29 March, 2020: Exactly what I had feared...
"Post-ABC poll shows Trump and Biden in a competitive race for the White House," reads the title of a Washington Post article which gives voice to both my fears and predictions: "Despite the rapid consolidation around Biden...the former vice president suffers from an enthusiasm gap when contrasted with the incumbent president. More than 8 in 10 (86 percent of) registered voters who currently side with Trump say they are enthusiastic about their support. That compares with 74 percent of Biden supporters. More telling is the gap in the intensity of that enthusiasm, which can translate into who turns out to vote and who might not. Among registered voters who support Trump, 55 percent say they are very enthusiastic about backing him while 32 percent say they are somewhat enthusiastic. Among Biden’s supporters, a far smaller 28 percent say they are very enthusiastic while 46 percent are somewhat enthusiastic."
Even with Trump's disastrous and dastardly handling of the coronavirus outbreak, the feeble Biden campaign cannot take advantage and establish a definitive lead over the Tangerine Bully. Only 28% of voters are very enthusiastic about voting for Biden compared to Trump's 55% - that's a huge difference. As I wrote below, Bernie Sanders is more electable than Biden for this very reason: Bernie inspires enthusiasm and energy. Biden does not. I can only hope at this point that the Democratic Party will not reap what it has sown in November: the defeat of a tepidly-supported Biden by a galvanized Trump base.
18 March, 2020: 18 Days of Coronavirus Chaos, Stock Market Convulsions and Consolidation
18 days ago on 29 February, I was driving in a car with other Bernie volunteers down a dark highway in rural South Carolina when a cop car pulled us over for speeding. We were speeding because we had spent a long Leap day trying to turn out the vote for Bernie and now the results were coming in and things were looking bleak and we had a long distance to travel. The police officer turned out to be a charming and gracious Southerner who was probably a Republican but told us he respected what we were doing - he could see the Bernie paraphernalia all over the car - and merely gave us a warning. Then he asked, "Who's winning?" I held up my phone and said, "Biden. But Bernie won the first three states so why are you guys so behind the times?" He tipped his hat at me and said, "Ma'am, we're just doggone country people down here." I laughed.
Now, 18 days later, it seems that either America is full of "doggone country people" or the media narrative that blew up Joe Biden's South Carolina victory into a path to the nomination cannot be underestimated. 18 days ago, Bernie was the front-runner and Biden's campaign was a joke without a punchline but the Democratic establishment successfully consolidated behind him... On 6 March, there were 100,000 Coronavirus cases worldwide and today, 12 days later, there are over 200,000. Head-spinning is not an adjective robust enough to describe what a roller coaster, queasy-making month this has been thus far and I am not even referring to the stock market volatility...
13 March, 2020: Does Bernie still have a fighting chance? Or are voters opting for the "safe" option?
Read this excellent explainer about how investors and voters alike are searching out safe havens in these unsettled times: Flights to Safety by Tim Frasca. Then let's meet again after the debate on 15 March to reflect on how weak a candidate Biden actually is...
6 March, 2020: Did Super Tuesday burn Bernie so badly he can't recover? Why did Boy Wonder Buttigieg drop out? Could Biden defeat Trump?
According to Matt Karp of Jacobin, Bernie can still win the nomination despite the shellacking he took on Super Tuesday. Tim Frasca argues in "On the doorsteps of the Carolinians, Part 3" that he is not so sure America is ready for the revolution that Bernie is promising. I don't know whether Bernie can still win and nor do I know whether it is the American people who are not ready for his policies or if it is the Democratic establishment which is most certainly not. I had half-thought and sincerely hoped that the Democratic establishment was somewhat of a fictional bogeyman but now it appears to be a real force intent on keeping the status quo and protecting its corporate donors and Big Money backers from the taxes Bernie would impose upon them.
There appear to be serious behind-the-scenes shenanigans underway amongst the party insiders which shed new light on my own naivete. A mere week ago, I had a conversation with an elderly black man in South Carolina which now seems sadly prescient. He was sitting on his tiny porch watching the dying sun slip behind the block-like buildings that formed the low-income housing complex in which he resided. I asked him to please come out and vote for Bernie and he said that of course he would vote for the Democrat. I thought he was yet another voter of whom there were many who was confusing the primaries with the general election. I said, "Sir, this is our chance to choose who the Democratic nominee will be so we can decide who will run against Trump." He replied, "The Democratic Party will decide who the nominee is and then I'll vote for their candidate. My vote don't make no difference but I sure do appreciate your coming."
I shook my head, disappointed by this passive, fatalistic attitude. However, after seeing the lightning speed restructuring of the presidential race engineered by the Democratic party between Saturday night (29 February) and SuperTuesday eve (3 March), I have to say that gentleman was 100% correct. Bernie supporters have long suspected the Democratic party would try and outfox Bernie at the convention and deny him the nomination even if he had the most votes at that point but the Democratic party decided not to wait until the convention. They want Bernie gone now. Is that why Boy Wonder Buttigieg and the capable Amy Klobuchar dropped out so suddenly, fell into line and endorsed Biden? I saw Buttigieg on the Sunday morning talk shows the same day he dropped out and he didn't sound like he was going anywhere. What happened?
Again, I don't know what happened but I do know that the Democratic establishment has anointed Biden as their consensus candidate. Tomorrow, I will write about why they are less concerned with electability than profitability and the tawdry tales of private prison money staining the integrity of some influential South Carolina politicians and how this plays into the battle for the nomination. But for now, I will say that the media is working overtime to paint Bernie as a dead man walking when last week this time, it was Joe Biden who was on life support. I can barely understand this complicated delegate math so I will point you to Doug Johnson Hatlem who explains why he believes Bernie is still in the game, mathematics-wise. And let's hope he is because I am very, very fearful that Biden cannot defeat Trump...Hasta mañana!
1 March, 2020: Black people in South Carolina bring Biden back to life. But for how long? Will Buttigieg dropping out help Biden?
Having attended a very boring, rambling, low-energy, badly-organized Biden event in Iowa that lacked any of the excitement and ebullience of a Bernie rally, I am saddened that black people in South Carolina decided to rescue Joe Biden’s campaign from life support. At the event I attended, a week before the caucuses, Biden roamed through the small crowd of seated pensioners and crooned into the microphone about the good old days with Barack (if they were so good, how did Trump come to power?), reminisced about his children (unfortunate because I know more about them than his policies), talked about rebuilding the middle class (what was he doing 2009-16?) and went to his go-to line on how he would “beat Trump like a drum” (no-one knows what this means).
The nostalgia for a pre-Trump era that is fueling his run for the nomination is different from the nostalgia that powered Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign but they are both problematic. 2016 did not just mark the rise of Trumpism but threw into sharp relief some of the failures of Obamaism…More on this one day soon and more on South Carolina which is stuck in some kind of pre-Civil Rights era time warp but for now, it’s time to concentrate on winning every vote possible for Super Tuesday. This race keeps changing but today, it seems that Biden is back in the game and could become the “moderate” candidate behind whom nostalgia-driven voters are going to coalesce behind. Enter stage left, Bloomberg the billionaire who is spending more than the GDP of some small countries to try and buy the presidency.
And tonight, Pete Buttigieg has decided to drop out which is somewhat of a mystery to me because he has the third most delegates behind Bernie and Biden. Why would Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren stay in if he’s leaving (hint, hint)? How will this change the calculus for Super Tuesday? The truth is, no-one really knows because voters, unlike pundits, do not vote in lanes so not all “moderate”-lane voters will automatically go to Biden. If Warren suspended her campaign, not all her voters would cross over to Bernie even though they are both in the “progressive” lane. So, farewell, Mayor Pete, and congratulations on your run! I will miss complaining about your aggressively bland podcast. Will it continue?
Hello Super Tuesday. Will black people again buttress Biden’s bid for the presidency? After three runs, he has finally won a state with South Carolina (the polls were right). Will Bloomberg play spoiler for Biden and help Bernie by preventing Biden from winning more delegates than Bernie? We shall see. May the polls that have Bernie leading be correct and may the force be with us so he wins big on Super Tuesday - cross fingers, light candles, cast spells…whatever it takes…
28-29 February, 2020: Will Joe Biden win South Carolina? What are Bernie’s chances?
This morning I read a shockingly erroneous article in the Washington Post. David Weigel writes in The Trailer: How to win South Carolina that Biden is the only candidate with a campaign office in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District which runs “from the Pee Dee region of the state, with plenty of rural black voters, to Myrtle Beach's Horry County.” This is not true. The Bernie Sanders’ campaign has two campaign offices in this district, one in Florence and one in Myrtle Beach. I have been in both of them in the last 48 hours. Weigel goes on to report that Biden and Tom Steyer have both made stops in this district this week but fails to mention that Bernie held a highly-energetic and well-attended campaign rally in Myrtle Beach on the 26th. What kind of reporting is this that is so full of holes? What kind of research is Mr. Weigel doing before weighing in on the state of the race in South Carolina? I find it difficult to put any stock in his opinions considering the factual errors in his reporting.
This brings me to the polls. There have been several polls in the last few days which suddenly show the flagging Biden campaign surging in South Carolina. In the last weeks, Bernie had been closing the gap but suddenly everyone is predicting that Biden is going to win handily by double digits and perhaps even in a blow-out. Do these pollsters have better methods than Mr. Weigel for deciphering the electorate’s predilections?
I really don’t know. All I can say is that as a canvasser on the ground in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District in the Pee Dee region in places like Bennettsville, Cheraw, Society Hill, Florence and Marion, I have found many voters to be a) ignorant of the election, especially those in Marlboro, Florence and Chesterfield counties b) those who are aware of the vote seem to think it is the general election in which they can support the democrat against Trump c) those who are aware that this is the election to nominate the Democratic candidate for president are mostly undecided less than 24 hours before the primary d) those who have chosen whom they will support decline to share that information viewing it as a private decision. So really, where do these pollsters get their information?
Working in the semi-rural areas in Marion county where there is a large population of working-class black voters, I have been surprised but delighted to see how committed to voting they are as opposed to those in some of the other counties. There is a lot of support for Bernie Sanders in these areas because people who live in those communities and support Bernie’s agenda have been working since last summer to get the word out and in some instances since 2016. Will these “hidden” pockets of supporters swing Marion County for Bernie over Biden? We’ll find out.
But Bernie’s message is resonating with voters, even those concerned about his “electability.” Here is a conversation I had with an intelligent and thoughtful voter, a bearded, middle-aged white man living in a black-majority trailer park down a dirt road off the highway.
Voter: I like Bernie’s policies but there’s no way America will ever vote for a socialist. The Republicans are going to hang that around his neck.
Me: Sir, the Republicans called Obama a socialist. They are going to call any democratic candidate a socialist.
Voter: That’s true but I still can’t see how a socialist can win.
Me: Sir, Bernie Sanders is not a socialist. He is a democratic socialist and we can’t let the media be reductive. We have to be smarter than that.
Voter: Yes, we do. I agree. His policies are good but America is afraid of socialism.
Me: Sir, may I ask you? Are you a Christian?
Voter: Yes, I am. I am a Catholic.
Me: Well, sir, a Catholic is not the same as a Protestant, is it, and a democratic socialist is not the same as a socialist.
Voter: I can see that. I can agree with that.
Me: And if you tell everyone you know that and I tell everyone I know that maybe we can beat the Republican propaganda?
Voter: I do like Bernie’s policies.
Me: Bernie’s policies are commonsense policies for regular working people.
Will Biden win big tomorrow thus resuscitating his flagging fortunes? Or will Bernie come an uncomfortably close second and pick up a good portion of delegates? Will Tom Steyer who has spent a fortune on this race chip into Biden’s so-called “moderate” lane? Will any of the other democrats outperform the polls? Or will Bernie who won the popular vote in Iowa, came first in New Hampshire and decisively defeated all the other candidates in Nevada continue his winning streak and make it four out of four?
Here is Tim Frasca’s take: "On the Doorsteps of the Carolinians, Part 2"
24 February, 2020: South Carolina - Do the people here know there is a primary election on the 29th?
(BENNETTSVILLE, SC) -- South Carolina was supposed to be Joe Biden’s firewall, his sure-win state. But the Feb. 29 primary here is now so clearly in play that the former VP is no longer even claiming that he has to win to remain a viable contender. That’s quite a descent from his early 27-point poll advantage over second-place Kamala Harris (remember her?) Biden’s early strength stemmed from the fact that the Democratic Party voter base in South Carolina is 60% African-American (whites here are overwhelmingly Republican and Trumpist), so Biden benefited from having been Obama’s #2. That may prove to be thin gruel rather than a breakfast of champions.
20 February, 2020: Bloombito for president?
After Bloomberg's disastrous debate performance last night - clearly billions of dollars cannot buy one iota of charisma - I see today he is giving speeches about how he can beat Trump because he's a New Yorker and thus knows how to handle another New Yorker. What a ridiculous message. You know who else is a New Yorker? Bernie Sanders! He is from Brooklyn, Trump is from Queens and Bloomberg only came to Manhattan as an adult. When I find time, I am going to write up the 12 reasons why Bloomberg's campaign should be summarily suspended.
Electability for Boffins: 12 reasons Bernie is the most electable candidate
Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (also available here)
Have you heard of this disgrace to humanity with less moral fiber than an amoeba? His name is Donald Trump. The most unelectable candidate in the history of the universe because he is:
- A repellent misogynist and self-confessed sexual predator — see his Access Hollywood tape and the 25 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct or worse. It’s become a cliche but is still a fact that more white women voted for him than the first female nominee for president, the extremely well-qualified Hillary Rodham Clinton. Self-hating women?
- A thrice-married adulterer who has affairs with playmates and porn stars…yet, the evangelical Christians love him. Hypocrites?
- A racist, a bigot, a corrupt con man, an Islamophobe — yet my Uber driver in Iowa City, a Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant, told me shortly before the caucuses that he voted for Trump who campaigned on introducing a Muslim ban because he “couldn’t vote for that woman.” Back to misogyny again?
I could literally be here all day writing up all the reasons why Trump was and should have been unelectable but the point is that once Trump was elected — despite being totally unelectable — we should have put the kibosh on this whole discussion. Yet, here we are still talking about this when clearly, Bernie is the most electable candidate.
Although no-one really knows what electability means, pundits, journalists and the powers-that-be keep talking about it because they have a vested interest in equating electability with moderate/centrist/status quo. This bland Mr. Politics-as-Usual straight out of some imaginary political science textbook offends no-one and is amenable to big business, corporate interests and the political elite. He is preferably a middle-aged, well-educated, dignified WASP who can appeal to that biggest myth of all, centrists, independents and swing voters, especially those in swing states.
This is more fantasy than reality. Let me give you a dozen very good reasons why Bernie Sanders is the most electable Democratic candidate. There is a narrative floating around out there that voters are torn between their heads and their hearts when it comes to Bernie. Then to make things more complicated, they try to second-guess what other voters will consider electable. Whilst their hearts supposedly love Bernie’s policies, their heads say an anti-establishment democratic socialist who is almost an octogenarian will never win the nomination or defeat Trump.
Wrong, wrong and wrong. Unlike many other Bernie fans, I didn’t choose to support Bernie because of my heart. Yes, I am tickled by the endurance of his strong Brooklyn accent after decades of living in Vermont but I made a cold-blooded analysis of the current global conditions. Then I rationally examined all the Democratic candidates running. Subsequently I deduced a la Sherlock Holmes that Bernie is the most electable, not only due to his strengths but also counter-intuitively because his perceived weaknesses are often interpreted as strengths by his supporters.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. — Sherlock Holmes
1) There is no political candidate who is perfectly electable across time and space. Electability is not a set of static characteristics. It must meet the moment. In 2004, John Kerry got the democratic nomination because he was pro-war. Today, being pro-war is anathema. Electability depends on the current zeitgeist and right now, we are in an era of fervent populism. Trump represents negative, xenophobic, divisive, racist populism. Bernie channels a populism that unifies across difference to create a diverse coalition which is advocating for positive social and economic change for the majority of people.
2) Arguably, if Bernie had been the candidate in 2016, he would have defeated Trump. Trump is only one, albeit horrendous, man but Trumpism is another story. The other Democratic candidates are running campaigns but Bernie has got a movement and that movement can defeat not only Trump but Trumpism.
3) Dynamic enthusiasm and revolutionary zeal are on the side of Bernie Sanders because a populist movement is so powerful that it can propel an outsider candidate to victory just as it did in 2016. If the DNC, corporate and/or establishment Dems try to artificially prop up a more centrist/moderate/“electable” candidate as they did in 2016, they will again be guilty of severely misreading the current moment. The energy of the democratic party is on the progressive left and if that fire is put out by a Buttigieg, a Biden, or a billionnaire Bloomberg who can blanket the airwaves with his omni-present message, the Democratic Party will not win against Trump in November. I know this because…
4) There are no swing voters anymore who can coalesce behind a centrist candidate. Since the Great Recession of 2007–9, the political landscape has been completely upended. There is no longer any appetite for campaigns that promote moderate, centrist, pragmatic Washington insiderism. Severe income inequality and its corollary culture wars have polarized Western democracies into warring tribes and tribalism does not welcome wishy-washy nibbling around the edges. Tribalism, for better or for worse, likes BIG and BOLD ideas. Politicians trying to chart a course down the middle will soon find themselves sinking into the treacherous quicksand that currently occupies the erstwhile middle ground. Bernie is the opposite of that formula for failure.
