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Member since: 2001
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A couple of thoughts on the Ford accusation

One thing that strikes me about Ford's story is that she says "I thought he might inadvertently kill me." In other words, he had his hand over both her mouth and her nose so that she couldn't breath, and she was worried that in his drunkenness he might suffocate her. No wonder she was so very scared by what he did and traumatized for years afterward. Not only fear of rape, but of death.

The other thing is that Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's wingman and drinking buddy, is kind of a (very minor) hero of the story. Though Judge is also drunk, it is Kavanaugh that pushes her into the room. Judge's comments range from "go for it" to "stop", which at least indicates he might have had a moment of humanity. And it is Judge who barrels into Kavanaugh in the middle of the assault, knocking him off of Ford, and giving her time to get out of the room. And, years later when he sees her again, he is apparently ashamed and uncomfortable. As much of an asshole he seems to have been, at least his actions led to the end of the assault.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Sat Sep 22, 2018, 03:34 PM (16 replies)

I don't think the democrats have their heads in the game

I keep thinking about that announcement that Claire McCaskill made earlier about not voting for Kavanaugh. To which I have to say - duh.

The president is a Russian asset and a criminal. The GOP senators she works with are all either compromised tools of Putin or at the very least are fine with letting Putin's agents run our government.

the DEFAULT position for Democratic senators should be "of course we are not going to vote for this fruit of a poisoned tree. convince me otherwise"

I mean, come on. They seem to think we are still living in congenial world, meanwhile they are going to get rolled. To think that a Democratic senator would have to announce - announce! - that she wasn't voting for an unindicted co-conspirator to this cabal of Russian puppets indicates to me that it took her some time to work that decision out. It should take about ten seconds to decide that Trump has no business re-making the court at this point. He's about to be indicted for numerous crimes. You can't let a criminal like that appoint his own judges.

I feel like we are trying to fight these fascists with a limp noodle.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 21, 2018, 03:09 PM (16 replies)

separated at birth: Kavanaugh, Dave Thomas

One can only hope the nominee will get involved with some hijinx at the Elsinor brewery and leave the rest of us alone

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Sep 17, 2018, 01:42 PM (6 replies)

Bribing our politicians to help us

I love the idea that Rep. Jayapal's Medicare for All PAC may help to push the US into finally adopting a sane health care system.


But what an indictment of our viciously corrupt system it is that we have to bribe our politicians to give us humane, inexpensive, and smart policy that a huge majority of our citizens want.

So now, we have to pay taxes that should fund better things for our lives, and then further pay to bribe our politicians to actually give us those things. (and of course, we have to fight the bribes they are receiving from forces that want to create worse lives for us).

What a great system of governance by money the supreme court has given us.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 14, 2018, 08:13 AM (5 replies)

If America is to be saved from Feudalism/Fascism,

some brave politician with power is going to eventually have to stand up to the banks and be extremely tough with them. Who/Where is that politician going to be/come from?

Many of us hoped it would be Bill Clinton. And while Clinton was a good manager, he gave the banks almost everything they could have hoped for in the last year or two of his presidency - especially the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

Many of us hoped it would be Barack Obama. And while Obama was a good manager, he let the banks majorly off the hook for the financial crisis, with hardly any criminal prosecution for the massive fraud committed, and no break ups of too-large-to-fail institutions. The recovery from the financial crash due to mortgage-backed securities was mostly one of protecting the banks, not the citizens and victims.

Not many of us hoped it would be Hillary Clinton. It was not a major part of her message, and a large part of the Clintons' modus operandi was working within the structures of American power. Which is a smart way to gain political power, but it certainly doesn't threaten the control the banks now have over government.

Elizabeth Warren has a record of being extremely tough on bankers, having studied their weasel words and fraud for decades. If she ran, I would again hope that the banks might finally be frustrated in getting so much of their way.

Salvation for us as a culture and as an economy lies only in frustrating the bottomless greed and rapaciousness of the banker class and the fraud and lawlessness of high finance. It won't come from the GOP, that much is blindingly obvious. Will it arise from the Democratic party? That seems to be our only hope, but I don't hear much of it in our messaging. Hardly any politician (outside of Warren) even talks about it much as a problem.

