Diane Feinstein, at a very diminished 89

The New York Times headline:

Feinstein, Back in the Senate, Relies Heavily on Staff to Function

The California Democrat is surrounded by a large retinue of aides at all times, who tell her how and when to vote, explain what is going on when she is confused, and shield her from the press and public.

Mmm, not quite ideal in a closely divided Senate, if you hear what I’m sayin’.

The Grey Lady continues:

All senators rely heavily on staff. But for years, Ms. Feinstein’s memory problems have meant that she has needed far more support than other senators. Briefing her on the news of the day requires longer sessions and more background information.

At times she has expressed confusion about the basics of how the Senate functions. When Vice President Kamala Harris was presiding over the chamber last year in one of many instances in which she was called upon to cast a tiebreaking vote, Ms. Feinstein expressed confusion, according to a person who witnessed the scene, asking her colleagues, “What is she doing here?” Staff members have been overheard explaining to her that she cannot leave yet because there are more votes to come. . .

. . . For now, her aides have been left to figure out how to make Ms. Feinstein’s office work as well as it can in the absence of a fully functional senator. They have done so, some of them said, by relying on the senator’s three decades’ worth of policy positions and explicit systems she put in place long ago that were designed to make her office efficient — and which earned her a reputation for running one of the more demanding work places on Capitol Hill.


How actual Nazis do it

There’s a heated debate about whether somebody like Christian Nationalist White Supremacist Marjorie Taylor (she is divorced from Mr. Greene, but made some kind of deal to retain her brand name) is actually in the Ku Klux Klan, and/or a Nazi, or simply a follower of Q, whose anonymous conspiracy theory combines the best of both of these ideologies of hatred.

Nazi is a pretty strong word, I’m aware, and one I’m particularly prone to reaching for, since the Nazis killed virtually my entire family, everyone who did not get out of Europe prior to the US Immigration Act of 1924.

If you want a lesson from history about what amoral people concerned only with fame, power and wealth will do once they are in power, look no further than Herr Hitler, the adored, mass murdering pop star idol of the Thousand Year Reich. The day his Japanese allies “japped” the US fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Hitler declared war on the US, the Führer issued his secret decree about how to treat civilian prisoners of war, insurgents, intellectuals, partisans, Jews and other enemies of the Reich in occupied territories. Here’s Wikipedia:

Nacht und Nebel (German[ˈnaxt ʔʊnt ˈneːbl̩]), meaning Night and Fog, also known as the Night and Fog Decree, was a directive issued by Adolf Hitler on 7 December 1941 targeting political activists and resistance “helpers” in the territories occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II, who were to be imprisoned, murdered, or made to disappear, while the family and the population remained uncertain as to the fate or whereabouts of the alleged offender against the Nazi occupation power. Victims who disappeared in these clandestine actions were often never heard from again. . .

. . .Hitler and his upper-level staff made a critical decision not to conform to what they considered unnecessary rules, and in the process abandoned “all chivalry towards the opponent” and removed “every traditional restraint on warfare”.[5] During the Nuremberg trial of the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW) in 1945-1946, the head of the legal department in the OKW, Ministerial Director and General Dr. Rudolf Lehmann, testified that Hitler had literally demanded that opponents of the regime who could not be immediately given a short trial should be brought across the border to Germany in the “Night and Fog” and remain isolated there.[6]

On 7 December 1941, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler issued the following instructions to the Gestapo:

After lengthy consideration, it is the will of the Führer that the measures taken against those who are guilty of offenses against the Reich or against the occupation forces in occupied areas should be altered. The Führer is of the opinion that, in such cases, penal servitude or even a hard labor sentence for life will be regarded as a sign of weakness. An effective and lasting deterrent can be achieved only by the death penalty or by taking measures which will leave the family and the population uncertain as to the fate of the offender. Deportation to Germany serves this purpose.[7]


As the defeated Trumpie reportedly said to the spineless Mike Pence the morning of January 6th, 2021 (it may have been the 5th) — but wouldn’t it be cool, Mike, to have the power to make democracy just fucking stop, to be able to constantly create your own reality, make up the rules as you go along, your every word the final, irrefutable law of this great land?

In the original German the term was “führerworte haben gesetzeskraft” the Führer’s word has the force of law.

Where is my piece of shit emoji?

Smugly entitled turd, smirking the quiet part out loud:

“My conservative colleagues for the most part support Limit, Save, Grow, and they don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage,” said right-wing Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Our hostage, the American people and the world economy, fuck them, you know.

