Joe Biden As Visionary: A Fairer, More Prosperous, Healthier America IS INDEED ON THE BALLOT!

Our friend Annie gives us an in-depth view of what the Biden administration has accomplished and plans to accomplish in the future but can only do so with a little bit of help from us – our vote! Thank you, Annie, for this well-researched and comprehensive post!

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Image courtesy of hsb wikimedia.org.

I’ve been saying for some time that I believe history will be kinder to our maligned President than the voters seem to be. While Biden’s poll numbers are rising, they’re nowhere near where they should be based on his accomplishments to date. And those accomplishments are just a down payment on the more equitable, firmly democratic, healthier country he envisions.

It is deeply regrettable that the worldwide inflation and looming recession—due largely to the pandemic and Putin’s war—enable the trickle-down Republicans to attack Biden on the economy, while too many voters don’t realize that the economy always does better under Democratic administrations.

And yet, in contrast to the indifference or public criticism that Biden’s been receiving, I’ve noticed some recent essays/articles pointing out how well he’s doing.

Note the titles of the pieces I quote from below.

A big part of the upheaval in our…

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Whatever Happened to the Constitution?

Sometimes I really don’t understand the ‘maga-movement’.  No, let me re-state that … I do not understand this maga-movement that proposes and supports an authoritarian regime, that has as its core ideology racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and every form of bigotry known to humankind.  If you listen long enough to the likes of Margie Greene, Mehmet Oz, JD Vance and others you will come to feel that you have been dropped into some alternate universe … or reading some crazy fiction where up is down, left is right, and nothing makes sense anymore.

With just 44 days remaining until election day on November 8th, I think it is more important than ever that people pay close attention to what the candidates are saying, what sort of government they are hoping to create if they are successful in their election bids.  Let’s start with a bit of insight from The Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank …


How reactionary is MAGA? Try the first century B.C.

By Dana Milbank

7 September 2022

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: They have come to resurrect Caesar.

MAGA Republican leaders take umbrage at being accused of “semi-fascism,” which is understandable: Twentieth-century dictators such as Mussolini and the German guy with the mustache gave fascism a bad name. But the MAGA crowd isn’t disavowing totalitarianism, per se. It’s just their taste in authoritarian figures skews toward the classics. They’re old-school — 1st century B.C. old. “Hail, Caesar” goes down so much easier than “Heil Hitler.”

J.D. Vance, the Republican Senate nominee in Ohio, is one resident of this newly platted Caesarian section, as a recent profile in the Cleveland Plain Dealer showed. It referred to a year-old interview Vance gave on a far-right podcast in which he spoke approvingly of Curtis Yarvin, a self-proclaimed monarchist who argues for an American Julius Caesar to take power.

“We are in a late republican period,” Vance said, referencing the era preceding Caesar’s dictatorship. “If we’re going to push back against it, we’re going to have to get pretty wild, and pretty far out there, and go in directions that a lot of conservatives right now are uncomfortable with.”

The podcast’s host, Jack Murphy, endorsed this sentiment, discussing possible “extra-constitutional” remedies to be taken “if we want to re-found the country.” (He told Vance he thought voting an “ineffectual” way to “rip out this leadership class.”)

Vance, who said he had been “radicalized” by the actions of “malevolent and evil” political opponents, described what “wild” actions he had in mind at another point in the podcast. He wants to “seize the institutions of the left” and purge political opponents with “de-Nazification, de-Ba’athification.”

Vance suggested that former president Donald Trump, once elected in 2024, should fire all civil servants and replace them with “our people,” defy court orders blocking such an illegal action, and then “do what Viktor Orban has done,” referring to the Hungarian dictator’s bans on certain topics from school curricula. Vance justified such “outside-the-box” authoritarian actions by reasoning that the United States is “far gone” and not “a real constitutional republic” anymore.

Hail, Caesar!

Vance is far from the only emperor-curious MAGA leader. Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro called Mike Pence a “traitor to the American Caesar of Trump” because the former vice president refused to help overturn the 2020 election. Another former Trump adviser, Michael Anton, hosted a Claremont Institute podcast with Yarvin about the desirability of an “American Caesar.”

Meanwhile, various tactics that would qualify as “extra-constitutional” have been proliferating on the MAGA right.

This week, Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee confirmed during the lame-duck Republican Congress after the 2020 election, turned the bedrock American principle of equal justice on its head. Cannon, granting Trump’s request for a “special master” to shield the government documents hoarded at his residence, said Trump’s need for protection from “stigma” was “in a league of its own” because of his “former position as president.” A judge granting extraordinary legal powers to the man who appointed her to spare him “reputational harm”? Hail, Caesar!

