Category Archives: Elections

Saturday Odds & Sods: Help On The Way

New York Movie by Edward Hopper.

It’s a been a cold week in New Orleans. Not Minnesota cold but our hundred-year-old raised house is designed to stay coolish in the pre-AC era, not stay warm in the winter. It’s drafty but we love it anyway.

It’s runoff election day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. I discussed the DA’s race at Bayou Brief but there’s also a local ballot measure that would mess up our public library system, which is one of the few things that works well in New Orleans. I’m voting NO and if you’re in the Crescent City, you should too. If you don’t believe me, read this piece by my friend Kevin Allman.

This week’s theme song was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter for the Dead’s 1975 album, Blues For Allah. The attached instrumental Slipknot came out of a jam by the whole damn band.

I selected Help On The Way to remind our readers that the Trump regime will only be in power for 46 more days. Help is on the way, y’all.

What’s a Grateful Dead theme song without a live version? It’s not only helpful, it rolls away the dew too:

I’m in a helpful mood right now, so here are songs by The Beatles and Joni Mitchell that should help elevate your mood:

Now that I’ve extended a helping hand, let’s jump to the break.

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “This is the song that never ends” edition

Actually, I feel a bit like Brak :  Pretty much burned out from watching too much news lately.

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(If you missed Saturday’s Bonus “Obsession”, please click here for the fun and schaudenthingy.)

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Good Monday morning, all!  Remember Mittens’ loss to Barack Obama in 2012?  The despair and hysteria among the Freeperati at the thought of being forced to have health insurance, and the realization that they had lost?

Go to the link above, if you will, and look at the quick progression along the Five Stages to Acceptance when Obama won.

It’s different this time.

Really different.

Weirdly different.

The cult has backed itself into a corner that has no exit. The Darnold said that he really won, and that Joe Biden cheated.

That Biden managed to fabricate 75 million votes, because of course he did.

Dr. Carrie Barron wrote, in Psychology Today:

“You might hear a tale of woe, and just have the feeling that the teller is not all that woeful. Maybe there is a need to blame or malign for secondary gain: attention, fame, money, importance or drama. Maybe the person is not in touch with reality and is retaliating against an imagined transgression. Some seemingly intact people can have paranoid fears at the core. In order to “defend” themselves, they act against others. Maybe the goal is to take someone else down for competitive, regressed, or even unconscious reasons. They just want what the other one has.”

And if someone you praise and support denies the cheating?

STFU, Bibi !

Netanyahu congratulates Biden

Arutz Sheva ^ | 8/11/20

Posted on 11/8/2020, 2:03:45 AM by Eleutheria5

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning congratulated Joe Biden after US news outlets declared him the winner of the election.

“Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Joe, we’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the U.S. and Israel,” he tweeted.

Netanyahu also thanked Trump for his friendship and actions taken during his presidency.

“Thank you Donald Trump for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally, for recognizing Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights.”

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Outcome of election is still very much contested. So STFU, Bibi.
1 posted on 11/8/2020, 2:03:45 AM by Eleutheria5
To: Eleutheria5

Effing ingrate. No US President has EVER beeon(sic) a better friend to Israel. And this buttplug can’t wait to slide the knife in Trump’s ribs.

Lowlife move.

4 posted on 11/8/2020, 2:07:14 AM by DesertRhino (Dog is man’s best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ….)

“A lot of you are in the real estate business, because I know you very well. You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all,” he said. “But you have to vote for me—you have no choice. You’re not gonna vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. You’re not gonna vote for the wealth tax. Yeah, let’s take 100% of your wealth away!”
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The Darnold, addressing the Israeli American Council in 2019
To: Tommy Revolts

WTF? After Trump saved his ass! This won’t age well.Trump saved Bibi’s fat ass multiple times.

All Netanyahu had to do was say nothing. What a schmuck.

21 posted on 11/8/2020, 2:39:44 AM by Right_in_Virginia
There’s no need for that kind of language.
To: Eleutheria5

All world leaders throwing Trump under the bus .

43 posted on 11/8/2020, 3:35:55 AM by sushiman (i)

To: Eleutheria5

Effing piece of SH*T

50 posted on 11/8/2020, 4:05:19 AM by toddausauras (How far will the left go in terms of destroying our personal freedoms?)

Next in the trail of traitors – Et tu, Red State?

RedState sells out The Fop Posted on 11/7/2020, 2:55:04 PM by The Fop

After HotAir went over to the dark side over the past 4 years, I started reading RedState again and was pleased to see that Erick Erickson was no longer associated with them.

But ever since Wednesday morning, I’ve been keeping an eye on the tone of Conservative blogs.

RedState seemss(sic) quite calm and unperturbed by the steal. Yes, they’ve done some stories about alleged voter fraud, but their heart doesn’t seem to be very into it.

So far they have no stories about Giuliani’s press conference today. But they did have a story sticking up for Dan Crenshaw in his Twitter spat with new GOP congresswoman, who criticised his lack of fight.

Free Republic is for the people by the people. Nobody here trying to make a living in journalism. At this point, I don’t trust anybody in the political class, and that includes many blogger’s(sic) too.

1 posted on 11/7/2020, 2:55:04 PM by The Fop

And the hits just keep on coming….
…after the linky thing below, of course…

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Throw Them a Bone Us edition

I got permission to go ahead and do a two parter.  There’s just too much Schadenfreep for one post.

It’s not like they didn’t already know :

(from last Wednesday morning)

Trump Trailing in Michigan
https://www.foxnews.com/elections/2020/general-results ^ | 11/4/2020

Posted on 11/4/2020, 8:03:24 AM by Heff

Trump trailing by 3000 votes.

1 posted on 11/4/2020, 8:03:24 AM by Heff
Oh – I do so look forward to the slow disintegration of all their dreams of a permanent regime for The Darnold.
Let’s watch their hopes disintegrate in 1,500 fps frame rate, shall we?
To: Buttons12

That’s exactly right! The nonstop brainwashing via every part of our society is destroying any thought of real freedom.

Our young people are mostly leftist.

I always said Trump’s margins of victory in Michigan and Wisconsin were likely too slim to be repeated. I guess people are gullible and still listen to the media’s lies.

I think I’ll take my flag down and fold it up and put it away and sob a while.

I won’t be a slave to them. No way in hell. I’ll suicide out first.

277 posted on 11/4/2020, 11:08:22 AM by Vaden (First they came for the Confederates… Next they came for Washington… Then they came…)

Um – that was a little bit faster than I would have liked, but whatever….

To: Heff

It’s game over for America.

Forever.

8 posted on 11/4/2020, 8:06:49 AM by Scott from the Left Coast (Make Orwell Fiction Again

Dagnabbit – you guys are taking all the fun out of this thing.  I want some slow torture and false hope!
To: Travis McGee

How many GOP attorneys and people on the ground, in these states have seen, and are exposing and fighting this?

22 posted on 11/4/2020, 8:12:09 AM by Jane Long (Praise God, from whom ALL blessings flow.)

There you go, baby! FIGHT DA POWER!!!!
They need the best, most experienced, and most highly regarded legal minds of three generations to take on this challenge!!!!!

Giuliani and legal team heading to Philly 11/04/2020 Posted on 11/4/2020, 2:26:02 PM by Kevin in California

God couldn’t love me this much.

Let’s jump back to Tuesday for the live election day thread, shall we?

