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Thoughts on Events the Week of March 29

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on April 7, 2021

Overview: Channeling Paul Simon, I look around, around and I see people going without masks and not social distancing even as Covid-19 cases are rising, I see people refusing to enact sensible gun legislation while surrounded by mass murders, I see legislators enacting voter suppression laws in a democracy, I see white supremacists thinking they are superior when all evidence is to the contrary, and I see that Ron White was correct: You can’t fix stupid.

Matt Gaetz:  This congress congressperson from Florida is being investigated for violating US code 2423 for transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of sexual activity, and the possible legal jeopardy and negative publicity couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

Whether Gaetz is innocent or guilty, which is not proven and until which he is considered innocent, he is a truly odious human being. He not only spews Trump lies, of which he knows better, word for word, but in a distinctly obnoxious way. Show me a rich pasty white guy who engages in lies and smears and grievances, poor baby, and I’ll show you a guy who deserves every negative thing he gets.

Infrastructure: This is a subject that has been bandied about, but not addressed, for years, arguably for half a century.

Trump promised to produce the best infrastructure bill ever incessantly, perhaps the only positive thing he ever did mention, but did absolutely nothing about it. President Obama desperately wanted an infrastructure jobs bill to help with the recovery from the Great Recession, but an obstructionist Republican Party denied him it. Now President Biden wants to go big on it. He’s positioning it in part as a jobs bill, but in my view, it’s really a catch-up bill.

Infrastructure must be maintained regularly or it falls into serious disrepair, which is what has been happening for years. It can be postponed up to a point, but the fact is, the more it is delayed, the more it is going to cost. That’s in part why Biden is making the big ask now.

I don’t think a bill of this kind is essential mow, as it certainly was in 2009. So, I’m not sure it necessarily needs to be addressed all at once. I would be happy with a commitment to on-going maintenance rather than one lump sum. That said, I appreciate Biden’s go big impulses.

Boycotts: After some prodding, corporate leaders in Georgia and Texas have made statements claiming the obvious, that voter suppression laws are odious. I can kind of sympathize with businesses put in this position. In today’s polarization, about half of their customers often stand on both sides of almost any issue, so whichever way they go, they risk alienating half their customers.

For instance, pulling the Major League Baseball’s All-Star game out of Atlanta is a small step, but a meaningful one. But the only ones affected in a meaningful way, other than bruising Atlanta’s pride, are the people who would be employed for the event and hospitality businesses.

Besides, I don’t put much stock in these statements. Like everything else in politics, don’t pay attention to what they say; watch what they do. If corporations really mean it, and they should, they will stop making donations to the Republican Party and its candidates. That will get politicians’ attention, and that’s what I will be looking out for.

Worst state: By way of welcoming Georgia into the rarified company of worst states, I give them the cup this week for the reason they qualify: its odious voter suppression laws.

Thoughts on Events the Week of March 22

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 30, 2021

Immigration: It is just like we instant gratification addicted Americans to hammer President Biden for not solving our problems on the southern border, which have bedeviled us for decades, in the first two months of his administration while addressing the pandemic with his other hand.

The situation down there at present is this. The border is closed. Individuals and families who cross the border are turned around and sent back immediately. Unaccompanied children are taken in and held in camps until relatives or sponsors can take them in. It’s not ideal, but it seems more humane than sending them back into the desert.

Neither of these situations is tenable, however. We need more immigrants, for labor and to sustain our own population, which is aging and shrinking. Once we invite them in to work for us and pay taxes to our treasury, don’t we own them an opportunity for citizenship?

As for the children, we can’t take in every kid in the Western Hemisphere. And of those we are taking in and sending into the country to family and sponsors, what happens to them now?

You see; it’s complicated. For Pete’s sake, give the man and his administration time to think.

Mass murder derby: Not to be outdone by the raving lunatic who killed eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, another raving lunatic killed 10 people in Boulder, Colorado, taking the lead in mass killings in 2021. Next contestant.

Just when I thought it was safe to go out…: I have been making a list of places I need to go and things I need to do when it is safe. Now that I am fully vaccinated – two shots plus 14 days – I went to a couple of those places and scratched them off my list. Last Friday, I even went to a restaurant for the first time in more than a year, one that takes the protocols seriously.

Then, our low functioning moron Governor released all the Covid-19 restrictions in Arizona and invited in effect everyone to run amok, which they are doing. Now I’m seeing people of all ages walking around with no masks and no social distancing.

I tried going to the next place on my list, which had two cash registers, one manned by a young woman wearing no mask, and one by a young man wearing a mask, but not very well. The woman said she could help me next. I said I would wait for the guy with the mask. She said masks are no longer required. I said they are by me. So, here I am, locked down again with a long list of to dos unfulfilled.

More incredibly dumb stuff from knee jerk liberals: No one is more in favor of diversity than I, not least because it makes things so much more interesting. Different colors, different sounds, different looks, different languages, different music, different cuisine (I wouldn’t want to live in a world without enchiladas and Pad Thai), and different points of view.

Besides, the opposite of diversity is exclusion, xenophobia and prejudice.

But a couple of female Democratic Senators, who of all people should know better, threatened to hold up all Biden’s appointments until there is more representation of Asian Americans in his cabinet. This smacks of a filibuster to me.

The senators quickly withdrew the threat, but the flag had been flown, showing once again how knee-jerk liberals can get tangled up in really stupid, unimportant stuff and take their eye off the ball.

Full disclosure: I have always thought that presidents should have the cabinet executives they want, just like any corporate CEO does. I see no reason for the Senate to advise and consent, absent any egregious choice, which in this case would be criminal activity, not different opinions. This is another flaw in our fraying Constitution.

Crisis: Everything is a goddamn crisis these days. It has become one of the most over used and misused words in our language at present, up there with “impact,” “you know” and “Trump.”

The situation at the southern border is a big problem. The pandemic is a crisis. Our national debt is a problem. Mass murders are a crisis. You see the difference, don’t you?

Worst State: Jesus, where to start? Every one of the current worst states and contenders did egregious stuff again this week. But I’m going with South Carolina, because Senator Lindsey Graham stood out for his hypocrisy and disgusting opinions.

That said, the jury is in and I’m adding Georgia to the worst states list, which beat out the other contenders with its odious, singularly undemocratic voter suppression, supported by every Republican legislator in the state and its knuckle dragging governor.

Thoughts on Events the Week of March 15

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 23, 2021

Another mass shooting: Robert Aaron Long shot and killed eight people in Atlanta, most of whom were Asian Americans. The killings are being investigated as a possible hate crime. Whatever Long’s motives, it’s obvious he is a raving lunatic, which begs the question how he was able to get his hands on a gun.

What the hell is wrong with us? We see so much gun violence on the news it’s not even news. When is someone going to consider that gun violence is caused by guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them and do something to keep them from having one? No gun, no shooting.

I know, I swore to myself I would write any more about gun control until something actually happened, but I am sick to the heart with this insanity.

Xenophobia runs amok: China Virus? Really? That’s the excuse for knocking down little old Asian ladies and men to the concrete pavement? How brave. How patriotic. How stupid.

It appears that the virus originated in China, but it’s not like China wanted it there. And I’m damn sure Asian Americans had nothing to do with it. They weren’t even in China. By definition, they were in America!

Some people just seem to need someone to blame and to hate. Is it to make themselves feel superior in some way? What’s superior about xenophobes who beat up little old ladies? The average IQ of Asians averages a point or two above ours. We’re lucky to have them here. And we sure don’t need to be taking it out on them, or China either, for that matter.

Leaving Afghanistan: After umpteen years of fruitless war and wasted treasure, President Biden announced we are getting ready to pull our troops off this pile of rocks. Everyone seems to be taking cover under the guise of negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban. This is a canard. Everyone knows that the Taliban will take over the instant we leave.

I don’t give a rodent’s rectum who runs Afghanistan, so long as they don’t cause any trouble here. I only wish Obama had done this 12 year ago. Afghanistan is a pile of rocks. I am an admirer of Obama, but failure to do this was one of his two biggest mistakes.

Insurrection reduction: I was spot on when I predicted that we would hear precious little from the rioters on January 6 and their like-minded ilk once the light was shown on them. Not a peep. Crickets.

These bozos are hiding under the refrigerator because they know if the show themselves, they will be busted. Oh, they are probably jerking each other off on their right-wing social media platforms, but they are harmless there. Take down the fences.

So, now the only people preaching and condoning insurrection in public are Trump, Republican politicians, and Fox News.

