“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” – W.B. Yeats, 1919
“Performance cruelty can be defined as a policy or political act that isn’t in any way productive, but designed to draw attention and headlines based on how much it harms a group of people…While (Today’s) conservatives love to oppress women and racial minorities, they have an even longer history (as Reactionaries)…of demonizing and dehumanizing their perceived enemies. This ‘us versus them’ mentality in the past has been used to excuse the darkest chapters in American history…the genocidal campaigns against Native Americans…Japanese concentration camps, and the systematic oppression of Black Americans. Yet the Republican Party continues to tap into hate to drive up fear against their new perceived enemies: brown immigrants, Muslims, and transgender people. Democrats who support their rights are labeled ‘evil’ and accused of wanting to ‘destroy’ America’s culture.” – SemDem, Community, Daily Kos, Tuesday November 08, 2022
“In talking about the 12th and 13th centuries I said how great an advance in civilization was then achieved by a sudden consciousness of feminine qualities: and the same was true of 18th century France. I think it absolutely essential to civilization that the male and female principles be kept in balance.” – Kenneth Clark, “The Smile of Reason,” Civilisation, 1969
“Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and another member of the right-wing militia group were found guilty of seditious conspiracy Tuesday in connection to their actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.” – Ella Lee, USA Today, 11/30/22
“The idea that Putin is ever going to defeat Ukraine is beyond comprehension,” President Joe Biden, 12/1/22
“Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock won a full six-year term by defeating Republican Herschel Walker in Tuesday’s runoff in Georgia, a victory that gives his party an outright 51-49 majority in the upper chamber… the last midterm where the president’s party didn’t lose a single Senate seat was 1934, when Franklin Roosevelt was in charge.” – Daily Kos, 12/07/22
“The House gave final approval to legislation protecting same-sex marriages, a monumental step in a decades long battle for nationwide recognition that reflects a stark turnaround in societal attitudes. President Joe Biden has said he will promptly sign the measure, which requires all states to recognize same-sex marriages.” – AP/Bismarck Tribune, 12/9/22
“…because I’m in the arena, you go in there (and) you have to be ready to take a punch, and you have to be ready to throw a punch, for the children.” – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), 8/23/19; 1/17/20
“Hell hath no fury like women being scorned as unfree and unequal.” – Becky Badger
One of the attractions of pessimism is that it’s a substitute for wisdom, especially among pundits and other folks who are desperate to be thought of as “great thinkers.” But when a nauseatingly nihilistic right winger like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) is screaming at the top of his lungs that the GOP and FOX saturated media stop underestimating the perennially optimistic President Joe Biden, one must give that scoundrel his due. Not that his “Newtness” is willing to reject cruelty and indifference for compassion; it’s just that Newt fears that informed kindness is proving more politically successful than ignorant nastiness.
Unfortunately, the quiet competence, steely wisdom, and healing persona of Joe Biden, delivered despite a speech impediment, lacks charisma that newsroom editors and TV producers crave, while their paid pundits still mock a superficial defect in an old white man that they would not dare mock in a woman, person of color…or old white Republican man. These hucksters don’t want substantive news unless it bleeds. They need consumers for their advertising segments, so it behooves us average citizens to search for the “angel” rather than the “devil” in the details on our own. Luckily, I have my KGB animal informants checking in every now and then on my (now snowy) patch of the Missouri Slope in Mandan from their forays among “Free Enterprise Fascists” around the world. They have brought Holiday Cheer about how “hotbeds of tolerance” among ordinary folks are organizing against these bozos.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends: Timothy Snyder said recently that the Russian people will eventually “win,” if their national leadership loses their genocidal war against Ukraine. Does that also mean that the people of Georgia, U.S.A. have won, because the Jim Crow anti-voting laws imposed by Republicans there, lost out to the super campaigning of Senator Ralph Warnock and voters who turned out for him?
