Take Action

Ending the Tyrannical Minority


America has always lived with a minority, although we haven’t always been at its whim. The bad news is that it has taken great acts of hypocrisy, reality denial and blatant power grabs to bring us to where we are now, at the whim of a tyrannical minority. The good news is that we can do something to make this a democracy, as in: self-governing majority rule. To make that happen, we’ll have to do something different, because if we don’t, we’ll just get more of the same. Here’s a plan.

Insanity in the Senate
1. Reform the Filibuster

The Founders envisioned the Senate as a “great deliberative body,” which, I suppose, it has been for short periods and from time to time. However, that entire concept became impossible when the filibuster became a phone-in exercise. The Senate immediately became brain dead because majority rule was exterminated. Nothing controversial can get done because the filibuster makes it necessary to have a super-majority (60 votes) to break a filibuster and then to at last vote on something – anything.

The result of that is that the majority of Americans most commonly do not get what we want.

Example: 90% of Americans want universal background checks prior to the sale or transfer of any firearm, as well as a ban on the sale and the ownership of military style assault rifles.

Example: The majority of us favor pro-choice, universal healthcare and no corporate money in our politics.

All of that and far more are things We The People want, but which we don’t get because of an intransigent minority in the Senate with its finger always on the filibuster trigger.

I don’t think we should eliminate the filibuster, because that would inevitably accomplish nothing more than switching from minority tyranny to majority tyranny. Plus, it would enable extremists to cram through Constitution crushing legislation. All we have to do is to make the filibuster more difficult to initiate and more painful to sustain.

2. Make the Senate Proportional to Our Population.

It makes next to no sense for Rhode Island to have the same representation and power in the Senate as does California. The way it is now gives Rhode Islanders about 36 times more power than Californians. If you can find fairness or even a smidgen of sense in that, be sure to spell it out in the Comments section below and teach something to the rest of us.

Otherwise, it’s time to balance senatorial power. Here’s how.

There are roughly 331 million of us and 100 Senate seats. Do the math: we establish the rule of one senator per 3.3 million Americans. In this plan the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming together will have 1 senator; California will have 13; Florida will have 9; Utah will have 1; Illinois will have 4; Kansas will have 1; Nebraska and Iowa together will have 2; Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont together will have 2. You get the picture.

You’ve seen the electoral map showing that the vast, non-coastal parts of this country are red. Those areas have far more head of livestock than people and entire counties that are home to just a few dozen citizens. The practical effect of that is that they punch way above their weight class in the Senate. Good for them. Not so good for high population states or our country as a whole. Change that to make representation fair to everyone by making Senate representation proportional.

Insanity in the House
1. End Gerrymandering

It’s just a legalized form of cheating. It’s power grabbing that is funded by disenfranchising citizens. It is a way to undermine the Constitution. It is a sleight of hand that permanently impoverishes millions. It is a slimy way to make sure that lots of us aren’t represented in Congress at all.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder has done some remarkable work on this as Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. He and the committee have clear, actionable plans to end this monstrously inequitable practice that empowers clever bad guys (the minority) and dis-empowers millions of us (the majority).

2. End Obstructions to Voting.

Yes, I’m talking about the practice of removing citizens from voting roles for idiotic reasons, like because they didn’t vote in the last two elections (Ohio and elsewhere) or because they’re Black and poor (North Carolina, Georgia and Florida) and more. The Constitution doesn’t say a thing about restricting such people from voting. In fact, it doesn’t suggest disenfranchising former felons, either. I’m looking at you, Florida Governor DeSantis.

Insanity in Campaigns and the Supreme Court
1. Reverse the 2010 Citizens United Decision

In an colossal act of larceny, the Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case in 2010 by deciding that inanimate, non-sensate corporations have all the same rights that you have. All of them. It’s larceny because that decision gave corporations and big money individuals way more impact on our elections than you have. That decision effectively stole elective power from you and gave it to big money interests to elect members of Congress who would do their bidding.

And that’s what Congress does. Blame Chief Justice John Roberts for that.

Want to fix that and restore the system intended by the Founders?

  1. Write a law that allows money and money equivalents to be donated to any candidate or political party only by flesh-and-blood, actual human persons. To accomplish that,
  2. Establish by law that money is property, not speech.
  3. Establish by law that inanimate objects like corporations do not have all the same rights as human beings. Corporations are not people, Mitt Romney.
  4. Establish by law that corporations cannot do back door political influencing by means of Super PACs and the like.

This will be tricky and the process will be fraught with comically feigned and eagerly performed indignation and impassioned idiocy. Keep in mind, though, that our current system is a perfect machine to ensure sub-optimal results for We The People. It discourages good people from running for office. It ensures the continuing enrichment of already fabulously wealthy people and corporations and the impoverishing of everyone else. It underlines in blazing colors that we don’t care about the intent of the Founders or anything else other than power grabbing.

But we don’t have to be like that.

Clearly, if we want something better, we’ll have to do something better, like,

2. Reverse the 2012 McCutcheon v. FEC Decision

Prior to this case the McCain-Feingold bill limited the amount any individual could contribute to any candidate to $2,600 per-candidate, per-election, or $5,200 for a primary and general election. It also limited the aggregate any individual could contribute to all candidates in any one election to $123,200. Shaun McCutcheon sued to have those limits abolished.

The Supreme Court shot down his hope of eliminating the per-candidate limit, claiming that allowing more financial leverage would be seen as, or effectively would be legalized (gasp!) bribery.

But in a truly contorted and galactically illogical opinion the Court decided that eliminating the aggregate limit somehow didn’t amount to authorizing legalized bribery. The 5-4 “We don’ need no stinking stare decisis” conservatives struck it down, popping the top off the bribery equivalent.

Just image if Mr. McCutcheon were to give $5,200 to every Republican candidate in any one election cycle. Do you suppose that might give him oversized influence in our politics and amount to legalized (gasp!) bribery?

If we are to be a representative democracy, this decision has to be reversed by Congress.

The Point

The playing field must be level if We The People are to be in charge (as in: self-government majority rule). For that to happen we have to remove the unfair, inequitable influences on our politics. What’s above isn’t the complete medicine for what ails us, but it’s a start.

Are you feeling a glow of gratitude, what with Thanksgiving right over the horizon? That’s fine and that’s good, because in this country we still can do something to move us toward a more just nation, that more perfect union.

Wishing you a heartfelt Thanksgiving.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:

Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

I Don’t Know Whether to Believe Justice Clarence Thomas


Now it’s your turn.

