Monday, January 30, 2017

Are You Going To Remember Who Tried To Help The Refugees In November, 2018?


The last time I drank a Coke (or Pepsi) I was barely 20; it was in 1970. There was no social media then (aside from postcards) and international telephone calls were way too expensive for someone like me. So, while I was making my way by land across the world I depended on letters from home for news. If you read the comments here at DWT, you've no doubt run across someone calling herself "Hone." She was a friend of mine in college and she sent me a letter-- to poste restante (I think in Kabul) which came to me months after the massacre at Kent State. Although she doesn't remember it today, her letter included a call to arms: American students would topple Coca Coca and Pepsi, two iconic American brands, as a response to the murders of the peaceful protestors. Foolishly I had been depending on Coke for hydration because the water was so dangerous to drink in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in those days. The U.S. consulates in Iran and Afghanistan would warn American travelers to boil water for several minutes, let it cool down and then boil it again before drinking it. So it was a great sacrifice for me to give up consuming soft drinks. But I did and never touched one again. Yesterday I deleted my Uber app and I'll never get in another Uber. It'll be taxis and Lyft for me from now on.

OK, how about a few words from Pope Francis? This is what he told a group of Catholic and Lutheran pilgrims yesterday: "[T]he sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy... You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian. You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25," a reference to Christ’s injunction to help the needy by such works of mercy as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and welcoming the stranger. It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.

Randian fake-Christian Paul Ryan, who can be eliminated, politically, in 2018, is still pissing off God by swearing that Trump's executive order is not a Muslim ban. He's lying. And most of the Republicans in Congress are right there with him. The relatively new congressman from Staten Island, Dan Donovan said the same thing a;most all the GOP members are saying, namely that "President Trump's decision is in America's best interest." Even the Republicans criticizing Trump-- so far Senators Susan Collins (ME), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Lamar Alexander (TN) and Ben Sasse (NE) plus House members Mike Coffman (CO), Carlos Curbelo (FL), Elise Stefanik (NY), Will Hurd (TX), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA), Charlie Dent (PA), Justin Amash (MI), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) and Barbara Comstock (Va), all from blue-leaning or swing districts-- are bing very circumspect. Barbara Comstock, for example, one of the most electorally vulnerable Republicans in Congress, issued a tepid statement saying, "As I consistently have said, I don't believe it is constitutional to ban people from our country on the basis pf religion. However, I do support-- and the House of Representatives has supported on a bipartisan basis-- increased vetting based on national security concerns. The president’s executive order yesterday went beyond the increased vetting actions that Congress has supported on a bipartisan basis and inexplicably applied to Green Card holders, people who are legally within our country who have followed the rules. Green Card holders go through a detailed legal process and are vetted. They are required to register with the selective service-- many serve in the military. They pay taxes. I find it hard to believe that green card holders-- legal permanent residents-- were intended to be included in this Executive Order. This should be addressed and corrected expeditiously."

It was addressed expeditiously, thought not corrected. When Department of Homeland Security officials asked the White House for a clarification, the neo-Nazi who Trump has put in charge of this whole mess, psychopathic right-wing blogger Steve Bannon, said Green Card holders were very much meant to be included. No comment on that report from Ryan or Comstock or any of the other Republicanos enabling Trump and Bannon. The only Republican who seems sincere and principled in his opposition to Trump's unconstitutional mayhem is Justin Amash, noting Trump's executive order "overreaches and undermines our constitutional system... The president's denial of entry to lawful permanent residents of the United States (green card holders) is particularly troubling. Green card holders live in the United States as our neighbors and serve in our Armed Forces. They deserve better... Ultimately, the executive order appears to be more about politics than safety. If the concern is radicalism and terrorism, then what about Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others? Finally, we can't effectively fight homegrown Islamic radicalism by perpetuating the 'us vs. them' mindset that terrorists use to recruit. We must ensure that the United States remains dedicated to the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and liberty."

