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Marianne, we hardly knew ye

Candidate author Marianne Williamson blows a kiss before the first night of the second 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Detroit, Michigan, July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Reuters photo

We probably can kiss Marianne Williamson’s presidential campaign good-bye, which sucks but which is what it is. In the meantime, my position is becoming that Elizabeth Warren is splitting the progressive vote, which is only helping centrist, corporatist sellout Joe Biden and taking us further away from the possibility of having a progressive president come January 2021.

So it looks like Marianne Williamson will not make it into September’s Democratic Party presidential debate. Indeed, because it’s harder to get into the September debate than it was the June and July debates, because of the stricter September debate requirements, the Democratic presidential field will be winnowed significantly.

Williamson’s campaign has reported that she has met the required number of individual donors to her campaign in order to participate in the September debate, but she has only one week from today to make it to 2 percent in at least four qualifying polls, and I haven’t seen even one poll in which she has exceeded 1 percent.

I just don’t see it happening for her.

Not that Williamson has accomplished nothing; she got her message out there.

The moral of the story, I think, is that you really need to have been at least vice president, a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before you run for president if you want a snowball’s chance. (“President” Pussygrabber is the first “president” since Dwight D. Eisenhower [in 1952] who had not first been vice president, a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before ascending to the White House.)

That said, my No. 1 choice for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination remains U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. I see him as the candidate most likely to actually enact a progressive agenda should he make it to the Oval Office.

Why Bernie over Elizabeth Warren? Because, as I have noted, as late as the 1990s she was a registered Repugnican, she apparently believes that capitalism can be redeemed (it cannot), and because she’s much more of a Democratic Party establishment suck-up than Bernie ever could imagine being. (Bernie’s independence and distancing of himself from the “Democratic” sellouts for me always has been a huge plus, not a minus.)

I’ve indicated that I’m not mad at Liz for splitting the progressive vote, but that’s starting to change. She was too pussy to take on DINO Queen Billary in 2016 but now apparently is A-OK with splitting the progressive vote for 2020. (Yes, on this my view is evolving…)

Right now the nationwide polls show Addle-brained Biden with an average of around 29 percent and both Bernie and Warren with an average of 15-to-16-point-something percent each. It seems to me that if Warren weren’t running, it would be Bernie vs. Biden, much like it was Bernie vs. Billary in 2016.

Still, as I’ve noted, I’m loathe to state that someone shouldn’t run for office or should drop out of a race. But I’m still becoming less happy with Warren over time. Again, she cowardly sat out 2016 but now apparently doesn’t care if she fucks it up for Bernie, our best shot at having an actually progressive president.

At any rate, the 2020 Democratic presidential field needs thinning, and while I’m sad to see Williamson go (without her being able to participate in future debates, I just don’t see her campaign succeeding*), I’ll be happy when the likes of Cory Booker, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Verrated, Tom Steyer and Tim Ryan finally drop out. (We’re just not that into you, guys! Take a hint!)

Unfortunately, we’re likely to continue to be plagued by centrist, corporatist sellouts Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris for a while, since their national polling averages right now are about 5 percent and 8 percent respectively, keeping them in the top five, and it still seems to me that Harris has a good shot at the veep slot if she’ll accept it.

*If Williamson hangs in there and manages to get 2 percent in at least four qualifying polls — perhaps because she gains the support of the supporters of those candidates who drop out — then she can make it into the October debate, but that would be a tough job, a job made tougher by her absence from the September debate.


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Addle-brained Joe Biden is mentally unfit to serve as president of the U.S.

Not to come off too much as a shark excited by some blood in the water, but what the fuck is wrong with Joe Biden?

I disagree with ageism, that is, in this case, the idea that there is a magical age cap at which one could serve well as president.

Bernie Sanders is a bit older than is Biden (Sanders is 77 and turns 78 next month, and Biden is 76 and turns 77 in November), but Bernie doesn’t get addled or tripped over his own words when he speaks publicly; he’s always quite lucid (if repetitive [which I take as a good sign that he’s consistent and devoted and not an opportunistic fucking flip-flopper]).

The New York Times reports:

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. raised eyebrows [yesterday] during a speech in Iowa when he said that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” an apparent gaffe for a Democratic presidential candidate whose record on race has come under intense scrutiny during the primary.

Biden was speaking on education and the need to challenge students at a town hall hosted by the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines when he made the remark, and then quickly sought to recover from it.

“We should challenge students in these schools,” Biden said. “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

He paused, then added: “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids — no I really mean it, but think how we think about it.” …

How “we” think about it? No, methinks that we need to think about how “Uncle Joe” thinks about it.

Biden’s “save” was, for me, anyway, confusing at best, and I believe that his initial utterance revealed his core belief: that if you’re poor, you’re probably not white, and that if you’re white, you’re probably not poor.

In the United States there is indeed a correlation between poverty and race — you are more likely to be poor if you are black or Latino or Native American than if you are white, for example (and Asians and whites are at about the same poverty rate) — but given that not even a full one in four Native Americans, the most impoverished racial group in the United States, lives in poverty, we really have to look at people as individuals, not as a monolithic group.

There are plenty of non-whites who don’t live in poverty and plenty of whites who do.

I have to suspect that Joe Biden has some racism in his core. This isn’t his first race-related gaffe. Probably his most famous one is when he said in January 2007, during his second failed run for the Democratic presidential nomination, that his competitor Barack Obama was “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

What else can we take away from that stream-of-consciousness remark but that Biden’s core belief was (still is?) that it’s quite unusual for a “mainstream African American” (what, exactly, is a “mainstream” African American? what’s a non-“mainstream” African African?) to be “articulate and bright and clean” and “nice-looking”?

Jesus fuck, Joe Biden is a walking, talking Rorschach test spewing core racist beliefs right and left, yet black voters apparently still love him, apparently only or at least chiefly because Obama actually went on to make him his vice president (despite his remarks of January 2007).