Friend, activist, Witness at the Border reporter and founder of Peaceful Communities, Lee Goodman, has a facility for clarity. While I’ve been beating the drum for center-and-left-thinking people to vote for quite a while, Lee’s recent essay is the best I’ve seen to communicate what’s at stake. Here it is as a Guest Essay. All emphasis is his except the last sentence of his post. That emphasis is mine.  JA

I’ve sprinkled throughout this guest essay pics from the White House Fact Sheet on what today’s Republicans want to do to you. This looks mostly at health related issues, but the same kind of Republican “screw you” attitude applies to infrastructure rebuilding, re-shoring of manufacturing and all the great jobs re-shoring will create and more. They offer only cutting anything that will help ordinary Americans and cutting taxes on rich guys. You know: trickle down economics that hasn’t trickled down for over 42 years. This is why you can’t vote for any Republican.


During oral arguments on a case challenging affirmative action, Justice Thomas said he didn’t “have a clue” what “diversity” means. Could he really be that stupid? Former President Trump’s behavior demonstrates that he has no idea what “decency” means. The campaign literature I have been receiving in the mail leads me to suspect that a whole lot of Republican candidates have no idea what “honesty” is. Leaders of the Republican party have shown that they don’t know what “civilization” means. The new owner of Twitter, who has given the green light to hateful incitement, doesn’t care what “responsibility” is all about. An entire political party that says it is “conservative” clearly doesn’t remember what that word means.

The right wing has discarded the vocabulary of normal human relations. It is rewriting the dictionary of political thought. Things that are not “people” are, to them, people. Intimidating folks by carrying assault rifles is peaceful demonstration. Riotous insurrection is free speech. Making it difficult to vote is democracy. Refusing to accept the results of elections is patriotic. Truthful reporting is “fake” news, while nonsensical conspiracy theories are revelation.

See the footnote* below.

Can so many people be out of their minds? Are we surrounded by idiots, oafs, and lunatics? Can it really be that our the Supreme Court is determined to eliminate fundamental rights and freedoms?

It was hard enough to accept over the years that there were places in our country that were behind the times, populated by intolerant religious zealots and ignorant bigots. It is harder to accept that their worldview may now have the support of the majority.

We are not just squandering our national heritage of accomplishment. We are engaged in dissembling our country.

Actually, they want to be able to eliminate those benefits EVERY YEAR.

I have never been more worried about an election. As in all prior elections, large numbers of registered voters will not vote. Those uncast ballots will decide who wins, just as much as the ballots that are counted. On the news last evening, I heard people say they would not vote because they don’t feel that the people in power are listening to them. I can’t think of a better way to guarantee that you won’t be listened to than to not say anything.

Our country is not alone. Demagogues and dictators are plentiful. Repressive regimes are thriving. People are fleeing danger in their homelands and are being expelled from the places where they seek refuge. The upbeat stories at the end of evening newscasts of firemen giving firetruck rides to sick children do not balance out the reports of drought, floods, famine, war, and other misery.

Despite what Clarence Thomas, Elon Musk, Mitch McConnell, Ron DeSantis, Gregg Abbott, Mike Pence, Alex Jones, Rudy, the pillow guy, and the rest of the Fox News alternative universe say, there is something called “reality.” There must be “dignity.” We cannot let greed, hypocrisy, hate, jealousy, and fear-induced fantasy destroy hope.

If you haven’t decided yet whether to vote, assume that the people you don’t want running your life already have.
.

  • Lee Goodman can be reached at [email protected].
  • Click the logos for more.
  • ———————————–

“Don’t boo. VOTE!” – President Barack Obama

“Voting is what you’re going to do [this] Tuesday.” – JA

———————————–

*As he was headed out of Congress in 2004, 12-term congressman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) inserted a little addendum into George W. Bush’s thousands-of-pages-long Medicare Part D plan (which nobody read). It said that the government – Medicare – was prohibited from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Tauzin then left Congress and took a new job as president of PhRMA, the lobbying organization for Big Pharma. That gave him an increase in pay of 7,110% and ensured the highest cost of healthcare for seniors.

Extremely Late Addition

Friend Mardy Grothe publishes a weekly offering focused primarily on literature and language, always including memorable quotations. One offered today is from Scotty Reston of the New York Times that captures our solvable problem today:

“All politics is based on the indifference of the majority.”

Indifference simply isn’t an option today.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:

Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

SPECIAL SATURDAY EDITION: Aren’t You Tired of Being Lied To?


It’s your turn now.

Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade county are particularly sensitive to anything that smacks of Communism. They and their lucky ancestors fled Castro’s cruel dictatorship and now these Americans will vote against anything that even sounds like “Communism.”

So, Republicans are blasting them with disinformation, saying that President Biden is a socialist and that he will foist socialism on them, which, factually, is absurd, since Biden is a centrist, a capitalist. But these Hispanics are being lied to over and over to scare them into voting against Democrats.

Hey Cuban-Americans: Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Paul Pelosi was attacked by an intruder intent upon attacking his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She wasn’t at home in San Francisco, so the intruder beat Paul Pelosi with a hammer. He’s at last left the hospital and is recovering from his wounds and surgeries to his head and hands.

The new owner of Twitter, Chief Twit Elon Musk, wasted no time suggesting Pelosi and the attacker had a gay relationship. Then Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Green amplified that, essentially blaming the victim for the attack. Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted a picture of his underwear with a hammer sitting on it.

There are dozens (possibly hundreds) more Republican attacks on the Pelosis.  And there are the silent cowards who refuse to offer any statement of empathy or caring. They all lie and inflame violent extremists like the Pelosi attacker and at the same time tell you and me that they are the patriotic ones.

Hey Americans:  Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Brian Kemp beat Stacy Abrams for the governorship of Georgia 4 years ago. He was the Secretary of State then, in charge of elections. I’m sure it was just a coincidental that while he was campaigning that he purged the voting rolls of 560,000 voters, 107,000 of whom should never have been “purged.” Guess what color most of them were?

This year Kemp doesn’t directly have a hand on voter registrations, so he only removed 90,000 voters. Guess what color most of them were?

He tells everyone what a patriotic guy he is.

Hey Georgians: Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Kari Lake is having a time of it running for governor of Arizona, spewing multiple false statements in a single sentence. And she’s following the Trump skulduggery, recently telling an interviewer who asked if she will accept the results of the election that she’s going to win the contest to be governor of Arizona, so, yes, she will accept the result of the election.

Woe be to Arizonans if she doesn’t, because she will claim fraud, stolen election, locusts, frogs and fire. She will demand recount after recount and threaten a zombie apocalypse. She will claim that she’s seen headless corpses in the desert like her former deranged governor Jan Brewer and will threaten to make more of them.

The singing group the Zombies (the name is so appropriate for today’s liars) had a hit in the 1960s that anticipated Lake:

.

