The Democrats Are Dead And Buried, Which Means The Rest Of Us Are In Big Trouble

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NPR Saturday Edition crystallized why, in my opinion, the Democratic Party is dead and buried. It lost voters to Trump and even after those same voters feeling betrayed by Trump–or even still hanging in there with him–the Dems won’t get those voters back.

Here are three laid off steelworkers in Alabama, all Democrats I believe, who talked about how job searches and job retraining worked for them, why two of the voted for Trump, and more importantly how the see Congress (and they’re in a Democratic district) has failed them. I’ve selected some quotes to post.

SIMON [show host]: Bo, you’re 49.

EDWARDS: Yes, sir.

SIMON: So what happened when in your late 40s, you go to look for a job and people see, oh, gosh, this guy did something important and dangerous, he’ll be a good employee?

EDWARDS: Being my age, the first thing they look at, they go, oh, he’s 50 years old. And they discriminate because of age because, oh, this guy don’t have much more left in him. And then if you do get past the first part of the interview, and you go in and you have a physical, you know, they want to know, oh, what kind of medications are you on?

Well, guess what? OK, I’ve got some health issues. You know, you have to tell them what kind of medications. And then, oh, Mr. Edwards, we’re sorry. We don’t have a position for you at this time.

SIMON]: Diane, you’re in a job retraining program.

WOOD: Yes. I’m taking culinary arts at Wallace State Community College right now.

SIMON: So what’s the price difference between what you were earning and what you bring in now?

WOOD: Probably about $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

SIMON: That’s the difference?

WOOD: Yes, sir.

SIMON: That’s a lot of money.

WOOD: Yes, sir.

POWELL: I cannot type. Siegfried [referring to himself in the 3rd person] has very little computer knowledge. Somebody showed me a brochure from U.S. Steel that I was doing something. I say, heck, you know, you do the same thing for 20 years, you know, GFB, GFB, you know, the keyboard always wear out on those three keys. But it might have looked technical in the book, but it was just the same thing that we were trained.

So I knew that I had to retrain myself, especially on that computer. And once I started it – I got in the game too late. And the young people I was in school with, they still had their earbuds in their ear, and they were doing stuff on their phone. And I was, like, sitting in front of the class. And I’m like, OK, is this guy going to slow down so we can ask a question?

SIMON: The former steelworkers seem resigned and regretful now, but when you ask, they’ll say they’re angry at U.S. Steel for shutting the blast furnace in Fairfield when they say it still made money and the U.S. Congress for not protecting their jobs from foreign competition.

WOOD: Do you think Congress could have done different? I always think Congress could do different, so I don’t have the anger in me. I think things could have been different if they were done differently, but there is no anger in me.

EDWARDS: There’s a major disconnect from your working families and your people in Washington. They do not understand the working man. You know, I got an 18-year-old daughter who’s just graduated high school. College is coming up. Here I am in a situation where I have lost my job. Well, I have a child that needs to go to college. And I need to be able to provide for my household.

So what do I do? I’m in a catch-22 situation. I like Donald Trump. I’m a union man and I’m saying that I like Donald Trump. That’s completely 180 degrees from what a union man would say, but he understands us a little more right now, I think. I and my family growing up were Democrat all the way – Democrat, Democrat, Democrat – but the Democratic Party has got away from the working man.

POWELL: I think the reason Trump is so popular – I like to fight, though. It’s about time for the fight. The country had got to a point where it was – it needed somebody to show the fight. God, I hope this not racist, but every gas station you pull in, every hotel, I am still waiting for one that I see an American face behind. So where is that American face at? I’m missing something.

Everybody read that? “The Democratic Party has got away from the working man.” “It’s time for the fight.” It’s clear that these people knew nothing about Trump’s background and, they didn’t care. They just heard his (phony words) and bought in to them out of hope, because he was the only one of the two presidential candidates talking to their hopes and their fears. Hillary Clinton was all about job equality for women when she wasn’t pushing the college expenses and health plan ideas stolen from Bernie Sanders. Her hollow words fell on the deaf ears of middle-aged people struggling to make a living–even find a job–while trying to provide for their families.

