ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- Just Not A Good Bad Guy

[ Posted Friday, May 21st, 2021 – 17:43 UTC ]

Republicans, these days, just seem rather lost. They used to be so good at coming up with semi-cohesive talking points to use against Democrats, and they have always admirably been able to all sing from this same songbook every Sunday morning (for the political chatfest shows on television). But these days, all the issues they choose to highlight are all so incredibly short-term that the problem usually disappears before their politicization of the issue really even has a chance to take hold.

Case in point: Republicans' heavy lean on school reopenings. They've been so convinced this is going to be a big winning issue for them, they rode it all the way to getting a recall election called for California's governor (Gavin Newsom). But by the time Californians vote on it (later October or early November of this year), everyone will already be back in school again.

Pretty much all the Republicans' complaints about COVID restrictions fall into the same category. All the pushback (most notably from churches who had in-person services locked down for a time) on social distancing, all the weeping and wailing over the non-existent "vaccine passports," even all the outrage over mask-wearing and Dr. Anthony Fauci -- how much of this is really going to be a current issue in November of 2022, do they think? My guess would realistically be: "None of it -- everyone will have gratefully moved on by that point, and just prefer not to remember the entire pandemic and all the hardships it caused."

This crops up time and time again, of late. Last week, Republicans decided to try to spin Joe Biden's presidency as "utter chaos," pointing to two entirely transitory events: the Israel/Palestine war and the temporary gasoline shortages in the South and on the East Coast. For most American voters, both of these will be a faint memory, at best, within a few months -- never mind next year. And yet Republicans seemed to think they had this brilliant political spin against Biden that was somehow going to take him down several pegs with the public, so they began hammering him.

That was then, this is now. A cease-fire has been achieved in Israel, due in large part to Biden's team doing "quiet but strenuous diplomacy," behind the scenes. Gas stations now have plenty of gas, once again. The crises are not just over, but they were actually handled pretty well by Team Biden. The Republicans' complaints are what turned into a pumpkin, not Biden's standing with the public.

Now consider what would have happened if (shudder) Donald Trump had still been in charge. The gas shortages were solved because: (1) they were always going to be temporary, once the hacked pipeline company got back up and running, and (2) the Biden administration quietly did what it could to help, including waiving regulations and red tape that was getting in the way during an emergency situation. What would Trump have done? Tweeted about it a lot, one assumes. Blamed it on everything and everyone under the sun, in a desperate attempt to dodge any possible blame -- which would have just drawn attention to the fact that Trump just had no idea how to handle such a crisis. And I really shudder to think what he would have done about Israel, since Netanyahu is such good buddies with Trump. Trump probably would have sat back and given Bibi a total green light to continue bombing as long as he felt like it. Which doubtlessly would have been a lot longer than it actually was.

Hypotheticals aside, however, Biden handled the crises that popped up fairly well and fairly quickly. The media, of course, went into a breathless frenzy, which (in the case of the gas shortages) just increased and fed the public's panic, but Biden notably did not take this bait. The crises were instead solved quickly, quietly, and effectively. Which is precisely what the voters actually wanted from Joe Biden in the first place: calm competence. The Republicans' insistence on trying to make political hay from these sudden crises largely backfired. Biden's job approval ratings haven't slipped; they remain far higher than any number Donald Trump ever saw in the polls. Because people like such competence in their leaders.

Maybe this is why all the Republicans seem to have to complain about these days are short-term problems. They know that any crises will take at least some time to deal with, so they try to strike while the iron's hot and tarnish Biden just a little bit with each of them, in the hopes of generating some sort of cumulative effect. But there's a problem with this, too -- Biden's a pretty likeable guy. Which the GOP strategists are already admitting:

It's a phenomenon that's becoming increasingly pronounced as the outline of the 2022 midterm election comes into focus. Midterms are typically a referendum on the party in power, so the standard opposition-party playbook is to make every down-ballot race about the sitting president. But [President Joe] Biden's elusiveness as a target is forcing Republicans to rethink the traditional strategy.

Interviews with more than 25 GOP strategists and party officials depict a president whose avuncular style and genial bearing make him a less-than-ideal foil. He doesn't induce anger or rage, and at the moment, his White House is relatively drama-free.

In response, Republicans are preparing to break with time-honored custom and cast the president less as the central character in the midterm elections than as an accessory to the broader excesses of the left.

"Biden is not a good bad guy," said Ed Rogers, the veteran Republican lobbyist and strategist. "Obama was a haughty professor.... The Uncle Joe life story that he has -- the tragedy, the losses, the obvious empathy the man has, I think that's all legit. So, it's hard to demonize him."

. . .

"Because [Biden] is so boring, he's not as scandalous," said John Thomas, a Republican strategist who works on House campaigns across the country.

. . .

"Biden gives a fireside chat, and the fire goes out," said former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who served as National Republican Congressional Committee chair. "I mean, he does not evoke the strong emotion that Trump did."

We wrote further about this phenomenon at the start of the week, pointing out how tough a time Republicans have been having demonizing Biden.

What's truly notable about all this is that it is such a break from the GOP's past performance. For the past 20 or 30 years (at the very least, some would trace this back to Richard Nixon), Republicans have been masters at demonizing not only Democratic presidents but also the entire Democratic agenda. Republicans used to be the (rather sanctimonious) party of "family values" and "law and order" and "personal responsibility" -- a posture they contrasted with the likes of Bill Clinton and gay-friendly Democrats and flag burning.

