Monday Reads: Surrealistic Politics and the Crazy of Being Counterfactual

“Melody of Rain” (2015), Michael Cheval

Good Day Sky Danceers!

So, my Senator Foghorn Leghorn is on TV embarrassing my state again.  I can’t even start with a decent opening paragraph I’m so livid right now.

Oliver Willis writes “GOP senator compares Kamala Harris to notorious drug kingpin”.  Of course this comes via Fox & Friends a notorious propaganda show rooted in conspiracy theories and lies.

Kennedy falsely claimed that Harris favors “open borders” — a frequent Republican accusation against Democrats. Like other Democrats, Harris supported a path to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants, as well as the decriminalization of border crossings, during her own presidential run.

Nevertheless, Kennedy continued in his lies about Harris.

“Making her the illegal immigration czar, as I said the other day, is like making El Chapo the drug czar,” Kennedy said. Biden has not created an “illegal immigration czar” position for Harris or anyone else in his administration.

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is a Mexican drug lord who formerly led the Sinaloa Cartel, an international drug and crime syndicate. Guzmán’s cartel produced, smuggled, and sold cocaine, meth, marijuana, and heroin in America and Europe.

Worth an estimated $1 billion, Guzmán has been accused of murder, assault, kidnapping, and torture. He is currently serving a life sentence in a federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Harris, when she was California attorney general, prosecuted drug traffickers reportedly affiliated with El Chapo’s cartel.

“Tauromachie” by André Masson, 1937. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Md. ©Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

The crazy thing is that there will be Republicans that will believe this and anything despite the facts on the ground.  I’m still not getting over my shock at this from Colby Hall at MediaITEe: “Shock Poll: Half of Republicans Believe False Accounts of January 6th Capitol Riots.”  You can feed these people anything and they’ll believe it!

A new poll by Reuters and Ipsos reveals that half of all Republicans believe false accounts of the deadly insurrection on the Capitol building led by Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

For those with a blissfully short memory, following the “Save America” rally at the White House Ellipse where former President Donald Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, the vast majority marched on the Capitol while Congress was in the process of certifying the Electoral College results amid baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud.

Protestors turned to rioters as they breached the US Capitol, attacked Capitol Police, and eventually took over the Senate chamber amid calls to “Hang Mike Pence” and shouts of “Where the f*ck is Nancy?”

But despite numerous videos that have emerged, many of which were shown during Trump’s second impeachment trial, half of Republicans polled believed that the insurrection was either a peaceful protest or led by leftists groups as some calculated way to make Trump supporters look bad. For real.

Frida Kahlo, La Venadita (The Little Deer), 1946. © 2019 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Analysts at Reuters/Ipso Facto argue that the inability of Republican elected officials to speak the truth coupled with  Trump’s continuing push of  The BIg Lie have contributed to the belief in the false narrative.

 Since the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have pushed false and misleading accounts to downplay the event that left five dead and scores of others wounded. His supporters appear to have listened.

Three months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to overturn his November election loss, about half of Republicans believe the siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists “trying to make Trump look bad,” a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found.

Six in 10 Republicans also believe the false claim put out by Trump that November’s presidential election “was stolen” from him due to widespread voter fraud, and the same proportion of Republicans think he should run again in 2024, the March 30-31 poll showed.

Since the Capitol attack, Trump, many of his allies within the Republican Party and right-wing media personalities have publicly painted a picture of the day’s events jarringly at odds with reality.

Trump’s Easter Greetings were unhinged and that’s putting it mildly.

The problem is that this craziness is translating into a portion of society so detached from reality that they are not only living in a vacuum, they are killing people.

I have argued that hyperreligousity that’s related to any fundamentalist brand of religion is a combination of mental illness and brainwashing.  However, I’m the economist on the blog and I should stay out of BB’s lane.  But seriously, THIS IS CRAZY.

Stephanie Nana, an evangelical Christian in Edmond, Okla., refused to get a Covid-19 vaccine because she believed it contained “aborted cell tissue.”

Nathan French, who leads a nondenominational ministry in Tacoma, Wash., said he received a divine message that God was the ultimate healer and deliverer: “The vaccine is not the savior.”

Lauri Armstrong, a Bible-believing nutritionist outside of Dallas, said she did not need the vaccine because God designed the body to heal itself, if given the right nutrients. More than that, she said, “It would be God’s will if I am here or if I am not here.”

