Monday, May 31, 2021

GQP Continues Its Crusade To Dissolve US Democracy While Biden And Democrats Say And Do Virtually Nothing

The GQP continues on its unrelenting crusade to foment additional violent insurrections across the United States, moving the country closer to a dissolution of democracy.

This week:
Republicans killed a bill to create an independent commission to investigate the January 6 domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol, 

Matt Gaetz (under federal investigation for child sex trafficking) said true American patriots have an "obligation" to "use" the Second Amendment to overthrow the current government

Florida blogger Donald Trump continued his stream of lies about winning the 2020 election in a landslide, 

former US military general and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn told a QAnon conference audience in Dallas last weekend that a Myanmar-like military coup "should" happen in the US in order to put Trump back in the White House, and 

former Trump lawyer Sidney "Kraken" Powell told the Dallas crowd that Trump can, and will be, "reinstated" as president of the United States but he "won't get credit for the time he has lost" in his second term. Powell promised "more evidence" would be available "in a month or two".
Please note that this is the same Sidney Powell who stated in a recent court filing (she's a defendant in a $1.3 billion lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems) that she can't be sued for defamation because no reasonable person would ever believe anything she says is factual.
Meanwhile, The Daily Beast's podcast asks: "Will Biden Ever Get Off His Ass to Save Democracy?"

Molly Jong-Fast, host of The New Abnormal, spoke with Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic, who called the hundreds of voter suppression bills being pushed through state legislatures throughout the country "the most serious threat to the core underlying principles of American democracy since at least the Civil War . . . Amid all of this, you've heard very, very little from Biden presenting this as a threat to democracy".

I went out and talked to the heads of a lot of the civil rights and voting rights groups that are working on these issues. And they are worried on two fronts. They're worried about the magnitude of what's unfolding in the red states. And they are worried about the way that the Biden White House and the Senate Democratic leadership are responding to it. That there is a gap that is widening between the magnitude of the threat and the intensity of the response. . . .

There are provisions in many of these laws that are increasing the authority of statewide officials—Republicans—to override decisions by local officials, primarily Democrats, about access to the ballot, or even potentially counting of the ballots. There are bills in these states that would restrict the ability of state courts even to oversee and intervene. . . .

[But Biden's team] don't really see it that way. They argue—and this is an exact quote from a very senior official—that the best chance to prevent Republicans from undermining the 2024 election is to hold the House and the Senate. . . . And it's more important to do that than to call out what's happening in stark terms.

Of course, by 2024, the deck could be legally stacked against the Democrats in so many states that holding the House and the Senate could be an impossible task. But we'll worry about tomorrow tomorrow, right?

While Biden ignores those real and present dangers, he is also covering up many of Trump's crimes, including his child separation policy and a Justice Department memo supporting the claim that the Mueller Report did not support a charge of presidential obstruction.

Biden is also urging a federal judge to dismiss civil lawsuits against Trump and other officials for last June's attacks by the US military on 1,000+ peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square because Trump lost re-election, so future violations are very unlikely. Seriously -- that's one of the reasons. Because we all know that Trump has zero supporters in government who might consider running for high office and win and then mimic his actions (or worse).

Friday, May 28, 2021

Republicans Vote To Cover Up Worst Terrorist Attack On Nation's Capital In 200+ Years (While Stoking Anger For The Next Attack By Telling Supporters Of Their "Obligation" To "Use" The Second Amendment In "Armed Rebellion Against The Government")

An overwhelming majority of Republicans, having vowed fealty to their twice-impeached, sociopathic leader who incited, supported, and celebrated the worst terrorist attack on the US Capitol in more than 200 years*, voted against the creation of an independent and nonpartisan investigation into (and supporting a cover-up of) the January 6, 2021 deadly insurrection.

*: In August 1814, the British Army burned parts of the White House, the Capitol, and other buildings. (Not Canada, you fucking idiot. And while on the subject of your seemingly infinite ignorance, the influenza pandemic of 1918 (not 1917) did not end World War II, which began in 1939. (Good fucking lord.))

The bill was defeated 54-35, falling six votes short of passage.

