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AfterBern redux

Sanders' campaign accused of retaliating against union activities

That’s about how I feel.

Bernie Sanders is a bit of a sad figure to me these days.

I still get his long e-mails about what a piece of shit the “president” is (no, he’d never use that kind of language, of course, but the meaning is the same) and all of the steep challenges that face us (it’s not always, um, uplifting to read his e-mails).

Thing is, Bernie is fairly political powerless, at least in terms of presidential politics. I give him credit for still doing what he can, but he ran for president twice and I don’t see him running a third time. (Hidin’ Joe Biden ran three times, but he put a lot of years in between his runs: 1988, 2008 and 2020.)

Bernie is, I think, too nice, too conciliatory. I don’t think that that works in today’s political environment, perhaps especially given how craven the so-called Democratic Party has become.

No, Bernie never had to be an asshole like “President” Pussygrabber, but he could have stood his ground more forcefully. Yes, Billary Clinton’s illegal shadow e-mail set-up was something, was not nothing — and although he gave her a pass, the Billary-led Democratic National Committee fucked Bernie over anyway and Bernie also was way too nice to Joe Biden, and the result of that was that right before Super Tuesday, Biden & Co., center-right corporate-whore assholes all, suddenly closed ranks in order to tank Bernie’s campaign; no way could these sellout turncoats allow an actual progressive to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

In politics, probably especially presidential politics, politeness does not pay.

I get it that after the 2016 and 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary contests, Bernie has had to return to the U.S. Senate, so he couldn’t annihilate his bridges in his quest for the Oval Office. But he has been too damned nice, and in today’s presidential politics that is perceived as weak.

You can be strong without being an asshole — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an example of that. She takes a lot of heat from the wingnuts but she gives it right back — better than it was thrown at her.

I don’t regret that I supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020, including having donated hundreds of dollars to him and having voted for him in the presidential primary elections. I believe that Bernie has laid the groundwork for a progressive takeover of the corporate-whore Democratic Party.

Sometimes you have to look at the big picture. Wingnut Barry Goldwater lost big-time in 1964, but few who are knowledgeable disagree that he laid the groundwork for the “Reagan revolution” of the 1980s (which began the downfall of the United States of America).

It’s possible, if not probable, that what’s going to be required for the Democratic Party to ever become progressive again is that all of the center-right old fucks who call themselves Democrats (most of them baby boomers, of course) will have to die off, and year after year they’ll be replaced by younger Americans who subscribe to progressivism.

Indeed, the United States’ youth and young adults, having been set up to fail at birth, and realizing very personally how very fucked up it is to screw over the generations that are following yours, might save the nation that the baby boomers and those older than the boomers have destroyed out of their bottomless selfishness and greed and incredible short-sightedness. From the ashes might rise a United States truly made great again.

And while Bernie Sanders probably won’t live to see that promised land, if it materializes, he was instrumental in its creation. He will have been a founding father of the new nation.

In the meantime, while I still respect Bernie, he is not my boss.

I get Bernie’s e-mails encouraging me to vote for Hidin’ Joe Biden. I will not vote for Biden.

Again, I live in California, one of the bluest states there is; there is no question that Biden will win California and all of its 55 electoral votes.*

Again, if you live in one of the swing states — Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin* — then I encourage you to vote your conscience, but I have the luxury of not having to worry about helping Pussygrabber get a second term, since it’s a foregone conclusion that Biden will win my state and all of its electoral votes.

(No, I don’t give a fuck about the popular vote, since it doesn’t determine who becomes president. It should, but it doesn’t. Bragging rights about having won the popular vote don’t give you the presidency and the political power that comes with that. Ask Billary Clinton.)

If I had to put money on it, I’d say that Biden will beat Pussygrabber in November, for several reasons, but primarily because of COVID-19 and its socioeconomic effects. The economy tends to be the No. 1 factor in a president’s re-election (“re”-election, in this case), and I don’t see the train wreck that is the United States improving nearly enough between now and Election Day for Pussygrabber to pull out a win, even just an Electoral College win, as he did in 2016.

Also, lucky Biden is benefitting from being able to use COVID-19 as an excuse, valid or not (mostly valid, probably), to not have to run a traditional presidential campaign. Less campaigning means fewer of Biden’s, um, senior moments. Less campaigning means that voters largely will be voting for the Joe Biden of yesterday, not of today.

What would I expect a Biden presidency to look like? Much like the Obama presidency looked like: nice words, little substance, negligible improvement in the average American’s life.

Barack Obama for the most part was a caretaker president, and after the Repugnicans won back the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm election (and kept the House until the 2018 midterm election), there was no way that they were going to allow Obama to have any progressive victories. You don’t even try to negotiate with terrorists like the Repugnicans, but the naive and probably arrogant Obama did so right out of the gate — probably the No. 1 mistake of his presidency — and the rest is history.

I expect a Biden administration to make the same mistakes that the Obama administration did. (After all, stuck-in-the-past Biden thinks that parents still routinely use record players for their children.)

If the Democrats win back the White House, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House in November, which is quite possible, I expect them, “led” by Biden, to squander their political capital with their bipartisan “Kumbaya” bullshit, just as Obama did when, in the first two years of his presidency, the Dems controlled the White House, the Senate and the House — and utterly wasted all of that political capital when the stars don’t align like that (having control of the White House, the Senate and the House) very often.

Indeed, last week’s sad Democratic National Convention, in which much more love was shown to moderate Repugnicans than to progressive/actual Democrats, doesn’t bode well for a progressive agenda being passed through should the Dems once again win the White House, the Senate and the House.

Were I to vote for Biden, to me it would mean that I supported the continuation of a center-right, Repugnican-Lite, corporate-whoring Democratic Party — when I didn’t even have to, since I live in deep-blue California.

And I’m still not sure which would be the better longer-term outcome: Pussygrabber gets a second term, perhaps demonstrating amply, for once and for all, that the center-right, sellout campaigns of the likes of Billary Clinton and Hidin’ Joe Biden don’t work anymore, inducing the Democratic Party to, at long last, return to its progressive roots; or that Biden wins, and that this center-right, sellout bullshit under the banner of the Democratic Party continues indefinitely. “President Harris” gives me nightmares.**

In the meantime, it’s hard to describe the feeling that I have whenever I get one of Bernie’s e-mails or see him in the news. I still respect him — he is not dead to me, as self-serving, pseudo-progressive snake Elizabeth Warren is — but today Bernie makes me feel like a deflated convention balloon.

