Friday, April 30, 2021


This is nasty:
Texas Republican congressional candidate Susan Wright is seeking help from federal law enforcement the day before her special election, after supporters reported receiving robocalls that accused her of being responsible for the death of her late husband.

... Wright is running in the special election to succeed Wright, who passed away in February after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

... The robocalls do not have a "paid-for" attribution saying who is paying for the attacks.

... Recipients of the calls say they are being made from a blocked number.

This isn't the dirtiest dirty trick in the history of politics, but it's bad. It's not just bad, however -- it's ignorant. Here's my transcript of the call:
Susan Wright murdered her husband. She's now running for Congress to cover it up. According to confidential sources, Susan Wright, of 5505 Overridge Drive in Arlington, obtained a one-million-dollar life insurance policy on the life of her husband, the late congressman Ron Wright, six months before his death. According to hospital administration at Baylor Hospital, Susan Wright tearfully confided in a nurse that she had purposely contracted the coronavirus from a friend after taking a test that confirmed she had the antibodies necessary to overcome the virus. Susan Wright did this knowing full well that her husband, late congressman Ron Wright, was immunocompromised due to preexisting complications with lung cancer. Baylor Hospital has made a formal criminal referral to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they have now opened a formal criminal inquiry into the matter. It is unclear whether this constitutes premeditated murder under Texas state law, but it is clear that the voters of Texas's Sixth Congressional District deserve to know the truth about Susan Wright and her involvement in the death of her husband.
In how many ways is this preposterous?

The most preposterous aspect of this is the murder plot itself. Yes, Ron Wright was a cancer survivor in his sixties, which put him at high risk of death if he contracted COVID -- but COVID is not a guaranteed way to kill someone. Susan Wright had allegedly taken a test showing she had antibodies, yet she was certain she'd be reinfected (most previously infected people aren't), and she was also certain that the reinfection wouldn't do her serious harm? Seriously? (In fact, both Wrights were hospitalized for two weeks.)

You really have to know little or nothing about this disease to think a person could carry out a plot like this and expect it to work.

I'm also amused by the notion that Baylor Hospital would go public with an accusation against a patient (Susan Wright was at the same hospital), and do so in a publicly available "criminal referral" (government officials and lawyers make criminal referrals, not hospitals) to the FBI (this would have been a simple in-state homicide, so why involve the feds?).

Also, if you'd committed a crime like this and wanted to avoid public scrutiny, wouldn't there be better ways of doing that than running for Congress?

But Republican voters believe all sorts of stupid conspiracy theories. Why not this one?

It's also possible, I suppose, that Wright's own campaign cooked this up as a play for sympathy -- after all, this is the same state where Karl Rove (allegedly!) bugged his own office in a gubernatorial campaign and then blamed the bugging on an opponent. But regardless of who's responsible, this is not just gutter politics, it's gutter politics for people who aren't very bright.


In a sane world, this would be very bad news for Matt Gaetz:
A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg in the final months of the Trump presidency claims that he and close associate Rep. Matt Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women—as well as a girl who was 17 at the time.

“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” Greenberg wrote in reference to the 17-year-old....

“My lawyers that I fired, know the whole story about MG’s involvement,” Greenberg wrote to [Roger] Stone on Dec. 21. “They know he paid me to pay the girls and that he and I both had sex with the girl who was underage.”
But Gaetz hasn't been charged with anything. many people (especially Republicans) are likely to say, "Hey, a seventeen-year-old is almost an adult." And Gaetz is going on offense, with help from the man who, apart from the semi-retired Trump, is the most influential right-winger in America:
Matt Gaetz is going on tour. With Marjorie Taylor Greene.

... Gaetz and Greene will kick off their barnstorming “America First Tour” on May 7 in the mega-conservative Florida retirement community known as The Villages, a must-stop for any Republican candidate hoping to win the state or generate grassroots excitement. The idea is to send a message from the two controversial Republicans: They’re not canceled, they’re not going to be quiet and the infamy their critics attribute to them is translatable as fame and power in the conservative movement.

... one of [Gaetz's] biggest allies in the conservative news media, Fox’s Tucker Carlson, has begun publicly questioning whether Gaetz is the target of overzealous prosecutors under a Democratic administration that wants to silence conservative voices by smearing Republicans like Gaetz with allegations of sexual impropriety.

“That story essentially destroyed Gaetz, took him off the map completely as a rhetorical force,” Carlson said on his eponymous show. “Whatever his flaws, Gaetz is smart, articulate and brave. Matt Gaetz was one of the very few members of Congress who bothered to stand up against permanent Washington on behalf of his constituents. Now he’s a sex trafficker. So the question is, who exactly did Matt Gaetz sex traffic? We can’t answer that question because no charges have been filed. All that remains is the stigma.”
I'm sure you all think Gaetz is going to prison. He might -- but I think it's equally likely that he'll avoid consequences or get a slap on the wrist at worst. He won't resign. He'll be handily reelected -- or maybe he'll even have the hubris to primary Marco Rubio.

As I started to read this story, I thought, Yes, the GOP base will rally around Gaetz -- but he still needs a counternarrative, the way Trump had "Spygate" and the Hunter Biden story around the time of his first impeachment. Gaetz didn't seem to be creating any such narrative -- but then Carlson stepped in. Counternarrative created.

Republican voters love criminals. Trump is guilty of insurrection, and of conspiring with Russians and pro-Russian operatives in Ukraine, plus he's a sex criminal and the perpetrator of many financial crimes. The right loves him. The right loves him because of all that.

The two top Senate prospects in Missouri are Eric Greitens, a sexual predator and campaign-finance grifter, and Mark McCloskey, who waved a gun at anti-racism protesters in violation of the law.

Rudy Giuliani is a hero to these people. Mike Flynn is a hero to these people. Roger Stone is a hero to these people. Kyle Rittenhouse is a hero to these people.

Maybe we're not quite at the point where criminal activity plus red-meat rhetoric equals electoral success. But we're getting there. I'd say there's a nonzero chance that the Gaetz-Greene tour is a preview of the 2024 Republican presidential ticket.

Thursday, April 29, 2021


As we approach Joe Biden's hundredth day as president, we're being asked to read about ... Donald Trump's first hundred days as ex-president. Politico has a feature story. CNN has even longer and more flattering feature story.

But why? Trump isn't doing rallies. He hasn't found a way to get attention the way he did when millions of people awaited every tweet with eager anticipation or dread. And he's not president. Nothing he does has an impact on ordinary Americans.

He's easy to ignore, but we're supposed to believe he's still very, very important.

CNN's Gabby Orr writes:
Far from a conventional post-White House retirement, Trump's first 100 days out of office illustrate a man who has preferred plotting the next chapter of his political career to planning his presidential library, recruiting MAGA-aligned Republican primary challengers to writing a post-presidential memoir. Whereas his predecessors disengaged from politics for months after leaving office, Trump has turned the same political warfare that defined his presidency into a full-time retirement hobby as he weighs a full return to the spotlight with a potential comeback presidential bid in 2024.
But apart from the occasional Fox interview, he's doing next to nothing to engage ordinary Americans in 2021.

