Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors

[ Posted Friday, September 3rd, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

This week began with conservatives and liberals upset because the women of Afghanistan will now lose their freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. It ended with liberals upset that the women of Texas have now lost freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. Conservatives were notably silent, which is understandable since they were the ones instituting this unconstitutional denial of rights from the women of the Lone Star State.

Women everywhere in America used to have the right to terminate their pregnancies up to the point when the fetus was viable outside their bodies -- anywhere from about 22 to 26 weeks after they get pregnant. Now, only women outside Texas have this right, since by a Machiavellian scheme it is now functionally illegal for Texas women to get an abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy -- a time when most women aren't even aware they are pregnant. Laws like this (although decidedly less Draconian and Machiavellian) have passed state legislatures before, but they have always been struck down by the federal courts. This time, however, the Supreme Court refused to issue an emergency stay which would have barred the law from taking effect. So until further legal rulings happen, if you are a woman in Texas and want to exercise your constitutional rights, you will have to leave the state to do so.

Roe v. Wade isn't completely dead yet, but as we wrote earlier in the week, it is surely on life support. Now that the Supreme Court has given their imprimatur, there will be quick movement in other Republican-controlled state legislatures to pass identical laws. Within a very short period, abortion could be effectively outlawed in over 20 states. No, Roe isn't quite dead yet -- as long as you live in a blue state, that is. But the era of universally-legal abortion in America may be at an end.

Sadly, there's not a whole lot Democrats can do to change this anytime soon. With the Supreme Court packed with conservatives, it may only be a matter of time before Roe is outright overturned (they've already scheduled a Mississippi test case for October). The idea of packing the court right back -- which would require adding four liberal justices (or even just two, which would leave Chief Justice Roberts as the swing vote) -- is not going anywhere, at least until the legislative filibuster is removed. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has promised she will bring up the Women's Health Protection Act for a vote, which will formally enact abortion rights as a federal law (instead of relying on the courts to maintain it). This bill may pass the House, but it will go nowhere in the Senate. Only two Republicans might be convinced to vote for it (Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski), but there are two Democrats who would likely vote against it (Senators Bob Casey and Joe Manchin). That doesn't add up to 60 votes, so once again it would require the end of the filibuster to even have a chance (and even that chance might depend on Collins and Murkowski bucking their party, so there is no guarantee of success).

Electing more Democrats to the Texas state government is a pretty heavy lift, and it's about to get a lot heavier. First, they're about to gerrymander the entire state once again, which includes state legislative districts as well as U.S. House seats. And second, Texas also just passed a law which severely limits the ease of voting, since Republicans always get nervous when too many Democrats are able to vote with relative ease. Texas is really a case study for how Republicans want to run the entire country, really:

Texas this week showed us what a post-democracy America would look like.

Thanks to a series of actions by the Texas legislature and governor, we now see exactly what the Trumpified Republican Party wants: to take us to an America where women cannot get abortions, even in cases of rape and incest; an America where almost everybody can openly carry a gun in public, without license, without permit, without safety training and without fingerprinting; and an America where law-abiding Black and Latino citizens are disproportionately denied the right to vote.

This is where Texas and other red states are going, or have already gone. It is where the rest of America will go, unless those targeted by these new laws -- women, people of color and all small "d" democrats -- rise up.

On Wednesday, a Texas law went into effect that bans abortions later than six weeks, after the Supreme Court let pass a request to block the statute. Because 85 to 90 percent of women get abortions after six weeks, it amounts to a near-total ban. Already on the books in Texas is a "trigger" law that automatically bans all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. At least 10 other states have done likewise.

Also Wednesday, a new law went into effect in Texas, over the objections of law enforcement, allowing all Texans otherwise allowed to own guns to carry them in public, without a license and without training. Now, 20 states have blessed such "permitless carry."

And on Tuesday, the Texas legislature passed the final version of the Republican voting bill that bans drive-through and 24-hour voting, both used disproportionately by voters of color; imposes new limits on voting by mail, blocks election officials from distributing mail-ballot applications unless specifically requested; gives partisan poll watchers more leeway to influence vote counting; and places new rules and paperwork requirements that deter people from helping others to vote or to register. At least 17 states have adopted similar restrictions.

All three of these actions are deeply antidemocratic.

About the only thing Democrats can really do, at this point, is to use the issue as a political weapon. The interesting thing, since the Supreme Court ruled, is that very few Republicans are out there making noise about the decision. Normally, they'd be spiking the football in the end zone and doing a very public dance, but in this case they're keeping awfully quiet. This is because they realize that Draconian anti-abortion laws are actually very unpopular with the public, so they don't want to draw further attention to what it is they support.

Democrats, on the other hand, are livid, and they're not being quiet at all about it. Already, two Democratic governors are using the issue against Republican contenders. California's Gavin Newsom, facing a recall election, has been running ads warning that a Republican governor could try the same thing here, so supporters of abortion rights really need to vote "No" on the recall. In Virginia, the same warnings are being given in their gubernatorial election (which may have more of an impact, since Virginia is nowhere near as blue as California, meaning the partisan balance of their statehouse is a lot closer).

