Friday Talking Points -- Republicans In Disarray

[ Posted Friday, December 4th, 2020 – 17:07 UTC ]

That headline is meant as a joke, because the much-more-typical headline of its type (that lazy political writers love to use) is: "Democrats In Disarray." But this week the Trump circus is finally beginning to realize that it's almost time to fold its tents and leave town, and the result has been the party beginning to eat its own, as it tries to figure out how to cope with the looming post-Trump era.

The problem for the Republican Party is that it has completely sold its soul to Donald Trump. And only now are they beginning to realize how high a price they've paid. There really is no Republican Party left, it is now nothing more than a personality cult feverishly devoted to their Dear Leader. Unfortunately, all the Dear Leader cares about is how fervently everyone worships him. Nothing else matters to him. The Dear Leader couldn't care less about the Republican Party or its future without him.

Many, including Joe Biden, kind of expected a snap back to some sort of political normalcy, post-Trump. But now we all seem to be trapped in a conundrum summed up by the song title: "How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?" Trump, it now seems, isn't going anywhere. His biggest decision right now is going to be when he will announce his bid to retake the White House in 2024. Will he surprise everyone and announce before the Georgia Senate runoff elections in early January? Will he go the standard route of waiting until after the 2022 midterms? Probably not, because Trump himself seems to be favoring what could possibly be the rudest presidential campaign launch since Andrew Jackson's in 1824. Trump is leaning towards not only not attending Joe Biden's inauguration, but instead trying to beat Biden's television ratings by holding a simultaneous rally where he announces his 2024 bid. But whenever it happens, what seems crystal clear is that Trump is not going to gently fade into the background.

What this means is that for the next four years, Republicans are going to have to continue filtering everything they say and do through one major lens: will this or will this not enrage Donald Trump? And that's a tough place for them to be, obviously, because so many things enrage Trump. First and foremost right now, of course, is the fact that he lost the presidential election by over seven million votes to Joe Biden. As far as Trump is concerned, every Republican politician in the country should be doing everything possible -- legalities and constitutionality be damned -- to wave a magic wand and declare him the winner of the race. This has proven impossible, because while most Republican governors are happy to occasionally blow sunshine up Trump's skirt by offering up all the empty praise he demands, it turns out they are not willing to illegally overturn the will of the people of their state. The voters have spoken, and it is impossible to please Trump with the result, because as far as Trump is concerned, only the votes for him should count. Which, obviously, is impossible in a true democracy.

This is, to be blunt, a Stalinesque attitude, aided and abetted by McCarthyist tactics. Joseph Stalin is reported to have defined (although he may never have actually said it, to be fair) the goal Trump is now trying to achieve, by saying: "It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." And Joe McCarthy was the original guy who made outlandish claims of wrongdoing while waving around various pieces of paper containing lists which supposedly documented communist infiltrators in the American government. He never had any actual proof, but waving around a piece of paper and talking about how he had proof was good enough for a whole bunch of people.

This is what Trump and his team of clowns -- oh, excuse me, his crack legal team -- are now trying to do. Trump wants to determine which votes count, and just throw out millions of them so that he can "win." Rudy Giuliani and the rest of the passengers in the legal clown car thunder as loudly as they can about all the supposed proof, but when asked to present it in a court of law, it turns out none of it actually exists. All of it has been proven false or impossible or otherwise too fantastical to even contemplate. This wasn't enough for Trump, so this week he threw all the conspiracy theories together and made a 46-minute-long video where he regurgitated them all in true angry-dictator fashion. This speech will doubtlessly go down in history as the most deranged address any U.S. president has given, ever. It's truly that unhinged.

Here's one review:

Over the length of a 46-minute video posted to social media Wednesday, President Trump read and riffed on a prepared script lambasting those who had the audacity to suggest that receiving fewer votes than his opponent meant he shouldn't serve a second consecutive term in office....

What the video wasn't was a compelling argument for the idea that the 2020 presidential contest was somehow marred by fraud. It was, almost literally, a distillation of the past four weeks of rants, allegations and accusations, including countless examples of claims which have already been soundly debunked....

Since polls closed Nov. 3, Trump's public response to his loss has been one of exasperation, the spoiled child suddenly told that he can't do something he wants to do. Some part of this is political, an effort to lash out at President-elect Joe Biden and to impose an emotional cost on Democrats broadly. But there's obviously something deeper and more psychological at play, a darker shadow of refusal and frustration and fury that can't as easily be countered with simple rationality.

For all of the reporting about how Trump understands that he lost the race and is discussing a potential run in 2024, the speech released Wednesday did not convey any calculated assessment of the situation. It was a cri de coeur that, given the season, begs comparisons to the Festivus airing of grievances from George Costanza's father on "Seinfeld" -- another older Queens man unable to gracefully accept the nature of the world around him.

