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Giant Of The Senate (Review)


Al Franken’s memoir is one of the very few books I’ve been eager to read because of an author’s appearance on the talk show circuit. I’ve liked Franken ever since his days as a writer/performer on the old “Saturday Night Live” shows. 595 more words

Cultural Highlights

Palin Endorses Tarkanian For U.S. Senate

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – On Thursday, while urging conservatives to unite, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin did something else. She endorsed Danny Tarkanian for the United States Senate. 189 more words

News

Opinion: If you're STILL supporting Trump, you HATE America

The title alone is enough to enrage online trolls to swarm here and attack. Luckily, I’m not very known. So, I don’t expect a heavy bombardment of F-bombs, N-words and profanity from the white nationalist brigade who claim to be fighting for free speech, their unholiness Donald Trump and their country and theirs alone, America. 625 more words

Mr. Militant Negro reblogged this on The Militant Negro™ and commented:

[caption id="attachment_210461" align="aligncenter" width="382"] Trump supporters....ALL caucasian males.[/caption]

Opinion: If you’re STILL supporting Trump, you HATE America

trump supporters The title alone is enough to enrage online trolls to swarm here and attack. Luckily, I’m not very known. So, I don’t expect a heavy bombardment of F-bombs, N-words and profanity from the white nationalist brigade who claim to be fighting for free speech, their unholiness Donald Trump and their country and theirs alone, America. Yes, we know many of them haven’t gotten over Obama’s Presidency. They’re still bitching about it even though he’s no longer in office. Yet, everything’s stillhis fault. They detest everything about him, especially Obamacare, and even though they won’t admit why, we all know the reason. It’s not just Obama. It’s everything on the left side of the political area. They can’t stand anything the left says or does. They see them as they see terrorists which to them is every Muslim in the world. Hell, some of them hate people on the right if they don’t pledge their allegiance to Trump. They have a word for those types as well. You may say that ‘hate’ is a strong word, but if you were to hear them or read their social media messages and tweets, most of their vitriol is directed to anyone and everyone who opposes the Trump Presidency.  The media, the left, Democrats, anyone who disagree and detest this man are traitors, and facts are part of a conspiracy against the man. To these people, Trump is better than God himself! This is not saying that all of Trump supporters are lost or caveman-like. Slowly but surely, his fan base is deteriorating as they realized their votes were huge mistakes. But there are still many who stick with their leader, because they see their prophet bringing forth an America they think they want, a lily white one where women and minorities know their place, Muslims don’t exist and where the world fears and respects this nation, or else. This is the core of Trump supporters’ so-called ‘patriotism’ where white men rule the nation and to an extent, the world. Those who don’t think so and reject the broken-down bandwagon are the problem and must be harassed, ridiculed and targeted for blood. I didn’t vote for Trump, and as long as he’s in office, I will NEVER refer to him as ‘President Trump’. That is my right as an American citizen to reject a person that I and many deem as the worst possible choice to lead this nation, a person whose xenophobia, racism, misogyny, poor business and leadership record, embarrassing lack of decency and basic understanding of the world and a the temper of a two year-old who has done way more harm than good is still somehow attractive to human beings with a functioning brain. To them, they still stick with him, because he ‘tells it like it is’. That’s it. My rejection of the Trump Administration even without these reasons is enough to invoke the ire of his followers. To them, I’m un-American. I’m a libtard. A leftist. A snowflake. A n*gger. I hate this country, and I should go back to Africa. If I was a conservative, I would be called a ‘cuck’. My free speech would be silenced by those who claim to fight for the same right. Oh, the irony! But such venting usually lacks any convincing argument as to why I should have Trump’s back. To date, I haven’t seen nor heard anything that would make me have second thoughts and regret my decision. These people are overflowing with hate and fear, negative emotions they’ve convinced themselves to be badges of righteous American pride against their own citizens fueled by willful ignorance and moral bankruptcy. In my humble opinion, they don’t give a damn about this country. They would rather see it crash and burn than to love and respect their fellow citizens who want to see changes that will help everyone, and they hope Trump will be the locomotive to make that happen.

