twenty-five things tagged “republicans”

On Spite

In his book Dying of Whiteness, Metzl told of the case of a forty-one-year-old white taxi driver who was suffering from an inflamed liver that threatened the man’s life. Because the Tennessee legislature had neither taken up the Affordable Care Act nor expanded Medicaid coverage, the man was not able to get the expensive, lifesaving treatment that would have been available to him had he lived just across the border in Kentucky. As he approached death, he stood by the conviction that he did not want the government involved. “No way I want my tax dollars paying for Mexicans or welfare queens,” the man told Metzl. “Ain’t no way I would ever support Obamacare or sign up for it. I would rather die.” And sadly, so he would.

Isabel Wilkerson, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Now,

You might wish to let that simmer for a few minutes. With his health as shaky as a Jenga tower, with his very life ebbing away, Trevor’s greater concern – his greater fear – was of undeserving “Mexicans or welfare queens” benefiting from his taxes, however much that might be on the wages of a used-to-be cab driver eking out his last days in a low-income housing facility.

If that’s sad and ridiculous – and it is both – it is also predictable. From the beginning, white fear has been a great, unspoken driver of this nation’s sins against difference. So Trevor is just a link in an unbroken line that binds Lincoln fretting about retribution from newly freed slaves, to Roosevelt worrying about treachery from Americans of Japanese heritage, to Trump seeing terrorism in brown-skinned toddlers on the southern border.

Decade after decade, election after election, so much of the white conservative appeal is an implicit promise to defend whiteness from blacks and browns. Metzl argues that white people themselves have borne and are bearing a terrific cost for this “defense,” that they are, in effect, killing themselves.

Leonard Pitts, “Dying of Whiteness

Paraphrasing a comment I read on Instagram: “You will let your Orange Highness shit on your head if it means that the liberal standing next to you has to smell it.”

Afghanistan

  • 47,245 Civilians Killed
  • 2,442 US Troops Killed
  • 20,666 US Troops Wounded
  • 66,000 - 69,000 Afghan Troops Killed
  • $2.26 Trillion Taxpayer Dollars

Via NPR. And then:

Just days before, Pardis had confided to his friend that he was receiving death threats from the Taliban, who had discovered he had worked as a translator for the United States Army for 16 months during the 20-year-long conflict.

“They were telling him you are a spy for the Americans, you are the eyes of the Americans and you are infidel, and we will kill you and your family,” his friend and co-worker Abdulhaq Ayoubi told CNN.

As he approached the checkpoint, Pardis put his foot on the accelerator to speed through. He was not seen alive again.

Afghan interpreter for US Army was beheaded by Taliban. Others fear they will be hunted down too”, CNN

What a nightmare, twenty years on. And it’s not like the powers that be didn’t know what they were getting into. Heck, here’s a scene from Rambo (via WN)

The Great Republican Bamboo Fiber Hunt

You know, the one where Evil Liberals partnered with Soros and Hillary and flew in 40,000 ballots (and not more) from China (or thereabouts) to Maricopa County in Arizona (and nowhere else.) So the only way to make sure the ballots are authentic is to stick them under a microscope and look for bamboo fibers because… you know… Kung-Fu Panda? Asians? Bamboo?

From an article in The Guardian:

[…] “I do think it’s somewhat of a waste of time, but it will help unhinge people,” Brakey said on Wednesday. “They’re not gonna find bamboo … If they do, I think we need to know, don’t you?”

I don’t think anyone’s getting unhinged in that party anymore, Mr. Brakey.

One of the people who spread the lie about China dumping ballots, according to Slate, was Javon Pulitzer, a treasure hunter and inventor, who is reportedly assisting with the Maricopa county audit. Though it’s not clear in what capacity Pulitzer is assisting, Brakey told reporters on Tuesday that the machines capturing the microscopic images of the ballots were linked to Pulitzer. “This guy is nuts,” he said. “He’s a fraudster … It’s ridiculous that we’re doing some of this.”

Then why do you keep doing it?

The county has hired a firm called “Cyber Ninjas” to perform the audit. Because it’s the late 90’s and we just allow teenagers to give ‘cool’ names to companies. Like most entities in the World of Orange, they’re exceedingly good at their job, just like all the top-notch attorneys on the Elite Strike-Force Team 💯

[Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug] Logan’s “Stop the Steal” antics extend beyond social media. He is listed as an expert witness in a lawsuit alleging voter fraud in Michigan. Logan was also the author of a document called “Election Fraud Facts & Details” that Sidney Powell, the conservative attorney who is now embroiled in a defamation lawsuit concerning her election conspiracy theories, shared on her website. In the document, he props up the Venezuela narrative and a similarly absurd and debunked theory regarding Chinese investment in the voting machine manufacturer Dominion.