And I look to our younger generations to get us out of this abyss. They shouldn’t have to, but it has been forced upon them to, and they just might prove to be our next greatest generation.

*One of the most helpful graphics that I’ve seen is fivethirtyeight.com’s “snake chart,” which you can see here. The extreme two ends of the “snake” represent the states that are going to go to Biden or to Pussygrabber without doubt. As we progress toward the center of the “snake,” we see which states are less solidly blue or red, and which states appear to be the swing states. The 10 states that I’ve listed above as swing states are the 10 states that make up the middle area of the “snake,” which is the 270 electoral votes that must be won in order to win the White House.

**If Kamala Harris were a progressive, instead of just another centrist corporate whore who takes whatever political positions she deems most likely to help her political ambitions right now, a la Billary Clinton, I’d be happy to have her as president. That she’s a woman of color would be the icing on the cake. But there has to be some fucking cake.

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Something wonderful just might rise from the ashes of the United States

Antifa in USA

“President” Pussygrabber opposes the people who oppose neo-Nazism because he’s a fucking neo-Nazi himself. Our fascist overlords are paper tigers, however; because they are parasites on the rest of us, all that we have to do is rise up, refuse to allow them continue to suck our lifeblood, and they’ll fall like the house of cards that they are. They know this, and it terrifies the shit out of them that the game might, this time, finally, be up.

The looting and vandalism that has taken place in numerous Americans cities over the past several days — including my own — at first blush probably looks to many if not even most Americans as pretty senseless.

It would appear, superficially at least, that there is no logical line from the cruel, slow murder by cop of George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday to the looting and vandalism of (mostly) small and larger businesses throughout the nation, but the line is there.

You just have to flush out all of the dust from your eyes that the capitalists put there with years and years and years of their profits-and-property-over- people propaganda, aided and abetted not only by the corporately owned and controlled “news” media doing the bidding of the corporations and of the corporatocrats, but also by our corporately owned and controlled elected (and “elected”) officials, from the local level all the way up to the White House.

Looting and vandalism seem like desperate acts, but the cruel, unjust, dog-eat-dog American socioeconomic system naturally, inevitably produces an awful lot of desperate people.

History suggests that a majority of Americans won’t learn a fucking thing from what’s going on now — the ongoing nationwide novel coronavirus pandemic as well as the nationwide unrest caused by a bad white cop who didn’t cause all of this, but who definitely lit the fuse — and that the American impulse will be to try to sweep all of this unpleasantness under the national rug and pretend that none of this ugliness had ever happened.

I mean, fuck, the coronavirus is still doing its killing, but after not even a full three months of a nationwide shutdown (it’s been more like a slowdown than a complete shutdown, but still), already a huge chunk, if not the majority, of Americans want to pretend that the coronavirus thing is all over already and open up the nation again — which is going to have quite predictable results.

Property destruction in the wake of another murder by cop seems appropriate to me. Maybe in the past I’d have questioned the logic of it, but it is clear to me now.

Why? Because the upper classes constantly give the message to the lower classes* that the property of the former is far more valuable than are the very lives of the latter.

No, the upper crust don’t come out and say that that is their belief, but their words and actions, repeated year after year after year, make it clear that that is their belief nonetheless.

So, if our lives are so expendable and “your” property (which our labor and our common natural resources have made possible in the first place!) is all that you care about, then we’ll go after “your” property, the message of the looting and the vandalism is, whether we are willing to acknowledge that or not.

All of this — the nationwide coronavirus pandemic, the protests that are roiling the nation right now — are identifying for us, starkly, our long-standing national problems, and the solutions are just one step behind our identification of and acknowledgment of the problems.

Ironically, actually solving even our entrenched problems probably isn’t the biggest hurdle — it’s acknowledging them in the first fucking place that is the biggest hurdle, because with such genuine, widespread acknowledgment would follow a radical reordering of the socioeconomic order that those at the top have been doing their best to stave off for generations. They even put a considerable chunk of their fortunes — I say “their” fortunes, but, again, since they stole “their” fortunes from the rest of us, they’re our fortunes — toward maintaining their unfair socioeconomic and political advantage.

(These plutocrats and oligarchs pour billions of dollars into pro-corporate propaganda that’s pumped to us masses en masse every fucking day, and they give billions of dollars to corrupt elected officials who are supposed to do the bidding of the people but who instead do the bidding of their highest corporate bidders.

And, of course, the plutocrats and the oligarchs spend quite a lot of money [again, our money, since they stole it from us by reaping the benefits of our labor while we try to survive from paycheck to paycheck] on personal security [including having the “people’s” cops and the “people’s” military in their own rich, right-wing pockets] and ensuring that in their day-to-day activities they have as absolutely little actual contact with us dalits as possible.)

You know that the recent nationwide protests are working, because “President” Pussygrabber, the Looter in Chief, now proclaims that he is deeming antifa a “terrorist organization.”**

Clearly, this would be just the first step in the unhinged, fascist “president” declaring all of his political detractors to be “terrorists” when he and his right-wing, fascist ilk, of course, are the actual terrorists, just as they are the actual looters.

And, of course, our “president” opposes an anti-fascist group only because he’s a fucking fascist himself.

Hitler and his supporters did all that they could do eliminate their domestic political opposition, too, before they expanded their reign of terror.

We’ve seen this playbook before.

It’s up to us to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself this time. American fascism must be stopped in its tracks.

It probably will get ugly, but what emerges from the ashes just might be wonderful.

That’s why I still say: Let it burn.

P.S. I would be remiss if I did not note that the pro-corporate Democratic Party establishment is guilty as sin, too, of course.

The people — you know, we dalits — had hope in actual Democrat (that is, the actually progressive) Bernie Sanders actually becoming president and helping to turn the Titanic around, but the pro-corporate Democratic Party establishment hacks, always only ever looking out for themselves like the fucking traitors that they are, made damn sure that they torpedoed Bernie (by coalescing right before Super Tuesday) — and they gave us, in Bernie’s stead, the utterly uninspiring corporate whore Joe Biden, who barely can speak a coherent sentence (but who at least by now, hopefully, finally at least has learned to keep his nasty hands to himself).