Last week, the House Jan. 6 committee wrote to Trump ally Newt Gingrich, outlining how the former House speaker encouraged Trump TV ads promoting false election-fraud claims, and how he suggested a “call-to-action” to intimidate election officials. “The goal is to arouse the country’s anger,” Gingrich wrote to Trump advisers, at a time when election officials desperately feared violence. Hail, Caesar!

Some MAGA Republicans have a novel solution to resolve pesky constitutional restraints: Rewrite the Constitution. As Carl Hulse reports in the New York Times, Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Tex.) introduced legislation seeking to compel Congress to call a constitutional convention — the first since the framers wrote it — to overhaul the United States’ founding document. The effort likely isn’t going anywhere, but it shows the contempt MAGA Republicans have for the constitutional order. Hail, Caesar!

Others in the MAGA movement simply reinterpret the Constitution to their own liking. County law-enforcement officials self-styling as “constitutional sheriffs” have assigned themselves power to decide what the law is, according to their own politics. One such sheriff in Michigan sought warrants in July to seize vote-counting machines to try to validate Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, Reuters reported last week. Armed lawmen going rogue to undermine elections? Hail, Caesar!

A few weeks from now, the Supreme Court will open its new term, in which it will decide whether to use a North Carolina case to allow state legislatures to redraw election maps — and potentially to overturn the outcome of elections and to disregard state constitutions — without any review by state courts. The high court blessing a radical legal theory that mocks the will of the voters? For MAGA Republicans, all roads lead to Roman imperialism.

Hail, Caesar!

A Conservative Worth Listening To

In his speech a couple of weeks ago, President Biden made it a point to note the difference between the “maga-Republicans” and the more moderate, mainstream Republicans.  It often seems that the latter group are scarce, at best, but they are out there … the ones that are sickened and disgusted by the former guy, the ones who see the maga-cult as a very real threat to this nation, to democracy, to We the People.  Among those is David Brooks, a well-known conservative political and cultural commentator who writes for the New York Times and is also a commentator on NPR and the PBS NewsHour.  I find his latest OpEd to be thoughtful and thought-provoking.  Surprising coming from a Republican, a conservative, but Brooks has always stood above the madding crowd!


Why Is There Still No Strategy to Defeat Donald Trump?

By David Brooks

15 September 2022

One of the stunning facts of the age is the continued prominence of Donald Trump. His candidates did well in the G.O.P. primaries this year. He won more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016. His favorability ratings within his party have been high and basically unchanged since late 2016. In a range of polls, some have actually shown Trump leading President Biden in a race for re-election in 2024.

His prominence is astounding because over the past seven years the American establishment has spent enormous amounts of energy trying to discredit him.

Those of us in this establishment correctly identified Trump as a grave threat to American democracy. The task before us was clear. We were never going to shake the hard-core MAGA folks. The job was to peel away independents and those Republicans offended by and exhausted by his antics.

Many strategies were deployed in order to discredit Trump. There was the immorality strategy: Thousands of articles were written detailing his lies and peccadilloes. There was the impeachment strategy: Investigations were launched into his various scandals and outrages. There was the exposure strategy: Scores of books were written exposing how shambolic and ineffective the Trump White House really was.

The net effect of these strategies has been to sell a lot of books and subscriptions and to make anti-Trumpists feel good. But this entire barrage of invective has not discredited Trump among the people who will very likely play the most determinant role. It has probably pulled some college-educated Republicans into the Democratic ranks and pushed some working-class voters over to the Republican side.

The barrage has probably solidified Trump’s hold on his party. Republicans see themselves at war with the progressive coastal elites. If those elites are dumping on Trump, he must be their guy.

A couple weeks ago, Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia, declaring the MAGA movement a threat to democracy. The speech said a lot of true things about that movement, but there was an implied confession: We have no strategy. Denouncing Trump and discrediting Trump are two different tasks. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, denunciation may be morally necessary, but it doesn’t achieve the goal the denouncers think it does.

Some commentators argued that Biden’s strategy in the speech was to make Trump the central issue of the 2022 midterms; both Biden and Trump have an interest in making sure that Trump is the sun around which all of American politics revolves.

This week, I talked with a Republican who was incensed by Biden’s approach. He is an 82-year-old émigré from Russia who is thinking of supporting Ron DeSantis in the 2024 primaries because he has less baggage. His parents were killed by the Nazis in World War II. “And now Biden’s calling me a fascist?!” he fumed.

You would think that those of us in the anti-Trump camp would have at one point stepped back and asked some elemental questions: What are we trying to achieve? Who is the core audience here? Which strategies have worked, and which have not?

