Showing posts with label Amanda Marcotte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amanda Marcotte. Show all posts

January 24, 2023

Kevin and Marjorie, sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G

Kevin and Marjorie, sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G
By Hal Brown

Scroll down for Jan. 25th update

The insert was manipulated by me to bring McCarthy within kissing distance of Greene.

When I looked at Salon this morning this was the main article:

Click above to read article

McCarthy's nauseating adoration for Greene continues throughout the article (in The NY Times), leaving it impossible to believe there's anything resembling reluctance on either side of this alliance.
The title uses the words "hopelessly devoted" plus the texts say nauseating adoration, indeed... I rather doubt these words were chosen at random.

And then there's this quote:


There are non-too-subtle implications here, so I'm going to come right out and say it. If it looks like an amorous duck, walks like one and talks like one, perhaps it is one.

I suppose you can say that the Devil made me do a wee but of tinkering with the image when I saw, like how anyone could miss it, how intimate these two appeared to be in the photo.

The "Kevin and Marjorie sitting in tree, K I S S I N G" was too euphonious not to use it in a blog for a title.

Democrats are  reveling at the level of Republican dysfunction within the House. Angry non-MAGA Republicans may be saying "you made your bed, Kevin, now sleep in it" bring up the image of Kev and Marge under the sheets. If I could draw I'd make a cartoon showing this.

The notion of a political marriage was not lost on journalists. Consider:

Lawrence O’Donnell Spots Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Strangest' Vow To Marjorie Taylor Greene

“He was not talking about his wife of 31 years, the mother of his two children,” the MSNBC anchor said of the House speaker's promise to the far-right congresswoman.

Excerpt: 

O’Donnell pointed to a New York Times article in which McCarthy was quoted as telling a friend: “I will never leave that woman. I will always take care of her.”

McCarthy wasn’t “talking about his wife of 31 years, the mother of his two children,” noted O’Donnell.Instead, McCarthy was reportedly making a political marriage vow to extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). 

The Times article — titled “How Kevin McCarthy Forged an Ironclad Bond With Marjorie Taylor Greene” — explained how Greene’s help was crucial in McCarthy finally winning his drawn-out bid for the speakership.

McCarthy “can only hope no one back home in Bakersfield, California, was reading The New York Times today,” O’Donnell added.

If you have a subscription to The New York Times you can read the article O'Donnell was referring to. Here's the photo used to illustrate it. The background suggests it was taking at the same time but a few moments after the photo Salon used was taken.


There's nothing wrong with hugging, however I don't see lots of photos of male Republicans hugging each other.

Excerpt:

Their political union — a closer and more complex one than has previously been known — helps explain how Mr. McCarthy rose to power atop a party increasingly defined by its extremes, the lengths to which he will go to accommodate those forces, and how much influence Ms. Greene and the faction she represents have in defining the agenda of the new House Republican majority.

“If you’re going to be in a fight, you want Marjorie in your foxhole,” Mr. McCarthy said. Both he and Ms. Greene agreed to brief interviews for this article. “When she picks a fight, she’s going to fight until the fight’s over. She reminds me of my friends from high school, that we’re going to stick together all the way through.”

It is a relationship born of political expediency but fueled by genuine camaraderie, and nurtured by one-on-one meetings as often as once a week, usually at a coffee table in Mr. McCarthy’s Capitol office, as well as a constant stream of text messages back and forth.

From reading this and other articles one might conclude that for the most part McCarthy a savvy political tactician and is manipulating Greene by giving in to her demands. I wonder whether the reverse is true with Greene using her wiles to manipulate McCarthy.

.......

Greene and her husband Perry divorced in 2022. Here they are in presumably happy times for the couple celebrating their 25th anniversary.

More photos here.

.......

Addendum:

Related or  not...

Click above to read 2015 NY Post article

Perhaps the gentleman prefers blondes.

Up close and personal with Marjorie Taylor Greene:



Update: Jan 25, 2023


Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy Share Love-In After 'Crazy' Speaker Race


Marjorie Taylor Greene aims to be Trump's VP pick in 2024 -- "She sees herself on the short list for Trump's VP," said former Trump aide Steve Bannon, who has spoken with Greene.


What a no-brainer this is. Of course MT Greene aspires to higher office.  This leaves only three options. She could run for governor. She could run for the Senate. She could be Trump's choice as his VP running mate, no inference meant by using the term "mate" intended. This would be her most likely ladder to the presidency since actuarial tables suggest Trump might not live to complete a term should he be elected. 

