Tom and Marcella gave their three children each a bowl of rice and half an apple for supper last night. They both work at minimum wage jobs and payday is a few days away yet, so they are rationing food carefully. Audrey’s little girl … her name is Sarah, but they call her Muffin … is diabetic and almost out of insulin. Audrey is out of work, has no insurance, and no money to pay for Muffin’s insulin. Jeff’s wife died last month of Covid and he is struggling to raise their three children without her after losing his job because he missed so much time at work during her illness. He holds in his hand an eviction notice because he doesn’t have money to pay the rent. Robert, once a proud man with a job, a home, and a family now lives under a highway overpass, his few possessions in a cardboard box, since the company he worked for shut down their U.S. operations and in the pandemic era he was unable to find another job.
Billionaire Peter Thiel has so far poured over $25 million into the races of Blake Masters in Arizona and J.D. Vance in Ohio. Kenneth C. Griffin, the CEO of giant hedge fund Citadel, is bankrolling Republican super PACs to the tune of nearly $50 million. Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman of giant hedge fund Blackstone, has so far contributed a combined $20 million to the main House and Senate Republican super PAC. And the list goes on.
How many children could have had a few healthy meals, or how many families could have paid their rent and utilities with the millions of dollars being given to already-wealthy political candidates?
A man named Shahram Poursafi started planning to murder former national security advisor John Bolton in October in likely retaliation for his involvement in a drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani. Poursafi, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, attempted to pay people in D.C. or Maryland up to $300,000 to carry out the murder, but was thus far unsuccessful and the FBI is currently attempting to locate him.
John Bolton was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “Situation Room” on Wednesday. Blitzer asked …
“The suspect put a $300,000 price tag on your head. What goes through your mind, ambassador, hearing the details of this plot, as explained today in great detail by the U.S. Justice Department?”
I don’t know what sort of response I might have expected, but it wasn’t this one …
“Well, I was embarrassed at the low price. I would have thought it would have been higher. But I guess maybe it was the exchange rate problem or something.”
A costly – but funny – venture
In Miami, Florida, a dude named Thomas Kennedy and his friends spent $1,800 to commission a plane to fly over Mar-a-Lago for three hours with this banner …
Says Kennedy …
“It brought me a lot of joy to do so. I would do it again.”
Kennedy said the message was for Trump and his supporters who had gathered on the Southern Boulevard Bridge near the property for a third day this week.
“Honestly, go do something better with your time.”
I wouldn’t have spent $1,800, but I have to admit I got quite a kick out of this!
The drama ‘king’
Oh the drama! If you ever doubted that Sean Hannity of Fox is an actor, not a newsman, wonder no more. After the search warrant was executed at Mar-a-Lago, Hannity went on a tangent, saying …
“The FBI is blatantly targeting our fellow Americans for their political beliefs. The bureau’s reputation has been shattered. My faith in an organization — I’ll be honest, I had two family members. They were a deity in my family because they worked for this organization. I revered this organization for decades of my life. If you listen to my radio show, watch this show, you know my love of law enforcement, it has now been pretty much utterly destroyed.”
As dramatic a speech as any I’ve heard! Grow up, Sean … pull up those big-boy pants and get over yourself, ‘k?
Well, folks, that’s all the humour I could find in the news tonight, so will you settle for a few cartoons to round things out?
“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.
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.
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!
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.
Maybe it’s one of those classic features of old age, maybe it comes from reading volumes of military and political histories or maybe it’s ‘Just Because….’ . Anyway, I can accept Misdirection, Distortion and even Downright Lies as part of the whole box of tricks Humanity indulges in. Sometimes I embrace them as a Means To An End, but other times I condemn them, the latter mostly at the personal level, War and Politics being where Ambiguity is another Dimension.
One other failing which is common is Hypocrisy. With thanks to Wikipedia I give you this quote The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis), which means “jealous”, “play-acting”, “acting out”, “coward” or “dissembling” . I can also cite British political philosopher David Runciman, “Other kinds of hypocritical deception include claims to knowledge that one lacks, claims to a consistency that one cannot sustain, claims to a loyalty that…
Could you use a little ray of hope for the upcoming November mid-term elections? I think we all could. Dan Pfeiffer was a senior advisor to President Barack Obama for a number of years, and is the author of three books about politics in this new, uncharted “Maga Era”. His newsletter on Substack is called The Message Box and today’s was an astute assessment of why there is hope for the Democratic Party to maintain a majority in the House and Senate after the mid-terms. Read on …
Why Dems Could Win This Fall
An uncharacteristically optimistic take on how recent events have upended the midterms
Optimism does not come naturally to me. If I had a family crest, “Prepare for the worst, be surprised by the best” would be the motto emblazoned on it. I have tried to avoid telling people what they want to hear about a high stakes midterm election in this absolutely miserable political environment. Up until recently, Democrats were stuck in a doom loop.. That defeatism threatened to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. What activist, donor, or voter wants to sign up for a suicide mission? And to be honest, it’s been hard to make a reasonable, fact-based case that Democrats could upend the historical trends. However, over the last few weeks, the worm has turned. Democrats now have a legitimate shot to outpace expectations dramatically.
