To be perfectly honest, most of them have lost their lustre as I enter my 50s. Everyone acknowledges that they made it through another year of challenges and talk about what they want to do that’s “new”.
Why are we doing this stupid ritual? It’s a mark on a lunar calendar. The solstice is already in the bag and we are going to get closer to the sun. What kind of pagan shit is this? It’s twenty fucking twenty-three. We’re not going to crash into it yet or be cut adrift from it. No mature human save for the religious should be making a huge deal about the planet moving, and no one at all should be connecting it with some kind of personal renewal, much in the same way we only have Christmas as the impetus to be giving. I thought by now we would have been done with this kind of New Age crap, but I guess it’s still the New Age and I will just have to get used to the idea that many of us are still participating in some small way in this flaky shit without the drugs and cults and fucking. Some fun this is. I guess it’s just been that way and there is no point in resisting.
Yes. We are all getting older and a year closer to dying. The planet didn’t get hit by an asteroid. Maybe we didn’t catch a possibly fatal disease that has killed millions. For some reason, celebration of these things seems strange. But, I suppose when times are troubled, this is just normal human behavior. Being missed by Death is something we fixate on as the only animal on earth that knows very well it is going to not be alive someday and that really gets into our high functioning, neurotic monkey brains and causes us to hope for more life, more and more of goddamned life, which can be much, much worse than death for the brave and the afflicted. How greedy of us, those who are intact and pain-free.
I guess it comes down to another old-timey belief, that of being lucky. I suppose our dipshit European ancestors brought that idiocy with them to land that was not New at all. To the people we killed and subjugated to live here, New wasn’t even a thing, I think. Time wasn’t worth much to Native Americans, although that may be too much a blanket statement given how many tribes were here and I suppose their beliefs were manifold. But I guess when your life is fraught with danger, on a ship whose destination the sailor isn’t quite sure of, these are things you believe in. When you make land before lack of food and potable water and disease wipe you out, it’s not surprising that each succession of European immigrants fell to their knees when we got off the boat and thanked whatever the fuck they thought helped them make it.
Lucky is horseshit-chance, however, is not. No one is watching over us. Sorry to burst your bubble.
When you get right down to it, anything can happen, which sounds like I’m scraping up against a version of Murphy’s Law without the fatalism. And perhaps that’s why we gird ourselves for the next 365 day long block of time in our lives by overlaying hopes and goals over the fact that we are alone, unless we have people who love us. We want order, because the chaos makes us want to throw up. If there is any god or goddess, it is Eris-our lady of perpetual confusion. She’s the closest I will ever come to acknowledging the supernatural-her fingerprints are all over this place, whatever it is, after all. Only on Earth does the universe look like there’s a purpose to it. You don’t have to look far to know that is simply not true. Look at your own life. That shit is fucked the fuck up.
In closing, roll with the punches, don’t think too much about oblivion, go crazy if you need to, I guess. I do not generally recommend it, because it’s a bitch to get it under control once you have lost said control. I won’t advise you, it’s a bad idea to listen to a sick person about sanity. The apple is yours. Don’t get a big head about it. It’s above your station to think of how favored you are too much.
Nevada’s gun totin’, bra-bustin’ Michele Fiore seems to have a desperate need to be in office. She’s always running for something, and usually losing. But thanks to the fact that judgeship elections have little to no public scrutiny, Utah has decided to give Michele the title of Justice of The Peace in some podunk county seat called Pahrump.
Michele hasn’t got a law degree. And beat out seventeen other candidates, most likely much more qualified to sit. There is no requirement for the Justice Of The Peace to have a law degree in Nye County. But Michelle is promising to go to school to get one.
I just have this feeling she isn’t the studying kind. But I could be wrong.
Typically, the Justice Of The Peace has only a handful of duties, adjudicating small claims, dealing with minor infractions, perform marriages, and they can authorize arrests. But can someone with no legal background decide on even these small things? Even a paralegal could do a better job than someone known in politics for her boobs and her gun collection.
