Still Plenty Of Material For Snarky Snippets

After the 2020 election, when Joe Biden won the presidency, I wondered if I would have to retire my ‘snarky snippets’ posts, for surely there wouldn’t be much to snark about.  I was delusional … it seems that there will always be something to set off the snarkometer!

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Say WHAT???

I was incensed yesterday when I heard that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, asked about who was to blame for the terrorist attacks on the Capitol on January 6th, said …

“I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility.”

Say WHAT???

Oh no, sir, you are dead wrong in that!  The fools who participated are to blame, and the bigger fool who incited them is to blame.  You Republican members of Congress who stood silently by for the last four years, allowing Donald Trump to believe that he could get by with literally anything, including inciting a riot must share the blame.  But, the majority of people in this country have not one iota of blame in this fiasco!

Beau of the Fifth Column, always the voice of reason, gives us his take on Mr. McCarthy’s words and I fully agree with him.


A man without a conscience

Another one of the Republican Party’s bigger fools (so many to choose from) is Rand Paul.  Earlier this week, I told you about Paul’s insidious remark that President Biden, in his inauguration speech, had said that all Republicans were white supremacists. Biden neither said nor implied any such thing, but apparently Paul and some of his cohorts are determined to twist and manipulate Biden’s words so that they have something to bitch about.

Well, that apparently wasn’t enough for Mr. Paul, for now he is criticizing the long-overdue and much-needed plan to raise the federal minimum wage rate incrementally to $15 per hour by 2025.  Criticizing is one thing, but in order to support his critique, Mr. Paul found it necessary to tell a few big lies.

“But also raising the minimum wage to $15, I think, will also — the government estimates are close to 4 million people will lose their jobs. Particularly hurt among this are minorities and black teenagers, particularly with high unemployment.”

“So raising our taxes will cause corporations to flee, but if you mandate what the wages are, if you mandate a minimum wage of $15, it’s not like everybody gets $15. The people who still have a job get $15, but many people will become unemployed. In fact, government statistics say almost 4 million people will lose their jobs if you mandate a $15 an hour job minimum wage.”

Well, Mr. Paul, the truth is that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate, the 4 million jobs was the highest possible, but at the low end of the analysis was that zero jobs would be lost.  Frankly, I don’t see a company making money hand-over-fist shutting down just because they have to spend a bit more to pay their employees.  Mr. Paul’s own base salary of $174,000 per year breaks down to $85.29 per hour! 

H.R. 582, also known as the Raise the Wage Act, was passed by the House in July 2019, with only three republicans voting for it, and then it died in the Senate without even being considered. It would incrementally raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 — where it has been set since 2009 — to $15 by 2025.

Let’s be very clear here … the objections by Mr. Paul and other republicans are lodged only because their big-money corporate donors are against anything that would cut into their profits.  Rand Paul is owned, lock stock & barrel, by corporations such as Koch Industries and others.  He doesn’t speak for We the People, he speaks only on behalf of wealthy corporations and CEOs.  Anything that would reduce their profit by so much as a lousy dollar is going to be fought by the republicans who are slaves to the wealthiest 1% of the people in this nation.

toon-minimum-wageThink about this … the person who is paid minimum wage earns a full-time annual salary of $14,790.  Could you live on that?  Hell, my rent alone comes to $14,640 per year, and I live in a lower-income area!  If I earned minimum wage, it would leave me $150 to pay utilities, car payment, fuel, insurance, and buy food for a full year.  C’mon, Mr. Paul – get real!  Think about the rest of the people in this country, not just your wealthy donors.  Better yet, how ‘bout you just step down from Congress … go home to Kentucky and live happily ever after on your $2.58 million net worth and let those who have both a brain and a conscience govern the nation.

If companies who are making millions of dollars in profit, yet paying almost no taxes, cannot even pay a living wage to their employees, then they do not deserve to be in business.  It is my hope that President Biden and the members of both chambers of Congress will take their hands out of the till long enough to do the right thing for the people of this nation and pass the $15 an hour minimum wage bill.  If they don’t, then perhaps it’s time for a nationwide strike.

Prove Me Wrong — PLEASE!

