Sunday, August 12, 2018

The GOP and Trump Bringing 1984 To America...





Friday, August 3, 2018

As Trump and HIS Party Grow the National Debt and Embrace Deficit Spending On Steriods...

The Trump administration is headed for a gigantic debt headache

  • Debt levels are piling up in the government, pushing borrowing costs higher.
  • The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it will be increasing the size of its auctions to help pay for burgeoning budget deficits.
  • While the Trump administration has said that economic growth would make up for shortfalls from tax cuts and spending increases, the early results do not bear that out.

Swelling government debt levels are shaping up to be the biggest economic challenge for President Donald Trump, a problem that could spill into the stock market.

This week's Treasury Department announcement that it would have to increase the amount of bond auctions over the next three months was a low-key reminder that the government IOU is only getting bigger and will start influencing interest rates sooner rather than later.

The total U.S. debt just passed the $21.3 trillion mark, of which $15.6 trillion is owed by the public. The Treasury announced Wednesday that it will be adding $1 billion each to auctions of 2-, 3- and 5-year debt over the next three months, and $1 billion each for 7- and 10-year note and 30-year bond auctions in August. In addition, the department is issuing a new two-month note to help assure liquidity in the fixed income market.

The changes will add $30 billion to the debt issuance for the quarter. On the overall, the Treasury said it expects to borrow $769 billion in the second half of the year, a projected 63 percent increase from 2017.

Over the short term, the debt issue likely will be superseded by other news, particularly the strong burst of growth and the tariff battles the U.S. has launched against its trading partners around the world. Ironically, the Trump administration has promised that breakout economic performance will help take care of the rising debt load brought on by tax cuts and higher spending, but the early results don't seem to bear those hopes out.

"Booming economic growth has not been sufficient to lower the budget deficit — in fact, the deficit and Treasury borrowing are headed sharply higher, and virtually no one in Washington seems to care," Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, said in his daily note Thursday.

Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office projects the deficit to be just a shade under $1 trillion in 2019 and then pass that level in 2020 and eclipse $1.5 trillion by 2028. The cost to finance all that debt has continued to grow, hitting $458 billion in fiscal 2017 and already at $415 billion in 2018 with three months left in the fiscal year.
Revenue receipts, meanwhile, are lagging.

Tax and withholding payments from individuals and corporations have come in at $1.752 trillion in calendar 2018, about $17 billion below the same point in 2017, a difference of about 1 percent, according to DataTrek Research. That's also below the 0.2 percent gain in revenue the government had projected.

The party of fiscal restraint and responsibility is hard at work showing us exactly how that works.

In the meantime prepare for higher deficits, a spiraling national debt load, and Trump, along with the conservative republican party, explaining how it's all President Obama's fault.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

History fortold the coming of Trump...

2,060 years ago



226 years ago



h/t Infidel 753


As the Trump cult like base, which is predominately conservatives, Evangelicals, and republicans circle their wagons around their totally self absorbed and narcissistic leader the rest of the nation is well aware of the truth in the quotes above.

America has a choice to make in 2018 and 2020. Either to recognize the threat from within and cut it off completely at the ballet box or, prepare for an America that no longer represents our founding principles and indeed will be in direct conflict with freedom and individual liberty.

The choice is ours. Responsibility rests with us. The Real and True Patriotic Americans.

Do we have the cojones to Take Back America from the cons whose desire is to limit liberty to conform with their myopic and religionist vision of what liberty means?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Understanding Conservatives...

The truth about conservatives

Conservatives tend to focus on the negative


Conservatives have a stronger physiological response to threat


Conservatives fear new experiences


Conservatives’ brains are more reactive to fear

Click Here To Find Out Why

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

America's Ultimate Question...

Trump has again managed to make it all about Trump. We can only watch in hopeful anticipation that Helsinki will be the explosive seed that results in his demise.

Why the American Ambassador to Russia and cabinet members have not resigned is a source of puzzlement. Perhaps the only explanation is that any sense of integrity is dead in Republican politics.

Why the party he represents continues to stand behind his sorry ass is the billion dollar question.

Why the legitimate American media couches their criticisms in polite language escapes logic.

Trump is a cancerous abscess growing on America's heart and soul. The question we must answer for ourselves is do we have the WILL to excise this cancer.

Future generations will live with the answer to this question.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Trump's New World Order...



Trump is effectively changing the way America does business.  He is changing how our allies and the rest of the world perceives us. Very litle is positive.

