“Winter is here.”*

 Posted by at 4:19 am  Politics
Nov 102016
 

So, the election is over.  What now?  Without doubt, the Democrats will be analysing their goals and values, their platform, their methods, their infrastructure, and their communication, not unlike the Republicans did after 2012 when Obama won re-election.  Republicans made some surface changes but nothing really changed . . . there was still a war on women, a war on equality, a war on science, a war on civil rights, a war on affordable healthcare. Progressives must do much better.

* The title of this article is a direct quote from Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion and a vocal opponent of Putin.

Some ordinary citizens react to the Trump victory with mostly peaceful protests around the country.

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not-my-prez-7

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Some of that "hated" press reacts to the Trump victory:

trump-what-have-they-done trump-american-psycho

Click through for more headlines at The Guardian.

Reactions to Trump's election victory from around the world by MSN.com — PM Justin Trudeau of Canada said Canada and the US share the same values and is sticking with the "I'll work with him" but how that will go is anyone's guess, especially after the warm relationship with the Obamas.  Respectfully, I disagree with him as I do not think that Canadians and the Trumpians share the same values.  In Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador called for calm and reminded all that Mexico is “a free, independent, sovereign country”.  BTW, the Mexican Pesos dropped in value so far that it's richest man, Carlos Slim, lost $5 billion from his investments over night.  The EU wants to sit down with Trump to seek "reassurance on key issues on which Trump’s remarks on the campaign trial have rattled European leaders, including migration, climate change and Russia’s threat to Ukraine."  George Freeman of the No 10 policy board in the UK "…at one point described him as Trumpolini, added: “the key now is how he governs, and who he appoints to his administration”."  In France, François Hollande, who supported Hillary Clinton, said the win opens up a period of uncertainty” that “must be faced with lucidity and clarity”. The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said I think Trump knows that this was not a vote for him but rather against Washington, against the establishment.”  Pablo Iglesias of Spain said “The vaccine against Trump’s fascism is social justice and human rights, not more establishment. There are people in the US who will resist.”.  But the Prime Minister was more conciliatory.  Of course Netanyahu was happy with Trump's win, but the Palestinians not so much.  As should be expected given past relations, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister said “America has to implement the international obligation it accepted under the nuclear deal.”  Since many Republicans were against the nuclear agreement, I wonder if they will just tear it up.  This is a big issue for some of my Iranian friends who still have family in Iran.  They are very uneasy.  A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry said “We will work with the new US president to ensure the steady and sound development of bilateral relations so as to benefit the people in both countries as well as around the world,”  I wonder if he is aware that Trump has said he'll move to have China on the carpet for currency manipulations and other faux pas.

The Washington Post reported that an amalgamation of reactions from Islamic extremists appeared on the Lebanon based Now News English website as:

taliban

The remarks signaled the militants' apparent belief that the victory of a candidate like Trump, who has suggested potentially unconstitutional blocks on Muslim immigration and advocated torture, undermines the United States' moral standing in the world.

This reaction by Keith Olbermann

A tweet from Michael Moore courtesy of The Huffington Post

Morning After To-Do 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).

 

From Daily Kos

Donald Trump has won the presidency after narrowly carrying a few states to put him above 270 electoral votes.

But according to the latest numbers, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The game is rigged.

In other words, we have a similar situation as in 2000—where the candidate who more voters picked did not become president. It is unfair, undemocratic & we must eliminate the Electoral College.

Eliminating the Electoral College does not even require a constitutional amendment. An effort known as TheNational Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an agreement among several U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote. Once states totaling 270 electoral votes join the compact–which only requires passing state laws– then the next presidential election will be determined the the popular vote, not the Electoral College.

As of November 9, 2016, ten states and the District of Columbia have signed the compact, totaling 165 electoral votes. So, we are already over 60% of the way there. If we can make this a national issue now, and if Democrats can do well at the state level in the 2018 midterm elections (which could happen under President Trump), then the winner of 2020 presidential election will be determined by popular vote.

Sign the petition: End the Electoral College. Elect Presidents by national popular vote.  (click "Not Lynn" on the petition to get a signable blank form)
 

"So Drumpf, do you think the election is rigged now?"  Drumpf is on record as saying that the only way he would accept that the election was not rigged is if he won. Well, unfortunately, he won. And as tired as we all are of the nasty politics that ushered in Drumpf and a Republican majority Congress, we need to look forward to 2 years from now, 2018, and the midterm elections, and 4 years from now, 2020, and build the progressive infrastructure starting now.

Now a little levity from Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on Monday night's Late Show to end on an up beat.

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Nov 082016
 

I am in a hurry to get this out as I have a meeting to go to.  Please, if you are an American citizen at home or abroad, please vote, and vote BLUE!

Short Takes

RobertReich.org — Even if he loses (and I believe he will), Donald Trump has done incalculable damage to America – eroding the trust and social cohesion the nation depends on.  

But he couldn’t have accomplished this without three sets of enablers. They must he held accountable, too.

The first enabler was the Republican Party.

For years the GOP has nurtured the xenophobia, racism, fact-free allegations, and wanton disregard for democratic institutions that Trump has fed on. 

Republican fear-mongering over immigrants predated Trump. It forced Marco Rubio to abandon his immigration legislation, and, in 2012, pushed Mitt Romney to ludicrously recommend “self-deportation.”

During this year’s Republican primaries, Ben Carson opined that no Muslim should be president of the United States, and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz suggested Syrian refugees be divided into Christians and Muslims, with only the former allowed entry.

Trump’s racism is nothing new, either. Republicans have long played the race card – charging Democrats with coddling black “welfare queens” and being soft on black crime (remember “Willie Horton”).

Trump’s disdain of facts is also preceded by a long Republican tradition  – denying, for example, that carbon emissions cause climate change, and tax cuts increase budget deficits.

And Trump’s threats not to be bound by the outcome of the election are consistent with the GOP’s persistent threats to shut down the government over policy disagreements, and oft-repeated calls for nullification of Supreme Court decisions.

Click through for the other two enablers.  Nothing ever happens in a vacuum, and this is no exception.

Haaretz — America is a great country. Far from perfect, but great nonetheless, Other than Donald Trump and millions of Americans who have been bamboozled by the GOP into thinking otherwise, everyone knows America is great. The Chinese know it. The Russians know it. The Europeans know it. The Muslims know it. Even Israelis know it. ISIS certainly knows that America is great, which is why it’s hell bent on taking it down.
Some people think America used to be greater, but that’s debatable. It’s true that life may have become tougher economically, that America used to be able to dictate terms to the world and that all sorts of foreign countries have become uppity in recent years. But the past that so many Trump supporters seem to be pining for also included African Americans who knew their place, Hispanics who smiled when waiting on tables, women who stayed in the kitchen and gay people who lived in fear and darkness. A lot of people who want to make America great again only want to make white America great again.  …

The world takes a very dim view of Donald Trump. He arouses disbelief, ridicule and deep apprehension. If and when Trump was to become president, his election would cause many people around the world to reconsider whether America is still great or has simply gone off the rails forever.

As the Napster (Lona) would say 'A View from Afar'!  Americans need to see and understand how they are viewed globally.  Drumpf really messes things up for the US, and should he win, things will get worse.

MSN.com  John Shingara will be unhappy if Donald Trump doesn’t win, but he already knows how he’ll keep the movement alive.

He’ll go to McDonald’s.

Shingara, 67, is a member of the Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia group, and he has a plan for “civil disobedience.” If Trump loses the presidential election on Tuesday, he will drive into the drive-thru lane of a restaurant he thinks is employing an illegal immigrant.

“You park the car in the drive-thru lane and you lock the keys in it,” he explained outside Trump’s Friday rally in Hershey, Penn., where he was part of the stage-assembly crew. “You call 911 and say, ‘There’s an illegal working here, the McDonald’s owner should be arrested for hiring an illegal.’ People think there’s nothing they can do? There’s an example of what they can do.”

Click through for more Drumpfolyte actions should Drumpf lose, which I hope he does.  This is not 1776!

NY Times — Millions of Americans will cast their ballots on Tuesday under intense scrutiny both from vigilantes who fear the election will be rigged and from thousands of voting rights advocates who fear the tally will be distorted by intimidation and, perhaps, the suppression of a minority vote that may be crucial to the outcome.

On one side are groups like the Oath Keepers, one of dozens of right-wing and militia groups responding to Donald J. Trump’s warnings about a stolen election. The organization has issued a nationwide “call to action” to its members, urging them to go “incognito” to polling stations on Election Day to “hunt down” instances of fraud.

On the other side are more than 100 civic and legal groups, claiming at least 10,000 volunteers, and perhaps many more. They plan to deploy at polling places nationwide to watch for signs of voter intimidation and other roadblocks to voting. Election officials and observers say they are hoping for an orderly final day of voting, but they are girding for the possibility of fights, intimidation and, perhaps, worse.

Adding to the anxiety is fear of Election Day hacking, perhaps by foreign interests.

Don't be denied your constitutional right to vote.  If you are challenged at the voting polls, stand your ground.  Know your rights.

CNN — I didn't want to write this. I avoided making a decision as long as I could. I schlepped my absentee ballot all over the country for almost four weeks. I would periodically take it out of the envelope, look at it, shake my head in disgust, and put it back in my suitcase.

I had decided to write-in my mother as a symbolic protest vote against the Democratic and Republican nominees. I didn't want to vote for either of them.

I had hoped that a week before the election, Trump would be losing Florida by a large enough margin that my vote wouldn't matter. But darn it, my home state is too close to call. Florida could be the decisive state (again) as to who ultimately becomes the next president of the United States. I thought back to the 2000 election, which was decided by 537 votes in Florida. I thought about how I would feel if the same thing happened in 2016. I thought and I thought and I thought….

Then I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton. Let me rephrase that. I cast my vote against Donald Trump. I did it without joy or enthusiasm. I did it out of civic duty and love for our country.

Hat-tip to Cal at Care2.  Read the entire article because it is well worth the read.  Ir certainly puts things into perspective.

My Universe — Today, a little political humour from Daily Kos.

gettyimages-621561964Making Amerikkka Hate Again

So, as I was mowing my lawn this morning, I noticed that one of our local intelligentsia had egged my car…I’m gonna take a wild ass guess here and say that my new Clinton and Murphy signs in the side windows might have had something to do with it.  So I added a back window sign:

DEMOCRAT:

CLEANING

UP REPUBLICAN

MESSES

SINCE 1968

DON'T BE COMPLACENT!

GET OUT THE VOTE!!

VOTE BLUE AL DOWN THE TICKET!!!

 

Posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/775377582/4020103

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Oct 312016
 

Today I will spend most of the day in hiding, because Republican ghouls are grabbing pussies, and I am a wondrous one.  Tomorrow, I have to do all the research for October’s Report in addition to meeting with a social worker, who will help me navigate the complexities of an advanced care directive.  I may be able to publish no more than a Personal Update.  We’ll see how the day develops.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:20 (average 9:21).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

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I have to say that the intentional hit on Denver Defensive Coordinator, Wade Phillips, by a San Diego player is the most despicable sportsmanship I have ever seen.

Short Takes:

From NY Times: THE F.B.I. is currently investigating the hacking of Americans’ computers by foreign governments. Russia is a prime suspect.

Imagine a possible connection between a candidate for president in the United States and the Russian computer hacking. Imagine the candidate has business dealings in Russia, and has publicly encouraged the Russians to hack the email of his opponent. It would not be surprising for the F.B.I. to include this candidate and his campaign staff in its confidential investigation of Russian computer hacking.

But it would be highly improper, and an abuse of power, for the F.B.I. to conduct such an investigation in the public eye, particularly on the eve of the election. It would be an abuse of power for the director of the F.B.I., absent compelling circumstances, to notify members of Congress that the candidate was under investigation. It would be an abuse of power if F.B.I. agents went so far as to obtain a search warrant and raid the candidate’s office tower, hauling out boxes of documents and computers in front of television cameras.

The F.B.I.’s job is to investigate, not to influence the outcome of an election.

Such acts could also be prohibited under the Hatch Act, which bars the use of an official position to influence an election. That is why the F.B.I. presumably would keep those aspects of an investigation confidential until after the election. The usual penalty for a violation is termination of federal employment.

Click through for more. The more I learn,the angrier I become at Comey’s criminal Republican behavior.

From Washington Post: The politically charged hate-speech trial of Dutch firebrand anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders got underway Monday with Wilders boycotting the opening.

Instead, his lawyer, Geert-Jan Knoops, read out a statement that the lawmaker published last Friday in which he called his case a “political trial” targeting freedom of speech.

It is not the first time Wilders, whose party is riding high in opinion polls ahead of parliamentary elections due next March, has been prosecuted. He was acquitted on hate-speech charges in 2011 after complaints about his fierce criticism of Islam.

This sounds scary enough that I hope Lona can give us more info on this Dutch Republican fascist.

From NY Magazine: Republicans are at each others’ [sic] throats in a way they haven’t been since at least 1964. Republicans disagree about Trump, and they disagree about what they need to do in order to regain power. But those disagreements have very little to do with the decisions the party will face between now and the next presidential campaign. Its position toward a prospective Hillary Clinton administration is so predetermined it is hardly a decision at all. The party will oppose her completely and totally.

Some Republicans blanched at Donald Trump’s outright promise to imprison his opponent if elected. But almost none of them objected to his underlying premise that Clinton is a criminal figure who should be in prison but for the politically motivated decision of the FBI’s Republican director to inexplicably spare her prosecution. That consensus will quickly return to the fore.

Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, boasts to Dave Weigel that he plans to begin multiple years’ worth of investigations into the incoming Clinton presidency. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up.” Chaffetz makes clear in his interview that two years truly is a low-ball figure.

The sedition Republicans will commit against the first woman President will be even worse than the sedition they committed against the first black President. Republican political extinction is the only solution in sight.

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Sep 292016
 

Getting my Lift permit renewed this morning took ten minutes.  Factoring-in waiting for rides, it took three and a half hours.  ARGH!!  I’m very tired, but as the effects of the Cymbalta are starting to wear off, I’m feeling a bit more human, and I know tomorrow’s appointment with Megan will limit me to a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: PPP has put up a number of tweets this morning, which can be seen here

The descriptive story is here from which we learn

Colorado    4-way  Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 6, Stein 2
                     2-way  Clinton 51, Trump 44

Florida        4-way  Clinton 45, Trump 43, Johnson 3, Stein 1
                      2-way   Clinton 48, Trump 45

North Carolina     4-way  Clinton 44, Trump 42, Johnson 7
                      2-way   Clinton 49, Trump 45

Pennsylvania       4-way Clinton 45, Trump 39, Johnson 6, Stein 2
                       2-way Clinton 49, Trump 44

Virginia                4-way  Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 7, Stein 1
                       2-way  Clinton 49, Trump 43

Further, they polled who won the debate, in each case it was Clinton

CO  53-31
FL   52-35
NC  53-31
PA  51-32
VA  54-30

That’s great news for America, especially since it shows a shift in support away from the minor candidates, whose candidacies help Trump.

From NY Times: Congress averted a government shutdown Wednesday as the Senate and then the House approved a short-term spending bill, allowing lawmakers to avoid a crisis and return home to campaign.

The stopgap spending bill, which would fund the government through Dec. 9, had been ensnarled in a debate over financing for the lead-tainted water system in Flint, Mich.

But an agreement between congressional leaders late Tuesday — which would authorize aid for Flint as part of separate legislation for water infrastructure projects — appeared to ameliorate Democratic concerns, clearing the way for the Senate to pass the spending bill, 72 to 26. The House followed suit late Wednesday, approving the measure 342 to 85.

I’m glad a government shutdown was avoided, but I am skeptical of any measure that includes the Democratic benefits as part of future legislation, especially when Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) oppose it. I am skeptical,because of the Republican track record for honoring agreements: virtually never.

From Think Progress: Donald Trump’s campaign manager appeared to unwittingly confirm an explosive Newsweek story on Thursday, telling ABC’s The View that a Trump company did indeed spend money in Cuba in 1998, in violation of a longstanding U.S. embargo that Trump has vociferously defended.

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald reported on Thursday that Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts spent at least $68,000 in 1998 in Cuba, “at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval.” The story notes that “with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm.” After the consultants traveled to Cuba and spent the funds, the consultants instructed Trump’s company on “how to make it appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort.”

As I have opposed the embargo of Cuba for many years, I would have supported doing business with that nation as an act of civil disobedience, as Michael Moore did, but Trump violating the law, at the same time that he campaigns to reinstate the embargo, is both hypocritical and criminal. It should disqualify his candidacy without further ado.

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Sep 252016
 

After another sleepless night and a busy day of housework with Wendy, I’m just wiped out, so this is my only article today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took mw 3:08 (average 4:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: If you have not yet seen this new campaign ad for Hillary Clinton, take some time out to watch it. Then share it with everyone you know.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Rump Dump is a misogynist extraordinaire, and he’s not the president we want for our sons either.

From NY Times: The uniquely uncivil presidential campaign is about to produce one of the biggest civic gatherings in decades: For 90 minutes on Monday night, a polarized nation will pause to watch the first head-to-head encounter between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump.

The total audience, network executives and political strategists say, could be as high as 100 million viewers — Super Bowl territory. That would surpass the 80 million who watched Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980, the record for a presidential debate, and rank among television benchmarks like the finales of “MASH” and “Cheers.”

If Trump stays on script, it could be difficult, unless the moderators call him on his lies. If he starts reacting, it will get very ugly, which could be great for Hillary.   And I do so hope Hillary does not get overconfident and trip over her… um… self.

From TPM: After Hillary Clinton’s campaign seated notorious Donald Trump troll Mark Cuban in the front row of the first presidential debate, Trump fired back by threatening to invite Gennifer Flowers, who accepted.

Next, he’ll invite Anthony Weiner’s weiner.

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Sep 212016
 

I’m starting late again, but today it’s intentional.  I napped this morning, because I sleep best when it’s chilly, and because I have to stay up all afternoon.  It’s a grocery delivery day, and I have to stow them.  Later Wendy is coming to ruffle and rinse the stinky TomCat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:18 (average 6:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Staff Notice:

Both AlterNet and Crooks and Liars have returned to insisting blogs embed their entire article using their embed widget, that includes their advertising, or pay even for a short excerpt, so we may no longer use Creative Commons Attribution.  Either use their free method or paraphrase with a link back.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: If Chris Christie faces prosecution for an alleged role in the so-called Bridgegate scandal, his endorsement of Donald Trump could play a crucial role in an insanity defense, legal experts believe.

Harland Dorrinson, a defense attorney who has represented many politicians in high-profile criminal cases, believes that Christie’s endorsement of Trump earlier this year could persuade a jury that the New Jersey Governor is “completely incapable of rational thought.”

“An insanity defense is always a long shot, because the bar for insanity is set very high,” Dorrinson said. “Having said that, I believe that Christie’s endorsement of Trump easily meets that standard.”

If Christie is prosecuted, his defense team is likely to show the jury footage of Trump routinely humiliating the New Jersey Governor on the campaign trail. “It will become abundantly clear that Christie endorsed Trump and received absolutely no conceivable benefit for doing so,” Dorrinson said. “Legally speaking, the only word for that is insane.”

Andy has returned to reporting again, but how about an InsaniTEA defense?

From NY Times: The Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson and his wife are giving more than $40 million to groups backing Republican congressional candidates, according to campaign filings and interviews with Republican strategists, disregarding repeated entreaties for support from allies of Donald J. Trump and dealing a major setback to Mr. Trump’s efforts to rally the deepest-pocketed Republican givers.

The contributions will again make Mr. Adelson and his family among the largest known donors in American politics, after several years in which they played a more subdued role in national Republican fund-raising. But Mr. Adelson’s decision to deploy his wealth down ballot, less than two months before Election Day, also reflects the reluctance of most of the biggest Republican donors to invest in their party’s standard-bearer.

Adelson’s biggest hot buttons are more welfare for the super-rich, and unqualified support for and unlimited spending on Butcher Bibi’s criminal one-state solution in Palestine. We can’t compete with his money, but we must do all we can to defeat Republicans in down-ballot races.

From TPM: Despite Donald Trump’s admission that President Obama was born in the United States, Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, on Tuesday pledged to continue pushing birtherism.

“I don’t care where he’s from,” Arpaio said while speaking to the Surprise Tea Party, according to the Arizona Republic. “We are looking at a forged document. Period.”

I’m so glad I left Phoenix in 1979!

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