None of that changes things for women in Texas, however. They will continue to have their constitutional rights denied to them until and unless another federal court issues a ruling or a new stay. But even that would only be temporary, since eventually any such case is going to wind up before the Supreme Court once again, where a 5-4 ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has to now be seen as not only possible, but probable.

In other political news of Republican extremism, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy chanelled his inner mob thug this week, explicitly threatening the existence of telecommunications corporations, should he ever become speaker. This is one of the most jaw-dropping political threats we've ever even heard of, in fact (we wrote about it at length earlier this week). He did so because either he or his henchmen don't want their communications on and about January 6th made public. The House January 6th Select Committee merely asked dozens of telecoms to retain their records, and McCarthy went ballistic, tweeting out:

If these companies comply with the Democrat [sic] order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States. If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.

His only real problem is that the "federal law" that the companies would (according to him) be violating does not, in fact, exist. So all it is, really, is a mobster goon's threat: "You sure got a nice telecom company here... be a shame if something happened to it...."

But he's not the only Republican out there making threats. Representative Madison Cawthorn danced around open sedition in a public forum this week:

"The things that we are wanting to fight for, it doesn't matter if our votes don't count," [Representative Madison] Cawthorn told the crowd, according to a video of the event posted by the county party on its Facebook page and circulated on Twitter by a Democratic congressional staffer. "Because, you know, if our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, then it's going to lead to one place -- and it's bloodshed."

. . .

Cawthorn suggested that he was prepared to take up arms against his fellow Americans if necessary to combat voter fraud. There is no evidence that widespread fraud took place in the 2020 election.

"I will tell you, as much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there is nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American. And the way that we can have recourse against that is if we all passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states," Cawthorn said, to applause from the crowd.

Pandering to the GOP conspiracy-theorist base can be dangerous, however. The count of anti-vaxxer conservative talk radio hosts who refused to get vaccinated, contracted COVID-19, and then died is now up to four. And still counting, most likely.

One Republican usually known for extremist and conspiratorial views was actually caught admitting the truth this week. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was recorded actually admitting that Donald Trump had lost his state in the 2020 election. He was quite specific, even:

There's nothing obviously skewed about the [Wisconsin election] results. If all the Republicans voted for Trump the way they voted for the Assembly candidates, he would have won. He didn't get 51,000 votes that other Republicans got, and that's why he lost.... The only reason Trump lost Wisconsin is that 51,000 Republican voters didn't vote for him.

Of course, Johnson faced some blowback from the hardcore MAGA-hat-wearing crowd, for admitting the truth.

There's really no clean way to segue into this one, sorry. We really never thought we would get to this point in politics, but one of the Republican candidates running in the gubernatorial recall election in California has proven us wrong. He's already made a name for himself by campaigning with a bear (for some idiotic reason), so he shot a new television ad starring the bear. And he ends with a line that has successfully been used (unsaid, but still...) to hawk toilet paper for more than a decade, now. Yes, a candidate for governor of the most populous state in the Union actually utters the words: "Does a bear [bleep] in the woods?" in a campaign ad. Strange but true.

And finally, speaking of metaphorical excrement (see, now, that segue was pretty easy, actually), we saw a headline this week that could be used as "Exhibit A" for why we are eternally grateful that Joe Biden is now president: "Trump Rants About Media Spending 'All Night' On Ida Instead Of His 'Great' Taliban Deal." No, really. He was mad the media covered a category 4 hurricane rather than heaping praise on him for surrendering to the Taliban. You just can't make this stuff up, folks.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

This is a somewhat strange award this week, because while national Democrats were pretty quiet (Congress is still off on vacation), there was one welcome development at the state level.

Before we get to that, though, we do have two Honorable Mention awards to hand out. The first goes to President Joe Biden, for giving a rather forceful and heartfelt speech on the end of the American military involvement in Afghanistan. This was a welcome change, because throughout the withdrawal crisis Biden has been rather soft-spoken in manner. He was probably not getting a lot of sleep, but this week -- one day after the last military plane had left the Kabul airport -- Biden gave a good speech where he outlined his thinking on the war in general, the withdrawal, and what was going to come next. He forcefully defended his positions on all of it, which did a lot to shape the narrative in the media.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also deserves an Honorable Mention for reacting to the Supreme Court ruling on Texas by vowing to bring up a bill for a House vote which would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. This really should have happened decades ago, but Democrats have long been leery of this issue because Republicans have been so effective at using it as a political bludgeon since the 1980s (at least). In the past, this worked well for the GOP, but the public's attitudes have shifted over time and support for abortion rights has a clear majority these days. Meaning it is a lot less risky to try to enact abortion rights as a federal law than it used to be.

Pelosi's no fool -- she knows this will be a symbolic vote. The bill is not going anywhere in the Senate. But by forcing the vote, Pelosi will be pushing the issue to the forefront of politics for the midterms. It's a gamble, which is why she deserves mention for taking the political risk.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is a collective award which goes to Democratic voters in the state of California. Now, we could be premature with this award -- we may end up with egg on our face. But we are pretty confident that's not going to happen.

California is in the midst of a recall election (ballots are being mailed in daily as we write this). Republicans actually got enough signatures to force this election, which is costing the state's taxpayers over $200 million, a little over one year from a scheduled gubernatorial election. And about a month ago, the mainstream media pundits all went collectively bonkers because a poll or two seemed to indicate that the race was a tossup. And then there was a dearth of polling for a few weeks, so the storyline took hold with a frenzy.

Now, however, more polls are out and they show that Newsom really doesn't have much to worry about. His job approval was at 58 percent in one poll, with just 39 percent disapproving. That is a very healthy margin indeed. Other polls told similar stories.

The big scare was caused by how polling operations select their "likely voters." It was only in the likely voters category that the earlier polls showed a close race. But it is almost impossible to predict who will and who will not vote in this election, because it is so unique. Election Day is in the middle of September, not the beginning of November. We've only ever had one other recall election, and it was almost 20 years ago. And the major difference most pundits have been ignoring is this will only be the second election (2020 was the first) where every registered voter will automatically get a ballot in the mail. Voting is as easy as pie. So "turnout to the polls on Election Day" is not all that big a deal anymore, since most people will have already sent their ballot in by then. All of this adds up to making it almost impossible to determine which voters will actually vote versus which will not. But that hasn't stopped the pollsters from applying their usual formulas to a very unusual election.

Now, however, some actual data is coming in, in addition to the polls. The more-recent polls showed Newsom with strong support, instead of the supposedly "close race" everyone had been worrying over. And the return rate of the mail-in ballots is actually quite high for a non-presidential election, showing that making voting easy means more people actually vote, even in a special recall election in September. Even better -- the return rate of Democratic voters has been outpacing Republican and independent voters.

Which is why we're giving the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to every California Democrat who has already voted or will be voting "No" in this costly and unnecessary recall election.

[Ethical note: OK, for the very first time ever (we think, we'd have to actually check, and we are just too lazy to do so), we have to admit that this award is a case of self-dealing. Because we are (in a tiny, tiny way) actually giving the MIDOTW award to ourselves. But since we're only one of millions, we feel it is diluted enough not to raise too many ethical concerns.]

[You can't congratulate millions of California Democrats, obviously, but if you do know anyone in California who has not yet voted, we would encourage you to strongly urge them to make the effort to cast their ballot.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

This is getting so bad he's now almost the "default, go-to Democrat" for this award. In other words, the new Joe Lieberman.

Once again, we have to give the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award to Senator Joe Manchin. He wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal this week where he essentially sabotaged the entire effort to pass Joe Biden's domestic agenda.

Nobody knows how serious he is. If he follows through, it might mean the death of all hope that Congress will pass any of Biden's agenda. If Manchin takes down the budget reconciliation bill, then progressives will likely retaliate by taking down the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House. In that case, nothing would get done and the 2022 midterms would be devastating for Democrats.

This didn't deter Manchin from making ludicrous complaints about the bill in his opinion piece. He warns of adding to the national debt, even though the people writing the bill swear it will all be paid for (and thus not add one penny to the debt). Manchin warns of spending too much money, and says none of the programs the bill would create are imminently needed. He also seems to have a problem with the deadline, saying: "While some have suggested this reconciliation legislation must be passed now, I believe that making budgetary decisions under artificial political deadlines never leads to good policy or sound decisions." This is pure horsefeathers, of course, because in Congress (the Senate in particular) virtually nothing happens without a deadline forcing everyone to act. And that definitely includes the budget.

Manchin, obviously, wants his pound of flesh. He also wants the political attention, as always.

It is really time for Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer to take Manchin out to the metaphorical woodshed (as Ronald Reagan used to say) and have an earnest chat with him about what it means to be a Democrat. And what Biden's agenda means for the Democratic Party as a whole. Because Manchin is obviously unclear on any of that.

For the time being, he'll have one more Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award to add to his growing pile of them.

[Contact Senator Joe Manchin on his Senate contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 633 (9/3/21)

We begin with an editorial note that we didn't know where else to include. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission dedicated a historical marker this week at the building where a very historic break-in took place. No, not the Watergate, this was a remote F.B.I. office where, back in 1971, a bunch of antiwar organizers broke in and stole all their files in the middle of the night. This led to the exposure of COINTELPRO and all of its excesses and illegalities, and to the Church Committee which radically reformed the F.B.I.

We interviewed the Washington Post reporter who broke the story, Betty Medsger, back when she released a book about it (The Burglary) where the co-conspirators finally went public (they were never caught, even though they had absolutely enraged J. Edgar Hoover, which was a very dangerous thing to do). So we are indeed glad to see the state of Pennsylvania putting up a monument to these brave burglars. So if you're ever in the town of Media, outside of Philadelphia, stop by and visit the new marker! We plan to, the next time we're in the area.

This week our talking points have an obvious theme. All our talking points this week (well, with the possible exception of the last one, which is only tangentially related) deal with the situation in Texas. This is an important milestone, and Democrats really need to be out in front in this ideological fight. So far Republicans have all but ceded the field, since they are too timid to actually publicly state what they are for. So Democrats really should step into the void and set the terms of this debate. It's a political framing opportunity which should not be missed, to put it another way.


   Extreme, fringe views

Republicans never hesitate to use this tactic, even when it isn't even remotely true, so Democrats should return the favor.

"Texas Republicans have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that the most extreme, fringe views are now central to the Republican Party's ideology. No exception for rape or incest? Seriously? That is not a mainstream view. That is not what the public wants. The extreme moralizers of the right wing have taken over the party, plain and simple. They don't care about the Constitution -- they engineered the new law to do an end-run around it. They don't care about women's rights. They don't care that women with the time and money can simply go to another state to get an abortion while poor or working-class women cannot. They don't care about any of that -- all they care about is forcing their extreme religious viewpoints on everyone else. Anyone who denies that extremism has now completely taken over the Republican Party just isn't paying attention."


   American Taliban

Journalists should be able to dig these clips out -- they're not that old, after all.

"I would sincerely like to see any Republican politician interviewed on television be asked why he or she so forcefully stood up for the rights of Afghan women when opposing President Biden's withdrawal -- but now refuses to stand up for the rights of Texas women. Sure, the Taliban is going to crush women's freedom in a country halfway around the world, but the American version of religious theocrats just removed constitutional rights from women right here at home, in Texas. So please ask them why Afghan women's rights are more important to them than American women's rights."


   Rapists' bill of rights

These next two are from a book called The Political Brain: The Role Of Emotion In Deciding The Fate Of The Nation by Drew Westin. These were given as examples of how Democratic political candidates should use emotion in their campaign ads (something Republicans do much better than Democrats). They don't exactly fit the Texas situation, because it's a law not a political candidate, but it would be pretty simple to change them to fit the current situation. We chose to run these unaltered rather than do this simple rewrite.

"My opponent puts the rights of rapists above the rights of their victims, guaranteeing every rapist the right to choose the mother of his child. What he's proposing is a rapists' bill of rights."

This is the logical entailment of the Republicans' "culture of life." Perhaps the most fundamental right of a woman is to choose whose children she will bear. Yet in the Republican morality tale, if a woman is raped, she must have her rapist's baby. She can give up the child -- who is her own flesh and blood, mingled with the DNA of her rapist -- or she can wake up every morning and see the eyes of her rapist in her child. Those are her two choices. Tell that to the father of a teenage girl in rural Virginia and see how he responds. It is a deeply repugnant, and deeply immoral, position. But its repugnance is only apparent when you make the associative links.


   Or a 13-year-old, for that matter

These two are powerful arguments to make, for people somewhere in the middle of the abortion debate (people somewhat uncomfortable with abortion, but also people who realize there should be exceptions to any law). This one, if rewritten, would be even more brutal because the whole "consent" thing doesn't even exist anymore. Perhaps finish up by asking how many 16-year-old girls have the finances and independence to travel to another state, instead.

From Westin, again:

"My opponent believes that if a sixteen-year-old girl is molested by her father, she should be forced by the government to have his child, and if she doesn't want to, she should be forced by the government to go to the man who raped her and ask for his consent."


   Vigilantism now part of Republican platform

This is all of a pattern, really.

"The Republican Party, more and more, has been moving away from their long-held public support of 'law and order' and are now not only encouraging but legislating vigilantism into law. A man who killed two people during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin is held up as some sort of hero. Republicans are now calling the rioters and insurrectionists from January 6th 'martyrs and political prisoners.' When Trump campaign thugs tried to run a busload of Biden supporters off the road in Texas, Republicans cheered. Donald Trump encouraged violence against his detractors from the very start. But now they're enacting laws which actually protect vigilantes. Some states have granted legal immunity to drivers who plow into crowds of protesters. In Texas, their new abortion restriction law can only be enforced by private citizens -- and anyone can sue anyone in an attempt to be rewarded to the tune of $10,000. This is an ugly thing to see -- a political party not only cheering on but actually aiding and abetting vigilantes. So much for all that 'law and order' nonsense, eh?"


   My body, my choice (but only on masks)

This is a pretty easy case to make -- which hordes of people already have, on social media.

"Oh, so it's 'my body, my choice' when it comes to your 'freedom' to spread an infectious and deadly disease rather than be required to wear a piece of cloth on your face, but when it comes to forcing a woman to bear her unwanted child that was the result of a rape, then there's no more 'my body, my choice' to be found. Then it is 'government knows best.' The hypocrisy of Republicans never ceases to amaze, folks."


   Not in the Constitution

Our last talking point is really a plea to Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who at this point hold the fate of not just the Democratic Party but American democracy in their hands.

"The filibuster is nowhere to be found in the text of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers did specify a few instances where Senate supermajorities would be required in the Constitution's text -- such as the threshold to convict in an impeachment trial. But not one word is in there about requiring a supermajority to pass laws. The Founders designed the Senate to be a simple majority -- whichever side gets more votes wins. It's a pretty simple idea: the majority rules. Not a minority of two-fifths. It is time to restore the Senate's rules to what the authors of the United States Constitution intended, by jettisoning the antimajoritarian filibuster for good."

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


70 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Some good points there, especially the ones about how to frame a political pitch to the emotions rather than to the head.

    As to No. 6, once again the urge to call out the bad guys as hypocrites simply begs the question of which side the good guys believe in. No, public health restrictions on personal freedom have nothing to do with abortion restrictions. The two aren't comparable. How do I know? Because Democrats are for the former, but against the latter, and the Democrats would not concede that they are being hypocritical. They'd say it's an apples-and-oranges comparison. Because it is.

    But wait now. Since the Republicans are against both of these two forms of government regulation/nonregulation, it follows absolutely that the Republicans are no more hypocritical than the Dems are. They might be wrong (a Democrat will argue) but they are perfectly consistent in their wrongness - because it's apples-and-oranges on their end also.

  2. [2] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re teenagers being forced to bear their father's babies. I'd think they ought to be pleased to do that. After all, don't most kids love their siblings?

    OK, sick joke. Actually I'm 100% in favor of legal abortion. I'm the grandpa of an aborted 'trisomic' grandbaby. In fact, I'd actually be in favor of legal retroactive abortion for certain folks who managed to get born but never should have been permitted to, perhaps somebody like the ornage moron.

  3. [3] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Democrats should not just say, "It's terrible for women not to be able to choose who they bear a baby by." They should also aim directly at the men, including the macho men of Texas: "Are you enough of a man to think that you have something to say about who your wife has a kid by? Do you think that any man who can overpower your wife has more right than you to say who will be the father of her children? Where I come from, a man is supposed to protect the honor of his wife. What are the customs here in Texas?"

  4. [4] 
    andygaus wrote:

    The greatest threat to freedom in The Texas bill may not even be the restrictions on abortion, but rather the legal principle that all decent people have standing to sue all sinners and all enablers of sin. To be sure, I think such a principle will not finally survive a court challenge. Yet it is very strange that the Supreme Court, which, as I recall, has sometimes been rather picky about who has standing to bring suit in certain cases, does not immediately strike down such a principle with one blow of its paw.

  5. [5] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    re: "Sadly, there's not a whole lot Democrats can do to change this anytime soon."

    Absolutely untrue. Stacey Abrams SHOWED Democrats what to do. On January 7th, 2021 - when both U. S. Senators from Georgia 'turned blue' - in every Red State, an affiliate of the Fair Fight Action should have been established. Eight months later, Republicans in every one of those states SHOULD be quaking in their boots at the massive voter registration and 'Blue enthusiasm' that these grassroots organizations were accomplishing.

    Instead, my progressive friends in Arkansas and Florida, shrug their shoulders and complain on social media about how unfair the Republicans are. And I have no doubt the Democrats living safely in their 'bubble' in Austin and Houston, Texas, are NOT doing anything to increase voter turnout in 2022, either.

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Honorable mention for Pelosi for symbolically doing something that "...really should have happened decades ago"?

    You know what else (among many other things) should have happened decades ago?

    Medicare for all.

    It is absolutely hilarious how you point out the bill has no chance of becoming law but by "forcing the vote" it will push the issue into the forefront for the midterm elections.

    Funny how that is not only okay when Pelosi does it- it deserves a honorable mention for most impressive Deathocrat.

    When Jimmy Dore and many others tried to Force the Vote on medicare for all it did not get an honorable mention or ANY mention AT ALL in any article you wrote.

    When are you going to have YOUR Ron Johnson moment?

    It should have happened decades ago.

    You seem to think that the FBI burglars deserve the statue. That's okay.

    But what about Julian Assange and Steven Donzinger?

    Is that something that you (provided you're still alive and writing) will be saying DECADES FROM NOW should have happened decades ago when it is finally admitted that it should have been ADDRESSED DECADES AGO?

    No consistency means no credibility.

    Stop spewing bullshit.

    Take the vaccine.

  7. [7] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    CW was referring to the supreme court. that part is a done deal. yes, voting drives can have an impact in the long term, but for now the country's court system has been fully subverted by the anti-abortion crusade. you're right that hopelessness and griping won't fix the problem. however, we still need to start from where we are, and that's where we are.


  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    TP 1
    They don't care that women with the time and money can simply go to another state to get an abortion while poor or working-class women cannot. They don't care about any of that -- all they care about is forcing their extreme religious viewpoints on everyone else.

    And therefore this law is a form of class warfare, and should be assailed. If you agree that pointing this out helps unify the electorate, white* and non-white alike, by CLASS (We the 90% outnumber the Democrats) rather than RACE (there's still a lot of crackers in 'Murica, of which some yet resist our demographic inevitabilities, so why not focus them on how the top 10% is screwing them?)

    So I'd have phrased the last of it,

    They don't care about any of that -- all they care about is forcing their extreme religious views on EVERYONE that doesn't have the means to get around them.

    * For the record I disagree about capitalizing "black" and "white" et al.

    A Liberal as I am, I hate political correctness and IMO capitalization is taking ourselves (at least way too seriously. So I refuse to play by that rule, harumph.

    Don't you agree that we must lower the temperature if we're to have improved race relations? Wouldn't you agree that lightening up is
    a facilitator, no?

  9. [9] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    TP 7
    It is time to restore the Senate's rules to what the authors of the United States Constitution intended, by jettisoning the antimajoritarian filibuster for good. For government by the minority over the majority and government by the 10% over the 90% can not and will not prevail.

  10. [10] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    In fact, I'd actually be in favor of legal retroactive abortion for certain folks who managed to get born but never should have been permitted to, perhaps somebody like the ornage moron.

    We have another phrase for that and as luck would have it it's an American tradition of sorts. It's called,

    Political Assassination

  11. [11] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    C'mon, Don. I don't understand why you don't realize that equating Dens and Repugs equally undermines you credibility. Don't you think most of us Weigantians wanted Medicare for All decades ago? Freshen up your material if you're serious about winning hearts and minds, okay?

    Here are a couple salient reasons that there's a manifest difference,

    1- Stimulus money, and impending better quality of life for We the 90%. Different from the 10% Repugs, no?

    2- Biden got us finally out of Afghanistan. Oh sure, we'll still "launch Special Forces at them and send in the drones" -- not a typo but perhaps this was our winning military strategy in Afghanistan. Heh. But Joe didn't send one more candidate to be the "last man to die for a mistake." BIG difference from Repugs, eh?

    3- Undoing Repug's trashing of the environment, dealing competently with disasters (remember Puerto Rico) and going agro on climate change.

    Need I go on?

  12. [12] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    IMO Medicare for All will happen in chunks.

    Either lowering the age of eligibility and/or offering the Public Option (that "Hope and Change" wussed on.)

    'Murica will NOT want to give these We the 90% bennies, paving the way for...

    If not full-on MFA then a basic plan that covers well the, well, basics. Private insurers could offer the extras. And...


  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    So SCOTUS wouldn't go so far as to stand by Trump. Perhaps they thought that the lesser evil(?) of standing by their extremist beliefs (and in such an slipshod manner) would pale in comparison.

    That flushing sound you hear is the Supreme Court's credibility, on the move.

  14. [14] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    At least perhaps Chief Justice Roberts has joined us on the Commie side.

  15. [15] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    You're right, of course. But timing is everything.

    I think this is a card that should be being prepared, like, yesterday but I think it a card best deployed months closer to the election. Remember, we're all suffering post-Trump burnout so folks don't want to pay nearly as much attention now as they will in, say, November or December. I'd have the boots on the ground along with a simultaneous massive ad blitz. Just in time for holiday donations, in fact.

  16. [16] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yes, combine year end political retrospectives with the news that the Democrats are mobilizing massively against voter suppression has everybody* thinking about it rolling into 2022. Heck, couple Christmas and Patriotism Give our democracy a gift from your heart, for example.

    *who is thinking about it. But this sets the narrative for later when more and more people start paying attention.

  17. [17] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Oye CW,

    YOU'VE been on a real tear lately, bapping out tons of quality content and simply nailing your FTPs.

    Hafta tellya, my fave is #1.

  18. [18] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Or, #7. The Filibuster one.

  19. [19] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I love this 10 second clip near the end of The Shooter (starts at 0:20) as it sums up my political philosophy.

    You see, I'm a big fan of Historian Charles "Follow the Money" Beard. A later reviewer summed him uprather well,

    The suggestion that the Constitution had been a successful attempt to restrain excessive democracy, that it had been a triumph for property (and) big business seemed blasphemy to many and an act of near treason in the dangerous crisis [the Cold War] through which American political faith and practice were passing.

    So I agree with the Bernies and Kuciniches, Nader and Don Harrises.

  20. [20] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Come to think about it,

    Political Assassination should appeal to the Repugs who don't mind gun violence so long as there's nary a fetus in sight.

    Hosanna, Queen of Snark!
    How was that on the
    Sacred Snark-o-meter? A 7 or an 8?

    (I figure if I work hard and get a couple lucky breaks in twenty years I can maybe be the King of Snark.)

  21. [21] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Caddy round up time....

    I always thought political assassination was what you did to terminate a politician... ala Kerry, Guillam, Sanford, dude in an Idaho airport bathroom stall. You get the drift... No gun play involved.

    Assassination on the other hand, totally for the gun freaks, and at it's most basic street level is just one ass taking care of another ass... it's right the in the word. I suppose it could be good for the nation or it could just be bad depending. It could also be a bad redneck rap song Ass Ass I Nation.

