Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

All the Dots, in one place.

Nine posts from 2012 to 2020 that outline what happened to put us where we are today:

Photo of a series of linked circles going off into the distance.
Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

 

If you want to understand how we got here, these are all the things the Republican Party has done over the last 40 years.

Voting for Republicans, or voting against the Democratic Party–either way–has destroyed this country, and all of the things we are supposed to love about our nation.

Look at us: We’re on lockdown thanks to malfeasance and outright greed, while the rich seek new ways to bleed the rest of us dry. Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and all their supporters deserve what’s coming in the next six months.

A lot of people are dying. Many of them are elderly or ill, but not all. Is it any wonder why I so dearly hope their base dies from this stupidity? They STILL refuse to learn from past mistakes.

We Democrats hold our bad actors responsible. The so-called “Party of Personal Responsibility?” Not so much.

We have six months to get our electoral house in order, in spite of every obstacle the GOP throw at us. There is no more time and only one way to fix this. Throw every last Republican out of office and throw the highest ones in jail, without hope of release.

It’s that or guillotines.

Connecting the Dots, Part 9…

Connecting the Dots, Part 9…

In my last Dots post, on April 11, 2018, I talked about racism, antisemitism, and Facebook’s role in boosting the signal. This time I’m taking on Iran.

Continue reading “Connecting the Dots, Part 9…”

Connecting the Dots, Part 8…

Connecting the Dots, Part 8…

When you were a kid, did you ever read Dr. Seuss’ book The Sneetches and Other Stories? You know the one I’m talking about. Continue reading “Connecting the Dots, Part 8…”

Connecting the Dots, Part 7…

Connecting the Dots, Part 7…

There’s a benefit to following folks I’ve never met anywhere else but FB. Occasionally, someone shows me a bit of the Internet that I’ve missed before, and because it flew under the radar, I didn’t have it available to draw connections.

Today, someone revealed a tiny tip of a much larger iceberg, and now I’ve got the first Dots post in almost seven months.

This could have been an Aftermath post, but it’s not, because it’s a train wreck in progress and it’s likely already too late to stop it from taking our country down.

It annoys me that people still have the guts to complain about Hillary Clinton, who still think she just made things up when she said there was a vast Right Wing conspiracy. That’s where the first Dots post derived, and this is actually no different.

I woke up this morning to a typical political argument on FB between a handful of people who, like the characters in Into the Woods singing about whose fault it was that the Giant “Trump” was ruining their lives, want to assign blame over how we got here.

Sondheim is a musical genius. The number “Your Fault” in Act Two is a perfect illustration of that argument I walked into this morning, and others I’ve seen since Trump has blossomed into the full blown conman cum tin pot dictator he’s always wanted to be.

Don’t know the show? Here’s the Disney version. You might recognize a couple of the faces here. Or not:

But see, that’s why I blog. Because it helps me collect my thoughts so that the next time I wander into one of these He Said/She Said/They Said arguments, I have the ability to narrow down the argument to a single point.

In a lot of ways, I fulfill that role of the Witch: Pragmatic to a fault, trying too hard to protect the thing she loves, afraid of what will happen if she loses control of the situation. I relate to that character far more than I should. And yet…

Tonight I discovered that I missed something really REALLY important about the 2010 election that other folks having a similar argument just pointed out to me. The starting point is here, in a source I only sort of like, because Salon often reproduces other people’s articles without attribution or linking to the original source.

I try very hard not to plagiarize, and I want to give credit where credit is due. I’m also keenly aware that this medium is Orwell’s Memory Hole.

In the time it took for the Salon article to hit, the source of its postulations has already vanished. Fortunately, though, there are other sources, so I’ll post the article and then I’ll follow the rest of the leads.

And never fear: I have local copies of the things I think matter, and I’ve already archived some of the site material as well, because sooner or later the folks who started this will make it disappear again, as if it never happened. Because that’s what the Ministry of Truth is all about.

It starts here:

Salon: How the Republicans rigged Congress — new documents reveal an untold story

The title is misleading (as is a lot of what Salon publishes, but that’s a different subject). Fact is, someone FINALLY noticed that the Republicans laid the roadmap (or rather REDMAP) out a long time ago.

I was just as clueless about what happened in 2010 as the next Democrat, after President Obama won in 2008. I was THRILLED to see the back side of President Bush. And I was busy with my kids, trying to stay afloat with a part-time job while I looked for something full time in a truly awful job market, living in a house that was upside down on it’s mortgage.

Distracted. Missed the details, didn’t look where I needed to look, and then BANG! New congress, Republican sweep, so many Red States and Tea Party EVERYTHING. I started paying attention, but I still wasn’t looking where I needed to look.

So when today’s Politico post dropped, I spent an hour poking around trying to locate the offending PowerPoint that showed us everything we need to know. And I got…nowhere.

The link to that PowerPoint is gone.

But…but…that’s not the end of the story.

The analysis I just finished aggregates the empirical data that shows how well the plan worked. It gives an insight into WHY the polls were wrong, and it proves out what the GOP already know.

They’re counting on low Democratic voter turnout this year. Folks are looking at Doug Jones like he’s the Blue Messiah and I can’t begin to tell you how dangerous that narrative is, because it’s based on a LIE.

Let’s back up for a moment, though.

This site seems innocent enough. It’s ancient news, in fact. http://www.redistrictingmajorityproject.com/.

According to the site’s About page:

What is redistricting and why does it matter?
At the conclusion of the 2010 national census, congressional seats will be reapportioned to each state. The states with a shrinking population will lose congressional seats and states with a population boom will gain seats. A massive effort to redraw state legislative and congressional lines will take place according to each state’s laws. The party controlling that effort controls the drawing of the maps – shaping the political landscape for the next 10 years. In 38 states, governors and state legislators play a determining role in the redistricting process.

What is REDMAP?
REDMAP (REDistricting Majority Project) is a program of the RSLC dedicated to winning state legislative seats that will have a critical impact on congressional redistricting in 2011.

How can REDMAP succeed?
REDMAP succeeds with your help. Only by staying up-to-date on the latest news, and engaging your friends and family about the importance of our effort, can we succeed.

How can I help?
REDMAP is a grassroots effort. We are funded solely through contributions from commonsense conservatives throughout the country – and we rely on grassroots conservatives as our best means of alerting fellow conservatives across the country to our efforts.

Grassroots my ass.

The Tea Party started out as a Grassroots organization, until the Koch brothers took it over and helped sweep in the ultra conservative Freedom Party Republicans in office today. And now Rand Paul, one of its founders, is bound and determined to shut down government rather than sign off on a budget bill that addresses all sorts of long term issues.

NY Times: Government Shutdown Looms as Rand Paul Protests Budget Deal

So really, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

I mean, I’ve laid out a lot of the groundwork for how we got to the mess we’re in, but I mean the GOP majority that has us so screwed we can’t actually produce a budget, and even if we could, would make it impossible to balance without taking a hacksaw to what’s left of our shredded safety net.

Well, there’s a clue right here. It came out before the end of the Primary season, and folks might have noticed, but like I said, a lot of us were distracted with trying to find work and keep our houses, and we weren’t spending a lot of time idly reading articles on an election process that would clearly take care of itself.

After all, we had our first African American president! What could possibly go wrong?

Politico: GOP could gain redistricting powers

And

New Yorker Magazine: State for Sale A conservative multimillionaire has taken control in North Carolina, one of 2012’s top battlegrounds.

These reporters were on to something, but nobody wanted to listen because we couldn’t lose. Why worry when we’d just waste our time. Of COURSE we’d keep all those seats.

Only…that’s not what happened, was it?

No.

Why?

Because the moment President Obama took his first oath of office, the Republican billionaires knew they had to stop the progress Democrats made, the movement President Obama inspired, and the progress toward a more liberal landscape. And that’s when REDMAP was born.

Here’s what it looked like, in July of 2015, one month after Trump declared his candidacy,

The following June, just as the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence started to heat up for both Clinton (publicly) and Trump (in silence), New Yorker Magazine featured a story that highlighted David Daley’s book “Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy” (Liveright).

Daley tried to tell us, but we were too busy making fun of Trump and being horrified that Cruz might win, we didn’t pay attention then, either.

Little by little, piece by piece, as the GOP realized Trump was the key to everything, they all lined up behind the grifter, the demagogue of Mar-a-Lago whose failed businesses let him deduct almost a BILLION dollars in bankruptcy claims, screwing every contractor he encountered, and seated him at the desk in the Oval Office.

Hindsight, as they say, is crystal clear. We got here because we failed to connect enough of the dots early enough in the process to stop this grassroots takeover. Like a virus, the GOP have sucked the Blue out of most of the US. There are islands, pockets of liberalism, and they’ve all been neatly tied up with a big red bow, designed to ensure that those seats will never turn blue again, no matter how many angry Democrats turn out.

There is no guarantee the GOP will run candidates like Roy Moore. There’s no guarantee that a million voters will blow off the Midterm elections because they hate all the candidates.

On the contrary, the majority of Republicans will seem to be almost okay, just enough different from the Democrats that those people who adore false equivalency will tell themselves again that it makes no difference, and they’ll vote for the guy at the top of the ballot, because he’s already got the seat and what could possibly go wrong?

It’ll be that way all the way down the ticket. Just look at what happened in Virginia. With the race down to the very last legitimate ballots, the GOP were able to pull out that one last ballot, put two names inside film canisters, and draw lots. That’s where we are today. An entire state legislature decided on a single solitary ballot. And we have people like Ed Gillespie to thank for this.

The Washington Post: Gillespie took partisan mapmaking to a new level. Try turning that into a bumper sticker.

Here’s what the goal is, for 2020. Feel free to drag that line to the left and right, to see what the GOP expects the landscape to look like after 2018. Go ahead. Check it out. It’s what I’m predicting will happen.

https://rslc.gop/map-center/

Democrats still think we can play by the rules. Greens think their high moral ground will protect and insulate them from the damage this country has already suffered and will continue to suffer under Republican rule.

They don’t understand that our country’s election process has become a game of political Calvinball, where the rules change from moment to moment, to suit the needs of the GOP.

If we keep having these blame-storming arguments that revolve around purity tests, we’ll be the rest of the way back to the Gilded age, with all the gains after 1900 just plain gone.

Back to the days of billionaire robber barons, landed gentry, slavery, and feudalism.

You think we’re there now? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

Connecting the Dots, Part 6…

Connecting the Dots, Part 6…

“Financial Armageddon.”

The Washington Post says so.

I just went back in time and checked, and I’m pretty sure this is what I’ve been saying for the last four and a half years, give or take a day or so.

Don’t believe me?

Here:

December 13, 2012: Just when you thought you understood, someone explained it better…

October 8, 2013: It all comes down to this…

December 16, 2015: Ignoring the man behind the curtain…

and finally,

January 16, 2016: The Big Social Security Lie…

It’s like all of a sudden people are finally catching up with what I’ve been saying since the 2012 election. I wonder why it took so long for them to buy in?

Perhaps it was because nobody could conceive that Trump might win.

Maybe it was because people couldn’t imagine the greatest nation in the world suffering from immolation.

Or it could be hubris.

Wait. What’s that?

Hubris (/ˈhjuːbrɪs/, also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις) describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence.[1] In its ancient Greek context, it typically describes behavior that defies the norms of behavior or challenges the gods, and which in turn brings about the downfall, or nemesis, of the perpetrator of hubris.

It’s when the winning candidate uses a term like “draining the swamp” and people fail to understand exactly what he means by the phrase.

What better way to “Drain the Swamp” than to simply let the clock run out.

No budget. No bills to pay. No people to pay.

Swamp drained.

Seriously. Do you really think all those people who clamor for smaller government have any idea what that will mean to the DelMarVa region?

What about all those towns that support what’s left of the military bases across the country?

How about those companies building military infrastructure?

Who’s gonna shore them up? The Koch brothers? Mercer?

C’mon. Seriously?

You want to see what happens when you open holes in a damn that holds back the flood? Just wait until we go over the Fiscal Cliff.

Just remember: There aren’t enough Democrats to stop the process this time. They won’t be obstructing anything. They’ll holler but they won’t be able to fix the problem and the GOP are too damn busy trying to put out the coal seam fire that is the Trump Russia disaster.

We are 78 days and counting to the end of FY2017. There is no budget. There’s only a fanciful laundry list of wants thrown down from the mount by the illegitimate Russian shill who portrays himself as President.

Think I’m kidding?

Just wait.

Connecting the Dots, Part 5…

Connecting the Dots, Part 5…

I’ve been chewing on what to write, post convention(s), for a while now. This is WAY long, and there are lots of links, many of which have OTHER links, so it could take a long time to get through. You could just skip to the end, but you’ll miss all the supporting material if you do.

Ready? Here we go…

I don’t know about you, but I just couldn’t bring myself to watch the events live, even though I entertained (however briefly) a thought that I might consider signing up to represent Bernie Sanders at the Democratic convention. Not even President Obama’s speech was enough to get me to turn on the events of the last week, though it got me closer to paying attention, thanks to NPR’s live broadcast while I was stuck in the car driving home after a show.

All the speeches I care about are below, starting with NPR’s article featuring Michelle Obama’s speech. The rest are linked below:

Elizabeth Warren:

Bernie Sanders:

Bill Clinton:

and President Obama
(With transcript)

I’ve been talking about history since I started paying attention to politics and current events, way back in high school. I started watching elections the year McGovern went down, thanks to Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

I’ve live-blogged events in the past, including the 2012 election. For me, there was an impulse to see history in action, to record the experience live, in person, as it happened. I thought about volunteering as a delegate, but I just couldn’t seem to get the enthusiasm to sign up, and it’s probably just as well.

I think I know why.

If you go back and search the archives of this blog, you might notice some things. Maybe the biggest one is my enduring hope that Romney just couldn’t win in the face of facts regarding his past. He was out of touch, even more than McCain and Palin, with the rank and file of his party. He didn’t speak for them so much as he spoke to them. And when he made the mistake of going on record (however clandestinely that record was) about the true nature of his base, that was really about all there was to his election.

2008 was trickier, and I was too distracted with small children and recent separation to spend a lot of time pondering the differences between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to take the time out. I had just recently joined Facebook, and spent much less time on my original personal blog as a result.

The funny thing about Facebook is how much of a memory hole it truly is.

I just took a trip back through history and determined that I’ll be better off deleting most of it and recording it in my own personal database, because there’s no way to just go back and grab what I posted there. It’s fragmented nonsense without any connections or context. You can go grab your own, and see what I mean.

But I digress. What I’m really talking about here is how the world has shifted since Bill Clinton took the oath of office in January, 1993. The ugliness started far earlier, when it became clear that Bush was going to lose, exacerbated by Ross Perot’s leap into politics. The election never recovered, folks had two years to get used to good times, and then?

And then Newt Gingrich took office and explained to us in great detail how our country was going to hell and what his buddies in the House were going to do to fix it.

That, right there, is the start of Orwell’s “Hate.” I swear: If Hillary Clinton’s name was Goldstein it might be clearer, but it’s not. And as I’ve said before, if 1984 was required reading instead of a banned book, this would be obvious. It’s not, because god forbid we should educate our children about the rise of fascism and its effects on society. And god forbid they should take part in the full process, because after all, only the November election actually matters, and only every four years.

Here’s the first set of stats that see what I see:

Only 9% of America Chose Trump and Clinton as the Nominees

This is totally in line with my own spreadsheet of stats: 2016 Election Prediction based on Primary Votes. But the real randomizer is this: How many Pro-Bernie people were really Anti-Hillary, who will now vote for Johnson or Stein instead of following Sanders’ instructions for taking back the country?

A sizeable chunk, but not 50% of the Democratic votes went to Sanders. If even half of those vote Johnson or Stein, and they take the rest of the undecided voters who didn’t bother with the primaries with them, we could easily be looking at a Trump presidency, regardless of whether Diebold machines still in operation are hacked or not.

When you add up voter obstruction and voter suppression with rank and file hatred inspired back in 1992 by GOP strategists Ken Starr and Karl Rove, you get a truly nasty cocktail of reactionary stupidity combined with pure corporate greed.

1992. Remember that year? How old were you then?

I was just shy of my 29th birthday, and had already voted in two presidential elections. (Hint: First Reagan, and then Bush won.) I was over the moon when we finally had a Democrat in the White House again. And for a brief shining period things looked great. Well, okay, not great for everyone, but certainly better than it was. We were at the start of a tech boom. I owned my own place. We seemed to be moving forward.

That’s when the machine started moving. Chugging out propaganda and pushing the conservative agenda, continuing to shove “trickle down economics” down our throats. Everyone…EVERYONE…was gonna be rich!

Only that isn’t how it actually worked. And with the law of unintended consequences in full force, every single post-Reagan attack on the left took us farther and farther away from the path to the actual American Dream.

That, friends, is how we got here:

The rise of American authoritarianism
A niche group of political scientists may have uncovered what’s driving Donald Trump’s ascent. What they found has implications that go well beyond 2016.

It’s all there. All the hate, all the misdirected anger, courtesy of the men behind the curtain. And if they get their way, none of it will be traceable, because we are now an electronic society. Burning books? Who needs that when all you have to do is delete the files. Got Kindle? Nook? Read everything online? Get your news from Facebook? Who needs a propaganda machine when you have one at your fingertips.

If Trump loses the election, that will not remove the threats and social changes that trigger the “action side” of authoritarianism. The authoritarians will still be there. They will still look for candidates who will give them the strong, punitive leadership they desire.

And that means Donald Trump could be just the first of many Trumps in American politics, with potentially profound implications for the country.

It would also mean more problems for the GOP. This election is already showing that the party establishment abhors Trump and all he stands for — his showy demagoguery, his disregard for core conservative economic values, his divisiveness.

Fortunately, not everyone believes the demagoguery. Some high profile GOP members actually realize how bad he could be for the country.

Unfortunately, they’re not the bulk of Trump’s supporters. This is what we have in store, if Trump wins. Petulance, lies, misogyny, and fraud. And if he doesn’t, he can cry foul, and his followers (who believe all the lies, all the false flags, all the Hate) are likely to take their personal arsenals and eliminate the people they think stood in the way, and he might just win anyway.

Not that they need to do it, mind you, because that’s not how Hitler ultimately rose to power. Nope. He did it with an election. And liberals gave him what he needed.

And if we’re not very, very careful, it will happen all over again, here in the United States.

See the previous Connecting the Dots posts here:

Connecting the Dots, Part 4

Connecting the Dots, Part 4

Authoritarian personality is a state of mind or attitude characterized by belief in absolute obedience or submission to one’s own authority, as well as the administration of that belief through the oppression of one’s subordinates. It usually applies to individuals who are known or viewed as having an authoritative, strict, or oppressive personality towards subordinates.
Authoritarianism is characterized by highly concentrated and centralized power maintained by political repression and the exclusion of potential challengers. It uses political parties and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime.[5]Adam Przeworski has theorized that “authoritarian equilibrium rests mainly on lies, fear and economic prosperity”.[6]
–Wikipedia

Okay, y’all. We’re two months into the process now, and the numbers are starting to roll in. Based on what I’m seeing so far, it’s time to start shopping for prime real estate across the border.

See, here’s the thing. I’ve been connecting these dots for a while now. First time, October 23, 2012, I was talking about Romney and his connections to Bain, shady dealings, and backroom politics. Second time, April 6, 2013, it was ALEC and the Tea Party, and how broken the system really was. Third time? November 21, 2015 and fascism.

I’ve been skirting the problem, but I didn’t have all the pieces.

Until tonight.

The following link is to a VERY long article that neatly sums up everything that’s wrong with today’s Republican party, from Trump’s loose cannon popularity to the dysfunction in congress and more.

Worse, it’s a damning illustration of why the current electorate may turn this country on its ear, come November, if Trump wins the nomination, because there’s a near zero chance he won’t have a Tea Party-backed VP to shepherd his moves and keep the conservatives who aren’t quite so enamored of Trump’s behavior in the party line.

The rise of American authoritarianism:

A niche group of political scientists may have uncovered what’s driving Donald Trump’s ascent. What they found has implications that go well beyond 2016.

In the interest of testing a theory, I set out tonight to do some calculations based on the numbers from this year’s primaries and caucuses. The results are cataloged in the spreadsheet below, and in the following table, if you don’t want to deal with the spreadsheet.

Primary and Caucus Statistics for 2016 Presidential Election (Spreadsheet in Google Sheets)

What it tells me is that either the Democrats are staying home from the primaries in droves, or something is very VERY wrong with the way the primaries are being handled this year.

As the process continues, I’ll keep updating the table below, as time permits (with my school schedule). The short form here is that Republicans are showing up to the polls with a nearly 2:1 ratio. Yes, we’re still early in the race, but with 15 states finalizing their votes in March and another eight finishing in April, on top of the 15 that have already completed their primaries or caucuses, this stuff’s going to be mostly decided before May.

I have friends expressing views that primaries aren’t truly representative of the actual electorate out there, because people will blow off primaries and still show up to the general election in November, but I’m low on faith that this will happen.

Based on the numbers, I think it’s statistically likely we’re going to have Trump in the White House, and that he will determine who will sit on the Supreme Court Bench come January, if the rest of the GOP don’t wake up and drop their obstructionism. Only I know they won’t do it. They’ll ensure that President Obama won’t get the chance to make a recess nomination because they won’t take a long enough recess to guarantee the ability to take advantage of an executive order.

Trump is a bully, a failed businessman who lucked into money and kept enough of it through four bankruptcies, three marriages, and a series of disastrous gambling investments. He may be a white supremacist, or just a fast talking con man. This…THIS is the man the Republican electorate wants to put in the highest office in our country.

If you thought the 2000 election was ugly, just wait. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

(NOTE: On the spreadsheet I have also detailed the Primaries for the Territories and the numbers above under Votes Cast includes those as well. The spreadsheet also contains 1992, 2000, and 2008’s figures AND the final counts for GOP and DEM in the 2008 General Election.)

Connecting the Dots, Part 3

Connecting the Dots, Part 3

When I wrote this post back in 2012, just before the 2012 election, I was doing everything in my power to get the word out that we couldn’t elect Mitt Romney because he was backed by American Fascists.

Connecting the Dots, Part 2

Connecting the Dots, Part 2

United States of ALEC from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

On October 11, 2012, I wrote the following post: Do you know ALEC? If not, you should. And you should be afraid.

The video above was part of the above post. I just watched it again. Somehow, there has to be a way to get the word out that ALEC isn’t just a lobbying organization masquerading as a non-profit educational organization but is actively writing legislation that states are voting on now to take away individuals’ rights. Including the Stand Your Ground law, Right to Work law and more.

Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia…they’re in every state (including Maryland, where I live).

Fortunately, Maryland still carries Democratic Majority, and we are still able to pass legislation that protects our rights, much to the NRA-backed gun lobby’s consternation, but if we don’t spend the time and learn more about ALEC’s activities today, we’re dooming our country to a corporate-driven demise not seen since World War II, or possibly ever.

(Yes, I don’t like the source, but the sources he quotes are legit, and frankly, he’s not the only one who’s noticed the parallels between then and now. If you have a real problem with the site, go to Harvard and view the docs there instead: http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/)

Back in the late ’90s, Hillary Clinton referred to a “vast right-wing conspiracy” targeting Bill Clinton for takedown, first with Whitewater and then Monica Lewinsky. The GOP-backed House, led by Newt Gingrich, almost achieved impeachment, which failed in part because the 1998 election cycle brought in enough senators (not exactly bipartisan, but enough who crossed the lines to make acquittal possible).

Most people blew off  the possibility that there was an actual right-wing conspiracy as improbable at best, unprovable at worst. Who knew the conspiracy would be driven by corporate America, interested most in retaining the bottom line.

Enter the makers of the documentary above.

Suddenly, 40 years of American political history starts to make sense.

The New Yorker, in August 2010, published Jane Mayer’s investigative biographic article, COVERT OPERATIONS: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. In the article, she outlines the role the brothers have played in shaping conservative politics.

Forbes Magazine, on March 21, 2011, published The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy 2011: Less Vast- More Powerful as a clearer picture of the men behind the curtain, but even this article failed to get to the true depth and breadth of the organization.

On September 12, 2012, in the heat of last year’s election cycle, the Center for Media and Democracy published this article, which helps map out the relationships between the top three conservative think tanks:  Paul Weyrich’s Troika Reunited: ALEC Partners with Republican Study Committee at Heritage Foundation.

The Trayvon Martin case, as sad as it was, has served to expose ALEC’s role in state government politics. Every time I hear the phrase “States’ Rights” I go back to one thing: We have set ourselves up via the Constitution for a corporate takeover the likes of which has never been seen.

