De-Orange-ifying

Now begins the task that I should have been smart enough to avoid in the first place. The task? As the title states, I am in the process of re-editing a good portion of the articles about President Trump where I unambiguously (my fingers keep wanting to type inslut and not insult. Freudian slip?) where I unambiguously insult him by referring to him as the OHM or Orange Hate-Monkey. I explain why this isn’t an insult in the first article, the one where I hung the moniker on him:

His supporters, of course, don’t accept my logic on the subject, and I’d like to not have my writing be rejected outright by people I offer it to simply because it refers to their cult leader as the Orange Hate-Monkey or OHM. Stonekettle said four years ago (not to me specifically) don’t use funny names to describe the legitimate president of the United States. He will still be the president whether you like him or not. I should have followed that paraphrased advice. If I had done that back in 2017 when the asshole was handed the presidency by a complacent America, I wouldn’t now be saddled with the task of making my blog entries readable by others. Readable by people who can’t be bothered to decode the gibberish I type because they really don’t give a shit about what I think unless I hook ’em first.

The de-orange-ification of the blog commences with the alteration of the category tag for Trump’s politics from OHM to Trumpismo. Like it or not, that is the name of Trump’s politics on this blog, and it identifies itself as such with his name. Like the cultish followers of Hugo Chavez, Trump deserves a special name for his politics as it is observed by his cult followers.

De-Orange-ifying does not mean that I will remove all references to Trump as the Orange Hate-Monkey. It just means that if I feel like the article will be referenced later, read by someone other than myself or someone who is interested in my work to start with, I’m going to make the text less offensive on the surface while maintaining the high standards that marks most of my writing.

It is fitting that the de-orange-ification here is accompanied by the de-orange-ification currently going on in Washington D.C. I wish our leaders the best of luck at de-orange-ifying our government. May they have better luck than I will have at de-orange-ifying this blog.

#MAGA: Land Doesn’t Vote. People Do.

In private groups – where you’re not invited – we share our bewilderment of your descent into madness. We all have stories about how we’ve cut ties with you, our family and former friends, because we don’t want your hatred poisoning our social media streams. We can’t stand to listen to you vomiting the lies of your cult, day after day. You used to be different. We liked you. But now that we know what was inside your heart all along, we’ve decided you don’t deserve to know about our lives.

Red State Rustler (on Facebook)

I love every stinking word of that article. I love and agree with every single letter, space and punctuation. Tell him I sent you, if you click the link and read the whole thing. Since this is one of my #MAGA articles, I’m betting you, dear reader, won’t do that.

Joe Biden won the election. I realize this is news to you because your cult leader and his approved media sources won’t tell you that Donald Trump lost the election for U.S. President, but that is the truth as verified by the recent votes of the electoral college. It really shouldn’t matter that the electoral college votes one way or the other, but in the United States we have some pretty weird ideas about what it means to win an election.

Seven million (give or take) seven million more people voted for Joe Biden. Seven million more people voted for Joe Biden than voted for Donald Trump. When seven million more people vote for Joe Biden, he wins the election. That is just basic math, and it is also the way that the electoral college was supposed to work:

It was supposed to work that way originally, and it could well work that way again unless we get rid of it entirely. Seven million more people voted for Joe Biden, and still the currently sitting (lame duck) President and his supporters think that they have the umph to make him president for a second term. I don’t think they understand the basic math that is at play here. I have some visual aids for this article, because the Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans apparently can’t understand what 7 million more votes for Joe Biden actually represents.

tenor.co
mentalfloss.com
engaging-data.com

There are more of us than there are of you. Seven million more of us. Do you get the picture now? We are rapidly approaching the New Year as I sit here typing this. The 117th Congress will be sworn in and seated on January 3rd. The votes of the electoral college will be counted on January 6th. Barring antics by Republicans that slip through the net and attempt to sabotage the the electoral vote count, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20th.

The trumpists can either learn how to live with the fact that they and their cult-leader lost the election, or they can overthrow the legitimately elected government with trickery on January 6th or with insurrection sometime before January 20th. In either case, they will have chosen to end what has been seen as normal for the United States since 1789:

Trump Impeachment Anniversary

A year ago today, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In his plea to Senators to convict the president, Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead impeachment manager for the House, warned “you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country.” Schiff asked: “How much damage can Donald Trump do between now and the next election?” and then answered his own question: “A lot. A lot of damage.” “Can you have the least bit of confidence that Donald “How much damage can Donald Trump do between now and the next election?” and then answered his own question: “A lot. A lot of damage.” “Can you have the least bit of confidence that Donald Trump will… protect our national interest over his own personal interest?” Schiff asked the senators who were about to vote on Trump’s guilt. “You know you can’t, which makes him dangerous to this country.’’

