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November 26, 2020


High speed internet to every corner of the US. Make it happen and things will turn around for rural areas.

Not that they will like it, because all of those millennials and Gen Z kids I taught over the years will grab hold of the opportunity to buy a house there and start sustainable side hustling the community straight into elitist mindful self-care groups and regenerative agriculture farm co-ops.

The last thing most of my small town former schoolmates want is a thriving local economy in which they can buy arugula, kombucha, and non-dairy artisanal cheese from the nice mixed race same sex couple down the road who moved there from the Bay Area three years ago.

“ Sometimes I feel Thomas Frank really has the correct take on this issue.“

Pretty sure Thomas Frank would agree with the Politico writer.

"Libertarians can find little..."

Sure they can:

Reason Magazine's new title: The Rationalizing Enquirer.

Not that they will like it

Being able to make living has been known to change many a mind.

nous: High speed internet to every corner of the US.

Mandate the USPS to provide last-mile connectivity and ISP hosting to every address in the US. Establish "post offices and post roads" says Article 1 of the Constitution. If, despite the Framers having no idea of them, they meant "arms" to include AR-15s, then let's hear arguments for why they meant to exclude email from the "post".


Tony, that's a GREAT idea. Might even get the Postmaster General back in the cabinet.

WTF is wrong with this guy?

WTF is wrong with this guy?

Having seen proof that he's immune. why bother to worry about blowing off the Constitution, the laws, etc.?

"WTF is wrong with this guy?"

Is the answer somehow STILL elusive?

He's a conservative movement trump republican fascist traitor intent on destroying American and killing his domestic enemies, as are his tens of millions, perhaps more, of conservative republican confederates now establishing Marty's Deep State to subvert all governance, from within and without our institutions.

It is actually a handy thing Fuhrer Trump has done, returning electrocution and firing squads to the federal death penalty arsenal.

Joe Biden should maintain those arrows in the government's quiver to execute the conservative insurrectionist horror that is coming.

Elections may NOT matter.

The Flynn thing is treasonous in the old sense of the word even if not in the very narrow Constitutional sense. But hey, he clearly doesn't believe in the Constitution.

If 70 million MAGAts don't call it treason, is it still treason?

I invite anybody who ever voted for, made excuses for, or otherwise defended He, Trump to ask themselves: why is this seditious fascist Flynn on our side?

The answer is obvious to me, but I don't meet a single one of the above criteria.


WTF is wrong with this guy?

Something in the water. That, or alien body snatchers.

In any case, there's a lot of it going around.

(r)ussell returns! I never lost the faith.

Waiting for something like this involving one of our vocal (supposed) homophobes.

Irresistible memories of Larry Craig. I don't know if he had been a particularly vocal homophobe, but I certainly remember his "wide stance".

The Larry Craig scandal was an incident that began on June 11, 2007, with the arrest of Craig, who at the time was a Republican United States Senator from Idaho, for lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport. Craig later entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct on August 8.

As a result of the controversy surrounding his arrest, subsequent guilty plea, and pressure from his fellow Republicans, Craig announced his intention to resign from the Senate at a news conference on September 1, which was to become effective on September 30. After Craig's efforts to withdraw his guilty plea failed, on October 4, he released a statement refusing to resign from the Senate. Craig did not run for re-election in 2008, and the incident effectively ended his political career.

Looks like the Biden transition team has its eye on maximizing its opening functionality and restoring departments by focusing on the positions not subject to senate oversight.

This addresses some of the things I was talking about in my first comment here about the problems at the State Department.

The prime requirement for being a member of Biden's cabinet is being hated by Bernie-bros...

The prime requirement for being a member of Biden's cabinet is being hated by Bernie-bros...

Hogwash. From the people he has selected so far, the prime requirement seems to be expertise and experience.

"Irresistible memories of Larry Craig."

Well, the mis-spawned Falwell ejaculate, Jerry by name, Trump servicer, and his hot to be watched knees apart republican trump conservative movement wife, are close, if you consider that the holes the fascist faux Christians mess with are only inches apart, but they believe all the rest of us should be prosecuted, persecuted and canceled for the very same pleasures, the filth, not that there is anything wrong with that except normal humans call it love and passion and they view all of it as criminal acts deserving of the death penalty, unless their elite selves get to do the rogering.

Fake conservative Christians suffer the little children to come all over them and then expect at least a twenty in the offering plate from the duped parents.


They are murderers. They will kill us and our country, dismissively beclowned as they are.

Clowns can be scary. John Wayne Gacy seemed innocent enough at the kids' birthday parties.

Wait until the White House crawl space is dug up after the current perverted malignancies are chased out of the place at gunpoint.

Biden needs to retract all of Trump's pardons and turn them around as confessions of traitorous, corrupt, subhuman Republican guilt.

It's not like the useless Constitution has anything to say about it, unless six conservative pseudo-judges substitute their personal opinions for the document's silence on the matter.,_Berlin,_Joseph_Goebbels_mit_Kindern_bei_Weihnachtsfeier.jpg

One of the guys in back was in it just for the tax cuts, and another was in it for the Nazi Citizens United on behalf of the Krupp family in order the murder the Soros family.

Not feeling to0 sorry for the Georgia Trump Republican dumbass officeholders who aided and abetted and advanced the subhuman republican trump world all these years for us and now, like a bunch of little Himmlers and Hesses are trying to sneak out of town at the last minute.

It doesn't escape the notice of the hangman, the scum.

There will be Civil War:

All of this was planned by the subhuman conservative movement:

Russia, China .. big deal.

