SocraticGadfly: 9/24/23 - 10/1/23

September 30, 2023

RFK Jr. going independent

Interesting, but not totally surprising, and also not totally smart to make this move. OR is it smart after all? See my full analysis as it plays out through the piece.

Given that he's already talked to Libertarian Party chair Angela McArdle, his growing frustration with trying to top President Joe Biden in the Democratic Party primary process has become quite public.

So, aborting that, I get.

Update, Oct. 5: The ongoing Libertarian Party implosion and backbiting among national board members, in part reflecting Miss Caucus vs non-Mises, is another good reason for Bob Jr. to avoid that shitshow.

The "not totally smart" is running as an independent. John Anderson is the last serious candidate to try that route. Ross is Boss Perot, even though he had no congressional candidates on his coattails, nonetheless got the Reform Party created as a platform and vehicle.

First, I don't think he gets the ballot access difficulties that face an independent, and that have only grown, perhaps exponentially, in the more than 40 years since Anderson did it.

Now, it's true that he's got Kennedy money (although that may not be quite as much as some of us think) to throw at paid petition signature gatherers in states that allow that. But, there's also getting official presidential electors in our American system and more. 

And, unless he wanted to try to bigfoot Cornel West, the Libertarians are his best angle.

I also doubt that No Labels wants to nominate him, even if it opts to nominate somebody. No Labels also has the baggage from its own POV that, at least in states covered by law by the Ninth Circuit, it CANNOT be only a presidential party, barring a new lawsuit.


The duopoly-based political horse race angle.

And, going by polls this summer, RFK Jr. going independent could hurt Republicans more than Democrats.

Reuters' story on the announcement, without detailed polling numbers, agrees. So does a National Review piece from July, linked by Mediaite.

And, per a new Mediate story, such luminary wingnuts as Charlie Kirk and Prilosec/POS/Posobiec agree that this hurts Trump more. Taint just them saying that, either; a RFK Jr staffer also says so, per the "this will fuck Trump" header. Indeed, without being so graphic, the man said his own self last week. Prilosec thinks it's a BlueAnon conspiracy, in fact.

That said, those numbers will change, and they'll change more if he abandons the Independent line and joins a third party.  

That said, with his announcement now official, GOP attacks confirm they're worried.

Now, some final analysis of this.

The flip side of all of this? 

First, like West went from MPP first to the Greens second (actually, he's technically running both as a fusion candidate), RFK Jr's move to an independent run doesn't preclude eventually moving to the Libertarians.

Second, the flip side to that is? Beyond the NYT reporting, the meeting with McArdle must just not have gone that well, if we're going to read between some lines.

Third is, on the "horse race" angle, running under the LP banner would probably hurt Republicans even more. 

Fourth, though, per that NR piece, Kennedy's fit as a Libertarian would be tough indeed. And, there's no guarantee he'd win the primary. Ditto on if he decided to bigfoot West.

Speaking of third parties? Anderson helped form the Justice Party not too many years before his death.


Now, media analysis.

Why Friday evening / late afternoon news dump time? (Contra any assumptions this was an accident, while this technically may be a "leak," not an "announcement," it seems to me to clearly have been a "planned leak," and on the semantics of that versus "announcement"? Per Spock in STTOS: "A difference that makes no difference IS no difference.")

So, why Friday dead zone time? Especially with shutdown news soaking up some of the media political oxygen? Could that be that RFK didn't want too big a trumpet blast?

As for "where"? Mediaite was certainly a chosen target. You don't have to worry about leaking to the NYT and pissing off the WaPost, or leaking to NR and pissing off TNR, etc.

Mediate is a media analysis site, but one that focuses on analysis of political news coverage. Perfect target.

And, on the timing, once more? The big announcement is Oct. 9, so, the campaign needed some sort of leak before then. And, Friday dead zone time? RFK's campaign, or the man himself, could have figured that all the shutdown coverage was to their advantage. News junkies wanted something else in national news, and many of RFK's vote targets are probably open to blaming both duopoly sides on the shutdown.

