Trump extorts Michigan; GA congresscritters OK with that

Click-bait hed, but bear with me here.

This morning, the president (who is impeached and has botched the pandemic response) tweeted these two tweets:

Notice that he tags his budget director and chief of staff: put this on the agenda.

As usual, the president (who is impeached and has botched the pandemic response) is wrong about nearly every aspect. Lying or stupid? Probably both.

Here’s the Michigan Secretary of State responding:

Benson — a Republican — wasn’t having any of it. She notes that they didn’t send out ballots, they sent out absentee ballot applications. Not only that, but Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved, via referendum, voting by mail, so it was hardly “illegal.”

The main point, though, is that Trump’s response is simply “Stop giving [all] people the opportunity to vote, or I will cut off funding allocated to you by Congress.”

In other words, “Nice state ya got there, be a shame if somethin should happen to it.”

Trump is extorting the state of Michigan.

So I thought I’d check in with my congresscritters: Sen. David Perdue, Sen. Kelly “Inside Trading Spaces” Loeffler, and Rep. What’s-His-Name Ferguson. Here’s what I sent via Resistbot:

Good morning.
The president (who is impeach ed and has botched the pandemic response) tweeted this message to Michigan this morning:
“Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!..”
1. He’s wrong about the ballots: Michigan SOS Jocelyn Benson sent applications for absentee ballots to their voters.
2. The people of Michigan voted overwhelmingly by referendum to allow voting by mail.
3. Trump is explicitly extorting Michigan: either stop the voting by mail or lose funding.
I have to assume that you approve of this straight up quid pro quo, since you have approved of every other move made by Trump, and that’s what I will be telling readers of my blog. If you don’t, please reach out to me and tell me so pointblank.

Done and done.  I will update this space if any of the critters respond with anything other than a form email. (Perdue’s automated server has already replied with his BS blah-blah.)

UPDATE, 5/22/20: Loeffler auto-punts, doesn’t answer the question. Status: We must still assume she supports Trump’s extortion.

UPDATE: Others are already on this:

A message for my county commissioner

Personal to Coweta County commissioner Al Smith, who said re: a request for a “farm distillery ordinance”, and I quote,

“Since Coweta County is considered a dry county, why would we want this? If we don’t have this now and we never had it, why would we want this?”


“People are getting enough alcohol as it is. I don’t see how anybody is being restricted from getting whatever they want.”

If I have ever heard a more reductive “If’n it wuz good enough for my Pappy, it’s good enough for all y’all,” I don’t remember it. Jebus H. Cthulhu, even those of us who grew up here know that Coweta County is not what it was even ten years ago, much less back when you had a flat stomach.

Do you really think that the quality of life in our community is enhanced by this dog-in-the-manger approach to governance? Do you really think that it’s the best interest of our citizenry to make them drive twenty minutes in any direction to stock their home bar?

Or do you live conveniently near the county line, where of course there is a liquor store right over that line, sucking Coweta County’s revenue straight down its gullet?

And how is it even possible that, in the home of Walking Dead and Alan Jackson and Murder in Coweta County, you do not understand the importance of tourism to our bottom line?

I can’t even. And from a Democrat, too.

Tell you what—you come sit out in my labyrinth with me and let me serve you a cocktail and let’s talk about this. If I’m an hour late, it’s because I had to run out and get a bottle of whiskey.


An unamused constituent

A thought experiment re: Great America

I have a thought experiment for those whose hats proclaim their dissatisfaction with the way our nation has changed.

Let’s pretend for a second that the Great America you want to force us to return to is not the one where women stayed at home instead of having careers, people of color were simply “colored people,” and LGBTQIA folk were still hidden in the DSM-I.

No, let’s assume for the purposes of this experiment that you are yearning for the stressful yet amazing days of World War II, when the whole nation pulled together to defeat an insidious enemy — on two fronts no less.

Remember how it was?

  • Uncertainty over the outcome
  • The risk of certain death for “our boys” over there
  • Rationing at home
    • (Read an interesting comment the other day about the author realizing that we didn’t necessarily ration because of scarcity but to make sure that the few didn’t hoard; in other words, everyone was limited, but no one went without.)
  • Curtailment of freedom of movement: gas rationing, blackouts, etc.
  • “Victory” gardens/scrap metal drives/War Bonds

In other words, it was a massive Communal Effort that I daresay people griped about at the time but accepted for the greater good. We were Americans, by god, and we would get through this together. America was GREAT.

Okay, I’m sure you already see the parallels I’m trying to draw here. We are again confronted with a massive threat to our nation, and here’s the thought experiment: who is trying to get you to pull together, to self-sacrifice to help save our nation, to remember that you are part of a greater good — and who is telling you don’t need to do that, to go about your business, ignore healthcare issues and warnings, and otherwise carry on with your life as if nothing’s wrong?