He could have. He could've kvetched publicly on a daily basis about everything Joe Biden and congressional Democrats are doing. He could have set up a blog. He could have been on Fox News every day. (I'm sure Fox would be delighted to have the ratings.) He could have been a regular talk radio guest -- or a talk radio host. But he's communicating with the base only intermittently, and the rest of us not at all, while focusing most of his energy on revenge.
More than a dozen Trump aides, confidants and allies who spoke with CNN -- many of whom were granted anonymity to candidly discuss his post-presidency -- say the former President, who remains bitter about his defeat in the 2020 election, has nevertheless come to enjoy his status as a GOP kingmaker, relishing his ability to disrupt races or elevate pro-Trump figures against dissenters inside the party.
His world has shrunk so much that it's as if his Democratic enemies don;t even exist for him. He's not making much effort to defeat Adam Schiff or Eric Swalwell. He's trying to defeat Republicans.
By mid-February, Trump -- convinced by aides and Republican party leaders that 2022 should be his immediate focus and still interested in exacting revenge against GOP incumbents who had voted to impeach him or dismissed his election fraud charade -- began discussing candidate endorsements with his team.

The former President already had a laundry list of prospective primary challengers lined up to take on his foes inside the party. But privately, he was working the phones to recruit more.

In Georgia, he encouraged GOP Rep. Jody Hice to launch a bid to unseat Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who repeatedly rejected Trump's baseless claims of rampant voter fraud in the state....

Aides say Trump is still on the hunt for a primary recruit in Georgia's 2022 gubernatorial race due to his dissatisfaction with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp's handling of the 2020 results in his state.

They note he is also vetting challengers to Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the only Senate Republican facing reelection next fall who voted to convict him after his second impeachment trial earlier this year. He has plans to target the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him and are hoping to hang on to their seats in the upcoming midterm elections, as well.
This is all he does. This is all he cares about. Just based on his MAGA following, he could get boffo TV ratings. He could fill arenas as a speaker. He could be a formidable gadfly -- but instead, he's trying to drive members of his own party out of office so, presunmably, they can be replaced by other members of his own party. He was a political star and now he's just a backroom hack, except he's a backroom hack who's also Captain Ahab, unhealthily obsessed with vengeance.

Maybe he'll go back on the road -- Orr says he might start doing rallies again next month. But for now, he's just a sad, angry man who used to be famous.


President Biden gave a very good speech last night, and the viewing public agreed -- approval was 85% in a CBS/YouGov snap poll, while 51% of viewers in a CNN poll said they has a very positive reaction.

And then there was the rebuttal by Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate. We were supposed to interpret it as calm, measured, and uplifting.

But it was the usual libs-are-evil boilerplate, though it was delivered at low volume, and with a lot more Jesus than we used to get from Donald Trump.

Some in MAGA Nation weren't sure what to think. At 6:36 last night, Gateway Pundit gave us this:

Yay, Tim!

Three hours later, there was this:

"Nice job!" Jim Hoft wrote, adding:
Tim Scott was exceptional. Scott delivered a positive speech and it wasn’t littered with lies.

His attacks on Democrat racism were devastating!
But then:

Jim Hoft (again) wrote:

Weakling Kevin McCarthy, the House GOP leader who is afraid of Liz Cheney, and Senator Lindsey Graham spoke with Sean Hannity on Wednesday after Tim Scott’s rebuttal to Joe Biden’s speech.

McCarthy immediately pushed Tim Scott for US President following his 15-minute speech. Lindsey Graham urged FOX News viewers to go Tim Scott’s website and donate to his campaign because he is getting attacked tonight.

And on Newsmax, Sean Spicer plugged Tim Scott as front-runner for the GOP nomination for president after his speech.


It was a clear sign the GOP elites are moving on from President Trump.

That didn’t take long.
Shorter Jim Hoft: Excellent work, Tim. Now stay in your lane. There's room for only one God Emperor around here, and you don't qualify.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


It's widely assumed that Rudy Giuliani is in deep trouble after the FBI raids on his apartment and office in Manhattan. That may be correct, although I never believe any of these bastards will ever truly face justice.

But I see a star rising on the right.
Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, called the raid on his father’s apartment and office exemplary of “politicization of the Justice Department.”

... Giuliani’s son, who is considering a run for governor, made brief comments to the press Wednesday saying he’s “disgusted” by the “continued politicization of the Justice Department.”

“It has to stop,” he said. “If this can happen to the former president’s lawyer, this can happen to any American. Enough is enough. The only piece of evidence that they did not take up there today was the only piece of incriminating evidence that is in there, and it does not belong to my father, it belongs to the current president’s son.”

Twenty-four hours ago, Young Andrew was a failson with big ambitions. By rushing before the cameras, he's now the #1 defender of a MAGA martyr who seems on the verge of being crushed by the merciless jackboots of Amererica's most sadistic partisan warriors ... um, Joe Biden and Merrick Garland.

Andrew's going to be on Fox a lot in the foreseeable future.

Which probably makes him the instant front-runner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2022. That would be excellent news for Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo seems to have no intention of either resigning or announcing that this will be his last term. His many scandals make him vulnerable in 2022 -- after all, if Maryland, Massachusetts, and Vermont, which are even bluer states than New York, can elect Republican governors, then theoretically the New York GOP could find a candidate who could beat Cuomo.

But Andrew Giuliani is not that candidate. Being the son of a possible MAGA felon would make him popular with the party's voters -- and then he'd go down to a Carl Paladino-level defeat.

Perhaps Young Andrew will now decide not to run. The New York Republican Party should hope he doesn't, because he could clear the GOP field.


Glenn Kessler and the rest of the Washington Post fact-checking team have found, unsurprsingly, that President Biden is much more honest than his predecessor.
After four years of a presidency that swamped Americans with a gusher of false and misleading claims, the Joe Biden era has offered a return to a more typical pattern when it comes to a commander in chief and his relationship with the facts....

Through April 26, Biden has made 67 false or misleading statements, according to a Washington Post Fact Checker analysis of every speech, interview, tweet or public statement made by the president. That compares to 511 such statements in Trump’s first 100 days.
Kessler announced that the Post will continue tracking Biden's statements and reporting on their truthfulness, but won't catalog them.

Cataloging all the Trump lies must have been extraordinarily difficult at the end, but it was a service to America. Biden didn't lie in the early days of his presidency the way Trump did, and he absolutely won't lie four years in the way Trump did, so America doesn't really need a Biden database.

But do you know who will lie like Trump over the next four years?
Right-wing media, most prominently Fox News, has promoted three major false stories in just the last few days.

Last Friday, The New York Post published a cover story claiming that copies of Vice President Kamala Harris' 2019 children's book, "Superheroes Are Everywhere," was being gifted to migrant children at a Department of Health and Human Services shelter in Long Beach, California.

... the Post's story was quickly debunked. The Washington Post fact-checker, which gave the Post story "four Pinocchios" on Tuesday, reported that The Post based its entire story on a photo of one copy of the book donated to the shelter by a community member....

Also last Friday, Fox News ran multiple segments falsely claiming that President Joe Biden's administration would require Americans to radically reduce their red meat consumption under Biden's climate policy....

In reality, Biden has no plan to require Americans eat less red meat....

Fox and other right-wing media also ran with a story that Virginia's public schools were moving to eliminate accelerated high school math courses to improve racial equity....

The stories, which were amplified by Fox's opinion side, were false and overblown. Virginia's superintendent of public instruction, James Lane, told The Washington Post that the state's department of education is beginning a regular evaluation of its math curriculum and is not eliminating any advanced classes.
It would require a great deal of labor, but the Post or some other civic-minded media outlet should maintain a full database of Murdoch-media falsehoods. With Trump mostly silent, Fox News is once again the leading source of lies in American politics, despite competition from Newsmax, OANN, and the online right. It was probably the leading source of lies even during the Trump presidency, because it's where Trump got most of his ideas.

The Murdoch media has been the messaging arm of the Republican Party for decades. Its lies should be tracked the way politicians' lies are tracked. We need a database.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


HuffPost's Igor Bobic is right -- this pro-vaccine ad, made by Republican members of Congress who are also doctors or otherwise affiliated with the medical profession, is pretty good:

There's just one problem: It won't work.

Bobic writes:
The video, organized by the 18-member GOP “Doctors’ Caucus,” stresses the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and the U.S. government’s “rigorous and transparent” process of overseeing their development.

“The FDA did not skip any steps,” Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), an anesthesiologist and caucus co-chair, assures about COVID-19 vaccines in the ad.

“The only way to protect ourselves and your loved ones ― and to end the government’s restrictions on our freedoms ― is to take action and get the vaccine,” Rep. Greg Murphy (N.C.) added in the video, tailoring his pitch specifically to conservatives who opposed coronavirus lockdowns and other public health measures amid the pandemic.
But the people these members of Congress are trying to reach don't believe that restrictions will ever be lifted as long as Democrats (and Republicans they consider RINOs, like Ohio governor Mike DeWine) are in charge in many of the states and in Washington. They think the virus is just an excuse for Democrats (primarily) to exercise more and more control over people's lives because that's what Democrats like to do. They assume Democrats will just find one excuse after another to keep the restrictions in place forever.

Also, I'm sure the last few lines of the ad will make no sense to Republican vaccine refusers:
I look forward to the freedom that I along with my loved ones will regain once the vast majority of Americans are vaccinated.

If everyone does their part, in the coming weeks we will once again be able to worship together as a congregation, gather with extended family, and travel near and far with friends.

... I hope you'll join me, along with over a hundred million Americans, in choosing to receive the vaccine so we can throw away our masks and live life as free as we did before.
The vaccine refusers don't understand why everyone can't just do all that now. They think the risks of infection are wildly overrated unless you're very sick or very old. For everyone else, they think getting sick is no worse than getting the flu. To the maximum extent possible, they're already living as if the virus is harmless -- and because they tend to live outside large population centers, many of them have been lucky to avoid consequences, at least for now. So they have no intention of changing their behavior.

This is a nice effort -- but it's guaranteed to fail.


Am I concerned that this could lead to violence? Sure:
Raging against face masks on Monday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson told his viewers they should openly harass anyone they see wearing masks outside and go so far as to call the police or social services on the parents of any children with masks on....

“The rest of us should be snorting at them first. They’re the aggressors. It’s our job to brush them back and restore the society we were born in,” he said. “So the next time you see someone in a mask on the sidewalk or on the bike path, do not hesitate. Ask politely but firmly, ‘Would you please take off your mask? Science shows there is no reason for you to be wearing it. Your mask is making me uncomfortable.’” ...

“As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal,” the Fox News star huffed. “Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately. Contact Child Protective Services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you’re looking at is abuse, it’s child abuse, and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.”
But what does that last proposal remind you of? It reminds me of Karen behavior. It's the white woman who calls the cops on Black people who are barbecuing peacefully in the park at a spot designated for barbecuers. It's concluding that something is illegal because it makes you feel bad, because your personal feelings are the ultimate measure of what is societally permissible.

Karens can be dangerous. Karens can bring down the force of the law on people the law isn't inclined to treat with respect. The consequences of Karenism for people of color can be bad. I don't know what will happen as a result of this Tucker Carlson fatwa. I hope it's limited to a handful of unpleasant verbal exchanges around the country, though that's bad enough.

But if you're wearing a mask and you're confronted by a Carlsonite harasser, try calling the harasser Karen. Or Tucker Karen. Because while Carlson is imagining himself as a fascist dictator calling out a vigilante army of goons, he's really just being a meddlesome suburbanite who thinks he has the right to stick his nose in everyone else's business.

Monday, April 26, 2021


In a New York Post op-ed published last night, Marco Rubio declared that government power should be used to punish corporations that deviate from conservative correctness.
“What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” This was a defining American adage in the last century, because it was true: US corporations helped to make our country the most prosperous in the history of the world. But with the profits came a corporate duty to care for the strength of the nation and its citizens.

That bargain has broken down. Many in corporate America feel no obligation to act in the best interest of our country.

Historically, corporate America played an integral role in building thriving communities, stable families and a strong nation. US companies made a comfortable lifestyle available to millions of working- and middle-class Americans.
(This stopped being true when Rubio was in grammar school, but whatever.)
To help our corporations fulfill their patriotic role, the GOP especially enacted business-friendly policies. We kept tax rates low, slashed red tape where appropriate and limited the reach of labor unions. But somewhere along the line, corporations began prioritizing short-term financial windfalls and ruthless offshoring.
Which is not to say they were taking advantage of anything Republicans did for them! How could anyone even think that?
Corporate America began to view these good jobs, families, communities and even the nation as an afterthought. American workers of all backgrounds suffered as a result. Corporate greed annihilated an entire way of life.

Then a culture shift followed. It became trendy for executives to view themselves as “citizens of the world.”
(((If you know what I mean.)))
Love of country, free speech and traditional faith and other bedrock American ideals became unfashionable....

No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing.
I have the entire population of West Virginia on Line 1 and a large portion of Louisiana on Line 2.
Yet corporate America eagerly dumps woke, toxic nonsense into our culture, and it’s only gotten more destructive with time....

America’s laws should keep our nation’s corporations firmly ordered to our national common good.
That last line must have sounded better in the original German.

Why is Rubio doing this? A few months ago, there were rumors that he might face a primary challenge from Ivanka Trump, but in February she said she wouldn't run against him. Earlier this year, the head of the Palm Beach County GOP said he wanted Matt Gaetz to primary Rubio; that seems unlikely now (though with Republicans you never know). Rubio should be at ease now: Earlier this month, God Emperor Trump endorsed him for reelection.

