Wednesday, May 20, 2020

 Okay, the internet’s back working fine so we’re back in business. I have some Actual Paying Work due tomorrow, so we’re going to try to squeeze out a quick one. Unfortunately, this has been one of those days where one’s cup runneth over if one’s a Journalist, and I am, after all, a Journalist.

 If I had the time, I’d do a Deep Dive on either of these topics because, whew boy, if things weren’t already hairy it’s gotten decidedly so by this afternoon. We’ve got the terrifying flooding going on in Michigan, which is just shy of becoming an ecological disaster, or the right-wing media’s ongoing attempt to smear Ahmaud Arbery to justify vigilante murder. However, I think we’ll stick to the increasing crowd of apparent corruption hanging around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo like an eggy fart and Trump’s attempts to intimidate voters in swing states from going to the polls.

 Let’s do the voting thing first. Realizing that “Obamagate” was a big nothing and they’d pretty much shot their wang off with it by releasing Susan Rice’s letter, Our Petulant Leader spent the morning balls deep in one of his Twitter tantrums. Spent all morning screaming that disloyal governors trying to expand voting opportunities through legal and constitutional means were just trying to bring him down or launch a coupe or whatever dumb shit those guys are peddling today. In short, he’s accused the governors of Nevada and Michigan, the latter he’s had a sore butt over already, of trying to indulge in voter fraud by expanding mail-in voting.

 In a nutshell, these states – among several others, including solidly Trump states like Georgia and West Virginia – are using the funds allocated to them as a part of the COVID-19 package to basically mail every registered voter in the state an application for an absentee ballot. There’s nothing out of sorts about this, though generally voters have to request the application, and even though we’re at 93,000 deaths which is apparently a green light for “reopening the country”, the state officials still think this virus that we have no idea how it works or how to treat it might be a problem come November.

 So Trump threw a fit. For one, he falsely claimed Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson – who he refused to directly name but called “rogue” – of sending out actual ballots, which Sec. Benson quickly pointed out it was a bold faced lie. After launching the same false accusation at Nevada (who also has a Democratic governor), Our Baby President threatened to withhold federal funds, including disaster relief – flood in Michigan, remember – unless they bend the knee.

 Indeed, constitutional scholars and voting experts have been holding in gut-busting laughs all day at the President’s total ignorance at, well, what it is he’s boo-hooing about. It should be noted the states run how they do elections, not the federal government, and this sort of thing with Ukraine is what got the dumb bastard impeached earlier in the year. He continues to call it an attempt at voter fraud, outright accusing them of trying to cheat, when there’s absolutely no evidence to back up his claim. I know we’re all shocked by that.

 Oregon’s been doing this since forever, and Trump recently lost his shit at California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attempts to implement. Oddly enough, Iowa and Nebraska – two more solid Trump states – are trying to implement the same program, like Georgia and West Virginia, yet Trump’s not been shaking his fist at them. Again, I know we’re all shocked about his naked, idiotic partisanship and overall ignorance at how government works.

 Benson’s said she figures there might be some legal complaints, which is expected considering Michigan’s been Ground Zero for Trump-licking dingbats who don’t know what they’re pissed off about, but under 2018 Michigan law, this is all fine and dandy, so they’ll keep on keeping on. As will Nevada, and one presumes the conservative states Trump isn’t throwing a fit over. Before his anointment as their new Savior, the Republican party has long been pretty upfront over their desire to keep as many people from voting as possible, since they do better when turnout is low. Indeed, beyond anything else, Hilary Clinton’s loss in 2016 may have more to do with people just being disinclined to vote at all than anything else. Keep an eye on this one, beloved, especially you clowns who think being asked to wear a mask when you get your nails done is an abrogation of your rights. This is an actual attempt to do that.

 Okay, moving on to Mike Pompeo. Whoo boy, this asshole. Before we get too deep into it, Pompeo’s spent his entire adult life in a desperate search for more and more power. After graduating valedictorian at West Point and a stint in the Army, he joined a Washington law firm known for being a cabal of GOP hit men as well as the breeding ground for future Supreme Court Judge Brett “Kegger” Kavanaugh. He moved on to a seat for Kansas in the U.S. House and spent time as the CIA’s top spook before replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State in 2018.

 Pretty much from the get-go, he’s been knee-deep in the big muddy of the Trump Administration. For one, he was wrangled into the whole Ukraine quid pro quo affair that got his boss’ dumb ass impeached, continues to peddle racist horseshit about the COVID-19, and has been giving Saudi Arabia high-tech killing implements like it was candy at Halloween. He also got really weird with a lady NPR reporter because he didn’t like the questions she asked.

 His trail of slime continues as it’s coming out that maybe he’s been using his position for his own financial benefit, throwing lavish dinners for GOP bigwigs on the public’s dollar, and even using staff as servants to pick up his laundry and help his mother-in-law move. This all came to a head earlier in the month when he persuaded Big Don to fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, ostensibly because he was “Obama deep state” or some sort of horseshit.

 Well… maybe. Or maybe it’s because Linick was in the process of investigating Pompeo’s living fatback high up on the hog on the taxpayer’s nickel as well as his bypassing a freeze on arm sales to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates – which wound up in the hands of Iran and Al Qaeda, so smooth move there – by claiming there was an “emergency” in the whole Yemen thing that didn’t actually exist. He’s also accused of ignoring accusations of workplace violence that are pretty goddamn weird. Either way, he’s contradicted himself a half-dozen times, so yeah.

 One of the more depressing facts of life during the Trump Era is basically how much gets away with. Thanks to a Senate full of GOP toadies, the always politically feckless Democratic Party, and the Big Corporate Media being, well, the Big Corporate Media, even the worst of this clown’s behavior – like, say, threatening states that don’t toe his line – doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Of course, the other problem is that there’s so much new Dumbness coming down from the White House that it’s hard to keep up. Personally, I think unless something interesting pops up with those arms sales and he pisses off The Donald, Pompeo’s secure until at least the election. But we’ll see.

 Okay. So much for a quick one. Again, though, there is just so much going on today. Keep your heads down, children. It’s a wild world.


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