That’s pretty fucking shallow, but that’s where we are in the age of identity politics.*

I suppose that if you are a Biden supporter, your cognitive dissonance between who you want him to be and who he actually is will induce you to defend his indefensible bullshit no matter fucking what. Whatever.

But Joe Biden isn’t mentally fit to be president. Not that the current occupant-usurper is fit, but do we really need two addle-brained presidents in a row?

I stand by my estimation of Biden of yesterday, before his latest gaffe made the news: that he has earned the title of Most Likely to Implode.

Tick tock…

*On that note, the black-activist website today ranked the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, of course putting Cory Booker and Kamala Harris at No. 1 and No. 2, even though, as I noted yesterday, they are in the top three candidates in the number of billionaire backers that they have.

Because billionaires care so much about black poverty and other problems of black Americans, you see. It wouldn’t — couldn’t — be that billionaires would support only those candidates they deem to pose the least threat to the socioeconomic status quo that benefits themselves so much. No!!! That’s crazy talk!

I have this crazy notion that you should vote in your best interests, not vote by skin color.

On that note, Bernie Sanders (appallingly ranked at No. 8 by [certainly not because he’s white or Jewish!]) hasn’t taken money from even one billionaire; I’m sticking with Bernie.

But I’m white, so I must be “racist,” you see.

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No. 1 in fundraising Bernie hangs tough while Kamala Harris’ polling drops

Image result for bernie sanders kamala harris

Kamala Harris has had at least 17 billionaire sugar daddies whereas Bernie Sanders hasn’t had even one billionaire donor, but Harris has tried to co-opt Bernie’s progressive message nonetheless. She is pictured above in September 2017, after she signed on to Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, and since then she has flip-flopped on what Medicare for All should look like. (Her current plan, I gather, still keeps for-profit insurance companies in the game. Not a shock, given her corporate fundraising.)

I don’t think that a day goes by that I don’t look at the latest nationwide polling in the race for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Candidates indeed go up and down in the polls, so much so that if you watch the polls over time, you know that a bump or a slump could reverse itself, and thus it’s often a bad idea to write a candidate’s political obituary, as is done for Bernie Sanders probably more than for any other candidate (as I’ve noted before, this is wishful thinking on the part of center-right sellouts).

Pete Buttigieg apparently already peaked a while ago, although he’s never reached even 10 percent, and Kamala Harris, after she attacked Joe Biden in the first debate in June, peaked at more than 15 percent, but now she’s back down below 10 percent; her average nationwide polling as I type this sentence is 8.4 percent (Buttigieg’s is 6.1 percent).

I’m glad that it was Tulsi Gabbard who (fairly and squarely) went off on Harris in the second debate. It’s always nice when a candidate who has a snowball’s chance does the dirty (but necessary) work so that your viable candidate (in my case, Bernie Sanders) doesn’t have to and thus doesn’t get his or her hands dirty (and isn’t accused of being “racist” or “sexist” for daring to do what you’re supposed to do in a political campaign: point out your opponents’ weaknesses as well as your own strengths).

Harris, like most of the 2020 Democratic contenders, in my book is not qualified and/or is not ready to be president, and, a la Ted Kennedy, has yet to enunciate a clear reason as to why she should be president, so I’m not surprised to see that she has sunk below 10 percent again.

My feeling about both Buttigieg and Harris is that both already have shot their wads. I don’t think that there’s much more to either one of them, because neither is courageous. At the end of the day, they’re both just pro-corporate party hacks, like Biden; all three of them try to walk the line between pretending to be progressive and not daring to piss off any of their big corporate donors. This makes for a message that is milquetoast at best.

Both Buttigieg and Harris, in fact, court billionaire donors. recently reported that Buttigieg has the most billionaire sugar daddies (23 of them), followed by Cory Booker (18 billionaire patrons) at No. 2 and Kamala Harris at No. 3 (17 billionaires for her). Biden comes in at fifth place, with 13 billionaires supporting him.

“True to his campaign promise to take on the top 1 percent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has not received any donations from billionaires,” reports

When I call someone a “corporate whore,” it’s for a reason, and I count Buttigieg, Booker, Harris and Biden all as corporate whores, and I don’t vote for (or otherwise support) corporate whores.

Joe Biden continues to poll nationwide at No. 1; his average nationwide polling right now is 30.1 percent, which is enough to earn him the title of front-runner, I suppose, but I still surmise that right now the bulk of Biden’s support in polls comes from name recognition because not enough voters are really paying attention at this point.

Biden is a shitty campaigner, as evidenced by the fact that this is his third time campaigning for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, and I give him the title of Most Likely to Implode. History usually is a guide.

For a while now, Bernie and Elizabeth Warren have been neck and neck at second and third places. Right now Bernie’s nationwide polling average is 16.8 percent and Warren’s is 17.2 percent. Again, I have to suspect that Warren is siphoning off a significant chunk of progressive/actually Democratic support that otherwise would be Bernie’s right now, but, again, it’s her right to run; it’s only the Democrats in name only (and others who despise the democratic process) who proclaim that a candidate (usually Bernie) shouldn’t even be running.

An indicator that Bernie’s support is pretty strong is the fact that The New York Times recently reported:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a huge lead over other Democratic presidential candidates in the number of individual donors they have each accumulated so far.

This is the first time since the primary race began in earnest that we can estimate how many individual donors each candidate has attracted — a key indicator of how much they are catching on with voters.

Sanders is relying heavily on small donors to power his campaign, and he entered the 2020 race with a huge network of online donors who supported his 2016 presidential bid. The map above shows the breadth of Sanders’s roster of donors across the United States. …

Here is that map, with Bernie’s support in blue:

While the other candidates apparently draw most donations from their home states, Bernie clearly is popular nationwide. In fact, Bernie so dominates the map that the Times, in order to show how the other candidates are doing, published a second map, this one excluding Bernie in order to show his competitors’ geographic bases of support:

That Bernie has garnered more individual donors than any other candidate (more than 700,000 donors [Warren comes in at No. 2, with more than 400,000]) — and has raised more money than any other candidate, per the Times (at least $36 million [Buttigieg comes in at No. 2, with at least $32 million, and Warren at No. 3, with at least $25 million]) — is significant in that not too many people actually put their money where their mouth is. You have to be pretty jazzed about a candidate to give him or her money, and Bernie has hundreds of thousands of donors throughout the nation.