If those questions were asked, the straightforward conclusion would be that most of what we are doing is not working. The next conclusion might be that there’s a lot of self-indulgence here. We’re doing things that help those of us in the anti-Trump world bond with one another and that help people in the Trump world bond with one another. We’re locking in the political structures that benefit Trump.

My core conclusion is that attacking Trump personally doesn’t work. You have to rearrange the underlying situation. We are in the middle of a cultural/economic/partisan/identity war between more progressive people in the metro areas and more conservative people everywhere else. To lead the right in this war, Trump doesn’t have to be honest, moral or competent; he just has to be seen taking the fight to the “elites.”

The proper strategy in this situation is to scramble the identity war narrative. That’s what Biden did in 2020. He ran as a middle-class moderate from Scranton. He dodged the culture war issues. That’s what the Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman is trying to do in Pennsylvania.

A Democratic candidate who steps outside the culture/identity war narrative is going to have access to the voters who need to be moved. Public voices who don’t seem locked in the insular educated elite worldview are going to be able to reach the people who need to be reached.

Trumpists tell themselves that America is being threatened by a radical left putsch that is out to take over the government and undermine the culture. The core challenge now is to show by word and deed that this is a gross exaggeration.

Can Trump win again? Absolutely. I’m a DeSantis doubter. I doubt someone so emotionally flat and charmless can win a nomination in the age of intensive media. And then once Trump is nominated, he has some chance of winning, because nobody is executing an effective strategy against him.

If that happens, we can at least console ourselves with that Taylor Swift lyric: “I had a marvelous time ruinin’ everything.”

A Dangerous Double Standard

I’d like to ask those who are defending the former guy in everything he’s done, who claim he is above the law, to think about a few things.

  • What if, during the 2012 election season when President Barack Obama was running for re-election, it had been discovered that Obama had attempted to coerce a foreign nation to create a scandal about his opponent, Mitt Romney and threatened to withhold much-needed aid from that country if they did not do so? Would you have shrugged your shoulders and chalked it up to ‘just politics’?
  • What if President Obama had lost his bid for re-election in 2012? Do you think he would have decried the election to have been rigged?  Do you think he would have spent millions of our hard-earned tax dollars in a variety of attempts to de-certify or reverse the results of the election?  And if he did any of that, do you think the people of this nation would still have cheered him on?
  • What if President Obama had brought together thousands of thugs to storm the Capitol on the day the election was to be officially certified, and had called for the assassination of then-Vice-President Biden for doing his job as outlined in the U.S. Constitution? Would the people of this country be saying that he was within his rights to do everything possible, whether legal or not, to stay in the White House?  Would they have applauded his efforts?
  • What if President Obama had, upon leaving the White House with no further recourse open to him, taken with him documents that could very well threaten the security of this nation with regard to other countries who are not our allies, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea? Could you, would anybody, defend him under such circumstances?  Would the Courts be protecting him even in light of his dishonesty?

I think we all know the answer to all of the above questions … If President Obama had done just one of those things, he would almost certainly have been impeached and convicted in the first three instances, and charged within his first year out of office in the fourth.  Heck … remember how much flack President Obama was subjected to for having the unmitigated gall to wear … {GASP} a tan suit to a press conference on August 28, 2014?  Or the time First Lady Michelle Obama was equally ostracized for wearing {GASP again} a sleeveless dress!  And yet, Melania Trump’s nude modeling pictures were all over the internet and not a peep did you hear.  Now, ask yourself this … why is there such a difference between Obama and Trump?  Could it be … is it just possible that the difference in how they were treated, or would have been treated under similar circumstances, stems from something … something irrelevant like, say, skin colour?  Next time you are in a ‘discussion’ with some maga friends, pose these questions to them … watch them stumble and stutter while trying to devise an answer.

If … IF President Obama had done any of the things I mentioned above, such as attempting to blackmail a foreign nation to interfere in our election by providing false information against an opponent, stealing highly classified documents, or inciting an attempted coup, I would be all for charging him, convicting him, and punishing him with prison time, just as I advocate that result for Trump.  But the fact is that no other president in our history has been so brazenly corrupt and endangered the entire nation for his own self-interest, to feed his own ego (not to mention his bank account).  None.  Ever.

People can whine and cry all they want, but Trump must be held accountable for his crimes.  Period.  Two major reasons:

  • As a free ‘man’ who still has a voice and followers in this nation, he is a danger. The threat that he could run again in 2024 and even possibly win, is one that undermines the very principles of democracy in this nation.  His continued ‘voice’ incites and advocates for violence if that is what it takes to return him to the Oval Office.  And violence IS happening as a result. At a Dairy Queen in Pennsylvania, police arrested an armed man who said he was planning to “kill Democrats and liberals.”  And this is just one of many examples.
  • If Trump is not made to pay the price for his perfidy, his crimes, then how can we possibly hold any future president accountable for doing the same? That may well be the scariest part of this scenario, that it will set a precedent that basically says no president can ever be charged with a crime and that he/she is above the law both during their term and after!   Just NO.

