There’s A Lot Going On

It’s tough to focus on just one issue with so much happening at once. Plus, I can’t produce anything thoughtful when I’m this angry. So here’s a quick review of some of the less-covered issues emerging this weekend.

Country Fried Covid

The rural phase of the C19 pandemic has arrived and it looks ugly. Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin each had more new cases yesterday than New Jersey. Alabama was just one case behind. ICU beds have filled up in Montgomery, forcing hospitals to treat C19 patients in the ER. ICU wards are filling up in Nebraska and the Twin Cities. Washington’s rural Yakima County has the highest infection rate on the West Coast. When one worker at farm in Evensville, Tennessee came down with C19, managers decided to test workers. Every one of the farm’s 200 workers tested positive and are now being quarantined.

Southern California is overtaking New York City as the new C19 hotspot after residents consistently flouted lockdown orders for weeks. By comparison, new cases remain low in the Bay Area, one of the country’s most successful regions in the pandemic fight.

White Riots

Black Lives Matter protesters have been caught flat-footed by white people turning their protests violent. Between white cops with eyes like spooked horses, white nationalist agitators, and little wonder bread hoodlums smashing windows with their skateboards, the Floyd protests have quickly been coopted into a white riot.

All over the country we saw scenes of black protesters trying to protect police, block white rioters from destroying stores, and deter looters. Cops in Columbus assaulted a black Congresswoman. New York police plowed an SUV through a crowd of protestors and DeBlasio defended them. Look closely at images of violence from the protests and you’ll see an awful lot of white faces. How many black people were involved in the looting of the police station in Portland? Remind me, how many black people are there in Fargo?

Some old cracker in Salt Lake City threatened a crowd of protesters with a bow and arrow. Protesters took his weapon and burned his car. National Guard troops were recorded marching through quiet residential streets in Minneapolis firing paint balls at residents on their porches under audible orders to “light ’em up.”

What’s motivating these little cracker kids setting fires under I-35 in Austin? Who was this white guy recorded breaking windows in Minneapolis before the protests turned violent? Why, one might ask, did a protestor feel the need to ask that guy whether he was a cop?

Officials have openly speculated that white nationalist groups are using the protests as cover, but hard evidence remains elusive. Why would protestors attack the CNN building, home to President Trump’s most hated news network? Why was that protest packed with white faces?

Bob Kroll, head of the Minneapolis police union, spoke at one of Donald Trump’s Nazi rallies last fall. Kroll is a thug who belonged to a white nationalist biker club and referred to Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organization. He’s a perfect symbol of the public employee unions that have made it nearly impossible to reform police departments.

In this midst of this mess, a police chief deep in the South is charting the way forward. My old hometown, Houston, has been relatively calm, thanks to the intelligent and responsible leadership of Art Acevedo, and with a big assist from the South’s longstanding resistance to powerful public employee unions. Acevedo marched with Houston’s protestors and penned an eloquent op-ed for the Washington Post.

Supreme Court Rejects Religious Challenge to Lockdown

In a surprisingly close, 5-4 decision, Justice Roberts sided with the Court’s liberals to uphold California’s restrictions on religious services during the pandemic. This decision was interesting partly because it was so close, but also because Roberts seemed to take aim specifically at Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s passionate dissent had all the legal rigor of a blog post, and Roberts called out his sloppiness.

Get Ready for More Turbulence in Oil Markets

Oil prices rebounded nicely in recent weeks as the US made moves toward reopening, but demand has not followed. Only China, where the government has enjoyed remarkable success in their pandemic response, has resumed normal consumption. Demand is not recovering in the US and Europe. In fact, US demand for oil plunged again last week.

Trump Will Blame Rioters for Second C19 Wave

After the federal government failed to use the lockdowns to implement the necessary test and trace measures to contain C19, infections have started rising again. This expansion is mostly going unnoticed, but by the second half of June ERs and ICUs will be filling up in parts of the country that missed the first wave. Get ready for the MAGAnauts to blame this surge on the protests.

Loeffler Makes 7-Figure Trump Donation

You may have wondered why Senator Burr is being prosecuted for the same illegal trading activity performed by Senator Loeffler, while Loeffler skates. For starters, Burr allowed the Senate Intel committee to subpoena Don Jr. and presided over a committee report that validated claims of Russian interference. But more importantly, Loeffler just delivered in the only way that matters, making a million dollar donation to Trump’s re-election.

This song was released 32 years ago.

Compare it to this song, which came out the same year but somehow didn’t excite the same public response.

29 Comments

  1. I think another important note for historians will be the recognition of under the current system how utterly impotent the House was when dealing with a dictator supported by the Senate and SCOTUS. The Senate under the control of the Kentuckystan fascist first completely subverted the power of the presidency to install anyone to SCOTUS, then over-rode all opposition to a wannabe dictator, resulting in the current situation. The impeachment process was clearly proven to be a political set piece, and nothing more, in the case of Clinton and the tyrant.

    We have heard not a word from the House recently, because there is nothing it can do. Further, let’s humor the hopelessly naive for a moment. Let’s pretend I am dead wrong, and there is a fair election in Nov, and the Senate and Oval Office go blue. Then what? The judiciary is locked in as a firewall for the fascists for at least a generation, given the age of all the zealots that have been appointed to all levels.

    Even if Biden did the sane thing, and added 4 seats to SCOTUS, filling them all with 27 year old law clerks from NYC, that would not be nearly enough to counter the entrenchment that has occurred in the past 3 plus years. Further, it is abundantly clear the first second that if the House and Senate ever go red again (a statistical certainty), any sitting dem president will be immediately neutered and impeached. Really, all that has to happen is the Senate to go red again, and the current system ensures they can roadblock so much.

    But this is silly. The u.s. is now a dictatorship. There will be no fair election. And history shows there is only one way to bring down a dictatorship, and it ain’t by sending nasty tweets or having 4 star generals write scathing editorials for the Atlantic.

  2. “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/james-mattis-denounces-trump-protests-militarization/612640/

    “It seems like now is the time to say, ‘I understand your pain, I want to comfort you, I think it’s time we love each other,'”Robertson said. “But the President took a different course. He said, ‘I am the “President of law and order,’ and he issued a heads-up.”

    Robertson continued. “He said, ‘I’m ready to send in military troops if the nation’s governors don’t act to quell the violence that has rocked American cities.’ A matter of fact, he spoke of them as being jerks. You just don’t do that, Mr. President. It isn’t cool!”

    Robertson also spoke out about racism, saying “we are one” and “God made us all.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/03/politics/pat-robertson-donald-trump/index.html

    Seems RNC and conservative internal polling must be in a freefall, the way they suddenly have things to say about some random grifter in the White House they never found fault with before.

    In other news, Steve King was primaries. It took, *looks at list*

    • Decades of GOP defending him followed by

    • Getting tired of it and shrugging it off as “Not representative of my views” followed by

    • finally just kicking him out of important functions in Congress followed by

    • a primary challenger who challenged on his effectiveness of he’s been hamstringed in Congress

    to get him out. Not, you know, people deciding they didn’t like a dude who was outwardly white supremacist.

      1. It’s too late.

        These men stood by while he locked kids in cages for the crime of being brown. Their statements are empty and their souls are lost. I give them no credit for “speaking out” now, I just use those statements as top level evidence that machinery might be grinding to a halt down below.

  3. Looks like Shitler sent out a dog whistle to his WS base about 2nd amendment rights while standing in front of a church he took over and holding a bible for a photo op after tear gassing peaceful protesters including a priest who was visiting. Also accompanied by a very nervous looking Barr who did not seem down with this little stunt.

    This occurred after making a phone call to the Kremlin (really?) and screaming at state governors to “dominate” the streets.

    He is inciting violence and attempting to finish what Steve Bannon had said he would do. I hope our military does the right thing when the time comes.

    1. Barr may have preferred to not be in the Lafayette Square photo op, but, as he later acknowledged publicly, he was deeply involved in authorizing the law enforcement melange that assembled and the tactics they used against peaceful protesters.

      As for trump’s assertion that he is the president of “law and order”, not really. Only if he gets to decide which laws and how and when order will be applied.

      Finally, in defense of my “emotional posts” rather than substantive- each of us speaks from who we are, where we come from, and what we believe. Damn straight I’m emotional about the atrocities that are happening, but like everyone here, my values and my assessments are based in cold analysis.

      To which point I would like to offer this (slightly emotional), well reasoned op ed by NYT Frank Bruni for your reflection. You see, individually, our perspectives and values vary, but, in a democratic society, this is a strength, not a weakness.

      https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?

    1. Yakima County in Washington State, which Chris mentioned as being the worst hotspot on the West Coast also has a large Native American population with the Yakama Reservation being in the County. It also has a large Hispanic population with meat packing plants and other agricultural plants. Some adjacent counties also have large Hispanic populations and agricultural plants. They similarly have high COVID-19 impacts. They also happen to be very red – the reddest part of Washington.

      Meanwhile,The three most populous counties in the Puget Sound basin are beginning to reopen, but slowly. Stay home, mask wearing and social distancing are highly encouraged and for the most part people are complying.

  4. So the madman is screaming at governors right now in a conference call about them not being tough enough. I am wondering what the over/under is on the tyrant invoking the Insurrection Act as an exception of the Posse Comitatus Act.

    This article is about 2 months old, discussing how the tyrant can’t declare martial law without the approval of Congress. But it does detail how he can deploy federal troops WITHOUT the request of individual state leaders using said Insurrection Act.

    Key takeaway: “The president may also deploy troops without a state’s request if an “unlawful obstruction,” domestic violence or similar civil unrest is creating barriers to execution of the law. Troops may be used either to assist local law enforcement or, if necessary, to supplant them. In the latter case, the act authorizes a form of martial law, triggered by vague criteria and with few clear constraints on its use.”

    https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/491155-can-the-president-declare-martial-law-in-response-to-coronavirus

    1. For a bit of historical context on this scenario, Herbert Hoover called out the military when veterans from World War I marched on the White House. The results were… let’s say, less than politically optimal for him.

      Franklin Roosevelt reportedly said afterwards: “This will elect me.”

      1. Watch what they do, not what they say.” – Rachel Maddow

        Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act, but didn’t actually do it. This is tried-and-true Trumpism – bullshit your way into getting what you want; and when someone actually calls you on your bluff, scurry away and try to save face.

        https://twitter.com/maxberger/status/1267614272848265218

        I don’t want to delve into a lecture here, but when you’re dealing with Donald Trump, remember who you’re dealing with. He is, above all else, and in this particular order:

        3.) A bullshitter

        2.) A conman

        1.) A Coward

        Maybe he honest-to-goodness loses his shit and actually invokes the Act, but I’d be as surprised as anyone if he actually does. It is the trademark of a conman to *always* try to make people believe they’re more powerful and stronger than they really are. Don’t fall for it, and keep the focus squarely on November where it belongs.

      2. Uh Ryan…I don’t think you are keeping up with current events.

        15 hours ago, the tyrant ordered the military to open fire on peaceful demonstrators in front of the White House. Though the District is under federal rule, and does not need any Insurrection Act invoked, the fact remains that the tyrant ordered people to be maimed with rubber bullets and ridden down by horses, among other things.

        Oh yeah, you may have heard that the police chief of Arlington County has pulled back the police because of the actions of the madman.

        There is zero chance, ZERO, that this cabal does not make their final moves before any Nov election. You wait. In the coming days there is going to be a conflict between National Guard units and actual military units, as the tyrant moves in to take over any number of Dem led states. And yes, that was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in battle fatigues, not field dress, surveying the carnage. So the tyrant has the military most definitely on his side.

