Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Little Green Footballs Bumper Sticker Generator

I only got around to one set of Honest Bumper Stickers for 2020, mostly 'cause my heart wasn't in it this year.

But that didn't stop THIS GUY (Charles Johnson) from creating a 2020 trump/pence Bumper Sticker Generator!

Yes, for only three pennies a day, you too can be a campaign supporter for the WORST PRESIDENT THIS NATION HAS EVER SEEN AND THAT'S WITH THE LIKES OF JACKSON, TYLER, BUCHANAN, JOHNSON AND HARDING.

Look! I even made one already.


So dig in, America!

'Cause we're facing four more years of digging out of our graves if trump wins re-election.

Monday, June 29, 2020

What Terrifies Me July 2020 Edition

Where we are as a nation, heading into the month of July:

On the battlefields of Afghanistan where the United States still deploys troops trying to resolve a war since September 11 2001, we're getting told that Russia's GRU - Putin's dirty war handlers - started in 2018 offering bounties to Taliban militants for every American soldier confirmed killed. The reports were confirmed by American intel people and presented to trump's White House by late March of this year... whereupon trump did NOTHING except increase his praise of Putin, try to force the G7 nations to re-include Russia in their clique by late May, and pretty much sit on his ass for three months until the reports leaked to the major news outlets (even Fox Not-News confirmed the reports were legit).

While the realities of war are that there will be bloodshed and questionable acts - the whole Cold War between USSR and America was pretty much both sides using proxy nations and guerrilla fighters to make the other side bleed - the Bounty program is an aggressive, offensive step by Russia that you'd think requires a direct and hard response from the U.S. towards that nation. The specific targeting of troops during a period of time when our nation was trying to engage the Taliban into peace talks to resolve 18-plus years of war, THIS requires a harsh rebuke, proportional responses, sanctions, public condemnation on the floor of the UN, something... and trump did nothing.

The White House is now claiming the intel wasn't verified so they had no reason to react, previously it was claiming trump never even saw the report. That part is actually provable: It's been well documented already that trump does not read his daily briefs.

But one of two things are at play here: Either trump is truly ignorant of his duties and fails to do even the basic minimum required of the high office, or trump did learn of the GRU bounty program and decided to do nothing because he's too beholden to his BFF Putin to defend our own nation's interests and our own troops. Either of these should be considered serious breaches of his Oath of Office. These are impeachable offenses (again).

After all the bullshit over Benghazi, here's trump committing an even greater affront to the men and women who are serving our nation overseas, and here's the Republican Party most likely ignoring it like the hypocritical bastards they've always been.

While all this is going on, trump has fully abdicated his duties to the nation in trying to curb the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. No matter how he tries to deny it the pandemic and trump's failure to see the reality of it - the nation's economy cannot fully recover while COVID threatens everyone, there is no cure coming in time to help him recover the economy - condemns himself.

Speaking of the pandemic, the spike in cases over the last two weeks prove the United States is nowhere near "getting back to normal" and that the craziness of public gatherings since Memorial Day weekend have boosted the dynamics of COVID-19 into high gear. The virus is now clogging up hospitals in Florida, Texas, and Arizona to where the likelihood of COVID-related deaths are going to spike as well. We are, as God would say to us, royally fucked.

The one thing that hasn't happened is in relation to the Black Lives Matter protests that have gone global this past month. So far, in somewhat good news, the protests' disregard for social distancing hasn't led to any proven increase in COVID spread. That's probably because the protesters actually take things like masks and hand-washing absolutely seriously. In the bad news category, the protests show no sign of abating because there's no sign the police unions are going to give up their abuse of powers any time soon. This is going to be a long slog well into November and beyond...

And it's not even July yet.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Meaning of the Mask

It hurts to see my state of Florida bring out its godforsaken high-level crazy-ass madness on the global stage, but here it was in all its infamy this week:

It's like they were being forced at gunpoint to eat their veggies and brush their teeth at night.

It's been one of the worst reactionary movements I've ever seen in my life outside of "All White Lives Matter" from its maddening tone-deafness, willful rejection of science, and desire of each of those screaming anti-mask arguers to show off their prideful selves.