We, the people, were just supposed to sit down and shut up about the fact that the party that is supposed to stand for the people fucked us, the people, over yet once again, like Lucy with the football on crack.

This time, we, the people, are not just sitting down and shutting up like the good little sheep that we’re supposed to be.

*To be clear, by “class” here I mean strictly income level and the level of possession of wealth, not the level of one’s character.

Most wealthy Americans are of low character — it disturbs them not that their excess comes at the expense of those who don’t have the basic necessities of life — and many if not most Americans who are struggling to get by are of high character (because if nothing else, they — we — should have brought out the guillotines a long, long time ago, but we have yet to do so).

**As with most of the vile things that “our” vile “president” threatens to do, he does not have the legal authority to unilaterally designate entire swaths of American citizens as “terrorists.” Politico notes today:

President Donald Trump tweeted [today] that the U.S. government would be “designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”

There were just two problems with that. First, he doesn’t appear to have the legal authority to do so. And second, it’s by no means clear the loosely defined group of radical activists is an organization at all.

The Trump administration’s push to crack down on antifa — short for “anti-fascist” — comes as large and small businesses in a host of American cities were looted and vandalized as people protested the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The president and his top officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, have blamed antifa for violence and property damage. In an on-camera statement Saturday, Barr said the Justice Department wouldn’t hesitate to prosecute people who crossed state lines to participate in violence, citing his authorities under anti-riot legislation.

Barr did not invoke laws against terrorism, which do not let the U.S. government designate purely homegrown groups as terrorist organizations.

Under current law, the State Department can designate foreign organizations as terrorist groups. But the U.S. has no domestic terrorism statute, and the FBI uses other legal authorities to prosecute domestic terrorism here. … [Emphasis mine.]

This is why you don’t “elect” as “president” an abject fucking retard who has not held high office before, at least as the governor of a state, as a U.S. senator or as vice president.

Pussygrabber clearly has no idea of — and certainly has no respect for — what the U.S. Constitution allows and disallows him to do. Had he had any experience in high elected office before, he might fucking know something about the constitutionally instituted limitations on the power of any U.S. official, including, and probably especially, the president.

Instead, Pussygrabber has treated the presidency as just an extension of his corporate kingdom, over which he is the undisputed and absolute monarch.

The United States of America is not a fucking monarchy and we’ll never allow it to become one.

If Mad King Pussygrabber knew his very basic U.S. history, he would know that much.

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Self-serving fraudster Pussygrabber keeps lying about voting by mail

I have been voting by mail happily for years, and the democracy-hating, voter-suppressing Repugnican traitors (redundant) will have to pry my vote-by-mail ballot from my cold, dead fingers.

For obvious reasons, the president of the United States, whether we have a legitimate one or an illegitimate one, such as we have an illegitimate one now, has very limited legal authority over our elections, which are governed by federal and state laws and in which disputes generally are handled by the courts, certainly not by someone who is on the fucking ballot.

The person who stands to benefit very personally from how our elections are conducted has no business dictating how our elections should be conducted in order to benefit him- or herself. Duh.

So to see “President” Pussygrabber repeatedly falsely claim that it is illegal for the states to send all voters a vote-by-mail ballot for their optional use makes me further think of the unelected Pussygrabber as no different from a third-world right-wing tinpot dictator. Brazil has nothing on us.

The fact is that five states already send every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot: Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado and Utah. My understanding is that all of these states do provide in-person voting for those who demand or genuinely require it, but that voters who vote in person might have to travel farther than they wish and/or might have to wait in line to vote longer than they wish.

If it truly were illegal for a state merely to send every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot, the courts would have stopped the practice by now.* Duh. Jesus fuck, Pussygrabber’s pathological lies are so obviously pathological fucking lies.

What the impeached-but-only-still-in-office-because-of-the-treasonous-Repugnicans-in-the-U.S.-Senate “President” Pussygrabber is trying to do, of course, is to rig the 2020 presidential election just like he and his henchpeople did their best to rig the 2016 presidential election.

Pussygrabber hates voting by mail (although he does it himself — because of course) because, in his own words, he believes that it benefits Democrats at Repugnicans’ expense (the experts say that this is not truebecause of course).

The 50 states have wide latitude over how they set their elections- and voting-related laws, as long as they don’t violate any federal laws. The average American probably would be shocked by the differences in the laws from state to state, such as how in Maine and Vermont you may vote even if you’re a felon still in prison, yet in several red states you may not vote if you’ve ever had a felony conviction in your past at all, regardless of your current status.

(I might argue that for fairness and consistency, the states’ elections- and voting-related laws should all be the same, but whose model are we to adopt, then? The voter-suppressing, anti-democratic red-state model or the voter-friendly, democracy-loving blue-state model?)

It is incredibly irresponsible, at the bare minimum, for the “president” of the United States of America — which, on paper, anyway, still is a democracy — to repeatedly claim that voting by mail is illegal and that it is ripe for fraud. Both claims are patently false, and they won’t actually magically become true the more that Propagandist in Chief Pussygrabber repeats them.

There is no shade of gray here: The treasonous Pussygrabber yet once again is lying out of his fucking trumphole for his own personal and political gain at our expense.

If Pussygrabber keeps his blatantly fascist bullshit up, I just might have to hold my nose, take an antiemetic and vote for Repugnican Lite Joe Biden in November — by mail, of course.

*Here in California, by the way, 15 of the state’s 58 counties send a vote-by-mail ballot to every voter in the county (and, as I mentioned, they also provide in-person voting, although voters might have to travel farther than they have had to in the past, and might have to wait to vote a little longer than they have had to in the past).

In California the counties may decide whether or not to send every voter a vote-by-mail ballot; it’s voluntary for the counties, except for the recent governor’s order that requires all of the state’s counties to mail every registered voter a ballot for the November election because of the coronavirus pandemic (since we can’t know what in-person voting opportunities will look like in November if the pandemic really flares up and significantly fewer people are willing to work as poll workers, as recently happened in Wisconsin).

The trend is that over time, more and more of California’s counties will choose to automatically mail every registered voter a ballot — just like the five other states that already do so.

