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unblock's Journal
unblock's Journal
July 13, 2022

a few truths i'm tired of the media failing to acknowledge

1) donnie is nuts. insane. the world he sees is a world no one else sees. in it, he's the greatest human ever, and it infuriates him if anyone should disagree or even fail to remind him of it on a regular basis.

if it weren't for the crazy money he was born into, he'd likely be in a mental institution, prison, or otherwise be destitute. people would then have an easier time calling him cuckoo for cocoa puffs. only because he's had money, he's been able to surround himself with co-dependent sycophants and others who think they can profit from his unethical business and later political practices.

just stop with the "breaking norms" and "exciting to watch" and all that crap. there's a reason we don't give tons of airtime to people who are insane, and when we do, the media is usually very careful to caution that hey, these are the ravings of a lunatic.

donnie needs to be covered that way. c'mon, he's comically textbook in terms of some specific mental illnesses. the media looks like chumps when they make like we should listen to what he says. it's just nuts.

2) donnie isn't merely a liar, he's quite likely the most prolific liar in all human history.

ok, i can't say for sure, maybe some history buff will point out some other great liar. but it's hard to come up with someone who lies as often as donnie. he basically sees the lying as *the entire point* of talking. if there's something truthful, why waste his time speaking about it? everything he ever says is trying to push either some fantasy or twist something with maybe, maybe a grain of truth into something it's entirely not, amounting to a total lie.

it's simply what he does. we've all heard the joke about how do you know such-and-so is lying, his lips are moving. haha, comic exaggeration. but in donnie's case, yeah, that's pretty much true. he *always* speaks with an agenda and virtually always, that includes lying.

again, the media make themselves look like chumps when they go back to that well for yet more poisoned water. you *know* he's a liar, about virtually everything, so why, why care what he has to say if you know it's going to be a lie, or maybe a dozen lies?

3) republicans are authoritarians or fascists. they are *not* "conservative". just because the party has the same name as continuity with the republicans of the 1970s, and *they* were conservative, doesn't mean that today's republican party is.

today's republican party has far, far more in common with the fascist parties of europe nearly 100 years ago. they don't believe in democracy, they believe in rules for others but not for themselves, they believe in lying and propaganda to gain and keep power, they believe in sowing division and hatred, labeling people who disagree with them as "enemies" or "unpatriotic", they *never* disavow violence and often encourage it, and so on.

and they are *completely* un-self-critical. they view the unquestioned, (misplaced) loyalty to the republican party and its leadership as being of primary importance, far more important than allegiance to america or any sense of ethics or morality. all is excused if it's done by republicans.

the media looks like a bunch of fools when they call fascists "conservative". actual conservatives have been chased out of the party. they're now either democrats or independents who usually vote for democrats. because a conservative's best choice for actually conserving the status quo, including a safe, environment for businesses to profit and make money for their shareholders, is to vote for democrats. republicans are all about upsetting the apple cart, and yes, some businesses may make a mint, but others will be crushed. and those that do survive a full fascist takeover may find themselves destroyed by the incompetence and greed of the republican leaders.

4) there is no material voter fraud. just stop with this nonsense. there's about as much voter fraud as there was flag-burning in the 1988 election, but even back then, the media beclowned themselves talking about the *four* annual cases nationwide and made it a major voting issue.

the odds of any voter fraud actually changing a result are slim to none at the presidential level. you'd really need a local election in a small town to have a handful of cases change the result, or *massive* impossible-to-miss voter fraud at the national level.

what we do have is republicans (fascists, remember) puffing up this fantasy as an excuse to rig election through a variety of jim crow, er, i mean "election security" laws that, gee, somehow always seem to result in fewer votes from minorities and poor people and people in democratic precincts.

*that* is the massive voter problem. voter suppression, and *that* is happening on a massive scale. extreme gerrymandering, de-registering voters, fewer voting machines (long lines) in democratic areas, voter id (a blatant poll tax), etc.

yet again, the media focuses on the tiny, immaterial problem (because that serves republican interests) and doesn't raise the alarm on a far, far bigger problem of voter suppression. the media needs to call out republicans for what it is they're actually doing -- lying about a fantasy problem in order to subvert democracy and the will of the people.

government power flows from the will of the people, and voter suppression has no role in a democracy.

which brings us to...

