The Imperial Senate

We didn’t watch. We couldn’t.

There was nothing to be gained from watching. What we could know, we already did — not only about the witnesses, but the circumstances. It was yet another setup, yet another event engineered to provide the appearance of legitimacy without the substance. We couldn’t watch, because we couldn’t participate in yet another sham ritual. We’re done with that.

We couldn’t watch, but we did follow. We followed the responses, followed the reaction, followed the news coverage that accepted the sham as legitimate, which is why we’re done with news coverage, at least political news. We’re too old for this. We know too much.

Here’s what we know: The Senate majority represents 18 percent of Americans.

That is a sham of legitimacy as well.

That number is not expected to improve over the next twenty years, the next generation. An illegitimate Senate approves nominations from an illegitimate President to stack an illegitimate Supreme Court for decades. The consequences will, have been, and are, real.

We’re living under a tyranny. The despotism against which our nation was founded — to establish the Consent of the Governed — has returned.

When we watch the response to Thursday’s charade, we’re watching for just this, an awareness of tyranny, a recognition of the system we’re living under, of the power cynically and ruthlessly wielded by the representatives of that 18 percent of Americans. It’s not just a life of privilege enjoyed without consequence, it’s not just the network of corruption that privilege has exposed — it’s why this is even happening, why we’re being subjected to this when the citizens of our nation have expressed their wishes for something else entirely.

And we see signs, a few, call them green sprouts — not just from the usual suspects like us, but from folks we would expect to buy in, who might otherwise be prone to join the tribe of tribalists, who might be inclined to fret about Two Americas, but who suddenly notice that something’s wrong here, that our democracy is imperiled not by the idiots running the show, but by the show itself.

Green sprouts. It’s not like they’re taking to the streets tomorrow.

What’s distressing about such an awareness, and one reason why it’s resisted, is that nothing can be done about it. The structural fix is in. The Senate will not be reconstructed, the Electoral College will not be abolished, the Supreme Court will not be impeached, because the very people who benefit from the sham, and benefit greatly, would have to agree to it.

But if there is nothing to be done about it, nothing practical, we can still be aware of it. We can live in truth, as one witness did during the hearing, and another did when challenging Jeff Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator Friday morning. We can live in truth, see our government for the illegitimate sham it is, and wait for others to join us in that awareness.

There’s power in numbers. Overwhelming power. A nation’s citizens living in truth, at least a substantial number of them, will have consequences.

And that is our hope for the future, that the power of the Citizen Gaze will have its own effects, that either things must change within the means provided, and if not, things will change by other means, as expressed by the document citizens hold sacred. A revolution is called for, by any means available.

Meanwhile, living under the system we have now, that tyranny of sham legitimacy, we still have the means to ameliorate the worst of it, to pull levers, punch holes, scribble in bubbles. That too is part of the sham, arbitrary lines drawn and rights arbitrarily denied, but it is not yet thorough, not yet total, not yet Dear Leader elected with near-unanimity. Not yet.

And in less forty days, we have our last, best hope of keeping things from getting worse than they already are. Maybe we’ll see a few more green sprouts. That we would watch.


The good news is that there’s plenty we can do to frustrate and block their anti-American agenda, and more people seem to be waking up to the nightmarish reality.

Come for the political terror, stay for the dick jokes!

In the 26-ish years that I’ve been politically aware, I thought I’d seen it all, especially after 2016, but damn I sat down this morning and looked at the headlines and just starting tearing up from frustration and revulsion after Dr. Ford endured reliving her trauma in a way that no one ever should, and she was countered by a sneering, snarling housecat Miss Lindsey, and Frat Bro Kavanaugh’s disgraceful, deranged tantrum. And that cowardly fraud Flake voted him out of the committee anyway.

The contrast couldn’t be more extreme. If Dr. Ford had ranted and raved and thrown a tantrum like they did, she’d have been dragged out of there in a strait-jacket. The relentless mendacity, cruelty, and perversion of the GOP just makes me physically sick. The pure indecency of this whole sham is insane.

The backlash in November is gonna be epic. I believe that because I have to believe that most people are decent and this travesty will not stand. The GOP has shown us unequivocaly who they are, and now it’s our turn to show them who we are. We’re gonna do this because we have to do it.

Of note: The White House restrictions seem in part tailored to avoid evidence of Kavanaugh being a sloppy drunk; in other words, stepping around his perjury during sworn testimony.

Also of note: NBC broke the story. That puts it on the map; anyone who claims this is a fair investigation is deliberately lying.

I’ve been having more fun researching bidet toilet seats than pretty much anything else right now. That’s right. I prefer thinking about poop.

@nojo: Oh, hey – how are you feeling?

@JNOV: Personally? Just fine. Watching Maniac.

@nojo: I love that show. Glad you’re doing well.

@JNOV: It was getting some buzz among acquaintances, and then your spawn mentioned it, and I figured I couldn’t avoid it.

@nojo: Gar! I wonder if this was before or after I told her about it. (Yes, we’re in a hip competition. Well, at least I am.)

EDIT: I miss being The Cool Mom. I never let them drink or anything like that, but I. Was. Cool.

@JNOV: If you’re establishing a timeline: She posted her enthusiasm for it a few days ago, upon which I added it to my queue, her applause being the last straw.

I needn’t have waited so long, but nobody said it’s like a one-story season of Black Mirror, which would have been sufficient to rope me in.

@nojo: Damn. I texted “Watch Maniac” yesterday.

[N]obody said it’s like a one-story season of Black Mirror…

That’s because it took you to make that accurate comparison. Tweet that shit.

@JNOV: Funny thing is that the Norwegian original is a wacky sitcom. The creators of this version intuited depth in the premise.

FBI not interviewing Kavanaugh or Ford, at White House instruction.

@nojo: I keep hoping the reporting is wrong on that one.

@nojo: Damn Vikings. The Swedish original of “Let the Right One In” is much better than the American version. The French “Les Revenants” is much better than the American “The Returned.”

@JNOV: Reporting’s pretty specific: It’s White House counsel (and Kavanaugh supporter) Don McGahn running this show. Old Boys will be Old Boys.

@nojo: Hmmmm. That’s not good.

Before the Flake thing, I thought that the FBI criminal investigations into threats made against Dr. Blasey Ford might turn up leads to the Kavanaugh Krew. Here’s hoping.

@JNOV: I’m wayyyy beyond my competence here, but I think this still falls under Background Check, kind of an institutional courtesy function.

A criminal investigation, on the other hand, would originate with the appropriate local office. At some point I would imagine you provide a heads-up if the target proves politically sensitive, but the California Feds could be working that at its own pace without us knowing.

But I don’t know that you get a criminal conspiracy from there. The death threats all come from cranks. They don’t need to be told what to do.

Apparently — apparently — the White House has now told the FBI to go for it.

As long as the FBI still wraps by Friday.

So, there’s that. Wonder what move they’ll try pulling next?

Flake: “It does no good to have an investigation that gives us more cover.”

I’ll give him credit for making the right noises. We’ll see whether he has the guts to stand on that.

@nojo: Meh, we’ll see. The FBI has been totally worthless so far.

I mean, they allowed the Kremlin and the GOPnazis to install tDump and carry out a successful decapitation strike against the US, so at the very least they’re totally incompetent if not in on it themselves.

@nojo and ¡Andrew!: There’s a clip floating around where Flake is asked if he could have threatened to withhold his vote if he were running for reelection. He laughed and said, “No.”

Have we learned nothing from Paul Manafort? Don’t be callin’ up your buddies and askin them to lie for you.

And Trump said dude had a drinking problem. OMG. Trump will torpedo anything and everything, but he’s fallen in love with a little rocket man.

@JNOV: Trunp is also torpedoing his own net worth, now down $1.4 billion since launching his campaign, according to Forbes. Dude can’t even grift right.

Bloomberg: FBI still constrained from looking into Kavanaugh perjury. Which, well, we can save that for the impeachment, can’t we?

If you really wanna simultaneously shit your pants and upchuck in horror, there’s an actual photo of Maryanne Trump Barry–tDUMP’s sister (?)–circulating along with the tax scam, and she looks just like Prezinazi AntiChrist in drag, right down to whateverthehell that is living on her head.
MY… EYES…!1!
Sweet Heysoos, that whole revolting family is like some genetic experiment gone wrong and glazed with plastic surgery disasters.

Welp! Guess it’s a sham!

“More than 40 people with potential information into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not been contacted by the FBI, according to multiple sources that include friends of both the nominee and his accusers.”

“This is what happens when you go through a trailer park without your dog Bill.” ? Wut? Is that what Lindsey just said? And WTF does that mean?

@JNOV: Miss Lindsey has lost his damn mind and raised his legs higher and spread them wider than all of the other tDumbp whores. He’s proudly proven himself to be the biggest whore in Chili Verde.

@JNOV: “This is what happens when you go through a trailer park with a $100 bill.”

It’s a Carville line. About Clinton. The dude whom Lindsey insisted on impeaching.

Credit to Weigel for sussing all that out.

@nojo: If anyone knows what happens when you wave a $100 bill in a trailer park, it’s Miss Graham.

Cloture vote Friday, confirmation Saturday.

Cloture is described as a “procedural” vote, just like the two Saint McCain approved before grandstanding his final No. You vote to end chatter, you’re voting to speed up confirmation.

Collins: “It appears to be a very thorough investigation.”

Game over, folks.

The FBI report is a painfully obvious sham and a fraud. Dozens of witnesses have come forward to state that the FBI refused to even interview them.

The FBI is not going to save us. We have to save ourselves.

With the elections just over a month away, it’s time to take a stand for our values:
People who work hard deserve affordable housing, healthcare, and education;
All people should be treated equally and with respect;
Women have a fundamental right to make decisions about their own bodies;
Immigrants should be welcomed with dignity and are valued members of our communities;
Our environment should be protected and we must transition away from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy sources.

