Democracy Has Prevailed.

December 31, 2020

Wendy Bell Continues With The Wingnut Guests

A day or so ago, it was Mike Flynn (confessed liar and QAnon follower). Yesterday on her Facebook page, Wendy Bell posted this:

It's time for your TUESDAY MONOLOGUE!! I'm delighted to welcome MIT PhD. Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, inventor, scientist, and engineer, whose common-sense MATHEMATICAL forensic evaluation of the election results have PROVEN some serious BS. Get ready!

Apparently, however, "Infiniti/Comcast/wifi whatever" finally followed the instructions in the memo from the Soros-controlled Deep State to shut this mutha down before she had a chance to educate you on the truth of how the spineless Republicans are leading the Republican party to ruin - ROO-een, I say!!!!

Her living room broadcast was cut short. Sad. So so sad.

So let's, instead, take a look at who Wendy invited on as an expert: MIT PhD. Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, inventor, scientist, and engineer.

We should note, though, that this is not the first time Wendy referenced a mathematical evaluation on some issue in the public eye. Remember when Wendy Bell announced for all the world to hear that:

Covid is officially over. Signs on the floor are gone. Santized carts are no more. Limits on chicken, scratched.

Like the Israeli mathmetician said and our governor never heard... the cycle is 70 days.

That was last May. How many people have died since then, Wendy? How many have gotten sick? 

You really should be more careful when you present "proof" of something.

Anyway, back to our MIT PhD. Back in April, Politico said this about him:

When President Donald Trump retweeted a call to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday night, he jolted a fringe conservative movement that viewed the boost as an acknowledgment of its cause.

And the #FireFauci gang was ready with a replacement: Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai.

Ayyadurai, or “Dr. Shiva” as his fans call him, is a controversial scientist and long-shot Massachusetts Senate candidate who is pushing a variety of claims that range from dubious to medically disputed to outright false. He has argued that a strict vitamin regimen can prevent and treat the coronavirus — an unsubstantiated view at odds with the medical community and existing research. And he claims Fauci is a deep-state plant hellbent on “forced and mandatory vaccines” to support “Big Pharma” — a claim for which there is no evidence.
So he pushed the idea that vitamins can treat the coronavirus? That Fauci is deep-state? Neither point has any connection with reality. So why would Wendy have him on as an expert?

No need to answer that. We all know the reason.

There's more from Politico on our MIT PhD:

Ayyadurai, who first came to prominence over a disputed claim that he invented email, argued that the push for a coronavirus vaccine essentially creates a product that can be sold to every person on the planet, benefiting pharmaceutical companies.

”They’re gonna go help all the people in Africa with vaccines, vaccines, vaccines vaccines, right?” Ayyadurai said. “Vaccines are highly profitable. So when I connect the dots, it is essentially about moving this entire [world], using sometimes fear mongering to move it, to mandated vaccines for everyone.”
Wait, so he claims to have invented email, too? Look at this from Techdirt:

Once again, as I've said multiple times in the past, all of the evidence suggests that Shiva Ayyadurai was an incredibly bright kid who accomplished something truly exceptional and praiseworthy: he built a functional email system for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark, New Jersey, somewhere between 1978 and 1980. If he simply stuck to highlighting that impressive accomplishment, that would have been one thing, and would have likely earned him the level of praise he deserves. The problem is that, since 2011, Ayyadurai has insisted that his email system for UMDNJ was the first true email system, and thus that he "invented" email. The evidence disagrees with him, and as we'll show, that evidence includes statements from Shiva Ayyadurai himself.

Feel free to read the rest for yourself. Techdirt is mentioned in the Politico piece, by the way:

A libel claim on the part of Shiva Ayyadurai, the self-identified “inventor of email,” was tossed out by a Massachusetts judge today, concluding a baseless suit filed against Techdirt back in January. According to the site, the judge also “rejected Ayyadurai’s request to file an amended complaint.”

So we've come full circle, I guess, over the MIT PhD. Covid denier, disputed inventor of email, Fauci/Deep State paranoiac.

Yep. Seems like a good fit for an interview on Radio Karen.

December 30, 2020

Wendy Bell Chats With A Traitor (Who's Also A QAnon Quack)

Yesterday at Wendy Bell Radio, Wendy had a hearty fawning chat with the recently pardoned Michael Flynn.

In case you took a marijuana and missed the news, Michael Flynn was recently pardoned for this offenses:

The defendant, MICHAEL T. FLYNN, who served as a surrogate and national security advisor for the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump ("Campaign"), as a senior member of President-Elect Trump's Transition Team ("Presidential Transition Team"), and as the National Security Advisor to President Trump, made materially false statements and omissions during an interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") on January 24, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Further, he entered his guilty plea knowingly, voluntarily, intelligently, and with fulsome and satisfactory advice of counsel.

Accepting the pardon does not mean he didn't commit the crime, just that he can't be charged/convicted for it. Furthermore, The Supreme Court has established:

This brings us to the differences between legislative immunity and a pardon. They are substantial. The latter carries an imputation of guilt; acceptance a confession of it.

