Can you fucking imagine?

Jan 24th, 2021 4:10 pm | By

Feminism can’t defend women if it’s forced to speak for those who do not share this experience.

Why are we being forced, or at least bullied and bullied and bullied, to speak for the people who don’t share our experience? What is that? I still can’t take in how it’s grown and then swallowed everything.

But with a whimper

Jan 24th, 2021 12:56 pm | By

The end:

Trump left the White House with his wife, Melania, at about 8:20 a.m., refusing to take questions from the press. He walked to Marine One with an ominous send-off: “I just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it’s not a long-term goodbye. We’ll see each other again.” Later, in a brief departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews before flying to Florida, he gave a familiar and repetitive summation of what he views as his accomplishments in office. He of course neglected to mention the incident that will come to overshadow everything else that happened over the past four years: a lethal insurrection carried out by his supporters after a rally in which he’d again falsely claimed that the election was stolen. Trump may have no interest in revisiting the riot at the Capitol on January 6 that delayed the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory and took five lives, but history won’t forget it.

“This is the only president in American history who incited an insurrection against Congress that could have resulted in assassinations and hostage-taking and, conceivably, the cancellation of a free presidential election and the fracturing of a democracy,” Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, told me. “That’s a fact, and it won’t change in 50 years. It’s very hard to think of a scenario under which someone might imagine some wonderful thing that Donald Trump did that will outshine that. He did, literally, the worst thing that an American president could ever do.”

He did that and he also did very little that can be seen as “some wonderful thing.” Very very little.

Shortly after noon today, the main @POTUS, @WhiteHouse, and @VP Twitter accounts had changed hands. Twitter even created an account for Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, called @SecondGentleman. Unlike Trump, Biden is not a Twitter obsessive. A Biden transition adviser told me that the new president would not use social media as an “abusive, psychotic mechanism to display insecurity and grievances.”

Huh. De gustibus.

Meanwhile Mar-a-Lago isn’t what it was.

Many once-loyal members of Mar-a-Lago are leaving because they no longer want to have any connection to former President Donald Trump, according to the author of the definitive book about the resort.

Attempted insurrection and murder a step too far?

“It’s a very dispirited place,” Laurence Leamer, historian and author of “Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace,” told MSNBC host Alex Witt on “Weekends with Alex Witt” Saturday. He said members are “not concerned about politics and they said the food is no good.”

Too many burgers.

“Even here, people don’t like him,” Leamer said, referring to residents of Palm Beach — many of whom voted for Trump in hopes of lower taxes and a booming stock market. “It’s just another measure of how his power has declined.”

They’re all gonna laugh at him.

Exuberance in the cause of maga

Jan 24th, 2021 11:46 am | By

They didn’t mean it, they were just overexcited.

A Texas man who participated in the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January has been charged with threatening to “assassinate” the New York Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Garret Miller of Texas faces five criminal charges arising from his participation in the pro-Trump riot, including “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority” and making threats.

According to court documents, he allegedly tweeted: “Assassinate AOC.”

He is also charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, obstructing or impeding any official proceeding, and certain acts during civil disorder.

High spirits! The thrill of the moment!

[His lawyer Clint] Broden said: “Mr Miller regrets the actions he took in a misguided effort to show his support for former President Trump. He has the full support of his family and has always been a law abiding citizen.

“His social media comments reflect very ill-considered political hyperbole in very divided times and will certainly not be repeated in the future. He looks forward to putting all of this behind him.”

Lawyers say what they have to say, but still, what happened on January 6 goes well beyond “support for Trump.” It was support for Trump’s relentless campaign to steal the election, and then for his attempt to make war on Congress by proxy.

He was very chatty about it on Facebook.

On 2 January, Miller allegedly wrote on Facebook: “I am about to drive across the country for this trump shit. On Monday … Some crazy shit going to happen this week. Dollar might collapse … civil war could start … not sure what to do in DC.”

On 3 January, Miller allegedly said he was bringing to Washington “a grappling hook and rope and a level-3 vest. Helmets mouth guard and bump cap”. The last time he was in Washington for a pro-Trump rally, Miller allegedly added, he “had a lot of guns” with him.