Of course, in the end, regardless of what the nationwide polls and the fundraising statistics say right now, who wins Iowa and New Hampshire in February is going to make a huge difference.

I’ll never forget that in 2004, John Kerry’s campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination was on life support until his surprise, come-back-from-the-dead win in Iowa, which then propelled him to win New Hampshire, and after he won both of those first states, he snowballed, and it was clear early on that the nomination was his.

It might seem unfair and bizarre that Iowa and New Hampshire have such an outsize influence on the nomination, but that’s how the system is set up. If people weren’t such sheeple, then Iowa and New Hampshire’s influence would be much less than it is. But people are sheeple and thus are highly influenced by those states that already have held a primary election or caucus.

So, in a nutshell: If you’re not consistently in the double digits in the nationwide polling (as limited an indicator that nationwide polling might be right now), I think you’re probably toast. I would be shocked if the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee were not Biden, Warren or Bernie.

As I’ve noted before, I think that Harris has a great shot at being the veep candidate, if she’ll accept it. (And that might have been her game plan all along: to one day become president via the vice presidency.)

And again: It seems to me that Harris and Buttigieg have stalled and that neither has anything more to offer up, so there is no reason to believe that either will spike in the polls again. With both of them what you see is what you get, I’m confident.

And: If Biden implodes again, it’s then going to be between Bernie and Warren.

As Bernie is beating Warren even in her home state of Massachusetts right now (in the admittedly sparse polling there), and as in 2016 Bernie came closer to Billary than anyone thought he would (and has had the experience of running a presidential campaign before), I’m thinking that Bernie has the upper hand on Warren.

P.S. Nate Silver calculates how candidates’ nationwide polling changed after the first and second Democratic presidential debates.

He calculates that Bernie went up by 1.8 percentage points, more than did any other candidate; that Warren went up by 1.6 percent; that Biden went down by 1.9 percent; and that Harris went down more than anyone else: by 2.8 percent.

Gee, could it be that the voters are truly sick and tired of the Repugnican Lite bullshit that was foisted upon us by Bill Clinton, Billary Clinton and Barack Obama, and continued by Biden and Harris (and by Buttigieg, whose polling went up by only 0.7 percent)?

Could it be that the more the voters hear actually Democratic candidates (that is, actually progressive candidates) speak, the more they like them, and that the more they hear the corporate whores speak, the less they like them?

If so, expect the corporate whores (already enumerated above) to pretend, more and more, suddenly to be progressive, when of course if elected as president they would have all of those favors to have to pay back to the billionaires who funded them.

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Yeah, about that ‘invasion’…

Individuals try out see-saws on the border between the United States and Mexico that recently were installed by two California professors. Many if not most Americans don’t even know that Mexicans didn’t cross the border; the border crossed them.

I can’t — or at least don’t or won’t — write about every mass shooting that takes place here in the United States of America. One simply cannot keep up. I will remark, however, that, as I indicated in my last blog post, the root cause of America’s gun violence is, yes, a lack of love.

We can talk infinitely about the need for better gun control, the lack of mental health services, ignorant and hateful (and thus even dangerous) messages posted on social media platforms, etc., etc., but until we peel back all of the layers and just acknowledge that the No. 1 thing that we lack in the U.S.A. is love — here in the U.S. it has been, for a very long time, every individual out only for himself — the massacres will continue.

The massacres continue because we don’t want to change our selfish, unloving ways. The ugly fact is that at least on some level we are OK with that “collateral damage” as long as we still keep getting “ours.” If some people we don’t know have to die in order for us to be able to continue our selfish, willfully blind bullshit, so be it.

That said, of the three recent most-publicized gun massacres — the one in Gilroy, California, on July 28, the one in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, and the one in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4 — the one I find the most interesting is the El Paso massacre.

(Note that those haven’t been the only gun massacres since July 28; since July 28, at least 21 other people have been shot and killed in the U.S. in much-less-publicized shootings, including one in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, that I’d never heard of in which five people were killed on the same day as the Gilroy shooting [in which four were killed].)

Not only did the El Paso massacre have the largest body count of the recent gun massacres — 22, the largest gun-massacre body count in the U.S. thus far this year — but the shooter’s apparent woeful ignorance of the history of Texas (and, indeed, of the entire U.S. Southwest), coupled, of course, with the blatant white nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric of “President” Pussygrabber & Co., apparently were factors.

This is what Mexico looked like before the United States strong-armed Mexico into giving up its land claims after the Mexican-American War of 1846 through 1848 (which was started when white American settlers — dare I call them invaders?just decided that Texas no longer was Mexico’s, but was theirs):

Post image

After the U.S. won the war with Mexico — a war the U.S. very probably wouldn’t have started if it wasn’t sure that it would win it — Mexico, militarily unable to fend off the hordes of white invaders fulfilling their “manifest destiny,” was forced to hand over to the U.S. control of the land indicated in white in this map (from Wikipedia):

The entire states of Texas, California, Nevada and Utah; most of the states of Arizona and New Mexico; much of Colorado; and pieces of what today are Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma essentially were stolen from Mexico, with two small pieces of Arizona and New Mexico, shown in brown in the map above, later purchased from Mexico.

I’m sure that only a minority of Americans even know that a huge chunk of the United States — about a third of it — used to be Mexico. It was populated, although sparsely in many places, by Mexicans. As it has been said, the Mexicans didn’t cross the border; the border crossed them!

It is so ironic, yet so indicative of American hypocrisy and ignorance, for Americans today to be calling those of Mexican descent “invaders.”

The New York Times reported on August 4:

At campaign rallies before last year’s midterm elections, President Trump repeatedly warned that America was under attack by immigrants heading for the [southern] border. “You look at what is marching up, that is an invasion!” he declared at one rally. “That is an invasion!”

