Monday, May 3, 2021

Free Community College Will Lift Millions Out of Poverty


President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden went to Virginia today to spread the word about their initiative to deliver on the promise of giving people access to free community college education benefits:

President Joe Biden took a whirlwind tour of Hampton Roads, a part of his Getting America Back on Track tour, on Monday to promote a $1.8 trillion legislative package that includes free universal pre-K and community college.

The proposal, dubbed the “American Families Plan” by the White House, would effectively create at least four additional free years of free public education. The plan also includes a federal family leave program, tax credits for childcare, increased financial aid for college students and dozens of other proposals.

In terms of what we need to fix in this country, health care and education run parallel to one another. You have to ensure that people have access to a functioning health care system that does not bankrupt them. And you also have to ensure people can get an education and the job training they need to have the ability to work and be productive. The third leg of all this is the ability to live in communities where the air and water aren't poisoned. 

Putting them together as I have, in my awkward way, tells you a very complex story. But it is as simple as hell--once people don't have to worry about health care, getting trained and educated, and dying from living in a hellhole, they can be lifted out of poverty. They can have great opportunities. They can have some peace of mind and get ahead. They can provide for their families.

This is what is so transformative about the Biden presidency. We're finally going to start fixing the critical shit that needs to be fixed.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Karen Flees Her Ancestral Home of Minneapolis


Hey, here's some racist claptrap from someone who doesn't realize that they have been living in a major American city:

Minneapolis is my home. My happiest memories are here. It’s where I learned to ride a bike, had my first date, received my high school diploma.
But today, I’m too afraid to even walk in my neighborhood by myself.
The ACE Hardware down the street? The one that I used to bike to in the summer? Robbed twice in the past five days.
The Walgreens next to my elementary school? Molotov cocktail thrown into it.
The Lake Harriet Bandshell, where we spent countless Mother’s Days? Homeless encampment popped up next door.
These are the things you don’t read about in the news.
Ten minutes from my house, at 38th and Chicago, there is still an autonomous zone. Police are not allowed to enter. Residents have died because medical authorities couldn’t get through, and carjackers (of which there are MANY) will speed into the zone to escape officer pursuit.

Good luck explaining to this person that their tolerance for bullshit happening every day in their own city created the current environment. What you actually see is someone who just wishes that the police could go back to killing anonymous citizens in order to terrorize the population and control activity.

The Minneapolis that I lived in decades ago was full of these people. It's still full of them. They'll be with us forever. They want the cops to kill people of color and maintain segregated areas where white people can do whatever they want while poor people of color are forced to live with someone's knee on their neck. This didn't just happen one day almost a year ago. It was the preferred method of population control in a city where the police union all but guaranteed employment for an untold number of killers wearing badges.

And now, Minneapolis is in turmoil. Come see the turmoil in cities across the country. A simple device--the hand-held telephone camera--is telling the story of the real America and it is creating uncomfortable discussions about what one group of people has had to live with for their entire existence in this country. And the white people who can't confront this or deal with it are shitting their collective pants because the idea that everyone being treated equally pisses them off.

If this woman loved her city, she'd fight for it and realize that her neighbors who are people of color have been treated like third-class citizens. She would be agitating for them to be treated like everyone else. And she damned sure wouldn't be cherry-picking incidents to make the case that it is people of color who are destroying everything.

I mean, come on, Karen.

Where's you outrage for this asshole? 

Meet Ivan Harrison Hunter. He traveled from Boerne, Texas all the way to Minneapolis, Minnesota and burned down a police station. He does not look black to me, by the way, and his single act did more damage to the community than someone who doesn't look like him.

A rightwing extremist boasted of driving from Texas to Minneapolis to help set fire to a police precinct during the George Floyd protests, federal prosecutors said.
US attorney Erica MacDonald said on Friday that she had charged Ivan Harrison Hunter, a 26-year-old Texas resident, with traveling across state lines to participate in a riot. The charges are the latest example of far-right extremists attempting to use violence to escalate national protests against police brutality into an uprising against the government, and even full civil war.
The case also reveals the extent of the coordination between violent members of the nascent far-right “Boogaloo Bois” movement operating in different cities across the country.
According to the criminal complaint against Hunter, on 26 May, as intense protests broke out in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd by a city police officer, a “Boogaloo Boi” based in Minnesota posted a public Facebook message: “I need a headcount.”
Hunter, a resident of Boerne, Texas, which is roughly 1,200 miles away, responded: “72 hours out.”

He's the one who decided that he had the right to burn down the whole thing to start with. And it is truly an example of racism in America that he isn't more famous and that there isn't a treasure trove of expertly lit photos of this motherfucker that can be shared. He is relatively anonymous and tolerated by far too many people when he is, in fact, charged with doing tremendous harm to the citizens of Minneapolis. 

So don't give me this crap about how it's all because of someone else. They didn't ruin Minneapolis. This woman did by tolerating years and years of oppression and violence against basic decency.

Friday, April 2, 2021

The GOP Will Never Win People Over With Their Ideas


The only thing the GOP has going for it is the ability to suppress the vote.

Ground zero in the fight to suppress the vote is the state of Georgia. Citing concerns about election integrity, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill into law last week that makes early voting and absentee voting more difficult. The measure even makes it a crime to offer water or food to people waiting in voting lines.

This is the same governor, by the way, who rejected pleas from Trump to overturn the results of the presidential election because of voter fraud.

The same people who couldn't govern their states or lift a finger to protect their citizens from COVID-19 are doubling down on the idea that the central organizing principle of the Republican Party is to deny minorities the right to vote.

It's rooted in white supremacy, ignorance, bigotry, and incompetence. There is no possibility that the "ideas" of Republican ideology are going to win people over because they are out of ideas. All they have left is spewing hate and owning the libs.

Republicans are trying to turn back the clock instead of adjusting to the tide of history. The GOP would be better served by reaching out to win the hearts and minds of the growing numbers of minority voters instead of excluding them from the body politic. A party without a vision for expansion is a party without a healthy future.

Attempts to limit voting are a sure sign of democracy in deep decline. Big voter turnout is an indication of a political system in the full bloom of spring. 

As long as people vote, we have a chance. If people don't vote, we're done for.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Katie Porter is Not Here to Suffer Any Fools


If Representative Katie Porter unearths some incompetence, malfeasance, or debauchery as a result of performing oversight on the Biden Administration, too damned bad:

Democrats loved watching Orange County Rep. Katie Porter skewer Trump administration appointees and corporate executives in congressional hearings.

But it felt different when Porter’s progressive passion and impatience for convention turned to them.

Just as she wielded a whiteboard and sharp questioning to expose the flaws and outdated thinking she saw in Postal Service management or the nation’s COVID-19 testing system, Porter recently took aim at House Democrats’ rules and traditions for what is usually a behind-the-scenes competition to determine which lawmakers sit on which coveted committees.

It was a calculated high-stakes gamble that resulted in Porter not returning this year to sit on the Financial Services Committee, one of the House’s most sought-after panels and one for which the former bankruptcy and consumer law professor was highly suited.

Porter has very little seniority but she more than makes up for it in personal achievements and outright expertise. I think it is a mistake to sideline her when she should be an incredibly valuable ally for anyone who believes in competent governance.

President Joe Biden is not going to bat .1000 every single day. He's trusting a lot of people to do the right thing and do their jobs. If they don't do what they're supposed to do, then the normal course of events is to get rid of them. That's how you lead, that's how you run things, and that's how good governance happens. You have to be tough and you have to give a shit.

Miss Katie Porter gives a shit.

Here's the thing that separates us from the wolves, or Republicans: if Porter does her job and if it exposes someone's inability to do their job, I am all for that person being fired or removed. I want the government to work and so does Porter. We just lived through four years of unhinged disregard for doing the right thing. When a Democrat acts like a jackass, get rid of them and get someone in there who can do the job.

What we don't need is blind partisan support for croneyism and graft. Porter is the cure for all that. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Amazon is the Ruin of All of Us


Here's a great read for you:

Alec MacGillis is a responsible, serious journalist who writes for ProPublica and wins awards for his in-depth reporting on economics and society. But his new book is a horror story.

