Friday, October 25, 2019

Forget About Going Back To Normalcy-- That Does Not Exist Any Longer


Not normal: Federal Judge Sallie Kim held Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in contempt of court for violating an order to stop collecting loan payments from former students of scam colleges. Kim fined Education Department $100,000 for violating the preliminary injunction. "The exceedingly rare judicial rebuke of a Cabinet secretary came after the Trump administration was forced to admit to the court earlier this year that it erroneously collected on the loans of some 16,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges despite being ordered to stop doing so."

Not normal: Tulsi Gabbard pretending to be a Democrat and also still pretending to be running for president. Here's the video she sent out to her constituents last night finally telling them she's not running for Congress, though she didn't mention she has her sights set on the governors' mansion (2022)-- as a pathway to the White House (God forbid).

In her Intercept post yesterday-- Ilhan Omar Explains Why She Endorsed Bernie Sanders-- Akela Lacy explained that the once skeptical almost-Elizabeth Warren supporter was back-- firmly-- in Bernie's camp. "Sometimes," said Ilhan, "you have to be reminded about the vision you truly believe in, and where your core values lie. And for me, I know that there are people that have to switch some things around, and there are people that are just easy to believe in. And I was reminded that Bernie is one of the people."
Asked whether she meant that Warren had switched things around, Omar said, “For me.”

Most Democrats, she said, belong to the “Warren wing” of the party. “I mean it’s the one thing that everybody accuses us of. We think we’re the smartest in the room. We are very policy-oriented. We care about the details. And there is that aspect of Warren that is exciting. She has a plan for everything,” Omar said. “But there is, I think, an expansion of what universal values are, and how we should be thinking about what kind of revolutionary ideas this country needs in order for these structural changes that Warren talks about to be implemented. And that person who will carry that out is Bernie.”
Goal ThermometerInterestingly, over the past few days, the ActBlue "Bernie Congress" page-- which you can link by clicking on the thermometer on the right-- has started filling up with courageous congressional candidates who feel the same way Ilhan does. Bernie's the one... more than any of the other potential presidential nominees. He's the polar opposite of not just Trump, but also of Biden ("Status Quo Joe") who doesn't seem to understand that going "back to normalcy" will do nothing but guarantee another extreme reaction that will bring us another Trumpist kind of response from voters who are fed up with what Biden and his big money backers think is "normalcy."

UPDATE: I Was In Elizabeth Warren's Camp

Kim Williams worked as a diplomat under Obama and then worked as a university professor. Now she's running for Congress in California's Central Valley, for a seat held by a reactionary Blue Dog, Jim Costa. "Like Rep. Omar," she told us this morning, "I was in Elizabeth Warren’s camp. Anyone who’s ever heard me speak knows that I spend a great deal of time talking about policy. We simply can’t fix the many problems my district faces without bold and detailed plans. But we also need a heart, and we have to show up. And that’s what Bernie Sanders has done here. The three counties in my district are often referred to as the forgotten California. It’s the poorest district in this wealthy state, and one of the poorest districts in this nation, which probably explains why few presidential candidates make their way here. Bernie is the only candidate to have prioritized and invested in the Central Valley. Bernie has not only had the political courage to go against the media and the moneyed interests that have hurt so many working Americans long before anyone else, he has shown a genuine affection for so many forgotten people that are tired of Democrats who only care about them on election years. In his words and deeds, he has shown up, and that gives me the confidence to know he’ll show up in every way that counts as president."

Republican senators are not going to save us from Trump. We have to do that ourselves-- hopefully by replacing him with Bernie in 13 months. The House is going to impeach him and the Senate is going to find him "innocent." And then it will be up to the voters to remove Trump and his Senate (and House) enablers. National Review editor Rich Lowry dispelled the fantasy of a Trump removal for Politico yesterday. Republican senators," wrote Lowry, "will soon be receiving an invitation to tear apart the Republican Party ahead of the 2020 elections, and they are going to decline to accept it. It’s a trope of pro-impeachment commentary that it should be simple for Republican senators to swap out President Donald Trump, who puts them in an awkward position every day, for Vice President Mike Pence, an upstanding Reagan conservative who could start with a fresh slate in the runup to the 2020 election." [Feh!]

