509 Comments

With much to unpack in tonight’s fascinating letter, I am focused on Brett Kavanaugh. His confirmation hearing revealed an intellectually impotent, emotionally weak and immature person. His demeanor was, at times, sarcastic, rude and it smacked of a bloated, over privileged, mean spirited frat boy. Nothing would make me happier than seeing him booted from SCOTUS.

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If he had been a Democrat, his underage drinking would have ended his nomination by the holier than thou republicans. If he had been a woman, you can imagine the shock, the shock! of his outbursts. Just thinking about him again makes me nauseous.

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Me too and she was so brave.

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I wonder if she still gets death threats.

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She probably does.

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Actually, if he had been a Democrat any impropriety would have ended his nomination by the holier than thou Democrats. They eat their own.

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Howard Dean and Al Franken come to mind.

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Yes. I miss Al Franken. Still, how do repubs get so much media traction from 1 major station filled with losers? Muskie never “cried”in NH. The shocking! onstage Gore kiss. Dukakis in the helmet. Unfit for Command Kerry. Where are daily pictures of Cruz and his giant overnight bag? Why does he get a mulligan? Failed 45 cheating on his mistress and paying her off. Oh what a tangled web they weave.

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If he was a woman, his tantrums would have been explained by blaming the time of the month. But then again, if he was a woman, he would not have been in a position to exert power over another woman's body at a drunken frat party.

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If he was a woman his tantrums would have been blamed on his time of the month but not explained by his time of the month. He would still have been seen as unfit due to his emotional fragility and it would have been considered further proof of the unfitness of any woman for such a position, demanding a cool head and personal control.

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That was the point of the anger display, which Brett did in the advice of failed45. A (cis straight) white man displaying anger reminds the other ones to back him.

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Maybe it’s male menopause?

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Who ordered the FBI investigation to be so superficial? Who paid Kavanaugh's debts? And so many other questions. Merrick Garland's already very challenging job, focused on the attempted coup, just got bigger and more politically perilous.

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The peril is in not getting to the bottom of this corruption

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Fortunately, Garland has a $30 billion budget and 113K employees to pursue these matters. That should help.

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Of course, there's money and then there's political capital. He has quite a bit of the latter at this point but it would be easier to squander than the money and staff.

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Thankfully. I have no conception of that kind of $$$ or the resources needed to better align our entire country with the law and justice, but after the last admin taking a wrecking ball to us, I’m guessing it will be needed.

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Which is why we are actually fortunate right now that Garland is not on the Supreme Court. From his position as AG he can assure the "justice" part of Supreme Court Justice.

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Toss in the report released yesterday on Russian compromise of the 2020 election, and it is obvious that Mr. Garland is going to be very, very busy.

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Yes, Merrick Garland has his work cut out for him. So many illegal and dangerous things happened under the tRump "regime". It will take Garland a long time to sort through it all.

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Hopefully, Whitehouse's push will get to the bottom of all this!

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That's what I was thinking. This kind of stuff doesn't just fall off a passing truck. I'm putting this call for an investigation down as a 'weak signal' of coming significant reform of our judicial system. No wonder people have lost faith in these institutions. You really don't have to look far to see that it's about the Benjamin's.

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Greg Olear has an excellent five-part piece on Mr. Boofer.

https://gregolear.substack.com/p/who-owns-kavanaugh-1-the-justice

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Thanks.

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This looks delicious, thanks. I'll give it a look.

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Whereas I entirely agree, I also think Garland will need to prioritize his efforts and base them to some extent on what is possible. The chances of Kavanaugh being impeached may be moderately high, but the chances of conviction and removal by the Senate are near zero and such a trial would open Democrats up to charges of attempting to relitigate the legitimacy of Trump's presidency. So, while it would be good to reveal as much as possible of how unfit he is to be on SCOTUS, Garland must not let other priorities languish to pursue evidence of that unfitness. This makes me wonder if the House investigation is not the right way to go, rather than the AG's office being involved (though its cooperation in providing evidence of FBI malfeasance would clearly be useful).

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I think that Garland will NOT be guided by politics but by the Rule of Law wherever that leads.

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AG is a political job. He will make better choices and adhere much more closely to the rule of law than Barr did. But he will make political choices because that's the nature of the job.

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His lack of control and belligerent demeanor during the confirmation hearings was, to me, ample reason to have rejected his nomination, regardless of whether Blasey Ford's testimony could have been proved. But, as he kept saying, he was top of his class at Yale! That alone would have entitled him to whatever he wanted, right? I might even go back to church if he could be "defrocked."

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I watched every second of his hearing and could not have been more repulsed. His belligerence, facial contortions and absolutely incredible rudeness to Sen Klobuchar was beyond appalling.

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At that time, I was still fencing with my friends on the "right". I found his testimony in that hearing revealing of his absolute unsuitability for any position requiring integrity and unemotional assessment of information. I specifically pointed out his temper tantrum. My "friends" said that was just the reasonable anger of a man who was being badgered. I followed up with a question (this particular group was all cops) that essentially was "if you had a suspect who replied to a question about his conduct that way, what would your reaction be?" (I have found in many years of questioning people regarding their unlawful conduct that when they lose their temper and strike out in that manner they are guilty of that conduct; this follows an observation that the first person in an argument to accuse the other of one sort of conduct is guilty themselves of that very conduct.)