I am not devolving into a sunny guy. This is not a prediction. It is not an admonition against bedwetting. I think the odds are still against Democrats. We have an eternity till Election Day. The future looked quite dire three weeks ago, and may look just as dire in three weeks. But as we sit here today, one can make a credible bull case for Democrats.
Reason 1 for Optimism: Success
All political analysis should begin with the fact that America has a growing, diverse, pro-truth, pro-democracy, anti-MAGA majority. Now, of course, this majority is not evenly distributed geographically, which is why the GOP often has an advantage in the Senate and Electoral College. But the bulk of the races this cycle will be conducted in states Joe Biden won in 2020. Simply reconstructing the Biden coalition in composition and turnout will be sufficient to win. Our major problem to date has been disillusion and disappointment among our base and the Independent voters who favor Biden. Less than a month ago, Democrats seemed headed for a legislative disaster. During this period, Jonathan Chait wrote in New York Magazine:
By realistic or even minimal standards of performance, this two-year term, almost certain to be the last period of Democratic-controlled government for the foreseeable future, has been a failure. The ramifications of this defeat — political, economic, and ecological — will reverberate.
And then everything changed.
In rapid succession, Democrats passed legislation on guns, microchips, veterans’ benefits, and the historic Inflation Reduction Act. Democrats now have reasons to be happy, and Independents have reasons to reconsider supporting Republicans. More specifically, the climate change provisions are an opportunity to re-engage young voters. Last week, after the Manchin-Schumer deal was announced, I wrote:
No group of our core Democratic constituency has become more disillusioned or disengaged than younger voters. Passing the most ambitious climate change bill in history creates an opportunity to re-engage this group. People won’t vote this time if they think their last vote didn’t matter. Passing a serious climate change package is proof that every door knocked, text sent, and vote cast in 2020 mattered a whole helluva lot.
Democrats now have a powerful case to convince their voters to keep them in the majority.
Reason 2: Improving Political Environment
Despite this newsletter and other strategy, tactics, and message-focused sources, the biggest factors in political success are often far outside the control of the candidates and campaign operatives. The driving force in this election is inflation — and specifically, the price of gas and groceries. In most polling, 80 to 90 percent of voters listed inflation as a top concern. Most gave Biden (and Democrats more broadly) abysmal marks for their handling of the issue. As gas prices went up, President Biden’s approval rating went down. While the near-term picture on inflation is cloudy, gas prices have been steadily declining for more than a month.
Costs are still elevated, and families still feel financial pressure, but the trajectory is good. The Biden Administration continues their valiant efforts to focus the public’s attention on the steady decline. Voters are historically forward-looking. They are willing to give politicians credit for progress even if the present is still suboptimal. If gas prices continue to drop, it’s more likely that the electorate will give the Democrats credit for the historic number of jobs created since Biden took office.
Reason 3: Backlash Towards GOP Policies
Presidents usually get shellacked in their first midterm. Reagan, Bush #41, Clinton, Obama, and Trump all lost many seats. The primary theory for this occurrence is called the “Thermostatic Model,” which Andrew Prokop described in Vox as follows:
This theory holds that the public functions essentially like a thermostat, kicking in when it’s either too hot or too cold to restore the preferred temperature. Voters could conclude things are too conservative under a Republican regime and elect a new Democratic president. But then they could quickly conclude things have become too liberal, and swing back toward Republicans in the midterms. Then after Republicans regain some power, perhaps opinion will swing back toward Democrats and get the president reelected. (The Obama and Clinton presidencies both followed this trajectory.)
Under this theory, the Republican Wave of 2010 was a response to large-scale Obama initiatives like the stimulus plan and Obamacare. Both of these bills were underwater in the Fall of 2010. Obama’s numbers bounced back when the public saw the dangerous extremism of the new Republican majority.
Like every other recent president, Joe Biden’s numbers took a big hit. His approval rating is now at or below where Donald Trump’s was at the same time. This is not great. Trump is sort of the “Mendoza Line” for Presidents. What’s unique about Biden’s political challenges is that they are not a response to his policy agenda. Every one of his major initiatives was popular when it passed and remains so today. The initial polling on the Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS bills show broad, bipartisan support. To the extent policy backlash exists in this election, it’s a response to the extremist policy agenda of MAGA Republicans embodied by the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Dobbs case. A Supreme Court rigged by Republicans ripping a constitutional right from millions of Americans combined with a series of Orwellian Republican laws like book bans have put the GOP on defense. The public is concerned about overreach from Republicans, not Democrats. We saw the power of abortion as an issue in the recent Kansas referendum. The anti-abortion side lost by double digits in a state Trump won by 15 points. Most notably, 100,000 Independents who could not vote in the party primaries turned out to vote on the abortion initiative.