Lowry points out that the idea may sound fine but it's big flaw "is that is entirely removed from reality. If Senate Republicans vote to remove Trump on anything like the current facts, even the worst possible interpretation of them, it would leave the GOP a smoldering ruin. It wouldn’t matter who the Democrats nominated for 2020. They could run Bernie Sanders on a ticket balanced by Elizabeth Warren and promise to make Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secretary of the Treasury and Ilhan Omar secretary of Defense, and they’d still win." Don't we wish!
A significant portion of the Republican Party would consider a Senate conviction of Trump a dastardly betrayal. Perhaps most would get over it, as partisan feelings kicked in around a national election, but not all. And so a party that has managed to win the popular vote in a presidential election only once since 1988 would hurtle toward November 2020 divided.

How does anyone think that would turn out?

A lot of Trump supporters are going to want to blame the Republican establishment even if Trump loses in 2020 fair and square, with the backing of the united party apparatus. Imagine what they will think if a couple of dozen Republican senators decide to deny him the opportunity to run for reelection, without a single Republican voter having a say on his ultimate fate. It’s hard to come up with any scenario better designed to stoke the populist furies of Trump’s most devoted voters.

Trump himself isn’t going to get convicted by the Senate and say, “Well, I’m a little disappointed in your judgment to be honest. But it was a close call, and Mike Pence is a great guy, and I’m just grateful I had the opportunity to serve this country in the White House for more than three years.”

He won’t go away quietly to lick his wounds. He won’t delete his Twitter account. He won’t make it easy on anyone. He will vent his anger and resentment at every opportunity. It will be “human scum” every single day.

And it’s not as though the media is going to lose its interest in the most luridly telegenic politician that we’ve ever seen. The mainstream press would be delighted to see Trump destroyed, yet sad to bid him farewell. The obvious way to square the circle would be to continue to give Trump lavish coverage in his post-presidency. He’d be out of the White House but still driving screaming CNN chyrons every other hour.

In other words, Trump’s removal wouldn’t be a fresh start for Pence and the GOP in an accelerated post-Trump era; it would be more like getting stuck in the poisonous epilogue of the Trump era, awaiting the inevitable advent of the Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or Pete Buttigieg era.

All of this is why the “cracks in the Republican Senate” coverage is so ridiculous and overwrought. It depends on the idea that GOP senators-- who, it is true, are continually frustrated by Trump’s controversies-- are on the verge of engineering their party’s own destruction. There was even some “cracks showing” analysis around Mitch McConnell saying the other day that he didn’t remember a conversation with Trump, as recounted by the president, praising his call with the Ukrainian president. The obvious explanation is that McConnell really didn’t recall such a conversation, not that the shrewdest, most realistic politician in Washington was getting ready to immolate himself and his party as soon as the articles of impeachment arrive from the House.

Mitt Romney has gotten a lot of coverage for his excoriating comments about the Ukraine mess and the Syria pullout. He really might vote to convict when it comes to it, but he’s not a broad indicator of the direction of the party. As goes Romney on impeachment ... so goes Romney on impeachment.

It’s possible to come up with a scenario in which Ukraine developments are much worse than it’s possible to imagine right now, and Trump’s support craters, even among Republicans. Then, you might have GOP senators voting to convict. This is just another path to the destruction of the party’s hopes in 2020, though, because there’s no way it would snap back from a Nixonian meltdown at the top in less than a year.
Nonetheless, Sean Eldridge's Stand Up America has decided to spend six figures trying to persuade House Republicans in swing districts to vote for impeachment-- you know, the Republicans that Trump called "human scum" the other day. Eldridge's list of targets:
Fred Upton (MI)
Will Hurd (TX, retiring)
John Katko (NY)
Francis Rooney (FL, retiring)
Chip Roy (TX)
Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)
Peter King (NY)
Chris Smith (NJ)
Elise Stefanik (NY)
Eldridge didn't include his own congressman, Lee Zeldin, even though he would be a perfect strategic target. "It's time for Republicans in Congress," said Eldridge, "to grow a spine and defend our democracy by supporting the impeachment inquiry, because no one-- including Donald Trump-- is above the law." (DCCC talking points.)

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At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is meant by "normalcy"? do words have no meaning any more at all?

What has been normal since Reagan is so deeply entrenched and 'normalized' that it may take 2 more generations and trillions invested in actual, you know, education before we can even get back to the "normal", socio-economically, of the '70s.

