Burden of Proof…

Burden of Proof…

This nugget showed up on a friend’s FB post, which I can now no longer find. Chances are, either the friend decided it had to go, the genius who posted it blocked me, or I blocked him.

At the time, (sometime just after Christmas, I think) I thanked the guy for posting virtually every propaganda-driven talking point Alex Jones and Fox News have shoved into his brain in the name of truth. Here it is, folks. GOP trash talk, all in one convenient comment.

He said:

Stop watch mainstream media it’s bad for your brain. If we look back in history even JFK said Tax cuts like these would bring economic boom like no other. As far as healthcare goes the ACA screwed that up a long time ago anyone who tried to tell you that trump is the one that caused premiums to almost tripe this year in some places it out right lying. Also those so called environmental regulations had nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with eliminating clean coal. Just look at the Democratic controlled Flint, Michigan they still don’t have clean drinking water. Stop looking at the virtue signaling idiots saying everything is bad and open your eyes markets up, costs are dropping, companies are pledging billions in Christmas bonuses to their employees, you are no longer forced to buy health insurance that most cannot afford, you also won’t be penalized for not buying health insurance you can’t afford, and last but not least we now have evidence of the Russian collusion that liberals have been so desperate for. Unfortunately the proof is the Hillary Clinton sold 40% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia and the Robert Mueller as well as Obama were in on it.

Fallacy Ref: Burden of Proof

Then he told me I had to debunk all the claims he made. First I said no. Normally I’d have called him on the fallacy, because it’s not MY job to prove he’s wrong. It’s HIS job to provide his source.

But then I thought about it and decided to make an example of him. It’s too good to pass up, because this is a dump truck load of bunk.

Note: If you find the text out there, you’re doing better than I. And I left every grammatical error, all the fallacious bullshit, all the propaganda where it is.

I’ve addressed each point. You’re welcome to follow (and read) all the articles below. Obviously there’s a lot to read. Heck, took me almost a month just to sit down and compile this post, but then it’s been sitting in my draft folder all this time and frankly, I need some time to process the current spy novel that is our political situation in the US, so this is acting a little like a sewage-based palate cleanser.

Your mileage may vary. Additions to the debunking are welcome, as are corrections. This stuff is like a fast moving freight train. Four of the articles came out in just the last week.

Onward…

But whatever. It’s an exercise in researching and I’ve got nothing better to do. Well, that’s not true either. I’ve left all the impressive typos and grammar as an exercise in identifying a fool. Feel free to interpret his prose the way I did.

Best way to do this is to break it down, one bogus claim at a time.

Here goes:

1. If we look back in history even JFK said Tax cuts like these would bring economic boom like no other.

Well, no. Forbes: The Laffer Curve Files: JFK’s Advisor Said Tax Cuts Raise Revenue

Also: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Kansas Provides Compelling Evidence of Failure of “Supply-Side” Tax Cuts

2. As far as healthcare goes the ACA screwed that up a long time ago anyone who tried to tell you that trump is the one that caused premiums to almost tripe this year in some places it out right lying.

From a conveniently timed article posted TODAY by the NY Times:

Why Is U.S. Health Care So Expensive? Some of the Reasons You’ve Heard Turn Out to Be Myths

In a new, detailed international comparison, the United States looks a lot more like its peers than researchers expected.

There were two areas where the United States really was quite different: We pay substantially higher prices for medical services, including hospitalization, doctors’ visits and prescription drugs. And our complex payment system causes us to spend far more on administrative costs. The United States also has a higher rate of poverty and more obesity than any of the other countries, possible contributors to lower life expectancy that may not be explained by differences in health care delivery systems.

3. Also those so called environmental regulations had nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with eliminating clean coal.

Um…

National Geographic: Can Coal Ever Be Clean? It’s the dirtiest of fossil fuels. We burn eight billion tons of it a year, with growing consequences. The world must face the question.

Coal ISN’T clean. That’s a lie told by coal and oilmen who don’t want to see their profits cut through advances in renewable energy like solar, wind, or hydro-energy. And this guy has forgotten what life was like before the EPA.

4. Just look at the Democratic controlled Flint, Michigan they still don’t have clean drinking water.

That’s a massive oversimplification of the problems that led to Flint’s water disaster, and it ignores Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s role in the decision-making process. From Politifact:

Who’s to blame for the Flint water crisis?

Our conclusion

Based on what is currently known, Snyder does bear a significant share of the responsibility. His fiscal approach helped set the stage for the water switch that led to the poisoning, and it was his hand-picked emergency managers who implemented the changes. Snyder also oversaw the state environmental and health departments that have come in for sharp criticism for their failures to act quickly and forcefully when the first indications of a problem cropped up.

However, experts say that claims from Clinton and Sanders that focus on Snyder alone oversimplify matters — and give a partisan spin to what is more fairly characterized as a broad failure of governance at all levels. Such one-sided accounts gloss over the responsibility borne by local Flint officials who supported the decision, by an EPA that failed to press harder for changes as the problem worsened, and by officials of both parties who contributed to the longstanding fiscal problems at both the state and city level.

