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    September 2020
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Here was my neighborhood last night
      Because the family of a mentally ill Philadelphia man holding a knife called for an ambulance, and the cops showed up. They claim he “charged” them and they shot and killed him. The mental health unit is a pilot program and isn’t paid to work on the weekends. Protesters didn’t do this, looters did. (Maybe … Continue reading Here was my neighborhood last nigh […]
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • 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 […]
  • Top Posts

I’m on the side of science.

It might not have all the answers right away, but the scientific method never fails.

By the way, if you don’t believe there is a pandemic, then don’t start banging the table demanding a vaccine.

Angela Merkel (a chemist) gives an update on the potential exponential growth of coronavirus cases from now until the end of the year (She makes her own models! Be still my heart. 🥰). In German with English subtitles.

I’m not saying it’s a pandemic. I’m saying that the world thinks it is.

They’re not all against Donald Trump. They’re against the virus.

I saw that coming.

I’m listening to the reviews of the debates pour in and they’re shocked, SHOCKED, that Donald Trump was as aggressive as he was last night. No one should be surprised by this given what we have all witnessed in the last four years.

Not only that but it’s just his typical modus operandi. He says outrageous things and the media covers it breathlessly, letting him suck all the oxygen out of the room.

In this situation where the “debate” has been ruined by the bombast of Donald Trump, the coverage has played right into his hands. Oh, I’m sure he meant every word of what he said. That’s a given. He’s a very dangerous man.

What the press is missing is that Biden brought a knife to a gunfight. So many people told him not to take the bait. So many told him to rise above it, keep his composure, be presidential. So Trump stole the spotlight as the strong man.

It would have been better for Biden to walk to Trump’s podium and spit in his face before telling him to go back to the depths of hell where he came from or long live the USA or go fuck yourself. Biden has to deliver a blow, maybe literally.

That would have put the attention back where it belonged. Trump humiliated. Biden standing up for the country. Oh sure, Trump would have come at him but it looks like it would be pretty easy to dodge out of the way, throw him off balance and watch him go down.

Nothing less would be considered a solid win for Biden.

If they go to 6, you need to go to 6, if they go to 10, you need to go to 11. If he puts one of your men in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue.

Come on, people. This is asymmetric warfare. Short or delivering an electric shock to the candidate who exceeds his time or talks over his opponent, there is no way to make Trump play fair. It’s not what he does. And for all we know, Chris Wallace was in on it and agreed to play the milktoast moderator to Trump’s over the top aggression.

There should be another debate. Yes, go through with the whole schedule. Make Trump say he won’t come.

And the rest of us need to take Trump’s threats for an extended election dispute seriously, complete with hundreds of thousands of challenged ballots thrown out by his lawyers and bands of roaming Proud Boys and militia at the polling places. We need to be rationally afraid and prepared. Have a plan for voting and an escape route, especially if you live in southwest PA. This election season is going to be a battleground. We can’t shrink away from it or there goes our government.

Do you want that?? No?? Then let’s get even.


Canceling the debates is not an option. That would benefit Trump.


Reports from Pittsburgh residents of a fireball that flew over the city this morning at about 6:30am.

Trying not to read any omens into this…

More info: we had a close pass to an asteroid in the last several days. Reports of meteors and fireballs are world wide. This morning, one passed over the southwest PA region. No clear pics of this close call yet.

Live Blogging the Debate Debacle

Comments in the comments.

Biden is a fearsome, senile, drug abusing debater par excellence

He’s a man of many talents and liabilities.

He’s so good he can whoop Trump’s ample butt while doddering to the podium under the influence of speed.

He snorts geritol to get through the 34th hour of debate prep.

{{rolling eyes}}


I’m still waiting for my ballot. Yes, yes I am impatient.


If you can’t take care of your own campaign funds, how can you take care of the country’s piggy bank??

Looks like this dog eat dog world has come back to bite Trump in the ample butt.

Gosh, that Brad Pascale sure was smart to figure out how to take advantage of the Trump campaign. We should all have such opportunities.

{{eye roll again}}

Much needed relief

We all need a break.

This ballet video is brought to you by Swans for Relief, an initiative started by Misty Copeland to help dancers worldwide who have been sidelined by Covid.

A dancer’s career is short. They usually retire from the stage in their late 30s- early 40s as their bodies succumb to injury. Dancing ballet as a career requires an almost obsessive degree of body maintenance. They’re not only artists, they’re athletes. Sidelining them for months so that they can’t take class or rehearse is very hard on them physically, mentally and economically.

While the Royal Ballet was broadcasting some ballet recordings on YouTube this summer, I was able to make donations through the YouTube page. (I figured out what ticket level I could realistically afford in London and donated accordingly.) But American dancers have it much harder. We don’t fund our dancers the same way as they do in other countries where the arts are partially or fully funded by the government. When dancers in the US are furloughed, they have to figure it out for themselves. There is no government related salary.

I’ll get off my soapbox and let everyone watch this lovely video of ballerinas worldwide dancing at home wherever they can find a few square meters of space for a Marley surface. Stick with it to the end. There’s a nice little surprise.

