Tag Archives: Jerry Brown

Farewell, Jerry

The modernist official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown was painted by Don Bachardy in 1984 after Brown’s first stint as California governor from 1975 to 1983. Brown was re-elected to two more terms in 2010 and 2014.*

Times flies.

I recall 2010, when I saw Jerry Brown at a couple of public campaign events, excited that he most likely would be elected California’s governor again. (His opponent in 2010 was self-funded billionaire Nutmeg Whitman, who wanted to be governor because as a brat she never got that pony, I joked at the time.)

For the past eight years Brown wasn’t a particularly exciting, but he was a very competent and stable, governor of the nation’s most populous state.

To name just one of his accomplishments, despite the fact that the wingnuts, who always are fact-free, still claim that California is in a deep state budget deficit because of that liberal tax-and-spend thing, dontcha know, Brown turned the $26 billion budget deficit that he inherited from Repugnican Arnold Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger in January 2011 into a current $14 billion surplus. (Brown erased the budget deficit within a few years of taking over the governorship again.)

This is the pattern — Repugnicans dig us into holes and Democrats get us out of them, even though the wingtards claim that the exact opposite is the case.

Probably Brown’s No. 1 cause in his second round as governor has been climate change, against which he made some notable progress, although he was hamstrung by a fairly do-nothing Obama administration and a climate-change-denying Pussygrabber administration.

If it weren’t for his age (he’s 80), I think that Brown would be a great presidential candidate. (And it’s not so much that he isn’t functioning well enough at eight decades, but that the public perception is that he’s too old to be president, and in politics, public perception, no matter how misguided, is as good as reality.)

I wish Jerry Brown the best in his remaining days (years, hopefully), and I hope that incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is inaugurated on Monday, keeps the gains that Brown brought to the nation’s greatest state.

*Brown was able to run for governor again in 2010 because the two-term limit for California’s governor became effective only after he’d already been governor in the 1970s and 1980s.

If Brown could have run for a third term and decided to do so, he would have won it, I’m sure.

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On minimum wage alone, Billary Clinton deserves to lose NY and CA

Today the states of California and New York, the most populous and the fourth-most-populous states respectively, enacted legislation to raise, gradually, their minimum wage to $15 an hour, the highest minimum wage in the nation.

(The federal minimum wage is a paltry $7.25 an hour. As of today, 39 states’ minimum wage is less than $9 an hour, and 11 states’ minimum wage ranges from $9 to $10; and 21 states’ minimum wage is $7.25 or even less.)

I am glad — and proud — to be a Californian!

Of course business owners and those who love them — cold-hearted, greedy, treasonously selfish motherfuckers who never would be remotely content to live on as little as $15 an hour themselves — have cried DOOM! for the two states’ economies because of their minimum-wage increases to $15.

Bullshit. If you truly cannot pay your employees a livable wage, then your business isn’t viable — and it should go under. (Of course, most business owners well can afford to pay their workers significantly more; they just lie that they cannot so that they can keep buying those expensive cars and yachts and other toys and bigger and bigger mansions and otherwise hoard our nation’s wealth while income inequality only continues to worsen.)

The Democratic governors of both populous blue states, Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo, today signed the $15-an-hour-minimum-wage pieces of legislation for their states.

Interestingly, an Associated Press news story today notes that “[Billary] Clinton joined … Cuomo as he signed the law that will gradually boost that state’s pay rate and she predicted the [$15-an-hour-minimum-wage] movement will ‘sweep our country.'”

Yet there is no mention at all in the AP news story that Queen Billary all along in her latest campaign for the White House has supported only a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage, whereas Bernie Sanders all along has supported a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage.

Yet here is Billary appearing with Cuomo in New York City today, taking credit by association for New York’s minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, claiming “victory for New York families”:

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

New York Daily News photo

Fucking shameless. Way beyond shameless.

But it’s how Billary operates: She jumps on board only after others already have done the hard work — and pretends that she was on board all along.

Billary leads from behind, whereas Bernie Sanders always proves to have been ahead of the curve.

Leaders lead the herd. They don’t follow the herd.

Billary deserves to lose the New York primary on April 19 and the California primary on June 7, on this issue and her craven, self-serving, flip-flopping posturing on it alone.

(Billary is worth around $25 million, by the way, whereas Bernie is worth around $500,000. I’d love to see Her Highness Billary be forced to live on $12 an hour! No doubt it’s because of her fat-cat campaign contributors that she has supported no more than $12 an hour for us commoners. She must do their bidding — if she wants the millionaires’ and billionaires’ money to continue to flow to her and her family and her cronies.)

Thankfully, Real Clear Politics right now has Billary at only 11 percent ahead of Bernie in New York and only 9 percent ahead of him in California (The Huffington Post right now similarly has Billary at 10.4 percent ahead of Bernie in New York and 8.8 percent ahead of him in California), and Bernie has enough time to catch up to and overtake Billary in both states.

Of course Billary could lose both California and New York to Bernie and still win the presidential nomination by garnering more delegates than he, but the optics of Billary Clinton losing the two most populous blue states would be incredible.

It would demonstrate further how weak she is within her own fucking party, and how weak she would be going into the White House — should she actually manage to win it with her favorability ratings (among all American voters, not just Democratic Party hacks) that are upside down — by double digits.

And let’s not get it twisted: Billary Clinton inherently is a weak “Democratic” presidential candidate because she is craven and corrupt. Let’s not blame Bernie Sanders for her remarkable shortcomings and for her wrongdoings; she has harmed herself, and neither she nor her Billarybots correctly can blame Bernie or anyone else for weakening or harming her second campaign for the nation’s highest elected office.

We should thank Bernie Sanders for shining the spotlight on the cockroach that is Billary Clinton, and fuck us if we choose to ignore what we see in that spotlight, believing that willful ignorance is bliss; the consequences of our own such fucktardation would be entirely on us.

Update/possible correction (April 5, 2016): The Associated Press news story that I linked to above, in its last paragraph, now states:

Sanders has made the $15 wage a foundation block of his candidacy, while Clinton backs Senate legislation that would enact a federal minimum wage of $12 an hour, with the ability of individual cities and states to set a higher threshold.

The AP routinely updates/revises its news stories, and so I’m not sure whether I missed that last paragraph (I rather doubt that I did, but it’s not impossible that I did) or whether AP updated the news story after I first linked to it.

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Gov. Moonbeam No More still deserves re-election

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Within this past week, Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown (pictured above within this past week) both made his re-election bid official and infamously voiced his concern that marijuana legalization might lead to societal degradation caused by “potheads” (even though we’re not exactly a state or a nation of alcoholics because alcohol is legalized…).

