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Canonical Irony

Today there is a story that is pretty much a canonical example of irony.

The story comes from CNN, who note that one of the people charged in the January 6 insurrection and riot was caught on video using a bullhorn to heckle Capitol Police by saying that they were “protecting pedophiles”. This appears to be a reference to bizarre QAnon theories about Democrats.

However, in a true case of “I know you are, but what am I?” it turns out that the protestor with a bullhorn is a convicted pedophile who served jail time for having sex with a 14-year-old girl when he was 23. That’s also known as “statutory rape”. At the time of the Capitol riot, he was also on probation for other crimes and has an extensive criminal record. He is currently charged with 8 crimes during the riot, including spraying police with a chemical irritant, and inciting riot with the bullhorn.

Many of the insurrectionists also have previous criminal records, and some of them were also on parole or probation at the time of the riot. That, of course, has not stopped Republicans from pushing the lie that the participants in Jan 6 were law-abiding citizens who were simply exercising their right to protest.

© Tom Tomorrow
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The Future is Happening

Republicans seem hell-bent on passing off the January 6 insurrection as a normal day of tourism. They will pretend it never happened.

And now Donald Trump is claiming that not only did he win the election, but that he will be reinstalled as the president by August. Is he delusional? Is he acting crazy so that he can use an insanity defense to avoid going to jail? Is this just another grift to remove money from the wallets of his supporters? Or does he really think he can pull off a coup in August?

© Ruben Bolling
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Oh, Jesus!

Vernon Jones used to be a Democrat, serving in the Georgia House of Representatives twelve years until 2021. He switched to the Republican Party in January 2021 after endorsing Donald Trump for re-election and then speaking at the 2020 Republican National Convention. He is currently a candidate in the GOP primary for Georgia governor. Jones is black, and is also known for tweeting birthday wishes to Rudy Giuliani, sharing pictures of himself with Donald Trump, and now for tweeting this:

It doesn’t get much more ironic than this. The comments on his tweet are pretty awesome, especially if you skip over the first few from his supporters.

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Sworn

All federal elected officials swear or affirm an oath to support the constitution before they can assume their office. This includes the President, Senators, and Representatives to Congress. For example, here is the oath for Senators:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Other than the choice of whether to swear or affirm, and some flexibility with the religious parts, this is required. If you break this promise, you are barred from serving in the government.

© Ann Telnaes

UPDATE:

And then there are those who take this sacrifice for granted, waxing patriotic while salivating for civil war. Claiming they need to destroy the Republic in order to save it in the ultimate betrayal of oaths sworn. Those treacherous snakes can go straight to hell.

— Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), in a tweet on Memorial Day.

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On His Orangeness

I’m very disappointed, very frustrated that politics has trumped — literally and figuratively — the good of the country.

— Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), quoted by the Wall Street Journal, on the defeat of the bill to create a commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

© Nick Anderson
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GOP Investigations

Just how many investigations did Republicans in Congress do over the 2012 Benghazi attack (that killed 4 Americans), which morphed into investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails, and on and on? If you guessed 10, you win the jackpot.

But the GOP is now against even a single investigation into the insurrection on January 6, even though 140 people were injured and five died. Not to mention extensive damage. Republican leaders are against it, even though they originally called for it:

[In] January, a number of Republican lawmakers, including McCarthy, argued against impeaching then-president Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection because, they said, a “fact-finding commission” was important. “I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” said McCarthy. “No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held….”

And yet, McCarthy and the Republican leadership are now opposing the creation of a bipartisan commission, although the Democrats gave them all their demands: equal representation on the commission, the power to subpoena witnesses, and a final report before the end of the year.

The story is the same in the Senate. On February 13, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), tweeted: “The 1/6 attack on the Capitol was horrific & appalling. Those who planned & participated in the violence that day should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I agree w/Speaker Pelosi—a 911-type investigation is called for to help prevent this from happening again.”

