“CREON: ‘A foe is never a friend—not even in death;’ ANTIGONE: ‘Tis not my nature to join in hating, but in loving.’ CREON: ‘Pass, then, to the world of the dead, and, if thou must needs love, love them. While I live, no woman shall rule me.’” – Sophocles, Antigone, @ 441 B.C.
“…the world cannot dispense with women even if men by themselves could bear children.” – Martin Luther
“Looking at the larger good of society, we may say that the dollar is more than the man, and that the rights of property are more important than the right to life”. – Paul Elmer More, Aristocracy and Justice, 1915
“America – our nation has been beaten by strangers who have turned our language inside out who have taken the clean words our fathers spoke and made them slimy and foul…their hired men sit on the judge’s bench they sit with their feet on the tables under the dome of the State House they are ignorant of our beliefs they have the dollars the guns the armed forces the powerplants…they have built the electric chair and hired the executioner to throw the switch…all right we are two nations.” – John Dos Passos, “The Big Money”(U.S.A.), 1936
“Mercenaries fight, while security contractors protect, firing back only if they or what they’re guarding comes under attack, and only until they can make a safe retreat—at least that’s been the dividing line that’s supposed to exist. But as entrepreneurs like Erik Prince push to open new markets for their security products, there will almost certainly be a blurring of that already less-than-distinct line. In fact some critics argue that the line never existed.” – Robert Pelton, Licensed to Kill; Hired Guns in the War on Terror, 2006
“A North Dakota court ruled against a bid by the oil company Energy Transfer (Dakota Access pipeline) to keep documents about its security contractor’s (TigerSwan) operations (2016) against anti-pipeline activism secret…Led by a former commander of the elite Army unit Delta Force, TigerSwan approached the water protectors (Standing Rock, ND) as ‘an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component,’…Company tactics — including aerial surveillance, communications monitoring, infiltration of activist circles, and coordination with law enforcement agencies — were revealed by The Intercept…In one of the discovery documents that has already been released, TigerSwan bluntly said that its ‘counterinsurgency approach to the problem set is to identify and break down the activist network.’” – The Intercept, 1/06/22
“President Joe Biden forcefully blamed Donald Trump and his supporters Thursday for holding a ‘dagger at the throat of democracy’ with elections lies that sparked last year’s deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, using the anniversary of the attack to warn that America’s system of government remains under urgent threat…Notably, almost no Republicans joined Biden and the Democrats.” – AP/Bismarck Tribune, 1/7/22
“To protect our democracy, I support changing Senate rules, whichever way they need to be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights.” – President Joe Biden, 1/11/22, Atlanta, GA
“In case of fire, break glass” – Instructions on a Standard Fire Alarm Fixture
After 10 years of destroying democratic civility by Freedom Caucus phonies like Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), the Republican Party in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and around the nation, now has broken with laws underpinning civilized democracy. It is thus reasonable for the Democratic Party to bend U.S. Senate norms, like the filibuster, in defense of those laws. They are doing just that to one degree or another in the dramatic time frame of January 6th, 2022, the 1st anniversary of the Trump-led insurrection against Congress and the U.S. Constitution, and January 17th, 2022, the holiday dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. – one of this country’s greatest martyrs to democratic civility, historical compassion, freedom for all peoples, voting rights, and equality of opportunity.
Whether Democrats do this out of genuine concern for our democracy, or for their own existence as a political party, is less important than the fact that they are doing it. In leveling political playing/battle fields for 2022 with a Freedom to Vote Act (HR 1); and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Senate allies have crafted bills to endure objections of Joe Manchin et.al. to items these Senators disguised by objections to the filibuster. But, Speaker Pelosi can only compromise on matters like, perhaps, dark money, which can be “lit up” later by folks like the Lincoln Project. Any critical ruptures of the either Act could cause the Progressive Caucus to block the amended bill(s) in the House. Democrats also need time to take care not to violate the 10th Amendment (affirming States’ powers) in any way to give a reactionary Supreme Court legal wiggle room to strike them down. But time is short. Senate Democrats, Joe Manchin included, know that if they don’t pass significant portions of either act soon, our democratic Republic may yet prevail, but the struggle will be bloodier than it already is. Also, without federal voting rights that cancel a Jim Crow “culture” at the polling places that defines today’s Republican Party, no amount of President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation will be safe for more than a year. My KGB animal friends agreed; with reservations.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends, I’m glad you accept my view of Democrats having enough sense to pass voting rights legislation with a carve out of the Senate filibuster, rather than be haunted by the ghost of the late, filibuster-hating, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). I realize that not all Jim Crow “culture” that defines Republicans nowadays can be buried with a few pieces of legislation, but I am interested to hear some of your causes for pessimism.