When I cast my vote for Jerry Brown in 2010, his “Governor Moonbeam” moniker was a selling point, not a turn-off, for me.

How great it would be, I thought, to have Jerry Brown back in the saddle, making California cool again.

Since he took the reins of the state that Repugnican Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger ran into the ground during his too-long tenure, alas, the now-75-year-old Brown has not been Governor Moonbeam Redux.

I have not agreed with everything that Brown has done and said since he began his current term in January 2011, and Brown 2.0 has turned out to be more centrist than I’d thought he would be, but at least I don’t regret my vote for him, as I regret my 2008 vote for Barack Obama, and unlike how I could not vote for Obama again in 2012, I plan to vote for Brown again this coming November.

Brown has been a competent, if unexciting, governor of the nation’s most populous state.

While wingnuts, most of them outside of California, claim that under Brown’s leadership California still remains in a budget deficit (and face a myriad of other problems that we don’t actually face), the fact of the matter is that Brown turned Baby Daddy’s budget deficit around some time ago, and we Californians have had a sizeable budget surplus for some time now. (Look it up.)

Are we Californians better off now than we were four years ago, when the usurper Baby Daddy was still at the helm? Hell, yes, we are.

Does Jerry Brown deserve re-election? Hell, yes, he does.

Yes, it’s too bad that the moonbeam’s glow has faded, as evidenced by such things as Brown’s recent pronouncement on “Meet the Press” that he’s not big on marijuana legalization, remarking, “How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”

I believe that the science that holds that chronic marijuana use can make one “amotivational” still is considered to be fairly sound science, but still, I rather doubt that as the result of marijuana legalization, we’re all going to become a bunch of “potheads.” I mean, alcohol is legal, but not all of us are alcoholics, are we?

I support the legalization of marijuana, but it’s not such a huge issue to me that Brown’s “pothead” comment has soured me on him.

But what probably does rankle me about Brown’s “pothead” comment is that my guess is that when he was younger, he sure had his fun, but now he would wag his finger at today’s young people and deny them theirs. I hate that hypocritical bullshit coming from the baby boomers and from those, like Brown, who preceded them.

And I do hope that the 75-year-old Brown doesn’t become anything like the 77-year-old John McCainosaurus, whose every pronouncement is some variation of “You damned kids get off of my lawn!”*

*Seriously, McCainosaurus’ latest attack on Obama is the contents of an article that Obama wrote when he was in college, for fuck’s sake. McCainosaurus is peeved, you see, that the younger Obama, like the older Obama, hasn’t taken the Cold War bullshit as seriously as McCainosaurus still does.

Memo to McCainosaurus: The majority of us Americans don’t have the Cold War fetish that you do, since we’re living in 2014 and not still living in the 1950s, and more and more you come off as much like the deranged general played by George C. Scott in “Dr. Strangelove” (or the deranged general played by Rod Steiger in “Mars Attacks!”). Please die already. Or, at the very least, stop pretending that we elected you, or even that we should have elected you, as president in 2008.

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Haters’ minds are in the toilet, as usual

Updated below (on Saturday, November 9, 2013) 

This is what it’s about — not about horny heterosexual boys trying to get at the heterosexual girls in the girls’ bathrooms, as the wingnuts blatantly are lying about a California law that protects transgender public-school students. But even that said, the law is about a lot more than the bathroom, anyway.

In July, the California state Legislature passed a piece of legislation titled AB (Assembly Bill) 1266, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed on August 12.

AB 1266, which is not long, can be read in its entirety here.

AB does at least a few things where the biological sex and the gender identification of public-school students are concerned.

To me, perhaps the biggest substantive change that the new law makes is that it mandates that “A school district may not require a pupil of one sex to enroll in a particular class or course, unless the same class or course is also required of a pupil of the opposite sex.”

If I understand English correctly, that means that public schools in California may not have sex-segregated and sex-specific courses. When I was in junior high school (in Arizona), for instance, all seventh-grade male students were required to take shop, but no female students ever were required to take shop, and all seventh-grade female students were required to take home economics, but no male students ever were required to take home ec.

At my junior high school, which was comprised only of seventh- and eighth-graders, eighth-graders could take shop or home ec, regardless of their sex. Seventh-graders, though, had no choice, but were funneled into shop or into home ec solely based upon their sex.

Under AB 1266, in California, such sex-segregated class requirements — boys must take shop and girls must take home ec — are no longer allowed (again, if I understand English correctly).

AB 1266 also proclaims that “Any school personnel acting in a career counseling or course selection capacity to a pupil shall affirmatively explore with the pupil the possibility of careers, or courses leading to careers, that are nontraditional for that pupil’s sex.”

I remember the principal of my junior high school summoning a bunch of us seventh-grade boys into his office after we’d signed up to take home economics the next year. We’d already taken our required one year of shop,  and, not wanting to take a second year of shop in eighth grade, we signed up to take home economics instead.

I remember the principal trying to talk us out of taking home ec. A few of us boys caved in to his pressure, but most of us (including myself) took home ec anyway. (I am gay, but most of the other boys who also decided to take home ec instead of another year of shop were not, to my knowledge, also gay.)

I don’t remember the principal’s exact “argument” (this was in the early 1980s…), but, in retrospect, my guess is that it was his personal belief that boys shouldn’t take home ec, and so he was going to try to dissuade us from doing so. (No, taking home ec did not “make” me gay. That was a pre-existing condition, so to speak.)

Had AB 1266 been the law of Arizona at that time, it would have been illegal for the principal to try to dissuade me and the other boys from taking home ec; he wouldn’t legally have been able to try to shove his own backasswards gender-role biases down our throats. (And had AB 1266 been the law of Arizona at the time, of course, I wouldn’t have been forced to take shop, which I hated, unless the girls were forced to take it, too.)

So I’m happy that today’s public-school students in California are set not to have to experience what I did, which was having backasswards/conservative/wingnutty gender roles shoved down my fucking throat.

I write “are set” because AB 1266 is set to go into effect on January 1, 2014.

But not if the haters get their way.

They’re in the middle of a campaign to gather enough petition signatures to put AB 1266 up for a “yes” or “no” vote before California’s voters in November 2014 (this process of reversing a piece of legislation at the ballot box is called a referendum).

The haters’ deadline to turn in the required number of signatures (more than half a million of them) is within less than a week. If, after their signatures are examined, they meet the signature requirement, AB 1266 will not go into effect on January 1, but will be suspended until after the voters of the state weigh in on it in November 2014, a year from now.

