Monday Reads: And so it Begins … Fear and Loathing in the US

Good Day Sky Dancers!

This week will probably be one of the strangest we’ve ever had in the country especially during our long cherished democratic and patriotic duty of voting and counting the votes.  Most of us had to wait a long time to get our demographic to the polls but now we got it we gotta use it!

In one of the strangest and unexpected moves of this presidency, we find the Trump building non scalable walls around the White House.  What kind of President has to do that?  Via CNN and Paul LeBlanc: “Federal authorities expected to erect ‘non-scalable’ fence around White House”.  Not even Nixon got that paranoid!

Federal authorities are expected to put back into place a “non-scalable” fence around the entire perimeter of the White House on Monday as law enforcement and other agencies prepare for possible protests surrounding the election, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN.

The fence, the same type that was put up during protests this summer, will encompass the Ellipse and Lafayette Square. It will go down 15th Street to Constitution Avenue and then over to 17th Street. The fence will then run up to H Street and across by Lafayette, and then come down 15th Street, the source said.

NBC News was first to report the new fencing. A Secret Service spokeswoman declined to comment to CNN, saying the agency does not comment on security measures.

The extra layer of security marks the most high-profile example to date of authorities preparing for unrest following this year’s election, particularly if there is no clear winner come November 4.

Meanwhile, a Trumpist Rally in Georgia ended in the same clusterfuck as the ones in Omaha, Florida, Pennsylvania, and now Georgia!

Both campaigns seriously have Georgia on their minds! I can’t imagine this is going to make any one very happy even if you’re a part of the death cult.

“The Polling” by William Hogarth (1755), scene 3 in his Humours of an Election series. While Hogarth’s goal is to mercilessly satire English politics, his painting also hints at the festive atmosphere of an actual 18th century Election Day. Credit: Sir John Soane’s Museum / The Yorck Project / Wikipedia.

Any one who has worked campaigns or been a candidate knows that yard signs basically disappear fast for a variety of reasons.  My opponents husband was out daily taking down little yard signs and big road signs as fast as my wonderful team from the Firefighter’s union could put them up.  It’s maddening; but this is the first I’ve heard of this, but I have to consider it’s Topeka, Kansas. “Man thought people were stealing Donald Trump signs; three shot”.  

Three people were shot late Saturday in North Topeka after a man confronted people he thought had committed past thefts of signs promoting the campaign of Republican Presidential incumbent Donald Trump, a Topeka police supervisor said Sunday.

Police weren’t specifying who was thought to have shot whom or revealing the names, ages or genders of those who were wounded.

Officers responded about 11 p.m. to the scene in the 1300 block of N.W. Eugene, from which one person was taken by ambulance to a hospital with gunshot wounds that were considered potentially life-threatening, said police Lt. Joe Perry.

Eugene, which runs north and south, is located about a block west of N.W. Topeka Boulevard in the area involved.

Two other people later sought hospital treatment in Topeka after arriving by private vehicle after suffering from gunshot wounds, Perry said. The seriousness of their injuries wasn’t clear.

The names, ages and genders of those wounded weren’t available Sunday morning.

Close up detail of a mural by Philadelphia artist Nile Livingston entitled “To the Polls”

Meanwhile, armed hooligans in pickup trucks continue to terrorize their neighbors in cities throughout the country.  Yesterday, groups of them stopped traffic on the Andrew Cuomo bridge in both NJ and NYC.  Also, we learn that group in Richmond, Va circled like fucked up hick in hick up fucks around a confederate monument.  This is basically the KKK trying to scare voters off.  This is from the Richmond Times Dispatch: “Witnesses describe clash at Lee Circle between caravan of Trump supporters and a crowd of opponents.”

Tempers flared Sunday as a “Trump train” of cars tried to pass Lee Circle along Monument Avenue and clashed with opposing protesters, drawing a police presence that blocked off the area to traffic.

Witnesses said gunshots were fired during the encounter on Sunday afternoon two days before the presidential election, and one man showed a reporter a bullet hole in his car where it was parked on Monument Avenue near Lee Circle, which has been the site of racial justice protests for several months.

Several other witnesses said one or more of the supporters of President Donald Trump in the train of cars was spraying chemical irritants at an opposing crowd that was trying to block the cars from passing. One man said he narrowly avoided being run over by jumping onto the hood of a car. Another man said he ducked just in time as someone fired a gun at him from a truck, after someone else had pulled a Trump flag off one of the vehicles.

