The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/11

There always seems to be one topic at the forefront that gets the most attention from the political cartoonists, and this week it is no surprise that it’s the televised hearings of the House Committee that has been tasked with investigating the events leading up to and during the attempted coup on January 6, 2021.  And the second most popular topic, again understandably, is the gun insanity that has swept this nation.  As she does so brilliantly every week, TokyoSand has gone through them and selected the ‘pick of the litter’ for our cartoon viewing pleasure.  Please do click on the link at the end of this post to see all the cartoons, for what I have here is but a small sampling.  Thank you once again, TS!

Here’s how editorial cartoonists covered the start of the January 6th Committee hearings.

be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons!

How the Mighty have Fallen

I thought I was finished for the day, but then I saw this moving post from our friend David. David lives in Wales, in the UK, and yet he quite often understands our situation here better than many of the people who call themselves ‘citizens’ and ‘patriots’. Thank you, David … fingers crossed that your hopes for this nation will soon be realized.


It’s been a week unlike any other in my lifetime(that I can recall).The House Select Committee on Jan 6th have been revealing some of the details of that fateful day and detailing some of the proofs they have of how events unfolded. What an ignoble enterprise it was with the collusion of American Senators and Representatives to bring down the lawful Government. What has sickened me apart from the inclusion of Racist groups as a deliberate act in the venture, so that those responsible can never disassociate themselves from the intent, is the lack of condemnation from much of the mainstream press. Do they really think the man on whose behalf this was done is such a Stalwart American Hero that his actions rate forgiveness?

They Don’t!!! A friend shared on her blog a letter she’s sent to her State representatives and Senators asking whether they meant the oath they…

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Open Letter To Four Elected Representatives

This is a letter that could well be sent to nearly every single Republican in Congress, but for today I am sending it to those who have a proven role in the events of January 6th:  Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks.  Note that I do not expect to receive answers to this letter, and I imagine that if they even bother to read my words, they will scoff or laugh.  But I needed to tell them my thoughts, to let them know that there is still a standard for those who represent … or pretend to represent us.

Dear Sir,

I have a couple of questions to ask, and I hope that, whether you respond directly to me or not, you will think long and hard about your answers.  First, do you remember the words you said as you swore an oath and began your position on January 3rd, 2021?  If you cannot remember, please read them again and this time think about what you are saying.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

The second question is, to whom do you feel you owe your loyalty and dedication?  The Republican Party?  Donald Trump?  The corporations that donate money to your campaign?  Or the hard-working people in your district and throughout the nation who gave you this opportunity to serve your country and who go to work every day to earn money, to pay their taxes that pay for your salary, benefits, and perks?

I and every other thoughtful, concerned citizen in this nation would like sincere and honest answers to those questions.  It often appears, especially given your role in attempting to overthrow our votes, overthrow the entire government on January 6th, 2021, that you are self-serving, that when you took that Oath of Office, you were just mouthing words that had no meaning to you, that you never intended to abide by.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to think … really think … about your position in the government and how everything you do affects some 330 million people.  Ask yourself if you are worthy of your position, if you are honest and trustworthy, if you are dedicated to maintaining the United States Constitution and the democratic principles outlined therein.  We the People have entrusted you with our lives, the futures of our children and grandchildren.  If you betray our trust, then you should for once do the honourable thing and step down, let someone who will work for the nation and its people take your place.


Jill Dennison, U.S. citizen, taxpayer, voter

January 6th Hearings And A Snippet

I mostly want to talk a bit about last night’s televised hearings, but also have another snippet … or maybe two … who knows?  🤷

January 6th Committee hearings

I watched the televised hearings of the January 6th committee tonight, and I have to tell you, by the time they took a 10-minute recess after the first hour, I was more than ready for a break!  I was shaking and couldn’t catch my breath after watching some of that footage.  I’ve never wanted to hurt somebody more in my life than I wanted to hurt those ugly people storming the Capitol.