Schickelgruber: Maybe…Perhaps. But for both Russia and Ukraine unfortunately, the cost of freedom already is high, and will continue to be. This war is reminiscent of another earth-shaking conflict, the American Civil War of 1861-1865, but with a reverse dynamic. The breakaway nation, Ukraine, represents Abraham Lincoln’s North, standing for freedom and equality. The “Union” nation, the Russian “Slave” Empire of Vlad Putin’s old Soviet dreams, represents the racist, slaveholding ideology of the Confederacy in the South of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.
HPR: But didn’t the racist and slaveholding ideology of America’s Confederacy affect the North as well, through Jim Crow, and racial gerrymandering and zoning laws as it has in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, as well as Brian Kemp’s Georgia?
Lena: Of course. Racism and greed for power are equal opportunity employers among free enterprise fascists, or good old boys. But push back by those who prefer diversity to Nazi style “whiteness,” is real, utilizing Constitutional rights and powers from over two hundred years ago. These laws and norms are holding up rather well. For Ukraine, only force of arms will do the trick, as it was done in the U.S.: first against the British, and then against each other.
HPR: Vlad Putin’s “whiteness” concept isn’t about imprisoning African American basketball players like Brittney Griner. It’s about Russian hegemony, and taking care of his own.
Putin: U.S. critics of Joe Biden’s swap of Vlad’s arms dealer in exchange for Ms. Griner forget your own “merchants of death” of the NRA; shilling for AR-15s in every neighborhood. Besides, Mr. Bout’s lethal skills have been devalued by those of the Ukrainian Armed Forces .
Rasputin: All I know is that Russian speaking Huskies, like their human counterparts, aren’t allowed to bark in Vlad Putin’s Russia. They have been going to Ukraine to do that since before the breakup of the Soviet Union, and they really enjoy it. Volodymyr Zelensky’s Ukraine even allows them to bark in Russian. The last thing they wanted was for Vlad Putin to “protect” them by blowing up their cities and villages in the name of their “Russian” identity.
Señora Perro and Madame Inspector Chen: One of America’s attractions has been the ability for Mexican, Chinese, or Iranian dogs and humans to bark out most anything, even hate speech; unless it causes a riot, celebrates mass murder, or inspires a conspiracy to overthrow a duly elected government, as Donald Trump’s MAGA crowd tried to do on January 6, 2021.
Omar Khayyam: Iranian women certainly agree with Zelensky’s Ukrainians, and Reverend Warnock’s Georgians, that free expression beats male oppression every time. They are laying their lives on the line, just to “look” like a woman, and be taken seriously regardless of gender.
Jim Crow XV: Unfortunately, American Foreign Policy in 1953, then governed completely by “plantation politics” of large oil corporations, shares the blame with today’s male chauvinistic Ayatollah leadership in Iran. The Eisenhower administration’s CIA engineered a coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossaddegh, which allowed women, as well as men, to “bark,” and even, occasionally, to “bite.” Iran’s Parliamentary Democracy also had the quaint idea that their people should share in the profits from petroleum being extracted from their soil.
Omar Khayyam: To destroy a democracy that might diminish large corporate profits, the U.S. brought back the unpopular autocrat, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi: who enjoyed Rock N’ Roll bands, allowed women to dress like the West, but allowed no one, male or female, to bark or bite. Big Oil didn’t care. Their profits continued, at Iran’s expense. In 1979, that changed somewhat, as Ayatollahs took over oil profit policy from the West. But the suppression of free thinking and acting did not change. It got worse, especially for women.
Brenda Bison: Insurgent democratic power and women’s agency may be in its infancy in Iran, but it is in full flower in America like never before, providing diversity headaches for the likes of Senate Minority Leader, Moscow Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Mr. Swamp Fox: Successful Senate campaigns by Democrats Warnock in Georgia and John Fetterman in Pennsylvania added “Republican” to their diversity portfolio, acknowledging the reddest parts of their States as containing hard working, intelligent voters in such counties. Election day numbers show those strategies to be the smart thing as well as the right thing.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) dream to become House Speaker is in serious danger of being thwarted, despite a nominal majority of Republican House Members (222) taking their seats on January 3, 2023. The largest swath of these belong to the “Performance Cruelty Caucus,” combining the worst of Jim Jordan’s so-called “Freedom Caucus” and those left from the 140 House Republicans who voted on January 3, 2021, to treasonably overturn the Presidential Election of 2020.
