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Member since: 2001
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Alabama, Give me Hope. I know you can.

A new poll shows Moore and Jones tied in a dead heat at 46% each on Thursday. With 82% saying they're aware of the allegations about Moore's skeevy, child-groping past.

Thank you, Alabama.

I know it's hard.

I know your elected blowhards and godbotherers are out there saying the most outrageous and shameful things, which can't help but embarrass y'all.

Because I know you're not like that. I know that you know perfectly well how appalling Moore's creepitude is. And I want YOU to know that I know perfectly well that the hotair mechanics churning out Soundbytes of Shame in your name are NOT speaking for you.

Many of y'all and I probably don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, politics-wise. Plenty of progressives and Democrats in Alabama, I know (shoutin' out to YOU! Montgomery... and y'all know who you are, in Birmingham... and many other places, too...) but yeah, by and large, y'all are more conservative, not so much inclined to trust change and folks who don't share your own history and experiences. I get that. We can agree to disagree on a lot.

But not on pedophilia. Here's the deal: I have already sworn off the "marrying his 14-year-old cousin" jokes... I did that years ago. But I promise I WILL call out thoughtless friends and family who default to the "redneck goober sister******rs" jokes in discussing your fair state and its people.

In return, please give me hope. You can do it, I know.

Let the good ol' boy piehole-flappers babble on taking the name of the Lord in vain-- seriously, we ALL know-- and I KNOW you know-- that Jesus would NOT prefer a child-groping creep to a man who sent the murderers of four little girls killed in a church bombing to justice. I KNOW you know that. I know you know your New Testament as well as your Old Testament, and you know damn' well there was nothing in the beatitudes about "Blessed are the Republicans, for they shall be allowed to grabass teenyboppers."

Alabama is a beautiful place, full of wonderful people.

You can give all of us hope.


Repost: "Excuse me... This 'working class' thing- where can I meet some?"

This was originally posted in the wake of the 2016 election, after MikeyP got dissed by the 'Hamilton' cast and got all self-righteous about who was doing what to whom. But I've decided, given the uncontrollable scab-picking stupidity of Democratic Party postgame analysis and the clever concern trollery by various unfriendly sources, to make it a regular post-election feature in my Journal.

WaPo today, in (I'm sure) the interest of attempted detente, featured an opinion piece from a "Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute" and former speechwriter for Whistle-ass, lecturing "a crowd of wealthy, out-of-touch Manhattan liberals (who can afford $849 tickets to “Hamilton”)" for booing Mike Pence while the cast "lectures him on diversity."

His "point" being, such as it is, that "the Left," you see, is "imploding," and unless/until they learn to connect/understand/kowtow to/whatever, something called "the working class," they'll be permanently irrelevant.

Well, that sounded scary, so I figured I should investigate.

Let's start with this "working class" thing.

I freely admit, I'm all at sea, here.

Because-- and I know this is weird-- with the exception of a very few retired folks, every single adult and most of the youngsters I know, work.

They work really hard, most of them. Oh, I know a few people lucky enough to be able to work a little less than hard, and a few people who love what they do SO much they don't even think of it as "working," but... mostly, everyone I know (and I'd have to admit, my circle of acquaintance is probably at least an 80/20 mix of folks whose orientation, policy-wise, would have to be called "left" versus "right",) works.

They work at jobs that are grindingly hard, many of them. Some work at two or three jobs. A few juggle even more-- a few hours clerking at the Dollar Store, a few more hours stocking shelves at the grocery store, some paid babysitting, cleaning vacation rentals, and a little off-the-books ride shuttling, now and then, that kind of thing.

Even the ones who don't get paychecks from employers work their asses off. They grow things for the Farmer's Market, look after their children, take care of an elderly relative or two, and cobble together bits of art or handiwork on the side, to sell at flea markets and church sales.

See.... I *thought* these were "the working class," because, hey, the "working" part fit, and the whole "class" thing is pretty fluid, as far as I can tell. I know people who claim descent from Spanish nobility, people whose parents or grandparents immigrated and worked double and night jobs for decades to send them to college, people whose families have never, EVER crossed a picket line as long as there have been Unions, people whose parents could afford to give them a sports car for a High School graduation present, people from all kinds of backgrounds, families, whatever the fuck "class" is supposed to mean, they're in there...

