Thursday, November 24, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Sorry State of Affairs

Mike Pence went to see Hamilton. After the show the cast delivered a respectful message to the Vice President.
“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’ We really do,” Dixon said to further applause. “We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Again, we truly thank you truly for (sharing) this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”
Donald Trump then demanded an apology for this. Trump tweeted, "Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen! The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!"

In the land of Trump positive and peaceful expression is frowned upon.

I guess the cast should have just grabbed Pence by his pussy.

Drain The Swamp

Can the people of Florida take one day off from being crazy?

‘I voted for Trump! You lost!’: White Starbucks customer accuses barista of ‘discrimination’
Jorge de Cárdenas said in an interview with the Miami New Times that he was telecommuting Wednesday from a Starbucks near the University of Miami when a customer became impatient while waiting for his drink and began screaming that he had been denied service because of “anti-white discrimination.” 
Another customer told Sanguesa he was an “a–hole” and Sanguesa said, “F— you, b—-,” Cárdenas told the New Times...
The Miami Herald reported that Sanguesa has a criminal history: In 2008, he was charged twice — one week apart — with DUIs. In 2014, he was charged with domestic violence, though that charge was later dropped, the Herald reported. 
And for years, the Miami Herald said, Sanguesa has been emailing the newspaper “with rants against Cubans, women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
Time to drain the swamp, Florida, of all these misogynistic, racist assholes.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Republican Duplicity Knows No Bounds

Peaceful protesting is a first amendment right.

Don't conservatives remember all the protesting their side was participating in during the Obama presidency? The amnesia of the Republican party is staggering.

Democrats protesting this election, according to Trump and Republicans, are thugs. But when Republicans protest, well, that's something different and righteous.

Such hypocrisy is astounding.

Conservatives mount anti-tax 'tea party' protests across the US
Conservatives gathered in cities across the US today in "tea party" protests to rail against their income tax obligations, in what organisers are billing as the emergence of a mass, conservative grassroots movement to counter President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Conservatives forget history in discrediting Trump protesters
Obama’s election in 2008 was preceded and followed by violent attacks and property destruction targeted against minorities.
The right’s hypocrisy on Trump protesters: It was only OK when the Tea Party was crashing Obamacare meetings
During the August 2009 congressional recess, representatives returned to their home states to host town hall meetings detailing the Affordable Care Act. Prompted by an extensive mobilizing effort by conservative lobbying and media groups, right-wing protesters derailed several of these events. In some cases, violence erupted and people wound up in the hospital. 
The series of protests is widely considered to mark the dawn of the Tea Party movement. What ensued was a domino effect whereby Democrats lost their majority in the House, and a filibustering obstructionist and a pandering racist can viably compete for the GOP nom this coming July.
Protests present GOP with tricky task
The "Taxpayer March on Washington" proved that conservatives can turn out in impressive numbers to protest the direction of the Democratic-led federal government, but it also presented Republicans with a tricky task in figuring out how to marshal the energy on display on the Mall Saturday.
A Dozen People With Guns Protest Obama Speech
About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday — the latest incidents in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president. 
Michigan KKK Member Protests Obama Election
On the day after Obama’s election, Michigan Ku Klux Klan member Randy Gray took to the streets to protest Obama’s election and what Gray sees as the “oppression” of white people.
10 Horrifying Racist Attacks on Obama
Surely the past months of 2009 will go down in history as the "summer of hate" -- with fearsome crowds of thuggish, and almost entirely white, conservatives railing against Barack Obama's stimulus package and proposals for health care reform and "cap-and-trade" climate legislation.
Since the election of Trump-nado, I've seen plenty of tweets and conservative articles belittling these protesters. This time it's different.

Conservatives felt justified in their protest of health care, tax policy and other Obama administration policy initiatives. So much so that they even felt it was warranted to bring guns to town hall meetings.

