Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Populism? Or "Revolutionary-era elitism drawn along racist lines"?

Image result for bannon imagesThe first thing that struck me when I read the article that I am about to drop on you is this:

Looking at Steve Bannon, how could he even think that he is genetically superior to anybody? I mean just look at him. He is the before guy in a before and after gym membership commercial.

So now to the aforementioned article written by Laurel Raymond for Think Progress.

" Former Breitbart head Steve Bannon has been a national lightning rod ever since he was appointed CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. At-issue: Bannon’s deep ties to the growing white nationalist movement, which provided some of Trump’s earliest and most fervent supporters.

On Sunday the New York Times published a profile on Bannon, casting him as a “combative populist.” Buried deep within the profile is an account of Bannon talking about his belief in the “genetic superiority” of certain people and his support for restricting voting rights to only property owners.

A former colleague of Bannon’s, Julia Jones, recounted her interactions with Bannon to reporter Scott Shane:
Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.
“I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’ I said, ‘But what about Wendy?’” referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. “He said, ‘She’s different. She’s family.’”
Jones also previously described Bannon’s comments about voting to The Daily Beast.
Restricting voting to only property holders would take the country back centuries to its founding — when only white, male property holders could vote in most states. Today, such a restriction would disenfranchise huge swaths of people, including students, people of color, young Americans, many city dwellers, and low-income populations.

Far from populism, this is Revolutionary-era elitism drawn along racist lines. And for white nationalists, it’s a familiar goal.

Former KKK wizard David Duke, for example, has been proclaiming on Twitter that Trump’s election and cabinet picks are the first steps toward “taking America back” — that is, taking America “back” from anyone who isn’t descended from fair-skinned Europeans. In white nationalist ideology, only white Americans have a true right to the country — and the rights that go along with citizenship, like voting.

Bannon’s musings on voting restrictions are a dog-whistle to white nationalists. The same goes for his reference to “genetic superiority,” a view that Donald Trump also has said he shares.
Trump has repeatedly connected his success to his “good genes,” as ThinkProgress previously reported. He’s said that his children “don’t need adversity” to build character or skills, because they share his good genetics. In an interview once, he went so far as to compare himself to a “racehorse” and discussing his “breeding” at length.

The belief in the genetic predisposition of qualities like intelligence are a hallmark of white nationalism.

Bannon’s musings on white nationalists are a dog-whistle to white nationalists. The same goes for his reference to “genetic superiority,” a view that Donald Trump also has said he shares.

Trump has repeatedly connected his success to his “good genes,” as ThinkProgress previously reported. He’s said that his children “don’t need adversity” to build character or skills, because they share his good genetics. In an interview once, he went so far as to compare himself to a “racehorse” and discussing his “breeding” at length.

The belief in the genetic predisposition of qualities like intelligence are a hallmark of white nationalism." [More here]

Hmmm, "intelligence". I am looking at some of the picks for his administration, and all I can say is that Donald trump is giving intelligence a bad name.  

*Pic from Wonkette.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

To burn or not to burn......

Image result for burn flags images   No long post tonight, field hands. I just need your opinion about something.

Do you agree with Donald trump that people who burn the flag should lose their citizenship and spend up to a year in jail?

Keep in mind that what Herr trump is proposing is against the law and a violation of the 1st Amendment, but I just wondered what your thoughts were on the subject.

As someone said earlier on twitter: It's kind of ironic that trump has a problem with flag burning, but has a man who is cool with cross burning sitting at this right hand.

Carry on.

*Pic from youtube.com

Last night's post.

*The following is an updated version of the second part of my post from last night. 

Sorry about the glitches. 

This might be a good time for you to read the following essay from Roger Guffey. A man from Lexington, Kentucky no less. (There might be still hope for fly-over country.)


" Psychologists have long recognized rationalization as a defense mechanism that people use to excuse unacceptable or offensive behaviors by offering some pseudo-logical reasoning or self-serving explanations.


Perhaps we justify that sumptuous dessert because we have earned a reward for sticking to our diet. Or we tell our boss we are sick, when we really want to go to the last game of the season. Some of these excuses are harmless, but far too often they are not.

For the last eight years, people who have mounted despicable attacks on President Obama and his family have tried to rationalize their bigotries. Consider these examples:

A Republican candidate here in Kentucky won a legislative seat, even though he had posted images of the Obama family as a band of monkeys, but he says he is not a racist.


A public official in West Virginia said she will be glad to have a dignified white first lady, instead of seeing an ape in high heels. But she says she is not a racist.

Yes, you are.

In Sheridan, Ind., people made a parade float of President Obama in a toilet, but said they are not racists.


Yes, you are.

A mayor in Pennsylvania ran a picture of Michele Obama on a wagon of orangutans under the caption ‘Move-in day at the White House’, but denied being a racist.

Yes, you are.

The people who insist that President Obama is not a native-born American deny they are racists.


Yes, you are.

A candidate in Tennessee posted a billboard with the caption “MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN,” but he denied that he is a racist.

Yes, you are.

A mayor in Washington State ran an image of Michelle Obama as a gorilla, saying she could be attractive only to another monkey like her husband. Of course, he says he is not a racist.

Yes, you are.

When a gorilla escaped from a zoo in South Carolina, a GOP politician in South Carolina posted a Facebook page telling people to be on the lookout for Michelle Obama’s ancestor, but he says he is not racist.

Yes, you are.

After the 2008 election, some right-wing extremists circulated bumper stickers, quoting Psalm 109, that pray for God to kill President Obama, leaving his wife a widow and his children orphans, but they denied they are racists.

Yes, you are.

One of my favorite Abraham Lincoln stories relates his encounter with an elitist lawyer who, during a trial, dismissed him as a rustic bumpkin. Lincoln posed him a simple riddle. “If we call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have?’ The smug lawyer replied, “Five.” Lincoln corrected him. “No, he still has four legs, because calling a tail a leg does not make it one.”

People are free to engage in self-delusion if they wish, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it is a duck, and these comments are racist. But perhaps these bigots should heed the poet Robert Burns’ advice in the poem “To A Louse. 'O would some power the gift give us to see ourselves as others see us.’'' [Source]

There is more. But I think we all get the point.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The president-elect declares our votes illegal.

Image result for picture trump doesn't like images  Man this trump guy has really jumped the shark. Now he is claiming that some two million people voted illegally because they didn't vote for him. The man is really delusional, but in a dangerous kind of way. There is nothing worse than delusion mixed with power.

Let's be honest, this recount effort will not change the final outcome of the 2016 elections, but it would be interesting to see if there was any shady stuff going on. (I personally believe that this Russian hacking story is far more serious.)  Hey, we are talking about republicans here, they have done everything in their powers to win elections by any means necessary.

Still, you have to wonder why trump and his minions are so upset about this talk of a recount in a couple of states. Why not just let the process play itself out? Isn't this what we do in a democracy?

Of course that's wishful thinking on my part. Donald trump doesn't necessarily believe in our democracy as we know it.  To him, it's all about Donald, and this whole recount thing is raining on his parade.

"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

Someone needs to just lock him in a room for the next four years.

Finally, check out this essay from Matt Bai;

"I’ve written a lot of pretty rough things about Donald Trump over the last 18 months. I’ve called him an entertainer and an emotional extremist, a guy with a black hole at his center. I’ve likened him to P.T. Barnum and a dime-store psychic.

Not once, though, have I suggested that Trump is, personally, a racist or an anti-Semite, which are labels people throw around too often these days. He’s always struck me as an opportunist more than anything else — an act in search of an audience, which he just happened to find in some of the darkest corners of the American psyche.

I figured that if a loud chunk of conservative voters had been anxiously agitating for someone to champion, say, antipoverty programs instead of a wall, Trump would have jumped on that horse just as quickly. Whatever his flaws, I didn’t take him for a devoted bigot.

It’s only now, after another staggering week in our fast unraveling society, that I find myself asking a question I really never imagined asking.

Does the president-elect of the United States feel some genuine kinship with the white nationalists he’s managed to embolden? Or does he just think it’s not a big deal if a bunch of crazy guys go around saluting him like Nazis?

To be clear, I’ve never managed to get very excited about the white power folks who pop up in the news sporadically, marching in parades or holding little conferences in some backwoods Best Western. They’ve always seemed more sad than menacing to me, like the clowns at some crumbling, last-ditch carnival.

But if you haven’t yet watched this video of white nationalists “heiling” Trump in Washington last weekend, you should, because it’s really something.

Here’s a recognized leader of the so-called from which Trump has drawn support and counsel, a guy who wouldn’t look at all out of place as a swastika-clad extra in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” doing a little Hitler impression in Trump’s honor and railing against the media in the original German. (“One wonders if these people are people at all,” he says, which sounds to me like an invitation to violence.)

And this isn’t in some drab Southern banquet room, but rather in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building, a few blocks from the White House. (You’d think these people would at least have had the decency to walk across the plaza to the building named for Woodrow Wilson, who would have agreed with them when it came to mixing races.)

To keep this in perspective, which is important, we’re talking here about maybe 200 white guys in a country of 300 million-plus; it’s not like they’re goose-stepping through the streets by the hundreds of thousands. It’s also not like Trump endorsed the rally or sent a video expressing his gratitude.

But it’s not as if Trump has nothing to do with the brazenness of it, either. Even Republicans have to acknowledge that in his rhetoric and rallies throughout the campaign, Trump relegitimized a kind of racism and xenophobia that had been finally relegated to the margins of public life. He behaved like a human Ouija board, unleashing spirits better consigned to the netherworld.

This is distinct from your run-of-the-mill resentment in white, working-class enclaves, your basic backlash to political correctness gone badly awry, for which I actually have some sympathy. This is taunting Jewish journalists about going to the ovens. This is swastikas popping up again in our cities and suburbs.

This is ordinary citizens walking down the street and being told to go back to their own countries because they aren’t white. This is grown men who run around bullying every guy who doesn’t accept the superiority of white males by calling him a “cuck,” whatever that means.
This is new, or at least resurgent, and it is profoundly frightening to an awful lot of Americans at the moment.

So what is Trump’s response, now that he’s taken on the task of making America great again?
Well, he certainly had no problem summoning outrage this week. On Twitter, he railed against the impertinent cast of “Hamilton,” which he called an overrated show, and against “Saturday Night Live,” which he thought one-sided and not funny. He found time to bitterly complain to the president of NBC News about a photo that made him appear to have a double chin. (Reality is rough, even for a reality TV star.)

But when it came to leading white supremacists raising stiff arms to him as if he were Hitler reincarnate, Trump at first said nothing, and then, under pressure, allowed his spokeswoman to release a terse statement tepidly disavowing their support." [More here]

He disavows. *wink wink*







 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

CAPTION SATURDAY.

Image result for castro images

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Will I see you on the other side or not? 

*Pic from cruxnow.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

Is this an exceptional American?

Image result for trump images double chinNow that American exceptionalism has been  exposed as a myth with the election of Donald trump, it might be time to reexamine who we are and do some soul searching as a nation.

I say this because Americans, by and large, chose to make this man their leader with all of his warts and ample baggage. (Although one could argue that most Americans chose the other candidate since she got over two million more votes.)

As is to be expected, supporters of Donald trump have been spiking the ball over and over again in the end zone. And they have been making sure that the "libtards" know who is in charge of the country in the most boorish, course, and vulgar of ways.  Some of it has been downright scary.  

Which leads me to another fine essay written by Charles Blow. Mr Blow is one of the few opinion writers I will choose to read in the age of trump, because unfortunately I kind of feel like he is the only one who gets it.

"Donald Trump schlepped across town on Tuesday to meet with the publisher of The New York Times and some editors, columnists and reporters at the paper.

As The Times reported, Trump actually seemed to soften some of his positions:

He seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t seek to prosecute Hillary Clinton. But he should never have said that he was going to do that in the first place.

He seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t encourage the military to use torture. But he should never have said that he would do that in the first place.

He said that he would have an “open mind” on climate change. But that should always have been his position.

You don’t get a pat on the back for ratcheting down from rabid after exploiting that very radicalism to your advantage. Unrepentant opportunism belies a staggering lack of character and caring that can’t simply be vanquished from memory. You did real harm to this country and many of its citizens, and I will never — never — forget that.
As I read the transcript and then listened to the audio, the slime factor was overwhelming.
After a campaign of bashing The Times relentlessly, in the face of the actual journalists, he tempered his whining with flattery. 

At one point he said:

“I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special.”

He ended the meeting by saying:

“I will say, The Times is, it’s a great, great American jewel. A world jewel. And I hope we can all get along well.”

I will say proudly and happily that I was not present at this meeting. The very idea of sitting across the table from a demagogue who preyed on racial, ethnic and religious hostilities and treating him with decorum and social grace fills me with disgust, to the point of overflowing. Let me tell you here where I stand on your “I hope we can all get along” plea: Never.

You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything — no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts — to satisfy your ambitions.

I also believe that much of your campaign was an act of psychological projection, as we are now learning that many of the things you slammed Clinton for are things of which you may actually be guilty.You slammed Clinton for destroying emails, then Newsweek reported last month that your companies “destroyed emails in defiance of court orders.” You slammed Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for paid speeches and conflicts of interest, then it turned out that, as BuzzFeed reported, the Trump Foundation received a $150,000 donation in exchange for your giving a 2015 speech made by video to a conference in Ukraine. You slammed Clinton about conflicts of interest while she was secretary of state, and now your possible conflicts of interest are popping up like mushrooms in a marsh.
You are a fraud and a charlatan. Yes, you will be president, but you will not get any breaks just because one branch of your forked tongue is silver.

I am not easily duped by dopes.


I have not only an ethical and professional to call out how obscene your very existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral obligation to do so.

I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, but rather to speak up for truth and honor and inclusion. This isn’t just about you, but also about the moral compass of those who see you for who and what you are, and know the darkness you herald is only held at bay by the lights of truth.

It’s not that I don’t believe that people can change and grow. They can. But real growth comes from the accepting of responsibility and repenting of culpability. Expedient reversal isn’t growth; it’s gross.

So let me say this on Thanksgiving: I’m thankful to have this platform because as long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze." [More here]

My sentiments exactly.

*Pic from crooksandliars.com




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey day shout out.

MORE DISCLAIMERSFor all you people who are feeling like it's the end of the world because racists now hold the seat of power, consider this, it could be worse, you could have been a turkey today. If you can read this post you have something to be thankful for.

Enjoy your families.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Turkey dinner.

Turkey day is almost here. It's a day when Americans stuff themselves silly, watch two bad teams play football on television, and then go to bed with all the food that they just ate stuffed into their stomachs. They do this so that they can get up early the next day and spend money on marked up (and then slashed down) items that they think they are getting deals on.

I suspect that there will be a lot of awkward conversations over the turkey. Some family members will believe (and rightfully so) that the turkey sitting in the middle of the table would have been a better president than the orange one who is soon to be sworn in. They will look at the other family members who voted for the orange turkey and think: How could you?  

If any of you white folks out there have black family members, don't be surprised if they take a pass on the family dinner this year. "Son where is Kadisha? Oh she is home mom, she has a serious headache and she won't be making it this year. Of course she offers her sincerest apologies. Oh I am sorry to hear that son. How long has she been feeling this way? Since around November 8th, mom." 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

American autocrat.

Fuhrer trump has not been officially sworn in as yet, but the man and his business cronies are on a roll. (Rules? What rules? We don't need no stinkin rules.) The Donald is already meeting with foreign leaders and cutting deals favorable to his business interests. This, my friends, might be the biggest confidence game in history. Donald trump has made himself the most powerful man on earth, and there is no one left to check him.

According to Mr. trump there is no conflict of interests when the president does these sorts of things, because...he is...well, the president. He honestly believes that these rules don't apply to him.  

Just today we found out that his foundation was breaking the law by skirting IRS rules. Think about that for a minute. Your president-elect is involved with a scheme to defraud the IRS. Of course it would have helped if we could have seen his tax returns before electing him, but hey, when you are a professional con man you tend to find your way around these little problems.

Little problems like the Trump University fiasco, for instance. The man was forced to settle the law suit and pay out millions of dollars to the thousands of poor people that he defrauded out of their hard earned money. He did so without admitting wrong doing, so knowing Donald, this is what he will hang his hat on. But I blame the attorney generals who went after him, not the merits of their case. I suspect that they were as anxious to settle as he was. No one wants to pick a legal fight with the most powerful man on earth. Especially one who as litigious as trump.

Donald has been calling in the press and reading them the riot act over the past two days. He will not tolerate an unfavorable article or pictures that paint him in a less than flattering light.  And he has officially  declared war on America's most noteworthy newspaper, the New York Times.

So we are looking at a man who uses his power to enrich himself, crush dissent where and when he can, and who lashes out at any media outlet that is not favorable to him. Oh, and just for good measure, keep in mind that he hasn't had a press conference since last summer. (YouTube videos don't count.)

All of this is right out of the autocratic playbook.

His hero in Russia must be so proud.





Monday, November 21, 2016

Open thread.

No post tonight, field hands. I am on my grind doing some other things.

But I would love to hear your thoughts about where we are now as a country, and if we have anything to fear from the alt-right, and white supremacist movement that will soon be taking over in Washington.




Sunday, November 20, 2016

A rocky start for our thin- skinned leader.

Image result for hamilton play dixon images         I know that our President- elect will turn out to be a disaster for the country, and I know that I am going to have a lot to write about as a blogger over the next four years, but I did not now that the material would start coming in so early.

What a first few days it's been  for Mr. trump.

First, he appoints a white nationalist, an unapologetic xenophobe, and a a man who has tried everything in his power to destroy voting rights to three of the most powerful positions in his administration.

Recently he agreed to pay $25 million to the poor people he defrauded with his phony Trump University. If you will recall, he said that he would never agree to a settlement because he did nothing wrong. We now see how that all worked out.

Then there is the story of his Indian business partners rolling into New York  and him meeting with them in spite of all of his promises to set up a blind trust to avoid such conflicts with the presidency and his business interests. This is almost as bad (almost) as having his daughter sit in with him when he met with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. That woman sitting almost right next to the Japanese leader is not some diplomat or state department representative, it is the daughter of the president who has a controlling interest in his businesses.

All of the above is troubling, and I thought that what I mentioned above would be the extent of  my issues with our president elect for now. But alas, it is not.

Unfortunately president trump went on a tweet storm last night and expressed his displeasure with the SNL crew and the members of the cast of the play Hamilton. I think it's important that America's president keeps his focus on more important things than what the cast of Saturday Night Live is saying about him.

As for Hamilton, it would seem that his VP was booed when he went to see the play, and one of the cast members hurt his feelings by telling him that he hopes that the trump administration will be fair to everybody. Oh the horror! Imagine a politrickster being booed in a public space.   Not in Fuhrer trump's world. Now, even satire is offensive, and actors performing in a  play do not have First Amendment rights in his America.

"Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen!"

Wrong! This should happen. And the moment it stops happening we will be in trouble, because the Donald trumps of the world will have won.

I wonder where some of these same right-wingnuts who are outraged that Pence was booed were when president Obama was being called a liar (by an elected official no less) in the middle of his state of the union address?  No calls for safe spaces because the president's feelings had been hurt. No calls for that scumbag to apologize? (Although we know that was all about.

How discouraging is it that we have a president who chooses to engage in a twitter meltdown over the actions of a theater audience and actors? He is demanding an apology for his VP because folks exercised their right to free speech, but he refuses to apologize for all the horrific things that he has said and done. Mr. President- elect, that is not how this democracy thing works. Time to put on your big boy pants and stop being so thin- skinned.

"We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir.... “But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”

Donald, you should be memorizing that statement, not asking him to apologize for it.

*Pic from cbsnews.com

Saturday, November 19, 2016

CAPTION SATURDAY.

Image result for racist negro images

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Who did you say won the election back on earth?



Friday, November 18, 2016

A potential attorney general from the bottom of "the swamp."

Image result for jeff sessions racist  imagesJefferson Beauregard Sessions is a good ole boy from Alabama, and he has, to put it mildly, led an interesting life.

Mr Sessions, thanks to president elect trump, is now on the cusp of becoming the lead law enforcement official in this country. Talk about the "fox guarding the henhouse.

 This is a guy who was voted down for a federal Judgeship because he was deemed too racist to sit on the bench. The senate saw him for what he was back then, the question now is will he be able to show his former colleagues that he has had a come to Jesus moment.

 "The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony during hearings in March and May 1986, that Sessions had made racist remarks and called the NAACP and ACLU “un-American.”

Thomas Figures, a black assistant US attorney who worked for Sessions, testified that Sessions called him “boy” on multiple occasions and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying that he thought Klan members were “OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.”

On why he never spoke up against Sessions’ alleged use of the term, Figures testified: “I felt that if I had said anything or reacted in a manner in which I thought appropriate, I thought I would be fired.”' [Source] 

Many black organizations are calling for the president elect to reconsider this selection because they know that throughout his legal and political career he has done and said some questionable things as it relates to minorities.

"Another accusation that came up was that Sessions had once allegedly approached an opponent at the conclusion of a court hearing and angrily used a racial slur.

“It is suggested that you stated to Mr. Wiley at the conclusion of a particularly contentious hearing back in 1981, ‘Do not worry,’ or ‘do not be too happy’…’John,’ meaning Archer, ‘will be watching you and the n*gger,’ referring to the only black commissioner in Mobile,” Senator Joe Biden said in the hearing.

Sessions immediately denied that this had happened, saying, “that is an absolutely false statement,” The Huffington Post reports."

I don't think so, Senator. You are an older republican white man from Alabama. Just a thought here, but I am guessing that you have dropped that word a time or two.

Sadly,tough, you will get through the nomination process, because tribalism will trump (no pun intended) decency every time.


*Pic from youtube.com












Thursday, November 17, 2016

White unity.

Image result for pence white out image   I have to give it to old white men of a certain age, they sure know how to stick together.

Add Mitt Romney to the growing list of republicans who seem to have forgotten their morals and common decency after Donald trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become president elect, trump.

Romney called trump every name in the book, and declared to anyone who would listen that he is not unfit to be president, and yet, amazingly, he is considering taking a position in his administration. I mean he called the man a "danger to democracy" for crying out loud. And yet, he would still choose to work for him and carry out his policies.

I can't believe that the trumpets are excited about this move, either, After all, wouldn't Mitt Romney be one of those folks in the swamp that trump wants to drain? We can go ahead and add people like Bob Corker, Jeff Sessions, and Newt Gingrich to that list while we are at it. There is a lot of garbage in that swamp.

Anyway, thank goodness for my peeps who continue to give me hope that there are voices of decencyber and dissent in this country. Not only are they out there, but they are writing eloquently about it.

h/t to my law school classmate, Amy, for turning me on to the following story. 

"It is time for the country to heal, time for us come together.

Or so people have been telling me since last week when democracy laid the biggest egg in American history. Well, here is my response: I have no interest in seeing this country heal. And I refuse to come together.

Understand: If this were just about politics, I’d never say something like that. No, I’d do what you’re supposed to when the candidate you favored is defeated. Suck it up.

But my anger is not about any given policy of the new president. No, it is about him, about the election of a fundamentally unsound, unserious and unfit man, a misogynist who brags about sexual assault, a bigot cheered to victory by the Ku Klux Klan. I have no idea how to “heal” woman hating and no desire to “come together” with the Klan.

I am similarly impatient with those who say we must give the new president a chance to lead and hope for his success.


ADVERTISING
Is that what Republicans did for Barack Obama when they gathered on the night of his inauguration and plotted a conspiracy of obstructionism to cripple his presidency? Is it what Donald Trump did when he spent years questioning the veracity of an ordinary birth certificate?

More to the point, the call to let Trump lead and hope for his success fails to address obvious questions: Where is he leading us? How are we defining success? Should we applaud even if he “leads” us into another unnecessary Middle East conflagration? Are we expected to be happy if his “success” comes in criminalizing abortion?

Frankly, I won’t cheer him even if he is not a disaster. In the unlikely event the man who considers global warming a Chinese hoax took action to stem that threat, I’d be happy, yes. On the improbable chance the man who swore to repeal the Affordable Care Act crafted something better, I would be glad, sure.

But at the end of the day, the man who did those things would still be a misogynist and a bigot.
Forgive me — or don’t; I really don’t care — if that remains a deal breaker for me. I refuse to participate in this process of organized amnesia, to cooperate in normalizing a man who stands for everything America should not". [Read more]

I think Leonard Pitts, Jr. has done a pretty good job of summing up my feelings.

Of course, now that the usual suspects are rallying around our president elect, all the racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic things that he said in the past will be forgotten. It's kind of typical of how we treat bad actors and acts here in America: We try to purge everything from our memories and pretend that it didn't happen.

That, of course, will be a  little harder with president trump, because for the next four years, no matter how hard we try, we will not be able to escape him.




Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article114982043.html#storylink=cpy




Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article114982043.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Crosscheck, caging, and how the GOP stole the 20016 elections.

Image result for voting rights jim crow images  The Field Negro education series continues.

"Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.

Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.
The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report,
The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,” 8/24/2016.
Crosscheck in action:  
Trump victory margin in Michigan:                    13,107
Michigan Crosscheck purge list:                       449,922
Trump victory margin in Arizona:                       85,257
Arizona Crosscheck purge list:                           270,824
Trump victory margin in North Carolina:        177,008
North Carolina Crosscheck purge list:              589,393
On Tuesday, we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump.  The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “Caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted.

Trump signaled the use of “Crosscheck” when he claimed the election is “rigged” because “people are voting many, many times.”  His operative Kobach, who also advised Trump on building a wall on the southern border, devised a list of 7.2 million “potential” double voters—1.1 million of which were removed from the voter rolls by Tuesday. The list is loaded overwhelmingly with voters of color and the poor. Here's a sample of the list

Those accused of criminal double voting include, for example, Donald Alexander Webster Jr. of Ohio who is accused of voting a second time in Virginia as Donald EUGENE Webster SR.

No, not everyone on the list loses their vote.  But this was not the only racially poisonous tactic that accounted for this purloined victory by Trump and GOP candidates.

For example, in the swing state of North Carolina, it was reported that 6,700 Black folk lost their registrations because their registrations had been challenged by a group called Voter Integrity Project (VIP). VIP sent letters to households in Black communities “do not forward.”  If the voter had moved within the same building, or somehow did not get their mail (e.g. if their name was not on a mail box), they were challenged as “ghost” voters.  GOP voting officials happily complied with VIP with instant cancellation of registrations.

The 6,700 identified in two counties were returned to the rolls through a lawsuit.  However, there was not one mention in the press that VIP was also behind Crosscheck in North Carolina; nor that its leader, Col. Jay Delancy, whom I’ve tracked for years has previously used this vote thievery, known as “caging,” for years.  Doubtless the caging game was wider and deeper than reported.  And by the way, caging, as my Rolling Stone co-author, attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., tells me, is “a felony, it’s illegal, and punishable by high fines and even jail time.”

There is still much investigation to do.  For example, there are millions of “provisional” ballots, “spoiled” (invalidated) ballots and ballots rejected from the approximately 30 million mailed in.  Unlike reporting in Britain, US media does not report the ballots that are rejected and tossed out—because, after all, as Joe Biden says, “Our elections are the envy of the world.”  Only in Kazakhstan, Joe.

While there is a great deal of work to do, much documentation still to analyze, we’ll have to pry it from partisan voting chiefs who stamp the scrub lists, Crosscheck lists and ballot records, “confidential.”

But, the evidence already in our hands makes me sadly confident in saying, Jim Crow, not the voters, elected Mr. Trump.

What about those exit polls?

Exit polls are the standard by which the US State Department measures the honesty of foreign elections.  Exit polling is, historically, deadly accurate. The bane of pre-election polling is that pollsters must adjust for the likelihood of a person voting.  Exit polls solve the problem.
But three times in US history, pollsters have had to publicly flagellate themselves for their “errors.”  In 2000, exit polls gave Al Gore the win in Florida; in 2004, exit polls gave Kerry the win in Ohio, and now, in swing states, exit polls gave the presidency to Hillary Clinton.

So how could these multi-million-dollar Ph.d-directed statisticians with decades of experience get exit polls so wrong?

Answer:  they didn’t.  The polls in Florida in 2000 were accurate.  That’s because exit pollsters can only ask, “How did you vote?”  What they don’t ask, and can’t, is, “Was your vote counted.”

In 2000, in Florida, GOP Secretary of State Katherine Harris officially rejected 181,173 ballots, as “spoiled” because their chads were hung and other nonsense excuses.  Those ballots overwhelmingly were marked for Al Gore.  The exit polls included those 181,173 people who thought they had voted – but their vote didn’t count.  In other words, the exit polls accurately reflected whom the voters chose, not what Katherine Harris chose.

In 2004, a similar number of votes were invalidated (including an enormous pile of “provisional” ballots) by Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.  Again, the polls reflected that Kerry was the choice of 51% of the voters.  But the exit polls were “wrong” because they didn’t reflect the ballots invalidated by Blackwell.

Notably, two weeks after the 2004 US election, the US State Department refused the recognize the Ukraine election results because the official polls contradicted the exit polls.

And here we go again. 2016: Hillary wins among those queried as they exit the polling station—yet Trump is declared winner in GOP-controlled swings states. And, once again, the expert pollsters are forced to apologize—when they should be screaming, “Fraud!  Here’s the evidence the vote was fixed!”

Now there’s a new trope to explain away the exit polls that gave Clinton the win.  Supposedly, Trump voters were ashamed to say they voted for Trump.  Really?  ON WHAT PLANET?  For Democracy Now! and Rolling Stone I was out in several swing states.  In Ohio, yes, a Black voter may have been reluctant to state support for Trump. But a white voter in the exurbs of Dayton, where the Trump signs grew on lawns like weeds, and the pews of the evangelical mega churches were slathered with Trump and GOP brochures, risked getting spat on if they even whispered, “Hillary.”

This country is violently divided, but in the end, there simply aren’t enough white guys to elect Trump nor a Republican Senate.  The only way they could win was to eliminate the votes of non-white guys—and they did so by tossing Black provisional ballots into the dumpster, ID laws that turn away students—the list goes on.  It’s a web of complex obstacles to voting by citizens of color topped by that lying spider, Crosscheck." {Source}

Knowledge is power.

Stay woke, people.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Transitioning.


bolton130.jpg I would really love to see some of those e-mails that Mike Pence is so desperately hide from the rest of us. It's always those really conservative cats that have stuff to hide. If you know what I mean.

"Vice President-elect Mike Pence is embroiled in a legal challenge stemming from his decision to withhold information from a public records request in a case local Democrats say raises the specter of the Indiana governor shielding all of his emails from public view.

It's a bit ironic as Pence, along with running mate President-elect Donald Trump blasted their way into the White House in part by hammering away at Democrat Hillary Clinton's own email scandal.
Pence's lawyers have argued, in part, that a state court decision protecting state lawmakers from releasing their own records should also apply to his office.
    But Bill Groth, a Democratic lawyer fighting the Pence administration in state court, cautioned that if the court accepts their argument, it could shield all his communications from the public.
    "If the court buys their separation of powers argument, the executive branch will be exempt from (Indiana's public records law)," Groth said. "Why are they willing to take that risk if they have statutory arguments and they aren't really seeking to exempt the executive?"
    In Clinton's case, her use of a private email server led to an FBI investigation that dogged her campaign but never amounted to a determination of wrong-doing. But the GOP ticket used it as an example of what they said was poor decision-making and worked to further voter distrust of her. [Source]

    Fortunately for Mr Pence he is already the VP, and so he doesn't have to wait around like some of F├╝hrer trump's other minions to say where he will end up in the new administration. 

    One person who we know won't be there is poor old Uncle Ben Carson. Apparently trump was thinking about appointing him Secretary of health and human services (or so they say), but Uncle Ben said that he would just not be up to the job and took a pass. 

    "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency,” Williams told The Hill. “The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”
    Carson’s name has been floated as a potential pick for either secretary of education or secretary of health and human services. Speaking to multiple news outlets on his behalf, Williams said that no specific role had been offered to Carson, but that numerous options were open". [Source]

    Well there goes one token, I wonder how many more they have waiting in the wings from the token bench.

    Another name being floated around for a major cabinet position is...wait for it....Sarah Palin. You read that correctly, Sarah Palin.

    "President-elect Donald Trump is just starting to arrange the team that will advise him and implement his policy agenda. But the list of names that have been floated to fill the top job at the Interior Department includes many people who would slash environmental regulations.

    David Bernhardt, who served as the Interior Department solicitor in the George W. Bush administration and is now a lobbyist in the natural resources sector, is leading Trump’s transition work for the department.

    Those rumored to be on the list of potential picks for secretary of interior include: oil executive Forrest Lucas, venture capitalist Robert Grady, oil and natural gas magnate Harold Hamm, Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

    “That’s a big-oil wish-list right there,” said Athan Manuel, director of public lands at the Sierra Club. “Our biggest concern is that he would unleash more oil drilling, fracking, coal mining all over our federal lands. It would be greasing the skids if he picked someone from that list.”

    Some on the list come directly from the oil and gas industry, which they would then be in charge of regulating. Others are from states with major oil and gas production, including Oklahoma and Alaska. Palin, of course, is well known for helping popularize the phrase “Drill, baby, drill!”
    It’s still early in the transition, of course, and a lot of other names have been floated for the position. But many of them have a record of promoting more development and less regulation." [Source]

    Some of you won't recognize this country after the next four years. You heard it here first.

    Still, as bad as this pick might be, it can't be as bad as a couple of other names being floated out there for influential positions in the trump administration.

    How about Laura Ingram for  White House press secretary? Not crazy enough for you? How about John Bolton for Secretary of State? Yes, that same crazy I want to bomb Iran, John Bolton.

    Did it sink in yet?  

    Donald, I sure hope that you are not starting your presidency with what already looks like a Micky Mouse operation.

    The names that you and your peeps are floating around seem more ready for Orlando than  Washington at this point.





    Monday, November 14, 2016

    Divided we stand.

     Image result for chilis army vet images  Is  this what it's going to be like in Donald trump's America?

    "A U.S. Army veteran says the manager of a Cedar Hill, Texas, Chili's restaurant took away his free Veterans Day meal after a fellow customer questioned his status as a former soldier.

    Ernest Walker took to Facebook on Friday to share a video along with a description of the incident, where it has since racked up nearly half a million views.

    "I was approached by an old white guy, maybe in his 70s, with a Trump Shirt, at Chili's on Veteran's Day yesterday," he wrote. "He asked if I was in the 24th unit, and I said 'no the 25th.' TRICK QUESTION. He said he was in Germany, and that they did not let Blacks serve over there."

    Walker, who was accompanied by his service dog Barack, said that the manager, Wesley Patrick, then approached him and told him that another guest said he "was not a real soldier because I had my hat on indoors."

    "He asked for my military ID, I was calm, and provided it to him,"Walker wrote. "I also provided him with my DD214 which is my discharge paperwork."

    Unfortunately, this did nothing to convince the manager that Walker was an actual veteran.
    "Instead he followed up with 'the guest also said your dog is not a service dog,'" Walker wrote. "Barack had his Red Service Vest on, and his Certified Service Tags. I was sitting for 35 minutes prior with Barack beforehand. At this point I was grossly offended embarrassed dehumanized and started Recording...Mr. Wesley snatched my food away."

    In response to the incident, Brinker International, which owns Chili's, said in a statement to KDFW: "Our goal is to make every guest feel special and, unfortunately, we fell short on 
    ay where we serve free meals as a small token to honor our Veterans. We are taking this very seriously and the leaders in our company are actively involved with the goal of making it right." [Source]

    Image result for steven bannon imagesMr Walker, I thank you for your service, sir. Please do not let the forces of evil and hatred steal your joy and your chance to live free in a country that you helped to create.

    Oh, and for the record, Donald trump who pretended to love Veterans when  he was on the campaign trail conning his minions,did not attend one Veterans Day celebration as our president elect. But I digress.

    Anyway, I am sure that people like Ernest Walker did not serve their country so that the president elect would make a known racist and anti -Semite his most trusted adviser.

    By elevating a scumbag like Steve Bannon to such a position, Donald trump has just made it clear to the American people that he does not want the country to be unified.

    But I get it. If you are a man that thinks it's cool to assault and grope women, it's not so much of a stretch to say that you are going to bond with a man who was accused of attacking and choking his ex- wife.

    So with all due respect to Crystal Wright (a woman who makes Aunt Jemima look like Angela Davis) picking Steve Bannon is not some kind of shrewd political payback, it was a tone deaf selection that misses the political reality and climate of hate and divisiveness in this country.

    Maybe as a result of said divisiveness, another clueless sister claims that she has been abandoned by her black friends for supporting trump. Sadly, she says that it actually brought her to tears.

    May I suggest to her, though, that if the man she chooses to support did not have such disdain for black folks, some of her black friends would probably still be around.

    Sorry Omarosa, when you make a deal with the devil you have to live with the consequences.

    “I was called every single racial slur in the book that you could direct towards an African-American by African-Americans,” Omarosa said. “I will never forget the people who turned their backs on me when all I was trying to do was help the Black community. It’s been so incredibly hard.”

    I need a break!