Pegging Those Deplorables

Hillary Clinton got it right. Let’s join her and keep it up…for the rest of our lives. Many Donald Trump supporters prove themselves in word and action to be hate mongers. They need to be called out now and regularly. That may eventually get through to them.

With bitter amusement, we see Trump, his surrogates and even the amoral among commentators have been wailing about her demonizing these hard-working loyal Americans with her observation. Instead, she has pointed to the demons and called them by name. That is as right and necessary task.

Yes, she did it. Yes, she should have done it. No, everyone’s feelings and thoughts are not of equal worth. No, bigots shouldn’t get a free ride in the public byways.

I mix rant with some personal experiences in calling out — and affecting — racists. Oh, and I’ll point out the perfection of the Talmud on this.

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Divert Political Anger With All-Dem DC

Independents and self-described Conservatives are pissed. Number one is Congress does nothing. That’s hard to argue with but easy to fix.

Let’s consider for a moment the odious Donald Trump’s “What do you have to lose?” That’s jive from the con artist. Yet that question haunts.

If all the angry voters, or even most of them, get real on November 8th, the fix is before them. Elect a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic Senate. Then watch and wonder. The obstructionism we all despise will vanish. The do-nothing Congress will become a do-it-all legislature.

Four or eight years of a healthier, richer, more righteous America await.

Each and all of us tend to love our memes and clichés, even the most irrational and unsupported ones. Beware those who orate and proclaim of their statements, “It’s only common sense.” Nearly always that means, “I got nothing here. Just don’t question or challenge me.”

I grew up hearing what I still do about U.S. civics. A recurring theme is that you need to divide government to keep it in check. At its worst, as i the past eight years, we have seen check become checkmate. The do-nothing Congress, both GOP-led houses, dragged our economic recovery, stymied expanded health care and on and on.

The “common sense” types pretend that Dems are monolithic and wildly leftists, instead of the wishy-washy moderates nearly all are. The likes of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are two lighthouses in an unmoving sea of blah.

Electing a Dec-controlled Senate and ideally matching it was a Dem House could mean only what they right wingers and angry voters of all stripe have screamed for — a Congress that accomplishes the necessary, passes legislation and moves America forward.

Liberal/Conservative SCOTUS leanings and votes here.

One of many economists’ papers showing how much better the U.S. economy does with a Democratic POTUS. Reasons are debatable; results are not.

icon for podpress  All-Dem DC: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Transportation Equity Podcast

Just imagine what 58 transportation-oriented private and governmental groups could think of and accomplish together. Don’t imagine. Go to Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA.org) and see. Start with the last year’s legislative recap here.

Josh Ostroff, interim director, spoke today on the aims and needs. We are two transit geeks, who love everything from trains to bikes (and tolerate cars as needed). Among our fast-talking topics were:

  • transportation equity, getting everyone including the poor from where they live to where they work or want to play quickly, safely and affordably
  • maintaining roads, bridges and rails
  • planning, building and repairing for multi-modal transit
  • transit for the “unrich’ who don’t have choices for work, education, and just getting around

Regular readers and listeners know I’m big on transit. I expect more shows with principals of T4MA. Meanwhile, look through the site for what fits your interest. Consider the T4MA half day conference Fast Forward to saturate yourself in the subject.

icon for podpress  T4MA Transit Equity [30:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Four Questions for MA Voters

bwak

MA, thanks to the legislative gods, is not at the head of ballot initiatives. That onerous crown still belongs to CA. There, virtually any crackpot with a loony fetish can get it on the statewide ballot, given enough petition signatures. Here at least, all proposals go through that process, then a stringent screen by the Attorney General for legal stuff like constitutionality, and then legislative action in one or two sessions.

For fun, look at the AG’s filings here and Ballotopedia’s who-made-the-cut table.

Eventually the laggard Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office will mail a booklet to registered voters listing the details of the four questions on November’s sheet. I’m a warden at a Boston polling place and I suspect that 90% or more of voters won’t read the booklet and arrive ignorant.

Pity, there are some goodies that made the cut. I deal with:

Q1: Expanding slot machine gaming.

Q2: Charter School Expansion.

Q3: Conditions for farm animals.

Q4: Legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana.

I give an example or two of what didn’t make the ballot and why.

If you’re like most of my precinct’s voters what you want is the word. I can’t say on election day, but my call, just for you, is N, N, Y and Y.

icon for podpress  2016 MA Ballot Questions [29:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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MA Ballot Questions and Public Transit Shows Coming

The next two Tuesday shows have disparate topics:

  • TU 8/23, I’ll cover the four, likewise disparate, Massachusetts ballot questions for November 8th.
  • TU 8/23, the interim director of Transportation for MA (a huge coalition of public interest groups) joins me to discuss how to get everyone from home to work and back at a reasonable price on a reasonable schedule, safely.

If you want to listen live or chime, click here at 2:30 PM Eastern on 8/23 for the ballot questions. Likewise, if transit equity is real to you, click here at 1:30 PM Eastern on 8/30 or the T4MA show.

