Coffee heat rising

And so…a new start!

Well. A new start come January 20, 2021, if we survive that long.

Apparently Us Wild-Eyed Liberals are not the only Americans who feel gratified at the prospect of watching The Donald’s rear end as he exits the White House: the Dow shot up by 1300 points as this morning’s dawn cracked for the New York Stock Exchange — 1600 if you’re looking at blue-chips.

Let us hope all those joyous expectations for a New Day come to pass. Yet — being the glum skeptic that I am — I find it hard not to remind myself that very nearly half the citizens of this country have said, with their votes, that they much prefer to be led by an Orange Oaf than by a man of ethics and common decency.

We shall see.

Facts still remain: You still take your life in your hands if you dare to eat a meal at a restaurant. Almost every grocery-store employee in this country has been exposed to and tests positive for a life-threatening virus. The schools, prematurely reopened, also harbor and spread the disease among children, who bring it home and infect Grandma and Granddad, potentially shortening their remaining time on this earth from a few years to a few weeks. A man for whom hate, disdain, ignorance, and scorn (and lying! let’s not forget lying) come as naturally as breathing won the votes of half the Americans who went to the polls. Small children, wrested from their parents’ arms, remain locked in cages. Hostility and hate dominate the discourse on social media and in the comments of every news outlet that still allows comments. These commenters demonstrate not only the hate but the gullibility that infects their minds as they spread the most ludicrous conspiracy theories and spout like geysers from a bottomless pool of nastiness.

Pray for the best. Our nation is broken in some important parts. It may take divine intervention to fix it.

Election Numbers

Watching the vote counting on CNN on the neighbors’ television this evening. (A real television! Can you imagine?) Over here, the same is available online, for free, at cnn.com. Biden seems to be pulling ahead… maybe. What a thing to see!

I find it just amazing that almost half the adults in this country can still bring themselves to vote for the Orange Oaf, despite the continual stream of embarrassments and outrages and Mussolini imitations emanating from Washington. I mean…yes, PC is annoying. Lectures that you must love your fellow humans no matter what color they happen to be: condescending and patronizing. But none of that patter holds a candle to the past four years of breath-taking outrages and crudeness and hatred and near-treason we’ve seen emanating from Trump’s Washington.

The Wall around the White House was really the last straw. How can anyone support such a clown?

Apparently almost half our population consists of clowns… What a dismaying thing.

Today, though, it looks a lot like Biden is going to win, despite Trump demanding a stop to counting and even going so far as to suggest that votes from members of the military be disallowed(!!!). Can you imagine? This from the commander in chief of our troops? Holy sh!t.

Depressing. Everything that has to do with the Orange Buffoon is depresssing:

One could go on and on and on…but who has that much time left to spend on this earth?

Biden appears go be pulling ahead: as of 8:40 this evening (Mountain Standard Time) he needs fewer than 20 electoral votes to defeat Trump. He’s reporting that his campaign has secured over 4 million votes more than of Trump’s.

But the fact remains that the difference, state by state, between each man’s share of the vote is measured in tenths of a percent. How in the name of God could half of Americans vote for a travesty of a “president” like Trump?

Prepping For a Trump Loss

Opinion polls suggest our President is likely to lose in tomorrow’s elections. Personally, I’ll believe that when I see it, first because I’m not convinced public opinion polls are spectacularly accurate and second because, between you ‘n’ me ‘n’ the lamp-post, I believe Mr. Trump is fully capable of pulling off a coup.

He has  surrounded the White House with an unclimbable wall, and we have seen that he has built and employs his own private militia. And he has effectively issued a call to arms to the nuttier members of his large and nutty following.

One thing we’ve learned, if we’ve learned anything over the past four years: the stability of our republic is nothing like we imagined. Our present predicament — an irresponsible wannabe dictator in the White House whipping up mobs of uneducated, hate-stupefied followers in the mode of Adolf Hitler or Jair Bolsanaro, ripping children out of their mothers’ arms, making fun of disabled people, spreading hate and fear, waving an upside-down Bible in front of a church whose congregation would like nothing to do with him, minimizing a highly contagious, lethal disease: also unimaginable. Merchants and business owners so certainly expect trouble that they’re boarding up shops and business offices.

Given that he’s egging on his followers to block highways and harass those who disagree with them, and that he’s doing what he can to suppress the vote by fear, by intimidation, or by bully posturing, and that a whole lot of crazies have been taken in by him, I think it’s wise to be prepared for unrest — especially if Biden comes out on top.

Before the election results start to come in, stock in food, household supplies, and medications, top off the car’s gas tank, and if you’re armed, keep a supply of ammunition on hand. Since .22-, .38-, and .45-caliber shells are in mighty short supply, a can of bear spray could in theory be used for self-defense.  You should be able to get this at an outdoor store, assuming the stuff is legal in your state.

Crazed “demonstrators” are likely to knock out power. So do have a camp lantern and plenty of batteries in the house, plus a propane grill and plenty of propane. And water. Several days’ supply of water.

This threat will persist over several weeks, until all the ballots are counted and the elections are decided. So it would be wise to have at least a month’s worth of provisions stocked in. More, if possible.

Voting!

Okay, the mail-in ballot is filled out and ready to hand in. Now all I have to do is physically take it to the elections bureau — given his past performance, it’s pretty obvious our honored President will try again to block mail-in voting.

I’ve voted “absentee” (a misnomer: mail-in is what we’re talkin’ about here) for many years, in every election — ever since the time our honored Republican leaders moved our voting site out of the neighborhood and into an area that is so unsafe that I would not get out of my car there. Just a week or ten days before that election, two little girls playing in front of their apartment house were killed when they got in the line of fire between two warring drug gangs — about a block down the street from that voting place.

Lovely Phoenix.

Another year our conniving leaders moved the voting places in majority black and Latino districts to the outer borders of those districts, where they were difficult to find and for many residents required a long drive. Funny how low the turn-out was, eh?

We’re told that at any time between now and November 3rd, we can hand in our ballots down at the voting bureau. But…WHERE IS IT? No clue in the voting materials. To get to a page that looks like it MIGHT provide the address, you have to jump through one of those annoying “identify the fire hydrants in these impossibly fuzzy photos” hoop-jump. I had to go through that trick THREE TIMES to find a page that provided an address, but whether that’s a place where you can drop off a ballot is ambiguous. You can drop them off at any voting place on November 3, but that entails a) finding the place and b) standing in line till the cows come home.

No joke. We have had Presidential elections here where the wait time was four to five hours! Again, this is an attempt to block Democratic voters, since a large proportion of Arizona Dems are working-class, and most minimum-wage and service jobs and jobs in the trades will dock workers’ pay for the hours they’re absent. You shouldn’t have to pay half a day’s wages for the privilege of voting. And you may be sure the local Republicans know most minimum-wage citizens can’t afford to pay any such thing.

Normally I would just drop the ballot in the mail. But the risk that the wannabe dictator in the White House and the toady he put in charge of the Post Office will interfere with delivery of these things is simply too high to chance it. Dollars to donuts, any ballot you drop into a PO mail box will end up in the trash.

The elections bureau is in downtown Phoenix, in an area of difficult to navigate one-way streets and extravagantly expensive parking. Even though their website gives an address, nowhere is it made clear whether this is the place to deliver a mail-in ballot in person. They provide a phone number, so I’ll have to call that in the morning and then sit around for 20 minutes or so listening to some endless recorded blab-a-thon.

To gild that lily, I’m getting a sore throat.

Presumably coming down with the Dread Disease — which, I’m told, because of a budding underlying condition, will very likely carry me off.

Before I go, though, I want to help carry Mr. Trump off his would-be throne.

Martha McSally: A Grand Republican Fob-Off

So here’s what happens when you write to your Congressional representative to protest Mr. Trump’s strategy to assassinate the U.S. Postal Service in time to put the eefus on mail-in ballots. Here is today’s reply from Martha McSally, my district’s Trumpeting excuse for an elected representative. Let me highlight for you, in boldface, the empty boilerplate that appears in this squib:

August 13, 2020

Dear Victoria,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for the United States Postal Service (USPS) and postal workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. I appreciate your thoughts on this important issue.

Veterans, seniors, and people across Arizona rely on the USPS to deliver their mail quickly and reliably. The USPS is especially important for rural Arizonans to be able to receive mail and packages at an affordable rate. I have recognized the importance of USPS facilities during my time in Congress. During my time in the House of Representatives, I successfully fought to prevent the closure of the Cherrybell postal processing facility in Tucson. More recently, I have worked with members of Arizona’s House delegation to support the effort for a new post office in Prescott.