5) we are not a democracy. to whatever extent we used to be an imperfect democracy, we are now a failed democracy and we need to have 5-alarm screaming about fixing it.

the house is highly rigged due to partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression, to the point when republicans are awarded far more seats than their proportionate share of the vote.

the senate is essentially automatically gerrymandered as it gives far more representation to people in small states than to people in large states. this results in a highly undemocratic institution that greatly favors republicans. again, their numbers in the senate greatly outweigh the popular vote the get.

the bi-cameral system, where a law must pass *both* houses in order to become law (plus the president's signature, or a veto override), make it very difficult to pass any law, especially if there is an undemocratic problem in *either* house -- and as noted, both houses are undemocratic. and this doesn't even take the filibuster into account, which on its face is completely undemocratic.

and don't get me started on the electoral college.

there has, only very recently, been some media attention to how undemocratic the supreme court is and has become, noting that the many of the courts radical right majority came into office after lying to congress and after being appointed by quite unpopular presidents. and of course, mcturtle abusing rules to deny obama, a popular president, a choice and transfer it to donnie -- blatantly violating the will of the people, centuries of tradition, and the clear intent of the founders and the constitution.

on issue after issue, the majority of people agree with the positions of the democratic party, yet we barely have nominal control, and effectively don't have real control in the senate other than on administrative party votes. consequently, it's difficult to do what the majority of voters want us to do.

doesn't sound like much of a democracy, does it. and this is before you consider that republicans have no problem with a coup attempt to get their way.

6. republicans are serial saboteurs. their basic strategy when there is a democrat in the oval office is to root for failure and hope for major ills to befall america, so that they can profit from it as a party. beyond mere rooting, they will delay and kill any legislation that can that might be seen as an achievement by the democratic president. they don't care how many americans will be harmed. in fact, they *want* a ton of americans to be harmed, because they believe the democratic president will be blamed.

and we return yet once more to the media. republicans do this routinely because they *know* they can count on the media for never calling them out on it. the media *always* blames democratic presidents for things not in their control and *never* holds republican president responsible for disasters.

carter got the blame for the stagflation that was due to opec's oil supply war and price-gouging, nixon/ford's incompetence at dealing with inflation, and also for the hostage situation that was due to iran's revolution and anger at america going back several previous administrations. not carter's fault, but he got roasted for it.

point of fact, carter eventually solved the stagflation by appointing volcker to the fed, who jacked interest rates to the moon to bring inflation under control. of course, the media gave all the credit to reagan because by then, he was president, even though he did nothing to help the economy and certainly nothing to control inflation.

meanwhile, after shrub ignored warnings before 9/11, we were told we all had to rally around the president. similarly, after donnie threw away the pandemic planbook, and actively sided with the virus at pretty much every step, the media rarely took him to task over it. gosh, who could have predicted 9/11 or a pandemic?

that's always the line when bad crap happens when a republican is president, as if anyone could have predicted hostages being taken for over a year in iran.

today's economy is largely a boom economy after the pandemic. inflation is due to supply problems precisely because the economy boomed so much due to pent-up demand and stimulus from the government. but these factors are temporary. the inflation we see is highly likely not to be enduring because we don't have strong unions. it's nearly impossible to have sustained structural inflation without strong unions.

regardless, biden could do a number of things to improve matters, but of course, republicans will just say no to anything and everything. because they can count on the media blaming biden for not getting the problem solved, even if it's blatantly the republicans who are preventing the problem from being solved.

the media looks ridiculous blaming democratic presidents for things they never blame republican president for, and for never holding republicans accountable for deliberately bringing harm to americans in order to further their own poltical ambitions.