The hearing was interesting … nay, fascinating … but not much new information has been presented as yet.  Still, watching the first-hand account by the police officer, Caroline Edwards, who was wounded, knocked unconscious, then resumed her duties to protect the Capitol upon regaining consciousness, only to be injured yet again, was riveting.  She did not cry as she described the ‘carnage’ and ‘chaos’, but I wanted to cry for her.

Initially, the investigation was going to be held by an independent, non-partisan group of people similar to the 9/11 Commission, but the Republicans, namely Kevin McCarthy, protested that they wanted a partisan, congressional committee.  Presumably, he thought this would give him and his minions a degree of control over what information was sought and revealed. His attempt to put two Republican members of Congress on the committee who were to some extent involved in the events of that day, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, proved his intent, and since then he has made no secret of the fact that if he gets the opportunity after the November elections, he will shut down the committee and destroy its work.  Too late, Kev … we’re seeing it and we cannot … will not unsee it.

That said, I think a non-congressional, non-partisan investigative body would have been a better solution because the Republicans already have and will continue to claim that it’s a “witch hunt” to “get Donald Trump” by “people who don’t like him.”  With a non-congressional, non-partisan committee, it would have been much more difficult for them to make that claim and be believed.  Then again, their followers will believe almost anything, as we saw from the various testimonies tonight by people who honestly (or so they say) believed that Trump had told them to come do their dirty deeds that day.

However, McCarthy forced the hand of Nancy Pelosi and I think she put together a great committee.  Sadly, the two Republicans who voluntarily joined, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, have been bullied and harassed by their peers in the Republican Party.  Ms. Cheney is holding her own, but Mr. Kinzinger announced early on that he will not run for re-election in November.

Just from what we saw tonight, it appears the committee has done good work, despite the fact that numerous people they needed to talk to have foolishly ignored their subpoenas or refused to answer questions, invoking their 5th Amendment right not to incriminate themselves … meaning, of course, that they are guilty to a greater or lesser extent.  The committee is still gathering information, crossing their ‘t’s and dotting their ‘i’s, and their report will live on far past their tenure in Congress.  I hope … I am sure … that there are numerous copies of the entirety of their work stored in secure locations away from the Capitol just in case some disaster should befall the Capitol.

A seditionist for Governor of Michigan???

Ryan Kelley is … or was … running on the Republican ticket for Governor of Michigan, hoping to unseat Gretchen Whitmer.  His campaign may have just sounded the death knell, though, as on Thursday morning, Mr. Kelley was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for his role in the January 6th insurrection/attempted coup.  Kelley is charged with committing violence against a person or property on restricted grounds, damaging federal property, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building or grounds without permission.  All four charges are misdemeanors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office … which I do not understand.  How can these be only misdemeanors?  Violence against a person?  A misdemeanor???  WHY???

Kelley was released after appearing briefly in federal court and was not even required to post bail!  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.  The evidence is incontrovertible that Kelley was at the Capitol on January 6th 2021, but some are already claiming that his arrest was an attempt by the FBI to undermine his campaign for governor.  I said a minute ago that this could be the death knell for his campaign, but on the other hand, seeing how the Republican mentality works, this might just give his campaign a surge!  The nastier they are, the better the Republicans like them.

Brain Overload And The January 6th Hearings

The human brain is a marvel … it really is.  But, it is not capable of processing the enormous amounts of detritus we’re putting into it these days without consequences.  Continuing to overload our central system will … not might, WILL … lead to at the very least a meltdown, at worst, well … I’ll leave that to your imagination.  We need a respite, but how?  People say to me, “Oh, I tuned out all the news long ago and I just focus on things that make me happy.”  A lovely sentiment, I suppose, if you can do it.  Personally, I cannot.  Nor do I think that those who do that for an extended period of time are being good citizens, nor a valuable part of society.  Oh sure, it’s fine to take a break for a day here and there … we all do it, even me.  Yes, by all means do things that relieve the tension, spend family time, read a good book, watch a funny movie, visit friends.  But to just tune it all out until one day you wake to the sound of jackboots outside your house is foolish, at the very least.