But now that Democrats are protesting a racist, sexist, bullying, know-nothing, buffoon, they're thugs and they need to be quelled. Republican duplicity knows no bounds.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Victory Keeps Growing

Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Victory Keeps Growing
She is up by 1.8 million votes, with millions still being counted in California.
Hillary Clinton not only won the popular vote in Tuesday’s election. It is now clear that she won it by a margin larger than two candidates who went on to win the presidency. 
David Leonhardt, a columnist for The New York Times, noted on Friday that with a 1.7-percentage-point popular vote lead over Donald Trump,Clinton will have a larger margin of victory than Richard Nixon had over Hubert Humphrey in 1968 or John F. Kennedy had over Nixon in 1960. (Her edge is also larger than Al Gore’s popular vote victory over George W. Bush in 2000, though he too was stymied by an electoral college loss.) 
In raw numbers, that amounts to an edge of roughly 1.8 million votes as of Saturday.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekend Reading

For Democrats, Cleaning House Means Pelosi and Schumer Too
Surviving The Age of Trump
Did Trump Steal Wisconsin?
Why Oklahoma Can't Turn Off Its Earthquakes
Fracking Isn't Causing Oklahoma's Earthquakes - This Is
Do Markets Really Hate Uncertainty? Not At All
Why Are These Clowns Winning? Secrets of The Right-Wing Brain
Treat Start-Up Companies Like The Bucks
Walker's Lead Poisoned Politics
David Clarke The Demagogue
John Doe, Open Records Proves Harsdorf, Olsen Crooked, Unfit for Office
Wisconsin Corporations Won't Step Up To Improve State's Economy
Almost Two-Thirds of People In The Labor Force Do Not Have A College Degree
10 Facts About American Workers
How America Grew -- and Grew Unequal
Who Really Runs Your City?
Why I Left The Republican Party To Become A Democrat
Democratic Presidents are Better at Making Us Rich. Eight Reasons Why
Art of the Steal: This Is How Trump Lost $916M and Avoided Tax
Paying For Job Reductions: The Unreported Story of a Ballooning Tax Credit
The Deficit is Too Small, Not Too Big

The Election Was Rigged!!!

Donald Trump was right, the election was rigged. I hope he doesn't accept the results of such a phony, rigged election.

A Message To Eligible Voters That Didn't Vote

Thanks for nothing you fucking, lazy shit-bags.

Way to sit on your ass and do nothing. That's how great things always get done. Right?

You're not bringing the system down by not participating in it. You're playing right into the Republicans hands with your ignorant indifference. They want you to stay home. That's what allows them to maintain power.

Fuck being charged with treason for burning the flag, you should be charged with treason for not voting. For ignoring your democratic duty and thus helping to negatively transform the system, by allowing Republicans to pillage and plunder our public institutions.

This Is Change?

Trump voters declared the Donald was the best candidate to "bring about needed change."

Have you seen the names being thrown about for Trump's cabinet?

It's a who's-not of has-beens and wingnuts. Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, David Clarke, Kris Kobach, Jamie Dimon, and Sarah Palin.

Now, this indeed may be change, but change for the worse, no doubt. But really, the change they want is to go back to political hacks that bankrupted the country (or their state), exacerbated the recession or have shown complete incompetence? These people are the poster children for cronyism and bad policy.

Oh, and one of their top priorities, repealing the Affordable Care Act, could cost the U.S. $41 billion.

For Further Reading:
Lobbyists abound on Trump transition

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Victory Kills Leonard Cohen

So sad. We've lost one of the great poets of our time.

Leonard Cohen Dead at 82
The World Mourns Leonard Cohen — A Loss It Didn’t Need Right Now
Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen Dies at 82

Cohen's last album - You Want It Darker - seems to have predicted this election. Dark days ahead indeed.

R.I.P. Field Commander Cohen
Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder. *

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? The Electoral College

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sheriff Wingnut At It Again

When David Clarke's team is put upon, it's time for pitchforks and torches. But when Democrats protest Donald Trump, they must be quelled.

Just more of the authoritarian demagoguery sweeping across our nation. 

Sheriff Who Said It Was Time For ‘Pitchforks And Torches’ Denounces Anti-Trump Protests - “These temper tantrums from these radical anarchists must be quelled.”
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who urged Americans to pick up “pitchforks and torches” last month in response to what he called a “rigged” system, on Wednesday denounced thousands of Americans for demonstrating against the president-elect’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton
“These temper tantrums from these radical anarchists must be quelled. There is no legitimate reason to protest the will of the people,” Clarke said on Twitter, even though the former secretary of state won the popular vote.
The Republicans, since the 1990s, have seen the demographic writing on the wall. Most citizens don't support their policies. (Hillary Clinton received more votes than Donald Trump.) As Republican's numbers stagnate, they've become more and more cunning in elections. Gerrymandering, stacking the courts, Citizens United, closing polling stations, voter IDs, to name just a few of the ways they've clung to power.

The craziness coming from the Republicans could have be quashed long ago, if not for Republicans appointing favorable judges, redrawing districts to keep seats, and making an already embarrassing voter turnout even worse by making it harder for citizens to vote.

Smell that big whiff of fascism blowing our way. Coming to town alongside a dip-shit Cowboy-wannabe on a horse.

Deplorables 1, Sanity 0

A few things we can glean from the Wisconsin exit polling:
Third party candidates either held Trump back from a blowout or cost Clinton the election, more likely the latter. Again, third party candidates are a wrench in the system. Unless we move to something like an instant run-off voting system, third party candidates are destructive. Other than a sense of smug self-righteousness, what do Johnson and Stein voters have to show? 
Persons 45 and older seemed to have tipped the election to Trump. Amazing that folks receiving, or close to receiving, Medicare and Social Security would vote for the party that wants to end those programs. I really have no clue what these people think Donald Trump or the Republican party will do for them. 
Those with only some college or a high school diploma or less tilted toward Trump. Ignorance is bliss.
The US Elections Project estimates that 128.8 million Americans cast a ballot in 2016, out of 231 million eligible voters — a turnout rate of 55.6 percent. Thus, around 45% of eligible voters did not vote. In 2012, there were 153 million registered voters out of 235 million eligible voters. Nearly 133 million people voted in that presidential election.
Wisconsin, by a thin margin, went for Trump. Odd. Has the state learned nothing from the disaster that has been Scott Walker? 
Persons identifying as religious leaned toward Trump. How is this even possible? Trump is one of the most obscene and deplorable candidates to ever run. He's mean-spirited, twice-divorced, sexist and racist. Not really in keeping with the teachings of Jesus. So, how about this, all you conservative gas-bags talking about values and family and church, shut the fuck up! You are full of shit. You have no spine and Jesus is ashamed of you. Grab 'em by the pussy!

The majority of non-college educated white women (64%) voted for Trump. Unbelievable. Do they really think Trump gives a shit about them? I can only play armchair psychiatrist and assume these women must really hate themselves to vote for such a vile and sexist man.

The fact that any women or any person who calls him or herself religious would vote for Trump is sad and disturbing. As a John Mulaney joke states, "You have the moral backbone of a chocolate éclair."

Lets flash back to the George W Bush presidency. Mired in war, economy in ruins, retirements wrecked, there really wasn't any good news from the two terms. Since President Obama, millions now have health care, unemployment is down from over 10% to under 5%, the stock market is at all-time highs, and the country has seen years of steady job growth, to name a few positives.

Trump voters were supposedly voting for change. Do they want to go back to the recession economy of George W Bush? I guess I'm still feeling a bit squishy about what the Trump voters actually want. I mean, platitudes are great, we want our country back, make America great again, build a wall, kill health care...but how and what exactly is Trump going to do? Exit polling showed Trump voters believe he can "bring needed change." (Although, again, the things they seem to want to change would make all of us worse off, not better.) Their most important issues were terrorism and immigration. Funny, Obama was actually Commander in Chief when Osama bin Laden was killed. Net migration from Mexico has been negative every year since 2008. So, really, what are you talking about? I have a hunch (as always) it's about taxes, deregulation, racism and sexism.

They really can't logically claim Trump would be better for the economy. Just leading up to the election, with the chance of a Trump victory, the market began a downturn. As the headline the day after the election stated, Trump Win Leaves Dollar, Stocks, Mexican Peso Reeling. Investors fear a Trump victory could cause global economic and trade turmoil and years of policy unpredictability.

Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote. More of the people that actually voted wanted Hillary Clinton to win (and 45% were either discouraged, disenfranchised or didn't vote). Yet the antiquated Electoral College gave the victory to Donald Trump. The Electoral College is gerrymandering at the Federal level. If we must keep the Electoral College, why not just give the electoral votes that match the percentage of votes won? Using Wisconsin as an example - Trump got 48% to Clinton's 47%, thus, of Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, Trump would get 4.8 and Clinton 4.7. Or we could just go by the popular vote, seen as that best represents direct democracy.

One of the lessons we can take from this election is that Republicans, or at least those voting that way, really have no principles. Voting has become a contest for them. The ends justify the means. They really don't care about the details. They just want their guy to be in power...and then they make excuses and outright lies when the reality of that candidate doesn't match the rhetoric.

Another lesson Democrats need to learn, which I thought they would have by now, is that they need to, just as the Republicans do, passionately and relentlessly pursue and push the policies they want, win, lose or draw. Can we make elections public? Get rid of Citizens United? Get rid of the Electoral College? Get rid of gerrymandering? After Gore v Bush one would have thought this would have been a more pressing issue for Democrats.

Also, how about making voting a national holiday? Turnout for elections in the U.S. is embarrassing. Not to mention the fact that Republicans are continually trying to restrict voting rights and disenfranchise voters. (Yes, Republicans are cheaters, just like Donald Trump.) How about more polling places. Newer, modern voting equipment. More early voting. If anyone really cares about the will of the people, democracy, the constitution and all the other bromides that get shouted around, voting would be a mandatory duty of American citizenship.

And, as far as elections laws are concerned, can we put some rules in place for what can be televised in election ads? We allow outright lies to pass as persuasive campaigning. Can we exercise some control over the allowable content of campaigns like the Canadian Elections Act, which sets out various provisions regarding the publication or broadcast of election advertising?

As Bruce Bartlett put it, "The lesson of this election is that when the media normalize racism, sexism, fascism, lying & stupidity, it has political consequences." This is truly horrifying; to think that our nation is still so sexist, racist and stupid. Donald Trump and a pliable media have normalized our national discourse into a reality television program.

All of this has left H.L. Mencken's quote ringing in my head, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Indeed, a good portion (but not a majority) of America has now shown itself to appreciate lies, chest-thumping and stupidity over all else.

America hits new landmark: 200 million registered voters
Clinton clenched the popular vote, but both candidates missed out on half of voters
Michael Moore: Morning-After To-Do List
Hillary Clinton’s campaign was crippled by voters who stayed home

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hedge Fund Manager's Simple Reason Why The Rich Should Vote For Hillary Clinton

Hedge fund manager has a simple reason why the rich should support Hillary Clinton
Billionaire Marc Lasry, who runs distressed-debt hedge fund Avenue Capital, laid out a simple explanation why he’s voting for Hillary Clinton even though his tax bill will likely go up. 
“At the end of the day, an individual has to decide whether he or she is going to do what’s best for the country or what’s best for them,” Lasry told Yahoo Finance in a recent phone interview. 
“If you vote for Trump, your taxes will go down and the deficit goes up $5 trillion. If you vote for Hillary, taxes go up and the deficit stays where it is. So, I get it, but you’ve got to decide. We’ve all done extremely well. You’ve got to decide — Are you looking out for your kids’ interests or your own? 
“It’s not more complicated than that,” he added. 
Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman recently reported that under Clinton, the 1% would pay an extra $117,760 in taxes per year, with the bill rising $805,250 for the top 0.1%, according to data from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Meanwhile, under Donald Trump’s tax plan, the top 1% would save $214,690 per year, with the top 0.1% saving $1.066 million. 
“If my taxes go down, will that change my life? No. But it will make future generations’ lives much more difficult as there will be less money for infrastructure and other social services,” Lasry said. 
In other words, saving a few hundred thousand on a tax bill isn’t going to make that big of a difference for someone like Lasry. 
It’s along the lines of what billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently said about money.
“There comes a point where money really has no real utility,” Buffet said. “You can use it to show off, but you can’t do much else with it. I don’t think it’s good for your family. It can do wonders for people around the world.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Milwaukee County Supervisors & The Coaliton of "No!"

