2014 Midterm Elections: Where Do We Go From Here? It Doesn’t Look Good

Like many other Democrats, I was angered by the GOP’s near-sweep of national and state races. There were pockets of Democratic victories but by and large the United States will be much redder starting January 2015.

I said I was angered, but I wasn’t surprised. In fact, none of us should have been surprised. All the signs were there and this GOP victory had been predicted months in advance. Besides, this has been years in the making. Young Republican college students like Grover Norquist hooked up with the Koch Brothers back in the 70s and formulated the basics of this plan, revising and expanding it over the years. The Kochs had enough money and enough time to take the long view for achieving their goal of total dominance over the American political system. And, based on last Tuesday’s elections, it looks like the plan is working. Karl Rove has been quoted as saying his plan to lead and to keep the GOP in political dominance extends to 2020, which happens to be the year in which it is predicted that Hispanics will make up the majority of the populace in Texas and perhaps in other areas.

Look at what Koch and other wealthy right wing powerhouses have wrought: they virtually control the corporate media, they control the US Supreme Court, many state governments, most of the US District and Courts of Appeal, and now Congress. Under normal conditions, I would agree with some liberal columnists who claim that with the GOP in control of Congress, they will fail dismally as they always do, angering voters to the point where the pendulum will again swing leftward in 2016.

I’m not so sure that prediction will be borne out this time. As I said, for the first time people like the Kochs now control almost all political, legislative, judicial processes and the media in this country. So, they not only control what their minions see, hear, and read, I believe they just about control the election process as well which has given them control of everything else that I’ve mentioned.

This didn’t happen in a vacuum. Check the voting records of many Democrats over the years. How do you think the five Koch employees on the US Supreme Court were appointed? And all of the right wing judges in the US District Court and Court of Appeals systems? I don’t remember any Democratic filibusters against any of these nominations. The Democrats also supported all the takeovers and mergers which allowed just a few media companies to monopolize control of all communications in this country.

The Democrats have proven to be wimps, unorganized without the capability of creating and instituting a Liberal plan along the lines of the GOP plan which would wrest control of the political, legislative and judicial processes from the hands of the Kochs, et al. A successful, 50-state plan was created and managed by ex-Gov. Howard Dean after he became the Democratic National Committee chair in 2005. In return for this great plan and his successful fundraising work has been totally snubbed and discarded by the Obama administration and by the DNC. Under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC has mismanaged Democratic campaigns and getting the Democratic message out to voters to such an extent that we now have a Republican-controlled Congress in fact. Since 2010, the GOP has had de facto control of Congress.

President Obama deserves his fair share of blame for the right wing takeover of corporate media. He has been no different from his Republican (and some Democratic) predecessors in appointing industry hacks to run and sit on the board of the FCC. The most egregious example of this is current FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Consequently, control of printed, broadcast, and telecast media along with cable systems are concentrated in very few but extremely powerful corporate hands, all of them run by CEOs and boards who lean very far to the Right. As I write this, the FCC is poised to introduce a proposal that ignores the will of 3.7 million protestors as it will virtually eliminate net neutrality, placing the internet under the control of those same very few but extremely powerful corporate hands. And there’s not one thing any of us can do about it. If the President ignores our protests, and the new Congress will certainly ignore them, what peaceful options are left to us?

So, in 2016 we will be entering a media and political environment totally hostile to Liberal and Democratic politics. The one and only goal of people like the Kochs will be to embed in cement GOP and right wing control of virtually all aspects of life in this country for their own personal political and financial enrichment. Expect more voter ID laws to pass in states controlled by the GOP since SCOTUS has placed its imprimatur on it; more GOP gerrymandering of state and congressional voting districts, and more control of the voting and vote counting processes. And, of course, SCOTUS effectively gave control of political campaign contributions to the GOP via Citizens United.

This is why I believe that approval of Congress could sink to 0% by 2016 and almost all Republican incumbents along with Republican challengers will still be elected. Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic and paranoid here, but the creeping grasp of the GOP hand over most of everything that happens in this country. What’s the answer? That’s for Liberals and Democrats to organize and figure out. The answer might be a totally new coalition of voters disgusted with both Democratic and Republican parties. That could result in candidates and voters in large enough numbers to offset the GOP control of our elective process. Or maybe not.

The Democrats Need A New Team, Not A Hero

So here we are in the middle of our postmortem after yesterday’s disaster yet some people are still not getting the reasons for what happened. I’ve already seen at least one person leap onto a soapbox promoting his chosen Democratic savior for 2016. This is the last thing we should be doing now.

