Thursday, November 22, 2018

Post Election Pre Holiday to Kick Off Holiday Season Thoughts

Hey!  As you know the midterm elections were held 16 days ago here in the U.S.  While I had some thoughts regarding what happened at the time I was busy with the paying job and trying to get some projects completed to respond quickly.  This, in retrospect, may have been a good thing.

With that in mind I'm going to offer up some very short quick takes on some of the issues that have popped up since the election.  I admit they might not be as in depth as I'd like but today's holiday and I have to go to the paying job tomorrow, which means I won't be able to burn the midnight oil on this. With that in mind it's time to skip the formalities and get to the basics.

Let's start with the election.  It turns out that not immediately reacting may have worked in my favor as some of the races on the West Coast were counted along with the recounts et al.  Yes, there have been some nauseating things such as the role voter suppression played in Florida and Georgia.  However, it looks like the U.S. House of Representatives may have actually achieved something similar to the blue wave predicted in the media with the Democrats winning 39 seats as of this typing, more than gathering a majority in that part of the legislative branch.  While the Repubs did pick up some seats it looks like they won't have near the super majority the GOP were hoping for didn't materialize.  Still, it will be an uphill struggle especially as meh Senators were replaced by zealots and the electoral vote winner will take this as a mandate.  However, it should put a big dent on some of his evil schemes - provided he doesn't try to go for creating a Constitutional crisis in the lame duck session next month (entirely possible given Donny) by either firing Mueller or with something else.

Then there's the whole troops at the border thing.  It was hard to say whether that was an election stunt or a power play intended to cause said crisis mentioned last paragraph by either violating rule sof engagement by ordering the military to shoot asylum seekers or using the troops to keep Americans from escaping if shit gets too bad.  The fact that the asylum migrants were heading towards Tijuana made the troops stationing suspicious, adding to it the complete lack of mentions by the right wing media once the midterms were over make it all the more clear that this was a stunt (one reportedly referred to by troops stationed there as "Operation BS").  Now things  could return to that state once the Mad Fuhrer of Mar-A-Lago things the heat is off but this time around we can see through it and be nauseated by it.

However, the most troubling news regarding those in power is the news revealed two days ago (November 20, 2018) that sometime this Spring electoral vote winner Donny actually asked the Justice Department to look into prosecuting his former election opponent (Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and former FBI Director James Comey.  Put aside the irony of the Mad Fuhrer actually following through on one of his promises (notice he only does it with the most cruel and hateful ones)  this is obviously a dangerous hint of the authoritarianism that he really wants to do as well as taking obstruction of justice to a new and dangerous level.  While then White House counsel Don MaGahan managed to put the kabosh on this one by pointing out it could lead to impeachment I'll discuss in the print issue why this doesn't mean this is over - not by a long shot.

As for the firing of Jeffy Sessions as Attorney General and the installation of Jeffy's chief of staff Matt Whittaker (whom we'll refer to from now on as Matty Matt), the only real surprise to all this isn't that Donny shitcanned Jeffy but that it happened so damn soon after the election (roughly 24 hours).  Add to this Donny's press stunt setting up CNN's Jim Acosta and revoking his press credentials to the Whiote House until forced to reinstate it.  While this rightfully angered much of the nation, the fact that news trickled out from those amongst electoral vote winner Donny's minions were reportedly saying the press briefing would be fun and Donny appeared to give a signal for the intern to try and take the mic seems to show that this was a stunt to distract from the election result and Donny firing Jeffy. 

So what lies ahead?  Well the Mad Fuhrer of Mar-A-Lago is raging against judges for ruling against him and the Congressional lame duck session ahead could either be nothing or could have a lot of bullshit go down before the gridlock that will likely happen in the next session.  Time will tell as people get prepared for the holidays and wear down the final moments of 2018..   

Thursday, November 1, 2018


I originally posted this as a not of the TTWN Facebook page.  However, after finishing it I felt it was appropriate to share it on the blog as well.

As most Americans are aware of by now, the 2018 midterm elections are only five days away.  By now many of you have heard from friends, family members, pundits, and even celebrities that we all need to do our duty and vote.  Some have even suggested that everyone should mobilize to make sure one of the two parties takes back some of the power they’ve lost over the decades (you know the party by now so I don’t have to name them) by making sure they get back at least one of the two houses of the legislative branch.  Some say this is needed to ensure a “blue wave” come early November.  While this is a noble goal and since these are not normal times it does appear we’ve reached a “by all legal means necessary” approach ranging from canvassing and phone banking for candidates to trying to convince friends they need to vote, not everybody is able to go beyond voting or doing some work when they can due to the mixture of work schedules and various obligations ranging from family circumstances to dealing with illnesses (either one’s own or that of a loved one) and the like.   Sadly, this makes things complicated for many people but sometimes the little things can help a lot.  This is my attempt to do just that.

