Misogyny by Any Other Name

Let’s imagine if 80,000 votes in the Rust Belt had gone the other way in 2016 and Hillary Clinton were president. Let’s also imagine there were controversial circumstances surrounding her victory – a foreign adversary attacked our political system in the hopes of putting her in power – and reasons to believe the Democratic campaign may have cooperated in some way with the attackers.

…Would there be widespread hand-wringing about those who dared to question Clinton’s earlier denials of wrongdoing? Would congressional Democrats call for Republicans’ resignations and demand new investigations into federal law enforcement?

Imagine if the Mueller report scrutinized Clinton instead of Trump

Hillary Clinton has been the prime target of hatred for women for most of my life. If you had a problem with women in general it was Hillary Clinton that was cited as evidence of this problem. From the moment she stepped upon the national stage and presented herself and her husband as two sides of the same coin, she has been the target of ire for females by both males and females alike. I should have remembered this fact before thinking that she could ever be president, but my desire to not see the United States descend into the hellhole it is now on the path to becoming blinded me to that painful truth. The painful truth that is still reiterated in every chant of #lockherup, in the constant conservative and #MAGA refrain of What about Hillary? in the face of any criticism of their lord and savior, Donald Trump.

I have a pretty clear memory of the first time she strutted onto my radar, back in the early days of Bill Clinton’s first term in office. It was during the rollout of what conservatives derogatively called Hillarycare. I bought the lie back then, not understanding just how skewed the information that I was consuming was. How conservative everywhere in Texas is, even in the bluest of blue parts of Texas. Women had a place and Hillary Clinton wasn’t conforming to what was expected of women, behaviorally, back in the eighties.

I don’t want to put her on a pedestal. There are things she did that were objectively wrong. That isn’t the point of this article. The point is that if you pretend that everything she did was done by a man, you wouldn’t even have batted an eye at her behavior. This is probably the most telling argument against her as a leader, that she was and is absolutely ordinary from a human perspective. She compromised her values to protect her husband, just like anyone else would do. She waited to discover what the polls would tell her before taking a stand on a subject, just like every other career politician does. There is not one thing that she is castigated for that men have not done and been forgiven for. It is because she is a woman that people hate her.

That is what misogyny means.

Bad news for the haters: History is decidedly unafraid of “the woman card.” It doesn’t care how many people will stand on tables today and swear they’d feel the same if she were a man. It will see us for what we are—a sick society, driven by misogyny and pathetically struggling to come to terms with the fact that women do not exist solely to nurture.

Huffingtonpost – Larry Womack – Stop Pretending

Hillary Clinton was nowhere near as unpopular as her haters think, as pundits are now saying retroactively.  Rather, what was underestimated was the misogynistic influence. What do I mean by that? I mean the people who blamed her for her husband’s presidency, or credited her with the same. She isn’t Bill Clinton and all the baggage that name and presidency entails.
Whether she had covered for him or castigated him would have made no difference, and the failure to separate her from her husband’s behavior is the clearest form of misogyny that I can point to. But it’s hardly the only example.

Hidden Brain – Too Sweet, Or Too Shrill? The Double Bind For Women – October 18, 2016

When the person was presented as a high powered person, who was very ambitious, we found that the person was seen as much more unlikable when it was a woman than when it was a man

Madeline Heilman
Ashley Judd – TEDWomen 2016 – How online abuse of women has spiraled out of control

But let’s forget about the hatred leveled at powerful women. Women of status in the US today. Let’s go to the other end of the social spectrum. From the wealthy and powerful and the unjustified treatment they suffer, to the women with nothing. Let’s look at what happens to the victims of war. American women who were radicalized and joined the Islamic State in Syria.

American-Born ISIS Bride – MSNBC – Feb 22, 2019

Read through the comments under that video. The calls to refuse these women re-entry to the United States, even though they have no other nationality to claim. We cannot make them stateless by revoking their citizenship, and we cannot keep them from returning if they are citizens. If we violate international law in this case, we will have no grounds to hold other countries to international law later. To keep these people from being radicalized again, we HAVE TO make sure they are fully engaged in society for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know the particulars of each case. It’s entirely possible that they deserve prison time for their actions in Syria. That isn’t the question here. The particular woman who was interviewed for the television segment expects to get a prison sentence. However, Donald Trump has revoked her passport. He has rendered her stateless. He has violated international law, at the same time as he is harassing other countries to abide by international law.

The Daily – The American Women Who Joined ISIS – Feb. 22, 2019

Hold on, I hear you saying. We can’t just let these people come back here. That’s the catch. We already have. American men who have surrendered under similar circumstances have been repatriated. The women, though? We don’t want those women back. That’ll teach the rest of the women to stay in line. Never mind that we cannot legally denaturalize a citizen. Only the court can do that, and we have to bring them back here to put them on trial. It’s a catch-22. We can’t keep her out, and we can’t say she doesn’t belong here without first bringing her home. All of them have to come home, but the women most of all. Most of all, because singling them out for different treatment is a hallmark of misogyny.

Reshma Saujani – TED2016 – Teach girls bravery, not perfection

I want to live in a world where women are encouraged to fight back. In that world men will treat women better. But instead of teaching them to fight back we train girls to be passive. To smile meaninglessly. To never let a moment of anger show. Passivity gets you beaten to death while you sit and take it, and the women who do fight back are punished, punished more harshly than we punish men.

The Ezra Klein ShowThis Conversation Will Change How You Understand Misogyny – Kate Manne

Think of the strongest, surest woman you know, and then think about what is said about her. Now think about that person as a man. See the problem now? I’m familiar with the argument. I’ve been around the park a few times now. A life without conflict is not really living, is expecting too much from others.  Standing on “no conflict” as an achievable goal ignores the natural world around us where conflict is everywhere.

Caroline Paul – TEDWomen 2016 – To raise brave girls, encourage adventure

The misunderstanding originated with the separation of physical violence from verbal violence. Passivity starts with being afraid to speak your mind, not with the refusal to come to blows. Passivity is present in hiding in the “safe room” rather than fleeing from the aggressor or fighting back if necessary. Of being prepared to gut that bastard the next time he comes near, rather than forgive him. You can forgive his corpse, sweetheart. Forgive it all you like. Make sure it is a corpse first.

What? Too harsh? You’ve never seen your mother beaten. Never been beaten yourself. You’ve never discovered that rage within yourself and wondered where it came from. Walk a mile in my shoes. In a partner I wanted someone that would have my back because she wanted to protect me as much as I wanted to protect her. I taught my daughter to defend herself, that it was okay to defend herself. If women are our equals, they don’t need our permission to be in our faces all the time. They simply will be, and we (the men) will just have to take it. Hopefully we’ll manage as well as the women have.

Sarah Kay – TED2011 – If I should have a daughter
Postscript

I’ve been sitting on this one for quite a while. What we did to Hillary Clinton was misogyny and she’s not the only victim of our misogyny. Apologize to your daughters and your wives. Thank them for not gutting your heartless ass. That they haven’t thought about doing this is possibly because they are also misogynists. It is also possible that women don’t contemplate life in that way. You should also be thankful for that fact, if it is one.

