Monthly Archives: December 2017

2017: Bye, Felicia! And greetings, 2018!

This past year has been what we’d known (or at least should have known) that it would be: a lost year, a year in which the unelected* Pussygrabber regime focused on three things: further enriching Pussygrabber’s already-filthy-rich cronies via tax cuts and deregulation and other forms of welfare for the plutocratic oligarchs; reversing anything and everything with Barack Obama’s name on it; and bullying the politically weakest among us, including immigrants (mostly brown-skinned people from Spanish-speaking nations) and transgender individuals.

The bad news is that two years (2017 and 2018) is enough time for the unelected Pussygrabber regime to cause plenty of damage that will take plenty of time to reverse once the Repugnican “tea party” traitors are out of power again.

And, unfortunately, when a shitty (= Repugnican) “president” is “elected” and both houses of Congress are controlled by his** party, usually the best that we can hope to do is to take back one or both houses of Congress in the next midterm election.

Thankfully, fivethirtyeight.com’s Harry Enten wrote recently, “the Democratic advantage in the FiveThirtyEight generic [congressional] ballot aggregate is up to about 12 points, 49.6 percent to 37.4 percent. That average … shows Republicans in worse shape right now than any other majority party at this point in the midterm cycle since at least the 1938 [midterm] election.” (As I type this sentence, fivethirtyeight.com now shows the Dems at 12.9 percent ahead of the Repugs on the generic congressional ballot, 49.9 percent to 37 percent.)

Enten concludes that the “Democrats are probably favorites to win the House. Their current advantage is larger than the lead Republicans had at this point in the 1994 cycle, the lead Democrats held at this point in the 2006 cycle or the lead Republicans had at this point in the 2010 cycle. Those were all years when the minority party won control of the House.

“And a 12-percentage-point Democratic advantage in the national House vote come next November would likely be more than enough for the House to flip again. I’ve previously calculated that the Democrats need to win the national House vote by 5.5 to 8 points to win the House. …”

I expect the Dems to take back the House in November 2018, neutering Pussygrabber for his remaining time in the Oval Office, just as the Repugnican “tea party” traitors neutered Obama for his remaining time in office when they took the House in November 2010 (and they have held onto it to this day).

Despite the lost year that was 2017, I must admit that I’m still happy that Billary Clinton didn’t become president. Why? Her win of the White House in November 2016 would have been parlayed as vindication for her brand of center-right, sellout, pro-corporate, Repugnican-Lite “Democratic” politics. Her (and Obama’s) brand of sellout, Democrat-in-name-only politics had to die, even if it meant “President” Pussygrabber in power for two years. To make an omelet you have to crack some eggs.

Further along that track, I’m actually glad that Bernie Sanders didn’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Why? Because had he actually lost to Pussygrabber (which I don’t think was likely to happen, but which of course could have happened), the Democrats in name only would have parlayed that as “proof” that left-wing Democratic politics don’t work. They would have lumped Bernie in with other progressive presidential candidates who lost, including George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

But even if Bernie had won the White House, he probably would have faced a Repugnican Congress (at least one of the two houses in Repugnican hands, anyway) that would have done its best to prevent him from having any progressive accomplishment — and again, the Democrats in name only would have parlayed that as “proof” that left-wing Democratic politics don’t work. (And they probably would have compared Bernie to Jimmy Carter.)

The best-case scenario is that the Dems take back the House in 2018 — and maybe the Senate, too, but that’s less likely — and that the Dems take back the Senate in November 2020 if they don’t do it in November 2018. Then, President Sanders will have both houses of Congress in his party’s control, and I wouldn’t expect him to utterly squander that rare alignment of the stars like Barack Obama did in 2009 and 2010. I would expect President Sanders to push his progressive agenda through, not to try to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the intractably incorrigible Repugnican “tea party” traitors, like Obama did.

Oh, and if you think that Bernie Sanders can’t win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, know that the experts disagree with you.

A recent Washington Post ranking of the most likely 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate put Bernie at No. 1, former veep Joe Biden at No. 2, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at No. 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at No. 4 and Sen. Kamala Harris at No. 5.