Now I have an official policy of not endorsing candidates but I do vote (actually voted early this year).  Because of this I do have a few suggestions that I hope helps people who haven’t voted yet but plan to - and hopefully help motivate those on the fence regarding voting to take to the polls (remember - as I said in the previous paragraph - THESE ARE NOT NORMAL TIMES.  While this is a small and  imperfect list of suggestions, it is one I feel can cut across and help plants seeds in people’s minds.

If you care about freedom of speech and the right to protest then YOU SHOULD VOTE AGAINST THE PARTY WHOSE LEADER HAS GONE ON RECORD FOR SUGGESTING THAT POLITICAL PROTESTING SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.  This should be common sense but sometimes people vote party line rather than exploring the candidates, especially during the midterm elections. The fact the one person in power even thinks this at all should be proof that they have no damn business holding an elected office. While that person isn’t up for election next Tuesday people in his party are so why not let them know this attitude is not appreciate and will not fly.

If you trust women and believe them when they say they’ve experienced sexual assault then YOU SHOULD NOT VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE OR PARTY WHO EVEN HAS THE APPEARANCE OF NOT TAKING SEXUAL ASSAULT SERIOUSLY.  From the Kavanaugh hearings to various comments for the leadership of one party makes it clear that they apparently don’t trust or respect women.  They also have the arrogance to think that this stance will solidify their base and actually gain them support from women. If there’s ever a time to shut down this shit and prove them wrong it’s on this.

If you feel that women deserve the right to reproductive freedom and reproductive justice, including the belief that women have the right to make decisions over their own bodies the YOU SHOULD NOT VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL PARTY THAT WANTS TO TAKE AWAY THOSE RIGHTS FROM WOMEN.   Ironically polls have reportedly shown the majority of people across party lines to be pro choice.  However, one  party has been doing their damndest in the name of "protecting the unborn" (while seemingly not to care about those already here) to erode this right into near nothingness for many parts of the country.  While one election won't drastically change this, it will be a start that can allow people who support reproductive freedom and reproductive justice to build and helps to put pro forced childbirth asshats in their place.

If you feel diversity makes this country better and that current events trying to use violence to shape it to the contrary are nauseating then YOU SHOULD VOTE AGAINST ANY PARTY WHO DOUBLES DOWN ON CODED RACIST RHETORIC (AND BEOYND DOG WHISTLES TO OUTRIGHT BULLHORNS) AND USES WHITE NATIONALIST TALKING POINTS TO IMPLY THEY WANT TO CHANGE WHO CAN BE A CITIZEN AND WHO CAN’T.  This is another one that should be common sense but the mainstream media’s tendency to imply whatabout-ism and both sides-ism are legitimate on these issues make things murky and can lead to some people thinking otherwise.  Current events over the past week have shown that both sides aren’t doing the same thing on these issues and that the party doubling down on said rhetoric and seemingly oblivious to what may occur in the aftermath deserve some sort of political comeuppance in the meantime.

If you think freedom of religion is important and includes not just all religions but the freedom not to believe as well then YOU SHOULD VOTE AGAINST THE PARTY THAT USES THE TERM “RELIGIOUS LIBERTY” AS A WEAPON TO CREATE A BACKDOOR WAY TO BRING BACK DISCRIMINATION.  There is one party doing this, claiming that proponents of a narrow interpretation of christianity are being discriminated against by having to provide goods and services to anyone or that they should be allowed to not allow people of different faiths to adopt children from their agency.  They like to claim they are a persecuted minority even though they seem to be getting everything they want from a certain administration.  Whether you’re not religious or if you are religious but don’t think the government should enforce one interpretation of one religion down the throats of the rest of us, you should do your part to vote this down ASAFP!!!!

If you feel voting is important and should be made easier for those who are able to do so then YOU SHOULD VOTE AGAINST ANY PARTY TRYING TO STEAL THE VOTE THROUGH INTIMIDATION OR SUPPRESSION TACTICS.  People like to say that if one doesn't vote they can't complain.  However, when one side of the political debate wants to make it next to impossible for many to vote or even claims without proof that "illegal voters" stole the vote for a candidate from certain states (states whose electoral vote just happened to go to said candidate's opponent).  From making it harder for students to vote where they go to school (I remember in college they actually tried to encourage students to vote there since their college town was where they were living when an election was held) to SCOTUS upholding voter ID requirements that require street addresses even though a indigenous reservations often rely on P.O. Boxes fro addresses this is less an attempt to make elections fair and more an attempt to rig it in favor of one party.  While this should be opposed across the political divide, one party's embrace of it means people who care about this should make sure they get their power taken away from them.

This is about it for the time being.  As I said before this is far from a complete list and barely scratches the surface.  However, it should give people a glimpse of maybe what they should be against as they head to the polls - or maybe why they should should vote if they otherwise weren't planning to. As I said at the top of this these are not normal times and while elections alone are not enough (even politicians you like have to be watched like a hawk sometimes) at a moment like this it can send a message.