Wednesday Reads: Kuchisabishii

Good morning…

Fucking Republicans….

A few things on the abortion front:

And one last thought on yesterday…

This is an open thread.


Wednesday Reads: Primary Frights

Read the room…

And can you believe this?

Those fuckers.

Cartoons via Cagle:

If only…

Some disturbing videos out of Yellowstone:

Meanwhile in Mexico City:

For Pride…

This kid has the moves:

And just an update…my daughter Bebe has a new kitten, she picks her up later tonight. It is a little 11week old female.

So have a good day, try to keep cool.


Sunday Reads: No LGB 🏳️‍🌈without the T 🏳️‍⚧️

Ok, I may get some flak for this…but I don’t give a fuck.

A couple days ago was Trans Day of Visibility. And I personally have to say, I fully support Trans rights. The sentiment of the image below is something I take to heart.

I don’t know what else to say about it. I don’t want to get into a big discussion about definitions of the word woman…or man for that matter. I have people in my life…that I love…who are gay, lesbian, queer, bi, trans and whoever the fuck they want to identify as…and I will support them in anyway that I can.

That is all I’m going to say on this subject.

Cartoons via Cagle:

H/T BB

Sad news:

Some disturbing news:

Ok, now we have to move on.

That is all I got for you today. This is an open thread, and I won’t be responding to anything Trans 🏳️‍⚧️ related. Thank you.

Here is some more Estelle Harris to get you going…


Tuesday Reads: Surry Down!

Claude Monet – Luncheon on the Grass (1865-6)

Good Day Sky Dancers!

This isn’t a particularly newsy day.  I’m actually thinking that might be a good thing if only most of the headlines I see weren’t about Covid-19 and the upcoming anniversary of the sedition insurrection.  I’m going to take the time to dig into some other things. That’s an accidental hint because the first thing I’m going to share appeals to the kid in me that wanted to be an archeologist and you know, digging up bones and pottery of some lost tribes.

This is from NPR and involves the “big” finds of 2021 as determined by members of Trowelblazers which is “a group of four female archaeologists of different specialties dedicated to highlighting the historic and integral role of women in the “digging sciences”.” The first discovery is that of a family group of Neandertals–including children–whose footprints show that gathering may have been a family business. Is this a precursor to the family picnic?

While these aren’t the first Neanderthal footprints to be discovered, they are very special.

“This is especially nice, because it’s a group – mixed age, including children, some of which are quite young. They seem to be sort of foraging around on the edge of a lagoon,” Wragg Sykes said.

The diversity in age is key here and actually helps to challenge a common assumption that Neanderthals foraged in solitude, with the adults peeling off from the group to find food for the children.

The discovery instead gives support to the theory that hunting and gathering might have been a family affair, involving a collaborative and intergenerational effort.

Adorably, the paper also noted that some of the footprints which belonged to children were “grouped in a chaotic arrangement,” as if they were playing.

“That’s an angle on the Neanderthal life that we don’t often get to see,” Wragg Sykes said, adding that the discovery helps give a sense of humanity to this not-so-distant human relative.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Harvesters (1565)

Other finds include powerful women in ancient Spanish society, a million-year-old mammoth, and early tracks in Tanzania that were previously thought to belong to bears but instead, the prints “are an estimated 3.6 million years old, are the oldest evidence of bipedal locomotion of a human ancestor.”  It’s a really interesting set of reads.

We lost another American feminist icon this week. “Sarah Weddington, Who Successfully Argued Roe v. Wade, Dies at 76. She went before the U.S. Supreme Court at 26 with almost no legal experience and won one of the most consequential cases in American history.”  This is from her NYT Obit.

The Supreme Court first heard appeals on Dec. 13, 1971, with Ms. Weddington making the oral arguments.

“Weddington enjoyed the public stage as much as Coffee disliked it,” Joshua Prager, a journalist, wrote in Vanity Fair in 2017. “Moreover, despite her brilliance, Coffee could come across as bedraggled. And optics mattered. ‘She was younger than I was,’ Coffee said of Weddington. ‘She was blond, blue-eyed.’”

Jay Floyd, who was representing Texas, opened his argument with what commentators have called the “worst joke in legal history.” “It’s an old joke,” Mr. Floyd told the court, “but when a man argues against two beautiful ladies like this, they are going to have the last word.”

As it happened, only seven of the nine justices heard the arguments that day — two others had retired and had not yet been replaced. The justices then decided that the case should be reargued before the full court. All justices were sitting when Ms. Weddington came back on Oct. 11, 1972, and reargued the case.

