Tag Archives: Republican Tea Party

Could it be that Queen Billary’s castle of cards is about to fall spectacularly?

Updated below (on Sunday, January 10, 2016)

Hillary Clinton Email Servers Home Scandal Private Email Secretary of State

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E-mailgate might not be over just yet, so let’s hold off on that coronation…

Just when it had looked as though Billary Clinton got off from E-mailgate scot-free, two news items today indicate that that might not be the case, that the game might not be over just yet.

ABC News reports today that in a 2011 e-mail, then-Secretary of State Billary expressed surprise that another State Department employee was using a personal e-mail address for State business – even though she was doing exactly the same thing herself at the time. ABC News reports:

The State Department released 3,007 pages of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail this morning at around 1:30 a.m. ET, bringing the total public production so far to 82 percent of the documents, a court-mandated goal the department failed to reach at the end of last month.

In one document dated February 27, 2011, Clinton sends an e-mail to her top adviser, Jake Sullivan, in which she expressed surprise that a State Department staffer was using a personal e-mail account to discuss official business.

 The e-mail chain shows that a State Department employee named John Godfrey wrote a detailed summary of information about Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi that was soon forwarded to Clinton. Jake Sullivan writes to Clinton that it’s “Worth a read. This guy is very thoughtful.”

Clinton responds by asking for whom Godfrey works. “Us,” Sullivan writes back. [I’ll leave it alone, I guess, that Billary didn’t know one of her own underlings.] Clinton replies: “Is he in NEA [Near Eastern Affairs] currently? Or was he in Embassy? I was surprised that he used personal e-mail account if he is at State.”

At best, her critics may find it ironic that she is calling out staffers for using private e-mail. At worst, her rivals may use it against her and suggest she was pointing out some level of impropriety, in which she was also engaged. …

Do you truly have to be a “critic” of Billary Clinton to be able to acknowledge the rank hypocrisy of her having e-mailed the line “I was surprised that he used personal e-mail account if he is at State” when she also used her own personal e-mail account when she was at State? (Indeed, did she use her own personal e-mail account to e-mail those words? It is my understanding that she did.)

Then there’s this in today’s news, from The Associated Press:

A Republican member of the [U.S.] House [of Representatives] Benghazi committee says he is “hopeful” that the Justice Department will indict Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for having classified information on her private e-mail server.

Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas says there is increasing evidence that “an enormous amount of information” on Clinton’s private server is classified.

“It was classified when it was on her server and it was classified when it was sent,” Pompeo told conservative radio host Lars Larson [yesterday].

Pompeo said he is “anxious” for the Justice Department and FBI to make a determination on whether to indict Clinton as quickly as possible.

“I think that there is only one answer that can be reached, and I am hopeful that will be the outcome that the FBI achieves,” Pompeo said.

“These are just facts,” Pompeo added. “We’ve all seen the reports of the classified information on her server. It could not and should not have been lawfully handled in the way that she did it.”

Pompeo’s comments came as the panel interviewed former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta behind closed doors [today]. The remarks are the latest by a congressional Republican suggesting an unfavorable judgment against Clinton before the committee or the FBI concludes their respective investigations.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said last fall that the Benghazi panel could take credit for Clinton’s recent drop in public opinion polls. He later retracted the comment.

Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., said “a big part” of the Benghazi investigation “was designed to go after … Hillary Clinton.”

Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. …

I have no idea what the chances are that Billary would or could be indicted by the Justice Department for having maintained classified information on her home-brewed e-mail server, but it seems to me that an indictment coming any time between now and November 8, 2016, would be fairly devastating to Billary’s campaign for the White House.

I’ve written before that “Benghazigate” is mostly bullshit and undeniably is yet another Repugnican Tea Party witch hunt, especially in light of how the treasonously illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, which has been responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 U.S. troops and tens and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, has gone wholly unpunished.

It’s hard to miss that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have wholly dismissed the deaths of more than 4,000 of our troops that were solely for the war profiteering of BushCheneyCorp subsidiary Halliburton (and for other plutocratic profiteering from death, destruction, pain, misery and suffering) yet claim to care so fucking much about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

Nonetheless, we now very apparently have proof, in her own words, that Billary Clinton knew that using her own personal e-mail at State was, at best, improper. (My understanding is that at the time, it was not technically illegal.) That she would remark about another State employee’s use of the same practice certainly indicates that the rules don’t apply to her, which points, methinks, to her character.

While her use of her personal e-mail address might not have been illegal, not properly protecting classified information apparently is illegal, and if Billary committed a crime for which anyone else would be held to account, the Obama Justice Department should not allow politics to protect Queen Billary.

This is an awfully opportune time to remind you that Bernie Sanders is doing fairly well in match-up polling against the top three Repugnican Tea Party contenders (Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz).

Real Clear Politics’ polling averages right now have Billary doing better against Trump than does Sanders, with Billary at 4.8 percent above Trump to Sanders’ 2 percent above Trump. But Sanders does better than does Billary against both Rubio and Cruz, with Rubio at 1.3 percent above Billary and 1 percent above Sanders, and while Billary ties Cruz, Sanders beats Cruz by 3.3 percent.

As I don’t see Trump being the eventual Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee, but see Rubio as the most likely nominee (followed by Cruz), at this point the supposedly “unelectable” Sanders is doing better in the presidential match-up polling than is Billary, even if only slightly.

And as far as I know, Bernie Sanders hasn’t been using a personal e-mail address (along with his own personal e-mail server) for government business, and to my knowledge there is no possible indictment looming over his head.

I mean, the idea is to keep the White House in the Democrats’ hands, isn’t it?

If so, Queen Billary’s not looking like a sure bet right about now.

Update (Sunday, January 10, 2016): “[Billary] Clinton has repeatedly said she did not handle classified material through her private e-mail account while serving as secretary of state,” notes Reuters today, while McClatchy news reports something quite different today (emphases in bold are mine):

At least 1,340 e-mails that Hillary Clinton sent or received [as U.S. secretary of state via her private e-mail account] contained classified material, according to the State Department’s latest update from its ongoing review of more than 30,000 emails.

The State Department released a new batch of 3,007 pages of Clinton’s e-mails after 1:30 a.m. Friday in response to a court order. Of those, 66 contain classified information.

None of Clinton’s e-mails was marked as classified during her tenure, State Department officials say, but intelligence officials say some material was clearly classified at the time. Her aides also sent and received classified information.

Clinton has been under fire for months for exclusively using personal e-mail routed through a private server while serving as the nation’s top diplomat. The FBI launched an inquiry into the handling of sensitive information after classified information was found in some.

In response to a public records lawsuit, the State Department is releasing Clinton’s e-mails at the end of each month after partially or entirely redacting any containing sensitive U.S. or foreign government information. So far, it has released 43,148 pages of e-mails.

But the State Department failed to meet a court-imposed deadline on the number of Clinton’s e-mails to be released in December, so it released another batch this week. It had missed a previous deadline, but had caught up in recent months. The e-mails released Friday also were not fully processed, officials said.

“We are releasing the documents today so as to be responsive to the court’s December 31st goal for posting 82 percent of the Clinton email collection by that date,” according to the State Department. “With today’s production, the State Department will meet the page volume anticipated by last week’s production goal.”

“Now with dozens of additional e-mails found to be classified, we know Hillary Clinton exposed classified material in more than 1,300 messages, including information that was classified at the time it was sent as well at some of the highest levels,” [said] Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of secrecy at the expense of national security was undeniably reckless and shows she cannot be trusted in the White House.”

Priebus called on Clinton to request the State Department commit to a “more open process” and not release the e-mails in the middle of the night or on holidays.

Priebus is an entirely politically motivated pompous prick, of course, but that doesn’t mean that Billary didn’t break the law, and it does appear that the State Department is working to protect her just like the Democratic National Committee (that is, Debbie Wasserman Schultz) is working to protect her by having rigged the debate schedule and having tried to deny the Bernie Sanders campaign access to its own voter data. (Yes, because of the immediate backlash the DNC backed off in short order, but it’s the thought that counts.)