This evening will be the first televised hearing of the House special committee to investigate the events of January 6, 2021.  There are many questions in our minds about that infamous day:  Who devised the devious, illegal plot?  Who helped implement it, recruit the players, and convince them to risk their future to overthrow a fair election, to overthrow in essence, the entire government of the United States?  I keep seeing articles about “how to watch” the hearings … huh?  Each one tells you what to look for, what to expect, but you don’t need all that … you only need to tune in and watch … and listen.  Thus far, there has been zero accountability for that attempted coup, that insurrection.  Oh sure, a lot of people have been arrested, a few even sentenced to short prison sentences, even more have been given a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again.  But nobody of any consequence is in prison today because of their role in attempting to overthrow a government that has existed for 233 years!

Donald Trump is not in prison, has not even, as yet, been charged.  Junior has not been held accountable for his role.  John Eastman, presumably the ‘brains’ behind the evil plot, still walks free without even a single charge.  So yes, I want to see and hear the evidence for myself.  I want Attorney General Merrick Garland to watch every single minute of these hearings and then get off his arse and start bringing charges against these people … every last bloomin’ one of them!

We need to stop pussyfooting around with this and get ‘er done.  We’re running out of time, because while I’m not convinced the Republicans can put a majority into the House of Representatives in November, if they do manage it, then ol’ Kevin McCarthy has already said he will shut the January 6th committee down … immediately.  If people like Trump and Eastman aren’t charged and indicted, then all the thousands of hours and millions of dollars spent to get to the bottom of the insurrection will have been for naught.  Worse yet, the Republicans will have a field day and I can guarantee you that there will be another coup on January 6th of 2025 and the next one will not fail!

PLEASE, my friends, make time in your schedule to watch the hearings, even if you can’t watch them at the time of the broadcast, I have no doubt they will be available for some time thereafter.  If you can, write letters to your local papers and let them know your thoughts on the criminality of some of our own members of Congress … people we ‘hired’ with our votes and are paying with our hard-earned tax dollars.  Ted, Lauren, Josh, Matt … yeah, I mean you!

I strongly suspect that we will learn a lot from these hearings, learn that people we didn’t even think about were involved in the process, either in the planning, execution, or cover-up stages.  I’m sure the ‘other side’ will try to twist everything and deny, deny, deny, turning the finger of blame back across the aisle, but ignore them.  I certainly plan to, for as I said at the beginning of this post, there is only so much the human brain can absorb and mine is already on overload, as I suspect yours is.  So, ignore the fools and idiots, let them be their own audience, for they are really a pretty lousy show, not worth our time or brain space!

Coupgate? Trumpgate?

This week will begin the televised hearings of the January 6th committee and while I’m not holding my breath, I am hopeful that the American public will at least be convinced of one thing:  Donald Trump is a crook, a criminal, who attempted a coup to overturn the U.S. election in 2020 and can NEVER be allowed to hold public office again.  Robert Reich gives us a comparison to another set of televised hearings 49 years ago … all the news then, but Watergate pales in comparison to what happened on January 6th 2020.

The Week Ahead: Why everything depends on Liz Cheney

Forty-nine years ago, Howard Baker had a similar responsibility — but hers will be far more challenging

Robert Reich

The televised hearings of the House Select Committee on the January 6 insurrection, which begin Thursday, mark an historic milestone in the battle between democracy and autocracy. The events that culminated in the attack on the Capitol constitute the first attempted presidential coup in our nation’s 233-year history. The Select Committee’s inquiry is the most important congressional investigation of presidential wrongdoing since the Senate investigation of the Watergate scandals in the 1970s.

To a large degree, the success of those hearings will depend on the Wyoming Republican congresswoman and vice-chair of the committee, Liz Cheney. Although I have disagreed with almost every substantive position she has ever taken, I salute her courage and her patriotism. And I wish her success.

I vividly recall the televised hearings of the Senate Watergate committee, which began nearly a half-century ago, on May 17, 1973. More than a year later, on August 8, 1974 —knowing that he would be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate — Nixon resigned.