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The inevitable impeachment is great news — and no, Bernie isn’t Jeremy

No, Bernie Sanders does not equal Jeremy Corbyn. For starters, while Corbyn is much more unpopular in the United Kingdom than is Boris Johnson, Bernie Sanders is much more popular in the United States than is “President” Pussygrabber.

I’ve long supported the impeachment of “President” Pussygrabber. He’s not our president; not only was he not elected by the most voters, but he is a mob boss. He simply has continued his life-long criminality into the White House, and to his long list of crimes we can add treason. Plenty of treason.*

That said, I’ve also always known that the Repugnican traitors (redundant) in the U.S. Senate never would remove a member of their own wingnutty party, pretty much no matter what he’d done.

Still, impeachment is necessary if we give a flying fuck about such trifles as the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.

I’ve only sporadically listened to the live coverage of the House impeachment hearings via NPR. I never felt that I needed to attend to every detail, as Pussygrabber is, of course, as guilty as sinthe transcript of his infamous, treasonous, quid-pro-quo July phone call with the Ukrainian president that the White House itself publicly released amply shows that, and that’s only one of his many crimes — and as the Repugnican-controlled Senate won’t remove him, no matter what.

Listening to Pussygrabber’s Repugnican buttboys (perhaps most prominently Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell and Reps. Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz) lie for him like pathological liars on crack, however, has been interesting. It’s been a veritable gaslighting marathon: What you have seen with your own eyes and what you have heard with your own ears? You’re wrong! Let us tell you what you have seen and heard!

The Repugnicans will get their short-term “victory” — Pussygrabber won’t be removed from the Oval Office before January 2021, when, very hopefully, the American voters will have done the job — but one does have to wonder what the Repugnican Party’s pathological lying in pursuit of defending a treasonous, uber-corrupt “president” will do for it in the long term.

And of course when Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party did not win the UK election this past week, U.S. “pundits” were quick to say that of course this means that no progressive (that is, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren) possibly could win the U.S. presidency in November 2020.

Except that this isn’t the UK.

There are philosophical and political parallels between the Labour Party and the Democratic Party and the Conservative Party and the Repugnican Party, of course, but we’re talking about two separate nations with different histories that are separated by a wide fucking ocean.

The United States is not in the midst of anything like a “Brexit,” and while Jeremy Corbyn is pretty fucking unpopular — Boris Johnson has a negative favorability rating in most polls, but Corbyn’s negative favorability rating in most polls is much higher** — comparing him to Bernie (or to Warren) is incredibly sloppy at best.

There has been socialism in Europe, but never has there been socialism in the United States (with the exception, perhaps, of some Native American societies). The historical contexts of the two nations are quite different; Americans cannot point to socialism ever actually having failed in the United States because we’ve never actually even had socialism.

And Bernie Sanders — and all of the top-tier candidates for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination — are significantly more popular than is Pussygrabber. Here is a graph from a fivethirtyeight.com piece from just yesterday:

“Trump remains really unpopular — far more than any of the leading Democratic presidential candidates,” notes fivethirtyeight.com, adding:

But Democrats’ net favorability ratings have taken a hit. As you can see in the chart above, even though Biden, Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg are nowhere near as unpopular as Trump, their net favorability ratings have trended downward recently.

This isn’t totally surprising, though, as my colleague Geoffrey Skelley noted a few weeks ago: Many presidential candidates’ net favorability ratings have been negative or close to zero since at least 2008, a sign, perhaps, of the polarized times we live in.

Of course, there is still time for public perception to change (in either direction) between now and November. But if the polls are any indication, opinions of the Democratic candidates seem much more likely to shift than opinions of Trump. That might be because people’s opinions of the Democratic candidates aren’t nearly as entrenched. …

Again, Corbyn is much more unpopular than is Johnson. As elections still so often amount to popularity contests rather than contests of ideas, that is no tiny detail. (Thankfully, Corbyn is stepping down as the leader of the Labour Party.***)

In the U.S., it is the opposite: the top four Democratic presidential candidates all have significantly higher favorability ratings than does Pussygrabber.

And, again, not only has the post-colonial U.S. never been socialist, but a President Sanders (I love the sound of that!) of course very probably could not usher in a socialist utopia.

If he had both houses of Congress in his party’s control, President Sanders could make some significant improvements in the average American’s life — our Americans’ biggest enemies, after all, are not each other or other nations, but are the treasonous corporations that attack us from within — but within the next few decades we are likely to see, at best and at most, a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, in which basic human needs (medical care, food, water, shelter, education, etc.) are covered by a socialist system while capitalism continues its dominance over pretty much everything else.

But, of course, those who protect the status quo — because they personally benefit from the pro-corporate, anti-individual socioeconomic status quo or because they’re just sheeple who think the way that Faux “News” tells them to think (even if that makes them just like chickens that support Colonel Sanders [no relation to Bernie!]) — want us progressives to give up before the game has even begun.

And one of their “arguments” is that Jeremy Corbyn = Bernie Sanders. Except that that’s complete and utter bullshit.

Where Corbyn failed in the UK, we progressives can prevail here in the United States. We just can’t lie down and allow our enemies to keep walking all over us in perpetuity, as they want us to do.

*My definition of “treason” is broad, such as dictionary.com’s No. 2 and No. 3 definitions: “a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state” and “the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.”

**This fact does remind me of the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, in which both Billary Clinton and Pussygrabber were underwater in their favorability ratings. Our “choice” of president was bad (Billary) or even worse (Pussygrabber).

***I haven’t studied Corbyn nearly enough to have a super-informed opinion of him, but clearly, it’s indisputable that he is poison at the ballot box.

And at least we can’t call the ethnically Jewish Bernie Sanders anti-Semitic, as Corbyn has been called, whether he is or not. (Again, I haven’t studied Corbyn much, but the charge of anti-Semitism, whether it is accurate or not, often is bandied about in order to damage one’s political opponent.)

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Will Bernie break our hearts?

Image result for Bernie leaves hospital

In the video grab above, Bernie Sanders leaves a Las Vegas hospital yesterday after what first was reported on Tuesday as “chest discomfort” during a campaign event and then later was confirmed to have been a heart attack. This bad news came after it was reported that Bernie had raised more money than did any other Democratic presidential candidate in the third quarter. Bernie’s campaign says that he is doing well and that he intends to participate in the next primary debate, which will be on October 15.