                  Democrats     Republicans
In Favour:            48              6
Against:               0             35
Refused to Vote:       2              9 

Nine days ago, 35 Republicans voted in favour of the creation of a January 6 commission. But today, only six — Senators Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), and Ben Sasse (Nebraska) — voted today in support of that same commission.

Olbermann Doesn't Forget To Slam The Always-Spineless Democrats
Terrorist sympathizer and Spineless Trump Toady Mitch McConnell (who earlier this month admitted his only mission is stopping anything President Biden supports, even if it helps most Americans (before cowardly walking back his true statement)) went door-to-door earlier this week, begging his fellow Seditionists to kill the bill.

As Nicholas Fandos (New York Times) reported, Republicans were terrified that any scrutiny of the January 6 attack would "enrage a former president they are intent on appeasing". One Democrat estimated McConnell was able to convince about eight Republicans to change their vote, enough to defeat the bill.

Several Republicans have extremely personal reasons for opposing the commission. They would be potential witnesses (who would have to testify under oath) to what Donald Trump (and his aides) said and did during the insurrection, how responsive Trump was to pleas for help in stopping the attack, and whether Trump blocked or delayed any response.

Jamie Gorelick, a former member of the 9/11 Commission, said it was "exceedingly unusual" for potential witnesses to be the ones deciding whether there should be a commission. . . . Yeah, no shit. How often are criminals given the final and absolute say in whether law enforcement investigates their crimes?

Numerous reports since January 6 leave absolutely no doubt that Trump was utterly deaf to pleas for help (while at the same time inciting the mob to murder the Vice President, House Speaker, and others) and he delayed any response from the military or National Guard while the attack was in progress. A few hours after the attack, Trump released a video declaring his love for his army of armed terrorists.

An anonymous Republican aide: "What really happened that day — and everyone knows it — is that the president was not interested in doing anything as the country was under attack. The commission could prove that."

[Trump's non-response was identical to that of the US military on September 11, 2001. On that morning, the military did absolutely nothing but twiddle its thumbs until the attacks were over. Then, and only then, were fighter jets given the okay to take off.]

Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post, May 28, 2021 (my emphasis):
Former president Donald Trump, whose most zealous supporters carried out the attack, has cast a long shadow over the GOP as lawmakers have wrestled with the proposal to establish a 10-person panel of nongovernment experts charged with finding answers — and accountability. The proposal called for five members, including the chair, to be appointed by Democrats and another five, including the vice chair, to be appointed by Republicans. The commission would have had the power to issue subpoenas on a bipartisan basis, which some Democrats warned — and many Republicans worried — could have been used to force the former president, and his allies in Congress, to testify under oath.

Over the past week, GOP senators voiced concern that . . . if the commission did not produce a final report before the end of the year, Republican lawmakers would have to spend much of the 2022 campaign season responding to its revelations about Trump's past ills and trying to sidestep his outbursts . . .

Trump entered the fray last week, warning that the commission was a "Democrat trap" and excoriating the "35 wayward Republicans" who supported the proposal in the House.

"Sometimes there are consequences to being ineffective and weak," he said in a statement, issuing a personal challenge to McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to heed his warnings. . . .

The GOP's votes stood in sharp contrast to its prevailing rhetoric at the time, which was sharply critical of Trump. McConnell, immediately after voting to acquit the former president, blamed him for inciting the insurrection. Yet in recent weeks . . . Republicans muzzled anti-Trump sentiment within their ranks . . .

On Thursday, the family and friends of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick [who suffered two strokes and died the day after he confronted rioters at the insurrection] attempted to make a personal moral appeal to GOP senators . . . But after meeting with 15 senators, Sandra Garza, the late officer's partner, emerged deflated.

"Why would they not want to get to the bottom of such horrific violence?" she said to reporters. "It just boggles my mind."
The Republican/Seditionist party doesn't want to "get to the bottom of such horrific violence" because they support "such horrific violence". That becomes obvious when we read about various GQP members actively attempting to re-write the history of January 6 ("a normal tourist visit"), while also stoking anger and fears for the next armed insurrection.