He's also a QAnon Quack

Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn called into a QAnon conspiracy theory podcast on Friday, but said that he could only speak for a few minutes. He had a surprising reason to cut the call short, he explained. He was avoiding assassins and had to stay on the move.

This is who Wendy Bell fawned over:

I want to thank you for your service to America. You know, I think we watched, for years we watched, what you and your family went through, really. I think we all endured such unfairness with you. (3:15)

He pled guilty, twice. He's guilty, Wendy.

A few minutes later (at about 8:52), they get into the coup when Wendy asks "What's going to happen on January 6?" and Flynn answers:

Well I think that if everybody follows the truth and seeks the truth then what I believe could happen, one of the outcomes that could happen, is the states that are in contention (and those are the quote unquote the swing states), five maybe six of them, that those states may be they may be put to the side so their electoral college votes that come in they could be put to the side.

Because of the non-existent voter fraud, because of the legal actions of those "five maybe six" of the swing states (Pennsylvania, included) those electoral votes should be set aside to make sure Donald Trump has another term.

That's the QAnon felon's prediction (hope?)

That's Wendy Bell guest yesterday.

December 29, 2020

Pennsylvania Voter Fraud?? Not So Fast.

And now a message from a Pennsylvania state legislator. A REPUBLICAN Pennsylvania state legislator. A Republican Pennsylvania state legislator WHO VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP: 

The Trump lawyers have talked about “widespread fraud and irregularities” since November 3rd.   Talking has led to allegations in lawsuits.   Therein lies an important point.    Making allegations in a lawsuit is easy.   In any lawsuit, however, allegation must be proven by testimony presented under oath from witnesses who have personal knowledge of the events at issue.   We have all heard about “100’s of affidavits” or “stacks of affidavits” supporting the talk about fraud and irregularities.    For whatever reason, however, none of this supporting proof or testimony from witnesses has been presented in any of the court proceedings.  Saying a problem exists is easy.   Proving a problem exists is difficult.  Repeatedly saying a problem exists is not proof of existence.

I am not privy to the rationale followed by the Trump lawyers as to why litigation was conducted in a certain way.  To my knowledge, Trump’s lawyers have filed at least 40 lawsuits throughout the United States, including several in Pennsylvania.   Thus far, the number of decisions favorable to the Trump claims of fraud and irregularities is zero.  It cannot go unnoticed that many of the decisions were issued by judges who we would say have a Republican leaning.  Some were appointed by Bush, some by Obama and some by Trump but all reached the same conclusion.  We all recognize a 0-40 record as not being a good performance.   The overwhelming consensus in those decisions is that there is no evidence of widespread fraud or irregularities in the November 3rd election. Moreover, we cannot ignore the fact that United States Attorney General and the Director of the FBI, both of whom are Trump appointees, have publicly stated that there is no evidence to support claims of widespread fraud and irregularities.   Either Trump has the dumbest lawyers on the planet or there really is no proof of widespread fraud or irregularities. [Emphases added.]

I'll just leave that there for now.

December 28, 2020

No, Senator Toomey. You Can't Cleanse YOUR Legacy That Easily

From Bloomberg (via The Trib):

President Donald Trump risks being remembered for creating “chaos and misery” at the end of his term if he vetoes the $900 billion stimulus passed by Congress and triggers a government shutdown, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said.

If, Senator? IF?

There are so many other reasons why Trump will be remembered for "chaos and misery" aren't there?

By the way, Trump signed the legislation last night:

President Trump on Sunday night signed a massive coronavirus relief and spending package, relenting on a measure he had called a "disgrace" days earlier.

The legislation, which combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with government funding through September 2021, was passed by large majorities in both houses of Congress on Dec. 21 — only to see Trump blindside legislators the next day and blast the bill.

So Senator let me ask you: Now that he's signed the legislation, does that mean he won't be remembered for creating "chaos and misery"?

But what about:

How's that for chaos and misery, Senator?

The fact that you're only speaking out now, a mere week and a half before a Joint Session of Congress makes the electoral college vote official and a little more than three weeks until the Biden Inauguration, shows your true level of political and moral courage.

You could have been speaking out about Trump's chaos and misery much sooner, Senator.

Because you didn't, Donald Trump's shameful legacy is and will always be your legacy as well.

December 20, 2020

Is This Sedition Or Treason Or What??

Teh Crazie appears again at the top. This was tweeted yesterday:

BTW, not one of those statements is true. Be that as it may, connect teh crazie above with this from CNN:

President Donald Trump convened a heated meeting in the Oval Office on Friday, including lawyer Sidney Powell and her client, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, two people familiar with the matter said, describing a session that began as an impromptu gathering but devolved and eventually broke out into screaming matches at certain points as some of Trump's aides pushed back on Powell and Flynn's more outrageous suggestions about overturning the election.

Flynn had suggested earlier this week that Trump could invoke martial law as part of his efforts to overturn the election that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden -- an idea that arose again during the meeting in the Oval Office, one of the people said. It wasn't clear whether Trump endorsed the idea, but others in the room forcefully pushed back and shot it down.

Donald Trump discussed in the Oval Office using military force to overturn the election he lost.