Republican Decadence

facebook.com/david.gerrold

When pundits start talking about Trump’s chances in 2020, this is the kind of thing that runs through my mind. He won’t be running in 2020, I can say that pretty confidently. What I can’t say is whether there will be a United States that we recognize by then if things aren’t done to change the direction we are currently heading in.

Facebook

Postscript

My belief that facts long-ignored would win out in the political arena proved to be ill-founded just like my fear that the United States would not survive the Trump presidency. Mercifully Trump lost in 2020 anyway. My in-law wanted to bet me a thousand dollars that my predictions were wrong, and they were wrong, but their predictions were also as wrong as their understanding of who or what the Trump presidency was and his chances of staying in office beyond his fluke of a first term.

That was the kind of conversation that was in my mind when I wrote:

…the kind of mindless insistence that their team was always right no matter the situation and that liberals were clueless whiners who needed to figure out how to lose properly on exhibit in that almost forgotten Facebook thread was exactly the thing that motivated me to write about how Hillary wasn’t the problem in the first place. What I should have recognized and been writing about at the time was the hopelessness of convincing people who knew that Hillary and liberals were the problem of anything at all.

President Trump is making it so people can work and better themselves and get off the coattails of the government. I do not understand how anybody could think putting people back to work is a bad thing. Obama on the other hand closed down factories and put millions of people out of work and on food stamps.

None of them know Donald Trump. They demonstrably still don’t know what he is. While I didn’t do better than the average human at predicting the future, I stand by my assessment of Trump’s business practices, which have been vindicated and will be further vindicated as time moves on. His crimes were many before he entered the White House and his crimes in the White House dwarf the crimes of any other president in history. His supporters still don’t know these facts even though they are readily available to anyone who looks for them.

These same wilfully ignorant people would of course try to storm the capitol and lynch their Vice President for attempting to certify the existence of objective reality by admitting that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. They don’t recognize any reality that doesn’t conform to their preconceived notions of the proper order of the world around them. All you have to do is believe hard enough and what you want comes true.

Whether the in-laws would consider the current political situation a loss or a win for them or myself would be hard to determine, especially since we aren’t speaking anymore.

Part of that conversation on Facebook was turned into:

I have cribbed some of the other text from that lengthy and wide-ranging comment thread for other articles that I’m still working on. Still working on, two years later.

By his sixth month in office, embroiled in scandal after scandal, a Pew Research Center poll found Trump’s approval rating underwater with every single demographic group. Every demographic group, that is, except one: people who identified as white.

The First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates

World War Z? #ImpeachTrump

“They caught the mail bomber? “

“Yes they did, and I hope that he’s a Democrat!”

“The bombings are the fault of 45, no matter the political affiliation of the bomber. 45 started fostering all this hatred.”

“Obama started it all! If he hadn’t been elected none of this would have happened!”

Conversation overheard at the local Big ‘N Large – October 26, 2018

Two years. Donald Trump has been president for two years. And still everything is Obama’s fault. I’m seriously beginning to believe we need a country-wide inquest to determine the healthy mental functioning of every American. Their capacity for self-governance. An assessment of the ability to maintain a country as advanced as this one is when you are so backward as to believe the crazy-assed things most Americans believe.

I can’t imagine how anyone would look at the pathetic example of Trump in office and think “I like the way this guy operates.” Anyone who thinks that should probably be assigned their own personal headshrinker. They have screws loose in there somewhere.

In Texas you have people who vote Republican because they always vote Republican. They haven’t voted Democratic since LBJ betrayed white nationalism and promoted JFK’s vision of equality. They never say it in so many words, but the understanding is there nonetheless. I’m trying to give my relatives the benefit of the doubt (whatever that is worth in this instance, I don’t know) they probably caught the Apprentice in between binging on the 700 Club and when the guy from that show decided to run as a Republican they thought it would be a great idea to vote for him. We can discuss whether giving such low examples of human life the right to vote was a good idea or not, but then they would also say the converse is true. So here we are.

You can’t lock Hillary Clinton up. You can’t lock Hillary Clinton up because Hillary Clinton has broken no laws. You know how I know she hasn’t broken any laws? Because Republicans crawled up her ass thirty years ago and never came out, the whole time looking for crimes to charge her with. They never found any crimes to charge her with. Bill Clinton has his own separate file of wrongdoing. Neither of them are the subjects in question, because they aren’t up for election now. They are not serving in office now.

Barack Obama hasn’t broken any laws. You know why I know he hasn’t broken any laws? Because for eight years he was president with a hostile congress itching to impeach him on any grounds they could dream up. And still he stayed fresh and white, no matter how black his enemies tried to paint him. The black man was whiter than the white man serving as president now.

That’s really galling, isn’t it? I mean, speaking to those Stormtrumpers that voted for the white guy because he was a white guy and you will not replace us is their battle cry? The black man is cleaner, is better, than the white businessman, the dream reality star candidate that was the latest, greatest white hope? The conman that everyone knew was a conman before he conned his way into the job he’s about to be thrown out of?

Cory Booker has been framed when it comes to the (now disappeared –ed.) counter-charges of molestation, after he dared to talk down to Brett Kavanaugh. You know why I know he’s been framed? Because only conservative (read as propagandist) websites and news sources are even talking about it. There will eventually be an admission by someone that they made it all up. Democrats are not the liars in the here and now. Bill Clinton was impeached over lying about a blow job. That couldn’t have happened without Democratic support. Al Franken retired rather than drag his senate seat through the mud. Over and over again, Democrats admit defeat when they are wrong. The Republicans? They just double down on their power grab.

Why not frame him? Cory Booker is a black man willing to be loud when he needs to be. He’s a natural target of the race baiting conservatives who are currently in power. It’s why he was a target for bomb makers. It’s two weeks before an election that conservatives and Republicans look to be facing a shellacking in, and a whole lot of the payback is women abandoning the GOP because of their willingness to burn the witch rather than admit they had a lemon up for nomination to the SCOTUS.

Now we have a gambling addicted alcoholic rapist on the SCOTUS. One that will ensure that Donald Trump’s financial records will never be released, which was the real goal of the GOP in nominating that specific justice to the court. Well done, Republicans. You have destroyed yourselves to save your glorious leader. You get to retain your hold on the presidency for two more years rather than have to admit that you advanced a known conman to the office of president. Now it is up to the rest of America to save the United States from you.

Why from them, and not the other way around? They are the ones willing to believe a pathological liar, a demonstrated pathological liar; to which I should probably add, a pathological liar that is still being quoted by news reporters as if his utterances mean anything at all. The media still reports what he says and his supporters believe what he says and I can’t for the life of me figure out why except that all of them must be nuts.

…which means there are probably too many of them for the human race to successfully govern itself. In other words, we’re screwed. I’m still doing my best to laugh (joy is in the ears that hear) but it’s looking more and more like a zombie apocalypse from where I’m sitting. Time to get out before they lock us all in with the zombies.

