In the early 19th century a man named John Chapman wandered around Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states planting orchards. Orchards of apples. As time went on and stories about his life changed he became a legend.
Images and stories of Chapman wandering across the country flinging apple seeds hither and yon. Creating orchards in his wake. So John Chapman earned the nickname of “Johnny Appleseed”. An American folk hero.
Of course there is a lot of truth in these stories. Johnny did plant orchards of apple trees. Then he protected them from wild animals by fencing, as any good horticulturalist would do. He did travel across many states. He did spread apples across the “western”states.
Those seeds took root. He came out every year and tended those orchards. He made sure his wide ranging plantings were protected and managed. It worked. In the early 19th century clean water was not easy to come by. Which is why “cider” was a popular drink. The trees Johnny planted were not good for eating apples, but were great for cider. A real public service.
Now, on the internet, we have a new Johnny Appleseed. His name is Vladimir. He trolls through the vast web of on line information and plants the seeds. The seeds of dissent. The seeds of doubt. Flinging them hither and yon. Hoping they take root.
He is seeding and tending orchards of misinformation. Of false news. Of divisive, negative nonsense. He pretends he is a black man and sows seeds trying to divide blacks from whites. He pretends he is a Democrat or a Republican and sows seeds of hatred for the other side. He pretends he is a doctor and sows seeds of confusion concerning Covid-19. And it is working. Americans are confused. Divided as never before.
It worked in 2016 and it is working today. Vladimir Appleseed planted the misinformation of “Clinton Corruption” in 2016 and many folks devoured the apples. I recall doing a “search” on the name “Hillary Clinton” during the campaign. At one point the first 2 pages of links were all about the Clinton “health issues”
Of course, there were no health issues. But seeding the internet with false reports and bots, Vladimir Appleseed was able to push Clinton “health issues” to the top of the Google research pages. Because stories are placed in the order of how many others have clicked on the site. Not based on accuracy, just numbers. It worked.
So, Vladimir Appleseed is at it again. Joe Biden is some kind of child molester. Joe Biden has mental issues. Joe Biden is some kind of crook with contacts with the Ukraine. It’s all out there. Joe Biden is a racist. Joe Biden is a socialist. Seeded.
Now, Johnny Appleseed is an American hero. He was a fine man who spread the “good news”of apple trees. An overwhelmingly positive force. Except.
Except. John Chapman also planted a medicinal herb called “dogfennel”. An invasive, quick growing plant that has a certain odor. Unfortunately dogfennel is also poisonous. John didn’t know it, but he was spreading the seeds of poison as well as the seed of cider.
Johnny Appleseed spread apples and dogfennel. A great crop and a poisonous plant.
Vladimir Appleseed has skipped the apples and gone straight to the dogfennel. He knows exactly what he is doing. Spreading the seeds. The lies. the misinformation. And people are unaware of its poisonous properties.
A friend of mine, Diogenese Lamplighter, was walking around with a big smile on his face. Which is quite unusual for him. So, being curious and always willing to throw a blanket over happiness , I had to intervene.
Me: Dio, old boy. What have you got to smile about?
Dio: Well, cranky one, I have finally reached my goal. I have found an honest man. Just one. But he is an honest man.
Me: Needless to say, Dio, I am a bit skeptical. A truly honest man? Are you sure or have you been hitting ouzo again?
Dio: A man who tells it like it is. No bullshit. He says what he means and means what he says. Total honesty.
Me: Wow. Where did you find this guy? In a monastery or church…wait.. of course not. Hmm. In a cave somewhere far away from civilization? Where, oh, wise one, where?
Dio: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.
Me: OK. Let me google map that…hmmm… hey… wait a minute, Dio, that’s the White House! You mean there is someone in the White House who is an honest man? That would be a first.
Dio: Oh yes. A completely honest man. A man who hides nothing.
Me: (kind of excited now, which doesn’t happen much) Who? Who? Jared? No way. Maybe Steve Miller? Nah, can’t be. I know, I know..it’s got to be Barron? Right?
Dio: No, my foolish, disillusioned friend, it is none other than Donald J Trump, President of the United States.
Me: Sheesh. Now I KNOW you have been not only hitting the ouzo but also soaked the grape leaves in too much white wine. Trump? Honest? Give me a break.
Dio: I will do better. I will give you my analysis. After all these years of searching for an honest man, it has only been Donald J Trump, President of the United States, who has dared to speak the truth.
Me: But… but… he is a racist, a xenophobe, a climate change denier… even some Republicans don’t like him.
Dio: Oh, but you are missing the point. For the last 40 years the Republican party has done everything it legally can to support big business. At the expense of workers. And at the expense of the small business owner. They have pretended to care about workers but oppose the minimum wage. They say they want health care but have opposed health care reforms for years. They are in court right now, trying to destroy the ACA. As Mr Reagan said, in the eyes of the GOP the “government is the problem”. Because “government” is the only thing preventing corporations from driving out small business and keeping wages low.
Me: Well, I don’t know. Seems to me that the GOP over the last 40 years have just been advocating for following the Constitution.
Dio: Did the Constitution say corporations are “persons”? Or that voting should be suppressed? Or that black folks should not have equal protection under the law? Or that the post office should be destroyed? Or prisons privatized?
Me: So, what is your point?
Dio: My point is that the Republican party has been a party of racism (remember the Willie Horton ad), bigotry, sexism and anti-working man and anti-small business for at least 40 years. But they pretend to be otherwise. I mean, how can you win an election if you tell people that you’re main motivation is to screw them? How can you win an election if you tell folks ahead of time that you are giving millionaires massive tax breaks because it is good for people making $7.25 an hour (the minimum wage)? How can you win an election by telling working people that they would be better off without government protection of their water? But Trump. He is honest.
Me: So , you are saying that Trump just says what the GOP has been afraid to say? But that they really do support him and his racism and misogyny and general disdain for science and working people?
Dio: DUH. Mr Trump just says out loud what the GOP has been saying, with their policies, for the last 40 years. Now, I admit, he is a bit more vulgar than many in the GOP would like, but he has given them the government they want. Corrupt. Racist. Incompetent. Authoritarian.
Dio: I can snuff out the flame on my lamp. Finally, an honest man.
I live in the country in western New York about 5 miles from a small town. There has been some controversy over the Facebook pages for this town. It got so bad that the mayor and others set up a new Facebook page.
What seems to happen on Facebook is that people get progressively ruder and ruder. Folks who would give you the shirt off their backs turn into folks who would shoot you in the back. People who would gladly buy you a drink turn into folks who would poison your coffee. Now why is that?
As in all things, I have my theories. Not original by any means.
One idea is the fact that Facebook is largely anonymous. But that’s not really the case here. Most folks use their real names (I think). I use mine. So, anonymity cannot be the reason.
Another idea is that communication is much more than words. But Facebook, except for the lame emojis, is all words. Words. And not spoken words, but written words. Now, psychologists will tell us that 70-93% of all communication is “non-verbal”. That is, body language. Voice inflection. What a person looks like. Tone of voice. Etc. (Although that number has been challenged as too high by some researchers).
So, if that is true it would mean that the written word is only 30% of what is being communicated. The rest you have to figure out. This may be where the problem rests.
My friends know that I tend to be sarcastic (Tend?) So, when I SPEAK my tone will tell them that. Even when I write my blog or posts people who know me know that I may be ironic or intentionally dramatic. Hyperbolic. Not totally serious. But, someone who only reads the words I write may come away with an entirely different perception. They don’t get the humor. No subtlety.
I mean, just today someone responded to one of my rather feeble attempts at sarcastic humor by calling me (or I should say, “writing to me”) a “fu…ing idiot.”
To be clear. I am not now, nor ever have, claimed I am NOT a “fu…ing idiot.” I could very well be a “fu…ing idiot.” God knows, if you took a poll of the people who know me best, the results may be conclusive in a way that I would not prefer. But whether I am or am not a “fu….ing idiot” is not the point.
The point is that IN PERSON I doubt that anyone would call me a “fu…ing idiot” right to my face. At least not until they got to know me. On Facebook and other discussion sites people often make assumptions beyond the words. And base their responses on preconceived notions, based on , well, “baseless” assumptions.
I will be the first to admit that I am not immune. As a liberal who believes in the necessity of social programs I have a particular point of view. I start from a place based on my own life experiences and analysis of the systems within which we live. I try to use research and information from good sources.
For example, when I worked as a poll watcher I worked with Republicans. We have very different ideas about government, society and the role of government in that society. Yet, we were able to be pleasant, even joking, with each other for a day at the polls. As human beings, face to face, we did not devolve into name-calling “fu…ing idiots”.
Yet, when I get on some of these posts I morph . Dr Jeckel and Mr Hyde. Or is it Heckel and Jeckel? I confuse the two. Reading someone else’s post can immediately put me into antagonistic mode. Arguments ensue. When that happens I notice that each side tries to cherry-pick a point or two that they see as the weakness in the other’s position. A little information is a dangerous thing. Taking a word or brief quote or statistic out of context can be a sword, but not a very useful one. Unless the only goal is to stab.
And that sometimes devolves into insults, open or veiled. Now, I don’t mind if someone IMPLIES that I am stupid. Or uninformed. As long as they can demonstrate they have evidence from a legitimate source to educate me. And as long as they are open to my evidence to the contrary.
This is where a breakdown occurs. A matter of sources. When people are getting their “information” from biased or questionable sources it means communication of other viewpoints becomes near impossible. I admit my main sources of information are the old stand bys. The New York Times. The Washington Post. The New Yorker. The Atlantic. Why these? Because all these sources have strong reputations for properly vetting information before they print it. That doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. But it means that as sources go you can be assured that there was no rush to print. And you can assume multiple sources for stories.
I had an online argument with a lady who simply said that she would not read the New York Times since they were not trustworthy. OK. Then we really can’t talk, because there is no common ground of evidence to discuss. (I want to make a distinction between the NY Times news and the NY Times EDITORIAL board. The editorial board tends to be liberal, no doubt. But the editorial board has no influence on the news sections).
