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Your Work Is Not Done Part I

Now that the distraction of the election is over, it’s time to get to work. I know that you thought that you were done after you voted, but you’re not. Don’t worry conservatives, this series of posts won’t all be about pushing a liberal agenda so bear with me through this post. I promise they won’t all annoy you.

So liberals, I’m speaking to you right now. There’s something you need to do immediately, and repeatedly over the course of the next eight weeks, in order to get congress moving along again. Basically nothing changed last night, in terms of the balance of power. Congress is still held by a GOP majority, the senate is still democratically controlled (albeit by a slightly larger margin), and democrats still have the white house. This means that the do nothing gridlock that we’ve been treated to for the past four years may continue.

I say may, because we can put pressure on Harry Reid to stop it. We need to send Harry Reid a torrent of letters and faxes demanding that he change the filibuster rules. The majority leader can change senate rules with a simple majority at the beginning  of each session. A new session begins when the new senators are sworn in, in January. We need to send letters and faxes to Harry Reid immediately and frequently. Additionally, you need to send one letter or fax to your democratic senator asking them to vote for a rule change. I want you to send letters and faxes as opposed to emails because they’re more impactful. They create a physical presence and a physical mass. It’s harder to gauge the volume of emails than it is to look at a stack of physical paper and get a sense of the volume.

This will take maybe fifteen minutes of your time, so it’s not a huge undertaking. You spent more time voting, even if everything went smoothly. Not it’s time to make that vote mean something. We need to stop the minority from hijacking the government at every turn. Ignore the bullshit about how changing the rules will eventually hurt “your team” when they’re in the minority. The majority leader, any majority leader can always change the rules at the start of a new session. I promise you that republicans will change the rules if they ever regain control.

This rule change will empower the president you voted for to move his agenda forward. And if he doesn’t, you will all know that he, and not congress is the problem. I’m tired of hearing this crap about how powerless Obama is, in order to defend him. I’ve never believed that he’s as powerless as some people maintain. Regardless, let’s find out. If we discover that he’s the problem, we can focus our pressure on him. Here is the contact information for Harry Reid’s Washington office; 

          522 Hart Senate Office Building 

          Washington, DC 20510

          Fax: 202-224-7327

Click on this link to get the mailing and fax information for your senator.

You have to do this in order to make last night’s vote count! Please, I’m begging you! Don’t make me get bitchier!

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Voting Third Party

I was going to write about the conventions today, but I decided to do something different. My impression of the conventions is pretty clearly spelled out on my Facebook page.

I received two questions this week alone, asking why I don’t write or comment more about third party candidates. I’m assuming these questions are rooted in recognizing that I’m not a partisan hack. I call bullshit anywhere that bullshit exists, without doing the “calling it even” crap that the main stream media does. It’s not even. One party is significantly more destructive to most Americans than the other is. Any true conservative or liberal would agree with that assessment. Real conservatives completely lost their party eleven years ago. Liberals are in the process of losing their party, as I write this.

So why don’t I talk about third party candidates? I have two main reasons. Let me start with the most insignificant, and easy to explain. I don’t like either of the two most popular third party candidates; Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. I like Gary Johnson as a person, but libertarianism is the single most childish ideology ever created by the human race. I don’t want to go on a long rant about libertarianism, so let me cut to the jugular right away. Unless you can provide an example of a single country or civilization in which libertarianism has successfully brought prosperity or growth, you’re basically advocating for the existence of unicorns. I’m not interested in your unicorn because I’m an adult. I like to form my opinions based on empirical evidence and historical precedent. On to Jill Stein. I just don’t like her, even though I agree with almost everything she says. I’ve heard a few interviews with her now, and I’ve concluded that she doesn’t listen. She’s the type of person that waits for her turn to speak, without absorbing or considering anything that is being said on the other side of the conversation. And her rebuttal to the point that voting for a third party is an exercise in futility is also childish. She thinks that even though she doesn’t have a snow balls chance in winning, that every vote for her (or any third party) diminishes any “mandate” that the victor will ultimately have. BULLSHIT. George W Bush barely got selected to be president in 2000. He didn’t have anything resembling a mandate and yet, he barreled through his presidency as if he were the imperial president.