5) Every time the Dems go with the safe, establishment candidate, they lose. Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, HRC — they all lost! Don’t take it from me. Michael Moore always mentions this point. If Dems want to win, they have to go BIG and BOLD, not timid and tinkering. People can’t just vote against Trump or for the “lesser of two evils.” They have to be motivated to vote for something and the progressive wing of the party is the most galvanized and invigorated and will work hard to turn out the vote for Bernie in order to achieve fundamental structural and systemic change.
6) The safe option ran in 2016 but who can remember Hillary’s platform or any of her policy positions? No-one. Even on the historic night she clinched the nomination as the first female Democratic nominee for president, it was difficult to muster much excitement. At that moment, Bernie Sanders had lost the nomination but he had already won the argument. He so successfully captured the democratic base with his ambitious policies that he single-handedly moved the party to the left and now, four years later, everyone is singing from some version of his hymn book. All the remaining candidates want a $15 minimum wage, some type of universal health coverage, greener policies etc.
7) So whose afraid of Bernie Sanders? A lot of people apparently! Many pundits have tried to paint Bernie’s progressive leftist policy positions as a liablity, especially after the Labour Party suffered their biggest loss since 1935 in the December, 2019 election in the UK. In the lead-up to the election, the Labour Party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, supposedly Bernie’s doppelganger, offered up a panoply of far-left policies that were then roundly rejected by the electorate. Will Bernie suffer the same fate? No. The reason Labour lost is because they had a muddled and confused message about where they stood on Brexit. The BoJo-led Tories, inspired by the UK’s version of Steve Bannon, one Dominic Cummings, had a clear message, “Get Brexit Done!” Three pithy words which speak to the British psyche and self-image of people who keep calm and carry on. Does Bernie have a clear message? You betcha.
8) Bernie’s campaign slogan is, “Not me. Us” because the movement’s goal is to bring together millions of people to demand change yet one of the most common talking points of the anti-Bernie brigade in the GOP and the mainstream Democratic Party is that Bernie will lose because he is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist. Sigh dramatically, gasp fearfully — He will be painted as a rabid socialist or even — clutch your pearls, here — a communist! Fact: People under 40 don’t suffer the same negative Cold War associations with communism and socialism. Policies older people may consider radical socialism, younger generations who witnessed first hand the ravages of the 2008 recession and the corporate welfare extended to Wall Street actually view as common sense responses to a planet that is running out of time when it comes to climate change and a gig economy that has made their lives and livelihoods all too precarious.
9) There is no such thing as “the economy” and there is also no such entity as “the American people.” There are myriad interlocking and sometimes overlapping micro-economies in which a huge diversity of American peoples are experiencing vastly different living conditions. Well-paid anchors on cable TV like to talk about how great Trump’s singular economy is because their stock portfolios are doing well thanks to the soaring Dow Jones. Try speaking to the average New Yorker who is working three jobs and still can’t afford child care or her rent. Working people know that unemployment numbers do not reflect the reality of their underpaid work and exploitative wages. This majority can swing the vote for Bernie.
10) Besides, voters don’t only vote on policy and its intricate details. They vote on the values that underpin policy positions. Frankly, there is more chance of Medicare for All than Mexico paying to build Trump’s dumb wall. Probably most Trump voters didn’t really believe Mexico was ever going to pay for the wall’s construction but they liked the chutzpah behind the proposal. Predicting the decisions of would-be voters is a hazardous business because voters do not always conform to cookie-cutter stereotypes that political strategists use to model their behavior. But sit down with the average American and listen to their complaints about their health insurance coverage. Medicare for All sounds like manna from heaven to millions and Bernie “wrote the damn bill.”
11) Hindsight is 20/20 and so in 2020, we should recognize what we failed to identify in 2016. Like the last election, 2020 will be a change election. MAGA-supporters are on the defense as they have changed their slogan to Keep America Great. Yeah, good luck with that. More than half of the country does not think Trump or his version of America is great and let’s not forget he only won by the slimmest of margins: 78,000 votes in three states- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. Do not forget this. Trump is a pretty weak incumbent. Can Trump win? Sure he can. Will he win? Not if Bernie is his opponent because Bernie won both Michigan and Wisconsin in the 2016 primaries. If he had been the candidate in 2016 instead of HRC, he would have likely carried them. Can a strong advocate of working families win those states plus Ohio and Pennsylvania back for the Dems? Yes, if a large enough majority is motivated to work to make it happen. Not me. Us!
12) Finally, Bernie’s age is often portrayed as a weakness and even I wish that he was ten years younger but oddly, his age actually plays to his benefit and makes him even more electable. Unlike his age-mates, Bloomberg and Trump who are also very old, Bernie has been consistent through the decades whereas both Trump and Bloomberg have opportunistically changed their party affiliations and their policy stance when the political winds change direction. Bernie is like the proverbial rock in the storm and it actually comforts many Bernie supporters that over the last forty years, he has doggedly, stubbornly, persistently stuck to his beliefs — when they were popular and when they were not. Pete Buttigieg, to his credit, wrote a compelling and convincing essay when he was a high school senior in 2000 about Bernie’s authenticity and integrity because no matter what, Bernie is a man of principle, whether you like those principles or not.
Do I agree with Bernie Sanders about every little thing? Oops, should I continue and risk the wrath of the famous internet trolls the media obsessively calls “Bernie Bros” — Well, yes I will continue. Do I agree with him on gun policy? Am not so sure. What is his actual stance on the dairy industry which receives huge government subsidies and brutalizes animals? I am an ethical vegetarian since the age of 9-years-old. I could have a problem with that and I will always raise my voice for animal rights to Bernie or anyone else. A big tent party requires unity not uniformity.
Are there other good candidates? Sure there are. Would I not like to see Boy Wonder Buttigieg impress the world with his fluency in several languages, especially after a president who hasn’t even mastered English?
What about Biden with his dazzling smile and his warm empathy? Or a capable woman like an Amy Klobuchar or the efficacious Elizabeth Warren?
Yes, all light years better than Trump. I love Tom Steyer’s bold approach to talking about reparations for African Americans. Can Steyer and Mike Bloomberg’s billions buoy the hopes of the Democrats? Sans doute! But should spending billions bulldoze an insurgent people-powered campaign into submission? No! America is not supposed to be a plutocracy or an oligarchy and big money in politics is why all the politicians are beholden to the people with excess capital instead of us, the people.
Do I think that Bernie is The Chosen One, the Messiah or a Savior who can reverse all the ravages of this brutal capitalism that privileges profit over people?
No, I absolutely do not.
But do I think he’s the best man to defeat Trump and change the country’s direction in this populist moment at this inflection point in the country’s trajectory? Yes, I do.
I think he’s the only candidate who can do it and you don’t know me but I am always right! :)
Restarting this page on 6 October, 2020, or, 28 days till the US Election!
Herewith: Links, commentary, and opinionations on the the epic crusade to end the nightmare of the Trump presidency.
Qualifications: The US is the new Zimbabwe. As a bourgeois Marxist who grew up in Zim, I know all about failed states, tyrants and the fragility of democracy.
Frequency: If my mental and physical health allow, almost daily updates - Scroll down. However, the Donald Trump Show is a very triggering and thoroughly exhausting roller coaster! Sometimes I have to log out.
Readers: Only boffins please. If you are not a boffin, please do not read and absolutely do not email me.
The song that I sing is part of an echo. 'Not me. Us.' (Bernie Sanders' campaign slogan)
(ALMOST) DAILY UPDATES ON THIS SEASON OF THE UNITED STATES: ELECTION 2020
Monday 23 November, 2020: REALITY FINALLY TRIUMPHS!
I am too sleepy to write a lot right now but I am going to bed very happy, relieved and reassured that in the end, reality prevails. President Impeached and Defeated has been licking his wounds for over two weeks now, has barely appeared in public or on camera and today has even been oddly silent on Twitter...until now. He has just tweeted to say that he is "allowing" the GSA to start working with the incoming Biden administration on the transition to the new administration. This means that Team Biden will receive federal funds, office space, intelligence briefings etc. This should have happened on 8 November but because of Trump's immense bruised ego, the process has been held up.
Of course, petty Trump has not "come to his senses" and realized he is destroying US democracy with its venerable peaceful transfers of power. No, the Tangerine Bully certainly gives not a damn about democracy. He is more into autocracy but he has been forced to do this because finally, finally, finally a few more Republicans have broken with his pretense that he won the election.
Scroll down and you will find where I wrote ages ago that Trump's post-election malfeasance would be constrained or enabled by Republican leaders. As soon as they decided to admit that the emperor has no clothes - 36 Trump campaign lawsuits challenging the election results have thus far failed - the emperor decided to put on his big boy pants and "allow" the transition to begin...
Friday 20 November, 2020
People are saying that in two months from today Joe Biden will be inaugurated as POTUS. But in Trumpland with its alternative facts media universe, President Sore Loser is still on track for victory.
Team Biden is still playing it cool acting as if in the next 60 days, GOP leadership will suddenly develop spinal cords, morals and truth-tellling tongues and pressure Trump to accept reality. Then, they will supposedly come to the table and start negotiating with the Dems about a path forward in a very divided America. Today is Joe Biden's birthday. He is turning 78-years-young but wisdom does not apparently come with age. Team Biden is also not occupying reality. The Republican leadership does not share the same moral universe as the Dems. They have not and apparently will not "come to their senses." They are standing by and standing back in deafening silence as Trump attempts to destroy the foundation of American democracy.
Team Biden should stop their Bambi-esque delusions and go on the offense, hire legal counsel - obviously not of the Rudy Guiliani ilk but real lawyers - and immediately start suing the Trump administration and campaign for everything and anything possible. Trump is and has always been a litigious individual but he is pretty broke and so an onslaught of legal challenges would force him to withdraw some of his more fantastical lawsuits which would save us all a lot of time and brain cells. Team Biden, know your opponent!
Today, I am reading this essay on Politico, "What Trump showed us about America": It profiles what 35 learned peeps have learned, unlearned or not learned about what Trump's popularity reveals about the citizenry. What is scary is that so many of "us" (learned peeps) did not and do not and cannot understand Trump's appeal. We occupy totally different cultural time zones and media/moral/meaning-making universes. The belief in democracy is supposed to be one of the binding ideologies that holds the diverse and divided country together but now, almost half the nation is fine with the impeached and defeated president waging a coup in which he won less votes in both the electoral college and popular vote but still remains president for another four years. Any minute now he will go full African dictator and declare himself president for life. Patrick Gathara will write an all too accurate Twitter thread about it, Mitch Machiavellian will pull his chin further into his neck and Team Biden will talk about how they might put some Republicans in their cabinet to "bring the country together"...still (erroneously?) presuming they will be forming a cabinet...
Thursday 19 November, 2020
Rupert Murdoch is playing this game of post-election denialism from all angles. He owns both The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. On one hand, there is this WSJ editorial board opinion chastising the Trump campaign for blaming Trump's loss on supposedly faulty voting machines without providing a scintilla of evidence. This editorial was not behind the usual paywall which means they want many people to see it and want to send a message to Trump. Yet on Fox News, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity continue the fiction that the election has been stolen from Trump.
Meanwhile, Team Trump is stepping up their efforts to actually steal the election. Rudy Giuliani, who should only really feature in SNL spoofs when Kate McKinnon portrays him, is instead going to real legitimate courts after three decades of not trying a case, and in swing state Pennsylvania no less and there, in such august surroundings, he is just talking nonsense. And the guy whom he is working for and whom he is trying to get 20K/day from for his less than stellar legal work is playing his part too. President Impeached and Defeated has no time to talk about the quarter million Americans who have succumbed to coronavirus but he does have time to call electors in Michigan to pressure them not to certify Detroit's votes! And now his campaign wants a Pennsylvania court to declare Trump the winner even though he lost. But who cares about reality, fairness or respecting the will of the American people? Certainly not Trump and the Trumpsters.
On the other side, Team Biden should be taking this multi-pronged effort to steal the election a tad more seriously. The MSM (mainstream media) is also very blase, as if there's no way these shady endeavors may pay off. But why is everyone so sure?
Team Biden is already disappointing everyone from Erin Brockovich to Briahna Joy Gray by hiring corporate shill lobbyists. Brockovich writes:
Dare I say, I had hopes that this new administration would usher in the dawning of a new day. As picks for President-elect Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team were announced, I felt concerned and disheartened about a chemical industry insider being on the list. Are you kidding me?
Michael McCabe, a former employee of Biden and a former deputy Environmental Protection Agency administrator, later jumped ship to work as a consultant on communication strategy for DuPont during a time when the chemical company was looking to fight regulations of their star chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) also known as C8. The toxic manmade chemical is used in everything from waterproof clothes, stain-resistant textiles and food packaging to non-stick pans. The compound has been linked to lowered fertility, cancer and liver damage.
Thank you, Team Biden. You picked a real winner there. Furthermore, Briahna Joy Gray says that we should not be fooled by the number of black people being hired by Team Biden when many of them are extremely corporatist e.g. Congressman Cedric Richmond who has a terrible record on pollution but who is now a senior advisor to Joe Clmate Change will be one of my issues Biden despite his oil and gas ties.
And then there's the Senate run-offs. Madalin Sammons, an experienced Dem campaign worker bee, advises all the masses - I am one of them - who want to descend upon Georgia like locusts to help the Dem candidates win against the ignoble Insider Traders not to come to GA and try and swing the vote. Her basic point is that nationalizing Senate races doesn't work because all politics is is in some sense local and Georgia folk want to keep this in-house. I kind of take her point. On a campaign bus ride down to rural South Carolina with a bunch of college kids questioning their gender identity and enumerating their foibles (gluten allergies, sleep apnea), I did have cause to wonder if and how they would connect with older working people trying to raise families on minimum wage jobs in a culturally conservative milieu and actually persuade them to vote for Bernie during the primaries. In fact, I feared that seeing all of us "super-progressives" with our lattes and our vegan burgers - I am 100% culpable here - might turn them against Bernie...Food for thought because the Georgia Senate run-offs are less than two months away...
Tuesday 17 November, 2020
Will he start a war in Iran and/or foment more instability in Afghanistan and Iraq as a way to stay in power? Or is it yet another churlish move to undermine the Biden presidency? I have no idea but if I were Mitch Machiavellian I would be paying close attention because you have enabled this chump and now he's playing war games. So President 74-years-old-going-on-7 features in a briliant montage from Jimmy Kimmel where he asks kids what they have learned from Trump - never apologize, cheat on your taxes/spouse, never ever take responsibility, lie and lie some more, when your opponent wins claim he cheated...Yup, that's what this president whom white evangelicals voted for in massive numbers in 2020 as in 2016 has taught the children in his capacity as an exemplary Christian gentleman.
Monday 16 November, 2020
President Nut Nuts is still refusing to admit that he has lost the election and is now playing war games in Afghanistan trying to draw down troops there during the lame duck session when all he is supposed to be doing, if reality reigned, is helping congress pass a coronavirus relief bill. But alas, reality is not Trump's strong suit. When he drove by the MAGA rallyers on Saturday on his way to play golf all day long while they brawled in the street late into the night refusing to accept the reality that Trump has lost, their impeached and defeated leader perfectly illustrated why we can only watch comedy and satire until such time as reality reasserts itself in the so-called real world. So in that vein, I highly recommend Spitting Image's smart and stinging caricatures of everyone from Kanye to Elon Musk to Dom Cummings (portrayed as an alien from Epsilon 5 who drinks through his nostril and eats with his ear drums). As we discuss below, arch-Brexiteer Dom Cummings is being fired from Boris Johnson's staff for calling his fiancee Princess Nut Nuts.
If you're wondering about the Trump campaign's so-called legal challenges to Biden's victory, you can watch this SNL clip from two years ago in which Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong brilliantly spoof Fox News' Laura Ingraham and Judge Jeanine Pirro talking about mythical voter fraud. In that case they were talking about the 2018 elections when the Dems took a huge majority in the House but the Fox News/MAGA echo chamber is recycling the same absurd arguments for 2020. And then there's John Oliver, if you haven't already watched that one, trying to break down the Trump campaign's ridiculous lawsuits to reveal how truly baseless they are.
Sunday 15 November, 2020
Sure enough there was violence after dark last night when MAGA rally-goers clashed with counter protesters. These MAGA rallyers are the Trump base described by WaPo below as including white supremacists and conspiracy theorists. And this is the base the GOP is so desperate to hang onto, to the point where they are willing to play Let's pretend Trump hasn't lost the election until...when? The Electoral College certifies the votes in mid-December? The Georgia Senate run-off races on 5 January? Biden's inauguration on 20 January? RIDICULOUS!
I am way behind on my email so I just saw this message from The Baffler's Zach Webb from last week. Read this withering excerpt:
"...perhaps now is a good time to dredge up the fact that Kamala Harris’s brother-in-law just so happened to lead Uber’s successful effort to continue classifying their employees as independent contractors, thereby depriving them of important protections under labor law, putting an end to a yearlong battle in the courts. It also just so happens to be the case that Harris’s niece, Meena Harris, works for Uber on its diversity and inclusion team. Again, this is all pure coincidence and is in no way indicative of the kind of thoughtful, progressive brain trust a Biden administration would assemble from the likes of BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Blackstone executive Tony James, or various other finance goons that have been floated as possible cabinet picks."
If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris betray labor unions and regular working people after union efforts and regular working people delivered them victory, they will be paving the way for a Trump or Trump-like candidate to stage a comeback for 2024. It's cute that Kamala's relatives in South India and Jamaica celebrated her victory and symbolism is very important. It's hugely important for little girls everywhere to see a woman in the White House and not as a spouse. But symbolism is not systemic change.