The New York Times - Some near-forgotten anniversaries are worth commemorating. One hundred years ago — Bastille Day, 1918 — Theodore Roosevelt’s youngest son, Quentin, was killed in aerial combat at the Second Battle of the Marne. Twenty-six years later, Quentin’s oldest brother, Ted, also died in France, after landing at Utah Beach on D-Day.

Quentin and Ted are buried side-by-side at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer. It’s a moving sight for everyone who still believes in the cause for which they and their brothers in arms fought and died — above all, the idea, possibility and preservation of a free world, anchored and inspired by America but not subservient to it.

In other words, the things that Donald Trump has spent his presidency trashing under the historically sordid banner of “America First.”

That trashing reached some sort of climax this week with the president’s excruciating tantrum against Germany at the NATO summit in Brussels, followed by his gratuitous humiliation of British Prime Minister Theresa May via an interview in a Murdoch tabloid. Maybe next he’ll propose that Vladimir Putin rejoin the Group of 7 — except he already did that in Canada more than a month ago, right around the time he launched a trade war with Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

What does all this achieve?

No doubt just what Trump intends: the collapse of the liberal international order, both in its animating commitment to open societies as well as its defining international institutions — the G-7, NATO, the European Union, the World Trade Organization. Seen in this light, the president’s wretched behavior isn’t — or isn’t merely — the product of a defective personality. It’s the result of a willful ideology.

So much should be clear by the president’s negotiating style, guaranteed as it is to elicit “no” for an answer.

SKIP

For Trump, the upside is the substitution of a liberal order with an illiberal one, based on conceits about sovereignty, nationality, religion and ethnicity. These are the same conceits that Vladimir Putin has long made his own, which helps explain Trump’s affinity for his Russian counterpart and his distress that Robert Mueller’s investigation “really hurts our relationship with Russia,” as he remarked Friday.

It also explains his undisguised contempt for contemporary European democracy and his efforts to replace it with something more Trumpian: xenophobic, protectionist and truculent. This is the Europe of Germany’s Alexander Gauland, France’s Marine Le Pen, Britain’s Nigel Farage, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Italy’s Matteo Salvini. Note that the last three are already in power.

All this must be gratifying to Trump’s sense of his historical importance. For America, it’s a historical disaster. The United States can only lead a world that’s prepared to follow.

But follow what? Not the rules of trade that America once set but now claims are rigged against it. Not the democratic ideals that America once embodied but now treats with disdain. Not the example of fighting bullies, after it has now become one.

This will suit Americans for whom the idea of a free world always seemed like a distant abstraction. It will suit Europeans whose anti-Americanism predates Trump’s arrival by decades. And it will especially suit Putin, who knows that an America that stands for its own interests first also stands, and falls, alone. Surely the dead at Colleville-sur-Mer fought for something greater than that.

America was indeed a unique and special nation. It was truly different than any other before it. Trump is changing all that. It won't be good.

Trump, America's Pathological Liar...

The only ones who don't acknowledge Trump is a pathological liar are his cultists. Which is to say the willfully ignorant








SOURCE

Friday, July 13, 2018

tRump's Fake Presidency Is Growing Old Fast -- With Real Americans...

See the source image


Donald J. Trump has been identified as America's worst president -- Ever. And he proves it daily. See another of his attacks on the legitimate press. Which serves to again highlight his abject ignorance and anti Americanism.

President Trump’s penchant for diminishing the fourth estate didn’t wither on British soil. “Fake news,” he riffed at various points during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May — the better to shout down all the accurate reporting about his unhinged behavior and pronouncements about the United States and its most pivotal allies in the world.

Kristen Welker of NBC News asked the president if his fractious relationship with NATO allies provided the “upper hand” to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the upcoming summit in Helsinki. “See, that’s such dishonest reporting — of course it happens to be NBC, which is possibly worse than CNN,” Trump said. Then he boasted about his exploits with the NATO countries.

The slight aimed at CNN provided a toehold for CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who has jostled with the president and his emissaries in the past. He waited for a lull in the proceedings, and this exchange proceeded:

ACOSTA: Mr. President, since you attacked CNN, can I ask you a question?
TRUMP: John Roberts, go ahead.
ACOSTA: Can I ask you a question?
TRUMP: No, no. John Roberts, go ahead. CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN.
ACOSTA: Take a question …
TRUMP: John Roberts of Fox, let’s go to a real network.
ACOSTA: Well, we’re a real network, too, sir.


Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts then said, “Thank you, Mr. President” — essentially validating the president’s hostile, baseless, authoritarian, gratuitous slam on a group of peers. {SOURCE}

When will American so called conservatives wake up, open their eyes, and denounce their leader's constant illegitimate attacks on legitimate and credible news? The press is, and always has been the protector of American democracy.

We quote Thomas Jefferson --

"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

And this -- "The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." 

Trump is wrong, dead wrong. And he continues to weaken the institutions of our democratic republic in his push to move America towards an authoritarian oligarchy.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

American Nationalism... The Looming Danger


The following Notes on Nationalism, pened by George Orwell, have continued significance today in the USA. Especially given the direction of our federal government in the Era of Trump and the Christian fundamentalism that is growing.

It is doubtful those who most need to consider the wisdom expresseed in Notes on Natioanalism will read and seriously consider what Orwell is saying. Nonetheless, if his words influence even a few to become more active in fighting tghe clear and present danger of a growing nationalism in our country this effort will have been worth it.

Somewhere or other Byron makes use of the French word longeur, and remarks in passing that though in England we happen not to have the word, we have the thing in considerable profusion. In the same way, there is a habit of mind which is now so widespread that it affects our thinking on nearly every subject, but which has not yet been given a name. As the nearest existing equivalent I have chosen the word ‘nationalism’, but it will be seen in a moment that I am not using it in quite the ordinary sense, if only because the emotion I am speaking about does not always attach itself to what is called a nation — that is, a single race or a geographical area. It can attach itself to a church or a class, or it may work in a merely negative sense, against something or other and without the need for any positive object of loyalty.

By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’(1). But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

So long as it is applied merely to the more notorious and identifiable nationalist movements in Germany, Japan, and other countries, all this is obvious enough. Confronted with a phenomenon like Nazism, which we can observe from the outside, nearly all of us would say much the same things about it. But here I must repeat what I said above, that I am only using the word ‘nationalism’ for lack of a better. Nationalism, in the extended sense in which I am using the word, includes such movements and tendencies as Communism, political Catholicism, Zionism, Antisemitism, Trotskyism and Pacifism. It does not necessarily mean loyalty to a government or a country, still less to one's own country, and it is not even strictly necessary that the units in which it deals should actually exist. To name a few obvious examples, Jewry, Islam, Christendom, the Proletariat and the White Race are all of them objects of passionate nationalistic feeling: but their existence can be seriously questioned, and there is no definition of any one of them that would be universally accepted.

It is also worth emphasising once again that nationalist feeling can be purely negative. There are, for example, Trotskyists who have become simply enemies of the U.S.S.R. without developing a corresponding loyalty to any other unit. When one grasps the implications of this, the nature of what I mean by nationalism becomes a good deal clearer. A nationalist is one who thinks solely, or mainly, in terms of competitive prestige. He may be a positive or a negative nationalist — that is, he may use his mental energy either in boosting or in denigrating — but at any rate his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations. He sees history, especially contemporary history, as the endless rise and decline of great power units, and every event that happens seems to him a demonstration that his own side is on the upgrade and some hated rival is on the downgrade. But finally, it is important not to confuse nationalism with mere worship of success. The nationalist does not go on the principle of simply ganging up with the strongest side. On the contrary, having picked his side, he persuades himself that it is the strongest, and is able to stick to his belief even when the facts are overwhelmingly against him. Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception. Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also — since he is conscious of serving something bigger than himself — unshakeably certain of being in the right.