What she has to be careful of is that for the present she serves two masters, Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump. If these two have a falling out she will have to chose sides. 

That might not be easy. McCarthy has the power to derail her ambitions to be the unofficial Speaker of the House calling the shots whenever she thinks it will accrue to her benefit. On the other hand if she crossed Trump he would never select her to run with him.

January 10, 2023

Amanda Marcotte Said It All About The GOP House But Her Title Put It Mildly

 Amanda Marcotte Said It All About The GOP House But Her Title Put It Mildly
By Hal Brown

The lettering above comes from one of the images used to promote one of the versions of the Ray Bradbury novel of this name.

I was resting in bed after waking up this morning and thinking about writing something about what the next two years has in store for the country as the GOP turns the house into Benghazi on a malevolent mixture of steroids and psychedelics.   

Then I read this republished Salon essay by Amanda Marcotte on RAWSTORY.  (I like reading Salon articles on RAWSTORY because the later has a comments section and the former doesn't. If you prefer you can read this piece on Salon here.)

If it was up to me I would have changed the title of her essay. Instead of 

"Call it the Conspiracy Theory Congress: Things are about to get dangerously weird on Capitol Hill"


 I would have changed it to 


Call it the Conspiracy Theory Congress: Things are about to get treacherously weird on Capitol Hill

Amanda Marcotte addressed everything I was thinking and more better than I ever could.

I urge you to read what she wrote. I thought I'd bullet-point some of what stood out and it apropos that the word "bullet" in this term used in this particular context has another meaning. These are bullets aimed at the heart of our democracy.

  • The antics of various House committees, as they work hand-in-glove with Fox News to create and disseminate right wing conspiracy theories, will make an epsiode of Infowars seem downright sober-minded.
  • Having realized that they'll likely never get their desired ends through democratic means, they've determined democracy itself must go. And make no mistake: McCarthy and other GOP leaders are only too happy to go along with the program.
  • ...the current iteration of the GOP is functionally a fascist party and adheres to the knee-jerk fascist distaste for thinking, rational debate, and above all, letting facts guide your decision-making.
  • ...they will use the immense power and resources of the U.S. Congress to be a bullshit-generating machine. 
  • The hearings publicizing the conspiracy theories will be framed as "investigations," but no one should be fooled. The Republicans behind these lies, much less the right wing "journalists" who will elevate them, know full well it's all nonsense.
  • The purpose of these exercises in fantastical story-telling is, if anything, more diabolical than an old-fashioned desire to fool people. It's about a larger assault on truth itself, or more specifically, on the value that truth has in our society. The goal of the "alternative facts" crowd is to make truth no more relevant than lies.
  • The next two years of "hearings" will be much of the same: Lots of insinuations and false accusations, as well as incoherent ramblings that only make sense to those who are already well-versed in right wing conspiracy theories. Little, if any, effort will be put toward making any of these outlandish stories or conspiracy theories convincing. They aren't really meant to be believed. They are meant to alter the American relationship with reality so people lose all faith that the difference between true and false matters at all.
This all doesn't strike me as merely dangerous. I don't think it is hyperbole to say that treachery is what we as a nation is facing. 

Addendum 1: This is the second time I used an illustration form Something Wicked The Way Comes in a story. This is from May, 2016:

Addendum 2:

For whatever reason, Chris Hedges, the author of 

America's theater of the absurd: Our politics has become an endless carnival

Last week's power struggle between warring factions of charlatans, con men and "influencers" was only the beginning

 in Salon  decided to put, or allow to be poorly photoshopped, a clown nose onto President Biden as if he is cut from the same fascistic clothe as Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump. 

He wrote: The billionaire class, for the most part, prefers the mask of a Joe Biden, who broke the railroad unions. But it also knows that the goons and con artists on the far right will not interfere in its disemboweling of the nation.
This is the only reference to Biden in his essay. 

This is an example of bothsidesism. He isn't comparing apples and oranges. He's comparing an apple with a small bruise with a pit of venomous vipers.

Click "Read more" to continue.

January 6, 2023

Does something worse than Jan. 6 have to happen to wake all of America up

 Does something worse than Jan. 6 have to happen to wake all of America up?
By Hal Brown

Reading this story in Salon got me to pondering the question in my title.

