Authoritarianism: Dec 23–31

We think about democracy, and that’s the word that Americans love to use, ‘democracy,’ and that’s how we characterize our system. But if democracy just means going to vote, it’s pretty meaningless. Russia has democracy in that sense. Most authoritarian regimes have democracy in that sense. 
 — Timothy D. Snyder

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This edition is a little light, on account of holidays at the end of the year in the U.S. I also chose to extend this to round out the end of the year so it has three extra days in it. Happy New Year, all of you.


Goddammit GOP stop with this power play shit.




Merry fucking Christmas

Interesting to see what turned out to be Fox’s breaking point with Трамп.

My eyes are gonna roll right back to Cabo San Lucas.

Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows…



What I find so strange about this is that the one true threat to Трамп’s 2020 campaign is a failed economy. And with this shutdown (on top of the deficit, on top of the meddling with the Fed, etc) he’s risking exactly that.

While I think the troops are better off not being subjected to Трамп, it’s worth reminding ourselves of just how far off the norm this orange turd is.

Oh. He fixed that. Also, look up Hatch Act.


Since Mr. Trump took office, his approach on the environment has been to neutralize the most rigorous Obama-era restrictions, nearly 80 of which have been blocked, delayed or targeted for repeal, according to an analysis of data by The New York Times.
With this running start, Mr. Trump is already on track to leave an indelible mark on the American landscape, even with a decline in some major pollutants from the ever-shrinking coal industry. While Washington has been consumed by scandals surrounding the president’s top officials on environmental policy — both the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior secretary have been driven from his cabinet — Mr. Trump’s vision is taking root in places as diverse as rural California, urban Texas, West Virginian coal country and North Dakota’s energy corridor.

What we need is a sane immigration policy for fucks sake. But note how DHS words it to suggest a huge increase in the number of migrants arriving. This isn’t the case. While this article is dated 2013 <> the general trend it described still holds. It also shows that the increase in children accompanying the migrants has grown; we’ve known this for more than 5 years.

In particular, take a look at this: (source: <>)

Pay attention. We’re coming up through the ranks.

And JUUUUUST in case you wondered why Трамп keeps stomping on Powell and the Fed, let me pull this one-year-old article out:

That’s a pretty shitty ROI, folks. Squeezing blood out of a turnip.

Time to abolish ICE


/facepalm More details on this stupid trip which was apparently planned by Трамп himself (which is to say, no planning at all).

double /facepalm Also the media is bleating on about those “stupid MAGA troops” when the real news is the deliberate violation of the Hatch Act. Media: sawdust for brains/0; Трамп admin:malicious lawbreaking/1.

/rolls eyes. Ya know, the winning side generally stays put and pays out the rope. Who is doing the bigger and bigger and bigger blustering? Generally the losing side. Although, as a side note, I’m finding the media’s focus on “STALEMATE DRAGGING ON” stupid. There is no dragging on. There’s no negotiating right now. Congress threw up its hands, shut down, and won’t reconvene until January 3rd with the next congressional session. Nothing CAN go on right now. But somehow the fuck-for-brains media keeps casting it as some kind of epic showdown because I dunno, it’s a sports game and they’re egging teams on for ratings?


I wonder who the GOP plan to rule over, after they kill us all.

Pay attention.

This idea has now worked its way into federal and state regulations and the thinking of police officers and prosecutors. As it has done so, it’s begun not only to extend rights to clusters of cells that have not yet developed into viable human beings, but also to erode the existing rights of a particular class of people — women. Women who are pregnant have found themselves stripped of the right to consent to surgery, the right to receive treatment for a medical condition and even something as basic as the freedom to hold a baby in the moments after birth.
How the idea of fetal rights gained currency is a story of social reaction — to the Roe decision and, more broadly, to a perceived new permissiveness in the 1970s — combined with a determined, sophisticated campaign by the anti-abortion movement to affirm the notion of fetal personhood in law and to degrade Roe’s protections.


This hasn’t been in doubt for a long time now. But the source for this one is interesting.

/grinds teeth

I wonder if they’re arranging for another election in this county/district. (This is a state level seat.)

There’s a podcast somewhere too, but this transcript about Spiro Agnew is a fascinating (and relevant) one.

Of course he did.



Just watch this.


Let me leave you with this article to read. Happy New Year to everyone!