Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 67,284
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 67,284
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...rules and norms Democrats have been held to at risk of their careers or livelihoods if they strayed a millimeter are being brushed aside at lightning speed for Donald Trump.
That shouldn't surprise anyone here, but it's still stunning how much bashing Democrats have taken on over the years for even suggestions of impropriety, or, been subject to endless hearings and investigations for unsubstantiated claims about conflicts of interest or influence-peddling.
Contrast that against the imminent inauguration of a billionaire with hundreds of business interests all over the globe, assuming control of the Executive Branch. Trump claims today that he'll remove himself from these business interests, but without a strict blind trust, that is just going to be another one of his brazen lies. If he's going ahead with his plan to put his children in charge of his assets, that's an even deeper deception.
I've heard something at least twice on the news today which is disturbing. The suggestion was made - once as a reflection of Trump's thinking, the other as an outright assertion - that since the voting public ALREADY KNEW of Trump's potential conflicts when they elected him, questions of impropriety rest on their judgment (a minority of total voters), as if ethics and adherence to our nation's laws is only accountable to a national lottery.
Who missed the wall-to-wall coverage of Hillary's emails? Almost all of the prominent discussion of Trump's financial conflicts came up AFTER the election. Now the press is reporting one Trump outrage after the other with the routine of a weather report, as if he's some kind of inviolable monarch.
These are strange and dangerous times. The reason there's so much uncertainty as to whether a Trump presidency will be held accountable is all about the republican majority in Congress and their demonstrated indifference and hypocrisy where their own misconduct and criminality is concerned.
Most of the media has already accepted as a given that Trump won't be subject to the same standard of judgment from republicans that Pres. Obama or Hillary Clinton have endured, and, having relied for decades on republican faux-outrage against Democrats to dominate their political coverage, don't seem to be able to find any moral center of their own where Trump is concerned.
I'm not a pessimist. I wake up every day looking and expecting to make a positive difference. I believe in our democracy, and I believe in our democratic system of government. There is a point, however, where those institutions can turn so dramatically and so destructively against our lives and interests that our government becomes a real and present danger. I think that's where we're heading.
Many in the public and press living in autocracies like the one Trump is deliberately developing our nation's government into, either revolt against them, or gradually settle into accepting whatever they can get out of the corrupt regimes that accommodates their interests or needs. Witness the press today, reduced to responding to tweets instead of demanding full access, full press availability, instead of merely advancing pronouncements from our future president as legitimate political discourse.
Witness the instant impotency of the press when confronting a future White House that doesn't give a shit what they think or say. Hell, if you can't hold the President of the United States accountable... witness.
Posted by bigtree | Wed Nov 30, 2016, 02:50 PM (6 replies)
I'M staying home this Thanksgiving and our two adult boys have only to travel the stairway to the upstairs to eat a decent meal and and grace my wife and I with their interminable charm and wit. It's nice to not have to gussy-up and head out to the in-laws. Anyway, we're the elders now, all of our parents passed on.
I'm going to have football on (my favorite sleep aid) and a rare Thanksgiving night off from work . . . Who can ask for anything more?
____I haven't always shunned traveling to see relatives on the holidays. Nowadays there's just us 'kids' to gather together, since all of the old ones are gone. There's also a sibling each on both sides of our family missing from the table, as well, so getting together for the holidays these days is less ordered and optional. But there was a time when traveling to see the in-laws for the holidays was a pretty big deal.
Posted by bigtree | Wed Nov 23, 2016, 10:09 PM (9 replies)
Out of all the people to worry over after the Trump-bomb hit last Tuesday, some folks are wringing their hands over the plight of the 'white working-class,' and what the Democratic party might have done to woo them away from voting for a man who makes David Duke blush.
Even one of our own party's candidates in this election couldn't resist sending out sweet-nothings of regret to the wwc into the miasmic air of the 2016 postmortem.
Without a tinge of self-consciousness that he's not actually a true member of the Democratic party, Bernie Sanders, nonetheless, anguished openly this week about what he claims is the inability of Democrats to "talk to white working-class."
Bernie Sanders @BernieSanders
In an interview on 'CBS This Morning' Sanders insisted that Hillary "...should have won the election by 10 percentage points. The question is why is it that millions of white working class people who voted for Obama turned their backs on the Democratic Party?Ē
The first answer to that question is that, obviously, Trump was a different candidate than Romney and McCain. He had a lurid and prevaricating campaign appeal which would have been an anathema to his republican predecessors. I'm not talking about the types of campaign rhetoric that came from Sanders during the primary that Hillary's 'Wall Street connections' meant that she couldn't or wouldn't represent the working class. Whatever the truth is about Hillary and that nebulous campaign meme, 'Wall Street connections' couldn't be all that important to anyone who voted for this ruthless capitalist who's demonstrated nothing but antipathy to the people who've worked for him over the entirety of his privileged life.
Trump appealed to the insecurity of some white Americans who have been convinced their share of the nation's economic benefits are being unfairly threatened by blacks, immigrants, and anyone else who dare assert their rightful role in our country's economy. The often-bigoted, demagogue left no dog-whistle behind as he promised to restore these psychologically-displaced souls to their assumed place of prominence in society.
Of course, Hillary Clinton ran a different campaign than Sanders or Trump, but she also ran a markedly different one than Barack Obama. Hillary certainly did reach out to the working-class in her campaign. While white working-class voters may well have questioned her embrace of the Obama economic record, Hillary also enmeshed her own economic proposals with a pragmatic, yet populist appeal which echoed the progressive bent of the rival Sanders and O'Malley campaigns.
In an August address in Warren, Michigan Hillary outlined her economic plan and views:
"...there are common-sense things that your government could do that would give Americans more opportunities to succeed," she said. "Why donít we do it? Because powerful special interests and the tendency to put ideology ahead of political progress have led to gridlock in Congress."
As solid and compelling as that appeal may have been, candidate Clinton went even further. Hillary took a leap ahead of her opponents (and history) and offered a full and unapologetic voice to the needs and concerns of the black community. Most notably, in a historic speech in Harlem, the first for any presidential candidate, Hillary directly challenged the white community to accept that a majority of black lives and livelihoods have consistently lagged far behind white American's opportunities, successes, and well-being, and that white economic gains had often come at the expense of their black counterparts.
"We face a complex set of economic, social, and political challenges," Hillary spoke. "They are intersectional, they are reinforcing, and we have got to take them all on. So itís not enough for your economic plan to be break up the banks. You also need a serious plan to create jobs, especially in places where unemployment remains stubbornly high. You need a plan to address the generations of underinvestment and neglect."
If there was one message the white working-class got from Hillary in this campaign, it almost certainly was that black lives were going to matter in her presidency. Hillary challenged white Americans to acknowledge their economic successes and take heed of those who have been left behind in the recovering economy. More importantly, Hillary insisted that white Americans should recognize and appreciate the role race plays in the failure of the black community to fully benefit from the economic recovery.
"For many white Americans," Hillary said, "itís tempting to believe that bigotry is largely behind us. That would leave us with a lot less work, wouldnít it? But more than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind."
That seemingly obvious reasoning should be commonplace in our political debate, but these truths have been overlooked throughout our nation's history. Black economic gains have always lagged behind those of white Americans, certainly not just during the Obama administration. In the present economy, blacks have experienced the slowest economic recovery of any group of Americans.
from 2015, Phillip Bump at WaPo:
In 2014, a Pew Research Center report found that only whites had seen their wealth rise during the Obama economic recovery:
"White households' median wealth ticked up to $141,900 in 2013, up 2.4% from three years earlier... Net worth for black households dropped by a third during that time to $11,000. Hispanic families experienced a 14% decline in wealth to $13,700.
There's no question that the Obama recovery has not been as robust as those of his predecessors. Both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, respectively, saw far more dramatic economic gains than Obama has managed, his peers' admittedly experiencing much less severe recessions than he had to overcome.