January 6, 2022

"was donnie involved" and "was it a coup?" yet again, the media treats us to ridiculous debates

these questions are transparently idiotic "debates" that only serve the interest of the right wing.

they amount to gaslighting by even raising the possibility that maybe we shouldn't believe our own eyes and what it patently obvious.

donnie spent all his time catapulting the propaganda that the election was stolen from him, organized a rally on january 6, told the crowd to go the congress and "stop the steal".

of course he was involved and of course it was a coup attempt.

how on earth are these even questions?

because time and time again, the media treats us to utter nonsense questions whenever the right wing needs to avoid the real issue at hand. here, they can delay or avoid accountability for their treason and betrayal of the constitution and democracy by pretending that it's murky as to whether or not anything wrong even happened. obviously that's a big steaming pill of elephant manure, but the media eagerly shovels that shit and presents it as a serious debate because, hey, we can't have republicans being held accountable. that's just something the media doesn't do, pretty much ever, post-watergate.

same story with black lives matter. a serious issue is how to deal with a police that systematically and disproportionately puts black people at a disadvantage in ever aspect of their interactions with them, including with violent and lethal outcomes. that's a tough debate and a tough policy question, how to reform the police so we can preserve the good aspects of law enforcement while ridding it of inappropriate violence towards the parts of the public they are supposedly there to serve.

but instead, the media treated us to idiotic debates over whether kneeling is disrespectful and whether "black lives matters" somehow disrespectful towards white people or the police. and evidently they figured we're supposed to think that talking about that perceived possible disrespect is somehow more important than the real topic of government agents hurting and sometimes killing black people.

same story with the right-wing attacks on school boards across the nation. they organized a nationwide campaign to take over school boards and/or pressure them to impose a white supremacist educations agenda, trying to whitewash american history such only positive portrayals of white historical figures are allowed, and that black and other minority figures are erased from history.

that's a big deal and a huge assault on our educational system and teachers' ability to teach the truth about our history. but rather than talk about this, the media treated us to yet another ridiculous debate about the term "critical race theory". what is means to academics, whether or not it is being taught in k-12 schools, etc.

who gives a crap what slogan that shout when they attack our educational system. the real question is whether or not their proposals should be enacted, whether or not school boards should require teachers to whitewash history. and of couse they should not, but point is, that should be the focus of the debate. instead the media misdirected all of us to the labeling. and yet again, it serves the right-wing agenda. because if "critical race theory" isn't actually taught in k-12, well, then, what's the problem with banning it?

of course, the problem is that what the right-wing is banning *isn't* critical race theory. what they are banning is teaching the truth, teaching that our white historical figures weren't perfect, teaching that oh hey, some of our historical figures were actually minorities, teaching about the diverse nature of our history, etc.

but you'd have a hard time getting to a substantive issue listening to the media, because all the can talk about is the "critical race theory" term.

time and time again, the media obscures the news you need to know in favor of the trivia the right wing would rather you focus on.

of course it was a coup attempt and of course donnie was involved; in fact, the entire thing was his traitorous idea, he was blatantly the leader of the coup attempt. the media should have immediately accepted this as obvious and moved on to holding them accountable.

yes, there's congressional and judicial ways of holding people accountable, but the media is more than capable of holding people accountable as well. they're certainly able to kill democratic careers by either denying them airtime or by constantly bringing up something negative (such as a fake scandal) whenever they do have to cover them. they should give donnie the same treatment.

ignore him, or constantly remind people that he was quite possibly the most consistently, deeply unpopular president in history; the biggest liar perhaps the world has ever seen; utterly incompetent; grifted millions upon million from the public till, spent nearly every day of his political career sowing hatred and division; and in a global war against a lethal virus, he sided with the enemy.

and then he led a failed coup attempt.

the media still can't talk about hillary without bringing up her emails and pretending like that said something bad about her, yet they don't treat donnie anywhere near as poorly despite massive stacks of obvious evidence and reasons for treating donnie far worse.

the right wing has been "working the ref" for decades with such attacks on the media as the ridiculous "liberal bias" attack. but the media bent itself to serve the right wing, to the point where even the msm is shows a strong right-wing bias. look at the topics they discuss and the terms they use and the framing they use. all right-wing. even when a liberal is denouncing it, it's usually playing into a right-wing frame anyway.

it's really, really hard to preserve a democracy when the media is unwilling to make those involved in the coup accountable.

freedom of the press is in the constitution, but not so the media can make money. holding government officials who organize traitorous coups goes to the heart of what the "freedom of the press" exists and was written into the constitution.

but today's media, just as so many republicans, doesn't give a rat's behind about civic responsibility.

April 2, 2020

The media needs to stop calling them "briefings". They're not. They're campaign presentations.