Introducing that comparison, though, risks diminishing the danger of Trump's commentary.

Again, there wasn't anything new to it. It was a pastiche of so much that we've heard so often. It presented no coherent case for the existence of fraud, instead substituting a volume of accusations for an abundance of proof.

But while Trump rages at the world, life continues on. The two Senate runoff races in Georgia will determine the political control of the chamber, so Trump has finally agreed to go down there and hold a rally tomorrow. But it's a measure of the party's disarray that this is seen by many Republicans as both a good thing (to boost GOP voter turnout) as well as a possible disaster in the making (depending on what Trump says). And to make matters worse for them, some prominent Republican lawyers are now calling for a voter boycott of the runoff election, while other Trump backers are telling voters to write in Donald Trump's name on their ballots instead of voting for the GOP Senate candidates. These acts of what can only be called political suicide could hand the Senate to the Democrats, which is precisely why Republicans are so worried. One former state GOP representative put it pretty starkly: "It's pure insanity.... It's absolutely the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

Their real problem, however, is that Trump is still ranting about how he didn't lose the election and how Georgia should just give all their votes to him because the Georgia election was totally rigged and stolen from Trump. But the strongest argument the two Republican senators have for re-election is: "You need us to stop the radical policies which will otherwise happen under President Biden." However, they can't actually make this argument and square it with Trump's Fantasyland belief that he's going to somehow be coronated for a second term in January.

This has now developed into a vicious internecine war. Trump is ripping into the Republican governor of Georgia and the Republican secretary of state (who is responsible for elections), for their refusal to just (somehow) hand the state to him. One Republican lawyer is telling his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers: "I will NOT vote in GA runoff," and saying things like: "Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election?" Elsewhere on social media, the two Republican senators in the race are being called secret Democrats for not somehow using their own magical powers to hand Trump the state. The senators have called for the secretary of state to step down. The secretary of state ripped into the senators in return, insisting that the election was carried out properly.

And nobody knows what Trump's going to say at his rally tomorrow. Is he going to just rant and rave about his own election? Will he even bother to mention the Senate runoffs? Will he insist that the voting system is still "rigged," leading to lower turnout among Republican voters? Nobody knows, but it should be interesting to watch.

All of this is bad enough, but things could always get worse. A Trump campaign attorney said in an interview this week that Trump's former head of cybersecurity, Chris Krebs, "should be drawn and quartered" or "taken out and dawn and shot." All for the crime of telling the American public the truth that this was in fact the safest and most secure election ever (Krebs added, this week: "Trump fired me for saying this, but I'll say it again: The election wasn't rigged"). Trump already fired the guy for his honesty, and now they're calling for him to face what the Constitution calls "cruel and unusual punishment" for doing his job correctly. And it comes from a lawyer for the campaign of the president of the United States, mind you.

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr also dared to come out and speak the truth, saying that he had "not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election." He also directly address perhaps the biggest crazy conspiracy theory out there directly: "There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud, and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the [Department of Homeland Security] and [the Department of Justice] have looked into that, and so far, we haven't seen anything to substantiate that."

Even worse, the following story emerged this week:

The official serving as President Donald Trump's eyes and ears at the Justice Department has been banned from the building after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters she could relay to the White House, three people familiar with the matter tell The Associated Press.

Heidi Stirrup, an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, was quietly installed at the Justice Department as a White House liaison a few months ago. She was told within the last two weeks to vacate the building after top Justice officials learned of her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases and the department's work on election fraud, the people said.

So now people are laying bets for how long it will be before Barr is forced out by Trump, of course. Here's how Chuck Schumer put it: "I guess he's the next one to be fired, since he now too says there's no fraud. Trump seems to fire anyone in that regard."

What worries us, however, is what happens after Barr is fired? There are still many weeks left before Joe Biden takes office, and Trump could appoint anyone he likes as acting attorney general -- including a nutcase like Rudy Giuliani.

The Republican Party has sown the wind with Donald Trump. And now, truly, they are reaping the whirlwind as a result. Even saying "Republicans In Disarray" is woefully understating the damage that is now being done, and will continue to be done for another seven long weeks, before this circus truly does leave town.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Today, the House of Representatives held a historic vote, when they passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. This would completely "deschedule" marijuana, meaning the federal government would no longer consider it a "dangerous substance" (legalese for recreational drugs). This is ultimately what needs to happen, but the reason it got a vote now rather than before the election was nothing short of Nancy Pelosi's political cowardice.

Some Democrats still thought that being on the side of legalization is somehow a political liability. And all but five House Republicans voted against it. This is shortsighted on the side of Republicans, and too timid by half for the Democrats.

