Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Republican Road To Dystopia As Trump Storms The Gates.

     Donald Trump, a joke in June is solidifying his coup on the Republican Party.
     Since Iowa Trump has won every contest except four to Senator Ted Cruz, possibly the most hated man in the Senate.
     The question of the day is, What. The. Actual. Fuck.
     The Donald since June has hammered away at the Republican Establishment, the rest of the GOP Primary field, the media. President Obama, undocumented immigrants, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Muslims, the Mexican Government, anti- Trump protestors, American foreign policy and the Iran nuke deal. Did I leave anything out? Well, Y'all get the idea.
     How has a reality star, shady real estate mogul and carnival barker accomplished this? Good old fashioned demagoguery.
     He blames everyone for the destructive policies of the last thirty-five years, punching home that he is the only one smart enough, skilled enough and determined enough to change the course of the Ship of State bending the arc of history through his will alone as he controls time and space. He's a rogue Time Lord from Doctor Who armed with Bluster. He does this without a sonic screwdriver or TARDIS
     The rise of Trump lies in the failure of the GOP for not taking Trump seriously until recently. The Tea Party radicalized the party with attacks from the right, forcing the GOP into bat country. The nihilist nut jobs of talk radio and Fox News, the propaganda arm of the right wing alternate reality like him. Sometimes.
     These twisted sources built the environment that spawned this mad salmon. He is demonizing the "other". This reactionary in the mold of Father Coughlin has called for closing immigration from the Muslim Mideast. He wants them in a database since tattoos, as used the last time around, are passe.
     He wants to modify the 1st Amendment to make suing for libel and slander easier by including public figures. Trump likes to use frivolous suits as a cudgel.
     Trump rails on Twitter with snide, snarky and at time vicious tweets.
     His rallies are blends of circus, intolerance and mass hysteria.The long lived dismissal of Trump appealing to the fringe of American Politics has been catastrophic. This looks to be a fatal error for the Republicans.
     Look at the make up of his crowds. Blue collar and white collar. Millennials. Boomers and Gen X.
Then there's the fringe, birthers, white supremacists and flat out racists, This disparate coalition has united to propel Trump to the fore. Trump then riles and roils the crowd to unbridled anger at times erupting into violence as he reinforces the crowds propensities to despise those that dares dissent.
     This has become a cult of personality not too unlike 1932 Germany.
     Donald said he could fire a gun down new New York's fifth Avenue and not lose any votes. This seems sadly true. Trump has been vicious, outrageous and that reality only seems to increase his support. This sadly seems to point to the rise of the dark underbelly of American Politics. A metastatic cancer on the body politic. The hate and racism bubbling just under the surface of American attitudes is now free to wreak havoc on the better angels of America.
     An as is my wont, I place the blame at the feet of that venal, vituperous, vicious rat fucker Nixon. This is a direct result of what Nixon set into motion with his calculated invitation to the Jim Crow Southern population and extremely conservative Evangelicals into the GOP. Those vultures have come home to roost as they do annually at Hinckley, Ohio. Their coup, which started with the election of the first Black President is now complete.
     After Super Tuesday the GOP is in full, public panic mode. Only recently has the primary field unleashed attacks on Trump hoping to gut shoot the intruder. This an unprecedented case of the GOP failing to take control of and shape the messaging ahead of the curve. A classic example of too little too late. They are attempting to put out the Chicago fire with one fire extinguisher as the city's conflagration reduces it to a smoking ruin.
     Now we hear the party floating scenarios in which they can deny the nomination to Trump at the Convention in June. Should that happen I can only see his cult burning Cleveland to the ground. Metaphorically, I hope.
     The desperate disarray in the GOP is, at this time, futile. Trump is now unstoppable on his march to the nomination. On 3/15 he solidifies his hostile take over of the GOP by winning Ohio and Florida, two winner take all primaries.
     The GOP should resign itself as they see the fracture of their party. The Far Right is ascendant in Congress and a busker will be their nominee. Their only hope will be attempting to survive. I think that ship has sailed. God help us.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

An Old Lefty: The day America lost its way. 11/22/63

An Old Lefty: The day America lost its way. 11/22/63:                It was my eleventh birthday. A Friday. I had conned my Mother into letting me stay home from school. I had pulled a con on he...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Do we move to save America?