No Big Loss for Libertarians, Huge Possible Loss for Petersen

A topic that continues to circle the internet and social media is whether or not Austin Petersen, former candidate for the Libertarian nomination for President in 2016, made a good choice in leaving the Libertarian Party for the Republican Party. 1,452 more words

Political

The Square Peg In The Round Hole ...

Watch a toddler with one of those shape-sorter toys.  He picks up the square block and first tries to put it into the round hole.  Then he tries the triangular hole.  1,287 more words

Political Commentary

Mr. Militant Negro reblogged this on The Militant Negro™ and commented:

 

THE SQUARE PEG IN THE ROUND HOLE …

Watch a toddler with one of those shape-sorter toys.  He picks up the square block and first tries to put it into the round hole.  Then he tries the triangular hole.  Finally, he attempts to put the square block into the square hole, but the angle isn’t quite right.  What does the toddler do next?  It depends on the temperament of the toddler.  Watch him closely, for what he does next may give an indication of the person he will become.  Some will, at this point, throw the square block across the room in anger, not caring if it bonks his sister or the family dog on the head, and then sit down in a torrent of tears.  But another may stop, look at the block, and try, try again until … voila!  The square block makes a satisfying ‘clunk’ sound and the mission is accomplished.  It is called perseverance, and it is generally a positive attitude, so long as it is accompanied by other traits such as intellect, reason and thought. However, perseverance without those other traits falls short and can even lead to a destructive outcome. Using the above example, the toddler who is still trying to put the square block into the round hole will never succeed, even if he spends hours trying.  This is not what I would refer to as perseverance, but rather a stubborn refusal to admit failure.  Rather than admit that the square block does not, and never will, fit into the round hole, he is determined to make it fit.  He is destined to fail, but he will not give up until either he runs out of steam or his mom takes the toy away. square-pegDonald Trump is so determined to make his square block of the repeal of ACA fit into the round hole of the country’s need for healthcare that he is not giving up or giving in.  What he fails to realize is that he is using the wrong tool.  He blames everyone for the failure to repeal ACA – the democrats, the republicans in Congress, the press – but the fault is his own.  He is trying to replace what is actually a pretty good program for the citizens of this country with a program that is basically … nothing.  And yet, rather than stop, re-think the situation, and come up with a better idea, he keeps trying to shove that odious square block into the round hole. What’s worse, he is threatening to destroy the entire toy if his square block will not go into the round hole.  It is not his fault, it is not the block’s fault, but it must be the fault of the toy, so let’s destroy it.  “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Trump tweeted Saturday. The subsidies, which are not bailouts, totaling about $7 billion a year, help reduce deductibles and copayments for consumers with modest incomes. The Obama administration used its rule-making authority to set direct payments to insurers to help offset these costs. Trump inherited the payment structure, but he also has the power to end them. To do so would be foolish, but … such is the nature of Donald Trump. Trump and Congress need to understand the flaws in their ‘square block’.  The bills that have thus far been put forth in both chambers of Congress, while playing to the Trump agenda, are not in the best interest of the people who voted them into office.  They are taking away, rather than giving. If Trump really wants to see his “repeal and replace” get off the ground, then he needs to understand a few things:
  • There are people in this country who, due to circumstances beyond their control, cannot afford to purchase medical insurance. It truly boils down to a choice between medical insurance or food for their children.  Given that choice, they will feed their children and die young if needs be.

  • Medical costs are out of reach for most of us who do not have insurance. One example I can cite from personal experience:  An insulin-dependent’s cost for insulin purchased in the U.S. averages more than $1,500 per month.  That is half the average wage of the average worker in the U.S., and 110% of the average Social Security payment for seniors.  In Canada, that cost is less than 20% of that in the U.S. In addition, in the U.S., in order to keep a prescription valid, the patient must visit his/her doctor (another $300-$600) every 3 months, whereas in Canada, insulin is considered an essential-to-life medication and does not require a doctor’s prescription. The pharmaceutical industry is in need of an extreme overhaul, but that is a topic for another day.

