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People. The Republicans have ratcheted up their fear machines, loosed a barrage of fear missiles. The MSM has risen to take the bait. Forget about corporate conspiracy. Fear brings traffic. Fear sells ads. End of story.

Ebloa. ISIS. Black and Brown people. Inner cities. Thugs. Immigration. Border Control. Voter Fraud. Socialism. Baby Killers. Rape Celebrities. Taking Away Your Freedumbs! Guns, guns, guns; they are coming for your guns!

You name it. They've got the meme for it, deadly, effective, base-riling memes that can control the narrative and win elections. And they aren't even guaranteeing any actions. Why? Because they know that voters know that Republicans will be Republicans once they get into office.

What do the Democrats have? The Democratic platform. And, regardless of what the Third Way says to defend lurching Right, the public supports progressive ideals in poll after poll after poll. Even on economics. They want to raise the minimum wage. They know the financial sector is corrupt, unstable. They know they are losing ground. They know the concentration of wealth is not only unfair, it is unhealthy to both society and the economy. They know that for every advance they get, such as ACA, the rich get more. Much more. And they know that over the long term, they're screwed.

Now the leadership knows this, and it will speak to these issues during elections. But, right or wrong, too many voters do not trust that their votes will translate into the kind and degree of changes they need to reverse these trends.

And so 60% or so of registered voters, give or take, will not be voting. And the tried and true GOTV will not be changing that in any materially significant way. Even with all the sophisticated databases. Especially with the October Fear Surprise of the Right Wing and the mainstream corporate media.

We are battling for parity with batshit crazy, not because batshit crazy is popular, as some suggest. Batshit crazy is only popular in a relative sense among the 40% of most active voters. So long as we confine the campaign to 40%, we will struggle for parity with batshit crazy. But among the 100% overall batshit crazy is most definitely not popular. Even among many Republicans. The polls say so.

Forget whether the 60% who currently will not be voting are right or wrong. Of course they are wrong. All that matters is that a) 60% WILL NOT BE VOTING  unless Democrats do something drastic, and b) Democrats need a good slice of the 60% to change the narrative and win elections. Democrats cannot count on their own October Surprise to drop out of the sky. They have to create their own October Surprise.

Democrats have to bring out the big guns, change the narrative, win elections. Now or never. Why the hell not?

Fortunately, we have big guns, too. We have a popular platform. All we need to do is convince and assure people that Democratic representatives will represent once they get into office. Right or wrong, they don't trust Democratic representatives any more than they trust government, the police, Wall St., or any other authorities.

How do Democrats instill trust? Follow below the fold...

Poll

The Party should

10%2 votes
60%12 votes
0%0 votes
20%4 votes
10%2 votes

| 20 votes | Vote | Results

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It's not deflection, IMHO. It's the truth. She was no doubt more calculating in her decision not to answer Chuck "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" Effing Todd's question as to whether or not she voted for Obama. Nevertheless there is an important principle involved and she should use it.

The privacy of a citizen's vote is a core principle in American democracy. I refuse to be a part of trivializing or undermining that concept and setting a precedent for requiring people to disclose and explain their votes, under any circumstances. Shaming people on this basis is inappropriate and, for a reporter, unprofessional. I stand by my decision on principle.


(Especially for Chuck Effing Todd.)
I think this an over-arching issue that really precludes the debate over whether or not she should be true to her affiliation with the Democratic Party and Obama, which, in general, I believe she should.

Publicly revealing your vote, simply because a reporter asked? Absolutely not. At least not in my view.

Poll

Grimes should

26%32 votes
6%8 votes
55%68 votes
0%0 votes
11%14 votes

| 122 votes | Vote | Results

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And here's something to grease the skids! Carrots! A Bushel of Carrots!! Guaranteed!!!

Call it our October Surprise Bonanza!

