Good Day Sky Dancers!
There is nothing more telling about the state of discourse in our country than the move to censor and replace materials in libraries and public schools with pure nonsense and propaganda. As a child, I spent a great deal of the summer in the old Council Bluffs, Iowa Library doing the children’s reading club. My mother took us to the local library at least once a week.
I don’t know if you can see the inscription on top, but it reads “Free Public Library.” The city built a new library, but the Carnegie-funded library is now standing as a Union Pacific Railroad Museum. I currently use another Carnegie-funded library in my neighborhood in New Orleans which features a Drag Queen storybook hour for kids. People come from out of the Parish to protest that, but everyone here is thankful for the creative time to read books together and discuss the one thing kids like to do which is play ‘dress-up.’
The public library in Council Bluffs when a subscription library was established for males over the age of 12. Libraries now strive to be more inclusive unless their town goes all Fahrenheit 451 on them. This is from CNN: “Iowa library temporarily closes after full-time staff leaves following complaints about ‘liberal agenda’ in book selection.” Rather than shrugging off stuff they don’t like and simply choosing not to read it, the Trumperz Thought Brownshirts would rather close the place down.
A small-town library in Iowa is scrambling to reopen after community complaints about its book selection prompted full-time staff members to resign.
The controversy started over complaints about books on display for children with information on the LGBTQ community, according to Jimmy Kelly, board chair of the Vinton Public Library.
“They would like balance that for every book that talks about LGBTQ issues, that there also be a book describing traditional gender expression,” Kelly told CNN Thursday.
“The people basically accused the library of having a liberal agenda,” he added.
“A reconsideration policy allows you to object to materials or programming in which the library is joined. Libraries have this, it’s very common,” she added. “It protects the library staff, it protects the library board as well as the person who is making the complaint. It is a wonderful process.”
The content complaints followed complaints last year the library had a children’s book about Vice President Kamala Harris and one written by first lady Jill Biden, but no children’s books about former President Donald Trump, according to Kelly. It resulted in McMahon’s resignation, he said.
Since resigning last year, McMahon took a job as the library director in DeWitt, about 90 miles away. She says the controversy leading to her decision to leave the Vinton community was unfortunate.
“It was very sad. I really liked working with the city department heads I worked with,” she said. “I had a great staff and there were a few people on the library board who I thought were fantastic, but it was just the atmosphere, and we all will choose a location of where we live or where we work by what matches our personalities and I just did not feel that I needed that extra stress in my life.”
McMahon said she also heard complaints there were no books about former President Donald Trump in the display.
“These were children’s books, these were picture books, and I did my due diligence. Did I miss someone? Did someone write a nice book about the former president? The answer at that point was no. I don’t know if there’s something now, I don’t know,” McMahon told CNN.
So, my first thought is just about every book in a collection is about traditional expressions of gender. It shouldn’t need to be singled out in a diatribe. My second thought was is there no wonder that no respectable children’s book author doesn’t want to write a book describing a corrupt, twice-impeached traitor with a wife that did soft porn? I mean seriously, how is that something a small child should be reading about?
But even more seriously, what is Governor Rick DeSantis doing to the Civics Curriculum in Florida? If this isn’t lies and propaganda being pushed into Public Schools what is? I have slave owners in my family tree. Many of them signed the Declaration of Independence. Two Signed the Constitution. One of the buggers that signed the US Constituion of the US was an ever not so great Uncle from South Carolina who was the Governor at one point and wrote the Fugitive Slave Act. My own Uncle helped pen and argued for the Japanese Internment Laws before SCOTUS during Wolrd War Two. The last one particularly hits home to me because my mother-in-law was Japanese so my ex-husband, daughters, and granddaughters are of Japanese descent.
I imagine that most of my relatives–including me–lived on land stolen from Indigenous people. Why hide where they fucked up? My mother took me around the country showing me where all this happened in the hopes that my knowledge would make sure it never happened again. Those dead people never had an ounce of an impact on me. However, my mother, local librarians, and public school teachers sure did. Some in ways they intended, others in ways they did not. The further I got in education, the more I learned that all of our history is not pleasant, it happened, but it should not happen again. It need not be covered up. I trust our education to determine how and when to elucidate the impact of slavery, of the Indigenous relocation pogroms and reeducations schools, Japanese internment, and the system of immigration that favors some races over others. Then, we work to tear down the remanents that harm our modern society and correct them.
From NPR: “Florida Gov. DeSantis takes aim at what he sees as indoctrination in schools” It’s always the same with these guys. Projection! Slavery and Indigenous relocation and massacre are at the heart of our history and considered women to be property until after 1849. That’s not part of the past that should be glossed-over or celebrated with some pantomimes with kind pilgrims, dancing slaves, and always happy mothers.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made it clear how he views public schools and what they’re teaching children: He doesn’t trust them.
At a recent news conference, he returned to a familiar theme.
“Following woke indoctrination in our schools, that is a road to ruin for this country,” he said. “And we’re not going to let it happen in Florida.”
Since becoming governor in 2019, DeSantis has become known for taking combative positions on controversial issues, including education. He recently signed a number of measures aimed at preventing the sort of “indoctrination” he and his Republican supporters fear is taking place.
His “Stop Woke” act sets limits on how issues involving race may be taught. And it allows parents to sue teachers and school districts that violate it.
Another measure, the Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, bans any instruction involving sexual orientation or gender identity in the earliest grades and says beyond that it must be “age appropriate.”
In a June interview with the Christian fundamentalist group, Focus on the Family, DeSantis said he believes there’s a “concerted effort to inject … gender ideology and sexuality into the discussions with the very youngest kids.”
You know something is wrong when he’s being guided by Child Beating advocates Focus on the Family.
As first reported by the Miami Herald, the training materials were prepared for the state by groups including the Bill of Rights Institute, founded by Charles Koch and Hillsdale College, a small Christian school in Michigan that is influential in developing conservative education policies.
Segal, a teacher with 18 years in the classroom, says DeSantis is pushing a false narrative that schools are promoting a “woke” progressive agenda.
“I hate to say this,” she says, “but I feel that maybe, possibly he’s pandering to a base for re-election and that’s very hurtful.”
DeSantis is running for re-election as governor in November but is also widely seen as a likely contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
All this comes as Florida is facing a critical teacher shortage with more than 9,500 vacant jobs statewide.
In Brevard County, school board member Jennifer Jenkins says teachers are demoralized. Many have retired or found jobs in other fields. In her district, she says there are 20 vacancies at a single school that only has 40 staff members.
“I don’t know how we’re going to continue to live in this hostile environment, how we’re going to encourage educators to enter the field and stick around,” Jenkin says. “It’s really, really scary.”
School board members have become a particular target. Jenkins has had protesters outside her home, vandalism, and threats of violence stemming for her support for a school face mask mandate.
Ending tenure at Universities is another way Republicans are seeking to stack public education facilities with whatever. From the Advocate here in Louisana: “Mark Ballard: Conservatives want to clip tenure protections for outspoken college professors.”
Louisiana began down what one legislator calls the “slippery slope” toward eliminating job-protecting tenure for college professors who mouth off in unapproved ways.
Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, Friday received designees for the Task Force on Tenure in Postsecondary Education, putting Louisiana on the path already tread by other Republican-majority states seeking to remove what some professors call protection for academic free thought and what some conservatives say is a license to indoctrinate youth with extremist thought.
“The caricature for tenure has been weaponized on the national level for political pursuits,” University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson testified May 11 as legislators considered creating the task force. “I encourage you that the conversation around this is around the merits and not about the politics.”
There’s a good list there with all states trying to pass some form of the same effort. So far, none of these efforts have passed but, just like voter suppression efforts, Republicans are hot to quash public education and send tax payer money to places with religious indoctrination agendas. One of DeSantis’ civics changes includes this doozy via Axios: “Florida training program: “Misconception” that founders wanted separation of church and state”.
Driving the news: That and other content in a state-sponsored training course has raised eyebrows among some who have participated and felt it was omitting unflattering information about the country’s founders, pushing inaccuracies and centering religious ideas, per the Post.
- The Constitution explicitly bars the government from “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Scholars interpret the passage to require a separation of church and state, per the Post.
- In another example, the training states that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were against slavery, while omitting the fact that each owned enslaved people.
It’s obvious that the Republican Party likes their base stupid. They also want us to be just as stupid and uninformed. Fox News Channel and AM radio shows do just that. Whatever can we do to stop all of this?
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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!
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
Well, it’s Monday Sky Dancers!
I’m just going to put these items up and see if you’re as shocked and speechless as I am. The Supreme Court is holding oral arguments on the unconstitutional Texas Abortion Law that’s designed to make women chattel property of whatever state decides that’s their political wish. You can watch it on C-Span 2 where you can see that Clarence Thomas actually can speak from the bench and not just from political fundraisers.
There really never was a day in America when political discourse wasn’t wrapped up in testosterone posing but this tit-for-tat shit is really out there. I just learned about the “Let’s go Brandon” thing and here’s Dan Rather to damn it so I don’t have to fire a synapse thinking about college boys at football games creating a national meanness meme. “A Party Embraces Vulgarity.”
The issue at hand can succinctly be summed up in three words: “Let’s go Brandon.” If you have no idea what I am talking about, consider yourself fortunate. For reasons too mundane to fully outline here, “Let’s go Brandon” has become a favorite chant and rallying cry for many Republicans as a stand-in for another three-word chant that you may also have heard : “F- Joe Biden,” with F-, for the purposes of decorum in this newsletter, standing for a four-letter vulgarity. Search for “Let’s Go Brandon,” and you will start finding it everywhere – all over social media, a song with a ton of downloads on iTunes, at political rallies, and among snickering Republicans in Washington.
In a compelling column in the Washington Post, Dana Milbank uses the phrase to dive into the stark differences between the seriousness and propriety of the two political parties at this moment. He writes:
“Democrats clear the way for passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that will provide broadband Internet and lead-free drinking water to every American, and better roads, bridges and ports for all to enjoy. And Republicans reply: Let’s go Brandon…
Could the contrast be any greater? Half of America’s leaders are trying to govern, and the other half are hurling vulgarities.”
The entire piece is worth the read, but for our discussion here I would like to delve a little deeper into what I think these vulgarities really mean, what motivates them, and what should be our – particularly the media’s – response.
Politics has never been a genteel pastime. The volume of vulgarities I heard covering the White House, Congress, and politics at the state and local level over the decades would rival any comedy special on HBO. In the passionate pursuit of power, discourse, especially behind the closed doors where the real action takes place, is often reduced to words that can be spelled with only four letters, or their adjectival equivalents. And no matter what side of the political divide you might be on, there have likely been moments when you are reading something or listening to an opposing politician speak and you have been moved to at least think of obscenities, if not utter them out loud. There have certainly been many Democratic politicians who have sworn about Republicans. But what we are witnessing here is fundamentally different.
“F- Joe Biden,” or the slightly less explicitly obscene but no more clever “Let’s go Brandon,” is about much more than political passion or anger. It’s about weaponizing the vulgar dehumanization of our entire democratic – small d – experiment. Joe Biden is not only a person; he is the President of the United States, whether your tinfoil-shrouded conspiracy brain cares to recognize that fact or not. How many times have we heard Republicans sanctimoniously preach about how Democrats don’t “respect” the office of the presidency for such things as President Obama not saluting properly or wearing a tan suit?
