Living Large in Carson City: What’s a Liberal to Do

Sean Hannity: “can’t say for sure where rumors of a Red Wave started.” 

Red Wave

What just happened?

Up until voting day, November 8, 2022, the doom and gloom that hung over the nation was a palatable force few in the Democratic Party denied. Conversely, the tenor of the Republican’s response hung somewhere between a schoolyard bully’s crass, mean-spirited smugness to near-giddy orgasmic exaltation by Trump’s MAGA and QAnon’s fellow travelers. Democrats were in deep doo-doo, and Joe Biden was proverbial toast. Republicans of all stripes and intelligence (or lack thereof) were in a veritable tizzy over the expectation Democrats were going to take one in the shorts. It was that way up until the closing of the polls when the “wave” took a left turn upending Republican’s wet dream of trashing Democracy as the nation knows it. It was a colossal misinterpretation of the country’s mood and understanding of what it means to be a patriot, or an insurrectionist for that matter.

The campaigns ended a week ago. This past weekend both Mark Kelly (D) Arizona and Katherine Cortez Mastos (D) Nevada were declared winners in their respective races, narrowly defeating their Republican rivals in an historic upset. The Democrats walked away with a clear majority in the Senate with one more race to be decided in December between Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R). Were Warnock able to beat Walker in the runoff, Senate dominance would be a forgone conclusion. At this time, control for the House is still not decided with more votes coming in from California and other races around the country. More on Walker later.

Of course, there are always winners and losers in an election as close as this one. Women were the foundation of the outcome on subjects ranging from abortion to facing down the uber mysognistic MAGA cretins as they pushed repression, white supremacy, and a host of unpalatable stances guaranteed to shock the most decerning voters. Joining women as a group were young voters. Together they proved pivotal in turning back any sembalance of Republican dominance.

“Some 27% of all people ages 18 to 29 cast ballots, more than in any recent midterm election except 2018, according to estimates from Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.”

They along with the rest of sane America delivered a messy, if somewhat delayed, message to the Republican Party. America is tired of the shit that passes for Trump and the air heads who choose to digest his message without engaging their brains. It was a thing of beauty.

Back to Herschel Walker and the good people of Georgia. Walker was the poster boy for Trump’s uncanny ability to look at a field of possible political prospects and decide to back the most despicable, lying, cheating candidate of the bunch. Walker was uniquely unprepared, or able, to pull off his charade of being a credible choice. Georgia Republicans looked at his performance and saw what Walker is in the light of day – a useful idiot. It was amazing seeing the rank and file of Georgia’s conservatives walking around holding their noses while proclaiming Walker’s unsavory resume didn’t matter. Only control of the Senate mattered, even if it meant electing someone who would never be up to the job that he was running for in the end. We will meet Warnock in early December to decide who gets the Senate nod, and hopefully, it will be the last anyone hears of Herschel Walker.

But here is the thing. During the actual run up to the election, Republicans had a good reason (in their minds) to back Walker. As stated above, control of the Senate lay in the balance. Now that Mark Kelly and Katherine Cortez Mastos have won their elections giving Dems a 50 vote balance, Walker’s election won’t matter in the scheme of things. Vice President Kamala Harris will still hold the deciding vote on any issue that comes out as a tie. Georgia conservatives have the unique chance to cleanse their tainted political palates by throwing their vote behind Warnock. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the opportunity seems too tantalizing not to consider.

Last night, Donald Trump declared his decision to run a third time for a second term as president of the United States. Inretrospect, holding the announcement at a Mar A Lago ballroom might have made sense on some level. The former president is sequestered there by his daughter’s wedding, and it is a good place to lick his considerable wounds from the loss of the red wave on election day. Yet, there was something oddly unsettling seeing a half empty hall with diehard millionaires wandering around drinking libations out of styrofoam cups. The scene as a set up to the coming announcement lacked a certain je ne sais quoi to say nothing of the expected jubilation that usually accompanies these events. No one wants a somber atmosphere when expecting “bigly news” from the Orange Fuhrer. Just sayin’ . . .