Biden ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination twice before — in 1988 and in 2008 — and the voters rejected him. I’m not much worried about Biden and his outdated Clintonian-Obamanian “Democratic” politics. He is obsolete, and like with Billary, it very apparently isn’t in the stars for him ever to be POTUS.

Liz Warren is acceptable to me, but I still expect her to face actual misogyny and sexism should she run for president. (Billary faced a little misogyny and sexism, I surmise, but for the most part, methinks, people just hate her corrupt, despicable guts, and her biological sex certainly has not been her No. 1 problem, although when you are contemptible and corrupt, it’s certainly convenient to claim that you’re the victim of sexism and misogyny.)

Liz would be attacked not only for being a woman, but also for being progressive (“Communist,” to the Repugnican “tea party” traitors).

It isn’t fair to blame Liz for the predictable, unfair attacks upon her by right-wing scumbags should she run for president, but if the idea is to actually win the White House, then you go with the candidate who is most likely to do that. It certainly wasn’t the widely despised Billary Clinton in November 2016 (obviously), and it probably isn’t Liz Warren in November 2020. I say that as much as I love her.

Kirsten Gillibrand isn’t known well enough at all to win the 2020 Dem prez nomination, and pretty much ditto for Kamala Harris, who hasn’t been in the U.S. Senate for even one full year yet.

Harris most likely will be the candidate foisted upon us by the Only Black Lives Matter set (and she checks off two identity-politics boxes [female and half-black]), but The Washington Post puts her at No. 5 for a reason: because her chance of winning the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination is not high.

I am not even sure if I can support Harris (whom I did vote for in November 2016) as the 2020 Democratic Party vice-presidential candidate, given her dearth of experience in Washington, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.

(The other milquetoast-to-corrupt candidate most likely to be foisted upon us by Only Black Lives Matter slacktivists, Sen. Cory Booker, ranks with WaPo at No. 6. Indeed, OBLM’s message to the rest of us very apparently is that after Obama, every Democratic president from here on out must be black or half-black, and that’s the only criterion. [Not that that’s black supremacist and racist or anything!])

I probably am OK with Liz Warren as the 2020 Dem vice-presidential candidate, even though a Sanders-Warren ticket of course would be savaged by the right. But the Colonels Sanders of the nation always have riled the stupid chickens up against the animal-rights activists. That’s perennial, predictable and probably unpreventable.

So, again, 2017 was a dead year, as I knew it would be, and that’s why, I’m sure, the frequency of my blogging dropped off. What can you do with the likes of “President” Pussygrabber but do your best to ride it out until order and balance finally are restored?

But 2018 gives us something to look forward to: the retaking of the House, which at least is a near-certainty, and perhaps also of the Senate, but if not in 2018, then probably in 2020 — setting up a great scenario for President Sanders come January 2021.

P.S. The Hill also recently named Bernie Sanders as most likely to win the 2020 Dem Party presidential nomination, with Joe Biden at No. 2 and Elizabeth Warren at No. 3. The Hill put Kamala Harris at No. 4.

*Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 fucking million. He is, therefore, in my book, unelected. The anti-democratic (and anti-Democratic) Electoral College should have been abolished long ago.

If we actually believe in democracy, then the candidate who wins the most votes actually takes office. Fucking duh.

**As soon as we have a female president, I’ll write “his or her” or “her or his.” I promise you. (I don’t do “their.” “Their” is for two or more people, not for “his or her” or for a “non-binary” designation.)

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No, you actually don’t get a medal for voting in your own best interests

Roy Moore

Reuters news photo

Democrat Doug Jones, pictured above at his victory celebration, will represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate after yesterday’s special election in the deep-red state. Black Alabama voters are being praised for their high turnout, but they’re supposed to vote in their own best interests anyway, and I easily could argue that because black American voters supported the widely despised Billary Clinton over the much more popular Bernie Sanders by a margin of three to one, they were instrumental in putting “President” Pussygrabber into the White House — so the meme that black voters are saving the nation needs to stop right about right now…

I was happy to learn last night that Democratic candidate Doug Jones (to whom I gave $20…) beat Repugnican candidate Roy Moore in the special election for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Nazi elf Jeff Sessions when he became U.S. attorney general.