Joe Biden has promised to do everything in his power to heal the wounds that divide the people of this nation, to bring unity where there is only separation and hate.  I fully believe he will try, but we all have to do our part … he cannot do it alone.  And today, it seems to me that nearly half the nation does not want unity, though they claim they do.  Perhaps they are defining ‘unity’ as everyone bending to their own views.

In an early morning text from a friend, there was this …

“… the “new” President call 74 MILLION Americans…. white suprematists. He’s off to a great start. Unity? I think not a chance in hell now.”

And that was only the beginning.  Senator Rand Paul said in a morning interview with Fox News …

“If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo. Calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book. Calling us people who don’t tell the truth.  ‘And going forward we’re not going to have manufactured or manipulated truth.’ That’s another way of saying ‘All of my opponents manufacture or manipulate the truth and are liars.’”

And speaking of Fox, ol’ Tucker Carlson just had to throw a bucket of fuel on the fire, saying …

“Now that we’re waging war on white supremacists. Can somebody tell us in very clear language what a white supremacist is? Biden has now declared war. So, we should know specifically and precisely who exactly he has declared war on. We have a right to know that innocent people could be hurt in this war. They usually are.”

Joe Biden offered an olive branch, and some republicans are determined to destroy it rather than accept it.  It’s almost as if they take great pleasure from the current atmosphere of hate and divisiveness.  Biden wasn’t looping Republicans generally in with white supremacists and extremists. Carlson is doing that. Paul is doing that.

I’m sure there is a large contingent of republicans who are hopeful that Biden can, in fact, lessen the tensions, find common ground on the issues that divide us, and helps us find the path to mutual respect, but they aren’t speaking loudly enough, if at all.  The only republican voices I’m hearing are those who aren’t even willing to give peace a chance.

From an OpEd by Philip Bump writing for The Washington Post …

It’s important to note that this is clearly not what Biden was talking about. He was talking about the rise of white nationalist extremism and violence of the sort that has been manifested occasionally in recent years and which the Department of Homeland Security (under Trump) identified as the most significant terrorism threat in the country. He was talking about the sort of extremism that contributed to what happened at the Capitol.

There is some undercurrent of sympathy among Republicans generally for what happened there. Most Americans reject the mob’s actions in storming the Capitol, though, as a Washington Post-ABC News poll found, 15 percent of Republicans at least somewhat support the storming of the Capitol itself. A HuffPost-YouGov poll taken shortly after the attack found that most Republicans viewed the mob’s actions as being mostly right or simply having gone too far in pursuit of a valid point.

I remember a time when being a republican or a democrat was not a divisive feature.  Sure, there have always been ideological differences – hence the reason for two distinct political parties.  But it wasn’t the thing that defined us, as it appears to be today.  This nation is split in half, though not by any physical boundaries, but rather by prejudice and intolerance.  President Joe Biden wants to start to put us back together, but it can only work if people on both sides of the issues are willing to make it work.  Taking his words, twisting them to mean something entirely different, then spewing hateful remarks is not the answer, people!

I call on every person, whether democrat, republican, or independent, to give Joe a chance, for Pete’s sake!  Within twelve hours of him taking his Oath of Office, people were already denigrating and swearing that they would not even listen to his actual words, would not be open to trying to help make his attempts at healing the Great Divide work.  Do these people actually crave violence, want a damn civil war?  I’ve said many times in the last four years that this is no longer a country I recognize.  I was hoping that would change under a President Biden, but it can only change if we all want it to.  Do we still have any shared values in this country?  Today, I have my doubts.  PLEASE prove me wrong!

Now what?

Once again, our friend Brosephus is spot on with his assessment of the U.S. today. Would MLK be appalled? Probably, but then he’d jump in and get to work trying to help fix this mess. Thanks, Brosephus, for this accurate summation of where we are today.

The Mind of Brosephus

Now what

Yesterday morning, I opened up the WordPress editor to begin writing a column. The words that were bouncing around in my skull didn’t seem appropriate for a day honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., so I left the page blank. I didn’t want to sully his memory with the things in my mind. In hindsight, yesterday was probably the most appropriate day of the year to let those words and the message they convey flow freely like water leaping from a waterfall.

America is a broken country. It’s been that way for a long time, but the false sheen of good (or greatness) has been rubbed away by the abrasiveness of modern politics. Instead of working towards the idea of E Pluribus Unum, we’ve been guided by a principle best described as “I’m getting mine, f**k yours”.