There is a double standard in the minds of the maga-cult and it is a dangerous one to the fate of the nation.  I am truly curious to hear how some people would respond to my questions.

A Horrendous Ruling …

Are we getting tired yet?  Are we sickened by all we see coming out of the extreme right, the former guy & his minions, and the exaggerated evangelicals?  Would we like to just go somewhere ‘far away from the madding crowd’ and live out our days in peace?  Yeah … me too.  But guess what?  That’s what they’re counting on … the right-wingers who would replace our Constitution with their bible, and replace our democracy with their theocracy are hoping we’ll get so exhausted by it that we’ll tuck our tails between our legs and slink off, leaving them to do as they will.  But NO!!! We’re gonna all take a few nice deep breaths and remind ourselves what’s at stake here, then get back in the saddle and do whatever we can to stamp “PAID” on the lunacy that resides in the U.S. today.

I was enraged and incensed by the news that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ruled to appoint a special master to review the Mar-a-Lago search, possibly delaying the Justice Department’s work that is certain to result in charges against Trump.  The first thing I said was to call her a not-very-nice word meaning prostitute, for in my book she has prostituted herself … she indebted herself to Trump in exchange for a prestigious judicial appointment.  And this week, he called in the debt.  And she paid it, even though her decision goes against the people of this nation, goes against the rule of law, goes against everything she learned in her tenure at University of Michigan Law School.

I share here Robert Hubbell’s views of the horrendous decision …


Judge Cannon did everyone a favor.

Robert Hubbell

7 September 2022

In one respect, Judge Aileen Cannon did everyone a favor in her decision to appoint a special master to review the Mar-a-Lago search. She wrote an opinion so awful and bereft of legal reasoning that commentators on all sides of the political spectrum are panning the opinion as an abomination. Indeed, they are falling over themselves to find adjectives, comparisons, and metaphors that adequately describe the havoc of her decision. Here is a fair sampling:

          And then there is Bill Barr, a man who destroyed his legacy to support Trump. Here is what Bill Barr told Trump’s supporters during an appearance on Fox News:

  • The opinion, I think, was wrong, and I think the government should appeal it. It’s deeply flawed in a number of ways.
  • [T]he government has very strong evidence of what it really needs to determine whether charges are appropriate . . . there’s some evidence to suggest that they were deceived.
  • [N]one of [the government’s case] really relates to the content of documents. It relates to the fact that there were documents [at Mar-a-Lago] and the fact that they were classified and the fact that they were subpoenaed and never delivered.

My point is not to trash Judge Cannon’s integrity, intelligence, or fairness. She has already done so beyond my meager ability to add to the opprobrium already heaped upon her. Rather, the point is that Judge Cannon now understands she is universally regarded as the most incompetent, biased, and clueless federal district judge in the nation—and that is saying something!

          How Judge Cannon responds to that stomach-churning realization is what matters. Will Judge Cannon attempt to undo her grotesque error by revising her order? Will she reject efforts by Trump’s team to exploit the legal gruel disguised as analysis in her opinion? Or will she redouble her efforts to serve as Trump’s surrogate defense counsel from her position on the bench in the Southern District of Florida?

          The next few days will provide much more information about Judge Cannon’s intentions. I infer (read: speculate) that she is in legal waters way above her head and tried to kludge a remedy unsupported by the law. The result is a Frankenstein’s monster that will haunt her for the remainder of her career. Her decision is already being cited as “The Loose Cannon Rule,” under which criminal defendants can seek a stay of federal criminal proceedings whenever evidence is seized under a search warrant.

          The DOJ has many paths forward, most of which are legally complicated and equally unsatisfactory. But as Bill Barr also noted in his comments to Fox News, the decision is more like a “rain delay.” One of the most likely steps is for Merrick Garland to proceed with the special master process and appeal the order staying the investigation—which is a constitutional insult of the highest order.

          In her order, Judge Cannon has told the Article II branch of the government that it may not perform the duties granted to it by the Constitution. As Neal Katyal noted yesterday on MSNBC, none of his first-year law students at Georgetown would suggest such an outlandish and unsupported violation of separation of powers. Although the University of Michigan Law School is not the guarantor of the future performance of its graduates, the faculty at the U.Mich.Law should be revising their syllabi to add a few extra sessions on separation of powers—not to mention a deep dive into US v. Nixon. And judicial ethics. And legal research. And common sense.

