Snark

“They Don’t Give A Damn About The Rest Of The Unit” – That’s Us


Regular reader Diana Dobrovolny Hefter put together a piece of clarity you must see. She was motivated to speak out due to congressional insanity designed to kill your rights and your freedom. She had help making her point from Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL-6) to communicate what the sneaky, Republican National Defense Authorization Act really is.
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Read Diana’s guest essay for the full story.


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which funds the annual budget and appropriations of the Department of Defense, regularly passes Congress on a bipartisan basis. Since 1961 it has been considered must-pass legislation, as it provides the funding for our national security. For all that there is grumbling on both sides over one thing or another in the measure, it is generally kept outside partisanship.
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On July 14 House Republicans did what they criticize: they added pork and demands unrelated to a defense budget. They added their entire agenda: no books; no abortion; no training; no LGBTQ+ rights; etc. Every point DeSantis defends has been added in. Every Republican voted for it – vote totals: 219-210.
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That has never before been done to the Military Budget.
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The Right can NEVER again criticize any add-on to bills, pork or otherwise. This issue is a hostage maneuver and they took it. Time will tell if it lives through the Senate and then next steps. But they have been clear – they’ll do whatever it takes.
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Representative Sean Casten (D-IL) summed up the vote on Twitter.

“The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the bill that funds all of our military operations. It is typically bipartisan and is about as serious as Congress gets. What weapons of war we fund, which allies we share them with, how we recruit. National security is a BFD.

“We can have our political debates about any number of issues but it is generally understood that when Americans are willing to sacrifice their lives to defend us, it’s time to check the crazies at the door. But today, the crazies won.

“They won first because [McCarthy] put the crazies in positions of power. But second because none of the “moderate” Republicans had the courage to stay the hell out of KrazyTown .  .  .

“Is every member of the [House Republican Conference] a homophobic, racist, science denying lunatic? No. But the lesson of today is that the ones who aren’t are massive cowards completely unfit for any position of leadership.

“There is space—and demand—for reasonable differences of opinion in our democracy. This isn’t about whether we agree. It’s about whether we can trust that—differences aside—we trust that we’ve got each other’s back if we ever find ourselves in a foxhole together.

“That’s usually a metaphor, conflating the horrors of war with the much lower-stakes lives that most of us are fortunate enough to lead. But today, the entire [House Republican Conference] told us—both literally and metaphorically—that they don’t give a damn about the rest of the unit. [emphasis mine]

Be clear that “the rest of the unit” is you and me and all of we-the-majority.

Diana wrote separately:

When the far right held [Speaker] McCarthy to “firm commitments” in order to be elected Speaker of the House, one demand was increased transparency for future earmark spending – as in: ONE BILL, ONE TOPIC.
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Republicans just broke their own rule. Showed they are out for themselves, not our country.  In less than 6 months their own Republican House actions show they cannot be trusted.
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Reference: https://open.substack.com/pub/heathercoxrichardson/p/july-14-2023?r=z96xn&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

I think that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the long suffering, often filibustered, not exactly titan of communication might need a smidgen of assistance in responding to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) when the House poo-poo NDAA bill arrives in his office. Here is a proposed memo to help him.
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Kevin, thanks for sending along the NDAA the House passed on a party line vote. Of course you know that means that both extremist, hair-on-fire Republicans and so-called “moderate” Republicans all voted to violate their own rule about packing a bill with pork. It also means that every Democrat gave the finger to this insane bill. More on that another time.
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You know that both here in the Senate and in the hearts of the American people we’re all for a vigorous national defense and national security, including enthusiastic support for our military people.
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What we’re not in favor of, Kevin, is the partisan, extremist pile of poo-poo you loaded onto this bill. Not only does that stinky stuff not belong in a bill focused on our national defense, the majority of Americans oppose everything contained in your unconscionable amendments to the bill. Everything.
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And so, my friend Kevin, ask not what your crazy caucus members can do for you, because they really don’t give a damn about you or our country. Ask what you can do in hopes of finding even a chip from your long lost backbone.
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I’m sending this krazykrap bill back to you, Kevin, returning it in the same envelope in which it arrived. I’m both surprised and impressed by your creativity in crafting an envelope from toilet paper cores and duct tape. That’s so very appropriate for this bill.
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Face it: there just isn’t a way to disguise this sneaky move that you promised wouldn’t happen under your leadership, or your attempt to attack key things Americans want.
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Get rid of what you know doesn’t belong in the NDAA, Kevin. Use that big eraser on the handle end of your gavel and eliminate the sideways poo-poo from this legislation. Get a clean bill passed and send it to me. I’ll have my homies look it over carefully for any vestigial poo-poo and maybe it will make its way to the floor of the Senate for a vote, but only if you’ve performed a radical krap-ectomy.
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And Kevin, if you send me more crap like the sewerage you forwarded, I’ll package it with a brick and snail mail it to you at your house in Bakersfield, COD.
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By the way, Kevin, the President recognizes that you knuckled under to the worst of the extremists in your party, this in order to become Speaker. He understands the terrible bind you are in to pass a sane NDAA in the face of extreme pressure from your crazies. He sends his warm wishes to you for a fine stewing in your own juice.
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It is with collegial affection that I await your revised, clean NDAA.
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Chuck
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Bragging Rights Made Easy

Last Sunday I encouraged you to help stop the hand wringing about President Biden’s age and instead to talk about all the great benefits he’s brought to Americans. There was a link to a White House page with lots of good stuff listed there.

To make it even easier for you to wave the President’s flag of accomplishments, here’s a PDF for you to print. Affix it to the door of your refrigerator so you have the facts ready when you need them.

Many thanks to JN for forwarding this construct.

Finally, Everything Ends

From The Onion:

THE WORLD WIDE WEB—The existence of shared communal truths was dealt a critical blow at approximately 10:07 a.m. Monday, sources reported, when the last factual piece of information was deleted from the internet.


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Facing the ‘mare-ca In America


We’re Right and We Know It

Let’s drop the pretending for a minute and honestly say that while George Floyd’s murder was not okay, it really wasn’t a big deal because, hey, he was just a Black guy. Plus, we stand by our police, except the ones at the Capitol Building and you know why. And we heard that Floyd’s past was sketchy, although me and my posse don’t know what that was about.

And those kids snatched from their mothers at the southern border – I mean, boo-hoo. Gimme a break. Those kids would have grown up to be Brown adults and not so cute anymore and they’d probably be on welfare with me payin’ for them. Glad they’re gone. And their crying moms? Too bad. Nobody invited you. Besides, you’re Brown. Just go away.

Let’s get serious about all those homos demanding rights like they’re so important. Hey, you want a website for your homo wedding, go do it yourself. Don’t try to make a God-fearing, straight, White Christian woman do anything for you. And get that damned rainbow flag out of my face.

And Affirmative Action? Everybody knows that’s just a way to discriminate against White guys, to keep us down. You other races can do that bootstrap thing like we did. Otherwise, just shut up and stay in your place.

We don’t go for no Department of Education. That’s gub-mint telling us what our kids should learn and turning over their future to a bunch of elite coastal bozos and sketchy teachers. We got parents rights, you know. It’s right there in the Constitution. I forget where.

Anyway, don’t go shoveling no lib-ral, anti-‘mer-can crap at us or our kids. We’ll home school ’em and make sure they learn the right stuff, not the lies in your history books. You can’t chop our freedom.