Fifteen states have now legalized recreational marijuana. That's almost a third of them. Ballot initiatives continue to pass in state after state, and this year even ruby-red places like South Dakota voted for legalization. Everybody likes weed, it seems, no matter what their other political views may be. Legalization regularly polls north of 60 percent with the general public.

And yet still one of our political parties is against it, and the other one is too frightened to use the issue to make some political gains. That's pathetic.

But we shouldn't be so harsh, because as we said, today is indeed a milestone day. This is the first time descheduling marijuana has ever passed either chamber of Congress. But it will go nowhere in Mitch McConnell's Senate and the bill will die when the new Congress is sworn in next month. So it is a purely symbolic bill.

But it won't always be. Sooner or later, this is going to happen. It is inevitable, at this point. In fact, we reached the political tipping point with it a long time ago.

Some Democrats have already figured this out. So while we're going to award the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week to Representative Jerrold Nadler, the bill's sponsor, we would also like to give an Honorable Mention to the other 119 House Democrats who co-sponsored it.

Nadler and a handful of other Democrats have been pushing this issue for a very long time now. They finally succeeded in getting a bill passed by the whole House. Finally enough Democrats feel safe enough to vote on such a bill -- after the election is over, and a month before this Congress will expire.

That is indeed progress, but we still have a long way to go, obviously.

[Congratulate Representative Jerrold Nadler on his House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Sigh. Here we go again. These weren't even the only such examples of "do as I say, not as I do" on coronavirus restrictions in the past few weeks, but they hit pretty close to home for us.

The mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, apparently had a birthday dinner at the same fancy Napa restaurant where Governor Gavin Newsom had dined with a big group the night before. Not to be outdone, San Jose's mayor, Sam Liccardo, violated state and local health orders by celebrating Thanksgiving with five separate households in one day.

Politicians have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, period. They are leaders. They are supposed to set the example for us all. And by either casually or blatantly violating the pandemic restrictions, they are sending exactly the wrong message.

Two weeks ago we gave the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Newsom. Today we hand it out to the mayors of San Francisco and San Jose, for exactly the same reason.

Maybe we need to insult them in the worst possible way, to warn other Democrats not to likewise disregard pandemic restrictions -- something along the lines of: "You are acting precisely like Donald Trump!"

[Contact San Francisco Mayor London Breed on her official contact page, and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on his official contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 598 (12/4/20)

Occasionally there are moments in politics that really require everyone to stop and take note. This week saw one of these moments. In an incredibly heartfelt press conference, Gabriel Sterling, an elections official in Georgia, made a plea for sanity.

Top Georgia Republicans, as well as everyone else working on the state's election process, have been falsely accused by the president of the United States of somehow "stealing" the election from him. They have no evidence, they have no proof. But not only is Trump raging at these officials, his followers have taken it the next logical step and started threatening violence and death towards them.

Sterling, this week, had just had enough.

He spoke without notes, straight from his heart. His words are much more powerful, as a result. They are, in fact, the complete opposite of "talking points."

But this plea really needs to be heard by as many people as possible. And not just some little five-second soundbite, either. The whole video is only a little over 10 minutes long, but everyone should really take the time to watch it, just to hear the emotion in his voice.

Below is the transcript of what Sterling said. We have not even attempted to add emphasis to any of it (such as: "THIS. HAS. TO. STOP."), since doing so would require almost half the speech to be emphasized in some fashion or another. We did parse it a bit differently than the transcript site did, because it wasn't delivered in paragraph form, it was a succession of strong statements that needed to stand out more. This is also why we recommend watching the entire video, because viewing it is like a punch in the stomach.

This is a man -- a Republican, by the way -- who is standing up for decency, for the rule of law, and for democracy itself. He is challenging all people, up to and including his own party's two senators and president, to stop the insanity before it goes too far.

Every American needs to hear this message, because there have been precious few people who have made a stronger moral case against Trumpism. Which is why we pre-empted our own talking points this week, because we really thought it was that important.

Good afternoon. My name is Gabriel Sterling. I'm the Voting System Implementation Manager for the state of Georgia. And just to give y'all a heads up, this is going to be sort of a two-part press conference today. At the beginning of this, I'm going to do my best to keep it together because it has all gone too far. All of it.

Joe diGenova today asked for Chris Krebs, a patriot who ran CISA., to be shot.

A twenty-something tech in Gwinnett County today has death threats and a noose put out, saying he should be hung for treason because he was transferring a report on batches from an E.M.S. to a county computer so we could read it.

It has to stop.

Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions.

This has to stop.

We need you to step up and if you're going to take a position of leadership, show some.

My boss, Secretary Raffensperger, his [home] address is out there. They have people doing caravans in front of their house. They've had people come on to their property. Tricia, his wife of 40 years, is getting sexualized threats through her cell phone.

