The title for this could really just be “Heavy Sigh” but I’m too committed to the bit and anyway if I have to suffer you assholes the rest of my natural life you can suck it

We’re up to three indictments now, which is good even though JFC the DOJ took their sweet time with this last one, didn’t they? At least this time you don’t get the sense the judges in DC are actively working for the defense. “Mister” Trump, indeed.

But but but…

In one sense it doesn’t matter, because whatever happens in the courtroom he’s not going to stop running for president. But even that doesn’t get to the core of the problem. Every cycle there are all kinds of people running for president we never hear about, because they don’t have a prayer in hell of winning. Ideally, that would be true of DJT as well. It’s not, thanks to the hordes of fash-curious we have running around the country, family included. (Those would be the titular assholes of this post, if you were wondering.)

So, great — we’re going to have to live through the spectacle of a man who should be wearing a jumpsuit the same shade of Oompa Loompa as his bronzer being treated like a viable choice to occupy the White House again. Maybe I’m wrong on this, and we’re months away from official primaries & caucuses taking place, but as things stand it’s hard to see how he doesn’t start racking up wins, and then getting a terrifying number of votes come November 2024. Because what you do when someone attempts a coup and fails is…give them another shot at it?


Film Politics

Nick Fury and the black-robed dinguses

There’s a scene in episode 2 of “Secret Invasion” where Nick Fury and Talos are on a train somewhere in eastern Europe, and Nick tells Talos about taking the train from Alabama to Detroit when he was a kid. He does this primarily to get Talos to play a game of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” (exposition!), but along the way he mentions having to ride in the “Colored Car,” and how they had to bring their own food because they weren’t allowed into the dining car.

I had one of those record skipping moments in my head. Wait, how old is Nick Fury supposed to be? Looks like the MCU version was born in 1950 (for comparison, Samuel L. Jackson was born in 1948). Okay, so next check a Civil Rights timeline. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was 1954, followed by lots of protests and attempts to maintain segregation in schools. Rosa Parks is 1955. Sit-ins are late 50s into the 60s. Riots in 1961 at UGA over the first two Black students to be admitted (and they get suspended). Alabama Gov. George Wallace calls for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” in 1963, same year as MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The Civil Rights Act came in 1964.

Nick Fury would have been a teenager at this point. So…yeah, he could absolutely have had to ride a segregated train.

I’m sure none of this would have been a surprise to a Black person watching the show, but I guess I needed a reminder that the days of hard-core segregation aren’t that far in the past.

So imagine my surprise (not really, the writing was on the wall) when the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action in college admissions.

Sidebar: Justice Sotomayor’s dissent had this bit, which generated a genuine, “Oh shit” reaction from yours truly:

JUSTICE THOMAS, for his part, offers a multitude of arguments for why race-conscious college admissions policies supposedly “burden” racial minorities. Ante, at 39. None of them has any merit.

He first renews his argument that the use of race in holistic admissions leads to the “inevitable” “underperformance” by Black and Latino students at elite universities “because they are less academically prepared than the white and Asian students with whom they must compete.” Fisher I, 570 U. S., at 332 (concurring opinion). JUSTICE THOMAS speaks only for himself.

I don’t know how to properly cite Supreme Court rulings, but you can find that on page 195 of the PDF linked above. It’s page 56 of her dissent.

Anyway, Thomas aside I can kind of get where the majority justices in that opinion are coming from. They’re white people with at least the baseline of privilege that implies. No one in their family history ever had to worry about being prohibited from attending school because of their race. I haven’t dug into their personal histories, but I expect they have more than just that baseline, thus their oblivious attitude. However, the notion that this country has gone from centuries of institutionalized, and often violent racism, to a state where we can say, “Welp, no more racism here, we good?” within the span of one man’s lifetime, and any long-term harm has been wiped clean is absurd. They should be smart enough to recognize that.

Here’s what I know. I’ve attended and/or been employed at five different universities across as many states. All of them have had affirmative action programs, and none have had, let’s say, a shortage of white people. I’ve had applications rejected from four other institutions I can remember (Caltech, Carlton College, UC Berkeley, and The University of Michigan), all due to my own mediocrity, thankyouverymuch. My parents and at least one grandparent went to college, so there’s a chance1 I could have gotten a leg up thanks to legacy admissions, though I didn’t apply to any of them. At any rate, I did just fine at the institutions I did attend. I hope there were Black people admitted to all the schools that rejected me, and God speed to them. I had experiences as an undergraduate I absolutely would not have had without living and studying with people of other races and cultures, however they came to be there.

Anyway, I mostly wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that history runs long, and it’s easy to forget how any given person may have been affected by conditions that you may not have personally experienced or remember. The MCU’s Nick Fury went from high school into the US Army, and then to the CIA, but I don’t think we know why. It’s certainly possible the army was his only option, for financial reasons or because…Alabama. As he put it in a different context, “Men who look like us don’t get promoted because of who our daddies know. Every ounce of power we wrestle from the vice grip of the mediocre Alexander Pierces who run this world was earned in blood.”

  1. A small one. Of the three institutions I checked, one very explicitly does NOT factor in legacy, one seems to, and the last I can’t find any information on.

