Egberto Willies

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SNL Michael Che threw shade at Democratic Party for taking black vote for granted (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-12-17 02:25

Michael Che did it again. He took a severe problem and broke it down in a very amusing manner. It is unfortunate but Alabama reiterated something that the Democratic Party should have known long ago about the black vote, yet it continues to fail miserably in making amends.

Democrats tend to address people of color communities fully just when elections come around. And Michael Che pointed it out, if in a very amusing manner.

Michael Che talks Democrats and the black vote

SNL Michael Che threw shade at Democratic Party for taking black vote for granted (VIDEO) - https://t.co/XkNHaHyGHl pic.twitter.com/fGjzJyJ4Z5

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 17, 2017

"On Tuesday we saw exactly why Republicans try to keep black people from voting," Michael Che said. "Ninety-eight percent of black women voted for Doug Jones bringing the total number of black women who voted for Roy Moore to just Cheryl. Damn Ms. Cheryl. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez tweeted 'black women led us to victory, and we can't take that for granted.' Hmm. But I bet you will. And you know why? It's because Democrats know that black people aren't really Democrats. We just vote for the guy that looks less likely to put us on a boat. Here's how I vote. I look at both candidates. I listen to them speak. And then I ask myself if I got pulled over, which one of these candidates would I rather see approaching my car. And it's almost always not the one on a horse."

Michael Che discussed two issues, voter suppression, and taking one's vote for granted. Republicans and their Right Wing cohort on the Supreme Court overturned section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. And Democrats continue to take the black vote for granted. One does not have to look too hard to understand the level for which the black vote is taken for granted. What is sad is that the Republican Establishment may be winning the strategic PR battle over black leadership in their ranks as discussed in the blog post titled "Does Democrats talk the talk while Republicans walk the walk?"

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My Twitter battle w/ Right Winger not accepting that Red States mooch from Blue States

Sat, 2017-12-16 14:48

This Twitter interchange with a Right Winger illustrates the kind of cognitive dissonance that their sources of information make vogue. This guy is likely unchangeable, but the battle isn't about him at all. See what I mean below.

Yesterday I posted the blog titled "Dylan Ratigan embarrassed Conservative: Red States mooch off of Blue State (VIDEO)" where Dylan Ratigan quickly checked the justification many Republicans were using to justify first getting rid of Sales and Local Tax (SALT) deduction. They finally decided just to reduce its deductibility. They claimed that The Red States were subsidizing the Blue States high taxes. Ratigan put that lie to rest.

"It's interesting that you would say that," Ratigan said. "Actually the Blue States actually pay two times as much to the Red States than the Red states receive. So what you said was not actually correct. What you're saying now is that in addition to taking money from the Blue States to pay for Indiana's infrastructure, you're also going to reduce the tax deduction for Blue State tax holders to pay for their own infrastructure while they still subsidize the Red States."

Dylan Ratigan retweeted my post with the quote,

Red” states that pride themselves on low taxes take money from wealthy “Blue” states in order to subsidize their infrastructure. New tax bill raises taxes on “Blue” states further.

https://twitter.com/DylanRatigan/status/942007907494789120

Twitter exchange with an immutably deceptive Right Winger

@ChrisOnPolitics replied with the following tweet.

As it should. Blue States are heavily subsidized via SALT. This is why Blue States have social programs up the wazoo. Eliminating their SALT deductions brings more revenues for the Feds and pressures Blue States to no live outside their means. Blue States have major debt problems.

Followed by this tweet.

This myth "Red States are subsidized by Blue States" is exactly that a myth. There literally is no evidence to back up that claim. Fed Dollars go to States for a wide variety of reason from military bases to border security and yes to infrastructure. But hey why be honest.

To which I replied to him with this tweet.

Ur simply wrong. Red States manufacture less, are less educated, and take more per capita welfare. That's not because of bad people but failed government adopting an ideology that is probably wrong.

And what was his responding tweet?

Thanks for the good laugh today. Are you unaware that when cost of living is taken into account California has the highest rate of poverty? Also if Liberal policies are so great why is every major city they run ripe w/poverty, crime, and failed schools?

Notice numbers mean nothing to him. I point out the absolutes that no form of spinning or bloviating can mitigate. So I replied to him with the following tweet(1of2) & tweet(2of3).

(1 of 2) The facts are absolute. (1) Red States depend on stuff from the government more than Blue States. (2) Red States level of education is less because with low taxes you made conscious decision not to invest in your people.

(2 of 2) (3) People in Red States are sicker because the GOP decided to murder its citizens by not accepting the Medicaid Expansion for Obamacare that would have cost them nothing for three years and then 3% thereafter. Not to speak about the economic boost. Not very smart.

I stated the following in the Ratigan post.

The numbers speak for themselves. The majority of the Red States are, in Romney's parlance, takers, they live off of the government. And for good measure, the Red States even fail in their moral values experiment when compared to the Blue States.

Refuting these lies in Social Media is essential. Many let them go because they know that they are communicating with an immutably misinformed person. While that is true, we must remember that answering the misinformation is not necessarily for the person deceiving, the tweeter, but for the thousands who read the thread without commenting. It impacts many and mitigates leaving lies dangling.