Richmond police said a woman reported at 4:18 p.m. that she had been pepper-sprayed by someone from one of the vehicles. A few minutes later, officers responded to Lee Circle to investigate a report of an unoccupied vehicle that had been struck once by gunfire.

1965 (Estimated)

President Trump has failed the test of leadership. His bid for reelection is foundering. And his only solution has been to launch an all-out, multimillion-dollar effort to disenfranchise voters — first by seeking to block state laws to ease voting during the pandemic, and now, in the final stages of the campaign, by challenging the ballots of individual voters unlikely to support him.

This is as un-American as it gets. It returns the Republican Party to the bad old days of “voter suppression” that landed it under a court order to stop such tactics — an order lifted before this election. It puts the party on the wrong side of demographic changes in this country that threaten to make the GOP a permanent minority.

These are painful words for me to write. I spent four decades in the Republican trenches, representing GOP presidential and congressional campaigns, working on Election Day operations, recounts, redistricting and other issues, including trying to lift the consent decree.

Nearly every Election Day since 1984 I’ve worked with Republican poll watchers, observers and lawyers to record and litigate any fraud or election irregularities discovered.

The truth is that over all those years Republicans found only isolated incidents of fraud. Proof of systematic fraud has become the Loch Ness Monster of the Republican Party. People have spent a lot of time looking for it, but it doesn’t exist.

As he confronts losing, Trump has devoted his campaign and the Republican Party to this myth of voter fraud. Absent being able to articulate a cogent plan for a second term or find an attack against Joe Biden that will stick, disenfranchising enough voters has become key to his reelection strategy.

Here’s something new from the Plum Line and Greg Sargent: “Trump just revealed his plot to steal the election. Here’s a way to stop him.”

President Trump has revealed his endgame in all its corrupt glory. If Trump is on track to losing once all the votes are counted, he will seek to invalidate as many ballots as possible, while asserting that counting outstanding ballots constitutes an effort to steal the election from him.

In reality, of course, it’s that very act — trying to thwart the full counting of ballots — which would actually constitute an effort to steal the election.

To be clear: Trump will declare that the election is being stolen from him to justify trying to steal it himself.

But this plot constitutes a bet on massive institutional failure by the news media to render that basic situation with total clarity. So I’d like to suggest how the media might avoid such a disastrous outcome.

One way entails flipping the script so great emphasis in election-night coverage is placed on the percentages of uncounted votes, as opposed to the percentages of counted ones.

First, an aside: Saying Trump has a plot to steal the election doesn’t mean he can’t win. Trump still can win, if there’s a very large polling error, or if he hangs on in Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden’s lead is not overwhelmingly solid, which opens up an inside path.

However, Trump himself has a contingency plan to steal the election if he is set to lose once all the votes are counted. It’s to prevent all the votes from getting counted.

I’m just glad there are some very clever lawyers watching what this snake in the grass does.  I only hope that state level law enforcement does the same.

So, I will get up to vote tomorrow.  Wait for my farmer’s box to be delivered from the Farmer’s Market.  Teach four hours.  Then,  I’m headed across the street to watch the returns with my neighbor Nancy.  We will run a blog in the evening.  Hopefully, my internet will hold because it’s been very dicey the last 5 or 6 days.  I guess all cell phone towers here are being powered by generators and the local cable company has a lot of infrastructure damage.  I think they got the city up and running and that voting places are up except for 3 which the city will power on generators.  I vote at the fire station on the corner and its proximity is basically why I got my power back so quickly even though everything else is still hinky.

We can get through this.  I want us to do it together.  We are a community who cares and we are kind.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Georgia Please go blue!!!!!  Get out there and vote my Georgia brothers and sisters and neighbors!!!  Also a shout out to North Carolina!  Texas and Arizona!  Get us all out of this mess!!!

36 Comments on “Monday Reads: And so it Begins … Fear and Loathing in the US”

  1. dakinikat says:

    So, here’s a voter suppression effort squashed for the moment

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  4. Beata says:

    I have been with you all for more than 12 years. We’ve been through a lot together. I appreciate Dak’s “we can get through this” encouragement. Quite honestly, I am scared. Have not slept the last two nights, worrying so much. I feel traumatized by the last 4 years. It’s good to know that we are still together. Love you all!

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s hard to believe it’s been that long but it has! We’ve been through a lot together and this will be quite the test of resolve. I just hope and pray that the America I grew up and believed in as a kid is still out there and voting and well in the majority.

