Friday Talking Points -- Plotting A Coup In Plain Sight

[ Posted Friday, September 25th, 2020 – 16:55 UTC ]

American democracy is on fire. Or on its deathbed, at the very least. Choose any dire metaphor you wish, but the red flags and warning signals are everywhere you look. The president of the United States of America made news this week when he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, should he lose the upcoming election. Later, watching the reaction on the news, President Donald Trump reportedly laughed about all the fuss he had caused:

According to two people familiar with the matter, hours after the president stepped away from the cameras, Trump continued following the fallout in the press, including on cable news, and began privately remarking how amusing it was that his answer was making media and liberal heads explode, and also predictably dominating TV coverage.

"He seemed to get a real kick out of it," one of the sources said, adding that the president seemed to relish making the press, in Trump's words, "go crazy" over his non-commitment to democratic norms and procedure. "[The president] wasn't going to be playing by their rules on this just to make them feel comfortable."

"Their" rules? Seriously? No previous president has ever been asked such a question, because it never needed to be asked, pre-Trump. Trump sees it as nothing more than a fun opportunity to yank the media's (and liberals') chain. We might all chalk this up to just Trump being Trump -- if it weren't for all the other things he's currently saying and doing.

The most astonishing thing about all of this is how much it is taking place in full view of everyone. This is not a conspiracy being cooked up in some dark back room or secret lair -- it's Trump saying things out loud on television. Even the parts of the plan that were supposed to stay secret -- such as slowing the mail down, or a late-breaking announcement that vaccine has been approved -- have all (hopefully) already been brought to light. It's fascinating in an academic way, because Donald Trump and his minions are plotting a coup d'état, right out in the open for all to plainly see.

Consider the following rather extensive list, if anyone still thinks "democracy is on fire" or the word coup is mere hyperbole:

  • The president of the United States is engaged in an ongoing and constant effort to undermine the American public's confidence in the upcoming presidential election. Without a hint of an iota of a shred of evidence, Donald Trump has proclaimed that all ballots which are mailed in -- except his, and possibly his immediate family's -- are "rigged" against him and should be considered invalid because of a massive amount of "voter fraud" which simply does not exist.
  • The director of the F.B.I. stated plainly in a congressional hearing this week: "Now, we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise." The White House later sneered at his response, while Attorney General William Barr made a half-baked attempt at a press release announcing voter fraud in Pennsylvania (without many facts, and the ones they did provide later had to be retracted as false) which involved a whopping total of nine ballots. So if Christopher Wray doesn't see any fraud, it seems that Bill Barr will be actively working to manufacture some, for the headlines.
  • The Trump administration has already been caught trying to slow down the U.S. mail, again in order to cast doubt on mail-in ballots. These efforts have largely -- but not entirely -- stopped, after they got caught red-handed.
  • Trump is ramming through a new Supreme Court justice (after the untimely death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg), specifically because he wants the election to wind up in the courts, not at the ballot box. He's openly admitting this, and his campaign was already primed to file a snowstorm of lawsuits beginning on the night of the election, in as many states as it takes. This is Trump's favorite tool in his toolbox, after all -- sue everyone in sight, and delay the legal proceedings as long as possible, to grind down the other side.
  • The Senate is aiding and abetting this effort, and astonishingly Lindsey Graham already announced that there will be enough votes to move Trump's nominee out of committee and then confirm her on the Senate floor -- before a nominee has even been announced.
  • The president has stated plainly that the election should be considered to be "rigged" and illegitimate (unless he wins in a landslide, of course). This should come as no surprise because in 2016 he did exactly the same thing -- insisting with zero evidence that he actually won the popular vote because three million votes were cast illegally -- even though he won the election. If he's that sore of a winner, just imagine how big a sore loser he'll be.
  • In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Senate had to pass a resolution committing the country to a peaceful transition of power. That this was even necessary is telling.
  • Meanwhile, Trump has already directly threatened to send federal officials and officers to the polls on Election Day. The Pentagon is reportedly even worried about what would happen if Trump actually ordered American troops out into the streets either during or immediately after the election. Again, this is simply unprecedented (except for the Civil War, of course).
  • If that doesn't work, the Republicans have another card up their sleeve. For the first time since the 1980s, the party will no longer be under court orders not to interfere with polling sites during the election. This court order was necessary because of Republican dirty tricks in the past -- sending armed police to the polls to harass any minority voters who showed up and threaten them with prosecution and intimidate the heck out of everyone. Because this order has now been lifted, Team Trump is recruiting 50,000 so-called "election observers" to show up at as many polling sites as possible, to question "anyone who doesn't look right." That's a voter-intimidation dog whistle that is pretty easy to decode.
  • In a shocking story the mainstream media almost completely ignored, a bunch of Trump supporters already showed up to an early-voting site in the northern Virginia suburbs and actually blocked voters' access to the polls. Haven't heard about this? We have no idea why most of the media didn't consider it newsworthy, personally. Because, you know, this sort of thing generally happens in banana republics, not here at home.
  • In a related matter, the president has praised vigilantes who show up to protests heavily armed, even when they kill people.
  • Bill Barr has now named three American cities -- including New York City -- as "anarchist" cities. Perhaps this is also somehow in preparation for Election Day interference? It's certainly a question worth asking, at this point.
  • The Department of Justice is no longer seen as neutral under Barr, since he has proven to be nothing short of a legal henchman for Trump, plain and simple.
  • The Supreme Court is also in danger of being seen as illegitimate, which could be crucial if they do somehow wind up deciding the election in any way.
  • The House of Representatives just introduced a bill to reform the executive branch to never again allow a lawless president to get away with the things Trump has gotten away with. Not since the post-Nixon era has such an effort been necessary, it is worth pointing out.
  • The Senate just issued a report that was born out of Russian propaganda against Joe Biden's son Hunter. That's right -- the Senate is now content to carry Russia's water in American politics.
  • Russian-owned state media outlet RT just made a comical job offer to Trump, with a fake video showing Trump reading the news on their network. You just can't make this stuff up, folks.
  • Almost 500 retired senior military officers, former cabinet secretaries, and other officials just signed a letter endorsing Joe Biden for the good of the nation. In it, they warned: "We are generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors and senior civilian national security leaders. We are Republicans and Democrats, and Independents. We love our country. Unfortunately, we also fear for it."
  • Trump is demanding that only the votes that are counted on Election Day are valid, because he knows that after demonizing mail-in voting (in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has killed over 200,000 Americans), the mail-in vote may be heavily Democratic. So if the in-person votes are counted first, it may look like Trump is winning -- but then later, when the mail-in ballots are counted, he could lose.
  • All of this sand-in-the-face stoking of chaos actually has a clear goal, and that is to somehow declare that the vote count in several battleground states simply can't be trusted, therefore the (Republican) legislatures of these states will have to certify their own set of electors to the Electoral College -- which are the votes that actually elect the next president. This was documented in an Atlantic article that can only be described as "downright frightening."

So, still think "democracy is on fire" is hyperbole? We don't.

Taken individually, each of those items would be cause for some serious outrage (and an extended rant, here in these pages). But the sheer volume of it all is overwhelming -- which is also very much by design. If outrage is diluted across numerous activities, then only a few will ever make it to the headlines. This is a Trump tactic he's been using his whole life, admittedly to great effect.

Trump, perhaps realizing that he's losing, has also been flailing around in a desperate attempt to outright buy as many votes as possible. Because Florida is seen as being close, he decided to woo the Puerto Rican voters in the state by releasing billions of dollars in hurricane aid -- for a hurricane that hit the island three years ago.

Trump just announced the most laughable excuse possible for a bogus "healthcare plan," which was really nothing more than an executive order that stated that it would now be "official policy" of the United States that people with pre-existing conditions are protected. This hasn't just been "official policy," it has been actual federal law ever since Obamacare began, a fact which Trump just completely ignored (while also ignoring the fact that he's suing in court to completely overturn Obamacare). This dog-and-pony show should be seen precisely for what it is -- an admission that Trump has been lying for four years about having his own wonderful, beautiful, tremendous healthcare plan to replace Obamacare that would mean better and cheaper coverage for everybody. This plan has never existed outside the swamp fever of Trump's mind, which his announcement this week confirmed once and for all.

But Trump did try to sneak in another bribe to seniors -- a voting group he has been losing badly due to his abject failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic (or even to show the slightest interest or humanity towards the 200,000 dead Americans and their families). Trump's going to send all seniors a "Trump card" worth $200 that they can spend on prescription drugs. There were no details on how he's going to pay for this except to point to a hypothetical trial program that does not even exist yet. It would cost upwards of $7 billion for Trump to make good on this bribe, and would almost certainly need congressional approval.

Trump's plan to bribe everyone else has blown up in his face, too. He planned to have an "October surprise" of announcing approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, which would then be available to all Americans for free. However, Trump let this cat out of the bag two or three months early, so it will come as no surprise to anyone when it happens. And because of Trump's ham-fisted attempt to use this as a political issue, half the country no longer will trust the first vaccine approved. The only question is going to be how much Trump will ignore expert advice when he does (inevitably) announce a vaccine's approval. Dr. Deborah Birx is already reportedly at the brink of quitting in disgust, and if Trump jumps the gun it will be interesting to see how many other government scientists denounce Trump's move and hang up their spurs.

Once again, any or all of these items is worth a lot more attention by everyone, but the sheer volume is overwhelming. Due to a lack of space, we urge readers to follow some of those links, for the most dangerous things that are going on. We're going to confine ourselves to examining in any depth only two of these items.

The first one is rather ironic. The Senate set out to hold hearings into Hunter Biden's work for a Ukrainian gas company while his father was president. This was the reason Donald Trump got impeached, if you'll recall. The Senate was going to bolster this conspiracy theory (once again: concocted by the Kremlin to destabilize American democracy and help throw the election to Trump once again) by issuing a report, just before the election. They just did so. Except while the report showed some blatant corruption and self-dealing, it wasn't actually done by anyone named "Biden." Here's the whole story, in case you missed it:

The Republican report aimed at raising questions about the dealings of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine appears to have accidentally implicated former Energy Secretary Rick Perry in an energy scheme in the foreign nation, according to the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.

Republicans led by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., released their much-hyped report on Hunter Biden's role at the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma on Wednesday. However, it found no evidence of actual wrongdoing and relied largely on debunked claims, old statements and narratives pushed as part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

But the report did find new evidence related to Perry's actions in Ukraine while he served in President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

Amos Hochstein, a member of the supervisory board at the state-owned Ukrainian energy firm Naftogaz, told lawmakers that Perry "inappropriately pressured the Ukrainian government" to place Texas oil executive Robert Bensh on the board of the company while officials at the Department of Energy pressured the government to sign a deal with a "private business entity connected to Mr. Bensh," according to a letter [Senator Ron] Wyden sent to Department of Energy Inspector General Teri Donaldson.

Perry also pressured the Ukrainian government to place one of his longtime campaign supporters, Michael Bleyzer, on the board during a trip to Ukraine for President Volodymyr Zelensky's inauguration in 2019, Wyden wrote. Bleyzer and his partner were later awarded a drilling contract in the country.

"Mr. Bleyzer's contract that he was awarded was despite the fact that he was not the highest bidder in the process," Hochstein told lawmakers. "Other... bids were higher, and therefore, Ukraine chose a bid that paid itself less."

The heads of the state-owned Naftogaz conglomerate have since filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the contract, arguing that the Ukrainian government acted "illegally and with bias" in agreeing to the deal, Wyden noted.

"Witness testimony in this investigation has directly implicated former Secretary Rick Perry in alleged wrongdoing, and the department more broadly, in a scheme to undermine anti-corruption efforts that were implemented by Ukraine in partnership with the international community," Wyden wrote.

As Rick Perry himself might put it: "Oops!" Republicans often tend to forget that in almost all cases, they themselves are guilty of the thing they're accusing Democrats of, and this is a prime example.

Irony aside, however, we strongly urge everyone to read the full Atlantic article mentioned earlier, which does a deep dive into what could happen after Election Day.

Here's just one of many frightening things the article points out:

Republicans control both legislative chambers in the six most closely contested battleground states. Of those, Arizona and Florida have Republican governors, too. In Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the governors are Democrats.

If the legislatures of these states decide their own state's election results can't be trusted, then they would go ahead and appoint a slate of Trump electors. The Democratic governors may counter by certifying their own slates of Biden electors. Each set of electors would be certified by different branches of the state's government. So what would happen when the Electoral College met? Again, here's just one scenario, involving just one state:

Suppose Pennsylvania alone sends rival slates of electors, and their 20 votes will decide the presidency.

One reading of the Electoral Count Act says that Congress must recognize the electors certified by the governor, who is a Democrat, unless the House and Senate agree otherwise. The House will not agree otherwise, and so Biden wins Pennsylvania and the White House. But Pence pounds his gavel and rules against this reading of the law, instead favoring another, which holds that Congress must discard both contested slates of electors. The garbled statute can plausibly be read either way.

With Pennsylvania's electors disqualified, 518 electoral votes remain. If Biden holds a narrow lead among them, he again claims the presidency, because he has "the greatest number of votes," as the Twelfth Amendment prescribes. But Republicans point out that the same amendment requires "a majority of the whole number of electors." The whole number of electors, Pence rules, is 538, and Biden is short of the required 270.

On this argument, no one has attained the presidency, and the decision is thrown to the House, with one vote per state. If the current partisan balance holds, 26 out of 50 votes will be for Trump.

Before Pence can move on from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island, which is next on the alphabetical list as Congress counts the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expels all senators from the floor of her chamber. Now Pence is prevented from completing the count "in the presence of" the House, as the Constitution requires. Pelosi announces plans to stall indefinitely. If the count is still incomplete on Inauguration Day, the speaker herself will become acting president.

