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2020 I 2018 2015 2012 2009 2006

Good! Democrats are seeking to remove Iowa’s and New Hampshire’s status as “First in the nation” primary votes. Biggest problem is that results in those states aren't very predictive. They just don’t tell you how the rest of the race is going to go.

Wow! Math books are now considered evidence of teachers trying to teach Critical Race Theory to young’uns!

Update (21 Apr): The math books teach students how to think, incorporate kindness and mention Black mathameticians.

Update (13 May): "When the Florida Department of Education announced it was rejecting 54 math textbooks, it pointed to a 'thorough review' process," but a review conducted by the Miami Herald showed that the process was anything but and was seriously unsatisfactory.

Elon Musk says he wishes to buy Twitter. He is being presented here as a free-speech hero. Kind of a problem with that is that he champions lying and misrepresenting and propaganda, not just "another point of view." He also doesn't permit the "free speech" of people who would like to unionize his workplaces.

Very interesting piece on Elon Musk and his intention to take over Twitter. Unfortunately, neither he nor his interviewer really have any deep understanding of free speech issues. Musk thinks that as long as the platform follows 1st Amendment guidelines, everything's okay. But porno falls under free speech, spam falls under free speech, suggesting that an ethnic group needs to be exterminated falls under free speech. So no, speech on a platform like Twitter is a bit more complicated than that.

Movie: "Everything Everywhere All at Once"
Interesting stuff. Looks at one woman’s life through several alternate histories. It’d make for a cool party video, showing in a corner where people wander in and out.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott's slowdown of commerce across the border has everything to do with inflation!

Whew! Finally! A seriously destructive policy has ended, at least for now. Trucks from Mexico were being delayed up to 30 hours for no discernable reason.

President Zelenskyy says all Russian troops must be forcibly ejected from Ukraine.
Genocidal talk on Russian state TV.

This is a very, very long – 31 tweets – thread on Alexei Navalny’s Twitter feed about how to combat Putin’s Information Warfare campaign.

Generally, Ukraine hasn't needed or wanted foreign personnel to help them fight. However, they can use people for rescue and rebuilding operations, so nation's have been happy to send people for that purpose.

I made the case in an essay in prawnworks that wartime atrocities occur when soldiers are far from home and feel that their friends and relations will never be aware of the awful things they've done to foreign civilians. In this piece here, we have the other problem! That people at home are fully aware but just don't want to hear about it!

That seems a rather important detail, that Senator Lee was aware of January 6 details a month earlier than he claimed.

"Kremlin TV Freaks Out Over Sinking Of The Moskva"
Hmm. So after the horrible atrocities of Bucha and the tens of thousands of civilians butchered in Mariupol the sinking of the Black Sea Flagship Moskva (Moscow) is now an "outrage." Uh-huh.

Israeli forces storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It’s ridiculous to describe the violence at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem as “clashes” when all of the violence was on one side, that of Israeli police. “Sometimes journalists’ desire for even-handedness obscures the truth.”

President Zelenskyy makes the good case that buying Russian oil is hurting his country. Very true, but buying any fossil fuels from anywhere damages the planet.

Maggie Haberman of the NY Times quotes Trump about “Putin doesn’t dare move on Ukraine” during Trump's term in office because Trump would have  forbidden it, without explaining that there was a low-level war going on in the Donbas from the beginning to the end of Trump’s term in office. Would have been nice to have had that context.

Republican National Committee (RNC – the campaign arm of the Republican Party) throws in the towel, admitting that as it can’t win debates with Democrats, so they’d just as soon chuck the whole debating thing.

Russia’s Black Sea flagship suffers severe damage from two Ukrainian missiles.
Roughly the size of the ship I served on 1996-1998, but with many more weapons.

Ukrainin soldier giving finger to the Moskva, which was sunk by Ukrainian missiles.
Situation on Ukrainian troops in Mariupol.

...efforts to resupply the remaining Ukrainian troops in Mariupol were difficult but continuing.

Report on Biden’s talk with Zelenskyy. Helicopters will be in arms package.
Demographics of Russian soldiers.

About the sinking of the Russian Black Sea flagship, the Moskva.

Trucks backed up thanks to Texas Governor Abbott’s new policy to sabotage our supply lines.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki is asked if President Biden had to clear his remarks about Russian President Putin committing genocide through anyone. Psaki replied that yes, Biden is the President and no, he doesn’t have to clear his remarks through anyone. Biden is the final authority on what he says.
Also, interesting stuff about totem poles and where to place the primary character.

The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, gave a lot of money to support democracy for the 2020 election. Republicans have spread conspiracy theories about “Zuckerbucks” since then.

Truly pathetic! Constituent rattles off what right-wing media fills his head with. Senator Grassley doesn’t dare to contradict him.
Also, Democrats are becoming increasingly irrelevant in Iowa politics, making Iowa less likely to remain their choice for first state to get their votes in primaries.

This is pretty amazing.

Asked what made him vote against a measure that he had co-sponsored, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., was brief and blunt.
"I don’t know," he said.

Uuh. Wait. What?!?! You "don't know" why you voted against the measure?!?!?! And yeah, the reason's a racist one.

Well over a year since the 2020 election and Trump has proven zippo concerning how he was cheated out of a second term. Fortunately, even his loyal followers are getting tired of his schtick.

Yeah, there's a problem with saying your long-range weapons (bombs, missiles, drones) are super-duper accurate. That means you have no excuse when hospitals and apartment buildings are hit.

Serious questions about the motivation for Saudi Arabia to invest so much money with the Trump son-in-law. ”...this appears awfully corrupt.”

Saudi Arabia maintains very tight censorship, so this is clearly endorsed by the very top people.
Interestingly, “VP Harris” is played by a fellow in drag.

Don Jr. hunting with a rifle. It has a telescopic sight and a tripod. At least a bow and arrow would be something of a challenge! Problem with hunting since World War I is that it's about as challenging as playing a video game in your living room.

This is really quite sad. Granted, Hunter Biden is President Biden’s son, but both he and his wife are private citizens. It is absolutely not the business of Fox News if she goes to an expensive restaurant.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shot himself in the foot by taking all of his preferred members off of the January 6 Committee. He has absolutely no idea what the committee will present.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the Belarusian opposition leader, trying to unseat Aleksandr Lukashenko, 67, who’s been in power since 1994.
Lithuania will train Ukrainian troops on Western weapons.
Ha, ha, ha! Y’all didn’t think Elon Musk was providing Starlink terminals for FREE, now did you?
Quickie updates on various cities.

Nothing mysterious about The Former Guy endorsing Dr. Oz.

...Oz backed up [Trump’s] claims of being in "extraordinary health," which apparently made the former president "like him even more…”

Trump supporters heads explode!

Classic stuff! Someone make a controversial assertion. Someone else makes the reasonable demand “Prove it!” People then do so. “Well, er, um, it doesn’t really count!”

We saw a study a while ago about Fox News viewers being paid to watch CNN for a month. This a follow-up thinkpiece on that.

Blogger discusses the verification of stories. Lots of "chaff among the wheat," have to watch for confirmation bias (if its really good news, double-check it) and remember that even good sources sometimes get it wrong.

We really have no idea what the WaPo thought it was accomplishing by examining what alleges to be "Hunter Biden's laptop." Why they even bothered trying to verify any of it is a mystery as there are far too many questions about whether other parties added files to what are most likely stolen files from Hunter's computer.

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, paid a visit to President Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
Johnson promises only defensive weapons, but that includes “Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, and another 800 anti-tank missiles.” That also includes Harpoon anti-ship missiles. So what exactly constitutes “defensive” weaponry? Ehh, no one’s really sure.
Ukrainians have set up a website to document war crimes.
Looking at Ukrainian appeals, they don’t need troops. They have plenty of able and willing troops. They just need weapons.

Former Congressman Devin Nunes tries desperately to defend Trump’s new media platform that suffers from low readership in addition to being buggy as %^$#.

Killings of Ukrainians in Bucha and elsewhere.

Latest Russian offensive is probably overextended. Again, there’s no “schwerpunkt” (area of focus).

Russians consolidate their chain of command under one general.
Russians committing horrible brutalities and stealing children.
How the war in the Donbas started. And yes, Qanon figures into Russian narratives.
Heartbreaking! Young boys remember their deceased mothers.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell simply has no "moral red lines." The question to him had to be repeated as he clearly wasn't prepared to answer that. There's simply nothing that takes precedence over winning more power for his party.

Woo hoo! Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed!

Aww! Senator Cruz is just trying to make us liberals feel good.

"KBJ will be ‘way, way, way’ to the left of any Supreme Court justice in history."

Michelle Obama’s take on Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson being confirmed.

Group photo.

A Republican in Missouri sponsored a bill to outlaw marriages to a child under 14. And 48 republicans voted against it.

Still think Republicans and QAnon are anti-pedophilia? Nope!

Seems Denver's experience with unarmed first responders has been a smashing success!

The two sides are rushing to redeploy forces from around Kyiv to the Eastern front.
Intercepted phone call from Russian soldier to his home tells of chasing little Ukrainian girl and then “shooting her in the legs – just for fun.” Plenty of testimony as to the barbarity of Russian occupiers.
FBI disrupts network of Russian hackers.

Interesting. Liberals believe in a wide variety of sources. The conservative list of trustworthy sources is very, very short.

Women fleeing repressive Texas abortion law go to Oklahoma. Unfortunately, that state’s just as hostile to a woman’s right to choose.

Very sad to hear this! I followed Eric's work closely for many years. Eric Boehlert died in a bicycle accient.

Ah, here we go! I was wondering what the QAnon position on the Tennessee bill (allows dirty old men to marry children) was.

This is very, very bad news and an example of what we mean by "shadow docket."

President Zelenskyy addresses the UN. Blogger reproduces complete speech, both in video and in print.
Now that Kyiv s secure, Ukraine is relocating units to their Eastern front.

When the Russians arrived, they killed all the men below 50. He’s 53. He told us this shaking with the trauma of it.

Reactions to being liberated from besieged cities.

Would Russians prefer to deal with Biden or The Former Guy? They make it pretty clear they much prefer TFG.

Russia appears to have thought that Ukraine was a thin layer of Westernized elites atop of an essentially pro-Russian population. Now, the battle for Ukrainehas turned out to be a showdown with the Ukrainian people as a whole.”

It's not at all clear that Senator Cotton understands what a defense attorney does.
Would Cotton have defended the Central Park Five, who later turned out to be innocent? Because it sounds as though he would have joined the mob.

Senator Graham makes it quite clear that, for a Democratic President to get a Supreme Court nominee approved by a Republican-run Senate, the candidate must not be simply moderate, they must be indistinguishable from what a right-wing Republican President would appoint.

Okay, VP Harris’s weekends are a mystery. Erm, what did VP Pence spend his weeks doing?!?!?! We know that the President during that time did as much golf in four years that Obama did in eight.

Yeah, I like Senator Durbin as well, but agree he’s just too nice a guy for the job he tried to do. To conduct the Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson hearing correctly, they needed someone mean to fill that role.

Senator Lindsey Graham was permitted to go on past his time, to ask improper questions of Judge Jackson, and for what? Graham vote against her anyway.

This is a new low in American politics.While FactCheck.org has shown that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has sentenced child porn cases in accordance with federal guidelines, the hysterical charges of Senator Hawley have convinced Representative Greene that anyone who supports Jackson is a supporter of child porn. As the blog post points out, Tennessee has now legalized child marriage!

Russia steps up the pace of bombing.
Group of 93 civilians tries to escape from the siege of Mariupol, Russia summarily executes them. Ukrainian propaganda? No, this was reported in RT, the Russian news service.
NY Times distinguishes itself by doing excellent confirmation work concerning killings in Bucha.
Why Germany keeps buying Russian oil and gas.
Russian state propaganda outlet calls for the complete destruction of Ukrainian “Nazis,” claiming “Ukronazism poses a much bigger threat to the world and Russia than the Hitler version of German Nazism.”
A genocide researcher says that yes, Russia’s behavior is “as genocide as it gets.”

Senator Lindsey Graham argues that, because of the way Judge Janice Rogers Brown was treated, he's going to hold a grudge (Her nomination was opposed in 2003 and several times since then) and oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court.

Occasional Philly Inquirer columnist agrees with Senator Graham that Judge Brown would have been a fine Supreme Court Justice. Notice that he never says specifically why Democrats opposed her.

NAACP says "Nope!" Judge Brown would have made an awful Supreme Court Justice and they agreed with the then-Senator Biden having blocked her nominations.

Senator Rick Scott, who leads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, uses alarming language to describe liberal opponents. This is the sort of language that comes before civil wars.

School shooting survivor David Hogg challenges Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to a debate on guns. Greene loses badly. The problem with the theory of a "Good guy with a gun" is that, in hundreds of studied cases, that guy pretty much never shows up.

President Zelensky articulates how Ukrainians feel about the horrific war crimes committed in Bucha, near Kyiv, and what Ukraine intends to do about them.
Pregnant woman who was photographed at bombed Mariupol hospital is kidnapped and placed in a “hostage video” to “clarify” the bombing.
Ordinary Russians were convinced before the war of the rightness of their cause.

The Communist Party of Russia, the Bolsheviks, used to understand that intangible factors such as morale, can be more decisive than numbers of military assets. The blogger claims that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan did indeed encourage Russia’s adventurism, but that was a miscalculation on it’s part.

Best as I can tell, the WaPo is trying to disprove right-wing charges of cover-up. But as far as credible charges against Hunter Biden go, the most damning thing that can be said is that he’s traded in on a famous name, something that is legal and that many, many other people have done.
The Hunter Biden debacle.

Senator Chuck Grassley tries to escape accountability for how Republicans treated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Cool! Usagi Yojimbo is a comic book series that began in the late 80s and is still going strong. This is a cartoon version that takes place in the far future. Begins late April.

Because Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson apparently believes in what has been called a “Living Constitution,” as opposed to the conservative philosophy of “Originalism,” Senator Blunt can’t support her. He believes Justice Thomas has followed the philosophy of Originalism and so, despite his obvious conflict of interest in having a activist, radical, extremist wife, Thomas is okay.

Representative Jamie Raskin looks into why we have a seven-hour gap in Trump’s phone records.

Just an utterly meaningless, pointless atrocity in the recently-reacquired city in Ukraine.
"A civilian was killed by a shot in his head while [bicycling] in Bucha."

Russians are rapidly abandoning areas around Kyiv, but in their wake is massive evidence of atrocities. Yes, bad things happen in war and the US has also done terrible things, but that’s

no excuse for accepting them in the present. That bad things have been done in our name doesn’t absolve us of the need to seek justice.

Ah yes, the ol’ “crisis actors” line.


Short thread of American/British rapes of German women in World War II compared to Russia’s. (Can scroll up to see previous comments).

Heh! Fox News and Tucker Carlson just two months ago.

Why do Democrats want you to hate Putin? Has Putin shipped every middle class job in your town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked your business? Is he teaching your kids to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Does he eat dogs?

Horrendous, heartbreaking story of the siege of Mariupol.
It is typical for Russians who occupy cities to commit murders on their way out. We saw that back during World War II and during the Chechnya battles.

From the piece:

What Ingraham is describing here with her trademark lock-jawed, menacing smugness isn’t "choosing where your dollars go," and it sure as hell isn’t legitimate regulation of industry. It’s fascism.

"Media Uses Hunter Biden As Excuse To Ignore Real Scandals"
Truly sad! As with Whitewater and "but her emails," we're seeing yet another pointless obsession!

Ukrainian grain is under continuous attack. This impacts global grain markets. Blogger figures Russia is deliberately trying to create food crisis to use as propaganda tool.

Good Heavens! Russians have opened up an open-air market in Belarus in order to sell what they've looted from Ukraine!

White House call logs have a seven-hour gap in them covering the January 6th attack CNN is vastly too credulous here! They give far too much credence to Trump White House sources.

"Why the GOP's push to ‘expunge’ Trump’s first impeachment matters"
We’re still dealing with fall-out from Trump’s using Javelin missiles as leverage to force President Zelenskyy to deliver dirt on Joe Biden, so no, we can’t just forget Trump’s 2019 impeachment.

The judge is so annoyed at Florida’s abuse of voting systems, he takes direct aim of the Shelby County Supreme Court decision that said “...that we live in a post-racial society.”

Representative Jamie Raskin finds Representative Madison Cawthorn’s sex and drugs story about his colleagues to make a very good talking point about Republicans and hypocrisy.

Woo hoo! The first Amazon workplace to be unionized!

"Bannon Goes Ballistic Over Likely Confirmation Of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson"
Seems Steve Bannon has concluded that any Supreme Court Justice appointed by a Democrat, no matter how qualified, is in no way good enough.

The Ukrainian Air Force would like a word about how important it is to dominate the airspace.
Also: Russians moving around are not withdrawing, but doing tactical repositioning.
Russia TV (RT) publishes video of one of their tanks shooting at residential houses.
Details on how Putin is delivering for Trump. This is active collusion.

The US immigration system is broken. We're doing the bare minimum by accepting just 100k refugees from Ukraine, but we still haven't settled all of the Afghanistan refugees yet.

Wow! Why do Republicans hate America?  A bill to lower the price of insulin to $35 a month – all Democrats voted yes. 12 Republicans joined them, 193 Republicans voted no

Truly amazing how after four years of giving Trump a pass on pretty every garbled or undisciplined utterance, the press is now frantic to exploit Biden’s “gaffe.”


Whooo-weee!!! Anti-choicer caught with five fetuses in her house! Was she planning to give them a burial? Nah, she's been holding them for over a year. Yes, they're considered a biohazard and were removed by people in hazmat suits.

Good! Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has strong support among even Republicans. The "ankle-biters" didn't cause any harm.

President Zelensky doubts that Putin is negotiating in good faith.
Add the Red Cross to the Russian targets that are hit in Ukraine.

Russian forces in Ukraine have forcibly deported the staff and patients of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, sending more than 70 people to Russia, the city council said. It’s at least the second hospital to undergo that fate, with more than 20,000 people now sent to Russia against their will, the officials said.

Fascism has a very specific description developed after scholars studied regimes of the mid-20th Century. Putin's Russia meets those definitions.

Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol was captured for a few days, says Russian soldiers have NO idea why they invaded!

Tweet of a WaPo story about "Hunter Biden's laptop." Comments beneath the tweet are well worth reading. The question of "Why was this story even written?" is a very highly pertinent and relevant one.

Senator Ted Cruz says:

“So, Biden’s been president what, 15 months? In that entire time, I haven’t spoken to him once.”

Okay, but the question is why on Earth would Senator Cruz have spoken with President Biden? When has Cruz had any useful or productive ideas that he could have presented to Biden? When has Cruz shown the slightest interest in governing as opposed to being a far-right partisan?

I've had a bit of respect for the former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham because she demonstrated remorse and regret. She openly recognized she had been on the wrong side. Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has done absolutely nothing to warrant rehabilitation. It's far from clear what value he brings to his new gig as an analyst at CBS News.

Comment on federal judge who stated very clearly that the then-President committed a crime.

50-item thread on Clarence/Ginni Thomas. Piece has thread reader to make reading easier.

Very interesting!

The lack of an official White House notation of any calls placed to or by Trump for 457 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021 – from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. – means the committee has no record of his phone conversations as his supporters descended on the Capitol...

That's a bit over seven hours that we don't have any official record of Trump's phone calls. Lawyers call that "consciousness of guilt," when you take care to see to it that there's no record of your activities during a particular time. BTW, Trump says he has no idea what a 'burner phone" is.

Yeah, I found Trump’s statement that he had never even heard of a “burner phone” to be very highly implausible! Sure enough, he knows full well what they are.

Ah, okay. Trump had several personal phones in addition to his official presidential phone, so he probably just used one that was “off the grid” for White House operators.
Other items in the same post:
Explainer that the recent “deescalation” is, ehh, not really.
Latest of the idea of relieving Mariupal.
Thread on “The Human Face of Putin’s War…”

I don't usually like Meghan McCain much, but she's spot-on here. Representative Cawthorn is very specific that he's talking about people he respects and that these people invited him personally to drug-fueled orgies, meaning he's clearly talking about right-wing Republicans. McCain is urging him to get specific about who he meant.

Russia’s pulling in personnel from Syria in order to fight in Ukraine.
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich delivered a letter from Zelensky to Putin and was poisoned for his troubles.
The liberation of the town of Irpin, very close to Kyiv, is a pretty big deal.
Anders Aslund writes a thread about how much Russians know about Ukraine (not much).

Newswoman Lara Logan feels that Charles Darwin must have been financed by the Rothschilds. I did a few quick look-ups. Darwin was born into a wealthy British family in the early 1800s and was attached to the crew of the HMS Beagle (HMS stands for His Majesty’s Ship, meaning Darwin worked for the government), he then stopped in at his father’s house, then found a place of his own. He soon published the first of numerous books about his time on the Beagle. So he needed a bit of support at times, but it’s far from clear that he needed substantive financial help from anyone.

Credit where it's due! Very cool! Ivanka Trump contributes meals to Ukraine.

With the founding of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin developed "agitprop." This was propaganda that was designed to make listeners angry. Fox News gives us an example of people who make vague comments about what President Biden said and then proceed to work themselves into a frenzy over...well, over comments that would have been appropriate at any Fourth of July picnic.

Senator Lindsey Graham confirms that if there is a Supeme Court vacancy while Biden (or any Democrat) is president and there is a Republican-run Senate, no Supreme Court Justice will be approved.

A pissed-off Will Smith at the Oscars! He got angry because comedian Chris Rock told a joke that Smith's wife, Jada Pinkette Smith, was made very sad by. It was about the movie GI Jane, where Demi Moore had really close-cropped hair. Jada Smith also has really close-cropped hair due to cancer. Basically, Will Smith blew up several decades of carefully building an image by slapping Chris Rock.

Generally, Jeanine Pirro's comment isn't bad, but yeah "the Oscars are not the hood" suggests that for Smith to have smacked Rock in a Black neighborhood would have been completely normal and unexceptional.

Yeah, the trucker protest is still going on! I just have a really hard time working up any sympathy for this guy!

The American convoy has a sort of amorphous anti-federal government smell, but very little in the way of meaningful policy demands.

Yee hah! About $%#@ing time! The truckers were staying at a speedway and racing season’s about to begin, so their hosts began shooing them out.

Very true. Nobody speaks of the late Rush Limbaugh because he contributed nothing of value to the culture.

Update (10 Apr): Limbaugh's "sad, forgotten legacy."

Rush Limbaugh left nothing behind. No one quotes him, no one references him, his vast fortune didn't go to support any of the causes he supposedly believed in.

Problem with US position on the Israel-Palestinians dispute is that it’s all tied up in knots and can’t be reconciled with international law.

Wow! Ukrainian figure skaters performed rehearsals for this while their homes were under siege. They had no time to assemble costumes.

Interesting comment from President Zelensky:

..says that he is "99.9% certain" that Russian leadership was told by pro-Russian political forces in Ukraine that Ukrainian people were awaiting Russian forces with "flowers and smiles" and that Zelensky’s government was widely unpopular.

Family describe escape from Mariupol.

Examining how Russia and Putin are “victims” of the US.

Who’s defying Russia sanctions? Why, it’s our old buddy Charles Koch and all of his brought-and-paid-for Congressional allies!

There's very little that the Democrats can and/or will do about Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife. The Chief Justice can do much more and what's really at stake is the legitimacy of the court's decisions.

Laura Ingraham and her guest overlook what makes an alliance like NATO work, if one country slacks off and refuses the burden that everyone else is carrying, that makes for hate and discontent on the part of those who are sacrificing.

An ice shelf of about 460 square miles (about the size of New York City) has collapsed.

Russia gets dramatic about the possible consequences of the war. “Russia's very existence is at stake today"
And no, Russians are simply not negotiating in good faith. It is incredibly naive for people to think that the US needs to get serious on negotiations.

Good Heavens! What a horrible, horrible experience the Russian army is for many conscripts!

At the end of this post comes very bad news for Russia. Their clear weakness in Ukraine has inspired rebellions elsewhere.

"LOL: Pence Lies, Says Trump Was Tough On North Korea"
In diplomacy, it's very important to define your terms. Trump never managed to get North Korea to define "denuclearization." It seems to have a pretty clear meaning and the US offered its own definition, but Kim Jong Un never responded with a definition of his own. No, the diplomacy of Trump's was a complete failure.

Ukraine doesn't need troops. They've got plenty of motivated, fit and ready people. What they need is equipment, helmets, body armor, etc. They need to be able to send people to Poland to train on the equipment.

Piece also addresses need to change over our energy to renewables.

Woo hoo!

BREAKING: U.S. unemployment claims just hit their LOWEST level since 1969.

James Bond perished in the Faroe Islands (in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and the Shetland Islands) in his last film, so inhabitants of one of the islands built a tombstone for him.

400k Ukrainian citizens removed to distant lands within Russia.

Good! The now-month old crisis in Ukraine could accelerate the world-wide move towards renewables and away from fossil fuels.

Woman was escaping Mariupal with her own child and acquires three more on the way, because so many other parents have died.

So, one out of three cheers to the NY Times for finally acknowledging that Amnesty International had accused Israel of practicing apartheid two months ago.

The Alabama AG refuses to testify that Biden was legimately elected. So much for his credibiliy as a witness against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

NYT's @adamliptak scolds both sides for failing to engage the nominee. I know he knows better, so why did he write it that way? There is something terribly wrong and warping about the culture there.

This is a case where blame can be affixed to just one side! There's only one side that's trying to turn the hearing over the Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court nomination into a circus! Why is the NY Times trying to make it appear to be a "BothSides" issue?

The US and Russian militaries are structured very differently from one another. The US has a Petty Officer/Non-Commissioned Officer set of ranks that carry out tasks between officers and single (4 year) term "grunts." Russians have officers and one-year conscripts, with no in-between professional class. This is fine if you're dealing with folks like the Chechens and the Georgians, but when you're dealing with the more professionalized Ukrainians, nuh-uh.

This is disturbing.

Pomerantz even made the point that the crimes allegedly committed occurred before Trump was President...

Bill Clinton was deposed during his presidency over the Paula Jones accusation, the Monica Lewinsky case grew directly out of the Jones case. Did we, as a society, make the decision that presidents shouldn't be pestered with pre-presidential crimes? 'Cause I sure as hell wasn't consulted on that!

As happened during the Iraq War, US domestic reaction against foreigners goes too far.

Leader of Poland recommends international peace-keeping mission.

Update (17 Apr): There has been no international peace-keeping mission.

Madeline Albright has passed away.

Albright does not discuss Donald Trump in her book Fascism, but it’s pretty clear that she wants us to reach certain conclusions about him and fascism.

Yeesh! Dr. Freeman is right. Technically, so is Senator Blackburn. The Constitution said nothing about abortion because abortion didn’t become a political issue until the 1880s. That doesn’t mean that laws concerning freedom of choice came out of nowhere though.

The “People’s Convoy” continues, even though nobody seems to know what the point of it all is.

Heh! Ana identifies "The Look" for us with several examples. It happens when a woman of color has to listen to "mansplaining" and to not respond by throwing things or bursting out laughing.

The US has now officially charged Russia with war crimes.

"GOP leaders pleaded w/ GOP senators..." There. Fixed it for you. To say just "senators" makes it sound "BothSides" and it's very much a one-sided dispute/issue.

We had an opportunity back in the 70s to stop producing greenhouse gases and to make the transition over to a renewables economy. We can still do that, but time is running short. For instance, we must stop burning coal by 2030.

More complaits that Democrats permanently changed Supreme Court hearings by rejecting Robert Bork. I followed the Bork hearings. He was properly and justifiably rejected for a seat on the Supreme Court.

The stupidity!

...truckers haven't been able to "go to the bathroom" while circling the Beltway, which has left "people hav[ing] actually pissed their pants!"

Erm, why would this be the fault of anyone besides the trucker?!?!?! They are perfectly free to pull over to a rest stop anytime they please. More on the trucker protest

Someone mentioned that Ukrainians never fired rockets at Russia, nor does Ukraine have a covenant that is dedicated to destroying Russia. True. Hamas was founded in 1988, a full 40 years after what Palestinians call the Nakba (the catastrophe). There were no rockets to provoke the Nakba, nor was there any desire to boot out the Jewish people who lived within the borders of what is today called Israel.

Good grief!

Kid Rock says former President Trump once turned to him for help crafting a tweet about the Islamic State terror group—before also seeking his guidance about North Korea

As I've said concerning the younger George Bush, if you're not smart, you aren't going to seek out smart advisers.

What are the aims of the Russian war against Ukraine?

Back in the early 80s, the Pentagon conducted all sorts of war games. Every single solitary time a nuclear weapon was used, it always led to Armageddon!

Erm, Representative Jordan, if the Trump Administration had been confident that Brett Kavanaugh had not done what he was accused of, the FBI would have done a careful and thorough investigation. As it is, they did a rushed and sloppy job.

Yeah. Gee. Because it’s not like anyone ever chose a Vice-President because the VP choice checked off certain political boxes!

Cheerful stuff! Palestinians dancing!

Problem with Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) is that they can’t apply to illegal activities. If you sexually harass someone after that person signs an NDA, that person can still sue you.

Senator Josh Hawley wrote an extensive twitter thread that purported to show that Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson skewed her rulings to favor pedophiles. Hawley’s colleagues are condemning his theory.

Facts was that in seven named cases, Judge Jackson's sentences were largely in line with the probation officer's recommendations. In five cases, she met or exceeded those recommendations. In only two cases did Jackson hand out a substantially reduced sentence.   

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insists that the "Putin wing" of the Republican Party is just a small minority. Nothing to see here, folks! Move along quietly now! Everything is under control!

A lengthy thread that examines the question of just what “cancel culture” is and of how serious a problem it really is.

Very powerful! every anti-choicer should listen to this! The speaker is both the only medical doctor and only woman in the Kentucky legislative body that just passed a law on abortion. Clearly, the men legislators have no idea what they're legislating about

Some parts of the Roger Stone plan make sense. Republicans win the House this November. Yes, that could happen. Republican House members install Donald Trump as Speaker. Again, likely. Biden’s people would remove him due to incompetence? Nah. Impeach the then-President Harris over not permitting the horse medicine Ivermectin to be used as a cure for Covid? Ha, ha, ha! Nah, they’ll get extremist Republican votes, but that’s it.

Wow! What an utter and absolute mess! Russian citizens are being dragged off to jail for expressing the slightest opposition to the war in Ukraine, right-wingers are actually banning books, & the NY Times begs for us to sympathize with people who are being "shunned" for saying stupid and bigoted things!

Interesting statement by the NY Times Editorial Board:

This editorial board plans to identify a wide range of threats to freedom of speech in the coming months, and to offer possible solutions.

Problem is, as the blogger documents, is that the board is utterly incompetent to examine the issue and to offer any sensible answers. More commentary on that.

Fox News and the NY Times are in agreement. Neither one really understands what free speech actually means.

I’ve thought this for quite awhile, that “Hunter Biden’s laptop” was a disinformation program.

The story was debunked back in October 2020.

The writer figures, on a scale of 1 to 10, that if the three eldest Trump kids (Ivanka, Junior and Eric) were all 10s in terms of corruption, that Hunter Biden is around a 2. Did Hunter take advantage of his position? Sure, but no more than Chelsea Clinton, Amy Carter or Meghan McCain.

Ah, okay. That’s what’s up with all of this “Hunter Biden’s laptop proven!” nonsense. Some of the emails have been verified. I thought that was obvious from the very start. The real question has always been how those real emails and photos of Hunter Biden made their way from Biden’s custody to the laptop. It’s always been pretty obvious they were hacked, probably from his phone.

Like the race between heavy armored cavalry and the crossbow, the introduction of the Switchblade drone changes the balance between tanks and hand-carried weapons. The Switchblade drone is a “loitering” weapon. It can fly above the battlefield and, as soon as a threat appears, can take out the threat.

Various comments on Finland vs Russia, on China and the city of Mariupol.

Heh! Stacey Abrams makes a quick appearance on Star Trek as the President o Earth! Right-wingers lose ther $%#@ over the show!

80% of the housing in Mariupol is destroyed. The city has 350k civilian residents that are not being permitted to evacuate. Apparently, Russia intends to simply kill them all.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is recommending that we simply abandon Ukraine to the tender mercies of Russia. 

In response to Representative Greene claiming that the US should simply abandon Ukraine as Ukraine “cannot possibly win” against Russia, Representative Liz Cheney revives the old Cold War term “useful idiot.”

As a comparison, Al Franken was an extremely good and effective senator. When Democrats booted him out for sexual harassment, this put them in a very strong position on the issue. On the other hand, yeah, the US is in a very weak position when it comes to war crimes.

The bombing of Mariupol’s Drama House was clearly intentional.

The Russians knew damn well what they were targeting! And the reason I know the Russians knew exactly what they were targeting is because the citizens of Mariupol had marked the ground with the Russian word for children in front of and behind the Drama House.

China makes a clear and unambiguous choice to support Ukraine and not Russia.

Meanwhile Koch Industries makes it very clear that it values profits above patriotism.

Mike Pence's suggestion for arming Ukrainians: "First, I would do it the way we did it in the Trump-Pence administration." Nice idea, but Ukraine was essentially at peace back then. There was some fighting in the Donbas, but getting weapons in was very easy. With Mariupol under siege, Pence makes it clear he's utterly without suggestions.

If Ukraine can be successfully defended without NATO’s official involvement, then NATO membership might be superfluous.
There appears to be a very serious drain on Russian manpower, which is forcing Moscow to search far and wide for replacement troops.
Section on the possible introduction of drones, unmanned aircraft, into the fight.

See, here’s the problem with CNN trying to create drama by counting down how long it will be before Kyiv falls. Kyiv isn’t falling. It’s just not happening. CNN needs to focus on what’s actually happening and not try to fit everything into a pre-planned framework. President Zelensky met with leaders from Poland, Czechia and Slovenia in Kyiv, meaning no one’s worried about Kyiv falling anytime soon.

The problem with Republican saying they have a better way to conduct nuclear negotiations with Iran is that they had four years to do that under Trump. He achieved absolutely zippo. Iranians never even approached the negotiating table because there was nothing in it for them. They saw zero benefit in talking.

Ironically, Iran developed ways to blunt the impact of US sanctions that Moscow may now try to emulate. These methods of evading sanctions are a big reason why, the longer the sanctions continued under Trump, the less likely he'd have been able to achieve any successes

Very sad!

Raskin’s cardinal sin in the eyes of Republicans and Manchin amounted to suggesting that regulators puzzle out how to incentivize shifts to renewable energy…

Ehh, so the planet is burning up. Whatevuh. Raskin was threatening fossil fuel profits.

The siege of Mariupol, where "hundreds of thousands are besieged without water, food, medicines, under constant bombardment."

"Team Trump’s fundraising tactics face difficult questions (again)"
There aren’t that many rules for political fundraising, but at the very least, you have to do what you say you’re going to do. If you say you're going to hold a contest, you have to hold a contest.

Russian asset Tulsi Gabbard and the scary biolabs. More on those.

Look, The Former Guy is a wannabe fascist dictator. Why is CNN describing his lines as "wild" ?

Our blogger examines the question of exactly how many troops, people who actually shoot rifles and cannons and send off missiles, does Russia really have in the field? He comes up with an answer of about 15%. If you have an offensive force of 10k people, then 1.5k will actually shoot weapons. 

Tucker Carlson of Fox News is very highly popular on Russian TV these days.

Hmm, so in addition to Tulsi Gabbard and Tucker Carlson, we can list Candace Owens as a Russian asset.

Aww! William Hurt has passed away.

People wonder why Ukrainians are so insistent on resisting. Here’s why.

Pundits on Russian state TV advocate implementing public hangings in Ukraine once Russia's dominance is established.

The illustration for this blog post is Ukrainian folk art. Their version of a Valkyrie.
Odessa’s a target. Taking that city will cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea. But we must keep in mind that Kyiv is the “center of gravity.”
Will Ukraine win? Ehh, let’s be cautious here.

Confirmed. The new Texas voter ID law did exactly what it was designed to do, to disenfranchise voters by kicking out thousands of legitimate ballots.

I support getting rid of no-knock search warrants. I can see them being useful under very specific, limited circumstances, but the Breonna Taylor case makes It clear that the warrants are guaranteed to be abused.

Aw man! I am SO glad this guy is not our president today! It's clear from this extended interview he's really not all that bright. People in Ukraine are hungry. Okay. How do you intend to get food to people that are behind the battle lines? Russia has refused to keep any cease-fires. Sending in US jets would escalate the conflict. Trump doesn't seem to have any clue about any of that.

The Russian people haven't felt the full weight of the sanctions, yet! Putin's corruption has made Russia a bad investment in any case. Now US companies are just plain fleeing it.

Zelensky focuses on what a C-in-C should be doing, seeing to the fighting spirit of the country.

A closer look at recently-rising costs. Are they really a matter of inflation?

Cool! The 1985 movie Back to the Future has been made into a musical!

Ex football coach Lou Holtz gave three reasons for supporting Trump. Wow! This guy is seriously delusional!
Trump himself isn't much more gounded in reality. He thinks Biden is internationally unpopular.  

Russian occupation forces are trying to repeat what was done in the Donbas, the Eastern edge of Ukraine. They want to establish “people’s republics” run by local politicians.

Dear NPR, I agree with Madeline Marsanne, who tweeted about the situation in your Texas abortion law piece. You needed to follow up on your interview with anti-choice activist John Seago. You needed to ask him if he was comfortable sacrificing the life of Anna to “rescue” her clearly-doomed baby.

