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PatrickforO

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Home country: USA
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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 7,069

Journal Archives

The biggest threat to the earth and its people

I posted this on the Hill in response to an Op-Ed piece by a conservative man who is questioning whether Kavanaugh is getting due process in regards to the allegations of Dr. Ford.

There is no doubt that there should be due process. This is the cornerstone of rule of law. Problem is, I'm not seeing that respect for the rule of law from the Trump administration, who based on tweets of their 'beloved leader' is blaming the victim and accusing her of lying based on not reporting the assault to the police and to her parents right away and pressing charges.

Gosh, I was a teen in the 70s and went to college in the 80s. I can so readily see why a young woman would not report such an assault. I mean, we know your boy Trump is completely incapable of feeling any empathy because he is a sociopath with narcissistic personality disorder. He just can't.

But, you know, McConnell, as twisted as he is, SHOULD be able to see that, as well as the other pasty-faced white guys in the Republican Senate leadership. But instead, he is trying to just ramrod this thing through. This, of course, denies the due process you're talking about in this Op-Ed to Dr. Ford, as well as to Kavanaugh.

When one political party puts their partisan interests above the interest of the American people, then it rips apart our social, moral, and economic fabric. Sadly, this is what I've been seeing from the Republican party over the last decade. I remember being disgusted when I heard about the meeting that was held by Republican leaders on the night of Obama's inauguration back in 2009 - the night of his inauguration - where they agreed to oppose Obama and the Democrats at EVERYTHING, so they could then say Obama was divisive and they didn't get a say. Which was of course, a lie, because the ACA, Obama's centerpiece, was actually developed by the Heritage Foundation, and practiced by Mitt Romney before it became the law of the land.

I was disgusted when the GOP did everything they could to sabotage the ACA every step of the way. I was disgusted when fellow Americans in red states died because they had no access to healthcare because of cuts to Medicaid.

Let's not forget the waste of millions of our tax dollars in the Benghazi hearings, and then the doubling down of that over Hillary's emails. Other (GOP, so I guess it's OK) Secretaries of State had done the same thing, but it was only stupid, un-American and irresponsible when Clinton did it.

Now with the Trump 'administration' in power, it is difficult to list all the ways they are wrecking our institutional structure - attacks on the free press, the attempted legitimization of lying, massive and foolish regulatory rollbacks, a fiscally disastrous tax cut benefitting Republican billionaire donors and corporations, a ballooning deficit (remember how BAD the GOP said the deficit was under Obama, but no GOP Rep or Senator is even batting an eye now), and all the racist crud that was aimed at the Obamas. I remember when I was watching Fox one time in late December 2015, they actually SAID Obama has a 'different agenda.' Hey, if you actually get rid of the armchair and dig out the truth for yourself from CREDIBLE sources, Obama governed just slightly left of center. It is laughable to think him any farther left than the Eisenhower Republicans of the fifties. Seriously.

Finally, we come to present day. McConnell and the GOP leadership stonewalled Merrick Garland, refused to do their job of 'advise and consent.' Garland did not even get a meeting with a single senator, let alone be allowed to answer questions. McConnell just laughed and said no, we'll wait until after the election. When I bring this up, the right-wing thoughtless talking point is, "Hey that's the Biden rule." Don't bother. This had nothing to do with Biden. What it had to do with was a party so corrupted by its own lust for power that it forgot the interests of the American people.

And, now, we have Kavanaugh. Yes, absolutely Kavanaugh deserves due process. So does Ford. And so do the American people. So when Senator Grassley leads the charge to hurry the vote up, the hypocrisy is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

If we want this Republic to stand, this noble experiment that has lasted since 1789, and become the most successful nation on earth, then we need to elect people who are NOT so into winning, and power, that they forget the interests of our people. We cannot allow a sociopath like Trump to become a dictator, and this nation to degenerate into a fascist oligarchy. We need to uphold our institutions and respect each other as Americans.

Right now, the biggest threat to this world and its people seems to be the GOP.

The link to this piece on the Hill: https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/407855-truth-should-not-be-held-hostage-to-political-calculations

Let's not be overly optimistic about the results of the Mueller investigation, and the

potential 'blue wave' in November. It is OK, I suppose, to be optimistic, to have hope in a better future. I do. I really do.

