The Week’s Best Cartoons 10/1

I seem to have a bouncing mind this weekend for I have three separate posts in process, but haven’t managed to finish a single one of them!  So, I figured there’s no better time than the present to see what cartoons our friend TokyoSand has managed to dig up for us!  Naturally, Hurricane Ian is front and center, as is Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine, but there is even more.  These are only a sampling, so be sure to visit TokyoSand at Political Charge to see the rest! Thank you, TS, for finding the best offerings of the cartoonists this week!


Florida and Ukraine were in the eye of the news for most of this week, with of course, other important stories sprinkled in. Here’s how the nation’s editorial cartoonists covered them.

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

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!

annieasksyou...

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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Concerning The Inconsistencies of Social Media Algorithms

I know of nobody who can make a point with humour quite as well as our friend Roger does! Today, he takes on algorithms, those mysterious bits of so-called ‘artificial intelligence’ that determine such things as who should be targeted for certain marketing scams, or who should be sent to Facebook jail. Take a look at Roger’s latest … I promise you will laugh! You might even find yourself scratching your head and saying, “Hmmmm … this sounds familiar” Thank you, Roger … great post!

Writing Despite Computers and Programmes

Red warning content disclaimer tv show background design. A responsible heading when dealing with controversial topics.

A good friend of mine (whose name is withheld to avoid them having to suffer further censure) when producing a politically themed post on a social media platform suggested certain politicians and pundits of strong and controversial views might have their perceptions improved by a bracing dive into a large natural body of water,

Jump in a lake 2

no doubt working on the basis that such a refreshing immersion would clear away their ill-humours, latent dyspepsia and possible heart damaging frenetic outlooks. The social media platform upon which this was posted (the name is withheld to spare The Well-known International company being subject To abusive or satirical comments turning up on their site) banned my friend for 12 hours for allegedly encouraging suicide.

This action puzzled me, for the actual activity is a popular one, often social groupings and bondings, all very…

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Election By Vote … Or By Violence?

At least two things I read yesterday chilled me to the bone.  The first was from a newsletter I receive via email written by Charlie Sykes in The Bulwark.  Here are a few snippets from his piece …

The January 6 Committee has postponed today’s hearing because of the massive Hurricane bearing down on Florida. But we have an idea what we were going to see.

The committee plans to show a video of Trump Whisperer Roger Stone enthusiastically declaring, “Fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” even before the votes were counted in 2020.

“Shoot to kill. See an antifa? Shoot to kill. Fuck ’em. Done with this bullshit.”

The video clips obtained by CNN and were recorded by Danish filmmakers Frederik Marbell and Christoffer Guldbrandsen. In the clips Stone relishes the prospect of bloodshed.

Later that day, as The Post previously reported, Stone seemed to welcome the prospect of clashes with left-wing activists. As an aide spoke of driving trucks into crowds of racial justice protesters, Stone said: “Once there’s no more election, there’s no reason why we can’t mix it up. These people are going to get what they’ve been asking for.”

In one clip, Stone is seen telling MAGA supporters that they should declare victory on election night, no matter what the results showed. “I really do suspect it’ll still be up in the air,” Stone says. “When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory.”

The second chilling thing I read was from a CBS News report

“More than 18 months after the rioting at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, an estimated 13 million U.S. adults, or 5% of the adult population, agree that force would be justified to restore former President Donald Trump to the White House and an estimated 15 million Americans believe force would be justified to prevent Trump from being prosecuted , should he be indicted for mishandling classified documents, according to a new study from the University of Chicago.” [Emphasis added]

I have written recently about the violence that seems to be becoming the norm in this country, how violence has never solved any problems, and how we simply must learn to think with our brains instead of our guns, fists, knives, etc.  But still, the bloodlust continues.  Why?

Do voices like those of Roger Stone, Donald Trump, and others who encourage violence really reach so far that tens of millions of people buy into their rhetoric?  Or perhaps phrasing it another way, are tens of millions of people really so ignorant as to fall prey to those like Stone, Trump and others?

This propensity for violence is made even more frightening when coupled with the number of guns that are in the hands of these same people.  There are approximately 436 million guns in the hands of civilians in the United States today.  For comparison purposes, there are approximately 332 million people in the U.S.  A few statistics here …

  • There are approximately 77.49 million adult gun owners in the US.
  • 2020 is believed to have had the highest number of firearm sales in history, with 39,695,315 background checks for the sale of firearms and explosives.
  • Approximately 30% of American adults own a gun.
  • Another 36% of adults could see themselves owning a gun in the future.
  • The average American gun owner owns five guns.
  • Personal protection is the most frequently cited reason for owning a gun.
  • Texas is the state with the most guns, while Delaware is the state with the least.
  • Wyoming is the state with the most guns per capita, while New York is the state with the fewest.
  • Handguns are the most commonly owned type of gun, followed by rifles, then shotguns.
  • Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to own a gun.

