Sunday, September 20, 2020

It's on!




The next few months in American politics will be turbulent and tempestuous to say the least. And rival political camps are now bracing for an all out war. 

The stakes have been raised even higher because of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Otherwise lovingly referred to as the Notorious RBG. All those woke left wing liberals and blackademics (I see you Eddie Glaude) who though that it was cool to have a purity test for democratic presidential candidates, and who looked past Hillary Clinton in 2016 to vote for Jill Stein, will now see that elections have consequences. Republicans will now seize this moment, and they will stack the court with another young conservative giving them a three justice advantage in shaping American law for years to come.

For those of you who don't understand power in America, it's all about the Supreme Court. Those nine people, with their lifetime appointments, are the most powerful people in America. Presidents can't serve more than eight years (although trump is trying to change that), and politicians in Washington have to come running back to you for your votes every two and six years respectively. The Supremes stay on  until they die, or until they decide to retire. Sadly, for RBG, it was the former of the two. 

The poor woman's body was not even cold before Mitch McConnell, the second sleaziest man in America, decided that it was time to declare that he was giving whoever trump nominates to replace her a vote in the Senate. This just days before a presidential election. Remember Merrick Garland? 

Democrats can save all their hand-wringing and whining, this is how politics work in America. They chose to be the nice guys with their feckless and incompetent leader, Chuck Schumer, who has now declared that nothing is off the table. News flash: Other than four republican senators flipping and saying that they won't vote to nominate whoever the orange one selects, everything IS off the table. There is nothing he or anyone of those do- nothing democrats can do. 

The republican party represents all those white people in America who see their country changing,  and are terrified of what is to come. They see the writing on the demographic wall, and they know that if there were to be free and fair elections they would lose all of their power. Stacking the courts to ensure voter suppression, gerrymandering, and immigration restrictions is the only way that they will maintain power and the status quo. They can also count on a lazy and disengaged electorate, too busy watching Dancing With The Stars and trying to keep up with the Kardashians and Cardi B's WAP to care. 

You will now hear from the chattering class about what hypocrites the folks in the GOP are, how history will judge them poorly, and blah blah blah. The GOP doesn't care, because for now, they have the power, and that's all that matters. This is why they put up with trump and all the baggage that he brings, for moments like this. They can count on him to stack the court, and they can now control and put their judicial influence on the law for generations to come. 

A woman's right to do what she wants with her body? Gone. Voting rights protections for all Americans? Gone. Accessible and affordable healthcare? Gone. Protections from environmental hazards? Gone. Proper checks on gun regulations and safety? Gone. Protections for immigrants? Gone. 

Let the games begin. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

When owning the "libtards" is more important than everything else.

 














I don't want a caption for this picture, but I want to write a few words about what it represents.

The picture itself might seem a little over the top, but what it says about your typical trump voter is not: They are cult-like with their devotion to trump and nothing else. Not their country. Not their families. And certainly not their own health. 

How else do you explain them packing into tight spaces without a mask while a pandemic rages across the land? All of this while their dear leader social distances from the rest of them, and has multiple tests for the COVID-19 virus every week. How else do you explain them believing the lies that he tells them even when they hear him on tape in his own voice telling them something totally different? How else do you explain them believing him when he says that he has a plan to replace Obamacare when clearly he does not? He has been lying to us about that so called plan of his for the past three years now. He said he would have it in two weeks over two months ago. He lied about his plan to replace Obamacare like he did Mexico paying for his stupid border wall, and the COVID-19 virus going away before Memorial Day.

The bottom line is that Mr. trump lies a lot. And he keeps getting away with his lies it because he is the leader of a cult, not a political party, and cult members don't believe in critical thinking or straying from the  groupthink

Sadly, the American press is afraid to call him out on his lies, or even call them lies, so he gets away with it by hiding behind the respect that people have for the office he holds. trump knows that, and as a result he keeps pushing the envelope and daring the democrats and the rest of us who are not in his cult to do something about it. 

Voting him out of office would be one way to put a stop to him, but it's looking more and more that even if he loses in November he won't be going anywhere come January. 

He has already fired up his base, and they are ready to go to war if they feel that their leader was cheated.   

They are ready to own the libtards.  All trump has to do now is say the word. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Allies.

 

Image result for Image BLM Protesters WhiteToday I am writing about allies. Having friends in the fight for  justice and for a better country is important, because without them we will all sink together. 

It's no longer important enough to just say to yourself: I am not a racist. You have to call out racism at every turn and actively fight against it. One scholar recently wrote about being an "anti-racist", which is what we expect all of our allies to be at this point.   

I tweeted an analogy earlier, and it goes like this. If you plant some poison ivy and water it every day, you are responsible for whatever it brings. If you just walk by the poison ivy and don't kill it, then when I have an itch I will blame you for my discomfort just as much as I blame the person who planted it. 

Think of racism as America's poison ivy, and think of the 35% of the people in this country who are now openly embracing a racist president -and his open call for a race war and division- as the people who planted it, and are now helping it to grow. 

Fortunately, some of our allies in the struggle realize what is happening, and one of them , Andrea Portes, took the time to pen an oped in USA Today about it. 

"President Donald Trump is betting that you will be more scared of Black people than you will be of dying of Covid-19, losing your job or your children's schools not reopening.

If you're a mom or a caregiver, you already know that the amount of thankless, unsung work we did was barely manageable before the pandemic. But now, thanks in part to Trump's failure to listen to the scientists and to actually deal with the reality of the Covid virus, so many of our children are not back to school, as they are in Europe. So now, we have an extra job that is more maddening, more stressful than anything we had before -- educating our children remotely.

Now our children's futures depend on how well we do as teaching assistants, which, in my case, is not very well. The other day, while doing a mindfulness assignment, I yelled at my son, "Take ten deep breaths or else!" I guarantee that was not the intention of this exercise. 

