And a few links:
Explosive eruption rocks volcano on Caribbean’s St. Vincent – There were no immediate reports of casualties. The La Soufrière volcano last erupted in 1979, and a previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people
Fact-check: Was Matt Gaetz the lone no vote on an anti-human trafficking bill? One of the few times that when a headline asks a question that answer is ‘Yes’
The giant parking squid has come to Ballard My old neighborhood!
Let’s close with something funny:
Before I get into the fuckwits and deplorables in the news, this is a story some folks may find useful: COVID-19 or allergies? How to tell the difference between symptoms – With the arrival of springtime, people are starting to question whether coughs and sniffles are mere allergies, or something more scary.
I need to say, for the record, that because I have an allergic hay fever reaction to every pollen, spore, and mold out there, that the COVID or hay fever game is one I have played almost every single day since February 2020, it’s not just a springtime thing for me. And when the hay fever is severe, I happen to get some of those symptoms the article says usually only happen with the flu or COVID. But if you are a more typical hay fever sufferer, I hope the article is useful.
Let’s move on…
You remember all those lawsuits that were supposed to prove that Donald didn’t lose? And how every judge and justice (including a bunch appointed by Donald himself) threw all those cases our for lack of evidence, lack of reason, lack of logic, and lack of a legal argument that could hold any water at all? Well, one of the lies that were repeated (and easily refuted) again and again by the lawyers and others pushing the issue was that a certain company’s voting machine had mucked with the vote totals but only in the states where Donald lost. That fact was easily refuted because not one of the states in question was using that company’s machines or software. None.
So, they’re suing for defamation. And things are not looking good for the lying lawyers: Kraken Lawyer Sidney Powell is ‘in a whole lot of trouble’ after her latest legal maneuver: attorney.
This headline tells you the crux of her argument for why the lawsuits should be thrown out: ‘Should Be Disbarred’: Internet Furious After Sidney Powell Insists ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her.
Insisting that she knew the lies weren’t true and arguing that no reasonable person would believe them in this filing can now be used against her in all the sanctions investigations going elsewhere. Because as an officer of the court, you aren’t supposed to knowingly lie in your filings…
Anyway, all anyone needs to do to disprove that no one took those lies seriously is to look at the murder mob that invaded the U.S. capitol on January 6. Remember that?
People are still being tracked down and arrested: Former NYPD officer from Queens charged in Capitol riot, officials say.
And at least one Congressman, himself a veteran of the Marine Corps, wants military and former military personnel who participated in the murder mob to face other consequences: Democratic Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego wants any former military members who participated in the January 6 Capitol riots to be stripped of their veterans’ benefits. His request comes as the U.S. military has begun examining the rise of extremism within its ranks.
Let’s move from merely deplorable to deplorable people making we go WTF?!After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle admitted in their interview with Oprah that racism of certain palace officials, the British press (and certain royals) was more than just a small contributing factor in their decision to leave Great Britain and essentially resign as royals, conservative talking heads in America of all places started stumbling all over themselves to defend the British Monarchy. You know, the same monarchy that our Founding Fathers—who conservative claim to revere—rejected? We published that Declaration of Independence that the conservatives all claim to love (but misquote), fought the Revolutionary War (that conservatives love to praise) to secure that independence, and then fought another war in 1812 to remind them that no, we really meant that we didn’t want to be subjects of a King or Queen any more, thank you very much?
Yeah, that monarchy is somehow now even more beloved than the Founding Fathers and must be defended from the Radical Left: Heritage Foundation Mocked for Defending British Monarchy From American ‘Radical Left’.
Seriously, the Onion can’t make up weirding stuff than this: Conservatives Are Showing Their “Patriotism” By… Defending The British Monarchy?
I get it, the monarchy is being accused of racism, and if they don’t speak up when Oprah calls out the Queen for racism, there will be no one to speak up for American Republicans when we call them out for racism… again.
While we’re on the topic of people judging others by the color of their skin…
This one is personal in a weird way. Most of my childhood was spent in the Central Rocky Mountain region of the country, and King Soopers supermarkets is a big chain there. Most of my childhood memories of going shopping with my Mom for groceries happened in a King Soopers. We don’t have those up here in the Pacific Northwest where I now live, so on those rare occasions the brand gets mentioned online, it immediately grabs all of my attention:
Of course the white-appearing suspect was taken alive. Yet: Boulder Shooting Suspect’s Arrest Sparks Comparisons to Elijah McClain’s Death – Comparisons are being made between the arrest of the suspect in the mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, and the death of Elijah McClain.
Let’s move on to another form of discrimination…
Colorado shooter posted anti-LGBTQ content on social media. Because of course he did!