The one consistent argument - aside from the conspiracy whacko stuff like 5G transmission (?!) - is how the masks will hurt them by cutting off the amount of oxygen we need. The "I Can't Breathe" excuse, which is so tone-deaf as to be crass intentionally. It's also wrong, with report after study after proven demonstration shows us.

So why are these wingnuts absolutely fucking freaking out over the wearing of something that really doesn't harm them and only costs about 6.99 to buy (cloth masks available in menswear stores NOW) or 15.99 to buy as a 50-pack off Amazon?

Masks are symbolic. They have cultural value. And in this case, in this Age of Coronavirus, the mask represents health care.

But here's the thing:

The mask is not about YOUR own health and well-being. The mask represents the health and well-being of EVERYONE ELSE AROUND YOU.

The mask does not stop you from contracting the virus. The mask reduces the odds of you spreading the virus to everyone else.

The mask is a symbol of you looking out for others, that you are a caring and thinking person, willing to do your part for the community - family, friends, neighbors, even your enemies - health.

What does it say for those who reject wearing the mask? What does it tell us when these self-absorbed people go out in public proudly displaying their faces? What level of Pride is driving these people to expose not themselves but everyone else to the risks of COVID?

It's not so much that each of these screaming, mocking people are increasing the odds they get exposed to a lethal virus.

It's that each of these screaming, mocking people are willing to get the rest of us sick. They don't care for us, they don't WANT to care for us. It would disrupt their self-perceptions of superiority.

Which symbolizes exactly how dangerous their self-centered, holier-than-thou, egomaniacal rage-driven world-view is.

Gods help us, because the people who refuse to wear the masks clearly don't give enough fucks to help us.

Their selfishness is getting everyone else killed.

Monday, June 22, 2020

In the Reach of Her Arms

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them
They think I’m telling lies
I say
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my step   
The curl of my lips 
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman   
That’s me
-- Maya Angelou

Oh, by the way, while everyone's been distracted by an out-of-control pandemic made worse by Republican incompetence, the 2020 Democratic primaries kind of wrapped up a week or two ago with Joe Biden winning enough delegates to secure the bid.

So now the guessing game moves on to "Who will he pick to team up as his Vice Presidential candidate?"

You know my feelings about Veeps, having been burned by the likes of Dick Cheney, but as the office is still required and the nomination still valid, I gotta put my two cents in on this.

We already know that Biden had promised - when the field of nominees went from "a lot of well-spoken and qualified women" to "what the hell happened to Kamala and Liz?" - that if chosen he'll nominate a woman Veep, so that narrows the list a bit among likely Democrats at the state and federal level.

There's been a lot of guessing since Sanders dropped out - unofficially giving Biden the lead - of the likely candidates, with some of the names more likely than others especially as a few - Amy Klobuchar just confirmed this weekend she didn't want to be in consideration - have risen in national awareness.

Names like Liz Warren, Kamala Harris (both of whom were serious Primary contenders until they fell out), Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), Senator Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Senator Tammy Duckworth (Illinois), Representative Val Demings (Florida), and Should-Have-Been Governor Stacey Abrams (Georgia) have been bandied around as the best choices.

In trying to game out which candidate gets picked, you need to consider the factors that always go into a Veep selection:

Geography: Thanks to the 12th Amendment requiring the President and Vice-President to be from different states, parties have looked at geographic balance for their top ticket. In the days of olde, that usually meant by region - North to South, and then Midwest, and then Pacific coast - although it doesn't mean as much nowadays. In terms of all 50 states and territories, the only place Biden can't choose is another candidate from Delaware. By custom he really should avoid any Mid-Atlantic state like Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, maybe even North Carolina. The best possible candidates here - Harris in California, the current Governor of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham - would be obvious ones. Everything else is fair game, and in terms of value... well that's the next element.

