Archive for February 2018

Guns and Other Noise

So the President is thinking the easy way out is to get rid of bump stocks. That is the little addition that turns a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon (pull the trigger each time to hold the trigger down for rapid fire). Six of the 10 deadliest shootings in the last decade used the AR-15, but I know of only one that used a bump stock (Las Vegas). I do not believe one was used in the latest killings so why the focus on bump-stocks instead of the gun itself? Now, there is the answer to the question in the question itself. Smoke and mirrors, and nothing really changes. I listened to one, excuse me for my language, dick-head, tell us guns are everywhere (true) so we are never going to get rid of them. That is kind of like saying lots of people speed on the highway so why bother with a speed limit and enforcement? Of course we can get rid of them and we can do a lot of things to limit guns to nuts. But they really don’t want to.

Okay, moving on from guns, I see where Billy Graham died at 99. I have never figured out why he was considered a religious leader except that he claimed to be one and politicians leveraged him so they could appear to be religious. His son used his pulpit to support President DFF and defame President Obama (oh there was nothing racist there) and his flock used God to seem pious about their twisted ideas and I think of all the good people who have passed away no one cares about. Good bye Billy Graham. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out. We need less preaching and a whole lot more deep thinking.

One of the things that gets me is the attack by President DFF on Obama for the Russian attack on our elections. Reporters and talking heads note that many Democrats (including myself) say he should have done more instead of being afraid to be seen as meddling in the election. But everyone forgets the biggie here: President Obama really did quite a lot and there is a great history of what went on, but Republicans blocked his attempt at being bipartisan:

In early September (2016) Johnson (head of Homeland Security), Comey (FBI Direction) and Monaco (Homeland Security Adviser that briefs Congress) arrived on Capitol Hill in a caravan of black SUVs for a meeting with 12 key members of Congress, including the leadership of both parties.

The meeting devolved into a partisan squabble.

“The Dems were, ‘Hey, we have to tell the public,’ ” recalled one participant. But Republicans resisted, arguing that to warn the public that the election was under attack would further Russia’s aim of sapping confidence in the system.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went further, officials said, voicing skepticism that the underlying intelligence truly supported the White House’s claims. Through a spokeswoman, McConnell declined to comment, citing the secrecy of that meeting.

Key Democrats were stunned by the GOP response and exasperated that the White House seemed willing to let Republican opposition block any pre-election move.

Now I fault Obama for not taking the reins and the heat, but that was always President Obama’s major fault, trying to be fair with the Republicans, and over thinking things. But the real villains here are the Republicans in blocking telling the country, and one might ask if McConnell knew something at this point about what was going on. Of course the real issue when all the smoke is blown away is what are we doing and President DFF has done nothing. How can you not think he is not guilty of colluding? Well it will come out. Here is Thomas Friedman on my point:

…Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system — a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.

So here we are on George Washington’s Birthday, you remember George Washington, who put the country before himself when they offered him basically a crown. What a breath of fresh air that would be, and of course President DFF has put himself and Republicans before the country. Will today be move misdirection on guns? Will it be about his sexual assaults everyone ignores? Will it be about collusion with the Russians? Will it be more attacks on Hillary and Obama who are no longer in charge of anything? Will it be about the lack of people with proper security clearances in the White House? Will it be about the incompetence and corruption of the people he has put in charge of some of our most important agencies? Well, we know it won’t be about him doing anything useful and meaningful. How did we get to be such a joke?

Just Some Musings

There is a headline in the WaPo that says Americans blame the President and Congress for doing nothing about gun violence. In there in lies the problem in America. I get blaming the President. Remember how after Sandy Hook President Obama did everything he could to get a bipartisan deal for background checks? It was not “Congress” that defeated it, it was Republicans. As long as we continue with this fiction that both sides do it, we will never fix it. Sure there were some purple state Democrats who would balk at say banning of an AR15, but they need to go too. But generally, Democrats are going to take realistic steps for sensible limitations on gun ownership and background checks. But they are blocked every step of the way by Republicans and the few Democrats who cater to Red States. So Congress my ass people, point at the problem or we will never fix it.