I was just finishing law school when the Watergate hearings began. I was supposed to study for final exams but remained glued to my television. I remember the entire cast of characters as if the hearings occurred yesterday, and I’m sure many of you do, too — people such as North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin, a Democrat, who served as the committee’s co-chair; John Dean, the White House counsel who told the committee about Nixon’s attempted coverup; and Alexander Butterfield, Nixon’s deputy assistant, who revealed that Nixon had taped all conversations in the White House.

But to my young eyes, the hero of the Watergate hearings was the committee’s Republican co-chair, Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, Jr.

Baker had deep ties to the Republican Party. His father was a Republican Congressman and his father-in-law was Senate minor­ity leader for a decade. Notwithstanding those ties, Baker put his loyalty to the Constitution and rule of law ahead of his loyalty to his party or the president. His steadiness and care, and the tenacity with which he questioned witnesses, helped America view the Watergate hearings as a search for truth rather than a partisan “witch hunt,” as Nixon described them.

It was Baker who famously asked Dean, “what did the president know and when did he know it?” And it was Baker who led all the other Republicans on the committee to join with Democrats in voting to subpoena the White House tapes — the first time a congres­sional commit­tee had ever issued a subpoena to a Pres­id­ent, and only the second time since 1807 that anyone had subpoenaed the chief executive.

Fast forward 49 years. This week, Baker’s role will be played by Cheney. Her Republican pedigree is no less impressive than Baker’s was: She is the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and Second Lady Lynne Cheney. She held several positions in the George W. Bush administration. She is a staunch conservative. And, before House Republicans ousted her, she chaired the House Republican Conference, the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership.

Cheney’s responsibility this week will be similar to Baker’s 49 years ago — to be the steady voice of non-partisan common sense, helping the nation view the hearings as a search for truth rather than a “witch hunt,” as Trump has characterized them.

In many ways, though, Cheney’s role will be far more challenging than Baker’s. Forty-nine years ago, American politics was a tame affair compared to the viciousness of today’s political culture. Republican senators didn’t threaten to take away Howard Baker’s seniority or his leadership position. The Tennessee Republican Party didn’t oust him. Nixon didn’t make threatening speeches about him. Baker received no death threats, as far as anyone knows.

It will be necessary for Cheney to show — as did Baker — more loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law than to her party or the former president. But she also will have to cope with a nation more bitterly divided over Trump’s big lie than it ever was over Nixon and his coverup of the Watergate burglary. She will have to face a Republican Party that has largely caved in to Trump’s lie — enabling and encouraging it. Baker’s Republican Party never aligned itself with Nixon’s lies. Meanwhile, Cheney’s career has suffered and her life and the lives of her family have been threatened.

The criminal acts for which Richard Nixon was responsible — while serious enough to undermine the integrity of the White House and compromise our system of government — pale relative to Trump’s. Nixon tried to cover up a third-rate burglary. Trump tried to overthrow our system of government. The January 6 insurrection was not an isolated event. It was part of a concerted effort by Trump to use his lie that the 2020 election was stolen as a means to engineer a coup, while whipping up anger and distrust among his supporters toward our system of government. Yet not a shred of evidence has ever been presented to support Trump’s claim that voter fraud affected the outcome of the 2020 election.

Consider (to take but one example) Trump’ phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pressured Raffensperger to change the presidential vote count in Georgia in order to give Trump more votes than Biden: “All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensperger in a recorded phone call. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.” Trump threatened Raffensperger with criminal liability if he did not do so. Trump’s actions appear to violate 18 U.S.C. § 371, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and 18 U.S.C. § 1512, obstruction of Congress.  

The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into these activities. Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that the Justice Department will “follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.” As with Watergate, the facts will almost certainly lead to the person who then occupied the Oval Office.

This week’s televised committee hearings are crucial to educating the public and setting the stage for the Justice Department’s prosecution. Federal district court Judge David Carter in a civil case brought against the Committee by John Eastman, Trump’s lawyer and adviser in the coup attempt, has set the framework for the hearings. Judge Carter found that it was

 “more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” and concluded that Trump and Eastman “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history […] The illegality of the plan was obvious.”