Out mortal enemies are all so-called Americans... tens of millions of them.

An amazing, even for him, 45 minute rant by Trump. Including calling on the Supreme Court to “do what’s right for our country.” Which he suggested entailed voiding hundreds of thousands of votes so that “I very easily win in all states.”

Got that? All states. Nobody since Washington has won all the states' electoral votes. So naturally Trump must do so.

Increasingly it appears that Trump's mental collapse is accelerating. Wonder how one goes about reversing a President's actions on the grounds that he was non compos mentis.

I know we’re supposed to back off from The Count’s rhetoric above (if I may guess an identity), but as a Georgia resident subjected to the advertising supporting the Republican candidates... they are describing the Democrats as radical, socialists out to destroy America. Effectively calling close to half the state’s voters as the enemy. Not any “Kumbaya Mofo” to be found. If someone declares you to be an enemy, best to take them at their word.

Also liked Philip Bump calling it The most petulant 46 minutes in American history.

The pro-Warnock and Ossoff ads are about the policies they support. The negative ads against their opponents accurately point out their votes/support for dismantling the ACA, and more aggressively attack the (possibility) of insider trading as a result of actions after Covid briefings. Suggesting corruption, not disloyalty. Equivalence? We report, you decide.

"Increasingly it appears that Trump's mental collapse is accelerating."

It's a dangerous and deadly national fascist psychosis, if we're going to psychoanalyze. And, if someone threw a bucket of water over him and he melted, it's not going to be a happy balloon ride back to Kansas to see Auntie Em, because Auntie is now an Orc in thrall to Mordor, if I may mix my fantasy metaphors.

"Effectively calling close to half the state’s voters as the enemy."

The conservative movement has done this consistently and forever.

It goes back much farther, of course, but Vigurie, Weyrich, Dobson, Blackwell, the entire Reagan phalanx, all recruited and trained the current crop of unAmerican haters to disenfranchise half the country, systematically and with overwhelming dark monetary support and the buildup of military level weaponry in their hands.

Nixon before, and Bush II after.

In Trump, they found their apotheosis and are full in now.

But disenfranchising isn't enough for them. You can smell the stench of their next phase in the air.

They will kill.

Of course, decent people here back off from my rhetoric.

I get it. I'm not selling. I'm predicting. And I hope I'm wrong.

I'm one guy distraught and aghast at what these hateful shitheads have wrought.

Yes, take them at their word.

They are NOT the better angels of Lincoln's First Inaugural appeal.

And look what happened after that appeal, ending with a bullet in his head, as better angels turned out to be in short supply and overwhelmed by home-grown all-American Evil of the same ferociousness as this current lot.

They are just getting started and this is the last time America is going to put up with this shit.

No more. We're done. This evil, sadistic, contemptuous thing must be traumatically removed from the national character by all and every means and then the wound cauterized with sun-hot heat.

I was once an unthinking nominal Republican.

But to my mind, this has nothing to do with -isms.

Time for me to lurk again, from my tree.

It's a dangerous and deadly national fascist psychosis

Sounds about right.

This evil, sadistic, contemptuous thing must be traumatically removed from the national character

How do you do that?

My hope is that the vast majority of MAGAts will do nothing much more than gripe on social media and that those who are driven to violence are very few and far between. Still not a good situation, but far better than a civil war or coup d'état. Hard to fathom what's going on in people's heads none the less.

My prescriptions are extreme, inchoate, and unacceptable to nearly all and off the charts, as you know.

And they are certainly not Antifa's (differentiated from BLM's mostly legal protests) ineffective, amateur and pathetic property damage and looting, although the former's practice of "counting coup" on the streets is entertaining in a Comanche kind of way.

I will stipulate that the "Generals" involved receive cases of Ulysses S. Grant's favorite best whiskey weekly from Amazon for fortification against the enemy.

I mean, how do you deal with this inexorable, uncompromising evil?:

You get SERIOUS professionals, thousands of them:

Other than that, why pique the malign interest of the conservative movement's massive deep state authoritarian law and order complex with details in this innocent forum?

Here's what I know. Hearts and minds cannot be appealed to when those being petitioned are authoritarian psychopathic sadists who slap down every good faith norm and have done so for decades with malignant glee they claim is derived from a Supreme Being, or Ayn Rand, or Reason Trumpazine, or some imaginary hydra combining all three.

And it's now not about -isms, policy, left or right with me. I care no longer how things settle as long as THEY are no longer around to f*ck up whatever the settlement is out of sheer nihilist hatred of whatever is not them.

It's about the rabid dogs running loose in my neighborhood, purposefully self-infected among themselves to menace my country.

We have no standing in their ideological universe.

Now, quietude beckons, much to everyone's relief.

My hope is that the vast majority of MAGAts will do nothing much more than gripe on social media

My expectation is that the vast majority of MAGAs will gripe on social media, if that. If there was going to be some groundswell of MAGAs rising up to smite the rest of us, I think it would have happened by now.

There are folks who are capable of and prone to violence but I don't their numbers are that large. Tens of thousands, maybe? Which is concerning, but not an existential threat.

The folks calling for people to be shot, or hung, or drawn and quartered, and/or spreading rumors about deep institutional conspiracies remind me mostly of the run-up to the massacre in Rwanda. But nobody in any numbers is picking up their machetes in response.


If nothing else, I just don't think most people want that kind of mess and disruption in their lives. Inertia has its upsides. Plus, I just don't think all that many people are up for, or want to be up for, actually killing or harming people they know. Which is what would be required.