"Democrats move closer to cutting Iowa’s first-in-the nation status for 2024 presidential calendar"
Good to hear this. Iowa is 1. much too homogeneous, it's pretty much all white and rural and 2. caucuses get different results than regular elections do. Winning Iowa doesn't mean as much as it seems. Democrats also work on messaging.

The right-wing group Project Veritas is following the Scientology playbook of launching attacks involving extreme harassment on critics.

In a show of weakness, Russia is looking to import infantry from Syria to battle against Ukraine. That’s how radical Arab movements like al Qaeda have gotten started.

Among other things, Biden’s delivering on deficit reduction.

Ehh, The Batman was okay, but like the Matrix a few months back, some of these movies are so long! Now, the recent Spider-Man was almost 2½ hours, but it had a sufficiently complex storyline, it needed to be that long! Not true for either Batman or Matrix.

Update:  Death on the Nile was again, kinda bloated. Could have trimmed a fair amount of time

Jennifer Griffin is a Fox News reporter who’s been covering the Pentagon for quite some time and really knows her stuff. Tucker Carlson doesn’t like that. Wonder how much longer she’ll be at Fox.

Update (12 Apr): Griffin is still working at Fox News, but she's been pretty quiet in the last month.

"Ukraine update: The price of 'we need to do more' is much higher than most people realize"
Totally sympathetic with Ukrainians and the feeling of "we must do more," but here's a good splash of cold water for that idea.

What does it mean to say civiians are being "indisiminately bombed" if bombing civilians is the point? Isn't that a vague and imprecise use of language?

There is a small, but very real, "Putin wing" of the Republican Party and Representative Cawthorn is clearly a member of it.

Fashion model makes statement about Ukraine vs Palestine, provoking backlash. My response.

A Russian asset (Representative Cawthorn) calls President Zelensky a "thug."

Russian news consumers appear to have a lot in common with American news consumers, especially in their demographics. If you're urban and educated, you're not likely to fall for propaganda. If you're older and rural, you're likely to support the people in power.

Yeah yeah, yeah, according to Don Jr., the elder Don Trump gets up at 5:00 in the morning and works all day until 11:00pm or so, he plays eleventy-dimensional chess, yada, yada. Dude, this stuff was unbelievable back during TFG's time in office!

Back in 2019, Missouri passed a law to limit the ability of women to get an abortion eight weeks after pregnancy commenced. Since then, over 10k women have gone to a Planned Parenthood clinic right on the Missouri-Illinois border, so Missouri wants to copy the Texas snitch law to put a stop to that.

We need to move to green transportation, now! Our dependence on oil is killing us and keeping us tied to the Middle East.

A dissent from a minority of the court that does not promise good things. The theory of the dissenters would eliminate any role for state courts in overseeing elections. Overseeing elections would be solely up to the state legislature. What would prevent the legislature from making self-interested decisions that would keep that party in power indefinitely? Nothing.

Yes, the truckers are still at it! Hard to say what they think they're accomplishing by driving around the DC Beltway time and again.
Bwah-hah-hah! What an absolute and utter snowflake!!!

Yeah, why bother fact-checking such a "great" quote?

Brother of writer James Fallows is a Russia expert. Delivers some soundly-considered ideas, though they’re not always expected or welcome.

The entries at 8:26:42 and 9:02:09 explain what’s up with gas prices. No, the oil companies aren’t ripping us off, they’re pricing their produce n the expected way.

Woo hoo! Woman goes off on the “All lives matter” people! Warning: NSFW language.

This is nice that the bill on USPS sailed past the filibuster margin so easily, but good grief! At 74-17, the bill was essentially non-controversial! Why did the Senate have to waste time overcoming a filibuster?!?!?!

The NY Times has a serious bias problem in the types of pieces that they print. If it's a young person, she can write about being opposed to "woke-ness," but that's about the only viewpoint that such a person can write about and make it into the Times.

A persuasive reason as to why Putin didn’t invade anywhere while TFG was in office.

See now, here's a smart guy! A multi-billionaire is planning to spend $5 million to rent three hotels to house Ukrainian refugees. Pocket change for him, good PR, happy refugees, win-win all the way around!

Ukraine's first Foreign Legion is up and running!

"Senate Republicans threaten a government shutdown and delay in aid to Ukraine"
Of course they are. Because blocking and delaying is pretty all the Republican Party has been doing for about the past 15 years.

So how exactly is it that "Joe Biden is responsible for allowing [the Russian invasion of Ukraine] to happen"? Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn't say. She just knows that her audience is primed and ready to believe the worst of Biden, who after all, "stole" the 2020 election!

Very extensive live-blogging of the report on former AG Bill Barr. Yeah, Barr’s a lying sack of #$@%!

Russians observe cease-fires for a little while, then resume shelling, so refugees trying to escape get bombarded

Because privately-owned corporations have taken the initiative to break off ties with Russia, Russia is hurting far more than was anticipated. This action goes far beyond the official sanctions.

Cool Ukrainian folk tune, other ways to help Ukraine.

Obama Foundation has links to help Ukraine.

Hmm, the trucker convoy of about 1k trucks is worried that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is going to see to it that they’re framed, so they’re cautious about advancing. Ha, works for me!

Grimly hilarious! Truckers who drove a far as 4k miles didn’t have a plan as to what to do when they got to Washington DC.

Senator Manchin's idea on energy is "all of the above." That's a terrible idea! We need to zero out funding for any fossil fuels and put all of the government's money into renewables!

The Ukrainian strategy of focusing their fire on military vehicles is proving to be highly effective as vehicle replacements are now really old and run-down.

One of the big problems with TFG's conduct after the election of 2020 is that so many people told him that he lost fair and square, he simply can't convince the January 6 Committee that he was convinced he hadn't lost.

Now this is the sort of thing that makes it impossible to feel that maybe Russia has some case for what it's doing that we haven't heard yet. If your case is so compelling, why are you shutting down other sources of information?

Twitter is blocked, too.

Heard on a Zoom call yesterday that Ukraine actually had troops posted to attack before the Russian invasion. Located a Reuters piece that said Ukraine had 125k troops lined up at Donbas, where Russian-sympathizing Ukrainians had occupied a chunk of Ukraine for the past seven years. So, as with Fort Sumter and Pearl Harbor, Putin appears to have been willing to take the PR hit in order to strike first.

The effects of way too much corruption on the Russian army.

If we were to travel at light speed, it would take a bit over 18 hours to get to where Voyager 2 is now.

Apparently, the fire in the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Enerhodar, did not touch anything vital, but it’s still quite worrisome that there was any heavy arms fire around a nuclear plant.
Long-range problem here is that Ukraine traded its nuclear arms for guarantees of security. Non-nuclear powers are taking note of he fact that Russia is now ignoring that agreement.

Putin appears to be a lone-wolf kinda guy. He apparently spent seven years, from the time he took Crimea in 2014, preparing to take the rest of Ukraine. For his own part, things he could do by himself, he was well-prepared. Things that required other people, preparing his military, ehh, not so much.

An examination of Putin’s speech.

Looks like Russians were planning to invade Ukraine a few weeks before they actually did. Heh! They were planning to overrun the country in just two weeks! Bit behind schedule on that!

Yeah, it’s far from clear why Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s academic scores matter. I heard that your choice of college matters for about ten years. After that, it depends on what you did with that academic preparation.

Yeah, Senator Manchin appears to have a very cramped and narrow view of how spending money works. His statement that “I’ve never found out that you can lower costs by spending more,” sounds good as a quip on TV, but seriously fails once you think about it.

How a captured Russian soldier is treated by Ukrainians. More and more indiscriminate air strikes, even as Russian ground forces suffer from lack of food and fuel.

On the Ukrainian puppet government Russia plans to set up.

No! Sorry! Wrong answer! The NY Times cannot possibly know, for a fact, that Biden's job growth claim wasn't true. They're calling his claim "partially true" because they're guessing his claim might not be true! This completely missese the point of fact-checking!

The press, quite rightly, questioned Biden's claims of having intelligence about Russia and Ukraine. Problem is, they had just as many justified questions to pose to TFG, but didn't.

Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar attended a far-right white nationalist conference. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that was “unacceptable.” Which is nice, but no other consequences followed.

People pulling Russian liquor off of the shelves, but keeping wines produced by Israelis in the West Bank available.

More hypocrisy and double standards! In what we call soccer, but in what the rest of the world calls football, a player wore a t-shirt “Sympathise with Gaza” and was punished for it. Two English football teams wore Ukraine colors and that was okay, meaning it’s not “politics” that football regulators are against, it’s certain varieties of politics!

Assessing SOTU address.

Details on how the 1% was boosted at everyone else’s expense.

Quite sad to see the increasing degradation of our politics get even coarser.

Exactly! Governor DeSantis has a new motto for Florida - “Let Us Alone,” will last right up until the next time they need federal help.

Seems the great and fearsome 17 or 40 mile-long convoy or caravan that was headed for Kyiv is now immobile! Lots of reasons, including lack of fuel.

These sanctions are vastly more effective than the 2014 ones were and are having a real and serious impact on Russians, from the oligarchs to regular folks.

Putin is deeply concerned about Ukraine receiving aid from other countries and is rattling his saber. That’s be a lot more impressive if the Russian Army wasn’t just wildly and indiscriminately blasting away at civilian targets, which is, BTW, a war crime.

Serious doubts arising about inevitability of Russian victory.

Russian oligarchs sailing their yachts to safe harbor to prevent them from being confiscated.

FIFA had a serious bribery and corruption scandal in 2015, so if FIFA thinks you’re toxic...

With modern technology, you don’t even need real women to seduce young soldiers into giving away military information, just a couple of pictures and “she” can sweet-talk the lonely young men on the other side!

Ukrainians have some pretty darned high-level psyops running.


A 2016 piece that's important context for Trump's bragging that Putin didn't invade anyone while Trump was our president.

So according to Senator Ron Johnson, we should never, ever punish a rogue president, because that leads to consequences that are worse than having an out-of-control chief executive. Mm-hm!

Interesting because the guy seems perfectly willing to sacrifice the citizens of Afghanistan, Ukraine and Taiwan, all to hurt the Biden Administration. No sure whether he’s a racist who considers all of these people to be easily expendable or whether he hates Biden that much. Probably a combination of both.

*Sigh!* Senator Manchin returns to the 80s with the ol' "Culture of Poverty" debate.

Two pro-Russia pundits confess that they called it wrong.

Hmm, anti-motorized vehicle strikes seem to be a big part of Ukrainian strategy.

The problem with tanks is that shoulder-fired rockets are now much more effective than the bazooka of World War II was. This may be the last war in which heavy main battle tanks are featured.

The fact that the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv have held out for as long as they have has put the attempted blitzkrieg of Ukraine way behind schedule This is causing serious international and domestic problems for Putin. By upping his nuclear posture, Putin is trying to flip the script and convince people that Russia is the one being attacked.
BTW, Ukrainians feel the negotiations are just for show, but no one wants to appear to be anti-peace.

Update (11 Mar): On the 24th of February, the headline from Newsweek was "U.S. Expects Kyiv to Fall in Days as Ukraine Source Warns of Encirclement," but the feared 40-mile column is just now getting into position to try and overcome the hardened target of Kyiv.
Citizens of Kharkiv occupy the city's subway system as the city above them is flattened. But Kharkiv is still in Ukrainian hands.

Never understood all of the fluffing for Governor DeSantis. He’s done an absolutely awful job with the problems of Florida!

Militarily, Ukraine is doing quite well. Several days in and Kyiv is still held by Ukraine!

Very heartening! TFG appears to be realizing he backed the wrong horse and that supporting Putin maybe isn’t such a great idea after all!

Ukraine establishes foreign legion for non-Ukrainians willing to go there and fight Russians.

History of Nazis and Jewish people in Ukraine.

Cool! Tony Stark/Iron Man, as we all know, perished in Avengers: Endgame. Riri Williams/Ironheart will take his place as the armored character in the Marvel Movie Universe.

"Black Woman Sentenced To 6 Yrs For Trying To Register To Vote Gets New Trial"
A true and blatant miscarriage of justice. Happy to hear there will be a new trial.

Biggest news is that Russia has committed over half of their total forces so far and that Westerners are making open, overt weapons deliveries.

Very heartwarming. The father was of military age, so he couldn't leave Ukraine. The mother was on her way. They had to trust a stranger to take care of their two children in the meantime.

Very happy to see this! I mean, seriously? A truck convoy was going to complain about the "tyranny" of vaccine mandates while Russia is attacking Ukraine?

Update (7 Mar): Yeesh! This "Freedom Convoy" is still doing loops around the Washington DC Beltway, arousing lots of hate and discontent and middle fingers being flashed at them!

Among the papers taken by TFG to Mar-a-Lago are some that are so top-secret, they can't even be described!

Louisiana State University was asked by reporters whether they had any Russian experts who could comment on today's news. Unfortunately, LSU has a very well-funded athletics department, but they haven't had any Russian experts for quite some time.

The younger George Bush refused to share classified information on Iraq with Democratic Senators Kennedy and Byrd, allegedly because he thought they’d share that information with Saddam Hussein. The accusation that The Former Guy has actually been doing business with our adversary, for instance, by performing money laundering, is far more credible.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has such strong bipartisan appeal, this may not be a divisive fight.

Kyiv is still in Ukrainian hands. Several action reports.

Examining the charge that NATO inspired this war by expanding into Eastern Europe over the past three decades.

Disturbing look at media priorities. Will being pro-Putin hurt the GOP in November or do Democrats have all the liabilities?

Stunning! The measure condemning Russia for its aggression against Ukraine by the UN Security Council failed as single members can veto any measure. What's amazing is that the vote by all of the other members was either a vote in favor or an abstention. No one voted on Russia's side!

Update (2 Mar): Another vote by whole UN body (similarly toothless in terms of legal consequences) went against Russia 141-5. Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea were the only pro-Russian votes.  .

Wow! Does this woman think that Poland and the Baltic States will be left on their own, the way Ukraine is on its own now? Ukraine is on its own for a reason. We're wary about starting World War III. Poland and the states are full NATO members. An attack on them absolutely will provoke a full-scale response!

What I found most amusing about the Cruz speech was how he attempts to sound like some raging Marxist. If you listen closely though, he makes very highly specific complaints about specific companies that have done things he doesn't like.

Good harbinger! Russian forces not able to cleanly roll over Ukrainian ones.

The younger George Bush decries “Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” which is nice, but Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq kind of established a precedent that Putin is merely following.

Republican-run state senate in Florida unanimously confirms grossly unfit doctor to be Florida’s Surgeon General. Democrats all opposed but were outnumbered.

Ukrainians singing their national anthem.
(Oblast means province)

Hey, remember Steve Bannon, that sloppy, unshaven guy who wears outsides shirts as though they were undershirts, who was prominent early on during the Former Guy's administration? Yeah, he likes Putin, and Russia generally, because they're anti-gay.

Good to hear about strong Russian citizen anti-war sentiment!

Plenty of risks with the war in Ukraine.

February 2021, the Texas power grid collapsed. Due to Texas power regulations, power providers were able to bill customers thousands of times their usual bills. One of the power companies instead went bankrupt and took the Governor to court. We're now getting their testimony.

By signing onto a European Citizen’s Initiative, Human Rights Watch affirms that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal and that no products can be exported to them or imported from them.

No country should be enabling the trade in goods produced as a result of land theft, displacement, and discrimination.

It’s war!

A whole set of takes on Russia-Ukraine. I like numbers 1 and 8. Biden essentially took the correct approach and what Putin really fears is a flourishing, well-functioning democracy right on his Southern border.

The above NY Mag piece figures TFG is about the only person in the US who enthusiastically supports the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Now that it’s broken out, yep, he’s loving it!

Biden denounces the attack by Russia on Ukraine.

This is not a limited incursion. Putin intends to take the whole country.

Marco Rubio, the Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wasn't asked about TFG's comment about the invasion being "genius." In other words, the interviewer Jake Tapper is useless.

Putin’s ultimate objective appears to be “invasion, occupation, pacification, regime change, and installation of a puppet government.”

"Tucker Carlson Defends Putin: 'Putin Never Called Me Racist'"
Tucker Carlson begins his list of grievances by echoing Muhammad Ali's famous quote:

"I Ain't Got No Quarrel With The VietCong...No VietCong Ever Called Me Nigger."

But Carlson makes an interesting complaint: "Has [Putin] shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia?"

Well, let's see, what does the Senator Rick Scott Plan for America say about shipping jobs overseas? Theoretically, Scott is opposed to globalism, but neither his comment on our economic relationship with China, nor the 11th point in his Plan meaningfully address how exactly he wants to shift jobs back to the US.

Republican senator Mitch McConnell didn’t want to present any sort of blueprint as to how the party would govern in the event that they succeeded in taking over the House, the Senate or both. Senator Scott presented a plan anyway. Now Scott has given Democrats a nice, juicy target to aim at!

According to Michael McFaul, former Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, Putin didn’t have a problem with countries in the vicinity of Russia joining NATO back during 2001 and 2002.

Lots of economic strains and stresses being caused by conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Not only does Russia supply lots of natural gas, but Ukraine supplies a lot of wheat.

Former Secretary of State under TFG announces his admiration for Putin. BTW, he's hard to recognize as he's lost a lot of weight.

Took part in Zoom call and chat by UNAC concerning Russia-Ukraine war. Interesting points, but not really convincing.

A month ago, the Supreme Court rejected TFG's emergency attempt to shield his presidential records from scrutiny. Now that they've had a chance to review his request on substantive grounds, they've reaffirmed a statement made by the first judicial review of his request: "Presidents are not kings."

On Senator Scott's Plan to Rescue America, point 6 is interesting.

"We will eliminate all federal programs that can be done locally, and enact term limits for federal bureaucrats and Congress."

But if things could have been done locally, they would have been. Why would the country have bothered to give the government a job that was being done well locally? An example would be the ACA/Obamacare. US capitalism had from the Truman Administration until Obama was president to solve the problem of preexisting conditions. Capitalism simply couldn't do it.

Very interesting backdrop to Russia-Ukraine conflict. When Russia took over Crimea from Ukraine, Ukrainians greatly reduced Crimea's fresh water supply.

Sounds like Putin is formalizing a state of war over Ukraine.

I understand what Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson are both saying about wanting Ukraine to serve as a buffer state between Russia and the West. But how do Ukrainians feel about that? Why should they agree to subordinate their own national aspirations to just doing what Russia wants? Remember, about 60-65% of Ukrainians want to join NATO.

At first, the WaPo ran a Putin-friendly headline. Looks like someone hollered at them, so they corrected it.

Putin’s justification for war against Ukraine is very highly similar to Israel’s justification for war on the Palestinian people. That, well, they aren’t really a state in the first place.

Linguistic analysis shows that the fellow in the cowboy hat is Q of QAnon. The other fellow is Paul Gosar, who was reprimanded by Congress for publishing a short cartoon where he battles Biden and kills Representative AOC.

The Russian asset Tulsi Gabbard goes on Fox News to defend Putin.

Yeah, the idea that Putin didn’t want to confront Trump ‘cuz Trump was so formidable an antagonist is so laughable!

Not a very good answer to why Trump took so many documents home and as to why it took so long to return items that obviously did not belong to him.

Griswold v Connecticut is an extremely important building block for Roe v Wade. Of course right-wingers would go after that next. Basically, it holds that certain areas of life are simply none of the government’s business.

Diplomacy time is over (21 Feb). By announcing the annexation of part of the Donbas region, Putin has essentially declared war on Ukraine.
Getting sanctions ready.

Prediction: If war breaks out between Russia and Ukraine, the Serbians, Croatians and other Balkan peoples are expected to line up with Russia while “Belgrade and Zagreb will have to openly side with Kiev.”

Update (2 Mar): UN General Assembly votes for Russia to stop offensive into Ukraine. Voting with Russia are Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. Everyone else either voted against Russia or abstained.

The NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd has her finger om the pulse of...hmm...something or other. Not sure how she justifies the Build Beck Better bill as “pro-corporate" when Senator Manchin and the Republicans oppose it, but ehh, okay.

Marge Greene says she is misunderstood: “It just bothers me so much. They treat me as if I’m some kind of crazy person..."

1. She’s telling us that she’s not crazy, in front of an Info Wars sign! 😆

2. Yeah, when your “rebuttal” is that the other guys are really the crazy ones...nah, that’s not much of a defense!

Huh! Sounds fun! George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) will team up with Marvel Comics to produce the Wild Card series as comic books!

"Sidney Powell Sues Verizon To Block Phone Records From Jan. 6 Committee"
Y’know, at this point, with Trump and all of his co-conspirators trying to shield their “privacy,” it’s pretty clear they’re all guilty as $%#@!

The editor of Talking Points Memo has established a list of people who tweet about the Russia-Ukraine crisis, to be regularly updated.

People have been asking for proof of Russia’s malign intent. Well here’s at least proof that Russian troops have been stationed in Belarus in very large numbers. Their being stationed there is causing all kinds of problems for local residents.

Melania Trump is very upset that people accuse her of money-grubbing. Y'know, it wouldn’t have been difficult for a former First Lady to have done something, anything other than something that was just purely profitable. Anything other than a money-making venture would have a least provided something that supporters could have pointed to.

No new policy pronouncements, but good speech summing up Biden policy regarding Moscow and Kyiv.

Jennifer Griffin, who’s actually reported from Russia from 1996 to 1999 and has been a foreign corespondent for, get this, Fox News(!!!), corrects her colleagues who claim Biden is launching a “false flag” attack.

Seriously, Texas just needs to drop its new voter law. Obviously, the whole point of the law is to deny minorities the chance to make their voices heard.

When it comes to Russia vs Ukraine, the West is unified.

Good summary of Moscow-Kyiv situation.

The conflict between Moscow and Kyiv is driven partly by fears of decline by both Russia and the US. One of the problems with the idea that NATO has expanded East is that Poland demonstrated in the 80s with Solidarność that it was not a willing ally of the Soviet Union. Poland’s move to join NATO is hardly just the result of Western manipulation.

The fellow who oversaw the Hillary Clinton "But Her Email" stories by the NY Times doesn't appear to recognize how badly America suffered due in part to his negligence.

In its coverage of the outgoing NY Times' Executive Editor Dean Baquet, the New Yorker ran a photo of a happy and relaxed Baquet. Our blogger explains why -

There was zero pushback or follow-up to Banquet’s proud boast that he has no regrets about the emails fiasco, or that the paper was right to treat Trump and Clinton equally.

Essenetially, Baquet went "forum-shopping." He looked for, and got, soft, gentle coverage of the But Her Emails fiasco.

The Publisher of the NY Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., eliminated the position of Public Editor with the idea that the public, using social media forums like Twitter, would take over from the Public Editor.
But Executive Editor Dean Baquet said “I could care less about the unnuanced voices on Twitter." He then drew a ridiculous distinction between readers and Twitter. As a result, NY Times reporters "respond to any criticism with condescension, defensiveness and open hostility."

I understand the argument that skater Kamila Valieva was young and didn't know what she was doing, but if we give Valieva a pass, that will tell all team owners that they can juice up under-age athletes and get away with that. That sounds to me like an extremely bad precedent to set. Nah, Lipinski and Sha'carri Richardson are right. Fairness demands no exceptions.

I feel a great deal of sympathy for this young woman. She should have been sent home when she failed her drug test. That would have been the best thing for all involved.

Absolutely amazing! Obama successfully concluded a nuclear agreement with Iran that did exactly what it set out to do. The Former Guy tried for four years to "re-invent the wheel" and to replace Obama's deal with something better. He failed.
Now, Republicans are vowing to, if they regain the White House in 2024, to simply repeat Trump's error.

Amnesty International put out a report that came out to 280 pages and had 1559 footnotes (nearly 600 of them Israeli sources), only to have it dismissed as “anti-Semitism.” The danger of this is that real antisemitism, the hatred of Jewish people because they are Jewish, getting lumped together with political criticism of the state of Israel, degrades the charge into meaninglessness.

In the event of war between Moscow and Kyiv (Kiev), Israel faces a straight-up lose-lose scenario. There’s no possible way for Israel to benefit from such a war.

A senator who has been holding up Biden appointees, who just happen to be Russia experts, forces to have a vote on one of the candidates and loses the vote 94 to 1!

The judge in the Letitia James v Trump family case is on the ball and has read all of the evidence! Woo hoo!

Senator Marco Rubio is fighting Representative Val Demings (@RepValDemings) for his Senate seat. It’s apparent here that he feels the need to go all-in on his support for TFG!

THIS is why we want people to read books like Maus! So people DON'T say moronically stupid $#@% like "I felt like I was in Nazi Germany because they wanted to see my vaccination papers!"

Good to see the Senate has overridden one of Senator Hawley's holds.
Very disturbing quotation from a WaPo piece, suggesting that Hawley thinks he knows better than the president on how to conduct foreign policy, so he's actively delaying nominations, specifically to make Biden's job harder.

Looks like Russians have named their "provocation" that "forces" them to commit to war against Ukraine.

Whut!?!?! "If the Fox story isn't true, it's news." Remember, CNN wants to hire this guy! Idiots!

You've got a problem, we've got a solution! Conflict over Ukraine raises the price of gas? Electric cars!

This illustrates why people who think Ayn Rand is smart are usually white, economically well-off college kids. Because skin color has never made an actual, real-life difference to this person, she doesn't think skin color matters to anyone.

I guess my only real problem with the no-fly list under the younger George Bush was that there didn’t seem to be any way to get people taken off of it. An interview on the show today showed that that concern was being taken very seriously. People are concerned that unruly passengers are being equated with terrorists? Hey, if you’re not creating a flight hazard, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

A look at the laws and rules concerning written papers that the president produces.

Q: What is one of the primary duties of the Federal Reserve?

A: To fight inflation.

Q: What are Republicans holding up?

A: Nominees for the Federal Reserve.

Yeah, somehow I don't think the opposition party is really concerned about inflation.

More on that.

Details on the Canadian trucker protest. Fox News and the rest of the US right wing are very much part of the problem. At most, the number of protesters is 8k.

Nazi and Confederate flags were seen flying, QAnon logos were emblazoned on trucks and signs, and banners were pasted to telephone poles bearing Trudeau’s face, reading: "Wanted for crimes against humanity.”

Very interesting. Anti-vaxxer Canadian truckers were paid by US millionaires.

In Texas, the 2020 election went smoothly, with virtually no problems. Turnout was high and everybody got their vote in. Then the legislature decided to “fix” things!

Woo hoo! TFG gets fired by his accounting firm. They say statements from him for the past ten years are unreliable.

Heh! Gee, for some strange reason, Fox News didn't want to say much about their Glorious Leader being fired by his accounting firm!

By coincidence, Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO, is being fired by his bank. His bank appears to be trying to put some distance between his campaign to overturn the 2020 election and themselves.

Good thread on Ukraine.

Senator Chris Murphy with a really good thread on What can Putin possibly hope to gain by invading Ukraine?

Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against the NY Times fails. From what I read on this earlier, it sounded like she had a really weak case.

I don't see that Senator Sinema has much of a chance of surviving a Democratic primary in 2024 in any event, but it's good to see Senator Manchin try to talk some sense into her.

Very sad to see that a mainstream media piece was fundamentally, substantively wrong, but the NY Times couldn't be bothered to rewrite the piece so that it was accurate.  An interview subject claimed to be a "Hillary-Biden voter," but was actually a big Republican donor and activist. This means that the piece required major revisions but it instead, just got some light edits.

This is good! NY Times gave us a lot of mealy-mouthed excuses and justifications, but WaPo is just straight-up that TFG "...violated the records law…"

Woo hoo! Dr. Strange-Wanda Maximoff movie opens 6 May.

Aww! Super-heroes from DC Comics share Valentine's Day greetings!

As a member of the military, my country supplied me with everything I needed to do my job. Teachers shouldn't have to pay a single penny out of their own pockets for school supplies! If they spend anything on their own, they should be reimbursed promptly and 100%.

Yup! As the late columnist Molly Ivins once said “Ya dance with the one who brung ya.” If politicians are elevated by grassroots movements, they’ll vote our way.

We have three individuals who could play an important role in tackling the situation with Russia, but a single senator is preventing them from taking office!

"The costs of Trump’s Iranian mistake haunt the U.S."
Yeah, it was obvious at the time that TFG's Iranian policy was a complete cluster$%#@.

I mentioned in a photoessay that the Russian pundit Julia Ioffe is on my Twitter feed. She interviews Dr. Andrey Sushentsov.

Today, he is the Dean of the prestigious School of International Relations at MGIMO and program director at the Valdai Club, the exclusive foreign policy conference where Vladimir Putin has often made news talking to interlocutors from abroad.

Dr. Sushentsov has some interesting and worthwhile things to say.

Huh! Trump was taking classified documents to his golf club, where there is no secure way to store them. Why is Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly just teling us this now? What was he, saving this information for a book?!?!?! Why didn't the American public learn about this in real time?

Different person, but identical problem. Withholding important information that the American people should have known about. If there was any legitimate reason for reporters to hold back information like this, we should have heard some justifications by now. The story in question is that the White House has almost 30 working fireplaces and Trump was flushing government papers down the toilet! Aides knew because the toilets would get clogged up.

Good! The House Oversight Committee chair is taking vigorous action on the Trump papers in Mar-a-Lago.

Very good piece on the very sad failure of two journalists to do their jobs properly.

Just for the record, NY Times reporter Maggie Haberman claims that she didn't know Trump was regularly disposing of government documents until after he left office. Make of that what you will.

Omarosa Manigault Newman and Stephanie Grisham back up Haberman’s story about Trump's documents destruction.

Parts of Ottowa have been shut down because of trucks, deliberately parking in spots that block traffic and honking their horns all day and night. CNN, please!!! Can you please interview some people other than just the protesting truck drivers?!?!?! There are people in Ottowa who do not support the truck drivers!

Very interesting to see how the NY Times chose to report the Trump taking of government papers to Florida compared to how they covered Hillary Clinton not following proper email protocols. For Clinton, it was front-page, above the fold, for weeks!

And no, Hillary Clinton did not do anything that was even remotely, not even slightly similar! She sincerely and honestly thought that the State Department had copies of all of her emails. She deleted the emails she thought were unimportant. Everything that was historically important was preserved. Trump simply trucked off boxes and boxes of documents that he shouldn’t have taken off the premises of the White House at all, for any reason! This is not a “BothSides” story!

So apparently, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel was upset because the scheme of the fake electors, people who tried to pass off forgeries of Electoral College Votes, were counted as 6 January conspirators. But it was clearly all the same plot, thought up and directed by all of the same people, for the same purpose.

Speaker Pelosi makes a very good point. Members of the Congress should divest from stocks, but so should members of the Executive and Judiciary branches. After all, if someone owns a lot of Lockheed-Martin stock when they're making decisions on war and peace, that could be a problem for the whole country.

More on the smear campaign against Dr. Fauci. What's truly ludicrous is that Democrats are at the center of the story, but the writer quotes 14 Republicans and zero Democrats!

Wow! This couple stole $4.5 billion worth of Bitcoin! Guess it was hard to launder/spend.

Will Senatr Manchin leave any sort of legacy?
Manchin, compared to another West Virginian, Senator Robert C. Byrd, is an entirely destructive, negative force. He holds up Democrats from passing important bills. For what? Manchin's "legacy" will evaporate the second the Senate goes through any personnel changes.

TFG removed lots and lots of material from the White House that should have gone straight to the National Archives.
Heh! "… Trump advisers deny any nefarious intent."

Very happy to hear that Democrats will be investigating just how 15 and maybe more boxes of papers that didn't belong to TFG ended up at Mar-a-Lago.
Hmm, if the records were taken as the result of a "hasty" exit, why not, at the absolute, rock bottom minimum, wasn't someone assigned to go through the records to determine what should and shouldn't be transmitted to the Archives?

Update (25 Feb): Some of the documents were so top-secret, their contents can't even be descibed! Obviously, we have to assume all of these documents were compromised as Trump didn't have a secure place to store them.

Good! Strong internal pressure in Iran to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal.

Cool! Michelle Yeoh is going to be in a “genre-hopping action-comedy.” Should be fun!
BTW, I’ve gone through a lot of Star Trek – Discovery up to most of the way through Season 2. Yeoh plays a very interesting role in that.

These two mention Peter Schweizer as though he was some sort of reliable source. Nonsense. He was the author of Clinton Cash, a completely debunked and discredited book. Minority Leader McCarthy clearly has nothing, but wants to hold a series of hearings anyway.

Oh, good grief! Jonah Goldberg is joining CNN. Why CNN? What on Earth does CNN gain from employing this guy? What value does he bring to any discussion?

About the biggest thing Goldberg is known for is a book called “Liberal Fascism” that violates a liberal belief, that one can either be a liberal or one can be a fascist. Goldberg makes a very poor argument that one can be both.

Speaker Pelosi's statement to US Olympic athletes going off to compete in China:

“I would say to our athletes: You’re there to compete. Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government, because they are ruthless.”

Mike Pompeo, being a former Secretary of State, should know that the US Constitution doesn't apply when you're in a foreign country. It only applies when you're in the US or in a fellow democracy.

Again, TFG shows us that he has the instincts of a mob boss. He's probably also very aware that Nixon kept recordings of his conversations and wants to make sure there are no such records of his statements.

"Ted Cruz Diverts Time To Canadian Truckers' Anti-Vax Campaign As Winter Storm Pounds Texas"
'Cause hey, yeah. It's not like a senator has anything better to do during a harsh winter storm when his state suffered a complete disaster during the last big storm, than to go on TV and to cheer on Canadian truckers!

Oh man, $%#@ y’all! Gerald Ford’s pardoning of Nixon did nothing to heal the country, Biden’s pardon of TFG won’t do that either!

So even though TFG has admitted that he wants to pardon January 6 defendants, meaning "Yeah, those were my guys," we still have people claiming it was a "false flag" operation!

The battle to call Israeli apartheid what it is is being won. And Israel is very unhappy about that.

What could possibly be the attraction that the NY Times appears to have for Florida Governor DeSantis?!?!?!

Had an online conversation with a fellow who praised the “tough” Democrats of years past. The last few paragraphs here make it clear that the US sanctions against Iran had really hurt them and they would really like some relief from them. But the piece doesn’t mention a single US gain from the Trump years. Biden isn’t being called upon to “preserve the gains of Trump,” because there weren’t any.

Woman who tried to register to vote receives fantastically, amazingly harsh sentence for doing so.

Update (25 Feb): Pamela Moses is getting a new trial, thanks to public pressure.

We now know that Representative Jordan had a 10-minute conversation with TFG on 6 January.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is just a walking conflict of interest. By permitting Thomas to decide on his own whether or not he needs to recuse himself from cases, the court is seriously discrediting itself.

Is Senator Rand Paul attacking a “straw man” here? Ehh, close. Usually, a straw man is a totally made-up opponent who says things that no one actually says. In this case, the quote is real, but it’s from June 2020. Paul acts as if the conditions that were applicable then still apply today.

The former CEO of CNN (Who was abrutly fired under mysterious circumstances a short while ago) was in a romantic relationship that he and her both repeatedly denied. She reported directly to him in the corporate chain of commend, which raises the appearance of favoritism. Also, the couple were advising Governor Cuomo, meaning they were doing what younger brother Chris Cuomo was doing.

How did he interact with 2016 campaign?

Plenty of collateral damage, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was among his wives & children, when the bomb fell. But yeah, the leader of ISIS is dead.

Interesting poll in here. The three groups with significant opposition to Biden's as-yet-unnamed Supreme Court pick are white voters, Republicans and Independents. Everyone else is pretty cool with the idea.

It took the 6 January Committee a little while to say this as they had to review the legal issues, but yes. on 29 January, Trump was "witness tampering." when he promised to pardon anyone who kept silent about their roles in the attack on the Capitol.

Currently, commercial aircraft are limited to around 700 mph over land due to sonic booms. NASA is trying to reduce the "boom" to more of a "thud."

Whuuh?!?!?! Tesla cars, nearly 54k of them, were programmed to perform “rolling stops?” My mom did a rolling stop once and got a ticket for that. See, for humans to do stuff like that is one thing. Can’t automate things to do that.
A few months ago, I saw an early 1900s vision of the future. A few things, like pocket telephones, were spot-on. But automated hair-cuts? Nope. It’s too complex for a machine to use sharp blades around the skull.

Ukraine’s foreign minister says he, his president and their two American counterparts are all in complete agreement as to how to deal with Russia.

US sending nearly 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania.

Former White House Chief of Staff:

Meadows says in Trump’s White House, they were celebrating during COVID because of unbelievable job growth

Narrator: “There was no job growth during the Covid pandemic.”

Could be fun! The dark, tormented Archie of the show Riverdale meets the happy-go-lucky redheaded guy of Archie Comics!

Sigh! Again, an anti-choice law proves fatal to the woman involved!

"Gaslighting in the news pages of the New York Times"

Republicans, who have been intent on rehabilitating themselves in the eyes of voters


Many Republicans say they see no need for any course correction

are two statements made in the same article!
The piece includes lots of fantasies and wishful thinking, illustrating serious problems, not just with the reporter, but with the whole newsroom.

Good thread. Lots of worthwhile back-and-forth about who's really the aggressor here, Putin and Russia or Biden and the US. As you might guess, our Russian blogger here feels Putin is the problem and that the DSA is, oddly, trying to put pressure on Biden.