Here you go! You vote us into the majority in both chambers and we will

Raise the minimum wage to $15 over three years!
Pass Equal Pay!
Pass Immigration Reform, with a path to citizenship!
Ensure student loans are available at the rate the Fed gives banks +.5%
Allow students to convert existing loans to that rate!
Forgive students loans for people 65 or older!
De-criminalize marijuana!
Lift the cap on Social Security, increase benefits 10% for those earning less than $40K!
Ban foreclosures on those who are less than three payments behind!
Commit $50B to provide modest but meaningful foreclosure reparations to those who were foreclosed for being less than 1.5 payments behind!
Buffet Rule!
.5% transaction tax, fund $280B jobs program, 50% Green Jobs, 20% Jobs for Young Adults (21-29), 10% Jobs for Seniors (55 and up!), 20% unrestricted!!!
Pass X, Y, Z improvements to ObamaCare.
Pass Voter Protection Reforms!
Block Corporate Inversions
Incent re-patriation of jobs
Penalize outsourcing of jobs
Eliminate Foreign Tax Shelters after 1-yr amnesty with 10% repatriation cost. Thereafter, 100% and jail time. Enforced.
Guarantee NET NEUTRALITY
Police de-militarization!
Intelligence/Surveillance reforms!
Forfeiture Law Reform!
See how easy this is?
Boost CDC Funding by $3B, a 50% increase.
Increased veteran's benefits, funding for vets services!
More protections for Planned Parenthood, women's reproductive rights!
Boost non-CDC NIH by $3B, a 10% increase.
Etc.
Seriously people.

On second thought, scrap that.

Here's a cattle prod and a paddle. Zap 'em and whack 'em. Some of 'em will make it to the polls. Hey, sorry, it's all we got. We're bought and paid for, can't give the people what they want.

Discuss

Sat Oct 11, 2014 at 05:14 PM PDT

A Worse Turnout Nightmare?

by Words In Action

Well, The Hill is reporting that concerns with turnout are finally dawning in the minds of the Party establishment. Just like the waning weeks of 2010.

Brilliant.

A Gallup poll last week found that voters are less engaged in this year's midterms than they were in 2010 and 2006. Only 33 percent of respondents said they were giving at least “some” thought to the upcoming midterms, compared to 46 percent in 2010 and 42 percent in 2006. Even more troubling for Democrats, Republicans held a 12-point advantage  when those paying “some” attention were broken down by party.
Who could have foreseen? What could possibly have been done? Aren't voters satisfied with our Democratic leaders? Aren't they sufficiently afraid of Republicans? What's wrong with THEM??!!

Because 2010 didn't answer these questions. Not for the establishment. 2010 was simply the way mid-terms go. Blame the voters. Which is why nothing more could be done this year, either. Nothing. No sir.

And it was all completely avoidable by simply recognizing the situation for what it obviously is: one in which the Party struggles to compete with bat-shit crazy. The establishment could instead have developed a sufficiently compelling offering of red meat legislation to serve a variety of constituencies suffering from long-term neglect and experiencing understandable hopelessness, and then wrapped it up in a bow and guaranteed the legislation upon gaining control of both chambers. Provide motivation on THEIR TERMS, not the establishment's, and recognize THAT VOTERS HAVE LITTLE FAITH IN GOVERNMENT AND NO TRUST IN WORDS WITH NO GUARANTEE.

We will all pay for the corruption of the establishment--the real reason they cannot make and fulfill such a contract--and the blind faith and tone deafness of its supporters, willing to let the whole damn GOTV effort rest on paddles and cattle prods.

Every last living thing on the planet will pay.

Discuss

History tells us we can expect 38-40% turnout for the upcoming mid-term election. For both parties combined. That accounts for all the GOTV efforts we can reasonably expect. It does not necessarily account for ever-increasing voter suppression, founded firmly upon two rounds of the most egregious gerrymandering imaginable.

I see nothing on the horizon to alter the coming results. All the horserace tracking is focused on what is mostly predictable. No doubt there will be a few upsets, but basically everyone sees the Senate balance being a nailbiter and the Congress firmly in the grasp of the Republicans.

No one is proposing anything to radically upset expected outcomes, which are all based on traditional approaches to elections.