CoVID-19 exposed the shortcomings for American health care. Many already…

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The Price For Perfidy

Actions have consequences, and there is a price to pay for lying and cheating.  Some members of the Republican Party are learning that lesson the hard way.

According to an article in The Washington Post

The 147 Republican lawmakers who opposed certification of the presidential election this month have lost the support of many of their largest corporate backers — but not all of them.

The Washington Post contacted the 30 companies that gave the most money to election-objecting lawmakers’ campaigns through political action committees. Two-thirds, or 20 of the firms, said they have pledged to suspend some or all payments from their PACs.

Meanwhile, 10 companies said only that they would review their political giving or did not commit to take any action as a result of this month’s events.

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The split between company responses shows how U.S. executives are still grappling with the recent political bloodshed and its ripple effects across the corporate landscape. The attempted insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 led to calls for companies and wealthy donors to disavow support for lawmakers who continue to propagate dangerous myths about the election and has prompted a broader rethinking of the role of PAC giving among the nation’s top companies.

And remember ol’ Josh Hawley who attempted to overturn the election and even egged on the terrorists who invaded the Capitol with murder on their minds?

hawley

It seems that Hawley had a big fund-raiser planned for the weekend of February 12-15.  The event was to be held at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida, and was billed as a “fun-filled, family-friendly Orlando weekend event”.  Tickets were being sold for between $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the size of the group.

But Loews said that the fund-raiser had been called off after the deadly riot at the Capitol, which many Democrats and Republicans have blamed in part on Mr. Hawley and other members of his party who supported Trump’s efforts to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

“We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions. In light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fund-raiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels.”

But that wasn’t the only blow Mr. Hawley suffered as a result of his actions.  Apparently he has written a book titled, “The Tyranny of Big Tech” that was scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster in June.  Simon & Schuster have now canceled the publication, saying …

“We did not come to this decision lightly. As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat.”

Hawley responded by calling the decision ‘Orwellian’ and threatening a lawsuit.

So yes, consequences do have actions even for people in high-ranking government positions.  I applaud those companies that have the fortitude to do the right thing, to hold these ignoble members of Congress to account for their actions, and I hope more will do the same.  We need to take a closer look at the companies with whom we do business, find out who they give their money to, and boycott those who put profit so far ahead of people that they are endangering the nation.


Just one other thing …

My jaw dropped all the way to the floor this morning when I read something that Senator Mitch McConnell said …

“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”

ryan-mcconnellIs this the same Mitch McConnell who has been licking Trump’s boots for the last four years?  The same Mitch McConnell who opposed President Obama at almost every turn, including his Supreme Court nomination?  Okay … where is the real Mitch McConnell???  Think … Invasion of the Body Snatchers … or perhaps he’s had a lobotomy?  Or somebody else lent him their conscience for a brief period?

I guess that since Trump now has less than 24 hours in office, McConnell isn’t afraid of the repercussions any longer.  Mitch McConnell, even though he will no longer be the Senate Majority Leader, has quite a bit of influence over the other Senate Republicans, so my hope is that his words, his views, will translate into a conviction in the impeachment trial.

And some have asked me, “why bother?” with the impeachment trial, since Trump will be out of office in 21 hours anyway.  Well, the primary reason for the ‘bother’ is that if Trump is convicted on the impeachment charge, he will never again be able to hold public office.  No run for president in 2024.  This is important, for he damn near destroyed this country over the last four years and we cannot have another four years of him … ever!

A Bit Of This And A Tad Of That

Thirty-six hours left until we once again have a president, a vice-president, and sanity in the White House.  Just 36 hours until we kick the imposter who has been illegitimately occupying our White House, using our money to buy food, to travel all ’round the globe, and to line his own pockets, while destroying this nation with his ignorance and cruelty.  Still … 36 hours … he could still do a lot of damage.  It is said he plans to issue some 100+ pardons today, and I still don’t trust him any farther than I can throw a feather.  But soon, my friends, we will be shed of him … hopefully forever.  My angst level is at an all-time high tonight, even knowing that 36 hours, only 2,160 minutes, and the source of much of my angst will head to Florida where hopefully he will be eaten by a shark!  The angst I feel I know is shared by  many of you, so feel free to add your own bit of snark here!


