Here we go Again.

by kara on June 29, 2024

Here we are again.

The election season will again feature a Republican monkey shit flinging fight with all the reality-TV tropes we’ve come to expect in this vulgar, stupid age, as it inevitably devolves into a shabby bidding war over who will be more amenable and obedient to Donald Trump. PLOT TWIST: It’s the New York Times.

It is 2016 and the only difference between Sanders and HRC, the ONLY GODDAMN DIFFERENCE  is incrementalism vs. revolooooshun. But incrementalism – which works and is achievable in a stable democracy – involves doing things other than talking, which is hard.

And yeah, it wasn’t enough to be yapping only about Bernie up until the last minute and then ‘holding your nose’ on election day and voting Hillary. We were up against fascism and Nazis. And WE ARE AGAIN. If you weren’t campaigning to get her to win after she won the primary, if you were still lamenting Bernie’s loss on social media well into the fall, if you refused to swap out your Bernie bumper sticker for a Hillary one, to me you are just as complicit in all of this as a Trump voter. OK, I will admit that I do not have factual documentation at hand that Bernie dragging out the primary fight long after he had lost, or making Hillary’s “speeches to Goldman Sachs” an attack line, or making her voting for the same crime bill that he did into a smear, or his supporters spinning primary-rigging conspiracy theories out of the Russian DNC hack, and so on, had a quantifiable negative effect on the outcome of the November election.

FACT: The US won’t survive another 4 years of GOP fuckery, so if you want to “ok boomer” me for worrying that people I love are going to get deported/murdered/imprisoned/hauled off to re-education camps, I cordially invite you to go fuck yourself. The disingenuous purity tests are the single most exhausting thing in my life right now.

Get the fuck off Biden’s back and support him. Talk the talk. Uplift him. Or STFU.

Like, we need both leftists advocating for radical change AND liberals who can actually get elected and have the skills to move things incrementally, but I’d love it if we could stop 🐀 fucking each other over it.

All that does is get Nazis elected.

Meet the Looters

by kara on June 10, 2020


So, Americans are just being absolutely brutalized everywhere as though by an invading enemy force. The police have escalated the situation at every opportunity. They aren’t just putting the smackdown on “thugs.” They’re hitting reporters with pepper balls on live TV and firing tear gas at reporters and photographers at point blank range.There have been a few, sincere examples of police who have chosen to de-escalate, in advance, situations that have been inflamed elsewhere, and have disarmed themselves, communicated with their communities, and shared their pain by showing support.

But, the obscene spectacle of police officers kneeling spreading across the Internet are absurd fictions, framed to reaffirm some of America’s fundamental myths about itself, both its romanticized belief in unity and deep investment in performative humility. We don’t get to see the part where they go back inside, don their stormtrooper outfits, tool up with rubber bullets and gas, and come out to terrorize us, when they ought to be out in the communities as normal human being, and being friendly and what-not.

After spending days both praising themselves and being praised by others for not escalating the protests, the hunger for violence became too much for the NOPD and they finally gassed protesters and shot at them with projectiles. 

The sick fuck who shoved an elderly man onto the pavement, possibly causing his death, “took a knee” with protesters in Buffalo the day before.

An LAPD Commander made national news Tuesday by kneeling with demonstrators in front of the LA mayor’s mansion. At the end of his interview with a local news affiliate, the officer made what appeared to be the white power symbol to the camera. A cursory google search shows Cory Palka to be a MAGA pos with ties to white supremacy.

The “kneeling cop” images are completely tangential to what protesters are looking for. People aren’t protesting because they lack sufficient demonstrations of humility by the police. They’re protesting because police are killing their fellow citizens, and have been structurally incentivized at every stage of legal construction to do so. Laws that could be used to stop police abuse or disincentivize police from doing so have been stripped of force, and laws that protect them from any consequence have been accumulating since the Civil War. The day a police officer kneeling to black people alters and reduces the scope of the qualified immunity doctrine or implements a national standard of policing and accountability and reporting is the day I won’t be enraged by the kneeling. 

Colin Kaepernick kneeling was iconic specifically because Kap is a black man in a white space who took the stupid performative aspect of the National Anthem being blasted at a fucking football game (a thing only because it became de rigueur during the Bush years), and decimated it. Why, exactly, was saluting a comically huge flag, being held in a way that violates the flag code, while the National Anthem plays at a football game was “non-political”, but not violating the flag code by kneeling was? By decimating the ritual, he laid bare the hollow facade of raw power dynamics it concealed.