The amusing part of people reporting on and then believing the lies the President utters, is that someone is waiting on the FBI to confirm lies told by the president as if that would make those lies into truths. George Soros is funding migrant caravans? This is the kind of crap that gets posted to the Snopes Facebook group by credulous people looking for confirmation. The corollary of this observation is the answer to why there are so many variations on Snopes sucks groups out there created by and populated with people booted off the Snopes group. Bullshit remains bullshit whether you can confirm it or not.

You want something that isn’t bullshit but still is bullshit of a different kind? How about Kris Kobach trying to keep Dodge City residents from voting because Dodge City is now made up of hispanics that vote Democratic?

As a former Kansan I think I’m qualified to say, unequivocally, that Kris Kobach is a piece of shit. That the Kansas Republican party should be ashamed of itself for the stands it has taken and the damage it has done to the health, safety and welfare of Kansas residents. This thing in Dodge City? This is the tip of the dirty tricks iceberg in Kansas politics right now. Never have I been more glad to not live in Kansas than I have been over the last decade as I watched the former governor destroy the Kansas education system from afar. Watched as Kobach did his damnedest to keep minorities from voting. Persecuted LGBT people. Tried to deny healthcare to the poor and infirm. I have nothing but loathing for Kris Kobach and for anyone, ANYONE who votes for him. Friends and relatives who still reside in Kansas, be warned.

Those are the kinds of things that either make you laugh or make you start cleaning your guns in preparation for the zombie apocalypse. I’ve been doing my best to laugh for quite a while now.

Stormtrumpers are the ones who resort to violence. See the delivery of bombs to targets selected by Trump himself. Not to mention threats of lynching when the vote doesn’t go your way. There will be charges filed. There will be trials. There will be convictions. There will be punishment, some of it possibly rising to the level of firing squad for crimes of treason. But there will be no lynching. There is plenty of proof to get convictions against Donald Trump and his minions.

…oh, wait. The ad proposes that Stormtrumpers would lynch Democrats? That would be a neat trick considering we outnumber them to the tune of several million people. Let them make their threats. It makes them look like the villains they are. You are the villain if you support Trump. You are the cause that Obama warns about. Make no mistake about it. If it comes to war, you will go the same way that your forebears went, because you are on the wrong side of history.


Editor’s note. This one was compiled from multiple sources over the course of years visiting memories on Facebook. RBReich, my own posts (1, 2) and three group posts here, here and here. My obsessive copying of comments posted to different groups and forums and then compiling them here has made way more work for me than I should probably take on, if I want to do anything other than this.

The payback for two hundred years of the myth of whiteness in the United States (not to mention the four hundred years since this all began in 1619) is coming. The payback for millennia suppressing women’s voices. It will suck to be white and male in 2021. Don’t forget your forefathers charged that card up the same way you charge up the climate card for your descendents. Maybe we should finally start thinking ahead. It would be a nice change of pace.

A Real Witch Hunt

I didn’t watch the witch hunt that was televised today (Thursday September 28th, 2018) although I have seen several stories in the media telling me how everyone else did watch. That would be their time to waste in watching the execution of a good woman’s reputation. I didn’t watch just like I didn’t watch the debates with the Orange Hate-Monkey. Brett Kavanaugh is lying now, just like the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) was lying then. Everyone knows Kavanaugh is lying. They know he is lying because he refused to ask for an FBI investigation when prompted. Repeatedly. So everyone in that Judiciary Committee hearing knew he was lying, but they all have to stick to their scripts.

The Judiciary committee Senate did burn the woman. The professional. The established doctor with a life and reputation of her own on the line. They always burn the woman, or as I said recently, #IBelieveHer and That Still Isn’t Enough People.

Do you know how we know that Mueller’s investigation isn’t a witch hunt? There are no women accused. There are no women accused and the Orange Hate-Monkey is still in office two years later. If the OHM had been a woman, if Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016, there would already be a high rise built on the spot where her body was burnt eighteen months ago. Because witch hunts come to a speedy conclusion and they inevitably convict innocent people.

I started to watch the debates between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz last week. Ted Cruz was lying before he even got out of his opening comments. What’s the point of listening to defacto, demonstrable liars? People who start off lying and never stop lying, playing dirty, blaming others for their behavior? Save yourself some time, spare yourself and the furniture the wear and tear of torment like that. They’re lying, they’re going to keep lying, so let’s get on to the next thing. What is the next thing, you ask? filling the streets of Washington DC with enough people that normal life comes to a standstill until this travesty of a Presidency comes to an end. That has been the next thing that needs doing since January 20, 2017.


Illness got in the way of my documenting the travesty of the Kavanaugh confirmation (as mentioned here) I’m going to append the material I intended to include in the further documentation to this post in a largely unedited format.

LatinoUSA, The Immigrant Woman Who Confronted Senator Flake, Oct. 2, 2018

I’ve shared that post widely. Many people who don’t follow Stonekettle Station expressed agreement with the words. It hadn’t occurred to me to think what might have happened had Kavanaugh not channeled the Orange Hate-Monkey until I read that post. Then it struck me. He was right. Kavanaugh’d be on the court already, if he had simply done the standard wring your hands I’m sorry bullshit. If he had done that instead of blow his top, they would have held the full Senate vote that day. Trump inspired him to destroy his own career by telling him to go hard. Whatever it is he’s hiding will come to light now, just as Trump’s dirty laundry airs on a nearly nightly basis these days.

…tell me again, why do people think the OHM knows anything about politics? Because I don’t think he knows thing one about the subject. 

…also, I’m hoping the FBI does what the interrogator did to Kavanaugh at the hearing. Probed in sensitive spots in such a way that the skeletons fall out of the closet. “Oops, we didn’t mean to do that!” But you are probably right. The White House is going to try to orchestrate the investigation.

Facebook comment backdated to the blog.

However, there was a ton of pushback that Jim got from elsewhere on Facebook, leading him to write an even longer post on the subject two days later.

I was NOT suggesting Kavanaugh cop to rape. Again, you MUST have seen enough of this to know how it works. There’s a list a couple hundred deep on Wikipedia of American politicians caught with their pants down.

I mean, you guys read the paper right? You watch the news? You know this is NOT the first guy with a shady sexual history nominated for office, right?

Lawyers write non-apology apologies for politicians all of the time without admitting anything. Kavanaugh IS a lawyer. The Senate committee confirming him are almost all lawyers. The SENATE is mostly lawyers. You people HAVE to know how this game is played? Right? You’ve seen it often enough.

There’s a formula for this: The guy makes some sort of vague tearful apology written by a lawyer without admitting anything. The powers-that-be use that to justify their approval AND their dismissal of the victims and any public protest. Confirmation. Business as usual.

Now before you start misinterpreting THAT statement, I didn’t say it was right. This formula. I said it IS. Call it the Patriarchy. Call it White Privilege. Call it Politics As Usual or the Swamp or whatever.” 

Stonekettle Station

It literally blew my mind that people did not understand what the first post was getting at. That he had to write a post three times longer than the first one just to get the key points across. As if this was grade school and you have to lead these people by the hands to get them to understand. I write, too. I get that narratives are hard to construct. But seriously, some people should stick to watching children’s cartoons rather than trying to master big words and hard concepts.

