“Dissidents of the twentieth century, whether they were resisting fascism or communism, were called extremists. Modern authoritarian regimes, such as Russia, use laws on extremism to punish those who criticize their policies. In this way the notion of extremism comes to mean virtually everything except what is, in fact, extreme: tyranny.” – Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, From #17
“It will be remembered that all his life Hitler—like other borderline personalities—was given to infantile fantasizing. In his boyhood he delivered impassioned orations to the trees…in his teens, he saw himself…rebuilding entire cities, and establishing a new Reich; as an adult he was convinced that he was the German Messiah to whom it was proper that the prayers of children be addressed…Hitler’s lust for killing reached its apogee just before his own death in 1945; but he had always enjoyed contemplating the death of others.” – R.G.L Waite, The Psychopathic God: Hitler, 1977
“Economic inequalities in our country are growing and, as always, causing widely different outcomes in health, housing, education, employment and other areas. This is a crucial problem for our society, although some choose to ignore it…wealth also tends to perpetuate itself, and our society and tax laws reward this.” – Edward Lotterman, Bismarck Tribune, October 4, 2020
“…for those of us lucky enough to live the American Dream, the demons of the life we left behind continue to chase us.” – J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, 2016
“The field is set for an utterly predictable set of attacks on the Democrat’s choice for vice president, (Senator Kamala Harris)…The only remaining question is whether such tactics continue to work or if voters understand that attacking powerful women is just what some Republicans do.” – Catherine McNicol Stock, Hartford Courant, July 12, 2020
“Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary”, was an asymptomatic carrier of…the causative agent of typhoid fever. She was a cook for several families and soldiers in New York City during the late 1800s, and several cases of typhoid fever were traced to her by the Health Department.” – Wikipedia
“You can’t be all that free, if you’re not safe.” – Chicago Dog
I carried out my voting plan in Mandan, ND for the General Election of 2020 on September 29th, a few hours before the first Presidential Debate in Cleveland, OH between incumbent Donald Trump (R) and challenger, former Vice President, Joe Biden (D). As a card carrying member of the Democratic/NPL since 2003 and poll watching, anti-(Daley/Byrne, etc.)-machine Democrat in Cook County, IL, from 1970-2000, it was the least I could do for small “d” democracy. I have thus been a candidate for a State Legislature (2004), a District Party Chair (2005-2013) a judge of election on a few occasions, a poll watcher on many occasions, an Area Chair for Chicago’s Harold Washington (Mayoral election,1983) and a regular voter in Primary and General elections since 1960. I have seen and heard just about everything and it has never been all that bad, certainly not remotely what Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and RITOLOS (Republicans In Terror Of Losing Office) would have the public believe in 2020 (or 2016). Media personnel trying to report facts, not fiction, about non-existent voter fraud and very real voter intimidation and frustration, as well as Republican roadblocks to voter participation and legitimate ballot counting, are having a difficult time – almost as difficult a time as medical experts have had in keeping Covid-19 out of the nostrils of the Mask-Denier-in-Chief.
The sole purpose of daily Republican assaults on access to the ballot and an accurate counting, of course, is to deny power to Democrats in Congress and the Executive Branch. Disgusting, but not new. The difference in 2020, as in 2018, is that young people, and other previously disenchanted of the past ten years, have finally figured out that voting is not really an option, but a necessity, if they wish to hang on to their freedoms, as well as achieve fairness. I shared my hopes and fears with my KGB animal friends.
High Plains Reader: Donald Trump’s full throated undemocratic rants from the Debate Stage in Cleveland, OH last week, and William Barr’s dark hints about fictitious Democratic plots to steal the election from his beloved “leader” are really scary; like Halloween for real in the body politic. Trump Republicans look and sound like they are determined to impose a constitutional dictatorship on free and fair elections that have gone on for decades. I’m worried.
Prudence Possum: Cheer up! I overheard two Republican swamp creatures: a RITOLO, and a ROMRR (Run-Of-the-Mill Republican Racist), lamenting their failures to rig the November 3rd election for their boss, Donald Trump: known to Constitution-serving civil servants, postal workers, regular military and cops, as COWWBO (The Coward Who Would Be Overlord).
