Justice Democrats

 Posted by at 12:25 pm  Politics
Jan 302017

In my wanderings today, I came across something new, that at first glance, left me quite impressed.  It’s an organization called Justice Democrats, and their intent is something I’ve been advocating for over ten years.  The fastest way for progressives to take power is to take over the Democratic Party and transform it from within into the party we want.  Here is an excerpt from their platform.


It’s time to face the facts: the Democratic Party is broken and the corporate, establishment wing of the party is responsible. Republicans now hold most state legislatures, most governorships, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidency. So in 2018, hundreds of Justice Democrats will run a unified campaign to replace every corporate-backed member of Congress and rebuild the party from scratch. This is our plan.

Pass a constitutional amendment to put an end to Washington corruption and bring about election reform. Super PACs should be banned, private donations to politicians and campaigns should be banned, and a clean public financing system should be implemented to end the takeover of our government by corporations and billionaires. Americans deserve free and fair elections – free from the corruption of big money donors. The Supreme Court has effectively legalized bribery. It’s time for an Article 5 convention to take our democracy back from the brink of oligarchy. Prior to passing this amendment, all members of the Justice Party should reject billionaire and corporate donations when running for office to show the American people we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. Ranked choice voting should also be implemented to make smaller parties a viable option. All provisions of the voting rights act should be reinstated, and gerrymandering for partisan gain should be banned.

Re-regulate Wall Street and hold white-collar criminals accountable. Despite engaging in systemic fraud and causing a subprime mortgage meltdown and the great recession, you can count the people from Wall Street who are in prison for their crimes on one hand. It’s time to prosecute the criminals, bring back Glass-Steagall, and re-regulate Wall Street to prevent another crash. Prison is not just for the poor and the middle class anymore. We will have cops on Wall Street, not just Main Street.

End billionaire and corporate tax dodging, fix the system to benefit middle-class and poor people. Corporations dodge $450 billion a year in taxes by using offshore tax havens. We should end this injustice, as well as chain the capital gains tax to the income tax, increase the estate tax, and implement the Buffet rule so that no millionaire CEO pays less in taxes than his or her secretary. It’s time for a tax system that benefits the middle-class and the poor, and makes the top 1% and multinational corporations pay their fair share.

Defend free speech and expression. We support the right to express unpopular opinions without fear of censorship. We support free speech on college campuses. The marketplace of ideas should be embraced. A vibrant debate is healthy for democracy, and we should cherish our first amendment. We also support net neutrality for a free and open internet.

Oppose bigotry. We must speak out against racism, sexism, xenophobia, and all forms of bigotry. Non-discrimination protections that currently apply to race, religion, and gender should be expanded to include the LGBTQ community and the atheist community. Making all Americans equal is not asking for special privileges, it’s asking for the rule of law – justice and equality for all as outlined in the United States Constitution… [emphasis original]

From <Justice Democrats>

Please click through for much more.

Cenk Uygur explained Justice Democrats.

Frankly, it’s about time someone with far more resources that I took on this idea, and I encourage you to visit their site and check it out. 


Cooperate with the Fuhrer?

 Posted by at 11:37 am  Politics
Nov 222016

As far as progressives are concerned, our two most most key leaders in the Democratic Party are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.  As such, they are the ones who will actually have to come into contact with Fuhrer Drumphenfarten.  There are also two schools of thought.  Should they obstruct everything, or should they cooperate with the Fuhrer?


Leading liberals such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are facing the difficult question of how to deal with President-elect Donald Trump.

Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign appalled the left, and his appointments since winning the White House have only compounded liberal anxiety.

Yet the incoming president has also made promises to struggling, blue-collar Americans that echo the priorities of progressive Democrats.

The Republican has lashed out at free-trade deals and outsourcing while railing against an economy that he says is rigged for the “elites.” He has called for new spending on infrastructure and reiterated his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a video released late Monday afternoon.

“I think it’s smart for progressives to make as much progress as they can with Trump in power,” said Tad Devine, who served as a senior adviser to Sanders during his Democratic presidential primary battle with Hillary Clinton. Devine emphasized he was speaking in a personal capacity, not on behalf of Sanders.

Trump “is going to have this authority for four years and people are hurting. They can’t wait for progress on economic issues.”

Devine asserted that Democrats could still “draw the bright lines where we need to,” even while working with Trump on some issues. To back away completely, he warned, would mean suffering the “political consequences” with working-class voters who might think the party was deaf to their concerns.