What really saves this country more than anything, IMO, is the deep tradition of keeping the military separate from domestic politics. Intelligence and law enforcement, too, to a lesser degree, but the military's consistent refusal to get drawn into one side or another in domestic politics is something we should be very grateful for, and something we should defend.

I compared Trump to Pinochet in some thread or other recently. McK found that laughable. The reason it's laughable, and really the only reason it's laughable, is because the military in this country doesn't play that game.

There has been, and will continue to be, violence, but not enough to undermine civil order.

May it continue to be that way.

What really saves this country more than anything, IMO, is the deep tradition of keeping the military separate from domestic politics. Intelligence and law enforcement, too, to a lesser degree, but the military's consistent refusal to get drawn into one side or another in domestic politics is something we should be very grateful for, and something we should defend.

I have serious doubts about the law enforcement side of this, especially at the rural sheriff level. What I expect to see is something like the Klan's old organization with a patriot militia face. No civil war, just a shadow army of intimidation and selective enforcement.

Interesting thread. Connects with onus’s rural sheriff remark.

There has been, and will continue to be, violence, but not enough to undermine civil order.

One can hope, but one of our two major political parties is oozing off that cliff. This does not bode well for democracy.

As an aside on another topic, when somebody badgers you about the Democrats not "meeting the GOP halfway" in current discussions regarding a 2nd COVID relief package, smack them in the face with this. Violence is as violence does.

Nous, not onus. Spellcheck strikes again. It’s the rise of the machines. Somehow I thought it would be worse.

The vision proffered by the author, small farms, vibrant small towns, etc., stand in direct contradiction to the market outcomes of increasing productivity, corporatization, and oligarchic competition.

Exactly right.

That vision needs subsidies (psst - government handouts), and regulations. You know, the things Republicans profess to hate.

In fact, rural America is already heavily subsidized in lots of ways.

Now the fact is, I don't really mind helping with some of that. You want decent medical care, schools, good internet access? Suits me.

But drop the piety and sanctimony and "real America" BS. Stop complaining about being discriminated against when you have outsized political power, and use it stupidly.

You know, not long ago there was a string of stories about the plight of rural hospitals, with lots of sad interviews with the locals. Yet, many of these places had refused the ACA Medicaid expansion. Because they are "self-reliant," I suppose.

Some states with shortages of rural hospitals have done it to themselves with their certificate-of-need (CON) laws.

So ow many years should Barr spend behind bars ?
...“The Court’s sentence should send a message that people like the defendant — an attorney in a position of trust who others relied upon — will face serious consequences if they commit crimes that result in material misstatements or omissions to a court,” prosecutors working for Durham argued in their submission Thursday night....

"So [h]ow many years should Barr spend behind bars ?"

Lots and lots, but that leaves the possibility that a future GOP preznit might pardon him.

OTOH, Trump is reportedly considering firing Barr.

I say good, I'd be glad to contribute some kerosene.

I hadn't heard of certificate-of-need laws. Ain't free markets grand?

Ain't free markets grand?

Not according to supporters of certificate-of-need laws.

And here we thought the fact that the head of the GSA had finally got her thumb out would mean the teansition would move forward.

What we have is Trump's new fanboy at Defense replacing people who know what they're doing with "loyalists."

Officials said that rejections relayed this week to the Biden team cited seemingly petty procedural barriers.

One person said the Pentagon had asked repeatedly for rosters of those who would take part in a visit, lists of topics and estimates of time to be allotted — information that in some cases had been provided at the outset.

I'm hoping it wil be possible (although no doubt slow and tedious) to boot all these scum out after January 20th.

For those who have been in a funk over the way the Georgia run-off may go, check this out.

Especially the first two graphs.

How nice it would be not to have McConnell as the legislative gatekeeper.

don't break our hearts, 538!!

It’s hard to take polls seriously.

It’s hard to take polls seriously.

Depends on the poll. In Georgia, they (i.e. 538's average, as displayed here) were actually quite good. As in, within 1% of the vote.

But more important than the current poll results, I think, is the trend that the graphs show. Here's hoping it continues for the entire month.

I think it was in this post that the article by Dunn and the Wisconsin rural voters was posted and this is Eric Loomis' reply at LGM

I'd rephrase that conclusion a bit, but by and large, I agree with him on this.

I just hope Jabbabonk's campaign against his party's candidates in Georgia is a smacking success.
Wouldn't it be nice, if two winning Dems expressed, in their victory speeches, their gratitude to the not-soon-enough-to-be-past-president for his help in winning their elections?
"Let it be said that without his help we would not be here to-day. Thank you Donald. After many disappointments you finish your presidency with an act that even your opponents gratefully appreciate!"

Hartmut: FYLTGE

Wouldn't it be nice, if two winning Dems expressed, in their victory speeches, their gratitude to the not-soon-enough-to-be-past-president for his help in winning their elections?

Definitely more gracious than my thought. Which was to play "Marching thru Georgia" in celebration. That would, for the rural reactionaries there, be a fitting turnabout on "own the libs"

So-called "American" Republican conservative movement PA legislator confirms the violent, monstrous, fascist Trump conservative movement Republican Party and their cheating, lying, thieving voters and operatives are a violent domestic terrorist organization:

Civil War declared:

Which of the six conservative movement Supreme Court fascist umpires with their own personal anti-American bogus strike zones will make of it a formal Fort Sumter?

The Republican Party's long-sought destruction of all legitimate governance in this country is upon us.

Now, who will avenge their corrupt, malign, totalitarian Evil?

Two days ago I was struck by the thought that what the Trump GOP most resembles is one of those bands of heretics from medieval Europe that pop up after a plague and wander through the countryside spreading mayhem and unrest.

