Monday, August 8, 2022

Not One Republican

 

Yesterday, the Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act. It's accurate to say Senate Democrats, because not one Republican helped pass it. Not one.  This bill brings significant benefits for health care costs and fighting climate change, and could have been even better, but Republicans spitefully blocked a provision that would have capped insulin costs to $35 a month. 

Why do I say they spitefully did that? Well, they could have just left in in the bill. But just as with their snit fit over the PACT Act, I really suspect they didn't want to be remotely helpful and were mad that this significant legislation would be passed at all. It's not like they seem to especially care about the environment, anyway, and they complain about prescription medicine costs--but doing something about them smacks too much of making government do stuff.

I could be disappointed, but not surprised. Remember, it was at this point in Barack Obama's presidency that Senator Mitch McConnell made clear that obstruction in order to hopefully deny Obama a second term was the actual goal of congressional Republicans. It didn't work for them, but here they are, looking for all the world like they have the same obstructionist strategy. 

The bill is expected to reduce the deficit and moderately curb inflation. To hear Republicans tell it, you would think inflation (a global phenomenon brought on by digging out of the COVID-19 recession and supply chain issues) was a purely local phenomenon and all Joe Biden's fault. You think if they wanted to demonstrate the genius of fiscal conservatism, they would offer suggestions?

Uh, no. They are just going to complain. This is why I am fed up with people who blow smoke about bipartisanship and unity and so on. Instead of being a part of the solution by passing meaningful legislation, they seem happy to gesture in the direction of progress and say "See, I tried to black that. You're welcome."

Not one Republican voted for this bill. As far as I'm concerned, not one Republican should stay in office.


Saturday, August 6, 2022

CPAC: Mining the Kampf

 


Oh, look!, It's the Walkaway stool pigeon Brandon Straka, who gave considerable help to the DOJ and is now doing performance art.  Also too, we can see the dear motherly comforter Marjorie Taylor Greene. She should have anointed his feet with spikenard and rubbed it in with her double-processed hair while she was at it. 

If anyone thought the Viktor Orban shit was going to be the principal shame of CPAC 2022.2: Fascism Boogaloo (no, actually....) Why no! It's the attempt to recycle the insurrectionists into martyrs (yeah, they love martyrs, these guys) and blame the FBI and DOJ and the 1/6 Committee for thinking a whole violent episode to try and overthrow the government is something worth prosecuting. (Rep. Andy Biggs suggested defunding the DOJ which is definitely "Defund the police" if I ever heard it.)

Every conservative who faces any kind of accountability is automatically a victim. Alex Jones is supposedly a victim. Trump is a victim. Everyone at CPAC is unfathomably stricken and can barely stand all their various oppressions. 

Rick Scott thinks the liberals are the real book burners. They aren't actually burning any books, while neo-Nazis are closing libraries, but whatever. Ted Cruz explores kiss my ass's gender as being outside of the binary by proclaiming kiss my ass's neo-pronouns as "kiss my ass". Kiss my ass has decided that "kiss my ass" better describes the entire vibe of kiss my ass's gender expression, which is neither male nor female but definitely has a whole lot to do with ass. (All across this land, English teachers are weeping because the previously understood definition of pronoun, it is no more.)  Matt Schlapp is also Team Fuxxor the Binary, considering USAself to be USA/USA's. I'll try to honor that. 

USA's partner, Mercy, has shown her quality to be strained. This whole event is a showcase of grievance, racism, and grifting.  And for what it's worth, if you thought you saw Nick Fuentes there, CPAC says you did not.  (Just like TPUSA, one never admits groping with groypers.) 

I will refrain from asking where is a ginormous meteor or sudden sinkhole when our idiot culture deserves one but look at these sideshow geeks. Just take them all in, in all their pugnacious and howling glory. Or at any rate, their salacious and growling gloryholes, where they pleasure their political id as if we can't see what they are up to. 

They are talking up their 1/6 antics etc. to themselves.  From the outside, how weird and cultish that seems! We should never fail to deride these bitter pitiful people. And never let them arise from their mental cells to strike out at our democracy like they did on 1/6 again. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

TWGB: World of Discovery

 

Now, I have a guaranteed break-even strategy regarding gambling that has never failed at me not losing money--I don't bet. That's one way to never lose. The TrumpWorld folks aren't me, a working-class kid with a tenuous middle-class existence in adulthood. They are whales, machers.  They live whole lives of fucking around without the guarantee of finding out. They gamble. They risk a whole country. That's why I write about TrunpWorld, in part--the fascination for how they think. 