So, while it looks like a stereotypical Friday afternoon news dump, there may be logic to it. And, while a first-time candidate for elected office, RFK, through Waterkeepers and other groups, is not a stranger to dealing with the media in general.


Now, a second round of political analysis.

First, between money, name and enthusiasm, RFK Jr. can probably get on the ballot in most states with no problem. And, per his time running Waterkeepers and other things, he's got some experience with petition drives for ballot access, I would think.

A related note? Here in Tex-ass, I believe the rule on signing for an independent candidate to get on the ballot is the same as for a third party to get party-line ballot access. It's a disgusting rule, and just another way in which Democrats join with Republicans in suppressing third-party and independent candidate vote rights. In other words, if you voted in either the R or D primary in 2002, you can't sign, and that leaves me out. (Even though I don't plan on voting for him, I absolutely would sign if I could.)

In turn, a note related to that? RFK may not have problems recruiting enthusiastic people as signature gatherers, and paying them where he can. But, per the polling information above, and uncertainty, BOTH duopoly parties will do their best to find ANY problems with his petitions in all 50 states. 

(Update: On IPR, I posted a Ballotpedia link, about paid signature gatherers for initiatives, and extrapolated from that to political candidates; all 50 allow paid petition circulators for president, but vary on how they're paid.)

Second, the fit with Libertarians just doesn't seem like it would be that much better than with Republicans. Even if RFK has softened on gun control (he has, and yet another reason to dislike him), he's still pretty staunch on environmental issues, and their need to be enforced by regulation. Unless he dumps that, too, that, and other issues where he still supports the regulatory state, is too touch a match.

Third, running as a Libertarian, or a Green, just means you're a candidate. Nomination not guaranteed. It's true, he could try to use an existing Libertarian candidate as a cutout, like the "libertarian" Greens of 2020 were trying to use Dario Hunter as a cutout for Jesse the Body Ventura. (They hate it when he's called that.)

Fourth, nonetheless, some non-Mises Libertarians may well vote for RFK Jr. I see this as a net negative for them, if they don't get him on the ballot, as for a Trump-led GOP.

Oh, as for the number of signatures? Here in Tex-ass, it's 113,000 and change. I think it was a lot lower for Mimi Soltyski in 2016; the high presidential turnout in 2020 plus increased population has jacked the number. It was 90K in 2020.


And, yet more why Bob Jr. won't go Libertarian?

It's not the environmentalism, it's the pro-life-ism. He's hardcore "good conservative cafeteria Catholic" on this issue, so much so that he touted on Twitter a place in Georgia, Auntie Angie's, that, reading between the lines, believes the "abortion is Black genocide" bullshit.

Note: This isn't out of the blue for Bob Jr. Given that he's grifted on the actual wrongs of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to target American Samoa, Somali immigrants in Minneapolis and other people of color with his antivaxxerism, Bob Jr. may actually be a self-gaslighter on the "abortion is Black genocide" issue. As a 2-star overall book I just read notes, in 2021, Bob Jr.'s Children's  Health Defense released the film "Medical Racism: The New Apartheid." Add in that Bob Jr. has buddied up with Tony Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, and there you are. (How he squares this with blank checks for Israel, I don't know.

Ron Paul was the last Libertarian candidate, back in 1988, to be openly personally pro-life, IIRC.

That said, while the Libertarian platform talks about people owning their own bodies, it does NOT explicitly tie that to "reproductive choice" or "abortion." Neither is mentioned in the platform.  And, per this "Libertarians on abortion" piece, that platform schwaffling (despite its PR bullshit) is deliberate. Per that link, why not explicitly say in the platform what the piece says? "Libertarians recognize that abortion is a controversial issue, therefore bodily self-ownership should not be taken as an endorsement of abortion." The reality is that Libertarians, IMO, think that most lowercase libertarians believe the party is pro-choice and won't disabuse them. It's bullshit.