Antinomian. Anti-clerical. Violent. Given to excesses.

Like the Brethren of the Free Spirit or the Savonarola.

The Libs are just the catholic church, trying to hold shit together but getting in trouble for their indulgences.

Like the Brethren of the Free Spirit or the Savonarola.

While it might be comforting that Savonarola was (along with two others, who to choose from?) hanged, and burned, wikipedia
has this

Resisting censorship and exile, the friars of San Marco fostered a cult of "the three martyrs" and venerated Savonarola as a saint. They encouraged women in local convents and surrounding towns to find mystical inspiration in his example, and, by preserving many of his sermons and writings, they helped keep his political as well as his religious ideas alive. The return of the Medici in 1512 ended the Savonarola-inspired republic and intensified pressure against the movement, although both were briefly revived in 1527 when the Medici were once again forced out. In 1530, however, Pope Clement VII (Giulio de' Medici), with the help of soldiers of the Holy Roman Emperor, restored Medici rule, and Florence became a hereditary dukedom. His devotees, the Piagnoni, were silenced, hunted, tortured, imprisoned and exiled, and the movement, at least as a political force, came to an end.


Savonarolan religious ideas found a reception elsewhere. In Germany and Switzerland the early Protestant reformers, most notably Martin Luther himself, read some of the friar's writings and praised him as a martyr and forerunner whose ideas on faith and grace anticipated Luther's own doctrine of justification by faith alone. In France many of his works were translated and published and Savonarola came to be regarded as a precursor of evangelical, or Huguenot, reform. Within the Dominican Order Savonarola was repackaged as an innocuous, purely devotional figure ("the evolving image of a Counter-Reformation saintly prelate"), and in this benevolent and unthreatening guise his memory lived on. Philip Neri, founder of the Oratorians, a Florentine who had been educated by the San Marco Dominicans, also defended Savonarola's memory.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the "New Piagnoni" found inspiration in the friar's writings and sermons for the Italian national awakening known as the Risorgimento. By emphasising his political activism over his puritanism and cultural conservatism they restored Savonarola's voice for radical political change. The venerable Counter Reformation icon ceded to the fiery Renaissance reformer. This somewhat anachronistic image, fortified by much new scholarship, informed the major new biography by Pasquale Villari, who regarded Savonarola's preaching against Medici despotism as the model for the Italian struggle for liberty and national unification. In Germany, the Catholic theologian and church historian Joseph Schnitzer edited and published contemporary sources which illuminated Savonarola's career. In 1924 he crowned his vast research with a comprehensive study of Savonarola's life and times in which he presented the friar as the last best hope of the Catholic Church before the catastrophe of the Protestant Reformation

I sometimes think that I'd be happier if the Democrats were as organized as the Medici. And if there is a possibility that my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren think of Trump in any other way than a useless POS, I'll have to urge my kids not to have any offspring. Going to be a long millenium...

This is sort of a lemonade from lemons remark, but this

might actually be a good thing. I've been reading how some people (like Tammy Duckworth in this article) are against granting the waiver on general principles, but I feel that Trump has done so much damage to the civilian-military leadership that it is better to have the waiver granted.

The article also has detail on the problems with Iraq and ISIS and their possible relation to Austin. I'm sure that people of various persuasions can find things to support their viewpoint, which underlines to me how hard it is going to be to deal with problems.

Besides having that accomplished and having Orkin in as well, considering the caliber of creepy-crawlies who have been infesting the joint for four years, I hope Biden will order the entire building and every single Cabinet building across the country swept for listening and spying devices, which I am certain Trump's conservative movement fascist scum have planted throughout so their fascist rightwing media and conservative political apparatus can be tipped off to whatever goes on.

As an accompaniment to purging the entire Trump Republican Deep State thugs who have burrowed their way under the floor boards in the agencies.

These species of rats don't abandon ship. They hide out in the hold and gnaw through the ship's rudder controls, sails, sheets, and the engine room, as well as leaving their droppings in the ship's larder, the better to poison the crew.

Frog march them to the sidewalks at gunpoint.
Strip them naked and conduct cavity searches on each after alerting the media to the show. Scour their homes and vehicles for stolen documents and thumb drives.

Trump's sister and an ex-employee have speculated trump will leave the country soon. I doubt it, but make sure the nuclear codes are changed and other state secrets secured, because he has and his traitors have much to sell down the river.

Rescind all pardons, and while Biden himself should keep his distance once he sets up the investigation apparatus, the entire conservative movement should be hounded, harassed, and prosecuted for their state crimes by investigators designated for that sole task.

Make the investigation deep enough that the 70 million who "voted" for Trump come under the microscope too.

Better yet, let the 80 million who vote for Biden, excepting the marginal picayune Hamlets for whom both sides are ever equal and interchangeable, conduct that persecution across the country.

What to do with them?

Following Trump's and Barr's "ill-advised" move to widen the choices for applying capital punishment at the federal level, Biden should add beheading, skinning alive, disembowelment, screaming immolation at the stake, defenestration, and, since martyrdom is the conservative movement's ultimate and exquisite aspiration, crucifixion, to the arsenal of punishments.

At least he used the cheap hair dye, though I'll bet we, the f8cking taxpayers, have been charged for that as well:


Hey, privileged fascist murderous conservatives, word to the wise. If you want to avoid Marie Antoinette's and Mussolini's and Hitler's and Ceausescu's fates, leave a little cake for the rest, asshole filth!

This is exactly how it happens.

Die and skip the learning altogether, you hogs!