Just boyish enthusiasm.

For one thing, Nixon was smart

Jan 24th, 2021 11:27 am | By

Can Trump at least get his social life back?

Asking if Donald Trump can rehabilitate himself in US public life as did a disgraced president before him, legendary Washington reporter Elizabeth Drew was not optimistic.

“For all their similarities,” she wrote, “Nixon and Trump clearly are very different men. For one thing, Nixon was smart.”

For one very big thing. Massive, really. Who with more intelligence than a sponge wants to hang out with Trump? Who wants to listen to that raspy voice talking repetitive bullshit in a 300-word vocabulary for hours and hours? No one.

Drew, 85 and the author of the classic Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall, published her thoughts in the Washington Post.

I have that book, and it has made for comforting reading during the reign of terror.

Drew wrote of how after Nixon’s resignation in August 1974, to avoid impeachment over the Watergate scandal, the 37th president went into exile in California. But she also cited his deep background in US politics and institutions – as a former congressman, senator and vice-president who “essentially understood the constitution and limits, even if he overreached at times” – and how, “interested in the substance of governing, he studied white papers and was conversant in most topics the government touched.”

While the burger king is conversant in literally nothing that doesn’t concern him personally. He’s conversant in what people say about him, and the rest is just mutter mutter blah blah mumble mumble he couldn’t care less.

Drew also discussed the way Nixon set about re-entering public life, mostly as a sage voice on foreign policy…

Yes well that avenue is definitely closed to the Fox News expert.

All the golf you can eat

Jan 24th, 2021 11:12 am | By

Trump thinks he can still call the shots.

Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, splitting rounds of golf with discussions about maintaining relevance and influence and how to unseat Republicans deemed to have crossed him, the Washington Post reported.

Trump, the Post said, has said the threat of starting a Maga (Make America Great Again) or Patriot party, gives him leverage to prevent senators voting to convict, which could lead to him being prevented from seeking office again.

Or, it might piss them off so much they not only vote to convict, they urge other Rs to do the same.

Also, there’s something else that might prevent Trump from seeking office again: the fact that he’s a puffy lazy slug who never gets any real exercise (swinging a golf club doesn’t count as exercise) and stuffs on ice cream and Burger King. He’s not immortal.

Mitt Romney, the Utah senator, former presidential candidate and fierce Trump critic who was the only Republican to vote for impeachment at his first trial last year, said the former president had exhibited a “continuous pattern” of trying to corrupt elections.

“He fired up a crowd, encouraging them to march on the Capitol at the time that the Congress was carrying out its constitutional responsibility to certify the election,” Romney told CNN’s State of the Union. “These allegations are very serious. They haven’t been defended yet by the president. He deserves a chance to have that heard but it’s important for us to go through the normal justice process and for there to be resolution.”

Romney said it was constitutional to hold a trial for a president who has left office.

“I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offence. If not, what is?”

Backing the wrong football team?

Basic human dignity

Jan 23rd, 2021 6:00 pm | By

Slogans instead of thinking. Always, because that’s all there is. Jessica Valenti glaring at feminists who don’t want women and girls to have to share their sports with men who identify as women:

I hate to give oxygen to the kind of thinking that pits cisgender women against trans women, and so I can’t bring myself to link to the uninformed and often downright hateful arguments being bandied about by those claiming to be feminists. The short version is that there’s a fear that cis women and girls will be somehow harmed if they are in the same bathrooms or on the same sports teams as trans women and girls. That by protecting the rights of trans students, cis students will suffer.

It’s not “somehow.” It’s been stated very clearly a million times, and it’s obvious anyway. Of course women and girls will be harmed if they’re forced to compete against men and boys. It’s physical.

Let’s be clear: This is bigotry shrouded as feminism. Making sure that a violently oppressed and marginalized community is treated with basic human dignity does not take anything away from anyone else.

But “basic human dignity” has nothing to do with men competing against women in women’s sports. That’s never been part of what anyone meant by “basic human dignity.” The phrase applies to things like not living in squalor, not living on the street, having enough to eat and meaningful work and shoes and clothes, education and medical care and opportunities. It doesn’t apply to forcing girls to let boys take their places on sports teams.

