How do we not get djt 47?

a movement

I need your help. Please explain to me how we do not get djt 47. I do not see how this doesn’t happen on January 20, 2025. I’m certainly not happy about it.

Despite some successes (the infrastructure bill et al.), Joe Biden does not engender the necessary enthusiasm. The expected recession of 2023 did not take place. The inflation rate is down, but especially without those stimulus checks, it “feels” worse. (Frank S. Robinson explains “the big misunderstanding.”)

In 2011/2012, even when he seemed to be trailing in the polls, Obama could share his Spotify playlist and show how relatable he was. Joe is… Joe, grandfatherly, a policy wonk without the requisite swagger despite the aviator glasses.

October 7, the start of the Israel-Hamas war, has been a losing issue for Biden. Those who support Palestine feel betrayed by him. Specifically, Arabs and Muslims in places like Michigan have openly indicated that they will not vote for him in 2024 as they did in 2020. The Biden administration is navigating both support for Israel and the desire that the Israelis work to minimize Palestinian casualties. As someone said at a recent book talk, Joe is schmoozing. The problem is that neither position is palatable to a wide swath of voters.

Likewise, Foreign Policy magazine indicates that Biden has no good options in Yemen. “The decision to bomb the Houthis was likely the administration’s least bad path.”

The border crisis affects not just the border states but those cities where the migrants have been shipped to. Yet djt wants to scuttle bipartisan legislation to address the issue, and House Republicans might just fall in line to do just that.

Demographic slump

According to the polls, Biden’s job approval rating is down among black voters, especially the younger ones, even more than he’s losing Hispanic and non-Hispanic white voters.

It’s not that he’s too old to do the job, but he’s an old-generation public service guy who has been prone to malaprops for a very long time. An editorial in The Hill suggests that perhaps the President is a superager, “someone generally older than 80 who has cognitive and physical function higher than their peers, more akin to people decades younger — and argued that framing Biden in particular as “too old” is both ageist and politically motivated.


Nothing that happens with djt seems to affect his core supporters. His presidency has been “defined by corruption, self-dealing, and abuse of power.”  He fomented violent insurrection against democracy and called the criminals convicted for their actions on January 6, 2021, “hostages.”

His legal difficulties are part of his campaign. He uses the cases as “proof” that Joe and his allies are engaging in “election interference.” He’s practically begging judges to find him in contempt – see, “they’re denying me my right to participate in my defense.” A convicted sexual predator, also guilty of defamation of character, can win a caucus and a primary.

Maybe he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in NYC, and it wouldn’t affect his voters, as he said eight years ago.

So, in some bizarre way, it seems consistent that his attorney would speak before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding djt’s claims of absolute immunity. He posited that “a President could order the assassination of his political rival and not ever face prosecution unless the House successfully impeached him and the Senate convicted him for that crime.”

As Major Garrett of CBS News noted, djt can and does run simultaneously as an incumbent, an outsider, and a victim. djt support is a movement. If he is elected again, he’ll abuse the office of the presidency and has promised to use the government to punish his enemies.


Joe’s only positives are negatives: djt is an existential threat to democracy. djt put those three SCOTUS justices on the court to gut abortion rights and women’s health. Is that enough? I see 2000/2016 again.

If djt isn’t convicted of something criminal by November 5, I fear the outcome of January 6, 2025. If djt didn’t think he should have had to leave office on January 20, 2021, his supporters would think he should be reinstated four years later.

So tell me, how don’t we get the return of the Orange? Please tell me how I’m wrong. I’d LOVE to be wrong.

Not entirely unrelated, here’s the trailer for a new movie called Civil War. i have no plans to watch the film. 

A year in the life of Joe Biden

overturning Trump policies

joebidenA year in the life of Joe Biden. Well, he did ask for the job. I’m just going to touch on the points that most resonated with me. So it won’t cover EVERY SINGLE THING he did in the past 365 days. First, the good.

He named “literally thousands of talented and diverse appointees… the ambassadorial corps, and the leadership of numerous regulatory agencies – most of whom have already effected huge and positive federal policy shifts in everything from student loans to toxic chemicals to human rights.”

Specifically, he’s gotten  40 federal judges approved. “80 percent are women and 53 percent are people of color.” His predecessor got half that many approved in that first year and received huge praise.

