Archive for category This Blog

Hold Onto Your Hats Kids . . . It’s Going to Be a Whirlwind Ride

Very soon, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Cory Booker, Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are going to be barnstorming the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

It’s going to be a sight to see.

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz submits her resignation as DNC chair

’bout damn time.

Although her resignation is being driven by the wikileaks revelations that the DNC was in the bag for Hillary (a long standing assertion), for the real issue has been her general ineffectiveness as the party chair.  I’ve never felt she was an effective representative for the party at a national level.  Her appearances on the national news often left me feeling frustrated.

Donna Brazile will be serving as interim chair. From what I’ve seen of her, Brazile is going to be very effective in that role.

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Leonard Pitts on the RNC: That was Ugly

Money quote:

This gathering made one thing clear, if it had not been already. The battle between left and right is no longer a contest of ideas, no longer about low taxes versus higher ones, small government versus big government, intervention versus isolation. No, the defining clash of our time is reason versus unreason, reason versus an inchoate fear and fury growing like weeds on the cultural, class, religious and racial resentments of people who cling to an idealized 1954 and wonder why the country is passing them by.

The Republicans, as presently constituted, have no ideas beyond fear and fury.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article91388022.html#storylink=cpy

 

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HRH Hillary Rodham Clinton Takes Progressives For Granted

Hillary on the Iron Throne

All hail Hillary of the House Clinton, First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mhysa, Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons. Oh wait, that’s not her, that’s Dany on “Game of Thrones.” BTW Season 6 of GoT was awesome– Winter isn’t coming, it has arrived!

What has Hillary Clinton learned from more than a year of being yelled at by anguished progressives, worried about the disappearing American middle class and endless warfare? Answer: Nothing whatsoever. Winter is coming for neoliberalism, and Hillary just doesn’t get it.

Bill Scher on Politico:

She has in hand the endorsement of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. She has the terrifying prospect of a President Donald Trump, who might be described as anti-progressive, as the ultimate foil…

…She’s not sweating the Green Party’s Jill Stein or the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson—who have been registering respectable poll numbers but combined have been drawing about the same proportion from the two major party candidates. She’s not nervous about the prospect of rogue Sanders delegates making a symbolic protest on the convention floor. She doesn’t believe she is going to lose enough of the left on Election Day to make a difference in the outcome.

Whether such confidence is justified is not crystal clear when looking at the most recent poll numbers. The most recent CNN poll finds Clinton keeping only 57 percent of Sanders voters, with 23 percent going to Johnson, 12 to Stein and five to Trump. Johnson and Stein are taking a combined 12 points in Saturday’s Real Clear Politics average.

I think Hillary actually believes she can pick up votes from anti-Trump Tea-GOPers. That’s crazy, because those are the people giving her such high negative ratings. She probably thinks identity politics will provide the winning margin, like it did for President Obama. She may know she has driven away progressives and independents, whose support she doesn’t seem to want anyway.

All in all an epic political miscalculation. This is going to be a close election, even though it really shouldn’t be. If the Dems nominated Bernie Sanders instead, it wouldn’t be. See below for Samantha Bee’s hilarious take on Tim Kaine for VP.

Next week’s convention is going to be interesting.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The RNC Convention: Fear, Unreasoning Terror, and more Fear

I wish Molly Ivins were around. In response to the 1992 Republican convention speech given by Pat Buchanan, she quipped “it probably sounded better in the original German.” She would have had a great, pithy response to last night’s speech from Donald Trump.  All I’ve got is “Mussolini’s delivery was better.”  Trump reminds me of Il Duce

The entire week at the RNC was a week of fear, unreasoning terror and more fear topped off by a surreal, incoherent rant delivered by a wannabe strongman intent on stoking our fears.

It was a horror show. It was also an honest representation of how Republicans would govern – chaos, disorganization, and a fundamental lack of competence.

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Apparent Attack in Nice – 30 (or more) dead

Just so we’re clear – no God worthy of human worship demands this of their followers.  If someone claims to do this in the name of God, they’re liars.

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White Christian America’s Weird Embrace of Donald Trump

I’m not sure I agree with everything in this article, but there’s some good stuff here. The central insight seems to be that the traditional, protestant America defined itself by race and exclusion of non-protestants and that version of America is gone.  Trump is promising to restore it.

Jones’s book convinced me that white Christian America didn’t just die a natural death, thanks to demographic change; it is committing suicide, by clinging to that seductive yet toxic modifier “white.” It would seem that Donald Trump is helping it along, as it trades adherence to its supposed moral values for nostalgia about an age that many Christians now believe was immoral in its cruelty and inequality. Still, as they fade into the past, these embattled Americans can still endanger our emerging multi-religious, multiracial communities. If Trump loses, as most polls indicate he will, it’s hard to imagine them admitting they’re wrong and trying to join the rest of the country. But if God works in mysterious ways, maybe that’s still possible.

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The Dallas Shooting Is Not the Fault of Black Lives Matter

Teabagistan has rushed to blame Black Lives Matter for the shooting. And the media has helped with clumsy reporting (tying the protest to the shooting).

Let’s be clear. The Black Lives Matter protest was happening. The shooting happened at the same time. They first did not cause the second.

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Is The Brexit an Example of What Happens When the Established Meets the Emergent?

In his book Leading From the Emerging Future, Otto Scharmer identifies 8 structural disconnects that are currently distorting our decision making, which result in collectively creating results no one actually wants.  He observed:

The current system produces results that nobody wants. Below the surface of what we call the landscape of social pathology lies a structure that supports existing patterns.

The 8 disconnects are: Read the rest of this entry »

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Creating Outcomes No One Wants

I’ve written about this dynamic before – as a nation we are collectively creating outcomes no one wants.  The rise of Donald Trump has filled me with genuine horror. As political dysfunction deepens, the more “outsider” candidates like Trump attract support from a segment of population.

In a lengthy article at The Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch calls it the “Chaos Syndrome.” Rauch’s thesis is an extended metaphor about the immune system; he argues that the traditional political structures of American government and politics were an immune response to irresponsible politicians.  In recent decades, those structures have been eroded to the point that they no longer function to protect the body politic.  A key weakness in our system is a lack of a means by which politicians can be held accountable by one another for unacceptable behavior – in the British parliamentary system, an MP who behaves badly can be removed from office by their party. Our system provides no such remedies so a politician who can win a majority in their state or district can hold office even if every word and action embarrasses the party itself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Louie Gohmert is the dumbest man in Congress *(and that’s saying something)

As the Dems sit in reached an emotional peak yesterday, Gohmert approached Democratic Rep. Corinne Brown and shouted “Radical Islam” at her. Brown represents Orlando.

Gohmert, like lots of right wingers, has decided to take Omar Mateen’s declaration that he was working of ISIS seriously and has decided that means he was a terrorist rather than a deeply fucked up person whose denial of his sexual orientation drove him to madness.

As I write this, the sit in continues with Democrat after Democrat making impassioned speeches concerning efforts to end gun violence.  The parties are not the same.

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Is President Obama Going to Do This?

Bears Ears
Bears Ears buttes, Elk Ridge, San Juan County Utah

The Bears Ears National Monument proposal has been on the table since last year. There is some speculation that President Obama is readying a proclamation, despite a dire warning from Senator Orrin Hatch that it could result in an armed confrontation similar to the one at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

The monument proposal stands on its own considerable merits. Adequate protection of the area, particularly the archaeological sites of Cedar Mesa, is long overdue. A recent poll found 71 percent of Utahns support the Bears Ears monument. Additionally, Utah politicians could stand to benefit from a well-timed reminder that we the people own our public lands, not the corporations.

Rep. Chris Stewart recently tacked an amendment onto the Interior Appropriations Bill, seeking to prohibit new national monuments in Utah.

Meanwhile, the Utah Test and Training Range Act land grab has been quietly incorporated in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act.

The Utah land grab agenda also includes Rep. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz’ Public Lands Initiative (PLI), nicknamed the “Plundered Lands Initiative” by conservation groups. The representatives are still threatening to introduce this corporate-friendly development bill in Congress.

Gov. Gary Herbert is still proceeding with a threatened lawsuit aimed at seizing 30 million acres of our Utah public lands, a doomed gesture that may cost us $14 million.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Despite the controversial 1996 proclamation by the Clinton administration, the GSENM is thriving today. Let’s hope President Obama is willing to counter the anti-public-lands Utah politicians with a resoundingly popular monument proclamation this summer.

More info:
U-Turn Utah (Center for Western Priorities)
Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition
Friends of Cedar Mesa
New York Times editorial: Monuments for Future Generations

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