Maier’s Law and Right Wing Theory

In the American Psychologist, Vol 15(3) March 1960, N. R. Maier stated “If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.” This was a rather cynical statement he made reference psychologists and other scientists placing their theories over the evidence achieved during the research. 

“With Maier’s law ‘the theory supersedes the fact. It is the fact that must conform; and it is the theory that we must strive to nurture, develop, and abstract… . The method of how psychologists as scientists dispose of facts is of special interest. One of the most common is to give the facts a new name. In this way they are given a special compartment and therefore cease to infringe on the privacy of the theory… . Giving disturbing facts a name is almost as good as explaining them because a name supplies a useful answer to inquisitive people.” Other ways of disposing of facts are omitting them in reference books, and “the most efficient method… that of failing to report them… . Perhaps rats should be taught the theory they are to follow… . Any theory that cannot be quantified is inadequate, even if it works.’ 

The law is in full practice today when you examine the theories and rhetoric of the foremost views from the right-wing. Whether it be Climate Change, Gun Violence, Economics, Political Theory, History, it appears Maier’s Law applies to all that is Right-Wing conservative thinking:

Despite overwhelming evidence that trickledown economics doesn’t work the right-wing continues to deny the numbers and history. They discount the increasing wealth disparity between the 1% and 99% and the stagnate income that permeate our economy since its implementation over thirty years ago and hold to the theory that giving more to the wealthiest trickles down to the rest. 

Despite overwhelming evidence that higher minimum wages stimulate economic growth by providing more disposable income to those who will spend the case, the right-wing continues to hold to the disproven theory that higher minimum wages results in overall job losses. 

Despite overwhelming climate science that shows our climate is changing, weather patterns are being altered by increasing global temperatures leading to changing ocean and jet stream currents, they hold to the theory that the entire science is a hoax. 

Despite overwhelming evidence that coal and fossil fuels contribute to climate change and investments in clean, renewable energy actually creates jobs they hold to the theory that perpetuating clean energy production will kill jobs and harm the economy. 

Despite overwhelming evidence that more guns lead to more preventable gun deaths, that having a gun in the home increases the likelihood of being killed by that gun, they hold to the theory that more guns lead to less crime and safer streets and homes. 

Despite overwhelming evidence that there is no voter fraud that can impact an election they hold to the theory that voter fraud is rampant and access to voting must be made more difficult, especially to those who are minorities. 

What right-wing theory has in common is that what they hold to be true, despite lack of any substantial evidence to back it up, usually fills the coffers of Corporations and the 1%: 

Tax policies that divert more money to the wealthiest keeps them getting richer. 

Laws that prevent increases in the minimum wages keeps labor costs lower and increases the profit margins of the business owners. 

Calling Climate Change a hoax and discounting the positive impact of developing renewable energy sources keeps the established fossil fuel industry in control of nations and the world with their lock on energy production. 

Denying the facts that more guns lead to more death, adding the false unsubstantiated claim (not supported by any facts) that government is out to take all your guns away, spurs a panicked group to go out and buy more and more guns increasing the profit margins of the gun manufacturers. 

Holding to a theory that voter fraud is rampant reduces the ability of the public to vote their voice in sufficient numbers to be heard and properly be represented in the houses of government resulting in the money interests maintaining more control of government to enact laws and policies that increase their profit margins. 

As always follow the money to find the truth. No theory hold true if while trying to determine its validity you find that the facts don’t support the theory in question. That is a fundamental basis of true science and life in general. If the facts don’t support your theory, you need to amend and change your theory, not discount and throw of the facts. 

The theory of right-wing politics imposed on the people is not supported by the facts. Those who refuse to adjust their theories instead discount the facts. That is the failure of right-wing governance and the rest of us suffer due to our inability and/or failure to demand the facts be heard and given proper credence before a faulty theory creates even more damage.

Criminal Justice for Dummies (aka Republicans)

1)      When something occurs that is perceived to be wrongdoing on someone’s part, it is the duty of an investigatory agency, usually law enforcement to conduct an investigation.

2)      Determining harm is one thing, but the most important thing to determine is what did the “suspect” do or didn’t do in the course of events leading up to the alleged wrongdoing.

3)      Investigators must examine all avenues to include victims, witnesses and if possible the “suspect” to get a picture of what happened.

4)      Investigators then, if they feel charges should be filed need to cite what in criminal law they can use to say “This person broke this law”. Perceived criminal acts are not crimes if there is nothing on the books to allege the “suspect” did to break the law.

5)      If Investigators can complete the above, they forward their request for prosecution to the relevant prosecutorial agency.

6)      Attorneys then must sift through the information provided them by the investigators provided them as well as pertinent laws and legal precedent to determine first:

a.       Was a crime committed

b.      Did the accused act with criminal intent to commit the alleged crime

c.       Was there “concurrence”? Was “actus reus” (guilty action) and “mens rea” (guilty mind) in play to constitute a crime?

7)      Upon reviewing the above, if a prosecutor can make a prima facie case that can meet the three required elements of a crime, to the point there is a likelihood of a conviction, they will proceed with filing formal charges. If not, they’ll pass it on for further investigation to meet the burden of proof or drop the case all together.

