Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 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 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 candidate, and therefore I voted for him. His 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 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 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 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 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 Mitten’s Romney’s Bain Capital; I’ll very probably pass on him, too. I rejected Billary Clinton in no tiny part for 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 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). 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 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 and I expect no thanks or praise for doing what I should do anyway. (Yes, for full disclosure and 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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bring on the PROGRESSIVE women

The ‘Big Four’ women leaders often touted as potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees. Clockwise, starting in the upper left: Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

Associated Press photos via Politico

Politico names sitting U.S. senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar (pictured clockwise, starting at the upper left) as the “‘Big Four’ women leaders often touted as potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees.” I can see Warren and Harris running with some success, but methinks that Gillibrand and Klobuchar don’t have enough recognition nationwide to have a successful presidential bid this early.

There has been talk of both election years 2018 and 2020 being another “Year of the Woman” (a reference to 1992, in which four women were elected to the U.S. Senate after the Anita Hill debacle of 1991).

I’m fine with that — as long as we’re talking about progressive women.

Earlier this month, California U.S. Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein (who ascended to the Senate in the “Year of the Woman” 25 years ago) told the party faithful (apparently of the 2018 mid-term elections), “I predict based on what I see out there [she apparently was referring to the ongoing sexual harassment-palooza] that we are going to have another Year of the Woman.”

Again, that’s fine with me — women long have been underrepresented at every level of government — but multi-millionaire, center-right sellouts like Cryptkeeper Feinstein aren’t OK with me.

I refuse to vote for a candidate primarily or solely because the candidate is a woman. That is, in my book, just another form of sexism. (Ditto for voting for a candidate primarily or solely because of the candidate’s race — that’s just another form of racism.)

I refuse to vote for Cryptkeeper in California’s June 2018 primary election because of her record (see here and here) — which includes having voted for the Vietraq War from which her also-filthy-rich husband war profiteered, her opposition to single-payer health care (she’s a multi-millionaire, so what’s the problem with health care?), her consistent support of unconstitutional government spying on citizens, and even her support of an unconstitutional ban on burning the U.S. flag — and because her insane wealth and her age (84) make her quite out of touch with her electorate.

If there were a more progressive yet still viable female candidate in the June 2018 primary election for the Senate seat that Cryptkeeper occupies with a death grip by her old, cold, mouldy dead hands of the past, then I’d vote for her, but thus far the only more progressive yet still viable candidate for the seat is Kevin de León, the current leader of the California Senate, so he has my support.

(That and Latinos also are underrepresented at most if not even all levels of government. Here in California, for a while now there have been more Latinos than individuals of any other race. It’s long past time for the octogenarian Cryptkeeper to release her death grip on power and allow California’s Latinos to be represented in the U.S. Senate.)

For 2016 I could not support Billary Clinton for president because she’s a center-right sellout in the vein of Cryptkeeper, replete with a vote for the Vietraq War (post-9/11 she’d calculated that it would benefit her politically; she miscalculated) and personal wealth in the tens of millions of dollars. No, she’s not just like the rest of us.

I refused to support Billary just because I was told that I was “supposed” to — that it was “her turn,” that we needed to elect our first female president (even if we had to hold our noses and take an anti-emetic to do it), etc. — and relentlessly being called a “Bernie bro” for having supported the most progressive candidate in the race, Bernie Sanders, didn’t at all shame me into voting for Billary, but only turned me off even more from supporting her, as I am confident was the case for the millions of us progressive males who misandristically were smeared as “Bernie bros.”

Team Billary and the legions of Billarybots either figured that they could vote-shame us progressive men (wrong!) or that they could do without the progressive male vote (wrong!). Inaccurately and unfairly — and quite hypocritically — calling us progressive men sexist and misogynist only made it worse for them.

And now we look to 2020, and Politico proclaims in an article titled “Why 2020 Will Be the Year of the Woman” that “In this post-Weinstein moment, Democrats are pining for the karmic justice of defeating Trump with shards from a glass ceiling.”

Again, women long have been seriously underrepresented in government. We have only six sitting female governors. Six. That’s it. That’s a paltry 12 percent of the governorships. Only 21 of our sitting U.S. senators are women (that’s 21 percent, of course), and only 104 of our sitting U.S. representatives are women (that’s 24 percent).

Such sad and pathetic figures as these alone should induce more women to run for office — not Harvey Fucking Weinstein. Fair representation — not revenge — should be the motivation.

I guarantee you that in every race, I’m going to support the most progressive yet still viable candidate, at least in the primary election.* If that candidate is a woman, then I am more than happy to support her, because not only is she the most progressive candidate, but her winning office would help gain women the increased representation in government that they have lacked forever now.

So, for 2020, thus far I support Bernie Sanders should he run again, which I think he probably will.

He was the only one with the guts to oppose the slimy Billary “Crown Me Already” Clinton, and, as I never tire of mentioning, in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary season Bernie Sanders won 22 states and won 46 percent of the pledged (actually democratically earned) delegates in the primary elections and caucuses, a remarkably strong showing for someone who had entered the race largely if not mostly unknown against someone who was running for the White House a second time.

Last year was not Queen Billary’s turn, but 2020 is Bernie Sanders’ turn. He fucking earned it — he campaigned his heart out and he still champions progressive causes — and a more progressive yet still viable presidential candidate for 2020 is highly unlikely to emerge.

On that note, if Bernie doesn’t run for 2020 but Elizabeth Warren does, then she most likely is my candidate for 2020. I love Liz, but, alas, I can’t forget that she essentially sat 2016 out, apparently not wanting to step on Queen Billary’s cape. Not only did she not dare to run herself, but she refused to publicly take a side when it could have helped Bernie.

Those were her choices to make, but our choices have consequences.

Many will want to push newbie California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris for president for 2020, as though she were the female Barack Obama. Not only are both Harris and Obama half-black, but, if she actually runs for president in 2020, Harris also will have in common with Obama the fact that both had served in the U.S. Senate for only four years — not even one full (six-year) Senate term — before having run for the White House.

Harris’ supporters will be supporting her much more for her race and/or her sex — good old identity politics — than for her unimpressive-thus-far record. Just sayin’: Her record at this point is awfully thin — I can tell you that as a California statewide elected official (attorney general) she always played it safe — and just as it was a mistake to send the inexperienced and accomplishment-free Obama to the White House in 2008**, methinks that it also would be a mistake to send the inexperienced and accomplishment-free Harris to the White House in 2020.

If Harris proves herself to be a progressive champion in the Senate (which, from what I know of her, is not super-likely but is not impossible), then yes, I’ll consider her for presidential races beyond 2020. But right now, I can’t say for sure that I’d even want her to be the vice-presidential candidate for 2020, as low as Sarah Palin lowered the bar.

My litmus test — which, again, is that I support the most progressive yet still viable candidate — is fairly fair. It’s based mostly on how progressive the candidate is or is not. It’s not based on sex or on race.***

It’s also not based on age, as long as the person, if younger, is mature and has enough life experience, or, if older, still can function well and (still) is in touch with the electorate (as Bernie Sanders is and Cryptkeeper Feinstein is not).

It’s not even based on religion, although I never could support a candidate who tried to shove his or her God bullshit down the electorate’s throats. (I prefer an agnostic or atheist candidate or at least one who, like Bernie Sanders, who I suspect is agnostic or atheist, doesn’t fucking proselytize.)

And, of course, if you’re not fully on board with equal rights for homosexual, non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, then you’re not at all a progressive — and your supposedly left-wing identity politics are just the other side of the coin that has stupid, right-wing white men on it — and fuck you.

So, progressive women: Step up to the plate as candidates for political office. I want to support you.

But I won’t support you only or even primarily because you’re a woman.

*I did vote for Ralph Nader for president in 2000, and for Jill Stein for president in 2012 and in 2016, knowing fully well at the time that the Democratic presidential candidates (Al Gore, Barack Obama and Billary Clinton, respectively) were going to win my state of California and all of its electoral votes no matter how I fucking voted.