Not to be outdone, The Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page which is a favorite thing of those seeking to line rat cages is pearl-clutching over 5 young people dressed up as the Torch Terrorists in Charlottesville and stood in silent ironic protest in front of the Trumpist running for governor in Virginia’s campaign bus. Wow, they really let the Lincoln Project get to them this time. “A Dirty Campaign Trick in Virginia. The Lincoln Project plays the race card in a false-flag operation.” As usual, there are two right-wing conspiracy theory signals dog-whistling from the headline. Everything surrounding racism is playing “the race card” and I can’t even figure how this is a “false-flag operation,” but hey, get down with your crazy stupid selves! How long do we have to wait before we read the next attempt to label it “virtue-signaling”?
Democrats routinely play the race card when they’re worried about losing an election, and that’s exactly what the operatives from the Lincoln Project did last week in staging a dirty campaign trick against surging GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin.
It started Friday when a reporter for a local NBC affiliate tweeted a photo of four men and one woman dressed in white shirts, khakis and sunglasses and holding tiki torches. They were standing in front of Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s bus during a campaign stop in Virginia.
“These men approached @GlennYoungkin’s bus as it pulled up saying what sounded like, ‘We’re all in for Glenn.” tweeted Elizabeth Holmes. The tiki torches were meant to tie Mr. Youngkin to the infamous torchlit, white nationalist march in Charlottesville in 2017.
Twitter exploded, with various people claiming to have identified people in the tiki-torch photo as Democrats. They hadn’t been positively ID’d by the time we went to press on Sunday.
But as evidence grew that this was a setup, the Lincoln Project finally fessed up. It presented its attempt to play the white supremacist card as an exercise in civic virtue, saying it was “our way of reminding Virginians” about Charlottesville, “the Republican Party’s embrace of those values,” and Mr. Youngkin’s “failure to condemn it.” This is a slur against Mr. Youngkin and the Virginia GOP.
So, this is all pretty radically nuts because the latest craziness by the Republicans in Virginia is all about that Critical Race Theory nuttiness. Juan William states it plainly. ‘Parents’ rights’ is code for white race politics’. I remember living through this same craziness in 1992 when the code word was “multiculturalism” which basically means if it wasn’t spat out by a white christianist it shouldn’t be taught to children.
After white supremacists spilled blood in defense of keeping up Confederate statues in 2017, the GOP candidate for governor of Virginia, Ed Gillespie, said the monuments should stay up as a matter of heritage and history.
His TV advertising featured threatening images of Latino gangs, labeled illegal immigrants, involved in murder and rape.
The racially loaded “Culture Wars” campaign, straight from then-President Trump’s playbook, gave Gillespie a push, but he ultimately lost the race to Democrat Ralph Northam.
Now Virginia Republicans are back with a new and improved “Culture Wars” campaign for 2021. The closing argument is once again full of racial division — but this time it is dressed up as a defense of little children.
The rallying cry is “Parents’ Rights.”
It is a campaign to stop classroom discussion of Black Lives Matter protests or slavery because it could upset some children, especially white children who might feel guilt.
And this time, the Trump-imitating Republicans think they have struck political gold.
Unlike their earlier defense of Confederate monuments, the “Parents’ Rights” campaign message at first glance looks to have zero to do with race.
That puts Democrats on the defensive. They are in the uncomfortable position of calling the attention of suburban white moms to divisive racial politics being used by Republican Glenn Youngkin’s campaign.
Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, calls the Republican message a “racist dog whistle.”
Still, that race–that will be determined tomorrow–is a dead heat. This is from the NYT: “In the Final Days Before Virginia Votes, Both Sides Claim Momentum.”
The high-stakes race for governor of Virginia entered its final stretch with Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe trading accusations of sowing division, as voters appeared closely divided over returning a Democrat to office or electing a Republican to lead their state for the first time in more than a decade.