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Dylan Ratigan embarrassed Conservative: Red States mooch off of Blue State (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-12-16 02:51

The Conservative thought he had a point and attempted to make it with former MSNBC Host Dylan Ratigan on a CNN panel. He forgot that Ratigan is a very quick thinker and he paid for lying on air.

Dylan Ratigan told an inconvenient truth to this misinforming Conservative

Dylan Ratigan embarrassed Conservative: Red States mooch off of Blue State (VIDEO) - https://t.co/uR9bXovQZ7 pic.twitter.com/KqQwJdozVC

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 16, 2017

Dylan Ratigan did not allow this Conservative to spread the false narrative that low tax Red States somehow subsidize high tax Blue States. The opposite is true.

"The other thing again that confuses me is why the targeting of SALT which is a huge issue in the North, basically all the Blue states," Dylan Ratigan said. "I mean it reads very political in the sense that basically the SALT deduction elimination, the fact that you cannot deduct your state and local taxes from federal taxes, is the direct expense of those higher SALT state and local income economies which are their densest population, the most economically vibrant and comes at the direct expense of the infrastructure in New York, California where you need that the most>"

The Conservative panelist went straight to his false talking point.

"And I'll tell you from someone who comes from Indiana in the Midwest where we believe in low taxes, responsible spending," the Conservative panelist said. "We also don't think that our tax dollars should be used to offset the bloated out-of-control spending of these traditional Blue states. Ans so that money is taken out of our pockets"

Dylan Ratigan had to convey an inconvenient truth.

"It's interesting that you would say that," Ratigan said. "Actually the Blue States actually pay two times as much to the Red States than the Red states receive. So what you said was not actually correct. What you're saying now is that in addition to taking money from the Blue States to pay for Indiana's infrastructure, you're also going to reduce the tax deduction for Blue State tax holders to pay for their own infrastructure while they still subsidize the Red States."

Republicans like to stress that the States are the laboratories in our union. It is where one can see results from experiments. The economic experiment is over. The fact that the Blue States must subsidize the Red States should humble those in the Red States trying to promote their ideologies to the Blue States. Why would a Blue State want to follow a failing experiment?

The numbers speak for themselves. The majority of the Red States are, in Romney's parlance, takers, they live off of the government. And for good measure, the Red States even fail in their moral values experiment when compared to the Blue States.

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MSNBC Panel berates Fox News for dishonest rant: ‘Useless Idiots’ for Trump (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-12-16 01:58

Panelists on MSNBC have started aggressively pushing back on Fox News in a manner that wasn't before. They are countering a lot of the misinformation in near real time. This one was epic.

Nicolle Wallace's panel let Fox News's have it

MSNBC Panel berates Fox News for dishonest rant: 'Useless Idiots' for Trump (VIDEO) - https://t.co/jfukhGNSuA pic.twitter.com/qqPJebzSNo

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 16, 2017

Nicolle Wallace's Deadline: White House panelists appropriately slammed Fox News panel for misleading Americans about the FBI text messages released recently. The pertinent section in the segment starts with Wallace playing a clip of Sean Hannity equating the Mueller investigation to Watergate on steroids.

"Just watch that little piece of tape again," John Heilemann said. "And just think, Useless Idiots."

Wallace pointed out that Hannity is the tip of the spear in the smear campaign. Republican strategist Steve Schmidt decomposed it all.

"There's zero evidence that they acted inappropriately on the basis of those opinions," Schmidt said. "They're Americans. They get to have political opinions. They didn't abuse their badge. They didn't abuse their office. That Fox News panel, the breathtaking dishonesty of it is beyond my ability to articulate. That is no longer a news organization. That is what American state media looks like. That is what White House controlled in the service of the president misinformation looks like. That is indistinct from propaganda in authoritarian countries. It is aimed directly at weakening essential institutions and misinforming the American people. It is appalling."

Heilmann would not be denied.

"And if you want to see just the clarity of it," John Heilemann said. "This is a tiny little thing that guy, one of those guys on Fox News, that guy Tom tom Fitton the other night said, 'Forget about shutting down Mr. Mueller. Do we need to shut down the FBI because it was turned into a KGB type operation by the Obama administration.' That is the level of discourse that's happening from Fox News right down this topic."

" Dishonest, pernicious nonsense," said Schmidt.

At some time in our lifetime, Fox News will be seen for the propaganda machine that it is.

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Welcome to America: Third world poverty close but ignored

Fri, 2017-12-15 16:00

Republicans are racing to pass a tax cut scam that will place many more of the people who voted for them in poverty. America criticizes third world countries for their poverty and human rights violations yet for more than 41 million Americans and growing; there is no difference. This foreign reporter's cataloging our poverty is astounding.

When one points fingers there are at least pointing back. American poverty is growing, and the disregard with which we treat it is a human rights violation.

The article in The Guardian titled "A Journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America" is jaw-dropping.

The UN’s Philip Alston is an expert on deprivation – and he wants to know why 41m Americans are living in poverty. The Guardian joined him on a special two-week mission into the dark heart of the world’s richest nation. ...