We aren't going to ration Death resources to you animals.

Yeah, the sweep for listening devices is a good idea.

But some that are found should be left intact, to provide Putin with a stream of carefully curated (small batch! free range!) disinformation.

"...didja hear how that moron Trump was ranting last month? Outed their entire network without realizing it..."

This is sort of a lemonade from lemons remark, but this might actually be a good thing. I've been reading how some people (like Tammy Duckworth in this article) are against granting the waiver on general principles, but I feel that Trump has done so much damage to the civilian-military leadership that it is better to have the waiver granted.

For exactly that reason, I think a waiver should not be granted. If general Austin was in some way uniquely qualified, it might be another matter. But I'm not seeing any indication that this is the case.

Instead, I'm seeing arguments that what is particularly needed, in addition to reestablishing the principle of civilian control of the military, is someone who will push the Pentagon away from their established approach and into using more modern technology. As the recent Armenia-Azerbaijan war showed, it's time to get serious about this. But so far, the Marines appear to be the only service coming close.

I'd imagined Giuliani ending his days like Dirk Bogarde in Death in Venice.

But it would be fitting if it were more like Charlie Kray.

How 'bout reestablishing civilized, civilian control of civilians as well:

Subhumans who carry weapons in public, concealed or not, I take as a direct mortal threat to my life, and I should be able to retaliate with immediate deadly force when I witness it in preventive self-defense, just as conservatives have given me leave to do in my "CASTLE".

Ted Cruz bursts into flames. And raw sewage turns out have no effect whatsoever on the flames, in fact, conservative-supplied effluent is itself flammable, as with the Balrog:

Even if Biden does take office and is permitted by citizens-ignited bribed fascist judges to take up residence in the White House, not one republican subhuman in the a*shole formerly known as congress will lift a finger to allow governance.

America, as we knew it, is a dead piece of sh*t.

Invite China to nuke the State of Texas, much as Stalin assisted in the defeat of Hitler.

We can always go back to Cold War with China afterwards.

What do you have against Texas? After all, it is getting more purple by the day.

I note also (without comment) that McConnell is from Kentucky.

"After all, it is getting more purple by the day."

Hmmm, that's like saying in August 31, 1939 that Nazi Germany was becoming more Jewish by the day, so never fear, Polish Jews.

"I note also (without comment)"

McConnell's security detail duly notes your loaded notice and your dog that did not bark in the night.

Lurking beckons again, as beckoning always lurks.

I was musing about the possibility of, say, CA or NY suing FL, NC, and TX to overturn tRump's wins in those states based on fraud and voter suppression. I'm sure they could make just as strong a case on fraud as TX has (no evidence is a low bar to get over) and probably a reasonably good case on voter suppression.

Mess with Texas! (and Florida and North Carolina while you're at it)

wj, by 'might be a good thing', I meant the pushback. In the end, I'm pretty pessimistic that one person can change an entire culture, but if the Dems can get to the point where public disagreements are not treated as the end of life as we know it, we might be able to have a more robust debate about some of these things. I realize that the right's weapon against the left has been the ability to put aside differences to create truely horrific bedfellows, (and I still don't understand why some of this crap hasn't collapsed under the weight of its own internal contradictions) but, while I wish the left would get its shit together, it would be nice to instead weaponize diversity. I suppose one can dream.

lj, I managed to misread you (obviously) as arguing that Austin as SecDef would be a good thing. Sorry.

As you say, the arguments his nomination has sparked may be salutary.

Suppose you were a congressperson who voted against Mattis four years ago, saying something like "While I deeply respect General Mattis’s service, I will oppose a waiver. Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule." You'd be pretty upset at Biden for forcing you to choose between your principles and supported your president and his nominee.

So why has Biden done it? I read his Atlantic article and it didn't seem to give a reason. Yes, he thinks Austin would do a good job, but that doesn't address the problem.

So why has Biden done it [picked Austin]?

The most plausible explanation I have come across is from 538's Perry Bacon Jr.**:

After naming white people as his nominees for two of what are considered the four most important Cabinet positions — Antony Blinken at State and Janet Yellen at Treasury — Biden was pushed strongly to choose a Black person to run either the DOJ or the Pentagon. Biden eventually chose retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, who is Black, to run the Defense Department.
Perhaps his race, and the need to placate that part of the party, was the critical factor. Although, as Bacon also notes:
It is not clear that rank-and-file Black or Latino voters particularly care who Biden chooses for these top administration roles, or play a big role in this process. It is also fairly clear that the people Biden and his team are really trying to placate are more center-left establishment Black and Latino elites in the party

** Who, FYI, is black himself.

There is nothing shadowy about it.

These murderers are run directly out of the Trump White House, the RNC and congressional fascist republicans, and funded by top conservative movement donors:

Their weapons were supplied by the fake Christian America God.

Some call it a gobshite-given right.

Others call it gunrunning.

If it is solely optics, that's not a good thing. If it's choosing someone who is familiar with the military and can ideally deal with the dumpster fire handed to him, I'm more sympathetic.

Of course, if a vote against Austin is considered an apostasy from everything that is holy, we are going to have problems. The 538 article is good because it points out that the challenges are basically the price of having a diverse party and it would be better if we just got used to the fact that there are going to be arguments of this sort. I like the line Duckworth gives, that she thinks Austin is good, but she is going to vote on principle. (I'm also using this to evaluate news sources, if they have some rational discussion, cool if they put a headline about how the Dems are going up in flames, screw em)

I'm also worried that if there isn't a person from the military, it is going to be taken as an excuse for stone-walling. The Navy has serious problems with its fleet that is supposed to be dealing with China in the Pacific, the problem of white supremacists in the military has been an ongoing issue, I don't know wtf the space force is supposed to do, but it's going to be a lot easier for a military guy to pull the plug on it than a civilian.