...and they all WORK.

Some of them live in rural areas. Some of them live in cities in "flyover country," some of them live in small towns, some of them live on the coasts.

I'm white, I grew up in a largely white city in a largely (back then) white state, and so, yeah, the people I know and hang with are probably disproportionately (in terms of the national demographic profile) white, and I'm older, so they're a little skewed older, too. And they work their asses off, and I think I know them pretty well.

And they almost ALL voted for Hillary, and every one I've talked to since the Nuclear Cheeto got all bent about his buttboy getting dissed at the Thee-Yah-Tah has said something to the effect of "I'd have booed, too!"

So, this "working class" that Mister Concern Troll is saying is going to make me and people like me permanently irrelevant unless I peer deep into their souls and have a melty-heart, dewey-eyed, OMG, I'm so fucking SORRY I misunderstood y'all, let's smooch and I'll tell you how RIGHT you are about EVERYTHING moment... who are they?

Could it be...

...just motherfucking POSSIBLY...

...that this whole "working class" buncha people-of-the-land--you-know,-morons is a MYTH? That someone is trying to spin the noble-sounding "working class" meme into a DOG WHISTLE for the ones in the basket?

The white ones, with penises and guns and booboo lips about brown folks and wimmins disrespecting them?


I'm way too cynical, aren't I.

So... there's this powerful, shadowy group of people who... what... call themselves? Are known to the few cognoscenti as...? "The Working Class"...

Because it can't be a rock band, even the Rolling Stones or whoever is the current hot group isn't powerful enough to render the entire Left permanently irrelevant just because I didn't buy their last album.


Obligatory Reminder That "Sickeningly Evil" Does NOT Equate to "Mentally Ill"

And yes, those of you who've been around a while probably know exactly how sad and angry I am that I just KEEP. HAVING. TO. DO. THESE. POSTS...

So, misogynist failure with LOTS O' GUNZ heads down to where people are busy praying and sprays them full of bullets.

He ain't black, he ain't Muslim, he ain't an immigrant, so... HE MUST BE MENTALLY ILL!!

I suppose you can make a case for patriachy-induced misogyny as a mental illness (indeed, I personally consider it would be appropriate under Axis II in the old DSM, but there's an obvious problem with a diagnosis that would include so large a percentage of the population, right?)

So, as I noted in this post clear the hell back in 2013, "Some people are mentally ill. Some people make catastrophically poor decisions. Some people do evil things... (and) none of these things necessitates any of the others."

Why do I keep getting so jacked off about this, every time the NRA shills trot out the "mentally ill!" flag and wave it to distract from the Too Many Gunz thing? (Oh, and BTW, will some journo kindly trot out the recent action EarlG highlighted in today's Pic of the Moment at the various Thoughts and Prayers press conferences with those same shills?)

Because I resemble that remark, for a start. And I promised myself and all my fellow human beings here on DU who have struggled with mental illness that I will challenge the language and assumptions and tropes that keep building the walls of stigma and bigotry around us.

And finally, for those NRA shills who would be seen as "enlightened" and who are willing to walk back the whole "hey, let's allow the mentally ill people gunz just like everyone else, protect their 2ndA rights, TOO!" weirdness and put the onus on some mythical "mental illness detector" that can be installed in gun shops and carried around to gun shows, let's pop that bubble, too:

Why Can't Doctors Identify Killers

Unless, of course, we're willing to go with the whole "patriarcy-induced misogyny" thing as a bona-fide diagnosis of mental illness that will legally disqualify those diagnosed therewith from ever getting their pattypaws on anything resembling a firearm.

THAT, I could support, yep.


GOP: "But the pony! The PONY, goddammit!! THE PONY!!!"

Having backed truck after truck of steaming excrement into Hillary's driveway and dumped the contents, day after day, month after month, year after year, for DECADES, they're still insisting she's hiding a pony somewhere.

Dudes and dudettes... it's so totally in your imaginary RWN world that anyone other than you even cares about this...

...and no, Mueller doesn't do pony patrol. He's busy with the real criminals.

You know, the ones who think it's okay to help Putin achieve his goal of damaging America by defaming, destroying trust in, and vitiating the power of the American government. As long as they're only really doing it to protect their own wealth from being taxed.

