Draining the tub

Here is an interesting defector: Paul Wehner is notable because he’s an old white guy and has served in three Republican administrations. But in one fell swoop he’s breaking ranks, both with evangelicals and Republicans.

He may over-romanticize evangelicals of the past, but I think he’s certainly correct to cite a friend of his who says, “the term [“evangelical”] is now so stained as to ruin my ability to be what evangelicalism was supposed to be.” For sure, dude, and this is how I felt, a decade ago, when I defected.
republican

Read more

Of the world but not in the world

A college friend, Dave Lester, posted a few thoughts on secular humanism. Dave is sort of a post-evangelical, of sorts. He still considers himself an evangelical but unlike most evangelicals, Dave remains truly engaged, both intellectually and emotionally, with “the world.”

I post a good bit about evangelical Christians. I’d rather not, but I do. I do it because evangelicals are some of the real movers and shakers within Cult Trump and are more or less responsible for this den of thieves that is otherwise known as the Republican Party. (And of course, I’m a former evangelical m’self.) You can ignore them, but evangelicals are the engine driving the Trump Train forward, pushing the United States toward the edge of the cliff. Read more

A trillion in debt? #thankscapitalism

Armed with a massive bill that no one took the time to read — a bill filled with last minute scrawls and scribbles in the margins and with pages crossed out with a ball point pen — Republicans passed a tax bill that will put us at least a trillion dollars in debt. Woohoo! #thankscapitalism

Here are 5 quick thoughts: Read more

The sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump – the full list

It’s quite clear that for a large segment of the U.S. population, allegations of sexual misconduct by Donald Trump will not deter their political support. As with anything else, for these people, Trump always gets the final word on what counts as fact and what should be ignored as “fake news.” It’s a danger road, to say the least, the road that leads to totalitarianism; however as many have pointed out, the greater harm is the legitimizing of sexual objectification and the normalizing of toxic masculinity. Trump sexually assaults women, and Trump holds the most powerful political position in the United States.

The Guardian has published a full list of the allegations of sexual assault made against Donald Trump.

This should end well

Here’s one of the headlines in the New York Times today:

wp-1511910098175..jpeg

Even back in the mid 00’s, when I was still sympathetic to conservative politics, even then I could see that it was lack of accountability and lack of regulation that had led to the Great Recession. I didn’t know any conservatives (personally or in the mainstream conservative media), however, who were willing to acknowledge the problem, to take a hard look at reality. So, I got on board with Obama. When Obama failed to punish anyone responsible for crashing the global economy, I joined Occupy Wall Street.  Read more

Don’t forget, we still have a trump card for Trump

I was reading an article just now, from the Guardian, about how Trump is reshaping the judicial branch of the government, in some extreme ways. Travel bans and big tax cuts for the rich get a lot of press coverage, but the judges that Trump is nominating have the potential to remake America for decades after Trump is dead and gone — and all of this is happening under the radar.

Conservatives like Trump and the Republicans are a minority in America, yet they’re full-court press against the will of the people may be impossible to fully undo. The damage inflicted — massive budget deficits, global instability, an American culture of anger and animosity, and a justice system hostile to minorities and civil rights — it all will probably prove too great to fix any time soon…But we still have a trump card for the Trump era: #calexit

Read more

A crisis of confidence

The Democrat Party is divided because of the wounds of 2016. There was Clinton on one side and Bernie on the other. There were some policy differences, yes, but nothing that should have divided us this much, because we have so much in common, especially when you look at the other side, at the threat of Trump and the unhinged right-wing. But you know how these things go: people hold grudges and they can’t move beyond the hurt feelings. The main problem now, is to unify the Party, and maybe with the recent Democrat wins, we can do just that.

I wish that I could say that this were all true. I wish that it were that easy. I wish that the prior paragraph was true. Of all the folks out there who want change, who hope and pray for a better world, I’ll be the first to say that I wish that what we needed politically was to put aside our hurt feelings, unify the party, and move forward — but something so much deeper going on here, and it’s been going on for a long time.

Read more

What’s the future of politics going to look like?

We all know it’s coming. Politics has changed, and we aren’t going back to the old norms. We’re all slowly realizing that the familiar political scene is going to look quite different in the future. What’s it going to look like?

The recent purging of the Democrat Party got me to thinking, and a possible scenario has emerged: the Republican Party virtually collapses, a new leftist party emerges (though it isn’t very political powerful), and moderate Republicans defect forming a new, centrist Democrat Party, a Party that becomes the one major political powerhouse.

I sat down yesterday afternoon to doodle it out. A picture is worth a thousand words, and what not, so in this post I’m doing less writing and more coloring.

Read more

If even the rich don’t seem to want more tax cuts, then what up?

Even the rich don’t want the tax cuts, and I’m not just talking about that good ole, salt-of-the-earth Omaha billionaire Warren Buffet, who has been preaching against tax cuts (and wealth inequaliy) for at least a decade or so. Now other billionaires are “coming out.” Eric Schoenberg is one of them.