It’ll never match the Obama / Mittens thread from 2012, of course…

LIVE THREAD: Election Day Results and Marathon Coverage
Fox ^

Posted on 11/3/2020, 5:09:32 AM by nikos1121

Please post your voting experience for fellow Freepers through out the day and yes post your prayers. We want to know where you are and what you are seeing. Trump voters are proud to tell everyone who they are voting for so ask them why they’re voting for Trump. Rumors are flying about violence at polling centers. Be alert and on your guard.
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I’ll start.Dear Heavenly Father, we ask that You watch over all Americans today as they go out to vote. Protect them from harm and from evil. Give them the wisdom to vote for people who honor, cherish and celebrate this great land and You. We know that You have orchestrated the events these past four years not only for our future but for all the people on this earth. You are doing this through Your humble servant, Donald J. Trump. Protect him Dear God and direct him to do good as he strives to unite all of us going forward from this day. Amen

1 posted on 11/3/2020, 5:09:32 AM by nikos1121
To: nikos1121

Good enough. Bump and let’s get this party started!

2 posted on 11/3/2020, 5:10:53 AM by Enterprise

To: SteveH; LilFarmer

Fox News has just called the election for Biden saying votes in PA and NV put him over the top. Bret and Martha are just gushing over Biden’s win and Harris being the first worman of color being VP.

The push is on for Pubs and Trump to ignore all the fraud and concede for the good of the country.

9,931 posted on 11/7/2020, 10:44:18 AM by CedarDave (NM’s oil patch needs fracking; large signs here saying: “Vote Trump 2020. Your job depends on it.”)

He said “Started”, not “Ended”!.  Jeez Louise.
Let’s go back a little further in the day.
To: mo

I hope you are right my friend. I cannot freely type what I really feel on this website. However, I will openly state that I will never be a peaceful slave to a socialist new America. I just wish there was a battlefield I could report to.

9,770 posted on 11/6/2020, 6:37:52 AM by ohioman

“JediJones” tries to salvage a single troop ship of dignity :
To: dfwgator

There are just too many votes out in Pennsylvania for it to come down to only Georgia. I’d say PA is even more likely to flip to Biden and with a bigger margin than GA even if GA does also flip.

All the recounts should be done and everything should be examined carefully. But we don’t need Trump claiming the election is stolen when he can’t prove it and we don’t need protests in the streets. This is going to make the GOP look like sore losers. If that turns people off enough it could hurt the two upcoming Senate runoff races in Georgia, which if both lost, puts the Senate in Democrat hands.

Whining about losing an election doesn’t look good and doesn’t play well. After the recounts in close states are done, it’s going to be time to concede gracefully and regroup for the next election. Trump can run again in 2024 but he will hurt his chances if he comes off like a sore loser now.

9,727 posted on 11/5/2020, 11:15:59 PM by JediJones (We must deport all liberals until we can figure out what the hell is going on.)

Response?
To: JediJones

“Whining about losing an election doesn’t look good and doesn’t play well”

Really? It worked for the Dems they got the House back in 2018 and the presidency in 2020.

Take your claptrap elsewhere.

9,732 posted on 11/5/2020, 11:27:20 PM by over3Owithabrain

Much more “blowed up real good” Schadenfreep at the “Continue reading” link below :

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How Dare We Expect This To be Easy

I thought this, too. I really did, and I’m ashamed of myself tonight.

Not because I thought we were better than we were; I always think that and I’m always GOING to think that because you never know when that little bit of belief is going to be enough to make somebody not suck, like I will WILL you to not suck and you will LISTEN. I’m ashamed of myself because I really thought it would be easy to fight fascism.

Like sure, the ideology of white supremacy and resentment that burned down half the world and required the death of millions to defeat will be routed in seconds.

Generations of ingrained hatred toward any challenge to the status quo no matter how mild will just … fall away, in the face of the mildest of resistance.

Four hundred years of subjugating black people and resisting any attempt at their empowerment, just dissolving in daylight.

How dare we? Honestly, how dare we? Like this stuff doesn’t take hold because it’s not attractive, it’s not powerful, it doesn’t WORK for a certain subset of people during a certain amount of time. Fascism in Europe wasn’t some kind of accident, it didn’t arise overnight, and it required the sacrifice of generations to stamp it out. And we thought we’d solve it in a day? In a year? Like who were we kidding?

We thought it should be SIMPLE, to take on the most dangerous authoritarian impulses our dumb chimpanzee brains could throw at us, and just waltz across the finish line? Like we’re in this for peace? Like we wouldn’t have to fucking scrap for it?

Sharpen your teeth, assholes. They were never gonna give an inch we didn’t pry from their cold dead hands.

A.

Two Weeks

Two weeks, cats and kittens. Increasingly I have nothing, due to the sheer avalanche of bullshit and my own pressing need not to lose my grip on reality. Clench your fists, sharpen your teeth and get ready.

 

In no particular order:

  1. If we want everything to get back to “normal” we need to close down stadiums, restaurants, bars and performances, and pay all those people what they’d be making anyway. I don’t give a fuck, okay, about the owners of restaurant chains but if it takes a giant bailout for whoever owns six IHOPs to pay the people who clean those IHOPs then fine, do it.
  2. If we want schools to reopen then game this out for me: However much it would cost to send, basically, the Army Corps of Engineers to every school in America tomorrow to install state-of-the-art rich-lady-hospital quality HVAC with UV filters or whatever the hell in every single school in the land, we should pay that. It’ll have the added benefit of schoolkids not needing to wear parkas indoors and/or suffer heatstroke in June, but mostly it will help ensure kids can go back to school safely. Because …
  3. NOTHING gets better until the kids go back to school full-time. I’m sorry, childfree people, I was one of you and it blows to be held hostage to breeders like this, but our entire lives depend on doctors and bus drivers being able to work a full day. You can’t do that with part-time, hybrid, half-the-week-here, half-the-week-there schedules that throw everything into chaos. Kick’s school district keeps sending out emails that are like “what about a rotating once-a-full-moon day in class” and that’s fine for me, but a firefighter can’t just, like, blow off the rest of the shift and work from home and I’m pretty sure they don’t let kindergarteners actually ride in the ladder truck.
  4. NATIONAL MASK MANDATE. I don’t know how “staying alive by wearing a small piece of cloth over your face during the time you have to leave your house” became something only liberal pussies do, I really don’t. It’s not that hard to rally America to do something. The GOP managed to do it for two unwinnable wars and the election of Donald Trump, you’d think they could get their own feral caucus under control on the side of “even if we hate the governors of blue states we can work with these dicks just once so that our voters survive.” It’s not like they even have to stop being pricks. Be as mean as you want, wear a mask that says “Hillary’s a cunt,” that’s your free speech, just wear a mask so you don’t get any of it on me and mine.
  5. Once and for all time we are one country, not a collection of safe areas and danger zones. I can accept there are things Colorado has to deal with that Florida doesn’t and vice versa but if we all have a disease that crosses state lines we need solutions that do, too. This shouldn’t be complicated. This shouldn’t be hard. And the people who are making it difficult need to be identified and voted out.

So like this is the shit Joey B. Shark has to deal with on day one. Which necessitates the Senate, and not just a one- or two-asshole majority in the Senate. If Joe Manchin or some other dickhead can hold the whole place hostage every time someone doesn’t give him a rub and a tug just right then that’s not a majority, not the kind we need. Joe is 77 years old, I know Kamala’s right there but we do not exactly have a lot of time for the kind of cheap shit that went on during Obama’s two terms. Vote with your caucus or GTFO.

THEN we have to fix literally every agency and re-hire all the civil servants who quit, if they even want to come back, like would you. That’s if we have a clear decision on election night and a peaceful smooth transition STOP LAUGHING IT’S NOT FUNNY.

If, in two weeks, the cities are on fire and Trump is declaring victory, well, then, we will still have to do these things, and then I don’t see any way out of this that doesn’t involve jail time. I said this in 2004 and I meant it then, but I really mean it now, we’ve got two weeks. Whatever you’ve been doing, do it more.