So, we have a Recipe for Disaster.

  • Preheat
    • national temperature by lying repeatedly until large numbers of people believe the lies
  • Combine ingredients
    • Lies that Democrats are ‘coming to take away your guns’
    • Lies that LGBTQ people are somehow evil and are trying to take over your children’s minds
    • Lies that Black people are inferior and are trying to take over the nation
    • Lies that immigrants are criminals who will rob, kill and rape peoples’ families
    • Rhetoric shouted by politicians and their hired guns
  • Bake at escalating temperature until November 8th

I have to ask myself, as I’m sure some of you have asked yourselves, is this really a nation I want to live in, to be a part of?  If the few can have dominance over the many, and if those few are willing to shoot the rest of us to have their way, can this country really be said to be a democracy?  The answer to that is no, a democracy is …

“A system of government by the whole population, typically through elected representatives, by the majority of its members.”

By that definition, the United States is not a democracy when far too many of its members are kept from having a voice through various voter suppression ‘laws’, and currently the minority is planning to take over by hook or by crook.

History has shown that a foundation built on violence, built on robbing people of their rights, is not sustainable for long.  We have an opportunity in November to ensure those who support such treachery as proposed by the likes of Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon and others never happens.  Or, we can sit back and tell ourselves the fairy tale that it will all somehow work out in the long run.  Your choice.

Reinforcement of why a person left the GOP

Today our friend Keith shares an article that clearly defines the major difference today between the two major parties in the U.S. This is a ‘must-read’ for those who would claim there is no difference between the two parties or for those who still believe the GOP is a viable, functional political party. Thanks, Keith

musingsofanoldfart

The following is an interesting article that furthers the message of my previous and earlier posts over my concerns for the Republican party called “I left the GOP because it seemed to be losing it way. Last week convinced me I was right” by Kurt Bardella of NBC News.

Here are few excerpts from the piece. The full article can be linked to below.

“I don’t think I’ve recently experienced a span of days that quite so neatly captures the difference betweenbeing a Democrat and being a Republicanin today’s America.

Last week began with the GOP’s wannabe standard-bearer,Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, using human beingsas political props for acraven publicity stuntdesigned to stoke right-wing outrage toward migrants.

Then, the current Republican Party standard-bearer found himself in even more legal hot water after theNew York attorney general’s lawsuitalleging Trump and his eldest children committed…

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Yesterday was International Day For The Total Elimination Of Nuclear Weapons.  No, I am not making this up and yes, I am serious.

Following the High-level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament held at the United Nations on 26 September 2013, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/68/32 calling for “the urgent commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use and to provide for their destruction.”

Resolution 68/32 also declares 26 September “as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons devoted to furthering this objective, including through enhancing public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination, in order to mobilize international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world”.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I am against any and all sorts of weapons.  I would happily see guns removed from the hands of all civilians.  I consider the invention of nuclear weapons to be the single worst invention of humankind.  So, my ears perked when I saw the title of this day, but then my brain kicked in and I wanted to say, “Quit talking about it, stop patting yourselves on the back for creating an “International Day”, and just DO SOMETHING about it!!!”  But, of course, that is easier said than done, for it requires leaders of nations to set aside their fears and join together for the sake of all life on Planet Earth.

From the United Nations website

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946, which established the Atomic Energy Commission (dissolved in 1952), with a mandate to make specific proposals for the control of nuclear energy and the elimination of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction. The United Nations has been at the forefront of many major diplomatic efforts to advance nuclear disarmament since. In 1959, the General Assembly endorsed the objective of general and complete disarmament. In 1978, the first Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament further recognized that nuclear disarmament should be the priority objective in the field of disarmament. Every United Nations Secretary-General has actively promoted this goal.

Okay, so they’ve been at it for 76 years and today there are still approximately 12,705 nuclear weapons and …

While the number of deployed nuclear weapons has appreciably declined since the height of the Cold War, not one nuclear weapon has been physically destroyed pursuant to a treaty. In addition, no nuclear disarmament negotiations are currently underway.