For those of you who are too young to remember, that was when women were awakening their own demands for equal rights, equal rights and voting rights still existed for Blacks, math still mattered in budgeting, torture was still a crime and banks were still, to some extent, regulated. It was also the last time Sherman was enforced. And, of course, corporations and millionaires still paid taxes.

"Republican senators are not going to save us from Trump. We have to do that ourselves-- hopefully by replacing him with Bernie in 13 months. The House is going to impeach him and the Senate is going to find him "innocent."

coupla things:
1) if the Nazis are smart, they'll actually remove trump. if they are party-first, they should know that trump will inspire another anti-red wave on top of the tsunami of 2018. trump will make it very difficult for them to keep the senate and may make their minority in the house shrink. They are already refusing to conduct a primary, so they'll be "stuck" with the incumbent. If that incumbent is pence, especially if there is no time for him to do much (as we know, he envisions himself the 'pope' of an American christobanazi caliphate cleansed of all non-Christians, non-heteros and non-whites and where women are subjugated breeders only), that anti-red wave probably won't exist and they'll keep the senate for certain.

2) the level of delusion to posit that Bernie will be our savior is astonishing, even for leftys in America in 2019. The DNC will burn the vestiges of the republic to the ground rather than allow Bernie to even sniff the democrap nom; voters are far too stupid to MAKE Bernie their savior; and Bernie himself has not the balls (remember 2016) nor the health and endurance to run as THE progressive independent (to give a lot of the dormant 75 million someone to get out of bed to vote for).

3) to posit that the house SHALL impeach is also something of a leap. Pelosi clearly did not want to do this at all, which is why it took her 8 months and also why she is not allowing concentration camps, kidnapping of kids and DEAD kids to be a part of it. and now that trump forced her to act (by trying to smear the democrap fascist jesus), she is still not allowing the proper impeachment to proceed (in the judiciary committee) so that she can think of an excuse to terminate the process. her history in 2007 tells us that she far prefers to allow a murderous thug (cheney) and a total moron (bush) to continue so that her party looks better in comparison for an election cycle. Believe me, she does not want her democraps to have to run on real issues against pence instead of running on "at least we're not as bad as 'them'".

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@6:05 am

Just to be clear - you're saying primary voters are too stupid to select Sanders as the nominee, despite the clear evidence that were he to GET the nomination, the Democratic party establishment would do everything in its power to make sure he loses the general election, and failing that, would then do everything possible to neutralize his presidency. While I understand that the defeatist perspective I frequently endorse is the enemy in your eyes (if we're pretending you actually care about anything other than continued Republican mis-rule), at least some fair number of Warren (and a couple of other candidates) supporters are doing so for "less-destructive-in-the-short-term" reasons. You may think that's a stupid choice (you seem stuck in some juvenile reality where a "stupid person" is anyone who disagrees with you - I suspect it's why you have no friends), but it's certainly more complicated than anything you're even hinting at here. And the reality is that it's EXTREMELY UNLIKELY (like, "winning the Powerball jackpot" levels of unlikely) Sanders or anyone else running as a progressive independent will win enough electoral college votes to become president. WAY too many white people in this country get genuinely angry when the social safety net expands to help "certain people", because, you know, those folks are just so darned LAZY (also worth noting that these whites understand the egalitarian component of Socialism and they ain't buying - they have no interest in a society with no distinction between them and those aforementioned "lazy/undeserving/colored" people). Then you have to factor in people legitimately distrustful that the government can even do anything. This is what the Republicans have been incredibly successful at over the years: creating chaos when they're in charge (and even when they're not), cutting the budgets for any and everything NOT defense-related, etc. It would be great if more folks wised themselves up as to WHY government can't seem to do much of anything competently, but they're not wrong for noticing the fact of it.

And most of #1 is horseshit. There's a distinct chance the Republican Party can still win and it doesn't have anything to do with how lame the "Democraps" are. Revolting as he is, at least 60 million (mostly white) people love Donald Trump. Factor in the 10 million (that might be a low figure) black and brown people regularly prevented from voting and sure, Trump could win re-election and the Republicans could maintain their Senate majority (despite said majority representing less than 40 percent of the population in terms of actual voters).

Some of your other points are valid. I still think you're full of crap though.

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short Bursts:

A judicial fine of $100k isn't going to phase DeVos even if she had to pay it out of her own pocket. Now an extended stay in the Graybar Hotel with the mere mortal humans, on the other hand, . . .

