MAGA: Amnesty – It’s Not a Border or an Immigration Problem.

More than two million people tried to cross the US-Mexico border in 2022, according to officials. They want to make this sound like a large number. It would be a large number, if these people were migrants and expected to go back and forth across the border each year.

These people are not migrants though, no matter how many talking heads call them migrants. They aren’t moving back and forth across the border several times a year, what migratory means. They aren’t just coming here because they want to move to America, what the word immigrant means. For the most part, these people don’t want to be here, they were forced to come here out of fear of where they were.

Allusionist 53: The Away Team – March 31, 2017

They are not immigrants beyond the fact that they want American protection from persecution (as foolish as believing that America will value the lives of refugees may be) and so want to become American citizens, with all the baggage that comes with being brown-skinned people in the original home of White Supremacy.

These people are refugees. That’s how you get two million people crossing a border into another country in a year. They are not invaders, drug runners or any other kind of criminal. They are poor, desperate people and we are using them as pawns in our political battles. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

texasstandard.org

Americans are outraged about the influx of refugees at the Southern border; at least, that is what Greg Abbott and the Texas GOP would like you to believe. They are betting on you being willing to torture poor refugee families in the name of your own security. That is the bet they are making in 2022. Will you do it? Will you go down to the border and use a cattle prod on these poor people in order to drive them back to their countries of origin, or will you be happy to allow the Texas and Mexican governments do your dirty work for you?

What needs to be done is to fix our amnesty rules, fix the injustices in Venezuela and Brazil and half a dozen other countries South of our border here in the United States. Injustices that we helped to create with decades of money to banana republics that we helped to create in the first place. South America is the way it is now largely because we made it that way, because it suited our corporations commodity-extracting needs. Now that these refugees from our policies show up on our door, we need to torture them some more? I think we’ve seen enough depravity now.

Lawyers for Martha’s Vineyard Migrants Call for Criminal Probe
facebook.com/Stonekettle
New York City considers legal action against Texas over migrant buses

There isn’t a problem on the border that passing legislation that fixes the immigration system won’t address. That isn’t a presidential problem, that’s a @SenTedCruz problem.

The biggest problem with immigration is Republicans cowardice in dealing with immigration. @marcorubio is the poster child for this cowardice, scuttling his own bill in the face of grassroots Republican xenophobia.

These cowards have no room to complain now. We cannot just close the fucking border. That isn’t a possibility and these Senators have to know this. We need immigrants. They do most of the shit jobs in this country, so keeping them out hurts the Republican capitalist religion.

This self destructive bullshit fear mongering has to stop. There is blood on all Republicans hands now. The El Paso shooting, the Uvalde shooting, etcetera. Republicans created the environment where these events take place and so all of them are to blame for those deaths.

It sickens me that I am represented in the Senate by these cowards. That my governor is no better than a coyote exploiting the desperate people who show up at our border seeking help. That Republicans in Texas would encite this violence in their pursuit of power.

I will vote for anyone who has a workable humane solution to this problem that has festered since long before I was born. The problem for Republicans is that they don’t have any proposals that are humane and workable. Which means they won’t be getting any sympathy for from me.

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The midterm elections are over. Texas has spoken; and Texas as a whole is every bit as xenophobic and racist as most of us liberals feared it was. Texas has re-elected not only the grandstanding demagogue that is Governor Greg Abbott, but they also re-elected the only Attorney General in the United States that was under felony indictment at the time of their election, Ken Paxton.

Texas has declared its intentions to flaunt the law and common decency for the extent of the foreseeable future, and so I think the United States should answer the declared intentions of the citizenry of Texas. If Texas thinks it can get by without the help of the United States, the federal government should kick out the props that keep the Texas economy afloat and see how well the state really does without that federal money.

There are many ways this can be done without harming the day to day life of the average Texan directly, and yet starving the criminal enterprise that is Texas state government under Greg Abbott and single-party Republican rule. I would start with the money that the federal government gives to Texas to cover the costs of border security and immigration.

The US government pays Texas to deal with immigrants and asylum seekers. This is the second largest income that Texas gets (21 billion in 2004 from the feds) it’s probably not enough given the drain that refugees exact on the governments who wind up sheltering them; but still, Texas is paid to deal with the refugee problem itself and not to spend that money shipping asylum seekers to other states and contractually gagging the contractors that are illegally transporting non-citizens across state lines. Not only should charges be brought against Greg Abbott and the transportation operator for the crime of moving non-citizens across state lines (basically, Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis are coyotes) but I think that the US government should go even farther and take back the money that Texas is misappropriating and put it to use in solving the problem.

The US and Mexico should just designate an area along the Texas-Mexico border as the place to go to apply for asylum, to apply for entry into the United States, the way that Ellis island was used a century ago. Some portion of Texas and some portion of Mexico should just be federalized and set aside to deal with this growing problem of amnesty and climate refugee status, some place large enough to house these people for as long as it takes to resolve their cases and find them permanent shelter somewhere else. Staff these new facilities with enough judges and US attorneys as well as beds and commissaries to house and feed the people that Texas just leaves out in the cold, pretending they don’t have the funds to fix the problem.