Bernie Sanders has made it clear that he would be willing to take on the role of Labor Secretary. I hope someone in Bidenland is listening because that would be a first step in mollifying the progressive wing of the Democratic coalition who worked very, very, very hard to defeat Trump. Debts are owed and the fact that Big Business is quaking in their boots at the thought of Bernie as Labor Secretary is an excellent reason to make it happen. Obama began to go wrong as I have written below when he stocked his cabinet with the same-old same-old Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner-types...
Saturday 14 November, 2020
Some time last year, I decided to reread one of my favorite childhood fairy tales: The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. I had loved the story and thought I knew how it ended but upon rereading it, I found out I had misremembered the ending. I had thought that after the child calls out that the emperor is in fact stark naked, everyone, including the emperor and his noblemen and the townspeople, embraced that singular truth that he is not wearing any clothes. But that's not what happens.
In real life as in the famous fairy tale, there are some who are determined to cling to the lie no matter that the truth is known because obviously that lie must provide a more comfortable and comforting non-reality. I also like to dwell in non-reality at times but this week's events have left me almost speechless. The election was called for Joe Biden a full week ago. In the time since he has won Arizona and Georgia, bringing his total electoral college votes to 306. That is what Trump won in 2016 and everyone called him the president-elect within minutes of him scraping together that win by less than 78,000 votes in three pivotal states. The margins here are much more robust. Biden's victory is more convincing. Yet President Impeached and Defeated will not concede even though his remarks in the Rose Garden illustrate that he does know he has lost and will not form the next administration. But the noblemen holding up the non-existent train of his non-existent new clothes will not stop the fiction. Mike Pompeo, Newt Gingrich, Peter Navarro, Kayleigh MacEnanay, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, various Fox News opinionistas, the entire channels of One America News and Newsmax - for these people and entities, the election has not yet been decided and there may well be a "second Trump administration." It is simply astonishing.
And now worse, Trump supporters are rallying in D.C. today because they too are occupying an alternative, parallel yet not equal universe in which Trump will in some future tense win the election (that already happened and is already over, past tense) or that the election has/is being stolen from him although there is no proof of that hence Trump's legal challenges are literally being laughed out of court. Professor Lauerence Tribe writes in "Republicans are playing with fire. And we all risk getting burned" that democracy may not survive all these delusions.
Yet WaPo is reporting that: "[Trump] demonstrators, who include white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and far-right protesters from across the country, began arriving [in D.C.] Friday afternoon, where they found a White House surrounded by steel barricades adorned with a 15-foot-long, black and white sign declaring that he was not, in fact, the election’s winner: 'LOSER.'" And these "rallies have garnered support from Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller as well as more fringe figures, including Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the Proud Boys; white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes, who marched in the deadly Charlottesville protest; and Jack Posobiec, who promoted the 'Pizzagate' conspiracy that led to a 2016 shooting at D.C. pizzeria Comet Ping Pong."
And Trump has just driven by to wave hello to the deluded supporters he has so convincingly duped. I am watching closely to see how many people actually turn up and let's pray when counter protesters turn up that there will not be any violence. Violence waged for a deslusion is still violence and will have real consequences for the victims. Trump and his enablers are beyond shame so of course, what do they care what happens today...
Friday 13 November, 2020
Friday the 13th starts off very well! Olivia Nuzzi is reporting on CNN's New Day that Trump is broke and afraid of being arrested. That's why he is having difficulty conceding the presidency. Of course! We have said it a million times right here. All his buddies are in jail and birds of a feather do flock together.
Also, Arizona has finally been called for Biden. Flipping such a red state blue is no easy feat. I explain it by Trump's incessant and disgusting attacks on a man of integrity, one John McCain, a true war hero! Call it John McCain's revenge. In 2008 amidst a hard-fought presidential campaign, McCain impressed us all by telling one of his supporters that Barack Obama was not an Arab or a Muslim but a good Christian man with whom he had profound policy disagreements. I am paraphrasing here but it was a moment. A moment that became more significant as Trump launched his political career with his racist birtherism conspiracy-mongering based on lies that Obama was born in Kenya, was a secret Muslim, basically was evil and un-American because he is a black man. I too had profound policy disagreements with John McCain but he was a man of principle who opted to stay as a prisoner of war when he could have gotten out himself because he did not want to leave his fellow soldiers and apparently, McCain was the last principled Republican judging by this current crop of deficient and democracy-denigrating GOP Senators.
Meanwhile, across the pond, xenophobic populism also suffers a blow. Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's advisor and the brain behind the Vote Leave campaign for the Brexit referendum, is resigning. That is YUGE. Cummings offended the world when during lockdown he drove to his parents' house across the country when both he and his spouse suspected they had Covid. Then he drove around visiting castles to "test his eyesight." Illogically, he insisted at a very entertaining but truth-deprived press conference that Covid had affected his eyes and he wanted to make sure all was well before driving back to London. Hence as any rational family man would do, he "tested" it out by driving his wife and toddler thirty miles to a holiday spot, one Barnard Castle, when everyone was supposed to be staying home. This was the most nonsensical tripe ever put forward because his wife can drive. Why couldn't she drive them home to London? Why did they leave London in the first place during his own government's lockdown? And who tests their eyesight with their family in the car?
Yup, nonsensical tripe. BoJo bled massive political capital when he failed to fire Cummings after this unfortunate incident so Cummings' departure is long overdue. The defeat of the Donald and the departure of the Dominic in the same fortnight bode well for the decline of a particularly virulent strain of explicitly racist, white grievance-fuelled nationalism...
Thursday 12 November, 2020
Trump must concede already! Enough is enough. In the 2016 campaign, Trump always used to complain about America becoming a Third World country because infrastructure like the airports was old-fashioned and in need of upgrades. Every week at the White House has been infrastructure week since 2017 but he never enacted any improvement programs. It is not only declining infrastructure that makes a Third World country; it is a lack of civic norms and democratic traditions that ensure respect for the rule of law and peaceful transfer of power. In this sense, Trump is making America Zimbabwe by refusing to concede.
DUDE, YOU LOST! MOVE ON ALREADY. GET ANOTHER TV SHOW BUT LEAVE US ALONE.
In Third World countries, the tinpot dictator clings to power and refuses to accept the election results. He installs loyalists in the Ministry of Defense or in this case the Pentagon because tinpot dictators like to have the armed forces on their side. Some are arguing that Trump replacing four people in the armed and intelligence services in the last few days as he sits in the White House doing nothing about surging Covid cases while he tries to pretend he hasn't lost is not as sinister as one might think. No. It is very sinister even if there was no malign intent behind the actions because it is making the US look like Zimbabwe again. And there is malign intent behind the actions although we are all wondering if it is just vengeance (he holds a lot of grudges) or if there is some master plan of which we are still ignorant. Here is Bernie Sanders making the case for why Trump must concede and how he should be the Labor Secretary in the new administration (which he absolutely should be!).
Democracy is built on intangibles like trust and consensus. If Trump does not concede in the tribalized, polarized US of today, 70-plus million Americans who voted for him will never trust that Biden is the legitimate president. To fight coronavirus to take just one example, there needs to be a national consensus on what kind of sacrifices and policies are needed. If almost half the electorate doesn't buy in to the new administration at all, this will be all but impossible. Forget national mask mandates if the country remains this fractured. And we cannot continue to live in separate realities. The entire polity must occupy one joint reality in which truth reigns and where maths determines who has won the electoral college. It's Joe Biden by the way. We have to jettison alternative facts and fantastical maths! The planned Saturday MAGA march in D.C. which will include groups like the Proud Boys should not be an attempt to continue the non-reality of Trump somehow finding a path to victory as is still being insinuated by Trump's GOP enablers aka red state Senators and being broadcast by right-wing outlets like Newsmax that makes Fox News look like it's "fair and balanced."
Listen up, TRUMP HAS LOST! He needs to tell the Proud Boys et al. not to "stand back and stand by" but to stand down. Of course it is their first amendment right to peacefully protest but they should not be under any illusions: the Tangerine Bully has been decisively defeated. Biden has won the popular vote by over 5 million votes and we're still counting. He has also won the electoral college and there is no way any recount can overturn his leads in battleground states. #StopTheStealBS
Does the US want to become Zimbabwe? If the answer is no, Trump must grow up, concede with as much grace as Hillary mustered and invite Joe and Dr. Jill Biden to the White House just as Barack and Michelle invited him in 2016 after a bitter and frankly, revolting campaign.
As one clever social media meme puts it, "Trump, we grabbed you by the ballot!" ADIOS not my amigo!
Monday 9 November - Tuesday 10 November, 2020
I am in such a bad mood that I have to still be talking about this election when I have so much else to do. Alas, President Reality Denier-in-Chief is refusing to accept his loss. It is a fact that JOE BIDEN HAS WON THE ELECTION. And I was looking forward to seeing how Loser Trump would fare as he confronted this reality. I thought misguidedly that the Republican Party would stand by the American democratic system and gently assert the indisputable reality that JOE BIDEN HAS WON THE ELECTION. But wow! To quote Dubya, I "misunderestimated" the Republicans, even Satan aka Mitch Malfeasance McConnell. They clearly care nothing for American democratic traditions such as peaceful transition of power but since I grew up in an unstable Banana Republic with a very accomplished election tsotsi named Robert Gabriel Mugabe, I cannot be so sanguine as I watch this
SLOW-MOVING COUP UNDERWAY TO DELEGITIMIZE BIDEN'S VICTORY!!!!
If you watch CNN, ABC, NBC, PBS etc., in the real world, Joe Biden is the president-elect. If you watch Fox News or listen to conservative radio, somehow the election is ongoing and Trump still has a chance to win somehow some way because although many Republicans won congressional races on the very same ballots - and those are legitimate - the presidential voting was not. It's ridiculously inconsistent and nonsensically incoherent but that is how the GOP rolls and Jimmy Kimmel explains it best.
Remember how Lindsey The Maggot Graham, Ted No Honor Cruz and Satan decided that in 2016, Obama should not pick a SCOTUS justice because it was an election year and then in 2020, they flipped 180-degrees and confirmed ACB Handmaid to SCOTUS a handful of days before the election? Hypocrisy is not a bug but a feature. There ain't no shame in their game!
So who is to say when and if they will ever accept the results? Trump barely won in 2016 yet somehow it was okay that he scraped together less than 78,000 votes in PA, WI and MI. Now Biden is winning by larger margins in the exact same states and it is questionable? Because black people voted in black cities thus giving Biden the edge?
Trump has been clear from the beginning. He has said, "There will be no transition," and that he, "can only lose if there is voter fraud." Thus, for Trump, the election is only legitimate, free and fair, if he wins.
But now, the GOP is going along with this (il)logic and even pulling the Department of Injustice into the fray. Bill Makes Me Gag Barr, the so-called Attorney General, is now interfering in the elections thus forcing another high-level DOJ official, Richard Pilger, the director of the election-crimes branch, to resign in protest because this is more craven venality.
But how far will they go? The US is already destablilized with its 100K/day new coronavirus cases and Trump's threat to build on his Monday firing of the Secretary of Defense with more dignified Twitter terminations. Perhaps the FBI and the CIA directors coz it's always a good idea to fire your entire National Security team just to make yourself feel better when you have been fired by the American people. But why Trump won't concede goes beyond his particular psychology and his fear of being a loser (Watch Jim Carrey calling him a loo-hoo-sser on Saturday Night Live. Instant classic and so satisfying). But why is the GOP enabling this denial of reality when it is so dangerous, when it sows distrust in the democracy, and when it destabilizes the entire union? They are once again putting party over country but how does it really benefit the Republicans to play games with a bruised democratic system and a polarized electorate?
Why Trump won't concede
Yes, yes, we all know about Trump's massive but oh-so-fragile ego which cannot accept defeat. In 2016 when he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes, he fabricated a lie about "illegal immigrants" voting. He didn't just ruminate upon this. He set up a taxpayer-funded commission to investigate his delusion and then you know what happened, millions of tax payer monies later, they couldn't find anything.
So yes his ego is a factor but pretending that his campaign is waging legitimate legal battles to #StopTheSteal even though there is no proof or evidence of any such thing means that his campaign can continue raising money from his base while those monies can be used to pay down some of his campaign's massive debt. The fine print makes clear that any donations collected can be used by the campaign for legal costs or anything else they like.
But the real reason Trump is desperate to hang on to the presidency is because a) his own debt and b) all the pending lawsuits against him. There has been mixed reporting about whether Melania or Jared have tried to persuade him to accept his loss while the sons have been against him conceding or is it vice versa? No-one seems to know but everyone is taking bets on how long it will take Melania to leave him now. However, Trump is broke and in debt to the tune of almost half a billion dollars according to the New York Times investigation. Whom does he owe this money to? He refuses to say. And how will he pay it back?
Additionally, he is facing multiple legal problems both as an individual and as the head of the shady Trump Organization. E. Jean Carroll wants his DNA because she has accused him of rape. New York has several investations into potential Trump business tax fraud. When Trump is no longer president, he will no longer have presidential immunity and a compromised Department of Injustice to run interference for him. He will be a regular citizen in court more often than Jacob Nkandla Zuma! The US may have to import Thuli Madonsela from South Africa to set up a commission to investigate all his crimes and misdemeanours.
Why the GOP is backing Trump's fradulent claims about fictional voter fraud
This is not clear to me. People are saying that the GOP is enabling Trump's denial of reality in order to placate him and his base. John King and his Magic Wall said that in Kentucky, Satan won his reelection but had some 70-80K less votes than President Impeached and Defeated hence Trump's popularity outweighs his. Pundits are pontificating on TV that Satan is laser-focussed on remaining Senate Majority Leader and to achieve that goal, he must make sure the Georiga run-off elections on 5 January, 2021, are won by the Insider Traders aka the Georgia GOP senators trying to keep their seats. To ensure their win, he wants the Trump base to come out. Or wants Trump to help motivate his base to participate in the off-year elections to get the senators re-elected...
I don't really buy this narrative. Trump is 100% transactional but I doubt he will see an upside to campaigning for the Insider Traders. Also, wouldn't Trump's base be more likely to vote in January if they wanted to have a GOP-controlled Senate to stymie a Democratic president? Wouldn't that be more motivating - the reality of the incoming Biden administration - than fake legal fights that stand no chance of overturning the election?
Or at least that's what they say. Neil Katyal and other great leagal minds are saying that these lawsuits seeking to undermine the election results are a dead-end...But Trump has been "stacking the courts," most famously SCOTUS with the likes of Brett Frat Boy Kavanaugh and ACB Handmaid so that the courts might decide in his favor should it come to that...
I don't know what the Republicans are playing at but I do know that on a scale of 1 to 10, the GOP's integrity is -10000000000000.
So...Trump has not appeared publicly for days but is just firing off random tweets firing officials and fighting with Fox News hosts and fabulating an electoral win that is counter-factual.
I have been listening to the news this morning. SCOTUS is set to rule on Obamacare, possibly destroy it, and President Criminal Gangsta is preventing the incoming Biden administration from getting congressional funds to enable the transition. Bill Maher's worst nightmare of Trump refusing to leave is happening before our eyes and what is the Dem response? The Biden team is saying give them more time to get used to his victory and Dem senators are talking about the GOP's better angels eventually prevailing.
What better angels? It's not for nothing we call Mitch McConnell Satan! In the words of William Butler Yeats: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world..." These GOP reality-denying ploys are not to be taken lightly. The stakes are too high and so the Dems better start playing hardball or there will be a "second Trump administration" as Mike Pompeo said today!
Sunday 8 November, 2020
Oh happy days! Not only has Trump been fired by the American people but so has Mike Pence, one of the most odious sycophants to ever smooch an orange derriere!
I woke up this morning with the intense desire to go on a long holiday on some coronavirus-free beach where I can lie on a chaise lounge all day and eat junk food and watch Succession Season 3. Alas, none of that will come to pass. Succession Season 3 has not even been filmed owing to the self-same coronavirus. So here I am feeling catatonic, like Amber Ruffin, but I am so addicted to political news that I watched Mary Trump tell Channel 4 news that her crazy uncle - remember, Trump is actually poor Mary's crazy uncle - will try and take down the whole country with him if he believes he is going down. Channel 4 really produces excellent coverage but this clip is hard to watch because it's all about all the damage Trump could do in the next 76 days.
Counting the days. This last four years has been characterized by counting the days. Brian Willliams begins his nightly news show by telling us what day of the Trump administration we are on. But now we're counting down till the bitter end of this horrible TV show that has had too many seasons. A new show is starting, definitely more boring but also less excruciating. I haven't yet watched Biden and Harris' victory speeches but I did watch Saturday Night Live's take on them. Spitting Image, a British satirical show, also did a briliant job spoofing Trump's loss.
The whole world is celebrating Trump's defeat from London to Paris to cities across the world and across America. Hit the road, Trump!
There are many lessons to be (re)learnt from this election. There is not one American people, or even two American peoples. I hate when politicians refer to the American people in the singular. No such thing. It's such a diverse nation and when faced with a binary choice, more than 70 million people thought Trump was the better choice. Yet, in the 21st-century, the US has moved from George "Dubya" Bush, war criminal and scion of a political dynasty, to Barack Hussein Obama, a biracial moderate so brilliant he overcame every barrier to ascend to the highest office in the land, to Donald John Trump, an outsider white supremacist, to Joe Robinette Biden, Junior, a standard-issue establishment politician but with a vice-president who is also a biracial child of immigrants and the first woman vice-president, Kamala Devi Harris.
Biden is very elderly. In 2024, he may not be up to running for a second term. Will Kamala then run as the quasi-incumbent? There are reports that Trump considered reprising his "birtherism" conspiracy theory that he deployed against Obama to attack Kamala and imply that she was not born in the US. Race is his go-to ploy always but imagine if thanks to Donald J. Trump, America gets her first Indian-Jamaican-American woman president?
