Democracy Has Prevailed.

October 31, 2020

Donald Trump's Deaths. Donald Trump's Shitshow

On the 220,000+ Covid-19 deaths, Joe Biden said this:

Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America.

While Donald Trump's other non-Covid crimes loom large, that one sentence is enough to invalidate this shitshow of a presidency.

Anyone who continues to support/defend this man is forever complicit in those deaths, in that shitshow.

October 29, 2020

Wendy Bell Was "Censored" For The Wrong Stuff

If you were to look for Wendy Bell's WEDNESDAY MONOLOGUE, you'd find this:

And if you were to click onto the "See Why" link you'd find this:

Wendy, as you can imagine, was pissed.

She viewed it as an unfair technicality. She asserted that she said doctors were paid to falsify death certificates and then said that the fact-check showed it was hospitals instead.

If I had the stomach for more Wendy bullshit, I'd dig into that.

On the other hand, should could just as easily have been fact-checked for this:

At about 7:20 in she dug into the Covid-19 mortality numbers:

Of the 220,000 people listed as Covid-19 deaths in The United States of America, as of last Friday, 88,208 had influenza and pneumonia. They had the flu and they had pneumonia. That's 43%, ladies and gentlemen. 43% of the 220,000. Furthermore, 26,000 and change had adult respiratory distress syndrome. 44,000 and change suffered from hypertension - stress. 23,275 had heart disease. 25,000, ladies and gentlemen, 25,000 died from a heart attack. 

And they're listed as a Covid death.

Did Covid-19 cause that heart attack?


It's that last word that condemns Wendy Bell to being (no matter what she says otherwise) a Covid danger denier.

And I thought we dealt with this 6 weeks or so ago.

This week, she's just regurgitating what she said back in early September:

Did you guys hear it? Shouted across the world yesterday that the CDC says that 94% of people who we think died of COVID did not die from COVID but died and happened to have it at the same time.

Fact-check took a look at this back then:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, clarified what the CDC data mean.

He noted that the 6% figure includes cases where COVID-19 was listed as the only cause of death. “That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of Covid didn’t die of Covid-19. They did,” Fauci said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“So the numbers you’ve been hearing — the 180,000-plus deaths — are real deaths from Covid-19. Let [there] not be any confusion about that,” Fauci said.

Don't you remember this, Wendy? It was even on Good Morning America.

You're misleading your audience about the danger of this virus while misleading them by saying that you're not.

Shame on you.


October 28, 2020

Yes, Donald Trump Cares About YOU And YOUR HEALTH! Of Course He Does. Sure, He Does.

Trump had a rally last night in Omaha:

Wanna know what happened after?


Backers of President Donald Trump were left stranded overnight, with several taken to hospital for hypothermia after an Omaha campaign rally ended in chaos.

Hundreds were bussed in to the Eppley Airfield site, leaving their cars in parking lots, but were left wandering up to four miles in the cold after coaches failed to pick them up.

And this:

Medics were on hand to treat those, particularly the elderly, with visible medical issues as they walked out.

"Waterloo Medic 811 en route to Lil' Creighton Code 2 with a 68 y/o male whose initial complaint was possible hypothermia and altered mental status. He is alert and oriented and shivering," Omaha Scanner reported.

"One officer advising 8 to 9 elderly people who are struggling. Separate officer advising they have located an elderly party who is frozen cold unable to move with an altered mental status.

 If this is how he treats his supporters...

Local Virus Denier Wendy Bell Misleads. Again

Why are we not surprised?

Here's what Wendy posted on her FB page this morning:

The results of a just-released Yale University study suggest child care centers that stayed open during the early months of the Chinese virus shutdown did not contribute to the spread of the disease in the United States and that children did not spread the virus to adults. 
Researchers looked at responses from 57,335 daycare providers, including those that continued to provide child care and those that did not, during the first three months of the pandemic and found that there were “no differences in COVID-19 outcomes."
“The amount of contact they had with child care was completely unrelated to whether or not they got sick with COVID-19 or were hospitalized with COVID-19,” Walter Gilliam, a professor at the Yale Child Care Center and lead author of the study said.
With the CDC reporting a survival rate of 99.99% in people ages 0-19, do you think schools should re-open immediately, that kids should play sports without masks, and that we should get back in the business of living as free people?

We'll note, in passing, Wendy's racist naming of the coronavirus. Hey, Wendy! Need any evidence that it's harmful?

Look here:

A recent study shows that rampant use of the “China virus" to refer to the coronavirus, particularly by conservative outlets, had a profound impact on how those in the United States see Asian Americans. 

The research, published in the journal Health Education & Behavior, examined racially charged coronavirus coverage in media and its impact on bias against Asian Americans. While anti-Asian bias had been in steady decline for over a decade, the trend reversed in days after a significant uptick in discriminatory coronavirus speech. The language led to an increased subconscious belief that Asian Americans are “perpetual foreigners,” researchers said. 

 “Research suggests that when people see Asian Americans as being more ‘foreign,’ they are more likely to express hostility toward them and engage in acts of violence and discrimination,” Rucker Johnson, a public policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of the study, told NBC Asian America.

Good for you, Wendy. You're now part of that chain of events.

But back to the Yale study. Of course Wendy's framing is incorrect. The study (described here) was about child care programs and yet Wendy is using it to deny the public health danger all the way up to the end of High School. I mean, what child care center has "kids playing sports" with masks??

