Tommy CarcettiTommy Carcetti's Journal
I grew up near the birthplace of Roger Brooke Taney.
Under normal circumstances you would think being the home of a Supreme Court Chief Justice would be a matter of great civic pride.
Museums, monuments, schools, roads, buildingsall named in your honor. All for the fame that you brought your hometown. Its what typically happens with locals who achieved great heights.
But there was nothing around me named for Roger Brooke Taney. There was no museum. No monuments or statuesnot even in the era of erecting statues to controversial figures as a symbol of defiance.
The only indication that we had any connection whatsoever to Roger Brooke Taney was a small historical plaque near his birthplace, a sign so insignificant when driving past it at 60 miles per hour that barely any of our own long time residents knew it existed.
For Roger Brooke Taney was the author of the Dred Scott decision, an infamous ruling denying the humanity of fellow human beings kept in slavery which is almost universally regarded as the worst decision ever in Supreme Court history.
Nobody wants that legacy. Not the least of which being other members of the Supreme Court, regardless of ideology.
Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett all owe their seats to Donald Trump (and to some extent Mitch McConnell and his hypocritical machinations as well).
They received a position for life, and one where the burden to remove them prematurely is extremely high.
No doubt about it, they will be on the wrong end of many, many bad and unsavory decisions for years to come. And thats quite a sad and depressing fact.
But dare I say none of them want to be put in the company of Roger Brooke Taney.
None of them feel the need or loyalty to Donald Trump to the extent they would support his demands to overturn a fairly decided Presidential election and disenfranchise millions of American voters.
They got what they wanted from Trump. And now theyre done with him. And none of them want to follow him down the path towards American infamy.
This is not a matter of principle on their part but rather mere practicality.
Nobody wants to be Roger Brooke Taney.
They hate her with an absolute passion--her and former Ambassador Michael McFaul probably received more wrath from Kremlin based trolls than any other American figure.
It all dates back to 2014 after the US State Department had levied sanctions against Russia after the invasion and annexation of Crimea. Russian trolls would send the nastiest comments at the State Department's daily press briefings, which Psaki conducted. While most Americans hardly knew who Psaki was or bothered to watch any State Department briefings themselves, she was a household name to the Russian online community and they went after her on an everyday basis.
I suppose the vitriol against her was an example of "shooting the messenger" but thankfully I don't think Psaki ever let it get to her. Glad to see this hire from the President Elect.
She's widely acknowledged it herself:
Buy one, get 87 more free!
But wait, there's more! Act now, and we'll throw in 43 "Trump 2020: No More Bullshit" flags at no added cost!
Still not buying? I'll even throw in 16 copies of Donald Jr.'s book, "Triggered!" All personally signed by the author himself! Okay, I might have forged them, but honestly, do you even care?!?
Hurry! Everything must go! Now!!!!!!!!! Before we get evicted and turned into a Spirit Halloween pop-up shop! Who talked me into this?!? My life choices are terrible!!!!!!
I most definitely haven't been camped out in front of Tucker Carlson's mailbox, waiting anxiously to pilfer all his Bed Bath and Beyond Coupons and/or manila envelopes labeled "Hunter Biden's Super Secret and Totally Incriminating Hard Drive and Various Other Papers--DO NOT DARE OPEN UNLESS YOUR NAME IS TUCKER SWANSON MCNEAR CARLSON!!!!"
No siree! Not at all! Don't look at me, because for sure I haven't been doing that at all! And if you are the mail carrier on Tucker Carlson's route, and you happen to see a man sitting in a lawn chair next to Tucker's mailbox, know that I have a very familiar face and I have been known to routinely been confused for many other people, including several reputed mailbox scavengers. But for sure, it was not I!
Now, with that being said, I seem to have come into a quick surplus of Mediterranean Breeze scented candles along with several sets of seafoam green assorted bathroom towels and washcloths. Frankly, it's more than I can handle and I would be happy if some of you were to take a few of them off my hands.
President Donald Trump--who for nearly all of his term in office has promised to revamp the American health care system but to date has not taken any official action on such promises--announced today a bold initiative that he believes will directly address this issue in advance of next month's election.
"We're calling it the 'Write Your Own Health Care Plan,'" a White House official stated when asked for specifics. "Essentially, what we are doing is providing each and every American with a 1,000 page leather bound book of blank paper. And we encourage everyone who receives this book to really let their imagination run lose. Talk about in detail how they best would like to cover prescription drug prices and coverage of pre-existing conditions. For there is nothing in your own mind that you can't think of to solve all of our nation's most critical healthcare needs."