It has to stop.

This is elections. This is the backbone of democracy. And all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this.

It's too much.

Yes. Fight for every legal vote. Go through your due process. We encourage you. Use your First Amendment. That's fine.

Death threats, physical threats, intimidation, it's too much. It's not right. They've lost the moral high ground to claim that it is.

I don't have all the best words to do this because I'm angry. The straw that broke the camel's back today is again, this 20-year-old contractor for a voting system company, just trying to do his job. Just there. In fact, I talked to Dominion today and [they] said he's one of the better ones they got. His family is getting harassed now. There's a noose out there with his name on it.

That's not right.

I've got police protection outside my house. Fine. I took a higher profile job. I get it. [The] secretary [of state] ran for office. His wife knew that too. This kid took a job. He just took a job.

And it's just wrong.

I can't begin to explain the level of anger I have right now over this. And every American, every Georgian -- Republican and Democrat alike -- should have that same level of anger.

Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the state of Georgia. We're investigating. There's always a possibility. I get it, and you have the rights to go through the courts. What you don't have the ability to do, and you need to step up and say this, is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.

Someone's going to get hurt.

Someone's going to get shot.

Someone's going to get killed.

And it's not right.

It's not right.

And y'all, I don't have anything scripted. Like I said, I'm going to do my best to keep it together.

All of this is wrong.

DiGenova, who said for Chris Krebs to get shot, is a former US Attorney.

He knows better.

The people around the President know better.

Mr. President, as the secretary said yesterday, people aren't giving you the best advice of what's actually going on the ground. It's time to look forward. If you want to run for re-election in four years, fine, do it. But everything we're seeing right now, there's not a path. Be the bigger man here and step in. Tell your supporters: "Don't be violent. Don't intimidate."

All that's wrong.

It's un-American.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


88 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Republicans In Disarray”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Many, including Joe Biden, kind of expected a snap back to some sort of political normalcy ...

    Not many in my 'circle' and that includes Joe Biden. :)

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But while Trump rages at the world, life continues on.

    Unfortunately, for some, life comes to a screeching halt while Trump rages at the world, one soul every 30 seconds at last count.

    This AWOL president is acting in a rather stunning way. More stunning still, no one is able to stop him.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This is ultimately what needs to happen, but the reason it got a vote now rather than before the election was nothing short of Nancy Pelosi's political cowardice.

    Well, you don't suppose that the speaker was listening to the sage advice of the Democratic nominee, do you? Heh.

    Biden's a bit behind the curve on the drugs issue but, you know what, with all that was at stake, I'd have advised her in the same way. Call it cowardice or something else but there were way too many variables in this election that could have swung either way to take a chance on putting drugs on the table ... you know, along with 'defunding the police', for God's sake. :)

  4. [4] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Coronated is not a verb, although God knows I've seen it used often enough in [cough, cough: BAD] political commentary.

    One is crowned, king or leader or otherwise. The participle, following the admitted absurdities of English, is coronation, from 'corona' = crown, in Latin. But it only goes one way - going to ones coronation does not mean one is going to be coronated.

    Hate the sound of saying instead that a presidential candidate will be crowned at inauguration day? Me too. So stop calling the event a coronation. (Ditto for political conventions, where the word is abused far more frequently.)

  5. [5] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    As for Mayor London Breed of San Francisco, I may not know much about her beyond the fact that she's both the first African-American woman to be mayor of that fabulous city, and a flaming liberal's flaming liberal, but I imagine she would not be flattered by a reference to "his official contact page".

  6. [6] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Thanks so much for the full coverage of Sterling's speech. I heard a clip on the radio, and I agree: hearing it is ten times more powerful than reading it.

    This is what the Grand Old Party, the Republican Party, has come to - not the whole country, not both sides, not we're all guilty, not the Dems do it too - the GOP.

    "Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. ..all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this."

    It's not just Trump who will be responsible. It's every high-ranking Republican who hasn't spoken out to acknowledge the truth of the election, and to call for peaceful acceptance of the truth, if God forbid some of these civic workers are actually harmed. Not that getting a noose sent to you isn't 'actual harm' as well.

  7. [7] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:



    having or wearing a crown, coronet, or the like.

    verb (used with object), cor·o·nat·ed, cor·o·nat·ing.
    to crown (a sovereign).

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very good choice for the MDDOTW award - whatever happened to leading by example, anyways?

    Oh, right ... that modus operandi starts - officially - on January 20th, just after noon! I, for one, cannot wait!

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, don't forget to stop by for the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party this week because I have something very special and festive to share with everyone!

    I won't be there until around 7pm but that certainly doesn't mean that y'all can't get things going earlier ...