Poll

A Contract for Democracy would radically increase voter turnout

20%10 votes
24%12 votes
51%25 votes
4%2 votes

| 49 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:14 AM PDT

Chuck Todd MSMsplains A Poll

by Words In Action

So NBC has this poll that indicates 54% of Americans think President Obama is "unable to lead this country." Forget historical analysis, e.g., the Bush administration polling lows, you know, context, Chuck Todd says:

"This poll is a disaster for the president...essentially the public is saying, 'your presidency is over.'"
So I wonder what Chuck Todd thinks about the FACT that 99% of Americans not watching him truly means that Americans deem him "unfit to report the news?"
Poll

Will Chuck Todd and the MSM ever realize that they have a fraction of the national mindshare

17%18 votes
5%6 votes
0%1 votes
1%2 votes
1%2 votes
2%3 votes
14%15 votes
50%53 votes
3%4 votes

| 105 votes | Vote | Results

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Actually, I read about this in a fb post from OurTime.Org. I searched here, no news from this week that I could find. Maybe I missed it? Ditto for HuffPo. So I googled it and found "Bennet, Tester Introduce Bill to Ban Members of Congress from Becoming Lobbyists, Close Revolving Door," posted on Bennet's Senate page. I'm assuming he won't mind me posting his announcement in full, below the GOS pastry.

Poll

Should the President and every Democratic incumbent and candidate sign a pledge to pass this Bill when we get majorities in both chambers of Congress?

83%213 votes
15%39 votes
0%1 votes
1%3 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 256 votes | Vote | Results

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Following on the heels of his March To End Corruption, Lawrence Lessig, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and political activist with a bullet, recently kicked off the Mayday PAC (AKA May One). The Mayday PAC launched as an experiment to create "…a citizens' funded and crowdsourced superPAC — to end all superPACs."

The Mayday PAC/May One website pitch goes: "Help U.S. kickstart fundamental reform, by reducing the influence of money in politics."

Government has failed us. More than 90% of Americans link that failure to the influence of money in politics.

Yet the politicians ignore this influence. While America founders, they spend endless time with their funders.

These funders hold our democracy hostage. We want to pay the ransom, and get it back.

We're going to kickstart a SuperPAC big enough to make it possible to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016.

Or at least we're going to try.

Well, they came, they tried, they did.

With 18 days remaining in their first fundraising month, they have achieved and surpassed their $1M initial target. As I write at 7:45 PM EST, the PAC is now 101% funded at $1,015,249!! And growing.

UPDATE: 9:22 - $1,018,074!!

So the new call is to Keep It Going! Spread The Word!

Continue Reading

If You Don't Like Money in Politics there are a few things going on you may want to know about. And you may want to get involved along with me and hundreds of thousands of others.

May One PAC -- Lawrence Lessig -- "Help U.S. kickstart fundamental reform, by reducing the influence of money in politics... "…a citizens' funded and crowdsourced superPAC — to end all superPACs."

Government has failed us. More than 90% of Americans link that failure to the influence of money in politics.

Yet the politicians ignore this influence. While America founders, they spend endless time with their funders.

These funders hold our democracy hostage. We want to pay the ransom, and get it back.

We're going to kickstart a SuperPAC big enough to make it possible to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016.

Or at least we're going to try.

May One has already raised OVER $900K toward its initial goal of raising $1M by the end of the month. How cool is that?

March for Democracy, 99Rise, 5/17-6/22, LA to Sacramento -- demand that CA legislature call for an Article V Convention to produce a get-money-out-of-politics political equality Constitutional Amendment.

The voices of the 99% don’t matter now: as long as this is true, our needs won’t count and real change won’t come. From the nationwide "march against corruption" protest (Lawrence Lessig), to the statewide New Hampshire Rebellion, to civil disobedience in the chamber of the Supreme Court itself (Kai Newkirk, 99Rise) -- more and more Americans are stepping-up to the plate for democracy everyday.
Dolores Heurta will be in the contingent when March for Democracy arrives in Sacramento. Lawrence Lessig & Rootstrikers, Noam Chomsky,  Wolf PAC (below) and many others have endorsed the March.

Shockwave, some other kossacks and I are involved in organizing and marching in this action. There are a lot of ways you, too can participate. More on that in a bit.


Wolf PAC -- Cenk Uygur -- Organizing to petition states to call for a an Article V Convention to end corporate personhood and publicly finance all elections in our country. Here's the plan.

Near the turn of the 20th century the states wanted a direct election of senators, and Nebraska was the first state to call for an Article V. Convention in 1893.  By 1913 the movement had come within one state of reaching the necessary 2/3 threshold that would force a convention.  When it became clear to Congress that the 17th Amendment was going to happen one way or another they decided to preempt a convention  by passing it themselves.  The threat of a convention is the strongest message we can send and the most effective way to restore our democracy in the United States.  This can and must be done in a far shorter time period then it took for the 17th Amendment, then again, they didn't have the power of the internet and other technology we will be using in this battle.
Quite simply, you can sign the petition (72K) and get involved in organizing in your state, unless of course it is deep red...

Wolf PAC on fb.

Continue Reading

I don't think this qualifies as a diary so much as a heads up on some more atrocious behavior in TX and on the interwebs with an opportunity for you to help set the record straight.

I saw this story on Daily Caller: Texas Parents Balk When Transgender Teacher Shows Up To Teach Their Fifth Grade.

The article was actually more even-toned than I would have anticipated, but many of the comments are atrocious. I felt compelled to chime in. Et vous?

A substitute teacher in Lumberton, Texas is claiming that officials at a middle school fired her after parents expressed concerns that a transgender substitute teacher is less than ideal for a fifth-grade classroom.

...

The basic complaint parents have is that they don’t want a transgender sub  around their 10- and 11-year-old kids because the kids could be confused.

A bright spot was reported:
“I’m more concerned about straight predatory teachers rather than I am someone who lives an alternative private alternate lifestyle,” Jammie Marcantel, another fifth-grade parent, told KFDM.
HELLO!

Some comments:

Back into the closet please!
I am so tired of being polite, so _uck you! Close the closet door behind you!
Tolerating this person and trusting him/her are two different things.
School is tough enough for some without a confused wanna-be-other-than-I-am person standing before them. Students need to be taught the rules, the rules of logic, mathematics, the rules of grammar and punctuation, rules of right and wrong. Not the exceptions. Good for the folks. I'd go a bit further with a school that employes such as the likes of… of… him.
A minute of your time to pitch in?

UPDATE:

TDDVandy has reported below that she has been reinstated.

Discuss

Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 10:21 AM PDT

Democrats could end it

by Words In Action

If a million Democrats went and stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and protested McCutcheon they could end it.

If they were willing to stay, some getting arrested (it's illegal to protest there, I have first-hand knowledge), some hunger-striking, others clogging the area for blocks, and still others standing and handing out literature at every metro stop, some marching around town in groups of 75 or less (no permit required), generally disrupting activity and forcing people to come to the attention of this issue, as if we truly believe it matters, while others coordinate the solicitation, receiving and distribution of supplies and services for those demonstrating.

And still others hounding and  delivering the most dire consequences to "Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon of Hoover, Ala., the national Republican party and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (who) challenged the overall limits on what contributors may give in a two-year federal election cycle."

All supported remotely by thousands of bloggers, logisticians, recruiters, fundraisers and micro-financiers and hundreds of thousand more activists of all kinds.

Hounding every well-heeled Democrat to provide financial support until they capitulate in shame and bleed green or end the charade of their support for progressive causes.

Those who could not stay on the ground in D.C. constantly being replaced by others newly arriving, and everyone contributing on location or from afar from start to finish.

Constantly growing to two, three, five million or more. Rain or Shine. An unending filibuster by strong progressive voices. All of this and more: Indefinitely. Like we care and we mean it.

Demonstrating once and for all that we have overwhelmingly superior numbers, at least if we could count on the Third Way being on "our side" of McCutcheon.

If we can organize to GOTV of fifty million voters, surely we can do this. Especially with D.C. located along the sprawling, heavily Democratic east coast megalopolis. Sure this community could lock arms with others and drive this bus out of this particular ditch. We don't need a superhero. We just need to show up for this as if it matters as much as we say it does.