As always, the shows are available afterward back here, at the show URL or on our iTunes page.

 

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Bernie vs. Hillary — Family Tale Podcast

HillhugWho said, “A house divided against itself cannot have a peaceful dinner?” No one. Then, how about, Proverbs 17:1 — “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.”

My family did not quite rise to disowning and blows, but we were riven. Mot were strongly Bernie Sanders supporters versus one very strong Hillary Clinton proponent.

I talked about our difficulties as a microcosm of the leftist struggle this election. No family members were hospitalized in this house.

I mused on the likelihood of Sanders-to-Clinton voting, both for us and for the nation. Even with young voters heavily favoring Sanders, he did not mobilize them or add new ones as well as Barack Obama in ’08. The phrase of note for November 8th will surely be GOTV.

icon for podpress  Dems Butting Heads — Family Tale [19:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Bernie’s Sauce Stirring the Pot

My neck is way elongated for a big Hillary bump following the Dem convention. Honestly, the contrast between the parties could not be clearer. Hateful elephants and helpful donkeys. Pick ’em.

Today, I figured that Bernie Sanders did in fact do his do for Hillary at the convention. Lame, faddish commentators claim the hall rolled with unending boos when he endorsed her. Not so. There was a smattering and it seemed to reflect current Pew polling that 90% of the forever-Bernie folk plan to vote or Clinton.

A series of strong endorsements last night made the case. As a Sanders supporter, I am one of the disappointed. The FLOTUS gave a remarkable speech for Clinton, as did Sen. Al Franken.

Bernie did a 29-minute setup with conclusion for Hillary. If you have not heard it, do so now here. Also, catch Sarah Silverman’s six-minute and followup piece really was a or the highlight of the evening. Catch that here. The punchline is when she ad libbed to the only-Bernie types, “You’re being ridiculous!”

I’m calling a big bump for Clinton.

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Smell No Scat, Trump Believers

Sure, we can find it easy to disdain Donald Trump. He is often obnoxious and antisocial. He lies incessantly and cheats non-stop. He claims to be a great businessman, but leaves a wide wake of bankruptcies and other failures, “winning” only because of sneaky contracts that guarantee him income when partners and suppliers eat the losses.

Yet, and  a huge yet, maybe 40% or more of Americans who say they’ll vote in November are willing to go for him. While 40% to 49% for the candidate of one of the two major parties is common, Trump’s case is odd. The stench that should surround him with his history does not for his fans, who seem neither to see nor smell the scat.

Rereading a sociological classic, the main reason for that popped out. Eric Hoffer described Trump followers accurately and in detail in The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. I looked up from the book to catch coverage of the Republican convention. The speakers and audience were dominated with irrational, emotional, even rabid chants and exclamations to jail or hang Hillary Clinton. The extra-judicial, even lynch mob fervor was it.

I talk a bit of how Trump transcended candidacy with mass movement. His people to a large extent are as Hoffer had it willing to subsume their thoughts and lives to a larger collective. They feel they are not in control of their lives and are convinced the existing power structure won’t fix that.

icon for podpress  Smell No Scat [15:59m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Mass Murder Tipping Points

About a third the way in, a caller interrupted my gun portion of the rant. He was a a registered firearms dealer, and coincidentally Black. He opposes any additional gun laws or regulations. He was of the it’s-not-the-specific-gun side. We each got out our views. I’m glad he called.

Otherwise, I asked whether the Dallas deaths of five police officers by sniper would be a tipping point. Sandy Hook, to many of our surprise, was not. Will Dallas be? Will the many deaths of young Black men this year and last be?

I hold that we need both legal and cultural shifts. Obviously to me the cultural part is much harder. Take policing. Cops are no better than other professionals at prosecuting or judging their peers’ actions. No matter how plain the audio, video and witness testimony, cops almost invariably skate away from what the rest of the world sees as murder.

Likewise, with guns, they should be tools not toys. No what politicians now term common-sense restrictions should be a problem, but they are. Will the assassination of five officers in Dallas be a tipping point for legislation?

 

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Giving Hillary Hell

No secrets from me. You can hear my opinion on the no-criminal-charges for Hillary FBI report below. The punchline is I say she’ll end up with a slight bump in voter support (a.k.a. polls) when things settle.

Contrast that view with the big media chorus of doom for her. Every bozo from those on FoxNews to NBC and on creak and croak that the exoneration means the opposite — that she’ll be weighed down by this burden to the November election. (Insert The Game of Thrones scene here and chant, “Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.”

As my mother used to say when she was disgusted with dummies, “For crying out loud in a bucket!” We can supposed the talking heads got together like middle-school kids to decide what color to wear that day.

I was amazed to turn on a local NPR station while I made dinner and heard the same. I like to delude myself that they folk tend to have more sense than the herd.

I did see a savvy recap of what’s up in a pollwatcher Daily Kos diary HCR Is Getting Gor’ed By An Incompetent Media. Spot on. We can also be sure when it’s clear they were wrong on this, they won’t apologize and ‘fess up anymore than right wingers would.

It’s enough to make me think for myself.

 

 

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