…it’s a lot [DOT 18/11/20]

isn't it always...

…so…you know how sometimes it all gets to be a bit much?





…yeah…well…this is going to be one of those times, I’m afraid

Many see a wannabe despot barricaded in the bunker, stubby fingers clinging to the levers of power as words that mean nothing to him — democracy, electoral integrity, peaceful transition, constitutionality — swirl above.
One presidential historian sees something different in Donald Trump’s swan song. Michael Beschloss has been tweeting pictures of Hollywood’s most famous divas, shut-ins and head cases.

…as @bryanlsplinter predicted I have amassed a somewhat absurd quantity of links in the days I’ve been failing to get one of these together…he may have lowballed the number, though


…so don’t forget that jump-cut routine is available if you click on the number of comments up at the top…or just take my word for it that I did in fact leave a few out & scroll on like the intrepid souls I know many of you to be…the choice is yours


Over the past week, President Trump has axed his defense secretary and other top Pentagon aides, his second-in-command at the U.S. Agency for International Development, two top Homeland Security officials, a senior climate scientist and the leader of the agency that safeguards nuclear weapons.

Engineering much of the post-election purge is Johnny McEntee, a former college quarterback who was hustled out of the White House two years ago after a security clearance check turned up a prolific habit for online gambling.


…I know january still feels like a long way of in this the longest year in living memory



Special committees, mostly in Democratic-led states, will seek to reassure the public that an F.D.A.-approved vaccine is safe and effective amid doubts about the Trump administration’s virus response.

…but while floundering through the headlines

Why the 2020 Election Makes It Hard to be Optimistic About the Future






…I keep trying to cling to the notion that however poorly served I think my personal wish-list of political possibilities might end up being under a biden presidency

Leading medical groups urge Trump to share Covid data with Biden to ‘save countless lives’









…at least it’ll be an actual fucking presidency

[…sure mitch…just as soon as you transfer yours to someone with a goddamned conscience you dessicated corpse of a man]

…with an actual fucking president

A former right-wing media creator on how a ‘different reality’ became so prominent.

…& people in posts that they are in fact not absurdly unqualified to hold

Just five short years ago Jared and Ivanka were dinner-party royalty here in Manhattan. It’s that kind of place. They had money, they had youth, they had celebrity. They were thin. I’m told that their manners were impeccable, so you’d never know that his father was an actual felon and her father a de facto one. Besides, you can’t hold family against someone, can you? We don’t choose how we’re born.
But from then on, we do make choices, and we’re accountable for those.


…that don’t make the whole fucking thing seem like a sick parody of government

The End of Trump’s Reign of Tweet Terror Is Near


Facing the end of his time in power, the president is pushing to accelerate withdrawals from counterterrorism conflicts. He campaigned on ending the longstanding wars.

…meanwhile…courtesy to the the constitutionally-contradictory-courter-of -disaster approach to two-faced grandstanding



…& I don’t know about you but for me the whole transition-away-from-insane-assholes-in-charge thing can not come around fast enough


…& then there’s the ongoing cavalcade of everyone-knows-they’re-full-of-shit “I didn’t lose – you lose” parade of

Trump, the Absolute Worst Loser


…I mean, do we really have to call them lawsuits at this point

The Post-Presidency of a Con Man

…wouldn’t liesuits be more accurate?



Even before he was elected in 2016, Donald J. Trump was building a conspiracy theory about voter fraud that took on new energy this year, as his political fortunes ebbed during the coronavirus pandemic.




Federal employees are required under ethics rules to keep political activity separate from their government roles. Officials with the Voter Integrity Fund said the political appointees participating in the project are doing it in their personal time.




To the Editor:




In interviews with sympathetic Fox News hosts, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani has made several wild claims alleging that election fraud and malfeasance was responsible for Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. His claims have been echoed in weekend tweets by President Trump, accusing a software company of somehow manipulating the vote in favor of Biden. These presidential tweets have been flagged by Twitter as misleading.

Moreover, this nonsense has already been debunked by Trump’s own government. In a statement issued Nov. 12, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, and partners such as the National Association of Secretaries of State declared: “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Fifty-nine of the country’s top computer scientists and election security experts rebuked President Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud and hacking on Monday, writing that such assertions are “unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.”