  • Trump is well aware of the estimates that some 22 million people would lose their medical insurance, thus their right to life, under the repeal and replace bill, and some 32 million would lose under the repeal only legislation. Yet he pushes for it only because he cannot stand to think that his predecessor did something good, something that he cannot do.  Premiums and deductibles are expected to increase significantly, and states will be allowed to exclude pre-existing conditions and basic health services.
The healthcare bill that failed last week failed for a very simple reason:  it is not the healthcare bill that we want, and it is not the healthcare bill that we were promised during his campaign when he said:
  • “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”
  • “I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.”
  • “I am going to take care of everybody … Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
  • “Will have much lower premiums & deductibles while at the same time taking care of pre-existing conditions! Our healthcare plan will lower premiums & deductibles — and be great healthcare!”
  • “We will immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare – and nobody can do that like me. We will save $’s and have much better healthcare!”
  • “I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!”
square-peg=2Not a single one of those “promises” are kept under either the House bill that was passed in May or the Senate bill that failed last week.  This is the reason the bill failed and should continue to fail until such time as a bill is proposed that meets the above “promises”.  The only people who will benefit under any of the bills proposed thus far are the morticians! Rather than spend his time ranting on Twitter, Trump needs to set aside the square block and try to find the round one, the one that works. Donald Trump does not care about his square block, nor about the round hole, nor the toy that provides all this afternoon entertainment.  No, what Donald Trump cares about is diminishing and destroying the success of the kids who had the toy before him.  For those kids understood what it took to take care of the 300+ million people who call the United States “home”, and … just in case you forgot … the kid who had the toy last was black … an African-American who, in the eyes of Trump and his remaining base, must be demeaned and destroyed in any way possible, even if it costs the lives of thousands, perhaps millions of citizens.  The man-child must prove himself superior, no matter the human cost.  He must erase the legacy of a president who, while not perfect, was pretty damned good.

ALEC Is Talking About Changing the Way Senators Are Elected and Taking Away Your Vote

A proposed resolution advocates for overturning the 17th Amendment so Republican-controlled state legislatures could pick senators.

By John Nichols

The United States Senate is an undemocratic institution.

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Politics

Just how evil is John McCain?

Source

Jack Kerwick on a nonhero

As soon as John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer, a bipartisan chorus of praise for the career politician emerged. 1,306 more words

USA

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Just how evil is John McCain?

Just How Evil Is John McCain?