That's why this piece, discussing the 2018 platform, and that the government should "stay out" of this issue, is also laughable. Since abortion became medically safe, not doing anything is "taking a side."

September 29, 2023

Trump is suing Steele! Getcha popcorn, MAGA and BlueAnon

That would be, of course, former president Donald Trump, suing former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, he of the "Steele Dossier" and the alleged but non-existent "piss tape" and other artifacts of Russiagate that blew up in BlueAnon / Hillbot Democrats' faces in 2016 ... and thereafter.

As I said on Twitter, if this were a libel case, with differences between US and UK libel law, this might be be a slam dunk. But, per the Guardian story, that's NOT why Trump is suing, which makes this more interesting. And perhaps more dull as well. (Also, per that "differences" link, as of 2010, by US federal law, US courts are barred from enforcing UK libel judgments against American citizens. Interestingly, Brits were "shocked" by that. Since 2013, British law, per that same link, has also been tightened to get rid of the worst of "libel tourism.")

First, the Guardian notes that there has been a previous British libel case against Steele, this one by Russian national Alexsej Gubarev against Steele and his Orbis Business Services, his consulting firm he founded after MI6 retirement. But, the Guardian notes that a British judge dismissed that, and a US judge dismissed a similar suit here.

That may be part of why this isn't a libel suit. 

Another part may be that Trump would have to air too much dirty laundry to win a libel suit, even in the UK.

But, it's not not a libel suit either. Hold on.

Instead, it's a data protection claim, the Guardian says. Those are kind of like US data protection laws, but, per the governing British law, allow sterner claims for a variety of circumstances, including "political opinions." This British law backgrounder website says that a data protection suit can be, and often is, especially in media law, used as an alternative to a defamation claim. That said, more of the burden of proof lies on the claimant. Back to "dirty laundry"?

There's one other reason this is a data claim. Per ThomsomReuters, with a basic overview of statute of limitations standards around the globe, it's one year for defamation but six years for general torts. But, Buzzfeed published in January 2017, if that's the clock-ticking date. Maybe the suit was officially filed months ago, and logistics, etc., have delayed any actual hearing.
Otherwise, I don't know. I still think this has the potential to backfire. Nor has anybody talking about this mentioned any information they have to that end, or who talked Trump into this, or couldn't talk him out of it, etc.

The British court's calendar indicates a two-day hearing starts Oct. 16. We'll learn then if it's totally dull or not.

As for the dossier? I early on didn't believe its big picture. Take the "piss tape." To blackmail someone, they have to have a sense of shame. Donald Trump is literally shameless; any father who talks about thoughts of lust about his own daughter qualifies right there.

Second, I rejected the other half of the framing, whether as originally sought by Republicans, or later sought and received by Democrats with further sexing up, that Russia had "kompromat" on Trump in general. First, see above. Second, the idea of Trump as a Manchurian candidate, Vladimir Putin collusion with him or anything similar? Laughable. Putin would know not to entangle himself with a flighty weathervane like Trump.

That's why I laughed even more at Jonathan Chait's claims (with David Corn about as bad) that Trump had been a Russian cutout since even before the fall of the Soviet Union.

That's just one part of it. There's the frauds like Mueller She Wrote and the somewhat better-insulated semi-frauds like Emptywheel who grifted on Russiagate. Or the New York Times, who tried to grift on Russiagate and put a thumb on the scale, too, for the 2022 midterms (also cluelessly ignoring that, post-Roe, abortion was THE voting issue).

Also, there were other good reasons to reject the collusion claims of Russiagate.

Servant of American empire Dianne Feinstein dead; mourn not

She shouldn't have run for re-election her last time, and wouldn't have won her primary had the California Democratic Party not cleared the decks for her. Shades of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020 nationally. No wonder both mourn her so much today. The California Democratic Party is one reason why Californians and Americans can't have good things, per the meme.

She was an uncritical servant of American empire abroad, which is to say, she was both a warmonger and a torturemonger. She was fine with snooping on Americans, and the only reason she opposed snooping on foreign leaders was probably the fallout we experienced from getting caught. She was, of course, a faithful servant of Zionism, too.

Domestically, she was a garden-variety plutocratic Democratic senator. A friend of the banksters during the run-up to and aftermath of the Great Recession, most notably. After all, with hubby's money from real estate, protecting banksters was big stuff.

Beyond that? Her infamous sneering at child climate change protestors should be the way we remember her time in the Senate at twilight. She could do that while being a climate destroyer, flying from SF to DC in a fuel-guzzling private jet. She could do THAT because she was worth $70 million on her own and with a billionaire hubby. Don't mourn the youth wing of Sunrise, though, either. The collegiate main wing of Sunrise it itself, after all, the youth wing (and the very White and classist one) of the neoliberals at the Sierra Club. In the second of the three links above, I specifically mention those Sunrise kiddies and say that maybe they were "manipulated," but not in the way that wingnuts claim.

Before that, as San Francisco's mayor? Per one Tweet that I retweeted, Harvey Milk said that she, as a San Francisco politician was a conservative obstruction to progressive transformation. Sadly, the assassination of Milk and then-mayor George Moscone opened the doors for her political ascent.

Although I and we all knew her health frailty, I didn't have anything cued up as long as what I did for him. So, that's a wrap.

The only remaining question is that, since Gov. Pothole, Gavin Newsom, said long ago (and doesn't that mean he should have called for her retirement/resignation?) he would appoint a Black woman to fill a vacancy, but not a Black woman announced candidate (Rep. Barbara Lee), what neoliberal Black women Democrats are running around California these days?

September 28, 2023

Texas Progressives talk constitutional amendments, more

Off the Kuff brings you a look at the Constitutional amendments on the ballot, including the one you should definitely vote against. 

SocraticGadfly calls Dan Patrick's bluff on impeachment-related constitutional amendments, and also offers his take on the amendments actually on the ballot

Stace has a few thoughts about the border, COVID, and the losing loser on another edition of Thoughts on Viernes.

RFK Jr. is flirting with the Libertarian Party. And, Rasmussen is polling him as an independent/third party candidate and the numbers say "Drop Out Joe."

Neil at the Houston Democracy Project noted that HISD Board of Managers' member Janette Lindner favors some State of Texas takeovers, while opposing others, Mike Miles begs for five years at Houston ISD.

Sarah Stogner is running for the RRC again — but on the Forward Party banner. (Independent Political Report promises an interview.)

The Texas Observer considers the plight of firefighters in a record-breaking hot summer. 

The Observer has an update, a first-person personal profile piece from Kathleen McElroy.

How hot is it? Ridiculously hot in an un-airconditioned Texas prison at night in a summer like 2023; the Observer got inmates to speak.

So, Jeff St. Clair won't run my Ed Abbey snark but will run this ... mildly amusing piece which has nothing to do with the US, or politics?

In the Pink Texas looks at the impeachment debacle through an adultery lens.

Will the AfD, through its surge, and the Greens and Social Democrats both shooting themselves in the foot, force itself into parliamentary acceptability in Germany? The Greens, after all, were once rejects.

Ralph Nader officially jumps in the lesser-evilism tank

Via Independent Political Report, I did not have Ralph Nader openly plumping for the lesser evilism of the right hand of the duopoly. That's even though, given his broad political history (see below) this really is not shocking.

But, here he is, in the Washington Post, doing exactly just that.

A few highlights?

Followed by analysis on a couple of them?

He accepts the duopoly:

“We are stuck with Biden now,” Nader says in his cantankerous way. “In a two-party duopoly, if one should be defeated ferociously, the logic is that the other one prevails.”

So, it's work for Biden:

“I know the difference between fascism and autocracy, and I’ll take autocracy any time,” Nader said in a recent telephone interview. “Fascism is what the GOP is the architecture of, and autocracy is what the Democrats are practitioners of. But autocracy leaves an opening. They don’t suppress votes. They don’t suppress free speech.”

And work more for Biden:

For months, he has been calling and snail-mailing elected officials and operatives his thoughts about how the party must improve its sales pitches. He produced a 10-point plan for improving the party’s messaging and campaign tactics last year, calling for harder punches at the GOP and more liberal policy solutions.

And, there you go.

As for the reality?


First, when I saw this as the header for the Independent Political Report piece?

I was thinking, great! Nader's going to call Trump an autocrat, not a fascist. And, I was soon disillusioned.

Nader knows that Dems as well as Rethugs suppress third-party votes and third-party ballot access.

Update: Per Nader's semi-diss of Peter Daou, Daou talks with the New Yorker about his #DemExit.

This, in the Q and A interview, is the nut graf, and the refutation of Nader, about halfway down.

As recently as 2020, you were opposed to a third-party candidate because of the urgent need to beat Donald Trump. What changed between early 2020 and now?
Yeah, it’s a very fundamental change in perspective. It’s almost like I took a different set of glasses or lenses and I put them on, and that lens is the systemic lens. During the years I worked as a Democrat, I bought into the general thinking that Democrats are better and therefore we need Democrats to stop the fascist domination of Republicans. If you go back ten, twenty, thirty, forty years, it’s the same argument: Oh, my God, if you let them get elected, the world’s going to end. This is a very standard duopoly technique.

Read the full thing. 

Daou finds his Chomsky (sans Chomsky still being a sheepdogger) and says both Trump and Biden could be impeached for Mexican border issues and other things.

And, the lawsuit over President Biden and social media? They try to "nudge" speech on social media. No, that's not book bans, but it's not totally innocent. I don't totally support the lawsuit, but I see where it comes from.

Ralph also also knows that Republicans never bitch about Libertarians the way Democrats bitch about Greens. (It's interesting that the LP doesn't even get the time of day from him, not even with .... see below.)



Nader goes on to say that current Democratic challenger to President Joe Biden, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has a better take against corporate power than Biden, but then "he has this bizarre tick on vaccines and Ashkenazi Jews." He doesn't mention RFK Jr.'s flirtation with the LP.

On Cornel West? This:

“Cornel West has the most complete progressive agenda. It almost doesn’t have any progressive aberrations,” Nader said. “The problem is that the Greens are not that organized. It is hardly a secret. And you can’t run a presidential campaign if you don’t have local candidates and some kind of organization round the country.”

Well, contra Jeff St. Clair, re the 2004 Green Party national convention and run-up to it? While David Cobb and other AccommoGreens may have been 2/3 the problem, I still see Saint Ralph of Nader as 1/3 of the problem on organization and related issues.

And weirdly, this:

He remains offended by the accusation that he cost Democrats the 2000 election in Florida. He similarly scoffs at the claims that Green Party candidate Jill Stein hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

OK. Maybe Nader feels the turning of the page of the calendar, knows he's aging out, and wants one last shot at relevance. And, he's not going to get it. The phone calls will remain unreturned and the Rolodex will keep spinning like a hamster wheel.

One final shot against St. Ralph of Nader's claims that Trump is a fascist. Dear Leader had his original attorney general, Eric Holder, spy on the Associated Press. Did Trump ever do that?


That said, for people think this is a one-off by St. Ralph of Nader? Think again.

In 2005, he jumped up along with Randall Terry (THAT Randall Terry) and demanded that Terri Schiavo be reintubated.

In 2011, the Nader who claimed Greens were too soft mulled primarying Obama as a Democrat.

And, going back to 2000, in his presidential run, we had Nader the candidate who owned oil and defense stocks (and I think tobacco ones). Yes, it was via mutual funds, but "ethical" mutual funds existed back then. (They certainly existed in 2012 and 2016, Jill Stein, who owned all three evils.) Maybe they have a slightly lower rate of return, but? "Purer than Caesar's wife" applies here in spades.

