…going nowhere [DOT 2/3/21]

& none too swiftly, at that...

…ever get that feeling like you’ve heard it all before?


“Under the guise of stopping a ‘deep state’ coup that never existed, Trump appears to have tried to create a deep state of his own,” said David Rohde, the author of the 2020 book “In Deep: The FBI, the CIA, and the Truth about America’s ‘Deep State’” and the executive editor of NewYorker.com. Rohde called that effort, if it had proceeded unfettered, “an existential threat to democracy.”
“Not to be hyperbolic, but the damage some of these people could do is enormous,” said Liz Hempowicz, the director of public policy at the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight.
“Our government has a phenomenally large and complex and diverse set of problems to address. A pandemic, an economic crisis, cyberattacks,” said Max Stier, CEO of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service.

“We have a system where a president gets to name any number of people to any number of jobs. But in so many cases, and certainly in the last administration, they’re not chosen for their ability. They are not the best and brightest.”



…so that doesn’t make this next chorus any pleasanter to contemplate

As Republican state lawmakers around the nation are working furiously to enact laws making it harder to vote, the Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear its most important election case in almost a decade, one that will determine what sort of judicial scrutiny those restrictions will face.

A Supreme Court Test for What’s Left of the Voting Rights Act [NYT]

The Supreme Court takes up a court fight Tuesday over voting rights in the battleground state of Arizona, and the outcome may affect how the nation’s courts resolve clashes over election laws in dozens of other states.

The case also will be a test of one of the most important civil rights laws — the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court significantly scaled back in 2013.

Two Arizona laws are at issue in the virtual oral arguments before the justices. One requires election officials to reject ballots cast in the wrong precincts. The other concerns voting by mail and provides that only the voter, a family member or a caregiver can collect and deliver a completed ballot.
But Arizona Democrats said the state has a history of switching polling places more often in minority neighborhoods and putting the polls in places intended to cause mistakes. Minorities move more often and are less likely to own homes, resulting in the need to change polling places, Democrats said.

Arizona far outpaces other states in discarding out-of-precinct ballots, rejecting 11 times more than the next-highest state. And minority voters are more likely to need help turning in their ballots, the challengers said. In many states where the practice is legal, community activists offer ballot collection to encourage voting.



In early February, a Brennan Center for Justice report detailed:

“Thus far this year, thirty-three states have introduced, prefiled, or carried over 165 bills to restrict voting access. These proposals primarily seek to: (1) limit mail voting access; (2) impose stricter voter ID requirements; (3) slash voter registration opportunities; and (4) enable more aggressive voter roll purges. These bills are an unmistakable response to the unfounded and dangerous lies about fraud that followed the 2020 election.”

On Feb. 24, the center updated its account to reveal that “as of February 19, 2021, state lawmakers have carried over, prefiled, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states.”
They can use all manner of euphemism to make it sound honorable, but it is not. This is an electoral fleecing in plain sight, one targeting people of color. We are watching another of history’s racist robberies. It’s grand larceny and, as usual, what is being stolen is power.


…why it’s almost like denying people their due

Senior Democrats abandon backup plan on $15 minimum wage [WaPo]

…& yeah, maybe I can follow the “political calculus” that gets you to the $15 thing not being a good fit for the relief bill…& even the logic that suggests it having a bill of its own to get voted on might allow for a better provision that would come into effect sooner than the one they seem to have ditched…but all the same it seems like saying so is a lot different from making so

The road back to normalcy is potholed with unknowns: how well vaccines prevent further spread of the virus; whether emerging variants remain susceptible enough to the vaccines; and how quickly the world is immunized, so as to halt further evolution of the virus.

But the greatest ambiguity is human behavior. Can Americans desperate for normalcy keep wearing masks and distancing themselves from family and friends? How much longer can communities keep businesses, offices and schools closed?

Covid-19 deaths will most likely never rise quite as precipitously as in the past, and the worst may be behind us. But if Americans let down their guard too soon — many states are already lifting restrictions — and if the variants spread in the United States as they have elsewhere, another spike in cases may well arrive in the coming weeks.