Excerpt:

But while some of these demands are alarming because they invite legislative chaos for the next two years, there's one aspect of this very public fight that may be even more dangerous: The way that both the demands of the anti-McCarthy group and his concessions to them could signal to would-be domestic terrorists that they have the support of the Republican party. While the conflict between McCarthy and his Republican opponents seems at a stalemate as of Friday morning, both sides do agree on these security-related issues. Two years after Donald Trump incited an insurrection at the Capitol in a desperate bid to remain in power, the Republican-controlled House is making moves that read strongly as winking encouragement not just to the people who rioted that day, but to anyone who would follow in their footsteps. 

"At this point, the Republican party's entire strategy is incitement," Melissa Ryan, an expert in right wing extremism who writes the "Ctrl Alt-Right Delete" newsletter, told Salon. "They're keeping the MAGA base constantly worked up with increasingly violent rhetoric."

Even before the drama of seeing McCarthy repeatedly lose the vote to become Speaker began, the first, dramatic gesture was made by House Republicans: The metal detectors in the halls of Congress were taken down, even though it's not at all clear that, without an elected Speaker, Republicans have the authority to do this. 

Then I read this:
Excerpts:
“A lot of my Republican colleagues glorify violence and proudly display the firearms they have in their offices, so it just makes me nervous that we could have a workplace violent event. They’re not the most stable people,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told Raw Story after voting for Speaker this week...

“They already have a history of letting insurrectionists in the building and showing them around,” Swalwell—who made public some of the vile death threats his family has endured—said. “So it just seems like a recipe for disaster.” 

Metal detectors or not, the nation’s politicians—right, left, and indie—are now bigger targets than ever before. 


My photo illustration depicts two violent wake-up calls that jarred the county from the slumber of denying that there were violent forces that were hellbent on destroying our democracy.

These were external rather than internal actors. January 6th insurrectionists and their instigators and co-conspirators were, and continue to be, homegrown terrorists. Only some of the foot soldiers have been brought to justice. Those who set the coup attempt in motion from Donald Trump on down to the upper echelons of the conspiracy so far have escaped the hand of justice for their deeds.

It took Pearl Harbor and 9/11 for America to unite against the forces that threatened us. Not so with January 6th. This was a group incited to attempt to stop the certification of a free election lost by a president they worshipped as a Demi-god who gaslighted them into believing what has come to be called The Big Lie. 

The House members trying to dragoon their will on the country by coercing concessions to enable Mitch McConnell to become the new speaker with a few exceptions are MAGA election deniers.


Today we learned that metal detectors which anyone entering the House chamber had to pass through were removed. Nobody can determine who ordered this.

We know that there are GOP members of Congress like Lauren Boebert who are gun-crazy.
I am not suggesting that she or any other member of Congress would commit an act of violence. As Amanda Marcotte suggests it is the message that these far-right heroes sends to their violence prone followers. Pistol packing Boebert, for example, has over 2 million followers on Twitter alone.


She begs to be singled out so I make no apologies for presenting a possible scenario involving her.
Click above to read NY Post article

I assume that for someone who isn't a Member or a staffer to get into the United States Capitol building they have to be screened for weapons by the Capitol Police. I don't know whether people who have credentials can bypass the vigorous screening the general public has to go through. 

What I worry about is that someone who has ingratiated themselves to the likes of a Boebert to the extent that they are able to finagle a way to have a member of the House or staffer actually accompany them when they enter the building and try to bypass the magnetometers. 

It might be worth the risk of getting caught and thinking they could avoid serious consequences by pleading ignorance. If an armed person with violent intentions made it into the House, whether on the floor or in the hallways, it doesn't take any imagination to know how horrific the outcome could be.

Would it take an incident like this for the vast majority of Americas to wake up to how violent rhetoric can provoke actual acts of violence? 

I am not stupidly sanguine. I doubt very much that if something like this happened, even if there was a loss of life, that very many of these far-right extremists mouthing words that subtly or not-so-subtly promote violence, most or all of whom purport to be Christian, would have a come to Jesus moment.



 



November 4, 2022

Mired in Muskland - 7 - Elon creates poll for trolls

 Mired in Muskland - 7 - Elon creates poll for trolls

By Hal Brown

Look, Elon made a poll for us.



The poll Elon Musk posted was supposed to influence advertisers. Really?  Unless this is an example of Musk's warped sense of humor this is a lousy poll. For someone so smart he demonstrates that he can be not so smart in certain areas. One of them is how to construct a poll.

Do reputable advertisers really want to focus their ads on members of the group who checked the second options instead of the first?

Of course phrasing the choice as being between freedom of speech and political correctness is the height of a slanted choice of terms. 

Musk has no way of knowing who checked the second choice. Some, perhaps most, of them could be trolls who get a thrill be being provocative.



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