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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 18,575

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So, you racist POTUS SOB, worried about Spanish speaking brown folk coming to the USA?

Demanding that Congress appropriate 10 Billion or more for a wall on our southern border to stop them, eh? Afraid all those Hispanics will figure out how to vote in our elections so they can put Democrats back in power? Is that it, or at least a PART of it?

Well you are right to worry. A major new surge will be heading here shortly, but your great big beautiful wall won't stop them, even if you somehow manage to get it built. They won't be crossing the Rio Grande to get in. They'll be crossing big water instead, you know, big ocean water, so they won't need coyotes to help them cross. No, they'll use valid U.S. ID's, like birth certificates, passports and drivers licenses to enter your sacred fatherland. And they won't be seeking a path way to citizenship either. Because Puerto Ricans are already American citizens. They already can legally vote.

If you had any sense (we already know you don't have a shred of common decency) even just a tiny pinch of it, you would ditch the wall pronto and send that ten billion to Puerto Rico immediately, to be delivered by the U.S. Army Core of Engineers. Let them use it restore some infra structure with it, help get an electric grid up and running while they are at it. Oh, and you can throw in that 33 million you made out like a bandit with too, when you stiffed Puerto Rico by declaring bankruptcy there. You know, that handy legal mumbo jumbo that makes debt disappear in a cloud of smoke that a billionaire like you is entitled to exploit but a U.S. Territory like Puerto Rico is forbidden by law to use.

Because, you racist piece of sh*t, if you leave Puerto Rico sitting in utter devastation for very much longer, Puerto Ricans won't just quietly sit there and die. Poverty stricken Mexicans spend thousands paying coyotes to smuggle them into the U.S. but a plane ticket from San Juan to Miami, Philadelphia, Cleveland or New York costs a whole lot less than that. Maybe not this week, when stranded tourists are at the front of the line, but within a month or so, well before all the lights come back on across Puerto Rico.

By now you no doubt figured out that residents of Puerto Rico are in fact American Citizens. Most likely you didn't know though that Puerto Ricans living here on the mainland traditionally have a relatively poor record of registering and voting in U.S. elections. Let me quote from Wikipedia for you:

"Compared to the United States, voter participation by Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico is very large. However, many see a paradox in that this high level of voting is not echoed stateside. There, Puerto Ricans have had persistently low voter registration and turnout rates, despite the relative success they have had in electing their own to significant public offices throughout the United States."


Lucky for Republicans, huh? How much longer do you figure that trend is going to hold, the way that things are looking now? According to the 2010 U.S. Census (which doesn't reflect more recent increases in Puerto Rican U.S. residents), a list of the top 10 large cities (over 200,000 in population) with the highest percentages of Puerto Rican residents include
Orlando, FL (13.1 percent), Philadelphia, PA (8.0 percent), Cleveland, OH (7.4 percent) and Tampa, FL (7.2 percent). You don't expect Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio to figure much into your reelection prospects, do you?

Oh there's a lot more information available for you to chew over, but I know by now we are far over the total word count that you can absorb in a single sitting. So I will summarize for you:

The worst things get in Puerto Rico the more Puerto Ricans will move to the mainland. Puerto Ricans can legally vote. The worse you treat Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, the more they will hate you, and the more motivated they will be to register to vote against you. Puerto Ricans are already an important voting bloc in Florida, but they concentrate in some other states of some interest to Republicans also. There currently are a lot of Puerto Ricans in Allentown, and Reading PA for example, and in Milwaukee, WI as well.

And soon there will be a whole lot more of them - unless things start improving in Puerto Rico immediately. And there's no telling what they will say, in Spanish no less, to Mexican Americans.

"The President lied again today about his..."

That is the type of straight news coverage needed with this President. When Trump says millions of farmers and small businesses will benefit from the elimination of the estate tax, but the true number is 80 annually, that's not inaccurate, that's not misleading, that's not misinformed, that's a lie. When Trump says that his new tax plan won't help him personally, that's a lie. When he said he couldn't release his taxes because of IRS audits, Trump was lying. The President is a liar.

The American public knows Trump can't tell the truth, polls show that. But media coverage of Trump usually defaults to the traditional norms used when covering the Commander in Chief. Because the President of the United States historically is such an important figure, and so much ultimately rests on his (or hopefully soon her) word, the media is usually deferential toward the office, if not the person holding it. Politicians may lie but Presidents are said to tell untruths. That generosity is shown towards Presidents in order to protect the institution of the presidency.

