…you couldn’t make it up [DOT 24/11/20]

well...I mean...obviously they are just making this shit up...but you get the idea...

…I know I should have got past this already…the case got tossed, after all…& given the relief requested the whole thing is moot as of when PA certifies the vote so it’s not clear to me how it could come back to life


…but it turns out the case that got slapped down so hard by the judge the other day was more fucked up than I’d gathered

…they failed to find someone to sign their own paperwork…but tried to pre-emptively imply the judge had signed their proposed order to grant their injunctive relief…& I know there’s some genuine concern about the long-term ramifications of this stuff


…but at some point this shit is just plain embarrassing?


In a chaotic effort to overturn the election results, President Trump and lawyers representing his campaign have spent weeks claiming without convincing proof that rampant voter fraud corrupted vote tallies in many battleground states.
But their lawsuits challenging the outcome have repeatedly broken down because of defective filings, sloppy paperwork, dubious claims by witnesses and lawyers who have admitted in court that they were not alleging fraud.
Here are some of the more embarrassing moments.



Two ethical rules have been fatal to Trump’s election lawsuits in state after state: the lawyer’s duty of candor to a court and the lawyer’s duty to avoid frivolous claims. The president can spew all the theories he wants, and his advocates can say whatever they like on television, but because of these two ethical duties, Trump’s lawyers can make claims before courts only if they can back them up with actual evidence.
The duty of lawyers to avoid making frivolous claims has also hurt Trump’s efforts to use the courts to overturn the election. Lawyers are prohibited from making assertions in court or in their filings “unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous,” in the words of the ABA’s Model Rules. Lawyers have to be especially careful about this one, because judges can impose monetary sanctions against them on the spot. A whole section of the rules of federal civil proceedings specifies the duties lawyers have to ensure that the factual claims they’re making are supported by evidence and that the legal ones have a sound basis, too.
So far Trump’s lawyers haven’t been sanctioned, perhaps because they are rapidly dropping their lawsuits to avoid it. More than two dozen suits filed by the president or his supporters have been withdrawn or thrown out. On one day, Nov. 13, Trump’s campaign lost or dropped nine cases. The Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias, who has been involved in opposing Trump’s litigation in several states, crowed on Twitter that the president and his allies had lost 31 times in court and won only once.

Concerns about violating ethical rules partly explain why Trump’s lawyers are deserting him. Two large law firms withdrew as counsel only days after filing lawsuits. Two new lawyers signed on, only to withdraw within days themselves. Lawyers in high-profile cases rarely quit a client so quickly — unless they fear that the representation will violate the rules of legal ethics. Then they have no choice. Likewise, most of the establishment legal team that defended Trump during his impeachment has stayed away from the post-election litigation efforts.

The exodus has left Trump’s lawsuits in the hands of Rudolph W. Giuliani, who until this past week hadn’t been in a courtroom in decades. Although he’s made wild accusations in news conferences about “a massive fraud” involving the Clintons, George Soros and Hugo Chávez, Giuliani acknowledged in a federal court hearing in Pennsylvania that “this is not a fraud case.” And so far, none of the strangest claims he’s made publicly have found their way into any court filings.


…so I guess I’m kind of on board with being clear about what this bullshit amounts to…it doesn’t matter that it collapses like a house of cards in a court of law…what they’re failing to do is still something we have a name for


…also…I could be wrong about this but wasn’t “let’s remember some guys” kind of a deadspin thing?


…either way there’s nothing exactly surprising in the idea that a certain loser is saying one thing in public & something else entirely in private


…but hopefully he’s going to be too busy with for-real court cases to get that kind of shit together

Trump has faced investigations involving his campaign, his business and his personal behavior since he took the oath of office himself four years ago. As soon as he becomes a private citizen, however, he will be stripped of the legal armor that has protected him from a host of pending court cases both civil and criminal.

He will no longer be able to argue in court that his position as the nation’s chief executive makes him immune to prosecution or protects him from turning over documents and other evidence. He will also lose the help of the Justice Department in making those arguments.

While it’s possible he could go to jail as a result of some of the investigations of his business affairs, the soon-to-be-former president is more likely to face financial punishment in the form of civil fines, law enforcement observers believe. He may also be embarrassed by financial and other secrets that will be exposed in court. Nearly all his legal troubles are in his hometown, New York, where he once basked in the tabloid limelight as a young mogul and where he rode a golden escalator into an unlikely political career.