Pelosi prepares to be sworn in on January 20 unless Pence reverses his ruling and accepts that Biden won. Pence does not budge. He reconvenes the Senate in another venue, with House Republicans squeezing in, and purports to complete the count, making Trump the president-elect. Three people now have supportable claims to the Oval Office.

This article ends with a call to action, for just about everyone involved:

Right now, the best we can do is an ad hoc defense of democracy. Begin by rejecting the temptation to think that this election will carry on as elections usually do. Something far out of the norm is likely to happen. Probably more than one thing. Expecting otherwise will dull our reflexes. It will lull us into spurious hope that Trump is tractable to forces that constrain normal incumbents.

If you are a voter, think about voting in person after all. More than half a million postal votes were rejected in this year's primaries, even without Trump trying to suppress them. If you are at relatively low risk for COVID-19, volunteer to work at the polls. If you know people who are open to reason, spread word that it is normal for the results to keep changing after Election Night. If you manage news coverage, anticipate extra-constitutional measures, and position reporters and crews to respond to them. If you are an election administrator, plan for contingencies you never had to imagine before. If you are a mayor, consider how to deploy your police to ward off interlopers with bad intent. If you are a law-enforcement officer, protect the freedom to vote. If you are a legislator, choose not to participate in chicanery. If you are a judge on the bench in a battleground state, refresh your acquaintance with election case law. If you have a place in the military chain of command, remember your duty to turn aside unlawful orders. If you are a civil servant, know that your country needs you more than ever to do the right thing when you're asked to do otherwise.

That seems the proper level of response for democracy being on fire -- to us, at any rate. It's been said of every election we've ever voted in, but this time the phrase: "this is the most important election of your lifetime" is undeniably correct. Democracy is on fire, and only a landslide of Biden ballots can put it out, at this point. So make a plan and get out there and vote like your life depended on it!


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

The most impressive person of the week was obviously Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died almost exactly one week ago (as we write this). But while she fully deserves all the lionizing she is getting (our favorite quote from the week came from John Roberts this morning: "It has been said that Ruth wanted to be an opera virtuoso but became a rock star instead"), she is not technically a Democratic politician, and is thus ineligible for our awards. So all we can do is to say: Requiescat In Pace, Notorious R.B.G. -- you will be sorely missed by millions.

We have three Honorable Mention awards to hand out this week, before we get to the main event. The first goes to Chuck Schumer, who has been visibly enraged over the Republican efforts to hustle a new nominee through before the election. Schumer is going to throw as many monkey wrenches into the Senate's procedures as possible for the foreseeable future, which is all to the good. He also darkly threatened that "everything is on the table" if Democrats take control of the chamber this November. Which is also all to the good, as far as we're concerned.

The second goes to Bernie Sanders, for a speech he just gave on the danger Trump represents to American democracy. Bernie has been banging this drum for a while now, as have other Democrats, because all those items on the list we started this column with have been going on for quite some time now. But Sanders really stood out in his moral outrage over what is happening. "Democracy is on the ballot," he concluded -- and he is right.

We also have an Honorable Mention for Joe Biden, who has developed a much better response to pesky reporters asking him about his mental condition. Instead of just brushing it off, Biden is now turning the argument right back at Trump:

"Look at him," [Joe] Biden told WRAL's Cullen Browder earlier this week. "I'm not the guy who by the way said the problem with the Revolutionary War is we didn't have enough airports. I'm not the guy who said the attack that took down the trade towers was on 7-Eleven."

And, Biden added, he's not the guy who advised injecting bleach to treat the coronavirus.

"I do know the difference between truth and lies, between good and bad, between hope and fear," he said. "So just watch me and make your decision."

This is a much better answer, and Biden should give some version of it every time he is asked the question. He's certainly got hundreds and hundreds of examples of Trump getting things laughably wrong to choose from.

But this week the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week goes to Michael Bloomberg, who raised over $16 million (and counting) in an effort to pay the fines of Florida felons who are trying to get back their right to vote.

Florida passed a ballot initiative to reinstate the right to vote to felons who had completed their sentence and their parole. But the Republican Florida legislature passed a law stating that they could not do so until they had paid off all fines, as well. This has been upheld by Florida and federal courts, so this leaves tens of thousands of ex-prisoners in legal limbo. Bloomberg (as well as a few celebrity names) have championed the issue and raised millions to pay off all these fines. They estimate that their initial donation will fund over 30,000 efforts to re-enfranchise ex-prisoners.

That's pretty impressive. Of course, the Republicans aren't going down without a fight:

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican, has asked the FBI and the state's Department of Law Enforcement to investigate former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to help felons in the state regain their voting rights by paying their court fees, citing "potential violations of election laws."

Bloomberg has over the last week raised more than $16 million from individuals and private organizations, which he said would go towards paying down fines and fees for nearly 32,000 Black and Latinx Florida voters with felony records. A controversial Florida law forbids former felons from voting unless and until they pay off all money they owe the courts or other legal parties. Critics have called it a "modern day poll tax."

Bloomberg, of course, isn't "buying votes" in any way, shape or form. He's restoring access to voting, which is an entirely different thing. And he should be praised for his efforts, not investigated.

It was also announced late in the week that Bloomberg is making his first downpayment on his $100 million promise to boost Joe Biden's chances in Florida, by an initial purchase of $40 million in advertising. That seems like a good start.

All around, even though he's certainly not our favorite Democrat, Mike Bloomberg had an impressive week. Which is why we can't see giving the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award to anyone else, this particular week.

[Michael Bloomberg is technically a private citizen, and it is our blanket policy not to share contact information for such persons, so you'll have to search out his contact info yourself if you'd like to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Once again, we are happy to reveal that we were not disappointed by any Democrats this week. Most of the political spotlight was on the memorial services for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which is probably why Democrats were on their best behavior all week. But for whatever the reason, we're going to put the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award back on the shelf until next week.

As always, if anyone's got anyone to nominate that we missed, please feel free to do so in the comments.


Friday Talking Points

Volume 590 (9/25/20)

With so much going on this week, we find it hard to just put out our usual talking points. So instead, we're going to provide lots of fodder for Democratic talking points from the words of sanctimonious Republican senators, from four years ago.

Back then, you see, the will of the voters was so downright sacred that they just had to be consulted before a Supreme Court justice could be confirmed -- almost a year before the election. They're now all trying to bend over backwards to explain why they really didn't mean what they were saying back then, this week.

This is the most flaming bout of blatant hypocrisy we think we've ever seen from Washington. After all the crocodile tears wept by Republicans back then, after all the chest-beating and garment-rending we were all subjected to, now they are being forced to admit what everyone knew all along: this is a naked exercise in power, period. The new motto of the Republican Party is: "If we can do it, and we think we can get away with it, we will do it."