  5. MsMass says:

    Hey, virtual group hug! Onward to victory! Defeat the insanity.

    • dakinikat says:

      And put the crooks where they belong!!! I can’t want to see the massive frogmarch as the accounts get settled Nancy Pelosi is already on it !!

      • MsMass says:

        Hallelujah! Nancy will get it done.

      • quixote says:

        THIS is what’s needed. Bullies back down whenever they worry their bluster might not be enough.

        Congress — and the military, it wouldn’t hurt to have the military clearly state they’ll enforce the constitutional processes — makes clear that the full weight of the government will be brought to bear and you watch, the Dump will be out of there like the Stain that he is encountering bleach for the first time.

  6. Beata says:

    Biden has made a surprise stop in Cleveland at the request of Sherrod Brown. This seems like a good move to me. Sen. Brown thinks Ohio could be winnable. My dad was from Ohio and I spent my teenage years there. Go blue, Buckeyes!

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m visualing a landslide. I’m scared too. I haven’t slept normally in months. I hope the polls are right this time.

      • Beata says:

        BB, Indiana’s 5th Congressional District is expected to turn blue! That includes Fishers. If she wins, Democrat Christina Hale will be our first Latino House member. The 5th is Dan Burton’s old seat. Quite a change!

        • bostonboomer says:

          That’s great. My Mom is in Fishers now. She was able to vote by mail. She wants Trump gone!

      • quixote says:

        It wasn’t the polls that were wrong last time. It was the stealing.

        The difference this time is people are watching for it. They’re not trying to pretend it can’t happen here. So the likelihood is the stealing will fail this time.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    “We are a community who cares and we are kind.”

    Yes! And what America needs now is kindness and caring. Joe Biden has those qualities. Cleaning up the Trump mess won’t be easy, but he will get help from Obama and Clinton people. We just have to get the monster out of the White House and on the way to prison.

    • Beata says:

      Biden was not my first choice in the primary but I have become increasingly convinced that he is uniquely qualified to bring the country together during this time in our history. His personal life story is one of loss and healing from those losses. He can use those experiences to help us all to heal. We need that now.

  8. palhart says:

    It has helped that I have cut down election, MSNBC particularly, coverage hours to a bare minimum to keep me updated, but not depressed and restless. How many times do I have to watch Steve Kornacki at his polling boards, even though he’s excellent at what he does?

    I have a chocolate and ice cream stash that has double duty now with COVID-19 and the election.

    I have to explain to myself everyday why Americans are voting for the despicable Trump because everyday I ask, WHY?!

    I hope for a landslide, a tsunami, to reveal in no uncertain terms that we want Trump out.

    • dakinikat says:

      The funny thing about my cable outage is when it’s out the only channel I seem to get is MSBC which I suppose is okay. But, I’m reading a lot and trying to stay off of it.

  9. I’ve been an ex-pat for 48 years, and I still vote in GA-5. This is the first time I believe my vote has a chance to make a difference. That, alone, elates me. Well, that and that full sun, zero chance of precipitation, is forecast for Wednesday. Please, please, please let the sun shine metaphorically as well!

    • dakinikat says:

      Yay! A vote that counts! I’m kinda amused that if I still were voting in Omaha after all these years my vote would count for something!!!

  10. NW Luna says:

    I’m with all of you. It’s hard to sleep, to concentrate, and when I do finally get involved in something there’ll be a sudden snap-back and I’m hit with an outsized realization that in a few days we’ll know if we’re damned to autocracy or not. I want this waiting to be over, and then I don’t, fearing a wrong result.

  11. Beata says:

    Good news! A Texas judge has ruled that drive-thru votes in Harris County can be counted. Repubs lose another voter suppression fight.

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  13. jslat says:

    Surprisingly I am excited for tomorrow and optimistic. Pray for that Blue tsunami everyone. Time to “Make America America Again.”

  14. Enheduanna says:

    Dump will never admit he lost fair and square – he’ll be whining about election fraud for the rest of his miserable life. Worst loser in the history of the planet.

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  19. RonStill4Hills says:

    The end of Mein Trumpf or more Turd Reich.
    We will see.
    I don’t believe in magic anymore but I want to believe in the masses.
    Sure more people want American Democracy than want Nazi Germany 2.0.

  20. RonStill4Hills says:

    I saw a clip of IL DOUCHE in Michigan. He seemed drugged. He was on the verge of slurring his words and couldn’t seem to remember what he wanted to say. I wonder if he is sedated or still sick from the hoax.