Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Say what you will about Fox “News,” but they sure do know how to party! While the rest of us Philistines were ringing in the New Year with music, laughter and good cheer, Fox viewers were treated to the ultimate in entertainment: Five gloriously uncomfortable, pointless and excruciatingly dull minutes of cornpone yee-haws from Duck Dynasty.

Hosts Bill Hemmer and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, looking like Igloo Ken and Barbie in the New York City cold, were ecstatic to be given the honor of speaking with their redneck guests, Will Robertson and his wife Korie, who appeared to be attending a decidedly unredneck party—not surprising, given that they’re not actually rednecks.

“We’re thankful that they actually decided to share New Year’s with us!” gushed Igloo Barbie, as if Fox had fought a duel to the death with potential suitors and emerged the unlikely victor. And the interview was as hard-hitting as you’d imagine. What’s next for the Robertson clan, Will?

“It’s a new year, so we’re ready to break in a new year and start it all over again,” came the unintelligible, meaningless response from the camo-clad pseudo-redneck. This was followed by several minutes of fixed smiles, exaggerated aw-shucks, good-ole-boy, y’all-speak and repetitive variations of “there will be a new season of Duck Dynasty on A&E,” as Ken and Barbie attempted to pretend this was an exclusive—and indeed the first time the subject had ever been discussed on national television because the librul lamestream media has muzzled the godly Robertsons and denied their freedom of speech all this time!!

But the money shot comes when the Igloo twins go for the big scoop: “Willie, what’s your father [the controversial Phil] doing tonight?” and Jethro goes rogue: “Uh, I reckon he’s asleep…” Wife Korie quickly and awkwardly steers him back on script with a classic, panicked side-eye, and you can practically feel the kick in the shin: “Er… he’s probably watching Fox News!!” Hubby dutifully remembers on which side his bread is buttered, and sheepishly backtracks.

If you only watch one thing today, make it this. No, really. Do it.

Photo of the real Willie Robertson: Daily Kos

Many Democrats are getting nervous about the upcoming presidential election. Ominous, extensively reported articles by two of the best in the business—the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin and The Atlantic's Barton Gellman—outline Boss Trump's plot to keep control of the White House in 2021 no matter how the American people vote.
Trump is hardly making a secret of it. He's pointedly refused to commit to "a peaceful transfer of power."

"Well, we're going to have to see what happens," is how he answered the question. He added that after we "get rid of the ballots"—presumably mail-in ballots he's been whining about for weeks--"there won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation."

Of course, Trump himself has always voted by mail, but then brazen hypocrisy is his standard operating mode. If you haven't noticed, he also lies a lot. Without prevaricating, boasting, and bitching, he'd be mute. And even then, he'd still have Twitter. He recently tweeted that the winner "may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED" because mail-in ballots make it a "RIGGED ELECTION in waiting."
Gellman gets this part exactly right in The Atlantic: "Let us not hedge about one thing. Donald Trump may win or lose, but he will never concede. Not under any circumstance. Not during the Interregnum and not afterward. If compelled in the end to vacate his office, Trump will insist from exile, as long as he draws breath, that the contest was rigged.
"Trump's invincible commitment to this stance will be the most important fact about the coming Interregnum. It will deform the proceedings from beginning to end. We have not experienced anything like it before."
No, we haven't. However, it's important to remember that Trump makes threats and promises almost daily that never happen. Remember that gigantic border wall Mexico was going to pay for? Trump has built exactly five miles of the fool thing, leaving roughly two thousand to go.
His brilliant cheaper, better health care plan? Non-existent.
On Labor Day, Boss Trump boasted of his unparalleled success in strong-arming Japan into building new auto-manufacturing plants. "They're being built in Ohio, they're being built in South Carolina, North Carolina, they're being built all over and expanded at a level that we've never seen before."
Not a word of that is true. Two new plants, one German, another Swedish have opened in South Carolina, but construction began before Trump took office. Auto industry investment during Barack Obama's second term far exceeded Trump's. His version is sheer make-believe.
But back to the GOP scheme to steal the election.
First, it's clear that even Trump understands that he has virtually no chance of winning the national popular vote. He's been polling in the low 40s, with no sign of change. To have any chance of prevailing in the Electoral College, he's got to do the electoral equivalent of drawing to an inside straight all over again—winning a half-dozen so-called battleground states where he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by the narrowest of margins.
At this writing, that looks highly unlikely. The latest polling in must-win Pennsylvania, for example, shows Trump trailing Joe Biden by nine points. That's a landslide. Trump's down ten in Wisconsin, eight in Michigan. And so on.
So spare me the screeching emails in ALL CAPS, OK? Polls were actually quite accurate in 2016. Trump narrowly defeated the odds. It can happen. But he's in far worse shape this time. Furthermore, early voting turnout is very high, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans two to one.
Hence, The Atlantic reports, "Trump's state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for post-election maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states."
The plan is clear. Because more Democrats than Republicans are choosing mail-in voting during the COVID pandemic, Trump hopes to prevent those ballots from being counted. Assuming he'll have a narrow "swing state" lead on election night, he'll declare victory and start filing lawsuits. "The red mirage," some Democrats call it.
"As a result," Toobin writes, "the aftermath of the 2020 election has the potential to make 2000 look like a mere skirmish." With Trump in the White House urging armed militias to take to the street.
Mail-in votes take a long time to count. Things could definitely get crazy.
True, but filing a lawsuit to halt a Florida recount was one thing. Filing suits against a half dozen states to prevent votes from being counted at all is quite another. Public reaction would be strong. Also, winning such lawsuits requires serious evidence of fraud. Trumpian bluster ain't evidence.
The Atlantic reports that GOP-controlled state legislatures are thinking about sending Trumpist delegations to the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote winner—theoretically constitutional but currently illegal.
Fat chance. If that's the best they've got, they've got nothing.
Anyway, here's the answer: Vote early, and in person*.

[Editor's note: In some states, receiving an absentee ballot means that a voter can no longer vote in person* or may have to surrender the absentee ballot, including the envelope in which it arrived, at their polling place. Please check with your local election authorities.]