The Crack Widens

Just days before the mid-terms and our politics is so broken that it will take more than one election to repair.

It all began in the 1990’s with the election of Bill Clinton and the Midterms that followed.  The country started dividing itself along red and blue lines…political fault lines.

We have always been a country with two parties and two ways of looking at the role of government.

And with each election after that we have widened the crack in our society…….

The United States is politically fragmenting. It would seem that the various cultural and ideological stresses impacting the nation are destabilizing the country’s two traditional political parties.

At this point in the fragmentation process we can identify four political groupings. They are (1) those of Democratic Party persuasion—and it should be noted that the Democrats are being stressed by contesting interpretations of just what the party stands for; (2) those of continuing Republican Party persuasion, which by now really represents a small “rump” party of Trump supporters; (3) the independents now bolstered by what once was the “moderate” multitude of the Republican Party as well as a growing number of ex-Democrats on the disaffected left; and (4) the mass of apoliticalAmericans who have always been alienated from politics and usually do not vote. This last group also may well be growing. Let’s look at these four groups in more detail against the backdrop of contemporary events.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/19/political-fragmentation-on-the-homefront/

Vote by vote and issue by issue and eventually we have the situation that we have found ourselves in today……division……

Despite common differences and shared values Americans are becoming more politically polarized. And it seems to be happening in large part because our tribal leaders are intentionally dividing us for their own political gains. I find this deeply disturbing and it’s something that is damaging our country as it results in a government that cannot legislate in the best interests of its citizens. So I wanted to write a few thoughts about what’s happening and why.

My general theory of this political polarization is a bit like my theory of an inter-temporal conundrum in finance. Basically, we have short term needs that are best fixed using mostly longer-term views, but we have a  political system and a news media that feeds on our short-term biases. This is creating a whip-saw effect where we are consistently dissatisfied by the wrong short-term policies that are enacted and this leads to the seasaw of changing leadership that results in little effective change. The only real winners in this whole saga are the political leaders who have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

https://www.pragcap.com/theyre-dividing-us/

Like I have written…this division is destroying the country and few seem to notice because they are too busy insulting the people around them……

I rarely tell readers what to believe. Rather I try to indicate why it might be wise to distrust, at least without very good evidence, what those in power tell us we should believe.

We have well-known sayings about power: “Knowledge is power”, and “Power tends to corrupt, while absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” These aphorisms resonate because they say something true about how we experience the world. People who have power – even very limited power they hold on licence from someone else – tend to abuse it, sometimes subtly and unconsciously, and sometimes overtly and wilfully.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/24/hiding-in-plain-sight-why-we-cannot-see-the-system-destroying-us/

All this division worries me.  This country is so much better than the silliness we have as a government these days.

Mid-Terms are approaching….time for a change….then we have 2020 it will definitely be time for a change.

Only you the voter can change the track of this country……make the country come first.

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Closing Thought–09Oct18

With the mid term just days away (28 to be accurate) and the House is up for re-election…maybe the voters in California should pay attention to one of their officials.

We know one of the major cowards of the House, Nunes, he is the leader of the Trump enablers in Congress…..it is fun to watch him when his betrayal of the American people is discovered he looks like a deer caught in the headlights when he faces the cameras.

He taunts the fact that his family are California dairy farmers……maybe not so much…

One fact seems to emerge in every profile of Devin Nunes, the powerful GOP chair of the House Intelligence Committee and one of President Trump’s staunchest defenders: As the familiar story goes, Nunes’ family runs a dairy farm in California, and that farming background is central to his very being. But Ryan Lizza at Esquire writes that he has uncovered a “secret” about all this: “The Nunes family dairy of political lore—the one where his brother and parents work—isn’t in California. It’s in Iowa.” The Nunes did have a farm in California’s Central Valley—and an uncle is still there—but the congressman’s immediate family sold their farm in 2006 and bought another in the small town of Sibley, Iowa. Nunes, however, seems to have gone to great lengths to keep this fact under the radar, writes Lizza. Why? It might have something to do with undocumented immigrants.

Farms in that part of Iowa survive mainly on immigrant labor, and Lizza writes that it’s an “open secret” that many of those laborers are in the country illegally and use bogus documents that say otherwise. “Eighty percent of the Latino population out here in northwest Iowa is undocumented,” says one dairy farmer who adopts a don’t-look-too-closely attitude at the ID papers presented. Does that mean that Nunes’ farm does the same? Not necessarily, but another farmer says it would be “next to impossible” for a farm of that size (43 acres) to have only fully legal workers. That could explain the frosty reception Lizza was given by Nunes’ brother, and the rotating white Yukons that seemed to follow him everywhere he went in Sibley. Read the full story.

Nunes is a tool……Nunes is an enabler of a corrupt administration….he gives the term douche bag a new meaning.

On that note I take leave for the day…..you guys have a good day and evening…..chuq

We Will Survive!

With less than 30 days before the mid-terms the Dems are looking good for the House…..

There has been so much doom and gloom around the election of a president……and no this does not necessarily mean Dear Leader…..it could be a reference to all the trash and noise that was muttered and printed when the US elected its first black dude as president.

Now we are just days away from the Mid-Terms and the Dems are confident that there will be a Blue Wave…..and the president is saying there will be a Red Wave….and the voter is in the middle of these dueling entities totally confused.

My take is that there will be significant Dem gains….not because they have a better message…they do not…..it is that more and more voter no longer trusts the GOP to stick to traditional message.

I mean really?  Does this Dem message sound like a winner or maybe pizza ad?

“A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages.”

That’s right this is the new and improved Dem message for the elections to come.

I have heard of some crappy political slogans….but this one is by far the biggest pile of bovine fecal matter……I am sorry but this is a cop out of the old “New Deal” slogans from 75 years ago…..

The Dems have no clue what to do as far as approaching elections are concerned….this has been written by myself……https://lobotero.com/2018/03/07/dear-democrats/

Then there is the BS of eliminating ICE….really?  This is a NO starter for the election……I would like to see a good foreign policy (after all I am a Foreign policy wonk)….but so far I have nothing that would excite me to voting for a Dem……the best they can do in the more radical corners of the party is condemn Israel and the occupation of Gaza……

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already slayed some dragons. On foreign policy, however, the Democratic candidate for New York’s 14th congressional district is wielding a dull sword. On a recent episode of PBS’ Firing Line, Ocasio-Cortez failed to explain comments she’d previously made about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Asked what she meant by “the occupation of Palestine,” she dodged the question, saying: “I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue.” As one of the most prominent self-identified democratic socialists in American politics, her stumble seems at odds with the political affiliation she’s publicly claimed. The website of the Democratic Socialists of America, of which she is a member, says it views “the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and its inhumane siege of Gaza as the major barrier” to peace in the region.

It’s reasonable to assume that Ocasio-Cortez would be able to defend this relatively common position. But it’s become common in recent years for left-wing politicians to either botch or dodge foreign policy issues. During 2016’s Democratic presidential primary, Senator Bernie Sanders initially failed to articulate much of a foreign policy platform—a strange oversight given that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, was a former secretary of state and a former senator who’d supported the invasion of Iraq. Sanders didn’t put forward a clearer foreign policy vision until 2017. “Foreign policy must take into account the outrageous income and wealth inequality that exists globally and in our own country,” he said during a 2017 speech at Westminster College.

https://newrepublic.com/article/150317/left-wings-foreign-policy

In conclusion….the Dems will win in the mid-terms but not because they have a superior message….to the contrary……their wins will be because of a divisive Dear Leader.

And then the Dems will revert back to their corporate roots and do nothing to improve the lives of the voters.

Regardless of the mid-term outcomes this country will survive….but the question should be ….in what form?

So I have written!

Turn The Page!

Closing Thought–28Sep18

Obama’s Fault!

These days the comedians in the Trump GOP are still blaming everything that goes wrong on Obama.

There is an Arizona GOP candidate that is such a dick that even his family will not vote for him and even went so far as to make an ad against his candidacy….

Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar admitted to being hurt by the political attack ad that featured six of his siblings saying they were voting for his opponent and blamed the tactic on former President Barack Obama.

During a radio interview on The Mike Broomhead Show Monday, Gosar explained to host Mike Broomhead that on a personal level it did “sting” to see his siblings in the advertisement. “Blood is supposed to be thicker than water,” he explained.

Gosar shared that his son is named after his brother, Gaston, who appeared in the ad, and that it’s taken a toll on him. However, the congressman chalked it up to the old saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

https://www.newsweek.com/arizona-congressman-paul-gosar-says-ads-featuring-siblings-stings-claims-its-1138279

You gotta love it when the brothers and sisters of a candidate think he is such a bad choice that they make campaign ads against his/her candidacy…..

It is a Friday and the beginning of a weekend….enjoy your time….chuq

Money And Elections

The 2018 mid-terms is just days away…..and as with every election for decades the talking points will be about which party and/or candidate has put together the most donors and cash.

Everybody knows the old talking points about campaign cash…..he who spends the most wins….Dark money……yada yada…..

But there is a bit more to the effects of cash on elections than the 30 second sound bite network TV gives the listeners….

The Nerds at geeky website, fivethirtyeight.com, has put together a good piece to explain the effects of cash on elections.

To quote the great political philosopher Cyndi Lauper, “Money changes everything.” 1 And nowhere is that proverb more taken to heart than in a federal election, where billions of dollars are raised and spent on the understanding that money is a crucial determinant of whether or not a candidate will win.