But let's go back to his more limited 1996 run. That, reportedly, was done the way it was to avoid Federal Election Commission filings. Shock me.

Finally, we have Nader as boss, described by former employee Kurt Eichenwald as being a pretty big hypocrite and an ax-grinder at times. And, he's not the only former employee to talk about Nader's reality not matching the myth. That would include three editors of his, made "former" by him firing them, which they said was him busting their attempt to unionize. One of those was Tim Shorrock. 

Shorrock, who earned $13,000 a year, said he and the other editors had long complained about 60- to 80-hour work weeks, publication pressures, working conditions, and lack of grievance procedures. Nader's response to complaints, Shorrock said, was: "You shouldn't think of this as a job," but rather as a higher calling of serving the public interest.

Oh, that was before his first prez run, as I think was Eichenwald's employment time.

Let's also not forget that the labor-hating Work for Progress sprung out of the Nader-inspired Public Interest Research Group movement, which per its Wiki page has had other issues.

So, as for this tweet, 

sent in response to said person's earlier tweet 

and me tagging him with a Twitter thread?

Nader, like St. Bernard of Sanders, has his fanbois. I'm not one, in either case. And, as I open-Tweeted, not tagging that person, because I hadn't looked at that 10 percent high bar before.

Nader his own self didn't hit 3 percent in 2000 and you're saying the bar for Cornel is 10 percent? Worse, this guy is clearly outside the duopoly. Except for St. Ralph, I guess.

Also, which I forgot, until Counterpunch reminded me, under Nader's tagline on his stories? This is the same Ralph who wrote the laugher, "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us."

To take it back to this election? Nader (who never really addressed foreign policy issues in 2000, and probably not in 1996), has chosen to throw himself in with warmongers like David Corn.

Otherwise? Nader very much likes to row his own oar. I think the idea of being the Democratic Party's savior is something that's definitely floating his boat right now.

If not that, it's a legacy issue. Maybe the claim that he gave the 2000 election to Shrub Bush still stings, even though intellectually he knows it's not true. So, he's trying to be Warmonger Joe's savior even as he knows the calls not being returned right now won't be returned over the next 13 months, either.

For that matter, contra Jeff St. Clair's buzziness about St. Ralph of Nader, which in 2004 was partially but not entirely true re the national GP convention, where was Ralph doing more heavy lifting on national party organization that might trickle down better? And, also as noted by me, Ralph pledged to run a "safe states" strategy in 2000 — and of course didn't. Maybe some Greens were gun-shy?


It's interesting, that as of the morning of posting this, Nader, who has a byline at Counterpunch, has said nothing there. (His most recent piece was Sept. 22, so he's not a stranger there.) And, editor Jeff St. Clair hasn't written, either. And, didn't have a thing on his Roaming Reports this Friday, Sept. 29.

Nader writes something there about once a week.

And, St. Ralph dropped a new piece Oct. 2. He talks about retired Gen. Mark Milley broaching a call for negotiations in Ukraine, but doesn't mention Warmonger Joe by name in needing to take the lead on that. He talks about the banksters, but doesn't tell Inflationmonger Joe by name to stop taking their money. It's all a vague "out there," semi-platitudinous piece.

September 27, 2023

Dems in the Texas Lege about to shoot themselves on vouchers?

Dems in the Lege talk about "weak consensus" in the party (shock me) ahead of Strangeabbott's special session on school vouchers. I'll await the turd-polishing by state-level #BlueAnon pundits if the Dems get rolled.

More on that weak consensus popped up elsewhere at Evan's Texas Trib Fest swan song/return from retirement, as one House Demcritter, Barbar Gervin-Hawkins, publicly talked about compromise on the issue.

The TSTA Blog says that a school voucher by any other name is still a rotten deal for public schools.

The biggest cesspool on Reddit? r/politics (r/geography waves)

Yes, r/politics, the alleged all US political news website (it's not, I have experience of that), which is really, with many posts, little more than a #BlueAnon circle jerk.

