I do not see it as cowardice or cynicism that puts Republican or Russian ambition and greed for raw power ahead of everything -- everything human or humane or moral or ethical or rational. I see it simply as a satanic-level lack of character. All else stems from that, and from its attendant hubris. How America got to elevating such debased people to such high positions, and why they are succeeding in their quest, is the question.

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The real problem isn't actually Kevin McCarthy, it's the republican base that's the real problem. As long as the actions of the leadership satisfy the anger and ignorance that the base has, this will get continually worse until the democracy is simply a memory.

I don't like Cheney's politics but by God I respect her for her dedication to the country. But the base of her former party? No, It's disgustingly thoughtless, racist, homophobic and seeks retribution for it's inadequacy to be the best they could ever become. Idiocracy was Prescient as a movie. We'll wallow in the loss of intellect.

But McCarthy? He's really pretty stupid. McConnell on the other hand isn't stupid, he's just disgusting.

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Zelenskyy, Cheney, Benson, Bowers, and Moss. Five heroes that kids should learn about in their civics classes. Most people would wilt in the face of efforts to intimidate them, especially when it involves the threats of physical violence. Thanks, Bulwark, for giving us examples of hope standing tall in the face of thuggery.

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Liz Cheney knew all of this all along. I cannot imagine how pissed and betrayed she feels. Her colleagues, almost to a person, her party, are completely rotten, thoroughly in thrall to a wannabe dictator, lap dogs lusting only for reelection with no righteous driving principles. Cheney herself was a doubter all the way until 2021, but if there are any doubters now, any both-sides rationalizers, any "politics is a contact sport" rationalizers, they need to shut it. They have nothing to say worth listening to. Nothing on the Democratic side looks anything like cynically supporting a traitor to our democracy for political expedience.

I read the Thau and Steffee piece on PA voters this morning:


It was anecdotal, but encouraging, especially considering the composition of the voters in the group, a plurality of registered Republicans. Most of them seem to realize that neither party is perfect, but that doesn't mean things will be any better if the out party becomes the in party, and one of the two parties is objectively worse than the other on a whole other level. We will need pragmatic voters like this turning out to the polls this November if we want to keep this republic.

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Apr 22, 2022·edited Apr 22, 2022

McCarthy is the apex of the mountain that Gingrich started building in the late 1980s. Gingrich taught Republicans (literally, he offered classes) how to debase their opponents through lies, misinformation, and exaggerated claims. The fact that you debased yourself in the process was not problematic because Gingrich figured out that most people don't care, plus what's a little debasement if you win (and he knew Democrats can't stay focused long enough to fight back in understandable sound bites). MTG, Gaetz, McCarthy, et al. all are following the playbook Gingrich wrote 30 years ago. McCarthy just sucks at it.

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I've said it lots of times, and I'll say it again: McCarthy and McConnell whiffing on a bipartisan Jan. 6 Committee is one of the dumbest political moves in recent memory. For McCarthy in particular, it may be the dumbest move of his political career.

A bipartisan committee was never going to get these tapes. Republicans would have had subpoena veto power. Instead - and this is only a minor side effect of the investigation - McCarthy will spend at least the next week smoothing this over and defusing all the leadership challenges.

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Two things. One, it's strange to me that people would turn to legalizing weed as the way to win back the kids, while being against things like forgiving student debt. The reason is that it seems very odd that people would critique the latter for being a niche issue and costing money and being for an interest group while then supporting a policy that is the same as all those things.

But the second thing is more important. Your cheap shot about the Disney/Florida thing ignores a key reality: the GOP knows what it's doing. Financially ruining these communities is the entire point. Why? Because they are primarily democratic leaning minority communities. Don't believe me? The area that DeSantis is punishing is majority Latino. It is one-third Puerto-Rican. Mind you, the county swung 16 points to Trump in 2020. But much like how the GOP in Texas hates Mexican Americans, the Florida GOP is gleefully punishing constituencies that tend to vote Democratic and are not white.

Forcing these people to have higher bills, to bankrupt them and force them to leave; that's the entire point. They are gleefully doing this. To DeSantis and his boosters, they're democratic leaning, heavily minority areas, so they deserved to be ruined. This isn't a bug. It's a feature. It's the entire point.

This, many on the left would say, is white supremacy and systemic racism. If you prefer, you could call it forced relocation. But this is what people are referring to when people talk about these concepts on the left. The state, and particularly the right, punishing people who dare to vote for the other party, or who have the 'misfortune' of being born a different race and living in 'red' states.