…I mean…somebody go ahead & correct me if I’m wrong…but even if all these bullshit suits won it still wouldn’t mean he didn’t lose the fucking election


…because really the lying is the most consistent thing about the whole audacity-of-mandacity approach that is the defining characteristic of the feckless fanta-faced forever-fuckwit fabulist & his fantasy-fomenting flotilla of fermented fiends







…& of course we’re just starting to climb the veritable mountain of takes we’re going to have to wade through about who voted for who & why & what we all ought to be taking from that…mostly according to people who seem peculiarly at home speaking for millions of folks they don’t know & generally tend to have fuck all in common with…which is always fun, I’m sure you’ll agree






Liberals Envisioned a Multiracial Coalition. Voters of Color Had Other Ideas.



…while we’re at it…can we just take a moment to consider that the electoral college tally for biden this go around matches the one for the “win” (I think maybe TKO might have been a better term?) that foisted the shitshow of the last few years on a largely unsuspecting (apparently…although fuck if I see how, quite frankly…) world despite the fact that where one candidate lost the popular vote by upwards of 3million votes the other won it by a margin in excess of 5million


…so a swing from a negative aggregate score through a positive one that represents something a little over 10% of the volume of votes that actually went in his favor this time…gave the same result in electoral college terms…& there are still folks out there who want to claim the thing is anything but a fucked up way to settle this shit?



…is it just because at some point I missed a memo about how the highest calling in the world of elderly & overly-entitled white anachronisms-on-legs became what I think is technically called “whining like a little bitch” in a number of circles?


Their unlikely ally may have lost the White House, but Christian nationalists still plan to win the war.



President Trump and his allies in the Senate have packed the federal courts with more than 200 conservative judges over the last four years, including three Supreme Court justices. In doing so, Mr. Trump made explicit that he wants “his” judges, and the 6-to-3 conservative majority on the court, to achieve what he could not through Congress, including eliminating health care for millions and undermining what remains of the Voting Rights Act.

…because let’s face it


…there’s no shortage of ground that needs to be covered that hasn’t really got a look in under the alleged administration of the “who knew being president was hard work?” years


Hate Crimes in U.S. Rose to Highest Level in More Than a Decade in 2019


…in fact


…some days it just seems like we’re doing shit backwards




Living Near Drilling Is Deadly. Why Don’t California Lawmakers Care?





…in the sense of against what I quaintly think of as stuff like all reason & logic


…or (sigh) principles that aren’t a euphemism for short-term self-interest





[…]let’s take a look at some numbers that don’t involve political philosophies. Rather, they involve investment philosophies — Value and Growth.

As a bonus, I’ll give you an example of how an honorable investment professional behaves when the numbers go against him.

So let me introduce you to numbers that most retail investors have never heard of that help explain what’s been going on in the U.S. stock market the past few years.

I’d also like to introduce you to the person who introduced me to these numbers.

He’s an honorable guy named Ted Aronson, who is closing his Value-oriented money-management firm, AJO Partners, and sending back his investors’ $10 billion because he has grown increasingly dissatisfied with his investment performance and doesn’t want to keep fighting a losing battle against markets.


…well, shit…you done made it this far…I’m guessing you might care to comment?



  1. Be of good cheer! Nine weeks from today is January 20th, the day in which this nefarious circus full of pests and parasites will have to fold up its tents and find new host bodies elsewhere, preferably many within the walls of state and federal penitentiaries. (By the way, did you know that one word for “plague” in German is “Pest”?)

  2. And this just in: As of yesterday, two weeks after Election Day, 40% of Manhattan ballots have yet to be counted. It’s far too early to unleash a screed so you can mull this over yourselves.

        • …the truth is arguably sadder still…there were probably a couple of dozen at least that I left out or it wouldn’t have been ready on time

          …for starters there’s a few about the pros & cons of prosecuting/pardoning the soon-to-be-ex-president

          …but I’d have inevitably wound up sounding off about what I thought of some of the arguments presented & the whole post would have more than likely doubled in length just from that

          …so…I guess you could say there’s more where that came from?