Their responses did not waver from "he's just defending himself". That should have tipped me off that there was no critical thinking left along the "right" it was just parroting what they've been led to believe.

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If they'd been thinking critically, they wouldn't have been Republicans.

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Having raised teenagers, my BS meter was going off big time during that temper tantrum. I couldn't believe anyone was taken in by it.

And if he was truly a smart man, he could have gotten away with this by "sincerely" saying that he did not recall the incident, that as a young man he drank to excess even underage, but he has changed his ways and then end with if this really happened, I am so sorry, I would not want that to happen to my daughters. (Btw, I believe Ford).

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If that was being badgered, he ought to spend a day as a man of color. What a weakling.

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Except that I do find the first person to indignantly say "that's not true" is often one who values truth, not the actual liar. Otherwise, I agree with your feel for the situation - both K's behavior and the far right's response.

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That's what brought Amy Klobuchar to my attention. I knew little about her, but recall thinking that her composure while being personally attacked by the schoolyard bully was so remarkable - "Answer my question, please". It occurred to me that she should be the nominee, not this enraged frat boy.

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Further proof that Yale is overrated. I never had a better day in the business than the day I fired one of those Yalie morons for being the untalented hack that he was. He looked like I'd smacked him with a three day's dead flounder. This SF State grad felt gooooooood.

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Three cheers for S.F. State. The greatest student body ever.

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Three cheers for a three day dead flounder.

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There is an excellent piece in the current Atlantic about the elite prep schools and the lengths parents are going to to push their golden off-spring. Way beyond the Laurie whats-her-name bruhaha. The biggest take away was how the uber rich are hoovering up the available slots by any means ($$$$$$) necessary that will put Buffy on a straight shot to Princeton, Yale, MIT, etc. And because said schools have untold resources to offer enrichment after enrichment, they arrive at their Ivy League destination with two legs up on mere mortals.

There were more examples of 'them that's got, gets, and them that's not, don't', where the likes of the hedge fund managers and that strata are dominating the playing field. It's not a matter of leaving crumbs for the few middle- and working class kids who score scholarships. The crumbs now are going to the children of the 'merely rich'. It was truly unbelievable.

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Hedge-fund managers - a group in more need of hemp neckties than the mere MBAscum. Hemp neckties and a cedar stake through them, then left out for the sun to find.

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Further evidence that the (most of) the rich are truly different, and not in a good way ... money buys comfort, security, pleasure and material possessions, but not happiness.

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I worked with exceptionally well educated (over educated, IMO) Ivy League types at a major technology start up. Those who accomplished the major goals (IT, Networks) were us public university graduates.

It was interesting that their fine educations seemed fit for showing off what they’d learned, as opposed to putting it to practical use ... likelihood a carry-over of having others take care of the daily tasks of life.

It was satisfying that three peers regularly asked for guidance about completing their assignments; never having to earn something for yourself is a pleasure they did not know.

While it wasn’t true across the board, more of the bourgeois were let go even though they’d been recruited by the company.

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I got my BA from an Ivy. Moved to the Bay Area and went to Berkeley.

Left Berkeley for S.F. State as the tuition was only $80 per semester.(late 60's)

Thoughtful, kind, independent and progressive. Really interested in ideas rather than grades and pre-professional certification. True of most of the teachers as well.

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My pet peeve is Stanford MBAs.

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I'm in favor of hemp neckties for ALL of the damn MBAscum.

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Having grown up with belligerent alcoholics, his demeanor smacked of someone who’d gone too long without a drink. I know it quite well.

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My stepfather was an alcoholic who became sober, while my brother died from complications of it.

The belligerence, the defensiveness, the puffy red face were clear hallmarks to me as well that Brett Kavanaugh is likely an alcoholic.

As a teenager, Al-Anon was a God send for me. You’re correct that it’s easy to spot an alcoholic, having grown up with with a (step)parent who was one.

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Perhaps we should just keep refilling his cup until his pancreas blows out.

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I don't have any idea of the process it might take to impeach a member of the SCOTUS. I suspect it is difficult. That is why Malevolent Mitch and his Murderous Minions worked so hard to prevent Garland from getting on the court. All those Federalist Society (umm--the substitute that Stuart invented??) [expletive] are the same (Hawley-esque): sneering, whiney, white boyz who rely on their privilege to jump the competent line. I don't care how "well educated" they are. They're all worthless.

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He would have been a threat to the status quo. I can't help but wonder if he's feeling just a bit of vindication here. I'm not questioning his intent at all, but it must be just a bit sweet.

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I must insert something a friend quoted her grandmother as saying about such men: "I'd like to buy them for what they're worth, and sell them for what they THINK they're worth." You can't beat good ol' country wisdom.

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Great granny wisdom!!

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I concur with every point you made here, Spooky!

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Jeanne if you would remind me what state you live in, for some reason (likely because that discussion got completely out of control) you didn’t make it to my list.