RITOLO: The news is terrible. Media will soon be reporting that it is a simple matter to place a cop in every contentious precinct; and that credentialed poll watchers from both political parties are a normal part of election procedures in States where the population is not small enough for Election Judges, chosen from both parties, to discharge both functions.
ROMRR: You mean the “Proud Boys” and “Boogaloo Boys” will have to check their AR-15’s 100 ft. from the polling place, or risk arrest? That’s outrageous! A violation of free speech and assembly, “Citizens United,” the right to breathe Covid-19 from your cold, dead nostrils!
RITOLO: Sad, but true, my man. Trump is getting his butt kicked in the polls, and in reality. Early voting is completely out of control. That wimp Governor in Texas still left a drop box in every County. That means that the Democrats can organize “freedom rides” for their voters to drop in their absentee ballots. Young people are actually waking up from the “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll” coma we’ve been able to induce in them and their dads and moms for decades.
ROMRR: Joe Biden snuck in way too many facts and too much common sense and calm under fire during that first Debate with our ranting Donald, for any but the most addle brained supporter of ours to believe Joe is not more fit for the Presidency than COWWBO. Moscow Mitch is sweating bullets over his Senate Majority with good reason, even though he’s going to be able to steal his third conservative Justice by kowtowing to the Donald and the Tea Party. He doesn’t need us anymore, no matter what happens to his piss ant Senate seat, or his Majority.
RITOLO: Indeed. We used to steal elections with lies and voter suppression before the ballots were cast. Now we’re going to have steal votes from the time they are cast and counted. That’s trickier. The media will soon be reporting what every poll watcher and judge of election knows. Delays in reporting ballots are caused more by the filling out of forms, opening of absentee ballots, and other time consuming, necessary procedures, than our made-up B.S. about fraud.
ROMRR: Election results reported out from key precincts that Msnbc’s Steve Kornacki and others rely on, have been accurate in the past, with the exception of Florida in 2000, but there are way more absentee ballots this time around, and pundits have shown a reluctance in the reporting of Primary elections this year, to jump into predictions as prematurely as before. If they are truly responsible this November, and “hold their horses” a bit, we are still going to get trampled.
RITOLO: Our attempts to demagogue the counting process will run into the reality of absentee ballots traditionally cast by Armed Service members. The late Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) “regular order” in the counting of these ballots, just like the increased number of civilian ballots in 2020, has ruled in precincts nationwide for decades. The dark conspiracies that we, Attorney General Bill Barr, Sinister Minister Without Portfolio, Rudy Giuliani, and a host of bad actors from St. Petersburg to Silicon Valley have been spreading, are going to appear unpatriotic, once the Lincoln Project starts putting out ads to that effect from Florida to Fargo, North Dakota.
ROMRR: As long as North Dakotans who hadn’t spent time in Chicago, or East Coast folks who couldn’t name States west of Iowa, were kept in the dark from each other, we could get away with our duplicity. But Standing Rock, ND resistance against “fossil fuel fascism” in 2016 focused AOC’s (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) thoughts about the environment; just as Black Lives Matter in 2020 woke up white folks in North Dakota and around the nation to centuries of injustice towards people of color – our uniquely American fascism of “aristocracy of the skin.”
RITOLO: If we can’t disrupt Election Day with orchestrated violence, we need to, at least, create enough fake chaos to justify Bill Barr and GOP Legislators taking votes away from voters in the swing States of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Florida.
ROMRR: We don’t have as many secret allies as we had four years ago, and all these outbreaks of tolerance, and voters who act on it, are a disaster for self-respecting racists like us, Stephen Miller, Vladimir Putin, and Kim Jong Un, who have been having so much fun killing family members, poisoning political opposition, putting children in cages, and building walls that aren’t holding up any better than our usual distractions. I’m not sure we can pull it off.
HPR: Wow Prudence! It seems that Republicans have been caught believing their own mythologies about racism as well as the Covid-19 virus. Reality bites on both fronts.
