Sanders Stands With Muslims At DC Mosque

Bernie Sanders on Wednesday became the second Democratic presidential candidate to visit a mosque. The U.S. senator from Vermont attended an interfaith roundtable at Masjid Muhammad, a mosque located some two miles from the White House in Washington, D.C. Sanders and various faith leaders called for an end to “the anti-Muslim rhetoric and hatred” they say… Continue reading

CNN Debate a Sad Reminder of Politics and Media in 2015

Anyone who watched CNN recently to follow Donald Trump’s antics undoubtedly noticed the clock counting down to the start of the Republican debate along with overdramatic commercials seeming to promise a fight night. CNN basically turns into a sports network for debates, hyping the big event and running pregame coverage all day and especially in primetime. Pundits and partisans make predictions and use spin to ponder such important issues like what zinger Trump will use or how a December 2015 debate will affect a candidate’s mid-December polling for the 2016 election. People also seem to pretend like Trump’s policies are worthy of debate, thus normalizing fringe ideas, especially the similar and same fringe ideas that other Republican candidates use covertly. CNN primes the audience for a debate that, like its coverage, will mostly be style over substance, a debate that could eventually help decide the next president of America.

The debate wasn’t much different from watching Vince McMahon wrestling productions. Last night’s theme was fear, terror, and insecurity, and thousands of people attended live as they could hardly bear the suspense of what exciting thing would happen next. Someone says something that gets a few people to applaud, and then another candidate throws a sharp left hook with a rebuttal that makes the crowd go wild. Now people in the audience are split in who they support and hope their candidate lands the next big blow. If all else fails, the candidate can run out the time in each round to make it sound like he/she gave a good answer and to avoid having to actually answer the question. A more aggressive tactic may be to jump into the ring and start attacking without being called on by a moderator, talking over opponents if necessary. Even the moderators provided some of the entertainment. The audience loved it, but a Republican debate once again makes America worse off than it would have been if it hadn’t watched.

The vast majority of the debate focused on foreign policy and national security, which allowed the candidates to pivot to any terrorism talking point at their disposal regardless of the question. It creates a feedback loop in which polling shows America’s greatest fear is from terrorism stemming from a fundamental interpretation of Islam, the media cover terrorist stories extensively, politicians fear-monger for exploitation, and then the candidates further fear-monger in a debate focused almost exclusively on terrorism. This debate happened a few days after 195 nations reached a historic climate deal in Paris, and scientists continue to urge the need to act now before it’s too late. America’s own military considers climate change a national security threat, and yet CNN didn’t think climate change was an important enough issue. Obama and others (although Bernie Sanders misspoke in the last debate) correctly extrapolated from a study that droughts exacerbated by climate change in the Middle East helped create some of the conditions that allow terrorists to thrive. Instead, the only thing the right does is create a straw man argument that makes Obama look especially stupid. To the uninformed, they make it sound like Obama thinks some bad weather makes people mad enough to become terrorists, which of course sounds ludicrous. The Republicans ignore the actual argument by simply misrepresenting it and dismissing the argument based on their perceived absurdity instead of evaluated evidence.

Everything ties back to style over substance. Talking about the climate deal, infrastructure, Wall Street banks, campaign finance reform, and so on are all boring. The media want exciting because that’s what the people want, and that excitement tends to blind people to the fact that the Republicans don’t want to avoid talking about policy because it’s boring. They want to hide their complete lack of substance, and jumping up and down about terrorism and Obama and Hillary and Benghazi serves as a great distraction. While Governor Chris Christie uses emotional appeals, fear-mongering, ad hominem attacks against Obama and Hillary Clinton while using snarl words, and his experience as proof that he’s correct about what he says, Christie’s state continues to suffer. He released a supposedly bold social security plan that would actually deplete the fund faster than if nothing changed. Yet the New Hampshire Union Leader still defends his social security plan, and there’s hardly any criticism of the paper or the plan. But Christie was in New Jersey and knew people at the towers on 9/11, which is sad and scary, so therefore everything he says about forfeiting our rights to the N.S.A. must be correct.