When asked whether the President will actually take any ideas submitted by citizens into consideration, the White House remained somewhat evasive.
"Really, this is more for you than it is for us," the official said. "Consider it a practical writing exercise for your own benefit."
However, the official warned that if citizens did wish to submit their proposals to the White House, they would be responsible for all postage and all submissions would first go through a customized mail screening process specifically devised by US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
The White House pointed out that citizens were free to keep the large blank books of paper and if they were unable to come up with any good proposals on their own, they could use the books for other purposes.
"It would work as a great sketchpad, for example," the official pointed out. "Also it is perfect for grocery lists. Or scrap paper for your kid's algebra homework. Plus origami! Origami is always so much fun! The bottom line is, go to town!"
During President Trump's interview with Lesly Stahl of CBS's 60 Minutes, Trump and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany presented Stahl with an advance copy of the book.
After Stahl discovered the book was in fact blank, Trump and McEnany both reportedly shouted, "Sike! No backsies!" and ran giggling from the room, effectively ending the interview.
Details at Eleven.
...but because that is all that will have left in the end.
Biden will win the election, and he will likely win it handily. Hopefully, that fact will be known by the early morning of November 4th, if not the late hours of November 3rd. If we're lucky, that's how it will unfold. But regardless, one way or another, he's going to win and--knock on wood--it shouldn't be very close.
At this point, Trump--on one hand faced with the prospect of a humiliating defeat, but on the other hand worried about the personal legal implications that might await him in the post-presidency where he doesn't have a toady named Bill Barr to run interference for him--will turn to flooding social media with pictures.
Pictures of boat parades.
And car parades.
And super-spreader rallies.
All with lots of wide-eyed folks wearing MAGA hats and waving Trump flags.
And this will be contrasted with selected pictures of speaking events President-Elect Biden had made during the campaign where he took efforts to social distance and limit the audience in order to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus.
The completely non-scientific implication of this juxtaposition will be that Trump had massive support during the campaign whereas Biden had none, and therefore the results of the election were fraudulent and cannot be trusted.
Never mind that it would take a massive amount of fraudulent votes to swing an election, and mark my word, there will be no actual evidence of such fraudulent votes.
But these people never believed in facts or science in the first place, so what does it matter to them?
At that point, Trump could mount some bogus court challenge to the certification of the votes. The faint hope would be that a conservative Supreme Court--including a newly installed Justice Barrett--would rule in his favor, but I don't think even they would be willing to put their credibility on the line like that.
More likely the hope would be to rile up the cultish Trumpist base to create noise and chaos that will insist--against all reason--that the election was stolen from Trump. This too is to be expected.
My only hope is that this noise and chaos is not accompanied by violence.
But make no mistake about it, post-Trump loss, we will see massive pictures of boat parades, accompanied by phrases such as "Silent majority" and many evidence-free claims that the vote was somehow a fraud just because Biden was smart enough to social distance at his events and that his supporters are not cultish vessels who feel the need to assuage their Great Leader with offerings of boats and flags.
An alleged laptop which someone insists really, absolutely totally belonged to Hunter Biden for sure, and this person supposedly gave the laptop to the lawyer for Rudy Giuliania man up to his eyeballs in involvement in the actual shakedown of Ukraine by Donald Trump that lead to his impeachmentand this is in turn told to Steve Bannona man currently under indictment for defrauding people over a fake border wallwho then tells all of this to the New York Post, a publication best known as the paper most preferred by parakeets over the Tri-State area.
The scintillating information is an alleged desired introduction of Burisma officials by Hunter Biden to his fatherVice President at the timewho the allegation is then that VP Biden leans on the Ukrainian President to replace its Prosecutor General because that will supposedly relieve pressure on Burisma even though that Prosector General had abandoned the investigation into Burisma, and also everybody from the Obama administration to the EU to the IMF wanted that Prosecutor General replaced.
So either all of this is absolutely true and it does absolutely nothing to implicate either Biden, or it was all some elaborate Rube Goldberg set up and it still did absolutely nothing to implicate either Biden.
If youre going to fake a smoking gun, shouldnt it at least give the appearance of actual smoke?
We are lucky enough to have a lake behind our house.
Of course, like most of the lakes in the suburban communities around where I live, I wouldn't say it is exactly pristine nature; we share the lake with a couple of dozen of other homes, all of whose yards you can look directly into. And the lake itself isn't even natural, but rather dredged for the purposes of retaining water which we in turn can use to water our lawns.
But even so, it's still a place of calm for me. You can walk out behind our house and find quite a surprising variety of wildlife. Many water birds--from ducks to egrets to herons to storks and spoonbills. Lots of fish and turtles of various sorts. A couple of times we've even been lucky enough to spot the rare alligator.