As Americans practice social distancing to fight COVID-19, they still need to receive their mail and packages. The USPS and postal workers who still go to work during this pandemic are critical to ensure that individuals can continue to communicate and receive vital supplies. However, like so many businesses across the country, the USPS is experiencing substantially decreased revenue from a slowed economy, which leads to difficulty maintaining regular operations. As Congress debates the best way to help healthcare workers, businesses, local governments, and more in a future COVID-19 relief package, I will keep your support for USPS assistance funds in mind.

As the 116th Congress addresses the many challenges facing our nation, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts and concerns. To keep up with my work in Congress, you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook, or visit my website at mcsally.senate.gov where you can sign up to receive my e-newsletter. Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. Please continue contacting my office regarding issues that you feel are important to you and Arizona.

Sincerely,

Martha McSally
U.S. Senator

Notice that NOWHERE IN THIS PUFF OF HOT AIR does Ms. McSally state, specifically, what she intends to do about Mr. Trump’s craven attack on the United States Postal Service.

It’s all empty fluff and bullshit. She, of course, never read my letter, nor does she care to. This thing was no doubt written by a paid public relations flunky and dispatched to the unwashed constituents by some clerk or student intern.

This is the kind of responsiveness that you get from a Republican elected “representative.” She represents nothing and no one but the party line.

Let me urge you, my friends: VOTE THE RASCALS OUT!

Department of Graft: Trump campaigns on your dollar

The other day, our shady president, Donald Trump, mailed out a self-congratulatory campaign letter on your dollar and mine. He send this thing, telling us all how marvelous he is to have wangled a $1,200 survival payment to each and every one of us, in an envelope of Internal Revenue Service stationery. When you get this piece of mail, of course you think Gulp! What NOW? and immediately tear it open, hoping for the best or at least for nothing expensive, but fearing the worst.

Inside this attention-grabbing envelope is a letter on White House stationery, reminding us that, oh lucky men and women, we recently received a $1,200 handout to make us feel better for our job losses and investment crashes occasioned by the (clumsily handled…) covid epidemic:

I am pleased to notify you that as provided by the CARES Act, you are receiving an Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 by check/debit card.

This miracle, we are told, results from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), “which I proudly signed into law.”

Yup yup yup. You can thank his Autocratic Grace for this moment of largesse. Since we all know — or should know, if we ever check our mailboxes — that we received the magnanimous handout, this message tells us nothing, other than that His Highness went along with something the Congress cooked up. He takes credit for “proudly” signing off on this legislation.

This letter is nothing more nor less than a campaign message: Look, look what Magnificent I did! Be grateful. Be VERY grateful!

But it came to you courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service.

It bears the frank of IRS postage, first-class mail. How many million first-class stamps were paid for and sent out through the US Postal Service — the Post Office this dolt and his bat-brained allies wish to abolish? And how many copies of this thing were printed out on IRS stationery?

If you run a business, as I do, you know how much stationery costs. You know how much postage costs. And you should have some understanding of why official stationery should be used for official purposes — not for self-aggrandizement. If Trump had paid for this on his own dime and tried to pass it off as a piece of business correspondence, an IRS auditor would bite him on the arse.

So why is this clown allowed to get away with poaching our tax dollars to mail out what amounts to a campaign message?

Did you receive one of these self-serving letters? Let me urge you, if you have any sense of decency and even a scintilla of outrage left in your exhausted soul, to send it to your elected representatives, point out that it IS a self-congratulatory piece of propaganda sent in advance of this fall’s re-election campaign, and demand to know why a clearly illegal act is allowed to go unremarked upon.

Like this:

June 17, 2020

Sen. Martha McSally
404 Russel Senate Office building
Washington, D.C, 20002

Dear Sen. McSally:

Please direct your attention to the enclosed piece of correspondence that recently came to me from our esteemed President, Mr. Donald Trump.

As you can see by reading it, the thing is a piece of self-congratulatory campaign propaganda, produced and mailed to us on the taxpayer dime.

Note that it was sent in a window envelope of the type that the much-ballyhooed $1200 checks were mailed in, with a return address of the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Austin, TX 73301-003. It looks like a piece of official correspondence from the IRS, one you fail to open at your peril.

But that is not what it is. It is instead a self-aggrandizing message telling us that the $1200 handout was something His Smugness “proudly” sent out to us.

Kindly tell me what excuse you and your party have for supporting a man who uses official government stationery and postage, paid for by the taxpayers, to deliver a campaign message? If a Democrat pulled this stunt, you and all your fellow Republicans would be up on your soapboxes yelling, screaming, pounding pans, and posting Tweets. Why are you not doing the same with this bit of graft?

Thank you.

Do it now.