Sunday, October 31, 2021

Ya Gotta Appreciate That

When In Worry, When In Doubt

Run in circles, scream and shout:

Members of the January 6 committee are working on potential legislation to tighten the process of certifying a presidential election in an effort to eliminate contentious avenues that spurred the January 6 riot, sources tell CNN.

The legislation would give the committee a focus on developing a law as part of the investigation, undercutting a legal argument that former President Donald Trump has made that the committee has no true legislative purpose for seeking his White House documents.

The effort is still in its early stages, but a proposed bill could offer more specific instructions for when Congress can overturn a state's slate of electors, and more clearly define the role the vice president plays in counting the votes -- after Trump and his allies pressured Mike Pence to try to block President Joe Biden's win, the sources say.

So the House Select Committee is likely to propose amendments to the Electoral Count Act, the one that governed the January 6th joint session. Which is good and necessary but also points to the fact Congress is perfectly capable of blunting any attempt by Trump & Co. to monkey with the electoral slates.

As a reminder, it was the ECA that the Court relied on to overrule Florida’s recount, one that had been ordered by the Florida Supreme Court pursuant to Florida law. So it won’t be hard to write a law requiring states to appoint electors based on the vote count, rather than whatever other method the states want to use (arguably that was exactly the issue in Bush v. Gore, where Florida’s recount statute conflicted with Federal law.).

We are not, in other words, doomed.  There are perfectly good solutions to the nonsense that occurred in 2020, and perfectly good ways to prevent it happening again.  Not that the courts showed any interest in it anyway.  But bolstering the ECA to both make it clear the VP can't reject the electoral college tally and to block states from playing fast and loose with popular vote results (like ignoring them because they just want to) would not be a bad thing.

The trampling of democracy will continue to be the concern of small minds who want something to be scared of.  The rest of us can enjoy the holidays.

Hallowe’en (2021)

Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the route is ta'en,
Beneath the moon's pale beams;
There, up the cove, to stray and rove,
Among the rocks and streams
To sport that night.

Among the bonny winding banks,
Where Doon rins, wimplin' clear,
Where Bruce ance ruled the martial ranks,
And shook his Carrick spear,
Some merry, friendly, country-folks,
Together did convene,
To burn their nits, and pou their stocks,
And haud their Halloween
Fu' blithe that night.

The lasses feat, and cleanly neat,
Mair braw than when they're fine;
Their faces blithe, fu' sweetly kythe,
Hearts leal, and warm, and kin';
The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs,
Weel knotted on their garten,
Some unco blate, and some wi' gabs,
Gar lasses' hearts gang startin'
Whiles fast at night.

Then, first and foremost, through the kail,
Their stocks maun a' be sought ance;
They steek their een, and graip and wale,
For muckle anes and straught anes.
Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift,
And wander'd through the bow-kail,
And pou't, for want o' better shift,
A runt was like a sow-tail,
Sae bow't that night.

Then, staught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar and cry a' throu'ther;
The very wee things, todlin', rin,
Wi' stocks out owre their shouther;
And gif the custoc's sweet or sour.
Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
Syne cozily, aboon the door,
Wi cannie care, they've placed them
To lie that night.

The lasses staw frae 'mang them a'
To pou their stalks of corn:
But Rab slips out, and jinks about,
Behint the muckle thorn:
He grippet Nelly hard and fast;
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
When kitlin' in the fause-house
Wi' him that night.

The auld guidwife's well-hoordit nits,
Are round and round divided,
And monie lads' and lasses' fates
Are there that night decided:
Some kindle coothie, side by side,
And burn thegither trimly;
Some start awa, wi' saucy pride,
And jump out-owre the chimlie
Fu' high that night.

Jean slips in twa wi' tentie ee;
Wha 'twas she wadna tell;
But this is Jock, and this is me,
She says in to hersel:
He bleezed owre her, and she owre him,
As they wad never mair part;
Till, fuff! he started up the lum,
And Jean had e'en a sair heart
To see't that night.

Poor Willie, wi' his bow-kail runt,
Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie;
And Mallie, nae doubt, took the drunt,
To be compared to Willie;
Mall's nit lap out wi' pridefu' fling,
And her ain fit it brunt it;
While Willie lap, and swore by jing,
'Twas just the way he wanted
To be that night.

Nell had the fause-house in her min',
She pits hersel and Rob in;
In loving bleeze they sweetly join,
Till white in ase they're sobbin';
Nell's heart was dancin' at the view,
She whisper'd Rob to leuk for't:
Rob, stowlins, prie'd her bonny mou',
Fu' cozie in the neuk for't,
Unseen that night.

But Merran sat behint their backs,
Her thoughts on Andrew Bell;
She lea'es them gashin' at their cracks,
And slips out by hersel:
She through the yard the nearest taks,
And to the kiln goes then,
And darklins graipit for the bauks,
And in the blue-clue throws then,
Right fear't that night.

And aye she win't, and aye she swat,
I wat she made nae jaukin',
Till something held within the pat,
Guid Lord! but she was quakin'!
But whether 'was the deil himsel,
Or whether 'twas a bauk-en',
Or whether it was Andrew Bell,
She didna wait on talkin'
To spier that night.

Wee Jennie to her grannie says,
"Will ye go wi' me, grannie?
I'll eat the apple at the glass
I gat frae Uncle Johnnie:"
She fuff't her pipe wi' sic a lunt,
In wrath she was sae vap'rin',
She notice't na, an aizle brunt
Her braw new worset apron
Out through that night.

"Ye little skelpie-limmer's face!
I daur you try sic sportin',
As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune.
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!
Great cause ye hae to fear it;
For mony a ane has gotten a fright,
And lived and died deleeret
On sic a night.

"Ae hairst afore the Sherramoor, --
I mind't as weel's yestreen,
I was a gilpey then, I'm sure
I wasna past fifteen;
The simmer had been cauld and wat,
And stuff was unco green;
And aye a rantin' kirn we gat,
And just on Halloween
It fell that night.

"Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen,
A clever sturdy fallow:
His son gat Eppie Sim wi' wean,
That lived in Achmacalla:
He gat hemp-seed, I mind it weel,
And he made unco light o't;
But mony a day was by himsel,
He was sae sairly frighted
That very night."

Then up gat fechtin' Jamie Fleck,
And he swore by his conscience,
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck;
For it was a' but nonsense.
The auld guidman raught down the pock,
And out a hanfu' gied him;
Syne bade him slip frae 'mang the folk,
Some time when nae ane see'd him,
And try't that night.

He marches through amang the stacks,
Though he was something sturtin;
The graip he for a harrow taks.
And haurls it at his curpin;
And every now and then he says,
"Hemp-seed, I saw thee,
And her that is to be my lass,
Come after me, and draw thee
As fast this night."

He whistled up Lord Lennox' march
To keep his courage cheery;
Although his hair began to arch,
He was say fley'd and eerie:
Till presently he hears a squeak,
And then a grane and gruntle;
He by his shouther gae a keek,
And tumbled wi' a wintle
Out-owre that night.

He roar'd a horrid murder-shout,
In dreadfu' desperation!
And young and auld came runnin' out
To hear the sad narration;
He swore 'twas hilchin Jean M'Craw,
Or crouchie Merran Humphie,
Till, stop! she trotted through them
And wha was it but grumphie
Asteer that night!

Meg fain wad to the barn hae gaen,
To win three wechts o' naething;
But for to meet the deil her lane,
She pat but little faith in:
She gies the herd a pickle nits,
And two red-cheekit apples,
To watch, while for the barn she sets,
In hopes to see Tam Kipples
That very nicht.

She turns the key wi cannie thraw,
And owre the threshold ventures;
But first on Sawnie gies a ca'
Syne bauldly in she enters:
A ratton rattled up the wa',
And she cried, Lord, preserve her!
And ran through midden-hole and a',
And pray'd wi' zeal and fervour,
Fu' fast that night;

They hoy't out Will wi' sair advice;
They hecht him some fine braw ane;
It chanced the stack he faddom'd thrice
Was timmer-propt for thrawin';
He taks a swirlie, auld moss-oak,
For some black grousome carlin;
And loot a winze, and drew a stroke,
Till skin in blypes cam haurlin'
Aff's nieves that night.

A wanton widow Leezie was,
As canty as a kittlin;
But, och! that night amang the shaws,
She got a fearfu' settlin'!
She through the whins, and by the cairn,
And owre the hill gaed scrievin,
Whare three lairds' lands met at a burn
To dip her left sark-sleeve in,
Was bent that night.

Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays,
As through the glen it wimpl't;
Whyles round a rocky scaur it strays;
Whyles in a wiel it dimpl't;
Whyles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Wi' bickering, dancing dazzle;
Whyles cookit underneath the braes,
Below the spreading hazel,
Unseen that night.

Among the brackens, on the brae,
Between her and the moon,
The deil, or else an outler quey,
Gat up and gae a croon:
Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hool!
Near lav'rock-height she jumpit;
but mist a fit, and in the pool
Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,
Wi' a plunge that night.

In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
The luggies three are ranged,
And every time great care is ta'en',
To see them duly changed:
Auld Uncle John, wha wedlock joys
Sin' Mar's year did desire,
Because he gat the toom dish thrice,
He heaved them on the fire
In wrath that night.

Wi' merry sangs, and friendly cracks,
I wat they didna weary;
And unco tales, and funny jokes,
Their sports were cheap and cheery;
Till butter'd so'ns, wi' fragrant lunt,
Set a' their gabs a-steerin';
Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt,
They parted aff careerin'
Fu' blythe that night.

--Robert Burns

You cannot make heads or tails of this without Burns' annotations, which you can find here (and you thought Eliot invented the self-annotated poem), complete with an Eliotesque headnote (he expected you to read Greek and Latin; Burns expects you to read Scots dialect and know that Cassilis Downans is not just a place, but a fairy haunt.  What did people do before Google?).

Yes, I’ve done this once or twice before. But the point of the poem is that it describes the Hallowe’en parties of yore, recounting all the practices usual for the celebration. Most of them were aimed at prognostication, usually around who one would marry. It’s really fun to read, and following Burns’ notes will repay the effort. What it doesn’t have to do with is ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night. Which tells you our modern Hallowe’en is a very modern invention, and probably says more about us than about our ancestors.

Who seem to have had a much better time of it.

Hallowe'en Advice And News You Can Use!

Not With A Bang, But…

The consequence of Trump’s suit. The National Archives has to tell the court what Trump wants to hide so they can convince the court he’s not entitled to hide it. Not the content yet, but that we’d learn what Trump was blocking was inevitable. No, I don’t think he’s going to be able to block it. Not asking for an injunction by now doesn’t help his chances of getting one on appeal.

He’s really not doing anything to delay the inevitable this time.

When It’s Hard To Spot The Difference

Uh, no. Although maybe it has something to do with Harvard. The line between real life and internet life is not the bright one some people imagine.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Or Not

Grifters gotta grift:

According to the Post's Josh Dawsey and Michael Scherer, as of the en of July Trump's principal fundraising operation was sitting on $100 million while pulling in an estimated $1 to 2 million a week.

In contrast "the National Republican Senatorial Committee declared less than $30 million in cash at the end of September and the National Republican Congressional Committee had $65 million in cash at the same point," they report.

What is concerning to Republicans is how Trump will spend the money with little evidence that any of it will go towards promoting GOP candidates in the 2022 midterms.

According to the report, "Some Republicans have expressed concern about Trump's ambitions sucking money away from other party priorities in advance of the midterm elections. Even as he has raised the issue of electoral fraud in fundraising solicitations, he has spent little to try to prove the election was tainted."