Most unbiased and level headed experts in criminal law agreed that making a case against Secretary Clinton over her use of a private email server was difficult at best.

First of all, no actual federal, state or local criminal statute could be cited to accuse Clinton of breaking. Second, nothing gathered could indicate she purposefully, with malice of forethought acted out to purposefully break a law that has yet to be cited, for criminal intent.

If charges had been filed, this would have been laughed out of court at the preliminary hearing.

This is what FBI Director Comey has been trying to explain. Although he found carelessness in how the emails were handled, he couldn’t find anything to show, beyond all reasonable doubt that a crime was committed or that Secretary Clinton purposefully, with criminal intent broke the law.

At worst, she was careless. As careless as her predecessors Condi Rice and Colin Powell,;and as careless as two members of Congress holding hearing on this investigation Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz who both use private email accounts to conduct their Congressional and often classified duties of business.

Can we finally move on to real issues?

An Opinion in Support of Profiling

Recently Donald J. Trump, the man who says that Mexico is sending over their rapists (despite conclusive data that immigrants are vastly more law abiding than 1st or 2nd Generation Americans (http://www.vox.com/2015/7/9/8922783/immigrants-crime-donald-trump) opined that this nation should seriously consider profiling of Muslims to protect innocent lives   (http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/06/trump-us-should-consider-profiling-muslims.html).

He has argued we should ban all travel of Muslims to this country until “we know what’s going on” and has even hinted at not only deporting 11 million “undocumented immigrants” but to deport Muslims too.

Let me reiterate, Trump wants to ban all Muslim travel until “we know what’s going on.” The problem with that statement is that it’s clear, it’s only Trump and his gullible and likely bigoted followers who don’t know what’s going on. If they did know, they wouldn’t support such a pathetic racist and bigoted proposal to protect lives in this country.

Well, let me clarify, if they knew “what’s going on” then perhaps they would support profiling. However not Muslims but rather White Males because the data doesn’t justify the threat Donald Trump and his minions claim.

Violence, crime, terrorism isn’t anything new in this country. It’s existed long before the founders ever met in Philadelphia and will go on long after Trump Tower is razed to make room for a national Mosque (as an apology to the 1.7 Billion Muslims maliciously libeled by the likes of Trump, the GOP and Bill Maher). In fact, violence, crime and terrorism has existed as long as the human race has existed and is world-wide.

Now from a historical perspective, those in power often point to a group to be afraid of regardless of the actual reality, relying more on anecdotal tales lacking statistical data to give the people somebody to be afraid of whether the data backed it up or not. It’s interesting to note that in 1915 before the United States entered The Great War in Europe, we were neutral. We were also supplying munitions to England and France who were fighting the Germans. At the time (and now) we had a significant German Population.

Well the country started fearing and hating those of German descent for many reasons, mostly because of exploitation in the Papers of the Time. When the Lusitania was torpedoed and sank on May 7, 1915; 114 Americans were killed. Further, German saboteurs were caught here. There was an angry outcry against Germans in this Country. Many changed their names so as to not sound so German.

In fact had President Woodrow Wilson followed the proposals offered today by Donald Trump towards the Muslims, against the Germans of that time, a certain German Immigrant, who had been expelled from Germany in 1905 by the name of Freiderich Trumpf may have been expelled from here to. Herr Trumpf in 1917 changed his surname to Trump and is the Grandfather of Donald J. Trump.

Were all German immigrants and descendants criminals, rapists, saboteurs, traitors as the papers of the time would have Americans believe? Of course not. The same is true about the Japanese, Italians and Germans in the country during World War II. The same is true today about Latinos and Muslims in this country. Trump ignores actual data and prefer to judge based on “stories” and anecdotal evidence from the “internet.” So who should we profile if we’re going to base it on actual data about who is behind violent crime in this nation more than of any segment of the population? Well, that would be White Conservative Native Born Americans.

As Van Jones pointed out recently, Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than a Muslim. (http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/van-jones-turns-trumps-mass-shooting-policy-on-its-head-start-racially-profiling-white-men/)

His assertion is based on actual data collected and analyze by Charles Kurzman and David Schanzer who gathered data from the Police Executive Research Forum, the United States Military Academy and Global Terrorism Data Base, among others. The data showed

“of 382 law enforcement agencies, 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction; 39 percent listed extremism connected with Al Qaeda or like-minded terrorist organizations. And only 3 percent identified the threat from Muslim extremists as severe, compared with 7 percent for anti-government and other forms of extremism”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/opinion/the-other-terror-threat.html

The fact of the matter is right-wing militias; people like the Oath Keepers, Sovereign Citizen, KKK, groups who claim a Christian heritage, call out for anti-government actions against not only Federal Officials, but State and local police. They have threatened and carried out attacks on police officers, judges, government officials, people of color, and people of faith not their own, abortion clinics, churches, The Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, etc.

These weren’t Latinos, they weren’t Black, they weren’t Asian, they weren’t Muslim; they were White Americans with an anger only satisfied by violence and death. And these attacks far outnumber the attacks in this nation by 7 times all other groups combined. Further, this is considered a “conservative” number (no pun intended but I’ll take it).