        It is most unfortunate that someone with a rifle had not hidden away from the vantage point of the CNN crew that got whisked off the roof by the secret service. No way the secret service had enough notice to vet the entire area.

      3. Let there be no uncertainty in that what happened last night was a result of the #BunkerBitch-in-Chief throwing a temper tantrum at his being mocked worldwide, and his continued freaking out over his numbers continuing to fall with Evangelicals.

        Does that mitigate the sheer horror of what we saw last night? No, but keep your eyes on the prize, Dins. If Trump’s going this far just to shore up support among his most hardcore group of supporters, we’ve got him on the run. We’re *winning*.

        We stay on the attack and hit him where it hurts most, at the voting booth. No violence.

      4. Ryan: 100% agree. Trump is scared and on the run.

        The best thing all of us can do right now is listen and educate ourselves WRT to the experiences of African Americans, support police reforms locally, and not lose faith.

        One thing you can do right now: Justin Amash is recruiting co-sponsors for a bill to eliminate qualified immunity in policing. This appears to be on the radar of other MOCs as well. I encourage everyone to look at this issue and contact your representative to encourage their support of this reform.

  5. Starting tomorrow I’m going on a full-on media blackout. As the slow-rolling collapse of the U.S. and its institutions continues, I wish to continue to improve myself mentally and physically, away from news sites and social media where I’ve been watching the collapse slowly approaching. I’d rather be caught by surprise and have it crash over me in an instant than observe it slowly creeping up to my doorstep.

    I live in Houston, and I’m proud of the way that Art has handled things. But there’s only so much that one city and one police chief can do in the face of a governor and a President that probably sees my hometown as an insulting blue stain on the Texas that they want to stay ruby red. Between our increasingly unhinged state and federal-level politicians who’d like to see Houston’s successes dismantled, and climate change putting Houston underwater more often and more intensely, there’s not a lot to look forward to.

    I’m going to therapy, taking my exercise more seriously with some good equipment at home, and am almost done with college. I’m honestly thinking of getting the eye surgery that I’ve been squeamish about because I’m not sure if there will be a medical infrastructure capable of supplying me with my contacts or new glasses in the future. I’m doing my best to convince my parents to not sell this house, which in a less flood-prone area compared to much of the rest of Houston, in the future after it’s paid off and they’ve retired. Some measure of non-liquid wealth and stability for the both of us, Millennials born 3 years apart, would be utterly invaluable as whatever fresh nightmares that await us in the decades to come rear their ugly heads.

    This will probably be the last time I comment here for a very, very long time. I hope everyone stays safe and finds their own way to gird themselves for whatever catastrophes await us.

  6. Thanks for mentioning what’s going on in Houston. Saturday night was not as bad as Friday night, and hopefully Chief Acevedo’s efforts make tonight even better. HPD will have their work cut out for them for Floyd’s funeral.

    You could write books about everything that was wrong in the video of George Floyd being murdered in public, but the thing I find most chilling is this: bystanders were begging that cop to show some mercy, trying to appeal to basic human decency. He wasn’t in any danger, he didn’t have to do what he did. His casual, snarky attitude is what I find so sickening and worrisome and infuriating. He did it because he thought he could, even though he had to know that he was being recorded. The 3 fellow cops didn’t feel obligated to stop him. We have to stop giving bullies and sociopaths this sort of power.

  7. There’s going to continue to be a lot going on for some time.

    Funny thing, that applies to a right-of-center friend of mine who posted the conspiratoidal nonsense, “Riots just after opening up from a pandemic? This isn’t a coincidence.”

    He’s right. It’s not a coincidence that when institutions have fallen and government has checked out of the business of people representation, social disarray boils to the surface in many forms, at first slowly, and then rapidly.

    I feel the same way about the riots I feel about the pandemic: let the AutoZones and Targets burn down, why should I care? I’m reaching out to my friends and family, making sure they’re okay, and then offering bailout funds and a safehouse to anybody in my community who want to risk the confrontation on the street.