Domestic terrorists – some you wouldn’t expect

An Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Klete Keller, was one of those arrested for the January 6th terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol.  His friends and former teammates noticed his picture in the footage of the attack and reported him to the FBI.  After being arrested, Keller spoke with his former coach and according to the coach …

“He kept repeating, ‘You’ve done so much for me, and I let you down.’ He kept saying over and over, ‘I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.’”

Then WHY THE SAM HELL did he go there in the first place?  Every single person who was involved in that mob in any way, shape, or form, was there in an attempt to destroy the government, the Capitol, and some even intended to kill our elected legislators.  No, he isn’t to be pitied, for he is a terrorist, a fool, he is the enemy and I hope they lock his ass up for at least a decade.

Among other terrorists who perpetrated the attack on our government on January 6th were a number of law enforcement officials – people whose salary is paid by We the People, people who are hired for the sole purpose of protecting the people of this nation!  I demand they return the last decade’s worth of their salary, for we damn sure lost out there!  Among them are a New Hampshire police chief, a Philadelphia detective, and two Seattle Police Department officers.  These people wanted to kill those members of Congress who we elected.  They hoped to overthrow the government, overthrow the November elections, and install Donald Trump as a dictator.  And to think … we pay them to stab us in the back!

Also represented on January 6th were that group that call themselves the “Proud Boys”, though from their pictures and behaviour, I would say they’ve got nothing to be ‘proud’ of … they look like what they are … a bunch of bigoted, redneck, jobless, slobs with beer bellies, scruffy faces, and guns.  Lots of big guns.  Turns out they have gotten some portion of their funding for such events as the storming of the Capitol from a so-called ‘Christian’ fund-raising site.  In fact, when Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested in Washington on January 4th, he was given more than $113,000 from 2,359 donors on this ‘Christian’ website to help with his bail and legal fees.

I hope that ultimately, every single person who entered the Capitol is arrested and imprisoned for a very long time, for these are not simply protestors, they are domestic terrorists … every one of them … and need to be treated accordingly.  No bail, no plea deals … just orange jumpsuits and prison bars (no, not the kind that serve Canadian Mist).


In other news …

Donald Trump is throwing himself a going away party at Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday morning.  Attendance is by invitation only and the event starts at 8:00 a.m.  He is planning an ostentatious military parade and an official armed forces farewell as the commander-in-chief, as well as a large crowd of supporters, selected backers and current and former officials in his administration and their guests at a huge red-carpet affair. On our tax dollar. However, senior Pentagon officials say that it ain’t gonna happen like he wants.  Awwww … pobre Donnie.

My immediate concern is … this ‘event’ is to be held just a few miles from the Capitol Building where four hours later Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office to become the president and vice president.  Remember January 6th, where Trump used a speech to rile the masses, to incite violence, to urge them to ‘fight’?  Is a repeat performance part of the plan for his ridiculous ‘ceremony’?  It is said that attendance is by invitation only … who is he inviting?  White supremacist groups like the Proud Boys and others?

Any other president who had just been impeached for the second time, would be tucking his tail between his legs and slinking out of town with as little fanfare as possible, but not Trump.  Nope, he has to leave with a big bang … I’m just concerned that the big bang might happen four hours later and a few miles distant.  Federal security officials should shut his event down … throw him on the plane bodily if necessary (it will take a few of them to lift his 330 pound girth) and send him on his way!  Good riddance to bad rubbish!


And speaking of spreading conspiracy …

Remember how Parler, the website frequented by Trump-fanatic, right-wing domestic terrorists, was virtually dead in the water after being dropped by Amazon, Apple, and Google?  Well … they’re baaaaaaack.  And guess who helped them make a comeback, just in time for the inauguration?  DDos-Guard (no, I didn’t stutter), a Russian-owned technology company.  Put that one in your skillet and let it simmer for a while.


Since this post is mainly a rant, I’ll leave you with a bit of humour … dark humour, as it were, but humour nonetheless …

pol-toon-1pol-toon-2pol-toon-3

Unfit For Office — Lauren Boebert

I have a list as long as my arm of people in Congress who are unfit and unqualified for the offices they hold, but one in particular stands out as being the most heinous of the bunch.  Lauren Boebert was elected by the people of Colorado’s 3rd congressional district last November and took her oath of office on January 3rd.