So it’s not just me

Trump is exhausting.

I’m so sick of his crap after 4 long years, day after day of badness. How bad is he, let me count the ways. No, better not. I’ve got to get up for work tomorrow.

I’m in a bit of a steam of consciousness state here. I’m going with it. (Steam? Stream? I’m leaving it)

So I was watching Seth Meyers do a Closer Look this evening and it was like we are on the same wavelength. Trump’s gluttonous need for attention 24/7 is draining.

I just want him to go away in any way possible. It’s irritating to know that after I vote I still have to wait a whole month to kick him and his whole tacky entourage to the curb. I’m beginning to see the PA Republicans point of view on this. Do we really need to wait until three days after Election Day to count all of the postmarked ballots? Why can’t we start earlier and get it over with? How about we give everyone two weeks from today to turn in all their ballots and call it a day? Since PA is the only state that counts, let us go first and save everyone else the time and energy.

It’s even annoying that once again, I’m living in THE MOST IMPORTANT REGION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT STATE OF THE UNION. Talk about pressure. Look, if I could take all 314,000 mail in ballots in Allegheny county and mark them all for Biden just to stop the madness, it would be so worth it. But the fricking state has gamed every possible fraud scenario and made it almost impossible for the average person to steal 314,000 ballots. Und zo ve vait.

BTW, I’m still not seeing the same crazy number of Trump yard signs that I did in 2016. I get the feeling that the other side is scared of being identified as a Trumper in case the liberal death squads show up to kill them with hours of forced vegan evangelism and wind power. The horror. The horror.

Wait. Are they really scared of us? Jeez, talk about guilty consciences.

We don’t need signs to identify you. We know who you are.

(Ooooo, I just thought of something. Maybe we should nod knowingly and act like their conspiracy theories are possible. It could mean an October blissfully free of Trump signs and MAGA hats. “You’re right, Mike. You never can tell with those evil liberals. I heard that the ones they don’t convert to veganism get sent to re-education camps where everyone has to knit their own sandals. You have to get up in front of everyone and repeat Hillary Clinton slogans. “It takes a village!!” “Women’s rights are human rights”. I’m telling you, they learned their stuff from the viet cong. Welp, I already returned my mail in ballot but I’ll see ya’ at the polling place. Tick tock. I’m kidding, Mike, Jeez, you should see your face.”

There’s a piece in WaPo that says that maskholes are narcissists. It’s interesting that they are predominately right wingers who have been soaked in Objectivism for so long. They do what they want. The rules don’t apply to them. They think they are invincible and don’t care that they are endangering people around them.

And the number of dead from coronavirus reached 1 million today with no sign of a break. The numbers are going to go up and I don’t know if I can get a flu shot yet. We could still die from this thing. It really is a pandemic. No, really.

If you don’t think it’s a pandemic, why fret about a vaccine??

Damn Trump for turning this country into a science experiment with 300,000,000 shaker flasks of nutrient rich keto culture medium, just perfect for mutations that will render any potential vaccine less effective than if everyone had been wearing their masks.

Anyway, I’m going to watch the debate tomorrow because even though I want to cancel Trump’s season, I feel compelled to see how the plot ends.

Will it matter if Biden wins? Maybe. Hillary won but couldn’t shake the race loose. I have this weird feeling that Biden can do this. Call it a hunch. It kind of depends on what happens tomorrow during the day. Somebody has been figuring out how to play this game. I can tell.

Meanwhile, I’m going to start packing my bug out bag because I’m not sure I want to be at ground zero on Election Day.

I just want it to be over already. Write the spoiler ending in Wikipedia so I can skip ahead and dodge the Trumpers freaking out.

I want to sleep for gawd’s sakes.


C’mon, can we pleeze vote and get it over with?? 🙄

Opinions differ.

This is why it is so vital to replace RBG with ACB:

Beard growth.


An Amy Diversion

Put aside the tax story that’s going to consume all the oxygen in the room for the next week and watch this.

It’s a clip of Amy Klobuchar responding to Ted Cruz in a judiciary committee meeting. We don’t hear Cruz’s comment that caused Amy to respond but we can deduce from the content of her reply that it was typical Republican complaining that the Democrats were going to politicize the nomination hearing for Barrett by bringing up all kinds of election year subjects and they have no place in these hallowed halls before this immaculate nominee who only needs to present her perfection to the court before a vote.

Amy K. Wasn’t having it.

Looks like the Republicans were thinking that all these other bread and butter issues were never going to come up.

Amy says it wasn’t her choice to drop all the controversial subjects into a confirmation hearing in the middle of an election year when people are already voting. That was TRUMP’S choice. What did Ted expect? That the Democrats who don’t even have to be present for the vote, since they are outnumbered, were going to let Republicans off the hook so that what goes on with Barrett doesn’t affect their electoral chances?