In any event, had Wendy done her due diligence, she would have found this, from one of the authors of the study:  

The study’s authors caution that their findings do not necessarily apply to teachers who work in schools or other settings with older children. “Adults who work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers typically have a small group of children who stay together all day,” said [lead author Walter Gilliam, the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and professor of psychology. ] “Middle schools and high schools may have hundreds of people in a building — and typically, moving from class to class. Those factors alone make K-12 schools very different from child care programs.” [Emphasis added.]

See that, Wendy? The study you're citing to support opening up middle and high schools is not about middle or high schools - the lead author of the study even says so. 

And this misinformation to her many many devotees, Wendy's danger-denial continues.

October 26, 2020

Wendy Bell Responds By Tweet To Yesterday's Blog Post! I Am SOO Honored!

Hey, you remember yesterday, right? It was a Sunday and the weather was OK and The Steelers beat the Titans to remain undefeated.

Sunday. Yesterday. You remember, right?

It was the day I posted this. In it, I took local twice-fired Karen-conservative Wendy Bell to task for:

  • Spreading some disinformation on Joe Biden
  • Mocking Joe Biden's speech disorder (i.e. his stutter)

As part of the whole "social media" thing I posted a link on twitter a few minutes after I posted it here.

Last night, The Angel of Death responded:

Looks like I triggered Wendy Bell!

First off let me formally apologize to the now triggered Wendy: Wendy, I am so so sorry if I hurt your feelings with my more than occasional fact-checking of your rants. That was not my primary intention at all.  Though let me fact-check you again. I do NOT fact-check you (what you called "spew my vile baloney") every day because:

  • My brain just simply couldn't handle sifting through that much bullshit that often.
  • There are much more important/interesting things for me to write about than the rantings of a twice-disgraced former newscaster now reduced to Facebook broadcasting from her living room.

In any event, I am very sorry if my intrusions into your reality-free bubble befuddled you but facts don't care about your feelings, snowflake. Sorry.

Oops. My bad. I should probably tone that down a bit. Something to work on in the future, I guess.

Back to Wendy's tweet. Let's take a look at it phrase by Karen-phrase shall we?

  • Every day you (and there’s only one of you, you complete and utter fraud) spew your vile baloney. Wendy seems to be offended (hurt? surprised? I'm not sure) by the fact that there's a person daring to criticize her on her own Facebook page. (Fact-check: This is actually, factually incorrect as there's more than one person doing so. True, we're vastly out numbered by Wendy's devotees, but still. She follows with an ad hominem attack that I'm a "complete and utter fraud". Not true, but a general rule of dispute: when you attack the person criticizing you instead of addressing their criticisms, you're admitting that you have no argument against those criticisms. You have, in effect, given up the argument and reverted to infantile, school-yard taunting. Thanks for conceding that I'm right, Wendy. I really appreciate it.
  • I find you to be the poster child of everything that is wrong with the deranged and radical left. Well, this is an honor, to be sure. It's still an ad hominem, though. What have I ever said that was factually incorrect? If, in Wendy's mind, fact-checking mediocre right wing pundits makes someone deranged, what does that tell us about...uh...Wendy's mind?
  • I used to feel sorry for you. But now I just pity you. Um, Wendy? You do know that "feel sorry for" and "pity" mean exactly the same thing, right?

Wendy? You may think I'm a fraud but at least I wasn't fired from a pretty nice TV gig for a racist Facebook post. Nor was I fired from a pretty nice radio gig for advocating that law enforcement officers shoot "on sight" people who are protesting statues. I didn't do either of those. You did.

And I haven't even started on your lies about the coronavirus. Your advocacy of "herd-immunity" would lead to tens of thousands more horrible painful American deaths. You do know that, right?

Oh, and Wendy? As of right now, this is how you're labeled on twitter:

See? It still says you're a "KDKA Radio Host." We all know that is no longer true (see the above reference to "law enforcement"). You might want to look into fixing that as the truth shall set you free (John 8:32).

October 25, 2020

Wendy Bell's Subtle Cruelty - And More Wingnut Spin.

This morning, Wendy Bell posted this on her Facebook page:

It's linked to this tweet from right-wing commentator Dan Bongino.

The right wing thinks that Biden's just admitted to the existence of an Obama era "Voter Fraud Organization." OMG! Trump should definitely order Special Agents Fox and Mulder to look into that right away! I am sure they'll find that it was (at least partially funded) by George Soros.

I've already complimented Wendy (on her FB page) for mocking Biden's stutter (and by "complimented" I mean "sarcastically criticized").

Let's see if we can unweave what's going on. The Daily Wire has a transcript of Biden's sentence:

Secondly, we’re in a situation where we have put together, and you guys did it for President Obama’s administration before this, we have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.

Secondly? Huh?

Biden was evidently responding to this question from Dan Pfeiffer:

[W]hat’s your message to the folks who have not yet voted or do not yet have a plan to vote?

His "First" part starts this way:

But one of the things that I think is most important is those who haven’t voted yet. First of all, go to to make a plan exactly how you’re going to vote, where you’re going to vote, when you’re going to vote. Because it can get complicated. Because the Republicans are doing everything they can to make it harder for people to vote—particularly people of color to vote. So go to
That's what Biden says immediately prior to the "Secondly" part of his answer. So let's move on. I shifted the punctuation a bit for clarity:

Secondly, we’re in a situation where we have put together (and you guys did it for President Obama’s administration before this) we have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.

So he's talking about something in place now and not during the Obama Administration (where he says something similar took place). So what was that?