5. Stop looking at the virtue signaling idiots saying everything is bad and open your eyes markets up, costs are dropping, …

Well, not exactly…

NY Post: Wall Street surges on strong hiring, low wage growth

The Dow Jones industrial average soared 440.53 points, or 1.8 percent, closing at 25,335.74 Friday after the Labor Department reported the US economy added 313,000 jobs in February — blowing past analyst estimates of 200,000. Unemployment remains at 4.1 percent — its lowest level since December 2000.

Meanwhile wages, although still climbing, grew only 2.6 percent in February over the last year. That’s down from the 2.9 percent year-over-year growth initially reported for January.

But that’s not the whole story either:

NY Times: Are Wage Gains Picking Up? Stalling? Questionable Data Makes It Hard to Say

When the Labor Department reported last month that average hourly earnings had jumped 2.9 percent in January, it looked as though the long, steady recovery in the American job market might at last be translating into faster wage gains for the nation’s workers.

Then came Friday and the latest jobs report, which showed that wage growth was weaker in January than initially reported and that the gains in February were weaker still, up just 2.6 percent from a year earlier.

The muddled data on wages was a potent reminder that even the strongest job market in a generation has not been robust enough to reverse a longstanding pattern of lagging pay.

With flat wages and a reduction in what your money actually pays for (like, for example, the quantity of orange juice in a carton, which used to be 64 fl. oz. but is now almost always 59.5 fl. oz. instead, for more than we paid 10 years ago), the wages haven’t kept pace with the actual costs. While it looks like goods are getting cheaper, they’re just less high priced. When the prices return to the same level as they were when people first started earning these wages, come talk to me about lower costs.

6. …companies are pledging billions in Christmas bonuses to their employees, …

Yeah, about that…

Fox Business: Bankrupt Toys R Us execs could still get up to $21 million in holiday bonuses

Chicago Tribune: AT&T hands out bonuses to 200,000 workers, pink slips to 600 others

Newsweek: COMCAST FIRED HUNDREDS OF WORKERS BEFORE CHRISTMAS ALONGSIDE PLEDGE TO GIVE $1,000 ‘TRUMP TAX CUT’ BONUSES

7. … you are no longer forced to buy health insurance that most cannot afford, …

Sure we’re not…

Idaho Statesman: Nebraska groups rally behind Medicaid expansion ballot drive

He’s got a nasty surprise coming, in about a year, I’m thinking because…

8. … you also won’t be penalized for not buying health insurance you can’t afford, …

Still not correct. As a matter of fact, the IRS has a bit to say on that subject:

IRS: Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tax Provisions

And his crowning achievement, the 2017 equivalent of Benghazi:

9. … and last but not least we now have evidence of the Russian collusion that liberals have been so desperate for. Unfortunately the proof is the Hillary Clinton sold 40% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia …

*eyeroll*

Snopes: Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent of United States’ Uranium to Russia in Exchange for Clinton Foundation Donations? Allegations of a “quid pro quo” deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.

Unsubstantiated. That’s because this is bullshit. See below.

10. … and the Robert Mueller …

No. Just no.

Snopes: Did Hillary Clinton Tell FBI’s Mueller to Deliver Uranium to Russians in 2009 ‘Secret Tarmac Meeting’?
Hyperpartisan web sites mischaracterized a State Department cable alerting the U.S. Embassy in Russia of a transfer of criminal evidence obtained in a sting operation.

Mischaracterized. Meaning twisted, slanted, or otherwise spun to tell something that isn’t true. Go figure.

11. … as well as Obama were in on it.

Oh, the conspiracies. But never about the Republicans, only the Democrats. The poor guy just isn’t going to get it until after the 2018 elections are over, and when he realizes how screwed he really is, he’s going to turn around and blame everything on the Democrats, just like his masters have told him to do.

This *just in* (and right on time, too).

Washington Post: The ‘dossier’ and the uranium deal: A guide to the latest allegations

As a service to readers bound to be confused by an increasingly complex story, here’s a brief guide to the latest developments in the tangled allegations involving Russia, President Trump and Hillary Clinton.

But wait. There’s more!!!

Reuters: Informant had no evidence Clinton benefited from uranium sale

An informant whom House Republicans have said could reveal a link between a 2010 sale of U.S. uranium supplies and donations to the Clinton Foundation provided no evidence of that during a four-hour interview with congressional staff last month, Democrats said on Thursday.

The informant, lobbyist William D. Campbell, “provided no evidence of a quid pro quo involving Secretary (Hillary) Clinton or the Clinton Foundation and no evidence that Secretary Clinton was involved in, or improperly influenced” the uranium sale, the Democrats said in a five-page summary of the Feb. 7 interview.

And that’s that.

No cries of foul, no backpedaling. Once you toss the junk out into the Internet wild, like those tiny microbeads of plastic in the Great Lakes, it’s out there, suitable for framing or tossing into an otherwise sensible discussion of politics. And no need to declare truth because who wants to take the time to sort it all out?

