Tag Archives: leadership

It’s indisputable now that Bernie is the new leader of the Democratic Party

New York Times news photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders had the support of 16 Democratic senators for the single-payer/“Medicare-for-all” health-care bill that he introduced in the U.S. Senate yesterday. Of course we won’t achieve single-payer/“Medicare-for-all” with the current Congress, but because of Bernie’s vision, persistence, courage and leadership, we are moving in that direction when the likes of Democrats in name only like Billary Clinton still are saying that we commoners have to continue to suffer under the for for-profit “health-care” system because there is no other way.

Anyone who claims that Bernie Sanders isn’t the front runner for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination must explain why, then, anyone who wants to be the 2020 Dem prez nominee signed on to the single-payer/“Medicare-for-all” health-care bill that Bernie introduced in the U.S. Senate yesterday.

Yes, the 16 signatories (all Democrats and no Repugnicans, of course) included Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey. (Even corporate whores who call themselves Democrats are smart enough to know that they don’t want to be said to have not supported single-payer/“Medicare for all” in 2017 if they want to run for the White House for 2020.)

Sixteen signatories is a lot of them, considering that when he last made the effort in 2013, Bernie could find not a single signatory.

This is what leaders do: They fucking lead.

And this is how big changes happen: People with small minds and no vision (and sometimes with a personal stake in the socioeconomic status quo) laugh and scoff at you, they tell you that it can’t be done, but you push and push and push and push, and then it finally gets done, perhaps decades later, and then it becomes the new normal, and in the future people are surprised to hear that it ever was such an uphill battle in the first fucking place; to them, it was a fucking no-brainer.

A writer for Paste notes:

… The “Overton Window” is a term meant to define the range of acceptable discourse in a certain time and place. In Democratic American politics, circa early 2016, advocating for universal healthcare was not inside the Overton Window — in fact, it was considered a campaign killer.

The fact that it’s not only inside the window today, but that support for it has practically become a requisite for any ambitious Democrat, is entirely the doing of [Bernie] Sanders. His campaign shifted the ideological grounds, and has redefined the party’s platform.

We’re rapidly approaching a point where failing to support the concept of universal health care will be a deal breaker—at this point, 60 percent of Americans favor the idea, and that number is consistently growing with time. …

It’s a simple, popular idea, but it took someone like Sanders with the courage to defy inherited political wisdom and bring it out from under the shadows of history and into the mainstream.

It’s not the only example, but it’s the most prominent right now, and it helps explain why Sanders himself has maintained and grown his personal popularity in the Trump era.

This phenomenon has little to do with Sanders in particular — he has authenticity on his side, but no special charisma. [I disagree that he has no charisma, but no, he doesn’t make his personality and his ego the centerpiece of his politics, which in this day and age is refreshing.]

It’s the strength of his ideas that have persisted and grown. Winning and losing isn’t his primary concern, and his political beliefs are all aimed at the future. And as that future approaches, he’s positioned himself as the most influential leader on the left….

While Bernie Sanders is leading, Billary Clinton is only even further demonstrating exactly what happened — she is now shilling her book that blames everyone except herself for her shitty presidential campaign (which was doomed to fail because it was based upon a shitty human being) and she apparently is trying to keep her brand of obsolete, center-right, pro-corporate, anti-populist, pay-to-play politics alive when it already is in a hospice.

As the writer for Paste also noted:

… Then there’s Hillary Clinton, who remains firmly rooted in the past. She lost the general election to an enormously unpopular candidate, and nearly lost the primary to Bernie Sanders, because she couldn’t rely on the strength of her ideas.

Hers was a personality- and identity-based campaign rather than an ideological one, and it came with the underlying belief that Her Time Had Come.

So it’s no surprise that in the aftermath of an historical loss to Trump, her egocentric rhetoric remains fatally attached to herself, and therefore attached to the past. …

Clinton’s new book, What Happened, is a postmortem that looks for blame everywhere but the proverbial mirror. It is rife with complaints, but woefully short on honest self-analysis. (There’s a comical comparison here to Sanders’ own recently released book, which is a policy-based look at the future of progressivism.) There’s plenty of aspersions to go around, but Bernie Sanders came in for special treatment…

While Sanders stands in the face of the Trump wave, a 76-year-old man fighting tooth and nail and with unprecedented success to bring healthcare to all Americans, Clinton has only emerged from hiding months later to promote a querulous book and sow further divisions on the left.

Their respective actions in the wake of a horrifying election result have proved the point: Sanders cares about the future, while Clinton cares only about herself.

Indeed.

Clearly, having made Billary the deplorable the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee was a huge fucking mistake. And at that time Bernie Sanders, being new to most Americans, just couldn’t overcome the corrupt Democratic National Committee that was doing its best to coronate Billary.

But the DNC has been exposed now (and at least partially purged of the Billarybots), and in hindsight Bernie looks even better now than he did in 2020. (Indeed, I love this meme:

Image result for hindsight is 2020 )

On the topic of single-payer/“Medicare for all”/universal health care, of course I agree that health care is a human right. Every human being has the right to good health care.

I’m not an expert on health care, but I’m clear on the fact that the largest obstacles to universal health care in the United States are political. There are too many selfish pieces of shit out there who are profiteering obscenely from health care, since health care is a necessity of human life. These selfish traitors, who don’t at all mind harming others for their own excessive, undeserved gain, don’t want their gravy train derailed, and so of course they’re going to continue to fight for their incredibly unfair advantage.*

The United States spends more money per person on health care but doesn’t have outcomes to match that spending, and that’s because the goal in a for-profit “health-care” system is to profiteer — not to actually deliver good health care.

Two nations that spend less per person on health care but have better outcomes than does the United States are Britain and Italyboth of which have universal health care, so those who say that the United States cannot achieve universal health care are full of shit.**

We probably can’t wipe out for-profit “health care” overnight, and I am OK with allowing public/universal health care and private health care to co-exist at least for a time. (We do, after all, have both public schools and private schools, and no child is unable to attend school because his or her family cannot pay for it.)

But my hope would be that public health care (single-payer/“Medicare for all”/universal health care) turns out to be so successful — including delivering significantly better outcomes at significantly less expense — that the private wealth-care weasels just cannot compete and deservedly go the way of the dinosaurs.

In the future, I suspect, history will show that Bernie Sanders was the father of universal health care, that he transcended not just the for-profit “health-care” system, but that he did what the namby-pamby Obamacare, which kept the for-profit “health-care” system intact, did not do: ensure good health care for everyone.

And history will show, I suspect, that Bernie Sanders finally rescued the Democratic Party from the Clintonistas (who, in fairness, include Saint Barack, of course).

*In the for-profit “health-care” system lots of people profiteer at others’ expense, and it’s not only the owners of the for-profit “health-care” companies, but stockholders, too, and those craven politicians to whom the wealth-care weasels give a lot of campaign cash in order to keep their treasonous scam going.

**Other nations whose citizens have longer life expectancy than do Americans but that spend less on health care per capita and have universal health care include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. See here and here.

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Prick Insantorum: Global warming is ‘political science’

Republican presidential candidate Santorum acknowledges the crowd at the Capital High School Auditorium in Boise, Idaho

Reuters photo

No, it would take courage to stand up to the fossil fuels industry, not to kowtow to it for personal and political gain, and to fight for Americans would be to fight for what’s in our best interests, and the continued long-term degradation of the planet for the short-term profiteering of the filthy rich few is not in our best interests. It’s what you call treason.

Repugnican Tea Party presidential frontrunner Prick Santorum’s fuck-the-planet insanity rolls on, belching greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as it chugs.

In the swing state of Ohio today, he pronounced that as president the continued support for the coal industry and approval of the Keystone Pipeline would be part of his “responsible environmental stewardship,” reports The Los Angeles Times.

“Responsible environmental stewardship.”

Fuck. That’s just like calling the promotion of burgers, fries and milkshakes “responsible health promotion.”

President Barack Obama — who, recall, sat on his hands while British Petroleum filled the Gulf of Mexico with crude for weeks but claimed that it had everything under control — has “radical environmental policies,” Santorum declared today.

Radical, indeed. If Barack Obama (who shot down the Keystone Pipeline, at least for now [it is presidential election season, after all], but who does not oppose the obviously environmentally disastrous practice of fracking) is a “radical” Earth-server, what could we expect to see from President Santorum once a deep-sea oil well blows?

The L.A. Times reports that Santorum said to a crowd in a “once-booming steel town” in Ohio today: “Ladies and gentlemen, we need someone who understands, who comes from the coal fields, who comes from the steel mills, who understands what ordinary working people in American need to provide for themselves and their families.”

No one on the left opposes “ordinary working people in America” being able to “provide for themselves and their families” — the vast majority of us are “ordinary working people,” too — but continuing to burn coal and other fossil fuels — aside from the fact that the majority of the profits from burning fossil fuels go to the plutocrats who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party and with whom the members of the Repugnican Tea Party love to cuddle, not to “ordinary working people” — might be good for the relatively short-term employment of a minority of Americans, but it’s bad fucking news for the long-term survival of all Americans and all human beings.

Leadership is about responsibility, ab0ut encouraging your flock to do the right thing, not the easiest thing for right now. Wisdom and wise leadership are about viewing the long term, not the short term at the expense of the long term.

Prick Santorum’s policy of fucking over current and future generations for continued environmentally disastrous profiteering demonstrates that he not only isn’t fit to sit inside the Oval Office, but that he is no Christian. (You know, I just can’t see Jesus Christ fucking over others for his own selfish, personal, political and monetary gain.)

And willfully screwing over current and future generations for a profit (or for political or other personal gain) isn’t just bad policy. In my book, it’s treason — it’s putting one’s own selfish interests above the best interests of the masses.

It’s predictable that over the coming weeks Prick Santorum’s rhetoric is only going to become even more extreme. He’s a huge fucking hypocrite* as well as possibly the most stupid man who walks the planet. And he is, in my book — and I don’t throw this label around lightly — evil.

Santorum also proclaimed today, since he wants the votes of Ohioans, because his getting the presidency is far more important than is anything else, even the continued ability of the planet to sustain human life itself: “I refer to global warming as not climate science, but political science.”

Really? Prick Santorum is a scientist? He is qualified to speak on the topic of climatology?

No, Prick Santorum is not a scientist, but is a politician who gladly will sell out us Americans in order to satiate his lust for the most politically powerful position on the planet. If he were backed by the fast food industry instead of by the fossil fuels industry, he would declare that studies that show the harmful effects of junk food are just “junk science.” Just “political science.” Ha ha!

Because Prick Santorum cares only about Prick Santorum. He doesn’t give a flying fuck about you or your children or your children’s children.

*For instance, in Prick Insantorum’s worldview, it’s “playing politics” for us progressives to fight for our Americans’ right to use birth control, but it’s not “playing politics” for him and his fellow “Christo”fascists to fight to replace the U.S. Constitution with the decrees of the Vatican, such as its Dark-Ages opposition to birth control. (Because the “Christo”fascists never engage in the ugly practice of politics!)

And it’s “playing politics” for us progressives to fight for environmental preservation, but it’s not “playing politics” to take money from the fossil fuels industry in exchange for making such pronouncements as that global warming is “political science.”

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On blogging fatigue and revolution

Of course, what I have is more like life fatigue, but this is a blog, so we’ll call it blogging fatigue.

I blog when I am moved to blog. I don’t believe in blogging on a schedule. I can’t see anything of worth being produced that way. Not consistently, anyway. My best blogging comes when the spirit moves me, and so if the spirit doesn’t move me, I don’t blog.

I haven’t been blogging much lately because what is there to blog about these days anyway?

Egypt looks like it’s on its way to freedom, and hell, maybe even Iran, too, but we’re a long way from freedom here at home — in no small part because once you mistakenly believe that you’re already free, you see no reason to pursue freedom.

How free are we here in the U.S.A. when the next several years are so fucking predictable?

I predict with a significant degree of confidence that the Richie Rich frat boy Mitt Romney will emerge as the 2012 Repugnican Party presidential nominee. I once thought that his being a Mormon would prove to be an insurmountable obstacle for him, but it’s pretty clear that the Repugnican Party is going with the youthful (well, in comparison to John McCainosaurus, anyway) white male now, as evidenced by the fact that last month Repugnican National Committee chair Michael Steele was dumped and replaced by some youthful white guy whose Richie-Rich frat-boy name no one can pronounce (or spell).

(Yeah, I know, Repugnican Rep. Ron Paul just won the wingnuts’ straw poll — again — but the wingnuts’ ball was packed with Paul supporters. He doesn’t have the Repugnican Party’s backing, so he’s going nowhere.)

No real Democrat will emerge to challenge Barack Obama for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination — or if one does, it will be one who has a snowball’s chance in the rapidly melting North Pole, like Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich — and so Barack Obama will be re-elected in November 2012.

I predict that Romney will do at least a little bit better against Obama than McCainosaurus did, due to Romney being more photogenic than McCainosaurus and due to Obama having lost his luster of “hope” and “change,” but that Obama will get his second term.

There is no reason to believe that at any point in his presidency Obama will change his game significantly. He always takes the path of least political resistance. He thinks that slogans are a substitute for testicles.

I wholeheartedly agree with Andrew Sullivan, who recently wrote:

[Some U.S. senators] have to lead, because this president is too weak, too cautious, too beholden to politics over policy to lead. In [his recently released federal] budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short-term political interests.

Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short-term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road.

To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: He just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools. Either the U.S. will go into default because of Obama’s cowardice, or you will be paying far, far more for far, far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.

Yup. Not only does Obama refuse to stand up to the baby-boomer and senior citizen lobbies, which are perfectly happy to leave much less than nothing for those of us who follow them — and it’s not just those of us under the age of 30 who are getting screwed, but those of us in our 30s and 40s, too — but, as Sullivan also notes, Obama refuses to stand up to the military-industrial complex’s bloated-beyond-belief budget as well.

On one hand, the spineless, politically self-serving Obama, by refusing to push for what needs to be done, is only continuing the damage done to the nation by the unelected Bush regime, but on the other hand, Obama’s utter ineffectiveness in solving the nation’s problems demonstrates to us Americans that we’re foolish to continue to leave our nation’s fate in the hands of the ossified system in D.C. — a system that certainly doesn’t have our best interests at heart now, if it ever fucking did (any more than U.S.-backed Hosni Mubarak ever had the Egyptians’ best interests at heart).

Out of this realization that our government in D.C. is useless, real revolution, like what we’ve just seen in Egypt, just might take hold here at home.

Of course, revolution is a tricky business.

How many of us who are itching for revolution actually are going to take the advice of those who say, “OK, you throw the first Molotov cocktail!”?

Still, that first Molotov cocktail needs to be thrown.

After all, I need the inspiration to blog regularly again.

P.S. Another reason that I have blogging fatigue is that the nation is so fucking bogged down in high-schoolish diversions that few Americans are willing to have a dialogue about anything that actually fucking matters.

For instance, Salon.com, The Huffington Post and Media Matters — all of which are supposed to be robust members of some progressive media — all have reported that the Archie Bunker-like wingnutty liar Andrew Breitbart’s website has depicted Michelle Obama in a cartoon as — gasp!fat!

Media Matters notes that “this is the sort of stuff most of us left at the grade-school playground.” True, but Media Matters also not only reports on the unfunny cartoon, but reproduces it, thus elevating the level of our national discussion — not.

Meanwhile, our nation’s and our planet’s problems, such as the fact that the military-industrial complex and the baby boomers are draining the lifeblood of our nation and the fact that Homo sapiens’ continued existence is threatened by global warming, go unaddressed because we’re talking instead about the stupid fucking cartoon in which Michelle Obama is portrayed as fat.

Along these lines, you might want to read Salon.com’s Michael Lind’s little piece, which he begins:

What dumb thing did Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck just say? You don’t need to watch Fox News to find out. The progressive media will tell you. The economy is still in a coma, revolution is rocking the Middle East — but you can be sure that Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews will take time to snicker at something silly that Palin or Bachmann or Beck said in the last 48 hours.

Is the constant mockery of these bloviating right-wing demagogues really the best use of precious center-left media time? …

As Lind writes, attacking every stupid thing that comes from the circus freaks on the right, among other things,

[Is] a reactive strategy that gives the initiative to the right. When progressive opinion leaders wait for conservatives to say something stupid and then pounce on it, they cede the choice of topics in national debate to their enemies. No doubt this drives ratings, attracting hyper-partisan Democrats whose greatest pleasure in life is the rather low one of picking apart the statements of Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck…. But it’s no substitute for a liberalism that tells its own story, on its own timeline, and lets the right react.

and

[Is] a waste of effort and attention. We are mired down in two wars in the Muslim world and suffering from the greatest global economic crisis since the Great Depression. The last time things were this bad, in the 1930s, American liberals and leftists were debating the nature of capitalism and government and world politics and putting forth their own, often contradictory plans. Liberal politicians and journalists devoted little, if any, time to dissecting the errors of right-wing crackpots of the period, like the radio priest Father Coughlin.

If nothing else, the crackpots on the right do their corporate paymasters’ bidding by creating diversions from the national discussions that we should be having. These diversions maintain the status quo.

And I, for one, am sick and tired of the back-and-forth that doesn’t change a fucking thing. I can’t even visit the politics section of a bookstore anymore because I already know what to expect: the same old tired arguments that aren’t going to change anyone’s minds. (Or, in a word, gridlock.)

We need actual movement now, not more pointless debate that only keeps us in stasis.

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DADT down, DOMA to go

Obama seen naming new econ adviser in Jan.-official

Reuters photo 

Barack Obama proclaims that his stance on same-sex marriage is still “evolving.” So is this guy’s:



Getty Images

After eight long years of nightmarish rule by the unelected troglodyte George W. Bush, it sure would be nice to have a fully evolved president.

When asked his position on same-sex marriage, President Barack Obama recently told the Advocate (a magazine for the non-heterosexual community):

… And since I’ve been making a lot of news over the last several weeks, I’m not going to make more news [on the topic of same-sex marriage] today. The sentiment [on same-sex marriage that] I expressed then is still where I am — which is, like a lot of people, I’m wrestling with this. My attitudes are evolving on this.

I have always firmly believed in having a robust civil union that provides the rights and benefits under the law that marriage does. I’ve wrestled with the fact that marriage traditionally has had a different connotation. But I also have a lot of very close friends who are married gay or lesbian couples.

And squaring that circle is something that I have not done yet, but I’m continually asking myself this question, and I do think that — I will make this observation, that I notice there is a big generational difference. When you talk to people who are in their 20s, they don’t understand what the holdup is on this, regardless of their own sexual orientation. And obviously when you talk to older folks, then there’s greater resistance.

And so this is an issue that I’m still wrestling with, others are still wrestling with. What I know is that at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples.

Wow.

What if I, as a white man, were to say that my views on equal human and civil rights for blacks and other non-whites were still “evolving”? What if I said that younger people don’t understand the holdup on equal human and civil rights for blacks and other non-whites, but that older people are still resistant to equal human and civil rights for non-whites, and so I’m “wrestling” with the issue?

What if I said that I maintain that blacks and other non-whites may not use white people’s public facilities, but that I believed in “robust” separate-but-“equal” public facilities for non-whites?