The size and atmosphere of dueling events during the last weekend of campaigning before Election Day on Tuesday reflected the trends in the most recent polls. Mr. Youngkin, the Republican candidate, greeted crowds of more than 1,000, while Mr. McAuliffe, the Democrat, hustled through sparsely attended events from morning to night.
Mr. McAuliffe, who served one term as governor from 2014 to 2018, has displayed a rising sense of urgency lately, dispatching some of the Democratic Party’s biggest stars to campaign for him and push people to vote early. In 11 hours on Saturday, Mr. McAuliffe traveled more than 120 miles, making eight stops in six cities amid a whirlwind day of campaigning in which he urged supporters not to be complacent.
“We are substantially leading on the early vote, but we cannot take our foot off the gas,” Mr. McAuliffe told a crowd on Saturday in Norfolk, where he met with labor leaders who were planning to spend the day knocking on doors.
Meanwhile, The Bulwark’s Tim Miller just had to put this headline in front of me today: “Donald Trump Is Now the Odds-On Favorite to Be President in 2025 .” I’m gagging over here.
So, Donald Trump is now the odds-on favorite to be president of the United States in 2025.
I know that lede sentence was also the headline, but I wanted you to read it one more time just to let it really settle in the ol’ noggin before pressing forward.
The twice-impeached, disgraced loser who was schlonged in the 2020 election, tried to stay in power against the will of the people, and then came ten cowardly Republican senators away from being disqualified from ever running for office again, is now more likely than any other person in the world to take the next oath of office on the Capitol steps on January 20, 2025.
How is that for some weird shit?
Now I’m sure some will roll their eyes when this headline comes across the Twitter feed. Attribute this article to my raging Trump Derangement Syndrome or The Bulwark’s Cady Heron-level obsession with Mar-a-Lago’s in-house wedding toastmaster.
But this ain’t about my compulsions. It’s the actual, real-world reality being presented by those who have the most skin in the game.
Both the major off-shore gambling quants and the online trading markets have moved in Mr. Trump’s favor in the past couple weeks.
Here’s some more crazy shit that I’m speechless about.
- Olivia Beavers / Politico: ‘They’re probably going to put us back in power’: GOP basks in Dem discord
- Bill Schneider / The Hill: 2022 and ‘the passion gap’ — why Republicans are more fired up
- David A. Graham / The Atlantic: Josh Mandel Might Be Craven Enough to Win
- Terry Jones / Issues & Insights: I&I/TIPP Poll: Just 42% Now Think Biden Is ‘Mentally Sharp
- Sarah Rumpf / Mediaite: Matt Gaetz Jokes About Blowing Up Capitol Metal Detectors With Explosives (UPDATE: Lauren Boebert Tweets ‘I’ll Bring the Tannerite!’)
Why does the press keep trying to incite a civil war instead of elucidating the danger in all of this? Rad idea below Atlantic writer suggests Never Trumperz support DeSantis. (Connor Friedsdorf warning) What drug is this guy on? Or Read this shake-down in New York Magazine describing DeSantis worship.
I’m going to go play music and eat chocolate now. Hope you have a great day and that you’re not as depressed and confused about all this is and derp as I am.
I had to steal this image from my blogging buddy Peter Athas Get his take on that TNR article here.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
By now you have heard and seen the latest terroristic threat from Trump. Actually, Trump’s violent assassination request has a name…There’s a Name for Trump’s Violent Incitement Against Hillary: Stochastic Terrorism | BNR
Donald said at a rally: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick— [boos from audience] If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf.
Donald’s point about Hillary was unambiguous.
What he was doing, as explained by feminist law professor and reproductive rights activist David S. Cohen, was engaging in “stochastic terrorism,” which is “an obscure and non-legal term” meaning to use “language and other forms of communication ‘to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable,’” a sort of incitement well-known among those familiar with anti-choice violence.
Writes Cohen: “Stated differently: Trump puts out the dog-whistle knowing that some dog will hear it, even though he doesn’t know which dog.”