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Maybe we need to insult them in the worst possible way, to warn other Democrats not to likewise disregard pandemic restrictions -- something along the lines of: "You are acting precisely like Donald Trump!"

    Yes! Exactly this! Absolutley, positively, unequivocally, even. :)

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sterling, this week, had just had enough. He spoke without notes, straight from his heart. His words are much more powerful, as a result. They are, in fact, the complete opposite of "talking points."

    He had me right up to the point where he said he's supporting the two Republicans running for the senate and I thought, hmmm, he can't be too "pissed". ;)

    I wish someone would have asked him why.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Every American needs to hear this message, because there have been precious few people who have made a stronger moral case against Trumpism.

    Was he really making a case against Trumpism? Because, I'm pretty sure he said that he was supporting the two Retrumplicans running for the US senate ...

  13. [13] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Elizabeth, as I read Sterling's speech, he's saying one can support President Trump's legislative policies without automatically issuing death threats against President Trump's enemies. It seems hard to separate the two, because Trump himself doesn't. But Sterling is trying to redraw that line between political advocacy and political violence.

  14. [14] 
    andygaus wrote:

    John M [4] I'm with you. Even if accepts "coronate" as a verb, my ear absolutely does not accept it and screams "crown" instead. And that's a good example of what "good" English is to my mind: anything that causes any significant number of your readers to stop and think "That looks funny" or "That sounds funny" or "Is that right?" instead of paying attention to what you're saying is not good English, even if you can find some authority for it. That includes the correct grammar of yesteryear ("It is I"), if time has marched on.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Chris! When will the pledge drive begin?

  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M from Ct [6] -

    Thanks for the eagle-eye. This clears something up for me -- my word processor's spell check flagged it, then I went to search the word and found dictionary definitions... but didn't bother to read them, I was just trying to check the spelling.

    Anyway, live and learn. I promise I'll never use it (MISuse it, I should say) again. And thanks for the heads-up!


  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    JMfC [6] -

    OK, first that previous reference was to [4]...

    And THAT one I'll go back and change, thanks...


  18. [18] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, fixed it. I was kind of out of it today when I wrote this, obviously...


  19. [19] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [11] -

    Well, he is a Republican...


  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    andygaus [14] -

    Personally, I've been waiting for a ripe opportunity to use "amn't I?" somewhere...



  21. [21] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [15] -

    Monday, if I can get things together by then. Plan to put it all together this weekend.

    And thanks for asking!



  22. [22] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Great write up for the most part.

    I would have gone with legal team on crack vs. crack legal team, but that's just me.

    I am just a bit disappointed that Newsome didn't get dragged in again as well as the Mayor of Austin for taking a private plane to Cabo for T-day, all the while telling people not to gather.

    Looking forward to the annual kittens my cat has informed me that I need to feed her for the umpteenth time today.

  23. [23] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Hmm, the Oxford dictionary doesn't think 'coronate' is a word either, and Collins says its AmE. As a verb, it's likely a back-formation from coronation. I think andygaus has it right on usage--but 'coronate' sounds about right for what Trump wants. And that includes the political sense.

  24. [24] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M from Ct -

    Man I am TOTALLY out of it today. The first one I answered from you (coronated) was [4], the second (his) was [5], and somehow I skipped over [6]. You're right, that was one powerful performance. I urge everyone to take the 12 min and watch it, if you want to see 100% total authenticity from a political figure.


  25. [25] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    goode trickle -

    OK, that "legal team on crack" was pretty funny...

    And damn, I knew there was someone who flew out of the country, but I forgot it when writing (didn't save that particular link this week). You're right they both deserve MDDOTW awards, too. Hereby awarded retroactively...

    (kittens Monday, if all goes well.)

    "Dogs have owners, cats have staff."



  26. [26] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Mezzomamma -

    OK, so what do you call what Napoleon did?




  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i expect puppies this year, because dog lives matter!

  28. [28] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 -

    OK, I'm not even going to comment on that one...



  29. [29] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    What a disappointing FTPs column. And to think that I waited a whole two weeks for this?

    1) Everyone wins - every time - if their bingo card had "Chris Weigant awards MIDOW for marijuana-related news".

    2) The MDDOW to a California lawmaker who visits a restaurant? Srsly?

    2) Not even an attempt at the real talking points? I thought the point of this column was to provide 'talking points' to Democrats, either candidates or elected officials, for the coming week's 'action'.

  30. [30] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    My nomination for MIDOW is none other than Joe Biden. He has ALREADY named members of the coming administration who are more representative of America's diversity than Trump's. I haven't read any article with direct comparisons, but surely you'll agree this is a noteworthy accomplishment.

    And, Chris, Trump's antics already consume too much of the media's attention, which is of course a source of never- ending satisfaction to him. While this week's introductory essay was entertaining (and terrifying), I suggest that you could have dedicated a paragraph or two to what Joe Biden and other Democrats did this week.