But to think everything will be OK come January 2019 when our party takes back the majority? Not so much.

The Republicans have steadily undermined everything we should stand for ever since Reagan slithered into the WH in 1981. They have implemented voter suppression measures all over the place, gerrymandered states to keep their majorities in legislatures even though their candidates actually get fewer votes.

And remember when the GOP refused to appoint most of Obama's appointments to federal courts? Well, now we see what the strategy behind that was: As of September 10, 2018, the United States Senate has confirmed 68 Article III judges nominated by the traitor president Trump, including 1 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 26 judges for the United States Courts of Appeals, 41 judges for the United States District Courts, and turtle McConnell has scheduled the vote for Kavanaugh on September 20, four days from now.

Of course, there's also the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations they passed last year. The deficit has ballooned and the national debt is rapidly becoming unsustainable. In the meantime, they've transferred even more of our money to massive defense contracts and Pence wants a brand new shiny Space Force while at the same time GOP leaders are talking about cuts for Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

Privatization has also run rampant. Prison industries, slave labor of convicts, systematic incarceration of minorities - a third of our whole population has criminal records, and these people are making billions in profits off that misery. In the meantime, we continue to make people with criminal records pay and pay and pay. They can't get jobs, and in desperation they turn again to crime to make a living. If a woman was arrested for soliciting because she had no other way to make a living, for instance, she now has to 'register' on what I think is a blatantly unconstitutional sex offender list and she is now essentially unemployable. Ever. No one will ever hire her. I'm in workforce development and sex offenders are nearly impossible to place.

Finally, we cannot but weep at the massive rollbacks of environmental regulations. For the sake of a few extra dollars in profits, the GOP has sold out our species and compromised our ability to live and thrive on this earth, which is our only home. That old CSNY line comes to me - horror grips us as we watch you die! All we can do is echo our anguished cry...

No, even after we take back power, it will take many years to reverse this damage. And the ku kluxers, nazis and white nationalists won't be going away. We might be able to force them back under their rocks but they will still be there, hating and teaching their children to hate.

My only solace is that I'm going to be very outspoken about trials for those who have committed war crimes and other crimes against humanity, such as the brutal separation of families at the border that still continues to this very day. Following orders will be the excuse of some, but we should not buy that any more than we bought it from the SS guards who killed people in places like Auschwitz.

No, when our people get in power, they will have to dramatically raise taxes, to pay for things that help us, like health care while at the same time servicing the debt. If enough of them are truly visionary, we might revisit Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution and rethink our monetary policy.

We'll have to put back all the regulations.

And we'll have to figure out a strategy to fight the reactionary majorities in our judicial system. There is incontrovertible proof Kavanaugh lied under oath, so he can be impeached, but what about all these other appointees? They will be quietly fighting against everything we are trying to do every step of the way.

We'll have to get away from Citizens United somehow, and Senator Warren's 'Responsible Capitalism Act,' which expands fiduciary responsibility of officers in publicly held companies beyond shareholder earnings to take into account the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment - that is a MUST. We have to pass that.

And we will need a twenty-first century Fairness Doctrine that ensures that Americans operate from the same set of actual facts, instead of the corporate-funded propaganda they are filled with every day on hate-talk radio and Fox and Breitbart.

We're going to have to put some social justice policies in place, too. I just saw a picture of some cops in Alabama (sigh) who were photographed after a 'bust' making the white power sign. They were suspended WITH pay for a week. Seriously. We will somehow have to work through a profoundly conservative law enforcement community to close down the 'open season' on black people that seems to exist now.

No, it's a long, hard road we have ahead of us. Sometimes I wonder if our party, if we as a people, will have the courage to make these repairs and take back our republic. This country really could be the light on the hill. Even now, as corrupt as we are, people still aspire to come here. But what if we could be a REAL leader in making the whole world a better place?

Yes, I admit it. Freely. I AM A SNOWFLAKE. A UNICORN. I look at things the way they are, imagine how they SHOULD be and ask...

WHY NOT?