And which one are you doing?

Make America Great Again, indeed.

On the other hand…

Screw it, I’m blogging about the Current Administration anyway.

Eventually, sooner rather than later, Congress is going to want to investigate why our nation was so ill-prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as why we bungled what we did do.

At that point, you can expect the Republicans/Fox News to start screaming about “politicizing the situation” and “another impeachment hoax” and “election-year showboating.”

It’s a given that the pandemic response was completely borked, so one of two things is true: either 1) this president (who is impeached) and his administration were incompetent at their task of keeping the nation as safe as possible; or 2) they deliberately slow-walked everything so as not hurt the president (who is impeached)’s re-election campaign.[1]

So here’s my preemptive question to the howler monkeys:

Don’t you think that incompetence and/or venality should be investigated? And if found to be true, shouldn’t we want to do something about the man in the office?

I think we all know what their answer will be. I just want to hear them answer it out loud and on the record.


[1] It is entirely possible — even probable — that both are true.

Consume this, capitalist pigs!

I have noted before that I have refrained from blogging a lot about the Current Administration because it would not be good for my mental or physical health. However, the recent debacle in the Rose Garden (CEO: “We’re here for you, America, and we hope to have more toilet paper and hand sanitizer available for you to BUY soon”) had a tiny detail that I haven’t seen any of the better political writers examine, so here we go.

First of all, notice the light blue subtitle: New Options for Consumers.


Not citizens, not Americans, not “everyone.” Not even just plain “New Options.”


I like to think that the poor graphic designer charged with producing this thing deliberately made that subhead almost unreadable, because how fupping embarrassing is that? Consumers.[1]

Second of all, as it happens, there is no screening website. The president (who is impeached) made that up.

But none of that is what I realized yesterday: Despite what the poster says, THERE ARE NO OPTIONS ON THAT CHART. None.

Go ahead, start at the top of the chart and see what options you have to help keep yourself and your monkey circle safe. For example, what if you are asymptomatic but are pretty sure you’ve been exposed to the virus because you’ve worked with someone who is exhibiting symptoms but who has not been tested LIKE THE CHART SAYS BECAUSE THERE ARE NO TESTS, KENNETH? Because that’s exactly where I am. What options are offered to me in that chart?

, stood in front of the American people consumers and held up a poster that is nothing but pretty boxes and lies.

Unfortunately, that’s no more than what we can expect from this administration.


[1] Of course, that’s actually the standard Republican view of citizens anyway: we are merely consumers of the Great Capitalist Beneficent Free Hand. We exist to boost profits.

Bless their hearts

Oh, ammosexuals, darlings, this is just sad.

This popped up on an acquaintance’s Facebook feed; I have blurred out the snarky message because 1) it’s just dumb; and 2) I’m not here to discuss that today.

The whole ammosexual/militia mindset is identical to that of the Christianists: they are a defiant band of righteous warriors, persecuted and faced with… what? It’s never very clear other than PERSECUTION, KENNETH!!

But wait—being a ragtag band of persecuted holy ones is only half their mindset. The other half is that they are the overwhelming majority of the population; it’s the rest of us who are pitiful worms cowering before their righteous glory.

I know. I don’t know how that works, either. What’s even weirder is that they are wrong about both halves of their brains. No one is persecuting them, and they are certainly nowhere near the majority of the country.

Nevertheless, they like to think of themselves as the New Patriots, the “3%” — in their terms — who drove the American Revolution to its successful conclusion. (See the ’76’ in the militia logo in the photo?) They regard themselves as the direct inheritors of Patrick Henry and George Washington; the rest of us are effete losers who don’t  know the true meaning of being a MERKIN, KENNETH.

Here’s the deal, though, ammosexuals: the difference between you and the Founding Fathers is that those guys were literate. They were hyper-educated, fluent in multiple languages, cosmopolitan in their worldview and deistic in their theology. They wrote — and read — volume upon volume of long, complex sentences about long, complex ideas with Aristotelian logic. They communicated those ideas to the world in ways that cannot be summarized on a business’s snarky message board.

They were smart men.

You? Well, let’s just say I’m a little skeptical that you will publish the equivalent of The Federalist Papers any time soon.

And here’s a really really huge difference between you and the Founding Fathers: MOLON LABE, your little motto at the top of your sign, identifying you to your fellow ammosexuals as one of the Good Guys, is not exactly the Gadsden flag that you think it is.

Yes, it’s a motto of defiance. It’s what Leonidas of Sparta replied to Xerxes at Thermopylae when then Persian emperor demanded the Spartans surrender their weapons.