Now you’ve been told.

Hey Arizonans: Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Regardless of the other worldly idiocy that will come from the Supreme Court over Affirmative Action and the majority opinion that will be written by Clarence Thomas (because he’s Black and is pleased to be a tool), Whites are not being discriminated against in our colleges and universities. Thomas’ opinion will be just as stupid as John  Roberts’ opinion that gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Roberts said that discrimination of non-Whites was over and we no longer needed to stop racist voting suppression. North Carolina and several other states immediately expanded their gerrymandering to dis-empower Black voters, did gross purging of voter registrations and closed polling places in poor areas. Thomas’ opinion on affirmative action will be packed with just as many lies and reality denying stupid stuff that similarly hurts people who need protection from White supremacy.

Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Now this from Common Cause:

Donald Trump’s disinformation machine is already preparing to call to overturn midterm election results in swing states… before most voters have even cast their ballots! [emphasis original]

You read that right – over the past few months, Trump has mobilized extremist attorneys and dark money groups – all towards a desperate attempt to reverse any results he doesn’t like.

I suppose you can call these the “pre-lies” or “there was no penalty for the 2020 election lies, so these are pile-on lies” or “our pants are already on fire, so why not lie?” or “we don’t care if our nose is as long as a telephone wire lies” or “paving the way for more grift lies” or “deflate you to keep you from voting lies.”*

Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

It’s all they have. Republicans, MAGA, alt-right – they don’t have any policies, concern for your welfare, any notion of honoring of values except grubbing for power like pigs at a trough and backroom deals to get them money.

Seriously now, aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Because there’s something you can do to stop the right wing lying attack on America:

VOTE!

Vote for any candidate who opposes the liars. Vote against the insanity. Vote as if our way of life – yours and mine –  is at stake.

Because it is.

Doubt that? Read this.

———————————

* As Sen. Joe McCarthy was defaming a quite innocent young attorney, Army lawyer Joseph Nye Welch intoned, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Of course, the answer to Welch’s question was a firm and resounding “NO!” McCarthy had no sense of decency and neither does Trump, nor does any of his spineless followers, like Kari Lake. Their only interest is more power and more money. But you already knew that.

Note that the Mr. Cohn referred to in the recorded exchange is Roy Cohn, Donald Trump’s father’s hydrophobic lawyer and Trump’s rabid model for his decades of chicanery.

Vladimir Lenin is quoted as saying, “When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will vie with each other for the rope contract.” It seems that now as then we can be bought for a relative pittance, this at our grave peril.

The cheap lies will kill us just as dead as Lenin’s rope if we let them.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:

Fire the bastards!
The days are dwindling for us to take action – just 3 days left. Get up! Do something to make things better – VOTE!

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The 2022 Pond Scum Awards


Pond Scum Award #1

The 2022 Pond Scum Awards

Elon Musk put in a bid to buy Twitter some months ago. Then he tried to slime out of the deal when it didn’t look too good for him anymore. However, even in the face of right wing extremists constantly vaporizing integrity, good sense and reality, a contract is still a contract (for the moment). Musk and his co-investors ponied up the cash and Musk has already started the corporate executions. He did that right after his bathroom sink “look at me” stunt, apparently as if to say, “I bought it – let that sink in.” Turns out that does sink in – in a really personal way.

I have a day job delivering leadership keynotes and workshops. I do those in the lofty hope of ending the motivation for any employee to ever again utter that horrible, life sucking sentence, “My boss is a jerk.” If I keep this up long enough perhaps I’ll have made a modest dent with my Fully Alive Leadership offerings. Here’s the connection of that to the change in Twitter ownership.

David Hogg is a survivor of the horrific mass murders at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and a spokesperson for Never Again.

I have Twitter accounts for both my leadership work and for these posts, both in the pursuit of reaching more people. Nobody knows if Twitter is useful in that way, but I do know that I don’t want to contribute in any way to Elon Musk inviting extremists to spew hatred, lies and vitriol. I want nothing to do with a platform that invites Donald Trump to further radicalize violent people and move us to abandon democracy and to embrace authoritarianism.

So, this is my last post to be linked to Twitter, as I will be closing my accounts there permanently.

Will Musk lose sleep over my exit from Twitter? Of course not. But I would lose sleep if I thought I were helping to enable evil that is unscrupulously masked as free speech.

CRITICAL DIFFERENTIATOR: The first amendment guarantee of free speech has to do only with preventing government from restricting our speech. It has nothing to do with Twitter or any other non-government public platform and the speech they allow or disallow. Those decisions are no more than company policies. None of us has a free speech right to publish on any of those platforms.

A boy and his sink enter Twitter HQ in San Francisco. It’s a proud moment for all plumbing.

So, Musk can make all the self-serving, self-congratulatory claims he likes about Twitter and free speech. That’s just a disguise for appealing to extremists in order to maximize his return on his dubious investment. And if his new Twitter handle is “Chief Twit” – he picked that – well, I agree. And he gets this 2022 Pond Scum Award.

Anyway, that’s what I sink.

Adios, Elon.

Pond Scum Award #2

My pal Jim Nathan is nothing if not an excellent unearth-er of great political commentary in the form of cartoons, pictures and clever statements. Here’s one he just sent to me:

Here you see a group of self-satisfied, ego-puffed Republicans congratulating themselves like a bunch of bratty high school juniors having successfully towel snapped all the freshmen boys in the locker room. These congressional embarrassments are so very proud that the only thing they accomplished (other than all the destruction, like trashing high speed mail sorting machines in order to slow down your mail service) was to give rich guys a huge tax cut and to stiff you.

Somebody has to explain to me why middle-class Americans would want to give power to these selfish dopes. These guys are so very worthy of their very own 2022 Pond Scum Awards.

Pond Scum Award #3

Here’s another pic from Jim:

First, that’s right. Second, a generation later your grandmother didn’t fight to be in charge of her own body just so you could sit at home in November, either.

The Pond Scummers shown in the pic in section #2 above are threatening to take away your freedoms, even all forms of birth control. There’s no telling how many more freedoms they will take away from you if they get their scummy hands on power. There is only one way to stop them, to prevent them from making you powerless:

You have to vote for people who will protect your freedom and your rights.
.

You cannot count on any Republican to do that. They are unpatriotic and they are insane for power. They’re still lying about the 2020 election. They’re promoting idiotic child trafficking and cannibalistic child eating conspiracies. They are stupid-claiming that the only possible outcome in any election is that either they win or that Democrats cheated and stole the election.

