Wednesday Reads: Mr. Sandman

Happy St. Patrick’s Day…

Last night:

I believe they have since released the information that it is 6 Asian women, 1 white woman and 1 man.

In other news…

Some updates:

You may remember I posted a link to part one of these series…

Here are a few more for you to catch up with…

Make two more points…

And,

Here’s to better times….

Take it easy today.


Wednesday Reads: On the 7th day…

This is a week out, with a new President, have you been sleeping better?

Now for a few news links:

And on the seventh day…well, eighth day, things seem to be getting unfucked nicely. However, all this tRumpian loyalty is disgusting and disturbing…

Then, we always have this:

This is an open thread.


Monday Reads: Two Days until the Tumor is gone, but what about the Cancer?

Nick Anderson / Hearst papers

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I feel like we’re in this place of being close to the road to normalcy, competency, and the end of lies and malignancy in the White House. On the other hand, we face this angry white nationalist insurgency which is trying everything it can to remain relevant.  State and Federal buildings–where the peoples’ business takes place–have a heavy military presence.

In the District, National Guard have undergone a sweeping background check to ensure none of the guard present have a background that shows any form of radicalization.   They’re calling this a layered scrub because it involves all kinds of federal agencies as well as the military.  This is via WAPO.

Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, said in an interview with Defense One that the screening represented an “extra layer” of security for this deployment, on top of the continuous monitoring that the U.S. military does of its service members.

“For this deployment everybody is screened additionally, but it’s more of a reassurance, because we do everything we can do [to] know our Guardsmen, our soldiers and airmen,” Walker said.

Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy, who is overseeing the D.C. Guard and the military’s preparations for the inauguration, said in an interview with the Associated Press that so far the vetting process hasn’t flagged any issues with the troops coming to help protect the inauguration.

We’re also seeing these things: “FBI moves on alleged members of extremist groups Oath Keepers, Three Percenters”.  This is also from WAPO.

A heavy-metal guitarist, the alleged leader of a Colorado paramilitary training group and two self-styled militia members from Ohio have been charged with taking part in the riot at the Capitol last week, as the FBI ratchets up its investigation into the role extremist groups played in storming the building.

Jon Schaffer, an Indiana musician, turned himself in to the FBI on Sunday afternoon, officials said. On Jan. 6, Schaffer was photographed inside the Capitol, wearing a hat that said “Oath Keepers Lifetime Member.” Schaffer founded Iced Earth, a heavy-metal band, and music fans quickly recognized him as the FBI circulated wanted posters with his face on them.

Schaffer was charged with six counts, including engaging in an act of physical violence. Authorities said Schaffer was among the rioters who targeted U.S. Capitol Police with bear spray.

Also charged in a court filing made public Sunday was Robert Gieswein, 24, of Cripple Creek, Colo. Court papers say that Gieswein is affiliated with an Oath Keepers-related extremist group called the Three Percenters, and that he assaulted federal officers outside the Capitol with bear spray and a baseball bat; “encouraged other rioters as they broke a window of the Capitol building; entered … and then charged through the Capitol building.”

Gieswein runs a private paramilitary training group called the Woodland Wild Dogs, and a patch for that group was visible on a tactical vest he wore during the attack on Congress, an FBI affidavit said.

Gieswein gave a media interview in which he echoed anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, the affidavit said, and said his message to Congress was “that they need to get the corrupt politicians out of office. Pelosi, the Clintons … every single one of them, Biden, Kamala.”

There was evidently something burning in one of the tunnels.  Fortunately, this was the fire from a homeless encampment and not something worse.

I’m also seeing signs that these militia morons maybe trying to mount false flag attacks at state capitols.  I imagine these cosplayers are going to get played up as some ANTIFA leftists but tell me, have you ever seen a liberal or progressive activists in militia attire loaded down with semi automatic long guns?

These pictures are from the Michigan State Capitol.  Go to the Deadpool thread and you’ll see close up pix of 1776 badges.  Not even the leftwing activists of the’60s and ’70s wore paramilitary outfits. This is clearly to provide the Fox nasties like Sean Hannity and worse with pix that he can mislabel.  Is this the start of a Reich stag

State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala., March 7, 1965. John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (in the foreground) is being beaten by a state trooper. Lewis, a future U.S. Congressman sustained a fractured skull. (unknown/AP)
This is a peaceful protest turned into a Police Riot.

Trump Allies definitely helped with the Capitol Hill Riot via (AP).

Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters.

A pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House.

Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally.

The riot at the Capitol, incited by Trump’s comments before and during his speech at the Ellipse, has led to a reckoning unprecedented in American history. The president told the crowd to march to the Capitol and that “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

johnlewisedmundpettisbridge640

In tribute to John Lewis: Renew the Voting Rights Act this year!!!

And today is a Federal Holiday. We’re celebrating the legacy of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. while fending off insurrectionists that are basically the sons of the NeoConfederacy.  Trump is readying 100s of pardons and it will not be for any one that actually deserves it.  They we all be paying for them or get them because they’ve committed crimes that Trump likes or has commited himself.  Trump has destroyed the rule of law and the American sense of Justice.  This is reported by CNN.

Initially, two major batches had been ready to roll out, one at the end of last week and one on Tuesday. Now, officials expect the last batch to be the only one — unless Trump decides at the last minute to grant pardons to controversial allies, members of his family or himself.

The final batch of clemency actions is expected to include a mix of criminal justice reform-minded pardons and more controversial ones secured or doled out to political allies.

The pardons are one of several items Trump must complete before his presidency ends in days. White House officials also still have executive orders prepared, and the President is still hopeful to declassify information related to the Russia probe before he leaves office. But with a waning number of administration officials still in jobs, the likelihood that any of it gets done seemed to be shrinking.

The January 6 riots that led to Trump’s second impeachment have complicated his desire to pardon himself, his kids and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. At this point, aides do not think he will do so, but caution only Trump knows what he will do with his last bit of presidential power before he is officially out of office at noon on January 20.

This is a peaceful protest with police presence. A young boy greets police officers in riot gear during a march in Maryland. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

Noon on Wednesday is the time and day we should be rid of this monster.  I expect a period of insurgency starts on that day  However, we also have these things to look forward too.

U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has indicated plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit via executive action on his first day in office, sources tell CBC News..

You can read more about this at the NYT.

Via WAPO:  Facebook, Google to face tougher regulation under Biden anda Democratic-controlled Senate.

Even before he won the White House, Joe Biden had been unsparing in his criticism of Silicon Valley, practically pleading with Facebook in June to stop President Trump from publishing “wild claims.”

“Anything less,” the Biden campaign said in an open letter, “will render Facebook a tool of misinformation that corrodes our democracy.”

Seven months later, rioters descended on the U.S. Capitol, stormed the House and the Senate, and sought to overturn Biden’s victory — mounting a deadly, failed insurrection that illustrated the corrosive power of Trump’s false online screeds.

The aftermath of that attack now sets the stage for a political reckoning between Washington and Silicon Valley, as long-simmering frustrations with Facebook, Google, Twitter and their digital peers threaten to unleash the most aggressive regulatory assault against the tech industry in its history. On the eve of his inauguration, Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress are pledging to take aim at the country’s largest social media platforms out of concern that they imperil the very fabric of American democracy — and the billions of people who use these digital services every day.

DC cop assaulted in Capitol riots, shocking images show. These are violent insurrectionists and this is a violence-filled riot where Police are being harmed and killed.

And the MLK holiday is generally seen as a day where we should provide service to our community. I’m planning on filling up my neighborhood fridge as much as I can and then will be delivering what children’s books I can find remaining in my house to the nearest little library. I wish I could set up a huge foundation but I’m just a little old semi retired prof.

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day might have a different meaning for many this year.

There will be no events at the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C. because the National Mall is closed.

Also, America bid farewell to civil rights activists and King’s friend John Lewis in 2020.

MLK Day, celebrated each year on the third Monday in January, became a national celebration on January 20, 1986.

It was signed into law by then President Ronald Reagan.

On August 23, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King Junior Federal Holiday and Service Act.

Events celebrating Dr. King’s achievements are still being held all across the country.

The day is designated to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Dr. King is widely know for his “I have a dream speech” where he rallied for better race relations.

King also led several marches advocating for the civil and economic rights of African Americans.

Dr. King would have been 92 years old on January 15.

He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.

Ask yourselves, what kind of country do we want?  Want kind of vision of American do you have?

My vision was formed early watching the treatment of protestors in the South during King’s movement to get Voting Rights and economic and social justice.  Even as a small child I was horrified by the footage of police officers sending dogs after the peaceful marchers.  I also remember that famous picture of the National Guard shooting and killing war protestors at Kent State.  What we saw last week  was a riot has nothing to do with protesting anything but the ability to be hateful and selfish.