And multiple times a day, I'll go out and take in the scene. Usually it's for the benefit of our one-year old poodle and the relief of his bladder. Like most one year old dogs, he's typically rambunctious and playful for much of the day, always wanting a ball or toy to be thrown or to be chased around the house. His trips to the lake are his one big exception. Even he seems to get an immense sense of placid enjoyment out of our surroundings. As I guide him on his leash, he'll inevitably pull me towards the edge of the lake, where he'll simply prop himself on the grass and do nothing more than sit and quietly contemplate and appreciate the scenery around him for several uninterrupted minutes.
He gets it too.
You'll know whenever Trump is in town, over at Mar-a-Lago not an hour away. You'll know it because of the amount of re-directed air traffic that flies over our house because of the air restrictions around the Madman's golden palace by the sea. I don't mind the planes themselves; they come and they go, as airplanes always do. I do, however, hate that it serves as a reminder that the human embodiment of everything that is wrong with our country has taken up if not actually in our literal backyard, then in our figurative one. I wonder when it will all change, where I can talk about the days in past tense where our country was ruled by someone so callous, narcissistic and destructive, and how I could feel his presence merely by the amount of planes that flew overhead. And how good it is that such is no longer the case. But we still have not yet reached that magical "past tense" stage.
But Trump was not at Mar-a-Lago yesterday. Instead, Trump was at a military hospital outside of Washington, DC, he himself being treated for a disease that he had so foolishly disregarded to the detriment of our country and to the endangerment of millions. And so, I was able to walk my brown-furred boy down to the lake undeterred by conscious thoughts of the Madman, where he promptly took his usual seat for his moment of zen.
I shared in the moment, spotting something I originally thought was a baby alligator. (Alas, it turned out only to be a softshell turtle.)
Everything felt good and right at the moment...good and right until I could hear the distant hum of a propeller powered airplane from far away.
It did not fly right over the house to distract my dog's attention, but rather far enough in the periphery several miles away. But as far away as the plane might have been, it was not so far that I was unable to see what the plane was towing.
It was a banner, a banner much like you sometimes see at the area beaches at times when area beaches were still packed with a captive audience for whatever product or message was being sold. And my distance vision still being fairly good (knock on wood), I was able to make out enough of the banner to understand what it was pushing.
I could see a flesh colored figure, topped off with what appeared to be blondish hair. Beside it was red, white and blue script. I could not make a 100% positive ID on either the person or the text, but I knew enough about the cult of personality displayed on so many boat and car parades that has infected this country to know that this was--without a doubt--a Trump banner.
And at that moment, I began to feel something, and quite a sad feeling it was. I began to feel the way I know so many people who live under the heel of autocrats both hard and soft, that they could not even enjoy a simple moment of quiet nature without their thoughts being harshly interrupted with the reality that they do live under that heel. A totality of society. A perversion. A cancer.
I immediately thought back to a political cartoon from the Los Angeles Times' David Horsey from late 2015, before Trump was even president but when he was already commanding the airwaves as a candidate with his toxic presence. It depicted a fictional dystopian future of an imagined Trump Presidency. Giant banners with his name on all street corners. Giant portraits of Trump everywhere. Underneath, frightened immigrants and foreigners were being pulled away by brownshirt-like squads.
In 2015, it still all seemed like a hyperbole. It seemed like an exaggeration for maximum effect, the United States devolving into totalitarian fascism centered upon Donald Trump.
And perhaps the cartoon still might be a bit of an exaggeration. We have not reached complete totalitarianism yet. We still have an election that we hope and pray will reflect our democratic will, as opposed to being a sham exercise much like what elections have become in Putin's Russia.
But it is far less of an exaggeration these days than I would ever wish to feel comfortable. To see one man's name printed on flags--flags usually being objects that are supposed to symbolize things that are greater than any one person--and then waved around in massive parades above the flag of our own country, if our own country's flag is even there at all. The ever present depictions of the Madman, some to seemingly comical extents not befitting a frail 74 year old man, even though those displaying the image seem entirely sincere in their God-like devotion to the man.
The fact that I can't enjoy a simple, quiet moment in the backyard with my dog without having it forced upon me who is in charge of this country and all the hell he has brought upon it so far, and how far too many of my fellow citizens seem inexplicably enraptured in a cult of worship of such a toxic Madman.
The seeds of totalitarianism in this country have already been planted, and we all wait to see whether it will wither and die, or alternately choke out all that we have so meticulously cultivated for our harvest.
Tiffany Trump, President Donald Trump's second born daughter, is expected to regale viewers of the 2020 Republican National Convention, with what people are describing as an "emotional, humanizing look at the man who is the 45th President."
"At the 2016 convention, Tiffany won the hearts of millions by describing a time where her father called her while she was in college," said one source close to the campaign. "This year, she intends to go even deeper than that. She will amaze and delight the audience by telling them about the other time her father called her while in college."
While a full transcript of the speech describing this second phone call has not yet been released, it is believed Tiffany will talk about how her father told her--among other things--"I hope your mother is doing well--What was her name again? Marcia? Mildred? Melanie?" "Say hello to Barron for me, why don't you?" and "What's your cup situation looking like? You a C? A D? An E, maybe?"
It is reported that Donald Trump spent the remaining eleven minutes on the phone call talking to Tiffany about the achievements of Ivanka Trump, the President's first-born daughter.
DETAILS AT ELEVEN
Following yesterday's announcement from former Vice President and presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden that he was naming California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, President Trump today made a shocking announcement that he would be replacing current Vice President Mike Pence on the 2020 ticket.
Seeking to offset the impact that Harris--with an ethnic background of both Caribbean-Afro-American and South Asian descent--may have in attracting diverse minority voters, the Trump campaign announced the President was switching out Vice President Pence for Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, best known as the pair of internet personalities who go by the joint name of "Diamond and Silk."
"We did some serious polling of African-American voters in this country," Trump campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley told reporters. "And after doing that polling and giving the results all the proper consideration we thought it actually deserved, we decided the best way to reach out to black voters was to include individuals on the ticket who best reflect who we think they are. And in this case, who we think they are is clearly one-dimensional caricatures of 'sassy' black women. Women who are not afraid to offer a sharp clapback, a quick 'Mmm-hmm!' or an impromptu 'Oh no he didn't!' Because this is someone...someones?...we feel African-Americans voters in this country would best relate to and identify with, as opposed to some complete rando who worked her way up from District Attorney to California Attorney General to U.S. Senator."
When asked how the unprecedented logistics would work if Trump is re-elected and Diamond and Silk were subsequently sworn in as Vice President, Gidley offered a rather unorthodox proposal.
"We intend to split the duties of the office evenly between the two of them," Gidley explained. "Diamond would serve as Vice President on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while Silk would hold the office on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays."
Pressed as to who would serve as Vice President on Sundays, Gidley said that Trump's three adult children--Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric--would be assigned to hold that office on a continually rotating basis.
Many were skeptical that the U.S. Constitution would actually allow for a situation where five different people could serve as Vice President, but Gidley remained optimistic that proper accommodations could be made.
"The President intends to issue an Executive Offer stating that such an arrangement is is totally okay, and we feel that will be the final authority on any such lingering questions," Gidley pronounced.
"Don't you mean 'Executive Order'?" one reported asked.
"Executive Order, Executive Offer, covefe, covefe, it's all the same," Gidley quickly replied in a manner that could only be truly appreciated by those actually hearing it.
At a press briefing later in the day, the President himself expressed the utmost confidence in his new running mates.
"Diamond and Silk speak to an important segment of the population, the blacks," Trump said. "The blacks, the blacks. I love the blacks, and the blacks love me. Many of them have come up to me with tears in their eyes and told me how much they love me. They say, 'Sir, if you can believe it, we think you're an even better President than Abraham Lincoln!' It's true, it's totally true. Abraham Lincoln--he freed the slaves, many people don't actually know that. And even so, I'm still better to the blacks than he ever was."
Trump was then asked if he actually knew which one of the two women was Diamond and which one was Silk.
"Of course I know that, of course I do," Trump responded. "That's a stupid question, a nasty question from a nasty fake news media reporter. Diamond is the one with glasses, and Silk is the one without glasses. It's easy, really easy to tell them apart. Anyone can do it. Well, at least any smart person such as myself."
Trump was then promptly informed that in fact both Diamond and Silk wore glasses.
"Oh," Trump said. "Well, that certainly is a big surprise. It doesn't really matter though, doesn't matter at all. Because if I die--which I myself don't intend to die, but there are some people who do die, you know--while I'm in office, my will says that Ivanka automatically becomes President. And that's exactly how it works. If a President dies, his will decides who becomes the new President. You can look it up. It's all in there, believe me."
Meanwhile, Trump's new running mates offered only brief comments about their selection to the ticket.
"Mmm-hmm!" Diamond offered.
"Oh no he didn't!" Silk proclaimed.
DETAILS AT ELEVEN
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