The sort of diffused threats that are a feature of stochastic terrorism are, unfortunately, extremely familiar to me. As a feminist progressive woman with a public profile, these are the kinds of “not really threats – wink!” I get all the time: Hoping someone else will rape and/or kill me.
Or “warning” me that someone might – if I insist on keeping up my work. Being on the receiving end of those words for more than a decade: I know what Donald meant.
It is chillingly familiar.
This man openly incited violence against a woman, who also happens to be a presidential candidate – which makes his exhortation possibly criminal, too.
Doesn’t it make your blood boil? This article is written by Melissa McEwan, she continues focusing on the feminist angle. You can read the rest at the link, but I prefer to focus on the main issue…feminist or not.
What the fuck!!! This is a real presidential candidate, running for the Republican Party, and he called for the assassination of his running mate and “future” president!
I’ve spent months watching and listening to the horrors that spew from Trump’s mouth…as we see, this is yet another time that Trump has, “Gone too far,” only to get away with inciting violence and murder against Hillary and Supreme Court Justices.
One day after his widely discussed “reboot” in which he did nothing more than read basicRepublican economic talking points from a teleprompter, Donald Trump uttered perhaps his most outrageous – and dangerous – ad-lib yet. And that’s saying something for a campaign in which he’s criticized John McCain for being a prisoner of war, characterized Mexicans as rapists, called for banning Muslims from coming into the country, picked a fight with a Gold Star family and urged Russia to hack his political opponent.
Speaking to a crowd in Wilmington, North Carolina, Tuesday, Trump expressed concern about Hillary Clinton possibly picking Supreme Court justices and other judges. He then said, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Let that soak in for a second. One of the two major-party nominees for president just called for “Second Amendment people” to “do” something about his political opponent’s judges. According to the Trump campaign’s rapid response team, he was talking about those “Second Amendment people” coming together politically – “unification,” as they called it. The Clinton campaign, and pretty much the entire Internet, saw it differently: as a clear suggestion of violence against a political opponent.
It’s hard not to side with the Clinton campaign here. What Trump said was that a particular group – those who are defined by rallying around guns – should do something about Clinton and her judicial nominees. What can people who rally around guns do that’s different than others? Use those guns.
But it’s really irrelevant what Trump actually meant, because enough people will hear Trump’s comments and think he’s calling for people to take up arms against Clinton, her judges or both. Though most of the people hearing that call may claim he was joking, given what we know about people taking up arms in this country, there will undoubtedly be some people who think he was serious and consider the possibility.
In other words, what Trump just did is engage in so-called stochastic terrorism. This is an obscure and non-legal term that has been occasionally discussed in the academic world for the past decade and a half, and it applies with precision here. Stochastic terrorism, as described by a blogger who summarized the concept several years back, means using language and other forms of communication “to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”
Let’s break that down in the context of what Trump said. Predicting any one particular individual following his call to use violence against Clinton or her judges is statistically impossible. But wecan predict that there could be a presently unknown lone wolf who hears his call and takes action in the future.
Stated differently: Trump puts out the dog whistle knowing that some dog will hear it, even though he doesn’t know which dog.
Those of us who work against anti-abortion violence unfortunately know all about this. Valerie Tarico wrote about this form of terrorism following the Planned Parenthood murders in Colorado Springs last November. The pattern she noted there is 100 percent applicable to Donald Trump and his supporters right now – except that we haven’t yet had the major act of violence at the end of the string. As Tarico wrote:
“1. A public figure with access to the airwaves or pulpit demonizes a person or group of persons.
2. With repetition, the targeted person or group is gradually dehumanized, depicted as loathsome and dangerous—arousing a combustible combination of fear and moral disgust.
3. Violent images and metaphors, jokes about violence, analogies to past ‘purges’ against reviled groups, use of righteous religious language—all of these typically stop just short of an explicit call to arms.