A man refused to mask up at a high school basketball game. Then he killed an officer who intervened, police say. [WaPo]

A Trader Joe’s employee called for stronger coronavirus measures. The company fired him. [WaPo]

…but I guess the news doesn’t have to be new to be news given how long it takes to work our way to the consequences part of a story

Scores of mourners gathered last week at a rural cemetery for a service to mark the first anniversary of the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was chased by a trio of white men and shot to death on a residential street.

Mr. Arbery’s killing, on a sunny afternoon in a suburban South Georgia neighborhood, drew widespread outrage when it happened, particularly with its evocation of the tortured racial history of the South. And together with the subsequent police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, his death has contributed to the national furor over shooting deaths of Black people and the wave of protests against systemic racism.
But the mourners also were steeling themselves for the possibility of more painful moments in the months to come, including a potentially explosive murder trial for the three men — Travis McMichael, who is accused of pulling the trigger; his father Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan, all of whom have been in custody in a Glynn County, Ga., jail since their arrests on murder, assault and other charges last May. If convicted, each faces life in prison without parole.


…so…where’s the good news…& why do I seem to have such trouble running into it?





…you know what?

…I haven’t had enough coffee to keep this up…& this post is due up in an hour or so…so for once I think maybe I won’t go on…well…today, anyway



  1. Let the GOP never forget that they could have been rid of cheeto but they dropped the ball.

  2. Update:
    After my friend told everyone that he was dying from cancer.   The stupid began… on social media (natch.)  I was told by another friend (we’ll call him Number 2) who witnessed it, a group of my dying friend’s friends (including my loathed ex housemate) felt that they should try to get power of attorney over him to keep him alive and get him any treatment (even though none of them are working.)  I thought Number 2 was joking, but these folks were serious.  I’ve talked to my dying friend enough to know that if the docs couldn’t cure him then he wanted to go peacefully.
    To compound the stupid, the former housemate being the insensitive clod he is, tried to involve someone who had watched her husband die of brain cancer a few years back.  I was stunned as Number 2 described this fiasco.  Personally, I would have told everyone involved to get fucked.  However, I think it is an emotional reaction so my urge to kick the shit out of everyone who thought this was a good idea is tempered a bit.  Also this is partially why I can’t stand my ex housemate/ex friend because he is quite the self centered asshole who tries to impose his own views on people and doesn’t concern himself with the actual feelings and wishes of those involved (only what he wants.)
    I want my dying friend to live more than anyone, but I’m also a realist especially about the nasty cancer he has (pancreatic).  I want my friend to go the way he wants not what others feel they should.
    Number 2 said he would take care of things instead of having me barge in to the group chat and blast every fucking idiot involved.  Also Number 2 didn’t want me to belt former housemate either.  So I calmed down a bit.  Very hard not to get angry/keep the temper in check as the emotions keep coming out as I try to deal with this.

    • Well…that sucks.  I can see where your friend made the calculus to not bother with the treatments.  Pancreatic cancer has an abysmally low survival rate.  Hopefully the laws in Canada aren’t particularly amenable to this kind of power of attorney grab.  I hope your friend is able to live out the rest of his time in relative peace and that you’re able to likewise grieve without also having to fight all the drama.

    • I’ve come to realize that one of the worst things people can do to each other is to try to force someone to live when they’re not able to do that. It’s invariably a selfish reaction that has everything to do with other people and not the patient.
      I went through it with my father-in-law, who had a massive stroke with major brain damage. Couldn’t swallow, couldn’t talk, little to no cognition. The palliative care doctor gently explained he wasn’t getting better, but it was too gentle for my ignorant and self-centered mother-in-law. My mother-in-law insisted on a feeding tube because he “had to get better to take care of her” (he was 94!) and “we just wanted to pull the plug.” He died 9 months later, miserable and alone because she wouldn’t visit him (“oh, it’s just too depressing — he doesn’t even know I’m there”) choking to death with pneumonia and probably undiagnosed COVID. He could’ve just gotten hospice care and floated away on a cloud of morphine but she put him through hell and we didn’t have the right to stop her. 
      I’m all for second and third opinions but if doctors agree someone won’t get better, they are not getting better. Try to make their passing as easy as possible. 