The intended effect of AB 1266, that I can discern, is to make public-school students feel like it’s OK to be themselves. The intended effect of AB 1266, that I can discern, is to cut down on such problems in our public schools as gender-identification-related (and sexual-orientation-related) bullying (including, of course, physical violence), ostracism, depression, drop-outs, and yes, suicide. It’s to help make every public-school student feel safe to be who he or she is, regardless of whether he or she possesses the XY or XX chromosomes and regardless of whether he or she identifies with the gender associated with his or her chromosomes.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

In that same spirit, it does no one any injury for his or her peer to identify as a male or as a female, regardless of whether his or her peer possesses the XY or XX chromosomes. (There are some rare variants of the XY or XX chromosomal set-up, but let’s please keep this simple…) It neither picks anyone’s pocket nor breaks anyone’s leg, so to speak. (Ditto for same-sex marriage, of course.)

But this is the portion of AB 1266, the very last sentence of AB 1266, that the wingnuts have focused upon like a hate-and-ignorance-filled laser: “A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.” (Emphasis mine.)

The wording is, admittedly, vague. “Facilities” can encompass a lot. Presumably, “facilities” includes restrooms and locker rooms.

However, sexual activity isn’t supposed to be going on inside of school or public restrooms and locker rooms anyway.

You’re not supposed to be exposing yourself to others in restrooms. The last time that some male apparently exposed himself to me (he proudly displayed his erection to me, to which I did not outwardly react at all) in a men’s restroom was many years ago, and he did it at a urinal, so that he could have plausible deniability, apparently. My point is that other males just aren’t showing me their junk in men’s restrooms (whether I’d want them to or not), and I assume that in women’s restrooms, too, women aren’t exposing themselves to each other.

So I don’t understand how it hurts anyone should a transgender student use the restroom of the gender the student identifies with. I can, however, see a problem with, say, forcing a male-to-female transgender student to use a restroom that is restricted for use only by biological males. Maybe this student will avoid using the boys’ restroom like the plague in order to avoid being beaten up.

I can see that because, unlike the wingnuts, I possess a degree of fucking empathy.

Communal (versus individual) showers in public schools are, in my opinion, a bad idea (the film versions of “Carrie” aside) — we should afford our students their privacy, just as we adults want our privacy — and so that shouldn’t be an issue anyway, but, on that note, let me say that I recall, in junior-high-school P.E., being rather aroused by my naked male classmates, with whom I was forced to take communal showers. (Luckily, I never got an erection, if memory serves. [Yeah, that’s something that I think that I’d remember, given the homophobia of that time and place…])

The wingtards who falsely paint AB 1266 as allowing horny (straight) boys to take showers with girls and to use their restrooms overlook the fact that gay male students and lesbian students routinely take showers with and share restrooms with members of the sex to which they are attracted. Indeed, non-heterosexual students don’t have the option of showering with or using the restroom of the sex to which they are not attracted. And this has been the case forever. Duh.

AB 1266, if it stands — if it is not overturned by the voters (who tend to be significantly more trans-phobic than homophobic) — does have details to be worked out. For instance, what would be the criteria for a public school to have to acknowledge that a student is transgender? Would the student have to dress as and act as the gender the student claims? Or would the student’s word be enough? Would a psychological evaluation have to be done to determine that yes, indeed, this student is transgender?

And, of course, how would post-P.E. showers be worked out in schools that for some reason still have communal showers?

But these details are worth working out, because no student should experience discrimination that makes his or her getting a decent education difficult to even impossible.

AB 1266 is about much, much more than (presumably straight, horny) boys using the girls’ bathrooms (for sexual kicks), but, just as the wingnuts lie through their venom-filled fangs about same-sex marriage, which neither picks anyone’s pocket nor breaks anyone’s leg, the wingnuts lie about AB 1266.

Wingnut Randy Thomasson, for instance, of the Campaign for Children and Families (which sure sounds nice, like the Campaign for Puppies and Kittens), proclaims, on his hate group’s website (yes, the Southern Poverty Law Center says that Thomasson’s organization is a hate group), SaveCalifornia.com:

If you’re like me, you’re angry about the Democrats’ new law requiring transsexual school bathrooms on every public school campus.

As you know, AB 1266 — cobbled together by homosexual-bisexual-transsexual activists, the immoral teachers’ unions, and their Democrat [sic] state representatives, who control California state government — forces all K-12 government schools to permit biological boys into girls’ restrooms, showers, clubs, and sports teams, and biological girls into boys’ restrooms, showers, clubs, and sports teams. …

That is, of course, a wildly gross exaggeration of AB 1266’s actual intent, “to permit biological boys into girls’ restrooms, showers,” etc., and to permit “biological girls into boys’ restrooms, showers,” etc.

Thomasson’s manipulative, lying rhetoric Orwellianly doesn’t even allow you to consider the fact, the reality, that there are biological females who consider themselves to be males and vice-versa. No, the “Democrat” Party, you see, just wants to turn our public schools into sex orgies! After all, we all know how “immoral” those teachers’ unions are!

Yes, this is hate speech. This is language that, as the Southern Poverty Law Center correctly states, increases the likelihood of hate crimes being directed at a certain group (in this case, non-gender-conforming individuals [and non-heterosexuals, too]).

I hope that the haters don’t get enough valid signatures on their hateful referendum. If they do, just as was the case with Proposition Hate (which Thomasson supported also, of course), at the minimum, millions of dollars will be blown on the ballot-measure campaigning.

And while I’d love to think that a majority of California’s voters would uphold AB 1266 if it went to the November 2014 ballot, as I have noted, the typical American these days unfortunately is more accepting of a gender-conforming non-heterosexual than he or she is of a non-gender-conforming individual, especially a transgender individual.

“Gay is the new black,” left-wing radio show host Randi Rhodes was saying almost a decade ago, when George W. Bush used same-sex marriage as a huge wedge issue in his 2004 “re”-election campaign (even though his campaign manager at that time, Ken Mehlman, is gay [Mehlman, whose treason I will never forgive, came out in 2010]).

We’ve come a considerable way on equality for gay men and lesbians since then. Illinois just this week became the 15th state (in addition to the District of Columbia and some other jurisdictions within states) to legalize same-sex marriage, and ding, dong, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) is dead, and so is the euphemistically named “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA).

But in most jurisdictions of the United States it’s still wide-open season on transgender individuals, and AB 1266 is a step toward the realization of actual liberty and actual justice for all — an idea and an ideal that the wingnutty, treasonous haters always have hated.