All of that would make me at least somewhat of a racist, wouldn’t it?*

Yet here is Barack Obama stating that he’s still “wrestling” with a basic issue of right versus wrong, that his “attitudes are evolving” on equal human and civil rights for a historically oppressed group of people.

So which is it?

Is Barack Obama truly so ignorant and so utterly lacking in compassion and empathy that he truly cannot understand that to deny one historically oppressed minority group equal human and civil rights (which are part of the American myth of freedom, liberty and justice for all, blah blah blah) is wrong? Especially given what blacks have gone through?

Or is Obama such a cold, political calculator that, as he put it himself, politically he is between two camps, those who believe in equal human and civil rights for everyone, and those who still believe that it’s OK to deny equal human and civil rights to some people, and so, in order not to piss off the latter camp, he’s going to continue to drag his feet on the subject of equal human and civil rights for all?

In either case, Obama is utterly unworthy of respect — or of re-election.

Leadership is about doing the right thing, even if a huge chunk of the population is opposed to doing the right thing.

Leadership isn’t about waffling. It’s about taking a fucking principled stand.

Vice President Joe Biden recently declared that “there is an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage,” yet Obama recently declared, “I recognize that, from their [non-heterosexuals’] perspective, it [separate-but-“equal” civil unions instead of marriage] is not enough. And I think this is something that we’re going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward.”

There is nothing to fucking continue to debate, and the issue of equal human and civil rights for all is much, much larger and much, much more important than whatever Barack Obama proclaims he still “personally” needs to “continue to wrestle with.”

*And proclaiming that I have some black friends probably wouldn’t get me off of the hook, would it, yet Obama commits the huge heterosexual no-no of proclaiming that “a lot of very close friends” of his are non-heterosexual. (Who is advising this man?)

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Let’s hope Hurricane Meg fizzles

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman ...

Associated Press photo

Repugnican billionaire Nutmeg Whitman, photographed last night in Los Angeles. She easily outspent her closest Repugnican rival to win her party’s gubernatorial nomination for California, the most populous state in the nation. She’s never held a single elected office, but hey, she’s a billionaire.

This should be an interesting summer.

Oil continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico and as a result countless animals continue to die slow, oily deaths. (Yes, that’s a bigger issue than what the Big Oil/British Petroleum debacle has done to the economy that is dependent upon the gulf.)

But wait, there’s more: We’re in hurricane season now, and the experts predict a hurricane season that will rival the 2005 season, which brought us Hurricane Katrina.

The coming few months should be chock full o’ environmental devastation.

What does Repugnican California gubernatorial wannabe billionaire Nutmeg Whitman have to say about the environment?

That it should take a back seat to her and her fellow Richie Riches.

Megalomaniac promises that on her first day as governor she would suspend California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which was signed into law by Repugnican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September 2006.

Why would Nutmeg do this?

She calls the Global Warming Solutions Act a “job-killer,” but that’s bullshit. She doesn’t care about jobs. She cares about her fellow millionaires and billionaires who don’t want to lose any of their profit margin to any mandated changes in the way that they do their business in order to protect the environment.

Sound familiar? It’s what the Bush regime did: deny climate change as a problem and claim that any solutions would be too harmful to the economy — because the Bush regime was all about protecting the rich at the expense of the rest of us and even the planet itself.

Nutmeg Whitman is a billionaire and she has pumped millions of dollars of her own money into her gubernatorial campaign thus far and she plans to pump millions more into it.

We know that she’s filthy rich, but what about her ability to lead? What about her vision?

Putting plutocrats’ profits above the very planet itself — and lying about it and saying that it’s about “jobs,” to try to dupe you into thinking that she really gives a flying fuck about your poor ass: That’s vision? That’s leadership?

There’s nothing new about Megalomaniac Whitman. She’s another aristocrat claiming to have the average person’s interests at heart. She’s a power-mongering liar who would be disastrous for California and for the nation.

Megalomaniac Whitman, who never has held any elected office, can afford to buy the governorship of California, but neither California nor the United States of American can afford Nutmeg Whitman.

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