    And that’s that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the US burns for four more years, 45 or 46 in office either direction, and so my job is keeping away from the heat and putting salve on the burned.

  8. In general, I am supportive of unions, but many of the police unions are a huge detriment to elimination of police abuse. They have negotiated clauses in their contracts that make disciplining bad police officers and removing them from the force essentially impossible. That gives the individual officer on the street the idea that they can do anything they wish. The old veterans on the force, then ignore all the training and updated manuals, and continue to do things the same old way. Derek Chauvin’s actions in Minneapolis perfectly shows this. He was a 19 year veteran who had been disciplined before, but remained on the force. He ignored fellow police officers asking him to move Floyd. His actions were against current Minneapolis policies. They sit through training sessions and ignore them. Because these officers remain on the force, they pass these attitudes onto younger officers fresh from the police academy. The police unions fight effective change.

    We have had that problem in Seattle. Despite being under a federal consent degree for years and making significant progress, the federal judge will not release the City from the consent degree, because the police guild contract is preventing effective discipline.

    Below is a link to a video rant by Liberal Redneck on YouTube. It is very strong and uses explicit gutter language. I imagine most have heard it before, but the video is absolutely to the point and clarifies the issues.

    https://youtu.be/lW6oVMbl1hs

    In some respects this is similar to the situation with the US Army when it came out of Vietnam. Morale was terrible; it was an empty shell and not effective as a fighting force. But the commanders were determined to reassert discipline. Through the RIF that occurred in the late 70’s and early 80’s, they consistently forced out the bad apples and restored discipline and morale. A similar situation needs to implemented in police departments across America. The opinion in the WA Post that you linked to is absolutely to the point. The police unions need to cooperate in eliminating the bad apples.

  9. Chris, not much else left to say.

    The tyrant tweeted in the past hour that Antifa will be designated a terrorist organization. Of course, there is zero mechanism to do such a thing, but that is utterly irrelevant to this dictatorship. Wait until the “Lamestream Media” is labelled as an enabler of the “Far Left Terrorists”

    All reactions by this cabal now and in the next few days are a dry run for the final moves to completely consolidate their power by Nov. Anyone who can’t see this and hope that an election will make the madman and his crew go away are simply too naive to involve in a discussion.

      1. Chris, you are likely of an age to remember there was more than a little consternation when the Soviet Union dissolved in the late 80’s/early 90’s with regard to securing the nukes in the various states that still had physical control.

        I wonder what will happen when the U.S. falls apart. I am now certain it is “when”, not “if”. As many others have pointed out, these riots are just a symptom on the disease, and that disease is terminal.

        Neither the tyrant nor Biden can hold the union together, for different reasons.

    1. Dins, what you call “consolidating” is really just the Trumphadis freaking the f*** out and scrambling to get whatever they can before everything comes tumbling down like a house of cards. There’s no mass power grab coming before November anymore than there was right before the Republican wipeout in ’18.

      Anyone paying attention to social media these past few days has heard how Trump will *surely* benefit from all these riots; and just like Nixon in ’68, ride a Law and Order strategy to victory in November.

      But there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that. If anything, this situation is far more similar to the LA Riots in ’92 – and George H. W Bush, a *far* better man and president than the Dear Leader could ever dream of being, politically benefited to the tune of a stinging defeat that November. If anything, the riots hurt him.

      Deep breaths, Dins. Stay focused on November with a cold and vicious focus.

      1. And then we get segregationist Joe “You Ain’t Black” Biden in as President. He and the rest of the establishment Dems will continue their usual, subtler racism than the Republicans employ and very little will change, clearing the way for another Trump-like figure later on.

        White supremacy is bipartisan. Both parties are corrupt, murderous, greedy and racist. Neither of them are forces for good in this world. The Dems offer a slightly slower and more polished catastrophe so that the rich and white can gather their things and leave, but neither party offers up a path that’s consistent with justice or long-term survival.

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