I first wrote about Boebert last July when she crossed my radar after winning the Republican primary in Colorado.  Ms. Boebert has not a single qualification to represent her district in the United States Congress, not even a high school diploma, for she dropped out of high school when she became pregnant in her teens. I sincerely doubt that she has even read the U.S. Constitution – that document she took an oath to protect and defend. But that is not even the worst of it.

Boebert is a supporter of QAnon, the right-wing conspiracy theory group that believes a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles—mainly consisting of what they see as elitist Democrats, politicians, journalists, entertainment moguls and other institutional figures—have long controlled much of the so-called deep state government, which they say seeks to undermine Trump, mostly with aid of media and entertainment outlets.  This, coupled with her lack of education, lack of knowledge of the law, should have been enough to disqualify her from even running for office.  It really is past time this nation set higher requirements for holding public office, but that is a topic for another day.

Lauren-BoebertMs. Boebert is a gun lover who owns a bar called Shooters Grill in the town of Rifle, Colorado.  She encourages her staff to openly carry guns while serving the public!  True to form, Boebert started her tenure with a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking that members of Congress be allowed to carry guns into the Capitol.  The letter was signed by some of the other congressional misfits such as Mo Brooks.  On her 3rd day in office, she set off the metal detectors while entering the Capitol and refused to allow security officers to inspect her bag and the same happened the following day, January 6th, that fateful day of the domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Congress.  Why they even allowed her into the building is beyond my comprehension.

There is speculation, to say the least, that Boebert was involved in the terrorist attack, that at the very least, her rhetoric supporting Trump’s false claims of massive voter fraud had helped fuel the attack.  On January 5th, Boebert said January 6th would be Republicans’ “1776 moment”.  She was one of the republicans who objected to counting Arizona’s ballots, saying …

“The members who stand here today and accept the results of this concentrated, coordinated, partisan effort by Democrats—where every fraudulent vote canceled out the vote of an honest American—have sided with the extremist left.”

So, is she saying that I’m not an ‘honest American’ or that my vote was fraudulent?  She fully intended to vote to illegally cancel the votes of every single voter in Arizona because she didn’t like the results.  And it is said that she revealed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location to rioters during the siege on the 6th by tweeting: “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.”  Now, a group of 68 elected officials in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District have sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi asking for an investigation into Boebert’s actions.  The letter condemned the lawmaker, saying …

“There is deep concern about her actions leading up to and during the protests that turned into a violent and deadly mob.”

On Friday, Boebert’s communications director, Ben Goldey, resigned his position, citing his discomfort with the way Boebert reacted to the insurrection and its aftermath.

The United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, Clause 2) provides that “Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

As I said at the start of this post, there are a number of members of the current Congress who are undeserving of their seats, including Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Ted Cruz, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Tommy Tuberville, and others who either directly or indirectly played a role in the events of January 6th and who must be held accountable for their seditious behaviour.  We the People deserve better than what we are getting from this group of elected officials whose salary we pay.  I most certainly hope that Lauren Boebert is removed from Congress, for this woman does not belong there, does not represent the majority of people in this nation, and is highly unqualified to be a lawmaker at any level.

Something To Ponder …

Our nation has become a frightening place in the last two weeks since domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol on January 6th with the intention, it is now known, of doing bodily harm or even killing some of our elected officials such as Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence.  And now, only five short days from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, we know that the terrorists have even more mayhem planned for the days before, during, and after the inauguration. 

While I am not an alarmist, this situation has me frightened for the lives of Biden, Harris, and members of Congress, but also for the continuity of our government, for the future of this nation.  Law enforcement dropped the ball last Wednesday and I cannot help but wonder if they will be able to keep our lawmakers and our new President and Vice President safe next week.

Ryan Cooper, writing for The Week, has written a well-researched column outlining some of the threats and possible solutions, both immediate and long-term.  It is well worth spending a few minutes to read …


Do Democrats realize the danger they are in?

ryan-cooperRyan Cooper

Democrats, already rattled by nearly falling into the hands of a violent mob during the attempted putsch at the Capitol on January 6, are facing the possibility of worse happening soon. Democratic members of Congress were briefed on three different additional conspiracies to overthrow the government on Monday, and at least one member has faced harassment by Trump loyalists out in the wild.