One day after a mass shooting in Silicon Valley, Matt Gaetz (Q-Florida), currently under federal investigation for child sex trafficking and a host of other crimes, voiced his opinion that the Second Amendment is a license to murder people who "suppress us, discourage us" and disgruntled Americans have "an obligation" to use it:
The Silicon Valley can't cancel this movement, or this rally, or this congressman. We have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it.
Gaetz also tweeted:
The Second Amendment is about the ability to maintain, within the citizenry, an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary. I hope it never does.
"I hope it never does." (wink wink nudge nudge)

It Must Be Extremely Hard Work To Continually Be As Stupid As Marjorie Taylor "I Was
Allowed To Believe Things That Weren't True" Greene (Perhaps She Is Naturally Gifted)


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

MAGA FRANK Is The New Coachella

Free Tickets!

* * *

Monday, May 24, 2021

United States Of America, May 2021

"Ignorance and despotism seem made for each other."
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Robert Pleasants, August 27, 1796

"I love the poorly educated."
Donald Trump, speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 24, 2016

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Open Letter From Pro-Insurrectionist Military Group Signed By "Rear Adm. Jack Meehoff"

About two weeks ago, a group of 124 retired admirals and generals, calling themselves "Flag Officers 4 America", released an open letter questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

In the letter, they whined about (non-existent) "election irregularities" and repeated various Trumpian lies. As the Washington Post reported: "The parts that are not flat-out false reveal a knowledge base that would flunk a high school civics class."

The letter's list of signatories consists mostly of low-level officers who retired more than 20 years ago, including Rear Adm. Jack Meehoff.

Task and Purpose:
After Christopher Mathias of the Huffington Post wrote a May 12 story about the letter, he received an email the following day from someone showing how he had managed to get the apocryphal "Rear Adm. Jack Meehoff" added to the list of signatories.

Mathias later tweeted emails from the man, whose name he redacted, showing how he had provided the false name to retired Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Arbuckle, who left active duty in 2000. . . .

As it turns out, there is no flag officer named "Jack Meehoff" in the Navy's records, said Cmdr. David Hecht, a spokesman for the Chief of Naval Personnel, who confirmed the name is a fake. . . .

On Monday, Task & Purpose spoke to "Jack Meehoff" – not his real name – who said he was prompted to prank the cabal of McCarthyites because he felt their open letter was "f—ing absurd", especially in the context of the Jan. 6 riots.

The man – who declined to provide his real name or a copy of his DD-214 – claimed to be a former enlisted submariner. . . .

He also said he didn't put much thought into coming up with the name "Jack Meehoff" as opposed to other joke names – such as "Ben Dover" – and he only realized afterward that the rank "rear admiral" added a double entendre to his fictional pseudonym.
Stephen Colbert rose to the occasion:
Jack Meehoff is a true American hero who served bravely in several solo missions, where he beat off the enemy single-handedly. We all remember his heroics at the Battle of Strokenowa. Lost a lot of good seamen that day. He was awarded the Purple Heart-on, at which point he wasn't honorably discharged – he was fully released. . . .

Jack Meehoff is – I am just now realizing – a made-up name submitted by someone trying to prank these stupid retired fascists. But they didn't catch on and instead they published the name, after responding "Thank you for your support . . . Your name will be added to the letter today. Thank you for standing tall."

Yes! Rear Admiral Jack Meehoff stands tall, especially if he takes a certain medication three-to-five hours before he thinks he might need to salute. And this hero is following in the footsteps of great American pranksters. The Declaration of Independence is full of signatures like "Beecher Meet", "Finn Gerblaster", and, of course, "John Hancock".

And I want to take this moment to call on all members of the military, whether you're currently in action or having some orange juice before your next call of duty, to sign this letter using your definitely real name. I'm talking to you, Major Harden, Captain Luke Atdeseballs, Sergeant Ruben Juan Outt, Colonel Anne L Beads, Private Willy Tugger, and, of course, Field Marshal Buttstuff. Thank you for your self-service.
And now, some music:

Friday, May 21, 2021

Trump's Blog Is Not "Redefining The Game" (Unless That Game Is Hide & Not Seek); More Primitive Than LiveJournal, It's A Stone Cold Loser: A May 19 Post Was Shared 679 Times

Donald Trump's blog is not doing very well, according to data compiled by social media analytics companies. Light years from "completely redefining the game", Trump is fast becoming a non-entity online.