          In the end, Judge Cannon’s decision is so bad it cannot stand. The DOJ will find a way to circumvent the worst parts of her ruling. Trump stole classified documents, concealed them, lied about it, and refused to return them after being served with a grand jury subpoena. He is in deep trouble. If past is prologue, Trump will make his predicament worse by uttering new lies and issuing new admissions.

Where Does It End? Or Does It?

Today I share with you an excerpt from an opinion column by Dana Milbank in The Washington Post earlier this month.  The article, which is adapted from Milbank’s book, The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party, is too lengthy for me to repost in its entirety, but is well worth the read, so I encourage you to read ‘the rest of the story’.  Meanwhile, here is a brief excerpt …

The GOP is sick. It didn’t start with Trump — and won’t end with him.

Dana Milbank

4 August 2022

Much has been made of the ensuing polarization in our politics, and it’s true that moderates are a vanishing breed. But the problem isn’t primarily polarization. The problem is that one of our two major political parties has ceased good-faith participation in the democratic process. Of course, there are instances of violence, disinformation, racism and corruption among Democrats and the political left, but the scale isn’t at all comparable. Only one party fomented a bloody insurrection and even after that voted in large numbers (139 House Republicans, a two-thirds majority) to overturn the will of the voters in the 2020 election. Only one party promotes a web of conspiracy theories in place of facts. Only one party is trying to restrict voting and discredit elections. Only one party is stoking fear of minorities and immigrants.

Republicans have become an authoritarian faction fighting democracy — and there’s a perfectly logical reason for this: Democracy is working against Republicans. In the eight presidential contests since 1988, the GOP candidate has won a majority of the popular vote only once, in 2004. As the United States approaches majority-minority status (the White population, 76 percent of the country in 1990, is now 58 percent and will drop below 50 percent around 2045), Republicans have become the voice of White people, particularly those without college degrees, who fear the loss of their way of life in a multicultural America. White grievance and White fear drive Republican identity more than any other factor — and in turn drive the tribalism and dysfunction in the U.S. political system.

Other factors sped the party’s turn toward nihilism … the ascent of conservative talk radio, followed by the triumph of Fox News, followed by the advent of social media. Combined, they created a media environment that allows Republican politicians and their voters to seal themselves in an echo chamber of “alternative facts.”

But the biggest cause is race. It is crucial to understand that Donald Trump didn’t create this noxious environment. He isn’t some hideous, orange Venus emerging from the half-shell. Rather, he is a brilliant opportunist; he saw the direction the Republican Party was taking and the appetites it was stoking. The onetime pro-choice advocate of universal health care reinvented himself to give Republicans what they wanted. Because Trump is merely a reflection of the sickness in the GOP, the problem won’t go away when he does.

What Planet Have I Landed ON???

Ooooooohhhh … my head is ‘sploding!  🤯    The snark-o-meter is well into the danger zone  .  It must be time for me to share the misery, the angst, the utter depravity!  Fasten your seatbelts, my friends, for it won’t be a smooth ride!


I first read The Diary of Anne Frank at around the age of 7.  I already knew of the Holocaust through first-hand stories told by family members, and Anne Frank’s account of the terror in Germany during those years stayed in my mind long after the first time I read it.  Since then, I have read it at least twice more.  But some children today are not being allowed access to the book.  WHY??? Because at the Keller Independent School District in Keller, Texas, the district has ordered The Diary of Anne Frank to be pulled from all school library shelves immediately!

“By the end of today, I need all books pulled from the library and classrooms,” wrote Jennifer Price, Keller ISD’s executive director of curriculum and instruction.

WHY???

Okay, so it appears that not only do some in this nation wish to whitewash the history of the U.S. – slavery, Indigenous People, internment camps, St. Louis, Jim Crow etc. – but now they also want to pretend that anti-Semitism isn’t even a thing, that Hitler never called for the execution of some six million Jewish people and others, that … what?  That World War II never happened and that the Jews self-exterminated because they didn’t like Hitler’s broomin’ mustache?

Apparently there is a concerted effort in some districts to see just how ignorant we can make the next generation!


Sean Hannity is a talking head for Fox “News” who just happens to have a net worth of some $250 million, was an unofficial ‘advisor’ to the last so-called president, and apparently is even more stupid than he looks.  Here is the nonsensical babble he uttered last Friday …

“What do you think the next thing that happens here is, do you think that they would try and indict the former president in the hopes of convicting him and having him in jail at the time of the next election to prevent him from running . . . Because a conviction by the way, constitutionally, would not prevent him from running for office.”

