democracy

Let Me Simplify These For You


POST 1082


It Almost Doesn’t Matter Who It Is

Pundits, journalists, editorial boards and experts with bed wetting tendencies have put their advanced stages of hand wringing on public display since the first moments of the debate debacle on June 27.

Full disclosure: We were at a watch party that night with fellow democracy loving people and I confess that shortly after Biden made his opening statement I blurted, “He just gave the presidency to Trump.” He looked and sounded like a great uncle who spends his day staring into the unfocused distance. He’s just not a good model of a strong and vibrant leader for our fractious nation.

My thinking now is that Biden’s apparent cognitive abilities* don’t matter. Here’s why.

Righties will vote for Trump. Democrats will vote for the Democratic candidate. Undecideds and independents are counting on us to convince them to defeat the Trump monster.

In other words, it’s time for all of us to put away our amateur psychologist notions, our confirmation biases, our certainties and even that light saber you’ve kept for so long and instead focus solely on banishing the monster. It’s time for reality and it’s time for action and the light saber won’t help us.

There is only one overarching imperative: protect and defend our Constitution and our democracy.

That’s about our way of life, our rights, our freedoms and our safety. This is the sine qua non.

The only way for that to happen is for us to elect leaders dedicated to the America intended by our Founders, the one we know we can become, and send the faux patriots packing.

It almost doesn’t matter who the nominee is for the Democrats. It’s entirely about ensuring massive turnout so that Donald Trump never gets his hands on power – ever. That is the battle. That is the call to duty. That means that we must dedicate ourselves to voting even for a smear of brain cells in a Petri dish if that’s the only candidate on the ballot to oppose Trump. At least we’ll have a president capable of intelligence.

So, abandon your certainty that Biden should quit the race or that he should not. Your certainty is worth nothing if Trump wins.

So, Biden, Newsom, Harris, Whitmer, Moore, Princess Leia – it doesn’t much matter. We must get behind the nominee and we must agitate, motivate and activate literally all registered voters to vote against Trump and all other hateful MAGAs. Then we will have leaders who will take action to reverse the abhorrent Supreme Court decisions violating our rights and intended to obliterate our democracy.

It’s time to muscle up the courage to do what must be done. Abandon your notions of a perfect candidate because there isn’t one.

Any candidate standing in opposition to Trump will do. Go campaign with all the depth and breadth and height of your soul. Put on your big boy or big girl pants and march directly to the Democrat campaign office nearest you and volunteer your very best, your passion and your intellect, to beat Trump. Campaign for that smear of brain cells in a Petri dish, if need be. When we make democracy the winner, with gratitude and relief I will send you a red, white and blue “I BANISHED THE MONSTER !!!” sticker.

Perhaps all of that can give you some comfort in the midst of our national quit/don’t quit mania.

The Immunity Death Star Is Real

Regular reader, periodic contributor and boyhood pal Frank Levy wrote a speech for Joe Biden to deliver. Here’s a piece of it.

Beginning today, shielded by the immunity given to me by the Supreme Court, I will use the Insurrection and Patriot Acts to arrest and imprison in Guantanamo:

• every member of Congress who refused to certify the 2020 Presidential Election

• every citizen not already in jail, including Donald Trump, who participated in false elector schemes and/or the attempted overthrow of the United States government

• every oligarch who sought and seeks to buy influence in Congress and the Supreme Court

• every media/internet mogul who allowed and allows their network and platforms to spread lies and misinformation.

I will then order Congress to:

• pass a rule to end the filibuster

• set term limits on Supreme Court Justices

• impeach Justices Alito and Thomas

• make Roe and marriage equality the law of the land

• eliminate the Electoral College

• secure our treaties with NATO, Europe, Ukraine and other allies

• pass whatever other legislation is necessary to secure American democracy, freedom and justice at home and abroad.

I don’t think that the notorious six Heritage Foundation Supreme Court justices intended for all that to be possible, but they actually did make all that possible through their justice defying presidential immunology insanity.

To add one more log onto this raging inferno of an issue, Sheila Markin, author of The Markin Report, offered a cure.

The Supreme Court must be expanded and the current senior jurists – Thomas and Alito – must go to lower courts. The Constitution says they have lifetime appointments but does not say they must be on the Supreme Court for life.

Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states:

The judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour . . .

Setting aside the implied not-good-behavior disqualifier, it’s a matter of interpretation whether Sheila’s notion of demotion of justices is Constitutional. If it is, too bad for Clarence Thomas. There would be no more obscenely expensive freebie vacations for him, nor a fancy million dollar RV.

To better understand this draconian presidential immunity assault on our nation, watch this video from Rachel Maddow.

Finally

Last Thursday was America’s birthday party – number 248. Perhaps you barbecued, quaffed a beverage of choice, watched a parade and went to the fireworks on a hot July day. Such things are what we do.

We stand on the shoulders of giants whose vision and courage were greater than most of us can imagine. They imbued us with certain responsibilities and the opportunity for greatness.

Read what Steve Schmidt had to say about that in his 4th of July message, Happy Birthday, America.

_____________________________________

* Be sure to check out the Cognition post this Wednesday. You can remember to do that, right? So can Joe Biden.


“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”

  • – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2016
  • 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!

  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.
    6. Clicking on most pics in these posts will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Death Knell


POST 1081


The Supreme Court rang the death knell on our democracy on Monday, July 1, 2024. They announced the end of presidential accountability, something neither found nor implied anywhere in the Constitution, and declared the official start of American despotism. It was upon us instantly.

They could have easily decided the deplorable presidential immunity case months ago by not taking it, as the appellate court had rendered a masterful decision unmasking the villainy of it. Alternatively, having accepted the case, the Court could have decided in just a few days that it was trash and then dumped it into the burn pit it deserved.

Instead they put months of delay into both federal cases against Trump:

One is the classified documents case over his theft of secret documents, violations of the Espionage Act, his intent to impede, obstruct or influence federal government activity, his disclosure of secret documents to foreign nationals and illegal removal or destruction of federal government records.

The other is the case against Trump for instigating an insurrection against the United States, conspiracy to defraud the United States government and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

And of course, the Court’s decision bollixed up the Georgia election interference case and made the hush money case, already decided against convict Trump, subject to review and more delay.

But the substance of Monday’s decision is far more impactful and lasting than the Supreme Court’s abuse of justice through wanton delay,

The Court has terminally wounded our country by declaring that presidents – and specifically Trump, the twice impeached, 4 times indicted and criminally convicted felon, defamer and sexual abuser – has immunity from prosecution for his official presidential acts while in office. I don’t know if that means that if Trump were to become president again that he could imprison or assassinate his political enemies as he’s promised to do, and then avoid prosecution for his crimes, but it sure sounds like that.

But wait a second: Joe Biden is president now, not Trump. It appears that the Supreme Court has just given Biden permission to commit illegal acts while he is still president and then avoid accountability. In light of that Court-created insanity, consider this.

Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our Constitution, our democracy and all aspects of our nation. There’s no need to elaborate reasons why that’s true because you already know. President Biden carries the charge to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Given that Trump is a domestic enemy of our Constitution, President Biden should rightly use all avenues to prevent Trump from harming our nation, whether Biden uses legal means or not.

He could use rendition of Trump to Gitmo. A few months of George W. Bush’s “enhanced interrogation methods” should end the threat of Trump.

Alternatively, Biden could have SEAL Team 6 do what they did to Osama bin Laden. Or he could invite Trump’s pal Vladimir Putin to send a hit squad armed with nerve gas to visit Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Each of those would be an illegal act – well, maybe not Gitmo, given the official opinion of Dubya’s Deputy Attorney General John Yoo and his “torture memo.” But as president and while fulfilling his oath of office in an official presidential act of protection of our nation, Biden will retain full immunity from prosecution. The Supreme Court says he can get away with it. Note that the Court is silent on consequences for those who carry out a president’s illegal orders.

Of course those ideas are outrageous. But that is exactly the kind of thing Trump is promising to do if he’s re-elected.

Worse than that:

There will be no possibility of removing a criminal president via impeachment, because all presidents will be immune from accountability for high crimes and misdemeanors.
.

We no longer have any recourse.

Questions

– Can our democracy long endure under the great burden of our distrust of our justice system?

– How long do you think our nation can tolerate decisions like this one and also for us to remain free?

– Are you still opposed to Biden packing the Court?

Gazing Into The Crystal Ball

We are suffering terribly from minority rule. We have to give credit to the extremist authoritarian schemers of the past several decades for the success of their evil manipulation of us and of our system of self-rule. They’ve done an impressive job of taking away our rights, our freedoms and our safety and of amassing great wealth for themselves at the expense of the the rest of us. Now they’ve done far worse via this spectacularly un-American, extremist Supreme Court. They have permanently damaged our future.

This isn’t just about Trump’s unhinged, self-serving cruelties. The day will come not long from now when grease from his most recent Quarter-Pounder will fully clog a coronary artery and Trump will be gone. But this Supreme Court invitation to despotism will still be here and some other tyrant, perhaps worse than Trump, will take his place. Perhaps s/he will be an Afghan warlord type or an American version of a Serbian or Sudanese ethnic cleansing maniac or a slave plantation proponent who will find new ways to destroy everything you hold dear.

The pundits and legal experts are dissecting the implications of this deranged decision, but in the end it means that Lady Justice’s imperative of equal justice – blind justice – under law and our oft-announced claim that nobody is above the law are just so much hot air. Those proud declarations mean nothing.

Six supremely partisan justices have betrayed our rule of law, our nation and We The People.

.

The bell has been rung. What do we do now? *

Do you think I’m over-heated, hyperbolic, unglued and reactionary? Then I invite you – no, I implore you – to explain why our country isn’t terribly imperiled. Put your thoughts in the Comments section below. Please.

Quote of the Century

From Justice Sonia Sotomayor:

“In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law… with fear for our democracy, I dissent.”

Clarifying Video

Watch this from Rachel Maddow.

Last Thoughts

Given that six Supreme Court justices enshrined despotism in America and that their act is patently un-American and in violation of their oath of office, shouldn’t they be impeached and removed from office?

CLICK ME! Read David Pepper’s insightful words. Absorb his clarity and wisdom and take action. Apathy just won’t do. Many thanks to JN for pointing out this excellent piece.

_____________________________________________

* Click the pick above and read David Pepper’s post.


“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”

  • – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2016
  • 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!

  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.
    6. Clicking on most pics in these posts will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Joe, Ya Gotta Listen To This Guy


Post 1,047


The Message

Joe, here’s former Republican, former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) on Nicolle Wallace’s program, March 5, Super Tuesday (lightly edited). He has a message for you.

“There’s a healthy suspicion that the Biden camp has been relying on Donald Trump as a [flawed] candidate to do a little bit of the work for them, to help close the gap. And Joe Biden has to do a couple things at the same time.

“He has to defend democracy, whether or not that informs voters’ opinions. I don’t think that informs a lot of voters’ opinions today.

“But then he also has to take the role of a traditional president and candidate to say, ‘This is what I’ve been doing for the country all along.’

“And I think what ties those together is:

“Only in a healthy democracy are your fundamental rights protected.

“Only in a healthy democracy does an economy work for all people and reproductive freedoms are protected.

“Only in a healthy democracy can we give equity to communities that Republicans want to punish.

“And I think part of that is Joe Biden and the Biden administration has to take control of the narratives that they’re losing on. Don’t avoid issues like the economy and the border. Own them and re-frame them.

“It is morning in America again. More people will go to work tomorrow than ever before. Home ownership is at historic highs. The stock market is breaking records. Retirement accounts are at an all time high. Inflation is coming down and real wages are going up. Joe Biden has led a bipartisan border security package and families have better access to healthcare and to education than they have ever had before.

“The threat and danger is Republicans.

‘Instead of rooting against the economy and instead of rooting for chaos at the border, join us and try to fix it and try to move America forward.’

And you saw Joe Biden do that at the border last week. He said to Donald Trump, “Come help me.” And I suspect at the State Of The Union address we will see that again.

“This is a guy who played rope-a-dope on Rick Scott on Medicare last year [and won]. If Republicans think they can just walk into this election making it about the economy and the border, it’s up to Joe Biden to say, “Okay, let’s talk about those issues, because I’ve got something to say on them, too.”

Joe, this sounds a lot like Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984. And Reagan won.

Give this to your campaign people, Joe. Tell them to stop moping and find a new attitude – like this from David Jolly. Then distribute this to all your surrogates and make sure We The People hear this message of success and hope over and over.  Start at the SOTU tomorrow.

The Vote And You

This is from Steve Schmidt’s post of March 5:

“The hour of crisis imagined by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison has fully arrived. The simple truth is that a man like Trump could never have risen when the World War II generation was here. They would have been collectively revolted and [would have] discharged him from public life in a manner appropriate for a dime store Mussolini, who can’t speak in coherent sentences, yet somehow captivates his cult with flourishes of inanities and slurred non-sequiturs. He would have been laughed out of the room, but now they are all gone.

“It is up to us. The question at hand is very simple: do you see what is looking back at us through the night from the edge of the woods? It is a malevolence, and it is coming. Thankfully, the generation that recognized it left us monuments and museums to memorialize it so we wouldn’t forget.

“2024 will be a year during which the proverbial hand will be called.

“It will be time for America to show the world our cards. The deficiency of the choice at hand is not what will be remembered. The choice of Trump will be. It will change everything. Forever. Nothing good will come from it. When fascists take power societies get poisoned. It is exactly what will happen to America.”

And THAT, my fellow American, is the reality of what is going on. It is existential. It is why you and I are going to vote and encourage others to vote in November. Check the clock below, counting down our opportunity to keep the dream alive.

And that’s the thing about clocks: They keep on counting down until there is no time left.

And just in case you need more clarity about how dire things have become, read this Times editorial.

I Support Donald Trump

– for incarceration in the Attica Correctional Facility in New York for criminal fraud and election interference

– next for imprisonment in a Georgia State Penitentiary for election interference, racketeering and conspiracy

– then for federal imprisonment for the theft of classified and other government documents, lying to the FBI and for defiance of a subpoena

– then, if he’s still alive, I support him going to another federal prison for his blizzard of crimes surrounding the insurrection

All sentences to run sequentially. He should be eligible for parole by the time he’s 167 years old.


  • Today is a good day to be the light
  • _____________________________
  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

O. J. and Today


Post 1,029

___________________________________

The verdict came down from the jury at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

NOT GUILTY

Not only I but most people I knew were incredulous. With all that evidence against him, how could anyone believe he was innocent of that double murder? Yet millions applauded the verdict.

The many comments aired publicly were often polarized by race, which seemed nonsensical. Blacks saw the same evidence that Whites saw. Then at last one Black fellow spelled it out in terms I could understand. This is pretty close to exactly what he said:

“You White people think Black people are stupid. We know he did it. We know he’s guilty. We just wanted to see a Black guy beat the system this once.” *

That’s when I got it.

After being beaten down by “the system” for centuries, beating that system meant more to them than Simpson getting the justice he quite obviously deserved. Sometimes long held feelings of injustice, disrespect and marginalization are what is most powerful.

Which brings us to our current national psychosis. **

MAGA people know that Trump is crooked, a liar, a criminal, un-American, someone they would hate in different circumstances. But over and over he gives a middle finger to “the man,” to so-called elites, to those powerful people who have blown off so many of We The People for longer than any can remember. He flips off whatever is proper and MAGAs cheer.

When he’s caught lying, he repeats his lie and even exaggerates it. That is intoxicating to those who feel wronged. It’s more powerful than any rational analysis of Trump’s obvious guilt and reprehensible behavior. Flicking off “the man” and behaving the way Mom said to never behave brings ultimate satisfaction, an orgasm of vitriol unleashed.

They are so enamored of the flick-off that they are unmoved by Trump telling Iowans following the mass shooting in Perry, IA on January 4 that, “.  .  . [they] just have to get over it.” To be fair, we have to question whether that was worse or not as bad as his calling our fallen military heroes losers and suckers, which MAGAs ignored. Somehow that wasn’t enough to disqualify Trump in the minds of MAGAs who think of themselves as the true red, white and blue.

Neither were his claims of grabbing women by the pu**y or “fine people on both sides” at the racist Charlottesville hate rally in 2017, or any other Trump outrage. Favoring Vladimir Putin over our own intelligence services should have told even MAGA people that they cannot trust Trump with our foreign affairs or our national defense. But, of course, there was that compelling extended middle finger seduction to help them forget Trump’s appeasement of a despot and to have them actually applaud his sucking up to the Russian murderer.

The MAGAs fancy themselves patriots, which makes it curious that they would be incurious about Trump wanting the “termination of the Constitution” and declaring he’ll be a dictator. It’s so very satisfying to scream over and over, “F**K YOU!” or to wallow in the mire of someone else doing the screaming. That makes it easy to abandon any requirement of our leaders to protect and defend. Besides, it’s so old fashioned to insist that they honor their oath. It’s so swampy.

O.J. was clearly and plainly guilty of murder and Trump is clearly and plainly guilty of an uncountable number of felonies and impeachable offenses. O.J. got away with it. We must not let Trump get away with it.

From Steve Sheffey on January 7, 2024:

No matter what your issues are, no matter which side of the political spectrum you’re on, if democracy is not your litmus test, you need to question your instincts for self-preservation.

Speaking of Democracy

Have a look at this Gallup survey chart:

Click me for the full story.

Apparently, we aren’t too happy with the way our democracy is working. There is little wonder about that, as we are tormented by minority rule. Our laws and our Constitution have been bastardized to serve a minority and especially the very rich, this at the expense of the rest of us. And all the while big mouth, would-be usurpers continuously vomit a barrage of lies and propaganda assaulting our democracy and our values.

Maybe we ought to do something to make ourselves satisfied with our democracy.

For reinforcement of what commitment to democracy looks like, read Steve Schmidt’s essay that includes Gen. Mark Milley’s letter of resignation from his post as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It wasn’t delivered, but it remains a piece of clarity about patriotism. The old fashioned kind.