One has to wonder: Are Democratic leaders able to face how much danger they and their party are really in, or what it might take to preserve their lives?

As I’ve written previously, the fascist mob was within yards of seizing members of Congress on several occasions during the January 6 putsch. If the guns, pipe bombs, flex cuffs, and literal gallows they carried are any indication, many members would have been hurt or murdered by the putschists — as they did murder one Capitol Police officer, as well as seriously injuring some 15 others. Now the extreme right is plotting new conspiracies to overturn democracy during the Biden inauguration, including by assassinating Democratic members of Congress or President-elect Biden, according to the new leadership of the Capitol Police. One plot “would involve insurrectionists forming a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and then blocking Democrats from entering the Capitol ― perhaps even killing them ― so that Republicans could take control of the government,” writes Matt Fuller at HuffPost. One Chicago man has already been arrested for allegedly threatening violence against President-elect Biden.

What’s more, law enforcement agencies are clearly less than trustworthy. There were many off-duty cops and members of the military involved with the putsch, and already several Capitol Police officers have been suspended for fraternizing with the putschists. Meanwhile, a Secret Service agent is under investigation for unhinged social media posts accusing Democrats of treason and stealing the election. For every member of law enforcement dumb enough to get caught doing that, it’s probably safe to assume there are several more with similar views but who keep such thoughts to themselves.

Even if we think it is comparatively unlikely that the vast security apparatus will fail to protect the new president at least, there is still a major danger to the Democratic rank-and-file. Backbenchers get no Secret Service protection, and a pack of Trump supporters — who have been constantly whipped into a frenzy with inflammatory lies from half the Republican Party elite — were reportedly on the verge of violently attacking Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) at Dulles International Airport before security intervened (though Correa says those same security officers failed to even take down the names of his assailants).

What is most urgently needed right now is for elected Republicans and conservative media to tell their constituents the truth, and deescalate the situation — admitting that Biden won the election fair and square, and telling conservatives to go home and try to win the next election instead of threatening violence. This would be far too little, far too late, but it might avoid major bloodshed. Unfortunately, it is also exceedingly unlikely given that President Trump has gone back to doubling down on his rhetoric that incited the mob in the first place, and many Republicans are now whining about impeachment and the lack of unity they themselves created, so more unilateral options are needed.

Luckily, there are a great many legal and regulatory actions Biden and the incoming Democratic Congress could do to crush right-wing extremism. For instance, the far right runs on a flood tide of oligarch money — the app Parler, on which much of the putsch was organized, was funded by the notorious ultra-wealthy Mercer family — which could be taxed and regulated. As Alex Pareene suggests at The New Republic, “Rigorous audits and reclassification of 501 nonprofits would do more to disrupt right-wing organizing than any new domestic terror law as interpreted and enforced by our current security state.”

Perhaps most effective immediate step would be squelching the spread of extremist propaganda, which genuinely appears to be driving much of the nutcase behavior we see around the country. Look into the history of the putschists, and in virtually every case one finds someone who melted his or her brain watching conservative YouTube, or people who are themselves conservative media personalities. I have argued that rolling back Section 230 (which protects internet companies like Facebook from being held legally liable for the material that is posted on their sites) would expose the social media behemoths to titanic legal liability, and force them to remove all extremist content — probably causing them to shrink drastically in the process, which would be its own benefit.

Finally, Democrats could conduct a purge of all the right-wing extremists in law enforcement and the security apparatus. Rather than passing a new domestic terrorism law, they could excise the fascist sympathizers from the FBI, Secret Service, NSA, and so forth, and use existing legal authorities to smash far-right political structures. The Capitol putsch was already a massive crime spree, all is needed is to enforce the laws that are already on the books.

