Archive for Protests

Trump’s Cleverness Ruse

Pro Tip: If you are about to say or write something oh so clever, don’t. Delete or erase or forget it. Everyone else will see through it and no one will think you are at all clever.

Alas, POTUS Donald Trump seems too dull-witted to understand his limits. We saw that from the moment he began campaigning. It plunged to a new nadir in the past several days after the Charlottesville white-supremacy riot and murder.

For three days, he alternately whined and brayed. What he did not say until forced to today was what even the bigots in white hoods or red caps spoke freely about to all who’d listen — those dressed up to role play neo-Nazi or camo-soldier were there to insult and physically assault blacks, Jews, Muslims and others.

Instead, he fell back on his weasel words, saying “all sides: and from “many sides” were to blame. How the white-supremacy rioters had any equivalence in the counter protester group befuddled all except for Donny-jo. The bigots with brass knuckles, helmets, cudgels and pepper spray were not the same as protesters chanting for them to stop the hate.

Americans as well as the whole world was watching. What they saw was an indisputable riot by hatemongers, hatemongers who had come padded and armed for violence.

Let us note that miraculously none of those wearing side arms or long guns in this open-carry state murdered anyone by bullet. The irony here is that many protesters would have had clear self-defense arguments had they been armed and protected themselves. Small favors here.

So the candidate who boasted repeatedly that he had “the best words” again does not. He thought his false equivalence of blaming the victims as well as the attackers would fly. He’d say he condemned violence…while continuing to pander to his far-right supporters.

That was not lost on racist supporters like David Duke and the neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer. Several expressed delight that he did not call them out.

So this President believes he is just so clever that he can pull out a word trick here and there, and all will be overwhelmed by his cleverness. The public and press are overwhelmed, but by his cowardice and amorality.

Again, if you think you’re being clever, you almost certainly are not. That goes all the way to the Oval Office.


Political Thanks Podcast

If snide lefties bother you, this is not your podcast. Ryan and Mike chatted up almost entirely political folk, events and trends they are thankful for this season and year.

We didn’t like casinos and slots passing into law. On the other hand or hands, we’re still delighted with the GOP Presidential band of buffoons. We talked up the good competition on the Dem side for U.S. Senate, the Occupy movement and much more. We had a good time.

icon for podpress  Political Thanks Due [29:49m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Eldridge for Disclosure Podcast

Sen. EldridgeOne of our MA legislators who decidedly has our backs is Sen. James (Jamie) Eldridge. He is now fighting at state and national levels to overcome the awful effects of the Citizens United SCOTUS decision.

He joined us to explain why it’s not OK for corporations to be treated like flesh-and-blood human citizens with Constitutional rights. It’s not OK for unlimited money to be used for political advertising with no public disclosure of who’s funding it.

Rather than whine, he is working at both levels to overturn the effects of the ruling. In the commonwealth, he created and is working to pass two bills, detailed here. Among other things, these require that MA chartered corporations reveal such political expenditures in their quarterly reports and that they give two-third shareholder approval for such expenditures above $5,000.

On the national level, he is asking for Congress to pass and send to the states a Constitutional amendment “to correct the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. This resolution would clarify that Freedom of Speech is a right of citizens, not corporations. That bill is currently before the Judiciary committee.” He has begun working with MA’s Congressional delegation to advance this.

Listen in as describes what he’s done so far, where the bills, what the prospects are for both the bills and the amendment, and even what the conflicts are for legislators who would limit contributions that might come their way.

icon for podpress  Sen. Eldridge [32:17m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Flaherty At-Large Race Podcast

Michael Flaherty doesn’t lack enthusiasm, even in an off-year election with no preliminary to whet voter’s interest. In what figures to be an extremely low turnout on Nov. 8th, he’s determined to become at at-large Boston City Councilor yet again. As former body president who quite two years ago to run against the mayor, he’s one of seven in the hunt for an at-large seat, with all four incumbents running for reelection.

Listen in as Flaherty deals with all three co-hosts on many topics. He hits his stump speech points on construction and government jobs going to Boston residents, on city schools being good enough to let residents get into the local great universities, and both citywide and neighborhood crime plans instead of just reacting to violence. He expands on some areas like jobs — wrap-around services for student and year-round job opportunities them, as well as squeezing the many colleges and other non-profits to hire residents for their important positions.

He addressed corruption among local pols. He also went head-on to discuss his relationship with Mayor Tom Menino as well as the Council. He bills himself as not a go along to get along guy, but says there’s nothing personal when he disagrees with Menino or a councilor. It isn’t personal, but about policy he says, adding, “I can work with anyone.” He does believe that competition in good and drives government and politicians to be their best.

Click the player below to hear how he thinks his running for mayor last time brought improvement. He also addresses whether councilors should have four-year instead of two-year terms.

icon for podpress  Michael Flaherty [34:20m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Occupy Boston Podcast

Ryan gave us a ground report from Dewey Square, where Occupy Boston has been protesting and camping. He was there and posted on it in Ryan’s Take.

He also spoke about the police actions in Manhattan and Boston over the long weekend. For more on that, check out the pix and words at UniversalHub.

