…come, oh ye prateful [DOT 13/1/22]

faith, dopes & clarity...

…so…you can call it a bunch of things…hypocrisy tends to be one of the ones I come back to…but lying works…most places, anyway…I’ll come back to that part…but it seems like for entirely too many people “politics as usual” means the same thing…

A Republican member of Congress drew swift condemnation Wednesday after comparing D.C.’s upcoming vaccine mandate to Nazi Germany — marking the latest instance in which a GOP lawmaker has chosen to compare measures intended to quell a public health emergency to Nazi practices that culminated in the genocide of millions of Jews.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/01/12/davidson-dc-vaccine-mandate-nazi/

…sure is funny how the “fuck your feelings” mob always seem to identify as the victims…although I seldom seem to feel like laughing

Former president Donald Trump abruptly ended an interview with NPR on Tuesday after he was pressed on his baseless claims of election fraud and repeated contention that the 2020 election was “rigged” against him.
[…]
Trump hung up on “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep nine minutes into what NPR said was scheduled to be a 15-minute interview that was broadcast Wednesday.
[…]
Pressed on why most U.S. senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have not backed his election fraud claims, Trump replied, “Because Mitch McConnell is a loser.”
[…]
During the interview, Trump also repeated an argument that Biden could not have won the election because he drew only modest crowds on the campaign trail.

“How come Biden couldn’t attract 20 people for a crowd?” Trump asked. “How come when he went to speak in different locations, nobody came to watch, but all of a sudden, he got 80 million votes? Nobody believes that, Steve. Nobody believes that.”

“If you’ll forgive me, maybe because the election was about you,” Inskeep responded.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-npr-interview/2022/01/12/story.html

…not to mention the part where it often seems like they seem to spend quite a lot of time being threatened by one another

On Wednesday, the committee’s chairman pointed to another area of inquiry with both potential criminal implications and an interesting backstory: witness tampering.

In the panel’s letter asking for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) to voluntarily cooperation with the committee, Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) notes that McCarthy’s review of Trump’s role in the events of Jan. 6 shifted over time, eventually becoming much more favorable to the former president.
[…]
“Your public statements regarding January 6th have changed markedly since you met with Trump,” Thompson wrote. “At that meeting, or at any other time, did President Trump or his representatives discuss or suggest what you should say publicly, during the impeachment trial (if called as a witness), or in any later investigation about your conversations with him on January 6th?”
[…]
Trump also has a history of doing things that certainly at least walk up to the line of witness tampering, including a tweet attacking former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch even as she testified at his earlier impeachment, and attacks on Michael Cohen invoking Cohen’s family after the former personal attorney for Trump flipped on him. Yovanovitch called Trump’s tweet “very intimidating” in her testimony, while Cohen postponed his own testimony, citing Trump’s “threats.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/12/jan-6-committee-broaches-trump-witness-tampering/

…which is pretty strange when you consider their approach to…you know…actual threats

One of the most indelible — and ultimately telling — moments of the early coronavirus pandemic came in late February 2020. A top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the spread of the virus was “inevitable.”

“It’s not a question of if this will happen, but when this will happen, and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses,” Nancy Messonnier said. The comment caused a blowup at the White House and among top administration officials, who had to account for President Donald Trump’s consistent desire to downplay the threat during his reelection campaign. Then-Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar would later acknowledge that Messonnier had been “right.”

On Tuesday, nearly two years later, came another such plainly stated and significant warning of what lies ahead in the pandemic: for most people, an infection.

“I think it’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now,” said Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, “which is most people are going to get covid.”
[…]
“What we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, you know, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens,” she said. “I think after that will be a good time to reassess how we’re approaching this pandemic.”

Woodcock’s projection might not be terribly surprising, given the number of daily positive tests rising to record levels. On Monday, the seven-day average reached more than 760,000, meaning about 1 in every 60 Americans has tested positive in the last week alone. (And that’s probably a significant undercount, given the mildness of many omicron cases and the availability of at-home tests.) A study released about four months ago — before the rise of the unprecedentedly infectious omicron variant — estimated that 31 percent of the U.S. population had already been infected even by that point.