Black Panther is all rage in the entertainment crowd, but to tell you the truth (old fat white boy talking here), I see a bit of a problem. I like good entertainment as well as the rest and I don’t care if they are green, red, yellow, or black, if they fit the part. You would not have Kenneth Branagh play Othello. The whole point of the play is Othello is black and feeling not quite worthy which feeds his jealousy. But I am listening to several media critics tell us that it is about time we had more black stories and plots. Now as a friend pointed out last night to me, having a black hero is really important to young black kids to have a role model. Okay, but we had a black President and as near as I could tell no one could have had a better role model, and yet we discovered just how racist a nation we really were.

I guess what bothers me is that it should not be remarkable that we have basically an all black superhero movie, it will be remarkable when it is not remarkable. As long as we are still pushing for more black actors in leads (Denzel Washington is my hero and I don’t see him as a black man, but as a great actor), we are focusing on the wrong thing. In some ways it is reverse discrimination. My test is always this, if I take the words out of someone talking about this movie or black actors and insert the word white and then realize how racist it is, then the other way around is just as bad. I get that we have a racist country and the black experience is different from mine. So if you are telling that particular story, the race of the actor is important. But generally I will know we have arrived when it just a great movie, not because now blacks have a place in it, but we don’t care what their color is as we get lost in the story.

I see Don Jr., the half-wit, is advising his father the no-wit, that he needs to stand strong on guns. Now, President DFF is already surrounded by an echo chamber of conservative half-wits so you can bet nothing is going to happen. Kind of like immigration, just get me a bipartisan bill and I will take the heat, which of course, he did just the opposite and he will do the same here. But I guess what is most amazing to me is he is taking advice from the big game slaughtering Don, who loves to kill things because it makes him feel important and powerful. Funny I don’t even like to step on a spider because I think life is such a gift.

One last thing to cheer you up. As the noose tightens on President DFF, he always has that nuclear strike on North Korea to distract us from he and the Republicans being traitors to our Constitution. As Henry V found out, nothing like attacking another country (France) to unite the rabble. Well, meanwhile in Israel, Netanyahu is also facing charges and what better time than now to work with President DFF to gin up a war with Iran. More distraction at the cost of millions of casualties. And if that weren’t enough, world debt is at record amounts and ….well… I have to tell you, each day is precious so live it. There is no telling what these nuts will do tomorrow.

The Traitors Within

I think the one thing about the Mueller 13 Russian Indictment is that while it was an attack on American and an attempt to mislead, it was mostly on social media, sometimes amplified by Fox News, and they are notorious sources of the real “Fake News”. When somebody sends me an article on Facebook, I ignore it. What was the source? Now I know that the conservative media and President DFF himself wants you to ignore the mainstream media, and yes, sometimes in an attempt to get the news first, they get it wrong, but they correct it and most of the time real journalists vet stories carefully and the best place to get the truth is established newspapers like the NYT, Wall Street Jounal or WaPo. Yes they all have opinions, but that is on the editorial page not the stories in the rest of the paper.

The thing that amazes me is that anyone believes anything they see on Facebook or Twitter posing as real news. Are we really that gullible? What went on in the last election on the Trump side was insanity, and not just his, but truly gullible and ignorant people acting on fiction and nonsense. Is it really that easy? I guess the problem is we are and few people actually read real newspapers anymore and get their news from Fox News and their feeds on their social media. We have forgotten what it means to know something, or at least many of us have.

How did conservative media and conservatives sour the population on science and facts? How did they turn most of their supporters away from news sources that might actually give them the truth? As we sit here and know (well at least some of us do) that the Russians interfered in our election, and of course they impacted the outcome, what about the conservatives that have worked so long to dumb down a large population in the United States to be susceptible to such an attack? You see where where I am going? The Russians certainly attack us, but whether wittingly or not, Republicans made it possible.

