The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

Kamala Harris - Madam Vice President

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The first Black Vice President. The first person of South Asian descent to be Vice President. The first woman to hold that office. This is the look of political power in the future. There is a lot to celebrate today.

To all the right wingers - get used to it.

America's White Supremacist President

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It was popular, at the time of Donald Trump’s ascension, to stand on the thinnest of reeds in order to avoid stating the obvious. It was said that the Trump presidency was the fruit of “economic anxiety,” of trigger warnings and the push for trans rights. We were told that it was wrong to call Trump a white supremacist, because he had merely “drawn upon their themes.”

One hopes that after four years of brown children in cages; of attempts to invalidate the will of Black voters in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Detroit; of hearing Trump tell congresswomen of color to go back where they came from; of claims that Joe Biden would turn Minnesota into “a refugee camp”; of his constant invocations of “the Chinese virus,” we can now safely conclude that Trump believes in a world where white people are — or should be — on top. It is still deeply challenging for so many people to accept the reality of what has happened — that a country has been captured by the worst of its history, while millions of Americans cheered this on.

The worst president the United States has ever had. We can add insurrectionist to that long list. He will go screaming, kicking, yelling, pouting, screaming. But he is out. And it wasn’t the courts - it was the American voters.

I am regaining faith in this country. It’s going to be a long journey, and as with any journey it begins with a first step. That step was taken today.

The Week After Twitter Banned Trump

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The Washington Post:

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively.

The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter.

Imagine if this was done half way through the Trump Presidency.

This Transfer of Power Wasn't Peaceful

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74% of Republicans believe Joe Biden didn't win the Presidency legitimately. Now this is the country the Biden administration and Democratic Senate and House are tasked with governing. A country that requires 25,000 armed troops to keep the peace on inauguration day.

Thanks to Donal Trump and his enablers - the US can no longer claim to be an example a peaceful transition of power. Good news is, this is Donald Trump’s last day as President of the United States.

These Are Trumpers

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Jordan Klepper leads a focus group to understand the minds of Trumpers. Well, at least we can all agree with the final conclusion.

Dr. Brian May

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As a member of Queen, Brian May became regarded as a virtuoso musician and he was identified with a distinctive sound created through his layered guitar work, often using a home-built electric guitar called the Red Special. May wrote numerous hits for Queen, including “We Will Rock You”, “I Want It All”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Flash”, “Hammer to Fall”, “Save Me”, “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “Too Much Love Will Kill You”, and “The Show Must Go On”.

A Truth Reckoning

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Randall Lane in Forbes:

Simple: Don’t let the chronic liars cash in on their dishonesty. Press secretaries like Joe Lockhart, Ari Fleischer and Jay Carney, who left the White House with their reputations in various stages of intact, made millions taking their skills — and credibility — to corporate America. Trump’s liars don’t merit that same golden parachute. Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.

This isn’t cancel culture, which is a societal blight. (There’s surely a nice living for each of these press secretaries on the true-believer circuit.) Nor is this politically motivated, as Forbes’ pro-entrepreneur, pro-growth worldview has generally placed it in the right-of-center camp over the past century — this standard needs to apply to liars from either party. It’s just a realization that, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, in a thriving democracy, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Our national reset starts there.

This hurts Retrumplicans the only place they care about. Their pocket books.

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

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Sam Sanders in an opinion piece for NPR:

There is a lie some Americans tell themselves when America is on its worst behavior: “This isn’t America!” or “This isn’t who we are!” or “We’re better than this!”

You heard versions of this lie again this week after armed insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol on urging from President Trump, attempting to undo the results of last November’s election.

Even in the halls of Congress, after the broken glass was cleared and U.S. senators and representatives were allowed back into their chambers from undisclosed locations, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska came back to this refrain: “Our kids need to know that this isn’t what America is.”

We are a country built on fabrication, nostalgia and euphemism. And every time America shows the worst of itself, all the contradictions collapse into the lie I’ve heard nonstop for the last several years: “This isn’t who we are.”

January 6th told us exactly what and who we are. Now the questions is - how do start to become who we strive to be.

The Deplorables

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Hillary Clinton during a September 2016 fund raiser event:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

And they just proved it on January 6th.

Other Countries Treat Their People So Much Better

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We’re taught to believe that America is the greatest country on earth and that it couldn’t possibly get any better. Let’s put that claim to the test. This video compares the US to other wealthy nations using several key metrics: “low-skilled” job compensation, vacation time, length of the work week, and paid parental leave.

It should be absolutely embarrassing that the wealthiest country the world has ever seen ranks dead last in every category.

Ban Trump Indefinitely

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I completely agree with Kara Swisher:

That is why Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, which are the three main conduits of online communications for most Americans, must now de-platform Trump permanently.

I do not call for this lightly and have always thought that he should get a wider berth owing to being the most newsworthy person on the planet. But it’s long past time to make an example of him as a persistent violator of platform rules who cynically games their laudable impulse toward allowing as much speech as possible. […]

Twitter — Trump’s favored online communications vehicle — says as much in its civic integrity policy, noting that “you may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.” Well, he has done that over and over on social media, raging like the monster that he has always been.

Considering the traffic that Trump drives to these services and by definition profits, I am not holding my breath that they will do the right thing.

Simon & Schuster Cancel Josh Hawley's Book

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As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints; at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.

Facebook and Twitter should take note.

What a Presidency Looks Like

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Pete Souza, former Official White House Photographer for U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama reminds us what a normal presidency looks like.

The Mob

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An angry seditious mob, incited by President Trump, attacked the US Capital building yesterday.

Who were these people? Well I can tell you who they weren’t:

  • Antifa
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Immigrants arriving in caravans from the from Mexico and South America
  • African Americans
  • Latinos
  • Asians

I think you can figure this one out.

The 25th Amendment

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Donald Trump unleashed a mob on Capitol Hill. What he has done is without precedent in American history. Even if he had seven minutes left in his presidency, he should not be permitted to spend another second as the President. Nancy Pelosi should call an emergency session of the House tonight and impeach the president, and Mitch McConnell should convene the Senate tomorrow and call a vote to remove Trump from the presidency.

If there ever was a need for invoking the 25th Amendment, the time is now.