liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
I keep reading in the media that the record Latino turnout at the polls is a new "firewall" or somesuch for Democrats.  Well that may apply in this election, but don't count on it in the future.  Latinos are independent and have been provoked to vote for their own interests.  Trump voters have provided a new impetus for the Republican party to stop shafting its lower income voters.  If the R party can respond in any effective way to this challenge it could result in a shift in the demographics of both parties.

*First use of new tag: hispanic.  This population now activated is likely to become a powerful force in US politics.  Too bad they're so Catholic.
liveonearth: (Oprah_shocked)

If the consequence
of standing against [Donald] Trump
and for principles
is indeed the election of
Hillary Clinton,
so be it.

--Glen Beck

liveonearth: (moon)
Listening to the media reports about Trump and Clinton, I understand the frustration of the majority of voters.  Most of us know that the "establishment" politicians, like Clinton, are part and parcel with the corporatocracy that has made our two party system a joke.  The two parties are simply different faces of the same government which is beholden to big business and rich investors.  While the Democrats make more of an effort to care for the most impoverished, neither side is actually effective at reducing poverty.  The Republicans assert that the poor are not helped by a free ride, and this may be true.  It is true that during the Great Depression here in the US, people got healthier.

Trump, on the other hand, is not part of the "establishment" except in so far as he is rich, and he is stupid enough to become their tool, just as Shrub did.  His daily empty statements, like what I just heard that he "will win" 95% of the black American vote, are lunacy.  There is no way that he is getting 95% of any vote, except perhaps of those white male voters who are angry and desperate enough to commit suicide but would rather have someone else do it for them.  I understand the line of thought that says "crash this train", that is to say, destroying our corporatocracy is the first step toward building something new.  This is more the approach of libertarians who understand that big business will not be dethroned by small measures.  Electing Trump would be a drastic measure that could crash this train, except for the fact that the corporate Republican powers will feed his ego and narcissism and keep him busy and distracted by giving him televised glory while they run things.  In other words, it won't work.  Electing Trump will not derail the corporate train.

The Libertarian and Green candidates are relatively attractive in this election.  Unfortunately the Libertarians appear to be almost as "estalishment" as Clinton, see Gary Johnson's positions here.  Jill Stein of the Green party is a physician and one smart cookie, and she actually makes the most sense to me of any of the candidates.  She knows that our two-party system is broken, and she addresses that question and others with a raft of information instead of party lines or defund-it-all ideology.

I do not know what it would take to persuade a majority of voters to choose third-party candidates, but I pray that I live to see it.  At this moment it appears to me that Clinton will win because so many people are terrified of the specter of a Trump presidency.  His racism, bogus claims and impetuous thin-skinned personality are enough to disqualify him for all but the most blindered of voters.  It is true that if he were elected the Republican party would attempt to control him, but we all know that he would be more likely to push the nuclear button than any other president in living memory.  While it bears discussing why we refrain from using nukes, just as it bears discussing why we can't as a society afford freeloaders, we might want to discuss it very well before we hand any control to a tool such as Trump.

I am sure I've mentioned it before, but it is my belief that in order to build a majority that can beat both established parties, we need to build a bridge between the far right Libertarians and the far left Greens.  When this happens we might actually wrest our democracy back from its service to business.  It would be heralded as a great crisis, just like the Brexit vote, but don't believe everything you hear in the news.  A reduction in our GDP might be good for us.  More unemployment is not an entirely bad thing.  We Americans need to get back to the project of taking good care of ourselves and our dear ones, building community, and being real people face to face with other real people.  This wealthy life of internet and automobiles has created a Great Satan that is making us sad.

** first use of tag: green party
liveonearth: (penguin types)
I just read that the elder Bush president has a few choice remarks for Cheney and Rumsfeld in his autobiography.  It takes having a senior president own these sentiments to bring them into the light of Republican day.  About time.

In particular, he objects to how Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reacted to 9/11. He feels they were too hawkish, taking a harsh, inflexible stance that tarnished America's reputation around the world.

"I don't know, he just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with," Bush told Meacham. "The reaction [to 9/11], what to do about the Middle East. Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East ..."

The elder Bush believes Cheney -- who had been his own defense secretary back when he held the White House -- acted too independently of his son. "The big mistake that was made was letting Cheney bring in kind of his own State Department," Bush said, apparently referring to the national security team that the vice president assembled in his office.

SOURCES
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/05/us/politics/elder-bush-says-his-son-was-served-badly-by-aides.html
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/11/05/exclusive-hw-bush-jabs-at-cheney-rumsfeld-in-new-book/
liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
Looks like it is mostly true, the assertion that more handouts are given in republican-dominated states. This makes sense to me because in those states or areas where local social programs are limited or cut, the poor will seek out federal assistance. Big business on the other hand is likely to avoid paying taxes entirely. Churches remain tax exempt no matter how gigantic or lavish. There is a problem here.

http://exposingreligionblog.tumblr.com/post/35908018305
liveonearth: (trek jive)
This state is so delightfully progressive it curls my toes. Much as I liked Kitzhaber, I think I am going to like our new governor Kate Brown more! She was sworn in yesterday. On Monday this week (when she was still Secretary of State) she made the announcement that the Independent Party of Oregon qualifies to be a MAJOR PARTY claiming as members more than 5% of registered voters as of the 2014 gubernatorial election. The total membership of the Independent Party as of 2/2/15 was 108,742, which is three voters over the minimum to become a major party. I suspect that with the publicity incurred by this landmark change, more people will change their voter registration from Dem or Rep to INDY.

SOURCES
http://www.indparty.com/node/25
http://time.com/3709837/oregon-kate-brown-governor/
liveonearth: (moon)
http://www.salon.com/2014/11/19/house_republicans_just_passed_a_bill_forbidding_scientists_from_advising_the_epa_on_their_own_research/

We are going to see a lot more of this type of nonsense. While people were paying attention to the Keystone debate, the republicans got this passed. Unless it is vetoed, the EPA is going to have industry advocates instead of scientists on their advisory panels. It's a ridiculous fallacy to think that you can't trust scientists to report about science. They are the only ones who KNOW what it means, and are more interested in the truth than in agendas. America is increasingly governed by business for business. People who want clean air, water, and food, beware. People who want the truth: good luck!

I am going to have to take regular media blackouts in order not to be utterly despondent over the state of things now that the repugs have their majority. I am all for libertarian freedoms and fiscal responsibility, but I despise today's anti-science ignoramus repugnican party. May they fall into the holes that they dig! May Obama relish the power of the veto!
liveonearth: (moon)
I sample propaganda from all sides of the US political spectrum. Today I got an email from Dick Cheney. I will have to check with my republican friends to find out if they actually think highly of Dick, because as far as I can tell he is evil incarnate. Anyway, Dick sent me a link and asked me to give money to the National Republican Congressional Committee. The headline on the donation page is "Stop Democrats from controlling all of Washington" and the image is one of Obama, Hillary and Biden walking toward the camera, smiling. Here: https://www.nrcc.org/defeat-liberal-democrats/. I showed it to my coworkers today and they could not figure out how that image supports the republican desire to oust the Dems, aside from who was in it. I did notice that Obama's hands are in his pockets (hidden hands = deceitful), and that all three are laughing as if about an inside joke. Also Biden has his arm around Hillary in comfortable buddy gesture. The last thing to notice about the image is that it is shot from above, looking down on Obama's head as he looks down to walk. I am told that this angle makes a person seem less powerful. I would have thought, though, that they'd go for something that made him look more evil, but I guess that having an inside joke with hands in pockets is bad enough. Dick didn't get any of my money, though.
liveonearth: (blue skinned alien)


No, Virginia, there is not a Santa Claus, except in marketing and the media and in your imagination.

Earlier this week I attended a training on how to facilitate support groups for people who experience Extreme States, including hearing voices, seeing visions, and other experiences most commonly diagnosed as psychosis. We broke out many times into small groups to practice what we were learning. One time, when I was facilitating a small group, one of the women in the group started freaking a little bit and asking "Is she real?" of another person in the room. I calmly reassured her that yes, indeed, that person was real as far as I could tell.

This clip reminds me of that. This reality check is for the Republicans who thought that their version of reality was going to triumph on Tuesday. For a while I stopped listening to Rachel because I have libertarian sympathies and she was taking unfair potshots from a very partisan position. This time she's not being partisan. This time she's speaking about the basics of reality, of what is our consensual truth, except for a few tone-deaf and science-ignorant Republicans who have poisoned their entire party.
liveonearth: (bridge shaking (earthquake))
"I think it has the potential to be quite explosive," Potholm says. "I don't think the Ron Paul people are particularly interested in whether Obama is defeated or not. I think that's long passed as their number one objective."
http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineNewsArchive/tabid/181/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3475/ItemId/23206/Default.aspx

The way I see it, the Republican party has lost all credibility and is ripe for takeover. And the Ron Paul people are more interested in resurrecting a fiscally conservative party (from the fascist ashes) than they are in ousting Obama. And Obama is more ready for that revolution than Romney is.
liveonearth: (Default)
Repealing Health Care
http://edsteinink.com/2012/07/11/repealing-health-care/
Posted on July 11, 2012
by Ed Stein

This just in: the House voted to repeal the new health care law. That is, the Republicans in the House went through the fruitless exercise of once again voting to do something the Senate has no intention of going along with. This makes sense for Republicans, because it must be really embarrassing for them that Obama managed to pass a law that was almost entirely their idea. The whole notion of the mandate to buy health insurance was cooked up by the Heritage Foundation and endorsed by Mitt Romney when he gave Massachusetts citizens nearly universal coverage. It’s really funny to hear them denounce it all now as a big government intrusion into our lives, and as a–gasp!–tax, which nobody thought to mention until he Supreme Court decided that’s what the penalty for not buying it really is. What troubles me most about the repeal effort is that I don’t hear any Democrats asking the obvious question: WHAT PART OF THE LAW DO YOU WANT TO REPEAL? The part that allows your kids to stay on your plan? The part that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions? The part that ends lifetime limits on coverage? The part that closes the donut hole in Medicare? The part that prevents insurers from kicking you off your plan if you get sick? The part that establishes the state insurance exchanges (another Republican idea)? Or is it just the part that Obama passed it and not Republicans.
liveonearth: (Default)
Unfortunately, as Shrub proved, lack of intelligence and unclear speech do not disqualify one for the presidency. Quotes to demonstrate Santorum's lack of sophistication and insight:
Santorum quotes )
liveonearth: (Default)

Ed Stein cartoon, and commentary: Now that Herman (The Herminator) Cain has pulled out of the race, the newest not-Mitt Republican voters favor is the second coming (or is it the third, or fourth?) of Newt Gingrich, he of the plentiful baggage. In case you’ve forgotten–and we Americans have such short attention spans– Newt, while secretly having an affair with a staffer, led the impeachment against Bill Clinton for lying about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky. The thrice-married Newt now claims to have had a religious transformation and is no longer the same man who left his wife during her recovery from Cancer surgery. Gingrich forced a highly unpopular government shutdown, and was nearly deposed by his own party, which came to see him as a huge liability and the main cause of its midterm election defeat in 1998. He was reprimanded by the House of Representatives for a long laundry list of ethics violations, paying a $300,000 fine. Under pressure from party leaders, he resigned from Congress (and the Speakership) three days after being elected to his 11th term. While out of office, he has made a nice career providing insider access to folks who want clout on Capitol Hill, most famously as “historian” for Freddy Mac during the housing meltdown. This is the man who is now the current Republican front-runner for the highest office in the land. The lack of endorsements from those who know him best should be a signal to voters, but they’re not yet ready to embrace the inevitable but unlovable Romney. Meanwhile, poor, unwanted Mitt will have to wait patiently for Newt to implode, which will happen sooner or later, before finally claiming the nomination.
liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
Perhaps the reason that his father, Ron Paul, has been successful in congress longterm, is because he has not gone out on the anti-environmental limb. It's a particularly shaky limb. Rand's recent introduction of a bill that would eliminate the inter-state control of air quality by the FDA is running up against the Sierra Club and others. The kid's a rookie, and is going to learn the hard way that the far right agenda has some true weaknesses, not the least of which is an inattention to our quality of life as manifested by our environment.
liveonearth: (blue skinned alien 2)
Fascism
should rightly be called
Corporatism,
as it is the merger
of corporate
and government power.

~Benito Mussolini
liveonearth: (Default)
I didn't know she was this bad.... but apparently the social conservatives really like her.

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