It’s interesting to note last year that the TSA failed to intercept weapons as part of a test 95% of the time. I submit that the reason the failure was so high was that the subjects used in the tests were White Americans. TSA failed to profile the right group. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/01/tsa-fails-95-percent-tests-homeland-security_n_7485558.html

If we, as Trump and his supporters demand, are going to have law enforcement profile potential offenders, then based on the data it has to be Caucasian Males. They’re more of a threat here and now than any other group.

For further reading:

https://www.splcenter.org/issues/hate-and-extremism

Is Secession a Legal Option?

Secdee

In a word, No.

As we are yet again in an election year stories from Texas are again hitting the media regarding their secessionist movement. It’s as common and to be expected as the changing colors of the Donald’s face throughout the year. Knuckle dragging yahoos throw rallies adorned with Confederate battle flags (oblivious to what happened last time this was tried) and of course, to get the votes of these Neanderthals in this low voter turnout state, even the statewide politicians express their support of seceding from the United States once again. Well here are the problems they chose not to discuss when they discuss secession:

1)      It is illegal and unconstitutional as determined in Texas versus White (1869).  The Reconstructionist State of Texas sued because the Confederacy had sold United States Bonds that belonged to Texas. The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution did not permit a State to unilaterally secede from the United States. As such, the Court ruled that the bonds were sold illicitly to finance the rebellion against the United States.

2)      Secession is rebellion and to talk about it is sedition, which is also illegal:

18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy: If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

3)      Despite polling showing some popular support in Texas for secession, the same polling also shows that even more Texans do not favor secession. How can the minority drag the majority into the illegal act of rebellion?

4)      Should the United States Government permit Texas to secede, all of Texas would lose all the money the federal government provides them and spends in their State. All military bases would close, all federal funding for infrastructure, healthcare, food stamps, Social Security would evaporate. The citizens of Texas would have to flip the bill for everything in the State. Considering the State Government opposes taxing the oil industry or any corporate interest, the full burden would fall on the people.

5)      As a separate nation, Texans would no longer enjoy travel outside the state. They would need passports and travel visas to go visit family and friends in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, etc. They would be foreigners in the United States, no different from any other citizen of another country visiting here.

Whenever this comes up, you always hear, “let them go! Good riddance!” Well, let us not forget Austin and let us not forget there are some loyal Americans in that State who we shouldn’t deny the perks and privileges of American Citizenship to because their leaders and a handful a demented lead brains want to give up a good deal because they want all the privileges of US citizenship but none of the legal, moral and ethical responsibilities.

My solution is simple, legal and would make everybody happy. If you want to secede from the United States, give up what the nation provides you because you don’t want to be held to the responsibility of being an American, renounce your citizenship.

Now providing the government will allow you a tourist or business visa, you can remain here for up to 10 years. After the first year, you would no longer be required to pay Federal Income taxes. If you are worth more than $2 million you would need to pay an exit tax but how many of these nuts are worth $2 million?

Now if you remain in the United States you would be considered at best a “Resident Alien” meaning that as long as you are law abiding you can stay. However, if you commit and are convicted with a felony, you could face deportation. You would have to give up your guns because the 2nd Amendment is reserved for Citizens, but I’m sure gun ownership means nothing to these disgruntled Texans.

Fact is Texas is part of the United States and she and her citizens are bound by the laws of the United States. If being held accountable to those laws are so unpalatable to you, renounce your citizenship. If you declare rebellion, prepare to either go to prison or face the US military who just happen to be stationed in 11 bases in Texas. And active duty US military swear an oath to uphold and defend the US Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic which would be you if you declare rebellion.

Your choice dummies.

What’s Changed?

I’ve been on twitter six years this month. Within a few months of coming on Social Media for the first time I found myself expressing my political views to the point where my time line is almost exclusively political. In the past six years I’ve amassed over 13,000 followers and I have refused to follow-back, and I’ve even blocked follow attempts from “Right Wing Nut Jobs” who I really didn’t want to be bothered with. So I could only assume the bulk of my follows were of those who agreed with my politics, my sense of humor and my snark.

In the past six years I do not believe anything in my stated political views have changed:

My support for President Obama remains the same.

My distaste for the Republican Party and especially the Tea Party remains the same.

My support for equal rights for all regardless of race, gender, religion, background, sexual orientation remains the same.

My support for Justice Reform remains the same.

My support for the 99% over the 1% remains the same.

My support for overturning Citizens United remains the same.

My support for voting rights remains the same.

My distaste for Conservative Governors and Conservative State Legislatures imposing their own religious views on others remains the same.

My support for Pro-Choice remains the same.

My support for Gunsense clearly remains the same.

My support for compromise in the legislatures and executive branch remains the same.

My support for universal healthcare remains the same.

My support for the Progressive Cause remains the same.

My support for this country is unwavering.

However; in recent months, many who have followed me have since unfollowed or even blocked me. Periodically I will go through my follows line by line. I know they have programming for this but I’m old school and I like to look at the bios of those who follow me. Often seeing the name and bio reminds me of previous exchanges, support we gave each other, joining up to harass trolls, joking back and forth. It’s just one of the more mundane things I do. However in doing so, I see that many have unfollowed. The common denominator of those who have done so? Their support for Bernie Sanders often with the hashtag #BernieOrBust in their updated bios.

My views are the same; however, I look to who best has the ability to fulfill what I support in government. That person is Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders. Bernie says all the things I agree with, but he has yet to release a viable plan for not only how he will deliver, but how he will work through a Congress not likely willing to move as quickly as he demands. Clinton on the other hand recognizes that change requires time, patience and compromise. Bernie openly rejects these concepts.

Those oppose to Hillary often do so citing innuendo and demonstrably false claims about her history and character. I find that to be expected from the Republicans and conservatives, but not Democrats and progressives. To find someone guilty with no evidence beyond innuendo, memes, rumors and false stories is the antithesis of being progressive.

So when I see the attacks on Hillary, I respond and I affirm my support for her. Again, my political views haven’t changed nor do I suspect the political views of my former followers, but the one issue where we can’t agree, who’s best to lead this nation, is enough to ignore years of enjoying each other on twitter going after the real enemy of what we all believe in, the Republican Party.

They say this election cycle between Clinton and Sanders isn’t as bad as it was in 2008. I wouldn’t know not being on Twitter back then (was there Twitter back then?) However, if the left is going to stand firm from those on the right it is incumbent upon us to work together for what we all believe in to push the agenda forward. Dividing ourselves over who’s best qualified to lead the change is counterproductive.

Oh, you’re all welcomed to follow back

 

 

Moving On to November

It’s early May and officially both the Republican and Democratic Primaries are still underway. However for the Democrats the math is clear. Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. As of today Bernie Sanders will need to obtain 107% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination. At best, he can push for a contested convention. However the odds of that occurring get smaller as the weeks continue. Polling and voting trends clearly show that Clinton will lock up the nomination long before the convention. Besides a contested convention would still leave Sanders out as the nominee, lessen the chance of party unity and only aid the Republican to a win in November.

Sanders would be the first to admit that he has done better than expected. His primary focus for this candidacy was to insert a more progressive tone in the Democratic Platform. He and his followers wanted to stop the migration of the DNC towards the right and bring it back to center if not left. When you listen to the rhetoric between both campaigns, the differences in the goals are almost indistinguishable. In fact the only difference is in the method and time needed to accomplish these goals. Sanders and his followers want and expect it immediately, Clinton (from her experience and expertise) understands it will take time and maneuvering with the Republicans to accomplish what is needed.

Now Sander has brought many into the political process during his campaign. They are enthusiastic, loud and devoted to him and his message. However a significant number of his supporters (around a third) are only devoted to him. They haven’t and won’t register as Democrats. They are vocal in saying “Bernie or Bust” indicating that they see no difference in either the Democratic Party or Republican Party and would rather see a Trump or Cruz win instead of Clinton. If this is true; then had Sanders not ran, these people would have most likely stayed home anyway throughout the primary and still wouldn’t be voting in the general election. As many analysts contend, their loss is really no loss to the DNC odds of winning the White House and taking back the Senate. However; as I will explain later, their loss weakens the Progressive movement within the Democratic Party. 

Sanders zealots need to understand that although Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist, he isn’t Jesus Christ. To not support Sanders for the presidency isn’t sacrilege of the Democratic Socialist/Progressive cause. Now they can stay home and everything they have contributed towards pushing for the demise of the Republican nihilistic cause will be lost. More important than who leads the party is who works within the party and who are in Congress, Governors’ mansions, State Houses, County Board of Supervisors, Cities, School Boards, etc. Just because you lost the presidential brass ring doesn’t mean you should stay home and gloat. You must remain active. 

Clinton will most likely be our next President. To keep her honest and to help her move the Federal Government more towards the left you need to remain involved. She will need a Democratic Senate and House to push what she already has agreed with you is needed. Further, as long as we have States under Republican Control, we have ALEC driven legislatures and Governors who are enacting local laws that defy Federal legislation to ensure all United States citizens experience full and equal civil, voting, and human rights. As Sanders supporters you don’t need to register as Democrats to change, though it would help. If you officially become the base of the Democratic Party, if you get involved in local Democratic precincts, if you run for office as Democrats at the lower level, then like the Tea Party you begin to take control of the agenda and timing. To place all your hopes and dreams in one man comes up tragically short. The important thing in down ticket. A dose of patience doesn’t hurt either. What we have today is over 30 years in the making. Expect some time before turning it back. You must work however to make the change, not stay at home and gloat.  

For better or worse, Hillary Clinton is the best shot of keeping matters from swinging back to the Reagan, Bush style of doing things. There is a difference between Republican rule and Democratic rule. You need only look to States to see. You want a revolution, work with what you have and move forward to change that which needs changing and persevere. Staying home and surrendering, or throwing your votes away for “symbolic” purposes only serves the nihilists on the right. 

Time to mature and move this country forward as adults. Get active, get involved and vote.

Tea Party 2.0

I hate to break this to those of you of the centrist or left wing point of view. I’ve seen the future of the Tea Party Movement and it is us. Well, that is to say some of us.

If you have read my Twitter Bio, I mention that I left the Republican Party due to the dominant influence of the Tea Party over party leadership and day to day operations. This “grassroots” movement funded by the Koch brothers began organizing to lower taxes and federal influence over “Murica”. This was around the time that this Black guy popped up in the White House. They were and remain a far right-wing extreme of the conservative movement. However, instead of true conservatism, they focus on taxes that are already lower than at any time in over 50 years and the feds doing the unthinkable, trying to ensure that local governments treat all United States citizens like; citizens regardless of race, religion, sex or sexual orientation (the bastards!).

Well as it always is for the angry, uneducated and impatient among us, the movement took hold. Despite representing a shrinking demographic of the population, they still influence tremendous power and fear in the GOP. Obstruction in Congress became a mantra. Government that does nothing is just fine with them, providing they still get their: social security checks, Medicare, Medicaid, Farm subsidies, etc., etc., etc. They also started to impose a “conservative litmus test”; enforced by purity and anger towards anyone not fitting their special conservative ideology. As a result, liberals and moderates such as myself were labeled RINOs and many left the party to become Independents or even Democrats.

Now as we are nearly finished with the Democratic Primary process that will determine who will be the Party’s nominee for President; between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, similar stirrings of a “liberal litmus test” are starting to manifest itself in social media. The core determination if you are truly a liberal or not? Who you support for the nomination. True Blue Bernie Sanders who can and will do it all, or that Republican in Democratic Clothing paid for by Wall Street and the Industrial Military Complex, Hillary Clinton. Yes, Hillary Clinton. That same woman the Republicans have attacked with lies, innuendos and investigations; starting with a Christmas card list to Emails and every kitchen sink in between. Forget that nothing of substance has ever been uncovered or verified in over 25 years. She’s not a true Democratic Liberal because at age 16 she was a Goldwater Girl (even though at 18 she registered Democratic and has served and supported the Party ever since). Yes, she’s sneaky.

So because Hillary is winning and Sanders is doing stronger than suspected, his followers are determining who on social media is a true Democrat and Liberal. Your views on liberal programs, LGBT, xenophobia, civil rights, unions, workers’ rights, taxing, etc. don’t matter. It’s who you support.

Let’s leave out the part that Bernie only recently declared as a Democrat after decades of ridiculing both parties, but caucuses with the Dems in order to get good committee assignments. No, he’s the true Dem and Hillary is Ronald Reagan in drag and not to be trusted. As a result, much like the early Tea Party, the Bernie or Bust Crowd will scope out those with positive views of Hillary Clinton from longtime Democratic supporters and fighters (such as yours truly) for being so destructive that they will support in the general, whoever wins the primary. Again, bastards!

To them, because only their view of what a Liberal and Democrat must be (mind you they vote but never were part of the party “establishment” because, you know, establishment) they are the only ones who have the say. If Bernie doesn’t win, we must allow a Republican to win because Hillary is one of them. (Yeah, that confuses me too).

Susan Sarandon has gone so far as to say Trump would be good because he would destroy the Republican Party. She leaves out the party that like Bush (whose win was also to destroy the Republican Party) did more to destroy the country than party. Who suffered? Minorities, workers, middle-class, indigent, etc. but not the Hollywood elites and those who were in the 1% like, Susan Sarandon. They made out fine and will again while Trump is destroying the country, I mean party.

As we near the end of the primaries, the anger and vitriol is getting worse. On Twitter many long time mutual follows aren’t mutually following anymore. The tactics that I personally find to be more from the Sanders’ supporters than Clinton’s are using long established “Tea Party Tactics” to make their angry divisive points made.

I’m not the only one noting this. A certain Black guy in the White House who inspired the first Generation of Tea Party has noted it too. He’s none too happy.

From The Hill:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/275546-obama-warns-dems-against-tea-party-mentality

I have been on Twitter for 6 years. I remember the “emoprog” wars among the left around 2010 by those pissed with Obama for not pushing for single payer in ACA, and the “UniteBlue” war among the left over whether to organize or not for “Blue Causes” outside of other organizations supporting and pushing Blue causes. This war is worse and it must end.

The President is correct, this is divisive. Too much at stake to allow it to continue too long endangering not only retaining the White House from the First Generation Tea Party, but limiting the chances of the Dems taking the Senate back. This must end.

The lesson from 150 years ago is that a House Divided Cannot Stand. Our House, our litmus test is not being part of the Republican Tea Party Litmus test of exclusion for the impure. The more this continues, the smaller, angrier and less effective the Democratic Cause becomes. It’s that simple.

Support anyone not running as a Republican and support and vote for whoever wins the Democratic Primary running against a Republican. You can’t change Washington if you’re not there to change it. Elect Dems to represent you and keep them motivated.