Arguably, black Americans are deserving of the most attention when considering the effects of 'economic anxiety' over the pace of recovery, but some politicians and others have reverted at the end of this election to handwringing over the economic condition of folks who have, overall, reaped the lion-share of any vestiges of recovery from the record lows that marked the Bush recession. It's not hard to imagine whose needs, interests, and concerns will struggle to take precedence in the next economic debate.
I understand the need of politicians to pander to the people they wish would vote for them. That's mostly what's happening with the focus of politician's concerns, perversely, falling on those folks whose financial gains make up almost all of whatever can be regarded as Pres. Obama's economic success story.
But it should be remembered, with admiration and regard, that our Democratic nominee for president in 2016 put those whose lives have actually been hardest hit by our economy at the very forefront of her campaign.
Posted by bigtree | Wed Nov 16, 2016, 04:25 PM (10 replies)
Jennifer Epstein @jeneps 3m3 minutes ago
Posted by bigtree | Mon Nov 7, 2016, 12:26 AM (4 replies)
Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton
They did it! 108 years later and the drought is finally over. Way to make history, @Cubs. #FlyTheW -H
Andrew Harnik @andyharnik 6h6 hours ago
@hillaryclinton reacts as the @Cubs win the World Series after her final campaign rally of the day at Arizona State University
Ruby Cramer @rubycramer 6h6 hours ago
Hillary, after her rally tonight in Tempe, Ariz., flying the W with trip director (/diehard Cubbie) @muconn! Photos by the great @andyharnik
Liz Kreutz @ABCLiz 7h7 hours ago
Hillary Clinton's reaction when the Cubs won the World Series. (Photo by @andyharnik)
Posted by bigtree | Thu Nov 3, 2016, 07:56 AM (10 replies)
The images and footage of workers at Trump's Doral hotel/golf course tops the most despicable stunts of his in this election.
I have no way of knowing if the praise Trump directly elicited from the workers who spoke in that press appearance was genuine and not coerced, but that's the thing. There's an automatic question of coercion; a question of whether these folks working for Trump outside of his campaign feel their jobs may be at risk if they refuse to participate in his praisefest.
Ali Vitali @alivitali
The entire thing has a Dickensian creep to it, not to mention the cheesy, Trumpworld backdrop. Is this a presidential campaign or an infomercial?
This was about promoting Trump enterprises, shoring up his brand, hoping to insulate his family business from the toxicity of his campaign by making it look like he's all inclusive. What I see are minority workers in a subservient role being exploited by their megalomaniac boss, using his presidential campaign to generate and attract business to his personal enterprises.
...Brad makes a good point here:
Bradd Jaffy @BraddJaffy 53m53 minutes ago
This answer = particularly revealingóconsidering Trump summoned the media to Trump Doral this amó2 wks till Elex Day http://nyti.ms/2eBssHN
Bradd Jaffy @BraddJaffy 3h3 hours ago
Tues: 'Trump Doral' FL golf resort event
Wed: 'Trump Int'l Hotel' DC event
2 weeks till election ó GOP nominee is promoting his properties
Bradd Jaffy @BraddJaffy 45m45 minutes ago
Today's (Wed.) DC hotel ribbon cutting marks Trump's 32nd event at a Trump property since his campaign began
Posted by bigtree | Tue Oct 25, 2016, 01:08 PM (10 replies)
...Trump is everything the republican party stands for and aspires to. What the millions watching the debate saw last night was the unvarnished version of republican party politics completely taken apart by Hillary Clinton.
Republicans might have been better served by someone who blurred the truth about their politics and agenda, like Congress regularly does, but Trump was more than willing to present the ugly side of the right wing in the debate. What republicans are left with is a radioactive political brand on everything Trump supported and defended in his ignorant bliss.
That, coupled with a presumptive President Clinton solidifying her position in the opposition, made for a convincing and compelling portrait of a national leader with a responsible agenda. With the republican party still unable to separate from their toxic nominee, their own most prominent source of opposition looked like little more than a bad joke on that debate stage; hypocritical, bitter, and profane.
It shouldn't be forgotten how every mechanization and manipulation republicans worked for almost a decade to be a thorn in candidate Clinton's side in this very election (looking at you Benghazi and Wikimail) were firmly laid to rest by Hillary in this final debate opportunity for Trump.
There was only one adult on stage last night; viewers witnessed only one person mature enough and prepared to be president. Hillary owned that contest and is well-poised to bring together millions of Americans to support her in the next one.
Posted by bigtree | Thu Oct 20, 2016, 10:06 AM (4 replies)
Ethan Klapper @ethanklapper 12h12 hours ago
Trump to go after Clinton's health tomorrow http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/19/us/politics/melania-trump-bill-clinton.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share Ö
...I don't believe there will ever be a ceiling to the idiocy coming from the Trump campaign and their candidate. Every time I think I've heard the worst from them, they manage to come up with something even more unbelievably stupid.
For tonight's debate, Trump plans to highlight Benghazi, Kenya, and Hillary's health. It actually hurts to try and understand such a ludicrous and almost juvenile strategy... that is, until you realize most of the Trump campaign is being run and promoted by the two-bit entertainer, himself. There's none of the sly pretense in Trump's politics that establishment GOP pols use to lubricate their political initiatives.
He clumsily exposes the banality behind their manipulations and waves it all around like a perfect fool in his hysterical campaign, providing an easy target for anyone with half a mind for what has been the totality of the republican political agenda throughout the past eight years; Kenya, Benghazi prominent among those.
In tonight's debate Trump will most assuredly destroy any political benefit of the invented scandals republicans labored for years to make relevant in this very election against Hillary Clinton. That's why so many prominent republican pols have shied away from his candidacy. He's screwing the pooch. Giving away the store. Dropping them in it.
We're not done handing Trump's ass back to them. This planned attack on Hillary's health tonight is one more opportunity for the public to see the naked ugliness that undergirds republican politics. Let the sideshow begin.
Posted by bigtree | Wed Oct 19, 2016, 11:10 AM (7 replies)
...every outrage they ignored or dismissed to support Trump in this campaign. THIS is what outrages them, above all else?
How likely is it that they didn't already know of the depths of Trump's vulgarity and abusiveness toward women? How is it they missed the rape charges; the sexual assault charges and settlements; the endless stream of vulgarities Trump committed to Twitter...?
Does this uprising of theirs mean all of the rest of Trump's nonsense was acceptable to them?
Or, could it be they've really been embarrassed and appalled, all along, that Trump is their standard-bearer and were just waiting for a seminal moment like this AH video to galvanize their opposition and fall in behind the rest of the civilized and mature world in denouncing the serial misogynist?
Tell you what, I'm not here to shield Trump supporters too stupid and craven to stand up to this loser from the consequences of their reckless politics. Republicans compromise our values like this every day. Pretending to care now is far too late, and too little, to redeem their hollow party.
Oh, and good luck changing horses this late in the contest...
Andrew S. Ginsburg @GinsburgJobs 2h2 hours ago New York, NY
It is too late for the GOP to rid itself of the Trump stench http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-hot-mic_us_57f85ea9e4b0b6a4303277b6?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004 Ö via @HuffPostPol
The GOP has limited, if any, options to replace Trump on the ballot and they all depend on him actually choosing to quit. But regardless of what happens, it cannot cleanse itself of his stench. At last not yet.
Donald Trumpís Comments About Groping Women Are The Least-Surprising Thing Ever
Posted by bigtree | Sat Oct 8, 2016, 11:03 AM (3 replies)
There was a record debate audience, and I'll bet even more people will tune in to the next one just to watch Trump weasel, squirm, and fail.
Think about how he's spent his public career in entertainment flaunting his wealth and posing as the king of the world. That has to grate on countless Americans struggling to make ends meet. I mean, most folks likely accepted that his self-inflating nonsense was just bad theater, but it's a sobering affront to imagine he could be in direct control of the levers of our government and democracy.
He could say and do whatever he pleased on teevee... who out there in the real world really gave a damn? But, he's stepped into an arena where WE are in control. That's delicious, irresistible opportunity to put this braggart in his place; give him a taste of the rejection he's been dishing out for decades with impunity.
Posted by bigtree | Wed Sep 28, 2016, 11:26 AM (4 replies)