Battleground: What matters more than Geography nowadays is the closely contested major and mid-sized states in terms of Electoral College value. Thanks to the broken nature of the EC, a state won or lost by 5,000 votes means that WHOLE Electoral value of that one state - which can sneak you past the 270 EV requirement - can skew the results. A state that can turn on the campaign ability of a well-liked Veep that also has a double-digit Electoral value - say Michigan (16), Florida (29!), or Arizona (11) - would really help fill the ticket. In this regard, Whitmer, Demings, and Abrams from Georgia (16) are the most likely choices.

Party Unity: One of several things that hurt the Democrats in 2016 - aside from the Russian meddling, media hatred of Hillary, Hillary's general unlikability with independent voters - was how the Far Left - Progressives - felt ignored by Hillary's choice of Senator Tim Kaine (VA) for her Veep. While Kaine is a solid and reliable Democratic figure, he's also a pro-business Centrist much in the same mold as Clinton. If Hillary had chosen a more Progressive, reformist candidate to balance the ticket with her - certainly not Bernie himself, because that would have been awkward and distracting - she could have kept enough of the Far Left from protest-voting for the Green Party and siphoning votes in key states.

Biden's in the same predicament: a veteran party figure with too much of a pro-business profile and Centrist ways, he may have to look for a ticket candidate with Progressive bona fides. Warren is the most likely Progressive with a recognized resume of reforms, while Harris has a hard reputation on business reforms and accountability but also a law enforcement background that may not help her rep at the moment. The Progressive creds for the remaining top women in the field are not as established but as long as they stand proud on Civil Rights, pro-choice, business reforms, and pissing trump off to no end, they should suffice.

Demographics: Already considered, because there's been a seismic shift in how women are voting since 2016. It's the big open reason why Biden pledged to secure a woman on the ticket as a show of solidarity. It's also a serious matter - especially as the issues of police brutality and racism has changed the mood of even White voters - for Biden to consider a Black Woman for this. If he goes with a White Woman even one noted as strong on Civil Rights, it may sour on some voting blocs within the party...

Charisma/Name Draw: Personality counts in an election, and as long as you're not nominating a wet blanket - or Sarah Palin - you should do fine (Even Bush the Elder won once with Dan Quayle(!)). You want someone not only able to present well at campaign speeches and debates (if any take place) but also make the Democratic Party think well of the future. Biden is old and the Dems - and the nation - are overdue for a leadership shift to younger generations.

This is where younger possibilities with nationally-recognized names gain in value. Warren is currently 71 years old, and while a marquee name with a devoted fanbase she's not necessarily the future of the party. Demings is 63 years, which puts her uncomfortably in the senior age bracket: In terms of name recognition she was just this year part of the House Impeachment process regarding trump's extortion of Ukraine, which is solid cred with the party base. Harris is 55, which puts her on the edge of the Gen X demographic (which neither helps nor hurts, to be honest). Michigan's governor Whitmer is 48, and gained national awareness during the COVID response as a target of trump's - and his Far Right fanbase's - ire, which gives her a boost. Stacey Abrams - who gained national recognition as a serious candidate for Georgia's governorship and "lost" due to questionable electoral behavior by her rival Republican who just happened to be the state officer overseeing the election itself (Kemp's failure to recuse tainted the results to where even Republicans were shamed by it) - is 46.

The way things are shaking out, Kamala Harris is the most likely candidate to be Biden's Veep. She had scored early points with the Democratic base when she attacked Biden's credibility on school business and racism, so for her to accept the ticket spot would be a gesture of unity. It'll be the first time since Lloyd Bentsen from TX (1988) that the Democratic ticket had someone on the ticket from the Western half of the U.S. (Bill Clinton being from Arkansas counted more Southern than Midwest). The biggest knocks against choosing her are that 1) California is solid Democratic state, she doesn't help flip a Battleground state 2) her experience in the legal profession as prosecutor and as State Attorney General may hide some police brutality skeletons that might sting, and 3) Harris didn't exactly run a sound national campaign and needs to show improvement as a campaigner this time around (That Active-Negative character I tagged her with didn't help). Gretchen Whitmer from Michigan - being White - could be a surprise choice, but would make sense in terms of long-term party leadership as well as helping secure a region - the Great Lakes "Rust Belt" - that didn't show up in 2016 as hoped. Val Demings would be an interesting choice and would signify Biden's interest in trying to clinch Florida (these 29 Electoral College numbers are very tempting), but like Harris she has a law enforcement background (Orlando police chief) that may rub raw with Democratic voters even though Demings is openly calling for police reforms. Stacey Abrams' name would generate the most excitement as a symbol of Black voters fighting against GOP voter suppression and her placement on the ticket could help flip Georgia to Blue (and maybe help the other Southern states encourage voter turnout), however she'd be considered inexperienced at the federal level compared to the other choices.