Truth is stranger than fiction and votes are still being counted. Will Arizona ultimately remain in Biden's column, the revenge of John McCain? Will Georgia really turn blue? This election isn't quite over but Trump is. His days as president are numbered thanks to cities where there are a lot of black people: Philly (which swung PA to Biden), Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta...He is such a baby. Hillary Clinton called him to congratulate him when he won in 2016 and delivered an appropriate concession speech. Barack Obama hosted Trump at the White House during the transition despite his horror at the election of such a man. Sometimes one must be a grown-up especially when it is hard to do so. But Trump lacks the requisite character traits and it remains up to the Republicans to direct his actions like the toddler he is. The Wall Street Journal editorial board has urged him to concede gracefully. Let's see what Satan aka Mitch and other GOP players do in the following days. As I say below, Trump is the quintessential playground bully, stand up to him and he will wilt...
...But I am also wilting and in desperate need of a little break. Succession, please hurry up and film season 3!
Saturday 7 November, 2020
Spontaneous celebrations continue in many American cities. People are singing Nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye! These are the kind of delirious street parties one sees when a dictator is toppled. Apparently when President Reality Challenged was coming back from playing golf, his motorcade could barely get through the streets thronged with people celebrating his defeat.
After obsessively watching the news for the last...yeah, like, four years...I can't believe I missed the moment when Wolf Blitzer called the race. I will have to watch the clip later when I stop celebrating. Now, that this is all over, I am envisioning the fantastic HBO series that will come out of this, something along the lines of the brilliant Succession. Who will play Ivanka and Jared? Will the real life Ivanka go back to making handbags or whatever she did before? What about Jared? Will he just retire and wait for the Nobel Peace Prize after fixing the whole Middle East?
Nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye! All that venal nepotism was so exhausting.
Meanwhile, look at this unhinged tweet from the impeached and defeated president:
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!
So let's forget that he says he won the election with 71 million "legal votes" which implies that Biden's 75-plus million votes are not legal. Let's concentrate on this logical incoherence: how does he know that bad things happened if his observers were not allowed to see them? Really! It boggles the mind how this guy was even president for a day...
...Too much to say, hard to wrap the mind around this moment...First, we celebrate. Then we refocus...Georgia, Bernie's 100-day plan, a progressive cabinet...
If you want to gloat more about Trump's loss, WaPo and Politico have multi-authored, multi-sourced analyses of how Trump's campaign was defeated by Covid. Exactly what I have been saying all along. WaPo here, Politico here. And yeah, Joe Biden's campaign was so barely there. He's lucky people detest Trump so much...
BREAKING! Instantaneous street parties in Brooklyn. Pots and pans being banged out the window, cars hooting and honking their cars, people marching down the streets with their arms in the air, piñatas of Donald Trump's head being smashed. I will post some video when I get some.
Why is everyone so happy? Because the tyrant is toast!
Biden has finally been declared the victor, Trump is playing golf and millions of people around the world are celebrating his defeat.
Friday 6 November, 2020
Then there are the pundits on TV talking about how Biden won't have a mandate because he is squeaking to victory....Mmmmm, we don't even know the final margins yet but regardless, you know who barely squeaked to victory with less than 78,000 votes in three states in 2016? You guessed it! President Never Tried to Reach Out Beyond His Base. Trump never for a second acted like he should try to move to the center to appease the millions more people who voted for Hillary over him. So why should Biden?
In fact, clever people like Nathan Robinson are making the very valid point that the Dems should now embrace a progressive agenda and stop aping Republicans. I have already seen those scurrilous centrist Dems and annoying conservatives blaming the progressive wing of the party for Biden's less than resounding (imminent) victory. Are you joking? If your candidate can't even convincingly beat the worst president in the history of the world, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself, Corporate Dems. You picked this useless candidate. Bernie would have "beaten Trump like a drum." You know why? Because Bernie has conviction, integrity and popular policies that would improve the life of the average working person. If you have any intention of having a successful presidency, now is the time to emulate Bernie, not Ronald Neoliberal Reagan!
Today is showdown day. It's President Sore Loser versus Facts.
The PA Lieutenant-Governor says the maths doesn't lie. When you count the votes, there are simply more for Biden than for Trump.
Another fascinating and also essential factoid: Apparently last night when President Sore Loser was ranting about mythical illegal ballots, all the networks stopped broadcasting his remarks aka his Crazy Uncle ramblings. Only CNN and Fox carried it in full but the rest interrupted the broadcast and said the president of the United States is telling lies and has no proof or evidence or facts to back up his proclamations that the election is being stolen from him.
Will the surreality show we have all been living in for the last four years finally be cancelled? Will reality triumph?
PENNSYLVANIA TURNS BLUE!!!
Will this election finally be decided today? PA has more blue county votes to count and just before 9a.m. EST, Biden has finally finally finally taken the lead...America, don't schedule your elections during Mercury Retrograde again :)
GEORGIA TURNS BLUE!!!
All caps are necessary. Around 4.30 a.m. EST, Biden pulls ahead of Trump in Georgia - exactly, gerrymandered Georgia with the purged voter rolls and the contested governorship election between GOP Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams. At this moment, Biden is ahead of Trump by a mere but hugely symbolic 917 votes. Will he keep the lead? Will Georgia actually stay blue? If I understand correctly, there are about 10,000 votes still to be counted.
YUGE! Newt Gingrich, that conservative knucklehead who spent 20 years in Washington representing his home state of Georgia by taking aim at Democratic legislation and Bill Clinton's shady sex life, told Fox News on 28 October that there was no way Biden would even be competitive in GA: "Gingrich...told host Bill Hemmer that he is confident Trump will take the state by at least six percentage points. The current RealClearPolitics polling average shows the president and Democrat Joe Biden in a dead heat, with each receiving 47.2%."
Since I have been non-stop dissing the polls, it might just be that in GA, they were dead right because this is a dead heat. And if Georgia is in play it is thanks to Stacey Abrams who mobilized the black vote and worked to reverse suppression efforts through massive registration drives. Mad props, Stacey!
Pennsylvania, you are exhausting us with this long count so Georgia may scoop you and deliver a Biden victory in the next hours...
Thursday 5 November, 2020
The media should stop referring to "legally-cast ballots." That implies that there are illegally-cast ballots when researchers, reality lovers and data nerds have proven that there are very few cases of vote fraud. So please stop using that phrase. They are ballots and if there are any actual illegal ballots, please feel free to describe them as such.
Now, President Grievance Meister is rambling on about "protecting the vote." Cleverer people than me have pointed out how everything he says is confession or projection. He is the one who has been trying to steal this election in plain sight yet he accuses the Dems of trying to steal the election. He went to the extreme of trying to destroy the United States Postal Service in order to prevent Americans from using the mail to send in their "legal" ballots. So now he is trying to win this election in the same way he has responded to the coronavirus. As if reality-spurning rhetoric can change the reality: America is hitting new highs of Covid infections every day right now, but President Alternative Facts keeps saying in his limited English, we're "rounding the turn." No, quite the opposite.
Now, faced with the hard cold numbers of votes rolling in that are steadily winnowing down his leads in Pennsylvania and even Georgia, in predominantly black counties, President Conspiracy Theory is spinning a yarn about "illegal," "mysterious" ballots that appear in the middle of the night and have the name Biden on them.
He looks like a defeated man, the crazy uncle at Thanksgiving whom no-one wants to sit next to, telling the same tall tales again and again to the kids at the end of the table who have no choice but to listen to him grouse...
Two days and one million years ago, I bought the New York Times international edition. The front page of their election day edition had an article about their latest polls showing Biden holding the lead in swing states. Buried all the way on page 11 was what turned out to be a much more accurate op-ed by Zeynep Tufekci entitled, "Why you can't rely on election forecasts." The front page article on polls said Biden was leading Pennsylvania by 6 points. As we sit here today, I can't go to sleep because I might miss the moment when Pennsylvania finishes counting all its votes and Biden may just scrape to a win by less than a percentage point...
In "No Country for Old Democrats," Matthew Stevenson doesn't think Biden will win PA and makes the valid point that without a Democrat-controlled senate, Biden won't be able to do much. But if Biden does win PA, Trump, whose reelection hopes are currently on life support, will have to face the reality that it's over, the fat lady has sung. Now, Trump who has been MIA except for his Twitter tantrums is going to speak live to a primetime audience at around 6:30 EST and all we can do is pray that he is not going to incentivize his supporters - those Proud Boys standing by - to come out with their guns to stop the votes being counted. Gun sales have been off the charts this whole year. As one Dutchman remarked to me, Europeans bought toilet paper when they were hit by the virus, Americans bought guns. Purchasing a gun is the American response to any kind of uncertainty, disease and also the election aftermath.
And the confusion and contradictory (social) media messages keep coming from President Twitterhoea, muddying the waters, poisoning the well. In Arizona, where Trump is losing, he wants all the votes counted. In Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina where he is leading the vote tally, of course, counting votes should cease forthwith!
Frank Rich points out in "The Republicans Will Learn Nothing From a Trump Defeat" that we can no longer have any illusions that the system has worked even if Biden manages to get elected president. What happens in the next few hours will be instructive but possibly also very frightening...
Wednesday 4 November, 2020
CNN calls Michigan for Biden! They have been very conservative in their calls so John King and his magic wall and his in-depth knowledge of every county's every nook and cranny means that yeah...Game over, President Criminal Gangsta.
Since I have neither the legal authority to declare anything nor the onus of pretending to be an objective journalist, I, Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, in my capacity as a random observer and armchair political strategist, declare that Joseph Robinette Biden Junior has duly won 270 electoral votes and is thus the newly-elected president of these United States of America.
When CNN or the AP or whomever is in charge decides to call Nevada and Arizona for Biden, he will be the next president. Plus, I have to go to sleep because I am very tired after staying up all night last night...
The Trump campaign is on the defense. They think they're losing the vote count because they are hence they have launched a plethora of lawsuits in various states. Some states they want to stop counting the vote if Trump is leading, where Trump is losing, they want to recount all the votes. Consistency is their calling card.
They have already appealed to SCOTUS and Amy Coney Handmaid might be the deciding vote on any case and that will be venal in the extreme. So I am going to eat some more tiramisu gelato and pray that the Dems are ready to be as litigious as the soon to be ex-president...
Democratic leadership should be having a serious crisis of self right now. First, they fielded this weak candidate, Biden, and then they failed on their Latino strategy. Chuck Rocha who successfully ran Bernie's Latino strategy - hence Bernie cleaned up in Nevada during the primaries! - has been warning the Biden campaign for months that their efforts with the Latinx community were lacking. Now we have the election results he breaks down why the Biden campaign came up short last night. He also says that it wasn't coz of the rabidly anti-Communist Cuban-Americans that Biden lost Florida. Apparently it was that not enough white voters went for Biden in the state. Self-reflection and even self-flagellation are necessary right now because the Biden campaign has been ineffective and incompetent in so many ways big and small as I have pointed out several times below...
Dear CNN, I like John King and his magic wall but I think you're overworking him: He keeps repeating himself as no new info has come in. Also you have completely changed your program line-up and it's making me feel more discombobulated...Please just tell me when Biden has won, Trump has conceded, the inauguration has happened and 2020 is over!
Biden takes lead in Michigan....will he hold it? This election will now be decided by six states...Biden has to win Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona to win...He is still ahead in the electoral college but Trump has already declared that not only has he already "won" but that his lawyers are already swarming the polls to challenge, challenge, challenge...
Whatever postmortems will happen after this fiasco of an election, one thing is clear. If Biden scrapes a win - I mean, he's losng Nevada for goodness sake! - what will he be able to achieve with a Senate still controlled by Satan? You know who is very popular in Nevada. Yup, one Bernie Sanders!
Many progressive hopes have been dashed overnight and in more ways than one. Labor rights were also on the ballot: "California voters approve measure exempting Lyft, Uber from labor law."
Democracy and labor rights and voter rights and immigrant rights and so many other types of rights are bleeding out on the floor at this moment....
Wisconsin and Michigan are too close for comfort. Donald Trump barely won those states in 2016 but now he is giving Biden a run for his money in both. What this means is that many American people have observed this evil man over the last years and are essentially saying, "Yeah, that's my guy!"
When Dems start hitching their hopes of a presidential win on Georgia, we are in deep s***
Why is Don Lemon on CNN? Please put Alisyn Camerota and John Berman on so we can feel a bit normal - this is the time for their show.
It's 6 a.m. EST and noon where I am but let me tell you, it feels like we have entered the longest night and are mired in an eternal nightmare for the foreseeable future in which half the world lives in one reality (science, facts, truth) and the other half lives in a completely different world which I cannot grasp...
I used to say that the best job in the world was to be a metereologist because they always get their weather feorecast wrong but still keep their jobs. Pollsters are clearly the new weathermen. These guys got all the polls wrong in 2016 and four years later, they haven't managed to fix their methodology? I am drinking my cafe latte and trying to wake my brain up so I can absorb how badly off the polls have been. At this rate, Biden may outright lose or *just* barely eke out a victory but the Senate is safely Republican as far as I can see. The rule of Satan aka Mitch will continue so just think of how many more Amy Coney Handmaids he can confirm as judges...
This is going to be messy from here on out. May Trump still lose but the Biden campaign and the Corporate Dems who made him the nominee have a lot of questions to answer. You see, if Bernie had been the nominee, yes, he would lose Florida because of the anti-socialist Latino vote. But Bernie would have probably carried Ohio because he's a genuine working person's populist. Additionally, I am hearing a lot about the lack of a Biden ground game. Governor DeWine in Ohio said the Trump campaign's was superior to Biden's and a Bernie pal in Philly, a huge democratic stronghold in Pennsylvania, told me he was door-knocking for Biden but as part of a union effort. Apparently, the Biden campaign did not have their own door-knocking get out the vote drive in Philadelphia? If that is true, that is criminal campaign mismanagement...
And by the way, pollsters, it's time to get a real job. YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW JACK!
Around 3 a.m. EST, Joe Biden may still win the presidency if all the votes are counted in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. But it's extremely tight. If Biden wins, it will be a "squeaker."
Disastrous for the Democratic Party is the Senate. All those horrible Republican senators have been reelected, Tillis in North Carolina, Joni Ernst in Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who come to think of it also looks like a maggot as does the British politician Michael Gove as one of my friends says. I am too sleepy and tired after barely sleeping to do the maths for the Senate but it doesn't look good at all...
It's too early to say, I told you so, but if you scroll down to the end of this page, you will find the brilliant and insightful article I wrote at the beginning of the year counselling Dems that only Bernie could mount a successful against Trump and that moderate, milquetoast, vanilla, safe candidates like Biden tended to lose...
Now, Covid-19 has totally scrambled the political landscape and if Biden squeaks out a victory, it is only because coronavirus has cut into Trump's margins. It will not be because Biden is a good candidate because he clearly is and was never a strong contender.
But if you pray, it's time to get down on your knees and pray that Biden still manages to put together a victory...
Around 2:30 a.m. EST, Donald Trump is declaring himself the victor in front of a wall of US flags. The votes are still being counted and he's calling it fraud to continue counting already cast ballots. He says he has won and now he says it's a major fraud and so now he wants to ensure the integrity of the vote and where is he going? He is going to the Supreme Court to ask them to stop the voting. He says the voting must stop!
Congratulations, America. You are now a bona fide Banana Republic with a tinpot dictator.
Mike Pence is now speaking and says that they're going to wait for the votes to be counted but because of the "extraordinary margins" Mr. Trump has run up, he's overall great. He's trying to cover up Trump's undemocratic and anti-democratic statement.
Wow! Donald Trump has committed a rhetorical coup d'etat. It's not up to him to declare victory. Votes must be counted first.
Fare thee well, American democracy!
Tuesday 3 November, 2020 - FINALLY!!! ELECTION DAY!!!
It's now 10 p.m. EST and everything is looking VERY BAD. I know it's bad because the people on MSNBC are about to cry.
So...Cuban and Venezeulan-Americans in Miami-Dade county, Florida, seem determined to believe that Biden is a socialist and therefore have voted for Trump. You see, Dems, it doesn't matter who you put as your candidate, the GOP will always call him or her a socialist. You should have allowed the real democratic socialist Bernie to be the nominee. He inspires way more people than Biden.
Right now, I am seeing a lot of red on the map which represents democracy hemmoraghing to death. While Biden is outperforming Hillary everywhere, it seems that it's not good enough in most places. If Biden does not win this election, the postmortem will be brutal.
As things stand now, it might only be Arizona that can save the Dems...
I have to stop looking at Florida numbers. I am going to concentrate on positivity - Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina now show Biden leading. But what is happening in Virginia? Biden should not lose VA. Texas, are you going to stay blue? And why is Michigan red right now?
I have made a huge strategic mistake. I should have gone to sleep hours ago and then woken up to be told the good news...Now, we are on this queasy-making rollercoaster ride and are not sure when we will get off...
Florida is such a maddening state. Just turn blue already!
f Joe Biden can win Florida, I can go to bed...It's so close and John King is saying that Miami-Dade is not producing a high enough vote count for Biden...But Politico's map has 77% of the expected vote in and Biden is up 1.6 points...PLEASE let that lead hold. It's almost impossible to win Florida by more than a point...But a win is a win so lead, please hold...
Politico's map tracking the percentage of the vote that's come in is running ahead of John King's magic wall...Florida, will you go blue and STAY blue???????
