Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Am I Not Surprised?

Chuck Todd interviewed Republican Senator Sasse of Nebraska who kept saying the Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln not the Party of Trump. That is ridiculous and false. The 1860 Party of Lincoln has not been the Republican Party of our era for a very long time, perhaps, since the 1968 election of Richard Nixon. The Republican Party’s "southern strategy" then was to take numbers of Democratic white so called Dixicrats of the south left over from the Civil War anti-Lincoln era, and bring them over to the conservative Republican Party -- hardly the Party of Lincoln. The Party of Lincoln then, is now the Democratic Party composed of persons of color and progressives morphed from Democratic FDR’s New Deal. The Republican Party of our time is composed mainly of white anti-New Deal conservatives with an ideological belief of so called "limited government." The idea Sasse iterated was inane. Why Chuck Todd or other interviewers do not disabuse them of that notion and argue it is beyond my analysis. Chuck Todd did not. Why am I not surprised? The media falls down on the job ALL the time.

The Republican Party changed. It is now a white, often racist and sometimes even a Party stuck in a Civil War modality of Confederate sympathizers of the south. Chuck Todd let him get away with the inaccurate analysis. One cannot compare the Party of Lincoln to the Republican Party of our time. Lincoln was not in a Party of "limited government" if one can even characterize it as such. Lincoln was in an anti-secessionist ultimately antislavery Party and placed the federal government, through war, preeminent over the southern mantra of states’ rights freeing persons of color from centuries of slavery. Sasse's argument that the Republican Party of our time is the Party of Lincoln is RIDICULOUS at best and STUPID at worst. Why am I not surprised?!

PLEASE VOTE TOMORROW MARCH 1 AND MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT. VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN WIN. IT IS NO SECRET I AM A HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER. SHE HAS THE TREMENDOUS DEPTH OF EXPERIENCE AND HUMANE POLICY PRUDENCE OUR NATION NEEDS.

Melissa Harris Perry's quick departure from MSNBC



I wondered why when I tuned in to MHP on the weekends I was not seeing her. I chalked it up to time off or, perhaps, vacation. Since Keith Olbermann left and I had read uber conservative things I did not like about Mr. Griffin who was taking over the reins of MSNBC I knew something maybe was off.

Dr. Perry is such a phenomenally knowledgeable host and a necessary one whose perspective on race is much needed. In short, I loved listening to her and I loved the variety of guests she chose to sit at her table.

Yet again, I am as suspicious as I was when WGBH TV was taken over by Koch and his right wing sympathizers that I would never again get critical news analysis that this allegedly free culture so desperately needs to educate an uneducated public.

Is Phil Griffin simply the same old conservative usurper of what is increasingly skewed to the right news? I am suspecting this is the same ploy to inhale the progressive air and leave us with pollution we cannot breathe. Moreover, it is devastating to an allegedly democratic exceptional nation. No wonder we are the laughing stock of the world which in pertinent part looks at us as a dumbed down nation.

If Phil Griffin dares touch Rachel (the Edward R. Murrow of our time,) Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes or Larry O'Donnell I will organize a boycott of the station. I should anyway as I want MHP back on HER terms. It is, after all her show. MSNBC should be progressive, stay progressive and stop undermining yet another smart progressive voice!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/msnbc-will-cut-ties-with-show-host-who-wrote-critical-email-to-colleagues/2016/02/27/bce30c8e-dd82-11e5-891a-4ed04f4213e8_story.html

UTTERLY HYSTERICAL -- John Oliver turns knife in Trump as Donald Drumpf — ancestral name

FUNNIEST SEGMENT I HAVE EVER SEEN.  WATCH IT AND ENJOY!!!


Donald Trump’s original family name — Drumpf — isn’t news. @RealDonalDrumpf has been tweeting since May 2013. But John Oliver made big hay of it Sunday.

John Oliver with DRUMPF sign on "Last Week Tonight." Photo via Twitter
John Oliver with DRUMPF sign on “Last Week Tonight.” Photo via Twitter
On his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” the British comedian took Trump apart for 22 minutes.

“I’m asking America to #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain,” he said, while also rolling out a Google Chrome extension that turns Trump to Drumpf any time his name shows up. (A red ballcap with that slogan is being sold for $17.50.)

As The Washington Post noted:


“Oliver revived many popular criticisms of Trump. The candidate has no clear policy positions and overstates his net worth, Oliver alleged; he uses his wealth to promote himself as a credible candidate, though wealth does not equal political greatness; his campaign is not self-funded, despite his claims; he is racist. Yet, Oliver said, Trump can no longer be dismissed.”

“Oliver offered a novel strategy for those who wish to battle Trump: refer to the candidate by ‘Drumpf,’ what one biographer said the Trump family name was before it ‘evolved over the centuries.’ Indeed, Gwenda Blair, the author of ‘The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire’ (2000), thought it was “fortunate” that ‘Drumpf’ had become “Trump.”

Said Oliver: “Drumpf is much less magical. It’s the sound produced when a morbidly obese pigeon flies into the window of a foreclosed Old Navy” store. “It’s the sound of a bottle of store-brand root beer falling off the shelf of a mini-mart.”
Social media named Oliver their favorite political commentator.

http://www.hbo.com/last-week-tonight-with-john-oliver

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Word, or 2 or 3

Okay, with Hillary scoring a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE, HUGE primary victory in South Carolina on Saturday 73.5 to Sanders's 26 maybe some are wondering where the hell I was? I'll tell you. I was in a place that had NO internet, NO MSNBC cable TV, NO NOTHING. 
Am I having withdrawal? YES!
Here is what I would have said about Hillary's MOMENTOUS STUPENDOUS primary victory better than anyone ever hoped for I say YEAH!!!!!!!!

Am I Happy? YES, of course, I am for one moment in time when I saw local news I was ECSTATIC and wished I could have been in South Carolina giving her a HUGE hug. I am THRILLED BUT it is not over yet obviously there is a HUGE, LONG, LONG, LONG road to travel. May I humbly suggest on Super Tuesday if you live in a state that is part of Super Tuesday as Massachusetts is PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get out and vote for someone whom we know now can WIN. Please vote for Hillary Clinton a woman with HUGE expertise, experience and ability. You will not be sorry that by doing so you are helping to STOP the poison of the Republican Party and its probable nominee, Trump!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Out Out Damn Spot



Glenn Greenwald writes a wonderful piece (linked below) on the anger of those on the right at Georgetown Law School because criticism of Antonin Scalia and his infamous opinions were levied so soon after his death.

I for one do not care if Scalia died last week or 40 years ago, I loathed him and think he set back civilized politics decades; he set back civil rights centuries for minorities who have fought so hard and so long for a simple thing: the right to vote. He set back other minorities who simply want to be treated like everyone else.

Out out damn spot said Lady MacBeth at her part in coaxing the killing of King Duncan. Out out damn spot that was the cruel and reactionary Anton Scalia who cared nothing for the poor or the oppressed but cared much about those with extreme wealth. One can see that, too, by the conflict-of-interest company he kept in his Supreme Court off hours.

May he, if he has a soul, not rest in peace. He was a damnable person and a worse justice who should take his place in the house of horrors along side Justice Roger B. Taney and his 1857 Dred Scott decision ignominy.