A.

It’s Always Gonna Be Democrats’ Fault

Tomasky, proving that nothing has changed since 2002 for his simple ass: 

Trumpworld sees these things differently. Mike Pence articulated the view in the vice-presidential debate. “We’re about freedom and respecting the freedom of the American people,” Mr. Pence said. The topic at hand was the Sept. 26 super-spreader event in the Rose Garden to introduce Amy Coney Barrett as the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court and how the administration can expect Americans to follow safety guidelines that it has often ignored.

Kamala Harris countered that lying to the American people about the severity of the virus hardly counts as “respect.”

It was a pretty good riposte, but she fixed on the wrong word. She could have delivered a far more devastating response if she’d focused on the right word, one that the Democrats have not employed over the past several months.

For fuck’s sake. Sure, the problem here is that Team D just hasn’t used the right WORDS. If only they would play OFFENSE. If only they knew how to TALK, Republicans wouldn’t be forced to have a 24-hour propaganda network funnel every piece of puke from some incel’s basement onto the Twitter feeds of every reporter in America.

If only they’d SAY what was needed, we could have the intellectual debate Michael Tomasky, whose all-time hits include “the second Iraq war will be amazingly stupid great,” would like to have. Said intellectual debate being the real problem here, and not that the GOP is intent on KILLING PEOPLE.

Like imagine, in 2020, as the Republican Party dismantles voting rights from coast to coast, saying that this could all be prevented by a Democrat appealing to John Stuart Mill.

No, really:

Now, conservatives revere Mill. But today, in the age of the pandemic, Mill and other conservative heroes like John Locke would be aghast at the way the American right wing bandies about the word “freedom.”

Sure, that’s what would freak them out about the Grand Old Party of today, and not the ascension of an assheaded sentient cheeto who can’t string a sentence together if you spotted him a noun, a verb and two adjectives. You might also regale them with tales of “Freedom Fries,” a story I’m sure you’ve forgotten, Mikey, given that it happened during the days when Republicans had honor and dignity and the courage of their convictions and were in no way prone to spouting jingoistic garbage to appeal to the rubes.

I am so tired of telling Nancy Pelosi to fight harder and saying absolutely nothing to Mitch McConnell at all. Diane Feinstein sucks, okay, screw her, but let’s not pretend she’s done a fraction of the damage to the country in the past four years that Lindsey Graham has. Eyes on the goddamn ball. Every single day it’s WHY WON’T BIDEN BE PRESIDENT BEFORE HE’S EVEN PRESIDENT and come the hell on, here:

[…] the broad left in America has let all this go unchallenged for decades, to the point that today’s right wing — and it is important to call it that and not conservative, which it is not — can defend spreading disease, potentially killing other people, as freedom. It is madness.

The “broad left” in America has been drowned out by TV screamers in every podiatrist’s waiting room in the Midwest saying that liberals want to kill babies, take your money, give it to welfare queens, and reverse-racism the police. To come up with this kind of “if only the language were different” nonsense requires pretending that the media disparity between the left and the right doesn’t exist, or that there is a vibrant left media at all.

One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle.

WHAT GODDAMN PLANET ARE YOU ON RIGHT NOW, WHAT ROLLING STONE DRUGS HAVE YOU SNORTED, THAT IS ALL DEMOCRATS ARE GOOD AT. They’re good at talking for HOURS about the philosophical underpinnings of this or that percent being necessary persuant to the above requirement that we all stuff our heads up our asses and means-test what we find there.

What they’re NOT good at, or weren’t until we decided to run the crabbiest old man in the universe, is fucking kneecapping the other guy and laughing while he whines.

I am so sick of this argument. I am so tired of the blame being shifted onto the party that DID NONE OF THIS, for not stopping it from happening, while the party of WE DON’T HAVE TO SCIENCE YOU CAN’T MAKE US gets to skate away with its pocket full of cash. I am so tired of nitpicking every D speech for something “they” can find to “use” against us when the past 20 years have proven definitively that if there’s nothing there Murdoch’s creatures will just make something up.

Why won’t Biden speak about this, why won’t Democrats make the debate about that, why won’t anyone do anything well WHY DON’T YOU ASK YOUR  CABLE NEWS FRIENDS WHY TRUMP’S EVERY TWEET GETS A ‘BREAKING’ CHYRON WHILE BIDEN ONLY BREAKS NEWS WHEN SOMEONE WANTS TO BITCH ABOUT THE FOOD IN HIS PRESS ROOM. Ask them if they’d cover the campaigns fairly if Democrats used the word “freedom” as John Stuart Mill would have them do.

I’m sorry I’m yelling so much but this is how it’s going to be for the next four years if we’re lucky enough to get a Biden Administration. It’s going to be nonstop blame for every single move Democrats make to put out the fires, and any mention of Trump having lit the kindling the GOP lovingly laid out for him going all the way back to Ronald Reagan, or Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s TRUCKS FULL OF GASOLINE PARKED OUT BACK, will be derided as somehow living in the past.

Say this: Freedom means the freedom not to get infected by the idiot who refuses to mask up.

That is all they have been saying. That is all Democratic governors have been saying, and meanwhile their Republican state legislatures are suing to keep getting people sick and kill them. Maybe we could focus some on that, and a little less on why Democrats so stubbornly refuse to invoke the great philosophers of yore.

Schmuck.

A.

It Can’t Be Close

Listen up:

Yes, it’s disgusting. Yes, it shouldn’t be this way. Yes, we shouldn’t have to fight this hard to VOTE. And of course the GOP doesn’t want people in cities and blue states to vote, and of course they’re going tooth and nail to prevent that, and of course they’re framing it as “preventing voter fraud” so that they can get the “both sides” columns they need to confuse the people who are interested enough in actual facts to look things up and decide it’s all too complicated, a pox on both their houses, might as well stay home.

What’s to be done? The odds are overwhelmingly in their favor. It is hard, in a normal year, to throw out an incumbent president, no matter how terrible. They have every institution of power on their side, every single one. That Trump is in enough trouble to warrant this kind of maneuvering is just a testament to how awful he’s been. So what to do?

We have 21 days.

Twenty-one days and then the rest of our lives, cats and kittens. What’s to be done?

Win. Win so big they can’t fight it. Win so big they can’t deny it. Win so big that we say, once and for all, that the America we want is not one in which their Nazi incel bullshit stands one iota of a chance.

It has to be overwhelming. It has to be a landslide for Joseph Robinette Biden, a human conference call, the most middle-of-the-road centrist on earth, the neoliberal-whatever-the-hell, in Congress for 200 years. We have to vote for him like we’re voting for Cardi B crossed with Santa Claus. It has to be a blue tsunami. It has to be a cyclone. It can’t be close.

Not in Florida, not in Wisconsin, not in Georgia, not in Texas. It can’t be close in Ohio or Pennsylvania. Ten points isn’t enough. It has to be beyond contestation.

We cannot DO four more years of this, and we can’t do Bush v. Gore again, not for this. Not to get kids out of cages and the Muslim ban rescinded and science back in charge of controlling a pandemic. That can’t be something we’re feeling six-of-one-half-dozen-of-the-other about. There cannot be compromise between people who want to roll back marriage equality for thousands of couples and people who don’t.

(What would that even look like? Divorce half the gay people? How do you compromise on that?)

Joey B. Shark, crabbiest dad on the face of the earth, 77 endless years old. There has to be an uprising on his behalf that sweeps away the last 40 years of Republican power in one go. That takes the Senate back, widens the lead in the House, lifts every statehouse candidate and every downticket perpetual also-ran who before this year didn’t have a shot in hell. It has to be something we’ve never seen in all our livin’ lives.