For the Hand Wringers

This from Mother Jones:

A bunch of places—22 states and 43 cities and counties, to be precise—enacted new minimum wage increases [as of January 1], according to a report from the National Employment Law Project. Six of those states—California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Washington—now have a minimum wage that reaches or surpasses $15, which has been the goal of the decade-long “Fight for $15” movement. The increases should disproportionately benefit Black, Hispanic, and female workers, who make up more than half of the workers receiving pay bumps, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

Another three states and 22 jurisdictions will also raise their minimum wages this year. Twenty of these increases will be to $15 or more for some or all employers; 15 places will reach or exceed $17, according to NELP data.

So, if you know a cynic who loves to bemoan what they imagine is our falling sky, feel free to pass along this win for We The People. And it’s okay to mention Joe Biden, who knows that our minimum wage hasn’t made sense for decades. He’s been a champion for workers and now wages are beginning to be made right. This is a victory for democracy.

__________________________________

* Many thanks to that anonymous fellow who made those days make more sense.

 ** Definition:

psychosis | sīˈ KŌ səs | noun (plural psychoses | sīˈ sēz |)

a severe mental condition in which thought and emotions are so affected that contact is lost with external reality.

– Apple dictionary


  • Today is a good day to be the light
  • _____________________________
  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

At Last


Post 1,016

—————————————

It took years for our media to stop pointing out the “mistakes” Trump was making in his presentations and to at last state the obvious: He lies and he’s a liar. By the end of Trump’s administration the Washington Post had documented over 30,000 Trump lies. That’s over 20 per day for 4 years. These were not inadvertent errors or little oops moments; they were flat out lies. It took the Post and the rest of the mainstream press years to find the nerve to state that obvious fact. Now we’ve come to another reckoning with reality, this, too, of the forehead slap variety.

It seems that our mainstream media has figured out that Donald Trump and his rabid followers and cowardly tag-a-longs comprise an existential threat to our republic, to democracy, to the Constitution and to our way of life. Journalists have figured out that these unfaithful ones are actually proclaiming their evil intent out loud and promising to deliver destruction.

This promise of a destructive rampage seemed obvious and dangerous to me at least as far back as April 9, 2012, well before the Trump bastardization of our country. Later Trump undercut our intelligence agencies, threatened nuclear war, promised retribution against various opponents and agencies of our own government and far more. Imagine that: it wasn’t enough to demonize Mexicans as rapists and drug smugglers and criminals, as he did during his infamous escalator candidacy announcement in 2015, complete with paid actors pretending to be supporters. Trump has attacked and continues to attack us all directly and repeatedly.

Now he’s promised to take down the Constitution, aggregate all power to himself, kill our generals, imprison political opponents, station our military in our cities to control we citizens, this in violation of the Third Amendment, and more. He’s promising all this in his campaign speeches. If there’s one lesson we should have learned quite well a long time ago it’s that Trump doesn’t do hyperbole. When he promises something outlandish, he means to deliver it, regardless of illegality or harm to others. Now it’s clear that his overriding message is that he plans to tear everything down and build a dictatorship solely for himself; as in: Nothing for you.

No democracy. No shining city on a hill. No last best hope. No lamp beside the golden door. Nothing but serfdom under a mad king, exactly what the colonists rebelled against.

Which brings us to morning in the journalism world.

At last journalists are writing and speaking about the obvious reality of the existential threat promised by Trump.

In the Washington Post Robert Kagan explains that A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending. Kagan’s post is a serious buzz kill, because what he lays out has been in plain sight for a long time – we should all have been able to see this coming – and it’s a deadly serious threat to us and our country.

The entire January/February issue of The Atlantic is devoted to the theme: If Trump Wins. It’s a very ugly picture.

The Economist tells us that Donald Trump poses the biggest danger to the world in 2024.

And you can check the New York Times for Donald Trump’s 2024 Campaign, in His Own Menacing Words.

These are just a sampling of current pieces. If you don’t have online access to these publications, go pick up copies at a newsstand. You remember those, right? The big box bookstores have a whole section of periodicals. Go there.

Spoiler alert: The news you’ll find is clear and terrifying.

Like his constant lying, it appears that the secret is out about the doom of Trump looming menacingly on the horizon. Journalists are finally naming names. At last.

You need to be naming these threats, too, especially to low information friends and family members who don’t see what’s coming and which will clobber them if they let it.


Today is a good day to be the light

_____________________________

  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Connecting Dots


Post 1,005

—————————————

Congressional Republicans have pseudo-patriotic, brain damaged explanations for not supporting Ukraine. Of course, they’re either making up “alternative facts’ or clutching their boundless ignorance to their chests, the place where courage should reside but obviously does not. The reality is that Ukraine is fighting our fight for us. It is the fight for Western civilization, for our values and for democracy everywhere. Now why would these elected congresspeople oppose fighting for our values and our democracy? The answer to that question is the first dot for making a picture.

There was an active shooter at a middle school in the Milwaukee suburb of Germantown, WI on Monday the 23rd. The only casualty was the shooter, killed by police, who arrived quickly and acted immediately. We sure could have used those folks at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX last year.

On Wednesday the 25th there were what the experts call “spree shootings” at a bar and grill and at a bowling alley in the towns of Lewiston and Auburn, ME. The suspect, now dead by his own hand, was a former military firearms instructor. He had been committed to a mental health facility last summer. He is reported to be “hearing voices” and made threats against others, including against the National Guard base in Saco, ME.

He was in possession of a military style rifle designed not for deer hunting or target shooting, but to kill lots of people at a really fast rate. Plus, he was apparently carrying a large supply of ammunition. The shooter killed 18 people, injured 13 others and broke hearts throughout the state and our country.

The alleged shooter legally owned that assault rifle, all that ammunition, a hand gun and whatever other killing implements he carried. Why do you suppose he was able to do that?

One of the senators representing the people of Germantown, WI is Ron Johnson (R-WI). He’s a steadfast opponent of any and all legislation that might have kept a gun out of the hands of both of those alleged shooters. There are many dozens like him in Congress. Now, why would so many of our nation’s senators and representatives oppose safety in that way, especially when the overwhelming majority of We The People want it? The answer has nothing to do with originalist Constitution notions or even bravado and chest thumping about the Second Amendment. The answer to that question is the second dot for making a picture.

It took the majority Republican House 22 days to find a replacement for Kevin “Cut Mine Off’ McCarthy. He gave away nearly everything, so it took only eight flaming radical congresspeople to dump him. Matt Gaetz (“he who partied with under-age girls”) led that attack on McCarthy, pretty much only because after McCarthy gave away everything to become Speaker for less than 10 months, Gaetz wanted what was left of his dignity, this in order to please Trump. That’s the third dot.

The extremists supporting their second nominee for speaker, Gym Jordan (R-Hell), threatened other Republicans and their families with violence if they opposed his nomination. That’s thugocracy. Those threats deeply divided the Republican caucus and resulted in a complete standstill in the House during a worsening crisis in Ukraine and the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Without the Republican paralysis of Congress they would have been able to take action. But the flamers blocked that and all other congressional action for over 3 weeks. Some are promising to ensure that the government is made to shut down just before Thanksgiving. Now, why would they do any of that? Consider that the fourth dot.

Now they’ve elected Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the new Speaker of the House. He’s the guy who led the effort in the House to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He’s an election denier. A Big Lie guy. A Trump toady. A fanatic. A legislative insurrectionist. Yes, every Republican voted for him.*

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of men.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox (Many thanks to MG)

He’s a God-invoking hypocrite who is guilty of attempted destruction of our democracy and our Constitution. Perhaps you remember the Constitution as that thing to which Johnson swore his solemn oath, hand on the bible he thumps, to protect and defend our Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Then he enthusiastically led Republican representatives to violate it in legislative insurrection. Consider Mike Johnson guilty of dereliction of duty, a breaker of his word, unfit to serve and the fifth dot.

We could go on, but all the dots inevitably become a picture of destruction, of American terrorist attacks on our nation. These people are robotic acolytes of Trump and Steve Bannon. Doing what is best for America is not their motivation. What they want is to “tear it all down.” They want to demolish our government, our institutions, our rule of law, our notions of equality, our Declaration of Independence and Constitutional guarantees that no person, no race, no nationality, no religion is above others. Our 234 years of laws make clear that White Christian men have no claim of dominion and power over the rest of us. But that’s no obstacle to these extremists. Doubt that?

Those better-than-the-rest-of-us straight (they claim), White Christian (they claim) men – no women – would be pleased to enslave you if you are not one of them. We know that, because that was the very essence of the South before the Civil War and that is what the present day domination seekers promise. They want to dominate you. They want to own you.

The Republican picture is one of destruction, domestic terrorism, hatred, fear mongering and subjugation of the great masses of us by a privileged class that believes they are above us.

That’s what people voting Republican are voting for.
.

When the dots are connected they reveal a democracy and freedom apocalypse, a picture that you and I will deeply dislike.

Quotes Of The Week

From Sheila Markin in The Markin Report of October 27, “The Coup Caucus Won:”

The extremists don’t want government to work. If government doesn’t work then Biden can be blamed and democracy can be seen as a failed form of government. The goal of GOP extremists is to trash the system and crash our government .  .  .  For them, chaos IS the goal.

In a webinar on Friday Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL-6) answered my question about what the magic pill is to get the right people into Congress who will pass legislation that delivers what We The People want, like democracy. He made some insightful comments and ended by focusing on hope. It’s not in robust supply in these politically dark times. Here’s his final comment:

“The magic pill is us.”

That rather smacks of then-candidate Barack Obama declaring what was so plainly true:

“We are the people we’ve been waiting for.”

They are both right. It’s up to us.

_____________________________________

* From Steve Schmidt’s The Warning on October 26:

Perhaps the best way to understand this point [of difference in Speakers] is by appreciating how cynicism can fuel fanaticism. Kevin [McCarthy} believed in nothing but power, while [Mike] Johnson sees power as a means to impose his fanaticism.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Boxing and The Danger We Face


Don’t Ask the MAGA Crazies to Come To Their Senses.

Chaos and Destruction ARE Their Senses.

.

“These are the times that try men’s [and women’s] souls.” – Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776. Click, read, think, act.

The Republican Party has published its 1,000 page plan called “Project 2025.” It is a plan to completely dismantle the American government in just six months. They intend to destroy our democratic republic and establish a dictatorship with a Republican despot as absolute ruler. They promise to end your rights and freedom. They promise to destroy everything you hold dear about our country.

All they need to be able to betray us in these ways is to win the presidency, to have a compliant Supreme Court and to have a cowardly congress. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it?

And now, what better way to light the fuse to blow up our country than to shut down the government? Over 20 Republican flamers voted down their own budget plan. They did that to show what tough guys they are, to have their infantile temper tantrum, to puff up their egos, to show the Speaker who’s boss AND TO TEAR DOWN OUR DEMOCRACY, instead of honoring their oath of office to protect and defend it. They are solely about themselves, chaos and destruction.

WHERE IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S OUTRAGE AND COUNTER-ATTACK AGAINST THESE TREASONOUS, POISONOUS PEOPLE AND THEIR ANTI-AMERICAN SCHEME?

Do the geniuses at the DNC think this monster will go away if they just close their eyes and think pretty thoughts? Maybe that’s what John Kerry thought when the Swift Boaters attacked him in 2004 with their cowardly lies. He didn’t want to dignify their filth with a reply, he told us, which is a lovely patrician idea. But his lack of pushing back only emboldened them and they poisoned enough of the American voting public that by the time Kerry at last spoke up, it was too late.

We know what has happened to the courage and patriotism of the Republicans. Those were devoured by their cowardice and hypocrisy. But where did the courage and patriotic passion of Democrats go? The bell for the 15th round has rung. There is only one boxer in the ring and his name is Fascism.

DEMOCRATS: WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?

We don’t have the luxury of patrician patience to wait for the chaos and the evil of these traitors to disappear.

Polite debate never works with bullies. The only way to stop a bully is to punch him/her in the nose.
.

The cult followers make themselves functional morons because they refuse to learn and they goose step along, happy to tear down our democracy and use violence – even inciting murder – to please their cult leader. We need to see immediate and sustained blows to the traitors to knock them out of power and to make sure they never get their hands on it again.

John Kerry refused to take such action for too long and he lost the presidency. We stand to lose our entire country if we remain quiet and passive.

“These are the times that try men’s and women’s souls.”
.

We are on trial right now.

It’s time for a bare knuckle fight for our democracy, a fight for what you know is right. The ring stands before us. Who will enter it to fight the good fight, the patriotic fight, the fight for America?

DNC: GET IN THE RING!

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL AND STATE LEGISLATORS: GET IN THE RING!

AMERICANS WHO LOVE AND BELIEVE IN AMERICA: GET IN THE RING!

From Steve Schmidt’s The Warning on September 26:

The American people face a great test, a great reckoning. The practice of citizenship can be avoided no longer. We stand at an hour where every inch of progress that has accumulated over 250 years of time, that has lifted the human being from a condition of servitude and economic misery to prosperity and freedom, stands to be erased .  .  .

.  .  .  The American people look at Washington D.C. and they see one of the most corrupt congresses in history. They see the most corrupt Supreme Court in history, They see a fascist movement on the march. [emphasis mine]

The practice of citizenship can be avoided no longer because you yourself see the corruption and the fascist march and you know in your bones that something must be done to stop this or terrible things will happen. Here’s an example of why this is important to you.

One of the things authoritarians do is to ignore the wants and needs of the people. They do that because they can. They focus simply and exclusively on what serves themselves. The Founders rebelled against just such an authoritarian.

You know quite well that 80 – 90% of Americans want stronger gun safety laws and regulations. We want Medicare for all, lower cost access to higher education and action to stop and then reverse global warming. We want our hungry children to be fed and we want racial and immigration justice. We want the insane haters to shut up and for the stupid to stop. Plus, as a placeholder for all government functions, we want a budget to be passed without the lunacy and without threats of harm to our people and the undermining of our national defense.

We want these things and consistently we do not have our way. That’s because of a terrorist minority and the cowardice of so many who refuse to stand up to the bullies.

If the fascists get their way, you will never get what you want. The minority will rule for their own benefit, not yours, and your voice will be stilled forever. Look at any authoritarian regime in history and you’ll see that it is always this way. It will be that way here, too  .  .  .  unless we fight and win and keep our democracy.

So, it’s simple:

GET IN THE RING!
GET IN THE FIGHT!
PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR DEMOCRACY!
.

Oh, and DNC:

GET IN THE RING AND LEAD THE FIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY,
– or –
BE OBSOLETE AND INSIGNIFICANT.
.

You pick.

One more time:

Polite debate never works with bullies. The only way to stop a bully is to punch him/her in the nose.
.

If you’re unsure about that, check with both Neville Chamberlain and Mallory McMorrow for a shocking comparison.

Most Important
Here’s how you can get into the ring and land some punches – CLICK ME.

Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Right Books To Ban


Yeah, I know that book banning is a tyrannical exercise in mind control that’s typical of authoritarian, subjugation-creating regimes. We all know that it’s a key tool to end freedom and eliminate rights. And none of us has forgotten history’s recounting of murder squads that were a direct outfall of such draconian control of the people. Still, there has to be a way to prevent bad influences from affecting the public. I think banning books is it. The trick is in knowing which books to ban, so here’s part of my list of the right books to ban. The Republicans are always trying to short change We the People, so these 9 represent a Republican dozen.

  1. The Art of the Deal; Letters to Trump; The Midas Touch; Think Big; Think Like a Champion; How To Get Rich; and any other publication with Trump’s name on it. Trump earned the descriptors grifter, con artist, liar, cheat, scam artist and more with stunning alacrity. He must not be allowed to have the influence on our people that would occur were his books still on library or bookstore shelves.
  2. The Courage To Be Free and Dreams From Our Founding Fathers. Ron DeSantis is every bit the con artist that Trump is and he’s just as cruel and self-serving. Plus, he hasn’t a clue about the dreams of our Founders. We must protect our vulnerable ones from him.
  3. Woke, Inc.; Capitalist Punishment; Nation of Victims. The last title says it all. There is no reason this nation should be victimized by Vivek Ramaswamy, including subjecting anyone to the brainless machine gun blather of this hateful despot wannabe. Turn off the victim talk and we’ll stop victimhood. Ban not just his books, but him, too.
  4. Unified, Opportunity Knocks and America: A Redemption Story. Sen. Tim Scott doesn’t have the sense to not be a Republican. That alone disqualifies him from any job that requires a functioning brain. There is only room in the Republican Party for extremists and cowards, all carrying a rejection of anyone who is not White. I’m wondering if he’s color blind, delusional enough to believe he can change that party or if he’s just self-loathing. He might dupe more people of color with his books, so we must rid ourselves of these things. Banning his books is the right (as in both correct and politically) thing to do.
  5. Anything by or about Ronald Reagan. That sainthood business given to the architect of Iran-Contra, the blatant lie of trickle down economics, massive debt creation, trillions going to the already rich and the destruction of unions needs to be kept from the eyes of Americans, lest they actually come to believe such crap. And that saint thing: de-canonize him. He’s a fraud.
  6. The Bible. Any bible. This terrifying work speaks of rape, incest, lust, murder, betrayal, adultery, idolatry, thievery and more. Get this off our library and book store shelves, because children might read it for instruction. Worse, middle finger American adults might read it and get some crazy ideas into their heads to commit who knows what violence in order to mimic bible stories.
  7. Do What You Said You Would Do is the chest thumping, I’m-a-tough-guy-absolutist tome from former college wrestling coach and enabler of sexual assault, Jim Jordan. Mothers, don’t let your kids grow up to be like that. It starts with making sure they can’t get their hands on this waste of paper pulp. Ban it.
  8. The US Senate and the Commonwealth: Kentucky Lawmakers and the Evolution of Legislative Leadership. Mitch McConnell is proud of his fiscal miserliness in protecting taxpayers’ money. As if. He’s made sure that Kentucky is one of the biggest federal cash suckers in the nation. Surely, his success at that larceny must not be celebrated by book sales. And our delicate children must be protected from such crookery. Ban that bad book.

  9. Any book by George W. Bush. He lied us into two wars, got tens of thousands killed and millions displaced, ignored intelligence that 9/11 was coming, allowed the Great Recession to happen, ended any illusion of a Pax American and more. DO NOT allow sensitive ones to read anything this frat boy wrote. Get those books off our shelves. Otherwise, the answer to his question, “Is our children learning?” will be YES, but they will be learning the wrong things.

There are so many books that should be banned. Which ones do you think belong on this list? Add them in the Comments section below and say why you recommend the Fahrenheit 451 treatment. Stand strong for the end of knowledge and learning!

Quotes Describing Us

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this:

“If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us.

“It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

Oh Democracy!

From Steve Schmidt, recognizing Mitt Romney:

It isn’t Mitt Romney’s duty to sit there helplessly in a cramped room with demagogues. It is our duty to vote them out. When we do, maybe the quality of character will improve in the MAGA/GOP. Until then don’t expect to see honorable people with an “R” next to their name serving in the US Senate. It is a nest of sedition, cowardice and malice. [emphasis mine]

Two Fridays ago was the United Nations International Day of Democracy and many European nations are leaning heavily toward autocracy now. That brings to mind Harry Truman:

There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.

How did autocracy work for those European nations over the course of many hundreds of years of devastating wars?

Which brings to mind Winston Churchill:

.  .  .  democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms .  .  .

Perhaps a UN day promoting democracy is a good thing. Perhaps all of us promoting democracy is an even better thing.

Or we can just let our nation slide into legalized cruelty, with no rights or freedom and rule by mobs, not laws.

Bad idea.

The Great Mar-A-Lago Orange Felon

Judge Aileen Canon must be the world’s most careful judge. It took her a month to craft a rules-of-the-road paper for the Documents Case. Any other judge would have completed that task in two hours. You don’t suppose dragging out this case for the benefit of Trump had anything to do with her delay, do you?

Here’s a very slightly modified movie clip from Raiders Of The Lost Ark that puts this case into perspective. Click the play arrow.

Many thanks to JN for the link.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Idiotica – Part 1


Economy Idiotica

“The biggest picture is that the post-1980 economy failed to deliver the broad-based benefits that Reagan and his allies promised.”

That’s from a piece by David Leonhardt, Explaining Bidenomics. Focusing on the signal and not on the phony Republican noise, look at this chart.

In the 1920s we had our 1%, just as we do today. They got over 20% of U.S. Income and we got the Great Depression. Reagan came along with his brain-free, trickle-down economics lie proposed by an appropriately named propeller hat named Laffer. After the enormous effort of decades to lift people from poverty and strengthen our middle class, instead Reagan made sure that once again the rich got most of the money. We got the Great Recession.

Can we face the fact that when rich people get more money without having created greater value that they like that money and will always do their best to keep it for themselves? There’s no assurance that they will invest it so that anything trickles down to you.

The Republicans still want to steal from the poor and give to the rich. Things won’t be any better for working people, the bottom 95% of us, until the Bidenomics reversal of right-wing grift takes hold and is expanded. That takes time. For now, only wonks are excited by the recitation of improving statistics. That’s a problem.

To the American public that isn’t yet recognizing the benefits of Biden’s economic actions and who still lack confidence in the economy: I get it. But turning this thing around takes years – refer to the chart above. What is needed is for us to stay the course (I hate using Reagan’s phrase, but that one fits). If things are to continue to improve, our job will be to help people see what is hard to see, what they aren’t feeling yet.

“Inflation is down by almost two-thirds since its peak in June 2022, and this has happened without the recession and huge job losses many economists insisted would be necessary. Real wages, especially for non-supervisory workers, are significantly higher than they were before the pandemic,” writes economist Paul Krugman.

He continues, “Poll after poll shows Americans rating economic conditions as very bad” Oddly, “.  .  .  while most Americans feel that they’re doing OK, they believe that the economy is doing badly, where “the economy” presumably means other people.” How do you suppose that’s happened?

There is plenty to chew on here, but one thing is certain: Republicans continue to poison Americans with their stories of American dystopia and carnage, including about the economy. This disconnect between how Americans see the nation’s welfare versus their own experience is yet another example of what a constant torrent of lies can do.

Covid Idiotica

Americans continue to die from Covid. That doesn’t shock anymore, because such news is so yesterday, so back seat to whatever is today’s outrage. But it isn’t going to stay in the back seat.

With the new variants floating just outside our nostrils and people indifferent or even hostile to vaccines, our communal resistance to dire consequences from the disease is pitiful. We could just wait around to see if we become infected and then die, but that would be dumb.

The right wing conspiracy machine is making sure that we continue to be a bifurcated nation. 95% of those dying from Covid are anti-vaxxers. They aren’t stupid people. They are suicidally and homicidally angry and stubborn. The rest of us have rolled up our shirtsleeves, gladly accepted the jab and are unlikely to have serious consequences should we test positive.

Go-Go DeSantis

But not so much in Florida. Democracy hating Governor Ron DeSantis, he of the white go-go boots in a post-hurricane photo op, has buddied up with his brain-free state surgeon general Joseph Ladapo to urge Florida residents under the age of 65 to refuse the new vaccine. That’s the one that will keep people who contract the new variant of the disease from dying. Apparently, DeSantis and Lapado want to ensure that Florida continues to be a major promoter for members of the casket making industry. I wonder if they’re donors.

Republican Idiotica

This brings us to the choices before the American people.

You’re either for supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes, or you’re for Putin, Hungary’s Orbán, Turkey’s Erdoğan and Xi and not for America.

You’re either for the rule of law or you’re for autocracy, fascism and lawlessness.

You’re either for championing NATO as key to our national defense or you’re for Putin and Xi and not for America.

You either believe in democracy and America or you believe in a cult leader who is working to bring it all crashing down.

Republican children in geometry class. Click the pic for an easier to read view.

You’re either for all people’s rights or you’re for bigotry and hatred.

You’re either for full citizenship for women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people – all of us – or you’re for subjugation and hatred.

You’re either for facts, science, truth and reality or you’re for manipulation and boundless fraud. You might even be in favor of ignorance.

You either have a moral compass or you don’t.

You either believe in freedom of belief or you’re a religious bigot.

You either challenge the un-American, anti-constitutional craziness that’s all around or, at best, you’ve resigned yourself and our nation to insignificance.

You either stand up for what’s right or you’re a hypocrite and a coward.

You either love freedom or you think it’s okay to dominate others.

You either care about our national defense or you’re a performative patriot only out for yourself and you don’t care about putting our military people and our nation at risk.

You’re either a patriotic American or you’re just a liar and traitor wearing red, white and blue.

Sadly, what was once the Grand Old Party is now populated by people who choose what comes after the “or” in the choices above. They are

The Republican Idiotica
.

It cannot be that every election finds democracy at the edge of a cliff tipping toward oblivion. Our task for as long as we live is to push it back from that edge, regardless of how many times that’s required, until the voices of hatred of democracy are at last silenced.

__________________________________

Watch for Idiotica – Part 2 this Sunday.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

  • 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 ALL 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.
    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.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Core Issue


From STAT, August 21, 2023:

More children are dying from guns, and disparities are deepening
.

In 2020 guns caused the most deaths among U.S. children and adolescents, for the first time surpassing motor vehicle deaths. In 2021, it got worse. A new analysis of CDC data in Pediatrics shows that from 2018 to 2021, the death rate climbed by 41.6%. “With the unexpected sharp uptick of pediatric firearm deaths noted in 2020, rates did not return to prepandemic levels in 2021, but rather continued to increase and surpassed initial pandemic levels,” the authors write.

The breakdown of children who died:

– In 2021, 84.8% were male, 49.9% were Black, 82.6% were 15 to 19 years-old, and 64.3% died by homicide.

– Black children accounted for 67.3% of firearm homicides and white children for 78.4% of firearm suicides.

– From 2020-2021, the suicide rate increased among Black and white children but decreased among American Indian or Alaskan Native children.

– Higher poverty correlated with higher gun-related deaths.

Our obsessive craziness and lethality over guns is a core issue of mine. With over 27,000 gun deaths already this year, it should be a core issue for all of us. The sad truth is that we will never confront and stop this travesty if we continue down the path of ceding our rights to those who fight against what should be common sense. Indeed, we will never tackle any of the issues that the majority of us care about if we cede our rights to those who fight against what we want. That leads us to an uncomfortable reality. Steve Sheffey nails it in his post of August 20:

Democracy must be our new litmus test. We all have non-negotiable issues but democracy must come first and foremost because only in a democracy can we advocate for the other issues we care about and only in a democracy are our other freedoms protected. Under the old paradigm, we could take for granted that both parties shared a fundamental commitment to democracy and the rule of law.

But it’s different now. Here’s the necessary action piece, also from Sheffey:

Only the Democratic Party respects democratic norms today, which means that only the Democratic Party deserves our support. That’s not what we want to hear because it deprives us of agency. But if we support democracy then that means the GOP fails our litmus test and if we believe what we are saying, we have to vote Democratic. That’s not easy to accept but it is reality.

Steve Schmidt weighed in on the core issue of democracy in his post of August 20,

Democracy dies in the plain light of day
.

The masthead of The Washington Post has read “Democracy Dies in Darkness” for the last six years. It stands as a daily monument of naïveté, smug self-seriousness and delusion that will be a beacon to our descendants in the task of unraveling how the country became so lost in this moment. What will be most obvious is that democracy dies at noon, in the plain light of day, slowly and painfully over many long tedious years.

Never one to mince words, in another post Schmidt offered,

There is no fringe in the MAGA majority. It is an undulating blob of layered imbecility, cowardice, vice, extremism, ignorance, ambition, incompetence and scheming, bubbling and gurgling together in a ceaseless assault against democracy. The fringe and its middle are identical. MAGA is round and without edges.

The proposition at hand for the country is whether a majority will tolerate the lies, corruption, malice and cruelty offered by the MAGA GOP because of the imperfections of the Democratic Party. There is no comparison between the two in terms of comportment, ethics and political morality. MAGA tried to overthrow the government, and is running on a scorched earth platform of revenge and retribution. Alongside the confederacy, Jim Crow and McCarthyism, MAGA is amongst the most odious concoctions ever created from the fumes of American nativism and know- nothingness. It is a pestilence.

We are seeing the alt-right assault on democracy happening every day in ways that are far larger than they might seem at first and it’s only coming from what used to be called conservatives.

But they are not conservative.

Today’s alt-righties are promoting a scheme to grab all of your power, your voice and your money. They have been actively working to steal from you and to destroy our democracy for decades and have gained enormous traction in today’s pugilistic, fantasy-driven politics.

Their power grab is what makes protecting and defending democracy the core issue of our time. It overrides everything.

That is why I’ve become active in The Union, the only issue of which is to protect and defend our democracy. Check it out.

Just For Fun

The Behr Paint Company has announced its color of the year for 2024. It’s

CRACKED PEPPER!
.

From the official Behr color palette

The Behr marketing folks would have you know that,

“Cracked Pepper is a versatile soft black that elevates any room and the way you feel in it.”

Huh?

“As we look into 2024, creating a sense of comfort and belonging will continue to drive design decisions—but now, as life returns to its more familiar rhythms, it’s time to allow our senses to come alive,” says Erika Woelfel, Vice President of Color and Creative Services at Behr Paint Company. “From heightening the aromas of a dining room to feeling the softness of a living area, Cracked Pepper enhances the natural expression in any space.”

What does an “elevated room” look like and how does paint do that? How does their product “allow our senses to come alive” and “height[en] the aromas of a dining room?”

C’mon, man. It’s just paint that’s almost black. Seriously, who comes up with descriptions like this for paint? And what are they smoking?


  • Today is a good day to be the light

    ______________________________

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  • Fire the bastards!
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Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
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