When people praise a political candidate, that's a campaign spot.

When a candidate boasts about their record, their skills, their talents, their accomplishments, whatever, that's a campaign spot.

When political donors get praised and get airtime and recognition, that's a campaign event. In fact, it *has* to be a campaign event, because of it's an official event, then the officeholder is trading official acts for private gain, which is unethical if not illegal.

The network airtime should be considered a contribution-in-kind to Donnie's campaign.

Better yet, they should just ignore this crap, or give equal time to Biden.

February 10, 2018

i don't think we fully appreciate the power of foxnews.

it's hard to imagine the point of view of the foxnews audience, because whenever we hear even a snippet, it's so ridiculously obvious to us how much they lie, how much they make us, how completely biased they are.

we like to think they simply get their talking points and their uncritically convinced. which is largely the case, but it's not quite that simple.

i've spent enough time talking with right-wingers to know that they are completely and utterly convinced not only that they are right and we are wrong, but in fact they are also convinced that:

- they are far better informed than us
- they use critical analysis skills to assess and evaluate their information
- they get their information from multiple sources
- we are uninformed
- we are sheeple
- we are the ones blindly reciting talking points

they feel this way because they hear their side from multiple programs on foxnew *and* hate radio *and* republican politicians *and* social media.

it's very convincing when you hear something from multiple sources and don't realize how deliberately coordinated those views are.

right now i'm not feeling very encouraged about america finding a way out of this mess.
it's hard enough to figure out how to survive donnie's reign of error.

but even if we're successful, even if he resigns in disgrace, we'll cheer as if we've accomplished something enduring, only to find the foxnews audience goes on and they will coalesce around the next tyrant, who no doubt will be far more capable than donnie.

this is true even if we win the house and the senate. that will be great, but donnie won't sign anything, and neither will his republican replacement be (and please don't try to suggest that pelosi can become president if donnie and pence are both removed. they would never be removed at the same time and some other republican would become president after being nominated and confirmed as vice president in the interim).

we're not likely to do anything about russian interference, at least we're not likely to fix our voting systems by 2018, probably not even 2020, so it's hard to envision us sweeping the elections in 2020. even still, republicans will filibuster and foxnews will gin up fake scandals galore.

i know i'm getting ahead of ourselves, we have to fight donnie first.

but it's been and will continue to be a long, long battle.

February 16, 2017

let's all give a big, rousing FUCK YOU to the media!!

during the campaign, you relentlessly presented donnie as someone we all couldn't wait to hear from. whatever he was, he certainly was exciting. so exciting, it was preferred to gaze upon an empty stage awaiting the next shock jock comment from donnie rather than cover actual news, even happening at the exact same moment.

somehow you missed the story of the century, that donnie was neck deep in ties to russia.

somehow you missed the story of the century, that donnie has absolutely zero experience managing a complex bureaucracy like the federal government. you dismissed this by saying how big the "trump organization" is, as if running a corporation in a dictatorial model could translate into anything other than running a country in a dictatorial model.

somehow you missed the story of the century, that donnie has zero political skills, and that this could lead to tremendous problems in actual governance.

somehow you missed the story of the century, and were caught completely off-guard by the incredible debacle that the donnie misadministration has been in less than a month. could you see none of the clues?

somehow you failed in your duty to inform the voting population of the *news* they needed to know in november, that donnie would be a *colossal disaster of epic proportions*, and instead focused on how provocative he was, and how hillary should somehow be in prison for a highly technical decision that was perfectly legal and nothing about it could be prosecuted.

so, for that, media, we give you a big, rousing

FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!

August 31, 2016

i just saw hillary clinton!

right there on cnn!

they were showing her doing something other than defending against emails or benghazi or walking up icy steps!

it looks like she's running for some sort of office.

something federal, like, maybe even president...?

but i've been watching cnn and cnbc for weeks now and i'm pretty sure donald trump is the only one running for president. i think it's a yes or no ballot in november.

i'm confused.

anyway, always good to see hillary on the tube!

August 24, 2016

donald trump's amazing tax returns!

August 24, 2016

To Whom it may Concern:

I am an tax attorny and have graduated number one (1) in my class from a prestigeous institution.

Since 1996, I have had hte distinct honor and privilige of preparing Mr. Trump's tax returns.