Also, there’s the $1.9 trillion Covid relief deal, which kept many American families afloat.

Biden reinstated the pause on the federal death penalty. The previous guy ended a 17-year pause on federal executions and 13 people were put to death between July 2020 and January 2021.

Indeed, much of what he accomplished, particularly early on, involved undoing what had taken place in the previous four years.

But beyond that, I feel that he’s a fundamentally decent person, prone to gaffs as he has been for decades, but not inherently nasty.

The mixed

Sure, the trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed in November, AFTER the election, when it was uncoupled from the Build Back Better bill. All old poli sci folks know that politics is the art of the possible. Personally, I would have preferred passing an infrastructure bill in August and working on the passable components of BBB in separate bills.

The US rejoined the Paris climate accord which Biden’s predecessor had left. I’m not sure what the 2021 event accomplished…

72 percent of American adults were fully vaccinated, a little later than the target. Which means a whole lot of people are not. The US rate still trails much of the world.

The unemployment rate has dropped dramatically, but so has the workforce.

The bad

I think most of his problem has been overpromising, creating extraordinarily high expectations, and underdelivering on them.

In July 2021, he said that the withdrawal from Afghanistan would in no way look like the 1975 pullout from Saigon, South Vietnam. As noted, I supported the action, but the failure to get more people out before the pullout was a blunder.

Biden declared that we would be free of the COVID by the 4th of July. Of course, he didn’t anticipate the delta and omicron variants. But one could see the sluggish growth in the number of vaccinated, despite the mandates, and the ill will they generated. The administration needed to do better making the testing kits available much sooner.

No voting-rights legislation was passed and his recent plan to end the filibuster, despite his fiery rhetoric, was never going to happen.

The ugly

A lot of the economic strains have been baked into the system. An increase in wages has been long overdue; the federal minimum wage is STILL $7.25. Now there is some leverage for higher wages.

The “just in time” supply chain, with so much manufacturing from outside the United States, has long been one pandemic, one large war away from the crisis that took place in 2021. As Reuters notes: “The economy is experiencing high inflation as the COVID-19 pandemic snarls supply chains.” Some like to call it Bidenflation, but I’m not sure what he could have done to prevent it.

He IS the oldest US President, and I believe the stiffness of his “ambulatory gait” over the past year allows some to write him off with a Let’s Go, Brandon meme.

The unfixable?

Here’s a larger question, though. Is the United States governable? The New York Times asked that very question a year ago. It quoted Julie Wronski, a political scientist at the University of Mississippi.”When two people playing a game cannot agree on the basic rules and layout of the game, they cannot play. When groups within American society believe in two different sets of rules on how to play the game of democracy, it cannot be played and we become ungovernable.”

So when Biden promised to work “across the aisle” to pass legislation, and some in the GOP deign to actually work with him, they’re dubbed RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). They are threatened with primaries, backed by 45. Nate Silver of 538 posits that Jan. 6 strengthened Trump’s hold on the Republican Party. It’s sad, but I have to agree.

I’m not sure what Biden can do about the fact that most Republicans continue to believe in the Big Lie, that the 46th President was not legally elected. Perhaps America is heading to a place where it can no longer call itself a democracy.


Right after the 2020 election, when it was clear that Biden had WON, I ordered a half dozen buttons. Two of them are Biden/Harris. One said, “Unity over division” – not happening yet. “Hope over fear”; fear seems pretty strong. “Trust over lies”; lies are still winning. “Science over fiction”; it would be nice.

If you’re more optimistic, PLEASE let me know.

Working as an election inspector

poll worker

voting.womanFor the second time in two years, I engaged in a civic engagement that I hadn’t done in decades. You may recall that I worked the 2020 Census as an enumerator after having engaged in the same task back in 1990.

This past Election Day, I worked as an election inspector, a/k/a poll worker. That was something I hadn’t done since the mid-1970s, when I lived in my college town of New Paltz, NY.

I must have gotten an email on October 24 or 25 from the state Board of Elections stating that they were seeking people to work the polls. Still, I was surprised to get a call from the Albany County government phone number almost immediately. The gentleman said that there was training for folks on Wednesday, October 27 from 10 am until noon. Could I make it? Sure.