Seriously.

This guy used virtually every Alex Jones/Breitbart/Daily Caller/Gateway Pundit PROPAGANDA-based talking point to try and refute a legitimate source for something he disagreed with, and that’s what’s wrong with American Conservatives today.

They have no idea they’re being told lies, have no filters for this BS, and think liberals like me will waste our time trying to tell them the truth when they’re not going to listen or believe it anyway.

I tell ya, I ought to get paid for this stuff.

Now where’s my Soros check?

*kidding*

I got yer “Why now?” right here…

I got yer “Why now?” right here…

So here I am, a one-woman editorial team without benefit of a secretary. And this is weighing down on me, so I need to make sense of it and get it off my chest. Continue reading “I got yer “Why now?” right here…”

I was off by a month. My bad.

I was off by a month. My bad.

When I started writing online, way back in 2004, my blogging was a combination of minutiae designed to keep a then-deployed husband in the loop on day-to-day life at home. We were not quite to the end of W’s first term, but it was already clear to me what his election meant to the country, in terms of an erosion of civil liberty, of a dramatic (but by no means complete) shift to the right, and long term lasting damage to our reputation as a world leader by his creation of the USA Patriot Act.

In an ever-increasing feeling of depression and anger over last November, I’ve lashed out repeatedly at people who still seem to think that we are operating “business-as-usual” even in the face of abject corruption and cronyism not seen in decades in this country, going all the way back to the Gilded age of the robber barons.

The Republicans won and they’ve wasted no time showing us liberals what they think of us. They don’t give an actual damn who they harm at this point. They’ve done such a good job snowing their base, those folks will happily walk straight into their graves still believing that the people they elected to office care about anything but their own personal economy and to hell with their constituents. Yes, yes, those town halls are sure something, aren’t they? Meaningless political theatre. It makes the proles feel good, so why not? At least until things get violent, anyway.

Meanwhile, Bernie supporters who voted Anyone But Clinton are still making feeble attempts at explaining their relevance to the future, because they think their candidate still means something. He doesn’t, of course, except as the perfect foil for the Democrats whose last, best hope was to take the White House, and who failed to push enough of the agenda to ensure that would happen. He won’t last past 2018, if I’m guessing right.

In the heat of frustration earlier in the day, on Facebook (that bastion of modern nonsense and bluster that passes, for now, as something resembling a communication tool, if only for one’s personal echo chamber), I started to outline a timeline of damage.

I’ve explored that timeline throughout my Dots posts, but not in anything like a complete way.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I am considering creating a video timeline, which (at least until the government figures out how to shut down YouTube) might be the best way to explain what happened and how we got here.

In the interest of generating the outline, for future reference, here’s my take on the whole shebang, from Nixon’s disgraceful departure through to present day.

I can’t provide proof because a lot of what I think happened because, frankly, either the evidence is gone or it’s still out of view, thanks to the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA).

So while I’m saying this is what I think, I have no proof that this is what actually happened. I can infer, guess, or in some cases prove that these things are what happened, but I do not have either the time or the funding to go and research these statements. So let’s say this is all fiction. It “could” have happened the way I’ve laid it out. Or not. You be the judge.

I’m stealing data from Wikipedia’s existing timeline to save myself the typing time, but you’re welcome to go visit the original and see for yourself what I’ve edited out. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_history)

1960-1970:

  • Civil Rights Act of 1960
  • CIA U-2 spy plane shot down over Soviet airspace.
  • The 50-star flag is adopted.
  • John F. Kennedy elected
  • President Eisenhower warns of the “military–industrial complex” in his farewell address
  • President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
  • The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution grants electors to the District of Columbia
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • The Freedom Rides begin in Washington D.C.
  • Vietnam War (1955-1973) continues
  • Cuban missile crisis: A nuclear confrontation took place between the United States and the Soviet Union
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed into law.
  • Medgar Evers is assassinated
  • March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gives “I Have a Dream” speech
  • The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, carried out by a KKK splinter group, kills four African-American girls
  • The Atomic Test Ban Treaty is signed.
  • President John F. Kennedy assassinated
  • Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as President
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who assassinated President Kennedy, killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
  • President Johnson establishes The Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • The Clean Air Act signed into law.
  • The Twenty-fourth Amendment eliminates the poll tax
  • The Beatles herald the British Invasion of pop music
  • President Johnson proposes the Great Society, a set of social reforms aimed at the elimination of poverty and racial injustice.
  • President Johnson signs The Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
  • Robert McNamara helps orchestrate the Tonkin Gulf incident (a false flag operation with ‘deliberately skewed’ intelligence, used to expand U.S. military involvement in Vietnam).
  • The bodies of three missing civil rights activists, working to register voters as a part of the Freedom Summer, are found near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson defeats Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.
  • African American Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated
  • “Bloody Sunday” (Alabama State Troopers severely beat and used tear gas against the nonviolent demonstrators on the Selma to Montgomery marches)
  • March Against the Vietnam War:
  • President Johnson signs the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law, establishing Medicaid and Medicare in the United States. He also signs the Voting Rights Act
  • The Watts riots in Los Angeles, result in the deaths of 34 people.
  • President Johnson signs the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, establishing the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • The Immigration Act of 1965 is signed into law, abolishing the National Origins Formula.
  • The Higher Education Act of 1965 is passed.
  • Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position.
  • Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court establishes the rule that becomes “Miranda Rights”
  • National Organization for Women (NOW) is formed.
  • The Freedom of Information Act is signed into law.
  • The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act is passed.
  • The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing succession to the Presidency and procedures for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, was ratified.
  • The United States Department of Transportation is established.
  • Loving v. Virginia: The Supreme Court overrules the prohibition of interracial marriage.
  • Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African-American Justice to serve on the Supreme Court.
  • Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated, prompting riots in Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Kansas City and Louisville; leaving 36 people dead.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1968, providing equal housing protection, was signed into law.
  • Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated on the Presidential campaign trail
  • The United States signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • Chicago City Police clash with anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
  • The Gun Control Act of 1968 is signed into law.
  • Former Vice President Richard Nixon is elected President
  • The Stonewall riots mark the start of the modern gay liberation movement in the United States.
  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne and ruining any future bid for the White House.
  • Americans astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins land on the moon, and Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon’s surface.
  • The Woodstock Festival takes place in White Lake, New York
  • Sesame Street premieres on National Educational Television.
  • President Nixon announces the withdrawal of 50,000 U.S. troops from Vietnam; reaching the peak level of U.S. troops in Vietnam at 541,000.

Okay, so that establishes many of the changes over the course of a decade, without laying out the horrible details of the Vietnam war, which ran throughout the entire decade.

From here on, things get truly ugly, as the country struggles with changes in policy and freedom for young adults, women, and people of color. And that ugliness continues for the next 40 years, even as we fool ourselves into believing Johnson’s glorious vision of the Great Society, built on FDR’s vision of the post-Depression world. In hindsight, even as it appears that we’ve won freedom to choose and we’ve come to believe in the American Dream, that dream has become a nightmare. Fake news. The worst propaganda story possible, because it worked as a carrot for the common man, the “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” who voted Trump believing naively that Trump and his cronies cared about anything other than rising to power.

Buckle your seat belts. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. The management bears no responsibility for lost limbs or life. Ready?

Go.

In 1970, Nixon’s Southern Strategy started the shift, turning Southern Democrats away from the party and converting them to Republicans. (Remember this fact, when your Libertarian friends want to try and rewrite history. The racists left to join the Republicans under Nixon.)

When Jimmy Carter went on to win the presidency in 1976, beating Gerald Ford (who took over for Nixon, the only President to date who ever resigned from office), the shift from Southern Democrat to Republican was complete. And at about this time, I got involved in politics, working in support of Carter’s run for president at the local level. Ambitious work for a 12 year-old kid, but then I was rooting for McGovern in 1972, and by then the racists had already fled the Democratic party, leading to Nixon’s landslide victory.

In that same election, Carter’s administration saw filibuster-proof Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. (See: House vs Senate control by party.) Note that this didn’t save Carter’s presidency for a second term, because on November 4, 1979 (a little over a year prior to elections in 1980), Iranian students took over the US embassy and held over 50 embassy employees hostage. President Carter’s response was considered too weak, and some suggested that this is how Ronald Reagan rose to power.

I explained some of this here and some more of this here, but the big part is really here. (Don’t just look at the pretty bright letters. Click through and READ these three posts, and every link embedded in them.

I’ll wait.

Done? Great. Moving on.

By the time we get to modern history, the Koch brothers and Robert Mercer, we are well past the ability to reverse the damage.

I invite you to read everything I’ve written since November 8th. It’s not all that much, really, but it’s not above me to say “I told you so.

Tonight, Trump launched a direct attack on Syria, doing precisely what he (and a lot of theoretically liberal apologists accused Hillary Clinton of planning to do throughout her presidential campaign).

“But her emails…”

“Wikileaks…”

Save it. You did this. Own it.

Storm’s here (Part Two)…

Storm’s here (Part Two)…

And from here on out, I’m live on Facebook, and will post updates below.


I’m devoting all my time right now to updating my spreadsheet.

When I’ve finished, I’ll post my results to 270towin.com, but there’s no point in putting the link up now.

ETA: 1:43am EST – http://www.270towin.com/maps/36n0N (My best guess as of this moment.)

Folks, I don’t think I can watch anymore. I’m going to go to bed and try to sleep.

I just want people to remember, when they look back at tonight, that the polls this year were WORTHLESS. They lied, just the way I said they would.

They didn’t take into account independents, and that’s where they went wrong. The pundits won’t admit this fault in the logic, but that’s where it lies.

And for the record, yes, Jill Stein did have an effect. She cost us Pennsylvania, if it comes down to the wire in that state.