I really hope the Capitol Riot has an impact on young children and a small voice in them screams this is not what we want to be when we grow up. This is basically what my thoughts  were as I saw police officers turn powerful fire hoses on kids my age.  It is also what I thought when I saw Ruby Bridges try to get to the first day of school in New Orleans in 1960.  I was hoping my first day at kindergarten was not going to look like that.  The ugly hateful faces on all those white people and a girl my age surrounded by federal officers for protection just to go to school!!

In a matter of minutes, Senator Kamala Harris will become Kamala Harris and then on Wednesday she will become Vice President Kamala Harris.  Lawrence interviewed Ruby Bridges about this iconic painting last night.  You can watch it here.

Ruby Bridges was six years old when she was the first Black student at her New Orleans elementary school. She tells Lawrence O’Donnell that the inauguration of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has renewed hope and faith in the U.S. “There’s so much more work to be done, but we have to also be able to look at the strives that we make and this is truly one for all women and especially for Black women.”

Hang on there. We’ve made it through trouble before.  We can plow through this deep shit again together.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?  “How long must we sing this song?”


Monday Reads: Peace of Mind

Henri Matisse “Madame Matisse(The Green Line),” 1905

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

Trump and his Death Cult seem to thrive on anger and chaos. We couldn’t even mourn the great legal mind and contributions to civil rights of our second woman on SCOTUS without Trump and the cult jumping into offer the usual platter of women that hate themselves to replace her. We’re supposed to get the pick on Friday or Saturday and I hope the Democrats go nuclear. I’ve been fighting these same damned battles for too long and I didn’t expect to hand my daughters more church control of their bodies sanctioned by the US Government.

There are two women that appear on Trump’s short list and they are both appalling religionists. One is definitely a member of a cult and a bit of an offshoot of Catholicism. The other is one of those Catholics that the court is stacked with already which is the subcult of Opus Dei. WTF is this? Are we reversing the entire Age of Enlightenment and Reason and the Renaissance? How far back into the Dark Ages must we be thrown before they’re satisfied?

and … Where do all these nuts keep coming from? Only monsters could raise monsters like these!

I’ve switched to Fauvism for awhile and peak Beatles during the psychedelics’ period because we all can see the wild and I’d rather have the artistic version of it than the political.

So first up on the crazy list is the literal crazy and definite cult member. This woman is basically Aunt Lydia. Her church was the basis of Hand Maid’s Tale. “What is People of Praise? A look inside Amy Coney Barrett’s church that inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale'” She’s on the short list but there are “safer” alternatives if you want to call them that because either way were fucked because most of the Republicans who said they’d never vote for a SCOTUS nomination so close to elections have folded like cheap deckchairs on the Titanic.

So, catch this:

Apart from being an attorney, Barrett and her family are members of a controversial church called People of Praise. The church asks members to take a “lifetime loyalty ‘covenant’, encourages female submission to their husbands”, as reported by Daily Mail. The church also inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, a show that gained popularity when it first made its debut in 2017. The church was formed as part of the Catholic revitalization movement in 1971, and at least 10 members from Barrett’s family are part of it. Barrett’s father, Mike Coney, is part of the board of members of the church. They are believed to be the “highest authority”.

The website of the church calls themselves “a charismatic Christian community. We admire the first Christians who were led by the Holy Spirit to form a community”. Those early believers put their lives and their possessions in common, and “there were no needy persons among them”. Each member of the church is allotted a “personal adviser” who helps them with the “decisions on marriage, career, and other life choices”. Apart from this, the members are also asked to give out other information, such as sins committed by them, their financial information. While they are being called advisors, previously these people were known as “heads” for males and “handmaids” for females. The outlet further reports that the church believes the husband has authority over his wife. While members of the church had to make a lifelong commitment, they were given time to think about their decision.

Self-Portrait with a Hat - Andre Derain

Self-Portrait with a Hat – Andre Derain

(e.g. It’s a cult) OR we get the choice of all the Republican Whackados in Florida pushing this one because, well every one wants to win Florida in November. Plus, she’s Cubano and is one of those that carefully hides what she wants to do which seems to appeal to Susan Collins. From Politico: “Florida Republicans: Nominating Lagoa could clinch state for Trump. Top GOP leaders in the nation’s largest swing state say the Cuban-American federal judge could win Hispanic votes and shield vulnerable members of Congress.”