Now I know I said that Pahrump was podunk. Well, yes it is, but not by Nevada standards.The county boasts a population of a little over 50,000, and is the largest county in the state. Even my podunk county (not so much a podunk county but a place for middle class whites to flee the suburbs at reasonable prices), Columbia County, Georgia has 160,000 in it. So Michelle will be busy making decisions that change peoples’ lives with nothing but her pretty little head, which has led her to do some really dumb things in the past, as evidenced by the link above.
What was it, County Commissioners? Did you all get a rise out of what she was wearing? Did she have a portfolio of her best poses with guns? Whatever it was, I’m sure you could have done better.
Real quick one.
I can no longer tolerate people who come out of the gate telling me to “SMILE!”
Fuck off. Tell me a joke if you want to see my teeth.
I have been dealing with this for a very long time. I’m just not the fucking smiley type for no goddamn reason. But it does NOT mean that I am unhappy, angry, or in a bad mood.
I happen to have a mood disorder, as some of you know. And I run high almost all of the time. Which probably means I am in a better mood than any person who comes along telling me to “SMILE!”. I am irreverent, always on, only serious when necessary. That is my default setting. I don’t need to use my teeth to be full of fucking mirth. That’s because I can talk and know how to use sarcasm and point out irony and am not afraid to cross a polite boundary. I’m laughing at most of you all of the time on the inside, if you want to know the truth. Really, the only difference between us is that I am an idiot, and you are all grinning idiots. You look crazier than I do, and that’s saying something.
So please, do not tell me what to do with my face. It borders on rudeness.
How would you like it if I told you loudly to “FROWN!”?
It would probably startle you as much as it startles me when you yell “SMILE!”.
So after getting her ass soundly beat by Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s Mrs. Moneybags Kelly Loeffler went into the banking business.
With a fun twist! It was a Christian bank.
I regret to inform you that this endeavor was a failure. She couldn’t find the funding to keep it afloat.
It even had a great name, if you’re an idiot: GloriFi.
Loeffler’s plan was to have an “anti-woke” bank (whatever that fucking means anymore) that held values near and dear to her (which is highly unlikely, Loeffler is just looking for suckers to get richer off of)-“pro-America values such as capitalism, family, law enforcement and the freedom to ‘celebrate your love of God and country.”
That doesn’t sound authoritarian at all, but I suppose no harm can be done getting your fascism on while you are filling out a deposit slip.
Whether she believes in it or not is immaterial-that there are many people who believe in and are clamoring for these so-called “American values” is worrisome enough. But I guess perhaps not too worrisome, seeing as how a grifter like Loeffler couldn’t gather enough rubes to open a zero interest checking account in her bank.
I’m no economist. But economics seems to be one of those fields that you can be trained in for years and years and still not know what the fuck is going on. Not even a savvy investment giant like Warren Buffett can tell which way the wind is blowing all the time. Economics is a guessing game, judging by the amount of divergent opinions one can help themselves to in the news on a daily basis.
So the field is open for a layperson like myself to learn the fundamentals. But even the “laws” of supply and demand elude people interested in the subject. Some people think that is the end of the discussion, that all economic activity comes down to that raw tension between those two concepts. Their relationship is definitely very much a thing and weighs hard on all economic discussions, but it is not the end of them. What I have learned so far is that there are several forms of market warp that transcends the simplicity of laissez- faire notions of how money moves.
Peoples’ memories and attention spans being shit as they are, they often don’t remember events that changed the face of history. Just for an easy example, Trumpers like to point out the price of gas when he was president as compared to what it was this summer while Biden presided. Now of course this is dumb on its face because of the easily understood fact that the president does not really control gas prices. There are things that can be done, like releasing oil from our strategic reserve, employing gas tax holidays, and diplomacy with oil-producing nations. But most of that will not bring significant results that people are clamoring for. Stupid people think that presidents are like CEOs, where everything that goes wrong on their shift is attributable to them. But there’s this little thing called current events, and a president would have to have a crystal ball to head them off. History has to run through the course of a presidency, and to truly understand the efficacy or failure of a presidency we must know what happened during it, looking at phenomena that haven’t got a thing to do with who sits in the Oval Office.
