Saturday, November 20, 2021

Why Future Elections Are In Peril In America

The practice of a peaceful transition of power has always been a hallmark of our democracy.

We took it for granted until Trump came along and shattered democratic norms and tried to steal the 2020 election.

Our society is staggering under the weight of angry white men pushing for a fascist state.

They have been emboldened by "stand your ground" and citizen's arrest laws, inspired by a conservative interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Stop the Steal is a Republican mantra based on a blatant lie. An open door to chaos. A reason to walk around in public armed with AR-15s to shoot unarmed citizens.

Angry white guys are a real problem today. They are encouraged by assholes like Sen. Lindsey Graham who warned, "We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term." 

Lee Drutman, a scholar who has studied political violence, recently told the New York Times;

"I have a hard time seeing how we have a peaceful 2024 election after everything that's happened now. I don't see the rhetoric turning down, I don't see the conflicts going away. I really do think it's hard to see how it gets better before it gets worse."

Fact: White male anger has become one of the most potent political forces in contemporary America.

It was that anger that helped an angry white guy win the White House.

We have enough problems with white male violence as it is. Mass shootings in the country are committed more often by angry white men than any other group.

Fact: There's more threats, more guns and more suspicion that the courts will go easy on white people who employ violence.

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial is the perfect example. He got away with killing two men and wounding another. This is the combustible mix that makes more violence almost inevitable.

What we're seeing is more justifications to carry a gun and use it in "self-defense." Somehow unarmed citizens have become the aggressors and the armed citizens who kill them are called heroes.

Our civilian population is already the most heavily armed in the world. Armed militias are getting bolder and organizing every day.

We have laws that not only protect white vigilantes but, in some cases, seem to encourage vigilantes. 

The anger generated by white guys is getting worse daily. A recent poll revealed that 30 percent of Republicans believe that violence is justified to save our country.

To be clear; it's the angry white men - not the black or brown men - who pose the most dangerous threat to democracy in America today.

It's those angry white men who will cause chaos in 2024, challenging our once-cherished peaceful transition of power.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Build Back Better Act Passes House: The Challenge Ahead

House Democrats notched another legislative victory when they passed the sweeping $1.9 trillion bill last night.

The massive economic legislation is a key pillar of Biden's domestic agenda that will dramatically expand social services for Americans, work to mitigate the climate crisis, and increase access to health care to families and children.

But a major hurdle lies ahead. The bill has to get through the Senate where Democrats will have to contend with blue dog Joe Manchin's personal agenda to get the necessary 50 votes under the budget process they're using to pass the legislation without GOP support.

It's hard to see where this is going to end up. Manchin has no morals or conscience as he protects his energy company by swatting down any suggestions of cutting back on coal use.

Manchin is also enjoying his new found power by challenging almost every aspect of the ground-breaking legislation.

If Biden can pull off appeasing Manchin it's going to be a major victory for all Americans. Let's hope one man doesn't stop progress for the whole country.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Good News: Oil Prices Pull Back from Highs

The pressure is starting to lift.

The tempest of surging gasoline prices is calming down and American drivers are soon in for a break.

There's four reasons this is happening.

1) President Biden had a chat with Chinese President XI Jinping a couple of days ago and the subject was about releasing millions of gallons of oil on the market.

Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at the consultancy Rystad Energy, reported that the biggest factor driving prices right now is the expected release of strategic reserves from the US and China. 

2) OPEC is also steadily ramping up output.

3) This week West Texas Intermediate futures, the US benchmark for oil prices, and Brent futures, the global benchmark, are now trading at their lowest levels in six weeks on signals that supply constraints could begin to ease soon.

4) In the United States, prices fell sharply yesterday after oil inventories at a key hub in Cushing, Oklahoma rose for the first time in weeks.

Needless to say this is good news for the whole country. That includes President Biden and the Democratic party which has been hammered by the far right for the high gas prices lately.

There's no doubt that Republicans will continue to try and make gas prices a wedge issue, but the facts will soon destroy that fiction as the prices go down.

Finally I think kudos are due for President Biden whose diplomacy is getting us through these tough times.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Republicans Ramp Up Revenge Politics While Anticipating A House Takeover in 2022

Trump and his cult (formerly known as the Republican party) are gambling on revenge to regain power in Washington D.C.

(UPDATE Photo: Paul Gosar censored and kicked off of Congressional committees today.)

They're still pissed off that they lost the last two elections and that Trump was impeached twice. 

Payback politics is motivating the hard right-wing to defy facts and established laws to pursue fictional crusades against the evil democrats.

When one of their members get in trouble - regardless of the crime - Trumplicans surround them with a protective wall of bullshit spewed from alt-right media like Fox News and Newsmax.

Trump and his minions were furious that former White House advisor Steve Bannon was indicted for contempt of Congress this week.

They were even more outraged when word got out that Paul Gosar will have to pay the price for threatening to kill AOC. The House voted today to censor him and kick him off of two committees.

Taking it as an act of war, the lunatic fringe, led by Lauren Boebert, threatened retaliation. Crazy "Gym" Jordan gloated that the Biden administration will spend the rest of its time under subpoena if he and his fellow servants for Trump win the House next year.

In summary, dangerous extremists like Gosar can literally do no wrong in the party of Trump. If anything, he's burnished his crazy creds. He may even get a medal made up by the great leader himself.

The Trump cult is having wet dreams of revenge, and the circus Congress will become when they regain power in the House. 

As Trump's acolytes plan revenge against the Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill last week, they continue to spread the Big Lie.

The thing is, Democrats have had to take matters into their own hands, just like they did with Marjorie Taylor Greene. Death threats against a fellow Congressmen cannot be ignored for obvious reasons.