The election is over. The Constitutional process leading up to Joe Biden's inauguration is underway. Any attempt to thwart this process is by definition unconstitutional.

How do we know the process is under way? 

From the Congressional Research Service:  

November 4-December 14, 2020: Counting Popular Votes and Filing Certificates of Ascertainment Following election day, the states are to count and certify popular vote results according to their respective statutory and procedural requirements.When the states have completed their vote counts and ascertained the official results, the U.S. Code (3 U.S.C. §6) requires the state governors to prepare, “as soon as practicable,” documents known as Certificates of Ascertainment of the vote. The certificates must list the names of the electors chosen by the voters and the number of votes received in the popular election results, also the names of all losing candidates for elector, and the number of votes they received. Certificates of Ascertainment, which are often signed by state governors, must carry the seal of the state. One copy is forwarded to the Archivist of the United States (the Archivist), while six duplicates of the Certificate of Ascertainment must be provided to the electors by December 14, the date on which they meet.


December 14, 2020: Electors Vote in Their States
Monday after the second Wednesday in December of presidential election years is set (3 U.S.C. §7) as the date on which the electors meet and vote. In 2020, the meeting is on December 14. Electoral college delegations meet separately in their respective states and the District of Columbia at places designated by their state legislature. The electors vote by paper ballot, casting one ballot for President and one for Vice President. The electors count the results and then sign six certificates, each of which contains two lists, one of which includes the electoral votes for the President, the other, electoral votes for the Vice President, each of which includes the names of persons receiving votes and the number of votes cast for them. These are known as Certificates of the Vote, which the electors are required to sign. They then pair the six Certificates of Ascertainment provided by the state governors with the Certificates of the Vote, and sign, seal, and certify them (3 U.S.C. §§8-10). The six certificates are then distributed by registered mail as follows: (1) one certificate to the President of the U.S. Senate (the Vice President); (2) two certificates to the secretary of state (or equivalent officer) of the state in which the electors met; (3) two certificates to the Archivist; and (4) one certificate to the judge of the U.S. district court of the district in which the electors met (3 U.S.C. §11).

All this has been done. Biden's 306 and Trump's 232 electoral votes have been cast and the results certified by each state and the District of Columbia. It's over.

All that's left is this:

January 6, 2021: Joint Session of Congress to Count Electoral Votes and Declare Election Results
Meets On January 6, or another date set by law, the Senate and House of Representatives assemble at 1:00 a joint session at the Capitol, in the House chamber, to count the electoral votes and declare the results(3 U.S.C. §15). The Vice President presides as President of the Senate. The Vice President opens the certificates and presents them to four tellers, two from each chamber. The tellers read and make a list of the returns. When the votes have been ascertained and counted, the tellers transmit them to the Vice President.If one of the tickets has received a majority of 270 or more electoral votes, the Vice President announces the results, which “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President.”
Go back and look at what Felon Flynn suggested (and Donald Trump discussed). How does this not fit into this definition of "Seditious Conspiracy":
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

 This can not be set aside after the inauguration. This must be pursued to the fullest extent of the law.

December 18, 2020

Echoes Of Pandemics Past (Pittsburg Press December 3, 1918)

For your Friday, my friends, an aside.

From the pages of the Pittsburg Press (remember The Press? Remember when "Pittsburg" went without the "H"?) and dated December 3, 1918:

Now, you'd think that it was a more or less straightforward news article about the effects of the so-called "Spanish Flu" of that year, right?

The headline reads:


With subheadlines (?) reading:

Census Bureau Says Epidemic Caused 82,306 Deaths in One Month


Disease Quite Likely To Return
Challenging times. Challenging times. The flu was deadly bad and is likely to return, the article warns.

But look closer at the second paragraph:

The text:

If you catch cold don't take chances by neglecting it because it is more than likely to develop into grip or pneumonia. Begin at once taking Father John's Medicine which has had over sixty years of success for colds and in the building [of new] strength to resist disease.

Wait, what?? What's "Father John's Medicine"? 


...a tonic that was a non-alcoholic mixture containing cod-liver oil (a source of vitamins A and D) and having a licorice flavor. Indeed, it actually contained licorice root, regarded by herbalists as “a powerful anti-inflammatory” for self-treating coughs and bronchitis. “It is among the most used herbs in European medicine and has been taken medicinally for several thousand years” (Chevallier 1996, 99). Father John’s Medicine also contained gum Arabic, glycerin, sugar, and “flavoring oils” (“True Story” 1995).

So what looks like a real news article in The Pittsburg Press is actually an advertisement for some patent medicine.

Any doubts about this? Take a look at what was found on page 4 of the Norwich Bulletin, December 3 1918:

Have a happy Friday!

December 17, 2020

F**kers: The Suddenly Thin-Skinned GOP Reacts To The Truth

The GOP is all snowflaking over this:

President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s deputy chief of staff, Jen O’Malley Dillon, is getting roasted by conservatives on Twitter after she called Republican Congress members “f—kers” while in the same breath calling for unity during a new interview with Glamour magazine.

This, of course, is the same party boot-licking Donald Trump every chance it gets.