THERE IS HOPE, but with it comes lots of WORK.

What's killing Sears? Its own retirees, the CEO says

Source: CNN

What's to blame for the problems at Sears? Amazon? Bad management? CEO and primary shareholder Eddie Lampert has another idea: It's the company's own retirees.

Sears turned in another bleak quarterly earnings report on Thursday, and Lampert complained about the billions of dollars that Sears owes its former employees through pension plans. Lampert said Sears has paid almost $2 billion into pension plans in the past five years, and $4.5 billion since Sears and Kmart merged in 2005 to form Sears Holdings (SHLD). The company pays retirees about $300 million a year, filings show.

If Sears could have put that money into operations, "we would have been in a better position to compete with other large retail companies, many of which don't have large pension plans," Lampert wrote in a blog post. He also faulted the "very difficult" environment for retailers, but he said Sears has been "significantly impacted" by pension obligations.

Read more: https://money.cnn.com/2018/09/14/news/companies/sears-pension-retirees/index.html



This guy is a total crook. You know what? He owns a hedge fund, and he's personally been buying up Sears shares as they go downhill.

Basically this capitalist slimebag is crushing the hopes of his retirees (they discontinued pensions in '06, but those pesky old people are STILL alive and collecting!), and his employees, and the unfortunate consumers who invested real money in things like Kenmore appliances.

That's right! The criminal Lampert is thinking of personally purchasing Kenmore appliances through his hedge fund.

Essentially, this is what capitalism looks like on the ground. You have a scumbag like Lampert purposely driving a venerable company that used to have a good name to ruin, and then PERSONALLY PROFITING OFF THAT.

I can't even say how angry this makes me, how disgusting this is to me - should be to ANY decent person. I feel dirty even reading about shit like this.

This is why we've got to support workers to the hilt. I'm supporting Elizabeth Warren's Responsible Capitalism Act, because dirtbags like Eddie Lampert wouldn't be able to hurt so many people with their stinking greed.

Report: Pharma exec says he had 'moral requirement' to raise drug price 400%

Source: CNN

(CNN)A pharmaceutical company executive defended his company's recent 400% drug price increase, telling the Financial Times that his company had a "moral requirement to sell the product at the highest price." The head of the US Food and Drug Administration blasted the executive in a response on Twitter.

Nirmal Mulye, founder and president of Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, commented in a story Tuesday about the decision to raise the price of an antibiotic mixture called nitrofurantoin from about $500 per bottle to more than $2,300. The drug is listed by the World Health Organization as an "essential" medicine for lower urinary tract infections.

"I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can," Mulye told the Financial Times, "to sell the product for the highest price."
The Financial Times said Mulye compared his decision to increase the price to that of an art dealer who sells "a painting for half a billion dollars" and said he was in "this business to make money."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/11/health/drug-price-hike-moral-requirement-bn/index.html



First, Medicare for all Americans with the government empowered to negotiate prices down. The profit motive doesn't mix with healthcare.

Second, the government needs to force changes in the corporate charters of publicly held companies doing business in the USA to expand fiduciary responsibility beyond shareholders to the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment. Do this, and problems like this will be nipped in the bud.

Kavanaugh may well be voted in. Here's a post I just made on The Hill.

(I made this post in response to the criticism being levied at Cory Booker for releasing those emails).

When Obama put forward the nomination of Merrick Garland and McConnell purposely did not allow any 'advice and consent,' it made a mockery of Senate precedent. Garland was qualified, but McConnell showed he cares more about the political advantage of his own party than he does about this nation or its people.

Then, in 2017, he ramrodded the vote on Neil Gorsuch, and now he's trying to ram Kavanaugh, who is even more partisan than Gorsuch, down our throats. This in spite of the fact that Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in at least eight counts of money laundering and bank fraud, and in spite of the current constitutional crisis where members of Trump's own administration think him incompetent and are purposely sabotaging his agenda.

In light of the latter, the nomination of Kavanaugh should not even be considered.

When the Democratic party takes power again, which it will, I'm going to be advocating impeaching these two justices, should Kavanaugh be confirmed, and bringing back Merrick Garland as the nominee - because there is NO NO NO excuse for McConnell to fail to do his job and not allow the advice and consent of Garland.