Of course our friends on the right leave that part out:

This is Biden's next sentence on:

What the president is trying to do is discourage people from voting by implying that their vote won’t be counted. It can’t be counted. We’re gonna challenge it and all these things. If enough people vote, it’s gonna overwhelm the system. You see what’s happening now. You guys know it as well as I do. You see the long, long lines in early voting. You see the millions of people have already cast a ballot. And so, don’t be intimidated. If, in fact, you have any, any problem, go to, and I don’t have the number, but it’s 833-DEM-VOTE. The letters D-E-M-V-O-T-E. Call that number. We have over a thousand lawyers, over a thousand [and they’ll] answer the phone. If you think there’s any challenge to your voting, go to 833-DEM-VOTE. Dial those letters on your phone, that will get you the assistance that we have already put in place.

That's the organization he's describing - an organization they've put together to counter the voter intimidation they're expecting from the MAGA-hatters ("If you think there’s any challenge to your voting, go to 833-DEM-VOTE. Dial those letters on your phone, that will get you the assistance that we have already put in place.").

Now go back and look at how Wendy Bell described it. Look at what she wants you to infer about Biden's health and the existence of "voter fraud" in the US.

For the record:

Politicians at all levels of government have repeatedly, and falsely, claimed the 2016 and 2018 elections were marred by millions of people voting illegally. However, extensive research reveals that fraud is very rare, voter impersonation is virtually nonexistent, and many instances of alleged fraud are, in fact, mistakes by voters or administrators. The same is true for mail ballots, which are secure and essential to holding a safe election amid the coronavirus pandemic.
And of course Not only is Wendy Bell the Angel of Death, but she mocked Biden's stutter.

Congratulations, Wendy! Your friends and family should be so proud of you!

October 23, 2020

LDRSHIP - Amplifying a Pittsburgh Current Opinion Piece

A few bits of full disclosure. 

  1. I used to write for the Pittsburgh Current but I don't any more.
  2. I'm not military. My dad was in the Army but the closest I can get to military culture is reading the experiences of those who've lived it.

As we all know in SW PA, Congressman Conor Lamb (a Maj on the US Marine Corps Reserve) is up against Sean Parnell (retired Capt in the US Army) to represent Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.

Into this mix, there's this piece in the current Pittsburgh Current, written Matt Landis (retired Army).

Landis starts here:

When you join the Army, you are issued boots, a shirt, pants, a blouse, and a cover. (That’s a hat for those who didn’t serve.) These make up the basic uniform for service. There are two additional items required on a soldier’s person at all times: your dog tags and a tag with the Army Values. This list of words is as important to soldiering as the Ten Commandments are to Christians. We were expected to know and live them at all times.

Those values can be labeled with this acronym: LDRSHIP which stands for, "Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage."  

And this is some of what Landis has to say about Sean Parnell:

Sean Parnell has built his political image around his legitimate heroism in combat. Make no mistake, when he was called upon to show courage under fire, he answered the bell. It’s what Army Rangers are known for. We are lucky to have such men and women ready to put their lives on the line on our behalf, and I would never impugn his stellar combat record, but my dedication to the values we are supposed to share compels me to speak out when he violates them.

As I have watched Parnell’s campaign for Congress, it has become painfully clear to me that he no longer lives these values, and that he is just another poser disguised in a hero’s clothing. He is no longer led by senior NCOs and officers who demand he adhere to such values, or hold his soldiers to them. Instead, he is led by a man that abhors them, President Donald Trump.

Go read the piece for his reasons why.

October 21, 2020

File This Under "Trump Knew And Still Downplayed The Virus And The Death Toll Still Rises"

From the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus yesterday:

Today, Rep. James E. Clyburn, Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, released six weeks of White House Coronavirus Task Force reports obtained by the Select Subcommittee.  These reports—which were shared privately with state governments each week but not disclosed to the public—reveal that the White House has been aware for more than a month of an alarming rise in cases nationwide and the need for more testing and mask mandates to save American lives—even as the President has continued to publicly downplay the crisis and hold crowded events contributing to the virus’s spread.

 More from Rep. Clyburn:

The White House reports released today show that President Trump’s contempt for science and refusal to lead during this crisis have allowed the coronavirus to surge across the United States. Contrary to his empty claims that the country is ‘rounding the turn,’ more states are now in the ‘red zone’ than ever before. These reports—which the White House sent privately to governors but withheld from the public—show that President Trump’s false rhetoric on testing and masks is hindering our nation’s response, and many states are refusing to take critical steps recommended by the Task Force. It is long past time that the Administration implement a national plan to contain this crisis, which is still killing hundreds of Americans each day and could get even worse in the months ahead.

The 10/18/2020 report (remember this is from The White House's own task force) states that there are 31 states now in the "red zone" (defined as having "more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents and more than 10 percent of new tests were positive"). This is up from 7 in early June.

From that report's Pennsylvania info we find the list of those 31 red zone states:

The same day the subcommittee released the above statement, Washington Post reported this:

After a brief hiatus following his own coronavirus infection, President Trump resumed his weekly telephone interviews with the always supportive hosts of his favorite morning show, Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

At one point, the president was asked how the country would handle rising coronavirus infections, given that the number of recorded cases is on the rise across the country.

“What is the plan to live with it while staying safe from it?” host Brian Kilmeade asked.

“Well, we are living with it,” Trump said, “and we’re having the vaccines coming out very soon. With or without the vaccines, we’re rounding the turn.”

While his own task force is telling the country's governors about how many more states are in the red zone. 

Trump has known for a long time how bad the virus is and still down plays its severity while more and more people die.

This is Donald Trump's legacy. If you support Donald Trump, this is your legacy, too.

October 19, 2020

Wendy Bell Misleads Her Audience. Again.

This morning, Wendy Bell posted this on her Facebook page:

With America's general election just two weeks from tomorrow, Pennsylvania has taken center stage as a battleground over election security.