Earlier today…

This morning a friend posted this link to my FB account.

Tablet: Who Goes Trump? What ultimately determines support for the GOP nominee isn’t race, class, or political ideology. It’s character.

The pull quote (and the reason why you need to read the whole article) is here (emphasis mine):

The above is adapted, in some places word-for-word, from a 75-year-old Harper’s essay titled “Who Goes Nazi?” Written by Dorothy Thompson, the first American journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany, the article presents readers with the aforementioned “macabre parlor game” in which she secretly assesses which guests at a random social function might “go Nazi” given the proper political and social conditions. As Thompson keenly observed from her time in Germany, there was no single demographic “type” of Nazi supporter; workers and businessmen and intellectuals and landed gentry all backed Adolf Hitler’s political movement, just as workers and businessmen and intellectuals and landed gentry opposed it. There were even Jews, Thompson wrote, “who have repudiated their own ancestors in order to become “Honorary Aryans and Nazis.” Nazism, Thompson argues, “appeals to a certain type of mind,” not a rigid composite. As such, her article is a timeless analysis of the authoritarian mentality and makes for disturbingly relevant reading today.

I recognize that it’s been a long, slow slog through some of the foulest, nastiest rhetoric ever heard in the US during an election cycle. In the past, all the vile comments and horrible intentions were out of sight, hidden behind closed doors. Trump took the velvet gloves off this year, and we know what’s on his mind. At least we did until his staff took away his Twitter account.

Witness the attempt to fool voters into believing they can text their votes. Who do these people think we are? Do they truly think we’re that stupid? Apparently so.

Well, today’s the day. Let’s show them that we all know they are trying to manipulate the outcome, just as James Comey tried to do, with his eleventh-hour FBI release of…absolutely nothing important.

I’ll be out for a while today, enjoying the weather, since I already cast my vote last week. I’ll check back in again, on this post, with updated statistics as the returns come in.

Here are some useful links, while we’re waiting for the results:

TCT Statistics for Elections from 1992 – 2016

fivethirtyeight.com Polls Plus stats

Poll Closing times (when we think we should start to see results): http://www.270towin.com/closing.php

TheGuardian.com: Live Election Stats

See you soon.

#ImWithHer #DumpTrump #VOTE

To Trump, from Russia, with love…

To Trump, from Russia, with love…

Paul Harvey was a well-respected Midwestern radio broadcaster for ABC Radio Networks. When my dad used to take us on our epic summer cross-country road trips, Harvey’s broadcasts were highlights in otherwise endless drives from destination to destination. His segments near the end of every broadcast always began with the phrase “And now, the rest of the story.”

Ironically, Harvey was a conservative who believed a lot of things I didn’t, and don’t, but that didn’t stop his segment from having compelling threads and familiar themes. He’s been gone since 2009.

Last night, news broke all over the place of Donald Trump’s own email server and obstruction of justice  problems, but there’s a “rest of the story” here, and it came to light this morning.

The GOP are so desperate for an October Surprise that will guarantee their supremacy in just a week, they managed to push the agenda one small step too far. I am absolutely certain that if the Democrats win in the numbers they ought to come this time next week, we will finally see sunshine blown into all the dark crevices of government, but for FBI Director James Comey, this could well be the end of a career as he steps off the Hatch Act ledge.

The news that there were additional emails on “a device” related to Anthony Weiner, which broke on October 28th, came straight from the top, but it’s not the end of the story. And it stinks.

It took all of four days to go from the story, which relates to investigations of Weiner’s laptop, the device in question, to the revelation that Comey decided to skip announcing Donald Trump’s direct link to the Ukraine.

And in that time, here’s a summary of the changes in the news, in three articles:

Rawstory: Cummings’ shocker: Americans don’t ‘have a clue’ how hard the GOP pushed the FBI to attack Clinton

New York Times: Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia

CNBC: FBI’s Comey opposed naming Russians, citing election timing (Auto-sound warning)

So we’ve just gone from a criminal violation of the Hatch Act to something considerably more insidious.

Given Trump’s public goading of Russia to hack servers and provide evidence that Hillary Clinton was a criminal (thanks, WikiLeaks), and his own issues with email and obstruction, this ought to be enough to take down Donald Trump and all the Republican cronies who are pushing him into office, except for one thing: His supporters don’t actually give a damn about any of this.

Trump has acknowledged that he’s committed sexual assault. He’s committed adultery (twice, at least), he’s LOST almost a billion dollars, and not one of these revelations is enough to sway his supporters from their goal of mutually assured destruction.

We are so, so fucked.

Two weeks…

Two weeks…

I am casting my vote for Hillary Clinton as soon as the polls are open for early voting. I’m not taking any chances.

Yesterday on FB there was a meme circulating about how Jimmy Carter was up by 8% before the landslide that lost him the presidency in 1980. Back in March, the article below suggested that Trump’s message wouldn’t serve to do the same damage in this election as the fight between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan did back then.

I disagree.