The problem with this thinking is analogous to baseball. One losing team believes all it needs is a top slugger to turn it around. The successful team knows that a team of strong players in every position and a strong bench is what’s needed to win championships. To float one candidate’s name at this team shows the problem with the Democratic Party. If it refuses to learn the lessons of yesterday’s midterm elections, it will cease to even be relevant going forward from this point onward. Obama is the current big slugger and look at how well that’s worked out for us. Once your big slugger goes into a hitting slump he sinks the whole team if he’s the best and only big player they’ve got.

We don’t need ONE candidate to rally behind; we need a fundamental makeover of the Democratic Party in the way it chooses and runs candidates, and especially in how it communicates its message to the voters. We need to get liberal politicians with balls and vaginas of steel to stand up to the GOP, to refuse to approve right wing appointees to SCOTUS and to US District Courts, who will filibuster and otherwise refuse to vote for asinine legislation like budget compromises which create a “super congress” as well as the sequester which has proven to be a disaster for the poor and the middle class, politicians who will stand up to the NRA, ALEC, and people like the Kochs, who will stand up for women’s and for gay rights, and for immigration reform. We need a president who will not naively believe they can negotiate and compromise with Republicans while they are united in bringing down the presidency just because of the color and/or gender of the president. We need a president who will stare down the opposition with every Congressional Democrat standing behind him.

We need leadership at the top who will employ GOP and Fox-like tactics which hold up their politicians and policies to public ridicule, who can come up with simple one-line slogans and imagery to cement in even stupid voters’ heads that the GOP will surely lead them to ruin and the end of life as we know it, just like the GOP has successfully marketed the same thing about us to the voters.

So, right now the last thing we need is a Hillary or a Elizabeth or a Bernie in 2016. We need a real, actual, vital political party rebuilt from the bottom up which can engage and attract the millions of voters it lost after it decided to become Republican Light.

A home run slugger can’t win the ballgame if the team is losing and there’s no one on base.

The Bizarro World Of The Ultra-Farleftys

I’m a farlefty. My blog name validates this or it wouldn’t be called Farlefty. My world is ruled by logic, common sense, and deductive reasoning and opinions based on research. Then there’s the world of the ultra-farleftys in which President Obama is lying about ISIS/ISIL and the threat they pose to our American way of life. They claim he just wants to phony up a war in Iraq just like the Bush administration did. They also claim we are being lied to about the threat ISIS/ISIL poses to Syria along with the threat Assad poses to his own Syrian people. These people claim the puppet masters behind the marionette show which is Congress, SCOTUS, and the White House are hungry for more oil fields and the plentiful natural resources laying around all over the place in the Middle East and that’s what’s really going on. Well, I agree with that up to a point—especially about most of Congress and the five Koch Brothers employees on SCOTUS being puppets.

But here’s the problem as I see it with the overwhelming paranoia on the Far Left: If Obama is just as much of a liar as George W. Bush was, then this country is already lost to the likes of the Koch Brothers. It’s game over, folks; there’s no Blue and there’s no Red, just Purple. If this is to be believed, then there’s not a thing we can do about it because the game is rigged and no matter who you believe or who you vote for, you’re wrong. I believe Obama to be a basically good man of good intentions for this country, but it’s undeniable that for most of his presidency he’s been in the pockets of the likes of Goldman Sachs (look at how many people from GS he chose to fill White House and Federal Reserve Bank positions) and the banksters (Jaime Dimon being his good buddy). But given all this, Obama did sign into law bills that have helped—for the most part—consumers and homeowners.

These same ultra-farleftys also think Vladimir Putin is an innocent victim of worldwide disinformation intended to frame him as a despot intent on returning the Ukraine piece back to the jigsaw puzzle that was the Soviet Union. They claim that it’s Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, who’s the real villain, trying to gain the world’s sympathy by falsely claiming Russian nationalists and operatives had invaded Ukraine and started shooting wars to capture and control the southeastern region of the country. Ultra-farleftys also point to interviews and articles on Russia Today (where else) that claim it was Ukraine that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near Donetsk in the that the ensuing global outrage would result in a world war against Russia.

The world of the ultra-farleftys is like the Bizarro world in the Superman comics. The good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys good. Everything you know is wrong, which is true up to a point. I think that intelligent people who are also congenitally insightful are intuitive enough to discern truth from fiction, lies, and propaganda. When you read a book by Paul Krugman, you just know he is truthfully and accurately relating what went wrong with the financial system in this country and how to fix it. When you read books by Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coulter, you know they’re lying pieces of shit.