Now the question is how do we bring them back to reality? How do you teach people who look for what they want to believe, to look for what is, otherwise called critically thinking? The media helped with all this with he said/she said interviews without an honest broker of facts. Loudest most aggressive wins the day as he out shout the other so he must be right, right? Add to that the press briefings from the White House are full of lies and misrepresentations.  Who can forget the very first one about crowd size?

Sure science can be politicized, but usually by non-scientist, the first and most egregious was the Tobacco Industry which lied to us and miss represented the science to sell us addictive cancer sticks. The right took a page right out of their play book for global warming. Science, if you really understand it is a method that takes predisposition out of the process.  It is called the scientific method.  They don’t hunt just for what they want to find, but what there is to find, and then it is tested and vetted to death.  But the Right Wing Machine has turned science into politics because they don’t like what science shows us.  It does not fit neatly into their view of government.

But once you cast doubt on real science and facts, you have created a monster you cannot control. President DFF is not only attacking science and facts, where he tweets out lies and misrepresentations that are easily exposed just by running video from a few days before, but he is trying to undermine the very agencies that secure our government. Once again the aim is short-sighted, it is to try to survive an investigation into his connections to Russia and probable money laundering. If there was nothing there, why would he care? But he is undermining in his weak-minded followers the very institutions we depend upon for our security. And once again, Republicans have jumped in to help.

So yes, we were attacked by Russians but it should have been noise in the background that no one paid attention to. Instead it most probably changed and election and the root cause of all this is not the Russians, but the right wing attack on our democratic roots that depend on critical thinking, rational debate, facts and science. Yes, they are in fact, the traitors within. Forget the Russians, these are who are the real threat to our country.

13 Russians and Where did that American Exceptionalism Go

First, why charge 13 Russians who will probably never get prosecuted? Of course if they want to go to France, Spain, Germany, or any number of countries we have extradition treaties with they will be at risk of arrest. Still why? Well I think two reasons and the first one was self-defense. Clearly, as Muller and his boss Rosenstein get closer, their jobs are at risk. We have President DFF and apparently about 35%-40% of the population who think the Russia investigation is a shame, just a Democratic sower grapes. Well, I misspoke. 35%-40% believe that because President DFF told them that and Fox News echoes it, but President DFF knows full well they did.

So what Mueller and Rosenstein were up to was laying down a marker. Here is detailed proof that the Russians were meddling with false news, something Fox News would be an expert at, and trying to sway the election away from Hillary Clinton. The detail is, well, detailed. There is no doubt. So what was accomplished was if President DFF moves against either Rosenstein of Mueller, there is no question he is hurting the investigation and trying to stop it. It may not tie his hands because he is an ignorant jackass, and I apologize to all jackasses because the comparison is not fair, may now tie his lackeys the Republican Congress.

The second reason, besides educating and informing the American Public on one piece of the investigation, was to let those he seeks information from, what he already knows, and the detail he knows it. The big elephant in the room is collusion and why. I know that answer and so do you if your brain cells still work. President DFF got hooked on their money when no one else would lend to him, and now they own him. He is a giant Ponzi scheme, and the scheme started to collapse, when in rushed the Russians who needed to launder money and real estate was the go to market. Think about it. As we learned from hearings last week, the President has ordered no investigations or active counter measures to deal with the Russians. There can only be one plausible reason.

Oh wait! This was Obama’s fault! Except Obama did take action and the real question is why hasn’t President DFF. Obama sanction Russia which Flynn was trying to lift. Oh how short our memories are. So the DFF is the president now, sadly, so what is he doing? And what we learned last week was nothing. The FBI and the intelligence agencies has no mandate from the President.

So what is next? Manafort is in deep dodo. His partner in crime is flipping. Here is where the money trail is. Remember Manafort came out of nowhere, unknown to Trump, and all of a sudden he is heading up the campaign during the critical conventions. Say what? Who ordered that? The money trail is the why of collusion. Once you get the why, the collusion itself will fall out and Mueller suggested he was on that trail in his indictment. So we are getting closer and closer, but one has to ask, isn’t this obvious? Why and how is this man still President of the U.S.?

