How Low Can the California GOP Go?

It was hard to imagine before this year that the California GOP could become more pathetic and unpopular. They’re already the smallest of California’s three voter groups, under Dems and Inds, with just 24% of registered voters. And yet, in an unbelievable act of political stupidity that took six tries in 24 months, they found a way to piss everybody off. By recalling Gov. Newsom, they wasted $300 million in taxpayers’ money and disrupted the state’s economic recovery with needless and reckless chaos.

And bonus for Californians now: Because of CAL GOP, we get to do it all again in just a few months when the regularly scheduled governor’s race begins!

Maybe John “Who?” Cox will run again.

American Fascist Groups Cheer Taliban Defeat of US-Trained Afghan Military

CNN: “As the United States-backed government in Afghanistan fell to the Taliban and US troops raced to leave the country, White supremacist and anti-government extremists have expressed admiration for what the Taliban accomplished, a worrying development for US officials who have been grappling with the threat of domestic violent extremism.

“That praise has also been coupled with a wave of anti-refugee sentiment from far-right groups, as the US and others rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan by the Biden administration’s August 31 deadline.

“Several concerning trends have emerged in recent weeks on online platforms commonly used by anti-government, White supremacist and other domestic violent extremist groups, including ‘framing the activities of the Taliban as a success,’ and a model for those who believe in the need for a civil war in the US, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, John Cohen, said on a call Friday with local and state law enforcement, obtained by CNN.”

DeSantis Government Changed Covid Data to Create an ‘Artificial Decline’ in Florida Death Rate

Miami Herald: “As cases ballooned in August … the Florida Department of Health changed the way it reported death data to the CDC, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline, an analysis of Florida data by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald found.

On Monday, Florida death data would have shown an average of 262 daily deaths reported to the CDC over the previous week had the health department used its former reporting system, the Herald analysis showed. Instead, the Monday update from Florida showed just 46 ‘new deaths’ per day over the previous seven days.”

Trump Group Paid More Than $4.3 Mil to Jan. 6 Organizers

Open Secrets: “On Friday, the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol sent letters requesting information from 15 social media companies. On Aug. 25, the select committee sent requests to federal agencies for records related to the riot.

“The letters ask agencies from the National Archives and Records Administration to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice to expedite the gathering of the records, asking for information within two-weeks.

“The House subpoena names Caroline Wren, a veteran GOP fundraiser who received at least $170,000 from the Trump political operation as the campaign’s national finance consultant with the joint fundraising committee. Wren was listed as a “VIP Advisor” on the permit granted by the National Park Service for the Jan. 6 rally…”

“But since Trump’s campaign and joint fundraising committee funneled millions of dollars through layers of opaque firms and shell companies where the ultimate payee is hidden, the public may never know the full extent of the Trump campaign’s payments to organizers involved in the protests. “

What Was Spike Lee Thinking?


From the O’Dwyer’s newsletter op-ed section:

The Brooklyn filmmaker had featured 9/11 conspiracy theorists in the final installment of his four-part “NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021 ½” series to be aired next month on HBO.

He interviewed members of the nutjob “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” group, which spread the garbage that the World Trade Center was destroyed by controlled demolition and not by aircraft.

In giving them facetime, Lee justified the group. He then set up a false equivalency situation by including interviews with scientists who trashed the notion that 9/11 was an insider job.

The Architects and scientists shouldn’t be on the same set, Spike

The filmmaker defended his work, telling the New York Times on Aug. 23 that he survived past criticism of his films “Do the Right Thing” (racist), “Mo’ Better Blues” (antisemitic) and “She’s Gotta Have It” (misogynist).

He said it was up to viewers to make up their minds about 9/11. After reviewers hammered Lee for showcasing the 9/11 debunkers, Lee caved and is re-editing the last episode.

How out of touch could Spike be?

His endorsement of the 9/11 conspiracy spreaders is a boost to those who deny the results of the 2020 election and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Does Lee want to be a leader in the army of truth-deniers that is ripping the nation apart? One wonders if Lee has gotten his COVID-19 shot, or is that going to be part of his next documentary?

HBO also doesn’t emerge from the Epicenters mess smelling like a rose.

Dr. Democrat Assesses Afghanistan Ramifications for Dems


Dear Dr. Democrat,

I know that our team — the Democratic Party — is famous for unforced errors, but oh man. I’ve been against us leaving Afghanistan from the moment Biden announced he was following through on Trump’s deal to do so. Nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING has changed my mind on that, and as the withdrawal has progressed, I just wish we could turn back the clock and not do it. But we can’t, and here we are. I see only bad things ahead for the Biden administration at this point. The time to get the stuff done that we beat Trump in order to do is running quickly out. I don’t think we’ll prevail at the midterms, so it’s now or never and “now” evaporated today with ISIS attack on the Kabul airport. Please, Dr. Democrat, convince me I’m wrong.

Troubled in Toledo

Dear Troubled:

On a societal level, it’s tragic. But I’m having a hard time understanding how 75,000 Talibanis are able to hold a nation of 38 million hostage. There are about 40 million people in California. Could 75,000 MAGATs shut us down, take over our government, force women to wear burkhas and the rest?

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Vaxxed Democratic Counties Are Driving Economy

Bloomberg: “[Interesting] new data on the overlap of electoral politics and economic dynamism suggest another reason: The geography of America’s economic engine is heavily concentrated in counties that Joe Biden won in 2020. These counties are much more heavily vaccinated than the rest of the country and thus better able to withstand the economic effects of Covid’s delta variant.

“The shift of U.S. economic production toward blue counties predates the arrival of the coronavirus. After the 2016 election, Mark Muro, the policy director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Project, found that the 472 counties Hillary Clinton won produced 64% of the country’s economic output, while the 2,584 counties Donald Trump won contributed just 36%. That was a significant jump from the 2000 election, when the blue-red county economic split was 54% to 46%. Muro dubbed this divide ‘high-output America’ vs. ‘low-output America.’

“Last year, after Biden defeated Trump, Muro looked again and found that the economic output divide has grown even more pronounced. The 520 counties Biden won account for fully 71% of U.S. gross domestic product, while the 2,564 that Trump carried produced just 29%. In other words, America’s economic engine is bluer than ever.”

Clinton and Others Charter Flights to Rescue At-Risk Afghan Women

Independent: “Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who previously warned of the ‘huge consequences’ of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, has now reportedly attempted to charter flights out of the country for the country’s at-risk women…

“‘Last week, the evacuation options to get women’s rights activists out came largely from an informal network of powerful, connected, some very wealthy people, some trying to literally charter private jets to evacuate women thought to be Taliban targets,’ Marie Clarke, the vice-president of global programmes at Women for Women International, told The Guardian.”

Minority Rule in Congress Likely to Worsen – 2020 Census Shows Dramatic Reduction in Rural Population

Percent Change in County Population 2010 to 2020
Percent Change in County Population 2010 to 2020

Slate.com: “[While] metro areas grew, vast stretches of the country continued to bleed population. About 53 percent of all U.S. counties shrank between 2010 and 2020. You can see them in the sea of burnt orange on the graph [above], rural regions and small towns that often have few residents to begin with. In total, they were home to about 50.5 million people in a nation of more than 331 million.”

“This isn’t a new story per se. Rural America and small towns have been losing residents for decades. But the trend seems to have accelerated. From 2000 to 2010, for instance, only around one-third of all counties lost residents.”

This will undoubtedly exacerbate a longstanding inequity of representation in Congress.

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