Dear CNN, I will do one more load of laundry. When that is done, I am going to bed and will not wake up ever again unless you provide some good news. Why do Kentucky and Indiana results come in first? All this red all over your magic wall, John King, is making us very, very, very, very, very anxious...
The CNN exit poll is giving me a migraine. Every time they reveal a data point, it shows that there may be some support for Trump which is the LAST thing I want to hear about right now. I like the masterful way John King handles the magic wall but only when it gives me information I want to hear. Van Jones is very handsome and articulate but he doesn't seem to grasp that these data points are not positive for the Dems...Or maybe I am just too sleepy now and am misunderstanding?...Is it still Mercury Retrograde? Is that it? Or has their exit poll been hacked? You see, there are so many ways we can reject information we don't want to contend with in this era of (social) media echo chambers...
All the pundits are rhapsodizing about how voter turnout could break all records. Maybe even 150 or 160 million Americans will actually cast a ballot. Yeah, you know why turnout is so high? It's because America is now a regular Third World country where people have to vote because their everyday life is heavily impacted by the nation's leader. So many Americans were disaffected or apathetic or just plain lazy when it came to voting because their everyday life didn't change much whoever was in charge. Now, with Covid, it is patently obvious that leadership or the lack thereof can negatively impact everyone's daily life during a global pandemic...So people have come out to vote.
Today, Mercury Retrograde is ending and Insch'Allah, Trump's reign of terror too!
Speaking of Mercury Retrograde, I have been having a lot of technical problems from not being able to open apps on my phone or this website but as long as Trump loses, all will be well.
Blue tsunami, blue tsunami, blue tsunami!!!
Politico has a great map on their homepage. It shows the times different states' polls are closing. They also have a great essay by historian Tim Elliott on how Rome fell when the rule-breaking populist Julius Caesar destroyed the Roman Empire's democratic norms. Elliott calls Caesar "the Donald Trump of his day" because they both used populism to propel their political careers. I wouldn't go that far. I am a little bit obsessed with Rome. Caesar was a polyglot intellectual and a brilliant army general who actually fought in battle. He of the bone spurs and word salads in the one language he supposedly speaks is no Julius Caesar! Would Trump ever be brave enough to pick up a sword and walk on to a battle field...The answer is no way. He is the quintessential keyboard warrior, tweeting balderdash with his teeny tiny eensy weensy little hands...
In preparation for Trump's loss, I am trying to find Fox News live online. Oh yes, just remembered, Wile E. Coyote always posts a stream on YouTube. I have very happy memories of 2012 when Obama beat Mitt Romney and Karl Rove had a meltdown on live TV. Holding his whiteboard aloft, he kept pointing to the name of a county in Ohio which he had scrawled on the board. He was convinced that when said county's ballots came in, Romney would suddenly win Ohio. It was not to be. When even Fox News wanted to call Ohio and the election for Obama, Rove made Megyn Kelley get up and walk down to the number cruncher nerds in the basement to enquire why their ballot count was conflicting with Rove's version of reality in which Obama must and should lose. May this scene play out again for the whole Fox News universe. Pray God!
BLUE TSUNAMI! BLUE TSUNAMI! BLUE TSUNAMI!!!
The chaos candidate is now the Commander-in-Chief promoting chaos and confusion about the integrity of the election. but "irregardless" and nevertheless, JONATHAN JAKUBOWSKI AND CHRISTOS A. MAKRIDIS have written a terrifying op-ed entitled, "Don't believe the polls — Trump is winning." I can't summarize their argument right now because even contemplating for a second that Trump will win again will make me vomit but you can read it for yourself if your stomach can take it.
In short, if Biden wins Florida and Pennsylvania, it's game over for Trump. The GOP is doing everything possible to stop people's votes being counted. America is so much less great than it was before when no-one had to close up a storefront or protect a polling site or erect non-scalable walls around the White House because of potential election violence being fomented by the head of state. "It's a disgrace!" as the Tangerine Bully likes to say. But really, he is the disgrace.
I probably won't sleep tonight because I am in Europe so six hours ahead of the East Coast but as soon as the polls close at 7 EST, I will be looking to see which way Sumter County in Florida goes. Sumter County helped to deliver Trump his 2016 victory but since Florida is the ultimate swing state, he only won by 120,000 votes. Sumter county is leading the way in early voting in Florida and is also home to many senior citizens who live in The Villages, a retirement community which is super-Republican and majority white. However, Trump's epic mismanagement of Covid has led to some softening of support there and perhaps even a grey revolt. Don't get me wrong. Most old white people in the US typically vote for the Republican so Trump, incompetent and malevolent as he is, still has lots of fans there but any decrease in support in Sumter may mean that Biden's higher vote count in multicultural urban areas like the more populous Miami-Dade county could win him the state. By 7:15 EST, we might have a good sense of the early vote count in that county. Experts say that if Trump is winning about 66% of the votes there, he is still in the running to take Florida. If he dips below 60% in Sumter...Bah-bye!!!
Since over 100 million Americans have already voted, how many more people will come out today and will it be the Trump surge his campaign is counting on? Early voting across the country has been mostly dominated by the Dems so we have to see who will be turning out today and which campaign can get more of their supporters to the polls. Since Trump has spent months dissing the postal service and insisting his voters risk contracting coronavirus by coming to crowded polls on election day itself, we will find out today if that was a winning strategy...
Monday 2 November, 2020
Shellacking. While we're talking election expressions, let's focus on how Trump and his band of GOP enablers are about to suffer a serious shellacking because of the blue tsunami coming their way. I may be guilty of mixing metaphors but that's because I am drowning in the deluge of news. How fragile democracy turns out to be. How disheartening to see how successfully Trump has transformed the US into a stereotypical Third World country: People are literally expecting election violence and civil unrest. That is not what American elections should look like. Trump needs to be soundly defeated tomorrow...
I am more than ready for a blue tsunami to sweep away Trump and several Republican Senators. Henry Olsen shares his well-informed predictions here and sees a comfortable win for Biden and the Dems although not a tsunami. Reid Wilson writes that Dems have increased the number of states in which they might pick up Senate seats. In 2016, approximately 136 million people voted. This year on the eve of the election, already 95 million have voted early. What will happen tomorrow? Will the Republicans turn out a huge number of Trump supporters on election day as they have been saying for weeks will happen?
Or will the Dems clinch victory by rebuilding the blue wall by recapturing Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania which Trump so barely won last time around?
...All eyes on Pennsylvania, both campaigns are desperate to win there...
Giving me heartburn this morning is the Des Moines Register poll out of Iowa. It's a very well respected poll and whereas in September, Trump and Biden were polling even, now, Trump has opened up a 7-point lead. It's not that Iowa is that important in the electoral college maths but if Iowans are going to vote for Trump then they will probably vote for that insufferable Joni Ernst. As discussed below, her debate gaffe in not knowing crop prices should have been enough to tank her campaign in such an agricultural state. Theresa Greenfield should be the winner there, she is much more humane and competent, and that would help to flip the Senate. I can only hope this poll is wildly wrong for once.
In other heart-hurting news. President Super-Spreader wants to fire adorable Dobby aka Dr. Fauci. I had to learn this new word: barnstorm because the US media keeps using it. According to my dictionary, barnstorm means: "tour rural districts giving theatrical performances, originally often in barns; [ with obj. ] make a rapid tour of (an area), typically as part of a political campaign; travel around giving exhibitions of flying and performing aeronautical stunts."
Try it out in a sentence: As President Super-Spreader is barnstorming America with non-stop super-spreader rallies, his supporters chant "Fire Fauci." So nutso!
It's hard enough to understand the electoral college and now there are a lot of expressions flying around that I cannot understand. In addition to barnstorm, pundits keep referring to an inside straight i.e. For Trump to win he will have to draw an inside straight. According to my BFF, Google, an inside straight comes from poker and is a set of cards one draws less than 9% of the time. Mmmmm....that is not very reassuring. I want to hear that Trump has a 0.0000009% chance of winning!
Will any of us sleep for the next 50 hours?
Sunday 1 November, 2020
The Daily Kos just sent this:
Melissa, I’m reaching out to make sure you saw my colleague Paul’s last email.
We must be prepared for the possibilities after Election Day. Trump has already told the public that he does not plan on a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election—and that it is very likely that the election is going to be decided by the courts instead of allowing for all the ballots to be counted.
We need to be ready to fight for our votes to be counted!
Sign up to join a “Protect the Results” event in your community to defend our democratic process after the election! You will receive updates after signing up.
Not able to participate in an event? That’s ok, you can still support these efforts by contributing to grassroots organizations in 10 battleground states that provide essential voter assistance to combat GOP voter suppression.
Candelaria Vargas, Daily Kos
Seriously, America is the new Zimbabwe but thankfully, the Daily Kos is organizing actions to try to stanch the bleeding. The democracy is already severely wounded. Stores are boarding up their windows in the expectation of election violence. Trump supporters tried to surround a Biden campaign vehicle in Texas and President Twitterhoea tweeted his love for them. Militias, gun-toting, right-wing militias, are preparing to intimidate Biden voters at the polls. Meanwhile, Governor DeWine of Ohio says that Trump's ground game i.e. the get the voters to the poll activity is far superior to Biden's and he thus expects Ohio to go to Trump by a slim margin. That is unforgivable!!!
What I saw of the Biden campaign in the Carolinas and Iowa was pathetic. They had no ground game then but if they haven't beefed up their operations by now then God help us. This article points out how their Hispanic and black outreach has also been lacking and how their door-knocking started late because of the The Rona...but also because they are really not the best campaign...
Someone asked me yesterday if I was worried that Trump would not step down if he loses the election. The answer is both yes and no.
Context: Anxiety is running very high right now - Will Biden actually win after 2016's erroneous polls? How far will the Republicans go to throw out people's votes like what they are doing in Texas where they are are trying to have 117,000 legal ballots discarded? The ghost of Hillary Clinton's shock defeat turned up in Saturday Night Live's Cold Open. Even though high turnout always favors Dems and there are more registered Dems in the US than Republicans, terror is the dominant emotion right now. But all that being said, Joe Biden is going to win in spite of mega-shenanigans from the GOP. And yes, Trump will step down and even give a concession speech but only IF the GOP leadership makes him do so.
Trump is a classic bully. Stand up to him and he instantaneously wilts. He has always been more bark than bite and without backing, he will quickly concede. If the GOP signals that they will support his nonsense i.e. using SCOTUS to stop votes being counted a la 2000, Trump will continue to use his bully pulpit to foment dissension and God forbid, violence.
But as things stand now, the majority of Americans are eager for a return to the past which equals a Biden victory. I wrote this below on 1 March:
Having attended a very boring, rambling, low-energy, badly-organized Biden event in Iowa that lacked any of the excitement and ebullience of a Bernie rally, I am saddened that black people in South Carolina decided to rescue Joe Biden’s campaign from life support. At the event I attended, a week before the caucuses, Biden roamed through the small crowd of seated pensioners and crooned into the microphone about the good old days with Barack (if they were so good, how did Trump come to power?), reminisced about his children (unfortunate because I know more about them than his policies), talked about rebuilding the middle class (what was he doing 2009-16?) and went to his go-to line on how he would “beat Trump like a drum” (no-one knows what this means).
The nostalgia for a pre-Trump era that is fueling his run for the nomination is different from the nostalgia that powered Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign but they are both problematic. 2016 did not just mark the rise of Trumpism but threw into sharp relief some of the failures of Obamaism….
At the Biden rally in Iowa, I met a beautiful lady of 83-years-old. She lived in a senior home and was excited to have an evening out. I fell asleep during Biden's rambling and when I woke up and he took close to 40 minutes to answer one staged question from a University of Iowa student (the only young people at the rally), I wanted to shoot myself. But this elderly lady was animated after Biden's lullaby. "Isn't he so darn impressive? If Biden gets in, all our allies will respect us again because he already has so many relationships with foreign leaders. Biden knows how things work and he can make D.C. work again, just like how it used to."
I couldn't disagree more. D.C. wasn't working. Hence Trump. But the reason that Biden is on his way to a comprehensive victory is because Covid-19 has beaten Trump like a drum and both me and this lady, despite our widely divergent ideologies, are voting for Biden because we can't stand Trump. The anti-Trump vote is gonna be YUGE.
Saturday 31 October, 2020
Everyone is scared today and not because it's Halloween. We know things are getting serious because Wolf Blitzer is working on a Saturday. In about 72 hours, we will start getting the first results but consequentially, as of now, over 90 million Americans have already voted! That's over 65% of the total vote count in 2016 which means Trump's strategy of pressing his voters to wait to vote on election day by discrediting other forms of voting has probably backfired.
Many Trump supporters may not be able to vote on Election Day if something comes up as life tends to do. Others may be ill with Covid-19 after attending one of his emotional support super-spreader rallies. People are fainting from the heat at some of his Florida rallies, suffering from hypothermia in Nebraska at others but worst of all, there is this reporting on Washington Post's live updates under this ominous title, "Stanford study estimates that 18 crowded Trump rallies ultimately resulted in 30,000 coronarvius cases." John Wagner tells us that apparently 700 people may have not only contracted the virus but died because of these events. Yet, President Nut Job is frenziedly rushing through Pennsylvania today hosting another four rallies. He is desperate because even he knows a blue tsunami is about to sweep him right out of the White House despite his attempts to rig the vote and stack SCOTUS.
Joe Biden is gonna win. No-one is enthusiastic about him but it's merely a question of simple mathematics determining the fate of the most unpopular president ever. More people absolutely cannot stand Trump than like him. So now it's all eyes on the Senate where we have to see whether the Dems can pick up three or four seats or maybe even seven or eight seats. I am reading this article, "Trump drags down GOP senators, giving Democrats more paths to the majority." Despite impending lockdown and the glum Coronavirus news, the only positive upside of the pandemic is that in Covid-19 versus the Donald, it's no contest.
Covid-19: 230,000 dead Americans, over 9 million tested positive, the economy for ordinary people collapsing
Trump: 0 and falling fast
Friday 30 October, 2020
Battle for the Senate Part III
To cheer myself up today I am going to keep watching this viral video clip of Dem challenger Jon Ossoff destroying incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue in their debate. It was such a brutal demolition that Perdue has withdrawn from the final debate and polls have the 33-year-old Ossoff with a slight lead which is why Georgia is coming into play for Dems.
After writing about GOP voter suppression/depression/deterrence strategies yesterday, I subsequently read David Frum's chilling article in The Atlantic, The Raw Desperation of the Republican Party. It explicates in harrowing detail how the Republicans are using every lever of power to prevent majority rule and have been for decades. That's why Dems are making such a push to get out every possible voter so that the results are "too big to rig." But in Florida's Dem stronghold of Miami Dade county, voters are not coming out in large enough numbers...
There's no way we can continue with the daily assaults of the Trump administration. In the last few days alone, they have removed protections from an Alaska rainforest, "America's last climate sanctuary," to allow logging there and taken grey wolves off of the endangered species list so that Don Junior and pals can hunt them. These are desperation ploys to try and beef up enthusiasm for Trump from rural voters but are they too late? I can only hope so because it's definitely too late for the planet and grey wolves had almost gone extinct a few short years ago. Democracy is also on the endangered species list right now so PLEASE VOTE: Florida voters can make a plan to vote here. Everyone can go to www.vote.org to find out where/when/how to cast a ballot.
Thursday 29 October, 2020
The GOP strategy to win the presidential and senate elections is to allow as few as votes as possible to be counted. Dana Milbank lays it out: "So Republican officeholders and allied judges use their power (derived from an electoral college and a Senate structure designed when 95 percent of Americans lived outside of cities) to suppress the urban and suburban multiracial majority. They block rehabilitated felons from getting voting rights restored. They fight ballot drop boxes and cause long hours for voting. They restrict the Postal Service and limit polling places. They restrict dissemination, collection and processing of mail-in ballots."
Their biggest ally in suppressing voting and even the full counting of already cast ballots is SCOTUS and especially Brett Frat Boy Kavanaugh. He doesn't just like beer, he also likes to stop vote counts: in 2000, he represented the George "Dubya" Bush team when they were trying to stop Florida tallying the votes to see who had actually won, Gore or Bush.
I truly don't understand how a country that prides itself on being "the oldest democracy in the world" has a political party, the party of Lincoln, the Grand Old Party, which believes that their only path to victory is by preventing the majority of voters from having their voices heard. President Super-spreader said on Fox News earlier this year that if every American could easily vote by for example, mail, then, "you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again." So their plan is to maintain power, a la white minority government in apartheid South Africa, by circumscribing who can vote. They can't officially legislate that only old white Republicans can vote but they can use SCOTUS to kill expanded voter access by a thousand cuts, the same thing that has happened to abortion rights which have been undercut by Republican legislatures and judiciaries at the state level. It is legal to get an abortion anywhere in the US (until Amy Coney Handmaid changes that) but in many states there is just simply no place where you can actually obtain one even though you have the right to one.
So it's an uphill battle to remove Trump. Worse. Michigan natives like Rep. Debbie Dingell and Michael Moore are warning that whatever the polls are saying, Trump could still pull out a win in the state. Pedal to the metal, Dems! Obama and Biden are going to Michigan on Saturday but maybe they should just live there until Tuesday. Or split their time between Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan and not just rely on their ads. Important not to repeat Hillary's mistakes. Face time is crucial, pandemic or no pandemic and time is growing short now because one third of all registered voters have already voted!
