Be Ye Not Dismayed

“I wrote this four year ago and it applies as much today as then. Substitute Trump for Romney and Hillary for Obama and the rest can pretty much stand. Also I’ve already voted so the “voting today” part is untrue. Worry not about the latest alleged scandal. All will work out.”

I wrote this four year ago and it applies as much today as then. Substitute Trump for Romney and Hillary for Obama and the rest can pretty much stand. Also I’ve already voted so the “voting today” part is untrue. Worry not about the latest alleged scandal. All will work out.

 

BE YE NOT DISMAYED

As we follow the Polls and their inevitable ebbs and flows. There is a tendency among some to be ultra concerned about each individual result. I listened to pundits freaking out in different directions based on a single poll showing President Obama and Mitt Romney tied in Ohio. The same pundits went into frenzy about a different poll showing Obama ahead in Virginia by 4 points when they were prepared to give that state to Romney.

The truth is that whatever your news source, especially if it be television. The talking heads likely have more time available to say a thing than they have important things to say. Depending on the source (MSNBC and Fox News can both be guilty) you may have people attempting to skew the information to suggest a particular outcome. Some will have people with opposite views talking over each other as if the loudest point of view is somehow correct.

Your own common sense is as likely to be correct as those paid to tell you what your opinion should be. My personal favorite is Harold Ford, Jr. who never fails to provide two opinions to every question and if challenged will run from his own views, even in mid-sentence. Recognize that we are mostly fed opinions more so than facts. And if you’ve taken the time to review the candidates and issues, yours is better because you’re the one voting.

In my personal opinion. President Obama is marching steadily towards victory as he continues banking early votes in the swing states and the alleged Romney momentum is a thing of the past. There is a reason that the Republicans worked hard to suppress the vote thru onerous Voter ID laws and reduction of early voting. In battles they for the most part lost (at least for this election cycle). They were unable to stop Democratic leaning voters from getting to the polls and turnout has exceeded expectations so far and feedback indicates they’re voting overwhelmingly to re-elect the President.

Talk of momentum, trends, national polls and enthusiasm are all meaningless when compared to the votes cast and their impact on the swing states that matter. My President has so many more options than Romney to win the election that the only way he can win is to convince those of us that would vote for Obama that he’ll win and your vote won’t matter, causing you to stay home.

So today I’ll vote (literally today). And I’ll sleep with confidence as I know the results (actual votes cast as opposed to opinions) are much more important than chatter.

The FBI Investigation That Won’t Go Away

After the letter from FBI Director James Comey to Congressional leaders regarding an investigation previously thought closed. We’ve seen the best and worst from our political parties and the media. The only new fact I’m aware of is that during a separate investigation of Anthony Weiner. It was learned that his wife Huma, one of Hillary’s top aides. Sent some E-mails to Hillary from a computer they had not previously looked at. At the time Comey sent the letter, the FBI had not yet reviewed the E-mails as they were outside the scope of the Wiener investigation (Weiner investigation sounds weird, doesn’t it?) and they needed warrants to proceed. That’s it!

They don’t know whether these are E-mails they’ve already seen? They have no idea of the content. They certainly have no reason to believe they have anything to do with classified information; between two people by the way authorized to have it.

Where the politicians have gone astray, is to make public statements and assertions with no basis in fact. Both sides have put Party over Country and almost everything they have said is self-serving and often incorrect. Where the media fails, is in letting campaign surrogates take over their airwaves making allegations that mostly go unchallenged.

I will spend no time assessing Comey’s motives in releasing the letter 11 days before the election. He did it and I’ve moved on. I’m fairly certain that it won’t impact the election results although in a closer election it might have. I’m comfortable that the early voting and mail in ballots have established a comfortable margin for Clinton and that the percentage of truly undecided voters that might be swayed is small enough not to matter.

I suspect that Comey must come forward in the next few days and say more. Although there’s no way an investigation will be completed before the election. He owes us more than he’s said.

Back to the media. They will ignore many of the real stories relevant to the race while they speculate about this. Two more women came forward regarding their experiences with Donald Trump the sexual predator and you’ll likely not hear about it. There really is as of yet and likely ever, nothing to see here.

Featured Image: theeconomist.com

 

 

Harmless Uncle Pat

Harmless Uncle Pat

 

Pat Buchanan comes with strong credentials. He was a Senior Advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan. Pat’s been on television for years. He was an original host of CNN’s Crossfire. A regular on “The McLaughlin Group” and then “Morning Joe.” Now a frequent contributor on Fox News. He ran for President as a Republican in 1992 and 1996 and was the nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

Pat’s background makes him well-respected and he’s also well liked, despite his views. Rachel Maddow refers to him as “Uncle Pat.” He has no doubt served as a mentor over her career. Uncle Pat is what’s known as a Paleoconservative or Paleocon. His political philosophy embraces tradition, limited government and civil society. If you’re having trouble understanding how “tradition” translates to a political philosophy; think “Make America Great Again.”

Buchanan was Trump before Trump. During his Republican campaigns he stood strongly against immigration reform, opposed gay rights. The Anti-Defamation League called him an “unrepentant bigot” who “repeatedly demonizes Jews and minorities and openly affiliated with white supremacists. He denied the Holocaust, writing it was “impossible for 850,000 Jews to have been killed at Treblinka.” He said that camp was “just a transit point” where Jews stayed before being shipped to other locations. After losing in the 1992 Primaries he gave a speech at the Republican Convention now referred to as the “Culture Wars” speech. While that speech didn’t go over well then. It might well be the basis for Bill O’Reilly’s popularity and his positions were a preview of Donald Trump. Despite his views, Pat was well liked. He returned to CNN after the 1992 Election. Founded “The American Cause,” a conservative education foundation. He spread out to radio, spreading his positions throughout the land.

During his 1996 campaign; it was reported his campaign co-chair had attended two meetings organized by white supremacists and militia leaders. He won four primaries but ultimately lost the nomination to Bob Dole. Pat was well liked, and returned to CNN and his radio shows.

In 2000, he won the Reform Party nomination. Among his positions were the withdrawal from the United Nations and elimination of Affirmative-Action Programs. He chose a black female retired educator as his Vice-Presidential pick. She had stalwart right-wing and family values credentials. Not that it would matter. He was unable to expand his base beyond white conservatives and got less than 1% of the vote. After the election; CNN didn’t take him back but he found a home with MSNBC where he was given a show, “Buchanan and Press.” Later, he became a frequent guest on “Morning Joe” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

In 2012, Pat was suspended from MSNBC after an uproar over his book, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025.” The network was shocked, shocked to find he’d written chapters like, “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America.” Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski issued a statement disagreeing with the network’s action and noted that, “Everyone at Morning Joe considers Pat Buchanan to be a friend and a member of the family.” He soon found a home as a contributor at Fox News. Now that his suspension is over. He’s welcome again (although less frequently) on Morning Joe and the Rachel Maddow Show where she continues to acknowledge him as “Uncle Pat.”

In 2016, Pat Buchanan has been tarnished by a false story quoting him as saying, “Back in the ‘50s everyone knew their place, whites over here, blacks over here, Mexicans over here and the women were at home raising the kids,” said Buchanan in an interview with the Conservative Chronicle. “Things functioned better when everyone understood where they needed to be.”

To be clear, Pat Buchanan never said these things in the interview referred to that never happened. He’s still a “traditionalist” and the statements he did not make are consistent with those he has. Pat Buchanan has shown us who he is over a lifetime. Being deliberately misquoted is wrong but the fact he was slandered in this case does not absolve all he’s said and done over his lifetime. Pat’s paleo conservative views, association with white supremacists and Holocaust Denial have been overlooked throughout his career. He’s been looked on as “Harmless Uncle Pat,” “He’s just set in his ways.” “Everybody likes him.” That’s why racism is so hard to eradicate. It often comes in the form of family and friends.

Feature Photo: Meetthepress.com

The Walking Dead: AKA The Republican Party

There are ways the Republican Party refers to itself and ways they are often thought of. None are true any longer. They are the Walking Dead, Zombies, unaware they are dead, protesting their demise. These are the things they used to be:

 

  1. The Party of Lincoln: This they have not been for a very long time. One could argue they gave up that title; not in the 1970’s when they adopted the Southern Strategy. Not in the 1960’s when they were the soft landing place for the Dixiecrats rebelling against Civil Right and Voter Rights Acts. They stopped being the Party of Lincoln when in the Compromise of 1877; they withdrew Federal troops from the South which marked the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of Jim Crow.

images-reagan

Photo: twitter.com

 

  1. The Party of Ideas: More of a popular marketing strategy than a reality. Republicans began casting themselves as the Party of Ideas in the 1980’s and never stopped without regard to the reality. They keep referencing “Returning to the Party of Ideas” without ever acknowledging that they ever stopped being so. Whatever you thought about their beliefs. There was a time the Party had some; the latest version based around the Paul Ryan budget of 2012 which basically advocated for modern, accountable and responsive institutions and limited government. That wasn’t what that budget did but it was what they claimed.

reince

Photo: scoopnest.com

 

  1. The Party of No: Once Barack Obama became President. The official objective of the Party became to deny him everything he wanted to accomplish. They opposed even their own proposals lest President Obama be given credit. The House passed bills to repeal Obamacare over 50 times. The Senate obstructed and filibustered grinding every normal process to a halt. They shut down the Government.

a-party-of-no

Photo: Newsbusters.org

 

  1. The Party of Trump: While one could make the case that Trump’s values don’t represent those of the entire Party. It’s hard because close to 90% of the Party have coalesced behind him while holding their noses. Trump certainly doesn’t advocate small government. He doesn’t respect the Constitution, not knowing or caring how many Articles it has. The remaining “leaders” of the Party have pinned their hopes on being able to shape policy because they’re certain Trump will have no interest. Their appeal has become limited to White Males without College Degrees. Their base is the Alt-Right and those living in fear of the black, brown, yellow and red man attaining equality which of necessity lessens them.