Social engagement around Trump — a measure of likes, reactions, comments or shares on content about him across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest — has nosedived 95 percent since he was permanently banned from Twitter in January, according to the Washington Post. 

A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that nearly half of Trump voters (46%) say they have zero plans to read the posts from the former guy's little desk in Mar-A-Blogo.
Drew Harwell and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, May 21, 2021:
Online talk about [Donald Trump] has plunged to a five-year low. He's banned or ignored on pretty much every major social media venue. In the last week, Trump's website — including his new blog, fundraising page and online storefront ­— attracted fewer estimated visitors than the pet-adoption service Petfinder and the recipe site Delish. . . .

Social engagement around Trump — a measure of likes, reactions, comments or shares on content about him across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest — has nosedived 95 percent since January, to its lowest level since 2016 [according to data from four online-analytics firms]. . . .

His "From the Desk of Donald Trump" blog, which he and his team have promoted heavily in TV interviews and social media posts, has in the last week been shared to Facebook on average fewer than 2,000 times a day — a staggering drop from last year, when his Facebook page fielded tens of millions of comments, shares and other interactions every week . . .

Trump, who has long boasted about his ability to draw an audience online and dominate the conversation, has complained that his statements are getting nowhere near as much as attention as they once did, people in his orbit have said. . . .

In March, Trump's senior adviser, Jason Miller, said a new Trump social media platform would be revealed within three months and draw "tens of millions of people" to become "the hottest ticket" in social media.

"It's going to completely redefine the game," he said in a Fox News interview, "and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does."

Trump's team unveiled their new website this month by circulating a cinematic trailer, in which soaring orchestral music plays as the camera zooms from space into Mar-a-Lago over the words: "In a time of silence and lies, a beacon of freedom arises."

But even as they promoted it, Trump's advisers were underwhelmed. The long-hyped site was just a blog: a primitive one-way loudspeaker that lacked most of the technical features that define the modern Web, like the per-post comment sections that older blogging sites such as LiveJournal have had for 20 years. . . .

Miller dismissed the drop in mentions on social media. "A lot of our people aren't on those platforms anymore. When they kicked off Trump, millions of Trump supporters are no longer on Twitter or Facebook having rejected these big tech oligarchs for their censoring of President Trump."

But there's no evidence that millions of Trump supporters have left those platforms. Facebook's daily active user base in the United States and Canada hasn't changed since Trump's ban . . . while Twitter's actually grew by 5 million, to 38 million, company filings show. . . .

Trump advisers say the blog is low-quality and unimpressive and have faulted Brad Parscale, the former Trump campaign manager whose company built the site . . . for several technical glitches and inexplicable delays. . . .

Each blog post includes a Facebook and Twitter share button, allowing fans to spread Trump's words on networks where they would otherwise be banned. But not many fans appear to be doing so: Social engagement across the Web with Trump's blog, including reactions and shares on Facebook and Twitter, plummeted from 159,000 interactions on its first day to fewer than 30,000 the second and haven't crossed 15,000 interactions any day since, BuzzSumo data show.

Parscale insisted . . . the number of page views so far in May is 28 million . . .

Trump's blog shows [no] technical sophistication . . . The blog does not save one's progress or previously read messages, and asks viewers every time they open the page whether they want alerts to their email and phone, regardless of whether they've already signed up.

To mimic a social network, each post includes a "heart" button, but it doesn't do anything except change the icon from blue to red . . . Some messages, like a recent 900-word rant about the New York attorney general's investigation of his company, are posted in a single giant, hard-to-read block.

The site prominently features buttons for donating to Trump's political action committee and buying Trump-branded merchandise. . . . The only photo on the site shows Trump sitting in a floral-patterned chair, writing in a book with a Sharpie. . . .
Trump claims he likes his blog "better than Twitter".

Is that why he tried (in vain) several times to sneak back onto Twitter? And I guess he also likes having his posts shared fewer than 700 times as opposed to 100,000 times because his main goal is always to avoid drawing attention to himself.

The Narcissists Hagiography (January 6 Edition)

I like this guy's work.