With regard to the 2020 presidential ballot audits that Trump is demanding, one GOP official complained the former president isn't willing to pay for them himself from his cash haul -- instead expecting GOP lawmakers or GOP-dominated legislatures will pick up the tab.

"They aren't paying for audits — they want others to pay for it," the official stated on the condition of anonymity.

That same official claimed, "He is just raising money to have a big slush fund."

Yes, that's from the same article Ms. Haberman is referring to.  Trump has less interest in building a war chest than in making money.

Not Ready For Prime-Time

So it was a scam after all:

State Rep. Matt Krause said he will not be offering specifics related to his inquiry over which books about racism and sexuality are available at certain Texas public schools, such as how the roughly 850-book list included in his request originated, which districts received his letter or how those districts were chosen.

The Fort Worth Republican, who chairs the House General Investigating Committee, said he was limited in what he could say because it could compromise a potential or pending investigation. But House Democrats, many of whom have accused Krause of trying to censor progressive literature, are stressing that school districts are not compelled to respond.

I've seen that list; the only reason he's hiding it is because he's hiding something.  Basically, he got national attention, and now he's worried about what that means.  Paxton revels in national attention, he rejoices in being nationally vilified.  This guy is never going to challenge Paxton if he can't stand behind his sources.

“It’s the practice of the General Investigating Committee to not comment on pending or potential investigations,” Krause, a candidate for state attorney general, told the Tribune on Friday. “You don’t want to compromise anything with a potential investigation by divulging any of the information that’s supposed to be confidential and privileged.”

That is some prime bullshit.  Who gave him that list is neither "confidential" nor "privileged," but goes to the validity of the concerns he's trying to raise, and why he's trying to raise them.

The inquiry comes after the Texas Legislature passed two laws this year aimed at restricting how teachers can talk about race-related subjects in school, pushed by GOP lawmakers who have taken aim at so-called “critical race theory” in schools.

Krause referenced the laws in an interview with Dallas radio host Mark Davis on Friday morning and said his inquiry “could be a big benefit for those school districts who are going through the inventory to say, ‘Hey, do we have something that could be in violation [of state law] or do we not?’”

Yeah, that's what he's doing; he's providing a public service!

In a memo to its members and staffers earlier this week, the House Democratic Caucus wrote that while Krause “may act on behalf of the whole committee to ‘inspect the records, documents, and files’ of school districts” thanks to a motion adopted by committee members earlier this year, the lawmaker’s authority does not extend to requiring school districts to create new documents related to his inquiry.

Democrats have also questioned why the lawmaker has declined to specify where that book list originated or how certain school districts were chosen.

“In my view, this isn’t an investigation — this is a fishing expedition,” state Rep. Chris Turner, a Grand Prairie Democrat who chairs his party’s caucus in the lower chamber, told the Tribune. “It’s completely legitimate to ask where the list of books came from and how that was formulated, as well as how the list of school districts [Krause] sent this to was formulated. There’s no reason that those questions cannot be answered.”

Really, really, REALLY not ready for prime-time:

Other Democrats like Turner have suggested that Krause’s move is a “clearly a campaign stunt” as part of his bid challenging Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. At least three Republicans are vying to unseat Paxton. Krause, for his part, said he would not have used an issue “that I thought was going to be completely private and that I can’t comment on.”

And there's more shit coming:

Meanwhile, state Rep. Jeff Cason, R-Bedford, called on Paxton on Friday to initiate a statewide investigation into a novel that the lawmaker said “touches on subjects that are not appropriate for school libraries and may even be criminal for its representation of minors participating in sexual activities.” Cason also asked Paxton to investigate other books of similar matter “as well as the legal ramifications to school districts that approved of these types of books.”

Honest to God, if I was a school administrator in this state, I'd just resign now. 


Friday, October 29, 2021

Protecting...What, Again?

 “Until President Biden and his Administration do their job to enforce the laws of our nation and protect Americans, the State of Texas will continue stepping up to secure our border and protect our communities,” said Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott.

Yeah, about that:

In response to increasing illegal border crossings, Abbott since July has directed Texas state police to arrest migrants on state criminal charges. Almost all of the arrests have been for alleged trespassing on private property in Val Verde and Kinney counties.

Since the arrests began, local judicial systems have been overwhelmed, consistently holding hundreds of men without filing charges and at times going weeks without appointing them lawyers, in violation of state law.

“These operations have continued to militarize Texas’ border communities and interfered with the federal immigration system, likely violating the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution,” the members wrote. “Even more egregiously, these programs have directly led to a violation of state laws and constitutional due process rights.”

And even as Dan Crenshaw rails against Biden for trying to clean up Trump's mess, Gov. Abbott is re-recreating that mess for the state of Texas to pay for:

As the trooper’s SUV took off down the dusty road, Nerio was presumably off to be booked at a just-erected processing tent outside the local jail, have bail set over Zoom by a retired judge from elsewhere in the state, then sent more than 100 miles away to a Texas prison recently converted into a jail for migrants. Left behind, his wife would be taken to the federal immigration processing center, to begin deportation or asylum proceedings.

But the hundreds of Texas Department of Public Safety officers deployed to the region are only supposed to arrest unaccompanied men for trespassing if they cross the Texas-Mexico border onto private property, the Val Verde County sheriff said. Families and children are supposed to be handed over to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

“DPS should not have separated the husband and wife. That’s a family unit,” Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez said, minutes after witnessing the arrest. 

Yeah, that's happened more than once:

Antonio was released from prison last week after Val Verde County’s misdemeanor-level prosecutor dropped the trespassing charge at his first court hearing because state troopers aren’t supposed to separate families under Abbott’s arrest orders.

And all Abbott's doing is making the problem worse:

Once Antonio was out of the prison, it quickly became clear that local, state and federal officials had no idea what to do with him. Stuck in a bureaucratic limbo, he ended up at the home of his court-appointed defense attorney for days.


Typically, migrants apprehended crossing the border are turned over to federal immigration authorities, who either deport them or let them stay in the country while awaiting an asylum determination. Since last month, however, hundreds of crossing migrants who police said were spotted on private property instead have been arrested for the state crime of trespassing and jailed in a retooled state prison.

“It really points to the fundamental problem with state law enforcement attempting to engage with immigration enforcement,” said Kate Huddleston, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. “What we see here is the state interfering in that process … that now makes it difficult for someone seeking asylum to go through the process as intended and move quickly out of the border region.” 

So Abbott is not "protecting" Texans; Abbott is fucking things up, and using DPS troopers to waste time and judicial resources on a political stunt.

But so far, the vast majority of the hundreds of migrants arrested and sent to the Briscoe prison under Abbott’s new “catch-and-jail” policy are accused only of trespassing on private property in Kinney and Val Verde counties, according to state and county officials. In at least 35 cases, Briscoe detainees have been accused of other crimes, like human smuggling and evading arrest, according to a prison spokesperson. The Val Verde County sheriff said nearly 20 of those were U.S. citizens accused of human smuggling in his county before Abbott’s latest initiative began in late July, but they were transferred to Briscoe as his jail overfilled.

“Statistically, these are nonviolent, non-personal offenses,” state Rep. Ann Johnson, D-Houston, said at a legislative hearing last week on a proposal for the state to spend nearly $2 billion on increased border security efforts. “It’s literally walking across somebody’s property.”

Most of those held in the prison are Mexican nationals, the prison reported. Because of the coronavirus, Mexican migrants apprehended by federal immigration authorities near the border are usually now immediately sent back, according to Kat Russell, an attorney with the immigrant legal services group RAICES.

State police are arresting the migrants, and a state prison is holding them, but it’s up to the small-town prosecutors and judges to resolve their cases. Kinney County’s modest court system is now handling hundreds of court cases when it’s more accustomed to single digits.

That led to at least 155 migrants being jailed for weeks at the Briscoe state prison without lawyers, according to court officials and attorneys. 

They could be immediately returned to Mexico.  But thanks to Abbott, they're stuck in Texas; until they are released by a court without being charged, and then they can't find their way back into the asylum system, or get returned by Border Patrol.

Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin.

“We can’t have a country or a system where people are being rounded up like this and sort of tucked away and hidden without the oversight and respective rights that the Constitution demands,” said Amrutha Jindal, a Houston defense attorney whose organization, Restoring Justice, was recently assigned to represent dozens of migrants. “The system crumbles without due process.”

Under Texas law, criminal defendants must be assigned an attorney within three days of asking for one. State statute also requires that defendants be released from jail if prosecutors delay cases by not filing charges quickly. For trespassing, the charge on which the vast majority of the imprisoned migrants were arrested, that deadline is set at 15 or 30 days, depending on the charge level.

Which is why so many such defendants are being released from Texas jails after 15 days.  As for the assault on due process, that just raises the question:  bug?  or feature?  What does Dan Crenshaw have to say, I wonder?

Suddenly the complaints of the GOP about paying families damages for what Trump did seem almost criminal in their own right.

And God Shows Love Towards The Alien Who Lives Among You

What's going on:
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services could end up paying out close to $1 million per immigrant family that were separated at the border. Sources told WSJ that around $450,000 a person is being considered, but could change depending on each family’s circumstances. 

Discussions of payouts have taken place over the course of the past few months between lawyers representing immigrant families that are suing the federal government and the government’s own lawyers, according to WSJ. Some government lawyers apparently viewed the payout amounts as excessive.

Margo Schlanger, DHS officer for civil rights and civil liberties during the Obama administration, told WSJ, “Damage class actions in this kind of case are pretty rare, it’s hard to think of a recent comparison.”
So "Biden Administration" here actually means the courts, which are hearing a torts case because of what the Trump Administration did. The Biden Administration is negotiating to do justice under law, because of the injustices of the Trump Administration.  The GOP, of course, is playing on peak ignorance of the case:

"Biden wants to pay illegal immigrants $450,000 for their hardship while breaking our laws," Crenshaw, R-Texas, a Navy SEAL veteran, tweeted. "For perspective, if a service member is killed in action, their next of kin gets an insurance payment of $400,000. Let that sink in."

No, they are going to be paid because "we" broke "our laws."  EOD. 

But I bring this up because of "Christian" Mike Pence.

"You must not wrong or oppress an alien; you yourselves were aliens in Egypt."--Exodux 22:21

"Do not oppress the alien, for you know how it feels to be an alien; you yourselves were aliens in Egypt."--Exodus 23:9

"You must have one and the same law for resident alien and native Israelite.  For I am the Lord your God."--Leviticus 24:22

"There is one and the same statute for you and for the resident alien, a rule binding for all time on your descendants; before the Lord you and the alien are alike.  There must be one law and one custom for you and for the alien residing among you."--Numbers 15:15-16

"So now you must circumcise your hearts and not be stubborn any more, for the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and terrible God.  He is no respecter of person; he is not to be bribed; he secures justice for the fatherless and the widow, and he shows love towards the alien who lives among you, giving him food and clothing.  You too must show love towards the alien, for you once lived as aliens in Egypt."--Deuteronomy 10:16-19

"If you amend your ways and your deeds, deal fairly with one another, cease to oppress the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, if you shed no innocent blood in this place and do not run after other gods to your own ruin, than I shall let you live in this place, in the land which long ago I gave to your forefathers for all time."--Jeremiah 7:5-7

Do I mean by this to apply the law of Moses to the United States, to hold us to the standards declared for ancient Israel?  No.  This is a testimony to the witness of the scriptures, that the alien, the stranger, is a sojourner with us, and to be treated as we are treated; especially to be treated according to the law, just as citizens stand before the law.  The witness of the scriptures is towards compassion.  If you are a Christian believer, one ground for that compassion is because "[God] is no respecter of person; [God] is not to be bribed; [God] secures justice for the fatherless and the widow, and [God] shows love towards the alien who lives among you, giving him food and clothing."  If you are a Christian believer, the Biblical witness is clearly toward compassion to the stranger, and care for them as if they were your own, in the nation or your family.

Mike Pence clearly thinks the immigrants got what they deserved under Donald Trump.  I clearly think that, not only is Mike Pence wrong, but his position is disgusting, not to mention contrary to law.

We've have quite enough of public officeholders preaching lawlessness when it suits them, and punishment under the law when it suits them.  There is one law for all of us, and that includes the immigrant and the stranger, "us" as well as the "others." 

Twitter ConLaw

Clearly speech which we right thinking people don’t like is never protected. I mean, duh! Only ignorance is bulletproof and immortal. We must protect our children and ourselves from any critical examination of reality. The First Amendment protects our ignorance. A picture is worth a thousand words. A picture with a thousand words…is a cartoon. My sympathies are with the chair who is simply trying to treat every crank the same way without engaging each one in an argument over why their content is being suppressed. The latter approach  may be more satisfying to the audience for the video, but these meetings aren’t conducted for the pleasure of Twitter.

Which is, of course, the real problem!

It Was Good

And yes, Boomers ruined everything. Or spoiled it, at least.

Should I Tell Him

...that Congressional hearings have been an excuse for Congressional grandstanding for as long as I’ve been paying attention? That before they did it for FoxNews, they did it for ABC/NBC/CBS. And probably the Red and Blue networks before that.

There is indeed nothing new under the sun. And the world didn’t fall into decay and corruption shortly after you started paying attention.

The World Is Not Enough

Well, to be fair, only the part of the world that isn’t Donald Trump.

Which is pretty hard for him to imagine; probably why it upsets him so.

Election Law Is Hard!

The separate question of whether WSJ should have run Trump's "bananas" letter is not addressed here (though I think the WSJ board acquits itself well per the Raw Story version of what they said in their defense. There, I didn't address it, AND I've run rings 'round you logically!). But in the RS article they link to this decision by Justice Alito, from which I quote:

Until today, this Court was not informed that the guidance issued on October 28, which had an important bearing on the question whether to order special treatment of the ballots in question, had been modified.  The application received today also informs the Court that neither the applicant nor the Secretary [of State of Pennsylvania] has been able to verify that all boards are complying with the Secretary's guidance, which, it is alleged, is not legally binding on them.

And what did Justice Alito order?

All county boards of election are hereby ordered, pending further order of the Court, to comply with the following guidance provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth on October 28 and November 1, namely, (1) that all ballots received by mail after 8:00 p.m. on November 3 be segregated and kept “in a secure, safe and sealed container separate from other voted ballots,” and (2) that all such ballots, if counted, be counted separately.

In simple terms, the Court ruled that, whether or not the directives of the PA SOS were binding on the state boards of election, the Court's order certainly was.  I suspect this was a matter of PA state law, not of some conspiracy by national Democrats.  It's noteworthy that there is clearly a federal overlay on the states in matters of Presidential elections, and the states don't get to do things entirely as they please.

That's been the sotto voce argument about Trump "packing" state boards and other agencies with MAGA believers who will deliver unto him the electoral prize in 2024.  Yeah, not so fast.  The people who think Rehnquist's dicta in Bush v. Gore (that states can't change laws too close to elections) don't understand that was Rehnquist's opinion, and not the law of the land or even a holding of the Court, are the same people who think it's just a matter of who decides how the electoral votes go.  It isn't.  There are laws.  And just as the courts told Trump he couldn't hanky-panky his way to victory (they are still the unsung heroes of our republic, IMHO), they will tell Trump he can't weasel his way in, either.

There are rules.  They will be followed.  Period.  It may get even messier in 2024 than it was in 2020, but rampant chaos will not see Trump installed in spite of the outcome in each of the 50 states.  If I could I would certainly wish this whole mess into the cornfield, Anthony; but I can't, as my gaze is neither wet nor purple (read the story).  I don't know the details of the PA case, but the Court made sure the vote count was orderly and proper, and led to a verifiable and legal result.  Throwing out the popular vote in favor of your candidate is neither order, proper, nor legal; and it won't be allowed to stand.

I'm no more an election law expert than you, but if the system is that fragile, it would have collapsed decades ago.  There is indeed nothing new under the sun.  Ecclesiastes wasn't a lawyer, but he damned well could have been.


Dan Crenshaw finds his way back in front of a camera, and this is what he has to say?

MTG is shaking her head in disdain. Lauren Boebert is distancing herself from such weakness on display. 

Or maybe this is what Crenshaw means:

And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.

3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,

5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.

7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.

11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

Because honestly, that last line?  Sounds a lot like Trump supporters to me.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Real Book Issues In Texas, And Other News

(Still trying to figure out why we have to challenge The Cider House Rules ("Goodnight you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England" is too...monarchical?) but not The World According to Garp, which includes a transgendered character.)  While we're on the subject, please don't give the jackass who started this more credit than he's due: This is not an act by even the committee.  It's one clown seeking publicity (and getting it!) by harassing independent school districts (i.e., other state agencies).  He's not even trying to ban books, much less "constrain speech."  And no, this letter won't have that effect.  Most school districts are probably going to ignore it, or ask him to clarify, as his demands make no sense and don't involve information readily available.  Nor is it enforceable under any color of state law, nor will it be so long as the Lege is not in session (but he'll make as much hay over it as he can).  He's happy if you say he's "constraining speech," though, so maybe you don't start that lie, huh?  (TBH, a staff writer at the Atlantic and "founding editor of 'The Best in Journalism' " should know better.)

And in other news:

Sic Transit Gloria

I don't have a concern with the "white, male power structures" focus of the novel (you can easily use it as a critique of same, which I am fine with).  But frankly, I always considered it over-rated and profoundly British (i.e., English)-centric.  It had damned little to do with my life-experience growing up in East Texas.

Which also doesn't make it a bad book; it just relied so much on the English public school experience it always left me a bit flat when I was young; and I've never been drawn to it as a novel in my adulthood, when I better understood the milieu it came from.

"Classic," though.  Wasn't Twain's definition of a classic "a book which everyone praises and no one reads"?  Close enough, anyway.  And Lord of the Flies is "classic" only because it's been assigned to schoolchildren since time immemorial.  It's "safe," in other words, and nothing in it involves sex, transgendered characters, or abortions.  (I know, that's a lousy criteria, but it's the one that prevails 50 years after I left high school behind.)

Change is inevitable.  Change is also good.  Lord of the Flies has probably exceeded its shelf-life (!).  Of course, all changes in curricula are signs of creeping fascism; or socialism; or the closing of the educated mind; or something.

And as for the actions of the school board, this bothers me a lot more:

Other books recently removed from Canadian school libraries and/or curriculums in response to complaints about racist, homophobic, or misogynistic language and themes, include Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale.

Fear of themes is not really a reason to ban a book, unless those themes are pro-Nazi or pro-racism or something.  Then again, I quit reading books from my school libraries in junior high (I almost remember the last book I read from that library.  Or I think I do.)  My friends and I read widely, but mostly we purchased the books we read, or we got them at the public library.  Almost nobody read the books in the school libraries, so it little mattered what was there.  Banning books from schools doesn't mean you can't find them on Amazon, or at a bookstore.  Keeping books out of school libraries has been going on since school libraries started.

Keeping them wholly out of the hands of young minds, is another matter. 

I’m Genuinely Confused

If taken as read, the advice here is to get a few more people to join you in “badgering” your representative. (I guess “badgering” is the new “petition for redress of grievances.” Or just, you know, to ask your representative to…represent you?)

If “then” is a typo for “than,” then (!) the meaning is no longer either/or but neither/nor. And representatives no longer represent, but are merely accountable at election time, and in between are free to do as they please or benefit whom they please.

Which is worse than Trumpism.

“The Senator Meant Nobody Has Been Killed”

"And all you people on school boards can suck it!”* The GOP doesn’t mention that school board members are parents, too. All parents are created equal, but some are more equal than others. School officials are parents, too. The GOP says they don’t matter, either. "And that’s the way it is.”**
*No, the government can’t condemn Cruz’s speech, or the Nazi salute; but the rest of us sure can.

**You must be this 👈 old to get that reference. Suck it, non-Boomers.

Just Because

Hope she isn’t looking for a job with FoxNews.

I Have Learned To Leave Stupid Alone

You certainly can’t fix it. (Besides, such opinions have no authority in court, where “evidence “ is a term of art.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Why Do I Think They Aren't Concerned About Members Of The School Boards?


Gotta have somebody to demonize.  Otherwise, why have a GOP?

The Falling Leaves...

Well, it's not "Texas' naughty list," it's a list cooked up in some fever swamp somewhere in the country and latched onto by this fool nobody has ever heard of who wants some notoreity so he can challenge Ken Paxton and call him a "weak sister" in the GOP primaries.

Odds are it won't work.

The list is arranged by publication date.  The oldest book on the list is one by Michael Crichton that I've never heard of, published in 1969.  This list goes a long way in explaining why high school reading lists still contain many of the books I read in high school, 50 years ago.  And I don't mean Shakespeare and Dickens, I mean books that were meant to be "contemporary" when we read them, and were then already 30-40 years old.

A lot of the books on the list have to do with abortion or Roe v. Wade, so, not exactly "how-to" manuals so much as simple history of the matter, or the legal decision. The earliest such book on the list (based on the title), was published in 1984.  Eleven years past Roe, IOW. Past that you get books about gender and sex, such as "Everything you need to know about growing up male" (or female; two separate titles).  Banned?  Suspicious?  Devious?  WTF?

I do like the fact The Cider House Rules is on here.  Is anybody still reading John Irving?

And of course the joke is many of these books were probably purchased by libraries when they were published.  What records do they have to dig up to find what they paid for them in 1969? (Yes, this is why I'd advise a school district to tell this guy to pound sand.)

But 90% of this list is either sex-ed or abortion, based on the titles.  Which I'm sure is how the list was compiled; based solely on titles.  Although I strain to understand the concern for:  Falling Hard:  100 love poems by teenagers.  Except it's probably a good way to ruin any appreciation of poetry in any student.

What Philosophy Can Do? You mean besides teach you to think? The Red Scrolls of Magic? I'm guessing, satanism?  And, of course, anything with "Black Lives Matter" in the title.

I will repeat myself:  this clown has no authority to do anything.  Even asking for a response is something the school districts can refuse.  Probably their best response would be to treat this as a public information request, and respond with an estimate of costs (allowed under the law) and refuse the request until payment is made (also allowed under the law).  That cuts off the mouth-breathers who will come to school board meetings to demand the school respond to this "demand."  As for his infamous "paragraph 3," they can ask (again, per the public information law) that he clarify that before they respond to it.

And all of this falls down like leaves off the trees.  Which, around here, pretty much happens in November, anyway....
Yeah, self-awareness is not their strong suit.

If I Hadn't Seen Rick Wilson Urge A Variation On This Strategy

We have to do it, because they're doing it first!

"We execute with excellence, we will beat them at their own game. And the next morning, we all wake up, take a shower with steel wool, and then, after swearing in in January ... (the Legislature) is going to pass all these bills again, and then I'm going to sign them all. And we will never do elections like that again, but this is how we win," Kleefisch said.

"If you are recording, I don't want you to put this part online to share with Democrats, OK? It is about election strategy," she added. "What I'm about to say may feel ugly to you guys."

According to the newspaper, Kleefisch then talked about "ballot harvesting" and hiring "mercenaries."

"Ballot harvesting in Wisconsin is not technically illegal," Kleefisch said. "Democrats do it non-stop and they go hard. Republicans must go harder."

"Democrats hire mercenaries," she added. "Republicans rely on sweet little volunteers to do the exact same things. We must hire mercenaries."

I swear I've seen Rick Wilson make that same argument to Democrats in order to defeat Republicans.

I have to wonder if this will trigger a criminal investigation.  I guess that depends on what “technically illegal” means. Ballot harvesting is really only illegal where fraud is involved, as in collecting mail-in ballots and altering them on the way to delivering them. Hiring “mercenaries” sure sounds like conspiring to commit fraud, to me.

And now I understand why my last mail-in ballot included so much language on the envelope about anyone dropping the envelope in the mail or at a collection point but me. It included signature lines for anyone doing so, and made me feel like I couldn’t drop my wife’s ballot in the mail without signing the envelope. But the difference between helping out and fraud is actually quite a large one. “Hiring mercenaries” sure sounds like crossing that gap; or at least proposing to.

Well That Got Interesting Fast

So let's start here, and see who gets uncomfortable:

19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.

24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

Genesis 9:19-29

Having seen my elderly father naked (first sign he had serious mental problems; shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, from which he died within a week or so of the diagnosis), I can tell you I wish I could have "walked backward and...saw not [my] father's nakedness."  Or my mother's, a few years later, when she was in the throes of hysteria from hypoglycemia (like single digits measure of blood sugar) and stood in her bedroom shitting herself.  Just remembering it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Anyway, I've said too much.  Reading that tweet I also remembered Onan:

1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.

3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.

4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.

5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.

6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.

7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.

8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.

 Genesis 38:1-10

It's been a long time since I read extensively in Genesis.  Wandering the wilds of the internet, I fell upon Wikipedia, which pointed this very interesting fact out:

After Onan's brother Er was slain by God, his father Judah told him to fulfill his duty to his brother by entering into a levirate marriage with his brother's widow Tamar to give her offspring. Religion professor Tikva Frymer-Kensky has pointed out the economic repercussions of a levirate marriage: any son born to Tamar would be deemed the heir of the deceased Er, and able to claim the firstborn's double share of inheritance. However, if Er were childless, or only had daughters, Onan would have inherited as the oldest surviving son.

When Onan had sex with Tamar, he withdrew before he ejaculated and "spilled his seed on the ground", since any child born would not legally be considered his heir. The next statement in the Bible says that Onan did evil and that God slew him.

I know the prevailing interpretation of Onan is that he "spilled his seed" and ever since any masturbation resulting in ejaculation is the "sin of Onan" because God'll kill ya for that!  But that's not, as Professor Frymer-Kensky points out, what the text says.  Technically this all happened before Moses got the Law from God on Sinai, but this is the "first book of Moses," according to tradition, and Onan's sin is completely in keeping with Mosaic law.  Onan has cheated Tamar of her due as the widow of Er, not only to cheat her but to enrich himself.  That's the "thing" he did which "displeased the Lord."

But how uncomfortable would people be if you taught that lesson from scripture, probably the prevailing lesson of scripture all the way down to Matthew 25 and through Paul to the Revelation to John? That it’s not about sex, but it is about economic justice.

Take if from the guy who lost two pulpits in four years; they'd be damned uncomfortable.

Riot? What Riot?

Not the defense she thinks it is.

The Law Is Not Meant To Be Used This Way…

...except it is meant to be used this way. in fact, this is the only way it's meant to be used.

Tl;dr:  Krause is running for AG to the right of Paxton, and he needs some street cred since nobody's ever heard of him.  This is, as Texas State Teachers Association President Ovidia Molina said, a “witch hunt” because nothing in state law gives the Lege or members thereof the authority to go after schools (which are separate governmental entities under state law).

Jim Walsh, an attorney, who often represents school districts, pointed out there is nothing in the law that says books must be removed and Krause’s investigation also doesn’t call for books to be removed. For now, it’s up to school districts to decide how they will respond, but what’s certain is that it will add more workload to Texas schools that are already struggling from the effects of the pandemic.

But there'll be a hue and cry in some districts by a distinct and LOUD minority to both find these evil books and to remove them from the shelves, burn them on the school grounds, and remove all district personnel responsible by hanging of firing squad.

You think I'm kidding.  One of the stories that hasn't made national, or even statewide, news is a book in an elementary school library that was complained about, removed and reviewed, and deemed "inappropriate" for that age of students.  It was removed, all according to Hoyle and due process.  But a vocal minority now wants the principal's head (and her job) because she "allowed" it to be on the shelf.  It's not an effort that's going anywhere, but don't schools have enough to worry about without this shit?

Krause's letter provides a 16-page list of about 850 book titles and asks the districts if they have these books, how many copies they have and how much money they spent on the books.

Hopefully that can be treated as an Public Information  request, because if it is the districts can calculate the cost of compliance and present him with a bill before proceeding further.  That would be my first advice to a school district if I were their counsel, anyway.  Searching an entire district for these books, number of copies, and costs?  Especially since that list only starts his inquiry; it doesn't end it:

Please identify any other books or content in your District, specifying the campus location and funds spent on acquisition, that address or contain the following topics: human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), sexually explicit images, graphic presentations of sexual behavior that is in violation of the law, or contain material that might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex or convey that a student, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Hell, I'd send that back asking for clarification.  It's so vague and indefinite it's impossible to comply with.  If you can get that cleared up (pro tip:  you can't; he's not THAT serious), then move on to costs, which have soared astronomically in this paragraph.  How would you even write the search parameters of a database for that?

This guy is a clown.  Worst part is, the people he'll rile up about it.  School administrators need that like they need a new coronavirus outbreak.

You know, when you're fighting your own state government, and you are the state government....

You and me both, brother....

Nailing Jell-O To The Wall

During an interview on Real America's Voice, Bannon noted that Lindell has pledged that state attorneys general would file an election lawsuit at the Supreme Court by Oct. 23. Lindell has also claimed that the court would vote 9-0 to hear the lawsuit.

