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.

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.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.