And remember Siegfried Powell, who put himself in a retraining program that didn’t work out? Here’s their Democratic congresswoman, Terri Sewell, talking about her the job training program she’s pushing.

“I have my own program called Project READY. Ready stands for Realizing Everyone’s Ability to Develop Yourself. It’s about putting together all of the resources – federal, state and local – to try to help retrain and focus my constituents on jobs that are here now and the jobs that we’re trying to recruit in the future.

It’s actually not a government program, that’s the whole point. The reality is that we’re actually leveraging resources that are already being spent locally, federally and statewide. So we bring together the Alabama Career Center. We bring together, you know, Jefferson County industrial development training as well as Jeff State and Lawson State. And we try to – these are community colleges that are located here – trying to leverage the resources that we were already have.

But it’s also important that we don’t sell a bag of goods. Look. There are a lot of jobs that are not going to come back to America, but that doesn’t mean – or back to the Deep South – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t promote the opportunities that are coming this way. I think that it’s so important that we leverage the fact that we have Mercedes Benz and Hyundai and all of these amazing manufacturing opportunities to retool, meaning the future of work is automation.

So we have to be able to get our workers trained and – for the jobs that are here now and the jobs that are here in the future. But look. I’m not going to make any excuses. The Democrats lost the last election. And if we do not listen to Americans and actually put forth policies that make sense for average everyday Americans, we’re going to be in this quandary again in four years.”

The three ex-steelworkers, one aged 50 and the other two in their late 40s, aren’t going to be hired by Mercedes Benz or Hyundai, and those jobs wouldn’t pay anything near the $40,000+ they were earning an union steelworkers. Diane is training to be a chef, and her starting salary in a small town in Alabama–or elsewhere–is most likely going to be minimum wage, or perhaps $11 an hour. Bo and Siegfried both have their ages and lack of marketable skills for “the jobs that are here in the future” against them. Sewell and the rest of the Democratic Party have nothing to offer them, no words of hope, not even the phony “I’ll bring the jobs back” claim they voted their hopes on. And they sure don’t care about Trump’s ties with Russia or what really happened between him and James Comey.

And this is why I believe the Democratic Party is finished, why I believe that if the Democrats fail to remake the party from the ground up so that it is once again relevant to its traditional base of working class families and young adult voters–including students–it was never, ever regain control of Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

The lasting legacy of the Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC defeat in the 2016 Presidential Election. Yes, she won the popular vote. But if the Democrats had actually had a plan to win, they would have targeted the Electoral College vote. That’s what the Trump campaign did.

So, take a good look at the smug smiles of the glib Republicans now running the show: Trump, Pence, Bannon, McConnell, and Ryan. They will continue to remain fully responsible and in control of everything the federal government will inflict on us now and in years to come because there is absolutely no political party left to challenge and to beat them.

The Impeachable Hypocrisy Of The Congressional Democrats

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I’m proud to be one of the prescient millions who foretold the almost immediate crash and burn of Donald Trump in the White House. If a wink is as good as a nod to a blind man, even the blind could see this coming from the onslaught of winking eyes as far back as the primaries. Make no mistake, Trump will turn the heat up on the Republicans so high they’ll have to doff their ongoing participation in providing cover for him and stand out alone in the cold light of common sense and allow themselves to be blown toward the inevitable: either the impeachment and conviction or the resignation of Donald John Trump, destined to have the shortest tenure in the White House of a tenant (I will not refer to him as the president) who was not forced to leave due to serious illness or death.

But, being the faIr-minded Farlefty that I am, it’s now time to out the Democrats for the partisan, opportunistic hypocrites that they are. Granted, Trump has committed more impeachable offenses in the shortest period of time after moving into the White House than all the other real presidents. But, his treasonous, unethical, and illegal transgressions haven’t cost any lives—so far. Contrast that with the treasonous, unethical and illegal transgressions of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. They conspired to concoct a lie that would not only result in thousands (and counting) of American troops and the deaths of millions (and counting) Iraqi troops and citizens, and led to the total destabilization of the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula regions. They assassinated Saddam Hussein without having a single coherent and workable plan in place on how to fill the governmental vacuum left by his death.