And yet, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), whom Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman intercepted and led away from the mob on January 6, today told journalist Manu Raju that he wasn’t sure whether he will block debate on the commission bill. This indicates there will not be enough Senate votes to break a filibuster on the bill.

Today, Senator Angus King, Jr. (I-ME) came out and said it: “We need answers on the 1/6 insurrection—but many of my [Republican] colleagues are indicating they will vote against an independent investigation. When people start moving heaven and earth to block an investigation, I have to wonder if there is something to hide.”

The truth is that a bunch of GOP representatives and senators are complicit. Of course they don’t want an investigation!

© Tom Tomorrow

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Stupid Is as Stupid Does

In the 1990s, Mississippi added a voter-initiatives process to their constitution, and since then has passed a number of initiatives. This includes an initiative passed last fall, approving a medical marijuana program for the state.

Their initiative process has an interesting requirement: in order to get on the ballot, signatures have to be gathered from 5 congressional districts. There’s just one problem. After the 2000 census, the state lost a congressional district because of their stagnant population, and now they only have 4 congressional districts.

And now, the state supreme court has ruled that the medical marijuana initiative is invalid, because it only got signatures from 4 districts, and thus should not have been put on the ballot. The legislature has tried seven times to update the language in the constitution covering initiatives, but has never succeeded, regardless of whether the legislature was controlled by Republicans or Democrats. So this is not a partisan issue.

Meanwhile, Mississippi will be one of the few states that does not have a medical program for loco weed. I guess they are loco enough as it is.

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Snooping In

This is even funnier if you remember Snoopy fighting the Red Baron and sneaking around behind enemy lines. But like the Republicans, it was only a fantasy. Insurrection, what insurrection?

© Ruben Bolling

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After the Quarantine

I guess it means that we really are putting the Covid quarantine behind us, if comedians are starting to make fun of what we might have to talk about when we finally get to interact with other people, face-to-face.

This guy even jumped the gun, and had to play both sides of the conversations himself!

If you want to know when the pandemic will actually be over, the answer is not that simple, but the Washington Post has a reasonable answer in their article “Is it now reasonable to discuss the end of the pandemic? Yes, but with caveats.

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Will Vaccination Work?

All the evidence says that we can beat Covid-19 if we get vaccinated.

For example, here’s new evidence from the Cleveland Clinic hospitals. Note that Cleveland Clinic is the second-highest rated hospital system in the country, right after the Mayo Clinic and ahead of Johns Hopkins, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. According to them, of the patients admitted to their hospitals for Covid-19 between January 1 to April 13, 99.75% of them had not been fully vaccinated. Furthermore, among their hospital employees who came down with Covid-19, only 0.3% were fully vaccinated.

The bottom line is that simply getting vaccinated makes you hundreds of times less likely to require hospitalization for Covid. Get vaccinated, stay out of the hospital!

And remember, nobody has died from getting the vaccine, while a stunning half a million people have died from Covid-19. If you catch the coronavirus, you can pass it on to other people without even knowing you have it. The only way we can beat Covid-19 is if enough people get vaccinated that we reach herd immunity.

© Bill Bramhall
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Wither Defund?

While the name sucks, the ideas behind “Defund the Police” make perfect sense. When will we stop debating semantics and come to our senses?

© Keith Knight
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Randy Rainbow Returns!

Do you remember when everyone was worried that there would be nothing scandalous for the media to talk about once the former occupant shuffled back to Florida and got kicked off of social media? Well, fear not! The GOP is taking up the slack, and then some.

In some ways, I just want to avoid giving Republicans the attention they crave, but I’ll make an exception for Randy Rainbow!

Judy Garland would be proud!

UPDATE: The Washington Post has an interesting article about Josh Hawley, who splits his persona between being an elitist snob and inciting a working-class mob insurrection. Will the real Josh Hawley please stand up?

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Outrageous Outrage!