And recently we learned that the Trump Administration wanted this:

A top Trump appointee repeatedly urged top health officials to adopt a "herd immunity" approach to Covid-19 and allow millions of Americans to be infected by the virus, according to internal emails obtained by a House watchdog and shared with POLITICO.

“There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD," then-science adviser Paul Alexander wrote on July 4 to his boss, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, and six other senior officials.

"Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…" Alexander added.

And, in case you were wondering:

Alexander was a top deputy of Caputo, who was personally installed by President Donald Trump in April to lead the health department's communications efforts. Officials told POLITICO that they believed that when Alexander made recommendations, he had the backing of the White House.

“It was understood that he spoke for Michael Caputo, who spoke for the White House,” said Kyle McGowan, a Trump appointee who was CDC chief of staff before leaving this summer. “That’s how they wanted it to be perceived.”

Of course, the killer "pro-life" administration has since back-pedaled on herd-immunity.

When Wendy Bell similarly pushed for "herd immunity" this summer, this is what I found posted at Johns Hopkins about why "herd immunity" is such a fucking dangerous idea:

To reach herd immunity for COVID-19, likely 70% or more of the population would need to be immune. Without a vaccine, over 200 million Americans would have to get infected before we reach this threshold. Put another way, even if the current pace of the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States – with over 25,000 confirmed cases a day – it will be well into 2021 before we reach herd immunity. If current daily death rates continue, over half a million Americans would be dead from COVID-19 by that time. [Emphasis added.]

In order to achieve "herd immunity" upwards of a half a million US Citizens would have to die. This was the idea the Trump Administration floated.

The Trump party also supports putting kids in cages and overturning (without any evidence) a constitutionally validated election.

So perhaps "party of fuckers" doesn't do them justice. How's this: "a party of cruel, seditious fuckers who might well be guilty of negligent homicide on a massive scale."

If you support Donald Trump, this is what you support. This is who you are.



December 14, 2020

Today's The Day

From the AP:

Presidential electors are meeting across the United States on Monday to formally choose Joe Biden as the nation’s next president.

Monday is the day set by law for the meeting of the Electoral College. In reality, electors meet in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to cast their ballots. The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.

The electors’ votes have drawn more attention than usual this year because President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election and continued to make baseless allegations of fraud.

Locally, Representative Mike Kelly and (not-Representative Sean Parnell) have also refused to accept reality:

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Mr. Kelly’s emergency appeal to void the results of the Nov. 3 election in a one-sentence decision with no noted dissents from the court, which holds a 6-3 conservative majority after three justices were appointed by Mr. Trump.

Mr. Kelly’s case argues that an October 2019 state law that allowed “no-excuse” voting by mail, required an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. The suit sought to toss out some 2.6 million ballots cast by Pennsylvanians who requested a ballot without a reason, which would hand Mr. Trump the state’s electors.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the case, reasoning that the plaintiffs should have challenged the law’s constitutionality long before votes had been cast. 

In the interview, Mr. Kelly insisted that the fight was not over. And on Saturday, he demonstrated that: A news release from his office said he again had gone to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the justices to consider the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Act 77 “mail-in voting scheme.”

Good luck with that, Congressman Mike (and Not-Congressman Sean). 

If I may be so bold, it might be better for your future credibility for you to pull up your big boy pants accept your respective defeats as it's simply the honorable thing to do. 

You remember what "honorable" felt like, right?

Anyway, the public can track the votes at:

And if you're still among teh crazies who think the whole thing was stolen, you might want to read this

Suck it up and face reality. Today's the day the electors fulfill their constitutional duty and vote to make it official: Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States of America.

December 11, 2020

Look At Who Wendy Bell Is Interviewing TODAY!

 From her Facebook page:

I have a BIG SHOW planned today at 11AM sharp!! Joining me will be James Lyons-Weiler, PhD whose impassioned plea on the rotunda steps in Harrisburg against the politicization of not just Covid-19 but the VACCINES being fast-tracked to immunize us against it has GONE VIRAL!!

So who is this James Lyons-Weiler, PhD?

He's the subject of this scientific paper, by the way:

Dr James Lyons-Weiler, the CEO of the “Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge,” made an appalling online statement on 3 February 2020, which claimed the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic was most likely constructed via laboratory recombination []. In the results, he showed SARS-CoV-2 had a unique inserted sequence (1378 bp) located in the middle of its spike glycoprotein gene that had no match in other coronaviruses (Supplementary Figure 1). Furthermore, he claimed this unique sequence was similar to some sequence in pShuttle-SN (Supplementary Figure 2), a common expression vector used in research laboratory.

To check on his claim, we ran a thorough analysis on his results, and found some serious mistakes in his distorted analysis. Thus, we drew an opposite conclusion that there was no evidence to support the theory for the formation of SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory.

Of course science is right and James Lyons-Weiler, PhD is wrong. The virus was not created in a lab.