You know this is true: the Founders of this country were all White men – every one of ’em – and they set up this country to be run and owned by White men. That’s a fact. Deal with it, socialist.

The Constitution allowed for slavery, which is why we want to keep those Confederate statues and have our military bases and schools in the South named after Confederate generals. They were great heroes, especially Robert E. Lee. It’s why we honor the Confederate battle flag and do everything we can to make sure only White people can vote and have their votes mean something. It’s the right thing to do because we’re patriotic ‘mare-cans.

You bleeding heart lib-rals make me sick. That lib-ral crap is an insult to the spirit and meaning of our country, so you can take your woke and stick it. If you don’t like that, go someplace else. Maybe back to where your people came from. They sure didn’t come from here like we White people did.

Until then, just remember that most of us are doing concealed carry. Best if you stay in your lane. It would be a shame if something were to happen to you, you know?

We’re right and we know it.


Take a Breath

The above is satire, of course. It’s a caricature of the closed-minded and the willfully ignorant, those intolerant of everything that isn’t just like themselves.

Even as things are exaggerated here to make a point, we as a country rarely care enough about Black, Brown or LGBTQ people. New laws and extremist Supreme Court decisions are ensuring that we care even less. Harm to these people makes the news only because it’s spectacular and brings eyeballs to advertisers. We don’t do much to right the wrongs, so the hits just keep on coming.*

I’m sure it’s comforting to some to deny that there is systemic racism in this country. It’s a relief to some that service can be denied to LGBTQ people on the basis of an impromptu claim of religious beliefs designed to be inflicted on others. All that takes are just a few key words, like God, Jesus, Christian, freedom, liberty and ‘mare-ca. But what you know is that it’s just performative, faux patriotism.

Land of the free, home of the brave? Where’s the bravery that makes sure that all of us are free?

All men are created equal? How equal are we now?

I’m just wondering what it is we really stand for. It’s a terrible shame that we as a nation have lost our ability to feel shame. Maybe we can bring it back. That would help.

About Your Rights and Our Democracy

For a must read satire about the state of our nation that should wake up your blood, read Diane Roberts’ commentary, We’re the Mommies for Liberty and the future belongs to us. It’s focused on the outrageous rights violations going on in Florida today. With that model in mind you’ll see what could be coming to all of America if we don’t set things right. It will give you the shakes, because Roberts’ satire feels frighteningly close to reality.

Another take on democracy and the pummeling of our rights comes from an essay by Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead, his best-selling 2003 memoir about being a Marine in the first Gulf War, later made into a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal. His essay in Daily Beast is about book banning, which the vocal extremists in Ottawa County, Michigan did to his book. He ends his post this way:

Make no mistake, they are banning books, but really they are restricting access to ideas. And when one small group of people ban[s] a larger group of people access to ideas, we are in for a closing of the American mind. What begins with banning books ends with a firescape of constitutional rights ablaze. But the fire is already here on your block. [emphasis mine]
 

That stunning image is the threat that faces us, which is why you and I are going to do something about that, like get elected people who believe in democracy and who will stop the ones torching the Constitution.

Quotes of the Week

From David Corn of Mother Jones:

So when the pundits scratch their heads about DeSantis’ attempt to out-flank Trump on the right, they miss the point. He is trying to out-hate Trump. That tells you a lot about the guy and what he thinks of Republican voters.

You could say much the same for Republican politicians who tacitly condone extremism by refusing to speak up.

Thinking more about the not-extreme Republicans who have refused to speak out against the vile lies for these terrible years of political venom, read this, paraphrased from Harlen Coben’s 2023 novel I Will Find You:

Morality is subjective. They could have done the right thing, but they only do the right thing when it doesn’t cost them.

Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger excepted, of course.

Just Sayin’

Monday, July 3 was Earth’s hottest day in the last 125,000 years. Tuesday was hotter.

It’s possible the climate science nerds have been right all along about looming climate catastrophe, even as know-nothing elected officials have denied both the science and what’s right in front of their own noses. Maybe it’s time we elect officials who can see past their noses.

Just sayin’.

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* Watch Jon Stewart’s explainer here.


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

A Political Peace Treaty – Or Not


“The Courage To Be Free” is Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign BS book that he hopes will propel him from his authoritarian throne in Tallahassee to the gold toilet just off the Oval Office that was left by a former extremist president. He tries to scare us, saying that, “The threat to freedom is not limited to the actions of governments, but also includes a lot of aggressive, powerful institutions hellbent on imposing a woke agenda on our country.”

A woke agenda? Imposed? Yikes!

He’s talking about enemies of freedom. Bad guys. ” . . . entrenched elites that have driven our nation into the ground.” They, “control the federal bureaucracy, lobby shops on K Street, corporate media, Big Tech companies and universities.”

Wow! That’s a lot of entrenched elites doing a lot of driving into the ground.

These bad guys, he says, “use undemocratic means to foist everything from environmental, social and governance (E.S.G.) policies on corporations, forcing as well critical race theory on public schools.” It’s, “an attempt to impose ruling class ideology on society.”

Holy smokes! These guys do E.S.G.? In public? And they force CRT on innocent children? And they’re imposing ruling class ideology on society? That sounds awful.

I find myself feeling sorry for DeSantis, wondering if Mommy and Daddy didn’t come to his room when he screamed in the night in fear of the monsters in the closet and the boogeyman under his bed. They left little Ronny in a terror that he never got over.

He has carried his terror and his angry fictions with him all this way and he still sees monsters and boogeymen, but now they aren’t just in the closet and under the bed. Now they’re in classrooms, libraries, in doctors’ offices, in voter registration offices and at Disney World. Indeed, they lie in wait in DC meeting rooms, hiding under conference tables and in the cabinet under the large screen TV where they keep the coffee service. Poor Ronny!

But the thing is that his boogeymen and monsters not only don’t exist, but he is using his fear of these fictions to harm you, to take away your freedom. He’s already taken away voting rights, women’s healthcare, education, books from the library and more. So, you already know some of the harm he could do if he were given the power to attack our entire nation in his childish fight against his night demons. You better make sure that little Ronny DeSantis doesn’t get the key to the room with that gold toilet.

Don’t you think it’s time for our country to end extremist driven political and cultural wars, like DeSantis’ hateful idiocy? Me, too, so here’s my proposal.

Resolved: that all members of all political parties will:
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– Refrain from all attempts to limit voting rights.

– Nevermore discriminate in any way to limit or marginalize citizens on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, boxers or briefs, N95 masks or knowledge of CRT (if any).

– Never prohibit food or water from being given to citizens waiting in line to vote.

– Never require that schools teach a sanitized, race-blind version of American history to “protect” fragile White children and that they instead tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

– Never attack our democracy in any way.

– Never make vague, groundless accusations, like “entrenched elites that have driven our nation into the ground” and “aggressive, powerful institutions hellbent on imposing a woke agenda on our country,” or any other meaningless and inflammatory stupid stuff.

– Never demonize immigrants or those hoping to be immigrants. That means no replacement theory BS.

– Never emit hateful dog whistles.

– Never forget to take their meds every day so that they have the strength to control the Tourette-like M.S.U. (Make Shit Up) impulse.

– Immediately say, “I’m sorry” when they say something false, rude and mean, because they know that if they don’t say “I’m sorry,” the monsters and the boogeymen will be released from the closet and from under the bed and not even Ghostbusters will be able to stop them from a full assault on decency.