I don't think we have any people in active military here, but if there are and you wouldn't mind, I'd love to hear your perspective.

It is, perhaps, fortunate that it is possible to vote against General Austin strictly on the procedural grounds that he would require a waiver to the requirement that individuals must be retired from the active duty military for at least 7 years before becoming secretary of Defense. There are a bunch of Democrats who were very explicit when the voted for a waiver for General Mattis that they would not be willing to do so a second time. All they have to do is stick to their guns (sorry!) on that. Even if they also have reservations about him for other reasons.

I’m sure Austin is a good guy. That said, it is in our interest to maintain and reinforce the principle of civilian control of the military.

Biden should look for someone else. IMO.

Chuck Wendig has hit the [email protected] nail on the [email protected] head:


"It’s not enough that Trump won’t be successful. And it’s likely he won’t be (though this is 2020, so who the fuck knows what hellshow could happen in the next three weeks). It’s that he’s convinced a not inconsiderable portion of this country that he’s right. He probably knows he won’t get back in the White House, at least in 2021. But they don’t know that. He probably knows he didn’t win. But they don’t. They’ve bought the lie. They’ve embraced their cognitive dissonance so hard it’s become a part of them — the only good way out of a hole is to quite digging and start climbing, but then you have to admit, oops, I fell into a hole of my own making, and that’s not something people like to admit. Easier instead to dig down, down, down, to make it look like, I know what I’m doing, I’ve been doing this all along, this is alllllll part of the plan, see you later, Surface-Dwellers, I’m King of the Hole, fuck you.

So utterly complete is this violent attack on information, on truth, on fact, on process and democracy and science, on education and expertise that… some people are going to be really hard to bring back. They may not come back. We don’t have a National Deprogrammer. We don’t have fairness in media. We don’t have the gall or gumption to fight mis/disinformation the way the other side has fought actual information.

As it turns out, our democracy is held together by one thing, and one thing only:

A loose, flexible agreement of ideas."


Just one short piece of an epic.

The utter crapshow we are now being subjected to is the most despicable display I've seen in my entire lifetime. We're not all the way to Rwanda, but you can see it from here.

The (R) party and their base has not only lost all credibility as good faith participants in our common public life, they have embraced that position and in fact wear it as a badge of pride.

If they can't win on the merits they'll tear it the hell down. Intentionally and with vulgar zeal.

I'm done with them. I'm not interested in civil wars, I wish them no ill, I have no interest in or desire to harm any of them. I'm not shooting anybody, that's their game.

But they've made their intentions very clear, and their intentions do not overlap with mine.

My expectation is that Biden will take office in January, and that the (R)'s and their base will do everything in their power to FUBAR his time in office. I'll do what I can to frustrate them in that effort.

And that's how it's gonna be.

If they want to take this garbage any further than the pitiable clown show they've put on so far, then I guess sh*t will get somewhat more hectic. Let's hope they don't go there.

In any case, I'm not investing one ounce of my time or effort in trying to find "common ground" with them. Whether such a thing could actually exist or not.

If and when they wake the fnck up I'm happy to revisit all of that. They might or they might not. But I just don't have the patience anymore to deal with this kind of willful insanity.

We don't share a country, as far as I can tell. We don't really share a reality, as far as I can tell.

It'll take a hell of a lot to walk that back, and as far as I can tell it's on them to make that happen. I have no great expectations there.

I'm not fond of tacking minimally-related bits onto the defense bill (which the Senate passed today by a veto-proof margin**). But I'm glad to see this being done somehow.
Probably play hob with Trump's business model, however.

** 20 bucks says Trump will abandon his veto threats and sign it. Because the alternative would be to have his veto overridden. And who wants to be a loser like that?

Ante upped, as the armed, threatening scum have done every step of the way, win, lose, or draw for the past 40 years:

It's not our choice whether or not savage violence engulfs this country.

It's theirs and they are choosing to be wiped off the face of the Earth.

We've no more ground to give.

It stops bloody now.

Limbaugh is not an entertainer. Trump is not a clown. America is not a reality show for the corrupt and thoroughly anti-American, anti-human conservative movement to hollow out for the prize money defrauded from the brainwashed rubes by dyspeptic, lying intellectual poseurs in their infected, infested ranks.

They are traitorous, terrorist subhuman Evil.

Clearly we need to divvy up New America (aka Somalia) into parts like New Michigan and New Georgia and New Dakota. Then those who have drunk the kool-aid will have somewhere to go that's safe from the scary libs.

Cake wasted on those who will be executed:

Bloody vengeance will not be rationed in dogshit America.

Then those who have drunk the kool-aid will have somewhere to go that's safe from the scary libs.

I would find that unfortunate, but if that’s what they want then as I say go with god and go with my blessing. Carve out your rural nirvanas or whatever the heck it is you think is going to make you happy and live your life.

We can probably fit 100 stars on the blue field of the flag. Go for it.

But not with 2 new senators for each new loonitarian state!

Let them secede but only after THEY have paid for the wall the rest of the country will have to build around these duh-topias. They will be allowed air travel between those entities/territories and with countries abroad that will accept it but it shall be a West Berlin scenario in reverse.

I'm all in favor of the Red States seceding. They're traitors, one and all. Plus they're freeloaders, draining away more tax dollars than they pay in, while insisting on how self-reliant and self-made they are.

