Saturday, January 15, 2022

TWGB: One Insurrection, Many Fronts

 

Forgive me for returning to Senator Cruz, groveller, for a minute, because he revealed a dynamic that is both faintly hilarious and deeply disturbing in that he knows that the FBI didn't fucking instigate the melee on 1/6, and he was one of the fuckfaces who gave a speech to rile up the crowd on 1/6 and also had been spewing nonsense about wanting to argue extremely dodgy Texas AG Ken Paxton's lawsuit against the states who voted the wrong way. One of the reasons he gave credence to the whole Epps thing is because he would love something else to be at fault other than literally everything he aided and abetted. And I had thought at the time that Cruz, like Josh Hawley and others, was simply playing a very cynically game and performing stupid tricks for the camera--but these tricks were at least treason-adjacent. But maybe he was an actual believer,

I mean, the insurrectionists thought he was. "What a tangled web we weave...." as the Bard might have put it. 

But the recent arrest of Oath Keepers' founder Stewart Rhodes and 10 others for seditious conspiracy changes things a bit because it looks there was an organized effort to take the Capitol and hold it and bring in more firepower in order to enact more violence for a specific end. (Getting the election decided for Trump, obvs.)  Now, hacks like Byron York or Brit Hume might be dismissive of the "attempted" insurrection in rather the way they scoffed at Trump's attempted extortion of the president of Ukraine, but facts are stubborn things, and when there is violence attached to them, they become harder to ignore. So obviously, if Rhodes and the Oath Keepers were planning before 1/6, they weren't riled up in the few days before-but were...waiting for this and dead certain Trump called them up for this--so says their lawyer!   And their readiness was exploited by cynical political machinations. 

How cynical?  I noted back in December 2020 that Trump supporters were already fomenting violence in contested states and that false electors were trying to put forward their own pro-Trump slates. I thought that was a kind of weird futile stunt then, but obviously unhealthy. But in the paradigm of the Trump Eastman memo and all that, these alternate slates existed in case Pence went ahead and rejected the confirmed states Trump wanted him to. Seven states put in alternate slates of electoral votes for Trump. The likelihood of them being accepted was remote and the process of submitting them was fraudulent, but it also looks coordinated because it wasn't just all these folks in these states having the same bright idea, right? No! That looks like a group effort. I'd love to know is Meadows has a story about that. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Read the Room, Senator

 

Look, this is really just a comment, because I understand some kind of negotiations with Sinema and Manchin are ongoing, and well! They haven't given me any reason to think either of them are budging on the filibuster but if Biden does, I'll wish him all the luck on that. But Sinema's speech today struck me as trying to box herself in against being negotiated on this. Like, it was totally planting a spear and looking to hold on for dear life. 

For what? The dear old filibuster and the specter of bipartisanship that she needs to know is gone. Gone. The House vote was very one-sided--did she not pick up on that? The Republicans giving her kudos on her speech are basically glad the pressure is off of them, because they were never going to do anything on voting in a bipartisan way--and if she had listened to their comments on this, she would know that. 

So who the hell is she listening to? Her donors? I think she has badly misread the room and standing for a principle that isn't worth the opportunity we'd be losing in protecting voting rights. I think privileging her notions of what the Senate should be and isn't right now over other people's voting rights is a bad moral equation, even if she thinks it's a safe political one, and I'd really prefer politicians who, when it came down to it, took the moral choice. 

But she wouldn't be listening to me, either. And I don't think she's has listened to any Arizonans on this, despite saying so in her speech because she doesn't hold townhalls. Doubtless, her staff are getting some calls from folks right now, and I doubt they are all pats on the back for bipartisanship. Yay! Doing nothing in the forlorn hope Republicans will do the right thing! Brilliant!

She should try to get a better read of the room.



Wednesday, January 12, 2022

IOKIYAR; or, The GOP Permission Structure

 


That Marco Rubio--he's a funny guy, isn't he? I mean, not necessarily on purpose, but I can't help but think about how Rubio sounded so approving of Trump fans swarming a Biden bus, as if he was oblivious to the notion that this was actually physically threatening to people. Somehow, Rubio, in Florida, where there are no shortage of MAGA hats or Let's Go Brandon bumper stickers, really feels for those poor MAGAs who lack the mettle to do what they sure the fuck do in in the PA suburbs, which is go about their bad selves with all kinds of GOP signifiers, and not a small amount of III%er and NRA signifying as well.  You know who Rubio isn't thinking of?

Shooting victims' family members who get death threats for speaking out about gun violence, people who are election workers or local government officials or school board members who are not afraid of being mildly socially snubbed (canceled) but have become afraid of getting like, really canceled. The Second Amendment kind of canceled. He's not bringing that up because he may even understand that political violence as a tool is getting disturbingly popular with right wing folks.  

But you know. being canceled by liberals is the real threat to democracy. He's funny, all right. 

What he's doing there is a little bit of whataboutism--claiming the other side is as bad or worse in some degree to distract from what we can all see his side doing. It creates a permission structure for his side to continue to support voter suppression tactics because he's alleging Democrats are suppressive too, so that makes it BOTH SIDES, which it doesn't, because voter suppression is real, and Republicans feeling sad because people look at them crossways when they wear their Fuck Your Feelings shirt in public is bullshit. 

I love and I hate this term: permission structure. It was all over Twitter yesterday when Dr. Anthony Fauci hit back at Senator Rand Paul for fundraising off of the lying propaganda that resulted in Fauci and his family receiving death threats, with one armed miscreant even being recently arrested. The propaganda creates a permission structure for political violence. This explains a lot of the violence of the TrumpWorld Era for me.  If you call the press the "lying press" (lugenpresse) then violence against journalists becomes fair. If you call immigrants vermin and criminals, then violence against immigrants becomes more acceptable to some people. And if Jews are called liberal elites who encourage immigration or control the media, you get synagogue shootings. And you get the hallmarks of fascism.

Trump Can't Handle the Truth

There's definitely more than a little air of "So what else is new?" going on with my post title: of course he lives in a narcissistic delusion of "so much winning." But it isn't just his ego that can't handle it--it's the fear that he might lose his tribe if they see the huge holes in his story. He wasn't a winner. There was not rigged election. There was a free and fair election, and he and his team were the thieves and liars. 

Only ego made him put his neck out there in an NPR interview, and he didn't make it 15 minutes before coming apart like an Alka Seltzer in a glass of water.  Of course, his big deplorable fans still believe in him; hell, they think the mean old mainstream media is out to get him anyway, so they won't even click a link. 

But it remains true: the big lie is big, but it's just a lie. A fraud, even.


Monday, January 10, 2022

So, What Are the Anti-Vaxxers Up To?

 

Well, besides getting sick and dying, which I am going to preface is obviously very terrible and every man's death diminishes me etc., etc. (does it though?) and learning that COVID-19 is definitely not anthrax, they are branching out from bleach cocktails to drinking their own pee

You know, I will say that if you are skeptical about what's in the things you eat or drink, one thing I can say for drinking your own pee is that you have, basically, made it yourself. Christopher Keys, the individual promoting this, states there is "tons and tons of research" on this, which just makes me wonder: "Dude, how much of your own pee have you drank, already?" 

So of course, because I am a responsible blogger, I looked into drinking pee and searching "drink urine" indicates that OMG people are really doing this for lots of stuff. It's a little like the apple cider vinegar thing where it will do everything from treat rashes to jellyfish stings to like, making you thinner and smarter, except it's obviously deeply fucked up and this isn't Waterworld. And when Keys suggests taking the piss with a grain of salt (see what I did there?) like, obviously, pee is already pretty salty, but I advise drinking water is actually really good for your immune system. Just not, um, your own water. 

I mean, your body is excreting it for a reason. Are you eating your boogers, too?

But if that isn't floating your boat, some of the new hotness in treating COVID-19 is definitely testosterone blockers, you know, in case hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin aren't getting the job done.  (Maria Bartiromo says she knows for a fact these two things work, which makes me wonder if she is doing a residency at Batshit General Hospital and where she finds the time.)  Anyhow, fine. If anti-vaxxers want to take test blockers I might even encourage them to take it to reduce the sequelae of "long covid". After all, Tucker Carlson ensures us COVID-19 is "feminizing" anyway. (Is this why Trump has been on the rag since November 2020?) I understand spirolactonone can cause salt cravings, so again, grain of salt. 

This might not be the favorite strategy of the, I swear I am not making this up, anti-vax group in the UK called Alpha Males Assemble. An anti-vax paramilitaryish thing. Their leader of course is down with COVID-19 at the mo', and also is named John O'Looney and is a funeral director. That is a whole Monty Python skit worth of fucking absurd. 

But if you think all of this is obviously crazy, there is someone who almost agrees with you: Dr. Bob Malone went on Joe Rogan's podcast to tell us that vaccines (which we all got for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and the like and tetanus anytime you jack yourself up badly enough to go to ER) are a form of mass formation psychosis, which may not even be a thing, let alone a thing that makes people feel like vaccines work. Because they do--since people who are vaxxed may get breakthrough cases but have way lower incidences of hospitalizations and death. 

It is very interesting to me that Joe Rogan fans might think that masses of people can be hypnotized by social encouragement into believing extremely wacky things, right? I mean really! Masses of people--believing wacky things! Despite all evidence and study to the contrary! Not that I'm giving credence to the idea of mass psychosis formation--but I'm just asking questions and it makes you think right? After all, if people can try to tell you masks covering your faceholes doesn' t prevent germs from getting in your faceholes, what other weirdly counterintuitive things can wankers get you to believe?


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Shofar? So not good.

 


When I see professed Christians don a tallit and blow a shofar, I steel myself for what comes next, because I know we are looking at a Zionist of convenience, a person who is mucking about in a form of  philosemistism in order to establish Mosaic covenant origins for supersessionist ends. In other words, these are cultural tourists trying to co-opt Judaism to authenticate their own religious and generally political designs. And some of those spiritual warfare travelers are also kind of racist, so, that's totally a worrying thing. 

So when I see this goober in a tallit and prefaced by a shofar. as was blown by several silly posing asses before the melee on January 6th last year, I obviously first remind myself that this was one of those silly asses there, then. And traitor Mike Flynn supports him, so, there's that. 


Flynn compared insurrectionists to Jesus Christ, saying Jesus at 13 years old went into “the temple and ransacked it. He would be called a domestic terrorist today.”


Jesus went into the temple and spoke with the rabbis and asked questions at thirteen. He would be called a Bar Mitzvah today.  What does Flynn know about Near-Eastern Judaism in the 1st century? What do any of us? He's a propagandist using religion to divide people and he forgets that "ransacking" isn't what Jesus did at 13, but older, when he turned the moneylenders out of the Temple--that was throwing out the grifters who preyed on religion--like Flynn has been doing, thankyouverymuch. I'm Catholic-adjacent enough to know the Bible isn't primary text for some Catholics, but give me a break, Mikey, that was easy catechism. 

But the thing with Jericho Marchers is the idea of total spiritual warfare, and they don't mean just slaying demons in some figurative sense. As Qanon consciousness pervades the fringes, it starts to take on a decidedly bloody interpretation: Dash the babies' heads against the rocks and leave not a brick standing upon a brick. They want an ecstasy of blood to usher in a new age. Using the same libels used against Jews.  For now, "spiritually"--supposedly figuratively and not literally. But using this kind of metaphor, when will they in fact? 

I don't want to know, and when I see this symbolism and this signifying, I know it needs to be rejected. This is a kook, not a religious man. Else he is an opportunist, playing the kook to get ahead on a spiritual bubble he hopes will happen. Either way, he is too wrong for any office at all--he has aims that are nothing to do with good government. He is looking at the end times. And positively at that. 

I'm not okay with this.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Ted Cruz and His Acrobatic Spectacle

 

I've mentioned before what a loss it is to the theater that Ted Cruz went into politics when it's only too clear, his true love is performance. Last night, the senator took to television to offer yet another performance, that of a penitent, as he knelt barefoot in the snow abjectly hoping that Tucker Carlson would grant him absolution for having dared to call the insurrectionists of 1/6 "terrorists".  He admitted to using "sloppy" language in calling them that--even if it is a word he has consistently used since, well, January 7th last year. 

It is rare to see such nimble bending over backwards in a man of his age, but he has the benefit of no spine and years of practice. But I'm sure he would never take back his estimation of who the true terrorists in this country are, even if they were certainly not the ones who invaded his workplace and threatened to kill his colleagues. He's not that flexible. And he fell short of co-signing Tucker Carlson's pet (conspiracy) theory, that the FBI done did it (which had been echoed recently by the wretched Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene). But give him time. There may be new tricks in the old boy yet.


TWGB: One Insurrection, Many Fronts

  Forgive me for returning to Senator Cruz, groveller , for a minute, because he revealed a dynamic that is both faintly hilarious and deepl...