But it’s Lagoa’s background as a Florida Cuban-American that could have the most salience for Trump. His reelection hinges on the too-close-to-call battleground state, where his campaign has made outreach to Hispanic voters a top issue, worrying some Democrats.

“If the president picks Barbara Lagoa, they will be dancing salsa with joy in Hialeah well past November,” said Gaetz, referring to Lagoa’s home town, a blue-collar majority Cuban-American city that borders Miami and leans Republican.

Lagoa, a 52-year-old Columbia Law School graduate and mother of three children, emerged this weekend as a leading contender to take the Supreme Court seat held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the liberal stalwart who died Friday at the age of 87.

Lagoa is no lock for the post, however. She’s a relative unknown compared to the favorite of Washington’s conservative establishment anti-abortion groups, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who became a darling of the religious right after her bruising federal confirmation fight in 2017. Barrett and Lagoa are both high on the president’s short list for the post, officials with knowledge of the process told POLITICO.

In contrast, Lagoa’s views on abortion are little known. She had no high-profile rulings on the matter in the nearly 500 decisions she wrote as a state appeals court judge or in other decisions during her brief time on the Florida Supreme Court justice and, since late last year, a judge on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Portrait of a Woman Maurice de Vlaminck

The ever location of both siderisms–The NYT–reports this today: “Trump and Democrats Brace for Showdown Over Supreme Court Seat. The president’s determination to confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election set lawmakers on a collision course as Congress deals with other major issues.” This is written by the dynamic duo of both-siderisms: Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman. S0, here’s Joe Biden’s side.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential challenger, on Sunday denounced Mr. Trump’s decision to move ahead with a nomination and appealed to the handful of moderate Senate Republicans to stop the president from making a lifetime appointment that would shift the balance of power on the nation’s highest court without waiting to see the results of the election.

“To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia, noting that Republicans refused to even consider President Barack Obama’s nominee after Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, citing the coming election. “I don’t believe the people of this nation will stand for it. President Trump has already made it clear this is about power, pure and simple.”

If Mr. Trump wins the race, Mr. Biden added, then the Senate should consider his choice. “But if I win the election, President Trump’s nomination should be withdrawn,” said Mr. Biden, who has promised to make his first appointment to the Supreme Court an African-American woman. “As the new president, I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg’s successor, a nominee who should get a fair hearing in the Senate before a confirmation vote.”

So, it is exactly as Mary Ziegler describes it.

The Supreme Court seems strangely immune to the bitterness that plagues our politics. Even now, when Americans can no longer agree on basic facts, the Court’s relative popularity has endured. Following Donald Trump’s 2016 election, the Court has what may be its most conservative majority in decades. And yet this August, the Supreme Court recorded its highest approval rating since 2009.

But there are so many ways that the current moment could turn out very badly for the Court. First off, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems ready to test just how much damage the Court’s institutional integrity can take. In 2016, McConnell refused to hold hearings for Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, because the next election was too close. Then, within hours of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell vowed to replace her before the next election.

Ginsburg, of course, was no ordinary justice. She was a hero to many. McConnell’s speed in replacing her comes across as not merely unseemly; to many who admired the late justice, it will also be a declaration of war.

Regardless of what McConnell does, the Court now looks far more conservative than the electorate. That too doesn’t bode well for the Court’s legitimacy, especially when the justices could once again decide the result of a presidential election. The Court may have to wade into one of the hundreds of voting-rights lawsuits triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have followed fights about whether the president has deliberately crippled the U.S. Postal Service to make it harder to vote. Republicans have claimed (without evidence) that mail-in voting will lead to massive fraud and have sued to stop it.

Henri Matisse, Femme au chapeau (Donna con cappello), 1905

I’m not so certain that matters to the theocrats the Republicans spent decades placing carefully on the court to punish women, religious minorities, people of color and the GLBT for daring to think they could be equal to White Christianist Men.

So, want some new crazy by a White Christianist Man in charge of the DOJ? And straight from the DOJ: “Department Of Justice Identifies New York City, Portland And Seattle As Jurisdictions Permitting Violence And Destruction Of Property

Identification is Response to Presidential Memorandum Reviewing Federal Funding to State and Local Governments that are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities ”

Self-Portrait, 2014 Leudy Marquez – Fauvism Collages

This WAPO analysis was written by Devlin Barrett.

The Justice Department labeled the cities of Portland, Ore., New York and Seattle on Monday as jurisdictions “that have permitted violence and destruction of property,” targeting them for possible cuts in federal funding.

Following a memorandum that President Trump issued earlier this month, the Justice Department published a list of cities that the White House wants to get more aggressive on civil unrest in the wake of police shootings and killings.

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement. “It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

The Trump administration was unsuccessful in a similar funding-cut move against New York and other cities over their immigration policies. A federal appeals court ruled that the move violated the separation of powers spelled out in the Constitution.

So, I would like a little peace and quiet and boring ol’ Joe Biden sounds better all the time. But, we also need to concentrate on getting rid of this asshole: Mitch McConnell is the apex predator of U.S. politics” by Howard Fineman.

Historian Rick Perlstein has long described this chapter in the American story as “Nixonland,” a jagged terrain of White racial fear and populist resentment of the federal authority that began in the mid-1960s. But while GOP presidents from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump have tilled that soil when it suited their purposes, McConnell has been, over the years, its most constant gardener, mixing arcane, cynically hypocritical legislative procedure and judicial appointments to turn emotion into lasting policy.

He has jammed hundreds of conservative judges onto the federal bench, making it younger, Whiter and more male — and far more partisan — in the process. In concert with the Federalist Society, McConnell is transforming the federal judiciary from sometimes-defenders of the poor, immigrants and people of color into the Praetorian Guard of corporations, the wealthy, and those whose cultural and racial privileges make them, at best, oblivious to their collective responsibility to all Americans. At the same time, McConnell is standing in the schoolhouse door of dozens if not hundreds of pieces of needed legislation, rendering the “world’s greatest deliberative body” an empty pantomime of itself.

And if he succeeds in forcing another pliable justice onto the Supreme Court, he may prove responsible for undercutting whatever legitimacy a possibly disputed presidential election might have if, as many suspect, it must be settled by that court. One reason to move fast and give the court a 6-3 conservative majority? To take the relatively independent (and therefore unreliable) Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. out of the equation.

McConnell has been around so long people think they know him. But they don’t, and that is by design. When you are the apex predator of U.S. politics, you don’t really care what anyone thinks. In Kentucky, where I worked for six years as McConnell was beginning his rise, he is not so much loved as endured. People talk about him like the rainy Ohio River Valley weather: It’s a pain, but it waters the crops. He retains an iron grip on state politics, has been elected statewide six times and is likely to win a seventh term in November. Democrats are pouring millions into defeating him. It’s not a great bet.

Image may contain: text that says 'CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS BY ADMINISTRATION 76 26 215 16 Donald Trump Richard Nixon Ronald Reagan George W. Bush Bill Clinton George H.W. Bush Jimmy Carter Gerald Ford Barack Obama 2 1 1 1 0 50 100 150 200 250'

My best strategy offer is to get him out of the Senate Majority Seat. We need to make sure Republicans go down where we can make them go down and Susan Collins and Martha McSally are at the top of my list. Which brings me back to the idea of why so many white women sell the rest of the women of the world out?

Oh, well, I close here before I have to go curl up in a ball and suck my thumb.

Be safe and stay home if you can as much as possible! Be kind to yourself and others! Check in and let us know you’re safe because we care!

What’s on you reading and blogging list today?


Friday Reads: We’re on a Long Muck-filled Road to November

Good Day Sky Dancers!

There are two tropical waves coming off of Africa heading straight to the Gulf again even while parts of Louisiana and Texas are still in a state of cataloguing the damage from the last two. Severe weather also popped up over Northeast section of the country with tornadoes and thunderstorms.  We continue to see wildfires north of San Francisco.

You have to be in denial to not see the strengthening of storms and the more expansive areas ruined by wildfires.  It’s like we’ve angered the old “gods” that harness the earth, water, and weather against us.

I have spent the last 4 days with the weather channel, working, and just trying to maintain some semblance of normal as if that were some how possible.  I have not once gone to see any one of the hundreds–if not thousands–of violations of the Hatch Act that was the Trump Family Crime Syndicate Revival last night.

My one take away is the ugly green dress and ugly look Melania shot Ivanka headed to Daddy and the microphone.  Abusive Daddy will probably be unhinged some time today over this.

Why would any one want four more years of what was on display and what has happened?