“I pay a lower tax rate than you do, which is startling”

“To illustrate this problem, Schoenberg posted portions of his returns online. He wanted to show how much he, a very wealthy person, benefits from our system. He has always benefited from low taxation on his investment income, for instance.” From Meet The New Class Traitors Read more

The Case for Single-Payer

Health care is deeper and wider than most of us probably realize. That came home to me after reading a fantastic article on single-payer healthcare from Jacobin, one of my faves. It’s also a concise and critical review of the Bernie Sanders single-payer plan. Single-payer is shaping up to be the major political game-changer in the coming years. All of the major potential Democratic Presidential candidates have already lined up behind Bernie on single-payer. So, I’m passing this fine article along to my readers.

At the core of the problem is a basic fact: it’s not profitable to insure people who are sick or likely to get sick.

Read more

It’s an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common | The Guardian

The dominant chimp is a pretty good way to think about how Trump rules, one of the better ways, I’d say. Here’s an excerpt from a very well-written article on Trump, written by Dan P McAdams, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University:

“Our expectation that social status can be seized through physical power and threat – that the strongest, biggest and boldest may indeed lord it over the rest of us – is very old, awesomely intuitive, and deeply ingrained. Social psychologists today distinguish between the social dominance form of human leadership, on the one hand, and leadership through prestige on the other. Both are grounded in human evolution, but the prestige form is younger, tracing back a mere million years or so to the time when our hominid ancestors began to form culture…”

Source: It’s an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common | US news | The Guardian

The violence on both sides

The kinds of violence that we are seeing in protests, on campuses and in Charlottesville will likely only continue to escalate. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been worse, frankly, but I’m grateful that we’ve been able to hold it together — but the kinds of violence we are seeing are symptoms of a social sickness, and hence the answer is not to condemn the violence itself, despite how affirming it may feel. President Trump does what he always does: heap as much blame for the violence on liberals and the left as is humanly possible (hence “violence on both sides”). The left justifies itself and condemns fascist violence. But condemning violence completely misses the point of what is happening in our society. Read more

When will evangelical leaders dump Trump?

One of the things that has gotten a lot of press lately is how Evangelical leaders who are a part of Trump’s informal faith advisory council have stuck with their man, even after Trump’s Charlottesville fiasco.

Even after Trump wavered on his condemnation of white supremacy in his recent comments on Charlottesville — indicting “both sides,” as though the left shared just as much blame as neo-NAZI’s — evangelical leaders continue to stand by Trump. Even after a wave of prominent CEOs defected from one of Trump’s advisory groups and even after every last soul resigned from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, prominent evangelical leaders continue to ring out their support, which has come most ardently (and most infamously) from Jerry Falwell, Jr. who took to Twitter to praise Trump in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s Charlottesville speech.

The most obvious question: Why?

Given how at-odds Trump is with the basic tenants of morality and spirituality as taught by Jesus, how can evangelicals remain so steadfast in their support for Trump?

Read more

“Socialism has never worked!”

 

 

I found this at The David Pakman Show, via Facebook, but dude’s got a YouTube channel. The above vid is a good breakdown of the different forms of socialism and what socialist politics looks like in practice. As a socialist, myself, I find that most anti-socialism arguments against socialism are really not arguments at all. They rarely go very far beyond the cliche that “socialism has never worked!” or “socialism fails every time it’s tried!” But within the vast and growing void of capitalism’s economic and spiritual failures, a growing number of Americans are getting educated, especially the young, who are inheriting the worst of capitalism’s abuses, a shit show of social breakdowns and compromised and corrupted social institutions.

Trump’s DOJ gears up for crackdown on marijuana | TheHill

Geez. That’s invasive. Yo, I thought the Republicans were the party of small government! Of individual rights! Let a man own a basement full of guns, but he can’t have a gram of weed? I think Jefferson is not so much rolling over in his grave as thinking, “the fuck, man?!”

But I jest.

Let’s put Republican hypocrisy aside for a moment, because there’s something even more ridiculous to what the debunked Trump administration is doing. This is what the 70-year-old Jeff Sessions (Trump’s Attorney General) says about the marijuana crackdown he’s so anxious to initiate:

“Task Force subcommittees will also undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department’s overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities…” 

“Reducing violent crime”? If you want to reduce violent crime, dude, like, don’t take weed off the market. Alcohol, for example, leads to far more violence than weed, which from my experience only gives you the munchies, a good night’s sleep, and makes you feel slow and stoney…and may more or may not be the solution to writer’s block. 😉

Dear Jeff Sessions,

Dude, like, chill. Try smoking a bowl and watching the Big Lebowski. Then let’s talk about the link between marijuana and violent crime. Maybe we can save a few government bucks and/or use it for something that matters.

 

Source: http://thehill.com/regulation/administration/343218-trumps-doj-gears-up-for-crackdown-on-marijuana