What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 16, 2017

I've Looked At Covfefe From Both Sides Now

This weekend a woman was killed by a white supremacist/neo-nazi/alt.right supporter who drove his Chevy Challenger into the crowd she was in. He also injured 19 other people with his car. The woman, Heather Heyer was protesting the white supremacists/neo-nazis/alt.right supporters who had descended onto Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of a man, Robert E. Lee, who defended the "states' right" to enslave other human beings. He was a traitor for levying war against the United States.

And yet, Donald J Trump said there was blame on "both sides" for the violence.

He also said that there were some "very fine people" among the white supremacists/neo-nazis/alt.right supporters.

David Duke liked what Donald J Trump said.

When you get a hearty thumbs up from a racist for imposing a false moral equivalence onto, as Senator McCain tweeted, "racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry," you're doing something very very wrong.

Even though there are many Republicans who denounced Trump for this, he still is leader of the GOP, he still is the (orange) face of American conservatism right now.

If you voted for Trump, this is yours. You made this happen.

What are you going to do about it?

August 15, 2017

It's Tuesday - But It's DIFFERENT This Tuesday

For the past twenty some odd Tuesdays, I've been posting open letters to my Senator, Pat Toomey. He's answered a few, ignored most and pivoted and dodged when he did respond.

Considering the events of this past weekend, however, I've decided to take a break from the Tuesday letters to Toomey - I'll be back next week.

To his credit, the Senator did post this on his Facebook page - but only two days after the racist violence:
I am disgusted by white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis and believe the racism and hate spewed by these groups have no place in our society.
It's good that he's finally there, I suppose.

But condemning Nazis and White Supremacists and the KKK is easy.


August 14, 2017

How The Local Politicians Responded To The White Supremacists UPDATE - ANOTHER UPDATE

As the man said "All politics is local," it might be a good idea to see how some local elected officia
ls reacted to the violence of this weekend in Charlottesville, specifically whether they denounce or even mention the white supremacists at the heart of it.

First the Governor. In a series of tweets, he got it right. Including this:
Then Senator Casey:
And now Senator Toomey:
Sadly, you'll note that he fails to take that last big step to mention "white supremacy" or "Nazis" or anything more specific than "racism, hate and violence" in his tweet. I mean it's great to see racism as vile, but just as I can imagine the alt.right folks in Pennsylvania concluding that those opposing them are "the real racists," I can imagine a lot of them actually agreeing with Toomey's tweet. At the very least, a clarification is in order, doncha think?

Representative Tim Murphy does the job without explicitly calling out the white supremacists or Nazis by name:
Saturday's violence in Charlottesville was an exhibition of racist hate masquerading as political dissent. There is no "other side" to the debate over racial equality and common decency. The racist extremists who sought and invited this violence should be driven from all venues of public life. Hate is hate, and there is no antidote for it but universal rejection.
His "other side" is probably a reference to this tweet from former Vice President Joe Biden:
Which is itself a repudiation of Donald Trump's offensive "On many sides." moral equivalence. And in doing so Murphy does in fact, though in a round about way, denounce those who stand against racial equality (that is to say, those promoting white supremacy).

Representative Mike Doyle's response was short and to the point, while not specifically denouncing the white supremacists at the center of the protests:
This is almost exactly Pat Toomey's reaction. However, as I can't imagine very many alt.right folks among Doyle's constituency (or indeed looking at Doyle's twitter feed for political reinforcement), the context is different. Still, perhaps a clarification might be in order.

Take a look, for example, at what Senator Lindsey Graham had to say this weekend:
“[Donald Trump] missed an opportunity to be very explicit here,” said Graham on Fox News Sunday. “These groups seem to believe they have a friend in Donald Trump in the White House. I don’t know why they believe that, but they don’t see me as a friend in the Senate and I would urge the president to dissuade these groups that he’s their friend.”
Dissuade these groups that they are your friends. They're white supremacists, they're Nazis and they should be re-fringed to political impotence.

UPDATE: Senator Toomey just posted this on Facebook:
I am disgusted by white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis and believe the racism and hate spewed by these groups have no place in our society.
SECOND UPDATE: Representative Mike Doyle updated his Facebook page with this:

August 13, 2017

On Many Sides - Donald Trump Refuses To Condemn Neo-Nazis/White Supremecists

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.

Only yesterday:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.

On many sides.
That's what he said. That is what Donald J. Trump said.

He said it a few hours after this happened in Charlottesville, Virginia:
Video recorded at the scene of the car crash shows a 2010 gray Dodge Challenger accelerating into crowds on a pedestrian mall, sending bodies flying — and then reversing at high speed, hitting yet more people. Witnesses said the street was filled with people opposed to the white nationalists who had come to town bearing Confederate flags and anti-Semitic epithets.
So far one person dead and 19 injured. The dead and injured were among those opposing the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists protesting the removal of this statue from Emancipation Park. Formerly known as Lee Park, it was named after the Confederate General who committed treason by levying war against the United States of America in order to protect the institution of slavery.