So, no.

No pony-hunt for you.


Fiat Tenebris! or, [Redacted] and the Simplification of the Inherently Complex

We can speculate to infinity about why >Redacted< thought it was a grand idea to run for President. It seems likely his motivation was multi-faceted, including the yawning void of his neediness for attention and validation, a burning drive to revenge himself on the black man who had the uppitiness to publicly humiliate him at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, the possibilities of vast profits to be funneled into his own coffers through control of the levers of government, and even an element of simply "showing everyone" he could do it.

Even if you leave out possible quids-pro-quo to his Russian mob pals, it must have looked like an attractive proposition.

After all, how difficult could it be? It's the most powerful job in the world, right? You have complete control over the Executive Branch of the United States Government, which may or may not include Congress and the Courts. A little fuzzy on those, maybe, but once you're in the White House, what you say, GOES, right? And all the might and funding of the Federal bureaucracy is available to carry out your policy decisions, executive orders, etc.

All you have to do is say what should happen, and a legion of military and civil service flunkies HAVE to bring it about. It's their job, after all. To do What The President Says.

And if there's anything >Redacted< can claim with some justification to be semi-competent at, it is using his words, the best words, to draw a picture of What Should Be. Masses of people, the biggest crowds ever, applaud and cheer wildly when he does that, so he knows he's absolutely the best at it. Big league, big league. He can do it.

So: Get elected, check.

Start telling people what to do...


Something's broken.

It's not HIM, of course. He KNOWS how it's supposed to work. He says "FIAT!" and swarms of busy workers Make It So. Like Captain Picard, on the bridge of the Enterprise Mark Whatever, or General Patton at the Battle of the Bulge, or Ford showing his engineers the design for the assembly line, or Bell picking up the telephone and telling Mr. Watson to "Come here- I want to see you."

The Executive decides what needs to be done. The Executive decrees It Shall be Made So. Others then undertake the making of it so, and you hold them accountable, firing them if they don't. That's how it's supposed to work.

If it doesn't, well, then, it's not The Executive's fault. There are traitors and haters actively engaged in a Deep State Conspiracy to prevent it from happening, and it's all THEIR fault.

Root them out, fire 'em, lock 'em up, and everything will be fine. The system will work again, The Executive can go back to saying How Things Should Be, and they will become so. If not by three o'clock that afternoon, at least in a week or two.

>Redacted< has done, is doing, his part. Diligently. Energetically.

He's said, over and over again, both in front of adoring crowds of True Believers, and on the Mighty Twitter Machine, How Things Should Be.

He's even pointed out why they're not being Made So: Identifying the traitors and haters conspiring to throw sand in the well-oiled machine of His Presidency, the Greatest Presidency, the Best Ever, You'll Love It, He Promises. He's called for them to be investigated, ignored, shunned, disbelieved, locked up.

He's holding up his end of "The Deal." It's terrible that we're not getting the true benefit of his hard work, because of Those Others. He feels it, the pain. It's so frustrating! He COULD lead us! He could bring about the greatest economic resurgence ever, make everyone (well, everyone who deserves it) secure and happy, and THEY'RE NOT LETTING HIM.

It's gonna give him a goddamn ulcer. You should feel sympathy. You're the ones being deprived of the bounteous plenitude he planned to deliver unto your pathetic, meaningless little lives, after all.


Dear South Korea: You're right.

>Redacted< is, indeed, kind of nuts. Umm... at best. Most of us here would probably say "full-on batshit," or similar less-diplomatic descriptions.

And of course, the wackjob just across the border from you is pretty full-on bugfuck, too.

"Between a rock and a hard place" doesn't even scratch the surface. You must be having some sleepless nights, for sure.

Here's the thing, though: There are a whole lot of us here who remember just exactly why we have this special relationship with y'all. Some of us are old enough to have been to Pork Chop Hill, Choisin Reservoir, Inchon... and some of us have family members who were there.

We get it. We're a team, no matter what. When we signed the Armistice Agreement, we knew what that implied, in the way of obligations all around. We don't forget, we're not bailing on you.

So, yeah, the overgrown maladjusted babies are both, both of our problems.

I can't promise a quick or easy solution. As you've discovered for yourselves in the past few decades, democracy has its challenges and one of them is that it is, by nature, a gameable system. And gamers gonna game it. We have our own messes to clean up here, which is part of how >Redacted< ended up where he is. But for that, I'll refer you to more eloquent political analysts than me.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know... we're not all crazy, >Redacted< doesn't speak for all of us. We are keenly aware of the situation you're in, the existential threat that persists based on our shared history.

We're not going to throw up our hands and let >Redacted< play his round of Russian Roulette with you guys in the middle. We want peace. We want de-escalation. We want saner heads to prevail.

We want a long-term resolution that doesn't leave y'all in the crosshairs between two crazy-ass manboys with nukes.

We're in for that solution and we won't give up. So please, stick with us.

We'll stick with you.


Am I the Only One Who Thinks It's Ominously Significant...

...that the NorKs seem to have taken unprecedented quantum leaps in their nuclear weapons program, all of which have happened since it became clear that >Redacted< couldn't deliver on whatever deal(s) he had with PootyPoot?

And that, apparently, a lot of the tech assistance that's enabled these quantum leaps has come to them via pro-Russian Ukrainian tech sources?

Is anyone else connecting those dots?

Does the word "proxy" make sense to anyone else?

Or should I just go buy a roll of heavy-duty tinfoil and start a millinery business?


Two words for those who're flinging shade at Houston municipal officials: Hurricane Rita

"OMG, did the Houston officials know how bad this was gonna be?"

"Why didn't they evacuate?!?"

"Why haven't they been trying to evacuate since, like, Thursday, even???!?!?"

"Houston ALWAYS floods! They shoulda known! Why didn't they get everybody out?"

ummmm, yeah.

They shoulda told everyone to drive to that Motel 6, twenty-five miles north of town. You know, the one with six million rooms and an unlimited supply of food and water. Right?

For anyone who doesn't remember it, here's a Wikipedia article on Hurricane Rita. Notable takeaway: Of the 120 deaths associated with Rita, more than 100 were directly related to the evacuation. People died in their cars of heatstroke. Heart attacks. A deadly bus fire. They had to use up a lot of valuable resources evacuating people from the evacuation.

There are between six and seven million people in the area affected by catastrophic flooding.

Have you ever been in a traffic jam trying to get home after a concert or sporting event at an arena that holds 30,000 people?

Multiply that by a couple of hundred times, then multiply it again because these aren't concertgoers with purses or backpacks, these are people with families, pets, carloads and trailers full of stuff.

I am old enough to remember when Civil Defense tried to hold evacuation drills- they managed to evacuate just the Portland, OR city center (population of the whole Portland metro area at the time was probably about 350,000) after weeks of preparation and publicity and at enormous cost. Evacuating major metro areas is even more complicated now.

The Houston city government is working with state and federal forces, private relief organizations, military assistance, news media, and help from other major metro areas (NY just sent a few hundred trained disaster responders... how they're gonna get IN, I don't know, but I'm sure they'll do excellent work when they do.)

If you want to blame anyone, blame the climate change deniers in Congress who have steadfastly refused to fund NOAA, NWS, FEMA, and other agencies to model catastrophic weather events and create preparation and response plans and resources on a scale we've never even imagined we would need before.

Oh, and the dickhead who pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accord... what's his name again...?


Pardoning Arpaio Short-Circuits the Mueller Investigation

It's very simple:

Mueller can prosecute people who refuse to testify for contempt. He can prosecute people who tell lies under oath for perjury. He can bring criminal charges related to their collusion or their status as an accessory, he can use those charges as leverage to negotiate testimony.

}Redacted{ just told everyone who might be pulled in to testify or give evidence, every accessory and co-conspirator, "Keep stumm. I'll pardon you."

Will he get away with it?

If the GOP has anything to say about it, he will.


He's right, though- we shouldn't lose our "history"...

So I'm thinking about starting a GoFundMe for the "Museum of Racist Traitor Losers."

We can put all the statues and plaques and flags and other shit commemorating the episode of a small elite of southern oligarchs convincing a whole lot of other southerners to commit treason in the name of racism, and then getting their asses whupped at the cost of more than 600,000 lives.

It IS important to remember history, after all.

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