Tulsi Gabbard appears to be retreating from the national scene after pissing off DNC leaders. Resigning her Party position to support Bernie and torpedoing certain corporatist candidates -or trying to- didn't win her much political support. There is enough about her which doesn't inspire confidence in the masses for her to have someone friendly to watch her back.

Ilhan Omar just might surprise a lot of people with her actions in the near future.

OT: does Ayanna Pressley ever show up for work anymore?

"Republican senators are not going to save us from Trump. "

It's WAAAAAAAY too late to save us from Trump. The damage he's done will cause lasting effects for decades. Even Republicans have been adversely affected. Which brings us to . . .

The GOP is VERY glad to have unleashed the Trump wrecking ball on the impediments blocking the ability of corporations to wring profits out of everything at little cost. Their dilemma is that he's too busy bragging about his "accomplishments" for them to take advantage of the "opportunities". Too many see the problems and not the "advantages".

Mitt Romney: 47% of a human being. The remainder is clay feet, two severed Achilles heels, weak knees, no gonads, and a bad case of anonymous Twitter fingers.

Who is Sean Eldridge, and what is Sean Eldridge REALLY up to with his scheme? There is certainly something rotten in the state of America and he stands within the source.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Alice said...

any chance that someone decent will run for Tulsi's seat? her current challenger seems to be completely awful.

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learned about Tulsi from reading this blog, so I started from a place of prejudice, thinking she was a shape shifting homo-phobic republican. When she backed Bernie going against the DNC and Wasserman Shultz, and she said that she shouldn't have to give up her rights to free speech to hold that position ... I was like hmmm that doesn't fit what I learned (not normal). Why would she do that? She's on record saying that she actually loves Bernie's politics. She has said that if elected she would pardon Snowden and Assange (no other candidate will say that). In the last debate she described concisely what the US was doing in Syria by arming & backing Al Queda and Nsura to cause chaos in Syria to overthrow Assad while decimating a country (all true but not available in the pro-regime change US press). Americans have been lied to about Syria, like Iraq, like Libya,like Vietnam. Read this on the deceit of US Policy in Syria

Senator Mike Gravel: "Tulsi Gabbard has more credibility in talking about peace and proper use of the military than any other candidate literally in American history." (from interview with @PrimoNutmeg)

There are many repubs pretending to be democrats and they do not behave like or take any of the positions that Tulsi takes.

i.e. Hillary is the “queen of warmongers” and the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party,”.

She's a unique important voice that Americans need to hear.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:19, to be clear, I'm OBSERVING that polling still shows Bernie at under a quarter nationally. Math don't lie in spite of what Reagan and everyone since has convinced American dipshits. Bernie has to have 51%... probably 60% of "pledged" delegates on the first ballot or the DNC SHALL steal it from him again. They've already blocked 75 million independents from voting in all but a few states. Without those independents, no democrap can beat trump.
The DNC loves it that Warren also polls at about what Bernie does. And biden too.
Gives them cover to rig the convention to go to a second ballot where the superdelegates can grease the nom for biden.

and all because voters can't and won't coalesce around Bernie. yeah, stupid. But what can you say about a group of 10s of millions who still believe Pelosi can be helpful and hold obamanation is near god-like esteem. stupid.

now, if you can get past your ad-hominem projections* and tamp down your narcissism, you'll see we pretty much agree, though I'm not afraid to say uncomfortable truths.
*Projection is when you agree with someone but must find some way to hate him so that you can be more right than he. So you attribute that which you loathe about yourself to the other. makes yourself seem less loathsome, don't it ;-)

and, btw, math-n-shit... trump won with about 30% of the eligible electorate in '16. He's still polling at about 40%. That would give him enough of a cushion for a landslide in '20, if the democrap fails to inspire a lot of independents, like $hillbillary failed to do. I've pointed this out often. I suppose you missed it.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To back up 1:05, I will NOT vote for Biden or any other corporatist the Democrats put up. Corporatism is my enemy, and both parties are owned by corporate money.

As Jimmy Dore says repeatedly (paraphrasing), in 2008 we voted for hope and change and got a 1986 moderate Reagan Republican who gave us a Heritage Foundation medical insurance plan. Vote for a corporatist with a "D" after the name, and you will get the same thing. Don't ask me - ask Joe Biden about what comes after Trump if he wins: "Nothing would fundamentally change."


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