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    February 2018
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    • GOP conspiracy mentality…
      Living here in Georgia, I get to witness some of this unhinged conspiracy thought from those one the Right. With the possibility of a Trump loss, I can only expect many on the Right will even fall even further down the rabbit hole…
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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      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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Noka lujan

I got that from a Susan Simpson tweet. She’s the lawyer who dissected the case against Adnan Syed so brilliantly. I’m hoping she’ll analyze the latest Mueller indictment as well.

I’ve been listening to the news on a long drive this evening. The indictment is called a “speaking indictment”. Beyond charging 13 foreign nationals with a crime, it tells a story in greater detail. The story is about how the American people were duped by a conspiracy by Russian intelligence operatives to dump on Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump… AND Bernie Sanders.

Let’s stop the whole “Bernie would’ve won!” bullshit. The purpose of their conspiracy was to undermine this country’s democracy and generate chaos. Their chosen vector was Donald Trump. If Bernie had won the nomination, the bots, trolls and sock puppets would have turned on Bernie and taken him out with even more efficiency. Don’t kid yourselves.

The person who gave the best assessment of the president’s reaction to the indictment was Al Sharpton on MSNBC. I never thought I’d say that because I’ve kinda been a skeptic ever since the Tawana Braley incident. But he’s actually pretty good at looking at the president’s actions and interpreting what they mean. Sharpton’s take on this is Trump is guilty AF. If there was really vindication from this indictment, he wouldn’t have sprinted past reporters on his way to Florida tonight. No, he’d be doing a victory lap and have a spontaneous press conference there on the lawn. He didn’t.

He’d also stop protesting too much. He’d be more concerned about what that indictment was saying about how vulnerable we are to psychological manipulation through social media. But he didn’t

There’s more. If I can find a Sharpton clip later, I’ll try to post it.

But the thing that pisses me off the most is the reaction of the media. They’re shocked, SHOCKED! that Russian trolls and sock puppets pushed Trump on us. It’s just too unbelievable.


The only thing that’s unbelievable here is just how Andrea Mitchell and Maggie Haberman and Matt Taibbi and Matt Lauer etc, etc with all their Ivy League educations and their street savvy managed to get sucked into highlighting Hillary’s stupid little email server problem for 600 days straight, told us how unlikeable she was ad nauseum, and acted like she was the biggest loser with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her shoe while not knowing where they were getting all that negativity.

They’re all very social media savvy. I see them on Twitter all the time.

Of course they knew. *I* knew there were trolls and bots and sock puppets pretending to be Bernie Supporters. I’ve been warning people for YEARS about the dangers of social media like Facebook and sites like DailyKos. How could these presumably smart people NOT know what was going on?

So, were they deliberately malicious towards Hillary and her supporters or were they just motivated by clicks and profit? Whatever the true story is, it was no accident. The bots might have had a zillion accounts but it was the media who amplified their voices and drowned ours out.

Let’s put the blame where it belongs. It belongs on the shoulders of the “journalists” who hyped the “excitement” of Donald Trump’s rallies and told us how boring it was to be assigned to Hillary’s press pool.

I didn’t vote for Clinton so she could give me an orgasm. I voted for her because she was an experienced, knowledgeable politician with good ideas and she had more character in her pinky than Donald Trump had in his big, soft gut throughout his entire life.

Anyway, there’s more to come. This is just the beginning of the story. It’s like Mueller is prepping his audience. “You were duped. This is how they did it and why. In the following indictments, we’ll peel back more of the onion and show you who stood to benefit.”

Noka Lujan?

I highly doubt it.

We have a map

PA Governor Wolf submitted a new Congressional district map to the PA Supreme Court that combines the submissions from the Republicans and Democrats.

“While my preference would have been for the General Assembly to send me a fair map, I believe this map sets forth a new standard of fairness.”

Governor Wolf’s map, along with the Republican leaders’ submission, were independently analyzed by mathematician and gerrymandering analyst, and Tufts University Professor Moon Duchin’s analysis found that in sharp contrast to the Legislative Respondents’ Map, the governor’s map exhibited no partisan skew in comparison to over a billion randomly generated maps. It displayed all the characteristics of what it, in fact, is: a plan drawn with the sole goal of respecting the tenets of traditional redistricting criteria. Read Professor Duchin’s full report (PDF).

in other words, having been unable to split the cookie between the two parties fairly, the parental figure steps in and lets the computer split the cookie. I can live with this.

This map makes sense. It doesn’t have long stripes running across the right side of the state reaching into counties it has no place being and President Pro Tempore Scarnati’s district doesn’t take up half the state anymore.

For reference, this is the map Republicans submitted last week:

And this is the gerrymandered map that Republicans drew in 2011 that gave them 13 out of 18 districts even they are the minority party in the state:

In the new map at the top, the districts are more compact in discrete chunkitude. Pittsburgh is in the open jaws of some big magenta sea monster but they’ll never take us. Poor, hapless Pittsburgh Trump voters, stuck in an “urban” district where they are completely overwhelmed by like 4:1 by all us diverse, well-educated, literate, technical, middle class and union stiffs. Sad.

If the court approves it, we might actually pick up seats this year. It looks fairer. People in sparsely populated East Bumfuck counties aren’t reaching out their appendages to grab the only populated city for miles, Philadelphia districts aren’t wrapped around each other like Gordian knots. And isn’t “fair” what we’re all aiming for? Well, anyway, it’s what justice demanded, freedom of speech and equal protection and all that.

I suggest the Republican minority get used to having only a slight edge.


In other news, Conor Lamb (D), running in PA-18 for Republican Tim Murphy’s open seat in March, is trailing Joe Saccone (R) by only 3 points in a poll with a 5.5 point Marge InOvera (*wink* to Car Talk fans). That’s a Trump district and the polls are based on a low turnout election in 2014.

“Saccone has a slight edge, but it’s nowhere near the double digit advantage Republicans typically enjoy in this district,” said Patrick Murray, who directs Monmouth University’s Polling Institute, in a statement. “The potential for a Democratic surge like we have seen in other special elections helps Lamb stay in the hunt but it does not close the gap entirely.”

If you’d like to help Lamb take this district, chip in a few bucks at his ActBlue Page. Apple Pay makes it almost *Too* easy. I chucked in my own amount. Let’s see what happens. So exciting. 🤗