Reason 4: Candidate Quality
With the help of Donald Trump, Republicans nominated a uniquely vulnerable slate of candidates. This group of criminal, incompetent carnival barkers give Democrats a slight advantage in states they would lose under more normal circumstances. The Republican gubernatorial nominees in Pennsylvania and Michigan were active parts of the insurrection. The Republican nominee for Attorney General in Arizona is an actual member of the Oath Keepers — a Right Wing terror group. Herschel Walker’s Georgia Senate campaign has been one disaster after another. This recent (and devastating) ad shows Walker’s unique vulnerability:
Dr. Oz has flopped so badly that the Republican Party is exploring ways to replace him on the Pennsylvania ballot. J.D. Vance in Ohio is such an obvious fraud that he is in danger of losing Ohio — a state Trump won by more than 10 points twice. I could go on and on, but you get the point. Being a great candidate is rarely enough to win in a tough year, but a bad candidate can lose in the best year.
So You’re Saying There’s a Chance…?
Look, we have miles to travel between now and Election Day. The political environment changed dramatically once and could change again. To that point, the FBI raided Mar-A-Lago in the three hours since I finished the last draft of this piece.
If gas prices tick back up or President Biden’s approval ratings don’t rise with his fortunes, Dems could still be in heaps of trouble. The House is A LOT tougher than the Senate, but this election is now winnable if, and only if, we all dig in and double down on the hard work that delivered us the House, Senate, and White House in the last two elections.
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.
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!
Ahhhhh … nothing like a peaceful, lazy Sunday afternoon, right? Curl up with a good book, maybe have a little bit of a kip, take a look at the news and BOOM … the peace is shattered, the nerves are jangled, and the snark finds its way into a blog post!
Sorry, no books today!
In the small town of Jamestown, Michigan, population 9,630 as of the 2020 census, the library may soon close. Lack of interest? No way! The people in this town love their library, but the taxpayers voted against funding the library earlier. Why? A handful of residents – less than 50 – complained about books in the library written by or about LGBTQ people, saying their intent was to ‘groom’ children. The library director was harrassed to the point that she finally resigned, as did the next in line for her job.
Larry Walton, the library board’s president, said “We, the board, will not ban the books.” And thus, the voters voted 62% to 37% against a measure that would have raised property taxes by roughly $24 in order to fund the library. This is, as I see it, yet another step toward the dummying down of American youth … making it harder for them to learn the truth about the culture of the nation they live in, as well as its history.
And along those same lines, in Florida, Collier County Public Schools added warning labels to more than 100 books, many of which touch on issues related to race or the LGBTQ community. WTF???
The books carrying this ‘warning’ include ones by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Ibram X. Kendi, and John Updike. If this trend continues … I don’t hold out much hope for the humanity of future generations. This, my friends, is what we are up against … if your skin isn’t white, if you don’t attend the right church, if you love someone who ‘society’ deems inappropriate … you don’t belong. Not only that, but your story will never be told. Our history … our true history which includes our horrid treatment of the Indigenous People who lived her long before European settlers arrived, Africans who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, and many more atrocities based on race, will never be told to the next generation. What a sad … nay, tragic … ending for what was once a nation filled with hope for a brighter future.
There may not be books in schools, but there will damned well be guns!
In Ohio, the state legislature passed and governor Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that allows teachers to carry a gun into their classrooms with only 24 total hours of firearms training. In North Carolina, one school system is putting AR-15 rifles in every school. Nationwide, at least 29 states allow individuals other than police or security officials to carry guns on school grounds. This, my friends, is the Republican’s response to the Uvalde school shooting in May that killed 19 students and two teachers. They don’t respond with a ban on assault weapons such as the one that was used in Uvalde, and they don’t respond by calling for stricter gun measures. Nooooooo … their answer, just as it has always been, is to put more guns in the hands of unqualified people!
What could possibly go wrong with AR-15s in the classrooms? Surely there would never come a time when a teacher might step out of the classroom for just a moment and a student might get the gun and … well, use your imagination. Surely that would never happen, right? Right?
The strategy is fiercely opposed by Democrats, police groups, teachers’ unions and gun control advocates, who say that concealed carry programs in schools — far from solving the problem — will only create more risk. Past polling has shown that the vast majority of teachers do not want to be armed. But … the Republican Party is so entwined with the gun manufacturers and the NRA that they are bought … lock, stock, and barrel. Uvalde just gave them the excuse they had been waiting for. Ban the books but bring on the guns! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …
Just a couple of decent guys … NOT!