Again, the FBI investigation into whether or not Billary broke the law is ongoing, and even though Billary has joked about it, I don’t think that she and her misguided lemming-supporters will be laughing if she is indicted any time between now and Election Day in November. (One former U.S. attorney states that Billary and others associated with her could be indicted within the next few months.)

Her center-right, flip-flopping, self-serving, Democrat-in-name-only/Repugnican-Lite politics entirely aside, scandal magnet Billary always was way too risky for the Democratic Party to put all (or at least most) of its presidential eggs in her basket.

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The Obama years 7/8 the way through: He’s been our caretaker in chief

Note: I’ll probably be tinkering with this post over the next several days (mostly, adding new thoughts and new points and details). After all, it’s difficult to include everything significant that transpired (or didn’t transpire) in seven years of a presidency.

Obama's executive actions could open a door for successors

Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama is shown above in Washington, D.C., on December 10. Salon.com writer Walker Bragman has deemed Obama “the first liberal (not progressive) Democrat to be president in years,” and that’s probably an apt short summary of the Obama years, if by that Bragman means that Obama has espoused liberal ideals but has done little to nothing to move the nation forward to ensure greater socioeconomic equity and greater opportunity for all (which is progressivism).

In November 2008, when I went to my polling place, it was going to be Barack Obama or independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader* whose oval I would blacken with my ballpoint pen on my paper ballot to be scanned.

In the end, I voted for Barack Obama. He would win my state of California and all of its electoral votes anyway, and I was happy to be one of the millions of American voters who had the opportunity, for the first time in the nation’s history, to vote for a presidential candidate who is not a (full) white man. That was long past due.

I strongly had supported Obama over Billary Clinton in the primary. I’d donated hundreds of dollars to his campaign to help him knock Billary out of the primary, which he did.

But I didn’t support Obama over Billary because he’s half-white and half-black. I supported him over her because I’d believed his ubiquitous presidential campaign promises of “hope” and “change.” I viewed him as the most progressive yet still viable presidential candidate (as I view Bernie Sanders now). That is why I supported him in the 2008 Democratic primary and why I voted for him in November 2008.

I believe in actually holding an elected official to his or her campaign promises, and so when Obama spectacularly squandered his huge amount of political capital in 2009 and 2010 by trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress who never were going to cooperate with him in the first place because he’s a Democrat and because he’s half-black, I was incredibly disappointed.

In 2009 and 2010, when both houses of Congress were in the Democrats’ control, Obama could have accomplished a lot more than he actually did. He pushed “bipartisanship,” which always had been a non-starter, instead of pushing a progressive agenda.

And in 2009 and 2010 getting “Obamacare” pushed through Congress took all of the oxygen in the room, and, in the end, “Obamacare,” supposedly Obama’s “signature” “achievement,” apparently contained nothing that the lobbyists for the wealth-care industry didn’t want it to contain. (Indeed, “Obamacare’s” individual mandate requires everyone to have health insurance; what mostly-for-profit industry wouldn’t love such a requirement?**)

Then, in November 2010, the Dems lost control of the House of Representatives, and then, in November 2014, they lost control of the Senate (and lost even more seats in the House).

There are at least a few reasons for those losses, including the incredibly shitty “leadership” of Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but I still believe that had Obama pushed the progressive agenda that he at least indirectly had promised with his “hope” and “change” slogans, the Democrats would have kept the House and the Senate.

Indeed, it primarily was Obama’s dithering in 2009 and 2010 that lost the Dems the House in 2010, I believe, thus crippling any progressive agenda for the remainder of Obama’s two terms, since the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress have held on to the House since January 2011.

Since January 2011, with the House controlled by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and the White House controlled by Obama, we’ve had nothing but even more gridlock, and since both houses of Congress fell to Repugnican Tea Party control after the election of November 2014, Obama was guaranteed a final two years of more whimper than bang.

I give Obama faint praise for being the first U.S. president to jump on board with same-sex marriage in 2012, although that was overdue and was coming sooner or later anyway. And as with Billary Clinton, it did take Obama a long time to “evolve” on the issue, even though the U.S. Supreme Court this past June finally ruled that same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Something is a constitutional right or it is not; the recognition of a constitutional right might be denied and delayed for even generations, but nonetheless it remains a constitutional right, and further, constitutional rights are not up for a vote or even for a public-opinion poll. Again, same-sex marriage inherently was a constitutional right long before the foot-dragging U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled that it is, so yes, Obama fairly led from behind on that issue; history led Obama more than Obama led history.

(That said, I can’t imagine that Obama’s having been the first president to voice his support for same-sex marriage wasn’t a significant factor in the U.S. Supreme Court finally following suit three years later. Wikipedia notes that Obama’s second inaugural address in January 2013 marked “the first time that a president mentioned gay rights or the word ‘gay’ in an inaugural address.”)

I applaud Obama for his work in opening up Cuba after decades. It’s beyond ridiculous that a Latin American nation 90 miles away from the United States should remain locked in a perpetual cold war with the U.S., which is what the right-wing traitors have wanted.

However, as I wrote a year ago, Cubans have much more to lose in closer ties with the United States than vice-versa. (As I wrote, “would it benefit most Cubans for American corporations to muscle back into the nation and turn most Cubans into wage slaves, like most Americans are? … Are Cubans really just itching for such wonderful imported American ‘freedoms’ as crushing student-loan debt, wage slavery and bankruptcy from insane health-care costs?”)

Obama’s other notable accomplishments include seating our first Latina or Latino U.S. Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor, in 2009, and, with the seating of Elena Kagan in 2010, Obama gave us the first Supreme Court with three female justices (we need at least one or two more of them).

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 also was an accomplishment, even if it again seems that history led and that our politicians finally caught up. Ditto for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. (And it’s hard to say that the abolishment of something hateful and unconstitutional that never should have been instituted in the first place is an “accomplishment,” but we’ll call it one, I suppose.)

Obama hasn’t been able to accomplish enough on climate change, in no small part because his dithering in 2009 and 2010 lost the Democrats control of Congress. And with “Democrats” like the former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, Big Oil, with its Big Money to politicians who sell us out to them, combatting climate change remains a political mountain to overcome.

But/and on that note, Obama was stunningly ineffectual in confronting British Petroleum when its underwater oil well belched an estimated 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico over almost three months in 2010. It was his first huge test of his campaign promises of environmental protection, and he failed miserably.

Perhaps at least in part because of his failure to deal with the BP oil disaster effectively, Obama did veto the Keystone XL oil pipeline earlier this year, in what Wikipedia calls “his first major veto.” That would be in the “plus” column of Obama’s environmental record, but overall, has Obama done enough in combatting climate change and otherwise protecting the environment? Of course not.

Profound income inequality persists under Obama. It’s yet another critical national problem that became fairly insoluble after the Dems lost control of Congress in the election of 2010, and it’s ironic that the nation’s first (half-)black president has done so little to improve the lot of black Americans (who, for the most part, support him steadfastly nonetheless, apparently more out of identity politics than for his actual accomplishments for them).

Obama hasn’t done a lot more for black Americans for many reasons, that I can tell. One, he’s never wanted to come off as an “angry” black man, knowing that he couldn’t have won the presidency had he done so. (I can’t say that that has been his fault, but that that has been the cards that he has been dealt in this still-racist nation.) Two, Obama was raised by his white mother and her side of the family, so his experience growing up was different than has been the experience of most black Americans. (That’s not some sort of a slam; it’s just the truth as far as I can discern it.) And three, again, after the Dems lost the House in the election of 2010, Obama’s ability to do much for black Americans and other Americans in need was seriously weakened anyway.

On foreign policy, which could be its own blog post — and I think that a heavy focus on foreign policy too often is just a distraction from our disastrous domestic policies — I need only point out, I think (aside from my earlier remarks on Cuba), that while 9/11 happened on the unelected “President” George W. Bush’s watch, the United States has not sustained a large terrorist attack from abroad under Obama’s watch.