Heather Cox Richardson

A year later, a month away from Trump’s ouster from the White House after losing the election to Joe Biden, the damage that President Trump has done is all around us, impossible to ignore:

The Senators who voted to acquit President Trump are accomplices in the murders of all of the people who died unnecessarily this year. They are accomplices in the theft and corruption that they have enabled over all of the span of the Trump administration. The most corrupt administration in the history of the United States, hands down. They are as guilty as Trump is when it comes to the destruction of the US economy, a destruction that they are now stoking in hopes of destroying any chance of Biden being able to be successful in reviving the country before 2022.

These are the kinds of people that the Republican party sends to Washington. These are the values of the party of the Moral Majority laid bare. President Trump is actively working to destroy the country, and Mitch McConnell is helping him. Who wants to bet that the slowdown in delivery of the Pfizer vaccine isn’t Caudito Trump lashing out at the American public who rejected him?

Rachel Maddow won’t say it, but I will. I will go so far as to suggest that this is not only possible but probable. When Trump and his Republican lackies are willing to risk the kinds of global destruction we are potentially heading for right now if the United States collapses in upon itself in an orgy of self-destruction, what it means to plan for the failure of the Biden administration, the notion that a petty narcissist would stop delivery of life-saving medication out of spite is entirely believable.

What Trumpismo and its supporters have done is prove that Adam Schiff and the Democrats who impeached President Trump a year ago undersold us on the hazard that the country could face in his hands. If only we could go back in time, what would we say to them? What could we say to the Republican base that might possibly have changed their minds?

Facebook Making Politics More Polarized

h/t to the moderator who provided me with this image

The moderators of the public Common Sense with Dan Carlin group have informed me that Facebook decided to close the group down rather than bother with trying to punish the individuals who violated Facebook rules inside the forum. This is not the first time I’ve experienced Facebook’s high handed attitude towards organizations that are native to the platform.

Every time that Facebook harasses a public group out of existence, that group reconstitutes as a private group somewhere else, either on Facebook or on another platform. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times now.

Forcing public groups to go private or leave Facebook is self defeating behavior on their part. The objectionable behavior in question always continues in these reconstituted groups. It just happens in private, and the members who witness the behavior will not want to report it because of the consequences that Facebook will inflict on their group.

They need to stop this punishing of public groups if they want to be able to rely on user feedback going into the future. Their actions against public groups only further balkanizes group thought, forcing the individuals into more close-knit groups that are even more fearful of outsiders and differences of opinion than they were before.

Facebook should at least try to be smarter than their users are. They might be more successful at curbing the frightening polarization already present in the world.

Facebook feedback

300,000 Dead Americans

We went from 200,000 to 300,000 in less than three months.

We hit 100,000 officially dead to the Coronavirus back on May 27th. It took 4 months to get to 200,000 from that number. It is expected we will hit 400,000 dead by January 20th, a mere 2 months away.

Joe BidenPresident-elect Biden Delivers Remarks on the Electoral College Vote Certification

I wouldn’t even have known we passed 300,000 today if Joe Biden hadn’t observed that we passed that landmark after marking the victory that was recorded by the electoral college today. A grim pairing for a grim year.

Fuck you 2020. Let’s hope your next of kin is kinder than you were.


I hate being right.

washingtonpost.com

Elections Have Consequences

There is a reason why I end this post the way I do:

The reason? The 117th Congress will be gaveled into session on January 3rd. Part of its reconstituting as the 117th Congress will be the presentation and acceptance of credentials for each and every member of the House and Senate. The Senate rules are on wikipedia. The House rules are a little harder to find. Here is a snippet of one of them:

5.1 Following opening prayer and before the election of the Speaker at the opening of a new Congress, the Clerk of the preceding Congress takes the following organizational steps: announces the receipt of credentials; causes the roll to be called alphabetically by states to establish a quorum; announces the establishment of a quorum; announces vacancies in the House occurring since national elections.

govinfo.gov (will open a PDF document)

The thing that needs to happen is that any Senator or Representative that questions the validity of the vote should have their credentials from their state rejected until their states can verify that they did indeed win their seats. Recounts, voter checks, whatever it takes. However long that process takes. They cannot be seated until their questions about voter fraud are answered to their satisfaction and the satisfaction of their constituents.