Skip

The reason for the rise and spread of nationalism is far too big a question to be raised here. It is enough to say that, in the forms in which it appears among English intellectuals, it is a distorted reflection of the frightful battles actually happening in the external world, and that its worst follies have been made possible by the breakdown of patriotism and religious belief. If one follows up this train of thought, one is in danger of being led into a species of Conservatism, or into political quietism. It can be plausibly argued, for instance — it is even possibly true — that patriotism is an inoculation against nationalism, that monarchy is a guard against dictatorship, and that organised religion is a guard against superstition. Or again, it can be argued that no unbiased outlook is possible, that all creeds and causes involve the same lies, follies, and barbarities; and this is often advanced as a reason for keeping out of politics altogether. I do not accept this argument, if only because in the modern world no one describable as an intellectual can keep out of politics in the sense of not caring about them. I think one must engage in politics — using the word in a wide sense — and that one must have preferences: that is, one must recognise that some causes are objectively better than others, even if they are advanced by equally bad means. As for the nationalistic loves and hatreds that I have spoken of, they are part of the make-up of most of us, whether we like it or not. Whether it is possible to get rid of them I do not know, but I do believe that it is possible to struggle against them, and that this is essentially a moral effort. It is a question first of all of discovering what one really is, what one's own feelings really are, and then of making allowance for the inevitable bias. If you hate and fear Russia, if you are jealous of the wealth and power of America, if you despise Jews, if you have a sentiment of inferiority towards the British ruling class, you cannot get rid of those feelings simply by taking thought. But you can at least recognise that you have them, and prevent them from contaminating your mental processes. The emotional urges which are inescapable, and are perhaps even necessary to political action, should be able to exist side by side with an acceptance of reality. But this, I repeat, needs a moral effort, and contemporary English literature, so far as it is alive at all to the major issues of our time, shows how few of us are prepared to make it.

Being a bit lengthy I have postted only the introduction and clossing, leaving it to the individual to decide for themselves whether to "dig deeper".

In closing I will say only that whether Trump has inadvertently or tacitly given his approval to a growing nationalism is open to debate. It ought to concern and trouble all American Patriots.

Link to complete text of Notes on Nationalism.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Pence Believe the American People are Naive... Are They?

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, left, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, and Vice President Pence at the Capitol on Tuesday. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)


Vice President Pence said Tuesday that while he would personally like to see the Supreme Court one day overturn its landmark 1973 ruling legalizing abortion, neither he nor President Trump has discussed the issue with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh


Right. Given everything we know about Pence and Trump, and the Evangelical's strong influence on both, only the very naive will actually  believe the issue has not been dicussed. Conservative religionists have been dreaming of the day when they might again have the power to deny women reproductive rights and control of their own bodies. With Kavanaugh's nomination to the SCOTUS that dream is now a step closer to becoming reality.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, and this is very likely, the court shifts further right and conservative judicial activism will be the likely result. This will put not only Roe-v-Wade at risk it will also possibly result in the loss of marraige equality as well. It is clear at this point that neither is settled law as both will likely be challenged again and brought before the SCOTUS when it moves further right.

Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is the result of years of unopposed conservative organizing is an interesting article and it explains how years of work by conservatives as brought us to this point. Click on article to read.


Basically WASF.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Trump's American Reality Show...

If the lead-up to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination announcement feels like reality-TV drama, it’s because that’s exactly how it was designed.
But instead of a one-year contract as Trump’s errand boy, the “winner” on Monday night will likely nab a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land and a chance to reshape American law and jurisprudence for generations.
The high stakes of the announcement were nevertheless preceded by a day of wild speculation and tea leaf-reading, designed, some conservatives briefed on the nomination process believe, to prevent a leak of Trump’s decision by flooding the zone with contradictory information. It’s characteristic of a president who revels in the political press spinning its wheels, and is naturally inclined to the sort of primetime TV drama that he helmed as host of NBC’s The Apprentice.
“There are few people in politics, or entertainment for that matter, who have a better understanding of marketing than the president,” Andy Surabian, a former Trump White House official and a Republican strategist, told The Daily Beast on Monday afternoon. “He gets that modern-day politics is no different than Hollywood, and his grasp of marketing would even make P.T. Barnum proud.”
It’s the sort of showmanship to which those who work for Trump have become accustomed. But the gravity of the day’s events was not lost on some of Trump’s more senior advisers.
“It’s like a big contest of great importance,” Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, told The Daily Beast in an interview. Asked if the “showmanship” at play here reminded him of President Trump’s reality-TV days, Giuliani laughed and remarked, “It’s a little more important than that!”

We have finally arrived at that dangerous tipping point in American politics and governance where reality show glitz and drama is more important than actual substance. Presnit tRump is no fool. He is a master at marketing and deception. And America is about to swallow his most dangerous poison pill yet.

More BELOW the FOLD

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Liberty...

The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.



Honestly consider whether Republicans and Donald J. Trump understand, support, and protect individual liberty and everyone's right to the same when you vote in 2018 and 2020. The liberty you might lose could very well be your own.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Bittersweet 4th of July...

As we celebrate Independence Day 2018 focusing on the following and fighting to preserve our freedoms and civil liberties has taken on a new urgency. With the election of Donald J. Trump our cherished freedoms and civil liberties face the greatest internal threat than at anytime during our modern history.

Trump and his conservative and Christian Evangelical allies wish to mold freedom and liberty to fit neatly into their belief system and world view. By legislation and conservative judicial fiat they hope to impose their world view and morals on all Americans. In short, they wish to roll a hundred and fifty plus years of social and economic progress back into the dark ages. We cannot allow an Orange Haired lying narcissistic authoritarian to facilitate such a horrendous change and reverse American progress.

The following is an excerpt from and article published in The Washington Post written by Dana Milbank.

Freedom from Trump’s constant attacks on women, immigrants, people of color, gay people and Muslims.
Freedom to work and live without discrimination, harassment and violence because of your gender, race or religion.
Freedom to get medical care when you or your children are sick.

Freedom from a rigged economy in which the top 1 percent own more than the bottom 90 percent combined.
Freedom to marry whom you choose.
Freedom to make decisions about your own body.
Freedom to send your kids to school without fear for their safety.
Freedom to breathe clean air, to drink clean water, to live on a habitable planet.
Freedom to elect your leaders without the rich, or foreign governments, choosing them for you.
And freedom to speak, to protest and to publish without the threat of violence.


Complete article HERE.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Preparing for the Future...

Image result for picture of joe biden and hillary clinton together

With all that is happening around us right now thinking about who will be running for president on the democratic ticket in 2020 is likely not at the top of most folks thinking agenda. Certainly more immediate is the present and horrifying thought of presient Drumpf now having the opportunity to tilt the court hard right for a generation. Unfortunately there is little, if anything democrats can do to prevent president Drumpf from having his way. So America, prepare to brace yourself for the oncoming rightwing politically motivated judicial Tsunami that will likely leave America changed forever.

Which is why it is important that democrats select a winning presidental candidate in 2020. One that can beat president Drumpf in both a popular vote AND electoral colege landslide. Of course this is unlikely to happen because we all know democrats have a great ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. For this reason alone it might be well if the established democratic party order is smashed to smithereens. Then replaced by a new, dynamic, truly forward thinking and rational agenda. One that moderates as well as liberals in middle America can support.

A couple of old guard democratic politicians the party ought to avoid are these two.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Off To SLC...

See the source image


Leaving for the great state of Utah Thursday June 14th to visit our son, daughter-in-law, and our two beautiful grandchildren. Blogging will be next to non-existent as we focus on Family and Fun.

Enjoy the archives and feel free to leave comments. Comment moderation will be on, but I will release them (and maybe even reply) when I find time. :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What Is The PROPER Role Of the ACLU?...

We are not at all comfortable the ACLU is actively moving in the direction of supporting partisan political agenda's and becoming involved in the election process with the obvious goal of influencing outcomes. For the organizations 98 year history it has devoted itself to fighting for the protection of the civil liberties of all Americans. To become just another partisan political advocacy group is a disservice to the original reason for its existence.

Recent moves by the ACLU may very well be in response to the Bush and Trump era(s) and their apparent desires to concentrate power in the hands of a conservative government (agenda), the plutocrats, the military, and the religious right. However, the last thing we need is another special interest advocacy group. Especially when the ACLU often argues in court for everyone's civil liberties, presumably based on our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Taking partisan political positions and morphing into an advocacy group will compromise the ACLU's integrity. Something which is already suspect in the minds of more than just a few. Besides, both the right and the left has more than an ample amount of these.

Because the right is more focused, better at propaganda, and hugely more effective at marketing their propaganda is the fault of moderates and the liberal left which has done a poor job of marketing their alternative. Either that or the nation is, as this individual has often said, a center right nation.

Now on to some commentary by those more familiar than I with the ACLU.


The Hill - The director of the American Civil Liberties Union has now acknowledged what should have been obvious to everybody over the past several years: The ACLU is no longer a neutral defender of everyone’s civil liberties. It has morphed into a hyper-partisan, hard-left political advocacy group. The final nail in its coffin was the announcement that, for the first time in its history, the ACLU would become involved in partisan electoral politics, supporting candidates, referenda and other agenda-driven political goals.

