Category Archives: US Government

A Quick Note…

A quick note to all the Republican partisans complaining about possible voter fraud: where were you in 2000 and 2004? Chickens come home to roost in politics. Remember how the GOP leaders said that Diebold voting machines being made by a strong GOP backer wasn’t an issue? Remember how the GOP leaders said that the claims of black voters being incorrectly identified as felons was overstated? Remember when a few Florida ballot boxes turned up with plenty of Republican votes, sometimes more than were registered in the precinct? Chickens coming home to roost.

Sure, this election is on track to be pretty much handed to Clinton, maybe even in a big way – Texas might go purple, if not blue. A lot of that is Trump’s fault, plain and simple. He’s highly offensive to a majority of Americans, more so than Clinton. But if the Democrats do anything shady or even illegal to slant the results in their favor, don’t come crying to me about it. The way 2000 and 2004 played out basically condoned mild to moderate voter fraud from the top on down.

I’m an independent voter that has been hugely disappointed with both major parties since the 1990s, and it sickens me how they have allowed the political process to be increasingly criminalized and the politicians to be telemarketers selling their votes to the biggest donors. I’ll agree that Clinton’s campaign has been doing some awfully sleazy things, but to any Republican – you have met the enemy, and she is y’all.

America’s Awful Nightmare

Watching the debate last night, I was chilled when I heard Trump say that if he was president, Clinton would be in jail. Trump has set off a number of fascist alarms, and this was his newest one. But to make such threats openly and then to have them resonate with a significant population of Americans is what bothers me the most.

While I do believe that Clinton escaped prosecution because of her position and influence, as have a large number of other rich and powerful Americans, I do not believe that making naked threats about jailing political opponents is the right way of dealing with that issue. I’ve spoken out against the quiet jailing of political prisoners in the USA, but this is a new one. For a major political party’s candidate to call for the pitchforks and torches to go after his opponent is an appeal to mob rule. That is most certainly not the American way.

I don’t care how big a threat one may think Clinton is, America will survive. It always has. We made it through the constitutional end-runs of Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton I, Bush II, and Obama, we can survive a Clinton II. At least all those people gave lip service to the ideals of the Constitution. Trump does not. He makes open appeals to white supremacists and fascists and he does not apologize for them. I truly hope that he loses, but that does not solve the problem of his supporters.

There are people who support Trump precisely because of his sexism, racism, and fascism. There are people who support Trump precisely because of his strong-man views and the hope that he may very well sweep aside the constitutional framework of our government and change the USA into something more on the lines of what Mussolini wanted in Italy or Vargas in Brazil or Peron in Argentina. If Trump fades from view, these people will seek out another flashy personality with no love of any truth that stands in his path to power. They will seek out that man and put him forward, and they will recruit.

And this is what concerns me about a Clinton presidency: that it will do little to still the currents that are drawing Americans towards fascism. FDR was able to offer an alternative to extremism with his New Deal. LBJ and Reagan also offered up big ideas in big packages and gave presidential turns that appealed to a wide range of Americans. Clinton I was the last of the big-tent presidents. Starting with Bush II, we have had presidents that have ruled without reaching out to the opposition, and that is a bad precedent for a president.

The resulting legislative gridlock and rule by executive order plays into the hands of fascists. If they like an executive order, it shows to them the promise of a more powerful leader. If they do not like an executive order, they howl murderously about how they have no more rights – but they will gleefully toss all those rights aside to get someone in office that will put their opponents in their places, no matter what. A Clinton II presidency will only make the fascists look for a more presentable proponent of their ideas. What we need is another FDR, LBJ, or even a Reagan to bring all of America back together to the negotiating table. Failing to do that will only strengthen the ranks of the fascists.

The Math of the US Senate

For all the bombast of presidential candidate supporters, they fail to admit that, unless one of the major parties has fewer than 41 senators, it’ll be a cold, cold day before there’s a new Supreme Court justice. There’s no compromise there, and given that a party with 41 or more senators can just say “filibuster” to kill a bill, halt a nomination, or spoil some other plan of the majority party.

It doesn’t matter which party has the majority in the Senate. That party needs a supermajority to get anything done. I have to admit this, as well. I’d like to see what happens if a Libertarian is in the White House, maybe he could open up negotiations… but he’d only be able to get his way if the Senate agrees. Same for either major party candidate, and they have the burden of having the other major party making it its sworn duty to oppose all the way, unless a major bank needs a bill passed. Then they all come together.