That answer has to do with the Republicans and the, oh let’s call it 35%, of the American population that is just mind numbingly stupid and ignorant (note stupid is a brain unable to be smart, ignorant is a brain that refuses to learn and be informed). I am reminded of a scene in the movie, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. Mr. Hanks plays a real world person, attorney James Donovan who is defending Russian spy Rudolf Able. Mr. Donovan’s home is attacked by good Americans because he is trying to afford Mr. Rudolf not just the appearance of a good defense, by a good defense. Those “good Americans” are the 35% who have no idea what the Constitution really is or what it means. They are the lock her up bunch*.

Now that 35% has always been around, but they have never been in charge. Now they are and their lap dogs are our Republican Congress who it would seem has no morals other than power. So they have hitched their wagons to the DFF and we should not be surprised. When a shooter mowed down 47 kids at Sandy Hook and all we got was “thoughts and payers” and let’s not move to fast to we know what happened, you knew they had sold their souls to the NRA. When you heard it again after the shooting in Florida (it was like a taped replay), you wanted to say, okay, but now do we know what happened at Sandy Hook or Las Vegas? And again, like the Russian attack, it obvious what the problem is, and in kids getting killed IT’S EASY ACCESS TO GUNS.

The data is irrefutable. It’s guns. Global warming, Russians and collusion, flow down, Dreamers or immigration, you name the issue and the data is screaming and we do nothing and we do nothing because of Republicans and purple state Democrats who cannot stand up for what is right, only what serves their short term interest to be re-elected. In the movie I referenced before, the spy, Rudolf Able referred to Donovan as “Standing Man” after a friend of his father’s who no matter how much he was beat by the government, he stood up again till they finally quit. It refers for standing up for something bigger than yourself. That is what America used to be. A place where no problem was too big to take on, we would apply science, data, and our ingenuity and we would overcome.

But somehow we got taken over by the 35%, the deplorables, and Republicans. That is when American exceptionalism died. Well, it is on life support and it is up to us to bring it back. I think maybe the nation has seen enough, but they never fail to disappoint with calls for a more middle of the road approach when the middle is so far right as to be undrivable. Maybe the shooting in Florida and the 13 Russian indictments will wake us up and give us the single issue that defines who works for us, and who works against us. I can only hope.

*Remember lock her up? Hillary and the emails where it turned out she was careless with some very minor classified information and hurt no one, and she had no intent to reveal secrets. Now we have the White House allowing people with questionable temporary security clearances that the FBI won’t grant security clearances because they are risks seeing the most secret of our secrets. Do you hear chants of lock him up? Yes they are deplorable and most probably unredeemable and we should not care. No they are not worth listening to. They elected a moron.

Oh F*ck Me in the Heart!

So I am quickly recovering from Shingles so today I want to do a round of Yoga (I am a brick so it is sort of Yoga), and weight lifting. And my usual routine is to turn on the news when I am doing this. BIG MISTAKE! They are talking about mental illness and better identification of potential shooters. You could rerun a tape from the last major shooting. Same bull shit. Nothing is going to change.

First of all ask yourself if we have more deranged kids than other countries, and we don’t, so why are we the nation of these tragedies? Easy access to military grade hardware.

Second there are a ton of kids who go through destructive cycles, are we going to monitor them all and are we going to become a police state? Most will never act on their dark moods. Once again in a destructive out of control mood easy access to guns makes this life ending.

Third, which is the go to argument for those who do not want to address the real problem (Republicans), we need a better mental health system. Yes we do, but who is it again is intent on slashing funding for those kind of things so they can dole out tax cuts to the wealthy. And other industrial countries have better systems than ours, but still, that is just eye wash. You simply cannot identify every shooter while you violate the civil rights of the rest. It is about that thing they don’t want to talk about, because it is political, the easy access of guns. Note the argument, we need to understand better what happened before we decide to do nothing. WHAT HAPPENED WAS EASY ACCESS TO MILITARY GRADE HARDWARE, AND LARGE CAPACITY MAGAZINES!

Please turn off the TV because they are rerunning the last bullshit from the last shooting and until we get angry about guns, mental illness, surveillance, and better treatment is just smoke up our asses. I am sorry to be so crude, but I am really, really angry about this moronic conversation, asking why, why, why, when it has absolutely no value to the solution to the problem. Why did the Las Vegas shooter kill all those people. We still don’t know and never will. He was nuts. He got military grade weapons and killed people. Give me a break. It is guns, guns, guns. As one poster I have seen put it: People don’t make People drunk, beer does. Well crazy people don’t kill people, the guns they get their hands on do. When will we act?

What is There to Say?

Some wonderful kids no longer have the gift of life, love, sunsets, warm beaches, children, or hope. Some parents now know the hurt that never goes away. That last thing a parent ever wants to do is bury their own children. Why? Because we are addicted to guns. President DFF’s thought and prayers is bull shit. If they cared a wit, they would do something about guns and our easy access to them. The Florida Police Chief tells us we have to be wary and report strange people. All teenagers are strange people at one time or another. The issue is their easy access to military grade weapons. And we do nothing.

Guns are a funny thing. We think if we have them they empower us. Let’s just be honest. If you target shoot you fantasize the real thing, shooting somebody. And we get addicted to it. Games where we murder wantonly and TV shows where the gun is the great equalizer. It falsely emboldens us. When you get that you know open carry laws in urban settings are nuts. Our mass murder rate compared to the rest of the world is about the easy access of guns period. The fix is simple, end it. But what you are going to get is thoughts and payers and more mass killings.

I could go through every gun nut argument starting with the 2nd Amendment argument that does not give them a right to arms, and demonstrate the lunacy of it. But I have done that and so have millions of others to no effect. So now when there is news of another mass shooting, I just turn it off. We caused it by our inaction and we learn nothing so why bother with watching the details and feeling their pain. We do nothing. After Sandy Hook I think we saw the Republican Party of today when they block any action. We should have known they had already gone over the precipice into the oblivion of irrationality. President DFF and their failure to act should have been predicted then.

But wait! We could make schools look like prisons with a guard in the tower and a double gate with a metal detector to make sure no one gets in (or out). Look, there is George Washington Middle School. See the concertina wire on the walls and the search lights. Ah, freedom from gun violence in America, except for states that let teachers carry. Now there is a wonderful idea. What if the teach goes ballistic or a kid gets the gun. Then they are all trapped inside to die. Wouldn’t if just be smarter to get guns out of the hands of most people. The use of it to defend yourself is so rare compared to the slaughter we see with guns just in the hands of kids.

There are arguments for gun ownership I certainly buy. But urban areas are different animals than rural areas and even in urban areas, access to guns has wiped out whole communities. And yet we can buy them like lollipops which is insane. And why again is a semi-automatic rifle something anyone except the military (that militia the 2nd Amendment talked about) should have access to? Nothing will change until we get rid of Republicans and purple state Democrats. Or get rid of money in politics. Open carry my ass. Thoughts and prayers you can shove up your…

Oh, How Democracy Crumbles

See the articles about Bob Corker rethinking re-election? Of course he would have to be a President DFF boy. Ah, but what better way to spend your aging days than in the Senate kissing goodbye everything you ever stood for? It seems to be the way of Republicans these days. Remember all that fiscal conservatism? Kiss that baby goodbye with the Tax Gut bill. Oh wait, it is starve the beast so they can get rid of all those pesky programs like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Can you say goodbye  SNAP (Food Stamps), which primarily helps kids and old people. Who needs them? Of course they are going to empty the Treasury and there will be no infrastructure except give-aways to capitalist cronies. Hey, pay for flush, what a great idea.

Meanwhile as Republicans totally co-opt themselves and the nation, the courts are trying to right the wrong in gerrymandering and their state legislature are trying to attack those courts. If you did not know any better you would think this is about some banana republic in South America, although these days they are run better than we are. The White House has become such a mockery of truth and justice (lies and deceit is closer to it) and the shame is that we just shrug. If any of this had happened under a Clinton administration imagine the public flogging and impeachment. Ah, but it is President DFF and we are attaching ourselves to him and his ignorance to pass our conservative agenda that will bankrupt the country.

I love the Olympics because it is a melting pot of diversity and exceptionalism. Could we learn from that? Not on your life. It is time to restrict immigration and become the white nation. Except every economist you want to talk to will tell you if we want GDP growth we need immigration. Maybe all those white supremists will lay down their robes/ropes/guns and get a job picking fruit, you think? No, we are on the precipice of the the big fall, just as in the Bush Administration, but not derivatives this time. We have authorized massive tax cuts to the wealthy spending our Treasury on nothing, probably driving up inflation, creating and unsustainable deficit just when we should be raising taxes, we are limiting our work force, and the me only trade policy is causing other nations to leave us behind as they make their own deals.

So keep voting Republican because they are the party of self-discipline and fiscal responsibility. See any sarcasm here? The only way to save our nation is to throw them all out. No one who says they are a Republican should be elected because while they feign disdain of that fat dumb f*ck as our president, they vote to enable him and his co-opted party. Oh, and don’t blame Democrats (So what are you going to do to stop them?), they are the minority because voters through them out for this mindless bunch and there is nothing they can do until you put them back in a super majority. So either admit you were a fool to vote Republican or kiss your country goodbye. The rate of destruction is increasing as I write. Just the mid-week blues.

Chloe Kim and America

I, as I am sure millions of others, watched Chloe Kim win Gold on the half pipe. I am an ex-snow boarder (age and knees) so I was amazed at her last almost perfect run. But that is not what amazes me most and brings tears to my eyes. What amazes me most is the diversity I see from the American team and the respect all the competitors have for one another. It is the opposite of what President DFF and his Republican cohorts want for America. Think about the luge silver medalist, Chis Mazdzer, who almost gave up the sport but was helped by a Russian in an earlier competition when he lent Chris his sled. That is an amazing act of kindness. That is most of the world where instead of them or us, it should be all of us. That is the America we need to get back

Watching the Americans march onto the field in the opening ceremony was a display of what makes America great. There was so much diversity, you had no idea what country this team was from except with so much diversity it must be America. And think about Chloe Kim whose father immigrated here. Make no mistake about Republican aims, they are looking mostly for white Europeans in their immigration policies. Yes, they want to purify the country. We have no idea who will be the next Chloe Kim or the next Elon Musk. America is the country where we welcome diversity at all levels of education and abilities. It should be a country where you can be what you want to be. It is that very immigrant diversity that makes us what we are and allows us to grow.

President DFF does not get that. His demonization of immigrants utilizes anecdotal examples to his deplorable base that do not represent the vast majority of immigrants, The immigrant population when compared with non-immigrants are better educated, employed, and commit far less crime. So watch the Olympics and just look at a person and guess what country they are from. When it comes to America, you will be stumped. That is what makes us great. Let’s keep it that way and get rid of the real threat to our country, Republicans and President DFF.

The Equivalency Argument

A good friend sent me an article everyone who still has thinking brain cells should read. It is about how the Right and Left are not two sides of the same thing, but totally different animals. There is no middle ground. It is an argument I have been making for a long time, although Brian Butler, the author, makes a much more focused and rational argument. I only bring this up because I constantly get attacked as being too shrill and you will never reach the other side or change minds by calling them out. We need to listen more. The answer which if you read this article and understand it, is that there are no minds to change. The two sides are about two entirely different things.

This is important when the false equivalency of both sides do it is thrown out there. It is important, as Mr. Butler points out, when the press and newspapers try to accommodate both sides for readership or viewership. The reality when they do this is that they create a false reality of equivalence. In fact they have to accommodate the Right’s distortion of reality and when they do they simply become the loud speaker for nonsense like the paranoia of Obama and Hillary’s emails, easily proven false, but the noise was made and it cannot be taken back. That is the Rights agenda, co-opt mainstream media.

Our Democracy was based upon liberal principles of the Enlightenment. Make no mistake, Republicans of today reject those principles. Here is Mr. Butler:

Outside of the specific American context, the word liberal describes something more abstract and less partisan. Internationally, it describes a philosophical approach to organizing society that is capacious enough to include people who believe governments should provide robust safety nets to citizens, and people who believe taxes should be low and the poor left to fend for themselves. What those people share is a common commitment to basic Enlightenment-era ideals like equality, democracy, and empiricism…

Democratic politicians, liberal activists, and journalists have different purposes and respond to different incentives, but they are all liberal in that global sense. Two decades after Newt Gingrich redefined what it meant to be a Republican, it is clear that Republican politicians, conservative activists, and the right wing media have become adherents to a fundamentally different political tradition…

The job of the mainstream media isn’t to cast judgment on people with different value systems, but journalists can’t do their jobs well if they aren’t aware that the value systems of mainstream journalism and American conservatism are different and in conflict. It should be perfectly possible to apply the neutral rules of modern journalism to both American political parties while accepting that Democrats (and journalists and scientists) descend from the enlightenment tradition, while Republicans (and their allies in conservative media) descend from a different, illiberal tradition—and that this makes the parties behave in different ways.

In other words, the Right no longer adheres to the principles of the Enlightenment that is the basis of our Constitution and democracy. I have written copious blogs about how the Right does not believe in democracy at all, but in this short analysis by Mr. Butler he shows how they have veered off. There is no middle ground in these two belief systems, one based upon elites and subjugating the masses as second class citizens who should fend for themselves, and the other who believes in strong safety nets and leveling the playing field. If you doubt this think of what is happening to Dreamers and immigrants, how we have turned ICE into a Gestopo force, how gerrymandering and voter suppression is ripe in Red country. Think about how Republicans refuse to bring up votes on things the majority want. And it goes on and on.

That is why in my last blog I said we have crossed a line. There is no more argument to make with Republicans or said more fairly what has become of the Republican Party today, simply a line to be drawn so we know where the battle line is and to remove all of them from power. There is no more accommodation because if we do, we lose who we are and what we stand for. That is what this next election is about. I do not write this blog to change minds, but to wake those minds up that can still be woken, We are no longer in a rational debate. That ended for Republicans many years ago. It is just time Democrats woke up to that and entered the battle. The one thing that distinguishes us from Republicans is that we are fighting for truth and honesty. They shunned that years ago.

The Sh%t Hole That is The White House

I believe we have now crossed a line. I am sure you saw that as predicted, the White House will not be releasing the Democrat’s Memo rebutting Nunes. General Kelly apparently got picked off by his whole staff in trying to make them lie about his knowledge of Porter the wife beater. Always trust a man over a frivolous women. It just amazes me that anyone tries to pretend General Kelly is a fine upstanding man. Lazy Dreamers? Wife Beaters? Lying about Congresswoman Frederica Wilson? I am sure he is just fine with the Gestopo we have turned ICE into. We are committing crimes of severe inhumanness and we don’t even blink. Well, I do. There is a sordid feeling about our government institutions, and the number three in the Justice Department bailed out before the whatever night massacre occurs, and it is coming.

We are watching before our very eyes the Republicans, in league with the Sh%tHole White House, destroy the very institutions we depend upon. The attacks on the FBI based upon wild leaps of paranoia destroy the one institution we have left to balance executive power. Justice is lead by a little pip squeak whose moral underpinning was foretold when the Senate refused him a federal judge position. Good people who went to work for government, not for the money, but for the motivation of doing the right thing for the country are leaving in droves. The stink at the top is pervading every single agency. You want government that doesn’t work? Well now you are going to get it.

Probably the greatest failure are the Republicans in Congress not doing what the Constitution required and limiting the damage of one branch of government. They are supposed to take action and yet we watch as they join in on the game of destroy the FBI and release false misleading information to try to protect the Tyrant in Chief. One after another of the “principled” senior Senators (Hatch, Graham, even McCain) enable this rot. They have simply ceased to be an independent branch of government. This will probably be remembered as the greatest failure of American Democracy and principles ever seen and may doom us. Once the majority of people distrust government and government institutions, governing will become impossible.