Update (Saturday, November 9, 2013):

In case you doubt anything that I wrote, above know that yesterday, in front of a local store, I saw a stupid white man, a “tea-party”-looking type, collecting anti-AB 1266 petition signatures. His hand-drawn sign, which he’d affixed to his table, called for “no co-ed bathrooms,” which is not, of course, the heart and soul of AB 1266, and hilariously, he also had written on his sign, “boys in boys and girls in girls,” which sure looked like an advocacy of homosexuality to me, but which meant “boys in boys’ bathrooms and girls in girls’ bathrooms.” (These are the same fucktards, of course, who didn’t know what “teabagging” means…)

Anyway, this asshole, of course, was totally misrepresenting AB 1266, and so when he shouted to me and my same-sex partner as we passed by his table, “All you have to do is sign [the petition]!”, I remarked to him, “I have read the law. You are totally misrepresenting it.”

To this he had no response, which is not a surprise, since the use of words isn’t his strong suit. (Lying and hating are his talents.)

If you think that non-gender-conforming students don’t have any significant problems in our public schools, know that in Oakland this past week, a 16-year-old thug set fire to the skirt that an 18-year-old was wearing while the latter was riding a public bus. The 18-year-old, whose birth name is Luke Fleischman, reportedly considers him-/herself neither male nor female, but “agender” or of “nonbinary gender,” and goes by the name Sasha.

Sasha now is in a burn unit in San Francisco with second- and third-degree burns. (I would contribute to Sasha’s recovery fund, but they’ve met their goal and aren’t accepting any more donations right now.)

This shit happened right here in California, and it’s exactly this kind of shit that AB 1266 was meant to stop.

But the “tea-party” traitors and their ilk are perfectly OK with gender-conformity-related persecution, even such persecution of minors, continuing. (Because Jesus and God want it that way!)

But probably more common that such attacks as the one on Sasha are such incidents as the eighth-grader in Kansas who recently was suspended from school for carrying a purse. Reports a local news outlet:

A 13-year-old Kansas eighth grader says he was suspended from school for carrying a purse.

Skylar Davis says the Vera Bradley purse is his form of expression. He adds that girls carry purses, so he should be able to do the same. Skylar’s vice-principal disagreed and told him to stop carrying the bag.

When Skylar refused, he was suspended. His mother questions the suspension because she found no mention of bags or purses in the school handbook.  She also questions the timing since Skylar has been carrying the bag since August.

The school has not commented on the suspension.

So fuck, not only do our non-gender-conforming students have to take prejudice, discrimination and abuse from their peers, who at least perhaps can be at least partially excused for their actions because of their immaturity, but our non-gender-conforming students have to experience such treatment even from the so-called “adults” whose duty it is to foster their well-being. (This news story, by the way, leads me to believe that very little has changed in many if not most American public schools since my bigoted asshole of a principal in junior high school tried to talk me out of taking home economics.)

I hope that Skylar’s family sues the school for the suspension that was based upon prejudice, discrimination and bigotry. And the chauvinistic vice principal needs to be reprimanded at the very least, and such suspensions need to cease and desist.

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The Supremes give me reverse November 2008 déjà vu

Updated below (last on Friday, June 28, 2013)

For this progressive Californian, this week feels like an uncanny reversal of Election Day 2008: In November 2008, we Californians saw our nation’s first non-all-white president* elected, a historical milestone — but with the narrow (52-48) passage of Proposition H8, which wrote homophobia into the California state Constitution by banning same-sex marriage, we non-heterosexual Californians were stripped of our constitutionally guaranteed right to marry, which the California Supreme Court earlier that year had ruled was ours.**

Yesterday, in a typically 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the act’s provisions were too outdated, despite the fact that Congress had renewed it overwhelmingly in 2006, which wasn’t all that fucking long ago.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nailed it on the head when she remarked, “Throwing out [U.S. Justice Department] pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes [to voting laws] is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

While I surmise that Congress will restore the Voting Rights Act in the future, that won’t happen, of course, with the current wingnut-dominated U.S. House of Representatives. Indeed, media reports are that the fascists of the red states, in light of this new U.S. Supreme Court decision, are working fast and furiously to reinstate their voter suppression laws (previously shot down by the Justice Department) just in time for the 2014 midterm elections.

I have to wonder, of course, if that was the goal of the wingnuts on the high court: To help the struggling Repugnican Tea Party in the next national elections. Hey, they’ve certainly involved themselves in election-fixing before, which even former U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan and who, with four other like-minded “justices,” put George W. Bush in office, has expressed a potential problem with.

Yesterday was a giant leap backwards for the equal human and civil rights of non-whites, and was yet another stain on our nation caused by yet another 5-4 vote by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, right up there with the court’s 5-4 coronation of George W. Bush as president in late 2000 even though he’d lost the election by more than a half-million popular votes and even though the pivotal state of Florida clearly had been stolen as a “victory” for Bush and with the court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision, which reinforced the bogus concept that corporations are just like individual people, and that just like individual people, corporations have First Amendment rights.

It’s mind-blowing to ponder the fact that the voting rights for which so many Americans fought and even died were eliminated at the stroke of the poisoned pen of just one right-wing U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Yet at the same time I suppose that it’s a little encouraging to know that it was only a 5-4 vote, that only one “justice” made the difference.)

I hope that the backlash against the right wing’s ongoing attempt to suppress voters is considerable. Generally speaking, the right-wing traitors among us win little battles here and there, but over time, they continue to lose the war. They stymie and delay progress as much as they can, but progress still marches on, and the haters go down in history as the haters that they are or were.

But today, unlike in November 2008, there was good news for us non-heterosexuals when the US. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4 (of course), that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress passed in 1996, is unconstitutional, as it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws (duh).

This ruling means that no same-sex couple that has been married in a state with legalized same-sex marriage may be denied any of the federal benefits of marriage that are enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples.

However, this also means that same-sex couples in most states will not have the same rights as do same-sex couples in other states (those states that have adopted legalized same-sex marriage), which, of course, is a patently unfair and thus an untenable situation.

Yes, the nation’s high court, while it struck down DOMA, by yet another 5-4 vote refused to touch Prop H8, ruling that, as Reuters puts it, “supporters of [Prop H8] did not have standing to appeal a federal district court ruling that struck the law down.” Thus, the court apparently very intentionally avoided directly ruling on whether or not any state may constitutionally outlaw same-sex marriage, leaving same-sex marriage, for now, as an untenable issue of “states’ rights.”

Because the U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t touch Prop H8, the lower federal courts’ rulings that Prop H8 is unconstitutional (because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment) stand, and my understanding is that this means that California will have same-sex marriage again, as it did briefly in 2008 (between the effective date of the California Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage and the effective date of the same-sex-marriage-nixing Prop H8) — but, I understand, there’s more legal wrangling ahead as to what, exactly, the Supremes’ refusal to touch Prop H8 means for California.

It was cowardly, irresponsible and short-sighted of the court to rule that DOMA is unconstitutional on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment but to then refuse to rule that accordingly, no state may outlaw same-sex marriage on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment, but apparently today’s rulings were, pathetically, the best that we could get from this right-wing court.

Of course it would have been nice if either or both of today’s high-court rulings on DOMA and Prop H8 (the court’s cowardly refusal to issue a ruling on Prop H8 was the court’s “ruling” on Prop H8) had been 6-3 or even 7-2 (or hell, even 8-1 or 9-0), but the right-wing homo-haters have no credibility in (predictably) calling the 5-4 decisions the “tyranny” of the U.S. Supreme Court against the American majority when a series of recent nationwide polls clearly show that a clear majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage.

And those fascistic haters who claim that to overturn Prop H8 is to overturn the will of California’s voters conveniently ignore the two facts that (1) any ballot measure passed by a majority of any state’s voters can be overturned by a federal court if that court deems it to be unconstitutional (Civics 101 — duh) and that (2) while Prop H8 passed in November 2008 with 52 percent of the vote, polls show now that around 60 percent of Californians support same-sex marriage; were Californians to vote again on the issue again today, same-sex marriage would pass by a decisive margin. Prop H8 no longer is the will of the majority of California’s voters.

So: Today we can celebrate a significant although incomplete victory for same-sex couples who desire legalized marriage and the rights (and, yes, the responsibilities) that come with legalized marriage.

But we need to fight like hell to regain the ground that we just lost where voting rights are concerned, and we need to fight like hell to gain full marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states.

The U.S. Constitution’s demands for fairness and equality demand that we do so.

*True, Barack Obama (whom I don’t really consider “black” but consider to be of mixed race) turned out to be a huge disappointment, a George W. Bush Lite, but I did cast my vote for him in November 2008 before I knew how his presidency was going to unfold. I voted for him in 2008 at least in part because I thought that it was great to be able to vote for the first non-all-white president in U.S. history. (In 2012 I could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama again; I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.)

**And this was no radically left-wing California Supreme Court; when it ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2008, most of its justices at that time had been appointed by Repugnican, not by Democratic, governors.

Update (Wednesday, June 26, 2013): Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown has instructed the California Department of Public Health, which comes under his authority, to direct all of California’s 58 counties to begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses as soon as is legally possible, which might take a month or so.

Update (Friday, June 28, 2013): The homo-hating wingnuts here in California (and elsewhere) are going apoplectic over this (from The Associated Press today):

The four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban tied the knot [today], just hours after a federal appeals court freed gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris presided at the San Francisco City Hall wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier as hundreds of supporters looked on and cheered. The couple sued to overturn the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban along with Jeff Katami and Paul Zarrillo, who married at Los Angeles City Hall 90 minutes later with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding. …

Although the couples fought for the right to wed for years, their weddings came together in a flurry when a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order [this] afternoon dissolving, “effective immediately,” a stay it had imposed on gay marriages while the lawsuit challenging the ban advanced through the courts.

Sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, called the appeals court’s swift action “outrageous.” Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to ask the high court to rehear the case, and Proposition 8’s backers had not yet announced whether they would do so. …

Call the homo-haters a waaaaaambulance! Anyway, the AP story continues:

The [U.S.] Supreme Court said earlier this week that it would not finalize its ruling in the Proposition 8 case until after the 25-day period, which ends July 21. But San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who joined the two couples in the lawsuit, said [today] that the Ninth Circuit panel had the power to lift the stay it imposed.

“The fact of the matter is the only thing holding up the weddings was the stay that the Ninth Circuit had in place,” Herrera said. “The fact that there is a separate 25-day period allowing the petition to go for a rehearing is separate and apart from that stay.”

[California Gov. Jerry] Brown directed California counties to start performing same-sex marriages immediately after the appeals court’s order. A memo from the Department of Public Health said “same-sex marriage is again legal in California” and ordered county clerks to resume issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. …

Anyway: Wow. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s handed-down decision on Wednesday not to touch the Prop H8 case, we Californians had figured that there would be a wait of at least around a month for same-sex marriages to resume in California; we didn’t expect them to resume this quickly.

I misspoke above, by the way: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday did not uphold both federal district court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision that Prop H8 violated the U.S. Constitution and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in February 2012 to uphold Walker’s original ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday vacated the circuit court’s ruling, which then reverted the matter of Prop H8 to Walker’s original 2010 ruling.

Frankly, Vaughn Walker, who is now retired, is a hero to me. Yes, he is a gay man, and yes, the homo-haters tried (but failed) to have his 2010 pro-same-sex-marriage ruling invalidated because he’s gay (apparently only [presumedly] straight white men can be fair and impartial judges, you see), but Walker is no left-wing radical: He was nominated as a federal judge first by Ronald Reagan and then by George H. W. Bush, and apparently his political leanings are conservative-libertarian.

I consider Walker’s ruling to be a landmark document in U.S. gay, lesbian and bisexual history. You can read it, if you want, here.

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Four more years (of [largely] the same old shit)!

Ann Romney grabs Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney from behind as he greets members of the crowd after the conclusion of the final U.S. presidential debate in Boca Raton

Ann Romney holds onto her husband, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as he reaches down to shake hands with members of the audience at the conclusion of the final presidential debate in Boca Raton

Reuters photos

I expect little actual progress from the pseudo-progressive President Hopey-Changey over the next four years, but at least during that time I’ll be spared of having to see the Ann-Cunter-like, bleach-blonde harpy Ann Romney trying to fuck us all repeatedly with her strap-on. (Yes, that’s an actual news photo, and so is that one, too.)

Oh, yeah, there was an election on Tuesday.

As I have noted, I voted by mail for Green Party candidate Jill Stein for president — yes, practically speaking, as a protest vote — but I knew that President Barack Obama would win my state of California by an overwhelming margin, and he did: thus far in California’s vote counting, Obama has 59.3 percent to Mittens Romney’s paltry 38.4 percent. (Stein, in case you were wondering, is at No. 4, with a whopping 0.6 percent of the state’s vote.)

What I didn’t expect, however, was that as a result of Tuesday’s election — elections, as they say, have consequences — the California Legislature would be on the verge of having a two-thirds “super-majority” in both houses, the state Senate and the state Assembly.

Wow.

This “super-majority” — if utilized — makes the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the Legislature even more irrelevant than they already were before Tuesday.

Not that the Democrats will use their power, of course. Although “super-majority” power, if used to its full extent, would make even the centristy Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown fairly irrelevant, since the Legislature could override his vetoes, there are plenty of center-right “Democratic” California legislators who could threaten any two-thirds threshold.

And, of course, already Jerry Brown has assured spooked California Repugnicanswhose registrants don’t comprise even a full 30 percent of registered Californian voters (the Dems, on the other hand, have almost 44 percent of the state’s registered voters) and whose party doesn’t hold a single statewide office — that his party won’t do too much to upset them, even though, of course, were the state’s parties’ positions of political power reversed, the Repugnicans would ram their right-wing agenda through ruthlessly.

When George W. Bush was “re”-elected in 2004 with a measly 50.7 percent of the popular vote, he called the election results a “mandate.” A “mandate.”

That’s how the Repugnican Tea Party traitors roll: They don’t care even if they don’t even win the popular vote (recall the 2000 presidential election) — they just want to be in power no matter fucking what. They want to shove their Randian, theofascist, neo-Nazi agenda down our throats whether we, the people, give them our permission, via our votes, to do so or not. (So of course if you’re perfectly willing to steal power even when you lost the election, 50.7 percent would be, I suppose, relatively speaking, a “mandate.”)

Votes remain to be counted, but right now Obama is sitting at 50.6 percent of the national popular vote to Mittens’ 47.9 percent. Obama on Tuesday sewed up 332 electoral votes to Mittens’ 206. Including the all-important Ohio and Florida, Obama on Tuesday won all of the states that he won in 2008 (when he garnered 52.9 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes), except for two of them, Indiana and North Carolina, which aren’t exactly solid-blue states anyway.

(Indeed, in eight of the last 10 presidential elections, including Tuesday’s, North Carolina went for the Repugnican, and in nine of the last 10 presidential elections, including Tuesday’s, Indiana went for the Repugnican, so Obama’s win in those two states in 2008 was the exception, not the rule, and his loss in those two backasswards states on Tuesday was the rule, not the exception, even though the pathetically straw-grasping Repugnican Tea Party traitors have tried to make some hay out of the fact that Obama didn’t win those two states again on Tuesday. [Indeed, the bar, when it is set by whites, is always set higher for blacks than it is for whites.])

Cheer up, though, white-supremacist wingtards! Mittens did better than John McCainosaurus and Sarah Palin did in 2008. They garnered only 45.7 of the popular vote and 173 electoral votes against the guy with the Kenyan ancestry.

Of course, while George W. Bush in 2004 declared 50.7 percent of the popular vote to be a “mandate” and the fascist traitors who comprise his party talked of a “permanent [Repugnican] majority,” only two years later, in 2006, the Repugnicans lost the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic California U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to become speaker of the House in U.S. history, and then two years after that, in 2008, Barack Obama, the nation’s first non-white president, won a higher percentage of the popular vote than either George W. Bush or even Bill Clinton ever had.

So some caution needs to be exercised before declaring a “permanent [insert party name here] majority,” or even a “mandate” based on not even a full 51 percent of the popular vote, but at the same time, to the victor goes the spoils, and the so-called “leaders” of the Democratic Party need to stop acting like losers even after they’ve fucking won.

(Yes, on the heels of his second electoral victory, Obama still is talking about cooperation with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress, even though the past four years have demonstrated amply that you cannot negotiate with such terrorists, because the assumption that they are rational creatures capable of compromise is patently incorrect.) 

The Repugnican Tea Party traitor-fascists act like winners even after they’ve lost, and if the damage that they’ve wreaked upon the nation is to be reversed (if that’s even possible at this point [it very most likely isn’t, perhaps especially in regards to global warming]), the Democrats really need to stop snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I’m not holding my breath, however.

I expect the next four years to look and feel much like the past four, although I expect things here in California to improve more quickly than they improve — if they ever improve — nationally, since here in California we have demonstrated how to edge the Repugnican Tea Party traitors more and more closely to the endangered species status that they oppose so much.

As California goes, so goes the nation, it has been said.

I hope that that is correct.

P.S. Of course I’m happy that on Tuesday the voters of three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — voted for same-sex marriage, being the first states to adopt same-sex marriage upon a popular vote, and pushing the number of states that have same-sex marriage from six (before Tuesday) to now nine. (The other six states are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. The District of Columbia also has same-sex marriage, as do two U.S. Native American tribes, apparently.)

The 2008 election results were a bittersweet pill here in California, because although Barack Obama had become the nation’s first black president based upon his ubiquitous campaign promises of hope and change (and to a large degree they were just that — promises — we know now), Proposition Hate had shot down same-sex marriage, which the California Supreme Court had ruled earlier in the year was every Californian’s constitutional right.

If same-sex marriage were put up to a vote again in California today, of course it would pass this time — even though, let me be clear, no one’s constitutional guarantee of equality ever should have to be put up to a fucking vote — and it’s gratifying to see that the Mittens Romney-Pretty Boy Paul Ryan ticket, representing the Mormon cult and the Catholick church respectively, were rejected by the majority of the nation’s voters, since the Mormon cult and the Catholick church were the biggest sponsors of Proposition Hate, in their attempt to shove their brand of theocracy and theofascism down our throats, Taliban-style.

Karma is a bitch.

(Just like Ann Romney is. I am sooooo happy not to have to see her fucking face as first lady for the next four years, by the way. Ann Romney reminds me of an Ann Cunter who actually ate something. Why are so many Repugican Tea Party women bleach-blonde harpies who act like sorority chicks who are getting revenge upon all of us for the ponies that they never got as spoiled little girls?)

P.P.S. For all of their post-election sore-loserism crying and whining, the white-supremacist Repugnican Tea Party traitors are fucking lucky that we are seeing a for-the-very-most-part bloodless, demographic revolution in the United States, and not (thus far, anyway…) the actual bloody revolution that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors deserve to have launched against them, a la the French Revolution.

After all, the “47 percent” that Mittens “Let Them Eat Cake” Romney talked about in May when he didn’t know that he was being video-recorded actually is a bit more than 50 percent, we see from Tuesday’s presidential election results.

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Team Obama mostly ignores issues, pushes utterly uninspiring money race

Wow. Team Obama isn’t even bothering to make false promises anymore. It has become entirely about the dash for cash.