In 1980 I was still too young to vote, but I lived through the damage Reagan and Bush did during their twelve years at the helm of the US. They lied about the economy and tossed out regulations we’re only now coming to realize were important and not just a drag on business. People felt justified in voting against Carter because of a variety of things, including the “Iranian crisis” that extended through much of Carter’s last year in office, only to come to grips with Iran Scam in the late end of Bush’s sole term.

I understand that as conspiracy theories go, the October Surprise is unproven and fairly damning, but as I hasten to remind people, Bush Sr. was involved in the CIA prior to his run for the Presidency that led to being selected as Reagan’s running mate that year, and I have absolutely no trouble at all believing that he was in it up to his ears. I believe the truth will out once we finally have access to Reagan’s papers, starting in 2020 (if we’re lucky and the GOP don’t find a way to bury the truth down further).

From Wikipedia:

October Surprise conspiracy theory

Allegations that the Reagan administration negotiated a delay in the release of the hostages until after the 1980 presidential election have been numerous but unproven. Gary Sick, principal White House aide for Iran and the Persian Gulf on the Carter administration’s National Security Council, claimed in his book October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan[145] that CIA Director William Casey and possibly Vice President George H. W. Bush went to Paris to negotiate such a delay. Many others have made the same allegations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush#Other_positions.2C_1977.E2.80.9380

I celebrated when we finally got a Democrat in the White House in 1992, though he wasn’t the one I voted for in the primary. I am grateful that we have one again, who’s worked really damn hard to undo a lot of the damage the Bush family has done to our country in the last 36 years.

We CANNOT afford to let this election slide based on polling statistics. A portion of our country is on the brink of recognizing and celebrating our diversity at precisely the same time as people in other portions are looking for people to blame, to vilify, to terrorize into believing that Hillary Clinton is the very devil.

I am asking a different question. It’s the same question I’ve asked since the end of the Primaries.

What if the polls aren’t telling the whole story? What if people who have the opportunity to vote choose not to exercise their right? What if they try but are prevented because the GOP is too scared to let Democrats back into power again?

What if the GOP knows that a Democratic majority in the House and Senate would spell an end to witch hunts and allow for forward progress because they can no longer obstruct change, and they are doing their best to turn the country toward fascism?

What if the true separation between Trump and Clinton comes down to too few votes in too many battleground states?

Can you really trust polls to tell you the truth? Their scope is limited, by definition, to the people they reach, and there’s no guarantee that those people will answer truthfully. Things can change (like they did for Jimmy Carter) in a matter of days. Can you say with confidence that the numbers on fivethirtyeight.com are in sufficient quantity that they’re reliable? What if the predictions of a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton are wrong?

Suppose the separation between candidates is as it was during the primary? There were fewer than two million votes across the entire country that separated Democrats from Republicans and MORE people voted for Republicans during this year’s primary than in any election from 1992 through 2012. That margin is too close for my own personal comfort.
 
Early voting is underway in many states. I’m going to get the opportunity to exercise my right starting on October 27. I will cast my vote for Hillary Clinton with a clear conscience and a hope that enough others will do the same that Donald Trump will have no chance, and that all the down-ticket offices will finally be filled with enough Democrats to restore a super majority to OUR side of the aisle (something not seen since Jimmy Carter’s presidency).
 
If your vote of conscience puts Donald J. Trump in charge of the country, I guarantee I will hold you personally responsible for the damage he and his followers will do, and we will not speak again.
 
Count on it.
 
#ImWithHer

Is THIS what it takes today?

Is THIS what it takes today?

Earlier this morning I posted the following article on Donald Trump:

Trump: I was being an entertainer when I insulted women

The pull quote comes from this longer interview with Nevada NBC News 3’s interviewer Jim Snyder, who spoke with Trump just before he took the stage at a rally:

EXCLUSIVE | One-on-one with presidential candidate Donald Trump

In my post, I said the following: “Here’s a tip, Donald. We don’t think you’re entertaining. We think you’re scary as hell. Go f*ck yourself.”

This honest, unfiltered opinion comes from months of listening to all the media responses I’ve read to Trump’s candidacy, a high powered Acela-style train wreck that included accusations of human trafficking and fraud. That his showing in his first debate with Hillary Clinton could be even remotely considered a win is unfathomable, but now, there’s this.

Tonight, around 4pm, news broke of another video clip. This one, from 2005, catches in audio from a hot microphone, Trump’s real, unfiltered opinion of women, spoken glibly to a fellow misogynist. The reduction of women to easily manipulated pieces of meat is disgusting and rings all too true to ANY woman who has experienced such abuse firsthand.

The news, which the Washington Post broke at about 4pm this evening, comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to the things this dirtbag of a human being has said on camera about women, but the depth and breadth of disgust has hit the Republican party full force.

Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005

Trump caught on tape making crude, sexually aggressive comments about women

Trump’s leaked comments aren’t just “lewd.” They describe sexual assault. Which Trump has been formally accused of before.

I can’t imagine any self-respecting woman voting for this POS. If you still “like” Trump (and I ask because I’ve seen those exact words in my Facebook feed in the last 48 hours), you’d better have a REALLY good reason. Because this, here, is what he thinks of you.

There is NO amount of political spin that can turn this into gold for Trump. Not this time. The established party of NO thinks women deserve pedestals, but Trump’s supporters eat this crap up because this is what they think of women. They AGREE with Trump’s assessment of a woman’s value. They see nothing at all wrong with any of the things Trump has said in the entire time he’s been on the campaign trail.

Women make up 50% of the country’s voting age population. We have an opportunity to make ourselves heard at last, to derail this train wreck before we lose our ability to say or do the right thing.

If you’ve sided with Trump, you’d better have a damn good reason for backing this human train wreck. Early voting is already underway. If you think this man has you in mind when he talks, you really don’t understand his motives at all. He will take you, me, and the rest of the country over the cliff, and he’ll smirk his way straight to Hell.

 

 

I think for myself…

I think for myself…

There is an oft-paraphrased poem that circulates around the Internet. It goes something like this:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

It comes from the earliest form of this this speech, given by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) in Frankfort, Germany on January 6, 1946 (translated thus):

When Pastor Niemöller was put in a concentration camp we wrote the year 1937; when the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers.
Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians – “should I be my brother’s keeper?”
Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. – I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it’s right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn’t it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? — Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren’t guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers
I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.

I started this post before the Vice Presidential debate last night, and I was just going to talk about Trump’s attacks on Social Security, soldiers living with PTSD, and his $915,729,293 loss, but I’m on a different path this morning and I need to see it to the end.

First and foremost, Mike Pence ought to scare the hell out of you. As bad as Cruz was, he’s far, far worse. For starters, there’s no question regarding his citizenship. Unlike Cruz, whose birth in Canada is controversial for far better reasons than President Obama’s ever was (leaving off his American mother who renounced her citizenship), Pence has a clear track record in his service as Governor of Indiana.

Two articles scratch the surface of the issues I have with Pence:

Mother Jones: Stop Calling Mike Pence Boring. Here’s His Track Record on Gays, Women, Immigrants, and the Planet.

Patheos: Mike Pence Promotes Christian Theocracy

Trump won’t do a single thing while in office, besides take vacations and find new, exciting ways to ensure he’ll never go personally bankrupt again, but Pence? If you thought Dick Cheney was bad news, take a look at what Pence did to women in the time since he took office, in January, 2013. His Wikipedia page reads like a blotter for the Conservative Christian movement.

I hear plenty about how Trump is a Democrat in disguise, but he’s not going to do a damn thing in office. He’s all talk, no actual action. He will say anything to anyone if he thinks it will give him center stage.

Pence isn’t like Trump. He’s moved the ultra conservative agenda of ALEC forward with a vengeance.

Hitler didn’t do the things he did all by himself. He had help.

No, not generals. We know about them. They come to mind easily.

He had a secretary, who controlled access completely: Martin Bormann. If you wanted anything done, you had to go through Bormann.

Mark my words: If Trump wins, this will be a Pence presidency, as sure as I’m writing these words.

Meanwhile, the title of this post – I think for myself – comes from virtually every Bernie Bro (and Sis) who is truly Anti-Hillary. It’s taken me months to come to this conclusion, but I’m there. It would not have mattered if Bernie Sanders hadn’t run. No matter what, these people who refuse to listen to history, who believe it just can’t happen here, who live in nice communities with manicured lawns and comfortable homes with access to the Internet whenever they want, they just don’t have the ability to imagine how close we really are to disaster, whether Clinton wins or not.

They refuse to see the 36 year war of propaganda waged by dark money. They don’t believe there is anything wrong with voting “conscience” when there is so much overwhelming data to draw parallels between the US today and Germany in 1919.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe it’s all imaginary. It can’t happen here.

But these same people turn around and point to mass incarceration as proof that we already have these things and we’re still free.

They are blind.

They refuse to see between the lines of every single election that puts another Republican in charge of our day to day lives. People like Pence, who enact unconstitutional laws that force women to pay for burials for every unsuccessful pregnancy and more. Unconstitutional, that is, until we start replacing our Supreme Court Justices.

For every voter who insists “I think for myself” – this election is your opportunity to prove it. Denying evidence that’s out there will seal our fates for the next 50-90 years. You won’t see recovery in your lifetime. Your children might not, either. And if you think you’re safe, better think again if you’re anything but a devout Christian.

Don’t just think.

LEARN.

This is my formal declaration:

I regret choosing Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. I am sorry that I worked for his campaign, if by running he brought us to this moment. That his “followers” were never about Bernie and all about Not Hillary was never clearer to me than it is today.

#ImWithHer

Incoherent…

Incoherent…

in•co•her•ent (ĭnˌkō-hîrˈənt)

  • adj.
    Lacking cohesion, connection, or harmony; not coherent: incoherent fragments of a story.
  • adj.
    Unable to think or express one’s thoughts in a clear or orderly manner: incoherent with grief.

