Impeachment polls & news

The impeachment marches on.

Senators can barely be bothered to pretend to pay attention, and apparently they’re sneaking out on the regular. Other reports have had them caught doing crosswords, chatting and wandering around when they’re not supposed to, and skipping out for live interviews on Fox News.

I tried to work up some ire about this apparent lack of interest in the impeachment trial, but I couldn’t manage it. The fix is in, everyone knows it. I guess the only thing I’m really mad about is that they’re so blatant and in-our-faces about how seriously they aren’t taking this.

A few things to know…

  • According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that came out yesterday, about 44% of US adults think Trump should be removed from office. Another 15% think he should get a formal congressional censure, and 31% said the charges should be dismissed. (Reuters)
  • Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center says that 51% of Americans was the Senate to convict Trump and remove him from office. (Pew Research Center)
  • An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll says, among other interesting things, that 69% percent of the public thinks witnesses should be allowed to testify at the impeachment trial. (AP)
  • Trump’s freaking out. He tweeted roughly a billion times yesterday. Actually about 140 times, not counting retweets, I think, which is a record high tweet day for him. That’s what our tax money is buying us, folks. The average user tweets about 5 times a day, for reference. (LA Times)
  • Apocalyptic evangelicals are big Trump fans because they think he’s going to bring on the Biblical armageddon. So that’s reassuring. (Mother Jones)

Image credit: Newspapers, JonS on Flickr.

I don't get the GOP's endgame, here.

So, I’m half-watching the death of American democracy live on TV and I have to tell you guys, I am just baffled with the GOP. They’re going to bat to save Trump, and I can’t figure out why.

What do they get out of this? What’s their win scenario? What do they get from saving Trump that they can’t get in any of a dozen other ways that don’t leave them screwed?

Money and power? They have that. And it’s not like it’s been hard for them to get more.

Packing the courts with their conservative judges? Pence will do that for them.

The ability to rig elections through legislation so they can keep winning? That mostly happens on the state level, and they were doing pretty well at that pre-Trump. It’s not like most of us were paying any fucking attention to what Republicans were doing with gerrymandering and whatnot prior to Trump taking office.

Like. Why are they doing this.

A majority of Americans who are likely to vote are going to vote progressive. The GOP is not winning more voters with their behavior in the impeachment trial. In fact, it’s arguable that they’re costing themselves moderate Republican votes with this fiasco.

Granted, turning out a fair trial would piss off Trump’s ride-or-die base, but there literally aren’t enough of those people to win with. That’s actually a huge problem that people have been talking about for years, even before Trump got elected. The GOP base is too small. Trump’s rabid base is even smaller.

Is it some kind of political Stockholm Syndrome?

I feel like the logical play here is to sell Trump upriver and install Pence as president. Are they worried Pence can’t win the 2020 general? I mean, let’s be honest here, nobody likes that guy except the Kochs. But, since we’re being honest here, Democrats have a well-known habit of eating their own. It would be a fair bet that as the primaries roll up on us, the Dem candidates will shoot their own chances right in the ass with all the bickering and in-fighting and it’d end up Tom Steyer vs. Mike Pence in 2020. And most of us can’t even pick Tom Steyer out of a lineup, so Pence might be a shoo-in just because we recognize him and he’s tall with good hair.

What I’m saying here is that Pence could win a general, especially after Trump. Moderate Republicans would turn out just so they could feel relieved at getting to vote for a sane, adult person. Democrats would fail to turn out because who gets excited about Tom Steyer (or, the more likely candidate, Joe Biden)?

So, why isn’t the GOP doing that? What’s going on behind the scenes that’s driving them to make these fanatical-seeming nonsense choices?

I don’t like Mitch McConnell, but he’s never struck me as stupid or gutless, so I don’t think he’s dumb enough to make these strategy choices, and he’s certainly not so weak-willed as to kowtow to Trump to his own detriment.

The obvious answer is that Trump’s bullshit is so far-reaching and vile that allowing it to come to light will reveal that not only is Pence dirty, too, but so is half – if not most – of the GOP.

That’s gotta be the case, right?

Because the only other answer that makes sense is that they believe the shit they’re shoveling during the impeachment trial. Which is an insane idea.