Marc Elias, a lawyer specializing in election law, rebutted Hannity’s claim by quoting U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2071, which states that anyone “having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

Hannity continued his claim that Trump could run and be elected even if convicted and even from a jail cell.  Well, Mr. Hannity is not as smart as he thinks, but he sure is, just like his idol, a royal pain in the patootie.  Oh, and by the way, if Trump should happen to be convicted for his role in the events of January 6th, Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that Hannity claims to understand, prohibits anyone who has previously taken an oath of office (Senators, Representatives, and other public officials) from holding public office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.  Unlike Mr. Hannity, I have actually read and studied the Constitution!


Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked the #1 children’s hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is a pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.  They do good things … they save children’s lives.  But in the past two weeks or so, the hospital and some of its staff have been harassed and are receiving threats.  Why?  Because some of the children they treat are transgender children and the radical right do not like it.

Apparently, it all started with a right-wing Twitter account, “Libs of TikTok” with misinformation, and then it snowballed, as such things are wont to do.  Now, doctors are being threatened with ‘execution’, staff are being harassed with threatening emails and phone calls, all because of some blatant lies told on a social media platform.  I have long seen two sides, a positive and a negative, to social media in general, but these days I’m seeing more negative than positive and am wondering if it’s really worth it.

The January 6th attempted coup was so well attended because participants were able to openly communicate on Facebook and Twitter to coordinate such things as travel arrangements, weapons, etc.  What’s next … a riot with bombs at a hospital filled with sick children?  Law enforcement is said to be working with the hospital … they damn well better search until they find every single person who has issued a threat and put them in jail where they belong!  A growing portion of this nation is sick and disgusting!


And on that note, I bid you a good-night or a good morning, depending on which side of the pond you’re on!

They Can Write Books, But They Cannot Govern

Cartoonist Scott Stantis writes that …

“When I started working in Republican campaigns, the party I signed up for had allegiance to a set of principles and ideals. Lower taxes, fewer regulations and, mostly, adherence to the rule of law. Now we see a bizarro party where right is wrong, wrong is right and a strictly enforced allegiance, not to principles, but to a deeply flawed individual.”

He is, I believe, spot-on.  The ‘GOP’ perhaps should be re-named the ‘DOP’ — Decayed Old Party.  Frank Bruni’s newsletter today further cements Stantis’ view of today’s Republican Party …


Josh Hawley’s manhood, Mike Pompeo’s midriff and other 2024 teases

By Frank Bruni

11 August 2022

Josh Hawley has a book about manhood coming out next year. Nikki Haley has a book about womanhood coming out in two months.

Mike Pompeo has lost so much weight that he’s barely recognizable. Mike Pence has grown so much spine that he’s almost a vertebrate.

Don’t tell them Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s inevitable 2024 presidential nominee. If that’s foreordained, then a whole lot of literary, cardiovascular and orthopedic effort has gone to waste.

The news media is lousy of late with articles about the various Democrats potentially waiting in the wings if President Biden decides against a second term, to the point where he’s sometimes treated as more of a 2024 question mark than Trump is.

Maybe that’s right. In a straw poll of Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend, Trump was the top choice to run for president, winning 69 percent of the vote. Second place went to Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, with just 24 percent, and third went to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, with a measly 2 percent.

But Trump is no spring chicken, and by the looks of things, he pays much less heed to his health than Biden does. A year from now he could be unfit for office in more ways than he already is.

He could be in handcuffs! OK, that’s probably just a happy fantasy. But maybe less of one since the F.B.I. raided Mar-a-Lago on Monday? He’s the subject of investigations civil and criminal, federal and state.

Or he could finally wear out his Republican welcome. “It is a sign of weakness, not strength, that Team Trump has been reduced to touting straw-poll results from events that most Americans, and indeed the vast majority of Republicans, know nothing about,” Isaac Schorr wrote in National Review early this week, adding that CPAC had in fact “been repurposed into an appeal to the former president’s vanity.”

The Republicans eager to take his place at the helm of the party know all that. And they don’t have to be quite as discreet and demure in their positioning as Democrats interested in standing in for Biden do. Trump’s not the incumbent president, at least not in the world beyond his and his supplicants’ delusions.

That positioning, once you recognize it, is a hoot. Everyone’s after a kind of branding that rivals won’t copy, a moment in the spotlight that competitors can’t match, an angle, an edge.

DeSantis’s action-figure approach to his role as governor of Florida is in part about the fact that Cruz, Hawley and others don’t have the executive authority that he does and can’t make things happen as unilaterally or as quickly. They’re would-be MAGA superheroes bereft of their red capes.

So a week ago, DeSantis didn’t merely suspend the top Tampa Bay area prosecutor, who said that he would never consider abortion a crime. DeSantis also peacocked to that part of the state and, surrounded by a flock of law enforcement officials, crowed about his decision during a news conference.