So, you all know about Alex Jones' phones and the specter of some "intimate conversation" with Roger Stone? (Yes, I had to do a third-eye wash to not see the word "intimate" and "Roger Stone" together and be like "Ewwwwwww." It's probably way more like Stone's entirely not weird caught on documentary video conversation with Matt Gaetz about pardons than the way my brain tried to interpret "intimate".)  Yeah, I think there's more there though. There's supposedly two years worth of communications, and it's not like Jones is in the Secret Service and has the incriminating bits extremely intentionally wiped, right? 

The worst thing about a conspiracy is that the people in on it have to communicate to keep their cover-up alive. Is that why Trump isn't supposed to talk to Mark Meadows anymore? This is a reasonably fraught thing--it might very well legally benefit Mark Meadows to shrive himself before the DOJ or the 1/6 committee, but there is hardly anything in this world Trump loves like he loves loyalty tests and witness tampering. 

It's clear that Trump's current legal team understand the circle is tightening. Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury regarding his knowledge of events re: 1/6, and claims of executive privilege regarding Trump are basically really slim. Trump is not president and preserving his time in office is a campaign goal, not an official task of the executive office. 

And then there's the funny old thing about the revelation that Trump DOJ lawyer (oddly working on behalf of the Trump campaign) John Eastman was still looking for the very elusive proof of the voter fraud that didn't exist weeks after 1/6.  He was also looking to get paid. This is so amateur. Trump believes he should be defended because his cause is always sanctified and is its own reward because he is who he is, and I don't know how Eastman (or Giuliani, or anyone else) failed to notice that. Also, too, Eastman and Giuliani and other lawyers never did get pardons, because like a Trump wife or girlfriend, he expects his lawyers to get themselves off. 

But while Eastman never secured a pardon, it's pretty clear people thought his plot was probably legally contentious if not treasonous. They knew it was wrong in Arizona.  They knew it was wrong in Wisconsin

Even Trump's 1/6 rioters know the buck should stop with him. It's his "privileged" associates who are late to understanding their legal jeopardy in all this. 

Trump is at the center of this, and it's his party, and he should cry if he wants to, but all signs point to his culpability. And if he doesn't get served, boy, I don't know. I just don't.  But I don't like what that implies. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Scumbag

 


Ok, it's delightful that Alex Jones' lawyers "accidentally" dropped the contents of Jones' phones for the last couple years into the laps of the opposing counsel which Jones clearly didn't want to do even though he kinda shoulda. and while I really want to stand around and bask in the idea that maybe after being exposed to the toxic little ass-breathing amphibious waste product Jones is, his lawyers decided their client was too stupid to give their full unalloyed support to and decided to sabotage him by just letting him go out and do him, but I guess I should put my serious face on and say "my word how sad it is his personal data got so badly mishandled."

BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA! 

They knew opposing counsel had access to proof their client was perjuring himself right there because they gave it to them, and their client apparently was clueless. I need to believe they told him to shut up instead of lying his ass off umpteen times already and they already recognized he could not do that. And instead of letting him know they oopsed his lifestory out into the world, they just said, "This manchild will receive a lesson." And they will I guess fall back on maybe since their best strategy was a mistrial, maybe their backup was incompetent counsel. (Whoops, this is civil right? For now. Heh heh, they still are getting paid.) 

I am not a lawyer. And maybe that helps me truly appreciate the idea that Jones will try to get this thrown out or appealed or whatever, and pretend his financial statements didn't disclose how much serious bank he made from depraved indifference to other people's safety and welfare, but he has already put himself in such crazy personal jeopardy by associating with the events of 1/6, for example, touting his (family-owned) possibly not FDA approved supplements and boasting in texts that he could sell his little sheepies dick pills if he liked, and fucking about with declaring bankruptcy when he has money, he just doesn't care to part with.

Oh and family court. He's also got an issue too with family court because his ex lost custody of their children but he's got some potential criminal issues now. 

So no matter what happens with this case, which after so much running of his mouth regarding the plaintiffs, the judge and the jury (WHY!!!???) is gonna be like, "take all his recess nickels and flay his hide for mites", he will still be in deep shit for the foreseeable. 

I guess that makes today a pretty good day, schadenfreude-wise. It really truly does. 

(And yet this dirty little shitbrick still has fans. Rabid ones. Amazeballs.)

UPDATE: And the dirty little shitbrick is paying close to $50 million based on this trial, which is just the first of a handful of trials he has upcoming. It looks like he'll get his flaying in full measure and at an uncomfortable pace, which sounds about right. 

There's Something Right with Kansas

 

I believe the idea was simple enough--put a referendum on altering the Kansas state constitution with respects to abortion on the primary ballot in a red state in a midterm year and let the natural conservatism and low turnout do the rest. 

