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Sedition!

Thank you, Randy Rainbow.

I think I will be dancing around today singing “Lie-Lie-Lie-Lie!”.

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Ding Dong, the Trump is Banned

Today, Twitter permanently suspended President Trump from its service “due to the risk of further incitement for violence,” effectively cutting him off from his favorite megaphone for reaching his supporters.

I say, it is about time!

And to anyone complaining that this is against the First Amendment, the Bill of Rights does not say that a private company (such as Twitter or Facebook) has to publish everything sent to it. They are free to publish whatever they want, and NOT publish whatever they want. And if you don’t like it, you can start your own company and publish whatever you want.

There are limits of course — the famous “you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater”. Or more germane to the current situation, you cannot incite people to violate the law, like Trump just did.

The main thing the First Amendment says about the freedom of speech is that the government cannot tell anyone (or any company) what they can or cannot say (within limits). And for a little less than two more weeks (unfortunately) Donald Trump basically is the government. Claiming that Twitter has to publish what he says or else they are in violation of the First Amendment is totally backwards and nonsensical.

In that spirit, I will publish this hilarious comment on Twitter’s decision:

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Righteous Anger

Stephen Colbert has never been so angry, and rightly so. Watch this.

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Lock Him Up

Just a few minutes ago, Donald Trump went back to stoking violence (luckily, Twitter removed it and locked his account). Trump has also vowed that he will not leave the White House when his term is constitutionally over.

He needs to go. He should be stripped of the presidency. Now. Not in two weeks. Now.

There are a number of ways this can happen. For example, the National Association of Manufacturers has called on Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. Next, Trump must be impeached (again) and convicted, and the punishment should be that he not be allowed to run for public office ever again. Even better (yes, in addition), convict him of some of his numerous crimes and throw him in jail. There is no excuse for his lies and sedition.

Finally, I’m not sure how to deal with all the people who enabled Trump. Pence and Mitch McConnell might have broken with Trump today, but they’ve been egging him on for 4 long years. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are worse. I guess it is a good thing that we don’t tar and feather people anymore.

UPDATE: Many people have been wondering why it took so long for the order to be restored at the Capitol. Now we know. It turns out that Trump rebuffed the deployment of the National Guard for hours.

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Backbone

Once again, Republicans in Congress are too chickenshit to stand up to a delusional autocrat who is hell-bent on destroying their own party.

Instead, they are resorting to threatening violence. Or when Trump was exposed for bullying the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” additional votes to throw the election, Senator David Perdue attacked the Sec of State for recording the call (note that in Georgia, it is completely legal to record a phone call).

© Kal

At the state level, Republicans are going completely rogue. In Pennsylvania, the GOP controlled state Senate refused to seat a new Democratic Senator, even though the state supreme court had ruled that the election was valid and the state had already certified the results.

When the (Democratic) Lt. Governor objected to this power play, the Senate removed him and replaced him with a Republican. Making this even worse, the Lt. Governor had already reached an agreement with the GOP to have the winner of the election seated provisionally, and if the courts ruled against him, he would step down. But the Republicans broke this agreement and refused to seat him anyway.

They aren’t a political party anymore. They are mobsters, obeying the illegal orders of their boss.

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We Can Do It!

I love this comic by Clay Bennett. Stacey Abrams is a national hero! She was able to flip Georgia’s electoral votes for Biden, just by getting democrats out to vote, and with any luck she will do the same thing for the senate.

© Clay Bennett
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Optimism!

Well, today is the election in Georgia. Is everyone holding their breath like I am? Please please turn this country around before things get even worse!

I can only hope that Trump’s base is starting to figure out that his behavior after the election is that of a spoiled brat baby, a con-man, and a two-bit thug. If his temper tantrumps cause the Republicans to lose the senate and start to turn on Trump, that will be a two-fer.

© Tom Tomorrow
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Looking Forward

The number one thing that Joe Biden can do is to put an end to the pandemic. This will mean not just getting the vaccine out there and get enough Americans inoculated to establish herd immunity, but also a comprehensive PR campaign to change attitudes — and even more importantly, behaviors — toward the pandemic. This war will be won not just with shots in the arm, but in the hearts and minds of everyone.

