Terrific summary of the last few years of politics, as played out in the media. N.B., Twitter is never mentioned. For those that think that Twitter is a critical piece of the “news landscape,” and for the talking heads who try to make news stories tweets, Twitter is still downstream of CNN and Fox News.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that “the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.” She called him “a very dangerous person who should not continue in office. This is urgent, an emergency of the highest magnitude.”
In case anyone on the Right is still trying to weasel out of the thought that Trump is responsible for the attempt to stop the certification of the Electoral College votes: don’t forget this is a culmination of months of agitation about “stopping the steal.” I usually try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, because, in politics, it’s all hyperbole, and we all understand that. But, this time, and just for the record, I think the people who lay the blame for storming the Capitol directly on Trump are exactly right.
To make the case that Trump incited the riot, prosecutors would have to show that he intended to provoke violence, but his words are vague enough that it’s possible to argue that he was simply urging his supporters to peacefully protest outside the Capitol.
And this is the part where all communication breaks down, in America’s social-media civil war. Even Bloomberg admits there’s a lot of gray in what the President actually said, and concludes that it would be very difficult to prosecute, let alone convict. I’m convinced they wouldn’t have been there if the President hadn’t been talking about showing up on 6th, but he didn’t call for actual violence. But that doesn’t stop half the country from ranting and raving on their social media accounts as though the President told people to take up small arms, break into the Capitol, and kill every Democrat they see.
He is to blame for starting this, but why? Did he expect them to extrapolate to violence? Or did he want them to make a show that a lot of people were upset about the voting issues? Did he mean for mob craziness to take over? Or did that happen on its own?
They appear to have been mostly rudderless, and seem to have “just gone with it” when they saw how little resistance they faced. The pictures don’t show a lot of “protest” signs in the group, and they certainly brought hammers to smash windows to open doors. You can factor all of those things into your conspiracy theories, but it just doesn’t seem — at least to me — that they, as a group, were determined to “overthrow” our government, and install Trump as king. Rational discussion on this whole topic is really rare, which is why I’m updating this with an actual example from a serious news organization.
UPDATE: As this continues to reverberate through the news, it’s important — at least to me — to clarify that while Trump encouraged people to show up and do something in regards to “stopping the steal,” but fell short of encouraging actual violence, the whole premise of showing up to do anything to interfere with certifying a concluded election was facile to begin with. I, too, think the evidence points to systemic election fraud, but they couldn’t make that case in court (which is a whole other topic), and that’s the way the system works. So contending with Congress after failing at the bar, is, in fact, seditious, and that alone is reason enough for political opponents to bring another case for impeachment. I think it’s a waste of time, but they absolutely have a case. If they want to give Trump another official middle finger, and they’ve got the votes to see it through, then, I guess, you know, whatever. Seems like there are more substantive things the Congress could be working on, but I get it, and I won’t begrudge them for it.
According to Politico, the Trump administration has basically decided to pass the gargantuan, daunting task of getting vaccines to people to individual states, a strategy it used to address the pandemic this spring that led to disastrous results. While state and federal officials agree that the country’s 21 million health care workers should be the first to get doses, “there is no consensus about how to balance the needs of other high-risk groups, including the 53 million adults aged 65 or older, 87 million essential workers and more than 100 million people with medical conditions that increase their vulnerability to the virus.” Trump and company have told governors they have the ultimate say when deciding who gets vaccinated when; it’s also chosen to “allocate scarce early doses based on states’ total populations,” which will ultimately lead to difficult choices in states with a bigger proportion of residents who are at at risk. (The virus has disproportionately affected Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities when it comes to hospitalizations and deaths.) Experts worry that could undermine confidence in the effort to vaccinate the population, the success of which is dependent on persuading a huge number of Americans to get immunized.
I’m sorry, but do the erudite writers at Vanity Fair think that there would be consensus on how to distribute the vaccine if Biden was President right now? That the “correct” President would cause everyone to line up in agreement? That everyone would be satisfied with a plan to distribute a limited resource, instantaneously, to at least the article’s-referenced four, huge, non-overlapping, geographically-disparate, highly-at-risk demographics? That if anyone else but Trump wasn’t president, everyone would magically come together, singing Kumbaya? This is the sort of opportunistic trolling that usually passes for a comment on Twitter or Facebook. All media is now becoming cheap shots and pettiness.
What should the President — any President — do about this situation? How could you distribute the vaccine in a way to achieve maximum local effectiveness? Maybe… oh, I don’t know… Maybe we could break the decisions down a little. Maybe we could figure it out on a more-local level. Hey, I know! Maybe we could let the States decide how to do it within their own borders? That way they could adjust the distribution based on what’s happening within a much-smaller area than the entire country. Just a crazy thought I had, and that’s just off the top of my head.
This is what passes as journalism at one of the largest print publications still going. I clicked another political article, and it reeks just as badly. The third graph purports to mind-read half of the members of the Catholic Church in the US. At the very, very least: [CITATION NEEDED]. That any of this passes for top-end reporting now is proof we’re doomed as a society. Social media has ruined ALL journalism.
In response to allegations of rampant voter fraud, and subsequently digging into the details of the voting, Scott Adams tweeted (and I’m embedding static images, for reasons which will become clear):
Knowing what he was talking about, I laughed, and bookmarked the link. Sure enough, this post went viral on Reddit. In it, someone demonstrates that the votes for Biden in highly-contested areas do not fit the expected statistical pattern.
Someone forwarded me a link to this article, in Gnews — whatever that is — but, again, something that will become clear later. That article references the Reddit post.
The article includes a link to the data, and the math to produce the graphs, hosted at GitHub. The top left graph demonstrates the issue at hand.
Since the most concise place to link into all of these seems to be the Gnews article, I linked it in Twitter, with a comment: “Absolutely fascinating.” I hit refresh in my browser, and got this suspension:
I was also immediately emailed a notification that I had been suspended for — get this — posting nudes.
I’ve since looked around the Gnews site for more about what they’re all about, and they have several articles showing Hunter Biden in various… extremely compromising pictures. So I’m guessing that’s what the ban is all about. But if they want to ban me for posting a link to a news site that they’ve blocked entirely because they don’t want to hurt the Bidens, well, they can have their stupid service.
As for the actual content of the story, and the implications of the statistical math, I agree with the interpretation that it is a smoking gun for fraud. Up till now, I was willing to assume that the allegations of systemic vote manufacture were just paranoid delusions of a party desperate to hold on to power, and I was confident that, once reviewed, problems would be easily attributable to normal human error. Even though all the questionable counts seem to only be going one way, I assumed that the courts would ensure that it was all sorted out.
Now, the shoe is on the other foot. If this is all true — if the data really shows this statistical anomaly in many hotly-contested areas — especially where Biden “extended” his “lead” in after-election-day counting — then it changes the equation. This would make it incumbent on the Democrats to put all of the votes on the table, and prove that they haven’t fudged the numbers.
UPDATE: Wondering how widespread these Hunter Biden pics/videos were, I searched Reddit for “Hunter Biden sex tape.” There are dozens of posts with headlines saying that you would be banned for posting any link to it/them, because they were leaked against someone’s will. Meanwhile, at the top of the search results, in the “related subreddits” section, was a link to an entire subreddit devoted to… leaked sex tapes. What a bunch of hypocritical tools. “Sure, you can post intimate videos of people without their consent, just not of anyone powerful, who could afford to sue us and make a dent in our revenue.”
Every morning I wake up, holding my breath while I turn on my phone to see the latest news. I think to myself, “It can’t be worse than yesterday.” But when the news loads, I think, “Ohhhhh, yes, it is worse”…
Me too, Babs, but my definition of what’s wrong in this world is much, much more fundamental than complaining about any one politician’s capricious actions, even if they are the President, or the Speaker of the House.
No wonder doctors report that more people than ever are anxious and depressed. Since 2016, we’ve been dragged down into the mud of Trump’s swamp.
Right, because that trend started in 2016, with the election of the current President.
Now we’re facing another kind of war, against the coronavirus. Trump got rid of our pandemic specialist two years ago and has defunded the Centers for Disease Control because he continues to ignore science.
He didn’t “defund” the CDC, he trimmed it. When questioned about this specific situation, he said, “Hey, we can staff it back up if we need to, and it looks like we need to.” It sounded like a perfectly-legitimate, business-based rationale to me.
Trump can never live up to Obama’s legacy, so he’s trying to erase it. He inherited a growing economy and now claims credit for it, saying it’s the best in history … but that’s another lie.
This is amusing to me, because I watched people on the Right castigate Clinton for taking credit for Reagan/Bush’s economy during his entire 8 years. I’ll tell you this for free: No one on the opposite side hears this argument. It’s a so-called dog whistle to your own side.
In this upcoming election, we must bring back dignity and grace.
I don’t see much “dignity” or “grace” in the Democratic candidates who are left (as of this Super Tuesday). In fact, the only person I see at the top of the political food chain, who I would consider dignified or graceful, is Mike Pence, and the Left haaates him. They vilify and mock him at every opportunity, specifically because of his Christian-based dignity and grace. So please save us your sanctimonious and hypocritical calls for dignity and grace.
As with so much that is wrong with American politics, the Clintons rewrote the rules and changed the game. There was nothing dignified or graceful about Bill’s #metoo crimes and indiscretions, nor in their coverup, nor in Hillary’s endless victim-blaming media tour. And we are still living in their post-dignity-and-grace political world. For now.
I look forward to more insightful deconstructions of this pablum than I can provide.
Trump has told “the squad” of women-of-color Congressional Representatives that, if they don’t like America, they can “leave.” This notion is very, very agreeable to a large portion of conservatives.
Let’s have a mental exercise. Let’s flip the script here. Abortion is legal, right? That’s been adjudicated and ruled as a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT by the Supreme Court. I don’t like it, and I’m guessing that the majority of people I interact with in my conservative part of the country don’t like it either. Do I “hate America” because abortion is legal? No. Should I “leave the country” because it’s the law of the land? No. Should I “shut up because I’m a moron for disagreeing with it?” NO! If I’m sufficiently bothered by it, I’m supposed to work the political process to change it. Give money to support candidates who oppose it. Give to political PAC’s. Protest. Campaign. Get elected. Propose legislation. All that stuff. Right?
These ladies that Trump has taken aim at want to change things about America. They ran primary campaigns. They got on the primary ballot. They ran election campaigns. They got elected. Their constituents VOTED FOR THEM because of their politics and their intentions. AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTED THEM, and now they’re just trying to do the things they campaigned on. They’re working the political process, just like I’m supposed to. Right? The people who supported and elected them worked the political process, just like I’m supposed to. Right? So what’s with all the “they hate America and should just leave if they don’t like it” rhetoric? They’re doing their part in the most American way possible.