The headline in the June 8 edition of the New Yorker tells it all: “The ACLU is getting involved in elections — and reinventing itself for the Trump era.” The article continues: “In this midterm year, however, as progressive groups have mushroomed and grown more active, and as liberal billionaires such as Howard Schultz and Tom Steyer have begun to imagine themselves as political heroes and eye presidential runs, the ACLU, itself newly flush, has begun to move in step with the times. For the first time in its history, the ACLU is taking an active role in elections. The group has plans to spend more than 25 million dollars on races and ballot initiatives by Election Day, in November.”

Since its establishment nearly 100 years ago, the ACLU has been, in the words of the New Yorker, “fastidiously nonpartisan, so prudish about any alliance with any political power that its leadership, in the 1980s and 90s, declined even to give awards to likeminded legislators for fear that it might give the wrong impression.” I know, because I served on its national board in the early days of my own career.

In those days, the board consisted of individuals who were deeply committed to core civil liberties, especially freedom of speech, opposition to prosecutorial overreach and political equality. Its board members included Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, right wingers and left wingers, all of whom supported neutral civil liberties. The key test in those days was what I have come to call “the shoe on the other foot” test: Would you vote the same way if the shoe were on the other foot, that is, if the party labels were switched?

Today, the ACLU wears only one shoe, and it is on its left foot. Its color is blue. The only dispute is whether it supports the progressive wing of the Democratic Party or its more centrist wing. There is little doubt that most board members today support the progressive wing, though some think that even that wing is not sufficiently left. There is no longer any room in the ACLU for true conservatives who are deeply committed to neutral civil liberties. The litmus test is support for hard-left policies.

To be sure, the ACLU will still occasionally take a high profile case involving a Nazi or Klan member who has been denied freedom of speech, though there are now some on the board who would oppose supporting such right-wing extremists. But the core mission of the ACLU — and its financial priority — is to promote its left-wing agenda in litigation, in public commentary and, now, in elections. ...

Continues HERE


THE NEW YORKER - Earlier this year, radio advertisements began airing in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, criticizing the elected sheriff of Mecklenburg County, a Democrat and retired firefighter named Irwin Carmichael. Normally, only the most politically extreme or publicity-hungry sheriffs attract much public notice, and Carmichael was not one of those. “People weren’t even aware of who the sheriff was,” Mark Mellman, a prominent Washington pollster who worked on the race, told me. Carmichael’s office had maintained an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that deputized his officers to identify undocumented prisoners and turn them over to federal agents, and the radio ads focussed on this issue. “Sheriff Carmichael works with Trump’s deportation force—detaining people for deportation, tearing families apart,” an announcer intoned. “Carmichael’s challengers? They’ve pledged to stop working with Trump’s deportation force.” The anti-Carmichael ads also carried an interesting concluding line—they had been paid for, an announcer said, by the American Civil Liberties Union. Carmichael had gone into his reĆ«lection year looking like a good bet to win. Before the Democratic primary, he had raised more than twice as much money as had his two challengers—a retired homicide detective, Garry McFadden, and a former suburban police chief, Antoine Ensley—combined. But the A.C.L.U. was spending money on the race, too: the radio ads alone matched half of Carmichael’s budget. On primary day, McFadden won, Ensley came in second, and Carmichael finished third. When he spoke to the press after the results came in, the defeated sheriff criticized the “outside forces” that he believed had contributed to his defeat.

For most of its ninety-eight years of existence, the A.C.L.U. has spent its resources largely on litigation, arguing for civil liberties, and against government excess, in the courts. Part of the organization’s DNA is a Bill of Rights purism—the group, always liberal, has famously defended the rights of neo-Nazis and Klansmen to protest—and it has been fastidiously nonpartisan, so prudish about any alliance with political power that its leadership, in the nineteen-eighties and nineties, declined even to give awards to like-minded legislators for fear that it might give the wrong impression. In this midterm year, however, as progressive groups have mushroomed and grown more active, and as liberal billionaires such as Howard Schultz and Tom Steyer have begun to imagine themselves as political heroes and eye Presidential runs, the A.C.L.U., itself newly flush, has begun to move in step with the times. For the first time in its history, the A.C.L.U. is taking an active role in elections. The group has plans to spend more than twenty-five million dollars on races and ballot initiatives by Election Day, in November. Anthony Romero, the group’s executive director, told me, “It used to be that, when I had a referendum I really cared about, I could spend fifty thousand dollars.”