Nine months later, a 21-year-old white man is accused of opening fire in a Walmart in El Paso, killing 20 people [the count is now 22] and injuring dozens more after writing a manifesto railing against immigration and announcing that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

The suspect wrote that his views “predate Trump,” as if anticipating the political debate that would follow the blood bath. But if Trump did not originally inspire the gunman, he has brought into the mainstream polarizing ideas and people once consigned to the fringes of American society.

While other leaders have expressed concern about border security and the costs of illegal immigration, Trump has filled his public speeches and Twitter feed with sometimes false, fear-stoking language even as he welcomed to the White House a corps of hard-liners, demonizers and conspiracy theorists shunned by past presidents of both parties.

Because of this, Trump is ill equipped to provide the kind of unifying, healing force that other presidents projected in times of national tragedy. …


My entire life I (a white man) have lived entirely in Arizona and in California — both states that wholly used to be part of Mexico.

I’ve been surrounded by Latinos my entire lifetime and never considered them to be “invaders” or “outsiders” or otherwise felt that they don’t belong. They are part and parcel of the Southwest, and will remain so for a very long time to come.

It blows my mind that after whites forcibly took over what used to be northern Mexico — in much the same style that they stole so much of the land of the United States from Native Americans only because the Native Americans also militarily could not prevent the invasion of the whites* — American whites today would take the stance of the victim: They’re taking over our land!

Beyond pathetic. White “supremacy”? People who don’t even know the basic fucking history of their own nation (yet, of course, who nonetheless call themselves “patriots”) hardly are “supreme.” They are abject fucking morons.

Fact is, I’d rather be surrounded by Latinos, the vast majority of whom are accepting and kind and hard-working and generous, than by right-wing white people, who, by definition, are evil and destructive.

Latinos don’t owe me a debt of gratitude; I owe them one, because their numbers to at least some degree buffer and soften the influence of evil white people. Therefore, I am fine with Latinos’ numbers growing in the U.S., as much as I do believe in birth control for a better quality of life for everyone.**

And the Latinos aren’t taking over “my” land; I’m quite clear that my race took over theirs.

If Spanish one day becomes the official language of the United States of America, as the wingnuts tell us to be very afraid of, so be it. It’s a wonderful language, much easier to learn than is English, as it contains far fewer irregularities and idiosyncrasies.

And it — the Latin Americanization of the United States of America — would be a peaceful, gradual change over time; future generations of Americans would speak Spanish (or maybe a Spanish-English hybrid), but it would have come naturally to them, as a natural evolution of language, as would all of the other cultural changes, such as with food and music and clothing, changes that have been underway for a long time now anyway.

White Americans have nothing to fear; the Latin Americanization of the United States, if it materializes, wouldn’t have come at the barrel of a gun.

That, you see, is how white people do it.

P.S. I stumbled across a letter that Walt Whitman wrote way back in 1883 on the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He wrote that he couldn’t attend the anniversary observation to which he’d been invited, but he said these things about it:

… We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them. They will be found ampler than has been supposed and in widely different sources. Thus far, impressed by New England writers and schoolmasters, we tacitly abandon ourselves to the notion that our United States have been fashioned from the British Islands only, and essentially form a second England only — which is a great mistake. Many leading traits for our future national personality, and some of the best ones, will certainly prove to have originated from other than British stock. As it is, the British and German, valuable as they are in the concrete, already threaten excess. Or rather, I should say, they have certainly reach’d that excess. To-day, something outside of them, and to counterbalance them, is seriously needed.

Thus seething materialistic and business vortices of the United States, in their present devouring relations, controlling and belittling everything else, are, in my opinion, but a vast and indispensable stage in the new world’s development, and are certainly to be follow’d by something entirely different — at least by immense modifications. Character, literature, a society worthy the name, are yet to be establish’d, through a nationality of noblest spiritual, heroic and democratic attributes — not one of which at present definitely exists — entirely different from the past, though unerringly founded on it, and to justify it.

To that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts. No stock shows a grander historic retrospect — grander in religiousness and loyalty, or for patriotism, courage, decorum, gravity and honor. (It is time to dismiss utterly the illusion-compound, half raw-head-and-bloody-bones and half Mysteries-of-Udolpho, inherited from the English writers of the past 200 years. It is time to realize — for it is certainly true — that there will not be found any more cruelty, tyranny, superstition, etc., in the résumé of past Spanish history than in the corresponding résumé of Anglo-Norman history. Nay, I think there will not be found so much.)

Then another point, relating to American ethnology, past and to come, I will here touch upon at a venture. As to our aboriginal or Indian population — the Aztec in the South, and many a tribe in the North and West — I know it seems to be agreed that they must gradually dwindle as time rolls on, and in a few generations more leave only a reminiscence, a blank. But I am not at all clear about that. As America, from its many far-back sources and current supplies, develops, adapts, entwines, faithfully identifies its own — are we to see it cheerfully accepting and using all the contributions of foreign lands from the whole outside globe — and then rejecting the only ones distinctively its own — the autochthonic ones?

As to the Spanish stock of our Southwest, it is certain to me that we do not begin to appreciate the splendor and sterling value of its race element. Who knows but that element, like the course of some subterranean river, dipping invisibly for a hundred or two years, is now to emerge in broadest flow and permanent action?

If I might assume to do so, I would like to send you the most cordial, heart-felt congratulations of your American fellow-countrymen here. You have more friends in the Northern and Atlantic regions than you suppose, and they are deeply interested in development of the great Southwestern interior, and in what your festival would arouse to public attention. …

Whitman was (is?) timeless.

Indeed, Anglo America needs the “counterbalance” that the Latino culture (and other cultures) provide. And, as Whitman apparently saw all of those decades ago, Latinos aren’t going anywhere, and that “subterranean river” has emerged now, methinks. And thank Goddess.

*To be fair, the Spanish conquered the natives in today’s United States, Central America and South America, and Mexico’s creation sprang from the Spanish conquest of the natives.

That said, while the Spanish conquered largely by intermarrying with the natives — thus the “mestizo” — European whites usually conquered by force, including by forcible displacement and by massacre. (Although, of course, a huge percentage of the natives died from the communicable diseases that both the Spanish and the white European conquerors brought with them.)

**About the only fault that I can find with so many Latinos is their blind deference to Catholicism, which they should have thrown off their backs a long, long time ago. (It was and is, after all, the religion of the conqueror…)

It strikes me that a huge reason that so many Latin Americans are poor and desperate to find a better life in the United States is because of the Catholic Church’s official, age-old stance against contraception. If you cannot care for the child or the children that you already have, you shouldn’t have any more, regardless of your race or nationality.

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Marianne Williamson is my guilty pleasure (OK, so I don’t feel guilty)

Internet memes like this one aren’t accurate or fair, but in the age of Pussygrabber are to be expected, I suppose...

Marianne Williamson is not crazy.

Few books can I finish from cover to cover, but in the 1990s I ate up three of her books: A Woman’s Worth, A Return to Love and The Healing of America.

Williamson’s unabashed language only feels somewhat stilted and unicorn-and-rainbow-ish in an age in which we pee-ons have become as savage and loveless as are our overlords.

The word “love” need not be a hokey, gauzy concept that we ridicule. “Love” can be defined easily in quite straightforward, even logical and rational terms. To love is to consider everyone and everything as oneness, as a whole, to abandon the widespread (even “common-sense”) concept of rampant separation that puts us as individuals (and as groups of individuals) at perpetual war with everyone and with everything else.

To realize that we’re all connected — not greeting-card-sentiment connected, but even scientifically (biologically, ecologically, sociologically, etc.) connected — means that we stop to consider how our words and actions (and how our dereliction of our duty) affects other people, other life forms and the planet itself.

The opposite of all of this, the opposite of love, would be the likes of “President” Pussygrabber. Pussygrabber is all about himself. He is the exact opposite of love.*

Those millions of Americans who also have not a loving atom in their bodies thus resonate with Pussygrabber and think that he’s the greatest “president” ever. After all, does his hateful, loveless existence not somehow validate theirs?

Even if I’ve swayed you to some degree that love is not insane, but ultimately is sanity itself, you probably don’t think that Crazy Hippie Lady Marianne Williamson (really, has Pussygrabber not called her that yet in one of his tweets?**) could function at all as president.

I wholly disagree.

To me, an effective leader starts with an effective, sane — and yes, loving — worldview and vision. Lacking that, true leadership is impossible. (See: “President” Pussygrabber.)

The president sets the tone and provides the broad strokes of how the nation should proceed. It’s up to the rest of us who have voted for this tone and these broad strokes (except, of course, in cases where the loser of the popular vote actually becomes “president”), to help bring this vision to fruition.

If the president is wise, he or she will surround him- or herself with bright, eminently qualified advisers (entirely unlike “Pussygrabber’s” ever-changing Cabinet of grifters), and the nation’s business not only will get done, but the nation will improve and move forward, and the world will be better for it.

After the likes of George W. Bush and Pussygrabber (both who lost the popular vote and thus who never should have sat behind the big desk in the Oval Office), it’s easy to think that we never could have an enlightened president again, but yes, we can. It’s up to us.

One thing not to do is to fall into the we-can’t-do-that camp. As Elizabeth Warren quite correctly said of the center-right sellouts badgering her and her fellow progressive Bernie Sanders in last night’s Democratic presidential debate, “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”

So you are running for president but have announced that you have put up the white flag before the fight has even begun — and I’m supposed to fucking trust you to fight for me? Um, yeah, fuck you.

Those who tell us that we can’t do anything at least are revealing themselves to us, which I suppose is nice. They’re telling us, loudly and clearly, that they only want the colossal ego trip of being president, but that they have no desire to truly fight for the people. (Hi, Barack! Hi, Hillary! Hi, Joe!)

My No. 1 choice for president remains Bernie Sanders. The fact that his progressive message doesn’t change, unlike that of the likes of Billary Clinton and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (and yes, also Pete Buttigieg), who change their positions as they deem politically necessary, indicates to me that as president Bernie would fight to realize his vision, which is based upon rock, not upon shifting sands.

And that Bernie has been in D.C. since the early 1990s is a boon, I think. If you want the top job in D.C., it helps to actually know D.C. (Hi, Pussygrabber!)

My No. 2 choice for president remains Elizabeth Warren. I perpetually cringed at the idea of Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton being our first female president, but a President Warren would make us proud.

And my No. 3 choice is, yes, Marianne Williamson. She is a rare case of a D.C. outsider actually being good for D.C. (Hi again, Pussygrabber!)

Williamson starts with strong leadership qualities and with a sane — and yes, loving — vision. The rest can be built on top of that.

I’m not naive about Williamson’s chances of being even No. 2 on the 2020 Democratic Party presidential ticket, but her voice in the presidential debates and in the national discussion is an important one, and therefore I hope that her presidential campaign continues.

You can help that happen by giving her even a small donation here.

P.S. I am aware of things that Williamson has stated over the past many years that range from unscientific to fairly legitimately kooky-sounding. That said, it seems to me that she often speaks metaphorically, not always literally, and if she stated something many years ago, might she not have changed her mind on that since?

And while science is incredibly important, if Western scientific advancements were the be-all and end-all, then why are so many Westerners still so fucking miserable? Is something in the Western worldview and mindset not lacking?

Also, when Williamson is discussed, sexism, misogyny and patriarchy so often rear their ugly heads. We’re not allowed to talk about love, feelings, interconnectedness, relationships, etc. — especially if we are running for president! I mean, those are girly things!

I’d argue that feminism, the yin of things, not only is at least half of the picture — yet so often we are to ignore it altogether — but I’d argue that ultimately it is indeed, as they say, the better half.

*As comedian Ramy Youssef hilariously notes in his HBO stand-up special “Feelings,” some people have posited that we can’t have a female president because of what she might yet do when she is on her period, yet with Pussygrabber, “we elected a period.”

Well, Pussygrabber wasn’t elected, of course, but, indeed, he is a period, a never-ending period.

**If Pussygrabber hasn’t savaged Williamson via Twitter yet (I don’t know, since I don’t follow anyone on Twitter, and certainly wouldn’t follow him if I did), it would be only because he hasn’t gotten to it yet and/or because he doesn’t perceive her to pose any sort of threat to his “re”-“election.”

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Rampant identity politics ensures that we don’t solve our worst problems

Associated Press photo

“President” Pussygrabber — who recently tweeted that the four members of “the squad” “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” when only one of them was born abroad (is Pussygrabber calling the United States’ government “a complete and total catastrophe?”) — is succeeding in distracting us plebs with his awful fiddling while he burns the empire down.

“With a tweeted attack on four minority congresswomen this week, President Trump made clear that his reelection campaign will feature the same explosive mix of white grievance and anti-immigrant nativism that helped elect him,” wrote The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer in an analysis/commentary.

He continued: “Trump’s combustible formula of white identity politics already has reshaped the Republican Party, sidelining, silencing or converting nearly anyone who dares to challenge the racial insensitivity of his utterances. It also has pushed Democratic presidential candidates sharply to the left on issues such as immigration and civil rights, as they respond to the liberal backlash against him. …”

I won’t get into a discussion of which came first, the chicken or the egg — or, perhaps more accurately, of who started it — and I won’t assert that Democrats and others who don’t identify as Repugnicans (or even self-identified Repugnicans) simply should ignore the racism, xenophobia, misogyny and patriarchy, homophobia, etc., etc., of the right.

But I will point out that while we commoners are bogged down fighting over “President” Pussygrabber’s latest incendiary, divisive tweet, our largest problems — such as runaway climate change and insane, unsustainable income inequality — are only getting even larger.

I abhor the “both sides are equally guilty” “argument.” Both sides are not equally guilty, but, again, we are mired in playground-level fights while our world (sometimes literally) burns around us.

One thing that both sides (both party establishments, anyway) could be accused of is stoking conflict in areas that allow our corporate overlords to continue to rob us blind while we’re distracted.

Our corporate overlords for the most part don’t mind if we, the people-peons, are bickering over such matters as abortion, guns, gays, religion and race, since those fights at least keep us distracted from what the corporations are doing to us: despoiling our planet; robbing us of the wealth that rightfully is ours, not theirs; and even literally killing us, such as through making medical care and other necessities (food, shelter, etc.) too expensive and thus unobtainable for us and by poisoning our environment in their insatiable quest for ever-increasing profits, causing such maladies as cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

If you want to know whether or not a Democrat is a true progressive, look to see whether or not he or she directly attacks corporations. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren do — routinely. Kamala Harris and Joe Biden don’t. Like our Repugnican friends, the likes of Biden and Harris (and yes, even button-nosed Boy Scout Pete Buttigieg) would rather have us focus on things that our corporate overlords don’t find threatening to their continued death grip on us.

(Issues that threaten rampant corporate profiteering, of course, include doing something substantive about climate change, ensuring that all who need medical care can get it — and that they won’t go bankrupt if they can’t afford it — ensuring quality, affordable housing, and ensuring that good students can get a low-cost to even free higher education without being wage slaves to student loan sharks their entire adult lives.)

It’s a simple litmus test: Does this “Democrat” fight for the people or for the corporations? Does this “Democrat” encourage us to fight for better lives — or only lecture on us what we “can’t” do, lecturing us to be “realistic,” since that’s what their corporate sugar daddies much prefer?

Look at who gives this candidate money and how much money. How does this candidate campaign? Does he or she wish to attract small, individual donors — or big corporate donors? How much does this candidate talk about corporate abuses? How much does this candidate instead talk about identity politics, which probably is the No. 1 distraction from our largest, most threatening problems?

It’s easy to see whom a candidate serves and if elected would serve. Just open your eyes and look at his or her record and at what he or she is doing and saying right now.

Pete Buttigieg is a great example. Apparently I’m just supposed to cream my jeans because he’s a gay white man like I am. This apparently is supposed to be enough for me as a voter.

But I’m quite put off by Buttigieg’s centrist, pro-corporate stances; he fails my most critical litmus tests. For instance, CNN reported recently:

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg weighed in on his opponents’ plans to implement “Medicare for All” and free college tuition, calling them “questionable on their merits” and “pretty far out from where Americans are.”

“I do think that we should be realistic about what’s going to work. And just flipping a switch and saying we’re instantly going to have everybody on Medicare just like that — isn’t realistic,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said in an interview with CNN’s David Axelrod. …

You’ve lost me, Pete — probably for good.

No one ever fucking said anything about “just flipping a switch” and magically making something stupendous happen. (Gee, is that what a Rhodes scholar does? “Beats” you in a debate by asserting that you asserted something that you never fucking asserted?)

But if you, as a leader, don’t even bother to set an ambitious goal, you’ll never fucking get us anywhere near there; you’ll have all of us remain mired in the daily slog that benefits only our corporate overlords whom Buttigieg and his ilk aim to plea$e.

We actual progressives who (pretty much by definition…) aren’t from Hickville, Indiana, don’t need punk-ass brainiac Mayor Pete lecturing us on being “realistic.” Also, despite Petey’s claim that he knows what Americans want and don’t want, a clear majority of polls show that a clear majority of Americans support universal health care, with polls about free college and/or university tuition being more mixed.

(I’d argue that universal health care is much more popular because it’s much more life-and-death than is higher education, and also, those who never intend to attend college because they’ve already done so or because they’re not big on higher education [or for whatever reason or reasons] probably don’t support low-cost or free college or university tuition because they don’t see that they’d ever benefit from it. You never know, however, when you might be in dire need of medical care.)

One of the many problems that I’ve had with the Clintons is that their political incubator was Arkansas, for fuck’s sake, and so they — the Clintons and the Clintonian “Democrats” — have sought to force-feed us only what can succeed for Democratic politicos in such places as Arkansas.

Indiana is no more than a notch better than Arkansas. These red-state “Democrats” sorely need to stop telling us actual Democrats, us true progressives, that we need to be ineffectual cowards and corporate whores like they are.

Just as I won’t vote for Pete Buttigieg because he’s not a progressive and because a Buttigieg presidency very apparently only would continue the status quo — and because smashing the status quo is far more important than is our shared race and our shared sexual orientation — voting for Kamala Harris primarily or even solely because she’s black (and/or because she is a woman) would be a mistake.

Black Americans would be able to point to the nation’s second black and first black female president, but with President Harris that would be all that they would get, just as their lot barely budged, if it budged at all, under the centrist, pro-status-quo, pro-corporate Obama. And with Harris those of us who aren’t black would get our first female president, but ditto: that would be all that we would get.

All of that said, “President” Pussygrabber is a racist. There is nothing to argue about. I might say that his recent comments about “the squad”proclaiming via the juvenile’s platform of Twitter that these four women elected to Congress in November 2018, “who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” (um, three of them were born in the United States) should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” — technically are more xenophobic and nationalist than they technically are racist, but no one with two brain cells to rub together denies that Pussygrabber is a white supremacist.*

I mean, first and foremost, Pussygrabber, who acts like he’s a bad-ass but who has the fragile ego of a spoiled little girl, expects us to bow down to him like the unelected, illegitimate little orange Caligula that he is, and while he clearly would prefer blindly obedient followers of the Northern European persuasion than of any other kind, he’d give you some degree of acceptance if you just kissed his ring like a “good” American “subject” “should.”

Why are the Repugnicans so silent about Pussygrabber being such a jaw-droppingly appallingly shitty “president”? Aside from fearing that the vengeful little cunt might come after them next, those who are Repugnican because they’re filthy rich love the fact that under Pussygrabber they’re getting even richer while the rest of us are getting only poorer. They have a great gig and they don’t intend to blow it.

And, of course, non-rich Repugnicans respond well to Pussygrabber’s fascist words and deeds — including his racism, white supremacism and nationalism and xenophobia — because they’re fucking fascists, too.

There aren’t enough of the rich and super-rich to keep a political party afloat, so the Repugnican Party has to feed enough red meat to these modern-day Nazi Germans who are so fucktarded that they don’t even know how to fucking vote in their own fucking best interests. History repeats itself.

But, again, if we get caught in the weeds, dissecting and talking incessantly about “President” Pussygrabber’s latest offensive tweet — I find it mind-blowing that after all that he has said and done and neglected to say and do as “president,” the “Democrats” in the U.S. House of Representatives thus far have talked seriously only about passing a resolution denouncing Pussygrabber’s latest “racist” tweet (yet another example of how the Democratic Party establishment wants us commoners to be in the grip of identity politics, just like the Repugnican Party establishment does, so that we don’t rise up and overthrow our corporate overlords) — the outcome will be predictable: a continued worsening of the United States of America, which is fast becoming the shithole to which Pussygrabber says others should return.

P.S. Full disclosure: I support the members of “the squad,” whom I see as an injection of fresh blood into our calcified political system, which sorely needs the youth, vision, fresher perspective and diversity that “the squad” gives it. It’s not a democracy if it’s not representative of all of the people, and the members of “the squad” are more representative of the people than are the plethora of white men whom we see in D.C.

I have given Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib donations, and just gave Ayanna Pressley a donation. (I hadn’t given her one before because news coverage of her had been much less than for the other three; of the four, I’d say that Ocasio-Cortez and Omar have been the most visible [and thus the most excoriated by the neo-Nazis].)

The intent in attacking “the squad,” of course, is to try to push them out of office via harassment and intimidation — and to dissuade like-minded others from even thinking about running for office. How dare someone go to D.C. with the idea of disempowering the powers that be and empowering the powerless?

Clearly “the squad” is doing something right, or the neo-Nazis wouldn’t be reacting to them like vampires after you’ve just opened the drapes during the daytime.

*It is telling, of course, that if you are not white (of Northern European descent) and are not on his team, Pussygrabber would claim that you came here from another country even though you were fucking born on U.S. soil.

This demonstrates not only Pussygrabber’s total disregard for facts and truth, his declination to even bother to research someone’s biography before he, as “president,” viciously attacks him or her on his little instant-social-media national platform like the little mean girl that he is, but it demonstrates Pussygrabber’s mindset, which reminds me of that of a drunken, brain-damaged monkey: clearly, Pussygrabber’s own personal definition of an “American” is, first and foremost, white, and second, someone who is in total agreement with his unacceptable bullshit.

My definition of an “American” is anyone who has U.S. citizenship, regardless of how he or she (OK, or “they”) obtained it, via birth or via naturalization. My definition of “American” does not make race or national origin — or even one’s political orientation — a factor at all.

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The 2020 Democratic race for president is tightening but still open

Image result for kamala harris bernie sanders joe biden elizabeth warren

These are the only 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates who routinely poll nationwide in the double digits, and methinks that one of them most likely is to be the nominee.

“When people ask me who I think is going to win the [2020] Democratic [presidential] nomination, I shrug my shoulders and say, ‘I have no freaking idea,'” prognosticator-god Nate Silver posted yesterday. He continued:

“It’s worth keeping in mind that in a field of 20-something candidates with no runaway front-runner, all of the candidates are fairly heavy underdogs. Joe Biden is probably going to lose. Kamala Harris is probably going to lose. Elizabeth Warren is probably going to lose. Bernie Sanders is probably going to lose. And so forth.”

Indeed, the race is much more open than many (most of them corporate whores, of course) would have us believe. RealClear Politics’ aggregation of recent nationwide polls puts Biden at No. 1, with 26.8 percent, puts both Bernie and Warren at 15.2 percent, and puts Kamala Harris at 15 percent, so we have a fairly clear front-runner (if not a “runaway” front-runner), and three other candidates pretty much tied for second place.