First, some context: Even Republicans Mostly Fine With LGBTQ People Now, So PASS THE DAMN EQUALITY ACT. Seems like protecting LGBTQ civil rights would be a no-brainer for politicians and the like. Despite overwhelming majorities of the public support LGBTQ equality and for allowing transgender kids/teens to participate in school sports as the gender the identify, people still feel the urge to hate on LGBTQ people: Sweeping legislation allowing LGBTQ patients to be refused healthcare services over ‘conscience’ on Arkansas governor’s desk.
Voter suppression efforts are rampant: How pitiful is this GOP tactic? – Not only Democratic but neutral and expert observers agree that voter fraud was no problem in the big picture and that very little fraud occurred in the 2020 vote..
Fight voter suppression laws in the states. Let’s not let America regress to Jim Crow – There’s no time to wait while state-level suppression bills gain steam. Fair and free elections will be an uphill climb unless Congress passes HR 1.
Spare us: After Trump, seven Republican lectures Democrats never need to hear again – It probably would be easier to list what Republicans are still qualified to pontificate on. Why the federal deficit is a huge problem? Hmmm. Never mind.
Last year, more than 338,000 copies of “Green Eggs and Ham” were sold across the United States, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks the sale of physical books at most retailers. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” sold more than 311,000 copies, and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” — always popular as a high school graduation gift — sold more than 513,000 copies.
“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” one of the six books pulled by the estate, sold about 5,000 copies last year, according to BookScan. “McElligot’s Pool” and “The Cat’s Quizzer” haven’t sold in years through the retailers BookScan tracks.
Fox News Defends Piers Morgan and Pepe Le Pew as COVID Bill Passes: A Closer Look:
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How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot. “On social media, on cable networks and even in the halls of Congress, supporters of Donald J. Trump tried to rewrite history in real time, pushing the fiction that left-wing agitators were to blame for the violence on Jan. 6.”
Biden’s Covid relief bill is extremely popular. So why do D.C. Republicans oppose it? Because they don’t serve the American people, they serve the tiny community of billionaires.
Ilhan Omar leads calls to fire Senate official who scuppered $15 wage rise – Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled provision in $1.9tn Covid stimulus bill did not qualify for budget reconciliation.
Lots of people misquote an old Latin proverb and admonish us that we are never to speak ill of the dead. The actual proverb is more properly translated into modern English as, “Of the dead, speak nothing but truth.”
So allow me to speak some truth.
Rush Limbaugh was a racist, sexist, homophobic, hypocritical liar. His radio show normalized a form of hateful demonizing of political opponents in addition to people of color, queers, women, and anyone who had the audacity to show compassion to their fellow humans. And he frequently insisted that there was no proof that nicotine was addictive (there is tons), and likewise no proof that smoking tobacco could cause cancer, emphysema, or heart disease (there is a lot).
And today he succumbed to lung cancer.
Maybe there is some justice in this world after all.
Time once again for stories that either didn’t make the cut for this week’s Friday Five, or broke after I finished that weekly news post, or update stores I have linked to and/or commented upon previously..
One of the best things about waking up on this particular foggy Saturday morning is that when I woke up my computer and thought about what I wanted to check first, is that I didn’t feel the sense of dread that has descended before I look at any news site or even Twitter in the last four years. What horrible news was awaiting me this time? In a few days I’m sure this almost euphoric feeling will fade, but for now I’m going to enjoy it. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t worrisome news, but the threat level feels a bit more manageable. Speaking of which, it is time once again for a post where I share news stories that broke after I prepped this week’s Friday Five, or didn’t make the cut for said post, or provide an update to a story linked to in some previous post. Along with some commentary from me.
So, let’s go!
Texas Supreme Court: Alex Jones, InfoWars can be sued by Sandy Hook parents. Alex Jones spent months after the Sandy Hook school shooting claiming that it was a hoax, that the parents were hired actors, et cetera. He incited his fans to harass those parents to the point that the haters were staking out the graves of the murdered children so they could scream at and otherwise attack anyone who showed up at those graves to mourn, place flowers, et cetera. So many of those parents have been trying to sue Jones and his business. He has been trying and trying to get out of the suits. He’s issued half-hearted retractions, admitted under oath that he knew at the time the things he was reporting were false, and so on. But he’s still fighting and trying to get the suits tossed because, well, if they succeed he and his so-called business would be ruined. This ruling disposes of more of his bogus objections and allows the suits to move forward.
I hope they all succeed.
Moving on to another kind of hater…
Texas could charge doctors with “child abuse” if they treat a transgender child or teen – The proposed law could land a doctor in prison for treating their patient as recommended by every major medical association. How long do we have to put up with these fuckwits terrorizing other people’s kids?