Those who claim that a president cannot be criminally liable for acts committed while in office apparently forget that Richard Nixon avoided prosecution only because he was pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford. Those who argue that Trump should not be criminally liable because no president in American history has been criminally liable, overlook the fact that no president in history has staged an attempted coup to change the outcome of an election. Without accountability for these acts, Trump’s criminality opens wide the door to future presidents and candidates disputing election outcomes and seeking to change them — along with ensuing public distrust, paranoia, and divisiveness.

Liz Cheney bears a burden far heavier than Howard Baker bore almost a half-century ago. Please watch this Thursday’s Jan. 6 Committee televised hearings. And please join me in appreciating the public service of Liz Cheney.

Headache-Inducing Snarky Snippets

The makers of such over-the-counter medications as Tylenol and Advil must be raking in the profits these days, for a headache is a natural state of being for most of us as soon as we boot up the computer or turn on the television news in the morning!  So anyway, after popping four ibuprofen with my morning Joe, here I am back with even more of those snarky snippets.

This dude …

… was one of the insurrectionists that stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempted coup on January 6th 2020.  His name is Timothy Hale-Cusanelli and at the time of his felonious insurrection he was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves … you know, those guys who are supposed to protect us in times of trouble?  Well, turns out Hale-Cusanelli is a Nazi supporter … don’t ask me how the Sam Hell he got into the U.S. Army … and not a very bright one at that!  During his jury trial this week, Hale-Cusanelli admitted to entering the Capitol, but claims that he didn’t know the Capitol is where the two chambers of Congress convene.  This, despite the fact that he claims to be a ‘history buff’.  Yeah, right asshole.

“I know this sounds idiotic, but I’m from New Jersey. I feel like an idiot, it sounds idiotic, and it is. I didn’t know the Capitol building was the same as the congressional building.”

His little ‘dumber-than-a-coal-bucket’ ploy failed, however, and Hale-Cusanelli was convicted on all five counts he faced, including a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding.  His sentencing date is September 16th and he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, though it’s quite likely his sentence will be significantly shorter.

Hale-Cusanelli has been in jail since February 2021 because of his racist history.  At least 34 of Hale-Cusanelli’s colleagues told prosecutors that he held “extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish people, minorities, and women.” A Navy petty officer claimed Hale-Cusanelli once said that “Hitler should have finished the job.”

Yet another specimen of the nastiest side of the human species.

(Note:  I wrote a more extensive piece about Hale-Cusanelli shortly after his arrest in early 2021)

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson knows what causes school shootings like the one on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas.  Who knew ol’ Ron was so much smarter than the rest of us?  Yep, folks, he has all the answers … it is critical race theory and ‘wokeness’ that are causing all the school shootings in the United States!  Wow … such a simple answer, yes?

“We stopped teaching values in so many of our schools. Now we’re teaching wokeness, we’re indoctrinating our children with things like CRT … I think CRT has been going on under the radar for quite some time as well. Wokeness has been. Liberal indoctrination has been. This is a much larger issue than what a simple new gun law is gonna — it’s not gonna solve it. It’s not gonna solve it.”

So much wrong with his statement … I ran out of fingers trying to enumerate it, but the short version …

  • CRT … critical race theory, is NOT taught in elementary, middle, or high schools in the United States, though in my opinion it should be
  • What ‘values’ is he referring to? Schools are attempting to ban lessons of history, lessons about human bodies, and whitewash or cover up everything that used to be a part of a well-balanced curriculum, but I think the ‘values’ Mr. J is referring to is religion.  Over the decades, we ‘woke’ people have let it be known that not all of us are of the Christian religion, that some of us are even … gasp … non-believers … and thus we do not support the teaching of one single religion in schools.  Schools, like our government, are intended to be secular.
  • EVIDENCE points to the fact that gun laws, properly enforced, would indeed cut down on gun felonies and deaths significantly. There ain’t no arguable point here, people!!!  Check the gun laws and gun deaths in ANY other country in the world …
  • And finally, ‘wokeness’ is a made-up term by bigots who believe that being anti-racist, being pro-LGBTQ rights, caring about other people REGARDLESS of religion, skin colour, gender or gender identification, ethnicity, etc. is somehow a bad thing. Those of us with compassion and hearts let the babies have their made-up language and we’re proud to be, by the right-wing definition, ‘woke’.  However, note that being ‘woke’ is NOT a crime, but is a humanitarian response to the world today!