Leaving aside, genius, that the hostage is not a party to the negotiation.

Heather Cox Richardson ends her great piece today with this:

Those taxes helped to pay for the [Civil] war and, after it, to repay the debt. And in 1866, when Confederate-sympathizing Democrats tried to undermine support for the government by changing the terms of that debt to make it less valuable, Republicans wrote into the Constitution that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”


I know it sounds impolite, but fuck the KKK caucus.

Democracy oligarch style

Below are the numbers reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Supreme Court margin that ended enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. Effectively restarting the clock on the long fight to end racist, partisan voting practices across our great democracy, for the advantage of entitled, seething anti-majoritarian oligarchs.

Shelby County v Holder was a strategically engineered case that sneakily challenged reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act by eliminating enforcement in historically racist jurisdictions, like Shelby County.

The carefully tailored lawsuit was brought by a secretive cabal of billionaire reactionaries, who secretly paid a lot of money to at least two of the justices in the 5-4 majority, to overturn the will of the people. And they won 5-4.

Check out these numbers again.

At least two of the justices in the five-four majority had glaring appearances of impropriety. The chief Justice’s wife had been paid millions as a headhunter finding talented reactionary lawyers to work for law forms, including the one representing the plaintiff in this case. The wife of Clarence Thomas, Ginni, a far-right activist lawyer with much more than a housewife’s power (on board of directors, Council for National Policy) and influence, was secretly paid a tidy sum by Leonard Leo of Federalist Society fame, by way of a non-profit that was also supporting the plaintiff in this democracy destroying case.

Can you say 5-4 suck it cucks? Sure you can.


DOJ headline few are reporting, damn it!

This excellent DOJ description of the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, the one the RNC called “Legitimate Political Discourse” and FOX and friends characterized as a “meek, respectful tourist visit protected by the First Amendment” should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country and all over the internet. It is from the recent DOJ sentencing memo (pp 73-75) for several leDers of the riot convicted of seditious conspiracy, violence against police and other crimes involved in the successful, violent, successful disruption of the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021 to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president. Here is part of the statement of facts:

The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was a criminal offense unparalleled in American history.

A. Nature and Circumstances of the Offense and Need for the Sentence Imposed to Reflect the Seriousness of the Offense and Promote Respect for the Law

These defendants each played a role in an unprecedented conspiracy to oppose the transfer of presidential power. As the Court noted after the second trial verdict, the seriousness of these offenses cannot be overstated. For over two-hundred years, since President George Washington first voluntarily relinquished his executive power back to the people and set in motion a tradition that has formed the bedrock of our democracy, the American people have chosen their president through free and fair elections. Not force. To justify their actions, the conspirators called the outcome they disagreed with “tyranny” that would lead to an apocalyptic end of the country. They sowed doubt in others, riled up and recruited them to travel to D.C., and led them in an attack on the Capitol by giving the riot leaders, in the form of so-called Oath Keepers. Their oaths of service were not to the country, but to themselves.

The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was a criminal offense unparalleled in American history. It represented a grave threat to our democratic norms; indeed, it was one of the only times in our history when the building was literally occupied by hostile forces. By its very nature, the attack defies comparison to other events. Every defendant here joined a conspiracy that contributed to this unprecedented attack on our democracy.

Moreover, opposing the transfer of presidential power and attacking the U.S. Capitol building and grounds constitutes an attack on the rule of law. Leading up to January 6, the defendants and their co-conspirators believed their view of the Constitution trumped all others and anointed themselves the “Guardians” of their “Republic.”

These defendants attempted to silence millions of Americans who had placed their vote for a different candidate, to ignore the variety of legal and judicial mechanisms that lawfully scrutinized the electoral process leading up to and on January 6, and to shatter the democratic system of governance enshrined in our laws and in our Constitution. And when they did not get what they wanted, they acted by together attacking the very people and place at the very time when those laws were in action.

At its essence, these defendants’ crimes are the antithesis of respect for the law. “The violence and destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 showed a blatant and appalling disregard for our institutions of government and the orderly administration of the democratic process.” As with
the nature and circumstances of the offense, this factor supports a lengthy sentence of incarceration. A lesser sentence could encourage further abuses not only by these defendants, but by others who disagree with the next elections in our country’s local, state, and federal governments. See Gall, 552 U.S. at 54 (it is a “legitimate concern that a lenient sentence for a serious offense threatens to promote disrespect for the law”)

(citations removed, except for last one.)