…Says the Man Who Passed the Biggest Tax Cut for Corporations

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a bill to increase direct payments to $2,000, likely closing the door on any pathway to passage before the end of the Congress this weekend.

McConnell took to the Senate floor to attack the House-passed bill, specifically on the issue of higher-income individuals and couples that would be eligible to receive some of the payments due to how the income phase outs are structured.

“The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help,” McConnell said.


What Were You Thinking? (Don’t Pretend You’re Surprised.)

From The Bulwark, by Charlie Sykes:

Pardons, threats, chaos, and coups. Merry Freaking Christmas.

Welcome to the Countdown Journal. There are 14 days until January 6, when Congress counts the Electoral College votes, and 28 days until the Inauguration of Joe Biden.

Near the end of the miniseries, Band of Brothers, the guys from Easy Company are shown riding in a convoy of trucks past a bedraggled column of German prisoners, some of whom are riding in carts drawn by horses.

Private David Webster is appalled by the scene and shouts at them:

Hey, you! That’s right, you stupid Kraut bastards! That’s right! Say hello to Ford, and General fuckin’ Motors! You stupid fascist pigs! Look at you! You have horses! What were you thinking? Dragging our asses half way around the world, interrupting our lives… For what, you ignorant, servile scum! What the fuck are we doing here?

I woke up this morning thinking about him.

Admittedly, the parallels are hardly exact, but as I’m looking over the clusterfuck of American conservativism on this almost-Christmas Eve, I feel a kinship with Webster.

What were you thinking? You cowardly, ignorant, servile scum?

It’s not like you were not warned. Again and again.

It’s not as if it wasn’t obvious from the very beginning who Donald Trump was. You had to know it would come to something like this.

Now look at you. You have Trump.

You’ve dragged this country into this place: more than 323,000 dead Americans, a president plotting to steal an election, whispers of military coups, pardons for crooks and war criminals, a potential constitutional crisis, and a possible government shutdown. And, after four interminable years, a nation that is dumber, crueler, and more divided.

For what? What the fuck are we doing here?

Let me repeat this: none of this is new. As far back as August 2015, I wrote that Trump was “a cartoon version of every left-wing media stereotype of the reactionary, nativist, misogynist right.”

Back then there was still time to say no. Some of us desperately made the case that he was a disaster. In May 2016, on the last appearance I will ever make on Fox News, I said:

Donald Trump is a serial liar, a con man who mocks the disabled and women. He’s a narcissist and a bully, a man with no fixed principles who has the vocabulary of an emotionally insecure nine-year-old. So no, I don’t want to give him control of the IRS, the FBI, and the nuclear codes. That’s just me.

But you went along with it. You thought you could ride it out. You thought the tradeoffs were worth it. You thought you could Make America Great with this ignorant, petulant man-child.

One conservative commentator after another torched their reputations, if not their consciences, polishing the orange turds.

The anti-anti-Trumpers sat it out, or spent their time assuring us it wasn’t so bad and that the real threat was radical woke socialists like… Joe Biden. When they weren’t actually concocting elaborate defenses for Trump’s mendacity, they rationalized, or played an endless game of whataboutism.

Back in June, my colleague, Sarah Longwell asked the same question that’s nagging me today:

Did they really think that putting a man bereft of character, decency, and empathy in charge of the country wouldn’t make a difference?

Did they really think that dismissing each instance of his racism, bullying, fecklessness, megalomania, corruption, lies, and stupidity it wouldn’t have a cumulative effect?

From the day he came down the escalator, Trump promised to burn it all down. And now Conservatism Inc. is surprised the country is on fire?

What did they think was going to happen?

So don’t pretend you are really surprised. You may be appalled by what you are seeing, but nothing that is happening now — the reckless attacks on constitutional norms, the flood of lies and conspiracy theories, the bullying, insults, or chaos — is inconsistent in any way with what you have known for years.

But you truckled, wheedled, and hoped he’d eat you last.

And here we are, you miserable bastards.


Yeah, She’s the Worst!

From the Washington Post:

Near the Supreme Court, a line of riot police stood facing a few dozen protesters resting homemade shields on the ground as a MAGA throng chanted and churned behind them.

“F— antifa!” they shouted in unison.

