Category Archives: Politics

So now we’re supposed to heal our broken nation and achieve unity …

According to some articles, what many people want to see from President Biden (and did during the past four years as well) is unity in government. No more hate, no more anger, no more Twitter rants. And that applies to us too: Biden voters should be reaching out and sympathizing with Trump voters. We need to show empathy — didn’t we feel just like this in 2016? Give them time to process their emotions and move on. To which I say, dude, WTF?

This is not at all equivalent to 2016: we were pissed and horrified, sure (and the past four years have shown we were right to be) but nobody doubted Trump had won, however hinky his route to the White House. We were not sitting there insisting he wasn’t a real president and that Clinton had actually gotten the electoral voes. Republicans are in denial and being nice to them probably won’t help (no. not even if Biden pardoned Trump).  And I don’t recall anyone at the time saying that Republicans should reach out and be sympathetic (not that they’d have listened). Heck, if you’ll remember, a lot of us Democrats were anticipating a Congressional landslide instead of Biden facing (probably) a Republican dominated Senate where Moscow Mitch will deep six every Biden initiative he can. Shouldn’t Trump voters be sympathizing with us.

I understand that many Trump voters are shocked they lost — didn’t Pat Robertson and other evangelicals prophesy for God that Trump would win? And they’re convinced that evil has triumphed. But they’re wrong. All that happened was that they lost an election. Republicans will have a shot — better than they should — at recovering the White House in four years. In that time, Biden and Harris will not destroy America, lock up Christians or turn their kids over to a Satanist pedophile cult that drinks children’s blood. Our fears that Trump would be anti-gay, misogynist, anti-immigrant, racist and generally incompetent turned out justified.

I think this is another version of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ axiom, that “white racial grievance enjoys automatic credibility.” Trump supporters’ suffering has to be taken seriously in a way the more diverse liberal wing doesn’t. That said, I can understand the desire for unity but how do we reach that with millions of voters embracing QAnon or white supremacy (or both) or willing to tolerate them? Or insisting the Trump Virus isn’t real even as they die from it.

The truth is we’ve never really been a united country. We weren’t united under slavery: slaves and masters were not on the same page, nor were slave-owners and abolitionists. Nor in WW II, despite the image of everyone pulling together to fight the Axis. Some American businesses traded with Germany throughout the war; some people preferred Hitler to FDR. The government shipped Japanese-American citizens to concentration camps and sent 2,000 citizens to Japan in exchange for American POWs. The Army was segregated and soldiers stationed in the south had to abide by Jim Crow laws. Gay sex and interracial marriage were illegal. As soon as the war was over, the government and big business snatched the jobs women had taken in the war away from them.

As Martin Luther King said, what we hadn’t wasn’t unity but a “period when the Negro was complacently adjusted to segregation, discrimination, insult, and exploitation.” Ditto women. Ditto gays. It looked united because society managed to contain protests and pushbacks and keep things relatively stable. But the fissures were there. As King said, we can’t get from the “old negative obnoxious peace which is merely the absence of tension” to “a positive, lasting peace, which is the presence of brotherhood and justice” without tension and disunity. And we have to make that shift to survive and recover from the failed state we seem to be turning into. Brotherhood and justice require equality; that’s hard to achieve when a large chunk of this country wants to roll back the achievements of Selma, Stonewall and Seneca Falls.

So yeah, unity’s nice, but there’s going to be a lot of tension first. And we can’t run away from it.

But as proof that sometimes good guys win one, LGM thinks the Affordable Care Act will survive the Supreme Court. And Trump’s “bring back the gold standard” pick for Federal Reserve couldn’t get confirmed in the Senate.

It’s a start.

 

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Publishers allegedly behaving badly

First, Disney. According to Cory Doctorow,  Disney acquired publishing rights to a number of Alan Dean Foster’s novels when they acquired Lucasfilm and Fox. They have not paid Foster any royalties since they became the publisher, nor provided him with royalty statements. The reason? They acquired publication rights when they bought the other companies’ assets, but not their debts — so basically they’re not legally obligated to pay him. They’re also refusing to negotiate or discuss things unless Foster signs a non-disclosure agreement first. Which sounds like a ginormous red flag — NDAs are often used as part of a settlement agreement, but not as a precondition for negotiating.