Maybe that’s what I can use to defuse effusive supporters of any candidate: without that Senate, he or she will have to rule by executive order. Obama wanted stuff done, and had to resort to executive orders. So did Bush the Second. So will the next president, if he or she wants stuff done. It’s all due to the math of the Senate.

Minitruth to Clinton’s Rescue

1984 was not supposed to be an instruction manual… all the same, the news headlines trumpeting that Clinton was the presumptive Democrat Party nominee like so many Buzzfeed links was a disgusting sight to see. There are some major primaries today, primaries that Clinton could lose, and this kind of news is the kind of propaganda that can sway some voters to “vote with the winner,” even though she’s not actually the winner. The reporting was completely orchestrated. There’s a Ministry of Truth out there, maybe part of the government, maybe not, and it’s working on behalf of Clinton.

To me, the “why” is clear: there are strong forces that fear the prospect of a president that would reset the rules they’ve so carefully constructed to favor themselves. Trump has a strong chance of upsetting a number of apple carts, Sanders would definitely upset even more of them. Clinton? Well, those $250,000 speech fees from Goldman Sachs don’t tell no lies: she’s the choice of the status quo. At a time when America desperately needs a safety valve to release a great deal of anger, frustration, and potential violence, Clinton represents keeping a lid on all that explosive pressure.

There were times when the USA was about to blow apart in its past. In 1860, it actually did when a no-compromise Lincoln got elected. But in 1900 and 1932, the nation was about to face tremendous upheavals if something wasn’t done to make it possible for average working families to get by. Socialism and even Communism loomed large as possible solutions for America’s problems, but Roosevelts in both those elections were elected on trust-busting and New Deal platforms that they largely carried out. Leftist agitation subsided with those victories, and the far right was placated enough to not launch a coup.

But this time around? We really should have had our reset in 2001. Instead, we got a Bush and the status quo. We were promised a reset in 2008, but Obama delivered more of the same. Clinton in 2016 is not going to be good for most Americans, but her backers are too blind to history to see that their best chances for survival lie in letting go of the throttle a bit and allowing things to get back to where they were 50-60 years ago.

What happens if they don’t let up? Simple. Other countries have shown the pattern. Either the peasants with nothing to lose rise up and put their mansions to the torch while they rend the rich limb from limb, or the authoritarian government put in place to keep the peasant uprising from happening turns on the rich and uses their profits for “the good of the state.” Democracy doesn’t survive in a world where the media blatantly lines up to lie on behalf of a candidate, not for long.

About Those School Bathrooms…

My thoughts on the school bathroom issue… it shouldn’t be an issue. Kids know which bathroom they need to use, particularly at a high school age. When we take time to understand one another, there’s no need for a law, one way or another. But if we’re going to have a law – and I speak directly to the conservatives here – one that respects property rights and individual freedoms is the law to support. We must support nondiscrimination in housing, employment, and access to government-owned facilities.

As for restaurants, bars, gas stations, and other small venues, most of those are one person per bathroom affairs, regardless of gender. They are essentially private, so it makes as no difference who goes into which one, unless there’s a line.

A few years ago, this wasn’t a federal, state, or local decision. It was a personal decision. It should remain that way and the law should protect that personal decision.

Things Could be Much Worse…

On the one hand, I don’t want to see Trump become president. On the other hand, I have a stronger desire to not see his supporters erupt in an armed putsch if he doesn’t get nominated due to GOP insider machinations. Even less would I want to see a candidate harness the seething rage that would result from an assassination of Trump.

There’s what I want and what I got right now. And what’s going on now is very gritty. There’s quite a lot of rage in Middle America, and whenever in history the middle class is frustrated in its upward progress, it will turn to politics to create the necessary upheaval to change the situation. When politics fails, the middle class resorts to violence. The USA dodged a huge bullet with the election of FDR in 1932. If both Trump and Sanders get short-shrifted by their respective parties, we’ll have some very dark days ahead of us.

Trump Is a Fascist: The Headline We’re not Seeing

If a person espouses hateful views and is consistently dismissive of and brutally rude to people without power… if that same person is hostile towards people who try to keep him honest and resorts to personal attacks to divert attention from his faults, that person should not only be shunned by decent Americans, but the press should also unmask and reveal the fraud. Shame on the American press for treating Donald Trump as a ratings event and not holding his misogynistic, bigoted, brutish, heartless, opportunistic, sociopathic, and very unpresidential feet to the fire.