Which means that the only two justifications I can come up with to explain current events is that the GOP is either wildly, unsalvageably corrupt, or they’re completely divorced from reality.

I guess it could be both, too.

New Coronavirus in the US, Impeachment junk, & more.

Just popping in to drop a few quick links, since I have a ton of stuff to do today.

  • That scary new SARS-alike coronavirus from China just dropped its first case in the US. Someone came into the state of Washington infected with it. (NPR)
  • Vox has a quick roundup of information about the Chinese coronavirus. (Vox)
  • Mitch McConnell’s impeachment trial rules are, as expected, complete horseshit. (TPM EdBlog)
  • I guess it’s 2016 again and we’re listening to Bernie and Hillary bicker. (Washington Post)

Okay, like I said, tons to do today. Have fun, kids.

Image credit: Newspapers, JonS on Flickr.

DCU's Doom Patrol

Over the weekend we binged DCU’s Doom Patrol. It was surprisingly good. Funny, heartfelt, touching, and weird.

There was a swarm of carnivorous butts.

At one point, a mouse and a cockroach make out.

It was really weird.

We didn’t go into it with many expectations. I didn’t know a lot about the comics – they were included in the mountains of comics my uncle used to drop off to us every month when I was a kid, but I never thought much of them. It seemed like every time I flipped through one of their books, it was right in the middle of some surreal nonsense escapade that wasn’t even particularly good, so I basically ignored them.

Still, a brief clip of the show popped up during the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, and that caught my boyfriend’s interest. Since we didn’t have a lot else going on this weekend, we popped an episode on.

And it was really good, you guys. It was all found family and traumatized outcasts banding together, broken people putting themselves back together, and just, like, a lot of hilarious swearing. Who knew Brendan Fraser was so good at dropping an F-bomb? More like F-salvos, really. Strafing runs of F-bombs.

Anyway, this show hadn’t been on my radar because I never thought much of the comics, and if you’re in that position too, give it a go. It was great, and a ton of fun, and they’ve got a season two coming out sometime this year that we’re looking forward to.

Good Reads & Current Events

“I’m gonna blog more,” I said, and then work promptly dogpiled me with eight thousand projects. I see how it’s gonna be, 2020. I see how you are.

Current Events

  • Yet another of Trump’s excuses for assassinating Soleimani fell apart when U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper skipped out on backing Trump’s “4 embassies” BS. (Reuters)
  • Cory Booker dropped out of presidential race today. (NPR)

Good Reads

  • The Guardian: ‘It was very hurtful’ – what really happens when Queer Eye comes to town? – “The Fab Five gave Kathi Dooley a makeover this year. She’s thrilled to have lost her mullet – but she could never have predicted the very public attack.”
  • CNN: A month-by-month look at Donald Trump’s top lies of 2019 – “Trump made more than 2,700 false claims this year. (We’re still calculating the final total.) Some of them were innocent slips, some of them little exaggerations. But a large number of them were whoppers: deliberate, significant attempts to deceive and manipulate.”
  • FiveBooks.com: The best books on Critical Thinking – “Do you know your straw man arguments from your weasel words? Nigel Warburton, Five Books’ philosophy editor and author of Thinking from A to Z, selects five of the best books on critical thinking—and explains how they will help us make better informed decisions and construct more valid arguments.”
  • Scoop.me: Finland is the only country in Europe where homelessness is in decline – “In Finland, the number of homeless people has fallen sharply. The reason: The country applies the ‘Housing First’ concept. Those affected by homelessness receive a small apartment and counselling – without any preconditions. 4 out of 5 people affected thus make their way back into a stable life. And: All this is cheaper than accepting homelessness.”
  • Buzzfeed News: #ReleaseTheJJCut: “Star Wars” Misinformation Hell Is The New Future Of Everything – “Get ready for a world run by warring online communities completely lost in their own misinformation. Warning: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

One Funny Thing

I stumbled across AllWitNoBrevity.com on Twitter the other day. It’s a brand new blog by a gal named Janel Comeau, a Canadian living in New York City, and it is frickin’ hilarious. Also, there are little cartoons. Here’s a great place to start with this blog: An Introduction to My Family’s Long, Ongoing Failed Experiment With Designer Dogs.