So, here’s Susan B. Glasser’s take writing at The New Yorker:  “The Malign Fantasy of Donald Trump’s Convention. Using the White House as his prop, the President makes war on Joe Biden, and pretends the pandemic is all but defeated.”

For four years, Donald Trump has been asking us to believe the unbelievable, to accept the unthinkable, to replace harsh realities with simple fantasies. On Thursday night, using the White House as a gaudy backdrop, the President made his case to the American people for four more years. His speech capping the Republican National Convention was long, acerbic, untruthful, and surprisingly muted in comparison to the grandeur of the setting, which no chief executive before him has dared to appropriate in such a partisan way. “We will make America greater than ever before,” he promised.

Even for a salesman like Trump, it was never going to be an easy deal to close, what with a deadly pandemic, mass unemployment, nationwide protests over racial injustice, and even a killer hurricane smashing into the Gulf Coast hours before his speech. Some seventy per cent of Americans currently believe that the country is on the wrong track, according to recent polls. Who can blame them?

Hindu Goddess of Rain Mariammam

This should be devastating context for a President, any President, seeking reëlection, a true picture of American carnage to replace the false one that Trump conjured four years ago. Yet the strategy of Trump and his team is now clear: to talk about how bad things would be in Joe Biden’s America, a violent socialist ruin in which freedom itself will no longer exist and rampaging protesters, like those now committing “rioting, looting, arson, and violence” in “Democrat-run cities,” will be coming soon to a suburb near you. “The hard truth is, you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Vice-President Mike Pence said on Wednesday night. “No one will be safe in Biden’s America,” Trump said on Thursday night. To say this sounded a bit off in actual America, Trump’s America, does not do justice to the bizarre dissonance of this year’s Republican Convention.

Americans know Trump pretty well by now, and so it was more than a little discordant to hear him extolled throughout the Convention this week as a family man, promoter of women, friend to African-Americans, champion of religious liberty, and lover of immigrants, who interrupted his own Convention to preside over a White House naturalization ceremony for five lucky new citizens. A courageous patriot who works “from dawn to midnight,” as his daughter Ivanka told us, this Convention Trump personally charmed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, made peace in the Middle East, and single-handedly saved U.S. industries and unborn babies. And then there was his response to the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps the Administration’s shining hour, in which the President bravely disregarded the so-called experts to ban flights from China, thus saving millions of lives, while working closely with America’s governors, providing medical workers with all the resources they needed, reopening schools and businesses, and putting the greatest economy in history on the path to a fast recovery. The trolling was as epic as the setting was legally questionable: sitting and listening to Trump were more than a thousand supporters, packed together tightly in white chairs on the White House lawn, and almost none of them were wearing masks. While thus publicly and flagrantly flouting public-health standards, Trump touted his response to the pandemic as one that is focussed exclusively “on the science, the facts, and the data.”

Did they expect anyone to believe it?

My backyard. My Banana Trees hold up to the last winds and rain of Laura.

Mike Barnicle at The Daily Beast was even more descriptive: “A Sick President Scrambles to Spread His Contagion of Fear”

Before last night’s neon obscenity—a Trump rally on the South Lawn of the American White House—the 2020 Republican National Convention was close to cartoonish in its attempt to scare the country into voting for Donald J. Trump. It began as dark comedy with a cast of family members, supplicants, incompetents, political ne’er do wells and loud worshippers of a guy who never really believed he’d win on that long-gone night in November 2016 but now thinks he belongs on Mount Rushmore.

As each day melted into the next, though, there were no laugh-lines. Only the specter of a dark hand with a gun and a knock on your door, the mob empowered by Democrat radicals come to take your life, your dreams. By the time that Donald emerged from the White House—think about it, the White House—to deliver his convention speech on Thursday night, you could feel the nuts and bolts holding together this nearly 245-year-old republic loosening with each assault on a form of government that has stood through civil war, depressions, injustice and the stain of racism.

The best read of the day for me so far has been this description of the crazies that do still think Donald Trump will save them and what they fear most. This is by Joseph Marguiles for The Washington Post: “Vigilantes claim to preserve law and order. Their true goal is to save Whiteness.  They draw strength from guns, God and Donald Trump.” 

The spasm of vigilante violence takes place at the intersection of several powerful currents in American life, and draws its strength from guns, God and Donald Trump, all joined in the service of an imperiled Whiteness.