Woodcock’s comment also came shortly after a World Health Organization official warned the same day that Europe could see more than 50 percent of its population infected over the next six to eight weeks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/11/most-people-are-going-get-covid-momentous-warning-senate-hearing/

…it’s almost as though they are the threat

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer prepared Democrats on Wednesday for the final phase of a year-long push to pass voting rights legislation, sketching out legislative maneuvers that could launch debate on a pair of stalled bills and force a confrontation over the Senate’s rules in the coming days.

Biden made that case publicly in an address he delivered in Atlanta on Tuesday, when he said the Senate “has been rendered a shell of its former self” and compared the present Republican opposition to the blockades mounted against civil rights bills in the Jim Crow era. He is scheduled to visit a Senate Democratic lunch Thursday in order to press his case directly with lawmakers.
[…]
Schumer, in the memo, said launching a formal floor debate this week “sets up a process in which Senators can finally make clear to the American people where they stand on protecting our democracy and preserving the right of every eligible American to cast a ballot.”

“With this procedure, we will finally have an opportunity to debate voting rights legislation — something that Republicans have thus far denied,” he said. “Of course, to ultimately end debate and pass the voting rights legislation, we will need 10 Republicans to join us — which we know from past experience will not happen — or we will need to change the Senate rules as has been done many times before.”
[…]
Said Schumer in the memo, “If the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same? In the coming days, we will most likely confront this sobering question — together.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-voting-rights-schumer/2022/01/12/story.html

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that President Joe Biden‘s speech about changing the filibuster to ease passage of voting rights bills was “profoundly unpresidential.”

“I have known, liked and personally respected Joe Biden for many years,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “I did not recognize the man at the podium yesterday.”

In a long-awaited speech about voting rights Tuesday, Biden framed voting rights as an issue that has historically received bipartisan support and accused Senate Republicans of lacking the “courage to stand up to a defeated president to protect the right to vote.”

Republican obstruction, he said, has left Democrats with “no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this.”

McConnell called Biden’s speech a “rant” that was “incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mcconnell-calls-biden-s-voting-rights-speech-profoundly-unpresidential

…which seems, shall we say, a little strange…considering

While most Republicans remain staunchly opposed to the latest version of the voting rights bill, historically the issue has been largely bipartisan. The original Voting Rights Act of 1965 was approved by a 77-19 vote in the Senate, with 30 Republicans in favor. Subsequent amendments to the Voting Rights Act were also approved in a bipartisan manner.

The most recent reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 was passed unanimously in the Senate, and 10 of the Republicans who voted in favor are still serving: Richard Burr, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Jim Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Richard Shelby and John Thune.

https://thefulcrum.us/Government/Congress/voting-rights-advancement-act

…so…what do you suppose might have ruffled mitch’s feathers in that speech of biden’s?

…maybe that hurt his feelings…I mean…he did vote for voting rights in the past…even if he did then vote to strike them down again later on…but at the end of the day it’s not even clear that it would hurt their attempts to make a mockery of the concept even if they did nominally support them again

Neither of the voting rights bills, nor the emerging bipartisan effort to reform the Electoral Count Act, is sure to close off some of the most probable avenues for election subversion.

While the various legislative paths might protect access to voting or hold the promise of clarifying how Congress counts electoral votes, the proposals are largely silent on a crucial time frame — the period between the polls closing in November to January, when Congress gathers to count electoral votes. This is when election administrators go about the once routine business of counting and certifying election results.

Many analysts believe the electoral process may be at its most vulnerable during this period, when the actions of even a handful of officials could precipitate a constitutional crisis. The risks were evident after the last election, when former President Donald J. Trump and his allies relentlessly sought to persuade election officials to refuse to certify results or invalidate ballots. Virtually no election administrators joined Mr. Trump’s effort. A friendlier voice might answer the phone the next time a president calls a secretary of state in search of another 11,000 votes.