So begins a two-week journey into the dark side of the American Dream. The spotlight of the UN monitor, an independent arbiter of human rights standards across the globe, has fallen on this occasion on the US, culminating on Friday with the release of his initial report in Washington. His fact-finding mission into the richest nation the world has ever known has led him to investigate the tragedy at its core: the 41 million people who officially live in poverty. Of those, nine million have zero cash income – they do not receive a cent in sustenance.

Alston’s epic journey has taken him from coast to coast, deprivation to deprivation. Starting in LA and San Francisco, sweeping through the Deep South, traveling on to the colonial stain of Puerto Rico then back to the stricken coal country of West Virginia, he has explored the collateral damage of America’s reliance on private enterprise to the exclusion of public help.

And Alston added a little justifiable dig to our country.

Think of it as payback time. As the UN special rapporteur himself put it: “Washington is very keen for me to point out the poverty and human rights failings in other countries. This time I’m in the US.”

Alston showed that the American poverty is ever present, whether rural, urban, or colonial. The heart touching stories he got as went through America's poor areas leaves tears in one's eyes. What is most disgusting is this is a poverty that does not hide from most of us. And yet, we continue to elect politicians that exacerbate the problem.

The Guardian did not miss that reality.

The tour comes at a critical moment for America and the world. It began on the day that Republicans in the US Senate voted for sweeping tax cuts that will deliver a bonanza for the super wealthy while in time raising taxes on many lower-income families. The changes will exacerbate wealth inequality that is already the most extreme in any industrialized nation, with three men – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet – owning as much as half of the entire American people.

A few days into the UN visit, Republican leaders took a giant leap further. They announced plans to slash key social programs in what amounts to an assault on the already threadbare welfare state.

The Republican Congress is about to exacerbate the generational theft that has been occurring since the inception of trickle-down economics, voodoo economics. One can only hope that Millennials and Generation Xers would organically skip work, school, or anything else they have to do, and all carpool to Washington DC and stop politicians from executing this heist. Americans should be out in force the streets is force about this theft.

Read The Guardian article. At the rate the politicians are robbing Americans, it will be the future of many.

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A touching exchange with a millennial who called in to Politics Done Right (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-15 12:46

Yesterday I received a call to my Politics Done Right radio show that gave me a lot of hope. Erica, a millennial, showed a yearning to be a part of changing the country. She exuded a knowledge many fail to give our millennials credit for as many treat them with disregard. She had a question I was eager to answer.

This millennial gives me hope

When one receives a call like this from a millennial, it is like icing on the cake as it makes it evident that this group is necessarily engaged. Erica was not shocked that Trump got elected given her real-life experiences. She said she was more disappointed than shocked.

"I felt like it reflected something that's reality in this country," Erica said. "Ignorance can sometimes dominate the vernacular."

Erica was acutely aware of how our derelict media allows politicians to use bait and switch techniques that modify the perception of reality.

She agreed with the blog of the week, "I refuse to get co-opted into the Doug Jones euphoria" where I discussed why Democrats should not rejoice too much in this victory as sleeper voters are always in the wings. She is well aware of the disease in the country that causes many to vote against their interests.

"I want to ask you," Erica said. "What can be done. I am a millennial. I am an idealist. I am a liberal. I am an Independent. I want a change. I want things to be better. I love my country."

She then asked for advice on how she can make a difference. I told Erica that millennials like her are our hope and future. Most of all I explained that the fact that she called into the show and that thousands heard her, she already made a difference because her voice and her being would have activated others.

Erica needed little advice. She just needed encouragement to do what she knows has to be done. That is engaging others with respect. Go to the place physically, mentally, and emotionally where they are. Build a rapport and esteem with others where they eventually start listening to your advice. It is a slow process. But we will change the country when we break the chains that the plutocracy has instilled in our minds via the dictates of the Powell Manifesto. We will change the nation when we disregard the false divisions the plutocracy needs to remove focus off of the root of our real problems, the extractive nature of our economic system that benefits a few.

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Denying reality is today’s Republicanism. Will Progressives break the code?

Mon, 2017-12-11 01:35

Do you know how difficult it is to be a Republican right now? Have you ever had the rug pulled from under you, and had the sensation that you were in free fall? For those who are unequivocally empathetic, it is not hard to turn what would naturally be disgust (if not hate) for these folks into pity. You know the facade that they are putting on is paper-thin.

Most people, regardless of ideology, are smart. But to be a Republican today requires the suspension of logic and the acceptance of idiocy.

The suspension of logic began long ago. But there was much help provided, for it was a psychological coup. Under the direction of the Powell Manifesto, the American plutocracy created an institution designed to mislead, confabulate, and outright lie to American people. The Heritage Foundation, one of these misleading think tanks, gave many Republicans the corroboration they needed to support otherwise disproven ideas and theories. Right-wing radio, right-wing television, and right-wing websites (e.g., Breitbart) gave them reinforcing refuge.

Living within the right-wing system, where the first order of teaching was that all other sources of information were biased or intent on destroying conservatism, created a false loop—a bubble.

And the bubble’s skin is pretty thick. It masked truth for a very long time. Keynesian economics boosted America prosperity between World War II and the 1970s. Wages were rising. Wealth was increasing for all. Then Reagan’s trickle-down economics, aka voodoo economics, caused the most massive transfer of wealth from the masses to the few. Moreover, wages haven’t budged since.