  31. [31] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    An honorable mention for MIDOW must be awarded to Rep. Katie Porter.
    '“Secretary Mnuchin, are you in fact a lawyer?” Porter continued.

    “I do not have a legal degree, I have lawyers [who] report to me,” Mnuchin answered, with characteristic condescension.

    Porter then turned to Fed chair Jerome Powell and, confirming he does have a law degree, told Mnuchin, “Okay, so Secretary Mnuchin, you are trying to tell Chairman Powell to send over any remaining funds right now, and you’re claiming falsely, in my opinion, that that is what the law says.” Mnuchin responded by asking Porter, who graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude and is a law professor at University of California, Irvine, “Are you a lawyer?”'

  32. [32] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Another honorable mention for MIDOW goes to newly-seated Sen. Kelly (MY Senator, I'm proud to say!).

    If nothing else, his swearing in this week is the nail in the coffin of a Trump nominee that even many Republicans find too extreme.
    'Mr. Kelly’s induction all but dooms the already fraught nomination of Judy Shelton, President Trump’s nominee to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, whom the administration had hoped to confirm before the end of the lame-duck session.'

  33. [33] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And a third honorable mention goes to former President Obama. For obvious reasons, he is one of the few Democrats who can begin to spread this message.
    And what is this weekly column if not about messaging?!
    '"If you believe, as I do, that we should be able reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everyone fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan like 'defund the police' but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Mr. Obama said.'

  34. [34] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    If you're going to award MDDOW for COVID-19 hypocrisy, it should be awarded to the Democratic Mayor of Austin.
    'The trip, revealed on Wednesday by the Austin American-Statesman, is the latest example of a public official who has pleaded for vigilance in the face of rising cases and hospitalizations across the US seeming not to heed their own guidance. Adler, a Democrat, told the newspaper his actions did not violate his own regulations.'

  35. [35] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    This probably occurred too late for this week's FTP. I hope to read about it in next week's.
    'In response to Shapiro, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a comment from a Business Insider writer which noted union involvement in making her merchandise. Republicans, she added, were “freaking out because we don’t use slave-wage labour for merch that funds grassroots organising.

    “But what’s the difference between Trump’s merch and ours? Ours is made in the US. (And for [Republicans] who joke that we should give for free, we actually do – just volunteer.)”'

  36. [36] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    JMC (and CW)

    What are you guys thinking, for Gawdsake?? At this time in history, "coronated" OUGHT to mean GOT THE (CORONA)VIRUS OF THE DAY", ought it not?

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    ouch! and the ref takes a point away.
    ~jim carrey - liar, liar


    of biden's proposed nominees, who in particular was a lobbyist or a corporate consultant? if you can name specific names, i'll respect your opinion on the matter. here's the list:

    have at it.


  38. [38] 
    dsws wrote:

    From now until we begin to get a handle on covid, every day is a 9/11 in terms of death toll.

  39. [39] 
    dsws wrote:

    The Republican Party is thriving. It doesn't need a soul. If it had one to begin with, it was sold in 1876. If not then, at least when it took up the Southern Strategy. There was nothing left to sell when it ejected Bush Sr. for putting sound policy over an ill-advised campaign promise.

    Why would it need a soul, when it has 74,216,308 voters frothing for vengeance over an imaginary theft?

  40. [40] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I was a bad boy yesterday so I forced myself to watch Trump's Georgia rally.

    Trump tried to have his cake and eat it too. He spent over half of the two hours spouting "election was stolen from him" nonsense while urging Georgians to vote for the two GOP Senatorial candidates. I thought he did a halfway decent of that. "Stop the steal" was the most common crowd chant, and I could count the masked people on one hand.

    Although he only gave the female candidate a couple minutes on the microphone, Trump really talked them up pretty graciously (for Trump.)

    He claimed that the Democrats weren't going to just make America Socialist but were aiming at full-on Communism. And that Democrats were going to take away everybody's farms, jobs, guns and religion, free dangerous criminals, and make America a slave to China.

    One thing Trump didn't do was mention Hillary (gasp!) and we didn't hear even one "Lock her up" chant.

    FYI I just saw a poll showing John Ossoff up two points and Raphael Warnock up seven, so the Repugs are by no means a shoo-in to win.

    All and all, a waste of two hours of my life.

  41. [41] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Howza little Genius of Love,

    And some Teahouse On the Tracks to get things going?

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Welcome, everyone to the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party and thanks to Mtn Caddy for getting us off to a great start!

    I'd like to share a very, very special holiday treat - it's new music from a wonderful classic artist from Toronto, Gowan ...aka Lawrence Gowan of Styx since 1999 ... Styx was so lucky to nab this premiere showman after Dennis left the band ...

