Monthly Archives: January 2022

Representation matters, and some groups continue to go underrepresented

Ketanji Brown Jackson
Reuters news photo

Federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is on a short list to become the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice, following President Joe Biden’s pre-election promise to name a black woman to the nation’s highest court should a vacancy arise during his presidency. However, we’ve yet to have an Asian, Native American or openly LGBT American on the Supreme Court, and Latinos remain historically underrepresented on the court.

“The irony is that the [U.S.] Supreme Court is at the very same time hearing cases about this sort of affirmative racial discrimination, while adding someone who is the beneficiary of this sort of quota,” Repugnican (of course) U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (of Mississippi — of course) reportedly has said of President Biden’s plan to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer with a black woman, as he had promised to do before he was elected to White House.

Perhaps my main problem with Biden’s promise is that it apparently was the result of a backroom deal — U.S. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who apparently really runs the Biden presidency, apparently would endorse Biden (greatly helping Biden in South Carolina’s presidential primary election) as president only if Biden promised to fill any vacancy that should arise on the Supreme Court during his presidency with a black woman.

Such backroom deals are blatantly anti-democratic, in my book, but the majority of the American voters did elect Biden, replete with his promise to put a black woman on the nation’s highest court if the opportunity arose, so it was at least somewhat democratic, of course.

Wicker is a prick (affirmative action, practiced fairly and reasonably, is not “affirmative racial discrimination,” but seeks to stop, and perhaps even to some degree reverse, the damage done by actual racial discrimination), but it is ironic that because of (at least informal) affirmative action, we knew in advance the race and sex of the next Supreme Court justice if a President Biden had a say in it, yet the court, controlled by the wingnuts 6-3, does indeed appear to be about to strike down affirmative action.

I support affirmative action in its spirit (in its practice, as I have seen it, it leaves much to be desired). Wikipedia defines “affirmative action” thusly:

Affirmative action refers to a set of policies and practices within a government or organization seeking to include particular groups based on their gender, race, sexuality, creed or nationality in areas in which they are underrepresented such as education and employment. Historically and internationally, support for affirmative action has sought to achieve goals such as bridging inequalities in employment and pay, increasing access to education, promoting diversity, and redressing apparent past wrongs, harms, or hindrances.

There is nothing there that bothers me. Inclusion, diversity, equal opportunity and proportional representation are crucial to a functional society.

I like how affirmative action apparently is handled in the United Kingdom. Per Wikipedia:

In the United Kingdom, hiring someone simply because of their protected group status, without regard to their performance, is illegal. However, the law in the United Kingdom does allow for membership in a protected and disadvantaged group to be considered in hiring and promotion when the group is under-represented in a given area and if the candidates are of equal merit. The controlling logic is that the person must not be chosen simply because of their group membership, but rather that the relevant authorities are allowed to use disadvantaged group status as a “tie-breaker” between two candidates of otherwise equal merit.

The black woman whom Biden nominates to the Supreme Court most likely will be amply qualified for the job. (If you are affirmative-action hire, no, of course it does not mean that you, by definition, are not qualified for the job, as the likes of Wicker apparently believe.)

Perhaps especially after the likes of the last two additions to the court, “Justice” Brett Kavanaugh and “Justice” Amy Coney Barrett — both very Pussygrabberian “justices” — I think that Biden’s nominee, whoever it is, more likely than not will be qualified.

What does bother me is that all too often, affirmative action, diversity, representation, etc. pretty much refer and apply only to black Americans, while other non-white racial groups, such as Latinos, Native Americans and Asians, too often are left out in the cold.

We never have had a Native American, Asian or openly LGBT U.S. Supreme Court justice, for example. We’ve had two black Americans sit on the court — not enough of them in our nation’s history — and I’d say that “Justice” Clarence Thomas, the second black American on the court, does not represent the best interests of the black American community.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the first and thus far the only person of Latin American descent to sit on the Supreme Court. (Justice Benjamin Cardozo, who served on the court in the 1930s, was of Portuguese descent.)

Per the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.5 percent of Americans are Latino, 13.4 percent are black, 6.1 percent are Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1.3 percent are Native American (and 60.1 percent of Americans are non-Latino white). The polling outfit Gallup has found that 5.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (an undercount, it seems to me, since so many LGBT people won’t identify to others as such, but perhaps as a gay man I’m biased…).

There are nine on the U.S. Supreme Court, so each justice/“justice” represents about 11 percent of the court — and by extension, about 11 percent of the nation.