Kansas enacted the experiment of cutting taxes to the bare bones, real trickle-down economics. Meanwhile, California raised taxes and invested in people and infrastructure. California’s economy boomed, and Kansas’ economy cratered. Why is the reality not enough to convince Republicans that they are following a failed economic ideology? Because living in the right-wing media bubble merely ignores what is happening as the likes of Laffer continue to promote the fallacies.

The Republican Party took on the family values and pro-life mantra. The problem is that their policies continue to hurt the poor and middle-class, and even kill people.

In times when income and wealth inequality is exploding, when wages are stagnant, how can one support cutting aid to the needy? How can one deny access to health care? How can one make education, one of the avenues to improved wages, much more expensive and difficult to attain? In the past, households could survive on one income. One parent could stay home and take better care of the kids. Today, many kids are pretty much raising themselves. Do those sound like policies that support family values?

One must not forget that since the Southern Strategy, the GOP has become a xenophobic and racist party. The dog whistles abound and were even called out by some of the most devout Republicans.

And then came Trump. He is the instantiation magnified of what the Republican Party has become. Reality does not matter. Truth does not matter. Moral values are fungible. What constitutes a crime is now debatable. Overt sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, and racism are tolerable. Even pedophilia is acceptable as long as the man doing it proclaims God as his guiding light.

It has got to be hard being a thinking Republican There is so much one must ignore, forget, or make-believe to pretend things are not what one is seeing.

And hence the opportunity for progressives. Many who strayed from thinking are looking for an on-ramp, but don’t want to lose all of their dignity to get there. We can be that tool if our approach is firm but empathetic. I’ve seen it work in my very red tea party-type town. It is just tedious because one must do it on a personal level. But then each person who decides to rejoin reality can, in turn, become a conduit.

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David Brooks on Republican Party: Repulsive to Millennials & People of Color (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-12-10 12:16

Conservative New York Columnist David Brooks has been speaking out about the ills within the Republican Party for some time. He wrote an excellent piece recently that all should read. Today on Meet the Press he did not hold back.

David Brooks continues his campaign against the Republican Party

David Brooks on Republican Party: Repulsive to Millennials & People of Color (VIDEO) - https://t.co/hePi5ESRQW pic.twitter.com/O0d1e1j6tV

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 10, 2017

David Brooks continues his crusade speaking to anyone who would listen, about the degeneration of the Republican Party. Chuck Todd referenced the article Brooks wrote recently and asked what would be the impact of a Roy Moore win to the Republican Party. Brooks did not mince his words. He was blunt.

"It would be a temporary vote for a Supreme Court Justice, for a tax cut but for a generation you are repulsive," said Brooks. "You are repulsive to younger people, twenty-eight percent of millennials think the Republican Party thinks about them. That's just a generational problem. You are repulsive to people of color forever. And so you end up, not only making yourself unpopular but to corrupting a piece of yourself. To me, the interesting people in this whole deal are the honorable Republicans in Congress. T,he Portman(s), the McCain(s), the Barrasso(s), Tim Scott. A couple of them have been very principled. But a lot of them have said, 'I am going to tolerate Trump's dishonesty. I am going to tolerate some racial politics.' But now they have to tolerate rape. Now they have to tolerate pedophilia. There is no end to what they are going to be asked to tolerate. And that is internally so corrosive."

If we had many more middle-of-the-road Republicans making this case ad nauseam, just maybe more in the Right Wing base would get out of their mode and see the light. The Republican Party is now a clear and present danger to America. If smart Republicans do not make a change to their party in the near term, and if they do not lose power, the country is in trouble. And that is why Progressives must engage to force change.

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SNL’s Michael Che scolds Democrats on why they always lose (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-12-10 02:17

SNL's Michael Che had some fun with Democrats taking the 'high moral ground by forcing Al Franken to resign. Did the Democrats succumb to a false equivalence?

Michael Che thoughts on the Democrat's high moral ground

SNL's Michael Che scolds Democrats on why they always lose (VIDEO) - https://t.co/okx1P5cW4W pic.twitter.com/0oIrU1mV9i

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 10, 2017

Michael Che lashed out at Democrats for taking the high moral ground. Please watch and then share your thoughts and comment your opinion.

"Senator Al Franken announced his resignation this week in the wake of sexual harassment allegations," said Michale Che. "And yet Uncle Bad Touch is up four points in Alabama. You see the Democrats hold themselves to a higher standard than anyone else -- which is why they always lose. It's the same reason the Harvard Football team sucks. Because you also have to be a rocket scientist to play there. But to play for Alabama, you just gotta be able to spell Bama. Democrats hope by forcing Al Franken to step down; they would paint themselves as the party of the moral high ground. Calm down Democrats you're still politicians. You're the party of the morality the same way Don Jr. is too handsome Trump brother. Nobody actually likes you. Nobody likes Democrats. Nobody is at a party, like; you know who U wish was here, Nancy Pelosi."

I have mixed feelings. The forced departure will give some voters the impression of a false equivalence. Republicans are happy to have voters infer that fallacy.

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The Roy Moore story is much deeper than you think

Sat, 2017-12-09 16:08

Recently I wrote the blog post "Here are some inconvenient truths about Roy Moore's slavery comments" that laid waste claims by Moore about how families were very together during the slavery era. Coincidentally out of the blue a long time journalist & friend who I had not heard from in years called me up. He has an intriguing angle on the Moore saga.

My journalist friend asked me my thoughts on Roy Moore. He has a narrative that we better get a grip of for the implications for our democracy is real.

He started the conversation on Moore by asking if I had heard President Obama's remarks this week. In fact, I had and blogged about it a few days ago.

"Do you understand why Alabamans are voting for Roy Moore?" the journalist asked. "Even with the evidence that seems irrefutable?"

I gave him the standard response I've heard from Moore and his cohort. They've convinced their people that the Establishment Republicans and Liberals are out to get them.

"What about the evidence that is irrefutable? he said. "1) The mall management knew when he was around they needed to watch him to protect teenagers, 2) His hometown always knew he was a pedophile and are showing support with Doug Jones signs en masse, and 3) Friends and family corroborated the stories of the abused women."

My journalist friend who is Jewish said it was no accident that President Obama invoked Nazi Germany and the parallels that are occurring on the Right with Breitbart and his ilk this week.

"Most of the people that will be voting for Moore believe this stuff is all made up," my friend said. "Their antisemitism and propensity lead them to believe that the big bad Jewish Liberal, George Soros is controlling the election."

That statement gave me pause. You see, the voters in Alabama present an important test case. If the majority of Alabamans, mostly good people, are convinced because of their prejudices, fears, and gullibilities, elect Roy Moore to the Senate, it will be a victory for the purveyors of evil. And the same dynamic that allowed good people to do bad things in Germany would be seeded right here in America. We better wake up.

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Here are some inconvenient truths about Roy Moore’s slavery comments

Sat, 2017-12-09 12:32

I am not sure if Roy Moore knew what he was doing. Stating that America was at its greatest during slavery because families flourished, opened the door for this historian to point out some inconvenient truths about the perfect southern families implies.

Professor of History and Director of the Black Abolitionist Archive at the University of Detroit Mercy, Roy E. Finkenbine wrote the article titled "Roy Moore Thinks Families Flourished During Slavery. Why Would He Say Such a Thing?" that everyone should read especially Roy Moore supporters.

Moore’s characterization of family life in the Old South is reminiscent of that expressed by southern proslavery apologists at the time.  Governor James Henry Hammond of South Carolina, for example, a prominent slave owner, responded in 1844 to abolitionist charges that slavery disrupted southern family life by boasting that “there are fewer cases of divorce, separation, . . . seduction, rape, and bastardy than among any other five millions of people on the civilized earth.”  Hammond’s claims are misleading at best.  Social conventions and legal practices made divorce nearly impossible in most parts of the Old South; it was legally prohibited in Hammond’s South Carolina.  Separation was made difficult by women’s limited legal and economic options and laws that transferred all of women’s property to the husband at the time of marriage.  Cases of seduction, rape, and bastardy were seriously underreported because of social conventions and the possibility of public embarrassment.  Of course, Hammond doesn’t even allude to the slave community, where marriages lacked legal recognition, families were frequently separated by movement or sale, and women and girls were often raped or coerced into sexual relationships with white men.

Hammond’s sexual misconduct didn’t end with his females slaves.  It also extended to his white relatives.  Thanks to his voluminous diaries, which were discovered in 1989, we have an extensive record of his transgressions in his own words.  In the early 1840s, he became sexually involved with his four “lovely and luscious” nieces, ages thirteen to eighteen.

The entire article is worth a read. Turns out it is clear why Moore feels a comfort in his own immoral skin.

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Republican Operative: The party that supports this guy can no longer exist (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-12-09 01:56

A Republican Operative appeared on Lawrence O'Donnell's show where he lambasted his party and all but call for its destruction.

Republican Operative Max Boot calls out his party

Republican Operative: The party that supports this guy can no longer exist (VIDEO) https://t.co/3kPsCQoENP pic.twitter.com/XCv2TN27kV

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 9, 2017

Lawrence O'Donnell asked Max Boot for a characterization of Roy Moore's statement that America was greatest during slavery times.

"I mean, you can't make this stuff up Lawrence," Max Boot said. "Roy Moore is like a caricature of this backwoods bigot. He's like this modern-day Elmer Gantry who is a massive hypocrite, predator, bigot. I mean every vile characteristic that any human being could have, Roy Moore seems to combine them in one form. And for anybody who thought that the Republican Party couldn't go any lower than Donald Trump then Roy Moore is a refutation of that belief --because they are going lower. And frankly, I think they can go lower still. There is absolutely no bottom in their descent into the moral darkness."

Then Max Boot all but called for an end to the Republican Party and the establishment of a center-right party.

"And that's why I think, and I say this, having been a lifelong Republican," said Boot. "I think the Republican Party cannot cease to exist in its present form. We need a new center-right party because it's not just Donald Trump, it's not just Roy Moore it's not just people who support them, it's all the people who are kind of holding their noses and going along with it because in the name of party loyalty. Well, I'm sorry there is no party that can command want to support a child molester that is, it's unethical, it's immoral, it's just so flagrantly wrong. And again the party that supports this guy can no longer exist. I mean this is, it's just so offensive so obscene. There are no words to describe this."