Last year, as a kind of experiment, the A.C.L.U. made a small investment in the district attorney’s race in Philadelphia. The group had become interested in the race because one of the candidates, a former civil-rights lawyer named Larry Krasner, was campaigning on the promise to help end mass incarceration. The A.C.L.U. helped send ex-felons door to door, talking about the brutalities and injustices of prison, and Krasner won. The sheriff’s race in Mecklenburg County was the experiment’s second phase—an investment big enough to help tip a race, spent in an increasingly progressive city in a traditionally conservative state where, the hope was, people could be persuaded to see the mundane brutalities of the local jail anew. The day after the vote in Mecklenburg County, McFadden, who had just won the Democratic nomination, called the A.C.L.U.’s national political director, Faiz Shakir, to thank him. Shakir told me that he encouraged McFadden to make Mecklenburg into a national model for how a progressive sheriff might run his department.

Anthony Romero became the executive director of the A.C.L.U. in 2001, just before the September 11th attacks. The excesses of the Bush Administration’s war on terror, which followed, raised the group’s profile and improved fund-raising. But even that unusual period, Romero told me recently, was not so unusual as this one, because, during the Bush Administration, the civil-liberties cause was mostly a series of lawsuits and editorial arguments, not a movement. After 9/11, when the Bush Administration instituted a program that required visitors from two dozen Muslim-majority countries to register with the government, Romero said, “I don’t remember anyone waving signs that said ‘We are all Muslims.’ ” But last year, when President Trump’s first travel ban targeting Muslims was issued, protests spread at airports around the country, A.C.L.U. lawyers arrived on the scene, and that slogan—“We are all Muslims”—was seen everywhere. Romero had played a small role in helping to organize the Women’s March of 1996, when thirty thousand women and men marched in San Francisco in defense of reproductive rights. That event had required years of centralized planning. After Trump’s election, much larger women’s marches took place in cities around the country, organized in a matter of weeks. The defense of and concern for civil liberties has been central to the resistance to Trump, and the A.C.L.U.’s membership has quadrupled since the President was inaugurated. Romero said that the average age of his membership had dropped by twenty years as a result, and has become somewhat more diverse—“sixteen per cent people of color,” he said. “It’s no longer just college-educated liberals on the coasts.”

Even before this influx of new members, Romero had already begun to think about how the A.C.L.U. might adapt to its current-day political context. In 2013, during the comparative quiet of the late Obama years, Romero had commissioned a study of how the National Rifle Association—another organization built around a specific view of a section of the Bill of Rights—has managed to operate so effectively as a public-advocacy organization. “The big takeaway for me from that study was that they were able to talk about their work not in legalistic policy terms,” Romero said. “On their Web site you won’t find anything about the Second Amendment. It’s all about gun culture.” Romero thought that the A.C.L.U. might do something similar—moving out from the courtrooms and into the work of grassroots mobilization, of policy issues and campaigns. What he wanted, he said, was “to give people a real opportunity to be protagonists.” ...

Continues HERE

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Giving Trump Kudos When Kudos Are Due... Will He Stand By His Prediction?




I never thought I would be giving the orange haired individual now sitting the White House credit for rational thought and sensible decisions, but, I recently find myself re-thinking those thoughts. Of course that is predicated on the assumption that he actually means what he said regarding possible support for a legislative proposal to leave the decision to states about whether to legalize marijuana.

When asked about a legislative bill introduced by Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts his response was... “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,”

The bill would leave the decision to states about whether to legalize marijuana, Something that any actual conservative/libertarian should support with enthusiasm and  all liberal/progressive ought to be solidly behind this.

As Trump is as unpredictable as the winds it is not certain that he will ultimately support and sign the legislation if it passes congress. We can only hope that he does. Bottom line, whether conservative/libertarian or liberal/progressive it is the right thing for Trump to do. Everyone with an understanding of the science that supports the benefits of marijuana ought to be giving the President Kudos on his apparent support for legislation that would essentially upend an archaic and foolish punitive federal law.

Marijuana does not belong on the federal controlled substance list. In fact it was not until 1970 that marijuana was federally banned for any purpose, including for medical purposes. The decision to outlaw marijuana use was a purely a political one without concern for science or the very real benefits associated with marijuana. And now, the other reason for the criminalization of cannabis.

Read the New York Times article HERE.

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Sincere and Respected Conservative Gives His Final Farewell... You Will Be Missed Charles Krauthammer

Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.

Charles Krauthammer as he bids farewell to his friends, associates, and this life that he gave his all. A truly interesting and sincere conservative whose voice will be missed. 

We hope Charles is spared pain and suffering in his final days and that the universe speeds him on his ultimate journey home.