A constitutional amendment to end the corrupting equating of money and free speech, impeachment, at a minimum, of Roberts and Scalia, and censuring Thomas, Alito and Kennedy for being the most jaded, cynical, partisan enemy of democracy and the general welfare in recent memory.

We could end it.

(btw, Doing this would also whip the mid-term popular votes into a landslide.)

OR we can confine ourselves to the customary, tried and failed pedestrian voting tactics and most definitely NOT end it, NEVER end it. EVER.

Once more just be taken for the saps, fools, victims and  that Democrats so frequently content themselves with being in the double-spoken name of anything but what they truly are: frauds.

Just like we are concerning serious Climate Change mitigation or snuffing the Class War that fuels it.

As Always,

Your choice, gos.

At least consider doing so responsibly and on scale to accomplish the mission.

******

Still Pre-Occupied.

Poll

The odds of this working are

25%10 votes
20%8 votes
10%4 votes
25%10 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
15%6 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 01:28 PM PST

In Defense Of the Vulnerable

by Words In Action

On the Ted Rall "rascist" comic strip, there are some people among those whom I respect a great deal who found it offensive. With them, I would engage in serious, open-minded discussion. I could be persuaded. On the rest, not a chance, and here's why.

The vast majority of the members up in arms over this have a history as staunch supporters of the administration and the Party establishment and the established culture, all of which are engaged in massively financially disenfranchising the vulnerable on a global scale through economic, environmental and military policies, actions and inactions--cumulatively further diminishing the support and influence of these people with every second they breathe.

These people whose hair is suddenly brilliantly aflame over their interpretation of a comic strip and its offense to the vulnerable have absolutely no problem supporting ubiquitous established activity that materially and increasingly imperil, harm and further weaken these same vulnerable people every day. To the contrary, moderates seem barely (if at all) aware that the vulnerable have been under attack for the past thirty years while the rich have tripled their share of the wealth, and the moderates mock those of us who do find these matters so compelling we refuse to accept token incrementalism and vehemently oppose the negotiating away of the bare minimum safety net protections they have today. [read my sig]
I find it pathetic, this pretention to compassion for the vulnerable over a comic strip in the face of such blatant disregard for their welfare, whether it be in response to proposals for Chained CPI or their complacent participation in and support of a mainstream culture and ruling establishment that so brutally disadvantages the vulnerable more each day.

This is just as pathetic as thinking you can crash or are crashing the gates to a representative government to make material progressive change when the electoral gates and that "representative" government are so obviously and completely under the control of a plutocracy fully capable of out-maneuvering every conventional challenge there is.

Voting in this system for material progressive change is like droning for security or siphoning money up in order to trickle it down, which is why I suppose all seem to make at least some sense to the same people who will indefinitely accept these things as a way of life.
Electoral politics needs to be done like changing your underwear, but for godsake don't think for a moment that you are fighting the good fight for the Democratic Party platform in so doing, especially when virtually all of your candidates and incumbents support or can be influenced to support the very institutions of neoliberalism and neoconservatism that are designed to obliterate that platform and exploit those vulnerable people of whom you consider yourself so "concerned" that your hair catches fire if and only if you think they have been verbally or pictorially abused.

I mean, really. Talk about a white privilege way to interpret the real concerns.

If the effects upon the vulnerable of

1) The ongoing concentration of wealth beyond the Gilded Age to neofeudalism,
2) The non-Recovery for the 90%,
3) The impending disaster of Climate Change

don't set your hair on fire for the sake of the vulnerable (if not all of us, since we are all connected and thus affected)--or if you think it's sufficient to GOTV as a means of dealing with these conditions--then please don't expect me to take you seriously when you do light up. In fact, expect me be there to express justifiable disgust.

When it gets right down to it, these are mostly the horse-race "progressives" and "moderate" types who do not, by definition, embrace too many unpopular positions, at least not very strongly, certainly not enough to expose themselves to sacrifice.
When Civil Rights was unpopular in the mainstream, pretty much right up until the Act was signed and even then for a time thereafter, horse-race "activists" and moderates were not the people engaged out front in the Movement, blazing the trail. Not only would most moderates not even hold these unestablished views, they certainly would not champion them in public where family, friends, bosses, peers, employees, suppliers, customers, spiritual leaders, etc. could spot them, where there might be consequences for them personally. Moderate views and actions, after all, see and respond to these things in a fair and balanced way, waiting for radicals and time, inordinate amounts of time, whatever time it takes, really, to pave the acceptable way.

Horse-race progressives and moderates are people who prefer the comfortable anonymity of a small donation or some phone banking or canvassing, preferably of strangers. (If they do engage publicly, say, as a campaign official, they do so in the perfectly constrained, choreographed, predictable, acceptable ways written and unwritten in the rules of the plutocracy, embraced by the establishment, again for minimum sacrifice.) These are people who, like Barack Obama, will support a cause, such as GLBT marriage rights, vociferously, uncompromisingly and most importantly publicly when the hard work and real sacrifice is done and public opinion has been shifted to make it safe. Which is also when credit is taken.

To me, that's how the people doing the most jumping up and down appear. Here they are valiantly fighting racism--carrying the Civil Rights' torch, if you will--when and where it is completely safe to do so, and when, coincidentally, it is transparently political to do so. And even more than that, when no sacrifice whatsoever is required.

These are the same people who most likely either would NOT

1) Perceive a problem (such as the Class War that is afflicting the vulnerable far more than the moderates seem to recognize or are willing to publicly admit, and sure as hell a lot more than a damn comic strip) until it is almost universally safe (especially as regards employment, income, social status...)

OR

2) Publicly engage in an effort to address it when and where--say, visible to the public mainstream, such as Occupy--it is not safe to do so. If anything, they will attack it while doing very little if anything to deal with the problem themselves.

Bravo. Well played.

So the vulnerable whom the moderates so self-righteously are proud to come to the aid of in certain safe ways and situations--such as comic strips--did not, would not and do not concern the moderates when and in the form that the vulnerable most need.

Did I mention the white privilege thing?

For far, far more than the support of moderates when comic strips are published what the  vulnerable need is for the moderates to grow some eyes and a friggin' spine, recognize the destructiveness of neoliberalism, re-organize their lives so they can live their conscience and march on Wall St. and D.C. to uncompromisingly refuse the exploitation until the vulnerable are actually safe.

That would be compassionate.

That would respect their dignity.

That would protect them from discrimination.

So spare me the poutrage over comics.

As I mentioned, there are those who took umbrage with the strip, such as MB, with whom I would entertain discussion with an open mind, because I know how deep their conviction runs.

Conversely, while I would acknowledge, consider, debate and possibly even ultimately accept the claims of the moderates regarding the depiction of Obama in Rall's strip if I thought for one minute that their concern was authentic--if they were on the barricades for the vulnerable over CEO Pay, Wall St. regulation, Wall St. convictions, a path to a $15 minimum wage, additional top-end tax brackets, closing offshore havens and other loopholes, TPP, Climate Change, for example, ALL OF WHICH AFFECT BLACKS MUCH, MUCH MORE EVERY DAMN DAY THAN ANY CARTOON--but they aren't, so I won't.

Put one last way: it's like being told by a Republican that the reason we should go to war with Iraq was because Hussein gassed his own people. As if we really believed that a massive Human Rights violation they overlooked twenty years prior could really be a vital, fierce-urgency-of-now concern to them. No, really, what's your real reason?

I give Ted Rall the benefit of the doubt because I know him well enough to know that he would go to the barricade for the vulnerable, because that's where I met him.

Conversely, if you asked a horse-race "progressive" or a moderate if they would go to the barricade for the vulnerable the reply would be, essentially: "Nah, I'm good."

SUMMARY:

Simpsonian Obama that looks ape-like and offensive to blacks? AHHHH!!!!!!

Class War destroying the lower and middle classes? Nary a peep.

Discuss
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