I’d say that based on their percentage of the total U.S. population, Latinos are due two U.S. Supreme Court justices, and that it’s hard to make a case that blacks’ numbers in the U.S. justify two of them, since two justices represent 22 percent of the court, and while Latinos are approaching 22 percent of the U.S. population, blacks are at 13.4 percent. (Again, though, that said, in fairness, no, Clarence Thomas does not represent the black American community — and he was never meant to; he was a cynical choice by the Repugnicans, who had fully intended to keep the white power structure intact with his addition to the court.)

The stranglehold that black Americans have had on “diversity,” “equity,” “affirmative action” and the like for at least the past several years now means that, again, we’ve yet to have an Asian, Native American, or openly LGBT U.S. Supreme Court justice; these groups are to continue to go without representation on the nation’s highest court, in no small part because they’re not nearly as vocal as are black Americans. (The squeaky wheel gets the grease, indeed.)

There is, though, a silent majority, I might dare to assert.

To wit: Even here in “woke” California — which I’m moving away from in about a month after more than two decades — affirmative action was on the statewide ballot in November 2020 as Proposition 16, and it failed by double digits, with 57.2 percent voting against it and 42.8 percent voting for it.

Indeed, not even a simple majority of white, Latino, Asian or Native American Californian voters supported Proposition 16, which had majority support only among black Californians.

The reason for that? In my book, it’s because it’s well known here in “woke” California that “affirmative action,” “diversity,” “representation” and the like for the most part, on the ground, the only place where it really matters, mean primarily or even only black people (who comprise only 6.5 percent of all Californians, per the U.S. Census Bureau).

If Latinos, Asians and Native Americans had considered that affirmative action would have helped them here in California, I think that they’d have voted for it. No, they were not so stupid as to have voted against their own best interests; the case is that they knew perfectly well that the affirmative action that was on the ballot in California in November 2020 was not meant to help them.

With President Biden’s pre-election promise to put a black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, we once again see other non-white groups in the United States passed over for equal representation.

That the next Supreme Court justice will be a black woman is a fait accompli — and as long as she’s progressive and looks out for the interests of all Americans of every stripe, I welcome her to the court, which sorely could use some actual justice — but let’s hope that we immediately affirmatively allow other non-white groups (and other underrepresented groups, such as LGBT and Muslim individuals) to have representation in the halls of power also.

Black women, after all, make up no more than 7 percent of all Americans.*

P.S. Slate.com reports:

A resounding majority of Americans want President Joe Biden to consider “all possible nominees” to fill retiring Justice Stephen Breyer’s seat on the Supreme Court, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.

A little more than three-quarters of Americans think Biden should consider everyone and only 23 percent say he should automatically follow through on his pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. Although Democrats are more supportive of Biden following through on his pledge, 54 percent still say Biden should consider all possible nominees.

Biden has insisted he can follow through on his pledge. “The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court,” Biden said at a recent ceremony honoring Breyer. “It’s long overdue in my view. I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment.” …

Fact is, most Americans just aren’t on board with affirmative action, as evidenced by the fact that only 23 percent say that Biden should fulfill his campaign promise to replace Stephen Breyer with a black woman. (Again, I think that the term “silent majority” is apt here; many Americans won’t freely share their views on this subject, lest they be called “racist” by the “woke,” who often are “woke” racists themselves.)

I believe that Biden has to follow through with his campaign promise; there is no backing out of it. But it’s a campaign promise that I would not have made. I wouldn’t have narrowed my field so much (and so specifically) and so soon. (And I certainly would not have made a deal with the devil [in this case, the incredibly self-serving James Clyburn, who, at age 81, should have retired by now…])

And I did not vote for Joe Biden for president; I knew that he was going to win my state of California and all of its electoral votes whether I voted for him or not, so it was safe for me to not vote for him, and I did not want to vote for him, since I remain on Team Bernie (you know, the actual Democrats…). Once we scrap the Electoral College and allow only the nationwide popular vote to elect our presidents, our votes for president will matter again outside of the swing states.

And further, since the rather hapless Joe Biden increasingly is looking like Jimmy Carter 2.0, I’m quite happy that I did not vote for him…

*That said, while white males make up no more than around 30 percent of all Americans, about 56 percent of the U.S. Supreme Court — five of the sitting nine justices — are white males, and of course we obviously need to continue to truly diversify the court to make it more reflective of the populace of the United States of America.

And to me, while I’m not a proponent of strict racial quotas, proportional representation is the only fair and democratic way to go.

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In 2024 we must show turncoat Princess Sinema to the door

Queen of tackiness “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinemawho is approved of by only 8 percent of Arizona’s Democrats and who has just been censured by Arizona’s Democratic Party — makes far more than $15 an hour and has no problem whatsoever voting, so what’s your fucking problem?