The last time I was a poll worker, they had heavy machines with mechanical buttons, and a lever to cast one’s vote. For the past few years, they’ve used an optical scan paper ballot system: “Voters mark their votes by filling in an oval…on a paper ballot. The paper ballots are scanned… at the polling place.” But the paper ballot still exists in case of an audit.

They also had a ballot-marking device, “used primarily to accommodate voters with disabilities.” To the latter point, our trainers made it quite clear that we should not reference the machine as one only for people with handicapping conditions.

The Gospel

We had a 48-page manual describing it all. The Seals Report involves all of the sealed compartments that needed numbers recorded at the beginning and the end of the day. This function alone would make anyone thinking an election could be fixed quite likely to reconsider. Although we could not ASK for ID, if it – driver’s license or card from the verification mailing – were offered, it’d make the process simpler. We wouldn’t have to ask for their address and date of birth.

The requirement was to get to our respective polling places by 5:30 a.m. I went to bed early, around 9:45, and lay there for an hour. So I got up checked my email for about 75 minutes, then went to sleep. I woke up about 3:45, too late to go back to sleep. So I got dressed and eventually rode my bicycle to the polling place at Maria College, which was only 1.2 miles (about 1.9 km) away, a very up and down path, of course in the dark.

One of our original trainers said that there would be election inspectors who would act as though they were in charge, but they’re not. Except, of course, those who’ve done it more often will inevitably take over. This was particularly true in this room with these large computer screens overhead. I wouldn’t have configured the room so that the monitors could whack us if we stood up too quickly.

The day

In any case, we were more or less ready by 6 a.m. despite the building not being opened until 5:38. The voter traffic waxed and waned, of course, with a good crowd around 7:30, almost no one at 10 a.m.,. and a line out the door at 6:30 p.m. There were four tables of poll workers, two from the 14th ward, and two from the 9th, where I sat. One of our team was a regular, but the other three were newbies, including a woodworker who was 80, and a politically interested young man of 18.

80 was in competition with other tables to give out the most stickers. He was fairly new in town, so he didn’t recognize Kathy Sheehan, the mayor when she briefly came in. I talked politics with 18 since I had lived through a half-century of events he had heard of (Watergate, Newt Gingrich, et al) before he was born; of course, that didn’t make me feel old at all, did it?

We were all supposed to take 45 minutes off for lunch, and another 45 or 60 minutes (I heard both) for dinner. But I doubt anyone even took the 45 the second time because the lines were so crowded.

We ended the process at about 9:30. I got home around 10. Though exhausted, I was so wound up that I didn’t get to bed until midnight or later. But it was worth it because I had supported democracy. And the training and the elections were the only days this year I actually worked for pay.

Why people reject Christianity, part 38

an abomination

forked tongueAs a Christian, I know that there are a lot of understandable reasons why people reject Christianity. Pedophile priests, homophobic preachers… do I need to haul out the litany? That said, a couple of recent examples have distressed me more than usual.

ITEM: “Believe in Divine Immunity”: Trump-Supporting Megachurch Pastor Tells Congregation NOT To Take COVID Vaccine

“Guillermo Maldonado, the Florida megachurch pastor, and self-declared apostle… told his congregation not to take the soon-to-be-available vaccine for the COVID-19 virus because it is part of a plan to prepare people to accept the biblical Mark of the Beast.

“Maldonado, who mocked members of his own congregation for staying away from church in the early days of the pandemic, used his Sunday sermon to warn that the COVID-19 vaccine will ‘alter your DNA’ as globalists set about ‘preparing the structure for the Antichrist.'”

I’ve long found the obsession with the apocalypse to be theologically obscene. This one mixes in absurd technological blather.

That’s why they allow firing squads?

ITEM: Trumpkin pastor calls for Democrats and journalists to be executed 

“On the day before Thanksgiving, [Rick Wiles] called for Trump to have Democrats and journalists lined up and shot [because] they are secretly in bed with Beijing.

“The Christian [sic] pastor made the remarks during an episode of his TruNews program… as he discussed Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Wiles also pointed out that the Justice Department has created a new rule allowing for firing squads to be used in federal executions…

“We already knew that Wiles is nothing more than a Nazi masquerading as a pastor… This is domestic terrorism, straight up.”

ITEM: An Ohio group called We the People Convention took out a full-page ad in the Washington Times (a flagship conservative newspaper).

They are asking Trump “to immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a national re-vote.

