James's blog

Gun smoke

One thing I like to study is what's called "revenge theory." It's a way of understanding social phenomena where a thing you're trying to avoid is the thing you cause to happen. It explains more things than you might imagine.

For example, recent funding restrictions in Iowa on Planned Parenthood have resulted in a growing number of abortions. Surprise, surprise.

There is no pressure

I've been struck by the huge amount of whining from Republican lawmakers in the past several weeks. It typically goes like this. Trump or one of his hit-men puts in a telephone call to some bureaucrat somewhere and the bureaucrat caves. Then everybody circles their wagons to have the "pressure" conversation. "That administrator is under a lot of pressure from the President," pundits say. "It's terrible."

To which I say, bullshit.

Here's the truth: No one can put pressure on anyone else unless they're holding a gun to their head or something similar. Short of that, succumbing to pressure is just weakness of character and cowardice. It works like this. I call on the phone and lean hard on you to get you to do what I want. I coax, cajole, guilt-trip, threaten, whatever. I really, really, really want you do go along with me. I do my best to brow-beat you into going along.

What do you do? You have a couple of options. You can cave to my wishes and then say you were "pressured" into something you didn't want to do. You blame me because you don't have the spine to take responsibility for your cowardice. And it's easy to get the people around you to go along with your pity party. It's not your fault. The devil make you do it.

Or you can tell me to fuck off and then do what you really think is right.

Trump calls Michigan minions to DC to work out coup details

WARNING: RANT AHEAD

I sometimes think these days that I've seen the worst, but today brought a new low. Shut out by judges all across the land, Trump has invited two leading Michigan Republican leaders to meet with him in DC. The goal? To map out an end-around plan that allows Trump to stay in power. Trump wants the Michigan legislature to bypass vote-counting and choose a bunch of electoral college sheep who won't be bound by the popular vote in their state.

Getting real about winning elections

A number of folks have been reaching out to suggest the need for convening people who see the need for rethinking how Democrats do politics in North Carolina. I agree completely that change is in order, and this post is intended to get the ball rolling. Before you do anything else, however, read this column from the New York Times. Here's a sampling of what's discussed, focused on the federal case.

Newby's shameless approach to "justice"

More on the NC Supreme Court race, received via email:

Incumbent North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (Democrat) took a 1,033-vote lead over Justice Paul Newby (Republican) around 10:00 pm as counties completed their canvassing. Since 3 November, about 37,000 mail-in ballots were accepted, along with 41,000 provisional ballots. The counties have been processing, evaluating, and tabulating those ballots for the 13 November canvass.

I read the news today, oh boy!

After Trump was declared president-elect four years ago, I slowly slipped into a dark hole. For a week or two, I tried to read the daily paper (New York Times), but I couldn't keep it up. Journalists seemed to be treating Thump as a president worthy of respect, but all I saw was a lying piece of trash. Trump affirmed my opinion over the course of several years, and lowered the bar even more. I couldn't stand it. Though my wife Jane insisted we continue to get a paper, I stopped reading it entirely. I couldn't bear to wake up every day to a new rash of insults, lies, and criminal behavior.

Nothing to say

I've written and deleted three posts this morning, each trying to express my disappointment and my hope. All three proved too raw and angry to remain posted. I'm going into hiding for awhile. I can't stand the thought of living in a state so fucked up that assholes like Tillis and Cawthorn are respected in any way. See you later.

America's sickness

Many have posted comments decrying the miserable state of our country. I couldn't agree more. The closeness of this election, no matter how it finally ends up, reveals an ugly rage in America that cannot be ignored. This rage seems largely driven by white men who despise liberal elites, even though they don't know what either word means. They want their leaders to hate the people they themselves hate, and Thump has given them permission to do just that. When I think about it, I get sick to my stomach. Maybe I'll have to stop thinking about it?

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