Worst state: In a no brainer, I’m giving the cup to Texas this week because Congressperson Chip Roy evoked lynching during a hearing on Asian Americans and hate crimes. How tone deaf and insensitive can one bozo be? Is he trying to rival fellow Texas Congressperson Louis Gohmert for dumbest sombitch in the House? With a name like Chip, he’s got to be stupid, or he would have changed it.

Thoughts on Events the Week of March 1

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 8, 2021

Covid-19 Relief Bill Passes in the House: This actually happened as I was going to press last week. Not a single Republican voted for it, although polling showed up to 70% of Americans favored the legislation, and with good reason. People, including a rapidly growing number of children, are starving.

Yet not a single Republican House member saw fit to vote for this legislation. Disgraceful, but no worse than the two Democrats who voted against it also. And it’s apparent that no Republican Senators are going to vote for the relief either. On the contrary, they are doing everything they can to thwart it. Hey, Republican legislators, Republicans are out of work and starving too.

So, Democrats, it is time to smell the coffee; The Republicans are as bad as they appear in the rearview mirror, and Democrats should not give them the sweat off their huevos going forward. It’s time to wipe up the floor with them, beginning with ending the filibuster, about which I will write more when I return from hospital later in the week.

Covid-19 conundrum: How sad would it be to be the last person killed in a war? We are so close to winning the war against Covid-19. Seeing the efficacy and safety of the new vaccines and the rapidly increasing distribution of them, you might think that people would want to be even more cautious for a few more months, to avoid being the last person to die of it when we are about to have it on the run, but it seems to be the opposite.

Everyone wants to get back to some state of normality, which is quite understandable. But the only way to do that is to beat the virus. We can’t have one until we have the other. Why can’t people understand that? Don’t bother to answer. It was a rhetorical question, with an obvious, unflattering answer.

March 4: QAnon assured its followers (read gullible morons and bat shit crazies) that Trump would return to the White House and resume his presidency on this date. You will be shocked, shocked to learn that this didn’t happen. I wonder which date QAnon will pick for their next day when Trump will triumph. Perhaps January 20, 2025, which is as unlikely as any other date they might pick.

That said, I never thought for a minute that there would be any trouble at the Capitol on March 4, or at any other date for that matter. The light has been turned on, and the cockroaches are scurrying back under the refrigerator. They now know if they show their faces, they will be arrested, and if they do try to cause trouble at the Capitol, the National Guard will be there in a heartbeat. We can take down the fence now.

Syria redux: Iranian backed militias in Syria launched some more rockets at our base across the border in Afghanistan so we lobbed some more bombs at them. The ostensible reason we have troops there, we are told, is to keep the Taliban from overrunning the Afghanistan before we can finalize a peace agreement with the Taliban.

This is fantasy. The Taliban is going to overrun Afghanistan as soon as we leave anyway. Secondly, I don’t give a rodent’s rectum if the Taliban overruns Afghanistan. Many of the people in Afghanistan seem to be perfectly happy with that kind of religious insanity. Afghanistan is a pile of rocks. Let them have it.

Poor Pence: The former Vice President and currently unemployed sycophant-in-chief penned an editorial supporting Trump’s big lie. The unfortunate bozo. I presume he is hoping to hang onto Trump’s base now that Trump is gone. But since Trump has turned on him and his base tried to lynch Pence about a month ago, I don’t see it happening.

Elaine Chao: Trump appointed the wife of Moscow Mitch McConnell to Secretary of Transportation where she was in the best possible position to grift for her family’s private business. And according to the inspector general, she chowed down (Chao, chowed. Get it?). I don’t really know why I even mention this. Corruption and grifting were so common in the Trump administration, it hardly qualifies as news.

 Worst state: It turns out that Texas’ leaders not only screwed their citizens, but all of the rest of the country as well. Since they failed to winterize the petroleum refining facilities, which froze, crimping supplies, gas prices have skyrocketed.

But this isn’t the worst thing about Texas this week. Governor Abbott rescinded all commonsense measures to combat Covid-19 just in time for Spring Break. What a political putz. Texas deservedly gets the cup this week.

To be fair, Mississippi has done the same thing, but Mississippi doesn’t count. I’m not sure it is even an actual state. Its biggest contribution to the nation is to be worst of the 50 states in every despicable category, saving other the embarrassment of it. Alabama state motto: At least we’re not Mississippi.

I’m still keeping my eye on Arizona and Wisconsin for possible addition to the worst state list. A lot will depend on what each state does to suppress voting rights and gerrymandering. Arizona has Gosar, Wisconsin has Johnson. As long as they are around, both states will rate some consideration.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 22

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 28, 2021

The Crown Prince did it, with a saw in the consulate: President Biden released the report telling us what we already knew, that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It’s a tough call how to deal with MBS now. He is the de facto leader of his country, likely to be the king when his father dies. As head of state, he cannot be ignored. And he is not the only despot Trump’s coddling emboldened to commit heinous crimes without fear of retribution. Remember Putin (Russia), Kim (North Korea), Duterte (Philippines) and Erdoğan (Turkey).

It’s an easy call, however, how to deal with Saudi Arabia, the country: as an ally, but at arm’s length, true to our own national interests, and particularly wary, knowing the country is run by a reckless, violent sociopath. Saudi Arabia is not our friend.

CPAC: This annual congregation of bigots, xenophobes, homophobes, and other various and sundry crazies gathered together this week for a mass ass kissing of the recently departed Trump. (Sudden thought: since Trump is departed, isn’t that necrophilia?)

Mel Brooks said about Nazism that some things are so horrible, all you can do it laugh at them. CPAC is not quite that horrible; it’s just laughable.

Neera Tanden: Having nothing to do with her qualifications, the nomination of Tanden to be President Biden’s Budget Director is in jeopardy because she has said mean things about some Republicans. Poor babies. She hurt their feelings.

But what would you expect from a political operative involved in three Democratic presidential campaigns and administrations? My hopes of rational bipartisanship from Republicans are growing dimmer daily. Shame on these people.

Measured, proportional response: President Biden lobbed a few bombs at Iranian-backed militias in Syria because they shot some rockets at our troops there. I would just like to point out that if we didn’t have any troops in Syria, no rockets could be shot at them, hence no response requiring measured proportionality, whatever that means.

Worst state: Texas is an avatar of what’s wrong with unregulated capitalism and governmental misfeasance. In their misguided sense of independence and greed, Texas allowed profit-driven capitalists to separate Texas from the national power grid and let their grid be market driven. Okay, but when the whole thing came a cropper because they didn’t winterize their systems to cut costs for more profit, the capitalists now want the government to pay for the winterizing, and Governor Abbott is inclined to let them!

Texas capitalists, like those everywhere, want the profits for themselves but for the rest of us to pay for their screw ups and losses. They are definitely the worst state this week and richly deserve the cup.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 15

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 21, 2021

I’m dreaming of a white Texas: Let’s be clear: when a major natural disaster occurs, such as Hurricanes Sandy and Harvey and now the massive winter storm in Texas, there is going to be damage, destruction, disruption and even loss of lives, no matter who is in charge. We cannot hold leaders responsible for the weather.

But we can hold them responsible for what they did to anticipate the possibility of such disasters and how they respond to them. In both of these, Texas failed spectacularly, due to its overwrought sense of independence, misguided distain for regulation and greed. Texas’ leaders can’t hit the floor with their hat and seem to be proud of it. Texas voters picked them, so they have no one to blame but themselves.

The Good Civil War: Former President Trump and former Senate Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell are savaging one another in public for us all to see. I’m enjoying watching (cliché alert) the “battle for the soul of the Republican Party” and it couldn’t happen to more deserving people. I hope they tear it down to the ground and end up with two anemic parties that can’t elect a dog catcher between them.

Rush Limbaugh died: Even the worst people will eventually leave the stage.

A step in the right direction: At a gun store in Louisiana, a gun nut shot and killed two people, wounded two others and was himself shot and killed. I’m down with it when these crazies kill each other, just not other people.

Worst State: I’m sure you are all familiar with the maritime tradition that when the ship is sinking, the captain always goes down to Cancun. Such was the case with Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Governor Abbott stayed – he’s wheelchair bound – but he addressed the disaster by taking a gratuitous swipe at environmental activists as the cause of Texas’ grid failure. Texas earned and received the cup this week.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 8

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 16, 2021

Impeachment Redux: If the second impeachment of Trump proved anything, it is that the Impeachment clause is another one the founding fathers did not think through sufficiently. It was naïve to think the Senate could hold a trial involving the president of one or another party. Senators are not jurors, they’re politicians and politicians are going to act like politicians, not impartial jurors.

In the more than 230 years of our country’s existence, there have been four impeachments – Johnson, Clinton, Trump, Trump – three in my lifetime, all in the last quarter of a century and the last two within a year of one another. The pace is picking up. Soon, we will be impeaching presidents on Inauguration Day.