Also, he's not an immunologist. And he is an anti-vaxxer:

Now, by any stretch of the imagination, James Lyons-Weiler is antivaccine. You might remember him ranting about who killed Colton Berrett Colton Berrett, as you might recall, is the unfortunate teen who developed the rare condition called transverse myelitis that one of his arms useless, the other almost useless, and him on a portable ventilator, paralyzed. Antivaxers blamed it on Gardasil, although the temporal relationship between Colton’s receiving the shot and the onset of his symptoms was tenuous at best. Ultimately, he committed suicide, leading to a “Gardasil killed Colton Berrett” narrative making its way around the Internet. His antivax cred is impeccable, particularly his ability to claim that he’s read far more studies on vaccines than is humanly possible and praising horribly awful antivaccine studies. Yet, in some quarters, he is not sufficiently antivaccine. I kid you not.

Don't believe the above? Check out Lyons-Weiler, PhD's own words:

[Vaccine] Mandates without exemptions create a situation where those who are destined to be injured by vaccines will be found, and injured, with mathematical certainty.

Mandates for vaccines are, for some,

Mandatory death sentences, for having the wrong genes.

Mandated Guillan Barre Syndrome.

Mandated lifetime paralysis.

Mandated lifetime autoimmunity.

Mandated food allergies.

Mandated encephalopathy, leading to autism, for millions.

And so on. Vaccines leading to autism = anti-vaxxer.

So he's not an immunologist and he is an anti-vaxxer speaking with the Angel of Death about the COVID-19 vaccines. What could possible go wrong with this discussion??

You're going to get more people sick and some of those people may die, Wendy. You know that, right?

December 10, 2020

Wendy Bell Plays The Victim Card. Again. Wendy Bell Lies. Again.

If you were to stumble (drunkenly or otherwise) across Wendy Bell's Facebook page today, you'd see this:

The first two paragraphs:

In an astonishing assault on Americans' First Amendment right to freedom of speech, YouTube announced today it will take down any videos that discuss election fraud.
Holy. Freaking. JESUS.

Um, Wendy? Isn't there a commandment against using The Lord's name in vain? Didn't you just do that? I'm not a believer, but it's my understanding that breaking one of the commandments is a really really bad thing to do, right? So why did you do it, Wendy? Why put your immortal soul at risk for something as mundane as politics?

Eternal damnation of the Angel of Death aside, Wendy also just lied to her devotees when she said that YouTube will take down any videos that discuss election fraud.

Wrong Wendy Bell. Wrong.

By the way, "lying" is mentioned in yet another commandment ("Thou shalt not bear false witness"). Hey, Wendy! You're two-for-two on breaking commandments today! Congratulations!

Anyway, here is what YouTube actually announced:

Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections. For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors. We will begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come. [Emphasis added.]

Mislead, Wendy. Not discuss. Can you see that?

Since there's no evidence that "counting errors" or "software glitches" changed the outcome of the 2020 election, any allegations of such evidence (such as yours, Wendy) will be removed by YouTube, a private entity owned by Google.

Which brings us to yet another lie of yours, Wendy. This is not a First Amendment issue.

This is the pertinent part First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...

The lesson here is that a private entity can abridge your freedom of speech but the government can't. 

For example if a television newscaster were to post some racist remarks on Facebook that didn't adhere to that TV station's "ethics and journalistic standards," that station could fire said racist broadcaster, right?

Or if a radio broadcaster were to advocate for the police to illegally "shoot on sight" protestors, that broadcaster's employers would be within their rights to distance themselves from said fascist broadcaster, right?

You should have learned this lesson by now, Wendy Bell. Why haven't you?

Stop playing the conservative victim card.

Stop lying to your audience.

Try to remember what being a journalist was all about. Or being a good human being.

December 9, 2020

And Now, A Special SCOTUS Message (UPDATED)

This goes out to all the hip MAGA kewl kids who pinned their hopes on The Supremes saving Trump's sorry ass:

For an explanation, let's go to The NYTimes:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a long-shot request from Pennsylvania Republicans to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the state, delivering an unmistakable rebuke to President Trump in the forum on which he had pinned his hopes.

The Supreme Court’s order was all of one sentence, and there were no noted dissents. But it was nonetheless a major setback for Mr. Trump and his allies, who have compiled an essentially unbroken losing streak in courts around the nation. They failed to attract even a whisper of dissent in the court’s first ruling on a challenge to the outcome of the election.


The plaintiffs had asked the state court to nullify mailed ballots after the fact or to direct the state legislature to pick Pennsylvania’s electors.

And The Supremes said no. 

Part of the "et al" above is none other than the loser in the race for PA-17 - Sean Parnell. Rep Conor Lamb beat Sean Parnell by a little under 10,000 votes, according to the AP.

So Sean lost and then signed his name to Mike Kelly's Trump-friendly lawsuit.

He even tweeted about it recently:

And, as I said above, The US Supreme Court said no.

This is embarrassing, Sean. Do the honorable thing: concede.

(Actually we're more than a month past "honorable" on your part, here. I'm just being diplomatic.)

Concede Sean. 