SFWA is on this, understandably. If Disney can get away with this there’s nothing to stop other corporations that buy up publishers from doing the same. Or one publisher under an umbrella corporation could sell the rights to another publishing company in the same organization. Keep in mind, they’re not washing their hands of what Lucasfilm owed Foster: Disney is selling copies of the books he wrote so there’s no excuse I can imagine that makes it legal.

From Disney’s perspective I would guess this looks like a no-lose move. If they win, or if Foster just gives up, they keep the royalties. There’s no court ruling to stop them from trying again. If the case goes to court and runs another five years, it will be a great deal of sweat and effort for Foster but none at all for Disney executives; they’ve got lawyers for that. And if they lose, well, it’s unlikely whatever court costs and damages they pay will hurt their bottom line much. Disney’s FY 2018 report says they spent $38 million settling litigation; another million wouldn’t be much of a problem.

Which is the thing about America today: if you’re rich and you don’t want to follow the law, the system can’t do much to stop or deter you. Disney Co. is very rich. Small wonder that aggressively as they protect their intellectual property, they keep getting accused of ignoring it when it’s inconvenient.

Then there are the allegations against Audible, Amazon’s audiobook company (I should add that I believe both sets of allegations). As detailed at File 770, writers receive only 40 percent of the sale price even though they pay for recording their books, which isn’t cheap. Now it turns out that Audible has launched an exchange program where you can trade in one audiobook for another, even if you liked the recording and listened all the way through (there’s a “return” button at the end). You can make the exchange up to a year after purchase. Audible then reduces the authors’ sales: you sell 10 books, three readers return them, you get payment for seven. It’s not obvious on the sales reports (my publisher McFarland’s sales reports make returns crystal clear). Nor did writers learn about this deal or get an option to opt out — oh, and even when Amazon changes the rules, writers can’t pull their books for seven years after they launch.

I presume this works out well for Audible: they make money off reader memberships and I’m sure turning themselves into a de facto library makes membership that much more attractive. Not at all well for writers.

#SFWApro. All rights to cover image remain with current holder.

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An incompetent, unsuccessful coup attempt is still an attack on America

One of the questions I’ve seen discussed on liberal blogs lately (links here) is how much of Trump’s appeal is his bigotry and misogyny, how much is Trump himself. The question shapes the future of the Republican Party: if Trump’s success is partly from his ability to perform and inspire at rallies, sober, serious Republicans who are equally extreme and authoritarian won’t inspire the same fervor (some discussion here). If not …

But either way, it’s pretty clear the Republican Party is totally wrong for America. Biden won. He won legitimately despite Republican vote suppression and the hysterical rants about how Democrats will shut down all the churches, destroy the suburbs and drink adenochrone from American children. And Republicans are attempting a coup. It looks like it will fail, but most of the party supports Trump’s efforts. Some of those displaying integrity would probably have changed their tune if it was close enough that cries of fraud were a little more believable (see here for more. Also here). Presumably they’ll do it again. Which means Democrats for the rest of my life will not only have to win, they’ll have to win by cheat-proof margins. And even then, we may have Republican loyalists like the GSA’s Emily Murphy refusing to allow a transition. It’s like McConnell’s declaration his top goal starting in 2008 was to make Obama a one-term president; running the government is less important than crushing Democrats (and democracy).

And we have right-wing news pushing to defend Trump — sure, he’s given us no proof yet, but any minute he might come up with the evidence Dems are as dirty as Real Americans always suspected. Or right-wing arguments that really, Dems are just as bad. What Murphy’s doing is no worse than Whoopi Goldberg telling Republicans to get over it, am I right? No, you’re not (and at the Murphy link, Howard Kurtz does make that argument).

Part of the problem is that the Republican agenda — anti-gay, misogynist, pro-the 1 percent, anti any regulation at all — is unpopular with most of America. Democracy works against them unless they change, and they’ve made it quite obvious they’re not going to change. Plus a lot of them are true believers. Many of them buy into the same the same right-wing “news” that Trump does. In the words of I.F. Stone, governments are in trouble when they start smoking the hashish they’re selling to the public.