Hoo boy! When you're on the same side as Glenn Greenwald and Tucker Carlson, you might want to reassess your position.

...nearly two-thirds of Americans agree that politics drives Supreme Court rulings.

Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch will speak at a partisan event that will be hosted by a partisan institution and will feature partisan guests. If the Supreme Court is seen as partisan, there's a reason for that!

How the NY Times placed Hillary Clinton's emails on their front page and how they featured Donald Trump's rally where he made threats against his prosecutors.

Now that Amnesty International has published a report “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity,” Israel drags out its regular accusation of antisemitism. The accusation is getting worn and tattered and is losing credibility. Israel also engages in “whataboutism” by bringing up Syria.

Amnesty International concluded a four-year study by saying that, yes indeed, Israel was an apartheid state. There’s a military-style justice system that’s specifically for Palestinians who live in the West Bank. That same system does not apply to Israelis who live right next to them.

One of Amnesty's critics here proclaims that Israel is a "robust democracy," and so it is, for Israelis! For Palestinians? It's an apartheid state.

Many bomb threats towards HBCUs. Wonder what the motive is? Classes canceled due to bomb threats for second day in row.

It's a little less than a year until Governor Abbot's term ends. Operation Lone Star was a really, really serious cluster$%#!!!! The hardships of the Texas National Guard troops deserves to be a serious issue for the next governor's race

The founder of Daily Kos explains why he continues to produce a series about people who deny that Covid is a serious problem or who refuse to recognize that we have a cheap and effective preventive measure that's available for free.

Democracy is dying, and the media shares a good chunk of the blame. Mehdi Hasan says what needs saying, that the listless, anodyne, vague headlines really don't rise to the moment!

Putin appears to be suspicious of democracy and appears to think that the West did in the Soviet Union.

Ukrainian desire for independence goes back quite a ways.

"'Maus' Sales Skyrocket Following Tennessee School Board Book Ban"
I got and read this book many years ago. It’s still on my bookshelf. Good stuff! Very happy to see it become popular.


So, the Spotify CEO says they'll be really careful about Covid misinformation. Cool. Let's see how they handle the next segment by Joe Rogan, a serial mis-informer.

Update (1 Feb): A band complains about Spotify's "draconian royalty calculation which essentially gives artists a microscopic fraction of the money being generated by their music on the platform."

And Spotify went through Rogan's old shows (23 Feb) and found that over 100 of them contained him freely using the N-word.

Other than these two, the issue's been pretty quiet since.

Tucker Carlson has a "parade of horribles:"

“...homelessness - close to a million people living on the street in the United States – 100,000 Americans dying of drug overdoses, inflation…”

Why yes. These are all serious concerns. But what on Earth is the Republican Party prepared to, y’know, do about any of it?!?!?!

The NY Times points out, in a news article, not an editorial, that Republicans "have been intent on rehabilitating themselves in the eyes of voters after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol."
The piece does not provide any evidence that the GOP has made the slightest attempt to rehabilitate itself.

Man, throw the book at these two! A big, heavy one! Problem is, vaccine cards aren't that hard to forge and lots and lots of people need to have them.

Omar Abdulmajeed As’ad was born in Palestine, ran a grocery store in the US for several decades and came back to Palestine to retire. Had any other country treated him the way the Israelis did, the screaming and threats and revulsion would be long and loud. Every American would know As’ad’s name. But because it was Israel, silence.

Good! Rachel Maddow has been covering the Irish fishermen who’ve said they will fish in the middle of the Russian live-fire exercises. Also, this gets the Russian fleet further away from were the trans-Atlantic cables cross.

Will TFG pardon all those who took part in the 6 January assault on the Capitol? Ha, ha, ha! Of course he will! They were carrying out his instructions!

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas deployed The Texas National Guard to their Southern border back in March 2021. It’s long since time for him to admit it’s been a failure.

Good Lord!!! How can it not fill the reporter with horror and revulsion to tell the public that Republicans are hoping that the pandemic lasts long enough for them to exploit it as an issue in the midterm?!?!?

Yeah, the Neil Young vs Spotify/Joe Rogan fight is not going well for Spotify!
Fellow elder rockers Peter Frampton and
Joni Mitchell have joined Young.

Woo-hoo! Ford and GM are making massive investments in Electric Vehicles (EVs)!

Requiring a balanced budget amendment in the Constitution has always been a very bad idea. Senator Graham ignores Trump's budget-busting 2017 tax cut in order to oppose Biden's Build Back Better bill.

A close look at the agreement that ended the last bout of fighting between Kyiv and Moscow.

Code Pink makes a strong case against getting involved in a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia is acting as an active aggressor against Ukraine.

I've followed this writer quite a bit. He's generally against unnecessary conflicts, but feels the US needs to act more strongly to deter Russia. The announcement that the US is deploying the Green Berets falls very much within deterrence strategy. It tells Russia "Yeah, you may roll through Ukrainian towns, but you'd better leave lots of troops behind to secure your supply lines, because those will come under attack."
Very interesting paragraph:

Does Putin see Biden as weak — after Afghanistan? "I don’t think so. I think people in Moscow, at least people who matter and who are influential in foreign policy debates, their thinking was rather that Biden is smart. He’s trying to limit his frontlines. He’s not fighting each and every battle. Plus, Biden is someone who can speak on behalf of the West. During the whole Trump period, there was no one like that."

Senator Wicker's presumption here is that neither government action nor social tendencies have ever acted to promote and enable the success of white guys like himself. For a white guy to be in a position of authority is just "The Way Things Are."

Senator Josh Hawley says at the 1:20 minute mark that by appointing a Black woman to the Supreme Court, nothing else matters! All that matters to Biden is that the nominee must be a Black woman. Tucker Carlson of Fox News makes much the same suggestion. No. The idea is to get a qualified Black woman to fill that position! Neither Biden nor the Democrats want to appoint just any warm body to fill that position!

Good news! The world put a little short of $1 trillion into low-carbon technology in 2021!

Extremist anti-choicers.

A Polish woman reportedly died in a hospital in Częstochowa this week after she was forced to carry a dead fetus for over seven days.

Just thinking about the Clarence-Ginni Thomas case, I don't think progressives are hoping to make a big bust, but I think the case does present a serious concern for the credibility of the Supreme Court. The court has made it clear that it wants to overturn Roe v Wade. Neither the medical evidence nor public opinion has changed sufficiently since 1973 to justify doing that.
Ginni Thomas is very, very clearly close to the people who conducted the 6 January attack on the Capitol and Justice Thomas was the sole vote in favor of keeping the former president's papers around that time secret.
The usual test is whether someone "appears" to have a conflict of interest. Yes, Justice Thomas does appear to have such a conflict and needs to recuse himself from any case involving The Former Guy. It is very much in the self-interest of the Supreme Court to take action!

This is just an awful example of the NY Times bending over backwards to make a straightforward matter of lies told by Joe Rogan a matter of “BothSides!” and blame that’s evenly doled out. What’s lost in here is the truth!!!!

A detail that the media overlooked in the Neil Young vs Joe Rogan and Spotify fight.

Spotify is a really large audio service. They carried both Joe Rogan (Who's considered the replacement for the late Rush Limbaugh) and ol' hippie rocker Neil Young. Young demanded that either he or Rogan had to go, so Spotify said "See ya!" That decision is costing Spotify dearly There are perils in being too big.

Woo hoo! Neil Young's Greatest Hits is way up on iTunes!

"Florida Dems walk out on Gov. DeSantis’ surgeon general after he can’t answer simple COVID questions"
Absolutely insane! Dr. Joseph Ladapo is clearly, absolutely and utterly unqualified to be the Surgeon General of Florida! As the blogger says

...he’s not intelligent and informed enough to handle the job of being the doctor of my daughter’s dolls, let alone human folks.

"Supreme Court Justice Breyer Announces Retirement"
This is very good news for Democrats! There was the possibility that Justice Breyer could pass away during a time when Republicans dominated the Senate. If that happened, we'd have to wait until there was both a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate or vice-versa with Republicans to get a new Justice on the court.

Back when the 6 January Committee was formed, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was given the opportunity to appoint some members to it. One of his appointments, Representative Jim Jordan, was very highly controversial and, in fact, has been identified as a witness in the attack on our Capitol. Speaker Pelosi told McCarthy that Jordan and one other had to be withdrawn, but she would accept the rest. In a huff, McCarthy withdrew all of his appointments.
Now, Republicans are saying that because there are no Republican members on the 6 January Committee who were appointed by McCarthy, that the committee is somehow illegitimate. That view was firmly slapped down by a federal judge.

So sportsball player Aaron Rodgers realizes that his refusal to be vaccinated is an albatross around the neck of his team. He’s singlehandedly causing his team to look like a bunch of idiots.

Senator Manchin is convinced that the courts will throw out badly gerrymandered districts like this all the time. If the country had passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, we wouldn’t have to wonder if the courts will do the right thing, the law would have been plainly spelled out!

Woo hoo! The Webb Space telescope is now parked into its final orbit! It is stationed a million miles from Earth* and is expected to keep making observations for up to 20 years.

*At light speed, the telescope is a little over five seconds away.

Uh, was this Banks guy asleep from 2017 to 2021?!?!?! Was he unaware that we had a president who did nothing but to "attack and malign the free press"?

Problems with one guy running the country (in this case, Turkey). It’s easier to focus on re-branding/renaming the country rather than addressing problems like inflation, "recession, job loss, unchecked violence, gender discrimination, and an Omicron surge, among others."

Wow! Haven’t seen children encouraged to snitch on parents since the early 80s.

Woo hoo!

"Youngkin's 'snitch line' on teachers is backfiring badly."

Good! As someone said, this was throwback to the Stasi/KGB days.

Piece looks at the actual mechanics of 1880s dresses for an upcoming series.

Ukraine tries to play the peacemaker between Russia and the West (which is defending Ukraine).

A personal, up-close look at Ukrainians as people.

So this piece makes a very strong case that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from any Trump cases, including especially 6 January. As recusals are entirely up to the justice, there's no likelihood Thomas will oblige. This further diminishes the court's moral authority, to have one of its justices thumb his nose at decency and propriety.

More on the Clarence/Ginni Thomas case.

Big excerpts from the Clarence/Ginni Thomas New Yorker piece.

Just for the fun of it. I did a search for a piece that did not think Thomas should recuse himself. Kind of interesting that this piece focuses relentlessly on the motivations of the left and "whatabout-ism" and actually produces very few facts that would justify Thomas not recusing himself.

This strikes me as very highly questionable and both Democrats and Republicans have every business raising a stink about this. Why do the Capitol Police want to investigate visitors to Congressional offices?!?!? I can understand why they want to know about people taking tours of the Capitol immediately prior to 6 January, but not just on a routine basis.

Sarah Palin got Covid back in March. She did not learn anything from that as she's still not vaccinated. She now has to delay her libel case against the NY Times until it's clear whether she'll recover or not.

The words and actions of the anti-choicers here are just horrifying.

Rape victims, she said, do not require an exception because they closely track their menstrual cycles and therefore have more than enough time to terminate their pregnancies. As for victims of incest, Folsom assured that they’ll simply be cared for by their familial rapist.
“If they are still under the control of that aggressor, that aggressor is going to make sure that young girl or woman has an abortion before anyone finds out,” Folsom reasoned.

Republican senator Joni Ernst gave a good ol' all-American, mom an' apple pie defense of democracy as regards Russia vs Ukraine. Slight problem - she and rest of her party voted against voting rights for Americans just last week!

Elon Musk has developed a brain-machine interface. He'll be ready to begin testing it with humans soon.
Erm, isn’t this the stuff of science fiction nightmares?

"Texas says supply chain issues have limited the number of voter registration forms it can give out"
Sorry, but Texas has not earned the benefit of the doubt!

*Sigh!* Don Jr. claims that the US must not permit China to develop nuclear weapons.
Erm, China’s had nuclear weapons since 1964.

Virginia's new Attorney General fired a lawyer who was on leave so that he could work on the 6 January Committee. In other words, the firing was clearly and blatantly political!

Former Representative Devin Nunes wants Hunter Biden's laptop to be thoroughly, comprehensivley investigated. The portable computer does indeed contain emails and photos that clearly came from Biden. But these were apparently stolen from one of his devices, probably a phone. There's no chain of custody from Biden to the laptop. There is no evidence that the laptop ever belonged to him!

Newt Gingrish said words to the effect of: "people serving on the J6 Committee are going to go to jail if Republicans take over Congress after the next election."
I believe this guy entirely. If anyone thinks losing the House and/or Senate to Republicans in November won't be a big deal, please take Gingrich's words seriously! He absolutely means everthing he says!


The 6 January panel asks to interview Ivanka Trump as she clearly has knowledge of what her father was doing during the attack on our Capitol. Naturally, he doesn't want her to testify. In The Hill article, he really seems to be trying to make her sound as though she’s still in high school as opposed to, y'know, being 40, married, a mother of three children and once had the title of Senior Adviser to the President.

Ali Velshi of MSNBC News relates to us a very serious crime. Will that crime ever be punished? Will it ever even be seriously investigated?

Update (2 Feb): Haj Suleiman al-Hathaleen died of his wounds.

Enormously disappointing that, a year after Biden took office, Saudi Arabia is still committing war crimes against Yemen!

Republican "plans" here fall considerably short of actually being plans. "we need to tackle the issue of inflation" is an aspiration. It isn't a plan on how to tackle inflation!

According to a piece in Fox News, Senators Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and Mitch McConnell all agree that excessive partisanship is the problem with the Senate and that keeping the filibuster in place is the cure for that. Mmm, yeah. Kind of a problem with that is detailed in the Maddowblog post. The “legislative model” proposed by Senator Manchin simply doesn’t work. To date, Manchin has racked up precisely zero successes. 

Deep examination of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s statement about “African-American voters” vs “Americans.”

A number of people have posted tweets with “We ‘are’ Americans. #mitchplease”

MSNBC's Zerlina Maxwell comments.

Representative Boebert is the the Communications Chair for the House Freedom Caucus. She made what she alleges was a "joke" here, she saw a group of Jewish people who wore outfits that clearly identified them as Jewish, so she asked if they were there to conduct “reconnaissance.” I'm sorry, but if the intention in having a Communication Chair is to reach out beyond the hard-core base, I think the Freedom Caucus made a very poor choice!

A NY Times reporter finds great comfort in a Financial Times (British) piece that says "Calm down, no biggie, relax!" Problem is, he completely ignores the very real and present danger that our electoral system is likely to be subverted enough that the other side will unfairly win the 2022 midterm and will then push the nation even closer to fascism.

The Republican Governor wasn’t thrilled to hear that, as a senator, he’d simply be playing as a roadblock for two straight years. The agenda of Senate Republicans is simply to block everything until there’s a Republican president again.

Yep, she figured she’d be smart. She was an anti-vaxxer, but the Czech Republic insisted, so she used a loophole saying that if you were a Covid survivor, you didn’t have to get the shot. Oops! Slight problem, she didn’t survive getting Covid!

Annoying, but expected. Senators Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and Senate Republicans combined to sink the voting rights bill.

Senators Manchin and Sinema are now on record as preferring the filibuster over democracy.

What’s really sad is that Senators Manchin and Collins (R-ME) are still insisting that the government will still protect voting rights.

Yes, the Senate is split 50 Democrats to 50 Republicans, but the Democrats represent 34 million more people than the other side does! For all intents and purposes though, Democrats were voted down 52-48.

There's really no way that Democrats come out ahead, but we can at least take grim satisfaction in Senator Sinema's career being over. She's got three years remaining in her term, but her career is essentially "dead man walking."

"Kyrsten Sinema formally censured by Arizona Democratic Party"

Woo hoo! This is very good news! The 6 January Committee has requested a whole raft of materials from the Archives. Supreme Court was the last appeal and they say it's a go!

MSNBC's Chris Hayes:

During SCOTUS arguments on Biden's Covid rules, Sotomayor was remote because Gorsuch reportedly refused to mask up.

Sounds like a straight-up OSHA violation to me! One of the problems with this kind of utterly blatant hypocrisy, “OSHA rules don’t apply to us!” is that the Supreme Court, already under deep suspicion for its handling of Roe vs Wade and how Texas has approached that ruling, is that the public image of the Court suffers still more.

As The Who said in Won’t Get Fooled Again – “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” The Taliban 2.0 is a bit better at international public relations, but is pretty much the same old Taliban 1.0.

Hmm. A comedy about an aristocrat who becomes a pirate! Could be fun!

Good! Emily’s List has dropped Senator Sinema over her staunch defense of the filibuster.

The deliberately-unvaccinated are a real problem. They're extending the pandemic, allowing for more variations to occur  and they spread the coronoavirus more easily than the vaccinated do. So why does the WaPo write sympathertic headlines about them?

Very nice, normalized piece that completely fails to note that TFG is engaged in pure demagoguery. Trump on COVID-19 treatment:

"If you're white you go right to the back of the line."

CNN says merel that Trump is looking "to rebrand his legacy."

Why is CNN determined to cover for him? Why is CNN normalizing him?

Yeah, “election integrity” is right-wing code for Voter ID and other methods for disenfranchising legitimate voters who are likely to vote for Democrats.

Several Republican senators have tried to raise the boogeyman of a “federal takeover” of voting rights. Bit of a problem is that segregationists used exactly the same argument from the 1930s to the mid-1960s.

I’m just utterly astonished that a fellow who was two years older than the woman he attacked (He was 18, she was 16) and who took advantage of someone who was clearly drunk, helpless and unable to consent to sex, thought it was appropriate to rape her. The judge in the case said: “Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail, 148 days. For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment.” WTF!?!?!?

Very happy to have gotten this update on the story. The judge was reassigned.

A so-called "discredited activist" writes out an extensive thread. Then she reveaals that her whole thread was quote after quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Various speeches by King.

Dr. King’s family is not amused by Senators Manchin and Sinema trying to pretend that they have something in common with him. King actually saw the filibuster as a tool of racial oppression.

Very sad that that this young fellow had to sneak off to get vaxxed. Very happy that there were enough sites that he was able to do so.

MSNBC's Joy Reid must have done something to have gotten all TFG all spun up!

Deep thoughts on voting from TFG:

“Sometimes the vote counter is more important than the candidate.”

Hmm. Somehow, I think good ol' Uncle Joe would agree.

"I consider it completely unimportant who in the Party will vote, or how. But what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.”
Joseph Stalin, 1923

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the war in Vietnam.

King believed that Jim Crow segregation and the war in Vietnam were rooted in the same unjust ethic of race-based domination, and he called on the nation to change its ways.

Cool! An upcoming sequel to the Spider-Verse animated movie!

I find it very offensive that at the 1:40 minute mark, Senator Sinema blames President Biden for not sitting down to talk with Republicans. Senator Manchin criticized the “For The People” Act (HR 1) as being too broad for Republicans to vote for it, so he re-worked it to meet Republican objections. The result?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed Democrats' efforts to rewrite federal elections laws on Tuesday afternoon.“

An examination of right-wing *ahem* "humor" and Fox News host Greg Gutfeld.

Ms. Nikki says: "I think we should all ban together and demand that Twitter come up with something like 'trending,but not dead' alert for our Legends!"

Yeah, I see this all the time. An older and long-unheard from star trends on Twitter and my first thought is "Have they died?"

It's been nearly a year since Texas National Guard troops were deployed to the border. Miserable conditions there, plus the obviously-political nature of the mission, are making real trouble for the Governor.

It's understandable that people want to be done with the coronavirus, but we may be rushing things by saying it's already over.

Saw the new West Side Story. Quite good. Rather surprised at the size of the audience for a film that’s been out since early December Had to have been 10-15 people there! Worth seeing even after having seen the original, though it helps that the original was so long ago.

Just as with the Capitol Police a few weeks ago, the FBI has no credible reason not to have prepared for the attack on our Capitol on 6 January. The idea that the FBI was unable legally to monitor open-source, publicly-available information is especially ludicrous.

Byron York: "It was a LARP rebellion, a cosplay insurrection."
Uh huh. Says a guy who clearly never saw any of the footage of the 6 January attack on our nation's Capitol!

James Webb Space Telescope is now fully deployed (Hasn't quite reached its final orbit yet) and will begin delivering pictures in May.

This guy’s got some pretty serious head problems!

"And you talk about evidence," Lindell added. "We have enough evidence to put everybody in prison for life, 300 and some million people. We have that all the way back to November and December."

Erm, 300 million is most of the country. Only 158 million votes were cast. Biden won 51.3% of the vote or in excess of 81 million votes.

Unfortunately, this makes a great deal of sense. Senator Sinema doesn't care about getting reelected as a Democrat because she's going to run for president in 2024. Going to jump straight into the Oval Office. She'll likely do it as a Republican as Democrats will be after her with torches and pitchforks.Will that work, though? Recall that she voted to impeach TFG, twice and she's a bisexual pro-choicer. None of that hurts her with Democrats, but it's all a deal-breaker for Republicans. 

What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., think of Senator Sinema? We think he'd be "gravely disappointed!"

From 1905 to 2021, the Supreme Court was very consistent, vaccines are a good thing and the government does have the authority to insist on shots. That's all blown to hell now!

Fox News' Kayleigh McEnany (also former Press Secretary to the last president) seems to be suffering a serious case of amnesia:

"This is the most divisive president I have seen in the last two decades..."

Now, keep in mind, she's referring to Biden and not Trump!

Full text of Senator Sinema’s remarks on the floor on Thursday. Not at all impressed. Lots and lots of BothSides, no real understanding of why the sides are battling each other so fiercely, lots of wishful thinking, lots of very nice ideas that are clearly never going to happen. Commentary.

Very serious charge here. A militia group took part in the 6 January attack on the Capitol and acted in a highly organized and coordinated manner.

We and the Iranians both have hard-liners who feel that forcing the other is the best way forward. Four years under TFG shows, nah, that’s not the way. If the US wants a deal, it can’t be easy to cancel it.

The GOP, unable to come up with any justification for their wave of voter restrictions, have decided to simply say "What wave of voting restrictions?"

The prison at Guantanamo Bay has now been a “stain on America’s conscience” for 20 years. Long since time to close it down and move everyone elsewhere.

Democrats in the Senate have a workaround involving a NASA bill. Republicans can filibuster the final bill from passing without 60 votes, but they can’t stop debate on it.

Hoo-yah to this! Put Senator Manchin and Sinema on record! Make them either stand with Bull Connor and Strom Thurmond and other segregationists or they can stand with the Democratic Party! (Paywall, members-only piece)

Lots of close votes in the past decade. Funny, only voting rights requires a 60-vote threshold!

I haven't featured Jamie Dimon much and when I do, it's usually as a villain, but I like this statement!

To go to the office, you have to be vaxxed. And if you aren’t going to get vaxxed, you won’t be able to work in that office. And we’re not going to pay you NOT to work in the office.

When TFG goes in front of a cheering crowd at a rally, he can say "I am the Walrus! I am the Eggman!" and, well, a crowd at a rally isn't inclined to be skeptical. Making assertions to an actual reporter is, well, that's a bit different! Trump has absolutely zero evidence that he was cheated out of a second term.

Israel is finding it difficult to convince people that Emma Watson (Harry Potter movies, Beauty and the Beast) is an anti-Jewish bigot. The usual, standard charge of antisemitism is simply falling flat. To clarify:

Antisemitism - You hate the Jewish people.

If you oppose Israeli policies - You are engaged in normal political discourse.

It’s been a year since the NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) B’Tselem declare that Israel was an apartheid state, a state that copied many of the features of South Africa while under white rulers.

Israel is now really concerned. Not about the fact that it is clearly an apartheid state, but about the cracks in its narrative being exposed from within and influencing global public opinion.

There is an old adage, "take stock of the company you keep.”
As it turns out, we are more tolerant of people who have similar negative personality traits as us.

Some anti-choicers disapproved of the white supremacists, others gave them a thumbs-up.

Ideological neutrality is fine, up to a point. When Nazism is regarded as something teachers need to be neutral about...no...just...no!

The judge in this case appears to been extremely well-prepared and thoroughly up-to-date on the case. The defendants? Ehh, not so much. Again, a major problem with Trump’s defense is that his lawyer tries an extremely broad and comprehensive theory of presidential power, essentially arguing that the president is an absolute monarch, much like Louis XIV.

So, many months after Democrats brought up problems with the filibuster, Senator Manchin still doesn't have the first notion of how to even begin to even try to fix it!

The NY Times dropped the ball here. It's not that Senator Manchin has to make the decision in the future as to whether he'll support mine owners or workers. He's very clearly already made that choice!

Senator Manchin made an incredibly ahistorical statement about the filibuster being 232 years old. In its modern form, it’s only been around since 1975.

Again, there's a real resistance on the part of the mainstream media to get in touch with and to communicate with, Democratic sources.

Very interesting to see what Fox News considers worthy and unworthy of being compared to Pearl Harbor.

So Representative Jim Jordan, who once said "If [The January 6 Committee] called me I got nothing to hide," has apparently now changed his mind and has something to hide after all!
Again, it was really stupid for House Minority Leader McCarthy to recommend Jordan for a seat on the Commission and quite smart for Speaker Pelosi to reject that idea.

It’s completely understandable that the US would not want to support the Taliban government, but real civilians are really at risk of dying in Afghanistan’s harsh winter. US sanctions are hurting civilians more than they’re helping to shape Taliban behavior.

Very interesting, because I tend to sleep in a “biphasic” manner or in “two shifts.”

Good! Seems Stephanie Grisham (the Press Secretary for Trump who never held a press conference) gave the 6 January Commission quite a bit of useful information!

The immediate aftermath of 6 January was full of hope. There appeared to be some consensus about what the problems were.

House Minority Leader McCarthy is shocked, shocked I tell you!, that Speaker Pelosi "politicized" 6 January! BTW, he told his people not to attend the 6 January observation for, y'know, political reasons!

Good grief! Some idiot says the Harry Potter books were the first ones "where class and wealth mattered!" I read a number of novels in college that were published in the 1700s and 1800s where “class and wealth mattered.”’

Ooh! Yowza! Yeah, that'll do it! The Quebec Health Minister says no pot or liquor unless you have a vaccine passport! Yep, appointments to get first shots went through the roof!

"Retired Florida Blogger Gives Bonkers Interview To OAN"
As the blogger points out, Trump said not a single word about the attack on the Capitol being a false flag event, nothing about BLM or Antifa.In fact, he goes on and on about how large his crowd was.

The Planned Parenthood building in Tennessee burned up on New Year's Eve. Yep, as suspected, it was arson.

The Thwaite Glacier is about the size of Florida and is ice on top of water, meaning that it could collapse and water would rise by two feet worldwide.

The problem, the reason the killers of Ahmaud Arbery got such lengthy sentences is that they simply don’t feel any remorse.

Earnest pleas from two nurses to please vaccinate yourself! They're getting worn to the point of exhastion!

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them The First Time.

I believe Representative Gaetz and Taylor Greene are absolutely dead serious about giving us a Benghazi-type circus if the GOP takes control of the House next year.

This is hilarious! Art historian looks at Renaissance paintings of a just-born Jesus and wonders "Have these artist ever seen a baby?"

Good! The Cyber Ninjas are trying to get out of their legal troubles by strategically declaring bankruptcy and dissolution. The judge is having none of that nonsense!

Update (28 Jan): Cyber Ninja CEO still defiant, outright refuses to turn over records.

The actor Sidnet Poitier dies. He did a lot of good movies.
Good answer here to Poitier's response to being regarded as just a Black man.

This piece confirms a major belief of mine,  that on-the-ground intelligence agents usually get it right. It's usually the higher-ups that get it wrong by misreading or disregarding the reports.
Apparently here, the older white guys who were in charge of protecting the Capitol were very deeply concerned about Black Lives Matter, not so much with the "good ol' boys" of the pro-Trump mob.

Biden's speech. Excellent segment (8 minutes)! I slightly disagree with Ana. I think it drives TFG (The Former Guy) crazy to not hear his name!

The vague, fuzzy, meaningless term "Congressional dysfunction" should really be stricken from this account. Nominees are being stalled by two Republican senators. Period.

Senator Graham is one of those "'reasonable people"' who essentially just covers for his more evil co-conspirators. It's also pretty hard to "'politicize"' an event that was 100% political from beginning to end.

My understanding is that TFG left Biden with grossly inadequate tools and supplies with which to fight Covid. Not “’nothing,” but very inadequate. His people also conducted very belated and rushed turnover talks.

This sub-piece on the tours that took place prior to the attack on our Capitol are something we need to learn more about.

Conservatives are going crazy over TFG, their Glorious Leader, recommending that they take the vaccine! I especially liked this guy:

"[D]on't believe it, everything [Trump] says has a double meaning...the jab is not a vaccine."

Love the idea that Trump is some sort of wise, inscrutable philosopher. And also, "the jab" is a British term that means...the vaccine!

Pretty cool! NASA figured there were 344 points at which the James Webb Telescope could fail. They’ve now completed 75% of those points successfully! At this point (9:00pm on the 5th), it’s about 600k miles out. Just 400k to go!

Ah. now we can see why Florida Governor DeSantis was missing for two weeks! His breathing here sounds pretty labored.

Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro admits, on national TV (!!!) that yes, they were conducting a coup!

The author of this review feels that "Don't Look Up" hammers away at things that people already know and that the news media is sufficiently "woke."' With the bipartisan infrastructure bill not having any climate-change solutions and with the Republican Party blocking everything, no. I don't think the media is doing anywhere near enough!

This is pretty gob-smacking amazing!

Some 30 percent of Republicans believe the events [of 6 January] were entirely peaceful.

These are people, not just in a news bubble, but in a tightly-sealed silo of information.

I agree. Trump didn’t cause the problem with Republican voters being in a news bubble, but he sure exploited the hell out of that fact!

The 6 January Committee was very careful to distinguish Sean Hannity as a journalist from Hannity as a participant in the events of 6 January. His lawyer is referring to a nonexistent privilege.

Right-wingers are trying to press “pro-life feminism,” which is, of course, a contradiction in terms.

Many reasons as to why the Republican brand is reviving.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell's a liar. Of course there have been narrow exceptions to the filibuster! The filibuster is just a Senate rule. It's not formally legislated, it's not in the Constitution. It's very easy to change it.

The highway in Northern Virginia going from Washington DC to Baltimore was seriously jammed for about a day. I suppose I might have assembled a survival package if I were regularly commuting on a lengthy stretch like this, but I certainly wouldn't have the supplies to survive it right now!

Oh, and hey, it's all the fault of liberals because they won't allow police departments to have military-grade equipment!

A newspaper columnist does two columns every years, the 10 best things thatt the current President did and the 10 worst. This is my response to his column on the 10 worst things Biden did.

"Emma Watson of Harry Potter Fame expresses Solidarity with Palestinians, is Smeared as Anti-Semite by Far-Right Likudnik"
Well, that's pretty cool! Except for the “’being smeared” part, of course. And no, being opposed to the policies of the state of Israel and being antisemitic are two different things. Emma Watson did not mention the Jewish people at all, but pointed out that Palestinians are living under an extremely harsh occupation.

"Schumer Sets MLK Day Deadline To Consider Filibuster Changes, Ties Urgency To Jan 6 Anniversary"
Good! Even if Senators Manchin and Sinema vote it down, it’ll show that hey, the Senate is trying!

Update (19 Jan): "Senate votes down filibuster change as Manchin, Sinema side with Republicans"

Seriously, Representative Jim “Benghazi” Jordan has absolutely zero business complaining about “’politicized”’ investigations!

This fellow writes about the news media for the WaPo. Wow! They are not getting their money’s worth if they’re paying more than the minimum wage you’d pay a burger-flipper or janitor!

He defends “Both siderism”:

—“Both siderism” is often a slur for “trying to present more than just one side.”

Actually, “Both siderism” is an extremely serious problem that always favors the bad actors as opposed to the good ones. When you describe both sides as being at fault, there's absolutely zero incentive to be a serious, good-faith actor.

More on this guy. The fellow presents two arguments that can very easily both be true at the same time. The NY Times screws up, badly. And it's also a popular paper.

Pondering the mystery of just where Florida Governor DeSantis has been for the past two weeks.

My sympathies to all of the people of Florida! Your Surgeon General is a total and utter quack!

Chris Matthews, formerly host of Hardball, feels the country was “headed too far left.” Yeah, problem with that is that pretty much no one agrees with Senators Manchin & Sinema. Democrats pretty universally see them as awful obstructionists.

Many mobsters make this mistake. They think if they plan a crime with a lawyer in the room, they’re covered by lawyer-client privilege. Nuh-uh! Lawyer-client privilege covers communications after the crime is alleged to have been committed! The lawyer can’t help to plan the crime, that’s not covered by privilege. Bernard Kerik is clearly talking about communications that are not privileged!

At the 2:20 mark, Representative Liz Cheney is asked, if TFG wins the 2024 election, is that the end of American democracy? Her answer was immediate and unequivocal. Yes, a Trump electoral victory would mean the end of our democracy.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is very upset that her personal Twitter account (her official Congressional one is still active) has been permanently suspended due to her use of it to repeatedly spread Covid disinformation. Her Congressional one will be suspended if she's found to be using it for similar purposes.

Back in late October, Israel labeled six Palestinian peace groups as “terrorists.” The author here reports that the US response has been weak and ineffective. The US is not doing a good job of representing pro-democratic forces!

Unruly airplace passenger was put down with great force. From a piece commenting n it:

Drunk, nicotine-deprived, anti-mask rage-baby picked the wrong flight crew to abuse:

Lengthy thread on “Hey, 2021 was actually a pretty good year!”

"AOC: Republicans Are 'Projecting Their Sexual Frustrations Onto My Boyfriend's Feet'"
Just absolutely astonishing how far these people have to go to say they had found a scandal of some sort! Oh, and the boyfriend had worn sandals. In Miami. So yeah, it was pretty warm down there.

Texas has requested:

...federally-supported COVID-19 testing sites, medical personnel, and increased monoclonal antibody allocations.

Which is cool, but maybe if Texas dropped its continued construction of that $%#@ing wall, they'd have more money for important things like the above!

I understand what the term "'moderate" means in the context of Senators Manchin and Sinema, but yes, it's pretty confusing. We need to find a better term for them.

"The Matrix Resurrections"
Ehh, it's okay. The latest Spider-Man needed to be the length it was in order to fully tell its story. Matrix could have lost at least a half an hour and would have still have made sense. Interesting stuff with the villains and with the whole Matrix franchise.

And speaking of Spider-Man, the blogger takes a good, long look at "restorative justice."


Aww! The actress Betty White passed away a few weeks short of her 100th birthday!

In the first line of Ben Shapiro's second tweet:

1. Cloth masks are ineffective against omicron (Leanna Wen, CNN);

That's true, but Ben's comment lacks serious context. A look at the video made by Wen shows that she recommends certain kinds of masks. Regular old cloth is very porous and doesn't protect very well. There are many brands that are quite good.

Yeah, this is quite sad. VP Harris appears to be doing an entirely satisfactory job, but you'd never know that by the press coverage. She makes for an especially glaring contrast with the last VP, Mike Pence. Pence was put in charge of the committee for dealing with the coronavirus, but I found a piece from April 2020 that described Jared Kushner as being in charge! Did Pence get fired? No, Kushner came in, started giving orders and Pence just faded into the woodwork.

TFG has failed to show that fulfilling the request by the January 6th Committee for his presidential records would be contrary to the public interest. In fact, the public has a very deep interest, overriding any presidential privacy considerations, in investigating the January 6th attack on our democracy.

Update (19 Jan): Supreme Court agrees 8-1 that Congress has the superior claim to the presidential records.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene likes the wildly unconstitutional idea of not permitting people to vote for a period after moving from a liberal state to a conservative one. We don't lose or gain fundamental rights by moving from state to state. 

Hmm, yeah. Biden spends time in Delaware.

Obama played golf once every 8.77 days as president. Trump, conversely, has been at a golf club once every 4.92 days so far.

CNN 25 May 2020

What was President Biden doing in Delaware this week? Talking with Russian President Putin.

Good news to report on unemployment, poverty and man-made climate change.

A popular ranking of our presidents over the past 40 years (since Reagan). In descending order: Obama, Reagan, Trump, Clinton, younger Bush, elder Bush, & Biden.

This piece is about:

...the problems inherent in a big tent. Basically, Democrats collect all voters who aren’t affirmatively in favor of a patriarchal, ethnonationalist, quasi-theocratic, authoritarian state.

With Florida Governor DeSantis being AWOL during a public health crisis, Nikki Fried, the only statewide Democratic official, fills in for the absent governor.

So TFG's lawyer is essentially arguing that if the president breaks the law, Congress is unable to even investigate, meaning there's simply no solution. If the president shoots someone on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight, with dozens of witnesses, there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Erm, no. This is not an acceptable answer!

"Republicans failed completely in their Christmas predictions"
Lots and lots of dire predictions, none of which came true. Reminds me that in 2009 and up until the ACA/Obamacare was implemented in 2014, there were all kinds of predictions of economic disaster that the ACA would cause. None of the dire, awful predictions came true. Those scary predictions were promptly tossed into the "memory-hole."

Heh! WandaVision wins! It "won" the most pirated TV show of last year!

Oh, good grief! The only thing connecting Hunter Biden to "his laptop" is that it contained lots of emails, photos and film clips that were clearly his. How were these obtained? Phones are easier to hack than computers are. If one of his phones was hacked or illicitly obtained, even for ten minutes, that would explain it. Nothing on "Hunter's laptop" can be considered evidence of any sort.