Reviewing the evidence revealed by the talking heads I listened to, talking heads endlessly discussing the hearings, I came away with the fact that Christine Blasey Ford, the prosecutor that the Senate Judiciary Committee had hired to cross-examine now Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, got him to reveal his character by making him lose his cool. He had secrets he was hiding, and he wasn’t going to reveal them willingly. He probably should have played with himself before going into that hearing. It might have made him less of a raging asshole, but I doubt it.

After this groundbreaking revelation, that Kavanaugh was lying on the stand, an impeachable error for a sitting justice, the Republican leadership of the committee fired Christine Blasey Ford, burning another witch. They had two witch burnings in one Senate hearing, and they counted that as a success. I know that Lindsey Graham saw it that way. The Senate Republicans burned the witches and pretended none of that bad stuff that Justice Kavanaugh was accused of ever happened. Just as they did with Justice Thomas. #IBelieveHer and That Still Isn’t Enough People. The outcome of the hearings was preordained by the Republican leadership of the Senate. Holding the hearings were just a sham.

On top of that, justice Kavanaugh was drunk on the witness stand. Pull up the video of his Senate hearing. Look at the flush on his nose and cheeks. That man is one angry drunk. I pity his wife and children.

Only stupid people like the Orange Hate-Monkey and his MAGA supporters fell for the charade that the Senate performed that day. Now we have two people accused of sexual assault sitting on the SCOTUS and the stage is set for the drama that conservatives have been waiting breathlessly for ever since Roe was decided, convinced that they’ll be able to put women back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant as often as they can put them there. They’ve got their pandering Trump card stacking the federal courts in conservative favor. A task that was made possible by a Senate Majority Leader who should have been removed from office for dereliction of duty in 2010 when he stated his plans to do nothing for Obama while he was president.

Ignoring Emoluments? #ImpeachTrump

I mean, what exactly does somebody like Trump pray for?

Stonekettle Station

I too would like to know what kind of prayers the OHM might offer, because frankly, I can’t imagine him ever praying to anyone or anything. The very notion that he would willingly bend a knee in supplication at any time is foreign to the machismo that he tries to present. That he could put words into a supplication that didn’t sound as false as every other thing he says, making the prayer a mockery, baffles even my (ahem) yuge imagination.

While he’s airing the laundry, as Jim suggests, laundry like his secret thoughts and prayers, perhaps he’d do the people he’s supposed to serve, the American people, a few other favors?

Like what?

Let’s start with other things mentioned in the Constitution. The document that contains that holiest of holy conservative amendments, the Second Amendment, outlines pretty succinctly the kind of strictures that a holder of the office of President must comply with. Not the first amendment, I split that portion of the Constitutional Crisis out and made it its own post. Not engaging in political assassination on a level that would even put Nixon to shame. That also is its own post now. Not even the failure to protect the general health and welfare of the citizens of the United states. That could become many posts all on its own because the list just keeps getting longer. For now it is simply a recitation of the suffering of the people of Puerto Rico. People who still haven’t seen the relief promised by the OHM over a year ago.

No I’m talking about an obscure little clause in the Constitution that hasn’t needed to be litigated until today, largely because no president before the OHM was so brazen as to believe he could flaunt law in the way that he has so far in his presidency. Not since Ol’ Hickory had his agents buy up lands formerly set aside for native Americans in Georgia have we seen profit taking on this level. I’m talking about emoluments, dear reader. Emoluments yet again. Would the OHM mind too much doing we the people the courtesy of releasing his financial statements and clue us in on who is paying him how much and for which favors? He swore an oath to uphold the Constitution that requires this of him, but his lackeys are still telling us how they can’t be bothered to comply with the requirements of the Constitution.

“To fully and completely identify all patronage at our Properties by customer type is impractical in the service industry and putting forth a policy that requires all guests to identify themselves would impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand,” the Trump Organization wrote in its policy pamphlet, which the company’s chief compliance officer said had been distributed to general managers and senior officials at all of its properties.

The Atlantic, ‘Not Practical’ to Comply With the Emoluments Clause

So while he’s out there offering thoughts and prayers to obscure the blood all over his interpretation of the Second Amendment, maybe he could do the other things that document requires and inform us of just who’s pockets he is in? It’s not too much to ask. Lyin’ Hillary as the OHM refers to her, released 40 years of her financial records to the press, a fact that the press took full advantage of, using it (among other things) to beat her down at the polls. Using her openness to keep her from becoming President. Did I trust Hillary Clinton? No. But then I didn’t have to. Her history was an open book. Her excesses were known. Her habits had been gauged. She would have at least been predictable, would at least have not worked to destroy the world as we’ve come to know it, in the first year of her presidency. All of which is more than I can say about the OHM.

He won’t reveal his financials even though every modern president before him has done this. He won’t tell us who is paying him now, much less who was paying him in the past, refusing to divulge information that has always been public record for elected officials including presidents. This is much more of a crisis than anything else that he’s done or failed to do in office. It is at the heart of his malfeasance and he won’t tell us because he knows just how dirty his financial records are. So either he has to divest himself of all his properties now, declare all his finances, now, or he has to be impeached, now.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California has introduced a bill that would make it a criminal offense for the president and his family to “enrich themselves by using his presidency.”

The Prevent Corrupting Foreign Influence Act would “significantly improve upon the existing ban on America’s highest elected officials receiving financial benefits from foreign powers.”

“Unlike other presidents, Donald Trump has failed to distance himself from his private business interests while serving our nation, and so he and his family are getting richer from Trump companies that receive money and benefits from foreign powers,” Swalwell said.

Countable

Being a United States public official is lucrative enough without resorting to the kleptocratic tactics that the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) his appointees and his family have exhibited. The emoluments clause is in the Constitution for this reason, and the ban on all gifts should be applied to all public offices, not just the president and his administration. The OHM is violating the constitution, has been actively violating the oath he swore to protect and defend the Constitution since he swore it last January. Oaths don’t get any more broken the longer they stay broken. If we don’t respect the law, then the law ceases to have meaning. The Republican party has put lawlessness on display for all to see, while trumpeting their status as the “rule of law” party. They have made a mockery of the United States. It is time to take back our government from them.

The previously unreported letter — describing a five-day stay in March that was enough to boost the hotel’s revenue for the entire quarter — shows how little is known about the business that the president’s company does with foreign officials.

Such transactions have fueled criticism that Trump is reaping revenue from foreign governments, even as he controls U.S. foreign policy toward those countries. Trump’s company has disclosed few details about the business it does with foreign customers, saying it already reveals more than is required.

The Washington Post

This is direct evidence of the OHM’s violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Payments directly to Trump from a foreign leader. This is bribery. This is corruption. The Nazi wannabes in congress who are members of the OHM’s party, representatives of the American people who will not move to impeach this poor, white, excuse for a president, are themselves violating their oaths to preserve and protect the constitution of the United States. All of them should be impeached, not just their president. This is the highest crime committed in the United States in my lifetime. That the Republican representatives in congress refuse to act says a lot more about them and their base than they realize.