What Makes Trump’s Subversion Efforts So Alarming? His Collaborators

…& even if the likes of facebook & twitter are letting them get away with it


…it’s getting harder to deny that the shit they’re trying so hard to disseminate is diseased thinking in more ways than one

New research from Avaaz, a global human rights group, the Elections Integrity Partnership and The New York Times shows how a small group of people — mostly right-wing personalities with outsized influence on social media — helped spread the false voter-fraud narrative […]

“Because of how Facebook’s algorithm functions, these superspreaders are capable of priming a discourse,” said Fadi Quran, a director at Avaaz. “There is often this assumption that misinformation or rumors just catch on. These superspreaders show that there is an intentional effort to redefine the public narrative.”
While the group’s impact was notable, it did not come close to the spread of misinformation promoted by President Trump since then. Of the 20 most-engaged Facebook posts over the last week containing the word “election,” all were from Mr. Trump, according to Crowdtangle, a Facebook-owned analytics tool. All of those claims were found to be false or misleading by independent fact checkers.
In order to find the superspreaders, Avaaz compiled a list of 95,546 Facebook posts that included narratives about voter fraud. Those posts were liked, shared or commented on nearly 60 million times by people on Facebook.

Avaaz found that just 33 of the 95,546 posts were responsible for over 13 million of those interactions. Those 33 posts had created a narrative that would go on to shape what millions of people thought about the legitimacy of the U.S. elections.
Many of the superspreader accounts had millions of interactions on their Facebook posts over the last month, and have enjoyed continued growth. The accounts were active on Twitter as well as Facebook, and increasingly spread the same misinformation on new social media sites like Parler, MeWe and Gab.
None of the superspreaders identified in this article responded to requests for comment.

How Misinformation ‘Superspreaders’ Seed False Election Theories

…so maybe it’s not surprising that it seems increasingly clear – whether out of some semblance of principle or just sheer expediency – that daylight is starting to appear between the GOP establishment & the lamest of lame ducks







…while the man established as the sorest loser in all of presidential history


…histrionically so…is…well…whining like a bitch is the expression that springs to mind?

The president is concerned his team is comprised of “fools that are making him look bad,” said one source familiar with the thinking. Asked why he would not fire them, this person replied, in essence, who knows?


…mind you…when it comes to making him look bad…I’d refer him to that header image?

The good news is that there is no real prospect that Mr. Trump can avoid a reluctant handover of power on Jan. 20. The bad news is that Mr. Trump’s wildly unsubstantiated claims of a vast voter fraud conspiracy and the litigation he has brought against voting rights have done — and will increasingly do — serious damage to our democracy. Our problems will deepen, in particular, because Mr. Trump’s litigation strategy has led to the emergence of a voter-hostile jurisprudence in the federal courts. New judicial doctrines will put more power in the hands of Republican legislatures to suppress the vote and take voters, state courts and federal courts out of key backstop roles.

Trump’s Legal Farce Is Having Tragic Results

…so…I guess when this popped up I could have just junked the rest of this & gone with a bunch of .gifs of nelson from the simpsons…but they say the set-up is an integral part of a good punchline?




…because, let’s face it, this farce isn’t over



Wellshire’s government-backed, five-year loan came with a 3.15 percent interest rate, Fed records show.

Loans to consumers at Wellshire’s auto-title loan stores can carry a 350 percent annual rate, thanks to high fees and interest supercharging the cost of borrowing, according to corporate disclosure documents.




…& the laughs have been kinda thin on the ground of late

As Americans grapple with how — or whether — to gather with loved ones this holiday season, the roughly two million people confined in the nation’s prisons and jails face an even grimmer challenge: how to stay alive inside a system being ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.


When Will We Throw Our Masks Away? I Asked Dr. Fauci



…still…on the upside…at least the US isn’t looking at being on the wrong end of a no-deal brexit


…so that’s probably a good thing?



  1. That first meme or whatever is funny. People get mad at me (I recognize my fault in it, I am brutally honest and my tone isn’t great) when I describe what they are doing, or did, or how they are acting. I say all the time, I am just describing what you did or said, if you don’t like it, make the change, they like this less. 