    The only reason Texans and other rednecks want guns in plain sight is to keep the fetuses in plain sight.

    As to Afghanistan( which, contrary to some in these here parts, the war is still going on for Afghani's... you would see that if you are paying attention to the news. Our hot involvement is over but...) Only time will tell if it is a winning strategy. I look at it in terms of we are finally doing it right, we are using Panda strategy (What does a panda do on a one night stand? Eats, shoots, and leaves.), which we should have done from the start.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Nicely done, good trickle. Of course, after JFK, Robert and Martin I've no actual stomach for just killing them.

    Trump must live. He must endure the criminal and civil processes of America cleaning up the mess. Putting will have him killed in the end (aka he'll "Epstein" Trump) so he doesn't reveal the deep Russian connection.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    What say you Re. the possible parole of Sirhan Sirhan.

    I remember watching a fairly in-depth interview of him by a Canadian reporter many years ago and can remember that it sounded an awful lot like he was being truthful when he said he didn't remember shooting at anyone. And, of course, there are the balistic reports that indicate two shooters involved in the RFK assassination ...

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought I had all of that out of my system ... but, I guess it's still there ...

  25. [25] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Yeah, I wonder about "one shooter only" JKF kill but not so much about Bobby's. He was in the middle of a large, random crowd -- even without social media there were way too many witnesses present to cover up a second shooter.

    As far as Sirhan Sirhan, the human brain is a funny thing and I can believe that he didn't remember doing the deed.

    I say, let him go. As much as American history could have turned out so much better with Bobby, which really pains me, the guy has a stellar prison record and by all accounts is a different, better man.

    When in doubt I lean towards mercy and I wouldn't be surprised if Bobby would agree with me.

  26. [26] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Tomorrow please tell me about the ballistics reports.

  27. [27] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I say that California should take what Texas did to women’s rights and do the same thing to gun owners. Require all gun owners to register their guns with the state. Make it illegal to sell ammo to anyone who does not have a registered firearm, and only ammo that is used by the registered firearm. Any one who carries an unregistered gun or sells ammo to a person with an unregistered gun can be sued in court and if found guilty, the person who bings the suit can be awarded up to $25,000 in damages. It will be up to us to take friends and families and neighbors who fail to obey this law to court and get our rewards for helping keep unregistered guns off the streets. The government will not be taking unregistered firearms from citizens, they will simply fine them with penalties until the guns are registered.

  28. [28] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Listen [27]--great idea!

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    until people start randomly shooting anyone who asks where their firearm registration is.

  30. [30] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    nypoet [29] With the Texas vigilante system, you don't have to confront people, just report them, and if there's a way to screen out false reports prompted by revenge, jealousy or general resentment, I haven't seen any details of it. Neighbor's had a miscarriage? Want some cash? Just log in....

  31. [31] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy (11)-
    That's what you got from my comment- equating Deathocrats with Republikillers?

    And your "salient reasons" in argument against not what my comment was about are not salient.

    1- Crumbs vs. nothing.

    2-Completely botching the end of one war. Never mind that Deathocrats have started more wars and dropped more bombs then Republikillers.

    3-Revisionist history without waiting for it to become history.

    "I will not ban fracking."
    -Joe Biden

    You are going to need a new shtick.

    The stale Deathocrats are not as bad as Republikillers is not going to convince me.

    It is valid argument when the discussion is only a head to head comparison between the two. It is not a valid argument that the Deathocrats are not as bad as the Republikillers when pointing out when the Deathocrats are coming up short of adequate.

    That's why you have to change the argument to a comparison.

    When the choice is between a spouse that punches, bites and scratches you and one that hits you with a baseball bat the correct choice is neither.

    You don't need to go on making excuses for your abuser- you need to move on.

    Take the vaccine.

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy (16)-
    Let's see if I can sum up this version of the Deathocrats are not as bad as the Republikillers argument.

    The Deathocrats are not as bad as Republikillers because they only use voter suppression in the primaries and against third parties and independents in the general elections while Republikillers do it in the general election against people that might vote for Deathocrats.

    That IS quite a stark difference. :D

  33. [33] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And your "salient reasons" in argument against not what my comment was about are not salient.

    isn't it a bit early in the afternoon to be quite so "salient?" try pie instead.

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Is everyone ready for a fun evening!?

    We're focusing on songwriters a little later tonight so bring your favourites...

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    for whatever reason, bob zimmerman tends to take the title in most people's books. best lyricist possibly, and that's probably the top determinant of quality but songwriting isn't just words, it's musical composition, arrangement, vision, and all sorts of other things as well. bob's still somewhere in the top ten, but on my pantheon number 2 is john lennon and number one is this guy

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks, Joshua, for getting the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party underway in rip-roaring fashion!

    Welcome, one and all to our little end-of-week shindig!

    Tonight we're featuring the works of our favourite songwriters, songwriting teams, lyricists, composers, arrangers, mixers and the whole she-bang.