4. When violence erupts, the public figures who have incited the violence condemn it—claiming no one could possibly have foreseen the ‘tragedy.'”
This explains Donald Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton to a letter. He has 1) demonized her whenever he can by calling her “Crooked Hillary” and constantly degrading her; 2) organized a convention around which the central theme, repeated over and over, was that Clinton is a criminal who needs to be locked up, clearly using fear and moral disgust as motivators; and 3) is now using violent metaphors (or “jokes,” if that’s what you think his statements were) against her, just short of an explicit call to arms.
Now we just have to hope that #4 doesn’t come about – that violence does not erupt. Though, if it does, we know exactly what Trump and his supporters will say: that they never could have foreseen this tragedy.
His extraordinary remark on Tuesday was swiftly condemned by Democrats. Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said: “This is simple – what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting took place in Newtown in 2012, went further in a tweet: “Don’t treat this as a political misstep. It’s an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis.”
British novelist Salman Rushdie then weighed in, tweeting: “Of course the Trump flacks are now trying to confuse the issue, but Senator Murphy is clear about what Trump meant.”
The claim was rejected by Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama and longtime Trump supporter. He responded on CNN: “Totally wrong. I don’t believe that’s true. I don’t believe that’s at all what he meant.”
But Sessions acknowledged: “It may have been awkwardly phrased.”
As the usual line goes, Trump is allowed to explain his “true” meaning behind his words:
Trump said later in reply to Sean Hannity on Fox News that he was referring to the political movement around the Second Amendment.
Hannity asked: “You know, so obviously you’re saying that there’s a strong political movement within the Second Amendment, and if people mobilize and vote, they can stop Hillary from having this impact on the court. But that’s not how the media is spinning it. What’s your reaction to it?”
Trump replied: “Well, I just heard about that, and it was amazing because nobody in that room thought anything other than what you just said. This is a political movement. This is a strong, powerful movement, the Second Amendment … there can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me – I mean give me a break.”
Trump has been striving to show more discipline on the campaign trail after astring of gaffes in recent weeks. He remained in control in Detroit on Monday when a speech on the economy was repeatedly interrupted by protesters. But in Wilmington, he apparently could not resist going off-script.
Campaigners for gun control expressed outrage at his off-the-cuff remark. Po Murray, chair of the Newtown Action Alliance, said: “Donald Trump continues to pander to the corporate gun lobby and the gun extremists who thrive on fear and rhetoric.
“Any suggestion that gun violence should be used to stop Hillary Clinton from appointing supreme court justices is dangerous and reckless. It’s no surprise that 50 GOP national security experts have signed a letter making a pledge to not vote for him.”
The concern was echoed by Paul Begala, a former adviser to Bill Clinton in the White House. “This is not something that should be joked about,” he told CNN. “I hope in the best case you could say he was joking. It didn’t seem like a joke to me. Tony Schwartz, the guy who wrote [Trump’s book] The Art of the Deal, says Trump never jokes.
“I fear that an unbalanced person hears that in this inflamed environment and, God forbid, thinks that was a threat. I certainly take it as a threat, I really do, and Trump needs to apologise.”
Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, said on the same channel:
“Well, let me say, if someone had have said that outside the hall he’d be in the back of a police wagon now with the secret service questioning him.”
As yet another controversy threatened to engulf him, Trump’s campaign insisted that his words had been misunderstood. Jason Miller, a spokesperson, attempted to explain the candidate’s comments. “It’s called the power of unification,” he said. “Second amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”
National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker called the uproar over Trump’s remarks a “distraction created by the dishonest media.”
Another thought for everyone, Giuliani: Trump supporters would cheer Trump’s call to assassinate Hillary – AMERICAblog News
In perhaps the worst attempt ever at damage control, Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani attempted to defend Trump’s call yesterday for Hillary Clinton to be assassinated.
Giuliani told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that had Trump actually called for Hillary to be assassinated, the crowd would have gone wild.