Yet the arcane workings of tabulating and certifying the vote have received less attention, whether in legislative proposals or in the news media, than the spectacle of violence at the Capitol or the wave of new Republican laws to restrict voting access.
[…]
In contrast to the Democratic voting rights bills, an attempt to reform the Electoral Count Act — the 1887 law that established the procedures for counting electoral votes — might be more likely to more directly address the risk of an intentional campaign to reverse the result of a certified election in Congress.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/12/us/politics/biden-voting-rights-speech-election-subversion.html

…although it’s worth noting they seem happy enough to vote for things that are largely symbolic

The Senate has passed a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to Emmett Till, the Chicago teenager murdered by white supremacists in the 1950s, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who insisted on an open casket funeral to demonstrate the brutality of his killing.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-passes-bill-honor-emmett-till-his-mother

…it’s more your clear & present dangers that they seem to have trouble doing anything about mitigating

Omicron may cause milder symptoms in some people, but its effects are ricocheting throughout America and creating some of the greatest challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have supply shortages, we have transportation shortages, that are a result of people being out because of Covid, and especially Omicron being so infectious. And that is obviously limiting the workforce, and limiting the workforce is creating some of the havoc that we’re all experiencing,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, vice-provost at the University of Pennsylvania.
[…]
“The economy cannot stay open and schools cannot stay open when so many people are getting sick,” said Margaret Thornton, an educational researcher at Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. “We must take action to slow the spread in order to keep schools running, to keep businesses running,” she said – but much of that action has been slow to happen.
[…]
Health workers have spoken out on social media about being asked to volunteer to restock supplies and answer phones, or to volunteer in housekeeping, food service and transportation. One resident physician was reportedly asked to work as a scrub tech – a job they never trained for, and were not paid for. Meanwhile, nurses in New York are stretched so thin, there are parts of facilities where no one is scheduled to monitor patients.
[…]
There are also fewer hospitals now than when the pandemic began, particularly in rural areas. In 2020, 19 rural hospitals closed – the most in one year since 2005, when data first began being collected.

Omicron is also responsible for staff shortages in nursing homes. That leads to facilities limiting the number of new patient admissions – and a backup in hospitals among patients who could transition to a lower level of care.

Childcare facilities are also facing rising cases and staff shortages. Daycares were already strained, with some centers losing up to 90% of workers as of December. According to Cindy Lehnhoff, director of the National Childcare Association, “catastrophic” shortages have hit about 80% of centers across the country, leading to closures and long wait lists.

Schools have also struggled to remain in-person. “It’s chaos. It’s complete chaos,” Thornton said. In Philadelphia, for example, 98 schools have now gone virtual, she said. “There truly are just not enough grownups who are well enough to be in the building.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/12/us-omicron-cases-effects-schools-supply-shortage-hospitals

…it can be tricky to keep straight, I guess

…but…in the grand tradition of the internet…you can always have it explained via cats

…I want to say there’s a word for that…can’t think what it might be?

…I think we can agree, though, that saying one thing & doing another…particularly something that seems to be the exact fucking opposite…is…not a good look

Johnson apologized Wednesday in the House of Commons as he fought to save his leadership from a growing scandal around a number of reported parties he and his staff held during Covid lockdown.
[…]
After revelations about the May 2020 party led to intensifying calls for him to resign, Johnson confirmed Wednesday that he did attend the gathering of about 40 people but said he felt it was a work event. His apology and attempt at an explanation were met with incredulous jeers from opposition lawmakers.
[…]
At that time Johnson’s government had imposed a strict lockdown that meant people were only allowed to meet one other person from outside their household, while schools, pubs and nonessential shops were closed.
[…]
The rules were enforced by law and the Metropolitan Police said Monday it was in contact with the government over the allegations.

Johnson has ordered a senior civil servant to investigate allegations surrounding the party and other reported gatherings of government officials while the country was under lockdown.