For a left-wing Californian like me, Doug Jones is pretty centrist, but I get it: He ran in Alabama. And the alternative was “Christo”fascist Roy “Moses” Moore.

But I was disturbed today to hear the meme that this narrow victory (Jones reportedly won by around 1.5 percentage points) was brought to us by black voters.

Let’s unpack that:

About 27 percent of Alabamans are black (whereas nationally, blacks are about 13 percent of the population).

I would hope that the voters of Alabama of all races would vote in their own best fucking interests, and it was not in their own best interests to vote for backasswards sex criminal and far-right piece of shit and nut job Roy Moore.

Is the message that white Americans sure should be thankful that black Americans voted for Doug Jones — even though he is white? Are the black voters of Alabama to be praised for not being black supremacists?

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and I didn’t expect a fucking Brownie button for having done so because I’m white; I perceived Obama as the most progressive yet still viable candidate, and therefore I voted for him.

Obama’s being biracial wasn’t high on my list of reasons for having voted for him (and it wasn’t at all on my list of reasons for being unable to vote for him again in 2012; it was how he lost the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections by having spectacularly squandered his political capital in 2009 and 2010 that prevented me from being able to vote for him again*).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over and over again: I vote for the most progressive yet still viable candidate; that is, I vote in my own best interests, at least as how I perceive them. I don’t give a rat’s ass about a candidate’s race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Perhaps what I find most disturbing about the heaps of praise for the black voters of Alabama for simply having wisely voted in their own best interests is that it probably is going to be parlayed as a race-based quid pro quo: We black voters voted in white man Doug Jones, so now the Democratic Party had better make, say, Sen. Kamala Harris or Sen. Cory Booker its 2020 presidential candidate; if not, we black voters will bolt from the Democratic Party! You can’t win without us!

To that I say: OK, go ahead and bolt. I won’t be your fucking political hostage. Because the Democratic Party is not actually supposed to be the vehicle through which only 13 percent of the U.S. population gains political control over the entire fucking nation. That’s not democracy. That’s a race-based takeover of the entire fucking nation by a minority of Americans.

Should a black candidate be the most progressive yet still viable Democratic Party presidential candidate for 2020, he or she will have my full support. But it won’t be because he or she is black; it will be because he or she is the most progressive yet still viable candidate.

Thus far I don’t see Kamala Harris or Cory Booker as presidential material. Harris hasn’t done anything thus far — she hasn’t even been in the Senate for one full year yet, and anyway, as long as the Repugnicans control the Senate, what could she do? — and Booker is a fakey-fake, a self-serving corporate whore and a pathetic knock-off of the “Kumbaya”-singing Obama whom I find unacceptable.

(Deval Patrick, another black American whose name is bandied about as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, works for Mittens Romney’s Bain Capital; I’ll very probably pass on him, too. I rejected Billary Clinton in no tiny part because of her coziness with Wall Street, and I love Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in large part for their distaste of Wall Street and their refusal to be Clintonian corporate whores.)

Black Alabamans, I am glad that you voted en force to prevent Roy Moore from being your new U.S. senator (even though Alabama makes it as difficult as it can for you to be able to vote; you probably do deserve credit for your perseverance). But you did your civic duty, I think I’d argue. You are, after all, between a fourth and a third of the population of your state. Methinks that you probably don’t get special props for doing your civic duty and for voting in your own best interests.

I’ve voted consistently since I turned 18 — one could argue, I suppose, that voting is pointless, but I vote religiously because I know that the religious and the other assorted wingnuts vote religiously — and I expect no thanks or praise for doing what I should do anyway. (Yes, in fairness, California doesn’t put up as many roadblocks as possible to prevent Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters [or any voters] from being able to vote.)