It’s funny how people say that if you don’t vote for the Democratic/Democratic-in-name-only presidential candidate, you help the Repugnican presidential candidate win, but that would be true only if we elected our presidents on the popular vote or if you voted in a true swing state. California is not a swing state, and Americans sorely need to educate themselves on the Electoral College (and then do away with it).

**Recall that the arrogant, overconfident Obama, drunk on “bipartisanship” Kool-Aid, wasted his shitload of political capital in 2009 and 2010 trying to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican traitors in Congress while they were organizing their “tea party” and took back the House of Representatives in November 2010, severely crippling him for the remainder of his presidency, and then took back the U.S. Senate in 2014, further crippling him.

***My terms “most progressive yet still viable” might rankle some. You might argue, and perhaps if not probably correctly, that women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-gender-conforming individuals and others struggle to be viable candidates in a heterosexual white man’s world and that if they’re not viable, it’s society’s fault, not theirs.

But I usually can’t bring myself to donate to a political candidate who has a snowball’s chance in hell, and at least in primary elections, I don’t want to feel that I have wasted my vote on a candidate who has a snowball’s chance in hell.

(That said, again, in a presidential general election, under the Electoral College and living in the very blue California, my vote for president essentially doesn’t count, as it’s a foregone conclusion, in every presidential election, that the Democratic/“Democratic” presidential candidate is going to win California and all of its electoral votes, the most of any state in the nation.

Speaking of California, did you know that California is the first state in the nation to have had two female U.S. Senators at the same time? That happened with the election of 1992, the “Year of the Woman.”

That’s pretty cool, but it’s still time for Cryptkeeper to go. She no longer represents her electorate well, if she ever really did. [She didn’t.])

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Et tu, Al?

Updated below (on Friday, November 17, 2017)

In the current climate, it was only a matter of time before someone I really have liked and respected was going to be outed as having acted sexually inappropriately in the past. This time, there is photographic evidence:

Franken gropes the accuser while smiling

That’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota apparently pretending* to grope a sleeping woman (radio newscaster Leeann Tweeden) during a U.S.O. (United Service Organizations) tour in the Middle East in 2006.

From his expression, he fairly clearly thinks that it’s pretty fucking funny. Of course, it isn’t, which he has acknowledged, and he has apologized for his inappropriate, immature, abusive, disrespectful act, and Tweeden has stated that she accepts his apology and that she doesn’t believe that he should step down.

To me, that’s pretty much case closed.

More disturbing to me than the frat-boy-level photo above is Tweeden’s allegation that Franken, under the guise of rehearsing a skit that he wrote that (rather conveniently) required him to kiss her, kissed her forcefully against her wishes (and gave her tongue, she adds).

Such unwanted contact constitutes sexual battery, in my book, but Franken said that “While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.”

He immediately added: “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

So: This contact between Franken and Tweeden happened in 2006, before Franken became a U.S. senator in 2009. (And in Tweeden’s own words, “Franken had written some skits for the [U.S.O.] show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many U.S.O. shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.” That’s some context, and context matters.)

The New York Times reports that “Ms. Tweeden said that no one else witnessed the [alleged forced] kiss, and she did not tell the tour’s organizers [about it].” (Indeed, Tweeden’s own words to this effect are here.)

Franken couldn’t have been convicted of sexual battery at the time even if Tweeden had gone to the authorities, because they apparently have different versions of the same event that no one else witnessed. Legally, it seems to me, that’s pretty much that.

It seems to me that absent a felony conviction, which should disqualify anyone from becoming or remaining a U.S. senator, it’s up to the voters of Minnesota to decide Franken’s fate when he comes up for re-election in 2020, assuming that he decides to run again.

It’s probably safe to say that any hope that Franken might have had about running for president in 2020 is dashed — even though “President” Pussygrabber bragged about grabbing women by the pussy and still became “president” — but I refuse to write Franken’s political obituary today. I believe that he can come out better and stronger for this (and that yes, hell — who knows? — he still might become president one day).

No, I don’t condone sexual harassment of any kind, from non-body-contact sexual harassment, such as making unwanted sexual remarks to taking a photo of yourself pretending to grope someone sexually to exposing yourself to someone who doesn’t want to see your goods, to actual body-contact sexual harassment, such as actual groping or forceful, unwanted kissing.

But nor is it productive to take the stance that we should utterly fucking destroy anyone who has misstepped.

That self-righteous revenge-seeking goes beyond justice and becomes a crime in and of itself; that is, to assert that those who can be redeemed cannot be redeemed, but must be destroyed for the rest of their lives, is to commit yet another type of violence against the human spirit.

P.S. Two more things:

One, there seems to be a definite double standard where Democrats and Repugnicans are concerned. Again, “President” Pussygrabber in 2005 bragged, on tape, about grabbing women by the pussy and kissing them without their consent, and yet that was A-OK with enough voters to allow him to take the Oval Office.

Two (which is related to one), what U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama has been accused of, especially the under-aged shit, is much worse than what Franken has been accused of (and was photographed doing), but even for a backasswards, right-wing piece of dog shit like Moore, I would say that absent a felony conviction — that is, he had had his day in court and was found guilty by a jury — it still would be up to the voters of Alabama to decide whether or not to send him to the U.S. Senate. (And then the Senate could, I understand, refuse to seat him, although I’m not sure of all of the legalities on that.)

But let’s not compare Al Franken to Roy Moore (or to “President” Pussygrabber). Franken so far has had one accuser, who was an adult at the time. Moore thus far has had at least eight accusers, some of whom were under the age of 18 at the time of their reported events.

Update (Friday, November 17, 2017): Leeann Tweeden said this on “Good Morning America” today: “I didn’t do this [publicize Franken’s actions of 2006] to have him step down. I think Al Franken does a lot of good things in the Senate. You know, I think that’s for the people of Minnesota to decide. I’m not calling for him to step down. That was never my intention.”

She also apparently said of the bullshit comparison of “President” Pussygrabber’s actions to Franken’s, “His [Pussygrabber’s] issues — that’s a whole other thing.”

Yup. More than a dozen women thus far have accused Pussygrabber of having perpetrated sexual harassment to sexual battery.

Sadly, I’ve seen, among others, Slate.com’s otherwise thoughtful and intelligent Mark Joseph Stern and the progressive group Justice Democrats both call for Franken to step down immediately. (And in an e-mail that I received, the Justice Democrats also called for Franken to be replaced with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison by Minnesota’s governor. I admire Ellison and I supported him for the chair of the Democratic National Committee, but he should run for the U.S. Senate if he wants to be a U.S. senator. Denying Franken due process and summarily replacing him with Ellison is not what I’d call justice or democracy, Justice Democrats!)

We all need to take a deep fucking breath and not be even more outraged than the actual victims are and therefore call for even harsher punishments than they are calling for. (And no, let’s not say that part of the victims’ victimization is that they’re just not outraged enough and that they are too forgiving, so we need to “correct” that. Jesus fucking fuck.)

And yes, as both Stern and Justice Democrats and many others have argued, we who are left of center don’t want to be called hypocrites on the subject of sexual harassment and sexual assault and sexual battery.

But we also need to take each case on its own (each case can vary widely in severity) and not lump all of the cases together, or collapse the many different kinds of sexual violations into one big generic sexual violation because we don’t feel like dealing with shades of gray.

And if we claim that we care about justice, then we need to give the accused the chance to explain him- or herself — and/or to be investigated as fairly and impartially as possible — instead of immediately calling for his or her head on a silver fucking platter so that we can try to look cool by keeping ahead of the news cycle.

Nor should our No. 1 concern be what the fucking Repugnicans will think. They never fucking care what we think, which is why they “win” elections even when they lose them, such as “presidents” George W. Bush and Pussygrabber both did.

*To grope someone is to touch him or her with your hands, and while the incident in the photo widely has been described as a groping, to me it appears to be Franken pretending to be groping or pretending to be about to grope the sleeping woman. Not that even pretending to do so is OK, but it’s not as bad as actually groping. There are levels of bad, for fuck’s sake.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

No, No. 45 is NOT at 46 percent, and the mid-terms should bring him to heel

Updated below (on Wednesday, November 16, 2017)

Associated Press photo

“President” Pussygrabber’s approval rating is so low (below 40 percent in reputable nationwide polls) that he has to cherry-pick from the outlying polls that give him the best results. The good news is that low presidential approval ratings usually mean bad news for the president’s party in the mid-term elections. 

“President” Pussygrabber claims that his approval rating is at a whopping 46 percent, because Rasmussen, which Business Insider says is “the polling company often most favorable to the president,” puts it there.*

Indeed, fivethirtyeight.com, my go-to website on political polling, gives Rasmussen’s polling practices a C+. No wonder Pussygrabber wuvs Rasmussen.

My favorite polling outfit is Gallup (which fivethirtyeight.com gives a B-), probably because of Gallup’s frequent polling on Trump’s approval rating, which as I type this sentence Gallup puts at 38 percent.

Probably the most accurate way to get a sense of where things actually stand is to look at the averages of several reputable polls. Fivethirtyeight.com’s average of reputable presidential-approval polls, for instance, right now puts Pussygrabber at 38.1 percent.

(Again, I trust Gallup! [On that note, Pussygrabber hasn’t hit even 40 percent with Gallup since September, and hasn’t hit above 40 percent with Gallup since June.])

Real Clear Politics’ average of presidential-approval polls right now also has Pussygrabber at 38.1 percent, while The Huffington Post’s average has Pussygrabber at 39 percent.

So it’s accurate to say that reputable nationwide polls have “President” Pussygrabber stuck below 40 percent, as he has been for some time now.

You won’t hear Pussygrabber talk about Quinnipiac’s latest poll, which puts his approval rating at only 35 percent, or the latest Pew poll, which put him at an even worse 34 percent. Even if those two polls are unflattering outliers, they still very apparently are pretty close to the actual number, which I’d put at 38 percent (or at 38.5 percent, only to be generous).

It is true that the official Democratic Party still flounders, in no tiny part because it’s chock full of old has-beens who refuse to step aside and allow the infusion of fresh blood that the calcified party so desperately needs.**

But with an approval rating stuck below 40 percent — indeed, the highest that Pussygrabber ever hit in Gallup’s polling since he took office in January was 46 percent*** — I don’t see how the Repugnicans can keep both the Senate and the House after the 2018 mid-terms.

In the mid-term elections I expect the Dems to take back the Senate or the House, maybe even both (but probably they’ll take back just the Senate, it seems to me, especially since it looks like Alabama is about to get a Democratic U.S. senator, and there is even speculation that one or even both of Arizona’s senate seats could flip blue, if John McCainosaurus’ seat comes open [my money would be on only one of the seats flipping blue; Arizona is a bit purplish but still is a lot more on the red side than on the blue side]).

Never underestimate the establishmentarian Dems’ ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but with Pussygrabber’s low approval rating right out of the gate, I don’t see the mid-terms going well for the Repugnicans.

No, we shouldn’t take too much from the Dems’ electoral victories of last week, which are but a drop in the bucket toward recovering the Democratic seats that were lost during the Obama years of political sloth and squander, but something tells me that the pundits are low-balling the Dems’ prospects in the mid-terms. I mean, again, Pussygrabber’s approval ratings have been stubbornly stuck below 40 percent for many months now.

That and many, many actually Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters have been ignoring the less-than-useless Democratic Party establishment and have been doing it their own way for a while now. Indeed, all Dems were “supposed” to just shut up and coronate Billary Clinton like good little lemmings, but democratic socialist Bernie Sanders won 22 states and 46 percent of the pledged/democratically earned delegates in the 2016 presidential primary elections and caucuses.

That’s one reason why the talk of what happened in 2016 won’t go away: because Bernie Sanders pretty much came from nowhere and did quite well against a center-right, pro-corporate establishment favorite who was in her second race for the White House. It was a stunning achievement that in my book the collective still hasn’t recognized.

(It wasn’t supposed to happen and so the Democratic lemmings have just pretended that Bernie didn’t even run, you see. Many if not most of them won’t even utter his name, perhaps especially when the discussion is potential presidential contenders for 2020.)

So Pussygrabber’s low approval rating and the fact that we real Democrats know by now that we have to do an end-run around the clueless, self-serving, ineffectual “Democratic” establishment could mean, and probably will mean, that the Repugnicans won’t control the Senate and the House come January 2019.

That would be a great development — it would neuter Pussygrabber for the rest of his time in the White House like Obama was neutered for the rest of his time in the White House after the Repugnicans took back the House in 2010 — but of course the “Democratic” establishment would take credit for the victory and maintain that “their” victory was “proof” that they don’t need to change a thing. That’s pretty fucking predictable.

Sadly, what it’s going to take for the “Democratic” old guard to finally go the fuck away is their incapacitation, by death or by other manners. (The octogenarian multi-millionaire Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein is a stellar example of this.)

But I find hope in the flexibility and the resourcefulness of us progressives. Like water, when something impedes our path, we tend to flow around it, and we are great at having the patience to wear shit down over time, like water created the Grand Canyon.

P.S. “President” Pussygrabber characteristically tweeted that “Some people think [that his approval] numbers could be in the 50’s [sic].” That’s fucking hilarious.

Some mouth-breathing, MAGA-cap-wearing fucktards could think that his numbers are in the 90s.

They would be dead fucking wrong, as his actual numbers are in the upper 30s. SAD!

Update (Wednesday, November 16, 2017): Fivethirtyeight.com’s Nate Silver writes in a post from yesterday:

How bad is it for Republicans if [Democrat Doug] Jones wins [the U.S. Senate seat for Alabama next month]? It’s really bad. Having Jones in office would reduce the GOP margin in the Senate to 51-49, meaning that Republicans could afford only one defection on legislation such as tax reform. For example, if both Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska opposed a bill and everyone else voted along party lines, it would fail by one vote.

Moreover, whoever wins the special election will serve out the remainder of former Sen. Jeff Sessions’s term, which runs through January 2021. Having Jones in office already would make it considerably easier for Democrats to win the Senate in the 2018 midterms: With a win banked in Alabama, flipping Flake’s open seat in Arizona and Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s in Nevada would be enough to put Democrats in control of the Senate — provided (and it’s a big provision) that Democrats didn’t lose any of their own seats.

To play devil’s advocate: One could argue that control of the Senate in 2019 and 2020 isn’t all that high-stakes. Because there are so few Republican-held seats up for election next year in that chamber, winning control of the Senate is a tougher proposition for Democrats than is taking the House. So, if Democrats somehow win the Senate, they’ll probably already have won the House — and will already be able to block President Trump and Republicans from passing key legislation. [Emphasis mine.]

So I’d posited that it would be easier for the Dems to take back the Senate than the House in the 2018 mid-term elections, but prognosticator-god Nate Silver says that it’s the other way around. I trust his analysis.

The Dems need only take back one of the two houses, though, to stop the unelected Pussygrabber regime’s right-wing agenda. Taking both houses would be great, but I’ll take one of the two.

*To be clear, Rasmussen put Pussygrabber’s approval rating at 46 percent yesterday and put it at 44 percent today.

**This “Saturday Night Live” sketch is pretty spot-on, but I’m not sure why Bernie Sanders is included in it, other than that Larry David playing Bernie is popular, as Bernie still is fairly outside of the Democratic Party establishment and hasn’t been in the nationwide public eye for nearly as long as the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Cryptkeeper Feinstein.

**Pussygrabber hit 46 percent in Gallup’s polling in January, after his inauguration, and never hit 46 percent (or higher) again in Gallup’s polling after January.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

DNC must return party to progressives or die the death that it deserves

Washington Post news photo

Crooked Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear together at a bullshit “unity” event on November 3, 2016, days before Billary spectacularly blew the presidential election. Former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile has confirmed for us further how much the DNC was in the bag for Billary all along.

Former interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile’s new book, excerpted by Politico, only confirms what we already knew, only it’s even worse than we already knew: Billary Clinton’s presidential campaign was so thoroughly enmeshed with the financially struggling DNC — which relied upon mountains of cash from the Billary camp to keep going — that of course actual Democrat Bernie Sanders never had a fucking chance.