The terror hits again and again in “Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America,” a grounded and expansive examination of the American economic divide. Whether he’s introducing an office supply entrepreneur in Texas, the leader of a Seattle gospel group or a retired Baltimore steelworker going back to work, the reader — me, you — will feel that drop in the stomach, the dread of what we know is coming. Here they are, people with dreams and families and flaws and aspirations, and something bad is going to happen to them.

That bad thing is Amazon.

This is much more than a story of retail. It’s about real estate. It’s about lobbying, data centers and the CIA. It’s about revolving doors in Washington, D.C., and cardboard folders in Ohio. It’s about a social fabric disintegrating while corporations duck paying taxes. It’s about a stunning transfer of wealth into Amazon’s coffers, all before the COVID-19 pandemic began and the company reaped even more.

“Fulfillment” is an indictment in fact but not in tone. I’ve been meaner to Amazon in these short paragraphs than MacGillis is in his entire book. There’s probably a reason the publishers left the word “Amazon” out of the title: This book is neither a hagiography nor a targeted attack. Instead, like the HBO series “The Wire,” it reveals the way economic, political and social systems affect individual stories. MacGillis wants readers to see how the systems Amazon both exploited and created affect so much of our economy, building the case brick by brick. In almost every instance, he finds a way in through a personal story or two. It takes a skillful journalist to weave data and anecdotes together so effectively.

Amazon is not a company so much as it is a virus that has run wild in the body of a dying host. The reason why it exists is because we fell out of practice when it comes to keeping American corporations from assembling too much power and capital in one place. You can say the same of Google, Apple, and Facebook but most people refuse to believe that the unchecked capitalism that we checked in the early 20th Century has returned with a vengeance to harm our society.

Any book that explains that is worth its weight in gold.

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Biden Agenda for Women


Elections matter:

President Joe Biden is set to mark International Women's Day Monday by signing two executive orders creating a Gender Policy Council and reviewing Trump-era changes to Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in education, according to administration officials.

The first order establishes the White House Gender Policy Council to work with other policy councils to advance gender equality in domestic and foreign policy development, combat systemic bias and discrimination, including sexual harassment, and focus on increasing female participation in the labor force and decreasing wage and wealth gaps, the officials said.

The council will also focus on transgender rights and supporting care workers, predominantly women of color.

Officials pointed out the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest, with 2.5 million leaving the workforce in 2020 compared to 1.8 million men who did the same. The U.S. Department of Labor's February jobs report released Friday found Black and Hispanic women showed the greatest declines in labor force participation.

This is an open reminder that the GOP is going to try and stop each and every initiative that expands the rights of every American. If you want to see an inclusive, expansive agenda going forward, look to what President Biden is actually doing. This won't get anywhere near the amount of coverage it deserves, but a push to ensure that women are treated equally in the workplace and in university athletics could resonate for generations. We have to support these moves and we have to keep voting for Democrats or the Republicans will stop all of this from going forward.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Robert Brockman Forgot to Get a Pardon From Trump


Robert Brockman is a billionaire charged with tax fraud. He's also a prolific donor to the Republican Party. In and of itself, this would not be news except for the fact that he could have gotten away with it if he'd been pardoned:

The billionaire accused of running the biggest tax fraud scheme in U.S. history was a prolific donor to Republican groups and causes. The leaders of those organizations have kept quiet on the federal charges against him.

Robert Brockman, the former CEO of Ohio-based software company Reynolds & Reynolds, was charged in October for running a $2 billion tax fraud scheme.

Department of Justice officials said at the time that the businessman had hidden capital gains income for over 20 years through various offshore entities in Bermuda and Nevis and secret bank accounts. Brockman has pleaded not guilty to the alleged crimes.

Brockman’s most recent contributions to Republican committees came in 2017, ahead of the Congressional midterm elections the following year, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Representatives of the organizations that are still active did not respond when asked whether they plan to refund or give the total amount of contributions away to charity in the wake of the allegations. The 2017 contributions had yet to be reported in the media.

In 2017, Brockman donated over $80,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the political campaign organization for House Republicans. Republicans went on to lose the House to Democrats, with Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., becoming speaker.

What's interesting is that Brockman stopped giving money to Republicans. If he'd given Trump a million dollars, let's say, in the summer of 2020, he probably would have been able to secure a pardon this past January. He could have then skated on Federal tax evasion charges. However, knowing how pervasive this problem is, the State of Ohio probably has a tax evasion case ready to go against him (unless they've been paid off in advance).

Brockman's defense team is also trying to claim he has a mental incapacity and cannot be tried. Fine, put the people who worked for him on trial and offer them immunity if they'll kindly explain what the hell happened.

This is a culture of corruption. How did he get away with it for that long? No one in the Obama Administration caught him. No one in the Justice Department under at least three presidents caught him. They're just now figuring out this guy was a crook?

Something is seriously broken in how we regulate and tax the rich in this country.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Officer Derek Chauvin Was More That Just a Bad Apple


Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department was a walking liability and a threat to public safety long before he encountered George Floyd last summer.

In November 2013, Minneapolis police pulled over LaSean Braddock shortly after midnight as he drove home from a double shift as a mental health worker at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Braddock, 48, said he had grown somewhat accustomed to being stopped by police because his identity had been stolen and he was sometimes mistaken for the man who had been using his name. He carried paperwork with him from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as proof, he said, so the stops were usually brief: He would show the paperwork to officers; they'd review it and let him go. But the officer at his driver's side window that day stuffed the documents in his pocket without looking at them, Braddock said.

When he hesitated to get out of the car, the officer aggressively hit the driver's side window with a flashlight, Braddock said. Two officers then tried to pull him from the car before he got out on his own. 

 "Then they tried to slam me on the ground, but I was about 240 pounds," Braddock said, adding that although he still was unsure why he was stopped, he complied to avoid injury. " Then they jumped on my head and my neck and my back. I was lying flat on the ground."

More than six years later, Braddock saw one of those officers again as he watched a harrowing video of George Floyd's final moments. Derek Chauvin, Braddock said, was one of the officers who had treated him roughly. A police report from that night confirms that Chauvin was one of the arresting officers.

This speaks to the depravity of Chauvin as a person. He was a battering ram of a cop, ready to use force without provocation. How many other cases of police brutality are there? I wouldn't trust the Minneapolis Police Department to have a firm handle on those statistics in relation to Chauvin and the other officers who were present when Chauvin murdered Floyd at the intersection of 38th and Chicago in South Minneapolis. What else are we missing here?

There has to be a significant restructuring and reorganization of the police force in virtually all of our major cities. The people hired to be cops have to rise above the possibility that they might be a "bad apple" in the bunch. They have to be screened out and removed when their conduct is revealed.

That means dealing with the fact that some police unions aren't actually there to protect the rights of cops in relation to the benefits and pay provided by their municipal employers. They're there to make sure bad cops aren't held accountable. They're right wing advocacy groups, in other words, and opposed to reform. 

I'm all for raising the pay and raising the standards for who gets to be a cop. It should be a difficult process to get to be a cop, one that involves identifying anyone who might be a psychopath. It should pay well and offer some level of prestige. And I also want to see mental health workers integrated into police activity and public safety initiatives. I want those people to be paid more than they are so they can be held to a higher standard.

And if you have to raise taxes to do it, raise the fucking taxes. Do it now.


Monday, March 1, 2021

Goya Needs a New CEO

Hey, man - read the room:

The CEO of Goya Foods said Donald Trump is the "actual" US president nearly six weeks after President Joe Biden's inauguration.

Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue spread conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election during the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, per CNN.

"My biggest honor today is gonna be that — I think we're gonna be on the same stage — as, in my opinion, the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president of the United States, Donald J. Trump," Unanue said on the conference stage in Orlando, Florida. 

Trump lost the election to Biden after losing both the popular vote and the electoral college. Elections experts and international observers found no evidence of election fraud.

Anyone who leads a corporation that depends on people actually buying a product being sold knows that a boycott can effectively cripple a brand. The Goya brand has been knocked down so badly that it is a wonder that Unanue still has a job.

I don't know why he would double down and ask people to hate the Goya brand even more than they already do. It must be something that tests well with whoever they're still trying to reach. The vast majority of the people who still support Trump are broke and wouldn't buy Goya products to save their lives. 