No More Mr. Nice Blog says part of the Republican advantage is that they and their media allies have been screeching for decades about how eeevil liberals are. Dems aren’t doing the same back. So Democrats committing fraud or working against America seem more reasonable to a lot of people — certainly to people in the media — than the idea that Republicans are a threat to America. Looking at how even lying right-wing shits like Newt Gingrich rarely pay a consequence for their conduct, the blog wonders if we don’t need to get just as dirty as they do.

I sincerely hope not. We definitely need to play hardball — we should be out there reminding everyone that Republicans have rejected democracy, racial equality, gay rights, etc. — but turning outselves into Republican clones won’t work out well. I also think there’d be much more blow back than Republicans get. For a variety of reasons, Dems are typed as the nice ones: Republicans fighting for the right to discriminate against gays doesn’t generate the kind of shock that stories about Democrats refusing to date Republicans do. Being vicious and bigoted is part of their brand; we’re expected to be tolerant and fair.

Keeping Republican treachery in the public eye might help change that. Maybe. We should also challenge the Republican myth they’re the party of military duty and military leadership. Newt Gingrich, who never served, once mocked Sen. George McGovern, a fighter pilot, as a war wimp; Bush II, who dodged the draft and blew off his National Guard service, painted decorated veteran John Kerry as a shirker who faked his war wounds. Mitt Romney, who never served, once mocked Jimmy Carter (“Even Carter could have given the kill order,” dismissing Obama ordering bin Laden’s death), who did. Can we change that narrative? Maybe. Not for hardcore Repubicans (I’m pretty sure the veterans who told me they couldn’t tolerate Bill Clinton’s draft dodging voted happily for W and Trump), but perhaps for others?

Then there’s religion. Lots of Democrats have faith; Biden’s a lifelong Catholic, Obama and the Clinton’s are churchgoers. Nevertheless, Republicans still represent themselves as the God Party. Part of that, as blogger Fred Clark once said, is that people tend to equate meanness with faith: zealots who oppose interracial marriage or women’s right to vote are seen as more devout than people who are open to equality and gay marriage. Believers who let children die rather than give them medical treatment (it’s in God’s hands!) are more devout, by this thinking, than people whose faith inspires them to run a soup kitchen or a free clinic.

How do we push back? There you got me. I can blog about it, but I’m sure that’s not going to turn the tide (I am thinking of ways I can do more. No ideas yet). But it needs to be done. As does the kind of on-the-ground door-to-door organizing and energizing Ihlan Omar does.

Republicans are the enemy of America. As for the Republican voters … but that’s for next Monday’s post.

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Lying to us and maybe themselves: links about delusion and grift.

No More Mr. Nice Blog suggests that Trump refusing to concede isn’t some elaborate scheme: he really thinks he’s won. Heck, he’s even tweeting that now. Trump believing this sounds plausible, but it still leaves him stewing in resentment and watching TV. Not that this is surprising — when has he ever been a hard worker? — but it’s bad to have the White House out of action until Biden’s voted in. For example, ignoring the pandemic even more than usual.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Trump’s sucking out money raised to fight election fraud to pay down his campaign debts (while campaign funds go into Trump’s pocket). Pastor Darrell Scott of Ohio says that’s perfectly legitimate: Trump’s getting the money either way, what does it matter how he spends it? Libby Anne looks at Scott’s own er, colorful history in such matters.

And then there are the two prominent evangelists who raised $4.5 million for Holocaust survivors, but apparently want some of it for other projects. They’re now in court fighting over how it was divided up.

Or consider pastor Robert Jeffress who declared Biden the winner of the election — as he did for Trump the day after the 2016 election — then backed off and announced there’s no official winner yet after his fellow Trump supporters criticized him. Meanwhile a prominent law professor says if Biden has nothing to hide, he should support all Trump’s lawsuits to get at the truth. Right, just like Obama had some obligation to pull out his birth certificate to prove he was born in this country.

Libby Anne says anyone who calls themselves pro-life and refuses to take any steps to reduce the Trump Virus is fooling themseves.

For political scammers, we have Rep. Louie Gohmert, who claims it’s proven that 10,000 dead people voted in Michigan. Spoiler: it hasn’t. But Trump supporters still tell themselves Trump was robbed.

I can’t help but think companies promising to spot cheating in distance learning — they can analyze eye movements and know if you’re looking the answers up! — are grifters of another sort. Sure, they say science is with them, but I’ve heard graphologist say the same thing (companies that use handwriting analysis tests for job applicants can discover the TRUTH about them! It really works!).

Some people have ranked J.D. Vance, “working class people whisperer,” as another grifter. Even by that standard, the movie based on his book doesn’t work. The Newsmax TV channel, however, is gambling that moving to the right of Fox News — not calling the election for Biden, for instance — will be a winning media strategy.

 

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The transition from Trump

Traditionally presidents reach out to their successors to graciously concede and begin prepping the new guy (someday, I’ll be able to say “the new woman!”). But we’re talking President Shit Gibbon here. Mary Trump sums up her uncle’s state of mind: “He’ll be having meltdowns upon meltdowns right now. He has never been in a situation like this before. What’s interesting is that Donald has never won anything legitimately in his entire life, but because he has been so enabled by people along the way, he has never lost anything either. He’s the kind of person who thinks that even if you steal and cheat to win, you deserve to win.”

Thus Trump’s GSA chief is refusing to provide the Biden team with the necessary authorizations to start preparing for January. Trump just fired the Secretary of Defense to be replaced by yet another acting secretary. Never mind the security risks. Is it because SecDef Esper refused to deploy the military against antifa? Charles Pierce thinks replacing Esper with a loyalist is a bad sign.

But pretty much everything Trump has tried to cheat so far has failed. Judges are slapping down his lawyers. There’s no evidence of voter fraud (though WAG Bill Barr has authorized prosecutors to investigate any voter-fraud claims) Georgia has refused to change election rules before the looming runoff election. But William Kristol says bullshit though Trump’s plays have been, we should be wary because the chance of Trump failing is not 100 percent (Steve M. makes the same point). And even if Republicans are backing his plays solely to keep their voters happy (as in this case) or to humor Trump, it seems pretty obvious if Trump completes a coup, they’ll be fine with it.

Sarah Kendzior says to never forget: people will try to minimize how badly the system failed these past four years and we shouldn’t let them (as LGM says, Trump winning, then riding rough-shod over government rules and regulations shows the system doesn’t work, even if he leaves office now). And as Scott Lemieux points out, inept as Trump’s lawsuits are, they are trying to steal the election. Blatantly. And if the results had been closer, the coup might have worked.

Then again, as Roy Edroso says, it’s not like being wary is going to help me stop Trump if he declares himself dictator or something. We’ve got four tough years ahead, so let’s enjoy the win for now. After all, if even Lindsay Graham is saying Trump should begin the transition, I suspect we’re in good shape. Even Trump advisers admit it. Of course he could still be a problem if he discloses secret information.

And enjoy the suffering and freaking out on the right. Alex Jones is warning viewers Biden’s win is a Chinese takeover (much like the Obama administration being a stalking horse for Islamic extremism and 20th century Democrats being puppets for international Communism). And there’s the new right-wing talking poi — lie: The media proclaimed Al Gore the winner in 2000, then had to eat its words, so Trump can still win. Oh, and a supercomputer supposedly digitally changed a bunch of ballots. More on that bullshit here. Fred Clark points out many self-proclaimed prophets swore that Trump would win. Apparently they didn’t listen to God’s words properly.

As for the future? I doubt QAnon is going away, but it’s having some trouble now that Trump clearly isn’t going to save America from the cannibal pedophiles.

Steve Bannon’s not doing much better than his ex-boss. And Jacob Wohl, would-be dirty trickster, has been indicted again.

In Philadelphia, police surrounded an SUV, smashed the windows, threw the black woman driving to the ground and snatched out her toddler. Then they posed with the toddler to prove they look out for kids. Small wonder Leonard Pitts says calls for black America to reconcile with Trump’s America so we can move forward are a bad idea.