Now? Now the Republicans have sworn fealty to a man who wouldn't know a family value if one came up and bit him on the hindquarters, while excusing within their ranks an accused sex trafficker of underage women. New this week: one of the people who will be challenging Liz Cheney in the Republican primary next year is a man who, when he was 18 years old, impregnated a 14-year-old girl, married her and then divorced her three years later. Two years after that, she committed suicide. In revealing this story, the candidate described it thusly: "She was a little younger than me, so it's like the Romeo and Juliet story." So far, the rest of the Republican Party hasn't even blinked an eye over this revelation. By way of contrast: "Well, maybe it would have been if he had committed suicide, too" is the response that popped into our head. Such moral excesses have become downright commonplace among their ranks (see: Roy Moore, for example), and certainly no cause for any other Republicans to chastise them in any way.

As for "law and order," 175 Republicans in the House just voted against a commission to investigate the worst insurrection attempt since the Civil War, for purely political reasons (because it might tend to shed negative light on their Dear Leader, right before the midterm congressional elections). The Capitol Police begged Republicans to vote for it, but in the end only 35 did, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is now actively trying to kill the bill's chances in the Senate. So much for the "law and order" party, eh?

Personal responsibility went right out the window with the advent of Trump as well. Now one of the GOP's biggest reasons to whine is what they call "cancel culture," which is essentially making people pay a tangible price for their sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia, or other bigoted behavior. Because, according to the Republicans of today, all such actions and words should have absolutely no consequences whatsoever. Way to take "personal responsibility" to heart, Republicans!

Perhaps it is all due to the fact that Republicans have no positive agenda left to run on. They just don't. Their ideological cupboard is bare and full of spiderwebs. All they have left is cultural resentment and hatred of liberals. That's it. Donald Trump showed them all how just these two things could be effectively made into the entire Republican platform, and that is precisely what they have now done.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden just keeps calmly getting things done. By mid-July, checks will be in the mail for the parents of 90 percent of the children in this country (all but the wealthiest, in other words). They'll all be getting up to $300 a month (each) from the government. Or, more precisely "from Democrats," since not a single Republican voted for the program.

Biden signed an anti-Asian-American hate crimes bill this week as well. This actually was a truly bipartisan bill, since every Republican in the Senate voted for it (except one, who is now being called "Hate Crimes Hawley" online, as a result). But we didn't notice a whole lot of praise or congratulations from the Republicans for this overwhelmingly bipartisan achievement.

Biden's efforts to strike a bipartisan deal on infrastructure didn't advance much this week, however, and you can count us among the group who thinks this is all some rather elaborate Kabuki theater put on to convince Joe Manchin to vote for it under reconciliation rules.

Other than all that, it was another fairly quiet week, politically. At least, by the yardstick of the previous four years. Just calm competence wherever you look -- which is indeed becoming the new normal in Washington. Thankfully.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Before we get to the main award, we have to at least give a nod to a group that is just not eligible for our awards, due to the fact that they are Republicans. The Republican Accountability Project released an ad this week that brilliantly contrasts Kevin McCarthy's claim that everyone had now moved on and nobody was talking about the 2020 election being fraudulent any more with Donald Trump's continuing insistence that the entire party get behind his Big Lie complaints. Example after example of Trump's own words put the lie to McCarthy, so we strongly encourage everyone to check the ad out.

We also encourage everyone to check out the extraordinary floor speech by Representative Tim Ryan that earned him this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. It lasts less than a minute, so we encourage everyone to take the time to watch it (you won't regret it).

McCarthy had designated a Republican House member to negotiate with the Democrats on the bill to form the independent 1/6 commission to examine the insurrection attempt in full detail. A deal was struck, and McCarthy then immediately threw both the deal and his own designated negotiator under the bus. Mitch McConnell soon joined in the fun, by announcing his own opposition. Please remember, this is not a partisan bill, it was negotiated and agreed to by a Republican, who not only co-wrote it but also co-sponsored it in the House. But both McCarthy and McConnell brushed that aside and tried to spin it as some sort of nefarious partisan Democratic plot.

What is really going on is that Republicans don't want this commission to happen because (1) it would reveal the truth in full, and (2) that truth would make Donald Trump look really bad. Since most Republicans are all but allergic to both of those things these days, the bill had to be stopped.

McCarthy tried to convince his caucus not to vote for it, but in the end a whopping 35 of them did. McConnell may have more luck twisting GOP arms in the Senate. There is no guarantee Democrats can get 10 GOP senators to vote for it, at this point.

Which got under Tim Ryan's skin, to put it mildly. Here is the full transcript of his floor speech, for which he was allotted only 30 seconds of time. In that short interval, Ryan showed exactly how Democrats really should react to Republican fear and dereliction of duty on this issue:

I want to thank the gentlemen from New York and the other Republicans who are supporting this and thank them for their bipartisanship.

To the other ninety percent of our friends on the other side of the aisle: Holy cow! Incoherence -- no idea what you're talking about!

Benghazi -- you guys chased the former secretary of State all over the country, spent millions of dollars. We have people scaling the Capitol, hitting the Capitol Police with lead pipes across the head, and we can't get bipartisanship? What else has to happen in this country?

Cops. This is a slap in the face to every rank and file cop in the United States.

If we're going to take on China, if we're going to rebuild the country, if we're going to reverse climate change, we need two political parties in this country that are both living in reality, and you ain't one of them!

I yield back the balance of my time.

Impressively succinct, impressively to the point, impressively accurate, and impressively and emotionally delivered (seriously, if you haven't seen this video yet, take the short amount of time to watch it, it is well worth it).

Which is why Tim Ryan is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week.

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

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

The mayor of Chicago got some heat this week for a symbolic one-day policy she announced, but we really feel the heat was undeserved, so that's all we're going to say about it, sorry.