How did Steve Bannon’s radio show come “to occupy such a central place in the MAGA ecosystemv?” The piece examines that.

Ghislaine Maxwell (helper of Jeffrey Epstein) found guilty on just about all of the counts!

Allegedly, QAnon cares deeply about child sex-trafficking, but gee, for some strange reason, they don't appear to care very much about Maxwell. Very puzzling!

One interesting consequence of the new Texas law on abortion. A number of Texas men have been getting vasectomies!

Understand that vaccine opponents are a threat to us all. If you refuse to get vaxxed, that extends to pandemic.

Aww! Very sorry to hear that the former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has passed away!

Ooh! That'll leave a mark! Dr. Mehmet Oz  was introduced to the public by Oprah Winfrey. Now, she won't endorse him to be the PA Governor!

I dunno, people were concerned about Dr. Oz winning in PA, but he just keeps %^$#ing up!

Remembering South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

I think Gillian Turner is absolutely correct. Kyle Rittenhouse may have been declared to be officially innocent, but it’s a terrible idea to put him up on a pedestal.

For instance, Charlie Kirk, President of Turning Point USA, actually compared Rittenhouse to Christ!

Examining the complete and utter cluster%$#@ that was the White House response to Covid under The Former Guy.

A look at the vulgar insult delivered to President Biden over the Christmas holiday.

Former President Trump argues that he can't be held responsible if he makes a speech and those who hear the speech then commit acts of violence. Here's hoping that theory goes nowhere!

Yeah, let's just drive through a Palestinian strawberry field with heavy armored vehicles because, y'know, #$@& them!

Interesting way to attract attention. The actor John Cusack decided to block a whole bunch of people, many of whom had never even heard of him! He's been doing a few movies per year, very few of which I've ever heard of.

Yep! There were fears of the mail being super-slow that didn’t come true. Also, the supply-chin disruptions have really eased off.

But if the USPS is working satisfactorily for this Christmas, it’s despite Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, not because of him!

The founder of Daily Kos does a regular feature looking at Covid deniers. In the middle of this post, a denier asks 30 questions, which our blogger answers. I especially liked #7.

7. If public health is worth giving away medicine for free, why aren't medications being given away for free to treat other illnesses?

Answer is “Republicans.” Vote Democratic and they will be.

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Lauren Boebert post videos that are as different as night and day.

So Representative Jordan is "deeply concerned" about answering questions from the January 6th Committee (I read this as: "'OMG! They know how guilty I am!") and complains of them not understanding the full contest of one of his text messages. Well, there's a way he can explain this "full context,"' he can testify to the committee under oath!

So, many years after the US invasion and lengthy occupation of Iraq, how's Iraq doing? Erm, not an endorsement of US occupation.

With even more people enrolling, the ACA/Obamacare gets even more embedded into the American health care system!

Does the Fox News host specifically instruct people to assassinate Dr. Fauci? Ehh, not exactly. His instructions are couched in such a way that he can deny he really meant that.

See, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is correct when he says "We applied maximum economic pressure to Iran..." but he is not correct when he says "We brought Iran to its knees."
That's not true at all. Iran didn't make any concessions and in fact, were less inclined to make concessions in 2020 then they were in 2018.

Going through this thread, there are indeed concerns with the BBB bill, but at least 48 other Democratic Senators feel that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Good! The BBB bill has gone from being completely flat-lined to having a pulse. Still not up and walking around, still in the ICU, but alive.

Good news! TFG is now openly pro-vaccine! I’m sure he finally realized that he was killing off so much of his base of voters that he realized he was hurting Republican chances electorally!

In what I’m sure is not a coincidence, Biden praises Trump for quick production of the vaccine. Of course, without Biden’s energetic program of getting people vaccinated, having a great vaccine wouldn’t have done much good.

Heh! Problem here is that you can't just turn people on and off like machines. Can't go from an anti-vaxxer message to "vaccinations are good for you" without causing a lot of anguish, hate and discontent.

Just how serious is human-caused climate change? Pretty hair-raising stuff!1

Manchin accused BBB backers of being ‘disingenuine,’ sunsetting social spending early to keep $$ down.

Well, Senator Manchin did not provide any compelling reasons to cancel any programs. He just kept complaining about the top line, the total expenditures. This is where at least 48 fellow Democratic Senators feel he has betrayed them. He now appears to be suggesting that Democrats should have canceled whole programs, just to please him and to convince him that they were serious about cutting expenditures. This is not the way to effectively bargain with anyone!

NY Times runs a piece on Manchin fighting climate measures. Good to have this brought to wide public attention, but the piece could very easily have run several months ago, before Senator Manchin pulled the plug on the Build Back Better bill!

TFGs hysterical lashing out shows us that he knows that he’s in very deep trouble!

This case involves a very serious abuse of power.

Yeah, Representative Jim Jordan was a major supporter of investigations during the Obama Administration, very notably the four-year Benghazi one! Check out the utter lack of self-awareness here:

Jordan, with no hint of irony, replied to Bongo's anti-Jan 6 Commission rant, "This is nothing new for the Left but it's scary because it's the weaponization of government against their political enemies."

Sounds like an incitement to violence to me.
Don Jr.: "We've turned the other cheek and I understand sort of the biblical reference, I understand the mentality but it's gotten us nothing,"

Update (29 Dec): Don Jr. did us all a favor back on by showing us just what the White Evangelical Movement is all about.

Sarah Palin feels that because she's already had Covid, then she doesn't need the vaccine. Generally, that's true. Once you've had a disease, you don't need to be vaccinated against it because you've already developed the necessary antibodies on your own. Problem is, scientists have discovered that isn't true for Covid. Even if you've already had it, you still need the shot.

White House puts out a tough message on Omicron and the un-vaccinated. Essentially, the message gives Democratic voters permission to disregard the precious fee-fees of the people who don't enjoy being blamed for the continual drag on our medical resources.

Fox News is very upset that they’re being described (accurately) as a propaganda network.

Looks like the Build Back Better bill is pretty much dead.
Progressives were, of course, correct:

"We all knew that Senator Manchin couldn’t be trusted,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a leading member of the House progressive caucus, said on MSNBC soon after. “The excuses he just made, I think, are complete bullshit.”

Reaction to Senator Manchin's statement from Democrats.

As usual, Representative AOC is exactly spot on!

Speaker Pelosi wonders: Is Senator Manchin really so incompetent that he can’t explain to the people of West Virginia what the Build Back Better bill is all about?

Democratic House moderates are placed into a hard position by Senator Manchin’s betrayal.

As to the other obstructionist, Senator Sinema

This confirms what I've been reading on the blogs. We made a good deal with Iran in 2015. Israel encouraged The Former Guy to dump the deal. They're now regretting having done that, but it's not clear the damage can be repaired.

As TFG is the Republican Party's largest draw and biggest fundraiser, they're pretty much stuck doing whatever he insists they have to do.

Wow! The election was well over a year ago, the skeptics have produced absolutely zero evidence of any irregularities and still TFG is absolutely convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was cheated out of a second term! Problem is, many millions of our fellow Americans are also convinced of that!

And yeah, that “Lock Her Up” chant.

How does the press decide from day to day what to cover? Apparently, their go-to sources are all Republicans! Did the press really care about Critical Race Theory or were they simply writing about it because all of their Republican sources were talking about it? When the last election was over, the GOP lost interest in the story and wow! Amazingly enough, the entire press corps followed suit!

Woo hoo! Awesome stuff! Latest Spider-Man film is awesome! About two and a half hours, but it’s such a big story it needs that much time to tell it properly!

And their box office is doing extremely well!

Ahh, “The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.” People who made lots and lots of money by selling OxyContin face accountability.

"Eric Clapton Successfully Sues Woman For Bootleg CD Worth $11"
Ah, so this is why I was seeing "I hate Eric Clapton" messages on twitter! I
was never a really big fan of his, though I did buy his big compilation album back in the early aughts.

The Fox News “comedian” (you know he’s a “funny” guy because he twists around his mouth a lot) advises more death. Vaccination may indeed be slightly less effective (he doesn’t cite any real science to back up this assertion) than actually catching the virus, but getting vaccinated won’t run the non-zero risk that it will kill you! We don’t know enough about Omicron to say it’s non-lethal.

BTW, here’s some real science from the White House!

Unfortunately whether or not you get COVID-19, regardless of what variant, depends very heavily on whether you're a Republican or a Democrat. As the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly and as it takes time for vaccines to become fully effective, our Republican friends, buddies and pals may be SOL (%$#@ Outta Luck).

Former CDC Director Redfield gives a very wordy answer, but essentially agrees with the assertion that the CDC was muzzled on his watch.

I agree with Senator Sanders. When it comes to human-caused climate change and a whole host of other issues, the Republicans are completely AWOL, they're doing nothing. But Senators Manchin and Sinema aren't any better. They're demonstrating arrogance by standing in the way of solutions.

If 1. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer dies (he's 83) and 2. The Senate goes to the Republicans in the 2022 midterms, we might have to wait until we either get a Republican president or until the Senate is back in Democratic hands. It cold be a long time before either happens!   

The term “squaw” to describe Native American woman is now officially disapproved of.

The now-14 year siege of the Gaza Strip, home to some two million people, has turned it into “a place unfit for human life, in the words of former US President Jimmy Carter.”

Nah, the Build Back Better bill won’t have any effect on inflation.

Right. So TFG was basically talking like a mob boss. He spoke in a way that he could claim later was perfectly innocent, but his subordiantes understood his real meaing perfectly. Organized crime figures do this All. The. Time! This is standard, routine practice for them!

It's kind of amazing that Senator Manchin hasn't been able to agree to a plan to fix the filibuster as it's very obviously a broken instrument that doesn't work properly.
But what's truly amazing is that Senator Sinema doesn't appear to have the slightest clue as to how to even approach the problem! Her "solutions" are all over the map!

I agree with Senator Sanders. When it comes to human-caused climate change and a whole host of other issues, the Republicans are completely AWOL, they're doing nothing. But Senators Manchin and Sinema aren't any better. They're demonstrating arrogance by standing in the way of solutions.

Human-caused climate change and the food supply. Not working well together.

Britney Spears ended her father’s conservatorship over her. So what’s a free Britney like?

President tours Kentucky in aftermath of devastating tornadoes. Neither of the state’s senators accompany him. %#$@ing people!!! All politics, all the time!!! If they appear with him, political opponents would accuse them of getting soft on the Biden Administration.
More thoughts on Senator McConnell
BTW, military protocol holds that when a high-ranking person visits a ship or an area of responsibility, that lower-ranking people accompany him or her.

Senator Manchin says price tag for the BBB bill cannot exceed $1.75 trillion. Where in the $%#@ does he get such an arbitrary, completely BS figure?

Liberals believe in the 1930s economic theory of Keynesianism, conservatives prefer the 1970s theory of austerity. Problem is, no one ever proved that austerity was a better theory! The real proof of that is shown by the long-term reaction to Keynesian policies.

In the first of three videos, Sean Hannity says that he's a very consistent person, that he says the same thing in private that he does in public. If that were true, there would have been no story. The whole point of the story was precisely that his public and private statements were the exact opposite of each other!

Yeah, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham of Fox News, who texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in a panic that Trump was destroying his legacy on 6 January are totally not upset that their texts were revealed! Yeah, 'cuz it's all just a big, amusing joke, eh?

"Chris Wallace picked the right week to quit Fox News"

The Supreme Court agreed with the Texas law that made legal abortions impossible by relgating enforcement to citizens.The California Governor just put out a law on guns that is similarly sef-enforcing. His gambit is already paying off! A gun-rights group recognizes the danger that the Texas abortion law poses to gun rights and has concluded the abortion law is too dangerous to remain!  And the idea is catching on!

Boo! Hiss! Biden Administration appears to be okay with expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. Keep in mind that ALL such settlements are illegal under international law, whether they were founded right after the Six-Day War in 1967 or just yesterday.

Whew! Back in 1905, the Supreme Court upheld vaccine mandates as necessary to public health. They continued that very good decision this past Monday!

House voted to hold Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, in contempt.

Representative Liz Cheney uses very highly specific wording to refer to a highly specific criminal act that carries a heavy penalty of many years in prison.

Your day's example of "false equivalence." Are Democrats trying to establish a "one party socialist state?" Highly doubtful. Will Republicans, in the event of their winning control of either the House or the Senate in the 2022 midterm, call an end to the 6 January investigations? Very, very highly likely!
"One of these things is not like the other."

Yes, very interesting how Chris Wallace quit Fox News just before the 1/6 Commission came out with its expose of FN hosts and how they reacted to the attempted coup.

Very interesting September prediction last year by Glenn Greenwald, that if Trump just agrees to a peaceful transition of power after losing the 2020 election, that the “Resistance edifice...will collapse…” Well, very clearly, Trump didn't just leave peacefully, he’s still trying to overthrow our democracy, so now Democrats are “still babbling about The InsurrectionTM …”
I guess liberals just can’t win, no matter what we do.

Former Trade Adviser Peter Navarro can voluntarily accept “orders” from TFG, but if he says “Nah, I don’t feel like doing that,” there’s absolutely nothing Trump can do about that as they’re both just private citizens now.

So the US spent lots and lots of money in Afghanistan, but very little of it went to any “home-grown” industries, so after all that, they don’t have much.

"Constitutional Scholar Mike Huckabee: There's No Abortion 'Right'"
In a video at the end of this post, Elie Mystal explains why Mike Huckabee and the Fox News people are all wrong.

One point is that yes, ultrasound has been developed post-1973. Is that meaningful? No, because no technology can alter the date of viability, the date at which the fetus can survive outside the womb.

Interesting thread on, erm, "relieving yourself" in space.

Strong vibes of the Roman Colosseum and the games that were played there under the later emperors.

An arena in South Dakota is holding a “Dash for Cash” where teachers get on their knees and fight for one dollar bills that they can use for classroom supplies while spectators watch and cheer.

Hmm. Is the Christmas tree a symbol of Christianity? Not really. Several different traditions went into making that tree a major symbol of Christmas, many secular and many from other religions.
Piece includes commentary on Senator Paul’s hypocrisy on federal aid for disasters.

Two new groups, Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion, are trying out new approaches to forcing governments to combat human-caused climate change. For me, one of the problems with the anti-Iraq War protests in the early aughts was that they were pretty exclusively composed of older white people. It’s good that anti-global warming groups are trying to be more inclusive.

We should be on the side of Julian Assange here. He’s got the First Amendment on his side.

DC Comics is going to put out a comic of Superman as a “super right-wing authoritarian” because they’re concerned that if they don’t do it first, someone might beat them to it.

The California Governor seeks to exploit the Supreme Court ruling that permits Texas to use private individuals to enforce anti-choice laws. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells in detail why Newsom's scheme is likely to succeed, presuming that the Texas scheme is not reversed.

Shriek! Oh, noes!!!

Actress Kirstie Alley says she was blackballed from Hollywood because she supports Trump

Ehh, Kirstie Alley did a Star Trek movie in 1985, a run on Cheers that ended in 1993 and shows like Fat Actress and Scream Queens since then, so there really wasn't much of a career that she was pursuing anyway.

Cool! The Disney Channel show Hawkeye features a Native American!

We’ve seen this a couple of time over the past two decades or so. Politicians in, say, Texas, denounce the federal government for supporting a bunch of lazy slackers who suffered a disaster in New Jersey. A few years later Texas gets hit with hurricanes and guess who has their hands out?
Past speech by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Rand Paul: "People here will say they have great compassion and they want to help the people of Puerto Rico, the people of Texas, and the people of Florida but notice they have great compassion with someone else’s money"

Yep, really nice words from Senator Paul as he completely ignores his past record and asks for federal help for the damage caused by tornadoes in KY. .

The weakness of Republican arguments against the Build Back Better bill are pretty clear. When you have to make stuff up to win the argument, you don’t have an argument.

Chief Justice Roberts is no hero, despite his recent defense of the Supreme Court’s authority and legacy.

Chief Justice Roberts doesn't explicitly call for the Supreme Court to be expanded, but makes a strong case that it should be. Justice Sotomayer makes a more explicit case to do so. The good news is that a few members of Biden's commission to recommend changes are now much more favorable towards the idea!

California "fires a shot across the bow" of the Supreme Court's decision to allow a state to bypass federal legislation.

Michael Nesmith dies at 78 years old. Nesmith was artisticall active after The Monkees, but nothing he did quite matched up to his career with them.

"What does the Republican Party stand for besides ‘let’s go Brandon’?"
One thing I'd emphasize about the Republican agenda for 2022 and 2024 is that, for nine years, from 2011 to 2020, there were no infrastructure bills passed, even though both Obama and then Trump wanted one. It was only when Democrats gained control of all three branches that they could pass one. The press should make it clear that this was no coincidence.

President updates an old phrase to say: "all women and men are created equal.” Fox News is terribly upset!

The US is now officially considered a “backsliding democracy.” What we absolutely have to do is to get rid of the filibuster.

DC Court of Appeals rejects TFG’s motion to keep his presidential records away from the 6 January commission. Talk among the panelists is that they doubt the Supreme Court will pick up the case as the three new Justices will just look like owned and loyal members, with their abortion decision seriously delegitimizing the Court as it is, they’ll just look like complete sycophants if they revered the ruling.

Update (30 Dec): Supreme Court is still mulling whether or not to take TFG's appeal. In the meantime, Trump's case boils down to an assertion that he could, as president, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, in broad daylight, with dozens of witnesses, and Congress can't even investiagte, let alone prosecute him.

Again, the Senate Minority Leader is trying to make church day care sound like a simple, obvious, straightforward issue. It isn't. It involves discrimination. Churches won't hire or teach just anyone. Describing critics as a "mob" is ridiculous.

QAnon is supposedly, allegedly, theoretically super-critical of pedophiles. Josh Duggar, formerly of the reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting,", a religious, anti-choice friend to many right-wing politicians, has been found guity of possessing child pornography.

Update (2 Jan): 1st page of results from Yahoo "qanon josh duggar" are all posts that mock QAnon for being silent about Duggar.

So essentially, Senator Manchin is saying here that he has not made the case to his colleagues that the BBB plan needs to be reduced. All his talking about it has failed to "move the needle." Maybe that's because his colleagues are right.

Gasoline with lead in it is 100 years old today. The story is one of the public discovering how dangerous it was to their health and the industry fighting to keep selling it anyway.

Woo hoo! The days of Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General are now numbered! He’s on the way out! I can’t imagine why he doesn’t just quit.

The Fox News Christmas tree was set on fire. Most likely the act of a single person. Does that compare to someone like Tucker Carlson broadcasting nice words and defenses of white supremacy or Laura Ingraham speaking favorably of the 6 January attack on our Capitol? Uh, hardly.

Does the RNC Chairperson blame Biden? Ha, ha, ha! Of course she does. everything is Biden's fault!

Of course the torching of the Fox News Christmas tree was a terrible thing. Still, the reaction here seems a little overly dramatized.

Ugh! The torching of the Fox News Christmas tree will now be "Benghazi 2.0?" As if the first one wasn't tiresome enough?
BTW, my suspicion that it was the work of a lone assailant is confirmed by Sean Hannity.
Good twist at the 2:45 mark!

Update (11 Dec): Seriously, the burning of the Fox News Christmas tree has been turned into a combination 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. Remember, it was a single, homeless, mentally disturbed man who did it.

"McConnell Complains BBB Won’t Let Daycare Centers Discriminate"
When the government denies religious institutions money, it's because religious institutions tend to discriminate as to who gets their services. As the blogger suggests, there might be ways around that, but McConnell prefers to destroy the whole idea of funding daycare rather than work with his colleagues to find a solution.
What this shows is that Senate Minority Leader McConnell's talents lie pretty exclusively in denying, delaying, blocking and preventing rather than any sort of building.

Y'see, the media tends to organize facts aroound a "narrative" that, more often than not, has very little to do with the actual reality of a situation. Supposedly, the narrative organizes the information we get, but reality is sloppy and the temptation is to force the facts to fit the narrative, even though the narrative may be seriously flawed. Hillary Clinton "funding private planes to fly out Afghan women and children who had no way out of Afghanistan" was a fact that clearly didn't fit into anyone's narrative, so the media simply didn't report it. 

Rather interesting that the Trumpers have gone back 35 years to find a villain to compare today's liberals to.

"This group that wants to advance a Soviet Communist-style agenda.... We shouldn't be surprised that they're using Soviet Stalinist tactics to do it."

The attacks on our Vice-President increase. Evidence of any wrong-doing on her part? Ha, ha, ha! Who needs evidence?

Some counter-programming/pushback to the “scandal” of VP Harris and her headphones. She prefers wired headphones as opposed to Bluetooth headphones that transmit signals through the air. Why she's being pinged as being concerned with national security is beyond me.

Representative Matt Gaetz warns us that if Republicans take control of the House, we'll see an absolute blizzard of subpoenas. I take these people absolutely, positively dead seriously!

This is distressing. I remember Meryl Streep starred in a movie about Julia Child in 2009. One thing I remember from reading about it was that Child was very, very insistent on testing every single recipe, cooking it and then eating it.
A pity that the test kitchen for the NY Times hasn't held itself to the same standard.

Heh! “Fox News owns the 75+ seniors, and MSNBC skews a more youthful (checks notes) 68:”

As a comparion point, CNN gets around 700k viewers, Netflix has 74 million.

The story of Russia interfering in US democracy back in 2016 was never about them acting with a passive victim. It was always about Putin finding exploitable weaknesses.

“You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw” ― Vladimir Ilich Lenin

What happens when you wring out a wet towel on the Space Station?

Apparently, Biden was hoping to use TFGs old, failed policy to squeeze some small concessions out of Iran before showing good faith by abandoning the anti-Iran sanctions. It may be too late to do that now. That strategic window may have closed.

Intelligence services set the date for the potential Russian invasion of Ukraine as early 2022. Russia is demanding that Ukraine not join NATO, which suggest that Ukraine and NATO members has made moves to do just that. What is not in question is that Russia has moved forces to their border with Ukraine.
How likely is it that Russia will invade Ukraine? US or NATO intervention to save Ukraine isn’t very likely. US
Secretary of State Antony Blinken warns Russia that an invasion could be costly for Russia. True, the US is “dispatching sophisticated arms to Kyiv [Kiev].” Ukrainian troops were unready back in 2014, when Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula. Today “Ukraine’s military is battle-trained – and equipped with better weaponry…”

"Chuck Todd Grills Mike Braun On Abortions: 'What About The Liberty Of The Woman?'"
I'd give Chuck Todd maybe one out of three cheers on this. It was a good idea to raise the question of "What about the woman?" But by completely lacking any follow-up and by permitting his subject to slither away, Chuck blows it.

Also, I don't get all of this talk about different states wanting different solutions. The issue is the same everywhere. The only thing that's differs from state to state is the power of the male supremacy movement.

I was not at all impressed with the performance of Mike Pence as the VP under Trump. His "big job" was to head up the White House COVID-19 Response Team. As I recall, he was treated as a doormat by pretty much everyone. Trump appointed him as being in charge of responding to the coronavirus, but in April:

The void left by that absence is being filled by Kushner. As head of an ad hoc task force, Kushner is “working alongside government officials...

Where'd Pence go? He wasn't fired, he just sort of faded into the background. That's who set the standard that our current VP, Kamala Harris is being judged by!

Sigh! The Vice President refuses to use Bluetooth or anything else that transmits audio signals through the open air, preferring instead to use wires that go from the audio source directly to her ears. This is for the eminently sensible reason of making sure no one can listen in on her conversations. “Bluetooth phobia?” Why is this considered controversial? More on that.

Republicans, along with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, are using inflation as an argument against the Build Back Better bill. This is a very poor argument.

"Israel Regrets Coaxing Trump To Pull Out Of JCPOA"
Yep! That was a terrible thing to have done! Just as with the ACA/Obamacare, Trump had absolutely no clue as to what to replace the successful program with. He just left the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 with no idea of what to do next.

Very thorough, comprehensive examination of the press coverage for both Trump and Biden for 2020 and 2021. 2020 has been regarded as the sixth worst year in human history*, but Biden’s been getting worse press coverage than Trump did.

*The five even-worse years are 1348 (European plague), 1944 (Nazi genocide), 1816 (extreme cold), 1644 (English Civil War), 410 (Sacking of Rome).

Seriously people! Let’s reduce the number of children who need adopting before we just automatically bring up the adoption option as being an alternative to abortion.  The foster care system has over 407k children in it, 23k of who “age out” of the system every year!

The blog Gateway Pundit allegedly defamed and endangerd the lives of election workers by blaming them for Trump's losss in 2020. The blog has long been known as totally unreliable and that it very frequently just makes stuff up. It’d be very nice to see them lose lots and lots of money over this.

Good grief, one autocrat to another! Speaker Pelosi asked Presidet Trump to talk to the Chinese President Xi about the Uyghurs being in Chinese concentration camps. Trump did so and later reported to the Speaker: "I talked to the president and he says the Uyghurs like being in those camps."

Our newest Supreme Court Justice seems very blithe and unconcerned with the effects of adoption. It's nowhere near as simple and straightforward and as coldly transactional as she seems to think it is.
More commentary of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s rather cold-blooded, transactional view of giving up a child for adoption. And some relevant adoption facts.

Representative Madison Cawthorn tries to draw an abortion analogy. In his telling, a woman takes a photo using a Polaroid camera. As she's waiting for the film to develop, a strange man approaches, tears the photo from her hand and rips it up. Problem: in abortion, it's usually the woman who decides to not develop the film/not bring the baby to term. There is no unknown stranger involved.

School shooting in Michigan. The shooter, Ethan Crumbley, sent all kinds of signals that he was in very bad mental shape and having violent fantasies about killing classmates. The parents apparently, just couldn't care less.

Update (5 Dec): Parents caught trying to flee to Canada. Apparently, they wanted to swim (Very bad idea as water was both cold and had a swift current) and also weren't aware that Canada would have promptly returned them.

Woo hoo! Attorneys that participated in the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump are on the hook for really big pay-outs!

Representative Jim Jordan engages in what we call “magical thinking.” As Ohio's new Covid cases per day rise above 5k for the third time since the pandemic started, he says "Real America is done with #COVID19"

You've got a real, live controlled experiment here. Tennessee and New York City have similar population numbers, NYC had zero Covid deaths the other day, TN is just an absolute disaster!

"McConnell: No legislative agenda for 2022 midterms"
The Republican Party is simply no longer a real political party.

First off the Republican Party of today is, as the blogger explained in a book, a post-policy party. Second, what they can honestly say is that their actual governing agenda is really, really unpopular!

Nope, sorry! Abortion is one of those issues where there is not, never was and never will be any sort of middle ground. Boehlert is right, the search by Chief Justice Roberts for some sort of compromise position is utterly hopeless!

Yeah. Gee. Why hasn't Dr. Fauci appeared on Fox News? Well, y'know, it just might be because someone who works there called him a Dr. Mengele and she wasn't disciplined for doing so. And yeah, Fox News treats Democrats with so much respect! [/snark]

Problem is, the Cuomo brothers case is not something to be at all ambivalent about. The CNN reporter Chris Cuomo had a clear ethical obligation to either keep a good distance from his brother Governor Andrew Cuomo's problems or Chris needed to quit and go to work for his brother full-time.

At issue in this case is:

The “working definition” [of antisemitism] shilled by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has been highly controversial since it was published in 2016 due to its conflation of opposition to Israel and its racist ideology, Zionism, on one hand, with anti-Jewish bigotry, on the other.

Mark Meadows, the former White  Houe Chief of Staff knew that  TFG had Covid before Trump appeared at a Gold Star famiy event and before the first debate with Joe Biden. Meadows is just now telling us this in his book!

Progressives want Representative Boebert to be stripped of committee assignments.
BTW, unknown Republican Congresspeople have suggested that matters like the Boebert-Omar dispute should be left up to the House Minority Leader, but Kevin McCarthy has been very quiet on the issue, refusing to take a clear stand and trying to do...something behind the scenes. Sorry, but that simply isn't good enough. Boebet called Omar to apologize. Omar insisted that her apology be public, not just private. Boebert refused. Omar was right. Boebert's offensive comments were public and encouraged the voicemail that Omar then played at a press conference. There needs to be a public apology!

Woo hoo! Stacey Abrams is running for Governor of Georgia!

Aww! Representative Nancy Mace is my new sweetheart!
Yeah, yeah, she's a Republican, so like Representative Cheney, she disagrees with me on a whole host of issues, but she stands for decency in a way that Boebert, Gosar, Greene and others don't!

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayer is right. If SC decisions are merely the result of partisan shifts of power on the Court, then the Court's decisions will have no legitimacy.

Speaker Paul Ryan left the leadership of Congressional Republicans just when that party had moved to the minority. Now, even if Republicans get the majority next year, Minority Leader McCarthy doesn't appear to have any authority over his own caucus.

Representative Boebert made a "cute" and "amusing" speech that led directly to the voicemail recorded by an angry, deranged caller that Representative Omar plays for us.

Woo hoo! Amazon workers get a re-do on a unionization vote they took back early this year!

When the blogger refers to "squatter-settlers," he's referring to about 475k Israeli settlers who have seized land within the 1967 border of the West Bank (Palestinian population in the West Bank is over 5 million).

TFG challenged the media to a public debate on whether or not he won the 2020 election. Why did they turn down the chance to debate him? Well, he’s had over a year to present any facts and has produced nothing. He’s a crank who isn’t worth debating.

Yeah, Chris Cuomo was a lot more involved in the legal defense of his brother the New York Governor then he let on to either the public or to CNN, his employer.

Yeah, Republican strategists seem to make up a really large proportion of the people who get quoted in the news stories of mainstream publications. Whose views are accepted as "conventional wisdom?" Well, who writes the stories?

Musings on Sanctity of Life” and gun violence.


Still courts he can appeal to, but this is very good news! Looks like TFG's appeal to keep his presidential records hidden was a real crash and burn failure.

This is kind of ridiculous:

Some GOP lawmakers have said Democrats shouldn't try to punish extremist members ... and should instead leave it to Republican leaders to police their own.

Nice idea, but in the Representative Gosar case, the House Minority Leader had over a week to take meaningful action and failed to do so. The lack of responsibility shown by Republican leadership is the real problem here.

Kyle Rittenhouse is discovering that, just as Bill Cosby found, that having a court find you innocent isn’t enough to exonerate you in the eyes of the public.

Representative Boebert suggested Representative Omar was a terrorist because she’s Muslim. Politico refers to how Democrats would deal with Boebert as “Dems’ dicey decision.” What? What’s “dicey” about it? Boebert made inescuable statements and she needs to be snctioned for them.
A complete run-down on the Boebert-Omar dispute.

Senator Tom Cotton say there was no “supply-chain” shortage when TFG was in charge. True. We just had different kinds of shortages! We had shortages of medical gloves, masks, gowns, shortages of Covid tests, there was a huge rush on all kinds of paper cleaning products, etc.

Celebrating our First Lady!

Liam Neeson does Santa Claus! Really, deeply gets into the character!

This is the conservative movement today. Greg Gutfeld on the Omicron variant: (words to the effect of) “Eh, so it’s deadlier. Whatcha gonna do, hah?”

Chris Christie learns that serving Trump and then turning on him doesn't get you any love on either side of the aisle. To the Trumpers: "You have betrayed Our Glorious Leader!" To liberals: "You were a bum to have joined him in the first place." Despite several TV appearances, his book is a complete flop.

Heh! After running a complete flop of a telethon back in August, Mike Lindell tried again, saying "After everyone sees the evidence I have, the Supreme Court will vote unanimously to put Trump back into office." Total number of watchers this time - about 90.

Very strange headline in the NY Times. It's almost as though they're trying to get us to sympathize with anti-vaxxers!

*Sigh!* Kevin Sorbo, who did good work as an actor in Hercules and Andromeda, asks why there are no Democrats on Mt. Rushmore. Erm, Thomas Jefferson was a Democrat.

Heh! Gotta love it when bad guys fight! According to the QAnon folks, Rittenhuse is now a "false flag crisis actor!"

Wall St. Jornal wonders why, a year after vaccines were introduced, people are still dying of Covid. Well, they're part of the problem! If the Journal was putting out accurate information on masks and vaccines, the problem would have been eased somewhat.

Apparently, there is no "supply chain crisis" with the big box retailers. Which would mean the major media is wrong, Again!

Human-caused climate change is hitting Iran especially hard lately. In Isfahan, the Zayandeh Rud riverbed is dry enough to march in.

So how is the eight hour-long Beatles film? It covers the studio sessions for the Let It Be album. Our blogger liked it, but realizes your mileage may vary.

Stephen Miller:

“...President Trump brought us vaccines in record time, which he made voluntary, not mandatory,…”

The vaccines were indeed produced at record speed because mRNA vaccines had been in development since 1987. First clinical trials for infectious disease (rabies) was in 2013. TFG was perhaps not completely irrelevant to its development, but Trump really didn’t do much of anything.
Under Biden, we’ve discovered that positive incentives to take the vaccine are pretty much useless. We’ve been far more successful with mandates.

Seriously! Vice-President Kamala Harris brought some cookware with her own money!!! Right-wingers are trying to turn that into a scandal!

Good! The anti-vaxxer Steve Cortes has been fired from Newsmax. One thing I will agree with in his video here is that the 6 January assault on the Capitol had absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with the George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020.

From Representative Lauren Boebert:

"I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar." .

A true apology is not conditional. A true apology acknowledges the hurt that was done and attempts to right the wrong.

WaPo: "Rep. Lauren Boebert apologizes..." Instead of jumping to the conclusion that Representative Boebert really and truly apologized, why not ask the person she offended (Representative Omar) whether or not her "apology" was cosidered acceptable?

BTW, evidence continues to mount that Representative Boebert played a role working on the other side during the 6 January attack on the Capitol.

Amazing! Lara Trump (Wife of second son Eric) deliberately and consciously put this out! Baby cries, the mom drinks wine without paying attention.

Like it or not (*cough* Senator Joe Manchin *cough*), the coal industry is dying, and it’s for the same reason Blockbuster Video and Fotomat film developing died. There are simply better ways to fulfill our economic needs.

Yep! Where does the NY Times run the story about jobless claims being the lowest in 52 years? Why, page B3, of course!

Nebraska is acting like it's some sort of problem that their unemployment is so low! Hint: Plenty of immigrants who would love a job and would be willing to settle there!

Thanksgiving grew directly out of the Emancipation Proclamation. Thanksgiving was a plot! A plot, we say!, to boost spending during the Great Depression. Business loved it, Republicans hated it.

Dr. Scott Atlas has a book out. He has some bad things to say on lockdowns that appear to be pretty exaggerated. Doesn’t seem to consider paying people to stay home as a solution.
Very importantly, Atlas doesn’t appear to recognize that masks and social distancing were used by countries around China and suffered very few deaths as a result.
Masks work! Masks are not the only reason Asian countries have lower death rates from Covid than Western ones, but they certainly help.

TFG (who most likely doesn’t really care) sobbed great crocodile tears about birds dying in wind turbines. Fortunately, the problem is being addressed. One of the balancing problems is that painting blades black will help birds during the day, but may reduce visibility to airplanes at night.

Interesting take comparing the Trumpers to middle schoolers. They’re aware of the likely consequences of their actions, they just don’t care.

Good! Jury concluded that the three defendants in Ahmaud Arbery's killing were all guilty of murder!

"Left hundreds of Americans behind in Afghanistan? Let’s go Brandon!"

"Brandon" is a "clever" name for Biden. This is really a matter of quibbling with an essentially successful operation. NY Post

“We believe we got the vast, vast majority of American citizens out, something to the tune of 6,000 of them,” he said. “And we think it’s probably in the low hundreds that are still there. And there were also several hundred others that didn’t want to leave.”

Yes, there were roughly 200k Afghan helpers. We got 100k out, long after Kabul had been overrun and many hundreds more were extracted after even that deadline. Considering the situation that Biden inherited, I think he did a pretty damned good job!

Among other Trump policies, Bill Bennett defends how TFG handled the Southern border. Erm, there's a reason Susan Rice burned sage when she took over Stephen Miller's old office! That's because the policies Miller implemented were evil. Full stop.

It's been over a year since the 2020 election and critics have yet to show that any meaningful amount of fraud occurred. People who wish to launch yet another fruitless, meaningless investigation (After the Arizona scam) should be compelled to meet a very high burden of proof!

"Dollar Tree raises price point to $1.25, citing inflation."
Really could help to tell the full story here instead of simply quoting management. Dollar Tree is pulling in money hand over fist and it's CEO is very highly paid while employees are scraping by on food stamps..

Senator Sinema touts the BIF, the first infrastructure bill. Y’know, her approval rating might be in excess of its current miserably sad 26% if she wholeheartedly supported the BBB, the second infrastructure bill, instead of trying to weaken it all the time!

Very cool! After 43 years of wrongful imprisonment, Kevin Strickland is free at last!

Cool! A photographer captured the Space Station passing in front of the Moon last night!

Didn't know that NASA was officially keeping track of Voyager's progress in this manner. As of mid-December, Voyager is almost 18 light-hours away from Earth. It struck me several year ago that this was a good way to do it.

A deep dive into what the purpose of the Durham investigation is. Basically, it’s to try and popularize the description of various anti-Trump investigations as all being part of the “Russia hoax.”

Sweden’s International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance considers the US to be one of the world’s backsliding democracies.” One of the seven listed major problems is extreme economic inequality, something left-wingers have been pointing to for decades.