Let me tell you a little story that some of you may remember …

On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, then Lieutenant Colonel of the Soviet Air Force made a decision that prevented a nuclear war between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States.

The USSR’s satellite missile detection system issued the alarm that the United States had launched five nuclear missiles into the territory of the USSR. The alert required an immediate response. The USSR had only a few minutes to decide whether to launch nuclear missiles at the United States in retaliation or to wait and risk devastating damage. This decision was in the hands of Petrov who noticed that the conventional radar system did not detect any nuclear missile and chose to break the military protocol. Despite opposition from its command team, Petrov ignored the alert of the new missile detection system of the USSR. He disobeyed the chain of command and preferred not to respond to the alleged attack.

The supposed launching of the North American missiles turned out to be a false alarm, it was an error of the USSR missile detection system. Had the USSR responded to the alleged attack, the United States, in turn, might have launched a nuclear strike in retaliation, provoking an untold number of deaths and major disasters. Petrov’s decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike saved hundreds of millions of lives around the world.

That time, a cooler head prevailed and a catastrophe of great magnitude was averted, but what about next time?

While I applaud the intent for this international day, I would cheer if progress were being made, but it seems to me that it is more talk than anything.  With escalating tensions around the globe today, I believe it is only a matter of time before somebody gets trigger-happy, or an accident happens that will change the landscape of all nations forever.  The road to peace, if such a road exists, will be paved with tolerance, understanding, and compassion … not with nuclear weapons!

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!

Here, There, And Other Places — Voting

Here’s how it works in New Zealand per our NZ friend Barry …

* ease of voter registration. The law requires that everyone over the age 18 register on the electoral roll. However if you haven’t registered, you can do so when you go to vote. It only takes a few minutes.

* no queueing. Polling places are set up everywhere including churches, mosques, schools, community centres, shopping malls etc. I’ve voted every three years in every nation and local election since 1972 in four different electorates (voting districts) and I’ve never had to wait for more than five minutes, and those occasions were at peak times. .

* polling day is always on a Saturday as fewer people work on that day. Polling booths are open from 7am to 7pm on polling day and most are open every day in the two weeks prior to polling day

* you can vote outside of the electorate you’re registered in

* voter ID is not required, but bringing in the ID that is mailed out to every registered voter at the commencement of each election cycle will cut about a minute off the voting process.

* it’s a simple process to register for postal voting and telephone voting and the vote(s) can be cast any time in the month prior to polling day. It’s also possible to nominate someone to vote on your behalf if your disability is such that you can not vote in person

Voter fraud is extremely rare and there never has been a coordinated attempt of voter fraud. Ease of voting takes priority over everything else as that is seen as absolutely vital for democracy.

Additionally gerrymandering does not occur as electoral boundaries are determined by an independent non political commission consisting of a high Court judge, the head of the Statistics Department, a number of other civil servants whose roles I don’t recall at this moment, and one person representing the governing political parties and one person representing the opposition parties.

Restrictions around voting that’s seen in some American states is unfathomable to us. The only restriction here is that it is an offense to display political party advertising of any type (including insignia, badges etc) on polling day.


And here’s how it works in Australia, per our Australian friend Andrea …

Every eligible person MUST vote. Because of that necessity, voting has been made as easy as possible. We always vote on a Saturday, so most people /can/ vote. We have voting booths in almost every school hall or community centre Australia wide, so there’s always a voting place near at hand. We also have postal ballots.

And we have consequences for not voting…but…the punishment for not voting is a $50 slap on the wrist!

We have no voter fraud as far as I know, and while Australians might grumble at having to make time to vote, we all DOT IT.

Are all Australians fully aware of the policies and issues of the day? Nope. Does majority rule always get it right? Nope. But at least there /is/ majority rule. Our country isn’t driven by extreme factions of either the left or the right because compulsory voting /moderates/ those extremes.

Is the US even aware of how far it’s drifting from the principles of democracy?????


And here’s how it works in the United States …

Well, never mind, for it varies so greatly from state-to-state and further varies depending on a) level of wealth, b) colour of skin, c) education level, d) age, e) length of toenails (okay, maybe I’m being a bit facetious with that last one).  But nowhere … NOWHERE in the United States is it as painless to cast a vote as it is in either New Zealand or Australia.  And it is getting more and more painful, time-consuming and difficult every year, at least in some states.  Voting in the U.S. is highly discriminatory in this, the year 2022, the 235th year since the U.S. Constitution was ratified.  This level of difficulty could explain the low voter turnout … often barely over 50% and often less than 50% in mid-term election years.