Stop paying Texas to play with the lives of the innocent victims of abusive governments we helped to create, stop paying Texas to keep out migrant labor that the rest of the country needs. It’s time to meet Greg Abbott on the hill he has chosen to die on, politically. If he wants to ally with the White Nationalists and xenophobes that back Trump today, he’s going to have to do so at the cost of Texas land itself and Texas’ economic prosperity.

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Featured image: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-IMMIGRATION/MEXICO/mopankddwva/

Privilege

There is a growing sentiment that I’ve heard voiced more and more often since the January 6th hearings started:

facebook/Stonekettle

This recent outrage is just more of the same in my mind. It’s the same kind of thing that he’s done and said since the day he took over his father’s businesses and proceeded to run them into the ground while simultaneously pretending to the possession of obscene levels of wealth. This has gone on far longer than he’s been in the public eye and been the darling of Christianists everywhere.

He’s always pretended to be above the law and said things out loud that most people would understand are an open admission of guilt. Several people have pointed this kind of behavior out to me over the last couple of weeks, as if I haven’t been pointing it out to most of them for more than six years. He’s guilty whether he admits it or not. What he’s doing is a con, a scam, a fraud. It’s clearly sedition and we just need to see him convicted in order to keep him out of office in the future.

Let me put it this way. If a prosecutor will bring charges against Donald Trump. If a prosecutor brought charges in front of a court and if that court convicted him. After prosecuting and convicting him, if that court sentenced him to death by firing squad. Finally, if Donald Trump takes several bullets to the chest in front of a firing squad for his transparently obvious crimes of sedition, only then might I be willing to admit that a wealthy person could be held to account in the United States.

Donald Trump doesn’t need an insanity plea and he’d never stoop to being represented that way in court. He doesn’t have to worry about pleas or legal strategies because he’s convinced everyone of importance that he is wealthy and comes from old, established American wealth and power. Fine, christian wealth. Wealthy people in the United States need not worry about jail time, especially prominent, wealthy, christian white men.

The United States was created by the wealthy for the wealthy. It was created out of the dreams of the average person, the dreams that they too might one day be wealthy. Their dreams, their blood, their sweat and their tears. But this country isn’t for average people, no matter how many of them die for it. This country serves the one percent, the upper echelons of wealth. The truth of this is evident all around us if we only look.

The founders were all landed gentry. Men of wealth and property. The most prominent name on the Declaration of Independence was a smuggler (along with Sam Adams) engaged in evading the taxes levied on them by the British parliament. The founders made grand promises of equality and liberty for everyone; but really, who cares about other people’s liberty anyway? I got mine, get yours.

When I was at my most cynical on this subject, many years ago, I observed that the United States had finally reached economic racial equality because O.J. Simpson managed to get away with killing a white woman and her boyfriend in cold blood. A wealthy black man was finally equal to a wealthy white one when it came to law and justice. It’s just unfortunate for him that he spent all his wealth evading justice on a murder charge and so ended up jailed as a poor black man a few years later.

One day even independently wealthy women will be as bullet proof as wealthy men currently are. On that day Martha Stewart will be able to not only engage in insider trading but almost cut the heads off former lovers and get away with it scot-free. Martha Stewart is no Donald Trump. He can send violent mobs to the Capitol of the United States with the goal of catching and killing his own Vice President, and he can walk around bragging about it for years afterward.

It’s nice to be privileged like that, I imagine. It probably tends to make you even less connected to the real world around you than the average American is. Tends to make you more than a little nuts. But, hey, that’s okay. He has money. He’s a nice guy once you get to know him and he’ll make it worth your while to be nice to him. He’ll get away with sedition, most likely.

NPR: All Things Considered – Proud Boys leader and 4 top members are charged with seditious conspiracy for Jan. 6 – June 6, 2022

While it is true that you can be barred from public office for being convicted of sedition, that charge almost never sticks, as the podcast embedded above goes into. Imagine being the prosecutor that fails to keep Donald Trump from running for office again; or keeps Donald Trump from running again, and becomes the target of every gun-carrying wingnut in the United States. Even less of a winning scenario than the charge of sedition being successful against one of Donald Trump’s lovely, lovely henchmen. Which is still a longshot.

There is also the fact that we’ve never prosecuted a President before in 240 years of US history:

In the 240 years since America’s founding, no former president has been indicted for criminal conduct. This isn’t because they were angels—far from it. And it isn’t because post-term indictment is not legally allowed. Instead, it is because Americans don’t like the idea of criminalizing politics. Both parties and the public see the prospect of post-term immunity as a guarantee that the country’s politics will remain civil and that power will transition peacefully from one party to the other. That is what drove President Gerald Ford to pardon Richard Nixon. And it’s one reason why the Office of the Independent Counsel decided not to indict former President Bill Clinton.