This year, the money has been coming in and out of political campaigns at a particularly furious pace. Collectively, U.S. House candidates raised more money by Aug. 27 than House candidates raised during the entire 2014 midterm election cycle, and Senate candidates weren’t far behind. Ad volumes are up 86 percent compared to that previous midterm. Dark money — flowing to political action committees from undisclosed donors — is up 26 percent.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/money-and-elections-a-complicated-love-story/

SCOTUS has made corporations equal to individuals and in doing so made the dark money a driving force in elections…..it has replaced real issues with the direction of donors.

Just 15 groups were responsible for more than 75 percent of dark money political spending from 2010 to 2016, and together poured more than $600 million—out of a total of $800+ million—into campaigns in the wake of the landmark Citizens United case, according to a new analysis from Issue One, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for stricter campaign finance rules.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/13/citizens-united-just-15-groups-account-75-percent-800-million-dark-money-spent-us

Dems are just as bad as the GOP…..they talk a mean game but do little to change anything…..

For voters concerned about the bad consequences of big business spending on elections, a New York Times reportlast month promised mid-summer relief. “Tired of Money in Politics, Some Democrats Think Small,” the headline read.

The accompanying article, which focused on a Minnesota Congressional contest, noted that, “in mid-term races around the country…dozens of Democrats [are] rejecting donations from political action committees, or PACs, that are sponsored by corporations or industry groups.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/12/big-money-in-politics-are-leading-democrats-really-on-the-wagon-or-still-sneaking-a-drink/

Dems are always bitching about the money in politics and all the while are standing with their hands out.  There is only one way to remove big money from politics……by law and by making elections a federal funded operation…..no private money.

That Leadership Question

AS the 2018 Midterms are looming large and the 2020 presidential election is only two short years away…..the question of leadership from our elected officials should be a paramount question that needs a definitive answer.

I tried to touch on this question recently with a post here on IST……https://lobotero.com/2018/08/29/what-does-it-take-to-be-a-good-leader/

This country desperately needs a good leader….in my opinion we have not had such for at least 50 years…we have had popular leaders but that does not mean they were good leaders.

Leadership is a difficult quality to obtain and there are fallacies that come with the title of “Good Leader”……

Six Leadership Fallacies

1. Burton Brender

One of the hardest things a leader will ever have to do is accurately assess the performance and potential of his or her workers.  Often, leaders have so much on their plate that really observing their people is a challenge, and it doesn’t help that there are false signals out there that can fool even the wisest of supervisors.  These fallacies can make people who are less competent, and less scrupulous, appear better than they are.  To be on guard against them, leaders must constantly assess themselves when meting out rewards, promotions, and punishment.  Falling for a leadership fallacy can see the wrong person advanced and drive the right people away.

(Please read on about the fallacies)

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/six-leadership-fallacies

There are many qualities that a “Good Leader” must have if they are to be successful….again let me emphasize that good does not necessarily mean popular.

Violence Will Ensue

During a recent speech/rally/interview (who knows which…they all sound and appear the same) Our Dear Leader was talking about the upcoming midterms….what appears to be a “blue wave” has Our Dear Leader worried…so worried that he had to make up another one of his now famous lies…..

Does President Donald Trump really think there will be “violence” from the left if Republicans lose control of Congress in the November midterms? Isn’t the whole point of winning an election to get what you want without turning to violence?

Yet, “violence” was in Trump’s forecast in a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders Monday at the White House, according to audio reportedly obtained by NBC and The New York Times.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/page/ct-perspec-page-trump-evangelicals-stormy-daniels-0902-20180831niels-20180831-story.html

Seriously?  Does he truly believe the Dems or as he calls them “The Left” have enough guts to overthrow the Trump agenda?  (I shall pause here for laughter)

Does this micro brain idiot really think there is a true “Left” in this country? (that is rhetorical)

If he had made this prediction back in the 60-70’s when there was an actual Left in this country then maybe he would appear to have more than half a brain.

But today when the country is ruled by the wealthy where does he see this non-existent “Left”….as an old radical I cannot find them so I doubt if Our Dear Leader can either.

I find it hard to fathom that the GOP still tries to blame every loss to a Dem as creeping socialism….but it makes sense since their programs are worthless and favor only the wealthy that they would need to make an imaginary foe to make themselves look viable.

There are only so many ways to debunk the lies  Take  fruit salad, a potato salad and a chef salad….they are all called “salad” but they are NOT the same….I wish I could get simpler than that but I am at a loss for simplicity.

The only violence is that Our Dear Leader tells his slobbering supporters to do……not in so many words but rather in the innuendo that he has become famous for using.