We sincerely hope Democrats are taking note, because they would do well to follow the GOP's example, should they regain the Senate majority next year. This is how the game is now played, according to Republicans. So Democrats would be fools to play it any other way.

Of course, this is only a partial list, put together by HuffPost. There are in fact dozens upon dozens of other examples of fake Republican sanctimoniousness out there. But this should be enough rhetorical ammunition for any Democrat worth his or her salt to put together some scathing talking points on their own. Back when Barack Obama was president, here's what they all thought of the idea that a Supreme Court justice could be replaced in the final year of a presidential term:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa: "Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court."

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: "As I have repeatedly stated, the election cycle is well underway, and the precedent of the Senate is not to confirm a nominee at this stage in the process. I strongly support giving the American people a voice in choosing the next Supreme Court nominee by electing a new president."

Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina: "It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic to not launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting their ballots to elect our next president."

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas: "It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don't do this in an election year."

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: "I don't think we should be moving forward with a nominee in the last year of this president's term. I would say that even if it was a Republican president."

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado: "I think we're too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision."

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah: "We think that the American people need a chance to weigh in on this issue, on who will fill that seat. They'll have that chance this November, and they ought to have that chance."

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania: "With the U.S. Supreme Court's balance at stake, and with the presidential election fewer than eight months away, it is wise to give the American people a more direct voice in the selection and confirmation of the next justice."

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota: "Since the next presidential election is already underway, the next president should make this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court."

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas: "President Barack Obama has exercised his authority to nominate someone to fill the vacancy, but the Senate has an equal authority to determine whether to proceed with that nomination. I believe the American people deserve to have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice, and the best way to ensure that happens is to have the Senate consider a nomination made by the next president."

Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa: "We will see what the people say this fall, and our next president, regardless of party, will be making that nomination."

Sen. David Purdue of Georgia: "The very balance of our nation's highest court is in serious jeopardy. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will do everything in my power to encourage the president and Senate leadership not to start this process until we hear from the American people."

Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia: "The American people are going to the polls in November to pick the next president, and I think the next president ought to be the one who fills that vacancy, not the one who's on the way out."

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina: "In this election year, the American people will have an opportunity to have their say in the future direction of our country. For this reason, I believe the vacancy left open by Justice Scalia should not be filled until there is a new president."

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


127 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Plotting A Coup In Plain Sight”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    While the constitution says that state legislatures can appoint electors, most states have laws that say that the electors are appointed by the peoples' votes. GOP legislatures could try to change the law, but in PA for example, the governor would veto.

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    If the election is disputed up until January 20, the orange one would no longer be president. It's not clear who would be, but it wouldn't be him.

  3. [3] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Fat Donny surely understands he's going to lose at this point. It should be clear to everyone by now that being branded a loser is his greatest fear in life. Isn't it just possible that he's not really trying to hang on? He probably doesn't even like being president. He wants to say that he didn't lose - he was cheated. He doesn't care how much wreckage he leaves behind. He's a sadistic sociopath who wants to punish us for not loving him.

  4. [4] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    But for whatever the reason, we're going to put the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award back on the shelf until next week.

    As always, if anyone's got anyone to nominate that we missed, please feel free to do so in the comments.

    How about the Dumbocrats who are already contradicting the "everything is on the table" message? Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, Michael Bennet . . .

  5. [5] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Sadly, Karen McDougal lost her defamation lawsuit against Fox News because, according to the judge, "Fox persuasively argues … that given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer “arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism” about the statements he makes." In other words, their top-rated guy lies on their "news" network.

    That's called winning ugly.

  6. [6] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The ballots that Drumpf is complaining about ending up in a trash can in PA were NAKED! They were military ballots, so that shouldn't apply, but the GOP brought the lawsuit that has inevitably resulted in confusion.

  7. [7] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Oh, I'd like to think you're right but,

    1- There's no way he'll get anywhere near the attention as ex-President as he is now.

    2- SDNY is just waiting for Trump to be out of office so they can start to charge him with things like paying off Stormy, tax fraud and all the Rooskie stuff. Trump needs another 4 years to run out the Statute of Limitations.

  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Perhaps Trump thinks that not contesting his defeat is something he can trade for immunity from prosecution, but I don't see SDNY going along.

    Ain't gonna be no Nixonian "pardon for the good of the country." Not after the damage this fucker has done. I want to see Trump behind bars for the rest of his life.

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    I hadn't seen this article when I wrote this, but it's good to know I'm not the only one...

    John From Censornati [3] -

    I think this is closest to the truth, personally.

    [4] -

    Haven't heard of this. Got a link?

    [5] -

    I had this link ready to go:

    But there was just too much other stuff going down. The article makes a few hilarious points...

    MtnCaddy [7] -

    The best thing about the House's new post-Nixon (whoops... I mean "post-Trump") reforms is that it would pause all federal statutes of limitations for the duration of any president's term. So the clock would stop ticking the day he or she took office, and wouldn't start back up again until they leave office.

    This seems an elegant end-run around the whole "you can't charge the sitting president with crimes!" argument...



  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Oh, should have added: "that, together with the ban on self-pardoning..."

    That's a key point, too...


  11. [11] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    In 2000, the Supreme Court anointed the president of the United States. The Democrats tucked tail and accepted this blatantly undemocratic interference by a non-elected branch of the government.
    In the eight years that Obama was President, the Democrats never remedied the situation, even when they had a "filibuster-proof" majority in Congress.
    The seeds for 2020 were planted two decades ago. So if Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate, and the 6-3 'conservative majority' determine the winner in November 2020, we the people will consider the Democrats willing co-conspirators in the death of the democratic experiment.

  12. [12] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And for all the handwringing by progressives about how the Electoral College is unfair, they have NOT done much about it. A remedy has been in plain sight and yet very few state-level activists have been motivated.
    'As of July 2020, it has been adopted by fifteen states and the District of Columbia, although it is suspended in Colorado.[2] Including Colorado, these states have 196 electoral votes, which is 36% of the Electoral College and 73% of the 270 votes needed to give the compact legal force.'

  13. [13] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris, the list of Senators who are 'blatant hypocrites' is interesting but mostly ineffective. Several are not up for re-election for 2020, so what political price to they pay for speaking out of both sides of their mouth?
    It would have been more effective to list those who ARE up for re-election:

  14. [14] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    My nomination for MOST IMPRESSIVE this week:
    '...Attica Scott, the only Black female state representative in Kentucky, was among a handful of people arrested for felony first degree rioting. Attica Scott, the only Black female state representative in Kentucky, was among a handful of people arrested for felony first degree rioting.'

  15. [15] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    My nomination for MOST DISAPPOINTING is the entire Democratic apparatus that is undermining one of their own candidates - in public view.
    If Mr Lieberman were so problematic, they should have been more active early -and- more discrete.
    'Lieberman, the son of former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), has faced a flood of calls from high-profile Democrats and activist groups to suspend his campaign amid flagging poll numbers and concerns he will hurt the party's chances at a potential pickup opportunity.'

