The election was not stolen

Liz Cheney states it all clearly here. And for doing so consistently since the insurrection on Jan. 6, the GQP is going to toss her out of her leadership position, and replace her with a more obedient Congresswoman, Elise Stephanik.

I would oppose all of Liz Cheney’s policy preferences, I am sure of it. Someone on cable news last night described Stephanik as “more liberal” than Cheney, which is a strange thing to say about any Republican today. But her voting record is clearly more moderate than Cheney’s.

Nonetheless, Cheney insists on reality, on the rule of law, and believes in our democracy in a way that Stephanik clearly does not. Which makes Cheney not only a better Representative, but a better human being, in every way. This is a terrible decision by Kevin McCarthy and his caucus, and a dangerous day for the U.S.

Edit to add: And in a spineless voice vote, the Republican caucus removes Cheney from the leadership. Afterwards, she came out and said this:

Edit2 to add: Counterpoint from Charlie Pierce: Liz Cheney Is Still the Distillation of All That I Distrust in Never Trump Republicans


January 6, 2025

Let’s start with this bit from Chris Hayes last night in the intro to his show.

I’ve transcribed his words below, because I think they are important. If you can find his follow-up discussion with Stuart Stevens it’s worth listening to, as they go deeper into the very anti-democratic moves of the Republican Party today.

Of course, now Donald Trump is no longer in office. He lost badly. Republicans lost both houses of Congress under his watch. He spends his days entertaining guests at Mar-a-lago. But Kevin McCarthy is still standing, the last Young Gun, because he is still debasing himself for Donald Trump. And he is now fielding calls from the former President about Liz Cheney, telling him that Cheney will be on her way out soon.

Now, at one level this is all a compelling if embarrassing psychodrama, right? The bigger issue is that Donald Trump tried to pull off a great crime, one of the greatest crimes ever committed against American democracy, certainly by a sitting President, arguably, which was to attempt to reverse the results of a democratic election, to install himself in power over the will of the people. And he had a lot of allies in that, but not quite enough of them. And now what he is doing from his perch at Mar-a-lago, like a crime boss issuing his orders from prison, is going back through the obstacles that stood in his way and trying to get rid of each of them.

In Georgia a Trump loyalist has launched a primary challenge against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who you will remember refused Trump’s demand to find enough votes to overturn the outcome of the election. In Arizona, the Republican State Senate is running a ludicrous outsourced conspiracy-theory-laden ballot audit, trying to create ex post facto fictitious ballot fraud.

And his biggest target now is Congresswoman Liz Cheney, because she voted for impeachment, because she has been outspoken about The Big Lie. And because unlike the majority of the Republican caucus, she voted to seat the electors on that fateful January 6th day.

So ask yourself this, what happens when that faction takes over the Republican Party, and they have a majority in the House in, say, the Presidential election. What happens when the House of Representatives, maybe under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, refuses to simply pro forma ratify the election results of January 6th, 2025.

That’s where this is headed, make no mistake.

Greg Sargeant was also thinking about 2025 in his column yesterday. The whole thing is worth reading, but this is the most relevant part.

Time to worry about Jan. 6, 2025

Imagine a 2024 election decided in one state, where a GOP-controlled legislature sends electors for the GOP candidate in defiance of a close popular vote. The same House Republicans who punished Cheney — many of whom already voted against President Biden’s electors, but now control the House and have continued radicalizing — could vote to certify that slate.

There are many possible scenarios here — a lot would turn on whether the governor in that state was a Democrat, on what the Senate did, and on how the Supreme Court sorted out the mess.

But as Foley told me, it’s plausible that “you could have an outcome that is inconsistent with what the voters themselves wanted.” However it turned out, Foley added, the dispute itself “would be a major crisis.”

Do not doubt that this is where Republicans are headed. They don’t intend to lose again, no matter what they have to do, no matter what norms they need to shatter. When they not only pass bills that impose measures to repress voters and increase their control through gerrymandering, but add in provisions for their state legislatures to overturn the voters’ choices, they are creating chances to sidestep our democratic practices.

I’m not sure what can be done about it, but we absolutely have to face these facts head on.


Get your shots

As of today, vaccines across the U.S. are available to everyone 16 and older. This is a remarkable thing. I have to tell you I did not expect to reach this stage until mid- to late summer. And I am so happy to be here.

It may still take a while to get an appointment, but we are quickly reaching the time where there is as much or more vaccine than people who need it. So please, find your state’s information about how to sign up, check your local pharmacies, read up online or even make an actual phone call to your state’s public health department. They will have the information you need.

I am now fully vaccinated. Both Dolly shots and nearly three weeks past the second one, I should have 95% immunity, barring strange new variants which are still arising. Mr. J has had both shots of Pfizer, and we are waiting out his last week before he has full immunity too.