I'd grade it as: Harris (CA) around 60 percent odds,
Demings (FL) around 20 percent odds,
Whitmer (MI) around 10 percent odds,
Abrams (GA) around 10 percent odds.

The thing about a candidate choosing a Veep: All we learn from it is how that candidate is going to govern. Biden's choice will showcase his leadership style (which as a Passive-Positive is going to lean towards someone who works well in a Congenial team setting).

Choose wisely, Joe.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Nation Plans Accordingly...

I hear always the admonishment of my friends:
"Bolt her in, constrain her!"
But who will guard the guardians? 
The wife plans accordingly and begins with them.
-- Juvenal, Satire VI

I've been struggling the past few days to get into words what it is I want to say about the current protests and community uprisings against police brutality, tying it in with the remembrances of Tank Man and the need for protesting injustice under all circumstances.

In the meantime, this article - written by an ex-cop under the pseudonym A.Cab (the newest acronym for All Cops Are Bastards) about the systemic bias, rage, racism, sexism, and bullying in law enforcement - on Medium has turned into the must-read thing of the moment

This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a time that I acted as a violent agent of capitalism and white supremacy. Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer… so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.
But enough is enough...
If you’re tempted to feel sympathy for me, don’t. I used to happily hassle the homeless under other circumstances. I researched obscure penal codes so I could arrest people in homeless encampments for lesser known crimes like “remaining too close to railroad property” (369i of the California Penal Code). I used to call it “planting warrant seeds” since I knew they wouldn’t make their court dates and we could arrest them again and again for warrant violations.
We used to have informal contests for who could cite or arrest someone for the weirdest law. DUI on a bicycle, non-regulation number of brooms on your tow truck (27700(a)(1) of the California Vehicle Code)… shit like that. For me, police work was a logic puzzle for arresting people, regardless of their actual threat to the community. As ashamed as I am to admit it, it needs to be said: stripping people of their freedom felt like a game to me for many years...
In fact, let me tell you about an extremely formative experience: in my police academy class, we had a clique of around six trainees who routinely bullied and harassed other students: intentionally scuffing another trainee’s shoes to get them in trouble during inspection, sexually harassing female trainees, cracking racist jokes, and so on. Every quarter, we were to write anonymous evaluations of our squadmates. I wrote scathing accounts of their behavior, thinking I was helping keep bad apples out of law enforcement and believing I would be protected. Instead, the academy staff read my complaints to them out loud and outed me to them and never punished them, causing me to get harassed for the rest of my academy class. That’s how I learned that even police leadership hates rats. That’s why no one is “changing things from the inside.” They can’t, the structure won’t allow it...
To understand why all cops are bastards, you need to understand one of the things almost every training officer told me when it came to using force: “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”
Meaning, “I’ll take my chances in court rather than risk getting hurt”. We’re able to think that way because police unions are extremely overpowered and because of the generous concept of Qualified Immunity, a legal theory which says a cop generally can’t be held personally liable for mistakes they make doing their job in an official capacity...
If you take nothing else away from this essay, I want you to tattoo this onto your brain forever: if a police officer is telling you something, it is probably a lie designed to gain your compliance.
Do not talk to cops and never, ever believe them. Do not “try to be helpful” with cops. Do not assume they are trying to catch someone else instead of you. Do not assume what they are doing is “important” or even legal. Under no circumstances assume any police officer is acting in good faith.
Also, and this is important, do not talk to cops...
Reading the above, you may be tempted to ask whether cops ever do anything good. And the answer is, sure, sometimes. In fact, most officers I worked with thought they were usually helping the helpless and protecting the safety of innocent people...
And consider this: my job as a police officer required me to be a marriage counselor, a mental health crisis professional, a conflict negotiator, a social worker, a child advocate, a traffic safety expert, a sexual assault specialist, and, every once in awhile, a public safety officer authorized to use force, all after only a 1000 hours of training at a police academy. Does the person we send to catch a robber also need to be the person we send to interview a rape victim or document a fender bender? Should one profession be expected to do all that important community care (with very little training) all at the same time?
To put this another way: I made double the salary most social workers made to do a fraction of what they could do to mitigate the causes of crimes and desperation. I can count very few times my monopoly on state violence actually made our citizens safer, and even then, it’s hard to say better-funded social safety nets and dozens of other community care specialists wouldn’t have prevented a problem before it started...

This is where, in a sane and just world, instead of sending out more cops we need to be sending out more social workers. But gee, who wants to spend a billion dollar budget on social workers...? Back to the anonymous op-ed:

Police officers do not protect and serve people, they protect and serve the status quo, “polite society”, and private property. Using the incremental mechanisms of the status quo will never reform the police because the status quo relies on police violence to exist. Capitalism requires a permanent underclass to exploit for cheap labor and it requires the cops to bring that underclass to heel.
Instead of wasting time with minor tweaks, I recommend exploring the following ideas:
No more qualified immunity. Police officers should be personally liable for all decisions they make in the line of duty.
No more civil asset forfeiture. Did you know that every year, citizens like you lose more cash and property to unaccountable civil asset forfeiture than to all burglaries combined? The police can steal your stuff without charging you with a crime and it makes some police departments very rich.
Break the power of police unions. Police unions make it nearly impossible to fire bad cops and incentivize protecting them to protect the power of the union. A police union is not a labor union; police officers are powerful state agents, not exploited workers.
Require malpractice insurance. Doctors must pay for insurance in case they botch a surgery, police officers should do the same for botching a police raid or other use of force. If human decency won’t motivate police to respect human life, perhaps hitting their wallet might.
Defund, demilitarize, and disarm cops. Thousands of police departments own assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, and stuff you’d see in a warzone. Police officers have grants and huge budgets to spend on guns, ammo, body armor, and combat training. 99% of calls for service require no armed response, yet when all you have is a gun, every problem feels like target practice. Cities are not safer when unaccountable bullies have a monopoly on state violence and the equipment to execute that monopoly.
One final idea: consider abolishing the police...

As for all the calls (like this one) to "abolish the police" sounds like extreme demolition, but in the context that the op-ed writer is telling us, it's more along the lines of extreme reform. That things need to be broken down in order to rebuild something without the stain and sins of the previous shape of things. The current system, there's almost nothing good to salvage. The entire setup has to go, and a new, more humane and less violent system put in place. This requires not a revolution but determination.

A lot of this were warning signs back during Ferguson. I went back to look at what I wrote then. When the anonymous cop writes about "No More Civil Asset Forfeiture," that was one of the biggest takeaways we got from the official reports about those dark months. The way that department operated - fining the hell out of poor residents in order to raise their own revenues - created what I called an extortion racket the police couldn't give up. We had a legal system that relied on bad police behavior to the point our prosecutors and judges were accomplices after the fact. In Ferguson, much like what we've had in our cities this month, we had cops carrying firepower equal to most standing armies all to shoot and maim unarmed civilians. I still remember that quote from an actual Iraqi veteran: "We rolled lighter than that in an actual war zone."

SIX YEARS AGO, we had all these warning signs, and we've done nothing since then but let the local and county law enforcement get worse.

The need for accountability out of our guardians has always been high. The failure of our nation to hold them accountable has always been a great tragedy. Too many people have been killed and harmed already.

Who polices the police? We should, otherwise like the wife of Juvenal's satire we need to plan ourselves accordingly.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

I Think It Was the Murder Hornet News That Broke Me

Remember all those years months ago when I said HOLY SHIT 2020 JUST ESCALATED.

It was all about the United States bombing an Iranian political figure/Iraqi instigator/bad-guy-at-least-to-US on Iraqi soil in a way that violated a couple of international laws. I worried - as did others - that we were seeing an escalation to an actual U.S.-Iran ground war that would have been disastrous for America at the worst possible time.

