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‘President’-‘elect’ Pussygrabber is illegitimate and should be boycotted

Updated below (on Wednesday, January 18, 2017)

It speaks volumes about the Repugnican (Tea) Party that since (but not including) 1988, its presidential candidate won the popular vote only one time (in 2004). This is a weak political party that should have been polished off long ago, and it still exists only because of the ineptitude and the cowardice of the Democrats. Thankfully, there is a good chance that Putin puppet “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber finally will do the job that the Democrats never did: destroy the Repugnican Party as we know it.

“The number of Democratic members of Congress saying they will boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday has increased to 26,” the BBC reports today, the highest count that I’ve seen thus far, but the BBC doesn’t list them all. (Yahoo! News apparently lists all or most of the boycotters here.)

The boycott apparently was jump-started* by Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ correct pronouncement this past week that Donald J. Trump is an illegitimate president (which of course drew the very predictable, very immature El Trumpo’s return fire on the very presidential platform that is Twitter).

Rep. Lewis cited Russia’s having tried to influence the presidential election as the source of Pussygrabber’s illegitimacy, but to that I would add the fact that Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, making him, in that sense, even more illegitimate than was “President” George W. Bush, who in 2000 lost the popular vote by almost 544,000 votes.

Of course the Repugnican Teatards aren’t at all concerned that Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 million, aren’t concerned that the loser “won.” They weren’t concerned when this happened in 2000, either, because the Repugnicans are fascists, and fascists never care whether or not they actually win the most votes; they care only about taking power, with or without the consent of the majority of the American people.

This is why I also call these fascists traitors. They aren’t individuals who act in good faith with whom I simply disagree on politics, ethics and morality; they are actively anti-democratic and as such they are the enemy to all of us who actually value democracy, who believe that merely paying lip service to democracy isn’t nearly enough.

To attend “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s inauguration ceremony on Friday is to give him, at least tacitly, legitimacy that he does not have, and to give the dint of legitimacy to an unelected, treasonous fascist like Pussygrabber is to work against the nation’s best interests, whether one intends to do so or not.

(Those who argue that they are attending the inauguration ceremony in order to honor the office of the presidency rather than to endorse, by their presence, the specific individual who is taking over the Oval Office on Friday are trying to have it both ways — but they cannot. Their presence indeed will give Der Fuhrer Trump the appearance of legitimacy that he does not have and indeed will serve only to further normalize the infantilism, fascism and treason that are El Trumpo’s most prominent traits.)

To boycott All Things Pussygrabber isn’t to be a sore loser, since Pussygrabber didn’t actually win, but actually lost the election. To boycott Der Fuhrer Trump, then, is to be a sore winner.

Just as I never considered George W. Bush to be the legitimate president of the United States of America, I never will consider Donald J. Trump to be the legitimate president.

If the majority of the American voters had actually selected these inept fascists, perhaps I could get over it, but both inept fascists lost the popular vote and both had significant, extra-democratic help from others.

Bush Jr. had help from his brother Jeb!, who was then governor of the pivotal Electoral College state of Florida that Bush Jr. “won” also with the help of then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who just coinky-dinkily also had been on the committee to see Bush Jr. elected in Florida (no conflict of interest there!).

And, of course, the coup de grâce was when the “justices” of the U.S. Supreme Court who had been appointed by Repugnican presidents voted to stop the recount in Florida — by so doing to install Bush Jr. into the White House, the wishes of the majority of the American voters be damned.

All of this brazen corruption and these extra-democratic political machinations, yet we commoners were expected to accept George W. Bush as the legitimate president of the United States of America.

Ditto for Donald J. Trump, even when it’s evident that probably for the first time in our nation’s history, another nation — and historically (and presently) an enemy nation — probably was instrumental in helping their chosen Manchurian candidate “win.”

This is treason, and those who cooperate with “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber in any way are complicit in this treason.

No true patriot could support Donald J. Trump in any way, even by “just” attending his inauguration.

P.S. I have e-mailed my two California U.S. senators and my U.S. representative and asked all of them to boycott Friday’s inauguration ceremony. I encourage you to do the same, even if you think there’s no way in hell that any of your representatives to D.C. will do so.

While it’s most likely that none of my three D.C. representatives will boycott the inauguration, the most likely to do so, it seems to me, is the newly minted Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who has been pretty good on civil rights. (Harris already has said that she will vote against Alabama U.S. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for U.S. attorney general.)

My other U.S. senator, “Democrat” Dianne Feinstein, is fairly worthless, and I expect little to nothing from her.

My U.S representative isn’t much better than is Feinstein, and I’d be shocked if she were to boycott, because that would be way too bold and courageous for her, as it would be for Feinstein.

I am glad and proud to see, however, that several U.S. representatives from California are joining the boycott.

Update (Monday, January 16, 2017, 9:20 p.m. PST): Slate.com now reports that 35 members of Congress won’t attend the inauguration on Friday, and lists them all.

I am pleased to see that new to the growing list of boycotters is Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, whom I still support for the new chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Still no U.S. senator has said that she or he won’t attend the inauguration, and while 11 U.S. representatives on Slate.com’s list of 35 boycotters are from my home state of California, where Billary Clinton on November 8 beat Pussygrabber by about two to one, my U.S. representative (Doris Matsui) isn’t on Slate.com’s list….

Update (Wednesday, January 18, 2017): Now more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are boycotting Friday’s inauguration ceremony. No U.S. senator thus far has had the cajones to do the right thing and boycott. (The senators are D.C. elites, you see.)

Speaking of D.C. elites, as was entirely predictable, my lame U.S. representative, “Democrat” Doris Matsui, has chosen retaining her status as a D.C. elite over doing the right thing, and of course she will attend the inauguration.

“I love my country,” Matsui said lamely, like a junior high school student. “And our country is so important and critical in the world. I thought that my personal feelings about Trump should not prevent me from showing support for our democracy.”

No, she’s just showing up to show her support for election theft, treason and fascism. Because she loves her country.
(“It’s a serious occasion, the peaceful transference of power,” Matsui said of the inauguration ceremony, as though she were teaching civics to kindergarteners. “The rest of the world is watching, too. I think it’s important for us to look as unified as we can because we have to look forward.”
Just: Wow. “Looking” “unified” is the most important consideration here? No, cooperating with fascism is cooperating with fascism. This is why the “Democrats” lose: they continually sell out their base to the right in the name of high-mindedness while the Repugnican Tea Party never returns that favor. “Opposition party” isn’t in the DINOs’ vocabulary.

Speaking of which, Pussygrabber spokesnake Sean Spicer, like Matsui, also calls the inauguration ceremony a “peaceful transfer of power,” because we Americans all must be peaceful, you see, even though yet another presidential election has just been stolen. Peacefulness and the appearance of unity, you see, are far more important than are fair elections in which the winners of the most votes actually take office and in which enemy foreign nations don’t interfere.)

I didn’t vote for Matsui in November because of her blindly obedient, elitist support for her fellow DINO Billary Clinton, who obviously was the wrong presidential candidate to put forth in 2016, and I don’t see myself casting a vote for the Trump-loving, simple-minded, D.C. elitist, sellout Matsui ever again.
Update (Wednesday, January 18, 2017): Good Morning America now puts the count of boycotting U.S. representatives at a full 60 and lists them all. (Of course no Repugnican Tea Party U.S. representative dares to boycott Der Fuhrer Donald’s installation.)
There are 194 Democrats in the House of Representatives, so 60 of them boycotting means that 31 percent of the House Dems are boycotting. And 60 representatives is 14 percent of the full House of Representatives, which has 435 members in all.
*The BBC reports that the first member of U.S. Congress to announce his or her boycott of Pussygrabber’s inauguration was Illinois U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, last month, but apparently the boycott didn’t catch fire until Rep. Lewis announced that he also would boycott.

Kudos to Rep. Gutierrez for having gone first in doing the right thing! I wish that he were my U.S. representative!

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Trump, the Muscovite Candidate, probably won’t last very long

Der Fuhrer Donald Trump actually isn’t president of the United States of America until and unless the members of the Electoral College vote him in on December 19, but even if he survives that test, Trump, the Muscovite Candidate who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, will be a one-term “president” at best.

I haven’t written all that much about Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and I hope that some haven’t taken that as any sort of admiration of or acceptance of him on my part.

It’s that The Donald is so fucking bizarre, such an anomaly, such a “presidential” fucking freak, that it’s difficult for me to even know where to begin in discussing him.

Let’s see: During the campaign he routinely uncreatively called Billary Clinton “corrupt Hillary” yet he recently settled his Trump University fraud lawsuit for $25 million, to name just one, recent instance of his own mega-corruption.

Another inconvenient, unflattering fact is that “corrupt Hillary” thus far leads Der Fuhrer Trump by 2.8 million votes in the popular vote.

Despite Trump’s wholly unsubstantiated — and treasonous — bold-faced lie that “millions” of people voted illegally for Billary, the fact remains that Trump lost the election by millions of votes; he did not earn the popular vote of the American people, and therefore he is an illegitimate president-“elect,” in my eyes.

Trump’s presidential illegitimacy is different than was George W. Bush’s — and here I never have written “President Bush” but only “‘President’ Bush,” because Bush always was and always will be a quite illegitimate president. (He lost the popular vote in 2000 by more than a half-million votes and was installed in the White House by his then-Florida-governor brother Jeb!, by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and by the five Repugnican members of the U.S. Supreme Court who stopped the recount in Florida, the pivotal state for Gee Dubya that his brother very conveniently governed, and who thus, with the other conspirators, decided the presidential election for us commoners.)

In that thus far he has lost the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than Gee Dubya did — if we think that it’s at all important that in a democracy the candidate who actually earns the highest number of votes of the people actually is the one who takes office — Trump is even more illegitimate than George W. Bush was, but Bush’s illegitimacy was worsened with the blatantly partisan — and treasonously anti-democratic — involvement of his brother, Florida elections chief Katherine Harris and the wingnutty members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

That said, it still has yet to be determined exhaustively how and how much Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Trump rather than Billary into the big chair in the Oval Office. Arguably, Trump’s having had the help of a foreign government to win the White House is even more treasonous than anything that Team Bush ever did to steal the presidency.

The Washington Post has been all over Trump’s ties to Moscow, with recent news stories such as these:

A rather clear pattern has emerged, and it’s pretty fucking funny (in a sick and fucking twisted way, not in a humorous way) that the American right wing, which for decades was opposed to the “evil empire,” very apparently has as its “president” a treasonous piece of shit who has colluded with that “evil empire” in order to win the presidency — with the “evil empire’s” full expectation, of course, that in return, “President” Trump will do its bidding (in Syria and elsewhere).

True, Trump’s die-hard, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging supporters don’t care even if he’s in bed with Vladimir Putin, perhaps even literally, but these self-defeating dipshits are only a minority of Americans. The majority of us Americans — not just Democrats and Democratic leaners, but also old-school, non-Trumpist Repugicans, too, as well as most so-called independents — take a U.S. “president”-“elect” colluding with a foreign government very, very seriously.

Indeed, The Angel of Political Death looms over “President”-“elect” Donald Trump, its scythe at the ready for swift use at any moment.

If he makes it that far, I don’t see Trump finishing even one term, especially once his ties to Russia are fully investigated and publicized. (Unfortunately, however, even for such blatant treason, billionaires only very rarely are ever put behind bars in our two-tiered “justice” system; only we commoners ever are to be punished, even for petty fucking crimes.)

Even if it weren’t for Russia, our Muscovite Candidate always has done whatever the fuck he pleases — clearly, he’s inside of that billionaire’s gilded bubble from which only a prison cell (perhaps) can release him* — and if it wasn’t his collusion with Russia, it always was going to be something else, some other act of corruption and/or treason, that was going to make his time in the White House short.

There is a reason that Donald J. Trump is only the third person “elected” to the presidency who had not first been at least a governor of a state, U.S. vice president, a U.S. senator, a U.S. representative or an Army general. (Before Trump, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover were the only exceptions to that list of five previous jobs that I see. Uncoincidentally, methinks, both Taft and Hoover were one-termers…)

That reason that Trump is the first to have broken these historical norms for the presidency during my lifetime (Lyndon B. Johnson was president when I was born) is that he is uniquely unqualified for the presidency, and the American system more or less has been set up to prevent such an unqualified person from ascending to the White House — which is probably why Trump apparently had an awful lot of help from Russia to “win.”

I’m with Michael Moore on this; it’s possible that Trump won’t even be sworn in next month, perhaps especially with the apparently substantiated-enough allegations that he’s a Muscovite Candidate** swirling about him.

That taint of treason might, just might, be enough to induce the members of the Electoral College to do the right thing on December 19, when they meet for the official election of the next president.***

If not, I expect Trump to hang himself with his gilded rope. If he makes it to Inauguration Day 2017, I don’t see him making it to Inauguration Day 2021.

P.S. Michael Moore, back in July, predicted that Trump would win the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In an e-mail to his supporters dated July 23 (I still have this e-mail), he wrote (this is a copy and paste from that e-mail, with only slight edits for style and correctness):

… Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust-Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the Rust Belt of the upper Great Lakes — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states -– but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat).

In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) than the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done?

Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.

When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35 percent tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States.

It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England — broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the middle class. Angry, embittered working (and non-working) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room.

What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. …

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four Rust-Belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November. …

Prescient.

But even if Trump did win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin fairly and squarely — but the fact that Trump & Co. have sued to prevent recounts and any other audits in the Rust-Belt states that they’re supposedly so certain that they won makes me have to wonder if Russia indeed was involved in the presidential election, quite intimately — Trump still lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, which is the largest gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote in U.S. history.

That indeed is politically damaging, which is why Trump lied that “millions” of votes were cast illegally for Billary Clinton.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton. I supported Bernie Sanders, the actual Democrat in the Democratic Party presidential primary, and for president I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein (whose recounts of three states I have supported wholeheartedly, even though I don’t think they’re going to go anywhere).

Billary Clinton indeed is corrupt, but her corruption pales by comparison to Trump’s, whose ties to Russia very much appear to have crossed the line from garden-variety political corruption into treason territory.

Everything with Trump leads back to Russia, including his recent twofer pick of Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive Rex Tillerson for U.S. secretary of state — a twofer because it’s yet another corporate weasel guarding the hen house and because Tillerson’s breath, like Trump’s, smells like Vladimir Putin’s penis.

*That’s yet another example of Trump’s projection onto Billary Clinton: not only is she “corrupt” but he isn’t, to hear him tell it, but she belongs in a prison cell but he doesn’t.

Indeed, Trump very apparently believes, in typical wingnut fashion, that if he simply accuses others of his own brand of wrongdoing, then that alone magically lets him off the hook.

**For anyone who doesn’t get the reference — shut the fuck up, because there will be some who don’t get it — I’ve morphed Manchurian Candidate (with this definition of that term in mind) into “Muscovite Candidate,” as “Muscovite” is what you call someone from Moscow.

***As Wikipedia notes (links are Wikipedia’s):

The United States presidential election is the indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia cast ballots for members of the Electoral College, known as electors.

These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, in their respective state capitals for president and vice president of the United States. Each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress, while Washington, D.C., casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, which is three.

Once the voting for the presidential election has concluded and all the votes for each state have been accounted for, the electors are then advised as to what candidate won the majority in their state. The electors of that state then will cast the vote of that candidate to represent the people of their regions’ majority decision.

However, “Twenty-one states do not have provisions that are fairly specific in directing the electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of their party.” This means that an elector could possibly vote against the majority decision of the state due to there being no law that binds electors otherwise in those states.

In modern times, almost all electors vote for a particular presidential candidate that their states’ majority decided upon; thus, the results of the election can generally be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote.

The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president or vice president (currently, at least 270 out of a total of 538) is then projected to be elected to that office.

If no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the president; if no candidate receives an absolute majority for vice president, the senate chooses the vice president. …

I remain of the strong opinion that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped altogether. There is no compelling reason not to go with the popular vote alone, especially since we call ourselves a democracy, and since the Electoral College has failed us twice in my lifetime of not even 50 years, awarding the White House to the candidate who fucking lost the popular vote.

(Well, the Electoral College has yet to confirm a president for January 2017, and while it’s possible that the Electoral College on December 19 will not pick Trump, it strikes me as an outside chance that the Electoral College will deny Trump the victory. Most people tend to fall in line rather than do the right thing, even if the right thing is staring them right in the face.)

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Trump is toast

As an American politician or political candidate you can get away with saying all manner of vile, oppressive, even dangerous things in a “nice,” “polite” way, but a sex scandal always can bring you down like a ton of bricks in the hypocritically Victorian U.S. of A. Yesterday, The Washington Post released a video of Donald Trump in 2005 braggadociously reporting that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to “fuck” a married woman although at the time he already was married to his third wife, Melania. Trump, in Yoda-like fashion, also advised that with women whom you want to fuck, if “you’re a star,” you simply “Grab them by the pussy.”

We all already knew that Der Fuhrer Donald Trump is boorish, but the recording of him proclaiming in 2005 that “when you’re a star, they [(attractive) women] let you do … anything,” such as “Grab them by the pussy” just makes that knowledge so real. (The audio-video recording of Trump’s remarks about “do[ing] anything” to women whom you desire “when you’re a star” is here.)

This very most likely is the end of Trump’s campaign for president (although of course he has proclaimed that he won’t drop out; only someone who possesses a modicum of shame would do that).

I generally don’t believe in the public release of private remarks, but I don’t know that you really can call this case an invasion of privacy. I mean, Trump was openly talking to a TV show host and his remarks were picked up by a hot microphone. He wasn’t chatting at home or talking on the telephone.

And just as we needed to know about Clarence Thomas’ character before he incredibly stupidly was put on the U.S. Supreme Court, we need to know about Trump’s before he incredibly stupidly is put in the Oval Office.

Trump already was on a downward trajectory anyway after his shitty first presidential debate performance and the news that he apparently hasn’t paid federal income taxes in many years — fivethirtyeight.com right now puts his chances of winning the White House at only only 18.6 percent to Billary Clinton’s 81.4 percent, and I expect his chances to continue to dwindle — but it’s really over for him now.

“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Repugnican National Committee head Reince Preibus was forced to declare just a month and a day before the presidential election, and 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Mittens Romney similarly proclaimed, “Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.”

Pretty Boy Paul Ryan, Mittens’ running mate in 2012 and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, called the recording “sickening” and stated, “I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

In his own “defense,” Trump proclaimed, “This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

Wow.

“Locker-room banter,” yes, indeed, but Trump wants to be president of the United States of America, and this banter didn’t stay inside of the locker room. And while 2005 was a bit over a decade ago, Trump is 70 years old now, so he was plenty old enough to know better in 2005. His claim that today he is a changed man is incredible; he didn’t make these remarks when he was in his teens or 20s.

I’m sure that we’ve had plenty of lechers in the White House, but, again, we haven’t heard recordings of their lecherous words; their lechery has remained, for the most part, an abstraction.

And when Trump tries to bring in Bill Clinton — who no doubt indeed was one of the former lechers in the White House, replete with semen-stained intern’s dress and all —  Trump reminds me of his opponent Billary Clinton, who frequently tries to throw someone else under the bus or tries to use someone else as a political human shield (Barack Obama, usually) when she is cornered.

It’s no wonder that both Trump and Billary are the most hated U.S. presidential candidates in modern history.

Speaking of Billary, I will note (to be, you know, fair and balanced) that some of the remarks that she reportedly made to Wall Street weasels in her highly paid speeches to them (you know, the transcripts of which she has refused to release) have been leaked by WikiLeaks, and while some of them are unflattering, in terms of political scandals, they’re nothing on the level of Pussygrabgate. (On that note, maybe it’s because I’m gay, but how, exactly, do you grab a woman by the pussy? You can grab a man by his junk, I suppose, especially if he’s gifted in that area, but there’s not much of a woman’s crotch to grab, is there?)

Anyway, let’s see: Billary allegedly stated that “politics is like sausage being made,” adding, that “if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

Like El Trumpo’s presidential proclamation about pussy-grabbing, this statement about sausage-making isn’t exactly shocking coming from Billary. For instance, I’ve always believed that she personally supported same-sex marriage long before she finally publicly came out for it in March 2013 (after Barack Obama finally had done so in May 2012), for fuck’s sake. And when NPR’s Terry Gross grilled Billary on it in June 2014, she reacted in such a hyper-defensive way as to reveal that she indeed has a public face and a private face, that she’s shamelessly two-faced.

Billary also allegedly stated, in the material in the latest WikiLeaks dump, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

Slate.com notes that “This may thrill the [progressive] editors at Voxbut presumably not white working-class voters in Ohio. Point Trump.”

I would be fine with open trade and “a hemispheric common market” if they were run by us commoners instead of by corporate weasels; my problem with globalization and “free” trade thus far isn’t with the concepts of them, but with the execution of them thus far: by corporate weasels who care only about profiteering and not at all about people and not at all about the planet. The treasonous corporate weasels can and will pervert any good idea on which they can get their greedy little grubbies.

I’m also fine with a significantly more porous border between the United States and Mexico and the rest of Latin America. We Americans have more to gain than we have to lose from such a more open exchange of culture, ideas, goods and services.

But let’s face it: What’s preventing such a more open exchange between the United States and Latin America is that Americans are economically richer, as a whole, than are Latin Americans, and most Americans don’t want that socioeconomic inequity to change any decade soon. This is why even many (if not even most) who identify as Democrats don’t want a significantly more permeable southern border (and a wholly open border is an uber-non-starter for the vast majority of Americans, I’m confident).

Speaking of the southern border, Donald Trump this past week made a comment that I find more offensive and harmful than his frat-boy pussy-grabbing comment from 2005: This past week Trump alleged that the federal government is allowing “illegals” from Mexico to come into the United States to vote for Democrats.

Not only is this a fucking lie — The Washington Post notes that “There’s no evidence … that immigrants (a) come to the country illegally to vote, (b) register to vote illegally and (c) cast votes in federal elections on any substantive scale” and that “There’s essentially no in-person voter fraud in American politics” — but demagogue Der Fuhrer Trump really needs to get his anti-Mexican rhetoric straight:

Do Mexican “illegals” come to the United States to rape, murder, pillage and plunder, as he and his xenophobic, nationalist, fascist, white-supremacist supporters repeatedly have alleged — or do they come here to vote?

Because, you know, when I think of hard-core criminals, I just don’t think of them as being committed voters. (Seriously: For sure, right after a man has raped and murdered and done some drug-running, he wants nothing more than to go vote illegally!)

Trump’s fucking fascist lie that Mexican “illegals” are crossing the border in droves in order to vote illegally is meant to accomplish at least two evil things:

(1) To bolster the fascist wingnuts’ delusion that the majority of us Americans actually agree with their hateful, ignorant, bigoted, demented, basket-of-deplorables worldview, and therefore, when the wingnuts lose elections, it only can mean that the elections were rigged (and therefore, any election results that don’t favor the wingnuts should be disregarded). This mindset is a grave threat to our democracy.

and

(2) To continue, for political and personal gain, to demonize and dehumanize the brown-skinned denizens from south of the border, much how the Nazis demonized and dehumanized Jews (and many, many others) for political and personal gain. We know what happened to the Jews and to the other victims of the Nazis.

Donald Trump is a fascist piece of shit who must never become president, and who, should he actually make it that far (which at this point is highly unlikely but not absolutely impossible, I suppose), must be relieved of the office by whatever means necessary. The republic is more important than is any one individual, especially a fascistic, pussy-grabbing, Latin-American-bashing piece of shit like Donald John Trump.

Thankfully, while fivethirtyeight.com puts Trump’s chances of becoming president at not even a full one in five, I put it at about one in a hundred (one in fifty would be charitable).

Bloodshed over Der Fuhrer Trump most likely won’t be necessary, but if the fascist traitors who support Der Fuhrer Trump want a rematch of the Civil War, my standing response remains: Bring it, bitches!

P.S. Oh, yeah (duh): The second presidential debate is scheduled for tomorrow night. There is a pretty good chance that I’ll live-blog it. Especially now.

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Cornel West, fresh from Democratic platform committee, endorses Jill Stein

Cornel West, who is supporting Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his presidential run, at a fish fry on Saturday in Charleston, S.C., organized by Representative James E. Clyburn.

New York Times photo

Cornel West, whom Wikipedia describes as “an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author, public intellectual and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America,” recently finished his stint as one of the 15 members of the 2016 Democratic Party platform-drafting committee (he was one of Bernie Sanders’ only-five picks to the committee) — only to endorse Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. West, shown above campaigning for Bernie in Charleston, South Carolina, in January, correctly calls Stein “the only progressive woman in the race” for the White House.

Here is Cornel West’s piece for The Guardian, in full (the links are the original links, not mine):

A long and deep legacy of white supremacy has always arrested the development of U.S. democracy. We either hit it head on, or it comes back to haunt us. That’s why a few of us have pressed the president for seven years not to ignore issues of poverty, police abuse and mass unemployment. Barack Obama said it very well, following the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, that some communities “have been forgotten by all of us.”

And now – in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and beyond – this legacy has comes back to haunt the whole country.

Obama and his cheerleaders should take responsibility for being so reluctant to engage with these issues. It’s not a question of interest group or constituencies. Unfortunately for so much of the Obama administration it’s been a question of “I’m not the president of black people, I’m the president of everyone.” But this is a question of justice. It’s about being concerned about racism and police brutality.

I have deep empathy for brothers and sisters who are shot in the police force. I also have profound empathy for people of color who are shot by the police. I have always believed deliberate killing to be a crime against humanity.

Yet, Obama didn’t go to Baton Rouge. He didn’t go to Minneapolis. He flew over their heads to go to Dallas. You can’t do that. His fundamental concern was to speak to the police; that was his priority. When he references the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s to speak to the police. But the people who are struggling have a different perspective.

The very notion that Dallas is the paragon of policing is something that needs to be interrogated. The Dallas mayor said we have done nothing wrong, but look at your history. Ask people in southern Dallas about the police. Ask Clinton Allen, an unarmed black man fatally shot by the Dallas police in 2013. I was with his mother, Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, last year. Countless people came up and told us about all the struggles black communities are having with the Dallas police.

Unfortunately, Obama thrives on being in the middle. He has no backbone to fight for justice. He likes to be above the fray. But for those us us who are in the fray, there is a different sensibility. You have to choose which side you’re on, and he doesn’t want to do that. Fundamentally, he’s not a love warrior. He’s a polished professional. Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Ella Baker – they were warriors.

Obama’s attitude is that of a neo-liberal, and they rarely have solidarity with poor and working people. Whatever solidarity he does offer is just lip service to suffering, but he never makes it a priority to end that suffering.

Obama has power right now to enact the recommendations made after Ferguson: better training, independent civilian oversight boards, body cameras. But he has not used executive orders to push any of these changes through.

This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between [Donald] Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and [Hillary] Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president.” Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.

Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen.

The American empire is in deep spiritual decline and cultural decay. The levels of wealth inequality and environmental degradation is grotesque. The correct response to this is: tell the truth about what is going on. Bear witness. Be willing to go to jail to fight for justice if need be.

When the system is declining, it can bring despair. That’s why Black Lives Matter – and all other young people of all colors who are mobilizing – is a beautiful thing. We are having a moral and spiritual awakening. It gives us democratic hope. Its not about having hope but being hope. It’s time to move from being spectators, to being actors.

Among his many other points, I share West’s contention that Barack Obama hasn’t done enough for black Americans, irrespective of Obama’s race.

In fact, I’ve long speculated that Obama has done even less for black Americans than would a president of another race even with a similar political ideology — out of Obama’s fear of being accused of doing too much for black Americans because he is a black American himself.

And yes, of course all lives matter and of course Obama is supposed to be every American’s president, but these assertions often if not usually are made to whitewash the fact that black Americans still struggle mightily — by most socioeconomic measures more than any other racial group — in a largely racist, white supremacist nation.

As I’ve noted, I don’t hold it against Bernie that he endorsed Billary. Because he ran as a Democrat, he pretty much had to. But he didn’t have to do so wholeheartedly, and he didn’t do so wholeheartedly. In my view, he did it with a major wink-wink.

And, of course, we Berners are free to vote for whom we wish, and like Brother Cornel (who, again, helped to write the Democratic Party platform, for fuck’s sake), I intend to vote for Jill Stein, who is not only the only progressive woman in the presidential race, but is the only progressive, period, who still is in the race.

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Bernie is prepared to take it to the convention in Philly in July, baby!

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic

This is what the map of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary race looks like today. Bernie Sanders thus far officially has won 15 states (shown in green), Billary Clinton officially has won 18 (shown in golden-yellow), and 17 states remain (shown in gray). Bernie has been doing well enough to deny Queen Billary the crown outright, and he is prepared to take the nomination fight to the party convention. (If you have a fucking problem with that, then you are an anti-democratic fuckwad just like Donald Trump.)

After his win in Wisconsin’s Democratic Party presidential primary election yesterday with 56.6 percent to Billary Clinton’s 43.1 percentBernie Sanders stands at 45.5 percent of the estimated count of the pledged/democratically earned delegates to Billary Clinton’s 54.5 percent, a difference of 9 percent. (Billary’s estimated pledged delegate count is 1,302 and Bernie’s is 1,088, a difference of 214 pledged delegates.)

Seventeen states remain on the 2016 primary election season calendar, including biggies New York (247 pledged delegates), Pennsylvania (189) and my state of California (475 pledged delegates, the most of any state; we’re saving the best for last, on June 7).

Billary won’t reach the magic number of 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination before the party convention in late July, and therefore Bernie Sanders is prepared to take the nomination fight to the convention, which is fucking great. In an actual democracy, no candidate should just be handed the race, but should have to fucking earn it from the voters.

(Der Fuehrer Donald Trump infamously anti-democratically has called for his opponent John Kasich to drop out, so when the Billarybots call for Bernie to drop out, yeah, that very much puts them on the level of Trump.)

The anti-democratic attitude of the Democratic Party hacks is stunning. I’ve seen Bernie Sanders referred to, among many other things, as an “irritant.” Forty-five-point-five percent of the vote in an ongoing race with 17 states left to go doesn’t make you an “irritant,” like a mere fly or gnat or mosquito. It makes you a contender. Perhaps an inconvenient-for-some contender, but a contender nonetheless.

And as Bernie has said many times himself, his candidacy is about much more than him as an individual; it’s about rebirthing the Democratic Party, the party that once was progressive but that over the years devolved into a center-right, Repugnican Lite Party all too happy to sell us commoners out to the DINO politicians’ corporate campaign contributors.

Indeed, the main function of the Democratic Party now, under the “leadership” of DINOs like King Bill Clinton and Queen Billary Clinton and President Hopey-Changey, is to prevent us commoners from rising up with torches and pitchforks and going after our treasonously selfish and abusive corporate overlords who for some decades now have been destroying us socioeconomically, and who, not being content enough with that, have been destroying the entire fucking planet, too.

To a large degree the Democratic Party’s bullshit works, largely though ignoring socioeconomic issues and other substantive issues and employing identity politics in the stead of substance.

Black Americans, for instance, on many measures (such as poverty and income inequality and net worth and incarceration rates) have been no better off under DINO President Hopey-Changey than they were before he took office in January 2009, but it very apparently has been more than enough for the vast majority of them that he is black (black Americans approve of the president’s job performance by around 40 percent more than do all Americans; tell me that race alone has zero to do with that).

And although Billary Clinton’s history gives black Americans no reason to believe that their lives would improve under her presidency any more than they have(n’t) under President Hopey-Changey’s, black Americans for some fucking reason slavishly support Billary as though she’d be our “third” “black” president.

And, of course, Billary also has been playing the “feminist” card — although perhaps not as much as I’d expected her to do in her second go-around for the White House. (This is probably only because the “misogyny” bullshit hasn’t played very well outside of the cult-bubble of the Billarybots.)

Identity politics won’t solve such staggering problems as rapidly growing income inequality and rapid climate change. Identity politics will keep us Americans too divided to fight back against our corporate overlords (which is exactly why corporate-sellout DINOs like Billary employ identity politics).

With identity politics we commoners and serfs continue to fight each other over who may and who may not wear dreadlocks, for instance, while collectively we boil like frogs as our corporate overlords continue to turn up the heat, literally as well as figuratively. Geniuses, we!

Those of us who support Bernie Sanders — and thus far we’re at least 45 percent of the voters in the Democratic Party primary elections and caucuses, no tiny fucking minority — are happy to see Bernie Sanders go as far with his candidacy as he possibly can.

(And a new, reputable poll out shows that one in four of us Berners won’t vote for Billary should she be on the ballot in November. I am one of those. [Call me a kamikaze; that’s fine. Shit more often than not needs to be blown up before it can be rebuilt.])

Over many months I’ve given Bernie a total of hundreds of dollars (if I haven’t hit the $1,000 mark yet, I’m close), so I’m financially invested in his bid for the White House as well as emotionally, intellectually and spiritually invested in it. A better future is worth paying for; it’s worth investing in.

So yes, I want to see Bernie carry the ball as far as he possibly still can.

It’s still possible (although admittedly difficult) for Bernie to win a majority of the pledged/democratically earned delegates, and if he accomplishes that feat and goes into the convention with that feat under his fighter’s belt, the “super-delegates” then will be put in the uncomfortable position of honoring the democratic process by ensuring that Bernie Sanders, the people’s choice, is the presidential nominee — or being typical Democratic Party hacks, giving democracy the middle finger (in the city of Philadelphia, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were born) and paying their allegiance to corporate whore Queen Billary because that’s what they’re expected to do as Democratic Party hacks.

This scenario would be quite a moment of truth for the fallen Democratic Party, a moment that is long overdue, and a moment that perhaps only the heroically, historically independently minded progressive Bernie Sanders, whose allegiance is to truth, wisdom and socioeconomic justice — and not to mindless, go-along-to-get-along, pro-corporate/sellout, pandering-to-identity-groups, establishmentarian Democratic Party bullshit — could force.

P.S. Billary’s nationwide numbers are falling. Right now Real Clear Politics’ average of nationwide polls has Billary at only 5.9 percent ahead of Bernie nationwide among Dems and Dem leaners.

RCP has Billary ahead in New York by 11 percentage points.

The Huffington Post’s average of nationwide polls has Billary at only 6.4 percent ahead of Bernie nationally, and HuffPo’s average of New York polls has Billary ahead there by 10.4 percent.

Final polls of Wisconsin on average had Bernie winning there by no more than 3 percent, but he won the state by 13.5 percentage points yesterday, so yes, indeed, winning New York (which votes on April 19) appears to be within Bernie’s grasp. Bernie often has performed significantly better on election day than he had polled right up to election day, and the New York primary is almost two full weeks away, a long time in American presidential politics.

P.P.S. Two more things:

One, I thought that I’d include this graphic from Wikipedia, too. It’s the same as the graphic above, except that it more helpfully gives you a little pie chart for each state showing you what portion of that state Bernie and Billary won:

File:U.S. States by Vote Distribution, 2016 (Democratic Party).svg

Note how close many of the states were (especially states bordering the northern states, where Bernie is strong, and the southern states, where Billary is strong): Nevada, Massachusetts, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri (and yes, to be fair, Michigan, which Bernie won).

Secondly, I have to note that an increasingly desperate Billary again is proclaiming that Bernie Sanders isn’t even a real Democrat!

Again, in spirit, if not on paper, his entire life Bernie Sanders has been the Democrat that Billary Clinton never will be.

Again, while she’s worth around $25 million, Bernie is worth around $500,000In 2014, Billary raked in around $28 million to Bernie’s $206,000. Billary has supported only a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage, while Bernie has supported the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage that California and New York just adoptedWhen she was old enough to know better, Billary was a Young Repugnican and was a “Goldwater girl” in 1964. Bernie Sanders, by contrast, never has supported the Repugnican Party.

I could go on, but that’s more than enough already.

Yes, Billary has been a dedicated Democratic Party hack, and has been instrumental, with her husband, Barack Obama and many others, in making the once-great Democratic Party resemble the Repugnican Party more and more with each passing year, but to me and to millions of other voters, the obvious, no-brainer answer to the question, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most Democratic of them all?” is Bernie Sanders.

Um, yeah.

Looks just like her — scowl, crown and all.

Anyway, Evil Queen Billary’s claim that she’s the real Democrat in the race probably is just meant as a distraction from the fact that Bernie Sanders continues to do significantly better than she does against both Repugnican Tea Party frontrunners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the match-up polls.

If the idea is to keep the White House in Democratic hands come January 2017, then we can quibble about who is and who isn’t the “real” Democrat in the race (even though it’s crystal fucking clear that millionaire Billary is the pseudo-Democrat), or we can look at who is more likely to actually win the White House.

The polls say, and have been saying for a long time now, that that candidate is Bernie Sanders.

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Tell your ‘super-delegates’ that voting against the people is a deal breaker

If Billary Clinton wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination democratically — that is, if she legitimately wins the majority of the votes in the primary elections and caucuses — then I’ll accept that result.

That doesn’t mean that I’d vote for her in November — because I very most likely would not — but I do accept the results of fair elections.

The 2000 presidential election, for instance — I never have accepted and never will accept that result. Al Gore won the popular vote by more than a half-million votes, and there is no way in hell that George W. Bush would have “won” the 2000 presidential election were it not for his brother Jeb! having been governor of the pivotal state of Florida, then-Repugnican Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (as the state’s chief elections official) having been co-chair of the effort to elect Gee Dubya in Florida (no conflict of interest there!), and finally, the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court having shut the whole thing down and by so doing declaring Gee Dubya the “winner.”

I was at a “Not My President’s Day” rally at the California state Capitol in February 2001, replete with my homemade sign declaring that “George Dubious Bush” was “not my president!” (I would return to the state Capitol not too terribly long after that to protest the unelected Bush regime’s looming illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked — and thus treasonous — Vietraq War.)

All of that said, I didn’t vote for Al Gore, but I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader in November 2000. (Hold your ammo. Of course Al Gore won all of California’s electoral votes, so no, because the U.S. president is selected by the Electoral College and not by the popular vote [as it should be], my vote for Nader, which I do not regret [the charisma-free Gore didn’t even win his home state of Tennessee, but the Democratic Party hacks blame Nader voters], did not help Gee Dubya.)

But the fact that I hadn’t voted for Gore in November 2000 didn’t make me any less outraged that the presidential election was stolen by the treasonous Repugnicans, who just wanted the White House, regardless of the clearly expressed will of the American people (again, Gore had won the popular vote by more than 500,000 votes; Gee Dubya became president only through the anti-democratic Electoral College [with his theft of Florida], which must be eliminated).

Similarly, while I don’t support Billary Clinton whatsoever — and the more the Billarybots attack, the less likely I am ever to support her (the Billarybots don’t successfully shame me into supporting their ethics-free candidate, but only reinforce my beliefs about their craven candidate) — I am not a sore loser, and so I accept it if my candidate of choice doesn’t win, as long as that loss happens fairly and squarely.

So, being a lover of democracy, the blatantly anti-democratic calls of the Billarybots for Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race have enraged me. (Thankfully, as it has become clearer to the anti-democratic Democrats in name only that Sanders isn’t going to drop out before there is a clear winner who has earned the win, they’ve eased up a bit on their calls for Bernie to exit prematurely for their convenience.)

Where we stand now with the estimated pledged (that is, actually [more-or-less] democratically earned) delegate count is Billary with 1,266 and Bernie with 1,038. That means that of the democratically earned delegates (delegates earned in primary elections and caucuses), thus far it’s Billary with 54.9 percent to Bernie with 45.1 percent, a difference of 9.8 percent.

As I’ve said before, for a “fringe” candidate, Bernie is doing pretty fucking well, and for a supposedly universally beloved candidate, and for a candidate who pretty much has been running for the White House at least since 2000, when she carpetbaggingly ran for the U.S. Senate for the state of New York, Billary is not doing nearly as well as she should be doing within her own fucking party for the candidate for whom the Billarybots are saying we should just shut up and crown already.

Again, the magic number of delegates to win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination is 2,383. Billary is “only” 1,117 delegates away from that, but we’re just supposed to coronate her already. Why make a dynastic member of royalty earn it?

If the battle for delegates goes to the Democratic Party convention, so be it. That would be called democracy.

Billary can’t actually get any of her “super-delegates” — the anti-democratic delegates (the [vast] majority of them apparently Democratic Party hacks who fall in line rather than vote their conscience, since, being party hacks, they have no conscience, but are only part of the hive mind) — until the party convention this summer. We can talk until we’re blue in the face about Billary’s “super-delegates,” but for today, since the hive-mind delegates can’t vote until late July, Billary has only 1,266 delegates.

How many of the “super-delegates” Bernie Sanders can win from Billary is an unknown (the “super-delegates” may say that they’re going to support one candidate but then vote for another candidate at the actual convention), but I can say two things today:

One, as I’ve already noted, the Democratic Party needs to follow the lead of the Repugnican Tea Party and force its “super-delegates” to vote with the people. (That said, as I’ve noted before, forcing the “super-delegates” to vote with the people makes the “super-delegates” redundant, and therefore, “super-delegates” need to be eliminated altogether in both parties. Any system in which the popular vote could be subverted needs to go. That would include the Electoral College, too, of course.)

Two, again, I can accept it when my chosen candidate doesn’t win an election that was conducted fairly and squarely, but anti-democratic bullshit I cannot stand.

Therefore, should Bernie Sanders win my congressional district in California’s presidential primary election on June 7 and my member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Doris Matsui, as a “super-delegate,” vote for Billary Clinton at the convention, I won’t cast a vote for Matsui ever again.

(I am assuming here, of course, that after the “super-delegates” vote, how they voted will be released publicly. I refused to vote for Matsui for years but then did vote for her in November 2014, since at least at that time she had been on the right side of many issues, but, again, if Bernie wins my congressional district and she actually votes against that as a “super-delegate,” I won’t vote for her ever again.)

I never vote for the center-right DINO U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein anyway, who no doubt will cast her “super-delegate” vote for Billary even if Bernie wins California on June 7, because that’s just the kind of person Dianne Feinstein is. (If memory serves, I voted for Feinstein once, when I was new to California and didn’t know any better, but that was it. Once I got to know her, I was done with her.)

And Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer isn’t running again in November, but hopefully she would cast her “super-delegate” vote for Bernie should he win California. It would be a shitty end to her long political career if she went against the will of the state’s voters at the convention this summer.

Unfortunately, per Wikipedia’s roundup of the “super-delegates,” my U.S. representative and both of my U.S. senators have indicated that they plan to vote for Billary at the convention.

My governor, Democrat Jerry Brown, as a “super-delegate” (per Wikipedia) remains “uncommitted” (he did run against Bill Clinton for the presidential nomination in 1992…). While Brown cannot run for a third term in November 2018, for the most part I expect him to cast his “super-delegate” vote for Bernie Sanders should Bernie win California. Jerry Brown is just that kind of guy (that is, democratic as well as Democratic).

I am going to send a letter (snail mail is more effective, I believe, than is e-mail) to my elected representatives encouraging them as “super-delegates” to vote with the people of California, and informing them, if they stand for re-election, that their voting against the will of the people as a “super-delegate” is a deal breaker for any future vote from me.

I encourage you to do the same; the list of “super-delegates” (and how they have indicated they intend to cast their vote) is here, and a simple Google search will give you your “super-delegates'” contact information.

The Democratic Party, if it is to survive, must be a democratic party as well.

P.S. The next two big contests are Wisconsin (86 pledged delegates), on Tuesday, and New York (247 pledged delegates), on April 19.

Real Clear Politics’ average of polls right now has Bernie up by 2.2 percent in Wisconsin and Billary up by 27 percent in New York. However, The Huffington Post’s average of polls right now has Bernie up in Wisconsin by 4.6 percent and has Billary ahead in New York by just 12 percent and includes a graph that shows Bernie rising rapidly in the state:

So we’ll see.

If Bernie can’t win New York, I expect him to get a big chunk o’ delegates there anyway.

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88 years for a U.S. president to travel 90 miles; Cubans still have more to lose

President Barack Obama, right, shakes hands with Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez as first lady Michelle Obama stands behind, right, upon arrival to the airport in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. Obama's trip is a crowning moment in his and Cuban President Raul Castro's ambitious effort to restore normal relations between their countries. (Cubadebate/Ismael Francisco via AP)

Associated Press photo

The caption for the AP news photo above reads: “President Barack Obama, right, shakes hands with Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez as first lady Michelle Obama stands behind, right, upon arrival to the airport in Havana, Cuba, [today]. Obama’s trip is a crowning moment in his and Cuban President Raul Castro’s ambitious effort to restore normal relations between their countries.”

The caption for the AP news photo below reads: “A poster features portraits of Cuba’s President Raul Castro, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama and reads in Spanish, ‘Welcome to Cuba’ outside a restaurant in Havana, Cuba, [on Thursday]. Obama is scheduled to travel to the island [today], the first U.S. presidential trip to Havana in nearly 90 years.”

Steps Obama has taken to ease US restrictions on Cuba

Associated Press photo

If I can’t say much that’s positive about the Obama years — and I can’t* we at least can note that today Barack Obama historically became the first sitting U.S. president in 88 years to visit our island neighbor of Cuba. (Before today, Calvin Coolidge last visited Cuba, in 1928...)

It is pathetic that the United States remains so largely inimical to a nation only 90 miles away from it, but the history of Cuba and the United States (and Spain, too) is, um, complicated.

In its report on Cuba for 2015, Human Rights Watch noted:

The Cuban government continues to repress dissent and discourage public criticism. It now relies less on long-term prison sentences to punish its critics, but short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others have increased dramatically in recent years. Other repressive tactics employed by the government include beatings, public acts of shaming, and the termination of employment.

There are elections in Cuba, in which those 16 years and older may vote, but as only the Communist Party is allowed to exist, these elections are fairly bullshit; Cubans are allowed to chose only from those who pay fealty to the Communist Party (again, the only party that there is).

That said, here in the United States of America we have elections, but since the corporations give most of our elected officials obscene amounts of campaign cash and other monetary rewards to do their bidding instead of to act in the public good, and since this treasonous bullshit has been going on at least since the first (and hopefully the last) President Clinton, our corporately owned and controlled parties have become pretty indistinguishable — the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party, I think of them lovingly — and so our so-called democracy is pretty fucking hollow, too.

For all intents and purposes, we Americans pretty much have one-party rule, as do the Cubans.

How else to explain that the lives of us American commoners never get better? If we had an actual democracy — a socialist democracy — instead of a corporatocracy/kleptocracy, our lives would actually improve.

Wingnuts, who want to turn Cuba into a wage-slave capitalist nation like the United States is (and who also, of course, want to turn Cuba into an island resort for wealthier Americans, as it used to be), routinely uber-hyperbolically claim that the Castro regime routinely executes its political opponents, but I see no mention in the Human Rights Watch report on Cuba linked to above that executions continue there.