Take this one, about a Newsweek story about how the Pentagon said the looming (as of last week) government shutdown would not affect arms shipments to Ukraine, and how "the MAGA" were all butthurt about it.

Circle-jerk indeed. The words "treason" and "traitor" were of course freely used without substance, as was "Russia's behind all this" and variants. Then, when an actual leftist (yours truly) tries to row an oar, he gets attacked just like a MAGA.

They even downvoted THIS guy, just because he apparently didn't toe the line enough on the circle jerk:

I mean fuck MAGA and Trump. 
But as a fed who'll have to work without pay during this shit. 
Why the fuck do we have money to kill people but can't pass a budget which endures I can buy some fucking food?

That's mouth-breathing. (Except that that commenter, per his whole Reddit feed, and this post, is lying about being a federal employee, unless comment above is intended to be rhetorical. In that case, he's spot on, and the downvotes are mouth-breathing.)

Other posts are that way, too. And individual commenters. I saw people elsewhere on r/politics, or other subs, spinning for Biden and the UAW when challenged over his railroad strikebreaking and more. And, it was third-grade level spinning. Not even close to convincing.

I wound up losing about 100 karma points from downvoting. Interestingly and hypocritically, one of the likely downvoters, and a clear BlueAnon circle-jerker, on his profile said that downvoting was chickenshit, or words to that effect.

Well, I gave back downvotes to him and others. And blocks to him and at least 20 others. And, using old Reddit, blocked r/politics from showing up in my feed again.

After that, after a second wind, I went back to that post, and blocked at least 7-8 more. Then a third wind, after seeing a few people fighting the same battles as me on that post, or on other posts that I saw the second round of people I blocked commenting on. I dropped a few quick comments, while having the people THEY were responding to already teed up for a third round of blocks. It's like blocking the wingnut #BlueCheckMorons on Twitter.

I mean, BlueAnon, or to use the other hashtag word on Twitter, BlueMAGA, acts and comments in as much of evidence-free ways as does MAGA.

r/worldnews, which has a Russia-Ukraine War flair-controlled sub-sub-reddit, is almost as bad, on that sub-sub. These people, with user names like "sirkillsalot" are scary. I just blocked about 20 people there Sunday night.

Update: After hitting this BlueAnon pandering post from The Daily Beast at r/politics, I learned that Reddit apparently has a daily blocking limit. (And, apparently an overall one, too, though I don't think I'm that close to it. I found that out by hitting an r/help post, with someone asking why you'd block people. Well, used to, I thought Reddit retaining downvotes was a good thing, but it's clearly not.)

Update, Oct. 26, 2023: Turns out there's #BlueAnon chuds at r/geography, too, as  I found out, in response to someone else calling a commenter a "vatnik" and I said I agreed, but with an introductory caveat that not everybody challenging the US party line is a vatnik. I eventually blocked three. True that stuff like there doesn't often spill into politics, but? The number of downvotes I got means that #BlueAnon, like #MAGAts must use bots or at least burner parallel accounts.

And, I owe Brett Welch an apology for trying to defend Reddit having a downvote button.

September 26, 2023

Do you really need another COVID booster?

Probably not.

First, as with previous boosters, they're not really "indicated" for anybody under 65.

The Conversation analyzes the new COVID vaccine. What they may not tell you is that COVID continues to get milder, and more and more upper, not lower, respiratory tract. In other words, more reason for COVID doomers to stop dooming.

Doctors say they're finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish Covid from allergies or the common cold, even as hospitalizations tick up. 
The illness' past hallmarks, such as a dry cough or the loss of sense of taste or smell, have become less common. Instead, doctors are observing milder disease, mostly concentrated in the upper respiratory tract.

That's that. Well, no, not totally. There's also this in that second link:

A study published this month found that long Covid rates declined once omicron became the dominant variant. Researchers don’t know if milder disease contributed to that trend, or if population immunity was largely responsible.