Joe Biden has what sounds like good plans for climate change.

 

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So how will 2020 end?

What a year.

Murder hornets. Pandemic. Trump melting down and trying to steal the election. How do you wrap up a year like 2020?  The Washington Post decided to ask some screenwriters. It’s not easy to have a fun take on 2020, but they managed. For example complaining about Trump as the Big Bad “You can’t get inside him,” Attie says. “He doesn’t have the same inner life, emotional life, as a three-dimensional character that you want to write about. I don’t know how to make that interesting. It’s not nuanced. It’s not contradictory. He’s not at war with himself.”” Or “He’s almost like Jaws,” he says. “A massive creature causing destruction, but without anything that seems to resemble, you know, motivation or logic. So, that’s good for spectacle, but bad for character.”

It’s a hoot. I recommend reading it. I’ll be back Monday with some serious political commentary again.

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Thoughts on victory

When the projections were of a Democratic landslide, I’d anticipated a post starting with “this is not the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.” Given the courts are solidly conservative and Congress is divided, I’m not sure it’s even that. But that said, Trump is out. Defeated. All his vague schemes and plans to steal the election came to naught. And he was an incumbent president and they usually win. So Biden’s win is no small thing. Neither is having a vice president who’s a woman, black and Indian. That’s very cool.

Trump is the most venal, corrupt president of my lifetime. Even leaving office, he’s grifting: half of any funds raised to fight the Biden victory in court go to pay off Trump’s campaign bills it’s in the small print. And oh, how shitty that narcissistic bully must be feeling as I type this: “All he knows and all he needs to know is that he isn’t getting what he wants, and that he’s being humiliated before everyone because he isn’t getting it, and this is the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone.” I’ve seen photos of him returning from the golf game where he heard the news and he looks miserable (leading to one charge calling the election was timed to ruin Trump’s game).

I will admit I also take some schadenfreude in how various Trump supporters on FB who laughed at the idea America would elect a Democratic libtard over God’s chosen must be feeling today. Or this guy, a self-proclaimed prophet who argues God would not possibly let a prophet be wrong, ergo Trump must win.

The right wing is ranting about how Biden’s victory is not only election fraud represents the socialist takeover of America. But take a look at a Love.Joy.Feminism post on what the right-wing Focus on the Family predicted by 2012 if Obama won in 2008: streaming porn available everywhere! Straights pushed out of the military! Persecution of anti-gay Christians! The Democratic candidate will always be a radical threat to American freedom.

No More Mr. Nice Blog points out the pollsters were less successful than 2016 because Biden’s projected margin of victory was much larger than Clinton’s.

A Latina novelist discusses one reason many Latinos voted Trump.

Vox concludes that red states didn’t react to the pandemic the way blue states did, and that a lot of voters just want normal back. And Trump said he’d get it for us, easy.

Paul Campos wonders how much of Trump’s support is tied to Trump himself, as the charismatic (yes, I know) leader and how much is racism. Because that will affect what happens next. Much good discussion in the comments. No More Mr. Nice Blog agrees the country isn’t more conservative than it used to be but there is greater loyalty to Trump. He sees the future differently from Campos though. Libby Anne concludes we’re way more racist than she’d hoped.

Some evangelicals are worried that support for Trump will hurt their witness. Slacktivist says no problem because “white evangelical support for Trump and for Trumpism is its witness. This is the gospel that white evangelicalism proclaims and embodies.”

Monica Hesse says that the Republican dream of making liberals cry may never go away.

A-OC, making sense as usual, discusses why state-level races didn’t go better for Democrats. Here’s some of what did work. The more centrist/conservative Democrats have a different take. Here’s another take.

On the plus side, Nevada wrote legal gay marriage into the state constitution, so even revoking Obergefell won’t affect it there. And in Ohio, a deputy fired for being lesbian is now the sheriff. And if Harris is vice president, she knows things no other veep knows.

And finally — Trump lost! Hurrah!