So he either believes that he's still at risk of being primaried in 2022 ... or he's planning to run for president again in 2024, despite tepid polling numbers. Either way, he knows he'll have to toss out a lot of red meat to the base, who'll be fed massive portions of the stuff by all the other contenders.

Which means he's just going to become more and more unbearable in the near future. Although he'll still try to avoid frightening the Sunday talk show bookers, he'll want to continue finding ways to appeal to the extremist base in attention-grabbing ways. So expect more of this.


Four years ago, when President Trump was approaching the end of his first hundred days in office, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that he had a 40% job approval rating and a 54% job disapproval rating. NBC's headline and lede were straightforward:
Public Gives Trump Low Marks for First 100 Days: NBC News/WSJ Poll

Nearly two-thirds of Americans give President Donald Trump poor or middling marks for his first 100 days in office, including a plurality who say he’s off to a “poor start,” according to results from a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
The NBC poll as President Biden finishes his first hundred days has him at 53% approval, 39% disapproval. The writeup:
Poll: At 100 days, Biden's approval remains strong. Can the honeymoon last?

As President Joe Biden nears his 100th day in office, slightly more than half of Americans say they approve of his job performance. Biden gets his highest marks on handling the Covid-19 pandemic and his lowest on the situation at the southern border.

Those are the results of a new national NBC News poll, which also found a public that’s largely supportive of Biden’s top legislative priorities; more optimistic about defeating the pandemic; and more bullish about the country’s direction than it was back in January.
The public liked Biden's first hundred days more than Trump's, and NBC said so. That's appropriate.

So what's up with ABC?

An ABC News/Washington Post poll has Biden at 52% job approval, 42% job disapproval. The job approval is one point lower than in the NBC poll -- but whereas NBC says Biden's "approval remains strong," ABC says this:
Biden's 100 days: Low-end approval, yet strong marks on pandemic response: POLL

Intense partisanship is holding Joe Biden to a tepid job approval rating -- the third-lowest for any president at 100 days in office since Harry Truman -- along with continued economic dislocation, pandemic impacts and questions about Biden's view of the size and role of government.
So how did Donald Trump look at this point four years ago, according to the same poll? His numbers, as in the NBC poll, were much lower than Biden's -- 42% approval, 53% disapproval. And while it was impossible to argue that those were good numbers, the writeup looked on the sunny side:
President Trump at 100 days: No honeymoon but no regrets (POLL)

There's no honeymoon for Donald Trump in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll but also no regrets: He approaches his 100th day in office with the lowest approval rating at this point of any other president in polls since 1945 — yet 96 percent of those who supported him in November say they'd do so again today.
If you continue reading ABC's summary of the Trump poll, you get the facts about what it says:
His challenges are considerable. Majorities say Trump lacks the judgment and the temperament it takes to serve effectively. Six in 10 doubt his honesty and trustworthiness, see him as out of touch and don't think he understands the problems of people like them. Fifty-six percent say he hasn't accomplished much in his first 100 days. And 55 percent say he doesn't follow a consistent set of principles in setting policy (though fewer, 48 percent, see this as a problem).
But there's a determination to put a positive spin on Trump's numbers:
Still, the national survey finds some brighter spots for Trump, chiefly in pushing for jobs and in foreign policy, as well as deep popularity problems for the opposition party. Sixty-seven percent say the Democratic Party is out of touch with the concerns of most Americans — even more than say the same about Trump and similar to thenumber for Republican Party (62 percent).
It's as if this is written for fans of Trump's personality and rhetoric: He has "no regrets"; he doesn't have failures, only "challenges"; and if you think he's unpopular, what about the Democrats?

Biden's numbers are good, but the subtext of the poll writeup is "relax, they'll fall soon."
All told, 52% of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Biden's work in office, lower than any president at 100 days in office since 1945, save Gerald Ford in 1974 (48%, after his unpopular pardon of Richard Nixon) and Donald Trump at 42% in 2017. For the 14 presidents from Truman to Biden, the 100-day average is 66%.

... 53% express concern that Biden will do too much to increase the size and role of government in U.S. society. Relatedly, 40% see him as "too liberal," more than either of his most recent Democratic predecessors at 100 days – Barack Obama, 33%, and Bill Clinton, 26%. (This rose for Obama later in his presidency.)

... Biden's rating for handling the economy is essentially the same as Trump's in January, marking this as a clear challenge. Indeed, just 42% of Americans rate the economy positively, far below its pre-pandemic level; 58% instead say it's in not-so-good or poor shape. Presidential fortunes often are closely linked to economic conditions.
And respondents who voted for Biden aren't asked whether they think they made the right choice. The feelings of Trump voters were a source of endless fascination for the media and pollsters throughout his presidency, and remain so to this day. No one seems to care what Biden voters think.

NBC demonstrates that poll information of this kind can be played straight. I'm not sure why ABC can't manage that.

Sunday, April 25, 2021


This seems bad:

ZUMBRO FALLS, Minn. -- A dinner hosted by the Wabasha County Republican Party last month featured keynote speaker Trevor Loudon, a far-right conspiracy theorist who told the GOP faithful that more than a hundred members of Congress should be investigated for espionage, that the killing of George Floyd and the unrest that followed "was planned since 2016," and suggested that voting machines were rigged in last year's presidential election....

The event was promoted on Facebook by Beverly C. Roche-Snow, Wabasha County GOP chairwoman. When contacted by Forum News Service, she hung up the phone.
According to this news report Loudon said, "We need to investigate about 100 of your Democratic colleagues for working for foreign governments and the communist and Islamic movements," and said of George Floyd's murder, "This was planned since 2016, folks. This was all organized by a group headquartered in Minnesota called the 'Freedom Road Socialist Organization'" (a Marxist group that actually exists, though it had no impact on my feelings about the Floyd murder, given that I'd never heard of it until just now).
And there's the usual nonsense about rigged voting machines and COVID as Chinese biowarfare.

Here's a response to the tweet above:

But this is nothing new. Loudon has been on the circuit for years, starting in his native New Zealand.
It was in 1986 when Loudon first became involved in politics, establishing the Campaign for a Soviet-Free New Zealand. The group aimed to expose a conspiracy involving the Soviet Union secretly subverting the “New Zealand way of life” through a slew of shadowy puppet figures the Soviets controlled and ordered to do their bidding with the goal of turning the country into a communist dictatorship.

This fight to expose the Marxist “master plan” involved gathering information on anti-nuclear activists, Labour Party members, pastors from the National Council of Churches, anti-apartheid campaigners and Indigenous Māori community leaders — all of whom Loudon claimed were communist subversives which he exposed to his community of 800 followers through his newsletter, “New Zeal.” ...

From this exposure, Loudon ended up fast friends with Fox News host Glenn Beck, who used his platform to interview Loudon on numerous occasions.
The linked Beck interview took place in 2011. Prior to that, Loudon appeared at a 2008 gathering in D.C. at which he said that then-candidate Barack Obama was"a member of an organization [that is] openly a front for two socialist groups." The gathering was organized by America's Survival, Inc., a group founded by an old-guard right-wing rabble-rouser, Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media. Loudon and Kincaid wrote a "report" in 2009 that attempted to link Obama and others in his circle to a wide range of radical-left organizations.