A Downing St. spokesperson said Tuesday that “the ongoing investigation will be looking at these questions and it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further while that work is ongoing.”
[…]
By May 2020 nearly 35,000 people had died in the U.K., including 328 on the day of the “bring your own booze” party. Many died in nursing homes, where loved ones were not permitted to visit and where staff struggled with a lack of tests and personal protective equipment. Even funerals had strict attendance limits.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/uk-prime-minister-boris-johnson-fighting-premiership-covid-party-scandal

…& here’s the thing…there’s a bunch of other stuff that’s going on which you could call real news…whether it’s the shit the tories are up to that was characterized as pretty much an authoritarian power grab in that thing I quoted the other day…or the precarious standing of the talks between NATO & russia…or the thorny topic of inflation & the difference between the health of the economy & the strain being felt on individual pocketbooks…or…if you’re so inclined…the whole thing about how poor little prince andrew might really have to go to court…& since his dear old mum won’t stump up for the costs any more he’s had to sell his swiss chalet…or the part where in order to do that he first had to find the 5 million final installment to actually finish buying the thing for the price he & his ex agreed to pay for it…which maybe gives an unfortunate indication of what a certain sort of person thinks of the concept of “paid in full”…but I’ll be honest…I’m too damn pissed off about the boris thing…in fact I’m that pissed off that I thought about trying to get a headstart on this last night & decided not to because I’d have been up all night getting angry & typing…so I figured I’d sleep on it & try to keep things in proportion…but you know what…it’s today now…& I’m still that fucking angry…& I’ve had time to think about it a bit…& it’s not so much the actual party part that I’m angry about…we already heard about others…& the whole barnard castle business made it pretty clear these assholes didn’t think their own rules applied to themselves…so…why am I so angry?

Boris Johnson went into the House of Commons on Wednesday and apologized. And wiggled. And apologized some more — amid shouts from the opposition that he is a liar and should resign […]

In his long life in journalism and politics, as a freewheeling columnist at the Telegraph, as backslapping London mayor and now prime minister during a deadly pandemic, Johnson has faced repeated challenges to his veracity — about his newspaper articles, his romantic affairs, his cocaine use, his assurances to the queen and, most recently, his solicitation for donations to pay for the renovation of his flat.
[…]
On Wednesday, under tremendous pressure from his own Conservative Party, he came clean.

“I want to apologize,” Johnson began, in the packed chamber. “I know millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months. I know the anguish that they have been through, unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want or to do the things they love. And I know the rage they feel with me, and with the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself, they think the rules are not being followed by the people who make the rules.”
[…]
Staring down the prime minister, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, said, “that apology was pretty worthless, wasn’t it?”
[…]
“So we have the prime minister attending Downing Street parties, a clear breach of the rules. We got the prime minister putting forward a series of ridiculous denials, which he knows are untrue, a clear breach of the ministerial code. That code says: ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation.”

To these many calls from the opposition to resign, Johnson simply said that he would “certainly respond as appropriate” once an investigation by the career civil servant, Sue Gray, has been made — freeing him from responding to many of the angry lawmakers’ questions.

According to Adam Wagner, a human rights lawyer and commentator, Johnson’s apology was carefully worded to make it clear that he didn’t realize the event was a social gathering.

“The apology — when read carefully — was to the millions of people who ‘wouldn’t see it in that way,’” he tweeted. “This is very much about his personal liability — he is implicitly denying he knew what the event was, had seen the email or had anything to do with it. Because here’s the key point: on the wording of email (‘bring your own booze’) this couldn’t technically have been a work event.”
[…]
Voters who elected him knew that he was once fired from the Times of London for fabricating a quote. He was also sacked from a post in the Conservative Party after he lied about having an affair, calling the allegations “an inverted pyramid of piffle.” A YouGov poll from the day he became prime minister showed that many thought he was strong and likable but also untrustworthy and dishonest.

Tim Bale, a politics professor from Queen Mary, University of London, tweeted, “You can’t fall from grace when there’s no grace to fall from.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/12/boris-johnson-downing-street-apology/

…so…in terms of that apology “when read carefully”…here it is

Mr Speaker, I want to apologise. I know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months.

I know the anguish that they have been through – unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want, or do the things they love.

And I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.

And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility.

No 10 is a big department with the garden as an extension of the office – which has been in constant use because of the role of fresh air in stopping the virus.

And when I went into that garden just after six on the 20th of May 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event.