Cruz and Hawley were such hams during the confirmation hearings for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson because, as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, they had a stage that DeSantis, Pence, Pompeo and others didn’t. Might as well pig out on the opportunity.

Haley’s forthcoming book, “If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons From Bold Women,” is one that Cruz, Hawley, Pence and Pompeo would have an awkward time pulling off, and it beats voters over the head with the fact that she’s a trailblazer in ways that they can’t be.

But does she or any other Republican love the Lord with Pence’s ardor? That’s a question he obviously wants to put in voters’ minds with his memoir, “So Help Me God,” to be released about a month after “If You Want Something Done.”

Pompeo is doing a prep-for-the-presidency twofer. According to The New York Post, he shed 90 pounds in six months after his stint as Trump’s secretary of state was over. And he’s apparently putting the finishing touches on a memoir of his own, “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” which Broadside Books is scheduled to publish in January.

Its crowded company includes not only Haley’s and Pence’s books but also one by Cruz, “Justice Corrupted: How the Left Weaponized Our Legal System,” which is due in late October, and, of course, Hawley’s testosterone treatise, “Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs,” which has surely become a more risible sell in the wake of those images of him sprinting for the Capitol exit on Jan. 6, 2021.

Here, for your delectation, is a snippet of the promotional copy for Hawley’s book: “No republic has ever survived without men of character to defend what is just and true. Starting with the wisdom of the ancients, from the Greek and Roman philosophers to Jesus of Nazareth, and drawing on the lessons of American history, Hawley identifies the defining strengths of men, including responsibility, bravery, fidelity and leadership.” I have goose bumps.

Lest “Manhood” fail to persuade you of Hawley’s nonpareil virility, he summoned boundless courage last week to stand up to … Finland and Sweden. He was the only senator to vote against their admission to NATO.

David Von Drehle sized it up correctly in a column in The Washington Post: “In search of a position that would set him apart from his rivals among the Senate’s young conservatives, Hawley arrived at the cockeyed notion that adding two robust military powers with vibrant economies would somehow increase NATO’s burden on U.S. resources.”

Cockeyed? No! Cocksure — and undoubtedly weighing which fearsome and dastardly global actor he’ll unleash the full force of his manliness on next. The citizens of New Zealand tremble. The people of Andorra quiver.

Still More Snark Keeps Rollin’

I’m sure you’re surprised to hear that I have still more angst that must be relieved in the form of snarky snippets, right?  I mean … what could possibly be causing me stress in these peaceful, calm, dog days of summer?  Well, let’s see … let me count the ways …  By the way, before I forget, a special thanks to Scottie of Scottie’s Playtime for the header image of the Aunty Acid meme … he sent it to me and it pretty much perfectly describes the ‘me’ I’ve become of late!  Thanks, Scottie!


ENOUGH!!!!

I remember when my children were little … the two eldest were only 16 months apart in age and a world apart in temperament, which could result in some pretty raucous battles!  What I see happening within the U.S. today is reminiscent of those battles, only on a much larger, more dangerous scale.

Violence, or the threat of violence, is NEVER the solution to problems!  NEVER!!!  And yet, I hear that right-wing groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters et al are telling people to “Pick up arms,” and they don’t mean the two that are attached to your body.  The culmination came with the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday, which those on the far right are claiming is justification for massive violence across the nation.  It isn’t, but these people are so blinded by their own hatred and prejudices that they cannot or will not see that.

I’ve read of some calling for the assassination of Attorney General Merrick Garland, and I’m told that the judge who signed off on the warrant to search Trump’s domicile has been receiving death threats. Others are calling for ‘civil war’, as if they knew the meaning of that phrase.  The most popular search term yesterday was “lock and load”, which means “lock your safety and load a magazine into your weapon.”  Welcome to America where there are more guns than people, and every nutcase owns an arsenal!

Politicians like Kevin McCarthy and Jim Banks who, without having knowledge of what the FBI was looking for at Mar-a-Lago, jumped immediately and began disparaging and not-so-subtly threatening Merrick Garland and President Biden, do a disservice to the very people they are supposed to represent.  Their voices matter, unfortunately, and some people will take their words, build on them, and claim they are “saving the nation” by taking up arms against … who?  The FBI?  The president?  Or perhaps you and I get caught in the crossfire some day as we go about the business of grocery shopping or taking our children to school.

I repeat, my friends … VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE ANSWER!!!


