forty things tagged “sad”

It’s Not Over

And it won’t matter after that because, proof be damned, it was a massive fraud perpetrated upon us.

2021 Things

New Years resolutions for 2021 are gonna be like:

  • travel to the other side of the room
  • wear a different shirt
  • cut screen time from 12 hours a day to 11
  • eat a vegetable
  • bathe
@alyssalimp

A Conservative Plan

By Amii James (Instagram). Context was the Tories but applies to our fine people stateside as well.

Tory ministers saying “we owe it to children to keep schools open” might want to explain to me why they closed my youth centre, cut mental health services, underfunded my secondary school, stripped free school meals from my peers, tripled uni fees, demonised climate strikers…

Hasan Patel

On Winters

Taken completely out of context, for the letter itself is a lot of bro-y “locker room talk.”

My mind is dried up, exhausted. I’m disgusted to be back in this damned country where you see the sun in the sky about as often as a diamond in a pig’s asshole.

Gustave Flaubert, Letter to Ernest Chevalier, 14th November 1840

And especially when you simply don’t have any say in the matter:

THIS is America

Lord of our lives and sovereign of our beloved nation, we deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life, and the quagmire of dysfunction that threaten our democracy.

These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is in the tongue. We have been warned that eternal vigilance continues to be freedom’s price.

Lord, you have helped us remember that we need to see in each other a common humanity that reflects your image.

You have strengthened our resolve to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies domestic as well as foreign.

Use us to bring healing and unity to our hurting and divided nation and world. Thank you for what you have blessed our lawmakers to accomplish in spite of threats to liberty.

Bless and keep us. Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to do your will and guide our feet on the path of peace. And God bless America. We pray in your sovereign name, amen.

Dr. Barry Black, Chaplain of the Senate, CBS News (emphases mine)

And please get off this gentleman’s lawn and out of his city.

This Is America

During the four years of the Civil War, the confederates never got closer to Washington than Fort Stevens. Until today, when insurrectionist supporters of @realDonaldTrump paraded through the U.S. Capitol Building carrying the Confederate battle flag.

@JordanOnRecord

The ultimate in White privilege is when you’ve broken in to the Speaker’s Lobby, you’ve broken down the windows, and you’re trying to break in to the floor of the House, you’re 12” from a gun, and you’re still not dead.

@JSSPalding

Call the zip ties by their correct name: The guys were carrying flex cuffs, the plastic double restraints often used by police in mass arrest situations. They walked through the Senate chamber with a sense of purpose. They were not dressed in silly costumes but kitted out in full paramilitary regalia: helmets, armor, camo, holsters with sidearms. At least one had a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. At least one, unlike nearly every other right-wing rioter photographed that day, wore a mask that obscured his face.

These are the same guys who, when the windows of the Capitol were broken and entry secured, went in first with what I’d call military-ish precision. They moved with purpose, to the offices of major figures like Nancy Pelosi and then to the Senate floor. What was that purpose? It wasn’t to pose for photos. It was to use those flex cuffs on someone.

Dan Kois, “They Were Out for Blood: The men who carried zip ties as they stormed the Capitol weren’t clowning around.

Via @igorbobic’s thread:

Brittany Packnett Cunningham on Trump supporters rioting & looting the U.S. Capitol building: “This is the literal example of white supremacy.”

@monolithic87

Some real perspective:

the olay body wash at CVS has better security

@IsabelSteckel

and

Can’t believe the creators of the monster have lost control of the monster, is there any precedent for this in books or film

@DanAmira

and

“May we never forget the brave Wal-Martyrs, Gravy Seals, Green Buffets, Meal Team Six, Delta Farce, and every other Walmart Warrior of the 1st Methanized Infantile Division who fought in the Great American Inbredsurrection”

Unknown, via VM

See also: Nachkommen

On America Right Now

I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

and

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

The Conservative Refrain

Starring Ted Cruz. It cannot be anyone else.

And there’s the 10-hour version (of course) for when a batshit-crazy, cultist conservative whinges about freedom and liberty and censorship and free markets and privatization and regulation and “corporations are people” and the incipient Demise of Western Civilization (due to ‘Marxists’ and Feminists and Immigrants) a little more than usual.

Saving America is No Menial Task, Sir

I hope Dominion’s lawyers don’t underestimate the Elite Strike-Force Team’s Star Witness’ What-Do-You-Mean-I-Have-To-Make-An-Appointment-Online Energy 😬

“You gained international infamy earlier this month as Rudy Giuliani’s so-called ‘star witness’ who could supposedly corroborate outlandish accusations that Dominion has somehow rigged or otherwise improperly influenced the outcome of the Nov. 2020 U.S. presidential election,” attorneys Thomas Clare and Megan Meier wrote. “Without a shred of corroborating evidence, you have claimed that you witnessed several different versions of voter fraud—ranging from one story involving a van, to other accusations that votes were counted multiple times. You published these statements even though you knew all along that your attacks on Dominion have no basis in reality.”