He Was Very Worried About Joel Greenburg. (He Was Also Very Worried About
His Ex-Girlfriend And All Those Venmo Receipts He Moronically Did Not Bother
To Hide, Which  Would Later Prove He Was Guilty Of Child Sex Trafficking And Statutory Rape.)
(He's also focused on scandal - and he couldn't define socialism if you gave him three dictionaries.)

* * *

They Send Only Their Best


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Oops (Saying The Quiet Part Out Loud, Part 738)

GQP Is Resolute In Claiming The Violent January 6 Insurrection They Instigated Was A Peaceful Protest

The Top News Story In The US . . .

"She had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered.
She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility,
absolutely none that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her."
(George Orwell, 1984)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen: "Andrew Giuliani Is So Stupid He Makes Eric Trump Look Like A Valedictorian Of Harvard" (Case In Point: Giuliani Says He Began His Political Career At Age 3)

What A Concept

Latest Arizona Vote Fraud Theory: Shredded Ballots Were Fed To Chickens Who Were Then Roasted To Destroy The Evidence (Which Follows Hugo Chavez's Beyond-the-Grave Machinations & North Korean Ballot Boats Sailing To Maine)

The Trump Cult was able to finagle a third recount of 2020 votes in Arizona. The first two recounts  confirmed the official count, but the GQP is hoping this farcical audit (aka "fraudit") conducted by a private, unaccredited company called Cyber Ninjas with no experience in verifying ballots (headed by a "Stop the Steal" loony) can somehow come up with some different numbers.

The Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors blasted the recount as a "sham" and "political theater" backed by "grifters and con-artists". That sounds about right. 

The ninjas are pretty clueless; they are having serious problems even counting to 200 - and they are expected to deal with millions of ballots. They have been busy examining ballots under a UV light looking for evidence of bamboo, which they believe will provide unimpeachable evidence that China interfered in the election and helped Trump lose. . . . Because the only place on earth you can find bamboo is in China (among groups of Biden-lovers) and everything exported out of China has lots of bamboo in it.

Also, "many people are saying" that inconvenient (i.e., pro-Trump) ballots were shredded by officials, who then fed the shredded ballots to chickens before roasting the chickens to destroy the evidence. I'm not making that up. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer told CNN's Don Lemon:

The craziest conspiracy theory by far is that one of the board of supervisors who happens to own a very large chicken farm took ballots from the 2020 election, fed them to 165,000 chickens and then had them incinerated. Now, what actually happened is that this poor man had a serious fire at one of his barns and 165,000 chickens did die. But the idea that they had ballots inside of them — I mean, you know, and legitimate people indulge this. A prominent member of the state legislature indulged this in a conversation.

Why wouldn't they simply burn the ballots? Why bother with the chickens?

The Case of the Ballot-Eating Chickens is merely the latest loony conspiracy dreamed up by people who cannot fathom how a lifetime loser managed to lose an election.

Ballots were dumped in a river. This was announced by Trump and the White House press secretary. Where is the river? No one knows. When were they found? No idea. Who found the ballots? No clue.  Who dumped the ballots? Impossible to say. Where were the ballots taken from? I wish we knew. When were the ballots stolen? I can't tell you. Where are these soggy ballots now? No one knows.

Hugo Chavez helped rig the 2020 election (even though he died in 2013). The evidence [sic] for that is reportedly a heavily-redacted affidavit supposedly received by an anonymous former Venezuelan military official who allegedly saw Chavez allegedly playing around with an allegedly rigged Smartmatic machine many years ago. Conservative pundit Dave Rubin argued that Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani could not possibly be lying about this Chavez theory because "if they’re just making it up, then [they] are legitimately insane". Therefore, it must be true. . . . Case closed!

Crooked ballots were delivered by boat from North Korea to Maine. Roger Stone said on December 2, 2020 that he had "just learned of absolute incontrovertible evidence of North Korean boats delivering ballots through a harbor in Maine, the state of Maine. If this checks out . . . it would be proof of foreign involvement in the election."

It did not check out.

* * *

The Arizona Senate accused Maricopa County officials of deleting its entire database. Trump loudly echoed this claim. But it was a lie. One day after the County helpfully pointed out noted that the Ninjas were looking in the wrong place, the "deleted" files were suddenly "recovered". (Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers (May 17): "They can't find the files because they don't know what they're doing.")