Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Het Meisje Met Het Rode Haar-- The Girl With The Red Hair-- plus Newt Gingrich And Kyrsten Sinema


This morning when I woke up I found an email from my old friend Toon in Amsterdam. He had heard about the fires ravaging L.A. and he wanted to make sure I was ok. Then he started going on about how Trump and Boris Johnson are ruining the world. That led him in two directions-- were Bernie and Elizabeth too old to get the job done-- I assured him they weren't and that either could-- and then he started writing about how during World War II, "A lot of Dutchmen were completely indifferent about German occupation. A lot of Dutchmen were completely pro or opportunistic." There were not many like our friend (RIP) Hilda van Norden or Hannie Schaft. Hannie Schaft? I didn't know the name. So I took a few moments off from the impeachment news and looked her up. There were dozens of YouTubes... all in Dutch, like one above.

Jannetje Johanna Schaft (Hannie's actual name) was born in 1920. Twenty-four years later, she was arrested at a Nazi checkpoint in Haarlem, her hometown, tortured for a month and shot by Dutch Nazis 3 weeks before the end of the war. 7 months later she was reburied in a state funeral. Queen Whilhelmina called Schaft "the symbol of the Resistance."

As the impeachment trap closes on Trump, will he try a coup? Who's to stop him? If he does, who will be our own Hannie Schaft? You?

Hannie was in law school in 1943 when the Germans occupied the country. University students were required to sign a declaration of allegiance to the occupation authorities. Like 80% of students, Schaft refused to sign and was expelled. Would you sign?

After leaving school and Amsterdam and moving back in with her parents, she joined the Council of Resistance. Eventually she became an assassin and began carrying out attacks on Germans and on Dutch collaborators. She learned to speak German fluently and became involved with German soldiers. She was recognizable by her red hair and wound up on the Nazis "most wanted" list. Eventually, she died her hair black. She was identified by her red roots after she was arrested.

Hannie Schaft, murdered by Dutch Nazis, symbol of The Resistance

I also found an e-mail from Newt Gingrich this morning. "Friend," he wrote, "If you refuse to fight for President Trump... then don't read this email. But don't come complaining to me when anti-Trump socialist fanatics take over!
Sorry to be so blunt, but Democrats have decided to impeach President Trump and we have an urgent deadline to stop them: We're rallying as many Loyal American Patriots as we can for the next 24 hours -- and we've activated 5x-matching for you.

You've already received emails from Steve Scalise, Liz Cheney, Darin LaHood, Drew Ferguson and others...

They ALL want you to know this is the most important request we have EVER made of you. If we fall short now, we will ALL suffer the consequences.

Stand with President Trump, who has been FALSELY accused!

Hannie was offered an opportunity to be a courier when she joined the resistance to the fascists. She wanted the job of killing fascists. At what point is shooting someone like Newt Gingrich the right thing to do? Now? Never? Not 'til they've overthrown democracy entirely? Oh... and speaking of collaborators, as opposed to full on fascists like Newt, Politico ran a piece by Burgess Everett yesterday on putative Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, the mentally impaired and deranged freak from Arizona who Schumer decided to make a senator last year. That she, in Everett's words, "hobnobs with Republicans at least as much as she does with her own caucus," is hardly the problem. She started as a socialist, became a Green, then a liberal Democrat, then a conservative Democrat, then the chair of the House Blue Dogs and will soon enough join the GOP and go further right than Marsha Blackburn. "Sinema," wrote Everett, "doesn’t really fit in with her fellow Senate Democrats. Don’t even ask her whether she watches the Democratic presidential debates." She's more into physical fitness-- a regular fräulein of the Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen. Her voting record isn't, as Everett claims, "on par with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s." It's worse. Sinema's ProgressivePunch lifetime crucial vote score is much closer to Susan Collins' than to Manchin's:
Joe Manchin (D-WV)- 52.45
Doug Jones (D-AL)- 45.21
Kyrsten Sinema (Freak-AZ)- 34.18
Susan Collins (R-ME)- 24.97
Rand Paul (R-KY)- 13.76
Sinema's support for the fascists that Trump nominated-- like Attorney General William Barr-- "and her lack of zeal for impeachment are part of a political profile drawing blowback from progressives and cheers from the GOP. Yet Sinema is also setting herself up to be a pivotal vote the next time the Democrats are in power. And her radical breed of centrism could be a headache for the party. Take the liberal drive to bust down age-old Senate rules in order to pass Medicare for All or a Green New Deal. Sinema not only opposes getting rid of the 60-vote filibuster threshold for legislation, she wants to restore the supermajority requirement for presidential nominees that has been weakened by both parties." Exactly what Schumer wanted when he selected her as Arizona's senator.
“They will not get my vote on [nuking the filibuster],” Sinema said in her office, outfitted with shiny leather and translucent chairs and boasting a vivid shade of purple that pops from the walls. “In fact, whether I’m in the majority or the minority I would always vote to reinstate the protections for the minority… It is the right thing for the country.

Senate allies

Sinema isn’t actively trying to reshape the party. Though she captured a state that Democrats would love to seize in the 2020 campaign, she’s utterly uninterested in using her perch as senator to do cable TV hits, speak to the Capitol Hill press corps or offer general guidance to Democrats ahead of a crucial election cycle.

Yet her record speaks for itself. She voted for Barr and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and opposed attempts to roll back the Trump administration’s coal deregulation regime earlier this month.

It’s an approach that has the potential to revive the Senate’s moribund middle but has left her something of a mystery to her Democratic colleagues, even fellow moderates.

“Haven’t had a lot of interaction with her. She’s kind of doing her own thing,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), a centrist senator with a more liberal voting record than Sinema’s.

Unlike any of her colleagues, she snubbed sitting Sen. Ed Markey and endorsed Rep. Joe Kennedy, an old House colleague and close friend, in the hotly contested Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary. That earned a rejoinder from Manchin: “I would never do that … made no sense to me at all.”

And she is criticizing senators in both parties for “highly partisan” statements on impeachment and is declining to endorse the House impeachment inquiry: “That’s not my job, that’s not my role.”

For all her distance from the establishment, Sinema also seems to have come to an understanding with Schumer, whom she [fake-]opposed as Democratic leader during her 2018 campaign.

Like every member of the caucus, she gets random calls from Schumer frequently enough that she can easily break into a raspy New York accent while doing a brief impression of the minority leader: “‘Sinema! What’s new?’”

But when push comes to shove on important votes, she has a warning for party honchos: Leave her alone.

“Everyone knows that I am very independent-minded,” she said. “And that it’s not super useful to try and convince me otherwise.”

Sinema isn’t especially close with either Trump or Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (neither has her phone number, she said), but she doesn’t light into them the way most Democrats do. She’s working with McConnell to whip votes for repealing Obamacare’s medical device tax and said the president “certainly” knows who she is.

And observers watching her on the Senate floor during a vote would be forgiven for thinking she’s a Republican, considering her chats with GOP senators like Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.

She spends at least as much time on the Republican side of the chamber as the Democratic half and lists Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as an ally atop the Commerce Committee’s Aviation and Space subcommittee. Cruz returned the favor by declining to lump the Arizona Democrat in with what he sees as an increasingly socialist Democratic Party.

“I said to her one time: Why aren’t you a Republican? … she said: ‘I just couldn’t be,’” Cramer recounted.

Cramer and Sinema came into the House together in 2013, and then arrived in the Senate this year. They are close friends but couldn’t be more different. In fact, there are few like Sinema, the youngest Democrat at 43 who’s trying to figure out how to teach a spin class in the archaic Senate gym and boasts a sense of style that stands out in the tradition-bound Senate.

“I’m sort of a prude and she’s very exotic,” Cramer explained of their contrasting demeanor. “She was very hard on President Obama. So she’s quite feisty.”

There’s one Republican who’s still at arm’s length from Sinema: Martha McSally, whom Sinema defeated in 2018 but was then quickly appointed to fill the seat of the late Sen. John McCain. McSally said that the two “left it all out there on the field during the campaign” and Sinema said their staffs work together.

But after a race in which McSally accused Sinema of saying “It’s OK to commit treason,” and Sinema said McSally was spreading "smears," there’s been no real attempt to put the past behind them.

“There hasn’t been that conversation,” Sinema said flatly.

Sinema isn’t out for revenge, either. She’s currently uncommitted in McSally’s campaign against Democrat Mark Kelly and has no plans to weigh in. She said her constituents “don’t care” about endorsements.

That neutral stance might buy her goodwill with her Republican colleagues, who are in the majority, after all. But it’s another reminder that her moderate stance doesn’t play well with all Democrats. The state Democratic Party put off a censure vote against her this year, but could revive it next year.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a progressive Democrat from Arizona, said Democrats were “a little thrown back” by her vote for Barr and warned her not to forget her state’s increasingly young, diverse voting population as she navigates the tricky politics of being from a swing state.

“She runs her own thing. It worked for her getting elected. In terms of effectiveness, we’ll see,” Grijalva said. “I would be more concerned about not reflecting where the demographics in Arizona are going. And they’re going Democratic and they’re going more progressive.”

Sinema is unmoved and might even see a censure as a badge of honor after McCain received one from the state GOP. Sinema won’t fight the effort and won’t change her positions. And if the censure resolution comes back up next year? “I don’t know. Also, don’t care.”

Sinema’s attempt to be above the political fray is central to her identity and her goal of building relationships with as many colleagues as possible.

Party leaders’ whip counts? Not her problem. Using her platform as senator to regularly promote her views to a national audience? Not interested. Skipping caucus lunches almost everyone else attends? She’ll be there when it matters for Arizona.

And missing votes on the EPA chief for an Ironman race?

“Ironman’s pretty badass. It’s awesome,” she responded when asked if she got any criticism for skipping town for New Zealand just two months into her term.

Less awesome, in her view, is the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. And with her party fixated on beating both McSally and Trump in Arizona, Sinema’s endorsement or even guidance for candidates about how to win there could be key.

But that’s not something she’s interested in, either. She even said it’s “premature” to commit to supporting her own party’s nominee at this point and indicated it could be months before she tunes into a debate.

“Eventually it would be wonderful to have a candidate that shares the values of the majority of Americans,” Sinema said cryptically. “Let’s winnow the field below like, 20 or something, and then maybe it gets easier. Like, when it’s enough for two basketball teams, it’s too much.”
When Kevin Cramer distanced himself from her by saying "I’m sort of a prude and she’s very exotic," he meant she's a lascivious, licentious bisexual. One of her former colleagues in the House, a happily married man who told me she tried seducing him several times, finds her "the strangest member of Congress... a duck out of water... It makes as much sense that she's in the Senate as it does that Trump is in the White House."

Orlando progressive Democrat Alan Grayson also used to serve with Sinema in the House. Yesterday, during a discussion of the Politico article, he told me that "There are a lot of observers who see 'unprincipled' and think 'independent,' or they see 'betrayal' and they think 'moderate.'  No matter how long such 'independent moderates' are in office, the only thing they can ever look back on is being elected. They can’t answer the question, 'what have you done for The People?'"

She used to serve on the same board as I did-- before she was elected to Congress. After a short time I realized she was insane and soon after I realized she was dangerously insane. I always made sure to sit outside of her line of vision... just in case she was carrying a pistol in her handbag and decided to go postal. I'm not joking.

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At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

That's why Bernie or Elizabeth need to win the nomination instead of Joe Biden. We need a clean new deal, not a false return to...what exactly? If either of them get the nomination and actually beat Trump in the general election, the coattails should be quite long and bring in some GOOD people, rather than the nutcases like Sinema.

This is definitely the election of our lifetimes, and even the most important election in over two hundred years of the democratic republic.

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the desire to inflict violence on Republicans for I suffer from that affliction myself. I advocate against doing that, however. Too many MAGAts think they are about to fight the Second American Civil War and would see such talk as justification for their insane terrors.

Think of how little it took for WWI to break out considering every nation which participated was armed to the teeth and looking for an excuse to get it on. The US is at that same point. It won't take much to get it started.

The wild card (I refuse to use that other term because of the loaded connotation) right now is the US Military. I watch for indication of where they stand. Will they defend the nation from domestic enemies? Or will they break the law as the occupier of the Oval Office is ordering them to do to prepare to wage war on the US population?

If the former, it's going to be ugly. If the latter, this nation is done.

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@11:55 am

second civil war is pretty much inevitable. 2040-2050, when the white population is a plurality and vote suppression either [1] stops working or [2] is so obvious and enraging that riots break out across the country. of course, the military has substantial numbers of blacks and hispanics, so expect general chaos to reign when they're all called out to pacify the general population. the only genuine plus to being an oldster? I'll be dead while all this shit's going down. good luck, motherfuckers.

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In your Nazi analogy, not an analogy any more, the gingrichs are the german Nazis while the democrap party are the dutch collaborators.

Hanna killed both. As she should have.

America is lousy with pussies who still think the dutch Nazi collaborators are going to be fixed from within and who just want to "see what happens".

The only ones willing to do actual violence are the german nazis' voters.

Hone, one definition of a shithole at the end of life is that EVERY election is "the election of our lifetimes". Every one since at least 2008 in this shithole has been called that, mostly by the morons who still think the dutch collaborators will get fixed.