The deeply held spiritual convictions or counterfactual arguments may vary. But across white evangelical America, reasons not to get vaccinated have spread as quickly as the virus that public health officials are hoping to overcome through herd immunity.

The opposition is rooted in a mix of religious faith and a longstanding wariness of mainstream science, and it is fueled by broader cultural distrust of institutions and gravitation to online conspiracy theories. The sheer size of the community poses a major problem for the country’s ability to recover from a pandemic that has resulted in the deaths of half a million Americans. And evangelical ideas and instincts have a way of spreading, even internationally.

There are about 41 million white evangelical adults in the U.S. About 45 percent said in late February that they would not get vaccinated against Covid-19, making them among the least likely demographic groups to do so, according to the Pew Research Center.

“If we can’t get a significant number of white evangelicals to come around on this, the pandemic is going to last much longer than it needs to,” said Jamie Aten, founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, an evangelical institution in Illinois.

And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur by Leonora Carrington, 1953, via MoMA, New York

These people are a problem.  Like, a serious national problem.  How can a democracy function with people that are actually counterfactual?

Meanwhile, Trump got dealt another blow when SCOTUS told him the Twitter block of his account was moot and threw it out.  All this is happening while Trump is trying to brand himself as the 45 which seems really flaky.

Now-former President Donald Trump had about 89 million followers on Twitter before the platform suspended his account earlier this year, but the Supreme Court signaled Monday it isn’t interested in how he got along –or didn’t–with some of them.

The justices dismissed as moot a high-profile case about whether Trump was on solid legal ground when he blocked several of his critics on his once-favorite social media website, wiping away a federal appeals court ruling that found Trump’s actions violated the First Amendment.

Both sides in the suit had agreed the case is moot since Trump is no longer president and no longer has access to Twitter. The company permanently suspended his account in January following the riot at the U.S. Capitol that took place following a rally the then-president held near the White House.   

L’Oeil Fleuri ( El Ojo Florecido) – Salvador Dali 1944

So WTF with the 45 branding thing?  This is via the UK Guardian:Donald Trump re-branding himself as ‘45th president’ to get away from ‘damaged’ name, say experts. Donald Trump has re-branded himself ‘The 45th President’ to get away from his old, ‘damaged’ brand, say experts.”  I doubt that works on the majority of us who wish he’d just go away.

In the past Mr Trump spoke often of the pulling-power he credited to his family name, from high-rises and hotels to TV shows, to stimulus cheques.

But his official, new website, 45Office, and collection of old tweets, @WhiteHouse45, diverges from both past presidents and decades of his own branding tradition, by not featuring his name in the title at all.

In his biography on the site it claims: “Donald J. Trump launched the most extraordinary political movement in history, dethroning political dynasties, defeating the Washington Establishment, and becoming the first true outsider elected as President of the United States.”

I’ve passed from livid to nauseous so I will end here.

Enjoy some Lil Nas X-Montero.   It’s a gorgeous video and world! Why the entire video is Surreal !! It will also piss a Trumper off and especially the crazy evangelical wipipo off ..  They are trying hard to cancel culture!

Have a good week!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


8 Comments on “Monday Reads: Surrealistic Politics and the Crazy of Being Counterfactual”

  1. dakinikat says:

    On a lighter “note”

  2. dakinikat says:

    • djmm says:

      The banning of Yoga in state schools may violate the First Amendment. The reason, “because they fear a rise in Hinduism” is the icing on the cake.

      • quixote says:

        Alabama lege: total clowns. But as the fellow said, the KKK said and did and wore ridiculous stuff. Doesn’t mean they don’t kill you.

        I have to keep reminding myself of that because all I do when I hear this stuff is ROFLMAO.

  3. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Whoa! Clarence Thomas thinks that Twitter and their ilk are about the equivalent of common carriers? And can’t regulate speech on their platforms? This is awfully close to socializing social media.

  4. NW Luna says:

    How can a democracy function with people that are actually counterfactual?

    Truly.

    As for gawd designing the body to heal itself “if given the right nutrients” I suppose that fundie who’s allegedly a nutritionist thinks that all the Xians who have died from covid-19 just weren’t eating right. Blame the victim.