The White House just indicated that Joe Biden's first presidential budget request to Congress won't contain two rather large campaign promises Biden made: the public option for health insurance and lowering prescription drug prices. This is admittedly pretty disappointing, but we'll hold off on handing him an award until we actually see what's in it (this could be a trial balloon, we're giving him the benefit of the doubt for now).

Which leaves us, really, with nobody. We have no truly valid contender for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week, so we're going to put the award back on the shelf until next week. Unless someone nominates a worthwhile candidate down in the comments, as always.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 619 (5/21/21)

A truly mixed bag, this week. There's not that much more to say about them, so we'll just get right to it.

 

1
   Criminal behavior

Hopefully this is making more than a few people sweat.

"The New York state attorney general just announced this week that their investigation into the Trump Organization is 'no longer purely civil in nature.' They are now 'actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity.' Legal experts tell us that what this means is that they've almost certainly uncovered a real smoking gun -- something that not only proves fraud but also proves that the people at the top knew about and actively condoned such fraud. No charges have been filed yet, but it could be just a matter of time before they are. Orange might not just be Donald Trump's skin color in the future, it may also be the color of his entire wardrobe."

 

2
   Moo!

Bill Barr's legacy continues to sink slowly in the slime.

"It was revealed this week that the Trump Department of Justice covertly obtained telephone records for a CNN reporter Trump didn't like and also actively tried to covertly obtain the identity of the spoof Twitter account 'Devin Nunes' Cow,' for no other reason than personal pique and abuse of power by those making such prosecutorial decisions. Thank all that's holy that we have some competent adults running things again instead of party hacks and Trump-worshipping toadies."

 

3
   We have met the enemy and he is us

That video we mentioned in the MIDOTW section makes this point better, but we thought we'd take a crack at it too, since more Democrats really need to be saying stuff like this.

"Republicans are trying to gaslight the media and the rest of America into somehow believing it is the Democrats who can't let go of the 2020 election and are obsessed with it. But all Democrats want to do is to get to the truth -- a concept which obviously frightens Republicans in Congress. Instead, one man and one man alone is responsible for the ongoing obsession with the Big Lie. Donald Trump is the one who cannot let go, folks. He brings up his Big Lie on almost a daily basis, now. Far from 'moving on,' he is quite content to petulantly live in the past. Maybe some journalists should ask all these Republicans insisting on 'moving on' now why they haven't told Donald Trump the same thing?"

 

4
   A laughingstock

We realize this is much longer than a normal talking point, but it is actually the abbreviated version (we wrote about this earlier this week, with longer excerpts, for those who may be interested). This is from an extraordinary letter from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to the leader of the state Senate. The Senate, of course is run by Republicans. Four of the five supervisors are also Republicans. This is in no way a partisan letter, in other words.

The supervisors are pushing back against all sorts of wild accusations made against them in the midst of the seemingly-endless fake "audit" of the 2020 election ballots by a fake "auditor" who believes in conspiracy theories. The entire thing is nothing more than a three-ring circus, which the supervisors point out in scathing language. Here are just a few key highlights:

That the Senate would launch such a grave accusation via Twitter not only before waiting for an answer to your questions, but also before your so called "audit" demonstrates to the world that the Arizona Senate is not acting in good faith, has no intention of learning anything about the November 2020 General Election, but is only interested in feeding the various festering conspiracy theories that fuel the fundraising schemes of those pulling your strings. You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call "kinematic artifacts" while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.

. . .

Your chosen "auditors," the Cyber Ninjas, are certainly many things. But "accredited by the [U.S. Elections Assistance Commission as voting system testing laboratories]" is not one of them. Regardless, we cannot give you a password that we do not possess any more than we can give you the formula for Coca-Cola. We do not have it; we have no legal right to acquire it; and so, we cannot give it to you.

. . .

Finally, we express our united view that your "audit", no matter what your intentions were in the beginning, has become a spectacle that is harming all of us. Our state has become a laughingstock. Worse, this "audit" is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic.

. . .

None of this is inspiring confidence. None of this will cause our citizens to trust elections. In fact, it is having the opposite result. You certainly must recognize that things are not going well at the Coliseum. You also must know that the County's election was free and fair, and that our Elections Department did an outstanding job conducting it.

Unfortunately, this has become a partisan issue, and it should not be one. It is time to make a choice to defend the Constitution and the Republic. As County elected officials, we come from different political parties, but we stand united together to defend the Constitution and the Republic in our opposition to the Big Lie. We ask everyone to join us in standing for the truth. The November 3, 2020 general election was free and fair and conducted by the Elections Department with integrity and honor.

 

5
   Going to cost millions

This entire circus is going to wind up costing the county millions of dollars, too.

"The Arizona secretary of state, who is responsible for running the state's elections, just advised Maricopa County that none of the voting machines that were turned over during the fake 'audit' by the Cyber Ninjas can ever be trusted again. They did not properly provide security and proper chain of custody, so just about anything could have been done to those machines by just about anybody at this point. It's merely one more instance of the Keystone Kops nature of this entire circus. Now Maricopa County is going to have to replace all those voting machines, to the tune of untold millions of dollars. All to make Donald Trump somehow feel better. You know, I remember when Republicans were against government wasting money on pointless projects. Boy, those were the days, eh?"

 

6
   I normally do this

This deserves all the ridicule Democrats can heap on him.