Oh, wait. No need to make this about all members of all political parties, because only Republicans are doing these hateful, stupid things. It’s amazing that people can still be sold magic beans and snake oil claimed to cure all ills.

Only the Republicans have sucked in millions of dollars of PPP money for their corporations, enjoyed debt forgiveness and have now killed student loan forgiveness.

Only the Republicans want to censure and impeach officials for the crime of breathing while being a Democrat. And worse, for doing their jobs.

Only Republicans are cheering Supreme Court decisions that reverse decades of progress, that eliminate rights and attack the foundation of democracy, that open the door to discrimination and religious intolerance and put the lie to the justices’ claim of fidelity to stare decisis.

Only the Republicans are attacking separation of church and state relentlessly.

Only the Republicans are cheering Ronny DeSantis and his boyhood lunacy.

Only the Republicans hate Americans like you.

To quote my friend Ed Gurowitz:

To effect real change, the majority [that’s us] must rebel – not by force of arms but by raising our voices in the media, at the voting booth, and everywhere else. The Right holds its power by lies and deceit. To counter that, the majority [that’s us] must stand up and speak out for the truth.

We’re in a clash not of right versus left, but of right versus wrong, So, it’s rebel or be overrun by forces of anger, hatred, discrimination, lies and deceit.

Political peace treaty? Nah, I don’t think so.

Independence Day Follow-ups

Read Richard Jacobs’ piece, Our Glorious 4th of July Heritage: Keeping It Working for All of Us. You’ll understand that it’s time for each of us to enter the arena.

And have a look at John Pavlovitz’s excellent post, July 4th: Mourning the America We Could Have Had. You’ll grow an enhanced and proper disdain for performance patriotism.

Finally, from Steve Sheffey’s July 2 post:

” .  .  .  make July 4 the day you start actively participating in the democracy we are celebrating by participating in the electoral process. Stop pretending that both parties are the same and stop treating bipartisanship and non-partisanship as virtues. Elections are partisan by nature and design, and the right to hold free and fair elections is what we are celebrating on Tuesday.”

Gotta love that –

“start actively participating in the democracy we are celebrating by participating in the electoral process.”
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Voting. It’s a good thing.


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Potpourri v20.0


Read to the end for some fun.

Bang-Bang

Have a look at this Everytown graphic:

Is that something we should be proud of? Perhaps we should be chanting, “We’re number one!” Because with over 20,000 dead and 320 mass shootings already this year, it occurs to me that I may have missed the change in our national values. Maybe murders, brutality and bullying are what we value most now.

A friend recently emailed saying that he lives in a pretty safe, low crime community. I replied that is exactly what the people of Highland Park would have said on July 3rd of last year. The Parkland kids would have said the same thing on February 13, 2018 and the Sandy Hook parents would have used those very words on December 12, 2012. The shoppers at Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo felt just like that on May 13, 2022, same as the shoppers and employees at the Allen Premium Outlets Mall in Texas on May 5 of this year. Those dates were the day before each massacre. Maybe your safe neighborhood doesn’t protect you quite like you think it does.

We’ve known for many years that lobbying congress won’t deliver the gun safety we want. That’s for two reasons. The first is that legislators in the pocket of the gun industry would have to act against their own immediate best interests to deliver what you want, and they just won’t do that.

The second reason you’re not getting what you want is because most of the legislation that affects you is state driven and most of us don’t pay attention to that locus of power until we’re being beaten up – or shot up – by it.

The net of that is that if you are to get the gun safety legislation you want (or legislation for anything else you want), we’ll have to first vote replacement legislators into office at both the state and federal levels, people who believe in what you believe in.

You and I have less than 500 days to make that happen.

In a fundraiser email last week .  .  .

.  .  .  Adam Schiff told of the MAGA Republican House censure of him for the dastardly deed of doing his job. He’s too stand-up a guy to use the word “dastardly,” but I’m not above such a thing. Neither was the House Democratic caucus, which chanted “SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!” at the MAGA flame throwers and their spineless Speaker, Kevin McCarthy. Of course, the shame accusation aimed at those people fell on their deaf ears, because they are incapable of recognizing their shame, so Schiff wrote,

President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” I have been called a liar by the architects of the Big Lie, a fraud by fraudsters from Donald Trump to George Santos, and an enemy of the state by those who cheered on the insurrection on our Capitol.

I wear their enmity, their falsehoods, and their censure like a badge of honor. [emphasis Schiff’s]

Read Schiff’s paragraph again to fully appreciate this dreadful display of MAGA hypocrisy.

It’s a damned shame that so many Americans long ago sold out and lost their ability to feel their shame. We need a lot more stand-up people and we’re most unlikely to find them in that shame incapable MAGA crowd.

For a clear demonstration of what patriotism looks and sounds like, give a listen to what Schiff had to say just before the shameful, MAGA party-line censure vote, which included both extremists and the cowards afraid to stand up for what they know is right. Also note that 13 representatives failed to register a vote on this faithless resolution.

The Divine Right of Justices

Emperor Samuel Hirohito’s – I mean Alito’s – hand has been caught in the fancy, enormously expensive vacation cookie jar. It appears that he, like Clarence Thomas, believes that his lofty judicial position puts him above financial reporting requirements. Since Alito has already been attacking the Constitution by forcing his religious views on everyone, perhaps his next move will be to attack Pearl Harbor.

Havin’ a Little Fun

Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, founders of the Sisters of Perpetual Desperation for Attention, have announced that they have joined with the members of the Brotherhood of Low Self-Esteem Over-Compensation and its charter members Jim Jordan, Louis Gohmert, Matt Gaetz, Tommy Tuberville, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. The new, combined organization is called The Flaming Order Of Nya-Nya.*

The need for the coupling of these MAGA-stacized orders became clear after they had individually demanded that President Biden resign and turn over the country to the disgraced, twice impeached and multiply indicted Donald Trump.

Biden’s press secretary issued this statement:

“The President gave these demands his partial attention for the entire duration of his snapping closed the case for his aviators and then said, ‘Nah. I don’t think so.'”

That was the trigger moment to merge the groups.

In their first public announcement they declared that the new order will exert great nya-nya pressure on Speaker McCarthy such that they will fully emasculate him not later than the end of this year. They promised to leave nothing but his gavel. “No skeletal structure is expected to remain,” they predicted, “especially back bones.”

In a press conference held on Juneteenth in hopes of distracting White people from the important meaning of that date, they announced that The Flaming Order of Nya-Nya will raise the necessary funds for their work by knitting sweaters for assault rifles and selling them at school board meetings in red states. They are also expecting dark money contributions from Billionaires Against Democracy (BAD), as well as from vacation buddies of Supreme Court Justices.

The stated mission of this new order requires absolute obedience to:

  1. The sacred vow to never allow reality to distract them
  2. The Nya-Nya imperative to always loudly shout something or other

To commemorate the founding of this new order, leaders met in a secret ceremony held behind a Port-a-Potty in a construction zone at the edge of the Ellipse. There, standing in a circle with hands joined in their secret handshake of middle fingers hooked together, they vowed eternal fidelity in their fight to eliminate higher brain functioning everywhere. Most movingly, they knelt, bowed their heads and pledged a holy paean to their hallowed motto:

Hoc Locus De Stultus Est**
.
Late Addition
Focus For Democracy: Zoom Briefing – 2022 Impact Event
Focus for Democracy is a pro-bono donor advisory that approaches political investment in an effective, dynamic, data-driven way.  Learn about the effectiveness of its 2022 Midterm programs and hear the network leaders’ thoughts on the road ahead.
.
This is NOT a fundraiser.
 
