One Way A Thing Could Be…

I hear a lot of talk, these days, about impeachment.  From the left, the conversation is “What are they waiting for?”  On the right, the conversations is, “Move along.  Nothing to see, here”.  (Okay, actually on the right the conversation is, “What about Hillary?”  Tell you what, we’ll investigate her Presidential crimes just as soon as she’s the President committing crimes…)  In truth, the Democrats may not be “waiting” at all.  These things take time.  One of a lawyer’s prime jobs is to delay.  One never knows how a thing may play out over time so the more time one can stuff into the process, the better.  But the natural process of legal proceedings could well work to the advantage of the Democrats (and, of course, the country as a whole…) for two reasons.  One, the order of succession and two, the rules regarding terms of office.

Do you know the order of succession?  If the President can’t serve, in comes the Vice-President.  If both the President and Vice-President are unable to serve, here comes the Speaker of the House.  Trump, Pence, Ryan – in short, there’s no escape…at least for now.  Besides, with conservative control of Congress, there’s not going to be an impeachment, anyway.  Period.  Sure, it’s a flagrant disregard of the Rule of Law but Trump said, flatly, he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and it wouldn’t affect his base.  He’s right, too.

One possible assessment (presumption? guess? hope? dream?) is that the Democrats intend to take advantage of the glacial movement of legal proceedings, hoping to benefit from the 2018 “elections.”  IF they can recapture Congress – or even one chamber – the madness stops – or, at least, slows.  IF they can recapture Congress, impeachment might proceed.  And, just for fun, IF the Democrats can recapture the House, impeachment proceedings might be possible against both Trump and Pence…and the new Speaker would be a Democrat!  That last possibility, there, is mostly wishful thinking.  It’s true, Mueller and I aren’t talking but I haven’t seen anything against Pence so far.  (That doesn’t mean much, either.  I’d never even heard of Popadopoulos until his plea deal was announced…)

Here’s the other piece: if the President is ousted for any reason, the amount of time remaining on his current term defines whether the incoming replacement can run for one more term or two.  If the replacement serves more than half of the ousted President’s term, the replacement is considered to have served one term.  If the replacement serves less than half, they can run twice.  That means one President could serve as many as 10 years…

So, to recap: the order of operations for Democrats is; win back the House, seat a new Speaker, THEN impeach the national embarrassment.  It’s that first one, though, “win back the House”, that’s going to be the hardest.  You see, whether Gerrymandering, voter suppression, or outright manipulation – conservatives cheat.  They cheat bigly.  If an “election” is close, conservatives “win” (search “Goo Goo Syndrome”) because conservatives have a finger on the scale.  These days, it’s more like they’re actually standing on the scale…

They have to, really.  You see, those who dwell inside the conservative bubble think they “win” because their positions are the most popular but as it happens there are far more thinking people than conservatives.  The thing is, lefties don’t enjoy the group-think and obedience of the right.  “Herding cats” is the phrase people commonly use.  Lefties commonly don’t turn out, particularly for mid-terms.  But the fact is, when liberals DO turn out, we win.  We CAN overwhelm the right with sheer numbers but we HAVE to overwhelm the right with sheer numbers.

I’ll tell you this: we’d better.  This whole thing is going to come down to 2018.  Conservatives just think it’s about “their team.”  Everyone else – by now – knows it’s about saving what’s left of this once-great nation…

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Apparently, I haven’t settle on “a day” when I’ll be posting, yet.  It would be BEST if you’d just come over to http://www.MyBaconPress.com and follow the blog.  (There’s a little button in the bottom right corner.  You’ll be asked for an email address, then the next awesome – or awful, depending – piece will be delivered right to your inbox.  How convenient is that?)

Franken vs Moore…

Look, I get it.  I do.  I’m supposed to believe the women no matter what and, mostly, I do.  But as it happens, my faith is not universal.  I have in the back of my mind a single fact which must not be ignored: conservatives will say anything – anything – to “win” an argument.  They’re not hampered by facts, honesty, nor reality.  Their positions change as quickly and easily as the wind shifts.

When the first woman said Al Franken touched her butt at a fair, he didn’t want to disrespect her.  He didn’t flatly deny it.  He simply said he didn’t remember the event the way she did.  He didn’t call her a liar – he COULDN’T in this current environment.  But it opened a door and when it became clear that “he touched my butt while taking a photo at the fair” was recognized as a “legitimate” line of attack, I knew Franken was in trouble.  Not necessarily because he touched any butts at any fairs but because Senator Franken (D) is a major nemesis to conservatives and – as I’ve already indicated – conservatives will say anything to “win.”