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.

At the tiki-torched prelude-protest the night before, this is what happened:
Hundreds of white nationalists marched and rallied at the University of Virginia Friday night. They carried torches and chanted, "You will not replace us and "Jews will not replace us."
The day of the protest Joe Heim, staff writer for the Washington Post tweeted this:
This is who invaded Charlottesville this weekend. Racists and bigots of various seasonings and at least one white domestic terrorist - the guy driving the gray Dodge Challenger.

And yet Trump took it upon himself to condemn the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides."

As if both sides, the racists and those opposing them, held something even remotely resembling equal responsibility for the violence brought to Charlottesville by the racists protesting the removal of the Confederate statue of the guy defending the institution of slavery.

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we will save our country.

And then:
The president ignored several questions, shouted by reporters after his remarks, about white nationalists who support his presidency and whether he has denounced them in strong enough terms. While leading politicians from both parties specifically denounced the white-nationalist cause of the protesters, Trump seemed careful to avoid doing the same.
Gee, I wonder why.

Could this be the answer? From Think Progress:
The popular white supremacist site Daily Stormer called Trump’s remarks “really good,” noting that he “didn’t attack us.” They were also pleased he ignored a question about white supremacists after making his statement.
Some commentators on the white nationalist message board Stormfront also praised Trump, with one noting that the president’s comments could just as easily be read as a criticism of Black Lives Matter.
Which I think is entirely the point.

This is the world we now inhabit.

My fellow citizens. We can not escape history. - That is what he said. That is what Abraham Lincoln said.

August 11, 2017

Ah, Those Guardians Of Democracy, Those Fact-Drenched Trump Voters

From The Washington Post:
Nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) believe that Trump won the popular vote, which is similar to this finding. Larger fractions believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted (68 percent) and that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often (73 percent). Again, this is similar to previous polls.

Moreover, 52 percent said that they would support postponing the 2020 election, and 56 percent said they would do so if both Trump and Republicans in Congress proposed this.
But wait a minute. Aren't these folks the same scared jitter-ers who thought that Obama was going to claim a third term?

Jitter-ers like Joseph Farah at WND:
The question this harsh, unprecedented attack by a sitting president on a major-party nominee to succeed him raises should be obvious: What happens if Donald Trump wins the election in November?

Given what Obama has said about Trump, would he not have an obligation to prevent Trump from assuming office? And what would that mean to the peaceful process America has enjoyed for more than two centuries of transitions of power?
Rush Limbaugh in 2009:

A partial transcript from Rush Limbaugh's own website:
I think he has natural sympathies toward authoritarians. He has sympathy for dictators. He relates to them. He inherited his father’s Marxism. It’s not me saying this. It’s somebody from the American Thinker, the Nigerian woman writing last week referring to Obama as average African colonel. You have to wonder if Obama is just trying to lay a foundation for not being a hypocrite when he tries to serve beyond 2016. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in the next number of years there is a move on the 22nd Amendment, which term limits the president of the United States. He may not do it that way, he may not openly try to change the Constitution, but there might be this movement in the country from his cultlike followers to support the notion that a democratically elected leader, who is loved and adored has carte blanche, once elected, just serve as long as he wants because the people demand it, the people want it, the people love it. I wouldn’t put it past Obama to be plotting right now how to serve beyond 2016.
And that's straight out of Rush's mouth.

So they'd support the Republican president doing the same thing that they got so skeert-they-crapped-their-pants when they thought the previous Kenyan-born Democrat president was planning on doing the same thing - even though he wasn't.  (It's just another factual error on their parts, just like the 47% who thought Trump won the popular vote and the 68% who thought that millions of "illegal aliens" voted for Clinton.)

Yea, that's a consistent, fact-based coalition over there, supporting the little-handed pussy-grabber who might just get us all killed.

August 9, 2017

Ok, So We're Still Here. Going To Have To Take Things Day-By-Day, I Suppose, From Now On

With that in mind, I am wondering if, say, Bernie Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon (and all those Sanders folks who agreed with her) still believes that Hillary Clinton is "in a way, more dangerous" than Donald Trump.

More dangerous, of course, because Trump's policies are so implausible.

Implausible? They're right before our eyes. Every day. Every hour. Every tweet.

So far today, no nukular war.

But the day is still young.

August 8, 2017

My TWENTY-THIRD Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again. Your constituent who also writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

A week or so ago, Donald J Trump told the Wall Street Journal that, after his controversial speech at this year's Boy Scout Jamboree, "I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful."

As we all know by now, that was a lie.

Not only did Donald J Trump lie about the Boy Scouts but that speech, as you probably know by now, triggered an apology from the Scouts to anyone offended by the "political rhetoric injected into the jamboree."

Senator Toomey, you were a Boy Scout (an Eagle Scout, in fact). So here's this week's question: How and why do you continue to support such a man who would blatantly politicize the Boy Scouts and then lie about it later?

I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.