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So we have the same “originalists” who used to argue that the “Constitution isn’t a suicide pact” to justify torture, rendition and extrajudicial killings have now ruled that the Constitution is a murder-suicide pact when it comes to religious services during a killer pandemic.
Trump’s right, the electoral system is rigged, but not for the reasons he alleges. The system isn’t rigged to pick winners, but losers. The system is geared to preserve a certain class of political actors and keep out any rebellious interlopers. This doesn’t happen through the programing of voting machines or the stuffing of mail-in bailouts, through ballot harvesting or graveyard voters. The real rigging of the system is entirely (or almost entirely) legal: through PACs, dark money, gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, onerous ballot status requirements, the electoral college, extreme constraints on third and independent parties. Still, if Trump can bring further discredit to the current electoral system in his final weeks in office, it will be his greatest contribution to American political life next to withdrawing from Afghanistan and aborting the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership.
The most predictable post-election event in American politics is when the leadership of the Democratic Party gathers together for a searing session of self-analysis, only to emerge a few minutes later with the firm conclusion that they haven’t moved far enough to the right and that all of their loses can be blamed on the socialist contagion from within.
I keep hoping that one day there’ll be a presidential candidate who just says very plainly: I don’t want to invade anyone else’s country or drone their wedding parties; I don’t want to torture anyone; I don’t want your family to go bankrupt from the bills for your daughter’s chemo; I want you to be paid fairly for the work you do and not be preyed upon by bill collectors when you’re unemployed; I want you to have a roof over your head and clean water to drink; I don’t want your kids to go hungry at school or be thrown in jail for smoking grass or be shot by the police while walking home from the 7/11; I want you to have time off to enjoy your life and not worry about your house burning down in a wildfire or being swept away in a hurricane. Is that really too much to ask? Where is this person?
In the midst of a killer pandemic and mass unemployment, the Democrats could have offered the nation a universal health care plan, a moratorium on evictions and a guaranteed basic income. Instead, they believed that the key to victory over Trump was to meld neoliberal economics with a neoconservative foreign policy. I don’t know where they got this idea. Probably, the same place Obama got his health insurance plan, the Heritage Foundation.
If you want to finally destroy the electoral college, you should hope that Biden somehow manages to lose the popular vote, because of voter suppression or court rulings prematurely stopping vote counting in some states, but narrowly prevails in the electoral college. It will be gone before Amy Coney Barrett gets her new couture robe blessed by Cardinal Dolan.
Find the remote and flip on CNN to check the headlines, before immediately clicking it off, recalling my vow, made at least once a week, to never watch cable news again. I’ve taken similar vows about reading the New York Times, the Guardian and the Washington Post. But you can’t avoid them. They seek you out, relentlessly track you down, enter your mind, like it or not, like some cyber-Nosferatu, sucking your soul out before you’ve had the chance to fuel yourself with the day’s first bitter cup of Arabica. I think of Eliot’s line about J. Alfred measuring his days with “coffee spoons.” Mine, I fear, will be measured in email downloads. Ain’t it funny how time slips away during Covid and then slips back again, pretty much the same, only darker.
The genius of the Biden campaign is that there really is no Biden campaign. The outcome of the election will almost certainly depend on whether they can resist the temptation to start one over the next three weeks.
A return to normalcy, you say? Normalcy brought us the Iraq War, torture, assassination by drone, 607 billionaires & 600k homeless, the gutting of welfare, warrantless wiretaps, militarized police, the war on drugs, globalized fracking, the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico & an atmospheric C02 level of 411.08 ppm and rising. Screw normalcy.
Donald Trump was just one of 43,000 other Americans who tested positive for COVID today. While nearly all of them paid more in taxes than he did, few will have his resources to fight the ravages of the disease and recover from its financial aftershocks.
I keep hearing about the “legitimacy crisis” that will engulf the Supreme Court if the Senate moves forward with Trump’s expected nomination. Yet when did the institution that rendered Dred Scott (1857), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Korematsu (1944), Bowers v. Hardwick, upholding Georgia’s sodomy statute (1986) Bush v. Gore (2000), Exxon Shipping v. Baker, revoking punitive damages for Exxon Valdez wreck (2008) and Citizens United (2010) acquire this glittering aura of legitimacy?
I returned home to discover that my old pal George Atiyeh is missing from his home in the Santiam Canyon, located directly in the path of the monstrous Beachey Creek fire. George is the Hayduke of the Ancient Forests. If he went up with the forest he defended all his life, it’s the way he would have chosen to go, like Harry Truman at Mt. St. Helens. But I have the sense he’s out there somewhere, perhaps floating down the Santiam on a big fat Douglas-fir log, cursing the timber industry and the Forest Service, like one of the Stampers from Sometimes a Great Notion…
+ I’m writing this late on Thursday afternoon. The sky is the color of rust. Neil Young’s live rust. The sun is a crimson orb that occasionally bores through the enveloping pall, then recedes. We are under evacuation orders. The fires which have steadily gnawed their way toward us since Monday have reached the upper [...]
Living in America while black, Hispanic or Native American is a comorbidity and you can count on being blamed for your own death, whether you’re killed by a cop or COVID-19.
Day One + The Republican convention began, as all conventions should from now on, by deplatforming its platform. The stale ideologies of the pre-Trump party were replaced over the course of four days by a parade of the ridiculous and the repugnant, gun-slingers and fetus-worshippers, conspiracies and histrionics, white grievance, fake piety and unabashed money-grubbing. [...]
I can’t recall a GOP convention that was as saturated with religious symbolism, moral posturing and spiritual gaslighting as the one the Democrats just inflicted on us…and they didn’t even let Marianne Williamson near a camera.
Kamala Harris is the least surprising VP pick since Bob Dole tapped Jack Kemp as his running mate in 1996. Harris is as bland, safe and predictable as Kemp, but she adds little to an already boring campaign and comes with toxic baggage of her own that may repel the voters Biden needs the most. Biden is counting on Harris’ reputation as a prosecutor to make a case against Trump that most people have already reached a verdict against. Yet, as a prosecutor and attorney general, Harris made a career out of punching below her weight class, sternly going after low-level drug and property crimes while largely turning a blind and forgiving eye to the egregious transgressions of bankers, oil companies, mortgage fraudsters, slumlords, and corrupt police.
“And through the fog of the plague, most art withered into journalism.” — Pete Hamill + Four years of Trump, the most precipitous collapse of the US economy in history and one killer pandemic later and we’re right back to where we were in the late summer of 2016… https://twitter.com/mckaycoppins/status/1291481573053943809 + How could this [...]
They came for Portland and Portland didn’t back down in the face of extreme state-sponsored violence. Instead, the resistance grew every night. The Feds got their asses kicked, here and in Seattle. Let’s hope it provides a model for the people of Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, and ABQ.
+ If I recall, there were serious discussions inside the White House about turning the Afghan War into a bounty hunting operation led by mercenaries on contract with Erik Prince. I’m pretty sure many elements of that scheme have been in place since 1979 at the beginning Carter’s secret war and have continued in one [...]
Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps Sample a look back, you look and find Nothing but rednecks for four hundred years, if you check – Public Enemy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBAxS-kI2_k + Almost every violent act committed by police in the US is already illegal. Making these acts more illegal won’t change police behavior. Making [...]
“If you insist on having statues of people who fought the U.S. military, how about Ho Chi Minh? For one thing, he actually won…” – Paulo L dos Santos + The Democrats are absolutely desperate to smother the Defund the Police movement (not just the slogan, but the abolitionist ideology driving it) before it totally [...]
As the USA approaches an official tally of 100,000 dead from COVID-19, let us recall that this bracing toll is still 467,000 fewer deaths than the number of Iraqi children who died as a result of the Bush/Clinton economic sanctions (not to mention the ongoing war itself.)
I’m hyped for some ObamaGate action, as long as its about things that matter: health care plan designed by Heritage Foundation, bailing out Wall Street, failing to close Gitmo, droning US citizens, Afghan surge, the jailing of whistleblowers and legal harassment of journalists, the Libyan and Honduran coups, mass surveillance, the funding and arming of proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, record deportations, Deepwater Horizon, new nukes (both power plants and weapons), etc…
+ The detestable rationalizations liberals make for sticking with Biden despite Tara Reade’s convincing story can’t come as any surprise. It’s the same ritual contortions they’ve made about the Iraq war, fracking, abortion, the drug war, Anita Hill, social security, segregation, climate change, health care, deportations, a living wage, student debt, the Patriot Act, pipelines, the Libyan coup, climate change. To be a Democrat is to live in a constant state of denial, self-contradiction and moral hypocrisy.