• Michael Flynn Is Flat Out Nuts

    This is fucking nuts:

    Apparently Flynn’s descent into madness, which started around 2014, is now complete. Thank God he’s nowhere near the levers of power at this point.

    BTW, I’m planning to start KAnon, a competitor to QAnon. To join, you’ll have to take an oath to deconstruct all my blog posts to find the secret messages I’ve been embedding into them for the past 20 years. After you’ve decoded all 20,000 of them, all you have to do is arrange them in the proper order and they will tell you what to do. Once you do this, you will be promoted to KAnon corporal, the first step on your way to KAnon field marshal. So get cracking.

  • Supreme Court Puts an End to Faithless Electors

    The Supreme Court says that states can require electors to vote for the presidential candidate they’re supposed to vote for:

    The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that states may require presidential electors to support the winner of the popular vote and punish or replace those who don’t, settling a disputed issue in advance of this fall’s election.

    Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court, and settled the disputed “faithless elector” issue before it affected the coming presidential contest. The Washington state law at issue “reflects a tradition more than two centuries old,” she wrote. “In that practice, electors are not free agents; they are to vote for the candidate whom the state’s voters have chosen.”

    This has two consequences. First, states can join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and make it stick. Under the terms of the NPVIC, electors are required to vote for the winner of the popular vote, but only if states with a majority of electors have joined the compact. Today’s ruling makes this legal and enforceable.

    Second, it puts an end to “faithless” electors, who vote for Ron Paul or Colin Powell or whoever they think makes the cutest protest statement. In 2016, ten electors tried to cast faithless votes, and it’s time for this to stop. We live in an era where it’s common to blow up political norms, and this could easily have gotten out of hand. Far better to put a hammer on it now than later, when it might actually affect an election. All that’s left now is for states to follow up and write laws requiring electors to do what they’re supposed to do.

  • Will Anyone in the Republican Party Ever Step Up?

    Jette Carr/CNP via ZUMA

    From the Washington Post today:

    President Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination, crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mount Rushmore, has unnerved Republicans who have long enabled him but now fear losing power and forever associating their party with his racial animus.

    Well, that’s good news. It’s about time Republicans started taking this ser—

    On Capitol Hill, some Republicans fret — mostly privately, to avoid his wrath — that Trump’s fixation on racial and other cultural issues leaves their party running against the currents of change. Coupled with the coronavirus pandemic and related economic crisis, these Republicans fear he is not only seriously impairing his reelection chances but also jeopardizing the GOP Senate majority and its strength in the House.

    Oh. Apparently they still don’t care about Trump’s actual racism. They just care that it might endanger their reelection chances. Is there really not a single person in their ranks willing to plainly condemn Trump and be on the right side of both history and common decency? Just one?

    I guess we know the answer to that.

  • Stuff

    Mom has always loved cats. Where do you think I got it from, after all?

    I’m going out of my mind. In addition to three years of Donald Trump; my own energy-sucking dex problems; the COVID-19 pandemic; and some annoying work stuff, my mother has suddenly become extremely ill. Two weeks ago she was her usual self: gardening, painting, swimming 50 laps, and cursing our president. Then she suddenly started getting weak. Within three days she could barely move herself to an upright position—which is when I called 911 and had her taken to the hospital. Three days after that she was entirely immobile, able to move her arms to her head and nothing more. Her voice is so weak and slurry that it’s basically gone, so we can’t communicate with her. She won’t eat more than a few bites a day, and doesn’t drink much either.

    And nobody knows what caused this. Not even a guess. Her lungs are OK, her heart is OK, and her brain seems to be OK. What on earth could do this in the space of six days?

    Anyway, this is the “family business” I mentioned a few days ago, and it’s why the blog is moving a little slower than usual these days.

  • Cases vs. Deaths: COVID-19 Mortality by State

    As we all know, the number of COVID-19 cases is skyrocketing but the COVID-19 death rate is continuing to decline. Today I saw someone suggesting that if we look at the mortality data state-by-state, we’d see a different picture. So here’s the COVID-19 death rate for six states that have recently seen increases in confirmed cases:

    Arizona is obviously in a class by itself. However, the other five states aren’t showing much. Here’s a closer look at those five:

    Oklahoma has shown a recent spike, and both Florida and Texas have seen modest increases since mid-June. This may be a harbinger of things to come, but it’s hard to say that based on the data right now. The mystery of rising cases and falling death rates remains something of a mystery.