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I’m from Minnesota. When I was younger, I felt smug about our politics. We are the home of Hubert Humphrey, Coya Knutson, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone. Ours is the only state where the Democratic Party is officially the Democratic Farmer Labor Party (I was surprised to learn in high school that the DFL was not National! Our Democratic Party merged with the highly popular and successful Farmer Labor Party of Minnesota in 1944). But we are definitely not the Democratic stronghold we once were. I guess I’m still proud of some things, and certainly no longer smug. I really admire so many of our current national and local DFL leaders.

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Paul Wellstone. What a fabulous person. He was assassinated. I’ve never forgotten that.

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Yes. We still mourn the loss of him and his wife and daughter and his team. Rickie Lee Jones wrote a song that mentioned another senator whose plane crashed, and his wife ran for election in his place and won. So, in her song, she sings about how this time, they made sure the senator's wife died, too. 😔

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😔

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That was Cokie Roberts' parents. Sorry, I'm having a senior moment, blanking on their names. He was a senator from Louisiana, if memory serves, and his wife did fill out his term and then ran on her on, I think. And won.

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I never lived in MN, but voted for its leaders (HHH. Mondale) whenever I could. Too bad they, and America, didn't win more often.

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The money thing has bugged me for a while

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Spot on Spooky!! You described that sniveler to a T! I would LOVE to see him disgraced and booted out!

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"Above the law Kavanaugh" is appropriate for him, me thinks.

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Perfect, Richard! Thanks.

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Thanks, Sandra!

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For some reason, I never heard before this about his debts being payed off. So much focus on the rape accusation, it wasn't publicised as much

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Spooky:

Going to be in Denver, CO in two weeks to visit both my daughter and son. My younger son and I are going to go exploring Montana and Wyoming with particular sites picked out.

To your point, do you think Kavanaugh cares what we think? Do you believe we will get as far as impeaching Kavanaugh? I do not believe the Dems will be that unified to carry through with it.

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It’s unlikely Kavanaugh knows what most think of him; he most assuredly doesn’t care.

If the investigation about his debts being paid following his confirmation reveals wrong-doing then he will either resign, or be removed, especially if a criminal indictment is likely. DoJ will render a decision, based on the rule of applicable laws and precedent. I do believe that Democrats will be supportive; most remember his rude and condescending manner toward Senators Klobuchar and Harris, amongst others.

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Guns & Money

On Saturday, in Indianapolis, a man killed four people with a firearm in a dispute with his girlfriend over sharing her Covid relief check.

Last night, in the small town of Acworth and later in another town outside of Atlanta, a young man shot and killed a total of eight people, six of whom were Asian women.

“Jacob Kimmons, an employee at AutoZone [in Acworth], said this kind of violence rarely happens in their neighborhood.” “You never see it in a decent area like this. Just to see something like that happen is crazy,” he said. “I just thank the good lord he didn’t come over here and do anything.””

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/03/16/atlanta-spa-shootings/

I have a bone to pick with Mr. Kimmons – particularly his characterization that “this kind of violence rarely happens in their neighborhood.” This kind of violence – killing each other and ourselves with guns – is all too common in every corner of the country – and the good Lord (with respect) has nothing to do with it.

But the lion’s share of my ire this morning, and frankly, my sorrow, stems from the leadership of the Republican party and its twin pillars of pain and prevarication – Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy.

Kevin went to the border this week to lend his support to our government’s efforts to safely and humanely process children trying to enter the country. Wait – sorry, Kevin was there to shine a bright light on anything other than the President’s success in providing real assistance to Americans struggling to survive the pandemic.

Don’t pay attention to the old guy who just cleaned my clock, pay attention to the mess at the southern border. Damn – if we had only finished building that wall, we wouldn’t have this problem and by the way, Biden is letting terrorists into the country! I know it’s true because the orange guy told me and I think I heard someone say something that sounded like terrorist watch list – could have been “Ted washed last” but that’s not important – what is important is that I have nothing constructive to propose on any subject of concern to the American public and the weather was awful in Washington, so here I am – pay attention!

This while MM thrashes through the Senate rotunda waving threats of open-carry legislation if he ever gains the majority again. That’s right – he will ram through this important piece of legislation that will help so many Americans realize their dreams and true potential.

Legislation as Revenge! Finally, the Republican party has found a purpose that suits its nature. And who better to lead them than the man whose moral compass has the stability of mercury on horseback heading for the barn.

Food for sorrow:

Cause of Death - All races and origins, both sexes, ages 15–34 years

1. Accidents (unintentional injuries)

2. Intentional self-harm (suicide)

3. Assault (homicide)

Source: National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 68, No. 6, June 24, 2019

In 2017, the states with the highest rates of gun-related deaths – counting murders, suicides and all other categories tracked by the CDC – were Alaska (24.5 per 100,000 people), Alabama (22.9), Montana (22.5), Louisiana (21.7), Missouri and Mississippi (both 21.5), and Arkansas (20.3), followed by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

The states with the lowest rates were New Jersey (5.3 per 100,000 people), Connecticut (5.1), Rhode Island (3.9), New York and Massachusetts (both 3.7), and Hawaii (2.5).

Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/16/what-the-data-says-about-gun-deaths-in-the-u-s/

States with least restrictive gun laws: Alaska, Alabama, Montana, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Arkansas, Maine, Texas, Wyoming, West Virginia, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Arizona, and Kentucky.

Source: https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/strictest-gun-laws-by-state

So, Senator McConnell threatens more guns, ready at the hip, in more hands if the Democrats dare to disable the filibuster to pass S-1 (For the People Voting Rights Act), because that is what this is all about. He would rather people die, in larger numbers than they already do, in order to deny the right to vote to people who may disagree with him on lowering taxes for the already wealthy.

It saddens me, truly, that this is the state of the loyal opposition. While President Biden is doing all he can to move the country forward toward a more equitable future, the Republican party is hunkering down for a fight to reassert its strangle-hold on government. A philosophy of revenge, racism and avarice guiding their every move.

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Part of the problem is that the opposition is not loyal to the country, just to money.

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That's right.

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R Dooley--great post! My one thing to add: Malevolent Mitch has always been happy to kill people in order to prevent good things from happening to people who don't occupy the echelons of privilege he considers most important. He has actively sought to prevent the "bottom" 60% of Americans (and we are ALL Americans if we reside here, no matter our country of origin) from gaining any economic relief or access to education, jobs (and the training necessary to get them), healthcare, safe housing . . . the beat goes on. His enthusiasm for killing Americans is matched only by his willingness to cheat, lie, and steal in order to enrich himself and his besties.

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I will be tremendously disappointed if someone drops pursuit of his wife since I feel pretty sure that would help use up some of his vile attention and also pretty sure most of her activities were with his complete knowledge and agreement. Being his spouse should not confer any increased safety from investigation on her though I fear it does.

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When 50 million (between Mitch and Elaine) is just not enough...

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As the title of Mary Trump's book on Uncle D says, "Too Much and Never Enough." Seems to be epidemic in the GOP.

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I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that once her "story" came to light, there are people who are fleshing it out, and perhaps will go public at an opportune time.

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One can only hope...

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And don’t forget that you can’t believe a word he says. His hypocrisy with not letting Garland get a hearing, saying it was too late in an election year, then ramming through Amy Coney Barrett is one example.

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R Dooley, thanks for the great post, and for the idea of adding our state behind our name! (Done!). A couple of observations from my business travels through many states. This is not meant to defend open or concealed carry, it is just an observation. In the farther western states; Wyoming, Idaho, Montana; there are vast distances through which one must travel, and there are just as vast ranches where people live and work, encountering things many of us only read about in books (like my friend in Montana who was hunting with friends, on horseback, discovering they were being stalked by a mountain lion...fortunately, they all managed to go their separate ways with no issue). There are reasons many working Westerners would have to constantly carry, but for most of the rest of us, living nearer cities and in more suburban than true rural areas, not so much. I can't tell you how many times I have been to a place for breakfast and seen someone walk in with his or her hip sporting a pistol. For what reason? 90+% of the time, it is for show only. There is absolutely no reason for someone other than law enforcement to walk into a suburban/urban restaurant/diner with a pistol...none...and as we have all read, it can cause more problems than solutions. Again, thanks for the research...I'm going to look all this up for more detail. Have a good day!

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So many of these "carry" advocates are "ammosexuals" who equate firepower with their identity. So many of these people would not know what to do when confronted with an actual deadly force usage.

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"ammosexuals" - someone give that to Randy Rainbow!

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Exactly! Lacking a strong self-image and having low self-esteem somehow leads to 'ammosexulaity'. I'll leave the snarky comments about the inverse correlation between caliber and libido for later.

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"Ammosexuals"...I like that.

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Ammosexuals! A meme is born! I'm off to use the word widely!

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They panic...and panic kills

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I cannot accept the logic behind these kinds of abstract potential dangers. The major lethal threats to Americans are not rattlesnakes, wolves and definitely not mountain lions; a single instance carries little weight. It is other Americans armed with guns. A gun in a household is more likely to be used against a member of that household than a stranger, even one invading the home.

Sure, there's a case for being armed in remote areas or on sprawling properties. (A counter-anecdote: My cousins almost never go armed on their Wyoming ranch -- a real working ranch since the 1880s, not a dude operation or rural second home -- despite occasional predators and countless rattlesnakes.) But leave the darn things safe at home when socializing, going into businesses or towns.

Very few people have a legitimate need for a gun, let alone multiple ones or carrying them openly in public. The rest is ego, ideology or intimidation, the sinister side of American individualism.

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Wouldn't it be awesome if the people that needed to carry went through a healthy couple of classes where they are taught real respect for the deadly responsibility they so flippantly disregard.

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I had any number of burglary victims ask me what kind of gun they should get to “protect themselves”. I would always give my best “shotgun is best for home defense” line, and they’d say they wanted a handgun. I’d ask if they really thought they could kill someone. Almost inevitably, they’d say “no, I’d wound them” or “I just want to scare them”.

I’d explain that those beliefs would only get them disarmed and possibly killed; that the only reason to have a gun for self defense is to kill someone who put you in danger of death/serious physical injury.

Sometimes they listened...

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Our family friends had a handgun for home protection and shot and killed his son when he came home from college unexpectedly in the middle of the night. I understand the reason people want protection in their home but there has to be a better way.

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A childhood friend of mine had her leg blown off, literally, when her father used his shotgun in the middle of the night to ward off barking dogs. Another high school friend lost his mother in the same way; his father, a well respected coach, killed her with a shotgun that went off by accident as he was attempting to shoot at barking dogs in the middle of the night. A dear cousin took his own life when his mother denied something he really wanted; he shot himself on a Saturday morning while she was in the next room vacuuming. For those reasons, I have never had a gun. Those tragedies destroyed families as well as lives; they made a lasting impression on me.

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How does anyone going living after that? Horrible.

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Carrying those guns openly, provoke fear. For men, it is to show their virility, if they have any. Idiotic!

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Pretty sad stuff when the long barrel has to replace the more personal equipment in such a macho display.

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Their what? 🤔...🙄....😄

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The main purpose of guns, as far as I can tell, is for killing. Why practice target shooting otherwise? Or am I wrong?

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The only purpose for guns, any kind of gun, is for killing. The cost of killing another living thing is a burden that many of us carry; hunters (at least those I am familiar with) honor the animal they take in some fashion.

I cannot fathom the horror of having killed someone you love because you "made a mistake" or wanted to silence an inconvenience (like barking dogs, for pete's sake) or to have your firearm used to commit suicide.

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Terrific advice. Tell'em to load it with birdshot too!

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The NRA used to focus on teaching gun safety; it was major reason for its founding. In the last c.20 years it morphed into a lobbying group for the firearms industry, and outlet for pro-gun hysterics. Then there's the money laundering they do for Russians donating to the GQP. Are any prominent pro-gun advocates decent, honest or sane? Any?

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I took a hunting safety class when I was 12 years old. Definitely remember being taught respect, and going over how it could go wrong in the worse way. It's definitely a different issue now because of the lack of education and the politicization of it.

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All gun purchasers should also be shown the scene from the film of "The last of the Mohicans" in which Daniel Day Lewis kills a deer and thanks it for its sacrifice.

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My thought for some time has been that we should codify the NRA Range Safety Rules, and put them into the same structure and form that exist around vehicle ownership and operation. License, registration, and insurance required before operation. Responsibility for every bullet that is fired from every gun you own. There are no "accidents", there is conduct ranging from negligence to reckless to intentional to knowing. The penalties should mirror the traffic code: levels of violations, levels of misdemeanors, levels of felonies that match jurisdictional homicide definitions.

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Alexander, thank you for your thoughtful observations. I agree, and wouldn't it be a good thing if we could have policies that made sense, with respect to local needs, as opposed to the nonsense we currently endure.

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If one accepts this need as legitamate, why would one not just have a rifle as it is more accurate and can defend life at greater distance<. I see no justification for hand guns ......other than to threaten other humans!

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This is a terrific post and your anger and angst are clearly on display here. You speak for all of us. Bravo.

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I'm glad it resonated.

I hope you are well.

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R Dooley, it surprises (but heartens) me that NY and NJ are among those with the lowest rates of death by gun violence.

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I had the same reaction. Hopefully, under the Biden administration we will have some more current numbers. And when we do, I hope they are all lower.

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One of your best posts ever. All I can say is thank you and carry on (words, not guns).

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It means a lot to know that it worked for you.

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R Dooley, thank you for a great post. But I’m not sure we can call the Rs the loyal opposition anymore. Their disloyalty was on full display on January 6 and its aftermath.

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I should have put "loyal opposition" in quotes. They do not deserve that title.

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Thank YOU R.Dooley!!!🤔😊💓

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Love the emojis ... thanks.

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Well said!

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Well said R. Dooley! Pass universal background checks. Raise the legal age to purchase guns to at least 21, but I think 25 years old would be better, as that's when most mental health diseases manifest in people. McConnell's threats are part of a playbook of power preservation, not common sense, research, nor decency, Threatening more guns and easy access to guns is a false salve to people with real pain. It is his "fall back plan" claiming more guns will "restore order" when we already all know more guns are the root cause of disorder, as you have clearly and logically have articulated. McConnell only wants to maintain the status quo by manipulating his base's insecurities.

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If Mitch McConnell's "scorched earth" threat does not result in IMMEDIATE revocation of the filibuster by Democrats, followed by cramming every conceivable piece of progressive legislation down his lying, conniving throat and and if humanly possible through his disgusting quadruple chin) ... if that doesn't happen (and let me repeat IMMEDIATELY), then there is absolutely no hope for decent Americans. Unfortunately, chickening out would be par for the course. Talk about a line in the sand. If that insulting POS gets away with this, OMG ... SURELY this will be the hormone injection that enables even our neutered and spayed disgraces to figuratively grow a pair.

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Yes, it seems so obvious that just as he would not allow Obama to place his supreme court nominee "so close" to an election and then pushed Trump's nominee through so much closer, no capitulation on the Democrat's part would buy any amount of cooperation from him that he wasn't inclined or forced to provide the very second he had the opportunity no matter how hypocritical and underhanded the circumstances. Unfortunately it is intimately tied to the core nature of honorable humans to expect some minimum level of honor within others and thus the vulnerability and thus the weakness.