The string of Conservative Republicans growing spines continues to grow. Yes, many have been critical before. But the level of criticism is increasing. New York Times Conservative columnist David Brooks recently wrote a stinging article about a rotting Republican Party. Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele slammed the party and admonished the people of Alabama. Republican Operative Doug Heye said he could not look any minority in the eye and tell them to vote for the GOP. The split is growing.

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Indivisible Houston’s Save the Internet! Action for National Net Neutrality Day (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-08 19:20

For the second time in as many days, Indivisible Houston held an action against the Trump Administration's draconian policies. Yesterday was the "Rally Against Robbery! The People Fight the Tax Scam" where over 75 people showed in cold rainy weather. Last night it was "Save the Internet! Action for National Net Neutrality Day" just before the snow fell in Houston, a rare occurrence. Sixty-plus protesters showed up to express their displeasure with the imminent repeal of Net Neutrality provisions.

"There were more than the usual suspects who showed up to this rally," said Daniel Cohen. "This protest was very organic. It is clear many of these people were seeking out an action and I am happy that Indivisible Houston, as part of our tenet of acting locally afforded them that platform."

Indivisible Houston at Net Neutrality Rally

According to Indivisible Houston's call to action,

The FCC, led by career lobbyist lawyer Ajit Pai, is pursuing rollbacks of Net Neutrality under the Orwellian name “Internet Freedom” in a power grab that is aligning as a partisan fight. In spite of Obama Era internet regulations ensuring equal internet access regardless of your place in society, consumers and those with less resources are on the chopping block this round, and we’re not going to let that happen quietly.

Take three actions to Preserve the Free and Open Exchange of Information in the United States:

  1. Join us outside the Verizon Store in Downtown Houston at 930 Main Thursday, December 7th at 5 PM, 10 days before the FCC makes its decision. We will present both an expert speaker on free and open internet issues and the “World’s Largest Ethernet Cable”.
  2. Comment directly to the FCC through the shortcut link set up thanks to the Great John Oliver: www.gofccyourself.com.
  3. Email the FCC (Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov, Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov, Mike.O'Reilly@fcc.gov, Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov, Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov) and express your displeasure.
Photos from Indivisible Houston's Net Neutrality Action

 

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Republican Operative: ‘I can’t look any minority in the eye now and say vote GOP’ (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-08 15:12

Republican Operative Doug Heye had a prescient statement that likely took many by surprise for its honesty about the Republican Party. Until more Republicans can say the things he said, the party will remain the party full of the isms.

This Republican Operative must be commended for his honesty

Republican Operative: ‘I can’t look any minority in the eye now and say vote GOP’ https://t.co/IDn1q33FMH pic.twitter.com/gy70mQ0lie

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 8, 2017

Doug Heye made it clear that it is impossible to sell the Republican Party to those people it needs for its survival because of who they've become.

CNN Host Poppy Harlow asked Doug Heye for his thoughts on Trump's support for Roy Moore.

"Certainly he had been inching his way up there earlier this week," Doug Heye said. "We saw his Moore full-throated support. And now we see this today, the comments from the President."

Doug Heye then made sure all knew who he worked for in the Republican Party to give credence to the gravity of his words.

"I'll tell you as a Republican," Heye said. "Let me give you Poppy just real quickly my background. My first job in politics was for Jesse Helms. I think a lot of people know his history and his record with race. Later on, I went twice to work for Michael Steele who became the first African-American RNC Chairman. And then later worked for Eric Cantor who was the highest ranking highest Jewish Republican in electoral history in this country. So I think about race and the Republican Party a lot. I think about what we've done wrong. I think about what we try and do and how we can do right."

Heyes then laid into what the Republican Party has become.

"What really troubles me right now after two years of Donald Trump castigating immigrants," Heye said. "Going after minority families and now these latest comments about Roy Moore, saying that the last time America was great again was in slavery because somehow families were intact. When we know that, slave families were, ripped apart time and time again. It makes it really hard for me to identify what we're doing right regardless of policy. And it makes me, it makes it impossible for me to look any African American, any Hispanic American friend, any minority in the eye and say, 'You know what? Now's a good time to vote Republican.' I just think there are a whole lot more important things than wearing a red hat and saying MAGA."

It is wonderful watching a few center-right Republicans develop a spine. It would have been great if it was done during the primaries and the general election. David Brooks wrote an excellent op-ed today that described the rot that said dereliction created within the party. While I agree with most of it, I took exception to a couple of issues. But his critique of his former party is important.

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Fmr RNC chair slams GOP & Alabama voters for considering pedophile for Senate (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-08 12:44

To many, it seems like we are living in an alternate universe where Alabama may vote a slavery-accepting pedophile into office. And former RNC Chair explains what that means.

The MSNBC host asked the panel if the Alabama race was a referendum of the moment America is in right now, referring to women calling out the sexual harassment of males in power. The Associated Press Zeke Miller did not think so. He characterized the Alabama race as a state thing. Michael Steele interjected. He believes it is much broader than a local or state issue. Steele laid it out clearly to Alabama voters and the GOP for even considering voting a pedophile into the United States Senate.