These people are unpatriotic and they are insane. You must not vote for any Republican. Those guys are 2022 Pond Scum Award winners, all. Here’s why:

  1. Republicans have no ideas and no policies to tackle inflation or any other challenge. They have admitted this. They have abandoned you to struggle in the face of national challenges entirely on your own. This is literally true.
  2. Republicans are spineless sycophants of Trump who chicken out of speaking truth. They want to take away your freedom and your rights just so they can grab more power. And they spew hatred, racism and antisemitism every day. This is literally true.
  3. Republicans want to end our democracy and make this country a dictatorship – Seig Heil, Trump! That would make you a powerless peon. This is literally true.

And you don’t want any of that!

That’s why you have to vote for sanity. Vote for Democrats because:

  1. They aren’t hateful, hypocritical thieves and liars. They won’t pick your pocket and give your money to rich people and they won’t make your kids ignorant and stupid. This is literally true.
  2. They believe in democracy and will protect and defend it and the Constitution – just like you would. This is literally true.
  3. They have ideas and policies in place to make your life better. E.g. gas prices are already falling, major new job opportunities are on the way and your bridges and roads are already being repaired. Every Republican voted against all of this. This is literally true.

Go vote for Democrats, just as your great-grandmother, your grandmother and your mother want you to. Make their work and their sacrifices mean something enduring.

And the answer is YES! Pass this along to every voter you know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:

Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA

 


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Truly Nuts


Where the Hell Are You?

No, not you. The Democratic Party.

President Biden addressed the DNC on Monday and named Trump’s unpaid-for tax cuts for rich people a terrible thing. What percentage of voters do you suppose has a clue what “unpaid for” means in terms of how it impacts them or our country?

Where’s the message, “The Republicans are stealing your future, giving it to super rich guys and making everything you buy cost you more right now“?

Where’s, “These guys have fought against everything that could help you afford food, medications, gas for your car – everything”?

Where’s, “These guys have already stolen your reproductive freedom and are promising to steal  more rights and even your vote. Tell them to get the hell out of your way!”?

This really isn’t hard to do.

“Ohio needs an ass kicker not an ass kisser” Tim Ryan, referring to the proximity of Vance’s lips to Trump’s ass.

In the race for the Ohio Senate seat, Tim Ryan is being outspent about four to one by J.D. Vance and the Republican PACs, but Ryan is making this a race that’s within the polling margin of error. Here’s how he’s doing it: He’s beating the snot out of that Trump sucking weasel, Vance, and doing it all factually and accurately.

In contrast, Democratic candidate for governor of Arizona Katie Hobbs is as milquetoast as can be and is getting whomped by telegenic enemy of freedom and democracy, Kari Lake. Lake is a stop-the-steal conspiracy suck up and should be an easy target, but nobody’s shooting political arrows at her.

Other than Tim Ryan, Eric Swalwell, John Fetterman and Val Demings (credit to Evan McMullin in Utah, but he’s an Independent), the Ds don’t seem to have the street fighters it needs to win. Worse, their national party seems to be empty of compelling messages. They always bring an organic banana to an AR-15 fight.

I get solicitations from dozens of Democratic candidates and from the DNC, DSCC and DCCC, all with a hand out. Few of these guys have a compelling message to influence me to contribute or support them in any way. Pretty much all they say is, “We can’t let the other guys win,” or, “I need your help.”

That’s your best shot, Democrats? Really? You can’t deliver a compelling message about why I should support you, and all you offer is self-serving grubbing for money? Isn’t there somebody at headquarters who’s a street fighter? Can’t you ask James Carville to pretty please come help you?

It’s the economy, stupid. It always is. And now it’s about crime, Roe and democracy, too.

Everybody knows that, but not everybody knows that the Republicans have done all they could to make things worse for the people. Hint to DNC: You could tell that to the people!

Back in the John Boehner as Speaker of the House days the Republicans filed lawsuit after lawsuit to get rid of Obamacare, vowing to replace it with their own plan. The problem was that the Republicans didn’t have a plan and they still don’t. All they really intended to do was to get rid of the Affordable Care Act that has helped so many millions of Americans. “We can’t have legislation that actually helps people,” Republicans claimed, although they used different words. Finally, someone told the American people the truth about the Republicans and their healthcare plan.

Alan Grayson, former Democratic congressman from Florida, is the one who outlined the real Republican healthcare plan. He presented their plan on the floor of the House, explaining that there were three provisions to it:

  1. Don’t get sick.
  2. If you get sick,
  3. Die quickly.

That’s it. That’s the Republican plan. It still is. And Grayson beat the snot out of Republicans with that accurate depiction of what they really would do to Americans. Where are the people like Grayson now?

Come to think of it, hey DNC: What’s Alan Grayson up to? You really could use his help. Pick up the damn phone. Call him NOW!

Meanwhile, DNC, wake up to reality. Everything is on the line, including the very existence of the Democratic Party. This is a war for America and you can’t win it by holding up your new iPhone and displaying your Whole Foods discount app.

Here’s a crazy idea: Attack Republicans and their stop-the-steal, voter fraud claims. Challenge them to produce evidence – they can’t. Here’s a simple 3-step appeal to voters.

  1. “How do you like being lied to?”
  2. Maya Angelou instructed us “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” The Republican Big Lie people are showing you every day who and what they are and what you can expect from them.
  3. If you want to stop being lied to, vote for the people who tell you the truth.
Congratulations, Arizona!

In Recognition of Arizona’s Groundbreaking Disdain for both Education and the Constitution

It isn’t often that a trophy can be retired due to complete and unassailable ignorance and deviousness, but the great state of Arizona will have that trophy in it’s display case in the state capitol building forever.

The extremist legislature of the Grand Canyon State has passed a universal school voucher bill that will award $7,000 of taxpayer money for every child whose parents take them out of public school and plunk them into private school, even religious school. Apparently, Arizona don’ need no stinking separation of church and state.

Extremist Governor Doug Ducey is expect to sign the bill into law, thus making Arizona the very first state to officially begin to dismantle its public school system.

You may recall Betsy DeVos, Trump’s head of the Department of Education. She was the director in charge of overseeing and improving our public schools, but – and this is true – she had never so much as come close enough to a public school to touch the floor with the bottom of her Prada shoes. She did, however, champion eliminating public schools and privatizing all education, just as though she knew what she was doing. Regarding the trophy winning bill, one of her former assistants said that Arizona “just took first place” when it comes to school choice.

“School choice” is a happy sounding name for destroying public education, cheating taxpayers and stuffing undeserved money into rich guys’ pockets. Now the formerly traveling Trophy for Education and Constitution Disdain will forever reside in Phoenix.

This is exactly the kind of thing authoritarian Republicans are doing all across the nation. So, you better vote for Democrats. They’re the only sane, Constitutional choices for you and your kids.