And that, Mr. J, is as much time and energy as I will waste rebutting your utter asininity, your stupidity.  Yesterday I heard someone claim that gun laws wouldn’t work, and the only thing that would solve our gun problem is Jesus.  Well fine, then, call on him/her if you wish, but a lot of us think that real world problems require real world solutions!

So many bloomin’ fools in the world … I wonder if this is yet another of the long-range effects of climate change, that it’s affecting people’s ability to use logic and reason?

Hypocrisy Run Amok

Picture a child out playing when she accidentally lands in a huge mud puddle.  She runs into the house crying, “Mommy, mommy, look at me … I’m all dirty!!!”  The mother tries to calm the child saying she will go run bathwater and they’ll get all that ol’ dirt off.  But no … the child screams even louder, “I don’t want no stinkin’ bath!!!”  She’s a child and the word ‘hypocrisy’ has no meaning to her, but that is the exact behaviour we’re seeing from members of one of our political parties today, and they are not children, they are full-grown men and women who ought to be able to see their own hypocrisy, but sadly they don’t.

Take, for example, the infant formula shortage which, by the way, is temporary and is NOT by any definition of the word a ‘crisis’ as some would have you believe.  More than a few times I have heard politicians on the right, as well as their herd of lemmings, blame the shortage on President Biden.  The president had absolutely nothing to do with the shortage, as I have mentioned before, yet the blame is dumped onto his shoulders.  Never mind that the former guy’s isolationist trade policies contributed to the shortage, and never mind that mass quantities of formula were removed from store shelves because two babies died from it.

So, Congress introduced an emergency funding bill to give the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) additional resources to step up inspections and get the product flowing faster from production plant to store shelves.  But guess what?  The Republicans are against it.  Yep, they can whine and bitch about the shortage, but when given the opportunity to help be a part of the solution, they demur.

There are hundreds more examples like this one.  They claim to want to follow the U.S. Constitution to the letter, screaming that women’s rights are not enumerated in the document, but then they totally disregard the 1st Amendment as it applies to ‘freedom of religion’.  They are hellbent and determined to impose a single religion, Christianity, on the entirety of our population.  They claim to support the “right to life”, but then they turn right around and refuse to pass legislation that would help keep people from dying for lack of medical care or lack of food.  And they support the death penalty. And they refuse to even talk about or consider gun legislation that might prevent future school shootings or mass shootings in grocery stores.  SO much hypocrisy in the GOP today that I don’t know where to even start.  Let’s rename the party … instead of ‘GOP’, which once stood for “Grand Old Party”, let’s rename them HOP, or “Hypocritical Old Party”.  Bah Humbug.

Beware The Snarky

You know how some days you just wake up in a mood?  Well, far too many days lately I wake up with a head full of sarcasm and snark that needs a vent, needs to be let loose and shared.  So, lucky for you, I’m sharing it with you, dear friends!

Teaching them young

Last night I was literally sickened when I read that some teens in a local high school, Colerain High School, a school about 15 miles from my home and attended by some of my own friends’ children, had done this …

And meanwhile in West Palm Beach, Florida, kids at Hidden Oaks Middle School did this …

In both instances, I am told the kids were punished, but with what … a slap on the wrist?  A soft-voiced “Now that wasn’t very nice, little Johnnny.”  And what about the parents?  The kids weren’t born knowing how to be grade-A assholes … they learned it somewhere, most likely at home!  And these are not isolated incidents.  According to The Washington Post

“Last month, a student at a Chicago-area high school wrote a racist comment about picking cotton on a “prom-posal” sign. In the past few months, student-athletes in several states, including Georgia, Washington, Vermont, Minnesota and California, have reported hearing competitors or spectators yelling racial slurs at them during or after games.”