So, can we discuss important issues on Facebook in a civil manner? I don’t know. But I do know that Facebook has a handy feature called “blocking”. I have blocked a couple people recently. Not because I disagree with them. Not because I don’t like their ideas. Not because they are always wrong and I am always right. I blocked them because they personally attacked me and one called me a “fu…ing idiot”.
And calling me a “fu…ing idiot” is reserved for family and friends.
As the three people who read my blog know, I am pretty good at predicting things. I predicted that Jeb Bush would win the presidency in 2016, that Medicare for all would be enacted and that all Republican gun owners would turn in their weapons as a show of support for children murdered every day in America. OK, so maybe no so good. HOWEVER, here is part of my end of the year prediction from December , 2017, when the GOP controlled both houses…
“Finally. Congress votes itself a 50% pay raise for a “job well done”. The legislative branch passed a total of three bills. They were: 1. “The Amazing Trump is the Best President Ever” bill awarding the Trump Medal of MAGA to the best person in America. This year’s recipient? Donald Trump. 2. “The FBI Traitor” law. Which labels all members of the FBI, former and current, official “enemies of the people” and subject to immediate permanent detention and prosecution for doing “bad stuff”. Mueller is the first to be perp walked. 3. “Congressional Vacation Act” which allows Congress to take a vacation for a period including January 2 through December 30, with pay and expenses for fact finding travel. Mr Trump signed all three bills and praised Congress for their services… which will no longer be necessary.”
I was watching the pundits on Morning Joe this morning talking about the demise of the Democratic Party because of the APP problems in counting the Iowa Democratic caucus votes. Their main theme was the incompetency of the Democratic Party. And by extension any Democratic administration. Okey Dokey.
This was similar to another Democratic government run debacle with the roll out of the Affordable Care Act. We all remember how Obama and the Dems screwed that up. Big government at its worse. Except.
Except both the ACA roll out and the Iowa caucus problems were not caused by “big government” at all. Both were major technical problems made by private contractors, not the government. In a nation where the prevailing narrative remains that business is more efficient than government, we see the opposite. It is the private contractors that screw things up. Regularly.
Now, let’s look at really BIG government, the Social Security administration and Veterans administration. These are the government folks who send out your Social Security and Veterans benefit checks. And have been doing so for decades. Ever miss a payment? Ever have a check bounce. Ever have a failure to deliver? I rest my case.
But, back to the pundits who are already predicting the end of the Democratic Party. It is February 4, 2020. Between now and Election day there will be at least 10 new things that will once again give the pundits something new to predict. And they will be just as certain of themselves and just as wrong as they always are. As a self-made pundit, here are my 10 new things.
1. One of the Democratic candidates will be physically assaulted, by weapon or by fist. And she will punch back.
2. A major US corporation will file for bankruptcy. And be given tax dollars as compensation.
3. Kim Jung Un will announce that he has a nuclear weapon and the ability to reach the US with it. Also announces a contract for new Trump Tower in Pyongyang.
4. Donald Trump, Jr will announce the best trade deal ever with China, and the details will be forthcoming. The details never come forth.
5. A number of global warming catastrophes around the globe will prompt the UN to hold a global warming summit, which the US will refuse to support.
6. The GNP will continue to hover around 2.3% but no one knows what that means. Although 76% of the population is certain it has something to do with the Super Bowl.
7. Photos will emerge of Mike Pence leaving a room with a woman. She looks scared. So does he.
8. Israel will announce that they accept the Kushner peace plan which allows Palestinians to look at their former homes on the West Bank during Ramadan. For 2 minutes.
9. Mike Bloomberg will buy North Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas, giving him enough votes to win the election. He complains that he has used up all his pocket change for the week.
10. Vlad Putin will make a surprise appearance at the Republican convention and will graciously accept the nomination for president by acclimation of the party. Why not eliminate the middle man? Vlad will then appoint Ivanka Trump as his running mate.
So, those are my predictions. And after each event the pundits will all-knowingly tell us what it means. Again.
I know what you are thinking. Most of these are WAY OUT THERE and probably not going to happen. But number 10 is just obvious.
Watching Alan Dershowitz make his arguments for presidential power was certainly mind numbing. Now, I can understand why Trump would have Dershowitz on his team. He has a long history of effectively defending people who might have otherwise been convicted based solely on evidence. OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein, Claus von Bulow and others. Also, his connections with Fox “news” and his connections with the same sex ring that Trump and Clinton seemed to be part of what made him a good choice.
Nevertheless, despite his person flaws and general lack of integrity aside, let’s look at his arguments. Remember, no other Constitutional scholar was willing to sit on the president’s team. Not even Jonathon Turley who the Republicans brought in to testify to the House inquiry. So, Alan stands alone as the expert on the Constitution for Trump.
His basic argument has been this.
If the president did something illegal, but he did it for good reasons, then that is not impeachable.
Furthermore, if the president THINKS that his own re-election is in the public interest, anything he does to secure his own re-election is not impeachable. As long as the president believes his re-election is what is best for the country he may take any actions to assure that re-election and , according to Dershowitz, that would not be an abuse of power.
Here are his own words: “Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest and, mostly, you’re right — your election is in the public interest,” Dershowitz said. “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.“
I taught European history for many years when it was part of the old New York State curriculum. Since then European history has been subsumed into a more comprehensive Global Studies curriculum.
Back in the day we spent a bit of time on the French Revolution and the historical basis for that event. The long term developments leading to the Revolution are rooted in the old monarchical system. In the 17th century there was a power struggle in France.
On one hand we had the monarch and on the other the nobles. The majority (98%) of the people could just pound sand. They really did not count.
In order to centralize his power Louis XIV decided that he needed to move against the nobles . Now, the power of the nobles was in the great city of Paris (Washington, DC). To eliminate that power center Louis decided to build a new power center, near the small village outside of Paris. A day’s ride from Paris. So he built Versailles (Mar -a – Lago). There he could control the nobles.
I have been to Versailles. It is mind boggling in both size and luxury. Especially when you consider it was built in the 17th century. A short train ride from Paris today, but in Louis’s time it was isolated from Paris. If a noble wanted to be part of the power structure he had to travel to Versailles. He had to genuflect to Louis. And so Louis was able to slowly bring the nobles under his control.
Most famously a quote attributed to Louis (whether he said it or not, he certainly acted as though he did) was : L’etat C’est Moi. I am the state.
What does that mean? There is no distinction between the interests of the state and the interest of the king. There is no division between what is good for the king and what is good for the state. I am the state. What is good for Mr Trump is, by definition good for the United States.
Now, if we accept this argument, then the following logically follows.
In November of 2020 Mr Trump believes that the election of his opponent is not in the best interests of the nation. However, he honestly believes that his own election is in the best interests of the nation. That being the case, on election night, the results are in.
Mr Trump’s opponent has won. But wait. The election of his opponent is not in the best interests of the nation. So, Mr Trump simply invalidates the election.
He asks Attorney General Barr offer his legal opinion and Mr Barr concurs. It is within the power of the president to annul the election because there is nothing in the Constitution that specifically states a president CANNOT nullify an election.
But wait, Congress can step and overturn the decision. No. According to the legal opinion of the Justice Department the president has unlimited power, as long as he is acting in what he (and he alone) considers is best for the country. The Congress cannot review any decision made by the president. He is above the law. The imperial presidency.
The impeachment trial of Donald Trump started last week. The House managers presented a very thorough case. Now it is the time for the defenders of the president to speak. Fair enough.
So, what should they say? Well, let’s look at what the House has presented and see how they can respond.
The House case focuses first on the withholding of aid to Ukraine and the withholding of a meeting in the Oval Office with the president of the Ukraine. Both are important to the Ukraine for what should be obvious reasons. Ukraine is partially occupied and is at war with Putin’s Russia. Not to belabor the point but again. Ukraine is partially occupied and at war with Putin’s Russia.
So, the Ukraine desperately needs military help. Which the Congress and the president have given them.They also just as desperately need Putin to understand that the US stands with Ukraine against his illegal occupation and aggression. So, both the military and political aid are essential.
It is a fact that the Department of Defense was ready to start to distribute the military aid to Ukraine on June 18, 2019. From the DOD website:
The DOD does not release any military aid unless a thorough review has been done to make sure the country is meeting the requirements for fighting corruption, insuring human rights, etc.
So, for the president’s Defense Team. The first point they need to address is why the military aid was withheld. What information came to light between June 18 and the hold on the aid? There may be legitimate reasons for withholding aid, if so, what were they? And why was the very process for withholding aid taken out of the usual channels and handed over to a political appointee, rather than a career official?
Along the same lines, the defense may argue that the president can unilaterally withhold aid for any reason. In fact, the aid was held up 9 different times, with no explanation. However, the Government Accounting Office relayed a decision that what Trump did was break the law. A law that requires him to notify Congress with reasons for any hold up in aid:
“In the summer of 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld from obligation funds appropriated to the Department of Defense (DOD) for security assistance to Ukraine. In order to withhold the funds, OMB issued a series of nine apportionment schedules with footnotes that made all unobligated balances unavailable for obligation. Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA….”
So, the president or his staff broke the law. Period. His defense team needs to explain that and justify the hold on military aid. Why did the president think it was essential to break the law? Perhaps he had good reason.Legal reasons. What were they? And why was Congress never notified?
Furthermore, since aid was eventually released they need to answer another question. What happened to make the president change his mind and lift the hold? What new evidence emerged? Did he discover it was illegal or was there a change in Ukraine? What specific reason was there for all of a sudden releasing most of the aid?
The second charge on impeachment brought by the House managers was the obstruction of Congress. Now, it is pretty obvious that Congress was obstructed since the president refused to provide and documents or witnesses to help in the investigation. The question is, was that obstruction legal?