In the end, all they had left was their anger…

© Tom Tomorrow

The governor of Minnesota had this to say about masks:

I just want to note on this. The politicization around masks, I think history is going to write as one of the worst things that’s happened to this country. I think it cost lives. I think it’s stupid. It’s the least intrusive thing we can do.

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On the Precipice

Make no mistake about it, this country is in danger. According to FiveThirtyEight, somewhere around 70% of Republicans believe — without any actual evidence — that Joe Biden stole the election from Donald Trump. The bigger problem is what this portends for the next presidential election. The Republican Party is actively eliminating their members who refused to overturn the election, including representatives like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, governors like Brian Kemp, and even state election officials like Brad Raffensperger.

The result is that if the Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives in the midterm election, or replace enough state officials with Trump toadies, they will definitely try to overturn the 2024 election. This is not hypothetical, since they already tried the same thing for the 2020 election, including in Congress, in the states, in the courts, with open insurrection, and of course in the right-wing media.

As Electoral Vote puts it:

There have been so many occasions where, for one reason or another, the Party might have turned its back on Trump. The Ukraine situation. COVID-19 denial. Losing the election. The insurrection. Demanding fealty to the obvious, and destructive, lie that he actually won the election. And after each of these, the party leaders keep following right along, like they are wearing a collar and Trump is holding the leash. Even people like former Speaker John Boehner, who wrote extensively about all the harm Trump has done to the party, still vote for him.

What that means is that there is no line left that we are willing to say, with confidence, that the current iteration of the Republican Party will not cross. One of the core tenets of representative government—indeed, the core tenet—is that you take your best shot during an election and, whatever happens, you respect the result. That doesn’t mean you have to like the result, and that doesn’t mean you can’t complain about it, but you do have to respect it. Most Republicans appear to have already abandoned that idea, and under that circumstance, it is entirely plausible that the Republicans in Congress, and in particular those in the House, might attempt a coup like this.

That said, we will now repeat something that we have said many times, namely that governance rests on the consent of the governed. There is absolutely no chance that if the election is stolen like this, the citizenry will shrug and say “well, that’s the way it goes.” No, at that point the country would be on the cusp of Civil War v2.0.

Analogies to the American Civil War are no exaggeration. After all, Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election, and immediately seven southern states seceded. Back then, the US could possibly have avoided a war by letting them leave, but there is no analogous area of the country where all the pro-Trump states are clustered, and no single issue like slavery at stake.

Heather Cox Richardson makes this argument even stronger:

Trump is systematically going after leading members of the Republican Party, determined to remake it into his own organization. Several former senior White House officials told Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post that “[t]he defeated ex-president is propelled primarily by a thirst for retribution, an insatiable quest for the spotlight and a desire to establish and maintain total dominance and control over the Republican base.” Republican strategist Brendan Buck noted that Trump seems to relish fighting, rather than victory to achieve an end. “Usually,” Buck said, “a fight is the means to an end, but in this case fighting is the end.”

The Republicans are consolidating their control over the machinery of government in a way that indicates they intend to control the country regardless of what Americans actually want, putting Trump and his organization back in charge.

Indeed, the majority of Republicans are following in lockstep with Trump, and are willing to do anything to hurt Joe Biden and the Democrats, even if it means crippling the economy, causing the pandemic to get worse (killing people), lying, or committing treason. They have no positive strategy.

The result is not a democracy nor even a republic.

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The Hoax Hoax

To me, the biggest hoax is calling everything a hoax. When will the right get tired of it? Einstein is credited with saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Does this mean that any reasonable infrastructure bill should include a mental health program to wean the Republican Right from their fixation with hoaxes and fake news? Or would it be better to use consumer protection laws prohibiting false product claims to “news” organizations that spread false information, since news is their product? In addition, consumers who are harmed by false information should be able to sue, such as the dimwits who actually drank bleach as suggested by their fearless orange leader.

© Nick Anderson
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