The presidency of Donald J. Trump has upended those calculations, and the resistance to post-term investigation may now come at too great a cost. When he leaves office, whether in January or four years later, the next administration or one of the states can and should investigate citizen Donald Trump—a former president whose legal status will be no different from that of any other American. The risk of politicization of such an investigation is far outweighed by the danger posed by failing to uphold our nation’s values. To protect future presidents from retributive investigations once they leave office, however, any investigation should be limited to Trump’s conduct before and after his presidency, not his behavior while he was president. If the findings of such an investigation justify it, prosecutors should indict the former president for violations of criminal law.

theatlantic.com

Until the time that all happens, the indictment, prosecution and sentencing of Donald Trump (the wealthy, white, christian, former President) I’m going to stick to the more doable task of keeping the House Democratic, making the Senate democratic and securing the election system against all future Trumpists. Because I think it’s important to maintain realistic goals.

facebook and facebook.

Postscript

Republicans have upped the ante:

Lindsey Graham, Hawley, Greene, Trump, and Republicans et al, [are] threatening Americans with violence if they don’t get their way. That’s not hyperbole, those are their own words.

And in point of fact, threatening violence over your political/religious beliefs with the intent to intimidate a population and/or to overthrow a government is the very definition of terrorism.

We’ve dropped missiles on terrorist leaders in the Middle East for a lot less than what Graham said yesterday.

facebook.com/Stonekettle

They’re daring our government to do the job they’ve sworn to do, knowing that the government never enforces laws against the wealthy unless forced to. They are counting on us not to force our government into action. To not be able to force our government into action.

If we don’t call their bluff then there is no point in doing anything after that. If all they have to do is threaten violence, then they’ll just be that much more encouraged to threaten and then do violence the next time, and the next time and then the time after that. All of these elected officials who threaten violence should be immediately arrested for fomenting a riot. We’ve seen that their followers are violent, will riot at any sign of encouragement, and they are encouraging them to be violent again. Their calling for violence again is all the proof we need to bring them and Donald Trump himself up on charges.

Why hasn’t this been done already? Wealthy people own this country.

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The Enron Legacy

there were many factors that went into creating the energy disaster with which Texans are now dealing. But at least in one respect, the problems in Texas are a product of an approach to the energy business that Lone Star State companies like Enron pursued at the end of the 20th century.

wapo

Ken Lay was George Bush’s best friend, back when George Bush was governor of Texas. That was what Ken Lay would tell you, if he was still alive today. The story is more slanted now that Ken Lay has been convicted of felony crimes and his flagship business, Enron, went bankrupt and took $40 billion dollars and the fortunes of thousands with it. Also, Ken Lay is conveniently dead of natural causes, so it is easy to blame him for all of the greed that was behind the drive to deregulate the energy sector in the United States.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (book) (movie)
Movieclips Classic TrailersEnron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) – Nov 20, 2013

It is because of Ken Lay’s friendship with Governor and then President Bush that the Texas and California electrical grids ended up being the mess that they are today. It’s just taken longer for Texas’ grid to fall apart than it did California’s, which has been on the ropes since Enron arranged for it to start suffering rolling blackouts back at the turn of the century.

I watched/read The Smartest Guys in the Room when the movie/book came out back in 2005. The story itself was just another nail in the coffin of my belief in market solutions, the death of my libertarian delusions. Every time that the fraudsters finally convince someone in authority to deregulate, it doesn’t take long to prove that government regulation had been there for a very good reason after all. Enron bought energy companies and then created energy markets for their power to be sold on. That was what those regulations stood in the way of, huge profits on Wall Street.

One of the last acts of desperation in the failing business that Enron became after its meteoric rise on the stock market was to turn off power generation in California’s electrical market in order to drive up the price of electricity and put money in the pockets of Enron executives and traders. Enron created rolling blackouts on purpose in order to profit from the suffering of California citizens. One of the last acts of desperation of the Texas Public Utility Commision during the recent winter storm was to set the price of electricity high enough on the Texas market to inspire power generators to turn on their excess capacity and flood the Texas power grid in their time of need. It’s just too bad that there wasn’t any capacity to be had because the power generators hadn’t bothered to insure against freezing by weatherizing their supply systems. Just too bad that electric energy generators and their investors were more interested in profiting off of the suffering of Texas citizens than they were in spending money weatherizing against winter storms that they hoped would never show up, but still manage to show up about every ten years anyway.

KUT 90.5 – Texas’ Power Grid Was 4 Minutes And 37 Seconds Away From Collapsing. Here’s How It Happened – February 24, 2021

Millions lost power. Hundreds died. How did this happen? KUT’s Mose Buchele explores what happened during the worst blackout in Texas history, how we got the electric grid we have today and what could be done to fix it.

kutkutx.studio/the-disconnect
kut.org

Shares of Macquarie rose 3.4% in Sydney on Monday after the company raised its profit outlook. They are now down 2.8% over the past 12 months.