News of the apparent heart attack that Bernie Sanders had on Tuesday while campaigning his heart out in Nevada predictably raised the question of his age (he is 78 years old now, and if elected, would enter the Oval Office at age 79, making him the oldest president we’ve had).

Two stents were placed in one of Bernie’s coronary arteries, he was released from the hospital yesterday, and his campaign says that he intends to participate in the October 15 debate in Ohio.

Will this sink Bernie?

I don’t think so. It gives those who weren’t supporting him anyway a(nother) “reason” to justify their self-defeating snubbing of the most consistently progressive presidential candidate that we have, but those of us who steadfastly have stood by Bernie will continue to do so.

As long as Bernie does well in his public appearances and has no more significant medical incidents, I expect this to blow over. It’s early October, after all, and the first voting isn’t until February 3, when the Iowa caucuses take place — and this is the United States of Amnesia.

And I think it’s fair to ask the question if it’s OK to stigmatize someone for having had a medical event after which one can, with medical attention, live normally and capably for many years. I know that if I had a heart attack but most likely still had several decent years of life left, I wouldn’t want to be written off.

Good news for Bernie from this past week is that in the third fundraising quarter of this year, he raised more money than did any other Democratic presidential contender — $25.3 million.

Close behind him was Elizabeth Warren, with $24.6 million, and poor Uncle Joe Biden raised only $15.2 million — he was eclipsed even by Boy Scout Pete Buttigieg, who raised $19.1 million. (Unlike Bernie and Warren, the center-right Buttigieg [like Biden] takes contributions from Big Money, though, so don’t take that fundraising figure as grassroots support for him that doesn’t actually exist.)

If fundraising is a measure of excitement for your campaign — and I think that it is for those few who, like Bernie, don’t take money from corporations and lobbyists and other power players — then Biden should be shitting his Depends. (Ah, c’mon; I had to go there…)

On that note, Biden continues to drop in the polls. Right now his nationwide polling average is around 27 percent, and Warren is nipping at his heels, with an average of almost 24 percent.

Bernie is at third place, with 16 percent, and after Bernie, at a rather distant fourth place, is Buttigieg, with around 6 percent. (Poor charisma-free Kamala Harris, who yet has to make a compelling case as to why she should be president, is at fifth place, with around only 5 percent.)

As I’ve noted about a million times before, I expect Biden to tank, as he did when he ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008, and, as long as Bernie’s health holds up, I expect 2020 to be a race between Bernie and Warren.

It can’t be a direct comparison to the 2016 Bernie-vs.-Billary race, because while Billary only “found” progressivism rather late in the game during the 2016 cycle, this time around, from the get-go, Warren deftly has mimicked Bernie’s progressive angle while at the same time not pissing off the Democratic Party establishment hacks.

Warren, it seems to me, has a very good chance of winning this thing (the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, I mean).

Unfortunately, Warren also has a good chance of losing in November 2020 — I still believe that Warren’s No. 1 weakness is that she so easily can be painted by the Repugnicans as just another clueless, weak egghead from Massachusetts, as was Michael Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004.

Perhaps only the increasingly obvious and absolutely undeniable mega-corruption of the unelected Pussygrabber regime (including a copious amount of treason) can overcome this “swiftboating” tactic that has worked pretty well for the Repugnicans in the past.

P.S. With his hectic campaign schedule and his famously impassioned speeches, one might wonder why it took this long for Bernie to have a heart attack. Just sayin’…

I’m thinking that Bernie might want to slow down. He has, I think, built up enough political capital that he can relax just a little, at least for a little while.

Biden should tank, so Bernie probably doesn’t have to worry about Biden, and Team Bernie should, I think, emphasize the fact that he was an avowed progressive decades before Elizabeth Warren, who was a Repugnican as late as the 1990s, decided to join the club.

It’s a fair criticism — it is true, and it is, to me, anyway, at least a bit concerning.

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Long past due: IMPEACH THE TRAITOR IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Protesters demand Trump’s impeachment

Associated Press news photo

People protest at the White House in 2018. “President” Pussygrabber has avoided impeachment proceedings thus far, but that officially changed today.

Finally we get to the point where the Democrats decide to do their fucking job to protect the republic, its constitution and the rule of law, and its people.

I’ll paraphrase Winston Churchill: The Democrats always do the right thing — after they have run out of all other options. (That quotation apparently is apocryphal, but I love it anyway…)

Of course, the presidential impeachment inquiry formally announced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi today is in its infancy, and the Democrats still have plenty of time and opportunity to find a way to fuck it up.

Yes, it’s true that as long as the U.S. Senate is controlled by his fellow Repugnican traitors (redundant), “President” Pussygrabber won’t be removed from office because of his treason and other serious crimes. As Pussygrabber might tell you himself, he could eat a newborn baby alive on live television — bite right into its little head like a large, juicy apple — and his Repugnican co-conspirators wouldn’t make a peep.

But regardless of what the slimy, spineless Repugnicans in the U.S. Senate do, the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are mandated by the U.S. Constitution to do their job of investigating the U.S. president for serious crimes of his that come to light. (No, lying about having received a blowjob in the Oral — er, Oval — Office would not rise to the level of a serious crime. Pressuring a foreign government to sink your potential rival in the next election that would.)

Nor is it a consideration as to whether or not impeaching Pussygrabber might actually help him politically.*

When Bill Clinton was impeached (but not removed from office) in late 1998 and early 1999, it politically helped him and his party — but that was because the impeachment, because it was over a “crime” that didn’t amount to treason or anything else that serious, clearly was a purely partisan, vindictive exercise and a waste of the nation’s time and attention (and taxpayers’ dollars). The case of Pussygrabber is quite different. He’s guilty of treason and other high crimes and he must go.

Pussygrabber apparently was so emboldened by the fact that thus far he’s gotten away with his collusion with Russia to help him “win” the 2016 presidential election that he decided to try to induce a foreign actor to fix the 2020 presidential election for him, too.

This level of presidential malfeasance cannot, must not, be allowed to pass if we, the people, wish to keep the republic that was formed 243 years ago. Otherwise, we turn into just another failed, backwater banana republic (if we’re not already there).

The likes of Pussygrabber doesn’t learn, is not humbled by his mistakes. Pussygrabber is a shameless fucking sociopath, and when he gets away with something, it only makes him want to commit even more high crimes.

Worse for the Democrats than any possibility of an impeachment proceeding actually helping Pussygrabber would be giving Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters the strong message that the Democrats won’t fucking fight for us, the people. Why the fuck should anyone vote Democratic in November 2020 if the Democratic Party refuses to confront one of the greatest evils that ever occupied the White House?

“President” Pussygrabber must be impeached. The U.S. House of Representatives can and must do so.

If the U.S. Senate refuses to do its constitutional duty and remove the traitor in the Oval Office, then we must do our best to get these treasonous co-conspirators out of fucking office as well as take back the presidency — the presidency that never legitimately was Pussygrabber’s in the first place.

*With an approval rating still averaging no more than in the low 40s, and with the polarized political environment, methinks that Pussygrabber already has all of the support that he’s going to have for November 2020.

I don’t see backlash from an impeachment proceeding helping Pussygrabber nearly enough to help him “win” “re”-election. (Um, if you didn’t win the popular vote, you’re not the legitimate president, in my eyes.)

I do see an impeachment proceeding firing up Democratic voters perhaps like they haven’t been fired up in a long time — not out of partisan acrimony, but out of the sheer ecstasy of the Democratic Party finally living up to its supposed principles in our lifetime.

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

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

Marianne Williamson is not crazy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wholly disagree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why has Warren surged?

Image result for elizabeth warren hillary clinton
Reuters news photo

I posit that one of the reasons for Elizabeth Warren’s current surge in the nationwide polls of 2020 Democratic Party presidential preference is the leftover pain and anger from women voters who didn’t see the first female president elected in 2016.

There was a time not so long ago that I believed that Elizabeth Warren probably should just drop out of the 2020 presidential race already, as she was languishing in the polls and was unable to put the “Pocahontas” bullshit behind her.

However, that has changed, at least for the time being. She now is poised to overtake Bernie Sanders, who has been at second place (behind Joe Biden) for quite a long time now. Here is the graph that accompanies Wikipedia’s page on nationwide polling for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination:

Nationwide opinion polling for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries (higher candidates).svg

Warren is represented by the red line, which sharply is trending upwards. (Biden is the sharply dropping red line and Bernie is the slightly declining orange line.)

If the trend continues, Warren will overtake Bernie, as so many Bernie-haters hope will happen.

Why is Warren surging now? Matt Taibbi’s theory, as to at least the media coverage of Warren’s surge, seems about right to me. He recently wrote for Rolling Stone that

… Warren’s obvious [current] appeal to the conga line of think-tankers and D.C. political consultants currently swooning over her campaign is her perceived utility in helping remove Sanders from the race. It’s why Bernie’s in almost every headline about her rise.

The Sanders campaign has come to expect the doom-saying headlines, even taking them as validation. Echoing the famous FDR quote, “We welcome their hatred,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir suggested it’s all par for the course.

“This isn’t bean-bag politics,” he said. “It’s a war for what vision of the country you believe in.” …

Indeed, as Taibbi also notes, “Horse race coverage exists so commercial news can cover presidential races without talking about issues.”

Indeed, let’s set up a false horse race between Sanders and Warren instead of talking about the status-quo-disrupting structural reforms that they have advocated. You can’t expect the corporately owned and controlled mass “news” media to advocate for the loss of their own power, can you?

To be clear, as would Taibbi, I would be fine with Warren in the White House.

However, after her fellow Massachusettsans Michael Dukakis and John Kerry lost their presidential bids because they were depicted as clueless eggheads, I’m not at all sure if Warren could beat “President” Pussygrabber, but she has been my second choice, behind Bernie, for a long time now.

Warren is my second choice because she was a Repugnican as late as the 1990s and because she calls herself a capitalist while I see present-day capitalism as very probably beyond anything like meaningful reform. Capitalism is evil, and “reforming” it only means making it a little less evil (if that’s even possible).

Also, of course, I still hold it against Warren that she didn’t have the balls to challenge Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton for the nomination in 2016, and I still believe that Bernie deserves the 2020 nomination in no small part because he did have the balls to go up against the Clinton machine.

If Warren actually ends up getting the nomination, which seems to be a real possibility, since she now is in third place (and since at least for right now both Biden and Bernie are dipping in the polls), it probably will be because she successfully has straddled both worlds: that of the (probably dying) Democratic establishment (in which one dare not to have opposed Queen Billary in 2016) and that of those of us who actually are progressive (and thus, in my book, the only true Democrats; corporate whores, in my book, are not Democrats, not at all).

Part of the reason that Warren appears to be surging now also might be from the lingering disappointment that in 2016 we didn’t get our first female president.

I was fine that we didn’t, as DINO Billary would have been a very disappointing first female president, but I know that millions of American women were crushed to see the first female presidential candidate of either major party be defeated by the likes of Pussygrabber. (And the fact that he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes but still ascended to the Oval Office was only salt and lemon juice ground into the wound.)

I’d be fine if Elizabeth Warren were our first female president, but today I’m still backing Bernie.

My third choice probably would be Pete Buttigieg, but I don’t see him getting the nomination, even though he’s surging lately, too. (He is represented by the blue line in the graph above, which shows him at fourth place.)*

I find Joe Biden to be utterly unacceptable, and even if he won the 2020 nomination, I would not vote for him. You can’t whine that the Democratic Party has become too much like the corporate whores who comprise the treasonous Repugnican Party and at the same time support a corporate whore like Joe Biden.**

P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention as a possible if not probable factor in Warren’s current surge the fact that she doggedly has been putting forth progressive policy proposals.

I acknowledge that hard work of hers.

It’s that I rather doubt, in our corporately owned and controlled mediated environment, which is all about personalities and the horse race, that Warren’s hard work much benefits her.

Indeed, in our anti-intellectual national environment, stoked by the likes of fascist and treasonous “President” Pussygrabber and his band of treasonous and fascist grifters, being an intellectual often counts against you, not for you.

*Buttigieg is in third place for me because although the then-young Barack Obama promised “hope” and “change” but delivered only more of the same, I suppose I’m still at least a little susceptible to the supposed political promise of a young upstart.

But perhaps because I felt perpetually punk’d by Obama after he actually took office, I’m still gun shy enough to keep Buttigieg in third place.

