If Roy Moore Wins Alabama Senate Primary the GOP Officially Hits Bottom

Roy Moore (no relation to Mary Tyler Moore) is the guy that is solely known as being the Alabama Supreme Court Judge that installed a granite statue engraved with the Ten Commandments outside the taxpayer funded state courthouse, fought orders to have it removed, and ultimately had himself removed from the court.

He’s ahead in polls against two other very awful, horrible, no good holy roller Alabama conservatives.  But he’s absolutely the worst in a competition in which nobody wins.

Maybe the only positive is that Trump endorsed one of the other losers.

Another positive is that we can all laugh at how low Alabama is in our national zoo of unreconstructed confederate stupid.  But it’s not really funny because they constitutionally provide two remarkably backwards senators to our national debate. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was one of them, possibly to be supplanted by Roy Fucking Moore.

Another 100 years of progress and they may join the 20th century.

For the Record, I Love Kirsten Gillibrand

She held a town hall in Troy, NY yesterday.

Coverage from the Troy Record.  A great write up from Daily Kos.

She’s running for reelection in 2018.  After that we’ll see.

Yes, I also love Elizabeth Warren.  And too, also, as well, I have a crush on Cory Booker which was reignited when he changed his tone on Big Pharma.

I’d like to see more of Jason Kander too.

With politicians you don’t have to commit (at least not now), so its not cheating.

 

Democrats Have Embraced Complexity and Mystification – Which People HATE. Simplify, Dems, Simplify!

One of the things I’ve seen over 20 years working in corporate law has been the increasing complexity of transactions to the point that no one of the attorneys working on the deals even understands the entire deal.  Incredibly complex, baroque even corporate structures are created to take advantage of tax laws.  The CEOs are sold on the tax savings, but the legal fees for these deals are so astronomical that it’s hard to imagine they’re actually saving money.

The lawyers and the corporate executives get all chummy and clubby, after all many of them went to the same schools, live in the same neighborhoods, vacation in the same toney enclaves, send their kids to the same schools.  They trust each other’s expert advice. In such cases, nobody really gets hurt except maybe the stockholders.  But in government, that chumminess and trust between members of the same class can screw a lot of people.

One symptom of the takeover of the Democratic Party by the technocrats and professionals, like the executives and lawyers, is that there’s this trust in complexity that only the experts can fathom.  Dodd Frank and Obamacare are perfect examples. Simpler alternatives were rejected for pages and pages of intricacy and mechanisms that the politicians can’t even explain. They’re relying on the experts to even know what they’re voting on. Experts are fine. necessary.  But when you create legislation that chooses complexity over simplicity, do not be too surprised if the public bolts.  Besides giving your opposition the ammunition to destroy you (the bill is thousands of pages!!), even your allies have trouble defending it all.

Bringing back Glass-Steagall was simple – separate commercial banks from their investment brokerage components and make them compete with each other.  22,000 pages of regulations and loopholes not necessary.

Single-payer or a public option were simple – government becomes the insurance company like Medicare.  10,000 pages and Rube Goldberg mechanisms not necessary.

Point being that the simpler solutions may have actually addressed our problems better from a policy standpoint AND from a political standpoint.

The complexity and mystification, trusting the “experts” to figure out answers that we can’t understand no less explain to the public in a sentence is part of what’s killing the Democratic Party electorally with the working class.

I’ve said that we have to admit where Bill Clinton sold out a lot of the natural Democratic constituency and hurt us electorally.

We also have to be able to admit that Obama made some very bad decisions regarding financial regulation and healthcare that continued the Clinton direction of making us look like we’re in bed with Wall Street and healthcare insurers and not fighting for people.

P.S. It occurs to me after reading this Nation critique of a new book about Andrew Jackson that certain factions in the party Jackson helped to found have completely done a 180 on trusting the bankers and financiers that Jackson found so revolting and undemocratic.  Especially since 2008 it’s unwise to declare unconditional trust in the Wall Street moguls in public, and both Clintons and Obama talked a good game against them – but their actions, who they put in their cabinets, contradicted their words and evinced a dedication to those people that has not served us well. Trump, on the GOP side, has done the same exact thing. Dems are unequivocal in stating that Trump sold out his followers.  Honesty dictates we need to be as clear in our thinking about our own avatars.

Reasons the Infinity Why You Should Never Elect a Donald Trump to Public Service

Never forget, it’s public service.  Something Trump has never, ever, ever done.  Ever. That was reason 1.

Tuesday saw two more manifestations of why it was completely irresponsible to vote for the orange man.

  1. His response to crazy North Korean leader’s crazy was to match crazy for crazy instead of calm, cool, sane leadership.

President Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea sent a shudder through Asia on Wednesday, raising alarm among allies and adversaries and, to some observers, making the possibility of military conflict over the North’s nuclear program seem more real.

Trump has asked too many times why we haven’t used nuclear weapons, in public.

Now hopefully somebody explained Hiroshima and Nagasaki to him. We’ll know soon when he announces:

Turns out we did drop nuclear weapons before. Nobody knew.  Over Japan, a long time ago Harry Truman, a Democrat, dropped some bombs.  Some say good move, some say bad move.  Incredible power, total devastation. I mean nobody knew what these things would do and people are saying that it’s unthinkable to use them again. Did you know that?  Nobody knew.  Unthinkable is strong.  I mean I can think good.

2. Trump’s attention deficit disorder turns out is limited to anything he needs to know, like briefings on critical issues.  Those have to be limited to a half page, a page at most, with pictures and charts.  But he has limitless ability to absorb and limitless need to consume positive propaganda about himself.

Vice: Trump gets a folder full of positive news about himself twice a day.

Twice a day since the beginning of the Trump administration, a special folder is prepared for the president. The first document is prepared around 9:30 a.m. and the follow-up, around 4:30 p.m. Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer both wanted the privilege of delivering the 20-to-25-page packet to President Trump personally, White House sources say.

He is literally the absolute last person to allow into the Oval Office, the worst possible personality make up for a president you can imagine.

But here we are.

 

 

 

Worst Person in the Senate Not Ted Cruz

Ron Johnson says McCain’s brain tumor might have been a factor in his no vote on healthcare repeal.

“Again, I’m not going to speak for John McCain, you know, he has a brain tumor right now. That vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in,” Johnson said, speaking to the radio hosts of “Chicago Morning Answer.”

Some say Ron Johnson was constipated all day before being asked for his remarks. That might have factored into his douchiness.

 

We All Know Dems Will Lose and All and Yet Some Insist on Winning

It’s really good business in the mainstream media to shit on the odds of Democrats winning anything while nobody ever went broke predicting that Trump will win re-election despite 60% of the country hating his guts.

So it’s always a surprise when a Democrat wins anything like Dr. Phil Miller winning a seat in Iowa by 10 points in a district that Trump won by 21.

In every special election so far, no matter how red the district the margins have compressed.  Not all of them compressed enough to give Dems the win, but those who ignore that trend, while wonderfully cynical and glib, are being counter intuitive.

 

 

Coming Into Focus – Bill Clinton’s Shadow Loomed Over 2000 and 2016 Damaging Democratic Credibility With Working People

We know about NAFTA, the trade pact that the Tom Friedman/David Brooks corporatist elite said was necessary to address the unalterable evolution of the world economy and an entire class of professional economists said it would be a net positive for the American economy.  It was if you were a stockholder, not if you were a worker.

We know about the deregulation of the financial industry, telecommunications, airlines, etc.  George W. Bush got the blame but Bill signed FDR’s legacy of New Deal regulatory schemes away claiming them to be “archaic.”

We know about the draconian crime bills – more prisons, zero tolerance, Three Strikes laws, “truth in sentencing” provisions, mandatory minimums, increasing the number of capital crimes, the truly criminal 100 to 1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, etc.  The “first black president” expanded the drug war and made America the biggest prison country in the world.

We know about welfare reform and the erosion of the social safety net that Clinton created with Newt Gingrich.  They also agreed on a framework to privatize Social Security.  A blue dress stopped that.

So many egregiously anti-worker and racist Republican initiatives pushed by Democrat Bill Clinton, who said at various times that such acts were absolutely necessary and also very regrettable.  He lied over and over again about the necessity of his Republican collaboration for political reasons.  As a strategy it even had its own name – “triangulation”.

Clinton ran as a populist who felt worker’s pain, but he governed as a New Democrat who was dedicated to imposing discipline on poor people and endless indulgence on the people of his own class.

Bill Clinton’s presidency purposefully disconnected the FDR coalition from the Democratic Party and alienated the working class.

Whether it was fair or not Hillary Clinton and the entire Democratic Party has suffered for that disconnection.  The party itself has defended and celebrated Bill Clinton for so long that it hasn’t come to terms with that massive break of faith with a lot of the party base.  The New Democrats made it the party of professionals so the working class had no place to turn.  In that light it’s not such a mystery that many of them turned to Trump.

Of course Democrats have to come up with an economic message and a rallying cry.  But we need to recognize what happened in the 90s and categorically state that we recognize the break that happened and the damage done and our intention to revive the FDR coalition and be the party of workers once again.