Now we are fighting with our kids, pleading with our kids, bargaining with our kids -- while they are whining, crying and wondering, as my son did, "Mommy, why are you being so mean?"
So why am I addressing this to just White women when women of color are also struggling with these same dire circumstances? In fact, aren't Black Americans, including Black women, disproportionately at risk of dying of Covid (as are Native American and Latinos) and at greater risk of experiencing economic hardship from the pandemic? Sadly, yes to all of this.

But Black women are not who Trump is trying to reach—and he does not want to discuss the disastrous pandemic with anyone.

He would like to discuss something different...and just with suburban White women, who he is not-so-subtly courting and desperate to capture, since these voters have the power to swing the election.
Of course, many, many White women—suburban and otherwise—did not vote for Trump last time and have no intention of doing so in 2020.

But many did. Polling shows White women favored Trump in 2016, but that enough of them turned out to help Democrats win the House two years later. Quite simply, Trump, trailing among all women in the polls for the moment, cannot win a second time without them.

I'm a White woman, and the truth is I'm moderate—a Democrat, but fairly moderate. I understand that it can seem like much of the Democratic left is overly concerned with who is the most politically correct. I'm annoyed by elements of cancel culture, too. And I'm probably not that woke. At least, not woke enough for some.

But I refuse to be goaded or manipulated by racist fear tactics.

I was horrified by what happened to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and now, Jacob Blake. I detest racism and police brutality; it has no place in this country. And when Black people (and their White allies) rise up to protest against this, their legitimate grievance should not be twisted into a wedge issue by any leader.

At the same time, some of the images of looters --in LA, Kenosha and elsewhere--taking advantage of this moment of racial reckoning rub me the wrong way, too. 

But all this yelling at each other from the political extremes is pointless. My best friend has opposite political views from mine. And, in true, politically disengaged, Gen X fashion, I don't care.
What I do care about is right-wing extremists or self-appointed militias -- or extremists on the left, for that matter -- getting so emboldened that they will shoot people in our city streets.

But let's be clear: While we can all have political disagreements, we must be firm in rejecting Trump's, or any politician's, attempt to use racist campaign tactics, like referring to protesters—the vast majority of whom are peaceful-- as "anarchists" or downplaying Blake's shooting—seven times in the back-- during a police stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to divide White suburban voters from Black urban voters, as though we are not ALL Americans.

By employing the image of the sinister Black bogeyman looting American cities, Trump is reaching for an offensive strategy that has been used for years in American politics. In the decades following Reconstruction, the period after the Civil War, White men desperately concocted this image to subjugate newly freed Black men.

And this trend continued well into the 20th century. Just watch D.W. Griffith's 1915 film "Birth of a Nation," which casts the Ku Klux Klan in a heroic light. Or, better yet, Victor Fleming's 1939 film "Gone with the Wind." Even the listless Ashley Wilkes joined a vigilante mob, a precursor of the Klan, to raid an encampment of freed slaves they feared threatened the honor of a White woman, Scarlett O'Hara.

This same malevolent, well-honed, racist trope has been used countless times since to win elections. Look up "Richard Nixon southern strategy," which played on White fears to win the presidency in 1968. Better yet, Google "Willie Horton," whose ubiquitous image as a scary Black criminal helped elect President George H.W. Bush 20 years later.
Don't fall for it.

Trump wants to divide us by exploiting what he hopes are our subconscious fears, by making it look like Democrats are going to allow "danger" into your quiet suburbs. This couldn't be further from the truth. It's not reality.

This is reality: The fear any Black mother has every time her son walks out the door. The fear that—among other things-- he's more likely than a White person to be stopped while driving; more likely to be arrested and incarcerated than his White contemporaries -- and, as tragic deaths like those of Ahmaud Arbery have shown, especially vulnerable to alleged hate crimes.
And let's look at the other relevant reality: More than 180,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 -- and modeling suggests that number could more than double by January.
Now that is something to be scared of.

An economy that has contracted at record levels -- and unemployment at rates not seen since the Great Depression.

That is something to be scared of.

It is my heartfelt belief that Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be able to steer us out of this pandemic, simply by relying on science when they make policy decisions. Look no further than Biden's simple insistence that Americans wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Or Harris's call for leaders to act on the recommendations of public-health experts. When you vote, I ask you to weigh the unfounded fear you are being encouraged to feel --based on a racist trope-- against the very real threat of losing your life, your job or your house amid the pandemic.

 Let's just face this uncomfortable fact -- more White women voted for Trump in 2016 than they did for Hillary Clinton.

And I get it. Some of us (not me!) thought he could do the job. But, nearly four years later, it's clear he is in way over his head.
    He has no idea what he's doing.

    So please, I'm begging you, my fellow pragmatic White women: together, this November, let's not fall for Trump's bet that we are more racist than we are smart." [Source] 

    I see you, Ally. 

    *Image from The Nation.




    Wednesday, September 09, 2020

    A clear and present danger.

     TWEET MEAt this point I have given up trying to warn the American people about the dangers of Donald trump and his presidency. 

    Now that we have trump backed right-wing militia men beating dissenters in the streets, and Mr. trump openly declaring his racism and telling his supporters to cheat in order for him to win the election, I hope that those of you with an iota of intelligence will realize just how much of a clear and present danger this guy is. 

    Today portions of the Bob Woodward book was leaked, and in it he wrote that Mr. trump was aware of the dangers of the coronavirus to the American people and his intentional intent to play it down. The result of his malevolent and dishonest deeds is that more Americans died. Of course Americans dying to Mr. trump doesn't matter as long as he can get reelected. We are seeing that now, and, more importantly, we are hearing it as well. We are hearing it because Woodward actually has trump on tape. I can't wait to see how his minions and sycophants spin their way out of this one. 

    Oh, and by the way, Bob Woodward is no hero in this story. If he really had all of this information and knew that Mr. trump's actions were dangerous to the American people and did not reveal it, and if he did choose profit over the lives and well being of the American people, shame on him.

    But back to my original point about the dangers of Donald trump, and the rise of fascism in America.

    Here are excerpts from an article by Dean Obeidallah writing for The Daily Beast:

    "Many people have used the word “fascist” to describe Donald Trump over the past few years. I was not one of them—until Monday night, when Trump openly defended and endorsed violence by his supporters.

    First, Trump shockingly defended his 17-year-old supporter Kyle Rittenhouse, who drove across state lines into Wisconsin where he illegally carried a weapon in the streets of Kenosha and then shot and killed two people. (Criminal charges filed against Rittenhouse include first-degree intentional homicide and illegal possession of a deadly weapon.)

    Then Trump backed his supporters who on Saturday descended in a caravan of cars on Portland, Oregon, where they were seen shooting projectiles such as paintballs and pepper spray at people in the street. Trump defended this criminal conduct as a “peaceful protest,” arguing that “paint is not bullets.” In reality, shooting people with paintballs is a crime—we all know that. It could blind a person or worse. Yet Trump defends it because the people engaged in this violence were on Team Trump.

    We have now entered a new reality in America where Trump, like fascists before, is embracing violence to remain in power. Let’s be clear about what fascism is. As Madeleine Albright explained while discussing her 2018 book, Fascism: A Warning, “Fascism is not an ideology; it’s a process for taking and holding power.” She added that “what differentiates fascism from other ideological movements is the use of violence and anger to achieve political ends.” Hammering that point home, Albright back in early 2019 used a line that sums up Trump today: “Fascism involves the endorsement and use of violence to achieve political goals and stay in power.”

    While Trump has embraced other methods used by fascists before—such as pitting Americans against one another to incite anger—that has been utilized by other modern politicians without veering into fascism. What changed this for me was Trump’s embrace of violence to help him remain in power, This is fascism. Period.

     Authoritarianism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of the new book Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present, painted a dark picture for me of Trump’s playbook. “His goal between now and November is to make the U.S. erupt into true chaos so he and William Barr can justify the authoritarian crackdown they dream of,” she said.

    To this end, Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said point-blank Thursday on Fox News that violence helps Trump. While discussing the protests in Kenosha from the night before, Conway uttered the jaw-dropping line, “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”

    Jared Kushner offered a similar message to Politico, noting that the violence the country saw following the killing of George Floyd could “tip” Minnesota voters toward Trump.

    If you love Trump and are looking for a way to help, Team Trump is giving you this simple message: Commit more acts of violence. Thus, it comes as no surprise that two days after Conway’s words on Fox News, Trump supporters sprang into action, heading to Portland where they engaged in acts of violence by shooting people with projectiles. Today it was paintballs. Tomorrow, will it be bullets?

    Conway’s words were so jarring and bluntly un-American that Joe Biden slammed them in his powerful and pointed speech Monday. First, he declared, “One of his [Trump’s] closest political advisers in the White House doesn’t even bother to speak in code, just comes out and she says it. The more chaos, violence, the better it is for Trump’s re-election.” Biden then added, “Just think about that. This is a sitting president of the United States of America. He’s supposed to be protecting this country, but instead he’s rooting for chaos and violence.”

    Biden is clearly stunned, as anyone who values our democratic republic should be. I understand Biden may be hesitant to use the word fascist to describe Trump because it could be dismissed as the mirror of Trump’s baseless claim that Biden is a socialist. But it is absolutely necessary to alert Americans who may not be paying attention to the threat Trump poses—and coming from Biden, who is more reserved in his choice of words, using the words fascist could be persuasive. At the very least, it could serve as a warning that could save lives given Trump’s record of inciting violence in the past.

    We all remember during the 2016 campaign when Trump explicitly encouraged violence at his rallies with lines like, "If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell… I promise you I will pay for the legal fees.”

    And since Trump took the White House, others have committed violence in his name, such as Cesar Sayoc, known as the MAGA bomber. All told, ABC News reported in May that it found over 40 cases in court pleadings since 2017 in which Trump was cited as a factor that inspired the crime, from terroristic threats against Rep. Maxine Waters to threats to kill leaders of an Arab-American organization. ABC did not find any cases that cited President Obama or George W. Bush as the reason for their attack.

    Joe Biden tells us that this election is for the “soul of the nation.” It’s actually bigger than that. If Trump wins there are no limits to what he will do—especially if he can pack the Supreme Court with even more like-minded justices. This election, our democracy, our civil liberties and even our freedom is on the ballot. Those are the real stakes."[Story]

    I need a drink.


     


    Monday, September 07, 2020

    Caption Monday.

     

    I need a caption for this picture.

    Friday, September 04, 2020

    "Suckers and losers"? I don't think so.

     

    Mr. trump, the man pictured with this post was not a loser. He loved his country and his family, and he served to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. He was a part of my family, and we miss him very much.  

    If there is anyone reading this who doesn't believe that Mr. trump did in fact say all the nasty and disparaging things about the men and women who serve this country, I have a nice antique bell here in Philadelphia with a slight crack on the side to sell you. 

    Of course he said it. And we know he said these things because he said them publicly about John McCain. Can you imagine a man who is afraid of peaceful protesters outside of the White House calling men and women who put their lives on the line for this country, "losers and suckers"? We can add liar as well as coward to describe him because he had the audacity to say that he didn't call John McCain a loser. 



    Below is an excerpt from the Jeffrey Goldberg story.

    "When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

    Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed......There was no precedent in American politics for the expression of this sort of contempt, but the performatively patriotic Trump did no damage to his candidacy by attacking McCain in this manner. Nor did he set his campaign back by attacking the parents of Humayun Khan, an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

    Trump remained fixated on McCain, one of the few prominent Republicans to continue criticizing him after he won the nomination. When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,” the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. (These sources, and others quoted in this article, spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House did not return earlier calls for comment, but Alyssa Farah, a White House spokesperson, emailed me this statement shortly after this story was posted: “This report is false. President Trump holds the military in the highest regard."

    Sure he does. 

