I’m against tyranny. This is a popular political position. Americans pride ourselves on defending liberty from the machinations of malevolent power all over the world. It is our heritage, beginning with the Boston Tea Party, to demand that government be held accountable to the governed. Our ancestors answered the call of resolute and courageous leaders to fight the tyranny of their own government, and won. There were many, especially among the ruling class, who sided with the tyrant, did his bidding, and betrayed their fellow human beings for personal gain. Ultimately, they lost, despite all their money, connections, and cunning deceptions. This demonstrated one of the axioms on which America is founded, that the right of self-governance is a fundamental and inalterable component of human existence.
Hypothetically, let’s say you lost the Nevada primary because of your failed efforts to suppress the vote in 2008. Specifically, you attempted to suppress the vote of a particularly powerful union, the Culinary Workers Union, namely women, minorities, and working people, who caucus on Saturday, on their lunch break, on the Vegas strip, because their jobs do not allow them to go to the polls when everyone else does. Let’s say this union chose to endorse the other fellow, and you filed a lawsuit that amounted to disenfranchisement of their entire population and denial of the validity of their way of life. Let’s say the lawsuit was so abysmally unpopular that you had to politically and personally distance yourself from it, and force a smile when all the Nevada delegates ultimately voted for the other fellow. Continue reading
Dear Ta-Nehisi Coates: Senator Bernie Sanders is an honest man.
If you ask him a direct question, he will answer. If he doesn’t know, he will admit that he doesn’t know. He will tell you he wants to raise taxes. He will tell you he does not want to fight a war in the middle east. These are things other politicians will never admit, even if they are true, because in modern American political culture, the prevailing wisdom is that it is better to lie to the voters and win under false pretenses than to speak an unpopular truth and lose. Continue reading
Hillary Clinton on Sunday announced her plan for infrastructure spending—a “down payment on our future,” she said—and it comes with a hefty price tag: $275 billion.
At a campaign event in Boston, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination called for an increase in federal infrastructure spending over five years and the establishment of an infrastructure bank—two proposals that she says will create jobs and repair the U.S.’s crumbling highways and bridges.
Just $275 billion? That’s only $55 billion annually. That’s not enough to address the ailments of the nation’s roads and bridges — let alone everything else. The Federal Highway Administration argues $170 billion is needed each year to address safety issues and performance. Federal, state, and local investment, the American Society of Civil Engineers says, amounts to only $91 billion each year. Meanwhile, bad roads cost Americans more than $100 billion annually in wasted time and fuel.
Tonight’s debate among Republican presidential candidates is a benchmark in the 2016 race for the White House, but how helpful will it be for voters who want to make educated and informed decisions when they cast their ballots?
The 2016 election is more than a year away – a virtual eternity in politics, so the landscape may look much different when the campaign heats up and the general public begins paying attention.
Those who do choose to watch tonight’s debate are unlikely to learn substantial information about the candidates and their agendas. With 10 candidates on stage for two hours and with time needed for the panelists to ask questions, each presidential hopeful will be lucky to get 10 minutes of airtime – hardly ample to make a convincing case for the Oval Office.
But even if the debate is light on substance and policy, it may very well provide some early clues to how the race will unfold. Here are five questions that tonight’s event may answer:
1. What tone will Donald Trump take with his opponents? Continue reading
If we knew some damaging or negative news was likely to break on a given day, we would plan our own announcement and hope it would big enough to divert attention from – or “big foot” – whatever announcement was likely to -play poorly with the press and the public.
Given the convenience of the Internet and social networks, the process of “big footing” is even stronger today, and sometimes it takes place without a push from a PR or communications pro.
People keep telling me I have to be realistic. But step one of being a realist is acknowledging reality.
I have been pretty vocal in my criticism of Barack Obama over the past seven years. I have reamed the modern day Vichy Democratic party every chance I have gotten. I have stomped on Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the architects of the “new” GOP Lite Dems and lately I have made clear that I can’t imagine a scenario whereby I would vote for Hillary Clinton. I’m tired, I have said, of voting for lesser evils, of voting for people who at best are playing not to win but to lose by less and at worst are just playing for themselves.
As reported from the actual left
Hill just loves her some big money in politics. And the party machinery that spent years on end crying foul about it before? Suddenly they just loves ’em some big money in politics.
I think Hill should just stick with a snappy one-liner that’s served her well so far.
“What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”
Sanders’ presidential campaign needs to detail specific measures to bend a corrupt, self-centered Congress into effective action on his agenda
Bernie Sanders, he who regularly tilts at NSA windmills and shouts at the hot air emitted by billionaires, says he’s running for president. In his 10-minute announcement, he displayed the media acumen of an irritated porcupine — prickly and impatient. He didn’t even have red, white, and blue balloons soaring patriotically into the sky.
No matter. The liberals and progressives disenchanted with all-but-nominated Hillary have gleefully fled to their new standard bearer. Trouble is, what’s Bernie’s standard to bear? He announced before crafting a website that clearly articulates what actions he would take to address domestic, economic, foreign, military, wealth inequality, and [insert your beef with Obama and Congress here] issues. The site touts only an apparent promise that something will appear soon — “Coming 5.26.15.” All that’s there now is, according to Bernie’s Facebook page, an email sign-up opp for “an unprecedented grass-roots effort.” The site notes that it’s “Paid for by Bernie 2016 (not the billionaires).”
But no matter. He’s got a strategist: “Tad Devine, one of the Democratic Party’s leading consultants and a former high-level campaign aide to Al Gore, John Kerry, and Michael Dukakis.” (Wait a minute: Didn’t those three guys lose?)
Because you haven’t heard this absolutely everywhere else already
First, the big guns, and from one side of Hillary’s mouth, at that:
Back when she last ran for president, Clinton was vocal about other government officials who use private emails that circumvent automatic government archiving.
“Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps, the secret military tribunals, the secret White House email accounts,” she said at an event in 2007, indirectly indicting the Republican administration. “It’s a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok.”
If you’re a Republican, that is
However, if you happen to be one of the many lefties who regard the Clintons themselves as conservatives (or just amoral opportunists) in liberals’ clothing, the report is something worse than disappointing. It’s vindication. Because the campaign team the Times describes doesn’t sound like one searching for politically viable policies to fit into its populist economic message. Instead, it sounds like the opposite — a team that’s already settled on politically unviable policies and is now searching for ways to convincingly pretend they fit into a populist economic message.
And: Continue reading
If you’ve been following the latest scandal du jour, you already know that Brian Williams has been caught in and called out for a long series of big, fat, juicy lies. The “shot down” lie was one he put on heavy rotation for over a decade, according to Variety:
In multiple retellings over the years, though, the NBC anchor has gone from saying he was “on the ground” when he learned about the RPG threat to suggesting the copter immediately in front of his took the hit to saying his own chopper was battered by both the RPG and AK-47 fire.
Disclosure: I have never been a fan of Hillary Clinton, so I’m just going to wear my bias on my sleeve right here and now. My opinions are my own and are not to be construed as representative of Scholar & Rogues or any other group of civilized people. Am I trolling? You decide.
Policy differences aside, this, almost more than any other reason, is why I simply cannot abide the thought of a President Hillary:
Mistake is a funny thing to call a lie, I think.
If that’s not enough, here’s Chelsea Clinton weaseling her way through a ham-fisted support of that lie.
How is it possible for the two of them to have misremembered the same fictional event?
As a dear friend once pointed out to me, if opportunism alone were sufficient reason to dislike a candidate, I could never vote for anyone. There’s a difference here, in my opinion. “Falling back” on her Southern drawl to pander to a black audience is one thing. But to lie about being under sniper fire should be grotesquely offensive to any member of our armed forces that has actually been under enemy fire, should be repugnant to honorable members of our police forces that risk their lives day in and day out, and should be repudiated in full by any electorate that is sick and tired of being lied to by our “representative” government.
That said, let’s segue to a recent poll by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
By 73% to 18%, respondents oppose U.S. military action in Syria.
Further, in an email I (and a great many others) received from MoveOn.org:
Because this is such a big decision, we asked every MoveOn member to weigh in on whether MoveOn should support or oppose the congressional authorization to use military force in Syria.
The results are in, and they are unequivocal:
73% said MoveOn should oppose the congressional Authorization to Use Military Force in Syria.
Summary: progressives do not support President Obama in his quest to attack Syria.
Why, Hillary Clinton, of course.
Ergo, Hillary Clinton is no progressive.
Ergo, progressives do not vote Hillary in 2016. Progressives need a horse in that race, and she just isn’t it. We desperately need to remember this if she shows her face in the primaries.
What do you think? Speak out, or the crickets win.
So, the Susan Komen Foundation has hired a big-hitter PR firm. And not just any PR firm, either.
Now, Komen is assessing the damage, and it’s using a consulting firm founded by two former Democratic strategists. Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), the firm Komen hired to help determine how badly the crisis hurt its reputation, is founded by former Democratic strategists Mark Penn and Doug Schoen.
The goal here seems obvious. Komen’s recent bout of ballistic podiatry cost it massive amounts of support among people who believe that women’s health shouldn’t be held captive to a reactionary, partisan social conservative agenda. The foundation has accurately understood that this means it needs people from the center and points left in order to thrive. Or, at this point, survive. So they go out and hire … Mark Penn.
Wait, what? Continue reading
“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.” Who said it? Continue reading
“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading
“Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” Who said it? Continue reading
by Shelley Jack
Mamasita! Mamasita! Psst! Psst! Psst!
Taunting, yet playful faces of men passed me by on uneven sidewalks, working diligently to make eye contact. I was lost, again, on a street in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica, walking quickly, head down. Only a few months in to my year-long stay as a business English teacher in the country, the unpredictability of the road and transportation systems continued to challenge even my most adventurous side. When I finally arrived at my destination, three hours into what should have been a 30-minute walk, I sat down and cried one of those long, cleansing cries. I felt dirty from a steady stream of what we North Americans might refer to as aggressive cat-calling or ogling. I was drenched in sweat and tears, and I was painfully conscious of my light skin, blue eyes. Worst of all, I was immersed in a kind of fear that most of my countrywomen never have to face here on the streets of America. Continue reading