who are you and what have you done with my country?

it’s 6:30 a.m., soon after the first sunrise of a long night that will continue for days. I last checked the counting four hours ago. We didn’t get Florida, Georgia looked doubtful and North Carolina was teetering. These were the three must-gets for tRump and it looks like he’ll get them all. But we flipped Arizona, including the Senate seat (Huzzah! for Mark Kelly; now we have a real Space Cadet on Capitol Hill!) And we picked off an electoral vote in Nebraska. At 2:30 a.m. tRump hadn’t taken anything Hilary got in 2016, which keeps us still on track to win, but man oh man, this is sure-fugly winning.

The new voter said a couple more choice words, called the Town Clerk a bitch, leaned in, opened her unmasked mouth and forcefully exhaled directly into — and about 6 inches away from — the Clerk’s startled face. Then she left.

Who are we, America? How could so many of you look past the babies in the cages, the pandemic inertia, the lies! The ceaseless cataract of lying! The self-dealing. The tossed rolls of paper towels. Jeebus. The Ugliest American is the preferred candidate of tens of millions of my countrymen? Really? I don’t care who’s President; THAT‘s a massive political challenge right there, that is.

read on…

clear the hall; it’s election day

It is an American Election Day and this morning, in the dark before sunrise, Donald J tRump seems a very small and petty presence on the national stage — a street urchin who stole into the theater at midweek, and has been horsing around with the scrims and the lights and the set pieces, breaking things, pushing all the works to their mechanical and structural limits. He has just found the flying rig from Peter Pan!

“…a tumbling, bloated and bellowing boy, horribly scared of heights, shrieking at the operator at once to sweep him higher faster, and to land him…”

read on…

facts v narrative

how must it feel to be him? The left leaning main-stream media say he is “clearly” frantic now. They catalog his personal swipes, his grimy tweets — like “never Trumpers” are “human scum.” Then they stand back and point out that these are the public utterances of the President of the United States. Next they point out the void that should be his burgeoning shelf of countervailing evidence. They quote and re-quote the prosecutor’s maxim – “if you can’t argue the facts, argue the law — and if you can’t argue the law then bang your shoe on the table.”

having no facts is no impediment to Trump’s campaign for the hearts and minds of an inattentive public whose antennae are keen for narrative but only dimly attuned to facts.

read on…

campfires of the insistence

last night on a late-night TV show (Colbert), the evening’s musical guest (the barenaked ladies) played the theme song of another TV show (the big bang theory) — as its scheduled performance number. Big Bang Theory — a series much beloved — is ending and its audience mourns its passing. This musical performance was part of that communal mourning ritual. Broadcast of this performance summoned the tribe. The convening continues indefinitely on YouTube where a video recording of the occasion was posted soon after the event itself.

algorithms which can so precisely target us with messages tailored to our prejudices and fears could conceivably channel challenges to those prejudices and fears with the same precision.

Read on…

times make the woman

elizabeth Warren is ready to wade right in and impeach the mofo. It’s the first thing I’ve warmed to, about her. Isn’t it generally so — that, given the right circumstances, the right issue, the right moment, any of us shines absolutely? All flash and fire and brilliant resolve. Don’t we all show better under certain conditions, and …less well under others? Maybe the problem is that her ideal conditions are less regularly met.

These events demand a response rooted in principle, and she’s the only one calling us all back to the home fire, demanding that we acknowledge with action crucial First Principles: that ALL are created equal, and NONE is above the law.

Read on…

<rant>mitch mcconnell, media, our times…</rant>

mitch McConnell holds the ball. Nobody likes playing with him because he is like a black hole on the field. Anything that comes his way — he just grabs it and holds it. He never lets anything past. Which would be a good quality in a GOALIE, but McConnell is NOT a goalie! He is supposed to manage play that involves everybody on the field. Instead he checks your uniform before he decides what to do with your play.

…grown men get the faux vapors over opposition behavior that looks fine to them in their own bathroom mirrors. The sniping is personal, and blunt as a bludgeon.

Read on…

braking spin

what if the media had not covered Barr’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th pre-release pronouncements? Or, what if the media showed these things one time, and thereafter simply and flatly reminded viewers what he said, but did not show him saying it, did not augment the message with the thousand trappings of his office that are part of a video picture? Or better, did not repeat, but merely referenced, his prior messaging? What if we put the onus back on Barr to get his own message out and abroad?

Read on…