The aggregation of polls by 270 to Win shows similar results: Biden at 25.8 percent, Bernie at 15.8 percent, Warren at 15.6 percent and Harris at 15.2 percent.

Again, that’s Biden at No. 1 and Bernie, Warren and Harris all within a percentage point of being No. 2.

That’s not very sexy, so what we’re seeing is the results of even just one poll being reported as “evidence” of a new, permanent change in the race (usually a change that threatens to topple Bernie, of course).

It takes several polls over some time to show a real change in a race, not just one poll.

Yes, Kamala Harris got her wholly planned and orchestrated polling bounce by white-shaming Joe Biden in last month’s debate — and when you peel back the thin layers, that’s what it was: simple, craven identity politics — “I’m black and you’re not; I’m good because I’m a victim and being a victim is good, and you’re not a victim, so you’re not good” — but will Harris’ bounce last? We’ll see.

(Seriously, though, Harris is largely substance-free, and apparently expects to fairly coast on being a female Obama. I’m not sure which is more depressing: that this is her campaign tactic in the first place or that it actually might work because voter-shamingbased upon how one was born — apparently is a thing now in a Democratic Party that is enthralled by craven identity politicians.)

There is talk of “lanes” within the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race, and it seems to me that there are two broad lanes: The vote-for-me-because-I’m-not-a-white-man or the vote-for-me-because-I-have-been-associated-closely-with-Obama lane, most notably occupied, of course, by Harris and by Biden.

If Biden and Harris split the black vote between the two of them, that’s fine by me. (I was hoping that Cory Booker would help split it even more, but he can’t average even a full 2 percent in the nationwide polls.)

The other lane is the progressive (or actually Democratic) lane, most notably occupied of course, by Bernie Sanders and by Elizabeth Warren. They rely on progressive ideas rather than on lazy identity politics, whereas Biden and Harris rely on lazy identity politics and on the perpetuation of the milquetoast, status-quo-continuing (and thus, pro-corporate and pro-powers-that-be) Repugnican-Lite bullshit that has been crammed down our throats as “Democratic Party” politics at least since the Bill Clinton era.

I think it’s safe to say that one of the current top four — Biden, Bernie, Warren or Harris — is going to be the nominee, although I think that Harris, being substance-free and being so unknown and inexperienced (she hasn’t been in the U.S. Senate for even three years now), is the least likely of the four to win the nomination (although she might be the one most likely to get the veep spot, if she’ll deign to accept it).

Warren could be the nominee if she satisfies enough camps: mainly, the progressive camp, the camp that really wants our first female president, and the party-hack camp (which sees Warren’s decision not to run against Billary in 2016 as a good thing, not as cowardly and politically craven, as I always have seen it).

If Biden and Harris damage each other enough and the people truly find that they are sick of Bernie (his having been so consistent in word and deed for decades is so boring, you see) and want to give another woman another chance at the White House, then yes, Warren could win the nomination.

I’d say that if Warren weren’t in it, Bernie probably would be at No. 1 right now, but Warren is in it and has the right to be in it.

But if Nate Silver doesn’t know who the nominee will be and I don’t know, how could you?

Yet this doesn’t stop hatefully wishful thinking, such as demonstrably false reports that Bernie is dead in the water, even though he’s still in second place (even if he’s fairly tied for second place). Of course Bernie still has a chance at the nomination, and those gleefully reporting his political death don’t make it true merely by falsely proclaiming it. (Indeed, when these are “news stories” or “analyses,” these are instances of the biased writer trying to make what he or she wants to be true to become true.)

At this point, those Democratic presidential candidates who probably should pack it in are those who can’t sustain even 5 percentage points in the nationwide polls. Right now Pete Buttigieg is coming in at fifth place, around 5 percent or 6 percent, and I’d be shocked if he were to win the nomination, given that he’s about 10 percentage points behind Biden, Bernie, Warren and Harris.

Buttigieg only has been a mayor and isn’t all that well-known, and while his Obama-like attempt to be all things to all people impresses some, I think it spooks others, such as myself, who want a candidate who clearly and strongly states progressive principles — none of this gauzy “hope” and “change” bullshit. We have been there and done that.

Not all of us voters are stupid; Obama used “hope” and “change” to cover up his centrism and noncommitalism, and at the time he was a bright and shiny new toy, but from having been punk’d royally by Obama, we, the people, have some immunity now to The Obama Effect.

(I’d say that at least four presidential candidates have tried to use The Obama Effect to some degree this cycle: Harris, Biden, Cory Booker and Buttigieg. I’d say that it’s not that effective for them.)

Aside from “lanes,” there is talk of “tiers,” and Nate Silver, in the same aforementioned piece, put Bernie Sanders in “tier 2a.” He put Biden and Harris in “tier 1a,” Warren in “tier 1b,” Sanders in “tier 2a” and Buttigieg in “tier 2b.”

Wow. With Bernie still polling as well as Harris and Warren, why demote him to “tier 2a” already? Methinks that even Nate Silver is not immune to groupthink and to the “wisdom” of the dogpile.

I’d say that if you consistently are polling nationwide in the double digits — only four candidate are — then you belong in the first tier.

If you are polling between 5 percentage points and 9 percentage points, I’d say you’re in the second tier. Below 5 percentage points, I’d put you in the third tier. (And frankly, if you are in the third tier as I define it, again, I wish that you’d drop out already, but, again, I recognize that it’s up to the quixotic candidate, not to me, as to when to finally call it quits.)

So we’ll see how things unravel over the coming weeks. Will Harris ultimately be able to pull anything other than the race card from her bag of tricks? Will Harris and Biden continue to take shots at each other, as I hope? Will Warren be able to maintain her double-digit status, which took her a while to achieve? (Note that Buttigieg reached double-digit status but then fell back down again.)

Are the voters really through with Bernie? And even if many of them are, might he at long last be the last one still standing?

Time will tell.

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