This mandate thing is nonsense, because our representatives don’t give two shits about your opinion. I can give you a long list of examples, but let me briefly give you two. Afghanistan. We’re over it. Democrats are over it, and republicans are over it. Now that we killed Bin Laden, no one can make a cogent argument for why we’re still there. And yet our representatives, republican and democrat alike, won’t get us the fuck out because the defense companies that own them don’t want us out. My second example is social security. Three quarters of Americans (republicans and democrats combined) don’t want to see a single cut made to social security, ever. Most of those people don’t even understand that there’s an easy fix to the social security problem. If they did, that 3/4 number would go up. And yet, the vast majority of our legislators can’t fucking wait to make the “grand bargain”, which will result in significant cuts in benefits. Obama, Boehner, McConnell are all on the same page on this one. Instead of raising the cap on contributions into the fund, they want to raise the retirement age and cut benefits.

At this point you’re probably thinking that I’m making a great argument in favor of third party candidates. I’m not, and here’s where I turn it all around. Our politicians aren’t people. They’re tools. They don’t give a shit about your needs because they don’t work for you. They work for the interests that pour money into their coffers to get them elected. This is the fucked up system of governance that we must work within. We have a system in which the candidate with the most money wins their election 94% of the time. Think about that for a second. The person with the most money wins NINETY-FOUR PERCENT of the time. The ideas and the people running are irrelevant. Good guy/ bad guy, ideological purist/ pragmatist; none of that matters. The only thing that matters ninety four fucking percent of the time is the MONEY.

The irony is that I believe that a bigger percentage of third party voters know that statistic, than the rest of the population. That’s true of the third partiers I know, anyway. But when you know that fact, supporting third parties is even more inexplicable because you still have to believe that the better idea can win. That is not fucking possible, and the empirical evidence tells you that it’s not possible.

As long as we have to operate under this system, voting is an exercise in picking the less damaging, sell out candidate among the options available to you. That’s just a fact. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t call myself bitchy for nothing. You need to grow the fuck up, and realize that there is no political nirvana to be had in this system.

We have to fix the goddamned system before we can expect anything good to come out of it. Voting for a third party candidate is like flicking water off your fingers at a wildfire, and expecting to extinguish that fire. It’s actually worse because what you think is water on your fingers, is actually little tiny droplets of gasoline. The interests that control our government fucking love it when you vote third party because you’re practicing self voter suppression. You’re throwing your goddamned vote away and helping their guy win by checking out of the system. Voting third party is an exercise in futility, and it always will be.

I will be writing a lot about what we need to do to fix this monumentally fucked up election system of ours after the election, and as followers of this blog grow. It’s going to take a lot of proactive work, on the part of a lot of us. But right now, we have an election to deal with. And we have to have that election with the current system in place. We have to focus on minimizing the damage.

We can’t help to elect candidates that want to tear down our social safety nets as quickly as possible, and destroy our already pathetic education system in order to feed the corporate profits of their masters. In case you haven’t figured out yet, that would be 100% of republicans, and roughly 40% of democrats. I don’t care what a politician calls themselves. Whether they’re republican or democrat, you have to pick the one that will slow down that dismantling of our social contracts.

You have to do this until we change the system. I’m a sunny optimist. I believe that we can fix the system, and I have an idea of how to do it. But right now, we have to keep our eye on the prize and get through this election cycle.

I just don’t see how voting for a third party candidate is going to serve your best interest. I hope that answers your questions on this topic.

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The B-Team

Remember my plea to sane republicans a couple of weeks ago? You know, when I begged them to speak up and drown out the crazies that are entering the republican primaries for the presidential election? Well, my sunny optimism has been extinguished.

It happened when Obama announced that Bin Laden was dead. Once that happened, Obama’s chances of not winning reelection dropped to roughly 5%. In my opinion, the only thing that will prevent Obama from getting a second term, is if the economy collapses before the election. Even this current state of painfully slow recovery won’t harm his chances of reelection. Short of a total economic meltdown, he’s going to serve four more years and republicans know it.

No republican operative with half a brain, can possibly assume otherwise. And my guess is that they won’t even bother putting forth a serious candidate because it’s a losing battle. Ronald Reagan failed to secure the republican nomination twice before he finally succeeded in 1980. Times have changed. I don’t believe it’s possible for a two time loser to take a third stab and succeed anymore. Our culture has changed. Once the stink of “loser” is on you, it’s almost impossible to wash it off. I can’t imagine that republican operatives are going to set up a serious candidate to lose.

In fact, I’d be surprised if Mitt Romney actually went through with a run this time around. He’s already lost a primary bid once. One more defeat, and his political career is done.

Sadly, this is going to be a republican primary of freaks from the fringe. They’re too stupid and ideological to realize that Obama is unbeatable. We’re going to be subjected to Michelle Bachman (I’m positive she’s going to run) and Rick Santorum’s batshit craziness for the next year. Yippee for America! It’s going to be 1995 all over again but much crazier since republican primary voters are significantly more radical than they were in 1995. They won’t all be insane, but the nonwhackos are going to be B-list players. Truthfully, I don’t know if the republican party has any A-list players left, but I know that they won’t make much of an effort to find one until 2016.

Newt is DOA. My prediction is that he’s out of the race by July. He shot himself in both feet and both knees when he prematurely attacked Paul Ryan’s plan to shit on the elderly. He should have waited ninety days to do that. But since he’s a complete idiot, his bad timing has him getting punched harder from the right than from the left. Most republicans have turned on Newt, which means that his ability to raise money is gone.

I have to say that Newt and Trump have been the biggest morons in this whole thing. Neither of them ever really expected to be president. They were going for either attention (Trump) or money (Newt). But they both damaged their brands so badly that they won’t be president, and won’t get any more money or attention.

I don’t believe that Sarah Palin is going to get into the presidential clown car. I never did. Not being in office is entirely too lucrative for her. But since Bachman is very likely to go in, we didn’t exactly dodge the “dim witted, hot but crazy” bullet.

My hypothesis won’t take long to prove or disprove. We’ll know if republicans are serious by August. If they don’t have a serious candidate in the race by then, they never will. And all you have to do is follow the money to know how it’s all going to turn out. The corporate campaign donations for the fourth quarter of this year will say it all. If the money is predominantly going to Obama, then it’s done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m positive that corporate America will generously show their love to congressional and senatorial republican candidates. But they’re going to hedge their bets by stuffing Obama’s coffers if they believe he can’t be beaten.

This republican primary season is going to be a clown parade that makes The Jim Rose Circus look like a Disney movie. But the worst part of this isn’t the assault on our dignity and intellect. The worst part is how fucking relaxed Obama is. He knows that he’s untouchable, which is historically the worst kind of president. I like my politicians scared. Scared of the repercussions that come with fucking me. Obama clearly isn’t scared, which is bad for all of us. He’s got the confidence that comes with knowing that the American people have nowhere to go.

If he were the type of president that actually had an agenda that he felt passionate about, now would be the time to flex his muscles. It’s too soon after the Bin Laden killing to tell if he’s going to go in that direction. The optimist in me hopes that he will leverage his political capitol to do some good, but the pragmatic side of me doesn’t see that happening.

I think that we’re going to get more political theater from Obama. I believe that he’s going to continue playing good cop, while perpetually being defeated by the bad cops. This debt ceiling issue is a pretty telling sign of what we can expect. Everyone knows that the debt ceiling will be raised. Republicans can’t block it because their Wall Street benefactors won’t allow it. Republicans are literally impotent to block the raising of the debt ceiling. And yet we’re going to see “concessions” in the form of billions of dollars in budget cuts that hurt the middle class  coming from democrats. It’s all going to be bullshit designed to make you think that democrats are well meaning, but impotent to stop it. Sound familiar? And if you fall for it, you’ll have the gratification of being on the “good team”, but you won’t have anything else.

The republican circus will be fun to watch, there’s no doubt about that. But if you’re a democrat that’s actually paying attention, fun is the only gratification that you’ll get out of it. If you’re like me, the negative ramifications of having a president with no fear of losing the next election will temper any glee that you may feel.

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