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      NEW: Previously un-released documents show the government has paid $2.5 million to @realdonaldtrump's businesses. Far more than we knew. Trump Org charged $7,700 for a dinner, $6,000 for floral arrangements…and $3 for POTUS’s own glass of water.https://t.co/fubxgjRPFH — David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 27, 2020
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      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Shit’s getting real

I can’t remember being this freaked out during Watergate but then, I wasn’t that old even if I was politically aware.

This is a different thing altogether. The difference is that Republicans are ok with letting it happen. I always assumed there would be a Howard Baker or Pete Rodino to step up and talk some sense into their party. But it doesn’t seem to be happening this time.

What’s particularly disturbing is the behavior of Paul Ryan. Trump might be suffering from NPD and is a dangerous toddler with a nuclear button. But something tells me that Paul Ryan might be worse because he’s perfectly aware that he is enabling some of the House members to do criminal things and he’s not reining them in.

But it’s not just the US Congress where Republicans are behaving badly. About a week ago, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that the way congressional districts are drawn in this state is unconstitutional to Pennsylvania’s constitution. The state has some of the most unfairly gerrymandered districts in the country, the result of a Republican takeover of the state’s legislature in 2010. So the court ordered the redrawing of the districts before the primary deadline in February. By the way, this ruling cannot be appealed to the federal Supreme Court. It’s a state constitutional ruling. The buck stops with the PA Supreme Court.

The state Supreme Court ordered the Republicans to hand over their data on how the districts were drawn.

Yesterday, State Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati told the PA Supreme Court he was not going to turn over the data.

Let that sink in.

Scarnati is defying an order to turn over the data that would correct the voting inequities that his party put into place. And why not? Those districts are working so well for the Republicans. It doesn’t matter how many votes Democrats get in this state, they will always end up in the minority because of the way the maps are drawn.

But it’s even worse than that. Some districts are guaranteed to be Republican held no matter what and I’m beginning to wonder if this is one of the reasons why Republicans we send to Congress are so extreme and partisan.

Think about it. If you are running in a locked in Republican district, who is your competition? It’s not the hapless Democrat whose going up against you. There’s no way he can get the votes unless he pulls away some Republican voters. And how is he going to do that with Republicans themselves one upping each other for the most extreme characature of themselves? If you’re running as a Republican in a Republican safe district, it is to your benefit to be the Uber Republican. Be even MORE dedicated to family values and pre-emptive strikes and oil companies. Be the symbol of all that stuff.

Anyway, I have no idea how this is going to turn out. Presumably, the court will have to redraw the districts itself, as if it doesn’t have enough to do. But Scarnati represents a state district that consists of half a dozen counties in East Bumfuck, PA, the combined population of which is about the same as downtown Pittsburgh. That’s not counting the suburbs or Allegheny county as a whole. In fact, Scarnati’s district is a wilderness compared to where I live.

We will not be bossed around by a little gaggle of hicks from the sticks whether Scarnati cooperates or not. The nerve of this Republican Party, thinking it can do whatever it likes and get away with it. That’s going to stop.


But this rogue, majority defying party is all over the place. And no one seems to be able to get through to them that we have had enough.