Yeeeeaaaah, that's not what happened. Instead, there was very strong voter turnout against that measure. The somewhat Orwellian named "Value Them Both" bill (which is more like, "Value them Both but While the Pregnant Person is Pregnant, Value the Fetus Just a Bit More") failed. Despite mushy-sounding language that made the proposition sound like it was affirming rights in the state constitution and preventing the funding of abortions in a way that was not being proposed, activism and clear messaging hammered home the idea that opting for "Yes" meant opening the door to an abortion ban.

In the post-Roe landscape, as people come more and more to look at the stark cost of denying reproductive freedom, these bans are not popular, because the burden of unwanted or unviable pregnancies without the remedy of abortion access is undue. 

Preserving rights, giving people choices, respecting freedom of conscience, and recognizing that laws should be humane because they are made for humans, and not the other way around, should be simple common sense. In a world where anti-abortion figures enthuse that 13 year olds can do "phenomenal" things as parents, it only becomes too clear that so-called pro-life activists are living in a dangerous fantasy that ignores the messiness of human events, where reasonable people understand all too well that children should not have to be phenomenal, and adult humans should be free to make choices that affect them physically, financially, and impact their whole families. 

Social conservatives are in denial that reserving freedom of choice is popular, because most people have not willfully blinded themselves to the realities of a heart-breaking miscarriage, the denial of life-saving care, the economic strain, or the simple need to let people have reproductive freedom because forced labor is wrong

To me, this says that anti-abortion extremists are already on the back foot and need to be booted. There's no good reason not to lean in on letting people know: one party respects your rights, and the other party wants to take them away, and make some pastor your private parts policeman. Make it crystal clear that it's abortion rights today, birth control tomorrow. If SCOTUS wanted this in the hands of the people--the people will need to decide--and if it's in the hands of the state, then it must be clear who needs to run the state senates, houses or assemblies as well. 

They Only Needed to Be Shamed

 

The PACT Act will be going to President Biden's desk to be signed after needless and spiteful delay on the part of Senate Republicans, who spent the weekend trying to defend their fist-bumping vote against the bill with sad claims of "gimmicks" and "pork". They got rightfully hammered for that, but 11 Republican senators still voted against--all of whom also voted against the bill in June.

This group includes Rand Paul of KY, who argued that veterans would take advantage of the program because one could not tell for sure that their illnesses were from service-related expose (that's right--he's basically accusing cancer-stricken vets of trying to pull one over on the government), Mitt Romney of Utah, generally incorrectly perceived as a moderate, and my outgoing (but not soon enough!) senator, Pat Toomey, who opposes spending money to help people or basically being useful at all, just on general principles. 

So, what happened here? It looks like the Republicans got caught out for being spiteful hacks that literally didn't have a problem with the bill, just with Democrats.  And some of them still pretty transparently seem to have contempt for the idea that after having served and made sacrifices on behalf of this country, veterans want to be compensated for the harm done to them.

This is who they are. Don't forget it. 

And as an afterthought, although so many people worked to make this bill a law, a lot of praise goes to Jon Stewart for using humor, outrage, the superpower of celebrity, to advocate forcefully for the Seante to just do the right thing. He's a good guy. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

President Biden Has Not Forgotten

 

One of the most significant figures behind the 9/11 attacks, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been taken out by way of drone while hanging out on a balcony in Afghanistan, at a safe house where he was hosted by Sirajuddin Haqqani. 

So, a couple of things--this demonstrates that we did not still need to be at war in Afghanistan for our principal counterterrorism mission to be continued. If someone wants to bring up the Doha accords, I'm just echoing what has already been established, the Taliban never renounced al-Qaeda. Not attacking our troops as we were pulling out was the bare minimum. Just as with the Osama bin Laden operation, this demonstrated the resolve of the United States to follow through in the pursuit of terrorists--where we cannot receive full justice, we will avenge. 

I would not be fully in character if I did not take the opportunity to backhand the twice-impeached one-term wonder who hosted the KSA-backed LIV golf tournament at his Bedminster property and dissembled that "we" never got to the bottom of 9/11. He too, could have gone after al-Zawahiri, but apparently did not know who that was. As to Trump's "successful" attacks of his own, I have never been persuaded he fully knew what he was doing. I mean really, I think he was clueless, you guys. We can pretend al-Baghdadi was a bigger get for a whole moment of stony silence in Trump's honor, if he likes. And I think he really would. 

I'm not short on memory. I think a lot of us consider the savaging of Trump at the 2011 WHCD followed by Obama's announcement that the US got bin Laden both scared Trump off of running in 2012 and began his supervillain origin story to become the only president to plan an attack on the US homeland himself. 

That should not be forgotten, either. 


Not One Republican

  Yesterday, the Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act . It's accurate to say Senate Democrats, because not one Republican...