Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Vote Tracker

I'm sure this is already dated.


But let's blame President Biden for all these problems, shall we?


Friday, July 22, 2022

Synergy

Amazon often has some weird combo deals for sale, but I think this has to be one of the strangest I've seen. What audience are they trying to reach with this combo?


Thursday, July 21, 2022

They're speaking loud and clear

They are coming.

This week, Democrats in the House passed legislation to protect rights being threatened by the extremist conservative Supreme Court.

How did Republicans, many of whom are saying Democrats are "over-reacting" about losing anything but abortion rights, vote?
- 209 House Republicans voted against abortion rights
- 205 House Republicans voted against protecting interstate travel for reproductive care
- 195 House Republicans voted against protecting contraception access
- 157 House Republicans voted against marriage equality
When Republicans tell you their plan, right out in the open, believe them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Armed, trained, cowards stand by while children die

We all know that the police response to the Uvalde, Texas, Robb Elementary School massacre was pathetic and with each revelation about their conduct the nightmare becomes more terrible, as more of the coverup is revealed.

The Austin American-Statesman just published security cam footage of the gunman entering the school and shooting into classrooms, followed by literally dozens of police who do absolutely nothing. For 77 minutes.

The footage is in the article below. It's grim and disturbing, but it does NOT show children getting shot and the screams have been removed. Still, it's enraging and maddening. I can't imagine what the parents of these children are going through.

Exclusive: Watch Uvalde school shooting video obtained by Statesman showing police response


Once again, American law enforcement explodes the stupid myth that gun ownership solves everything. There are literally dozens of "good guys" with guns here and they do nothing. NOTHING except protect their own asses. While children are murdered and bleed out on the floor of their classroom.


Saturday, July 09, 2022

Love and Thunder

I love the Marvel movies. Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige have done an amazing job creating a vast and wonderful world that has been entertaining for 14 years and still going.

We're going to see Thor: Love and Thunder this afternoon and I'm especially excited for a couple of reasons. One, the last Thor movie, Thor Ragnarok, is one of my top three Marvel movies, and two, I am more or less completely unspoiled on the plot. Months ago, Ben and I made a choice not to watch any trailers or previews, the first time we've done this for a Marvel movie, and we've been successful. The funniest bit in Ragnarok was spoiled by the first trailer, and we've had none of that this time.

Really looking forward to it.


Tuesday, July 05, 2022

American Exceptionalism

This is heartbreaking, not only because of the loss of human lives and potential, but because it doesn't have to happen. A large majority of Americans, who want gun control, are being held hostage by a very small minority of gun nuts, economic interests, and powerful conservatives who view these deaths as a means of maintaining control by fear. 

These deaths are absolutely senseless.



Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Another abortion consideration

Here's a perspective I had never considered before.

 . . . Heck, as soon as it was announced that Roe was overturned there was a very large segment of men desperately crying out with ecstatic joy over the idea that "whores" would finally have to face the consequences for "spreading their legs."

This is the spirit behind the "rape and incest exceptions" that exist in some of the states that are banning abortion. Sure, part of it is that those passing the laws don't want to look like total monsters who would force an 11-year-old to have her father's baby, but a much bigger part of it is that in these cases, the victim did not have sex on purpose and therefore is not, according to the logic of misogyny, in need of the corrective punishment of childbirth.

This is why there is a part of me that internally cringes every time we lower the bar by talking about how an abortion ban doesn't have a rape and incest exception — even though sometimes I understand it is necessary to demonstrate just how Draconian and cruel these policies are. Because it absolutely does reinforce the idea that forced birth is the punishment for those who can get pregnant having sex. The only reason anyone should ever need to have an abortion is that they want one. Period, end of story.

I totally agree with that and I appreciate the idea, which was new to me. The article goes on to point out that even rape and incest exceptions are meaningless if there are no abortion providers in your state.

So let's drop that "low bar only sufficient to not be a monster" framing and talk about abortion as a critical, personal, private health choice for all people who want it. Because that's exactly what it is.