Their 7-2 decision held that Texas had violated Roe’s constitutional right to privacy as outlined in the First, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The decision was widely praised at the time. But with the rise of the religious right a few years later, abortion became a volcanic political issue, and it remains one of the most divisive in American society. Ms. Weddington received death threats and often traveled with security.

Renoir – Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81)

An important case in voting rights today will be heard in the Ohio Supreme Court. It concerns the highly gerrymandered new congressional districts. Governor DeWine’s son is on the bench and refused to recuse himself.  Given the Governor is one of the parties being sued by the ACLU the people there should be outraged.  The hearing is being broadcast live here.

Today’s Oral Arguments: 2021-1428/ Regina C. Adams, et al. v. Governor Mike DeWine, et al. 2021-1449 League of Women Voters of Ohio, et al. v. Ohio Redistricting Commission, et al.

This article discusses how Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine’s refusal to recuse himself from the lawsuit involving his father may be unprecedented. It’s from Cleveland.com.  It is written by Cory Schaffer.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine’s refusal to recuse himself from trio of redistricting lawsuits, in which his father — Gov. Mike DeWine — is a defendant who will testify as a witness, might be unprecedented.

Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer set out to find a case where the Ohio Supreme Court’s chief justice considered whether a judge, at any court level, should be allowed to preside over a case in which his or her parent or child was a participant. The outlet searched through dozens of cases where the chief justice was asked to force a judge off of a case. Cleveland.com also spoke with multiple attorneys, all of whom declined to comment for this story.

Okay, one article on what we’re learning about what could’ve happened on sedition day.  This is from TPM: “EXCLUSIVE: There Was ANOTHER Rally Planned On Jan. 6 … At The Supreme Court. The same people who organized Trump’s fateful rally on the Ellipse had something else in store on Jan. 6: a rally planned in front of the Supreme Court.” Josh Kovensky has the byline.

The same people who organized Trump’s fateful rally on the Ellipse had something else in store on Jan. 6: a separate, previously unreported rally planned in front of the Supreme Court.

According to text messages and invoices obtained by TPM and provided to the House Jan. 6 Committee, the rally outside of the Supreme Court was set for the afternoon of Jan. 6 with some of the same speakers scheduled to appear.

The plan for a Supreme Court rally after the event at the Ellipse reveals a new and different perspective on the geography and timing of the attack on the Capitol.

We already knew that President Trump amassed supporters at the Ellipse, at the White House end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and dispatched them toward the Capitol end of Pennsylvania Avenue, declaring that he would walk with them before promptly returning to the White House. But whether the rally at the Ellipse was planned as a march on the Capitol, even though it was never issued a march permit, remains a hotly contested issue. Regardless, rioters penetrated the Capitol even as the President was still speaking at the Ellipse.

But now TPM’s reporting suggests that the Ellipse rally organizers intended to hold a separate 2 p.m. ET event on the steps of the Supreme Court, across the street from the Capitol, where Congress began certifying the Electoral College vote at noon ET. It suggests that organizers wanted to keep up the pressure on Congress through an event far closer to the Capitol.

And to get there, Big Lie supporters would have had to walk past the Capitol building, traversing a geographic bit of irony: Constitution Avenue.

It’s a long read but try to skim through it at least.  The Augusta Chronicle reports that the county is closing 7 of 8 polling places in Lincoln County Georgia. The county is deep in rural Georgia. Officials argue that one location will make it more convenient for people to vote. The county is heavily black and has no public transportation.

Lincoln County is trying to close all but one polling place for next year’s elections, a move opposed by voting and civil rights groups.

Relocating voters from the county’s seven precincts to a single location will make voting “easier and more accessible” and eliminate the need to transport voting equipment and staff the remaining sites, according to a news release. Community members disagreed.

“Lincoln County is a very rural county. Some people live as far as 23 miles from the city of Lincolnton,” said Denise Freeman, an activist and former Lincoln County school board member. “This is not about convenience for the citizens. This is about control. This is about the good old boys wanting to do what they’ve always done, which is power and control.”

The move was made possible after the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year disbanding the Lincoln County Board of Elections. The chief sponsor of Senate bills 282 and 283 was Sen. Lee Anderson, R-Grovetown, whose district includes Lincoln County. The newly-appointed board agreed to move forward with the “consolidation” plan and was expected to vote on it last week, but appeared to lack a quorum, several said.