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I have nothing to say about Tuesday yet —

So this post will have to do.
There’s a moment in Nick Hornsby’s How to Be Good where the protagonist calls her husband from the car and asks for a divorce. Afterwards she thinks that doing this is not the sort of person she is — and then realizes that yes, she’s just proved she’s that sort of person (“Lee Harvey Oswald probably never started out thinking he was the sort of person who assassinates presidents.”).
Or as Thomas Jefferson put it “It is in our lives and not from our words that our religion must be read.”
Or Goethe: “How do we know ourselves? Never by thinking, always by doing.”
Or Immanuel Kant who said we should “act as if what we do sets a universal law.” Our actions tell other people not only who we are but what we think is acceptable behavior. Even if we don’t mean that, even if we think only we get to act that way.
A lot of us hate this kind of thinking. We’d prefer to believe that no matter bad things we may have done, we’re not really the sort of person who does them. One article I read about student cheaters said most of them don’t think of themselves as cheaters — it’s just a necessary step to get into the right college/get a good CV after which they’ll be able to conduct themselves with perfect honesty.
I’ve also read multiple accounts of right-to-lifers who get abortion while insisting they’re not the sort of person who gets abortions — it’s just that their situation is totally unique and they need this abortion, unlike all the filthy sluts they saw in the clinic when they were there.
Earlier this year, Rep. Ted Yoho called A-OC an “effing bitch” (he did not say effing) then insisted he’s totally not that kind of guy — he has a wife and daughters! Similarly comics artist Tony Harris insists his long rant about fake geek girls a few years back can’t possibly have been sexist or misogynist because he has a wife and daughters. (And yes, I think in both cases the words do express what’s in their heart).
Many more people feel that everything about them is so wonderful and respectable, it’s unfair to let a little rape/vehicular homicide/wife-beating sdefine them. People who have any sort of status — judges, clergy, the wealthy — get particularly outraged when people punch up about stuff they’ve done. How DARE anyone criticize a godly man like Roy Moore (for example) just for harassing a teenage girl or two? How unfair it is that the judge in Pennsylvania who sent teens to a for-profit detention center to line his own pockets be known as the “cash for kids judge!” It’s difficult to reconcile a sense of being a good person with our having acted appallingly; it’s easier to imagine that good and evil can be securely separated and we’re on the right side of the line. Ergo, nothing we’ve done can be that bad.
Some people do walk the walk. Some people fall off the path, make atonement and restitution and get back on it. Others will just deny they ever left the path, even if we saw them do it. And they’ll insist they still oppose leaving the path. But they don’t. To paraphrase A-OC, Yoho might believe it’s unacceptable to call one of his daughters an effing bitch, but he’s also signalling that he thinks this acceptable language to use on women; A-OC is someone’s daughter too. He might not think that’s the message that he’s sending, but he’s wrong.

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An age of minority rule?

That’s what Republicans are shooting for, which is why some of them have been arguing democracy is bad. Utah. Sen. Mike Lee arguing, for instance that “Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.”

This is, of course, a classic authoritarian argument: we take care of the people better than if they voted for their rulers! It’s also an acknowledgement that Republicans are now a minority party, relying on the electoral college and voter suppression to keep them in power rather than reaching out beyond their core WASP base. Instead we get former Never Trumper Rich Lowry arguing Republicans should vote Trump for one reason: to piss off liberals.

The Supreme Court is solidly anti-voting rights when it gets in Republicans’ way. Like this And this. And this. Republicans have been working on that for years. And minority rule becomes self-reinforcing: senators representing a minority of the country appointed Barrett, who will I’m sure dance with the president that picked her — remember, she won’t even commit to saying Trump has to leave office if he loses.

Trump, however, sees the crisis of the moment as being that the media reports bad stories about the Trump Virus which he thinks should be an election law violation. Besides, it’s already over. Conversely he  fully expected the Wall Street Journal to run a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop but it didn’t happen (“The editors didn’t like Trump’s insinuation that we were being teed up to do this hit job.”)

Of course they don’t “want the human condition to flourish.” Their human condition, sure, but their alternative to the majority stripping rights from a minority is to have their minority strip rights from the majority. That’s actually worse. Particularly for the people they really hate: “Imagine surviving Jim Crow and having to deal with White supremacy’s court jester in this stage of life. Knowing that your children and grandchildren not only have to contend with so many of the same problems you endured decades ago, but perhaps even worse realities should he be reelected. It must be so tiring to have to watch history repeat itself so often.”