But let's eat some tiramisu gelato and look at some data points besides the polls that suggest the Dems may be looking at a blue tsunami, winning not just the White House, but hopefully the Senate too and more seats in the House. Now President Delusional Denialist is declaring he has ended the coronavirus pandemic and that the GOP will gain seats in the House - Nope, nope, nope. He is living in La-La land. Nancy Pelosi will be presiding over an increased majority in the House come 2021. If people vote "up-ballot," this could actually help Senate candidates too. Let's not forget that the American people were so disgusted by Trump in 2018 that USA Today reminds us, "Democrats won the popular vote in the House by the largest margins since the Watergate scandal and resignation of Republican President Richard Nixon."
Now in 2018, despite that blue wave, the Dems also lost seats in the Senate perhaps because of the Kavanaugh fight but in 2020, the GOP is defending a lot of seats and they may lose some along with the presidency because suburban voters have dumped them. Ernest B. McGowen III argues in "No, President Trump, suburbia is no longer all white — and Black suburbanites are more politically active than their neighbors" that Trump's understanding of the suburbs is based on some nostalgic Brady Bunch stereotype. That's probably why he keeps talking about all the mythical "suburban housewives." Another demographic that may be breaking somewhat from Trump is white evangelical voters. Stewart Clem claims they are but I am not really convinced that they will come out in large numbers to vote for Biden but maybe they just won't vote for Trump. And in five days, we are gonna find out...
Wednesday 28 October, 2020
It's almost impossible to get any work done right now. Anonymous's identity has just been revealed. No, it's not Kellyanne Conjob as I had suspected. It's this guy: Miles Taylor. He tried to make us feel better two years ago by telling us people in the admin were secretly working to contain Trump's worst impulses...but he ended up leaving the administration like all the other competent people so now we just have Trump, straight up, untrammeled and increasingly unhinged...
Today is the four-year anniversary of the worst October surprise in history: the Jim Comey letter announcing that the FBI was reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. That was when Hillary tanked in the polls. Even though a week later Comey announced that there was nothing there, it was enough to allow Trump to squeak to victory with less than 78,000 votes spread over three states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
On election day, I was in New Delhi, in a completely different time zone, trying to stay awake as I watched the results scrolling across the TV. I woke up at one point and saw how close the race was in Delaware, a state that Hillary should have won by large margins, and a visceral anxiety took hold inside of me that has not let up ever since. Later that day, I wrote a eulogy for Obamaism because it was already clear from the divisive campaign and couch-commentating Trump's pugilistic and mendacious debate performances that Trumpism would be devastating. And it has been even worse than I could have ever imagined.
Now, we have come full circle and the polls are saying, as they did in 2016, that the Dems will win but there are worrying signs that maybe Trumpism will once again overcome Obamaism 2.0 in the form of the Biden-Harris ticket. It's all eyes on the battleground states. Shawn McCreesh writes about all the fervent Trump supporters in Pennsylvania, reminding me of that premonitory cratering feeling that bloomed in my belly when I saw pictures of women Trump supporters at his 2016 rallies with T-shirts that had big arrows drawn on them pointing at their genitals. After the revolting Access Hollywood tape had come out, these middle-aged white ladies wrote on their T-shirts, Trump can grab my p****y. What kind of woman would embrace a sexual predator like that, as if that is normal or even laudable behavior? I can't understand that mindset and that's why I can't understand the millions of people who will still vote for Trump after four nightmarish years. The Guardian has a good article laying out what various US boffins like Ocean Vuong, Joyce Carol Oates and Maaza Mengiste have to say about this presidency but historian, Jill Lepore sums it up best:
The incumbent president has attacked and undermined and done grave and in some cases possibly irreparable damage to the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers, the rule of law and free and fair elections. His immorality and malign intentions are held in check only by his ineptitude and shortsightedness and shallow understanding of domestic and foreign affairs. He has doomed the Republican party. He has contributed to, and taken a deep and visible pleasure in, the fraying of the ties of affection and loyalty and common purpose that hold a republic together. His abuses of power and assaults on human rights and constitutional government and, not least, his mendacity and cruelty, have so outraged his political opponents that many of them have violated their own good sense of how to act and how to speak in public, have lost sight of what is required of people committed to living in peace with people with whom they disagree, have abandoned their own sense of decency and integrity and generosity and sacrifice. If he is re-elected, no one should take for granted that things cannot get worse.
Things could get a lot worse if Trump is reelected because he will have no guardrails at all. If he doesn't have to seek reelection in 2024, it will be No Holds Barred corruption, disruption and Twitter eruptions. He will play even more golf but as an insatiable narcissist, he will only redouble his efforts to monopolize the world's attention every second of every day. And as Lepore states chillingly here, his behavior is contagious so that even his opponents, like me, lose our equanimity.
Trump's presidency is such an assault on all my senses including my sense of what is fundamentally decent and ethical that I, like millions of other people, have had to stop my normal life to go to dozens of protests against him since the day he was inaugurated. As a bourgeois Marxist in the era of surreality politics, this has been a very tough time indeed.
But now this era must be concluded and decisively so.
2016 is not 2020. As obvious as that sounds, we can't lose sight of that. Covid-19 has radically revised the political landscape. It is whupping Trump's ass, especially in battleground states. Although he has honed his denial of reality into a powerful alchemy, Trump cannot defeat the surging coronavirus which is why today, there is a poll out of Wisconsin that shows Biden with a 17-point lead over him. That is YUGE. Those middle-aged MAGA supporters from 2016 might still be on that train and won't care about David Farenthold's latest comprehensive and brain-exploding report into Trump's venal crookedness but seniors and young people and independents and anyone with more than a high school education are fleeing him in droves. As Farenthold et al. lay it out, Trump donates his salary to charity but then makes it back several-times-over by making taxpayers fund his businesses: he frequents all his own properties and charges the US government $3 for each glass of water he consumes. You can read the article yourself, it will give you a migraine, especially if you grew up in a Third World country where this kind of corruption is in your face all the time and you used to think that the US was a country where such practices would never be tolerated. And we shall find out next week or thereafter if the US electorate wants to continue with a Jacob Zuma-style kleptocracy or would prefer something less brazen.
But really, take heart. Trump's manic, super-spreader rally schedule, two or three a day even in states that should be Republican all the way, shows that he is on defense. Their internal campaign polls must show how threatened he is for him to have to travel to rural counties to shore up support. At the same time, the Dems have a much larger advertising budget thanks also to the monetary help they are getting from Mike Bloombito Bloomberg. Republicans against Trump and the Lincoln Project which release very mean-spirited but effective negative ads on at least a daily basis illustrate how many wiley enemies Trump has among Never Trumper conservatives. It's not just us bourgeois Marxists who detest him (and Lindsey Graham, this is the Lincoln Project's latest devastating attack ad aimed at destroying Graham's reelection chances in South Carolina). Obama has finally decided to slam Trump in a language he can understand: he said yesterday that Trump is jealous of Covid-19's press coverage. Exactly right. Obama should also mention that he has more Twitter followers than Trump does. This drives him CRAZY. In 2018, Trump blocked me on Twitter for pointing that out to him. He has such a fragile ego, it is all too easy to troll him. But ultimately, he must absolutely, sans doute and tout de suite LOSE the election.
One caveat: Now that he has stacked SCOTUS with justices, Trump might lose and then produce the ace up his sleeve - a Supreme Court decision that tips the election to him by means foul not fair. On Monday, Brett Frat Boy Kavanaugh issued a very worrying opinion in a Wisconsin-related case that shows how the court can stop all votes being counted for very dubious reasons but we are going to grapple with that later. As of this moment, Trump is going down in flames.
Tuesday 27 October, 2020
7 nerve-wracking days to go till...Who knows? Contrary to what the Tangerine Bully says, if the election is free of massive voter suppression/intimidation/prevention, there will be a victory for Joe Biden. But how long will it take to count all the mail-in votes? Americans are used to knowing who their president will be by 11 pm EST on the day of the election. Welcome to the Third World, America. It may take a while to find out who has won.
Amy Coney Handmaid has been confirmed as a justice on SCOTUS thus destroying that institution's last vestiges of legitimacy. AOC and even less progressive Dems are calling for an expansion of the court because the Republicans basically stole two seats from the Dems (Merrick Garland and RBG). I agree with AOC that for once the Dems should have the cojones to actually make the Republicans pay if they do win the Senate. I also look forward to a time when six of the nine SCOTUS justices will be Muslim but for now, there are six Catholics including ACB Handmaid. Gorsuch would be the seventh if he had not switched churches. All I can say is that they should all try and channel Pope Francis when they make their rulings...
Meanwhile, why did the Republicans hold another super-spreader event in the White House to celebrate her appointment? Why is Mike Pence traipsing around America when five people on his staff have tested positive for Covid? Why is there one set of rules for ordinary people and a completely different set of rules for the White House? According to the CDC, if anyone comes into contact with a Covid-positive person, s/he should quarantine for 14 days, symptoms or no symptoms. Yet, Mike Pence and his Fly are just gallivanting around.
Nerves are very frayed right now but we can take heart that 62 million people have already cast their votes. That's almost as many people as voted for Trump in the entire 2016 election but four million less than those who voted for Hillary. This huge early vote tally is also a record because a lot of young and first-time and infrequent voters are coming out. It's hard for me to believe that any young person in any state, no matter how red, could vote for Trump and by young I mean under 29-years-old. Usually the youth disappoints like when they didn't come out in strong enough numbers for Bernie but for once, they are actually voting. In the parallel post-Covid universe that Trump occupies, he is encouraging his supporters to all rush to the polls on election day, a highly risky strategy since many of them may be too ill to vote on that day after all his super-spreader rallies in swing states...
Tim Alberta goes out on a limb with his last funny feeling about the election: the electoral landscape has shifted radically from 2016 and the coalition of white voters that gifted Trump the election has crumbled...Adieu, Mr. Trump,your days are numbered. Now the Trump campaign is aiming at getting black men to vote for him (black women hate him and I am one such example). Although Jared Kushner, whose father bought him admission to Harvard, is doing such great outreach with African Americans, telling them that if only they "wanted to be successful," they could take advantage of Trump's awesome MAGA policies and they too could become fraudulent con artists, there is no way that Trump's plummeting numbers will be propped up by black men. No way!
Saturday 24 October, 2020
Misogyny. Still a factor, always a factor. Some silly commentators tried to blame Hillary's defeat on the fact that she was a poor candidate and claimed that misogyny had nothing to do with her loss. Both are true. Hillary was a flawed candidate and misogyny had absolutely everything to do with her defeat. Now, yesterday, the best president for black people since Abe Lincoln who freed the slaves, the least racist person in the world and the best husband on earth - just ask Stormy - has said the following about Kamala Harris: "We're not supposed to have a socialist — look we're not going to be a socialist nation. We're not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president, we're not gonna have it, we're not gonna put up with it." And he wonders why he is losing women by historic numbers. Socialists everywhere must be turning in their graves at the thought that Kamala Harris is being called a socialist! Paleez!
Meanwhile, in the Deep Red Fox News Bubble, more trouble on the horizon for Lindsey Graham. Lou Dobbs of Fox News Business and the man competing with Sean Hannity for Trump Sycophant of the Century has said that Lindsey Graham is not enough of a Trump loyalist. Wow! Lou's exact quote: "I don’t know why anyone in the great state of South Carolina would ever vote for Lindsey Graham. It is just outrageous. This is a guy who keeps saying 'stay tuned.' He said he would get to the bottom of Obamagate with the Judiciary Committee, which has been a year and a half, actually longer, of absolute inert response to these pressing issues of our day."
Obamagate is a nonsensical right-wing conspiracy theory so there is nothing to get to the bottom of because it was a fantasy dreamt up by Trump. There are various right-wing investigations (or witch hunts) which are under way because Trump supporters want to produce an October surprise akin to the unforgivable Jim Comey FBI letter which along with misogyny was the wrecking ball that destroyed Hillary's electoral chances. They hope such a manufactured "surprise" will tilt the race in Trump's favor if something damning about Biden, Hunter, his brother or Biden's cat or dog or budgie can be "found."
However, it is fascinating that for people like me, Graham is one of Trump's most infamous enablers but within the Extreme Right, he is viewed as a traitor who is not supportive enough of Trump. This is the bind many Republicans find themselves in but Lindsey Graham is in a tight Senate race. If Trump's base do not vote for him, he could really lose to Jaime Harrison. As pointed out below, Harrison has an obscene amount of campaign money but I will be stunned (and ecstatic!) if Graham actually loses. Has Lou Dobbs thought through his statements or is he so blinded by worship of Trump that he cannot see the bigger pic?
If Lindsey loses his seat, it increases the chances of the Dems taking the Senate majority which would be YUGE. You can check out where the all the senate races stand here on Let's Talk Elections. A Democratic Senate majority would mean that Satan aka Mitch McConnell would no longer be the Senate Majority leader where he is in charge of Making the World a Million Times Worse, every single moment of every single day...
Friday 23 October, 2020
On the bright side, there was an actual debate. On the flip side, so depressing. On political point-scoring, Biden's best moments were when he said that he would be the president for all Americans, not just his supporters. A subdued Trump's most effective lines were when he asked Biden why he kept talking about what he would do when he had eight years under Obama to do stuff. That is exactly right. Props to Kristen Welker who overall did a good job as a moderator. But the night was still depressing.
We have heard very little about immigration in this campaign season but the truth is that Obama-Biden had a horrendous record on deportation. They were not however responsible for family separations like the Trump administration. In sum, Trump was sour and surly and is an unsavory individual who should not hold power because he has no moral compass. The Corporate Bible aka the Wall Street Journal doesn't care about character they say today, they think Trump's pro-rich policies are just fab. Biden is a far more decent person who displays normal human traits like empathy and compassion but he does not have a progressive transformative agenda, something that is badly needed at this moment when millions cannot make ends meet, have no healthcare, and are facing eviction and hunger...
The only good news is that Bernie is also drawing up a 100 day progressive plan to try and make sure Biden does not go super-corporate/right-wing the way Obama did. As soon as Obama put people like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers in his cabinet, all progressives knew there would be no progressive agenda. Let's help Bernie try to help Biden go in a different direction because Trump is also correct when he says that he got elected because of Obama-Biden failures. For example, when they came to power in 2009, they failed to hold Wall Street responsible for crashing the global economy and in no time at all, they were all back to their usual tricks. If the Democrats don't adopt a genuinely more pro-worker agenda, there will be no real change...
Wednesday 21 - Thursday 22 October, 2020
What madness will unfold at the debate on Thursday evening? Will Trump go after Biden's son? Will the almost confirmation of Amy Coney Handmaid boost Trump's popularity with pro-life voters? Her extremist positions are really out of step with most of the world, including the Pope! Pope Francis has just indicated that he is now down with gay people forming families and having civil unions but Amy Coney Handmaid sat on the board of schools that have anti-LGBTQI policies. It seems her ascension to SCOTUS will result in the demise of gay marriage as a legal right along with all the other rights-deaths we are about to witness - abortion, voters', workers' etc. It's a dire time. So how are the Dems and Joe Biden's campaign failing to close the coffin on Trump's political career?
Trump is beginning to crack under pressure. He cannot explain why he wants another term in office. Ryan Lizza does a deep dive into his dismal operation. At least in 2016, we knew his campaign slogans - Build the Wall! Lock her up! Drain the swamp! In 2020, no-one has any idea what his campaign stands for, including Trump himself. Has he not yet made America great again? Is he trying to "Keep America Great" as his campaign declared circa 2018? Is America great right now with almost 225 000 Americans dead from coronavirus, millions unemployed and a dysfunctional Congress that can confirm judges but not pass coronavirus relief bills so that ordinary Americans don't go hungry? Flailing and sans message, the Trump campaign decided he should run (again) on being the law and order candidate.
HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?
President Criminal Gangsta is basically trying to become president again so that he doesn't go to jail or get indicted like so so so many of his cohorts - Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn etc. Here's a long list. Birds of a feather flock together.
Trump is also guilty of CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. Stealing children from their parents at the border and then losing said parents is a crime against humanity and as this week's reports tell us, 545 children are now orphans because the Trump administration made them so. Trump is possibly guilty of tax fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice etc. He may very well go to jail. His administration's corruption and nepotism is legendary. Yet he accuses Biden's son, Hunter, of trading on his family name (which he absolutely did. Very unethical but again not illegal), while Trump has literally hired his daughter and son-in-law and installed them in the White House to pretend to be policy-makers or peace-makers or whatever they are doing there. They are definitely pursuing business opportunities like when Ivanka met with President Xi Jinping the same day she got three trademarks from China. Their transgressions are too numerous to list but Emily Jane Fox of Vanity Fair is keeping a list. Suffice it to say that the Trump family is so corrupt that their charity was not a charity foundation and now they are barred from sitting on charity boards because they are all such consummate grifters. Even Trump loyalist and #Borat2 star, Rudy Giulian is under investigation by NYC's southern district. So, with all of that, and that's not even everything, how can Trump try and run as the law and order candidate and why is the Biden campaign allowing him to do so?
Law and order is a euphemism. Trump is pitting it against Black Lives Matter and his obsession, Antifa. Law and order is now part and parcel of the culture wars. Even more reason why Biden should not let Trump try and wield it like a cudgel to further divide a polarized nation. But can Biden, a mediocre debater at best, pull off the rhetorical feat of framing President Criminal Gangsta as the criminal gangsta he is? Will he try and "go high" and leave Trump's nefarious offspring out of it even though Hunter Biden and his laptop and his emails (Hilary echoes here) are being dragged through the mud? Can anyone still believe that going high will win the night or the election when the Republicans play so dirty?