Please find Charles final article HERE

ACA Now at Risk as the Trump Administration Fails to Defend the Law...

The Washington Post - The Trump administration said Thursday night that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the executive branch’s tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the ACA brought about.

In a brief filed in a Texas federal court and an accompanying letter to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Justice Department agrees in large part with the 20 Republican-led states that brought the suit. They contend that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional and that, as a result, consumer insurance protections under the law will not be valid, either.

The three-page letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions begins by saying that Justice adopted its position “with the approval of the President of the United States.” The letter acknowledges that the decision not to defend an existing law deviates from history but contends that it is not unprecedented.

The bold swipe at the ACA, a Republican whipping post since its 2010 passage, does not immediately affect any of its provisions. But it puts the law on far more wobbly legal footing in the case, which is being heard by a GOP-appointed judge who has in other recent cases ruled against more minor aspects.

The administration does not go as far as the Texas attorney general and his counterparts. In their suit, lodged in February in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, they argue that the entire law is now invalid.

By contrast, the Justice brief and letter say many other aspects of the law can survive because they can be considered legally distinct from the insurance mandate and such consumer protections as a ban on charging more or refusing coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions.

A group of 17 Democratic-led states that have won standing in the case also filed a brief on Thursday night arguing for the ACA’s preservation.

While the case has to play out from here, the administration’s striking position raises the possibility that major parts of the law could be struck down — a year after the Republican Congress failed at attempts to repeal core provisions.

The Red Tide moving against its core constituents (and America's) best interests. Trump forewarned us of his plans and even as the majority shifted to pro ACA the Red Tide continues to try and identify ways to sweep the law out to sea. The caring compassionate party of plutocrats and liars at work for you, the average hard working American family. Yeah, right.



Article continues Below The Fold.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I Love America, SO, Two Big Middles to Trump...

After cancelling the planned Super Bowl celebration with the Philadelphia Eagles pResident Trump hosted a "Patriotic Celebration". The pResident's remarks below.





Perhaps it's just this individualistic patriot of some 60+ years that believes Trump is full of it. However, our constitution guarantees the right to free political speech and expression. Which includes legitimate peaceful protest against inequities and injustice, perceived or real.

I love my country, even with its many flaws. I stand for the National Anthem out of choice, not compulsion. I do so in respect for, and in the spirit of,  what our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution stand for.

Unfortunately this nation of laws has not always lived up to the lofty words and values of our Declaration of Independence. Nor has it insured equal justice under the law to all it's citizens in all places and at al times. The institutionalized inequities and injustice in our legal system is well documented. Thus the justification for Taking a Knee.

If Trump understood our Constitution and the stated values enshrined in our Declaration of Independence he would know what it means to be a true Patriot who loves America. It does not mean parades, pomp and circumstance, standing with hand over heart, agreeing with "your" president at every turn, or accepting all that you are told to accept. It means fighting for the principles and vales that you believe are right. And that Mr. pResident means peaceful protest in solidarity against very real injustices that exist in our justice system.

The below should incense every true patriotic American, WHY? Because it is true.

“There is today one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but [the US], in which an effort is made to consult reason at least partially. By refusing immigrants on principle to elements in poor health, by simply excluding certain races from naturalisation, it professes in slow beginnings a view that is peculiar to the People’s State.”

Hitler connected this American “success” story to his ultimate goal, as he told a fellow Nazi:

“Now that we know the laws of heredity, it is possible to a large extent to prevent unhealthy and severely handicapped beings from coming into the world. I have studied with interest the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock.”

So if you want to know why NFL players feel the need to follow Colin Kaepernick’s lead, and protest during the national anthem, the fact that Hitler took inspiration from popular American policies like the Jim Crow South or the Immigration Act of 1924 should be instructive. Racially tinged fascism is as American as apple pie, and it’s on the rise yet again. And before we can understand the NFL protests, and the abysmal reaction from Roger Gooddell and the owners, we have to understand a little bit of American fascist history.

Trump is far from the first demagogue to successfully court this thick slice of Americans who identify more with the heritage-based vision of Nazi Germany than the idea-centric aim of our constitution. According to Gallup, Richard Nixon received 32% of votes from nonwhite Americans in his failed 1960 presidential bid. When he won in 1968, he only got 12% of the votes from this group. What happened in between was basically the Big Bang for the modern GOP.



SOURCE