On the show, we discussed the dichotomy of a city famed for protest speech from colonial times with the mayor and police opposing what most would call peaceful free speech. We also talked about the implications of an amorphous action suddenly taking form and doing it in 100 cities with positions and demands gelling as quickly as it became a true movement.

We didn’t get to the other topic we intended to cover — whether identity politics and zip-code voting in a traditionally monolithic South Boston will hold. We’ll have at-large contenders incumbent Ayanna Pressley and former Council Prez Michael Flaherty on shows before the November 8th election…Insh’Allah. Check back here for the dates and times.

Mike’s piece on South Boston’s role in District 2 and at-large Council races is here.

icon for podpress  Occupy Boston [29:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


‘scansin Scandal Podcast

The Wisconsin union-busting attempt by brinkman Gov. Scott Walker continues to hoist him on his petard. He figured he’d carry his anti-union corporations-instead-of-people crusade further as the new head of state.

Instead, he has riled up most of Wisconsin and much of the nation. While the public-sector unions agreed to his economic demands, he iterates that what he really wants is to strip them of all collective-bargaining rights. Efforts to turn workers and managers in the first state to allow public unions into employees at will has met with fierce resistance and his poll numbers have plunged to tiny figures.

We talked about what this is about. Ryan recommends Rachel Maddow’s take, like here. Walker has also blundered into abject lying territory about public-sector income, which is easily refuted, like here.

We discuss the likelihood of the failure of this union-busting efforts and how it is galvanizing non-union as well as union Americans. We talk about Walker’s befuddled economic policies, past and present. This seems to be yet another overreaching that causes a tumble on the right.

icon for podpress  'scansin Scandal [32:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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‘scansin Scandal

We’ll be kicking the union-busting can up and down the hall for a half hour tomorrow, Wednesday, 2/23, at 2:30 PM Eastern. If you can join us for the live stream, go here then. If not, you can listen or download there or back here at Left Ahead!

It’s an odd day and time, but if you have something to add, use the call-in number during the show — 718-664-6966.

This is a seminal fight that WI Gov. Walker has picked. The extreme right loves the idea of hiding behind fiscal responsibility when the real aim clearly reversing many decades of union rights to collective bargaining. Progressives and even wishy-washy liberals say if you want to balance budgets, start with Wall Street profiteers and the super-rich who have benefited from crazy tax breaks for many years. There’s a piper to be paid, but not by the working and middle classes.

This is quickly shaping up as the great political fight of the time.


One-Day Podcast Bump for Ex-Gay Event

On/Off switchTuesday to Wednesday this week, our podcast will move to accommodate a LGBT protest in downtown Boston. We’ll be on at the usual 2:30 p.m. Eastern covering the ex-gay visitors. You can listen live then here or return to Left Ahead! anytime afterward to play or download the show.

The infamous ex-gay types from Exodus International will train cleric and others at the Park Street Church Tuesday morning until early afternoon. GLBT protesters will demonstrate across the road at the Park Street T station.

See details of the protest here.  Also, find background on the group with a video of how they work here.

There’s lots of room by the T station. Tomorrow promises to be sunny and warm, perfect weather for registering outrage and disapproval.



The New, Devolved Free Speech

Our full house of regulars welcomed Mike Benedetti of Pie and Coffee and Worcester’s WCCA-TV. He attended the entire Larry Cirignano trial and came loaded with insights.

We kicked around the implications of the right-wing activist getting off both civil-rights and assault-and-battery charges, plus what it might mean in Worcester and beyond for protesters of all stripes. Is it possible that what happened in Worcester – a woman beating tossed to the ground by the crowd, who said they had the right to do so because of their permit – is a taste of what’s to come in this new day and age of free speech rights – and the zones we’re allowed to have them in?

We got around to trends in casino gambling proposals here. That’s meaningful in Worcester as well. It is one of three areas that could get a destination resort for gambling/entertainment/partying. Benedetti senses that the Worcester community – and even their relatively conservative mayor – don’t fully trust all the flowery promises coming out of casinos in Massachusetts (nor should they).

Posts of the Week

Mike got fired up by Atrios in Fading Issue. After a tracing of the reasons for and history of impeachment movement for the current President, the conclusion is:

Impeachment faded because Democrats ran from it instead of running on it. There were literally no mainstream voices reflecting what most of the country thought about the issue.

Iraq is strangely similar. A huge majority wants out, and the Villagers to stay in. The disconnect between what the people want and what the Villagers know is what’s best for them is stark, as it was during the great blow job crisis.

Iraq the issue won’t fade, but Iraq the political issue might because the Villagers will do their best to make it fade.

Ryan’s Blog of the Week comes from Blue Mass Group, where editor Bob tackled Jon Keller’s new book, “The Bluest State.” Sadly, Keller’s got himself caught in a case of textbook plagiarism, where he wripped quotes directly from Boston Globe and Herald articles without any attribution, whatsoever – leaving readers with the distinct impression that he did all the leg work. Yeah, right.

icon for podpress  Free Speech and Bullies [56:24m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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