I suggest that you read the Politico piece by Brazile. No, she’s not perfect — she has admitted having fed Billary town-hall questions in advance — but she is the highest-level former DNC operative to have shed light on the corrupt bullshit that happened.

The DNC not only floundered under the awful former DNC chair and Queen Billarybot Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who had to resign in disgrace), as Brazile details, but it still is in deep shit. Politico reports just today that

The committee’s slow fundraising has been a serious problem for the party since the 2016 election. Skeptical donors have stayed away from the DNC, while giving more to individual candidates and other committees. The party had just $7 million on hand heading into October, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The DNC raised $51 million from January through September as it rebuilds under new chairman Tom Perez, who took over in March. But the Republican National Committee brought in $104 million over the same time period.

The DNC just fired its head of fundraising, but you can’t blame one individual for the DNC’s inability to raise money. You can blame only the so-called Democratic Party establishment, the self-serving assholes who haven’t really changed a thing since it was revealed well before the November 2016 presidential election that the DNC was in the bag for Billary, whose karmic fucking due was not becoming president. (Being a fucking baby boomer, though, of course she still got a lucrative book deal out of it.)

Who wants to give money to a corrupt party organization? I sure the fuck don’t. I don’t trust the DNC with a fucking penny.

Because of the corrupt Democratic Party establishment, which has yet to be taken over by us progressives, us actual Democrats, I changed my voter registration to no party and I won’t register as a Democrat again until and unless the party deserves my return.

For years the Democratic Party has acted as though we, the people, owe it, and that it owes us absofuckinglutely nothing.

I still give money to individual candidates, and yes, the vast majority of them are progressive Democrats* — I’d rather castrate myself with a toothpick than cast a vote for any Repugnican — but they’re the candidates of my choosing, not the DNC’s. (On that note, I gave Bernie more than $1,000 in campaign contributions over time. That’s more money than I’ve ever given any other political candidate by far.)

The answer to the DNC’s money woes is pretty clear: People won’t give you money unless they’re minimally excited about you and what you’re doing and they trust you. You have to earn their money. (Who knew?)

On that note, per Wikipedia, through April 30, 2016, Billary raised about $204 million to Bernie’s roughly $228 million. She’d run for president before and he entered the race largely unknown, but Bernie still out-raised her, and most of his donations (as he told us tirelessly) were small ones.

Excite the people and earn and thus gain their trust, as Bernie did, and the money will follow.

But as long as the ghosts of Billary and the other Democrats in name only still haunt the DNC and as long as the establishmentarian DINOs only continue to shit and piss on us progressives — us real Democrats — the DNC can keep on digging its own grave.

We progressives are fine just sitting back and watching that happen. The DNC as it exists today doesn’t deserve our support. Indeed, if it continues to resist returning the party to us progressives, it deserves to die, as it will without us, and we progressives will continue to build for ourselves the party that we deserve.

P.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the highest-ranking Democrat in office who has stated publicly that of course the DNC was in the bag for Billary.

Among other things, Warren said that current DNC Chair Tom Perez “is being tested now” and that he “is going to succeed by bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders’ representatives into this process … or he’s going to fail, and I very much hope he succeeds.”

It is good to hear her say all of this now, but, to be fair and balanced, Warren pretty much sat back and stayed silent while Team Billary’s theft of the presidential nomination via its collusion with the DNC was happening, and only Bernie Sanders had had the courage to oppose the coronation of Billary by daring to run in the primary against her. Warren didn’t dare to step on Queen Billary’s cape.

If Bernie runs again in 2020, he has my full support. He has earned it. He was there and he led.

*When I give money to a candidate, it’s usually a candidate who actually has a chance of winning, and so yes, I vote mostly for Democrats. Usually my aim is to support the candidate who is the most progressive yet still viable.

That said, the United States sorely needs to adopt a multi-party, parliamentarian system. To collapse the entire American political spectrum into only two main parties, the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party, is an anti-democratic joke. The corporations and our plutocratic overlords love it, but the duopolistic partisan system stopped serving us, the people, many, many years ago.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Watch “Kevin de León for U.S. Senate” on YouTube

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized