Category Archives: Stupid Republican Tricks

A Confederacy of Dunces

The crap that American women have been dealing with got even worse on Tuesday. Not content with ending abortion in Texas, Greg Abbott assured everyone that women in Texas who were raped didn’t have to worry about any resulting pregnancy because he was going to “end rape” in Texas.

I don’t know about you, but that wasn’t a particularly reassuring statement, given how little most men in power care about rape in this country. In fact, my first thought was that he was just going to decriminalize rape. My second thought was the same thing. Ugh.

Because Abbott is the gaffe that keeps on giving, today he also revealed his complete ignorance about a woman’s reproductive cycle. See, he confidently told everyone that 6 weeks was more than enough time for a woman who was pregnant to get an abortion. I mean, it’s a whole month and a half, right?

Well, here’s the thing:  the 6 week marker (or the 1 month marker, or the 3 month marker), is measured back from the first day of the woman’s last period. And since menstruation (if you’re not on hormonal birth control) is erratic for most women, lots of women wouldn’t even know at 6 weeks that they’d missed a period.

This reminds me of this story:

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The question on Monday from Republican state representative Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

Dr Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.

The more I read men’s comments about abortion, the more I realize that a lot of men have no idea of how a woman’s reproductive system works. It’s peak Dunning Kruger at work.

And there is some hope that there is a legal basis to undo the Texas law. I’ll let Laurence Tribe explain it:

In the Grendel’s Den case, the unbridled veto power interfered not with a service to which anyone had a constitutional right, like abortion, but just with serving liquor. It was simply being governed by someone unaccountable to nobody that offended the Constitution. In the Texas case, even a judge or justice convinced that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and that there is no constitutional right to end a pregnancy would need to confront the long line of precedent establishing that due process of law, enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not permit, to quote the court in Grendel’s Den “delegate[ing] to private, nongovernmental entities power to veto … a power ordinarily vested in agencies of government.”

As the court said, it is difficult in such situations to imagine “any ‘effective means of guaranteeing’ that the delegated power ‘will be used exclusively for secular, neutral, and nonideological purposes.’ ” As one of us wrote in 1973 in defending the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, abortion is particularly fraught with deeply religious as opposed to secular concerns and commitments. Just because the religion clauses are not directly implicated by the Texas scheme, it doesn’t follow that the long line of decisions into which Grendel’s Den fits becomes irrelevant in the effort to legally defang the Texas abomination.

Let’s see what happens next.

 

The American Taliban is Ascendant

There’s a new milepost on the country’s journey to be the American version of A Handmaid’s Tale. Last night the Supreme Court allowed a new Texas anti-woman law to take effect. This law prohibits abortions after 6 weeks, and so effectively outlaws most abortions in Texas.

I say “anti-woman” because that is what the anti-choice movement is these days. It’s not actually about stopping abortion. It’s about actively punishing women for being women, and especially for being sexually active without their permission. The movement went mainstream when TFG casually said that if abortion were made illegal, women who had abortions should be prosecuted.

His communications team later told us that he meant the doctors who performed illegal abortions should be prosecuted, of course. And of course TFG, who paid for abortions right and left, isn’t actually opposed to abortion. He was merely parroting the far right hate speech of the dregs of humanity who advised him, and he deliberately said that as a signal to his reprehensible followers.

The anti-woman movement currently holding the GOP in thrall is rooted in the forced birth movement, which itself is centered not on the baby that is born, but on punishing a woman for her sexuality. This in turn is rooted in the legalization of birth control.

There has been a century-long battle for women to regain a modicum of control over their reproductive health. Abortion was legal in this country until 1880 when the efforts of the AMA, coupled with fears of white “race suicide”, and the suffrage movement led–male–doctors to take abortion out of the hands of pregnant women and midwives and move it into the newly emerging “professional” realm. Female reproductive issues were moved from the home to the doctor’s office, women lost their previous autonomy over their own bodies. It’s also important to note that abortion has existed in all cultures since the beginning of humankind.

Part of the rationale the AMA provided for its push to take over women’s reproductive health was how dangerous abortion was, but instead of working to find safe ways to help women to terminate pregnancies, it instead chose to push to ban the practice altogether. This makes sense against a context of where gynecologists–men–were doing things like arbitrarily removing women’s uteri to cure their “hysteria”; i.e., their growing willingness to stand up for themselves. An uppity woman was a “hysterical” woman, and the cure, obviously, was to remove her uterus. Abortion wasn’t legalized again until 1973. Remember, birth control between married couples was ILLEGAL until 1965, and illegal between unmarried couples until 1972.

The introduction of The Pill, and the subsequent decriminalization of birth control, were watershed moments for women (and just think for a moment that birth control was illegal for a long, long time). On a social level, it allowed women to control their sex lives in an entirely new way. No longer afraid of a nearly inevitable pregnancy, single women turned the tables on men and began to make their own sexual choices, shattering the previous dynamic. The ripples from this transformation are still being seen now. It’s the basis for the increase in slut-shaming sexually active women, only now it’s moved from just single women, to now include married women as well.

On an economic level, delaying motherhood allowed women to get college educations and to begin to compete with men in the larger workforce, and not just the pink collar ghetto. The reactionary movement to ban birth control–because that is where the anti-woman movement wants to end up–is rooted in 2 things:  the desires to wipe out the economic gains of women over the last 50 years and to restore the previous sexual dynamic.

Feldt says, “When you peel back the layers of the anti-choice motivation, it always comes back to two things: What is the nature and purpose of human sexuality? And second, what is the role of women in the world?” Sex and the role of women are inextricably linked, because “if you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men.”

And today we’re a day closer to that goal.

Coda:  Some commentators are pointing out the bounty aspect of the Texas law and positing that the law will be overturned because that’s clearly illegal. That provision is a Trojan horse, the Harriet Miers dangled in front of you so you don’t smell the poison of the Samuel Alito. The American Taliban is fine with cutting that part out. For now.

And so here are. Bowie gets the final thought.

Elder Abuse

Steve Harvey and Donald Trump

Here’s Larry Elder with his hero Donald…hold on I’m being told that’s Steve Harvey. My bad.

Larry Elder

Here’s the real Larry Elder, or at least a reasonable facsimile.

So here we are, two and a half weeks before the votes are counted on the Recall To End All Recalls (or so many of us hope) and look who’s shot into the “lead” among the potential replacements. Why it’s the self proclaimed “Sage From South Central” Larry Elder.

And America says “Who?”

That’s okay, most of California is saying the same thing.

Well let me tell you a few things about Larry the Elder and I’m gonna make this promise right now. Everything I tell you will be the truth no matter how bizarre it might sound. And trust me, a whole lot of this is gonna sound bizarre.

We’ll start with the basics. Larry Elder is a conservative radio talk show provocateur. Like most of his ilk his schtick is to make outrageous statements “just to stir the pot” as they like to say when having to backpedal from one of those statements. He is the protégé of  Dennis Prager of Prager University infamy if you are interested in his bonifides.

Elder grew up in the South Central Los Angeles area in the 1960’s and 70s. Contrary to the image that might engender in your mind, South Central at that time was a working class neighborhood of small individual homes occupied by working class families. Frankly it still is. Shame what one riot caused by police brutality can do for a neighborhood’s image. His father was a janitor who saved his money and eventually opened a diner in the neighborhood. The son went to school and made it to Brown University for undergrad work and then on to the University of Michigan where he got his law degree. After a stint practicing law he discovered the world of media, working his way up from part time fill in host on local TV to eventually having his own syndicated megaphone coast to coast.

As they used to say (and he probably would still say) he’s a credit to his race.

Did I mention that he’s black?

Sigh, we’ve gone from the late great Tom Bradley potentially being the first black governor of California to a guy whose political philosophy seems to be “If a liberal was ever for it then I’m against it” regardless of the public harm it would do.

So he’s come out and said his first act in office would be to rescind mask mandates and vaccination requirements. At this point unfortunately we have to be expecting that from any conservative politician because you know “freedumb man ™” But this is nothing new for Elder. He also believes that second hand smoke can’t cause cancer and that while the climate may be changing, humans aren’t responsible for it.

His campaign slogan outta be “Life, it ain’t no big thing”.

All those are just the beginning. Certainly in the top three of concerns for Californians is homelessness. The causes of homelessness are way too varied to go into here, but the bottom line is what are we going to do about alleviating it. Many suggestions, many plans, but none involve gutting environmental protections to allow builders to erect huge apartment complexes on protected wetlands. That is until Larry Elder came along because that is the sum total of his plan to cut down on people living on the streets. Mental health, drug treatment, not important and besides, no one makes REAL money off that. Just gotta get rid of all those pesky rules and regulations. Build baby build. We could call them Elder Hostiles.

That last joke courtesy of El Grand Hefe de First Draft, Adrastos.

But at least it shows me who the money is behind him. California Building Industry Association come on down!

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Recall the Recall

Welcome to California where the American Nazi Party formerly known as the Republican Party have taken advantage of our absurdly lenient recall rules to attempt to undo the results of an overwhelming victory by Gavin Newsom in the last gubernatorial election. 

I got my ballot today. That’s the way we roll here in the Golden State. No standing in line at the polling station, no wondering if the boss will give you time off to go vote, no muss, no fuss. The ballot arrives in the mail (much to Louis DeJoy’s consternation), you fill it out and then can either mail it back in, drop it off at an official ballot collection box which are located in about 20 places throughout the county, or bring it to ANY polling location on election day. Or you can do it the old fashioned way and make use of your local polling location to mark your ballot or press the lever.

Civic engagement made simple. 

Prior to COVID, several counties, mine being one of them, implemented this system for balloting. During last year’s elections the state adopted it for every county. We did not even have a suggestion of any ballot irregularities. In fact a non partisan commission determined there was no advantage gained by either party from full mail in balloting. There is even a system for tracking your ballot from the moment it is mailed to you until the moment it is counted. You get emails and/or texts alerting you to it’s status. It looks like this is the future of voting in California.

That is as long as Gavin Newsom remains governor. If he is recalled and any of the non-entities listed on the ballot take power all bets are off. The recall law is absolutely screwy. Just about anyone who can marshal enough signatures and can pay the filing fee can get their name on the ballot. The only person who can’t be on the ballot? Gavin Newsom.

24 of the 46 names on the ballot identify as Repugnicant while only 8 identify as Democrat. A couple are the usual Libertarian, Green, etc. and the rest have no party affiliation. Only one of the 46 has any governmental experience and that was as a member of the Board of Equalization (that’s the sales tax board). Several list their occupations as “entertainer”. Lots of former cops. And of course Caitlyn Jenner because we need to add a they to the hims and hers. Even the serious Repugnicant candidates for next year’s governors race didn’t get involved in this. 

And yet polls show this as a dead heat race, with an energized Nazi, er, I mean, Repugnicant base rallying around the hope Democrats will forget to send the ballot back in. So first let me scream at Democratic voters. SEND THE FUCKING BALLOT BACK IN YOU WANKERS. OK, now let me scream at the Nazi scum who are behind this bullshit recall. YOU ARE NOT TRUE AMERICANS AND HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ONE MAN ONE VOTE REALLY MEANS

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 I Won’t Forget

Our fearless leader has written 2 thorough and excellent pieces about the Afghanistan War and how we got where we are. If you haven’t read them, please do:  here and here. I have some thoughts, too.

There sure are a lot of familiar faces on the TeeVee over the last few days, blathering on about Afghanistan and tut-tutting over President Biden’s decision to get the hell out of, well, hell. They seem to think they have a blank slate for selling their snake oil. Well, I remember who they are and what they did.

In 1990, Iraq annexed Kuwait and we were supposed to feel it was justified because Kuwaiti women weren’t allowed to drive. Hey, it was going to be awesome! The US was going to beat back these sexist bullies and Kuwaiti women would be able to drive!

In reality there was no reason for the US to go to war with Iraq. But there was plenty of incentive for the Saudi-loving Bush family to protect their monster friends’ oilfields which were close enough for the invading Iraq army to take over. And so the propaganda machine took over. A DC public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton, funded by the Kuwaiti government, began pumping out disinformation to convince Congress to authorize war.

The nadir of the lying was the Congressional testimony of a nurse who said she saw Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators and throw them on the floor. This was all it took to convince Congress to go to war. The truth was that she was a member of the Kuwaiti royal family lying and playing a role. But the damage was done.

George H.W. Bush set a deadline of midnight January 16, 1991 for US demands to be met. On the evening of January 16 I attended an interfaith peace service at National Cathedral that culminated in a silent candlelit protest walk to the White House. Houses along Massachusetts Avenue had candles in their windows, and residents stood in their front yards holding candles in solidarity. Of course it didn’t work. But I won’t forget what happened.

The Iraq War was advanced by even more egregious lies and a news media drunk on ratings. Taking their cue from CNN’s non-stop coverage of the Gulf War, this time all of the networks threw in big time. And the Republicans had upped their propaganda approach:  instead of a Kuwaiti royal playacting to tug on the heartstrings of unsophisticated rubes, this time the government made sure reporters got to go play soldier, complete with flak jackets and Jeep rides with the troops. War was exciting! There were big guns!

I didn’t buy any of it. Just like in 1991, I wholly opposed this war because it was all fake news. I took a lot of crap for telling the truth then but the Iraq War was wrong. It was founded on lies related to the 9/11 attacks and it was sustained by media outlets who put profit over truth. And eventually the whole house of cards collapsed.

Now that Biden has taken the steps to end 30 fucking years of wars built on lies, fought by other people’s sons and daughters and designed to make money for people who are already obscenely wealthy, all sorts of stuck pigs are squealing. A bunch of cowards who won’t make their names public are whispering to reporters at the outlets that are the most complicit in repeating the propaganda of rich people with power—CNN, Politico, Axios—about how it’s not their fault. Multiple sources looking to cover their asses after they put their fingerprints all over the Afghanistan fiasco are now bleating self-interested lies to organizations that love to uncritically print pre-digested GOP talking points.

People who perpetuate lies are always angry when their lies are uncovered and they will scramble to drown out the truth by making more noise. I’ll let Jack Mirkinson have the last paragraph as he excoriates some of the worst people liberals made heroes by not thinking critically enough during the Trump years:

But too many in our media cannot seem to admit this, and too many outlets are rolling out the red carpet for the usual gallery of unrepentant hawks. In the Washington Post, Max Boot called the withdrawal “the worst U.S. foreign policy failure since the fall of Saigon in 1975,” which would be news to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the Iraq War, and wondered (yet again) why the U.S. couldn’t just keep troops in Afghanistan forever. NPR decided it was a good idea to ask John Bolton what he thought. In the Atlantic, Tom Nichols told readers, “Afghanistan is your fault,” castigating the American people for demanding an end to the war:

Biden was right, in the end, to bite the bullet and refuse to pass this conflict on to yet another president. His execution of this resolve, however, looks to be a tragic and shameful mess and will likely be a case study in policy schools for years to come. But there was no version of “Stop the forever war” that didn’t end with the fall of Kabul. We believed otherwise, as a nation, because we wanted to believe it. And because we had shopping to do and television to watch and arguments to be had on social media.

So Biden was right to end the war but Americans are still the villains because we care about shopping. Makes sense. Maybe what is happening is the fault of the people who have presided over this calamity for 20 years?

The last word goes to Depeche Mode:

If Democrats Were More Like Republicans

Not even a Bowie Knife

If Democrats acted more the way Republicans act things might be different in these parts

  • The headline in the Dallas Morning News would be:

BIDEN TO TEXAS, DROP DEAD

  • Democratic governors would be shouting at the top of their lungs for citizens to wear masks as well as turning around and signing mandatory mask laws that have REAL teeth, ie, don’t wear a mask and you are confined to your home for the duration.
  • Kristen Simena would have outed Lady G and watched in smug triumph as he squirmed to get out from underneath his own baggage.
  • MSNBC would have better ratings than Fox on a consistent basis.
  • The public would have been bombarded with TV and print commercials saying this Daily Show phony anti-voting ad was real. Plus the Voting Rights Act would have already passed.
  • Every time Republicans blathered Culture Warrior chants, Democrats would bring out photos of slaves, civil rights workers being beaten, and the protests over the murder of George Floyd.
  • The cries over a supposed “border crisis” would be outshouted by the cries to fix the countries these poor people are fleeing
  • Climate change deniers would be ridiculed for their folly and real solutions involving real jobs for real workers would be front and center in the public mind.
  • Etc., Etc., Etc..

Democrats don’t have a problem with their policies. State any one of them to any John Q. Public you meet on the street, strip out who is in favor of that policy, and old John Q. is going to say, sure I’m for that. No one will ever say they are in favor of polluted water, unbreathable air, heath care only for those rich enough to afford it, preventing citizens from voting.

So where do Democrats stumble?

They don’t outshout their opponents. And on top of that they allow themselves to get drawn into useless debates over petty issues that muddle the waters and make independent and never Trump Republicans say how can I trust them to run the country.

Like it or not we live in an age of Click Bait and Gotcha and political discourse via Tweet. Democrats do a good job of pointing out in great detail the downsides and absurdities of what Republicans say, but by the time they do the metaphorical horse has fled the barn. Learn to play the game. It is played in short tweets that do nothing to advance the art of political discourse, but do get a few idiots who currently vote Republican to switch sides.

You can win with defense only in sports. If you don’t go on the offensive and do it on a regular and consistent basis you end up only playing defense. In the world of politics, defense loses every time. Just ask Andrew Cuomo.

I’m tired of Democrats not getting out ahead of any issue and allowing Republicans to set the argument. Look at the disgusting way Congressional Republicans have framed the January 6th attempted overthrow of the government as merely a group of over zealous tourists. Yes, Democrats have pushed back on that notion, but not so much that the general public hasn’t laughed Republicans out of office. The Republican argument is a plainly absurd idea. We all saw with our own eyes what happened and it was nothing less than an attempted coup intending to install Donald Trump as the winner of the 2020 election.

More after you hit the button Max Continue reading

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

I read a bunch of stuff written by selfish dumbasses who are inconvenienced by being asked to literally do the least they can to help quell the ongoing pandemic. Like many of you, I am on my last nerve with these people.

But then I found someone who was worse than an anti-vaxxer:

He isn’t some some random tweeter—he’s supposed to be a conservative intellectual. The sheer number of erroneous assumptions in that short statement are immensely irritating.

First, the “average American” has a co-morbidity. That’s our brand, so the idea that most of us shouldn’t care is wrong. Also, the rise in hospital admissions for Covid patients has now put the ICUs of some hospitals at capacity. This means if someone else needs an ICU bed for something non-Covid-related, they may not get the treatment they need in a timely manner.

What else? Well, unvaccinated people run the risk of infecting children under 12 or people who are immuno-compromised, i.e., people who literally cannot be vaccinated right now. A rise in transmission rates leads hospitals and surgical centers to cancel elective surgeries, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you’re suffering from something, it’s quite a lot.

Now those are all fact-based reasons, and so they’re not going to resonate with a right winger like Rothman. But there is another reason, and it’s tied to the crap that Republicans used to love to pontificate about.

We all live together in a society, and each of our lives is linked to lives of people we don’t know. We care about the low rate of vaccination because we care about others in this country. I mean, although it is hard at times to put aside the righteous anger at the stupid intransigence of the anti-vaxxers, it’s not like we want them dead. We just want them vaccinated—they are part of the same society we live in, and their vaccinations protect vulnerable people.

But the right in the US has a different view, one that for years I have been calling “I gots minez”.  It’s not just Covid—they just don’t care about anyone in this nation who is struggling in any way, unless they can bribe those people for their votes. I don’t know how to fix that.

 

Malaka Of The Week: Beth Mizell

The Gret Stet lege made history this week, holding the first ever veto override special session. Both houses are required to override with a 2/3 vote. The session was a flop: the lege did not override any of Gov. Edwards’ vetoes. It was a great relief because of two measures: a “freedom, man” concealed carry bill and a ban on transgender folks in school sports. The sponsor of the latter bill was State Senator Beth Mizell. And that is why she is malaka of the week.

I have a confession: I don’t follow the doings at the state lege as closely as a pundit should. They do some crazy shit, and I don’t want my blood pressure to spike. I did, however, follow the Veto Session. That would have made a good pseudonym for Vito Spatafore when he was outed and fled to New Hampshire in the final season of The Sopranos.

Back to the Gret Stet lege.

Mizell is a Republican who hails from Franklinton. It’s a small town in rural Washington Parish. Even though it’s only 70 miles away from New Orleans, it might as well be a thousand miles. Some call those folks rednecks, I prefer the term peckerwoods. It’s more evocative.

Mizell was the original sponsor of the hateful and unnecessary anti-trans bill. The senate overrode Gov. Edwards’ veto, but the house did not. I guess they had a fleeting moment of sanity.

Mizell claimed that transgender folks in sports was the most important issue for the people of the Gret Stet of Louisiana. I have my doubts that these claims are true:

“If you have not heard the voices of the large majority of people in this state by emails, by phone calls, by personal visits, there’s no words I can give you,”

I have a word for this: malakatude. Bigotry is another word that comes to mind.

It remains weird to live in such a blue city in such a red state. The lege is full of people who hate New Orleans. One reason they hate us is our diversity and tolerance of those who are different. Sounds pretty darn Christian to me but bible thumpers like Malaka Mizell don’t see it that way. It’s what happens when you live on a steady diet of red meat…

Mizell is term-limited and will leave the senate on January 8, 2024. I have no idea if she plans to run for another office. It’s one of those things that I don’t care about.

Mizell has promised to push her despicable bill in the next legislative session. That means we’ll have to fight this stupid battle all over again thanks to Mizell’s malakatude.

I’m not sure if Mizell is praying in the featured image or if she’s hanging her head in shame. I hope it’s the latter: she and her cohort have much to be ashamed of. And that is why Louisiana State Senator Beth Mizell is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Dwight Yoakam:

First Draft KMacpalooza: The Grand Finale

This tweet I sent this morning was a bit premature:

I thought that after that and Michael F’s brilliant and punny press post, we’d exhausted the subject. I was wrong. It’s still KMac day at First Draft.

The brain-dead response of the MSM to Pelosi’s power play has been hilarious as pointed out by Never Trumper Tim Miller:

How dare Speaker Pelosi not allow Gym Jordan to wreck the investigation? KMac selected him to turn it into a shit show. Pelosi refused to play along.

The MSM was confused by Nancy Smash’s power move so much so that KMac walked into her trap by withdrawing from the Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee. That perfects their fuck-up in refusing to participate in a 1/6 Commission over which they’d have veto power over subpoenas. Now they have no representation, influence, or power. They won’t be on teevee when the hearings air either. It was a stupid move by a stupid man. Thanks, KMac.

Cassandra discussed Liz Cheney. I’d like to expand on her thoughts by quoting People Magazine quoting I Alone Can Wreck Fix It.

When hundreds of angry Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 after being incited by the president, Rep. Liz Cheney was inside with other members of congress, including Rep. Jim Jordan.

Jordan — who had supported Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen — offered to help Cheney out of the aisle.

She wasn’t having it, according to a new book.

“That fucking guy Jim Jordan. That son of a bitch,” Cheney told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley on the phone, detailing the siege, according to I Alone Can Fix It, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

“While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you,’ ” recalled Cheney, then the House of Representatives’ No. 3 Republican, per the book. “I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You fucking did this.’ ”

I undeleted the expletives. We still have a fuck quota at First Draft even without Athenae and Jude. Fuck, yeah.

One thing I respect about the Cheneys is that they’re good haters and even better grudge holders. Liz Cheney’s hate for that fucking guy Gym Jordan runs deep.

The main reason I’m wrapping up KMacpalooza is this:

“We will run our own investigation,” McCarthy said at a news conference, calling Pelosi a “lame duck speaker” and accusing her of an “egregious abuse of power” and of “destroying the institution.”

That was KMac’s OJ Simpson moment. Remember when the Juice got loose and claimed that he’d investigate the murders? That never happened. Instead he wrote a book called If I Did It.

KMac’s book could be titled How I Tried To Kill Democracy.

I eagerly await a subpoena landing on KMac’s desk.

The last word goes to The Kinks. Just imagine Gym Jordan singing Dave’s part and Liz Cheney singing Ray’s.

 

Clowntime Is Over

My husband and I finally began watching “Ted Lasso” last month. For some reason he became enamored of the word “wanker” and used it delightedly all the time. Because of household osmosis, now I am using it, too.

Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, is a tiresome wanker. He really, Really, REALLY wants to be Speaker of the House, and until that day comes he is determined to try to outsmart Nancy Pelosi. He gets very few opportunities of course, but you can’t say he doesn’t make the most of them when they come along.

For example, he’s been stringing this 1/6 Select House Committee along for weeks now. Now no one actually thought House Republicans were going to happily participate in this fact-finding mission. And no one thought McCarthy wouldn’t name poisonous House members to the committee.

I have to say that I was impressed by McCarthy’s restraint in only naming 2 trainwrecks—I was sure he was going to add 5. And I wasn’t surprised at all that Pelosi rejected Jims Banks and Jordan, and nor were any of us that after that, McCarthy pulled all of his suggestions and walked away, crowing about the dangers of partisanship.

Except the 1/6 Select Committee is already bipartisan:  Pelosi named Liz Cheney as one of her selections. On one hand, ensuring that the committee would be bipartisan was an excellent tactical move.  McCarthy doesn’t realize he’s already been checkmated. Pelosi is going to put Cheney front and center to emphasize that the committee isn’t just Democrats. This won’t matter to Trumpers, but it will resonate with never Trump Republicans and with independents.

On the other hand, elevating Cheney in this way makes Cheney a credible politician whose ideas should be taken seriously, instead of just another GOP wingnut, albeit one who does not subscribe to The Big Lie.  Anti-Muslim, pro-torture, anti-marriage equality, anti-choice—apart from wanting to save democracy, she’s interchangeable with the rest of the haters in her party and I am sorry that she is going to emerge from these hearings with a luster of legitimacy.

But having the hearings take place in an orderly, professional, serious fashion is more important than my distaste for radical Republicanism. McCarthy has juggled his last plate regarding the 1/6 insurrection.

Tacky Even For Tucker

I have a theory about Tucker Carlson. He’s always been a snotty, preppy right-winger but he wasn’t always evil. In fact, he used to have liberal friends such as Rachel Maddow. That began to change about a decade ago and accelerated when he took Bill-O’s evening slot on Fox News. Some blame Trump, I blame the necktie. That’s right, the necktie.

Carlson used to be known for his cheerful bowties and preppy button-down shirts. He’s moved on to regular shirts and neckties. He’s still fond of stripes only on his neck, not on his torso. Did I just contemplate the Mothertucker’s torso? Apologies for crossing that line.

Nobody wants to contemplate Tucker’s torso except to comment on his pocket square, which seems to be the same in the necktie era. He looked happier during the bowtie era. In the necktie era, he’s angry as if he’s ready to take his tie off and lynch somebody. Strike that. Tucker Carlson fights with his mouth.

Do I buy my own Tucker Carlson fashion theory? Hell to the no but it was fun writing it. Sometimes bloggers just wanna have fun.

In addition to anger, Necktie Tucker specializes in lies: the bigger the better. In his 2018 book, Ship Of Fools, the Mothertucker told an easily refuted lie about his first grade teacher of all people:

He attended the elite La Jolla Country Day School, where a woman entered his life whom he grew to detest. It was his first-grade teacher, whom he referred to in his book as Mrs. Raymond. He caricatured her as “a parody of earth-mother liberalism” who “wore long Indian-print skirts. . . . She had little interest in conventional academic topics, like reading and penmanship.” He recalled her sobbing theatrically at her desk, saying, “The world is so unfair! You don’t know that yet. But you’ll find out!”

Carlson said he just wanted liberals to “stop blubbering and teach us to read. . . . Mrs. Raymond never did teach us; my father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.” Thus, Carlson says, he began his sojourn as a conservative thinker, questioning the liberals who he said were all around him, exemplified by his first-grade teacher.

Which is all rather shocking to Marianna Raymond, 77, who remembers Carlson as “very precious and very, very polite and sweet,” and said she had no idea, until contacted recently by a Washington Post reporter, that her former student had ridiculed her as a key to understanding him.

Raymond said in an interview that she never sobbed at her desk, didn’t wear an Indian skirt and didn’t advocate her political views. She said that not only did she teach Carlson reading at La Jolla Country Day School — with a student body that was “very affluent and White” — but that she also was then hired to tutor him at his home.

“Oh my God,” she said, when informed of Carlson’s attack against her. “That is the most embellished, crazy thing I ever heard.”

Embellished and crazy. That fits Necktie Tucker like a tailor-made shirt with French cuffs. I wonder if he has the Swanson Frozen Food logo on any of his cufflinks. Bowtie Tucker had a sense of humor, so it’s possible…

I don’t know about you, but I had no idea what the political views of any of my grade school teachers were. I remember them as nice ladies who taught me how to read, write, and multiply. The only criticism I have of any of them is of my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Fredrick. I think it was third-grade and that she was a one-E Fredrick but I’m not sure of either.

She taught us cursive writing and gave out pens to the kids whose handwriting was neat. I was the last in my class to get a pen. If I were Necktie Tucker, I’d blame my cynicism and snarkiness on this incident and cursive the day it happened.

In reality, she was right: my handwriting has always been terrible. One of my law professors told me that my penmanship was so bad I should have gone to medical school. I hate the sight of blood so that was never an option.

Back to Tacky Tucker. Lying about the Dipshit Insurrection and Dr. Fauci is bad enough but who the hell lies about their first-grade teacher? As far as I know, Bowtie Tucker never did but Necktie Tucker is a lying sack of shit. He should return to the bowtie before it’s too late.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention:

Don’t Fauci My Florida?

Some things never change. Republicans have long identified enemies, then raised money by attacking them.  For many years, Ted Kennedy was the GOP’s main boogieman even after his presidential hopes ended. They raised hell and buckets of bucks off the Clintons, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. Now the Trumpiest Trumper of them all, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is continuing this odious tradition with an unlikely target: Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Say What?  You heard that right. Team DeSantis is selling tacky anti-Fauci: merch.

Freedom, man. A friend has suggested I slap that on a t-shirt or koozie and sell it on Etsy or Red Bubble, but too many people would take it literally instead of ironically. (The first time I heard about Etsy, the name made me chortle. Etsi-ketsi is Greek for so-so. So-so it goes.)

The Impeached Insult Comedian was the one who started the hate campaign against one of the world’s most eminent scientists. What Trump does, Ron DeSantis immediately imitates.

DeSantis’ record on the pandemic is one of the worst in the world:

DeSantis avoided statewide mask requirements even as leaders across the political spectrum embraced them amid growing evidence of their effectiveness. This spring, he suspended all virus-based local rules for businesses and individuals.

The governor has encouraged people to get vaccinated but also banned businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, arguing that such measures are a form of discrimination against people who refuse vaccines for medical or religious reasons. He also successfully sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep it from enforcing its coronavirus rules on cruise ships in Florida, a major part of the state’s tourism industry.

Freedom, man.

DeSantis is bragging about Florida’s “freedom based” economy while ignoring the latest explosion of COVID in his state. Freedom, man.

At last weekend’s summer CPAC event DeSantis came in second to Trump in a 2024 presidential straw poll with 21%. According to Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman, Trump was already jealous of his Mini-me:

In recent days I spoke with a half dozen GOP insiders about the recent flare-ups between DeSantis’s and Trump’s camps. The sources agreed that DeSantis and Trump are on an inevitable collision course as the 2024 GOP field takes shape. “There’s going to be a blowup,” a prominent Republican said. “Trump fucking hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity,” a Trump confidant told me. Asked for comment, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington said: “Governor DeSantis has shown great respect.”

Part of Trump’s irritation with DeSantis is that Trump famously claims credit for anyone in his orbit who gains attention. “Trump tells people, ‘I made Ron,’” the prominent Republican said. “Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it’s actually true.” According to sources, then congressman DeSantis cultivated Trump’s support during the 2018 gubernatorial primary by hanging out at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. “Ron basically ran his primary campaign out of the hotel. He buttonholed Trump supporters and his friends,” the prominent Republican said.

I look forward to a collision between Dr. Evil and his Mini-Me. It will be entertaining as well as destructive to the Republican party. Game Of Thrones ended badly, hopefully Trump-DeSantis will too. Stay tuned.

Back to Tony Fauci. He’s a tough old bird who can take a punch. He’s from Brooklyn before it became Hipster Central. In Fauci’s day, it was a tough working class enclave. Dr. Fauci has been vilified before; by AIDS activists in the 1980’s. He was able to win them over with a combination of charm and substance, but they were good people who wanted to stop a deadly disease. Ron DeSantis is a bad person who has allowed a deadly disease to spread to further his political ambition.

Freedom, man.

The last word goes to Bessie Smith:

A Victim of FOFO

Prince George At Euro 2020 Final

I feel for ya kid. If my dad made me wear a suit and tie to a sporting event AND my team lost I’d be pissed too.

A few years ago a new acronym entered the lexicon- FOMO. It stands for Fear Of Missing Out, the notion that because via our phones we can see in real time events our friends and relations are engaging in we are somehow missing out on those events by not actually being there.

This past Sunday I became a victim of FOFO. Like FOMO, FOFO involves our relationship with technology and the toys that bring the tech to our fingertips. But FOFO isn’t about missing out on something, it’s about the active desire to not want to know something. FOFO stands for Fear Of Finding Out.

The particular event this relates to was the final of the Euro Cup Soccer Tournament between England (the good guys) and Italy (the less good guys). Out here on the Left Coast the match began at noon. I could not watch it then. There was business to attend to, business that would not be finished till well after the end of the game. No problem thought I. I would simply record the game, avoid any information about what happened in the game, and watch it in pure unadulterated sports ignorance bliss when I got home.

And that’s when I encountered FOFO.

It might not be a big deal here in the US of A, but the Euro Cup IS a big deal everywhere else in the world. While I had disabled all the alerts I have for sports stories and even went to the extent of disabling alerts from news organizations on the off chance a score would find it’s way to my binging phone, I so wanted to know nothing of the match in order to better enjoy it via tape delay that I took to not even looking at my phone the entire afternoon.

That’s a lot more difficult than you would think. I didn’t miss out on anything really important, but every time there was a vibration and a bing in my pocket (is that a bing in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?) I felt I had to ignore it on the oft chance it might contain information I didn’t want to know.

And suddenly I understood the Fox News viewer better than I ever have.

While I didn’t want to know who scored or what team was ahead, the Fox News viewer doesn’t want to get information from any other source on the oft chance he or she might have their preconceived notions of right and wrong challenged. Their FOFO is directly connected to their own self image or perhaps to the lack of same.

Their FOFO is so strong that their elected officials are taking them up on it. January 6th? Never heard of it. Did something happen that day? I just remember there being a lot more than usual tourists traipsing through the building. No big deal.

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A Rich Man’s War But A Poor Man’s Fight

A. Lincoln and Cabinet

I’m a Civil War buff.

No, I’m not one of those re-enactors who take a perfectly good summer weekend and ruin it by dressing in wool suits and running around playing good guy vs. bad guy (and take your choice which side is which).

As a matter of fact I’m not terribly interested in battles fought on muddy fields or “gallantly” charging men storming up a hill that will never be forgotten till after the test. I learned all that in both high school and college American history classes.

I’m more interested in what is so lightly if ever taught at any level of American education, the politics of the Civil War. Oh yeah, plenty is talked about the politics of the pre Civil War era, the Missouri Compromise, the Dred Scott decision, the election of 1860, but so little is taught of what was going on politically during the fighting. Movies like LINCOLN and GANGS OF NEW YORK have highlighted the political machinations behind the passage of the 13th Amendment or what led to the New York City Draft Riots, but as a rule the American educational system has chucked out the political portion of the narrative or at least kicked it down the road to only those truly interested in an Masters or PhD in 19th Century American History.

It’s a shame, because if they taught the politics at least on the high school level then this whole cult of The Lost Cause would go up in smoke.

I get amused when some Southern boy clutching the Stars and Bars flag goes on about how “they” are trying to cancel his heritage. I want to ask him, which heritage are you speaking of? Can you trace your lineage back to plantation owners? Well then your heritage is one of the certainty of the righteous belief in the concept of one group of people holding as property another. Do you still believe that?

And if your heritage search gets you only to a white planter living a subsistence existence on a small farm you might be interested to know that most of those folks not only were against leaving the union, they were against slavery. They thought it was unfair they had to compete with giant factory farms who didn’t have the debit line on their balance sheets for wages.

In fact it is estimated that somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of the white male heads of households (i.e. those who could vote) in the slave states held no slaves. Unfortunately it’s also shown that somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of those states’ legislators were slave owners. To ensure themselves of that proportion they rigged elections, making it hard if not impossible for poor whites to vote (sound familiar?) and if they did vote just plain out chucking any ballot not in their favor. This is where poll taxes and literacy tests first came about.  It’s also where the fine art of voter intimidation was perfected. Vote to stay in the Union and you might find yourself at the wrong end of the whipping post. Or the hanging tree.

Too bad there wasn’t a 19th Century equivalent of Stacey Abrams to help them out. So many of them, their sons, their brothers, and their friends could have been spared a horrible battlefield death.

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Tweet Of The Day: Spy In The House Of Hate?

Who knew that the National Security Agency had a Twitter feed? I did not. They’re even more secretive than the CIA so I was surprised.

I was not, however, surprised that the NSA felt compelled to shoot down Tucker Carlson’s claim that he’s under surveillance.

A spy in the house of hate? Really, Tucker? I should thank him for giving me a new nickname for Fox News: The House Of Hate.

The Mothertucker has delusions of grandeur. In his off hours, all he does is leak to the media. He’s as transparent as fuck.

KMAC felt compelled to stick up for Tucker and brought Devin Nunes along for the ride:

After saying that NSA officials have refused to comply with requests from Republican members on the House Intelligence panel, McCarthy turned his focus to Carlson’s wild allegations against the NSA.

“Now, there is a public report that NSA read the emails of Fox News host Tucker Carlson,” McCarthy said. “Although NSA publicly denied targeting Carlson, I have serious questions regarding this matter that must be answered.”

McCarthy then announced that he has recruited Nunes to investigate the allegations that the NSA has denied.

“Given this disturbing trend, I’ve asked HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes to investigate and find answers on behalf of the American people,” McCarthy said. “The NSA cannot be used as a political instrument, and House Republicans will ensure accountability and transparency.”

Accountability? Transparency? From KMAC? He was against the Dipshit Insurrection before he was for it. This is some funny stuff, y’all.

Glad to hear that Nunes isn’t too busy suing Twitteratti to do his job, which consists of cooking up conspiracy theories and fluffing former President* Pennywise.

You know things are weird when the NSA goes public. The Mothertucker always brings out the worst in everyone. This whole spy in the house of hate shtick is just his latest lie. It’s what he does.

The last word goes to Was (Not Was) and Steve Winwood with different songs with the same title:

I might as well throw the DBs in the deep state deep end and see if they can swim as well:

Quote Of The Day: McCloskey Mishigas Edition

One of the stupidest things to come to national attention in 2020 was the McCloskey mishigas. They’re the St. Louis couple who raced out of stately McCloskey manor to “defend” themselves from BLM protestors. It’s hard to take someone who’s dressed like a mime seriously. I hate mimes. I’m not crazy about Mark and Patricia McCloskey either.

The McCloskeys have ridden this dubious incident to a speaking slot at the RNC, a guilty plea, and a senate run by Marky Mark or is that Macky Mac? They should have taken some gun safety classes instead. I’ve never even held an unloaded gun and I know better than to point a rod at anyone. I learned that from watching Mike Hammer and Frank Cannon.

This minor league Pennywise held a rally the other day in a parking lot. It bombed but led to a hilarious piece in the Riverfront Times by Daniel Hill. The opening paragraph is a classic:

Noted local criminal Mark McCloskey played host to a barbecue/political rally on Sunday afternoon, drawing tens of admirers to the sweltering parking lot of a closed outlet mall in St. Louis County to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the time he pulled a gun on a crowd of people who otherwise would never have noticed or cared he existed.

Make sure you read the whole damn piece. It contains spit take after spit take. Well done, Mr. Hill.

The entertainment at this rally ducked by Trumpist “luminaries” such as Michael Flynn and Madison Cawthorn was a Deep Purple cover band whose lead singer used to be in REO Speedwagon. I am not making this up.

The last word goes to Deep Purple with a song that was performed by the aforementioned cover band at the sparsely attended rally:

It’s Still A Trap

I have some good news for y’all:  just like I hoped they would back in February the Democrats are FINALLY playing politics. And boy are the Republicans mad!

It was very clear what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s game plan was:  to try to corral the moderate Senate Democrats in a bid for bipartisanship, to agree to a plan that was sub-optimal, pass it, let it fail the American people, and then blame the Democrats on the campaign trail in 2022. And they might have gotten away with it…if their chief opponent hadn’t been Joe Biden.

See, congressional Democrats had already decided among themselves that there would be 2 bills:  one that the moderates could show bipartisanship on, and one that progressives could tout next year and use reconciliation to pass, both of which Democrats would pass. And the Republicans knew this all along—in fact, Shelley Capito referenced it back in May:

And McConnell himself referenced the 2 bill plan:

And like I said back in May:

Capito and friends met again with President Biden this week and I give him a lot of credit. Everyone knows that even if the Democrats agreed to everything the Q Party wanted, they’d still vote against it! And I mean, even if it had everything, including leaving their precious corporate tax rate alone, they have no intention of giving Biden and the Democrats another accomplishment.  That’s because:

There won’t be any Q Party votes for any Democratic proposal. Ever.

And so here we are once again.

In reality, it’s a tempest in a teapot, sustained by McConnell and his buddies because their Grand Plan was thwarted they think they now have a great excuse to do what they always planned anyway. Both bills should pass and McConnell will have to find another excuse to explain away his pre-planned obstruction.

The reason that this non-issue is getting attention is our lazy mainstream media. It’s hard to write interesting stories about straightforward facts, and it’s even harder to get clicks on those stories after all of the circuses of the trump administration. In lieu of actually working, the press just repeated Republican lies.

From AP:

Senators were described as “stunned,” “floored” and “frustrated” after Biden publicly put the conditions on accepting their deal, according to two people familiar with the private conversations who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the reactions.

Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, tweeted this as an explanation for how egregiously the press is handling current events

He’s wrong. You don’t need a journalism degree to know one side is lying. And you don’t need a journalism degree to push the narrative that prizes the truth. It’s not pedagogy that is failing journalism; it’s character. Democracy might die in darkness, but it is also strangled by intellectual laziness.

 

 

The Milley-Gaetz Mishigas

The right is at it again. Mindless support for the Impeached Insult Comedian has replaced everything that conservatives once believed in. That’s why I no longer call them conservatives, they’re radicals bent on strip-mining our democracy until it’s so enfeebled that it will cave in.

There was a House hearing the other day at which Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley testified. They were upstaged by suspected sex trafficker Matt Gaetz who used his time to bang on and on about Critical Race Theory.

Gaetz wouldn’t know what CRT was if it bit him in the ass. Stupid didn’t just fall on Alabama, it fell on this Florida Man.

The suspected sex trafficker accused the military brass of being “woke.” Mercifully, he didn’t call them pansies like Ted Cruz in this infamous tweet:

Oy just oy.

Back to the Milley-Gaetz mishigas. The latter was expounding on CRT and wouldn’t let the General speak. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan yielded her time to General Milley who cut Gaetz down to size:

 … on the issue of critical race theory, et cetera, I’ll obviously have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important actually for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And the United States Military Academy is university and it is important that we train and we understand. And I want to understand white rage and I’m white, and I want to understand it.

So what is it that causes thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it. It’s important that we understand that because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and guardians, they come from the American people. So it is important that the leaders now and in the future do understand it.

I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers of being quote woke or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there.

Remember all the flag waving and strident admonitions to support the troops during the Bush-Cheney administration? The Trumpified right has turned on the military. It’s not the first time either: Joe McCarthy’s attacks on the Army proved to be his undoing. I wish I could say that Milley’s remarks would have the same effect that Joseph Welch’s shaming of McCarthy had, but they’re too far gone.

The anti-intellectualism of today’s right is so pronounced that a military man felt compelled to defend intellectual curiosity. Unlike suspected sex trafficker Matt Gaetz or suspected rapist Donald Trump, General Milley actually reads books. Does that make him a woke pansy?

It’s a short step from barring the teaching of CRT to banning and burning books. Is that the future Matt Gaetz and his ilk have in mind? It’s hard to tell because everything they do is for short-term effect, but raw meat eventually spoils. They would be wise to heed the words of a genuine conservative, General President Eisenhower:

Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book…

The last word goes to XTC:

Welcome To Trumptanamo

Paint By Numbers Pinocchio.

As a child, I was obsessed with the 1940 Disney movie Pinocchio. I was haunted by Pinocchio’s trip to Pleasure Island. He was conned into going by Honest John the fox seen above. Instead of paradise, it was hell as wayward boys were transformed into donkeys. Holy Cautionary tail, Batman.

I thought of Pleasure Island when I heard about Nightmare Scenario. It’s a new book by two WaPo reporters about Team Trump’s handling of the pandemic. It has a passage that reminded me of the time then President* Pennywise suggested that people ingest bleach to deal with COVID. This is just as stupid:

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as White House officials debated whether to bring infected Americans home for care, President Donald Trump suggested his own plan for where to send them, eager to suppress the numbers on U.S. soil.

“Don’t we have an island that we own?” the president reportedly asked those assembled in the Situation Room in February 2020, before the U.S. outbreak would explode. “What about Guantánamo?”

“We import goods,” Trump specified, lecturing his staff. “We are not going to import a virus.”

Aides were stunned, and when Trump brought it up a second time, they quickly scuttled the idea, worried about a backlash over quarantining American tourists on the same Caribbean base where the United States holds terrorism suspects.

It’s Pleasure Island all over again with then President* Pennywise in the role of Honest John and Slumlord Jared as his smarmy sidekick, Gideon the cat. Like everything else about the Trump regime, the idea was a con, a variation on the cup and ball trick. Instead of hiding the ball, Trump hoped to hide the virus. The stupid burns like bleach.  Oy just oy.

We all knew that the Impeached Insult Comedian was an ignorant idiot, but this is stupid even by his standards. Guantánamo is a naval base, not an island. It’s a piece of Cuba that the second Bush Administration transformed into a prison for terrorists in 2002. It’s a relic of the age of gunboat diplomacy: the US Navy “leased” it in 1903.

Since the Kaiser of Chaos knows nothing about history, he was oblivious to the other image this would have evoked to the sentient public: Leper Colonies. Leprosy is now called Hansen’s Disease to reduce the stigma associated with the original term. It was once believed to be highly contagious and was a huge problem during the Dark Ages. That resulted in a primitive and cruel form of social distancing: Leper Colonies, which were often islands. Hence the original post title: Welcome To The Trumptanamo Leper Colony.

Just imagine if then President* Pennywise had been shipped off to the Trumptanamo instead of Walter Reed Medical Center when he was stricken with COVID. It’s a good thing that some of his aides had sense enough not to drink that version of the Trumper Kool-Aide. The stupid burns like bleach. Oy just oy.

The last word goes to The Who with a song in which Tommy serenades his cult members:

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Last week the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops took a step toward publicly humiliating President Biden by denying him Holy Communion. This action is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and stupid, which means it’s completely on brand for the USCCB.

It’s no secret that the deeply misogynistic Roman Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. I was raised Catholic and had the full anti-abortion indoctrination of grotesque photos of purportedly aborted fetuses (who knows if any of that stuff was real or fake—propagandists use whatever they have available to push their message).

After I was free of parochial education, I started thinking for myself. As an adult, I saw the issue of abortion—and pregnancy—differently than I did as a teenager. I thought about what decision I would make if I found myself pregnant. And I had empathy for women who had to make that decision.

(I know that the anti-choice people love to yell “ADOPTION!!” when discussing abortion, but the reality is that many women just cannot afford to carry a child to term. In addition to the medical appointments, being pregnant still can get a woman fired, or cost her a promotion. If there are complications, it may require her taking unpaid leave.)

I don’t know what Joe Biden thinks deep in his heart about abortion. But I do know that as a politician he is supposed to represent the people who elected him. The Pew Forum says that 55% of people in Delaware support abortion being legal in all or most cases. And Pew also says that 59% of Americans support abortion being legal in all or most cases. And given the makeup of the electorate who elected him, there is a clear mandate for him to support women’s reproductive rights. That’s his job.

It’s ironic that the big fear about JFK’s Catholicism was that he’d be controlled by Rome. And now we have a bunch of Catholic bishops trying to act as if they were Rome to control Biden. This crazy plan might have worked, except that the Vatican has already weighed in on this issue and told the USCCB to back off.

In the end, the USCCB won’t explicitly say that pro-choice politicians must be denied Holy Communion. That’s not how Pharisees work. They’re cowards who hide behind a wall of words which they then twist to suit their purposes.

Naturally the chance to flaunt misogyny under the guise of morality attracts a lot of fellow travelers, and conservative Catholics are out there making the most of it. And they’re being cowards about any challenges to their obvious hypocrisy:

Karen Tumulty is right—there is a monomaniacal focus on abortion, but no public shaming for Catholic politicians who gleefully support the death penalty, and the Vatican has been very clear about the stance of the RCC on that issue. (Also on display in that exchange—the typical shift to the demand of a public debate when a conservative “thinker” has been shown to be intellectually naked. Pharisees gonna Pharisee.)

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