On Saturday the president’s team argued that the entire impeachment proceeding was illegal. So, since the proceeding was illegal they had no requirement to cooperate. Of course, this argument does have a major hole.
The position presupposes that the executive branch alone can decide for the House of Representatives what it can and cannot investigate. In other words, although the Constitution gives the sole power of impeachment to the House, the executive branch can overrule that power. The position falls flat on two levels. First, it disregards the specific language of the Constitution.
Article 1, Section 2: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Of course it makes no sense legally or logically for the object of an impeachment or investigation to have the power to end an impeachment or investigation.
Along the same lines the president’s defense claimed that the House violated their own rules, so therefore the very impeachment itself is illegal. Yet, here we are. The Senate, controlled by Mitch McConnell, recognized the legality of impeachment. The Supreme Court, along with Chief Justice Roberts, recognizes the legality of the impeachment. We are having a trial precisely because the House acted legally. So, once again we have the president, alone, making claims that no other branch of government agrees with.
Now, it is legal for the president to, in certain circumstances, invoke “executive privilege”. However, invoking that privilege means the president has to make a case, before a court, that the documents or testimony being withheld is being done for legitimate national security concerns. So far, Mr Trump has made no such claim.
His lawyers, however, have taken the position that he can claim executive privilege without making a formal claim of executive privilege. In their words, he can hide anything he wants for any reason he wants. In other words, the chief executive is supreme and cannot be investigated or impeached. Trump has taken this position publicly:
“…Trump was giving a speech at a Turning Point USA conference, where he predictably veered off into a tirade about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and how, as president, Trump could’ve stopped it.
“I have an Article 2 where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” Trump said. “But I don’t even talk about that because they did a report and there was no obstruction.”…”
“…During a pre-taped one-on-one interview with ABC News reporter George Stephanopoulos, Trump argued that “a lot of great lawyers” agree that Article 2 of the Constitution means that the President can’t obstruct justice.
“So a president can’t obstruct justice?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“A president can run the country,” Trump responded. “And that’s what happened, George. I run the country and I run it well.”
“When the President does it, it’s not illegal?” Stephanopoulos asked….”
“I’m just saying a president under Article 2–it’s very strong, read it,” Trump said. “Do you have Article 2? Read it.”
(To be clear, executive privilege is not mentioned in the Constitution)
So, the president’s defense team will have to find a justification that he has refused to cooperate with Congress. While they may rightly point to very specific instances where other president’s have attempted (successfully or unsuccessfully) to invoke “executive privilege”, they will have to justify an unbridled power of the president to hide all his actions and documents.
Now, will the defense team address these issues raised by the House managers? Will they respond to the facts and evidence in the charges? Will they talk about how the Democrats have hated Trump from day one? Will they talk about Adam Schiff? Will they talk about the Mueller Report being a hoax? Will they claim the entire procedure is a “witch hunt”? Or will they talk about how corrupt the Biden’s are? Benghazi Redux?
In other words, will they address the points the Hose manager have made, or will they deflect ? Isn’t the answer obvious?
This year, for the first time, I became an Election Inspector.
Now, in NY in order to be an Election Inspector you have to take a 4 hour class . This class covers the proper way to sign in voters. How to ask for additional information if the voter is not in the book. How to offer affidavit ballots (used to be called provisional ballots). And a myriad of other things.
The training includes using the voting machine and helping folks, if they need help, in placing the ballots in the machine.
Then, you must take and pass a test on all this stuff.
I worked from 5 AM to 1:30 PM, only half a day. Most inspectors work the entire day , which lasts 17 hours.
In NY inspectors are appointed by the political parties, with the two top parties working the polls. That would be the Democrats and Republicans. I am a Democrat. At all times you must have both parties present, hopefully in equal numbers.
Now I live in deep Republican country. If fact, in these local elections most offices do not even have a Democrat running. And the 2 or 3 that were running for county offices lost. Badly. One bright spot was the coroner.
The county coroner position was won by a Democrat! How did that happen?. Well, the GOP candidate forgot to file his petitions. His party was not happy with him. I doubt that the cadavers are too concerned.
Since the district I was working in had very few voters trickling in, we all had a lot of time to socialize. The GOP chairman in charge of this precinct happened to go to the same college, Michigan State University, as I did… but a few years later. We all chatted together, Dems and Repubs, telling jokes, swapping stories and helping each other figure our how to solve problems with ballots, etc.
You see, one of the rules in NY is that as an inspector you are not allowed to talk politics.
I have to say that I liked most of the people I met. Well, I liked ALL of the Republicans but there was one Democrat that rubbed me the wrong way. They were all so…HUMAN.
Did they really vote for Trump? Did they really support his racist policies? Do they think that Dems are communist and hate America?
I don’t know. But these folks seemed normal enough. Why on Earth would they vote for the GOP? I suppose they had the same thoughts about me. How could this guy, who seems decent enough, vote for the Dems?
It used to be like this in Congress. The Dems and GOP had different philosophies but did not go after each other personally. They treated each other like human beings, not caricatures. They fought the battle of ideas, not character assassination. What happened?
I will never agree with or accept the philosophy of the Republican party, no doubt. However. It will be hard. But the next time I see Jim Jordan or Mitch McConnell or even Donald Trump I will try to remind myself: My God, They’re Human.
In 2016 many of Bernie’s supporters , loyal to the end, failed to come out to support Hillary Clinton. The result was a victory for Donald Trump. Just a few thousand more votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, etc. and we would not be saddled with this boil on the ass of America called Donald Trump.
The Bernie narrative went like this. Bernie was cheated out of the Democratic nomination by the “establishment”. This “establishment ” was controlled by Hillary and using her nefarious methods cheated Bernie (and his fanatic supporters) from winning the nomination he deserved.
Now, this plot had two tentacles.
First, the Clinton “super delegates” gave the nomination to Clinton even though Bernie had won the vote of the Democratic rank and file. The sneaky, corrupt Clinton machine stole the election from the people!
Except…according to the final analysis by “FiveThirtyEight” an independent analysis site, Clinton won the Democratic popular vote with 55% of the total. A full 12% higher than the Bernie vote. Yes, Bernie got 43% of the Democratic vote. He lost. Fair and square. So, the first tentacle of the plot is cut off by the facts.
But that still leaves the 2nd part of the Clinton tentacle. Bernie voters were simply prevented from voting! Voter suppression!!! Well, there is some truth to this. But it has nothing to do with the Clinton plot.
In New York, for example, many Bernie voters went to the polls and were told, “Sorry, you can’t vote in the Democrat primary”. Why did that happen? The answer is simple. They weren’t REGISTERED as Democrats. DUH. Since New York is a “closed” primary state, only Democrats are allowed to vote in the Democratic Party primary. Is that unfair? (In fact, Trump’s own children and lawyer could not vote in the GOP primary because they were not registered Republicans)
This fact has led the Bernie folks to spread the false narrative somehow the Clintons plotted to keep Bernie supporters from voting. No. Ignorance of the law or simply NOT BEING DEMOCRATS kept Bernie supporters from voting in the New York primary.
The claim that the Democratic establishment “rigged” the primary vote was part of the Bernie narrative and continued into the Democratic Convention:
“.…Sanders withheld his endorsement of Clinton until the middle of July, and his delegates to the convention devoted much of their energy to vigorously protesting the proceedings. The booing from the audience was so loud that speakers either struggled through their remarks or stopped to plead with the delegates…...”
This played into the GOP narrative of the “corrupt” Clintons and probably led to many Bernie voters either voting for Jill Stein (Green Party) or simply staying home and not voting at all.
Now, Bernie is old. He just had a heart attack. He is, above all, an egomaniac.
Bernie wants to have it both ways. He wants to be an “independent” but wants the nomination for the Democratic Party. For example, in 2016, he did register as a Democrat for purposes of seeking the nomination. But, he also registered for his 2018 Senate campaign as an “independent”. He did the same thing this election cycle. He has registered as a “Democrat” for purposes of running for president, but has already filed as a candidate for the 2024 Senate race as an “independent”. Having some cake and eating it, too.
To my way of thinking this is rather Trumpian. Big ego. Play the system. Being a “Democrat” when it suits him, being an “independent” when it suits him. Smells of egomania.
Bernie will not get out of the race. Like Donald Trump, he has a cult of followers. “Feel the Bern”. With so many legitimate Democrats in the race who need every vote from liberals and moderates, it is a shame to see this man continue down ego-trip lane. It is very possible that he might, once again, hand Trump the presidency.
The Dems may feel the Bern a second time. As long as it massages Bernie’s ego, he could care less.
I didn’t watch all of the Democratic candidate debates. But I saw enough. It’s time to thin the herd. Be merciful. Cut out the slackers.
There are only 4 people who have a chance at the Democratic nomination.
Warren. Harris. Biden. Buttigieg.
The rest are toast. Window dressing.
Warren because of her command of the specifics. Her ability to take complex issues and explain complex solutions in a way most folks can understand. She created the Consumer Protection Agency and was prevented from leading it by Moscow Mitch and his gang of pirates. So. She simply ran for the Senate and now leads the charge for progressive policies. Sweet revenge. Moscow Mitch can’t get rid of her.
Harris. Smart. Able. Organized. She can articulate why Trump has devastated the nation and how she will fix it. A former prosecutor , she understands the legal and judicial systems. Not afraid of a fight. Willing to do whatever it takes.
Biden. The last gasp of the old guard. He has plenty of favors to call in. He still wears the mantle of his vice presidency under Obama. And Obama is still the most popular president alive. A long time liberal who is willing to negotiate. Thinks he can bring folks together after the travesty of the Trump years.
Buttigieg. Young. Gifted. Articulate. Brilliant. If he represents the new wave of Democratic politicians we are indeed in good hands. He will bring in voters of his generation and younger. He looks to the future and grasps the mistakes of the past. Time to move on.
Only a fool makes predictions about politics, especially over a year ahead of time. So, here are mine.