James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, et al., would have read that in the original Greek, without having to memorize it as an ammosexual shibboleth. They would have been able to translate it for themselves. They’d know that Leonidas defied the demand to surrender their weapons with the immortal phrase, “Come and take them.”

Madison, Jefferson, et al., would also have known the result of that exchange: Xerxes did, in fact, come and take them, wiping out the entire Spartan force in the process. Quite the Pyrrhic[1] motto for such a mighty movement.

Yes, I am laughing at you.


[1] You will want to get someone to explain ‘Pyrrhic’ to you. It’ll be another eye-opener.

I Can’t Even, part 35,687

I was minding my own business yesterday when someone I follow on Twitter linked to this article. Yes, it’s in that liberal satan-site Huffington Post, but here’s the Google search in case you want to find corroborative evidence.

For those of you who are not going to click on that, it’s about disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker and his statement that—and I quote—”Trump is a test whether you’re even saved,” he said in a clip going viral on Twitter. “Only saved people can love Trump.”

Honey, please.

Let me state for the record that I don’t give a hoot about this or any other person’s theology. As far as I’m concerned, Jim Bakker can believe that if he worships Trump enough he’ll be rewarded with many turtles in Heaven. Who cares?

However, when a charlatan like Bakker can’t even adhere to the theology he’s grifting from, duty requires me to speak up.

Simply put, if the Holy Inquisition were still around Bakker would be burned at the stake as a heretic. Yes, we know that in their day you were required to practically worship your sovereign, since they were of course placed their by God himself, but the Church would have taken a dim view of any priest who began preaching that you must idolize Lorenzo di Medici or you’d be damned to hell.

In the article, Bakker contorts himself through some pretty Scholastic hoops to say that Christians must forgive—without saying exactly what the Christians might need to forgive in Trump—but even that is heresy: ‘one is not saved by works but by faith alone’ is a shibboleth that even Bakker would spout if there were time before the commercial.

None of this is anomalous for Bakker; he spouts crazy stuff every day, insane/Uncle Ted/streetcorner stuff. So here’s my question: why is he still on TV? Why does he still have sponsors? Why is he given a platform anywhere other than  his own basement and aforementioned street corner?

Who is paying for this, and why?

Sp—and I cannot emphasize this enough—am

The company that hosts this blog and my email ( has a really robust spam filter, so much so that I have to check it about once a week to make sure it hasn’t snagged anything I actually want. One of its features is that you can open any email without endangering yourself, if you’re really curious about what’s in it.

Somehow I’ve been getting emails from an outfit calling itself, and who cares? Let ’em spend their resources sending my spamhole their desperate pleas for attention. But this morning the subject heading LIBERAL CONSPIRACY AGAINST TRUMP caught my eye and, bored, I opened it.



The first four sentences are provable lies. Period.

No one lied about the whistleblower.

No one falsified a transcript. (The White House did release a deliberately misleading summary of the phone call; Adam Schiff mocked it, and that’s what they’re calling “falsifying a transcript.” Besides, how could the Democrats falsify a transcript released by the White House? This is your gentle reminder that THERE’S A REASON WE THINK YOU’RE STUPID.)

No one denied Trump “due process,” mainly because impeachment in the House is not a trial. (Not only that, but now that the hearings have moved into actual impeachment proceedings, Trump has declined to participate.)

“Falsely accusing” Trump? Sure, Jan.

Here’s the deal, little Trumpsters: they’re lying to you, they know they’re lying to you, and they do not care that they’re lying to you. They only care about your money. Give them your money. If you do, though, I’d ask for a full financials report to see if anyone actually did quintuple your donation. (Even their math is a lie: If you give $25, a 500% match would be $125, for a total “impact” of $150.)

And if this thing is from Rep. Steve Scalise, you should be aware that he is one of those people for whom the question “Stupid or evil” was invented.[1]



[1] (Correct answer: Why not both?)

Empty discourse, Republican version #1,698

Former congresscritter Michele Bachmann has thoughts:

“We have never seen a president under more attack, more undeserved attack, but I think it’s because, again, of the day that we live in, the deception that we live in, and the demonic presence of so many evil things in our society,” she added. “He deserves our prayers. He needs our prayers. And, again, God will answer those prayers. He answered those prayers before for us and we need to not just sit back because he’s done godly things, we need to be very active and lift up his arms [just as] Arron [sic] and Miriam lifted up Moses’ arms. This is the fellow that God has made our president. He’s not only leading us in the United States to the greatest level of prosperity, to the greatest level of blessing toward Israel—he’s put us on a path of blessing like no other president ever has—but because of the times we live in, we need him more than ever to listen to godly counsel, which he has. He has some of the most godly people surrounding him that I have ever seen, so he is deserving of that level of prayer and support and we need to provide that for him.”