Oh, good lord! After Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectine, now the QAnon people are convinced that hydrogen peroxide is the miracle anti-Covid cure!

Please let’s preserve democracy! The filibuster is easily expendable.

"Alabama Rep Lashes Out At Colbert For Mocking His Hypocrisy"
So Representative Gary Palmer supported funding for a highway project in his district, but in general, thought the BIF, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, was largely a waste of money. Problem is, and what got him so irritated, in his tweet and in his three-paragraph statement, he never mentioned that he voted against the BIF!

Afghanistan might have serious food shortages this winter, due to foreigners not wanting to support a dictatorial, oppressive regime. Problem is, they're also ratcheting up their oppression of women! That's the problem when religion is tied too closely to government!

Interesting paragraph from the Politico story:

[Senator Sinema] will criticize her party for its complicity in setting unachievable, sky-high expectations, just like the Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare...

But repealing the ACA/Obamacare was a horribly unpopular thing to promise! It was also clear from the outset that Republicans had nothing to replace it with.

What prevents Democrats from passing a $3.5 trillion bill (that is, by the way, enormously popular)? Their names are Senators Manchin and Sinema!

And another story in the genre of "People who are oblivious to their own role in the story."

"Holding him to the Trump standard, media finds Biden doing terribly"

What exactly is the "Trump standard?" Trump was not at all truthful, but hey, he was entertaining. So he gave worthless answers, but he'd chatter for as long as reporters wanted him to, as long as they were't expecting honest answers.

Erm. Yeah. Being opposed to women having a choice on pregnancy is kinda central to conservatism.

A refresher on what the status and powers of the Palestinian state are.

The blogger is correct that Chuck Todd just lets the accusation of antisemitism go right on by without challenge. Todd was derelict in his duty to correct misstatements like that right away as opposed to ignoring them or waiting to say something later.
But I also thought Republican Senator Kevin Cramer got his history wrong. The Founding Fathers did not intend for the Senate to be stopped up with all sorts of arcana like the filibuster. What they intended was more like what Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson did during their terms, which was to take energetic, uncompromised action and then to let voters decide at election time whether they liked the results.

Glenn Greenwald is a fellow who, back in the day, used to be a good blogger. He was also a lawyer, so I was disappointed to hear him make a serious error of fact within the first minute of his talk. He claimed that Rittenhouse's gun was "too small" to count for the gun possession law.
Eep! Wrong answer! The barrel of the AR-15 that Rittenhouse carried was a normal length. The law specified that it applied to "sawed-off" guns, not normal guns. The law did indeed fail to apply to Rittenhouse, but that's because the law was poorly written, not because Rittenhouse was in any way innocent.

The House Minority Leader makes a hilarious statement here:

"...this big government socialism isn't working."

Erm, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan worked just fine. The BIF bill, the first of two infrastructure bills, was signed less than a week ago, so it's far from clear where these "failures" are.

For over 100 years, the total death toll from the Civil War was considered to be 620k. A recent study (2012) puts it as 750k. Total deaths from COVID-19 stand at over 771k. Death rate in states with Republican governors is three times as great as in states with Democratic governors. Over 385k of those US deaths were unnecessary. The simple wearing of masks cuts the death rate by almost half.

The Freedom To Vote Act has been held back by the filibuster. The filibuster (not in the Constitution nor formalized into any law) has to go! Now!

If Senator Sinema thinks having the filibuster will protect much of anything, she's depending on an extremely weak reed! The Democrats "went nuclear" and made an exception, Republicans followed suit a few years later. I doubt a single voter left either party in response.

The problem with the dry riverbed that used to be the Zayandeh Rud river in Iran appears to be both human-caused climate change and Iranian government intervention. The nearby city of Isfahan is about as populous as Houston, TX.

Woo hoo! DeJoy is on the way out! The worst Postmaster General of all time will probably depart his job in early January.

Build Back Better bill passes in the House!
Woo hoo! Yeah, notice that all of the cheering is on one side of the aisle!

Kyle Rittenhouse was declared innocent. Basic problem with the Rittenhouse case is the Stand Your Ground laws. If you’re the guy who’s left standing, it’s your word against that of the dead guy.

MSNBC quoted this piece last night, saying that "Stand Your Ground" laws threatens to encourage people with guns to shoot first and/or more accurately.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy asks: “Are we better off today than we were 10 months ago? No.”
Actually, I would say that the US as a whole is very considerably better off! We have a president who actually takes the job seriously. Biden doesn’t treat the work of the presidency as something that interferes with his golf game or that gets in the way of his delivering harangues.

McCarthy went on and on and on for over eight hours! He was apparently trying to show he coud be he Speaker.

Why on earth does the US still have troops in Syria? What possible legitimate purpose could they be fulfilling?

Seriously, was any of the BBB bill “hidden” or were you simply too lazy to read and research the bill? Weisman is an NY Times correspondent.

Representative Gosar is censured.

"Matt Gaetz Claims Wile E. Coyote Will Be Indicted Next"
But Wile E. Coyote doesn’t resemble any actual person. The anime figure that the representation of Paul Gosar “killed” was very highly and specifically made to resemble Representative AOC. If the figure had just been a generalized, representative Congressperson and had that figure not resembled an actual, living Representative, there would have been no scandal.

There may have been liberals who enjoyed seeing Kathy Griffin holding up Trump's severed head, but she took s lot of grief for that and was tossed out of polite society for quite awhile. None of the other people listed were ptted on the back for how they attacked Republicns, eithe. No, there's no equivalence between Griffin/Trump and Gosar/AOC.

BTW, we had a major problem with shipping containers sitting idly offshore, being unable to unload. That backlog has now decreased by 29%!

Tch, tch, tch! What is our “Our Failed Mainstream Media” to do? They’ve got this narrative of our president being doomed! Doomed, I tell you! But the economic news is so good!

Senator Manchin is really not impressing any of his Democratic colleagues with his fears about the Build Back Better bill causing inflation.

The guy who wrote the latest Trump-scandal book of the day, Johnathan Karl, shows himself to be an amazingly naïve, trusting soul.

National Review argues that if daycare is subsidized, so should other forms of childcare like nannies. Uh, no. Nannies run at a minimum of at least $32k a year. If you have a nanny, it's because you're wealthy and don't need any form of government subsidy.

So, finally, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks up about Representative Gosar's hateful video, in which Gosar is depicted killing a co-worker, Representative AOC. McCarthy's statement was extremely short and underwhelming.

Huh! First Tribal Summit at the White House since the Obama Administration was held virtually. They hope to do it live next year. Results.

Do Republicans want payback for Trump's impeachment? Heck yeah! I still think this was one of the motivations for the Clinton impeachment. Republicans felt they had to avenge the threatened impeachment that drove Nixon out of office.

Job still just half-done, this is the signing of the BIF infrastructure bill, not the BBB, but yeah! Very cool! TFG couldn't even get an infrastructure bill started in four years and Biden got one out in under a year!

Yeah, this is a pretty amazing feat of mindreading!

Growing numbers of Democrats worry...

And how many Democrats did the reporter interview? Zip!

Axios is calling the busting of the primary Steele Dossier source the most egregious press failure evah! Our blogger reviews many vastly more serious ones over the past half-decade.

"Rittenhouse's mother: It was his life or the shooting victims' lives"
Except, of course, for the fact that Rittenhouse, with the assistance of his mom, knowingly, consciously and deliberately placed himself in a dangerous situation where "fight or flight" became necessary.

Are health decisions to be made by private companies or by individuals or by the state or the federal government? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton can’t make up hi mind on the issue.

When Transportation Secretary Buttigieg claimed that the design of the road to Jones Beach was specifically engineered to keep Black people out, the blogger remarks that this was well-known back in the 60s.

Yeah, human-caused climate change is not a “long-term” problem. We need to solve it now!

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn suggests the United States should be a theocracy.

Refugees from Belarus, caught between that state and Poland.

Britney Spears is free! She's no longer under a conservatorship!

Hooo-weee! A Navy ship sails through the waters in Antarctica.

Hmm, I suppose they technically count, but I have a really, really hard time putting Project Veritas into the same category of "free press" that requires First Amendment protections.

We were “the most prepared nation in the world” to deal with a pandemic, but TFG was in charge, so our death rate went through the roof!

As people pointed out at the beginning of the pandemic, science and authoritarianism are not compatible. TFG had to crush the science of how to survive the pandemic because objective facts could not be permitted to co-exist with his continual gaslighting of the American people.

This is just a huge, vast, incredible overstatement by many orders of magnitude!

In Kansas, anti-vaxxers are showing up to municipal meetings wearing yellow stars, portraying themselves as having equal footing with Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Interesting stuff! Movie about Diana, Princess of Wales, after she had been in the palace for a decade. Like a beautiful bird in a gilded cage who’s so desperately tired and bored of it all that she keeps flying against the bars and breaking her wings.

Absolutely %$#@ing hilarious! The comedian Jimmy Kimmel takes real clips of Representative Boebert talking, shows them to passersby and tells them they're SNL clips, Then asks if SNL was being too mean! And yes, when he had gotten their comments, then he told them that was actually the Representative talking. 

A look at how President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey has slowly increased the pressure on domestic opponents and has become more and more a dictator.

How did Erdoğan and our own former president get along? Quite well, actually!

Thomas Hartmann does a good job with some leading questions for Newt Gingrich, then hitting Gingrich with (words to the effect of): “If poor people who get regular welfare checks produce rotten kids, how about 'trust fund babies' who are born into wealth?” Gingrich is slick and immediately comes up with all sorts of conditions that don’t apply to poor kids but essentially makes it clear that yeah, kids born into wealthy families aren’t any better than kids born into welfare families.

I read a lot of military history when I was young and noted that great generals and admirals tended to come from at least reasonably wealthy backgrounds. Napoleon Bonaparte was a Sicilian aristocrat, Erwin Rommel’s father headed the local government council, Horatio Nelson’s grandfather commanded a ship, Hannibal of Carthage was the son of a general, Chester Nimitz’s grandfather owned a hotel. During my own time in the Navy, I was much more impressed by those who came from the middle class than I was by those who came from an impoverished background. I agree with Hartmann that it’s better for everyone to have a reasonably decent life to start off with.

Good! House passes resolution condemning Representative Gosar for posting an animated cartoon featuring him killing Representative AOC.

Heh! The Former Guy weeps bitter, salty tears over the passing of the BIF (the first, smaller infrastructure bill).

Yeah, this is quite bizarre. The Former Guy claims to have an "Envoy Ambassador" who is making agreements with other countries. Saw a piece earlier that says that the agreement he claimed to have made does not exist. 

Very important aspect of environmental policy is that it has everything to do with class issues.

The radicalization of the Republican Party has made recruiting Senate candidates difficult.

"Trump’s Circle Is Full Of Men Accused Of Threatening Behavior, Harassment, Violence"
As I concluded after the Charlottesville march in 2017, these are Donald Trump's people. these are the folks that he chooses to spend time with and who he listens to.

OMG!!! "School board members in Virginia are literally recommending that we burn books"

Hey, remember that brave, young, pro-education, Afghan woman, Malala Yousafzai? Yep, she just got married!

Again, journalists want to take a “30,000 feet in the air” view of Critical Race Theory. But the thing is, they’re very much a part of the problem!

Judge rules that current president can decide on whether or not Executive Privilege applies. TFG is outta luck! Awesome quote: "Presidents are not kings. and Plaintiff is not President."

A very, very good and necessary ruling! This is not a ruling that, in the opinion of the judge, needs any further litigation. Nothing holds the Archives back from turning over all of the materials right away.

The WaPo publishes a profile of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with an interesting statement that McConnell is increasingly seen as a Trump stooge "not a leader with his own vision.” Erm, what "vision" has McConnell ever represented? His entire toolkit consists of blocking and delaying what Democrats want to do. That's it.

Cool! The UN chimes in over the terrible Texas abortion policy!

"House GOPers Turn Against 13 Colleagues Who Voted For Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill"
This is why progressives never believed that putting through important bills without removing the filibuster was possible.

There really, truly and seriously is no place for this kind of garbage! Yes, Representative Gosar should lose his Twitter access forever!

On Representative Gosar's "harmless" video.

Gosar defended the video as "just a cartoon.'" Actually, though, cartoons showing real people can land you in jail. Possession of cartoon child pornography showing a close likeness to an actual child is illegal in the US and the law is even broader in the UK.

Representative AOC answers Representative Gosar over his deranged and violent fantasies concerning her. For complaints about Gosar, the @GOPLeader and your own Representative are the ones to talk to first. If Kevin McCarthy fails to act, then it’s up to @SpeakerPelosi.

Gosar’s utterly deranged response.

Problem with Senator Hawley's J'accuse is that yes, the left insisted that people had to stay home during the pandemic before we had vaccines to y'know keep people alive! The second is, what does he think the Build Back Better bill is all about? If the government spends lots of money, that will result in lots of jobs! We discovered that in the 1930s and it's never been shown to have been wrong!

Heh! SNL's "Trump" analyzes "Scooby-Doo."

Jeanine Pirro and Eric Trump are saying Biden is incompetent. Erm, Eric's daddy couldn't get an infrastructure bill passed in four years! Biden got one passed in under a year!

AP asks a question:

Federal judges have a thorny question to consider when they sentence military veterans who stormed the U.S. Capitol. Do they deserve leniency because they served their country or tougher punishment because they swore an oath to defend it?

Not a difficult question at all. As a military veteran myself, I vote in favor of more punishment! Vets have to live up to higher standards!

The crew here first mentioned that Aaron Rodgers was taking monoclonal antibodies. Cool. I’ve heard those were effective. But then they said Rodgers was taking Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine. Those are quack cures! It’s all very fine and well to check many sources, but if you don’t have a relevant background in what you’re researching, you can’t distinguish between quacks and serious professionals!

Great comment this morning on MSNBC'x Cross Connection about the sportsball player who "did his own research" on vaccines:

I don't do my own hair. I have a hairdresser for that. I don't do my own housecleaning. I have a house-cleaner for that. I don't do my own medical research. I have a doctor for that!

Good! Aaron Rodgers loses his contract to be a spokesperson for a healthcare company!

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar brings truth an facts to Aaron Rodgers

Again, NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd shows her anti-Democratic bias. Most people regarded the passing of the Bipartisan infrastructure bill as good news!

Dowd uses the term "woke." This is a very excellent point! Do the journalists using “woke” as a description really know what they’re talking about?

Maureen Dowd hasn’t changed over the years. She likes her men big and tough and manly. If they’re wannabe fascists? Eh, whatevuh!

TFG: "If [Democrats] would spend half of that energy fighting China, Russia, Iran and even the European Union..."

Wow! So The Former Guy's idea of foreign policy success is to battle...erm...pretty much everybody! Gee. We lost such a great leader when he lost this past November! /snark

The Eternals movie wasn't bad. Having read the comics, I can assure y’all that the movie and the comics are only sort of related. Gemma Chan/Sersi really doesn’t resemble the comics version at all. Angelina Jolie/Thena is reasonably close and other characters are in-between.

The two infrastructure bills, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill gets passed by the House. The Build back Better bill is going to wait for a CBO score.

Update (19 Nov): House passes Build Back Better bill.

And yes, this is very true. The very term “Infrastructure Week” became a punchline under TFG. A really sad one.

Senator Joe Manchin says the US is a "center-right" country. I questioned this when he first said it. Yes, when people identify themselves ideologically, they always use vague, mushy, unclear terms. In terms of spcific issues and the people we vote for? No, I don't see a "center-right" country at all!

From NBC:

BREAKING: The teenage son of Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin twice tried to cast a ballot on Election Day despite being underage,

Keep n mind that election integrity has been a major deal for the Governor-Elect of Virginia!

"The NYT Editorial Board: It's all the Progressives fault!"

[By t]he time the NYT realizes that you have to fight fire with fire rather than some mythical Bipartisan Nirvana the world will be left in ashes and mud.

Just finished watching MSNBC's Civil War. It's quite good. They look through the eyes of students to see what's been going on since the actual battles. At one point, a politician asks with a bit of a smirk "What do they wants me to do about it? Slavery was ended a long time ago." The answer is made very clear over the next few minutes. Stop glorifying the Confederacy. Stop romanticizing the "Lost Cause." Take down the statues of Confederate generals on horseback. This would not be a final answer, but it would be a good start.

Why The Former Guy’s election conspiracy theories began in April 2020.

Israel recently announced that six peace and human rights groups were actually terrorists. It then produced a classified report demonstrating all of the evidence. That report has now been completely discredited.

I agree with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Senator Manchin thinks the country is center-right, probably because his home state of West Virginia is center-right, not because Manchin knows any public beyond his own. Problem is clearly that Manchin enormously overestimates how smart and informed he is. He clearly believes he's "cracked the code" of politics when he clearly hasn't got a clue.

I feel really bad for the women of Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, but still think the US was making things worse every month we remained. These poor women are between a rock and a hard place.

"America's story is at stake in the fight over critical race theory"
Right. Because back during the 1930s, when Gone With The Wind was made, the Civil War was taught in a way that sympathized with the South. We realize today that the South didn't deserve any sympathy.

Ooh! That could be cool! Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman wants to diversify her public image a bit, she's in talks to play the evil queen in a live-action Snow White!

The 6 January conspirators rented a hotel room with a large common area that they used for planning. With that and related travel expenses, they spent $225K. Problem for any claim of Executive Privilege is that they charged the Trump campaign and not the administration. That makes their claim much harder to defend.

A large part of the Virginia Governor's race was about Critical Race Theory (CRT), a subject that is only taught in colleges. By describing it as something that parents of school-age children were legitimately concerned about, the media surrendered to the propagandists.

Virginia's Governor's race was a loss to Democrats, but plenty of other winners of Tuesday’s election.

Wow! Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell packs two outright lies and two deceptive half-truths into a single 61-word paragraph about voting rights! That's gottta be a gaslighting record!

QAnon believers crowd the Dealey Plaza in Dallas TX, believing that JFK Jr. will appear and become Trump’s vice-president.

Quite sad. Supreme Court Justice Barrett tries to match wits with Greta Thunberg. It doesn’t end well for Barrett.

MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace takes a look at the WaPo’s report on 6 January attack on the Capitol. They calculate that 187 minutes passed before the then-President Trump called the attack off.

Getting really, really $%@ing tired of Senator Manchin's constantly pushing the goalposts back and back and back!

We just have no idea what Senator Manchin stands for or what his goals are. No one will ever consider making any sort of deal with him again because he’s completely blown all of his credibility.

Senator Manchin continues has baffling crusade to reduce the Build Back Better plan as much as possible.

Meaning: Trump's tactic was entirely successful. By constantly attacking the FBI, he caused them to adopt a defensive crouch and to be silent when the nation really needed them to speak up.

Elle Mystal is Justice Correspondent for The Nation. Mystal has thoughts on how men Justices relate to women, both lawyers and fellow Justices, during Supreme Court oral arguments.

NY Times keeps presenting Republican partisans as though they were just ordinary swing voters. As this keeps happening over and over again, this is clearly deliberate, undertaken with malice and forethought.

An examination of the supply-chain problems that the US is going through right now.

Update (30 Nov): CEO of Walmart Thanks Biden Administration for successful efforts on resolving supply chain problem .

Some deepthink stuff on the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, due to start soon.

Update (15 Nov):

A jury has found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts in his murder trial connected to the shootings of three people during unrest in Kenosha during the summer of 2020.

Heh! The courts may have cleared Rittenhouse, the public, not so much!

The philosophy of “other people’s money” is that it ignores the Keynesian idea that money very dynamically goes back and forth. Even in a Medieval context, wealth is more in harvested crops than in gold and jewels. Growing crops is a repeated activity. Produce in excess of what is needed for survival is what wealth really consists of. A stable society that regularly produces an excess becomes a powerful one.


Senator Kyrsten Sinema tweets, saying

After months of productive, good-faith negotiations…”

Awfully generou of her, considering that the “negotiations” essentially consisted of Sinema or Senator Manchin holding a gun to the head of the hostage (that is, they suggested thay'd refuse to vote for the final package) and demanding that certain portions of the Build Back Better plan be removed.

TFG recognized, in real time, that the attackers on the Capitol on 6 January were his foot soldiers carrying out his plan.

WaPo goes out of its way to not understand why the attack on the Capitol on 1/6 happened.

Ahh! So nice and refreshing to read about a US President getting along with foreign leaders! These two discussed serious subjects in detail.

Huh! The internet goes as far back as ‘69? Makes sense that it took into the 80s to start to become a thing and started getting popular in the 90s.

"Fox News falsely blames Biden for legal fallout over Trump immigration policy"
Wow! Incredibly heartless, vicious monsters first tolerated Trump’s hateful treatment of migrants who came to this country because their lives were at risk in their own country. The Biden Administration has taken on the many legal cases that were initiated by the Trump Administration’s despicable actions and negotiated reasonable settlements. Of course Republicans are furious and bad-mouth the kids ad their parents who were separated from each other some more!
BTW, I don’t understand the assertion that US authorities “didn’t know who the parents were.” The parents were with their children. There was no reason whatsoever to have separated them in the first place.

Yep! I completely, absolutely, 100% agree with Senator Manchin on this! If we want a liberal agenda, we need to elect more liberals so that we can make his vote irrelevant!

BTW, one of the problems is that in the late 1800s, Republicans founded a number of big, but relatively empty states in order to push back against the Southern states in Congress. Today, those empty states give the Rs an outsized advantage.

Lengthy thread of how women just can’t win for losing with special focus on Taylor Swift and Hillary Clinton.

Yep! Comment on Mark Zuckerberg's new project "Meta."

More on that:

Zuckerberg says a “killer use case” of the metaverse is wearing augmented reality glasses when you are interacting with people in real life that allow you to continue text messaging people without people in real life noticing

This reminds me of a scene in an Isaac Asimov SF novel. Our hero confronts the villain. A confederate of our hero whispers into our heroes earpiece. The villain suddenly punches the hero, knocking the earpiece out of his ear. How did the villain know our hero was listening to an earpiece? Our hero cocked his head! That indicated to the villain that he was listening to instructions. Perhaps some people could do what Zuckerberg describes but I really doubt most people could. 

This is why I like the super-hero genre.

...in Hawkeye’s latest trailer, you can see how quickly the two archers shrug their shoulders and decide that they’re better off working together.

Senator Mitt Romney posts a phot showing  how closely he and Senator Kirsten Sinema are working together. They apparently thought the photo was humorous.

TFG had a letter published in the Wall St. Journal claiming the election was rigged. The following day, they published a fact-check piece in another part of the paper. This is a total waste of time! If you're going to correct somethig, you need to do it on the same page or within the same TV presentation.

Update (30 Oct); Heh! No middle ground! You either support Our Glorious Leader or you oppose him! Trump blasts the WSJ for having run the fact-check piece.

I found this particularly laughable. The oil executive Ms. Watkins is asked why the renewable energy research is so small.

"Congresswoman, what I can tell you is that there needs to be both a demand and a supply for clean energy…"

EEP! Wrong answer! There is a demand for "energy," period! We would prefer that it be clean, but energy is what we want.

Representative AOC takes a deep dive into the BIF (The first of two nfrastructure bills). The text of the bill is publicly available, but reporters need to publicize it!

Conditions in meatpacking plants in May 2020 were well...about what a lot of people thought they were at the time. It’s good that a subcommittee is examining those reports, though.

Various people on the right wing have argued that BLM actions after the brutal murder of George Floyd amounted to a "Civil War" and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has argued that $1 Trillion in damages were caused (insurance claims amounted to $1 to $2 billion). and that Representative AOC enabled them all. Our blogger goes into great detail on those charges.

Not a fan of Dr. Birx at all, I think she's at least derelict in her actions during 2020, but yeah. She noted at the time that if two similar metropolitan areas had different policies, like mask mandates, that would make a difference in the Covid death rate of 10 to 15 percent.

Personally, I stopped supporting Julian Assange when the Democratic National Committee emails were released in 2016, as that struck me as a non-journalistic, entirely political act.
Issue in this piece is whether US prison conditions are so hard that Assange's life is at risk. Seems kind of doubtful.

"Biden's refusal of executive privilege claim ignites a new firestorm with Trump | Analysis"
CNN seems to be trying to make it sound as though Biden shares even a tiny smidgen of blame with The Former Guy. Had I been writing the headline, I would have emphasized that the fault is entirely that of Trump!

The Senate is a suit & tie kinda place. Was Senator Sinema basically saying “eff y’all” by wearing a blue jeans outfit while presiding over the Senate for the day? One blogger in another piece suggested she’s showing off lesbian culture.

Carbon levels in the atmosphere surged to 413.2 parts per million for 2020. 350 ppm is the ideal we’d like to get back to.

Facebook took down an ad that made a plainly false claim. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and two other Republican senators complained. Problem is, Mark Zuckerberg initially ruled in favor of the false claim.
Facebook needs federal regulation and probably to be broken up.

Is the press corps "soft" on the current Press Secretary Jen Psaki? Are they disinclined to ask her tough questions? I'd say that dimwits like Peter Doocy provide liberals with all sorts of comedy as their toughest questions are turned against them and they're made to look like idiots.
At the end of the interview, Sean Spicer complains that the Biden Administration has people in it that aren't qualified. Bwah-hah-hah! As though Jared and Ivanka were the slightest bit qualified to be where they were!

There are 5k discovered exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) and 28 million light years away, an exoplanet outside of our galaxy. Diameter of our own galaxy is estimated to be 100k to 200k light years. 

The meetings ahead of 6 January.

Excellent piece on abortion and birth control and the right to privacy.

We told you! When Texas turned against abortion, we said it wouldn’t be long before other “deviant” behavior was tackled as well.

Generally, paying attention to the views and arguments of both sides of a dispute is a good thing. But liberal critics (of which I'm one) have noticed that many press outlets have taken "BothSides" to a ridiculous extreme. Vaccine resistance is an example of that. The number of anti-vaxxers is under 5%, but the media is now insisting that we should sympathetically consider their deranged nonsense.

Mike Lindell promises that he's really got the evidence now, that the Supreme Court will unanimously declare that TFG has to be returned to office, etc. If that sounds familiar, it's because he said the same thing back in August and produced bupkis.

Update (29 Nov): Bwah-hah-hah!!! Lindell's telethon was a complete, utter and absolute flop! Fellow figures the audience for Lindell on YouTube was about 90 people.

"Mike Lindell goes completely berserk as it all falls apart for him"

Heh! A pro-Trumper makes the case that the head of the RNC is the culprit that made Lindell look like an idiot!

Billionaires with grand visions of new cities dancing in their heads. Meanwhile, the state pf Mississippi has a 20% poverty rate, meaning the rich guys could improve on what’s already there instead of building something all-new, fancy and glamorous.

Where were these oh-so-helpful billionaires during April of last year, when food lines were stretching for miles? Yes, it was wonderful that the government purchased excess food that farms couldn’t sell as the restaurants were all closed down and then distributed the excess food to those in need, but it sure would have been nice to have had the billionaires pitching in to have set up new food lines so that the few that were operating wouldn’t have been so crowded.

At 127 meters, the new yacht belonging to Jeff Bezos is a bit smaller than a Navy frigate (which are generally 130-150 meters long). A frigate is a bit smaller and less capable than a destroyer. Both are used as escorts and patrol craft.

What exactly is the point of this story? Is the NY Times trying to get us to sympathize with these ignorant, self-centered idiots?

Extensive piece on the shooting at the film set for Rust. Was the shooting Baldwin’s fault? Ehh, as an actor, no. But, as a producer, his being cheap was part of the problem.

Meet The Press is a relic of a lazy, low-stakes era. They bring on sides A and B, ask them both to state their positions, then wrap it all up and go home with no attempt to reconcile who's telling the truth and who's lying.

Laura Ingraham of Fox News appears above a chyron statting that "Mississippi is the roadmap to freedom and prosperity"
Erm, Mississippi is the poorest state in the country! They’ve got a poverty rate of 20%. How the hell is MS any sort of "roadmap" to anything good?!?!?!

Back during the Reagan Administration, I agreed with a piece that said the word "terrorist" essentially just means "bad guy." It's a vague, fuzzy term that has the same meaning that "bandit" did back when the US was chasing down Pancho Villa (bad guy during the 1920s). Israel has now adopted the term for six human rights organizations.

Good! Israel has tried to classify peace groups as terrorists. They're getting lots and lots of pushback on that!

With the filibuster, 41 senators, representing 21% of the population, can block legislation that the rest of us want.

Huh! Funny. Ya treat workers like disposable commodities, not caring whether they live or die and (*enraged splutter*) they up and quit on you

"Why Mitch McConnell's celebration of Clarence Thomas matters"

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

- Maya Angelou

Coal hit its peak in 2008. It's highly unlikely to ever return. Senator Manchin could follow the example of a previous West Virginia senator, Robert Byrd, and get piles of cash for his state to transition away from coal.

Five of Senator Sinema's aides quit over her refusal to support the Democratic Party. They confirm what a lot of us thought, that she's devoted to getting donor money, regardless of how that might hurt her constituents. Her response was a lot of gibble-gabble that effectively said nothing.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema in March of this year not only voted down an increase in the minimum wage, she very emphatically did so, using a highly theatrical thumbs down gesture. Now she’s calling attention to “women still do not get equal pay for equal work.” Kinda difficult to 1. Claim that women should be paid equal to men, while at the same time 2. Claiming that all wages need to be kept down!

The other members of The View sound as though they're talking from lived experience. When Condoleezza Rice talks about teaching about race so as to not make white children feel bad, she sounds like she's just repeating buzzwords that some PR guy told her to repeat.
For white children to not feel bad when taught about slavery, seems to me that's a "micro" issue, one that should be handled at the level of the individual classroom.

Right-wing anti-vaxxer Dan Bongino has challenged Cumulus Radio to fire him over his moronically idiotic stance that his vulnerability to Covid (and thus his capability of spreading it to others) is his own private, personal business. I've included the email address to Cumulus Radio below so that y'all can urge Cumulus to do the right thing.

Update (5 Nov): Not only did Cumulus Radio blink and keep Bongino on, he's now "...Creating Fund for Cumulus Radio Employees Who Lose Job Over Vax Mandate."

Meghan McCain, let go from The View, considered it an awsome accomplishment for her to have "held her own" while there. Others feel that

...she contributed to a toxic work environment and I think you let her off the hook. She pushed racism, disinformation, and she defended insurrectionists in Michigan.

There's no question that a majority of the House will vote to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt. But there's a potential long-term danger. If most Republicans do not vote to enforce their subpoena, then further down the road, they'll find that Congressional subpoenas are considered just political footballs, to be accepted or rejected as people see fit.

Update (21 Oct):

In a rare show of bipartisanship on the House floor, the committee's Democratic chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, led the floor debate along with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of two Republicans on the panel. Still, the vote was 229-202 with all but nine GOP lawmakers who voted saying “no."

The effect of Senator Manchin’s veto on the US development of green energy is very bad in and of itself, for the entire world. But in market terms, China has long since decided on a green energy strategy, so US producers are going to fall behind in green technology.

It’s important to keep in mind that Manchin is not acting alone. The Republican Party, by refusing to take any role is passing the Build Back Better plan, makes Manhin and Senator Sinema far more powerful than they otherwise would be.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell puts himself firmly on the side of Senator Manchin and of course, on the side of destroying human-kind through human-caused climate change.

The world respects us once again. Under TFG, our approval rating crashed down to 30%. Under Biden, it’s climbed to 49%!

Woo hoo! Supreme Court reaffirms its ruling of 1905, that for the government to impose a vaccine mandate is perfectly permissible.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was concerned by a poll she saw saying that nearly 10% of Republican Georgia voters were planning on skipping the next election if Georgia did not hold a "forensic audit" to reassure them that the 2020 election was conducted fairly. As the blogger says, the number of people who stay home in 2022 is probably exaggerated, "But they're not zero, either." So yes, Taylor Greene is right to be concerned.

Fox News guy loses it over DC Comics changing its Superman slogan from “Truth, Justice and the American Way” to 'Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.”
Wonder Woman changed her costume from a very American star-spangled one to a plain red and blue one in 2016, specifically to be less American and more of an international figure.
Ehh, Fox News probably complained about that as well.

Sorry to hear this. My immediate thought on hearing that Colin Powell had died was of the multi-volume treatment on how to occupy Iraq after the victory. The younger George Bush and his people were so intimidated by the size of the report, they promptly filed it away.

And then there are those who aren't so star-struck by Colin Powell. This fellow is the one who tossed his shoes at the younger George Bush during a press conference in 2008.

An assessment. Yeah, I heard about them after his speech on how dangerous Iraq was, but I was very highly skeptical of the "mobile weapons labs" when I first heard about them.

Hoo boy! Now that Colin Powell is reported to have died of Covid complications, right-wingers are saying vaccines are useless! Keep in mind that people over the age of 65 need a booster shot. Powell was 85. Powell also had other physical problems that contributed to his death.
For instance, Powell had "multiple myeloma, or blood cancer."

Good piece, but I think they go overboard in blaming the recently-deceased Colin Powell for the Iraq War. Congress had, months earlier, authorized the AUMF, which then served as the functional equivalent of a declaration of war. Certainly there were members of the press who took Powell’s presentation as absolute proof positive that Iraq was a deadly menace that had to be stomped on immediately. Could Powell have resigned? Would that have prevented the war? The piece makes a strong argument that could have been the case.

Politico twists itself into knots trying to ignore that it's only Republicans who don't care abut vaccine mandates.

The actress who played Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones will play Lucifer on The Sandman. Lucifer did not have a very major role in the comic. They’re expecting to release that as a series in 2022.

Wow! The priorities on these people! Sure, it’s important for people to work at their jobs, but y’know, it also kinda helps if they survive and don’t catch Covid! Sure, the price of bacon is important, but so is y’know, not burning up the planet!

Supreme Court shadow dockets are a truly serious threat to justice.

Both parents die of COVID-19, leaving four children orphaned. Yeah, this is a sad story, but the shot was free and as time went on and the lines shrank, became easier and easier to get quickly. I got mine in April and there were some crowds, but by June, the shot took maybe a half-hour or less out of your day

More on Senators Manchin and Sinema. Yeah, they fit the definition of “mercenary” pretty well: “serving merely for pay or sordid advantage: venal also: greedy.”

Whoa! Shazam 2 won’t be out until June 2023! That's a ways off!

New York Magazine interviews Stephanie Grisham, the Press Secretary who never gave a press conference. I didn’t know this tidbit from her tell-all book:

Trump called her “to instruct her to defend the size of his anatomy after Stormy Daniels claimed he was penilely deficient.”

Uhhh, granted Grisham and Trump were both mature adults, but why on earth would she ever have seen his penis? Remember, she was working directly for the First Lady!

An excerpt from Stephanie Grisham’s book, showing why nepotism and good government can’t co-exist:

Ivanka was also doing her "my father" wants this and "my father" thinks that routine, making it impossible for staff members to argue a contrary view.

Grisham goes to describe the complete and utter cluster$%#@ that results when an administration tries to put together a major speech in just a few hours with no clear idea as to what they’re trying to say and no coordination between agencies.

Maggie Haberman: "Bill Clinton’s office calls him President Clinton too."
True, but Clinton is fully aware of the fact and accepts that he's no longer president. Trump? He sounds increasingly delusional, claiming to have mountains of evidence that he was cheated out of a second term. There is, of course, no such evidence.

Why is Senator Manchin, who owns a coal company, able to make decsions on a legislative issue where he has a direct conflict of interest?

Problem is that Supreme Court Justice Breyer doesn't mention that Obama should have appointed the successor to Antonin Scalia and Biden should have appointed the successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The fact that they were both appointed by Trump has seriously unbalanced the Court. No, the current Court does not represent all Americans properly!

This is good to hear! Iran has long been involved in the war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, though it’s never been clear that Yemen was so dependent on Iranian aid that it would collapse without it. Iran’s new president has resumed talks with Saudi Arabia after the last president transitioned out of office.

Kind of a problem with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s thought that America should “have a national divorce.” If states like Texas were secure in the belief that most of their people would agree to join a rebellion, then why is that state so energetically pursuing voter suppression?

Mainstream media guy asks really stupid question about what’s in the Build Back Better bill. Good answer from a commenter:

I’m confused. Are you not a journalist with access? Isn’t it your job to find this out and report it and not snark tweet?

Well, that's good! A Texas school superintendent realizes that...uh...no, there really aren't "two sides" to the Holocaust!

Senate Minority Leader McConnell uses the 1987 Robert Bork nomination to justify the 2016 embargo of Merrick Garland. Nope! Wrong answer! I paid close attention to the Bork nomination as it happened. I agree withe the blogger. Bork was "manifestly unfit" to serve on the Supreme Court.

Yeah, I'm not the slightest bit impressed by the Biden Administration on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The conflict this past May has produced a real sea change in that issue that they don't appear to have really understood.

Ah. I had seen #LaurenBoebertIsSoDumb trending on twitter. That's why! Her question was: Are "edge" weapons (Bows and arrows, swords, knives, etc.) lethal? Of course they are. That's how people fought from well before the Egyptian pyramids were built and still do today. Problem is, guns today are considerably more lethal! There's also a big difference between kinds of guns! An AR-15 will kill vastly many more people than a six-round pistol will.

As with the whole problem over Democrats fighting over infrastructure negotiations, where Republicans had no role to play, journalists from mainstream media are heavily dependent of Republican sources. Why don't major newspapers quote Democrats on stories involving Democrats?

