As Expected

Dana Milbank of The Washington Post is a hero. He tried Trump’s Twitter knock-off, Truth Social, so we don’t have to. His conclusion:

“Seems Trump’s social media venture is headed the way of Trump University, Trump’s Atlantic City casinos, Trump’s charities, Trump mattresses, Trump steaks, Trump clothing, Trump perfume, Trump lighting, Trump floor coverings, Trump eyewear, the Trump presidency and American democracy.”

Related.

Thank You Ginni Thomas

Calling the Court’s independence into question, Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, to overturn the 2020 election.

From The New York Times:

“In one message sent in the days after the election, she urged the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to ‘release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,’ invoking a slogan popular on the right that refers to a web of conspiracy theories that Trump supporters believed would overturn the election.

In another, she wrote: ‘I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences.’ She added: “We just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.’

Other texts end with “I hope this is true”. Here are two examples:

“Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states. I hope this is true.”

“Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition. I hope this is true”.

I’ve struggled mightily to understand some of my fellow citizens growing number of conspiracies related to our national politics, among other things. Now, for the first time, thanks to Ginni, I may actually get it.

Whenever Tucker Carlson, Ginni Thomas, or your QAnon brain addled neighbor says, “This is true,” what they really mean is, “I hope this is true.”

I hope the Ginni Thomas’s of the world get the help they need.

Headlines To Ponder

  1. MacKenzie Scott Gives $436 Million to Habitat for Humanity.
  2. World No. 1 Ash Barty, 25, Announces Retirement from Tennis.
  3. Afghanistan’s last finance minister, now a D.C. Uber driver, ponders what went wrong. Semi-related, no prime minister of Pakistan — a country that has swung between democracy and dictatorship — has ever completed a full term in office (The Financial Times).

Tuesday Required Reading

  1. Girls flag rugby. Beautiful lead picture. Of course the red-head is kicking ass.
  2. UCLA reverses course and will pay the adjunct professor after all. HR clown show.
  3. How much do the best pro cyclists make? “. . . pocket-money compared to some of the world’s wealthiest sports.”
  4. Right on. My Covid guy gets the top job. Everyone has a Covid person or team that affirms their preconceived notions about all things ‘rona. Ashish Jha is mine.

Symbolism Over Substance?

I am fortunate to live in Olympia, Washington in the upper lefthand corner of the (dis)United States. This morning I did one of my fave runs. To Priest Point Park, a loop of the heavily wooded east-side trail, and back, 7.5 miles for those keeping score at home. Now I’m sitting at my desk looking alternatively at my computer monitor and Budd Inlet, the southernmost part of the Puget Sound, a series of saltwater inlets that are, in essence, a bucolic part of the Pacific Ocean.

But did I really run to Priest Point Park and am I really sitting above Budd Inlet? Indigenous groups are succeeding in renaming places based upon their history. Now, Budd Inlet is more appropriately called the Salish Sea and the Olympia City Council is in the process of renaming Priest Point Park, Squaxin Park, after the Squaxin island tribe, who lived here first.

I am down with the updating, but I wonder about a potentially subtle, unconscious even, unintended consequence. What if we think land acknowledgement in the form of updated place names is sufficient and stop short of more substantive changes that would both honor Indigenous people’s history and improve their life prospects?

Of course it doesn’t have to be either/or, it can and should be both/and, but we seem prone to superficial, fleeting acts that are often “virtue signaling“. We change our blog header to Ukraine’s flag, we put “Black Lives Matter” stickers on our cars, and otherwise advertise our politics in myriad ways, but we don’t always persevere. With others. Over time. To create meaningful change.

What is the state of the Black Lives Matter movement? How much attention will the media and public be paying to authoritarianism in Eastern Europe a year or five from now?

Admittedly, that’s a cynical perspective, but I prefer skeptical. I’m skeptical that substituting the Salish Sea for Budd Inlet and Squaxin Park for Priest Point Park will do anything to protect salmon, extend educational opportunities for Indigenous young people, educate people about our Indigenous roots, or improve Indigenous people’s lives in the Pacific Northwest more generally.

In fact, I wonder if it may, in an unfortunate paradoxical way confound those things. I hope not.

Ca$hing In On The Political Divide

Imagine if there was some perfectly legal way to make money based upon people’s mutual antipathy for one another.

Introducing Conservative Move whose message is simple:

WE’RE MOVING YOU

TO VALUES, PROSPERITY, & SAFETY

When your community no longer reflects morals and values, it might be time to move. We’re an organization of real estate agents here to help you sell your homeorganize the move, and buy a home in a community where you feel safe, valued, and at home.

They emphasize three things that liberals make damn near impossible . . . great schools, safe streets, and lower taxes. Because any rational person knows liberals stand for crap schools, dangerous streets, and high taxes.

They could’ve gone with “no longer reflects YOUR morals and values,” but chose instead to tap deeper into their potential customers inner hate.

Then a kicker:

TIRED OF YOUR WOKE WORKPLACE? WE CAN HELP! 

I prob deserve some blame for this entrepreneurial effort for writing about gun control back in the day on this way too liberal blog.

Right to Bear Arms

“Maybe we should just divide the country into 25 “hawk” and 25 “dove” states. Pick one representative of each view and have them take turns picking states for everyone else. Since I disagree with almost everything in paragraph one, I nominate myself for the doves, and my first pick is Washington State. Clint Eastwood, representing the Hawks, will no doubt take California which I’m not happy about at all. My second pick, Oregon.

For practical reasons, residents of hawk and dove states will be allowed to travel freely into ideological enemy territory; however, they will have to agree to adapt to life in ideological enemy territory. For example, Clint will have to leave his gun at home when he flies to Seattle and I will have to avoid committing a violent crime when visiting California lest I be fired upon by private citizens and/or executed by Ahrnold. Social scientists can do longitudinal studies on the quality of life in each set of states.”

So I guess you have me to blame or thank for Conservative Move, depending upon your perspective. Now certainly, it’s only a matter of time before every conservative finds every other conservative and they fix their children’s schools, eliminate the crime in their community, and lower their taxes.