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    CW [9]

    Haven't heard of this. Got a link?

    I don't. They've said things that undermine the "everything is on the table" message. Contradicting may be too strong a word.

    In addition, Dems are still voting to approve judges. They can't stop them, but they don't have to vote for them.

  17. [17] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    italyrusty [14]

    Agreed. Attica Scott was definitely NOT rioting BTW. She was walking.

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:


    Almost perfect. Just change LOVE to OBEY. The concept of love does not live in the Trump brain box.

  19. [19] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Bill Barr has now named three American cities -- including New York City -- as "anarchist" cities. Perhaps this is also somehow in preparation for Election Day interference? It's certainly a question worth asking, at this point.

    Spoiler Alert: The president nor AG have the power to do this... a political stunt for Trump's "law and order" election season rhetoric and nothing more.

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: So, still think "democracy is on fire" is hyperbole? We don't.

    The biggest threat to America has been Donald Trump even before Trump lost the popular vote yet won the presidency in the Electoral College. Allow me to reiterate, and I wasn't kidding:

    [22] Kick wrote:

    Donald Trump: A guy who believes that accumulation of wealth is the true sign of a man's worth, who easily takes both sides of any issue for political expediency while his true loyalty lies with himself, a confident con no matter which side he's taking, and the biggest threat to our country coming not from without, but from within, a guy who fancies himself a true patriot but who'd turn coat on America and her people in order to satisfy his insatiable greed and lust for power and title... a modern-day Benedict Arnold.

    "Benedict Donald": pronounced "Been A Dick," with a silent "T" like Stephen Colbert.

    [Sunday, May 15th, 2016 at 08:43 UTC]

    Tell me a time when Donald Trump has not been a dick regarding democracy? He called on Russia to hack his opponent's email; he wasn't kidding. At the same time, Trump was working with Russia on multiple projects he'd been working for a long time, one of them being to build Trump Tower in Moscow and another being to subvert American democracy... among other things. When Comey wouldn't pledge his loyalty, Trump fired him and hosted Russia in the Oval Office the following day; they all had a good laugh. The FBI have known Trump is compromised, and Mueller was called on to investigate and was then limited by Trump, followed by Rosenstein, and then Barr was installed and rat-effed the remainder of the investigation. Fast forward to now.

    Do you think Donald Trump gives one eff about his oath to America and We the People? He doesn't and never has. For instance, Donald Trump stated he played down the severity of the pandemic because he didn't want Americans to panic... his words. It served Trump's reelection agenda to lie about the pandemic; he wasn't concerned with the deaths. With all Trump's rhetoric and attempting to incite violence in connection with the presidential election, is there anyone out there who seriously believes that Donald Trump gives a shit about Americans being panicked? Hell no! Trump is stoking panic and trying to instigate it.

    The constant division Trump foments puts police and military in harm's way. Make no mistake, Trump is stoking violence and chaos, and just like the pandemic, he doesn't care how many Americans are injured or killed as long as it suits the Trump agenda.

    Nevertheless: Despite the mewling, whimpering, and whining of Donald Trump, there will be 51 separate elections in this country ending on November 3 wherein the votes will be counted as they always are, and there is no court in America that is likely going to interfere in our democratic process because Trump doesn't want some of the votes counted. They counted votes in the midterms as Trump whined like a toddler, did they not? He whined incessantly about the mail-in ballots, but each precinct counted the legal ballots and reported the vote tallies to their respective state election officials. Trump wants Americans to believe it doesn't matter if they vote; don't you let this dipshit take away your power. If your vote didn't matter, the GOP wouldn't be attempting to disenfranchise you.

    This isn't the first time Trump has whined that our elections are rigged and won't be the last. Nevertheless, the votes were counted in 2016, 2018, and they'll be counted in 2020. Best thing you can do is vote in person early if you can do so safely or mail in your ballot as early as possible because some states count these before election day.

    Rant over.

    Well, I changed my laser-focused mind so... rant almost over.

    Just please vote like democracy depends on it because it does. I've been saying this for how many years now? And so finally I've got some company! :)

    So to recap:

    * Donald Trump has always been a threat to America.

    * The GOP are already suing in multiple states to eff with democracy and disenfranchise Americans.

    * Vote early and in person if you can do it safely.

    * If you can't vote safely in person, vote as early as you can and immediately deliver it to a drop box or location that bypasses the USPS and gets your ballot delivered directly. Every state has different rules.

    Interested in a resource full of information to help you?
    This is it:

  21. [21] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:


    Donald Trump is NOT "A threat to America". He's an unmitigated asshole of a human being and a moron of a president/leader, but declaring him "a threat to America" elevates him to a status far beyond that which he merits.

    The real "threat to America" is the stupidity of the electorate, you know, the folks who elected LBJ, a mediocre political hack, over Barry Goldwater, a genuine statesman, out of fear that Goldwater would 'start a war', (as in Vietnam).

  22. [22] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki

    Donald Trump is NOT "A threat to America". He's an unmitigated asshole of a human being and a moron of a president/leader, but declaring him "a threat to America" elevates him to a status far beyond that which he merits.

    Incorrect, Stucki. Trump is a threat to the lives of "We the People" and the existence of our American democracy. I cannot help your ignorance if you cannot comprehend the fact that Trump's lies have killed hundreds of thousands of Americans (as well as killed your Republican Party as you knew it) and threatens to kill many thousands more to come.

    The real "threat to America" is the stupidity of the electorate, you know, the folks who elected LBJ, a mediocre political hack, over Barry Goldwater, a genuine statesman, out of fear that Goldwater would 'start a war', (as in Vietnam).

    If it's any consolation, Stucki, I am told I wasn't a big fan of LBJ either. Apparently, I screamed at the top of my lungs for my daddy while LBJ was holding me. I have no recollection of the event; I was very tiny yet rambunctious and wiry.

    Connect the Dots: I agree that morons and stupid people are a threat to America, and -- by your own definition -- Donald Trump is one of them.

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    Note to Self: Stucki is still butthurt about the 1964 blowout presidential election.

  24. [24] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Okay, here are a couple more Lincoln Project ads, The Choice and Whispers (2).

    Whothehell here's Whispers (1) from a coupla months ago.

  25. [25] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Nah, forget assigning Electoral College votes state-by-state proportionally by popular vote.

    The EC was designed to protect us from a dangerous candidate elected due to the "popular passions" of the voters.

    The last two GOP ECs gave us Bush the Younger and now Trump. At least 200,000 dead Americans would likely remind everybody how well that worked.

    Plus, I'm tired of a bunch of gun nuts, racists & Christofacists in flyover country selecting our leadership.

  26. [26] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Not to worry, i suspect the poles will be heaving come Nov3. If anything, Trump supporters are being told by the people they listen to that Trump has this in the bag, they may well sit idly by, especially if they shove this judge down everyone's throats by Nov3.