A sobering scorecard

Reminder.

Since 1988, 34 years ago, Democratic candidates won the popular vote in these Presidential elections.

  • 1992
  • 1996
  • 2000
  • 2008
  • 2012
  • 2016
  • 2020

That's ALL of them except 2004.

And yet, because of our antiquated, anti-Democratic electoral college, and various rat-fuckery by conservative courts and Russia, the Republicans won the White House in 2000, 2004, and 2016.

This means that despite the clear will of the majority of the American people, the two Republican Presidents elected since 1992 have appointed five of the nine Supreme Court Justices. The three appointed by Trump were not only nominated by a President who lost the popular vote, but confirmed by Senators who represent a minority of American citizens.

This is not democracy. I care about that. I hope you do too.

Republicans don't. All they care about is power.


Monday, June 27, 2022

Roe v. Wade

WARNING: PROFANITY AHEAD

In light of the egregious political decision by the Supreme Court last week to overrule Roe v. Wade and revoke women's Constitutional Rights to privacy in health care decisions and to control their own bodies, there are quite a few people to "thank". 

(In no particular order)

FUCK YOU, Mitch McConnell for putting party before country and literally stealing a supreme court seat from President Obama.

FUCK YOU, Clarence Thomas, for your awful positions, supporting insurrection, and being an all-around corrupt, terrible human being.

FUCK YOU, Samuel Alito for a regressive, badly reasoned, baldly political decision that cares more about the opinions of dead 17th century misogynists than living people with rights.

FUCK YOU, Senate Republicans who supported the right wing hacks nominated by Trump the Federalist Society to the Supreme Court.

FUCK YOU, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kegstand Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett for blatantly lying about Roe v. Wade to the Senate confirmation committee and the American people.

FUCK YOU, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for caring more about an antiquated, anti-Democratic Senate rule than the rights of American women to control their own bodies.

FUCK YOU, American evangelicals who have shown that no reason or facts will dissuade you from advocating the oppression of others for something that is none of your fucking business. Oh, and you SUCK at interpreting your own holy book, which advocates for none of the shit you support.

FUCK YOU, fascist Republicans for taking us down a very dark road.

FUCK YOU, "both-siders" who equate Democrats working to better the lives of Americans and promoting equal rights, with Republicans actively supporting an ongoing coup, passing hateful, regressive legislation, and terrorizing fellow Americans.

FUCK YOU, Trump for having no principles except your own self-interest. This is a man who once described himself as very pro-choice, until he decided to run as a Republican.

FUCK YOU, Mitch McConnell again for rushing through Amy Coney-Barrett's nomination three weeks before a Presidential election, exactly the opposite of what you advocated when you stole Merrick Garland's seat.

FUCK YOU, Democrats who are not pro-choice or who support Democratic candidates who aren't. Do better.

FUCK YOU, American voters who support abortion rights but won't get off your ass to vote for Democrats who will support those rights through legislation.

FUCK YOU, Republican governors and state legislators who enact regressive, hateful legislation that punishes your own citizens.

FUCK YOU, local police who violently cracked down on peaceful pro-choice protesters this weekend, especially after the kid gloves you wear when right wing fascists violently protest.

FUCK YOU, Conservative media (FOX News and it's brethren) for propagandizing the Right for decades to bring us to this moment.

FUCK YOU, hypocritical conservatives who label yourselves "pro-life" but don't give a shit about actual born children, poor families, women, and disadvantaged Americans, who are against any type of universal healthcare, vaccinations, and wearing masks during a pandemic, and support the death penalty and unlimited, unregulated guns. None of these positions are "pro-life", you asshats.

FUCK YOU, all Americans who ignore the science and decades of data showing that safe abortion access improves the lives of women, families, and children. Abortion is not only a health care and moral right, but letting women make the choices that best work for them is an important economic driver that empowers the poor and middle class.

My apologies to everyone I've missed. I'm sure there are more.

Here's what's going to happen next with the Supreme Court as cases are pushed up by fascist red states.