And I said this was all built upon multiple lies, right? And from those lies they started multiple wars, decimating an entire part of the world for their own personal gains and those of their business cronies. Yet, in 2006, with the Democrats once again the controlling majority after winning the midterm elections, Nancy Pelosi made the announcement that impeachment of Bush &n Co. was off the table. The Democrats weren’t even actually in power until January 2007 yet she still kicked the shovel out of all liberals’ hands. And Harry Reid was right there with his foot on the shovel to make sure it remained impotently on the ground.

So, all this public outcry calling for the impeachment of Trump over his dangerously immature, illegal and treasonous activities has a very hollow ring to it. I want the guy out of the White House and relegated to an existence of public disgrace and humiliation, as well as the butt of stand-up comic and late night show host jokes for the rest of his miserable and hopefully less wealthy and connected life. But again, the high crimes and misdemeanors he’s perpetrated up to this point don’t even rise up to the level of the Bush administration outing Valerie Plame as a CIA operative through a Robert Novak column just to wreak revenge on her hubby Joe Wilson. But I digress.

So, save me from all this self-righteous chest thumping of the Democrats (albeit rightfully) demanding Trump’s head on a platter held by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. They had and blew their chance at positioning themselves as the sole guardians of the Constitution and safeguarding our democracy and governmental institutions. And following on the heels of the Republicans impeaching Bill Clinton over virtually nothing, they not only wimped out, they sold us out.  Yes, Trump deserves to be both impeached and convicted. But spare us the dramatic posturing and the self-righteous indignation, Democrats. You sound just as phony and self-serving as the Republicans back in 1998-99.

Trump And Ryan Prove Comedy Is Easy, Governing Is Hard

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It’s great to see two overly-cocky, buffoon blowhards brought down in front of the world. Paul Ryan thought the AHCA was a done deal. It’s a poor leader who overestimates his leadership abilities. But then the intelligence and abilities of Ryan have always been overestimated by the his own party and by the corporate media. If it wasn’t for his outsized ego based on no tangible evidence of any foundation for it, he would resign the Speakership. But only a total idiot would choose to be Speaker of the House with this GOP in the majority, Ryan has been that idiot since October 2015.

Trump’s blaming the failure of the bill on the Democrats. Trump came into his fraudulently-won presidency thinking it was all government by executive order, that he would run the federal government and the entire country as just mere Trump corporate subsidiaries. Except for the hard core delusional who still think Trump’s doing a great job, his own party now has proof of his ineptitude and his failure to grasp reality as he lives in his delusional world within his suite at the Mar-A-Lago.

Both men have been shown that it’s easy to oppose and talk big in superlatives and lies. In other words, comedy is easy, actual governing is hard, very hard. And neither are cut out fo the work.

Now, the only real and present danger is Turtle Man McConnell fast tracking the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to SCOTUS. Not sure if the coming Democratic filibuster will do nothing more than delay that vote but with this display of the total lack of Trump and Ryan’s influence on their own party, maybe the Dems have a shot providing another embarrassing setback for the GOP if somehow they can turn aside the Gorsuch nomination, which is a long shot.

Paul Ryan, The Naked Emperor Walking Around Masquerading As The House Speaker

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It’s clear that Paul Ryan is probably the most laughably ineffectual and clueless Speaker of the House in history. His own party has no respect nor regard for him or his leadership “skills”. He’s clearly the naked Emperor walking around the House while many of his colleagues ridicule and deride him behind his back. He has been elected to two terms as Speaker because no other Republican wanted the job.
 
This slap in the face to both him and Trump is most richly deserved. Neither one of these dangerous clowns understand even the fundamentals of how politics works in this country. And that is what is currently saving us from the meanness and pain their self-serving egos and ambitions are intent on inflicting on us. If only enough evidence would be gathered and published to justify the Constitutional imperative for overturning last year’s election results so that we get rid of Mike Pence, too.

Lousy Housekeeper Paul Ryan Keeps Things Broken

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ryan-scores-dual-wins-with-obamacare-repeal-vote/ar-AAgshBU?li=BBnb7Kz\

Paul Ryan is a lousy housekeeper. That’s to be expected from a man who grew up in a privileged household were the hired help were the housekeepers.  So it’s also to be expected that he’s not doing so good on two promises he made when he was elected Speaker of the House: to fix a”broken” House and the House would work to pass legislation that would raise incomes and help lift people up out of poverty.

“Ryan Scores Dual Wins With Obamacare Repeal Vote” says the headline of the linked article. This shows how insulated D.C. beltway pundits are from what is actually happening in America. Ryan gained no victories with anyone other than Republicans who want Obamacare repealed and Planned Parenthood defunded. For the rest of us this is GOP-business-as-usual with yet another attempt at repealing Obamacare. With a Democrat-controlled Congress, neither of those bills pass their respective chambers of Congress.

These are not wins for Ryan or any Republican. These are yawns, as how boring, more of the same.  “’The good news is, with this reconciliation bill, there will finally be some clarity,’ Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told the Washington Post Tuesday. ‘The president will very glibly veto it. But at least then it will be on him and everybody will know it.’”

And while you’re being so glib with your comment, Franks, that work so well with your constituents in Republican-controlled Arizona, get it through your thick skull that there are tens of millions more of Americans who not only approve but depend on Obamacare for their affordable healthcare plans.

OK, you’re asking “Who’s Trent Franks? THIS is Trent Franks: “In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?” (from politicalcorrection.org 2/26/10 quoting from an interview Franks gave to Mark Starks of starksreport.com)

Let’s dispense with Frank’s insincere apology for slavery. His point was that unspecified policies of today are far more devastating to the African-American community than slavery ever was. This is the type of Republican who has repeatedly voted to overturn Obamacare. So with the backing of this kind of Congressman, exactly what was the victory for Ryan again?

The dual victory is all Obama’s. The first victory will be President Obama’s when he vetoes this worthless piece of partisan effluent.  The victory would be that much sweeter if Obama first looks at the bill with pen raised and with a smile quotes Ronald Reagan: “There you go again.”

The second victory for the president is, in this article’s own words, “the issue is likely now settled until after the election.”

After the election we hopefully will be looking at a much different Congress than the Republican-controlled one which insists on making life harder for tens of millions of financially struggling poor Americans and further victimizing low-income women in dire need of medical care—legal abortions and otherwise.

Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand: Hypocrisy By Any Other Name

Paul Ryan professes to admire Ayn Rand despite the fact he knows nothing about her.  Let’s compare Ryan’s philosophies with Rand’s.

Paul Ryan is supposed to be a devout Catholic.  Ayn Rand was a confirmed atheist despite being born Jewish.  Since Ryan is a Catholic, he knows adultery is condemned in the Bible as a mortal sin and is also prohibited by the Ten Commandments.  Ayn Ryan was an open adulterer, carrying on at least one affair with a student working with her and her husband.

Ayn Rand believed that people should not elect anyone to anything.  Paul Ryan ran for Congress in 1998 and has been re-elected every two years since then.  He is now running for Vice-President.  Why would he be earning a paycheck from the very government Ayn Rand deemed unnecessary?

Ayn Rand believed in a laissez faire system of government regarding business.  Paul Ryan voted for both TARP and the auto bailout.  He voted against the stimulus yet got stimulus funds from Obama’s Secretary of Energy for local businesses and homeowners in his state.  Ayn Rand was totally opposed to the type of government handout.

Ayn Rand opposed all government handouts like unemployment and Social Security.  In 1976, she signed up for and started receiving Social Security and Medicare.  Paul Ryan was raised in a wealthy, influential family but he still collected Social Security survivor benefits after his father died.

So every benefit Ryan and Rand received from our government they would deny you.  Ryan’s plan to privatize Social Security would not give the poor, aged, and disabled what he got—not even close.  What was good for Ryan and Rand is not good for you.  This is called both elitism and hypocrisy.