If there is someone advising this man, it is clear that nothing has been getting through to him. He should have made it clear where the company stands in relation to the end of the Trump Regime. Instead, he just invited more people to reject his products. Not smart.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Raise the Minimum Wage

McDonald's needs to answer for having a "secret intelligence service" after we raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour:

For years, McDonald's has internally labeled activists and employees working with the Fight for $15 campaign a security threat and has spied on them, Motherboard has learned. McDonald's says that this work is designed to identify protests that "could put crew and customer safety at risk."

The fast food giant's secretive intelligence unit has monitored its own workers’ activities with the movement, which seeks to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, including by using social media monitoring tools, according to two sources who worked at McDonald's who had direct knowledge of the surveillance and leaked documents that explain the surveillance strategy and tactics. A team of intelligence analysts in the Chicago and London offices keep an eye on the activities of Fight for $15 labor organizers across the world, figure out which McDonald's workers are active in the movement, and who they are working with to organize strikes, protests, or attempt to form unions. 

No McDonald's workers are currently unionized, but many of them are politically involved with Fight for $15, which has organized fast food worker strikes and protests since 2012 and is affiliated with one of the country's largest unions. To date, McDonald's has refused to bargain with workers who the company says aren't its employees because they work for franchises. 

The surveillance is particularly notable given the current political battle being fought over a $15 minimum wage, which has been proposed in Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package. An increase in the minimum wage is broadly popular nationally with both Republican and Democratic voters (and two-thirds of Americans support raising it to $15), but the proposal has become a sticking point in the stimulus legislation: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin—a critical vote in the Senate—has said he does not favor a $15 minimum wage. The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for more than 10 years.

What is depressing is that all of the large chains probably have the same anti-labor, anti-raising the minimum wage mentality that needs to be addressed by ensuring that workers have the chance to organize. You can't just raise wages without raising the quality of the job itself. You do that by addressing who gets insurance benefits, paid time off, and all of the other things that collective bargaining can guarantee for people who have never had these things. That alone should motivate people to support raising the minimum wage and improving the structure of what work looks like in the 21st Century.

I am hoping that the new Biden Administration will put someone in charge of the Department of Labor who can make it easier for workers all over the country to organize. More importantly, they need to fight the disinformation campaigns that are being run to scare people into supporting efforts to block a minimum wage increase.

Raising the minimum wage does NOT kill jobs. It raises workers out of poverty. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Federal Government Must Protect Consumers From Griddy


This is insane:

As the Texas power grid collapsed under a historic winter storm, Jose Del Rio of Haltom City, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, saw the electricity bill on a vacant two-bedroom home he is trying to sell slowly creep up over the past two weeks. Typically, the bill is around $125 to $150 a month, he said. But his account has already been charged about $630 this month — and he still owes another $2,600.

 “If worse comes to worst, I have the ability to put it on a credit card or figure something out," Del Rio said. ”There is no one living in that house. All the lights are off. But I have the air at 60 because I don’t want the pipes to freeze.”

When he contacted Griddy, his electric company, they advised him to switch providers, Del Rio said.

This is outright theft. If there was ever a need to protect people from being taken advantage of, this is it. There should be caps on what Griddy can charge. There should be regulation as to what Griddy can do to consumers. But there aren't! That's what's so crazy about this situation.

“The last thing an awful lot of people need right now is a higher electric bill — and that’s unfortunately something a lot of people will get stuck with,” Schulz said.

Royce Pierce and his wife, Danielle, who live in Willow Park, west of Dallas, have been watching their electricity bill tick up by nearly $10,000 in the last few days for their three-bedroom home. While the family told NBC News they consider themselves lucky because they’ve had power, the financial burden has come with additional challenges.

Since the family is on a variable rate plan with Griddy, the company automatically debits the bill as they use electricity. Danielle said she closed the debit card connected to their electricity bill because Griddy wiped it out. The family has been using separate accounts and credit cards to pay for necessities as the storm goes on.

Griddy claims that they are fighting against the rate increases. Good! Fight like hell! But when you discover that Texas politicians have set up a lobbyist-friendly situation that allows a public utility to fleece consumers, that's when it is time to say enough is enough, goddammit.

