Here’s where we are

Invest in Guillotine FuturesThis may be a little rambly.

Democratic leadership remains resistant to impeachment calls. This is despite all the corruption we’ve witnessed since day one of the Trump administration, not to mention everything documented by Robert Muller’s team in their Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. Even the complete stonewalling of the House in their efforts to exercise oversight doesn’t seem to be enough to budge them. 

And don’t get me started on the hour-long phone call Trump had with Putin on Friday. 

Then last night there was the report from the NY Times that Nancy Pelosi is expressing concern that Trump won’t leave office, even if he loses the 2020 election. This is the same concern that Michael Cohen voiced a while back, if you’ll recall. It sounds hyperbolic, but let’s be honest with ourselves here. Why wouldn’t he try that? He’s been getting away with violating laws and “norms” throughout his administration, and nothing has happened to him. All we get are timid sad faces from Republicans who otherwise are in lockstep with him, and Democrats like Pelosi who act like they’re afraid of their own shadow.

Seriously, go read that NY Times piece. Pelosi’s prescription to guard against what is literally an existential threat to the republic is to “stay mainstream.” What the ever-loving fuck. She is not laying the groundwork here for a fight to save America from a budding dictatorship. She is laying the groundwork to throw up her hands and say, “Well, I guess we didn’t communicate our policies well enough. Oopsie!”

So where does that leave us? We already have gerrymandering and the Electoral College to contend with, both things that work against the popular will of the people. If we toss out election results that the party in power doesn’t like, what are we left with? There’s a line in Parliament’s “Chocolate City” that goes “You don’t need the bullet if you’ve got the ballot.” We all need to keep in mind that the reverse is also true.

So to Nancy and Democrats, you need to impeach the mother forker already. Prove to us that you care about democracy and the rule of law as more than something you use as a line in your campaign fundraising emails.

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.

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’.”

Abolish ICE

I posted a different protest sign on Twitter, but figured I would put this one here. I’m reasonably confident this is an appropriate use of the word “ese,” but just in case I wanted to leave it where frankly no one looks.

No internment camps

14.8%

Almost buried in today’s avalanche of today’s news (Huh, Sean Hannity? I did not see that coming.), was the following:

This seems like a random bit of information, and it’s hardly surprising that someone convicted for shooting up a mosque would be checking some of those accounts. Here’s the thing, though. There’s a non-zero amount of overlap between those twitter accounts and the list of accounts I know people in my family follow. I find that beyond disturbing. Granted, the overlap is with the milder end of the list, but I’m not sure how comforting I find that. Everyone on that list is on the spectrum (so to speak), and everyone on it is contributing to the current climate in negative ways. It frustrates me to no end that people in general can’t see that, especially when they’re my own flesh and blood.