As soon as John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer, a bipartisan chorus of praise for the career politician emerged. Whether McCain is the good man and good “public servant” that he is now being made out to be are empirical questions. The evidence with respect to both is overwhelmingly in the negative. Since a disastrous public servant is and must be a person with bad character, i.e. not a good person, we needn’t even look at McCain’s private life in order to see that he is neither a good man nor a good public servant. Let’s take his foreign policy “achievements” alone. No one, including McCain himself, denies that he is a war “hawk.” Indeed, as can be gotten readily enough by sites like Geopolitics Alert, one would be hard pressed to find an American military conflict or potential conflict on behalf of which McCain did not advocate vigorously.  Whether it was in Iraq, Afghanistan, SyriaLibya or IranNigeria, Sudan, or MaliBosniaKosovo, or UkraineRussiaNorth Korea, and possibly even China—McCain’s has been the loudest and among the most influential of voices calling for military action. It  is not an exaggeration to say that had McCain’s foreign policy not prevailed, literally hundreds of thousands and possibly more human beings around the globe would have been spared the incalculable suffering that they in fact were made to endure. A substantial number of these people would not have lost their lives. In Iraq alone, at least 200,000 or so Iraqis, the majority of whom were noncombatant civilians, were killed.  Some estimates place the number of Iraqis killed at one million.  Doctors and teachers were either murdered by insurgents and criminals or forced to flee.  The majority of children (70%) suffer from trauma, some being suicidal, and as many as 800,000 children under 18 have been orphaned.  Ancient Christian communities and those of other religious minorities have been decimated and their inhabitants displaced. Of course, it wasn’t just Iraqis whose lives were ended or damaged.  Thousands of American soldiers who would have otherwise been alive today were killed.  Thousands of American families that endured the agony of losing loved ones would have been spared this fate. So too were journalists, contractors, and relief workers killed in Iraq. Thousands of young Americans lost their lives in McCain’s wars, and well over 100,000 Americans who served in Iraq returned home maimed and severely traumatized. Anyone who maintains that McCain is a good man is in the unenviable position of having to explain how a man who has been as instrumental as McCain has been in facilitating this much death, pain, and misery can possibly be good. And anyone who maintains that McCain is a good public servant is in the no less difficult position of pointing out to those millions of us who remain unconvinced the invaluable services that he allegedly provided. But, his defenders will argue, McCain’s intention was never to harm, much less kill, any innocent civilians.  He certainly never intended for a single hair on the head of any American soldier to be harmed. However, this is war. Moreover, the wars for which McCain was such an ardent proponent were just wars, wars aimed at liberating oppressed peoples from the brutal conditions under which they lived and of “protecting Americans.” A closer look at this argument readily reveals it for the weak species of reasoning that it is. McCain’s “intention” For the better part of the last 2,000 years of Christian (Western) morality, it was understood that the goodness of an act is not determined by a person’s subjectiveintention.  Even if he desired to produce a wonderful or utopian state of affairs, the means by which he pursues that end may still be immoral. To paraphrase St. Paul’s memorable remark, we must never do evil—even if good may come from it. To put it another way, the ends never justify the means. Yet if the only factor that is of moral relevance in judging a person’s conduct is his intention to produce a desirable outcome, then the ends do indeed justify the means. In fact, the ends always justify the means. Outside of the context of war, most of us have no difficulty understanding this in our everyday lives.  When we say of some kind of act that “it is just wrong,” or of another that there is no reason for performing it other than that “it is just the right thing to do,” we speak as if we suppose that acts are right or wrong regardless of people’s intentions and regardless of their outcomes. For example, suppose that a dangerous convicted criminal escapes from prison.  Even if this convict is threatening innocents on a crowded city street, few will deny that it would be wrong for police to shoot at him while he is in close proximity to numerous bystanders.  If the police shoot and strike, say, innocent children, it will not cut it for them to respond by claiming that they never intended to shoot these innocents. The reason for this verdict is simple: The act of shooting guns in crowded space is intrinsically reckless whether anyone is shot or not.  The act intends or is oriented toward harming others. Officers who engaged in this action would justly invite a negative moral judgement against themselves. Yet for officers who failed to learn from this one act and who continually shot and killed innocents because they were aiming for the guilty we would reserve nothing but contempt.  In reality, it’s not likely that police officers who made this mistake once would remain police officers. It is inconceivable that police officers could continually make this same kind of mistake while remaining a police officer.  They would become the convicts. Yet this is exactly the sort of mistake that McCain has made throughout his career in calling for one failed war after the other. The only difference between McCain and our hypothetical police officers is that McCain is responsible for far more death. The ends of “liberating” oppressed peoples and “protecting Americans” Morally good ends can never justify immoral deeds. This most people and all good Christians have always known. However, even on the assumption that the ends do justify the means, the argument in McCain’s defense still fails.  It fails on its own terms. There isn’t a single war for which McCain has advocated that has come remotely close to making the lives of the oppressed any better.  Just the opposite, in fact, is the case. Iraq is the classic textbook illustration of how McCain-style American interventionism plucks the oppressed from the proverbial frying pan and hurls them into a raging fire. Iraq is the quintessential example of this phenomenon. Tragically, it is not the only example. And how, we must ask, have the years of war in Iraq and in any number of other foreign lands that McCain demanded protected any Americans? Americans, specifically those soldiers who lost their lives, limbs, and peace of mind, have been harmed by it. The families and loved ones of these soldiers have as well been harmed by McCain’s wars. No one is any safer because of them. The original verdict stands: McCain is neither a good man nor a good public servant. The burden is on anyone who thinks otherwise to show me the error of my ways—or my moral compass. All of this being said, I wish no pain and suffering upon McCain.  As a Christian, I’m called to love.  In praying for others, including my enemies, I love them.  God is infinitely merciful and infinitely just.  I pray that God’s will for McCain be done and that he may spend the remainder of his days performing acts of a far different kind than those that he performed for most of his adult life: acts of contrition.