On Sanders the Socialist

Ya know…there’s a quick and easy conventional wisdom on the Presidential campaign of one Bernard Sanders, and it’s simply this….there’s no way a socialist can win a national election.

Oh, that’s also proceeded by, “I love the guy, don’t disagree with much he does, he’s honest, and does what he says he does.”

Also, he was born in 1941 and will have *just turned* 75 in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

We actually have a socialist running for President of the United States. A real one.  A “self-avowed” one, if you will.

This is going to have a number of interesting effects. First and foremost, in the primary season…folks are going to get to see *WHAT AN ACTUAL UNAPOLOGETIC SOCIALIST* sounds like.

And it’s going to be a crotchety, 75-year old man that thinks the system is unfair to young people and workers.

And knows how that system works.

It’s not going to be scary. It’s not going to be Stalin. Socialism, through the curious lens of American culture, is going to be cool again.

This will likely go down as (another) of the great mistakes of the GOP. You see, having cast *Obama* as a socialist, the GOP has already broken that ice. The latest 3 generations of Americans weren’t as programmed as the Boomers (and above) to hate the very notion of the sound of the word of “socialism”, so they see *and feel* the term much differently.

Particularly those who have spent their sentient years under the rule of a “socialist dictator” as so many on the right think of Obama (I’m not joking, this is a common comment on the President).

To see *an actual* socialist in campaign mode will no doubt be good for the country, as we get a chance to re-engage a term that is not actually political poison in the rest of the world, but simply a general term for a system of government that trends opposite of our current oligarchy, for better or worse as such trends dictate*

Do I think Sanders can win the upset campaign? I’m not so sure, if only because he’s waited so long to really start.

Going on the Sunday shows was not the strategy to lay the groundwork for a successful Presidential campaign at 75. Doing it at 63, and 67, and 71 was, as RON PAUL did for his own “ism” of the liberte variety.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Sanders fairs with the grueling pace of the campaign, and how he looks under the lights and the contrast he allows for Clinton. Where and how they disagree will be useful, if only as a lesson as to what words mean.

Like “socialism”, which we are about to get a solid dose of, one way or another.

* to be clear, I think income/wealth inequality is our biggest societal challenge, about to be made *MUCH WORSE* by automation, and as such, a healthy dose of socialism is exactly what we need to prevent (or merely push back) societal collapse.**

**. I say with my usual comic over/understatement.

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Meet the Press goes Full Chipotle

LOL. Ok. I turned off Meet the Press. Not watching it.

Watch “the Daily Show” clip making fun of our press, as that is faaar more worth your time than this crap.

It’s really a testament to the sorry state of the GOP and our corporate media when *all* of the GOP panel members bring up the “Chipotle Video” (close circuit video of Hillary Clinton ordering a burrito without fanfare) as an example of how Clinton is out of touch and old and boring.

Nothing about policy, or experience or reality…just spinning a close circuit video. The political punditry TV class is like a weird papparazzi, that just takes pictures of itself taking pictures of others.

I noted this during the latest season of “House of Cards” where all the “journalists” in Washington were playing themselves playing themselves on TV. I think, for a lot of them, the job is scripted, and all about acting out said script.

The Press is not supposed to be like that. When we “Meet” them, as it were, what we are seeing is what they are now, which is a caricature of what the job should be.

I know, I know, it’s a constant Sunday morning lament. But it’s a really sorry state of affairs, and there’s little wonder as to why folks lose interest so quickly in sorting through it all.

Correcting Rubio (re: Net Neutrality)

This is what happens when a (former) High School teacher grades a Senator’s op-ed on a technological subject.

That Senator is running for President, BTW.

Mark Takano's photo.

I only break out the red pen on special occasions. So when I saw Marco Rubio’s recent op-ed on Net Neutrality, you know I couldn’t resist. It is intentionally m

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The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct

The biggest extinction event in planetary history was driven by the rapid acidification of our oceans, a new study concl​udes. So much carbon was released into the atmosphere, and the oceans absorbed so much of it so quickly, that marine life simply died off, from the bottom of the food chain up.

That doesn’t bode well for the present, given the disturbingly similar rate that our seas are acidifying right now. Parts of the Pacific, for instance, are already so acidic that sea snails’ shells begin dissolving as soon as they’re born.

via The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct | Motherboard.

Just another one of those observable effects of that human civilization is having on our planet.

 

Note: these are denied utterly and completely by the GOP.

GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires (well, folks with 10 millions) and billionaires. Does not Pay for It

The final tally was 240 to 179, with nearly every GOP lawmaker voting for it and nearly every Democrat voting against it.

When describing Republican tax proposals, it’s not uncommon to talk about policies that disproportionately benefit the very wealthy. GOP proponents will say a bill benefits all taxpayers, but they’ll brush past the fact that the rich benefit most. This, however, is altogether different – today’s bill, called the “Death Tax Repeal Act,” quite literally benefits multi-millionaires and billionaires exclusively.