Video at the link.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump invoked the Second Amendment at a rally yesterday evening and implied that gun owners may need to shoot Hillary Clinton or the Supreme Court judges she nominates as president.
That was not a joke and it isn’t funny, but Speaker of the House Paul Ryan insists that it was.
“I’ve been a little busy today. I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that,” Ryan said at a press conference after winning his Republican primary. “I didn’t actually hear the comments, I only heard about those comments.”
A joke gone bad is a toady like Paul Ryan ever being treated like a serious person and being third in line to the presidency. Assassination is not a joke.
Donald Trump once said he could shoot someone and not lose support over it and I think he was right. There’s nothing Trump could say or do that would prompt Speaker Ryan to withdraw his support for Trump.
I think that should cover the latest on Trump.
How about a little more outrage, since I am sure you are up for it?
Chad Copley told the 911 operator to send a police car fast — he was “locked and loaded,” he said, and going outside to confront a group of “hoodlums.”
“We got a bunch of hoodlums out here racing,” the 39-year-old Raleigh man told the dispatcher early Sunday morning. “I’m going outside to secure my neighborhood.”
The dispatcher, responding to Copley, asked: “You’re going to do what?”
“I’m going to secure my neighborhood,” Copley said.
He continued: “I’m on neighborhood watch. I am going to have the neighborhood meet these hoodlums out here racing up and down the street. It’s 1 in the morning. There’s some devil in them. They have firearms and we’re going to secure our neighborhood. If I was you, I would send PD out here as quickly as possible.”
A few minutes later, Copley was on the phone with dispatchers again.
This time, haltingly, he explained the aftermath:
“I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises,’ ” he said. “They were showing firearms, so I fired a warning shot and uh, we got somebody that got hit. …
“I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. … They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family.”
The dispatcher pressed for more information: Who’s been shot, how badly are they injured — and where, exactly, is the victim?
“Please just send a car,” Copley responded. “There’s friggin’ black males outside my friggin’ house with firearms. Please, send PD. Thank you.”
He then hung up.
When officers arrived, they found a 20-year-old black man, Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, dying of a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
Life in a post-Zimmerman world.
Please read more about this murder at the link.
One more article, it is an op/ed, from Huffington Post. I think the headline says it all, and for me…I do not agree with it, 71 Years Ago: When Truman Failed To Pause — And The Nagasaki War Crime Followed
Nagasaki a war crime?
I have one thing to say, war is hell. Sherman meant to destroy the southern audacity so that it would never forget what happened, that was his message behind his march to the sea…
Those bombs showed the world that nuclear war is the ultimate in devastation, the finality that must be realized, justified and acknowledged with the coming of a nuclear age. It was required to end World War 2, and necessary as a warning of what will come if diplomacy is not the main path to peace going forward. I do not believe it was a war crime.
And, I don’t think we should be wiping out our history and revising it…I’m not talking about changing the names of elementary schools that honor KKK founders…but I have a difficult time with some memorials being eliminated completely. They should remain but I feel that other monuments or large prominent historic markers should be added to explain the historical significance. Make it a real teaching moment for people who see these old statues and carvings on a mountain. (Yeah, carve another monument on Stone Mountain…a memorial to Fredrick Douglas, Harriet Tubman etc.)
Last link is a fun one.
Every four years something really cool happens during men’s Olympic diving competitions: The scores that show up on screen cover the diver’s groin area, accidentally making it look like porn.
Here’s an example of that from the London games:
BBC / Via fmforums.co.uk
And here are a bunch of examples of it happening in Rio. Let your mind wander because you sure as hell know we won’t judge. After all, we’re the ones who spent hours screenshotting these in the first place.
Some of these shots are hilarious.
Dicks out, thumbs up!NBC
He’s like, “Why are you naked, dude?”NBC
Naked friends are the best friends ❤NBC
If you haven’t noticed, his name is Steele Johnson.NBC