[…] Election experts noted that the company has already made rookie mistakes. For instance, Arizona Republic reporter Jen Fifield spotted auditors using blue pens, which is not best practice since there is a risk of altering the vote on a ballot. The state’s own election process manual prohibits anything but red pens from being used. When Fifield brought the issue up with Logan, she says he was unaware that the blue ink could be a problem and seemed unsure overall about the correct procedure. A judge later ordered the removal of all black and blue pens from the facility where the recount is taking place. The Brennan Center for Justice, a legal think tank associated with New York University, also sent a letter to the Department of Justice last week alleging that Cyber Ninjas has not been following basic security practices like locking doors to the facility holding the ballots and preventing unauthorized individuals from entering.

Arizona Is Holding Yet Another 2020 Recount. The Company Running It Makes It Even Worse., Slate

For more ineptitude, here’s an account from Jennifer Morrell at The Washington Post (cached)

I was stunned to see spinning conveyor wheels, whizzing hundreds of ballots past “counters,” who struggled to mark, on a tally sheet, each voter’s selection for the presidential and Senate races. They had only a few seconds to record what they saw. Occasionally, I saw a counter look up, realize they missed a ballot and then grab the wheel to stop it. This process sets them up to make so many mistakes, I kept thinking. Humans are terrible at tedious, repetitive tasks; we’re especially bad at counting. That’s why, in all the other audits I’ve seen, bipartisan teams follow a tallying method that allows for careful review and inspection of each ballot, followed by a verification process. I’d never seen an audit use contraptions to speed up the process.

Speed doesn’t necessarily pose a problem if the audit has a process for catching and correcting mistakes. But it didn’t. Each table had three volunteers tallying the ballots, and their tally sheets were considered “done” as long as two of the three tallies matched, and the third was off by no more than two ballots. The volunteers only recounted if their tally sheets had three or more errors — a threshold they stuck to, no matter how many ballots a stack contained, whether it was 50 or 100. This allowed for a shocking amount of error. Some table managers told the counters to go back and recount when there were too many errors; other table managers just instructed the counters to fix their “math mistakes.” At no point did anyone track how many ballots they were processing at their station, to ensure that none got added or lost during handling.

I also observed other auditors working on a “forensic paper audit,” flagging ballots as “suspicious” for a variety of reasons. One was presidential selection: If someone thought the voter’s choice looked as though it was marked by a machine, they flagged it as “anomalous.” Another was “missing security markers.” (It’s virtually impossible for a ballot to be missing its security markers, since voting equipment is designed to reject ballots without them.) The third was paper weight — the forensics tables had scales for weighing ballots, though I never saw anyone use them — and texture. Volunteers scrutinized ballots for, of all things, bamboo fibers. Only later, after the shift, did I learn that this was connected to a conspiracy theory that fake ballots had been flown in from South Korea.

The fourth reason was folding. The auditors reasoned that only absentee voters would fold their ballots; an in-person, Election Day voter would take a flat ballot, mark it in the booth and submit it, perfectly pristine. I almost had to laugh: In my experience, voters will fold ballots every which way, no matter where they vote or what the ballot instructs them to do. Chalk it up to privacy concerns or individual quirks — but no experienced elections official would call that suspicious.

[…] Their equipment worried me more than their wild theorizing. At the forensics tables, auditors took a photo of each ballot using a camera suspended by a frame, then passed the ballot to someone operating a lightbox with four microscope cameras attached. This was a huge deviation from the norm. Usually, all equipment that election officials use to handle a ballot — from creating to scanning to tallying it — has been federally tested and certified; often, states will conduct further tests before their jurisdictions accept the machines. It jarred me to see volunteers using this untested, uncertified equipment on ballots, claiming that the images would be used at some point in the future for an electronic re-tally.

[…] What I saw in Arizona shook me. If the process wraps up and Cyber Ninjas puts together some kind of report, that report will almost certainly claim that there were issues with Maricopa County’s ballots. After all, Cyber Ninjas chief executive Doug Logan has publicly voiced his wild conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. But the real problem is the so-called audit itself.