11:55, the nation is already done. I kind of saw that in November of 2008 after fascists and a lot of democrats elected an avowed fascist running on a platform of F-in-basic-math and fear of Russia. It is affirmed every 2 years since when idiot voters on both sides keep electing the same fucking thing over and over and over and...

What was it JFK said? "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

In this case, it is American voters who make peaceful revolution (Bernie's definition) impossible.

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like the press tries to push the narrative that Bernie is all things but good w/ no support, so it seems that they also try to push the narrative that Trump has a blind civil war crazed following (Trump even said we have all the guns). But, please do not believe the Promoters in `Chief's hype for top down control, because when the gloves came off and it was the real world he wandered into, something as American as a World Series game (where the Nationals owners didn't even want to share a box with him), well the united boo'd together & they also mocked together as the crowd went wild in a chant off "Lock him Up!". Buy me some peanuts & cracker jacks..

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@4:01 pm

I remain stumped by what your plan might be, other than your continuing to derive massive amounts of pleasure from calling US voters (and anyone who disagrees with you) stupid whenever possible. Bernie gets elected and... what follows? Hell, you're the guy who was just saying Libs are dumb to expect Sanders to single-handedly save the party. Now all of a sudden you're a Bernie guy? Two months ago you were talking about his decision to support Hillary's 2016 campaign being proof of his phoniness. I call bullshit.

All of a sudden you can't stop calling Republicans "Nazis". You weren't doing that a couple of months ago either.

You talk about the general foolishness of people expecting the Democratic Party to do anything worth a damn while never once addressing the majority of whites in the US who oppose Socialism (and policies that smack of it) because they see it as a threat to their race-based system of privilege (Oh, we can pretend that Venezuela or Cuba or wherever is what they're worried about, but if we're being honest we know that's bullshit). The reason Democrats have gradually slipped into what you call Fascism is this: you can't sell egalitarian-style politics to a country with a white majority fundamentally opposed to egalitarianism, so you may as well ally yourself with corporations, then get in office and at least govern with some degree of decency (and competence) within the constraints that are set up (by angry white voters trained over the years to see government as "the enemy", along with Republican extremists who make sure that tax cuts are about the only thing government can accomplish) to prevent "activist" government from working as a positive force in people's lives. For a guy who affects such a world-weary tone of sophisticated defeatism (even if it is a bullshit gateway into your whole "DON'T VOTE FOR DEMOCRAPS" routine), your analysis remains wholly lacking in nuance. What's worse is your insistence, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that electing wimpy Fascists is JUST AS BAD as electing crazy Nazis. This is patently insane. You can reject Obama all you want (I didn't vote for him either), but equating his moderate, old-school Republican and (extremely) corporate-friendly governance with anything we've seen from the current edition of the Republican Party is bananas. If you're offended by what you see as a bogus holding pattern and the lack of real choices, that's fine (those things irk me as well). But I fail to see how NOT voting for Democrats gets us anything other than Republicans running things. No election is going be invalidated because too few qualified voters show up on election day. A Presidential election decided by 1/6 of the electorate showing up to vote is not going to lead us to a revolution.

@10:09 pm

Yeah, he got booed at a stadium. But 60 million Americans voted for Trump. Never forget that. Don't make the old "No one I know voted for him" mistake. Regardless how unpopular he is, we're stuck with the Electoral College, a MASSIVE vote suppression regime, and 60 million white people terrified by the prospect of becoming a minority in this country.

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:30, some substance. well done.

we pretty much agree. voters don't want what would be best for them.
women and blacks seem to like biden? the young like Bernie and Elizabeth. But nobody much realizes that the fix is in and that fix is because of the money.
boil that down to one word... what word would that be? genius?

And, yes, when your wife vows fidelity (over and over) and then cheats on you with the lowest possible human being, I take that as disqualifying to ever forgive.
That said, Bernie's talk *IS* very compelling, taken in a vacuum.

But this ain't a vacuum. We have a plenum of the democrap party and corruption and everything anti-Bernie. Bernie MAY be sincere, but not sincere enough to have gone independent. He swore fealty to the democrap party and will abide by their rigged result next summer.

Taking the plenum with Bernie's rhetoric, he cannot possibly *DO* anything.

So anyone who really wants BETTER won't be getting it with Bernie. Best case is he is another "hope and change" fascist holding pattern. Worst case is that will create even a deeper vacuum than 2016 due to being eviscerated as a "socialist" -- and when things continue to decay, everyone to come that espouses socialist constraints on capitalism as a remedy to fascism will be tarred by association... you know, because voters are dumber than shit.

And then worse than trump will fill the void.

if that is your goal, by all means...


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