New Trope Warning! Continue reading Just how stupid are elected representatives?
I assume Stacey Abrams is a candidate for President, though she has not officially declared.
The point has recently been made that three southern candidates came with a very small margin of beating their unbeatable Republican opponents in the last election. One of them was white, two black, and the only real difference among them candidate-wise is that everyone is falling all over themselves to elevate the white guy to the status of High Candidate, while the two African American candidates have, at best, been suggested for a subservient role.
That got me thinking, “has Stacey Abrams written a book by any chance” and yes, she has! Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change by Stacey Abrams.
Leadership is hard. Convincing others?and yourself?that you are capable of taking charge and achieving more requires insight and courage. Lead from the Outside is the handbook for outsiders, written with an eye toward the challenges that hinder women, people of color, the working class, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make change. Stacey uses her hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, and she includes practical exercises to help you realize your own ambition and hone your skills. Lead from the Outside discusses candidly what Stacey has learned over the course of her impressive career in politics, business and the nonprofit world: that differences in race, gender, and class provide vital strength, which we can employ to rise to the top and create real and lasting change.
And here is a short video on the book:
A “Congressman” is an archaic gendered term for a member of the United States House of Representatives. You really ought to stop using it. Here’s why.
Continue reading What Is A Congressman?
1) Mueller found no collusion, but does his report explain why a half dozen key Trump Crime Family members blatantly and in apparent coordination with each other lied about their contacts (which did happen) with Russian officials and agents?
This could be explained as follows.
For their part, Russia interfered with the election. This is known.
For their part, the Trump Crime Family attempted to coordinate with the Russians, but the Russians are not stupid. They regarded the Trump people as the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Strait, and while Trump Jr, Flynn, Pence, and the rest of them, kept trying to open back channels and bend over backwards for the Russians, the Kremlin kept them at arms length. Why allow the idiots to get themselves arrested or impeached, thus becoming useless, rather than useful, idiots?
2) The special prosecutor a) chose to not move forward on obstruction but b) it was Barr and the Justice Department that determined that this is not worth pursuing. It is pretty clear that Trump committed obstruction, he is just going to get away with it. We have to see the report itself to consider this further.
3) Since so much of the left, the Democratic, the blue-wavist, momentum was (unwisely) tied up in this report, that is done now. Trump was polled as behind various Democrats in head-to-head comparisons, and his popularity and approval ratings were all down. The next head to head comparisons will likely show Trump as a possible 2020 winner, and his approval ratings will now go abruptly up. Had this report come out in this exact manner last October 1st, there would not have been as strong of a blue wave.
4) That slightly squishy zone, those who are Trump supporters but who we thought could be convinced to turn on him, will now harden and move fully into the Trump camp. This includes voters, the handful of Republican Senators that occassionally pretended to contemplate doing the right thing, and everyone in between. That particular political strategy for Democrats, not very important to begin with, is surely now zero gone.
5) We are probably left with only one option: To vote Trump out of office, and along with him, a bunch of Senators.
6) Now more than ever, infighting among Democrats is dooming our children, our planet, and ourselves.
This is an important perspective:
We often hear of bookmaker odds for elections. Sometimes they are right no, sometimes they are not. Here is a press release from BookMaker showing the current betting status.
San Jose, Costa Rica–March 15,2019–Online sportsbook BookMaker.eu has released updated odds to win the Democratic Nomination with Joe Biden as the 11/4 favorite over a crowded field. Continue reading Who will be the Democratic Nominee, who will be the POTUS?
Before you spend any more energy criping about Pelosi and impeachment, find out what impeachment is and how it would go.
What people need to understand is that the Senate, i.e., the Republicans, i.e. Mitch McConnell himself, runs the show in the impeachment hearings. It is done by the Senate. They do it. It is them. Not the house.
It is a trial is run by the Senate with the Chief Justice presiding, and the President present the whole time in the front of the room. Trump will be able to call witnesses. Repeat. Trump will be able to call witnesses. McConnell will be able to call witnesses. Repeat. McConnell will be able to call witnesses.
This means that not only will the impeachment fail, but the Republicans in the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, will basically be putting on Celebrity Apprentice 2.0 staring Donald Trump.
It won’t just be a fail. It will be a multi day show put on and arranged entirely by Trump’s people.
Unless we get to a point where there is the necessary number of Republicans in the Senate to convict, we do not want this to happen. Pelosi is right.
I a not actually supporting a candidate for nomination for USPOTUS at this time, and I won’t for a while. I’m too engaged in the process of caucus, delegate selection, primary, etc. to do that. Let it never be said that Great Laden caused a particular candidate to be favored in their quest to get Minnesota’s convention delegates.
I will say that I am likely to discount (as in move down the list) old white guys including Biden and Sanders, but I have no intention of ruling anyone out at this time.
But, I am very concerned about climate change, and at this time, one could argue that Jay Inslee is THE climate candidate running right now. For all you Sanders fans out there, and for all you who like Sanders but want him to be a Democrat, notice that Inslee is the “I’m Sanders but an actual Democrat” candidate. Perhaps. He’s also the White Male Elizabeth Warren candidate.
Point is, I think everyone should support him with sufficient vigor to keep him in the race so he can make an impact on the debates and possibly beyond. Maybe he’s the one. Who knows?
Watch these interviews to find out more:
… with a special focus on some of the moments not otherwise noted in the press.
8:One of the best exchanges. For context this is after some Republican yammered on and on for a while repeating their message that the Congress has better things to do than to preserve Democracy and stuff:
10: Among the best moments. This is @AOC’s coup de grace:
12: This is the moment when we get to see the angry and offended white men scolding the black women. For context, before you throw Cummings under the bus, it is in fact against the rules for a member of Congress to say anything about another member of Congress while in session or a hearing.
13: The big largely ignored finish, in which Congressman Cummings pawns them all. Starts off slow, turns into one of the Great Speeches. Not a dry eye in the House. As it were.
The moment this tweet of Donald Trump’s came out, everyone saw it for what it was and laughed at him. I have no additional insight beyond the obvious, other than to say that it will be difficult for the editors of the American Heritage Illustrated Dictionary to decide if a picture of Don the Con, or this tweet, should be displayed next to the definition of “Grifter.”
Anyway, here is the tweet:
HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called “A Salute To America” and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
And here is a small West Wing clip that I am somehow reminded of, from Season 3, Episode 8, “The Indians in the Lobby”:
… if you are doing what a lot of people are doing on the Internet. Being wrong!!!!
The Russian organized and operated trolls that will attempt to ruin the 2020 election will sow divisions among Democrats so that the process of selecting the best candidate to go up against Trump will be so badly damaged that they can’t win.
How will they do this? By declaring particular candidates as not electable. By declaring that this or that candidate’s positions are entirely different than they actually are, in a way that makes potential supporters turn away. By causing friction among those who are otherwise allies or friends so that social networking communities are ripped asunder, and so on.
The thing is, most apparent Trumpo-Russian trolls are not actually Trumpo-Russian trolls. Rather, they are you, or others like you, who have fallen into this pattern. Time will tell if this pattern has been promulgated in small or large part as an arm of the Russian attack on our democracy, or if people are just acting this way because it is human nature. But it does not matter. Employing these and similar tactics in our public conversation about our candidates looks and works the same, and has the same effect, whether the act is bought and paid for by the Republican-Trump-Putin axis, or whether it happens all by itself.
Don’t be confused for a Putin Troll. Being like a Putin Troll is the same exact thing as actually being a Russian troll.
All the bad things people say
You can’t fairly judge a candidate based on what people on Facebook or Twitter tell you. Such comments are more often than not inaccurate, often purposefully so.
Claim: Candidate X thinks America is not ready for healthcare for all! Next!
Truth: Candidate X makes a clear statement that we need universal single payer healthcare. The same candidate then lists several possible steps to get there.
Claim: Candidate X is the only candidate that can beat Trump.