So anyway, why was gas so cheap during Trump? Well, let me get right to it. It’s the prime mover of every calamity we have had and are continuing to have.
If you don’t understand what the epidemic did to the economy, you have shit for brains and should shut up on the subject of economics for the last three years or so.
We literally didn’t leave the house for a year and a half. Businesses were destroyed. Supply chains mangled. Workers laid off. Oil actually traded in the negative, which technically meant we were running out of places to put the oil that no one needed and were on the verge of giving it away. We were worried about how we were going to wipe our ass. It took Trump begging the Saudis to shut their taps off to keep American producers afloat.
An event like this only comes perhaps once a century. It changes everything, and sometimes it just doesn’t matter who is the unfortunate chump in office is when they do occur. Mind you, Trump’s response to COVID was as bad a response as could be imagined, first denying the danger for months and then hawking quack treatments for people who were encouraged to have vaccine hysteria.
By the time Biden entered office, America was back at play, footloose and fancy free. Mask restrictions were done away with, vaccine proof was no longer needed to do certain things and we were off to the races. Demand skyrocketed.
But supply did not. A good chunk of manufacturing is coming from China, who has a zero COVID policy and if they catch a whiff of a breakout they literally go on lockdown. This would and still is causing a crimp in our supply capabilities. Oil company investors, who had their profits pared down seriously by COVID, went on a wild greed spree this summer, refusing to up production to meet the demand, citing a labor shortage, drill parts shortage and the events in Russia and Ukraine. Some of that may have been true-but much of the rise in price in oil was partly attributable to stock buybacks and and insistence on not growing to maximize the barrel price.
So what happens when too much money is chasing too few goods because supply cannot meet demand?
Inflation. It’s as natural as a newborn. Now during COVID under Trump, we printed seven trillion dollars to keep the economy alive. Another two trillion was printed in the first months of the Biden administration. Now those seven trillion under Trump had no effect on inflation. The Fed kept rates at near zero, allowing cheap money to flow wherever it needed to. Once again, it is stupid people who don’t understand that debt is not tied to inflation in a sophisticated economy like ours. Had this been true, we’d be like Argentina since we’re already 23 trillion in the hole and debt to GDP is almost 100%. We absolutely had to borrow that money to just keep basic services going. Some of it went to bad places but on the whole it was necessary debt, which some nitwits cannot tell from bad debt. But anyway, America is taking risks and are back in society, buying what they want. But they’ve noticed big time that what they want is going up in price quite a bit.
What’s the real problem? Did we overdo quantitative easing? Or is this inflation just a function of low supply and high demand? Or do we have yet more greed coming from monopolistic elements within the economy? Either way, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell thinks he has the answer. He’s gearing up for several aggressive interest rate hikes to combat inflation. People I have been reading say he’s going to crash the economy if he keeps it up, and that may be his plan-which sounds insane for a society that just got let loose into the marketplace to buy, buy and buy. Yes, some tightening is probably necessary. Some. But not recession-causing tightening. Apparently Powell doesn’t think the market has the know how to heal itself, and is going to instead contract us into a manageable size, where wages are lower as well as prices. This is madness. COVID-19 warp has shit to do with monetary policy. Those trillions were on the books and they could have stayed there a bit more while we got on with business. Once again, incremental adjustments to the interest rates make sense, but not these ham fisted moves Powell is making. He’s not going to squeeze inflation out of the economy if he is not taking into account what is causing it.
It’s not the balance sheet, folks. It’s the bug. And if Jerome Powell thinks he’s doing us a favor by making the cost of of money expensive and halt this economy’s gains, he doesn’t understand the American consumer nor the pandemic. Give America a minute to actually be a free market. Or to be free, period.
I’ve taken quite a vacation from watching Tucker Carlson. His show has devolved in a way I could never imagine. Used to be a time when, however wrong he was, he’d have guests on to have a contentious fight with. I don’t think anyone remotely credible wants to go on his show anymore, though. Now it’s all just hair-on-fire end of civilization commentary that probably only serves to scare old white folks.