(And, of course, our buddy Saudi Arabia continues to execute people — by public beheading, no less — and we Americans are perfectly fine with that, because we want fuel for our gas-guzzlers.

Also, I should add, the Cuban government since 2001 has had a moratorium on capital punishment, from which it made one exception in 2003, when it executed three people. The United States executed 22 people alone in 2015. [Texas is the most bloodthirsty state, having executed more than 525 people since 1976, whereas since 1976, 16 states have executed fewer than eight people each.])

Wikipedia does report that in the early years of the Castro regime there apparently were executions, with estimates ranging from around 220 executions from 1959 to 1987 (per Amnesty International) to many thousands (most of these latter accusers are anti-Castro wingnuts with an ax to grind, I surmise).

Wikipedia notes that

The Cuban government justified such measures on the grounds that the application of the death penalty in Cuba against war criminals and others followed the same procedure as that seen in the trials by the Allies in the Nuremberg trials.

Some Cuban scholars maintain that had the government not applied severe legislation against the torturers, terrorists, and other criminals employed by the Batista regime, the people themselves would have taken justice into their own hands.

and that

The vast majority of those executed following the 1959 [Castro] revolution were policemen, politicians and informers of the [Fulgencio] Batista regime accused of crimes such as torture and murder, and their public trials and executions had widespread popular support among the Cuban population.

Scholars generally agree that those executed were probably guilty as accused, but that the trials did not follow due process.

Fulgencio Batista, the U.S.-backed, right-wing dictator whom Fidel Castro and crew overthrew in 1959, is credited with having executed anywhere from 1,000 to 20,000 of his political opponents, but because he was right-wing, the right wing doesn’t talk about that.

Besides, to the wingnuts, right-wing dictators aren’t really dictators, since they are right-wing — as long as they obey American capitalists, that is (usually, this means handing over their nations’ natural resources [and human resources, in terms of very cheap labor] to American corporations for their profiteering, no matter how much this harms the host [“host” as in the victim of a parasite] nations) — and surely the left-wing rabble whom right-wing dictators have slaughtered had it coming.

So Cuba has a long way to go in terms of human rights — it must move to allow freer speech and political dissent, including allowing the existence of opposition parties and holding real, meaningful elections — but I understand, I believe, why the Cuban government is so closed off and so authoritarian: It knows that if the capitalists from the north can get their greedy fingers on the island and turn it into a wage-slave nation in which only a few prosper while the working-poor masses suffer from the obscene profiteering of the few, they will.

For this reason, as I have written**, while I welcome at least some opening up of Cuba (where I’d like to visit one day), I fear for the people of Cuba, too, lest the virulent pestilence that is anti-democratic wage-slave capitalism (masquerading as “democracy” and “freedom”) infect their sovereign island nation from the north.

The Cuban people would fare worse as wage slaves to American (and other) corporations than they fare now. 

Capitalistic oppression is no better, in terms of what it does to the human spirit, than is (big-“C”) Communist oppression.

*As I’ve noted here a million times, he had the opportunity and the political capital in 2009 and 2010 to push through a progressive agenda, and he spectacularly declined to do so, and once the Repugnican Tea Party traitors took back the House in 2010, that meant gridlock for the remainder of Obama’s presidency (and “Obamacare,” his “signature” “achievement,” contains virtually nothing that the for-profit health-insurance industry didn’t want it to contain).

**I wrote back in December 2014:

One of U.S. President Barack Obama’s best moves is his decision to open diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba after more than 50 years of a pointless cold war with the island nation.

For all of the selfish whining of the tiny but loud minority of Cuban-American wingnuts — who always have been a bunch of fucking ingrates who believe that they should control U.S. foreign policy — ironically, Cubans have a lot more to lose than do Americans should the United States and Cuba ever become super-cozy.

The typical Cuban, after all, has better access to higher education and health care than does the average American. The typical Cuban’s life expectancy is close behind the typical American’s and Cubans’ life expectancy ranks No. 1 among the Latin American nations.

Cuba has universal health care (yes, health care is a human right, and shouldn’tbe an opportunity for profiteering) and Cuba’s literacy rate of 99.8 percent beats the United States’ rate of 99 percent.

Not that Cuba is perfect, perhaps especially on the measure of freedom of speech, but, of course, the United States, which, among other things, calls torture “enhanced interrogation” (someone recently remarked that that’s like calling rape “enhanced dating”) and slaughters scores of innocent civilians by drones in the name of “democracy,” isn’t exactly a paragon of human rights itself, is it?

However, would it benefit most Cubans for American corporations to muscle back into the nation and turn most Cubans into wage slaves, like most Americans are? (Capitalism is, after all, wage slavery that of course creates insane socioeconomic inequality.) Are Cubans really just itching for such wonderful imported American “freedoms” as crushing student-loan debt, wage slavery and bankruptcy from insane health-care costs?

You’d think the rabidly wingnutty Cuban Americans would salivate over the idea of turning Cuba into a cash cow for the corporations again, as it was when darling-of-the-right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista, who couldn’t sell out the people of Cuba enough to American corporations for his own benefit and the benefit of his fellow elites, was in power.

But what’s up the right-wing Cuban-American ingrates’ asses is that they expect the U.S. government to maintain a cold war with Cuba on their behalf for eternity. They believe that their bitterness against Fidel Castro, who overthrew dictator Batista in the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, should be reflected by U.S. governmental policy toward Cuba in perpetuity.

(Batista, by the way, fled Cuba on January 1, 1959, with hundreds of millions of dollars he’d taken through obscene corruption and after having slaughtered as many as 20,000 of his political opponents. This is the kind of man, like murderous Chilean dictator Agosto Pinochet, who gets the support of the right wing.

If you think that I’m full of shit, know that President John Kennedy said of Batista that his was “one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression” and that Kennedy wrote this:

I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime.

I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption.

I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins.

In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.

Um, yeah.)

To open diplomatic relations with another nation is not to agree with everything that nation does and has done. Certainly the U.S. government and the governments of China and Russia don’t agree on everything, but they maintain diplomatic relations nonetheless.

The teeny-tiny minority of right-wing Cuban-Americans and their supporters (including, of course, the craven politicians who want right-wing Cuban-Americans’ money and votes, such as right-wing Cuban-American scumbags U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida) need to shut the fuck up and put the greater good of the American people and the Cuban people above their own selfish political agendas, and they need to wake the fuck up and stop expecting the rest of us, the vast majority, to maintain their insane cold war of more than five decades.

I support diplomatic relations with Cuba because Cuba has much to teach the United States, which, of course, just might be just what the Cuban-American wingnuts fear most.

But, again, it is Cubans, not Americans, who have the most to lose in significantly close ties between the two nations.

The specter of Cubans once again being oppressed by the craven corporate America is, in fact, the only reason that I would or could oppose diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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