Mostly Monday Reads: None of them will come via the former social media source

Emil Nolde, Mohn (Poppies), 1950.

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

Chief Twit suggested we return the House to what used to be a political party that shouldn’t be in charge of anything.  His misogyny is on full display, as well as his hypocrisy.  Twitter is obviously not impartial, and I can’t appear to block, mute, or remove the NAZI images he posts. I believe you can’t block him anymore, although it does no good because others will quote him.  Kathy Griffin showed up on my Mastadon server because she’s permanently banned there for parodying his account. Yet, Ye is in full antisemitic mode, having been reinstated to the newest Truth Social/Parler platform is serving as a one-man ‘ish’ band.

I give up!

So, let me go back to my 2009 version of sharing my reads.  Yes, this is more Emil Nolde.  Beautiful, aren’t they? Hard to imagine a Nazi could create such beauty. While his admiration of Hitler was well-known, his art was still considered “degenerate”. It could not be shown in public.

Emil Nolde, Sonnenblumen und Rittersporn ,1935

This is from The Atlantic and written by Ronald Brownstein. “How a GOP Congress Could Roll Back Freedoms Nationwide. The rights reversal taking place in conservative states is just the beginning.”

If republicans win control of one or both congressional chambers this week, they will likely begin a project that could reshape the nation’s political and legal landscape: imposing on blue states the rollback of civil rights and liberties that has rapidly advanced through red states since 2021.

Over the past two years, the 23 states where Republicans hold unified control of the governorship and state legislature have approved the most aggressive wave of socially conservative legislation in modern times. In highly polarizing battles across the country, GOP-controlled states have passed laws imposing new restrictions on voting, banning or limiting access to abortion, retrenching LGBTQ rights, removing licensing and training requirements for concealed carry of firearms, and censoring how public-school teachers (and in some cases university professors and even private employers) can talk about race, gender, and sexual orientation.

With much less attention, Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate have introduced legislation to write each of these red-state initiatives into federal law. The practical effect of these proposals would be to require blue states to live under the restrictive social policies that have burned through red states since President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020.“I think the days of fealty [to states’ rights] are nearing an end, and we are going to see the national Republicans in Congress adopting maximalist policy approaches,” Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, a group that advocates for stricter gun control, told me.

None of the proposals to nationalize the red-state social agenda could become law any time soon. Even if Republicans were to win both congressional chambers, they would not have the votes to overcome the inevitable Biden vetoes. Nor would Republicans, even if they controlled both chambers, have any incentive to consider repealing the Senate filibuster to pass this agenda until they know they have a president who would sign the resulting bills into law—something they can’t achieve before the 2024 election.

But if Republicans triumph this week, the next two years could nonetheless become a crucial period in formulating a strategy to nationalize the red-state social-policy revolution. Particularly if Republicans win the House, they seem certain to explore which of these ideas can attract enough support in their caucus to clear the chamber. And the 2024 Republican presidential candidates are also likely to test GOP primary voters’ appetite for writing conservative social priorities into national law. Embracing such initiatives “may prove irresistible for a lot of folks trying to capture” the party’s socially conservative wing, Patrick Brown, a fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, told me.

Untitled, Emil Nolde

Just getting Trump out of the White House and the republicans out of the majority is not stopping them.  Neither is the unpopularity of all the abortion restrictions and the call for sensible gun regulations.  It’s difficult to not get discouraged.

Cameron Joseph–writing for VICE–states that “This Election Could Be Just as Long and Ugly as 2020. Slow vote counts, close races, and a crowd of GOP candidates ready to cry “rigged” could lead to a scary election month.”

Republicans who are pushing misinformation about the election are running for state office across the country. And they’ve had two years to prepare to sow chaos this week.

Former President Donald Trump, his election-denying candidates, GOP operatives, and an army of conspiracy theory-believing activists are lobbing bad-faith lawsuits, attempting voter intimidation, and gearing up for disruptive protests to take advantage of slow ballot counts in this week’s midterm elections. And the closer the election results are, the longer it will take to determine a winner in key contests. Things could get very messy.

