Month: January 2016

You’re not supporting Serena Williams by painting your face black

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post uses Australian English spelling rules.


At the women’s singles semi-final of this year’s Australian Open tennis major, at least two fans were seen on television holding a sign reading “Keep calm and be Serena” and…wait for it…wearing black face paint. “Serena” is Serena Williams of the United States, who won her semi-final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and went on to lose the grand final to Angelique Kerber of Germany. While I’m not a fan of tennis at all, I do know enough about the sport to tell you that Serena is probably the top athlete in all of sports globally.

If you’re wearing blackface, you might claim to be supporting Serena, but you’re actually being very racist.

Blackface was commonly used in theatre plays for many, many years, with usage in the United States being commonplace well into the 1960’s. In blackface performances, white actors would wear black face paint to portray black people. For fans to employ racism that the theatre industry used is absolutely unacceptable, and something that Serena herself finds to be very offensive. I’m surprised that there are many Australians who are very racist, to tell you the truth.

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I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the 2016 presidential election

Since it’s clear to me that Bernie Sanders is likely not winning the Iowa caucuses barring higher turnout than what the final Ann Seltzer poll has predicted, I’ll predict a few things, all of which are shocking to most people on here:

  1. Bernie probably will drop out of the presidential race late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, and he’ll stay completely out of the presidential race from that point forward.
  2. Bernie will not endorse a presidential candidate once he’s no longer running, and he won’t seek anyone’s vice-presidential nomination.
  3. Bernie will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018, although he’ll continue to serve the people of Vermont until his current term in the Senate is over.
  4. Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee, and she will lose the general election to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Will I vote for Hillary in the general election if she’s the Democratic presidential nominee? Barring an indictment of Hillary before the general election (extremely unlikely, and it’s not been confirmed as to whether or not Hillary is actually under criminal investigation), yes. However, indictment or no indictment, Donald Trump is going to be the 45th President of the United States. That’s because Bernie doesn’t appear to have a realistic path to the Democratic nomination if he loses the Iowa caucuses, and, since Hillary lacks any kind of appeal to working-class voters, Trump, who does have appeal to working-class voters willing to vote for a ultra-wealthy racist, can take advantage of that by running a downright nasty campaign that would make Richard Nixon’s political campaigns of the 1960’s and the 1970’s look tame by comparison. Although I would not join them, I would predict that about 15% of Bernie supporters would go to Trump if it’s a Hillary vs. Trump race.

While I still think that there’s a slight chance that Bernie wins the Iowa caucuses (he’d need significant support among late Democratic registrants, however), If this is how the decades-long political career of Bernie Sandes comes to an end, it would be just an awful way for it to end.

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Hillary’s “47%” moment

Remember when Republican Mitt Romney sunk his 2012 presidential campaign by attacking “47%” of Americans by trying to smear them as freeloaders?

Well, Hillary Clinton just pulled a Romney, ladies and gentlemen. That’s because Hillary, while at a political fundraiser in White Plains, New York, bragged about how she was taking “a little breather” from campaigning in Iowa:

Please note that I did NOT record the video.

It’s pretty clear to me that Hillary doesn’t like Iowa or the people who call Iowa home, and she’s willing to bash Iowa while in a friendly environment to her, such as a political fundraiser in the New York City suburbs.

For those of you who are Iowa Democrats, if there’s one thing that you’ll ever do that’s worthwhile in your entire life, caucus for Bernie Sanders!

The REAL reason why The Washington Post is smearing Bernie: it’s about those Viagra ads

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign has begun to push back aggressively against an editorial by The Washington Post that viciously attacked him for running for president and advocating for common-sense ideas to make America great again. For example, Sanders retweeted this tweet from David Sirota of the International Business Times pointing out WaPo’s hypocrisy:

However, that isn’t the real reason why WaPo is attacking Bernie. In this paragraph, one line really stood out as being something about Bernie’s proposed Medicare for All plan that would have a specific negative impact on the corporate media:

Mr. Sanders’s story continues with fantastical claims about how he would make the European social model work in the United States. He admits that he would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his universal, Medicare-for-all health-care plan, and he promises massive savings on health-care costs that would translate into generous benefits for ordinary people, putting them well ahead, on net. But he does not adequately explain where those massive savings would come from. Getting rid of corporate advertising and overhead would only yield so much. Savings would also have to come from slashing payments to doctors and hospitals and denying benefits that people want.