(Courtesy of Wordnik.)

It’s the only word that adequately describes Trump’s behavior last night. I’m not the only one using it, either.

Incoherent.

Salon.com: Trump’s incoherent greatest hits: His stream-of-nonsense debate style is tough to combat When Trump wasn’t name-calling during the GOP debates, his rhetoric was nonsensical — but difficult to rebut VIDEO

the quint: Presidential Debate Exposes Trump as a Sexist & Incoherent Bigot

Vox.com: The first debate featured an unprepared man repeatedly shouting over a highly prepared woman

This quote, from FastCompany.com is particularly telling:

After the debate, in the media spin room, Trump sought to explain some of his incoherent answers by claiming that his debate microphone was “defective” and wondering if it was “on purpose.”

Conspiracy theory? Yeah, sure, Mr. Trump. We believe you. It must be someone else’s fault that you didn’t do your homework.

Ugh!

And then there’s the misogyny on parade, the refusal to acknowledge that video SHOWS him saying things, that Twitter comments HE MADE are out there.

It’s like he thinks he can just erase the past and it will never have happened. Fortunately for us, at the moment, that only happens in books.

Here’s just some of the many debate analysis sites from last night’s event:

The New York Times: First Clinton and Trump Debate: Analysis

The Hill: Pundits react: Clinton won first debate

NBC News: Decision 2016: The Presidential Debates

USA Today: Clinton got interrupted how many times? Debate night by the numbers

New York Times: By the Numbers: Butting In, and Going On, Trump Dominates

But here’s the real kicker:

NY Magazine: Hillary Clinton Won the First Debate. What If That Doesn’t Move the Polls?

That’s right. What if it doesn’t matter HOW incoherent Donald Trump is in debates? What if the people who won’t vote for Clinton because of all the lies, all the smoke and mirrors from the Right, all the absolute bullshit that Clinton conspiracy theorists have put out as truth for so very long win the game by installing this hot mess of a candidate?

This is the guy the Right wants to put in the Oval Office.

This guy.

This bully, who thinks he can get away with rewriting history with impunity.

Sure, they’ll have to live with themselves if that happens, and maybe they can justify away the reality and truth the way they did in 2000, but they will be lying to themselves.

I mean, what’s one more lie among friends, really?

In the age of post-truth journalism, we can only hope the loudest mouth isn’t the one who wins.

What if I’m right?

What if I’m right?

In the last few weeks, Nate Silver’s site fivethirtyeight.com has shifted stance from Hillary Clinton Will Win to Maybe We Ought To Worry After All.

You can see the progression here (since the beginning of August):

What I find most disturbing is that his map of the US is much less ambiguous than mine, and mine called it for Trump back in June, based on the numbers I saw coming out of the primaries. I’ve had people blowing me off consistently, with placating comments about how primary numbers can’t predict outcomes. Well, maybe that’s true, but I said it would be a close race back then, and I am sticking to those guns today.

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/

My map is here (as of the end of the primaries, from my collected stats, based on majority reported votes in each state, not based on polls or percentages): http://www.270towin.com/maps/1ll0m. The site allows for customized maps, and I’ve set the colors based on clear vote proportions.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

The states marked with neither Red nor Blue came out so close in numbers that it’s too close to call. Most of those states were unambiguously one color or the other at the end of primaries in 2008, 2000 and 1992, but not all.

What’s NOT clear is how many people opted to vote for Bernie Sanders in protest, who will now pick up their toys and go elsewhere, either to Johnson (Libertarian) or Stein (Green). I don’t have those numbers, because there’s no telling how many people switched affiliation or crossed the aisle in an open primary, but they’re relevant because that skews the Democratic data even further.

Please note that Johnson is now on the ballot in all 50 states, which is not something Stein can say. Green doesn’t even register on Silver’s map, but the Libertarian candidate sure does, and it isn’t clear whether his votes are coming from Clinton’s side or from Trump’s – that is, if there wasn’t a Libertarian party, where would those votes go?

But I digress.

Regardless, this race is closer than the one in Y2K, which Gore lost because Ralph Nader pushed hard to suck all the disaffected Democrats away from the party, but succeeded only in interfering with Gore’s chances of winning in states where Republicans had access to the voting process by way of governorship.

I simply fail to understand how people can be so dense. Sure, if the state’s solid on the side of Blue, you can guarantee that your candidate will win. But reality says that this country is far more purple than either red or bluem and the voting stats bear this out. In some cases, Red won over Blue by a ratio of more than 2:1.

Gastner map purple byarea bycounty

Not only do I find this to be a depressing nod to an acceptable level of outright fascism and white supremacy in this country, but I think it’s absolutely 100% foolish to assume your vote won’t matter in November.

The pundits I trust (Silver, Krugman, Reich) are lining up in agreement. I think the time to worry is right now.

Hell, even Bernie Sanders knows it!

Theme: Elation by Kaira.