It is sweet that Alabama’s new U.S. senator is a Democrat, but the bigger picture is that if the Democratic Party hasn’t learned what a losing game toxic identity politics is over the long run, then it will continue to — and it will deserve to — keep losing.**

Billary Clinton lost in November 2016 in no tiny part because she and her supporters basically told voters that if they didn’t vote for her, they’re sexist pieces of shit. Not only was this toxic-identity-politics message related to us “Bernie bros” relentlessly, but Team Billary even trotted out crone Madeleine Albright, a war criminal, to tell women that if they didn’t vote for Billary, they’d find themselves in “a special place in hell,” to which Billary gave one of her grating cackles.

Calling Democratic voters “racist” for rejecting a black presidential candidate who, like Billary, is a center-right Democrat in name only, will result in yet another instance of the Democratic Party snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. You can’t win a national election by catering to 13 percent of the national population. That’s just called math.

*While I didn’t vote for Obama again in 2012 because I don’t believe in rewarding an elected official who has violated his or her campaign promises by voting for him or her again, let me be clear that it was safe for me to decline to vote for Obama in 2012 because I live in California, and it was a foregone conclusion that Obama would win California and all of its electoral votes in 2012 as he did in 2008. So shut the fuck up and educate yourself about the Electoral College.

**Largely because of toxic identity politics, a while ago I switched my voter registration from Democratic to independent. I approach 50 years old and it’s the first time in my life that I’ve been registered as an independent (I’d only ever been registered with the Democratic Party and with the Green Party before I switched to independent).

After the pro-corporate, anti-populist, center-right Democratic Party establishment royally fucked over Bernie Sanders, I left the Democratic Party and I won’t ever return to it until and unless it earns my support by ceasing and desisting with the Clintonian bullshit, which includes pushing identity politics while ignoring our grave socioeconomic problems, since our corporate overlords and campaign contributors don’t much care about identity politics but sure the fuck don’t want the socioeconomic status quo to be threatened.

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The years of the woman have begun

TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2017 is a group of persons, “the silence breakers,” the women (and the men, too, although no men are included in the cover photo [yes, that’s Taylor Swift at the right and Ashley Judd at the left]) who have broken their silence about having been sexually harassed to sexually assaulted.*

Interestingly, the first runner-up for TIME’s “Person of the Year” is The Pussygrabber in Chief, who remains in the Oval Office even while in other news today, six female Democratic U.S. senators have called for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign.

So much to unpack here…

OK, so when I first wrote about Al Franken, only one woman had said that he had sexually harassed to sexually assaulted her, and she publicly stated that she didn’t believe that he should step down over it.

Since then, however, other women have given similar accounts, and while I believe in due process, I can’t be mad at calls for Franken’s resignation at this point.

That said, it still strikes me that it ultimately is up to the voters of Minnesota to decide Franken’s fate should he steadfastly refuse to heed the calls for his resignation. That and Franken already is being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee.

That said, at this point he probably is politically tarnished forever, whether that is fair or not. (Um, I think it’s safe to say that he’ll never be president.) He could have survived one allegation of sexual impropriety — perhaps especially since his alleged victim has said that she has forgiven him — but not many of them (a total of seven of them thus far, to my understanding).

As U.S. Rep. John Conyers recently learned, even if you say initially that you’re not going to resign because of allegations of sexual impropriety, if you don’t have the political support of your colleagues in Congress, you’re fighting a losing battle to try to stay if they want you to go.

(And Conyers saying that he wants his son to succeed him reeks of corruption. What the fuck? I lost all remaining respect for Conyers after I learned of that. We are to be a democracy, not a collection of little dynasties, which is one of the many reasons that I could not support Billary Clinton.)

I’m fine with TIME’s “Person of the Year” choice (although I’m disappointed to see that “the DREAMers” weren’t even among the six runners-up) because women — and men — have the right to a non-hostile workplace environment, which among other things means not being sexually harassed to sexually assaulted. That’s indisputable.

And I hope that the focus on the problem leads to drastically fewer cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. I hope that it makes all of us more aware of how we use and abuse our personal power, and I hope that it makes the victims of the abuse of personal power less afraid to speak out.