Thursday, June 29th
5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET
Register here: 
https://tinyurl.com/F4DJune29

_____________________________________

* These orders do not exist. They and the reported statements and actions of the individuals named in this section are solely a product of the author’s imagination.

But, hey, given the reality of MAGA, this sounds plausible.

** Literally, “This is the place of stupid.”


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Problem Isn’t Woke


“Florida is where woke goes to die.”

Governor Ron DeSantis, (R-Cruelty) loves to say that in his devoid-of-personality way. It’s obvious that it tickles him to declare stupid things that elicit favor from the base. He seems to revel in encouraging exclusion, intimidation and authoritarian, anti-American behavior. He knows what makes him happy.

I tuned in to a bit of the CNN town hall with Nikki Haley and was immediately smacked in the face by her own pandering to the base and constant focus on applause lines, rather than saying anything that actually means something of value to non-extremists. She’s pretty much like DeSantis.

For example, she criticized Biden’s climate initiative to get us off our fossil fuel diet. Electric vehicles are heavier, she told us, and our bridges can’t handle that, so we’ll have to rebuild a gazillion bridges, a cost that Biden omits from the projected cost of transportation conversion.

Heavier? And if they are, is that a barrier to taking action to save the planet and ourselves? Okay, that sounds stupid, but let’s check, shall we?

Here are three popular 4-door sedans, each with room for 5 passengers:

The 2023 Tesla Model 3 has a curb weight of 3880 lbs.

The 2023 Chevrolet Malibu has a curb weight of 3159 lbs.

The 2023 Toyota Camry has a curb weight of 3340 lbs.

Okay, Nikki, you nailed the key problem. it looks like we have as much as 721 pounds of excess, bridge-crushing woke in the electric car. The mindless audience applause still rings in that auditorium.

Jake Tapper, usually a reliable interviewer who doesn’t let interviewees get away with dodging questions or giving dodgy replies, let Haley get away with her practiced, intelligence-free statements. That went on the entire time I was able to tolerate watching the spectacle.

It was very disappointing, much like the misnamed Trump town hall. That’s where CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was powerless to stem the tide – the tsunami, really – of Trump’s fact-free, self-serving delusions in the form of applause lines. The entire event, complete with no audience members who were not faithful Trumpers, was nothing more than a Trump Rally. No news or informed, intelligent ideas were to be found anywhere in the vicinity.

All of Haley’s, Trump’s and DeSantis’ anti-woke pandering is nothing more than bumper sticker fictions that call extremists to hatred and domination of unacceptable “others.” These presidential candidates are world class inciters with the finest of reality-free applause lines.

There is no “woke.”
.

That’s just a label used inflame the base, much like they use the label “Antifa.” The panderers like to call out Antifa as though it is an invading army, a threat to our country, rather than an informal collection of Americans who refuse authoritarianism and fascism. Those who identify as Antifa don’t riot, they don’t intimidate other Americans, they don’t make death threats and they do think democracy is a good thing. Imagine that!

The problem we in America have is not woke. Our problem is the haters and manipulators who try to make people afraid of their boogeyman du jour. They pander for voters’ support by inciting hatred and violence using their cruel fictions about other Americans. They are the ones who least resemble what we used to call American values and who stand in the way of our recapturing them.

There is no woke that goes to Florida to die. There is just a cadre of liars creating an incentive to hatred and violence and, perhaps, causing others to die. That’s the real threat and they put it into law, like this:

Definition: “Stand Your Ground” law. A mechanism to boil testosterone and create dead bodies. It is much beloved by haters and other insecure, cowardly people and embodies the true essence of anti-woke.

Woke Clarity From Another Source

Retired attorney and thoughtful person Ralph Bernstein leads a weekly political discussion group via Zoom. In his agendum (yes, he uses that term correctly) for yesterday’s session, he offered this discussion teaser:

Repub [sic] legislators, judges who are said to be right-wing judges, and MAGA activists have set out to trample on free speech and individual rights in the name of battling “wokeism.” If they don’t like what teachers say about history, they gag them. If they don’t like certain books, they ban them. If they don’t like a corporation defending LGBTQ rights, they retaliate against it. Their crusade has become an expression of not only white Christian nationalism but of contempt for the Constitution and the First Amendment.

If you’d like to attend and participate in Ralph’s no-charge discussions, drop him a line at [email protected].

Woke Must-Read of the Week

From the John Pavlovitz essay, Woke Will Win, June 5, 2023 (click through and read this excellent post in full):

The leveraging of irrational fear is nothing new.

Throughout history it has been the go-to tactic of the worst of politics and religion.

When you lack substantive ideas, you need an encroaching enemy to move and motivate people.

When you have nothing redemptive to offer, you have to create a violent adversary for them to run from and push back against.

When vulnerable people are placed in your path, you need to somehow turn those people into a threat to be exterminated.

If you can’t or won’t engage in difficult conversations about complex issues, you turn words into monsters:

Illegals.
CRT.
Plandemic.

The jab.
Groomers.
Woke.

Anti-Woke Book Ban Selection of the Week

If sex, adultery, slavery, sex trafficking and murder are forbidden topics, this according to the anti-wokers, then we absolutely must ban the Bible. That is a nasty set of human debauchery tales if ever there was one. These books quite obviously don’t belong in libraries, schools, homes and other places where impressionable children might come upon them.

In fact, I don’t think you should be reading such salacious material either. As Justice Potter Stewart said of pornography, “I know it when I see it.” So do you.

If you are to be a flamer who burns those awful books, you better start gathering them and tossing them into a dumpster right now. Otherwise, Ron DeSantis and those 11 crazies responsible for so much book banning are going to have all the puritanical, witchy fun, as well as the ego rush that comes from bullying.

A Peculiarity

Yesterday was June 6. On that day in 1944 we and our allies made the Normandy invasion, the major push to defeat the Nazis and bring WW II to an end. What is peculiar now is the lack of recognition of the date in the news and elsewhere. D-Day used to be a major event in the public consciousness, but apparently no longer.

It’s just my speculation, but perhaps that is happening because of the rapid loss of those of our Greatest Generation who fought for our democracy, now dying at the rate of about 180 per day. That number used to be many times greater, but, of course, there are so few left.


  • Today is a good day to be the light.

    ______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

S**t Spewers Flooding The Zone and A Letter to Kevin


Caution: Those sensitive to nasty words Mom told you not to say should skip to the second section of this post.


Richard Nixon couldn’t remember sending his goon squad to break into the Democratic National  Committee Headquarters at The Watergate to steal opposition documents. Later he couldn’t remember his mob boss style cover up of his crimes. Now, that’s a poor memory. Or a load of Presidential shit.

Later Ronald Reagan told us he couldn’t remember sending his goon squad to sell arms to Iran (a crime). He also couldn’t remember giving the proceeds of those sales to the Contras in Nicaragua (a crime). Apparently, the theory was that the Iranians would be so grateful for getting their hands on American weapons that they would then somehow convince Hezbollah to free the 7 Americans they were holding hostage in Lebanon. That whole thing went on for 5 years and, like Nixon’s, it was a tall pile of Presidential shit.