Putin: The virus of racism has always been more lethal in American history than pandemics, and has been a far greater threat to the rule of law and reason. The “freedom to go mask-less” nonsense finally caught up with Trump’s GOP, but also threatens other, saner, officials, unlucky enough to be obliged to be in Republican company at Senate hearings and the like.
Rasputin: And disciplined, badge-wearing officers using lethal force indiscriminately against people of color are more dangerous to American lives and liberty than undisciplined, gun waving yahoos, calling themselves “boys” of one kind or another. Elections have consequences for Sheriffs and States Attorneys as well as Presidents, Senators, and Congressional Representatives.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Debates can have consequences as well. Trump’s unhinged performance on September 29, followed by internment, on steroids, at Walter Reed Hospital with Covid-19, raised the stakes for Vice-President Mike Pence in the October 7th debate in Salt Lake City, UT with Joe Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. He had to do even better than expected. He didn’t. As head of Trump’s failed Corona Virus Task Force, he had explaining to do, but managed to do little more than interrupt relatively less than his boorish boss. Whining about plastic dividers for sensible social distancing didn’t cut it, and Senator Harris did a good job of defending Joe Biden, as well as projecting herself as a sober, caring and knowledgeable successor to a President Biden, if necessary; not a door mat like Pence the last four years.
HPR: Even though Trump has just been in the hospital with Covid-19, he still refuses to take it seriously: for himself or the nation. That super spreading Republican celebration of the death of Justice Ginsburg and announcement of her soon-to-be-anointed successor, Amy Coney Barrett; plus Trump’s mask-less campaign and fund raising tours, have taken a toll that is visible to all but himself. The GOP may have to steal the 2020 Election for a President Mike Pence instead of Donald Trump. That would be a heavy lift. Pence is not a very convincing “boogaloo boy.”
Lena: What Mike Pence lacks in charisma, he makes up for in condescension and unctuous self-righteousness: magic combinations for religious fanatics who regularly practice a 21st Century creed of “love power and hate your neighbor.” During his “cigarettes are not bad for you” days in radio in Indiana, Pence once told a single truth by describing himself as a “Rush Limbaugh on DeCaf.” Since then he has managed to avoid any truthfulness as understood by scientists or an increasing number of the American electorate. As Trump’s chief ambassador to Republicans who have hated any form of caring government since the original haters of FDR, Pence has done as good a job of defending the indefensible as could be expected of anyone.
Prudence Possum: For Trump Republicans and their media mouthpieces, it’s always been about power and money, regardless of the stooge du jour that they needed to steal elections for. The Joker’s Batman (Sean Hannity) and Robin (Tucker Carlson) at FOX are still furious with Chris Wallace for attempting to be an actual moderator in last week’s debate. Mike Pence continued their misogynist tradition by talking over both Senator Harris and the VP debate’s moderator, Susan Page of USA Today. Some men never learn.
Agatha Alligator: “FOX and Fiends” also have had a devil of a time composing the right kind of “get well” card to console Trump’s young, opportunistic, and frightened “Lying Youth” among many egregious sycophants in the White House. As Trump continues to tank, these once and future Republican stalwarts are as worried about fashioning “résumés to nowhere” in their near future as they are about catching the Covid-19 virus. Their literary efforts found their way, slightly abridged by a media wag from another source than FOX News, into the Swamp:
Magic FOX Illusion Mirror Mantra……………….….Sean and Tucker “Avatars Anonymous”
You know you should not ever give a dose
Of Covid knowingly to those who trust
Your ev’ry word as Gospel: For they must
Obey your will and hurt whom they love most.
Unless you are a psychopath; of course!
Then all the bets are off, as you proceed
To readily infect folks with your seed
Of blind illusion’s rage, without remorse.
The show goes on to play the power game
Against the odds your scam will work this time;
With debts galore to cut you down to size.
But, what the hell; you’ve always set the blame
On someone else. You’ve never copped the crime.
There’s always madness to explain the lies.