If it’s federal legislation that actually will help people — such as raising the federal minimum wage to $15 or preventing voter suppression (voter suppression is the Repugnican Party’s fucking business model) — count “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema out.

I don’t much care what, exactly, is up Sinema’s ass. Some mental illness (a personality disorder at the minimum), I’m guessing, as evidenced by her erratic, teenaged-like behavior and her garish and inappropriate outfits (including anime wigs) for a U.S. senator, but my guess also is that besides working only for her corporate pimps, corporate whore Sinema thinks that she’s cute. (Surprisingly, to my knowledge she didn’t curtsy this time while voting down voting rights.)

Sinema isn’t cute; she’s a cunt. She’s a fucking traitor.

Sinema is causing grave damage to the well-being of the United States of America, and so far more important than psychoanalyzing her is removing her, as soon as is possible, from the position of power that she has done nothing but abuse.

So it is gratifying to see that yesterday, the Democratic Party of Arizona finally censured the bitch for refusing to support her own fucking party.

The censure has no immediate practical effect, many news stories have noted.

That’s true in that of course no state’s party organization can remove a sitting elected official, but if your own state party has censured you, be you Repugnican or Democrat, you might have a problem with your next re-election effort.

On that note, what the fuck is Sinema’s long game?

She’s up for re-election in just two years, and only 8 percent of Arizona Democrats approve of the job she’s doing. I don’t see the Arizona Democratic Party supporting Sinema’s re-election, and no, if Sinema went ahead already and officially became the Repugnican that she already is, the Repugnican voters of Arizona won’t vote for former “Democrat” who says she’s bisexual (she’s so cutting edge!) and who, inexplicably, was affiliated with Arizona’s Green Party before she “became” a “Democrat” in 2004.

I don’t see Sinema getting a second term, and you can help make sure that she is relegated to the dustbin of U.S. history, where she belongs. You can donate to the Primary Sinema PAC, as I have done and as I will continue to do.

We must remove Sinema from power — which we can do, given how much Arizona’s Democrats already despise her — and use her lavender-wigged head on a pike (metaphorically speaking, of course…) as an example to others who would run for office on a platform of helping the people and then, once in office, fucking them over royally, princess-style.

P.S. If you think that Princess Sinema’s latest antics are no big deal, know that in refusing to protect voting rights, she is wholly enabling shit like this (this is from The Washington Post):

In the battle over voting rights, an idea is starting to move around in Republican circles: designated police forces designed to hunt down voter fraud. On the basis of available evidence, this is a solution in search of a problem. It is another example of what comes from former president Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has put a proposal for such a force in his new budget. In Georgia, former U.S. senator David Perdue, who is running as a Trumpian candidate in the GOP primary for governor against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R), says he wants something like it to assure that only legal votes are counted.

DeSantis’s new budget calls for $5.7 million for his Office of Election Crimes and Security. The money would pay for 52 staffers, including 20 sworn law enforcement officers and 25 non-sworn investigators, with field offices around the state. The team would go after “election crimes and irregularities” and have the power to refer findings to a statewide prosecutor. …
 
Former “President” Pussygrabber ludicrously created a “Space Force.” Let’s create a “Voter Fraud Force,” even though voter fraud in the United States of America is nearly nonexistent!
 
Once you buy the big lie of “voter fraud,” you’ll then accept what the anti-democratic, treasonous Repugnican-fascists obviously want to do next: prevent all voting by mail, so that you must vote in person — and then, just like in the good old days, install jackbooted thugs at polling places to ensure that the “wrong” people don’t vote (in the name of “ensuring election integrity,” of course).
 
The road to the fascist hell that the treasonous Repugnicans (redundant) so desperately want for the United States of America is paved by the likes of turncoat Kyrsten Sinema.

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Sleepy Uncle Joe’s predictably bad year

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Associated Press news photo

We’re all feeling this way about right now…

I can’t say that I’m shocked that Joe Biden’s one-year anniversary in the White House marks national malaise and an approval rating of only around 42 percent.

President Biden has at times talked like a progressive but for the most part as president has kept to the playbook that we saw during the Clinton and Obama presidencies. After all, Biden himself promised rich donors in 2019 that under his presidency, “No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.”

Fact is, ironically actual Democrat Bernie Sanders fired up the Democratic and Democratic-leaning electorate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary season. He won the first three states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada right out of the gate* before the Democratic establishment closed ranks and decided to tank his candidacy by reviving Joe Biden’s campaign, Lazarus-style.