One customer told the Dallas Morning News that his electric bill for five days stood at $5,000, the amount he would normally pay for several years of power. Another told the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate that he had been charged more than $16,000 for February.

wsj.com

It is also too bad that Texas’ hostility to federal regulation caused it to seek an isolated grid through ERCOT, which meant that most of Texas went without power when it’s isolated grid went down and no one could send it power to keep it afloat. Unless you were lucky and lived around El Paso, which (along with Amarillo and the panhandle) are not under ERCOT and consequently only saw minor interruptions in service.

This is what happens when you make the essentials for survival into profit-driven commodities; commodities that no one can understand how to profit from unless they are scarce enough to drive demand over available supply. When there is more demand than there is supply of the essentials some people won’t survive. The death toll across Texas due to the winter storm and resulting power outages is still unknown but is likely to be well over 100 people, and a bank in Australia made 200 million off of those deaths.

Texas is misnamed. Texas (tejas) supposedly means friend or ally. Nothing could be further from the truth than seeing Texas as your friend or ally. That is the ploy of the confidence man, the demand to trust him even though he seems to be oilier than all get out. The Texas mascot should be the irresponsible teen who wants to shirk all the day long because he can. It should be the grasshopper that whiles the summer away instead of storing food for the winter. Like the grasshopper and the irresponsible teen, Texas is always unprepared for adversity because of these infantile behavior patterns. Texas is a great place to be young and healthy, because there are no worries about tomorrow here, and no requirement to save anything for that day of need. Texas is a horrible place to be old or sick in because there is no place to go when you reach your hour of need. No allowance for the slackers that we pretend to be fond of, but throw out in the cold the minute that things get tough.

The true beneficiary of Texas largesse is the corporate raider, the false priest, the con artist. Texas is made for thieves. Personal and corporate greed are rewarded here, rewarded more highly than any human virtue. Just look at Ken Lay. He understood what Texas was for. He rode that pony hard and put it up wet counting on not being there when the tax man came for his cut. He died a millionaire, of the diseases of old age he could have avoided if he had straightened up and flown right. Why bother? No one gets out of this life alive.

The Enron legacy is ERCOT and every other Texas boondoggle ever hatched. Every scheme that amounted to nothing more than stealing from public coffers and crafting a golden parachute for yourself. If we had those billions that Enron stole from us, that the deregulation scheme stole from us, we wouldn’t need to go without water or power, the average Austinite wouldn’t have to be out there hand-delivering necessities to people on the verge of death during a pandemic. This lunacy has to stop. The question is, will we pay attention long enough to make it stop?

Featured image from twitter.com/austinenergy

Postscript

The BBC on the subject of the legacy of Enron:

spotifyBBC Business Daily –
The collapse of Enron: Did we learn the lessons? Dec 2, 2021

They don’t go into the facts of Texas’ continued reliance on power systems that were set up for Enron to make profits from. The fact that power systems in all areas where Enron was active are still suffering from the after effects of Enron’s malfeasance.

Governor Greg Abbott made off like a bandit after the legislative session that did not fix the Texas power grid, but not nearly as much of a bandit as one of the owners of Texas’ power generation facilities:

Winter Storm Uri cost us an estimated $293 billion in damages and some estimates put the actual death toll closer to 700. Nearly 5 million Texans lost power; many more went days without water. Remember?

One Texan who hasn’t forgotten is Dallas resident Kelcy Warren, although not because he worried that he and his family were in any danger. Warren, co-founder and now executive chairman of Energy Transfer Partners, lives in a 27,000-square-foot ivy-covered stone castle on nine acres in North Dallas. He bought his humble abode in 2009 for a reported $29 million. We can imagine that the heat stayed on in the Warren manse (or perhaps the family repaired to its private island off the coast of Honduras.)

What the pipeline tycoon remembers, we suspect, is not the nearly $300 billion that the storm cost Texas. It’s the figure $2.4 billion. As Justin Miller reports in the current issue of the Texas Observer, that’s the profit Warren’s company collected during the blackouts, a sizable portion of the $11 billion profit the natural gas industry as a whole collected by, in Miller’s words, “selling fuel at unprecedented prices to desperate power generators and utilities during the state’s energy crisis.”

Warren, a hefty donor over the years to former Gov. Rick Perry, former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, made sure that Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t forget either.

On June 23, Warren wrote out a check to Abbott’s reelection campaign in the amount of $1 million. That’s the biggest check Warren has ever given a Texas politician, according to campaign finance reports. And it’s four times the usual $250,000 gift that Abbott has gotten from his reliable Dallas benefactor nearly every year since he was elected governor in 2014.

houstonchronicle.com

This is the Enron legacy, in spades. This is what the for-profit power generation scheme that Ken Lay wanted put in place is there for. It is there to make billions of dollars for people who control access to the power of the state. We are fools to continue to allow this fraud to continue at our expense, at the possible cost of our own lives. If you vote for Republicans in Texas, you are the biggest fool of all.

Representative Wisdom

Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs,—and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.