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Photo: politicalhype.com

 

There is a scene in from the 1976 movie, “The Shootist” where John Wayne says, “I have a cancer.” The wording  always struck me when he said he had “a” cancer. The Republican Party has multiple cancers. Single party interests who have enough of a hold on the Party to be able to hold it hostage. The Party can no longer agree on what it wants, only what it’s opposed to. Their current legislative power is based on gerrymandering. Their only hope base on voter suppression,

The Republican Party is dead. Their hopes for leadership were dashed as they watched them, every one, capitulate to Trump and prove they stand for nothing. Because they stood for nothing and never stood up to the Tea Party or the Evangelists or the Trump faction. The Party is now ungovernable. Paul Ryan, a former Vice-Presidential nominee is greeted by chants of “Paul Ryan Sucks.” Mitch McConnell is literally in hiding, refusing to speak any longer on Trump. Politicians are trying to distance themselves from or embrace their nominee based not on convictions but political expediency. Even Ted Cruz, seemed to have forgotten Trump accused his father of being involved in the JFK Assassination and implied his wife was ugly! None have the moral authority to lead. It’s been Party before Country but even more important than that… re-election.

The Republican Party is dead. All that remains is to decide is whether they go the way of the Whig Party and disappear. Or rises like the Phoenix from the ashes to become relevant again. Even gerrymandering will not save them for long as a new census in 2020 will set off a new round of redistricting which hopefully the Democrats will be prepared for this time. Until then they are the Walking Dead. Oblivious to their demise and lost in remembrance of the life it once knew.

 

Featured Image: Salon.com

Racism: A Clear and Present Danger

 

racism

 

  1. 1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
  2. 2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles

           2b:  a political or social system founded on racism

  1. 3: racial prejudice or discrimination

 

Racism isn’t something that simply used to be. It’s here now, perhaps more prevalent than ever. The only people that some acknowledge are racist. Are those that point it out.

People that are racist don’t want to be identified that way. It makes them look bad. They find ways to change the definition so that it doesn’t apply to them. There are two tests of racism that will make it clear whether one is racist or not. Thoughts… and actions.

Racists convince themselves because they have disabused themselves of some notions. They must not be racist. If they don’t believe in an inherent inferiority of other races. Don’t credit themselves with greater intelligence or superior logic. Not racist. People can convince themselves if their thoughts are pure enough, they cannot be racist. They would be wrong. Because the second test is actions. If your actions knowingly lead to a discriminatory result. Guess what? Racist!

If you support a Party whose future existence is dependent on Voter Suppression. You can claim it’s only about prevention of fraud but you know that not to be true. Only the willfully obtuse believe the current rhetoric about “rigged elections” and “widespread voter fraud.” The only reason these laws are pursued and only by one political party looking for an advantage is to suppress minority votes. Racism!

If you support a candidate who promises to apply unconstitutional methods to screen immigrants, check for papers and institute Stop & Frisk in “certain communities.” Racist! If you heed his call to watch the polls for irregularities in segments of Philadelphia or Chicago or St. Louis. Racist!

We’ve gotten well past the point of dog whistles. We have policies and platforms that make clear the intent. We have a “Southern Strategy.” We’ve watched a strategic elimination of protections from the Courts including the Supreme Court. A Voter Right’s act with no teeth is close to useless.

It might have been possible to ignore the racism in our politics previously. But then came Trump. He isn’t politically correct you say. Surrogates spend news cycles trying to explain what he meant as opposed to what he said. He tried for years to delegitimize the nation’s first Black President. He refers to “The Blacks”, and “The Hispanics” in case you didn’t understand them to be significantly other. His Black casino employees have been hidden from him when he passed by. He “doesn’t want Blacks counting his money” preferring Jews instead. He had policies not to rent to Blacks in his apartments. Marking applications “C” for Colored. In case you didn’t know. Racist!

To those who still support Trump despite being spectacularly uninformed and lacking any self-control. Please ignore all the apologists outlining the reasons you’re able to support the most unqualified candidate in our lifetime while distancing yourself from his racist comments and past. There is no distancing yourself if you still support him. Supporting him is an action with a knowingly racist result. Look closely at the third definition of racism which includes “Discrimination.” Supporting Trump is supporting discrimination. By that definition… Racist!