And I tend to believe an accuser, especially when there are many accusers against one alleged perpetrator.

At least six women had accused Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger of sexual improprieties before he became California governor in a bullshit gubernatorial recall election in 2003, for example. Team Schwarzenegger, including his then-wife Maria Shriver, directly or indirectly called all of the women liars. (Shriver would go on to split from the Gropinator the year after he left office, after it was made public that their housekeeper had borne him a son.)

As I wrote recently, I want to see women gain the representative power that they deserve — as I wrote, it’s long overdue — but it’s too bad that this is coming under the dark, ugly cloud of allegations, most of them probably true, of men abusing their power (sexually and otherwise). I’d much rather see women come into the power that they deserve via much more positive vehicles, but this is what it is.

What I hope we don’t see is a war on men, probably especially on white men. Of course not all white men are evil, and a war on the members of about a third of the U.S. population probably isn’t a good idea, politically or practically (Hello, Team Billary, from this “Bernie bro”!).

At its extreme, the hatred of white men becomes something like the black female nurse of Indiana who recently lost her job after having proclaimed that white male babies should be killed before they grow up to be monsters.

“Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves Bitch,” read the lovely tweet from the grammar- and punctuation-challenged nurse, who obviously shouldn’t be allowed in the vicinity of any white male patients.

Locally and recently, three young black men have been accused of having killed an 87-year-old woman whom they pushed over while they were fleeing a pharmacy that they had just robbed (of narcotics, I assume).

That’s just one of many possible crime stories involving black male perpetrators, but I have yet to call for a King-Herod-like slaughter of all black male babies, but in this current, toxic political environment, apparently in many quarters it’s fine to go so far as to call for the slaughter of all white male babies. Nip it in the bud, you know!

Further injustices perpetrated against the innocent of the present don’t correct the injustices of the past, and I’m on your side until and unless you start advocating that injustices be done to the innocent of the present to satiate your own sick thirst for revenge. No, I’m not on board with your wholesale war against white men, whoever you are.

My point is that the culture and the morality — and the collective intellect — of the United States of America are far too debased and degraded for us to collectively be able to make overdue changes, corrections and improvements without a good number of us also wanting to punish the innocent of the present — based simply upon how they were born (the worst being born a white male, of course) — for the wrongdoings done by others in the past, most of them long dead.

This is revenge posing as “justice,” and it’s not even real revenge when it’s taken out upon those who never even did anything wrong themselves. Revenge is something that is taken upon the actual wrongdoers. Fucking duh. (Again: We are a rather stupid nation.)

So: Let’s continue to fight for equality for women (and for girls, of course) and for non-whites. Let’s continue to make it a more perfect union.

But in that process, let’s not become just like those whom we condemn. 

Update: That was fast. Since I first posted this, the list of Democratic U.S. senators who have called for Al Franken’s resignation has grown to more than 20, including male senators as well as female senators.

Franken is, methinks, toast, and reportedly he is going to make a statement tomorrow — he will announce his resignation, I’m thinking.

Again, you can’t function in Congress when too many of your colleagues are calling for your resignation, whether fairly or unfairly…

All of this said, the number of accusers against “President” Pussygrabber now stands at more than a dozen.

Are only Democratic elected officials expected to resign over allegations of sexual impropriety?

And don’t even get me started on serial sex criminal Repugnican Roy Moore, whom the inbred mouth-breathers in Alabama are poised to elect to the U.S. Senate next week.

*It’s important to define our terms. I define “sexual harassment” as sexual impropriety that falls short of actual unwanted physical contact, such as showing another pornographic images that she or he does not wish to see and making unwanted lewd comments to another.

Wikipedia defines “sexual assault” as “a sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against [her or his] will, or non-consensual sexual touching of a person,” noting that such acts as groping, rape and sexual torture fall under the umbrella of “sexual assault.”

I long have thought of such things as groping and rape as “sexual battery,” but I’ll accept Wikipedia’s definition of “sexual assault” for my purposes here.

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