Perhaps the most galling thing about Bannon and Gosar's cases is that both will raise funds from them, and they'll get elevated in the eyes of extremists everywhere.

The absence of any political ideology, or future plans for the country doesn't bother those minions who are riding the Trump train bent on revenge and creating a fascist state.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Why It's OK To Laugh At Cable TV Hosts Who Are Just Plain Stupid

Good day to you. I once read that laughter is the best medicine. It's true.

Some of the funniest things I've seen lately has come from right-wing TV hosts. Forget about those late night comedians.

People like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham are natural comedians clothed in the guise of TV hosts.

Let's take the latest exchange from one of Laura Ingraham's shows as an example.

Laura had a guest on, author Raymond Arroyo, when a scene out of Abbott and Costello's "Whose on First" routine rolled out.

Arroyo was talking about a Netflix show called "You" when the conversation took a turn for the ludicrous.

Arroyo: "I was watching an episode of You, where measles came up."  

Ingraham then interrupted and asked when she had mentioned measles on her show? A patient Arroyo reiterated that You was a show on Netflix.

But she wasn't done yet. When Arroyo went on to talk about the show she interrupted again to declare she had never done a show on measles vaccines.

"I don't know what your talking about. Raymond, I have never had measles. This is stupid," Ingraham huffed, clearly baffled.

Arroyo finally lost his patient and repeated "You, it is called You."

That made the right-wing host pause and ask if there was a show on Netflix called Laura Ingraham?

It was enough for Arroyo who gave up and tried to talk about something different like the singer Adele.

Millions of viewers of this episode took to social media to express their amusement at the interaction.

Cable TV hosts are competing with the late night comedy shows and frankly, they're even funnier. 

So it's Ok to laugh at them, even though they are trying to act serious or informed.

It's tough trying to find something to laugh about during this pandemic, but if we keep our laugh channels open... there's something funny everywhere you look.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Defiant Cockroach Steve Bannon Booked and Released on Contempt of Congress Charges: Arraignment Set For Thursday

Cockroaches are known for their ability to survive regardless of how bad conditions are.

Steve Bannon is the human equivalent of a cockroach surviving court battles and felonies with the help of Trump and his cult.

The fact is Bannon has set himself up as an anti-American rabble-rouser with no conscience or moral direction. He hates America. The proof is in the pudding.

When Bannon had to surrender to authorities this morning for contempt of Congress he was unrepentant for his roll in the Jan. 6 coup attempt. 

Smirking like a jerk he told assembled reporters "we're taking down the Biden regime" as he was led away to lockup.

Bannon has been charged with one count related to his refusal to appear for a deposition and another related to his refusal to produce documents to the Jan. 6 House committee.

Each count carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail.

Shortly before turning himself in he went on social media and told his supporters to "stay focused."

His defiant declaration "I don't want people to take their eye off the ball from what we do every day, OK?" set the tone for more resistance ahead.

Normally something like these serious charges would be a black mark on a person, but for Bannon it could be an opportunity for martyrdom in the twisted world we currently live in.

Particularly galling is the fact that Bannon will try to use the courts - with constant stays and appeals - to run the clock out in hopes of a Republican midterm sweep in the House.

It's not a good sign that Bannon is appearing before a Trump appointed judge. The orange wannabe monarch managed to infect our judicial system from the federal courts to the Supreme Court during his presidency.

What are the chances Bannon will pay for his deeds?

I'm not a betting man, but I fear they're not really good. He's going to use his arrest as a fundraiser and is going to be more popular than ever with right-wing activists.

Cockroaches like Bannon want to see our country become an authoritarian regime. Right now he's doing his best to achieve that goal. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

SNL's "Ted Cruz Street" Laughs Continue Here

(Sen. Ted Cruz (Aidy Bryant) introduces Burt and Ernie, 'the Proud Boys,' (Alex Moffatt and Mikey Day) on his version of Sesame Street or 'Ted Cruz Street.'NBC)

If you watched Saturday Night Live's
skit mocking Sen. Ted Cruz's verbal assault against Sesame Street's Big Bird, you'd probably like the laughs to continue.

I'll do my best.

The skit introduced a series of characters who populate Cruz's neighborhood. From Marjorie Taylor Greene to Joe Rogan, the right-wing universe was well-represented.

An new episode on Ted Cruz Street:

Cruz, wearing a MAGA hat, appears before a group of children with MAGA hats on.

"Isn't it the greatest thing to be on the MAGA Team where we all get to defy reality daily?"

Cheers from the group of six-year old's.

"Today I'm going to explain why we all should worship Donald Trump - who is actually still the president." 

Cut to commercial.

More scenes I'd like to see;

Ted Cruz's big adventure in Cancun, Mexico where he encounters Paul Gosar in drag hiding from summon servers. 

The zany duo is spotted on the beach strolling along wearing "bandana hammocks" and stalking underage girls.

Another new Ted Cruz Street episode:

Correcting History in MAGA classroom

"Let's start off with debunking the rumor that the South lost the Civil War. The Confederacy still blooms in red states as proof.

"Regardless of what the libtards say, the Bowling Green massacre did happen. And Kellyanne Conway should get a reward for speaking up about the incident.

"The 1950's were the good old days when people knew their place in society.

"That's all for today kids... make sure to pick up your MAGA coloring books and videos showing Democrats trying to destroy our democracy."

Cut to commercial

The show concludes with a shot of Ted Cruz lumbering along through the streets of his district leading a herd of sheep. The message is clear; a wolf in sheep's clothing shall lead them to the bottom of the rabbit hole.

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