And the GOP is doing everything they can to make that impossible:

These dickweasels. Every last one of them learned at Roger Stone’s knee and they’re going to ratfuck because that’s what people who like to fuck rats do. Surprise and outrage, we ain’t got time for, and we can’t unfuck the rats. We can’t care about what they’re doing and God love every one of you watching the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings. The ins and outs are not going to change no matter how much we yell at our TVs.

Put your money, right now, in state legislative races, bail funds, voter advocacy groups. Put your time into postcards and phone banking and signing up to drive people to the polls if you’re well enough to risk it. Protect yourselves and your families, check in on the people who’ll be at risk in the days after the election no matter how it goes. Either way, the neighborhood could be on fire.

All that matters now is the win. It can’t be a margin of victory. It can’t be single digits. Yes, we shouldn’t have to be in line for hours. We shouldn’t have to fight this in every court in the land. We shouldn’t have to all be tracking the status of our ballots obsessively online and constantly bugging each other. We shouldn’t have an electoral college and Senate that prioritizes landholders over citizens. This is no way to have a country.

And all we have is 21 days to save it.

So don’t back down. Don’t be scared. Don’t think, for one minute, that win or lose you have nothing to do in this situation. Fight. Fight for 21 days the way you’ve fought for the past four years, fight when you’re too tired, when you’re too sick, when you’re too scared, when you can’t anymore. I’m right there with you. Fight because you’re not dead yet and you don’t intend to let this kill you. Fight for those who can’t, for those who failed, for those who came before and won and were forgotten. Fight in daylight and dark and don’t give up and don’t back down and don’t back up.

Not. One. Inch.

A.

Start Tearing the Old Man Down

It’s getting colder. I made two and a half quarts of soup on Sunday morning, before the rain started and the wind picked up. We have a chest freezer now. We have a store-room full of apples. Every day I peel, chop, bag, so we can use them in baking or stews.

Kick and I tried to grow potatoes. We planted too late, when it was already cooling off, and damp, and they rotted in the ground, but everything else went wild, took over the small patch we planned. We’re saving seeds — tomatoes, peppers, squash — from this year’s bounty to start again next year. In just a few months, we can start them inside; in just a few months, this will all begin again.

We’re looking at blowing out the front yard, turning the whole dang thing into a garden. I’ve never successfully grown anything before, but now I think daily of my grandmother, shouting at the rabbits in the rhubarb. Pulling carrots. What Kick knows about Great-Grandma is that she had a root cellar that could have withstood a siege.

There was no food, you see, when Great-Grandma was a child. Eleven kids, ten of whom survived to adulthood, on virtually nothing. A potato as a treat. Wouldn’t you pickle things, after that? Wouldn’t you make jam from every single strawberry?

We talk a lot about inherited trauma, about generational memory. I never wanted for a single necessity, all my childhood, but I was surrounded by that fear every day. It’s useful now.

Kick is not afraid. Kick wears her mask and learns online and goes to skating lessons without complaint. Kick wants morning glories. She’s obsessed with them, these indigo beauties that grow across the alley in the yard of a neighbor. I’ve promised a raft of them in the spring.

I can’t even think about the spring.

Begin. Again.

We talked to her about the debate tonight. Pondered letting her stay up to watch but it starts so late, and Mama intends to yell at Donald Trump a lot. She knows, thanks to him and my lack of restraint when stubbing my toe on a chair, most of the “grown-up words” by heart. Those she doesn’t know, she’s sure to learn, come election night.

I want to believe. In November, in January, in the next year and the next and the next. I want to believe in the train and the bus and the earth continuing to turn and everyone I love staying or getting healthy, staying alive, staying here. I want to believe, but I am preparing.

I spent the spring so sick and broken that any kind of optimism feels foolish. Every twinge of hope gets smothered by the memory of her tiny hand in mine, helping me mark the ballot for Hillary in 2016. I have a picture of us, grinning, outside the polling place. I have a picture of her at the Women’s March, kitty-cat hat and all, holding a sign that said, “Future President.” She’d colored it herself.

We are hunkered down for the winter, and we are counting on a 77-year-old man to save us and it seems like a lot to put on his back. I hold onto the railing to go down the stairs, and I turned 45 this year. But: shoot him up with whatever kind of chimp speed and greenies he needs. Make that sonofabitch a kale smoothie, because he’s what we’ve got.

You know, he’s a decent guy, Joe Biden. That’s the thing, when we talk about two parties, when we lament that we are choosing between two old white men. We are choosing, in fact, between a 78-year-old white man who enables the absolute worst of our society, gives aid and comfort to white supremacy, not only doesn’t care about Black people but doesn’t care about anyone, and a 77-year-old white man who shows up to work and screws up sometimes. We do actually need a leader who isn’t pointlessly mean, who doesn’t just make things difficult. Who looks at a problem and tries to solve it instead of screaming at it.

This isn’t even about Trump personally. I don’t care that he’s a shithead who eats fast food. I don’t even care if he has secret addictions and disabilities, or isn’t really a billionaire, or dresses dumb. LBJ’s mouth made mine look like an angel’s, come on, and JFK was a humongous poon hound, and Roosevelt was banging his cousin. None of that’s important.

You can be mean and a jerk and even a sexist pig, and still good at your job, but look around. Look around. Is he good at his job? Does any of this HELP?

We just … it’s a fundamental question, right: Are you going to HELP ME? Are you going to nurture the kind of country in which I can grow and see the results of my work and live a good life? For too long we’ve ignored the people who’ve said this isn’t working for us, and for too long we’ve said wait just a little longer, and I would never say that’s not a part of how this happened.

We have to fix it now. There’s so much to fix. There’s the pandemic and the resulting poverty, there’s the poverty that was there before, there’s the healthcare that needs to be prioritized over health insurance, there’s student debt, there’s a housing crisis, prescription drugs cost a fortune, there’s a general unfucking of every single government service, but overall we need someone who will, upon hearing help me, not laugh and crush us under his heel because it’s fun.

This isn’t hard. It’s not hard to fake being a good dude for long enough to get the Post editorial board to love you. W managed to do it and he was an inside-out elephant anus. If you’re somehow on the fence, and I can’t even, but look. If you’re conflicted, at all, then watch, tonight.

If you’re still saying all of this is worth it for the courts, watch, tonight.

Who’s going to help? Who’s going to plant the garden, staff the shelter, run the program, chop the apples? Who’s going to help those people, instead of laughing at them, instead of raging? That’s it, that’s all there is. And if we know nothing else now, we know that.

The neighbors have a free box on their lawn from which anyone who is hungry can take canned goods. Nobody opens it in daylight, that I’ve seen, but in the morning it’s always empty. Our neighborhood’s project is literally giving things away: Coats, still warm and cozy, that are too small, boots that don’t fit growing feet, kitchen tools we no longer use or have a new one of. We put a table out front, post a picture on Facebook, and let people take what they want.

No judgment, no policing, no means-testing, no forms to fill out, no ID to show.

We’re thinking of a hot apple cider stand, to raise money for a cause, now it’s getting cold.

Things shouldn’t be so hard.

A.

After Justice Ginsburg

Krewe of Mishigas Float, 2019. Photo by Dr. A.

The news came on a Friday night. Because of the pandemic, most of us were home. It lit up new media and old, social media and anti-social media. Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died at the age of 87.

This frail-looking and petite woman was so mentally and morally tough that some thought she was immortal. I’ve spent a lot of time around people over 80 in the last decade, so I was not surprised. It was a nearly unparalleled act of will for her survive the sort of major illnesses that would have finished off lesser beings. As depicted by the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe of Mishigas in 2019, Justice Ginsburg was a fighter,

There have been many marvelous tributes to Justice Ginsburg. Here’s a brief list:

Pierce made an apt comparison between Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall. As a litigator, Ginsburg followed the trail blazed by Marshall and fought to establish important rights for women. Thurgood Marshall, however, was a reluctant judge. He preferred being on the other side of the courtroom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was just as distinguished a jurist as an advocate. Those two skills rarely coincide. She was a remarkable person who led an exemplary life both personally and professionally. Above all else, she was a fighter.

While I wish that Justice Ginsburg had retired while Barack Obama was still president, her reasons were based on her experience as a Justice. Each generation of Justices learns a different lesson: Bill Brennan and Thurgood Marshall retired when they did because of the negative example set by Hugo Black and Bill Douglas who stayed on the Court too long. Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw her friend and colleague Sandra Day O’Connor regret her retirement to care for a husband who died while she was still on the court. That was a major turning point as her replacement was Samuel Alito who is an unbending member of the conservative bloc whereas O’Connor was the ultimate swing vote.

We’re on the cusp of another turning point with Justice Ginsburg’s death 46 days before the election. Those of us who admire Justice Ginsburg should follow her example, get off the floor, and fight back. I heard despair and defeatism this weekend. That’s a shitty way to honor a tough old bird like RBG, Dahlia Lithwick said it best:

America has lost a warrior, and it’s OK to be crushed. I am flattened. And I will mourn, because she deserves to be mourned. But we are also facing an almighty battle that will rage in the coming weeks, with attempts to fill her seat in an unseemly and grotesque manner. It will be hard and painful, but if you find yourself feeling hopeless and powerless, then you are emphatically doing it wrong. Because if anyone had a right to say “nah,” it was the woman who couldn’t get a job or a clerkship after graduating at the top of her class. But she pushed on, and then she pushed forward. She stepped into the fight of the phenomenal women who paved the path before, and now, well, it’s time to step into her fight and get it finished. I think the Notorious RBG would have peered owlishly out at all of us tonight and asked what the heck we are waiting for. And I think we can probably honor her best by getting to it.

The confirmation battle is joined. The most cynical man in politics has already discarded the rule bearing his name. The Turtle plans to move a Trump nominee through the Senate. I suspect he’ll do the most cynical thing imaginable and hold the vote in the lame duck session. To do otherwise, would doom the only thing that McConnell cares about as much as SCOTUS, his Senate majority.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham has already flip-flopped on his pledge not to push a nomination through in an election year. Nobody should be surprised. In 2016, Graham called Trump “a kook and a con man” among other ephemeral epithets. Now they’re golfing buddies.

The Democratic minority should announce a concrete and specific Court reform plan. (Don’t call it court packing, that evokes FDR’s failure in 1937-38.)  It should expand the number of Justices to eleven. They should also pledge to abolish the filibuster if a Trump nominee is rammed through. It’s time for it to go.

I saw some despairing tweets that a SCOTUS battle would decide the presidential election in Trump’s favor. Color me skeptical. Conservatives who care about SCOTUS and abortion sold their souls to President* Pennywise long ago. In 2020, it’s more likely to galvanize Democrats. A reminder that the Kavanaugh Mess did NOT turn the 2018 mid-terms in the GOP’s favor. The number that counts is this: 204,122 and counting dead of the novel coronavirus.

Back to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was an inspiring figure who will be missed, especially by the young women she inspired to fight the good fight. Women will decide the 2020 election. My hope is that they will be inspired to keep fighting until Democrats recapture the White House and Senate. Vote like the fate of the Republic depends on it. It does.

The last word goes to RBG’s close friend Nina Totenberg with a tweet for the ages:

Summer Of Hate

The Kaiser of Chaos is living up to his nickname. He’s stirring the pot, inflaming racial animosity and violence. Despite being the most lawless president* in American history, he’s determined to duplicate the 1968 Nixon-Agnew Law & Order strategy.

 

Tricky, of course, was the nominee of the out party whereas Trump is the incumbent. Another irony lost on the Impeached Insult Comedian is that both Nixon and Agnew were criminals who were forced from office due to their malefactions. Projection thy name is Donald.

Despite all the angst from Democrats and spin from right-leaning MSM pundits, it appears that the Republican ticket got an itty bitty bounce from their convention in the early surveys from 2 to 4 points. The cult of the savvy were impressed by the illegal hate fest that was the Trumpvention, but so far, the voters are not. It’s hard for any president to be re-elected with a 31% favorability rating as opposed to 59% negative. That’s -28. That’s unpopular.

If the election is a referendum on Trump, he will lose. His path to victory is a narrow one despite what Michael Moore thinks. As long as Trump’s opponents do not get depressed and give up, he’s in deep shit. He has a record and it’s a bad one. All the lying in the world, can’t reduce the COVID death toll, which stands at 183.000 and rising.

Josh Marshall has written the best thing I’ve seen about why Democrats are electoral pessimists and GOPers are optimists:

Regardless of the objective realities, Democrats will consistently anticipate loss or worry about loss while Republicans will consistently be confident of victory. This is a good rule of thumb regardless of the objective realities of the moment, to the degree they can be known. This is not an absolute of course: overwhelming odds will buoy Democrats and hopeless situations will nudge Republicans to despair. But in general this is almost an iron law of political psychology in the United States.

This may be obscured by the genuine shock and horror Democrats experienced on election night four years ago. Democrats were pretty confident and all their worst fears were realized. But a closer look shows the general pattern was actually in effect through much of the 2016 cycle. Indeed we saw a particular example of it during the 2018 midterm election. The fall of 2018 was chock full of theories and predictions about how two years of ‘resistance’ activism were coming up short. It was the ‘caravan’. It was Trump’s 12 dimensional chess. It was low turnout among young voters. So pervasive were Democrats’ latent fears of coming up short that they actually persisted well into election night and even the first couple days after the election – until late returns, results of close call races and just the actual numbers made clear Democrats had won a decisive victory.

Despite being old enough to have experienced the 1972, 1980, and 1984 Republican landslides, I’m usually cautiously optimistic about elections and skeptical of other things. Perhaps it’s because I had a Republican father. Beats the hell outta me.

In weirdo campaign news, Herman Cain’s family is still running his Twitter feed. They seem to have forgotten how he died:

Deleted but not forgotten. Hopefully, we’ll be able to describe the Impeached Insult Comedian that way next year.

It’s time for them to go. Make it so, America, make it so.

Sleepwalking To Oblivion

Teleprompter Donald showed up to give his acceptance speech. Teleprompter Donald is a dull speaker. The content of the speech was, predictably, appalling. Earlier this week I said this:

“The Trump regime is like a three-legged stool held up by ethical violations, sycophancy, and hypocrisy.”

I’d like to amend and extend my remarks. It’s really a four-legged stool. The fourth leg is mendacity. President* Pennywise showed that leg at least 20 times last night according to the great Daniel Dale.

In addition to the lies, there were malaprops and mispronunciations aplenty. He “profoundly accepted” the nomination. He pronounced “walled-off” as Waldorf. It’s unclear if he meant the hotel or its signature salad. The speech was loaded with indigestible word salad.

The speech was aimless and meandering. Stephen Miller may be the worst presidential* speechwriter ever. It was a series of unstructured buzz words calculated to scare people shitless. The boring delivery made it seem as long as a speech by Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. The running time was 70 minutes. It was an ugly boring mess.