    Who will go first, second!?

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    *tweet tweet tweet*

  38. [38] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Old Friends.

    Simon and Garfunkel

  39. [39] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:
  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You gotta love Paul Simon!

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's a Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner classic from one of my favourite musicals, Camelot ...

    If Ever I Would Leave You

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Hey, I'm listing to that playlist right now!

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Listing? Oh, my ...

    Well, here's a favourite Neil Young tune that isn't on that playlist ...


  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Harvest Moon

    Love this video with Neil singing on stage in a bar while he walks in with his wife, at the time, Pegi and they start dancing with a couple of Neil/Pegi look-a-likes there, too.

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    hey, there's nothing wrong with listing while you're listening.

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I suppose. :)

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, I have NEVER been a fan of or even ever listed to a Taylor Swift album but I was turned on to her 2020 release, Evermore, by the current keyboardist of PRiSM who has his own podcast on Pacific Northwest Radio, 'Green Beans, Mushroom Soup and Strawberry Ice Cream'.

    Have a listen to her full album, Evermore, written and produced by Taylor Swift, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner and Antonoff.

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I've heard a few songwriters mention Joni Mitchell's Blue album as a kind of songwriting gold standard.


  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman teamed up to write the early Guess Who hits These Eyes, Laughing, No Time, No Sugar Tonight ... and, my favourite, American Woman.

    American Woman was born right here in Kitchener and was the first song by a Canadian band to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart!

    American Woman - LIVE

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Randy Bachman wrote this favourite Guess Who tune ...

    Undun and a little trip down memory lane

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Another dynamic Canadian songwriting duo is none other than Jim Vallance of PRiSM fame and Bryan Adams of, well, you've heard of him, right!?

    They wrote my favourite Bryan Adams tune, Lonely Nights - among many others - and tonight I would like to play for you a phenomenal cover of this song by one of my favourite bands, Parallel 49 - United We Rock! with Rod Raslack on lead vocals ...

    Lonely Nights - Parallel 49

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jim Vallance was an integral part of PRiSM: the Ron Tabak Era and was the principal songwriter for PRiSM's phenomenal debut album, the first debut album by a Canadian band to reach platinum status in Canada!

    Vallance wrote the signature PRiSM tune, Spaceship Superstaaaaaaaaar, along with It's Over, Vladivostok and Take Me To The Kaptin, among others, all off of the eponymous debut album, released in 1977.

    Here is another incredible cover by Parallel 49 of Take Me To The Kaptin

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    More from Jim Vallance a little later but here is another great Parallel 49 cover of a PRiSM tune, See Forever Eyes, written by original PRiSM members Lindsay Mitchell (guitars) and John Hall (keyboards).

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jim Vallance wrote many PRiSM tunes under the name Rodney Higgs. He didn't want to have his reputation damaged by songs that didn't make it. As it turns out, he had absolutely nothing to worry about!

    Here's a big favourite Jim Vallance (aka Rodney Higgs) tune off the big debut album ...


    Turn it up loud!

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Rodney Higgs (aka Jim Vallance) wrote It's Over and can be found on PRiSM's phenomenal debut album.

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Open Soul Surgery is another Jim Vallance (R. Higgs) song, the second track on the debut album.

    It has been covered by April Wine who made it their own.

    But, the cover I am waiting for will be by Parallel 49 - I know if Rod Raslack does it, it will be as close to Ron Tabak's soaring vocals as is humanly possible!

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Alone Again, Naturally

    It's my theme song, you know. :(

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Guess I'll end my part of the festivities this evening with one of my favourite covers ...


    "... but, you don't really care for music, do ya?"

    Over to you, my dear Caddy!

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I need some more Simon and Garfunkel ...

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, I got one more ...

    First up, an analysis video by Fil from Wings of Pegasus analyzing Neil Young's performance of Old Man when Neil was about 26 years old.

    After Neil wrote Heart of Gold he was soon a rich hippie for the first time. And, so, he bought a ranch in California and he still lived there at least through 2005. And there was an old couple living there who were the caretakers - Luis Avala and his wife, Clara. One day, Luis took Neil for a ride in a blue jeep up to the top of the place where there was a lake that fed all the pastures below.

    Luis asked Neil, so how does a young man like yourself have enough money to buy a place like this?

    Neil replied, "Well, I'm just lucky, Louie, I'm just lucky."

    Luis answered, "Well, that's the darnedest thing I ever heard."

    And, Neil wrote 'Old Man' for him.

    Here is Fil, analyzing the live performance of Old Man ...

    And, here is Neil performing Old Man.

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hope y'all had a lovely evening! I know I did ...

  69. [69] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Sorry I bailed on you guys last night. Thanks to the titles to the songs you've posted (Elizabeth) I have songs to enjoy too start the new week, and a growing library of Canadian contemporary musical artists.

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You will have to make up for it next week!

    Parallel 49 is both Canadian and American. Ameradian?

    United We Rock!

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