    People have been paying attention, they know what's afoot, most know in order for their vote to count, they might have to go in person.
    I'm sure Dem voters will brave the scene to bounce Trump, more people want him gone than want him to remain...It'll bear fruit for the Dems, all Trumps obvious attempts to nobble the election, people don't like it when you mess openly with their rights.

    Have faith, ffs, vote.


  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @cw (and anyone else with the requisite patience),

    in the interest of understanding the current crisis in the judicial branch, i strongly suggest you read this book review from 2019, if not the book itself:

    it's a long read, but my sense is that you've never shied away from diving into the weeds of legal and political analysis.


  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What's the gist of it?

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the supreme court's power is fragile, and rests on the razor's edge of public trust in its legitimacy.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I see.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, I think that secret Ginsburg lunch at the White House in 2013 might have been better scheduled for the Naval Observatory. Ahem.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bad timing, all around. But, what are ya gonna do?

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I will take the time to read that piece later today after work.

    How do think the public trust in the Supreme Court is impacted when presidents try to interfere with the justices' own sense of when they should retire?

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, isn't it ironic that Democrats should be talking now about packing the Court. HA! It seems to me that Trump has already done a pretty good job of that with what will soon be THREE SCOTUS confirmations.

    You know, the Democrats must have a very poor case with unpersuasive arguments to put before the American people if they believe they need to pack the court. Perhaps, it is just that they have lost the art of persuasion and/or the American people are no longer persuadable.

    In any event, Trump has made the most of his opportunities and Democrats could take some lessons.

  35. [35] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Trump has made the most of his opportunities

    Really? The orangutan picks who he's told to pick from the list provided to him.

    McConnell and McGahn have made the most of our institutional weaknesses, consequences be damned.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Well, you know what they say, don't you, about elections?

    All presidents get advice. Some won't need as much of it. :)

  37. [37] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    OK then. How has he made the most of his opportunities? I'm not at all convinced that any of it has benefited him.

  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I guess that depends how we define making the most. The most... what, exactly?

  39. [39] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Good yomtov. I'm eating like a starved wolf now so I can make the most of my fast tomorrow.

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  41. [41] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    Agreed. That's why I asked how. I don't see how. His base was disappointed with gay rights and abortion decisions and this latest move doesn't look advantageous for him.

  42. [42] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Here’s one for Fat Donny from Danny Elfman

    Go Away

    . . . and here’s one for Biden/Harris from John Fogerty


  43. [43] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    NYT has obtained Fat Donny's tax returns.

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:

    John From Censornati

    Yep. Turns out, Fat Donnie is a terminal tax cheat who likely paid less in taxes than the majority of Americans and is millions in debt. Who knew!?



    The Times obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.

    By Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and Mike McIntire

    Sept. 27, 2020

    Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

    He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

    As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.

    Surprise, surprise... said no one.

  45. [45] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    In case anyone was wondering, my song selections indicated that I was in a grave dancing kinda mood and that was before the big, beautiful good news.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua and JFC,

    I guess that depends how we define making the most. The most... what, exactly?

    The most SCOTUS confirmations, naturally. :) And, very conservative ones at that! He might even get more yet ... :(

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, has the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party already started!?

    Well, everyone - here we go!

  48. [48] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Grave Dancers Union Local 502 has already taken over the party.

  49. [49] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    GDU Local 420 is invited.

  50. [50] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Don wrote,

    I would support a compact that says the states would award their electoral votes on a proportional basis.

    Then the electoral votes would better reflect the votes of all citizens.

    That would more closely reflect the majority of citizens within smaller than state size voting districts. But those within each district who picked the losing candidate are still disenfranchised, so that's only a partial fix. Only screwing a hopefully smaller number of voters.

    Why not go all the way to popular vote so everyone's vote ultimately counts?

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's always great to hear some new material from a classic artist. Here is Al Harlow, one of the semi-original members of Prism - Ron Tabak era and beyond, reviving an old Vancouver band, Seeds of Time and performing a brand new tune, Let It Go:

    In fact, it's thanks to Al that Prism continued on as a Canadian rock band after a short detour as an all-American Band in the wake of the departure of Tabak.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  53. [53] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    What a coincidence! I happen to be in a California style Local 420, too.

  54. [54] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    There's something in the air
    There's something rising up
    Not one but a million that have had enough!

    Secrets From The Undergound

    BLM & Ruth sent us.

  55. [55] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    MtnCaddy [55}

    . . . then this one's for you.

    <a href=""Cruising CA

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Secrets From the Underground is a really great tune! Written eight years or more ago ... could have been written yesterday.

  57. [57] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    HA! And, that is why I don't do that. :)

  59. [59] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I'm buzzed. Mistakes will happen.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll be listening to the Offspring in the background for the rest of our little soiree. :)

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just keep the tunes rolling, JFC!

  62. [62] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Offspring - try The Future Is Now and Stuff Is Messed Up

  63. [63] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Thirty-six bottles of beer on the wall

    Don’t Want To Wait Anymore

    Just think of the orange one as the woman in this one.

    Talk To Ya Later

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I've listened to all of those already!

    But, so far, here is my favourite:

    Here, Kitty Kitty

    It's a real hoot!

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ya know, JFC, I don't think there are many bands around today who will still be rockin' 40 years from now. But, the Offspring may just be one of them!

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey! It's Biden's theme song ...

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's a Heart-felt tribute to Led Zeppelin - watch music magic as the girls and friends do Stairway to Heaven ...

  69. [69] 
    Kick wrote:
  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It feels like it's ladies night! So, where's Linda?

  72. [72] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    This was published yesterday, but showed up on my newsfeed this morning.
    A wake-up call on why the Friday Talking Points should be written for ALL Democratic candidates to use, not just the would-be President.
    'Under the Constitution, the winner of the presidential election isn’t officially chosen until Congress certifies the Electoral College vote total on Jan. 6, 2021. That vote comes several days after the newly elected Congress is sworn in, meaning the delegation totals will change to reflect the winners of House races in November.'

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A wake-up call on why the Friday Talking Points should be written for ALL Democratic candidates to use, not just the would-be President.


    The FTPs have always been intended for ALL Democrats, candidates or no.

    And, to be clear, this particular "would-be" Democratic president has never had much use for talking points in the, ah, classic sense. But, Chris's FTPs? Well, that's another story! :)

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, and if the election is that close, then we're way beyond "talking points" , even of the FTP variety.

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    John From Censornati

    Secrets From The Undergound

    BLM & Ruth sent us.

    Stellar. :)

  76. [76] 
    John M wrote:

    [36] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "You know, the Democrats must have a very poor case with unpersuasive arguments to put before the American people if they believe they need to pack the court."

    I don't think that's the case at all.

    "In any event, Trump has made the most of his opportunities and Democrats could take some lessons."

    I think this is more of the point.

    Republicans have been single minded when it comes to the single issue of abortion and Supreme Court appointments. That's why they have gotten what they wanted despite being the minority in terms of overall votes.

