Marching for Dimes

Remember the March of Dimes? When I was a kid, practically every cash register had a little plastic box with a picture of some poor kid in leg braces or lying in a hospital bed or some other pitiful, helpless situation with Jerry Lewis somewhere in the picture with his hand out. My wife absolutely hates the idea of the March of Dimes, which was mostly an organization staffed by millionaires’ trophy wives guilting working people out of their spare change. As my wife says, “If the millionaire class stopped hoarding their fortunes and spent a little of it on medical research or eliminating poverty or improving public education, poor people wouldn’t have to chip in their ten cents to keep the trophy wives occupied.”

Likewise, the Democratic Party is running its own March of Dimes these days. While the billionaire class buries the Republicans in dark money, Democrats are reduced to asking working people for spare change. They aren’t even good at that, so most of the regional and state Democratic candidates are reduced to buying email lists to beg for money all across the country. There is no Democratic National Committee as far as any sort of national organization is concerned. The DNC’s sole purpose in 2016 was to elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States, all other campaigns be damned. As a result of hustling one of the two most disliked candidates in US history and taking a much undeserved vacation during the entire Obama presidency, the party lost more than 1,000 seats in state legislatures, governor's mansions and Congress between the 2012 and 2016 elections. The party, which had geared itself up to do exactly what it did in 2016 for 2008 when voters overwhelmingly rejected Clinton for Barak Obama, sat on its ass and did nothing to help local, state, and national candidates for 8 years. Now, there is no national Democratic Party organization and the US is close to becoming a single-party nation. There are plenty of role models to follow at the state level, all of those states are red and all of them are economically, educationally, and culturally disadvantaged. There is no example in the country of a state that has done better under Republican rule, but those Koch brothers’ servants don’t care. Their brains are washed clean.

This spring, Democrats had practically nothing to do with the money they stashed during the 2016 debacle and at three House seats were up for grabs: Kansas, Georgia, and Montana. The DNC did what it does best, ignored those campaigns until the March of Democratic Dimes managed to point out the weakness of the Republican opponents in those races. Still, the DNC didn’t raise a finger to help the last vestiges of Democratic progressive candidates fight millions of Koch dollars. I suppose the DNC is hanging on to its cash in case Hillary or another Clinton wants to run in 2020?


Stupid Watergate

All that needs to be, and should be, said about the train wreak pseudo-conservatives call the “Trump Administration.”

It’s Funny How A Big Lie Can Make Us All Kids Again

“When we were kids, we were all afraid of the dark. Then we grew up and we weren’t afraid any more. But . . . it’s funny how a big lie can make us all kids again.”

“Until the crowd knew that everything Trump said was a lie, there was no hope. The confidence man would always get the credit for saving the town.”


Facebook Page

2016 has taught me a lot of things, mostly through painful lessons I’d rather not experience again. Probably the most important lesson has been that “social media” isn’t very social and it’s a poor substitute for a free society’s functioning media. While living in small towns across the Midwest and West for 68 years I learned that “street smarts” and the “school of hard knocks” aren’t even close to an actual education. 2016 reminded me that “the kindness of strangers” quickly evaporates when the strangers form a mob. David Roth’s “crowd IQ rule” absolutely applies to the results of the 2016 election. Since the smartest person in a Trump chump crowd has a sub-100 IQ, that crowd IQ never had a chance of obtaining single-digit intelligence. I learned that democracy does fail when the voting public believes it can “vote itself rich.” I was reminded, again, that the majority of my generation was in favor of the Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars and every piddily invasion scheme from criminals who make up our government and our military-industrial complex. The following generations will be no more intelligent, since the species appears to be downbreeding as fast as possible.

All my life I’ve watched “Christians” behave like Romans and the disconnect between their behavior. Their actions convinced me that all religion was a farce when I was 9 years old. That opinion has only been reinforced over the lext 60 years. I can’t tell fundamentalist Christians from fundamentalist Muslims from fundamentalist Jews from Satinists. You are all a pack of ethics-free, selfish, greedy, violent, miserable jackals who would and will eat your own children if you miss a couple of Happy Meals. Everyone of you pretends that resources are infinite and that one generation has the right to use and abuse all of the world’s resources, leaving their children to suffer the consequences, justifies that greed and selfishness with religion. I have no idea why you reproduce, but I know it is NOT because you love your children.


What’s Workin’ for You?

The more scientists learn about how human brains “work,” the less hope I have for the species. It’s not the scientists’ fault, they are the best hope humanity and the planet has. The problem is that our caveman, lizard-brain inherited qualities are often so incredibly self-destructive that it’s hard to imagine how the species will evolve into something creative and sustaining.

For example, on an NPR program yesterday, some nitwit from the right-wing “libertarian” propaganda machine with the pompus, Trump-style academic name the “Cato Institute,” debated a physician about healthcare. The NPR interviewer did manage to get the wingnut to admit that their philosophy is that “everyone deserves the healthcare they can afford.” To modifiy this obviously vicious and destructive philosophy, the went on in their usual way about how markets magically create affordable solutions (suicide options, I suspect) if they are allowed to operate “freely.” History demonstrates, repeatedly, that markets despise unrestrained operation and the rich work as hard as rich people are capable of working to find ways to eliminate competition, optimize profits and minimize the required effort to maintain the status quo. Libertarians, as much as they love to imagine themselves to be defenders of individual liberty, are defenders of the 1% and economic and social inequality. It’s their thing. As someone deftly explained forty or fifty years ago, “libertarians are Republicans with ponytails.” The physician in this debate, obviously someone who has spent her life trying to improve patients’ existence and doing actual useful work, had a strongly opposing opinion based on reality, practice in medicine (not mindless economic theorizing), and a life committed to doing something of value.

The end result for me was a reminder of the right wing’s babbler-in-chief, Sarah Palin, asking “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for ya?”

Hope and change tie together closely. People who are easily “grossed out” are consistently conservative and afraid of change. Being afraid of anything tends to make us not only oppose change but to turn around and head back into whatever mess we were attempting to leave. In my lifetime, this country has had two (maybe two and a half, counting Carter) Presidents who were change drivers. Kennedy was assasinated in the early stages of reversing the country’s mindless drive toward becoming an imperialist empire and a force for world instability. Obama was handed an economy in freefall and a society on the edge of social collapse and, after doing a few of the things necessary to stop total collapse, was stopped in his tracks by a timid, backwards, mostly-white conservative voting block who elected a congress that was as regressive a group of uneducated, racist, lazy, entitled white men as you’d expect from a similar population. “Hope and change” were the polar opposite of what these voters and their representatives stood for.

My question to them would be, “How’s that hatey, scaredy, stupidy thing workin’ our for ya?”

With Trump in the White House, Republicans in control of Congress, and a solid majority of pseudo-conservatives in the Extreme Court, the country is heading as far from hope and change (for the better) as possible. In fact, we appear to be on a sled ride down a steep icy path toward a cliff with a pile of sharp boulders waiting for us at the bottom. Not as a country, but as a species.


A Great Moment in Comedy

I can't decide of Stephen's routine was funnier than the wingnuts' reaction to it. Seriously? You redneck, racist, homophobic, illiterate, superstitious morons think the rest of us should be upset that Cobert thinks you elected a treasonous, corrupt, incompetent clown? Get this ridiculous shit:

"What Steven Colbert did is called SEXUAL HARASSMENT. That's what this is. Sexual harassment is creepy pre-rapist behavior & that's why it's illegal. Steven Colbert has got to go but the libs are going to give him a pass all the while they demand bill o'rilye & others be ousted."

"Nice try, but still a fail. The 'Libs' are complaining that the right is acting exactly like what they bitch about, and accuse "libs" of doing. Words matter."

What a bunch of fluffballs.

Voting Blocks

We keep hearing about the Boomer voting block being some sort of daunting demographic that will stifle the future of the next century. The facts are that Boomers are a substantial minority, according to the US Census Department. Here are the real numbers as of May 2016:

  • 18 to 29 years         48,930,023    21.60%
  • 30 to 44 years         53,919,202    23.80%
  • 45 to 64 years         78,123,072    34.40%
  • 65 years and over   46,047,189    20.30%

20.3% of the potential voters in the 2016 elections were Boomers. 77% were white, which is a more important demographic, but one that is thankfully shrinking. 31% had a batchelor’s degree or higher. 25% had a household income of $100k or higher. Nationally, a little more than half (55%) of potential voters turned out for a 20-year low voter participation rate in 2016, about 18M fewer than in 2008.

What all this tells us, or should tell us, is that it wouldn’t take much effort for the 18 to 44 (Millenials and X-Gens) to overwhelm any voting capacity from the old white Boomer crowd. So, now those two generations need to get off of their mom’s basement couches and do some work.