THAT is that.

Second, they're both, as far as the current boosters, the relatively ineffective (which the Conversation also won't mention) mRNA vaxxes, courtesy Pfizer and Moderna. Yes you should wait for Novavax, IMO, if you're wanting something different and most likely longer lasting. Sorry, but I don't care if they're an immunologist husband and wife. They also don't talk at all about why we don't have anything like J&J's vaccine, which is part of the Biden Administration screwing the pooch in general. 

As for Biden Administration making the shots free again, per cries of some #BernAnon and non-duopoly leftists?

Better yet, the Administration should get people to stop dooming, get the FDA and CDC to report out the minority report this spring that nobody under 50 needs a booster, and probably nobody under 65, because it's not cost-effective, and diminishing returns and other things, and thus cut off the Pfizer and Moderna gravy train.

All things Paxton, the latest

Dade "Dade" Phelan, Texas House Speaker, said "the fix was in from the start" in an op-ed he wrote for his hometown Beaumont Enterprise. That, in turn, set off not only Dan Patrick Goeb himself, but the full Senate Republican Caucus. Danny Boy also sounds increasingly defensive about the whole Laura Olsen non-testifying deal. As he should.

The Paxton prosecutors also talked about politics in the trial — and afterward, as in Danny Boy's speech. Rusty Hardin:

“I think that was the most classless political moment that, in my life, I’ve ever experienced,” Hardin added.

Well, there you go. He's seen a lot of classlessness in his career, political and otherwise.

And, Dick DeGuerin:

The acquittal was a triumph of politics over facts, DeGuerin said, calling it an “unfair result that was based on politics and not on principle.”

And, impeachment prosecutor Erin Epley accused Danny Boy of a half-truth re Olson. Shock me.

The Fort Worth Report talks to Sen. Kelly Hancock, one of only two Republicans to vote to convict Paxton.  On the three of the 16 charges where he voted to acquit, he said "Acquittal is not innocent."

Turd Blossom Rove calls bullshit on Paxton's conspiracy claims.


The Monthly has a boatload of readings.

Forrest Wilder talks about winners and losers (besides We the non-Christofascist People). He all but calls the House impeachment managers suckers. Also losers, that I didn't think of, and the first two cases, had missed? Gohmert Pyle, aka Louie Gohmert, Chip Roy, Tricky Ricky Perry and Rove all came out in advance as pro-impeachment.  He also lists Strangeabbott as a loser, especially if Goeb's vitriol sinks his school voucher plan in the House, which it may not, given that, per another post, at least one House Demcritter is already mewing "compromise." Angela Paxton is thrown in there, on the charges that she may not have known every bit of this about Warren in advance, and now that she does and that hubster is in the federal crosshairs, she's waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Speaking of? Sandra Villareal discusses "the biblical womanhood of Angela Paxton."

In the wake of the shenanigans, Dan Solomon revives the "no coincidences in Austin" meme.

Alexandra Samuels watched Warren's gabfest with Cucker Tarlson so we didn't have to.

September 25, 2023

Jimmy Carter, government shutdown king

Well, actually the president, not the king, but you know what I mean.

Last week, the Associated Press had a piece about the looming government shutdown. As part of that, it had a graphic of previous shutdowns, by president. This:

Jumps off the page.

Yes, I've known long before this that Carter had a largely ineffectual presidency, and per Stu Eizenstat's bio of Carter's White House years, about just how much of it was self-inflicted.

Yeah, they were all relatively short, in today's terms, but FIVE of them? And scattered in three of his four full years of office? And all with Dems in charge of both houses of Congress?

Yes, part of it was that Democratic political barons didn't like a new, post-Watergate era, and a president who, early on, tried to live up to that part of his campaign promises. (Note that three of the shutdowns were in 1977.)

But, Carter's intransigence and micromanaging were also factors. So, too, was the way in which, when he would change sides, he'd do so suddenly and leave allies in the lurch.