    Anyway, just this past Friday, Gowan released this single with Stuck on Planet Earth and it is destined to become a classic (and Pandemic) Christmas tune and, I'd like to make a special dedication for our Don because I think he'll love it!

    Here is Can You Make It Feel Like Christmas so, sit back and sing along if you like!

  43. [43] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I remember watching the Gowan concert a month or so ago. Yuge talent!

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    If you haven't seen his performance of A Criminal Mind at the 2009 Canadian Music Week, then you are in for another treat! And, that's his sixteen year old son on drums - Dylan now plays in his own band.

  45. [45] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Oh, with Rudy presumably on the shelf these lawyers on crack won't get nearly as much attention, thank Goddess. Think of it, Elizabeth, it'll be like a band losing Gowan as their "front man." Just not the same.

    [We now return you to your regularly scheduled Sunday evening programming]

    Ladies and Gentlemen, for your dining and dancing pleasure we offer TLC Waterfalls

  46. [46] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Excellent! If this song gets enough attention it could become something approaching a "classic."

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Canada loves to rock with TRIUMPH, when the lights go down...

  48. [48] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Wow, what is it with Canuck trios? This is the first Triumph song I've know I've heard for sure (I gotta believe I've heard em on the radio (e.g. Lay It On the Line but didn't know it was them.)

    Have you ever played drums, my Dear? Going back to six years old I have years of experience on piano, violin, rhythm guitar and bass guitar. But I've fooled around on drums and it's way tougher to keep track of two hands/two feet equals four things to coordinate.

    Triumph's Gil Moore playing drums and singing, too, is simply unfathomable to me!

    Keep spinning the tunes!

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    sorry to post a "link of links," but i figured nothing else quite captured myself, christmas, and canada... so here's a list from hillel ontario:

  50. [50] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Are you Canadian? I figured that from your "handle" that you are a New Yorker.

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yeah, can't think of another drummer who can blast it out like that!

  52. [52] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'm not from canada, but liz is, and she set the topic.

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, here's one of my favourite Triumph songs, Somebody's Out There

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Unfortunately, for a million reasons, TRIUMPH didn't end well in 1988 but, Rik Emmett has done some pretty amazing things since he left the band and jazz has been a big part of it. These days, he's letting his inner folk song-loving self!

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Those are all great Christmas songs!

    What did you think of 'Can You Make It Feel Like Christmas?

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    An evening with TRIUMPH would have to include Magic Power ...

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A little April Wine, anyone?

    Sign of the Gypsy Queen

  59. [59] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    While a touch (okay, more than a touch) political, technically this is music, a Jen Houston parody song.

  60. [60] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    So are you a New Yawker?

    BTW that's an impressive list of Jewish contributors to our holiday traditions. I had no idea...

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And here's some really interesting analysis of the live performance of Sign of the Gypsy Queen ...

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's a great tune from April Wine to end my portion of the evening,

  63. [63] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Day-yam, Triumph is officially my new discovery of the month!

    I love that EDS-1275 double-neck Gibson guitar (perhaps most famously used by Jimmy Page on Stairway to Heaven.)

    Twelve strings on the upper neck for rhythm guitar and a six strings lower neck for the lead work.

    I have GOT to get me one of these
    --Will Smith character
    Independence Day

    BTW who is the second guitarist in this song?

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The bass guitarist is Mike Levine, if I'm not mistaken.

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The other one is probably Rick Santers. I'm most familiar with what's known as the definitive line-up - Rik Emmett, Gil Moore and Mike Levine.

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, one more from April Wine. Just 'cause. :)

  68. [68] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K, Liz, you've really made my evening!

    Here's a little Bad Horsie to lull you to sleep.

    Sweet dreams, Miss Canada ;)

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, I almost forgot - getting back to the Holiday treat from Gowan and Stuck on Planet Earth, a band I'm just starting to get to know, with Ghosts on the Radio ...

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, yeah, a little Steve Vai will lull me right to sleep. Sweet dreams, yourself, MtnCaddy!

  71. [71] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Thanks, my Dear!:D

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    to post a "link of links," but i figured nothing else quite captured myself, christmas, and canada... so here's a list from hillel ontario:

    Don't be sorry ... just play some of them next Sunday night!

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Have you ever played drums, my Dear?

    Just through the air and, guitar, too. Heh. You should see me!

  74. [74] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    (Ahhh...I think Elizabeth is asleep by now -- Bad Horsie always does it for me)

    **Dept. of Missed Opportunities**

    When the Dems regained control of the house in 2018 I wish that they passed a bill setting up an Escrow Account to deposit Mexico's payments for Trump's silly wall. It would truly be, er, Legislative Snark.