To be clear: Hunter Biden appears to be a dodgy fellow with a pockmarked history. Watch Fox News for 10 minutes and you will want to blow out your brains however because they now refer to the "Biden criminal cartel." Saagar Enjeti presents his case against Hunter here and so you can decide for yourself. However, the point is Hunter may be dodgy but he and his dad are nowhere near as corrosively shady as Familia Trump. There should be no false equivalencies made. We'll discuss tomorrow...
Tuesday 20 October, 2020
Battle for the Senate Part II
If there was such a thing as (poetic) justice in the world, Lindsey Graham would lose his senate seat to Jaime Harrison. People like to insult dogs by referring to Lindsey as Trump's lapdog/poodle but as I said, an insult to the canine species. Graham is a despicable opportunist who has done nothing for the people of South Carolina. Campaigning for Bernie in his state in February, we tracked through various rural trailer parks filled with people so poor and despairing, it felt like that "Third World country" Trump is always talking about. Everywhere we went were black men who thought they couldn't vote because they had a felony record or were still on probation. The laws regarding when former felons can vote are deliberately confusing. It's another form of voter suppression/depression and a way to disenfranchise what could be a powerful voting block since about 25% of the state's population is black. Except so many black people there have criminal records.
Incarceration is one of the state's few growth industries thanks to the grotesque private prison system in which people make money off the imprisonment of poor people and then profit off of their labor. Their paltry hourly wage - one man told me he had earned ten cents an hour - is just another form of enrichment for the prison owners who also run the commissary store where prisoners have to make their purchases. The money they earn is returned to the people who pay their "wages." And people say slavery is dead. This is another perfectly legal but utterly immoral system.
Will having a black senator help the people of South Carolina? Read about Jaime Harrison's chances of beating Lindsey here. Tim Alberta of Politco has shared two more funny feelings about the state of the national race: even white men are getting tired of Trump and nobody likes him. Actually millions of people will still vote for him, even though they claim not to like him, and so tomorrow we have to talk about what a poor job boring Biden's campaign is doing in framing Donald Trump. Imagine President Criminal Gangsta is trying to pass himself off as the Law and Order president!
Monday 19 October, 2020
Only 15 days till the election but every day under Trump is an aeon. The Tangerine Bully is attacking poor Dobby today calling him an "idiot"and a "disaster." But it's not because he's anti-science or anti scientists. It's just because he's jealous of Dr. Fauci's superior approval rating and he's becoming more unhinged as his imminent loss looms ever closer. If Trump was anti-science he would have reacted differently when he contracted The Rona. Did he take his beloved hydroxychloroquine or call that demon sperm doctor? Nope. Less than 24 hours after receiving a positive diagnosis, he was off to Walter Reed lickety split to consult with a team of dozens of real and serious doctors. But that's enough of him. Today, let's talk about the Benjamins.
There is an obscene amount of money sloshing around all these campaigns. Imagine what could be done with all those billions (yes, billions!) instead of funding eternal campaigns. John Oliver said last night that the World Health Organization's entire annual budget is two billion dollars. In only one financial quarter between July and September, ActBlue, the Democratic Party's primary online platform for taking in donations, raised $1.5 billion, the average donation being $47. In the first 36 hours after RBG passed away, the platform took in one hundred million dollars. Imagine if that money could go towards feeding the hungry or building homes for the homeless? Allowing private money into politics, unlimited sums of money after the infamous 2010 SCOTUS Citizens United decision, has corrupted American democracy. The more money one can spend on an election, the more power one has over that election and that's why America is now a plutocracy. The wealthiest one percent bankroll the politicians and the justices who then make laws that benefit their benefactors. (Yes, Amy Coney Handmaid is yet another judge selected by the Federalist Society which receives funding from mega-conservative billionaires like the Kochs and the Mercers). It's immoral, venal and 100% legal.
So it's wrong but that's the game and for once the Dems are outplaying the Repugnicans. Because of mismanagement or possible embezzlement in the Trump campaign, they are somehow totally broke. (I can't wait for the tell-all books that will reveal how they squandered such a huge war chest). The upshot is that Biden and the Dems have the upper hand financially and are buying super-expensive ad time on TV during football games when millions of eyeballs are glued to the screen and blanketing the airwaves in all the battleground states. But it's not only the Biden-Harris ticket benefitting. The Senate races are also rolling in dough and so tomorrow, we have to talk about Jaime Harrison in South Carolina who is trying to defeat the odious Lindsey Graham. Harrison has raised a record-breaking $57 million, double Graham's haul, but will that money talk loudly enough in a ruby red Republican state to get a black Democrat elected?
Saturday 17 October, 2020
If you missed what happened this week on the national stage, you can catch up in half an hour here on PBS's Washington Week with Bob Costa, an old-fashioned straight newsman despite being a member of the over-opinionated millennial generation. But today we have to focus on one of the most fascinating senate races. Now, it's all very well to win the White House but a Democratic president without a Dem senate won't be able to do much especially with Satan's shenanigans. So...
Battle for the Senate Part I
Iowa. Where is Iowa? This was my question too when the Bernie campaign said they needed people to go to Iowa in freezing cold January to knock on doors. I thought I could go to New Hampshire as it was the second primary scheduled for a week after Iowa's infamous caucuses on 3 February. I know where New Hampshire is, you go north from New York up the East Coast and you will get there. Iowa on the other hand, as I would find out, is a 20-hour-plus drive from New York deep into America through areas where black people are not welcome. And did I mention that it was FREEZING COLD?
Iowa is also one of the whitest and most agricultural states in the US. I didn't really know how I would help the Bernie campaign there but the universe works in mysterious ways. We were headed to Des Moines but ended up in Iowa City, home to the famous Iowa Writer's Workshop and more importantly a wonderful community of Sudanese. Thanks to Grandma Jan and all the lovely Sudanese people who welcomed us so warmly and helped Bernie fend off (just barely!) Wonder Boy Buttigieg's surprisingly strong showing in Iowa, the trip was rewarding and heart-warming. You can see below for pictorial evidence and more on those good old days when Bernie was leading the pack but I have recounted this long story to prove to you that I am now an expert on Iowa. :) Okay, maybe not, but I am interested in Iowa and particularly in whether Senator Joni Ernst, the type of nasally climate change-denying politician who provokes an automatic gag reflex, can be unseated by Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield because Joni has messed up BIGLY.
During the candidates' debate on Thursday night, Joni had the most cringe-worthy moment of the decade. She won her 2014 race claiming to be a nice Iowa farm girl who loves to castrate pigs and shoot (down the Affordable Care Act). Now she is busy campaigning by riding around Iowa on a Harley Davidson motorcycle but she will never live down this instantly classic moment when the Midwestern-nice debate moderator asked her the price of soybeans. Trump's trade war with China has decimated the soybean market and mind you, her opponent, also a farm girl, had just answered the question, correctly, about the break-even price of a bushel of corn. But systemic racism denier Joni? She tried to pivot to a different topic, she claimed perhaps her headphones were not working properly....but in the end it was so sad, so embarrassing, so campaign-killing, she did not know the price of soybeans in Iowa, a state full of soybean farmers. You can read about it here or watch this delightful three minutes here. I am going to watch it ten more times.
Friday 16 October, 2020
Today is World Food Day. Covid-19 and the failed government policies which have in various ways exacerbated the economic pain and failed to contain the virus mean that millions and millions of people around the world will be hungrier and more desperate than ever before.
One of my fave South Africa-based commentators has written this excellent review of the new documentary, Totally Under Control, in which he plumbs the "the corollaries between South Africa and the United States, two staggeringly unequal, staggeringly corrupt hypercapitalist societies with long histories of racial and class warfare" and compares their different but equally detrimental responses to the pandemic. Richard Poplak is an acerbic wit who walks us through the documentary's assessment of the Trump administration's appallingly inept pandemic response incorporating brilliant insights like this: "As with every Trump story, at some point in the tale the son-in-law must enter the picture. Jared Kushner, an inhuman concoction developed in the bowels of a zombie Barbie and Ken factory, was put in charge of the federal government’s PPE procurement policy." Needless to say, Jared brought his usual verve and competency to the problem and hey presto, just like he solved Israel-Palestine, he also...oh wait, that was a complete and utter DIZA (an astronomical disaster)!
Speaking of dizas, Presisdent Criminal Gangsta is right now hosting another super-spreader, emotional support rally in Florida. He's busy lying to a bunch of seniors who are courting death by squeezing together sans masks indoors about his non-existent healthcare plan. How does he plan to win if all his supporters are too sick to vote or god forbid, deceased by election day?
Really, all one can do is eat tiramisu gelato and concentrate on the positive news. Biden's boring townhall had one million more viewers than Trump's boxing match with suburban mom Savannah! This will really irk the Bully-in-Chief because he's a shallow narcissist who lives for high ratings. Meanwhile, Caroline Giuliani has penned this brilliant essay urging everyone to vote against Trump. Since her father is one of his most feverish enablers and a Russian mis/disinformation machine, this is courageous. Imagine if Ivanka had the moral caliber to say, I love you, Dad, but you're not fit to be president. This has as much likelihood as happening as Jared bringing peace to the Middle East.
Speaking of Trump enablers, one of the most repellent is Attorney General Bill Barr. If this is not the death throes of US democracy and the American Empire, it will be because of brave people like Phillip Halpern. He has resigned from a long career at the Department of Justice because of Barr's revolting obedience to Trump. The number of career bureaucrats who have fallen on their swords by becoming whistle-blowers is laudable. But yet, there are so many more enablers...
But the Republican silence about Trump's daily travesties is finally ending as his political capital dwindles more each day. Senator Ben Sasse's audio was frank and brutal in its assessment of Trump's flaws. (He said that Trump "flirts with white supremacists." It's not a flirtation, they are betrothed). And now today, John Kelly, Trump's former Chief of Staff has said: "The depths of [Trump's] dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it's more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life." Ya think?
So they all know and they have known for the last five years but yet, they have remained despicably silent. Eat some more gelato and look at this, the best political cartoons of the week.
Trump took the notion of dueling town halls to heart and decided to duel with suburban mom, Savannah Guthrie. The Donald is losing with suburban women, and women overall, across the country and in every demographic group, bigly. So does he think his combative attitude towards Guthrie will help him woo back female voters? The only demographic Trump is still winning is white men, especially those without a college education.
If you missed the townhalls, NPR's summary will catch you up. It was calm and boring Biden versus chaotic and gladitorial Trump. You can also watch this hilarious ABC power politics roundtable analysis. Sarah Republican Lady, a constant Trump apologist on the Sunday roundtable who seems to really believe Trump is rational, said that Trump failed to condemn the QAnon conspiracy when Savannah gave him the chance to do so because he "overthinks" his answers to these questions. Coz it's really complicated, QAnon, White Supremacy, how would an intellectual like Donald Trump comb through his deep historical knowledge and training in moral philosophy to reach a conclusion about where he stands on these groups? Yes, we know him well, he is constantly guilty of "overthinking."
Lol! He's a white supremacist and always traffics in conspiracy theories, Sarah, so of course he is not gonna condemn QAnon. They are his base.
Mainstream Republicans should stop pretending that his "record of achievement" (tax cuts for billionnaires, deregulation e.g. unethical capitalists can further ruin the environment without pesky regulations to constrain them, super conservative, pro-business judges in their hundreds "packing" the courts) can somehow make up for his character deficits, corruption, racism, misogyny ETC. ETC.!
Sarah Republican Lady said that his only option for winning is if his bombastic and bullying campaign can inspire white men to come out in record-breaking numbers and a) register to vote before the deadline and b) actually go and wait in a long, long line to vote for him. Yvette Fly Gal Simpson was on the panel too and she said Trump can only win if he steals the election. One of the ways that can happen is through the multiple attempts at voter suppression i.e. making people wait in long, long lines to exercise their democratic right.
O America, you are so, so Zim these days! Owing to the corrupt and broken government, Zimbabwean people are used to getting up "makuseni-seni," before dawn, to go and queue for any and everything, whether a bus, or a passport, or to cast a vote. Imagine my horror when I hear that people in Georgia, mostly black people, are doing the same thing, waking up at ungodly hours to go and queue to cast their ballot. For shame, America, for shame!
Channel 4 has some good, on-the-ground reporting from Pennsylvania and Georgia about the people determined to vote despite the attempts to stop them doing so.
I better do some work now. Later we need to talk about Giuliani's daughter bravely speaking out against her dad's BFF, Giuliani himself and Russian mis/disinformation, and how Republican rats are finally fleeing the ship. Yes, I am looking at you Ben Sasse!
Thursday 15 October, 2020
Might be off topic but seriously, does Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN ever sleep? He is on there every second. Meanwhile, so uncool the way the Tangerine Bully is attacking the ever-adorable Dobby aka Dr. Fauci.
These are such trying times. Now the bad news first: Thomas Edsall is depressing us with the news that in many swing states, more Republicans are registering to vote than Democrats. That's good news for Trump and bad news for decent people. On the other hand, Let's Talk Elections take a deep dive into the latest polls and seem convinced that Biden will win.
Tonight there will be dueling town halls - Biden on one channel and Trump on the other at the exact same time - because NBC doesn't care about American democracy apparently and is crassly chasing ratings. They are the ones who gave us The Apprentice which is why many people believed that Trump was a successful businessman when of course, he only played one on TV. But Trump is already lowering expectations in case he implodes. He is calling the town hall that he desperately needs to jumpstart a flailing campaign a "set up." The first debate badly damaged him and now he's trying to pre-game tonight in case it all goes pear-shaped again.
I really hope Trump spontaneously combusts live on NBC when he is forced to interact with real people and answer their reality-based questions! Remember he is allergic to facts!
As for the Zizek/Chomsky references below. Always go with what Chomsky says - he's a true blue boffin. He says vote for Biden even though he is no progressive Bernie and so, yes, we'll vote for Biden and then lobby him from the left, "the day after the election," as Bernie says.
May also be off topic but can you imagine that Hope Hicks whom the White House basically tried to paint as Patient Zero is busy boarding Air Force One sans mask? Well, she is!
Wednesday 14 October, 2020
President Criminal Gangsta is holding another super-spreader rally today, this time in Iowa. Now...if Trump's campaign was going well, why would he have to go to Iowa now? He won the state by almost 10 points in 2016 because as this informative article from Iowa's most influential newspaper explains, it is a state full of white people, most of whom do not have a college degree i.e. Trump's base. Today's polling shows he is tied with Biden.
The article lays the blame for Hillary's loss in 2016 on Jim Comey's ill-advised statement at the end of October that she was under FBI investigation. Trump never did thank Comey for delivering him the election, instead he fired him. The bad memories aside, the truth is that the tides - in the plural - have turned against Trump and insch'Allah there will be no such Comey-like October surprises. The vast numbers of Americans who have already cast their ballots in early voting illustrate huge anti-Trump sentiment judging by the counties in which it is happening.
Meanwhile, ACB continues to furnish significant non-answers in the sham "hearings" for this shameful Supreme Court nomination. Kamala Harris massacred her for her anti-worker rulings (85% of her business-related cases found in favor of the big corporation and against the worker). This whole process demonstrates an appalling lack of integrity and the Supreme Court for the next 30 to 40 years will be viewed as illegitimate. Trump did not win the popular vote but now a minority president and his minority party that is distinctly anti the rights of so-called minorities have installed three judges - two stolen from the Dems. They put that milquetoast Catholic conservative Neil Gorsuch in the seat that Satan denied Merrick Garland, Obama's center-of-the-road nominee. Then came that hot mess frat boy, I like my beer, Brett Kavanaugh - no idea if he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford because the FBI did a non-investigation into her allegations but did you see his shenanigans during his nomination hearings? That is NOT a judicial temperament. Now they do not honor RBG's dying wish and ram through ACB Handmaid in an insultingly short amount of time. No, guys. If I ever found myself before that court I would not care if they ruled for or against me because they are such a tainted bunch of political appointees.
Tomorrow I will opine on Noam Chomsky versus Bernie's former spokesperson, Briahna Joy Gray on El Chapo Trappo podcast (that's not their real name but I always forget what it is). They are rebooting an argument from 2016 and actually every presidential election where progressives are forced to vote for the Democrat as the "lesser of two evils." I am still angry with Slavoj Zizek's 2016 position, for his indefensibly white privileged position of acting like a vote for Hillary was somehow as dangerous as a vote for Trump. Utter balderdash and unbelievably dangerous. For black and brown people, Trump's presidency has been an unmitigated tragedy that has cost lives (even his Covid response has resulted in more black and brown people dying). Hillary of course would have been very much so the lesser of two evils! More tomorrow insch'Allah.
Tuesday 13 October, 2020: 21 days until the election!
The presidential race and even battleground senate races are breaking big time for the Dems. Trump fatigue. Reid Wilson of The Hill gives an excellent breakdown here. And this is a good explanation of why everyone is too scared to say Biden is gonna win. Boring, bland Biden is gonna win but it's more that Trump is gonna lose BIGLY!
Watching the ACB hearings makes one realize again how ancient most of the Senate is. The word senate comes from the Latin word senex for old man so yes, since Roman times, a bunch of old people, still mostly men, have been ruling all the rest of us.
ACB says she is against the politicization of the Supreme Court but like a politician she doesn’t answer any questions! Like when Senator Leahy tried to get her to say whether she would recuse herself if the SC ends up deciding the election since Trump has openly and explicitly said he’s putting her there to decide in his favor.
What is quite jarring is how she speaks in such a confident and forthcoming tone as if she is actually answering the questions but yet, because of judicial something or other she keeps saying she cannot be forthright about any matters that she may one day rule on. So we continue with the farce that her long history of anti-abortion activity/statements will not determine how she will rule on Roe v. Wade. This is a good article from a woman who went to the same Catholic school as ACB and is familiar with the charismatic Catholic group of which she is a member and that makes Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale , look like a psychic. Chilling!