But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure,—no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 2, p. 95

….this quote was paraphrased by the newly elected representative from Georgia (Dr. Lyman Hall) in the play and the movie 1776 (1972)

I offer the above quote in response to this podcast from NPR’s Morning Edition,

Morning Edition – U.K.’s Labour Party Offers Lessons Learned To Democrats In U.S. March 4, 2020

I can’t speak to why the Liberal Democratic party allowed Jeremy Corbyn to run their party. I wouldn’t have, but then I’m not a Lib-Dem. They suggest that Bernie Sanders is too liberal and we should toss him out in favor of Joe Biden. I know why Joe Biden is winning, and I will vote for him in the general if he secures the nomination.

Since they had the temerity to offer suggestions to NPR as to what the US should do to fix our politics, I have some pointed observations to offer them in response. If the Lib-Dems wanted to stand a chance in the last election, they should have come out 100% against Brexit. They should have said “we aren’t leaving, and we aren’t holding another election. We are going to do what David Cameron should have done in the first place and are simply going to say NO. No Brexit because it is suicidal and probably racist to think that we should leave the European Union.” They should have said that, and left the subject at that.

The original Brexit vote was tainted by interference from outside of of the UK. Tainted by the interference of Vladimir Putin. The referendum results can just be set aside for this reason, and no other vote needs to be held on the subject.

I have some bad news for the Lib-Dems, the Tories and Biden supporters all three. There is no past to return to. Not for Britain and their Brexit dreams, and not for the Democratic party hoping to just bury the last four years in more Obama/Biden platitudes.

The United Kingdom is done for. I know this because it isn’t UKexit that Britain screams for, but Brexit. Northern Ireland and Scotland will likely leave the UK because of Britain’s folly. Ireland isn’t going to leave the European Union in any real sense, because it is a separate island, and one county on that island is part of the UK. Scotland will do their best to seperate themselves from the suicidal behavior of their brethren in Britain, hoping against hope that they will see what kind of hell leaving the EU will inflict on them. I think their hopes are in vain. I think Scotland will have to re-erect Hadrian’s wall to keep the Brits out, once they start to suffer.

Joe Biden represents a similar desire in Americans. He represents a return to normality in the minds of the people who are voting for him, in the same way that a renewed British empire attracts a questionable majority of Britain. Joe Biden represents a return to the days of Barack Obama, the days before we knew our friends and relatives were raging xenophobes willing to destroy our country to make themselves feel safe. Those days are over, and they aren’t coming back.

Elizabeth Warren was angling to put herself in the position where Joe Biden forced himself onto the stage. Elizabeth Warren had already moderated her healthcare plan so as to distinguish herself from the hardline stance that Bernie Sanders insists on, to his own political detriment. Elizabeth Warren represents the future. New ideas, new plans, a fresh approach to old problems. She would have made more moves toward moderation if Joe Biden not decided to take over the moderate wing of the Democratic party. Joe Biden, who pushed the woman out of the way so that he could appeal for a return to the good old days.

The Republicans have tried to recapture the days of Ronald Reagan with every single presidential candidate they have offered since Reagan left office, including the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) The OHM who stole one of Reagan’s soundbytes, make America great again. It isn’t a Trump tagline, it is a Reagan tagline, and Trump is a poor man’s idea of who and what Ronald Reagan was. They’re wrong, as stupid people are wrong about so many things, but that’s what they think Trump is.

The Democrats cannot erase Trump or the suicidal and openly criminal behavior of the Republican Party leadership. Not with Joe Biden, not with anybody. Trump will always be the forty-fifth president of the United States. As much as I would like to think we could pull an Akhenaten with him, even the ancient Egyptians couldn’t completely remove the pharaoh they wanted to forget. They didn’t have the internet to contend with, or half of the country bent on preserving the memory of the last four years in the hopes of continuing the trend of xenophobia and sociopathy that the OHM embodies.

Biden will fail to live up to the memory of what the Obama years were, because we can’t turn back the clock to 2008. We can’t unring the bell that the OHM rang, summoning the ghost of the Confederate South to his side. If we’re lucky the best he can do is delay the confrontation with them for another four to eight years. In the end, we will have to face down those demons and my kindly Uncle Joe isn’t going to have it in him to do that job.

Elizabeth Warren could do that job. She has attacked Trump in the past, and she has scored points on him that Joe Biden has not. After her losses on Super Tuesday, I don’t know if she can pull out a win now. But she deserves the right to take on Trump and prove that she can win against him. That women can win against the naked misogyny that is Donald John Trump. I hope she gets that chance.


I, for one, will never forget her magnificently dragging Bloomberg across the stage and feasting on his trembling carcass in front of millions of people https://t.co/OGDlAQznwl— Elizabeth May (@_ElizabethMay) March 5, 2020

Twitter h/t to Stonekettle

Politics vs. Technology

The whole point of the cartoon, as edited above, is that Republican politics is still mired in 1800’s mentality. That the structures that politics are limited to amount to a covered wagon instead of a starship. Parties being in control of the political system is a large part of that problem. Getting past the 1800’s thinking of Republicans is the first stumbling block to fixing the shit we live in.

Just FYI, the dank meme above was originally a cartoon indicting the harnessing of the internet to FCC regulations. 