Christie serves as one example, but every candidate flooded the airwaves with their empty calorie rhetoric last night. Going through the transcripts reveal very little in terms of substance, but when the lights shine right and the crowd jeers and cheers while Trump makes faces, people overlook the lack of substance. When people think terrorism lurks constantly right around the corner and candidates talk like the apocalypse is coming, people overlook the lack of substance, forfeit their rights out of false comfort, and turn on each other in fits of paranoia. After everyone wakes up, media will be back to covering the big lines from last night until eventually moving onto whatever outrageous thing Trump says next. Pundits will grade the candidates on how they appeared and by their appeal to voters because there’s no substance to grade, but everyone will pretend like that’s normal.

At a certain point, people must realize that there’s a whole other major party in America, the Democrats. In fairness to media, the D.N.C. scheduled only a few debates and many at odd times, but the media obsesses over the circus, the clown car. That obsession also distracts people from actual issues. The focus winds up being on the horse race instead of the issues and what politicians are doing about them. It’s also how Republicans slip in outrageous pro-business riders onto must-pass legislation, by keeping people distracted with Ebola and Syrian refugees. That tactic also forces Democrats to spend most of their political capital defeating efforts such as defunding the Affordable Care Act and stopping the acceptance of Syrian refugees.

A number of Republicans barely have any policy positions on their websites, and most of them are nonsense. Many of those policies are never questioned, with most of the focus going to the most absurd policies of Trump. The media ought to visit the Democratic candidates’ websites. The general policy outlines do outweigh the detailed white papers released by Democrats so far, but they’re focused, ambitious, and progressive. Martin O’Malley has his 15 Goals to Build the American Dream. Bernie Sanders outlines 17 issues and Hillary Clinton outlines 24 issues. The candidates collectively have exciting and promising ideas, and as they start to become more detailed, media coverage and public debate could also help shape and detail these ideas. The Democratic debates show what this idea should look like. People may be passionate, but instead of insults, they have actual policy discussion and debate. Everyone learns something, maybe people’s minds change, and maybe some good policies become better and bad policies get rooted out before progressing further. We know that’s not how it will work though. We’ll focus on Trump, ignore the fact that many of the other candidates attend events hosted by fringe and hate groups, ignore the fact that trickle-down economics don’t work, really just ignore reality in general. The only focus on Democrats will be about Clinton and fake scandals, red-baiting with Sanders, or falsely equivocating Sanders with Trump.

The Bernie Sanders campaign sums up the problem in one sad quote.

ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ has devoted 81 minutes to Donald Trump’s campaign so far this year compared to a mere 20 seconds on Sanders through the end of November. NBC’s “Nightly News” afforded 2.9 minutes of coverage to Sanders since January. The “CBS Evening News” provided viewers 6.4 minutes of coverage on the Vermont senator.

Style over substance and corporate media ratings shouldn’t be more important than truth and substance.

A Prominent Republican On Whether He’ll Vote For Trump If He’s The GOP Nominee: “Not a chance”

One Republican’s Message to Today’s GOP

Write for All Things Democrat in 2016!

We’re looking for volunteer writers in 2016!  Apply online at Jobs4Dems.com.

Friday Feminism – Abortion & Reproductive Rights, Gun Violence and War on the Poor

Lead Story

Photos via MSN, provided by Redbook

Photos via MSN, provided by Redbook

 Eight Year Old Orphaned Burn Victim Wants Cards For Christmas – Address in the article.

Abortion & Reproductive Rights

♀ Anti-Choice Pastor Refuses to Follow Crisis Pregnancy Center Regulations

 Planned Parenthood Opens New Clinic Days After Colorado Shooting

♀ Supreme Court Rejects Latest Delay Tactic by Center for Medical Progress

♀ Nearly 400 Anti-Abortion Bills Were Introduced Across the Country This Year

Anti-Choice Protesters Need Your Children To See Adorable Fetus Pix On Their Way To Class

Two Rivers Public Charter School alleges in a complaint filed in D.C. Superior Court that the protesters have engaged in “extreme and outrageous conduct” during the past several months, targeting schoolchildren as young as 3 with gruesome images of aborted fetuses and messages about the “murder facility” going in next to their school.