A Harris-Buttigieg ticket. The best of both worlds. Progressive but also practical. Ethnic woman from California; young military veteran from a farm state. Being gay won’t even enter into the conversation on the Dem side.
A perfect foil to the Trump-Pence fiasco. Two old, fading authoritarians versus forward thinking, intelligent democrats. What could be better?
And you can be sure that Harris-Buttigieg will not make the same mistakes that Clinton’s handlers did. They understand that the US election is not a popular vote, but a state by state contest. They will not ignore Michigan or Wisconsin or Pennsylvania.
Why not Biden? He looks like he’s done. His time has passed. He does not project the energy needed to defeat Trump, Putin and the American oligarchs.
Why not Sanders? Warren has the same basic policies but articulates them better and in more detail. Bernie is long on gesture but short on substance. That will be exposed in smaller debates, as it was in 2016.
Why not Warren? She is almost too aggressive. People, especially suburban women, do not like that in a woman. Nor do many men. I would not count her out if given the chance to defeat Trump, but I don’t think the primary voters will give her that chance.
The rest of the pack? They should go home right now and run for the Senate of House or Governorship in their own states, They had their time in the limelight. It was nice, but now it’s over. Don’t waste our time or money.
The Democrats are going upsy crazy over recent poll numbers. Everyone except GoGo the One Eyed Chimp is polling better than Donald Trump. Biden up by 10%. Warren up by 9%. Even Mayor Pete is up by 1%. So, this election is in the bag. Again.
Of course, the Democrats are best at shooting themselves in the foot. Perhaps that’s why they favor stricter gun control laws. Or may be they enjoy living in a fantasy land where the candidate with the most votes wins. In the USA, there is no such fantasy land. The candidate with the most votes does not always win.
Ask Al Gore. Ask Hillary Clinton. Better yet, ask the “geniuses” of the Democratic Party who gave such great advice to Gore and Clinton. The ones who told Gore to ignore his home state, which he lost, because it was in the bag. Or the ones who had Hillary traveling to Arizona, a solid red state, the last week before the election, instead of shoring up support in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The GOP figured it out years ago. They understood that grabbing control of state governments was the key. State governments could make voting laws. State governments could gerrymander the House districts. State governments could suppress the votes in certain areas. How? By limiting polling places. By setting up restrictions designed to disenfranchise minority and urban voters. Recall how Jeb Bush knocked thousands of voters off the voting rolls in 2000? He put his brother in office.
While the Dems were living in the Never Never Land of a the national popular vote election, the GOP understood that the election is not one election. It is 51 separate elections.
The GOP understood that the rules of the game are more important than any substance. On the national level they lose every argument. They lose every debate about policies. About foreign policy. About economics. But no matter. They control the rules of the game.
So, the Dems either need to understand the rules or once again be faced with a popular vote victory and an electoral vote defeat. They need political operatives who ignore the popular vote. Yes. IGNORE the national popular vote. It is meaningless.
Play the game by the rules that exist, not the rules you want to exist. The umpire determines where the strike zone is. The ref decides whether or not there was a foul. There is no videotape in politics. No slow motion replays. No mulligans.
There are probably 40-42 states that are already set as far as the electoral vote in concerned. Trump can do nothing to win NY or California. The Dems can do nothing to win Alabama or Mississippi or Kansas.
Have the Dems learned anything from the last two electoral defeats? We shall see. Focus on the states that are toss ups. Ohio. Pennsylvania. Michigan. North Carolina. Florida.
The bad news is that political violence is on the upswing. And there is a very good chance of a political assassination.
The good news is that I am wrong more often than I am right.
That said, an assassination seems inevitable. Violence by white supremacists is becoming more and more common. According to the ADL anti-Semitic attacks doubled in 2018. Right wing nutjobs have used AR-15s to attack synagogues, churches, mosques.
We saw Nazis marching in Charlottesville chanting Nazi slogans: “The Jews Will Not Replace Us” and “Blood and Soil”. We saw the president of the US refuse to condemn Nazis. We heard him say that there were “good people” involved in those chants. I guess he meant “good Nazis”. That laid out a clear signal to the far right. Violence was acceptable.
At his rallies Mr Trump called for people to be thrown out. He would pay for the defense of anyone who threw out hecklers . If they got violent he would pay their court costs.(Of course he would never pay a debt and wasn’t about to start now, ask Matt Heimbach. He was a Trumpster who was arrested for violence and tried to get Trump to foot the bill. Nice try, sucker).
Talking to New York police, Trump said they should rough up any suspects when they arrested them . Yep. Suspects. Just bang their head on the car when throwing them in the back seat. Rough em up. No trial needed. Violence against a citizen in custody is ok.
The rhetoric coming out of Mr Trump only encourages political violence.
More recently he called the investigation into his corruption an attempted “coup”. Of course, Mueller not only itemized 10 specific instances of obstruction of justice, he also provided information to other jurisdictions to investigate Trump’s financial shenanigans. That was too much for Donald. So, he called legitimate investigations a “coup”. For the record, a “coup” is a violent overthrow of a legitimate leader. By calling this a “coup” he sends a message to his followers that violence is being done to him. He must be defended with violence.
Just last week at a rally he told his supporters that the Democrats supported infanticide. They support killing little infants. Killing babies. He explained quite graphically how a baby is born, picked up and wrapped up nicely, and then a doctor and woman decide to murder it. Should we kill it? Yes, let’s kill it! His Wisconsin followers applauded in approval. Those fools actually believe him. Or pretend to. Which is worse. How can you stop baby killers? Only one way. Kill the killers. Justified. Noble, even.
Since his campaign, aided and abetted by Putin, began in late 2015, Mr Trump has appealed to the most vile and violent elements of society. As more and more of his own crimes are exposed he becomes more and more strident and more and more unhinged. His words call for violence. Sometimes indirectly. Sometimes directly.
This goes beyond the “dirty tricks ” the GOP excels at. As the recent attempt by two Trump dirty tricksters to frame Pete Buttigieg as a rapist. Which was exposed just this week. We know more dirty ticks will follow. That has been part of the GOP playbook since Ronald Reagan and his imaginary “welfare queen” . It’s stock and trade GOP lying.
But the Trump supporters, at least the most wacked out ones, go well beyond dirty tricks. They will do violence. The Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Hasson, had a stockpile of weapons and a hit list of politicians to kill. All Democrats. .Presidential candidates. He did web searches to hunt “liberals”. While even Fox News (yes, that Fox News) referred to him as a “domestic terrorist”, the Barr Department of Justice refused to charge him with potential acts of terror. As a result he was allowed to go free pending trial. What message is this sending to other right wing nut jobs?
No condemnation of violence by the president. No appeals to work together or turn down the rhetoric. No calls for observance of the law. Only calling FBI agents “scum”. Purges of the Justice Department.
Democrats running for office WILL be shot. Maybe killed. It is inevitable.
Guns are easy to get. Nutjobs are easy to influence. Mr Trump has said over and over that the Dems are out to get him. They kill babies. They tried to overthrow him in a “coup”. They are “enemies of the people”, like the New York Times. They are out to destroy our leader. How can they be stopped?
It is a very small step for a radicalized supporter to figure out the message. Kill them before they kill our leader. Kill them before they kill more babies. Kill. Protect the fuhrer. His enemies must die.
I do hope I am wrong but it seems inevitable. Democrats running for office will be shot. And Trump will remain silent. The silence of approval.
Some new Go Fund Me accounts that all of us should support.
Donald To Deutschland. Accepting all variety of coin (rubles preferred) to send Donald back to the homeland of his father. His father, Herr Frederich von Trumpenhausen, was born in a nice place somewhere in Germany. Help Donald return to der fadderland. Help him find a nice place. A place where the black folks don’t roam. A place where they had a wonderful wall that worked…well, maybe not so much. A beautiful place. The best place ever. A place he could love to call home…if it was 1936. A long way from here. One way ticket only.
DeVos Year Abroad Fund. Betsy grew up in Holland , Michigan and after her private high school (in Holland, Michigan) went to a small private religious college called Calvin College. Also in Holland, Michigan. There she studied the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, who encouraged the subjugation of all to absolute authority. So, her thought processes have been formed by those of Calvin and Hobbes. Once, in 1978, she left Holland, Michigan when she took a wrong turn on a side street. Never made that mistake again. We feel that sending her overseas may broaden her knowledge of the world, since she is the Secretary of “Education”. Then, again, maybe it won’t. Perhaps a trip to a foreign country, like Puerto Rico, might do the trick.
Pills For Pence. Obamacare just doesn’t cover everything. Mike Pence cannot control his sexual urges. He refuses to have lunch or dinner or be in a room with a woman alone. The temptation to attack her and sexually assault her is too great . (Not a problem for the commander-in-chief, however). He cannot trust himself. Of course, so far in his lifetime there has never been a woman who would eat lunch with him or be in a room with him by herself. But that is another Go Fund Me. This account will fund an adequate supply of Rohypnol for the veep. It is hoped that by ingesting this drug his personality will be elevated above the current comatose state.
Bears For Biden. This crazed hugger cannot control his emotions. Maybe it is that he misses his first wife and young son who were killed in a car accident in 1972. Or maybe he misses his other son who died in 2013 of brain cancer. Or maybe he just likes people. Who knows? But, in 2019, it is inappropriate to show any affection to anyone at anytime. Period. So, Joe needs a big , fat Teddy Bear to hug. One of those gigantic bears that can take having the stuffing hugged out of him,or, preferably, her. Hug away Joe. Just look out for the MeBearToo movement.
Bribes For Bibi. Bibi needs cash. Cold hard cash. Under the table cash. Untraceable cash. It’s just not fair. Everyone else is doing it, why can’t Bibi? OK, so he got caught taking a few little payments. Big deal. His mother told him he should have been a doctor. Anyway, Bibi’s cash flow is drying up. In Israel, they CAN indict the leader for crimes. What a crazy Idea. Who knew? So, keep Bibi above water. Send your shekels ASAP. What else can you do? (Shrug).