All the medical associations agree that giving these treatments to trans kids improve their chances of living a long and healthy life. You can have your sincerely held beliefs if you want, but if your sincerely held beliefs are contradict scientific and medical fact, then we call those “delusions.” And you don’t have the right to force those delusions on other people.
Speaking of delusional people…
Texas lawyer fired after Capitol riot files ambitious suit: Dissolve Congress, don’t arrest him – “This is not a Sidney Powell lawsuit,” Paul Davis assures court. True! Powell didn’t argue for abolishing Congres. So this guy was part of the Murder Mob that invaded the Capitol. He’s been arrested, charged with some crimes related to that, is out on bail, and was fired by his law firm. He’s decided the way to fix this problem is to file a law suit demanding that a federal judge dissolve both houses of congress, remove Biden and Harris from office, and furthermore to remove all fifty state governors, the governor of Puerto Rico, and a few other state officials from their office; and to ban all of those above people plus Facebook CEO Jeff Zuckerberg from ever holding public office in the future; and appoint Trump as Steward of the Nation, to rule until a new form of government and voting system can be created.
Please notice that odd title he wants Trump to be given: Steward of the Nation. Where does that come from? Why it comes from the Lord of the Rings. That’s right! This fuckwit quotes from and paraphrases Tolkien as part of his legal argument. So, someone needs to explain to this guy that Frodo was not a Founding Father…
His clients are a weird hodgepodge of fake conservative groups (Blacks for Trump and Latinos for Trump), as well as a fuckwit who was out on bail after showing up armed at a polling place in a state he didn’t even live in and threatening people. While out on bail he also joined the Murder Mob, which has it’s own charges pending, but he’s likely to have his bail revoked and be thrown back in jail on the original voter intimidation charges.
Anyway, the so-called logic is that something was fundamentally wrong with all of the elections (not just the handful of states that Donald was contesting), and therefore all federal offices elected in 2020 are invalid. And his clients, he said, are deprived of their—get this—fundamental rights to have an idea of the economic future of the country so they can properly invest in their 401K funds.
There are so, so, so many things wrong with this. First, the courts have already held many, many, many times that individual citizens can’t sue on speculative issues. They have to show a real, quantifiable, and justiciable harm that they will experience just to have standing to put their argument before the court. Not being able to predict the future of the economy is a quantifiable harm, is not the product of the issue they are blaming it on, and (to get that justiciable bit) it isn’t a harm that can be resolved by anything the court orders. Let me simplify that last bit: a court can order the economy to become predictable.
There are so, so many other problems. They don’t present any evidence that all fifty states had something fundamentally wrong with their 2020 elections. They just assert it. If somehow such evidence existed, it wouldn’t have anything to do with two-thirds of the Senators, because only a third of the Senate is ever up for a vote at the same time. A federal district court doesn’t have the power to dissolve congress. It sure as heck doesn’t have the power to appoint anyone “Steward of the Nation.” And so on.
But you know what power federal district judges do have? They can impose sanctions (fine, recommend disbarment, and so forth) on people who file bad faith lawsuits. And there have now been enough of these nonsense suits that the courts are getting quicker to impose sanctions on the fuckwits who file these kinds of claims. I suspect this lawyer is going to find out that getting fired by his old firm is soon going to be the least of his problems.
Now, let’s move on the problems across the pond…
Rotting fish, lost business and piles of red tape. The reality of Brexit hits Britain. Yep, just as everyone predicted. Anything else I can add at this point would be just repeating myself…
Let’s end it with this fun Jimmy Kimmel animated music video – Goodbye Donald Trump:
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Randy Rainbow sends the Traitor-in-Chief off with a special ceremony – SEASONS OF TRUMP – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody:
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Normally whenever the musical Rent is invoked, I make a comment about how I approve the original, the opera La Bohème, but this made me laugh and cry, so…
There is so much else I want to squeeze in while the Traitor-in-Chief is still technically in charge.
I am a little irritated that the Traitor-in-Chief has knocked George W. Bush off of the top of the list of the worst president in history… but it should come as no surprise.
It’s racism all the way down. Seriously. Racism all the way down..
As I said, it’s racism all the way down. All of the atrocities perpetrated by the Traitor-in-Chief and his supported boil down to applied racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. That are first and foremost haters, and their hatred is backed into every level of capitalism.
The Republicans only call for unity when they or their supports have violated social norms, political norms, or the law. If Republicans are calling for unity, then someone deserves to be prosecuted.
Similarly, they always oppose call for unity from the Democrats, because the democrats actually value unity, while the Republicans only value their own period.
Donald Trump is not just the worst president in history, he is infinitely more corrupt that Richard Nixon, who for decades everyone in both parties regarded as the most corrupt president in history. I suppose that’s an accomplishment, but in a just world it would mean the Donald spends the rest of his life in prison.