Truth: Most people can’t even name most of the candidates, and there has not been a single debate. There are candidates that haven’t even declared yet. There is simply no way to say who can beat whom. As a matter of fact, there is a pretty darn good chance Trump isn’t going to be the guy to beat anyway. He’ll be pushed out or removed or in some other way unavailable.
Please consider this strategy:
The election is so early that not all the candidates have even declared,and most are in fact unknown with respect to position or abilities, regardless of what you may think. So:
1) Wait to declare a candidate you prefer the best. If you like one candidate above the others, do go ahead and say nice things about that individual, but please do not write off the other candidates or attack people who have a different opinion.
2) Wait to write off individual candidates that you really don’t like. There is nothing wrong with having such an opinion, but for now, please do what your mother tried to teach you: If you have nothing good to say about someone, keep your stupid mouth shut for now (I’m sure she was thinking it that way, though she may have used other words).
3) Don’t repeat the trollish comments you hear. They are not hard to identify. A very smart and thoughtful friend of mine did this recently, the first example above is based on that. A candidate was attacked by a troll on twitter. The attack was very inaccruate. My friend simply repeated the attack. Don’t do that, makes you look like an idiot, and it amplifies the trollish message.
4) Don’t BELIEVE the trollish comments you hear. In the case mentioned above in Number 3, virtually no one seems to have responded to the recycled attack by questioning it. Make up your own damn mind with facts you have obtained from good sources and verified. It isn’t that hard. It is your responsibility, your job, to do this.
5) Remember where we are. We are at present BEFORE the beginning. This is not the time to weed out candidates. Take your time. Remember, there is a Democratic debate (probably two) in June. Wait until at least the debate to start weeding out candidates, and even then, be fucking civilized about it, not trollish. Please.
6) Please make the distinction between the process of selecting a nominee and running for president. There are important differences at many levels. A full third, in my estimation, of the embarrassingly stupid things people said during the 2018 race came out of ignorance of the difference.
7) Part of your message, your public opinion, should always be how you will support the nominee no matter what. Note that you can’t really say that now if you also say “I will never vote for Candidate X no matter what.” So stop saying the latter, always include the former. As part of this, please do not let the perfect stand in the way of the pretty darn good.
8) Do not complain about the system of selecting a nominee unless you are willing to spend at least a little time helping to select the nominee other than just showing up like a drone on Primary day. Stand up and do something. You are needed.
And freedom? And why is education power and freedom?
The whole point of the enlightenment is that knowledge sets us free. “Wherever the people are well informed,” Thomas Jefferson wrote, “they can be trusted with their own government.” That we are less free than we can, and should, be is the point of Shawn Otto’s book The War on Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It. If you’ve not read it, please do so.
It is also the point of, let’s see … the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Under Trump, these freedoms are threatened daily. We are at a tipping point. A Trump is possible when the politicians and elected officials of this country have taken enough power from the voters that they can make voting itself a non-democratic act. A Trump is possible when ignorance becomes the willed objective of a large portion of the thought leaders of our society. Once a certain point of institutionalized repression of democracy, and a certain point of culturally determined ignorance, are reached, someone like Trump can become president and then, imperialized by whichever powers control him, push us the rest of the way.
That is the point of the best of this year’s Super Bowl commercials. The only one worth watching. In fact, better than the game turned out to be. This is it, from the Washington Post:
Ian Millhiser, writing at Think Progress, thinks so.
Lawyers representing a Louisiana abortion clinic and at least two physicians filed an application in the Supreme Court on Monday asking the court to halt a Louisiana law that is identical to a Texas law the justices struck down in 2016.
The court is almost certain to deny this application in a 5-4 vote — possibly as soon as tonight. When it does so, it will effectively mark the end of Roe v. Wade.
Yes, the court is very unlikely to hand down an opinion this week which uses the words “Roe v. Wade is overruled.” But these abortion providers filed this application because a federal appeals court openly defied the Supreme Court’s most recent abortion decision. When the court refuses to enforce its own decision, that will send a clear signal to lower court judges throughout the country that they are free to uphold restrictions on abortion.
In the “most admired man” contest. Continue reading Obama Set To Tie Eisenhower. Creams Ford and Trump