New UVA study finds...well...what a lot of people already knew. That the lynching of Black people and Confederate monuments were deeply related to one another.

This reporter shares my alarm at recent developments. A real problem is that with the press “They focus on optics and strategy rather than policy and people.”

This is very, very disturbing. An elections official is forced out office by a raging mob and zero evidence of misconduct.

William Shatner/Captain Kirk looks out at Earth from space. BTW, Shatner was not the first Star Trek actor to make it up into space!

After having done more than any other single person in America to degrade our democracy and to pave the way for Trump's authoritarianism, Senate Minority Leader McConnell is finding his star fading badly and his power dissipating.

Good thread for those thinking about Civil War II. It's a whole lot more complex than just who has the guns.

Twitter thread on Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and how he appears to see himself as just applying common sense while everyone else sees him as being very highly political.

When Biden took office,he promised to stop aiding Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen. Has he? Ehh, to some extent, yes. Lots of ways the Saudis are still being assisted.

For the first time in 40 years, lunar rocks are collected and returned to Earth. They show that lava flowed only 2 billion years ago. The age of the Moon is 4.5 billion years.

Another broken aspect of US policy. This reminds me of reading that officers were rotated in and out of Vietnam every six months. It took an officer about four months to learn what he was doing and for the casualty rate for his unit to go down to what experienced officers usually had. As a result, units had competent leadership for only around four months a year. Sounds from this piece as though we'll soon have a gap of at least a year between the time a president takes office and when we have a fully-staffed foreign service team!

Kimberly Guilfoyle speaks:

...Make America Great Again, Again PAC is now calling for 2020 election audits of all 50 states.

Complete and utter horsecrap! Months and months of investigations have shown pretty much zero irregularities and even less fraud. This is a completely fake "concern."
And yes, it's quite interesting that she's being filmed with a filter that makes he seem like a white person.

Why isn’t there a NY Times on the right wing? A fairly intriguing question that only someone who doesn’t understand right-wing media would ask. The NY Times is what I’d call “Conservative Democrat,” a paper that like politicians like Joe Manchin or a bit further back, like Joe Lieberman.

Amazing how connected and interrelated the ancient world was!

Ainsley Earhardt of Fox News is constantly citing the opinions or obsrvations of friends of hers. Very interesting just how many friends she has!

Pretty sure that Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was the first US Secretary ever to do a fashion photo shoot, now she's (I believe) the first to run a Boston Marathon!

Former Representative Michele Bachmann thinks that because the government is enforcing vaccine  mandates, that makes this the worst government of all time!

Representative Scalise complains that Democrats aren't working with Republicans on their big infrastructure bill. From 2011 to 2020, the Rs have held the House, Senate, Presidency or some combination or even all three. They never produced an infrastructure plan because they just didn't care! now they want to be treated as full partners, because...I dunno. Why DO they suddenly want to join in on the project?

Facebook continues to make the case that it needs government oversight.

“Facebook has suppressed content posted by Palestinians and their supporters speaking out about human rights issues in Israel and Palestine,” said Deborah Brown, senior digital rights researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch.

It’s pretty obvious that Lindell (the MyPillow guy & conspiracy buff) is taking about clerical errors. I mean seriously? Really? Someone deliberately meant to type in that a voter is 850 years old?

Rather interesting to read Senate Minority Leader McConnell's letter to the President on the debt-ceiling "crisis." Reminds me that when the then-Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke in favor of going to war with Iraq, I had missed the speech and asked a family member if it was worth my time to review it. He said that the speech made sense if you had absolutely no other information on the issue.

Same with McConnell's letter. The letter makes sense if you start by having zero information on the issue.

Goo summary of debt limit "crisis."

Good! President Biden is not supporting TFG’s assertion of Executive Privilege!

I'd just like to know what Senator Manchin would do if we arrive at a stark choice between getting rid of the filibuster (or of doing a carve-out) or of permitting a disaster to happen to the world econmy by permitting American debt to be called into question. And y'know, other democracies appear to get by just fine without it. The House seems to work perfectly well without it.

Yeah, the CNN team is a bit too "BothSides" here. The really essential fact here is that the debt-ceiling "crisis" was entirely self-inflicted by the GOP. Senator Manchin is not a romantic hero, he has nothing to despair about and Democrats have nothing to thank Republicans for.

Senator Manchin’s overly dramatic reaction gets the attention of people. Why? Senate Majority Leader Schumer’s reaction was entirely understandable as the debt ceiling “crisis” was entirely unnecessary and reflected miscalculations on the part of the GOP. Seriously, this is theater criticism masquerading as news analysis.

Interesting. Once upon a time, Senator Sinema was an environmentalist. Now she wants to cut $100 billion out of the clean energy part of the Build Back Better plan.

Executive Privilege does not apply to Steve Bannon as he wasn't working in government on 6 January, he was a podcaster. He has absolutely zero legal protection from being subpoenaed.

"The demonization of one faction by the other is asymmetrical."
Yeah, one side does it, the other basically doesn't. A bat$%#@ crazy video.

Awesome! Kathryn Hahn was cool as Agatha Harkness of WandaVision. Will her series be a sequel or a prequel? No one knows yet

The Houthis of Yemen have certainly committed war crimes, but as the Saudis are the invaders engaging in a war of aggression, the Saudi war crimes are more serious. Does Iran play a role, helping Yemen? Yes, but Iran’s role is quite limited. This is not a proxy fight against Iran.

So, threats of violence against school board members, according to one of our political parties, is now officially okay. The threat of Trumpisn is not over!

One of the very deep and serious problems with Senator Manchin’s position is that, coal, like Fotomat and Blockbuster video of the 1980s, is that it's simply no longer a viable economic strategy. Like The Former Guy, Manchin is trying to revive a dead horse.

The younger George Bush and the people under him (Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, etc.) thought they were oh-so clever, manipulating the media to lie us into a war of choice. The long-term effect? A pretty permanent loss of trust. Trust in government/media went down by 10% and has never recovered. This is biting us in the ass as a nation as we're having a hard time convincing people to get vaccinated.

Well, that's pretty cool! People have been trying to develop a vaccine for malaria for over 100 years!

Good! The debt-ceiling fight is over, for now anyway. Haven't heard about it? It's an incredibly stupid fight that can be eliminated in the future.

Aww! Poor Senate Minority Leader McConnell just can't win for losing! He made a really stupid gamble that Democrats would fold to a "trick" so that Republicans would have had an extra talking point for the 2022 mid-terms. When it was clear that Democrats wouldn't fold, he realized there were no good options and folded. Now Republicans hate him, too!

Senator Ted Cruz makes it even harder for Republicans to recover from their own "trick!"

Senator Manchin’s view on the filibuster has gone way over the edge into insanity. He’s literally saying he’s willing to risk the economy of the world rather than risk the loss of the filibuster.

School shootings are no longer news today, but these texts are truly heartbreaking!

Hell, sounds to me like a great argument foe eliminating the filibuster entirely!

Senator Manchin asks that both Senators Schumer and McConnell work together to solve the debt limit problem. Which essentially means that the fireman is asked to work with the pyromaniac because, y'know, both of them are honorable and because the pyromania just needs someone to, I dunno, listen to his frustrations or something.

Now, Fiona Hill’s memoir is one that I’m inclined to respect as she was never a Trumper. Saw her in an interview. She’s very smart about tyranny as she studied Russia for a long time.

Are “parents screaming about ‘critical race theory’ as just ‘angry and concerned parents’"? Obviously not, because Critical Race Theory is an astroturf campaign. None of these parents knows what CRT is except that it has something to do with Black people in schools.

More on CRT and why the DOJ is getting involved.

Yeah, I ind Senator Manchin's arguments entirely unpersuasive. Why are we spending trillions ad trillions of dollars? Because we need to! There is a very real need for those dollars to be spent and the bogeyman of inflation isn't the real and present danger that Manhin thinks it is. Yes, senators should vote their conscience, but they also need to be team players!

Yeah, I don't think it was proper to follow Senator Sinema into the bathroom, but she refuses to hold public events where she explains her positions, so she's really bringing this on herself. She and Senator Manchin are are both taking wildly irresponsible and unpopular positions, so it's pretty hard to say their privacy should be respected.

Status report on women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Not great.

What Senate Minority Leader McConnell is up to with the debt ceiling.

The mainstream media has long seen the political parties in terms of Goldilocks and the three bowls of porridge. One's too hot, one's too cold, the one in the middle is just right. With the extremes of the parties, the Freedom Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, both being bad, they must be just two versions of the same phenomenon. As the blogger here points out, actually the two caucuses are very different.

This is nice. After reassuring us that Brett Kavanaugh would respect Roe vs Wade, Senator Collins is now on record as deploring the recent Supreme Court decision to gut Roe without actually repealing it. No indication of her apologizing for supporting Kavanaugh in the first place. 

The “Ego Quest” of Jeff Bezos! Yeah, somehow, no one ever saw the romance or excitement in a billionaire going into space.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema makes lots of noise here about “trust.” Problem is, the President, the Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader and the whole Progressive Caucus were all under the impression that everyone was united over the proposal to sign both the big reconciliation bill, the Build Back Better plan and the smaller bipartisan bill, the BIF, at the same time. Moderate like Sinema and Senator Manchin suddenly and without explanation, decided they wanted the BIF to be passed immediately, which would mean progressives could not count on them to vote for the BBB plan. The piece here gives absolutely no reason whatever to feel that the moderates could have been trusted.

The NY Times imagines splits in the Democratic Party that simply don't exist. There is no solidly blue/safe seats vs purple/unsaf seats split. It's a few moderates who are the problem.

Is Senator Kyrsten Sinema the new John McCain? No. McCain stood up for regular people. Sinema stands up for wealthy corporations. Big difference!

Senator Marsha Blackburn says the Build Back Better plan is a bold leap towards socialism. Our historian points out that folks said the same thing about Eisenhower's interstate highway system

Whoa! Micro-apples, which can withstand conditions in Siberia. Maybe four to six would constitute a full, regular apple.

We have a serious “minority rule” problem in this country.

Newswoman Lara Logan (Fox News, of course) charges the UN with producing a step-by-step guide for foreigners to enter the US. In order for the guide to be effective, it would need to be available on paper and in multiple languages. Y'know, I somehow have the feeling that if this guide existed anywhere other than in Ms. Logan's head, she wuld have had a copy of it in her hand.

Yeah, why is the news media trying to romanticize an obstructionist senator (Sinema) who's standing in the way of getting popular programs put into place? Who cares when she gets up and what her exercise routine is? 

"Alex Jones Loses 3rd Sandy Hook Lawsuit"
This is very, very excellent news! Alex Jones is a fellow who richly deserves to lose his shirt over this!

Excellent piece describing what's been happening with the negotiations in the House over the past week. Unfortunately, the NY Times doesn't seem to really get it and describes the events very poorly. Why is that? They're getting their information from Republicans, who are not involved and who have no insight into the situation. This is a strictly Democrat vs Democrat struggle.

Generally, progressives held firm and the two-track plan, where the two bills are coupled together, is back!

The two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem is a nice idea in theory, but many, many changes need to be made for Palestinians to have a working state of their own.

So the vote on the “roads and bridges” (the little infrastructure) bill has been put off until tomorrow. Seems to me the two moderate senators who are holding everything up (Manchin & Sinema) want to be trusted, but have given progressives absolutely no reason to trust them.

Whew! Katie Couric has some response to the Matt Lauer accusations that make it clear  that she really needs to see a counselor of some sort about her reaction to those accusations before she puts them in a book!

"Romney pushes for changes to a bill he won't consider supporting"
This is not how legislative negotiations are supposed to work! If you want something included or left out or clarified in a bill, you should make a commitment to voting for it!

So even though Senator Manchin gave a super-low figure for what he wanted to see in the big reconciliation bill, he spoke with West Virginian citizens who had paddled up to his yacht and agreed with all of the priorities in the bill! And the bill is super-popular in his home state, getting up to 70% approval! So it’s a mystery as to what his game is.

From what I know of economics, Manchin’s alleged fears are hugely overblown!


Democratic Senator Kirsten Sinema appears to be depending on Independent and Republican support to ensure her re-election. Problem for her is that both Republicans and Democrats tend to want "the real thing" as opposed to some pseudo-Republican or Democrat.

For the first time that our blogger can remember, the issue of how Israel treats Palestinians was raised in Congress. Unfortunately, there's a knee-jerk reaction on the part of defenders of Israel to equate, conflate and confuse criticism of the policies of the state of Israel with antisemitism.

For many companies, the four-day work-week has moved from pilot program to permanent policy.

The essential point made in this meme, that Nazi book-burning had highly specific targets, is accurate. The Holocaust Encyclopedia, contains a listing of the specific works that were targeted.

Huh! First Hope Hicks and now SD Governor Kristi Noem have been sleeping with Corey Lewandowski. What do they see in him? Beats the hell outta me! BTW, Hicks wasn't married, but both Lewandowski and Noem are. And yes, both have multiple children.

The “case” that the election was “stolen” from The Former Guy was put together in an astoundingly sloppy and careless manner.

I guess Senator Manchin heard everybody beating up on Senator Sinema and has come riding to her rescue. His criticisms of the reconciliation bill (the big $3.5t one) make it sound as though he’s been completely oblivious to the economic debate for at least the past several years. Do we have the luxury of waiting for Manchin’s “strategic pause?” No!!! Democrats have a short window to get this done!

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is clearly someone who has never had a serious conversation about meaningful issues with anyone outside of her own social circle. She has obviously never learned how to exchange thoughts with anyone she disagrees with. Subtitle to the piece:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Tuesday defended her recent shouting matching with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) over the issue of abortion.

"Hacker reveals right-wing health care network made millions off ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine"
Very sad! Part of the reason people are dying from Covid are the snake-oil salesmen who are profiting off of quack "cures."

Just finished watching an episode of Batwoman*, a show where a bartender fights crime with the help of some capable assistants. Trying to decide who is in more of a fantasy world, Batwoman or Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who feels that women today can easily balance having children with any kind of career!

*Batwoman and Batgirl were both active in the 50s and 60s. By the time the Batman TV show started in the mid-60s, Batwoman was more or less gone. Batwoman was revived in the 2010s and made her way to the TV screen, where a Black woman has replaced the white one.

The Covid lab-leak theory always required very extensive proof. The “Occam’s Razor” idea holds that simpler theories are generally more likely to be true. The natural evolution theory of Covid is a lot simpler than a lab leak.

A review of the book by Stephanie Grisham, the Press Secretary who never held a White House press conference. This is not at all surprising:

Jared and Ivanka thought they were the royal family of the United States.

Okay, so it seems less than 1% of the workforce will refuse to get vaccinated. Sounds like a lot of opportunity for sensible people and good riddance to the "romantic rebels" who refused!

It’s terrible to have to fire large numbers of people for not being vaccinated, but again, when most people are faced with losing their jobs, most of them will do the right thing.

"Hannity And Gingrich Just Want The Country To Burn"
During the four years under TFG (The Former Guy), Democrats were completely frozen out of all policy-making. They were permitted to play absolutely no role whatsoever. Ya know why Republicans are frozen out today? Because they're boycotting any role in policy-making! Also, they lost the 2020 election! Democrats have a mandate to carry out their preferred policies!

The National Fraternal Order of Police is 100% correct here! Senator Tim Scott was in negotiations with Democratic Senators to reform police practices. Scott bowed with the utterly BS reason of the clunky phrase "Defund the Police."

The Manta Ray is designed in such a way that it doesn’t swallow micro-plastics. We can design water-filtration systems the same way.

Supreme Court’s approval rating is down to 40% now. With the Court having been constructed the way it has been (Thanks, Minority Leader McConnell), a majority on the Court is not a majority in the country!

Yeah, I’m extremely underwhelmed by the NY Times and their “new” and “innovative” plan here.

This discussion thread demonstrates that the problems of the NY Times and its credibility is much deeper than any reorganization plan will fix.

When reading the Republican complaint about Biden here, please keep in mind that the Republican Party as a whole, decided in 2009 to adopt a posture of total, scorched-earth non-ccoperation with Democrats!

Conservative, Never-Trumper columnist Jennifer Rubin asks the right question. If the Build Back Better plan is so popular, why aren't Republicans supporting it? Rubin then asks why reporters keep expecting Biden to answer that!

Another right-wing Never-Trumper speaks out. Summary of Robert Kagan’s article that examines how TFG is leading America towards the abyss.

The richest households paid 40.1% of all federal income taxes in 2018.

Okay, but according to Pew Research, the wealthy are pulling in 48% of the income. Middle income people made 62% of income in 1970 and in 2018, made only 43%.

The real problem is that there is a strong sentiment (64%) that the wealthy ought to contribute their fair share. If Democrats can’t enforce a more balanced picture of taxation, are we really a democracy?

Lengthy book excerpt detailing palace intrigue, con artists, a really ugly necklace and an unsuspecting Marie Antoinette.

No, I agree with Jake Tapper. Senator Toomey is full of #$@%. Raising the debt ceiling is not about future expenditures, it’s about money that’s already been spent. And yes, the Republican Party is threatening to default and yes, that would send the world economy crashing.
Did the economy take off after the tax cut? No, the economy continued to improve after Obama left office. The same trend lines continued at the same rate.

Examining Toomey's claims.

Speaker Pelosi slams Republicans for debt brinkmanship.

So how exactly does Senator Sinema intend to pay for any of the Biden agenda if not raising taxres on corporations or the rich is not going to be included?!?! Yeah, this should have been highlighted in the very first paragraph of the story, not the %$#@ing 27th!

Conservatives see every liberal economic move, including of course, Biden's Build Back Better plan, as one more step on the road to socialism, never mind that we've been trudging on this road for 80 years now (Social Security was "The beginning of the road to socialism" don'cha know?). Any move to help regular folks is always seen in dire, apocalyptic terms.

Cool! The series "Sandman" (Dream and his siblings The Endless) will be on Netflix next year.

The PLO officially recognized Israel in 1993. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President in the West Bank (Hamas runs Gaza), has now given Israel one year to withdraw or he’ll withdraw that recognition and go to the “International Criminal Court, seeking a ruling on the legality of the occupation of the territory of the state of Palestine and deciding on the responsibility of the UN and the world in this regard.”

Former Representative Tulsi Gabbard claims that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was “the only one using Russia to take down American politicians…” The blogger goes over the considerable evidence that was public at the time indicating that Gabbard was indeed an agent of the Kremlin.

For MSNBC's Chuck Todd to see Meghan McCain as anything but a nepotism hire, someone who never would have been hired on her own merits, says really awful things about Todd!

Chuck Todd of MSNBC permitted Meghan McCain to be on his show Meet The Press. McCain lied three times in a single sentence. The truth is that: 1. Biden explicitly ran on the Build Back Better plan. 2. The current proposed plan is far less expensive and 3. the plan is quite popular.
Score for Chuck - FAIL!

A more detailed rundown of all the lies packed into one paragraph that Meet The Press re-tweeted. That is, MTP compounded McCain's lies by mindlessly repeating them, this time under their own name!

Why was Meghan McCain considered qualified to be on MTP?

Meghan McCain has a degree in art history. She has no experience as a political consultant, reporter, or anything else remotely relevant to "Meet the Press."

"CNN teams with GOP to concoct new Afghanistan drama"
So the question here is: Was the CNN story merely a hopelessly bungled, poorly written story or was it an attempt to try and gin up conflict? Was this an attempt to try and tag the Biden Presidency as having suffered a catastrophic failure?

Huh! So the whole Arisona Cyber Ninja "audit" just confirmed that Joe Biden won bigly there? Cool!

Aww! Trump fans upset over Cyber Ninja results showing Biden won Arizona!

Chairwoman of the Republican Party claims that the Arizona "audit" says: "Voters who may have voted in multiple counties..."
Note that it says "may." After all this time looking at a single county, they couldn't prove that? They couldn't nail that down in five months?

Faced with a "bad" result, TFG decides to lie shamelessly about the Arizona “audit.”

What the Republican Party is doing with the national debt is just plain, flat-out evil, period! They're holding the debt celing hostage so that they can win some politcal advantage out of it. If the US can't pay its debts, even for an hour, the result could be cataclysmic! 

There is no “debate” on the debt limit “controversy.” There is no rational side saying that the US should default. Republicans are making a terrorist-type threat.

A beautiful moment.

While reading my Bible in a park at sunset, a Muslim man a few feet away was conducting the Maghrib prayer.

We were both in the presence of God simultaneously, from differing traditions and paths. This shared moment was peaceful, reverent, and holy.

It was true beauty.

Illustrating a real philosophical problem with pregnancy choice, this person says:

“It’s not whether a woman should be forced to bring a child to term; it’s whether a child should be allowed to live..."

There's a term for this, it's called a "Distinction without a difference."

The Keynesian economist Dean Baker has a good thread coming off of this post talking about how completely useless the "fiscally responsible conservatives" are.

As the blogger points out, the conservative/centrist Democratic model of negotiating with the GOP simply doesn't work. After several months of talks, Republican Senator Tim Scott simply blows off further talks on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

And yeah, it's funny how Republicans only discover the virtues of bipartisanship when they’re out of power! When they’re in power, they somehow lose interest in the idea!

Many of the weapons acquired by either the Taliban or ISIS-K had originally been transferred to Afghanistan government custody, most of those acquisitions have been exaggerated for political reasons, a lot of them are too complicated for the Taliban to use, but a number of them, like night-vision goggles and communications equipment, are perfectly usable. A lot of safeguards were ignored.

Oh, $%#@ing lovely! The financial fate of the country now rests in the Senate Minority Leaders hands! That is, the debt ceiling "crisis" is nearing a deadline!

Really, really excellent speech by Representative AOC! We just ended a war, why is defense spending going up?

Heart-breaking story about a woman who refused a vaccination shot because she was very badly misinformed. Very interesting distinction between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives appear to get most of their information by word of mouth, liberals by reading things or via TV programs. One of the things this woman believes is that Biden “refers to VP Harris as President Harris.” What’s her source?

“Proof has come out…”

Why does this poor woman believe such crazy nonsense? Exhibit A: A woman named Bari Weiss claims that "Proof of a negative test is far more meaningful than proof of a vaccine..."
Erm, no. Proof of a negative test just means you're good for that particular day. You can still catch Covid in the very next hour. Being vaccinated means you're  proofed against catching Covid for a while.

Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema apparently has a plan to become the next Senator McCain, a “maverick” who’s not beholden to either side. She’s doing well with the non-Trumpers who just want to get away from all the craziness, but very, very poorly with progressive Democrats. She needs both liberal Democrats and disaffected Republicans to win reelection. As a result, her political future looks very dark.

Again, the debt ceiling "problem" is a problem of "BothSides" and false equivalence! One political party is responsible for turning  routine legislative task into a "crisis," but the other party is expected to solve the problem without the help of the other! The media can deal with complex problems where both sides are truly to blame. It just can't deal with a more straightforward "A is to blame, B is trying to solve the problem!"

Problem is, Stacey Abrams was talking about a real problem that actually existed! Republicans In 2020 talked about an entirely imaginary problem that existed only in their heads. This is a problem of “false equivalence.”

.@chrislhayes to Secretary of State Raffensperger on restrictive voting laws:
“What was the problem that law was trying to solve? You just told me about a great election. We know it was accurate. It got counted three times—Why would you look at that and say that’s a problem?”

Game on! The new Texas snitching/vigilante abortion law is now fully engaged with the first defendant and plaintiff now in place. Oh, and a cool little fun fact, the American public is 81% opposed to the Texas law! This is why the Supreme Court has been losing legitimacy lately!

The now-hard right-wing conservative Supreme Court thought they had complete freedom to tear apart the laws of the land. Their approval rating is dropping like a rock! Will that actually prevent further erosion in the laws? Ehh, we'll see.

Truly terrible what happened to Gabby Petito in Wyoming (23-year old blond white woman who was ultimately found strangle after several weeks), but 710 Native Americans went missing from 2011 to 2020.

Now that Roe vs Wade is critically wounded, the Supreme Court appears to be setting the stage for a coup de grâce and to finish it off.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has been bitterly critical of the Afghanistan withdrawal, but having been aware of the South Vietnamese withdrawal (I was 15 at the time), this was a really big improvement. I think Biden handled it about a well as it could have been handled.

Wow! That's incredibly sad! Just as many people in the US have now died from the COVID-19 pandemic as died in the 1918 flu pandemic!
BTW, US population was 100m then and 330m today.

Roughly 40 years ago, Griswold vs Connecticut established a right to sexual privacy. What a brief to the Supreme Court shows is that right-wingers consider that right to be a mere "judicial concoction." They don't want to just take away the right to abortion, they want to take away everything! Birth control, gay marriage, they wan it all banned!

Producing tequila results in lots of agave fiber and water waste. A Kardashian has found a way to produce bricks out of those ingredients that can be used for building.

TFG looks back on 6 January fondly, as having been a “great day.”

At the current rate of change, human effect on the environment is second only to the creation of the Chicxulub Crater (Created 66 million years ago when a ~12 km meteor hitting Earth at ~30 km/second crashed at the tip of the Yucatan Penninnsula).

Politician on Face The Nation says that the whole country went into shutdown. Nope. That never happened! In fact, the whole reason the coronavirus spread to the South is because they insisted on keeping everything open! If they had shut down, the virus wouldn't have been able to infect anyone!

Problem with voluntary measures to get people vaxxed is that you eventually hit a wall and voluntary measures don't work anymore. A competent governor will then undertake involuntary measures, mandates and requirements. The West Virginia governor can't bring himself to do that, so his state is a disaster!

Good thread examining how rural voters are portrayed to appear more virtuous, more “American” than urban/suburban voters.

Whuuh?!?! Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has actually brought the two Venezuelan parties together for talks? And the US/Canada/EU has no role?

But this is quite sad:

Guaidó and company have also cheated the USA. In 2017-19 alone, USAID handed over though various NGOs an amount of $472 million for “Venezuelan humanitarian crisis” and for “democracy promotion”. To date, they do not have any clear idea at all where the money is or on what it has been spent.

Yeah, the movement Occupy Wall Street, now 10 years old, is a major reason people aren't willing to just say "Let's get back to normal." A major call today is "Let's do better than to just get back to normal!"

Kind of interesting. TFG begins his letter to the Georgia Secretary of State with "Large scale Voter Fraud continues to be reported..." and "I would respectfully request that your department check this and, if true, along with many other claims of voter fraud and voter irregularities,..."
Then he goes on to talk about "now proven facts" as though anything had been proven!
Also, it is not up to the Georgia SoS to check anything out. Yes, it is ultimately up to the defense to prove that allegations are false, but first, the prosecution has to make charges that are plausible, not just a bunch of "some guy says..." statements.

Maggie Haberman of the NY Times covers the story like it's some sort of %$#@ing sportsball event! Hey Maggie! How about covering how insane the letter is before you discuss the potential political impact?!?!?!

Marvel Comics has had a Pakistani super heroine for a number years now (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, since 2013), but this is a live-action show with Arab characters that has generous doses of satire, poking fun at Arab stereotypes that were already bad before 9/11 but which have gotten worse since.

Sorry, but when actress Rose McGowan says Fox News has ethics, she just lost me for good.

On the one hand, Don Jr. is entirely correct that the last drone strike in Afghanistan unnecessarily killed innocent civilians, on the other, the Trump Administration has absolutely nothing to be proud concerning drones.

One of the reasons the Afghanistan war had to end was that the US had greatly increased the use of drones in it and drones are an inherently messy, imprecise instruments. If we're going to do counter-terrorism, drones are not the way to do it.

Biden has less than a third of his national security team in place. These senators are holding up getting more people in. They're doing this consciously, deliberately, with malice and forethought. If the Republican Party was a responsible, functioning party, these senators would be disciplined.

Thoughts on Representative AOC and her “Tax the Rich” dress.

Thing to understand about propaganda, talking to the NY Times columniist Maureen Dowd here, is that if you didn’t understand the message, then the message probably wasn’t for you anyway.

Very disturbing that the number of people who believe Biden did not win the 2020 election has actually increased.

So what is Senate Minority Leader McConnell's objection to raising the debt ceiling?

"This is a unified Democrat government, engaging in a partisan reckless tax and spending spree.”

This is pretty much word for word, exactly what Democrats said about the GOP's 2017 tax cut! Democrats didn't have the right to put the kibosh on Republican plans then and Republicans have absolutely zero legitimacy to put the kibosh on Democratic plans now!

Ooh, not good! The Inupiak Tribe reports that seal-hunting season has been steadily cut back due to human-caused climate change for the past 17 years.

Anti-vaxxers who push anti-science views are responsible for up to 100k deaths.

Rachel Maddow has often made reference to Democrats and Republicans living on “Earth 1” and “Earth 2,” two planets that appear to be reality, but they’re two separate realities. The ranking Republican from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee appeared to be a visitor from Earth 2. During a hearing about the US exit frm Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was questioned about a button that cuts off President Biden's microphone and informs him that he must leave the stage. There is no such button. 

In 2018, we heard about “kids in cages,” because the Trump Administration decided to simply imprison and/or return migrants.* I recall that several members of the internal “resistance” to Trump looked at their nice, cushy, high-paying jobs and what it would cost them to make a stand and decided “Ehh, human rights are important, but…”

Ever since then, the internal “resistance” has been pretty worthless.

As a commenter here says:

Members of the Trump cabinet were tragically remiss in their failure to invoke the section of the #25thAmendment …

Yeah, because the Trump minions were generally worthless at keeping Trump in check!

*The normal process was to find temporary hosts for the migrants, usually a relative, where about 98% of them would show up for their hearings.

To her credit, Press Secretary Jen Psaki made it clear that President Biden really doesn't care to hear any guidance from Republicans in either the House or Senate.

For what possible legitimate reason would the former president be immune from the suit by E Jean Carroll? Clinton wasn't immune from the case by Paula Jones, heck, Clinton couldn't even defer the case until he had left office!

This is so sad because, although I had no personal connection to the Roman Catholic pedophilia scandal of 2002, this case of an Olympics coach abusing the young women who were his clients appears to have so many common elements with the 2002 scandal, especially the complicity of so many people who should have known better.

After gymnast Simone Biles and others testified about their sexual abuse at the hands of a team doctor, Senator Whitehouse asks if the FBI didn’t similarly screw up a similar investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's actions concerning Dr. Ford.

Again, a Republican senator shows why the Senate is hopelessly broken. The Senate Minority Leadeer McConnell showed us through years of obstruction and abuse of the filibuster that the Senate really, really needs reform. Now Senator Hawley shows us that the ability of senators to hold up getting national security positions filled also needs reform.

Very disappointing to see the NY Times continue to use euphemisms and prettified words to describe plainly bad behavior by Republicans. Softening the GOP image helps no one but the GOP.

Wow! A land-roaming, four-legged whale? 43 million years ago.

I posted earlier on Senator Marco Rubio saying how awful it was that the Afghan national government collapsed so quickly. Rubio was the acting Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee from May 2020 and has been the Vice Chair since the switch-over to Democratic control. If any one person in the entire country should have known the shape that the Afghan government was in, it was Rubio.

So the new Bob Woodward book is out on TFG. Very good “Just the Facts” recounting of the highlights. Can’t believe that former Vice President Dan Quayle comes across as the hero here!

Very snarky covering of the highlights of the new Bob Woodward book. Great stuff on Speaker Pelosi’s reactions.

View of the new Bob Woodward book concerning the military view of Trump’s state of mind. The right wing goes absolutely bananas over the actions of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Blogger provides more detail on why General Milley felt it necessary to calm China down about the 6 January attack on the Capitol.

Beijing appears to have been alarmed that Trump might do something crazy to China as a way of holding on to power.

Yeah, I very much disagree with Senator Rubio and agree with General Milley that reaching out to the Chinese was a very smart and sensible thing to do.

Woo hoo! Yes! Yes! Love it! Preach it, sister! A woman discusses the possibility of serious consequences if you catch Covid while vaccinated. She demonstrats that the odds are quite low.

"George W. Bush condemns 'violent extremists,' Trump pushes back"

What does it say about Trump that every time he hears condemnations of hatred and extremism, he instinctively assumes he's the target?

Good Heavens! There is such as thing as the “right wing miracle cure economy?” And that's driving the whole hydroxycloroquine/ivermectin bubble? Oh, and they’ve now moved on to a new “miracle cure."

Basic lack of understanding from Senator Manchin here:

It makes no sense to me at all to take billions of dollars and pay utilities for what they’re going to do as the market transitions.”

The answer is that we want them to do it faster! We want the to do it now! Because we’ve wasted decades of time and we need to speed things up!

Very frustrating that we had a much better nuclear situation when Obama left office then we do now. If only TFG hadn’t been so eager to toss away those gains in return for nothing.

Good! We're getting a downturn in people catching Covid! If we get enough people vaxxed, that downturn could be permanent.

In the meantime, very sad that our ICU beds in some states (not just beds and equipment, but the trained personnel needed to utilize them) are just filled to capacity!

Well, yeah! Unfortunately for Supreme Court Justice Barrett, the "perception" that the Supreme Court is deeply partisan is a well-deserved one as it has been packed with partisan members for many decades now.

Further commentary on that.

Very good question on the speech by Supreme Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett:

The question Amy Coney Barrett should be asking is not whether the public believes the court is partisan. The question is whether the public still believes the rulings of the court to be legitimate.

Right-wingers may scream "Tyranny" to their heart's content, but Biden's push to get everyone vaccinated is highly popular.

If Biden is "focusing anger" on the unvaccinated, it's because their selfish foolishness is a very real threat to the rest of us. In political terms, he's "got the wind at his back."

Heh! The other former and living Republican president, the younger George Bush, has apparently struck a nerve by comparing 9/11 to 1/6.

Disgraced fmr president George W Bush is using the 9/11 memorial to say Trump voters are the same as the radical jihadists who attacked 20 years ago

ABC News:

The scale of the federal government's response to 9/11 matched the scale of tragedy it caused.

Not if you count the invasions of Iraq and Afghnistan as part of the "response to 9/11." If you do, then the response vastly exceeded the provocation by many orders of magnitude!

There are a number of times when capitalism and good government are in sync. This appears to be one of those times. Corporation are fully on board with vaccine mandates because they recognize how positive they are while they can just say "We're just doing what the government tells us to do." 

Former Vice President Mike Pence engages in revisionist history:

"We got governors across the country what they need, when they needed it..."

Nope. Sorry. Wrong answer. I paid close attention to supply issues where the federal government was supposed to supply states because that's something our government used to do uniquely well. Under Trump, the effort to supply states was a complete and utter cluster$%#@!!! Pemce himself was pretty much invisible most of the time.

It's difficult to see what the point of this show is. The woman being interviewed, and obviously any Trump supporter who views this, immediately dismisses any contrary information as coming from the "Deep State." Anyone who skeptically examines their news and who doesn't believe that, already knows that most Trump voters are simply unreachable. So who is this show trying to inform or convince?

Woo hoo! Harvard divests from fossil fuels! This is a significant market signal. It means get out of fossil fuels while you can!

Another way in which fascists are on the march. Also, my essay on how their propaganda campaign is working.

Bwah-hah-hah! Sarah Palin refers to herself as a “real feminist!” Yes, she is a woman, but that’s pretty much all that she has in common with feminists.

Interesting piece on Robert E. Lee. Like many of his contemporaries, he wrote a tremendous number of journals, diaries, letters, etc. Unlike his contemporaries, his family has kept most of his writings under wraps. They’ve also hidden recollections and interactions with his immediate family members. Blogger also has interesting critiques of Lee as a general.

Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw goes ballistic about...vaccine mandates? Really? that's his idea of a civil rights issue?
Also, he feels that the Biden Administration should try persuading people to wear masks & get vaccinated instead of ordering them to. News Flash: They did try that for several months! It didn't work.

President Biden explains.

Exactly! If any moderate Democrat (Manchin, Sinema or anyone else) thinks that reducing the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package is going to win a single Republican vote, Not. Gonna. Happen!

Yeah, it sure is a nice idea that Americans are “done” with Covid, but...uhh...erm...we don’t get to vote on that. Covid will be done when it’s done, not when we’ve simply gotten tired of it.

As a history buff, I agree. TFG doesn’t understand the Civil War at all. Gettysburg was not a one-off. It was not just a single, unlucky defeat. It was the turning back of the high tide of the Confederacy.
Grant was actually a much better general than Lee was.

This right-wing piece asks the very good question of whether people would really quit their job rather than be vaxxed.
Works either way for me! Either they grumble and get the shot or they give up their job and an immigrant takes it! Conservatives Republicans who then go on welfare (or who refuse welfare on principle) will then have less money to give to candidates!

The investigation of the violent (and wholly unnecessary) clearing of Lafayette Square so the president at that time could get in a photo op has redactions? Why on earth was anything redacted?!?!?! What could this investigative report possibly contain that the American people shouldn't be fully informed of???

So Texas Governor Abbott is asked how the snitch/vigilante law affects rape survivors. His answer is essentially that it doesn't. Rape survivors get the same six weeks to have an abortion that everybody else gets. But, oh yes, he promises to get really tough with rapists!

Hmm. As Texas goes backwards on women's rights, Mexico goes forwards. Mexico legalizes abortion just as Texas seeks to make it illegal.

According to Representative AOC, the problem with Texas Governor Abbott promising to eradicate rape is that he’s part of the problem as a participant in rape culture to begin with.

For anyoe listening to the hollering and screaming about vaccine mandates, the Supreme Court ruled on those a long time ago! In fact, it was 1905, over a century ago.

The Taliban of Afghanistan wishes to project a more moderate image to the world, but their new dress codes for women are definitely a “back to the old days” move.

Actually, there are many Afghan women who are perfectly happy that Americans have left their country. They'll put up with the fanaticism and the sexism if it means less government corruption and less killing.

Yep Stephen "kids in cages" Miller is getting all excitable defending the Texas "snitch" law.
BTW, I still think Miller would look very dapper in an SS uniform!

The last paragraph in this piece is very telling.
Basically, former NJ Governor Chris Christie says that our federal system leaves many things up to the states.
Sure, there are legal differences between states, and as long as they concern relatively minor things like liquor or pornography, they're tolerable. When a legal difference concerns basic rights like say, slavery or in this case, abortion, then no. That has to be federalized. Congress was wrong not to just plain pass a federal law making abortion legal everywhere, the Supreme Court was right in 1973 and wrong in 2021.

I can’t believe a Republican politician from Texas is complaining about how the Taliban treats women!

Majorly effed-up piece from the WaPo. They actually appear to be congratulating Governors DeSantis and Abbott for causing a major amount of death among their constituents.
Thank Heavens their constituents see them for who they are!

As I so often ask “Where are the editors?!?!?!” Why did they let this piece of garbage through? The WaPo puts out an aimless, meandering piece on Covid that generalizes far too much. 

Glenn Greenwald lumps MSNBC with many other "alternative" news outlets (Personally, I like Vox, Gizmodo and Slate), saying they're "wildly hated and distrusted."

Hmm, starting from February 2019, MSNBC has been consistently 89% to 96% "trusted." CBS, NBC and ABC, which I guess counts as "mainstream," were in the 70s until May 2020. They've been in the 80s ever since.

Alex Jones rants about human-animal hybrids in 2017. "... pig/gorilla/human hybrids who can talk"
Author of "Hillbilly Elegy" J.D. Vance says:

"Alex Jones is far more reputable source of information than Rachel Maddow."

The conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin argued the other day that the economy was strong, so there was no need for Biden's $3.5 trillion plan. As the facts and numbers here show, ehh, the economy's is better than before, but is far from "robust."

"Afghan obsession — how the press missed the Texas abortion story"
The Texas “snitching” law aimed at anyone involved with an abortion came as a shock to most Americans as the Texas law was passed back in May. Afghanistan was and is a legitimately important story, but the media was so busy covering it that they completely neglected to cover the effective overturning of Roe vs Wade. The press needs to be able to "walk and chew gum at the same time."

September 2nd story at Fox News -
"MSNBC primetime largely ignores Afghanistan, focuses coverage on Texas abortion law"
Interesting Fox News story because yeah, by then, the Afghanistan story was pretty much over and the Texas "snitch" law story had become very important. Kind of interesting how MSNBC is being criticized for their news judgment here.

I round up some really messed-up press priorities.

The annual Prayer Breakfast has been around for 70 years. The Young Turks obtained a copy of the invitees. Very heavily leans conservative/Republican.

Wow! These Fox News hosts engage in a conspiracy-theory-palooza here! everything is a distraction from the e-e-eville plot of the Democratic president! BTW, I didn't have much patience for "It's Trump's plot to distract us from..." either, so I'm pretty bipartisan on that.
Two points: 1. The money people got to remain safe in their homes was for the very specific reason that the coronavirus made working in restaurants, etc., impossible.
2. There were no "undocumented" Afghans. Every single, solitary one had evidence that they worked with Americans during the past 20 years. None of them were just "Some guy named Ahmed."

Heh! "Hacktivists" have disrupted the Texas snitching site so thoroughly that the website provider (GoDaddy) has given them notice that they have to find another provider!

"The GOP's Afghanistan message machine"
First off this story annoys the hell out of me because a serious matter is treated as just an electoral game, as though nothing was really at stake here.
Second, it appears that Republicans want to use the Afghanistan withdrawal as another Benghazi-type "scandal" that, in reality, was handled about as well as it could have been handled.

Good! Democrats will take a hard look at “shadow dockets.”

Update (30 Sep): Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito feels that "shadow dockets" is an overly dramatic term designed to make Justices feel as though they're doing something wrong.

House Minority Leader McCarthy appears to be very, very concerned about the possibility of anyone seeing his phone records from 6 January!

Fox News points out that deaths from extreme weather events has declined from where they were many years ago. This is true. Weather forecasting has gotten a lot better. People waking up in the morning on Long Island back in 1938 had no idea they were about to be hit with a massive hurricane. Nowadays, we know about these things well in advance.

Two commens on what the Roman Catholic faith allows and doesn't allow.

Fox News isn't stupid. They're staying well away from reporting on the Texas snitching/viglane law because they know full well how wildly unpopular the Texas law is.

Of the 47 Muslim-majority countries, only 18 are as extreme as the recent Texas law is.

Another two, Burkina Faso and Guinea, allow abortion in cases of incest and rape, which the Texas law does not, and Sudan allows it in case of rape.

"GOP struggles to come up with an Afghanistan policy of its own"
Like their 2010 promise to come up with something better than the ACA/Obamacare, I doubt this will really go anywhere.

The Senate Democratic centrists, and especially Senator Manchin, are not team players! A team player would express his reservations privately and would be very highly specific about what he's like to cut from the President's budget.

Sigh! This guy again (Manchin)! “Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation.” Why Congress should do any such thing is far from clear.
Heh! "Progressives Tell Manchin To Stick It" Progressives say "Hell, no!" on Manchin's "strategic pause."

Updte (1 Oct): Manchin still quite vague about wha he's like to cut from the $3.5 trillion bill. No one has any idea what Senator Sinema's objection is. "The problem was that the Senate hold outs weren’t negotiating at all."

ISIS-K regards the Taliban as a bunch of old, weak, soft wussies who are no longer up to the task of holding high the banner of radicalism.

Heh! Candace Owens is a Black woman who really enjoys telling Black people who complain about racism that they're hysterical or overly sensitive. So what does Owens do when a private company denies her a Covid test? Why, she hollers "racism," of course!

People who conducted the war in Afghanistan, talking about having "eliminated" the Taliban.
But the problem with doing that as part of the invasion is that the US had to replace it with a functioning government that the population felt did a better job than the Taliban did. They might have been and still are brutal, but the government the Americans gave them was highly corrupt and very little of the aid money was seen on the ground there. So getting rid of the old government is a bit more complicated than just sending in an army.

Good summary of the past few weeks there.

Wow! Sidney Powell just makes an awful witness on her own behalf! If I were a juror in her case, I'd just be like "Lock her up and throw away the key!" Maybe it's just me, but when Powell is informed that a voting machine company only worked in one county in one state, her reaction didn't persuade me that she knew that beforehand. It seemed that she was learning that for the first time. Overall, the reporter appeared to be a lot more up on the details than Powell was.

Yeah, I've long noticed that speaking for Black & Brown Americans, Native Americas, the LGBTQ, the handicapped, etc, means speaking for people who can contradict you and who can say "I appreciate your representing me, but..."
With the groups that conservatives defend , the unborn, the Founding Fathers, the persistently vegetative, etc., none of them can do that. Does that make conservatives caring and compassionate? Maybe, but they also don't have to worry about these groups speakng up to contradict them.

The whole philosophical basis of the legitimacy of our government is that it's based on the will of the majority of the people.

A majority of the Court was appointed by GOP presidents who took office after losing pop vote

What does the majority of the people feel about Roe vs Wade? By 58 to 32, they oppose repealing Roe.

The deadline has passed without objection by the Supreme Court. The Texas snitching/vigilante law is now in effect. Roe vs Wade is now been effectively repealed in Texas.

Rachel Maddow explained this all last night.

Very interesting that both Senators Collins and Sinema have maintained complete radio silence after the Supreme Court used stealth to effectively end Roe in Texas. Sinema is allegedly a liberal!

Reporters are in love with “savvy” politicians. But isn’t threatening media companies that comply with lawful and necessary requests for information actually “fascist” instead?

A Republican thought it was a terrible idea to withdraw from Afghanistan. What would her solution have been? We have no idea as she doesn't suggest anything.

The South Dakota Attorney General clearly needs to lose his driver’s license, permanently! He was awaiting trial for a fatal crash and then was caught speeding!


A Republican calls on Biden to resign over the Afghanistan pull-out. These people are utter, absolute, blithering idiots! As with Benghazi, the Biden Administration did the best they would with what they had and what they did was pretty danged remarkable. No one from the administration needs to resign. Hell, they don't even need to apologize!

Ha, ha, ha! Did Biden do as he did in evacuating Afghanistan because of media pressure? Oh, puh-leeze!!! Media preesure had absolutely zippo to do with the evacuation.

Good thread. Through the course of the media's normal operations, it has set up a really horrible set of incentives/disincentives that produce absolutely atrocious outcomes. A rational politician who's seeking to maximize his/her popularity via the media is better off using the Trump model rather than the Biden model.

Until we have a Covid vaccine for children, the best way to protect them is to vaccinate all of the adults the children come into contact with.

Florida Governor DeSantis being presented as a competent governor. Ultimately the reasons really aren't complicated, but are very highly dishonorable to the news profession.

Tucker Carlson’s guest is correct. Afghans who want to come to the US should be vetted first. The Biden Administration agrees with this as well and is vetting them. Will Afghans overwhelm US culture? Erm, there are fewer than a quarter-million of them in a country of over 300 million. I think we’re safe!

Cool! Poison Ivy will be a villain for the Batwoman TV show! Ivy’s an awesome character. In the comics, she’s a buddy of Harley Quinn. Batwoman will resume in October.

I only made it up to the rank of E4 in the Navy, but have to say I’m very unimpressed with what the retired Flag Officers here have to say. They completely fail to account for the ways in which The Former Guy compromised the mission of withdrawal from Afghanistan and utterly fail to suggest any reasonable alternatives.

The Doors – Unknown Soldier
The War is Over!

And finally, with the last C-17 departing Kabul, the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, very close to 20 years after it started.

Update (22 Sep): Four Representatives have filed Articles of Impeachment against Biden for not getting the withdrawal absolutely, perfectly right.

Good Lord! Where does this woman get her information?!?! She's a former Miss USA (CA) contestant and is a fan of Congressman Cawthorn, but somehow she's been persuaded that the pandemic is over. Obviously, she hasn't been to any nearby hospitals.

Well, that's distressing! "Nudging," or offering positive rewards for getting vaccinated, is ineffective at getting people to get vaxxed. The US needs to adopt stronger measures, such as potential loss of employment to encourage more people to get their "jabs" (as the British call them).

Over the past few days, I've criticized the NY Times and USA Today for covering opposition to President Biden's Afghanistan policies. The problem is, they're covering critics as though those critics were making intelligent, good faith complaints. As the blogger pointd out here, they're not. House Minority Leader McCarthy is making a complaint that essentially amounts to "What ever he's for, I'm against."

Again, this is thoroughly confused, bad-faith criticism. Senator Graham is simply against whatever Biden is for, period!

Kind of a problem here is that equipment that was lost to the Taliban by the Afghan national government and not by Biden is a sticky situation. I’m sure the equipment will be sold off, either to us or to other nations. Highly doubtful it will remain in the hands of that Taliban as they have few or no trained pilots, etc.

Senator Romney very usefully calls attention to bad decisions by TFG, but again thinks that there was some sort of middle ground that could have been pursued. Spoiler alert: There wasn’t.

Good answer to a fairly stupid tweet. Not an utterly stupid one, just one that fails to appreciate levels of questions.Yes, Biden had to make an "All in or all out" choice.

The piece also looks at those two idiot Congresspeople who went to Kabul as a publicity stunt. This is partculrly infuriating:

By their own admission [the two Congressmen] shanghaied someone's rest cycle to give them a tour, but that was totally fine because that person "works at night" and therefore had nothing else they'd have rather been doing during the day

And yes, I completely agree with President Biden: “Biden saw no middle ground in Afghanistan between ending the war or endless escalation.”

It would take me several paragraphs to correct all of the Stephen Miller misinterpretations and outright fantasies here. Let's just say that yes, IF the situation even vaguely resembled what Miller describes, then yes, his recommendations would make sense.

Here is a map of Taliban control in Afghanistan as of May 2020. The dark orange provinces are under Taliban control, the light orange provinces were being contested.

Also, the UN reported in February 2020 that:

More than 10,000 civilians in Afghanistan were killed and injured last year, according to a new United Nations report that details record-high levels of civilian harm in the ongoing conflict.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell says that US policy was "working!" Excuse me?!?!?! No, Senator McConnell! The policy wasn't working at all!!!

The NY Times headline here is really bizarre. They try to make taking away voting rights sound brave and heroic.

"Texas House Passes Voting Rights Bill as G.O.P. Nears a Hard-Fought Victory"

Seriously, there's not even any indication that it's designed to take away voting rightts!!! What is their major malfunction here?!?!?!

The problem here is that the reporter asks the Press Secretary what they coulda, woulda, shoulda done several months ago! And of course, it's a rather stupid idea. So yeah. Some reporters are just wasting everyone's time.

It's rather difficult to find any real compromise between allowing continued expansion of Israeli squatter settlements in the West Bank and between an independent Palestinian state.

I find it absolutely horrifying that both USA Today and CNN seem to think it's perfectly normal for a political party to not "rally 'round the flag" in a situation that certainly calls for it! Just as in the Benghazi case, the Biden Administration didn't make any obvious errors.

In a “shadow docket” decision, the Supreme Court decides to end Biden’s eviction moratorium. A shadow docket decision is when the majority issues a decision on an unsigned piece of paper late at night and there has been no formal discussion about it.

Well, yeah, TFG shouldn’t have made the February 2020 agreement, then. He pretty much gave away the store then. How in the #$@% do you “keep” the Bagram Air Base?!?!?! How do you retain that patch of territory when the Taliban have taken the rest of the country?

See, here's the problem, when the boss suggests a crazy idea like "Let's hold Bagram Air Base without any troops against the will of the people who run Afghanistan," and he's just got a bunch of yes-men on his staff, of course they'll say "Great idea, boss!" If the House Minority Leader had people with some critical intelligence, they'd take him aside and introduce him to, y'know, reality!

I found this to a very highly persuasive point. No, it really wasn't possible to have been more clear that the US intended to leave Afghanistan. For anyone who could have left on their own, they had plenty of time to do so. Full list.

The House January 6 Committee sent out a massive documents demand. TFG is, of course, hugely annoyed and Executive Privilege will be central to his opposition to it.

The branch of the Islamic State known as ISIS-K attacked at the main gate to the airport and at a nearby hotel, killing 12 American servicepeople and wounding many others. ISIS-K opposes both the US and the Taliban, plus which it's in the interests of the Taliban for US personnel to have an uneventful last few days, so they are cooperating with the US in investigating and in trying to prevent further attacks.

Basically, ISIS-K is convinced that the Taliban are too soft, weak and decadent for the job of evicting the US from the Middle East. They’re the ones who were behind the attack today that took 13 American lives on Thursday.

Normally, when American service-people are attacked and die, that produces a "rally 'round the flag" effect. That didn't happen this time. Instead, we saw partisan bickering and squabbling. As with the Benghazi tragedy, it's far from clear what the Biden Administration could have done to have prevented ISIS-K from carrying out its attack.

Musical thread starts off with a woman from an 80s band (Bangles) singing a song from a member of a 60s band (Monkees) during the early 2010s.

Woo hoo! I wondered when true justice would be served on the flurry of lawsuits after the election! The judge has officially referred the "Kraken" lawyers to all lose their licenses to practice law!

"Kayleigh McEnany Tells The Biggest Lie Of The Year"
Trump's last Press Secretary says

"When President Trump was president, we didn't see crisis after crisis. You just didn't see it."

She's either engaged in some world-class gaslighting or else she's seriously delusional!

ISIL Khursan (ISIS splinter group) hates the Taliban as much as they hate us.

Two Congresspeople visited Afghanistan.
Imagine if these idiots had gotten hurt, killed, or captured by the people who are now in charge of Afghanistan?

"Kristi Noem Vows To Protect South Dakotans From The Federal Government"
Keep in mind, with this rah-rah speech, the Governor of South Dakota here is in charge of a state with an exploding Covid count!

Two weeks after the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, Covid infections are up 230% there!

Also, Governor Noem is violating the law!

Update (18 Sep): Over 7k cases and 2.1k deaths. Map indicates "High community spread" over pretty much the entire state.

Good! Racist robocalls that went out to tens of millions of Black voters with the intention of keeping them from voting smacked with a hefty fine!

"Foreign Affairs Open Thread: Land War in Asia & Our ‘Savvy’ Pundits"
Heh! In my years of reading blogs, I don’t think I’ve ever read “savvy” as anything other than “Gaah! These %^$#ing idiots!!!”

So we're going to stick with the deadline of August 31st. Seems a do-able as the extraction of allied Afghans has been proceeding at a high rate. Good!

Hmm. Australian folk horror! Could be interesting.

An older veteran who fought in Iraq muses on the young’uns who give us the news and who don’t really understand what it’s like to lose a war.

Some pundits are now trying to convince us that there’s some BS “middle position” that agrees we had to leave Afghanistan, but that there was some clean, neat, easy way to do so. Spoiler alert: There wasn’t.

Got an ad on this in my Facebook feed. Will 8 billion trees solve the climate crisis? Nah, we need to stop pouring multiple tons of carbon into the atmosphere all day, every day. Is a lot of trees a good thing that will help? Absolutely! Not only do they soak up some of that excess carbon, they provide shade that cools the ground and produces less heat to get trapped by the excess carbon.

Electric vehicles are very good and can ultimately save drivers some serious dollars over the long haul, but right now, they’re really only good locally and, as they take an hour or more to recharge, are really suited for rural or suburban homes where they can be hooked up at night. Providing charging stations is a high priority infrastructure item.

Oh, wow! The Cyber-Ninjas who are scheduled to explain what their "fraudit" has uncovered, just happened to come up with an excuse...er...I mean, a reason as to why they couldn't make their scheduled presentation today!

Our blogger draws connections between the "But Her Emails..." story and the current press feeding frenzy over Afghanistan.

The people from the former Trump Administration are now frantically trying to shoo people away from examining the February 2020 agreement that paved the way for the recent collapse of the Afghanistan army and government. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is annoyed that "everybody's wanting to go back and talk about Trump."
Well, yeah!

People like to say "Well, that's hindsight. Now we know it was a bad idea!" Here's a piece from the week after the agreement was signed.

Former Secretary of State Pompeo:

"So we continued to pound the Taliban when they violated the agreement..."

Erm, with what did you "pound the Taliban?!?!" In their February 2020 agreement, the Trump Administration gave up all of their meaningful levers of power! They had zero leverage over the Taliban after that agreement!!!

Why is the Senate so completely broken? Senator Cruz is, all by himself, holding up the nominations of dozens of key national security persons because he’s trying to get his way on one particular issue.

Professional Afghan women aren’t sure what the Taliban may allow. One says:

“We are applying to any country, not even choosing the country where our new lives will be. We will go anywhere kind enough to take us and we will start our life again.”

"The moral injury of abandoning Afghan allies" Erm, it's only the 22nd and we have until August 31st to get out as many people as we can. This is a hugely premature assessment!

Update (15 Sep): "U.S. helped at least 36 citizens leave Afghanistan since Aug. 31 - State Dept"

Unfortunately, this isn't the slightest bit surprising. The Sturgis SD Motorcycle Rally last year was an epidemiological disaster, with COVID-19 being spread all through the region. Surprise, surprise, amazingly enough, the 2021 rally is just as bad.

A fellow named Ben Domenech claims:

...Trump would have gotten every single American, interpreter, and piece of equipment out of Afghanistan.

TFG made a deal with the Taliban to leave Afghanistan. That was in Febraary 2020. He could have then pulled translators (known to the Taliban as "collaborators") out of there at the rate of several thousand a month. Instead, the program for getting people out "slowed to a trickle." This was very much under Trump's control. He could very easily have gotten more people out.

Former Vice President Pence, former UN Ambassador Haley and the former Defense Secretary (for the last three months of the Trump Administration) offer revisionist histories of their roles concerning Afghanistan.

"Josh Mandel Praises Sick Waitress, Restaurant Faces Furious Backlash"
$%#@ing amazing! #$@%ing blithering idiot failed to realize that people should not come to work sick during a pandemic!!! It's not clear what the waitress was sick with, but whatever she had would probably not help anyone who was unvaxxed and exposed. The politician showed utter stupidity by not recognizing that.

From about two years ago. Clearly, Secretary of State Pompeo took a very rude, dismissive, “eff y’all” attitude towards Congress and the need for oversight. And no, “keeping them apprised” is not “working with” the Afghan government.

The Eternals won’t be in theaters until 5 November, but this the final trailer. One of the questions they answer is why they haven’t appeared before.

NY Times headline: "Biden Ran on Competence and Empathy. Afghanistan Is Testing That."
Terrible headline-writing from the NY Times. Why is "empathy" important here? President Biden is making a strategic choice involving resources and priorities. What can the US usefully do? Are there any truly satisfactory choices available?

President Trump had plenty of time to begin drawing down the number of Afghan allies/collaborators/translators from Afghanistan to the US. The Trump record on this is nothing to be proud of!

This is a picture of a man lying on the floor, in agony, because he's caught the Delta Variant of COVID-19. He's waiting for a highly effective treatment that can only be used within a very short window of time, after one has caught Covid but before it has set in and has really taken effect.
Why is he on the floor? Because the facility where he has to wait doesn't have any spare beds because Florida is overrun with Covid patients.

When the FBI says they can’t find evidence that the “Stop The Steal” rally was organized, it sounds to me as though they were looking in the wrong places for the wrong things. For instance, perhaps they were looking for a travel office that mailed out bus tickets to people who couldn’t make it to Washington DC on their own. But looking at the large number of pro-Trump boat parades, I’d guess no such office was necessary.

The US exit from Afghanistan has become very, very different from the 1975 exit from Saigon. "The enemy gets a vote" is very true and Biden recognizes that it's true! His people are talking to their people and it's making a really crucial difference!

Sounds like a good plan. Talk to the Taliban and get people out vs “We’re too virtuous to talk to terrible people like you!” and then not get anyone out.

Very interestingly, President Biden identifies US strategic interest in Afghanistan as consisting exclusively of trying to deal with Osama bin Laden. Once bin Laden had been dealt with, we might as well have packed up and gone home.

"Afghanistan Reporting Is A Tsunami Of Bullsh*t Not Seen Since 9/11"
My problem with the media in late 2002-early 2003 was that it was absolutely chock-full of eager, enthusiastic war-hawks, with not a single peacenik to be found. They haven't changed.

The problem with Marc Thiessen's thesis is to think that keeping a contingent of US troops in Iraq would have prevented the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS). There was no desire on the part of either Americans or Iraqis to keep US troops there. The problem in both South Vietnam and Afghanistan is that the US built a state that couldn't survive its first real challenge. Iraq survived the rise of ISIS because ISIS was far smaller and weaker than either the North Vietnames or the Taliban was. In both of the other cases, the US client state had plenty of guns and ammunition, but lacked the political cohesiveness and unity and shared, common goals that would have enabled them to carry on their fight by themselves. The US has no idea how to give that to others.

Several people have tried to claim that they foresaw the quick collapse of Afghanistan. Our blogger shows that no one actually foresaw it.

Ooh! I read Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy back in middle school! Could be a good series.

Very interesting. Former National Security Director John Ratcliffe makes it sound as though everybody in the Trump Administration knew that the government in Afghanistan would collapse right after the US departed. So what was done to get at-risk people like translators out?

Well, according to NPR:

The State Department's method to keep that promise was the SIV program, which allowed interpreters and their families to resettle in the U.S. It's been plagued by delays and red-tape almost since its inception, and slowed to a trickle under the administration of former president Donald Trump.

Note the title of a Newsweek article: "Biden to Announce 'Operation Allied Refuge' to Airlift All Eligible Afghans"

Let's especially note the word "Eligible."

Peter Navarro says: "We are going to have hundreds, perhaps thousands of terrorists, Islamic terrorists coming into this soil here in the flood of refugees."

[headdesk] $#@%!!!!

Rather interesting, that after the Secretary of State, the UN Ambassador is arguably our top diplomat. But here we are, a former UN Ambassador (Nikki Haley) says that, as a matter of principle, she's against negotiations (in this case, with the Taliban)! SMDH!!!

After saying that dealing with the Taliban was like dealing with the Devil, yeah, it turns out she was pretty deeply complicit in dealing with just those folks.

The TV miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier established that The Falcon will take over as Captain America for the fourth Cap movie. He'll keep his mechanical wings, but he'll also have Cap's shield.

Insane! There really are governors who seem really, really determined to see more of their population die from an easily preventable disease.

Did TFG achieve a rate of getting a million shots into people a day? Not even close. In all, his administration managed to get three million shots into people by the time he left office. Not terrible, but he failed to construct a good system for getting people their shots.

Bravo! Very smart of them! Roman Catholic priests from Philadelphia are urged not to assist those seeking an exemption from vaccines.

Yeah, the statement "Just find 11,780 votes" is not something that an honest person who truly believed that he had won the election would say!

From 2011 to 2016, the Republican House passed a bill to repeal the ACA/Obamacare 50 or so times. When in 2017, Republicans found themselves in charge of the House, the Senate and the Presidency, they realized that the bill they passed so often was completely unsuitable. It was just designed for propaganda purposes, not to be an actual blueprint for action.
I fear that if Republicans ever get the trifecta again, they'll suddenly realize that Senator Paul's budget proposal is worthless.

Is the Taliban Islamic? Yes, in the same sense that the Ku Klux Klan is Christian. They use the same book as more mainstream groups use for their source document, but they're a way-out, fringe group.

The Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke weighs in on civil rights vs the filibuster, saying civil rights are a far greater priority.

Yeah, it's not like "All of the sudden, Biden just abruptly turned everything over to the Taliban." The fellow we see standing next to the former Secretary of State is expected to become Afghanistan's next president.

The younger George Bush needs to just STFU about Afghanistan. I could see at the time that the Bush Administration had not made a serious attempt to get Osama bin Laden through any sort of diplomacy, meaning I don’t think it was necessary to invade. Did Gee-Dubya figure that Iraq would settle down and then he could turn attention back to Afghanistan? If that was the plan, the guerrilla war in Iraq certainly made that an impossible plan to carry out.

Looking back at the NY Times and WaPo during the late 2002 to the early 2003 period, yeah. These two need to sit down and STFU. They are both way too guilty of enabling the Iraq War in the first place.

No, the policy in Afghanistan wasn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, “working.” The collapse of the Afghan army, like that of the South Vietnamese Army, was far too rapid and too complete to be explained by anything other than a hollowed-out force that would never have been able to stand on ts own.

Heh! Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigeig's husband finds out everybody wants something from his husband!

Good speech by the president! He'll try to get as many Afghans who worked with Ameicans out as possible, they certainly deserve it, having risked their lives to work wit Americans. But no, no regrets about ending the war there.

Will there be any long-term political impact from the fall of Afghanistan? Will this be an issue in November 2022 or 2024? Doubtful. I recall that the WaPo columnists David Broder called for war with Iran in order to boost the economy, apparently oblivious to the fact that we were already at war with Iraq and Afghanistan (this was in 2010).

And hey, for more "balance," let's hear from one of the guys who got us into Afghanistan in the firs place!

Why are there so many more migrant apprehensions this year? Border Report suggests:

The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts, which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.

Of course, Representative Jordan would have you believe that it’s due to Biden Administration incompetence/immorality/what have you.

Just watched a video where the former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames the Biden Administration for "losing" Afghanistan. This is a map from May 2020, a little over a year ago. The dark orange areas are areas of Taliban control. No, the Trump Administration would not have held onto Afghanistan had they won reelection. They were not prepared to allocate the resources necessary to do that.

Biden makes a very strong argument against "imperial overreach." Back in the 90s, I saw a right-wing ad that encouraged the US to protect the Christians of China. I thought "Now there's a strategy that will quickly bankrupt us!" Biden makes a similar argument concerning the Uighurs. Yes, what's happening to them is terrible, but we have no leverage and no way to reach them.

Serious Democratic pushback on Trumpist criticism/historical revisionism.

Could Afghanistan have been a success? Maybe, but the time to act was during the administration of the younger George Bush.

Which foreign countries have benefited/lost by the collapse of the Afghan government?

Erm, yeah. I was a member of the left 20 years ago and no one that I remember said "Al Qaeda and the Taliban are the good guys actually." That was simply never a thing.

The Sun has a run-down on Obama’s birthday party bash and a summary of the Dowd column. Yeah, I agree with Boehlert. I have no idea where Dowd gets her impressions from! Her writing here is quite poor!

Also, rather interesting that Dowd chose to use a photo of a crowd for her Obama critique. Funny thing, the people in the crowd are all white! In music, this is called having a "tin ear."

Thoughts on Afghanistan.

A run-down on how Afghanistan relates to all of its neighbors and why staying there indefinitely was pretty much an impossibility.

Reporters describes Afghans fighting Americans with such dogged determination that you're just "How do we fight folks like this?"

Just watched a video where the former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames the Biden Administration for "losing" Afghanistan. This is a map from May 2020, a little over a year ago. The dark orange areas are areas of Taliban control. No, the Trump Administration would not have held onto Afghanistan had they won reelection. They were not prepared to allocate the resources necessary to do that.

Heh! TFG asks "Do you miss me yet?" (He put his question in all-caps), to which I can definitively answer, "Not even a little bit.

How successful has the new Palestinian media strategy been? Pretty darned successful!

Moreover, Western TV channels generally assumed to be biased towards Israel have had little choice but to host Palestinian activists if they want to be relevant and maintain their place in the ratings.

The blog post shows a video from six weeks ago with Governor DeSantis, y'know, taking a victory lap on how well Florida was prepared to open up schools in August. Oops! Problem is, even if no on saw the Delta Variant coming, it was still grossly irresponsible to not get everyone vaccinated! 

A guest does some good pushback against the idea that demanding that people be vaccinated is a bad thing. Fox host Harris Faulkner tries really hard to make the subject seem complicated. It isn’t. You can pay businesses to shut down or to operate on a reduced basis.

QAnon is not a harmless group of concerned citizens. They're active terrorists!

Thank Heavens for the people who are waking up to the need to get vaccinated!

Well, that’s pretty cool! Danny DeVito played the Penguin in 1992. DC Comics has now agreed to let him write a segment of the issue marking the 80th anniversary of the Penguin!

A few takeaways from the Census results just released.

Aww! Very sad to hear that the singer Nanci Griffith has died. An appreciation

Latest Census report is showing that the White population shrank by almost 10%, that the Latinos and Asians are growing. Blacks are about the same as they were in 2010. Both NRA membership and Protestant church membership are declining.

But if we don't pass the For The People (voting rights) Act, Republicans could dominate the House and/or Senate after the mid-term election!

Sensible decision by the new Supreme Court Justice (With no dissents from any of the other Justices). She came out in favor of institutions being able to mandate masks.

Also, Roman Catholic theology considers vaccines to be a good thing.

The MAGA people, of course, flipped out!

Update (9 Sep): Rachel Maddow shows that the judicial system has favored those who want to protect public health. The anti-vaxxers have zero chance of winning any cases.

Hmm, yep. Looks like the remaining “friendlies” in Afghanistan will need protection on their way out. As I said a while ago, this pull-out would be like when Americans left Vietnam in 1975. Now, as of 13 August, it's turning out pretty much that way.

Senator Rand Paul's wife purchased stock in a company that made a coronavirus drug. There's no indication they made any sort of profit, but Paul was required to report that he or a family member had made this purchase and he did report it 16 months late!

"Marjorie Taylor Greene responds to COVID surge: 'We can't live forever'"
Ugh! The stupid! It's just...wow! Why is COVID-19 again raging across America? Well, people who didn't think they needed the vaccine because their Glorious Leader the Former Guy suggested it was no big thing now that Biden was getting it out to people.
As to the Delta Variant (which would be a much smaller problem had everyone been vaxxed), according to Representative Greene not causing hospitals to be jammed full of Covid patients, what's the color of the sky in her universe?

Yeah, I'm happy that the Governor of Arkansas is regretting that he opposed a mask mandate, but I'm kinda like "Well, what did you expect, you %$@#ing idiot?!?!?!"

Allegedly, Israelis intelligence assess that Iran can be threatened into surrendering its civilian nuclear program. Erm, what do you guys think The Former Guy was spending four years trying to do?!?!?!?!
Nah, Israel wants a war with Iran, but like Wimpy in the 1930s comic strip Popeye, they're calling "Let's you and him fight!"

Mike Lindell is one of the defendants in the Dominion lawsuit that alleges Lindell has defamed them. Check out Lindell's defense:

Lindell claimed George Soros created the Deep State in Germany in the 1930s. As the judge pointed out that "would have been a remarkable feat for Soros, who was born in 1930."

Mike Lindell's bluff is getting called. Even Steve Bannon is wondering where the evidence is.

"Five Points On Mike Lindell’s Dumpster Fire ‘Cyber Symposium’ Election Fraud Event"
Good grief, what a cluster$%#@!!! Major problem is that Lindell promised computer people that they could look at computer "packets," which contain addressing information, which would allegedly prove that information was sent off to China. He wouldn't provide the packets but just figured everyone would just, y'know, take his word for it.

"Dominion lawsuit sheds light on OAN's election fraud math 'expert'"
Interesting piece, pointing out that no, there was nothing mathematically strange or odd or unusual about the 2020 election. The fellow pictured here is called a mathematician in the chyron, but is not, in fact, a mathematician.
Good 19-minute video at the end.

Yeah, the Republican senator's defense of the former president is...wow! Really? Is that the best they've got?
Yes, a president should have some confidentiality when it comes to discussions with his aides, but not when it comes to them planning criminal matters!

These two make some further comments on the Grassley speech.

"Biden's bitterest critics never imagined he'd get 19 Rs AND then immed. go to reconciliation."
19 Republicans join in on the smaller, bipartisan infrastructure bill. I'd give this news two out of three cheers. It's good that it passed, but the pay-for is very unsatisfactory and will probably be tossed out in the House-Senate conference.

Why are liberals almost always right about danged near everything? Well, the fact that we aren't really all that concerned about what's good for us personally is a big factor in that. When we fought to end slavery, for instance, we did so even though there was no pay-off in it for us.

Florida is being absolutely ravaged by COVID-19 and the best their senator can do is to say: "If you feel comfortable, get the vaccine,"

Yeah, the then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received some pricey gifts from foeign countries. American officials aren't supposed to keep such gifts, they shoul be handed over to the State Department. Pompeo did indeed do that but gee, for some reason, the guy in charge of the State Department can't tell us why State just sorta lost track of the items!

"Rand Paul Wages 'War Against The CDC' In Bizarre Rant"
A few months into the pandemic, I looked up COVID-19 deaths by country. Asian countries had far lower rates than the US or European countries. Why do you think that is, Senator Paul? There was no vaccine then. The only tools they had were social distancing and masks. Yes, the science IS quite clear! Masks work!

Doctor/Senator Rand Paul just lost his medical license for saying what the Republican Party had adopted as their midterm strategy. He claimed that masks don't work, which is exactly what his party is now saying. The CNN author is far too "BothSides" here and presents an extremely one-sided issue as one that has two legitimate sides. One of the subtitles reads:

Democrats and health experts push back on 'terrible' GOP message

Why is "terrible" put in quotation marks?!?! The GOP message is a terrible one that threatens the health of people who take them seriously!

Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, is really quite close to America's right wing. For instance, Orbán

...retained the Republican political strategist Arthur J. Finkelstein, mentor to such luminaries as Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.

Is government debt anything like household debt? Ehh, sort of. Households buy cars and houses and many other things on credit. Very few can put money for a car up in one payment. Heck, lot of smartphones are on a payment plan. Government must also maintain armed forces and should invest in science regardless of how wealthy we feel. So the household comparison doesn't mean as much as Senator Scott thinks it does.

Conservative Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema defends the filibuster. In my view, her argument is a weak one. She feels the filibuster is needed to defend important policies. But the defense of the ACA/Obamacare didn't depend on old, arcane Senate traditions. It depended on regular people, who realized how important it was, to lobby those who were trying to repeal it. And frankly, when all is said and done, if an issue is really important, a Senate majority can simply repeal a part of the filibuster. Witness: a Republican majority repealed the ability to filibuster Supreme Court nominees.

Well, That's a pleasant surprise! The Wall St. Journal and the lefty blogs are in complete agreement! The finances for the joint Democratic and Republican infrastructure bill are a complete mess. Naturally, the WSJ reports that the group has put out a press release to ignore what the CBO says about their plan. Ha, ha, ha!

Hmm, could be interesting. A Native American comedy series. Not a follower of comedies myself, but could be fun.

The economist Dean Baker writes on this subject a lot and he’s absolutely correct. Throwing big numbers at people without putting them into a relatable, meaningful context is worse than useless. They could add a sidebar to stories on economics that would feature different ways to express huge numbers like $500 billion over a decade.

Ahh! Still so refreshing to read that, after some 60 or so bogus "Kraken" lawsuits filed last November and December, that pro-Trump lawyers are really suffering some adverse consequences from all of that.

Good! Very happy to see that there might be serious consequences for what the Trump lawyers did in November and December of last year.