I think an argument can be made that the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors should be full-time positions. One could also argue that the number of districts, currently 18, could be reduced.

Regardless of this, more and more, it appears the Board is uninformed, petty and counterproductive. I get the fact that many of the Supervisors seem to have chips on their shoulders concerning County Executive Abele. Political representatives are allowed to have differences of opinion. But, at the end of the day, their objective should be to enact policy that benefits their constituents. Blocking and stonewalling legislation as a figurative middle-finger to Abele is childish and wasteful.

I get it, I have disagreements with Abele on some of his policy opinions. But, it seems, even when the Board of Supervisors would seem to be in 99.9% agreement with an Abele proposal, they still find some convoluted reason to block passage. Just saying "No!" without an explicit reason is moronic and immature.

This is the tactic Republicans have used against Democrats for the last two decades and it's merely caused gridlock with no discernible benefit for the public. In fact, it's the same reason more Federal dollars haven't been used for public infrastructure and stimulus programs. Deciding to just blindly block anything the other side proposes is not the action of a good public servant. This is the type of behavior of cultish apparatchiks who have no real concern for our well-being.

Bruce Murphy details the rampant hypocrisy and asinine actions of the Supervisors in Is a County Wheel Tax Needed?
Besides Lipscomb, supervisors Steve Taylor and Deanna Alexander have suggested they would oppose the wheel tax. To date not one board member has offered a positive word about it. “It’s frustrating,” says Sup. Sheldon Wasserman in describing the stance of board members. “They want the services but they won’t pay for them. Some of the no-sayers (on the wheel tax) are adding budget amendments to spend more money.” ...
Lipscomb, in an email response to my questions, made clear his antagonism to the county executive: “Abele spent $5 million on an anti-tax message this spring only to turn around and introduce a new $60 wheel tax. Then, when given an opportunity to more fully explain his new tax proposals in public (October 3rd), Abele abruptly left the table before many questions could be answered – that makes it a pretty tough sell.” Lipscomb predicts the board will come up with a better budget, adding, “we have a history of adopting a more responsible and balanced budget than the Executive originally proposed.”
It would take a book (and not a very enjoyable one) to analyze who was right in all the disagreements between the board and Abele, but it’s worth noting that Lipscomb and his colleagues have contributed to the ongoing budget shortfall by approving the GO Pass, a free bus pass for senior citizens and disabled riders that was never requested by them and that is now projected by run a $6.1 million shortfall in 2016. The problems with this program have been well documented in columns by me and by Jannene.
Thus, the Supervisors counterproposal, Milwaukee County Board considers $30 wheel tax.
"This recognizes the fact that we simply can't say no to a wheel tax," Lipscomb said Monday at a meeting of the board's finance committee. Lipscomb and other supervisors acknowledged there is no other new revenue source available to help pay costs of transit services and major transportation capital projects in the 2017 budget...

The committee's action went against the advice of County Comptroller Scott Manske. In a memo to the County Board, Manske said the revenue from a $60 vehicle registration fee is needed "to maintain the county's portion of the local transportation systems, including highways, the bus system and parkways." 
Even with a $60 wheel tax starting in 2017, Manske said, revenue will not be sufficient to cover transit costs in just a few years without fare increases and route reductions. 
Abele recommended a $60 wheel tax to provide $27.1 million of new revenue in 2017. Half of that amount is $13.55 million.
So, they recognize the funding is needed, and there's no other way of getting it, but they still only recommend half of the proposal.

Maybe we could just increase the sales tax to help pay for public infrastructure. We seem to have billions for sport stadiums, but we can raise enough funding for public transportation, parks and schools?

Nevertheless, the County Supervisor are looking and acting like a bunch of petulant ne'er-do-wells.