“Who’s antifa?” one Trump supporter wondered.

“I don’t know,” another responded. “But they don’t like her!”

AUNT TIFA | Hannah Blog

And Another One Bites the Dust–Good Luck, Amy!

From the Washington Post:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced that he, too, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The senator was at the White House on Saturday for Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee where there was virtually no one wearing masks and no social distancing.

In a statement, Lee said he tested negative at the White House ahead of that event but began experiencing allergy-like symptoms Thursday. He got tested again, and it came back positive.

Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Barrett on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, and the two were photographed together not wearing masks. Lee has also had close contact with the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.).


The COVID Chickens Come Home to Roost

From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

Around midnight, as Thursday became Friday, and we learned that the pandemic had reached into the administration*’s innermost inner circle, and then into The Residence Itself, these were the things about which I began to wonder.

1) If we’re serious about contact tracing, where does that leave Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was having a tough day anyway?

2) What in the hell are they going to do about the air-conditioning/ventilation systems on Air Force One and on Marine One? Those must be alive with frolicsome viruses by now.

3) How does Joe Biden feel about this president*’s having spent 90 minutes bellowing at top volume just across the stage from him on Tuesday night? In fact, how does Joe Biden feel, period?

4) Is Section 3 of the 25th Amendment being discussed anywhere by anyone? I mean, the president* is 74 and is a walking co-morbidity.

5) How many handrails do the president* and his traveling party touch over the course of the average campaign road trip?

6) Do they have to disinfect the nuclear “football”?

7) Are all the people who have to be quarantined going to be confined to the president*’s hotel in D.C, and, if so, can they get a rate?

8) Are we all spared the other two debates?

9) Does the White House have enough roosts for all these returning chickens?

The announcement that the president* and his wife are now two of the over 7 million Americans with the virus, and that top White House aide Hope Hicks not only tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but also was symptomatic when all hands flew to Duluth on Wednesday for one of the president*’s airport wankfests, creates a possibly vast Yggdrasil tree of contagion that now includes the president* and his wife and his children and his Secret Service detail, the entire White House staff, and their spouses and their children, the White House press corps and their spouses, partners, and children, several members of the Minnesota congressional delegation and their extended families, and an entire Air Force air wing based in Duluth, and on and on and on. And if you expand the universe of contagion to include all of the Republican celebrities who flew with him to Cleveland on Tuesday, and everybody who sat next to the unmasked members of that entourage, the whole thing gets ridiculous and it makes you hide under the bed.


More, obviously, to follow.


The President’s Debate Performance Was Pure Fascism

From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

The world is closing in on the president* and he wants to wreck everything he can before he’s run to ground. That’s the only possible explanation for his behavior on Tuesday night. None of his idols around the world have to put up with this silly debate stuff, in which somebody can point out with impunity that he is a liar and a clown who should shut up. Vlad doesn’t have to put up with this, or Xi, or Kim, or Erdogan, or Prince Bone Saw in Saudi Arabia. It is one more thing he can shatter. The only thing left for him to break is an election, and he’s getting around to that, too. Connect his refusal to condemn white supremacist groups“Stand back and stand by!“—to this little steamer he left behind right at the end of things.

I’m telling my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully. That is what has to happen. I’m urging them to do it. In Philadelphia they went to watch. They are called poll watchers. They were thrown out. They were not allowed to watch because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things. I hope it is a fair election I am 100 percent on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I cannot go along if it means we have a fraudulent election.

He wants his own private Belarus, with his own private militias at polling places, and in the streets if he loses, and he’s fixing things to get it, too.

That’s the only story from Tuesday night: the great, looming, consistent threat emerging from whatever the hell that event became. It was coming from the manic bully who is presently the President* of the United States. It was pure fascism, right down to the set of his chin that he stole from Mussolini, but it was fascism at the behest of a career failure who was sending out a call for anyone else with a sense of failure and a long gun. Continuing to treat this man as a president*, to grant him the privilege of two more debates and, therefore, two more opportunities to gather his forces, is to betray the very idea of democracy. He wants a race war. He wants a civil war. He wants to bring it all down and get rich selling off the wreckage.

There are already patches being sold to the cultists.

No more debates. Call off these freak shows before everything dies.