Ah, how quaint that all seems now...

Yeah, that was JANUARY 2nd of this year. And I have to admit, um, I knew it was going to be crazy coming into 2020 because 1) election year, 2) trump getting worse, 3) Republicans deflecting and defecating like mad, 4) etc.

And ever since this January, it's been... it's uh... you know how Einstein once noted that time is relative? Well, it's been feeling like an entire DECADE of history has just happened in about FIVE MONTHS.

Just... I'm not the only one who's noticed. Here's a YouTuber Julie Nolke realizing it too.

And then her JUNE self visited that APRIL self:

I started laughing at the moment she freaked over the MURDER HORNETS because I did too, and I had to laugh because I dare not cry (I would not stop if I do).

And the thing is, Julie overlooks a lot of stuff I took as major news the first half of this year. And *I* overlooked things like the Australian wild fires.

And NOBODY seems to remember that between January and February our nation IMPEACHED trump for his antics over extorting Ukraine to adversely influence our 2020 elections. That may have to do with the Republican-controlled Senate openly ignoring the evidence and protecting trump from removal. Still, in any other environment we would still be talking about that...

It would take me days right now to create a checklist of sorts for all the crazy crap that the universe has thrown at us - including evidence that there IS a parallel universe and it's going backwards in time - and I would still miss on certain things like Tiger King being a cultural meme phenomenon probably because I don't want to go watch a crazy show about deranged people abusing poor tigers and other animals for our amusement (when a retired drug dealer is the most mentally balanced and decent person in your list of suspects, there is something fundamentally wrong with this universe...).

This is part of the reason why I haven't been blogging as much here in an election year. I've been doing this long enough to have a backlog archive, and you might notice that my writings go up every four years. This year, I'm not keeping pace... and a lot of it has to do with being overwhelmed with the madness of this world. I can't keep up.

I am trying to finish an article about Tank Man, an annual effort to remember our hero for freedom, but it's getting tied into OUR ongoing protests here in the U.S. to fight for our own freedom and well-being.

This is gonna take a while.

And if anybody shows up claiming to be me from November 2020, I'll remember to ask him our Trust Password first. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW, FUTURE ME.

Monday, June 01, 2020

The Long Night of trump's Denigration


photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Had Lafayette Park outside of the White House cleared on his orders. With cops using tear gas and rubber bullets, they pushed out what had been a disciplined and calm protest against trump's (in)actions on racial justice.

All so trump could walk to the nearest church - St. John's Episcopal - so he could stand outside it, holding up a Bible so he could get a GODLESS PHOTO OP as though he's doing The Lord's work destroying the First Amendment, and overriding states' authority with plans to use the Insurrection Act of 1807 to negate Posse Comitatus and send military troops into our own cities with orders to "shoot all looters."

To quote El Kilgore in his article:

He did not enter the church, mind you; our president is not a church-goer. Nor did he explain the reason for this juxtaposition of hellish threats of violence against American citizens and a brief appearance in front of a place of worship consecrated to the Prince of Peace...

trump also did this on pure impulse. trump did not inform the church's bishop he was going there, did not ask permission, and most obviously exploited their faith against their will:

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde all but called the president sacrilegious for this gross political exploitation of her denomination’s church. The conservative evangelicals Trump cares about most, of course, won’t listen because they generally don’t think women should be eligible for religious leadership; some don’t even consider mainline Protestants like Budde real Christians at all. They do, however, love their Bibles, and some may bridle at this heathenish politician’s cynical use of the Good Book. Even if they believe he’s inadvertently doing the Lord’s Work, they don’t want him making it just another arrogant boast in his panoply of narcissistic hymns to himself...

The Shitgibbon didn't even know how to hold the Bible properly. He kept moving it around, waving it for display and not for genuine inspiration.

trump's little speech during all this staging called out for his followers to stand by their "Second Amendment" rights, which is a call to the gun nuts to go public again with their assault rifles for intimidation (and now, actual acts of violence). There was no mention of our citizens' First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, but as you can see with how trump used the police to crush a peaceful assembly outside the White House door, he doesn't give a rat's ass about OUR freedoms.

he only cares about his appearance: Staging himself as a bully and a monster, thinking that makes him a hero and a man.