    • Wtf?! That’s some next level concern trolling. I commend you on being able to temper your rage.

    • I still think you should punch housemate. Maybe wait until friend passes? Then go to town. 

      • I’d love to, but former housemate is considered the sad puppy of the group so any violent action on my part would be not well received among “our” group of mutual friends (most of them aren’t idiots thankfully.)
        The power/economic disparity between us (I was the landlord, too) makes me the villain no matter what in this equation if I did hammer him (literally punching down.)
        And if you’re wondering what lead to me to feel this way about someone who was once a friend of mine?  It turns out, he was messing with my personal life behind my back.  Back a decade ago, I was a luddite who refused to get a cellphone (mostly because my supervisor at the time is a workaholic who loved to call at all hours) despite working in telecom!  Anyway, I was “single and ready to mingle” and went to a lot of singles events.  Once in a while phone numbers would be exchanged.  Dates would be arranged or so I thought.  Meanwhile housemate was also single and apparently jealous/petty.  He would refuse to take messages or be an asshole to whoever called.  Basically be a giant cockblock when he could (it didn’t happen often, but it did happen.)
        I didn’t find out about this till about two years before everything ended.  This upset me a lot, but there wasn’t much I could do except get my own cellphone.  Around this time, my health fell apart and I had to deal with a serious operation that I spent a couple of years recovering from.
        What made matters worse is that I had worked from home for several years and that pissed him off.  He would scream at me that he felt like a 2nd class citizen at home because he couldn’t watch TV (which is mine) in the living room/my office all the time when he got home.  I yelled back that sometimes it couldn’t be helped as my then bosses were in Texas or Calgary (so an hour or two behind) and I couldn’t tell them I can’t make the meeting because my fucking housemate could watch the Big Bang Theory.  Did I also tell you that he’s going deaf?  He has to crank the volume of the TV up to almost maximum to hear anything.  As you can imagine this led to a lot of conflict.
        Soon I was laid off and looking for work.  One day I was working on my resume, he barges in from downstairs and yells he wants to watch TV.  I told him I needed an hour of quiet time to work on my resume so go watch your TV in YOUR bedroom.  He exploded and threw a temper tantrum that would embarrass a 4 year old.  It was at that point I realized that he had to go and that I was done with him as a friend.
        For the sakes of both of us, we made a lease when he moved in.  I made up a bullshit story about my sister wanting to move in and he left four every silent months later.  I maybe spoke 20 words to him during that time (mostly “When the fuck are you leaving?”)
        The cruel joke is that soon after he ended up with a girlfriend while I remain single.  Oh well.

    • I’m sorry, take care. 

    • I mean, that’s a lot like trying to declare “emo kids” a terrorist organization, isn’t it?  Except that one group likes Hawthorne Heights, and the other dislikes Nazis.

    • Driving While Cognitive Impaired

    • Huh. Self-centered Republican asshole murdered someone. Same story, same ending. Over and over and over.

    • …I thought this rang a bell…& I might have left out any links to it (…hard to believe, I know) but I remember reading about the exchange they quote where he was confronted with the logs from his phone & it literally showed him accessing webpages for this shit about a minute or so before it logged him calling 911…& I don’t want to make light of a thing where somebody died but there’s a reason they say “republicans can’t tech”

  3. I’m betting the Supreme Court upholds the remains of the Voting Rights Act, and I think I wish they wouldn’t. The tattered remnants serve as a fig leaf to allow the court to pretend they aren’t in favor of voter suppression. If they strike it down. that’s going to galvanize resistance to the point where we (hopefully) dump the filibuster and pass a real voting rights act. 
    So by hemming and hawing over it for a few minutes and saying, nah, this is fine, they create an illusion of caring about voters and keep the filibuster. They’ll gut what remains later if Republicans retake the House or Senate. There’s no shortage of red states to file suits later. 

    • Omg wtf? I’ve met my daily quota of rage strokes. No more news for me today.

  4. awww…rest in peace Bunny Wailer

Leave a Reply