But, Mr Speaker, with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside, I should have found some other way to thank them, and I should have recognised that even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way.

People who suffered terribly, people who were forbidden from meeting loved ones at all, inside or outside.

And to them and to this House [of Commons], I offer my heartfelt apologies.

And all I ask is that Sue Gray be allowed to complete her inquiry into that day and several others, so that the full facts can be established. And I will of course come back to this House and make a statement.

In full: Boris Johnson’s apology over lockdown drinks party [BBC]

…& why is it that even the BBC referring to it as “in full” makes me feel just increasingly angry?

…because full is literally the last thing it is…you don’t even have to really think about it all that hard…if you “have learned enough to know there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility” then there’s only one reason to preface that with “though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry”…& that’s because you don’t want to accidentally do something now that it might later turn out you could have gotten away with not doing if you ran it through the usual delaying action so that you could be told you hadn’t officially done anything so bad that there ought to be any consequences for you…& handily the same method of delaying things pretty much works for putting off the police from looking into the part where you (& a bunch of people in your garden) broke the law you’d all imposed on everyone…except apparently yourselves…apparently that passes for “taking responsibility”…provided you’re in the house of commons…where it’s literally against the rules to call a lying bastard a liar

…you literally can’t say that across the dispatch box…even if it’s fucking true

…but kier starmer is a lawyer…or was…& generally agreed to be a pretty good one…so he managed to get it in

…as it happens I think GBNews is basically Fox News (UK)…but I can’t be arsed to take the time to find another version of the clip

…but the last 10secs or so of that clip is the part where he says “can’t the prime minister see why the british public think he’s lying through his teeth”…because, see, he isn’t calling boris a mealy-mouthed lying ass…no…he’s merely pointing out that out there in the wild a lot of voters are…but I’m not even sure that’s the part that has me this pissed off…it’s more the logic that the non-apology routine implies should somehow be acceptable

…I can’t offer a neat little tree-diagram to parse it out…so forgive me if this gets a little garbled…but let’s give it a go

…the invite to this thing went out to 100 or so people…of which three dozen or so showed up to the garden out back of downing st…the one that is essentially boris’ personal garden…& it was sent by a guy whose job title is “principal private secretary”…but when he wandered into his own garden to find several dozen people drinking amid tables of snacks boris supposedly “believed implicitly that this was a work event” & even now considers that “it could be said technically to fall within the guidance”…”guidance”, mind you…a term that rather underplays the part where it was being legally enforced to the point that (as was pointed out yesterday)

…or the part where his neighbor would be the chancellor…who actually lives at 10 downing st…& thus far seems to have been awfully quiet on the subject of this whole tell-don’t-show routine about the need to “take responsibility”…but leaving that aside

…it doesn’t take much of a stretch to believe boris might routinely ignore emails sent by his principal private secretary…but he figured out there were people out there…& he went to join them…at which point he “believed implicitly that this was a work event”…which surely suggests that somehow people drinking & snacking in considerable numbers is simply not outside the norm for the folks working at downing st…as though they’re adopting a “mad men” approach to office norms…that would be insulting enough as a thing to be expected to believe…but to come back to that part about taking responsibility

…he’s said that before…about a remarkably similar thing

“I take responsibility for everything that happens in this government and I have throughout the pandemic.”

…& what was he talking about?

…that was a different party to the one that’s making headlines at the moment…one that (rather like the other one as far as I know) allegra stratton didn’t attend…though in both cases boris did

…& what did that lady say about that?

“The British people have made immense sacrifices in the battle against Covid 19. I now fear that my comments in the leaked video of 20 December may have become a distraction against that fight,” she said.

“My remarks seemed to make light of the rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey. That was never my intention. I will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and offer my profound apologies to all of you for them.”
[…]
“I understand the anger and frustration that people feel. To all of you who lost loved ones, endured intolerable loneliness and struggled with your businesses – I am sorry and this afternoon I have offered my resignation to the prime minister.”

…& that’s where that previous quote of his came from

Boris Johnson told a coronavirus press briefing on Wednesday that Stratton had been an “outstanding spokeswoman … I am very sorry to lose her”. But he added: “I take responsibility for everything that happens in this government and I have throughout the pandemic.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/dec/08/allegra-stratton-leaves-cop26-role-after-no-10-christmas-party-video

…that’s what taking responsibility looks like to this bloviating asshole…other people, who didn’t actually do the thing that he himself did, taking the consequences & losing their job…on a basis that apparently gave him no grounds upon which to refuse to accept their resignation…seriously…you couldn’t make it up

…in fact…I’m going to give up at this point…so here’s more from john crace

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/12/boris-johnsons-best-party-excuse-is-hes-even-dimmer-than-we-feared

…& I’ll try to hunt out a few tunes in a bit

[…& finally…because I was late seeing last night’s DUAN & I feel like it’s appropriate]

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44 Comments

      • It is! And I meant to add that @mayorseidel (who lobbed that very pertinent tweet back at Lori de Blasio Lightfoot, sorry, can’t keep lousy big-city mayors straight anymore) is a reference to Emil Seidel, who was the first Socialist mayor in America, elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1910. In 1912 he ran as the VP candidate on the Socialist Party ticket in that year’s Presidential campaign. At the top of the ticket was Eugene Debs. They got 6% of the vote but no Electoral votes.

  1. It’s always so aggravating that shit like this blows up into a major scandal but the dozens of considerably worse things that BoJo (or Trump, or Bolsinaro, or -fill in your favorite right-wing lout-) has done just get swept aside because it’s either more complicated and the media feels like it can’t explain it well or it’s normalized as “politics.”

    Obviously, I hope this takes Johnson down! But the problem is we know what comes next: The next government will also get taken down over something stupid and ultimately sort of unrelated to what they’re doing in the job, good or bad! I think Keir Starmer is about as appealing as wet spinach, but should he ascend to a higher post, you just know whatever he does in power will be taken down because, I dunno, he warmed water for tea in a microwave instead of a kettle or whatever.

    • It’s always so aggravating that shit like this blows up into a major scandal but the dozens of considerably worse things that BoJo (or Trump, or Bolsinaro, or -fill in your favorite right-wing lout-) has done just get swept aside

      …this part…this part all day long…this is basically theatre…& all the while behind layers of dry & boring detail there’s worse going unremarked

      …I’d be lying if I claimed the theatre part doesn’t make me all kinds of angry…but one of those kinds is being angry that I know my being angry about it is part of what lets them get away with shit I ought to be even more angry about…which makes me angry…&…I may have stumbled upon a mechanism to enable perpetual motion…sadly in a direction I don’t think anyone should be headed?

    • Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB QC may get his chance. The latest poll (YouGov I think) shows Labour with 38% and the Tories with 28%, Lib-Dem 13, Green 7, Reform UK 4, and two or three others. Something like 2/3 of Britain thinks Johnson should resign but normally a person or a party couldn’t care less. What they do care about is a slip in the polls like this (down five in the last week) so I’d be willing to bet we’ll be saying hello to Prime Minister Sunak very soon.

      • Maybe the Lib Dems are finally shaking off the damage Nick Clegg did to them? You wonder if they would have been better able to fight Brexit if Clegg hadn’t left them gutted.

          • What if, what if? Anti-Brexit only needed to swing a couple of percent to eke out a win, and there wasn’t a credible party leader really fighting it.

            Allthough it’s always a good question what might have mattered once Murdoch signed on.

            • …don’t get me wrong…I wish like anything that vote had gone the other way…or that the fact farage was on the record about a margin that thin (when he thought it might be the other way around) wouldn’t have been enough to call the issue settled had actually mattered when it came for the politicians who said they were against it having the courage of those convictions when there was scope to challenge what actually involved & time to reconsider

              …but even under those circumstances I’m not sure the lib-dems would have been enough to make the difference even in the best shape they’ve ever been in…not in terms of actual parliamentary influence…& probably not in terms of traction with the public?

        • The tremor that preceded the current earthquake at No. 10 was last December, when the Conservative MP for North Shropshire resigned, dogged by his own scandal (spent more time on other better-paying jobs.) The Cons parachuted in a perfectly fine candidate but for first time in something like a century the electorate didn’t come out for the Tory and the Lib-Dem won. They might be on the upswing.

          • …that was certainly encouraging…but the part I wouldn’t bet on was that they’d have had a shot at fending off brexit if they hadn’t wound up as a scapegoat in coalition back in the “I agree with nick” era

            …& to be honest the odds of any party beating out both labour & the conservatives to win a general election & for a government of some other flavor are vanishingly slim…so probably not what you’d call a wise bet…even if “the chance’d be a fine thing”?

            • I don’t think the Lib-Dems would ever form a government on their own (mind you, I’m an American observing all this from afar) but I think they could rise again, like in those hopeful Cameron-Clegg days. Went down like the Hindenburg, obviously, but Cameron is raking it in sitting on boards and charging for speeches, oddly enough, and Clegg is the widely ridiculed Vice-President, Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook.

              Facebook is really the Lifeboat of the Damned. One of Andrew Cuomo’s consiglieri wound up there and devoted lots of energy on “messaging” for him (Cuomo) when all the scandals erupted and not so much for her nominal employer.

  2. This is the last thing I’m going to add about Cheese-and-Winegate.

    The Principal Private Secretary is named Martin Reynolds. He has been dubbed “Party Marty” because not only did he organize the BYOB blowout, he organized others. He was suggesting them quite frequently. At one point in early 2021 he thought it would be a good idea to throw a going away party for someone and staff at No. 10 finally convinced him to knock it off. I think he tried again once or twice. He was once Britain’s Ambassador to Libya, where I doubt there was much partying going on, although Khaddafi probably had a pretty good time for a while.

    He’s only 53 and wiki doesn’t mention whether he’s married or otherwise partnered off, so maybe like many lonely people who are single (our single friends don’t seem lonely at all; quite the opposite) he sought a social life with coworkers who sometimes can’t avoid him.

  3. I wish the Washington Post and other outlets would stop narrowcasting the GOP’s antisemitism as antivax related and open up to the real issue — the GOP is increasingly, openly antisemitic. Trump’s talk about Jews running the NY Times and Congress has nothing to do with vaccines, nor does the Q-N-N movement’s antisemitism that most of the GOP accepts.

    I’ve bashed NPR a lot in the past, but the Trump interview was done right. There seem to be at least some glimmers of reality at the network recently. I think oldline management there is feeling pressure at last from newer staff.

    In terms of good news, the Ohio State Supreme Court tossed the GOP’s gerrymander as violating the state constitutional amendment passed by voter referendum. We’ll see how the squirrelling goes.

    • …in the sense that it isn’t going to make a material difference to the lives of most anyone that isn’t andrew…not so much

      …but in the sense that it’s basically saying he’s defunct as a royal…& not the way harry “stepped back” from that sort of thing but in the sense of being toxic to the brand…yeah…it kind of is a big deal?

      • I find the timing suspicious in light of Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction. I suspect Ms. Maxwell is negotiating for a lighter sentence by throwing … well, dude named Andrew? … under the bus. Possibly along with others. Wonder if Trump or even Bill Clinton is breaking a sweat right now?

         

        EDIT: I see RIP reached the same conclusion in his comment below.

      • …nah…that was a tweet quoting the BBC…you went with the source, so to speak…so no harm, no foul & all that…plus otherwise I might have missed the last part

        will continue not to undertake any public duties

        …for royal-speak that sounds remarkably like “just to be absolutely clear that we already basically disavowed this one – we just want to emphasize that”…or to put it another way…once more for the cheap seats

        and is defending this case as a private citizen

        …& speaking of the cheap seats…I know nothing else in this brief communication referred to his legal woes…but in case it wasn’t obvious…if he goes to trial…that’s not a prince on trial…that’s just a “very naughty boy”…who may or may not be shit out of luck but is oh, so very definitely on his fucking lonesome

        …at least that sure reads like some high grade royal shade coming the day after giuffre’s lawyer said she wouldn’t be up for just taking some money to keep it from going to trial?

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