(Nixon would have been impeached and convicted – there was bipartisan support for it. Republicans were capable of shame back then – but he resigned to avoid it. Then President screwed up the accountability by pardoning him.)

The trials and verdicts were political and predictable, and none of the defendants was convicted. In each case, the presidents were obviously guilty of something, but unlike a courtroom, there is only one possible punishment option – removal from office – and the politicians were unwilling to go there, as were the people, except in the case second trial of Trump.

The clause should have read that the House could impeach, and the trial would be held before the Supreme Court, or an ad hoc tribunal of impartial jurists, using judicial standards. Since the Constitution doesn’t read like that, we might as well scrap their use altogether and go to Plan B, which is to have the Justice Department rescind its policy not to prosecute sitting presidents for true crimes. This probably wouldn’t work either, but it might be a stronger deterrent to future presidents and an available remedy is necessary.)

One of the reasons Democrats wanted to impeach Trump was to be able to ban him from running for office again. This is an unnecessary concern. Trump will not run again – he’s more likely to be dead or in jail – and if he did, he would lose, but make life hell for other Republican candidates.

Still, the impeachment trial had some utility. It exposed the Republican Party for what it has become, which is anti-democratic, for which they will pay a heavy price, I hope, I hope. Either way. political theater is going to be interesting to watch over the couple of years.

President Biden’s highest priorities: Were I advising the president, I would recommend that his first priorities should be, after any necessary Executive orders to reverse everything possible from Trump’s orders, the following four, in priority: (Spoiler alert: my list will be different than many others, and different from Biden’s at this point. I hope he listens to me.)

  1. Covid-19: This must be, and is, Biden’ first priority. The economy cannot completely recover until the virus is wrestled to the ground. This includes the financial stimulus necessary to keep the real economy sustained until then.
  2. Voters’ Rights: Since John Roberts screwed the country over by ruling cynically that voter suppression no longer warranted regulation, voter suppression has run rampant. Since they lost the election, Republicans are trying to suppress voters’ right even more to insure as unfair
    an election as they can, since they can’t win a clear and fair one.

Voter suppression has no place in a democratic society, which, at least at this moment, we have in this country. Biden should rewrite the bill, make it stronger, bronze it, stick it in Roberts’ ear and dare the Supremes to mess with it, and then wage serious prosecution on offending states.

Among the most egregious suppression tactics is gerrymandering, by both parties. I don’t know how this obscene practice can be stopped, but it must be. My suggestion would be to take all redistricting out of the hands of local legislators and establish a board of independent, non-partisan experts to draw them. This is done in some states, including Arizona, and it seems to work better.

  • Immigration reform: We must come to grips with this chronic, toxic issue and create a comprehensive plan. It must resolve, if not solve, all issues – status, who, how many, the Dreamers, everything. This will take some compromise, but it must be done. It will take this issue off the table and prevent it from causing so much rancor, not to mention hypocrisy.
  • Gun Control: The carnage has got to stop. Perhaps Congress, having looked down the barrel of a gun itself recently, will have some incentive to take this issue seriously and more rationally.

Worst state: Has there ever been a more cynical, hypocritical smarmy pig part than South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham? Don’t bother to answer; it’s a rhetorical question. Though Graham has some close competitors, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Let’s let Texas and South Carolina split the cup this week. I’ll deal with disgusting wannabes Hawley and Cotton later.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 1

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 12, 2021

The Battle Rages On: In a secret ballot, about two thirds of the Republican House caucus refused to strip Liz Cheney of her leadership position for voting for the impeachment trial of Trump to go forward. If the vote had been on the record, more of the cowardly congresspersons would likely have voted against her, according to news sources.

Likewise, the caucus couldn’t bring itself remove from her committee assignments, Marjorie Taylor Greene, even though she is certifiably nuts. They hid under the refrigerator while the whole House, in which Democrats hold the majority, did it for them, the pusillanimous pukes.

The result of these contradictory votes signals that the Republicans are still intent on tearing their party apart, mostly in public. This couldn’t happen to more deserving people and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.

One thing is clear: Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, is siding with the crazies. He went down to Florida to kiss Trumps, er, ring, in public to demonstrate his abhorrence of democratic processes, or democracy more broadly. He’s all in with scraping the Constitution and using it to wipe his chin after his, er, ring kissing.

At the end of this civil war, there will probably be no Republican Party. There may or may not be something that calls itself the Republican Party, but it will be an Authoritarian Party and/or a teeny tiny Establishment Party, but either or both will see precious fewer representatives elected.

Not yet: I’m still waiting for some congressperson to start talking about gun control after seeing them out of control in the Capitol. So far, crickets.

Lou Dobbs is fired from Fox News: Talk about bad things happening to people richly deserving of it. I’ve watched Dobbs go insane before my very eyes, but up until now it didn’t seem to matter to Fox. Why now? I’ll tell you why below.

Libel and Slander are actionable: Politicians can say anything about their opponents and get away with it. News channel hosts can say almost anything about anyone whose party their network opposes. But it turns out that private companies, such as news organizations, may not slander or libel other private companies without potential consequences, and that big bad chicken has come home to roost.

Conservative news organizations, including Fox News, the biggest of them, and others in their obsequious support for Trump’s lies about having been cheated out of the presidential election, have blamed not one but two voting machine manufacturers, without evidence, of participating in this “steal.”

These voting machine companies are suing, or threatening to sue, Dobbs and others of slander. They have been injured and they have standing.

Fox News is in trouble and they know it, which is why they are doing backflips through their assholes to distance themselves from themselves by issuing disclaimers and firing some crazies.

I can’t wait to see where these suits go, and afterwards, maybe we can rethink how politicians may be held responsible for their slanders.

Groundhogs Day: This week we observed what is perhaps the most ridiculous ritual in our culture. Let’s be clear: whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not, Spring comes officially on March 20-21, the vernal equinox, six weeks after February 2, making dragging the poor rodent out of hibernation superfluous.

Super Bowl: This same week, perhaps our most popular ritual was celebrated.

Covid-19: I got my first shot this week with a follow-up scheduled for March 7. One step closer to normality.

Worst state: Lindsey Graham is putting South Carolina on the map. At the rate he is going, this favorite son may retire the cup for his home state. He certainly earned it this week with his comments on the Trump impeachment.

Thoughts on Events The Week of January 25

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 5, 2021

It’s too soon to become discouraged or give up, but the prospects of Congress making any bipartisan progress do not look promising. Any number of Republican politicians are clearly determined to keep their wagons tied, if not to Trump, then to Trump’s base.  So, Democrats may have to go it alone for a while longer.

It’s understandable – what politician wouldn’t want such a loyal and gullible base – but unwise. Voter behavior suggests that to hold that base requires alienating most other voters and the base is not big enough to win an election.

In the meanwhile, I intend to get my entertainment watching the Republican Party deal with itself. I anticipate a nasty, vicious bloodletting, likely resulting in a split, impotent party with one segment going the way of the Know Nothings and the other to where I’m not as certain. But it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

Keep an eye on the Cheney/Green drama. It may give us some illumination as to where the party may go and how nasty may be the path to get there. Here’s my take on this early battle of the Republican Civil War.

Liz Cheney certainly did nothing illegal when she voted to impeach former President Trump, but for a member of the Republican leadership in the House, it is unusual, and doubtless offensive to “Trumpers.” As a member of that leadership, she is the Republicans’ issue to deal with. She’s an internal party matter.

The situation is slightly different for freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has made numerous ludicrous, vile, and offensive statements before and since entering the House.

Fortunately for Greene, and me and all of us, most of her language is protected by the First Amendment. As odious as she is, and she is, or how crazy, hers is still protected speech. If she wants to claim that wildfires in California are being started by laser beams from space paid for by Jewish bankers, she is free to do it.

However, the First Amendment’s protection of free speech does not extend to supporting insurrection or inciting violence.  Greene’s support of shooting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the head crosses that line. In my view, that’s not only unprotected speech, but actionable.

The U.S House is clucking like a hen house over what to do about Greene, but ultimately, the decision rests with the constituents in her dark red district in Georgia. They voted for her and they are welcome to her. Just don’t ask me to respect people who vote for such representation. I can’t do it.

Worst state: Some say I was premature in taking Arizona, my own personal state, off the worst state list because two House members supporting the events of January 6 – Paul Gosar, my own personal congressperson, and Andy Biggs – are from Arizona.

This is a valid point, but the fact is that most states, especially red states, but most states have similar such congresspersons. Arizona is hardly unique in this regard these days. That said, Gosar is a particularly odious example, rivaling Louis Gohmert in stupidity and crazy. (When I want to call someone stupid, I call them a Gohmert.)

I am taking this suggestion under consideration, however, but I’m going to wait to see what Arizona does with its voting laws. We have very enlightened ones, but there is pressure from the Republican majority state legislature to make it harder, not easier, to vote. If they succeed, I’ll put Arizona back on the list.

In the meantime, I’m keeping an eye on Georgia, which is currently trying the same kinds of dirty trick to suppress voters. If they succeed, I may have to add another state to the worthy worst state candidates.

While we wait, everyone gets a pass this week.

Thoughts on Events the Week of January 18

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 26, 2021

Inauguration Day: On Wednesday, we got a new president and the former one flew off uneventfully, albeit with some pathetic self-organized pomp, to Florida. A blessed moment.

My reaction to this moment was not quite what I expected. I expected to be overjoyed, and I am, but my primary emotion was one of relief that the previous administration is over.

I was spot on when I predicted that there would be no trouble at the inauguration in D.C. or in state capitals. When the FBI started rounding the rioters up for prosecution, the cockroaches scrambled back under the refrigerator.

I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised, at how quickly things started to snap back.  This is one of those times when longing for the good old days is appropriate.

But we have some unfinished business with those among The Donald’s base who defiled our Capitol and threatened our democracy, including those elected representatives and senators who participated.   

The Republicans have some unfinished business among themselves, as well. I will be curious to see how they shake out, but I am skeptical it will be nobly.  

I applaud President Biden’s determination to find middle ground with Republicans in Congress, particularly in the Senate, but he should abandon his attempt in a heartbeat if he gets insufficient positive response. Moscow Mitch, who positions himself as an institutionalist, is as dismissive of democratic governance as Trump. He is an undemocratic horse part. And by the way, the filibuster is undemocratic.

Impeachment Redux: The House Impeached Trump, again, and the Senate will try him, beginning February 9th.  Some Democrats say the reason for the trial is that if convicted, Congress can vote to prevent Trump from running for elective office ever again. This is true, but not a sufficient reason. Trump will not run again. In 2024, he’ll too old, likely in jail or dead, and in more disgrace than he is now.

No, the reasons to try Trump are first, to show the world, and ourselves, that we have come to our senses, and second to remind future presidents of the Constitution they have taken an oath to preserve and defend and they had better take that oath seriously. Gerald Ford did us a great disservice by pardoning Nixon and denying the country this example.

Finally, it will give Republicans one last opportunity to assess whether they want to move forward with the rest of us. I’m thinking not. It’s a sad thing that one of the two major political parties has knowingly rejected our democratic form of government. Damn their eyes.

Social Media: After more than four years of publishing lies and incitements to riot by Trump, Facebook and Twitter both kicked Trump off of their platforms. The silence is golden, but it’s not a reliable solution. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want these two unimaginably wealthy, privileged entrepreneurs making free speech decisions. They’ve proven to be untrustworthy.

Remember, their first solution when Trump tweeted that he had won the election and it had been stolen was to add a comment saying, “This claim is disputed.” Bullshit, it is not disputed; it’s a provable fact, and a damnable dangerous lie, as we have seen.

There are serious, tricky free speech issues to be resolved, but we have got to tie a knot in the tail of these platforms. Free speech or not, it’s never made any sense to me that these sites can permit any libel to be published on them without bearing any responsibility. There are laws against slander or libel, and these should apply to social media also.  

Worst state: Just because I took Arizona off the list of worst state candidates does not mean we are incapable of really stupid governance on occasion. Every state is. As an example, this week, deeming them to be insufficiently supportive of Trump, the Arizona Republican Party censured its own Republican Governor Doug Ducey, Senator John McCain’s widow Cindy, and the aptly named former Republican Senator Jeff Flake.

Sudden thought: If it’s ok for Republicans to censure a senator who has been out of office for more than two years, why is it not ok to impeach a president after he is out of office for a week?

But this laughable example of Republican insanity does not rise to the level of cup worthiness. However, the behavior of leaders of almost all the other worst states is sufficiently egregious, so this week, the cup recipients are a ménage à trois of South Carolina because Lindsey Graham, Texas because John Corwin and Alabama because of newly elected Senator Tommy Tuberville, who all were involved in supporting Trump’s attempted coup. (Tuberville is already challenging Oklahoma Senator James Imhoff for dumbest sombitch in the Senate.)