“If we continue in this direction, we already know how it turns out: with a corrupt one-party government that favors an elite few and mires the rest of us in a world without recourse to legal equality or economic security.” – Prof. Heeather Cox Richardson.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:

Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA

 


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

20%


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

When I came across those words of anthropologist Margaret Mead years ago I found them to be so hopeful, a promise that good things that had been so elusive might actually come to be within grasp. Thom Hartmann amplified that hope by estimating that it wouldn’t take a majority of us to set things right. All it would take is about 20% of the population – a “small group of thoughtful committed citizens.” We can do that, I told myself. We can get 20% of us to insist upon what’s right.

Turns out that both Mead and Hartmann were right and I was wrong.

About 20% of Americans want to turn the United States into a reality denying, authoritarian thugocracy, not that “insisting upon what’s right” part I’d hoped for. Republican politicians are working at that, cheating and lying every day to make that happen. Most of the 20% is electrified, thinking they’re the true patriots and demanding what they believe to be right. And they just might get their way. That is where I was wrong, because what that 20% wants surely is not right.

The grabbing for ever more power, the denial of truth and reality and the retribution and violence threatened and sometimes exacted against opponents and scapegoats is how Moussolini, Hitler, Orban, Erdoğan, Duterte and, really, all autocrats gain power. And autocracy always leads to despotism and the people always suffer, especially through loss of freedoms and even extra-judicial killings.

It’s so easy to wheedle people to sell out their integrity just by offering the right bribe, like power, position and wealth or by threatening them with loss of all that or even with physical harm. That creates an army to promote the despot. You know all of this because you’ve seen it for decades.

Worse, the pace of deterioration of our government and, really, of our way of life has accelerated dramatically. Now some candidates and voters openly pledge to honor election results only if the authoritarian wins. Now some legislators are manipulating election laws to prevent people from voting, to steal yet more rights and to incrementally take our freedoms. Now the thugs are making death threats and committing mass murders.

Sadly, We the People have allowed that to happen. We’ve done it by failing to speak out against what’s wrong. We’ve done it by 40% of eligible voters (about 100 million in 2018) consistently failing to do the simple primary act of citizenship: vote. It’s the self-deluded who mindlessly declare that they would never vote for a Democrat, perhaps solely because their parents always voted for Republicans; or because they believe the lies they’re fed, so they refuse to see the truth that’s in plain sight. Besides, it’s easier to be lazy and not think for themselves. Or maybe they get a charge from the ignorant obstruction of progress, the middle finger claim to power. Maybe we’ve just become complacent and our blinders have become too comfortable.

The human capacity for selfishness, laziness and self-deception is too great to be overcome simply by making good, common sense. It will take something far more direct and far more muscular.

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine was right in 1775 with his “Common Sense” and he’s still right: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” And these times are frighteningly like Paine’s, as we wonder who will fight for democracy.

In these fraught times we have only two choices. One is to sit back and watch as everything we care about, everything we hold dear is lost, as though we’re spectators at a Sunday football game, watching our vastly overpowered team losing to cheaters and hobbled by crooked referees. The other choice is to get onto the field of play to help score touchdowns and eventually to win the game.

This will be hard. This will require us to stay the course for the entire conflict, especially when things seem dire. Make no mistake in understanding this metaphor: we’re backed up to our own goal line right now.

Your vote is how you “Never give in” – see below. Many thanks to JN for this graphic.

But this is no metaphorical football game. This is life and death. People will die and democracy will be lost, with not even a mention in the replacement history books of authoritarian propaganda, unless those of us in the 80% take a stand and get this right. And we better do that quickly, because the Election Countdown Clock is fast approaching the zero hour.

———————————–

Here’s What Minority Influence and Rule Look Like.

Example 1.

For an instructive look at how an enraged, vocal minority can derail the best of how we might be, read The Right Wing Attack on Public Education Began In One Elite Illinois High School, by Isabela Dias in Mother Jones. What began as an educational seminar on diversity for the nearly all White school population turned into a parental hate-fest, the likes of which, sad to say, you’ve seen elsewhere. It was so-called conservative parents (how did “conservative” come to mean “White supremacist”?) objecting to whatever they nightmared* the seminar would be. As you read the piece, take note of the projections, false assumptions and ignorant accusations spewed by these angry opponents of the seminar. And imagine how puffed up on power these people must feel. One now has a podcast. The “look at ME” value of that must be enormous. Yet the teenage students, trying to make sense of a confusing world, are caught in the crossfire.

That’s what happens when “a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” decides that tyrannical minority control is the American way.

Example 2.

“The new British prime minister, Liz Truss, has laid out a terrific supply-side economic growth plan which looks a lot like the basic thrust of Kevin McCarthy’s Commitment to America plan.” – Larry “Usually Wrong” Kudlow on Fox News.

Let’s see, supply-side economics has never worked for anyone but the rich and has just been dumped by the Brits for its immediate and obvious failure. But that’s what Kevin McCarthy will bring to us if he and the Rs representing a minority of Americans gain control of Congress.

All of that is why you must follow the admonition of Winston Churchill:

  • “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never —
  • in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in,
  • except to convictions of honour and good sense.
  • Never yield to force. Never yield
  • to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Winston Churchill, speaking at The Harrow School, October 29, 1941

* Made-up word for this occasion.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:

Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Hypocrisy Runs Deep


Click me

Did you reach out to help the United Way of Lee County Florida so they can help the people devastated by Hurricane Ian? The fine folks at Fifth Third Bank are stepping up big time, too. Read about it here.

Caution: The font in the report is Lilliputian. Find your BIGGER button before attempting to read it.


Tweeting Republicans

This is adapted from the Buffalo Springfield song For What It’s Worth.

    • Hypocrisy sure strikes deep.
    • Into your life it will creep.
    • Starts when you’re always afraid.
    • Step out of line the man come and tweet you away.
  • .
    • Think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound?
    • Everybody knows what’s going down.

Here’s what’s going down – from Mother Jones Daily of October 10:

Referring to Black people as “the people who do the crime.” Yep, that’s straight from a sitting senator’s mouth. Vowing to put Donald Trump in the White House [regardless of the actual vote count] if he wins Nevada’s secretary of state race next month .  .  . Republican nominee Jim Marchant promised to do exactly that. Asserting that abortion decisions belong to “gentlemen” state lawmakers. Step right up, it’s New Hampshire’s Republican candidate for Senate, Don Bolduc.

And here’s what’s going down per The New York Times “The Morning” of October 11:

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, attacked the Jewish school that his opponent, Josh Shapiro, attended, alarming Jewish voters.

The Los Angeles City Council president resigned from her leadership post after leaked audio captured her making racist remarks.

These guys and the other 295 Big Lie Republican candidates running for office this year under the LIES R US flag know better, just as the Republican senators knew better when they voted not-guilty in both of Trump’s impeachment trials. Those poor dears were always afraid that the man would come and tweet them away. That would be bad for them, so they asked, “What oath of office?”

Don’t forget all the Republican lawmakers who voted to kill Biden’s bills and who are now hypocritically bragging about bringing home the bacon to their states and districts.

Hypocrisy runs deep – and all it takes is the threat of a tweet.

What About Rural Women?

Republicans love and honor women, they tell us, except when it comes to being in charge of their own bodies. And this story gets worse.

A recent STAT report detailed “maternity care deserts,” a March Of Dimes term, offering some startling information:

39% of all U.S. counties are “maternity care deserts,” defined as “any county without a hospital or birth center offering obstetric care and without any obstetric providers.” And that number is getting worse.

We have “the highest maternal mortality rate among comparable wealthy countries.”

” .  .  . states with strict abortion bans have a higher percentage of residents living in maternity care deserts.”

They go on to say,

“It seems ironic that you would both create a system where people were sometimes forced to remain pregnant and forced to give birth, and that in those very same places, there would be a disinvestment in the health care facilities to care for people having babies.”

Let’s see, Republicans want to completely eliminate abortion services regardless of rape, incest or health of the mother, and at the same time leave them with no maternal care. Plus, they’re continuing to try to pull the plug on the Affordable Care Act and leave many of these women unable to afford healthcare even if they were able to find it.

  • And most of these at-risk, under-served women are in
  • rural  red states.

So, the answer from Republicans to the question, “What about rural women?” is, “We Republicans don’t care about you at all.”

Hypocrisy runs deep.

Hypocrisy Becomes Scum

You hear the lies, distortions and grievances all the time, but righties have found a new way to bamboozle voters.

The pic to the right is of the North Cook (as in: Cook County IL) News. It is an 8-page rag that has shown up uninvited in my mailbox for a couple of weeks. Despite its appearance, it is not a newspaper and it is not news. It is far right propaganda disguised as journalism.

Here are the titles of some of the articles:

[Gov.] Pritzker family, Lurie Children’s Hospital promote ‘gender and sex development experiments’ to Illinois public schools

[53rd District State Representative candidate] Vrett says his upport [sic] of law enforcement key distinction from opponent

‘Kink,’ ‘BDSM,’ and ‘trans-friendly’ sex toys for Illinois school children?

Pritzker suffocates free speech (opinion)

This trash comports with MAGA lunacy claiming that Democrats are homicidal perverts and are against law enforcement. In its pimpiness it’s worthy of a Lee Atwater or Roger Stone* scumbag award.

Hypocrisy runs deep.

But It Isn’t Universal

Have a look at Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s (R-IL) “2022 Defenders of Democracy.” The people on his list are singled out and endorsed, not because of party or policy notions, but because they, “put country over party and will uphold their oaths to defend democracy — no matter what.”

There are others like them. Seek them out, support their candidacies and vote for them.

Hypocrisy Smack Down

From Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters From An American, October 12, 2022, responding to MAGA claims that the Alex Jones defamation case was about free speech and political persecution:

” .  .  .  the First Amendment to the Constitution protects us only from the government silencing us. It does not stop legal responsibility for damage our words cause, for which Jones has been found liable. A jury—not the government—has assigned the $965 million award to those whose lives Jones harmed.”

Hooray for truth, justice and the American way!

Finally

I’ve said many times that I’m an Eisenhower Republican. Here’s why (pic courtesy of JN).

Note that this doesn’t mention Ike leading us to invest in our infrastructure, like building the Interstate Highway System. I like that stuff – so do you – but today’s Republican blabbers don’t.

My, how conservatism has changed!

——————————–

* From Robert Reich in a fund raiser email for MoveOn.Org October 16, 2022:

Last week, new video was leaked of Roger Stone in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election encouraging Donald Trump to declare victory no matter the results. He ended his speech by saying, “F*ck the voting. Let’s get right to the violence.” ª

Last month, Donald Trump threatened that there will be a revolt, “the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen,” if he is indicted. º

Weeks before that, Senator Lindsey Graham made clear that there “will be riots in the streets,” if Trump is held accountable for stealing our country’s secrets. ¨

And all of these statements come on the heels of Republicans declaring, “When does the shooting start?” “Summertime was made for killing fields.” “We’re at war!” in the aftermath of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. ˜,*

Sources:

ª “‘Let’s get right to the violence:’ New documentary film footage shows Roger Stone pre-Election Day,” CNN, September 27, 2022
https://act.moveon.org/go/168969?t=8&akid=335815%2E56840332%2Evm4I3n

º “Trump warns of ‘big problems’ if indicted, says he’d still run for office,” The Washington Post, September 15, 2022
https://act.moveon.org/go/168028?t=10&akid=335815%2E56840332%2Evm4I3n

¨ “Graham Predicts ‘Riots in the Streets’ if Trump Is Prosecuted,” The New York Times, August 29, 2022
https://act.moveon.org/go/168029?t=12&akid=335815%2E56840332%2Evm4I3n

 ˜,* “The House G.O.P. is rallying around Trump after the F.B.I. search.” The New York Times, August 9, 2022
https://act.moveon.org/go/165489?t=14&akid=335815%2E56840332%2Evm4I3n

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
.
Fire the bastards!
.
The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Mostly Serious – Part Two


This is a continuation of the Mostly Serious- Part One post of October 9, 2022.


Page 4: This Isn’t New, But

The Russians and the Saudis just decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day. That will lower world supply, driving prices higher, which you will feel every time you fill your gas tank. We’ve done this dance with oil producers many times and we always get our feet stomped on. Same thing when the gouging comes from our domestic refiners. Think: Arab oil boycott in the 70s and price gouging this year.

In addition, many people have noticed that there probably is something to the claims of over 97% of international climate scientists who say that we humans are the biggest contributors to global warming. That’s leading to things like vastly more destructive hurricanes (I know you noticed that), droughts of Biblical proportions, rising sea levels that will flood coastal cities and more.

What that means is that drilling to produce more oil to lower costs probably isn’t a good solution to anything except more profit for the fossil fuel industry companies in the short term and ever worsening ecological disasters for all of us. Good news! We’re not required to be that, hmmm, what’s the word? – oh yeah: Self-destructive.

Maybe it’s a good time to start weaning ourselves off our dedication to self-destruction. We could do things like:

    • Start a massive program to install solar collectors on every roof and wind farms everywhere it’s windy.
    • Start upgrading our electric grid.
    • Make big incentives for people to replace their gas guzzlers with electric cars.
    • Begin construction of a huge number of charging stations.
    • Incrementally shut down coal and oil fired power stations.
    • Fund ongoing research to produce better power generation and storage.

You get the idea: Initiate a Manhattan Project to bring this country into the 21st century. Sooner or later we’re going to do this because we have to; otherwise we, our kids and grandchildren are gonna die.

I’m completely serious about all of that.

“If we want to make a difference, we need to maximize our energy security, national security and economic security, all at once. The only way to do that effectively is to incentivize our market to produce a stable and secure supply of energy with the lowest possible emissions at the lowest possible costs as fast as possible.

“The only truly effective way to do that is with a strong price signal – either taxes on dirty stuff or incentives for clean stuff – plus steadily increasing clean energy standards for power generation .  .  .  “

Page 5: A Final Serious Note

Republicans are fighting progress with all the hypocrisy they can muster, and they  can muster a lot of it. They excoriate Biden and Democrats for inflation, including high gas prices, but produce not even one idea to combat it. With blithe disregard for victims of global warming events they indifferently mumble something about “thoughts and prayers.” That probably won’t help the people in Lee County FL, any more than their thoughts and prayers have helped mass shooting victims anywhere. And they continue to support the candidacy of mentally scrambled Herschel Walker because for them it’s Power Uber Alles.

From Dana Loesch, former spokesperson for the NRA:

“I don’t care if Herschel Walker paid to abort baby eagles. I want control of the Senate.”

From David Corn of Mother Jones:

” .  .  .  how much does it matter if a Republican says he or she is a conservative, moderate, or liberal, if he or she believes Barack Obama was born in Kenya, the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and Democrats are scheming pedophiles?

“The polling numbers on these reality-free propositions for Republicans .  .  . are 40, 50, 60 percent.”

“This is not an ideological polarization. It is a divide over reality and rationality.”

Which is all about grabbing power at the expense of all higher brain functions. Minority rule.

Tell me you’re getting this.

Too many Americans are sleep walking in a metaphorical democracy fire. The fire trucks are at the ready in the firehouse, but they’re just sitting there with nobody at the wheel, even as the 911 phone is screaming its alarm, the huge bell is clanging, sirens are wailing and everywhere flames are scorching the halls of democracy.

WAKE UP!

.

If you’re already awake, jab an elbow into the ribs of the people on your right and on your left to wake them up. It’s time for all of us to climb aboard the fire engine to answer the call of democracy.

All of us should be serious about that.

“The times have found us.” – Thomas Paine

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
.
Fire the bastards!
.
The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Criminals


Did You Ever Wonder .  .  .

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tells Fox News that he was grateful to have been in Washington instead of helping his constituents in Florida during Hurricane Ian. After the barrier islands off Fort Myers disappeared into the ocean he said, “Just think how much worse the hurricane would have been if global warming were real.”

.  .  . how the former Criminal-in-Chief has gotten away with so much obvious lawlessness for so long? Here’s an excerpt from Sheila Markin’s explainer, One Two Punch for Donald Trump:

Of course, the reason he has gotten away with so many travesties is that he was shielded by Republicans who were eager to use his power as president to get power for themselves and benefits for their ultra wealthy funders [emphasis mine]: tax cuts for the wealthy, right wing judges on the federal bench to protect corporate interests, culture war victories, a border wall instead of a reasonable border policy, the end of women’s reproductive rights to keep evangelicals loyal voters and an undercurrent of threat from white supremacy mixed with militias to keep low information aggrieved white men happy. Next, Trump knows how to talk out of both sides of his mouth as every good crime boss does, which allows him plausible deniability. And third, it takes time for investigations to be carried out when they are done thoroughly, factually, and investigators follow the rules which they must do to have an unbeatable case.

More is needed to explain Trump’s years of alleged money laundering, stiffing of contractors and lawyers, bribing skin dancers and calling it a campaign expense and far more, but you get the idea. Meanwhile, I find the part about his Republican shields (a.k.a. cowards and jellyfish) to be most interesting, what with the lying and reality denial. If you want to understand more of how lying became not just acceptable to, but required of Republicans, be sure to read Carlos Lozada’s piece, The Big Joke That Became the Big Lie.

Lozada defines the Big Joke as, “the idea that American politics is, in essence, a joke, and that it can be treated as such without consequence.” He goes on to give examples of the Big Joke, as when,

“politicians publicly defend positions they privately reject”

“they give up on the challenge of governing the country for the rush of triggering the enemy” [“own the Libs”]

“they intone that they must address the very fears they have encouraged or manufactured among their constituents”

“their off-the-record smirks signal that they don’t really mean what they just said or did”

Read the piece. I promise that you will not laugh at the joke.

Meanwhile, the good news is that our very own supremely bad guy – the former Criminal-in-chief – is going down in at least a half dozen really nasty ways. Be patient and be ready to celebrate. I already have a special post prepared for his first of many courtroom defeats. And that’s no joke.

Speaking of Criminals

Republicans have entered a new phase of national sabotage by threatening to refuse to fund the government unless President Biden and the Democrats reverse all their policies.

Yes, really: All!

This refusal to raise the debt ceiling is a favorite bludgeon Republicans use to try to get their way with Democrats. Basically, they threaten to hold their breath until they turn blue (fine with me) unless they get what they want. They’ve been playing this self-destructive game since Newt “Mr. Amoral” Gingrich was Speaker of the House in the 1990s, slyly fingering his never executed “Contract With America”. He and his phony, power grabbing posse acted as though there weren’t always a contract, an obligation of Congress to the American people. But there was and there is. Back then Clinton was president and he was a Democrat, so the extremist Republicans shut down the government. Twice.

To review, raising the debt ceiling (done over 100 times since it was first a thing roughly 100 years ago) is simply allowing our government to pay its debts that it has already incurred. It’s like paying your credit card bill. Raising the debt ceiling is not more government spending. It’s avoiding being a deadbeat. Congress did it 18 times under Reagan and 3 times under Trump. But last year under Democratic President Biden the Republicans refused to pay our bills and they’re refusing again this year. Are you seeing a pattern?

But that’s not important to Republicans. Their propeller hats are spinning wildly now, as are their eyeballs, glorying in this wonderful opportunity to show everyone how testosterone-y they are.

The Senate passed a short-term extension of government funding to December 16. During the week prior to that date look for a most entertaining spectacle of Republicans wildly grabbing the big gun to see who can shoot more holes in America’s foot, telling the world that we are a most undependable nation. “Don’t trust us,” they’ll tell the world, “because we’ll Trump you with non-payment of our debts.”