I don't care what the "variable rate plan" is because I don't think anyone should have to pay these outlandish prices. Your power bill--and, for that matter, your health care bill--should not be allowed to wipe out your credit cards and your bank account. Add "variable rate utility bill" to the list of things that needs to be fixed now that there is a Democrat in the White House.

This is exorbitant and cruel in nature. The Federal government needs to step in and protect the people of Texas from predatory utility companies that have no right whatsoever to drain the life savings of anyone. And no, I don't care if it's a legal agreement between the utility and the customer or if it's something people signed away their rights for. I think the government HAS to step in when a situation gets to this level of price gouging. It is immoral and unjust.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Grover Norquist is Crying Like a Little Baby


One of the consequences of throwing Trump and a bunch of Republicans out of office for failing to govern is that now we get to fix the tax code. I am hoping President Biden let's Senator Elizabeth Warren stick it to the rich and signs legislation that specifically targets the wealthy. I hope they are taxed into oblivion. Let them go live in the Caribbean. Let them deal with foreign banking officials who are corrupt and will walk off with their wealth because their banks are just Ponzi schemes.

I mean, is it fair and reasonable to want people like Grover to have a big sad all over the place? I think it would be irresponsible not to hope and pray for someone to relieve him of whatever bullshit untaxed wealth he's been hoarding throughout the Trump years. The man who said that he wanted to shrink government down to the point where it could be drowned in a bathtub is now going to get super serious about regulating the behavior of America's wealthy elites. 

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of fucking criminals.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Distractions Abound


Now that the Republican Party has been thrown out of power at the Federal level, it is important to watch how the bullshit culture wars are going to be obsessed over by the media while Democrats try to fix the country.

This is a classic example of a bullshit story/event/situation. Comedian and film actor Seth Rogen is an activist in the real world. He uses his social media presence to hammer home the fact that Republicans are a bunch of dicks. 

Here, he has slammed some journalist who isn't even worth naming and made it so the man's mother has to defend him. Wah, wah. Welcome to the stupidest country on Earth.

Rogen has also gone after dipshits like Ted Cruz. I am pleased with this development. I think more celebrities should pound home the indisputable fact that the Sedition Caucus of the Republican Party is full of grifters, cheats, assholes, and jackoffs.

In and of itself, if a United States Senator like Canadian-born Cruz can be completely thrown into fits of screaming and panic by something Rogen says about him, then that goddamned Senator is a worthless clown. In other words, Cruz needs to focus on the fact that he'll be in the minority for a while and his beard makes him look like a deranged circus performer with a scat fetish.

None of the things that really matter, which are economic in nature and should be organized around getting people relief, getting them jobs and better wages, and getting a COVID vaccine into their bodies, are affected by the standoff between Rogen and Cruz. But you have to credit Rogen for getting Cruz so freaked out that he is probably curled up in a sleeping bag filled with his own feces. It keeps Cruz from developing anything that resembles a coherent argument against helping the American people.

And that's a good thing.

Friday, January 29, 2021

There Are No Consequences For Losing Everything


What's pathetic is that nothing in this article is true, even the parts that are supposed to be:

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel grew emotional talking with former Vice President Mike Pence the day after Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol building and called for his hanging.

The Washington Post reports that McDaniel personally called Pence the day after the infamous Trump-incited riots at the Capitol led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer.

"On the phone, the next day, talking about what happened, McDaniel became emotional," the Post writes. "She wanted Pence to know he was still welcome to come to the RNC meeting. He did not go. McDaniel fought back tears."

So, the Washington Post is trying, desperately, to prop up Romney McDaniel and provide some sort of lifeline for the Republican Party. What we are watching is the implosion of the party in real time. As I have said many times to myself and out loud, how the fuck did Liz Cheney become the voice of reason? How did we end up in a place where you could amplify the batshit crazy raving and drooling of the various people who now serve in Congress as Republicans and not end up in a straitjacket?

The money is drying up. Romney McDaniel is responsible for losing the House in 2018, a Senate seat in Alabama (briefly), the Senate in 2020 and the presidency. In any other era, she would have been fired for incompetence before any of these things happened.

