Archive for August, 2022

“mostly peaceful”

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Utah. Is there anything in this story?

A driver faces charges after he was accused by Evan McMullin of threatening the US Senate candidate along a southern Utah road after a campaign event in April. In a court filing, McMullin said the driver, Jack Aaron Whelchel, pulled alongside and forced the car in which McMullin and his wife were riding into oncoming traffic after mimicking their route for miles, CNN reports. “He then brandished a firearm, pointing it toward us in a threatening way,” McMullin said in a victim impact statement. Whelchel’s lawyer describes the encounter differently. “He never brandished a firearm,” said Brixton Hakes, though he conceded that his client had put a firearm on the center console of his pickup truck. He said Whelchel at first thought he was the one being followed.

Politically motivated, or just a misunderstanding and coincidence? Granted, the guy threw out violent rhetoric online, but that just adds to the query.

Then there is this –– and the gay periodical Advocate (second article on google when I look it up) has one identity angle on it —

A staffer of mine — who’s 1 month into her job — received a call from a man saying he’s coming to our office w/ an assault rifle to kill me,” Swalwell tweeted Tuesday. “I hesitate to share this but how else do I tell you we are in violent times, & the architects are Trump & McCarthy. Bloodshed is coming.” He was referring to the former president and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

He shared a memo on the threat. The caller asked for Swalwell’s whereabouts and “went on a rant regarding gay issues,” the memo reads. “Said he is a gay man, but he doesn’t take it up the ass he gives it. Used the F slur several times. Mentioned he has guns and wants to ‘F*ck him up.’ Also made a statement saying he will come to the office, or to wherever he is to hurt him. He will bring guns (AR-15s) to kill him and f*ck him up.” The man gave his name, and the staffer got his phone number and a recording of him.

Part of me thinks, and will get brandished as insensitive or missing a point — simply — oh, part of the job. Public life creates nutcases with emotional problems, long before Trump and McCarthy, long before a former President demanding an extra- constitutional snap redo of an election, long before a search warrant lead to a search of Trump’s Florida residence and they all had hissy fits. As were, across the aisle the Republican in comparable position in party leadership to Swalwell — Louisiana’s Steve Scalise — had to be hospitalized after being shot at a congressional baseball game.

Fifty — fifty chance he is actually gay?

Down and up

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Yeah, welcome to Hell, where the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination is Joseph Biden’s if he wants it, and the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is Donald Trump’s if he wants it.

And has just who do the Liberals who are somewhat sour on Biden think ought be the nominee? Look to The Nation and we see…

Biden. Bernie (again????). Gretchen Whitmer. Ro Khanna.

Best of luck on that.

Circumstances follow that some sort of Biden — and by hook and crook both connected and not — Democratic prospects have inched up. He killed one of those terrorists, gotten Manchin to pass the big “Bunch of Things” Act, and thrown money at college educated deadbeats. The last one is interesting in that I have no idea if it is goid policy

— and I should point out that this is not a real “gotcha”. Taking advantage of what you consider bad policy or ” not against taking, against you giving” is legitimate idea —

, and if we balance things it may be good politics — but it is pot stirring politics, A resource war that emitters some constituencies. Witness Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Ryan getting off-board.

Then again, Ryan won’t win. In an election year where Trump’s antics — cue one reasonable thought:

Based on how we know Trump and the FBI operate, here’s my theory: Trump was in a hurry and sloppy about getting his stuff out of the Oval because he was not planning on leaving. He yelled at movers and told them to just stuff things in boxes, which they did. Once the Archives requested documents back, Trump threw a tantrum about giving up “his stuff”. Now he’s just dug in and perhaps enjoying the attention. OTOH, I (etc)

and the limitations of Trump’s mini-mes — hard shoot from the hip celebrity anti-politicians apt to get lombasted, ala Oz in Pennsylvania — with the “gotten some crap, so at not ineffective, and gas prices are down a smidgeon” boost — move the Democrats to heavy Senate favorites. But Ryan will lose to Vance.

A curious dichotomy of that “Trump influence in the parry” and at large game, where Trump moves the Senate to Democratic hands, but no one who crossed him wins. Excepting election law anomalies —

Basically, the top two primary system of Washington and California saved Newhouse and Valadao, and nearly saved Beutlear. It appears the ranked choice system in Alaska will save Murkowski — though she has already shown that the back up plan of “write-in” was doable in 2010.

In other election news:

All right. Rolling Stone doesn’t like the third wheel in the Oregon gubernatorial race, and I stumble right about here: She recently cautioned that her Democratic opponent — who would become the nation’s first lesbian governor, if elected — wants to “bring the culture wars to your kid’s classroom.” Leave aside the “dog whistle” motif that is more than implied and serves as a lock down on any deliberation of issues — I tend to think current governor Tina Brown’s bisexuality counts, or is “close enough” to shut the “first lesbian governor” theme down as anything… Interesting… Novel.


Friday, August 26th, 2022

Skipping around and looking at random Senate candidates, and I see what is up in Idaho.

Republican Mike Crapo

Democrat David Roth

From wikipedia: Democrat David Roth will face Crapo in the general election after defeating Ben Pursley in the primary.

Holy Cow! Great choice, Idaho Democrats. David Roth is running for Senate in Idaho! I know there’s a partisan edge and tgen some for the Republicans, but I hope he somehow gets in. He has the formula to bring peace to the middle east.

when you see the stupid forced terms in the wild

Sunday, August 21st, 2022

The polling is very assured, to the point where any Democratic Party flack who uses the term “latinx” needs to be fired automatically for political incompetence — a red flag pointing at broader problems. Those further to the left with goals other than winning elections and a sense of “changing America” at a more root level can do what they must, with political relations to the party strained in whatever direction.

Watching this baseball game out of Oakland, my first thought is — well, they have both their bases covered — the 3 percent activist latinx-ers and the broader Hispanics. Then I realize — damned — they got me — I skipped past “Latinos”. And yeah, technically two different groups — even as one will overwhelming respond “it’s latinos, stupid woke yahoos!”, though experience tells me they mostly don’t make the split difference — or one that the basic facts say one way end up the other way because of self-definition (Justice Sotomayer would be a Latina, except she identifies as Hispanic) — which I guess is why they’re thrown together here in the first place.


Thursday, August 18th, 2022

“And, to use the tired cliche, but it’s true — it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

In order to make the comment in an un-ironic fashion, I had to add the qualifications. In terms of argumentation, A thing you don’t do if the goal is “winning”, as the counter-argurer will throw back the ” you yourself just admitted (qualification).”. (If the argument purpose is exchanging and feeling out nuances in things, and/or if the terms of the debate are not adverserial , you are in better shape with them.)

As goes the reason for the qualification here — well, type the phrase and you get a “and it’s the stupidity”. Though, to be sure, this itself enters the domain of ” tired cliche”.

A bit of an etymology on “not the heat, humidity” would be nice — locating the moment it came to bug everybody. The problem I have right now is… It does happen to accurately describe the discomfort from the weather, and it is the only accurate descriptor.

and who is voting for her in 2024?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

Liz Cheney would be Senator right now, and not lowly Congresswoman, had she followed some basic political etiquette in her initial Senate run. There was a doddering old man giving every indication he was about to retire. Liz Cheney just had to make party appearances where she could praise the Senator’s integrity and public service and blah blah, wait for the Senator’s announcement, then in her candidacy announcement reiterate all those points about the outgoing Senator’s integrity and history of public service, blah blah, and just hope when the good folks of Wyoming will send me in I will be able to fill his big shoes. Instead, she jumped the gun, her messaging about “new energy” landed on a slight and insult, and just as a matter of pride the old man had to run for re-election — where he promptly walloped Liz Cheney (a carpet-bagger who was tripped up on the campaign showing indications of having few lasting ties with the state. Also notable that Old Man Senator Enzi made an issue of Cheney’s support of torture, an assist from Rand Paul).

Flash forward a couple of years and Cheney runs for the open House seat. She beat a “nobody in particular” in the primary with a kind of unimpressive 60 percent in the vote. As she jumped ahead in Republican House leadership, polling showed she was not all that popular in the state. The whole effect is that pre – impeachment, pre-January 6th, and through an entire term saying nothing bad about Trump, she was leaving herself vulnerable for a potential Republican primary bid from someone who campaigning asserting attention to “Wyoming” with a suggestion that the incumbent was too nationally focused.

As so happens, while Cheney would indeed be Representative next year if not for January 6, Impeachment, and the hearings (and if she can’t be Senator because she made political mistakes out of vanity — high profile Congressional commitee chair is the next best stand-in) — her opponent was surely always keeping an eye on any opening for the decidedly weak and vulnerable incumbent, and had she not found it this year she would plausibly find it next time around. There the component pieces of the story — which in the case that happened are some of them but not all of them — would be identical to those of the Democratic “bigwig” incumbent who was beaten by AOC. (I think the story of Eric Cantor is a tad different.) A bit of an upshot is that I frankly don’t know if Elle Stefanik believes her crap on Trump — not that it matters.