The first of those currents is the belief that government, and especially law enforcement, has been so hobbled and emasculated by the radical left that it cannot protect the good people from the bad. The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition that includes Black Lives Matter, has come in for particular attack, which reveals the unspoken assumption of the narrative: The good people are White; the bad are either Black or Brown or besotted with their cause.

For those inclined to believe this narrative, evidence of the emasculation is everywhere. After the shootings in Kenosha, the Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who can always be counted on to give this narrative its voice, asked rhetorically, “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?” As he spoke, the chyron at the bottom of the Fox screen read, “Kenosha in chaos as leaders abandon another city.” The Facebook page for the Kenosha Guard had implored the police to give the militia free rein, since it was “evident that no matter how many Officers, deputies, and other law enforcement officers that are here, you will still be outnumbered.”

Yet the narrative loses its plot when it becomes clear that the uprisings themselves are not the issue. After all, we didn’t see this sort of vigilantism in response to the uprisings in the 1960s, which were far more destructive. Instead, the protests are important because they illuminate and reveal the perceived impotence of Whiteness — an impotence that was not so keenly felt a half-century ago.

Today’s uprisings are taking place during a moment of profound unease. The term most often used for this unease — White grievance — does not remotely do it justice; to say that one has a grievance conjures the banal image of a complaint card sliding into a box and being forgotten. What we saw in Kenosha, and what we have seen across the country in response to the protests against police violence, is an insensate terror at the advancing prospect of White irrelevance. It is no less than a fear of White erasure.

Whiteness itself is imagined as under siege — culturally, demographically and, most of all, politically. President Trump plays on this fear when he warns ominously that the Democrats want to destroy the serenity of American suburbs, and vows to wall them off from the race-mingling scourge of low-income housing. It is no matter that the fear is irrational; there is no threat to Whiteness in this country, and there never has been. Irrational fears are always the most terrifying, and it is this terror that fuels the vigilantism.

The second current is the celebration of gun culture. Here, the vigilantes have the law to thank. Since the Supreme Court decision in Heller v. District of Columbia in 2008, which upheld the right of private gun ownership under the Second Amendment, it has become dramatically easier for people to travel the streets of this country armed. According to the Giffords Law Center, which tracks gun laws nationwide, in most states, including Wisconsin, it is perfectly legal for a person to openly carry a loaded firearm in public, without a permit.

Zephyrus the west-wind as spring, Greco-Roman mosaic from Antioch C2nd A.D.,

I’ve read a lot of this on facebook from besotted white men who really believe all this and the underlying theme is evident to every one but them.  They don’t like him but gee, those policies!

Meanwhile, Vice Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party–Senator Kamala Harris–continues to punch and remind us of the real issues.  Here’s her call for justice for Jacob Blake as reported in USA Today “Kamala Harris: Officer in Jacob Blake shooting should be charged”.  See the interview at this link.

In her first one-on-one network interview since becoming the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris talks to TODAY’s Craig Melvin about the shooting of Jacob Blake, saying “I don’t see how anybody could reason that that could be justifiable” and calling for “a thorough investigation.” Saying that “the fish rots from the head,” she draws a distinction between the leadership styles of Donald Trump and her running mate, Joe Biden.

Egyptian Lion Goddess of Dread Sehkmet

We have a long road before Hurricane Season and the political season end because both end the first week of November.  CNN Politics has already called out 20 false or misleading statements in Trump’s Dark Speech from last night.

Trump is a serial liar and he serially lied during his speech accepting the Republican nomination.

CNN counted more than 20 false, exaggerated or misleading claims from Trump on Thursday night. That’s in addition to a number of falsehoods from other speakers.

Trump’s dishonesty touched on a range of topics, from the economy to his administration’s performance during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of Trump’s most egregious false claims were directed at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

In his scripted remarks, Trump suggested Biden wants to take down the border wall, but Biden has specifically rejected that idea, saying only that he’ll stop further construction. Trump baselessly said that Biden’s plan would eliminate borders, which it wouldn’t.

Trump claimed he passed Veterans Choice, a law that Obama signed in 2014. Trump also touted a “record” 9 million jobs gained over the past three months, without mentioning the record 22 million job losses that preceded that.

Trump also boasted about the Covid testing system and his general response to the pandemic, even though experts near-universally say the US was fatally slow in its response, especially slow in setting up adequate testing.

You can read more or watch the video interview with CNN Fact Checker by Anderson Cooper at the link.

So, I’m going for a quiet weekend and hoping that everything around me cooperates!  You take care!  Let us know you’re okay!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?