All the signs are there. Social programs designed to protect the poor? Gone. Equal pay for equal work? Laughable. Health care? Social Security? Even privacy? Every last one of these is suspect.

So today, we come to this (from Salon.com, today): The Republican Party is officially broken: Washington’s problem isn’t partisanship or a fatally flawed system. It’s that one party is massively dysfunctional

Only, I would argue that they aren’t broken at all. They are operating exactly, specifically as planned. And unless we can find some way to stop their progress, before 2014, there will be no way to fix what’s wrong with this country because Corporate America will have won.

Public school will eventually cease to exist, becoming private (commercial). Tens of thousands of people will die because they can’t afford the cost of healthcare. We will decrease the unnecessary surplus population and that will suit the Suits just fine. The Tea Party will do all the driving if we don’t figure out a way to stop them. Because the Tea Party is leaving “Brownshirt” stains everywhere.

Heck, if this keeps up, I may have to buy a gun.

Remember: You heard it here. Spread the word.

Connecting the Dots…

Connecting the Dots…

UPDATE (10/26/12): It appears the news is heating up. Thanks to the Daily Kos, we may well be looking at the real smoking gun in this campaign. Whether it’s enough to take away Romney’s momentum and make even the staunchest racist Republican vote elsewhere remains to be seen. After all, there are those in the Republican party who simply can’t abide a black man in office.

Sometimes it’s terribly hard to see the big picture, especially when people go to great lengths to keep us from seeing more than little bits and pieces.

I’ve been checking my feed and seeing what I’ve missed over the last couple of days, so forgive me if this is coming as a surprise to you. I’m shocked I didn’t see the connection before, but as the writer in the piece from the Daily Kos says, it’s hard to catch everything unless you’re really looking for it.

What? Miss what?

I just spent some time catching up on video I should have watched a while ago. I suspect I can be forgiven for missing this, but the video came so early in the race, Romney was still fighting against his opponents prior to the RNC, there was still too much noise to filter.

From ABC News, aired March 2, 2012, just four days before Super Tuesday, this should have blown Romney’s candidacy out of the water, but it didn’t because it’s been forgotten. Seems his base has Romnesia too.

But here’s the thing: When I posted my own story on the barrage of information hitting my screen, I missed a huge connection thanks to burn-out and a sudden intensification of work at the office. Thanks to a friend, I’ve read all these articles. They add up. In fact, they leave me wondering if this is the very thing Ann Romney’s worried about.

See, here’s the thing. Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard more and more about Sensata, Bainport, and Romney’s disinterest in helping keep American jobs from being shipped overseas to China. So what does that have to do with the video above? Not much, except to question Romney’s ethics again, only…wait for it…this isn’t the first time Bain was implicated in forcing jobs related to the automotive industry to move overseas.

In 2008, Ann Romney made a ton of money because the manager of her “blind” trust bought out Delphi and–yes, that’s right–shipped their jobs to China.

Don’t believe me. Read the articles below. Ever since Ryan’s flap at the soup kitchen, which now strikes me as the tempest in a teapot it really was, these articles have been popping out in various places.  These guys are experts at smoke-screens.

The Nation got there first, though, two days after Ryan’s disastrous photo op.

Romney’s had Harvard lawyer’s training, even if he doesn’t practice at the Bar. He knows how to cover his tracks. So why is his tax form such a big deal when his father’s opinion was so clear on the subject?

Well, just how would it look if you and your wife took a direct profit from American jobs being shipped overseas, and from the bankrupting of GM? Not so good, I’m thinking, especially for those hundreds of thousands of people who are out of manufacturing jobs thanks to the screeching halt of auto sales right in the middle of the financial crisis?

Read these and get back to me. Take your time. I’ll be here.

October 17, 2012:

The Nation (November 5 Edition): Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012:

Dayton Daily News: Report: Romney benefited from Delphi bankruptcy

Saturday, October 20, 2012:

Daily Kos: Sensata, Delphi, GM, Auto Bailout, and Romney. The Solution is Free Markets?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012:

The Huffington Post (10:10pm): Mitt Romney Profited By At Least $15.3 Million From Auto Bailout: Report

Theme: Elation by Kaira.