“OK, any crazy group can publish an ad in any paper that will take their money. But recently pardoned felon Michael Flynn retweeted the ad with the comment ‘Freedom never kneels except for God.'” The fact that they don’t have a prayer of a chance of reversing the outcome of the election doesn’t seem to stop them from trying anyway.

For those of you who think everything will change come 20 Jan 2021, I’m afraid not. We’re dealing with an extensive toxic mindset. And when it’s conflated with a sense of “God’s will”, we’re in deep trouble. This  Newspeak is an abomination. The definition of abomination is “a thing that causes disgust or hatred.”

These purported men of God are disgusting purveyors of hate. If their goal is to “bring people to the Kingdom”, they are failing miserably.

Working towards a Trump detox

Newsmax suckup

The Week.20201204My attempt to create a Trump detox has started. I’ve found it necessary to say repeatedly to myself that virtually all we are hearing now from him and his dwindling pool of supporters is crap. If it weren’t so much a threat to democracy, it would be absurdly funny.

ITEM: Check out the Instagram of Rich Ragsdale. His “Incredible Sulk” is great.

ITEM: Sit Down, You’re Blocking the Vote –  Brad Oscar 

ITEM: Per the LA Times: “The Justice Department is investigating whether there was a secret scheme to lobby White House officials for a presidential pardon as well as a related plot to offer a hefty political contribution in exchange for clemency.

“Most of the information in the 18-page court order is redacted, including the identity of the people whom prosecutors are investigating and whom the proposed pardon might be intended for. The document from August does reveal that people are suspected of having acted to secretly lobby White House officials to secure a pardon or sentence commutation and that, in a related scheme, a substantial political contribution was floated in exchange for a pardon.”

Whining about DeWine

ITEM: The National Review (!) calls his post-election behavior  disgraceful and dishonest

ITEM: Even U.S. Attorney General William Barr “told the Associated Press that the Justice Department has not found any evidence of voter fraud that would impact the result of the 2020 presidential election… Barr.. had boosted Trump’s baseless attacks on the security of voting by mail ahead of the election and amid a pandemic.”

ITEM: IMPOTUS’ “hostility toward yet another sitting Republican governor once again risks begetting yet another primary challenge: In a bonkers interview on Fox News on Sunday…, he complained bitterly that Gov. Brian Kemp hadn’t sought to overturn the results of Georgia’s elections and moaned, ‘I’m ashamed that I endorsed him.'” He’s also declared war on Ohio’s Mike DeWine.

ITEM: State after state is verified for Biden yet again, including Arizona and Wisconsin, which cost IMPOTUS $3 million to find more votes for the President-elect.

Those leftists at CBS

ITEM: Newsmax, his new favorite media outlet, now that he’s on the outs with FOX, is blaming the “left-wing news media” for his “alleged” defeat. The MSM “refused to give airtime to important arguments of the Republican campaign.” Ah, they weren’t shills.

The argument is that “millions of voters cast their ballots knowing only what the media permitted them to know about the candidates.” I’m not buying the premise, but I share it to show its flawed logic.

If these voters had only known about “the financial scandal enveloping Biden and his son, Hunter,” enough folks would have changed their ballot to swing the election. Wait. The incumbent had brought up repeatedly at the first debate with Joe, though it didn’t serve him well. He also mentioned the charge regularly at his COVID-spreading rallies.

Meanwhile, those voters weren’t informed about the record number of jobs “created in the extraordinary snapback from the pandemic recession.” Boohoo. ALL of his advisers told him repeatedly to run on the economy, and yet he spun conspiracy theories instead. The brokered peace agreements with Israel and several of its Arab neighbors made MY mainstream media newsfeed.

But the last example is the most absurd. “Operation Warp Speed, which even before the election was well on track to deliver 300,000,000 doses of a safe vaccine as soon as next year.” True enough. “Our poll found 36.1% of Biden voters said they did not know about the administration’s key role in promoting vaccine research… If they had, 5.3% told us they would have abandoned Biden, flipping Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, giving the President 295 electoral votes.”

Who showed up at COVID press conferences for 40 days straight at the beginning of the pandemic? He shared useless or even counterproductive mutterings about not wearing masks and taking unproven remedies. Then he disappeared for weeks at a time, seemingly giving up on fighting the pandemic. He had the bully pulpit and failed to use it.

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