UPDATE: Over at Sean Parnell's Facebook Page we find a link to this tweet:

Here's the thing. I'm not an attorney so there may be something in there that my non-lawyer eye is missing. But this is what Kelly et al asked for:

Applicants (“Petitioners”) respectfully request an immediate, emergency writ of injunction to prevent the Respondents, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Governor Thomas W. Wolf, and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar (“the Executive-Respondents”) from taking any further action to perfect the certification of the results of the November 3, 2020, General Election (the “Election”) in Pennsylvania for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States of America or certifying the remaining results of the Election for U.S. Senators and Representatives. More specifically, Petitioners seek an injunction that prohibits the Executive-Respondents from taking official action to tabulate, compute, canvass, certify, or otherwise finalize the results of the Election as to the federal offices and that prohibits the Executive-Respondents from undertaking the following actions...


Secretary Boockvar from taking official action pursuant to 25 Pa. Stat. §§ 3159, 3160, 3163, 3164, 3165, 3166; from receiving, tabulating, computing, canvassing, or laying before the Governor any certificate of election or the votes cast for any candidate for federal office in the Election; from taking official action pursuant to 25 Pa. Stat. § 2621(f) “[t]o receive from county boards of elections the returns of primaries and elections, to canvass and compute the votes cast for candidates” for federal offices; from “proclaim[ing] the results of such primaries and elections”; and from issuing certificates of election to the successful candidates at such elections; 


Governor Wolf from taking official action pursuant to 25 Pa. Stat. §§ 3160, 3163, 3165, 3166; from issuing any commission resulting from the Election as 2 to federal offices; and from transmitting the returns of the Election to the President of the U.S. Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

And to this, The Supreme Court said no. Now neither Secretary Boockvar nor Governor Wolf is prevented from doing any of those things by the highest court in the land.

Non-lawyer here. What am I missing? How can they still think that the case is still alive?

December 7, 2020

This Is How Much Trump's Mobs Respect Democracy

From Michigan:

And the text: 

As my four-year-old son and I were finishing up decorating the house for Christmas on Saturday night, and he was about to sit down to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, dozens of armed individuals stood outside my home shouting obscenities and chanting into bullhorns in the dark of night.

I have always been an energetic advocate for the right and importance of peaceful protest as enshrined in the United States Constitution, however there is a line crossed when gatherings are done with the primary purpose of intimidation of public officials who are carrying out the oath of office they solemnly took as elected officials.

The actions of these latest protestors are an extension of the noise and clouded efforts to spread false information about the security and accuracy of our elections that we’ve all endured in the month since the polls closed on November 3. Through blatantly false press releases, purely political legislative hearings, bogus legal claims and so called ‘affidavits’ that fail to allege any clear or cogent evidence of wrongdoing, those unhappy with the results of this election have perpetuated an unprecedented, dangerous, egregious campaign to erode the public’s confidence in the results of one of the most secure, accessible and transparent elections in our state’s history.

The demands made outside my home were unambiguous, loud and threatening. They targeted me in my role as Michigan’s Chief Election Officer. But the threats of those gathered weren’t actually aimed at me – or any other elected officials in this state. They were aimed at the voters. Through threats of violence, intimidation, and bullying, the armed people outside my home and their political allies seek to undermine and silence the will and voices of every voter in this state, no matter who they voted for. Their goal is to overturn and upend the results of an election that are clear and unequivocal, and that 5.5 million Michigan citizens participated in. But their efforts won’t carry the day. Because our democracy is strong. The will of the people is clear. And I will stand up every day in my job for all voters, even the votes of the protestors who banded together outside my home. I began my career investigating violent neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations throughout the country. A photo of Detroiter Viola Liuzzo, along with a replica of her Michigan license plate from the vehicle she was driving when she was murdered, hangs in my office.

I am acutely aware of the risks borne throughout history of those working to stand guard over and protect our democratic process. Nothing about the incessant and graphic threats made outside my home, or those that flood my social media accounts, will deter me, my team, or the more than 1,600 election administrators across the state of Michigan from doing our jobs.

And that job is simple: to defend and protect every Michigan voter, their choice, and their votes. I will continue to guard every citizen’s vote because no matter how one voted or who they voted for, where they live, or what they look like, their vote is the lifeblood of our democracy. Ensuring it counts is central to our work as election officials. It’s in our oath of office, when we pledge to support the United States Constitution and that of the State of Michigan, both of which unequivocally and preeminently establish every citizen’s fundamental right to vote.

I have spent my career defending and protecting the right to vote of every eligible citizen. That commitment has never wavered, and it will not waver now. I will continue as Michigan’s Secretary of State, proudly protecting and defending every voter and every vote.

December 6, 2020

Wendy Bell STILL Has A Problem With The Truth...

...or reality or something. 

Goddamit this is tiring. Debunking the P-G's Jack Kelly was at least fun. Debunking the climate change denials of the Trib braintrust was at least fun. This is a constant mindnumb, an ice cream brain freeze without the pleasures of a good chocolate chocolate chip with sprinkles.

So be it. Let's do this thing.

If you were to stumble across Wendy Bell's facebook page, and scroll down a day or so, you'll find this:

Yep, she got snagged by the fact-checkers at Facebook. Yet again.

If you were to click on that "See Why" button, you'd see this:

Fact Check: Video From Georgia Does NOT Show Suitcases
Filled With Ballots Suspiciously Pulled From Under A Table;
Poll Watchers Were NOT Told To Leave
Which is what Wendy was asserting. If you don't feel inclined to believe Facebook, other's have fact-checked this false assertion as well:

The story's just not true, Wendy. When will you be correcting the record? (Y'know, to protect your journalistic credibility?)

But that's the false claim Facebook caught. They have yet to snag her on this bit of false from last Tuesday. Wendy described it thusly:

When a researcher’s study of COVID deaths (conducted at a respected institution) goes against the narrative pushed by big government, big tech and big media, then gets RETRACTED, common sense Americans have their greatest fears realized. Everyone is corrupt.

And she opens with this little bit of projection at a little under one minute in. She asserts that she has "very basic values" but, alas, there's a pushback:

...against those values - about basic integrity, about honesty, about morals, about being able to go to bed at night knowing that you did the best job you could, that you didn't cheat or lie or steal or deceive for your own benefit to the detriment of others. 

And yet every single day in this country, that's all we see. We see people corrupted by greed and thirsty beyond thirsty for power who are willing to sell out their morality and put other people in danger and at risk for their own benefit.

Does the Angel of Death not possess even a soupçon of introspection? Can she not see that she's describing herself here? 

I suppose not.

Anyway, she brings to you the story after dutifully telling you about the good folks giving her money for so she can do her DIY broadcasts. She says:

(05:29): What triggered this whole conversation for me today was a friend of mine had forwarded me an article that was published November 22nd [by the Johns Hopkins school newspaper].

Ah...this'll be good. Wendy continues that if it's from Johns Hopkins, it's gotta be true, right? Right??

She adds a little familiar COVID virus denial for good measure:

(06:42): [It's] a virus that, if you talk to almost any doctor will tell you, operates just like other viruses -  it impacts those who are the weakest and the most at risk first and does have some outlier effects on healthy people but very rarely. A 99% survival rate with this virus ladies and gentlemen.

Misinformation like this (99% survival rate, it's just like other viruses) is going to get people sick and some of them will die, Wendy.

Any statement that downplays the deaths of 270,000+ of our fellow citizens is morally reprehensible and marks the person making the statement as complicit in those deaths. I say that because basic integrity, honesty and morality demand it. I say this because it's simply immoral to put other people in danger for their own benefit. 

Note: This edition of Wendy Bell Radio is sponsored by Attorney John D'Onofrio and Dr. Richard Rafferty of the Disc Institute of Pittsburgh and Tom Yakopin of West Penn Life & Health. Give them a call and let them know how you feel about Wendy Bell's take on the deaths of so many of our fellow citizens.

But back to Wendy. She spends a few minutes breathlessly summarizing the November 22 article, which contained this:

[Genevieve] Briand also noted that 50,000 to 70,000 deaths are seen both before and after COVID-19, indicating that this number of deaths was normal long before COVID-19 emerged. Therefore, according to Briand, not only has COVID-19 had no effect on the percentage of deaths of older people, but it has also not increased the total number of deaths.

These data analyses suggest that in contrast to most people js assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.

Mmm Wendy like but then Wendy sad:

(24:04) Wouldn't you know somebody found out about that article because just five days later they retracted the article about this Johns Hopkins researchers' research. They retracted it. Somebody got to them ladies and gentlemen.

See that?? Somebody got to them! Maybe it was the cigarette smoking man! Maybe it was Ted Cruz' father! Maybe it was Professor Moriarty! In either case, it must've been someone connected to George Soros, right?? I'm sure Q will tell us once Trump finishes his divine quest of clearing the swamp and imprisoning all the pedophiles in the Demonrat party.

Wendy seems to think that because the article was published it effectively debunked the CDC/WHO/mainstream narrative that the virus kills lots of people. Furthermore she seems to think that it's being quashed simply because it contradicts that narrative. Reacting to the paper's retraction, Wendy says: 

From the retraction:

(24:41): Editor's note: We decided on November 26 to retract this article to stop the spread of misinformation.

Wendy reacts: 

How is using CDC data and analyzing how many people in what age groups died from what causes this year and going back and comparing that same data to two years prior misinformation?  It's misinformation if the information you get contradicts the narrative. Bingo!

Except that the article wasn't retracted because it conflicted with the accepted narrative. It was retraced because it was factually incorrect. 

There is a difference, you know. It's as clear as the difference between fact and opinion. A journalist would know the difference, Wendy. Do you?

From the retraction:

Briand was quoted in the article as saying, “All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers.” This claim is incorrect and does not take into account the spike in raw death count from all causes compared to previous years. According to the CDC, there have been almost 300,000 excess deaths due to COVID-19. 

Additionally, Briand presented data of total U.S. deaths in comparison to COVID-19-related deaths as a proportion percentage, which trivializes the repercussions of the pandemic. This evidence does not disprove the severity of COVID-19; an increase in excess deaths is not represented in these proportionalities because they are offered as percentages, not raw numbers.

But they're not alone. Newsweek has looked into this story:

In late November, the student-run Johns Hopkins News-Letter published a story, since retracted, about a study claiming that there have been no extra deaths, known as "excess deaths," in the U.S. this year from COVID-19 compared to deaths expected in an otherwise normal year.