Ultra-farleftys may be intelligent folk—many of them seem to be—and some may well be well-meaning but unknowing purveyors of disinformation while others are in on the scam. I don’t know. But what I do know is that people on the far left can go so far to the left, and people on the far right can go so far to the right that both groups meet in the middle. It’s one thing to be faced on both sides with lunacy, but to be surrounded by it creates a vacuum empty of knowledge and truth. Nature abhors a vacuum but tyranny loves it.

The Big Picture Is Fuzzy To Too Many Near-Sighted Democrats

What frustrates me is how many people fail to see the big picture when making comments and forming opinions. With the grand predictions throughout the corporate media that the GOP is poised to take back the Senate, everything matters and everything, no matter how disparate and unimportant it may seem to these individuals, is linked and interrelated.

What are you seeing in the news now? The Republicans MIGHT be in trouble in a few races but the Dems are in more trouble in the races they need to win. Here this enough, just like the way any propaganda campaign works, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Scott Walker holds a small lead over Mary Burke in the latest polls so what does that tell you? McConnell still has a real chance to win reelection and what does that tell you? Walker has decimated the unions in his state but he’s till running ahead of Burke.

What it tells you is that the Democrats are still doing a piss-poor job at selling their candidates and some of the candidates themselves are doing a piss-poor job of selling themselves. The Repubs have had forty years to perfect their sales pitch and control the political narrative in this country with the help of right wing TV and talk radio stations in every town in America. The last stats I read showed that Fox/right wing radio is in 500 radio markets nationwide while liberal talk radio was in just 50 markets–and this was two years ago. The number of radio markets carrying liberal talk have dwindled since then and in many radio markets where liberal talk is still limping along, the shows can only be found on low-powered college stations or low-powered independent radio stations.  In many ways the Democrats themselves have enabled this.

There is absolutely no reason at this point after the way the GOP-controlled Congress has been and continues to destroy this country that the Dems should still be fighting for their political and our very real lives. This is why I’ve posted so much about Alison Grimes and about other Dems who are distancing themselves from Obama. At this point IF the Dems had done their jobs and IF they hadn’t allowed the FCC to remain in conservative hands there would be more liberal programming on TV and radio. Al Gore screwed liberals by taking what he thought was easy money and selling Current TV to Al Jazeera who’s he’s now suing because he never got all that easy money. MSNBC will probably be urging its viewers to “Lean Backward” soon.

It’s imperative that everyone step back and view the Big Picture. To see all the relationships and discern the pattens which show us where we’re headed and think of SOME way to reverse the manufactured pattern that will convince uneducated voters that Obama is a truly lousy president and the Dems in Congress are right there with him. But, the right wing controls all media here and so, I have no idea how to fix this. Obama showed he had no interest in fixing it by who he nominated to head the FCC and to sit on the board. Tom Wheeler, the chairman, was an industry lobbyist–and a venture capitalist–before Obama named him and confirmed by the Senate. Says much about the Democrats that they had no problem with a installing a guy whose resume screamed CONFLICT OF INTEREST in the top job at the FCC.

Israel Should Give Up Its Conquered Lands After The U.S. Gives Up Its Conquered Lands

Some people are calling for Israel to return to its 1945 borders. The people who angrily cry that force should be used against Israel if it fails to comply know nothing of the history of the region and even less about the Jewish people and about the Palestinians. They are the same people who claim they are nor neither side, yet it’s Israel they attack and Israel at whose feet they lay all the blame. Try reading some history and get some knowledge before you post comments showing your lack of both. Israel has been attacked by a coalition of Arab states in 1948, 1967, and 1973, winning all three conflicts along with the additional land which acts as a buffer zone for Israel against future attacks. Note that the PLO has been waging war against Israel since the PLO’s formation in 1967.  Nowadays, Hamas do the fighting while the PLO “attempts” to negotiate peace with Israel while at the same time Israel is trying to negotiate with Hamas. But this is not the main point I’m making here. But this is not the main point I’m making here.

 

 

Not only is this talk about returning to previous borders unrealistic, it flies in the face of history. Let’s take this “logic” to its absolute absurdity. Open another browser window and bring up a map of the United States. Got it up in front of you? Look at it; look at how our borders stretch from coast to coast and from Mexico on up to Canada. Look also at Alaska and Hawaii. Our country sprung full blown with these borders and with Alaska and Hawaii, right? The indisputable fact is that every single acre of land, every stretched border of this country was taken or bought from somebody else—and I’m not even getting into current protectorates or territories: England, France, Spain, Mexico, Russia. Every one of these countries stole their possessions from the original inhabitants: the Indians, the Inuits, and the Polynesians were all here before us and none of the aforementioned conquering nations gave back the land they took.

