allies who are in touch with Trump," the newspaper reported. "The defeated ex-president is propelled primarily by a thirst for retribution, an insatiable quest for the spotlight and a desire to establish and maintain total dominance and control over the Republican base, said several former senior White House advisers."
Yeah, that "insatiable quest for the spotlight" was going to drive him out of hiding eventually. (That's also the reason I'm not impressed with Rick Wilson's critique of the label "the former guy." Trump is not Voldemort; but he wants to see his name in print (notice he says Biden is getting "low ratings"). Why give him the pleasure, says I?) The question is: who's going to pay attention? The GOP in D.C., clearly. Outside of D.C., the GOP will pay attention only so long as Trump is seen as influential in local races; and I don't see that lasting too long. Because voters will be the first to say "What have you done for me lately?" (Nobody has noticed that the most rabid Trump supporter/office seeker in the North Texas race tout le monde was watching barely got 1% of the vote. What's a guy gotta do, huh?).
Besides, that quote in the first tweet describes what Trump did for four years in the White House, and where did that get him? If Trump's going to push the same old lines, the law of diminishing returns is going to set in rapidly.
Friday, May 07, 2021
Who's with me?
“I’m sorry, Emerald, I think you’ve had plenty of time today” — Psaki ran out of patience with a Newsmax staffer’s conspiracy theories pic.twitter.com/fxModg18oq— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 7, 2021
How do you think you will engage the right-wing media ecosystem, if I can call it that? I'm thinking of networks like Fox, but also OANN and Newsmax that have larger and larger audiences. And some of them, like Fox, have, at least on a basic level, acknowledged that Joe Biden won the election. Others are pushing completely discredited theories, but they're all going to be there. They're all going to have an audience, and they're all going to have questions for you.That's right. And you know, Steve, again, just to go back to how valuable I find and how much I'll rely on my experience at the State Department, there were many, many days where there were journalists — I'm air quoting that — who are from Russia or China, essentially arms of the government, you know, arms of the state-run media. And we let them in the briefing room, and they ask questions, and sometimes I had a little fun with them, you know, about who they were asking the question on behalf of.
I think we have to make her Press Secretary for Life, a permanent fixture of the White House. It's the only way to preserve our democracy and our American Way Of Life!
Trump going on tour bringing white nationalist MAGA rallies to a state near you this summer https://t.co/eDUJRxGgLT— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 7, 2021
Trump senior adviser Jason Miller tells Axios Trump rallies are likely to "start as soon as late spring or early summer."
Miller said Trump "has already begun to vet and endorse candidates for 2022, with an eye toward electing not just Republican candidates, but America First Republican candidates."
"His endorsement lifts candidates above the pack and often clears the primary field," Miller said. "The general election endorsement provides access to 'Trump voters' not normally accessible to Republicans."
Late spring means May; and it's already May 7. Early summer means June. Is there any plannig for this underway?
Maybe. And good luck with it. Frankly, I won't believe it until I see it. But endorsing candidates for election in November, 2022, in June 2021? Um, yeah....
I know this gets the punderati all excited, because they get something to talk about and send cameras too and chew over on cable TV and Sunday morning, but to the rest of us? Besides, this isn't about endorsements; it's about the grift. Trump will raise money from these rallies (otherwise he won't do them). And some cities won't host them (the ones his campaign stiffed). He'll stiff new cities, because the money raised is Trump's, and he won't let go of it. Indeed, with so many cities suffering after the pandemic, he may not find too many cities anxious to host him without payment for police and other expenses made up front. Which will probably chill his enthusiasm for travel.
Either way, I got better things to do with my summer. And again, I'll refer you to the tens of people outside the arena where Arizona is "re-counting" ballots. If that stretches into the summer, I expect the sidewalks to clear.
There aren't that many mad dogs or Englishmen in Phoenix.
Rick Wilson's thesis (I'd say "Mr. Wilson," being a well-reared Southerner; but I'm older than he is, so "Rick" it is. Also a Southern tradition.) in five tweets or less (the best arguments are made in a short tweet thread, right?) is that Trump is the GOP, now and forever, and we must all be very afraid, and very vigilant, pure in thought, word, and deed, as we stand against this scourge.
1/ Those of you thinking Trump will go away if you call him “the former guy” miss the point; you cannot wish him away. It’s politically naïve and borders on juvenile.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 7, 2021
The evidence is piling up: Trump’s iron grip over the GOP has been institutionalized https://t.co/SdCBnk8DhG
Luntz, who has been critical of Trump for peddling false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election, says his research indicates the former president's messaging is working with the GOP base."More than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen,” Luntz reported. “What Donald Trump is saying is actually telling people it's not worth it to vote. Donald Trump single-handedly may cause people not to vote. And he may be the greatest tool in the Democrats' arsenal to keep control of the House and Senate in 2022."
Be careful what you wish for; you might get it. You should at least take credit for it.
It sure is https://t.co/B9jBn27mzc— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 7, 2021
Detect a note of sarcasm here https://t.co/cpqsCJdGo8— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 7, 2021
“My dying words will always be, as it has been, ‘I am an innocent man.'" https://t.co/cIAglBdGoe— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) May 7, 2021
I might have to start going there more often.
Businesses have business reasons — advertiser retention reasons — to moderate how they want. https://t.co/NyVENvyfm1— OppressedAndCensoredHat (@Popehat) May 7, 2021