The Ezra Klein Show, Taking Trump’s Corruption Seriously, August 2, 2018

If there is some scandal lurking that’s going to derail the Trump administration, I think it’s going to be found by following the money, not by following the Russian bots.

Adam Davidson has been investigating this since Trump’s election. If you’re an avid podcast listener, you probably know Adam from his days at Planet Money. He’s now at the New Yorker, doing some of the best investigative work on the Trump Organization. You’ll want to hear what he’s found.

A lot of what is documented by Adam Davidson echoes the kinds of things I was alluding to in Caveat Emptor in January of 2017. The OHM is dirty, has always been dirty. That is the kind of business he conducts, and this isn’t a secret in any real sense. It was only a matter of time till this evidence became news, and brought down his corrupt administration. The only question is, will the truth arrive in time to save the US from itself, or will the OHM have made such a mess of things that we cannot recover from it?

#TrumpTaxes2018

This was originally part of another article that I have now broken into three parts and embroidered on all three.

Threatening First Amendment Rights? #ImpeachTrump

We’ve heard the phrase constitutional crisis all our lives. It’s a phrase I’ve heard and seen attached to many different people for many different reasons over the course of my 50+ years. The phrase is more than just a little misleading. As I’ve heard several pundits note in the last few years, the United States is always in a constitutional crisis because there is always someone out there doing something that is questionable from a constitutional basis. But the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) represents a level of disregard for lawful behavior that shocks even a dyed-in-the-wool non-conformist like myself.

I mean, what exactly does somebody like Trump pray for?

Stonekettle Station

Jim’s quote concerning the Capital Gazette mass shooting is typical for the everyday crisis we deal with in Trump’s America. The recitation of the conservative mantra of thoughts and prayers after tragedies rang hollow even before the current level of disdain for lawful behavior was exhibited by the most corrupt and compromised leader in US history. To hear those words come out of his mouth is to need to dig your own ears out with an icepick. It offends the senses. It is so obvious a lie, this fakir pretending that he prays for anything, this narcissist, this solipsist? There is nothing greater in his mind than he is, how could he possibly pray to anyone or anything?

Funny thing though. Funny thing. Just last night, at yet another political rally, President Trump was telling us, yet again, how the Press — the PRESS — is the enemy of America.

Stonekettle Station

I can’t put too fine a point on this one. When the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) trotted out the phrase enemy of the people and applied it to the United States free press, the world’s free press, inspiring acts of hatred across the world in response including the deaths of five people in Washington DC, that was the moment when the very notion that the OHM could be allowed to leave office unmolested ceased to have any weight. No one who utters that phrase from a position of authority can be trusted unsupervised from that point forward. His time as a free man has come to an end. It is merely a matter of time now before he will be in shackles and facing the judgement of the American people for his assorted crimes. Unlike Hillary Clinton, the OHM has committed crimes, and it didn’t take four years of fruitless investigation to prove this.

On The Media Enemy of the People August 3, 2018

At a rally in Tampa, Florida, Trump supporters attacked CNN reporter Jim Acosta, prompting the president to double down on his anti-press “Enemy of the People” rhetoric. A look at how and why the president incites his base — and where it all might lead. And, as the regulatory battle surrounding 3D gun blueprints rages on, we dive into the worldview of Cody Wilson, the man who started the controversy. Plus, why we’re still living in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s killing, six years later.

Fivethirtyeight Politics Podcast: Should The Press Respond To Trump’s Attacks? AUG. 6, 2018, AT 5:19 PM (538’s embeds have gotten even worse with time -ed.)

President Trump’s attacks on the press have reached a new level in recent weeks. On Sunday, he called the press, “very dangerous & sick” and wrote that the media can “cause War.” The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast team talks about what the goal of the president’s rhetoric is and how the press should respond.

Are there limits on speech under the first amendment? Yes. Yes there are. You won’t hear about those real limits from the OHM or from any conservative pundit in the US today. None of the news organizations, not even FOX, have breached those limits. Football players peacefully protesting by taking a knee have not breached those limits. Yelling fire in a burning theater doesn’t breach those limits. What are those limits, then? Threatening violence. Inciting a riot. Falsifying data in pursuit of personal gain. In other words, what the OHM does nearly every time he rage tweets.

If I threatened violence like Trump does on social media, Twitter and Facebook would suspend my accounts, no matter what the provocation was. Hell, both platforms have suspended me for far, far less.

It’s not just that Twitter continues to protect this lunatic, the REALLY insane part: NO ONE IN THE ADMINISTRATION NOR IN CONGRESS has so far addressed this madness.

No republican. No democrat.

Congress has abdicated its duty to America.

We reached a point where it’s not enough to throw Trump out of office, CONGRESS needs to be replaced in its entirety. If you sons of bitches don’t show up this time and remove these faithless cowards from office, if you don’t start electing better people, then you are complicit in the destruction of the Republic.

Stonekettle Station

As I said previously elsewhere “Imagine the difference we would see in the world around us if authorities had arrested Donald Trump the first time he incited a riot?” Because he has done that. He’s done it more than once, and no one has ever suggested he be prosecuted. His social media accounts should be banned for violating clearly stated boundaries on those media systems. Do not just suspend his accounts, ban them. He should be kicked out of every decent establishment in society along with anyone who sides with him publicly. The cost will be higher now than it would have been back in the campaign days. Higher on all sides, unfortunately. But he has to go. We cannot allow him to go unpunished. Allowing him to walk away without exacting a price on his behavior from him will send the wrong message and leave us unprotected from the next demagogue to come along thinking they will use the system for their own ends. This has to be stopped here, and it should have been stopped before he took the oath of office because we knew he was dirty even then.

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StitcherStay Tuned with Preet – Putin Enemy #1 (with Bill Browder) – August 2nd, 2018

#TrumpEnemyofthePeople not the free press. Not the protestors. Not the liberals. The OHM is the enemy of the people, and it is about time we recognized this fact and demanded he be removed from office. Before he does something the system will not recover from.


I have a right to detest him. I have a right to despise everything he stands for. I despise his greed, his endless conceit, his avarice, his gluttony and his sloth, his deliberate stupidity, his staggering foolishness, and his towering ignorance touted as some sort of virtue. I am daily appalled by his open encouragement of the worse elements of our society, his abuse of power, his obvious lies, his casual racism, his gross misogyny, his swaggering jingoism, his prideful nationalism, his craven xenophobia, his quailing insecurities large and small, his childish need for revenge, the bottomless unplumbed depths of his cowardice, and the utter shallowness of his character.