© Jack Ohman

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Happy? New Year

I know it has been a few days since I last posted something. But lately there has been a lack of new news. The Republicans continue to kowtow to Trump, and Americans continue to die from Covid-19 in record numbers. The only new news happening in the near future is the two Senate elections in Georgia that are happening next week, which will determine the fate of the Senate.

I’m actually posting to thank everyone who reads this blog, and especially those who leave comments. You’ve helped to keep me sane during 2020. I hope everyone survived ok, and wish that 2021 is much brighter for everyone. I’ll keep posting, as long as you keep reading and commenting.

© Pat Byrnes

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Deepfake Queen

You might think with all the movies coming out where we see footage of actors transmogrified to change their age, height or other attributes, people would understand that just because you see someone say or do something, it doesn’t mean it is real. No, that wasn’t young Luke Skywalker appearing in the final episode of The Mandalorian.

Just to prove how your own eyes and ears can be fooled by a fake song and dance, here is a deepfake of the Queen of England. The video was created by Channel 4, and according to them is intended to give a “stark warning” about the threat of fake news.

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One thing you can’t return

© Rob Rogers

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That Was the Year that Was

Can anyone think of a worse year than 2020? I mean, there have been bad events in other years, including 9/11 (in case you can’t remember, that was in 2001). Or Hurricane Sandy (2012), although the Galveston hurricane of 1900 was the deadliest natural disaster to strike the US, ever.

Way (way) back in May of 2020, The Atlantic published an article comparing the still quite young 2020 against 1968, the year that previously was considered the worst year in most of our lifetimes. 1968 featured the Vietnam war, including the My Lai massacre, assassinations of MLK and RFK, domestic race riots and bloodshed, the rise of Richard Nixon (with his racist Southern Strategy) and George Wallace, and even the H3N2 pandemic.

Now, at the end of this year, we see that 2020 has left 1968 in the dust of history for the most horrible year.

May the pendulum swing the other way in 2021, and lead to reforms and revival.

© Keith Knight
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Merry Trumpmas?

Christmas is fast approaching, and the holiday parties are upon us. Most sane people will be having them remotely, or at least practice social distancing. Well, except for one very white house.

© Tom Tomorrow

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Dr. Jill Biden

Doesn’t the right-wing media have anything better to complain about? I mean, seriously? We are having a 9/11-level catastrophe every single day with the coronavirus, Trump and the Republicans are doing everything in their power to destroy our democracy, Congress is teetering on the brink of having a shutdown, Russians have hacked into our government’s secret and sensitive computers (along with a majority of the computers of our largest companies).

Instead, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News (both owned by the Murdoch family) is bitterly complaining about our First-Lady-elect using the honorific “Dr.” in front of her name. Which she has every right to do.

What’s hilarious about this is that they are claiming that only medical doctors should use the “Dr.” in front of their names. Why is this hilarious? Because “Doctor” means “Teacher” (not “practitioner of medicine”).

Don’t get me wrong. I have a PhD, and I don’t use the honorific Dr. in front of my name, even though I worked hard for years to get it. And yes, I have taught classes in universities (including at the graduate level), so I definitely qualify as “teacher”. I have a bit of a thing against most honorifics (my readers have probably noticed that I typically don’t use them for politicians). Most people I know personally who have PhDs also don’t use their title. But I would definitely have the right to use it if I wanted.

However, I am very happy that Jill Biden uses that title. Why? Because I am sick and tired of right-wing attacks on science. We should be overjoyed that our new first lady has a PhD, and in education no less, something that we should surely celebrate and honor! On top of that, women have long been treated poorly in the sciences, and they richly deserve more recognition. Note that both of the people attacking Jill Biden for using this title are men, and neither of them have earned a doctorate. What gives them them the right to complain?

© Nate Beeler

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Graphic Deaths

Here’s a graph of the deaths from Covid-19. Note how fast the deaths are rising now. And if you think vaccines will solve this problem, remember that it will take around six months for the required 70% of Americans to start getting vaccinated, and that is assuming that significant numbers of Americans don’t refuse the vaccine. Also, you need two vaccine shots a month apart, and then an additional two weeks for the shots to become effective. Given that Covid-19 is doubling every two months (and that number could get worse because of people gathering for the holidays), that means that the number of deaths will likely go up at least eight times in six months. You do the math.

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