The following is a list of outstanding candidates to which I’ve donated money. All are superb potential national leaders that share our values and vision for a better future. Please consider donating to their campaigns—even $5 helps if we all contribute—before it’s too late. Act Blue makes it super easy!

Lisa Brown WA-05
Kim Schrier WA-08
Carolyn Long WA-03
Christine Brown WA-04
Kyrsten Sinema AZ Senate
Phil Bredesen TN Senate
Beto O’Rourke TX Senate
Jacky Rosen NV Senate
Jared Pettinato MN-01
Andrew Janz CA-22
TJ Cox CA-21
Conor Lamb PA-17
Bill Nelson FL Senate
MJ Hegar TX-31
Colin Allred TX-32
Sharice Davids KS-03
Ammar Campa-Najjar CA-50
Andrew Gillum FL Gov
Stacey Abrams GA Gov
Lupe Valdez TX Gov

The Hill: “Flake said there was nothing at all in the FBI’s supplementary background check to corroborate the claims from Ford that threw Kavanaugh’s nomination into turmoil starting last month.”

Oh, and Manchin’s voting to confirm, as long as his vote isn’t the 50th.

Murkowski agrees with Collins that Kavanaugh won’t overturn Roe. Wise commenter notes that short of that, we already have highly restricted abortion access in chunks of the country, deemed “constitutional” under Roe. Prediction is that Kavanaugh will undermine Roe in all but name.

This millennium really sucks.

Oops! Flake is flaking again! Poor man!

@nojo: Beat me to it. Kiss 2020 goodbye. Lindsey is assured AG then another presidential run? Part of me hopes K is confirmed and R voters will be assuaged and stay the fuck home next month.

@JNOV: I have some too-smart acquaintances who argue that defeating Kavanaugh will just rev up the yahoos who will keep Republicans in Senate power and guarantee a non-rapey nomination, but that’s too fancy for me. Vote him down, deal with the fallout. Gaming shit has never worked well for Democrats.

@nojo: Ds don’t have the votes, so he’s still going to be confirmed. I’m trying to comes to terms with it.

Wait. Did Putin just crash a plane?

@JNOV: Not that I’ve seen. No Putin in the news today.

Montana GOP senator has a prior engagement this weekend — his daughter’s wedding.

Mitch can still win without that vote, but he can’t afford to lose another.

@JNOV: Lotta confusion out there tonight. You have to presume it’s a done deal, but the deal ain’t quite done yet.

@nojo: I refuse to be hopey ever again.

@JNOV: Even Kochsucker Cory isn’t committing yet. Normally Colorado’s sellout likes to feogn indecision before casting his predictable vote, but he’s stretching this one out longer than usual.

@nojo: Screw the reception, Montana senator will make it back to DC if needed.

@nojo: Nope. Cory’s all-in with the rapist. Must have that 2021 lobbying gig lined up already.

just win the house and bring on the inquisition!

I miss baked and her disdain for capitalization. cigarette burns on her keyboard, non-functioning F key baked. forgetting her password baked. generous baked. baked with the kiddie pool of pets wearing flippers during the hurricane living next to brangelina and growing weed baked.

Many of our most important federally-protected rights fall under the Bill of Rights penumbra of privacy. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he and his fellow strict constructionists can conceivably overturn every single one.

1. Access to birth control, out the window
2. Sex other than vagina meets penis, out the window.
3. Access to abortion, out the window

Non-penumbra rights not explicitly stated by the Constitution but based on the fundamental right to have a family:

1. Same-sex marriage, out the window
2. Interracial marriage, out the window
3. All manner of adoptions could be subject to state-imposed law.
a. Interracial adoption, out the window
b. Single-parent adoption, out the window
c. Gay parents who want to adopt, out the window

The 14th Amendment is curtailed – no more protected class status for any minorities. The fight to consider trans people worthy of protected status, gone. By default, those in power stay in power, just like they want.

We need a moderate, but we won’t get one.

Here’s that crowdsourced fund against Susan Collins, once the server stops crashing. PPP polls her at 45-45 against an opponent if she votes for Kavanaugh.

Update: Topped $2 million before it crashed.

@nojo: Thank you. I haven’t forgotten the person who raped me, and no matter how much I wish I could, I never will.

@JNOV: I’m so sorry. We’re gonna get through this. (hugs)

Meanwhile, my high-school liberal friends are hero-worshiping McCain again, hoping that Flake has a crisis of conscience and votes thumbs-down like his fellow senator would have.

McCain voted for all of Trump’s Cabinet nominees, including Betsy DeVos — a 50-50 tie that Pence broke.

McCain also dismissed Anita Hill before her testimony, and never, to my knowledge, recanted.

I have posted these facts to the thread. I already know I will be written off as a crank.

@nojo: If there’s one constant throughout the entire sordid history of this country, it’s the obtuse, relentless, sinister stupidity of the American public.

Fantasy John McCain stems from the same source as Fantasy Donald Trump: a deep need for wish-fulfillment.

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