But before they go, I want the Biden Administration to rip out every bit of infrastructure and remove every military base, supply chain, and vendor from the departing states.

C'mon NASA, hurry up with that "B-Ark", the MAGAts want to leave.

Oh, all that safety certification red tape can be skipped also, too.

This would seem to explain a fair amount about recent politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

I personally cop to the addiction-to-vengeance diagnosis put forward by the Yale University lecturer cited in Nigel's link.

But like Keith Richards, I fully plan to live long enough through my addiction to see the other side, once the domestic enemies of America, the entire conservative movement right down to its parking valets, are made to take personal responsibility for their sedition, corruption, and anti-government insurrection, and prosecuted and punished, including by way of the newly expansive Federal death penalty, whether it is applied judicially or extra-judicially.

I'm no Abraham Lincoln (take a moment to chuckle, snort ruefully, if you must), but Abe was, and despite all of the lofty talk about "the angels of our better natures", he prosecuted bloody vengeance on the traitorous, racist, murderous Confederacy whose monstrous collective addiction nearly sundered the country.;view=fulltext

Lincoln wept inconsolably after receiving the news that the beloved brother of his wife had been slaughtered at Chickamauga by a piece of metal in the neck, but that didn't stop him from ordering up another case of whiskey for the indominable, ruthless Ulysses S. Grant to continue the slaughter.

Maybe if Lincoln had lived but for the evil act of Republican Party (had he lived, he would have followed the southern racist Democrats into the conservative movement southern strategy, which was more than strategy; it was pure hateful, additive racism) operative Booth, he could have, like Tony Soprano and other Mafia-types characterized in show biz, undertaken some therapeutic analysis under the guidance of a psychotherapist to "work through" and "come to terms" with the evil acts he was forced into (it was one side; but he took the Confederacy's whining, self-victimized-preening accusation that "both sides do it" to heart and f*cking did it better, but seems not finally, as needs to happen now)

For Lincoln's pains, here we are, but he is not, because John Wilkes Booth (well, and the fact of natural mortality, which was cut short), the true founder of the contemporary Republican Party, even after and ever after, carried his malignant addiction into the theater and shot Lincoln in the back of the head.

And Booth's addiction is what we are dealing with the this shite conservative movement in the here and now, with the difference that Trump, unlike the slave owners and Confederate Generals, doesn't even pretend a bogus patina of "Honor".

But this, from Nigel's article:

"Which is why there also must be compassion for Trump. One of the lessons learned with substance addiction is that it is a disease, a brain and behavioral disorder, not a moral failure, and shaming and punishment do not work. Attacking Trump for his retaliatory behavior only fuels it by making him feel more aggrieved."

Awwww. Aggrieved, is he?

..... is just the kind of therapeutic spinelessness Trump and his conservative movement thugs are counting on from us (the wider "us", not the OBWI "us"). These thug filth contemptuously spit on that approach, and always have, and the minute the therapist turns her back, they will stab it.

Trump, like the real Mafia whom he models himself after (Hell, they built the trump tower and the floors are not level, the windows might as well be screens and the facade is warping the entire structure, is more likely to buy the psychiatry business out with an offer that can't be refused, merge with his garbage business and then whack Freud, Jung, and Woody Allen's therapist, while playing the victim himself.

Trump and the filthy Republicans are mainlining their addictive wares into the entire body politic purposefully and malignantly as we speak, and it may be a colossal, but mere grift, but so is the pusher man's in any urban alley.

And so was Hitler's, the most sincere grifting punk in history.

Take a page from the grifting, grasping fake big-haired God-bothering evangelical, their accountants feverishly reinvesting the collection plate take into legitimate pool-boy pursuits, scum who lay their hands on Trump in the Oval Office, and before him Bush II and Reagan, and let's learn to use the term "Evil" for the enemies of America, and for that matter England.

OK, so a bit of fractured fairy tale history, but where else can you get references to Keith Richards, Freud, Tony Soprano, Jung, Lincoln, Woody Allen, Booth, and Grant in one rant.

I save Rocky Colavito and Pete Best for some later eruption, having already used John Jay and Erick Erickson, God save that queen.

To summarize, I put out rat poison to kill rats, not to somehow bring about, by ideological accretion, some semblance of universal health coverage.

"had he lived", meaning JW Booth

The mainlining, cut with poison by the evil conservative movement grifters, will kill this country:

Well, well, how interesting (from that last link) on the 126 House Republicans who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, including the minority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy:

Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

I mean it's sort of obvious why Pelosi can't really do it under current circumstances, but on the other hand it is valuable to analyse why (norms having been trashed, anti-democratic behaviour IOKIYAR having been indulged in without inhibition), and try to come to a conclusion about how to reintroduce the concept of such rules and norms.

engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

They haven't (so far) engaged in insurrection or rebellion. At least as I understand the terms. And the final criteria would require demonstrating that Trump, or in this case the AG of Texas et al, qualify as "enemies of the United States". Mind you, I think they have inarguably demonstrated hostility to, not to mention contempt for, our system of governance. But proving it sufficiently for this purpose would be tricky.

Well, wj, I don't claim it as an absolute match, but there's no doubt at all that their attempts to completely subvert American democracy have given tremendous comfort to the enemies of America (Russia, China, other dictatorships), and I suppose aid as well, in that America can hardly lecture anybody else about democracy after this (even to the limited extent they could before).