[…] “We write to you now because you have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign by pretending to have some sort of ‘insider’s knowledge’ regarding Dominion’s business activities, when in reality you were hired through a staffing agency for one day to clean glass on machines and complete other menial tasks,” the letter stated.

Dominion Attorneys Send Brutal Letter to Trump Campaign’s ‘So-Called Star Witness’ Mellissa Carone

Shitkraken Part Deux - The Leghumper

The SC swatted it away like the “Garbage, but dangerous garbage” it was, but even this “conservative evangelical American blogger and radio host” just had it with the sycophantic tantrum:

I personally think my company should pay me workers compensation for brain damage for having to read that lawsuit and related filings. It really is one of the stupidest bits of performative leg humping we have seen in the last five years. These attorneys general are willing to beclown themselves and their states all to get in good with the losing presidential candidate.

The suit is absurd on its face. These states seek to interfere in the internal affairs of other states when those states are not actually electing the President, but allowing their voters to chose members of the Electoral College.

The lawsuit appears to be a pile of shit (one wouldn’t expect any less from the Elite Strike Forces that surround the God Emperor) but:

If Texas were to win this, it would dissolve the horizontal federalism of our union and only expand the powers of the federal government. It would also lead to a Civil War as a handful of states overturn the rules and laws of other states and dictate those states’ internal affairs. Wait for Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo to give this precedent a whirl. Wait for progressive states to start suing conservative states over religious liberty, transgender rights, police brutality, tax policies that “steal” residents of progressive states, etc.

One can dream! He ends with a plea (emphasis mine):

I’m really tired of the Republican Party beclowning itself for a losing candidate out of fear for that candidate’s voters. That is all this is and delusions of fools notwithstanding, despite all sorts of stupid arguments being wrapped in pomp and “equal protection” phraseology, the election is over and Joe Biden will be President-Elect officially next week.

Guys, come on — you’re just going to spark crazy to violence [sic] at this point. The election wasn’t stolen and most of you know it and those of you who don’t know it need to, at some point, realize you’ve been lied to. And frankly, Ken Paxton needs to work on repentance for a whole lot of stuff.

Erick-Woods Erickson, “About the Texas Lawsuit”, Erick Erickson’s Confessions of a Political Junkie

Things are so crazy, that’s reasonable stuff from this guy:

A Kraken of Shit

To the surprise of no one (well, normal people), “The Kraken”, authored by an ex-member of the “Elite Strike-Force Team”, turned out to be a “truly awful” and unmistakably QAnon-laced lawsuit full of basic formatting, spelling, and grammatical errors that would “drive a proofreader to drink.”

From a must-read via PLG:

This is all batshit crazy. It is as stupid an elections lawsuit as I’ve ever seen. And there’s no guarantee that it’s the worst case we’re going to see, because even though their legal arguments are being dismissed with extreme prejudice, when it comes to the political/propaganda aims of the litigants—this stuff works. Once the true believers are on board, it’s hard to get them off.

[…] The Kraken is the stupidest election fraud lawsuit in history today. But who knows what next week will bring.

Mike Dunford, “The ‘Kraken’ Lawsuit Was Released And It’s Way Dumber Than You Realize”, The Bulwark (cached)

Amazing. It’s almost as if The Best People don’t really care about the substance of the lawsuits1 but want to seen as filing them in the courts of “activist” judges who swat them away, quite unfairly of course, for the sophomoric and baseless crocks of shit they are. Conservative, Republican, Trump-appointed activist judges, that is.

  1. And as if they ‘wrote’ it using a 1999 version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. ↩︎

Highly Informed Outrage

A lovely Techbro aside from the ongoing #shitkraken.

Greg Stenstrom, another poll watcher, said that in Delaware County, 47 USB cards were missing.

As a computer scientist, an American and a patriot, it doesn’t matter who those votes were for. It was shocking to me that that could even happen,” he said.

“There is no cure for this, no remedy for this. I don’t believe as a citizen and an observer to this, anyone can certify this with a good conscience.”

Harriet Alexander, “‘Your election is a sham’: Giuliani tells Pennsylvania ‘I know crooks really well’ as he appears in Gettysburg”, The Independent

(Emphasis mine.) Indeed, Gregory. When USB cards go missing, one needs formal training in Algorithms, Data Structures, the Theories of Computation and Complexity, Formal Logic (of course), and more, to express appropriate outrage at an election that’s fraudulent only in your head and only because your guy didn’t win.

The Continuing Saga of an A+ Elite Strike-Force Team Saving Our Imperiled Democracy

Will tag updates as I read them with amusement and disbelief. Armando Ianucci must be weeping right now. All emphases are mine.