At this point, with all the evidence that is piling up on us, it is almost impossible to understand, much less tolerate among us, those who support this rot. Now let me define rot. Ignorance, lying, racism, nativism, xenophobia, cruelty and inhumanness, oh and let’s not forget misogyny so on display today. And all of that was on display before he was elected. But some of the people can be fooled some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. We are into that all of the time phase and those that still support this destruction of our democracy are just deplorable. The one thing you know at this point with all of the destruction and decay spreading around us is to support this you have to be in an alternate universe where facts don’t matter. Rational arguments armed with facts and data do not matter. They are glued to Fox News. They are deplorable. I personally can no longer tolerate them. I know what they are costing our future.

Roger Cohen, who I greatly admire, has written a piece about a man he still respects who supports Trump. Now I get how he could have been fooled and rejected the same old same old from the Democrats. I get how they failed to really understand the anger and despair in the country. I get that. Maybe Trump would reinvigorate our politics. That would be the fool some of the people some of the time category. But what about now? How can he still support him? Here are some excerpts:

If there’s a main source of Kennedy’s anger, it’s that this has become such a quaint, outmoded question in today’s America of lobbyists and line-my-pockets politics. “Trust the Clintons? Not with the Lord’s breakfast,” he says.

He tells me he leans right, but he believes that every American should have a functioning public transit system (“as in Germany and Japan”) and a good national health service. He thought Obama could be “a breath of fresh air,” and was initially in favor of “Obamacare,” until it “went off the rails because the exchanges were not competitive.”

Then along came Trump. “The thing about him,” Kennedy tells me, “is that there’s forward energy. He’s like a horse with blinders at the Kentucky Derby. If there’s another horse in the way, knock it out and ride the rail. I listened to him, on immigration, on draining the swamp, on lobbyists, and I liked that. As I recall, it was ‘We the people’ not ‘We the empowered.’ ”

Immigration was an important factor in Kennedy’s lurch from Obama to Trump. While he favors the Dreamers program, which shielded some young immigrants from deportation, he says, “There are too many people running around who have no business being here.” America First was important: Too many working Americans have lost jobs to unbalanced trade deals.

Now from my point of view his thinking is muddled, not fact based, and irrational. He, I think is the typical Trump voter. And if you actually looked at policy, Trump had none and Clinton offered things he was for. But this last election was not about policy, It was about anger at the status quo and distrust. And here is the part where I part company with Roger:

And what of the president’s racism, lies, warmongering outbursts, vulgarity, and attacks on a free press and the judiciary? “Go beyond the noise,” Kennedy tells me. “Don’t take him at face value. If I thought he was a racist, I’d be off the train so fast you’d have to mail me my shadow. Respect the office of the presidency.”

I disagree. Respect for the office must begin with Trump, who’s sullied it with mendacity, bigotry and autocratic contempt for the Constitution. Still, I respect Kennedy. He’s served his country. He’s a patriot. He’s no “deplorable.” He’s smart. The Democratic Party should listen to him, or risk losing in 2020.

No Roger he is a deplorable. He is an ignorant fool. We need to call him out.  The racism is for all to see and he is in denial. As one commenter on this piece asked, I wonder what news channel he gets his information from. So no I do not respect him. He, in his denial and ignorance, is enabling the destruction of our country. Maybe you are a bigger man than I, but it must be clear to you now that rational argument will not work on this man. What is so blatantly obvious can be so ignored is deplorable. So what is there to respect? These are not differences of opinion, but willful ignorance in service of the destruction of our values. Those who associated with Trump, like General Kelly, are soiled as their worst selves come out. It is our duty to call them out, not enable them with our respect. We have crossed a line.

There is one thing in this article I did agree with though, and it is a warning to Democrats in 2020:

The message is clear. The same old, same old (for example, Joe Biden) won’t work. A whiff of got-the-system-rigged elitism from the Democrats will be fatal. A strong economic program for working Americans is essential. Look to purple-state America, not blue-state coastal America, for a candidate who is grappling with the country’s toughest issues and is strong on can-do, down-to-earth values.

On that one he is dead on.