(emphasis mine)

The fact that WaPo is complaining about Bernie’s plan (possibly) eliminating direct-to-consumer advertising (keep in mind that I’ve never heard a major-party presidential candidate in this year’s election actually advocate for eliminating direct-to-consumer advertising) of prescription drugs is a dead giveaway as to why WaPo is smearing Bernie.

Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs and medical devices is allowed in only two countries (the United States and New Zealand), and it’s a major contributor to why health care costs in America are ridiculously high. Late last year, the American Medical Association (AMA), a group representing American physicians, called for a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising. Obviously, such a ban would likely result in less advertising revenue for corporate media outlets, since big pharmaceutical companies pay big bucks to corporate media outlets for advertising.

While I’m not sure how much money WaPo makes off of pharmaceutical advertising, WaPo is going to bat for the corporate media in a desperate attempt to preserve the corporate media’s stream of money from the makers of erectile dysfunction pills like Viagra and Cialis.

Rick Synder administration provided clean water to state employees long before they did to Flint residents

Michigan state government officials based in state government offices in Flint, Michigan knew about and complained about the lead contamination in the Flint water supply in January 2015, and the state government sent bottled water to the state government offices over a year before Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) activated the Michigan National Guard to provide bottled water to Flint residents:

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget decided to haul water coolers into the Flint state building in January of 2015 out of concern over the city’s water quality, a year before bottled water was being made available to residents, according to documents obtained by Progress Michigan.

…concerns raised over water quality were enough for officials in the state’s capitol of Lansing to decide to give state employees the option to drink bottled water from coolers, rather than from water fountains. Coolers were placed next to the fountains on each occupied floor, according to the documents, and were to be provided “as long as the public water does not meet treatment requirements.”

You can view the proof here. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (MI DTMB) issued the notice that water coolers were going to be distributed to the state government building in Flint on January 7, 2015. Synder activated the Michigan National Guard to distribute bottled water to Flint residents on January 13, 2016.

The Flint Water Crisis is something that one would expect in a third-world country, not right here in America. People in Flint are being sickened by contaminated tap water, and that, as well as the months and months of inaction from Rick Synder, is highly unacceptable.

While Democrats call for more debates, Republicans use veterans as political pawns

With her political firewall eroding, Hillary Clinton is now calling for another Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire on February 4, between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary. Not to be outdone by Hillary, Bernie Sanders called for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to sanction three debates in the later stages of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination:

Sanders’s campaign released a statement late Wednesday calling for additional debates in the Democratic primary, but with specific provisions.

The campaign is requesting one each in March, April and May. All three must not be scheduled on a Friday, Saturday or holiday, and all three must include Martin O’Malley along with Sanders and Clinton.

“If the Clinton campaign will commit to this schedule, we would ask the DNC [Democratic National Committee] to arrange a debate in New Hampshire on Feb. 4,” the statement said.

While Democrats are pushing the out-of-touch DNC into sanctioning more debates without using anybody as a political pawn, Republicans are offering more debates on their side of the ledger as a way of using those who served our country in uniform as political pawns. That all started over Donald Trump’s hissy fit about the fact that Megyn Kelly, a woman, will be the lead moderator of tonight’s FOX News Republican presidential debate in Iowa.

Two SuperPACs supporting Ted Cruz, Keep the Promise I and Keep the Promise II, offered to donate $1.5 million to charities supporting veterans if Trump and Cruz agree to a one-on-one debate before the Iowa Caucuses.

Not to be outdone by a Cruz SuperPAC, Carly Fiorina made a couple of offers to Trump, both of which would involve money being donated to veterans. The first offer involved a promise of a $1.5 million donation to veterans’ charities if Trump and Cruz agree to debate Fiorina in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, and the second officer involved a promise of a $2 million donation to veterans charities if Trump agreed to debate Fiorina at a Trump campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa scheduled for the same time as tonight’s debate.

While I normally appreciate donations to groups that seek to provide help to those who served our country in uniform (provided that they’re a reputable charity), using our nation’s veterans as political pawns is absolutely disgusting, and one of the lowest things I’ve ever seen in a presidential campaign. In fact, at least one veterans’ charity has already pre-emptively refused any money from a Trump event.

Bruce Rauner’s education funding hypocrisy

In yesterday’s State of the State of Illinois address, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner publicly criticized funding cuts to education and called for fully funding public education in Illinois.

There’s one problem with that…the guy who cut funding to public education in Illinois is…you guessed it, Bruce Rauner. In fact, a few months ago, Rauner gave away corporate welfare to food producing conglomerate ConAgra Foods while public education was being starved of funding:

As fate would have it, Governor Bruce Rauner revealed his plan to fork over as much as $1.26 million a year in tax credits to ConAgra Foods at roughly the same time parents were packing a Board of Education hearing room to protest the latest CPS cuts in special education.