But Donald Trump is the gravest threat the institution of the presidency has ever faced. Trump is normalizing blatant serial presidential lies, and there is little ultimately more toxic to our democracy than that. Nothing the President of the United States says can be trusted. Trump has made the American President the ethical equivalent of Joseph Stalin or Saddam Hussein in the realm of veracity.

Until Donald Trump leaves office, one way or another, he remains the President. That won't change until it happens, but that doesn't mean that sane people must pretend that Trump hasn't demeaned the office he holds, by being among other things a compulsive obsessive liar. Someone has to be honest, or honesty as a concept is fatally corrupted. Our President lies, let the media tell the truth.

If Cuba had attacked Puerto Rico with 1000 soldiers

The damage they could have inflicted on that island would not be 1/1,00oth of what Hurricane Maria caused there instead. Yet Trump would have responded immediately with tens of thousands of troops to counter the Cubans. They would have begun arriving last week and our forces would all be in place now. Our Navy would have a flotilla stationed off shore Puerto Rico as we speak. Marines would be landing in amphibious vehicles

Our military knows what to do when you can't drive a truck loaded with supplies across an open land border. An ocean don't stop our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, no matter how large it might be. They wouldn't wait for some bankruptcy court to determine who would foot the bill. Congress would have dropped everything and met in emergency session to clear any and all obstacles to military action.

Three and a half million American citizens are marooned in utter devastation. From this point on their deaths mount geometrically. What the fuck do we have a military for if it isn't to protect American lives? It's so called Commander in Chief is more concerned about an alleged desecration of the American flag by kneeling professional athletes than he is over the destruction of the land over which it flies, and the desperation of our citizens who struggle to cling to life there.

I am a Democrat

I am even on the executive committee of our county's Democratic party (trust me, anyone willing to do some good work for the party on a local level can pretty easily "rise" to such "lofty" heights.) So my comments are not those of an "outside agitator" or havens to bid, that of an "Independent".

For me the Democratic Party is a means to an end and not an end in itself. I am puzzled by how so many posters here, IMO, seem to confuse loyalty to the Democratic Party with loyalty to the fight for social change that the Democratic Party is often identified with (usually legitimately, not sometimes not). I work through the Democratic Party for pragmatic, not ideological or sentimental reasons. The Democratic Party (hell all political parties for that matter) is at root a way to advance an agenda. Which isn't the same as being the agenda. And no political party, no matter how noble or well organized it may be, is ever the sole means to advance a social agenda. It isn't even the sole political means to advance a social agenda. At the most fundamental level, only the agenda itself ultimately matters.

Which is why I need to say this clearly at least once on DU. Focusing on the fact that Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat can be a good starting point for a meaningful discussion about the best ways for us all to collectively achieve ends that we believe in, but it sucks as a conclusive statement. If a person or persons working outside the framework of a specific political party can achieve progress in bringing about important and desirable social changes, that's pretty much the ball game when you look at the bigger picture. Probably Martin Luther King Jr was a Democrat, but I actually don't know that for a fact and it's illustrative that I don't. Ultimately it didn't matter.

We can have great tactical discussions about how to best advance politically inside of the American essentially two party system, and we should do so. Ultimately, however, my loyalty is to a set of goals, not fundamentally to the Democratic Party. The fact that "Bernie isn't a Democrat" is meaningless to me without a corresponding analysis about how that fact changes our collective ability to advance a positive social agenda. It is also a fact that Democrats are a minority in America, with roughly a third of voters identifying as such. More voters identify as Independents than as Democrats. We do not win elections on our own.

When I finish writing and posting this I am going back to finishing up a press release for a fund raiser for our local Democrats for the fall election. I choose my Democratic affiliation as the way I believe I can best advance causes that I believe in. But I also acknowledge that in some cases NOT being widely and openly affiliated and associated with a specific political party can open up some doors to change more effectively than can the brandishing of a partisan identity.

Debate whether Bernie does or does not serve our cause if you wish, but simple restating the obvious e.g. "But he's not a Democrat!" offers nothing useful to an important debate that too often ends rather than begins with that comment.



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