          • What, exactly, would be the cons of prosecuting Trump?
            Every piece I’ve seen has been an embarrasing mess of assuming the premise — the premise that Trump did nothing criminal and a prosecution would be a political hit job.
            But they know the premise is laughable, so they have to disguise it with this kind of garbage.
            Every single piece early in 2019 made the same stupid argument — they said that impeachment would be bad while leaving unspoken the idiotic assumption that Trump had done nothing criminal. Then Rudy’s adventure in Ukraine came to light and the Dems had to do a incomplete rush job touching on only a fraction of his impeachable crimes.
            Maybe Trump has done a fantastic job of covering his tracks, and maybe his businesses and finances are as clean as a whistle. But assuming right off the bat that prosecution is bad before we have seen any evidence? That’s a horrible bet.

            • …it’s not a case I’m very good at articulating, to be honest…personally I think he’s the perfect candidate for setting a swathe of precedents regarding the possibility of there being consequences to the appalling ones set during his term in office…obviously those have been the culmination of a form of “business as usual” that belies the putative principles by which democracy in general & the US system of checks & balances in particular nominally operates with a form of power-broking that’s basically analogous to regulatory capture…or buying the pot, if you prefer a poker analogy…so I’m not swayed by the validity of letting him skate on anything, personally

              …but the one point I’ve seen made that does seem to hold some water is that there are another set of precedents that could be framed as an argument for biden to pardon him in the same sort of fashion that nixon was

              …broadly the thing might be said to turn on two things…by essentially washing his hands of the issue biden would inject some distance between the office of the president & the prosecution of his predecessor which might insulate him from accusations of politically motivated reprisals of the sort the current solipsistic morass has made such a habit of, which would take the wind out of the GOP’s sails a little in rhetorical terms as well as making good on the whole “promoting unity” thing…although I tend to think that the truth hasn’t been important to them in so long that the chances are they’d go ahead & say all the same shit anyway & a woefully predictable number of people would continue to not only take their word for it but to lap it up

              …the second bit is interesting, though…to accept a federal pardon the party being pardoned has to (if only tacitly) admit guilt…otherwise the concept of the pardon makes no sense

              …the particular asshole in question most likely thinks it’s just a general get-out-of-jail-free card that he can point to while belligerently asserting his innocence & “total exoneration” the same way he did after the report he didn’t read explicitly said he had a case to answer based on the appearance of his being far from innocent & that he was 100% not-even-a-little-bit exonerated

              …but the pardon is only for federal purposes & that admission of guilt would go a long way to making the raft of cases against him at the state level extremely hard to appeal should their verdicts go against him

              …& while his supporters may continue to delight in ignorance & be only too happy to buy into whatever bullshit he peddles the law…& by extension lawyers & judges with more than a modicum of respect for the judicial system…tends not to be so easily swayed

              …so potentially getting him to accept a federal pardon might translate into giving him enough rope to hang himself?

              • I know you’re not advocating these points, so don’t feel like I’m jumping on you…
                I am on board with the idea of Biden himself staying out and reestablishing distance between the White House and the FBI. What bugs me is the slippery way the no prosecutions side turns the argument upside down. Pardons are the ultimate way of injecting the President into the criminal justice system. They are literally advocating for the thing they say they are against.
                The other problem is that pardons are a terrible way to get any kind of admission of guilt. They have no requirements that the recipient do anything or swear to anything, and they free the recipient to undercut their validity as soon as they are granted, because they can’t be revoked.
                There is already a way to do this kind of thing, which is the regular DOJ plea bargain. If go-easy types think there is a reason to wash our hands, they should be pushing Trump to approach the DOJ and ask for a deal.
                The thing is that everyone knows the idea is laughable. They know Trump will never cooperate. So what the pro-pardon dopes do is shift the burden onto Biden and try to push the case that there is a deal to be made if only Biden unreasonably intervenes in the normal process, wipes out all leverage, magic happens, and Trump is finally cornered.
                They never want to explain the magic.