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/23/georgetown-law-professors-complain-conservative-students-are-traumatized-by-criticisms-of-scalia-demand-remedies/

IF YESTERDAY'S PRIMARY RESULTS AND DONALD TRUMP'S WIN AT THE HANDS OF THE REPUBLICAN DISLOYAL OPPOSITION DOES NOT CONVINCE YOU THEN I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL. GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE EVERYWHERE!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Feet up -- coming out of the kitchen



"Kasich Brags That Women ‘Came Out Of The Kitchen’ To Support Him" (See link below.)

Is this surprising? Few, if any, in the Republican Party of our time have progressive written on their reactionary brains. No, this is who they intrinsically are, for which their Party stands and there is no surprise in this. One will never get from Republicans views that are apropos for the modern era to progress, to change, to move ahead creating a more egalitarian agenda and more just nation.

Republicans are stuck or, in fact, want to consciously return to a "Mad Men" era of the 1950's where men were the kings on top and women were servants in the kitchen below. Republicans want to return to an era where Donna Reed prepared the kids' lunches and gave it to them in a little brown bag heading out the door on their way to school. Dad kissed her goodbye medical bag in hand and went to work at his career. How many women did dad encounter? Few if any unless they were in traditional subservient roles!

If one turned the TV channel (one of three or four) to "Leave it to Beaver" one might see the parents heading to a barbecue; June, the mother and wife, in a dress with gloves and, of course, the ever present bunion-producing high heels; dad was dressed in barbecue-appropriate comfortable clothes. And, oh yes, everyone and I do mean everyone was WHITE. Even Andy of Mayberry living in a southern town one never saw blacks there -- not one.

This was the face of America. Seems alien to us now but it is the America to which Republicans want to return. If one was black, disabled, a woman or gay, well, one was out of luck unless born into cash, America's most valuable commodity and American monopoly's get out of jail free card. What would Republicans say should be done with human beings that are different suffering discrimination's fate? I suspect they might say as they said during the health care debate if one was young and had no heath insurance: "Let em die!" Then women -- and most all others -- surely would come out of the kitchen -- feet up sooner than our time.

EVERY DAY IN EVERY WAY DESPERATION CALLS. THE ABSOLUTE MANDATORY EDICT TO KEEP THE PRESIDENCY IN DEMOCRATIC HANDS IS UPON US. WE NEED ONLY VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT TO DO JUST THAT. BRING DEMOCRATS DOWN TICKET AS WELL -- VOTE AND PROMOTE DEMOCRATS NATIONALLY AND IN STATES TO THE SEATS OF POWER. AT THE RISK OF REDUNDANCY, YOUR LIVES, YOUR CHILDREN'S LIVES AND YOUR NATION'S LIFE DEPENDS UPON IT!

http://winningdemocrats.com/kasich-offends-women-they-left-their-kitchens-to-support-me-video/

Monday, February 22, 2016

Death of the Republican Party by Robert Reisch

Robert Reisch, the former Sec. of Labor under Clinton talks about the death of the Republican Party and is, much to my surprise, not so happy about it. 

http://theintellectualist.co/robert-reich-im-writing-to-you-today-to-announce-the-death-of-the-republican-party/

ONCE MORE FOR HILLARY

It has been asked "Who Can Stop Trump [in the Republican field]?" Answer: No one Anyone who possibly can, in reality, courts the same people with the same policies as he -- hateful, mean, anti-immigrant, anti-gay rights, voter rights suppression of minorities, a bellicose military, police and more without understanding the complexity of any of it. Is this the face of America’s Lady Liberty who welcomes the huddled masses yearning to breathe free to her shore? I think not.

I have chosen, with passion, to be an ally of the poor, of the rejected, of those minorities in our society who need help. Perhaps, I am too passionate, I do not know, but along with helping myself reject a Republican Party that would surely reject me and for all the other reasons I stated, I will support a Democrat who can win in this case its Hillary Clinton because if she wins I win, if she wins those who need a helping hand win, and immigrants who made and will make our country a beacon of freedom's light win. In the end, our nation wins. Hillary Clinton is BRILLIANT, has experience as high as Everest, she has the political savvy to do it. She will be ONE OF the most EFFECTIVE PRESIDENTS WHO KNOWS the political landscape and will not take this nation back nearly a century. She KNOWS the Congress and she KNOWS the presidency. Hillary you will have my vote. My only regret is that I have but one to give you. 

I believe the things I champion are the forces of what is good and right about this nation to, indeed, make this country great again!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Passion and Trump

It has been asked "Who Can Stop Trump [in the Republican field]?" (link below). Answer: No one Anyone who possibly can, in reality, courts the same people with the same policies as he -- hateful, mean, anti-immigrant, anti-gay rights, voter rights suppression of minorities, a bellicose military, police and more without understanding the complexity of any of it. Is this the face of America’s Lady Liberty who welcomes the huddled masses yearning to breathe free to her shore? I think not.

I have chosen, with passion, to be an ally of the poor, of the rejected, of those minorities in our society who need help. Perhaps, I am too passionate, I do not know, but along with helping myself reject a Republican Party that would surely reject me and for all the other reasons I stated, I will support any Democrat who can win because if they win I win, if they win those who need a helping hand win, and immigrants who made and will make our country a beacon of freedom's light win. In the end, our nation wins.

I believe the things I champion are the forces of what is good and right about this nation to, indeed, make this country great again!




DEMOCRATS ARE ON A ROLL. IF WE GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE -- PERSONS OF COLOR, HISPANICS, THE LGBT COMMUNITY, THE ELDERLY AND THE POOR BECAUSE THE DEMOGRAPHICS HAVE CHANGED AND ARE CHANGING STILL THE DEMOCRATS WILL WIN! MOREOVER, IF WE GET OUT THE VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT WILL HAVE A FRIENDLY CONGRESS TO FINALLY GET THINGS THIS NATION DESPERATELY NEEDS PASSED! SAVE THE NATION, SAVE YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CHILDREN'S LIVES, AND YES, SAVE THE PLANET GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE!


 http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/if-even-donald-trump-can-t-stop-donald-trump-who-n522926

Saturday, February 20, 2016

NEVADA CAUCUS

HILLARY WON NEVADA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I know

Hillary is the most capable of all. Sanders is a humorless scold but Hillary I have read is easy to get along with and people who negotiate with her like her. I've been reading the opposite of Sanders. She is my choice and enthusiastically so. I don't care what she has done in the past i.e. speeches, etc. She lives a very expensive life and must make money and speeches is how they do it. Fine. Making money in this culture is NO sin. I think she will take the presidency and make a GREAT president and will care about her legacy. I'm behind her 100%.

If I'm wrong I'm wrong but I don't think I am. We have a long, long, long, way to go and it's really only for delegates. I'll bide my time as if she is nominated -- which I think she will be -- the electoral college is what counts. She I hope has all the far west and the far east with Michigan, VA, maybe NC and HOPEFULLY Ohio will fall her way, Nevada and some others will too. The Republicans are AWFUL, extremist and the US is NOT. So we'll see. I hope I am right and have sometimes decent instincts which I do not always trust but sometimes come out as I thought. Hopefully this will and I do not eat crow as I did in 2002 when I thought Bush was telling the truth about Iraq. It was a lie but who knew? Now I know.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Nevada Town Hall

Call me biased but while both candidates were infinitely better than the circus the Republicans have to offer, I thought Hillary Clinton was MASTERFUL. Her presentation was well thought out, spontaneous and very charismatic. Sanders is as some have called him a scold and humorless. I think that is correct .