Mensches For Miller. You have to feel for Stephen Miller. He raises ugly to new heights. I don’t mean his physical appearance, I mean his entire persona. (OK, also his physical appearance).This guy couldn’t get a date from a palm tree. He is wrapped tighter than Oprah’s butt in a string bikini (Now that you read it, try to get THAT IMAGE out of your head). Let’s face it . Miller needs a MAN. A real MAN. Someone he can look up to for guidance. Someone with whom he can “redirect” his outflow of hostility, his expulsion of anger, his eruption of animosity, his explosion of malevolence. In short , he needs a man. Not just any man. He needs to buy himself a night with a mensch. He needs to blow off some steam. Mensches for Miller … send real US money… no Jews need contribute.
Gonads for GOPS. This is an emergency. Like, a MAJOR emergency. Someone has stolen the gonads from the entire GOP. Every last one. Since McCain died, there has not been a gonad in sight. Lindsey Graham donated his to Donald. McConnell had his surgically removed . Romney left his in Utah. Rubio’s were too small to locate in the first place. Barr’s are in a bottle. The only GOPer with any left is Ann Coulter, and she ain’t about to share hers with anyone. So, send your bucks to buy some artificial gonads. We can get them in bulk from Russia. Putin has an entire room full of em. He might even send out at a discount.
One of the lies liberals tell themselves is that we always move forward toward a better, more tolerant society. Two steps forward, one step backward. But always moving forward in the end.
Yet, the facts speak otherwise. For example, average worker incomes, adjusted for inflation, have barely budged since the 1960s. And for lower wage workers the increases have sometimes not kept pace with inflation. In the 1970s tuition costs were approximately 7% of the median male income. By 2015 the tuition costs were 25% of the median male income.
What does this mean? A higher education is the path for the working poor to a better life. Always has been. That is how we train teachers, scientists, engineers, etc. As tuition rises, relative to income, it does two things. First, it prevents many children of the working poor to achieve a higher education and therefore better paying careers. Second, for those who do borrow (the only way to finance the education) they start their adult life burdened with massive debt. The opposite of progress.
Take the healthcare system. Since the time of FDR we have known we need some permanent health care solution for everyone. FDR could not get it done, though he tried. Along came Medicare and Medicaid. Slow progress that guaranteed the poorest of the poor and the elderly would have access to basic care. But not the younger working poor. They were left out. Until the ACA. Which is now under attack and being cut slowly but surely. The opposite of progress.
We can look at the end of the EPA, the Department of Education, the National Parks, the Consumer Protection Agency. All being gutted . All under the control of people who want to turn back the clock on basic human progress. Major steps backward.
We see the same thing with the unrelenting attacks on women’s basic health services. The Supreme Court rules that a company (Hobby Lobby) can deny basic coverage to their employees if that coverage somehow does not fit the beliefs of the owners of the company. The mentality that the business owner owns not only your labor, but your health care. The Supreme Court majority, which calls itself “strict constructionists” finds in the Constitution the right of a corporation to have “religious beliefs”. And to impose those beliefs on its workers. Of course, there is not a single mention of the term “corporation” in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, envisioned to protect individual citizens from the government, is turned on its head and used to deprive citizens of rights.
We see that new voter suppression techniques are being used to deny some people the franchise. In 2019 the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives proposed their first bill, HR 1. That bill would guarantee people the right to vote and provide resources for that purpose. The conservative in charge of the Senate refused to bring it to a vote . He called it a “power grab” by the Democrats. The American people voting, according to the far right, is a liberal “power grab”. Progress is a power grab. Democracy is a “power grab”.
Liberals need to learn that progress is not automatic or inevitable. The reactionary forces are strong and currently hold power. And they are stripping the safeguards that took so long to develop. In the end, they want to privatize and deregulate everything.
Lies Liberals Tell (Confessions of a Born-Again Liberal)
Copyright 2017,2018,2019 Joseph Urban
Part 1 of a 7 part series.
The elevation of Donald Trump to the position of most powerful human being on the planet Earth should make all of us re-examine our most basic beliefs about mankind. Of course, Donald Trump did not win the majority of votes. (Latest count shows him losing by almost 3,000,000 votes) So his philosophy and beliefs do not reflect the values of most Americans. Nevertheless, he was able to garner enough votes in enough states to win the electoral college majority. So, while he is a “minority” president, the mere fact that he was even close in the popular vote this election gives us pause and causes us to reconsider where we stand as liberals. Furthermore, the fact that he exercises immense power with little or no regard to the desires of the majority must make us more than a little worried.
As a lifelong liberal I have had a number of core beliefs challenged by this development. Perhaps liberals have been lying to themselves about America and what it stands for. Perhaps we need to dispose of illusions and lies we have been telling ourselves. In this short 7 part series I will discuss some of the beliefs, which have turned out to be lies, that liberals have held for years. Things we thought were true. We have been dead wrong.
I am not suggesting that we abandon these ideas and beliefs. But we need to accept the reality that significant minorities of our population do not hold the same core beliefs that we do. We can no longer take for granted that most Americans share these core values and beliefs. In order to go forward in a practical way, we need to accept the reality that we have been, in large part, lying to ourselves about a significant number of citizens of The United States.
Lies are organized into the following categories.
Inevitability of Progress
It Can’t Happen Here
Lie # 1: We are all in this together in society.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish thisConstitution for the United States of America.”
Those are the first words of the US Constitution. “We”. Not “I”. We . We will establish a government that supports society. Remember that after the Revolutionary War the 13 colonies formed a union. The Articles of Confederation knit together the colonies in a loose union based on the interests of individual states. The United States , in the sense that we know it today, was not an easy sell. (See the Federalist Papers for a thorough discussion of the issues).
To form a more perfect union. The founding fathers discovered that a loose union would not last. It would either break apart into sectionalism or completely dissolve as each state demanded sovereignty and independence. The result would be a weakened group of states. Easy prey for European nations seeking dominance. The weakness would be an invitation to chaos and interference by foreign powers.
The solution was to develop a document that guaranteed some unity among the diverse parts of states along the eastern seaboard. The Preamble to the Constitution establishes the philosophical framework for that unity. An attempt to pull together the north and south, the rural and urban, the large states and small ones, into a cohesive society. Only by uniting the divergent elements into a new society could unity be secured.
So, we have, at the very beginnings of the United States, the fundamental understanding that “society” was the key to success. And how do we attempt to build this new society? By establishing the purposes of government. Clearly, these purposes were to unite , not divide. The divisions were already there. Clear. The need was to superimpose on those divisions a system that would lead to national unity.
Establishing justice. A liberal idea, that justice is the key to any acceptance of a new system. People should be treated fairly and justly. For society to function people need to accept that they will be treated fairly. To do otherwise leads to dissolution or revolution. After all, the Revolutionary War was fought because a large segment of the population felt that British tax laws were unjust.
Promote the general welfare. The idea that government should be active, not passive, in developing plans and assistance to benefit society. Government has been established to facilitate what is good for people and society in general. So we see in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution a laundry list of practical steps Congress should take to promote the general welfare. Among them are such things as coining money and regulating trade. Building roads for the public. Establishing post offices. Doing whatever is needed to promote science and “useful arts” by securing patent rights. To raise money and pay debts as needed for the military and general welfare.
We see an active national government. One that does not sit back. One that actively pursues, through taxation and other legal remedies, the general welfare of society. A government involved in people’s lives in order to help make those lives better and fuller. A government, by its very nature, designed to benefit its citizens individually and collectively .
This basic concept, that the US Constitution is established, in part, to provide for a just and good society, was at the core of the Constitution. It has also been a core belief of liberalism. Because, the fact is, the designers of the Constitution were extremely liberal for their time. While they were still acting in ways that we would consider reactionary today, but that the overall sense of the document is certainly liberal at its core. A new type of government. Designed to assist the people and develop society, as opposed to the old way of thinking that government should serve the elites at the expense of the peasantry.
Don’t all Americans agree with this fundamental truth? This is the first liberal lie we tell ourselves.
American liberals tend to accept the idea that the proper role of government is to assist and support society. That includes society’s weakest members as well as the most fortunate ones.
However, the emergence of the “new right” under Ronald Reagan and continuing through the Bushes and Trump puts that belief to the test. John F Kennedy, in his inaugural address said: …”Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country…” (society). Ronald Reagan replied in his first inaugural address: “…government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem”.
Reagan and those who follow his philosophy turn the Preamble to the US Constitution on its head. Government, they believe, is not supposed to “promote the general welfare” Quite the opposite. Government should promote the elites and let society devolve into a dog-eat-dog world. Greed is good. Regulation is evil. Society exists only as a battleground of self-interest and self-promotion, not as a cooperative venture where all of us have a stake and where all people can participate fully. Some must lose big time so others can win big time.
Liberals need to recognize that the seductive “me-first” ideology has taken hold of a very significant portion of people in America. They have been propagandized into accepting the notion, which is at odds with the Preamble, that they should reject idea of the “common good”. That the “common good” is seen as equivalent to communism or Marxism. This distorted notion of the role of government has taken hold and forms the basis for the “new right”. They incorrectly assume that any “public good” must inevitably lead to some kind of communistic equality. They are blind to the Constitutional mandate to promote the general welfare.
So, liberals need to recognize that millions of Americans no longer hold to the founding fathers’ core belief. Of course, to liberals the contradiction is glaring.
For example, the states that consistently vote for the “less government”, new right, largely Republican candidates are the very states that benefit most from the federal treasury. These “welfare states” take much more from the federal government than they send to Washington, DC in taxes. While they condescendingly refer to others as “takers” they themselves have not paid their own way in years, if ever.
Nevertheless, liberals need to deal with the reality. Millions of Americans no longer support a key tenet of the Constitution, that government has a significant role in maintaining a just society and is responsible for promoting a good society.
The lieutenant governor of Virginia has been accused of forcible sexual contact. He is a Democrat. The woman accusing him is a college professor who is also a Democrat.