Today, let’s highlight a couple of his latest conspiracies. This would be twice now in a span of perhaps a month that suggests that the Biden administration is trying to use drugs or the non-use of them to “control” the population, a familiar Tucker refrain with about zero basis in fact. Here’s Tucker saying that nicotine users have more mental acuity (debatable) and therefore a ban on Juuls is going to make men soft and stupid:
Not long after, he’s howling on a Brazilian beach about how government and corporations don’t want people to have families because they are still trying to help women obtain safe abortions and that the government might put SSRIs in the water supply to keep people happy:
Yes. That’s airing on a major cable “news network”. Not to mention that it’s one of the most popular shows on television. It’s no wonder this country is going to the dogs if this is in the diet.
UPDATE: More drug talk from Tucker. He’s alleging that school “counselors” are handing out “psychotropic” drugs all over the country. This is patent bullshit of course, as is the use of a scare word that most people don’t know. Then he mentions SSRIs again. I have news for Tucker; it’s not 1985 anymore; there’s SNRIs, tricyclics, tetracyclics, typical, atypical antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, a panoply of drugs that go way beyond the promise of Prozac that doctors are prescribing more and more these days. If you are going to scare people, get fucking up to date with your nonsense, asshole.
Many are clamoring for further investigation of Virginia “Ginni” Thomas and what her role may have been in the January 6th insurrection. They’re ticked off at the J6 committee for not asking her to come in. They think a story has been killed because the “media” moved on.
Well, I hate to disappoint, that’s probably because there’s no “there” there.
Yes, Clarence Thomas made a colossally unethical decision not to recuse himself from a case where his wife’s activities, whatever they may have been, could to come to light. However, Thomas is without a doubt the worst member of the Court, a bootlicker through and through and maybe he just has a shit grasp of the law and is a moral degenerate. Those factors may have contributed him to being the lone dissenter. We shall never know, because we are not and never will be privy to Clarence and Ginni’s pillow talk.
Ugh. That was a gross mental picture.
Moving right along.
Internet sleuths have traced some of Ginni’s past to her involvement in a cult called Lifespring. Here’s some video of a young Ginni, after escaping the abusive group:
It’s my understanding that what cultists really crave is affiliation. And if Ginni Thomas’ history shows anything, it’s that she needed desperately to be affiliated with things. After her time in Lifespring, she got a good education and good jobs, eventually working for the Chamber of Commerce, the US Labor Department, and The Heritage Foundation. She married Clarence during her time at DOL. At Clarence’s hearings, it was brought up that Ginni’s post may have created a potential conflict of interest for him. No matter, he was confirmed despite the circus that surrounded his hearing.
Ginni became a lobbyist for various right-wing causes, again raising her profile and making people nervous about her conflicts of interest with her husband’s job. She found herself working at Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, a known wackadoodle factory of lies and disinformation.
It was then that Ginni joined her next project, Groundswell, ostensibly fighting the evil of progressivism. Ginni would become “the Trump whisperer” in due time, feeding him conspiracies about the “deep state” and recommending who he should hire and fire.
“We all knew that within minutes after Ginni left her meeting with the president, he would start yelling about firing people for being disloyal,” a former senior-level Trump official told The Beast. “When Ginni Thomas showed up, you knew your day was wrecked.”
Cut to 2020. Thomas happily promoted the rally on January 6th, 2021. There was talk of her busing protestors to the rally, which turned out to be false. That would have been Kirk’s group Turning Point. She has told the press that she was in the crowd at the rally but left early because she was cold.
But what’s really got people curious about her involvement is that she texted Mark Meadows like a crazy person after the election and around January 6th. Now Meadows and Thomas are friends outside of work, so maybe commo between them was not all of an incendiary nature. Yet there are many texts that were:
“Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!! …You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice,” she wrote in one of the messages to Meadows on Nov. 10, shortly after Biden was projected to defeat Donald Trump. “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
In the messages, Ginni Thomas repeatedly pressed Meadows to reverse the 2020 election results, touting conspiracy theories about voter fraud and right-wing falsehoods about Biden and his family members.