    (sound of Mtn Caddy, cracking himself up on the Left Coast)

  75. [75] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    G'Nite all...

  76. [76] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [29] italyrusty wrote:

    What a disappointing FTPs column. And to think that I waited a whole two weeks for this?

    * * * * *

    2) Not even an attempt at the real talking points? I thought the point of this column was to provide 'talking points' to Democrats, either candidates or elected officials, for the coming week's 'action.'

    Oh, cut the man some slack. I also greatly look forward to FTP columns, and sometimes run afoul of our Board Mother on Sundays because I wanna do politics when it's music time.

    I gotta believe CW puts in way more than 40 hours a week (and I sincerely hope he's making a decent living grinding out such well thought out and voluminous content.) He's gotta be at least somewhat burned out, and we're still not out of the woods, with Trump in office for another six weeks.

    I'm sure that (like me) he lives for this stuff. So give the man a little space, OK?

  77. [77] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    BTW, Chris Weigant, I believe the phrase should go,

    Dogs have Stewards
    Cats have Staff

    Maybe I'm splitting hairs here but I don't OWN my Furbabies, I'm here to take care of them, to steward our lives together.

  78. [78] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Don't overdo the kitten stuff. Please.

  79. [79] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Don't get me wrong CW. I love cats and had a half dozen excellent cats over the years

    But when my girlfriend and I were moving into this cabin in Green Valley Lake, she told me the guy that was moving out said he was gonna take his dog Jack out in the woods and shoot him, unless we took him.

    I recall looking heavenward and remarking to myself, "Self, I guess this is the start of my 'doggie phase!'"


  80. [80] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ... Jack ran off my last cat, Lt. Worf, so named because he was the baddest warrior cat in the whole valley. I've no doubt he had a long career after that, fighting and f*cking.

    Dogs are so much more interactive than cats, with characteristics like loyalty and fierce devotion, and I'm not sure I'd be alive right now if not for having a Furbaby or two that I had to be responsible for. For me, once you try dogs you never go back, period.

  81. [81] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ***Dept. of
    Snark with your Morning Coffee***

    There are simply tons of Fellow Travelers trolling the Comments section at Fox & OANN, to wit:

    Waiter, I'd like some evidence to go with my Conspiracy Salad.

    God did it. He obviously wanted Biden to win. He told me so Himself.

    Hold your breath - Stromy Daniels is going to testify in Michigan.

    Yep. The entire planet is lying except for Trump, a dozen loonies, and a couple pretend news web sites. That's the most logical conclusion possible.

    The proof is either in the hair dye or in the farts; I'm not sure but it's there somewhere.

    ...said the guy who thinks Trumps koolaid is awesome huge the best the biggest the greatest there ever has been in the history of koolaid!

    I don't know what the OANN forums looked like 1 month ago or 1 year ago, but judging by the reactions of the "natives" here they're feelin' a bit butthurt regarding the influx of facts and reality lately. Thoughts and prayers for your fragile minds.

    Trump got the whole 2020 experience:
    1. Got COVID
    2. Lost job
    3. Getting Evicted from his house

    Damn, I wish I was dumb enough to love Trump. That way I could live in a trailer and yell at the TV from my recliner all beer-bellied and hate on all people who don't look like me who receive the same government assistance that I do.

    You've got about, what, a week left in Fantasyland?

    Rudy Giuliani loses sense of smell; everyone around him jealous.

    Rudy Giuliani is being taken to Walter Reed Pool Supplies!

    We must suspend the constitution, declare martial law, suppress the vote and elect trump to a second term. You know, for Democracy.

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    up until now it hadn't occurred to me just how much bob dylan really does look like adam sandler.

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    not that it in any way diminishes his outstanding talent and vision, but mr. zimmerman was always a bit more of a sell-out than he was willing to admit.

  85. [85] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    That's an intriguing comment. Please elaborate when you have a moment

  86. [86] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ***Dept. Of

    The Southern Baptist Convention issued this during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I know that was 22 years ago but aren't the Christofacists** supposed to revere old wisdom?

    “Be it finally RESOLVED that we urge all Americans to embrace and act on the conviction that character does count in public office, and to elect those officials and candidates who, although imperfect, demonstrate consistent honesty, moral purity and the highest character.

    **To any reader who is sincerely Christian, I mean no insult!

    **The term "Christofacist" applies only to those who want to jam their version of religion down everybody's throats. In the event that you are one of them please F.O.A.D. A.S.A.P. And please, do not have children, as we need to remove your cancer from the body politic. When you mix religion and politics, both are the worse for it.

    Freedom of Religion is meaningless unless that includes freedom from other people's religion, amirite?

  87. [87] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Okaaay...I definitely forgot to take the happy pill this morning.

  88. [88] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Public service announcement:

    Kittens are up!


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