It’s been said by many people but the use of the White House for this COVID super-spreader rally was another unconscionable abuse of power. The Hatch Act may be toothless, but they need be called on this shit every time. MSNBC’s Joy Reid nailed it:

Sometimes the best comments are terse and to the point:

There were a few masked faces in the crowd but people were crammed together like tinned sardines only not as tasty. It will be interesting to see who follows in Herman Cain’s footsteps, contracts the virus, and dies. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross looked like a prime candidate to join the 180K and counting Americans who have perished during the pandemic.

Alternate worlds in sci-fi are sometimes more pleasant than reality. The alternate world depicted by Trump is a dark and dangerous place where people jump out of the shadows to slit your throat. Hence the featured image from Sam Fuller’s Underworld USA.

I like how Jeet Heer of The Nation described it:

Click on the link and read the whole thread. It’s well worth your time.

Trump’s dull and toxic speech does not strike me as a winning message. Unfortunately, very few watched it live so its long-term impact is unclear. More important in this election will be turn-out and the pandemic death count, which grew by 3,500 during the RNC. Much as they try, they can’t lie those numbers away.

I woke up angry. Angry that we have a malevolent idiot as POTUS*. Angry that one of our major parties incites violence against immigrants and minorities. To listen to Trump, Joe Biden has been running the country for the last 47 years. Who knew he was that powerful?

Our publisher was angry about the misuse of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah:

Again. click on the link and revel in Athenae’s righteous indignation.

I came up with the post title as the Impeached Insult Comedian droned on. He had obviously neither practiced nor read the speech. I was a sleepwalker as a small child. Apparently, I’d wander aimlessly from room-to-room muttering under my breath about nothing in particular. I outgrew my sleepwalking. I hope that the country will awaken from our long national nightmare and send the First Sleepwalker to oblivion where he belongs.

The last word goes to The Kinks:

Virtual Convention Notes: Allies Of The Light

People don’t think of Joe Biden as a great public speaker. Twitter was full of people surprised that the former Veep gave such a great speech. I was not. I’ve seen at least a half-dozen of his eulogies, which are always outstanding. One reason Biden is so good at eulogizing fallen political comrades is that those speeches are always about them: never about him. Donald Trump’s speeches are always about himself. Joe Biden’s acceptance speech was about US.

Joe Biden has been caricatured over the years. The Onion Biden was a popular guy during the Obama administration, but there was always more to Joe than met the eye. A crueler caricature of Joe Biden has emerged in the last year: an elderly stumble bum who is forever stepping on his tongue. It’s just as wrong as the Onion Biden.

Biden’s acceptance speech was every bit as good as one of his eulogies. In many ways, it was a eulogy for a country damaged by the Current Occupant. Biden spoke of the grief caused by the pandemic: 170K and counting dead. Biden spoke for all of us when he said, “It didn’t have to be this bad.”

Biden feels our pain. Trump inflicts pain.

I was particularly enchanted with Biden’s calling himself an “ally of the light.” A wonderful image that gave me this wonderful earworm:

 

We all must be allies of the light to vanquish the darkness caused by the misrule of the Kaiser of Chaos.

Joe Biden needed to give the speech of a lifetime last night. He succeeded.

Repeat after me: Joe Biden excels at overcoming adversity.

We at First Draft have always had a special place in our hearts for the man we call Joey B. Shark or just plain Joey Shark. 2020 is his time: He’s the opponent Trump fears. Biden is a regular Joe with a nice wife and a normal family. His opponent is a weirdo with a trophy wife and cartoonishly awful children. The contrast couldn’t be starker.

Before seeing Biden’s acceptance speech, I planned to use a Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg song as the post title: Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe. It was written in 1943 for the musical Cabin In The Sky:

It seems like happiness is just a thing called Joe
He’s got a smile that makes the lilacs want to grow
He’s got a way that makes the angels heave a sigh
When they know, little Joe’s passin’ by

Sometimes the cabin’s gloomy and the table’s bare
But then he’ll kiss me and it’s Christmas everywhere
Trouble’s fly away and life is easy go

Life won’t be easy go if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected. There are messes aplenty to clean up, but Joe and Kamala are allies of the light. They will do their best to bind our national wounds. They will do the work.

Repeat after me: Joe Biden excels at overcoming adversity.

The last word goes to Ella Fitzgerald:

 

Virtual Convention Notes: “There Is No Vaccine For Racism”

The second night showed the upside of the virtual convention format but the third night showed its limitations. The stirring speeches given by Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris cried out for a live audience whereas those by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama worked better without one. Not surprising in Clinton’s case but Obama typically feeds off the energy of the audience as he builds to a crescendo. There was little of the soaring rhetoric the former President is known for: it was a somber and solemn address befitting our somber and solemn times

Let’s begin with Obama’s remarkable and unusual speech. The best word to describe its tone and content is jeremiad. I wish I could take credit for dubbing it as such, but I heard Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr. use the word in the post-game show on MSNBC. Here’s how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines jeremiad: “a prolonged lamentation or complaint also a cautionary or angry harangue”

In addition to being a bullfrog in the Hoyt Axton song, “Jeremiah was a naysayer. That Jewish prophet, who lived from about 650 to 570 BC, spent his days lambasting the Hebrews for their false worship and social injustice and denouncing the king for his selfishness, materialism, and inequities.”

We’ve never seen Barack Obama like this before. It was an angry Obama: angry at what Donald Trump has done to our country and to Obama’s own legacy. He never raised his voice, but you could see the rage in his eyes and feel the anger in his words. It was coherent and rational anger. It was Obama anger.

It was a powerfully written and delivered speech. It was pitch perfect for these troubled times:

 

Obama’s jeremiad made it possible for Kamala Harris to strike a more positive tone in her acceptance speech. We’ve all seen tough and steely Kamala on the debate stage and in Senate hearings, it was time to see her warm and friendly side. We needed to hear more of her personal story as much of the country is just getting to know her. It worked because it’s genuine: she’s nice person from a nice immigrant family. Nice people can be tough too. People are complicated.

Senator Harris also showed her tough side. I used her most memorable line as part of the post title. “There is no vaccine for racism.” If there was, President* Pennywise would be against it as indicated by his bizarre remarks about QAnon yesterday. There are good people on both sides, after all. #sarcasm

Speaking of Trump, Harris trotted out one of her greatest hits, “I know a predator when I see one.” I do too and he looks something like this:

Image by Michael F.

The ending of the speech was as awkward as the address itself was powerful. Joe Biden sauntered onstage and obviously wanted to hug his running mate. A wave and a smile would have to do thanks to President* Pennywise’s grotesque incompetence and negligence in handling the pandemic.

A personal note. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m pleased that the Democratic party has finally put a Californian on the ticket. The GOP did it in 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1980, and 1984. Remember when California was a swing state in presidential elections? I do. That changed when Gov. Pete Wilson went proto-Trumper on immigration. Let’s hope Texas follows their example in 2020.

Since I posted Obama’s speech, here’s the Vice Presidential acceptance address:

 

I’m excited about the upcoming campaign. Joe Biden was not my first choice, but he strikes the perfect contrast to the Impeached Insult Comedian. Trump posed as a “common man” in 2016. Joe Biden is the real deal. A reminder that Trump was impeached because of his fear of running against Biden in 2020. His worst nightmare is about to come true.

The last word goes to Frank Sinatra with the 1960 campaign versions of High Hopes and All The Way:

 

No DeJoy In Mudville

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy claims that Post Office “reforms” are being delayed until after the election. As always, the devil is in the details. The whole USPS gambit was a smokescreen blown by the Impeached Insult Comedian at one of the few institutions that’s popular across party lines. It’s another sign that Trump has lost the hot button mojo he had in 2016. The Kaiser of Chaos knows he’s losing and is flailing, trying to save his worthless ass. Stay tuned.