 

An Open Letter to Senator Sanders

Senator,

For years I’ve listened to you on the Thom Hartmann Show for his “Brunch with Bernie” segments. I was always appreciative of your ability to talk with Thom regarding important economic issues in the country and world, as well as taking questions from callers unscreened. I found you open, sincere and truly dedicated to what you presented. You would point out the serious issues regarding wage and wealth disparity and I would nod in agreement, you would point out serious issues with “free trade agreements” and again, I would nod in agreement. You would point out how things should be: higher taxes on the wealthiest, corporations, single payer healthcare, reduction in income/wealth disparity, strong unions, worker rights, and each time you made the point, I would nod in agreement.

Now, assuming it was because of time constraints when asked by callers about “how?” I never heard anything more than the people getting involved. Obvious that is the first step but not the last or even middle step. The action of the people is important to bring awareness to the legislators and chief executives to the issues of the land and her people, but it comes up short. As you yourself pointed out, major stumbling blocks exist: Citizen’s United, Corporate Lobbying, Gerrymandered Congressional Districts, Lack of Serious Campaign Finance Reform, Super PACS, the list is endless and you point out the problems precisely. What was always lacking was how beyond “people power” you remove those obstacles to implement the change that is needed and how much time would it reasonably take to accomplish.

When you announced your candidacy for President, I like many found it interesting. However I also looked at it in the sense that to avoid a “Clinton Coronation”; having a far left challenger would coax her more towards the center if not the left on certain key areas. I don’t even believe you thought you would have any chance of success. You knew then that Hillary Clinton would be the best option of the then announced candidates and you wanted to make her a better candidate for the left.

Sir, you succeeded in that task. Sure enough she started making public proclamations that many were waiting to hear, not the least of which being her opposition to the TPP. She agreed that more banking regulation was required beyond Dodd Frank. She moved left. However, then you started getting a following. Again, congratulations on this accomplishment, you were able to get more  people involved in the political process. You ignited the “people power” first step in change. However, something else happened. Although you started as an “anti-establishment” candidate of and for the people, you started the path of a serious candidacy that required you to bring on talented and experienced political experts to get your message out and dare I say, possibly win the nomination. You began to present yourself as an establishment candidate, using establishment rules of the game.

Here’s the problem, your message is out, the problems are now front and center, the way things need to be are now front and center, only thing lacking is the plan. Everything you suggest should be to solve the problems hinges on raising taxes not only among the corporations and wealthiest, but the middle-class too. The group you say are dying off due to economic hardship. In saying taxes must be higher you leave out the most important step in accomplishing that feat, getting the House to legislate the new taxes and spending and the Senate to concur before it could go to the Executive to sign off or veto.

As you pointed out in the past, there are major stumbling blocks with campaign financing and gerrymandering to expect to have a Congress receptive to these changes even with “people power.” As you know, today’s Congress will not even debate issues that 70 to 80% of nation want addressed. You also know that in 2017 the House will most likely remain in Republican Control and although the Senate is within reach, it won’t be “Filibuster Proof.” Any proposals for tax and spending increases will be dead on arrival for the next two to three Congresses. That is to say, the way you propose they be enacted.

This brings me to my respectful request of you. Recently, your campaign has gone on record demanding that the DNC have an “Open Convention” to give you the chance to win the nomination. This would mirror the dysfunction currently underway with the RNC. Further, your candidacy and recent “attack ads” on Clinton have inspired Democrats to attack her in kind using the same innuendos and false claims the right-wing have used against her for over 25 years. This in turn has led to attacks on you and your followers from Democrats. The party is now beginning to resemble the dysfunction the GOP is experiencing between Trump and Cruz. A divided party will have a more difficult time to keep the White House in 2016. Further, President Obama had planned by this time to place his support behind the nominee in an effort to reunite the party and move forward to not only a White House win, but a Senate win too. As long as the fight between you and Hillary Clinton continues, President Obama must wait on the sidelines.

You are an intelligent man Senator Sanders, of that there is no doubt. As such you know it’s mathematically impossible for you to win the nomination outright unless you destroy Hillary more to move this to an open convention. This only serves to benefit the Republican candidate. You also know that Hillary Clinton is more than qualified and experience to continue the work and progress begun by President Obama. She can move the nation and our economy towards the same goal we all share, just a bit more slowly and methodically. As they say, haste makes waste.

I implore you Senator Sanders, suspend you campaign and begin to unite the party for a massive win in November. The longer you delay, the harder it will be to repair the damage being caused. For the people, for our nation, unite with Mrs. Clinton who has moved towards your views on key issues and lets defeat those who would take us back to 2008.

 

Thank you.

Why I Support Hillary Clinton

My last blog post focused on how I wouldn’t take a firm stand for either Sanders or Clinton on my Twitter timeline or my blog. My view was that both candidates are qualified, both on their worse day are far better than any Republican candidate on their best and it was important to respect both campaigns and remain solid in order to keep the White House and take back the Senate. 

Since that time I’ve read numerous posts on my feed from the so-called “Bernie Bots” often called the “Bernie or Bust” crowd not only going after Clinton, but her supporters. Now it’s true that some of the reverse has also been occurring. However, from my difficult perspective of remaining neutral, I’ve not only seen more vitriol from the Bernie supporters, I have found it to be less factual and frankly more childish than from the Clinton supporters. 

Now this is not a reflection on Bernie Sanders himself, but a reflection of some of his more intense followers. This isn’t like what the GOP has with a Vienna sausage fingered Orange Julius buffoon inciting a cadre of Brown Shirt wannabees, this is an ethical and well-meaning candidate who sadly has some unhelpful followers oblivious to the big picture. Polling shows that 30% of Sanders followers would not support Hillary Clinton were she to win the nomination. On the other hand, a higher percentile of Hillary supporters will vote for Sanders should he win.  

When asked on twitter by someone I’ve followed for years and he back, started egging me to disclose who I was favoring I was taken aback. Not by his question but his tactic to convince me what an untrustworthy criminal Hillary was. He was using easily disprovable bullet points that’s been out there for years. He was passing innuendo as fact, he was doing to her what the rightwing has been doing to her since Bill took office in 1993. He wouldn’t let up and took offense when I questioned his facts. So I unfollowed and muted him because I found him annoying. However I started getting more inquiries from the Sanders supporters using the same overblown hyperbolic rhetoric against Hillary, while not providing anything factual to support Sanders. It got me to thinking and I started analyzing the data. As a result, today I made it clear on my timeline that although I will still vote “Blue No Matter Who” in November my preference is Hillary Clinton. Here’s why: 

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have nearly equal voting records in the Senate, in fact its 93%. On only two key issues did they vote otherwise, the Authorization for Use of Force in Iraq and Blanket immunity for gun manufacturers. Bernie took the correct stance on the War authorization and Hillary on the immunity. More than anything, Hillary’s vote allowed Obama to take the nomination from her in 2008. However, let’s be real, hers was not the deciding vote. Quite the contrary, a majority of Democratic Senators and Members of the House voted for the resolution in light of the political atmosphere that existed at the time. Was it cowardly? I’d say so. Was it wrong? Certainly. Should it be held over her head indefinitely? Not unless she stands by that vote and won’t accept it was wrong. She’s accepted she made a mistake on that vote. 

Now on the Gun Manufacturer Immunity Vote Sanders was wrong. A case could be made that coming from Vermont, it was the politically correct thing to do to keep his seat. Was his vote cowardly? I’d say so. Was it wrong? Certainly. Should it be held over his head indefinitely? Not unless he stands by that vote and accept it was wrong. Well, he’s doubled down on that vote and won’t accept the harm it creates for victims of gun violence in holding gun manufacturers civilly liable for creating a product that causes harm. In fact one manufacturer is putting on the market a .32 caliber handgun that can be disguised as a cellphone. What good use would that be? Why shouldn’t the family of someone killed by such a weapon not sue the manufacturer? Bernie won’t talk about that. 

The art of politics, especially when you have been in it for as long as both Hillary and Bernie is that you are going to be on the wrong side of an issue at some point and when that happens, you can either alter your views or double down on them. Nobody is always right from day one. Hillary’s views have evolved over time, she has acknowledged mistakes her husband has made in office too (his mistakes not hers). Although a proponent for the TPP, she is now opposed to it responding to the voice of the people. She’s learned from the mistake of Free Trade agreements. She’s also evolved about LGBTs rights. She’s recognized the crime act supported by the Black Caucus at the time turned out to be bad for Minorities and no longer supports it. She learns from mistakes. Obama has learned from his mistakes too and has evolved. Sadly, he still holds firm to TPP, but I’m not going to throw him out of office and discount all his other accomplishments over this one issue. No politician is perfect and Bernie is also a politician. But he has yet to acknowledge doing anything wrong. That troubles me. 

As for experience, well Hillary has served as first lady in Arkansas and the White House. As such she’s seen first-hand political operations at both the State and National level. She’s been an advocate for women’s rights around the world as first lady. She was a very successful and popular Senator from the State of New York and she was a successful and consequential Secretary of State. She helped build the coalition that assisted Obama in getting Iran to the table to discuss ending their nuclear ambitions and despite the cries from the GOP and FOX, she was very much involved with and very successful in representing the views of the United States throughout the world helping bringing back our credibility lost during the Bush administration.  And no, she wasn’t responsible for Benghazi despite the multiple hearing put on to say she did. The evidence isn’t there. In fact she’s been the subject of attacks for nearly 30 years, nothing has come to pass against her. You might say she is the most vetted candidate for president ever. Bernie has yet to be fully vetted by the GOP or media. Keep in mind despite his polling now, were he to get the nomination, could he withstand the same ferocity of attacks as Hillary has? For our voting public, labeling him a Stalinist or Marxist Socialist would have an impact of his approvals by the center right independents that he would need to win the White House. He’s not used to being attacked on a national level, Hillary is battle tested. Sanders’ experience in office, in international diplomacy and in getting attacked doesn’t begin to compare to Hillary. 

Now despite his popularity and views of his supporters, a Sanders win for the nomination is at best a long shot still. The math doesn’t add up for him under the DNC rules. It’s very unlikely it will happen. That is a difficult realization for his supporters to accept, they can complain about a rigged system and they could very well be right, but it’s the same rigged system that gave Obama the nomination in 2008. That is a fact. What’s more, especially if Trump is the nominee, the turn out for Clinton would be record breaking. Forget head to head match-ups with Clinton v Trump, Sanders v Trump, Clinton v Cruz, Sanders v Cruz, they mean nothing because they are based on national trends, not state electoral college analysis which varies significantly from national polling. As such today for instance, Clinton beats Trump 347 to 191. 