Glenn Beck gave a blurb to a book Loudon published in 2011:

Subsequent Loudon books included 2013's The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress and 2018's Burn This Book: What Keith Ellison Doesn't Want You to Know: A Radical Marxist-Islamist, His Associations and Agenda.

The earlier work and the Beck connection made Loudon a popular speaker during the Obama presidency:

So this is nothing new. We're just starting to pay more attention now.

Saturday, April 24, 2021


If you like this sort of deep dive, I recommend Michael Kruse's Politico story about Ohio's 16th District. The district's Republican congressman Anthony Gonzalez, is being challenged for 2022 by two MAGA loyalists who are angry about his vote to impeach President Trump in January. Kruse conveys the feel of the place and provides some evidence that Gonzalez might survive efforts to take him down (although I don't think he will -- angry right-wingers have long memories).

But like most white male reporters in the mainstream media, Kruse falls for the myth of what qualifies as the real America. He writes:
If Ohio can be seen as “the ultimate microcosm” of the country overall—“an ur-place,” “an uncannily complete everyplace,” “a reflection of the nation,” in the estimation of the Ohio writer David Giffels—then the 16th District could be considered a microcosm of that microcosm.

In winning Ohio twice, Trump took the district in 2016 with 56.2 percent and upped that to 56.5 last year.
Do I have to explain what's wrong with this?

Trump ran for president twice and lost the popular vote twice. If you want to find a state or a district that's a microcosm of America as demonstated by its political choices, you should look for one where Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden won.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the popular vote nationwide 48.5% to 46.4%. She lost this district 56.1% to 39.4%, and she lost the state of Ohio 51.8% to 43.7%. In 2020, Joe Biden beat Trump in the popular vote nationwide 51.3% to 46.8%, even as Trump won this district by 15 points and the state by 8.

The 2010 census reported that Ohio's 16th district was 94.3% white. Ohio was 82.69% white. America was 72.4% white.

The 16th district is what reporters like Kruse think America is. It's not what America is. America is urban and suburban as well as rural; it's multi-ethnic and becoming more so. Kruse's story is accompanied by many photos that look like shots from a John Mellencamp video or an ad for a Chevy pickup truck. But that's not America. It's only a part of America.

Friday, April 23, 2021


No, this won't work:
Former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner on Friday officially announced her bid for governor of California.

... Jenner, a longtime Republican, is seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election....

She's assembled a team of prominent GOP operatives including Tony Fabrizio, the top pollster on Donald Trump's 2016 and 2020 campaigns....

She's also hired Steven Cheung, a former Trump White House and campaign communications hand who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger's successful 2003 recall campaign.

Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale, a personal friend of Jenner’s, has helped her assemble her team but doesn’t plan to take an official title on the campaign.
So will she get votes from Trump admirers? Short answer: Are you nuts? In today's Republican Party, the True Conservatives hate trans people almost as much as they hate undocumented immigrants. To commenters at Breitbart, the mere notion of referring to her with female pronouns, or as Caitlyn, is repugnant.
It's a He.


And always will be. If he wants to pretend he looks female he needs a REALLY good doctor to alter his man-hands, shoulders and feet. And skull.
He's not fooling anyone.
Wearing girl's clothes doesn't make you a girl.


Stealing a line from South Park, "she's" a Transvestite Donkey Witch


And if he wants to run for office he should stop the masquerade.


It’s not a masquerade, it’s a mental disorder.
Jenner publicly voiced support for Trump until 2018, when he rolled back federal guidelines allowing transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice. "My hope in him ... was misplaced," she wrote.

"Certainly she has not seen eye-to-eye with [Trump] on a lot of things," [an] adviser said.
Forget it. You have to kiss the God Emperor's ring or Trumpers won't vote for you. (And that matters, even in California -- remember, Trump got six million votes there, more than he won in any other state. Joe Biden, of course, got eleven million.)

But maybe Jenner wants to appeal to moderates?
Jenner, a trans woman, "is very socially liberal,” the adviser said. "She's running as someone that's socially liberal and fiscally conservative."
Except that, as Lee Drutman of the Voter Study Group demonstrated after analyzing the results of the 2016 election, hardly anyone in the electorate is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Or as Paul Krugman put it,


So that won't work this year -- and no, Chris Cillizza, the fact that Tim Scott, the GOP's only Black senator, is delivering the Republican response to President Biden's forthcoming address to Congress doesn't mean he's a favorite for the party's presidential nomination in 2024.
"Once President Trump was elected, Scott began separating himself from his party by opposing many of Trump's judicial and administration nominees, often raising comments about past statements or actions on race," reads the Almanac of American Politics about the South Carolina Republican.

In the wake of Trump's comments that there were "some very fine people on both sides" of the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Scott blasted the then-President. "Racism is real. It is alive," Scott said, adding: "What we want to see from our President is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised. ... There's no question about that." ...

But while Scott has not been as reflexively loyal to Trump as many of his Senate (and House) colleagues, he's remained on the former President's good side. He endorsed Trump's reelection bid and spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2020. And he defended Trump following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol...

That careful balancing act has made Scott something of a rarity in Republican politics these days: Someone liked by the Trump base and by the party establishment. ([Nikki] Haley may be Scott's biggest competition for that role in the party at the moment.)
Yes, and how are Scott and Haley doing in the polls? In a recent survey by John McLaughlin, a pollster who's worked for Trump, Scott gets a whopping 1% of the vote from potential GOP primary voters. (Haley gets 2% in a field that includes Trump and 3% in a field without him; without Trump, Ron DeSantis gets 14% and Mike Pence gets 19% -- and even Candace Owens, who's Black but delivers the red meat Scott doesn't, and Haley rarely does, outdoes both Scott and Haley, with 4% of the vote.)

I'm not saying it's impossible for a candidate of color to win the Republican nomination -- but in order to do it, you'd have to focus on the message that liberals are pure evil and have a monopoly on racism, which is the message Owens regularly delivers.

Cillizza thinks Scott can raise his profile by working with Democrats on police reform.
If Scott could find a way to negotiate a bipartisan compromise on such a hot-button issue -- and show he has the ability to deliver GOP votes for the proposal, it would be a major feather in his cap.
But that's not what he's there to do; he's there to make it appear as if Republicans are serious about this issue, and then to make no real effort to reach a compromise, at which point he'll accuse Democrats of negotiationg in bad faith. Every right-wing pontificator in America will then say that the Democrat Party is the party of racism -- did you know Robert Byrd was in the Klan? -- and Scott with mothballed again until the next time he's needed to make the GOP seem like a non-racist party. And if I'm wrong and he were somehow to strike a deal with Senate Democrats, that would be the end of his career as a Republican elected official.