It’s a wonderful, freeing thing (though also a little scary). We look forward to slowly, slowly getting back out and about and continuing on with the long list of tasks we have not been able to do this year. Now we can meet up with (also vaccinated) friends, and do our own shopping, schedule some needed home repairs, and all the things that will hopefully feel more like the before times. I am sure as ever that there will be booster shots in the future, as this virus mutates so freely. But just like our yearly flu shots, we’ll manage to get it done.

We still intend to wear masks indoors. At least as long as such a huge amount of the virus is circulating, and mutating, through the world. The more people who are vaccinated, the more that tide will subside. That will be the best phase yet.

I hope you join us in vaccinated land. It’s nice over here, even with the nervous feelings. And there are more of us here every day.


I hadn’t even realized…

Another mass shooting in Colorado, at a King Soopers which is everyone’s basic grocery chain around here.

And I’ve just gotten my first vaccination and was really looking forward to doing my own shopping again. Maybe not so much anymore.

While reading some reports from folks on the scene, recounting how they always look for the exits when they go into a store, I realized something I had not recognized before in my own behavior. And that is, ever since Aurora, which was the horrific shooting in a Colorado theater that you might recall, ever since then when I go in a theater I’ve always looked to check out the exits. And in the back of my mind I’m thinking what I would do if someone came in with guns. Somewhere in the back of my mind there is always a picture of that crazy guy dressed in black who came through the back of the theater and started killing anyone he could. I suppose he’ll always be there now.

It’s weird because it’s clear in my mind but I hardly noticed it before. Took for granted I’d be watching the exits, as if that’s a normal thing to do and not a horror. Is this what grocery shopping will be like for me now, forevermore?


An excellent choice

Deb Haaland was sworn in today as Secretary of the Interior. This is the best choice Biden could have made for this position.

In the New Yorker, Bill McKibben said:

[M]uch of the pressure will fall on Haaland, because the territory she’s responsible for is so vast, and the political terrain so charged. She’s a brilliant choice because, with luck, she’ll be able to summon the rest of the country to appreciate the legacy that she now protects: the amazing landscape of the American West, the ancestral home of her own people and of many of our ideas about American identity. If she can leverage those powerful sentiments to get the resources she needs to underwrite a fair transition away from fossil fuels for the Western states, she will have played an outsized role in protecting that land, and the whole world, for the next thirty-five generations.

And here’s wonderful endorsement.

I hope she does find her path among all the forces she’ll have to deal with. Her position here raises a lot of hope in my heart.


Biden’s BFD

Hat tip to Balloon Juice commenters for the title.

Eric Levitz at New York Magazine seems to like that title too. He lays out details of what’s in the bill.

Biden’s COVID-Relief Bill Is a Big F**king Deal

• The average household in the bottom quintile of America’s economic ladder will see its annual income rise by more than 20 percent.

• A family of four with one working parent and one unemployed one will have $12,460 more in government benefits to help them make ends meet.

• The poorest single mothers in America will receive at least $3,000 more per child in government support, along with $1,400 for themselves and additional funds for nutritional assistance and rental aid.

• Child poverty in the U.S. will drop by half.

• More than 1 million unionized workers who were poised to lose their pensions will now receive 100 percent of their promised retirement benefits for at least the next 30 years.

• America’s Indigenous communities will receive $31.2 billion in aid, the largest investment the federal government has ever made in the country’s Native people.

• Black farmers will receive $5 billion in recompense for a century of discrimination and dispossession, a miniature reparation that will have huge consequences for individual African-American agriculturalists, many of whom will escape from debt and retain their land as a direct result of the legislation.

• The large majority of Americans who earn less than $75,000 as individuals or less than $150,000 as couples will receive a $1,400 stimulus check for themselves and another for each child or adult dependent in their care.

• America’s child-care centers will not go into bankruptcy en masse, thanks to a $39 billion investment in the nation’s care infrastructure.

• Virtually all states and municipalities in America will exit the pandemic in better fiscal health than pre-COVID, which is to say a great many layoffs of public employees and cutbacks in public services will be averted.

• No one in the United States will have to devote more than 8.5 percent of their income to paying for health insurance for at least the next two years, while ACA plans will become premium-free for a large number of low-income workers.

• America’s unemployed will not see their federal benefits lapse this weekend and will have an extra $300 to spend every week through the first week in September….

And there’s more at the link. As Charlie Pierce points out, this is a clean break from former Democratic Party policies, which emphasized austerity concerns more than concerns for poor and working people. I am so glad to see it.


For me, 50 weeks today

That’s how long our house has kept itself in quarantine so far.

And today I got my first shot of the Moderna vaccine here in Colorado. Mr. J isn’t eligible yet, so we’ll keep ourselves in quarantine until we both have as full immunity as we can get.

Guess who else got her shot today? Dolly Parton.

She is such a lovely person and I can’t thank her enough for helping to fund the vaccine I received today. Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine…