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Your Vote!

Back in April, I posted “Vote Him Away (The Liar Tweets Tonight)” by Roy Zimmerman. Here’s a new song from him, performed virtually with some friends:

Remember to vote, the sooner the better.

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Borat Strikes Again!

Just when you think that this election can’t get any more insane, Sacha Baron Cohen releases a new movie, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm“. In it is a scene where Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has an “indiscreet encounter” in a hotel room with a young actress playing Borat’s daughter.

In the film, released on Friday, the former New York mayor and current personal attorney to Donald Trump is seen reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals while reclining on a bed in the presence of the actor playing Borat’s daughter, who is posing as a TV journalist.

After she removes his microphone, Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

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Losing

You know you are in trouble when even your own lawyers don’t like you.

Lawyers at Jones Day, which has earned millions as outside counsel to President Trump’s re-election campaign, have donated nearly $90,000 to the campaign committee of Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden. Contributions to the Trump campaign by Jones Day lawyers totaled just $50.

Lawyers at several other law firms representing Trump or his campaign also heavily favored Biden.

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Two Weeks!

The election happens in two weeks. Maybe, if we are lucky, we will know the results within two weeks after that. Republicans are starting to flee Trumpism, sensing that their leader has become a loser. Some of them, like John Cornyn, are shooting themselves in the foot doing it.

© Tom Tomorrow

I, for one, am looking forward to being able to breathe normally again someday.

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Schooling the Presidential Debate

Assuming that there is a final presidential debate, teacher Gerry Brooks has an excellent set of proposed procedures for keeping it from going off the rails like the first debate did.

“Can you believe that?”

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Pack Rats

The idea of “court packing” the US Supreme Court has been getting attention lately, in the wake of Mitch McConnell and the Republican controlled Senate ramming through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett less than a month before the presidential election.

The media seems intent on pressing Joe Biden — including during Biden’s town hall last night — to announce whether he would favor adding new members to the Court if he is elected.

There is a good argument to be made that the Republicans unpacked the Supreme Court by refusing to consider Merrick Garland, bringing the size of the court down to 8 seats in 2016. This then allowed them to repack the court during Donald Trump’s administration, appointing three justices.

This doesn’t include hundreds of other federal court judge appointments that were delayed during Obama’s administration, but were then rushed through during the Trump administration, stacking the federal court system with staunch conservatives who are barely qualified for the job.

Even worse, the media seems to be ignoring that Republicans have been doing lots of court packing with little notice at the state level. In the last decade alone there have been at least 10 attempts at court packing of state supreme courts, and nearly all of them have been driven by the GOP. Two of those attempts (both by Republicans) have succeeded, in Arizona and Georgia.

The bottom line is that Republicans are all for shenanigans in the court system when it benefits them, but denounce it when Democrats even think about using it to restore balance in the federal courts. Why is the media playing along with this?

© Jen Sorensen
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Walk of Shame

This ad by the Lincoln Project has a sense of humor. Methinks that they are starting to gloat just a little.

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Visualizing Covid-19

This is a fascinating interactive visualization of Covid-19 by state over time, created by Dan Goodspeed. The color of the bar indicates whether the state is “blue” or “red” (based on the Cook Partisan Voting Index). The length of each bar shows the number of Covid-19 cases per million people in each state. For example, a value of 10,000 means that 1% of the population of that state has contracted Covid-19 (10,000 divided by 1 million equals 0.01, which is 1%) .

Note how over time the states that have the highest percentage of infection shift from blue states to red states. Initially blue states bore the brunt of the pandemic because of their large urban populations and busy airports with flight connections to sources of Covid-19. Later, these early states took measures to combat the pandemic, but red states did not (even believing Donald Trump’s claims that the pandemic was a hoax and consequently refusing to wear masks or socially distance).

Goodspeed’s website has other visualizations, including for Covid-19 deaths.

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Going to the Dogs

Trump is the first president in over a century who doesn’t have a dog.

What I want to know is, in the clip of Trump saying he doesn’t want a dog, why are all those supporters clapping?

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Obama v. Trump

This is absolutely hilarious.

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Sacha Baron Cohen, Seriously

There is an interesting article in Time Magazine by Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Ali G, etc.) titled “We Must Save Democracy from Conspiracies”. Here’s a sample:

Using unhinged lies and conspiracies to gain power and subjugate others is, of course, nothing new. The blood libel—the myth that Jews murdered Christian children and used their blood for religious rituals—is the world’s oldest conspiracy, dating back to the Middle Ages. The lie that Black people are genetically inferior or inherently violent is at the core of white supremacy. The lie that women are biologically or mentally unequal to men—to be treated as property and body-shamed—has perpetuated millennia of patriarchy. The lie that there is an epidemic in the U.S. of babies being executed shortly after birth has helped fuel state bans on abortion, even in the case of rape or incest.

Today, however, is a uniquely dangerous moment. Donald Trump—who averages 23 lies a day and is the world’s greatest superspreader of coronavirus conspiracies—has caught the virus himself. He has a dutiful ally in Facebook—the greatest propaganda machine in history. And this is a time when Americans are especially vulnerable to lies and conspiracies. This trifecta has created a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness.

I’m glad that SBC mentions Facebook. It turns out that he is part of an organization called “Stop Hate for Profit“. It is obvious that Facebook is only too happy to take money from organizations that spew hate and lies, while pretending that they are trying to do something about it (they aren’t).

Facebook largely refuses to fact-check political ads and posts—which it then microtargets to voters. And Facebook still hasn’t taken down Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Astonishingly, Facebook continues to give a platform to white supremacists and Holocaust deniers.

I’m all for internet freedom, but Facebook has turned themselves into a publishing platform, and that means they have a responsibility to prevent hate speech.

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What are you voting for?

There are so many reasons to vote during this presidential election. Which of these are included in your reasons?

© Jen Sorensen
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You’re Fired!

If you are suffering from Trump Fatigue, you aren’t alone. Just think of how nice it might be if we never had to hear from him again.

So peaceful.

Another great video from Randy Rainbow.

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Closing Argument

I love hearing Michelle Obama speak. Listening to someone who actually understands and believes what they are talking about (without any overriding political agenda) is so refreshing.

Yes, I know a 24-minute video is way too long for our short-attention-span world. But I’m posting this only because you might have noticed this video, but not bothered to watch it. However, it takes a little time to lay this all out.

Donald Trump has basically one talent, his capacity to shoot out bullshit so fast that your brain gets overwhelmed. You lose the ability to discriminate truth from lies. You can’t even remember things you heard just a few days ago. Trump’s taxes are all but forgotten.

And that’s ok, because things like Trump’s taxes are in the same category as Hillary Clinton’s mail server — a distraction. These 24 minutes are what is important. This is what our democracy needs. Watch it. Watch it all.

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SNL is back!

And just in time. Here’s the cold open from last night. It starts out a little rough but has a good finish.

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