It’s not an exaggeration to say House Republicans, en masse, voted for a $269 billion giveaway to the top 0.2%. Under the plan, GOP lawmakers, who occasionally pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility,” would simply add the entire $269 billion cost to the deficit, leaving future generations to pay for a massive tax break for the hyper-wealthy.

Wait, it gets worse.

via GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires, billionaires | MSNBC.

Perhaps the most galling, and blatantly hypocritical, aspect of this situation is how blatant and galling it is.

You have GOP folks out there *campaigning* on the issue of income inequality…but they are saying the exact opposite of what the GOP is actually doing.

I mean…this is such a blatant and obvious payback to the GOP’s (small number of) extremely wealthy (and old) donors.

You have this party funded by like 40 billionaires in their 80’s….OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO PUSH THIS CRAP.

What’s really confounding is how anyone who isn’t an 80-year old billionaire supports this crap.

That’s the strange part, to me.

The Big Wall Street Money Behind Rafael “Ted” Cruz

And it turns out that pandering to the .001% is not a particularly bad paying profession. This is not a surprising, but the actual numbers here are staggering.

It’s up to $31,000,000/week, if you find the right sugar daddy.

This was what was warned about when the Supreme Court gave down the “Citizens United” ruling, that a single person, or very small group of people, could fully fund a “radical” candidate and how that’s not really good for democracy in general.

Trying to convince the Cruzies (rhymes with “crazies”) of the simple fact that the guy is backed by a single billionaire (although more will jump on board when the realize his supporters don’t give a shit what he *actually does*, only that he talks good) will be near impossible.

And trying to let them know that the 3.9% tax on investment income over $400,000/yr that is the cornerstone of paying for the expansion of medical insurance under the ACA is the simple financial motivation for such a person to back Cruz….well….the problem with that argument is that it is logical and fact based.

It goes like this…$1,000,000,000/yr in investment income. 3.8% of that (over $400,000) is $37,984,800/yr.

So this guy can invest in Cruz, and if it pays off….that’s about $40,000,000/yr (per billion in unearned income) that he can then spend on politicos to save that much in taxes.

It’s a pretty sick calculation (essentially taking heathcare aware from millions of Americans so one guy can have a slightly bigger dick in the measuring contests these assholes care about), but that’s what we are currently facing in this country.

That’s how bad it has gotten.

Ted Cruz, breaking fundraising records…that’s how bad it has gotten.

The reclusive Long Islander who made his fortune using computers to outsmart the stock market is a key early bankroller of Senator Ted Cruz’s fast campaign start.
NYTIMES.COM|BY ERIC LICHTBLAU

Study Forecasts 70% Loss of West Canada’s Glaciers

He added that since the projections for the study were based on the climate panel’s range of predictions, it was heartening to find that the panel’s projections that took into account the possibility of strong measures to combat climate change showed glacial loss leveling off. “There are still some good-behavior rewards there,” he said. “We have to get at this now.”

via Study Forecasts 70% Loss of West Canada’s Glaciers – NYTimes.com.

I wanted to highlight that quote because I think there is still hope for this issue.

I haven’t given up yet.   I do think the liars are losing, the question is whether or not it will be fast enough to keep things from getting out of hand.

The California drought is going to be a big factor.  If you haven’t read the linked story yet, now would be a good time, because it explains why the drought is probably going to get worse, for a long time.

Obama Gets Iran Deal, GOP Freaks Collective Shit

Just go ahead and get yourself elected, Lindsey, and you can do that (heck, this is the kind of stuff we want debated before we elect Presidents…and note how we elected Obama twice, to do just this kind of stuff).

The hatred of Obama and the cover it provides for the GOP has led to some very interesting and, frankly, openly seditious, behavior.

I have to wonder if the Tea Party is going to die off before the reality they inhabit is just too far gone from the rest of us to continue moving forward together.

Look at how many in the GOP talk about reality itself, and you begin to see this issue.

What the Obama administration has done (if the deal holds) is the same thing the Bush administration claimed to have wanted to do, stop Iran (Iraq) from obtaining WMD.

The difference here is that Iran, unlike Iraq, had an active program and Obama, unlike Bush, was able to do it without a decades long war, thousand of lives and trillions of dollars.

The discrepancy here is massively huge and, it would seem, the only choice the GOP has is to double and triple down on the Obama-hate.

Sad, but there it is.

Jesus F. Christ on teh Gays

“And yea, I ask of thee to do service for your fellow man. As I have fed the hungry and healed the sick and comforted the condemned and attended the afflicted and praised the abhorred and loved and loved and loved all men and command that you follow my example with no thought of any but God. Such is my will, such is the will of God.

Except for them gays, I think they’s icky, you don’t have to serve them.”

— Jesus Fucking Christ, people.