Friday Night Music: 1/6/23

It’s 5pm here on the East Coast, and it’s Friday. Time to let the stresses of the week go for a few hours a day just soak the evening away in melodic bliss.

Well, unless you’re Kevin McCarthy. His stress is only beginning.

In spite of this being the 2 year anniversary of the Trump Insurrection, I’m not doing this for them because fuck anyone trying to overthrow the Constitution. I’m sending one out to Rep. McCarthy because he’s had one messed up week.

I briefly thought about Let’s Do It Again by The Staples Sisters, but that’s too funky for the shitstorm Kev’s living right now. Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping was also considered because he’s getting right back on that horse repeatedly after getting tossed flat on his face into a pile of manure.

I finally found one that’s worthy of Kevin in Beck’s Loser. So, in honor of all slick guitar licks everywhere and the losers associated with them…

Who do you trust?

Here we are, less than 16 days away from election day, and a major news outlet is putting out information like this.

My initial response is, “Who in the hell are they polling?” I also want to know in which alternative universe the polling responders reside.

Why would anyone outside of the wealthiest Americans trust the GOP with the economy? They’ve already said they’re going to cut Social Security among other programs. They’re threatening to default on the debt limit again to extract concessions from Biden. Now ask yourself, if these financial endeavors were so damned important, then why didn’t they do them when Trump was in office and they controlled Congress?

Face it America, if your net worth doesn’t include at least three commas in front of the decimal point, the GOP doesn’t care about you or your families. All they want from you is a vote to give them control of government. They will say or do anything to demagogue the Democratic Party or any other challengers to get that vote too.

You don’t believe me?

The GOP will claim, with a straight face, that Democrats are soft on crime when there’s a former Attorney General in the White House and a former chief of police running for the Senate in Florida. There are others within the Democratic Party who have worked to reduce crime, but the GOP will work like hell to claim the Democrats are soft on crime. Just don’t ask any Republicans about prosecutions involving the crimes around January 6th 2021 or the scheme to overturn election results with fake electors.

I would love for ABC News, Pew Research, Gallup, or any other polling group to update their polling methodology to get a more realistic sample of Americans and our opinions. Most things are not very black and white issues, but when it comes to which party is better for the country at this time, there’s no amount of evidence that shows Republicans are better. They have proven time and time again that they don’t govern for everyone, whether it’s on the state or federal level.

There will undoubtedly be people who disagree with what I’ve written here, and I am perfectly fine with that. There will be the rebuttals involving social issues and other distractions. They are designed to take attention away from the fact that Republicans tend to ruin the economic outlook for Americans when they’re in office. Look at the states where minimum wages have increased. Are they run by Democrats or Republicans?

Vote wisely folks. Your choice has effects far beyond what you can see.


Post-democracy politics

Creator: | Credit: Ben Gray Copyright: Ben Gray

Today starts the early voting period here in Georgia. We’ll hear the usual, “this is the most important election in our lifetime” speech over and over until November. While it gets old, this election is truly important and not just for the residents of Georgia.

Across the country, there are many candidates for office who are election deniers. The majority of GOP candidates on the ballot for November espouse the belief that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Think of the cognitive dissonance required to believe that Trump lost on the same election where hundreds of Republicans won.

Yet, here we are in 2022 staring at the ballot and there’s a chance that many elections in 2024 will be run by people who believe that very thing. Democracy itself is officially on the ballot and maybe even on life support. Welcome to the world of post-democracy politics.

At this point a vote isn’t just about a party preference, ideology, or your single area of concern. We’ve devolved to where we’re basically voting to determine whether or not we remain a democratic society where freedoms are enjoyed and rights are protected. It’s a simple yes or no vote, either you want democracy or you don’t. Period. One party is actively working to bend our democracy into a country that benefits them above all others. The other party is working to protect democracy for everyone, including the people actively working against them.

I don’t generally make endorsements when it comes to elections. Like religion, I think everyone is entitled to their own beliefs when it comes to politics. However, defending democracy and protecting the Constitution is priority number one for me. For that reason, I implore everyone to ignore the polls and naysayers. Get out and vote against the GOP like your life depends on it. That may very well be the truth for your neighbors.

Republicans don’t even hide their disdain for America anymore. In what universe would Dr. Oz and Herschel Walker be a legitimate candidate for an office of such importance as the US Senate? Do either of them project the confidence they could handle making decisions in life or death situations or have the ability to handle some of America’s intelligence secrets?

I can’t answer for you, but when I hit the voting booth, the choices will be very easy. Will I vote for folks who want to end body autonomy, end social security, and flood our streets with even more guns? Or, will I vote for someone who wants to ensure that my kids have the same rights that I have now? For me, the choice is easy, and I’ll do all I can to protect the rights of everyone. I’m not ready to give up on democracy, only on the party that’s trying to end our democracy.

Cruelty is the weapon of choice

Been kinda busy, so I’m working hard on getting caught up with the latest news. If you haven’t listened to this passionate speech from Jon Stewart, then take the time to listen to it. I have to caution there’s very NSFW language dispersed throughout, but I am glad that C-SPAN has posted it in its entirety unedited.

I don’t know what else to assume about the GOP other than the cruelty is the point. The party and their base has survived politically over the past decade by being absolute cruel assholes. The cruelty has always been there if you’re a minority or member of any group targeted by conservatives, but they are now openly shitting on American veterans.