I’ve lad a lot of fun with the Postmaster General’s name:

  • De Almond Joy
  • DeJoy Division
  • DeJoy To The World
  • DeJoy Of Cooking
  • Ode To DeJoy
  • DeJoy Luck Club
  • DeJoy Ride
  • DeJoy Reid
  • DeJoyful Noise

I’m sure I’ve missed a few. No punster is perfect.

Let’s close things out with some DeJoyful Noise from Lucinda Williams and Three Dog Night:

Virtual Convention Notes

In 2016, I did full-blown recaps of each day of the Democratic convention. The 2020 shebang is different so I’m doing something different; at least I hope it is. I’m going to start with the second night and work my way backwards much like this Neil Finn lyric: “I believe in doing things backwards. Take heed, start doing things in reverse.”

I’m impressed with what Team Biden has managed to pull off. Apart from the major speeches by Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama, the second night was stronger than the first. So much for doing things in reverse. The virtual convention is a new thing and they were nimble enough to correct some of the issues from day one. Well done, y’all.

I’ve always loved the roll call with its pageantry, silly hats, and OTT rhetoric. The new-fangled filmed roll call was even better. It was a tour across America showing the country’s diversity as well as calamari. The road trip format was particularly cool for those of us who are taking the lockdown seriously. Thumbs up to the road trip road call.

The themes of the second night were stronger and more cohesive as well: health care, national security, education, and “meet Jill Biden.” The national security segment was excellent: it was great to see Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch one of the heroes of the House impeachment hearings. Holy pleasant surprise, Batman.

As to the “meet Jill Biden” segment, I liked how it weaved together the personal and the political. The Bidens *were* a broken family when Dr. Jill joined it. The analogy to the current state of the nation is apt. We’re a broken country that needs fixing. Help is on the way.

I spent little time on social media as things unfolded. I’m a big picture guy and social media focuses on momentary details. The purpose of this convention is to expand the party’s support and reach reachable independents and Republicans who dislike Trump. Next week’s neo-Nuremberg rally has the opposite goal: scare “the base” into fervent support for the dear leader. It’s apt to repel non-fanatics and push many voters off the fence into the arms of the Biden-Harris ticket. Thanks, Donald.

Even though the second night was stronger overall, the best speeches thus far were by Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama. In this year’s convention speech, the former FLOTUS’ tone went from go high to bless your heart. It was personal, heart-felt, well-written and delivered. The virtual format was perfect for her conversational style. Her message was spot-on: President* Pennywise is not up to the job and never will be.

The best *political* speech of the first two nights was given by Senator Bernie Sanders. He framed the upcoming election as a choice between democracy and authoritarianism and urged his supporters to do the right thing and support the ticket. Some on the performative left, however, will never get the message even when it’s delivered by Bernie. In 2020, Team Sanders are team players, working to write the platform with Team Biden. Everyone should read a piece about the platform process in Vanity Fair. This passage sums up the Vermont Senator’s approach in 2020:

It helps that Sanders’s backing for Biden runs deeper than political necessity. At a base level, there’s a collegiality between the two rooted in their time serving together in the Senate. “Biden has, despite differences of opinion with Bernie, a fundamental respect for him as a person of conviction who advocates for issues that he cares deeply about,” said Faiz Shakir, who served as manager of the 2020 Sanders campaign. Speaking with Sanders, it’s clear that respect runs both ways—that he sees Biden as prepared to meet the moment.

“Look, I can’t predict to you what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone in the next four years. Politics is strange in that with somebody like Joe Biden—who I know fairly well—you have a person who has been, as he will tell you, throughout his political career, a moderate. But I think that what he has told me and he has told the American people is that he understands the enormous crises we are facing today,” Sanders said. “At this moment we have a president who’s trying to undermine democracy and move us into an authoritarian form of society. Those are huge issues. Unbelievable. And I think Joe understands that. I think if you talk to Barack Obama, he will tell you the same thing. That what we did yesterday is not good enough.” If elected, Biden will likely be the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sanders believes.

I’ve long thought that Bernie Sanders was better than his more extreme supporters. He’s proving that in 2020. I have little use for what I call the performative left and Athenae calls the purity ponies. I hope they join Bernie in his full-throated support for the Biden-Harris ticket but if they don’t, they don’t. I’m not wasting my breath on them. We have a Kaiser of Chaos to defeat.

Joe Biden is a party man. There’s little in the Sanders platform that is alien to the pre-Reagan revolution Democratic party. The party is moving left and so is Joe Biden. In 2020, the practical thing is to support sweeping change; Joey Shark is a practical man. A reminder that FDR ran as a moderate in 1932 and made the incumbent Herbert Hoover the issue. The sitting president is always the issue in a re-election campaign even when the title comes with an asterisk. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

National conventions have been morphing into teevee shows for decades. The last time the nomination for either major party was decided at a convention was 1976. I find that I prefer the virtual convention to the traditional kind. What’s not to love about the road trip roll call?

I cited Neil Finn’s Love You ‘Til The Day I Die at the beginning of the post. It’s an appropriate song for our times: 170K and counting Americans have died during the pandemic. It’s time for those who made it worse to go. Make it so, America, make it so.

The last word goes to Crowded House:

Happy Biden Campaign Thing

Gonna be doing this often so if you’re not down with this being a Biden/Harris fan page you probably should have signed off long ago.

 

A.

That’s The Ticket

Good news is so rare in 2020 that I’m not sure I recognize it anymore. Just kidding: Joe Biden’s selection of California Senator Kamala Harris is good, indeed historic, news. She’ll be the first black woman as well as the first Asian Pacific person to be on a national ticket. She was my first choice for the Veep slot and second choice in the primary after Senator Professor Elizabeth Warren. I am pleased.

The process was messy. People took a gossipy Politico story about the Veepstakes way too seriously. Some on Team Biden apparently thought Harris is “too ambitious” as if ambition is only seemly for male politicians. That’s why Charlie Pierce calls it Tiger Beat On The Potomac.

Fortunately, Joey Shark is comfortable in his own skin and secure enough to select someone with better rhetorical skills as his number two. Kamala Harris is the right person at the right time. Her own campaign flopped, but she’s been a force to be reckoned with as a first term Senator. That’s as rare as President* Pennywise telling the truth.

Team Trump is already overreacting to the Harris pick. The Impeached Insult Comedian called her “nasty” for being mean to Justice Bro during his confirmation hearings. Poor baby. They’re calling Harris a “phony” for criticizing Biden when she was running against him. That’s rich considering the shit Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Ted Cruz threw at Trump in 2016. Besides, it goes with the territory: in 1960 LBJ essentially called JFK an invalid and in 1980 Poppy Bush denounced “voodoo economics.” They were both on the ticket. And Bush became an exuberantly loyal Veep for 8 years. That’s some weak shit as is the cliched “too radical” attack.

There were some rumblings from the “Kamala is a cop” crowd on the performative left yesterday. Nobody is better suited to help reform the criminal justice system than someone who has worked in it. Call it the “reformed sinner” argument. She can follow in the footsteps of her fellow Californian Jerry Brown. When Brown became an advocate for radical campaign finance reform, he argued that he could change the system because he understood it.

I’m not going to defend Harris’ record as a prosecutor, I’ll let San Francisco public defender Niki Solis do it:

“Having had this experience, I feel compelled to speak on Harris’ record while she was a district attorney. Simply put, Harris was the most progressive prosecutor in the state. This is not an anecdotal opinion. It is based on facts.

As San Francisco DA, Harris refused to seek the death penalty — even on a case where a very respected police officer was tragically killed. Marijuana sales cases were routinely reduced to misdemeanors. And marijuana possession cases were not even on the court’s docket. They were simply not charged. Unless there was a large grow case, or a unique circumstance, this was the reform-minded approach then-DA Harris’ office took. The accusations about marijuana prosecutions being harsh during her tenure are absurd. The reality was quite the opposite.”