Michael Steele thinks Alabama voting for a pedophile would be consequential

Fmr RNC chair slams GOP & Alabama voters for considering pedophile for Senate (VIDEO) https://t.co/lZmUIAX7Mg pic.twitter.com/xdRNjlaFHk

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 8, 2017

"The reality is this is not a typical Alabama race," Steele said passionately. "This is a race in which a pedophile is running for the United States Senate. And has the backing of the state party, has the backing of the national party, and has the backing of the Republican president. That is a whole different dynamic. If it was just a Roy Moore runoff candidate going whatever, that's different. But there is a lot of baggage with that. This has ramifications that go beyond Alabama. And that's the problem that a lot of people don't see."

The MSNBC host then pointed out that Moore's pedophilia was not the sole objection to his suitability for the Senate. He made comments about America being at its greatest during the time of slavery. Michael Steele's reaction was memorable,

"That made me feel right at home," Steele said. "The reaction to that is, stop and think what we are talking about. Who we are talking about.  Here is a man who is talking about better days. We were all better and stronger back in the day. Yes, there was slavery. Are you kidding me?  This is coming to the United States Senate along with your pedophilia? People, get a grip on what you are about to vote on here."

Some Republicans are speaking out. David Brooks had a great op-ed out today that I blogged about with a few caveats. Is it too little too late?

 

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Conservative Columnist David Brooks: The GOP is rotting.

Fri, 2017-12-08 01:36

Conservative David Brooks did not pull any punches as he excoriated the Republican Party as they continue their rot. Brooks' scathing piece titled "The G.O.P. Is Rotting," is a must-read.

Brooks points out that Donald Trump has asked the Republican Party to bend in his image and unfortunately much of the party obliged.

Now it’s clear that middle ground doesn’t exist. That’s because Donald Trump never stops asking. First, he asked the party to swallow the idea of a narcissistic sexual harasser and a routine liar as its party leader. Then he asked the party to accept his comprehensive ignorance and his politics of racial division. Now he asks the party to give up its reputation for fiscal conservatism. At the same time he asks the party to become the party of Roy Moore, the party of bigotry, alleged sexual harassment and child assault.

There is no end to what Trump will ask of his party. He is defined by shamelessness, and so there is no bottom. And apparently there is no end to what regular Republicans are willing to give him. Trump may soon ask them to accept his firing of Robert Mueller, and yes, after some sighing, they will accept that, too.
That’s the way these corrupt bargains always work. You think you’re only giving your tormentor a little piece of yourself, but he keeps asking and asking, and before long he owns your entire soul. The Republican Party is doing harm to every cause it purports to serve.

He scolded Republicans for wrapping themselves in Trumpism.

You don’t help your cause by wrapping your arms around an alleged sexual predator and a patriarchic bigot. You don’t help your cause by putting the pursuit of power above character, by worshiping at the feet of some loutish man or another, by claiming the ends justify any means. You don’t successfully rationalize your own tawdriness by claiming your opponents are satanic. You don’t save Christianity by betraying its message.

Brooks then went biblical.

“What shall it profit a man,” Jesus asked, “if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” The current Republican Party seems to not understand that question. Donald Trump seems to have made gaining the world at the cost of his soul his entire life’s motto.

David Brooks claims that the rot began with Sarah Palin. He is entirely wrong on that account. The decay was always there if controlled. But as soon as President Obama came into power, nothing could stop the growth of the rot as the TEA Party and others felt free to display their racism, xenophobia and all other isms openly.

It is the failure of the Republican Party to keep the lid on its demons that provided the fuel that created Donald Trump. The Donald is but the instantiation of the new Republicanism on steroids.

Brooks closed by attacking the anti-intellectualism of both the party's policies and the party proper.

Today’s tax cuts have no bipartisan support. They have no intellectual grounding, no body of supporting evidence. They do not respond to the central crisis of our time. They have no vision of the common good, except that Republican donors should get more money and Democratic donors should have less. The rot afflicting the G.O.P. is comprehensive — moral, intellectual, political and reputational. More and more former Republicans wake up every day and realize: “I’m homeless. I’m politically homeless.”

For the most part, David Books reads his former party well. What he has not done is lay the blame entirely where it belongs, with all of those who allowed the TEA Party and other Right Wing radicals to take over the party because of the timidity of the rank and file Republicans.

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Did Obama engage Trump? He warned invoking the specter of Nazi Germany.

Thu, 2017-12-07 14:59

We are in times existential times where old paradigms political or otherwise no longer exist. We have a lying, infantile president with hopes of grandeur running the country who is using all the isms to divide to maintain power. It is time for our former presidents to verbalize these realities. President Obama may have started that yesterday.

According to Crain's Chicago Business' Greg Hinz' article titled "Invoking the specter of Nazi Germany, Obama warns against complacency," while Obama did not name Trump, he was clear.

American democracy is fragile, and unless care is taken it could follow the path of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Mixed in with many softer comments, that was the somewhat jaw-dropping bottom line of Barack Obama last night as, in a Q&A session before the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicagoan who used to be president dropped a bit of red meat to a hometown crowd that likely is a lot closer to him than the man whose name never was mentioned: President Donald Trump. ...