But most of all, most of all, I despise the gleeful hypocrisy of his chanting supporters.

stonekettle.com

In my podcast feed for August 30, 2017. Detailing how the Orange Hate-Monkey’s attacks on the media are groundbreaking. Worse than Richard Nixon, the last president to take out his aggression on the media.

rewire.news

Rick Perlstein, bestselling author of Nixonland and historian of the conservative movement, joins host Lindsay Beyerstein for a discussion of President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press. Perlstein argues that Trump is the ultimate Richard Nixon Republican, from his love-hate relationship with mass media to his preoccupation with vendettas.
While Nixon usually kept his gripes against the media private, Trump has made his battle with the media the signature fight of his administration. His tirades are also mobilizing bands of right-wing trolls to harass journalists online. As Trump’s popularity falls and the frustrations of his supporters rise, the situation is becoming increasingly explosive.

rewire.news

The problem here is that there is a thing called liberalism that isn’t political liberalism. Essentially, you have to be able to go where your news is and report the facts without inserting your own bias into the factual reporting. You have to be willing to listen and absorb without accepting. IF you cannot be liberal enough to entertain ideas that you don’t accept and report on them, then you can’t get to the objective facts in the first place, your bias will obscure objectivity no matter how hard you try.

This is why conservative news outlets will always fail unless they can establish authoritarian control (like Facebook) because, all things being equal, the truth will float to the surface eventually. And you can’t have the truth getting in the way of conservative ideals. That’s just not right. #ImpeachTrump

Facebook.


Editor’s note. This was originally part of another article that I have now broken into three parts and appended more work to it. It case you missed it, they impeached Trump. Fifty-two Republican Senators are now just as treasonous as their president is because of their votes. Only Mitt Romney can be called blameless on this subject.

Man Shaming

Lets put that shoe on the other foot. Instead of slut shaming one of a choice of many women that fit into the category of “having sex with someone that they regret,” let’s focus on the real culprits here. Bill Clinton forced me to explain what a blowjob was to my pre-teen daughter. Luckily both children were adults by the time Donald Trump ran for office, because I would have committed suicide before attempting to explain golden showers and watersports to children.

My now-adult children had unlimited broadband access for years by that point. They didn’t need me to explain sexual deviancy; but they did helpfully ask if I needed it explained.

So, dad, a golden shower is when…

Thanks, son. I got it. I’m gonna need a mental emetic to get those images out of my head, but I got it. You can stop now. Please stop now.

The point here is, let’s talk about the true guilty parties in these relationships. The 900 pound silverbacks in the room. That would be the men. The men with their loose private parts finding their way into places they don’t belong. I would happily two-man loft Slick Willy under the nearest moving bus, if.

If.

If it meant that stormtrumpers would throw the Orange Hate-Monkey under the exact same bus. Who’s taking bets on that happening?

I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t because the people making these comparisons between Bill Clinton’s victims and Donald Trump’s victims would rather slut shame the victims themselves than prosecute the guilty men. And that, dear reader, is your teachable moment for today.

It will never cease to amaze me the numbers of people who insist on further victimizing victims. As another commenter pointed out, Lewinsky gave the blowjob. She was merely there and attracted to a man with power. A man who should have known better than to get involved with a staff member since he had been caught with his pants down previously and that event had already cost him.

Bill Clinton did force me to discuss oral sex with my daughter. That is simply the fact of the matter. Had he not engaged in questionable practices with his staff (repeatedly) he wouldn’t have had an improper relationship with his staff that could trip up his testimony in court making “blowjob” a news item that had to be explained.

Donald Trump has brought watersports into the political sphere. As if politics needed more perversion attached to it. What I find tiresomely predictable are the people who insist on making this about the women. As if Russian hookers forced Donald Trump to lie under them so they could pee on him. At least the Republicans will no longer be the party of values voters, at least not without a significant amount of hypocrisy and sarcasm. If they claim to have values in 2018, I’m going to have to ask them what part of family values involves whorish men dicking around like they were sailors on leave.

In defending the president you love, be careful you don’t throw your own sanity under the bus with him in defense of him. Bill Clinton was a bad person and a mediocre president, and the truth will out eventually. Bill Clinton is the reason Hillary lost. The stupid people who wouldn’t vote for Hillary blame her for sticking with Bill. Blame her for the things he did. Had she thrown him under the bus in 1998, she’d be president right now. That’s how good she actually is as a person. If she was the power-hungry monster that the Hillary haters make her out to be, willing to destroy the person who is her greatest liability, her husband, she’d be President. Think about that.

Donald Trump’s sex life is now all of our business, now that the stormtrumpers have made him their emperor. His crimes with minors, prostitutes and porn stars are just one more reason why he has to be removed from office ASAP, because those idiots need to understand just how wrong they are. He is the president, the leader of our country. He is willfully ignorant and happy to be that way. He takes what he wants and demands unquestioning loyalty. He is not the kind of person who should ever have power. He has to go, and he has to go now.

I don’t actually care about his sex life or even want to know if and how he engages in sex. Images I don’t want and now can’t be removed from inside my head. But because he holds the office of president, we own all his bullshit. It’s ours now. Donald Trump’s whim-worshipping is our major problem, an example of which is his willingness to lob nukes at North Korea. A verbal assault that he engaged in in response to provocations that his predecessors managed to handle without threatening the world with nuclear war. His unabashed willingness to destroy the world with nuclear war (options for which were discussed seriously with generals over the last few months) has forced our ally South Korea to submit itself to talks with the only government it is more afraid of than China. I predict that there won’t be two Koreas for very much longer, because the Koreans don’t want their homes to be reduced to radioactive rubble in the name of proving that the Orange Hate-Monkey has the bigger red button.

…and one of the most obvious examples of this dangerous behavior on his part is his inability to keep it in his pants. It has cost him millions, cost him entire businesses, and it will possibly cost the world the ability to sustain human life if we leave him in office. So, yeah. I think that acknowledging his obvious failings like whoring around while married is pertinent. The only way it would not be pertinent is if he were still a private citizen. I wish he was.

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Email and Crime: Take 2

No, I don’t follow the OHM.

This little gem showed up as a notification on my phone today, Sessions Speeds Up Clinton Email Case. Just in case anyone is mystified by how this is still a thing we talk about, I will direct you to the Orange Hate-Monkey‘s (OHM) need to beat the dead horse of Hillary Clinton’s political aspirations on a near-daily basis. He rage tweets so often about Hillary Clinton you would have good reason to think that she won the office that he now occupies. And while she did win the office by a landslide in the popular vote (three million more votes than the OHM) we all know that the slavery compromise of the Electoral College has corrupted the intentions of the authors of the Constitution we still live under, requiring us to pay lip service to the OHM as president when he is quite literally the furthest thing from presidential that most of us can imagine. There is no more visible example in the United States today that the system we live under is corrupt and requires maintenance and repair, than the fact that the OHM sits in an office that he has no traceable ability to perform in even a substandard fashion, and that he was given the office by people who could have done otherwise but felt they were powerless to do so.

So the OHM has gained the office of President of the United States. He has personal control over the largest military ever assembled on the face of the Earth, with more destructive capability than is needed to reduce the Earth to an essentially lifeless husk. If you have half the imagination that I do, this prospect gives you nightmares you awaken screaming from several times a week. That kind of power is resting in the hands of our Presidential real estate developer and Russian money launderer.  The fact that he laundered and continues to launder money for the Russian mob will be demonstrable by the time that Robert Mueller finishes his investigation into Trump’s business practices, and anyone who thinks that isn’t grounds for impeachment all on its own doesn’t understand business or politics. Why the OHM continues to pretend that he didn’t coordinate with his buddy Vladimir Putin, even though half his campaign staff has now been brought up on charges relating to the investigation of Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is anyone’s guess. Only his stormtrumpers are dumb enough to believe the theater he creates daily to distract us from the fact that the proverbial Manchurian Candidate sits in the office of the president. Oh, what about Crooked Hillary? What about the other losers that I beat to get here? Why aren’t they under investigation?