In addition, I believe McConnell and the rest of the Republicans in the Senate should be the subjects of ethics investigations because to my mind the partisanship they displayed by not considering Garland was despicable.

We knew about Trump clear back in 1943. This short video, well worth watching,

was made by the US Government in 1943 as an anti-nazi message to the American people.



Please watch and send on.

Some thoughts growing from the funeral of an American hero.

Donald Trump's hatred and fearmongering are as American as apple pie. Hatred, fear, xenophobia, homophobia, racism, bigotry, intolerance and the propensity to violence, as in lynchings - are the dark underbelly of this nation. The sad truth is that America was built on genocide and slavery, and until we confront these gut-wrenchingly sad truths and shore up this half-rotten foundation, we can never really be the light on the hill.

Obama was as near-perfect as a US president could be. Moral, just, intelligent, a master of the big picture, and a long-term thinker that put policies in place that really did some good. Without drama, he saved us from a worldwide depression, worked with Congress to pass the ACA, got Bin Laden, and through his cabinet implemented some truly good policies. But...he did all this while (gasp!) being black!

So...enter Trump. A white guy. As unintelligent, inept, incompetent, corrupt and treasonous as a president can be - in fact, we really haven't even touched the surface of how bad Trump really is, and how dangerous he is to the entire human race. But he's white. A sort of pale and rotten counterpart to the noble nature of his predecessor.

We really COULD be great, you know. A light on the hill. Even now, people aspire to come here because for many it is the land of opportunity. But we have to get to the bottom of this capitalist cancer that was born at the death of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, became tumescent with the growth of Fox 'news,' and metastasized through hundreds of hate-talk radio shows and alt-right websites. The problem is that these propaganda organs are funded by, and promote a capitalist message of rugged individualism, hooray for me and to heck with you, pull yourself up by the bootstraps.

That message is underpinned by a constant hatred for the government, a transformation of government from 'of, by and for' the people to some 'deep-state enemy of the people.' Something wasteful and stupid that people like Grover Norquist want to shrink to the point where we can 'drown it in the bathtub,' because then oligarchs can reign supreme with the help of an alt-right nationalist theocracy.

That is the plan.

Why? Because it is the best interests of the capitalists to have us make our very own government the enemy. If we are worried about government overreach and the 'deep state' somehow betraying those who cheated to be elected into office in the first place, through gerrymandering and voter-suppression measures, then we don't have time to understand who is really picking our pockets, and who is systematically raping the treasury and routing as much money as possible to corporate profits and billionaires while we are left with an aging infrastructure, a healthcare program so sabotaged by Republicans that it is once again profoundly broken, the sacred trust of Social Security starving for funds, and virtually every program that actually helps Americans in danger of folding for lack of money.

But, hey, we've got PLENTY to route to 'defense' spending, including a brand-new, shiny Space Force!

It will take us years, decades, to wise up the American people, engage them in democracy at the local, state and national level, and create a system where people actually DO have a say in policies that affect them.

The biggest danger to humanity? To the world itself?

The Republican Party of Donald Trump.

Way out at sea. I just posted this in response to the Pecker immunity article on the Hill.

This thing is just surreal. I mean, did you ever think we'd be here? With two campaign officials convicted of 8 felony counts each, and Trump an 'unindicted co-conspirator?' Did you ever think we'd have a president as corrupt or profoundly ignorant? Did you ever think we'd have a president who did not understand Puerto Rico was part of the US?

Did you ever think we'd have a president who has such a childish understanding of international trade that he imposes tariffs, hurting both US consumers and costing ultimately hundreds of thousands of jobs?

Did you ever think we'd have a president whose campaign, at least, and possibly who did himself, collude with a hostile foreign power to win an election? Did you ever think we'd have a president who is now being talked about in the same breath as the word 'treason?'

Never in a million years. I would never, ever have thought this country could fall so far so fast. I'm just plain disgusted. We've had a bunch of 'do-nothing' ideologues in Congress since 2016, and all they've done is give a giant tax cut to billionaires and corporations that has broken the budget, and at the same time bumped the military budget past all common sense. And a space force?