Once in the Oval Office George H.W. Bush issued presidential pardons to all the Iran-Contra hands-on perps, which was only sensible, since he as Vice President had been the architect of the plan. That pardoning was a fine setting of precedent, too, because it was done again when Trump pardoned convicts Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. And Trump’s reasons for doing that were very much like Bush’s. That’s yet more Presidential shit.

George W. Bush lied us into two wars and into torturing prisoners at black sites. He lied us into mindless tax cuts and off-balance-sheet wars and so much more. He was a master Presidential shit spewer.

Now Sen. Rick Scott (R-Prevarication) says he didn’t really mean that he wanted to “sunset” Social Security and Medicare. However, his policy document says he wants to do exactly that. He’s a really tall shit spewer.

To be fair, though, all of that is a load of shit, but not exactly shit spewing.

It’s over two years later now, but Trump and his brainless acolytes are still saying that the 2020 election was rife with fraud and the accusations come in a torrent, claiming that poor little victim Trump was cheated. Key word: “torrent.”

Steve Bannon counseled Trump in order for him to win the 2016 election and “tear it all down.” He told Trump to “flood the zone with shit.” An ongoing torrent of shit was the key strategy. Bannon said to babble easily disproved “alternative facts” so rapidly that response would be impossible. Trump trained his press secretaries and his advisor Kellyanne Conway to do that very thing. Betcha Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Sean Spicer still claim that Trump had the biggest inauguration crowd ever. Period! The far right crazies do the same thing every day. That’s a huge amount of shit spewing.

Please ignore the complete absence of evidence for Trump’s claims of voting fraud or anything else. Pay no attention to the dozens of court cases he filed claiming fraud, all of which he lost, and his multiple illegal power grab attempts that have been unmasked. Irredeemable shit spewing for selfish gain is what these people are about.

Where have you gone, Merrick Garland? We need someone to clean up all the shit spewed in aisle 45.

It’s the same shit spewing when it comes to insane actions, like stocking cabinet positions with obviously incapable, dishonest, sycophantic people. This works quite well to crush the opposition through the sheer volume of the shit they spew. It’s that torrent thing.

Logistics and shipping company owner Louis DeJoy is still the Postmaster General in charge of hobbling the Postal Service. And Bill Barr is now out peddling his revisionist history book, detailing his fantasy about the integrity that he knowingly abandoned decades ago. His is an entire self-promoting career of working to crush our system of checks and balances by spewing shit, like his summary of the Mueller Report. Barr is totally full of shit that he spews with perfect conceit.

See Note #5 below

Mehdi Hassan has written a brilliant piece in an Atlantic essay lifted from his forthcoming book. The essay is focused on how to deal with the shit spewers and is entitled How To Beat Trump In a Debate. Do read his piece, because he will teach you what to do when faced with people for whom

– truth means nothing

– machine gun speed lying is the greatest of skills

– stealing your power is their holy quest.

See Note #5 below

NOTE: Stealing your power is what the shit spewing is all about.
.

Consider yourself having been cautioned long ago by the Jefferson Airplane about how to deal with insanity and untruth from shit spewers. Back then the spewers were the ones piling up lies about the war in Viet Nam, which got 58,000 Americans killed, many times that number wounded and nobody knows how many Vietnamese were killed.

Here’s the last stanza of the song White Rabbit:

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the doormouse said
Feed your head
Feed your head

We’re living in perilous times, as shit-spewing, self-serving voices of anarchy and authoritarianism are trying to steal from you every day. In a sense, nothing has changed, because the shit spewers today are just like those of generations before, although today’s spewers spew much faster. They’re still trying to steal your power. That’s why you have to feed your head every day, although that isn’t enough now, any more than it was enough in 1967 when that song was released and the parade of body bags was underway.

Here’s Newton’s 7th Law of Motion:*

You must take action or you will be acted upon.
.

We have elections coming up – we always do – and some of these are critical, like the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat I told you about.

Did I mention that you must take action or you will be acted upon? Check out The States Project for some of the best actions to deal with the assault on you and your power. This stuff matters if we’re going to stop the shit spewers from stealing from us.

An Open Letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy – Snail Mailed February 23, 2023
.

Many thanks to JN for this – click me

Speaker McCarthy:

it’s widely reported that you have released to Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson over 44,000 hours of U.S. Capitol video records of the January 6, 2021 insurrection. You claimed that in giving Carlson access you were delivering “truth and transparency over partisan games.”

As a most interested citizen of the United States and a political commentator, and in the spirit of truth and transparency over partisan games, I’m requesting that you release all the same materials to me that you gave to Carlson, this for my review and commentary. Speaking Speaker-to-Speaker, you know it’s the transparent thing to do.

I await your reply.

Regards,

.
  • Jack Altschuler
  • Chief Disambiguation Officer and Part-Time Speaker of My House
  • Looking For Help
  • Lots of bad stuff goes on. There are many murders every day. People lie, cheat and steal.
  • What I have not been able to understand is why the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh is being treated as national news, elbowing out everything in its path. There is gavel-to-gavel coverage on CNN, MSNBC, Court TV and other outlets.
  • I remember the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart and the overwhelming coverage that received. Same for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. The one thing I’ve found in common in those cases is that these were or are about wealthy White families.
  • Somebody please explain the why of the Murdaugh spectacle.

_____________________________

* You’re right: he only had 3. Check it out here.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

New AP Class in Florida; Ukraine; The Key Word


Caution: The first section of this post contains infectious snark. It is contraindicated for those not yet vaccinated against the current virulent right wing strains of BS-2022 and BS-2023. Note that constitutional virologists are predicting an exceptionally deadly strain next year. Subscribe here (⇒⇓) to stay up to date on this threat.


Gov. DeSantis proudly displays his signature on his “Don’t Say Gay” bill on March 28, 2022, while proudly using unknowing children as props.

There has been a nagging sense of incompleteness since Florida Governor Ro DeSantis courageously ended AP African-American studies classes in Florida’s public high schools. His high minded and heroically placed stake in the ground is a good first step, but it’s clear that something is missing. What Florida high schools need to finish the noose is a class in AP White Supremacy.

This will be a two semester senior level course designed to send students into the world on the far right path and with the tools, the knowledge and the attitude for successful superiority.

Topics included in the syllabus for this course are:

Racial superiority, specifically including the identification of differences in intellectual potential and work ethic

The truth about BLM, the NAACP and other organizations that seek to take money from hard working Whites and distribute it to lazy, shiftless “others”

The truth about the War of Northern Aggression

The proper “place” of non-Whites

Northern lies about poor treatment of the Negro in the south

Clarity about gender identity: “hetero is the way to go.” This issue is included in this program because Gov. DeSantis let us know that gender issues permeate AP African-American studies classes to indoctrinate impressionable students. This is the one arena in Florida public education where the existence of LGBTQ issues may be briefly discussed without indictment of teachers on a 3rd degree felony violation. Otherwise, such discussion would be a violation of the “Don’t Say Gay” law. No texts will be used in this module, lest they filter to other students who are incapable of learning of such things without experiencing trauma or, worse, conversion.

Education on how to purchase, handle and fire semi-automatic weapons

The title of the books in the box is “Black History.” Click the pic

The beauty and pride of the Confederate battle flag and of pickup trucks, especially when used together. Students will be taught how to run lefty campaign buses off the road and also how to overwhelm streets in cities both large and small. Tactics for shutting down lefty rallies will be included in this module.