The Democrats in the House of Representatives need to fight back against this wanna-be tyrant. The Republicans in Congress - especially in the Senate - need to be SHAMED into realizing they're backing the destroyer of American freedom. The Governors need to deny trump any excuse to send soldiers into OUR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS before they shoot us.

The Republican War On Everybody Else just ramped up to DEFCON-2.

We are one more trumpian meltdown away from DEFCON-1.

To every person who voted for trump in 2016, to every Moderate who refused to vote for Hillary, to every Progressive who mocked any support to Hillary: GO FUCK YOURSELVES. There is no GODDAMN WAY Hillary was ever going to be THIS bad. WE WARNED YOU. This is your nightmare foisted on the rest of us. And if you think you'll be spared the damage that's to come, you're likely going to be the ones paying first...

(Update 6/8): Thanks again to Batocchio for listing me on Crooks&Liars for Mike's Blog Round-Up. Sorry I don't post as often as I should.

The Lights Are Off And Nobody's Home

Presented with comment (via Catherine Kim at Vox):

As the nation was rocked by waves of protests, the White House went dark on Sunday night.
Photos on social media showed the White House with nearly all its exterior lights out. Although it’s unclear why the administration turned the lights off, the dark building stood in stark contrast to the fires burning around the city. It also symbolized a response to what was happening outside the White House gates, as protesters continued to mourn the death of George Floyd, a black man killed last week by a police officer who pinned Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knee.
It was also reported Sunday that the president took shelter in the White House bunker on Friday as crowds gathered outside the White House that evening to protest against police violence toward the black community. The peaceful gatherings took a turn after dark as protesters clashed with law enforcement and lit fires near the building...

trump reportedly got escorted down to a security bunker, and this is something that other Presidents had done in moments of crisis - for example, Cheney was directed down there while the 9/11 airstrikes took place - so this isn't the problem.

The problem is, that in a moment where confidence and leadership was needed, IS needed, trump fled and didn't look back.

Even Dubya made a public address on the evening of 9/11 to provide even an illusion of leadership and comfort to the nation. trump could not - as every major city roiled in protest and riot - do that basic task of the Presidency.

Turning off the lights was just the extra self-owning humiliation. People compared it to when you turn off the lights on Halloween when you run out of candy, only in this case trump and his staff turned off the lights when they ran out of courage.

I saw other tweets from DC media people who claim that the White House regularly turned off the lights every evening, except I personally can't recall ever seeing that myself when I've traveled through DC at night when visiting. On television, the building is illuminated almost all the time. And I would take at his word this tweeter who claims to work nearby and who was stunned to see every light dimmed:

from @duffgoldman tweet
I mean seriously, EVERY LIGHT IS OFF. Even the porch light. You would think that SOME lights would stay on for security reasons, but even the interior lights are all off.

This is, by the by, a reminder that when trump's people moved in, they had a hard time figuring how the light switches even worked. Took them 3 years apparently but they finally got that step accomplished...

BREAKING NEWS: As I wrote this, trump finally came out of his bunker to give an address to the nation... where he pretty much invoked an Insurrection Act of 1807 to override state governors to deploy the National Guard and even military forces (a work-around of the Posse Comitatus Act) to places where trump wants to.

This, to be honest, is actually WORSE than having a coward hiding in the basement. Now, we've got a coward ordering our military into hunting us down so he can feel more macho and in-control.

But this isn't control. This is only stirring more chaos. This will embolden the ones looking for violence - and hint, it's NOT the anti-fascists and street marchers calling for justice - and make our nation's situation even worse.

And this sure as hell isn't Leadership. trump is reacting in a panic, like the coward he is, unconcerned with the consequences of his decisions that could lead to more pain and heartbreak for a United States that under his divisive rule is no longer united.

At this point, bring on Hurricane Season, Lord. Go ahead and make 2020 more of a shitshow that it's been the last five months.

Turn out the lights on America...