This is yet another example of why Republicans must be defeated at the polls. That happens in just 37 days and you are the engine that will make that happen.

Speaking of Criminals – Again

22-year-old Mahsa Amini died while in the custody of the Morality Police in Iran following her arrest for improperly wearing the hijab last month. As I understand it (let me know if I have this wrong), the requirement for wearing the hijab is based on the well known fact that the very sight of a woman’s hair can cause men to go mad with lust. Anything they might do under such a spell is the fault of the uncovered woman. It’s quite like the rapist’s defense, claiming that the way she was dressed or acted caused his assault.

Shifting to a national perspective, our insurrectionist thugs and our Republicans would have us believe that their malfeasance, like sedition, is someone else’s fault.

I think I’ve been clear on these pages that accountability – personal responsibility – is a real thing and that there is a price that must be paid for wrongdoing.

So, MAGA boys, even if you think there are elites controlling poor, oppressed you, even if you’re the most absolutist pickup truck driving, AR-15 toting, Jim Crow loving cowboy, you may not threaten, attack or kill others and claim that the elites or Democrats made you do it. You’re just a criminal thug blaming someone else for your crimes.

Hey Merrick! Make those guys pay the price.

On the other hand, perhaps we can export the “blame somebody else” types to Iran. I’m sure they’ll love it there. Maybe the rest of the Republicans will go, too. They can blame any women who are not wearing the hijab and get away with their cruelty.

Hypocrisy of the Week

“President Biden, I take back all the idiotic and false things I’ve said about you. Okay. Now that we’re buddies, how about some emergency help for Florida? What if I throw in returning those Venezuelans to San Antonio? I could ditch the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, if that would help and I can pressure Florida school boards to stop burning books. What do you say?”

Ron DeSantis was elected to Congress in 2013 and proudly voted against a $9.7 billion federal flood insurance assistance package for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. Now, as governor of Florida, he’s begging President Biden for emergency help for his state. DeSantis explained, “We all need to work together, regardless of party lines.”

Funny how things work differently when DeSantis is the one in need. Insert your own label for him in the Comments section below.

DeSantis is a “drown government” guy. Leave everything to the private sector – “the market,” he believes. I’m just wondering what part of “the market” is going to pony up $90 billion to glue Florida back together and help all those suffering people.

Required reading on this topic: The White Man’s Burden, Revisited, by Ed Gurowitz.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
.
Fire the bastards!
.
The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Campaign


Michelle Goldberg had an interesting piece in the New York Times last Sunday entitled “To Understand The Midterms, Meet Joe and Marie.” They are the Republican and Democratic candidates for Washington state’s 3rd congressional district seat and, as you likely suspect, they are quite different from one another.

Goldberg explains that Joe Kent has

.  .  . attempted a dance that’s become common in today’s G.O.P.: remaining in the good graces of the far right while putting some distance between himself and its most abhorrent avatars.

It’s like the now common, phony Republican candidate dance around abortion, attempting to mask how foamy-mouth wacko they’re against it. Then, having pulled a fast one on voters to get elected, they plan to let fly their true inner goggly-eye wacko.

In contrast, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is running a straight campaign, saying what she believes and giving indication of how she will represent the voters, emphasizing abortion rights and protecting democracy.

Goldberg uses the entire center spread of the Opinion section of the Sunday paper to flesh out what’s happening in Washington’s 3rd . Not surprisingly, the fuller reality is freakier than the short paragraphs above suggest. Goldberg reports:

Here’s what Kent [said he] intends to do in his first two years in office:

“Impeachment, obstruction and oversight. The Biden agenda dies off in the crib.”

In his speeches Kent promised to impeach

“Biden on Day One, and then Vice President Kamala Harris (‘one of the lead fund-raisers for antifa and B.L.M. during the summer of 2020’), Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.”

At [a] town hall, he emphasized his willingness to shut down the government: “I used to work in the federal government,” he said [he is a former Green Beret]. “It can shut down. It’s really not a big deal.”

Kent promised to hold Anthony Fauci “accountable” for the “scam that is Covid.” “Criminal charges,” said Kent. But what charges, I asked. “Murder,” he replied, as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.

It’s messy and awkward quoting someone who is quoting someone else, so apologies to Goldberg for my quotation mark clumsiness.

Meanwhile, you’ve just read a fine litany of the insanity and dishonesty that is today’s G.O.P. It’s a continuous loop of imagined and contrived grievances and absurd, tough guy payback. I mean, does Kent actually believe that Congress will impeach all those people? What are their high crimes or misdemeanors? Wait – scratch that last question. That was my mistake – I was being logical.

And Kent says he wants to go back to a full court press of obstruction so that nothing We The People want will come about. Welcome back to the Obama years dealing with the GOP Congress, the party of NO:

NO to all Democrats and Democratic policies, even if they’re identical to Republican ideas

NO to anything that will deal with our substantial national challenges

NO to everything that supports democracy

NO to kids being safe in school

NO to reproductive freedom for pregnant women and NO to anyone who wants to use any form of contraception other than the rhythm method

Old Joke:

Q. What do you call people who use the rhythm method of contraception?

A. Parents

Just get used to NO. If the Republicans gain control of even one house of Congress, NO is what we will have voted for.

And wait: Anthony Fauci is a murderer?

Just to be clear, having been a Green Beret doesn’t make Kent a congressional or budgetary genius or an expert on the price that is paid when the G.O.P. shuts down the government – AGAIN! – basically giving the finger to all 330 million of us.

But he’s right about one thing: Blathering this angry, baseless, stupid stuff in red and red-leaning areas, then being Jim-Jordan-Marjorie-Taylor-Green inflammatory is the way to get and stay elected. But that leaves us with having to deal with the Trump manipulation contrivance:

They spew a continuous fire hose of reality-free absurdity (commonly called bullshit) at a pace that prevents factual refutation – like the Kent idiocy listed above. Besides, their inflammatory lunacy appeals to voters driven by victim-hood.

So, how does one campaign against these Loony Tunes cartoon candidates? How can a reality-based candidate engage with voters poisoned by hateful G.O.P. fantasies? How can you even have a conversation or debate with people who believe the unreal and who wear a chip on their shoulder as though it’s a badge of honor?

These are the people vying to take control of our school boards, our library boards and our local, state and federal governments. They want to subjugate the rest of us in their puritanical, totalitarian horror show. That’s what’s at stake in the November midterm election and in every election for the next “who knows how many?” years. This is no sprint. This is a marathon of colossal duration and monumental consequences and we must win every race or everything you hold dear will be lost.

————————————

Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
.
Fire the bastards!
.
The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!

The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

1 2 3 16  Scroll to top