Becky Badger: I hope you don’t expect things to calm down among Republican conspirators against democracy. They only care about power; not rules – or even laws. The GOP is getting a lot nastier; like North Dakota Republicans, who just shut out dissidents in their own Party, there not being enough Democrats to pick on. In battleground States, Republicans want to “lock up” their Democratic political foes in places like Madison and Green Bay, Wisconsin rather than face them in free and fair elections. GOP leaders prompt physical violence by their violent rhetoric.
Mr. Crying Wolf: “Lock ‘em up” has been synonymous with “shut ‘em up” since Republicans’ campaigns against President Barack Obama’s color and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s gender. Their sheep’s clothing of “compassionate conservatism” under Presidents Reagan-Bush-Bush has been ripped off to reveal reactionary teeth and a thirst for power that apes ancient tyrannies.
Schickelgruber: With a more diverse America on TV as well as in real life repudiating their white male supremacy, today’s GOP figures that they have to lock up the ballot boxes or lock up Democrats and conscientious constitutional Republicans like Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) to have any chance of hanging on to power. If legislatures in purple States and swing Congressional Districts go Democrat in 2022; Trump/Giuliani “Putsch” plans go down the drain and the GOP will have to find other ways to use the U.S. Constitution against itself for their power fantasies. There are, of course, intimidation and violence, but these have limited appeal.
Jim Crow XV: Violence and intimidation as tactics against poll workers and responsible government officials make better TV news drama than they do as long-range strategies, given that most conservative Americans are more decent than their Republican leadership these days.
Mr. Swamp Fox: And the Republican Party’s encouragement of the anti-vaccination campaign as a political tactic, while terrorizing local health and education professionals, is killing off Republican voters at a much higher rate than Democrats. Even Trump knows that. Rand Paul(R-KY) knows too, but he doesn’t care. So Dr. Fauci reams out Senator Paul in defense of public health, just as Democrats ream out Moscow Mitch’s filibuster in defense of democracy.
HPR: But main stream media are telling us it’s too late for Democrats to win in 2022; that no accountability for anti-democracy traitors will be possible once Republicans have Congress.
Lena: Professional pessimism sells better than ordinary optimism. Too many political pundits, like sports pundits, are “never wrong” because they refuse to admit mistaken predictions. As Molly Ivins put it: “Being a cynic is so contemptibly easy…”
Chicago Dog: Molly’s colleague in kickass journalism, Mike Royko, put it this way: “I may be wrong, but I doubt it.” They both hated trivial pursuit in the news; that how you “brand” something counts more than how it is made. But, in the marketplace, where voters live, it’s results that matter. The Democrats have performed well there with their Rescue Plan and Infrastructure legislation. They have plenty to brag about between now and November, 2022.
HPR: Small wonder then that GOP controlled governments in Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota have yet to spend any part of billions of dollars in relief aid for their citizens. God forbid that Democrats get credit!
Prudence Possum: These so-called “leaders” just want their voters to see the aid as coming from Republican sources rather than from the Democrats. In other States, Republicans who voted against the Infrastructure Bill are running around the State touting its advantages as if they had supported it. Unfortunately, branding over substance works, or they wouldn’t do it.
HPR: All the branding in the world isn’t going to hide the effects of the war on women declared by States like Texas and Mississippi. These anti-choice States are having their way with Trump’s anti-choice Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell got the reactionary Court he schemed to get.
Brenda Bison: Overturning Roe v. Wade may happen, but Mitch should beware of what he wished for. He doesn’t know that the most popular karaoke song for young women in Red States is not “Stand By Your Man”(Tammy Wynette), but “Goodbye Earl” (Dixie Chicks). The only hope for women to have any control over their bodies and lives is to vote Democrat. Stay tuned!