…or these very same Senators and Congressmen can shut up about the results of the presidential race and retract all their statements undermining the validity of the vote.

Both the House and the Senate have the right to determine who they will accept as members of their governing bodies, and seating someone who thinks the whole process is a farce undermines their work. So those people should simply not be seated until their reservations about the system are answered or revealed to be false. Plain and simple.

This is a necessary step. If we allow anyone to be seated who intends to torpedo the certification of the Presidential election, we will have signed up for a second term for Caudito Trump. This is hardball we are playing here. This is for all the marbles. Either the Republicans agree that there is one reality and one set of facts that governs that reality, or we might as well just start shooting at each other right now.

…Because if they are allowed to continue this charade, the shooting will start eventually. We might as well make it at a time and place of our choosing. I say January 3rd, 2021. Agree not to torpedo Biden’s electoral college victory with fraudulent antics, or renounce your seat in the 117th Congress. Pick one.

This is why elections have consequences. Republicans went to the polls and voted for down-ballot Republicans and either left off their vote for president or shifted their vote to Joe Biden. That is why Caudito Trump lost. He lost because his own Republican base will not support him. But the brown-nosing Senators and Congresspeople who won can’t be seen to be betraying the leader of their party. They are trying to play both sides off against the middle. Trying to continue the game that they’ve played since before I was born, or at least since Tricky Dick Nixon.

This is why Republicans cannot be allowed to get away with being soft on what reality is. Either the count is the count, or it isn’t the count. There is no two ways about this subject. If the count for Biden is rife with fraud, then so is the results of their elections, and we can’t be letting them muddy the waters with their false accusations. This is where we must make our stand. It is either here, or on some bloody battlefield in the near future.

The stakes could not be higher or more plain. This is for the win. For the power. The Republicans know this. The Democrats also need to not be harboring delusions about what the Republican’s next play will be. Do you really doubt that Mitch McConnell isn’t planning this coup right now? He says he isn’t, finally admitting Caudito Trump lost the election:

Our country has, officially, a president-elect and a vice-president elect,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor. “I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden. The president-elect is no stranger to the Senate. He’s devoted himself to public service for many years.

Mitch McConnell

Does anyone believe him? More importantly, why would we believe him? He’s lied repeatedly every single time he’s opened his mouth since the day he stepped on the Senate floor. He has failed to do his job for more than a decade, and yet Kentucky continues to send his useless ass to the Senate as if he can be relied upon to do anything productive for the United States.

You Republicans who thought that this was a Trumpismo problem? Wrong again. It is a you problem. You are the problem. Elections have consequences.

nytimes.com
Bulwark – Kim Wehle on the GOP’s Assault on Voting Rights – Dec. 14, 2020

Postscript

They did not take the threat of traitors in their midst seriously. There were no objections based on credential arguments offered, that I heard. All of the members of the 117th Congress who showed up for work on January 3rd were seated. Most of us know now what that lack of awareness cost us on January 6th, 2021. None of us know what the future holds, unfortunately. There are traitors in their midst, and there is a traitor in the White House unless they remove him before January 20th, 2021 when the new president takes over. One week away. Still not sleeping well.

Featured image added January 14, 2021. Reuters.

Changing Government

Manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Thomas Jefferson
Morning Edition – Thomas Jefferson Descendant Reflects On His Ancestor’s Memorial And Legacy – July 15, 2020

Toxic Isolation

Perhaps even before the virus, before Brexit, we had all been quarantined in our own naked individualism — an isolation far more toxic. There we were, incarcerated and alone inside the penitentiary of our temporal identities with no faith or care for anything other than the fleeting fulfillment of our wayward wants. This is the divide that British people have to reach across for there ever to be any real sense of unity among us. Ultimately, it is the island of self that we must either leave or remain trapped within.

NYTimes – Brexit: What Were We Thinking?!

Is This It?

In the cool light of an impending winter’s day, watching as the world economy spirals down the drain of the Coronavirus pandemic; as the various nations of the world including the vassal states of my own country flex their muscles to assert their dominance, and lastly in light of the naked insanity of our president and his supporters, is it completely reasonable to ask the question:

Is this it? Is this the end of us?