A few days ago I posted a blog about the new purity of soul in the Democratic Party and how it may come back to bite some people. Well, let’s see.
All Franken, a senator better known as a comedian, was exposed as a comedian. A picture of him on a USO Tour supporting the troops had him pretending. (PRETENDING) to grope a fully clad, jumpsuited, sleeping young lady. He was looking at the camera and posing. Grinning for the camera. Stupid. Infantile.
After that, some other women came forward and told stories of Franken kissing or groping them during various photo ops. He denied them. However, lead, by Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) calling for his resignation, he finally did so. He wanted a hearing. None was given. He simply resigned.
Brett Kavanaugh was accused of attempted rape by a woman. A college professor. The attempted rape evidently occurred in high school or college. Kavanaugh denied it. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) once again lead the charge against his confirmation to the Supreme Court. (Now, I oppose him being on the court for his other corruptions). He said, she said.
The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, has used “blackface” in the past. 35 years ago, it seems. The entire Democratic establishment (with the exception of the silent Barack Obama) have called for his immediate resignation. Must go. Now. Impure.
OK. So the die is cast. Just as the GOP has become the party of racial hatred and overt misogyny, the Democratic Party has become the party of racial and sexual purity. Ever been bad? Too bad. Bill Clinton must be turning over in his grave. He is dead, isn’t he?
Now, I don’t support racism or sexism or any ism. But it seems like there is a too eager rush to condemnation in the new Democratic Party. So, how will this play out?
We have the black man, the second in command in Virginia. On the verge of taking power as the current governor will resign, sooner or later. But this man has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Will the morally superior keepers of the gate , especially NY Senator Gillibrand, now rise up? Will they demand, as they have done in the past, that we believe the “woman”. Will they demand that the LT Governor resign for his sexual transgression, unproven? He said , she said.
So far, a deadly silence on the matter. Is it because the accused is an African-American and the stalwarts of the Democratic Party need the African-American vote to have any chance of winning an election? Is it because it is simply a “he said-she said” controversy. But wasn’t that the same controversy with Kavanaugh? And to some extent with Franken? (Except Franken was never accused of oral rape).
The screw turns. Jumping on the band wagon is fine, until the band wagon runs over someone who you don’t want it to run over.
I can only refer to the Senator from my own great state, Gillibrand.
She called for Mr Trump to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct. She called for Al Franken to resign over allegations of groping and kissing. She called on Governor Northam to resign over his blackface photo in college over 30 years ago. She called on Kavanaugh not be confirmed due to an allegation of attempted rape when he was in college or high school. There was no hesitation. No waiting until we get all the facts. Believe the accuser. Every time. All the time. No context. Just resign. Period.
The allegation, true or not , against Justin Fairfax is much more serious than any of the others. Forcible oral rape. A woman says so. She must be believed. So, when will the Democratic leadership speak out? In the new Democratic Party we need not stop to find out if an accusation is true. Hurry, the bandwagon is passing you by.
There is a new test for holding office in the US. It is the Virgin Mary Test.
For those unfamiliar with good old Christianity, let me explain exactly who the Virgin Mary was.
She was the mother of Jesus. She gave birth to Jesus even though she had never had sexual intercourse, even with her husband. Never. Ever. She was as pure as the driven snow.
The perfect woman. Mother. Virgin. Unspoiled. Untouched. Like a 3 day old donut at a vegan buffet.
She never had to apologize or be contrite. Why not? Because she never did anything wrong. The ultimate Politically Correct human being. Let us adore her. Amen.
The governor of Virginia is under attack. 35 years ago he was in a photo. A racist photo. The photo showed him in blackface or a KKK robe. Maybe as part of some Halloween party. Who knows. It was in his college yearbook. He was an obvious racist. No doubt. Right there for all to see.
And he has admitted it. It was him. 35 years ago. He did wrong. Since then, as governor of Virginia he has lead the charge against racism. Spoke out loudly against the racists at Charlottesville when our POTUS was silent. Advocated for a woman’s right to control her own reproduction. Fought for a voting rights bill that made sure his black citizens would have an equal right to vote in Virginia. Ran for office with an African-American as his lieutenant governor. And won.
But now the entire Democratic establishment has spoken. I was watching MSNBC as “pundits”, black, white, women, men., are all calling for his resignation. They are horrified! Outraged! One even said this photo of him in blackface has reopened the “old wounds of racism”.
And here I am. Thinking that racism had never ended. Someone should have told me.
Not only the pundits, but the list of Democrats who want to be president weighed in.
Kamala Harris called for his resignation because…” Leaders are called to a higher standard….”
Julian Castro…his behavior was unconscionable…he must resign….
Booker, Warren, Gillibrand…all called for his resignation.
The governor of Virginia, if he is going to run as a Democrat, must be The Virgin Mary. Pure. Holy. Untainted. Ever.
Of course, the REAL racists, many in the GOP, are gleeful. They have the yearbooks, the photos, the emails, the friends, the discussions, the drunken parties of ALL the Democratic candidates for president.
The holier than thou , jump on the bandwagon crew. Did Harris ever have an affair with a married man, as some have suggested? Did Warren ever claim Native American heritage? Did Booker ever work to oppose liberal reforms in New Jersey? Did Gillibrand ever have an A rating from the NRA before she “saw the light”?
Did any white candidate ever laugh at a “negro “joke? Did any male candidate ever make a disparaging or sexist comment about a girl? Did any minority candidate ever make a “honky” joke? Did any female candidate ever make a disparaging remark about a man?
I hope not. Because the Democratic Party has now laid down the minimum requirements for office. Virginity. Purity. Of thought, word and deed for your entire life. There can be no deviation. No mistakes. No sins. Confession will not be enough. A life of good works will not be enough.
The opposition researchers of the GOP are smugly waiting in the wings. They can be patient. They will wait until the last man or woman is standing. Then they will unleash the gods of human perfection on the Democratic nominee.
The Virgin Mary never ran for office. Why not? Because in her youth she once told a joke about a Roman soldier. Ended her career.
News item: In an outrageous decision the Trump administration has opened the border between Mexico and the US to a flood of illegal immigrants.
US soldiers, sent to the border to halt the onslaught of illegal 4 year olds, has instead been ripping out miles and miles of barbed wire fencing! Troops sent down to protect law abiding Americans have instead been used to tear down the only defense we have against Guatemalan and Honduran terrorists!
“…U.S. Army soldiers have removed barbed wire along the US-Mexico border in areas where the Trump administration has said more border security measures are needed after local community leaders raised concerns.
About 2 miles of military-grade wire was removed from city land in Laredo, Texas, according to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials…”
While president Obama and Secretary Clinton actually voted for increased border security when they were in Congress, this administration is now ripping down the very wall of barbed wire we need to protect us!! Outrageous!! And what reason do they give?
“…As the situation along the border continues to evolve, we will continue to assess our operational needs, including removal of the c-wire,” a CBP official said in a statement to ABC News….”
What kind of double talk is that? These same folks that are demanding a wall (at the very reasonable cost of only $25,000,000 per mile), are destroying a perfectly good barbed wire barrier and leaving our borders unsecured. UNSECURED !!! And what about the cost?
Now, you can get barbed wire for about $8,000 per mile. And the US military will install it for FREE!. Does it not make more sense to keep the razor wire and save about $24,992,000 per mile? I mean, 40 miles of barbed wire saves the hardworking taxpayers a BILLION bucks! And consider, if you were a 7 year old fleeing for your life and trying to cross the border wouldn’t you prefer climbing a ladder over a wall (which might be fun) to crawling through razor wire and cutting your little hands and feet to a bloody pulp?
I long for the days when President Obama, called the “Deporter-in-Chief” by illegal Mexicans, was back running the show. Under Obama the illegal immigration rates reached an all time low. He stopped them at the border and sent them back. Illegal immigration surged again under Trump but are now back to even lower levels than under Obama. So, the barbed wire is working!
So, why is Trump opening the borders to more illegals? Why are our troops sent out to destroy the very barriers that protect us from the women and children of Central America?
Let’s hope that the Democrats in the Congress can restore some sanity and demand that we protect our borders instead of ripping out our protection.
To paraphrase the late, great actor Ronald Reagan: “Mr Trump, do not tear down that wall !”
Here is why. So far, even with all the “redacted” sections of the plea deals with Cohen , Manafort and Flynn, we see a lot of evidence. Also, various dependable news sources, the New York Times, Washington Post, McClatchy, Mother Jones and the Rolling Stone have all run plenty of stories with evidence of wrongdoing by the Trump associates.
So, the noose is tightening around Mr Trump and his family. Here are some of the strands in the noose.
1. Firing the head of the FBI who refused to drop the investigation of Flynn for criminal activities. Flynn subsequently pleaded guilty to crimes. He is now cooperating with the investigation. He knows a lot.
2. The Trump Tower NYC meeting between Putin agents and the highest levels of the Trump campaign. First, according to Trump, it never happened. Then it happened but it was about “adoptions”. Now, we know it happened and was about coordination with Russia and “dirt” on Clinton. (The “dirt” never existed).
3. Michael Cohen pleading guilty to a variety of illegal activities, including campaign finance fraud. He did this, according to his under oath plea, at the direction of Mr Trump. Mr Trump first denied any knowledge. Then said he may have known, but it was not his money. Then said it was his money but nothing was wrong with it. So, why did Cohen plead guilty to a crime that, according to Mr Trump, does not exist?
4.The connections between Jared Kushner and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia bailed out Kushner on his debt ridden building in NYC, while Kushner was working in the White House. Now, the US has a massive arms deal with the Saudis and is refusing to condemn the murder of Kashoggi, the Saudi journalist who was living in the US. Even though the CIA maintains that the Saudis killed him.