  2. I did not read the Times piece about Trump’s actions leading to a strain of voter-hostile jurisprudence, because I have neither a Times nor a WashPo subscription (I know you can sneak past paywalls but I don’t have the energy or the desire.) Anyway, I would have thought the opposite was the case. He and his crack legal team, or legal team on crack is probably more like it, got shot down everywhere, and that surely establishes precedents. Judges all over the spectrum threw out these unhinged petitions or ruled against them. I would think that at least in the swing states where they were foolish enough to try these gambits a minimally competent attorney could say, “This suit is frivolous and should be dismissed because something almost identical in 2020…” 

    • …it was a piece by the same guy the tweets up top came from…& while you are (as I understand it) correct about the precedent thing up to a point I think the jurisprudence concerns were based in a different set of cases?

      …on the one hand the fabricated narrarative they’ve been screaming as stridently as possible in the direction of a credulous audience is inherently poisonous when it comes to getting people to accept that the actual outcome of the election is legitimate & that all citizens are entitled to both vote & to have that vote counted

      …but I think it’s the “other hand” that’s what concerns him the most…which (with apologies to adam smith) is somewhat of an invisible one…cases brought before the election seem to on the one hand encourage a view (apparently called the Purcell Principle) that changes to the means & methods by which ballots are cast should not be amended at a time when an election is upcoming…& we’ve seen how that went with the picking of Supreme Court Justices…added to which the courts have allowed states considerable latitude when it has come to making voting harder…including in some instances imposing limitations that would seem to run counter to Constitutional findings…he cites limiting mail-in ballots to those over a certain age in apparent defiance of the 26th amendment on that score

      …but the worst of it seems to be that between brett-likes-beer, alito, gorsuch, thomas (& most likely the newest addition to that bench) there is support for a reading of something called the “independent state legislature” doctrine, which “Taken to its extreme, […] says that state legislatures have complete authority to set election rules absent congressional override, and that their power to set election rules cannot be overcome even by state supreme courts applying right-to-vote provisions in state constitutions.”

      …since even roberts seems to have shown signs of being ameanable to that line of reasoning at least once the concern he has seems to be that it would enable both state & federal courts to be circumvented while state legislatures (presumably GOP ones) pass laws that restrict voting rights by one means or another…& that even were the Dems to take both seats in the run-off elections in Georgia come january there’s little chance of getting voter-protection legislation passed that would prevent it

      …all of which seems like an extension of the problems that followed the eroding of the protections that formed part of the Voting Rights Act…so I suspect that his concerns are sadly valid?

      • Oh I see, so it’s more a matter of state legislatures setting up voter guidelines, whether a court can even rule on whether that might disenfranchise voters, not “these were the rules and they were followed and your guy lost, so get out of my courtroom and let me get on with my life.”
        Here in New York we’ve had widespread “soft” voter disenfranchisement up until 2020 and it took a plague of biblical proportions to even inch closer to something reasonable. It used to be almost impossible to get an absentee ballot, for example, and early voting was unheard of. These two reforms are provisional and seemingly decided on the whim of Andrew Cuomo. We still don’t have mail-in voting or a guarantee of future absentee voting. I hope the pandemic recedes and we can all get back to our lives but the minute there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon I’m sure there will be attempts to take this away. Problem is, once the voters got a taste for it they are unlikely to want to give it up. Then, on the New York State Democratic Establishment side, you’ll see disinformation spread about voter fraud and ballot manipulation.
        No, here in the Empire State incumbency is everything, especially on the Democratic side, and with the specter of AOC (2018) and many, many successful local insurgents (2020) haunting them, the last thing they want to do is increase the franchise. The nationwide (perhaps worldwide) scandal that is the way Boards of Elections are set up and run in New York, especially in New York City, is not a bug, it’s a feature.

    • …I think Memeweaver linked to a thing from the guardian about this yesterday…it sure seems like a lot of effort to go to to put the thing somewhere where apparently nobody noticed until just the other day

      …but aliens would almost be a welcome break from 2020 at this point?

      • …that was a literal OMG moment for me, there…I thought the madness of david icke had remained confined to the shores of the UK

        …once upon a time he was a footballer…& then something of a “sports broadcaster” – which less sports-heathen minds than mine would be required to distinguish from a pundit – before becoming “that guy that thinks we’ve been infiltrated by alien lizard people”…he’s no l ron hubbard but just like scientology borrowed heavily from the latter’s largely failed attempts to be a sci-fi author…I’m pretty sure icke’s best known conspiracy theory seemed an awful lot like the plot to the tv show “V”?

        …either way (as I believe research has been bearing out) there’s a correlation between people who made use of the “header” in football/soccer & brain injuries…& it may be worth noting that the ball was considerably heavier in icke’s day (iirc) so he may be a walking example of why some folks in scotland still refer to a certain sort as a head-the-ball…or I guess technically a “heid-tha-baw” might be closer phonetically?

        • I’m not sure how well known he is, I find these things amusing and seek out the purveyors of such information. But if it is due to a head injury then I feel bad for the guy. I always assumed he was just cashing in on other people’s mental health issues.

          • Very well known and is definitely cashing in…very successfully. The “all-in” conspiracy nuts left him behind long ago as “Cointelpro” so he might not be as popular as he once was. He got rightfully dragged by the bigly bigoted buffoons who blindly believed his bullshit after he was called out for the profits his “lectures” were pulling in and that he manipulated the truth (the truth being that shape-shifting alien reptiles that created humans in a petri dish control our minds) with false information and crazy conspiracies (that bigfoot has their own society we can’t see because they have learned to avoid humans altogether) just to earn a buck.

            Fuck me…I wish I didn’t “know” this stuff.

            • …wow…I guess I ought not to be as surprised as I am that he got that kind of traction stateside…but then I think I tuned out anything icke-related for the last few…decades?

              …& now I feel old

  3. I found this amusing:
    GM is pulling its support from a Trump administration lawsuit against California’s clean air standards. Now, to be clear, their 11th hour conversion is bullshit and does not atone for their initial support in my eyes. But it’s enjoyable to watch all of Trump’s “legacy” splintering away in real time. 
    GM also announced its Ultium batteries will allow longer driving and cost less than their initial estimates. They’re going all-in on electric vehicles. 

    • …it is kind of great to see corporate interests turn their back on the serially-bankrupt “successful businessman”…but you’re not wrong about the 11th hour conversion thing

      …hadn’t gathered the bit about them going all-in on the electric vehicles, though…be interested to know how long they expect that transition to take them?

    • I’d love to have a transcript of the court proceedings where the judge asks GM why they suddenly switched, and GM being forced to admit that it was because Biden got elected–not for any actual, real, non-political, reason.

      • Oh, of that I have no doubt whatsoever. GM was playing both sides, waiting to see the outcome of the election before “taking a stand” against climate change. That’s why I give them no credit for actually doing the right thing. 
        I’m just enjoying watching all the Trump supporters that are still sane slinking away and saying “I don’t even know who that person is.” They’ve learned Trump’s lessons well. Hopefully by Jan. 20 we’ll see Trump hiding alone in the White House with Giuliani and Lindsay Graham taking turns bringing him Big Macs. Oh, I think we can count on Ted Cruz and Ron DeSantis taking a couple of shifts. 

  4. I am behind in my periodicals, but the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of Mother Jones has an article about how Trump might go about stealing the election, and since I am reading their predictions after the fact, it’s eerie. It is like reading a “this is what just happened” instead of “this is what might happen.” One of the articles:

    Trump Is Trashing the Constitution to Stay in Power

    The grocery store was not the pre-holiday covid nightmare I thought it might be yesterday. In fact, it was almost… light? 
    And yesterday’s mailman returned my 30 cents (my overdue postage from the other day). Even though a previous postal person left a ‘postage due’ envelope, he said since the item was delivered, I don’t owe anything. I tried to give it to him anyway since I suspect the USPS needs it more than I do but he wouldn’t take it. *gives up* I better not get a lien on my mail lol.

    • My wife just read Cohen’s book. An extra copy was donated to the library. Like your article, she said it was eerily prescient concerning current events. 
      I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise. Trump told everyone in the entire world exactly what he was for the last four years (and longer, really). Turns out that is exactly what he is. 