               America is at a crossroad. Do we continue with the US House able to hold the nation hostage to their Radical Republican/Tea Party views. Do we hand them the Senate as a reward for six years of obstruction, calls for insurrection and secession and continual assault on POTUS?? Do we permit the march towards the past as they deny science, rewrite history and extol the virtues of inequality?

Should we acquiesce to the sale of America to the highest bidder and the return of the Gilded Age? We seem to be at the point where bags of cash are being dumped on Congressional desks again to coddle the wealthy and protect the trusts. Teddy Roosevelt would be appalled.

Do we let corporate America to gut environmental regulations in pursuit of more profit?

Should Wall Street remain an unregulated casino?

Do we stand by and let voter suppression become the new normal? Do we allow police to execute people in the street with no consequence?

Are women to be reduced to brood mares with no say in reproductive choices that profoundly affect their lives?

Or do we get off our collective asses and exercise the weapon that terrifies the elite. WE VOTE!

They've spent the years since the Black Guy was elected President trying to insure that never happens again. Voting rights have been in their cross-hairs as they fight to maintain power.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in voter registration in most states. If we vote, we win. It's that simple. We can't have a replay of 2010 when the Unicorn Wing of the Democratic Party stayed
 home and sat on their hands.

Turn out is the key to hold the Senate. A GOP Senate will, in concert with a GOP House, shred the social safety net. Social Security and Medicare will be gutted. The poor must make sacrifices to protect the status of the wealthy.

The reality of an American Theocratic State will move even closer to reality. President Obama won't be able to have appointees confirmed. Think SCOTUS.

POTUS will likely be impeached and removed from office.

To preserve the Union from the perverse interpretations the Right make on the Constitution we need to stop their expansion of power at the ballot box.

The future depends on it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ohio fights to suppress the vote.

                    Today the Roberts Court sided without comment with the Secretary of State and Attorney General of Ohio to stay a decision form a lower court to restore the egregious cutting of early voting in Ohio. As usual it was a 5-4 decision with the liberal justices in the minority.

Following the debacle of Ken Blackwell's vicious mismanagement of Ohio's 2014 election, in 2006 Democrat Jennifer  Brunner took the reins as the new Secretary of State. Under her direction and election law revision by the Democrat controlled Legislature the 2008 election was a smoothly run exercise in civics.

Following the Tea Party wave in 2010 when the Tea Party/Republican Party took control of all the statewide offices, thus Jon Husted took over as the new Secretary of State.

So with the prospect of a successful re-election bid by President Obama Ohio moved to severely curtail early voting. Husted further cut hours and days through issuance of rules to the 88 County Boards of Elections in Ohio.

Following these attempts to make Ohio more Mitt Romney friendly Husted was hit with suits in Federal Court to undo these actions. He lost each suit and narrowly avoided a contempt citation for directing the Election Boards to disregard the ruling after he backed down.

Following the re-election of the President Ohio reacted by passing new laws gutting early voting again. Because Ohio sealed the POTUS re-election, (delightfully causing an on air melt down by Karl Rove) and of course Freedom. After all, the wrong kind of people gave Ohio to that Commie, Socialist,Fascist, Dictatorial, Monarchist Kenyan.

Several churches, the NAACP and ACLU filed suit. Federal Judge Economus fount Ohio was in violation of Section 2 of the Voter's Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

As always Ohio appealed. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati refused to stay or overturn the ruling. Ohio appealed to the three Judge panel and was again rebuffed. So, pending a hearing by the full Circuit, Ohio sought an emergency stay from SCOTUS.

Today, the day before voting was to begin, The Roberts Court rode to the rescue of the repressive policies deemed important by the Republican administration of John Kasich. As usual it was a 5/4 split. And they did so without comment.

Ohio's argument was Ohio had plenty of ways to vote and more than many states. The coincidence is that these cuts affected the African American community disproportionately and others who may vote not Republican.

Secretary of State Husted fell back on the old canard that States should set voting rules (State's Rights). It was remedying a vast over reach of judicial power. (Activist Judges). At times he seemed to be channeling Governor George Wallace.

This is what is needed to maintain power when the ruling power is unable to win on policies or issues. If you can't win the vote, tailor the voting pool to your needs.

So voting now starts in a week. we are back to square one with the circumcised voting procedures. The stay by SCOTUS voids the use of the ballot Ohioan's have enjoyed during the last three election cycles.

The only counter to this subversion of the process is turnout. When those who believe in a better life vote, the powers that be are cowed and take notice. Unchecked by the electorate they are emboldened to continue their attack on women, minorities, union workers and the middle class.

they will kowtow to the extremists on the right as they try to make Ohio a theocratic State hoping to join the new Confederacy.

Turn out. Across the country. Ohio is a testing ground for extremist ideas. If we don't stop the radical right the freedoms we take for granted will be eviscerated. America will become a oppressive, Conservative Christian Kingdom rivaling the theocracies we see across the globe.

Vote as if your life depends on it. It does.

Vote as if your future depends on it. It does.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Cold War mentality returns

               I have had to take some time to deal with things cascading through my life. I am back.

The world has been throwing chaos, terror and confrontations about, swirling with seemingly a new atrocity daily.

Russia, under ex-KGB member Vladimir Putin is flexing it's muscles trying to rebuild the Soviet Empire.

With the Russian led and financed separatist movement in the Ukraine resulting in the acquisition of Crimea the specter of a renewed Cold War has made the Russian Bear cast a shadow across Europe and Washington D.C. I am actually surprised it has taken Putin this long. Russia has a long history on the Crimean peninsula.

The Brits, France and the Ottomans allied to oppose the Russians as they waged a war in Crimea during the 1850's.

Russia was moving onto the world stage as they collided with France over privileges of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in the Holy Land. This followed a confrontation with the Ottoman Empire over Russia protecting the members of Orthodox faith in the Ottoman Empire.

The Russians invaded what is now Romania.

 The British fleet deployed to Constantinople(Modern Istanbul). Following the Russian fleet defeating the Turks in the Black Sea saw the British and French Navies deploy to protect Turkish shipping there. A few months later both Britain and France declared war on the Russian Empire.

To placate and prevent the Austrian Empire from entering the fight, the Russians withdrew from Romania. The Austrians promptly occupied those principalities, preventing the Ottomans from moving back in.

Battles were fought in Crimea with the engagement at Balaklava inspiring Tennyson's "Charge Of The Light Brigade".

With Austria threatening to enter the conflict on the Allied side Russia came to the table and signed Treaty of Paris.

Russia has historically been fixated on having a warm water port to project naval power across the globe. The Black Sea has always been a focus of that policy.

One effect of the Crimean War was to convince the Russian Czar, Alexander II of the need to modernize Russia to compete on the European stage.

Florence Nightingale helped revolutionize battlefield medicine during the conflict.

The war also led to Austria becoming more dependent on British and French support. This indirectly led to the unification of Italy, and more importantly to Europe's future, the unification of Germany.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, NATO expanded, welcoming former Soviet satellites into NATO to fill the vacuum. since 1990 Russia has watched themselves be surrounded by NATO. The result is a resurgence of an expansionist mindset in Moscow.

Putin has pushed Russia into an attempt to rebuild there influence. They are active in former client states such as Syria and Iran. They are again wielding influence on the world stage to counter what they feel is a policy of containment by the West. Knowing there is zero likelihood of military action by NATO Russia has fought an ongoing war against Chechnya separatists even as they moved on Georgia and now Ukraine.

The response from Washington has covered the spectrum from thoughtful to the absurd.

We hear Republicans rattling sabers, longing for a renewed Cold War. They condemn President for a lack of action for relying on sanctions. It's not as if there is a choice.

What the Republican's seem to forget, either through ignorance or willful omission, is that Russia still has a massive nuclear capability. They also have the second largest Air Force and an impressive Army. We managed to survive the Cold War with only two direct military standoffs with the USSR. The Berlin Airlift and the Cuban Missile Crisis. We fought proxy wars, developed spheres of influence, and had counterbalancing alliances.

The post Soviet era saw the diminishing of Russian power and influence. Putin has made the reestablishment of Russia as a world power and counter to America as the dominant global influence. And there is little we can do about it.

We have only sanctions and application of global opinion to deter Russia from too many adventures in shifting the global balance of power. We survived the post WWII era without destroying the planet in a nuclear Holocaust.

One can only hope sanity prevails, our luck holds and the hawks don't force us into their apocalyptic, second coming end of the world fantasies.

It may be time to dig new fall out shelters. Teach duck and cover again. Or we can painfully relearn the lessons of the 50 year Cold War.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Coup

          Franklin Roosevelt won the Presidency in 1932. He embarked on sweeping social and economic reforms of American society to end the Depression that threatened the very survival of The United States as a thriving representative democracy.

Widespread, devastating unemployment. Vacant, idle factories. The dustbowl. Foreclosures. WWI veterans marched on DC demanding early payment of their bonus.This horrible period hit the not obscenely rich hard. Companies were meeting union organizing with armies of thugs. Ford mercenaries opened fire on strikers with machine guns during the River Rouge strike.

On the left we saw the growth in popularity of socialism and communism. It was mostly a flirtation by labor, the intelligentsia and writers. On the right we saw the rise of fascism. Groups sympathetic to Hitler and Italy sprung up. These too were mostly flirtations. Flirtations with a lot of money.

FDR was vilified by the uber wealthy elite. He was decried as a class traitor and socialist. Conservative opposition sprang up in response to the New Deal. Some of this opposition went deep into "Seven Days In May" territory.

In FDR's first hundred days he struck terror into the hearts and minds of the oligarchic Titans of Industry. They saw a threat to their privilege. A threat to their power. A tool of the Jewish Conspiracy. These men saw Roosevelt as a clear and present danger to their way of life. They were not amused.

Marine General Smedley Butler was a man very popular with his men. An one who came up through the ranks he built offensives to minimize casualties. He twice was awarded the Medal Of Honor so his heroism was well known.

He wrote a book called "War Is A Racket". He described his Marine career as being a bagman and enforcer for corporate America. He supported the bonus marchers even as Colonel Douglas MacArthur dispersed them with troops.

Butler was perhaps the most admired military man among veterans in America. There were also over a half million jobless veterans unhappy with America. So, he was approached by an American Legion leader and Wall Street guy with a curious offer.

Gerald MacGuire was a bond trader. Bill Doyle, the Commander of the Massachusetts American Legion. They offered to pay Butler to give a speech at the legion National Convention to return the US to the Gold Standard. The hope was Butler's popularity with veterans would put pressure on FDR to do so.

Butler later met with Robert Sterling Clark who had served with him during the Boxer Rebellion. Clark was an heir to the Singer fortune.

Finally Butler was implored to lead an uprising utilizing the dispossessed veterans as troops to march on Washington DC in preparation to institute a successful fascist coup. Butler had been assured money was no object and $300,000,000 was ultimately available. There was also a weapons cache ready for use. These arms were to be allegedly supplied by Remington Arms and the DuPont family.

These men wanted Butler to convince FDR to pretend he was too ill to continue as President or be forced out by Butler and the rag tag army.

Butler responded by testifying in front of the McCormick-Dickstein House Committee(forerunner of the House Un American Activities Committee). He named names. It was a who's who of the rich and powerful.

The leaders of GM, U.S.Steel, Standard Oil, Chase and Goodyear.

Also implicated:

Irene DuPont. Yes, those DuPonts. (The American Liberty League)
Grayson Murphy. (Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel and J.P.Morgan)
Al Smith(Former Dem. NY Governor, American Liberty League)
Prescott Bush. Yes, those Bush's. Prescott was the Wall Street front man for the Nazi's. His Union Banking corporation had their assets seized under the Trading With The Enemy Act. UBC had through the use of a complicated financial maze supported Hitler and Nazi run corporations until 1942.

With the light of publicity on them the coup evaporated. It was made light of and suppressed by the major news organizations of the day. Due to his standing general Butler could not be brushed aside as a crank. The House Committee found there was a plot and did nothing.

Years later Speaker McCormick said, "General Smedley Butler was one of the outstanding Americans in our history. I cannot emphasize too strongly the very important part he played in exposing the Fascist plot in the early 1930s backed by and planned by persons possessing tremendous wealth."

If you look at the rhetoric of the right under FDR and today's laments about President Obama eerie similarities surface. Communists. Socialists. Tyrants. Anti-business. Monarchs. There has been calls for a coup during the Obama Administration. It has gone mainstream with impeachment threats. The Governor of Louisiana calling for a hostile takeover of Washington. A retired General has volunteered to lead a coup. The far right has called on the Military to oust the government. Elected officials have called for Second Amendment options to remove the President.

We need to follow the lessons of the past and follow the money. The buck stops where? Treason and sedition is constantly left alone as free speech. Maybe a prosecution or two may restore reason. Or fear of the existing laws. Right. Never mind.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Attention whores are back with : Iraq! The sequel!

               Here we go. Central Ohio is seeing July/August humidity matches or exceeds the temperature weather a tad early. I was relaxing with a cold Summer Shandy as I read more and more on the reaction to Iraq. I switched to Scotch.

First off why is ANY news organization asking the crowd of incompetent, war mongering, lizard fucking toads anything about Iraq. The only question they should be asked is if the violence and potential collapse of the government is due to them fucking up everything beyond any possible repair in 2003.

Paul Wolfowitz of all people was on Sunday blaming the President for the neo-con insanity his gang of ineffectual, imitation intellectuals imposed on the US and the world in the early 20th Century.

One thing you can always count on the American public, politicians and media is a complete lack of understanding historical context.

Had any member of the Bush regime asked a history professor or even cracked a survey course college level textbook, the collapse of Iraq into sectarian fighting and a factionalized civil war would not have been a total fucking surprise! However, facts were rare as a Rockefeller Republican in the run up in 2003.

From the day Bush and Cheney took the reigns of power, Saddam was a target of escalating rhetoric. Since Clinton warned of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda the Bushies decided to ignore them. Instead any premise to hammer Iraq was being explored. After all, what do Dems know? And Clinton beat Daddy.

Even though Saddam was contained his very existence was a thorn in the side of the nuke the desert into glass wing of the GOP. After all, Bush the Elder betrayed them by not taking Baghdad in '91.

Then came the terrible, tragic and avoidable attack on 9/11/2001.

Seeing no one was talking about ignoring the Presidential Daily Briefing warning of imminent attack, realizing the nation's unity and the World on our side, the Bush Administration realized they'd been given a blank check. They intended to cash it on the road to Baghdad. Lie followed lie. Exaggeration compounded falsehoods and misleading statements. America was in the fast lane to an optional war of "pre-emption".

All through the history of the US we never fought a pre-emptive war. WE did not strike first. When Hawks were trying to talk JFK into hitting Cuba to prevent them from launching missiles at us, Bobby Kennedy reminded everyone that America did not do that. Well, that was then. This is now. The so-called Bush doctrine said we could hit anyone whom we thought were going to strike at us. It did not matter that they had not done anything. It was a scathing indictment of how these neo-con scum saw our place in the world. Being the last superpower meant we could do anything we want.

They reallocated resources from Afghanistan, repeating our mistake under Reagan. By stepping out leaving a vacuum, we invited chaos. Rather rebuilding the economy and infrastructure we turned it into a collection of factions.

Having convinced our citizens and legislature, over the objections of most of the world's intelligence services,of the imminent danger, we struck Iraq.

The Iraqi Army followed tradition and folded like an empty wallet. WE rolled into Baghdad, overthrew the power structure and were amazed, since we didn't have a sufficient force to provide security, that Iraq collapsed into civil war. Yeah, we broke it.

The conniving weasels surrounding Bush had promised a short, easy, justified war. It would be paid for by oil revenue. We were greeted as liberators until society collapsed. The lies were exposed as we became mired in house to house fighting.

AS opinion turned, those that voiced concern or opposition to this misguided adventure, Defense Secretary Von Rumsfeld called us appeasers. Criticizing ol' W was unpatriotic.

Our troops were poorly supplied. A body armor shortage. Unarmored Humvees. An Army not large enough to carry on two wars without constantly redeploying the troops over and over.

Bush left office and disappeared from GOP history. Barack Obama, the new President, now got all the blame for what happened. Condemned and second guessed as we got out of Iraq. We had prepared them as well as we could. They had to want a democracy.

Iraq continued to have problems.

Recently a militant group called ISIS has hit hard in Iraq. They have taken cities. The Iraqi Army melted away as is there want.

Now on the news shows and other media outlets, the people who formulated this disaster are bitching at President Obama for losing Iraq. They want a reset where we invade once more. They draw parallels with the fall of Viet Nam.(Which happened under a Republican President,Gerald Ford. This was after Nixon, another GOP stalwart negotiated the treaty).

I was around when Nam fell. I do not recall one voice in Congress calling for us to go back in.

That's all we hear now from the War Party. These lying,mindless toadies can't wait to send the best of America into harm's way once more.

The press needs to ignore them. They need to shut the fuck up and crawl back under their rocks and prey only on grubs. They are like a monkey fucking a football as they jockey for screen time.

We can only do so much to fix the mess they left. now, they want to fuck it up beyond repair.

These attention whores are the worst of us. Let them fade into the mists of time where they can get ass fucked by the countless dead whose blood is on their hands.