It bugs me that various political stories get flattened into one dimensional narratives. Like the Roy Moore election, where his primary opponent was easily fingered as the lackey for an unpopular Governor everyone wanted to dump on — a part of the story which the national narrative skipped right over. Yes, it took someone with a right-wing base of support to begin a credible fight — but then it took an additional component of “screw that guy” voters to get him to a primary win. But never you mind.

Cheney had a history of voters not voting for her. That seems to be lost in the discussion. Plausibly for the best — as it does happen to be a bigger part of the story — and she did basically switch career paths in the midst of her election –but it needs to be noted: she kind of sucked as a politician.

“Your truth”

Monday, August 15th, 2022

Sometimes a detail just throws you, and says something. So out of Donald Trump posting on his social media platform, the culture’s terminology

Truth Social — effectively a clone of Twitter with a MAGA sensibility — refers to individual posts as “truths,” and the retweet equivalent is to “retruth” a message.

Huh. Is this advertent or inadvertent aping of “the left”? — The therapeutic touchy feely parcel with an eye toward intersectionality and wanting to advance “narratives” of the oppressed? It doesn’t come across as ironic, a “needer neener”. It is a charge of ” There is no ‘your truth’, there is just ‘the truth!'” — an equivalent in the past as from some hardheaded people if you say in expressing an opinion “I just feel that — ” a “Don’t ‘feel’. THINK!”

So comes the parody. National Review (making sure to say “think” and not “feel”, even as parcels of ” Never Trump but I guess” may lead to wanting to characterize it as “feel”)

Whatever anybody thinks about the FBI’s actions at Mar-a-Lago, can we all agree that Donald Trump’s claim — that there was a “standing order” that said whatever he brought to his Florida residence was automatically declassified — is patently absurd?

Not according to “his truth”.

And then… NYT.

People close to the president say it was part of his pattern of collecting keepsakes. His office at Trump Tower was so crammed with memorabilia, including Shaquille O’Neal’s gargantuan sneakers, visitors had to edge their way inside to avoid knocking down a knickknack. His critics see more sinister potential motives, rooted in his cozy relationships with authoritarian leaders.

Hoarders hoard. Nuclear codes, Shaq’s shoes — same difference.

President Trump always presented a puzzling question. Like, I could care less about Roe v Wade and taking a step back don’t view it as meaning as much as people think it does. But here come the performative Handsmaid Tale dresses and allusions to Trump Vulgarians I am supposed to give a thumbs up on — as though it is the meaning of his presidency and as though President Romney somehow would mean something else. I suppose the best I could say on this score is that what was a nakedly transactional politics (weirdly the most endearing aspect of his presidency) transacts into other realms — or potentially would.

Dumb religious concerns

Sunday, August 14th, 2022

(Tap tap tap)

The dilemma of seeing the headline at The Atlantic — “How the Rosary became an extremist symbol” — assuredly a simultaneously sad and unintentionally hilarious farce of an op-ed — is the question — do I want to spend one of my few free articles of the month on this link?

Luckily I see a summation of generous number of quotations elsewhere. And yep. This aticle is as stupid as it looks like it might. The rosary is the new AR-15! People who oppose Abortion whip it out all the time. The guards at the Vatican deploy it and consider it a ward against the world’s Satanic influences. The Knights of Columbus are stratifying their claims on Patriarchy and doubling down on them — they have more rosaries than ever before. The rosary is the new AR-15!

Now flash the “ok” sign with one hand while holding the rosary with the other, and see what happens.

Next article down is “How should feminists have sex now?” which I can almost guarantee will not live up to anything. This is basically a perennial –pops up from time to time over the past five decades. Do what they want with it, I guess.

“Salman Rushdie and the Cult of Offense”. Do I even want to know?

Funny thing — someone I know became entangled in finding details on the assault on Rushdie. Islamic, or some dumb Christian who just knows he did something with Satan in it. I have to answer. My initial assumption — and which apparently the case — was Muslim — it is his past history and all — with the further statement that I’m not wedded to the notion, and if details emerge otherwise than details emerge otherwise. For the further thought experiment — In the initial rush after Oklahoma City federal boarding before they spotted Tim McVeigh, I could meet the assumptions of “Muslims! Arabs!” with — “They even know where Oklahoma is?”. As so happens, a federal building in the middle of the country can easily be symbols of federal tyranny for mid country McVeigh, where you need to get to bigger entities of WTC and the Pentagon as the symbols of Western Imperialism for Bin Laden et al.

My darkly amusing comment laying out there which flashed past my screen — ” JK Rowling is next!” — Rowling at the end of death threats — actually, she’s upset a whole gambit of peoples. And yet still, if I hear of a horrible maiming on her, my thought would not go to “Ah! Tranny terrorists!”. (Interesting, if it turned out to be so — they probably would use the denigration “tranny” in their extremist group name.)