Really?

Perhaps someone could explain to me how a space force is better for the American people than massive infrastructure upgrades? or healthcare? or expanded Social Security?

Just wondering, because...well...excuse me while I go throw up.

Here's the link to the Hill piece: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/403279-prosecutors-grant-immunity-to-national-enquirer-publisher-in

I have a garden gnome. His name is Chomsky.

Every day, we wake to some new outrage as decency is attacked on a thousand fronts. I replied to someone else here, a retired man in TX who deplores the hatred that dwells now in that state. He says there is real hatred now in this nation, and I'm made mindful of McCain's comment during his campaign when a woman said Obama is a Muslim who wants to destroy our way of life or some such. McCain said, "No, he's a decent man who has different opinions than me."

I guess that was how civility died, a casualty of the constant Koch-funded propaganda organs which spew out dehumanizing hatred towards us Democrats. So here's what I said to the gentleman, and NOW I SAY IT TO YOU BECAUSE THE ELECTION THIS NOVEMBER MAY WELL BE THE LAST CHANCE WE HAVE TO PEACEFULLY END THE RIGHT-WING COUP AND SAVE OUR REPUBLIC.

So here goes: if you disagree with me, fine. No problem. I'm not asking you to feel like I do, but I am pointing out some stuff and saying that all of us need to do everything we can to turn our government blue in November!

*******************************

There is real hatred. The Koch brothers and the other billionaire freaks who own the Republican party and its propaganda organ love to spew out vitriol that dehumanizes Democrats.

Why? Well, this is a slow coup. The billionaire freaks and multinational corporations are trying to make America an oligarchy where we are merely wage slaves with no rights as workers. They want to exploit us for starvation wages, work us long hours in unsafe working conditions and not provide any healthcare or old age pensions. Ideally for them, we should live in constant fear because they believe such fear motivates us to work harder longer - even if we are sick or become disabled. You want to know their vision? Read Jack London's 'People of the Abyss.' Dickens' 'Christmas Carol' alludes to it as well. Unrestrained capitalism is heaven for a few, and a life of unremitting, grinding poverty, fear, hunger, illness and wage slavery for the rest of us.

So these jokers know that if they dehumanize us, it will be easy for them, should the need arise, to send the neonazis, nazis and kluxers out into the streets with truncheons and guns to bloody us and make us run.

At least that's how I see the current situation. Fortunately we still have enough real Americans, people who put nation over party, in powerful enough positions to try and save the republic. They are disparagingly called 'deep state,' again a term the billionaire freaks have ejaculated into common lexicon through their throbbing propaganda organs of Info Wars and hate-talk radio.

And, we have the press, which Trump, of course, for his own reasons is disparaging and calling an 'enemy of the people.' Because Trump is basically a shill. Like the Kruppers and IG Farbens thought Hitler would be. He wants to impose a white nationalist government, which taken in combination with the oligarchy the billionaire freaks want is a FASCIST government that will lead us to a world war as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.

That, my friend, is why we must get the vote out in a big way in November. It may really be our last chance to avoid a long, dark, hungry, terrible and bloody ride.

Some cheerful news today, which we can use after Trump's disgrace on the international stage with

Putin.

Here's the story of how a man who has been a Republican all his life and has always voted a straight Republican ticket, including in 2016, has gotten to the point that he's going to vote blue in November!

*****************

Was on the phone today with my wife's brother, who owns a wholesale operation in KY serving a national chain of stores. We'll call him R.

R called my wife today to get a phone number, and he and I chatted a bit. He and his wife are going to Ireland on vacation soon, and he expressed some concern about how they might be treated because of Trump. I said that I'm sure the Irish understand and differentiate between the American people and Trump.

And HERE'S the cheerful part. He said, "You know, Pat, I've been a Republican all my life, but in November I'm voting straight Democratic because I'm so disgusted with Trump and with how things are going."

Oh, man, my wife and I looked at each other, eye wide, jaws on the floor. We talked a bit more after this, about how Trump has lurched from one disastrous policy to another and the disgust R expressed was very heartening.

So...shall we be like the Salvation Army and save 'em one at a time?



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