They are amazing, truly amazing. He has the best tax returns. The best.

I have shown the tax returns to collegues and they are always amazed. Always.

I can assure you that Mr. Trump's income is among the highest in the world. Probably is the highest in the world.

Well, it would be the highest in the world if liberals like Bill Gates and rapists like Carlos Slim didn't cheat.

And lie.

Mr. Trump is also the most generus man I have ever met. He has made more charitible contributions than anyone in all of history.

His charity cannot be matched!

Despite all the deduction he can take, Mr. Trump actually insists on overpaying his taxes! Why?

Because Mr. Trump knows that the country would collapse if the government ran out of money. And Mr. Trump has money!

Lots of money! He's rich! Really, really rich!

He knows that he is the only person -- the ONLY person! -- who can save us, so he overpays his taxes to keep America running.

I can also assure you that Mr. Trump taxes show no ties or obligations to anyone. He is his own man!

He is absolutely NOT paying 138.47% annual interest rate to Russian mobsters since 2004.

He is also unconditionally NOT paying the firm of Dewey, Burnham, & Howe to provide insurince so that none of his incredible buildings burn down.

Finally, Mr. Trump has been audited many times because liberals in the IRS are out to get him because he tells the truth!

But Mr. Trump has not yet been formally convicted of any wrongdoing!

I can't say anything about pending indictments because Mr. Trump has an entire separate legal team to handle all his indictments.

In conclusion, Mr. Trump's tax returns are incredible! Very presidential!


Donald J. Trump's Tax Man

August 30, 2014

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November 1, 2013

senate comity, the filibuster, and star trek: a taste of armageddon

i really love the word "comity" in the context of the senate. it's the one truly bipartisan value all senators agree on -- the notion that whatever rotten things politicians say about each other, whatever political disagreements, innocents may be imprisoned, children may starve, the just may suffer, and death may rain from above, but still, senators will play squash together amicably.

as a bonus, the word, when spoken, often sounds quite like "comedy".

delicious, that.

"senate comity" is usually trotted out as the reason not to "go nuclear" and end, or even slightly modify, the filibuster. the idea is that changing the senate rules will so enrage the republicans that they might stop playing squash with us.

so the consumer financial protection bureau can be kneecapped by filibuster, huge portions of the judiciary can remain vacant by filibuster, reasonable legislation and appointments can be delayed -- but we do nothing about it so a few senators can continue to play squash together. real people can suffer, entire sections of law may remain unenforced, case after case is stalled, but a few senators continue to play squash together, so i guess all is well.


about 45 years ago, there was an episode of star trek (the old series) called "a taste of armageddon", wherein our beloved crew visit a planet enveloped in a kind of virtual war. the computer simulates the war and determines the daily casualties, and each side executes the victims that the computer has determined the other side would have killed. the idea was to remove all the inconvenience of war, so that buildings aren't destroyed, and life is quite normal, at least up until you or someone you love is expunged.

eventually, captain kirk, in blatant defiance of the famous non-interference prime directive, destroys the computer. evidently, while this computer has had no downtime in centuries, they nevertheless have no backup system, and are forced to either negotiate for peace or fight war the old-fashioned way.

the filibuster seems to have become the senate's version of a taste of Armageddon. they can wage political war with real casualties but without the ugliness, the noise, the destructiveness, and the messiness of actual political war. no one has to stand for hours, no one really has to pay a political price, in some cases no one even need reveal their name. in creating such a system, the senate falls victim to a fate similar to the planets in the star trek episode -- mired in endless war with heavy casualties yet no compelling drive to sue for peace.

the time has come to squash the machine. the anonymous and paper filibusters have proven far too damaging to be allowed to continue. senators simply cannot play enough squash to justify leaving hundreds of posts vacant, often for years.

if the filibuster is deemed worthy of another chance, then those choosing to wield that weapon must be made to put their political necks on the line. it doesn't need to be specifically a standing filibuster (i don't think making the senate more like an episode of "survivor" is necessarily an improvement) but it does need to be something politically difficult to initiate and maintain. i can be flexible on the particulars but not on the principle.

and if comity is a casualty, so be it. the loss of a few senate squash matches is a small price to pay for getting a more functional government.

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