Lazy journalism 101. CNN lumps 4 governors into 1 graphic. Gavin Newsom of CA is suffering a baseless recall effort that's far more noise than substance, Cuomo (NY) sexually harassed women, DeSantis (FL) and Abbott's (TX) policies have actually killed many thousands of people in their states! Lumping together the last two makes sense, but the first two have nothing in common with the last two!

C'mon CNN! Do better!

Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, appears to have a chance of getting the presidential nomination in 2024 because the major media (CNN, NY Times, Wall St. Journal) has been giving his Covid performance glowing reviews. But his performance at dealing with the coronavirus has been abysmal, with cases now exceeding 12k a day! Major media needs to explain this utterly dismal failure.

Gymnast Simone Biles and singer Taylor Swift team up for an awesome video of a little over one minute.

The ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s refuses to sell it’s products in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. This has inspired right-wingers to engage in what they call “cancel culture.” I guess cancel culture is okay as long as you’re doing it for the correct cause.

While the gun-toting couple, the McCloskeys, were pardoned from aiming guns at peaceful protesters who were simply marching past their home, 62-year-old Kevin Strickland, who has spent 43 years behind bars, still waits for a pardon! This is a fellow who everybody associated with his case says is innocent!

Update (1 Sep): Prosecutor says he didn't have time to prepare for an evidentiary hearing for Stickland, so Strickland's hearing is delayed.

President Biden extends the eviction moratorium. Was he "caving" or did he just think that was the right thing to do?

Good messaging from the Biden Administration. We need to appeal to the regular people, but irresponsible governors are definitely fair game!

Wow! A failed SEAL applicant who had a romantic breakup started a fire that took five days to put out and caused $30 million in damage! Yeah, he's definitely getting court-martialed. Should be in the slammer for a long sentence!

Governor Andrew Cuomo asked the NY State Attorney General to examine charges that he was a sexual harasser, which she did. After five months, she concluded he was a serial sexual harasser. Cuomo is now trying to discredit her.

"Maricopa County Chair Rips Apart 'Fraudit' In Public Letter"

Maricopa County Board rejects GOP subpoena: 'The Board has real work to do and little time to entertain adventure in never-never land."

Update (18 Aug): "But the Senate must be in session to introduce and pass a contempt resolution, and Fann didn’t even issue the subpoena until 26 days after the 2021 legislative session adjourned..."

Florida Senator Rubio makes fun of the Defense Secretary wearing lots of protection against Covid. Florida is right now undergoing a massive Covid infection, driven in large part because Florida's governor spent the last few weeks taking victory laps instead of seeing to it that people there got vaccinated. Hopefully, Rubio's amazingly tone-deaf performance will boost the candidacy of Val Demings, who is running to replace him.

Very puzzling. Tenants need to pay rent, landlords need to receive that rent, the government has allocated billions to cover that rent, yet only a fraction of that money has been spent. No one seems to know why.

"Good grief — Washington Post marvels at all the things Trump 'got right'"
Back in the day Fox News had the slogan "Fair and Balanced." Fairness is always good, always appropriate, there's never a good time to be unfair. Balance? Ehh, not so much. In fact, the media if often over-balanced, seeking false balance when there's no true balance to be had. This helps the bad actors far more than it does the good actors. The WaPo engages here in a false balance that helps the wannnabe fascist dictator look reasonable and respectful of democracy.

Did Trump start any new wars? No, but that's a damned low bar! He permitted the Saudi Arabian war against Yemen to continue without any hindrance. Yes, he finished off ISIS by following the Obama strategy, but got Iraq all riled up with the aerial assassination of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. He never did get the US out of Afghanistan. Yes, he made peace between Israel and uh, a few countries that had never been at war with Israel to begin with. Nah, no Nobel Prize for The Former Guy.

The United Church of Christ is a liberal denomination formed out of several Protestant denominations. The UCC rejects

“Christian Zionism," a movement within Evangelicalism that sees the foundation of Israel and the establishment of Jewish squatter-settlements in the Palestinian West Bank as presaging the return of Christ.

The UCC supports “Palestinian civil society’s call for boycotts, divestment, and

House Minority Leader McCarthy “jokes” about hitting Speaker Pelosi with gavel if he becomes Speaker.

This blogger puts McCarthy’s “joke” in the context of revolutionary warfare.

And yes, that's a very good question: Why is McCarthy quoted as "joking" to begin with?

"Texas Surpasses New York's Death Totals From COVID"
Yep! "Callous disregard for life" sums it up pretty well. It's not like we don't know how to protect people, it's that the people in charge of Texas just don't give a $%#@!!!

So the blogger begins the post by showing us a clip from five weeks ago with Florida Governor DeSantis doing a victory lap, talking about how great his state was doing as far as Covid was concerned.
Now, DeSantid appealing to Florida to please get their vaccine shots. Had he been doing that five weeks ago, Florida would be in much better shape!

South Dakota's Governor Kristi Noem offers a wildly impractical “solution” to vaccine mandates. She even gets pushback from conservatives!

Damn! Appears we've seen the last of this brave young woman!

Update: Good news! Poland offered to take Ms Kryscina Tsimanouskaya in.

Belarus is not pleased about Poland interjecting itself!

Later, at a press conference, "she is ready to help those forced to flee or are under pressure."

Representative Cori Bush spent the night on the steps of the Capitol (She was once unhoused) to dramatize her proposal to ending homelessness.

Details on her proposal.

Update (3 Aug): Eviction moratorium restored!

America can have the filibuster, a Senate tradition that was not part of the original Constitution and not the result of any sort of formal legislative process or we can have the For The People Act and a better democracy. This is not a “both-and” choice. This is an “either-or” choice. Can’t have both.

The best way to know if someone is vaccinated is who they voted for. If they voted for Biden, they’re probably vaxxed. If for Trump, then probably not. So Don Jr. imagines forcing liberals to get vaccinated! Kind of some weird thinking there.


After the latest news from Florida.

"Florida reports 21K COVID cases, breaking single-day state record"

Re-upping this: From the Arkansas Times: Gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders thinks

"Ron DeSantis is doing a great job in Florida, where COVID is out of control."

Is the new Georgia Voter ID law truly fair and are "free voter IDs" really what they appear to be or is the law another segregation-era "separate but equal" kind of thing where the "equal" was more in theory than in practice? The office that was supposed to issue the free IDs ran out very quickly, so it was more like segregation than like a new era.

"‘Seditious Conspiracy’: Trump Critics Stunned After Mark Meadows Mentions ‘Cabinet’ Meetings at Bedminster"
This is quite disturbing and fits the dictionary definition of sedition.

At the same time, the WaPo wrote up a piece about what Trump got right (Actually a pretty unimpressive list).

"Patience with the unvaccinated is out, vaccine mandates are in"
Two things about this piece:

1. Corporations and corporate power are not always bad things. Big corps like Google and Facebook are leading the way in encouraging vaccinations.

2. The Republican Party just more and more resembles the Jim Jones death cult. They just seem to want more death!

The Republican Party is going all-out against pregnancy choice. Good thing to keep in mind is that since 1995, people who wanted to stop abortion in almost all cases have never gotten above 50%.

Are people with children better or more mature and responsible than people who don’t have them? First off, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins are both childless. Also, I knew some sailors who had children and who were “unsat.” Those sailors just didn’t like working and were generally lazy and disrespectful. I also knew many sailor parents who were “sat," mature, responsible, etc., so it’s ridiculous to generalize.

Cool! The Shang-Chi movie from Marvel is due out in early September.

Fu Manchu was created in 1913 and was the subject of a whole series of novels. Manchu was Shang-Chi’s father in the Marvel Comics series. From the movie preview, it looks as though Manchu didn’t survive to make it into the Shang-Chi movie.

Why do Republicans seek the widespread death of Americans?

Texas' Rep. Dan Crenshaw, another grievance performer from the right, joined FoxQ' Tammy Bruce to direct Americans to refuse to adhere to any new CDC mask guidelines.
The medicine Republicans are prescribing for their constituents is to just ignore the Delta variant.

People defending the Former Guy’s tax returns don’t have a legal leg left to stand on. They really never did. Just as the President has great power when it comes to foreign affairs, so Congress has great power when it comes to investigations.

Woo hoo! As the Taliban rapidly advance, the first of our endangered Afghan allies are in the US! Hope we get the rest out!

Many years ago, I went to a march in New York City. I took a picture of an attractive woman who was clearly dressed for a performance and wore a gold-colored outfit. I would have looked better if she had gold slippers to match, but she had heavy hiking boots instead. Priorities. She very sensibly put the health of her feet above her performance. Same for Simone Biles. She wants to perform well, but she recognizes good priorities. Do we "celebrate" that? No, but we recognize it and honor it.

Chuck Todd of MSNBC appears to be engaged in performance art. He verbally recognizes that "BothSides" is a problem in mainstream journalism but doesn't appear to want to do anything about it.

I realized at the time that my concern for the art treasures of Iraq that were lost to either nameless looters or to just destruction was something that had to take second place to the destruction of Iraq overall. The real problem was that the planning of the 2003 invasion by the younger George Bush and the recently deceased Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld only went up to the occupation of Baghdad. By their complete failure to plan for the preservation of bureaucracies and museums, they did immense damage to historical treasures.

Might Bush and Rumsfeld have been pursuing a “shock doctrine” that was intended to produce a more compliant population? Naomi Klein makes a strong case that the destruction in Baghdad was entirely deliberate.

There are actually very substantive differences between the Never-Trumpers Cheney and Kinzinger and liberals.

“What's the difference between Democrats and Never Trumpers?" Well, in the case of Cheney and Kinzinger, the differences are overwhelming: these two House Republicans believe in democracy, and recognize the threat the former president poses to our system of government, but on matters of policy and governing, Democrats, Kinzinger, and Cheney have very little in common.

The blogger examines the proposed funding mechanism for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. It's very seriously unsatisfactory, especially when you consider that the 2017 tax cut produced pretty nothing for non-millionaires.

How they're paying for it is a mixture of stealing from COVID-19 relief and vaporware.

For Israel, the problem with Ben & Jerry's refusing to sell their ice cream within the occupied West Bank is that it highlights the Constitutional basis for the BDS movement. As the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 to 1956 showed, you can't force people to purchase a product that they have a moral objection to.

How desperate is Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) to defend his conduct on 6 January? Brooks gave a speech from the same stage that the then-President Trump would use to incite the crowd to attack the Capitol. Brooks
claims he

...was acting as a federal employee, and the law shields officials from personal liability so long as they're acting within the scope of their office.

And no, the DOJ did not agree!

And yes, this is quite interesting. Brooks was wearing body armor!

"DOJ Fires Fresh Warning Shot At States Curtailing Voting Rights Or Considering MAGA Audits"
Sorry, but as the Arizona “fraudit” continues, I’m going to think any “warnings” about more such schemes are completely toothless. If the DOJ takes meaningful action against Arizona, then I’ll believe they’re serious!

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene asks somr questions of Speaker Pelosi.

1. Speaker of the House controls the Capitol Police along with the Senate Majority Leader. She does not control the National Guard.

2. Very, very interesting that Representative Greene gets the date wrong for the pipe bombs, the pipe bombs were found on 6 January, not the 5th.

As I've said many times, the NY Times is a very tone-deaf paper when it comes to politics. The fellow mentions the CDC and then proclaims: "This is some serious nanny state stuff..."
I trust them on many things, scientific subjects especially, but when they talk about politics, I ignore them.

Martin Shkreli was the owner of the one and only, single copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album. He sold it to pay off his fines. It had to have sold for at least $7.4 million as it was said to have paid his fines in full.

No question that Afghan women will be very hard-hit by a Taliban take-over. But the title of the book below suggests that the US can't do much about it.

"Imperial Overstretch: Is the American Empire going the way of the Soviet Union?"

"Five Takeaways From The First Jan. 6 Committee Hearing"
Points 1-3 were very understandable. Point 4 was very highly interesting, that many of the terrorist rioters were carrying concealed firearms, and that Capitol Police recognized that and that they feared that starting a gunfight would end in their being mowed down. Point 5 is also quite interesting.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News compares apples to oranges when he contrasts Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone being beaten to the point where he suffered serious trauma to some person committing arson at a Washington DC church last year.

Seems pretty clear that Representative Jordan is trying really, really hard to neither lie nor to say whether he spoke with the former president on J6. Jordan needs to be on the witness stand!

More on that.

Congressional views on the Saudi Arabian war against Yemen completely fit the dictionary-definition of bipartisanship. Our President should support this bill wholeheartedly

Yep! The former president can claim all he wants that China is to blame for COVID-19, but his actions left the US and the world far less prepared than they should have been. The Republican House and Senate, of course, did absolutely nothing to try and compensate for Trump's failure as president.

The question is: Do voting rights mean anything if the election can be overturned several months later?

Ken Bennett, Arizona's former Secretary of State, shared data about the Arizona “fraudit” with officials of the election. Turns out the so-called “audit” reached a conclusion very close to what Arizona officially reached prior to 6 January, when the election results were turned in to Washington DC. Good news? Not for the people trying to “prove” that Trump actually won!

The driver, a candidate for Pennsylvania Governor, claims that he didn't cause the accident. Okay, but he drove for several miles with the motorcycle stuck to the front of his car, which makes him involved in a "hit & run," I think this disqualifies him from being Governor.

Hmm. Yeah. Don't think "The Taliban agrees with me" is quite the slam-dunk, mic-drop argument this guy seems to think it is!

"Vaccine opponents appear increasingly confused about HIPAA"
HIPAA does not offer 5th Amendment-like protection against people asking about your vaccination status! What it means is that if you make your health informaton known to a health care provider, that provider can't reveal anything wthout your permission.
There are many people and institutions that have a legitimate interest in knowing what your vaccination status is. Nope, can't hide behind HIPAA.

Israel is trying hard to establish an illegal squatter settlement in the West Bank village of Beita. Palestinians are making a settlement there as difficult as they can.

Concerning disputes about the Olympics: Look, whether women’s athletic outfits are too sexy or not sexy enough, guys...just, seriously! As a guy myself, just let it go! You want to look at sexy women, that’s what Hollywood is for! There are women in show biz who deliberately and consciously want to look sexy! Let everybody else just focus on the practicality of their outfits.

Representative Banks proves that he's hopelessly biased and has no buiness being on th 1/6 Commission. He says that he is very interested in the role of the Capitol Police and the Speaker of the House during 6 January. He doesn’t appear to be at all concerned with what other actors may have been/not been doing. For instance, the National Guard was missing from the scene for several hours. Why? How closely was the President watching the scene from the TV reports? Why didn’t he issue any condemnations? There’s very considerably more to the picture than just what the Speaker was doing.

Senator Pat Toomey charges Democrats with trying to keep the 6 January attack on the Capitol in the headlines by going ahead with their commission. He’s concerned about “partisan staffing.” This is called “Crying over spilled milk,” as the House Minority Leader could have appointed a more responsible set of people to be on the commission. Instead, he appointed a set of bomb-throwers.

[Senator] Rand Paul tells me re: Afghan allies seeking visas: “I think those who speak English and are our friends should stay and fight for their country,” Paul said.

This is the sort of weak-arse BS you get from someone who "never heard the sound of a shot fire in anger," never spent a day in uniform, etc.

The former president’s comments are getting increasingly delusional. "I came up with the vaccine." Uh, no. He may have approved giving money to people who did, but he most certainly played no role whatsoever in actually developing the vaccine.

There have been a few justified complaints about women’s sports uniforms at this Olympics. Namely, they’re usually excessively skimpy. Women can wear a bit more and still have the freedom of movement needed to compete. Laura Ingraham of Fox News thinks they should just all shut up and focus on just playing the game.

This is kinda cool! For the Olympics, Japanese artists portray each country as an anime samurai wearing outfits based on the colors of their flag.

First, check out Miami CBS saying that Covid cases for Florida under Governor DeSantis have jumped way up. After a peak in January and a bump in April, they're on the rise again. Next, listen to Sarah Sanders, promising more of the same for Arkansas if she's elected Governor there. Yep, she sees DeSantis as a role model! 

Cool! Michael B. Jordan, who played the villain in Marvel’s Black Panther, is slated to play a Black Superman.

Jordan’s project will star Val-Zod, first introduced in 2014 as a Kryptonian from Earth-2 in DC Comics’ vast multiverse who took on the mantle of Superman after the Kal-El of his reality was killed in an invasion of Earth-2 by Darkseid and his army of Parademons.

"Poll: Most in GOP see voting as a 'privilege' that can be limited"
This is troubling because mandates and legitimacy have always been very important throughout history. If legitimacy doesn't come for a democratic society through majority votes, then where does it come from?

During and after TFG's term, Iran spent $2 billion to move oil to a terminal on the Gulf of Oman, right outside the Strait of Hormuz. That makes it harder for the US to restrict oil sales from Iran. Iran wasn't willing to just suffer passively.

*Sigh!* People getting tired of coronavirus restrictions. The. Disease. Doesn't. Care!
If don't get vaccinated and take precautions, you're gonna get sick!

Good! Some people tried to start an Arizona-type “fraudit” here in PA and PA just isn't having it!

Yea, quite difficult to feel any sympathy here. This guy built a three-mile section of wall and now appears to be stuck with having to pay for it out of his own pocket.

Yeah, I think the "Reasonable Beltway Pundit Class" is among the most useless groups ever. Senator Kyrsten Sinema has really just destroyed her own appeal among Democrats in her state and been applauded by those pundits for doing so.

"Remember when Politico said DeSantis 'won the pandemic'”?
This is very sad because it was absolutely crystal clear at the time that the mainstream media was wrong and that Florida Governor DeSantis was not dealing with Covid successfully! Why they ever thought he was a success just utterly baffles me.

What the $%#@?!?! 45 Palestinian college students make a solidarity visit to a family whose home in Turmus ‘Aya had been destroyed by the Israeli army the previous week. 45 students were arrested, an outrage in itself, but 15 of the students remain in detention!

The Fox News panel also seems to think climate change simply means a gradual rise in sea levels. Nope! It means more hurricanes, more massive rainfalls, Canada being 100-plus degrees, etc.

This sounds to me like best of both worlds for Democrats. The Speaker made an offer, the Minority Leader made an unacceptable counter-offer, she rejected only part of his counter-offer and now he's taken it all off the table. Woo-hoo! Win-win!

Erm, it's hardly the fault of Speaker Pelosi that Minority Leader McCarthy decided to appoint a group of crazy bomb-throwers to the 1/6 Commission. Why is she being blamed for making the commission politically irrelevant?!?!?!

My Congressperson is correct. Speaker Pelosi did exactly the right thing with the 1/6 Commission and Minority Leader McCarthy's "I'm taking my ball and going home" tantrum.

As Speaker Pelosi will obviously not change course and seat all five of Minority Leader McCarthy’s choices for the 1/6 Commission, Republicans will not take any part in the commission.

Yeah, very poor headline from the WaPo. The 6 January investigation didn't "fall apart." The investigation has a quorum and a Republican member. They can carry on. The only thing that "collapsed" is the ability of the House Minority Leader to appoint people to the commission that weren't at all serious about , y'know, actually investigating!

95% of Arizona Dems approve of Biden & 75% of Mark Kelly but only 42% approve of @SenatorSinema

Good! Let's hope Senator Sinema starts worrying more about her career than about the $%#@ing filibuster!

Early during the Trump Administration, there were a couple of strange things happening in the Middle East that didn't make any sense at the time. Turns out, they were happening because of people putting profit ahead of good policy.

I heard in college history class that Senator Joe McCarthy had the same attitude, that politics is all a game, that nothing he does "in the arena" matters. This attitude results in really terrible, awful legislation!

Maybe it's just the focus of the news, but sure seems like the focus this year is of men telling women what they can't do, can't wear, etc. Maybe there are a few women in management who are agreeing and enabling, but sure smells like rampant sexism to me.

Two billionaires take short space flights. What does that prove? That the billionaires are way undertaxed! Of course the flights will advance science a bit, but they're essentially re-doing the flights of the early 60s.

Why does Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, think Trump actually won California?
...dead people voting, illegals voting, nonresidents voting, minors voting, people with seven ballots voting.

Erm, okay. But all of those votes can be weeded out, well before or during the election. If any of that had happened, we would have long since known about it.
Government agencies of all levels that deal with voting have legitimate reasons to know about dead and minor voters, nonresidents won't have the necessary paperwork to register and the spectre of "people with seven ballots voting" has been an unsubstantiated, phanton menace since forever.
Oh, and Biden won California by 29.2%.

"'No ice cream for you' – Ben & Jerry’s ceases distribution to Israeli Squatter-Settlements in Palestinian West Bank"
Good! I like their ice cream anyway. Good to see them on the right side of history.

A look at the Ben & Jerry’s case in the Palestinian West Bank. Unilever, a multinational corporation, owns Ben & Jerry’s and its actions are actually consistent with European requirements.

From 680 prisoners in 2003 to 39 now, we're slowly grinding the number of Guantanamo prisoners downwards to the point where it costs American taxpayers about $13 million per prisoner, per year. "Fiscal sanity," anyone?

Justice Department has a bit of a dilemma here. The corruption of TFG is a problem because it makes justice look like vengeance. But just letting Wilbur Ross and others walk risks corrosive corruption.

As former military myself, yeah. I agree. I'm rooting for vaccine-resisting officers to simply resign. If I were a hiring manager, would I hire them? Hell, no! 

[Brandi] Love, a self-branded “conservative porn star” who is a contributor to The Federalist, found herself besieged by the combination of white supremacists and moralizers...

Love brings up many valid points about freedom of speech and how conservatives allegedly don't like to interfere in peoples' private lives.

More on conservative free speech hypocrisy. Conservatives complain, on a platform that is accessible to the general public, about being suppressed and silenced.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy just gave America the middle finger by choosing as all of his 1/6 Commission members, people who voted AGAINST creating the Commission in the first place.

Y'know, it's all very fine and well for the GOP to say they support being bipartisan about an infrastructure bill, but the lack of a serious "pay-for" raises very serious questions about how seriously they really take infrastructure!

More on that.

Vaxxers vs anti-vaxxers is not a serious debate!

Interesting piece from a propaganda perspective.

Was it the president’s latest attack on state voting law reforms, which he bizarrely called “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War”?

Yeah. Gee. Who in their right mind would ever complain about "voting law reforms?" What's up with the president, huh? Y'see, in order to understand what the columnist is saying, you have to have some background on the issue.

Former AG Bill Barr was way too much of an enabler to try and pretend now that he had any sort of distance between him and TFG.

A Covid "truther." Very bad for everyone's health.

It’s kind of ridiculous to say that Facebook comment are being “monitored” as such comments are public to begin with! Press Secretary Jen Psaki, very accurately, calls Peter Doocy’s question on that “loaded and inaccurate,”

Oops! Arizona “audit” has to release names of funders.

"It is difficult to conceive of a case with a more compelling public interest demanding public disclosure and public scrutiny," Judge Michael W. Kemp wrote at the end of a seven-page decision.

Senator Manchin appears to want to try a tactic that didn't work the first time. In 2012, there was a school shooting where a large of very young children dies. Democrats worked hard to come up with a plan that was sufficiently pared-down that Republicans would pass it, Manchin and Senator Pat Toomey were the final two people to work on it. Even that skinny, watered-down bill failed to pass. Manchin doesn't appear to have learned anything from that.

A real problem with people fighting authorianism behind the scenes is that such fighting is usually ineffective.

It would also kinda help their case if people warning about fascism weren't so damned selective about it!

The same people who screamed fascism about people going door to door offering them free vaccines....


The AZ audit came up with nada so now they want to interrogate voters door-to-door.

Trump is fond of the “stab in the back” theory, a theory that der Fuhrer used to great success.

"New book excerpt paints Ivanka as saint, Trump as incapacitated, and Mike Pence as America's hero"
Heh! You can tell Ivanka Trump is the author's main source of information as "...the most surprising thing is that Ivanka never got her golden halo caught on any of the White House chandeliers..."
Clearly, this is a very partial, slanted version of the story.

Aww! The Former Guy misses having a twitter account! Gee, I feel so sorry for him! 😁

Ah yes, I recall the "scandal" of the "Ground Zero Mosque" in 2010. Mainstream Media made it sound as though it acted like the Eye of Sauron, dominating the landscape. In reality, if you were at Ground Zero, it was quite difficult to find the Muslim-owned building as it was not only a block away, but was about the same size as every other building.
Why is Critical Race Theory a thing? Because the media is enabling it, just as they did with the "Mosque" in 2010.

The Israel Prison Service refuses to permit a mother (a political prisoner) to attend her daughter's funeral.

Ashli Babbit has become the Horst Wessel of today's Republican Party (Wessel was a Berlin Sturmführer who was killed by Communists in the early 1930s). What's really interesting is that the person who shot Babbit has not been publicly identified, but the Republican Party has fingered a Black person as the "culprit."

It’s nice that an aide to Ken Starr finally saw the light, but it took 20 years and quite a bit of damage was done before she woke up to it.

Hmm. Did the MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell say TFG would be restored to the White House on 13 August? Ehh, not really. He suggested that evidence would be produced that would be so overwhelming that everybody would want to restore Trump as president. He predicts now that the Supreme Court will rule 9-0 to put him back into office. I am prepared to be extremely underwhelmed.

Note: There is no Constitutional provision for reinstating a president. Very best case scenario is that Trump can run again in 2024, saying "I was cheated."

Updatr (12 Aug): Complete and utter bust! No evidence of any sort was presented.

"Don Jr's Latest Delusion: 'Act Of God' Destroyed George Floyd Statue"
Note the propagandistic language here:

"This will drive some people nuts but oh well."

Meaning that his political opponents are all irrational and unreasoning.

"...I’m not sure turning him [George Floyd] into a deity and a role model for our children..."

Erm, who has done any such thing? Floyd may have been portrayed as a martyr to white supremacy, but no one has suggested he's a deity or a role model.

"...there’s statues of him [Floyd] going up all over the country..."

Not aware of even one.

"State Republican chairs become the 'chief enforcers of Trumpism' "
During my tweens, I read a number of paperbacks on World War II. I was very aware of one thing that separated the Western Allies from the Nazis and the Soviets, the latter had what were called "political officers" or "commissars," people whose primary job was to see to it that ordinary soldiers were loyal to "Our Glorious Leader."
I looked at what Trump was doing in between his impeachment and before the coronvirus got so bad that he had to pay attention and found that working to build a corps of political officers was his main activity then.

It’s just truly amazing how Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota is trying to sell her COVID-19 policy as having been a good one! It was utterly disastrous!

As I said, Republicans have become a death cult. Guns can now be sold to people who are between 18 and 21.

"Ousted Social Security commissioner locked out of agency systems"
So with everyone working remotely, they couldn't have someone sitting in the old guy's chair after he was fired, but they could change all his passwords! Yeah, he tried logging in. Nope!

Fortunately, the Social Security Administration commissioner who was fired from his job doesn’t appear to have much chance of getting it back.

Bill Cosby may be free on a technicality. That doesn’t mean that privately-owned comedy clubs have to let him perform there.

The critical question here in every single case was did the “Kraken” team vet any of the affidavits? Did they verify any of the details? The team couldn’t answer “yes” in any of the cases!

Cool story about how Texas Democrats outmaneuvered the Texas Legislature and Governor.

"Trump says after his second impeachment, 'I became worse'"
As Maya Angelou once said “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

How does Florida Governor Ron DeSantis feel about citizens protesting their government? Wel-l-l-l, it depends. which government are they protesting? If people want to drive cars into liberal protesters, that's okay. If you're a liberal protester, then not so much. 

Black Widow, an exellent flick, BTW, appears to have marked an end to people staying away from movie theaters as the movie breaks all sorts of financial/atendance records!

Update (11 Aug): Unfortunately, we've since seen a massive upsurge in the Delta Variant of the coronavirus, so BW appears to have coincided with an extraordinarily fortunate window of time. The Sturgis, South Dakota Motorcycle Rally was a super-spreader event last year, causing  a spike of COVID-19 all across the region. This year, it looks as though we'll see a repeat of the same as pretty much no one who attends will have been vaccinated.

Ben Carson claims that Black people had strong families under slavery. Strong families were not possible under slavery because families were broken up. All. The. Time! It was a regular thing to have husbands, wives, sons and daughters sold off.

Matt Schlapp doesn’t seem to understand the difference between potential fraud and between actual, proven fraud. He has proven absolutely nothing.

Yeah. Wow. Representative Boebert is spouting some awfully crazy stuff here. I just can’t grasp why people need to “make their own decisions” about a life-saving vaccine that’s already been administered to 159 million Americans or 48% of the population.

How credble is TFG when it comes to crowd numbers? Well, he estimated that on January 6th, he spoke to about a million people (His January 2017 inauguration crowd was under half a million) and NBC News reports that the initial rally estimate was for 10k people. The Park Service estimated that the crowd grew to 30k. It was a big crowd, but it was noshere near that big. The rest of his talk is similarly credible.

FBI’s got some pretty weird priorities these days. For instance, “’Abortion-Related Violent Extremists,’ described as including both sides of the abortion debate…” Never heard of a pro-choice killer? Neither have I, but the FBI is on the lookout for them as well as for anti-choice killers, which actually DO exist!

Woo hoo! The statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were taken down in Charlottesville!

Back during the administration of the younger George Bush, Hamas did win the Palestinian election to control Gaza. They’ve been administering Gaza ever since. Why are we still calling them “terrorists?” Calling a group of people terrorists suggests that they're non-state actors, that they don't control any territory. 

I appreciate this. President Biden asked nicely for this guy’s resignation. Andrew Saul, a Trump appointee to the podition of Social Security Commissioner, refused. Biden said “Fine. You’re fired.”

People like the Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrstem Sinema really have to begin to recognize that we are not dealing with a set of rational people on the other side of the aisle! Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert and pundits like Tomi Lahren are the public face of the Republican Party today.

Yep! Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema are far more helpful to Republicans then they are to Democrats!

When you watch this young woman juggle, please keep in mind she also just won a major spelling bee!

This appears to have been the same problem Michael Flynn had in 2016. Flynn contacted the Russians, going outside ny official channels, and thereby came to the NSA's attention. If Tucker Carlson had also contacted the Russians, then it's highly likely the NSA would have vacuumed up those communications as well.

OMG! That's hilarious! What's the color of the sky in Stephen Miller's universe?

Stephen Miller: "No President in history has been dealt a better hand on day one than President Biden."

What Biden inherited:

This on the "martyrdom" of Ashli Babbit is why I've never seen Mike Pence or Nikki Haley as the heirs to the Republican Party. Trump's party is a radical one that has no intention of following a moderate, policy-focused, realistic path.

There are laws against Critical Race Theory (CRT).  Why? Are these anti-memory laws?

When certain people tell you who they are, we should believe them the first time!  Representative Chip Roy of Texas is entirely credible.

"Honestly, right now, for the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022, and then get in there and lead," the Texan was recorded saying.

For the international community to assist Gaza in rebuilding is enormously complicated by the fact that Gaza remains under siege by Israel. All aid must pass through Israeli checkpoints, meaning Israel can arbitrarily attach conditions, such as the return of Israeli hostages, onto any aid that goes to Gaza.

Iceand finds that workers get just as much done in a shorter work week. Not surprising.
My sister worked for a company that occasionally expanded its hours in order to get more work done. She claimed that the tactic never worked. People would simply stretch out eight hours of work to fill ten hours.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones (1619 Project) put in for tenure at the University of North Carolina. UNC hemmed and hawed and fussed and fidgeted and finally said yes. By that time, Hannah-Jones said "Nah" and she and $20 million in funding is going to the HBCU Howard University.

The mega-donor who apparently created the mess with Nikole Hannah Jones and UNC, Walter Hussman, tried really, really hard to see that Hannah-Jones did not succeed.

Update (2 Aug): NC Republican Representatives Virginia Foxx and Greg Murphy both objected to Hannah-Jones getting tenure.

Seriously, Hannah-Jones is leaving a dumpster-fire behind!

Truly amazing how politics so closely mirrors your risk from the coronavirus. Biden carried the 19 states where vaccination is over 70%, TFG carried the 17 where it’s below 60%.

Do Republicans have more "fraiends cross the aisle" than Democrats do or do the two sides just not live in the same areas? Pennsylvania is allegeldly "Pittsburgh, Philadepha and Alabama in-between." I very rarely have reason to venture outside metropolitan Philadelphia.

Y’know, July 5th of 20 years ago (2001) would have been a really good time to have let everyone in government know that there were warning signs of an imminent threat from al Qaeda!

Lots and lots of people (including myself) guffawed at the idea that Trump would pay Giuliani. Unfortunately for him, we were right.

Yep! Ashli Babbit was not a martyr! She was a "rioting terrorist!"

I don't agree with Andrew Bacevich on his view that the younger George Bush was in any way innocent or unknowing about going to war with Iraq. Bush deliberately, consciously, with malice and forethought, insulated himself from any people or information that might have caused him to have any second thoughts. There were many people in the last three months of 2002 that wanted to have a serious conversation with him. Bush shut them out.

That's pretty cool! Lafayette Square no longer looks like an armed camp in an occupied country!

You guys really sure you want to stick with fossil fuels?!?!?! A mud volcano interacts with an oil-drilling platform to create what looks like a mini-atom bomb explosion.

Nuclear plants may have problems, but coal-burning power plants are the real danger as they pour carbon into the atmosphere, which traps heat, which leads places like in South-West Canada to reach baking temperatures. Lytton is North of Vancouver and it hit 122 degrees, just the other day.

CNN is doing here what the advice columnist Miss Manners calls "mind reading." They're making wild, unsubstantiated guesses as to what the motivation of the Vice-President may be in taking certain actions. They shouldn't word their guesses as flat assertions. They don't know this! They're just guessing.

A very sad observation about how some op-eds aren't grounded in any reality. It's instead all guesswork and speculation. A columnist from the NY Times wants to describe the Jim Crow Era without bringing in the concepts of "systemic" or "structural" racism.

TFG claims “They didn’t go after Hillary Clinton and her foundation.” That’s simply not true. From the BBC:

The 2015 book Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer laid out numerous examples of Clinton Foundation donations…


There have been no clear quid-pro-quo connections found in any of Schweizer's list of alleged transgressions.

Vanity Fair:

After more than two years, an inquiry into the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s tenure at State is nearly done—and there’s reportedly absolutely nothing to show for it.

That's pretty amazing! A black hole swallows a neutron star!
Smithsonian contributes their take on it.

Heh! "Net" jobs means that they're deducting the jobs that were lost during the crashes in the last years of the younger George Bush and Trump. But yeah, that means that Biden has created more jobs in six months than both Bushes and Trump did in 16 years.

The rather hysterical reaction to former Senator McCaskill stating (accurately) that 6 January was worse than Benghazi shows that, yeah, she defnitely stuck a nerve!

The Republican scorched earth, win-at-all-costs strategy that they’ve been using since 2009 is proving to be a very bad one at this time. Democrats in the House have a quorum and are moving on their 6 January commission. Representative Liz Cheney was smart enough to get on board early. The House Minority Leader is still floundering.

White House Correspondent Peter Doocy is constantly trying, desperately, to make a name for himself as the guy who embarrasses the Democratic president’s spokesperson. Press Secretary Jen Psaki is more than his equal though, constantly leaving him with pie all over his face.

When it comes to human rights violations in the struggle between Israel and Palestine, neither side has completely clean hands, both are guilty of violations. But the violations by Israelis are far worse and far more systematic than are those of Palestinians.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy makes it absolutely crystal clear beyond a doubt that he is very deeply disturbed that Representative Liz Cheney would accept a committee assignment from Speaker Pelosi without going through him first. Not that he's threatening her, mind you. He's just very deeply disturbed, that's all!

Speaker Pelosi replies that they have a quorum now.

I rag on the NY Times a lot for being politically tone-deaf. NPR can be just as bad.

$%#@!!!! Yes, the heat wave in Canada has everything to do with human-caused climate change!

More on the Governor of South Dakota apparently renting out National Guard troops to cover the border with Mexico.

The pushback intensifies. Reminded me of when the Roman Empire started hiring mercenaries to guard their Northern borders. That was the beginning of their decline and fall.

Among other things, good reasoning as to why we’ll never know what the military knows about UFOs. Military doesn't want to give others too detailed a picture of our surveillamce capabilities and if we're missing things, we don't want others to know we can't see them. 

What does the UFO report show? That we definitely need a dedicated agency that can take in all the reports and can assess them all for plausibility and figure out what, if anything, we need to do about them.

I guess I shouldn't be at all surprised that the two Democratic senators who have been doing the most to slow up progress on Biden's agenda (Manchin & Sinema) have also been taking money from big oil.

Representative AOC offers her view on the scandal.

Phylicia rashad, who played Clair Huxtable in Cosby back in the day, says about Bill Cosby being freed: "FINALLY!!! A terrible wrong is being righted - a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"

No, there was no miscarriage of justice. He was guilty and got off on a technicality. Women who have been sexually abused are all despondent now as they see a wealthy, connected guy get off scot-free.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to be pretty desperate to prevent anyone from the Republican Party from serving on the 1/6 Commission.

Hmm. So TFG is saying that if “The Wall” isn’t painted, it’ll just rust away on its own. Cool! Saves us the trouble of having to dismantle it!

Yes, it is true that Republicans have used better rhetoric on funding police, but they very clearly have favored actually defunding the police.

An examination of the latest ranking of US president by historians. Trump comes after the presidents who came immediately before and after the Civil War (41 out of 44), Reagan and Obama are 9 and 10. Grant has improved his standing whereas Jackson had declined.