The Best People, folks ♥️

Shitkraken: A Quarterly Report

I didn’t want to post anything more about this seemingly interminable saga of ineptitude and batshittery. But I am a collector of various things. And collectors value completeness. So here we go.

An Ex-Member of the “Elite Strike-Force Team” says “reasonable people” wouldn’t really believe her bullshit so please don’t sue her for a billion and change:

Pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell asked a federal court to dismiss a roughly $1.3 billion defamation suit filed against her by Dominion Voting Systems, arguing that her claims the company’s voting machines rigged the election for Joe Biden represented her opinion, not statements of fact.

[…] In its Monday motion, Ms. Powell’s legal team argued that “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process."

Pro-Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell Seeks to Dismiss Defamation Suit Over Election Claims”, The Wall Street Journal (cached)

The Fearless Leader of the verysame “Elite Strike-Force Team” is in some trouble:

Federal agents executed search warrants Wednesday at the Manhattan apartment and office of Rudy Giuliani, his attorney said, advancing a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors that has been underway for more than two years.

Giuliani […] has been the focus of an investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine, including whether he conducted illegal lobbying for Ukrainian officials while he pursued an investigation linked to Trump’s primary political rival, President Joe Biden, CNN has reported.

[…] Giuliani is also facing other legal exposure for his role in the 2020 election. The election technology company Dominon sued Giuliani in January for defamation after he spread baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud on his podcast and during TV appearances.

[…] Guiliani is also likely to face scrutiny from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Trump’s efforts to influence Georgia’s election results. […] One area Willis is exploring: whether Giuliani may have violated the law by making false statements about voting in Georgia in front of the state legislature, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Federal agents execute search warrants on Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office”, CNN

As this article notes: The man hadn’t practised law since 1992, “basically he’s a novice” at state election law, and is considered a “gift to legal ethics professors that just keeps on giving” because “Charging astronomical rates for work–especially work for which the attorney does not have deep expertise or ability—is an ethics violation.” Probably a good thing, then, that he most likely hasn’t been paid for his expertise.

The Best People ♥️

Update

Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a dildo store and a crematorium, is still appropriate because Rudy is somewhere between fucked and dead.

@Sundae_Gurl

Good Old Iowan Common Sense

As of the 4th of February 2021, and under its Governor’s wise, prescient, expert and data-driven leadership, Iowa ranks 47th in the nation for the number of vaccines administered 💯

Iowa has received 446,825 doses of vaccine and has administered 266,777 doses, or just under 60% of vaccines received, the CDC reported Thursday. The state has the sixth-lowest rate of administered vaccine per capita in the nation.

“We’re averaging about 60% in getting the vaccines administered and that’s not where we need to be,” Reynolds said. “We want to do better. We know we can do better.”

AP, “Iowa’s vaccination rate is 47th in the US

We certainly can. The number of COVID-related deaths in Iowa stood at 5,033 as of this date. The very next day, our fearless Governor signed a Public Health Disaster proclamation that, compared to its predecessor, ended mask mandates and removed all limits on public gatherings.

In time for the Super Bowl, of course.

All of these relaxations at this stage of the pandemic make about as much sense as wearing underwear constructed out of nails and thumbtacks. If anything, Iowa should be enhancing precautions during the next several weeks, as long as the colder temperatures and drier air may be driving greater transmission of the virus. What is the scientific justification for what Reynolds has declared in the emergency declaration? It’s unclear. Seems like someone may owe Iowa an explanation.

Bruce Y. Lee, “#CovidKim Trends After Iowa Governor Reynolds Lifts Covid-19 Coronavirus Precautions

Other the the usual bullshit conservative pabulum about freedom and small businesses and bootstraps and moochers and handouts, I don’t expect any explanation that makes sense.

Schrodinger’s Douchebag

One who makes douchebag statements, particularly sexist, racist or otherwise bigoted ones, then decides whether they were “just joking” or dead serious based on whether other people in the group approve or not.

Urban Dictionary

They’re always “just joking.” About pandemic response, about requesting foreign interference in their country’s elections, injecting disinfectants to treat disease, asking for more police brutality, mocking the disabled, treason, dangling pardons like a mob boss, asking foreign governments to investigate political opponents, calling onself “The Chosen One”, calling a former president the founder of a terrorist organization, or condoning violence against journalists. Just look at your face, bro 😆

And then there’s Schrodinger’s Asshole:

A person who decides whether or not they’re full of shit by the reactions of those around them.

Via Mark.