On the other hand, it is worth noting how the space of possibility shrinks if anti-democratic extremism is allowed to metastasize. Eventually, meeting force with force becomes the only option available. This was the case by 1860, just after the Republican Party had been formed to combat slavery, when a small group of men calling themselves the “Wide-Awakes” took to protecting a Republican campaign in Connecticut. Soon there were copycat organizations springing up across the North, and the Wide-Awakes became a sort of paramilitary wing of the Lincoln campaign — serving as security for Republican events, conducting big marches through towns and cities, and recruiting thousands of young people to the anti-slavery cause. (As historian Matt Karp argues in a big article for Catalyst magazine, the Wide-Awakes were just part of a massive organizing campaign that united the Northern working class under the Republican anti-slavery banner.)

Few historians believe that the Civil War could have been avoided without splitting the U.S. in half. But today, untrammeled violent conflict could still be avoided — if the Democrats are willing to mobilize the vast powers of the American state to protect democracy and freedom from the fascist threat. It seems like a long shot, but let’s hope that being in literal physical peril motivates them to get over their usual timidity.

A Peek Into Trump’s Future

Given that I have a serious case of mind bounce today, I have not been able to focus on any one thing for more than 20 seconds, so instead I will share with you Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin’s view of what Trump’s life may be like after he leaves the White House next week.  I take some satisfaction in knowing that it won’t be any bed of roses for him, and knowing that he brought it on himself with no help from anybody else.


Trump’s future looks rotten

Jennifer-RubinOpinion by 

Jennifer Rubin

Columnist

Jan. 14, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. EST

President Trump faces a horrid future. He is the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice; he lost the popular vote twice; he lost both the House and Senate for his party; and more than 383,000 Americans have died from covid-19 on his watch. He has clearly sewn up the title of “worst president ever.” If found guilty by a soon-to-be Democratic-controlled Senate, he will be unable to run for office again and may lose his post-presidential benefits (e.g., salary, travel allowance). But that is far from his biggest worry.

Trump may be sued civilly or charged criminally for tax avoidance or other financial crimes that state prosecutors in New York are investigating. Depending on the charges, he could face significant fines or even imprisonment. (Trump has maintained that he has done nothing improper.)

Speaking of finances, Trump reportedly has more than $400 million in loans coming due. However, his banks are cutting ties. Deutsche Bank, which holds about $340 million of the debt, and Signature Bank do not want to do business with him. It is far from clear what lender is going to take him on as a client. He might need help from his overseas authoritarian friends.

Trump may also face a federal criminal investigation for seeking to change election results in Georgia during two phone calls with state election officials — one of which was recorded. In addition to potential federal crimes for election offenses, prosecutors will need to look at whether his vague threat of criminal liability in his call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger qualified as extortion.

That was all before we got to his Jan. 6 activities. Federal investigators and the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., as well as senior Justice Department officials will need to determine whether there is a basis to charge Trump with incitement to riot or conspiracy to commit sedition. They will look not simply at Trump’s remarks that day, but also his tweet calling for “wild” protests in the capital, his rhetoric after the election and his conduct during the siege, when he failed to issue a clear, unequivocal directive for his people to stand down. (That the president managed to issue a statement on the day of his second impeachment proactively calling for “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” makes his hours-long silence on Jan. 6 look even worse.)

Beyond criminal liability, Trump could surely be sued by the relatives of those killed or injured in the siege, or to cover the costs incurred to repair damage. He cannot be sued for “official conduct,” but leading a riot to overturn an election will be difficult to slot into the category of “official duties,” to put it mildly. It was a continuation of his campaign intended to give him a second term, not to effectuate any policy or interest during his existing term.

Even on the slim chance that Trump is never charged with any crime and manages to escape all civil liability, he will be deeply in debt (his original debt plus any costs to defend himself in court). He will also be a social and business pariah, banned from social media and unwelcome in most democratic countries. It is not clear how many people are going to pay to belong to a seditionist’s Mar-a-Lago Club or stay at any of his properties.

One can surely understand why the prospect of losing was so terrifying for him — aside from the humiliation. Quite simply, he faces a miserable post-presidency.

Snarky Is Baaaaaaack!

My snarky side took a bit of a break after the events in my own life on Monday night, but suddenly it has returned with a vengeance!  No point in holding it back, now is there?


Delusional bimbo

I had to laugh when I read that Kellyanne Conway said …

kellyanne“From the time the electors certified the results to the time the president leaves office should have been spent reviewing and reliving the policy accomplishments of his four years and reminding Americans we are more peaceful or prosperous.”