Continue reading

RW Tries to Blame Liberals For Trump

We’re all used to the Right Wing alternate universe where up is down, black is white and lies are truth; but recently, some guy at The Federalist finally snapped his frayed tether to reality. In a post titled “How the Left Created Donald Trump“, Paul David Miller attempts to deflect the blame for his party’s detestable front runner. He begins:

BS“Voters like Donald Trump not so much because they hate Mexicans and Muslims, but because they hate progressive bigotry.”

While you’re laughing, I’m going to grab some more coffee… Anyway, his first paragraph is straight out of the George Will school of writing. Miller quotes philosophers, and physicist Isaac Newton to show you he knows stuff; then ends with a quote from, of all things, a Marvel Comics character. Guess he’s really cool, too. He finally wraps it up with:

In other words, if you want to understand where … Donald Trump’s soft fascism comes from, look no farther than the progressive left.

He could have just said that in the first place.

Calling Donald Trump’s fascism “soft” is a journalistic crime; but Miller has probably become immune to the sounds of Right Wing vitriol. There’s nothing soft about Donald Trump, and make no mistake: He is the logical outcome of decades of Right Wing rhetoric. I’m surprised it took this long for them to float a such a candidate.

Mr. Miller can try to spin it, but the fact is: Their front runner for the 2016 nomination for President is the culmination of years of party bigotry and racism, aimed at creating “angry white guys”.  THEY OWN DONALD TRUMP.

11891198_645861028850006_7296174684282153592_nTrump’s latest call to ban Muslims from the U.S. comes on the heels of stating he would shut down U.S. Mosques, and consider establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S., none of which would pass constitutional muster. They sound like the musings of a deranged dictator, hence the continual Hitler comparisons on social media.

Before his religious persecution faze, Trump’s main target was undocumented immigrants (which he, like many, seem to think are all Latino). Again, in Hitleresque fashion, he classified the entire group as rapists and criminals. When two of his fans, citing him as an “inspiration”, beat up a Latino homeless man, Trump excused their behavior, telling the press:

“I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again…”

Most would not categorize what he would do to this country as great. In another campaign appearance, members of his “passionate” audience beat up a Black protester. Trump refused to condemn their actions, instead saying: “Maybe he should have been roughed up.” More mob boss than presidential in my opinion.

Miller continues:

… Classical liberalism advocated for the right of free speech, association, press, religion, and so forth. Young progressives increasingly do not believe* in the unrestricted right of free speech.

* The poll Mr. Miller links to above is actually about whether the government should be able to prohibit “offensive statements about minority groups.” The millennials’ percentage of 40% is not much higher than Americans as a whole at 33%.

Progressives have labeled some traditional religious beliefs “hate speech…”

Now, that’s just Miller playing dumb, he knows what actual hate speech is. For those who don’t, here is the legal definition (my emphasis):

… Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence

The fact is, hate speech is not telling your congregants that homosexuality goes against religious doctrine, because in many faiths it does. Hate speech is when someone whose religion opposes gay marriage:

Suggests putting gays in an electrified pen until they die, or

Proposes a bill calling for the execution of state residents for being gay

Hate speech is when you

Declare all Muslims to be “barbaric terrorists that need to be hunted down and killed.”

Hate speech is when you

Distribute flyers throughout a neighborhood that read “Get the Blacks Out”, and contain an image of a KKK member aiming a gun at a black child’s head.

Governor Nelson Rockefeller warned his party about its growing extremism in 1964:

These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror. They have no program for America – no program for the Republican party. They have no solution for our problems of chronic unemployment, of education of agriculture, or racial injustice or strife.

n.a. rockefellerThese extremists have no plan and no program to keep the peace and bring freedom to the world.

On the contrary – they spread distrust. They engender suspicion. They encourage disunity…

There is no place in this Republican party for those who would infiltrate its ranks, distort its aims, and convert it into a cloak of apparent respectability for a dangerous extremism.

Rockefeller would never have imagined that, not only would extremists continue to infiltrate the party, they would some day take it over. No, Liberals didn’t create Donald Trump; he’s been growing in a Right Wing political petri dish for generations.

Maybe Mr. Miller should read a little less philosophy and comic books, and do a little research on his own party. Just a thought.