5. The hundreds of thousands of dollars spent at Trump properties by foreign governments while he is in the White House. A violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
6. The connections between the NRA and the Russian government, via Maria Butina, in the moving of millions of dollars in campaign funds to support the Trump campaign. The NRA spent a record $30,000,000 supporting the Trump election effort, much of it untraceable until now. Did the typical, honest member of the NRA know it was working in cahoots with the Russians? Nope.
7. The Trump organization money laundering of Russian money through their hotels , not only in the US, but in Scotland and possibly other countries. Trumps’ kid bragged about getting Russian money when US banks refused to lend money to the Trump family . (Why not? Too many bad deals where the lenders were screwed). Trump’s tax returns, which he refused to release not only before the election but even today, hold the key.
8. And, last but not least, all the other stuff Mueller has on the Trump kids and Trump organization. Information we will learn about when Mueller makes his final report.
So, Mueller must be fired. The partial, fragmentary evidence is already overwhelming. Mueller must be fired while the GOP still controls the government. Once the Democrats take over in the House of Representatives it will be too late for Trump. The truth will all come out. In detail.
Expect a 2 AM tweet sometime soon:
“Fake Mueller WICH HUNT must END. For guud of the cuntry. Mueeller must go. NO COLLISION! President found NOT GUILTY !!!! Muller…Your FIRED ! (@ real Donald Trump).”
In 2018 the American people had a choice. Stick with President Trump and the GOP or return the Dems to power. The results are in. Almost.
In some districts in NY and California they are still counting ballots. Many were submitted by mail and have yet to be tallied. It is taking a while. And the Republic still stands.
Which is an aside. Why not just have all paper ballots? It takes a little longer to count, but so what. We have an election in early November and the new Congress takes office in early January. That is almost 60 days. Plenty of time .
Paper ballots are not subject to computer fraud or machine error. They cannot be hacked by the Russians or the Chinese. Large numbers of votes can’t be “accidentally” or intentionally switched. The safest, most reliable form of voting. But I digress.
The results of the 2018 elections:
Governors: 20 Republicans won; 16 Dems won. The GOP holds 27 states, mostly in the south and plains. The Dems hold 23, mostly in the far west, the upper Midwest and the east. More significant is that Alaska switched from the Independent to the GOP, while Nevada, New Mexico, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Maine switched from the GOP to Dems. 45 million voted for Dem governors while 42 million voted for GOP governors.
Senate: Dems won 21 seats plus 2 (Vermont and Maine) that caucus with the Dems. GOP won 11 seats. A final total of 23-11. On the Senate elections 55.6 million Americans voted Democratic, while 34.4 million voted GOP. Pretty decisive.
The House of Representatives: Dems won 234 seats, the GOP won 198 with three seats yet to be decided. The GOP leads in 2 (NY 27 and NC-9) while the Dems lead in 1 (CA-21). Total votes for GOP candidates was 49.6 million and for Dems was 56.1 million). Pretty decisive.
Two things are obvious. It was a major Democratic wave election and the country is still rigidly divided as far as political party voting is concerned.
The people voted fairly decisively for Democratic candidates and Democratic policies. Again. Mr Trump went around to a few states and did a good job of rallying his base (except in Montana). But the Democrats, without a true national leader, did a better job of speaking to the issues and getting out the vote. A lesson for future elections.
In 2016 the folks who voted for Donald Trump got what they wanted. Donald Trump. The Republican party took control of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the White House and the Supreme Court.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican party have been able to name 2 new justices to the Supreme Court. These justices will help determine the laws for the next 30 years. They will likely overturn a woman’s right to choose. They will likely continue to support voter suppression laws. As promised.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican Party have passed a $1,500,000,000,000 tax cut, with $1,200,000,000,000 of that going to the top 1%. As promised.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican Party have done much to gut the Affordable Care Act and cut spending on social programs. They have gutted environmental protections. Sold public land to gas and oil and timber leases for corporate profit. Built the pipeline. Added billions to the military. As promised.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican Party have dropped out of the Global Warming agreements, dropped out of the US-Asian trade agreements, imposed tariffs on China and Europe and in general done everything possible to destroy international treaties and cooperation. As promised.
So, why are they so mad? Why are they so unhappy? Why are the Trump supporters still chanting “Lock Her Up”? Why are they frightened all the time? Why do they fear 5 year old Honduran girls? Why so much hate? Why so much whining and complaining?
They wanted a conman, a xenophobe and a racist. They got it. They wanted a political party that suppressed the votes of minorities and that redefined American as “white”, not “diverse”. They got it. They wanted a political party that put profits ahead of people. They got it.
So why the whining? The Republican Party and Donald Trump have had complete control of the political process for 2 years and have accomplished almost everything they wanted. So, why the whining?
There is nothing they cannot make a law about. So, why the whining?
Never in US history have so many “winners” turned into so many “whiners”.
It would be interesting to find out why the folks who won the last election are so miserable.
My congressman, Tom Reed of NY-23, has once again started his biennial smear campaign against any candidate who dares run against him. Those of you who follow Mr Reed may remember his previous campaigns in which he simply outright lied about the political positions of his opponents. Or maybe you are familiar his lockstep support of Mr Trump. With most of his financing coming from out of the district organizations and PACs , and corporate organizations like ALEC, he is very successful in flooding the mailboxes with lies and half-truths. (97% of Reed’s money comes from PACs and large donors, 2.5% from small donors). It works.
This year one of his managers has started a website devoted to the “Extreme Ithaca Liberals”, which is supposed to be an insult to his mostly moderate, mainstream and slightly liberal opponent, Tracy Mitrano. Some of his supporters even show up at rallies with “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” banners.
I guess when you can’t run on your accomplishments all you can do is try to smear the other guy. To his credit, Tom Reed does have a couple accomplishments. He has voted to end the ACA a number of times, taking away health care from his constituents. He voted for the billionaire tax giveaway, to the tune of $1.5 trillion which I suppose does benefit a couple of his constituents here in the economically depressed western NY. And he wants to pay for that tax giveaway by cutting Social Security and Medicare. Fair enough.
But enough about Tom. Let’s investigate the “Extreme Ithaca Liberals“. Those of you not familiar with this part of the country may wonder why he uses the word “Ithaca“. After all, his opponent, Tracy Mitrano lives in Penn Yan, not Ithaca.
Well, “Ithaca” is a dog whistle for “highly educated”. Home of Cornell University. On that account Mitrano stands guilty as charged. She does have a BA, MA and Ph.D. from different institutions. As well as a JD from Cornell, (hence the “Ithaca” connection.) While many would consider being educated a plus, I suppose to Reed and his supporters that may be a disqualifying if not terrifying quality in a lawmaker. Who knows?
But, I digress. Back to the “Extreme Liberal” part of the equation. Let’s look back over the years and see what “extreme liberals” have done for America. Or, as Tom would say, how have they destroyed America?
I offer a partial list of “extreme liberal” programs, all of which were opposed at the time by conservatives as being either “socialist” or “communist” or an infringement on “states’ rights”. I would like to see Tom respond to these extreme liberal programs and tell his constituents which ones he wants to do away with. Which ones made America a worse place to live? Here they are:
Social Security. Before the Social Security program was out in place over 50% of elderly Americans lived below the poverty level. And many more were just on the cusp. FDR and the extreme liberals passed the program. At the time the opponents called it “communist” and predicted it would quickly lead to the downfall of America. Today, that number of elderly below the poverty level is 8%. Is that a bad thing?
Medicare. Before Medicare many elderly could not afford to purchase health insurance of any kind. The emergency room was their only option. Now all older Americans get preventative and necessary health care through Medicare. The extreme liberals made it happen. Is that a bad thing?
Medicaid. Before Medicaid millions of poor Americans could not afford health care. Including millions of children. Now, the poorest of the poor can at least get basic preventative care and treatments. The extreme liberals passed this law. Is that a bad thing?
The ACA, (Obamacare). Before the ACA was enacted over 40,000,000 still had no heath insurance. They would get their health care at emergency rooms.. People with pre-existing conditions could not get insurance. Basic preventative care was denied to millions. Now, Mr Reed WAS able to get health care. Because of his obesity problem he and his doctor agreed to an operation. He and his doctor thought that was the best treatment for him. Extreme liberals support that. Extreme liberals are happy that Mr Reed and his doctor were able to make that decision. Extreme liberals believe that all Americans should have access to the same quality of care. Is that a bad thing?
Social Security Disability. Before this program the disabled and children who lost a parent simply had to fend for themselves. When Tom was a little boy his father died. Luckily the extreme liberals had provided that his mother could get extra money for baby Tommy to help with the bills through the Social Security survivors program. Is that bad? Oh…by the way.. In 2015 Tom Reed proposed a rule to stop funding the Social Security Disability program when it gets low. This has always been done by reallocating funds from Social Security. A fix that had been done under both GOP and Democratic administrations. This rule would mandate the disability program to cut benefits instead.
The Voting Rights Act. Many states, especially in the south, had laws designed specifically to keep African-Americans from voting. Poll taxes. Literacy tests. Grandfather clauses. Simply refusing to register blacks. The voting Rights Act changed that, trying to make sure all citizens can vote. The extreme liberals made that happen. Was that bad? (Evidently so, since many states have re-instituted voter suppression laws now that the Supreme Court has overturned parts of the Act.)
Equal Accommodation Laws. After World War 2 men who fought and were injured fighting totalitarian governments came home. Some of them were told they could not eat in restaurants. Could not use the bathroom. Could not drink from the water fountain. Could not sit at the lunch counter. Had to ride in the back of the bus. Could not buy a house in this neighborhood. Could not send their children to the good school. Could not enter the university. The extreme liberals thought that was wrong and changed the law to prevent discrimination based on skin color. Was that bad?
I could go on and on and on, Food Stamps, Environmental Protection laws, minimum wage laws, worker safety laws, etc. The bottom line is that most of the progress we take for granted in our daily lives was due to the “Extreme Ithaca Liberals” types.
So when Mr Reed’s supporters show up with signs and post websites about those “Extreme Ithaca Liberals” we might take a moment to ponder what our society would look like today without Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Minimum Wage Laws, the EPA, The ACA, Voting rights and a host of other programs we take for granted as normal.
Tom Reed would take those programs away if you give him the chance to do so. He is not an “Extreme Ithaca Liberal“.
Brett Kavanaugh is a man of many faces. Many lives. Many lies. Many reincarnations.
There was the Brett Kavanaugh who demanded the Starr inquiry go after Bill Clinton’s sex life. He wanted every lurid detail made public. Nothing should be out of bounds. The people had the right to know.
There was the Brett Kavanaugh who worked in the Republican Party in the hard fought, controversial 2000 presidential election. He was a state’s rights conservative. He believed in the power and laws of the state governments. Then helped Mr Bush in his court case that ended the election without a recount of the Florida votes. Even though, BY FLORIDA LAW, a recount was mandated. Disregarding the laws of the state of Florida. So much for “state’s rights”.
There was the Brett Kavanaugh who was subsequently rewarded, by placing him on the White House staff. He vetted and advised the president on all judicial appointments. He was Mr Bush’s conservative aide. He was central to the decision making process. Did he advise on the Iraq invasion? On torture? On the stolen Democratic documents? He won’t say. We don’t know. The Senate is not allowed to know. Why? Because 90% of his written work has been withheld from the public and from the Senate.
There was the Brett Kavanaugh who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Calm. Intelligent. Respectful. Politely evading answers to even even the most basic questions. Cool Hand Brett. A man who, by his calm temperament, demonstrated the fair mindedness expected of a jurist. A serious student of the law. No time for foolishness. A man for the ages.
And then Dr Ford happened.
She described how a young Brett Kavanaugh and a buddy tried to rape her when she was a 15 year old girl. And laughed at her. Others came forward to talk about his drunkenness and how he behaved when he had too many beers. How he became belligerent when drunk. Mean, Aggressive.
Then another Brett Kavanaugh showed up. Angry. Emotionally unbalanced. Distraught. Accusatory. Sarcastic. Snarky. Belligerent. Mean. Aggressive.
The mask was off. The real Brett Kavanaugh emerged. A man who believed, in all his heart, that it was his birthright to be appointed to the Supreme Court. A man who answered simple, direct questions with angry, hostile sarcasm. A man whose temperament demonstrated not the calmness of a judge, but the arrogance and nastiness of a political hack. A man of character whose character showed through loud and clear, but especially loud.
So, now we are left with a further investigation by the FBI . Maybe something new will be discovered, maybe not. In either case, we have seen the real Brett Kavanaugh beneath the mask. And it ain’t a pretty sight.
But perhaps we should all take a deep breath, stop, and remember these words written in a memo at a different time and place concerning a different political/sexual scandal.
“He has lied to his aides.”
“He has lied to the American people. He has tried to disgrace you” — meaning Mr. Starr — “and this office with a sustained propaganda campaign that would make Nixon blush.”
“It may not be our job to impose sanctions on him, but it is our job to make his pattern of revolting behavior clear — piece by painful piece,”
“Aren’t we failing to fulfill our duty to the American people if we willingly ‘conspire’ with the president in an effort to conceal the true nature of his acts?”
Perhaps we should heed the words of the author while we contemplate the fate of Brett Kavanaugh. After all, those are the words of Brett Kavanaugh in one of his previous lives, as a member of Ken Starr’s prosecution team.
As Mr Kavanaugh said to the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. “What goes around comes around”.
Elizabeth Warren is gearing up for her run for the presidency against Donald in 2020. She will be a strong candidate because she can explain economic reality in a way that the common person can understand. And she is not afraid of Trump the bully. She has handled bullies before.
If you recall, Ms. Warren was nominated to be the head of the new Consumer Protection Agency. But the Republicans hated her. Why? Because she was and is an advocate for consumers. You know. Everyone who ever buys anything.
So, the GOP blocked her nomination and she didn’t get the job.
So, what did she do? Give up? Hardly. She responded by running for the US Senate where she now has a seat. And a bully pulpit. And is a daily reminder to those same Republicans that they have failed to shut her up.
Which brings me to “Pocahontas”.
Mr Trump regularly derides Senator Warren, calling her “Pocahontas”. He does this because she has related a family story that she is descended partially from Native Americans. And evidently “Pocahontas” is the only Native American Trump has ever heard of, outside of “Tonto”. A family story. Is it true? Trump says “No”. And if you can’t believe the guy who still says Obama was born in Africa, who can you believe?
True or not, Mr Trump will bring this up at every rally. He will try to make this a campaign issue. And the press, unable to figure out what is real news and what is propaganda, will undoubtedly play along. Fox will have orgasms of delight covering this “issue”every day. Trump knows he can’t win on his record or the issues, so slander is his best and only weapon.
So, what should Warren do? Take a DNA test. Find out once and for all if she has any Native American heritage.
If she does have Native American ancestors, she can shut Donald’s mouth with a simple test. Make it public. Donald has lost his weapon.
If she does not have Native American heritage she should openly admit it. The family story is wrong. Just like so many family stories in America. Every family understands that. Get it over with. Trump loses his weapon.
While the issue is trivial, Trump and his network have a history of making the trivial seem important. Of clouding the issues with attacks on persons. Benghazi. Benghazi. Benghazi.
So, Senator Warren. Take the test. Disclose the results. Don’t let the trivial get in the way of the important.
Who knows? Maybe we can get Trump to take that DNA test proving his mother was not an orang-utan. So far, he has refused.
The Congress just passed a massive budget, increasing the deficit by a trillion dollars. And, over time, increasing the debt (with interest payments) by much more. The military and domestic spending were both increased. Disaster relief for the hurricanes was finally passed. Mr Trump, thankfully relegated to the sidelines during the process , signed the bill into law.
This was an example of compromise. The House of Representatives needed over 60 Democrats to work across the aisle and vote for this. Why? Because even though they “control” the House, the GOP does not control the “Tea Party”. And the Tea Party radicals insisted that this bill spent too much on citizens. They voted “No”.
My own representative, Tom Reed of NY 23, voted “No”. He claims to be a member of the “Problem Solvers” caucus. You know, the guys who reach across the aisle to compromise. But one thing Tom will not compromise on is spending money on “entitlements”. Spending money on citizens. Like the poor. Or elderly. According to Tom, this budget is bad because it raises the debt! It spends too much on people.
Keep in mind, this is the same Tom Reed who bragged about passing the massive tax cuts for corporations. That law drove up the debt AT LEAST $1.5 trillion over 10 years. No platitudes about fiscal responsibilty when to comes to tax breaks for the top 1 %. No crocodile tears about the future of our children. What, me worry?
This is the same Tom Reed who has bragged about the renewed funding for rural hospitals. Taking credit for bringing the pork into the district. The same Tom Reed who voted over and over and over and over to defund the ACA. A vote which, if passed, would have destroyed so much of our rural medical infrastructure. The same clinics he brags about saving. The same guy. The guy who cares about women’s health care so much he voted to end funding for Planned Parenthood. Thank god Tom was born with both sides of his mouth intact.
Which brings me to the party. The Tea Party. The young guns who won their places in the House and Senate based on fantasy economics, throwning in a dollop of homophobia, a dash of racism and sprinkling of xenophobia. With a cherry of misogyny on the top.
Tom is not a member of the Tea Party. Tom knows that in New York, even rural New York, being labeled as a Freedom Caucus or Tea Party member will not win him any votes. (The Tea Party has really morphed into the “Freedom Caucus”) So Tom is a member of the “Problem Solvers” caucus, except that he votes like a true believer of Tea Party ideals. He is just too clever to call himself that.
But this last budget deal shows that the Tea Party is over. Their radical ideas and non-solutions certainly live on in a minority of the GOP, like Mr Reed. But, for the most part, the party is over.
We can thank the Democrats for this budget deal. When Mr Obama was POTUS the GOP refused just about any compromise. Lead by McConnell. Supported by Reed. And the forces of the far right are still alive in Congress, make no mistake. Be clear, the Democrats COULD have stopped this budget from passing. They could have given Ryan no votes and the bill woudl be dead. The government shut down. But they didn’t. They decided to compromise.
A glimmer of good news for the country. But for the more radical fringe, not so much. The Tea Party is over.
“The party’s over
It’s all over, my friend
Now you must wake up
All dreams must end
Take off your makeup
The party’s over
It’s all over, my friend”
Lately there has been much ado about the Nunes “top secret” memo which proves that the FBI is corrupt. Some claim that Nunes, who worked on the Trump transition team, was selective in his use of evidence. Like he left stuff out and kind of only used a few facts. So, the Dems wanted to release their own memo. But Nunes, who runs the Intelligence Committee, said: NO WAY!!! Only MY memo counts. You lose!
In the spirit of transparency I am releasing my own memo which outlines the rights we have in the Bill of Rights. This is top secret, so please do not share this with the Democrats.
Please note, I am using ONLY THE ACTUAL words of the Bill of Rights. These words are not transposed or altered in any way. They are in the exact order in which they were written. The “founding fathers” wrote these words, so they are to blame. Their lack of patriotism shows through. So don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger.
Amendment 1: Congress shall make…law…abridging the freedom of speech…of the press…the right of people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government….
Amendment 2: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall…be infringed.
Amendment 3: …Soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner….
Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…shall…be violated, and no Warrants shall issue….
Amendment 5: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime…any person…shall be compelled …to be a witness against himself…private property taken…without just compensation.
Amendment 6: In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy … the crime….
Amendment 7: In suits at common law…no fact… shall be… examined in any Court of the United States….
Amendment 8: Excessive bail shall…be required…excessive fines imposed…cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall …be construed to deny or disparage others….
Amendment 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,… prohibited… to the States… to the people.
And, as a bonus,
Article 15: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall… be denied or abridged … by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
It is pretty clear by my memo that the founding fathers HATED freedom and were intent on taking away our rights. After all, memos don’t lie!!!