Training on the appropriateness of violence to enforce White supremacy, including subtleties like how to make anonymous death threats to those who would undermine White position and power

Hands-on training in disruption of school board meetings and socialist lefty protests, plus training in state capitol capture while wearing camo, face masks and carrying semi-automatic assault rifles with high capacity magazines. Role play will be a critical part of this module, so students should arrive in appropriate clothing and be prepared to yell for long periods of time. Foul language will be encouraged.

Students will be trained to register for concealed carry and will be advised to bring their guns to class in case some bad guy with a gun shows up.

This is a lot to cover in just two semesters, yet it is crucial that these Florida students be prepared to move to what’s next, whether it’s an occupation or further schooling or pursuing elective or appointed office. It is imperative that they make the White choices.

Gov. DeSantis, we await your signature.

End of snark

——————————–
Ukraine

We are a primary supplier of weapons and ammunition to aid Ukraine in prosecuting their defense against Vladimir Putin’s reign of terror to re-establish the Soviet empire. Indeed, some of his pals are publicly calling for Russia to annex Poland and the Baltic States after Ukraine is conquered.

President Biden has been careful to avoid tweaking Russia into WW III, a wise caution. However, that avoidance has repeatedly left Ukraine with insufficient armament and training to do what must be done, this because of delays in deliveries. It appears that’s about to happen again.

We recently committed to deliver M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. These are the most advanced and capable tanks in the world and quite obviously would be of great benefit to the Ukraine fighters. There’s just one problem.

These tanks, ammunition and spares won’t arrive in Ukraine for months, perhaps not until the end of the year. Ukraine doesn’t have months. At best they have weeks.

The Russians are amassing troops and weapons in the east of the country and possibly in Belarus to the north, clearly preparing for major offenses. They may wait until late spring when the ground has dried. Either way, if Ukraine isn’t ready with overwhelming force, they will be overwhelmed.

Putin is using formerly imprisoned conscripts and providing nearly no training to them. He’s prepared to throw a nearly limitless number of bodies at the Ukrainians who can’t possibly win a war of attrition, especially an attrition of bodies.

That leaves us with the obvious: Ukraine must be prepared to counter Putin’s forces by using technical capabilities, firepower and logistical superiority. Translation: M1A2 Abrams tanks, massive supplies of ammunition for artillery and automatic weapons, missile and drone shoot-down rockets and the rest. And a gaggle of F-16s would be enormously helpful to stop rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. The children and grannies left in their cities would appreciate that.

Now would be a really good time to make all of that happen. Otherwise just a few weeks from now could see the entirety of Ukraine both leveled and an annexed part of Russia.

Key Word – Government Acronyms

First, there was a Chinese surveillance B (Balloon) at 60,000 feet. It posed no BITN (Bump-In-The-Night) threat because not a lot of folks are hanging out at that altitude, but it was a spy vehicle. So, after deciding that it was too big to drop on Great Falls, Montana, the RSPs (Royal Smart People) let it drift to just offshore SC (South Carolina). That’s when our President’s orders were acted upon by an F-22 pilot with a Sidewinder missile. They bravely caused the B (Balloon) and its P (Payload) to make a BS (Big Splash).

BPP (Balloon Payload Pieces) are incrementally being vacuumed from the floor of the ocean by our heroic NOBSS (Naval Ocean Bottom Suck Squad) personnel The EGs (Electronic Geniuses) are mapping out what can be learned from the pieces as they arrive in their Ls (Labs).

NOTE: As of this writing, no telltale SFs (Smiley Faces) have been found on any part of the balloon.

Three more Fs (Floaties) were found between 20,000-30,000 feet. That’s where civilian aircraft fly every day, so the Fs posed a BITN threat. That’s why our President called upon a group of F-22 pilots to slam their Sidewinder missiles into each of the Fs. They made the floaties AFDAGB (All Fall Down And Go Boom).

We didn’t know what those floaties were or why they were at the locations where they were discovered. We didn’t even know if they were balloons. They were much smaller than the Chinese spy balloon, and there was so much ignorance that they were designated UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects).

Our keen and razor sharp press corps and our highly educated and insightful public sped into action immediately to ask key questions, like, “Are these alien space ships?” and “We must have tracked them, so what part of our galaxy did they come from?” and, “What are the aliens like?” and, “Has ET (Extra-Terrestrial) been consulted?”

The thing is that the answers to these questions and more can be found in the first word of the designation for the Fs (Floaties): “Unidentified.” I mean no offense when I say that the very word means that we have not identified them. As in: “I don’t know.” It doesn’t mean AB (Alien Being).

Not being able to identify them immediately does not mean that they came from across the vastness of OS (Outer Space). It doesn’t mean that God sent them as a W (Warning), either. It means – I think I already said this – that we don’t know.

As of the time of this writing our GP (Government People) have not released any information about the three UNIDENTIFIED Fs (Floaties), except that the RSPs (Royal Smart People) believe these are not CSVs (Chinese Spy Vehicles). What they do know for sure is that they are UNIDENTIFIED.

That’s your key word for today, boys and girls: Unidentified. It means, “I don’t know.” It does not mean SBFAP (Strange Being From Another Planet).

For further information on this topic, please consult your OB (Ouija Board).

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Maybe We Should Try It


Thanks for this, Jim Nathan

Final Comments of President Biden’s State of the Union Address, February 7, 2023

“And finally, to my Republican partners I say – and this is from the heart – no joke: cut the crap.

“Stop the brinkmanship over the debt ceiling. Not even you are dumb enough to pull that stupid default stunt again. I hope. Besides, Americans are locked and loaded to blame you for the consequences if you dummy this up.

“You want to talk policy? Great. Let’s go. We need to talk about spending and taxes. We need to talk about immigration. We need to talk about education and global warming and national defense. We need to find the best solutions to these issues and more so that we deliver for the American people.

“But if instead of developing policy that will help our nation and our people, all you want to do is to spread hatred, to demonize and to stoke culture wars – you know: the malignancies you grow – you’re no partner at all. In fact, you’re an enemy of the American people.

“But you don’t have to be.

“Choose whose side you’re on. I’ll be pulling for you to choose the side of America and Americans. Here’s a good way to show you’re on the right side.

“The Founders declared this to be a democracy. So, put on your originalist hat and reverse all your voter suppression crap. All of it. Pass laws that make that happen all across this land. And no, we’re not going to negotiate that.

“Oh, and that balloon thing. We couldn’t have learned anything about its capabilities, what it surveilled or how it worked if we had blasted it out of the sky as soon as it crossed into our airspace, making it crash on land. It would have become an unintelligible pile of junk. That’s why we shot it down over water. We want the counter-intelligence. Get it? So, get a grip, join Team National Security and cut the tough guy bombastic crap.

“We have big challenges to tackle and big opportunities to champion. And there is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.

You believe that, right?

“May God bless America and God bless our troops.”

Democracy

There are many zealots on the right, especially the far right, who attack the fundamentals of our democracy. Some openly promote autocracy. They assault our institutions that are designed to protect this experiment in self-rule and, in doing so, they establish themselves as the enemies of democracy. Yet we have to look at this as a system.

Can this be a democracy when in 2010 the Supreme Court, through gross manipulation of the Citizens United case, gave unlimited power to corporations and wealthy people? The Court has allowed and even encouraged them to have dramatic influence on our elections. Those big money spenders have vastly more power than you do. So much for one person, one vote.

Can this be a democracy when state legislatures practice and the Supreme Court encourages gross gerrymandering, such that elections aren’t elections at all? Those gerrymandered districts take the vote right out of your hands. They take away your voice and your power.

Can this be a democracy when before every election more and more citizens are cast off voting roles so that only the voters chosen by those in power are allowed to vote?

Can this be a democracy when polling places and early voting ballot drop boxes are located in such inconvenient locations that some people, chosen by those in power, are physically unable to vote?

Can this be a democracy when formerly incarcerated people are told they can vote, but they can’t exercise that right until they pay fines and fees they can’t afford? Note that the Constitution doesn’t make the right to vote contingent upon one’s state of freedom or the payment of fines or fees. The franchise is wholly independent from such restrictions.

Can this be a democracy when a political party has, at best, made itself subservient to White supremacy and at worst has promoted hatred so as to intimidate our citizens to keep them from voting or working in election related positions?

This list could be longer, but surely you get the point that we have institutionalized the practice of limiting who gets to vote and selecting who gets outsized election influence. We have thereby predetermined who has power and who does not. That’s our system. It’s as heinous as poll taxes or a jelly bean jar at a Jim Crow polling place.

Democracy is a lovely idea. Maybe we should try it.

Quotations

Abba Eban, Israeli statesman and ambassador, addressed the United Nations in June, 1967, saying,

” .  .  .  men and nations do behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”

Often attributed to Winston Churchill,

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

Perhaps we have at last tried enough failed paths and can resume the originally intended course.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Best We Can Do


Disarming the Monterey Park shooter – Click me

Monterey Park, CA

After hearing an interview with Brandon Tsay, the man who disarmed the Monterrey Park shooter, Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action, said,

“We are asking everyday civilians to stand up to gunmen because our lawmakers are too cowardly to stand up to gun makers.” *

You know in your bones that she’s right.

Here Are The Totals:  January 1 – 28**

Click me

.
  • All gun deaths                 3,244 – 116 per day
  • Mass shootings                   43 – 3 every 2 days
  • Children killed                    128***
  • Children injured                  297***

Those aren’t just numbers; they’re people. Like granny. Like your kids. Like you.

Is this the best we can do? Really?

Speaking of Violence

You know that Tyre Nichols was beaten by 5 Memphis cops and that he later died from that attack. You may have watched the videos that were released Friday evening. You may be tempted to share your horror with others by inviting them to watch the video.

Before you do, read this from Bear Bellinger of Indivisible. In part, he writes,

“Sharing the video is sensationalizing violence while minimizing the pain that it imparts on Black bodies. Share solutions. Share actions. Share outrage. Do. Not. Share. The. Video.

So, hold on to your horror, your sadness, your rage. Your feeling that way and more proves that you are a human being with empathy, but that’s not enough.

We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”– MLK

Is this the best we can do? Really?

It Ain’t Over

Here’s a graph of total Covid deaths since the first, then-mysterious one in February 2020.

Click me

As you can see, we’re continuing to raise the death count, now at the rate of 543 dead bodies per day – and the rate is increasing. Weirdly, the pile up of bodies has faded into national background noise, as we seem to have forgotten the over 1.1 million already dead – roughly equivalent to everyone in Dallas, TX – the nearly 104 million total cases reported (likely, there are many more) and all the suffering. The point of showing you the graph is to help you realize that this isn’t over. The war isn’t won. Not all the boys are coming home.

  • I’m over 70 and my age alone makes me a pretty good target for any variant of this virus. And it found me. I hunkered down with Paxlovid and got better. Then Covid came back, laughing at me for my foolish belief that I had beaten it. I think it’s gone now.
  • I didn’t like having Covid, but the point is that I’m still here and able to say so.
  • Thank you, vaccine people!
  • Fie on vaccine conspiracy crazies!
  • The majority of us took one or two vaccines, but only about 16% of Americans have taken the bivalent vaccine for protection from the primary variants that are stalking us right now. You need to get it into your head that you need to get the updated booster into your arm. Not tomorrow; today, if you want to avoid being one of the 543 tomorrow.
  • Did I mention that only 16% of us have protection against the new viruses that are trying to take us down?
  • Is this the best we can do? Really?
  • Congress
  • Fifteenth ballot winner for Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy (R-Hypocrisy), is convening a new select committee, which means he gets to select its members. It is the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government (“HSS-WTF“).
  • Per Heather Cox Richardson,

“Yesterday in The Bulwark, Jill Lawrence explained that the true goal of the committee is ‘shoveling paranoia and distortion into the news stream’ to make right-wing voters distrust the government even more than they already do. David Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida who left the party in 2018, told Lawrence: ‘It’s a drug they’re going to put out on the street for conservative media and conservative voters.'”

No surprise there. No surprise, either, that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Rabies) will chair the WTF committee to ensure it is a circus of hateful delusion. It’s just what he does.

Plus, McCarthy has evicted Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the Intelligence Committee and plans to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee. He falsely claimed that Schiff and Swalwell had lied to the American people and that allowing either of them on that committee would compromise national security. As for Omar, Republicans need to punish her because, as is quite obvious, she is a woman, is of color and is a Muslim. He didn’t say that part out loud.

So, he’s packing the Intelligence Committee with far right extremists who tried to overthrow our government on January 6. All this is a matter of integrity to McCarthy, he told us. Seriously, he said that.

I figure that removing Schiff and Swalwell and replacing them with brain-free extremists will significantly lower the overall intelligence of the Intelligence Committee. My recommendation is to have low expectations of it.

As for the Foreign Affairs Committee, clearly, we wouldn’t want anyone with foreign experience to have a seat there. Good thing they ditched Omar.

That’s where the Republican majority is focused, even as we face a debt ceiling debacle.

Is this the best we can do? Really?

Education

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida and 2024 presidential wannabe, is doing his best to keep kids in his state ignorant and to polarize his citizens. He recently removed AP (Advanced Placement) African-American studies from the high school electives offerings, claiming it is not education, but “indoctrination.” That was his word choice.

It’s interesting that De Santis doesn’t consider AP French to be indoctrination. Neither does he claim AP European History or AP American History or AP World History or AP U.S. Government and Politics or AP Spanish or any other AP course to be indoctrination. It’s only indoctrination if it’s about Blacks. Stoking culture wars in a “one up, all others down” society: does it get any better than that for any self-serving extremist?

This is his latest move to promote ignorance in Florida, following his book banning and the threat of 3rd degree felony charges against teachers or librarians who so much as whisper words suggesting anyone or anything that is not straight – the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. This has led to a new state motto flapping above the capitol building in Tallahassee:

IGNORANCE R US

.

In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.

  • “1984”, George Orwell
  • Many thanks to my lifelong friend, Frank Levy, for the quote.

Is this the best we can do? Really?

Finally, a Chuckle

Of course you remember Hurricane Ian that devastated Ft. Myers, FL last September and threatened states all the way to North Carolina. I pinged friends there to see if they were OK – they were – and they sent the pic of Mar-a-Lago to the right.

Ian, was that the best you could do? Really?

_______________________________

  • * The only thing that stops a cowardly, bad lawmaker with a vote is a good lawmaker with a vote.
  • Elect good lawmakers.