One thing he's learned is that "things don't happen internationally if we don't put our shoulder to the wheel," Obama said, speaking of the U.S. "No other country has the experience and bandwidth and ideals. . . .If the U.S. doesn't do it, it's not going to happen."

Obama gave one specific example, but it was a solid one: Ebola. To fight the virus the U.S. did everything from build an airport tarmac in Africa to send in medical teams and ferry medicos from other countries. "We probably saved a million lives by doing that," he said.

At least indirectly, those comments could be seen as criticism of Trump, whose foreign policy focuses on an "America first" paradigm that critics say distracts from this country's unique role.

According to Hinz, the former President said complacency was a danger and that democracy must be tended lest it falls apart quickly. Obama also pointed out that a free press is essential and it was for that reason America survived the McCarthy red scare and the Nixon horrors.

President Obama is always measured when speaking his every word. It is for that reasons when short phrases are emanated out of his mouth they are given so much weight.

(h/t Daily Kos's itsnotbutter)

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Stephanie Ruhle: Why dumping Al Franken opens door for Trump’s impeachment (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-12-07 12:23

Stephanie Ruhle used Laura Ingraham to make the case that Al Franken may be the Democrats sacrificial lamb. I think they make a compelling case. Her reaction to using Right Wing Laura Ingraham to make her case was hilarious.

Al Franken, the sacrificial lamb

Stephanie Ruhle and her guests including a virtual one, Laura Ingraham may have a point about the speed with which Democrats want Al Franken out.

Ruhle was comical in that she used Laura Ingraham to make her point.

"I cannot believe it," Ruhle said. "Lightning is going to strike me. I am saying this. I want to share what Laura Ingraham had to say. Watch this. I really can't even believe I am playing this."

"They've come down with a sudden case of feverish morality," Ingraham said. "But what it really is, is nothing more than a political calculation by the Dems. It sets the precedent for the Democrats to try to drive Roy Moore from office should he win the Alabama Senate race. And two, this is the next step in the quest to impeach President Trump."

Stephanie returned to the screen still in shock that she used Ingraham to make her point.

"I feel like lightning is going to strike me," Ruhle said playing devil's, advocate. "Does Laura Ingraham have a point here. Democrats are going to, Al Franken could be the sacrificial lamb and say look at the moral high ground we found. Doesn't it take one simple moment for Republicans to turn around and say, 'A reminder? You stood behind Bill Clinton for 40 years."

Mike Pesca came in with the punch line to that.

"They're trying to grab the moral high ground but I think they did it," Pesca said. I mean 20 years ago is 20 years ago. There is nothing you can do about Bill Clinton now. But you have Farenthold there, a Republican who's in the House of Representatives. You have the president. What are you Republicans doing about it?"

 

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Will Democrats get savvy and take these steps as government shutdown threat looms?

Thu, 2017-12-07 01:07

Even though I can only respond to a few, I try to read comments from the readers of my articles and blog posts. I've found I have some extremely savvy, intelligent, and wise readers. James Lee commented on a recent post about the Republican tax cut scam with a prescient message that Democrats should heed whether a government shutdown comes to pass or not.

James Lee wrote the following.

With the threat of a government shut down looming don't you think that this is the best opportunity for Democrats to highlight the worst aspects of the tax cut bill? I do.

  • Remind the nation that a shut down is solely the fault of Republicans who control every branch of the federal government.
  • That Republicans are fighting among themselves about the best way to transfer money from the poor, working & middle class to the wealthy.
  • Use the new tax bill as an example of how they are transferring wealth - highlight the worst provisions in a clear understandable way.
  • Educate the public to the fact that these tax cut provisions can still be stopped and lead them to participate in efforts to derail the tax bill when it goes to conference.
  • Talk about three to four goals that Democrats would like to see in the tax bill.
  • Tie the tax bill to the government shutdown telling the public that Democrats will be fighting during shut down to stop the worse of the tax bill and improve it with their top provisions. This allows Democrats to conflate any government shutdown with the tax bill and now they can negotiate changes to the tax bill in exchange for help in avoiding shut down or restarting the government should a shutdown occur.

My two cents.

Everything James Lee wrote is on point and should be the modus operandi for the Democrats.

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Cold rainy night does not deter Indivisible Houston Tax Scam protest

Wed, 2017-12-06 20:10

Indivisible Houston is protesting Donald Trump and the Republicans' new tax cut bill. They included the following language in their event call out.

The #GOPTaxScam just robbed The People right in front of the watchful eyes of the world. By ramming a partisan package full of anti-poor provisions down the collective throats of the masses, 45 and his gang of congressional thugs have declared war on hardworking taxpayers and every single person who makes up the American social fabric, and we have had ENOUGH.

"We fight back as Congress seeks to reconcile its dueling versions of robbery and deliver a gift-wrapped heist to mega-corporations on the backs of working-class and middle-class families just in time for Christmas," said Daniel Cohen, President of Indivisible Houston. "Our Rally Against Robbery will include an extension of The People’s Filibuster, an auctioning off of each of our individual Houston area Congressional reps to finance the programs they have attempted to cut, and a united front against the worst legislation to hit reconciliation committees in decades."

 

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