Monthly Archives: July 2016

Tim Kaine and the courting of Republicans

Hillary had a few choices when it came to making her VP choice, and she picked the oligarch move. She picked the centrist Tim Kaine and her message was clear. Screw the left and Bernie Sanders. She’d rather lose by going right than left. She has undoubtedly sealed her doom with this pick, given the attraction that Trump seems to be to a vast number of undereducated and emotionally crippled right wing nutjobs. This looks to be a very low turnout election if the left stays home, and a very amusing one if Jill Stein actually picks up Bernie’s 13 million plus voters, along with the millions who supported Bernie but didn’t get a chance to vote in this cycle.

Tim  Kaine is not and never has been a true democrat (note the small d). He is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Democrat who will never push for an increase in social security taxes on the wealthy or increased benefits for those seriously left behind. He is pro-TPP, and personally opposed to a woman’s right to choose. The only reason to name Tim Kaine as her veep is for Hillary to appeal to the Bushes and Romneys of the Republican Party, those appalled at what Trump is doing to the GOP. These include neo-cons we all loved to hate during the W administration, and Republican women who cannot abide the sexism oozing out of everything Trump says.

I confess I was somewhat ambivalent about all the silly Hillary-bots who claimed that a vote for Stein or a write-in for Bernie was a vote for Trump. But Hillary, by picking Kaine, has told us that we and our priorities just have to get in line behind her because she’s the only way to defeat Trump. Nonsense. She has given the progressives a gift by picking Kaine. She has freed us of any guilt in not voting for her and the Clintons’ constant triangulation to the right. She has said that progressives don’t matter, that unity on the center left isn’t necessary, and that she’d rather have Republican support than the traditional support of the Democratic party, the workers, the middle class (what’s left of it), people of color, immigrants and the downtrodden. Tip O’Neill is turning in his grave at this lurch to the right. FDR and Eleanor are weeping at the death of the New Deal. And the Green Party will gain admittance to the debates when the Bernistas flood to Jill Stein and she rises above 15% in the polls.

Thank you, Hillary, for confirming all my worst suspicions of you, and confirming that you don’t want my vote anyway.

Thank you, Bernie. Hello, Jill.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Bernie Sanders for doing the impossible. He awoke an entire generation of  new voters with the message he has been sending for the past 40 years. He has awoken a sleeping giant that will be heard for many years to come because he has shown a signpost for how we can redeem our country from the 1% and turn it back to a democracy, as has been done in the past by trust-breakers and men of good conscience who couldn’t be bought. There are those of my generation who thought that the left could never rise again, and we were on the road to one of the many dystopian worlds so beloved by the younger generation. We were thankfully wrong.

Bernie’s message resonated as well as it did precisely because it was not a cult of personality, though it sometimes seems that it might be veering in that direction. His repeated utterance of “Not me, us” was so antithetical to the way politics has been presented to us since forever that it caused people to sit up and take notice. When he spoke to issues that actually mattered to folks, they stayed interested, they sent money, and they voted. It is neither Bernie’s fault nor the fault of his supporters that they were victims of the most fraudulent primary in this nation’s history (the academics can see it, even if the Hillary-bots and the MSM cannot).

What Bernie did in endorsing Hillary was to preserve his right to speak at the convention. Without the endorsement, he could have been prevented from speaking. Because he will be there, he can compel a true vote by the delegates, where the impact of the  superdelegates will be on display for all the world to see. We still have a few weeks, and Hillary can still step into a big hole. I’m not holding my breath, but I can certainly hope.

I know Bernie has asked us all to join him in fighting Donald Trump, and he has good and realistic reasons for doing it. I’m sorry that I cannot vote for Hillary, but it remains, and will remain, my position.

Today I read a long statement in the comments section of a report of Jill Stein’s tweets during Bernie’s and Hillary’s speeches on Tuesday. The rant explained that, by not voting for Hillary, we would be electing Trump, and he made the argument in many new and interesting ways, but added the usual ad hominem attack that our temper tantrums were childish and selfish. Condescension is never going to win friends and influence people, especially that of white men toward women of any race.

Jill Stein is adopting virtually all of Bernie’s policies in that hers closely aligned with his where they existed before and she has schooled herself on those that Bernie had developed more fully. Since Bernie did not create a cult of personality, I have no difficulty in shifting my vote to Jill under the circumstances. I have written here before some of the difficulties I have with Hillary and I am not going to repeat myself. What I responded to the ranter was effectively this.

When Bill Clinton was running for his second term, I voted for Mickey Mouse. My voting for Mickey Mouse did not in any way affect the outcome of that race. I see no reason why my voting for a real person, i.e. Jill Stein or a write-in for Bernie, is likely to cause more damage to Hillary’s chances than it did to Bill’s some 20 years ago. Maybe I’ve become more powerful over those years, but I sincerely doubt it. But I will make one concession, although it might not cheer the ranter, Hillary, or Bernie very much. If it appears that Hillary is likely to lose my state (and that is possible but would speak terribly about her campaign were it to happen), I will leave the presidential entry on the ballot blank. Otherwise, I will vote my conscience, and the coming months will help me decide whether to vote for Jill or Bernie.

So welcome to the conversation, Jill. I’ll be watching you.

Albany Cops Sound Like Abusive Spouses in Teen Workshop

I’ve been meaning to address this issue, but I found this, and say “Why bother?” This post says it all and better than I could. Please read it if you want to understand why the way cops act seems so incredibly offensive to some people.


There’s this pattern that happens with abusive spouses. They often explain to their victims how to behave so they won’t get beaten up again. All the victim needs to do is give them proper respect, not burn their dinner, remember to leave out their slippers at the right place, never buy the wrong brand of toothpaste, never make them feel like they are being laughed at, never give them attitude or make them mad. And then, supposedly, they’ll be safe.

Of course, the abuser is not actually owed any of those things in the first place. And in any case, it’s always a lie. It’s a losing game. The abuse will continue, because periodic reminders of control are necessary and because the abuser will keep finding new things to add to the reasons they were “forced” to administer a beating.

This was one of the first things I thought of when I heard…

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