Ten points to anyone who can explain, in explicit, concrete terms, what she is babbling about.

You can’t. It’s all code, and the code is not meant to refer to anything real.  It’s just gobbledygook meant to trigger the amygdalas of the evangelical set:

  • day that we live in
  • deception we live in
  • demonic presence
  • evil things in our society
  • God will answer those prayers
  • answered those prayers before
  • he’s (Trump) done godly things
  • lift up his arms like Aaron and Miriam
  • greatest level of blessing toward Israel
  • a path of blessing
  • the times we live in
  • listen to godly counsel, which he has (!)
  • godly people surrounding him
  • deserving of that level of prayer and support

None of this amounts to anything more than “We just praise your name O Lord just lift up our praise to your holy name with your blessing amen.”

Or as Monty Python so succinctly put it: “O Lord we beseech thee amen.”

Michele Bachmann is not the sharpest knife in the drawer—she proved that in Congress on a nearly daily basis—but we don’t need that as an explanation. She is immersed in that culture, and that culture thinks in styrofoam ideas like this. It’s ASMR for the conservative brain.

It’s all fear and loathing. We’ll get into the underlying “nanny-nanny-boo-boo” mentality some other day.


Let us count the ways.

Here’s an image that popped up on Twitter:

Okay, my little Trumpsters, let’s count the ways you’re willing to be lied to and manipulated.

First of all, it’s OK to acknowledge that you’re an amygdala-based lifeform, that you require regular doses of fear and anger to make your brain work. You are not alone; many people’s brains work like yours. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s certainly not anything you can change.


It is also very important for the future of our world — I need you to listen very very closely to this — to learn when your brain is addicted to fear and anger and craves them so much that it invents things to be afraid of and angry about.

Which leads us to the image above, which is from a Trump fundraising[1] website.

First, count the glittering generalities. “Liberty,” “independence,” “born free,” “stay free” vs. “coercion,” “domination,” “control,” and most of all, SOCIALAMISM, KENNETH! We’re not sure what policies are being advocated here — because none are being offered — but we know we’re supposed to feel warm and fuzzy with the first set and scared and angry about the second.[2]

Second, we should look at the historical record.  The Constitution was created out of whole cloth by the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which was not their charge. Those men were supposed to be patching up the Articles of Confederation, which had issues because it didn’t allow for “government control,” but they didn’t do that. They invented a whole new government, a federal government, and to quote Wikipedia: “The delegates were generally convinced that an effective central government with a wide range of enforceable powers must replace the weaker Congress established by the Articles of Confederation.”

Ooooh, “government coercion.” You’re soaking in it.

Your mindset that “government control” is a menace to your personal freedoms springs from Ronald Reagan, a happy-go-lucky frontman for a small set of very very rich people who have funded immense propaganda efforts to drill that idea home since the Roosevelt administration. Remember what Reagan said? “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

I wonder how the people of Oklahoma, etc., are feeling about that right now. Because the government is not there to help.

Finally, once again, socialism is not what you think it is. What you think of as socialism, what you’ve been told to think of as socialism, to fear as socialism, is probably communism, and most definitely the totalitarian implementation of communism. Five-Year Plans, Pravda, gulags, show trials, Stalin, etc etc etc. You think socialism means “government control” of the economy. Certainly that’s what has made Venezuela the poster child of your president (who imprisons children).

However, we’re already a socialist country: we pool our resources to pay for schools, police, Social Security, roads. We don’t do it for healthcare because no one knows why; the entire rest of the planet has universal healthcare. We can’t do it, we’re told, because it would TAKE AWAY OUR FREEDOMS KENNETH, but every now and then some Republican person will slip up and tell the truth: it would hurt the insurance industry.[3]

But pooling our resources to assist farmers “hurt by the trade war,” that’s not socialism because reasons. Even though it’s clearly government control of the economy. Because reasons. (Here’s the funny part: a lot of that money is going to huge agribusiness corporations, many of which are owned by foreign companies. That’s right, because of a pointless trade war with China, we’re going into debt, borrowing money from China, so that we can pay companies owned by China. Are you not amused? What is your brain telling you now?)

I think I won’t even go into the historical antecedents of that photo:[4]


[1] “fundraising”: there’s your first clue. Someone wants your money.

[2] “So give us your money.” Are you beginning to catch on? Does this blatant manipulation not make you a little bit… angry?

[3] “Give us your money.”

[4] I will say that part of the way your brain works is that, having identified all those terrible things that make you scared and angry, it seeks a Strong Man to fix it for you. A Strong Man who can fix things is good, of course, but beware the Strong Man who keeps feeding you fear and anger that only he can fix.