scharrison's blog

Say it so the folks in back can hear: One-Term Tillis

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You wanted us to divide and conquer? Asked and answered:

In North Carolina, Senator Thom Tillis saw another devastating poll from a high-quality pollster. CBS News finds him trailing Cal Cunningham by ten points. At this point in the race, most voters know a lot about both candidates and closing a gap that wide in five weeks will be difficult. He will need Cunningham to stumble to make up the difference and Cunningham has not made many mistakes after a year of campaigning.

But what may be the worst news for Tillis is what is happening in other states. Outside money bolstering Tillis will soon be diverted to those states if his numbers don’t improve and races in those other states stay competitive. Expect the GOP to pull the plug on Tillis if the national environment or his numbers don’t improve in the next week or two.

Keep in mind, the Trump campaign is apparently down to eating its seed corn, and you know that bastard will scoop up as many dollars as he can, with zero concern for downballot races. And before you scold me for leaning on polls (which would be valid), we desperately need some good news in this current hellscape.

Social media battleground: Disinformation is the game, chaos is the goal

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And the upcoming election is the perfect medium for it:

Intelligence officials have expressed concerns that Russian and other actors will have a major opening if mail-in ballots are slow to be counted, or there are charges and countercharges about the handling of mail-in ballots, which President Trump has already said are being used to “rig” the outcome.

During that time after the election, the two agencies said, hackers could amplify “disinformation that includes reports of voter suppression, cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure, voter or ballot fraud and other problems intended to convince the public of the elections’ illegitimacy.”

Bolding mine, because these are issues that are already of major concern to many on the left. They know we're worried about it, thus we have been preconditioned to help in the dissemination of that disinformation. But here's where it gets really complicated: Some of these stories might be true. Black voters may get harassed in Missouri, an election system may get hacked in Arizona. But sharing the hell out of that story on Facebook or Twitter may also discourage people from voting. And that would make said disinformation a success. Facebook is going after some low-hanging fruit right now:

The erosion and mischaracterization of the term "Antifa"

The truth of the term has been lost in ad hominem hysteria:

Lindsay Ayling, a 32-year-old doctoral student at the University of North Carolina's flagship Chapel Hill campus, is a fixture at counterprotests against neo-Confederates and other far-right group members. They often call her "antifa," a label she accepts "in the sense that I oppose fascism and I am willing to go and confront fascists on the streets."

"The thing that's so dangerous about labeling anyone who is antifascist as a terrorist is that it's criminalizing thought," she said. "Not just thought, but it's criminalizing active resistance to fascism."

Before we get into the details of this transformation, let's talk about "branding." About fashioning catchy terms that roll off the tongue nicely, are easy to remember, short enough they can be written in bold letters on a protest sign, etc. Works good in advertising products, but not always so good in social messaging. In this case, we left the negative (anti) completely intact, but shortened the villain (fascist) to only the first two letters. Derrida would not be impressed, nor would he be surprised the term is so misunderstood by many. And by chopping the word "fascist" into a nice little two-letter bite, we've also lost an opportunity to educate those who don't understand what fascism means, those who would be forced to Google the term:

The real Deep State: NIH employee was anti-mask author

Now we know what websites Dandy has been reading:

It would have been a dangerous assertion in the middle of a deadly pandemic no matter where it came from: that wearing masks has “little to no medical value” and could do more “harm” than wearing no mask at all.

But it was especially remarkable given the source. Published on the right-wing website RedState, it turned out to have been written under a pseudonym by William B. Crews, a public affairs officer at the National Institutes of Health, promoting the same type of discredited information about dealing with the virus that his employer was working aggressively to beat back.

I no longer find it ironic these guys do exactly the opposite of what we pay them to do. After 3 1/2 years of Kakistocracy, that's what you get. I do find it hard to believe his coworkers and supervisors did not realize what an idiot he actually was. Here are some examples:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Yup. They just view it as a weakness anyway, so what's the point? They're either bald-faced liars, or willing to believe obvious lies. And when backed into a corner on such lies, instead of admitting to the inaccuracy they resort to whataboutism. Don't waste your time.

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Barr wants to use "Seditious Conspiracy" law on protesters

This authoritarian nightmare can't end soon enough:

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.

Bolding mine. What's the first thing that crossed your mind when you read that? It should be the Bundy family taking over a Federal facility in Oregon, which fits that statute to the T. But they were not charged with Seditious Conspiracy. As a matter of fact, all of the charges against them were dropped when a judge declared a mistrial. Nevermind the fact the whole world saw them commit the crime, and nevermind the fact right-wing snipers were photographed targeting Federal and state law enforcement officers. Their rights must not be infringed upon. Back to the Kakistocracy:

Pay to play politics: Tillis hearts Big Pharma

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The GOP's culture of corruption is all-encompassing:

Senator Thom Tillis accepted more than $20,000 in campaign contributions from political action committees tied to pharmaceutical companies within two weeks of sponsoring a bill related to drug prices in late 2019. Tillis was an original co-sponsor on the Lower Costs, More Cures act, which was introduced on December 19, 2019.

It was similar to a competing bill that had been introduced earlier in the year by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, except that it omitted a key provision opposed by the pharmaceutical industry that would cap drug prices at inflation.

Get that? Tillis took thousands of dollars to make sure that you and I would pay more for prescription drugs than originally intended. He SOLD US OUT, and didn't even have the decency to flinch while doing it.

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