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Emily, I wholly agree with your statement: “it is intimately tied to the core nature of honorable humans to expect some minimum level of honor within others and thus the vulnerability and thus the weakness.” Our governmental system, like all governmental systems, depend on people of honor doing the governing. We no longer can assume that honorable people have the power and authority in our governments - not at the federal or state levels. It is not that honor has been lost - it has been consciously abandoned, dismissed in favor of power and, I’m guessing, money. You captured that very well.

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McConnell has no weakness other than 💰 💰 💰.

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McTurtle is an ineffectual public speaker, and probably has other flaws that aren't public knowledge.

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There is a way to reform the filibuster by changing it from 60 needed to stop the debate to having it be 41 to keep the debate going. That puts the pressure on the minority where it belongs. Then the filibuster would go back to being an unusual occurrence but still available.

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This would be better than nothing, but why complicate matters? If the Dems are unable to eliminate the filibuster, what makes them think they will be able to vote cloture? Why save this undemocratic rule if any future simple majority, GOP or DEM, can ditch it at a moment's notice anyway? The whole point - in addition to passing essential legislation - is to make it impossible for the GOP minority party to continue exploiting weaknesses in our Constitution. As long as the GOP is the party of privilege, racism and insurrection, it should never govern. The GOP needs to change dramatically or disappear.

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While I agree with you, the GOP has planned this for decades and are just about to accomplish minority undemocratic rule where the Constitution will be rewritten like Orwell's Animal Farm. Except Pigs. The immediate issue is to stop them gutting voting rights. A couple of Democrats have been adamant about not getting rid of the filibuster. The only way to get them on board in the short term is to reform the filibuster. "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others." -- George Orwell.

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Maybe, just maybe, the senators who are opposed to this will be so put off by McConnell's threats, they will see the light.

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Can't Joe Biden - personally - convince Manchin and Sinema to vote to eliminate the filibuster? Has he tried this yet? What is the matter with those two?

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David, in yesterday's WaPo interview, Senator Whitehouse pointed out that Manchin and Sinema were not the only Democrats opposed to eliminating the filibuster. They just got the public's attention to this debate. I posted the 30+ minute interview where he addresses your question. Here it is again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3fJBhalEgs

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Can we clone this level-headed guy from Rhode Island??

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Great interview, thanks Lynell

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Thanks for this link, Lynell.

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Could they just change it back to requiring someone to actually physically stand and talk? It seems like at the very least it should require some effort so that various parties are more circumspect about it's use.

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Basically that's the effect of requiring 41 to keep the debate going. If people don't stay on the floor, the debate is easily stopped putting the burden on those that are trying to stop the bill.

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That by itself is probably not enough, since the current GQP would be just fine with grinding the senate to a complete halt for a long time. There also needs to be a limit on how long even those tactics can work. Maybe the votes needed to keep the filibuster going increase by 10% every 5 days, which effectively puts a 3 week limit on the total delay.

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Of course, the reason McC is screaming at the idea of any change, is that if the first changes don't result in actual debate and progress, the Dems will make further changes until the senate actually participates in governing.

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Or permits governing, better yet.

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I can not agree with you more. Mitch McConnel is vile to the core.

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If anyone deserves to be called a POS, this is the man.

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Amen, Roland! He's a walking pile of dung.

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Agreed, Roland. McTurtleneck lives in the deepest, s$%t filled part of the swamp.

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No disrespect to actual $hit intended, of course! 🤣🤣🤣

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What they need are pairs of ovaries, my friend: the testicles tend to stick together, especially when they are white . . .

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Ick, but thanks anyway, Linda.

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Absolutely Stephen. MM has thrown down the gauntlet. Either we take him on now or forfeit our advantage. He has proved he’s willing to destroy everything to retain power. The soul of our nation is at stake.

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It's high time we call MM's bluff. Now or never for democracy.

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OMG! Give 'em hell, Stephen!

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I guess you've hit the nail on the head, and with gusto!

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No SC justice has ever been impeached and convicted. This may be Brute Kavanaugh's best chance to make some history. Go for it, frat boy.

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I remember a winter vacation during an especially cold January when my husband a Yalie was reading the book about Dark Money. I’m thinking it was 2016. He kept wanting to tell me about it and I did pick it up to see what he meant but frankly it was so disgusting and I needed rest. The Kavanaugh hearing was a dark circus. Now we’re apparently coming full circle with an investigation that links SCOTUS with the Koch led fossil fuel money. We all need more outrage to support the efforts that HCR has illuminated.

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I’m not running out of outrage, Liz, another dear friend this one from Boston North Shore. If it weren’t intemperate and socially objectionable for me to do so, I would have no problem loading up these pages with profanity and insults that come out of my mouth when I read about things like, for example, dear Mr. Ron Johnson’s racist musings. In the privacy of my tractor trailer I’m not short on words of outrage for that so and so. And it doesn’t look anything like what I just posted here. Same goes with Putin‘s pet mule from Kentucky, Cancun Sewage Tank, Missouri Slick, and the horse’s rear end from Georgia’s first district.

I’m just gonna make one more comment about Mr. Ron Johnson, poster boy for all racists in denial and in the closet. If our dear Senator Johnson were talking about any other event, ANY OTHER EVENT, than January 6, I would not waste ink on it. The fact that this loser is part of the group taking money from Russia, including Giuliani and Devin Nunes and Moscow Mitch and the other loser members of Congress that visited Moscow last July 4, should come as no surprise to anybody. Another recipient of funding by the Russia for American Leadership PAC.