You’ll notice the spike in 2020 when, due to the pandemic, most states made postal voting available to more people.  This year, many of those concessions have been reversed, and most every state in the nation has imposed more restrictive measures including enhanced voter ID requirements, travel restrictions, fewer polling places (resulting in longer wait times), fewer drop boxes, purging voter registration lists, and much more.  A disabled, elderly person or a college student in some states has almost no chance of being able to make their voice heard.

Thanks to Barry and Andrea for showing us how a truly democratic voting system works.  We can hope that someday the people of this nation will put the good of the country ahead of their partisanship and demand that we make it easier rather than harder. Don’t hold your breath, though.

Filosofa Rants Yet Again!

I was seriously trying to work on a post about banned books for Banned Books Week when I took a brief break and while perusing a bit of news and some other blogs briefly, I came across something that made my blood boil.  All hope of me finishing my banned books post tonight is gone … perhaps tomorrow, but for tonight I have a brief rant, and then I’m going to bed to read for a while and try to calm my shattered psyche.

Who or what has sent me into a tailspin?  A man by the name of John Gibbs from Michigan who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s election.  According to Wikipedia …

John Gibbs is an American far-right political commentator and politician. A member of the Republican Party, Gibbs was a software engineer and missionary before entering politics. During the Donald Trump administration, he held roles in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was acting Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Community Planning and Development.

In July 2020, Trump nominated Gibbs to be director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, but he was never confirmed by the Senate. Gibbs promoted Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. He is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 elections, having defeated incumbent Peter Meijer in the Republican Party primary election for Michigan’s 3rd congressional district.

Okay, pretty much your typical maga-Republican, nothing new or out of the ordinary there, right?  Well, just wait.  As a student at Stanford University in the early 2000s, Gibbs founded a self-described “think tank” called the Society for the Critique of Feminism.  Here is some of what he had to say there …

“The Bible clearly articulates the idea that women should not teach or maintain positions of power. Although the reason is not expressly mentioned, it must be due to the nature of women (i.e. their differing mental characteristics), since every other command for living in the Bible is based on the condition of man. In other words, because women do not possess the characteristics necessary to govern, and since women have a more important task to do, which is to prepare the next generation, they are commanded not to rule.

And since Christianity is the historical foundation of American society, with all of the rights and freedoms expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, which we enjoy to this very day, being expressly and unmistakenly God-given, it is incumbent upon us to consider the relationship that our Christian/cultural heritage, which is so important to so many Americans, shares with feminism, which threatens to unravel the social fabric which has produced one of the marvels of mankind.

Some argue that in a democratic society, it is hypocritical or unjust for women, who are 50% of the population, not to have the vote. This is obviously not true, since the founding fathers, who understood liberty and democracy better than anyone, did not believe so. In addition, all people under age 18 cannot vote, although they too comprise a significant portion of the population. So we cannot say that women should be able to vote simply because they are a large part of the population.

We conclude that increasing the size and scope of government is unequivocally bad. And since women’s suffrage has caused this to occur on a larger scale than any other cause in history, we conclude that the United States has suffered as a result of women’s suffrage.”

And now you understand why I have steam coming out of my ears.

Somebody might want to remind him that those same ‘founding fathers’ also didn’t believe that people with his skin colour ought to be allowed to vote!!!  Oh what a hypocrite this man is!

Anne Marie Schieber, a spokesperson for Gibbs’ campaign, attempted to mitigate and control the damage when his views on women were made public, saying that he was only trying “to provoke the left on campus and to draw attention to the hypocrisy of some modern-day feminists. It was nothing more than a college kid being over the top.”  Oh no, sweet cheeks … this was downright blatant misogyny, putting down women in the worst possible way!  This was no little college prank.  And given Gibbs’ current conspiracy theorist tendencies, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that he still feels that women are so far inferior to men that we should not be allowed to put on shoes and leave the kitchen, let alone vote or god forbid run for office!  Bastard!

Back in 2020, Trump nominated Gibbs to head the Office of Personnel Management.  During the Senate confirmation hearings, it came out that Gibbs had he had spread the false conspiracy theory that claimed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman took part in a satanic ritual … that conspiracy theory, known as Pizzagate, led to Edgar Maddison Welch entering a pizza restaurant on 4 December 2016 armed with an AR-15, and randomly fired shots.

