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The People rest.
I did Seth Meyers a disservice with my recent rambling post about his excellent commentary. Here is the transcript of the section I loved from the last two minutes of the other night’s smartly written A Closer Look: “Republicans Try to Dismiss Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial” His facial expressions and movements add a great deal to the presentation, watching him is best. Here is the audio excerpt, you can read along (recommended, if you’re pressed for time):
“They don’t care that [Trump] incited an insurrection to overthrow democracy, and they wouldn’t care if he tried it again. Instead, they’re once again framing Trump as the victim and casting the Democrats’ calls for accountability as demand for vengeance.”
He plays three clips of Republican blather:
“This impeachment is nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country. Democrats claim to want to unify the country, but impeaching a former president, a private citizen, is the antithesis of unity.”
“It’s vindictive, this is all about the Left’s demand for revenge.”
“They hate Donald J. Trump, and they’re engaging in an act that I think it is petty, I think it is retribution, I think it is vindictive, I think it’s a waste of time, and so to coin a phrase, I think it’s time to move on.“
Man, Ted Cruz, you really have no shame. Also, first of all, shave, dude. You look like the Unibomber at a custody hearing.
Second, of course you want to move on, you do this even after the mob stormed the Capitol to overturn the election, you still voted to overturn the election.
You’re like a guy who robs a bank and then, even after it all goes south, you get caught and use the money to buy a Porsche “I want to feel the wind in my scraggly beard!”
Also, please stop with this preposterous talking point that impeachment is somehow divisive.
You know what’s much more divisive than impeachment?
Trying to throw out the votes of 81 million Americans, then inciting a mob to violently storm the Capitol to overthrow democracy.
Would you say that’s more or less unifying than impeachment?
Just be honest and say you’re fine with what Trump did and you’d be fine with him doing it again. It would be heinous and evil, but it would at least make this whole debate much easier.
Then we wouldn’t have to listen to your bullshit excuses anymore. I mean, you know what you are, we know what you are, who are we pretending for? The kids?
One of our two main political parties is fully radicalized against democracy in favor of authoritarianism. It’s a movement of powerful interests backed by wealthy corporate patrons, fueled by imagined grievances and conspiracy theories. We can’t ignore it, we can’t look away from it, we can’t just shrug our shoulders and say:
(insert punchline) .
Marvelously descriptive opening:
This British wit does the full Monty Python job on America’s Greatest Winner, holy cow. Bear in mind, though, only about 60% of Americans would agree with either of these “funny” guys.
I was thinking about the one percent again after hearing John Oliver cite experts for the proposition that 2% of vulnerable victims of Coronavirus, COVID19, die of the disease. A 2% death rate is not as bad as the 3.4% I heard just days ago, you have to like your odds of survival, but, still, you’re talking about millions of dead, potentially. Even at a 1% death rate poor management of the crisis would, in ordinary times, be a death sentence to a political leader who grossly bungles the serious duty under the pressure of actual emergency events.
Luckily for those in power, the vast majority of Americans, deadened by years of increasingly painful political malice and legislative deadlock, regard politics, even now, as a grim spectator sport they can keep track of on their phones. They are desperate not to find themselves living in a dictatorship, they are merely realistic about their options for having any actual say in actually avoiding it. They have no clue how to organize, how to militate, how to demand concessions from power by the sheer force of mass mobilization, power yielding nothing without a powerful demand .
The reasons authoritarians always rely on police power for social control is that when enough people are pushed to the point of desperation, anger builds. Dictators harness this anger and release it as police rage on fellow citizens. Works for the ruling few, if not for the teeming masses.
The essential skill everyone of us needs to figure out is how to organize with fellow citizens, how to gather our forces and discuss the best way forward, speaking to the powerful in a clear, strong voice. The only change worth fighting for is change worth fighting for, to state the obvious yet never stated. Is it worth fighting for a legal end to involuntary servitude that will go into effect one hundred years in the future? I think 1% would buy that idea.
Speaking of one percent, here’s a fun one. Put one billion in your calculator. Assume the least sophisticated billionaire in history, on a full-time IV of his favorite pleasure drug, has his money in a series of FDIC insured bank accounts making 1% interest. Tap those numbers in and you will see what even this drugged out idiot earns in simple interest in one year: $10,000,000. Almost a million a month, not bad for a complete dope! Of course, at 5% the annual earning would be $50,000,000, a significant sum by any reckoning, and at 10% a hefty and very livable $100,000,000 a year in interest, but, of course, those are just numbers. No reason to get excited.
 Frederick Douglass, genius and good twitter friend of @donaldjturnip
This short clip comes with two small warnings. The first is that it seems to come with an undefeatable 15 second ad, which I recommend you mute. Then it cuts straight to the set up and the punchline.
The second warning is that this clip contains a few seconds of footage of our 45th president, preemptively (2015) arguing why he is still right and everybody else in the country is a loser. In the clip the president awkwardly holds a young child up to the microphone for the kid to ask him what the wall will be made of.
This use of a child as a living, uncomfortable prop will be upsetting to anyone horrified at the president’s policies at the border, particularly regarding children of asylum seekers, immediately separated from their parents and subjected to cruel conditions of detention. Two young children of asylum seekers, a boy and a girl, have died lately in US custody (with no comment from the president). Thousands more juvenile asylum seekers are kept in cold, mass facility compounds, behind chain link fences, in huge unheated facilities in the winter desert where they receive only survival blankets for sleeping. So, you need to put these horrors out of mind as you watch.
There will always be pictures of tyrannical types using children as props, as long as there are tyrannical types and children. Josef Stalin had that huge smile when he sat next to a kid, they used to call him Uncle Joe. His victims did not call him that. This picture of Trump lifting the child awkwardly is no worse than any of those historical photo ops by infamous autocratic types.
Still, some might find it upsetting. There’s your darned trigger warning, snowflake. Now, if you can put your squeamishness  aside, this fifteen second clip will give you a laugh.
 my all time favorite dictionary definition — squeamish: exhibiting a prudish readiness to be nauseated