And (although of course they are not House Republicans) after the Arizona Republican Party's official Twitter account on Monday night shared a post from an activist with an organization called "Stop the Steal" that has protested election results:

"I am willing to give my life for this fight," Alexander wrote. When sharing his comment, the GOP asked followers: "He is. Are you?"

it's all teetering on the very edge, it seems to me. And how many of the House republicans who supported the absurd Texas motion to the SCOTUS have now acknowledged the Biden win?

My question really is: why do 83% (or thereabouts) of Republicans not see that these attempts to claim an election was fraudulent, and overturn its lawful result, are a subversion of democracy? We have talked before about people living in different versions of reality - I personally have been banging on about it here and elsewhere (no doubt very boringly) for years. When it means that your elections are not safe anymore, despite widespread bipartisan confirmation of their fairness, how can this situation begin to be reversed?

After awhile, crocodile:

Door. Butts. Ouch!

Crash! Boom! Blam!

All sides!

Oh yes, and my 05.24 to wj was posted before I read the statement from the Chairman of the Texas GOP in which he says, inter alia, This decision establishes a precedent which says States can violate the US constitution [sic] and not be held accountable. This decision will have far reaching consequences for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution [sic].

No doubt, wj, you regard that "perhaps" as carrying the load for not regarding this as a call for secession? Or does moving for secession not count as insurrection?

FWIW, I love the content of "Biden's" letter to Texas, setting out the new arrangments, in JDT's first Kos link.

But this, from Nigel's article:

"Which is why there also must be compassion for Trump.

After he’s gone to jail.

Note that addicts will do anything for their next fix. The article offers a diagnosis; treatment is a very much more difficult matter.

why do 83% (or thereabouts) of Republicans not see that these attempts to claim an election was fraudulent, and overturn its lawful result, are a subversion of democracy?

I suspect that part of it is that pretty much everybody that they know voted for Trump. So it's hard for them to believe so many people voted for Biden.

We saw something pretty much identical in 1972. The quote (attributed, perhaps inaccurately, to Pauline Keil) was "How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him."

Suppose you lived in central Asia, and the biggest body of water you or your friends had ever seen was the Aral Sea. How credible would you find stories about an "ocean"? That's where they're frequently coming from.

To anyone who actually knows people with a wide variety of views, or even just knows first hand how an election is administered, the allegations of fraud are simply not credible. But mostly they don't have that either.

Perhaps Texas could have a TEXIT referendum.
I hear they'll get MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of extra dollars for their NHS.

Made as much sense as the first version.

GftNC, regarding the comment from the Chairman of the Texas GOP, yes that sounds like a call for secession. (And ignorance of how that worked out the last time it was tried.) But he isn't someone covered under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That is, he isn't an official of the State of Texas, let alone of the United States.

"how can this situation begin to be reversed?"

The conservative movement has gunned up and has been doing so for decades, with of course, big "profit-sharing" for the NRA grifters and the so-called right-wing media who have been ginning up the mob's victimhood for this very eventuality.

They have no fear that liberals ... Democrats .. will respond in kind.

We will, of course, wait and see the whites of the eyes of the final criteria because that is what decent people do under the rule of law.

It is tricky to prove things sufficiently for the purpose.

My God, that could be Trump's epitaph, when you consider his legal "training" at the feet of Roy Cohn.

But, that's what the trump conservative movement, which now has absorbed the utterly complicit republican party (they relent willingly and with relish) into its suppurating, acid flesh is counting on.

That we await final criteria, like normal people, as infinite instances of penultimate criteria pointing directly to their final ferocious gambit reveal themselves daily, assumes a normative rule of law the conservative movement no longer observes in pursuit of its malign intent.

Neville Chamberlain, who Winston Churchill greatly admired for his domestic achievements, nevertheless had to cool his heels as Hitler invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland under Chamberlain's, because he was a good man, cautiously optimistic assessment of some better nature yet to emerge from the Nazi leadership, who in turn took every opportunity to up the ante to have one over on the Brits.

Now, all of these historical references are hilariously melodramatic even as they fall from my lips, but if you spend any time reading self-important right wing cant, for example, The American Conservative, and Redstate back in the day, they lard their hatred of liberals and Democrats, their "good friends" on the other side of the aisle (in between spittoon aiming), with comparisons to Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Mao, North Korea, mass murderers, child molesters, Mordor, the Devil and his minions, and, lordy, Hillary Clinton, who actually only had THE flu, not the pandemic Covid-19, and chose not to be a genocidal, murderous superspreader unlike just about every name fucking conservative in this catastrophe of a polity.

But you know that.

What, we think they don't mean it?

Their criteria, such as they are, are being whittled down daily to what seems to be the only alternative they have left themselves ...

The White House Lie Secretary, that smug, fake Christian shrew, actually said today that the Supreme Court, monopolized by her own poisonous political party, may have agreed with Texas' (and every Texan, even the left liberals in that state, is now politically branded by this event) utterly dog shit lawsuit, but for the "technicality" that the Court refused to hear the case.

She said it was tricky to prove it sufficiently for the purpose, but in her own words, and contra George Carlin, conservatives actually do have their own words and alternative facts of which no one else is privy to the meaning.

Doesn't sound to me like there are many criteria left to wait and see, but the weekend is getting away me from so see ya.

The conservative movement has gunned up and has been doing so for decades
. . .
They have no fear that liberals . . . Democrats . . . will respond in kind.

The bad news, for them, is that the military is far better armed still. And made up of people who typically take their oath to defend the Constitution very seriously. Yeah, they'd get a few military, and ex-military, types. But then, so did the Confederacy. It didn't change the outcome.

"It didn't change the outcome."

Hell, it was the fall that nearly killed us.

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