Really, Ted?? You really think Democrats were just going to give up and go away? They’re going to take scalps for this. Every Republican Senator up for re-election right now is going to have to face their constituents now that the Barrett’s appointment is going to affect their lives for a generation and EVERYONE is going to know exactly what is on the line.

By the way, Republicans, if you hate politics that much, don’t run for Senate. It’s not supposed to be just an old boys club.

Donald’s image goes *poof!*

I’m going to guess that the fact that he has paid so little in taxes while allowing the rest of us to subsidize him and sucking off of a $72000000.00 tax return that he probably wasn’t entitled to doesn’t bother him in the least. It shows that he can get away with yet another thing that most of us can’t.

But the fact that he’s not really rich and that Deutsche Bank owns his properties and that he owes a heart stopping amount of money that he can’t repay? Now, EVERYBODY is going to know what a bad businessman he is and just how much money he has squandered.

He’s doing that to the treasury too.

So, maybe his hard core base is so ruined by Limbaugh and Grover Norquist syndrome that they see no value to paying taxes and admire the guy for cheating the government.

But the fact that Trump is a loser and doesn’t want anyone to know it? Not so hot now, is he. Mike Bloomberg has real money and pays taxes. Trump has no money to pay taxes on. He’s one paycheck away from insolvency and heavy fines.

He hasn’t gotten away with a thing. We finally know what he’s been too ashamed to show us. It’s like stuffing your trousers with a big dildo to hide the fact that you actually have a smaller than average mushroom shaped penis. Then finding that someone has the dick pics and is plastering them all over the NYTimes (that you have mocked and insulted on an almost hourly basis for the past 4 years.)


Goodness! The hits just keep on coming. I can hardly wait until Tuesday and every other day in October. Michael Cohen says the feds seized 14 million documents from him.

So much material.


And now a few words from Joe Biden on debate preparations:

Drink plenty of water, Joe!!

Why does mail-in voting scare the bejesus out of Republicans?

Maybe all this election fraud angst and “hurry hurry hurry let’s fill RBG’s seat ASAP” is a product of their inability to do a thought experiment back in March 2020.

The way Republicans win states with large populations who will not vote for them is via suppression. Take away voting machines in inner city neighborhoods. Give the people you don’t like broken machines so they’re forced to stand in long lines. Disenfranchise them by passing laws to prevent felons from voting. Make it harder for enfranchised felons to vote by making them pay all their court fees and fines up front. Oo! Oo! UNREGISTER them. Yep, send out a ping mailer to the house they put on their registration card and hope they toss it in the trash. Then take their names off the rolls because they can’t be found.

And all of that will still be going on this year but maybe the impact will be blunted by Trump’s idiocy.

He let the coronavirus outbreak get out of control. That allowed a lot of people to opt into voting by absentee balloting. All across the country this year, the barriers to voting by absentee have been knocked down by the courts. In some states, the need to get a witness, have one of the approved excuses, etc have been struck down because the threat to people’s health is significant.

In PA, the state legislature passed a bill last year to allow no excuses mail in balloting. Since the state legislature is run by the GOP, I can only assume they felt that it would allow their aging Fox News demographic to vote from the comfort of their own homes. By they way, PA now has paper trails on all machines as well. We didn’t have that in 2016.

So back to my guess about the crazy antipathy to mail in ballots by the GOP.

It’s been known for some time now that there is a “blue shift” in the days after Election Day when postmarked absentee ballots swing towards favoring Democrats. This year, due to the fear of coronavirus, many more people are registering for mail in ballots and since Democrats typically believe in science, they’re mailing it in huge numbers this year.

The collateral effect of this is a voter in one of those high suppression states has a lot fewer barriers to getting their votes counted. No need to get harassed at the polls, don’t have to stand in a long line to vote on a broken machine etc. That could push the blue shift way into the ultraviolet.

But if wouldn’t have been this way if Donald hadn’t been an incompetent, vindictive little shit about not controlling the virus and sticking it to the blue states.

Before March, the Colorado and Arizona senate races were going to be tough. Now, it looks increasingly likely that they’ll go blue. Texas might swing but it has one of the most restrictive absentee ballot requirements in the country. But that’s ok because so many other states are making it dead simple.

In PA, the state allows registration to vote by mail until Oct 27. The state sends you the registration form because we don’t want anyone to take chances getting sick this year. There’s a website you can use to track your ballot. There are drop boxes and board of elections locations there so you can determine how you want to turn it in. AND the state has paid for first class mail for you to return your ballot.

It doesn’t get easier than that. PA doesn’t discriminate by party. If you’re a housebound Republican and you didn’t register to vote by mail, just fill out that registration that was mailed to you and voile!

The coronavirus was the earthquake; here comes the tsunami.

Republican should have seen it coming.


Hey, if you live in PA, make sure you put your ballot in the secrecy envelope before you put it in the mailing envelope.

Take a pic, cover your name, and post it on Twitter at #NoNakedBallots and @johnfetterman

I got an email that my ballot will be sent up to 2 weeks from 9/22/2020. I checked my mail this weekend and it isn’t here yet. But I can hardly wait!