It’s just cheap lazy jargon in aid of helping men displace women. Valenti should be embarrassed.

H/t Roj Blake

Seriously damaged

Jan 23rd, 2021 5:36 pm | By


Consultant psychiatrist Dr David Bell, who served as a staff governor at the Tavistock Trust, wrote an internal report in 2018, raising the concerns brought to him by colleagues about the way the Gender Identity Development Service was treating patients.

He faced disciplinary action.

But after 24 years working with the Tavistock, Dr Bell, a former President of the British Psychoanalytic Society, has recently retired, and in his first television interview since then, he began by outlining his worries about the service.

Less Marlowe, more modules

Jan 23rd, 2021 4:46 pm | By

The English department will stop teaching English literature.

The University of Leicester will stop teaching the great English medieval poet and author Geoffrey Chaucer in favour of modules on race and sexuality, according to new proposals.

Management told the English department that courses on canonical works would be dropped in favour of modules that “students expect” as part of plans now under consultation.

Foundational texts such as The Canterbury Tales and the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf would no longer be taught, under proposals to scrap medieval literature. Instead, the English faculty will be refocused to drop centuries of the literary canon and deliver a “decolonised” curriculum devoted to diversity.

Why not do both? Why not have English literature with Chaucer for those who want it, and with “modules on race and sexuality” for those who want that? It seems drastic to chop a large segment of English literature out of teaching English literature.

Professors were told that, to facilitate change, management planned to stop all English language courses, cease medieval literature, and reduce early modern literature offerings.

Cuts to early modern English modules could see texts such as John Milton’s Paradise Lost omitted, according to concerned academics, with teaching on Christopher Marlowe and John Donne potentially reduced.

Yeah don’t do that. No English literature student should be shortchanged on Marlowe and Donne.

The University of Leicester has said it would continue teaching William Shakespeare’s work.

Oh gee what a generous concession.

Mitten memes

Jan 23rd, 2021 12:20 pm | By

May be art of billiards

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'Leonard, he's in,my spot.'


Jan 23rd, 2021 12:00 pm | By

None of this is normal or ok.

Trump’s legacy is armed and dangerous people in Congress.

Over the past couple of weeks, Republicans have been having temper tantrums about new safety protocols that have been put in place in the US Capitol following the deadly 6 January insurrection. Lawmakers are now supposed to walk through metal detectors to enter the chamber and vote but a number of Republicans have been ignoring the rules. “You can’t stop me,” Louie Gohmert, a Texas congressman, reportedly sneered at Capitol police, as he shamelessly skirted a metal detector…

…“Nah, I’m not going to do that,” the Georgia congressman Rick Allen reportedly told officers who attempted to scan him after he set off the machine. Similarly, the newly elected congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who tweeted earlier this year that she was going to carry a loaded Glock handgun to Congress, refused to have her bag searched. Congressman Andy Harris, meanwhile, did consent to a search on Thursday afternoon: a concealed weapon was found in his suit coat.

Nobody should have to go to work every day wondering whether one of their colleagues is going to kill them. And yet, that’s precisely what some Democrats – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the Squad, in particular – are having to do. The Squad are a favourite target of rightwingers; they’ve had reason to worry about their safety long before the Capitol riots. Last year, for example, the QAnon supporter and new congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene posted an image on Facebook of her holding an assault rifle alongside Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. “We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart,” her post’s caption read.

She actually did.

In the Thursday post, Marjorie Taylor Greene, the GOP nominee in Georgia’s heavily Republican 14th District, wears sunglasses and stands with a gun next to photos of Tlaib and U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota. Text below the image says “Squad’s Worst Nightmare!”

“We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country party,” Greene’s Facebook post added. “Americans must take our country back.”

Georgia Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene posted a gun-toting image on her campaign Facebook page on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, about "squad" members and U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York; and Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota

Greene is now in Congress.

None of this is normal or acceptable.