But others on the left see things differently. To cooperate with Trump, they warn, runs the risk of “normalizing” a political figure they see as an existential threat to democracy… [emphasis added]

From <The Hill>

I fall between the two positions here.  I fully agree that the Fuhrer is an existential threat to democracy, and we should not give the slightest indication that we accept him or his Republican Reich.  In short, there can be no cooperation with evil.  However, should the Fuhrer actually, do something that benefits the people, it would be wrong to expend time and resources obstructing that particular policy and hurting the people in the process.

We have to give Americans a way to tell the difference between our righteous obstruction and the sedition Republicans committed for the last eight years.  On several occasions, Republicans made a proposals, thinking Democrats would reject them.  When Democrats did not, Republicans obstructed their own proposals to keep Democrats from sharing the credit.  They actually filibustered their own Bills!  We, on the other hand, must have a heart for the needs of the people, so if the Fuhrer blocks the TPP or spends on infrastructure that creats jobs, lets not sabotage those items.

Nov 112016

The first time I saw Bowling for Columbine I was hooked.  Since then I have seen almost everything Michael Moore has produced, except his piece on Rump Dump, and that was only because of my vision problems.  I’ve never been disappointed.  His five points are the end of a much larger article, and I urge you to click through to read it in its entirety.


…Moore’s full five-point list:

  1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.
  2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters, and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn’t let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.
  3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn’t wake up this morning ready to fight, resist, and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that’s about to begin.
  4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You’re fired!" Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.
  5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don’t. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we’ll continue to have presidents we didn’t elect and didn’t want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there’s climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don’t want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage, and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

Let’s try to get this all done by noon today.

—Michael Moore

From <Common Dreams>

1. Amen.  I have always believed in exterminating the blood-thirsty Republican alligators, before draining the Democratic swamp.  I was wrong.  Drain the swamp.

2.  I disagree.  I don’t think we should turn them off, because it’s important that we know what they are doing.  I even watch the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, from time to time.  Instead, don’t patronize their advertisers, whenever possible.

3.  When DINOs step up, tear them a new Trump hole.

4.  Good point.  In my final prediction, I smelled a rat and guaranteed only that I could make no guarantees.  I put forward what I hoped was a worst case scenario and said that I could easily be wrong.

5.  I started doing that yesterday.

Oct 252016

I must say that I enjoyed meditation yesterday evening.  Today I made my grocery order.  My guys at OSP have a new staff advisor, and in spite of sending three emails, starting three weeks ago, I stall have not received confirmation that they are expecting me at the prison on Thursday, so I need to chase her down today (accomplished).  Tomorrow I have grocery delivery and Wendy, so my week is getting very busy very fast.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:


Fantasy Football Update:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.



I’m still trapped inside a stinky blob of Sasquatch toe jam!



Congrats to Vivian and Rob for leading the league.

Short Takes:

From CBS: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has never had much to say about Donald Trump. But lately, he has fallen completely silent.

On the few occasions when the Republican leader has appeared publicly in his home state of Kentucky this month, he’s either avoided answering reporters’ questions, or explicitly refused to address the topic he acknowledged was on everyone’s mind: His party’s presidential nominee.

At a local Chamber of Commerce event in Danville, McConnell twice instructed the crowd not to ask him about the presidential race “even though that’s what I know you all wanted me to talk about.”

At an earlier event in Pikeville, McConnell refused to answer a reporter’s question about Trump not paying any taxes.

If he had the slightest bit of integrity, he would disavow Trump and withdraw his endorsement, but he has none. That identifies him as a Republican and proves that he is still Bought Bitch Mitch.

From TPM: Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he is confident that he has laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate in November.

Envisioning Hillary Clinton in the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate, Reid warned that if a Senate Republican minority block her Supreme Court nominee, he is confident the party won’t hesitate to change the filibuster rules again.

How long have I been pleading for Democrats to do this?

From NY Times: Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a blistering rebuke of Donald J. Trump on Monday, warning him that “nasty women vote” and imploring a crowd to cast ballots for Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t know about you,” Mrs. Clinton said as she flashed a thankful smile and seized the microphone from Ms. Warren at a rally in Manchester, N.H. “But I could listen to Elizabeth Warren go on all day.”

She might have to.

With polls and early voting data signaling that Mrs. Clinton is likely to prevail against Mr. Trump in two weeks, liberal Democrats are already looking past Election Day — and relying on Ms. Warren to become the thorn in chief in Mrs. Clinton’s side, scrutinizing her appointments and agenda.

Please click through for much more. In my unmitigated support of Hillary Clinton over Rump Dump Trump, I have not become naive. Managing her will be far more difficult than electing her, and I expect Elisabeth Warren to be key in that capacity.