Ms. Legal Beagle: Moscow Mitch now has to watch his stealth destruction of democracy be undermined by Trump’s full blown insurrection against Congress, the U.S. Constitution and overall rule of law. Any Republican Party that takes over from now on will have little use, even understanding, for the finesse Mitch employed over decades, with the same ends in mind.
Rasputin: The joke may be on Vlad Putin as well as Moscow Mitch. He has reached out to a President Biden, smart and gutsy enough to get out of Afghanistan. Instead, Biden has worked to restore an American economy that now underpins Democrats’ thrusts towards egalitarian dreams: the real threat to anti-democratic movements like Putin’s in Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
Annabelle Anaconda: As a dictator, Vlad Putin can react to his mistakes more quickly than Mitch McConnell, but, as long as he needs that gas pipeline to Germany, he may not have many more options than the Senate Minority Leader, and for much the same reasons. Our KGB swamp creatures were able to get a copy of Putin’s reassessment of his Trump gambit of 2016, and how it may make America stronger in the long run, rather than weaker as he had intended.
Agatha Alligator: The man-who-would-be-Stalin knows his man-who-would-be-King was a bust. Trump is actually head of a (dis)organization named S.T.U.P.I.D. (Senile Troglodytes Using the Prejudices of Idiot Demagogues). A bitter Vlad Putin realizes that he latched on to an asset that was far dumber and cowardly than he had imagined, and that whatever time it had bought him for saving his piss ant Empire, it had benefitted China much more than Russia.
Benito Barracuda: Putin now knows that a movement of Dumb Ass Fascists (DAFs) led by Chicken Shit Fascists (CSFs) is lacking the intellectual heft of a Lenin or a Ho Chi Minh; or the cynical cleverness, fortified by balls, of a Mussolini or a Hitler.
Señor Perro: Or even American “intelligence” versions of imposing Empire and dictatorship on 3rd World countries; the CIA vs. Iran, Guatemala, Santo Domingo and Indonesia.
Señora Perro: Henry Kissinger and George Herbert Walker Bush vs. Chile.
Madame Inspector Chen: Kissinger vs. Cambodia and East Timor.
Chicago Dog: Reagan/Pat Buchanan vs. Grenada, Nicaragua and Puerto Ricans in Chicago
Omar Khayyam: Dick Cheney vs. Iraq
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Dick Cheney, however, has just switched sides from anti-democracy to pro-democracy. In supporting his daughter, Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), he chose to be a good Dad over being a good (domestic) Imperialist. She and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) have, of course, become the twin nemeses of Republican CSFs and will be organizing opposition to Trumpism and the DAFs in Republican primaries.
Chicago Dog: When Dick Cheney, while attending the Democratic Leadership’s Symposium for Democracy of January 6th, 2022, proudly said to reporters: “My daughter can take of herself;” he was also saying: “Yeah, and everyone who owes me and Haliburton in Wyoming and around the country, had better come through for her and Adam…or else!”
Lena: Before calling President Biden for a “little chat” a few days before the January 6th Memorial, Vlad Putin knew that “game on” for key Republicans to be fighting for the soul of their Party in the Spring and Summer, 2022: parallel to Democrats fighting for the soul of their country in the Fall of 2022 meant that his ploy of bromance with Trump was “game over.”
Rasputin: And on the anniversary of Trump’s half assed coup against democracy, a storming of one of Putin’s satellite capitols in Kazakhstan in favor of democracy has diverted time, energy, and troops he might have wished to use in Ukraine. Blowback on his own big lies is upon him.
Pushkin: The Siberian KGB Huskie Underground knows that Vlad Putin loves poetry, as well as baring his chest on horseback. We were able to map his secret thoughts on various documents that he fed into a Kremlin shredder; but failed to destroy completely on their way to the furnace:
“Lamenting the Demise of the Donald”……………………………………..Vlad Putin
I had a Pawn who thought he was a King;
And flattery was all it took for me
To get this fool to ditch democracy;
And come my way to do most anything.
Alas, the Donald lacked the balls for this
And worse; he has the brain powr’ of a flea;
Just not much use for Russia or for me,
Now that his country shuns its own abyss.
The forces I unleashed to darkest ends;
Did run their course within Trump’s four short years;
And left a U.S. vigilant; resolved
To turn back tyranny; and make amends
With democratic thrust in place of fears.
What went around has now on me revolved.