The good news is that I am still feeling a lot of joy, I seem to have broken into a new zone there. But joy or no joy, dirt and corruption are offensive. I don’t like dirty officials.

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Thank you Roland for bringing up those traitors who went to Russia on the 4th of July. I've been brining it up in conversations and I always ask, why were they there and why hasn't that been spoken about more? And so far, no answers have been heard. Wish I knew a D.C. reporter because I would ask them to ask those people themselves.

#WeNeedAnswers

I think they went there to get their marching orders from ole putie.

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Hello Beth. Today it is March 17, 2021. It has taken until now for Sheldon Whitehouse‘s story, his investigation into SC corruption, to make it into the headlines. Now tell me Beth, what do you think about the relative importance of corruption of members of Congress? How does the corruption of members of Congress compare to the corruption of Supreme Court justices? Hmmm?

Greg Olear has at least a dozen articles on Putin’s influence in America to Trump, Nunes, Manafort, and plenty of others, but this article covers the July 4 Squad of Traitors

https://gregolear.substack.com/p/sleeper-cell-the-fourth-of-july-traitors

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Thanks, Roland, for linking Greg Olear's post. I would add this one as well:

https://gregolear.substack.com/p/leo-the-cancer

It is an excellent post about Leonard Leo, someone who is a dark and very potent force behind much of the R's long term malfeasance in our judicial system, esp the SC.

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This link was the last straw today. The deeper I dive the more discouraged I become. Just how many Leonard Leos are out there plying their dark arts behind the scenes? Time to clear my head with a walk.

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I agree, Heidi. Glad Roland pointed us to Olear.

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Sounds like Olear is "go to" reading for many of us! Need I say more? It makes the time pass more quickly while I'm on the stationary bike! Shocking, at times, to read but great for my physical well-being! Emotionally, not so!

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I read his series on Kavanaugh. It was fascinating. I also like his writing style.

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Whitehouse's first report came out in May. May, as in 10 MONTHS AGO! Where has the media been?

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Asleep at the wheel Herb

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A large part of the problem is that we are also experiencing a news desert - to coin a phrase. Dark Money - in this case, in plain view, by law - also owns the media. See this May 22, 2017 report by webfx.com. Included in this are graphics literally showing the media assets under control, and the CEOs associated with those 'dynasties.'

THE 6 COMPANIES THAT OWN (ALMOST) ALL MEDIA [INFOGRAPHIC]

"...While independent media outlets still exist (and there are a lot of them), the major outlets are almost all owned by these six conglomerates. To be clear, “media” in this context does not refer just to news outlets - it refers to any medium that controls the distribution of information. So here, “media” includes 24-hour news stations, newspapers, publishing houses, Internet utilities, and even video game developers."

https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic/

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I’ve been reading Greg Olear for a few weeks now on your recommendation. Thank you! Glad you pointed out this piece too.

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So glad to see that Greg Olear is getting some good PR. Also happy to find another ADKer here.

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Roland I didn’t mean to imply that any of us are running out of outrage. Actually I think we just need to channel the outrage effectively and while we’re at it to have as much joy as possible. Personally I’ve renewed my League of Women Voters membership and made a donation to them. I do everything I can to back various requests I get to support a host of other issues. We who are fighting to get our democracy back on a stronger footing need to continue doing all the other stuff we do like taking care of our families and ourselves. Unfortunately the years we spent under our wannabe dictator resulted in serious damage that will take time to repair. So we all need extraordinary patience too.

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No time fir patience imo. Our house is on fire.

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Patience is always a part of long term efforts —one has to conserve energy to achieve the long term goals.

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We all know about patience, slow and steady wins the race, but, imho, we are out of time, or at least getting extremely close! We NEED courageous, moral leadership and we NEED to clean our house.

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Ongoing outrage channeled effectively, yes!

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Of course! (to patience, to all of us having outrage, to repairing damage, to joy, to taking care of ourselves and our families, . . . ). When you said “outrage” I was just reminded of my own.

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Good stuff, Roland. Another word for rear end, at least in these parts, is patoot, as in a horse's patoot. The etymology of the word? Here's what I found: [1960s+; origin unknown; perhaps fr dialect tout, ''buttocks,'' fr Middle English, pronounced toot, and altered to conform with sweet patootie by folk etymology]. There are many, many on the Republican side of the coin who could accurately be termed patoots. The biggest of all lost the presidential election in November.

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For the sake of accuracy, the 4thh of July Field Trip to Moscow happened in 2018. These were the participants:

Seven senators — John Kennedy (R-LA), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Thune (R-SD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) — and one House member, Kay Granger (R-TX),

I've checked pretty thoroughly for a more recent 4th of July Field Trip to Moscow and can't find one.

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They had to check-in for their 'performance reviews' and renew their compensation plans. /s

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Precisely. And perhaps get newest marching orders.

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Thank you very much for the correction Daria. 🙏 Middle of the night, tiny iPhone screen, working somewhere out there on I-5, I’m never at my best. I love being part of this team, I can always rely on somebody else to augment or to complete or to correct.