Scott might be DeSantis's running mate in 2024, though I'm skeptical -- why risk alienating base voters who've been fed a steady diet of Tucker Carlson's white nationalism for years? But he won't be the party's presidential nominee. If he runs for president, he won't win a single delegate.


I don't like the way this is framed:

Saying that the events of January 6 were an indication of a "crisis" is like saying that below-zero weather in Siberia is an indication of a "crisis." It isn't -- it's just the nature of the environment. And even if you want to call what's happening in our politics a crisis, it's not a "Trump crisis" -- it's a Republican crisis.

Glasser seems to grasp that, more or less. She writes about the new book by former House Speaker John Boehner, who criticizes extremists in his party (even though they used to be his allies, of course):
Boehner draws a straight line from the [House] Freedom Caucus’s ascendancy to January 6th. He denounces the group’s members as “political terrorists” who emboldened the actual terrorists who stormed his old office on Capitol Hill, flatly debunks various Trump conspiracy theories, and calls the insurrection a “low point for our country.” I’ve always believed that the transformation of Congress into what Boehner calls Crazytown was both a prerequisite for, and a warning indicator of, the Trump follies to come. This account offers some sharp new material for that thesis.
And yet:
In an interview with Time magazine, Boehner admitted something that he did not in the book itself, which is that he voted for Trump in 2020, understanding full well that the President would never accept any election result that did not have him as the winner. “I voted for Donald Trump,” Boehner said. “I thought that his policies, by and large, mirrored the policies that I believed in.”

... Many of Trump’s critics within the Republican Party voted for him, too, as did those, like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who have emerged, post-January 6th, as leaders of a small but vocal new Republican congressional opposition to the former President. They did not repudiate him when it would have mattered, and that, in the end, is why he is gone but not at all forgotten. The Trump Administration is over; the Trump crisis is not.
People magazine tells us that George W. Bush didn't vote for Trump -- but he threw his vote away in a manner that I'm sure left him very pleased with himself:
He ... freely admitted he did not vote for either incumbent Republican President Donald Trump — of whom he has been only obliquely critical, and never by name — or Democrat Joe Biden in the November election.

Instead, Bush wrote in Condoleezza Rice, who served as his secretary of state from 2005 to 2009.
And Bush walked back some recent criticisms of his party, probably because he has a new book of paintings he's trying to sell, and he knows that most of the people who bought his early work were Republicans:
In an appearance on the Today show earlier this week, he said of the Republican Party: "I would describe it as isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist."

He clarified those comments to PEOPLE, saying, "Really what I should have said — there's loud voices who are isolationists, protectionists and nativists, something, by the way, I talked about when I was president."

"My concerns [are] about those -isms," he continued, "but I painted with too broad a brush ... because by saying what I said, it excluded a lot of Republicans who believe we can fix the problem."
Bush and the others can't quit the party, even though it has become almost exclusively nativist, and even though it's redoubling its efforts to steal elections, apparently having concluded that the only thing wrong with the way Trump was going about was that he and his party-mates hadn't made what he was trying to do legal first. In The New York Times, Rick Hasen writes:
A new, more dangerous front has opened in the voting wars, and it’s going to be much harder to counteract than the now-familiar fight over voting rules. At stake is something I never expected to worry about in the United States: the integrity of the vote count. The danger of manipulated election results looms....

Some of these efforts involve removing from power those who stood up to President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The Georgia law removes the secretary of state from decision-making power on the state election board....

Republican state legislatures have also passed or are considering laws aimed at stripping Democratic counties of the power to run fair elections. The new Georgia law gives the legislature the power to handpick an election official who could vote on the state election board for a temporary takeover of up to four county election boards during the crucial period of administering an election and counting votes....

A Texas bill would ... give challengers at the polls the ability not only to observe but to interfere with polling place procedures meant to ensure election integrity. According to a new report by Protect Democracy, Republican legislators have proposed at least 148 bills in 36 states that could increase the chances of cooking the electoral books.
Even David Brooks understands that, as the headline of his latest column puts it, the GOP is getting even worse.
Since the election, large swathes of the Trumpian right have decided America is facing a crisis like never before and they are the small army of warriors fighting with Alamo-level desperation to ensure the survival of the country as they conceive it....

This level of catastrophism, nearly despair, has fed into an amped-up warrior mentality.

“The decent know that they must become ruthless. They must become the stuff of nightmares,” Jack Kerwick writes in the Trumpian magazine American Greatness. “The good man must spare not a moment to train, in both body and mind, to become the monster that he may need to become in order to slay the monsters that prey upon the vulnerable.”

With this view, the Jan. 6 insurrection was not a shocking descent into lawlessness but practice for the war ahead.
But no one will do anything about it. Bush, Boehner, Kinzinger, and Liz Cheney still consider themselves Republicans in good standing. Donors who said they'd withhold money from pro-insurrection GOP officeholders are giving to those officeholders again, as Glasser notes.

No one ever asks Republican critics of the party how they can remain members in good conscience. We know the answer: It's because what's happening now is an evolution, not a break with the past. Boehner, Bush, and others engaged in or enabled right-wing radicalism until it went too far for them.

But if it really has gone too far and some of them think we're in a crisis, they have to make a clean break, or they're still enablers. The press has to ask every Republican who claims to be appalled by Trumpism and January 6: So shouldn't you quit the party? Do you see any evidence that the party will abandon the Big Lie of Democratic election theft, that it will abandon the extremism Trump embodied (but didn't create), that it will abandon nativism and white nationalism? And if you think you this is a temporary crisis, what are you doing to bring it to an end, and why isn't it working? Why does it seem to be getting worse?

But that won't happen. These people will still win praise from the mainstream media and from moderates (and some liberals) for, in effect, doing nothing. They'll never be questioned this way.

They've been protesting ineffectually for years, insisting that they're going to take the party back. Remember this book?

The former New Jersey governor and EPA administrator under George W. Bush presents a detailed and provocative critique of the Republican party's increasingly conservative and extremist views, recommending a moderate, solution-based approach to government that the author believes is more in line with traditional Republican principles.
It came out in 2005. It accomplished nothing. And the problem has only gotten worse since then.

Thursday, April 22, 2021


I saw a lot of folks complaining about this on social media, but I think it's fine:
... a progressive group has decided to deliver a formal response to President Joe Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress next week.

It's traditional for the opposition party to give a response when the president delivers a State of the Union or other address to Congress. But it's much less common for a member of the president's party to deliver a rebuttal.

Next week, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., speaking on behalf of the left-wing Working Families Party, will respond after Biden gives his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Bowman ... said the response is intended not to be critical of Biden but rather to credit him as appropriate and cue him for what the left wants to see next.

"It's a balancing act. He's already done a lot that I love. And he's going to say a lot of things that I like, as well," Bowman said in an interview. "But if we relent, it doesn't mean that what's been going on so far is going to continue. It's important for us as progressives to continue to push and continue to organize."
And this is fine, too:
Climate activists gathered in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to dump wheelbarrows full of cow poop near the White House in protest of President Biden’s climate plan, which they say is “bullshit” and does not go far enough to protect the environment.

Videos posted on Twitter from the Earth Day demonstration featured a group of at least a dozen demonstrators pushing pink wheelbarrows downtown toward the White House, where Biden is hosting a two-day virtual climate summit with dozens of world leaders.

The demonstrators then dumped the manure onto the street, along with signs and banners reading, “Stop the bullshit,” and “Declare climate emergency now!”

Photos showed the piles of dung lingering in the street even after demonstrators dispersed.
These things are good for Biden's brand. He's been a surprisingly progressive president, but having critics to his left reinforces his message that what he's been doing doesn't make him some kind of crazy communist. It helps to normalize the changes he's advocating.

I'd feel differently if this were an election year. Republicans generally come together to back whichever party members are on the ballot, while progressives often turn up their noses at mainstream Democrats, sometimes electing Republicans as a result (and mainstream Democrats often express contempt for progressives, with the same result). I won't be happy next year, or three years from now, if progressives and mainstream Democrats can't unite. But for now, it's good for the public to see that Republicans are lying when they say Biden is a radical leftist.


I seem to be the only person who cares about this, but I want to see more polls assessing (a) Donald Trump's popularity among the general population and (b) how Americans would vote in 2024 if there were a rematch between Trump and Joe Biden. I think these questions matter because, while Trump's popularity among Republicans continues to be measured on a regular basis, we really don't know whether he's alienated the majority of Americans. The media and the polling world seem obsessed with Trump's standing among Republicans because, apparently, they still regard Republicans as the normative Americans. But you can't assess how America feels about Trump without asking the rest of us what we think.

John Bolton recently hired PEM Management Corporation to find out what we think. That wasn't his main goal, as we learned a couple of days ago:
John Bolton, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser turned outspoken critic, has commissioned a new poll to illustrate that the former president’s grip on the Republican Party is loosening.

The poll, released on Tuesday morning, showed Trump’s “very favorable” numbers among Republican voters dropped 19 points since a separate poll from a different pollster taken in October 2020. It also showed that 56 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters would support a candidate other than Trump in the 2024 primary.

Bolton said his motivation for conducting the survey was to show that the Republican Party, contrary to what “the commentariat and among some politicians” say, had “not become a cult of personality.”

... As with much polling data, there was nuance to Bolton's numbers. While Trump’s “very favorable” rating plummeted with Republicans compared to the October 2020 New York Times/Siena College Research Institute poll, his “somewhat favorable” rating went up by 12 points. Combined, his total favorable rating dipped from 92 percent to 85 percent.

And while a majority of voters may support a candidate other than Trump in the 2024 primary, 44 percent said they would back the former president.... While Trump got 44 percent of the vote, the next closest were [Ron] DeSantis and [Nikki] Haley, each of whom got 9 percent.
Bolton commissioned this poll to take some of the luster off Trump, and he didn't succeed. But PEM also asked about the general election -- and Biden beat Trump, but only by a margin of 46.9% to 43.2%. That's smaller than Biden's 2020 popular-vote margin of victory.

This might be because the pool of respondents skewed slightly more Republican than the general public -- 36.3% Republican, 37% Democratic. (Gallup recently found that Democrats have a 9-point partisan advantage now -- 49%-40%.) Among the Bolton poll's respondents, 40.6% claimed to be conservative, 33.4% moderate, and 20.9% liberal. (Gallup's most recent numbers: 36% conservative, 35% moderate, 25% liberal.) In the Bolton poll, Trump's numbers are 43.3% favorable, 52.9% unfavorable -- about what Trump's numbers were throughout his presidency -- but Biden's numbers are lower than they are in most polls: 49.5% favorable, 47% unfavorable. The Bolton's poll respondents' self-reported 2020 votes are a bit to the right of the actual numbers: Biden 46.1%, Trump 44.0%. (Actual results: Biden 51.3%, Trump 46.8%.)

These numbers have a pro-GOP skew, but not by much; I'd like to hear from more experienced pollsters. In a rational country, the behavior of Trump and other Republicans would consign the party to the margins, and Democrats could look forward to a series of blowout elections. But we don't seem to live in that country.

Bolton wanted to demonstrate that Trump's grip on the GOP is tenuous, but the numbers suggest that Trump still rules his party -- and could rule America again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021


Carlson's gotta Carlson:
On Fox News Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson did not appear to be pleased with the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

Indeed, according to Carlson, the jury was tainted by fear of riots if they did not convict, and the public outpouring of support for Floyd amounts to an "attack on civilization."
Every night Carlson is on the air is like this, of course. And as we've been told many times, there's nothing we can do about it, because boycotting his advertisers doesn't work.
... there is no evidence that ad boycotts hurt Fox News enough to force it to mend its ways. “The boycotts themselves are not having a financial impact of any significance,” Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in 2019. Indeed, Fox’s revenue increased 14 percent in the quarter ending Dec. 31. Often Fox is simply able to move an advertiser from one show to another. In any case, advertising is not Fox’s main source of revenue. It gets most of its money from cable system subscriber fees.
What's more, as former cable industry executive Jason Hirschhorn notes,
If you tried to deplatform them, Fox would say, we're going to pull the Fox Network or we're going to pull Fox Sports or we're going to pull regional sports outlets. This is how the cable business works. It works with leverage.
Which is why sports leagues could probably put enough pressure on Fox to change, if they really wanted to.

Fox Sports has contracts with Major League Baseball, the National Football League (for Thursday Night Football), the NCAA (for football and basketball), NASCAR, and other sports operations. If any of them were to say that they won't return to Fox when their current contracts are up, and if other sports leagues were to say that they can't be enticed to Fox, Fox might sit up and take notice.

When I see baseball moving its all-star game from Georgia in response to the recently passed voter suppression bill, I can almost imagine a response like that to the increasingly undiluted white nationalism of Carlson.

Almost. I don't think something like this could really happen anytime soon. But Carlson seems determined not to just keep tiptoeing up to the line but to push further and further in the direction of overtly racist rabble-rousing. In a few years, it's easy to imagine that he'll go far beyond his current limits -- and no one will dare to stop him, because he'll still be the king of cable prime time.

Unless his rhetoric, and the rhetoric of other extremists on Fox, becomes a genuine national issue. Then maybe the sports leagues will step in. I don't know who else can.


In a post last night, I collected racist and paranoid reactions from Gateway Pundit readers to the conviction of Derek Chauvin. In response, a commenter wrote:
... these are ants shaking their fists at elephants. We have finally witnessed the birth of justice of a kind, and I doubt things will be the same ever again. The casual sadism of the worst of cops will not be as casual going forward. Because, assuming the court imposes a serious sentence, every cop knows they are no longer guaranteed a walk for business as usual.
Maybe. Maybe, as the commenter wrote, the Chauvin case was an object lesson in how to convict a police officer. But it seems equally likely that this case was anomalous. Yes, a progressive attorney general took the case very seriously and worked hard for a conviction -- but in addition, the trial took place in a liberal metropolitan area with, in all likelihood, fewer Fox News viewers in the jury pool than the national average.

And then there's the video.

The message cops and their defenders have sent since Rodney King has been: These people are dangerous. They resist arrest. They threaten us. They threaten public safety. There are unfortunate incidents, but only because we have to make split-second decisions in matters of life or death.

But that's not what we saw in the video. Those of us who see the police as too ready to apply lethal force, especially when dealing with people of color, feel that they allow themselves to become excessively adrenalized and then use that as a justification for the application of deadly force, but I suspect that a significant percentage of the public thinks that justifies what cops do -- that, in the heat of the moemnt, it's understandable that a cop would shoot Adam Toledo even though his hands were up, or would reach for the wrong weapon and shoot rather than tase Daunte Wright as he struggled with police during a traffic stop, or, last night, would shoot Makiya Bryant as she fought with two other people.

In the George Floyd footage, Derek Chauvin is calm. He's not making an adrenaline-fueled split-second decision to keep his knee on Floyd's neck as minute after minute passes and Floyd life slips away. We won't see many more videos like that.

And in states run by Republicans -- or states that might be run by Republicans in a few years -- I wonder how the deck might be stacked so there'll be fewer Chauvin verdicts in the future. I see what Republicans are doing to limit protest:
Republican legislators in Oklahoma and Iowa have passed bills granting immunity to drivers whose vehicles strike and injure protesters in public streets.

A Republican proposal in Indiana would bar anyone convicted of unlawful assembly from holding state employment, including elected office. A Minnesota bill would prohibit those convicted of unlawful protesting from receiving student loans, unemployment benefits or housing assistance.

And in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed sweeping legislation this week that toughened existing laws governing public disorder and created a harsh new level of infractions...

The Florida law imposes harsher penalties for existing public disorder crimes, turning misdemeanor offenses into felonies, creating new felony offenses and preventing defendants from being released on bail until they have appeared before a judge.
And then there's this:
In Kentucky, where protests following the police killing of Breonna Taylor lasted for months last year, the State Senate passed a bill that would make it a crime to insult or taunt a police officer with “offensive or derisive” words or gestures that would have “a direct tendency to provoke a violent response.” The measure would have required that those arrested on such a charge be held in jail for at least 48 hours — a provision that does not automatically apply to those arrested on murder, rape or arson charges in Kentucky.
Throughout the George Floyd video, onlookers verbally challenge what the cops are doing. The language isn't always polite. Will it be illegal to do that in red states soon? Will red states give the cops more power to prevent accountability by video? Will those states make it unlawful for blue cities to preserve freedom of speech or assembly in circumstances like this? Will right-wing judges, all the way up to the Supreme Court, say the Constitution isn't a suicide pact and uphold those laws?

I hope it's a new day. I hope there'll be more justice in the future for vicitims of police brutality. But this wasn't a typical case. I don't know whether we'll see more progress in the future or more backlash.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


We have the right verdict.
Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

... The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The commenters as Gateway Pundit are always angry, radical, and racist, but they're outdoing themselves right now. A few samples:
Let the looting begin... Oh, wait.

Never mind - yeah. Let the urbanites begin their victory looting.

Ammo up.


more reasons to carry


They would continue to destroy Western Civilization either way the verdict came down. No one is surprised that a Western man cannot receive justice in America today.


I'll bet you a nickel the cities burn anyway tonight. What they need is a new excuse for that.


I hope they do. No, I pray they do. Anything to get us one step closer to eradicating the problem POCs.


The anti-White media will search for another white person to victimize. We have no country anymore, we have no government or justice dept., but we do have a people. Time to pull in one direction and recapture our destiny.


Chauvin, like Trump supporters, is a political prisoner of the Marxist Mafia. Deport ALL Dems.


Round them up and gas them. It's the only way to deal with leftists. Let them contemplate their crimes and treason as they sit there watching the pellets.


I have to appreciate the accuracy of the fasces: individually, MÅGAts break like twigs. Look at their lack of courage on Jan 20 and every day the national guard wasn't stood down.


It's an anti-White mafia. It is the same scenario in every white country.


Most Dems are not Americans. Most have been imported from 3rd world countries all over the world. Any of them who are "citizens" are Paper Americans only.


Sadly if you shoot one of these maggot you'll be called a racist and they'll put you away! If the media says you're guilty, well then sadly you're guilty!


Send them back to the plains of Africa where they belong.


Blacks are incompatible with civilization.

The more Blacks a society, the less safe and prosperous it is.


Only WesternKind can maintain Western Civilization. We need and deserve our own homeland.


That has become increasingly apparent. The more non-whites there are living here, the less safe we are.


Black IQ Av 60 -70
White IQ Av 85-110
Why would any civilized nation import BARBARIANS?


"Why would any civilized nation import BARBARIANS?"

They are literal sub-humans....

Blacks have "wildly different" genes than modern man because they are mixed with literal NON-HUMANS!

Blacks are proto-humans; modern man evolved from Blacks by hybridizing with the large-brain Neanderthals....

Modern man evolved from Blacks when they cross-bred with the large-brain Neanderthals (literally a different species). Blacks are the only race with no Neanderthal DNA. Civilizations didn't begin until the Neanderthal hybridization created the larger brains in modern man....


19 of the 20 poorest countries are sub-Saharan African.

There are no White Third-World countries, but all Black ones are.

Where have Blacks ever been successful?

We just had a White sub-Saharan African (Elon Musk) launch a spacecraft while Black sub-Saharan Africans destroyed several cities.

Name a civilization ever created by Blacks.

Name a single contribution from sub-Saharan Africans to the world.

The simple fact is, everything Blacks have was given to them by Whites.

Blacks are the only race never to have civilized. They were removed from the jungle just 250 years ago.


Africans hate American blacks more than we do.


I had a South African friend years ago who told me the same thing. He said American blacks would say “what’s up brother” and he and his South African friends would respond, “you are not my brother”. They think American blacks are too spoiled and live well with opportunity.


White people are the only race against whom it is LEGAL to discriminate. This is a perfect example of the anti-whiteism of our "justice" system.


Did you see the video of the drug cartel member machine gunning the young cop? With no border control, we better have a better plan. Western Civilization in this country is over.


Carry two carry three.


Crapsack Joe also weighed in on influencing the jury


Joe is vehemently anti white. He believes white erasure is a good thing.


It's the Rothschild states of America now, and has been for a while.
They and their friends like Bloomberg will gin up violence, and disarm the public.
Then the dictators have complete power.


... Consider a child born today, when he/she reaches age 75 the age of our Boomers, whites will be 20% of the population. This decision has been made now, by Boomers. Total replacement. It's already game over.


All police officers should quit and let the chimps destroy the blue cities


The good ones will quit and be replaced by the mask/vax police.
And I'm sure the chatter on most police message boards is exactly like this tonight.