Woman-hating for the Age of Woke

Jan 23rd, 2021 10:47 am | By

Hadley Freeman tells us about a new Pixar movie:

Obviously, there will be spoilers here, so look away, easily spoiled people. Soul is about a jazz musician, Joe (Jamie Foxx), who has a terrible accident just as he gets his big break. He starts to go up to “the Great Beyond” but, desperate to return to Earth, agrees to mentor a soul about to be born in the hope of sneaking back himself. Joe is assigned the notorious soul 22, whose constant negativity drove previous mentors, including Muhammad Ali and Carl Jung, to despair. Soul 22 is voiced by Tina Fey and, understandably, given she’s yet to be born, Joe asks, “Why do you sound like a middle-aged white woman?”

“I just use this voice because it annoys people,” 22 replies.

“It’s very effective,” says Joe.

Ah, I see. So all white women age, say, 30 to 60, are automatically and inherently annoying.

Record screech! OK, this middle-aged white woman has some questions, starting with what, exactly, the directors (two men) and the writers (three men) of Soul think the little girls watching this film – who may have a middle-aged white woman for a mother, who may themselves one day be middle-aged white women – should make of the implication that this is the most annoying voice in the world?

I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that: nothing. They think nothing on that subject, because they don’t think about it at all, because it doesn’t occur to them, because they don’t give a fuck.

Soul 22 ruins everything with her whining, only finding happiness when she literally steals Joe’s life from him. Then I understood: Fey is playing Pixar’s Karen. Coined in America, “Karen” denotes a white woman who endangers minorities, such as by maliciously calling the cops on them (Amy Cooper, AKA “Central Park Karen”, who last year was charged with filing a false report on birdwatcher Chris Cooper) or erroneously accusing them of theft (Miya Ponsetto, AKA “Soho Karen”, charged last month with attacking a teenage boy in New York).

But this trope gained such momentum in 2020 that it is now commonly used to refer, simply, to middle-aged white women, just as “boomer” has long since lost its “baby boomer” associations and means “anyone older than me”. Over the summer, the alt-right blogger Paul Joseph Watson posted a video in which he called a woman a “Karen” for asking a cyclist to maintain social distancing. British school kids now laugh about whether or not someone’s mum is a Karen, meaning simply that they are boring, annoying, old. Last month, newspapers and dictionaries declared “Karen” to be the word of 2020. Any woman who complains that maybe this term has become a bit sexist is told, with impeccable witch-trial logic, that they are proving their own Karen-ness.

How could anything possibly go wrong? Hmmmm?

And this has been seen as fair enough by people who would usually abhor such stereotypes – because white women have privilege and some abuse it, like Cooper and Ponsetto. But, by and very large, the people who perpetuate racial violence and injustice are white men. Of course it feels safer to make fun of women; but this generalised sneering is just an updated version of the old mother-in-law jokes, with added self-righteousness.

And people who you would really think would know better are all over it like a bad rash.


Jan 23rd, 2021 10:14 am | By

I missed this – hero Capitol cop who lured the insurrectionists away from the Senate chamber got a promotion and a glam assignment.

Vice-president Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, were escorted at Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony by Eugene Goodman, the Capitol police officer hailed as a hero for single-handedly leading the mob that broke into the Capitol two weeks ago away from the Senate chamber.

Goodman has also been promoted to acting deputy sergeant-at-arms for the Senate, one of the most prominent positions in the Capitol Hill security force, according to an official announcement at the ceremony.

That’s good.

Congress peeps are still pressing for him to get a Congressional Gold Medal as well.

Eugene Goodman escorted Kamala Harris to inauguration ceremony - CNN

The fog and friction

Jan 23rd, 2021 9:54 am | By

Another layer of treasonous plotting reported:

In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said Trump plotted with an official at the Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state.

Force them to. I don’t see that happening. Based on how they acted in reality I think they would all have resigned rather than let Trump “force” them to steal an election.

Former acting US defense secretary Christopher Miller, meanwhile, made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that when he took the job in November, he had three goals: “No military coup, no major war and no troops in the street.”

The former special forces officer added: “The ‘no troops in the street’ thing changed dramatically about 14.30 [on 6 January]. So that one’s off [the list].”

The law enforcement and Pentagon response to the Capitol riot has been questioned, regarding the ease with which security was breached and the time it took to get the national guard to the scene. One Capitol police officer died after confronting the rioters. Another gained national fame after leading attackers away from where lawmakers hid.

“We had meetings upon meetings,” Miller told Vanity Fair. “We were monitoring it. And we’re just like, ‘Please, God, please, God.’ Then the damn TV pops up and everybody converges on my office: [Joint Chiefs of Staff] chairman [Gen Mark Milley], Secretary of the Army [Ryan] McCarthy, the crew just converges.

“We had already decided we’re going to need to activate the national guard, and that’s where the fog and friction comes in.”

“The friction” meaning, I think, reports that Trump insiders delayed the national guard activation.

Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist installed as Miller’s chief of staff – and accused of obstructing the Biden transition – said: “The DC mayor finally said, ‘OK, I need more.’ Then the Capitol police … a federal agency and the Secret Service made the request … and we did it. And then we just went to work.”

Miller called accusations the Pentagon was slow to respond “complete horseshit” and said: “I gotta tell you, I cannot wait to go to the Hill and have those conversations with senators and representatives … I know when something doesn’t smell right, and I know when we’re covering our asses. Been there. I know for an absolute fact that historians are going to look … at the actions that we did on that day and go, ‘Those people had their game together.’”

Classic trumper: claiming to know for an absolute fact what future historians are going to say. What future people are going to say is a category of thing you can’t possibly know for an absolute fact. You can’t know it about fifty times over, because of all the many intervening factors in addition to the obvious ones, like the impossibility of knowing that all future historians will think Trump was a stable genius.

The report detailed “stunned silence” among DoJ leaders as they were told of moves by Trump and “unassuming lawyer” Jeffrey Clark to “cast doubt on the election results and bolster … legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians”.

According to the Times, DoJ leaders decided that if Rosen was fired and replaced by Clark, they would resign en masse.

“For some,” the paper reported, “the plan brought to mind the so-called Saturday Night Massacre of the Nixon era, where Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy resigned rather than carry out the president’s order to fire the special prosecutor investigating him.”

Ezra Cohen, another Trump appointee at the Pentagon, told Vanity Fair: “The president threw us under the bus. And when I say ‘us,’ I don’t mean only us political appointees or only us Republicans. He threw America under the bus. He caused a lot of damage to the fabric of this country.”

See? Another reason nobody can know for an absolute fact that future historians will flatter Trump. Even some of his own people refuse to do that any more, just minutes into that future.

His wellbeing matters more than hers

Jan 22nd, 2021 5:58 pm | By

So that’s it then, no more women’s sports in the US.

Joe Biden’s first day in office delivered an incremental victory for transgender athletes seeking to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports.

That is, Joe Biden’s first day in office delivered an incremental victory for male athletes seeking to participate as female in high school and college sports, and a loss for girls and women.

In Idaho, a law signed in March by the Republican governor, Brad Little, became the nation’s first to prohibit transgender students who identify as female from playing on female teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. The legislation was overwhelmingly supported by the state’s Republican-dominated house and the Trump administration but blocked from implementation by a federal judge while a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice proceeds.

Backers said the law, called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, is necessary because transgender female athletes have physical advantages.

Opponents, which include healthcare groups and human rights advocates, claim the restrictions harm the emotional and physical wellbeing of transgender youth. Similar laws in other states have been funded by advocacy groups like Alliance Defending Freedom, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group whose other legal work revolves around attacking reproductive rights, gay marriage and other LGBTQ+ rights.

Notice the complete failure to address the “because transgender female athletes have physical advantages” part.

In Connecticut, the Trump administration intervened in support of a lawsuit filed by several non-transgender girls in Connecticut who were seeking to block a state policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in line with their identity. The plaintiffs argued transgender female runners had an unfair physical advantage.

But the two transgender runners at the center of that case said in court filings that being able to run against girls was central to their wellbeing.

“Running has been so important for my identity, my growth as a person, and my ability to survive in a world that discriminates against me,” Andraya Yearwood wrote to the court. “I am thankful that I live in Connecticut where I can be treated as a girl in all aspects of life and not face discrimination at school.”

What if being able to run against girls is also central to the wellbeing of the girls? Why should Yearwood’s wellbeing matter more than theirs? What about the girls’ identity, growth as persons, and ability to survive in a world that discriminates against them? Why does Yearwood’s everything matter more than their everything?