“Do not concede,” she wrote Meadows on Nov. 6, 2020. “It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back.”
November 13: “Sidney Powell & improved coordination now will help the cavalry come and Fraud exposed and America saved.” (Sidney Powell was Mike Flynn’s attorney and a conspiracy theorist pursuing Trump’s bogus voter fraud claims throughout the country. None succeeded.)
November 19: “Sounds like Sidney and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud. Make a plan. Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down… You guys fold, the evil just moves fast down underneath you all.” (After the election, the far right used “Release the Kraken” as a catchphrase. It referred to the exposure of a massive voter fraud conspiracy that would have the force of a “Kraken”—a mythical giant sea monster.)
November 24: “If you all cave to the elites, you have to know that many of your 73 million feel like what Glenn [Beck] is expressing…”
When Meadows asked what Thomas meant, she answered, “I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences… the whole coup and now this… we just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.”
Describing the effort to overturn the election, Meadows invoked God: “This is a fight of good versus evil. Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”
Thomas responded, “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!”
Her best friend, according to sources, is her husband.
One last text, after the smoke cleared from the 6th.
January 10, 2021: “We are living through what feels like the end of America,” she wrote. “Most of us are disgusted with the VP and are in listening mode to see where to fight with our teams. Those who attacked the Capitol are not representative of our great teams of patriots for DJT!! Amazing times. The end of Liberty.”
She found another cult, the cult of Donald Trump. But do her hysterical texts suggest culpability or planning of J6? It doesn’t sound like she was in the know, as evidenced by the text above. In the end, Ginni Thomas is probably just a well-connected kook who is married to a SCOTUS justice. That’s all. The greater crime in all of this will be if Justice Thomas continues to adjudicate regarding J6 now that it is known that his wife was aware of all the little plots to wrest the election from Biden. Awareness does not equal conspiracy. Were it so, the dragnet in this country would be pretty fucking wide indeed.
Sometimes I feel pretty fucking clever when I’ve sussed out that America is about to enter into its second dalliance with fascism and its characteristics. It will be Christian, white, and male-centric. Like Jello Biafra said once, it’s bedtime for democracy and there is no telling when it will wake up.
Now it’s awfully hard to believe that Steve Bannon, who looks like some weird mixture of Baron Harkonnen from Lynch’s Dune and a wino, is of any particular threat to American democracy. It’s almost hilarious that he has Mike Lindell on his “War Room” on the regular. He’s probably facing jail time soon, depending on how much he pisses a judge off by turning his contempt trial into a media circus.
However, as far as the right wing goes, he’s the daddy-o of American neo-fascism, or populism, or nationalism, whatever you want to call it. And when he fell out with Trump, he moved on to bigger and better things. After the White House, he went abroad to spread the populist word, powwowing with right wing parties, dictators and autocrats around the globe. He’s a Putinist, and I guess now is a great time to introduce a notorious living Russian fascist, often referred to as “Putin’s Brain”, Aleksandr Dugin. (More on the Dugin-Putin relationship here). The guy appears to be completely insane, a mad monk advocating for a Russian empire that stretches all the way to Ireland. I am sure that Putin, while a little touched in the head himself, listens to Alex’s counsel, smiles in his mind, takes the good parts and leaves out the absurd. He did come up with the idea of annexing Crimea, and thinks Russia should treat Ukraine as theirs, which they have done de facto by invading and robbing Ukraine of its ability to trade freely. I’m not going to get into an argument with any of you chuckleheads out there who seem to have no clue about military tactics and realpolitik, the end game of this invasion is that Russia gets good cream and lots of political leverage over the rest of the world from Ukraine’s food and energy markets. And there isn’t shit the West can or will do about it. (UPDATE 4/2: Zelenskyy isn’t giving up territory for peace, and NATO is now sending deadlier assets. He’s either going down with the ship, or this is going to be Afghanistan II: The Return Of The Bear Trap.)