Lena: The minority of House Republicans who voted their patriotism instead of the MAGA party line, could be forced to become Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) by the rabid, un-law firm of (Andy) Biggs (AZ), (Matt) Gaetz (FL), (Paul) Gosar (AZ) & (Marjorie) Taylor (GA).
Chicago Dog: 20 of the 35 Republicans who voted to establish the Bi-Partisan House Committee to investigate the Insurrection of January 6th 2021, have been reelected for 2023, along with some relatively moderate Republicans from swing Districts, especially in New York State. A minimum of six of these Republicans have the Constitutional power to move toward the new Center Left, join with a solid phalanx of 212 Democratic House votes, and choose a House Speaker more to their liking from GOP ranks, thus increasing their political leverage well beyond anything they could hope for under a McCarthy or MAGA Speakership.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Meanwhile, Ex-President “Mayhem” continues to dog GOP’s future political success, despite their packing of the Supreme Court with reactionary democracy haters; gerrymandering, and 24/7 lies, voter intimidation and advocacy of violence.
HPR: Trump reminds me of that guy in an insurance commercial that calls himself “mayhem” and gets a kick out of ruining people’s lives all around him. I think those ads appeared on our TV screens shortly after the Donald took office, and ran away with the title as “Worst President in American History.”
Wily Coyote: One of the first respondents to the strength of the new Left-of-Center in American politics is Democrat in Name Only (DINO), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). She can see that she has no chance to win another term through the Democratic Primary, but she is far too “woke” for either old fashioned GOP voters or the MAGA crowd. Running as an Independent was neither a smart nor a dumb move. It was her only move.
Chicago Dog: As usual, President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are their gracious selves in appreciating Sinema’s willingness to continue to caucus with Democrats, while media cynics salivate in vain at another possible round of bloodletting between Red and Blue America.
Annabelle Anaconda: Close to 60%+ American voters are sick of what makes tic toc “tick” and twitter “tweet” in the realm of performance cruelty. They might well welcome DINOs and RINOs in the House and Senate working together with Team Biden for the next two years.
Agatha Alligator: That is one of Moscow Mitch’s worst nightmares, along with new bad dreams emerging from lunatic right-wing fringes of his own GOP Senate Caucus. But none of these headaches are as big as the Ghost of Trump Years’ Past that keeps visiting the GOP from Mar-a-Lago. They can’t get rid of this sociopath/psychopath. The DOJ and Georgia trials might take too long to get a conviction, despite humiliating and uncomfortable truths emerging from the trials — well into 2025. Meanwhile, Trump’s gaga MAGA followers will declare him a martyr, and act and vote accordingly; not enough to ruin the General Election for Democrats, but certainly enough to ruin Primaries, and possibly, the 2024 General Election for the GOP.
Prudence Possum: “Leaks ‘R Us” is a new subgroup of our swamp creatures. They managed to score this latest insight into Mitch McConnell’s dreams of disaster. It was penned by a repentant staffer who thought that being conservative in the GOP meant that you could also hold on to your integrity, but, like Stuart Stevens, found out differently during Mitch’s reign. She penned this parody of a McConnell soliloquy to keep her sanity, and still earn a living:
Mr. “Minority” Turtle’s Lament:
“Trump’s Morons of Mayhem Are Destroying My Stealth Aristocracy!”
I can’t believe my plans are such a mess.
We’ve screwed the country royal for our greed;
But how we missed a step that slowed our speed
T’ward rule by few; is anybody’s guess.
Perhaps Democracy is “smarter” than
We thought? But NO! T’was not the case before.
Our hate and fear can’t cut it anymore.
Trump’s morons have destroyed our winning hand.
These fools he’s foisted on the GOP;
Are wrecking all the walls I built to quell
The surge of pluralistic ways of life;
And Trump, himself, pollutes our brand; so we
Can’t lie about the Democrats; As well
As we once did. I’m doomed to watch this strife.