The piece ends with a comment from Chase Strangio.

Make America bullet-riddled again

Jan 22nd, 2021 3:15 pm | By

From last week:

Several Republican members of Congress on Tuesday complained about — or outright bypassed — the metal detectors to enter the House floor, which were ordered put in place by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol.

Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve Stivers of Ohio, Van Taylor of Texas, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Debbie Lesko of Arizona and Larry Bucshon of Indiana, among others, were seen not complying with police at checkpoints or complained about the measure’s implementation, according to press pool and media reports.

Boebert, a newly elected member who vowed in a viral video to carry a gun in the Capitol, was seen in an apparent dispute with police over going through the metal detector.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” she tweeted. “Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”

The violence they saw January 6 wasn’t the only possible violence, especially possible from people like, precisely, Boebert. I wouldn’t trust her not to join the insurrectionists and help them from within, by murdering her colleagues. I would sure as hell not want to be on the House floor with her knowing she had a gun.

On the House floor, during arguments on a motion regarding the 25th Amendment, Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., called the metal detectors an “atrocity.”

“Take note, America,” he said. “This is what you have to look forward to in the Joe Biden administration.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a top Trump defender, said the added security was hampering his constitutional rights.

And the pope is a porn star.

Brooks walked calmly out of the chamber

Jan 22nd, 2021 11:16 am | By

A bit of Senate history, from the Senate Historical Office, which I didn’t know there was such a thing.

On May 22, 1856, the “world’s greatest deliberative body” became a combat zone. In one of the most dramatic and deeply ominous moments in the Senate’s entire history, a member of the House of Representatives entered the Senate Chamber and savagely beat a senator into unconsciousness.

The inspiration for this clash came three days earlier when Senator Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts antislavery Republican, addressed the Senate on the explosive issue of whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a slave state or a free state. In his “Crime Against Kansas” speech, Sumner identified two Democratic senators as the principal culprits in this crime—Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina. He characterized Douglas to his face as a “noise-some, squat, and nameless animal . . . not a proper model for an American senator.”  Andrew Butler, who was not present, received more elaborate treatment. Mocking the South Carolina senator’s stance as a man of chivalry, the Massachusetts senator charged him with taking “a mistress . . . who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight—I mean,” added Sumner, “the harlot, Slavery.”

Representative Preston Brooks was Butler’s South Carolina kinsman. If he had believed Sumner to be a gentleman, he might have challenged him to a duel. Instead, he chose a light cane of the type used to discipline unruly dogs. Shortly after the Senate had adjourned for the day, Brooks entered the old chamber, where he found Sumner busily attaching his postal frank to copies of his “Crime Against Kansas” speech.

Moving quickly, Brooks slammed his metal-topped cane onto the unsuspecting Sumner’s head. As Brooks struck again and again, Sumner rose and lurched blindly about the chamber, futilely attempting to protect himself. After a very long minute, it ended.

Bleeding profusely, Sumner was carried away.  Brooks walked calmly out of the chamber without being detained by the stunned onlookers.

It took Sumner years to recover, and he was never the same again.

Lending legitimacy

Jan 22nd, 2021 10:08 am | By

I should think so.

A group of Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz over their objections to the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results that coincided with the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

By objecting to the certification, Cruz, and Hawley, “lent legitimacy” to the violent mob of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, the letter sent to incoming Senate Ethics Committee Chairman Chris Coons, D-Del., and Vice Chairman James Lankford, R-Okla., said.

The letter, spearheaded by Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, asked for an investigation into the two members to “fully understand their role” as it relates to the attack on the Capitol and to determine whether disciplinary action is needed.

Whitehouse and the six other Democrats who signed the letter want information on whether Hawley, Cruz or their staffers were in contact or coordinated with the organizers of the rally; what the senators knew about the plans for the Jan. 6 rally; whether they received donations from any of the organizations or donors that funded the rally; and whether the senators “engaged in criminal conduct or unethical or improper behavior.”

Objecting to the certification is itself pretty unethical and improper, seeing as how there was no reason to do so except the desire to steal the election.