All they needed was a few women to “come forward” and complain.  Franken was kind of “low hanging fruit” as the saying goes.  He’s a guy whose been to countless fairs and taken countless photos with countless fans.  There’s no way he could dispute every single accusation some loyal conservative might be willing to sling – yet never have to prove…

Franken, of course, is the “offset” for GOP-supported pedophile Roy Moore (R, of course).  As a sidebar, I have a question.  Moore insists he had “permission” from the mothers of the children he…”dated.”  Moore was the District Attorney.  What, I wonder, what the legal status of the mothers in question?  Were they facing charges that could be reduced if Moore could be allowed to spend a little private time with a daughter?  I don’t know.  I have no information suggesting any quid pro quo but the question has crossed my mind…

The worst part about the entire Franken issue is that it could undermine other claims made by other women.  Of course, for the GOP, that’s an actual benefit.  It might even be the goal.  If Franken’s accusers are lying, couldn’t Moore’s accusers be lying, too?  (They could be…)

For the record, I’m going to continue to believe the vast majority of these claims.  My feeling is that most of the assaults that have been revealed are more about power plays than anything else.  Yes, the exercise of said “power” was in whipping out one’s junk or touching something that shouldn’t be touched (or both!)  But Franken wasn’t exercising any power when he was taking a photo with a fan and, frankly, a hand-full of butt for a couple of seconds just isn’t enough of a thrill to risk everything on.  But it IS an easy story to tell…

…and conservatives will say anything to “win”…

 

Free Advice To The DNC…

Look, mostly, I just want the Dem Wars to end.  I’m saying that because this piece might come across as facetious and I don’t mean it that way.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how the DNC might have handled things differently – in a way intended to prevent the problems the left experienced during the primaries.  I figured it out, too.  As it happens, the solution is simple, though I can see how it might have seemed less simple at the time.  Here it is:  Dear DNC, the next time you pre-sale the nomination, say so clearly and publicly…and cancel the primaries.

I know that last bit is likely to evoke howls of protest from party members insisting stubbornly – and often rudely – that there has never been a more fair process in the history of fair processes.  I get it.  Frankly, I’m going to put less stock in the scripts of the Democratic talking heads like Maddow and Hayes or the speculations of the rank and file and MORE stock into the statements of the acting head of the DNC, Donna Brazile so…save it.  I’m going with the notion that Brazile knows more about the inner workings of the DNC than you (or I) know…

The first question that comes to mind when I suggest making an announcement and canceling the primaries is, “Do you know how mad people would be if they just announced the candidate?”  I got stuck on that one for awhile.  But it turns out, the answer is, “Did you notice how angry people were – and still are – after the way it actually played out?”

Look, I can see how it happens.  They sell the nomination.  (Apparently, all legal, I’m told.)  They let the old man with the crazy hair run for appearances.  As soon as people hear about his crazy ideas, the pre-sold candidate seems the obvious choice.  The DNC gets the cash infusion it needs and the preferred candidate ends up on the dais and the rank-and-file are none the wiser.  On paper, it seems simple enough.  But this falls under the category of “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive…”

See, the DNC severely misread the mood of the people.  Most people on both sides of the political divide are unhappy about the direction this country is taking and the “more of the same”, “incremental baby steps” candidate was NOT bringing the message most Americans wanted to hear.  The real problem was that the crazy socialist caught on.  NOW things had to be…adjusted.  The rest, as they say, is history…

So, what if the DNC HAD just announced the candidate?  Obviously, they wouldn’t say the part about the pre-sale.  ‘Poor optics’, it’s called.  (That means it doesn’t look good…)  They’d say, instead, the candidate was swept into the role on a tide of public opinion.  Sure, people would have been angry.  But they would have been angry an entire year earlier.  They would have had an entire year to “get over” the insult of having their “choice” taken away.  The DNC wouldn’t have had to make the “adjustments” that cost them so dearly in their reputation.  They would have avoided the potential legal troubles of fraudulently collecting money for a candidate they had no intention of running.

Most importantly, there would not have been a more appealing candidate for the disenfranchised voters to rally around.  I think it likely that even people who were angry the “choice” had been made for them would have, eventually, come around to the pre-paid nominee.  So, you see?  It actually makes more sense.

The truth is, I don’t even know if they WILL pre-sale any more nominations but knowing corporations the way I do, I’d bet they will, if I had to bet.  So, I hope they’ll at least consider my proposal should another pre-sale occur.  Make an announcement, cancel the primaries.  In the long run, honesty might have made all the difference…

Stop This Tax Assault (If We Can…)

My conservative brethren are not out in force these days defending the GOP tax proposal.  I’ve seen a few – true believers, I guess – trying to defend the proposal with comparisons to the Obama administration.  One will not be surprised to learn the numbers they’re using are faulty.  I saw one “chart” – well, I guess it doesn’t need the quotes – it WAS an actual chart.  Anyway, I saw one chart produced by conservatives that showed the the debt had increased $13 trillion dollars under Obama.  That’s a HUGE number!  I’m glad it isn’t true…

Under the MOST simplistic, LEAST accurate way of measuring, one simply takes the debt at the end of an administration and subtracts the debt at the beginning of that administration and – voila! – some number.  But even if one does that with Obama, the difference is only 9.3 trillion.  The rest is just…add on…for effect, I guess.

The BEST way to do it is to track only the debt created by policy of the administration.  So…for starters, one must exclude the first year of an administration – ANY administration – as THAT budget is set by the previous, outgoing administration.  This is just a fact.  That means that Obama isn’t responsible for the first year of his administration.  It ALSO means Trump doesn’t get “credit” for the first year of his administration, either.  THIS coming budget, this one that promises to do so much damage to so many people?  THIS is Trump’s first budget…

Obama shouldn’t be “blamed” for spending associated with efforts to save the country after the GOP economic collapse.  THAT spending wasn’t “his” idea.  Yes, the debt increased but not because of Obama choices.  For the record, the same is true of 43 and Katrina.  Bush didn’t choose a hurricane.  That just…happened.  Bush still had to spend, though.  THOSE costs don’t “belong” to Bush, see?

George’s Wars, though…well, those costs DO belong to Bush.  I say so because 43 chose those wars.  (What?  Don’t I remember 9/11?  Of course I remember 9/11.  But 43 didn’t invade the country that attacked us, Saudi Arabia.  NOR did he invade the country harboring the “mastermind”, Pakistan.  Even though 9/11 and George’s Wars happened at near times in history, the events were unrelated…)  The wars didn’t end, of course, when 43 left office.  The continuing costs for his wars had to be paid.  Not Obama’s choice, not Obama’s debt.  In fairness, the ongoing costs of those debacles will continue under Trump’s administration, too.  THOSE costs WILL add to Trump’s total debt but STILL “belong” to Bush.  (I know, it’s confusing…)

When one considers only debt incurred as the result of specific administration policy choices, Obama is on the hook for $983 billion over the course of his administration.  By comparison, the GOP tax proposal will “only” add $1.5 trillion dollars over the course of ten years (assuming amazing growth and nothing else going wrong).  But it might be the cruelest trillion dollars in the history of the United States and every dime of it – every penny – will “belong” to the GOP.  The whole thing is being done by choice.

Now, I assume the conservative media bubble is working overtime to convince the rank-and-file that this budget will be AWESOME for them.  But, as I’ve indicated, I haven’t seen that many loyalists out there defending the indefensible.  I’m not sure the bubble has succeeded in deceiving enough adherents.  It’s not the first time something like this has happened.  When the GOP tried to take away people’s health care in outright fashion, the conservative rank-and-file pushed back.  They were all too happy to get rid of that boondoggle “Obamacare” but they weren’t about to give up their “Affordable Care Act” care…

I imagine the true fight in our country has been revealed by this budget proposal.  This is not a fight between left and right and it never has been that fight.  It’s a fight between the one percent and the ninety-nine percent and the one percent have dropped all pretense, at this point.  “Fuck you, we’re taking all the money” is a pretty clear message.  So…will the conservative rank-and-file stick an ice pick in their own eye because rich people told them they should?  I hope not and I don’t think so.

I also hope my non-Trump supporting peeps won’t finger-waggle at conservatives.  (“Oh, what do you think of your choice NOW?”)  This is not the opportunity for ‘I-told-you-so.’  I suspect conservatives see what’s happening TO them – right along with everyone else – because they’re not out yelling that “libtards” are stupid and we should all take a course in economics.  I suspect they realize it’s happening to them because they put their faith in people who misled and lied to them.  I’d like to take a page out of the snowflake playbook and give them the space to have been mistaken with dignity.  Even though conservatives, themselves, might reject the notion, we need to give them a “safe space” to come out into.

As it happens, we’re going to NEED our conservative brethren to stand with us.  When liberals call Congress to complain, some conservative lawmakers actually get happy.  If they piss off a liberal, well, they’ve done their good deed for the day.  It makes them feel as though they’re on the right track.  But if conservatives start calling, they’ll know they’ve got a problem.  If they lose the “base”, they might lose their jobs and the only thing GOP lawmakers love more than a shiny penny is themselves.

I’ll tell you this: Conservative or Progressive, if you’re in the 99%, you NEED to start calling your Congress critter and tell them to vote ‘No’ on this looming monstrosity…or suffer the consequences…

The End of Time…

It’s quite common for my left-leaning brethren to wonder aloud how members of the current maladministration can just say whatever they want to say without regard to the fact that video and audio recordings exist of the same people saying the opposite in some other setting.  As it happens, the answer is simple: they aren’t talking to you.

When our national embarrassment steps up and claims he’s signed more bills into law than any other president in history, he may or may not know that isn’t true.  There’s no telling what he actually knows.  Thinking people know it’s not true.  It’s what is known as a demonstrable fact.  That is, it can be proven using evidence.  The thing is, he doesn’t care.  All he’s doing is providing fodder for the conservative bubble – and those people will believe anything.

Now, I know that, say, Breitbart doesn’t need any actual language from the White House in order to make up a story any more than the Weekly World News has to catch an actual alien to pretend they’re invading.  But it does help.  If they can run a little carefully edited video along with their story it gives the story “credibility.”

If you’re paying attention, you know that Trump watches a LOT of television – but claims otherwise.  Trump plays a LOT of golf – but claims otherwise.  Trump may be the laziest President ever to afflict the oval office but his base doesn’t know it.  They don’t even really care.  So long as what he’s doing irritates liberals, they’re happy.  (Presumably, their carefully cultivated ignorance will somehow protect them from the ravages of the conservative fever dream…)

Now conservatives are coming for Time Magazine.  Yes, the very self-same Time Magazine that Trump thinks he’s been on the cover of more than anyone else.  (He hasn’t.)  That’s sad, really, although I don’t think Time has been exactly…relevant in years.  There was a time when Time was a quality news magazine.  It was a staple of the house I grew up in and, for years, in my own house, too.  But, like so many print publications in the US, Time fell victim to our culture wars and tried to please the pseudo-outraged right.  Much of the hard news fell by the wayside – at least in the US versions.  (Overseas, Time still prints actual news.  Here, in the US, we get cover stories of celebrities…)

I think it will mark the end of Time Magazine.  Conservatives have been conditioned to believe that Time is a “liberal rag” and they won’t want it.  People who used to trust Time will know that it’s been infected and degraded by conservative dogma and THEY’LL stop buying it, as well.  But – perhaps because Time was a staple of my childhood home – it is a bit of a sad metaphor for me.

Huge swaths of this once-great nation have fallen victim to the conservative bubble.  In large part, it was voluntary.  One had to actually turn on Fox “News” to get all the misinformation fit to rot one’s brain.  But conservative media has been spreading like cancer.  (Not just in the US, either.  They’re using their techniques overseas with increasing effectiveness.)  Fox owns affiliates all over the country.  Since most of the country won’t tune in to Fox “News”, Fox just inserts it’s propaganda into local programs.  Sinclair Broadcast Group has added their conservative voice to radio and television as well.  Now this Meredith Group seeks to destroy Time Magazine with a little help from the Koch Bros.

It was a good plan and it worked.  If one can’t win with facts, simply strangle the life out of journalism by buying as many outlets as possible – and these are billionaires – and replace actual facts with preferred “alternative facts.”  Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”  It’s a good quote – inspirational, even.

But I’ll tell you this: if you can fool enough of the people enough of the time, you can destroy a country…

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Mass Murderers…

Well, Manson’s dead.  Good.  That will save the state some money in the future.  Manson was blamed for the deaths of nine people, though he wasn’t actually present for all of the killings.  He bravely convinced other people to do his actual dirty work.  His final conviction count was nine, total, but it was seven for which he was most infamous.  Those came to be known as the Tate-LaBianca killings.