    Now, even Fox News is backing up Goldberg's story. 

    The suckers aren't our brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our country, the suckers are the folks who line up behind this con man. 

    Hey, I will even throw in a cheese steak with that antique bell for you.


    Tuesday, September 01, 2020

    Transition to chaos.

    TWEET ME Donald trump constantly jokes (or not) about being El Presidente for life, or at least for a lot longer than the two terms that the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution allows. 

    His followers would certainly like that, because it would mean that their cultish devotion to "Dear Leader" would continue for a very long time. The rest of us would either be taking up arms, or heading North (or South) in droves. Of course it wouldn't matter to the trump people, they would have the country all to themselves. They would be free to marry family members at will, and build as many gold statues as they want in praise of Mr. trump.     

    The following are excerpts from an article in The Atlantic: 

    "It's a nightmare scenario of course, but given where we find ourselves in this country it is one that could certainly take place. 

    A brazen refusal by the president to leave office is surely a nightmare scenario. But even if President Donald Trump were to lose and accept the results on November 3 or soon thereafter, he could nevertheless wreak significant damage during the period between the election and the inauguration of Joe Biden—endangering the incoming administration, at best, and actively sabotaging it, at worst.

    Presidential transitions are perilous even in normal times. With each inauguration of a new president every four to eight years, the executive branch undergoes a massive overhaul; more than 4,000 new political appointees flood into federal departments and agencies, including 1,200 senior officials who require Senate confirmation. The minute a new president is sworn in, his administration assumes responsibility for everything from nuclear launch codes to pandemic response, economic policy, and counterterrorism—at the very moment when the government’s capacity is most diminished. At the Defense Department alone, the nation’s largest employer and perhaps the world’s most complex organization, the top 59 senior civilian leaders, from the secretary of defense on down, are political appointees requiring Senate confirmation. A private-sector company would be crazy to emulate this approach, yet the security, the health, and the prosperity of Americans depend on its success.

    Facilitating the smoothest possible transition—if one should happen in January 2021—is of paramount national importance, particularly at a time of ongoing upheaval at home and abroad. If elected, Joe Biden would face the extraordinary challenge of seizing the reins of government amid the triple crises of a global pandemic, an economic collapse, and a national reckoning over racial justice, and his effectiveness in managing these would redound to the entire nation’s benefit. Yet there is ample reason to worry that the outgoing Trump administration will disregard the laws and the norms that are supposed to govern the transition period. Without question, a stolen election or a refusal to accept electoral results is the nightmare scenario. But well short of a constitutional crisis, the Trump administration can nevertheless hobble the incoming Biden team and endanger the nation with a scuttled transition process.

    Presidential transitions are both remarkable and risky. Unlike nations with parliamentary systems and wholly professionalized bureaucracies, the U.S. federal government undergoes extensive turnover whenever a new president comes into office with thousands of political appointees in tow. This turnover is important, as it injects fresh blood and ideas into a too-often-sclerotic system and ensures that the daily work of the executive branch aligns with the president’s—and, by extension, the electorate’s—will. That the U.S. has experienced 44 peaceful transitions of power, even as the anti-majoritarian Electoral College has overridden the popular vote in two elections so far this century, is a testament to the strength of the American political system and norms that date back to George Washington." {More}

    That was then, this is now. This is not your father's America. These Americans are now afraid of losing their America, so the old rules of civility no longer apply. Mr. trump represents their last hope of holding on to that power that they have become so used to. His behavior, no matter how outrageous, will not be enough to convince them to embrace the America that they once knew, and that they held out to the world as the greatest experiment in democracy known to mankind. 

    For them, it was never about equality. It was always about being in control and allowing the pretense of democracy to keep everyone happy. The black lives matter movement, to them, is a bridge too far, and the very thought of it both infuriates and terrifies them at the same time. (See Mike Pence struggling to say that black lives also matter.)

    Yesterday the president defended a man that has been accused of murdering two of our fellow citizens. He did it while telling Americans that their are people in "dark shadows" controlling his opponent, and he lied about hearing about a plane full of "thugs"dressed in black and ready to do damage. 

    I know that it all sounds insane, and in normal times we would be marching around the White House and demanding that this lunatic leaves before he does more damage, or that the 25th Amendment be invoked. 

    Sadly, though,  these are not normal times. There are people in America who believe in this man. And there are just enough of them to create some serious issues come November. 


    Friday, August 28, 2020

    Mr. trump declares war.

     TWEET METhe trump plan is almost complete. America is heading for a race war, and there seems to be nothing we can do to stop it. 

    I watched trump 's speech last night, and as usual he was a garbled and unfocused mess with his delivery. But the overall message and the imagery was clear: This is the new fascist America. All those flags, and the straight up disregard for the law by holding his rally on the lawn of the house that belongs to the American people, was all the proof you needed to see that America is heading to a dangerous place. 

    Make no mistake, folks, this is not normal. Sadly, because it's trump, there is no outrage left in us. He has shattered all norms of a decent and law abiding society. 

    This is all ironic, of course, because trump's new message is that he is the law and order candidate protecting "decent and God fearing" white folks from marauding mobs of brown people and anarchist. If you listen to all the pundits it will work, because they are white themselves and they know a good strategy to reach white folks when they see it. They are telling Joe Biden that he needs a Sistah Souljah moment to put the left flank of his party in check. 

    This is how it has been in America over the last few election cycles. The republicans embrace the far-right, and no one blinks an eye. The democratic party, on the other hand, is called on to put the left wing of their party in check. 

    I don't believe all the polls that show Joe Biden up by ten points. trump supporters don't tell pollsters the truth when it comes to their support for Mr. trump. trump's white nationalist message resonates with a lot of them, even though they would never admit it in decent company. This eleIction will be very close. And that's shocking given all that we have seen and heard from Mr. trump over the past three and a half years. 

    If Mr. trump does happen to win, I am not sure how my life will change but it could change for a lot of black and brown person who is not as fortunate as I am. Mr. trump will get to appoint two and maybe three justices to the Supreme Court. As someone whose job it is to study the law, I am here to tell you that's a very big deal. 

    Of course this all won't matter if America self-destructs as some expect it to do.

    "Racism has not been as virulent throughout America since the Civil War, with short fuses burning on a thousand powder kegs. We have seen our greatest law enforcement agency, the FBI, sit for weeks in a stalemate with a small Montana cult, the Freemen, whose leaders preach that the descendants of northern Europeans are "God's chosen people," that Jews are "the children of Satan," and that African Americans and other people of color are by nature dumb and immoral.

    We see the Freemen and other hate groups like the Aryan Nation, the skinheads, the Ku Klux Klan, and assorted militias piling up arms for what they say is a coming race war in America that will precede the return of Christ.

    These are the adherents of a "Christian Identity" movement whose, followers refuse to pay governmental levies, but collect taxes themselves. They rake in millions through extortion, the widespread use of bogus checks and phony credit cards, and simple extortion.

    But local law enforcers and even the FBI are afraid to tangle with them, wary since their disastrous confrontations with the David Koresh cult in Waco, Texas, and the Randy Weaver group at Ruby Ridge in Idaho.

    Official, open coddling of these groups pretty much ensures that the race war these white supremacists predict will really come.

    I know that these harsh judgments about America as it nears the turn of the century are not what most Americans want to hear. In the wake of the fall of the "Evil Empire" that was the old Soviet Union, with the still-limited development of China and the Third World, and the starkly limited hegemony of European and other "first world" nations, Americans prefer to boast that the United States is the last of the great powers. As proof we cite our nuclear arsenals and the fact that we have the only quick-strike forces capable of moving into Bosnia, Africa, and the Middle East, to wage war or peace, within hours of a White House go-ahead to strike. We like to boast of our economic might, even though we've seen a frightful decline in good, high-paying jobs. We like to think that we are the world's cultural giant because our movies and music, our top television shows, are coveted the world over, this much to the dismay of foreign leaders who think the cultural fare that we export carries the seeds of national destruction.

    So much of what Americans boast about nowadays is superficial, even delusionary. Look below the surface. I have done so and concluded that this country, for which I have fought in war and peace, is in precipitous decline. The leaders of Rome, Greece, the Third Reich, the British Empire, never saw the onset of decadence and internal rot in time; we can, and we must, if the United States is not to succumb to its internal hatreds and moral excesses, to be consumed by its own self-destruction. "

    -Carl T Rowan-

    I'm here to tell you that "harsh judgments about America is exactly what need to hear right now. 


    Tuesday, August 25, 2020

    Another one.

    Demonstrators participate in a march on August 24, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23. Blake was shot multiple times in the back by Wisconsin police officers after attempting to enter into the drivers side of a vehicle.Kenosha Wisconsin has been trending on twitter for the past couple of days, and it has nothing to do with cheese. 

    Sadly, once again, another black man was shot and killed by a police officer acting on behalf of the state. This one, like so many state killings before it, were caught on video. You will be hearing the name of Jacob Blake a lot over the next few days, because he was the young man who found himself catching seven bullets in the back from an officer's gun. What's particularly sad about this case is that his three children actually witnessed the shooting. 

    I am going to repeat this: Running away from the police (unless you are putting the lives of others in serious danger) should not be a death sentence. It just shouldn't. 

    Mr. Blake was fortunate enough to survive the shooting, but we are hearing now that he will most likely never walk again. Seven shots in the back will do that to you. But properly trained police officers would not have felt the need to fire seven shots point blank range into the back of someone who was walking away from you. 

    I can't say this enough. Police officers have a tough job. I say this because I know a lot of them, and I deal with them professionally on a regular basis. They themselves will tell you that proper training and screening is essential for them to do their jobs in the right way. When bad apples slip through the cracks the effects are devastating for them, and for society as a whole. Particularly communities of color. 

    Let's hope that this family in Wisconsin gets some justice. 

    Finally, I am not sure how many of you saw the republican convention kick off last night. There was a lot of screaming, and hate filled rants about America going to hell thanks to the democrats and their socialist pals. They talked a lot about riots and looting in the streets, and the need to take back the cities from the democrats and their brown friends. 

    This is all ironic, because just today armed militias stormed the Idaho state House of Representatives and attacked police officers in the process. This is similar to what armed right wingers did in Michigan recently

    Of course I am pretty sure that we will not be hearing anything about this at the republican convention. Why? Because the people attacking the police with weapons are their ideological soulmates who happen to have the right skin tone. 

    Photo by: Brandon Bell, Getty Images for USA Today. 


     

    Sunday, August 23, 2020

    Caption Sunday.

     

    Image result for Steve Bannon arrest images

    I need a caption for this picture. 

     

    Thursday, August 20, 2020

    Stocking the swamp.

     TWEET MEI was talking to a friend of mine today who happens to be black and works in law enforcement, and she told me in no uncertain terms that she was going to vote for Donald trump. Of course I wanted to know why. "A black person supporting Donald trump? Isn't that like a Turkey supporting Thanksgiving?" I was serious. I just couldn't understand that line of thinking. She then proceeded to tell me how the democrats want to defund police departments, how Donald trump is a friend of law enforcement, and how Joe Biden will cuddle criminals. I tried to explain and reason with her, but I could tell it was too late. The trump propaganda machine had already done it's job. 

    Of course this young lady worked in law enforcement, and trump's us against them campaign has her thinking that as a law enforcement official she has to ride with team trump or lose her way of making a living. 

    The irony of all this, of course, is that Donald trump is the most lawless president in the history of the United States. Just look at the people he surrounded himself with during his rise to power. Most of them are either in jail, served time in jail, or pled to crimes they committed. 

    Today, yet another one of trump's cohorts was charged with a crime. 

    "Washington — Former White House adviser Stephen Bannon has pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering Thursday, after federal prosecutors in New York announced that Bannon and three others were indicted for allegedly defrauding donors to a $25 million fundraising campaign to build a wall along the southern border. 

    Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea were arrested Thursday morning. Bannon was taken into custody by agents from the U.S. Postal Service off the coast of Connecticut on a 152-foot yacht registered to exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, law enforcement sources said. The indictment was unsealed Thursday morning. 

    Bannon was released on $5 million bond Thursday afternoon, and must forfeit his passport. He can only travel to D.C., Maryland, Connecticut for work, and the Eastern and Southern district of New York."

    It doesn't get anymore swampy than this, folks. Defrauding donors who wanted to build a wall because their political leader told them that it was the thing to do. 

    Today Mr. trump denied knowing of the scheme, but I am sure we will soon learn that he is lying. It fits his modus operandi. We will see how far he throws Mr. Bannon under the bus. Or, if as he did with Roger Stone, he promises him  pardon if he is convicted.

    "I haven’t been dealing with him at all. I know nothing about the project other than I didn’t like what I read about it,” Trump said. “I thought that was a project that was being done for showboating reasons. I don’t know that he was in charge. I didn’t know any of the other people either, but it’s sad. It’s very sad.”

    After that, a reporter confronted Trump with a list of his former allies and campaign officials who have been convicted for criminal conduct over the course of his presidency. Specifically, the president was asked “what’s it say about your judgment” that he has a “culture of lawlessness” surrounding himself.

    Trump dodged the question at first to speak about “the great lawlessness in the Obama administration,” but then he went back to stress that he was not involved in Bannon’s crowdfunding campaign. He went on to claim “we built a very powerful wall,” continued to disown Bannon’s campaign, and said the wall should be made by the government rather than a privately financed endeavor."

    That didn't take long. 




     


    Monday, August 17, 2020

    Birtherism=Racism.

    TWEET MENow this from Oliver Contreras writing for Mother Jones:

    It's all about the birtherism stupid.

    "President Trump is back on his birtherism bullshit.

    At his Thursday afternoon press conference, a reporter asked if he thought Sen. Kamala Harris met the legal requirements to run for vice president. “I heard today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump responded, adding that he’d look into it.

    Before we get into this, let’s be clear: Harris was born in Oakland, California.

    But an opinion article in Newsweek written by the law professor John Eastman spurred the social media frenzy leading to this moment. In the article, Eastman uses discredited theories to suggest that Harris would be ineligible for the vice presidency because her parents were not naturalized citizens at the time of her birth.

    Trump could have simply shot this down. Keep in mind that in 2008, when a woman at a campaign event called Barack Obama an “Arab”—a notion Trump helped spread— John McCain snatched the microphone from the woman’s hand and said, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

    But, Trump being Trump, the president opted to fan the conspiratorial flames.

    “The lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer,” he began, never confirming the theory explicitly but not discounting it, either.

    Eastman is not, in fact, the man Trump describes. As my colleague Pema Levy wrote in 2018, he is a member of a group of extreme theorists about citizenship:

    The [14th amendment] states, ‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” The condition “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is widely understood as a narrow carve-out for the children of foreign diplomats, enemy combatants on US soil, and American Indian tribes. But according to Eastman, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” actually means that in addition to being born in the United States, a child must have at least one parent who owes allegiance to the US government by being a permanent legal resident­…

    Scholars on both sides of the aisle have pushed back against this idea. Garrett Epps, a liberal constitutional scholar, wrote in The Atlantic in July, “Erler’s work is, at best, scholarly malpractice. Anton’s reliance on this work is the constitutional equivalent of flat-earthism.” The congressional record, Epps argues, clearly shows that the members of Congress who wrote the 14th Amendment intended for it to include anyone born in the United States, with only narrow exceptions including the children of diplomats.

    In Eastman’s hands, a faux nitpicking of legal theory provides a decoy for racism.

    The man who jumpstarted his political career by claiming President Obama was not born in the United States couldn’t resist. “You’re saying that she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country?” Trump said.

    “She was born in this country,” the reporter clarified, “but the claims say that her parents did not receive their permanent residence at that time.”

    “I don’t know about it,” Trump said. “I just heard about it. I’ll take a look.”

    It’s not that hard to simply not engage in conspiracy theories—for anyone other than Trump."

    Sadly, trump's racism and his racist conspiracy theories have rubbed off on many of his supporters. 

    "Trump national delegate “Damn” Dean Peterson defended a racist post that referred to Senator Kamala Harris as “Aunt Jemima” by arguing that believing others would see the post as racist is “racist within itself.”

    Peterson spoke at a Luray Town Council meeting this week in defense of Republican Mayor Barry Presgraves, who faces calls for his resignation after he posted a racist meme that read “Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick” a few weeks ago.

    A MAGA-hatted Peterson introduced himself as “Damn Dean Peterson,” and began by boasting “I am also an elected national delegate to elect President Donald Trump to a second term of office. Of which I have done and gotten my name known within the 6th congressional district by outing unethical behavior and conduct by those in power and making sure they are held accountable when it comes time to vote. Of which I took care of another one on Saturday.”

    “This is what I do because our Bible is at the ballot box against socialism, which is vile evil, which goes along with identity politics, which is nothing but racist thinking from within itself,” he continued, then added “When you subdivide and categorize citizens by the color of their skin it is racist. And to assume that everyone who would see that post would think it’s racist is racist within itself.” [Source] 

    You read that correctly. To call out racism in trump's America means that you are in fact the racist. 







    Thursday, August 13, 2020

    It's Kamala.

    Image result for Kamala
    After all the waiting and suspense, Uncle Joe gave us Kamala as his Robin. (I see you Bison Nation) As a first generation Jamaican, I couldn't be more thrilled that a yawdie, once again, is in the national spotlight. For the record, the lady who was by all accounts the runner-up, also has Jamaican roots(Shout out to Susan Rice.) 

    Anywhoo, Mr. trump and his crew are going crazy in their efforts to tarnish Harris, and they have been doing a terrible job of finding a cohesive message to attack her with. They have called her everything from a left wing radical to being too tough on crime when she was a prosecutor. Mr. trump, in just a couple of days, has called her nasty, horrible, mean spirited, disrespectful, and just about every other name in the book. All of that pales in comparison to what he did today: Revived his racist birther attack.

    In his press conference this evening, Mr. trump told the American people that Harris might not be eligible to be the Vice President of these Divided States of America because she is an anchor baby or some such foolishness. For the record, Harris was born in Oakland, California. The problem for trump and his supporters is that she was not born with the right skin color. And so, as we did with former president Obama, we have to live through this racist birther foolishness. This is the female version.

    “I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements, and by the way the lawyer who wrote the piece is highly qualified, very talented,” Trump said in his coronavirus press conference. He was referring to a Newsweek column in which conservative law professor John Eastman claimed that Harris may not be considered a natural-born citizen — a requirement for those at the top of the ballot — because of what he calls the original understanding of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment. As Axios notes, “Eastman’s view on birthright citizenship and presidential eligibility is not accepted by constitutional law scholars.”

    Of course most of us would   have been shocked if Mr. trump did what every other decent human being would have done, and told the reporter that the whole idea of Harris not being eligible to be VP was both silly and unworthy of discussion. That's what the now deceased John McCain did when he checked an old racist who tried to bring him down to her level. 

    “No ma’am,” he says. “[Obama’s] a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”

    Imagine if Donald trump had said this today: "That's a silly question. Of course Kamala Harris is eligible. Let's focus on the issues and other things of substance and not get sidetracked with these silly theories that just distract from more meaningful things. 

    It would never happen, of course. Not with this guy. It's just not in him. Unlike John McCain, there is not a decent bone in his body.  

    Monday, August 10, 2020

    Caption Monday.

     TRUMP TO BASE: I'M A FAT IDIOT--JUST LIKE YOU! — Terence Hawkins


    I need a caption for this picture. 

    *Image from terence-hawkins.com 

    Friday, August 07, 2020

    Field Poll.

    My photoDear Field Hands, as we approach the 2020 presidential elections, we are being bombarded with poll after poll. And, as is to be expected, they are all over the place. Most of them have Uncle Joe up on President Orange, but there are some polls that have the candidates pretty much even at this point. 

    In the spirit of the season, I would like to conduct my own Field Negro poll to get a an idea of where we are at this point in the presidential horse race. 

    Please simply leave a comment and tell me who you will be voting for and why. 

    Thank you for your cooperation. 


       

    Monday, August 03, 2020

    Coronavirus 1 The Economy 0

    TWEET MEKevin McCarthy was bragging on twitter today that Mr. trump is not done yet, and that just like he did in 2016, he might have some more tricks up his sleeve.

    He might be right. I am sure that with the help of his friends in Russia, along with GOP voter suppression, anything is possible.  Although this virus is not going away, and it's starting to have an impact in the area that Mr. trump is proudest of when it comes to his time in office.

    Here is an oped from Robert Reich regarding that very issue:

    “The recovery has been very strong,” Donald Trump said on Monday. Then the commerce department reported the US economy contracted between April and June at the fastest pace in nearly three-quarters of a century, which is as long as economists have been keeping track. The drop wiped out five years of economic growth.

    But pesky facts have never stopped Trump. Having lied for five months about the coronavirus, he’s now filling social media and the airwaves with untruths about the economy so he can dupe his way to election day.

    The comeback “won’t take very long”, he reassured Americans on Thursday. But every indicator shows that after a small uptick in June, the US economy is tanking again. Restaurant reservations are down, traffic at retail stores is dwindling, more small businesses are closing, the small rebound in air travel is reversing.

    What’s Trump’s plan to revive the economy? The same one he’s been pushing for months: just “reopen” it.

    He wants the public to believe the shutdown orders that began in March caused the economy to tank in the first place, so reversing them will bring the economy back.
    People can’t go back to work because there is very little work for them to do
    Rubbish. It was the virus that caused the downturn, and its resurgence is taking the economy down again. The virus is surging back because governors reopened prematurely, before the virus was under control – at Trump’s repeated insistence.

    The sequence of cause-and-effect is clear. The virus has surged most in states that were among the first to reopen, such as Florida, South Carolina, Texas and much of the rest of the sun belt.
    Because of this resurgence, many states are pausing plans to reopen and some are reimposing restrictions. But these restrictions are not the reason the economy is slowing. They are the necessary consequence of allowing the pandemic to get out of control.

    Even the White House’s own coronavirus taskforce concludes that 21 states have outbreaks serious enough to justify more restrictions.

    Notably, the economy is sliding again even though the government has pumped trillions of dollars into it. What happens when the money stops?

    We’re about to find out. Senate Republicans can’t agree among themselves, let alone with House Democrats, about more funding, while Trump says “we really don’t care” about reaching a spending agreement.

    That means starting this week more than 30 million Americans will no longer receive $600 in extra weekly employment benefits. As a result, tens of millions will not be able to make rent or mortgage payments. More will go hungry, including children. The economy is likely to slide even further.
    The White House argues that the extra unemployment payments have discouraged workers from seeking jobs because some are receiving more money in benefits than they would earn by working.
    “We don’t want to create disincentives to work,” says Trump adviser Larry Kudlow.

    More rubbish. A study by Yale economists finds “no evidence” that people who have lost their jobs are choosing to stay unemployed because of the extra federal aid. In fact, “workers facing larger [unemployment] expansions generally appear to be quicker to return to work than others, not slower.”
    People can’t go back to work because there is very little work for them to do. Fourteen million more people are unemployed than there are jobs.

    Related: Paul Begala on Trump: 'Nothing unites the people of Earth like a threat from Mars'
    In fact, the extra benefits have been keeping some 3 million employed because the money has gone into the pockets of people who spend it, thereby sustaining economic activity. Shrinking those benefits will put less money into consumer pockets, with the result that millions more jobs will be lost.

    Lies about the economy are harder to spot than lies about the coronavirus because the virus’s grim death count is painfully apparent while the economy is complicated. But Trump’s economic lies are no less egregious, and they’re about to cause a great deal of unnecessary suffering.
    Trump and Senate Republicans may not like it, but that’s the painful truth." [Article]

    Mr. trump is learning the hard way that you can't lie your way out of a pandemic. Science and facts can be really stubborn when it comes to these types of things.




    Thursday, July 30, 2020

    Down goes Mr. 9-9-9.


    Rest in peace Herman Cain. 

    You have to feel for a guy who jigged so hard for Mr. trump that it cost him his life. Imagine having cancer and attending a trump rally in the midst of the coronavirus with all those trump cult followers who chose to go without masks. And yet that's what the dearly departed Herman Cain did. (That's Herman and his friends in the colored section.)

    Cain literally died from selling out to trump,and there are lots of other right-wing politicians who are dying a political death as a result of hitching their wagon to the most corrupt and incompetent leader in the history of these United States. (I see you Susan Collins.)

    It has gotten so bad for Dear Leader that he is now calling for the postponement of the upcoming general elections because of his poor poll numbers. We should have known that a man like Donald trump would not go quietly into the night. His ego and his personality disorder will not allow him to accept such a public defeat. What's sad is that he has undermined the entire electoral process with this phony vote by mail scam he has going. He can prove none of what he is alleging, and it's all a big lie. But he knows that, and so do the other people in his camp who are going along with ridiculous pronouncements.

    I am not sure what will happen in November. Four months is a long time in politics. But I do know one thing, and that's if Donald trump was leading in the polls today you would hear zero talk of voter fraud and moving back the elections.

    Still, we should take heart. I am not an expert on the Constitution, but I know enough to know that Mr. trump's scheme could never fly. Unless, of course, he marshals his troops and tries to wage an all out war against the the American government. Don't laugh, there are folks who, like Herman Cain, are willing to give their lives for Dear Leader. 

    The thought of that should keep us all up at night. 






    Monday, July 27, 2020

    Caption Monday.


    Photo: White House
    I need a caption for this picture.


    *Image from gizmotable.com

    Thursday, July 23, 2020

    Cracking up.

    TWEET MEImagine being the president of the United States and giving a shout out to an accused pedophile and sex trafficker.

    Incredibly, that's what Mr. trump did at one of his press conferences this week. It was quite a surreal moment, and one we can't talk enough about. (Even though the so called journalists in this country seem to be ignoring the moment.

    This is all now bordering on the absurd. It's like we wake up every day and find ourselves living in one huge SNL skit. The president does one dopey thing after another. If he isn't bragging about passing a test that is administered to people to see if they have dementia,  he is parading around a retired baseball pitcher ---and going on about his accomplishments--- in what was supposed to be a critical briefing to the country about the coronavirus.

     I know that I shouldn't, but I actually feel bad for the people who work for him. How do you spin what he is doing or try to make him seem sane? His press secretary gave it the old college try today but....

     "White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany attempted to spin President Donald Trump’s well-wishes to former Jeffrey Epstein partner Ghislaine Maxwell on Fox News, Thursday. “The other day he was asked about Ghislaine Maxwell, who’s being federally prosecuted for allegedly recruiting, grooming, sexually abusing underage girls. He said, ‘I just wish her well, frankly. I wish her well.’ 

    That raises some eyebrows, Kayleigh,” declared Bret Baier to McEnany during the interview. “What the president was noting is that the last person who was charged in this case ended up dead in a jail cell and the president wants justice to be served for the victims in this case and he prefers this to play out in a courtroom,” the press secretary responded. Baier asked, “Have you talked to him about that?” to which McEnany replied, “I have spoken to him about that.” “Because a lot of people were saying it just seemed a strange answer,” Baier pushed, prompting McEnany to shoot back, “This president is the president that banned Jeffrey Epstein from coming to Mar-a-Lago. This president was always on top of this, ahead of this, noting this, banning this man from his property long before this case was even being played out in a court of law.” 

    Baier promptly dropped the topic, concluding, “Kayleigh, we appreciate the time and the info and we will see the president today at 5 p.m. Appreciate it.” President Trump was condemned this week — including by House Republicans — for saying about Maxwell, “I just wish her well, frankly… I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach. I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well.”' 

     That folks, is not normal. And the fact that they actually expect us to believe that spin just goes to show you how little respect thy have for the rest of us. I mean at some point the people that he has doing all this sycophantic and cult like stuff for him have to just say, enough! I mean don't these people have families and friends? How could they let their reputations take a hit like this?

     Finally, speaking of people who used to be sycophants for Mr. trump. A Judge today entered an order that Michael Cohen should be let out of jail, because president trump's DOJ pushing to put him back in prison was just them retaliating against him for going forward with his tell- all book about 'Dear Leader'.

    "On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein sided with a lawsuit from Cohen's attorneys saying that the conditions of Cohen's home confinement — that he not speak to the media or publish a book — violated his First Amendment rights. Hellerstein ordered Cohen to be released by 2 p.m. ET Friday.

    The Federal Bureau of Prisons released a statement saying, "Any assertion that the decision to remand Michael Cohen to prison was a retaliatory action is patently false." It denied that his intent to publish a book played a role.

    The statement said people being supervised at home have to accept certain conditions and "Mr. Cohen refused to agree to the terms of the program, specifically electronic monitoring." The bureau also noted that Cohen was argumentative and wouldn't accept rules on self-employment, access to the media and use of social media."

    I am glad this Judge saw through William Barr and what he is trying to do on behalf of his boss: use the threat of jail to intimidate people who speak out against their cabal.

    Personally,  I am looking forward to reading the book, although it won't tell us anything that we don't already know.

     Posted by field negro at 8:01 PM