It will take days, if not weeks, to count enough of the ballots to know which side has won many of the closest, and most closely watched, Senate and governor races. That’s totally normal, and in many states it’s how things have been for years.

But that won’t stop bad-faith candidates—especially those who are losing—from using it to claim it’s being rigged against them, demand that officials stop counting ballots in places where mail ballots are counted late, and push their supporters to protest. Multiple Trump-aligned candidates have already strongly signaled they won’t concede, no matter the outcome.

And 2020 showed exactly how much damage can be done when one side decides to attack the election process itself.

Trump drove the country into chaos by refusing to accept his loss and incited violence to try to keep himself in power. Now, it’s not just Trump and his immediate circle. The prospect of political violence has only continued to grow since the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, with the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband just the latest in a long string of attacks on officials.

“I’m very concerned about the possibility of violence in the post-election period incited by losing candidates,” David Becker, a former Justice Department voting rights attorney who heads the Center for Election Innovation and Research, told VICE News.

Emil Nolde
Blumen (Flowers), n.d.

He continues by providing efforts by groups like The Oathkeepers in various states. The FBI is taking this seriously, which could also be why Republicans are after the institution as being “political.”  From NPR: “Judiciary Republicans hint at investigation into FBI, DOJ if they retake the House.”

In a glimpse of what’s to come, House Judiciary Committee Republicans warned the FBI and Department of Justice that they plan to investigate both agencies if their party retakes the House of Representatives. And on Friday they released a 1,000-page report about whistleblower accounts of “a rampant culture of unaccountability, manipulation, and abuse at the highest level.”

Republicans will more than likely retake the House, and possibly the Senate, with the party heavily favored to win midterm elections in several congressional districts.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who heads the DOJ, and another to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting documents pertaining to committee investigations lurking in the not-too-distant future. The report, titled FBI Whistleblowers: What Their Disclosures Indicate About the Politicization of the FBI And Justice Department, alleges political corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, according to a House Judiciary Republicans press release. Republicans assert in the report that whistleblowers have brought to their attention, “allegations of political bias by the FBI’s senior leadership and misuses of the agency’s federal law-enforcement powers.” The report, while primarily focused on the FBI, also targets the Justice Department as well.

Garden Flowers, no date

The AP reports, “Jackson, in dissent, issues first Supreme Court opinion.”

 New Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson has issued her first Supreme Court opinion, a short dissent Monday in support of a death row inmate from Ohio.

Jackson wrote that she would have thrown out lower court rulings in the case of inmate Davel Chinn, whose lawyers argued that the state suppressed evidence that might have altered the outcome of his trial.

Jackson, in a two-page opinion, wrote that she would have ordered a new look at Chinn’s case “because his life is on the line and given the substantial likelihood that the suppressed records would have changed the outcome at trial.”

The evidence at issue indicated that a key witness against Chinn has an intellectual disability that might have affected his memory and ability to testify accurately, she wrote.

Prosecutors are required to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense. In this case, lower courts determined that the outcome would not have been affected if the witness’ records had been provided to Chinn’s lawyers.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only other member of the court to join Jackson’s opinion. The two justices also were allies in dissent Monday in Sotomayor’s opinion that there was serious prosecutorial misconduct in the trial of a Louisiana man who was convicted of sex trafficking.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we may be in the fight of our lives.  This is from Reuters.  Putin’s buddy finally states the obvious. “Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections.” 

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Monday he had interfered in U.S. elections and would continue doing so in future, the first such admission from a figure implicated by Washington in efforts to influence American politics.

In comments posted by the press service of his Concord catering firm on Russia’s Facebook equivalent VKontakte, Prigozhin said: “We have interfered (in U.S. elections), we are interfering and we will continue to interfere. Carefully, accurately, surgically and in our own way, as we know how to do.”

The remark by the close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin was posted on the eve of the U.S. midterm elections in response to a request for comment from a Russian news site.

“During our pinpoint operations, we will remove both kidneys and the liver at once,” Prigozhin said. He did not elaborate on the cryptic comment.

Prigozhin, who is often referred to as “Putin’s chef” because his catering company operates Kremlin contracts, has been formally accused of sponsoring Russia-based “troll farms” that seek to influence U.S. politics.

So, I’m thinking about going to my little old fire station down the street to vote.  My social security check was deposited today.  I’ll likely see lots of kids jumping on their school buses to head to their public schools. I will do this before I take up my role as a professor trying to ensure my students understand economics and the financial system without all the propaganda lies coming from certain politicians and their propaganda-based news stations. Let’s not normalize America’s NAZIs. I’m all up to listening to the next installment of Ultra today. This is surely one country in chaos.

What’s on your logging and blogging list today?  Please vote BLUE and drag everyone you know with you to do the same!

34 Comments on “Mostly Monday Reads: None of them will come via the former social media source”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Wish I had more confidence in my fellow men to do the right thing. But I have given up on that premise. We could have had Hillary and stability but we got Trump and the instability just continues to grow.

    What amazes me is the lack of critical thinking in today’s culture. A man is exposed for lying and lying and lying during his tenure in office and he is still walking around, free as a bird, saying and doing whatever he wants at no cost to himself. And half the country seems to be on his side.

    If this “red wave” as predicted becomes a reality we are doomed. No other way to put it. Many of these GOP candidates are insane! Still insisting on a “rigged election” that never happened is insanity when all those claims have been debunked. Yet the Big Lie lives on, QAnon is stronger than ever, election deniers seem to have the edge in their races, and commonsense has all but disappeared.

    This is paving the way for a Trump return, or even a Desantis win over all logic and there is no escape from the consequences.

    I have put myself in a deliberate “time out” because I am having immense difficulty in accepting what may come. Will it be autocracy? Fascism? A theocracy? Dictatorship? Some of that gloom and doom has already arrived.

    We are banning and burning books. We are threatened with the loss of Social Security. Law and order has become a joke. What hell will explode if the GOP grasps both House and Senate come January?

    It will not be our world any longer. I am not sure that we can even survive. Sorry for my Debbie Downer attitude but it is difficult to escape what may become a reality.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m right there with you, Pat. This election could mean the end of democracy in the U.S.

    • dakinikat says:

      I think we all can relate. I know I do. My anxiety is over the top last few days.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        My loss of confidence was what pushed me to stop posting. It was becoming overwhelming watching these people take over the airwaves with the nonsense they spit out in defense of that boob Trump.

        It became disheartening after awhile to engage with the stupidity being covered for this moron and watching those defending and supporting him no matter what was coming out about his unfitness for office both during and after.

        And then the candidates began appearing and getting the same amount of coverage as those sticking to the facts and it became all too much. Herschel Walker? Kari Lake? Dr. Oz? The list kept getting bigger and bigger.

        I had to take a sabbatical or I was going to lose it. Disheartening.

  2. dakinikat says:

    Have a good day!

    • quixote says:

      Um… what? Anybody have any idea of what he might have been trying to say?

      I gather the non-repub polls have him about 3% behind, so maybe he can put the landing pad in his own back yard and we won’t have to hear about it.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I tried to follow you on Mastodon, but no luck finding you. I can’t follow JJ either. It may be time for me to just exit the Internet.

    • quixote says:

      What’s your handle on mastodon, bb? I have a project to try to find all y’all. Dak listed hers earlier and I’m going to have another try at JJ.

    • darthvelma says:

      For those considering joining Mastodon, you might want to check out who actually sponsors them:

      Some of their sponsors range from the skeevy to the likely illegal depending on you are.

      • quixote says:

        I see a couple of places that look porn-y. Not hep enough to guess at the others.

        In my mind, to be a non-starter, Mastodon would have to be run by anti-democracy trolls or supporting a porn empire. They’re not supporting anyone financially as far as I know. The one guy who started it is the only one on a paycheck. And he seems mostly reasonable.

        I’m not sure we have a choice between good and bad. We have a choice (at this point) between a scumbuckety loon and less buckety non-loons.

        • Beata says:

          There is also the choice to opt out of the whole social media platform thing altogether. I have. Never been on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, MySpace(!), whatever. None of them. Ever.

          • Beata says:

            Of course this means I don’t get to sit with the cool kids in the lunchroom. It’s devastating.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m addicted to getting the latest breaking news. That’s the only reason I’m on Twitter. I’m definitely not a cool kid.

          • Beata says:

            For breaking news, there is Reuters, AP, The Guardian, DW and the BBC. Reading a variety of all of them allows for various perspectives (none of which are MAGA).

          • NW Luna says:

            The block feature is a sanity-saver! Just block the screaming deplorables and the science-denying wokists. Then Twitter is bearable and there are a lot of good and interesting accounts to follow — newspeople, feminists, biologists, fun cat and critter accounts, etc. I’ll have to see how it stays.

            I am on

            OTOH I’ve never been on Faceborg, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, MySpace, LinkedIn, and have never owned a TV. 🙂

          • Beata says:

            Luna, I do enjoy the cat and critter tweets you and other people post!

            Lately, my sweet rescue kitty (who suffers from anxiety) and I have started listening to cat purring videos on You Tube. They are great for mental health breaks. Very relaxing.

          • quixote says:

            Beata, you know, for real I didn’t get to sit with the cool kids in school. (I’m not sure what would have happened if I’d tried. I never even tried, I was so sure I didn’t belong there.) Then, many years later when I was wondering what in hell made everyone follow Whatever™ so slavishly, it struck me that my lack of interest in it was probably that bracing early training. Uncomfortable at the time, but liberating in later years. As you and everyone here probably also saw long ago.

  4. dakinikat says:

    David Corn just showed up on my server at Mastadon.

    Has Joe Biden Lowballed the Threat to American Democracy?
    The president gave a good speech, but he could have gone further.

    Biden elided an ugly truth: The GOP in its entirety is endangering democracy. It is an entity led by a scoundrel who rejected legitimate election returns; who persuaded tens of millions of Americans to believe his false allegations of a stolen election; who schemed (probably illegally) to overturn the vote; who incited violence in a bid to retain power and has since vowed to pardon the January 6 insurrectionists, should he be returned to the White House; who embraced the loony QAnon conspiracy theory; and who recently posted an antisemitic threat on social media.

    None of this has caused Republicans to break with Trump. In fact, more and more members of the party at all levels are emulating him. As Biden noted, 300 GOP election deniers are on the ballot this Tuesday. That group includes secretary of state candidates in swing states who are aligned with QAnoners and other conspiracy kooks, who have championed the Big Lie, and who obviously cannot be trusted with overseeing elections. It includes gubernatorial and senatorial contenders of similar ilk. The GOP nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, is a January Sixer who has hobnobbed with a prominent antisemite and assorted Christian nationalists. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is a proven huckster; Herschel Walker is an idiot with a troubled and violent past. JD Vance, who may become an Ohio senator, has demanded the “de-Nazification” of the US government, by which he means illegally rooting out all liberals. The GOP gubernatorial nominee in Wisconsin vows to make sure no Democrat will ever be elected in his state, should he triumph. (See below.) Incumbent Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson says he may not accept election results should he lose. Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake mocked the attack on Paul Pelosi and (see below) claimed there was no way Biden received 81 million votes in 2020. (He did.)

  5. MsMass says:

    Well, this has become more necessary- DOJ to monitor some polling places. Here in MA, interesting to see what cities they will be monitoring.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m just shuddering at what Arizona voters are going through, although a judge blocked the gun thugs from the voting boxes. There are some mean, ugly, and stupid people out there!

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I lived in Springfield all my life until about 4 1/2 years ago when I moved to a small town outside Worcester.

      Springfield was a hugely Democratic city, heavily made up of Democrats and much diversity. But here in the rural area between Springfield and Worcester these small towns tend to be GOP territory. MA has had quite a few Republican governors over the years but is regarded as blue state because its larger cities – Springfield, Holyoke, Worcester, Boston- are Democratic strongholds overall.

      We have had our share of “shady” politicians over the years on both sides of the aisle but none were considered bible beating bigots shoving their religious nonsense down our throats. And the corrupt ones all faced the embarrassment of being exposed. But this current national crop are bad. Really bad as they are willing to overturn a democracy into something so egregious that we may never return to whatever is considered “norma” pre Trump.

      This concept is what cause alarm bells to go off in America. Fear.