While reading a story about this from The Hill, I read this passage:

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) said on the Senate floor that he didn’t support the bill because it would create $400 billion in unrelated spending, which he called a “budgetary gimmick.”

“My concern about this bill has nothing to do with the purpose of the bill,” Toomey said. “This budgetary gimmick is so unrelated to the actual veterans issue that has to do with burn pits, that it’s not even in the House version of this bill.”

There’s no follow-up questions asking for an explanation of this $400 billion gimmick he claims is now there. There’s also no explanation of how the House GOP overwhelmingly voted for this unrelated spending in a 342-88 vote that is now a problem for Senate Republicans.

Democrats need to pounce on this issue with everything they have. If we’re going to ask for volunteers to fight our wars, then we should take care of the people who step forward to defend democracy. That’s the very least we could do as a functional society.

It’s just my opinion that Senate Republicans are pissed off about Schumer and Manchin pulling a Mitch McConnell on McConnell and the GOP with the computer chip vote and the climate agenda. That story can be found here. How else can you explain the Senate GOP torpedoing a bill that passed both houses with huge bipartisan support?

The idea that a political party would stop programs to help veterans because of hurt feelings should piss anyone off. Time and time again, the GOP has inflicted unnecessary suffering on America just because they cannot get their way on things.

Shutdowns… credit default… denying health care to 9/11 first responders… denying health care to veterans.

The pattern is there and visible to all who stop long enough to pay attention. Why are they still holding office and winning elections? Why?

As Jon said, “If this is America first, then America is fucked.”

7/28/2021 7:22pm update:

And to make the point of cruelty as a weapon even clearer, we have Sen. Susan Collins here:

2022 Suppression Efforts Underway

Protesters filled the meeting room of the Spalding County Board of Elections in October, upset that the board had disallowed early voting on Sundays for the Nov. 2 municipal election. A year ago, Sunday voting had been instrumental in boosting turnout of Black voters.

But this was an entirely different five-member board than had overseen the last election. The Democratic majority of three Black women was gone. So was the Black elections supervisor.

Now a faction of three white Republicans controlled the board – thanks to a bill passed by the Republican-led Georgia legislature earlier this year. The Spalding board’s new chairman has endorsed former president Donald Trump’s false stolen-election claims on social media.

The panel in Spalding, a rural patch south of Atlanta, is one of six county boards that Republicans have quietly reorganized in recent months through similar county-specific state legislation. The changes expanded the party’s power over choosing members of local election boards ahead of the crucial midterm Congressional elections in November 2022.

Just like municipal office gains made over the past two years by the Georgia Democratic Party, this isn’t news that’s being talked about. Chalk this one up to Georgia SB 202, which I simply call the GOP Election Theft Law.

In November 2020 and January 2021, Georgia voters showed up to the polls and showed out. The voters showed what democracy looks like in action. Whenever you disagree with the direction of the government, you can use the power of the ballot to change course. And we did just that.

Since the highly reported federal elections, Georgians have continued to use their power of the ballot to change government on local levels all across the state gaining more than 30 municipal election wins this fall.

Now, we’re heading into what will undoubtedly be a highly charged and nasty gubernatorial election to decide the direction of the state. While there are several who have announced their canadacy, there are three primary candidates to watch at this point Gov. Mumbles, Stacey Abrams, and David Perdue.

What’s not being reported is the behind-the-scenes machinations being perpetrated by the Georgia GOP. I think these smaller board takeovers are test cases to see how they will be received. Spalding County is right next door to me, and I am waiting for the GOP to expand their quest for control to other metro counties. That is a part of their only pathway to victory.

I’ll say this now and stand behind it 100%. Georgia is a purple state, and it has been one for a long time. When I first moved here, Georgia had a Democratic governor and the Dems held all statewide offices IIRC. In the time since, there has not been a significant influx of conservative voters nor have there been lot of people switching parties.

So why does the GOP have Georgia by the balls then? Voter suppression and gerrymandering. When the GOP took control, they gerrymandered themselves into big majorities in the GA Assembly. They used those majorities to pass Voter ID and other election laws which had a negative impact on the Democratic Voter base.

Election results in 2016 and 2018 showed the GA GOP that their grip on Georgia was slipping and slipping very quickly. If you remember, Hillary Clinton turned the metro Atlanta area blue flipping some reliably GOP counties in the process. In 2018, Stacey Abrams added to what Clinton accomplished.

When we got to 2020, the table was set to flip the state, and it all depended on turnout. We all saw what happened, and the GOP was caught off guard for the turnout. This is why the GA Assembly passed SB 202 and Mumbles signed it into law.

I don’t think the GA GOP is stupid enough to go full throttle election theft. They will, however, attempt to suppress enough votes statewide to give themselves a good shot to remain in control. Things, once again, will rely on turnout. The GOP knows this, and that’s why you’ll see more suppression efforts as we get closer to election time.

I’m looking at volunteering as a poll (not pole 😁) worker this year. I haven’t made up my mind because I will likely have to clear things with my employer first. I am a firm believer in the power of the ballot, and I will protect the right to vote for everyone, including those whom I disagree with politically. You’ll probably see more about electioneering over the year, so bear with me as I rant along.

As always, I’d love to hear your comments on the actions of the GOP and Dems, the news coverage or lack thereof, as well as any ideas, solutions, or problems that you see.