We are neither more peaceful nor prosperous by any stretch of the imagination than we were before Donald Trump took office.  We are more divided than at any time in at least the last 150 years, as evidenced by the events of last Wednesday and the aftermath.  And prosperous?  All time record high unemployment numbers, people who cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage, and between 3,000-4,000 people dying every day of a pandemic that was so poorly handled by the Trump administration that the world looks on in disgust. 

Sorry, Kellyanne, but your ‘hero’ is a big-time loser who has done more damage to this nation and its people than any other president in the history of the United States.  His ‘legacy’, such as it is, will be one of death and destruction.


Republicans and impeachment

I was pleased to see that 10 republican members of the House of Representatives voted in favour of impeachment.  Mind you, it’s too little too late, so I’m not going to propose that perhaps they’ve found a conscience and regret their prior sycophancy to Trump, but for this time anyway, they managed to do the right thing. 

I’m also pleased to read that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has condemned Trump’s actions of last week and said he ‘might’ even consider voting to convict Trump on the impeachment charges once the charges are presented to the Senate and they conduct a trial.  I’m not holding my breath, and again, it’s way too little far too late for him to redeem himself.  Best thing he could do after the impeachment trial would be to resign from the Senate … he’s way past his “best by …” date.  However, McConnell holds a great deal of sway with other republicans in the Senate, and if he votes to convict Trump on the charges, I believe that other republican senators will follow suit, which could result in the necessary 17 republican votes needed to convict Trump, thus ensuring that he can never again hold public office.  Not even as sanitation worker or dogcatcher. 

It’s interesting how some of the republicans are appalled by what Trump did, inciting a terrorist rebellion against the United States from within, but yet refuse to condemn him, saying that impeachment or any form of punishment would only further divide the nation.  WTF???  How can we get any more divided? 


As if

I hear Trump released a video of himself yesterday reading a statement that was obviously not written by him …

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Right, Donnie.  I read that Ivanka, Jared and others begged him to read the statement and record the video telling him that it would boost his image among republicans who were turning against him.  I actually wonder, reading those words, if somebody wasn’t off to the side with a gun pointed at his head, for this is a far cry from his words of a week ago when he said he would never concede and urged his terrorist supporters to ‘go to war’ for him.

If I had to guess, I would guess that through some other venue, perhaps one of his children’s social media accounts, he is talking out of the other side of his mouth, encouraging another terrorist riot similar to last Wednesday’s next week. 


Congratulations, Donnie …

Ol’ Trumpie always declares he is first, best, and any other superlative he can think of, like covfefe.  Well, he’s got his wish … he is the FIRST president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice!  Way to go, Donnie … we knew you could do it! 


Two worthwhile reads …

Two of my blogging buddies, Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, and Keith at Musings of an Old Fart, published excellent posts last night.  I wanted to re-blog them both, but had already started this post and … well, there are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy to expend, so instead I am including a link to both here and I really hope you will check them out … you won’t be sorry!

If You Still Think The Election Was Rigged  by Keith Wilson

The Big Lie(s)  by Jeff Marzick


Last but not least, Don Lemon hits the nail on the head with this one …

MOVING ON.

Sometimes we see other people’s problems more clearly than they are able to see them. About half of my readers are from outside the U.S. and it’s always interesting to get their perspective on what is happening here in the U.S. My special friend David, sickened by the events of last Wednesday at the Capitol in D.C., has written his take on our current situation, and in my book he is spot on. Thank you, David, both for this post and your (implied) permission to share!

The BUTHIDARS

It’s been just a week since one of the most sickening events in American History, some say since my lot were over there kicking ass before having our collective asses kicked. Whenever it was, and whatever it was are irrelevant as nothing in recent history compares to this. It was a definite attempt at a coup and there’s no denying that had the insurrectionists managed to get their filthy hands on certain people like Nancy Pelosi or Mike Pence there may well have been executions.

Mike Pence - Wikipedia

Whilst I don’t care for Mike Pence I think it ridiculous that he’s being targeted by Trumpites for letting Trump down. Firstly he obeyed the vow he’d made to the country-not to Trump- and secondly he did not have the power to do as he was asked anyway. What does leave me with a sour taste in my mouth and the obvious question, is why…

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