President Obama’s Address: ‘Freedom Is More Powerful Than Fear’

Here is the full text of his speech, as provided by the White House. Tonight, I addressed the nation from the Oval Office on my top priority as President: Keeping the American people safe. It weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of all of us in the wake of the terrible tragedy in San Bernardino.… Continue reading

Shooting here, a shooting there… NRA & GOP Message: Embrace Violence, Shed Blood

As 2015 winds to a bloody close, last week, similar to the preceding 40, the world witnessed THREE shootings. However, a disturbing trend emerges with many of these murderers in custody. Increasingly, the motivations for violence are directly inspired by right-wingers, conservative tea-party Republicans pushing a propaganda of carnage through organizations and media outlets.

  1. The Planned Parenthood murdering zealot, asserted the ridiculous bible thumping conundrum of killing people to save the fetuses. A duplicitous reasoning resembling the Salem Witch Trials of Puritans burning, drowning people to death in order to save them extends to the apostles determined to kill EVERYONE, they perceive threatening their crusade. A clear connection exists between the GOP and terrorist shooters repeating exact words, particularly snippets from 2016 candidates. Most odious are the anti-abortionists, repeatedly proving themselves the antithesis of life, publicly cheering the deaths of three people preserving every human being’s inherent autonomy.

gop terrorist inflame their gun nut followersThe attack by Robert Lewis Dear Jr., on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado over Thanksgiving weekend was  “definitely politically motivated,’’…. as he clearly stated, ‘No more baby parts,’ a quote taken directly from Senator Ted Cruz (R) -TX speeches, and referenced by each 2016 GOP candidate. However, the offense doesn’t end with the party, their supporters denigrated this atrocity beyond revulsion.

Anti-abortionists nakedly rejoicing at the deaths of  last Wednesday’s shooting victims didn’t end with their remorseless tweets. Local Rep. JoAnn Windholz (R) -Commerce City, blamed Planned Parenthood for the brutal assaults in lieu of the killer. For her transgression, the decent conscientious people of the state are demanding her resignation and petitioning for an election recall.

bitch palin 2

Former Gabrielle Gifford’s (D) – AZ district indicated by pointer

2. In 2011, Palin released a map with cross haired bull-eyes indicating districts she and the teabag revolution intended to target Democrats. Tragically, Jared Loughner undertook this direction, shot and killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl, wounded Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others. The news media, politicians decried the murderer as a “lone wolf” with mental health issues. Everyone aggressively adopted this stance, declaring his conservative partisan proclivities, nor inflammatory rhetoric held sway, despite his own words, “I can’t trust the current government”.

Our nation is at a cross roads, Scotland, Australia traversed these hapless episodes BUT they chose to preserve lives by passing gun laws, policy….Both countries crossed their watershed moment with ONE massacre incident of school children. Each demonstrated more love for their kids than their guns, greed or power. Instead, the US will close the year being shotwith 355 shootings outnumbering 336 calendar days. Until American voters refuse to accept the national state of emergency diminishing our overall safety, I can definitely forecast, the year will not close without another shooting, more deaths staining the holiday season.

 

The Fight For LGBT Equality Is Not Over

YouTube Preview Image

No Difference? Really?

Lawyers Guns & Money’s Scott Lemieux takes on the notion put forth in Doug Henwood’s new book that there’s no real difference between Democrats and Republicans: The idea that abortion is the only issue on which Democrats are substantively different from Republicans is, at his late date of intense polarization, rather jaw-dropping. Hell, even with respect… Continue reading

Friday Feminism – Good Cop/Bad Cop, Gun Violence and Women in Politics

Lead Story

Who Turned My Blue State Red? – Are the poor in rural red states really voting against their own best interests by electing Republicans who want to slash the social safety net? The answer is more complex than you might think.

Abortion & Reproductive Rights

Abortion Clinics Nationwide Stay Open Despite Threats

Future of Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs uncertain

Joshua Feuerstein: Let’s Punish Planned Parenthood; Abortion Doctors Must “Be Afraid for Their Life”

♀ The Outrageous Things Planned Parenthood Workers Do to Stay Alive –

Wearing Disguises, Hiring Bodyguards, Constantly Changing Your Route Home: These are the outrageous things Planned Parenthood workers do to stay alive.

Continue reading