    Democrats and Democratic voters, until now, have not paid attention to court appointments as much as they should, and have not been as laser focused organized on a single issue like abortion, despite Democratic voters being in the majority, or at least more Democrats than Republicans. Republicans also tend to actually show up to vote more. Voter turnout determines results.

    The other major disadvantage is that the Senate is stacked against majority voting. California with 39 million people has as much of a say as Wyoming with 578,000 people. And it is the Senate only that controls the composition of the Supreme Court.

    That's how you end up with a majority of justices who are far to the right of where the majority of the population is ideologically.

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Republicans also tend to actually show up to vote more. Voter turnout determines results.

    Why is that?

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Did you not have internet access last night? :(

  79. [79] 
    John M wrote:

    [79] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Republicans also tend to actually show up to vote more. Voter turnout determines results.

    Why is that?"

    Why is Republican turnout generally higher than Democratic turnout? Lots of reasons:

    1) Republican membership tends towards being older, whiter, and richer. That leads to more free time, and better transportation, and better means and access to time off work, etc.

    2) Democratic membership tends to be younger, poorer, blacker and more brown. This leads to less paying attention among college students to politics, less ability to get time off from work to go vote, or a car to drive to the polls, and greater voter suppression and therefore more obstacles to voting, such as requiring; a birth certificate and photo I.D. to vote, and forcing ex felons who also tend to be more black or brown, to jump thru more hoops before getting their right to vote back.

    So even if more Democrats are registered to vote than Republicans, it's easier for more Republicans to actually show up and vote than Democrats. That's why Trump is so freaking out about mail in ballots, that would make voting so much more easier for so many more people, mostly Democrats.

  80. [80] 
    John M wrote:

    [80] Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Did you not have internet access last night? :("

    Yes, but I had to work on Sunday. I am in retail you know. :-) A small percentage of the population still has to work on weekends and holidays to keep the world going, while the rest of you get to actually enjoy your time off from work. I cam home, had dinner, and fell asleep, so I could not join the music festival last night. :-(

  81. [81] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don [83],

    proportional allocation of electors only works if all the states do it. if some don't, it reduces the power of those that do.

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    My mistake, I wasn't clear what I meant by "works." In the near term, converting a state from winner take all to proportional electors would mainly hurt the party who won the state by reducing their national electoral vote count. The main benefit would go to the candidate who came in second. Any other hypothetical benefits depend on complex systems that might or might not behave as expected.

  83. [83] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Yes, but I had to work on Sunday. I am in retail you know. :-)

    Me, too ... I thought you knew that.

    A small percentage of the population still has to work on weekends and holidays to keep the world going, while the rest of you get to actually enjoy your time off from work.

    I know what you mean but, I do make the schedule, so ... :)

    I came home, had dinner, and fell asleep, so I could not join the music festival last night. :-(

    I came home, made dinner - Salmon fillet on a bed of rice with spinach on the side - takes about 10 minutes including prep. But, I had a glass of wine first. After dinner, I caught my second wind and came right here.

    Do you have to work every Sunday? This weekend I'm working Saturday and off on Sunday. But, sometimes I work the whole weekend. I still try to find time to come here for the festival because it gives me a reason to dance around the living room. Heh.

    Hoping you'll be able to stay awake this Sunday evening! You know it goes on until 3am, Chris's time. Truth be known, I got tired last night, too ... or tipsy ... probably a little of both. :-)

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Make that 3am, MY time ... though we could always extend the festival, at will!

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What time zone are you in, anyways!? :)

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    When will that disparity in voting capacity change? I mean when will Democrats start taking this seriously and actually do something about it?

    If you think about it, polling places should be so ancient history.

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, John, will we ever be on a first name basis?

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why are polling stations STILL the way we normally vote?

  89. [89] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Good grief, why it news that Trump is a serial tax-dodger and as poor as a shithouse rat?

    While I was looking into Menie Estate enviromental issues a few years back (a freelance endeavor I still do when approached, I gather, sort and submit reports for various enviromental groups here in Canada and the UK.) Menie itself is relitively bleak and windswept, even for that part of Aberdeenshire, what it does have is a beautiful stretch of natural sand dunes and spotted wetlands designated SSSl, (site of special scientific interest) as it's home to several specific breeding areas for half a dozen species of birds that aren't known to breed anywhere else in the UK. This might sound odd, but i found myself awkwardly aligned with The Trump.corp in opposition to a wind farm planned a few miles east of where he had just purchased a few thousand acres to put a 36 hole course with attendant hotel, spa and holiday homes.

    While doing this kind work, it's prudent to be objective and to look into all concerned interests and who's saying and doing or planning, (it's quite embarrassing to advocate for a wildlife reserve to find out later a developer didn't want wind turbines because they wanted to build on the land adjacent and merely wanted a clean vista for their benefit.)

    In my typical assiduous way, when I looked into who actually owned the dune-land in question it became apparent that the Trump corps had essentially falsified the purchase land survey to involve about 40 acres of the sssl to include it in the design of the course (the dunes were completely useless for incorporation into either course as they face south east and are bordered by the North Sea to the coast and backed by impenetrable fescue and braken to the north and west facing the pastoral, soon to be golf course) We lost to the local utilities corporation and were unable to prevent a dozen or so turbines to be erected in the area, I was however successful in preventing Trump corp from bulldozing a 3/4 mile section of the site they wanted to build 'ocean front villas' on, to which they had no ownership.

    I bring this up because, while I was looking into specific ownership markers and boundary lines, Trump corps wasn't on any of the deeds associated with the land and indeed wasn't represented at the county for planning for rezoning. When I dug a bit deeper, it became apparent that an LLC out of Cyprus owned the land and had a 97% fifty year mortgage underwritten by another LLC out of Holland. Now, I've done a lot of this kind work over the years, partly because the world is full of arseholes wanting to demolish unique enviroments for personal use or gain, but mostly because I can't abide human encroachment on centuries old wildlife habitats and breeding grounds. However, it took me all of ten minutes to figure out what was going on in Balmedie, Trump corps was, and I assume, still is, a 'letter-head' organization. In layman's terms, it refers to an entity that holds little or no actual paper on a building or plot of land, but is the legitimate face of the operation. Now, I've seen situations where a perfectly legitimate concern prefers to letter-head a project for whatever reason they have, usually because it's out of the their usual balliwick and they want it separate from a name or brand that is incompatible with the proposition, however nine times out of ten it's shady money being cleaned (they're easy to spot when you backtrack the subcontracting civil engineering and discover that high bids for jobs were taken over sensible, professionally tendered lower bids, crooks like to think they're smarter than analysts, they're wrong.)

    So, a decade ago I submitted my findings to the Aberdeenshire county council, who also, in their investigations, decided that Trump corp were shelling for 'individuals unknown' and moved the wind farm a few miles north of the heart of the sssl and closer to the coastline Trump corp could actually lay claim to. Incedently, Trump corps tried and failed to browbeat and sue Aberdeenshire into erecting tidal mesh bulwarks along a stretch of the property, they cited global warming for tidal erosion...I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard given that they wanted to bulldoze natures natural bullwark a few years earlier to make an interesting, albiet useless series of bunkers that no golfer would ever find with a ball.