Army war hero Sean Parnell - the Republican candidate in PA Congressional District 17 - and Pennsylvania Air National Guardsman Luke Negron For Congress in District 18 - have filed a lawsuit requesting poll watchers be allowed at satellite voting offices in Pittsburgh's Allegheny County.

The lawsuit comes after nearly 29,000 voters in the county received incorrect ballots and 372,000 Pennsylvania mail-in ballot applications were rejected because of errors.

Do you have confidence that your vote - should you choose to NOT cast it in person - will get where it's supposed to, on time, to be counted?

Look at the examples she uses to undermine your faith in the mail in balloting system; 29,000 voters receiving incorrect ballots and 372,000 rejected mail in ballot applications. Once you see what Wendy's omitted, you'll see how she's misleading you.

We'll start here:

The Allegheny County Elections Division announced Wednesday that the company in charge of printing and mailing ballots sent the wrong ballots to 28,879 voters, citing an error by the vendor in charge of printing and mailing the ballots. 

“With a little under three weeks to go, it’s imperative that we ensure that our elections system is one that voters can trust,” said Allegheny County Elections manager Dave Voye on Wednesday. “This was a failure on behalf of our contractor and impacts too many of our voters.”

The elections division heard from approximately 20 voters last Friday that they received ballots for the wrong municipality, ward and district. Over the weekend, the county contacted Midwest Direct — the company contracted to print and mail ballots for the county — and mailing was suspended. It was determined that there was an image mapping issue, which resulted in a voter’s information (the municipality, ward and precinct) being matched to the ballot of the next voter in the printing batch.

The contractor, Midwest Direct, made the error, Wendy, not the Postal Service (the people whose job it is to "get where [the ballot's] supposed to, on time, to be counted" as you ungrammatically wrote).

And who is this "Midwest Direct" you ask?

Take a look:

Midwest Direct is owned by two brothers, Richard Gebbie, the chief executive, and James Gebbie, the chairman. This summer they began flying a Trump 2020 flag above Midwest Direct’s headquarters on the west side of Cleveland. It was a curious juxtaposition — a company in the business of distributing absentee ballots through the mail showing a preference for a president who has spent months denigrating the practice of voting by mail.

So a pro-Trump company screws up some mail-in ballots and Wendy Bell's all set to blame the US Postal Service.


Then there's the other bit of evidence. Take a look at this:

Penn. rejects 372K requests for mail-in ballots

Pennsylvania, one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds in the presidential election, has rejected 372,000 requests for mail-in ballots, straining election offices and bewildering voters.

More than 90% of those applications, or about 336,000, were denied as duplicates, primarily because people who had requested mail-in ballots for the state's June 2 primary did not realize that they had checked a box to be sent ballots for the general election, too.[Emphasis added.]

Wendy, did you see that more than 90% were denied as duplicates? And did you see the reason why they were duplicates? So all those "denied" voters actually did get mail-in ballots, didn't they? It was just the duplicates that were rejected, right?

In any event, how would it impact how the Postal Service delivers the ballots?

One last question: Members of the military have been voting by mail for generations (and, assuming he voted while serving, this includes Sean Parnell), how was all that mail delivered?

Wendy, maybe you should ask Sean if he thought his mail-in ballots were secure.

Wendy, you're lying to your audience.


October 16, 2020

Donald Trump Doesn't Understand When He's Reading SATIRE

This morning, I was going to blog on Hunter Biden and how two local rightwingers (Wendy Bell and Congressman Guy Reschenthaler) have been flogging the story as a proven fact when it's far far from being proven

In fact NBC is reporting

Federal investigators are examining whether the emails allegedly describing activities by Joe Biden and his son Hunter and found on a laptop at a Delaware repair shop are linked to a foreign intelligence operation, two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.

Something Wendy and Guy probably won't tell you.

As I said, I was going to dive deeper into that story when I saw this on twitter:

The Babylon Bee is a satirical news site:

The Babylon Bee is the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.

The Babylon Bee was created ex nihilo on the eighth day of the creation week, exactly 6,000 years ago. We have been the premier news source through every major world event, from the Tower of Babel and the Exodus to the Reformation and the War of 1812. We focus on just the facts, leaving spin and bias to other news sites like CNN and Fox News.

If you would like to complain about something on our site, take it up with God.

Evidently, the very stable genius that is Donald Trump can't tell the difference between that and real news.

But let's look at the story anyway. Here's the lede:

In a last-ditch effort to stop negative stories about Joe Biden and his family from spreading, Twitter shut down its entire social network Thursday.

Does Trump not remember tweeting this on Thursday?

Then there's the second paragraph from the Babylon Bee's scoop:

After seeing account after account tweet out one particularly bad story, CEO Jack Dorsey realized he had to take action. Dorsey smashed a glass box in his office reading "Break In Case Of Bad Publicity For Democrats." Inside the case was a sledgehammer for smashing Twitter's servers.

And Donald Trump didn't realize he was reading parody?

Or how about any of the other current "news" pieces at the Babylon Bee? For example:

Stable genius, Donald Trump.

Congratulations, GOP. This is your guy.

October 14, 2020

Hey, Remember That "Unmasking" Scandal, Congressman Reschenthaler?

Looks like there's nothing there. 

The Washington Post:

The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The revelation that U.S. Attorney John Bash, who left the department last week, had concluded his review without criminal charges or any public report will rankle President Trump at a moment when he is particularly upset at the Justice Department. The department has so far declined to release the results of Bash’s work, though people familiar with his findings say they would likely disappoint conservatives who have tried to paint the “unmasking” of names — a common practice in government to help understand classified documents — as a political conspiracy.


