Nov 19, 2016

Journalists Seem To be Confused By Whether Or Not Trump Has Actually Purged Lobbyists

Both of these headlines can't be true.

Washington Post: Lobbyists are still involved in Trump team, despite the president-elect’s pledge to remove their influence

Trump: Lobbyists should stay
Trump: Lobbyists should stay

Politico: Lobbyists leave Trump transition team after new ethics rule

Trump: Lobbyists Should Go
Trump: Lobbyists Should Go

May 21, 2016

2017: President Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Sanders

There are many of those that voted for Senator Sanders and continue to #FeelTheBern, those that support him with the most passion have transitioned to #BernieOrBust. Susan Sarandon has intimated that it may be better for liberals to oppose a Trump presidency than try to get revolutionary change from a second Clinton Presidency.

"Well, you know, some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately," Sarandon told MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes. "If he gets in, then things will really explode." 
I could not disagree more, there is nothing scarier than the thought of the sociopath buffoon being inaugurated to highest office in the land and at the helm of the ship of state. But Sarandon, and other #BernieOrBust people could angle for a much better solution that will end up providing avid support for Clinton's election from even those that today swears to never hold their nose to vote for Clinton for their myriad of reasons: Clinton formally endorses Sanders to become the next Senate Majority Leader if the Democrats take back the Senate in 2016.

She could twist the arms of those Democratic Senators that had endorsed her, to commit to electing Sanders and not Chuck Schumer to become the majority leader if the Democrats win back the Senate in the general elections. Sanders would be committed to campaign for US Senate candidates in an effort to take back the senate (his advantage with independents would be welcomed to any candidate challenging a Republican) while at the same time it would allow Clinton to select whomever she felt best suited her to be her Vice President (a position that if Sanders was offered would become limited to only what the constitution provides breaking ties in the Senate and checking if the president was still alive).

Though Chuck Schumer would hate the possibility of having the Democratic Socialist rank over him, calls for party unity would be disingenuous if there isn't any actual attempt to corral those #BernieOrBust folks. Party unity is paramount to assure that Trump will be denied the White House, and as Barack Obama said in the commencement speech at  Howard University

And democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right.  This is hard to explain sometimes.  You can be completely right, and you still are going to have to engage folks who disagree with you.  If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral purity, but you’re not going to get what you want.

Even if the intended target was the Sanders supporters who were dead-enders, the exact same logic could be directed towards the establishment and Clinton campaign that are reluctant if not adamantly rejecting to compromise what she will promise to earn the votes of those who do not wish to see a double-down of business-as-usual from yet another Clinton presidency. Yes even if you have won all the primaries, with assistance of mainstream media, and with the political and economic elites cheerleading you, 45% of the people is not something can be ignored even if you are 100% right. So the Clinton campaign should not continue to ignore those millions of voters that didn't vote for her, and instead seek out a means to genuinely earn their vote in November.

My proposal of setting up Sanders as the Senate majority leader seems eloquent and with nothing lost by Clinton, that is if she really is a "progressive that gets things done". A Democratic controlled Senate would allow her to accomplish all the things that she wanted to, and if it were blocked by the House it would be a great fulcrum in the mid-terms to win the House as well. Sanders would sufficiently placated no longer jockeying for the presidency and be given real influence in the Senate to affect national policy.

The only downside I could imagine is that the neoliberal Clintonistas, though giving all the lip service in the world otherwise, are not liberals and therefore would not want a liberal lion in charge of the Senate. This is very likely true, and undercuts any argument to those that want to bolt from the party establishment for not being liberal enough, to stick it out because "we in the establishment are just about deliver on some really progressive things".

Mar 25, 2016

Trump visits the homes of grassroots supporters

Donald J. Trump, leading Republican presidential candidate, decided to meet some of his most ardent supporters and active grassroots leaders. "Yeah, this going to be the greatest thing that happened in their lives" said the real estate magnate come outsider politician. The decision to interact with the "amzing people, who are 'making America great again'" came about because Trump wanted a real demonstration of how much he is loved, after proposing he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose one vote, interacting with his fan base would demonstrate exactly that.

Upon meeting the first Trump super-fan, Mrs. Cathy Felcher of Beaverton, OR it was difficult for Mr. Trump to hide his discomfort in her modest 3 bedroom 1 bath home. Mrs. Felcher was over the moon about "our next president right here, in my living room", which she repeatedly so often and with such gusto it was as if she said it often enough and believed it enough it would deliver 270 electoral votes and the GOP nomination just from sheer will.

Mr. Trump, visibly regretted this campaign stunt almost immediately. When he walked into the house with a handful of press in tow, he involuntarily cocked his eyebrow at the furniture from Target and the kids school bags that cluttered the entryway. Mrs. Felcher led the Mr. Trump and his half dozen reporters into the living room pointing out the desk with the e-Machines desktop computer is "where the magic hapens". That all of her volunteer hours have started right there. Mr. Trump asked in response "You can work out here with the TV, that's great."

Mrs. Felcher offered Mr. Trump and the reporters iced tea or coal, which politely turned down. Trump, perceiving that he should make a statement for the press simply turned to them and stated "This what America is all about, despite struggling Ms. Felcher has taken it upon herself to do what's needed. I want to thank her for her tremendous efforts, I know that she is really going appreciate all the winning we are going to do, both here in Oregon and when we win in November."

Mrs. Felcher made a slight and meek attempt at correcting Mr. Trump regarding being called 'Ms.' instead of 'Mrs.' but Trump effortlessly plowed through and decided to go on to the next event and jumped back into his Suburban with the pair of trailing 15-person passenger vans.

Next week Trump plans on visiting a volunteer who serves as Connecticut state leader, Chuck Gossamer. Let's all hope that his station in life is more tolerable to Mr. Trump than Mrs. Felcher's.

Nov 17, 2015

Dick Cheney is more responsible for #ParisAttacks than Saddam Hussein was for 9/11

Cheney is more responsible for November 13th Paris Attacks
than Saddam Hussein was for September 11th Attacks

Back in 2003, the Bush administration was biting at the bit to invade Iraq, even repeatedly conflating Iraq with the September 11th attacks. This push to invade the Baathist dictatorship that up until their invasion into Kuwait, the US counted as one of its regional allies, was spearheaded by the individuals that called themselves Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 1997 which called for wholesale regime change in places that had significant energy resources. That wasn't explicitly stated but the countries that were targeted all had proven petroleum reserves or natural gas deposits, so not too far fetched of me to extrapolate that conclusion. It was however explicitly stated that the New American Century would come at the barrel of a gun and not some 'mamby-pamby' diplomacy, the priority of the military would become the ultimate view for American foreign affairs according to PNAC

Anyhow, PNAC members included Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, Bill Bennett, Jeb Bush, and future Vice President and heavy of the Bush administration Dick Cheney. To go over the laundry list of things that lead up the catastrophe that was the Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation is tedious, so I will forgo that and presume that you know that Dick Cheney had considerable influence in pushing for the invasion of Iraq and regime change there. A lot of the persuasive arguments made by the administration was tying the Hussein regime with the 9/11 terrorist attacks from such questionable sources as informant "Curveball" who provided information about Iraqi weapons program under duress of a mock execution, and after the fact was revealed to be whole cloth lies that were known to be lies by both the US and UK governments. One of the governments advocating against invading Iraq was the French, whose Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said "we believe that military intervention would be the worst solution" and he was right it turned out. The French also refused to allow UK and US to use French airspace to their airforces for the invasion, which received derision by the "Freedom Fries" crowd and those conservatives that poured out French wine to demonstrate how much they disagree with the French.

Then the Iraq invasion happened, the Baathist party members were removed from the military (which was nearly all officers and plenty of enlisted), the civil government was in disarray as Shia and Sunni started taking revenge on each other and the Kurds sought out as much autonomy and independence as they could squeeze out of the government in Baghdad and allowed by the US military setting up a long term occupation. After eight years of war, insurrection, indiscriminate violence, and massive loss of lives mostly by Iraqi civilians, the Sunni insurgency became well trained and nearly professional but due to the demographics could not hold much territory in the Shia dominated region. The Iraqi army, and national police were defenders of the nation only by name, when de facto they were quite parochial in their responsibilities. When the US formally departed in the fall of 2011, the Iraq Civil War had gotten into full swing. From the Iraq Civil War and the Arab Spring Uprising in neighboring Syria ISIS/ISIL/Daesh arose, and it would be difficult to say that the Iraq Civil War would have occurred without the American invasion and occupation thereby the offshoot of ISIS would never have been born without the American invasion. Without Dick Cheney and other PNAC members pushing for a military invasion of Iraq, there would have been no ISIS attack on Paris this past weekend.

I admit that this an indirect path of responsibility, but Cheney is far more culpable of the Paris terrorist attacks than Saddam Hussein who had no foreknowledge nor any connection with al Queda before or after September 11th of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.