"Representative Andrew Clyde was in the news recently, for calling the armed and violent attempt to take the U.S. Capitol by force to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College election results a, quote, normal tourist visit, unquote. I mean, who are you going to believe, Andrew Clyde or your lying eyes? And now a photo has surfaced showing Clyde himself joining in the effort to barricade the House door with heavy furniture, in an attempt to stop the murderous crowd from entering the chamber. So the obvious question someone now needs to ask Clyde: 'Do you barricade the House doors for every normal tourist visit that passes through the U.S. Capitol, or perhaps was January sixth actually just a wee bit different, Congressman?'"

 

7
   Finally! A fraudulent voter!

Well, they've been looking so long for one, you'd think they'd be happy....

"Finally, a clear-cut case of voter fraud was revealed this week. Unfortunately for the Republicans, it was not 'hundreds of thousands' of illegal votes, it wasn't even the tens of thousands it would have taken to flip any one state. Instead, it was one guy. Who voted -- twice -- for Donald Trump. In Chaffee County, Colorado, a man tried to vote as both himself and his wife. The case is notable because the woman has actually been missing since May of last year. Her husband was just charged with murdering her, as a matter of fact. And after he allegedly did her in, he decided to just go ahead and vote as her to help Donald Trump. As he himself put it: 'I just thought, give him another vote.' So of course this brand-new instance of voter fraud will be denounced loudly by all the Republicans who have been searching for such fraud for so long, right? Well, I'm not exactly holding my breath, if you know what I mean."

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

71 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Just Not A Good Bad Guy”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @tp7,

    i wonder whether that was his murder motive....

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    “The budget document will reiterate the President’s strong call to Congress during his joint address for prompt action to reduce prescription drug costs, and expand and improve health coverage.” ... from the article you linked to.

    I don't believe there is anyone who understand how best to move legislation through Congress than president Biden.

    The problem with, ah, Progressives, ahem ... is that they want everything they want when they want it.

    Have a little faith in your estimable new president!

  3. [3] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Good points, of course. The Dems seem to be on a roll, for now.

    But, as so often, I have a bone to pick with the convention of calling out the Repubs on some issue of hypocrisy. In this case, in point 5, we have: "I remember when Republicans were against government wasting money on pointless projects."

    Um, if they were right to be against government wasting money on pointless projects, good - right? So, then, who was *for* government wasting money on pointless projects? Gotta be the Dems, right? So, in the good old days, the Democratic Party stood for wasting money, and the once-virtuous Republicans earned their pay and their votes by calling out stupidity and waste when they saw it. Right?

    Well, that's not what I remember. What I remember is that when the Republicans were against government wasting money on pointless projects, the Dems and their supporters in the commentariat went out of their way to put out (ahem) talking points explaining how the projects actually did have points, very worthy ones in fact. The Republicans were painted as being either aggressively ignorant about progress and such, or deviously hypocritical in order to get votes from the rubes.

    OK, snark (gotta love snark, right?) aside, my point is that attacks on the basis of hypocrisy are truly double-edged swords. An accusation of hypocrisy assumes that there was a right side and a wrong side, and the hypocrite has betrayed the truth by taking both sides as convenience dictated. If we accuse Republicans of hypocrisy, we are saying they were right then - or they are right now. And in the hot combat of a weekly talking points attack, that principle sometimes gets ignored, to hypocritical effect.

  4. [4] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Not to be overly nerdy, but... I must point out that the pipeline system was not what was actually hacked. It was the accounting system for said pipeline that was hacked.

    Colonial felt that the citizens on the street would want to make sure Colonial was getting paid properly for the gas they delivered, so it was OK to shut down the pipeline while they figured out if they would still be able to get paid.

    While ransomware is definitely a Nat. Sec. problem, if reporting had been honest it really would have boiled down to a story about how a company did not secure their accounting system.

    Then again a story about a company not securing their accounting system and stopping gas deliveries does not fire up the spin machine and does not fill a news cycle.

    So... here we are.

  5. [5] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    As to TP 3 and 4 it is disappointing that the Dems and serious news outlets are not linking the two together.

    A simple question to any GOP member ( and I meant that in more the anatomical term, vs. association with a group) along the lines of "So, you keep telling us that Americans have moved on and we don't need to investigate further because the DOJ and FBI are investigating, yet your party is fully onboard with the audit in AZ? Considering that the AZ results were audited three times by certified and recognized election auditing groups and then certified by a GOP majority state government what justifies the need for the audit, but not the need for a 1/6 commission?"

    At this point any GOP member who had this put to them would start looking for the doors to a blue British police box to dive through, or in the case of the extremists they would just fire up the Stercus 3000 at maximum and spew the crazy that results.

    In either case both interested parties are missing out on the fun that can be had during this little intermezzo that we have between the House and Senate votes.

  6. [6] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Argh...I hate not PEAing before I publish.

    One of these(?) should be replaced with one of these (.).

  7. [7] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Rep. Porter deserves at least honorable mention: she once again uses her razor-sharp intellect and "show-and-tell" to eviscerate a serial liar.
    'During the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, Porter pressed AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez to confirm the company spends far less on research and development in comparison to stocks and dividends to increase the earnings of shareholders.
    ...
    While Gonzalez said “our stock buybacks” would be about $13 billion, he added that he could not confirm the specific amount spent on distributions of profits to shareholders.

    Porter then responded, “$50 billion,” while revealing a large circle that took up the majority of the whiteboard.

    “So, Mr. Gonzalez, you’re spending all this money to make sure you make money rather than spending money to invest in, develop drugs and help patients with affordable, life-saving drugs,” Porter argued.

    She went on to say, “You lie to patients when you charge them twice as much for an unimproved drug and then you lie to policymakers when you tell us that R&D justifies those price increases.”'
    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/554329-katie-porter-brings-her-whiteboard-to-accuse-pharma-ceo-of-inflating-drug

  8. [8] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    It seems Nancy Pelosi will never be awarded a MIDOW, but I'll mention once more her effective leadership. She delegated the negotiations of the "Jan 6 commission" to others and they succeeded in reaching a deal with Rep. McCarthy's selected delegate.

    It was McCarthy who then stabbed in the back Rep. Katko, urging his caucus to vote against the agreement.

    'Top Democrats hammered McCarthy over his opposition to the bipartisan deal.

    “Leader McCarthy won’t take yes for an answer,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Democrats had agreed to McCarthy’s previous demands for the commission.'
    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/18/mccarthy-opposition-capitol-riot-commission-489250

  9. [9] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    This happened last week, but I don't recall Rep. Tlaib earning even an honorable mention for HER speech on the House floor.
    '“Help me understand the math: How many Palestinians have to die for their lives to matter?” Tlaib asked while wearing a traditional Palestinian “keffiyeh” scarf around her neck. “Life under apartheid strips Palestinians of human dignity.”

    Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan (Wis.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Betty McCollum (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Mo.), André Carson (Ind.), Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (Ill.), Joaquin Castro (Texas) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) all joined Tlaib in delivering critical remarks over the course of what may have been Congress’ first-ever hour of Palestine solidarity speeches.

    This group of 12 lawmakers ? Rep. Marie Newman (Ill.) also co-sponsored the speeches in absentia ? made a point, at times, of objecting to Palestinian militant groups’ targeting of Israeli civilians.'
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/democratic-party-israel-palestine-shift_n_609eb6e1e4b03e1dd3899538

  10. [10] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And another Democratic woman who should have merited at least an honorable mention is the New York Attorney General. Letitia James didn't do anything substantive this week, that I am aware of, but the mere announcement surely sent shock waves through Swamp-A-Lago.
    'James’ office is undertaking a sweeping probe of former President Donald Trump and his family over allegedly misstating property values to get tax benefits. In February, the Supreme Court paved the way for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s team to get eight years of Trump’s tax returns and financial records as a part of Vance’s criminal probe into potential tax, insurance and bank fraud.

    The new development appears to expand the potential liability for Trump, who is now facing separate criminal probes from prosecutors in New York, and also suggests collaboration in the two investigations.'
    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/18/ny-investigation-trump-criminal-probe-489537

  11. [11] 
    Kick wrote:

    "She was a little younger than me, so it's like the Romeo and Juliet story."

    Adult 18-year-old Florida man rapes a 14-year-old who wasn't old enough to give her consent and describes his statutory rape of the child like a Shakespearean romance.

    Although in Florida there is a "Romeo and Juliet" legal exception for young people close in age, an 18-year-old adult male having sex with a child who is 4 years younger than him doesn't come anywhere close to meeting the definition of that exception.

    Not surprising at all, this rapist portrays himself as the victim of the "fake news media." Sounds to me like that news was dead on accurate; thank you for confirming we got another GOP child predator... so somebody alert the QAnon Trump cult nuts they got another one.

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Biden signed an anti-Asian-American hate crimes bill this week as well. This actually was a truly bipartisan bill, since every Republican in the Senate voted for it (except one, who is now being called "Hate Crimes Hawley" online, as a result).

    You mean Josh has another new nickname? He'll always be "Mister Fister" to me:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07II_EJlcYg
    ^^^^^ Warning for Foul Language ^^^^^

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Personal responsibility went right out the window with the advent of Trump as well. Now one of the GOP's biggest reasons to whine is what they call "cancel culture," which is essentially making people pay a tangible price for their sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia, or other bigoted behavior.

    The GOP is no longer the party of personal responsibility; they
    are the DARVO Party: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender

    Deny the offense ever took place, Attack the victim for attempting to hold the offender accountable, and then claim that they (the offender) are the real victim in the situation... thus Reversing the Victim and Offender. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. #SSDD

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The problem with MIDOTW award is that Ryan is both wrong and right.

    Ryan is right that we need political parties living in reality. He is also right that the Republikillers half of the one big money party is not one of them.

    What he fails to point out is that the Deathocratic half of the one big money party is also not one of them.

    Ryan is wrong that we need two parties. What we need is more than two and more than the one we have now that has been masquerading as two.

    A two party system will not work any better than the pretend two party system has worked. It will inevitably become the same exercise in futility as the parties will only have to be not as bad as the other party. That is how we get a choice between substandard candidates.

    More than two parties would change that dynamic because the you only have two choices so you have to pick the lesser of two evils argument doesn't work when there is choice that may not be evil and this would force the candidates to actually be offering what the voters want instead of just being offered two bad choices and picking the one that will hurt us the least.

    We also need the media to stop promoting THE Big Lie that two parties is desirable and that we even have a two party system now- we don't.

    Your repeated propaganda that somehow Biden is wonderful because he does a better job of dealing with the symptoms of problems created by his own actions and those of the Deathocrats over the last few decades and the pretense that Deathocrats really tried and it was the evil Republikillers that kept Deathocrats from doing the right things is part of the problem as it is not based on reality.

    "Now is not the time for half-measures. Now is not the time for timidity."
    -CW

    Now is also not the time for more propaganda from you.

    Grow a pair and start covering reality instead of spreading THE Big Lie.

    Do something to help citizens begin the process to have a multiple party system by writing the truth about the Deathocrat/Republikiller one big money party and explore other potential competition so citizens can actually have two parties to choose from- the two divisions of the one big money party and one party funded by small donors.

    Write about the MPP, the Greens and other third parties and One Demand so that citizens can work together to put pressure on all the parties to finance their parties and candidates with small donors only and maybe we will be able to achieve a real choice between the big money party and a small donor party instead of the false choice we have now.