The question could be answered in a number of ways. Parsing the question, it depends on what you mean by the word us. The human race will continue on, and the world will continue spinning just like it always has. In that sense the answer is no. No, it is not the end of us. Some form of government will continue. Other nations will take over our leadership role. This process has already started and will continue whether we want it to or not.

A different take would be to observe that every empire in history has fallen. They rise, and then they fall. We watched the Soviet Union dissolve before our very eyes just over thirty years ago. This could be the point in time where the empire that the United States maintains falls apart.

Maybe our empire should fall apart. Maybe we shouldn’t have an empire in the first place? I’ve been warning people for years that the US is one major crisis away from ceasing to exist. Some people laughed when I first proposed this problem back in the day, the problem that the United States is a paper tiger.

A paper tiger in that, the American people don’t want an empire. They never have wanted one. The federal government in Washington D.C. established one anyway. They did it in our name, at the urging of power brokers of previous generations. Stealing the lands of our neighbors and putting native peoples to the sword in a fair approximation of England or France or any other empire-building nation of previous generations.

We have built a military that is unrivaled in the modern world, spending blood and treasure at a phenomenal rate to the benefit of our corporate masters and even to the benefit of the assembly line workers that build all the armaments that we currently deploy. We can, with pinpoint precision, remove any threat that we recognize as a threat with that military. We can do this and we have done this, right up to this point in history.

We are the wealthiest, most powerful nation in recorded human history. How can we just cease to exist?

…and here we are laid low by a virus, the simplest form of life on this planet. Life so simple that it barely qualifies as life in the first place. It is a little bit of replicating code that has evolved to use the larger bits of life around it to make more of itself without ever knowing what it was doing. It just does what it does, and we can’t stop it.

We can’t stop it. Not with jet planes or nuclear weapons or all the money in the world can we stop it. We can’t stop it unless we accept that we have to stop it, and then make that the thing we need to do now instead of building jet planes and nuclear missiles. This is the biggest crisis we’ve faced in our lifetimes, bigger than the crash that happened in 2008 that we still haven’t recovered from. It is possible that we are living through the greatest crisis in recorded human history, when our children’s children look back at this time through the lens of history.

The future of the United States as a political entity is a small thing compared to the effect that a pandemic can have on the human psyche. In the end that is really all that matters. Unless we can grasp the threat we face right now and answer that threat. Unless we put aside the petty dictators and their Trumpismo’s and focus on the real threat, the fear that this virus inspires in us all and the impact that its continued existence unchecked in the world represents, then the United States will be done for in spite of its globe-spanning military presence and its corporate reach.

…and just maybe, in the end, that is the way that it ought to be.

Featured image: IFLScience How Long Do We Have Left Before The Universe Is Destroyed?

What Trump Can Teach Us About Constitutional Law

For any #MAGA out there. You know who you are.

Trumpconlaw is another podcast hosted by Roman Mars of 99% Invisible fame. When the show first started, I started tweeting out my own version of promos for each episode. The series of them can be found under the tag TrumpConLaw on this blog. This post should appear as the header for that series of tweets. As a consequence of this, it will move forward in time as new episodes are released. Here is the introductory episode of the series.

Intro to What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law – 06.07.17

So we’re going to learn the constitution together. Because of Trump. Because I need something to hold onto, and the constitution is the liferaft that our forefathers gave us. And dammit, I’m going to learn how it works.

Roman Mars

Here is the tweet that started it all,

Twitter

On a tangential track (or set of tracks) I am slowly working my way through the 99% Invisible archive. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever make it all the way through, but hope springs eternal. 99% Invisible is undoubtedly one of the best designed websites in existence. All Roman Mars podcasts and the podcasts that are presented through his distribution group, Radiotopia, are among the few podcasts out there that are easily shareable; easily shareable because the link to the hosting website is actually referenced in the feed address for the podcast you are listening to. I remain baffled as to why more podcasts do not design their feeds to be easily accessible in this way. In any case, give some of these podcasts a listen. It will take your mind off of the impending doom looming over the US today.


TED2015 Roman Mars Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed

09/22/19. I added the link to the introduction episode, the inspirational tweet, and Roman’s quote from that episode. 04/13/20. Moved to March 19th subsequent to the last episode at the time. Moved to November 11th when I found I had been missing episodes all summer.