Or November 23rd.  Time is mutable?

"What specifically are you asking for and what law are you using and these attorney generals [sic] using to get standing before the Supreme Court?" Bannon wondered. "Because they're always going to say, Lindell, we love you, brother. We love the pillows, we love the toppers, we love the Giza sheets but we've been down this road before with [Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton] and all of these other guys. Nobody has got standing. So tell me how Mike Lindell on the 23rd of November at 9 a.m., how this is anything more than a fantasy?"

Lindell admitted that he is not an attorney but insisted that the plaintiffs in his lawsuit "all do have standing."

"I hope to get a minimum of 20 [attorneys general]. I'd like to get all 50 attorneys generals [sic] because every one of them should be worried," the pillow mogul remarked.

Wait a minute:

"This is absolutely the biggest cover-up for the biggest crime in history," Lindell told right-wing host Steve Bannon on Friday. "I cannot wait to drop this Supreme Court case the Tuesday at 9 a.m. before Thanksgiving and the whole world is going to be watching all this unfold over Thanksgiving."

Lindell predicted that up to 30 state attorneys general would join his lawsuit claiming that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

"I really believe it will be 9-0 that they will at least look at it," he said of the court, "that they're going to take it down." 

So it is November 23rd?  And the Supremes will vote 9-0 to hear this malarkey, when they threw Paxton out on his ear for pulling the same stunt to get original jurisdiction in the court?  Who are the 20 (or is it 30?  Or 50?) AG's gonna sue?  It's gotta be another state, to start in the Supreme Court.  If he hits 50, Lindell loses that.  Does he understand how any of this works?


"But you're not going to get 50," Bannon interrupted. "Let's be realistic."

"You only need one!" Lindell exclaimed. "If I was to give an estimate, I would say around 20. And we're not going to release their names or the names of the states beforehand. It's all going to happen that day." 

So it's a double super-secret?  Do the AG's themselves even know?  Is the right hand talking to the left hand?  Is the brain between them connected to anything? 

This is why God gave us the intertoobs; so we'd know where the crazy were at all times, and what they were saying.  I continue to stand on the record of the 60 cases that were tossed because nothing alleged could be proven even enough to keep a suit in court past challenge.  I seem to recall Lindell promised a suit would provide irrefutable proof then, too.


I so want to believe somebody did this to him (i.e., “hacked his account”).

Do We Get To Shoot You First?

Didn't think so.

You know that it's only in the movies that it matters who shot first, right?  Ask Trayvon Martin.   And despite resorting to state-sanctioned violence at the drop of a hat, there's a reason we say, through the state, that violence doesn't solve anything (which is why we're prosecuting, through the state, the people who committed violence on the nation's capital on Jan. 6).

So the answer is:  "Never.  You never get to start shooting.  This is why the state has more guns than you do, and will use them if forced to."

Honestly, these people are superannuated toddlers.
Yeah, just like that. My daughter is raising a puppy.  It's almost exactly like raising a child; except you never get to the point you can say "Use your words."

Tuesday, October 26, 2021


You mean people dumped the stock in hopes of taking a profit before everyone else realized what a sham it was? Or maybe reality just caught up with the fantasy:

Creating a large, scalable and reliable technology platform takes time, commitment and hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. Large technology teams have to be hired and retained along with a tremendous number of servers to store and distribute content. Usually a start-up will lean on Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure to provide this service in the short-term and potentially longer-term. However, just because the hardware portion is outsourced doesn’t mean TMTG won’t need a large and skillful technology team.
I still think most of the "investors" were looking to score one off the rubes who would buy in ten minutes later and hold on ten minutes too long.  I mean, it's not like serious investors were swayed by this:

TMTG or former President Trump’s Technology Media & Technology Group posted a 22-page presentation overviewing what it will try and accomplish. It outlines on slide 7 that it will first be going after Twitter and Facebook, along with creating what looks like a subscription offering similar to Netflix NFLX -1% and Disney+. At the same time it plans to take on CNN and iHeartMEDIA (the largest owner of radio stations) and in the future create a tech stack that goes up against Amazon’s AMZN +1.8% AWS, Google’s GOOG +0.9% Cloud, Microsoft’s MSFT +0.7% Azure and payment processor Stripe. I guess if Trump throws enough company logos onto a slide it will make what is an overpriced SPAC stock look reasonable.
I'm sure there are still some fools out there who think "Trump" on the door means "money magic," but already they have been parted from their money.  And the odds of this thing ever getting off the ground?  Zip and none:

On slide 20 TMTG+ says it is looking to provide “news, big-tent entertainment, exciting documentaries, sports programming and more.” The company appears to want to create a subscription model such as Netflix and Disney+ but with traditional cable or television network offerings.

Netflix and Disney+ have created huge content libraries over multiple years, if not decades, and licensed them in the case of Netflix, which cost and continue to cost billions of dollars on annual basis. If TMTG wants to create this kind of content it will either have to raise a lot more equity or take on hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, in debt like Netflix has done.

Cable and TV networks have large staffs and commit to multi-billion dollar deals with sports leagues. It may be able to leverage some like-minded partners but besides talking heads in a studio having true content takes a lot of money.


The presentation points out that Trump had a total of 146.5 million followers composed of 89 million on Twitter, 33 million on Facebook and 24.5 million on Instagram.

Statista estimates that Facebook controls the five largest social networks; Facebook with over 2.8 billion users, You Tube, WhatsApp, Instagram with almost 1.4 billion and Facebook Messenger. Twitter comes in 16th place with about 397 million users.

Trump’s numbers were large but they do not take into account how many were from people that felt “obligated” to follow him when he was President, users who won’t go to the trouble of downloading and using his app and how many were bots.

IOW, Trump isn't even a big fish in a small pond, even back when he was a big fish. 

Trump's investors