There was much glee in my social media circles over the prospect of a Harris-Pence debate. Sure, she’ll clean his clock but the quadrennial discussion of the importance of debates causes my eyes to glaze over. Debates have nothing to with governing and have minimal impact on the election results. If debates were as important as some seem to think, we’d have had Presidents John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Hell, Willard Mittbot Romney cleaned Barack Obama’s clock in their first debate and held his own in the other two. Who won in 2012?

The Harris pick makes perfect sense politically. Black women have long been the backbone of the Democratic party. Joe Biden has probably gathered as many white working class votes as possible. Turnout remains the key in 2020. If yesterday’s reaction is any indication, African American turnout should be back to 2008 and 2012 levels this time around.

I’m hoping that there will be more outreach to the Indian-American community than there was during Harris’ own run for the top job. Ethnic politics are as American as apple pie. Having the daughter of a Jamaican man and an Indian woman on the national ticket sends a powerful message of inclusion. It presents a stark contrast to the Current Occupant who is one of the most xenophobic and racist presidents* in American history.

A final note. Senator Harris’ first name is pronounced COMMA-LA. It’s an Indian name that means lotus or pale red in Sanskrit. It’s now the name of the next Vice President of the United States. Make it so, America, make it so.

The Chaos Squad

Protests have died down in some parts of the country but not in Portland, Oregon. There are many names one could call the DHS thugs who are operating there right now; ostensibly to protect federal buildings and statues. I think of them as The Chaos Squad. Others have called them Stormtroopers, Trump’s Gestapo, or the Goon Squad:

Whatever you call them, they’re an integral part of the Scandal Tornado that touched down on January 20, 2017. Do I think they’re part of a “dress rehearsal” for a coup when Trump loses the election? I do not.

According to Ken Cuccinelli there are only 2000 of them; not even close to enough to stage a coup in such a large country. Their task is to spread chaos and confusion, which is the only thing Team Trump is good at. They’re also incapable of not bragging about what they’re up to. Thanks, Cooch.

A reminder that any time someone puts the words plan and Trump administration in the same sentence, they’re giving them too much credit. These are the same people who brought you the pandemic response and the paper towel toss relief effort in Puerto Rico, after all.

Does that mean I’m pooh-poohing scenes that are reminiscent of Chicago in 1968? Absolutely not. It reminds me of something said on the podium by then Connecticut Senator Abe Ribicoff:

Just substitute Joe Biden and Portland and the jackboot still fits.

DHS is not the only federal agency complicit in the Portland clusterfuck. Bill Barr is up to his neck in this mishigas. Remember when I compared him to Hermann Goering?

Goering was the founder of the Gestapo.

In a brilliant move to counter the Brownshirt tactics of the Chaos Squad, the Portland protesters have brought in the Moms:

This move is reminiscent of the Children’s March in Birmingham in 1963. They faced Bull Connor’s firehose wielding cops who won the battle but lost the war. This Mom’s March is a brilliant way to shame the Goon Squad. If, that is, they can be shamed. Their so-called “leader”, the Kaiser of Chaos, is incapable of either shame or leadership.

The advent of the Chaos Squad is another example of how Team Trump thinks they can win a LAW & ORDER campaign by sowing the seeds of chaos and confusion. As always, they’re all tactics and no strategy. They’re forever lost in the weeds and incapable of seeing the big picture. That’s a damn good thing.

It’s not 1968. They’re in power and the backlash year on *our* political calendar was 2016. In 1968, Nixon was the challenger. Besides, Tricky was a devious bastard who knew how to hedge and tap on the brakes when need be. Subtlety is lost on the Trump Regime. Overkill is all they know.

In honor of the Mom’s March, the last word goes to Mott the Hoople:

What Will Crimson Tide Fans Do?

Something went right for the Kaiser of Chaos this week. His former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, lost a bid to regain his Senate seat. Jeff Bo was Trump’s favorite whipping boy after he recused himself from the Kremlingate investigation. It was the only worthwhile thing he did as AG.

Sessions was defeated in the Republican primary by former Auburn head football coach, Tommy Tuberville, who campaigned with his head firmly up Trump’s ample rump. Can he go from Coach Tubs to Senator Tubs? Let’s hope not.

Tubs is not only a bigot-a given for an Alabama GOPer-he’s a corrupt piece of shit whose former business partner was convicted of fraud. No wonder President* Pennywise supported him. The real reason was payback, not pay-offs although Trump loves those too.

College football is some serious shit in Alabama. It will be a factor in the race. Senator Doug Jones went to the University of Alabama so perhaps he should start wearing a houndstooth hat a la Bear Bryant. He can’t very well walk around with a constant scowl like current Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban.

The Alabama Democratic party has a pretty good twitter troll game:

The Iron Bowl is, of course, the annual game between Auburn and Bama, which may not be played in 2020 because of the grotesque incompetence of the Impeached Insult Comedian. Perhaps Senator Jones should blame Trump if the SEC cancels football this fall. They take their football seriously in Alabama, y’all.

Politics make strange bedfellows. As an LSU fan, I hate the Crimson Tide, but I think Doug Jones should leverage the Auburn-Alabama rivalry. He’s the underdog in deep red Alabama so bleeding crimson isn’t the worst strategy.

I’m rooting for Doug Jones. He’s a fine man who has been such a good Senator than one could even call him a Solon.

I like Senator Jones enough to say this: Roll Tide, Roll Doug.

That hurt. I hope Coach O will forgive me.

I’m feeling obvious today, so the last word goes to Steely Dan:

How about a paraphrase? “They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Senator Jones.”

That’s all, y’all.

We Gotta Get Rid of the Whole Lot

This is all very true: 

McConnell and the Senate Republicans will put the brakes on every meaningful policy initiative that Biden advances. Hundreds of measures that have been approved by the House since the Democrats took over in January 2019—including the Heroes Act package of Covid-19 relief measures that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues passed in May—have been laid to rest in what Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer describes as “Leader McConnell’s legislative graveyard.” The Republican lawmaker and his cadre of obedient partisans have made it perfectly clear time and again that they will not be moved by the fact that a legislative initiative is essential.

And before anyone jumps in with “but what about Schumer sucking and Joe Manchin being an asshole and blah blah blah” well, that’s THE WHOLE POINT. A one- or two-seat majority ain’t gonna do it, unless McConnell loses his seat permanently and they appoint a less efficient fascist to replace him. Even then, the same five red-state Dems who are a perpetual pain in our asses will continue to be such because they’ll matter even MORE than they do now.

(I’d like to think they’ve learned something and would behave themselves this time around, but I’ve been here too long for that.)

We need an overwhelming majority in the Senate or we’re just in for a slightly shittier re-run of 2010-2016. I would never say it doesn’t matter who the president is; I was regaling Kick last night with tales of a long-ago time when we would go WEEKS without the president being a loud enough piece of shit that everyone had to talk about it. Joey B. Shark has THINGS HE CAN DO on his own, of course, like hire scientists to do science jobs, and not run a non-protective protection racket out of the East Wing. Still, no major legislation changes and the judiciary keeps getting shittier, we don’t give him a Senate to work with.

And statehouses. And think tanks. And school boards. And advisory councils. And everything.

Our goal in this election should be to bury the GOP in the COVID-19 trench they’re digging for us. They don’t get to hold office for a generation, as a penance. And we look at the third or so of Democrats who are basically 1988’s Republicans and say fine, you’re who we compromise with now, that other mess is out waiting for an alphabet conspiracy to take them back to their planet. We’re done.

A.