Finally, for an establishment outsider I do have issue with Bernie Sanders. Although he “caucuses” with the Democrats, he has always railed against both parties, almost saying like many that both parties are the same (they’re not and I’m an independent). He hates the establishment but has resorted to using the establishment to win the presidency. Were he true to his word and ideals, he would run as an independent, not a Democrat. He’s become a Democrat out of convenience, not loyalty. I find that disingenuous. At least he promises to support Hillary should she win, as should all of his supporters. 

Again, I could be wrong and Sanders may pull this off but the odds are against him. Either way, rather than being purists like those in the Tea Party, keep your options open, be accepting of differing views and perspectives for getting the right thing done and Vote Blue No Matter Who in November.

Hillary or Bernie?

Those of you who follow my Twitter Time Line with any regularity might have noticed that I haven’t really tweeted or retweeted anything specifically favorable or unfavorable towards either of the leading two Democratic Candidates, nor have I live tweeted their debates. I have spent arguably an inordinate amount of time tweeting snark about the Republican Candidates and live tweeting their debates but not the Dems. 

Those who have read my bio and have followed me know that I was with the Republican party for over 30 years and out of total frustration of the hard right-wing turn and marginalization of moderates in the party by the Tea Party types, I left. Now to be clear, I did not become a Democrat. However I have found that I prefer the platform of the Democrats immeasurably more palatable than that of this current “faux” conservatism from the so-called “Christian” right “Constitutionalists” who are in reality narrow-minded, bigoted, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, lemmings for the corporate and/or tyrannical leaders of the party. Did I leave anything out? 

I welcome centrists and liberal leaning people to follow me as I follow back. As I also have mentioned I enjoy intelligent and humorous dialogue. I prefer pragmatism, fact based reasoning and most important of all, critical thinking, (all nearly extinct and verboten in the current manifestation of the Republican Party). Following “liberals” and centrists I make it a point not to favor or cast aspersions on their candidates of choice, providing they are good for the nation and the overall good of her people. Now I will go after those on the Democratic side who I see as causing damage to the mission statement of the party. For example, I am not impressed with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In her position she should be focusing on spreading the mission of the Democratic Party to anyone within earshot in all 50 states and US territories. Media still covers the Republicans far more than the Democrats and by not holding more debates in Prime-Time, even less coverage is had. 

Now regarding Hillary and Bernie. I find that the vast majority of Democrats support either one. Many who personally advocate for one or the other will also add that they would still vote for the other if their candidate lost. Thom Hartmann, who has had Bernie on his radio show every Friday for “brunch” for years and is one of Bernie’s most noted advocate, has said quite candidly he supports Bernie but if Hillary wins the primary he could vote for her “in a heartbeat.” Stephanie Miller who supported Obama over Hillary in 2008 prior to Obama gaining popularity has made it clear she now supports Hillary. But as with Thom, if Bernie wins, she can vote for him “in a heartbeat.” That is the example all those on the left and middle should take. Sadly, it isn’t. 

There is plenty of good in both candidates. However it is also true that both have baggage that can and will be exploited in the General. However those who say “Bernie or Bust” or “Hillary or Bust” present a real and imminent threat to the progressive cause in November. Republicans can only win if voter turnout is low. The lower the turnout the higher the neo-conservative gains. To not vote because your candidate lost is almost guaranteeing one of the GOP candidates winning.

The odds are about 50/50 that the Dems can take the Senate back. It’s unlikely they can take the House back. The next president will likely nominate three or four Supreme Court Justices, will have to either carry on with the Obama agenda or kill it to satisfy the right-wing. The next President has to be a Democrat. Whether you think Hillary or Bernie are or aren’t Progressive enough, or capable of winning or not keep in mind (again as Thom Hartmann points out) “on their worst day, both Hillary and Bernie are better than any Republican Candidate on their best day.” 

I’ve seen battles between Dems on Twitter and other social media before. It can and does get personal and nasty. If you’re not following their litmus test, they can be as nasty to you as the worst Right-Wing Nut Job out there. Just today because I expressed my support for “whoever wins the primary” a Sanders supporter made assumptions and threw insults my way. This was someone I had followed and he had followed back for years. He’s now blocked. Another chimed in and before it got too bad, I blocked her. I went through this turf war among liberals before regarding Unite Blue. I won’t go through it again. 

One thing the Republicans have done and will continue to do that appears to be difficult for Democrats is that after the primaries are concluded, whether their candidate won or not, they will still unite and vote for the winner in the General. Too many Dems unfortunately give up if their candidate loses. They either don’t vote, vote for a third party candidate or do a write in. That is throwing your vote away. Nothing anybody can show me proves otherwise. 

So in closing, fight for your candidate during the primary season. Make your case but be respectful of the hard felt beliefs of others. Don’t alienate them from you or you from them. In the end, support the winner and push for as many Blue wins as possible in November. Otherwise you were part of the problem.