The kneeling cops and politicians are meaningless, stripped of all context. It’s the image equivalent of the Pope washing someone’s feet: sure, outwardly its a demonstration of humility. But c’mon, no one is kidding themselves about who the Pope is, or who will have more power once the cameras stop flashing. It’s why such images are described as “moving”—a hollow description of absolutely meaningless feelings. It’s just more cynical theater from those with a vested interest in the status quo. “Look at the good cops kneeling. The problem really is just a few bad apples. No need to look behind the curtain. Everything’s fine.”  These farcical displays are a way of concealing the very reason for the ongoing nationwide protests: the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism that defines American policing. As if the promise of absolution could be granted in a quick snapshot, a single gesture that indicted no one and absolved everyone.


Dear Everyone Who Isn’t A Lunatic:

by kara on August 11, 2019

At this moment, someone you know personally, or are related to, is expressing of victorious exultation, on Facebook or over pasta at The Olive Garden, because they truly believe in their heart that Donald Trump has singlehandedly broken the back of a cabal of pizza parlor pedophiles who kidnap children and put them into rockets bound for Mars in order to fuck them in low gravity and murder them, rather than take a commercial flight to Thailand or the Dominican Republic, as happens in the real world (see: Rush Limbaugh).

A significant portion of our country has completely lost touch with reality, and that is the root of the problem.

No one is coming to save us. Not the Democrats, not Robert Mueller or Barack Obama or the Easter Bunny.

Nobody. It is up to us. We have to put on our boots and our helmets and get to work. We have to get to these people and draw them out, because rejecting and isolating them will only drive them further into the darkness.

Also: 100 million tons of CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere today.

There is no more time to waste.

On Civility

by kara on July 17, 2019

You might think that “condemning racism” would be a fairly straightforward thing, at least if you recently awoke from a long coma.

But when the House of Representatives passed a resolution largely along party lines, 240 to 187, with four Republicans and ex-R Justin Amash voting for the resolution, things quickly descended into fracas and donnybrook. The Republicans insisted the entire resolution, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s speech in favor of it, violated House rules against calling the president of the USA “racist”. How very uncivil of those barbarian Democrats!

Civility. Civility is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Can’t we discuss locking children up in overcrowded cages civilly? Why must you be so angry about it?

Can’t we discuss black men being systematically murdered by white cops and getting away with it without betting so upset?

Can’t we discuss whether or not gay people deserve civil rights with civility?

Can’t we have a discussion about the bodily autonomy of women without getting so emotional?

Can’t we discuss children dying of preventable diseases because their parents aren’t millionaires without getting mad?

Can’t we discuss how you’re unAmerican and everything you stand for is disgusting and destroying our white country and heritage without you becoming uncivil and calling us a bigot and racist?

No. Fuck you, you un-American piece of foul, disease ridden, maggot infested poop, still bastardizing language to try to protect this clown. You want me to be civil to you, stop being a fucking monster to other human beings.

Trump is the figurehead in a now sadly typical demagogic, authoritarian putsch. History as a guide, you are largely disposable to him. Supporting him through ongoing outrages is very little guarantee of favor. The party line will shift as necessary, apparatchiks will be shed at each hairpin, all the while your nation growing steadily more broken, those on the inside of the grift an ever smaller, tenacious few. Established parties are just hosts for such parasites. Loyalty to them is a mug’s game. You will have sold whatever remains of your conscience for a kick in the teeth. Oppose him, oppose them, it won’t be easy either. Such is life in the no man’s land you have slouched into, step by step. But do the right thing, and you may at least retire with a few drops of honor.

Come on, man.

by kara on July 16, 2019

Die on your feet or live on your knees. When a killer asteroid is hurtling towards earth, concern and sternly worded letters aren’t going to help. Nor are Tweets or tears.

As President Obama used to say at times like this, “Come on, man”.

Yes, we all know that this Senate isn’t going to impeach Donald Trump, no matter what the House does. Jesus Christ himself could descend from Heaven in a golden chariot and write “Impeach His Rapist Ass” in fire across the sky, and Republicans would still insist that President Child Rapist was God’s holy anointed leader and Golden Chariot Jesus is Fake News. He’s not going away.

The Nazi child rapist has to be thrown out of office. Yes, investigations are slow by nature, apt to be delayed for reasons, and for now, impeded by the White House saying “fuck you, how many armies do you have?” So how do you proceed with a lawless executive who isn’t bound by the rules?Fuck if I know, maybe you push the rules to the absolute max, use every weapon permitted to you as lethally as possible. Will that work? Fuck me if I know. It’s not my job. I am slamming out a blog post between watching a cartoon animatic and packing for a comic book convention. But, I did work my ass off to help flip the House last year and saw the dollars flying out of my wallet towards every fucking Democratic challenger on the docket. I didn’t just “ride the Blue Wave”, I helped pilot the Blue Wave. The Blue Wave was to put a check on Trump, and that’s sure as shit not happening in any meaningful way. Impeachment proceedings should have started a year ago, and the bullshit and gaming right now is only going to discourage the base and all the youngsters who showed up for mid-terms.

I’m here to help, but it’s not my job. I am beyond frustrated that it sometimes feels like all the smart people are distracted AND that the statement, “I could stand in the middle of fifth avenue shoot somebody and I wouldn’t alienate any voters” seems to be true. We all know now that Trump could literally get away with ANYTHING. He could rape their daughters, steal their money and fuck them over in any multitude of ways and he wouldn’t lose that base. The ONLY thing he could do to lose his base, is to start doing things that were kind, decent, democratic, intelligent, fair, etc. And we all know that this will never happen. The worse Trump gets, the more the base approves and the less the republicans in power care.

My friend Andrew reminded me about the time when the Net Neutrality issue was a big deal, and websites had pop-ups that would say “sign this,” or “call these people” or “we will automate a call on your behalf”. People were freaking out and activated. The media took notice. People flooded the phones of their Reps every day. That’s the tact we need now. I can’t sit around and wait until the next fraudulent election and hope and pray that trump will be voted out (he won’t). I am sick of our congress people doing nothing. I am sick of the tweeting. I am sick of the platitudes and tears. Obviously nothing is going to happen if we don’t force it. We need to be a constant, daily, relentless noise.

Ask your Reps: “what are you doing right NOW to get rid of Trump?” You think healthcare is important? No. Tell me how were dumping Mitch and dumping Trump. You have an idea about loans? About the environment? About the concentration camps? About infrastructure? Immigration? Gun control? College tuition? That’s nice, tell me how you are dumping Mitch and Trump.

Logically I understand that Mitch and the GOP are allowing Trump to run roughshod in order to distract from their gerrymandering, court-rigging, and general plundering. But come on! “It won’t work”, they say. To which I say, “I dunno, I don’t work in government. Figure it the fuck out”.

When Nancy Pelosi says, “well we can’t impeach him/we are going to wait/that’s not on the table” …I mean, that’s a terrible presentation of a narrative. Why not, “we are taking every possible legal step towards impeaching him. he has support of racists, bigots, and oligarchs planted in our own senate who will not support impeachment, but we are determined to demonstrate that Trump is unfit.” Keep Trump on the defensive, make his regressive, racost, party answer for what the hell is going on. They should be calling for congressional hearings every single day over summer vacation. Just as Donald Trump constantly barrages them with bullshit, they should be actively barraging him with legal hearings.

To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is serious shit to people, because the ideals laid out within ARE the foundation of what enables stable trans-provincial government and transitions of power.Any power can fall, even “we’re #1!” America if we don’t protect our foundations. Hell, that’s precisely why fundagelicals and repukes support the rotten squash in office, because their loyalties aren’t to America, even as they hump the flag. What the fuck else do you think impeachment proceedings are for? It’s not only the right thing to do, political arguments aside, it’s a Constitutionally mandated duty. We’re sure as shit, barring really good luck, not going to uncover even more serious malfeasance without it, not while Barr’s got his entire ass on the scale.

Case in point – it’s not the “president” that’s the problem. It’s #AllRepublicans. Not one of them has the moral values or the balls to step up. That’s why I say, “If it is a Republican, IMPEACH THE MOTHERFUCKER”. Moreover, appointments made by Republicans, judges, cabinet members, dog catchers…Democratic House Reps need to spend less time reading op-eds in the NYT and Washington Post, less time watching pundits on tv and tweeting, and begin spending a lot more time listening to the people who voted in the Blue Wave.

Remember: It’s not the succeeding, it’s the not acceding. For the love of all that is good you simply cannot let this go without a fight if you have an ounce of pride or self respect. “What did you do daddy, when the fascists came”? “Nothing, because the odds were against me, and I didn’t want to alienate moderates”.

When other kids were dressing their ponies up in Wizard of Oz or Star Wars costumes, I was convincing my friend CarolAnne (front) that colonial maidens leading Uncle Sam was a gold medal idea (it wasn’t).