Anyway, back to this character Dugin for a minute. He is quoted as saying, “We, conservatives, want a strong, solid State, want order and healthy family, positive values, the reinforcing of the importance of religion and the Church in society”. Sound familiar? That’s word for word what the Republican Party in America has come to stand for. Coming from the mouth of a Russian fascist. A “traditionalist”. Democracy, liberalism, and individualism are all anathema to his thinking, a refutation of the principles of America’s revolutionary ideas. He said of Putin as early as 2007: “There are no more opponents of Putin’s course and, if there are, they are mentally ill and need to be sent off for clinical examination. Putin is everywhere, Putin is everything, Putin is absolute, and Putin is indispensable.” It’s not dissimilar to the cult of personality that surrounds Trump, or any other “strongman” who can control people. The main difference between Putin and Dugin, is that one is pragmatic and one is a romantic. He wanted Putin to take Georgia as well as Ukraine. Putin took the chunks he could hold, probably knowing from Hitler at Stalingrad that when you spread yourself too thin, you will get your ass kicked. He believes that COVID is a “kind of divine reprimand, a divine decree against humanity.” and “It is a kind of punishment for globalization.” Dugin attacks the arts and the schools for their decadent thoughts (again, sound familiar?), even finding physics and chemistry to be “demonic”. The man is a mystic, looking for signs of the apocalypse.
So let’s circle back to Bannon: what’s the connection between him and Dugin? Well, they met once, in 2018, in Rome. While they agreed philosophically, the meeting did not go well, as Dugin was focused on the United States as the great evil, and Bannon felt it was China. I guess we should be glad they did not agree or join forces, but the idea that America is engorged with “evil” is becoming chapter and verse for more and more Republicans, no doubt to Putin and Dugin’s glee. We will be rid of Steve Bannon soon enough. But if we continue to share a traditionalist fascist destiny with Russia, then I am afraid the world over will become a dark place to practice freedom.
To Republicans, he may be the man for their times, should Trump decide not to run. He’s fairly well educated and served his country honorably. That’s more than you can say for the majority of the Republican Party. He’s certainly smarter and has more gravitas than a wannabe tough guy doofus like Ron DeSantis.
All of this is to say that makes him very dangerous. His ideas are, to put it mildly, radical as fuck. When the New York Times published a Cotton editorial in 2020 calling for the military to crack down on protestors, The Times almost lost its shirt due to the number of subscription cancellations. Went out on a limb to scotch the Iran nuclear deal. Wanted to use the Espionage Act on journalists. May have engaged in a little stolen valor by claiming to be an Army Ranger when all he did was go to Ranger school. Hates SNAP. Loves waterboarding. Steve Bannon is into him. Wants to lock up as many people as possible. Doesn’t want teachers to teach slavery. Anti-immigrant. ACA opponent. Supported Defense of Marriage. Refused to support Violence Against Women Act. Hyper anti-choice. Believes China purposefully leaked COVID-19.
All of this and more can be found elsewhere, some behind paywall journalism.
Until now, Republicans had some pretty piss poor choices for ’24. But put Cotton in there minus a Trump run and the calculus changes.
If we don’t expose this creep for who he is now, it may be too late to do so soon. Jen Psaki took the first shot today condemning his warmongering nature and just talking the talk but not walking the walk, and many need to follow. I’ve been right about his ambitions, and I suspect I will be proven right that Tom Cotton is going to be a contender.
We’re only in the third month of the year, but so much is happening in the world that’s there’s bound to be some monumentally smart takes, and some monumentally dumb ones.
Today, as always for posterity, let’s look at an example of each.
One the smart side: Seth Abramson’s Substack produced a really long but super comprehensive assessment about the nature of our world as Russia continues its push through Ukraine. You will gain much if you can finish and digest that.
On the dumb side: a post that could make the Hall Of Fame Of Stupidest Fucking Tweets if there ever is one. I haven’t seen something this dumb on Twitter since Glenn Reynolds tweeted that protestors blocking streets should be run over. Here’s Peter Schiff, whoever the fuck he is, commenting on President Zelenskyy’s sartorial choices while addressing Congress as his country is being reduced to rubble:
There is no sign yet of him deleting that thought. I hope it stays so I can continue to be entertained by the fallout.