Same, same

Okay, so I don’t know that I have GOP relatives plural who are into Ms. Owens, but I know there’s at least one based on being a follower of her on Twitter. So…yay?

Shutdowns no more

So…found this on the NY Times, about legislative efforts underway to essentially ban future government shutdowns. Sort of a “save us from ourselves” law, I guess. Personally, I’m for the idea, but then there was this:

Under his [Senator Rob Portman (R)] plan, which has 18 co-sponsors and rising, funding at existing levels would continue for agencies covered by an appropriations measure that was not signed into law by the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, preventing any lapse that incites a shutdown. To spur a resolution, funding would be reduced by 1 percent after 120 days if no agreement is reached and by 1 percent more every 90 days.

This is exactly the wrong kind of incentive, especially when dealing with Republicans. Budget cuts are like porn to those people. The only reason automatic funding decreases would bring Republicans to the table would be to hide the raging boners they’ve got for them.

If you want to incentivize Republicans, make them meet with their constituents. Every week there’s no budget agreement, they have to hold a town hall meeting in their district or state, each week in a different precinct (for reps) or district (for senators). I guarantee we’ll have a budget on time every year.

Information Quality Act

Came across a piece on The Intercept today, arguing that instead of the usual fact-checking of the Trump administration we should be taking them to court.

The Information Quality Act, sometimes referred to as the Data Quality Act, is an obscure law enacted in 2001 as a rider in a spending bill. The initial idea behind the legislation was to guarantee that agencies of the U.S. government are held to reasonably high information-quality standards as more and more of their reports and data were made available on the internet.

The legislation directed the Office of Management and Budget to establish standards for information distributed by U.S. government agencies. The guidelines require information published by U.S. agencies to be objective and honest, with any analysis based on clear and transparent methodology.

I hadn’t heard of this law before, and there are apparently already a few lawsuits leveraging it. However, I would imagine they’re only going to be able to target official documents coming from the government. That’s all well and good, but it won’t do anything about the garbage coming from the man himself, let alone the right-wing media that supports him. For that, we’ll still need the media to do its job.

Yup

If you had any hopes two terrible years ago that Donald Trump would govern as anything other than the rank dick he has been his entire life, you know better now. If you had any hopes that Republicans would rise to the occasion and hold Trump to the same standards they held Democrats, you know better. You know the only way to slow Trump down is to elect Democrats. The only reason to vote Republican is because you want the America Trump and the GOP want.

Because of that, you deserve our contempt and our rage. You are the thugs. You are the gangs. You are the terrorists. You are anti-American.

Link

Which side is that, again?

President Trump’s Enemies List

One side has a President repeatedly ramping up racist incitement, attacking the press as the “enemy of the people.” One side has a President who routinely leads cheers about imprisoning political opponents. His congressional supporters accept his rhetoric and now increasingly ape it. One side has a President who routinely fabricates outlandish falsehoods intended to generate outrage, fear and hate. One side has a group of rightist paramilitaries operating in various parts of the country. One side has mass ownership of high capacity firearms as a central part of its political ideology. The same side frequently focuses on private weapons ownership as a hedge against “tyranny”. In other words, they focus on the need to stock firearms for the potential need to use them against government officials and civil servants.

Left unsaid, but I’ll say it— one side is proto-Fascist at best. One side runs on bullshit and lies. One side is a danger to the country and the world. The sole motivating principle of one side is power. One side lives for cruelty. One side lacks all empathy.

Two years ago if you supported that side I might have forgiven you for misguided, ill-informed tribalism. If you still support that side, with everything that has happened over the last 24 months? “Deplorable” doesn’t even begin to cut it. You are evil. You are a degenerate, and a sociopath. You deserve nothing but scorn.

You know, normally I would tag something like this “Politics,” but at this point that’s the wrong label. This isn’t a “reasonable people can disagree” kind of thing anymore. We’re in black and white, right and wrong territory. The only grey here is in the ashes of Republican souls.

What’s Next?

Chandra asked me recently when I thought things might get back to normal. “Things” meaning the general political situation, of course. I had been scanning through Twitter’s Unending Parade of Horror, mixed with hope regarding the upcoming election, so of course it was on her mind. My initial reaction was that it would be a while, if ever.

Let’s say we wake up November 7 to a true Blue wave— Democrats have taken both the House and Senate, plus state houses and legislatures across the country. Yay! But the dickless Cheeto and his minions will still be in office. So we’ll get less ridiculous legislation, oversight, and a Senate less inclined to confirm all the exact worst people for their positions. That’s certainly something.

Odds are good that we’ll still have a GOP strong enough to get in the way, though. The oversight we so desperately need will be blocked as much as they can, and they’ll scream “witch hunt!” and “fake news!” at every opportunity. It’ll be bullshit, but thanks to their entrenched media megaphone and idiot hordes who only believe what comes from sanctioned lips, it’ll also get more traction than it should. Thank you, tribal epistemology.

A small aside— Chandra asked if I thought certain family members were lost causes, and I had to say yes. With everything that’s happened in the last few years, if they continue to support the GOP or whatever FOX tells them to, all we can do is wait for them to die off or officially succumb to dementia. Sorry, Burstyn— that includes you, too.

In fact, if I’m being pessimistic, I have to admit that I could see a solid blue wave in 2018 leading to a reactionary* backlash. If the Tangerine Turd continues doing what he’s been doing for the last three years, things could get much worse before they get better. Look up “Proud Boys” if you don’t believe me.

And if we don’t get a solid blue wave this cycle? Then we’re probably done as a properly functioning democracy. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but the GOP already controls more than they should thanks to voter suppression and gerrymandering. If they get away with that now, they’ll just continue to further entrench themselves and erect more barriers to participation, further clamp down on protest, etc. etc.

I have to say that I don’t feel pessimistic, though. Despite the shit we’ll have to deal with through 2020, I have to hope that November 6 will be a turning point. This will be the part of the movie where we get a montage of people all over the country marching into their polling places and effectively saying, “No more. You assholes aren’t America, and we’re going to kick you out on your collective pale asses.” I look forward to joining in the whoopin’.

*I refuse to use the word “conservative” anymore for a group of people who are anything but.

Virtuous middle my ass

The white women who vote for the GOP believe that white people are America’s virtuous middle. The virtuous middle is how the Republican Party has distinguished its core beliefs from those of Democrats, whom they characterize as the party of intellectual snobs and the undeserving rabble. Central to this “virtuous middle” is white identity and, specifically, white femininity. The white women who are backing Kavanaugh and who will vote for the GOP in November are the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) descendants of the white women who joined the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, used their Daughters of the American Revolution club membership to exclude Marian Anderson, and the women who resisted racial integration.

Has Backing Kavanaugh Really Lost The GOP The Women’s Vote? | HuffPost

This could also be filed under “The answer to any headline that’s a question is always ‘No’.”