Win a Progressive Senate

 Posted by at 1:22 pm  Politics
Aug 072016

The left is split between a majority that makes defeating Trump their priority, and a small, but vocal minority that makes defeating Clinton their priority, in the mistaken belief that a third party candidate can win.  Although I am a pragmatist, rather than an idealist, I agree with my more idealistic friends on almost every issue.  Here’s an excerpt from an editorial that points out an area where we can work together.


…The frightening, violent bigotry Trump has conjured could swallow a lot of people before it consumes itself. Even if he loses, angry Trumpistas would still roam freely, with access to automatic weapons and heavy machinery.

I’m more excited about protesting President Clinton La Segunda than being governed by her. Under George W. Bush, were there any national progressive policy victories? The mass movements of the Bush years sought to stop bad things like the Iraq War and the Sensenbrenner immigration bill. Mass movements of the Barack Obama years — Occupy, Black Lives Matter, climate change, dreamers — had the luxury to advocate systemic change and did indeed win some policy. That’s not lesser, it’s not evil at all.

First-term Obama and Clinton El Primero enthusiastically marginalized progressives. They wanted to be pushed to the right but not the left. Progressives fell for it and demobilized. Let’s not do that this time.

I’m not loyal to Democrats, but I’d be a lot more impressed by the Green Party if they had anything at all to show for the last 16 years — the last time we had the exact same conversation.

Berners who want to keep pushing Bernie Sanders’ agenda can focus on down-ticket races, especially the Senate. The Senate has the sole power to confirm appointments and approve treaties. This would be enough to, for example, stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ratify a major climate change treaty, showcase progressive policies in cabinet confirmation hearings and confirm judges. Sanders Democrats and progressive independents could successfully elect and hold senators to these goals, if we got our act together, which we probably won’t.

The Democrats need to net at least four extra seats to flip the Senate, which is more attainable than 30 seats to win Congress. Republicans have 24 Senate seats up, and Democrats only 10. States with competitive Senate races are also swing states for the presidential races, so using Trump to drag Republican senators down is a twofer.

The closest Senate races are in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The only current Democratic seat that looks vulnerable is the race to replace the retiring boringest [sic] Senator from Nevada: Harry Reid. On the upside, there’s the chance to topple John McCain and Marco Rubio, which would be so fun. Five of the Democratic candidates invited Bernie to campaign with them because they, for example, share his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership… [emphasis added]

From <San Francisco Chronicle>

Every election, I find myself repeating myself.  We need to be building the movement the day after the election, but it seems that every year, most progressives return to working on favorite issues and expend no effort on movement building.  Can you imagine where we might be, if Bernie had started to organize in May of 2013 instead of May of 2015? 

For now, the next President will be Clinton or Trump.  That won’t change.  But at least we can agree to elect as  many down ballot progressives as we can, and when we are better organized, the White House will not be out of reach.


25 Progressive Reforms

 Posted by at 12:00 pm  Politics
Jul 302016

Now that the primary season is over, Hillary Clinton is doing what winning candidates have always done, trying to lock up the moderate vote, and even trying to recruit a few voters from the other side, albeit without being so crass as to troll in the other party’s convention hall.  No doubt Regressives will take this as an occasion to accuse her of being slightly to the right of Torquemada, and sadly, some idealists among our friends will be duped by them.  Let is remember that Clinton has pledged to 25 reforms in her convention speech.  Here are the first three.  We might actually get those reforms from Hillary.  We won’t from the fellow pictured below in this German display.


Whether you fall under the poetry and spell of this sweeping agenda or are skeptical that her words won’t bring actions, Clinton is setting a high benchmark. Here are 25 points as directly quoted or paraphrased from her speech.

1. Make economic and social justice issues ‘front and center.’ Clinton made that pledge when praising Sanders and his campaign, saying that’s “where they belong… I want you to know I have heard you. Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That is the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.”

2. Comprehensive immigration reform—not Trump’s border wall. “We will not build a wall… When we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to try to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together—and it’s the right thing to do… And we’ll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy.”

3. End targeting and racial profiling of Islamic Americans. Replying to Trump’s proposal to stop Muslims from visiting from overseas and increasing police surveillance at home, Clinton said, “We will not ban a religion. We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism.”

From <Alternet>
Photo Credit <ifunny.co>

Please click through for the other twenty two progressive reforms.

If I said I haven’t considered the possibility that Clinton might not follow through, you wouldn’t believe me.  You know me too well.  We need to take back the Senate, and at least put a huge dent in the Republican House Majority to get anything done.  And we have some wonderful Senators, Brown (D-OH), Merkley (D-OR), Sanders (I-VT) and Warren (D-MA), to hold her feet to the fire, if need be.