The first thing they'll do is look for a case to invalidate the blue states' rights to allow abortion, during which they'll declare that fetuses are people, which will allow the first Republican Congress and President to pass a national abortion ban. In the meantime, the right wing Justices will go after LGBTQ rights, removing previous protections, including same-sex marriage. They will go after contraceptives. They will continue to erode the separation of church and state in favor of establishing Christianity as the official state religion (they issued such opinions last week and today). In short, the Supreme Court will continue to take away the rights of Americans in support of a fascist-controlled, Christian, white-nationalist state.

You may say that they won't, that these measures are too extreme, but then people said they wouldn't overrule Roe v. Wade.

What can we do?

  • Donate to women's health care clinics and abortion access associations.
  • Vote for pro-choice candidates at ALL levels of government.
  • Don't support Republican fascists for any office.
  • Support expansion of the Supreme Court.
  • Support impeachment of corrupt Supreme Court justices.
  • Support restructuring and modernization of the American court system.
  • Make your views known to your representatives, no matter who they are.
  • Stay angry and outraged and use that to promote progress.
Overruling Roe v. Wade will cost the lives of women and moves America backwards. It will take years to correct this injustice, but we must fight or lose everything we value about America. Some say it's already too late, but I don't believe that. There are more of us than them, and if we fight with everything we have, we can push this regressive bullshit into the trash bin of an unenlightened age where it belongs.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

To be fair, he *was* born yesterday

Human piece of white bread, former Vice-President Mike Pence, had one glorious moment on Jan. 6, 2021, when he did the least amount necessary to save our democracy. As a reward, Trump called on the  MAGA mob to kill him. That failed, but Pence is apparently unconcerned that Trump tried to have him murdered.

But wait! Maybe he's learned, after all!
KUDLOW: “Have you ever seen a president who refuses to accept blame and, I want to add to that, commits so many falsehoods—I’m being very polite here calling it falsehoods—falsehoods. On any given day, he’s out there saying stuff that just ain’t true. You ever seen anything like that?”

PENCE: “Never in my lifetime. I said today that there has never been a time in my life where a president was more disconnected from the American people.”

Take that, Trump! Oh, he's talking about Biden

While it should not surprise anyone, Pence seems to have been in a coma during the entire Trump administration. According to the Washington Post fact-checker, Trump made 30,573 false or misleading claims as president. That's 21 lies per day, every single day of his "Presidency".

Mike Pence is a (many times) self-professed Christian. Let's take a look at what his Holy Book says about lying (Pence's lies above and Trump's 30,000+) ---  

Oh, right. The Bible is against lying. 

Guess on top of everything, Pence isn't a very good Christian. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Select Committee on the Insurrection

 


Republican Congressperson Liz Cheney holds many vile, hateful political and personal positions. I would never vote for her or suggest she aspire to higher office. But she has been a true American patriot and statesman as the vice-chair on the Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. She's doing a fantastic job and her very presence rebuts the lie that the Committee is a partisan witch-hunt.

If you haven't been watching the hearings, you should. They are excellently done, unlike most Congressional hearings, and without all the grandstanding and other nonsense the Republicans usually perform to disrupt the rule of law and serious inquiry. The two hearings so far have been factual, riveting, harrowing, and may be the last gasp of our Democracy in action.

I am hoping against hope that they're a wake up call for those who haven't been paying attention and a gateway to criminal charges for many people who planned and participated in an unsuccessful coup against the American people.


Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Republican motivations

 

Click through to read this insightful thread on what motivates Republicans, why Republicans are not susceptible to charges of hypocrisy, and why they will not cooperate with anything wanted by the majority of Americans. The conclusion will not surprise you, but it warrants repeating.

The only thing we can do to save American democracy is vote Republicans out of office. Every single election.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Decisive Action

RWNJ Texas Governor Greg Abbott had this to say about the shooting today at a Texas Elementary School.

"What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas. There is swift action being taken by local law enforcement," he told reporters.

This statement is utterly meaningless. 

This "horrific tragedy" will be tolerated. It has been tolerated all over the country. No action can be taken by local law enforcement that will mean anything to the victims' families. The shooter is dead so there will be no justice. 

There is only ONE way to even slow the rate of this happening again, and it's reducing the availability of guns so that damaged people can't get them. Of course, there are so many guns in this country already, it's way too late for even that to make much of a dent.

Fixing this problem will take decades for conservatives (and other gun-lovers) to grow the hell up, stop being cowardly assholes, and act like they belong to a peaceful society in which people don't need to be able to kill their neighbor at any moment. 

Maybe if they believed their own bullshit holy book they might be able to change, but they clearly don't.


Until the gun-humpers grow up, this will never end


Today saw fifteen more human sacrifices, fourteen elementary school kids and one teacher, to the Republicans' gun fetish.

Historians, assuming any of us survive, will find it impossible to believe that Americans tolerated this carnage, decade after decade.


Monday, May 23, 2022

Don't be tempted

Some of the bluest states in the country have a long history of electing both Democratic and Republican governors. I live in Maryland and our current governor is the "moderate" Republican Larry Hogan. He's an okay governor, not too nuts, and he repudiated Trump, but why the hell did we elect a Republican?

Some liberals like to vote a split ticket because it makes them feel moderate, open-minded, or whatever, or maybe they like forcing a Democratic legislature to cooperate with a Republican governor, or maybe they want to give Republicans a chance to stay in the game, or maybe they just remember the olden days when Republican governors often supported policies that were actually reasonable.

Here's the problem with that.

Last week, one of Maryland's two Democratic Senators, Chris Van Hollen, suffered a minor stroke and was hospitalized. He's out of the hospital now and seems fine. However, if Van Hollen had died . . .

Republican Governor Larry Hogan would appoint his replacement.

Fortunately, since 2016, in the event of a death in office, Maryland law requires the governor to appoint someone of the same party. (Not all states have that requirement and if you think there are Republican governors who would voluntarily appoint a Democrat, I have a bridge to sell you.) But even in Maryland, the law would still allow a fair amount of shenanigans. Hogan could appoint a conservative Democrat like Joe Manchin. Hogan could sit on the appointment for months. Hogan could replace a Senator with someone who's a Democrat in name only, and foul things up until the courts (or the legislature, if that's an option) intervene. And in a 50/50 United States Senate, even one such appointment could result in Mitch McConnell getting even more control of U.S. policy than he has already.

In short, don't vote for even "safe" Republicans. Vote them into the ground until they go extinct, or come to their senses and stop with the hate, violence, and treason.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

World's richest man, also one of world's dumbest men

Elon Musk is NOT Tony Stark.  He is a huge, fucking idiot.


Obviously, the idea that being a rich guy makes you a smart guy is definitely fake. 


Thursday, May 19, 2022

They're "Pro-life" not pro-feeding babies

 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Everything's Not Awesome (again)

In the face of mass murder in the name of right-wing racism, insurrection, and losing fundamental Constitutional rights by a theocratic, radical Christian Supreme Court, it's time for a little inspirational pick-me-up.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

No Way!

In the least surprising news ever . . .

Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on former President Donald Trump once he becomes the social media giant’s owner.

The Tesla CEO said he believes Twitter made a mistake in banning the Republican, who routinely used the website to enable hate, encourage violence and push lies.

“I think it was a morally bad decision to be clear and foolish in the extreme,” Musk said at a Financial Times event, adding that the ban “alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”


First off, what the hell does this mean?  " . . . did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice." I assume one of those "nots" is not supposed to be there.

In any event, yes, that huge, orange turd didn't have a voice. Didn't he recently spend millions of dollars of other people's money creating his own, more awesome version of Twitter? The platform he's used only once and has shown zero interest in?

Here's my prediction. Musk will allow the asshole back on Twitter, unrestrained. Despite having said he's not interested in rejoining, Trump will rejoin so fast his phone will burn up from friction with his tiny fingers. And then, millions of people will quit Twitter, after it quickly becomes a right wing hate fest, tanking it's future and its stock, losing Musk billions of dollars. Because, like Trump, he's awesome at business.


Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Out of Step

 

This is not a surprise, since conservatives are not in the majority on any single issue in America. They used to be, but they've shifted so far to the right they can no longer see the center. 

Likewise, all of the Supreme Court conservative Justices except Clarence Thomas were appointed by Presidents who weren't elected by a majority of Americans who voted, and approved by Senators who represent far fewer people than their Democratic counterparts.

Please note that I'm not saying the Supreme Court should follow the winds of public opinion. If they always did that, there wouldn't be same-sex marriage, for example. But the reality is that most of the Justices are more religious than the population on average and the conservative Justices are zealots. That's why they were chosen by W. Bush and Trump. And in this case, they're going against public opinion not to extend new rights to protect oppressed groups, but to strip existing Constitutional rights from millions of Americans. It's not only an injustice, it's going to cause death and misery.

The Supreme Court is illegitimate and corrupt. This isn't news, but needs to be repeated often.


Tuesday, May 03, 2022

They are coming

One of the key quotes from the leaked draft of the Supreme Court decision that will overturn Roe v Wade and make the United States into the Handmaid's Tale, is this:

“The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” Alito writes.
This is the bullshit justification for overturning Roe v. Wade. Abortion is a right "Not deeply rooted in the Nation's history and traditions." You know, like slavery and not allowing anyone but propertied white men to vote. While Alito says that this decision is narrow and won't apply to other issues, we all know that it will. After all, both Gorsuch and Kegstand Kavanaugh testified to the Senate that they respected the Roe precedent a couple years before they voted to overturn it.

So what follows this? In more or less chronological order, the Republicans will do these things.

  • Enact a nation-wide abortion ban (Once Roe v Wade is gone, states rights can now be damned)
  • Overturn Obergefell v Hodges, which allows same-sex marriage.
  • Overturn Griswold v Connecticut, which protects the use of contraception.
  • Overturn Loving v. Virginia, which allows interracial marriage.

Don't believe me? Five years ago would you have believed Roe v Wade would be overturned after fifty years as a right under the Constitution? Republicans across the nation are already talking about enacting every item in the list above. If they regain control of Congress in the Fall, then you can count on all of this happening very soon.

Welcome to Gilead.

You know, for decades we've heard that if Republicans actually managed to ban abortion, the righteous anger of women would destroy them in future elections. I guess we're about to find out if that's true.

VOTE DEMOCRATIC IN EVERY ELECTION

EXPAND THE COURT TO PRESERVE OUR DEMOCRACY

Friday, April 29, 2022

The obvious explanation for our situation

We're definitely living in one of those times where we should have learned from history.


Of course, the primary source of disinformation and stupidity in America is the right-wing ecosphere, lead by FOX News, which has trained conservatives to accept fascism, vote against their own interests, and run on pure, constant outrage. (The racism was already built in.)

Given how difficult it is to get people to NOT BE STUPID, the only way I see out of this is if Democrats take control of Congress in such numbers that they can get things done without Republican obstruction. Voting rights legislation, infrastructure, healthcare, safeguarding abortion rights, approving non-right wing judges, granting statehood to DC and Puerto Rico, and expanding the Supreme Court. Out of touch American voters vacillating back and forth every two years between Republicans and Democrats will only result in Republicans killing American democracy and taking permanent control the next time they're in power.

Our time to not be stupid and save ourselves is rapidly running out.


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A modern gilded-age mystery

I totally agree with this. I would do the same thing.



I have the unfortunate answer for her. Bezos and his compatriots, like Musk, are sociopaths, only interested in the accumulation of wealth so they can control others and pretend that they've won at life. They don't want to be Batman, they emulate Lex Luthor.

Don't look to billionaires for answers, as they have none and don't have the generous human spirit to help others. We need to relieve them of some of their excess. They'll do fine and we can actually help others with what the billionaires don't need, don't deserve and can never use.