I don’t think that was the problem with lumping the internet under FCC title II. Those regulations could have been updated if we had a working political system. Updating regulations is preferable to selling ourselves to information resellers, making us all nothing more than targets for marketing more stuff, stuff that most of us can’t afford. Net neutrality is going to have to come at the expense of ending the internet of the wild west, where any fraudster is capable of dreaming up a pyramid scheme that encompasses millions if not billions of people.

That covered wagon is just as much a representation of the mentality of people who think that anarchism is freedom as it is the current Republican mentality that we have to rely on an authoritarian government to get what we want out of life. All of our ways of thinking need a good brooming in order to rid ourselves of ideas that have lived past their times of usefulness.

Facebook comment 1 & 2


Editor’s note. Weirdly, the member that posted the image thinks he’s defending Stormtrumpers with that image. Indicting liberals. Every time I turn around I am surprised by the rock-hard political stupidity of the average American. If there is a political group that worships at the altar of money and power, that group is the Republican party and their Orange Hate-Monkey president. How that re-edited image could possibly be seen as indicting liberalism is beyond me.

It’s been three years now. In order to get a sense of the history of what OHM means, I will link a few crucial posts. I wrote The Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) when it became clear that the Republicans were going to nominate Donald Trump.  I wrote The GOP Cuddles Up To the NSDAP when the GOP refused to ostracize the OHM for his dangerously xenophobic populism. I wrote Caveat Emptor on the day Trump lied with his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the US constitution. I wrote Bullshit is Bullshit on the day I stopped even trying to catalogue the blatant disregard of the truth by the OHM. It mystifies me why people still listen to him, and why the OHM still holds the office of the president. #MAGA means Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans. Anyone who believes differently is a MAGA themselves, otherwise known as a Stormtrumper, h/t to Berkeley Breathed.

The Curse of Faction

The Republican Party … was literally shattered into fragments, and we had no fewer than five Republican Presidential candidates in the field. In the place of two great parties arrayed against each other in a fair and open contest … the country was overrun with personal factions. These, having few higher motives for the selection of their candidates or stronger incentives to action than individual preferences or antipathies, moved the bitter waters of political agitation to their lowest depths.

President Martin Van Buren, writing about the election of 1824.

His book is a free Kindle book. Read the whole thing.

Inquiry into the Origin and the Course of Political Parties in the United States (1867)

Hat/tip to Facebook – Robert Reich. My Facebook share.

Dear Republicans. What Does Trump’s Cock Taste Like?

This should be the question that every pundit asks every Republican who won an office in the election on November 6, 2018, since every one of them swore fealty to King Trump in order to win their elections. The question should be asked every time they hold a presser. It should be asked every time they are seen in public. It should be asked in front of their wives. Their children. Their families. Everyone needs to have the blatant corruption at the heart of every Republican victory last night spelled out in the most graphic, disgusting terms possible. Trump can get away with the shit he says every day? Ask that fucking question every fucking day until they crack.

“what does Trump’s cock taste like, Mr. Senator? Mr. Representative? Mr. Secretary?”

Maybe, just maybe, they’ll fucking wake up then. But I doubt it.

In the meantime. The weasel will try to squirm out of harm’s way. Trump has already signaled that he’ll play ball with the Democrats. Nothing doing. Not unless he turns states evidence on all his Russian contacts, fires all his children, divests from all his businesses. And when I say divest I mean sell every one of his properties to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to pay off the design and construction professionals he’s screwed over the last forty years. He has to agree to replace his entire cabinet with people who will not attempt to undermine their departments. Essentially he has to agree to congressional oversight of everything in the presidential administration, and he loses control of the military. He has to rubber-stamp everything the congress sends to him and he has to tell all his supporters how much they’ll love it.

Oh, and he also will have to insist on IRS prosecutions for the entire DeVos family.

If. If he does all of that, he can stay president for two more years. No running for re-election either. Take your pension, sit down and shut up after January 20th, 2021. If he doesn’t go for all of that, the anal probes start moving in on January 20th, 2019. Or he could just quit now and take his chances. It’s all up to him now. Let’s see which way the weasel runs.


…I spoke too soon post-election. Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh scared Trump into demanding congress do his bidding instead of trying to do something that made sense, like bow to the will of the majority of US citizens. He said (paraphrasing):

Build my wall with your money since Mexico won’t pay for it!

Unsurprisingly the answer from Nancy Pelosi and her majority of the House has been no. Also unsurprisingly the art school turtle, Mitch McConnell, refused to do anything unless Trump tells him to. So Donald Trump shut the government down.

He, the president, the man charged with keeping the government running, turned the government off. This is probably the most impeachable act we’ve seen a president do, ever. Another history-breaking action from this, the most corrupt, the most fraudulent, the most ridiculous president in the history of this country.

The standoff cannot last, and Trump will not be getting money for his wall from the Democratically lead house. They know what kind of thief he is already:

If the shutdown doesn’t end in less than a month, I predict impeachment hearings will begin to be discussed seriously. The only thing standing in the way of the government reopening is the idiot sitting in the White House not doing the job he was elected to do.