    THE big lie has not yielded positive results in several decades.

    It has yielded much death and suffering at home and around the world.

    It gave us Trump.

    It gave us destruction of our environment.

    What it didn't give us was a REASON TO KEEP VOTING FOR DEATH AND DESTRUCTION or to pretend that it is somehow working or worth supporting.

    You are indeed at the very least a hypocrite and it seems that you are more of an accessory to the crime of hijacking our democracy with THE Big Lie when you criticize Republikillers for not "moving on" while you have chosen to remain loyal to the Deathocrats and refused to move on from promoting THE Big Lie.

    Shame on you.

    Wake up. Wise up. Rise up.

    Your Lie's up.

    Get Real.

    Get Credible.

    Get Some Integrity.

    Live up to YOUR personal responsibility.

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well, that just takes the cake.

  16. [16] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Someone had to do it as someone else left the cake out in the rain.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Music is a very personal thing and somebody screwed with that this week, big time.

    My favourite (and local) radio station, KFUN 70s/80s/90s 99.5 was rebranded to Bounce Radio 80s/90s/00s. You can imagine, it was quite traumatic ... losing the seventies, I mean.

    So, this Sunday night, I'll be focusing on that very special decade.

    And, if anyone knows of a great radio station - traditional land-based, not internet - that plays classic rock from the 60s to 80s with some Canadian content (read: PRiSM), please let me know! :)

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    EM-

    You might want to search for 60s oriented station on radio-locator.com Canada is covered.

    Good luck - 60’s stations are dying out fast. Vinyl doesn’t last forever ...and I would bet that the 60s crowd isn’t a hot ad demographic.

    What do have against online radio? RadioParadise is one the best curated online stations I know of ....they play a bit of 60s stuff.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Online stations don't have djs, right? I guess I got too familiar with the djs on my favourite local stations, especially during stay at home orders during the pandemic, like the one I've been suffering under for the last 5 weeks and it has just been extended. :(

    Having said that, I just found an internet station out of Toronto, Classic Rock 109 (60s/70s/80s with a little 90s thrown in for good measure), which actually plays my favourite PRiSM tunes from their heyday (1977-1980).

    But, thanks for your reply and I will check out Radio Paradise ... I need a good filling of Canadian Classic Rock, though ...

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    You could just write a strongly worded letter to your local station to bring the 70's back

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I wish it was that simply, Joshua but, the radio station has little to do with what music they play. The playlists come down from higher up in the form of the Bell Media corporation. :(

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Damned Bell Media corporation. :(


    It's enough to make ya vote Anarchist.

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well, you could always pick a local DJ and troll his blog for a few years. that might bring the 70's back. or it might just piss him off and make him ignore you. but either way, you'd be RIGHT.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very funny.

  25. [25] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    you could always reach for a pumpkin patch pie

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm happy to report that I found a wonderful new traditional-type radio station that is destined to be my new favourite.

    It's K96.3 Classic Rock out of Kelowna, BC. At least, it passes the most important test as PRiSM gets its share of spins along with all my other Canadian favourites and all the rest!!! I'm so excited! :)

    I'll still focus on the seventies tonight with a few gems preceding that.

    Looking forward to hear all of your selections!

  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well in that case let me get an early start:

    https://youtu.be/69PQuw0r3oM

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nice!

  29. [29] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick,

    Normally I am in total agreement with ya, but this is one of the rare times that we see things very differently!

    Although in Florida there is a "Romeo and Juliet" legal exception for young people close in age, an 18-year-old adult male having sex with a child who is 4 years younger than him doesn't come anywhere close to meeting the definition of that exception.

    As someone who worked with high school students for years, I have seen plenty of Senior guys who dated Freshmen gals. In many of these couples, it is the 14yr. old that calls the shots for what the couple does. Girls mature faster than guys do, usually.

    Never been a big fan of most state’s statutory rape laws as knowledge is not a required element to be convicted. Judges are not allowed to hear any defense because the law says that there can be no defense for sex with an underaged person. So what if she had a fake ID that said she was 21yo, you met her in a bar, or that she was the one who initiated the sex... she’s 15 and you are now a sex offender!

    But the biggest reason I disagree with you on this is because as long as a 14yr. old can be tried as an adult for crimes they are accused of committing, then they are definitely able to consent to having sex with someone they are dating.

    This whole story seems like desperation to trash a political opponents reputation. And I think that him referring to their dating as being a “Romeo and Juliet” relationship definitely shows that he did not finish reading the story!

    -R

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    a bear in his natural habitat: a studebaker.

    https://youtu.be/Q6NQcO9KTBY

  31. [31] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    come on now, ease on down

    https://youtu.be/w15F4r09Pro

  32. [32] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I missed the "Muppets Movie" theme, I thought it was supposed to be "The 70s."

    Here is Eyes of the World /Grateful Dead/Wake of the Flood, 1973.

  33. [33] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Aaaand...

    Here's one of my all-time faves, The Ocean from the incomparable Led Zeppelin/Houses of the Holy. To quote a comment, "If you have to explain Led Zeppelin to aliens, this is the song you play for them."

    On a personal note I once played the bass track (and harmony part in the middle) with a hugely talented guitarist/vocalist and a Carl Palmer-type drummer. We nailed it note for note. It was one of the supreme experiences of my life.

    Another was performing Rapture, Blondie/Auto American, 1980.

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, alriiiiiight, baby - the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party is well underway!

    I'll be focusing on the 70s but, anything goes ...

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @caddy,

    the muppet movie WAS the 1970's! are you somehow implying that page and plant are more culturally important to the decade than kermit and piggy?