 

 

To take the demand that Israel cede back those lands it won from defending itself against Arab coalition attackers to its ultimate absurdity, then these same people should be calling for the U.S. to cede back all the land it appropriated from Mexico after it won the Mexican-American War in 1848. Goodbye Texas, the Southwest and California. Let’s go further back: the U.S. should cede back all the territory it used to create states after England officially lost the Revolutionary War in 1783. Maybe the Pilgrims had a claim on the Plymouth Rock area in 1620 but everything else was taken or bought from its previous inhabitants or “owners”. So, on that basis, just about this entire country must be ceded back to the American Indians (Native Americans if you want to be p.c.) because the way we acquired their land is no different than how Israel acquired its additional land and our treatment of the American Indians was no better—in fact, far worse—than the Israelis have treated the Palestinians. Let’s see a raise of hands who want to give back all our lands to those who were here first. Thought so.

 

And for those of you with pitifully-poor memories, look at a map of the Middle East and see which countries surround Israel. Then remember it was the Palestinians who refused to agree to the partitioning of the land in dispute (most of which became Israel) and waged war against Israel to destroy it and take back the land. The Palestinians were and have always been the war aggressors because they would rather fight than negotiate. Israel keeps the Palestinians under tight control because if it didn’t, Hamas would grow into ISIS (the Palestinians have received hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from Qatar, which is now soliciting additional funds from Iran and Turkey. Israel is surrounded on all sides by enemies who want to see it destroyed and the Jews eliminated so that the various Arab states can then wage war over who gets the Israeli lands. This is why the Israelis are so iron-fisted with the Palestinians and this is why Israel will never go back to its pre-1948 borders, let alone 1945. Get real, people, literally.

 

 

 

The Only Thing Dead Broke Is Hillary Clinton’s Integrity, Part 2

My original commentary on Hillary Clinton’s integrity was supposed to be a one-shot but I’ve gotten such push back from some Democrats who are either overly-avid Hillary supporters or have been hired by her presidential campaign to stamp out negative Hillary comments all over the socialnetworksphere—or both—about my criticism of the Hillary Clinton’s claim that she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House that it justifies a part 2, if only to humble these partisan guardians of Clintondom by waving the Clintons’ 2001 1040 tax return before their denying eyes.

This is a link to the Clinton’s 2001 federal income tax return: http://graphics.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/clintontaxes/2001.pdf

Their TAXABLE income was $14,427,526.00. They paid $5,935,425.00 in taxes on that income. Simple math shows that they cleared $8.5 million. Anyone want to convince me that’s the income of a family that “dead broke”? And Hillary said they were “dead broke” when the left the White House but she didn’t say for HOW LONG, did she? Because they never were. I told you they were making millions in speech making fees, and there was $154,952.00 in wage income. And they had a $152,000 pension fund they drew income from for an total income $16,165,110.00. And we’re not even talking about travel and lodging charged to their various foundations. Please, anyone, defend this as “dead broke” from any perspective you choose, even the argument that their 2001 income was less than that for the years 2000 and 2002 (which I haven’t looked at yet). Those of you who are backing and defending Hillary Clinton are, in the words of Vin Scully, seeing her with your hearts and not with your eyes.

Anyone still want to argue the Semantics of the Rich and Famous? Why is it so important to many of you to believe totally in Hillary Clinton? Just because you view her as the Great Female Democratic Hope of 2016? Total wishful thinking on your part. If she keeps this up, just watch the growing backlash against her from the truly Liberal wing of the Democratic Party along with most Independent voters.

Hillary Clinton has lied about the Clinton non-flow of income for 2001. She finally says as she’s again running for president that her 2002 vote to authorize The Iraq War Resolution was a mistake, based on the intelligence she had at the time. But then, she now says this: “My lack of confidence in the Bush Administration went back to the fall of 2002, when it was boasting of ironclad intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. After weighing the evidence and seeking as many opinions as I could inside and outside the government, Democrats and Republicans alike, I voted to authorize military action in Iraq, if the diplomatic efforts, meaning the U.N. weapons inspections, failed.” She also wrote that she “made the best decision I could with the information I had…I feel I was totally briefed.” Except that she never consulted those who dissented with that report, including Florida Sen. Bob Graham, chair of the Senate intelligence committee who also opposed the war.

http://www.propublica.org/article/all-the-things-hillary-clintons-book-doesnt-say-about-iraq

Rewrite history much, Hillary?

The anticipated 2016 presidential matchup is tentatively predicted to be between Clinton and Jeb Bush. We all know that Jeb ALLEGEDLY stole the 2000 election for brother George in Florida. Some Democrats have boosted the GOP terrorist alert to Orange over the prospect that not voting for Hillary (should she get the nomination) is tantamount to electing Jeb Bush president. That scare tactic has GOP written all over it because George W. constantly used it when his approval numbers were dropping. So, Democrats are now being told who to vote for on the basis that our liar is more honest than their liar? That’s where the bar is set now? If some Democrats are afraid that some Republican will be elected president in 2016 then pushing Clinton on us will make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The corporate media—including public broadcasting, is pushing the fiction that people now think that Republicans are better on the budget, healthcare, and national security. Sure, it’s a myth based on skewed right wing polling but that’s what the media is preaching all day, every day. The corporate media is utilizing the Nazi propaganda technique that is people hear the same lie repeated enough times they will come to accept it as the truth. There are a lot of independent voters out there who already distrust the Clintons and with that constant barrage of propaganda mixed in with Hillary Clinton’s own lies, they will vote for the Republican who runs against her if and when given the choice. The people who support Clinton now are so close to the subject of their adoration that they can’t see this entire picture, and they refuse to step back far enough to view it in its entirety.

The “dead broke” line was not merely a matter of viewing that financial condition from a wealthy perspective as if that expression is all relative; it was a downright, pandering lie, as I said earlier. Someone who sees herself in that manner or is selling herself in that matter is not someone I want seated in the Oval Office. We’ve had enough of those since 1981. I don’t want another Bush, another Clinton, or another Obama in the White House. I would just like, for once, a liberal running the country supported by a Democratic and fairly liberal majority in Congress. That is exactly what this country needs now.

The Only Thing Dead Broke Is Hillary Clinton’s Integrity

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/xyf39z/poor—off

Jon Stewart bringing up one of the same points I brought up last week about Hillary’s contention that the Clintons “came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt.” And “we struggled to piece together the MORTGAGES for HOUSES [my emphasis]”. Stewart jumped on the “houses” quote: “When you’re appealing to the middle class you might want to use the singular…when referring to the most valuable asset most people will come in contact with.” That was my point exactly.

Of course, being a lawyer, Clinton had chosen her words (almost) carefully to try to appeal, in Stewart’s words, to “Reagan Democrats”. Not exactly the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party, more like the shadowland between phony Democrats and real Republicans. She could claim the Clintons were “dead broke” because their millions of dollars in investments and in income from those investments were kept in at least blind trusts for the duration of Bill’s presidency. Since officially left office on 1/20/2001 (after Dubya was sworn in), it might have taken a few days after that to transfer those assets out of those blind trusts so that they were once again accessible. But sadly, during those hard and difficult financial days for the Clintons, they had to make do on the hundreds of thousands of dollars Bill and Hillary eked out from speech making in front of various groups. Bill might even have secured a loan from long-time family friend George H.W. Bush to tide them over. Funny that Democrat Bill Clinton has been palling around for decades with Bushes Sr. and Jr., but not so much the only other Democratic president, Jimmy Carter. I guess Bill would prefer to fly around the globe staying in the finest hotels and ballpark luxury boxes instead of getting down and dirty building houses for the poor with Carter.

Oh, the other carefully chosen words from Hillary: “in debt”. Yes, Bill had lots of legal debt from his defenses against “Whitewater” and his sham impeachment over Monica Lewinsky. As both a credit counselor and a bankruptcy counselor, I worked with people who WERE actually dead broke with or without houses but with overwhelming debt they couldn’t pay. Since these people didn’t have assets in blind trusts or multimillion-dollar incomes from speeches and such, their only option was to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (for the non-homeowners OR the homeowners walking away from their home mortgages) or Chapter 13 (for the homeowners who wanted to try to keep their homes). There’s no 2001 record of the Clintons filing for bankruptcy (and this was before the 2005 Republican bankruptcy law “reform”) which means that they paid off all their debts just fine on their own, thank you.

I said before that Hillary Clinton sounded as tone deaf as Ann Romney with this quote, and Stewart alludes to this as well. And I’ll say something else again: Clinton will not be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee (make no mistake—she IS running) if she continues making stupid, thoughtless statements like these to pretend to us common folk that she’s one of us, or has been one of us. The quote reveals that she never was. Hillary supporters unconditionally accept her statements; those of us who look more dispassionately on the woman, see it for the pandering to the poor voter masses that it is. The only thing dead broke is Hillary Clinton’s integrity