Biden always had been expected to win South Carolina (because he is Obama-adjacent), yet when he won South Carolina (the fourth state to vote in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries), it was bandied about by the Democratic establishment elite as “proof” that Biden was the people’s choice — because with “woke” racism, only the black voters within the Democratic Party matter, you see; the rest of us are to go fuck ourselves.

(Seriously, though, why have presidential elections at all? Let’s just let apparent kingmaker U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina decide for all of us, as he did in 2020.)

As a presidential candidate, Biden didn’t excite the members of his own fucking party, as evidenced by the fact that in 2020 he lost Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada right off the fucking bat.

Yet the Democratic establishment elite shoved the moribund Joe Biden down our throats anyway, because what could go wrong?

And how is Vice President Kamala Harris doing? I can tell you from having watched her political career as my state of California’s attorney general and U.S. senator for California (for only four years before she became veep — the woman is nothing if not ambitious) that Harris is awful at politics.

She never seems comfortable in her own skin, is easily rattled by easy, predictable questions and gets way too defensive in even rather pedestrian interviews, and never takes a political stance that isn’t safe. (Oh, added bonus: Any criticism of Harris, no matter how valid, knee-jerkedly will be countered with cynical, “woke” bogus accusations of “racism” and “sexism.”)

Call me whatever you will, but the Democratic Party’s voters didn’t like Harris, either; she dropped out of the 2020 presidential primary race even before Iowans caucused because she’s that shitty a politician. But Hey, let’s put her on the ticket with Lazarus Biden! What could go wrong?

Harris’ approval rating is about 45 percent right nowthat’s what could have gone wrong, and did go wrong.

To be sure, the Biden administration faces some headwinds that are not of its own making, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that of course the Repugnicans in Congress have no interest in allowing the Biden administration to rack up any political successes.

And don’t even get me started on “Democratic” U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who should go ahead and change their party affiliation to Repugnican already. (You can donate to the Primary Sinema PAC here. I have. [As I have noted, I think that it would be much easier to rid ourselves of Sinema than Manchin.])

But the Biden administration’s No. 1 problem, in my book, is that Biden and Harris, who inspire approximately no one (outside of South Carolina, anyway…), were forced upon us by the same-old Clintonian and Obamaesque assholes — corporate whores all — who think they know better than everyone else.

The best thing that Sleepy Uncle Joe could accomplish as president would be to make enough Americans realize, once and for all, that the calcified, self-interested, clueless, corporate-whoring Democratic Party establishment elite are our enemy as least as much as are the Repugnicans — and maybe even more so, since the Democratic establishment elite actually claim to be on our side.

(Which is worse? An enemy who at least clearly is your enemy — or a frenemy?)

Bernie Sanders should have been allowed to be able to win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination; corrupt assholes like Pete Buttiboy, who was rewarded by Biden with a Cabinet post for his having dropped out of the 2020 presidential race just before Super Tuesday in order to tank Bernie by endorsing Biden, and the also-insufferable Amy Klobuchar, who also dropped out of the presidential race just before Super Tuesday to tank Bernie by endorsing Biden, should have put their own personal selfish, corrupt ambitions aside and let the people continue to speak in the primaries and caucuses via their votes.

The Repugnicans are not the only threat to our democracy; plenty of Democrats in name only don’t want you to vote unless you vote the “right” way, and voting for Bernie Sanders was not voting the “right” way.

True, there was no guarantee that as the Democratic Party presidential nominee of 2020, Bernie Sanders would have beat “President” Pussygrabber in November 2020.

But the enthusiasm that Bernie engendered among voters (outside of South Carolina…) well might have made him president — which the Democratic Party establishment elite just could not have, because it probably would have spelled the doom of their brand of sellout, turncoat politics.

Now, because of the Democratic Party establishment elite, we have to suffer three more years of the Biden-induced national political torpor, if he lives that long.

And whom do we have to look to after Biden?

Kamala Harris, whose approval rating is at 45 percent?

Don’t blame me; I vote for Bernie, in 2016 and in 2020.

All of this wholly unnecessary bullshit was predictable — and was predicted.

P.S. Ted Rall sums it up well, as usual:

*Under the corrupt, arcane rules of the Iowa caucuses, Joe Biden and Pete Buttiboy earned more delegates from Iowa than Bernie did, even though Bernie got 26.5 percent of Iowa caucus-goers’ votes to Buttiboy’s 25.1 percent and Biden’s paltry 13.7 percent. Caucuses must be scrapped, as they inherently are open to rigging and corruption.

Bernie won the 2020 Iowa caucuses, unless we assert that it shouldn’t be one person, one vote — which is what the Democratic Party establishment elite (just as the Repugnicans) believe whenever it suits their own political agenda.

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