Let’s talk about the OHM’s predecessors, then. Let’s talk about their use of email to avoid embarrassment at having their machinations revealed to the voting public. And since we are talking about crimes that went down in previous administrations, let’s go all the way back. Not just to Hillary and her nearly unprecedented willingness to cooperate with investigators on the subject of her email correspondence, but all the way back to George W. Bush, the infamous W, and his administration’s completely different take on public access to correspondence that they didn’t want us to have,

Like Clinton, the Bush White House used a private email server—its was owned by the Republican National Committee. And the Bush administration failed to store its emails, as required by law, and then refused to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking some of those emails. “It’s about as amazing a double standard as you can get,” says Eric Boehlert, who works with the pro-Clinton group Media Matters. “If you look at the Bush emails, he was a sitting president, and 95 percent of his chief advisers’ emails were on a private email system set up by the RNC. Imagine if for the last year and a half we had been talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails set up on a private DNC server?

Eventually, the Bush White House admitted it had lost 22 million emails, not 5 million. Then, in December 2009—well into Barack Obama’s administration—the White House said it found 22 million emails, dated between 2003 and 2005, that it claimed had been mislabeled. That cache was given to the National Archives, and it and other plaintiffs agreed, on December 14, 2009, to settle their lawsuit. But the emails have not yet been made available to the public.

Newsweek, The George W. Bush White House ‘lost’ 22 Million Emails

When the Republicans pictured above are on trial for deleting their records rather than hand them over, I will care about the records that Hillary Clinton turned over. Millions of messages deleted by every significant figure in the W Administration, and no one is investigating these very real crimes. Not one official has been charged with a crime relating to their destroying this information, no one has gone to jail. The selective memory of stormtrumpers and GOPpers is the problem here, not Clinton’s public records.

For those of you who think this is a smokescreen, that what I am and others are suggesting, is that Hillary Clinton be let off on a technicality, let me set you straight. Hillary Clinton surrendered her emails that weren’t her private correspondence. I know that the idea that politicians don’t have something to hide (especially female politicians. Female politicians who seem overly fond of privacy) just strikes the average cynic as implausible, but there it is. She complied with the request from legitimate authority and has suffered no end of pain over it. People are convinced there is a crime there somewhere. There just has to be, after eight inquests and millions of dollars spent. Surely there is something?

No. No there isn’t. I know this breaks your heart but if you want to satisfy your intense interest in other people’s private correspondence, why don’t you go look through George W. Bush’s email records? Why? Because you can’t. Because they destroyed that information rather than turn it over when it was requested by legitimate authority.

But really, why go back in time at all? There is no need to look any further than the sitting president, since an example of the kinds of transgressions that drive stormtrumpers and GOPpers alike into frothing fury when it comes to Hillary Clinton can be found sitting at the right hand of the OHM. His son-in-law was recently reported to be using a private email server to conduct official White House business,

As a candidate, Mr. Trump aggressively attacked Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, for her use of private email while she was secretary of state. Some of Mr. Trump’s allies outside the White House are urging him to press for a prosecution of Mrs. Clinton, even though an F.B.I. investigation into her handling of classified information has been closed. At Mr. Trump’s rallies, his supporters still break into cheers of “lock her up!”

New York TimesKushner Used Personal Email Account for Government Business

So we can add this hypocrisy to the list of administration officials past and now present, officials who have also not been indicted for using a private email server to conduct government business. Will the Republicans now be chanting Lock Him Up? Don’t hold your breath.

A version of this was originally posted here, I let the freak flag fly this time out. I don’t think I can get more pissed off that this is still a thing than I am right now. I can give it a shot if you think more visible anger would help. 

Texas Democrats Handwaving About Clinton Legacy

We need to inject new blood into Texas Democrats especially in the Austin area. It’s time for a fresh outlook to manifest in Texas. It’s time to retire the views of the past and focus on the winning arguments for the future. However, there are a good number of Texas Democrats who want to pretend that Texas Democratic history never existed:

The focus for the future is the same as we have always been fighting for a fair system that works for all Americans, we just have not had the majority vote to be able to get it done. The views of the past, raise the wage to a living wage, healthcare for all, education for all, a fair justice system and fair treatment for all Americans, transparency, pass laws to prevent corruption, good paying job growth, protect unions, protect, expand, and improve needed safety net programs, protect our environment and transition to alternative energy , progressive fair taxes where top income pay their share, These are all things we have been fighting for since the 50’s what would you have us change?

J.J. Pickle was all about lining his pockets, and a good many of the current crop of Democrats (my sitting local rep included) are still about lining their pockets. There is a problem in Texas with compensation of officeholders. A fair days pay for a fair days work. If you steal from your legislators they will be more inclined to steal from you. LBJ was known to do a fair bit of ballot stuffing in his day, and the Democrats were gerrymandered all to hell long before the current crop of GOPpers perfected the art of gerrymandering. The issues aren’t nearly as touchy-feely as the newcomers to politics make it all out to be.

I won’t vote for my state representative, Dawnna Dukes. I won’t vote for her because she lied and said she would step down if she was re-elected, and this was after she all but completely missed the last legislative session. She hasn’t stepped down. I will be voting for whoever runs against her this time; in both the primary and in the general if Texas Democrats are stupid enough to let her run again. I have no party loyalty. I am a liberal first, a Democrat second. I was a Libertarian for the last twenty years and if the GOP ends its love affair with crazy christians I might even consider voting for them. Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive in his day and Lincoln was also a liberal and a progressive. 

Party (also known as faction) is the problem in US politics; and believing things will ever change as far as the business of politics is concerned, at least as long as parties run politics in the US, is just making things the same as they ever were. 

You come off as very arrogant and condescending, not sure whether it is intentional or not, but I don’t play that game you want to push buttons take it somewhere else or I will help you take it somewhere else.

I am not about silencing anyone, but this is NOT a debate group it is a support group for democratic candidates so if you want a debate group you need to join a debate group if you want to support democratic candidates then you belong here, but you need to be supportive because that is the purpose of joining a group when that is what group is about. Kapeesh?

(The guy uses the word for understand in Italian, misspells it even, and I’m supposed to believe he knows what he’s talking about or that he wouldn’t ban me from his Facebook group? I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. Also? His typing is atrocious. Be thankful I edited it for you. -ed.)

I’ll happily support the rep the Democrats chose so long as they chose someone other than the one I have now. I won’t support someone I can’t trust no matter which party they’re part of.

…and let me educate you ” moron” , lol. your words in your blog right back at YOU, the only times in the history of this country that prices have overall declined a few cents instead of increasing has been after the 2 largest minimum wage increases because it increased consumerism so biz was able to sell more to make more profit and they cut prices to compete for that increase in customers.