So our dead-broke state has millions for Fortune 500 corporations but not enough money to educate our poorest, most vulnerable children. 

It’s something to keep in mind the next time the governor tells you it’s all about the kids.

Not only is Bruce Rauner dropping g’s, he’s dropping the ball when it comes to funding public education here in Illinois.

Billionaire right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch wants Mike Bloomberg to run for President

There’s very people whose current livelihood could actually be threatened by a hypothetical Bernie Sanders Administration, but one of them is Rupert Murdoch.

There’s not that many Republicans and conservatives who wouldn’t support Donald Trump unless they absolutely had to, but one of them is Rupert Murdoch.

Guess who Rupert Murdoch, the head of the 21st Century FOX/News Corporation media empire, wants to see run for president…billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is considering an independent presidential bid:

Not surprisingly, Bloomberg’s ideology, on many issues, lines up with that of Murdoch. Bloomberg tried to destroy public education in New York City as mayor, and he’s also an apologist for greed on Wall Street. With political allies like Rupert Murdoch, it’s clear that Mike Bloomberg is wrong for America.

Texas grand jury INDICTS two anti-abortion zealots behind Planned Parenthood smear campaign

Texas grand jury INDICTS two anti-abortion zealots behind Planned Parenthood smear campaign

A grand jury in Harris County, Texas (includes nearly all of Houston) has officially indicted two individuals associated with the altered videos that were part of an attempt to smear Planned Parenthood over fetal tissue research:

  • David Daleiden, executive director of the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) – Indicted on a felony count of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to the purchase of human organs
  • Sandra Merritt, employee of CMP – indicted on a count of tampering with a governmental record

The grand jury was originally convened to investigate Planned Parenthood over the videos, but decided to turn the tables on the anti-abortion smear artists and indict two of them instead. I hope that Daleiden and Merritt are prosecuted to the fullest and fairest extent of the law.

Hillary supporter Jessica Valenti plays the “vote for someone that looks like you” card

Jessica Valenti, a Hillary Clinton-supporting columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian, effectively called for Democrats to vote for Hillary simply because she’s a woman:

When it comes to women in politics, the United States is pretty much the pits. Women make up half the population in this country but hold less than 20% of congressional seats and comprise less than 25% of state legislators. The numbers for women of color are even more dismal.

On the world stage, the US ranks 72nd in women’s political participation, far worse than most industrialized countries – and with numbers similar to Saudi Arabia’s. A United Nations working group late last year called attention to this disparity in a report that found massive discrimination against women across the board, an “overall picture of women’s missing rights”.

And so it seems strange that at a time when the country has the opportunity to elect the first female president, the idea that gender might be a factor is considered shallow in some circles.

Valenti, for all intents and purposes, effectively said the truth about Hillary’s presidential campaign: many, but not all, of Hillary’s supporters are supporting her because she’s a woman. I think that’s just as sexist as a Bernie Sanders supporter saying that he or she is supporting Bernie because he’s a white male and/or Jewish, something that virtually no Bernie supporter believes. I’m not supporting Bernie because of race, gender, religion, etc. (in fact, I’m a white male atheist), but because my political ideology closely lines up with that of Bernie.

One would only need to look to Wisconsin for a couple of real-life examples of how destructive this style of race and gender-baiting politics truly is. In a 2012 Democratic primary for a seat in the Wisconsin State Senate, Elizabeth Coggs called for voters in a Democratic Wisconsin State Assembly primary that year to “vote for someone who looks like you”, a reference to the fact that Millie Coby, a black woman, was running against Sandy Pasch, a white Jewish woman, in the Assembly primary. Both Coggs and Coby lost their primaries. Additionally, five of the seven members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court are female, yet Wisconsin’s highest bench is probably the most right-wing government institution in the entire country. As a matter of fact, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is ridiculously corrupt (outside political groups have had considerable influence on re-writing ethics rules for Wisconsin Supreme Court justices), hyperpartisan (the Wisconsin Supreme Court has sided with Republican Governor Scott Walker on every major case they’ve ruled on since Walker became governor), and even violent (in one instance, conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold).

It’s pretty clear to me that Hillary Clinton and her supporters think that it’s a valid crime for a white man like Bernie Sanders to stand up for progressive values and seek the Democratic presidential nomination.