**Before you fucking say (or even think) a word, please remember (or educate yourself for the first time…) that the U.S. president is selected under the Electoral College, not by the popular vote, and that the Democratic presidential candidate, whoever it is, will win my very blue state of California and thus all of its electoral votes, no matter how I fucking vote.

Under the awful Electoral College I could fucking vote for Pussygrabber in November 2020 and that wouldn’t at all change the fact that every single one of my state’s electoral votes will go to the Democratic candidate, regardless of who it is.

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Why the United States should keep its fucking hands off of Venezuela

Two peas in a pod, really. Both have disturbing autocratic tendencies, including their mistreatment of the press, and if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wasn’t duly elected, U.S. “President” Pussygrabber certainly wasn’t, either; he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million.

I like and I respect Mexican-American telejournalist Jorge Ramos of Univision. A passionate advocate for Latin Americans seeking a better life, he has reported on their plight and has written several books about it as well.

I believe Ramos’ report of what happened to him and his crew when he recently tried to report on Venezuela. Ramos wrote for The New York Times:

I was expelled from Venezuela on Tuesday [yesterday] after a contentious interview with Nicolás Maduro, the country’s strongman. He stood up in the middle of our conversation and his security agents confiscated our television cameras, the memory cards and our cellphones. Yes, Mr. Maduro stole the interview so nobody could watch it.

We got the interview the old fashioned way: by making a phone call and requesting it. A producer from Univision — the television network where I’ve worked since 1984 — contacted the government’s communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, and asked if Mr. Maduro wanted to do the interview. The leader said: “Come to Caracas.” And so we did, with official entry papers in hand.

The interview started on Monday evening, three hours late, at the Miraflores Palace. Mr. Maduro had spoken a few minutes before with Tom Llamas of ABC News, and he seemed to be in a good mood. The humanitarian aid that the political opposition — with the help of an international coalition — had tried to get into the country over the Colombian and Brazilian borders had been largely stopped, and Mr. Maduro felt emboldened. This was supposed to be a good day.

But it wasn’t. The first question I asked Mr. Maduro was whether I should call him “Presidente” or “Dictador,” as many Venezuelans do. I confronted him about human rights violations and cases of torture that have been reported by Human Rights Watch, and with the existence of political prisoners. I questioned his claim that he had won the 2013 and the 2018 presidential elections without fraud and, most important, his assurances that Venezuela was not experiencing a humanitarian crisis. That’s when I opened up my iPad.

The day before I had recorded on my cellphone three young men looking for food on the back of a garbage truck in a poor neighborhood minutes away from the presidential palace. I showed those images to Mr. Maduro. Each frame contradicted his narrative of a prosperous and progressive Venezuela 20 years after the revolution. That’s when he broke.

About 17 minutes into the interview, Mr. Maduro stood up, comically tried to block the images on my iPad and declared that the interview was over. “That’s what dictators do,” I told him. …

I also heard Ramos give this account on NPR. Again, I believe Ramos; he is credible.

I don’t dispute such assertions as that Maduro is an authoritarian (if not technically a dictator, since there was at least the semblance of some election that at least initially put Maduro in power) or that many Venezuelans are so desperate that they’re combing through garbage for sustenance.

These reports are so widespread that I little doubt their veracity, although I’m always leery of the right wing shamelessly lying and exaggerating for political gain.

The problem, though, is how to solve the problems that plague Venezuela and who should solve them.

It should not be the psychopathic, fascist likes of “President” Pussygrabber or “Vice President” Mike Pence — who didn’t win their own fucking election, for fuck’s sake (Billary Clinton won by about 3 more million votes) — to deal with Maduro. (It’s always stupid white men, too; John “I Am the Walrus” Bolton — an abject wingnut who of course is “President” Pussygrabber’s “national security adviser” — also is a Venezuela hawk, of course.)

The people of the sovereign nation of Venezuela should deal with Maduro.

The claims of the illegitimate Pussygrabber regime and its jackbooted supporters that they care so much about Venezuela’s humanitarian problems are beyond laughable.

The Pussygrabber regime and its aiders and abettors don’t give a flying fuck about the American citizens in the American territory of Puerto Rico, which still is reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which struck in September 2017, for fuck’s sake, so for them to claim to care so much about the plight of the Venezuelans is incredibly incredible.

No, the right-wing, unelected Pussygrabber regime and its supporters want two things from Venezuela, not necessarily in this order: (1) its vast oil wealth (like Iraq’s, which was the No. 1 reason for the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War) and (2) to install a right-wing government in Venezuela that will do corporate America’s bidding, especially in terms of just handing over the nation’s natural resources like a good Latin American nation should.

Did I mention Venezuela’s vast oil wealth? It has the largest oil reserves in the world.

Venezuela is not a democratic socialist nation. Its current government started off with socialist aspirations, but now it has an autocrat, not a democratic socialist, at the helm. (To be fair, this autocracy began under the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but further to be fair, the Venezuelan right wing, with the full support of the unelected, illegitimate, right-wing second Bush regime, did try to overthrow Chavez after his democratic election — spectacularly unsuccessfully — in April 2002, which probably accounts for Chavez’s turn toward autocracy; I mean, you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you!)

It’s easy to criticize the Venezuelan government (the real one, not the fake one that the wingnuts so badly wish to install, as they tried to do in April 2002 [they tried to impose a right-wing oil magnate on the people of Venezuela as their new, wholly unelected “president”]), but look at the United States of America: The only reason that “President” Pussygrabber isn’t acting just like Maduro right now, perhaps especially in regards to the treatment of the press, is that the American system (thus far, anyway) has reined the “president” in.

Jorge Ramos again is a great example. Then-“presidential” candidate Pussygrabber infamously kicked Ramos out of a news conference in August 2015, telling him to “Go back to Univision” and motioning to one of his thugs to eject Ramos from the room. One of Pussygrabber’s jackbooted thugs (yet another stupid white man, of course) in the hallway to which Ramos had been ejected was more direct; he told Ramos, who is an American citizen, for fuck’s sake, “Get out of my country!”

Americans who act like Pussygrabber — who as I type this sentence is palling around with North Korean dictator (yup, wholly unelected and dynastic) Kim Jong Un, who treats his people far worse than Maduro treats his, replete with gulags — is better at heart than is Maduro are deluded or liars or deluded liars, and they’re huge fucking hypocrites.

Again, Maduro is simply doing what Pussygrabber would do if Pussygrabber could. (Totally unrestrained, my bet is that Pussygrabber would do far worse than anything that Maduro has done thus far.)

Therefore, the United States of America, as long as it remains occupied by the unelected, illegitimate, fascist Pussygrabber regime, should keep its fucking hands off of Venezuela.

The United States of America right now could only make things in Venezuela worse, not better. The “aid” that the wingnuts wish to bring to the people of Venezuela is just a Trojan horse, because the wingnuts’ ultimate aim is the subjugation of Venezuela — not its betterment.

This is obvious to anyone who is honest, sane and who has been paying attention to the ugly history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and elsewhere in the world.

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My take: Jussie Smollett made it all up

goodmorningsmollett1

Actor Jussie Smollett cried during his first television interview after allegedly having been the victim of a hate crime on January 29. Meh. He very most likely was crying wolf. (He appears to me to be acting — fairly poorly — in that interview, by the way.)

I’ve been quiet on the alleged hate crime against TV show “Empire” star Jussie Smollett on January 29 in Chicago.

My inclination is to believe the victim, or at least to give the alleged victim the benefit of the doubt, anyway, but Smollett’s story was a bit over the top from the get-go: two male attackers, he claimed, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck and yelled, “This is MAGA country!” as well as racist and homophobic slurs.

Smollett initially reported that his attackers wore ski masks, but presumably they were white, since allegedly they had perpetrated a race-based hate crime against him and yelled “This is MAGA country!” (Indeed, in the TV interview mentioned above, by elimination he pretty much claims that his attackers were indeed white, which he apparently could see even though they were wearing ski masks.)

The details of the alleged hate crime against Smollett and its subsequent investigation are convoluted and go back and forth, with ample yes-but-no-but-no-but-yes. (You can read them here and here and in many other places on the Internet.) I won’t rehash all of them here.

But CNN reports today:

Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.

The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.

“The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs.” He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at a hardware store in Chicago.

CNN’s attempts Saturday to reach both Smollett’s representative and attorney were unsuccessful.

Smollett identifies as gay and since 2015 has played the gay character of Jamal on the Fox TV drama “Empire.”

According to Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the actor told detectives he was attacked by two men near the lower entrance of a Loews hotel in Chicago. Police were told the two men yelled “‘Empire’ fa***t” and “‘Empire’ n***er'” while striking him.

The day after the incident, police released surveillance images that showed two silhouetted individuals walking down a sidewalk, and police said they were wanted for questioning.

The two men were arrested Wednesday. Police on Friday said the men were being viewed as “potential suspects” and that detectives had “probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime.” [Note that that crime was not specified…]

But by Friday night they had been released, Guglielmi said, “due to new evidence as a result of today’s investigations.”

“And detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” he added.

One of the men has appeared on “Empire,” Guglielmi said. A police source also told CNN on Friday night that the men had a previous affiliation with Smollett, but did not provide additional details. …

It was reported that Smollett might have made up the attack because he feared that he was about to be written out of “Empire” — and presumably, the show-runners then would be hesitant to do so after he’d been attacked in a hate crime — but the show-runners have denied that Smollett’s role ever was in jeopardy. (Of course, for public relations reasons — to keep their target audience — they could be lying about that…)

In any event, if I had to put money on it, for whatever reason, I surmise, Smollett indeed made the whole thing up.

Not only was his initial report over the top — it would be rare for hate-crime attackers, who don’t tend to be all that smart or creative, to do all of the things that he alleged — and certainly they would have had to have been stalking him already, since they allegedly came prepared with props (bleach and a noose). And further, somehow they knew exactly when to bring those props with them: when the “Empire” star just happened to be going to Subway for food around 2 a.m.

Really?

Also, would real attackers really call Smollett “‘Empire’ faggot” and “‘Empire’ nigger”? Plain-old “faggot” and/or “nigger” I could see, but I rather doubt that they would mention the show in which he stars. Again: over the top. It’s bad writing because it beggars belief.

If Smollett actually is found to not have made the whole thing up, then I’d be the first to say so (and update this post accordingly) and offer and apology, but yeah, I very much doubt that Smollett’s story, in the end, will be corroborated.

If he lied — and he wouldn’t be the first to have lied about having been the victim of a hate crime — of course he has made it worse for those who come after him who actually are the victims of hate crimes, and of course he should be prosecuted for having lied to the police.

And I’ll come out and say it: the black community hasn’t been big on defending gay people, to put it quite mildly and charitably, so it seems to me that in this case they have responded more to the alleged racist hate crime against Smollett than to the alleged homophobic hate crime against him.

Just sayin’: The Smollett case apparently not only says a lot about Smollett and what apparent bullshit story he believed would fly in this age of toxic identity politics, but says a lot about those who were so quick to claim that he had to be telling the truth — before the details of the investigation ever even came out. It’s been quite the Rorschach test. (See: confirmation bias.)

P.S. Smollett apparently even fooled “President” Pussygrabber, who called that the alleged attack on Smollett “horrible,” adding, “It doesn’t get worse.” Actually, it does get worse, sometimes a lot worse; Smollett had only superficial (self-inflicted?) skin wounds, no broken bones, no damage to any organs, and he’s still very much alive.

On that note, Kamala Harris rather dramatically called Smollett’s account “an attempted modern day lynching.”

Again, two words: confirmation bias. Harris desperately wants that black base, I know, but she might show some, um, presidential caution before commenting next time. There has been no evidence presented thus far that anyone actually was trying to lynch Smollett, for fuck’s sake.

This woman was a prosecutor? Scary…

P.P.S. Cory Booker also called the Smollett account “an attempted modern-day lynching.” Of course. Jesus fuck.

I’m not sure who tweeted that bullshit first, Harris or Booker (tweets are given time stamps, but from which time zone[s]?), but it’s hard to believe that both would use the exact same phrase without knowledge that the other had done so first.

And, again, to stoke interracial strife before the facts of an alleged incident are even established — again, hardly what I would call presidential.

P.P.P.S. It’s being reported that Smollett has hired Michael Cohen’s criminal defense attorney.

To be abundantly fair, hiring a criminal defense attorney doesn’t necessarily mean that you are guilty of a crime, but, um…

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