I imagine they will keep trying just like the Radical Republican Right did in Texas. I intend to keep my jaded eyes on gerrymandering cases and voting rights and that is my new year’s resolution.  Oh, that and spending a lot more time in my PJs with a cuppa!

So, that’s enough for me today. Thanks to BB for helping me out yesterday!  I made it through my last dentist appointment for the year. I intend to continue to stay in my pjs doing exactly what I want this week.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?  Meanwhile, surry down to a Stoned Soul Picnic! 


Blue Monday Reads: It will be a Long Cold Winter

Emil Nolde, Winter

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I kept the TV off–as usual–for my weekend.  Still, things crept through my timelines on social media so I got your basic headlines. The 4th wave of the Covid-19 is settling in for Winter. Germany has basically told all unvaccinated people they must stay home unless they’re doing something absolutely necessary. New York City is getting tougher too. The New York Times reports that “New York City sets a sweeping vaccine mandate for all private employers.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping coronavirus vaccine mandate for all private employers in New York City on Monday morning to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

Mr. de Blasio said the aggressive measure, which takes effect Dec. 27 and which he described as the first of its kind in the nation, was needed as a “pre-emptive strike” to stall another wave of coronavirus cases and help reduce transmission during the winter months and holiday gatherings.

“Omicron is here, and it looks like it’s very transmissible,” he said in an interview on MSNBC. “The timing is horrible with the winter months.”

New York City has already put vaccine mandates in place for city workers and for employees and customers at indoor dining, entertainment and gyms. Nearly 90 percent of adult New York City residents now have at least one dose of the vaccine.

But Mr. de Blasio said the city must go further to combat another wave of the virus in New York City, once the center of the pandemic. Some private employers have required employees to get vaccinated, but many others have not.

Mr. de Blasio said the new measure would apply to about 184,000 businesses. Employees who work in-person at private companies must have one dose of the vaccine by Dec. 27; remote workers will not be required to get the vaccine. There is no testing option as an alternative.

The city plans to offer exemptions for valid medical or religious reasons, Mr. de Blasio said. City officials will release detailed guidelines about issues like enforcement by Dec. 15 after consulting with business leaders.

The mayor also announced that the rules for dining and entertainment would apply to children ages 5 to 11, who must have one dose to enter restaurants and theaters starting on Dec. 14, and that the requirement for adults would increase from one dose of a vaccine to two starting on Dec. 27, except for those who initially received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Randegg in the Snow with Ravens, Otto Dix, 1935

The problem is still the people in the hinterlands who are also creating problems with their gun fetishes and authoritarian/theocratic tendencies.  Sorry to do this, but we’re going there today.  Trumpists and theocrats threaten our democracy. This is written by Barton Gellman for The Atlantic: Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun .

The prospect of this democratic collapse is not remote. People with the motive to make it happen are manufacturing the means. Given the opportunity, they will act. They are acting already.

Who or what will safeguard our constitutional order is not apparent today. It is not even apparent who will try. Democrats, big and small D, are not behaving as if they believe the threat is real. Some of them, including President Joe Biden, have taken passing rhetorical notice, but their attention wanders. They are making a grievous mistake.

“The democratic emergency is already here,” Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, told me in late October. Hasen prides himself on a judicious temperament. Only a year ago he was cautioning me against hyperbole. Now he speaks matter-of-factly about the death of our body politic. “We face a serious risk that American democracy as we know it will come to an end in 2024,” he said, “but urgent action is not happening.”

For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election. They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject. They are driving out or stripping power from election officials who refused to go along with the plot last November, aiming to replace them with exponents of the Big Lie. They are fine-tuning a legal argument that purports to allow state legislators to override the choice of the voters.

By way of foundation for all the rest, Trump and his party have convinced a dauntingly large number of Americans that the essential workings of democracy are corrupt, that made-up claims of fraud are true, that only cheating can thwart their victory at the polls, that tyranny has usurped their government, and that violence is a legitimate response.

Any Republican might benefit from these machinations, but let’s not pretend there’s any suspense. Unless biology intercedes, Donald Trump will seek and win the Republican nomination for president in 2024. The party is in his thrall. No opponent can break it and few will try. Neither will a setback outside politics—indictment, say, or a disastrous turn in business—prevent Trump from running. If anything, it will redouble his will to power.

Snow-Covered Pine,Gabriele Münter, 1933

This is also from The Atlantic and written by George Packer. Way to go with the winter cheer! Are We Doomed?  If you haven’t got Blues yet, you’re either a White Nationalist or dead.

A year after the insurrection, I’m trying to imagine the death of American democracy. It’s somehow easier to picture the Earth blasted and bleached by global warming, or the human brain overtaken by the tyranny of artificial intelligence, than to foresee the end of our 250-year experiment in self-government.

The usual scenarios are unconvincing. The country is not going to split into two hostile sections and fight a war of secession. No dictator will send his secret police to round up dissidents in the dead of night. Analogies like these bring the comfort of at least being familiar. Nothing has aided Donald Trump more than Americans’ failure of imagination. It’s essential to picture an unprecedented future so that what may seem impossible doesn’t become inevitable.

Before January 6, no one—including intelligence professionals—could have conceived of a president provoking his followers to smash up the Capitol. Even the rioters livestreaming in National Statuary Hall seemed stunned by what they were doing. The siege felt like a wild shot that could have been fatal. For a nanosecond, shocked politicians of both parties sang together from the hymnal of democracy. But the unity didn’t last. The past months have made it clear that the near miss was a warning shot.

If the end comes, it will come through democracy itself.

You can read his scenario at the link. Here’s some more anti-democratic stuff from Axios and Mike Allen.

Conservatives are aggressively building their own apps, phones, cryptocurrencies and publishing houses in an attempt to circumvent what they see as an increasingly liberal internet and media ecosystem.

Why it matters: Many of these efforts couldn’t exist without the backing of major corporate figures and billionaires who are eager to push back against things like “censorship” and “cancel culture.”

  • It’s still not clear whether demand will match supply.

Driving the news: Rumble, a conservative alternative to YouTube, agreed to go public at an implied $2.1 billion valuation via a SPAC merger.

  • The SPAC is sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services firm led by billionaire and Trump fundraiser Howard Lutnick.
  • “I’m excited to support Rumble and its ability to operate the neutral video platform,” Lutnick said in a statement.

Donald Trump’s new social media company, called Truth Social, also plans to go public via a SPAC and on Saturday said that it secured $1 billion in so-called PIPE financing.

  • The SPAC is currently trading at a market value of $1.6 billion, down from its $4.5 billion peak in late October. Truth Social has yet to name a CEO.

Gettr, a social app launched by ex-Trump aide Jason Miller, has not disclosed all of its investors, but Miller has acknowledged that one of the app’s funders is the family foundation of Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.

Aside from social networks, conservatives are pushing to create alternatives to other tech tools and communication platforms.

Gabriele Münter ‘Häuser im Schnee’ 1933

Some good news is that Trump SPAC is under investigation by federal regulators, including SEC  via CNBC.

  • Federal regulators are investigating former President Donald Trump’s SPAC deal.

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA probes were disclosed in a filing by Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company.

  • Trump Media & Technology Group has said it will launch a social media platform called “TRUTH Social.”

  • The platform would compete with Twitter and Facebook, both of which have banned the former president because of his incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

You may read more details about this story in The New York Times.  Securities Regulators are among the most fastidious investigators anywhere.  You should also read this Op-Ed from Jennifer Rubin from the Washington Post.  Rubin does a great job vivisecting the most vial Governor of Mississippi.  He’s pretty much everything you hate in those white evangelicals.  The hypocrisy is jaw-dropping.

The priority for Reeves and the GOP is to force women to complete their pregnancies and give birth — even though that is exponentially more dangerous to the lives of women in his state. (The Post reports that in Mississippi it is “75 times more dangerous for women to give birth than to undergo a pre-viability abortion.”)

Republicans are incapable of explaining the contradiction between their objection to minor inconveniences (e.g. mask-wearing, vaccinations, reasonable gun laws) to save lives and their insistence that women undergo dangerous pregnancies to protect a fetus, which they consider to be a person.

Well, I was hungry but now my appetite has been ruined.  Think I’ll have some more tea and turn on some nice music. I vote this coming Saturday for Orleans Parish Sheriff and my City Council seat. It’s amazing to be someplace with normal candidates and then look at the rest of the country and state.

Here are a few things you may want to check out!

From Politico: ‘Absolute liars’: Ex-D.C. Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan. 6

From WAPO: Sidney Powell group raised more than $14 million spreading election falsehoods

From CNN: Biden administration expected to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics this week

From WAPO: GOP congressman’s gun-toting family Christmas photo sparks outrage days after school shooting

There is a lot out there on Republican Shenanigans and our inability to really address many of the central issues.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today? 

Now the fraud police are coming
Right out to your door
They say you have no liberty if you’re who there looking for
No writ of habeas corpus
No platform of the sands
The wind don’t have to hurry only the wind knows where you went