However, even more chilling and instructive was Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's fantastic diatribe against the "puppet show" of the hearings. He showed how much dark money in politics is responsible for judicial picks like that of ACB who will in turn allow more dark money in politics which means that the puppeteers aka super rich people have outsized influence in the political system.
In other news: the nutso president did a rally last night, a mere week after coming out of hospital, and apparently plans to do a rally every day until election day. What did they give him in the hospital? Well, not the much-touted vaccine. It seems there will be no vaccine before election date and poor Dr. Fauci. The Trumpster campaign has put him into an election ad without his permission.
Doesn't Dr. Fauci remind you of Dobby from Harry Potter?
Tim Alberta at Politico says that anti-Trump sentiment can make up for a lack of Biden enthusiasm. I agree. He also says that if Trump is defeated in a 1980-esque landslide, the Republican Party will not back him when he refuses to accept his loss. This one I am not so sure about. The Republicans have done nothing but enable this atrocious man. I have often wondered why they didn't disbar him from running in their primary on 16 June, 2015 when he came down his escalator with paid actors cheering him on as he announced his bid for the presidency. He officially kicked off his campaign by making xenophobia and racism against Mexicans ("rapists" and "criminals") his central plank. Macy's department store cut ties with the Trump brand after that but the Republican Party was far less ethical. They welcomed him into the primary process and the rest as they say is history.
People in Georgia had to wait in line for 10 hours to cast their vote...and Americans call themselves the greatest democracy in the world.
Monday 12 October, 2020
Trump declares he is immune to Covid-19. No, of course he is just immune to facts as usual.
Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing begins and it's all about using her kids as props. Why do Americans do this? It's really grotesque as Robin Givhan ably demonstrates. Her seven children, especially the two adopted from Haiti who are making the Republicans uber-excited as if having black kids proves conservatives are not racist, are being used to humanize her but they should just drop this farce. Why are they even having this hearing when we all know, as Lindsey Graham himself said, that all the Republicans will vote for her NO MATTER WHAT. Even if this power grab costs them the senate, many conservatives seem to think it is worth it because she has been hand-picked by Trump to replace RBG because she will rule against Obamacare and Roe v. Wade. The GOP should stop pretending that they have no idea how she will vote on these matters. They know how she will vote - judicial independence is a chimera - and that's why they are willing to sacrifice the Supreme Court's last vestiges of legitimacy to get her into this lifetime position.
If Amy Coney Barrett was an ethical person she would refuse to accept the nomination under these tainted circumstances but alas no such luck.
If Lindsey Graham wasn't such a revolting hypocrite, he wouldn't be Trump's BFF after claiming that John McCain was his closest friend and he wouldn't be ramming ACB's nomination through mere weeks before an election after he said on tape that he would never do such a thing. But that's Lindsay Graham for you, Gold Medal Pretzel-maker - he can twist all his supposed beliefs and statements into the opposite direction when needs be. Will Jaime Harrison who raised a record-breaking 57 million dollars actually manage to defeat him? More on that race coming soon...
Sunday 11 October, 2020
Overwhelmed with a wealth of material that is already a satire of a caricature, Saturday Night Live still manages to rise to the challenge. Yet the most important moment this week over and beyond the VP debate parody etc. was when Kate McKinnon broke character and said she was obviously not okay. She spoke for millions or possibly billions of us on this pandemic-paralyzed globe...
In other very very important news, Rafael Nadal comprehensively defeated the world number one and his greatest nemesis, Novak Djokovic, to win his 13th Roland Garros title at the socially-distanced French Open. More and more commentators, despite the polls' failure in 2016, are beginning to speculate that Biden will be delivering Trump an equally comprehensive defeat in the weeks to come. In fact the only two polls that predicted a Trump victory are now predicting a landslide for Biden...
Friday 9 October, 2020
Whatever one may say about Nancy Peolosi, she is the most effective Trump troll! She also is very beautiful and can successfully walk briskly down the corridors of the Capitol in sky-high stilettos, all at 80-years-old. Today she is convening a press conference to troll him further. Excerpt below is from this Guardian article:
'In the surprise move on Thursday, Pelosi revealed that Democrats will meet to focus on the 25th amendment to the constitution, which contains a clause that allows a president to be removed from office against his will because of physical or mental incapacity.
Her office followed up with the announcement that Pelosi and the congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland will hold a press conference at 10.15am on Friday “to discuss the introduction of the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office Act”.'
Nancy says Trump is dissociated from reality. Yeah, no kidding. His coronavirus is also dissociated from reality. A week ago today, he was diagnosed, supposedly receiving a positive test for the first time. Then the very next day he needs oxygen and has to be airlifted to hospital? Then he is in hospital for 72 hours during which he goes for a joyride to wave at his supporters and then takes Marine One back to the White House where he films campaign videos. Taxpayers are paying for all these helicopter rides as well as his three different anti-Covid meds which cost more than US$100,000 according to one report. But this is not the normal timeline of coronavirus - from symptom onset to "recovery," something is not adding up...
Meanwhile, today I will be watching the French Open but I will quickly switch over to watch Nancy's trolling at 10:15ET and I will also keep a close eye on the investigation into Mike Pence's strange itinerary change. He was supposed to go to Indiana to vote but suddenly returned to D.C. Why? Has he tested positive or is he just missing "broad-shouldered" Donald? I say Pence is Trump's lipstick but Timothy Egan says it far more elegantly, "Pence is the silk to Trump’s sandpaper."
Thursday 8 October, 2020
What a snooze fest of a debate. Kamala Harris and Mike Smooth Operator Pence did not provide the WWE-style smackdowns we have become accustomed to in the era of Trump. I could barely get through it. I don't think I even heard Pence say "broad-shouldered" once but I could have missed it. As Sarah Palin used to say, you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. Pence's demeanor is calm and collected, his tone is so reasonable and sincere you can get lulled into forgetting that his rhetoric is as hateful and dangerous as Trump's - just in velvet prose. Last night he denied that there is systemic racism and did not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if they should lose. Trump is the pig and Pence is the lipstick that never wears off.
Is there another job besides politician where you can sidestep every question and just talk off-topic? They both did that but Pence had the audacity to say at one point that Harris did not answer a question. "Let the record reflect that she did not answer the question," he said. It was true, she and Biden constantly refuse to say whether they will add more Supreme Court justices to the court if Coney Barrett is confirmed. I am not sure if this is a winning strategy. However, Pence hadn't answered any questions at all the whole debate yet he nonetheless had the chutzpah to say that the Trump administration "follows the science" and more than once told Kamala that she "was entitled to her own opinions but not her own facts." OMG!!! The science-denying Trump administration only traffics in "alternative facts" which are known to regular people as lies.
There was no winner but I don't think Pence managed to convince anyone that Harris is some radical left-wing communist (I wish she was!). No, she was super corporate and mainstream and centrist suburban moms will feel very comfortable with her. And her hair looked great. As for the fly on Mike Pence's hair, it was more than a metaphor. Biden-Harris need to hold the Trump admin's feet to the fire more and more often for their woeful Covid response...
Wednesday 7 October, 2020
It's been another exhausting day. Best plan is to take refuge in some delicious tiramisu gelato...the VP debate starts in a few hours. How many times will revolting Mike Pence refer to Trump's broad-shouldered...[Insert noun here]?
"President Trump's broad-shouldered leadership when it comes to fighting the coronavirus has kept America safe." I am sure he will say some variation of that despite/because it is a statement diametrically opposed to truth, empirical evidence and Trump's greatest enemy, reality!
The diabolical Trump policy to separate children from their parents - some of whom the administration later lost leaving these children orphans - is one of their ongoing crimes against humanity. Today, the New York Times has published this article which outlines how various officials like Jeff Sessions came to support such "zero tolerance" policies no matter how cruel in a bid to please the Xenophobe-in-Chief. Why can't these people be tried in the International Criminal Court?...Ahhh, that's why the US is not a signatory to the Rome Statute which would bring them fully under the court's jurisdiction. All those war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and various other countries would also be fair game.
One of the reasons, Trump is desperate to get Amy Coney Barrett on to the Supreme Court is because in addition to taking away a woman's right to choose and destroying Obamacare, they will also rule on a case about his tax returns. Those infamous tax returns he is always desperate to hide. Yet, today an appeals court ruled that he cannot block a subpoena from New York State for his returns. Instead of wasting more time and money, he should just hand them over. We all know he's broke now that the NY Times revealed he only paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017. However, no, he wants to send the case to the Supreme Court. It's not like they are busy or anything.
Today, the US media is debating whether Trump's crazy behavior is because of the anti-Covid steroids he is on? Really? How would anyone tell the difference?
Meanwhile, tonight is the debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. They can both speak English and compose full sentences, unlike Trump and Biden. So we expect less interruptions, outright lies and untrammeled malarkey. There should be more meaty debate...We shall see but we shall certainly not hold our breath.
Overnight, the mercurial Trump signaled via his preferred platform, Twitter, that he may change his mind on supporting a desperately-needed stimulus bill without which he stands no chance of reelection according to Catherine Rampell.
Tuesday 6 October, 2020
Last night, Trump flew home from Walter Reed hospital on Marine One. Taxpayers are paying for all these flights up and down. Supposedly he is better after being diagnosed with coronavirus, four days ago...Hmmm, highly suspicious. Non-conspiracy theorists like political scientist, Dr. Christina Greer, think he might have lied about testing positive for coronavirus since he is a Gold Medal Olympic Liar.
Can he really be better already if he really did contract the virus? Will he relapse before this is all over if he really only got sick on Thursday?
The last 10 days have made us all queasy. Can you still remember that the late great RBG passed away a few weeks ago?
For some incomprehensible reason, Trump thinks that stopping a coronavirus relief bill will help his chances of getting elected coz broke and hungry and unemployed Americans will flock to the coronavirus-ridden polls to vote for him. INSANE AND EVIL.
More can be found here as everyday and significantly they also cover Eric Trump's deposition about to the New York Attorney General about potential Trump Organization...you guessed it, fraud! : https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/
29 MARCH - 6 OCTOBER, 2020 - THIS PAGE WAS IN A COMA BECAUSE THE DEMS COLLUDED AGAINST BERNIE AND MADE BIDEN THE NOMINEE.
SCROLL DOWN AND DOWN MORE TO RECONNECT WITH THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN BERNIE WAS STILL IN THE RUNNING AND WE DIDN'T KNOW CORONAVIRUS WAS GOING TO MAKE BERNIE'S MEDICARE FOR ALL POLICY EVEN MORE NECESSARY!!!!
24 January, 2020: Yeah, I didn't know either but it's true!
Image: Tim Sanders
What am I saying here to filmmaker, all-round good guy and Bernie Sanders surrogate, Michael Moore? I am asking him to get a message to Rep. Ilhan Omar because the deputy mayor of Iowa City - Okay, wait, let's back it up. I had NO idea but as every single black person I met there told me laughingly, "You didn't know there were black people in Iowa, did you?"
And no, I didn't! I had no idea but it's true! There are not only African-Americans in Iowa but also African immigrants and the deputy mayor is actually a Sudanese Muslim woman! (All these exclamation marks and caps are absolutely justified because seriously...Iowa?!)
The idea was to have Rep. Omar contact the deputy mayor to encourage her to endorse Bernie Sanders before the Iowa caucuses (hot mess!) on 3 February. Once I have recovered from the FREEZING COLD and terrible SNOW AND ICE (winter has absolutely come!), I will write about my great times with the Sudanese community in Iowa City and all the beautiful kids. The Sudanese tipped the election for Bernie because they came out in big numbers, especially the women. SHUKRAN!
VERY OPINIONATED OPINIONS ON ELECTION 2020 FROM MOI, A BOURGEOIS MARXIST
SUFFERING THROUGH THE ERA OF SURREALITY POLITICS
Sudanese community caucusing for Bernie Sanders in Iowa City; Cutest and most adorable Sudanese-American kids whom I forgive for learning my phone's pin code and downloading games since you deleted them :); Bernie volunteer extraordinaire, Ms. Jan Taylor, who was recently profiled in the New Yorker and is such an effective canvasser, I am sure she can turn Texas into a democratic state!
Click the pic to see all Politico's weekly cartoon round-up. This is from Kal at The Economist.
SAD PAGE HISTORY
In my personal life, 2016 was a happy and exciting year until...Yes! Until, Donald Trump was elected.
At the beginning of 2020, before I knew that this would be the CRAZIEST year ever, in a pre-Covid and pre-Democratic Party shady shenanigans to steer the Democratic nomination towards Biden, I began this page. I thought I would be posting about Bernie Sanders' route to becoming the Democratic Party's candidate.
I believed and hoped that although it would be an immense struggle, the Democratic Party establishment and their corporate donors would not sabotage Bernie's quest to become the nominee. I am still an unrequited Bernie supporter and if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find out more about the volunteering I did for his campaign in Iowa, South Carolina and North Carolina.
When the Corporate Dems decided Biden should be the nominee, I stopped this page because who can get excited about Biden. Really, Biden?!
However, Donald Trump has said he will not accept the election results unless he wins. He is fomenting election violence and trying to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court who will rule in his favor should the election results be challenged in court. The US is becoming a Banana Republic/
Third World pariah state.
Since I grew up in Zimbabwe which was and is all of those, I am an expert on what is unfolding now.
See below for absolutely incisive and brilliant insights into this season of the United States, a whackadoodle reality show, long on crazy, short on sanity.
DONALD TRUMP: Gold Medal Olympic liar, white supremacist, bigly grammar assassin, sexual predator, threat multiplier, xenophobe, misogynist, corrupt, fact-allergic, unencumbered by reality, probable tax fraud, confirmed con man, less sophisticated election thief than Robert Mugabe.
These are the nicest things I can say about him.
MIKE PENCE: UGGHHHH...If he refers to Trump one more time as "broad-shouldered," as in Trump's "broad-shouldered leadership," my hair will turn as white as his. Calls himself a Christian - Where does Jesus say you should support a president who is guilty of crimes against humanity (e.g. locking little children in cages at the border)?
REPUBLICAN SENATORS: Even for politicians, they take hypocrisy to stratospheric levels. Willing to blind themselves to avoid seeing Trump's unhinged tweets so they don't have to comment on all his outlandish conspiracy theories. Absolutely committed to voter suppression and confirming conservative justices to the Supreme Court NO MATTER WHAT because God forbid the American people should have health insurance or reproductive and labor rights.
MITCH MCCONNELL: Aka Satan. Suffers from situational ethics, has dubious connections to Russia, unclear if he is running Trump or vice versa.
JOE BIDEN: "Here's the deal, folks." Such a weak candidate. Could never beat Trump in a thousand years. However, Covid can and will beat Trump. Lucky for Biden because even with all the Never Trumper Republicans and Corporate Democratic Establishment behind him as well as all the regular people who detest Trump, he is still a shockingly feeble candidate with a badly run campaign who talks more about his kids than any actual policy.
However, he is BETTER THAN TRUMP. VOTE FOR HIM!
KAMALA HARRIS; Multiracial but mono-capitalist? Let me find a good article that explains how progressive Kamala is not.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Largely useless. Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Cozy with Wall Street, shady billionaires, tech tycoons and other oppressors of working people.
Still, way better than Republicans because they at least pay lip service to human rights etc.
COVID-19: Trump's criminal mishandling of the public health crisis caused by the pandemic, the economic fallout as a result of the public health crisis, his GOP Senate's determination to confirm a Supreme Court justice instead of dealing with the Dems to pass a Coronavirus relief bill to help the hurting millions cope with job loss and food insecurity, and his Fed's socialist backstopping of Wall Street so that the stock market can continue to soar while the Main Street economy sinks deeper into depression mean that Trump is badly damaged and will struggle to win the election EVEN with all the GOP-orchestrated voter suppression and Trump's voter intimidation tactics utilizing the white supremacist Proud Boys who are "standing by"...
US ELECTORATE: About 45% of them don't ever even bother to vote, they seem unaware or uncaring that the president they (don't) pick becomes the "most powerful person on Earth" and can therefore do nonsense everywhere in the world. Presumed by pundits to have extremely short-term memories i.e. Donald Trump can be incompetent and evil for five years but it only matters what he does in the last five days before the election on 3 November because that's what the voters will vote on. They are ill-informed because...
US MEDIA: It is very difficult to find good news coverage in the US. Cable so-called news shows whether on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC are mostly long on opinion, short on news. They are too often variations on the breathy talk show, The View. Good coverage can be found on PBS, NPR, Democracy Now. I will post links below to other good clips and articles as I find them. Funniest funny man covering Trump is Jimmy Kimmel (Ialthough not sure about his relationship with Guillermo)!
YOU!: Whether YOU are a US citizen or not, you can help get Democratic Senators and Biden, uninspiring as he is, elected. Let me rephrase that. You can help defeat Trump and Republican senators like Lindsey Graham. If you are not a US citizen, you cannot vote and you cannot donate money to any campaigns. However, you can, according to the Federal Election Commission, volunteer your time to help get candidates elected. At WTF can I do?, they provide various options like texting with swing state voters or amplifying strategic messages with your social media. Check it out! We can't survive another four years of the Tangerine Bully!
2020/OCTOBER SURPRISES: 7 October was the anniversary of the Access Hollywood tape coming out shortly followed by the Wikileaks from Hillary's campaign. This year has been a doozy! Who knows what kind of and how many October surprises will come up this year. Buckle your seat belt....we are all on this roller coaster for the foreseeable future...