    So, upon reading about Trump's financial morass's I had to chuckle because this is old news, Trump has been playing the oldest property management scam known to real estate financia. The shell game of undervaluing assets for tax evasions and overvaluing the same assets for the purpose of gaining loans against the asset. Trump, jawdroppingly, is working this shell-game, with assets he doesn't actually hold paper on and has has to personally underwrite his own loans personally. That is quite possibly the most dangerous way to play high finance, it's no wonder he wants to keep his personal finances hidden, it's not from the American voter, he's already displayed utter contempt for them with his obvious bullshit, it's for all the suckers who have millions in his wallet.


  90. [90] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Last night was a good night for TV. Part one of The Comey Rule debuted on Showtime. Part two is tonight. That should further trigger the orangutan just in time for the "debate".

    Better yet, season four of Fargo premiered as well!

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I have to say that was one of the most interesting comments I have ever read around here.

    And, you're right. None of this is surprising. But, a lot of it is certainly newsworthy.

    Incidentally, Trump corps tried and failed to browbeat and sue Aberdeenshire into erecting tidal mesh bulwarks along a stretch of the property, they cited global warming for tidal erosion...I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard ...


  92. [92] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I suspect that the debate will be more of a debacle for Trump than anything we can call useful for his inept campaign. He's clueless about most things in this world, politics being no exception. Biden has been in the engine room of the American political jalopy for decades, there's nothing Trump can best him on, Biden can quote figures and details about the internal workings of a sober administration with ease, Trump can only stumble from word salad to the next, stopping only to make murkier something he said earlier. Biden can also recite scriptural nonsense from memory, which appeals to the great unwashed and self-deluded, Trump has a copy of the bible signed by Constantine the day after the first Council of Nicaea, if you believe how he's painted by that dull mob.

    It'll be no contest, Trump will lie, invoke conspiracy theories, insult and evade... Biden will be on point and make sense. I doubt the debates will move the needle much, if at all. If it does, I don't think Trump will avail himself as the man to save the country from...him.


  93. [93] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nice.

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think.

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well ... oh, never mind. I liked the gist of it. :)

  96. [96] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i tried watching fargo, but found it a pale imitation of the movie. maybe if i didn't so completely love the coen brothers film and the role of frances mcdormand within it, i wouldn't have felt so let down.


  97. [97] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  98. [98] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Guess what my favourite line in that movie is ...

  99. [99] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


  100. [100] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  101. [101] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not even close.

  102. [102] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll give ya a hint.

    It is said just after the father gets out of his car, with a concealed gun, to deliver the 'ransom'.

    It's laugh out loud funny but I shan't repeat it here. Heh.

  103. [103] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    dang, i should know this.

  104. [104] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, you should. You'll have to watch the movie again. I bet Kick knows what I'm talking about. Heh.

  105. [105] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    If you've only tried watching the first season, you've made a mistake. Each season has completely different characters and unrelated stories. I thought that season one was the weakest.

  106. [106] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    something like, wheres my daughter you punk?

  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, not exactly. It's what the would-be kidnapper said just before or after that. Ahem.

  108. [108] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Trump’s tax returns brings up the question, just how will Trump pay back the millions he got from Russia which Eric Trump told reporters made up the majority of their funding for more than half of their projects and was why they did not need loans from banks in this country???

    Maybe our intelligence agencies should have conducted those pesky counterintelligence investigations into Trump’s financial ties to Russia that McCabe had ordered before he was replaced!

  109. [109] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    okay, i'll start at season two and try again.


  110. [110] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i know the film pretty well, and i honestly can't think of what line you mean or why you'd find it funny.

  111. [111] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    You fooking shot me!

  112. [112] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The cop in season 2 is the father of the cop in season 1. They go back in time to tell a story that was referred to in season 1. That's really all that connects them.

  113. [113] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i still think margie was the best character in the film, and any spin-off without her would for me seem a bit empty.

  114. [114] 
    James T Canuck wrote:


    You might be confusing loans with money laundering, LWYH. The sketchy specimens Trump (fairly sure it was jr who said, "a disproportionate amount of our revenue comes from Russia) was refering to were the greasy oligarchs from Kazakhstan and Belarus who were flushing ill-gotten money thru the Trump organization in the form of 'investment in real estate'. The rub is as old as it is unartistic, One such laughably naked example is, Tevfik Arif, a shady Kazakh m8 of Putin, one time partner with Trump in Trump Soho and all round scumbagger sent his sister off to the US to invest and wash their cash, she paid the Trump org five million for a million buck apartment in Trump Tower. People with clean cash don't pay five times over the odds for real estate in a slumped market, they just don't. It's corruption 101, subsection 1, Money laundering...Pay too much for bricks and mortar, resolve to take a loss.

    This Australian doc by ABC is quite good, it lays out all of Trump's corrupt ways dating back a few decades.


  115. [115] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, but, just know that you all forced me to say, er, quote it:

    So, Carl is about to get the ransom from Jerry and they each get out of their cars and Carl sees that it isn't Jerry. It's Wade, Jerry's father-in-law who has come to the meet to kill the kidnappers.

    And, the first words out of the incredulous Carl are ...

    "Who the fuck are you? WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!?"

    Did I ever tell y'all what my Poker Stars username is? Heh.

    Yeah, well, I'm goin' to bed, now.

  116. [116] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    Yes, you should. You'll have to watch the movie again. I bet Kick knows what I'm talking about. Heh.


  117. [117] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and that's the best line of the film? really? come on!just a few of my MANY favorites:

    i think i'm gonna have to disagree with you on your policework there lou.

    he says the last guy who called him a jerk was dead now, what do you think about that, so i says that doesn't sound like too good a deal for him then.

    i guess that was your accomplice there in the wood chipper?

  118. [118] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    James T Canuck,

    Vanity Fair article on the subject:

    ”So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.”

  119. [119] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    also that line in popular culture predated the film by almost twenty years.

  120. [120] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I didn't say it was the best line. Give me some credit, Joshua.

  121. [121] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Your favourites are my very own favourites. :)

  122. [122] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And that would benefit the voters which is what I consider to be what works.

    which voters would benefit? all voters in that state? all voters in the country? let's say california decides to go proportional, but nobody else does. great for republican voters, they get around twenty extra electoral votes for free. will texas decide to follow suit, leading to more accurate representation nationwide? not bloody likely.


  123. [123] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  124. [124] 
    Kick wrote:


    and that's the best line of the film? really? come on!

    Sir, you have no call to get snippy with me. I'm just doing my job here. ;)

  125. [125] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  126. [126] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    smoke a fuckin' peace pipe, man.

  127. [127] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I love you guys ... :-)

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