Now to get away from Ryan’s Rand-connected hypocrisy and focus on that which is solely his own.  He’s a self-styled deficit hawk yet…he voted for both the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions which George W. Bush kept off the books for his entire presidency.  Why do you think the budget deficit Bush handed over to Obama was so high? Pure borrowing and spending.

Ryan voted for Medicare Part D which forbids the federal government from negotiating drug prices with the major pharmaceutical companies. The government has to pay whatever the companies say it has to pay which means the government is spending more than it should be, thanks to Ryan and the Republicans.

Ryan plans to eliminate Pell Grants for 1 million students in order to pay for $40 million in big oil subsidies because he owns stakes in companies that would benefit from these tax subsidies:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/06/17/247570/paul-ryan-family-beneft-subsidies-for-big-oil-in-his-budget/

This is what makes him such a great match for Mitt Romney.  Both believe in entitlements for the rich which are to be denied the poor and middle class.  Imagine those two sitting at a table, clinking glasses of champagne together and gleefully saying “The poor are not like you and me.”  Nope, to these two, the rich are rich and the poor are poor and never the twain shall meet.  Never.

The End Of Austerity

http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2012/05/socialist-wins-french-presidency-and-greece-likely-quit-eurozone

With the victory of the Socialist candidate Francois Hollande over French President Nicholas Sarkozy, it signals the beginning of the end of right wing-imposed economic austerity programs around the world. Germany’s Angela Merkel, as head of the strongest economy in Europe, has been leading this austere assault on the not-so-strong economies of countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland in return for loans with which to pay their bills.

Problem is, the poor and middle class don’t like essential services getting cut, and certainly don’t like having to pay higher taxes to get their countries back in the black while those who caused the flow of all that red ink get tax breaks and bonuses while shoveling all their cash into hidden offshore tax havens.

Like all economic conservatives, Merkel and her ilk believe the only in austerity for the poor and not themselves. Someone name one government perk Merkel has eschewed as Chancellor of Germany. OK, time’s up and you couldn’t anyway. Same goes for every member of the legislative bodies throughout Europe and the United States. With them, it’s do as I say because I don’t have to.

Throughout economic history, austerity has never worked to balance budgets because, despite the lies told by those heads of state, and the Republican Party here, cutting spending to social programs never balances the budget—never.  Anyone who tries to balance their household checkbook knows that when expenses exceed income you must do two things: cut discretionary spending (spending on luxury and fun items), and bring in more money.

On a national level, the discretionary spending on fun and luxury items are the tax breaks for the rich and the corporations, subsidies on things like oil and corn, and defense. The savings from doing just those few things would not only balance the budget but to a long ways toward paying down the deficit.  In a time of depression, which the US is currently in, common sense and historical precedent shows you INCREASE spending on essentials like repairing infrastructure, job training and creation, and social services. You put spending money in the pockets of the poor—you don’t take it away. You spend money on preventive health care which is much cheaper than paying to treat illness. You spend money on regulatory agencies because it’s much cheaper to prevent a coal mine or an offshore oil rig from blowing up than it is to bury the dead and clean up the mess.

And the thing is, regular people don’t like to have to do without while the rich guys do as they please.  John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan most likely dress in $2500 Armani business suits bought with taxpayer dollars, fly first class with airfare paid for with taxpayer dollars, and eat in the finest restaurants and stay in 5-star hotels, all paid for my taxpayer dollars; well, except for the times when lobbyists pick up the tab, so maybe not as many taxpayer dollars are being spent as we think.

Globally, people have had it with this austerity crap. They’ve rioted in Greece and London, and the Occupy movement has taken hold worldwide as well.  People are finally asking for their piece of the pie instead of looking through the window at the rich eating all of theirs.

The election of a Socialist leader in France might just presage the conservatives being tossed out every else where there are truly free elections. It could also happen here in the United States.

It’s the New World Order, all right.  It’s just not the new world the political conservatives had in mind.