I was a bicentennial kid, growing up in the 1970’s, naively embracing all things Olde and patriotic. I chose ridiculously nerdy bicentennial iron-ons for my shirts, and was obsessed Ben Franklin was my hero. We saw a stage production of “1776” at the bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia where I grew up, and became obsessed with the movie version, taking place in the “foul, fetid, fuming, foggy” city of Philadelphia. The city’s bicentennial celebration was naturally was ruined by a corrupt Republican Mayor.

Worst Person Alive

by kara on July 2, 2019

For some years now, McTurtle has been #1 on my personal political Hate Parade. He even outranks the Rapist in Chief because, in the long run, he has done / can do more damage to America-as-it-should-be. And also because of his outsized, shifty-eyed smarminess. I try to avoid state-shaming, because there are good people everywhere, but FFS Kentucky.

Mitch McConnell will go down as the chief destroyer of the American traditions and institutions that checked the power of the majority and protected the minority — something that used to be considered pretty important by both Republicans and Democrats. Historians will be writing about how it was McTurtle that ushered in the end of American democracy, and analyzing the results of the second Civil War. His lack of respect of the traditions of the Senate, indeed the traditions of the Republic, will be our undoing. 

 McConnell is a scumbag who “serves no master but his own ambition.” He blocked Obama’s rightful Supreme Court pick because he could. Period. There was no larger ideological principle. Oh sure, he claimed as much and people gullible enough to buy bridges in Brooklyn took him seriously. While Trump’s hogging the lime light, it’s Mitch McConnell who is destroying out democracy. He stonewalled the Garland nomination and who engineered Kennedy’s resignation. He has engineered the greatest coup in American history and his actions will pervert justice for forty years or more.

It’s time that the Democratic Party put its energy into flipping the Senate. The ideal outcome would be that Democrats can find a candidate to run against Mitch McConnell in 2020 and completely end his career in politics. At minimum, we should win the Senate so that we can lessen McConnell’s influence and he gets demoted to Senate Minority Leader. Trump is just one bad actor existing within larger frameworks of injustice, oppression, and unfairness in the American political framework. Beating Trump is just the start. Winning the Senate and keeping the House should be a crucial part of the agenda for Democrats in 2020, because Congress is ultimately going to be making the decisions on which bills go to a vote and which policies eventually become law.

Mitch McConnell is literally the devil incarnate but without honor, style, or a neck. He must be destroyed.

In 2015 -2016 Bernie Sanders consistently maintained that he didn’t want to run for President, that his run had “no personal ambition attached to it”. In fact, the only reason he changed his mind and ran was because Elizabeth Warren declined to run.

That’s right. Bernie ran last time because he claimed he had to step into the breech because Warren was not running.

Now Liz is running, so why is Bernie still hanging around? I mean I knew he was lying last time, because no one runs for President without personal ambition being a huge part of it, but the reason he claimed in 2015  is not valid anymore. She’s in, and she has all the plans. Elizabeth Warren just can’t stop releasing fantastic policy ideas.

In 2013, Elizabeth Warren’s VERY FIRST hearing as a brand-new member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, she asked a succession of creepy federal bank regulators WHY their agencies weren’t taking big banks to trial when they commit crimes, WHY? Warren kept asking when the last time was that a bank had been taken to trial for defrauding people, and the regulators proudly replied trials weren’t needed, because fines and settlements were plenty.

In 2011, Elizabeth Warren mansplained how the economy really works, and how nobody ever got rich all on their own, and it’s perfectly fine to expect the goddamned social contract to involve those who benefit the most paying something back. In 2016, Elizabeth Warren  yelled at Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf about his bank’smind-boggling fraud, where Wells Fargo created extra accounts for customers without their permission, so the bank could collect fees on those accounts nobody asked to have. But maybe you prefer Bernie’s tweets and finger wagging while be spouts platitudes.

Remember Elizabeth Warren giving that monster Steve Mnuchin hell about the big banks in 2017? Mnuchin said he just LOVES the idea of updating the Glass-Steagall Act (a bill Warren actually introduced), just as long as it wouldn’t break up the big banks’ investment and commercial functions — which is kind of what Glass-Steagall is all about. As Warren pointed out, that makes no fucking sense AT ALL

Remember way back in 2016 when Bernie kept ranting, over and over that we needed to scrap “too big to fail” banks. People asked him ”how big” that was. He had no fucking idea.

Hillary, not being a fucking moron like Bernie, said that “too big to fail” was misdiagnosing the problem, because the problem was risk. So her solution was to require all banks above a certain size (I forget what it was, but she specified one) to put a certain amount of funds (again I forget the amount, but she specified one) into a pool, and banks that engaged in high-risk behaviors had to put in more. The pool would be used to mitigate problems that risky behaviors led to, and would have pushed big banks in one of two directions: either knock off the risky behaviors or break themselves down into smaller organizations so that they wouldn’t have to put money in. That’s what a smart person who cares about the country came up with.

Bernie, though … ? The guy couldn’t be bothered. Vague, hand-wavey non-solutions won’t solve a single thing. If that’s all we required, there are probably 100 million Twitter users who could make for fine presidents. But the good presidents were at least somewhat engaged in the details, while the failure presidents (Reagan, W, and Trump) were not.

Three years ago, Bernie’s utter lack of substance was considered a selling point among a certain type of Leftie. And if we said (quite correctly) that Bernie was clearly not serious about change if he couldn’t answer basic questions, apparently we were being too hard on that tousle-haired lad.

Anyone who still backed him after that, is too stupid to participate meaningfully in democracy.

June 19 is also known as “Juneteenth,” the day in 1865 when former slaves in Texas learned, oh you know, just a coupla years late, that they were free. The Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, was not enforced in Texas until after the Confederacy collapsed. The House will mark the occasion with its first hearing in a decade on the subject of reparations and why the fuck are we talking to Mitch McConnell about this?

MCCONNELL: “We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We’ve elected an African-American president”.

Barack Obama was part of black people’s settlement? Good for black folks to finally know this. As I remember, Mitch McConnell wasn’t even that fond of our first black president. I seem to remember that Senator McConnell fought very hard to make sure Barack Obama didn’t get reelected, and when he did, didn’t even take President Obama’s phone call, but whatever.

I don’t remember Obama being just black people’s president….I seem to remember him saving all our asses when he rescued the economy George W. Bush cratered. And he didn’t offer affordable health insurance plans to just black people. We got it too! And he didn’t locate and have killed Osama bin Laden just for appease all the black folks…..did he?

Mitch McConnell went on to pooh-poo reparations because “it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate.” Things……..they’re hard! Honestly, would it really be so difficult to identify all those people that we are currently incarcerating and purging from voter rolls?

My favorite part of people trying to refute the idea of reparations is they invoke the 300,000 Union soldiers who died in the war as a blood debt settlement.

“What about all the whites who died during the Civil War”?

What about all the Africans who died during the Middle Passage coming to N. America? How many more died prematurely because of brutal living and working conditions?

“What about all the whites who died during the Civil War”?

Um that was their penance for living in a country that was founded on the tenant of slavery and free labor. The real issue is not whether you are personally responsible for slavery and Jim Crow–the real issue is the extent to which you’ve benefitted from it. Because you have. Every. Single. Person. in America benefited from it….full stop. A vast amount of labor and goods were produced without having to pay any kind of wage. The entire economy of the US was truly formed around slavery, the act of using humans as laboring beasts. Therefore every person in America benefited from it. One of the many wonderful things my dad ever taught me was that despite the fact that no member of our families were on US soil before 1901, slavery was still our history because we were Americans now, and we didn’t get to pick and choose just the parts of US history that we liked.

How about, for a start, looking at the WW II GI Bill as a model? That was intended to compensate veterans for the years they spent in uniform while the civilians racked up high wages etc. The Bill provided essentially free education, a big subsidy for home buyers, amongst other benefits. Guess what? It repaid its costs in increased productivity and social mobility many times over. I myself would never have been born had it not been for the GI bill dragging my dad out of abject poverty!

The brilliant Ta-Nehisi Coates on McConnell’s reparations remarks:

“We grant that Mr. McConnell was not alive for Appomattox, but he was alive for the electrocution of George Stinney. He was alive for the blinding of Isaac Woodward. He was alive to witness kleptocracy in his native Alabama.”

To my fellow nice white people:

Stop being so fucking fragile. If you can’t cut it in a just world, that’s exactly not a black person’s problem. If being confronted with the fact that you were enriched by an unjust system makes you uncomfortable, good, sit in that for a nice long while. Don’t expect absolution from POC, it’s not their responsibility and it’s not your right.

Signed, just a grouchy white lady who struggles with this shit too, but is trying to sit down, shut up, and listen.