In a court filing signed by Rudy Giuliani and Marc Scaringi1 — the two remaining attorneys on the case after everyone else quit — the campaign asked for the judge to hand over Pennsylvania’s electors.

[…] “You’re asking this court to invalidate more than 6.8 million votes, thereby disenfranchising every single voter in the commonwealth,” Brann said at the hearing. “Can you tell me how this result can possibly be justified?”

Jacob Shamsian, “Rudy Giuliani straight up asked a federal judge to ignore Pennsylvania voters and declare Trump won the state.”, Business Insider India

And:

Before Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani last registered an appearance in the U.S. federal judiciary in 1992, and in the view of many legal observers, it showed. The former mayor of New York flubbed basic concepts of law and, in at least one instance, displayed a poor command of the English language.

Giuliani confessed that he did not know the word “opacity,” applying the Bizarro World definition that it “probably means you can see.”

“It means you can’t,” U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann corrected2.

[…] When pressed by the judge on what standard of scrutiny should be applied to Pennsylvania government’s action, Giuliani replied: “The normal one.”

Adam Klasfield, “When Applying ‘Normal’ Scrutiny, Rudy Giuliani’s Court Appearance Was a Total Flop”, Law & Crime

And because IANAL, some helpful context:

At one point, he even appeared ignorant of the concept of strict scrutiny, a basic and fundamental concept for a practicing lawyer to know when arguing a case on Fourteenth Amendment grounds. Imagine if you were lying in an operating room, about to go under general anesthesia, and heard your surgeon ask, “Hey, what are all these knives for?” Now you are in general orbit around whatever planet on which the former New York mayor happens to be residing.

Matt Ford, “The Unpardonable Sins of Lindsey Graham”, The New Republic

Onward:

At one point he referred to president-elect Joe Biden as a “crook” and chastised the press for reporting that he has no evidence of fraud. Mr Giuliani has offered no evidence in court of fraud.

[…] He compared election observers being corralled away from the votes counts to a moment in the movie in which the eponymous character asks a witness in court how many fingers he is holding up, claiming that they could not see a thing.

[…] As what appeared to be hair dye dripped down both sides of his face

[…] Ellis described the assembled lawyers as “an elite strike-force team” working on behalf of the president.

Oliver O’Connell, “Giuliani quotes ‘My Cousin Vinny’ as he sets out conspiracy theories at bizarre press conference”, The Independent

And finally:

President Donald Trump’s campaign says it’s dropping its Michigan election lawsuit because it succeeded in halting certification of election results in Detroit and surrounding Wayne County, despite the outcome already having been certified in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

Eric Larson and David Voreacos, “Trump Campaign Drops Michigan Election Suit, Claims Victory”, Bloomberg

An “Absolutely Brilliant” Elite Mercurial Powerhouse Leader of the Best Legal Team3 one could assemble given the seriousness of the charges against our democratic systems, folks. So unbelievably competent, Snopes had to publish an entry about his performance in court 💯


Update 20 Nov 2020.

But his attorneys have repeatedly made elementary errors in those high-profile cases: misspelling “poll watcher” as “pole watcher,” forgetting the name of the presiding judge during a hearing, inadvertently filing a Michigan lawsuit before an obscure court in Washington and having to refile complaints after erasing entire arguments they’re using to challenge results.

“The sloppiness just serves to underscore the lack of seriousness with which these claims are being brought,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine.

[…] “I know crimes. I can smell them,” Giuliani said as streaks of sweat and what appeared to be hair dye ran down the sides of his face. “You don’t have to smell this one. I can prove it to you 18 different ways.”

[…] “Part of the reason he doesn’t have good lawyers is he doesn’t have good claims to bring.”

Colleen Long, Jill Colvin, and Alanna Durkin Richer, Trump’s lawsuits plagued by spelling errors: ‘I’ve never seen an election lawyer handle a case as poorly as Giuliani has’, The Independent

Huh.


Update 21 Nov 2020

The painful monologue screeched to a halt whenever Rudy hit the guardrails of judicial questioning. Asked the most important question in nearly any election lawsuit, what standard of review should apply, he was caught completely off guard. For non-lawyers, it’s hard to explain just how appalling this is. Standard of review is the sort of thing that every first-year law student learns. But rather than agreeing with the judge that the case demanded “strict scrutiny,” or arguing that it called for rational basis review, he simply advocated for “the normal one.” If legal Twitter had a voice in that moment, the scream would have been heard around the world.

[…] But what Rudy did next crossed a line: he lied. He didn’t spin, argue, or put his best take on the evidence, he flat-out lied to a judge in open court.