Hillary Clinton has the incredible life-long experience in government sitting in the highest forums with the most powerful people in the world and in my opinion it surely does show!

 
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/

AN ORWELIAN RULE


NEVER think there is the reality of a "moderate conservative" anymore. There isn't. There is only an extremist right nearly fascistic conservative. The Republican Party is filled with religious fanatics who want to stuff their ridiculous belief system down our throats and deny all minorities and progressives what should be rightfully ours. Tell these Republicons it ain't gonna happen because we who are progressive with our African American, Latino, Asian, elderly, and disabled allies will not let it happen.

The ONLY way to defeat the sinewy evil in our midst is to GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE as we did for the president. We are the MAJORITY because the demographics have changed and are changing still. That is what terrifies the disloyal mostly white opposition and why they institute laws to suppress the African, American, Latino and Democratic vote. They are either for us or against us. There is NO middle ground anymore.

What the disloyal opposition has done to this president because of his skin color is an embarrassment and SHAMEFUL. I do not know how he endured it for 8 years but I surely am glad he did. He is a decent man who, despite obstructionism, did his damnedest for those who had little power and did his damnedest to keep us safe the best way he knew how after an idiot Republicon in office before him took this nation to war based on lies killing thousands of our best and strongest. He relegated others to life long expensive injury. I do not know how Bush lives with himself. He broke every law of war on the books which makes him a war criminal and should be tried as such. The powerful never have to pay the price of their criminal acts so the price that W. Bush and all Republicons should pay is that Democrats now entirely take over the reins of power in the House, in the Senate and the Presidency.

DEMOCRATS MUST STAY UNITED and, in my opinion, Hillary, has the experience to assume the presidency. While I like Bernie Sanders he is NOT presidential, I have read difficult with whom to negotiate, has little foreign policy experience and will NEVER mount an effective campaign against RepubliCONS who have the money, influence and know how to defeat him. WE MUST NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN!

HILLARY, SO THE MEDIA SAYS, IS DOWN IN MASSACHUSETTS BY 7. WE AS A PROGRESSIVE STATE SHOULD BE BOTH PRUDENT AND PRAGMATIC. BERNIE SANDERS CANNOT WIN BY ELECTORAL VOTE. RUBIO POSSIBLY WITH A NICKI HALEY TICKET COULD WITH DEFT WIN. BE WISE, MASSACHUSETTS. AN ORWELLIAN RULE: ANY DEMOCRAT IS BETTER THAN ALL REPUBLICANS!!

Another Take on Bernie Sanders



Do I agree with most positions of Bernie Sanders? Of course I do BUT I am worried and, in part, wish Sanders never entered the race. It is appearing Naderesque to me and just may get a Rubio/Haley ticket elected much as Nader did for George Bush in 2000.

Someone on my Facebook page posted this article about Sanders (link below) which I think those who support him should think about. It may surprise you to read much of what the author, Mikey Hirton, thinks about him. According to him Sanders is a humorless uncompromising scold.

I suggest you think twice for whom you vote and you may reject his candidacy which can lose a race Democrats SHOULD win. Read "The Trouble with Bernie" at the link below. And then vote HILLARY in November!

http://lansingcitypulse.com/article-12189-the-trouble-with-bernie.html

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Email to Channel 7 WHDH Boston


Sometimes I am quick to criticize news media -- perhaps too quick. So I thought I will extend compliments when justified as well.

I loved Sarah French and I believe it was Christa Delcamp's coverage of the Kinky Boots engagement of two men. I must admit I did a double take because both Sarah and Christa were as charming and happy for the couple as they would be for a usual public engagement of a heterosexual couple.

We have indeed come a long way and saved many lives in the process. Many gay people have immersed themselves in alcohol or drugs or worse committed suicide once they understood the nature of their immutable orientation.

The efforts that we make to positively reinforce and normalize social reaction to those who were made different means we avoid years perhaps decades of mental anguish and suffering.

I give Channel 7 a round of applause for their broadcast.

YET ANOTHER REASON TO GET OUT THE VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS WHO CAN WIN. A REPUBLICAN FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN MERGER OF CHURCH WITH STATE IN THE WHITE HOUSE IS AS UNACCEPTABLE AS IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

GREAT Asean Press Conference

The president gave a FABULOUS press conference (linked below.) He is SO knowledgeable, so smart, so concise that I wish he were in for 8 more years. His historical legacy will be one of greatness in view of the disloyal, mean, sickening, racist boars that he has had to confront.

It is amazing he got through as much as he did. I LOVE you, Mr. President, and your successor (I am hoping Hillary) will carry on your legacy!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-scotus-nominee_us_56c39f2be4b0c3c550530723

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Originalist




Academics say Justice Antonin Scalia was an “originalist.” What does it mean to be a Constitutional originalist? It means that one reverts back to the Founders of our 1789 Constitution, a mere 227 years ago to decide cases before the Court today. It means to craft Court Constitutional opinion in the 21st century in accordance with what we think our 18th century Founders thought and wrote. Some call an “originalist” a “strict constructionist” that is an interpreter of the Constitution as the Founders of our nation had written it assuming they were all of one mind on everything and assuming the interpreters now get it right. Our Founders were, as history shows, surely not of one mind on everything. Does anyone think the Founders would have thought the nation might change its social milieu over two centuries?

I have pondered long in my politically formative years about this and came to the conclusion that our Constitution has value because the Founders knew it had to be a flexible document that could change as the social milieu changes. What was appropriate in 1789 can hardly be looked at through the same 21st century lens. It is why, I believe, the Constitution must evolve as the social climate does. Our nation and its Constitution cannot remain static or the culture can never grow and change as science, technology and culture changes it.

In 1789 slavery was a reality, as was segregation. It took a bloody Civil War to end slavery and it took until 1865 to install the 13th Amendment to the Constitution ending its practice. Women were denied the vote until 1920. Black children were treated as inherently unequal until Brown v. Board of Education said they could not be treated as such. Persons of color were not guaranteed an equal vote until the 1965 Civil Rights Act said they must be accorded it. Until the 20th century and a Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia a person of color could not marry a white person even though to marry each other was their choice. These things became possible only because social change ensued and legal enforcement was enacted to guarantee it.

Again, "conservatives" are belching ecstasies as to Scalia's "greatness." Justice Antonin Scalia, I aver, was not great. He was devastating to the poor, devastating to persons of color, devastating to a group that was trying over centuries to claw its way out of segregated schools, lunch counters and into what should have been their right to begin with – the voting booth. He regressed cultural advancement, he regressed the rights of persons of color, the powerless, gays and those who had to live in a cultural jail cell of prohibitive edict but he aggrandized most especially the mega rich with the nearly universally abhorred Citizen's United decision. He would have, if he could have, denied millions health care, doomed them to perpetual illness and most probably death. He would have if he could have denied millions more their right to marry whom they choose because of the ascribed status of sexual orientation. Surely, the Founders, 18th century men, could not have understood the essence of sexual orientation. If Antonin Scalia had lived he would have relegated women to back alley abortionist butchers of long ago. Yes, there is a place for the Federal government to act when equal justice for the powerless is denied. It took the 1929 Great Depression for FDR to see that path and create the New Deal. Yes, we have come a long way since then.

I feel empathy for his family’s loss but I rate Antonin Scalia as one of the worst justices in American history and I am thankful his viewpoint is gone. I hope no one like he is nominated by a President, God forbid, Cruz, Trump, Rubio or Bush. It is why now with purpose those who care about human rights and those who have been crushed for generations by a cruel and extreme Scalia Court but liberated by an Obama presidency get out the Democratic vote! Now we MUST as progressives be vigilant and NOT surrender our passion but increase it. Scalia and the so called “conservatives” on this Court took this nation and relegated it to a swamp of malevolence. Am I angry? YES, of course, I am and so should everyone else be who calls themselves progressive and humane!

Did Antonin Scalia and those of his ideological bent ever think what it might be like to walk in a poor persons’ shoes and to walk out of the door of one’s home a person of color or a gay person? Answer: No. That is why I am adamant, that is why I am passionate and that is why I am desperate to keep the presidency in Democratic hands while fighting furiously to try to take back the Senate as well!

NOW MORE THAN EVER GET OUT THE VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS. TRULY YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKE!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Passionately Vociferous


At first I thought, perhaps, I appeared too cavalier in my reaction to Scalia's death. Then I thought about how many minorities over whom he ran roughshod, I thought about their neutering the 1965 Civil Rights Act making voting difficult for minorities, then I thought about affirmative action being gutted as SCOTUS said we are living in a "post racial society" -- OH YEAH sure, then finally I remember Scalia, Thomas and Alito boycotting the president's State of the Union Address.

I thought these so called "conservative" SCOTUS did not care one whit about insulting the president not respecting him enough to attend, how much they hurt persons of color, how much they hurt the fabric of our nation that took centuries to change and now I say, perhaps, I was not passionately vociferous enough!

"Bewildered by 2016 race, George W. Bush returns to the trail to boost Jeb"

Now THAT'S going to help -- NOT! (link to the story below)

George W. Bush was the perpetrator of an illegal and immoral war on Iraq, a nation that did nothing to us. Through this war his order murdered hundreds of thousands (the number of Iraqis killed is still unknown,) wounded millions some sustaining life-long injury, created over a million refugees and still counting, was responsible for an explosive and fractured Middle East still exploding, and created the suffering of millions because of the ad infinitum religious civil wars Iraq engendered. There now is a permanent US military presence of eternal war there. Richard Engel, the expert journalist on the Middle East, in his new book "Then All Hell Broke Loose--Two Decades in the Middle East" reports much of the Middle East chaos was prompted by the US and other western power interference in Middle East affairs over decades of which there can be no historical doubt.

George W. Bush made illegal and immoral war, ordered torture and god knows how many other war crime atrocities. If the media does not highlight this inept man of low intellect who never should have been president and who committed war crimes galore than they are as complicit in the crimes as are the perpetrators.

Nuremberg, remember that? What was that all about anyway?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bewildered-by-2016-race-george-w-bush-returns-to-the-trail-to-boost-jeb/2016/02/12/49cf7242-d1a6-11e5-abc9-ea152f0b9561_story.html

YET ANOTHER REASON REPUBLICAN MUST NEVER BE ELECTED TO ANY HIGH OFFICE MUCH LESS THE PRESIDENCY!

Cruz Control -- worth watching

Rachel Maddow, yet again did a great job with her show tonight.  She had on a segment about Ted Cruz and just who the loathsome Cretans are who support him.  More has to be exposed more frequently about his anti-Semitism, white supremacist and the homophobic would-be murderers-of-gays who will vote for him and whose support he will not disavow. 

Is it possible that those who make up the Republican Party can be so Ku Klux Klan-like extremist and gain credence?  We must rely on a Democratic Party that is infinitely more knowledgeable and humane by far than most who call themselves Republican.  The Republican Party as it exists in our time is an embarrassment to those who would call themselves civilized!
Those who compose it are cruel, inhumane, often hateful white supremacists and nativists.  I post the link to Rachel's show that exposed the shame of our nation.

2/12/16

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show

T
ed Cruz draws support from America's darkest fringe Rachel Maddow reports on an assortment of bigots who have coalesced in their support for Senator Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination - an association he does not discourage.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Brace Yourself For The Return Of South Carolina's Notoriously Awful Politics -- Hold onto your hats



[Sam Stein Article linked below my comment]

Surprise, since the king of dirty tricksters, Republican Lee Atwater, became the dirty trickster supreme lord and master on high, Republicons, including but not limited to the famous or infamous Karl Rove from team W. Bush, these immoral hacks have helped Republicons en mass get elected to high office because the anti-human message they carried were fillet mignon to many of the voracious Republicon hungry masses. In short, they did not care if the lies they spread against Democrats and Republicons alike, were, in fact, lies the Republicons of the electorate loved the cruel message of the Party and their mantra: get elected any way possible are the rules of the game.

Lee Atwater died of brain cancer but it is said before his death he asked God for the remission of his sins. So, in Republicon land you may sin, have a come to Jesus moment, and all is forgiven.

Democrats are not excepted from mendacious tactics of electoral immorality but Republicons, as I see it, take it to a new high. So as the article by Sam Stein below states or as Betty Davis stated in her famous film "All About Eve" "Hold on to your hats it's going to be a bumpy ride!"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/south-carolina-primary-dirty-politics-ted-cruz_us_56bd027de4b08ffac1248215

GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE AND VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT WHO CAN WIN!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trump Terrifying -- By Ezra Klein

On Monday, Donald Trump held a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he merrily repeated a woman in the crowd who called Ted Cruz a pussy. Twenty-four hours later Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary in a landslide.
I'm not here to clutch my pearls over Trump's vulgarity; what was telling, rather, was the immaturity of the moment, the glee Trump took in his "she-said-it-I-didn't" game. The media, which has grown used to covering Trump as a sideshow, delighted in the moment along with him — it was funny, and it meant clicks, takes, traffic. But it was more than that. It was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president showing off the demagogue's instinct for amplifying the angriest voice in the mob.

It is undeniably enjoyable watching Trump. He's red-faced, discursive, funny, angry, strange, unpredictable, and real. He speaks without filter and tweets with reckless abandon. The Donald Trump phenomenon is a riotous union of candidate ego and voter id. America's most skilled political entertainer is putting on the greatest show we've ever seen.

It's so fun to watch that it's easy to lose sight of how terrifying it really is.
Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he's a racist, a sexist, and a demagogue, but he's also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it's hard to know if he even realizes he's lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash.

Trump is in serious contention to win the Republican presidential nomination. His triumph in a general election is unlikely but it is far from impossible. He's not a joke and he's not a clown. He's a man who could soon be making decisions of war and peace, who would decide which regulations are enforced and which are lifted, who would be responsible for nominating Supreme Court Justices and representing America in the community of nations. This is not political entertainment. This is politics.

Trump's path to power has been unnerving. His business is licensing out his own name as a symbol of opulence. He has endured bankruptcies and scandal by bragging his way out of them. He rose to prominence in the Republican Party as a leader of the birther movement. He climbed to the top of the polls in this election by calling Mexicans rapists and killers. He defended a poor debate performance by accusing Megyn Kelly of being on her period. He responded to rival Ted Cruz's surge by calling for a travel ban on Muslims. When two of his supporters attacked a homeless man and said they did it because "Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported," he brushed off complaints that he's inspiring violence by saying his supporters are "very passionate."

Behind Trump's success is an unerring instinct for harnessing anger, resentment, and fear. His view of the economy is entirely zero-sum — for Americans to win, others must lose. "We're going to make America great again," he said in his New Hampshire victory speech, "but we're going to do it the old fashioned way. We're going to beat China, Japan, beat Mexico at trade. We're going to beat all of these countries that are taking so much of our money away from us on a daily basis. It's not going to happen anymore."

Trump answers America's rage with more rage. As the journalist Molly Ball observed, "All the other candidates say 'Americans are angry, and I understand.' Trump says, 'I’M angry.'" Trump doesn't offer solutions so much as he offers villains. His message isn't so much that he'll help you as he'll hurt them.

Trump's other gift — the one that gets less attention, but is perhaps more important — is his complete lack of shame. It's easy to underestimate how important shame is in American politics. But shame is our most powerful restraint on politicians who would find success through demagoguery. Most people feel shame when they're exposed as liars, when they're seen as uninformed, when their behavior is thought cruel, when respected figures in their party condemn their actions, when experts dismiss their proposals, when they are mocked and booed and protested.
Trump doesn't. He has the reality television star's ability to operate entirely without shame, and that permits him to operate entirely without restraint. It is the single scariest facet of his personality. It is the one that allows him to go where others won't, to say what others can't, to do what others wouldn't.

Trump lives by the reality-television trope that he's not here to make friends. But the reason reality-television villains always say they're not there to make friends is because it sets them apart, makes them unpredictable and fun to watch. "I'm not here to make friends" is another way of saying "I'm not bound by the social conventions of normal people." The rest of us are here to make friends, and it makes us boring, gentle, kind.

This, more than his ideology, is why Trump genuinely scares me. There are places where I think Trump's instincts are an improvement on the Republican field. He seems more dovish than neoconservatives like Marco Rubio, and less dismissive of the social safety net than libertarians like Rand Paul. But those candidates are checked by institutions and incentives that hold no sway over Trump; his temperament is so immature, his narcissism so clear, his political base so unique, his reactions so strange, that I honestly have no idea what he would do — or what he wouldn't do.

When MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asked Trump about his affection for Vladimir Putin, who "kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries," Trump replied, "He's running his country, and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country." Later, he clarified that he doesn't actually condone killing journalists, but, he warned the crowd, "I do hate them."

It's a lie that if you put a frog into a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat the frog will simply boil, but it's a fact that if you put the American political system in a room with Trump for long enough we slowly lose track of how noxious he is, or we at least run out of ways to keep repeating it.

But tonight is a night to repeat it. There is something scary in Donald Trump. We should fear his rise.

I WON'T GO THERE

A Trump win would be disastrous for this nation not only dividing it domestically but having devastating effects internationally especially in the Arab world.  This nation is NOT the only powerful "exceptional" nation in the world -- far from it.  Other nations will not give one poop as to what a President Trump bombastically screams especially in the Middle East -- perpetual and eternal war will be reality. 

Adding to the horror of it Europe has far right wing nationalists parties which have been on the fringe post WWII but are gaining traction with Middle East refugees fleeing in droves to it and with a US Trump win the nationalist right wing will gain more credence there.  If WWII is an example of just how death wielding Europe CAN be if wingnut extremists take power then in the 21st century, if that happens, I cringe at the possibility.

This time the world is a nuclear powered one with not only Europe having nukes but Pakistan, Israel and, if the Iran deal is foiled, Iran will have them too.  Add to that North Korea and the insane Kim Jong Un, who is a force that could become out of control, salivating at exploding a nuclear bomb especially on the US Pacific shore.  THAT spells doom. 

Reality check: Total votes cast:  Democrats - 227,543; Republican Trump, Kasich and Cruz -- 164,646; Republican top five 221,606. Democrats with persons of color and the Hispanic vote have the distinct majority. 

Meanwhile, climate change is real and our planet is melting add to that a Fukishima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and if god forbid these nuclear powered nations decide to push the buttons ..... well, I won't go there.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Preliminary Thoughts -- the NH primary

A Republican CANNOT be allowed within 10 feet of the oval office and maybe not even that close. A nationalist extremist right wing demagogue Trump will kill this nation with us in it.  He is divisive in the extreme.  That is a given.

I am on board with anyone who has a "D" after his/her name!! In truth I love both of our smart very smart candidates Bernie and Hillary. Bernie waged an amazing campaign and deserves our profound congratulations.

The American people will speak and I will listen and support a humane president, a Democrat, who will walk into the oval again!

Bernie waged an amazing campaign.  His win in NH I took for granted.  If he keeps up the pace around the nation, he will add one more supporter to his list .... ME!

Stupid Marco Roboto

I feel a bit bad about entitling the email "Stupid Marco Roboto" as it does sound a bit childish BUT when the egregious statements of an inexperienced no no show from the Senate, Marco Rubio, is running for the presidency and, perish the thought, may even be in contention, though I doubt it, I must resort to childish epithets. Rubio's repetitive talking points he states over and over again about the Obama presidency are inane ... no a better word ... they are STUPID.  We LIKE what the president did and thought he was very serious!

The facts he says we do not take seriously we DO take seriously and we like them.  Who does not like not being kicked off health care for a preexisting condition?  Who does not like 15 million Americans who did not have health care now do have it?   Who does not like extending marriage to everyone discriminating against no one?  Who does not like the regulation of Wall Street by Dodd Frank after the Great Recession perpetrated by mostly Republicons nearly collapsed the economy?  Who does not like a stimulus reducing unemployment to under 5%.

He asks who thinks Barack Obama was not serious I have to respond who thought he wasn't?  Rubio, you are NOT running against Barack Obama, though I wish that were possible. 


Marco Rubio, you are a light weight.  Please, do not celebrate NOT coming in first like you celebrated in Iowa coming in third.  You look stupid!

GET OUT THE VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT WHO CAN WIN.  WE KNOW HILLARY CLINTON CAN WIN.  GET OUT THE VOTE FOR HER!



GO SEE IT AND FORWARD--LETTER FROM MICHAEL MOORE


On the most important week of Michael Moore's life, the introduction on various media of his new (and many say BEST) film, he contracted pneumonia and ended up in the ICU.  He's home recuperating and had to cancel all his appearances.  Here is the letter to me and to all on his list of friends/fans.  Since I am still mourning the loss of George Carlin, Carl Sagan and Howard Zinn, I ask you to do for me as he asks in the letter below.
 

MY NEW LETTER: "Sidelined by a visit to the ICU, I could use your help" - Please read & Share! http://michaelmoore.com/WhereToInvadeNextArmy/

Friends,

Thank you to all who have written to me about my stay this past week in the intensive care unit. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, I came down with pneumonia. Truth be told, it was pretty serious, and other complications arose. But then, five days later, I was still alive — thanks to a combination of Directors Guild insurance, two I-V drips of alleged legal drugs, and a hospital TV that only got FOX News. I was released on my own recognizance, which I tried to explain may not be the best idea. I am now at home resting and binging on the Real Housewives of The Walking Dead. All my appearances this week and last week supporting the release of my brand new movie, “Where To Invade Next” (Conan, Bill Maher, Charlie Rose, NPR, etc.), plus a special primary eve screening tonight in New Hampshire, were and are cancelled.

Needless to say, I’m pretty devastated. This film means a lot to me. To be sidelined – I can’t fly, I can’t travel, I can’t leave the house – in this, the most important week before it comes out… well, you can imagine what I’m going through. Trying to get back to just breathing is enough of a burden. To think that my film may now not reach the audience I made it for, let’s just say that doesn’t help the healing process.

Many of you have asked if there’s anything you can do to help me. I have thought about it – and, yes, actually, there is something you could do to help me.

I need you to be part of a quickly cobbled-together “army” of grassroots “ambassadors” who can do the work I was going to do this week to let people know abut the movie and convince as many as possible to go see it. I realize you haven’t seen “Where To Invade Next”, so I’m asking you to do this based upon my past work and your hope that I’ve made a compelling film that might affect change in this country, that will inspire people to think about things in a different way. I believe that’s exactly what I’ve done, and many who’ve seen it agree (LINK). I also believe this movie can have a huge impact on the elections this year. It’s won a bunch of film festival prizes, it’s made the Oscars shortlist, and some have called it my best film ever. Possibly, just possibly.

But forget all that. Here’s what I will tell you: You are going to be seriously f***ed up by this film. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. It will truly make your head spin for two hours while you “laugh AND cry — in the same exact moment,” as an audience member said to the cameras on the way out of the movie’s premiere.

Last week, laying in the hospital, I watched one Presidential candidate attack the candidate from Vermont for his ideas being “unrealistic,” “pie in the sky,” and “ideas that sound good on paper, but aren’t going to happen.” The truth is, all these great “ideas” – free universal health care, free university, free day care, taxing and policing hedge fund millionaires – have already happened in nearly every other industrialized country in the world! And I have the evidence – and the film — to prove it! Throughout “Where To Invade Next”, I invade a whole bunch of nefarious countries, from Slovenia to Germany to France to Norway, and pry loose from them the tools they’ve been using to make their countries happy, shiny places. My goal: to show millions of Americans what these countries have been hiding from us so we can catch up and be #1 again! Remember “WE’RE #1!!”? Don’t you miss being #1 and waving those big foam #1 fingers at patriotic rallies? In my invasions, I don’t use any weapons, and no one gets droned. I show how to actually make all universities free (and great); how to give all workers five to eight weeks PAID vacation (which increases productivity and betters the economy); how simple and easy it is to give mothers (or fathers) up to a year of PAID maternity leave (which in turn benefits the company overall); how in the societies where woman have achieved true equality and power, everything just seems to get better for everyone; how to reduce the crime rate by ending the war on drugs and having a humane prison system (our recidivism rate is as high as 80%; theirs is 20%); how the economy bounces back faster and is safer when bankers are put in prison; how students in countries without standardized tests and needless homework perform better than our students (and that countries which have more arts and music in their schools do better in math and science)… and on and on and on. By the end of the movie, you’ll want to go live in one of those countries. But instead, I’ll show you how we can make all of that happen right here in the USA, right now.

So, what do you think? Can you be a virtual ambassador for “Where To Invade Next”? I know you can’t go on “Good Morning America” for me, but there are a few easy things you could do right now from your computer or mobile device.

Here’s how you can help “Where To Invade Next:” 


First, go see it! Text some friends right now and say, “hey, let’s go see this Friday night!” Commit now to go to a theater that’s playing it this coming weekend. It’s opening in every major and mini-major city in the country. If you live in a place the size of Binghamton, NY, or Grand Rapids, MI, then they’re going to be playing “Where To Invade Next.” The final list of theaters will be out later tomorrow, but here’s a partial one for now (LINK).

Right now, you can TWEET the following: “.@MMFlint’s 1st film in 6 years is coming out and he needs our help with #WhereToInvadeNext! Read & RT! http://michaelmoore.com/WhereToInvadeNextArmy/

Right now, you can FACEBOOK the following: “Michael Moore’s 1st film in 6 years is coming out and he needs our help with #WhereToInvadeNext! Read & Share! http://michaelmoore.com/WhereToInvadeNextArmy/

At the bottom of this letter is the hi-res version of the film’s poster! Feel free to send it around, post it on your social media, download it and print up some flyers, or use it graphically any way that you want.
 

Send the trailer to everyone on your contact list: (https://youtube.com/watch?v=r4JJvfrkH3M)

Over the next few days I’ll send you other things you can do, like organizing screening parties for this weekend, sending me photos from your theater that I can post, and sharing with your friends exclusive clips from the film which I’ll send you.

If a few thousand of you suddenly became champions and ambassadors for “Where To Invade Next”, then maybe we can pull this off. I certainly would be forever in your debt. Thanks for being there for me.

All my best,
Michael

P.S. – Please forward this letter to everyone! Or share it on Facebook. Here’s the hi-res poster:

Monday, February 08, 2016

5 Myths (And One Big Truth) About Hillary's 2002 Iraq War Vote

Hillary will get my vote because  she is the MOST qualified for the job bar none. The others and, yes, including Sanders, are minor league compared to her and the Republicons are in a league of their own -- called the STUPID league!  See article below.

Jeffrey Marburg-Goodman.


Although Hillary Clinton has many advantages in the current Presidential campaign (advantages of policy, programs, and, yes, personality) surely her greatest strength vis-à-vis her principal primary opponent is in the area of foreign and global policy--including matters of war and peace, global development and economics, our war against terrorism, and even climate change and preserving the environment. This writer believes that the success of the next President in dealing with these issues will define her or his legacy; indeed the survival of the human race may well turn on how these issues are handled over the next eight years.

In the face of Secretary Clinton's undisputed strength in these areas, when Bernie Sanders is asked how his experience measures up to hers in the "Commander In Chief" category, he invariably comes up with a single Talking Point.
Unfortunately that Talking Point, presented in Bernie's shallow vernacular, simply isn't true. It usually goes something like this:
The key foreign policy vote in modern American history was the 2002 vote as to whether we should go into Iraq. I made the decision not to go to war. Hillary Clinton on the other hand, voted for the war...
Like many simplistic and "sound bite" arguments of the modern era, and of Sanders in particular, the argument that Hillary Clinton supported the war George W. Bush prosecuted in Iraq is nonsense. This falsehood can be broken down into five sub-myths.

Myth #1: The 2002 Congressional Resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq, on which Hillary Clinton and a large majority of U.S. Senators voted yes, gave George W. Bush "carte blanche" to pursue war against Saddam Hussein.

False! In fact exactly the opposite is true: While that Resolution did indeed authorize President Bush, under strict requirements of the 1973 War Powers Act, to use force, Section 3(b) of the Act also required that sanctions or diplomacy be fully employed before force was used, i.e. force was to be used only as "necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq," and to do so only upon the President certifying to Congress that "diplomatic or other peaceful means" would be insufficient to defang Saddam.

Despite those legal conditions, the following year we were at war--and millions of us were astonished that the Bush Administration, running roughshod over Congress's requirements, hadn't given more time for U.N. inspectors to complete their job of searching for weapons of mass destruction.

Myth #2: By voting for the 2002 Congressional Resolution which authorized (but was also designed to limit) George Bush's power to wage war in Iraq, Hillary Clinton cannot be considered a "progressive" Democrat.

False! On October 11, 2002, Clinton joined a strong majority of Democrats, including liberal and left-center Democrats like Tom Harkin, John Kerry, and Joe Biden, in voting in favor of the Resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. Later on, Clinton came to deeply regret giving President Bush the benefit of the doubt on the Resolution, and she has plainly admitted her mistake. Yet it is a "mistake" which many other senators of conscience made with her; if Clinton bears any blame for the resulting war, it is because she placed too much reliance on legislation that was actually designed to check a president's war-making ability but instead inadvertently gave that president cover to run roughshod over the interests of both Congress and the public at large.

Myth #3: At the time of her vote, Clinton was very supportive of going to war in order to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

False! While Clinton quickly turned against the war, another piece of "lost history" is the deep concern she expressed at the very time of her vote in the fall of 2002. Given the Resolution's several prerequisites to waging war, Clinton's vote was for a Resolution that was also supposed to restrain the President's ability to wage war, and her 2002 floor speech leading up to consideration of the Resolution made this clear:
My vote is not a vote for any new doctrine of preemption or for unilateralism or for the arrogance of American power or purpose, all of which carry grave dangers for our Nation, the rule of international law, and the peace and security of people throughout the world.
These words presaged the doctrine of "smart power" Clinton later espoused as Secretary of State. Her vision is neither interventionist on the one hand nor hesitant and supine on the other, but rather something in between: a belief that the United States is the indispensable leader--in a troubled world where such leadership matters--but a belief still grounded in reality, the limits of American power and, perhaps most significantly, the importance of collaboration with like-minded actors who can be found in every corner of the globe. Meanwhile, as Clinton has said many times, then as now, armed intervention is only to be used as a last resort.

Myth #4: At the time of the 2002 vote, the "architecture" of George Bush's Presidency was well understood, including a philosophy and history of carrying out pre-emptive wars.

False! In 2002, Clinton palpably feared a precipitous rush to war, but was willing to trust a leader who at the time was only in the second year of his presidency, having just suffered the most calamitous attack on the homeland since Pearl Harbor--and, notably, whose only international venture up until then was a widely applauded campaign to overthrow the Taliban in Al Qaida's sanctuary of Afghanistan. While it was already well known that Bush had neocon advisers like Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, the true extent of their influence had not yet been manifested. (Colin Powell was also an important adviser and George W. was, after all, George H.W. Bush's son.)

Myth #5. Hillary Clinton's vote belies support for an "Imperial Presidency" that brooks no dissent, and disrespects Congress and other partners, foreign or domestic.

False! To the contrary, one of the reasons Hillary Clinton is so well qualified to be president is because she deeply respects the rule of law and, in particular, appropriate Congressional prerogatives and the Constitutional principle of checks and balances. (Indeed, this is precisely why she voted the way she did on the 2002 Iraq Resolution.) In this vein, she is also uniquely capable of reaching across the aisle to forge common-sense solutions, a "progressive who delivers results," as she says.

One big truth: Hillary Clinton possesses another, singular, quality: she has the capacity to learn from the hard lessons that our Iraq adventure taught us, including from the misplaced trust she and others conferred on an Administration that brought so much grief to this country. She has said as much in her memoir, Hard Choices:
As much as I might have wanted to, I could never change my vote on Iraq. But I could try to help us learn the right lessons from that war and apply them to Afghanistan and other challenges where we had fundamental security interests. I was determined to do exactly that when facing future hard choices, with more experience, wisdom, skepticism, and humility.
It is clear that Hillary Clinton is a candidate for president who has learned from the lessons of history, and is capable of applying them to the future; in fact this quality is a critical ingredient of great leadership.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Republicon debate??? Startling incompetency

The Republican "debate" last evening was the MOST RIDICULOUSLY incompetent debate ever held from the moment that candidates did NOT turn up their hearing aids and come to the podium when announced. It was embarrassing and was the most unprofessionally controlled debate I have ever seen.  The candidates were seen by the national audience behind the scenes not knowing what to do when introduced with some candidates skipping over others and Carson and Trump who were just standing there behind the curtain not knowing their name was called. There were empty podiums.  It was embarrassing for ABC and the National Review moderating. A first year Emerson student could have done a better job. I could have done a better job.

It was simply AWFUL and if you did not see it wait until you hear the candidates STUPIDITIES and the all important Superbowl predictions. Rubio, if this is a fair contest, should be the LOSER. He lost it when Christie attacked him and he looked like a deer in the headlights answering with the stock answers he always uses.  He answered another question with a non-sequitur.  Early dementia anyone or simply nervous?  Hand that man a glass of water!

The Republican candidates are all startling incompetent.  The "debates" are content thin.  Hell they are content non-existent.  If the country picks anyone of these incompetent fools president this nation is in DEEP trouble!  The Democrats in their debate look like Ph.D.'s.  The Republicans look like they never receive a high school diploma!

I AM NOT GOING TO END WITH A DIATRIBE ABOUT GETTING OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE.  IT IS OBVIOUS IF YOU WATCHED THE REPUBLICAN SO CALLED DEBATE!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

A Dickensian Name—“Madoff” an enigmatic tragedy

If the great master, Charles Dickens, were alive I do not think even he could ascribe an appellation to a person that would fittingly characterize the very essence of the anti-hero as does the name Madoff.  Yes, Bernie Madoff, the man who single handedly pulled off the greatest Ponzi scheme in history and fraudulently MADE OFF with so many innocents’ money which he laundered to the tune of 65 Billion, yes, with a “B” bucks. 

Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner pulled off, I think, one of the greatest acting efforts of their careers.  Their portrayals of a man and his wife were picture perfect.  I urge you if you have not seen “Madoff” look it up on the ABC web site or search your cable network to see if it will be broadcast again.  Understatedly, it is a docudrama fit for our time.

I kept wishing there were a film group dedicated to the analysis of this portrayal of Madoff because there are so many topics of human nature including greed, narcissism and the intrinsic sickness of anarchistic capitalism gone wild that are worthy of discussion.  Moreover, there are other films such as Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Match Point,” The Coen Brothers “A Serious Man” “Wall Street” and yes, even Holocaust films that speak to the moral lengths and extremes a person can and will go to serve his own ends or conversely to protect others even at his own expense.

The story of “Madoff” is so complex that I decided to choose three topics that I think speak to not only his life but to all of our lives albeit to our nation’s life as well.
 
PSYCHOLOGY

The immediate question posed by Madoff’s wife, Ruth, who was allegedly ignorant of his deeds, is why.  Why and how could a man wearing a better angels of his nature mask in reality be quite the opposite?  He was. I believe, motivated to commit this heinous theft because it was, in reality, who he was or more accurately how he felt.  Combine his childhood where he witnessed the humiliation of his ne’er-do-well father and his bankruptcy that made young Madoff vow he would never experience that humiliation again with his feelings of inferiority at not being admitted to the best Ivy League schools as those elite with whom he shared the playground of his life that acted as the “On” switch for his narcissism with its attendant massive inferiorities.  They were the catalyst for his moral turpitude including the betrayal of all who loved him.  The sum of Madoff was that he, in essence, did not love himself.
 
ECONOMIC
 
If it were not for the Great Recession of 2007 the fall of Bernie Madoff probably never would have happened.  He ran, for thirty years, a Ponzi scheme that capitalized on his good name as chairman of the NASDQ.  He ran his legitimate business on the 19th floor and the Ponzi scheme where few were admitted from the 17th. 
 
As defined by Wiki: "A Ponzi scheme is a special kind of fraud. It is based on a fake investment to which one schemer (or group of schemers) gets other people to give money.
 
In Ponzi schemes, the schemer basically says, "I found a great way to make money fast. The more you give me, the more I can invest in that cause, and the more I can earn for us all." But a Ponzi scheme doesn't actually "earn money."  Instead, all of the scheme's money comes from the investors.
 
Once a Ponzi scheme gets too many investors, the system will always crash. This is because the investors all expect more money than they invested, and they will get impatient.
 
These schemes always stop one of three ways:

1.     The schemer runs away with the money they got. This is what schemers try to do.

2.     The schemer runs out of money; they will be unable to promise money back right away. This is called liquidity, and makes investors panic and demand their money back, often all at once.

3.     Authorities find out about the scheme and stop it."
 
Madoff fell victim to number 2 because the US stock market, economy and big banks fell and his investors wanted their money.  When he could not pay out billions he fell.
 
Madoff said one truism: His Ponzi scheme took 60 billion while the US banksters took the government and the world for TRILLIONS!  In other words, Wall Street, one big Ponzi scheme, dripping in sub-prime bad loans, pension frauds, credit default swaps and ratings fraud got away with it, got bailed out and, worse, the CEO's received bonuses.  Yet Madoff was the only man who is jailed for his scheme and probably would have avoided his legal nightmare if so many were not calling in their investments due to the frightening investment milieu of the 2007 Great Recession.  Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), doncha know.
 
RELIGION AND MORALITY
 
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive" -- Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”
 
When Madoff’s brother visits his rabbi asking him questions about sin – little sins and big ones – we assume he at least questions something of what his brother has done and his implication in it and, perhaps, feels guilt. 
 
What do the major religions teach us?  Rabbi Hillel when asked to sum up Judaism said:  “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others. That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary.”  Christianity teaches “Do unto others as you would have others do unto to you.”  Do not bear false witness is the Ninth Commandment. 
Michael Douglas, though, in “Wall Street” says “Greed is good” but is it if it allows one to run rough shod over others ruining them to aggrandize oneself?
 
In an IDBM summary of Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” “Judah Rosenthal played by Martin Landau is an ophthalmologist and a pillar of the community who has a big problem: his mistress Dolores Paley has told him that he is to leave his wife and marry her - as he had promised to do - or she will tell everyone of their affair. When he intercepts a letter Dolores has written to his wife Miriam, he is frantic. He confesses all to his shady brother Jack who assures him that he has friends who can take care of her (kill her) and he does.”  Judah is besieged with guilt but time mutes it.  Why should time mute such an immoral act?
 
Bernie Madoff, as he steps into his new home, a jail cell, thinks of his wife only insofar as she will miss him.  He says nothing about missing her.  He even bathes in the adoration of his cell mates who, he says with pride, ask his opinion on stocks.  He loses his two sons one to cancer and one, Mark, to suicide unable to continue with life as a Madoff despite his innocence.  Does Bernie feel guilt for that?  Does Bernie feel guilt for bilking charities out of millions?  Worst of all he defrauded the symbol of the Holocaust itself and a nearly sacred figure to Jews, Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, the paragon of morality. 
 
“Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.” Genesis 4:8.  The banality of evil writes the great Hanna Arendt about the ordinariness of those who perpetrated the “final solution” killing six million innocent human beings.  How can an act so monstrous be banal – that is ordinary?  Madoff was an ordinary man who committed monstrously unordinary acts ruining not only those who entrusted their fortune to him but his family who was dragged into the sewer with him. 
 
A question most apropos for our time – Bernie Madoff, in Dickensian form, made off with fortunes that were not his to take, ruined lives he had no right to ruin and stole the futures of those he had no right to steal.  The story of "Madoff" is an enigmatic tragedy so complex that it speaks to not only his life but to all of our lives albeit to our nation's life as well. It should give us pause to ask is this the nation we truly want to be.  Or is there another way where, as Martin Luther King said, "... justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream."

Madeleine Albright Slams Sanders on Foreign Policy While Supporting Clinton

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/madeleine-albright-slams-sanders-foreign-policy-while-supporting-clinton-n512781

Lead Test Results Confirm Worst Fears for Flint Family--please read

Yet another sin (scroll below) from an immoral rancid Republican Governor Synder of Michigan who needs to wear an orange suit in jail for committing mayhem on mostly poor persons of color in Flint, Michigan while that rotten BEAST distributed clean water to his staff because he knew about the lead poison. He should be sentenced too to drink the lead laden water, take a bath and then then drown in it.  This is what one gets when one elects Republicans. They lure you in with their lies and patriotic bull but they are NOT patriots they are racist murderers!

THIS IS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO GET THESE CORRUPT REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE.  GET OUT THE VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS WHO CAN WIN EVERYWHERE.  TO SEE WHY READ THE STORY BELOW.

Flint Water Crisis

Dana Brock, 3, and his mother, Denettra Brown. Hannah Rappleye
Deep down, the Brown family knew the water that had flowed through the pipes in their home in Flint, Michigan — the water that 3-year-old Dana had been drinking for months before anyone was warned — probably contained toxic lead.
This week, they got test results that confirmed their fears.

Water Defense, the anti-fracking and safe-water activist group headed by actor Mark Ruffalo, collected samples from Oscar and Elizabeth Brown's home last weekend and brought them to an independent lab in Cincinnati for analysis. 
 
Lead pipes in Flint, Michigan not being removed, children being tested 0:35
 
The results, which the group shared with NBC News, show that the water coming out of the kitchen faucet, where a filter was installed after state officials finally confirmed the lead crisis this fall, didn't contain any of the heavy metal.

But a sample of the water from the bathtub, which is unfiltered, contained 16 parts per billion, higher than the threshold of 15 ppb that federal regulators say is the point at which a water system must take action to protect public health. 
 
"I'm over it. I really just want to leave," said Denettra Brown, who is Oscar and Elizabeth's great-granddaughter and lives in the house with her son, Dana, who is suffering from unexplained health problems.

"I'm tired of crying, I'm tired of my head hurting, I'm over it...Something needs to be done."

The amount of lead in the tub water exceeded the federal limit even though the city is no longer using the water from the Flint River that corroded pipes and leached lead into the system.

Flint switched back to using water from Detroit in October, and has been adding phosphates to its water since Dec. 9 to build up a protective layer in the decayed pipes and seal in any lead, but it's unclear how long it will take for that to be fully effective.

In the meantime, some pipes are depositing more lead in the water than the filters are rated to handle, officials have said. Pregnant women and children are being told to only drink bottled water unless their home has been tested and declared safe.
The results from Water Defense's tests in the Brown house don't tell the family how much lead might have been in the water at the peak of the crisis — before the switch away from river water and before the phosphates were added.

"If we're finding concerning and dangerous levels now, God knows what the lead levels really were before," said Scott Smith, chief technology officer for Water Defense, who collected the samples from the Brown home. "And all of that lead is in human bodies."

Dana began having health problems more than a year ago: seizures, which can be a symptom of lead-poisoning, and rotting teeth, another possible sign. Despite two hospitalizations and an MRI, doctors were unable to diagnose him.
Elizabeth and Oscar Brown and their granddaughter Denettra and great-grandson Dana live in a Flint house with a lead service line and fear the 3-year-old has been poisoned.

His mother wants Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose early warnings about elevated lead tests in children were initially brushed off by government officials, to test Dana for lead poisoning. But since it's been weeks since he consumed any lead-tainted water, those results might not tell the family how badly he was exposed or whether his medical issues are related.

Denettra Brown said she doesn't want to bathe Dana in the water, even though health officials say that's safe and that there is no proven link to reports of rashes.
Mostly, she feels trapped in Flint, where 40 percent of families live below the poverty line. Money is coming into the city for bottled water, filters, testing and health care, but Brown says what would really help her is relocation assistance.
"I can't afford to leave and get a car and insurance," she said. "It's like I'm just stuck here in this mess. I have no choice but to stay."