On June 24 I received a fundraising e-mail from Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s “deputy campaign manager,” titled, “We’re getting outspent‏.”

“For the first time in modern American history, the incumbent (that’s us) will get outspent in a re-election campaign — by some estimates as much as 3-to-1,” Cutter whines in the e-mail, asking for a donation of $25 or more.

(Um, why does Cutter have to remind us that Barack Obama is the incumbent? Because we’re too fucking stupid to know what the word “incumbent” means or because where actual progress is concerned, Obama has been so fucking invisible that we need to be reminded that he occupies the White House? Or maybe some combination of both?)

Two days later, on June 26, I received an e-mail supposedly from the Big O himself. “I will be outspent‏” is the title of the e-mail supposedly from Barack.

“I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far,” he proclaims, asking for a donation of $25 or more.

In the e-mail Obama attacks Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Mittens Romney for Mittens’ fundraising, even though Obama broke all previous U.S. presidential fundraising records in 2008.

“I’ve got other responsibilities I’m attending to [other than fundraising],” Obama proclaims in his June 26 fundraising e-mail, which is an interesting choice of words, because when he was asked where the fuck he was when the labor movement was fighting for its life in Wisconsin, he replied, “I have a lot of responsibilities.”

The president of the United States of America has so many responsibilities, you see, that he cannot be bothered to actually do anything other than to hold the title of president of the United States of America. (And to fund-raise in order to keep that title.)

Fuck, sure, fine, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the man is busy — but the battle in Wisconsin went on for well more than a year, from the time of the occupation of Wisconsin’s capital by angry throngs of the pro-working-class in early 2011 all the way through the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election of earlier this month.

Obama, as busy as he might be, wasn’t so fucking busy that he couldn’t have done a hell of a lot more in Wisconsin than he did (which was next to fucking nothing).

Obama didn’t do anything in regards to Wisconsin because he just doesn’t give a flying fuck about the labor movement and the working class (except for their votes and their campaign contributions, of course) and/or because he is so beholden to his corporate sugar daddies that he was too terrified to actually stand up in any meaningful, effective way for the working class and the labor movement.*

Anyway, the fundraising e-mails from Team Obama continue. On June 27 I received an e-mail titled “Get onboard” from Julianna Smoot, yet another Obama “deputy campaign manager.” In this e-mail she proclaims, “We know the other side is going to have more money in this race. President Obama will be the first incumbent in modern history to be outspent.” In the e-mail she asks for “$25 or whatever you can” give.

On June 27 I received, at my other e-mail address, yet another e-mail from Smoot, this one titled, “If we’re drastically outspent.” It says, in part:

If we’re drastically outspent in this election, there’s a very good chance we will lose to Mitt Romney.

This is a distinct possibility. The financial landscape in this race has changed over the last few weeks.

What concerns me is the Obama supporters I’ve encountered who don’t understand that this is what we’re facing.

The fundraising deadline this week is a test: Are we going to allow the other side to dominate us, or are we going to prove that elections are decided by everyday Americans pitching in what they can?

In this e-mail, Smoot asks for (“only”) “$10 or more.”

Yesterday I received a fundraising e-mail supposedly from Vice President Joe Biden in which he proclaims:

Tomorrow is the biggest fundraising deadline of this election so far. Romney and the Republicans may outraise us again — you can bet they’ll  have a whole slew of special interests who want to see Romney make good on his promise to repeal Obamacare on Day One. …

Unsurprisingly, in the e-mail Joe also asks for a donation of $25 or more.

Today I received yet another fundraising e-mail supposedly from Obama himself, this one titled, “This is important.” It reads, in full:

Robert —

Today is one of the most important fundraising deadlines of this campaign so far.

We might not outraise Mitt Romney.

But I am determined to keep the margin close enough that we can win this election the right way.

To do that I need your help today.

Please donate $25 or more before tonight’s deadline:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Tonight

The stakes in this election are real. Thanks for all your support so far.

Good week.

Barack

These people are nothing if not on the same talking-points memo: Barack Obama might be the first incumbent president to be outspent in his re-election bid in modern history, so give $25 or more today!

What is most disturbing about these e-mails from Team Obama is that while we might get a throwaway line such as “The stakes in this election are real,” there is no mention in these fundraising e-mails of what the stakes actually are, no mention of the working class, the middle class, the struggling. No mention of how our perpetual warfare for the war profiteers and for Big Oil in the Middle East has destroyed the middle class here at home (because, of course, the drone- and assassination-loving Obama has only perpetrated such perpetual warfare); no mention of the beyond-ridiculous income gap between the richest and the rest of us (which persists in no small part because Obama puts Wall Street weasels in charge of his fiscal policy); no mention of the Homo-sapiens-threatening environmental catastrophe that we face; no mention of the persecution at the hands of fascistic wingnuts that women and minority groups, such as “illegals” and other non-whites and non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, still experience today in the so-called “land of the free” that values “liberty and justice for all.”

Nope.

All!

That!

Matters!

Is!

That!

Barack!

Obama!

Is!

Not!

Outspent!

By!

Mitt!

Romney!!!!!

The focus on fundraising was bad enough when John Kerry ran for president in 2004.

I remember that when my brother and I organized Meetups for Kerry’s campaign here in Sacramento (quite independently from the actual Kerry campaign), when Kerry was still an underdog, the attendees mostly wanted to talk about the issues that were important to them.

But after it was clear that Kerry, who came back from the dead like Lazarus, was going to win the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, a self-serving Democratic Party hack, who had never attended any of the previous Kerry Meetups, wholly hijacked the Meetups and made them into Democratic Party presidential fundraising events. Gone were the discussions of issues, and all that she did was ask the attendees to give money.

It was because of that deeply negative experience that I was not active in Obama’s 2008 campaign at all, except (stupidly, in retrospect) to give him at least a few hundred dollars (primarily to knock Billary Clinton out of the primary race) and (stupidly, in retrospect) to vote for him.** (And of course I blogged in support of Obama defeating first Billary and then John McCainosaurus and Sarah Palin, and I did talk him up with friends, family and associates, for whatever sway I might have over anyone else’s vote.)

This time around, though, I have been unable to give Obama a fucking penny, I could not in good conscience tell anyone else that he or she should support Obama’s re-election (even by just casting a vote for him), and in November I plan to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein for president (Obama’s e-mail remark, “Thanks for all your support so far” notwithstanding…).

I don’t give a flying fuck whether or not Barack Obama is outspent by Mittens Romney, because I don’t see what I got in return for the at-least-few-hundred dollars that I gave Obama the first fucking time.