** Source: www.GunViolenceArchive.org

*** Firearms are the Leading Cause of Death for Children in the United States, But Rank No Higher Than Fifth in Other Industrialized Nations – Kaiser Family Foundation

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Full Transcript – First Press Conference


Outside the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives
.

Jones:  Mr. Speaker, Cynthia Jones here – Laughing Stock News. We cover the Congress.

You know about the blistering list of lies George Santos told in order to get elected in New York’s 3rd congressional district. You’ve been asked about that repeatedly and have refused to make a statement condemning his dishonesty, much less calling for Santos’ removal from the House. Why are you so passive in the face of this enormous breach of trust?

Kevin McCarthy: We will follow the Constitution for this as for any questionable action. This matter has been referred to the House Ethics Committee and we will abide by their decision. Besides, it’s not as if the Democrats don’t lie. Why aren’t you pursuing Adam Schiff for all the unethical things he’s done?

Jones: What are the unethical things you think Representative Schiff has done?

McCarthy: Miss Jones, everybody knows about his misbehavior. People are saying – many people are telling me – he’s done terrible things.

Jones: Can you name just one thing, Mr. Speaker?

McCarthy: I’m not going to do your work for you, Miss Jones. Look it up yourself. Next.

Altschuler: Mr. Speaker, Jack Altschuler of Disambiguation News. Untangling politicians’ word salads and mis-directions. We’re still recovering from reporting on Herschel Walker.

As you know, your Republican caucus has recently dramatically reduced the power of the Ethics Committee. In addition, that committee is notorious for taking an extremely long time, sometimes years, to decide anything. Please explain why referring Representative Santos and his obvious lying to that committee is a proper path to deal with him and to restore trust in the House.

McCarthy: As I’ve said many times, he was elected to Congress by his constituents and their wishes must be followed, as well as the dictates of the Constitution.

Altschuler: First, Mr. Speaker, to be more accurate about the election, George Santos wasn’t elected to anything. His phony résumé and his phony personal history were elected. Further, the Constitution has nothing to do with a representative being a flagrant liar and subsequently being punished for lying.

McCarthy: Yes, well of course we’ll abide by the Constitution and the recommendation of the Ethics Committee. Don’t be surprised if we find Democrats have lied, too. And what about those classified documents Biden hid in his garage? Who was he making secret deals with? He could have compromised our national security! See, that’s what you journalists do. You let Democrats slide and then viciously attack Republicans.

Jones: Who told you that journalists do that, Mr. Speaker?

McCarthy: Everyone knows that, Miss Jones, if that is your name. President Trump knows that. People are saying – many people are telling me – there’s so much unfairness in the mainstream media. You’re so unfair.

Connors: Mr. Speaker, Phil Connors, Groundhog Day News. Again.

Let’s stay focused on the Santos issue.

Last week The Gallup Organization released their survey findings of who Americans trust. Only telemarketers were found to be less trustworthy than members of Congress. Aren’t you perpetuating that distrust by refusing to act promptly and decisively to deal with Mr. Santos for his blatant and pervasive lying?

McCarthy: No, not at all. The American people didn’t send us here in the majority expecting us to eat our young. Besides, he was a solid vote for me when I needed that vote. I won’t forget it, either, unless, of course, I hear from President Trump and he says to get rid of that loser.

Connors & Jones: WHAT!?!

Altschuler: So, you’re saying that you getting the Speakership was more important than the veracity of this entire institution and that you’ll dump Santos if Trump tells you to do that?

McCarthy: I’m saying that Santos can help our country by voting the way I tell him to vote, which is how President Trump tells me to vote. That’s how we’ll begin hearings into the corrupt FBI to get to the bottom of their phony investigations.

Altschuler: Mr. Speaker, you’ve spoken many times about wanting to investigate the investigators, claiming “weaponization of the federal government,” but are you aware that every FBI Director beginning with J. Edgar Hoover and up to the present has been a Republican? Does that information change your desire to make accusatory claims against the agency?

McCarthy: Absolutely not! Those people have been so unfair to President Trump with their witch hunts. They raided his home in the dead of night and all they found were a few pieces of paper, but they’re making it sound like a breach of national security or something in order to persecute him.

Altschuler: Seriously?

McCarthy: Our special subcommittee under the purview of Rep. Jim Jordan will get to the bottom of this weaponization swamp.

Repeat: Mr. Speaker, Ralph Repeat of Culture Wars Review. Reporting the oldies again and again.

Back to Representative Santos.

What do you say to the people of New York’s 3rd congressional district who feel insulted, betrayed and, as of this morning, have made it clear that they realize they have no representation in the House because George Santos has shown that his word means nothing?

McCarthy: We’ll be extra careful to consider their opinions. In fact, we’ve already told them what their opinions are. Plus, we’re ready to investigate Hunter Biden and his incriminating laptop. We’re going to get to the bottom of Benghazi, too. We’ll repeal and replace Obamacare and we’re going to expunge the impeachments of President Trump. Plus, we’ll block any socialist Democrat efforts to raise the debt ceiling. We’ll put a stop to their tax and spend craziness.

Altschuler: Mr. Speaker, your Republican caucus has promised to hamstring our nation by refusing to pay for “things such as Medicaid, food safety inspections, border control and air traffic control, to name just a handful of thousands of programs.” Does that mean you’re okay with the breaches of safety that will cause? And are you okay with the United States defaulting on its debt which the prior Congress authorized and, most importantly, with failing to protect the full faith and credit of our nation?

McCarthy: Of course. My caucus is prepared to make all abortion illegal, end or privatize all those entitlement programs, put prayer back in our school rooms and have good guys with guns everywhere to ensure our MAGA way of life, regardless of the cost to anyone or the whining of liberal economists. We know we’re right. That’s why we never listen to anyone.

Jones and others: HUH!?!

McCarthy: Of course, we’ll listen to President Trump. He’s a great businessman and an expert on economics. He knows how to make great deals to make America great again and eliminate our national debt.

Altschuler: You do know that our national debt grew 40% under Trump, right?

McCarthy: There you go with that unfair press business again. Why don’t you instead ask about Biden’s horrible judge picks and how he’s undermining our nation, like with that Ketanji woman? She’s really black, you know.

Econ: Mr. Speaker, Eric Econ of 4N – No Nonsense Numbers News, cutting through the math.

Last week Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin said, “failure to meet the government’s obligations would cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy, the livelihoods of all Americans, and global financial stability.” How do you respond to her dire warning as you threaten governmental default?

McCarthy: That’s just socialist Democrat talk. We don’t pay any attention to it.

Altschuler: Back to George Santos, Mr. Speaker. Are you comfortable being in the House of Representatives seated just a few steps from this liar? How can you count on him to honor his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution when nothing he says can be counted on to be truthful?

McCarthy: Easy. Watch me.

(Turning to his right) Miss .  .  .  I forgot your name.

Taylor-Greene: It’s Susie Taylor-Greene, Mr. Speaker.

McCarthy: Right

Taylor-Greene: My sister asked me to let you know that we’re behind you all the way, locked and loaded.

McCarthy: Excellent!

Now, I understand that you had a question for me about the new drapes in my Speaker’s office. They’re really beautiful and they don’t remind me of my awful predecessor at all. Be sure to look at my golden gavel, too. It’s really cool.

Altschuler: That’s not gold, Mr. Speaker. It’s a lot of brass.

  • ————————————
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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