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Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

Or rats' feet over broken glass

In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom

Remember us—if at all—not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men

The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

In death's dream kingdom

These do not appear:

There, the eyes are

Sunlight on a broken column

There, is a tree swinging

And voices are

In the wind's singing

More distant and more solemn

Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer

In death's dream kingdom

Let me also wear

Such deliberate disguises

Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves

In a field

Behaving as the wind behaves

No nearer—

Not that final meeting

In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land

This is cactus land

Here the stone images

Are raised, here they receive

The supplication of a dead man's hand

Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this

In death's other kingdom

Waking alone

At the hour when we are

Trembling with tenderness

Lips that would kiss

Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here

There are no eyes here

In this valley of dying stars

In this hollow valley

This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places

We grope together

And avoid speech

Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless

The eyes reappear

As the perpetual star

Multifoliate rose

Of death's twilight kingdom

The hope only

Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear

Prickly pear prickly pear

Here we go round the prickly pear

At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception

And the creation

Between the emotion

And the response

Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire

And the spasm

Between the potency

And the existence

Between the essence

And the descent

Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is

Life is

For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

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Sadly Charlie, I don't believe there is any humiliation for McCarthy, McConnell, and many others. We're in some strange Bizarro World where right and wrong don't make a bit of a difference. And as much as the recordings demonstrate McCarthy's lack of character, I don't see this hurting him politically at all.

Hopefully, I am wrong and just a cynic.

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Good to see some ‘heroism’ awards still mean something, since the Presidential Medal of Freedom was forever tainted by DJT with the awarding to Limbaugh.

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Apr 22, 2022·edited Apr 22, 2022

McCarthy’s lily-livered cynicism will have far less effect on the future of mankind than Manchin’s and Synema’s, who have stood in the way of historic, last-chance legislation over false concerns over small-bore nonsense like “inflation.” Inflation goes up and down, forever. But a person starves and bridges collapse and the earth tips into perpetual warming hell but one time.

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I'm sorry, but I'm going to tell you about a dream I had last night. It was simply that it was 2024 and Trump was elected. The shock of it wasn't new to me. It was the same as the death of someone close to me. I have experienced the geography of grief enough to know that the initial shock isn't the worst part. It's the many, many days that follow, the ever-present dull awareness of irretrievable loss. Or, maybe worse, a moment of forgetting, and then remembering again.

When I couldn't get back to sleep, I began imagining Kevin McCarthy's plane ride from DC to Florida those few days after Jan 6. He would have rehearsed, polished his just-right humility, decided on the most potent words of flattery, flashed some anger over the stollen election. What I most wonder is could he feel his soul slipping away? As maybe a touch of indigestion, or a slight strain in his back. Or does a soul just go away, silent and unobserved, not made of any earthly matter at all?

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It is hard to imagine the GOP taking the risk of allowing McCarthy to become speaker. He's not very bright but he thinks that he is. I recall an observation from someone in my youth.

"He could fuck up a wet dream."

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Moscow Mitch, the lizard look-a-like from Kentucky, and Kevin "where must I crawl to next your Maganess" McCarthy, the former poor as a church mouse sleazebag from California, have for so long enjoyed the benefits of sucking on the teat of the Federal government they are without humility. The taste of power and wealth (however wealth might be defined by two individuals who would have found it difficult to find two spare nickels to rub together before they entered politics), has not only left them without a conscience, but they lack even a modicum of decency and dignity. For the two, and many others in Congress just like them, they have placed their need for money and power ahead of the needs of the American people, the very people for whom they work. With the lizard it was marriage and connections. With the church mouse it was marriage and dubious claims of ancestral bloodlines, or other such nonsense that would have kept him out of some of the finest WS clubs. Perhaps church rat is more appropriate. They have on so many occasions, shown exactly what they are, and leaders is what they aren't. The people who support these two clowns are just as culpable as they in their pursuits.

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The coverup is always worse than the crime. This is what conspiracy theorists don't understand. Any conspiracy larger than three people and somebody is eventually going to talk.

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Re McCarthy, “So what happens now?”.

In short: more of the same. And worse. Because that’s what happens when there is no requirement to take responsibility for one’s words and actions. At least in GOP politics we now live in a post-accountability era as much as a post-truth one, in which right and wrong are less important than what you can get away with and who has your back. And it is inevitable that each time someone in politics succeeds at wriggling off of a hook -- one that would put you or me in jail, get us fired from our jobs, and cost us the support of people close to us -- it both enables them to do more of the same and inspires others to go down the same pathway in the race to the bottom of what appears to be a bottomless pit.

We’ve seen this show before. Many times now. It never ends well because, unlike with us, they never suffer consequences. It will be an endless loop of moreofthesameness until enough people leave their tribes and come back to the community. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen. I’ve been too disappointed in my fellow beings for too long now to hold out any real hope, much less expectation, that their morality somehow will return out of the blue, as if a Hollywood movie ending to a real life shit show.

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