The only reason Mr. Gibbs’ name will be on the ballot this November is because the incumbent for that seat, Representative Peter Meijer, was ostracized by the GOP for voting to impeach Trump in 2020.  Therefore, Gibbs received that all-important ‘seal of approval’ from the former guy and won his primary.  He faces … oh the irony … Hillary Scholten, the Democrat running for the seat, and as of today, Gibbs is polling 9 points behind Ms. Scholten!  I would love to be a fly on the wall when he loses to … of all people … one of those women for whom he has zero respect!

Is The Teflon Wearing Out?

Even Teflon eventually gets old, wears out, and is no longer able to keep things from sticking.  The former guy has long been referred to as “Teflon Don” because he has lied, cheated, and stolen for the entirety of his adult life, yet has never had to pay a price.  In 2016 when he said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” most of us scoffed and took it as just more of his hyperbole.  Since then, however, he has committed numerous crimes and treacheries against the nation, against We the People, and the Republicans continue to cheer and support him.  It seemed for a while that he was right, that he was somehow able to escape unscathed where the rest of us would be in prison, probably for life!  But this week, the tides seem to be turning.  Dan and Elliot sum it up rather nicely …


Trump Had a Day

And it might get worse

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

21 September 2022

NY Attorney General Letitia James announcing that her office is suing former President Donald Trump and three of his children. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Well, well, well. Let’s just say that Donald Trump has had better days.

This could be one of his worst, but there may be far worse ones coming down the line if today turns out to be a preface and not a denouement.

This morning started off bad enough.

New York Attorney General Letitia James made it known that she was going to issue a “major announcement.” And she did not disappoint. The lawsuit she filed in state court is in essence a guided missile aimed right at the heart of the Trump family business. Calling the level of fraud she uncovered “staggering,” James outlined a list of facts that could have been a plotline in The Sopranos.

And it isn’t just the patriarch in her legal crosshairs. The three children who have been foisted upon the American public — Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka — also earned starring roles in the court papers.

While this is a civil suit, that’s because James is limited from bringing criminal charges. She did refer her findings to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but if they choose to press forward, they will likely have to get in line.

That’s because as rough as this morning’s news cycle was for Trump, more pain was in the offing.

This evening, the 11th Circuit ruled on the outrage that has been festering over the investigation into the classified documents the former president took (for still unknown reasons, at least publicly) to Mar-a-Lago.

If Trump was hoping that Trump judges at the appellate level would fall in line like Judge Cannon (the district judge who’s done legal backflips well beyond the bounds of precedent or prudence to accommodate Trump), he was sorely mistaken. Two Trump judges sided with an Obama appointee to issue a stinging rebuke of the lower court’s ruling — a ruling that most judicial experts had felt was about as serious as an episode of Laugh In.

I will leave it to legal scholars to parse the specifics of the lawsuits and rulings, but some big things are clear. One, Trump is in trouble. Big trouble. And not the kind of trouble that he can squirm his way out of by bloviating to Sean Hannity or browbeating Mitch McConnell. He’s on the defensive, and pressure is closing in from all directions.

The timing of these quickening drumbeats of scrutiny overlap with the final stretch of the midterm elections — into which Trump has vociferously inserted himself according to the only metric he knows: what benefits him. November thus is shaping up to be a referendum on Trumpism, to the dismay of many Republican officials. But those same Republicans have made a decision en masse to embrace Trump, at least publicly. From a cynical political calculus one can understand why. The Republican base is the Trump base, or maybe it’s more accurate to put that the other way around.

It is also clear that the core of this base is not enough to power Republicans to majorities in Congress. And yet, if the base stays home, Republicans also will lose.

With so much at stake, the unknowns hanging over Trump and his legal jeopardy are very consequential. How bad might this get for Trump and those who have fastened themselves to him? Will more be revealed? Will any Republicans decide that they need to separate themselves from Trump? Will that lead to disarray within the party as election day approaches? All of this is possible. But it is also possible that Trump skates by once again, at least for now. It is possible that Republicans take back Congress, and they frame their victory as a validation of Trumpism, nevermind what it means for the health and security of the country.

Right now it looks like a close election, but tides can shift, sometimes drastically. Support can crumble. What once looked like strength can be recast as weakness. Just ask one of the few people having a rougher go of it of late than Trump — Vladimir Putin.

Oh, and in other late-breaking news, the January 6th committee has come to an agreement to interview Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni Thomas. Can’t forget about that investigation.

One imagines all is not quiet tonight in Mar-a-Lago.