And I am not alone …

Richard Haass has been president of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003, prior to which he was Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State and a close advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration.  In the preface to his upcoming (January 24, 2023) book, The Bill of Obligations, Haass writes that he’s often asked: “‘Richard, what keeps you up at night?’  Some suggest China?  Russia? North Korea? Iran? Terrorism? Climate change? Cyberattacks? Another pandemic?”  To which Haass replies …

“The most urgent and significant threat to American security and stability stems not from abroad but from within. The threat is from political divisions that for only the second time in U.S. history have raised questions about the future of American democracy and even the United States itself.”

Exactly.  Y’know … all living things have an expiration date, so to speak.  Nothing lives forever.  Nations are living things, and perhaps the United States, such as we have known it, is about to reach its expiry date.


Tell me why you want the job

When candidates begin throwing their hats in the ring for the 2024 presidential election, the one question I would pose to each and every one is:  Why do you want to be the next president?

Hmmmm … I can hear some of the answers now …

  • To find Hunter Biden’s laptop
  • To ‘make America great again’
  • To put ‘America first’
  • To make this a Christian nation
  • To defeat Democrats

And of course the unspoken answer in many cases would be:  To make this a white, Christian, male-dominated autocracy.

In my mind, the one correct answer would be:  To restore integrity and compassion to our nation, to our government.  To begin closing the gap between right and left, to heal the damage, the divisiveness, the bigotry, and the hatred that exists today.

Who, I wonder, would give that answer?


I leave you with just a few cartoons …

Two Little Snippets

Just two little snarky snippets tonight … I really only planned one, but the second one dropped into my lap as I was doing the first, and I simply couldn’t resist letting loose a bit more snark!


Tell me again that racism is non-existent?

What would you do if you were standing outside your home, a stranger drove up, stopped, and demanded to see your lease to prove you live there?  I’m pretty sure my first reaction would be to tell her it was none of her damn business, my second would be to look around for a rock to hit her with!

Need I tell you that the man standing outside his home, minding his own business, is Black and the nosy, racist woman was a white Karen?

Dayson Barnes, who just moved into a Seattle neighborhood about three weeks ago, was standing in his backyard about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, when a woman who lives down the street passed by, then came back and parked in front of his house.  She told him she “knew” who lived there and it wasn’t him, and then … she called the police and reported a ‘residential burglary’.

Mr. Barnes went into his house to get his cell phone, intending to record whatever was going to happen next, and his partner came back outside with him.  His partner is a white male.  When the Karen laid eyes on his partner, she changed her tune.  When the partner accused Karen of calling the police simply because Mr. Barnes is a Black man, she replied …

“Oh my gosh this has nothing to do with race.”

Right, Karen.  The police arrived, spoke with Mr. Barnes and his partner, then left without filing an incident report.  Mr. Barnes and his partner recently moved to Seattle from, of all places, Texas!  Given that Washington is far more liberal than Texas, it was surprising to them.  Said Mr. Barnes …

“I didn’t think I’d have to experience this outside of the South.”

He shouldn’t have to experience it anywhere!  Not Texas, not Seattle, not Kalamazoo!  But sadly, racism is alive and well here in the United States, and it is spreading.


Breaking News!!!

As I was working on the above story, I received not one, not two, nor even three, but no less than five ‘breaking news’ updates and at least 10 Twitter notifications telling me that the FBI had implemented an unannounced raid on Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s current home, and had broken into his safe.

The first news of it, apparently came from Trump himself when he posted this to his ‘Truth Social’ account …

I count at least 13 lies in that statement.  I have no factual details of the raid, only that it did happen and that apparently they were searching for classified documents that they believe Trump had illegally removed from the White House when he left on January 20, 2021.  According to one analyst, the judge who signed the order had to have had overwhelming evidence that Trump would likely attempt to destroy the documents if he were forewarned of the raid, else he would never have authorized it.  In addition, I am told that Florida Governor DeSantis had to have been made aware of it.  I do not know whether Merrick Garland played any role or not, and frankly I doubt we will learn much about the details of the raid, since it is a tinderbox awaiting a spark at the moment AND because it involves highly classified information.

The Republicans seized on the moment to lick Trump’s boots, praise him, and express outrage at … who else … Democrats, Joe Biden, Merrick Garland and anybody else they don’t like.  Kevin McCarthy posted this on Twitter …

Threatening the Attorney General … yet another new low bar for the Republicans.  What that tells me is he’s running scared, just like Marco Rubio, who tweeted “The FBI isn’t doing anything about the groups vandalizing Catholic Churches, firebombing Pro-Life groups or threatening Supreme Court justices. But they find time to raid Mar A Lago.”

Don’t get your hopes up too high, but … let’s have at least a bit of hope that justice will be served, that this is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s illusory 2024 presidential campaign and perhaps his freedom as well!