And of course there’s the Republican seeming inability to pronounce foreign names. I doubt they’d be as cavalier about British names like Smythe or Bruttenholm.

And “no system that elected Donald Trump and his congressional enablers, and kept them in office for four years, “works.” Liberal democracy may survive for the moment, but it very well may not the next time.” — Paul Campos on what needs to be done if we take the House, the Senate and the White House.  But some on the left are still insisting that democracy isn’t at risk, even if Trump wins.

Putin, however, has done very well from having Trump in office.

We’ll have a lot of work to do. Evangelical Christianity is now Republican Christianity and it’s getting worse. Some Catholics are just as devoted to Trump. And a lot of the right wing believes NRA myths about how gun control caused the Holocaust.

How will it all play out? Tomorrow — or whenever enough votes are counted — Trump could have won the electoral college again despite losing the popular vote. Or maybe Barrett, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will deliver a “who cares what the vote is?” verdict to save his butt. Or maybe Biden will win by enough that they can’t rationalize it away.

Deliver us from evil …

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Is it an October surprise? Or completely predictable?

I’m not shocked that John F. Kennedy Jr. isn’t secretly alive and won’t be Trump’s new running mate. Apparently some QAnon-ites are. I’m also not shocked that most of the people being arrested for violent protest and destruction of property aren’t antifah. Nor that Trump is once again ignoring his Trump Virus task force.

I’m a little surprised Ted Cruz is worried about Charles Manson voting.

I am, however, shocked that Fox News is unintentionally hurting the Republican vote by parroting the party line and warning Republicans against voting by mail.

I’m also pleasantly surprised Joe Biden is raising money to fight any Republican legal challenges if he wins. We’ve actually learned from 2000. Especially given Amy Coney Barrett refuses to say that Trump intimidating voters or refusing to leave office would be illegal.

Not surprised: Trump bragging he could pressure corporate executives into contributing to his campaign.

Not surprised: Texas allowing social workers to turn away not only LGBTQ clients but the disabled. After all, if you’re going to allow one kind of discrimination, why not others?

Okay, this was a little surprising.

Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s deal with FoxConn, the Taiwanese multinational was supposed to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.! I’m not surprised by either the corporate incompetence that followed nor how Republicans are perfectly fine with spending our tax dollars when corporations are the recipients. And it’s no surprise the administration is trying to give a large chunk of the 5G spectrum to a Republican-connected company without any bids.

As a journalist I’m less surprised than appalled by a network of faux news sites publishing Republican bullshit, if they pay to play.

The New York Post‘s supposed blockbuster expose on Hunter Biden was so bad, the writer wouldn’t put his name to it.

A shelter for domestic-violence victims put up a Black Lives Matter sign. Cops are now cutting contact with them.

There’s no way Trump can disavow QAnon.

No surprise that Trump’s still floundering to run an effective campaign. Nor that Republican insiders knew the Trump Virus was worse than he pretended.

Liberal blogs have joked for years about how bad a libertarian-run government would be. I’m not surprised that when the libertarians got the chance, it was every bit that bad.

I’m not surprised Republican candidate Madison Cawthorn’s saying the quiet parts out loud (“He quit his academia job in Boston to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office.”).

The complicated truth about Thom Tillis and Donald Trump’s stance on insulin prices.

I’m sort of shocked the cofounder of the Federalist Society — the ones who push right-wing judges like Kavanaugh and Barrett on us — wants Trump impeached. Then again, they’ve gotten lots of judges out of Trump, so why not seize the moment to pretend he’s a man of principle?

Nor am I surprised that the potential Biden win is bringing out the bad guys. And more bad guys.

So what if you’re exceptionally vulnerable to the Trump Virus? Why shouldn’t you risk your life to vote?

Unsurprisingly, sanctuary cities that don’t cooperate with ICE are not seeing a crime wave.

I’m pleasantly surprised Purdue Pharma paid any price for its role in the opioid crisis, though the family that owns it may get off without paying any personal penalties.

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