And then there was the big guy strolling onto the podium like Nero smiling down at a burning Rome. If the mood of the room was low key, Trump’s speech was several steps down the ladder. Snorting like an aging bull, he rambled on about the glory that is Trump, and all of the wonderful things ahead for America if the populace will only vote him back in office. It seems that he didn’t believe his points anymore than the crowd who were notably quiet during most of the hour long ramblings. CNN pulled the plug after 25 minutes. Fox News lasted 40 minutes before switching to commentators’ assessments, but eventually returned for the tail end of the speech.

The big takeaway for the evening was, as to be expected, the lies and half truths that rolled from those pudgy orange lips without remorse or self awareness on his part. CNN fact checked the former president and came up with 20 different false claims (to their credit they note that the 20 citations were not a comprehensive list). Highlighting the parade of untruths were sea level rise which he claimed would rise “1/8 of an inch over the next 200 to 300 years”. CNN explained that the accepted reality is “sea level along the U.S. coastline is projected to rise, on average, 10 – 12 inches (0.25 – 0.30 meters) in the next 30 years (2020 – 2050)”.

Another hooter was his take on his actions on tariffs on China. He stated, “No president had ever sought or received $1 for our country from China until I came along.” Again, CNN wrote that it is ridiculous to assume that no president before him raised money from tariffs on China. The story revealed, “In reality, the US has had tariffs on China for more than two centuries, and reported in 2019 that the US generated an “average of $12.3 billion in custom duties a year from 2007 to 2016, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission DataWeb.” In an aside CNN noted, it is not China that pays the tariffs, but importers and the American people who pay the dues for trading with China. Why Trump thinks this is something to brag about is confounding.

The other 18 topics CNN fact checked are more of the same half truths, outright lies, misdirection, and egotistical fairy tales Trump is known for in his speeches.

Getting back to the election, the real winner of the contest was American democracy, and the people who turned out and voted for the grown ups at the table. America has shifted to the left no matter however slight or unexpected. People like our country and the freedoms ensured them by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Trump has always been wrong on one central issue. He isn’t going to “make America great again”. America has always been great. Sure, we have problems, but the America we know and love will be great as it is long after a disgruntled egomanic has slipped into the dust bin of American history.

Living Large In Carson City: The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Just Went Out Edition


The past two weeks have been a strain on all of our collective brains. The Kavanaugh debacle has taken its psychic toll on everyone who still believes our democracy is worth saving. The Chuck (Mob Rule) Grassley (R-IA) orchestrated a “ram him” through campaign that ultimately blew up in his face when Christine Blasey Ford came forward with an accusation of sexual assault against “I like beer” Kavanaugh that caught the Republicans flat footed. The subsequent sham of a FBI “investigation” did little but waste tax payer time and money with the outcome preordained by the White House and the Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

When Susan Collins (R-ME) stumbled onto the Senate floor last Friday to reveal to the world whether or not she would support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the excruciating 45-minute long speech was a combination of lies, twists, back flips and denial of Blasey Ford’s claims. It was simply a coward’s way out of a messy situation. Or possibly, Collins had meant to vote for Kavanaugh all along and held off committing to lessen the blow back from Maine voters that was inevitable. It didn’t work. Expect her to face an especially grueling campaign in 2020 which she will have a hard time winning.

Kavanaugh was sworn in shortly after the confirmation vote, but Trump (R-Hell) staged a “victory lap” of sorts by having Kavanaugh and his family assemble in the East Room of the White House for a “staged” swearing in ceremony. Trump’s introduction was part red baiting rhetoric, part kissing ass, and part political rallying cry over the golden boy’s wretched time before those damnable demonic Democrats who only joy is eating babies, destroying a “good” man’s name, and thwarting Trump’s every move.

While speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House during the day on Monday, Trump said that accusations against Kavanaugh were a Democratic “hoax.”

He discussed buzz among some Democrats about potentially trying to impeach Kavanaugh if they take back power in Congress and characterized a just as “a man that did nothing wrong, a man that was caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats, using the Democrats’ lawyers.” . . .

“The American public has seen this charade, has seen this dishonesty by the Democrats,” Trump said, pointing out that a week-long FBI investigation, which Democrats have decried as a mediocre effort by the bureau, found “nothing wrong” about Kavanaugh. Vox

Trump’s rhetoric is disturbing on many levels. First, claiming the accusations against Kavanaugh were a hoax is an outright lie meant to disparage the women who came forward to point guilty fingers at the nominee. Second, calling the Democrats dishonest is  not the way of a healthy political system, which ours is not currently. The Republicans have lost their moral center (if they ever had one), and possibly, their good senses. People are not going to take these accusations lightly.

By this time in the press conference that followed the ceremonial swearing in, I had thrown everything within reach at the television and was spouting evil sounding gobbledygook like Linda Blair’s character, Regan, in The Exorcist. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any crazier, Trump ups the ante,

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure,” Trump said, adding that the confirmation process was based on “lies and deception.”

“You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent,” said Trump . . . NBC

Innocent? As in proven innocent? Put aside the fact that he said “the confirmation process was based on “‘lies and deception”‘, telling Kavanaugh he was “proven innocent” is the height of hypocrisy and may be further proof that the Orange One is not playing with a full deck of mental or moral cards. The FBI investigation was tainted and controlled from the beginning. Credible witnesses came forward but were not given the benefit of the doubt and shelved into silence. The agents didn’t even interview Kavanaugh or Blasey Ford. Color me done with Kavanaugh.

The issue that really has my attention currently is the new Republican talking point championed by just about every Republican from Trump to Grassley to Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is the term “mob rule” as applied to women, protesters, resisters, and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee. This is a dangerous ploy for the Republicans and all the rest of America. The term mob rule is meant only for one purpose which is to create an “Us versus Them” reality that demonizes the opposition and fires up the Republican base.

The characterization evokes fear of an unknown and out-of-control mass of people, and it taps into grievances about the nation’s fast-moving cultural and demographic shifts that Republicans say are working against them. With its emphasis on the impact on traditional values and white voters, particularly men, it strikes the same notes as earlier Trump-fanned attention to immigrants, MS-13 gang members and African American football players protesting police treatment of young black men. WAPO

The adoption of this term by mainstream Republicans is telling in that it reveals a deep-seated fear that runs through the minds of the deplorables, and supposedly, all Republicans at this point. It is problematic because it ultimately throws the ball into Trump’s court and leaves the mob for him to deal with going forward. The possibilities are endless and none have a happy ending. Suppose the mid-terms tilt toward the Democrats winning big, really big, as in gaining control of both the House and the Senate. Trump and the Republicans could easily declare the outcome invalid due to outside interference by a foreign power or some other equally damaging claim. This would result in a massive outcry by Democrats. Don’t put it past Trump to declare martial law until the election results could be altered more favorably for the Republicans.

In the future legal protests by law-abiding American citizens could be curtailed or stopped all together simply by citing the dangerous mob rule equation, effectively silencing free speech on topics not to the Republican’s liking. The mob rule gambit is a rabbit hole of unknown dimensions that sane people would avoid at all costs. Yet, there in lies the rub with Trump. There are few people of either party that think Trump is not capable of such a move. Indeed, it seems like something he would relish.

Mob rule is not a product of women protesting and demanding that victims of sexual assault be heard and believed. It is not a result of protests by women who want control of their bodies and the right to choose to have an abortion or not. It is not a group of Senators who want a fair and balanced hearing on a candidate for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. It is not people standing up and calling out racially based oppression by police forces across the land.

Mob rule is a Trump rally where his supporters chant “lock her up” or “CNN sucks”. It is a mob of alt right racists and bigots marching the streets of  Charlottesville, VA. Mob rule is a cabal of old white men who are afraid of losing their white privilege to people of color. Most of all, unfortunately, mob rule is whatever Trump and his minions say it is.