I think ol’ Roger Stone just likes attention, so he’s back in the news. This time, he’s seeking assistance for his buddy, Alex Jones, who has been ordered thus far by the courts to pay a total of $49.3 million for the lies he told about the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. Now, Alex Jones doesn’t appear to actually have $49.3 million, as his net worth is only an estimated $40 million, so … enter Roger Stone, he of many crimes who would be in prison today, were it not for the pardon he received from the former guy.
Stone has called for contributions to support Jones, saying that …
“Alex Jones is a good and decent man. He is a God-fearing Christian…and right now he needs our support.”
Excuse me a moment while I go throw up my breakfast …
There is not one shred of human decency in either Roger Stone or Alex Jones! Both are the definition of evil and belong in a prison cell for the duration of their nasty lives!
And on that note, I now return you to your peaceful, lazy Sunday afternoon …
Since yesterday I posted two real downers … Hiroshima/Nagasaki/nuclear arms, and Viktor Orbàn teaching authoritarianism to the GOP, I thought to start today with a bit of humour … political cartoons that combine seriousness of purpose and humour! Thanks to TokyoSand for doing the hard work and finding the best of the lot! Naturally, one of the main topics on the cartoonists minds this past week was the vote striking down a ban on abortion in Kansas, so let’s start there! (Be sure to follow the link at the end to view the rest of the ‘toons over at Political Charge!)
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. That’s an old saying that doesn’t need any further explanation.
The Republican Party has frequently given us hints that they are the party of white supremacy seeking to implement an autocracy here in the U.S. if they can manage to gain a majority in both chambers of Congress this year, and in the executive branch in 2024. Donald Trump made no secret that his goal was to rule, not to preside, and that he has no use for any who are not white-skinned, straight Christian males. When the Republicans invited Viktor Orbàn, dictator (official title is Prime Minister) of Hungary, to be their keynote speaker at the annual CPAC convention being held this week in Dallas, Texas, there could be little doubt left. But any remaining shred of doubt was washed away when Orbàn, gave a speech talking his usual racist, homophobic trash-talk and thousands of Republicans gave him a standing ovation. A standing ovation, my friends.
WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH THESE PEOPLE?????
Are they bored with a system where, at least theoretically, every person can vote, every vote is counted, and in this manner We the People elect the members of government who we believe will best serve our interests? Are they tired of the relative stability of life in the U.S. as compared to countries like Turkey, Russia, DPRK, and Hungary? Do they no longer support a free press, the freedom to believe or not believe in any or no deity? Do they truly wish to return to a nation of slave-owners? They claim to worship the flag, and to stand strong by the expression in the national anthem, “Land of the brave and home of the free”, and yet they would happily … enthusiastically even, give up that freedom in exchange for an authoritarian rule.
Is it requisite for a strong-arm authoritarian to be obese and show his fist often?
Orbàn recently came under fire in his own nation for a speech in which he declared “we do not want to become peoples of mixed-race.” That speech led to outrage among his critics and the very public resignation of a long-time advisor who characterized Orbàn’s speech as “a pure Nazi text worthy of Goebbels.” Anybody care to call me an alarmist for the many times I’ve compared Trump and others to Adolf Hitler?
Orbàn told the audience that they need to “coordinate our troops” in the fight against liberalism, exhorting them to gear up to remove Joe Biden from office (“you have two years to get ready”). The stakes, in his telling, are the very future of our civilization. I’m surprised, actually, that he didn’t tell them they should overthrow the Biden administration.
“The West is at war with itself. We have seen what kind of future the globalist ruling class has to offer. But we have a different kind of future in mind. The globalists can all go to hell. I have come to Texas.”
The crowd cheered and gave him a standing ovation. Disgusting.
Freedom of the press is gone in Hungary since Orbàn took over in 2010. Immigrants are not welcome and Orban built a heavily patrolled barbed wire fence along a stretch of 325 miles that completely cuts off access from three countries: Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia. Hungary, once ranked a democracy, has been downgraded to a “hybrid regime” by Freedom House. There are still elections, but they are heavily manipulated to ensure Orbàn and his cronies remain in charge of the government. According to Wikipedia …
Orbán has passed laws, amended the constitution, and finally written a new constitution, allowing him to do what he wanted to do. Civic institutions such as courts, universities, and the apparatus necessary for free elections remain, but have been “patiently debilitated, delegitimatized, hollowed out”, controlled by Orbán loyalists. Domination of the media by Orbán prevents the public from hearing critics point of view. In 2022, Orbán’s opponent was given but five minutes on the national television “to make his case to the voters”.
And this is, apparently, what the ‘conservatives’ in this country would like the United States to look like within a few years. Nothing … not one thing … that I have heard from the mouths of any Republican politicians, has convinced me that they aren’t seeking an authoritarian government where they make all the rules and our freedoms, our fair elections, our voices … simply disappear.