The government stayed shut down from December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019. 35 days. For more than a month, there was no United States government. Let that sink in. There was no capacity to do anything that required the federal government to operate for almost the entire month of January, 2019. The president turned the government back on at that point. The house passed some meaningless legislation so that Trump could save face, and he grudgingly allowed the United States to continue to exist, until he changes his mind again.

…and the outrage rolled on through the year of 2019. Trump’s new flunky, AG William Barr, ensured that the Mueller investigation ended. AG Barr then lied about what was in the report, and refused to re-characterize his assessment of the report even after Bobby-Three-Sticks testified before the House. Mueller said in very precise terms (paraphrasing)

If you want him punished, you (the House) have to do it.

Weirdly, people keep telling me Mueller didn’t find anything. That isn’t what I heard in his testimony. What I heard him say was he found a lot of stuff, he just couldn’t prove any of it as a prosecutor tasked with building a case against Donald J. Trump; because that guy is the president and a president has to be impeached. That is the prosecutorial remedy for bad presidents.

Finally. On December 19, 2019 Donald John Trump was impeached by the House of representatives. It was then that speaker Pelosi proved she was the canny operator that everyone says she is. She held the impeachment articles until after the Christmas holiday (Die Hard Christmas) so that the Senate would have had time to think about the job before them, and possibly get an agreement to call the witnesses that are needed to prove the case they’ve built against the President. That process is going on now, so I have moved this article forward in time to the day the House Managers began presenting the prosecution’s case in the Senate. That date (for the later clarity of this article, so I don’t have to move this fucker forward in time. Again. -ed.) is January 22, 2020.

Side note

On January 14, 2020, the new P.M. of the United Kingdom (soon to be just the Kingdom of England and Wales once again. After Brexit that is. AB? –ed.) the infamous Bojo is also on his knees sucking Donald Trump’s cock. I wonder if he has an opinion about the flavor? The BBC reports that Bojo wants to Replace Iran nuclear plan with the Trump deal. That’s rich. Like there will be a Trump deal with Iran short of full-out war. Yeah, that will happen.


I’m watching the case being put before the Senate as I write this (January 22, 2020, 6:30 pm, day three according to C-SPAN) I moved this article forward to the date of the impeachment trial in the Senate while watching the opening arguments yesterday (01/21/2020) seemingly endless arguments over the rules that the Senate would follow during the trial. I have now updated the article with links to some of the Trumpismo articles that I’ve written since the 2018 elections. It is now time to get busy watching this rare political event unfold.

C-SPANU.S. Senate: Impeachment Trial (Day 3) – Jan 22, 2020
Facebook – PBS News

Make no mistake here. If the Senate acquits Donald John Trump without calling witnesses, every Republican Senator who votes to acquit will have taken their turn at sucking the President’s cock. Every single one of them. This act of theirs will make them complicit with Trump’s official crimes when they finally come to light.

More importantly, every one of them should be investigated by the next president who takes control of the office, and that investigation could very well be conducted by foreign governments interested in seeking favor with the president of the United States. They should probably think pretty hard about acquitting Donald John Trump. You never know who the next person who holds an office might be. Just ask Barack Obama if he’s happy about his current predicament. Ask him if he thinks the future turned out the way he wanted.

Back in January of 2017 when I said:

Was the phrase that we needed to understand the most in the time of Trump, this is pretty much where I saw us ending up. I didn’t know when and I didn’t know exactly how, but I knew that impeachment and ignominy were in the GOP’s and Trump’s future.

The basis of the conflict in question left us no wiggle room. This is where we were heading as soon as the political system allowed Trump to hold the office of President. We were heading for the kind of crisis that this country hasn’t seen since the lead-up to and then resolution of the Civil War, no matter what the actual events that transpired in the then future were. It has been 3 years, 2 days, 13 hours and 22 minutes since Donald Trump should have been removed from office, basically the day after he was sworn in. It will have been a bit longer by the time you read this.

Postscript

I wrote the beginning segments of this article after the 2018 Democratic midterm victories while still under the delusion that we would see a change in President Trump’s behavior. Would see him modulate after the drubbing he suffered in that election. Once again, I was wrong. Against all the evidence of history, the Republicans and their president continued on their merry way pretending that they didn’t have anything to worry about.

The government shutdown also derailed my train of thought and I forgot about this article until I went back over the year’s articles trying to decide what I would use to anchor that first day of testimony that so many of us had been waiting for, for over a year. Finally that day had come. Not that it amounted to much.

Nor did the second impeachment make any fucking difference. Donald Trump was impeached twice, made a pandemic worse:

Attempted a coup:

…and still the GOP sucks on that tiny little cock of his. None of the treasonous acts that Donald Trump has committed since the Republican party made itself the party of Trump, irrevocably welded itself to Trump and his crimes when they acquitted him that January; none of it has made any difference in the calculations of the drivers of Republican thought and the Republican party as a political entity. They still slog on in service of Trump, his corrupt businesses and their own continued unbridled desire for power.