Politically, Democrats better follow the lead of resisters like Ted Lieu and Jerry Nadler and let their own base know they are fighting-- and for real-- and not let the story become a false narrative about a few"brave Republicans" standing unto Trump. But what Comstock and other Republicans are talking about when they refer to "bipartisan support" is the 289-137 approval of an ugly, bigoted anti-refugee bill by Texas' Michael McCaul. 47 Democrats-- mostly from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- joined forces with 242 Republicans to pass it. 135 Democrats and just 2 Republicans voted against it-- and one of the Republicans, Iowa extremist Steve King, voted NO because he didn't feel the bill was draconian enough. Over the weekend into today many of the 47 Democrats who voted with the Republicans are trying desperately to distance themselves from their own votes.

Take right-wing Blue Dog Jim Cooper, who represents (badly) a safe blue seat in Nashville. Yesterday he was trying to hide his bigotry with a tweet. Steve Israel, one of the leaders of the move to get Democrats to vote with the GOP against refugees, was practically rending his clothing today in sympathy for the immigrants. Here's a list of the worst of the traitors who are still in Congress:
Pete Aguilar (New Dem-CA)
Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA)
Julia Brownley (worthless coward-CA)
Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL)
Gerry Connolly (New Dem-VA)
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
John Delaney (New Dem-MD)
Tulsi Gabbard (LOL-HI)
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)
Steve Israel (Blue Dog-NY)
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)
Ann Kuster (New Dem-NH)
Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)
Donald Norcross (Corrupt-NJ)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Kathleen Rice (New Dem-NY)
Tim Ryan (Would-be Leader-OH)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
David Scott (Blue Dog-GA)
Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)
Filemon Vela (Blue Dog-TX)
There's only one group that has been working consistently to drive Blue Dogs and New Dems out of Congress for over a decade-- Blue America. No one else has dared. Want to help? You can here.

Since Mike decided to delete this tweet over the weekend, we decided to decorate it for him

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At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Wow, Howie! Mail from me about politics and CocaCola way back when! I do not remember this specifically, but we have always been on the same or similar page with politics. Yes, when I was hitchhiking through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, my mother got the only news of my travels from my postcards, which arrived weeks or months later. The Algerian students in particular were wonderfully nice to my friend Alan and me. They put us up and were eager to discuss politics with us. They were excited to engage with Americans. In those days, young people all over the planet felt united and determined to make a better world. It was a wonderful feeling. While traveling, we'd meet people from all over and form instant bonds. This America First b.s. of Trumps 's quite upsetting and extremely dangerous. For one, this slogan has anti Semitic roots, and furthermore, we are all in this world together. We are all human beings, after all.

What happened to us in this country? Are those of us who were against the Vietnam War going to stand for this horror show? There was very little protest against the Iraq War, I suspect mostly because of the lack of a draft. I think many in the women's march last week were of this ilk from the 1960's. And American Jews should take all of this in very very carefully. Jews will always be on the list of those to hate and expel, just look back at thousands of years of history. Bannon is no friend of the Jews. Muslim refugees need to be helped, not thwarted. Our country is a melting pot and we are strong because of it.

To all of you young people, rise up and demonstrate. It is your world that is the most threatened, that of the future of this country, the world and the environment.

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your chart claiming the Muslim countries left off the banned list are the ones Trump does business with is at best misdirection. The real dirty truth is the Muslim countries left off the banned list are the countries the Wall Street/War Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil does business with!!! Particularly the Military/Industrial Complex to the tune of $billion$ in war products to these gutless cartoon "Monarchs", who, by the way, refuse to take in any of their fellow Muslims (unless they're rich). Most of the business The Trump did with these paymasters of terrorism was to launder their ill-gotten oil money by selling them apartments in his various gaudy New York City properties (that they almost never set foot in). The ban, of course, is absurd. It is just another example of The Trump's in-your-face disruption.
PS: Where were all these bleeding hearts during the Bush/Cheney & Obama years when this scapegoating of Muslims was standard operating procedure???
Another PS: Tulsi Gabbard is not a villain!

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We dropped ball. We stopped The War, our War, Vietnam, but we didn't stop War. Nixon resigned, whoopie, now let's finish our law degrees and buy million dollar houses on The Oregon High Desert! We stopped The War, our War, Vietnam, but we didn't stop War, and we left the machinations in place to become the Fascist State we have become.

We were winning, and then we were lost.
Ten Bears

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First and foremost, to Hone... respect. We are contemporaries. I spent an afternoon in jail because I was NEAR a very pacified (baked) and small antiwar protest in 1970 that the police brownshirts destroyed and from which they drew blood only because they wanted to. Evidently, there were no drugs found and the stitches a few of the hippies needed meant no charges. And they never figured out who I was -- I had been playing basketball on the playground and had sat down with a soda under a tree when these folks wandered up, put up their sandwich boards and sat down in the shade too.

I also spent an afternoon being "protected" in a razor-wire enclosed "free speech zone" during a campaign stop for cheney/bush. There were fewer of us then. the brownshirt guards (not police I believe they were mercenary types hired to guard us) didn't use their truncheons... but they had body armor and AR15s and tear gas and about 20 zip ties each... just in case we got uppity. There were more of them than there were of us.

We didn't stop the war. We elected Nixon twice. The war ended when it was clearly lost. They couldn't draft fodder fast enough; the fodder didn't want to do it; and it got very expensive to keep the war going. And we lost.

So we didn't stop war. We're human. War is part of being human. Evidently we don't have the capacity to reason our way out of being warmongering beings.
Maybe the only way to prevent war is for all nations to be small enough that war would mean sure destruction. MAYBE that would do it.

The most disappointing thing we are, though, is arbitrary. Between '32 and about '79 we tended to change law to reflect economic and social progress and to increase the degree of justice we wanted to practice.
But in 1980 we basically repudiated that entire 4.5 decades of general forward progress. And we've been marching or sprinting backwards ever since. Virtually no recognition of our regression nor any meaningful attempts have been made to return us to a forward vector. Didn't matter what party nor what candidates nor who was in congress... everyone gets greedy and corrupt. But now half of us or more are also just plain evil.

How does a civilized society allow this? HATE. That's how.

At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be easier for voters if the blue America (et al) would split from the D party so that we voters wouldn't get confused by which few "democrat" candidates are good vs. the great majority who are whores for their donors.

As it is, I will not ever vote for another democrat just to be sure I'm not being duped into supporting a contemporary of scummer, Pelosi, hoyer, the DNC and the DxCC.

Please help us voters. Most of us are dumb. But a lot of us just don't have enough time to suss out who sucks and who might not.

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

Ten Bears, you stupid Fuck, you represent the people well that would have nuked Vietnam as we lost another optional war for the Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned us about. He'd be a Democrap today, but with ballz.

Please tip over in your Faux Newz armchair soon and empty your bowels there, not here.

Nice post Howie et al. Blessings

At 10:11 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Anonymous at 9:24-- Blue America doesn't raise money-- EVER-- for "the D party." We raise money for well-vetted proven progressives. The REASON for Blue America is to help with that confusion of knowing which Democrats are worthwhile and which aren't. Example: look at our Senate incumbents page. We're only raising money for 5 of the 48 Democrats.

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TY DWT. I actually understood that. But you also don't actually evaluate or support ALL possible D candidates for house/senate everywhere in primaries. I see cherry-picked info on mostly winnable seats. Understandable of course.

I guess I was hoping that blue could just divest totally from the party and run independents (yeah, I know...). We actually NEED a divestiture with some muscle to coalesce around for a true blue party. Hell, even Elizabeth Warren has apparently sold out for money for her re-election.


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