Damn it, people … 🛑STOP IT!  Republicans, evangelicals, and whoever else is playing the racist game, just effing STOP IT!  You’re causing untold grief and sooner or later you’re going to get somebody killed, maybe your own kid!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

A really bad idea

I’ve said it often enough – I do not like the Electoral College.  The idea of the Founders was that it would keep the people from electing some really unqualified madman at some point, but instead, it has worked in the opposite way and caused a madman who was NOT elected by the people to slither into the Oval Office in January 2017.  The Electoral College is one of the worst conventions in our Constitution, second only to the 2nd Amendment, and it needs to go.  Fortunately, at least it only applies to the presidential election, not elections for members of Congress or state offices.

But a Republican candidate for governor in the state of Colorado wants to change that.  Greg Lopez says Colorado should create an electoral college system for electing candidates to statewide office, which would be the first of its kind on the state level and would give far more voting power to Coloradans in rural, conservative counties and dilute the voting power of Coloradans in more populous urban and suburban areas, heavily favouring Republicans.  Surprise.  It’s doubtful his plan will gain momentum, but just the fact that it is being proposed is enough to make my skin crawl.

Kellyanne wrote a book?  I didn’t know she could even read!

You all remember Kellyanne Conway, right?  She was advisor, if you can call it such, to the former guy, despite the fact that her hubby, George Conway, was a full-blown anti-Trumpeter and co-founder of the Lincoln Project, an organization “dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy.” Remember how I used to muse about how their dinner table conversations might go, given they were politically and ideologically 180° apart?  Well, next Tuesday, May 24th, for the price of $21 for a hardcover or $14.99 for the ebook, you can read her new book and find out about those supper table conversations!

In a brief excerpt, she writes …

 I had already said publicly what I’d said privately to George: that his daily deluge of insults-by-tweet against my boss—or, as he put it sometimes, “the people in the White House”—violated our marriage vows to “love, honor, and cherish” each other. Those vows, of course, do not mean we must agree about politics or policies or even the president. In our democracy, as in our marriage, George was free to disagree, even if it meant a complete 180 from his active support for Trump-Pence–My Wife–2016 and a whiplash change in character from privately brilliant to publicly bombastic.

“Whoop-de-do, George!” I said to him. “You are one of millions of people who don’t like the president. Congrats.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got better ways to spend $21, not to mention my time than reading her drivel.  Now, if George writes a book, I might consider it.

Wifey is back in the news

Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is back in the news.  You’ll remember that she was in communication with the former guy’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, after the 2020 election attempting to convince him to illegally overturn the election, to render the people of this nation voiceless.  Well, new information shows that Ms. Thomas also sent emails to at least two Arizona legislators urging them to overturn the election in that state and choose their own ‘clean slate’ of electors, completely disregarding the vote of the people.

Fortunately for the nation, the two lawmakers chose not to break the law and violate their position of trust, but the fact remains that Ms. Thomas attempted in more instances than one to destroy this nation, to rob We the People, the taxpayers who ensure her cushy lifestyle, of our voices!  It is my hope that when all is said and done, Ms. Thomas will see the inside of a prison cell, for what she did was in fact criminal, felonious, and We the People are the victims of her crime.

At this point, I see no option other than for Justice Thomas to step down from his position on the Court.  He may or may not have been directly involved with his wife’s treason, but his integrity is certainly questionable, to say the least.

And just to give you a smile after all the snark …

The Anti-Democracy Movement Run Amok

As I lay in bed at 5:30 this morning seeking that elusive thing called sleep, I received an email with Robert Reich’s latest newsletter.  Despite my better judgment, I started reading the piece and there went any hope for sleep.  Peter Thiel’s name has crossed my radar before … he is a billionaire with a net worth of about $4.7 billion who has bankrolled some pretty nasty political candidates, most notably the former guy.  I didn’t know a lot about him, though, and Mr. Reich took care of filling in some gaps … some rather disturbing ones.  Please take a minute to read his piece, for it is well worth your time — just don’t read it at bedtime.