So desperate have been the uber-hypocritical Repugnican Tea Party traitors to try to claim that Obama hasn’t kept us safe from the Big Bad Terrorists that they have focused on the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012, while they wholly ignore the fact that almost 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 and that more than 4,000 of our troops died pointlessly in the unelected, treasonous Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust, unprovoked and wholly bogus Vietraq War.

Those 7,000 or so deaths on George W. Bush’s watch are nothing, you see, but those four deaths in Benghazi on Obama’s watch are everything. (Indeed, racism is behind this; a white, right-wing president is responsible for thousands of preventable deaths of Americans — almost 2,000 Americans, disproportionately black Americans, died in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, so we can add them also to the body count under George W. Bush — and he is excused, yet four deaths under a black president is an inexcusable travesty!)

Obama also received less public praise than George W. Bush would have received had 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden been exterminated by Bush when he still occupied the White House instead of by Obama in 2011. Don’t get me wrong; the whole bin Laden extermination affair remains fishy (pun intended), as bin Laden would have been more valuable alive than dead, and the supposed disposal of his body in the ocean was unnecessary and, dare I say, weird and therefore suspect.

The Middle East remains a mess, of course, and while I always have opposed Obama’s use of killer drones, and the use of killer drones in general (and the United States’ over-militarization in general), the bloodshed in the Middle East on Obama’s watch has been much, much less than it was on George W. Bush’s.

(If you say that Well, 9/11!, then I say that On August 6, 2001, while he was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Bush had been given a presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” Um, yeah. [Similarly, there had been plenty of warning that Hurricane Katrina might hit land and kill scores of people. Bush in effect had been issued a presidential daily briefing titled “Katrina Determined to Strike in US,” but he ignored that warning, too. After all, on the day that Katrina made landfall, he was too busy celebrating John McCainosaurus’ 69th birthday in Arizona.)

I acknowledge, of course, that the president of the United States of America can do only so much, that much is beyond his (or her) control, such as congressional gridlock and the separation of powers (which would include a center-right U.S. Supreme Court that has done such things as pick George W. Bush as president even though Al Gore had won the presidential election of 2000 and proclaim that corporations have the First Amendment right to make unlimited monetary contributions to political campaigns [corporations are not people and therefore don’t have First Amendment rights that even actual people don’t even have].)

But given Obama’s limitations of the presidency, I still don’t see that he much tried to deliver very substantially upon his promises of “hope” and “change,” and that would be his fault. He has had some restrictions, we must acknowledge, but has he maximized what he has been able to do around those restrictions? Methinks not.

And yes, of course Obama has been head and shoulders (and torso and legs) above the unelected George W. Bush, but I refuse to allow Bush II to have set the bar for the presidency that low; besides, he never legitimately was elected anyway, so, although death and destruction (including the collapse of the nation’s economy) were the result of his having stolen the 2000 presidential election, I don’t really even count Bush. He never should have happened in the first fucking place.

An aggregate of historians’ (and political scientists’ and political pundits’) rankings of the U.S. presidents puts President Obama at No. 17 out of 43. (Obama is called No. 44, but Grover Cleveland had two non-consecutive terms as president, and thus is called our 22nd and our 24th president, so we’ve actually had only 43 presidents.) Obama ranks in the top half, but for “hope” and “change” I expected much better. (George W. Bush, if you were wondering, ranks at No. 34, in the bottom 10, where he belongs, although I’d put him lower. Ronald Reagan ranks two notches above Obama, with which I disagree, and Bill Clinton ranks three notches below Obama.)

Obama’s race has never mattered to me. While history probably will most remark that he was our first non-all-white president, to me his presidency mostly has represented squandered opportunity; to me he mostly has been, at best, a caretaker in chief. I came to that conclusion no later than the close of 2010, when the Democrats lost the House.

And that is why I could not bring myself to vote for Obama again in November 2012. (I voted instead for the Green Party presidential candidate, which is something that I’d done before and something that I would do again; I owe the Democratic Party nothing.) I’d felt quite punk’d by those ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change,” and to continue to vote for politicians who don’t follow through on their campaign promises is only to contribute to even more such broken campaign promises. If there is no penalty, how will it stop?

That and I knew that in November 2012 Obama was going to win California and all of its electoral votes anyway. (Yes, many Americans, ignorant of how their own nation and government function, don’t understand the Electoral College, under which if you live in a solidly blue or red state, as I do, your vote for president pretty much doesn’t count; we need a popular vote for the presidency, just as we have for the governorships, for the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate and for every other elected office in the nation.)

I still believe that Obama, although overall he has been a rather disappointing, rather lackluster president, more of a caretaking president than a groundbreaking president, has made a better president than Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton would have, and because my principles haven’t changed — among which, I don’t support Democrats in name only, as that doesn’t solve the persistent problem of Democrats in name only — I cannot and will not support DINO Billary Clinton in any way.

(Again, if she wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, she’ll win all of California’s electoral votes in November 2016 anyway, regardless of whether I vote for her or not, so save your misinformed, dead-wrong assertion that if I don’t vote for DINO Billary I have helped whomever the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate will be.)

So Barack Obama goes out in his final year not with a bang, but with a whimper. Already we’re looking ahead of him, with incessant media coverage of Donald Trump and to a lesser degree Billary Clinton.

I began with words from Salon.com’s Walker Bragman and I’ll end with more of his wise words:

… If Hillary gets the nomination, and is elected, she will inadequately address the problems this country faces, [problems] that are angering people, by negotiating from the center/right and then moving right as a compromise, to give us mere half-measures or quarter measures. I fear, given her New Democrat background, that she will likely use social programs and financial reform as bargaining chips.

I strongly believe that Hillary will kill the momentum that has been generated over the last eight years by Barack Obama, the first liberal (not progressive) Democrat to be president in years – and that will do more damage to the Democratic brand than four years of a Republican president would do to the country.

I am not saying that four years of a Republican would not be worse for the country than four years of Hillary in the immediate; I am saying that four years of Hillary will do more long-term damage by prolonging the Democratic realignment. [Absolutely agreed.]

Americans want real change – and they’re looking to the Democrats to provide it. But if we only put a Band-Aid on issues like the wealth gap and financial reform, which is essentially Hillary’s plan, Americans will not be satisfied. As much as politically minded people remind us that change is slow, what Hillary offers is too slow. Her kind of change is weakness.

If the New Deal taught us anything, it’s that unprecedented sweeping government action can happen quickly. FDR achieved significant reforms within the first hundred days of his presidency. Hillary’s supporters have not learned from Obama’s biggest blunder: negotiating from the middle with opponents on the far right. These people insist that we have to just keep making slow progress because all we can hope for are small gains.

They point to the weakness of the Democratic Party since the 1970s as evidence of their position. However, this is a common misunderstanding of history and the lesson of the Democrats’ decline from the 1970s to the 2000s. …

Yup.

FDR is listed as the second-best president on that aggregate of presidential rankings that I mentioned (he’s just behind Abraham Lincoln). Again, Bill Clinton is ranked at No. 20. We don’t need another President Clinton.

We need another FDR, and the closest that we have to that is Bernie Sanders.

*I had voted for Nader when he ran as the Green Party presidential candidate in November 2000, something that I’ve never regretted, and it’s not my fault that Americans just allowed BushCheneyCorp to steal the 2000 presidential election. They should have been rioting in the streets over that treasonously, blatantly stolen election, but they did not. And, of course, Team Gore should have fought much, much harder than it did instead of wanting to appear to be above the fray.

**My general stance on health care is that it is a human right and that no one should have to pay for it (or, minimally, that it should be free of cost to those whose annual income falls below a certain amount) and that health care never should be allowed to be delivered on a for-profit basis. “Obamacare” did nothing, to my knowledge, to solve the overarching problem of health care having fallen victim to profiteering, to greed — and thus having become wealth care.

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TIME screwed Bernie, not The Donald

Bernie Sanders Time Magazine Cover

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders made the cover of TIME magazine’s September 28 issue, but was snubbed for TIME’s Person of the Year for 2015, despite his having been the people’s clear choice for the designation.

Donald Trump claims that he got screwed out of TIME magazine’s Person of the Year designation, but the real screwee is presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders.

TIME picked German Chancellor Angela Merkel (who gives me the heebie-jeebies) as its 2015 Person of the Year, but, as TIME.com reports:

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has won the online readers’ poll for TIME Person of the Year, topping some of the world’s best-known politicians, activists and cultural figures as the most influential person of 2015 among those who voted.

The Vermont senator won with a little more than 10% of the vote when the poll closed Sunday [December 6] at midnight. That’s well ahead of Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was in second place at 5.2%, and Pope Francis, TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year, who finished third with 3.7%.

Sanders also placed far ahead [of] President Obama (3.5%) and ahead [of] other 2016 candidates, including Republican Donald Trump (1.8%) and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton (1.4%).

Sanders has helped define the presidential race, calling for big-ticket progressive items from single-payer healthcare to tuition-free public universities. He has mobilized the Democratic Party’s liberal base and inspired massive campaign rallies across the country. …

Trump didn’t garner even 2 percent, so if he was screwed, I suppose that Bernie, with a bit more than 10 percent of the vote, was screwed five times as much. (And it’s funny that Billary didn’t do as well as El Trumpo did.)

TIME apparently justifies its snubbing of Bernie thusly: “No presidential candidate has been named Person of the Year prior to the end of the campaign, though a slew of presidential victors from Franklin Delano Roosevelt in (1932, 1934, and 1941), Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984) and Barack Obama (2008, 2012) have earned the distinction.”

Well, even the folks over at TIME could think outside of the box if they wanted to.

Not only did Bernie beat Billary (and The Donald) in TIME’s Person of the Year commoners’ poll, but Bernie does better in match-up polls than does Billary against the three Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirants who are polling the best nationally: Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, in that order (according to Real Clear Politics’ polling averages as they stand as I type this sentence).*

According to Real Clear Politics’ polling averages, right now Sanders beats Trump by 8.0 percent, whereas Billary beats Trump by 3.3 percent; Sanders beats Cruz by 5.6 percent while Billary beats Cruz by 2.5 percent; and while Rubio beats Clinton by 1.6 percent, Rubio beats Sanders by just 0.7 percent.

So talk of Billary being “more electable” than Bernie and/or Bernie being “unelectable” quite demonstrably is complete and utter bullshit.

Bernie Sanders’ doing better than Billary is doing against the top-three Repugnican Tea Party presidential challengers sure qualifies him as the Person of the Year for 2015 in my book. I mean, Billary has been running for the White House at least since 2000, when she became a carpetbagging U.S. senator for New York.

If the Democrats wake the fuck up and realize before it’s too late that Bernie is a stronger presidential candidate than is Billary, perhaps we’ll have a President Bernie, and the pundits at TIME will see fit to make Bernie their Person of the Year for 2016.

That said, as I wrote recently, Marco Rubio is the Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe to take down; indeed, he beats both Billary and Bernie in the polling match-ups right now (albeit only barely for Bernie).

Marco Rubio is no less evil than is Donald Trump, but he comes across as nicer and saner, which makes him perhaps even more dangerous than is Trump, who wears his fascism on his sleeve for all to see, while Rubio keeps his fascistic tendencies hidden to the point that they are fairly invisible to the untrained eye.

*Ben Carson comes in at fourth place, but I think it’s safe to write him off as politically dead at this point.

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Marco Rubio, the real Repugnican frontrunner, is the one to take down

Rubio releases first TV ad: ‘What happened in Paris could happen here’

Marco Rubio, Repugnican Tea Party U.S. senator for Florida, warns in his very first TV ad that “What happened in Paris could happen here.” He was excluding, of course, the slaughter perpetrated by white, right-wing “Christian” terrorists, such as the one who just shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. (After all, such terrorists are the Repugnican Tea Party’s base.) Rubio also assures American senior citizens that in return for their support, he’ll ensure that they get their entitlements (and ours) while those of us who follow them will be fucked royally out of ours.

As I’ve noted many times, never in my lifetime of more than four decades has a U.S. president not first been a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before he* ascended to the White House.

While perhaps anything could happen, especially in the American empire’s apparent waning days, I don’t see either billionaire fascist Donald Trump or “Christo”fascist nut job Ben Carson breaking that pattern.

In the polls right behind Trump and Carson, neither of whom is likely to get the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination — electability will become crystal clear to them when voters and caucus-goers actually vote and caucus (as was said of the Democratic Party’s 2004 contest for the presidential nomination, the electorate dated [Howard] Dean but married [John] Kerry) — are Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Nationally right now, per Real Clear Politics’ polling averages, Trump leads with about 29 percent; then Carson, with about 20 percent; then Rubio, with about 13 percent; and then Cruz, with 12 percent. (At fifth place, with only about 5 percent, is Jeb! Bush.)

In RCP’s polling averages for Iowa, that order is almost the same but the percentages are different; it’s Trump, 27 percent; Carson, 20 percent; Cruz, 18 percent; Rubio, 12 percent; and Bush, not even a full 5 percent.

In New Hampshire, the order is shaken up; RCP’s polling averages for New Hampshire are Trump, 26 percent; Rubio, 12.5 percent; Carson, 10.5 percent; Cruz, 9.5 percent; and at fifth place is not Jeb!, but John Kasich, at almost 8 percent (Jeb! is in sixth place, with 7.5 percent; it became safe to write off Jeb! a way back).

Trump remains the frontrunner in the polls, but his numbers (at not even 30 percent) aren’t nearly high enough to prevent him from cratering at any time now. And the polls cited above don’t reflect his latest campaign fuckups, not only falsely claiming that thousands of American Muslims cheered on 9/11 even as the World Trade Center collapsed and burned, but also his having made fun of a New York Times reporter with a congenital physical disability (and then, as Trump always does, brazenly lying that he didn’t say and do what he’d just said and done).

As others have noted, Trump & Co. largely politically can get away with their Islamophobic rhetoric; only about 1 percent of Americans are Muslim, compared to the more than 75 percent who claim Christianity. Just as the Nazi Germans bullied the Jews because the Jews didn’t have nearly the numbers to fight back, the American right wing, the neo-Nazis, now bully Muslims in the United States because the Muslims don’t have nearly the numbers to fight back.

(If you think that my continued Nazi references are over the top, there is the fact that Donald Trump, if he didn’t outright endorse a national database/registry of Muslims in the United States — like the Nazi Germans kept their registries of Jews in Germany [and then in the other regions that they occupied] — he definitely didn’t reject the idea, either. Yeah.)

But while “good” “Christian” Americans (especially those who vote for Repugnican Tea Party candidates) are perfectly OK with persecuting Muslims, just like Jesus would do, I still maintain that when Trump mocked a physically disabled man during one of his KKK rallies, he finally sealed his fate. He’s finished, most likely. It’s that the incident is too recent to be reflected in the polls yet. I expect Trump to be polling consistently below 20 percent soon. (If he wages an independent presidential campaign, Ross Perot style, if it’s not too late for him to do so, he will ensure a Democratic presidential victory in November 2016, so I encourage him to scoop up his marbles in a huff and run as an independent.)

Carson’s polling isn’t as good as Trump’s, and Trump’s polling isn’t strong enough for him to be a shue-in, and Carson’s many lies about his biography, as well as his creepiness and his being an abject nut job (as well as a theofascist), doom him. He won’t be the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

This leaves us with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Cruz, the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy, is too widely despised, even by those within his own party, to win the party’s presidential nomination. He’s doing well in Iowa (just behind Trump and Carson), but Iowans are even more wingnutty that is your typical Repugnican. I mean, fuck: Prick Santorum won Iowa in 2012 and Mike Fuckabee won Iowa in 2008. Iowan Repugnicans aren’t exactly mainstream. In terms of who the eventual Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee actually will be, Iowa, for the past two cycles, has meant nothing, and I expect that trend to continue in 2016.

New Hampshire’s recent track record, however, has been spot-on. Mittens Romney won New Hampshire in 2012 and went on to win his party’s nomination. Ditto for John McCainosaurus in 2008.

Rubio polls second in New Hampshire right now, behind only Trump, giving him a shot at emerging at first place in the polls for New Hampshire in the near future.

Truth be told, I’d much rather that Ted Cruz win the party’s presidential nomination than Marco Rubio.

Why? Because Cruz is so despicable and creepy that there’s no way in hell that he’d win the White House in 2016, no matter whether he’s up against Billary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Marco Rubio, however, is just as mean-spirited and insane as the rest of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes — recall that Rubio rode the “tea party” wave into office in 2010 — but he is able to come off to the unthinking/uncritical and the unperceptive (a majority of Americans) as a saner individual.

Old fucks love Marco Rubio. As Reuters recently reported (emphases in bold are mine):

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, 44, frequently plugs his youth on the campaign trail but his promise to restore the American Dream for a new generation seems to appeal more to older age groups.

As the U.S. senator from Florida rises in opinion polls of Republicans, his gains are coming from voters over the age of 50, and most from those older than 65, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.

Although Rubio is running third overall behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson, he is tied with Carson with 12 percent among those older than 65, up from only 7 percent in late October.

Yet his support in the online survey is flat among voters his own age and younger. He registers at just six to seven percent among Republicans younger than 49.

In interviews with two dozen of the poll respondents over 50, 14 preferred Rubio after watching Republican debates this fall because they believed he was best able to stand up to his opponents while projecting a positive tone rather than acidity.

Two-thirds of those interviewed also mentioned being attracted to the Cuban-American senator’s personal history, which he has worked into key moments in each debate as Republicans fight to win their party’s nomination for the November 2016 election.

“Rubio’s initial bump in the polls is due to older voters really liking his story,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray, whose surveys also found increases for Rubio among older voters in early voting states like New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Evoking the American Dream [which long has since become the American Nightmare], Rubio [whom I have nicknamed “Bootstraps”] often talks about his parents who fled Cuba for the United States, where they worked as a bartender and maid. He talks about being raised from paycheck to paycheck and working to put himself through college. …

Sixteen of the 24 older voters Reuters spoke to this week also cited Rubio’s relative youth compared with many of the other leading candidates as a positive attribute. …

Four of those voters even compared Rubio to John F. Kennedy, a Democrat elected president in 1960 aged 43. [I just vomited in my mouth.]

“I think he would be like Kennedy,” said Rhoda Pelliccia, a 76-year-old Republican New Yorker living in Florida. “Kennedy was young and look what he did.” [I vomited again.]

Reliable older voters

Rubio’s advisers say they are not surprised or worried by the disparity and point out that older Americans are a crucial group because they reliably go to the polls.

While pollsters say he must broaden his appeal and attract younger voters to secure the nomination, Rubio’s aides say the candidate has no plans to change his message and they believe younger voters eventually will come his way.

“Our message is entirely about the future, but a part of that is creating an America where parents can pass on a better country than the one they inherited,” Rubio’s chief strategist, Todd Harris, said. “Older voters understand that because they’ve lived it and it’s what their parents did for them.” …

All the same, Rubio is taking great care to address entitlement programs and the concerns of senior citizens, who often make up the bulk of audiences at his campaign events.

“I’m from Florida. You may not know this, but there are a lot of people in Florida on Medicare and Social Security,” he says, barely pausing for his crowds to laugh, as they realize how many older voters retire in the southern state. “One of them happens to be my mother. And I can say this to you right now unequivocally: I am against anything that is bad for my mother,” he said in Bedford, New Hampshire last month. [Awww! How sweet! How charming!]

Rubio vows not to change those programs for the already retired or for those nearing retirement age. But he acknowledges that they must change for future generations.

Ah, Reuters saved the best for last. Rubio, being a U.S. senator for Florida, sure knows how to lick senior-citizen ass, and he assures these senior citizens that while they’ll get their entitlements, those of us who follow them (such as this member of Generation X) will get screwed royally, even though we’ve been paying into and will continue to pay into these entitlement systems our entire work lives. (By “entitlement” I mean the dictionary definition of term [“a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract”], not the term as it dismissively has come to be used by the right wing, which wants to take everything from us commoners, even the entitlements that we already have paid for.)

According to the Pew Research Center, “By many measures, Florida — which has long attracted snowbirds and retirees — is one of the nation’s grayest states. Overall, 19.1 percent of the Sunshine State’s population is 65 and older, the highest percentage in the nation.”

So Marco Rubio, a Gen X’er himself (I don’t claim him as one of my own), is perfectly willing to sell his own generation, and the generations that follow his/ours, down the river for his own short-term political gain. (After all, he will get cushy retirement benefits for having been a U.S. senator; he’ll be just fine, so don’t worry about him!)

What’s good for Marco Rubio’s political career is not good for the nation as a whole. The state of Florida is not representative of the entire United States of America, and this idea that it’s perfectly fine to fuck over future generations is an idea that needs to be fought against vehemently. It already largely is viewed not only as acceptable, but even as “common sensical.”

And leadership is supposed to be visionary and future-oriented. Marco Rubio is anything but these things. He’s perfectly willing to sell out his own and future generations for his own personal political gain today.

Marco Rubio also is perfectly willing to join the other bullies of the “Christo”fascist right wing in bashing American Muslims, since, again, without the numbers they can’t fight back. His very first television ad, released earlier this month, ominously warns us that “What happened in Paris could happen here.”

Why, yes, it could, but, as has been established, if you are a typical American, you are about twice as likely to be killed by a white, American, “Christo”fascist terrorist than you are by an “Islamofascist” terrorist.

But Islamophobia sells quite well among the xenophobic Repugnican Tea Party traitors who are deathly allergic to truth, reality and facts, so Marco Rubio gladly will use fear tactics, as will every Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe, for personal political gain. (Hey, it got George W. Bush “re”-elected!)

Marco Rubio is not the nice guy so many believe he is, which is why I consider him to be even more dangerous than is Ted Cruz, who can’t pull off the nice-guy facade.

Rubio’s strategy of cornering the old-fuck vote certainly isn’t a winning long-term strategy, but for the time being, old fucks do vote in much higher percentages than do younger Americans. And Rubio has made it clear, from his campaign rhetoric, that he isn’t concerned about the long term, but only wants to assure the old fucks (in return for their campaign donations and their votes) that they’ll get “theirs” (which is his own plan, too — to get “his” and then get out; I use quotation marks there because Rubio and his ilk don’t want what’s just theirs; they want what’s ours, too, of course, and they don’t care whatsofuckingever that they’ll leave us with nothing — or even less than nothing, in terms of great debt).

We’ll see how long the pandering to the over-inflated fear of “Islamofascist” “terrorists” will last for Rubio and his ilk. I have no doubt that they’d love a terrorist attack (or even more than one attack) on American soil by a Muslim or Muslims any time from right now to November 8, 2016. Paris was great for their brand of politics, but xenophobic, nationalist Americans only care so much about what happens in other nations. And here in the United States of Amnesia, things like the Paris attacks have a fairly short political shelf life.

If you think that I’m overstating how strongly Marco Rubio is positioned politically, know that Real Clear Politics’ averages of general presidential election polling match-ups have Rubio beating both Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Yup. RCP right now has Rubio beating Billary by an average of 1.4 percent and Bernie Sanders by 1 percent. He barely beats them, but it’s scary that he even should tie them.

(The only other Repugnican Tea Party candidate who also beats Billary and Sanders in the general-election match-ups is Ben Carson, who inexplicably does even better against them than does Rubio, but, again, Carson won’t be the nominee.)

Bluntly, Marco Rubio is the one to take down. The Repugnican Tea Party set ultimately will front him as their Latino Barack Obama — youth appeals in this youth-obsessed, adolescent-minded nation; Rubio assures the old fucks that he’ll cater to them, no matter the long-term damage to the nation; and the Repugnican Tea Party needs to try to regain critical ground lost to Latinos by El Trumpo — and while Rubio has Obama’s youth and smoothness, his agenda is dangerous: He’s perfectly willing to sell most of us down the river for his own political gain right now.

And he’s doing so with a youthful, perhaps even JFK-esque, smile.

*Yes, I’m more than ready for our first female president, but voting for Billary Clinton is like voting for a Repugnican. I don’t vote Repugnican.

Had U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren run instead of Bernie Sanders, I’d be supporting her right now.

 

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Der Führer Trump hits new low with attack on physically disabled man

Updated below

A screen grab shows Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday publicly mocking a New York Times reporter who has a congenital physical disability. The reporter’s “crime”? Telling the truth instead of supporting the dangerously fascistic Trump’s bold-faced lies against yet another already oppressed minority group. Reports USA Today: “Referring to Serge Kovaleski while on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Trump told a rally: ‘You’ve got to see this guy.’ He then ridiculed Kovaleski’s appearance by bending his wrists and jerking his arms around. Kovaleski has a chronic condition that affects his joints called arthrogryposis.” Kovaleski is pictured below, on the left.

Ken Belson y Serge Kovaleski (izquierda) atienden una recepción relacionada con el Día de la Tierra en el hotel Algonquin el 21 de abril de 2010 en Nueva York (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).

Getty images

It should come as no shock to see Donald Trump make fun of a man with a congenital physical disability during a “presidential” speech. (Video of this wonderful event is here.)

The Nazis, after all — and Trump, unshockingly,  is of German descent — murdered tens of thousands of human beings with disabilities in a program that later was dubbed “Action T4.” As Wikipedia explains:

The program ran officially from September 1939 to August 1941, during which the recorded 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centers located at psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. Several rationales for the program have been offered, including eugenics, natural selection, racial hygiene, cost effectiveness and pressure on the welfare budget. After the formal end date of the program, physicians in German and Austrian facilities continued many of the practices that had been instituted under Action T4, until the defeat of Germany in 1945. The unofficial continuation of the policy led to additional deaths by medicine and similar means, resulting in 93,521 beds “emptied” by the end of 1941. Historians estimate that twice the official number of T4 victims might have perished before the end of the war, exceeding 200,000.

So as not to be a hypocrite, and to provide full disclosure, I myself have used the term “fucktard” (and other iterations of “retard”). Many times. But my first job out of college was working with mentally and physically disabled individuals, and while I probably shouldn’t use the term “fucktard” to denote a person of low intelligence (who has not actually been diagnosed clinically with mental retardation, let me add, importantly), I don’t make fun of people with actual physical or intellectual disabilities, because to do so is to show a stunning lack of empathy for another human being who has challenges that oneself does not.

And, of course, I am not running to be president of the United States of America.

There long has been no way in hell that I would or could support fascist Führer wannabe Donald Trump in any way, and to some degree I suppose that I’ve become immune to the venom and bile that has been spewing freely from Trump’s pie hole for months now, but this latest Trumpism should be the one that finally takes him down.

The Amazon.com series “The Man in the High Castle,” based upon a Philip K. Dick dystopian novel that envisions a scenario in which Germany and Japan actually won World War II and divvied up the United States between them, is timely. (Just last night I watched the first episode. It even makes rather chilling reference to eugenics, which the Nazi Germans occupying the United States are still practicing routinely.)

Here in Donald Trump is a patently fascist presidential candidate (of German blood, appropriately) openly mocking, in a “presidential” speech, a man who has a congenital physical disability.

How will the masses respond to this?

How will the masses respond to such utterly shameless bullying? I mean, other groups of people Trump has attacked — “illegals” from south of the border, Muslims, women, et. al. — can, for the most part, defend themselves against Trump’s bigotry to at least some degree.

But attacking those with disabilities?

Really?

How low, exactly, can Donald Trump go?

Should the masses actually allow Donald Trump to sit in the Oval Office, I can guarantee you this: In the future, if we even still have anything remotely resembling a democracy left, presidential candidates might be asked: If you could go back in time, would you kill Baby Donald in order to prevent the crimes against humanity that he perpetrated?

The Germans claimed that they didn’t know what Adolf Hitler was all about until it was too late. Bullshit. The signs were all there all along.

With Donald Trump, similarly, the signs are all there.

If we actually allow this “man” to be president — whether we actually elect him or whether we just allow him to steal the White House, like we just allowed George W. Bush & Co. to do in 2000* — we won’t be able to claim, with any shred of truth at all, that we didn’t know.*

P.S. If you think that noting Trump’s German ancestry is out of bounds, well, apparently Trump possibly has had a problem with it himself, or at least his father apparently had a problem with it. Notes Wikipedia:

Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants; Trump’s grandfather, Frederick Trump (né Friedrich Trump), was a successful Klondike Gold Rush restaurateur. In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that Frederick Trump was originally called Friedrich Drumpf and of Swedish origin, an assertion previously made by Fred Trump for many years. Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.

More disclosure: A while ago I participated in the Genographic Project, and my genes (if I interpret my results correctly) are a match for the dominant genetic populations first of the United Kingdom and second of Germany, so it seems quite possible if not probable that I have at least some German blood in me, as do many if not even most white Americans. That said, the Germans always have rubbed me the wrong way, even Nazism aside.

Update: Donald Trump has issued a lying, cowardly statement denying that he said/did what he said/did.

In the video I linked to above, Trump clearly says to his audience, “You gotta see this guy” (Serge Kovaleski, whom he has just called a “poor guy”) — this certainly indicates that he has met or at least seen Kovaleski, at least in a picture — and then Trump immediately mimics the distorted voice and gestures of someone with a physical and/or intellectual disability.

Yet now Trump alternately claims that he’s never laid eyes on Kovaleski and that “Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him” and “Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did.”

The Washington Post has noted that “Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks,” casting further doubt on Trump’s claim that he has no idea what Kovaleski even looks like. (Trump strikes me as the kind of individual who certainly would do opposition research; not only does he have the paranoia and the egomaniacal grandiosity, but he has the mean$ to have his henchpeople do this for him.)

Trump also took the page right out of the fascist/right-wing playbook in which he blames his victim; he proclaimed that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand.”

Yes, it’s Kovaleski’s fault that Trump very, very apparently made fun of him and his congenital condition. Not only has Trump now attacked Kovaleski twice — Kovaleski, to my knowledge, has made no public statement, by the way (the New York Times has) — but Trump bizarrely has attacked the New York Times at length, criticizing its fiscal management and questioning its ethics, its quality and its relevance, which has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the fact that Donald Trump very, very apparently recently publicly mocked a man for his congenital physical disability during a “presidential” appearance.

What started this whole fracas, of course, is Trump’s colossal falsehood that on television he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center even as the twin towers burned and fell. This is a right-wing über-fabrication meant to further the wingnuts’ anti-Muslim agenda, of course.

But Donald Trump is too much of a fucking liar and a fucking coward to admit that he lied or, at the very minimum, very carelessly misspoke about “thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on September 11, 2001. If he didn’t outright lie, which I think he most likely did, then he certainly didn’t care about the facts, the truth, because his overriding objective was to bash Muslims for personal political gain, not to tell the truth. Very presidential!

As I wrote above, we are seeing ample signs about what kind of “man” Donald Trump is. We ignore these flashing lights and sirens at our own peril.

And when I call Donald Trump a fascist, I mean it in the dictionary-definition sense of the term, not as a slam, although it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s also taken as a slam. (See Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie on the topic of Donald Trump being a textbook fascist.)

Fuck the fascist Trump and the neo-Nazis who support him. They won’t turn the United States of America into another Nazi Germany without a fight.

P.S. I stand corrected; Business Insider reports:

… [Serge] Kovaleski told The [Washington] Post that he is confident that Trump remembers him and his condition. Kovaleski met with Trump several times when the reporter was covering Trump while working at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993.

“The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,” Kovaleski told the Post.

The New York Times, where Kovaleski is currently a reporter, also had a response to the incident: “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” a Times spokeswoman told Politico and confirmed to Business Insider. …

*Of course, after George W. Bush brazenly blatantly stole the 2000 presidential election, it couldn’t have come as a surprise that he would not protect Americans on September 11, 2001, or in late August 2005 (when Hurricane Katrina struck), and nor could it have come as a surprise that the “man” who had refused to accept that his opponent Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election would go on to start the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, in which thousands of our troops died for nothing more than the treasonous war profiteering of the treasonous BushCheneyCorp and in which many, many more innocent Iraqi civilians, tens of thousands of them, have died — and which, of course, contributed to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has caused even more death and destruction.

There are terms for these high crimes: treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc.

That enough Americans not nearly long ago just enough allowed the fascist George W. Bush to rise to power anti-democratically should give pause to those who claim that Donald Trump couldn’t become president.

He probably won’t, but to ignore the possibility entirely is dangerous — and, dare I say, probably even treasonous.

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Bernie Sanders wins the youth vote (also: SEIU sold its members out)

Updated below (on Monday, November 23,2015)

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes a selfie with supporters after a campaign rally at the South Carolina Democratic Party headquarters in Columbia

Reuters photo

Two young people take a selfie with democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders after a campaign rally in Columbia, South Carolina, yesterday. Sanders is popular among young Americans, having won Iowa’s student mock election this past week with a majority of the votes, and he leads TIME magazine’s online poll for its 2015 Person of the Year. 

I noted two interesting Bernie Sanders-related items this past week.

First, Bernie Sanders handily won the student mock election held in Iowa this past week. Just under a thousand middle school and high school students participated on the Democratic side of the mock election, sponsored by the state’s secretary of state’s office. The Washington Post reports that 22 of the state’s 99 counties participated in the mock election, but doesn’t indicate whether these 22 counties are more or less representative of the entire state.

That said, Bernie Sanders won the mock election with almost 53 percent of the vote, followed by Martin O’Malley, with 24 percent, and coming in dead last was Billary Clinton, with a paltry 15 percent.

Had these been elementary school students, I would feel at least a little bit better about these results. Why? I surmise that younger students primarily would have voted the way their parents had influenced them to vote, and thus the mock election results would be reflective of how the students’ parents intend to caucus in Iowa on February 1.

But because these are middle school and high school students who voted, I surmise, the students voted more independently of their parents than younger students would have. And since most of these high school students won’t be 18 years old as of February 1, Bernie Sanders’ having garnered a majority of the vote in Iowa’s student mock election won’t translate to much help to him when Iowa caucuses on February 1.

The Huffington Post’s polling analysis right now puts Sanders at 32.5 percent in Iowa, to Billary Clinton’s 54.4 percent. Real Clear Politics’ polling analysis right now puts Billary at 53.8 percent to Bernie’s 29.8 percent in the first-to-weigh-in state of Iowa.

What accounts for such differences in the preference for Bernie or for Billary? Age, apparently; the younger you are, the more likely you are to support Bernie Sanders, and the older you are, the more likely you are to support Billary Clinton.

This is good for Billary and her center-right ilk in the short term, since our elections still will be skewed to the older, whiter and more conservative voters for several more cycles to come, since the older, whiter and more conservative you are, the more likely it is that you consistently vote in elections.

But Bernie’s — and democratic socialism’s — popularity among young people now, if it holds as they grow older, spells doom for the Clintonesque sellout of the Democratic Party to the point that the Democratic presidential frontrunner, Billary Clinton, is quite Repugnican Lite.

(Indeed, as I have noted, much of her campaign rhetoric sounds like Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Marco Rubio’s, and given the too-similar campaign rhetoric, are voters going to vote for the younger, fresher Rubio — or for Billary? [Yes, my money still is on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.])

It’s quite possible that Bernie Sanders won’t eke out a win in the current Democratic Party presidential primary race, and that history will show him to have been a transitional political figure, the presidential candidate who helped return the Democratic Party to its progressive roots but who couldn’t win the White House himself.

That said, I still won’t write Bernie’s political obituary; at this point he still could win Iowa, like John Kerry did in 2004 (after he had been written off as politically dead), and then, like Kerry did, win the New Hampshire primary and take the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The numbers indicate that it’s not incredibly likely that Bernie will do so, but it’s still possible that he will.

In any event, Bernie Sanders has been influential, whether he wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination or not, and, truth be told, I’d rather that Billary Clinton lose in November 2016 than Bernie Sanders.

Why? Because if Billary wins the party’s presidential nomination but loses the presidential election in November 2016 — a decent likelihood, given how Billary, whom a majority of Americans do not like, is not polling very strongly against most of the Repugnican presidential contenders in polling match-ups — it most likely will be the death of her center-right, Democratic-in-name-only, pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic brand name of politics; it will be, at long last, the stake driven through the vampire’s cold heart.

Bernie Sanders’ loss in November 2016 widely would be interpreted as a repudiation of democratic socialism. I’d much rather that November 2016 be viewed as the DINOs’ loss, not democratic socialism’s.

Again, win or lose, Bernie Sanders already has been consequential. The second item that I noted this past week is that Sanders leads handily in TIME magazine’s online poll* of who should be its Person of the Year.

As I type this sentence, in TIME’s online poll Sanders stands at 63 percent voting that he should be a contender for the 2015 Person of the year, with only 37 percent (primarily the Billarybots and the Repugnican Tea Party set, I presume) voting that he shouldn’t be.

Right now the only other candidates for Person of the Year who even approach Sanders’ level are Malala Yousafzi (the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both with 58 percent. At number three are “Refugees,” from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, as a group, with 54 percent of the vote.

Pope Smiley Face — er, Francis — right now comes in at fourth place, with 51 percent, and no other person or group of persons breaks 50 percent in the online polling thus far.

How does Billary Clinton fare in TIME’s online poll as I type this sentence? A whopping 24 percent say that she deserves consideration as Person of the Year, while 76 percent say that she does not. (I’d have voted “Oh, hell no!” had that been an option. A Facebook or Twitter account is necessary to vote, by the way, which should cut down at least somewhat on the same individuals voting multiple times.)

The racehorse American Pharoah (his owner apparently misspelled the word “pharaoh”) right now fares better than does Billary, with 26 percent voting that the horse should be considered as Person of the Year.

(In case you’re wondering, of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirants, Donald Trump fares the best in the online poll for Person of the Year, with only 15 percent; behind him is Ben Carson, with 13 percent. And Barack Obama right now has 39 percent, making him more popular than Billary but not as popular as Bernie.

In case you were wondering even further — and you probably weren’t — my own top three choices for TIME’s Person of the Year for 2015 would be [not necessarily in any certain order] Bernie Sanders, “Refugees,” and Latino journalist Jorge Ramos, who has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of immigrants from south of the border, even before he took on Donald Trump’s chillingly fascistic, jackbooted, nationalist/jingoist and racist — and thus dangerous — anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric.)

Why is Bernie Sanders doing so well in TIME’s online poll?

Well, I surmise, it comes down again to youth: Younger people are more likely to be online and thus are more likely to participate in online polls.

In old, actual votes that actually make or break presidential candidates in the actual caucuses and the primary elections, Billary Clinton, the old, dead hand of the past, no doubt will get scads of actual votes from center-right old fucks.

But the future, apparently, belongs to democratic socialism.

P.S. I’ll take a moment here to note that while the nation’s second-largest labor union, SEIU (Service Employees International Union, which has a membership of around 2 million workers), this past week endorsed Billary Clinton as president, none of us union members at the bottom got any say whatsofuckingever in the matter.

I’ve paid my monthly dues to SEIU for years now (they come out of my paycheck automatically), but the union’s decision to endorse Billary was not made by us dues-paying pee-ons, but only by SEIU’s upper echelon.

We dues-paying pee-ons (that’s not a misspelling; we are urinated upon) had zero opportunity to weigh in on the endorsement, either by snail mail or even electronically.

I have to suspect that the ineffective, self-serving SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, who should have been dumped by now, supports Billary primarily (or even only) because Billary is a fellow woman and because this is what “feminism” has come to mean these days: supporting a woman over a man no matter what the woman stands for or does not stand for.

I mean, fuck: One of SEIU’s stated central priorities is the $15/hour minimum wage for every worker in the United States of America, but Billary Clinton won’t support a federal minimum wage of more than $12/hour. Bernie Sanders supports the $15/hour minimum wage.

SEIU is anti-democratic and cowardly — and apparently misandrist — and stopped representing its members’ best interests years ago.

The nation’s largest nurses’ union, National Nurses United, and the American Postal Workers Union had the brains and the courage to endorse Sanders.

Update (Monday, November 23, 2015): I just saw this tidbit in a piece posted today by prognosticator god Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com (the link is Silver’s):

…[E]xit polls like this one have historically asked voters in Iowa and New Hampshire when they made their final decision on how to vote. These exit polls find that voters take their sweet time.

In Iowa, on average, only 35 percent of voters [caucus-goers] had come to a final decision before the final month of the campaign. And in New Hampshire, only 29 percent had. [Emphasis mine.]

(Why is the fraction lower in New Hampshire than in Iowa? Probably because voters there are waiting for the Iowa results before locking in their choice. In fact, about half of New Hampshire voters make up their minds in the final week of the campaign.) …

This puts the current poll numbers for Iowa and New Hampshire (for both of the duopolistic political parties) into better perspective, methinks.

The title of Silver’s aforementioned piece is “Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls,” and in the piece Silver makes the case that based upon historical trends in the election and the election polling cycle, Trump hardly is a shue-in for his party’s presidential nomination. I don’t see why this advice doesn’t apply equally to Billary Clinton.

As I wrote, I still can see Bernie Sanders winning both Iowa and New Hampshire, just as John Kerry dramatically came from behind in 2004 to take both Iowa and New Hampshire when Howard Dean had been coronated already, much as Billary Clinton already has been coronated…

*TIME proclaims:

TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse. … Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on December 4, and the combined winner of our reader polls will be announced on December 7. TIME’s Person of the Year will be announced December 9.

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‘Unelectable’ Bernie slightly beats Billary against Trump, Bush in polls

The Billarybots (among others) are pushing the myth that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is not electable as president of the United States of America. The polls demonstrate, however, that Bernie is at least as strong against the entire Repugnican Tea Party presidential field as is Billary Clinton.

As commentator Brent Budowsky of The Hill has pointed out, recent polls show that the “unelectable” Bernie Sanders consistently has done slightly better in general-election match-ups against Donald Trump and Jeb! Bush than has Billary Clinton.

Real Clear Politics’ polling averages right now give Billary 4.4 percent over Trump and just 1 percent over Jeb! (Frighteningly, RCP’s polling average right now gives pathological liar and theocratic nut job Ben Carson 4 percentage points over Billary.* RCP’s polling average has Billary beating Marco Rubio by not even one full percentage point.)

RCP’s polling averages have Bernie Sanders beating Donald Trump by 4.7 percent and Jeb! Bush by 2 percent. RCP’s polling averages unfortunately don’t match Sanders up against anyone other than Trump and Bush, but the “unelectable” Sanders does slightly better against both Bush and Trump than does Billary in RCP’s polling averages.

Trump and Bush are decent samples, too, as Trump represents the “outsider” Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate and Jeb! represents the “insider” Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate.

In the latest match-up polling, Sanders did very well — in a McClatchy-Marist poll taken from October 29 through November 4, Sanders beat Jeb! by 10 percent (and Billary beat Jeb! by 8 percent) and Sanders beat Trump by 12 percent (and Billary beat The Donald by 15 percent). (As Budowsky pointed out, it’s too soon to know if these latest polling numbers are outliers or are the new normal.)

Don’t trust just Real Clear Politics’ numbers. Over at the Huffington Post’s roundup of polling averages, Donald Trump right now holds 44 percent to Bernie Sanders’ 48 percent and to Billary’s 47 percent. (Unfortunately, El Trumpo is the only Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate against whom HuffPo gives polling averages for both Bernie and Billary.)

My point is not to try to be predictive; Iowa doesn’t caucus until February 1, New Hampshire’s primary isn’t until February 9, “Super Tuesday” isn’t until March 1, and the presidential general election is almost a full year away.**

My point is that while the conventional “wisdom” long has been that Bernie Sanders just can’t compete against the Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes like Billary Clinton can, the polls demonstrate that that is utter bullshit. Bernie Sanders is at least as competitive against the entire Repugnican Tea Party presidential field as is Billary Clinton.***

The polls that I refer to here are polls of people who probably will cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. These aren’t polls of the pundits who are trapped within their establishmentarian bubble, in which Queen Billary’s “inevitability” is taken as Gospel, regardless of the what the people are saying themselves via many polls.

The bottom line is that Bernie Sanders can win the White House.

Perhaps his only obstacle to the Oval Office is the myth that he’s unelectable — a myth that gladly is pushed not only by the corporations and those who love them, but also by the center-right Billarybots, who are legion.

I agree with Budowsky’s conclusion, and so I will conclude with that:

… For today, there are two issues these polls present. First, the national reporting of the presidential campaign completely fails to reflect Sanders’s strength in a general election, especially against Trump, and against Bush as well.

Second, and perhaps more important, Sanders’s strength in general election polling gives credence to the argument I have been making in recent years, that American voters favor progressive populist positions which, if taken by Democrats in the general election, would lead to a progressive populist Democratic president and far greater Democratic strength in Congress.

It is a fallacy argued by conservatives and, in my view, inaccurately parroted by the mainstream media, that Sanders and other liberals take positions that are far too “left.” The polling shows, issue by issue, and increasingly in general election match-ups of Republicans running against Sanders, that it is the left, not the right, which has the upper hand with American voters.

P.S. Speaking of the Billarybots, if you haven’t read Slate.com’s William Saletan’s pieces on how Team Billary shamelessly has tried to slander Sanders as both a sexist and a racist, you should.

I take these slimy attacks, which are sooo characteristic of Billary and her brand of politics, as good signs, though; it’s how she reacted when Barack Obama was beating her sorry DINO ass in 2008.

*To be fair even to Billary, I noted that the McClatchy-Marist poll has even Bernie Sanders losing to Ben Carson by 2 percent, 45 percent to Carson’s 47 percent. Carson is, in fact, the only Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate in the McClatchy-Marist poll whom Sanders doesn’t beat by at least 3 percent.

In the McClatchy-Marist poll Billary beats every Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, but Ben Carson does the best against her, with 48 percent to her 50 percent.

So at least in the McClatchy-Marist poll, Ben Carson did better against Bernie and Billary than did any other Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, but of course that poll wrapped up on November 4, before revelations about Carson’s serial pathological lies — or, to be charitable, at the very least, his very apparently pathologically intentional distortions — of his biography came out.

And yes, Ben Carson is fair game for scrutiny. Not only has he been in the top two in the polling of his party’s presidential preferences for some time now, but he has put out books, which can be fact-checked.

Ben Carson wants to be president — the most politically powerful person of the planet’s most politically powerful nation. That he can’t handle the vetting process demonstrates how pathetically unqualified he is to hold such incredible power. (Because he’s never held any elected governmental office in his life, he won’t hold that kind of power.)

**That said, again, never in my lifetime of more than four decades has any U.S. president not first been a U.S. senator or the governor of a state, so I think it’s quite safe to conclude that neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson ever will sit behind the big desk in the Oval Office.

My money is still on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee. Yes, the Repugnican Tea Party wants to front a Latino, or will want to front a Latino in November 2016, I believe, and no, it won’t be Ted Cruz, because he’s too obviously insane and too many members of his own party fucking hate him because he is incredibly obnoxious.

Also, because Rubio is 44 years old, he is a twofer; he not only is a Latino (although he’s a light-skinned, right-wing Cuban American, the kind of Latino the Repugnican Tea Party loves the most, and Cuban Americans are only around 3.5 percent of Latinos in the United States, 63 percent of whom are of more-left-wing Mexican heritage), but he has that Obama-esque aura of youth about him, even though his “bootstraps” worldview comes from no later than the 1950s.

***With the margins of error taken into consideration, I can’t see that anyone correctly and definitively can state that either Billary or Bernie is a significantly stronger general-election presidential candidate than is the other. With the margins of error taken into consideration, they are very much neck-and-neck.

And this fact might be much more indicative of our national partisan polarization than it is indicative of much of anything about the candidates themselves as individuals.

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