  5. My alarm went off mid-nightmare this morning… so I’m still a squidge discombobulated…
    It was something like what happened in the movie Funny Face, where Audrey Hepburn’s quiet bookstore is suddenly overtaken by the “Fashion!” folks, and she’s just sewpt along by them as her world turns entirely topsy-turvy….
    I’m NOT in the garment industry anymore, but somehow in the dream I’d had some sort of very cultivated fashion-adjacent space (a shop of some type?–i can’t remember if it was a workshop or store-shop, tbh, i was so suddenly jarred out of the dream)…
    But while I was out taking my shower & getting dressed (in the dream) Emily Blount and some other people came in & “redesigned” the space–and design houses like Versace & Vionnet were apparently the sponsors–but they used the current Deadsplinter theme-colors of tomato-red, oranges & camel-y golds and *patterns* EVERYWHERE…
    Meaning that there wasn’t ONE goddamned SPOT in that entire place, where your eyes could simply rest, settle, and not be OBSCENELY JARRED by a garish mishmash of pattern, texture, clashing colors, or clashing textures…
    The space I’d worked so hard to create a calming, relaxing environment in, where folks could feel chill and take their time in, had suddenly been made as visually agitating & assaulting as a carnival at it’s busiest.
    And when I started to point that out to Ms. Blount–who at first *couldn’t* understand why I wasn’t THRILLED with all their work and all the high-fashion labels which had been brought in–Ms. Blount began to nod her head understandingly, and quietly said, “Oh… yeah…I see what you mean now…”
    When, suddenly, the goddamned alarm went off, and yanked me out of the dream, and into a heart-racing, HIGHLY agitated state of *awake*😖🤯🙃
    So in the spirit of discombobulation, and restoring good moods–and since Rip decided *not* to use it in the post this morning(😉), i’ma share these;

      • Ooooh, THANKS Ellie!😁😁😁
        Those shades are pretty–AND pretty optimistic (especially the “popular shades from around the world” ones below the story!🤔😉)
        That bodes well, for the next year-or-so…
        At least if color trends over the last few years stay true.
        It was the one thing I truly LOATHED after the ’08 recession–it took literally YEARS for folks to pull out of the “Dark, drab colors, reflecting our general psyche” thing in Quilting/fabric/fiber “trends”… quilt shops were ALL making their samples in dark, depressing shades, and the pattern companies were all publishing things in darks & drabs…
        It was DEPRESSING! I know that stuff is supposedly a “reflection” on where the country/world are… at the same time–because those dull tones ran on for soooooo long, I really wondered if it was a reflection, or a bit more like a *cause* when it came to moods in quilters & crafters😉

    • …you’re gonna teach me bad habits

      …well, not really bad…but I try to not impose my taste in hip hop on folks every time…& yet…I might not be hard to push that way?

    • Fun fact:  Fred Astaire’s character, Dick Avery, was based on real-life photographer Richard Avedon, who provided all of the fashion stills for different sequences in the film.  I’m partial to his black and white portrait work.

      • Avedon’s work was BRILLIANT, and soooooo pretty!
        And thanks, because your Avedon comment reminded me of Irving Penn, who worked for Vogue, while Avedon was shooting for Harper’s!😁
        I always seem to get them switched, until I remember that Avedon was the inspiration for Funny Face, and Penn was the man with the bedside lamp😉
        And for folks who don’t know that Vogue Article, this one has the picture of that semi-famous lamp💖

  6. It’s like these people never even watched Better Call Saul, where literally two seasons’ worth of plot hinged on typos and getting documents properly stamped and signed.
    I still expect to see Rudy running around in a foil blanket, though.

  7. awww…seems like thierry baudet is on his way out of politics..and hes tearing his party apart on the way out (im noticing a pattern here with these rightwingsie types)… https://nltimes.nl/2020/11/24/far-right-fvd-breaks-youth-division-anti-semitism-homophobia
    welp…good riddance… for a while he looked like he might be a more dangerous wilders (and on the note of wilders…if he could get hit by a bus…that’d be great)
    we still have a major problem here with the right gaining in popularity…but hey… one down right?

    • …I think they only implied he signed it rather than actually forged anything but I’m not an expert?

      …either way it seems like the sort of thing that ought to result in some sort of sanction being imposed on the lawyers in question

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