[…] Actually, Rudy’s first lie came before he ever set foot in the Pennsylvania courthouse. On Tuesday morning, Rudy petitioned to represent the Trump campaign, which is a routine step for lawyers appearing out of state. If you aren’t licensed to practice in a court, you have to request permission to argue. Sadly, Rudy couldn’t complete this two-page form without committing perjury. Rudy claimed to be licensed in the District of Columbia, where in fact he’s currently suspended for not paying his dues.

Albert Fox Cahn, “It’s Time to Take Away Rudy’s Law License”, The Daily Beast

Update 25 Nov 2020

The only place maybe worse is Michigan, and particularly the city of Detroit. The city of Detroit probably had more voters than it had citizens. I’m exaggerating a bit, but all you have to do is look at statistical data and you can see that the fraud was rampant and out of control.

Ian Schwartz, “Giuliani: We’re Pursuing a Supreme Court Challenge Due To ‘Misconduct Of The Election’”, RealClearPolitics

Update 26 Nov 2020

It keeps getting more divorced from reality.

I think we may actually have won Virginia, but that’s another battle,” Mr Giuliani said.

The comments were made during a meeting of Republican state lawmakers in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

Mr Biden defeated Mr Trump in Virginia by 451,138 votes.

Graig Graziosi, “Giuliani thinks Trump ‘may have won Virginia’ despite Biden winning state by nearly half a million votes”, The Independent

As for Pennsylvania, where the plaintiff literally phoned it in at Gettysburg:

Despite having told a federal judge that theirs was “not a fraud case”, the 76-year-old former mayor of New York introduced a series of Pennsylvania residents to complain about fraud, to cheers and whoops, and the occasional audible sharp intake of breath from the staunchly pro-Trump crowd.

[…] On Monday Pennsylvania certified the vote, meaning that the process is concluded. Mr Biden won the state by 80,555 votes.

[…] He claimed that 682,770 mail-in ballots entered in Allegheny County and Philadelphia were “not observed by any single Republican.”

They could have been from the same person,” he said. “There could have been multiples, there was no name on them”.

There’s more, of course.

“The mail-in ballots that were received were not inspected at all by any Republicans. They were hidden from Republicans,” he said.

He said he “couldn’t be entirely sure,” though.

And arithmetic, compounded with the passage of time can lead to undemocratic effects:

He expressed surprise, once again, that when he went to sleep Mr Trump was in the lead but that lead evaporated.

What are the odds that they all switched, overnight? They switched, by the next day.

The lead evaporated because more Democrats than Republicans voted by mail, and as their votes were slowly counted, the pendulum swung in Mr Biden’s favour.

Harriet Alexander, “‘Your election is a sham’: Giuliani tells Pennsylvania ‘I know crooks really well’ as he appears in Gettysburg”, The Independent
  1. "The day before a major argument in Pennsylvania, three lawyers for Trump withdrew and were replaced in part by Marc Scaringi, an attorney and talk show host who wrote a blog post after the election referring to ‘President-elect Joe Biden.’ Scaringi himself had told listeners on his radio show days after the election that ‘there are really no bombshells’ about to drop ‘that will derail a Biden presidency,’ and noting that several of the lawsuits ‘don’t seem to have much evidence to substantiate their claims.’ - The Independent ↩︎

  2. “Big words, your honor,” Giuliani said. ↩︎

  3. Screenshot is from the Facebook page of a True Believer. This person and the commenter are not trying to be funny. They cannot be, even if they tried. “Believe me.” ↩︎

Idiots Out Walking Around - II

Informed Choice Iowa is a group that “unites Iowans seeking to preserve their medical freedoms.” They are “pro-science” folk that count “ex-vaxxers”, “selective vaxxers”, “non-vaxxers”, and “vaxxers” among their members. I’m guessing that this list doesn’t include a single practicing physician.

And here’s them celebrating their freedoms, by which they mean a blatant disregard for the science they claim to love and the Iowans they claim to serve. Need confirmation but I hear that eating at least two tubes of toothpaste is on the agenda for their next idiot congregation.

Here’s a local news story about this superspreader event.

Raj on Hell’s Kitchen

Tapped this YouTube suggestion on a lazy Sunday. This man pushed my capacities for sympathy and empathy to their breaking points in this 20-minute highlight reel. I don’t know what to type here other than quote the very first sentence of his Fandom wiki page:

Raj is widely regarded as one of the worst and most useless chefs in Hell’s Kitchen history.

I don’t watch the show and don’t have a full context. But the most charitable assessment I can offer after sitting through the highlight reel below is this: The man is wired very, very differently, which I suppose makes for engaging (cruel?) television 🤷‍♂️

A Frenchwoman in America

SM, reminiscing

I was 15 when I first came to the United States. Detroit. There was nothing worth eating in Detroit. Except fudge. And White Castle. And Cheetos.