This is why we cannot accept a Republican victory in the next set of federal elections (2022, 2024) even if it seems like they were a real result. We can’t accept it because the Republican party is a criminal enterprise attempting to take over our government and we can’t allow this to happen. I don’t know what comes after the vote that puts them back in power but I know that the US probably stops existing not too long after that point.

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They’re still kicking out perfectly good Republicans just because Caudito Trump, the Orange Hate-Monkey, doesn’t like the way they talk about him. He still thinks he’s president even though he ran away to hide at Mar-a-Lago rather than die behind the resolute desk in the same way that a respectable captain should go down with his ship. I hate to break it to him; he held the office but he never was and never will be president.

The presidency is more than an office, it is a frame of mind. A frame of mind that Donald Trump simply can’t achieve. He hasn’t got the balls to do the job necessary. His daddy took them away and never gave them back.

Featured image: Esquire – Stormy Daniels’s Detailed Description of Donald Trump’s Penis Explains a Lot

Donald Trump Impeached. Forever.

He just got impeached. He’ll be impeached forever. No matter what the Senate does. He’s impeached forever because he violated our Constitution

Nancy Pelosi

It’s done. It’s done. The articles were delivered to the Senate today.

PBS NewsHourDemocrats formally deliver articles of impeachment to the Senate – January 16, 2019

I just watched the Senate be convened as a court to render impartial justice on the subject of the impeachment of Donald John Trump as the president of the United States. Not only has the House impeached the Orange Hate-Monkey, they have delivered that indictment to the Senate in order for it to be heard as a legal argument against the president.

What happens now is on the shoulders of Mitch McConnell and the Republican-controlled Senate. They will reconvene next Tuesday as a court to begin the deliberations of the articles of impeachment. If they fail to do justice to our country and our laws, this Senate will be judged harshly by future historians on this fact. McConnell, who has promised to walk in lock-step with the the White House on seeing the president acquitted of all charges, should think long and hard on what his history in the Senate will ultimately mean.

Will he be remembered for allowing this menace to the safety of the world, to the financial security of the United States, to continue in office? Or will he do the right thing and see him removed and barred from seeking a second term in office? Only time can tell.

What can be said, without argument, is that this action by the House is three years late in execution. Part of the blame for this is that the Senate allowed McConnell to hijack it’s authority so as to insure that the Supreme Court would be stacked with justices that he felt were loyal to his brand of conservatism. He should have been punished for his intransigence, and ejected from the Senate. But he wasn’t. Because party loyalty and the naked exercise of power mean more to today’s political actors than honesty and due diligence. This action set the stage that made getting a Republican elected in 2016 a must-do event that every Republican was determined to support. This gave us President Trump.

The other part of the blame rests on the 2016 House of Representatives lead by Paul Ryan, the one-time Republican nominee for Vice President. He should have seen that the President-elect was unsuited for his job, and made plans to have him impeached on January 21st, 2017. But again, just like McConnell, party loyalty and power kept him from doing his job even though the evidence of Trump’s incompetence was irrefutable at the time. His decision made flipping the House of Representatives into Democratic control essential to see the Presidency of Donald Trump brought to heel, if not to an end.

So here we are. January 16th, 2020. Mere weeks away from the first primary votes for the November 3rd general election, and we don’t even know if the sitting president can run for office again. We don’t know how many of his administration officers are also guilty of crimes, and thereby barred from taking his place on the ballot. And all of this harm is lying at the feet of the Republican party and it’s officers, people who allowed party to mean more than country.

How Dare You

Greta Thunberg

Featured image is from The day Donald Trump’s presidency changed forever by Chris Cillizza – December 18, 2019

Lunatics By Any Other Name

(As he storms away) “Have a nice day.”

(Believe it or not, he comes storming back) “WHAT’S THAT? HAVE A NICE DAY? WHO THE F— ARE YOU TO TELL ME TO HAVE A NICE DAY! WHAT IF I TOLD YOU IT’S NOT YOUR F—ING BUSINESS WHAT KIND OF DAY I HAVE?”

“Then, sir, I would tell you to feel free to have the kind of day you seem to prefer.”

Adam Troy Castro

…and this is why I’m not the guy you want canvassing. Or maybe I am. I wouldn’t put up with treatment like this. Call the cops, the guy is a raving lunatic and he’s going to get someone killed. Hopefully he’ll only 
get himself killed, but even then he should be restrained and medicated until we find out what is wrong with him and everyone like him.

This is what we are going to have to do if we want to silence these arrogant assholes. Make them understand, as a group, that we will put them in a rubber room and pipe in elevator music all day long if they don’t cool their shit. Just go all Ministry of Truth on their asses.

Facebook comment on a three year old post that I just saw today. So sue me.

George Washington on Political Parties

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

George Washington’s Farewell Address

He might as well have named Donald J. Trump, the description fits so well. A hat/tip to Justin Amish and the Washington Post for publishing his opinion piece today. It motivated me to go look up Washington’s farewell address just to verify that was the language in the document.

Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.

Justin Amish