My support has to go to any politician who can talk about the problems of unchecked financial/banking power, the revolving door, and goals and plans to check that power. I really hope it comes out of the next set of Democratic candidates. We may not have much more time to wait.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Thu Sep 13, 2018, 09:17 AM (18 replies)

Bernie Sanders is doing exactly what he should be doing. Let's all do it

Sanders has had some powerful videos and popular pieces in the last few years calling Trump out on his lies, the GOP on their attack against Social Security and Medicare, and trickle down economics in general.

When I see one, I post it or kick and recommend the thread where someone else has posted it.

"Sanders isn't a Democrat" "Democratic politicians have been saying this too", etc., almost always follow that.

But Sanders is doing exactly what he, and every other American politician, should be doing: calling out lies and protecting the American public.

If it pains you to see something posted favorably about Sanders, then post some excellent messages from politicians you like even more! I will kick and recommend those, too, especially if they are smart in their messaging and progressive in their approach.

In fact, let's all compete to see who can post and kick up the most Trump-hostile and citizen-friendly messages we can find, from the politicians who we like the best. Politicians who make those statements and messages are on our side. I read a lot about how much better Democratic politicians are than Sanders. I'm open to it. Bring their messages here, loudly and proudly, and let's all work on getting rid of Trump and the corrupt GOP congress! But don't dump on Sanders for doing the right thing - all of us should be doing the right things, and I'm happy to have him fighting the good fight along with my party.

would it be too much work for the media to actually talk about who politicians are

There have been so many times in my life where I've been following some political story, and then two-three years later I read something more in depth that describes who a politician is married to, or who their father-in-law is, or what their brother does for a living . . .

. . . and all of the scales fall from my eyes. Their motivations become clear, based on who the power base around them is, and their family ties.

For example, Mitch McConnell is a horrible human being. His actions seem to be quite evil. And some of that might be explained by the fact that his wife (who coincidentally happens to be our secretary of Transportation, and prior was a most surprising choice for secretary of Labor by W), is worth at least $24 million and happens to be the daughter of the chairman of one of the most powerful shipping companies in Taiwan, with large interests in the US and China. No conflict of interest there, then, for the Transportation Secretary.

Bill Frist, a Republican senator who was pretty miserable on health care and health insurance issues when he was in the senate, turns out to the be the son of the man who founded a for-profit hospital system called Hospital Corporation of America.

Susan Collins' husband is a lobbyist for a group that represents the health industries.

Ted Cruz's wife works (or worked) for Goldman Sachs

W Bush's various family members profited from his presidency in a variety of ways

etc etc

The media present these people as if they exist in a vacuum, and very rarely, if ever, mention their family interests and ties. How can we battle corruption if it is constantly swept under the rug?

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Sep 12, 2018, 01:00 PM (9 replies)

If M*A*S*H were written by Republicans . . .

I caught some episodes of the classic series tonight with my daughter. It's now running on Hulu. The anti-war, pro-human message is so well carried forward. It made me wonder what the series would be like in today's pro-war, anti-human America.

Frank would be the hero, and Hawkeye would be "anti-American".

Colonel Flagg would be killing people with drone strikes.

The sentiments of the old series would never get made today, even though we have had 16 straight years and counting of continuous war.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Tue Sep 11, 2018, 09:18 PM (7 replies)

The number of young conservative thieves who will soon be on the S. C.

means that I will never see the good guys win a case again in my lifetime.

This really will mark the start of an unassailable dictatorship.

Schumer better hold his coalition together.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 7, 2018, 08:17 PM (0 replies)

Cory Booker's release of "confidential" information on Kavanaugh was political theater

It was carefully staged, as was his challenge to throw him out of the Senate.

However, having said that, I want more of this please! Well done political theater still demonstrates where we stand, indicates to our voters that you have the ability to at least fake courage (and possibly exhibit genuine courage when it matters), creates a media narrative that independents and conservatives understand also, generates headlines and is a strong signal that Democrats can and will stand up to Republicans, especially where Republicans are so obviously in the wrong.

Even an empty gesture (and Booker's action was not empty) is at least a gesture, and our side can use as much of that as possible.

Give us someone to root for, not just a cast of villains to root against.

More morale-boosting political theater please.

(For the record, I know that Booker has physical courage also, having jumped into a burning building recently. I'd love for him to take less corporate money, but that courage may come in time as well)
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Fri Sep 7, 2018, 10:21 AM (58 replies)
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