    JL

  36. [36] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And here's My Pearl
    Automatic Man, a San Francisco based American Progressive group, 1976.

    Why these guys didn't go farther, I'll never know.

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'd forgotten how amazing the wiz actually was. check the choreography!

    https://youtu.be/fc7_1GAYNOw

  38. [38] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [35]

    I dunno about "culturally significant." I just know that Led Zeppelin sold more albums, harrumph.

  39. [39] 
    goode trickle wrote:
  40. [40] 
    goode trickle wrote:
  41. [41] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Let's slow it down a little for my all-time fave artist, Paul Simon, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes /Graceland, 1986.

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Pearls used to be my thing but haven't worn them in a very long time.

    Very nice videos, Caddy! Speaking of which, I sure do hope there is a video out there, somewhere of you and your mates nailing the Ocean!

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    paul simon really is wonderful.i know, i know, i know, i know...

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, so PRiSM was the first Canadian rock band to achieve platinum status in Canada for a debut album, which was self-titled and went on to double platinum sales.

    It's not surprising that their debut was such a phenomenal release - PRiSM was actually the amalgamation of two very popular Vancouver bands that had been honing their craft for a decade, Sunshyne and Seeds of Time. And, then, add the brilliant vocals of Ron Tabak, RIP, and they couldn't go wrong.

    For comparison, here is audio of a session recording of I Ain't Lookin' Anymore recorded in 1976 along side the first part of this song from their 1977 debut album ... what a voice!

    The song has such a feel-good vibe to it, perfect for dancing around the living room, solo. :)

    Before the name PRiSM was decided upon, they were known as Stanley Screamer and, also, Under Construction ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42TD8yuQ7U0

  45. [45] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [42]

    Naw, it was a cold February afternoon when we had a jam sesh in the guitarist's garage. I had no idea we were going to repeat music history as we did.

    I've laid off the bass guitar for some years, now -- I'm waiting on Carpel Tunnel surgery at the VA. M-m-m-music is a-calling me back, and this time I'll remember to get one of the groupies to shoot video.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    oops

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I forgot to do the link properly.

    Well, Caddy, at least you made a great memory.

    And, very best wishes for a short wait and successful surgery.

    Ooh, that reminds ...

    Open Soul Surgery

    ... also off the debut album.

  48. [48] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:
  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This tune, the first climate apocalypse song, appeared on PRiSM's debut album and the photo shown here is probably the very first ever taken of the "band" that began as a mere studio project ...

    Take Me To The Kaptin

  50. [50] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yeppers, I'm finding that PRISM has grown on me. If Califoricia, Washington and Oregon secede from the Union and join Canadianavenour Socialist Utopia and my breast will swell with pride over "our" boys in the band -- woot!

    Why not tee up your three fave PRISM tunes?

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's hard to pick just three favourites, but here is one of them ... also off of their debut!

    It's Over

    Written by Jim Vallance (aka Rodney Higgs), musician and songwriter extraordinaire (I'll talk about him next week!). Here is his take on his song,

    "I've always thought it was a "lazy" song. I don't feel I put enough effort into the lyric, and I took the "easy way out" on the bridge section by eliminating lyrics altogether, leaving it as a guitar solo. I also think the end refrain goes on a bit ("it's over, it's over ..."), wearing out it's welcome by the time the song begins to fade."

    In any event, it's a great song to showcase the soaring vocals of the late great Ron Tabak.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's another favourite, again off the debut album and written by Jim Vallance (aka Rodney Higgs),

    Vladivostok

    Or, as Ron liked to sing it, Vladi-o-vostok!

    This wasn't one of the songwriter's favourites, he called it lame. Well, I beg to differ.

    Turn it up LOUD!

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, I can never get enough of the first track off the debut, Spaceship Superstar!

    Once again, Jim Vallance (aka Rodney Higgs and PRiSM's original drummer and multi-instrumentalist) is the songwriter.

    "Somewhere between writing the song's first draft (1975) and final draft (1977) George Lucas released the classic film "Star Wars". Suddenly Science Fiction was all the rage, and that's the direction I took with the lyric, albeit more "Jetsons" than "Jabba the Hutt". ... Jim Vallance

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Another great song off this phenomenal debut is a tune written by Tom Lavin, Prism's bassist. Tom would later leave PRiSM and go on to form the legendary Powder Blues Band in 1978! He would be replaced by the legendary Al Harlow and current leader of the band!

    Freewill

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Another little debut gem is Julie.

    Once again, a Jim Vallance (aka Rodney Higgs) composition and here are his comments,

    "Julie" was liberally inspired by the Elton John song "I've Seen The Saucers" (from the "Caribou" album). Elton's song starts with the lyric: "Truly, wouldn't it be something". My song starts with "Julie, wouldn't it be nice", with the melody for Truly and Julie being identical (the melodic similarity ends there).

    "The tom-toms leading into the chorus were borrowed from 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' (Beatles); the guitar 'stabs' in the verse were lifted from 'Oh Darlin'(Beatles); and the end of the song sounds an awful lot like 'Shaft'(Isaac Hayes).

    "As John Lennon once said, "I never wrote a song that I didn't steal from somewhere" ".

    "Mea culpa."

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Amelia is the seventh track off the debut album, again written by Jim Vallance.

    If there is a filler on this debut album, then I'm sure I don't know what it is!

  57. [57] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K, folks, I'm outta here. Tons of fun and thank you, M'Lady Elizabeth, for posting your links the right proper way. It makes going back to hear any particular song sooo much easier!

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Have a great rest of the night!

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm really enjoying listening to Art Garfunkel's Breakaway. So relaxing ...

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Speaking of 'breakaway', here's a fun jingle for Molson Canadian beer, The Great Canadian Breakaway featuring Ron Tabak!

    A fun note to end on - cheers, everyone!

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, goode trickle, nice Supertramp pick - play some more!

  62. [62] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    NYpoet (23)-
    Nice job of proving that you are not capable of rational thought and discussion.

    Assuming that your troll comment is keeping with the norm here of referring to me as a troll, it is not trolling to post your opinion in the comments section of a blog.

    People that make accusations that someone they do not agree with is a troll for posting their opinions are actually the ones acting as trolls.

    People that point out to an author of a blog how the author has not lived up to the mission statement of the blog are trolls.

    Pointing out to CW that he needs to come back to where he was in 2015 and that he is buying into the folly of THE Big Lie is doing what he says commenters should do.

    Ignoring me is not the result me pissing CW off.

    CW ignored me long before I did anything to piss him off.

    I have just pointed out how CW pissed me off by ignoring me and by doing so is not living up to his promises in the mission statement to inform citizens about things like One Demand and respect the opinions of the commenters here.

    Only twice in over five years has CW addressed One Demand and when he did it was with dodges and changing what One Demand is and arguing against that.

    You keep repeating the same old troll moosepoop while ignoring that CW has not lived up to his mission statement.

    This behavior of ignoring the facts in fealty to your ideology and launching attacks on the person pointing out the facts is the same cult behavior that many here attribute to the Trump supporters.

    Have you no shame?

  63. [63] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    oops.
    "People that point out to the author of a blog that the author has not lived up to their mission statement are NOT trolls."

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    i was talking to liz about how to get the attention of her local radio stations. if you happen to resemble the remark, that's on you.

    JL

  65. [65] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    I think you should be a little less concerned with big money and a bit more concerned with men in in your neighborhood with white vans with butterfly nets cause you losing it...

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    Loved, loved, loved Brand New Day (Everybody Rejoice) from the WIZ!!!

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    yeah i remembered it was good, but i didn't remember HOW good.

    JL

  68. [68] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Liz,

    Looks you found a radio station but if you need more try: radio.garden

    Just copy/paste or type "radio.garden" in to url bar or search for it. CW's plugins don't seem to like the expanded url suffixes, and certainly not .garden otherwise I would link directly. It's a really cool interface for finding radio stations all over the globe. Most have FM or AM numbers, so they are the streaming versions of real radio stations.

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Bashi! Thanks for that ...

    I shall have a little fun with it and see if I can find one that plays PRiSM and other Classic Canadian rock favourites.

    I'll let you know what I find!

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear
    29

    Russ!

    Normally I am in total agreement with ya, but this is one of the rare times that we see things very differently!

    But I thought we were peas and carrots... no, not carrots... peas and peas. ;)

    As someone who worked with high school students for years, I have seen plenty of Senior guys who dated Freshmen gals. In many of these couples, it is the 14yr. old that calls the shots for what the couple does. Girls mature faster than guys do, usually.

    I hear you, Russ, but the vast majority of high school seniors are actually 17 years old, and a 14-year-old is a child who can't give their consent to an 18-year old man... regardless how "mature" the child is or he/she believes he/she is. That 14-year-old child also cannot enter into a binding legal contract alone and without a parent to co-sign and be held responsible. Whether or not girls mature faster would have zero bearing whatsoever on a 14-year-old boy offering consent to an 18-year-old man having sex with him; a child cannot offer consent. An adult is supposed to be the "adult in the room" regardless of how mature an underage child believes himself or herself to be. Rape is rape, but I certainly don't believe that statutory rape is equivalent to forcible rape.

    Never been a big fan of most state’s statutory rape laws as knowledge is not a required element to be convicted. Judges are not allowed to hear any defense because the law says that there can be no defense for sex with an underaged person. So what if she had a fake ID that said she was 21yo, you met her in a bar, or that she was the one who initiated the sex... she’s 15 and you are now a sex offender!

    I definitely agree with you there, but in the subject instance of rape, the adult was well aware of the child's age... not sure if he was aware of the law, though. As you also know, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Whether or not he committed a crime is not in question, and the facts of any offender's case would certainly be taken into consideration in sentencing, if any. For instance, in the subject's case, it appears there was no sentencing, and he legally married the child when she became 15 but with her parent's permission because she couldn't enter into a marriage (or any) contract without it. So apparently no sentencing for him, but he definitely still raped a child he knew was 14.

    But the biggest reason I disagree with you on this is because as long as a 14yr. old can be tried as an adult for crimes they are accused of committing, then they are definitely able to consent to having sex with someone they are dating.

    I do not believe 14-year-old children should be tried as adults for any crime with the exception of violent crimes against police officers and murder in certain circumstances. The vast majority of 14-year-old children are not tried as adults. The age of criminal responsibility in the majority of states is definitely not 14:

    https://www.juvenilecompact.org/age-matrix

    In the subject case, the 14-year-old child was the victim and not the adult offender.

    This whole story seems like desperation to trash a political opponents reputation.

    I don't see the "desperation"... I definitely see politics as usual. GOP trashing their own isn't any different than SOP and SNAFU... situation normal. :)

    And I think that him referring to their dating as being a “Romeo and Juliet” relationship definitely shows that he did not finish reading the story!

    Heh! Literally a tragedy. :)

    XOXO
    Kick

  71. [71] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    63

    oops.

    Freudian slip.

    "People that point out to the author of a blog that the author has not lived up to their mission statement are NOT trolls."

    You had it right the first time, definite troll.

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