Thursday, February 09, 2017

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

Who cares if one judge blames rape on the Internet and another is blatantly racist? It's all about them being the "umpire!"


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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Trump Is Too Much For South Park to Handle, But Not SNL!

South Park on their reasons for "backing off" of Trump:

 “We were really trying to make fun of what was going on [last season] but we couldn’t keep up. What was actually happening was way funnier than anything we could come up with. So we decided to just back off and let [politicians] do their comedy and we’ll do ours.”

Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live seems to have no shortage of material to use.

It's almost like one group is made up of comedic actors who know how to find humor in everything, and the other group are political/social contrarians who may actually agree with the ideals of the latest target.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Nancy Pelosi is WEAK.

She just undercut Maxine Waters, one of the few Democrats who came close to mimicking this so-called "resistance" to President Trump's more dangerous policies.

Now, has Trump done anything to warrant impeachment? In a world where Bill Clinton was impeached because he lied about oral sex, I really can't be sure myself.

But to take that weapon out of the picture, much like she did when the Democrats regained Congress under the Bush Administration, handicaps the Democrats.

When Obama was president, Republicans dropped impeachment threats all the time. We all knew they weren't going to do anything (either their case was flimsy or the person making it had little credibility), but the threat served three purposes:

  1. It let the President know that they will be watching his every move for screw-ups;
  2. It let the party's base know that they are worth being in the majority;
  3. It let the opposition party know that they should play nice (whether they were in power or not).
Pelosi gave all that away with her back-peddling. Sure, the Democrats can't authorize a birthday party right now (on both the state and federal level) but the GOP has shown us that lack of numbers does not mean that your voice can't be heard.

If the Democrats don't start barking and balking soon, the media will go back to "Republican Prism" mode, and all the Democrat-friendly and left-leaning outlets will bemoan why (once again) all the political shows are chick full of Republicans.

(Here's a hint: it's because Democrats like Pelosi would rather act like Republican-lite and play nice-nice instead of being the opposition party, and that just isn't as entertaining as a guy rambling about being walls and starting a war with Australia).

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Around the Internets

  1. Will this be Trump's "Benghazi?"
  2. First they came for the Mexicans, then the Muslims, then...
  3. Being broke versus being rich: Budget Edition


Thursday, February 02, 2017

No Main Topic

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The "Senate Soccer Mom" Strikes Again.

When she first came on the scene, progressives loved her. But I always thought, she's gonna eventually do/say something to show her true colors.

You can usually tell a politician's true nature when they aren't in power. The GOP stalled on and resisted pretty much everything Obama did (we still only have eight Supreme Court Justices). So far, all the Congressional Democrats seem to be doing is wagging their finger and saying, "Naughty, Naughty."

If Trump gets every position in every cabinet filled, his agenda will have both the momentum and resources he needs. And the Democrat will have no one to blame but themselves.

(and oh God, please tell me their strategy isn't, "What for Trump to Screw Up So We Can Take Back The White House and Congress." UGH)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Are Both Parties The Same?"

I hear this often, either as a question or a statement of fact. It is usually directed towards American politics. There are two answers; the "simple" one and the relevant one.

The "simple" answer is..."Yes." The Democrats and the Republicans have differences; but the most important one, the one that is hard to dispute, is this: the GOP cater to their (conservative) base, the Democrats ignore their (liberal) base. If you've seen the most recent primaries (or any of the previous ones) it's very noticeable. Not to mention the fact that while just about every elected Republican can say the word "conservative" with pride, you will probably die before hearing more than twenty elected Democrats declare themselves "liberal" (or even "progressive" for that matter) with the same feeling.

Now given that this past summer Hillary Clinton was courting Henry Kissinger and just recently Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders were on the same side of a piece of legislation (that would have given Americans the chance to purchase cheaper drugs), there will be occasions where the two parties will come to agreement. It's dangerous for anyone to thank that the parties should never, ever work together when the result can benefit the American people. That said, both have been guilty of (at the least) being selfish and (at the worst) catering to a small percentage of the country. And it is primarily because of those instances that your average person would say that the "simple" answer is..."No."

But that leads me to the "relevant" answer: It doesn't matter. Why? Because both parties have shown that they are susceptible to compromising whatever they espouse in public for private gain. They promise that will not to be the world police then invade a country for oil. They promise to stand up for the working class only to sit on their hands when unions are threatened. They promise to fight for the people, but allow various institutions and industries to run rampant with little in the way of punishment when they are caught.

See, Republicans can push for the repeal of the ACA as well as outlaw abortion, and while their base cheers they won't notice that more jobs are being sent oversees. Democrats can string their base along and convince them that being beholden to Wall Street is a necessary evil because campaigns are expensive and besides, where else are they going to go?

The better question, the one that needs to be asked from here on out is, "Are you holding your party accountable?" If the answer is, "No," then the follow-up question is, "Well, why the hell not?"

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dinosaurs Never See The Meteor

The Democratic Party needs to fire Donna Brazile, and replace Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Pandering to rich people who are less odious than their more conservative counterparts is not going to win elections; listening to the needs and concerns of the working class will.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Obligatory Post-2016 Election Post

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I just want to highlight a few things (that I may or may not elaborate on in this post):

  1. Anyone who claims that Hillary Clinton lost due to factors outside of her and/or her campaign's control is suffering from denial. 
  2. Anyone who claims that Donald Trump's only supporters are/were racists and sexist deplorable people were not paying attention.
  3. Anyone who claims that Barack Obama was either (A) the worst president ever; or (B) completely without fault in this election is wrong.
  4. However you may feel about the electoral process (the primaries, the debates, the electoral college, campaign finance reform), you need to know one thing: nothing will change until the people push...hard...for change.

Okay, with that out of the way, let's start!

Trump won. Clinton lost. That's the bottom line. But what happened? One theory is this: Clinton used the Democratic Primary rules to screw Bernie Sanders out, Trump rode a wave of frustration and quasi-populism to reach the top spot for the Republicans, and when the two finalists met, the GOP's tried and true "Suppress the Vote" effort from the 2000 elections was revitalized. Granted, the STV only works when the opponent has very little enthusiasm on their side (Obama's popularity overshadowed any potential vote tampering, as noted by the lack of such claims after both of his wins) but nearly everything requires a catalyst of some sorts. 

While I'm sure that the truth is a lot more detailed and complicated then what's mentioned above, let's (for argument's sake) say that this is generally how things went down. 

Were there election shenanigans going on? Probably (remember Florida and hanging chads?). The real question people should ask is: when did it start? Because if you believe that only the general election was rigged and not either primaries, then, well...bless your little heart because if you're gaming the system, you plant the seeds early.

A good chunk of the Democratic Party was behind Clinton; more than what Sanders had by any measure. Looking back at the Democratic Primaries, the argument that Camp Clinton was making against Sanders boiled down to three general things:

  • He's an old, idealistic Socialist and this will hurt him in the general election;
  • Clinton has years of political experience and can deal with the attacks that would come;
  • Too much was on the line with Trump as the GOP nominee.
Well, for starters: Sanders left-leaning tone wasn't that much different than Barack Obama's (who ran to the left of Clinton in the 2008 Democratic Primary). He wanted to eliminate college debt and improve the Affordable Care Act, too things voters all over the spectrum wanted to see. Second, here's a (partial) list of big moments in Clinton's political life where she's been under fire:
  1. When her husband put her in charge of health care reform back in the 90's and the GOP pushed back;
  2. When her husband was facing impeachment;
  3. During the 2008 Primaries when her husband decided to "help" by marginalizing Obama's victories, when she lied about visiting another country during a firefight, and her trying to justify her vote to go to Iraq;
  4. Benghazi;
  5. Her emails.
The health care reform went no where and she was forced to play the quiet stepford wife until "Monica Lewinsky" became a household name. When that popped up, it was more about her husband being forthright then her standing by him, so she gets a pass there. If the 2008 Primaries proved anything, it's that her greatest weakness is explaining her mistakes (she can't). This was put on display during the last two moments on this list. After throwing Susan Rice under the bus, Clinton leaves Obama's administration (keep in mind, his administration had been relatively scandal-free up until that moment). As for the emails, she chose to ignore there impact on the race and only complained about them after the FBI made their announcement to investigate, retracted it, and the elections took place. 

As for the Trump-fearing, this played into the weakness of Clinton's campaign: it was neither inspiring nor was it very clear. Other than the satisfaction of voting for a woman in the general election, there was nothing truly motivating about her campaign. Sure, there are the issues her party represents (Supreme Court, civil rights, social security, etc.) but that's an argument involving Generic Democrat vs Generic Republican, not, "This is why you should vote for Hillary Clinton." And speaking of generic, her campaign could not present a positive, sunny alternative to the evils of Donald Trump, aside from the DLC-inspired status quo (which many left-leaning politicos interpreted as Republican-lite). 

So if we were to be honest with ourselves, we would see that Sanders had just as much a chance of winning the general election as Clinton did; the only thing he really lacked was the backing of the Democratic Party's establishment. And ironically, it was Clinton's unabashed flaunting of her establishment credentials that frustrated the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. This was not the year to showcase DLC-Democrats and GOP sacred cows who feared a Trump White House. This was not the year to marginalize race issues and rattle the saber. This was not the Year of the Status Quo; this was the Year of Continued Change.

And Trump seized on that. He said we need a wall to keep undesirables from foreign countries from coming here. He said that businesses who fired blue collar worker should in turn have their CEOs fired. He said that Clinton was a criminal who should be in jail.

Now were these things true and/or plausible? More often than not, no. But the fact that he was willing to cut through the political speak and promise "goodies"to the voters resonated with a lot of people. I can't for the life of me think of on declaration Clinton said that made me jump up and cheer. But Trump said plenty of things to keep his crows rallied, and once you can do that, the attacks almost start to bounce off.

Mix in their respective reputations and we have another reason why the infamous "grab them by the pussy" audio from Trump did not seem to have the same impact as Clinton's emails. Trump's supporter were willing to forgive him or ignore the scandal altogether; after all he's a celebrity and they're known for speaking their mind. Clinton's a politician with decades of experience; she should know better. Trump's a political outside who's being setup because he "won't play the game;" Clinton is a player who has always tried to rig the game in her favor.

Now that people have had time to peruse through the result, it's surprising to see that while Trump received less vote than Mitt Romney, he received more votes from certain minorities than expected. Clinton excelled in both the youth vote and the woman vote, but older white men seem to despise her with a passion. Again, I don't see any of these groups being influenced by an audio of Trump or an email from Clinton's server. I do see them being concerned that Obama's change either never came or only did so in pieces, and waiting another eight years for someone (who was frankly less passionate about the same issues and initiatives) to take it to the next level was gamble. And that goes back to what I mentioned before: there was too much vagueness in the Clinton campaign for those who wanted progressive change. 

So for those who didn't want either but certainly don't know how to deal with a Trump White House, what to do? I say the same thing they did in the 60's: become true activists. Over the last couple of decade, people have convinced themselves that voting quasi-activists in to office is the best way to progress. The problem is that those elected officials are obligated to groups other to the voters. If you're an activist, the lobbying groups can't buy you (easily). The media will only ignore you until you prove to be a ratings-grabber. 

I think that it's more than a coincidence that between the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement, there's been a debate swirling about the effectiveness of protests...almost like someone wants those who dissent (at least from the Left; this never came up when the Tea Party rose up) to just stay home and respond to what they see and hear on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. But in a time when the media is more about ratings and the corporate agenda, and politicians are more worried about campaign funding, people who want continued change will need to make themselves know to the public at large.   

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Around the Internets

Been longer than a minute, huh?

  1. I dare you to watch the clip and not get pissed off
  2. When you can wreck a hotel room and catch less hell than someone who didn't put their heart over their hand during the national anthem, then you have privilege
  3. An example of why it's hard for Democrats to fully support Hillary Clinton.