(Ah. He read the article I linked in the text. I’m touched. -ed.)

First off, the moron isn’t me if what you got from the article I linked was that I was opposed to people getting more money to spend. As a stop gap measure, raising the minimum wage will be acceptable. In the end it won’t be enough.

I agree with that and why I supported Hillary , she had a comprehensive plan to tie tax cuts for business to profit sharing and wage increases , training programs and more everything business needs to actually make increasing wages viable and profitable for them and their employees.

Under democratic administrations this last one included unemployment numbers have always decreased to below 4% but under GOP it never has gone below 5% and under Dems wages increase for low and middle income but under GOP they either stagnate or decline we don’ t have a job problem we have a problem with people electing GOP that have the wrong economic policies that just don’t work.

(He’s so cute. I just want to pinch his blind little Clinton-supporting cheeks. -ed.)

Wages are irrelevant when there isn’t enough work for people to do, a point in time which we’ve probably already passed. Bill Clinton’s neoliberalism was just Reaganomics warmed over. Trickledown and low taxes on the wealthy have been the status quo from Reagan until now. Even President Obama didn’t do enough to take stolen wealth back from the wealthy.

The problem is the way the races are funded. The problem will not go away by changing who sits in the chair unless the new person was put there to alter the system and they know they’ll be replaced if they don’t follow through on that mandate.

The Democrats lose the house and senate because of current campaign funding laws and the ability of the various state houses to gerrymander their districts. This means that structures within nearly every state in the union have to be changed (Texas specifically) so as to alter the way districts are drawn and to alter the way campaigns are funded. Even Democrats who win end up beholden to the wealthy who fund their campaigns more than they are to the voters who put them there, this makes the possibility of getting what we want from our government even more remote than it would be without the corruption of current campaign finance law. The voter suppression of gerrymandering and onerous ID laws.

As for Bill Clinton’s record:

The law at issue was the sweeping Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which provided funding for tens of thousands of community police officers and drug courts, banned certain assault weapons, and mandated life sentences for criminals convicted of a violent felony after two or more prior convictions, including drug crimes. The mandated life sentences were known as the “three-strikes” provision.

The law is blamed by some for rising incarceration rates, though as we will explain later, that trend actually began in the 1970s.  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — who voted for the 1994 crime bill — has frequently noted on the campaign trail, correctly, that the U.S. has, by far, the largest prison population in the world (though we have noted that his promise to correct that dubious distinction in his first term would be an almost impossibly tall order).

factcheck.org (bbc.com)

…and:

The law replaced AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) with TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families—“temporary” being the key word). It stipulated that people could receive no more than five years of government benefits in a lifetime, though states could set their limits lower and many did, with some instituting a two-year lifetime limit. It required a certain percentage of welfare recipients in states to be working, and said that those who couldn’t find jobs would have to participate in community service or get vocational training. Those who didn’t work or volunteer would eventually be kicked off the welfare rolls.

theatlantic.com

I won’t quibble over the little things that were done. The poor quality of the Democrats opponents is not an excuse for Democrats getting a pass for things they’ve done that were damaging to the public at large. Reaganomics has never wholly been abandoned. Not under Clinton and not under Obama either. This is a stain on the American soul, that punishing the poor for being poor is something that we have pursued for generations. Even LBJ’s great society made little difference in the long run, because the causes of poverty were never alleviated. Economists attempted to point out, even to Reagan, that trickle down would never occur, that the policies he favored would not benefit the poor and middle classes. Still he pursued these goals, and the tax rates on the wealthy haven’t been raised since then to an extent that the predations of the wealthy class on the lower classes could be countered. 

Other countries (Like China and India) have taken our lessons to heart and have used American corporatist policies as a blueprint for how to grow fat and happy on the backs of the slaving poor. These trends have to be reversed. There shouldn’t be a thing called the working poor. There shouldn’t be homeless people in a country with thousands of empty houses. But there are and there is. This has to stop and the most damning thing that can be said about the Democratic leadership is: they haven’t proposed a plan to fix these problems.

Rot starts at the root. The Texas Democratic party is rotten from the root and it has to be struck, root and branch, if we are to fix the party in Texas. We won’t even get started on the job at hadn if we keep backing the same corrupt officials that represent us now. Kick them out. Let’s see what the new batch of leadership brings with them.

Postscript

This was a conversation I had with the owner/moderator of a group that was supposedly formed for Texas Democrats on Facebook. It wasn’t until after I had joined that it was pointed out to me that it was for blind Democratic support only. Aw, shucks. Here I thought talking about problems was how we worked them all out. He banned me shortly after I made the last comment I copied here.

Dawnna Dukes was defeated in her primary. Sheryl Cole ended up winning in the runoff between her and Chito Vela, which meant she won the seat because Republicans can’t win in Austin unless they are a damn sight more liberal than the average Texan is.

All of this is to say, all political change starts locally. Yes, Sheryl Cole was on the city council before she was in the state House. All I know or care is that she wasn’t Dawnna Dukes, who had held the seat for so long she thought she could not show up to do her job, and we would keep voting for her. This is the problem with one-party rule, the essence of the problem with parties and factions. They exclude all agents of change because the status quo is always more powerful than the progressives or liberals are, so long as they are united against change.

James Comey Gave the Election to Donald Trump

From Robert Reich’s Facebook wall comes this. Today, nearly seven months after the election.

About 12 percent of Bernie Sanders’s supporters in the Democratic primary crossed party lines and voted for Donald Trump in the general election, according to a new analysis.

In several key states — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — the number of Sanders to Trump defectors were greater than Trump’s margin of victory, according to new numbers released Wednesday by UMass professor Brian Schaffner.

What do you think?

I get really, really tired of the armchair quarterbacking of political events. That’s what I think. I think the three critical states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan were so close as to make the term “victory” an almost meaningless label to apply to either candidate, which is why I ignore most pundits when they talk about why the race turned out the way it did. None of them could do better than Nate Silver and fivethirtyeight.com did before the election and even the best science around still gave Hillary a better than 70% chance of winning. I’ve known virtually since the second or third week after the election that there was only one person to blame for swinging the election to Trump in the final weeks running up to election day.

We have James Comey to thank for President Donald Trump. As 538 has mentioned more than once, Comey gave the election to Trump with his letter on October 28, 2016. It was Comey, Comey and more Comey, which is why I shed no tears at his leaving the FBI. Without Comey’s letter we have a Hillary Clinton presidency. This is undeniable:

The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

538

Could Clinton have done a better job? Without question. Clinton herself is another subject I hope to tackle at some point (here) but she did no better and no worse than any of the male presidential candidates before her as far as her activity and campaign go.

So let’s not play these games that the DNC wants us to play right now. They want us to keep Bernie Sanders from changing the Democratic party. They want us to embrace the neoliberalism introduced by Bill Clinton. That is a part of history now. What the future holds is anybody’s guess but you don’t earn the label progressive or liberal by looking to that past. That is Conservatism and playing the Republican’s game. That is playing to lose. Let’s play a progressive game next time and see if the GOP can keep up. Let’s play to win for a change.