                • I know you’re not advocating these points, so don’t feel like I’m jumping on you…

                  …no worries on that score…despite the extent to which this stuff obviously does rile me, I’m not all that prone to taking things personally…& I generally enjoy a bit of discussion…even on occasion what used to be referred to as a “full & Frank exchange of views”

                  …as for the rest of what you say…I’d tend to agree, I think…I am not a lawyer & all that sort of thing…but if there really is a binding sense in which being pardoned actively incorporates a legal imposition of guilt relating to the crimes being pardoned I don’t think I’m familiar with the way in which it operates…& your point about it being explicitly a question of the president weighing in to use the power of the office to artificially tip the scales of justice is one I find hard to get past

                  …I’d love to hear someone explain “the magic”…but on my more cynical days I find it hard not to think that the real magic they’re looking for (& I don’t think this is true only of the GOP side of the thing) is to avoid further damaging the mutual agreement that “the way things work” is just fine, thanks…& that politicians should be left to do what they do without fearing that they might one day have to answer for the bits of it they’d rather happened quietly offstage where “the real work” gets done

                  …to me it’s pretty similar to the arguments made for the US refusing to be accountable to the ICC…which always did sound to me like “the law is for other people” in a way I find hard to swallow

      • …have to admire your optimism, there…so far I’m not sure it’s been bringing me that sort of joy…& I’m not at all sure I see that working out for me post-inauguration

        …reading other stuff can, though…personally I’d advocate pretty strongly for the works of douglas adams & terry pratchett as being pretty good for restoring faith in the possibility that there’s some redeeming features to humanity that don’t tend to show up in the news cycle?

        • I was on a Pratchett binge all summer. Now I’m reading all those Deverry books.
          It’d be nice to all of a sudden wake up from the horror show news cycle and look around to a fresh new world and say “it was all a dream!” but… nah. Especially since the Obstructor in Chief is making it impossible to start the serious work, because he’s a big stupid manbaby who doesn’t want to do anything nice for anybody but himself.

          • …I don’t know if I’d say it’s true of all of his stuff but I’ve re-read most of the discworld stuff enough times to think of them the way some people think of comfort food

            …& good omens I’ve read so many times at least one copy fell apart on me

            …haven’t tried the katherine kerr books, though…been enjoying joe abercrombie’s stuff a fair bit the last few years…& I gather there’s a new doorstop-sized installment of brandon sanderson’s current series (think they go by the name “the stormlight archives”) so I should manage to get some solid escapism booked in soon…will file away the deverry thing for future reference, though…thank you kindly

            • Yes, Good Omens. Very nice one to keep in handy. Though the world almost getting asploded by an overpowerful child might be too raw right now.

              I got sent one of the Deverry books by accident from a second hand place a while back and I was like, “okay.” They’re engaging enough without being especially taxing, if you don’t might forgetting who a specific character is for a moment every once in a while. And also there are a lot of them so you can just keep rolling. 🙂

      • …it’s very much an opt-in kind of a deal…no obligations…but what with having too many hours in a lot of my days I err towards spending an unhealthy amount of time rifling through the news trying to get a handle on why hints seem so entirely unhinged & whether it’s me that’s crazy or the world that appears that way to me

        …so far I’m still coming down on the side of “this shit is fucked up”…but tomorrow is a new day?

  3. Welcome back – I was suffering from a serious case of depressing political news link withdrawal!

    The Guardian, oft-linked on the DOT, has a good summary bit in it’s shilling for support section:

    “The Guardian welcomes the opportunity to refocus our journalism on the opportunities that lie ahead for America minus the distraction of a daily White House soap opera. We will focus on the need to fix a broken healthcare system, restore the role of science in public life, repair global alliances, and address the corrosive racial bias in our schools, criminal justice system, housing and other institutions.”

    Now if only our elected officials do the same, while thwarting the obstructionist outgoing overlords (yup, alliteration in your honor).

  4. …& I don’t know about you but for me the whole transition-away-from-insane-assholes-in-charge thing can not come around fast enough

    That is the biggest take-away for me. Trump can rage like an asshole toddler in the White House or Mar-a-Lago, I don’t care. It’s getting rid of all the cancerous appointments that is really going to help the country.



    • I have been saying this for the past year. Trump is obviously the biggest cancerous tumor but the successful treatment administered by the election gets rid of a lot of other opportunistic infections.

  5. I am usually a gloom and doomer but I have been trying to look for more positive aspects of this lately.  My sister pointed out this great news, the replacement for the awful Tulsi Gabbard is a gem.  He will be the first native Hawaiian in congress & last night gave a prayer in Hawaiian at the freshman dinner.  Baby steps… 


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