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Roland, I truly hope you don't mind my correction. ❤

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I love the respect shown by writers on these pages. Heather has inspired quite a phenomenon.

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Always correct me. Please.

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I wouldn’t lie to you Daria. ❤️ I say exactly what I am thinking. I am completely honest here, with the occasional exception of holding back on the venom. There is quite a lot of outrage available, as I mention here today.

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Roland, I can’t help but wonder, when you describe driving a truck and joining this and other discussions on your cellphone, how you do it safely.

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Roland, I couldn’t agree more! Although I’m a product of 16 years of Catholic school, my “colorful” language comes from my Sicilian relatives. But now, my husband says he’s never heard me curse as much as I do now.

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12 years of Catholic school for this Irish girl, and a temper to match!

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Yeah, with good reason.

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And our taxes will usher him into his comfortable retirement for life, with not a worry or a care and a hefty health insurance to ease his woes, all while he feels perfectly free to make these kinds of destructive, ill considered and poorly reflected statements. Does he really have the right to free speech or can this be viewed as incendiary, destructive and/or dangerously fallacious speech and must be closely monitored? And, if monitored, are we then, ourselves, leaning towards a police state? These "misrepresenters" or ignoramuses or Machiavellians challenge my every dedication to the principle of free speech...so, if that is the case, then, who am I?

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Very deep, layered perspective. Evokes deep reflection. 🏆

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Here is a good starting point for outrage: Bureau of Land Management employees have been threatened with violence, rape, death and are no match for Kochs cowboy mobsters:

Jan 17, 2021

Dwight and Steven Hammond

When Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of arson for burning more than 100 acres of federal land, their case became a flashpoint in the fight for control over public lands. (Witnesses testified the fire was intended to cover up evidence of illegal hunting; the Hammonds said they started the fire on their own property to burn off invasive species and it accidentally spread.) “They have become symbols of the way many rural Americans feel they’ve been wronged by federal overreach,” BuzzFeed News reported. Their case sparked a 41-day standoff with federal agents at a wildlife refuge in Oregon, led by Ryan and Ammon Bundy. Many people joining the protest were members of unofficial militias, armed with long guns and pistols and dressed in full tactical gear. One Arizona rancher was killed by police.

The Trump connection: The Hammonds had support both from right-wing extremists willing to take up arms against government regulation and from a multimillionaire oil magnate.

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Yes I’m aware of this — there are so many entry points to outrage but the good news about our collective outrage is that the Biden team is actually governing and they only about halfway through the first 100 days.

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The Biden team is such an amazing breath of fresh air. Stunning. 🌈🎉❤️

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Yes I’m so grateful for the Biden’s and their team. Decency restored

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What those <insert profanity/blasphemy/vulgarity here, this is one time when it is appropriate> did to the Refuge was unconscionable, as unconscionable as their initial "protest" was, and as horrible as their backers are.

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Filthy insurrectionist scum. The Malheur outrage was insurrection just as much as Jan 6.

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mysteriously Kennedy retires and white clan frat boy Kavanaugh ascends to a seat on the throne!

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Yeah, I am waiting to see what that looks like under the light of day.

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Senator Whitehouse's interview yesterday on WAPO Live indicates he has this issue squarely in his sights.

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I loved the presentation that Senator Whitehouse gave during Amy Covid Barrett's hearing.

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Here's the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3fJBhalEgs

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Great, "beefy" interview with substantial comments. It's encouraging to listen to politicians who discuss their points of view without pitching sound bites and meaningless flim-flam. Thank you!

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Thanks - I didn't have the link.

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There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of that sham of a ¨trial¨. Last week I shared a horrific experience with my husband while in college. San name the city and the university. But. Can´t tell you where it happened. Can't describe him. Or them. But it happened. Corporate money is the rape of democracy. There must be a way to stop the monsters.

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Sorry to say, but so far there hasn't been . . . pretty much since the rise of industrialism.

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Sorry to hear that Gailee. Thank you for sharing with us. It chills me to think how common sexual predation is in our world. I just cannot fathom how a human being will allow himself to violate another person. It goes against everything in my being. It’s a violation of all that is right and true. How does a man (boy) live with himself after that? I would never get over the stain on my soul.

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PREACH, sister!!

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“Go for it, frat boy.”

TPJ you are so much more courteous and nuanced than I am. Stone blind and black-out drunk, sexual predator, and all-around dirtbag frat boy is more like it.

No SC justice has ever been impeached and convicted. No former president has ever been convicted of a felony, I’m guessing. The Trump administration has an opportunity to make some real history here. McConnell. All the people associated with the 2016 Trump campaign. The Trump staff who organized or hijacked the rally for the US Capitol attack and riot. The January 6 Congress members who voted the wrong way after their lives were in danger, even if like Ron Johnson they thought they were safe as if they were in church. I could go on, but you get the idea. Trump saying he was going to drain the swamp is like Hitler saying he was going to be the worlds greatest leader for human rights.

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It would tickle my fancy to see Kavanaugh resign. I would know privately that

Olear’s carrot and stick proposition worked.

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Right, Roland. I've got this funny feeling there is a LOT of history about to be made - and quickly.

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That’s a lovely intuition.

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