Hawley, of Missouri, and Cruz, of Texas, have defended their actions by saying they were raising objections to what they saw as election irregularities in states that voted for Biden. There has been no proof for such claims.

No proof, no evidence, no anything except lies and shouting.

The Senate can expel or censure its members. Expulsion requires a two-thirds vote in the chamber. Censure requires a majority vote.

But according to, only 15 U.S. senators have been expelled since 1780 — all for disloyalty to the U.S. Most of them were removed for supporting the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Well that’s kind of what Hawley and Cruz were doing. Trump is Civil War part deux.

Hockey stick guy

Jan 22nd, 2021 9:12 am | By

Rachel Maddow showed this clip last night; she said she had literally had nightmares about it.

He lifts the hockey stick over his head and slams it down on the cop, over and over.

He’s in jail pending a court appearance.

A Michigan man, allegedly seen attacking police with a hockey stick during riots at the U.S. Capitol, was arrested on Thursday after FBI agents got an unwitting assist from the suspect’s Facebook-posting father, officials said.

Michael Joseph Foy, 29, was picked up in the Detroit suburb of Wixom about 6:30 a.m., according to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He made a brief appearance in court about seven hours later, and was ordered to remain in jail until his next hearing on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

One minute it’s the glorious revolution, next minute you’re spending a nasty weekend in jail.

The FBI said it has video that shows Foy targeting members of the Metropolitan Police Department with the hockey stick.

“Foy begins striking a group of Metropolitan Police Officer assisting in the protection of the U.S. Capitol who had been knocked down and dragged into the crowd of rioters,” authorities said in an affidavit.

“This attack continues for approximately 16 seconds until Foy is knocked down by another rioter. At that time, Foy circles back through the crowd, lowers his hood, which reveals a clear image of his face.”

His lily-white face.


Jan 21st, 2021 5:10 pm | By

New brooming.

President Joe Biden is forcing out two Trump-era counsels from the National Labor Relations Board, the first time in more than 70 years a president has exercised that power over the agency.

I wonder why it’s been so long. Republicans are not what you’d call pro-labor.

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb, a Trump appointee, was fired Wednesday after refusing a request from Biden to step down from his post. On Thursday, Biden asked for the resignation of Robb’s replacement, Deputy General Counsel Alice Stock, by 5 p.m. or said she would be dismissed.

Robb’s dismissal — hailed by union officials and their Democratic allies, who blame him for what they say is a pro-management turn in the labor board — marked the first time a president has removed the top lawyer at the NLRB since Harry Truman did so in 1950.

Robb promoted Stock to deputy general counsel in 2019. Before joining the NLRB, she was a management-side attorney representing businesses in collective bargaining disputes and unfair labor practice charges.

Labor is already the underdog, so how about getting people in who are on the labor side instead of the management side?

Robb’s removal before his term was set to end in November follows criticism from Democrats over the direction the board took under President Donald Trump. Democrats have also raised concerns over Robb’s moves to reorganize some of the board’s regional offices and new guidelines for agency investigations.

Organized labor had long opposed Robb, who also previously served as a management-side attorney and is known for kicking off the Federal Labor Relations Authority’s case to decertify the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization following the 1981 strike.

Organized labor would prefer someone pro-labor as opposed to pro-management. Shocking.

Members of the labor movement hailed the news of Robb’s forced exit as evidence that Biden’s was following through on his campaign promises to be a fierce advocate for labor rights.

Well good on him. Not such a conservative Dem as I thought.

A top House Democrat called it “a major victory for American workers.”

Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott, the chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, said Robb “has consistently neglected his statutory duty to uphold workers’ right to stand together and negotiate for better working conditions.”

But anti-union groups and Republicans slammed the decision as divisive and “unprecedented.”

Well they would, wouldn’t they. Racists don’t like anti-racist moves, anti-union groups don’t like pro-labor moves.

Solidarity Forever - Wikipedia

Super yucky

Jan 21st, 2021 4:26 pm | By

Oh wait hold the phone we have to stop being pleased that Kamala Harris is VP. It’s transphobic to be pleased! Stop it at once or I’ll tell the authorities.

Maybe it’s satire. Is there any chance it’s satire?