California would have killed him back but the death penalty was temporarily halted and his sentence was commuted to nine life terms.  (I guess he won’t be serving the next eight…)  Manson claimed he was attempting to “start a race war.”  More likely, he was just a psychopathic narcissist, seeking revenge on people he thought had “wronged” him somehow.  Truthfully, the only time I regret not being part of an organized religion is when I’d like to take comfort that some evil scumbag is rotting in hell…

Manson was a scary sumbitch.  Crazy.  I think prison was the perfect place for him.  But nine?  He didn’t even kill them all and he gets nine life sentences?  I think it’s because, for many of us, Manson was our “first.”  We remember him differently than the others.  It seemed more…intense.  Manson introduced many of us to thoughts and feelings we had never felt or even considered.

Society was horrified, outraged.  People struggled to comprehend what the murders meant both in the moment and for the long term future of the country.  We locked those people up and threw away the key, confident that the heavy hand of the law would stop things like that from ever happening again.

But, as usual, time and experience have shown us that our original perceptions were based, mostly, on our own innocence.  I’ll tell you this: these days, I find myself wishing that nine was the highest body count in a mass killing…

A Failed Tax Strategy…Again…

Conservatives really hate this country.  Oh, sure, they love the flag.  They love the National Anthem.  But they hate the actual country.  Not the landscape.  They like that, too.  It’s the Constitution they hate…except for the Second Amendment, of course.  Conservatives have hated the Constitution of the United States going all the way back to Jefferson.  As a result, conservatives have worked to undermine the Constitution…going all the way back to Jefferson.  Lying and casting unfounded aspersions became the norm for them and has remained that way going all the way back to Jefferson.

They didn’t have much luck in the beginning.  Talk is cheap and too many people continued to put their faith in facts.  Between 1789 and the 1920’s, conservatives managed to keep the vast majority of the country desperately poor but they couldn’t do much damage to the actual institutions of government.  The “Roaring Twenties” showed the folly of putting one’s faith in finance and the 1930’s saw conservatives dealt a huge blow in their goal of undermining the country when FDR introduced the “New Deal.”

America blossomed.  Controlled Capitalism and high taxes on the wealthy created the greatest economy the world had ever known.  It was a tough time for conservatives – being forced to live in a successful economy that shouldn’t have worked if their economic hypotheses were correct.  (They weren’t.  They still aren’t.)

Then came Vietnam.

It happened that the population of the United States, as a group, had become so powerful, economically, they refused to go fight wars that have nothing to do with protecting America.  The people at the top of the economic food chain – those who profit from such little military adventures – determined at that moment that the New Deal had to go.  Enter Ronald Reagan.

St. Reagan led an entirely new assault on the country.  Prior to Reagan, we had two parties.  Whichever party was out of power was known, generally, as the “loyal opposition.”  Yes, conservatives hate the Constitution but they were loyal to the country.  Reagan taught them to be disloyal.  Reagan taught them to speak openly about how much they hate and mistrust the government.  But Reagan was just the foot in the door.

In 1996, the US was first subjected to Fox “News”, the mouthpiece of conservative thought.  The two biggest investors were an Australian and a Saudi prince.  They clearly had no loyalty to the United States and Fox “News” has never been reticent to dirt-talk the country.  To this day, Fox “News” shapes the thoughts of conservative across the land.  An entire conservative media machine has been built – each piece seemingly trying to outdo the last when it comes to hating America.

It’s a tough time for thinking people – being forced to struggle in a failing economy that doesn’t work because it’s based on conservative economic hypotheses.  Worse, though, when conservatives decided to attack with an all-out assault, they swept aside whatever honor they may have once had.  Gerrymandering, rigged “elections”, obstructionism, and outright contempt became the order of the day.

Today, conservatives are closer than they’ve ever been to destroying this once-great nation permanently.  They’ve corrupted the voting process.  They’ve undermined institutions, programs, and operations that benefit the vast majority.  This new “tax reform” bill threatens to be the death-blow.  They must be so happy…

Reagan’s first “tax reform” slashed rates on the top incomes and the economy immediately suffered.  Reagan was forced to raise taxes but this time, the tax rate was raised on the middle class.  This process has been repeated every few years.  Conservatives like to come in and shift the tax burden from people who can pay and won’t suffer for paying to people who suffer mightily to pay.  Each time they do it, the overall economy suffers.

Clinton and Obama actually raised taxes on the wealthy and in each case the result was a stronger economy.  Conservatives STILL choose tax cuts for the wealthy.  The process has never worked anywhere on the planet any time in history?  Oh, well, maybe THIS time will be the magic moment…

I can’t remember a time when the GOP has been so blatant in their determination to comfort the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted.  I’ll tell you this: I think it’s absolutely vital to stop them.  We’ve moved beyond politics.  Now we need to fight for the very survival of this once-great nation…