What you need to know about the anti-democracy movement

Who’s funding it, why it’s inspired by Viktor Orban, and what it aims to achieve

Robert Reich

May 19, 2022

Decades ago, America’s wealthy backed a Republican establishment that believed in fiscal conservatism, anti-communism, and constitutional democracy. But today’s billionaire class is pushing a radically anti-democratic agenda for America — backing Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen, calling for restrictions on voting, and even questioning the value of democracy.

Peter Thiel, the billionaire tech financier who is among those leading the charge, writes “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”

Thiel is using his fortune to squelch democracy. He donated $15 million to the successful Republican Ohio senatorial primary campaign of J.D. Vance, who alleges that the 2020 election was stolen and that Biden’s immigration policy has meant “more Democrat voters pouring into this country.” And Thiel has donated at least $10 million to the Arizona Republican primary race of Blake Masters, who also claims Trump won the 2020 election and admires Lee Kuan Yew, the authoritarian founder of modern Singapore.

The former generation of wealthy conservatives backed candidates like Barry Goldwater, who wanted to conserve American institutions. Thiel and his fellow billionaires in the anti-democracy movement don’t want to conserve much of anything — at least not anything that occurred after the 1920s, including Social Security, civil rights, and even women’s right to vote. As Thiel wrote:

The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.

Rubbish. If “capitalist democracy” is becoming an oxymoron, it’s not because of public assistance or because women got the right to vote. It’s because billionaire capitalists like Thiel are drowning democracy in giant campaign donations to authoritarian candidates who repeat Trump’s big lie.

Not incidentally, the 1920s marked the last gasp of the Gilded Age, when America’s rich ripped off so much of the nation’s wealth that the rest had to go deep into debt both to maintain their standard of living and to maintain overall demand for the goods and services the nation produced. When that debt bubble burst in 1929, we got the Great Depression.

It was also the decade when Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler emerged to create the worst threats to freedom and democracy the modern world had ever witnessed.

If freedom is not compatible with democracy, what is it compatible with?  

On Tuesday night, Doug Mastriano, a January 6 insurrectionist and Trump-backed Big Lie conspiracy theorist, won the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania (the fourth largest state in the country, and the biggest state that flipped from 2016 to 2020). Mastriano was directly involved in a scheme to overturn the 2020 election by sending an “alternate” slate of pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College — despite the fact that Trump lost Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes. If Mastriano wins in November, he will appoint Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, who will oversee the 2024 election results in one of the most important battleground states in the country.

Meanwhile, the major annual event of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — the premier convening organization of the American political right — starts today in Budapest. That’s no accident. The Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and his ruling Fidesz party have become a prominent source of inspiration for America’s anti-democracy movement. Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former adviser, describes Orban’s agenda as that of a “Trump before Trump.”

Orban has used his opposition to immigration, LGBTQ rights, abortion, and religions other than Christianity as cover for his move toward autocracy — rigging Hungary’s election laws so his party stays in power, capturing independent agencies, controlling the judiciary, and muzzling the press. He remains on such good terms with Vladimir Putin that he’s refused to agree to Europe’s proposed embargo of Russian oil.

Tucker Carlson — Fox News’s progenitor of white replacement theory — will be speaking at CPAC and broadcasting his show from Budapest. Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows will also be speaking (although he refuses to speak to the House committee investigating the January 6 assault on American democracy).

If America and the world should have learned anything from the first Gilded Age and the fascism that began growing like a cancer in the 1920s, it’s that gross inequalities of income and wealth fuel gross inequalities of political power — which in turn lead to strongmen who destroy both democracy and freedom.

Peter Thiel may define freedom as the capacity to amass extraordinary wealth without paying taxes on it, but most of us define it as living under the rule of law with rights against arbitrary authority and a voice in what’s decided.

If we want to guard what’s left of our freedom, we’ll need to meet today’s anti-democracy movement with a bold pro-democracy movement that protects the institutions of self-government both from authoritarian strongmen like Trump and his wannabes, and from big money like Peter Thiel’s.