And yet, here we are. She's still in control of the Republican National Committee and corporate America is now waking up to the fact that the GOP is the most toxic brand in America. Martin Pharmaboy Shkreli is more marketable. The Manson Family is more well-liked. Virulent strains of herpes have broader appeal to more Americans and a better outreach to rural communities. The Republican Party is the Shingles Party, and that's only because getting shingles is easier to deal with when it shows up at your home.

Talk about job security. If you end up with a job in the RNC, you can wake up next to Don Junior, his crazy girlfriend, her lap dance chair, and eleven dead hookers in a vat filled with meth and cream cheese and you can still expect another two years of raking in the big bucks.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

And, Just Like That, Russia is Coming Apart


Maybe Vladimir Putin should think about living out the rest of his days in the South of France, surrounded by all of the other oligarchs. A nice pension of five rubles a day would be appropriate.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Definitely a Cult of Personality


Remarkable work by @erinscottphoto.

The Trump Regime is an actual cult. It is a cult of personality that resembles all the awful ones in history. There were numerous examples of this throughout Latin America and Africa as emerging nations were captured by the local kleptocrats and allowed to exist as de facto money printing schemes that enriched the people who had access to guns.

Peter Navarro is scurrying out of the White House with a useless trophy. He stumbles through the gutter, hoping no one can see what he is absconding with. Someone paid for that image to be blown up and framed, and it likely wasn't Navarro, so what you are witnessing is a case of petty theft of government property.

What does he think having that photo will do for him? Will it remind him of his time in the cult? Who will deprogram him and help him wash away the stain of failure? He joins the rest of his colleagues in leaving a White House where they thought they were tasting victory every single day.

All they got in return were ashes in their mouths. That's all Navarro is walking away with, the empty, bitter taste of failure that will cling to him forever.

John F Kennedy:

We will not prematurely or unnecessarily
Risk the course of worldwide nuclear war
In which even the fruits of victory
Would be ashes in our mouths

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Help People and Improve Their Lives


Rebecca Traister has it completely right and you should read her article:

It is also the starkest possible evidence that Democrats must steer straight toward the kinds of mechanisms that are this calamity’s direct and robust inverse: toward strengthening and empowering a populace, toward a governance that prioritizes dignity and care and safety and security for everyone, not just the already powerful. That means money, and a speedy, determined reknitting of a social safety net that has been maliciously unraveled over decades.

Which necessarily means governing like you are trying to save not just your own jobs but your nation and its people: from a coup, from a contagion, from the daily perils that have engulfed them for too long and from which our government has done too little to protect them.

Part of why so little has been offered to those who have needed it is that the Democratic Party, which is purportedly (if sometimes implausibly) supposed to represent the vulnerable, has approached politics and power with fear, not assuredness or moral authority.

For decades, practically since the very civil-rights (and women’s, and gay-rights) movements that provoked the hard-right backlash contractions that found their apotheosis over these past four years, Democrats have governed from a crouch. They have run nervously from the barest suggestion that they might indeed want to create a durable, inclusive republic in which government takes an active role in supporting and making life better for the governed.

I want to see the moral authority of feeding, clothing, sheltering and caring for the needs of the American people become more than just populism. I want it to be the just work of a caring nation. 

As painful as it was to see the yahoos and nincompoops overrunning the House and Senate yesterday, what's more painful is knowing that they will feel justified in their actions if we continue to ignore the needs of the American people and serve corporate interests. Their worldview isn't necessarily all about Trump. It's far more shitheaded than that. They feel justified because they have been fed a lie that says that their government has never done anything for them.

Democrats have to make it painfully obvious that someone gives a shit about people. And then we have to make sure there are no elections where people say fuck it and don't vote.

The central organizing principle of the Democratic Party should be the elimination of all forms of white supremacy. You want to take care of people and solve their problems? You can't do that until everyone gets equal treatment under the law.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Newsweek is a Media Junk Property Now


The quickest way to destroy the reputation of the publication that you bought is to turn it into a wingnut grievance machine and watch the money come pouring in, right?

Fucking Newsweek, what a joke.