You know that feeling when your nose tickles like you’re going to sneeze and you wait and wait but the sensation just fades with no real release?

Yeah, I heard about the impending indictment, too.


So the President Says You Have a Semi For Fascism

Yes, I know that’s not exactly what he said.

Second, for those who don’t know. I first posted this image back in January 2016

GOP elephant with the swastika showing they usually try to hide

…and it’s with that in mind that I just want to say to President Biden:

Seriously, it’s nice to have you aboard. Hopefully it’s not too late.

PS — Biden makes a distinction between “MAGA Republicans” and I guess “Regular Republicans.” There is no difference. A Regular Republican is just a MAGA Republican who has enough shame to keep their ignorant mouth shut at family get-togethers.

PPS — God bless the Dropkick Murphys


From the Supreme Court’s Annotated Edition of the Declaration of Independence


Good Riddance

There was an article in The Atlantic recently titled, “Trump’s Presidency Is Over. So Are Many Relationships.” There’s a lot in it that resonated with me, in particular the following:

“If we fundamentally can’t agree that Black lives matter or that people have human rights to be protected and respected…that is a very different divide than, ‘We can’t agree about trickle-down economics.’”

Unfortunately, that’s as hard-hitting as the article gets. For the most part it takes the tack of “why can’t we all get along,” and “should who you voted for matter so much?”

Yes, it should. And it does.

These relationships are not falling apart because Republicans lowered taxes on the rich. They’re falling apart because Republicans have become a fundamentally bigoted, authoritarian cult. Look at the GOP’s 2020 platform, which boils down to “Whatever Trump says! 👍 Do I need to trot out the “fine people on both sides” thing again? Or sharpie gate? Or the half a million dead people from COVID? Or gassing people for a photo op? Or the January 6 invasion of the capitol? Or Qanon? The revival of Jim Crow laws? What they’re doing to trans people? The list is horrific and seemingly endless.

I would argue that as painful as it might be, it’s good that these relationships are ending. Think of it in terms of Karl Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance. There are beliefs that should be considered beyond the pale, and if friend or family espouse them, cutting them out is the only moral thing to do. They are not “people you disagree with.” They are bad people.


Warren 2020

Not that my endorsement is going to mean anything, but with Super Tuesday coming up I figured I would put my support in writing, to go with the yard sign we should be getting soon. I’ve been impressed with Elizabeth Warren for some time, and think she would make one hell of a president. Yes, she has a plan for everything, but more than that she has the ability to articulate her positions with a clarity and passion that is striking.

Sidebar 1: I think it’s a requirement this election cycle to say this, so I’ll get it out of the way first thing. Any of the current Democratic candidates would be better than Donald Trump. Come the general election, I will be marking the ballot for whoever the Democratic candidate is. Moreover, I will be marking the entire ballot Democratic. As bad as Trump is, he only the summit of the shitberg that is the modern Republican party.

Policy aside, I put Warren in the same camp as Katie Porter, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and maybe Adam Schiff. These are representatives who do their homework and are a joy to watch in hearings as they take apart whatever toady is in front of them. Elizabeth Warren is known for doing the same thing. Do a Google search for “Elizabeth Warren hearings” to get some links to her at work, or you can watch a supercut of some highlights:

With that in mind, I want to make special note of the recent Nevada debate. Here’s another supercut:

These edited clips do tend to make everything more intense and dramatic, but still. Her evisceration of Michael Bloomberg was a thing of beauty.

Sidebar 2: I’ve seen several people remarking that Warren’s takedown of Bloomberg is a sign of how she would similarly tear Trump apart. I don’t fully buy this, because for all his many flaws, Bloomberg does seem to partake of reality in a way that Trump does not, and he similarly seems to have some amount of shame, a burden the current president does not share. So she may go after Trump with the same vigor, but I don’t know that the reactions would be the same.

One other thing on the last debate— there have been a few posts (possibly paywalled, in which case…sorry) on Talking Points Memo recently touching on the “Despair and Withdrawal” some are feeling. I certainly share some of those sentiments. Warren’s debate performance at least temporarily made those go away, and judging by how my Twitter feed lit up, I’m not alone.

Finally, Warren seems to get that what is happening to American government right now is an existential crisis in the way that I don’t think other candidates necessarily do. If she is elected, I am confident that she will be able to both put agencies right that Trump is tearing apart, and she will allow the DOJ to pursue investigations and prosecutions as appropriate. In particular, I don’t trust Biden, Bloomberg, or Buttigieg for a second to do that.

Sidebar 3: It’s pretty clear that Sanders is very close to Warren on a lot of issues, and if he gets the nomination hopefully this is one (I haven’t researched it). If we had ranked choice voting, he would be my second choice.

P.S., who doesn’t want a cougar in office?


The time is now

I’m more inclined to Elizabeth Warren than Bernie, but still. This hits hard in a way that resonates with me.


Cutting to the chase

Emphasis added

So if you’re a Trump defender, whether one of his scum voters or a craven congressional worm, you’re obviously comfortable with having a fucking criminal lead you because it makes you feel big and important. You’re a failure of a human being, but fuck it.


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.