Kerri Kupec, the Justice Department’s top spokeswoman, had first revealed Bash’s review in May, after Republican senators made public a declassified list of U.S. officials, including former vice president Joe Biden, who made requests that would ultimately reveal the name of Trump adviser Michael Flynn in intelligence documents in late 2016 and early 2017.

Perhaps someone should ask Congressman Reschenthaler about this. I mean, he did have some very strong words when the list was made public

Reschenthaler called it a "setup"  that "went all the way to the top of Obama-Biden White House."

Congressman Reschenthaler owes his constituents an explanation (and perhaps an apology) for this smear.

And no, a "No comment" is not acceptable.

October 13, 2020

Wendy Bell Misleads Her Audience. Again.

 Today, on Facebook, Wendy posted this:

An organization of left-wing radicals called ShutDownDC has posted an online guide to disruption that outlines a plan to shut down the country and force President Trump from power in the event the 2020 election is too close to call.
The guide, called 'Stopping the Coup,' calls for violence, civil unrest, and mass protest.
"Where we can, we need to be in the streets, on the highways, or at the sites of power and power holders," the guide reads. 
"In our jobs and lives we must refuse to allow those taking control the legitimacy of the power they seek through strikes, slowdowns, and boycotts, and public refusal to accept an illegitimate ruling party."
Do you believe the results of the upcoming presidential election - particularly if President Trump wins - will lead to civil unrest across the country?

I can't be sure, of course, but given the closeness of online posting, I am pretty sure our Wendy gets her "news" from a place called "The Patriots Report." Take a look at how they reported on "ShutDownDC" only eight hours before Wendy mentioned it:

The guide, “Stopping the Coup,” available as a Google doc, is being circulated by a group called ShutDownDC. It casts its plan for disruption as a response to an imagined “coup” by the president in the case of a close election.

A paragraph later we find both of Wendy's quotations:

In the context of a coup or highly contested election we need to be clear that our actions must directly affect the structures and pillars of power. Our largest asset in this regard utilizes the ideas of non-compliance through massive, broad based direct action. Where we can, we need to be in the streets, on the highways, or at the sites of power and power holders. In our jobs and lives we must refuse to allow those taking control the legitimacy of the power they seek through strikes, slowdowns, and boycotts, and public refusal to accept an illegitimate ruling party.

And of course, Wendy misleads by omission. Take this quotation from the third page of the guide: 

If the right is prepared to steal the election then we must be prepared to disrupt the status quo and resist. This guide offers resources for organizing in your communities across the country. [Emphasis added.]

Or the fourth: 

Whether you’re from Iowa or Portland, Chicago or rural Ohio; whether you’ve been in the game for a while or you’re just starting out, we hope that this guide might offer ideas, strategies, and connections for fomenting and mobilizing large-scale and widespread disruptive activity if there is a coup. [Emphasis added.]

Wendy dutifully translate that into an "election too close to call."

But wasn't this the case only a few days ago?

President Donald Trump declined to commit Wednesday to providing a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 election, prompting a bipartisan backlash, including from senior Republicans who underscored their support of an orderly transition regardless of who wins the White House race.

"Well, we're going to have to see what happens," Trump said when asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition, assuming he lost the election.

So Wendy, can you explain why you're misleading your audience? Again?

October 12, 2020

Dear Sue, October 12, 2020

Dear Sue,

A number of things have happened since my last letter to you. Most (or perhaps least) important is this: I turned 57 this week. To put this into some sort of middle-aged pity-party perspective, I graduated college the year my dad turned 57. I can't imagine me, right now, being old enough or mature enough to have a child who's graduating from college.

By the way, I made it through UConn with a music degree and a solid low-B average, thank you very much.

Musicologists (a cohort whose membership I once pursued with something approaching a luke-warm zeal) like to play something called the Mozart Game. It goes like this: Mozart died in his mid-30s. A young music historian will upon turning (for example) 27 reflect on what Mozart had already written by that age. For example, in the case of our hypothetical 27 yr old, Mozart had already written his Haffner Symphony and "The Abduction from the Seraglio" by then. A few sad glasses of wine and or beer usually follow such moments of Mozart-inspired self-realization.

Upon leaving one's mid-thirties, however, the option playing the Mozart Game is obviously gone.

For those still interested in doing such things, there's about two decades more to do in the very similar Beethoven Game. (Beethoven died at 56.)

But now that I'm 57, I'll always be older than the man who wrote this.

Oh well. Maybe I'll buy a little red sports car to compensate - that'll make everything right, right??

Thinking about how we mark the passage of time, you and I have been blogging for a while, haven't we? My first blog post at 2PJ is dated September 9, 2004 and I know that you were blogging only a few weeks (months?) later. So we're looking at about 16 years as bloggers. A blog-life that's one angsty-teenager old.

I am curious about your writing process. How do you do it? On the one hand, to what do you prescribe your blogger longevity? And on the other, what's the process for each blog post?

For me, there've certainly been ebbs and flows. Early on, I could be counted on to blog 6-7 times a week. Now, I think it's 4-5, if I am lucky. For me, the political picture is always changing so the topic of discussion is always changing. Early on, it was Bush's Iraq war and his other shenanigans (constitutional and otherwise). But as bad as they were (and they were) they're nothing compared to our current orange-tinged shitstorm. Part of my slowdown, I think, is the realization that there's just too much to deal with. Where does one begin? How deeply can one pursue a topic knowing that in a day or two some other completely different shitstorm will be overshadowing the previously overwhelming shitstorm? Some days are better than others and reducing the focus to something local (Wendy Bell, Guy Reschenthaler) helps.

Then there's the writing process itself. I can remember in college hearing advice to young writers that went something like this: "Discover your voice." I can also remember thinking how silly that sounded. As if this "voice" was in there all along and all the writer had to do was to "discover" it and not "create" it.

Now, I'm not so sure. As I am typing these very words out, I AM hearing a voice in my head reading it back at me. Sometimes the voice rearranges the words I just typed and sometimes it reads ahead. Same thing happens when I am rereading the text afterwards. The voice sometimes reads a slightly different set of words than what I wrote, prompting an edit. I stop editing (assuming I have the time) when the changes I'm hearing in my head don't add much to the blog post.

The voice used to sound an awful lot like Keith Olbermann but once I realized it was my own projection of what I thought Keith would write were he to be writing that blog post for me, any "Keith-ness" in the sound of the voice quickly dissipated. I'm pretty sure what's going on is parallel to Harold Bloom's description of Hamlet - that I'm overhearing myself "talking" to myself and then listening in on the running commentary on what I just overheard. Sometimes there's a comment on the commentary and so on.

Also in the back of my head is the metaphor of writing as sculpting with clay. If, in rereading the draft, I'm sensing a "hole" (maybe a whole hole, or perhaps it's just half-a hole), I slap some new clay in the hole and then smooth it into place.

It's an ongoing process that, as I said, ends when the changes don't add much to the blog post - assuming I have the time, which I usually don't.

And looking at the clock on the stove this morning, I realize my time's up.

With great respect


October 10, 2020

Sean Parnell Gets Some Recent History WRONG.

 Today, GOP candidate Sean Parnell tweeted:

Along with some iffy grammar, Sean apparently doesn't do recent history all that well. Case in point, he dutifully parrots Trump's "pallets of cash" fake talking point. 

And like most everything else Trump says, it's wrong

Take a look at this from Reuters:

The United States and Iran on Sunday settled a longstanding claim at the Hague, releasing to Tehran $400 million in funds frozen since 1981 plus $1.3 billion in interest, the State Department said. 

The funds were part of a trust fund once used by Iran to purchase military equipment from the United States but which was tied up for decades in litigation at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. The settlement announcement was made after Tehran released five American detainees in a prisoner swap as a nuclear deal was implemented.

Check the date, Sean. January 15, 2016

Sean, if you don't like Reuters, there's this from the AP:

  • The $1.8 (actually $1.7 billion) was a debt owed to Iran, which bought military equipment from the U.S. that it never received because relations ruptured when the shah was overthrown in 1979.
  • The debt was in international arbitration for years. As part of that, Iran paid settlements of more than $2.5 billion to U.S. citizens and businesses.
  • $400 million, representing the principal and held in a U.S. government trust fund, was paid in cash and flown to Tehran on a cargo plane, which gave rise to Trump’s dramatic accounts of money stuffed in barrels or boxes and delivered in the dead of night.

Or this from Time:

All told, Tehran was asking The Hague arbitrators (comprising equal numbers of U.S., Iranian and neutral judges) for $10 billion. Fearing they might actually be awarded that much, or something like it, the Obama administration negotiated privately with Tehran, which agreed to settle for $1.7 billion. The $400 million stacked on pallets was the first installment.

And if you're one of those "That's fake news!" fetishists, take a look at this from the Congressional News Service

On January 17, 2016 (the day after the JCPOA took effect), the United States announced it had settled with Iran for FMS cases involving weaponry the Shah’s government was paying for but that was not completed and delivered to Iran when the Shah fell. Iran deposited its payments into a DoD-managed “Iran FMS Trust Fund,” and, after 1990, the Fund had a balance of about $400 million. In 1990, $200 million was paid from the Fund to Iran to settle some FMS cases. Under the 2016 settlement, the United States sent Iran the $400 million balance in the Fund, plus $1.3 billion in accrued interest, paid from the Department of the Treasury’s “Judgment Fund.” In order not to violate U.S. regulations barring direct U.S. dollar transfers to Iranian banks, the funds were remitted to Iran in late January and early February 2016 in foreign hard currency from the central banks of the Netherlands and of Switzerland.

The money was Iran's Sean. It was being returned to Iran, Sean. 

This has been known for years, Sean. The question is, why didn't you know it?

If you're going to continue with your political career you really need to get your history, especially your recent history right. It'll help with your novels.

October 8, 2020

Fact-checking Harris-Pence Debate - They're STILL Lying About Climate Change.

We'll start here, with the NYTimes:

“The climate is changing. The issue is, what is the cause, and what do we do about it? President Trump has made it clear, we’re going to continue to listen to the science.” - Mr. Pence

Mr. Pence suggested that there remains a question about the chief causes of climate change. But the established scientific consensus is conclusive. The scientific evidence that the combustion of fossil fuels produces emissions that warm the Earth’s atmosphere is ample.

Among the most recent, exhaustively researched and authoritative of such scientific reports was the National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive scientific report produced by 13 federal agencies and published in 2017 and 2018.

The product of hundreds of experts within the government and academia and peer-reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences, it is considered the United States’ most definitive statement on climate change science. It concludes decisively that humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.

Whenever anyone answers a climate science question with "Well the climate is changing, has always changed, will always change..." (or some variant of that) this is a denial of the science.

Yes, the climate changes but this time it's changing due to all the greenhouse gasses human beings have been pouring into the atmosphere for generations. To hide that part of the discussion by blanketing it under some statement about how the climate's always changeable is simply a lie by omission.

The AP:

PENCE: "The both of you repeatedly committed to abolishing fossil fuel and banning fracking … President Trump has made clear we're going to continue to listen to the science" on climate change.

THE FACTS: Pence is correct when he says Harris supported banning fracking, incorrect when he says Biden does, and false when he says Trump follows the science on climate change.


As far as Trump and climate change, Trump's public comments as president all dismiss the science on climate change — that it's caused by people burning fossil fuels, and it's worsening sharply. As recently as last month, Trump said, "I don't think science knows" what it's talking about regarding global warming and the resulting worsening of wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters. He's ridiculed the science in many public comments and tweets.


Fact check: Did the Trump-Pence White House scrub references to 'climate change' from websites?

Harris, during an exchange about climate change, claimed the Trump-Pence administration “took the word ‘science’ off the website” and “took the phrase ‘climate change’ off the website.”

The latter claim is true, the former one is not. 

Harris' claim appears to reference reports from 2018corroborated at the time by NBC News — that references to climate change, greenhouse gases and clean energy were scrubbed from U.S. government websites, including ones under the banners of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the State Department.

And so on.

October 7, 2020

OF COURSE, Wendy Bell Gets The Facts Wrong. Again.

This morning, Wendy Bell posted this on her FB page

The St. Louis couple who stood with guns in front of their home this summer as a large group of demonstrators marched by has now been indicted by a grand jury for unlawful use of a weapon.
"We didn’t fire a shot," Mark McCloskey told reporters Tuesday. "People were violently protesting in front of our house and screaming death threats and threats of rape and threats of arson. Nobody gets charged but we get charged."
With the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution clearly specifying that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed...
Do you believe Mark and Patricia McCloskey's constitutional rights have been violated with this indictment?
Of course she gets the facts wrong. Of course she's misleading her blissfully unaware virtual congregation. 
For an explanation, we'll look no further than at the local news coverage of the indictment:
The St. Louis couple who became worldwide news after waving guns at protesters outside their Central West End home last month were charged Monday with gun crimes, despite pushback against the investigation from Jefferson City to Washington.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey each face a single felony count of unlawful use of a weapon — exhibiting. Charging documents say he pointed an AR-15 rifle at protesters and she wielded a semiautomatic handgun, placing protesters in fear of injury.

If you click that link, you'll find the legal definition of "exhibiting" but if you didn't feel like clicking it, here it is:

571.030.  Unlawful use of weapons — exceptions — penalties. — 1.  A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons, except as otherwise provided by sections 571.101 to 571.121, if he or she knowingly...(4)  Exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner

See that, Wendy? That's something you should have checked before Karen-ranting on FB. See how it says "in an "angry or threatening manner"? See that? In real life, it looks something like this:

Wendy, no one is infringing on anyone's 2nd Amendment rights, ok snowflake? The DA determined that the couple exhibited their weapons in an angry and threatening manner. And that's what was against the law. The ownership of the weaponry is not in question.

You're lying to your fans. Again.

October 6, 2020

Even More People Will Die Because Donald Trump Doesn't Want To Look Weak

From the CDC, this day:

209,199 deaths from the Covid-19

Donald Trump, a month and a few days ago:

It is what it is.


I think it's under control.

At that point, only about 185,000 Americans had died of COVID-19.

Donald Trump yesterday:

Don't be afraid of Covid. 

Fuck you, Donald Trump. Fuck you.

October 2, 2020

A Wendy Bell Follow-Up

This is reprehensible, Wendy. YOU are reprehensible.

This morning on Facebook, you posted:

Aside from all the other stuff to dispute, I'd like to look at this sentence:

CNN's Don Lemon suggested the president's positive test result represented a "moment of reckoning" for his administration, as Chris Cuomo (who allegedly tested positive himself and was caught violating his own self-imposed home quarantine) opined that had Trump worn masks, "we may not be in this situation."[Emphasis added.]

"Allegedly" Wendy? You doubt that Chris Cuomo had the coronavirus? 

So you think that this might not be true?

That's the only reason you'd use the word "allegedly" in that sentence.

That's reprehensible, Wendy. You're reprehensible.

And anyway, given your past statements on herd immunity, shouldn't you instead be applauding this positive result? You actually said this:

Don't we want this virus to work its way through the people so that we can be immune? So that we can develop some semblance of herd immunity?


October 1, 2020

Wendy Bell's Monologues In Exile. Trump's Debate Edition

Pittsburgh's own Wendy Bell (tossed out of WTAE due to a racist FB post and more recently tossed off KDKA Radio due to her calling for statue protesters be shot on sight) is now victim-monologuing in exile from what looks to be a hugely comfortable home.

This week, she offered up for her opiated masses her analysis of the first Trump-Biden debate. You can see it here

Some highlights:

At about 03:30, she says that the debate illustrates two different ways of thinking about America. She's right here as well, at least in structure. The debate DID have two different ways of looking at America. One from a guy who refused to condemn white supremacy and the other, from a guy named Joe Biden.

But back to Wendy and how she described Trump's vision. It's a side that believes in freedom and limited government. Freedoms that, she says, "generations before us fought and died to preserve and make safe."

Really Wendy? Did you miss this story? It's only a month old. Here let me quote the opening for you:

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Yep. That's what Trump said, Wendy. You do know that, right?

Then she gets to a major point about Trump and the debate. Did you know that he's the victim here? Wendy, about 4 minutes in says:

 Much of the talk right now is about how the men all behaved. The president, Joe Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace. It was a disgrace. And people are jumping all over the president for interrupting and for trying to get his point in and I understand that criticism. But can you fathom being Donald Trump and having every single - [She pounds her right fist into her left palm at this point for syllabic emphasis] cotton picking media outlet disparage, distort, deceive deny, make false claims about you repeatedly? The president had no recourse but to set the record straight in the only way that he can - as a single man army. And last night you saw it on full display. [Emphasis added.]

See? Trump had no choice but to be an asshole because the mean media made him!!

She then declares publicly that she's purchased firearms - plural. Why? She explains, about 5 minutes in:

Is it because we are preparing for a civil war? No. We're preparing for if this doesn't go the right way - if Joe Biden and his extremely leftist most progressive candidate ever in American history running mate Kamala Harris somehow become president and vice-president of the United States of America - fundamentally what we know as this country is gone and lost forever. There will be no more policing. There will be no law and order. It will be madness. It will be mayhem.

About 6 minutes in:

Because when the angry mob knocks at your door, who's going to defend you? The police or yourself?

 Uh-oh. The woman is paranoid, unhinged and armed with deadly weapons - plural.

Then she gets to her next point - how the journalism is biased. She says it's "strayed from what journalism is." Wasn't Wendy Bell once a journalist? Wasn't she fired for posting a racist FB post? So now she's an expert on journalistic ethics? I'm just asking.

By the way, this is what she looked like when she uttered the word "journalism":

Her main complaint was about the fact-checkers and how they were wrong, just plain wrong, about her hero Donald Trump. "Garbage" is the word she used. She says it's the death of journalism except for people like her who dare to tell the truth "on platforms such as this because they have been silenced."

Can I point out that she was removed from KDKA Radio's air for advocating the shooting of statue protestors? Can I point that out now? Or should I save it for some other time?

She then rattles off some of the fact checking she finds it necessary to fact-check:

The AP - President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of fabrications and fear-mongering in a belligerent debate with Joe Biden, at one point claiming the U.S. death toll would have been 10 times higher under the Democrat because he wanted open borders in the pandemic. Biden preached no such thing.

Wendy responds:  

The Associate Press says this. Have they been asleep at the wheel? Do you not remember in March and April Joe Biden himself calling Donald Trump a xenophobe for shutting down the American borders? A xenophobe and then even doubling down and saying there was no scientific proof for making that kind of a decision?

Looks like I'll have to fact-check Wendy Bell's fact-check of a fact-check. Let's start with the fact that Donald Trump did not shut down "the American borders." Perhaps she's referring to what his many acolytes keep insist on saying, that he "banned travel from China." That's just as untrue. The proclamation that he signed in late January restricted travel of non-citizens who'd been to China in the previous 2 weeks. No ban. No "shutting down of the border." Wendy's wrong, just plain wrong, here.

And what of this "xenophobic" charge?

Biden tweeted this on a day or so after:

CNN has this to say about it:

It’s not clear Biden even knew about Trump’s China travel restrictions when he called Trump xenophobic on the day the restrictions were unveiled; Biden has never explicitly linked his accusation of xenophobia to these travel restrictions. 

The campaign says Biden’s January 31 accusations – that Trump has a record of “hysterical xenophobia” and “fear mongering” – were not about the travel restrictions at all. The campaign says Biden did not know about the restrictions at the time of his speech, since his campaign event in Iowa started shortly after the Trump administration briefing where the restrictions were revealed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.  

Given the timing of the Biden remarks, it’s not unreasonable for Trump to infer that the former vice president was talking about the travel restrictions. But Biden never took an explicit position on the restrictions until his April declaration of support.

So maybe Trump inferred it. That don't make it true, does it?

Anyway, this is what happened in April, again from CNN:

Joe Biden's campaign said Friday the former vice president supports President Donald Trump's January 31 decision to ban foreign nationals who had been in China within the previous 14 days from entering the United States.

"Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy," Kate Bedingfeld, Biden's deputy campaign manager, told CNN. "Science supported this ban, therefore he did too."

You were saying, Wendy? You were saying that Biden said that there was "no scientific proof" for the decision? That was wrong, wasn't it, Wendy?

Then she quotes this fact-check from CNN:

The first 2020 presidential debate Tuesday night in Cleveland featured an avalanche of lies from President Donald Trump -- while Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was largely accurate in his statements...

Though she did omit the end of that last sentence. It reads:

...though he did make some false or misleading claims.

Interesting that she'd omit that. In any event, here's her fact-check of CNN's fact-check.

Again, in what world do you live CNN? And at what point did you sell your objectives and your righteousness to the left?

I can't fact-check this. Because there are no facts in it.

As a kinda/sorta retort to Biden saying that there's no evidence of voter fraud, Wendy proffers:

I want you to think about this. In Pennsylvania, where I am, in 2016 Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 44 - just over 44,000 votes. In this Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if we're going to talk about mail-in voting and whether or not it's trustworthy, think about this: There are 1805 post offices in Pennsylvania. That means only 25 ballots need to be corrupted, need to vanish or disappear for those 44,000 votes to go away. You don't think that's what's going on?
No, Wendy. I do not. I don't think anyone with an adequate interaction with reality does either. Is Wendy Bell actually saying that the Biden campaign/DNC/whatever has placed operatives at each of the 1805 post offices in Pennsylvania just in order to corrupt the vote??? Is that what she's trying to have her audience believe? 

One last fact-check from Wendy. This one from the LA Times:

President Trump unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods Tuesday night in surprise for a commander in chief who has set a new low for shading the truth and even lying in office.

To which she had no response other than to assert that American journalism is dead. I am guessing that she thinks the sentence is was self-evidently false - even though she offered up exactly no evidence to support its falseness.

On the other hand the Washington Post has been keeping track of Trump's lies and distortions.

Wendy, you might want to check it out.

And get some help, please. 

You're armed. This worries me.