 

Next: misogynistic

 

 

 

November 9, 2016: The Day After

 

“This is Paul.”

“Mitch here. Congratulations on your re-election last night. A lot of us didn’t make it thru.”

“You’re lucky you weren’t up for re-election this time. Given how things went. You might have been forcibly retired with the others.”

“I thought we might talk Paul, about where we as a party go from here? Do you have any thoughts?

a-paul-ryan-sl

Photo: Slate.com

“I wonder how in the hell we ended up with such a bad candidate at the top of the ticket? He wasn’t even a real Republican.”

“You’re right Paul, but he was able to get most of the body behind him. Had he been able to keep his hands and lips to himself he just might have won.”

“Don’t forget keeping his mouth shut Mitch. He stepped all over any winning moment of the campaign.”

“So what do we do now? The Party has at least three factions; Modetate, Tea Party, and Trump that pretty much despise each other. The only thing we all agree on is how much we hat Hillary. Can we really do another eight years of being the ‘Party of No?’ McCain went and said we’d stall any of her nominee’s for the Supreme Court until 2020 and people freaked out. We’ll have to let any nominee’s come up for a vote. The public will have our heads if we don’t.”

Senate Luncheons

Photo: Tom Williams CQ Roll Call

“Except Immigration.”

“Yeah… Immigration. I have an idea Paul. Let’s meet with Hillary and find out all the area’s we agree. There’s tax reform. We could allow some fixes on Obamacare. Mass incarceration; if we focus on the positive budget aspects of reform we won’t have to seem like we’re caving to the Trumpites.”

“Last time I vowed to obstruct the President at every turn. That didn’t work out well. I’ve worked with her in the past when she was in the Senate. She was quite reasonable then. Hope she forget’s everything we said about her?”

 

“That was just politics Mitch.”

“Yeah.”

“I have to get going. House members want to talk strategy. It’s going to be such a cluster.”

“My life just got easier. Majority Leader wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. You think you might run next time?”

“We’ll see Mitch. I flip-flopped all over the place in supporting Trump. In my own state they’re chanting, ‘Paul Ryan Sucks.’ I might not be able to run for dog catcher in four years.”

“Welcome to my world. This is why I take vacations outside the country.”

“What’s a vacation. I have to run for re-election every two years. No time off for me. Take care Mitch.”

“You too Paul… You’re wife speaking to you?”

“Nope! Yours?”

“Nope.”

“Trump! What were we thinking?”

 

Feature Photo: WashingtonPost.com

 

Don’t Forget Fox News

The Donald Trump candidacy has exposed a lot of things about a number of politicians and institutions. We’ve seen who cares more about their reelection to office than anything they purport to value. We’ve seen Republican office holders abdicate positions they’ve held for a lifetime. People who’ve put Party over Country. All in order to curry favor with Trump and his base in hope they can retain their own elected office. Like moths they circle closer to the flame and now some will inevitably get burned.

As Republicans feel pressure now to distance themselves from Trump. In some cases withdrawing their endorsements. President Obama reminded them that they knew who he was long ago. It’s much too late to be shocked, shocked to find out who Trump is. You’ve known all along and didn’t care.

Now in desperation as his electoral hopes sink lower by the day. Trump is shouting from the rooftops that the election is “rigged.” He shouts about voter fraud, not so subtly intimating that minorities are taking the election from “the people.” His followers believe him. Some are talking revolution. Others a violent response. There’s a party I don’t want to fail to credit for helping create an environment where a significant portion of the population believe Trump’s wild claims. When the election results are in, and Trump has lost. Our country may well be ungovernable due to the high percentage of the population that will think they were robbed. For this we can thank Fox News.

There is a high percentage of Republicans who live in an information bubble and value little information that doesn’t come from Fox News and other right wing media sites. Over the last several years, across the spectrum of their shows. They’ve promoted the lie about widespread voter fraud. Repeating every wild claim and presenting any non-credible source to verify an untruth to their viewers. O’Reilly, Hannity, Fox & Friends, even their alleged news programs kept telling you that voter fraud is a significant thing and like so much of the “news” spread by the right wing media. It simply isn’t true.

Much like the Trump monster that the right wing media has created and can no longer control. The part of the population that won’t accept the validity of the election results won’t be something that can be put back in a box. The existence of a media that supports the wildest claims of the rabid Alt-Right under the auspices of being “Fair and Balanced” is a joke. There are some within their ranks that recognize what they’ve done. But like the Republican office holders who want to keep their jobs. The talking heads have gone along to get along. Contributing to the divide in America they conveniently blame on President Obama.

No Fox News. It is you that deserves credit for what you’ve created. Even now you can stand up and discredit Trump’s notion of a stolen election with massive voter fraud. But you won’t. So prepare to reap the whirlwind Fox News. This is your creation.

 

Featured Photo: a.samuel.warde.com