I am actually doing some writing that isn’t about the news and specifically the Traitor-in-Chief… but it’s difficult to stay focused on anything when one is wait for the next Coup to drop.
Last night, for instance, Rachel Maddow began her show talking about how usually this is the boring part of any presidential administration. The last days are normally taken up with the mundane tasks of winding the administration down. The outgoing First Lady invites the incoming First Lady to tea at the White House, and the outgoing President welcome the incoming President and gives them a tour of the place. Other members of the outgoing administration may give farewell speeches to their departments. News organizations publish what are mostly puff pieces about what each cabinet secretary has accomplished, and so on.
Instead the outgoing President has been having screaming meltdowns about petty things such as Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks and other stars agreed to perform as part of Biden’s inaugural celebrations. He routinely fires important officials over twitter, and thus there were only a few Senate-confirmed cabinet members left when the Murder Mob invaded the Capitol building. Most of those hastily turned in their resignations after that. Even though everyone must resign by tomorrow, some of them tried to make the resignation sound like they were standing on principle.
Meanwhile the executive offices of the White House are eerily deserted, in part because people are trying to avoid being the target of the Traitor-in-Chief’s next screaming fit.
And he’s too petty to attend the Inauguration, or do any of the traditional social nicety parts of the transition. He’s too busy ordering his staff to find a way to get a big crowd to send him off Wednesday morning (and apparently almost no one is RSVP-ing).
The man has not once, not a single time, expressed condolences to the millions of Americans who have had family members die because of the pandemic. He certainly isn’t going to attend the memorial service in front of the Capitol this afternoon for the 400,000 Americans who have died of COVID thus far.
More Americans are dying every day than were killed at 9/11, and yet that has fallen completely off the Traitor-in-Chief’s radar. A bit over four years ago all sorts of people—not just Trump supporters, but lots of so-called moderates and even supposedly liberal people—kept telling people like me that we were overreacting. The kept telling us it would be all right, that we would get through this. And I said, “Not all of us will!” It wasn’t me foreseeing the pandemic, it was the other issues. Such as chipping away at the Affordable Care Act. And the various anti-gay things, including regulations that allow medical people to refuse to treat queer patients if they claim a religious objection. That’s exactly not how you should run an emergency room, let me tell you. And before we got to the pandemic, there were already reports showing that thousands more people than statistically out to were dying because of problems with healthcare. Not to mention the uptick in hate crimes, including a rise in murders motivated by hate.
So, no, this has not been all right. Not everyone has survived this administration. And the lingering effects of their failures is going to include rising death rates for the foreseeable future.
I don’t have a fun and pithy ending to this.
I’ve had a countdown app on my phone for over a month that tells me exactly how many days, hours, and minutes it is until this evil, hateful, incompetent man is no longer in power. And I check it several times a day. And afterwards, I calm some of the anxieties by repeating quietly several times, “Only X more days.”
I can’t tell you have incredibly happy I am that now we’re in the “Only X more hours” phase of things. I really would like to get back to normal news cycles someday…
Being an old, white, gay guy, I think on days such as the federal holiday officially designated “Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.” my job is not to try to address issues of racial inequality with my own words, but rather to amplify the voices of people of color. Their lived experience makes anything they have to say on the topic much more relevant than anything I could say.
So today, let me suggest you take a look at Don Lemon’s “An MLK Day challenge to the news media.” I’ll quote a chunk of it here:
“So, on the day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King and his unapologetic truth-to-power approach, let me speak candidly and directly to the people who actively read Playbook — lawmakers and the people they employ, journalists and the people who employ us, and other influentials. It’s what I like to call: WKWW, “What King Would Want.”
This new administration was elected to represent all Americans, obviously. But let’s be honest about the people who put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over the finish line: They were and are Black, brown and Asian, with Black women leading the way, like pacers in a marathon. It is high time we (because I am included in these groups) not only have a seat at the table, but lead the discussion and make some of the decisions.
When our Latino brother and sister journalists wondered aloud and privately in newsrooms why we were giving candidate Donald Trump so much oxygen when he started by calling Mexicans rapists, did we listen to them or did we brush it off as an inability to be objective?
When Black journalists in newsrooms all over America questioned Trump’s history of racism, from housing to birtherism and more, did you stand up for us or keep quiet? Or did you journalistically appropriate us once we provided cover for you and your organization to finally speak or write the words, “The President of the United States is racist”?”
—CNN anchor Don Lemon, writing for Politico‘s Playbook
It’s really good. Read the whole article here.
Meanwhile, we shouldn’t let today pass without acknowledging another issue related to racism and other forms of hate: 44 Trans People Killed in 2020, Marking Worst Year on Record for Transphobic Violence.