This year, there have been nearly 300,000 excess deaths attributed to COVID-19, as of early October, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

The story was published on November 22, then taken down, with a retraction published on November 27. The retraction said the study cited in the story "has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic."

[Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC] said taking down the story was warranted.

"The study was retracted by the newsletter for a reason," Anderson said. "It's because it wasn't very good at all."

The student-run publication said its decision was made "to stop the spread of misinformation," and it acknowledged that it had inaccurately claimed that there was "no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths" and that number of total deaths were "not above normal death numbers."

The facts:

"Overall, an estimated 299,028 excess deaths occurred from late January through October 3, 2020, with 198,081 (66%) excess deaths attributed to COVID-19," according to a report on the CDC's website. "Excess deaths are defined as the number of persons who have died from all causes, in excess of the expected number of deaths for a given place and time."

Then there's this from Factcheck:

An economics professor’s flawed interpretation of U.S. mortality data has prompted a viral, false claim that COVID-19 hasn’t led to more deaths than normal this year. In fact, multiple analyses have found there to be a higher-than-normal number of deaths during the pandemic — as much as 20%, according to some studies.

And this from Health Feedback:

Firstly, the study the claim refers to was not a scientific study, but instead an article published in a student newsletter at Johns Hopkins University. Secondly, the claim that no excess deaths have occurred in 2020 is false. Data from the U.S. CDC clearly shows that the number of deaths in 2020 is higher than that of previous years, most likely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  


The U.S. has recorded more than 200,000 excess deaths (about 300,000 according to the latest CDC data) from all causes in 2020 compared to the average number of deaths in previous years. Excess deaths in 2020 have also been observed in all age groups, ranging from young adults to the elderly.

When will you be correcting the record, Wendy? You're still downplaying the severity of the virus and as such you're morally complicit with all the extra suffering you're causing.

How do you sleep at night?

December 2, 2020

Dear Sue (December 2, 2020)

Dear Sue,

It's been about six weeks since my last letter to you and I was sadly surprised that so much time had passed. Your most recent letter to me got me thinking about my own Thanksgiving memories/traditions and so I want to thank you for the opportunity to blog on them.

My memories and traditions circle almost exclusively around the non-historical aspects of the day. For me, it's about a big multi-course meal (many hours long) with a large loud multi-generational Italian-American family that's happy to be in each other's company on a chilly late November Thursday.

The day begins watching a parade and ends watching football.

Of course, I am not unaware of the historical myths surrounding the meaning of the day. But like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving sits at an intersection of a number of different (some overlapping, some discrete) narratives. We can't erase the sins of the past, that's for sure, and the dissonance at the core of the American Experience is the result of how we want (or perhaps need) to perceive our collective past grinding against the painful realities of that past.

In an early draft of that Columbus Day blog post, I was edging towards the question of "Why was it necessary to cleanse Columbus in the first place?" I think we can ask the same question of Thanksgiving as each is part of the prelude to the story of America.

If we've settled on the idea that "we" are the good guys (for example, look at Reagan's "The Shining City On The Hill" - a metaphor that has it's own Thanksgiving connections), then every decision made to solidify that idea has to have been the right one to make. History and facts then have to be twisted around so the myth In order to hold the myth true. We're civilized. They're savages!

I remember a "Thanksgiving" episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer a few decades ago that touched on this. While I don't recall all the details of the plot, Spike, the bleached vampire, sliced through the similar discussion of the legacy of Thanksgiving with, if memory serves, a cynical, "You're a conquering people. It's what you do."

If we were to simply accept that human beings across the globe have done some awful things to other human beings for millennia (and then subsequently retro-fit any number of mythologies in order to justify those actions) the dissonance would dissolve. It wouldn't absolve us of our moral responsibilities of course, as we'd still have to make right what we did, but at least we'd have jettisoned our collective hypocrisies. I'm not sure how to do any of that, however.

But back to my own traditions. For the past decade or so, the lovely wife (and I keep her anonymous at her request) and I have driven the 8 hours eastward to my relatives on Long Island. The mini-vacation usually breaks down into two visits; the multi-course multi-generational meal at my Aunt's house (antipasti, pasta, turkey, coffee and dessert - takes about 5 hours total), then a weekend stay with my cousin (my aunt's daughter) who lives on the east side of Manhattan.

On The Island we walk. For three days. East side, west side, all around the town (although there's no gathering of wood for bows). There's usually a trip to Rockefeller Center to see the skating rink. Saks (right across 5th Avenue) has a holiday light show that's really wonderful to see. There's usually also multiple trips to Veniero's on E 11th for kawfee and Italian pastry. The lovely wife usually goes for sfogliatella whereas I'm more partial to cannoli.

The highlight for the last few years (for me, at least) is when I got to do this:

Real bagels every morning, exercising my 1st Amendment rights protesting our would be tyrant, and reconnecting with my family. That's been Thanksgiving for me for the last few years.

Lotsa awful stuff to contemplate, lotsa stuff to be thankful for.

With respect,