(I already hear the Obamabots’ chorus, so let me respond: “Obamacare,” Obama’s “signature” “achievement,” even assuming that it’s a good thing, won’t/wouldn’t kick in until 2014. Giving Obama credit now for having turned around the healthcare mess is as stupidly premature as was was giving Obama the Nobel Fucking Peace Prize in 2009. [You’ll agree with me when the drones are attacking you…])

On the issues nearest and dearest me — such as the preservation of the working class and the labor movement and the reversal of beyond-ridiculous income inequality; stopping the corporate war machine that is only sucking this nation dry in the holy names of “national security” and “national defense”; and the expansion of equal rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — Barack Obama has been a dismal failure, maintaining the steadily decaying status quo at best.

“Hope” and “change” are what Obama promised. What he has delivered is more of the same.

I still expect him to win re-election, however. I expect him to garner no more than around 51 or 52 percent of the popular vote in November, but a win is a win. (Indeed, George W. Bush didn’t garner even a full 48.0 percent of the popular vote in 2000, which showed us that if one has the right-wing U.S. Surpreme Court on his side, actually, a loss isn’t always a loss, and Bush garnered only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004, while in 2008 Obama garnered 52.9 percent of the vote, which is 2.2 percent better than Gee Dubya Bush ever did.)

The fact that Americans are fairly evenly split between Obama and Romney — most recent nationwide polls show that both of them are at 40-something percent each, with Obama usually no more than a few percentage points ahead of Romney — is, I think, evidence of the fact that the pro-corporate Democratic Party and the pro-corporate Repugnican Tea Party are so similar to each other (I think of them as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party) that a good chunk of Americans see no huge difference between the two.

Regardless of which party occupies the White House, the rich get richer and the rest of us get poorer, and the United States of America continues its decline into collapse. A “Democratic” president might slow down that slide a little bit, but the downward slide continues nonetheless.

So: All other things being more or less equal, Presidential Election 2012 will come down to, I think, which candidate is considered by more voters to be more likeable.

Obama, despite his abject failure to use the office of the presidency to benefit the most number of Americans, is considered by most Americans to be more likeable than is the weird-ass Mittens Romney, whose status as both a multi-millionaire and a Mormon*** makes him alien to most of us, because most of us are neither a multi-millionaire nor a Mormon.

Money does not mean everything in an election, which 2010 California gubernatorial candidate Nutmeg Whitman, a billionaire and a long-time personal buddy of Mittens who ran on the Repugnican Tea Party ticket, discovered when she outspent her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown.

Nutmeg spent more than $140 million of her own money in the gubernatorial race, breaking all records for a self-financed political campaign for any elected office in American history. Despite that fact, on Election Day Brown beat her soundly, 53.8 percent to 40.9 percent.

True, in October 2010 California’s voter registration was 44.1 percent Democratic to 30.1 percent Repugnican, which gave Brown a decided edge, but after all of the votes were counted, Nutmeg still trailed Brown by double digits even after she had smashed all previous self-financed-campaign-spending records.

It wasn’t just California’s voter registration statistics that did Nutmeg in. Repugnican Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, after all, still won California’s 2003 gubernatorial recall election even though at the time the state’s voter registration was 43.7 percent Democratic to 35.3 percent Repugnican.

Baby Daddy’s popularity, his status as a testosterone-movie star and his perceived status as a real he-man, and the perception of the then-incumbent Democratic Gov. Gray Davis as a weakling, overcame the difference in voter registration.

After all, many if not even most voters wanted to be like Schwarzenegger — the way that they perceived him to be, anyway.

Similarly, more of the state’s voters in November 2010 wanted to be like Jerry Brown (who still more or less is considered to be a cool cat here in California, for his age, anyway) than wanted to be like the weird-ass, overprivileged Nutmeg Whitman, whose status as a billionaire CEO whose money gets her (almost…) anything that she wants and with a years-long housekeeper whom she apparently cold-heartedly fired for being an “illegal” because she thought that it would hurt her gubernatorial campaign to have an “illegal” as her housekeeper, were things that the majority of California’s voters, especially in our protractedly shitty economy, could not and still cannot identify with and did not and still do not wish to emulate, any more than the majority of the nation’s voters can identify with or wish to emulate Mittens’ purchasing an elevator for his cars or his making jokes about factory workers being laid off (ha ha ha!).

That, I think, is what Team Obama should be focusing on if Barack Obama wants to win re-election: Not on the fucking money race, which indeed, Obama might not be able to win this time, but on how much Mittens isn’t just like the rest of us.

Mittens is an overprivileged, out-of-touch freak who should not be put in the Oval Office, and while it’s too bad that Team Obama can’t run on Obama’s accomplishments, since he hasn’t found it necessary to even partially deliver on his 2008 campaign promises until his fourth fucking year in office, at least Team Obama has Mormon multi-millionaire Mittens’ freakishness and Obama’s “likeability,” which, if exploited enough, should get Obama his second term, even if he only ekes by.

*Obama said of the battle in Wisconsin that eventually saw Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett lose to Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker in the June 5 gubernatorial recall election:

“My goal has always been if we can bring parties together, there are ways that we can manage through tough fiscal decisions whether on the federal level or at the state level, but make sure that everybody is a part of it and everybody is doing their fair share, nobody is carrying the entire burden of sacrifice. I think that’s what the American people are looking for – balanced approaches that take everybody’s interests into account.”

Jesus Fucking Christ, in year four of his woefully unremarkable, disappointing first term, Obama still is talking about holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors.

Um, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want to annihilate what little is left of our labor unions. That is their goal. Their goal is not to “make sure that … everybody is doing their [sic] fair share, [that] nobody is carrying the entire burden of sacrifice.” Their goal is to make damn sure that the haves get even more and that the have-nots get even less.

You cannot take a “balanced approach” with an insane opponent who has no interest whatsofuckingever himself in taking a “balanced approach.” All that you can do with such an opponent is to crush him. You don’t negotiate with terrorists.

**Even then, I was not sure, until I actually completed my ballot, whether I was going to vote for Obama or vote for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. If I could do it over again, I would have voted for Ralph Nader again, as I did in 2000.

***No, Mittens’ Mormonism certainly isn’t off limits, just as Obama’s being called a “Muslim” very fucking apparently was not off-limits for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors. Fuck. Obama isn’t a Muslim, but Mittens is a fucking Mormon, and I’m hard pressed to say which group of patriarchal, misognyist, homophobic theofascists I’d prefer to have in charge of the White House: the cabal of stupid old evil men in Salt Lake City or the fucking Taliban.

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