Our Last 100 Years? Climate Change and Partisan Denial.

Merry Christmas!
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!”

This tweet was Donald Trump’s reaction to the news that it’s going to be a cold New Year’s Day out East.

Climate refers to atmospheric action over a long period of time, while weather describes what’s to be happening in the near future. The climate can be thought of as the sum of long periods of weather. The climate is the forest; the weather is the trees.

The percentage of Americans unaware of this is dangerously high already and growing.

In 2016, Stephen Hawking made a dire prediction. In 1000 years or less, the human race would not survive. Epidemics, rogue AI, and various other factors would combine to make the planet unfit for human life.

Many of us, knowing the brilliance of Hawking’s mind, read those words and shivered. They were, after all, surrounded by the rest of the news.

But here we are at the end of 2017, and Hawking has come up with some new numbers!

Thanks to modern-day health care, 100 years is nearly a lifetime, but in May, Hawking proposed that this is how long humans have left on Earth.

Where’d the other 900 go? In a word? Trump. You read the tweet.

In July, Hawking told the BBC that humanity is at a “tipping point”. If we don’t desist from the course we’ve been on, global warming will become so bad that Earth will “become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees Celsius, and raining sulfuric acid.”

But a week of cold temperatures was enough for our president to call for more global warming.

Nor was this said in jest. Trump used the frigid East Coast weather as an opportunity to boast of what a good decision he’d made, in withdrawing from the Paris Accord earlier this year.

Hawking predicted that humanity’s natural greed would impede us from being able to properly address this problem.

According to Hawking, Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of this deal might turn out to be the final step towards the drastic climate problems scientists have been warning us about.

Trump’s history of climate change denial highlights a number of problems our society is currently solving.

A presidential administration hostile to climate science is a disaster. It is certain to deepen the already endemic scepticism on the topic existant in American political life.

Scientific reality has not escaped the distorting influence of political polarization in the United States.

Scepticism of man-made climate change within the GOP has been a worsening problem over the course of the last decade.

Like it or not, fossil-fuel corporations relative to the government have a gigantic power and influence over the conduct of the rest of us because they’re the ones who own so much of the information we see. They pay a lot of money to keep this issue frozen in political polarity.

As for Trump himself, his record of making stupid remarks about climate change goes back years. In 2015, he tweeted out something nearly identical to the nonsense he spit out today. As soon as he selected Scott Pruitt to run his Environmental Protection Agency, we could already guess at the rest.

Not long before taking office, Pruitt co-wrote an article claiming that scientists “disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”

Trump’s choice to run the Energy Department, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, claimed “the science is not settled” on climate change.

His pick to lead the Interior Department, Republican Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, said that global warming is “not proven science.”

Most Americans know that climate change is real. According to a poll done by Yale, six out of ten Americans consider themselves worried about it.

However, this is where we encounter the crux of the problem; in fact, of all problems dealing with why change in America comes so hard and slow. We are not getting our information from the same sources anymore.

Conservative media and political mouthpieces such as the Koch– funded Tea Party have created a toxic environment for healthy discourse. It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as an “alt-fact”. There’s only errors, blunders, and lies.

If they can succeed in helping people to forget this, they can blur the lines of truthful news and spread cynicism like a plague. What better way to turn a good country into a lousy mess?

Back to our subject, the same Yale poll, Climate Change in the American Mind, finds that although people are indeed legitimately concerned about global warming, if you include a partisan watchword in the question, people start answering through a different frame.

They give the answer that matches their political affiliation, even if they may harbour doubts about it.

For instance, on the question of whether scientists near-unanimously agree that human industrial activity is causing global warming, there is vast partisan disagreement.

Lest there be any doubt on this issue, they do; nearly every study finds unanimity on this issue among scientists.

But only 13 percent of Republicans are aware that is the case, as compared to 55 percent of Democrats.

Climate science scepticism within the GOP has intensified greatly since 2016. Trump’s administration has made every effort to combat anti-global warming efforts as an expensive waste of time.

His withdrawal from the Paris Accord has now increased the odds of a species-ending disaster to the point where Stephen Hawking, for one, has lost all hope.

Trump has made a habit of airing his climate scepticism on Twitter. He has snidely tweeted on the topic of “climate change” or “global warming” more than 100 times since 2011. But it’s more alarming now by far. He’s the President these days.

Some people are bound to follow him, no matter how hard we fight against normalizing his administration. It’s that same recalcitrant third of our populace who says they’d support Trump over Jesus. 

There’s been something in the air these last few years. Instinctively, everyone seems to know that the species is at a crossroads and coming closer and closer to being forced down one path or the other.

We have all made decisions we regret; we have all burned bridges before. There is no walking backwards in time. We learn from these things, we move forward, and we try to help others learn from our mistakes. But when speaking of a geological extinction event, one has to realize there won’t be any more moving forward.

Add your voice to ours, with measured conviction, and help to save the world. Donald Trump’s moronic attempts at levity notwithstanding, it really is that serious. Somehow, we have got to find a way to spread the word. Or the days of saying things like Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays are going to be coming to an end, real soon.

Image result for when the last tree is cut
Why Climate Change Matters

The Senate Inquires- Spoiler Stein Under the Gun on Russia.

Two different Senate committees probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election have formally requested documents and material related to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign.

Jill Stein played a gigantic role in denying the presidency to Hillary Clinton, who Putin hated, blamed for all his domestic woes, and was determined to ruin.

Any Democratic activist present on Facebook for the 2016 election cycle will tell you. There were people online among the Green left and the Bernie or Bust crowd who you simply could not talk to.

They were so full of hatred and lies for Hillary Clinton that you really had to be there to understand. It was as if they were living underwater. It was only after we learned about what Russia had been doing that any of it started to make sense.

Stein posed as the true progressive champion during the campaign, reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters with a message declaring Clinton more dangerous than Trump. It stands to reason to conclude that her votes came from the left side of the political spectrum.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were the three Rust Belt states that Trump was able to steal from Clinton. In each state, the difference between Trump and Clinton was less than the total Stein received.

This is clearly the role she was meant to play, and is probably why she was at that famous luncheon with Putin, Manafort, Flynn and the rest two years ago this month.

And so it came to pass that the left fringe of American politics cost the Democratic Party the White House, for the second time in sixteen years.

It struck a younger me as being very odd, that even though the Greens had a set of goals that were so similar to ours, we always ended up at odds. In 1999, I read their platform, agreed with most of it, and cheered for Ralph Nader– in the early days.

I wanted to see the Greens get their 5% of the vote and make it onto the ballot in all 50 states. It struck me as democratic. Democracy is a magnificent, vital, living thing, evolving according to the will of the collective- It all struck me as a worthy underdog cause to root for.

But then, Nader kept campaigning in Florida, and other swing states, in a race so close that a few hundred votes in Florida ended up deciding it. Nader got nearly 100,000 votes in Florida. He ruined us.

I remember that I couldn’t understand it. Couldn’t he try for his 5% in less crucial areas? He had only to win popular votes, not electoral ones. Why was he not out in California, where the Green Party’s base- and an eighth of America’s citizenry- might have easily given that to them, while still remaining comfortably blue?

Why would any man of sense and progressive values possibly be so foolhardy as to risk the coming to power of another Bush? It only made sense under one scenario- that he was not fully sincere, and that he valued power over policy.

When we found out Karl Rove’s PAC had been paying to run ads for his campaign in swing states in 2004, nobody was really surprised.

But how does this tie into the Russian plot? Why have Robert Mueller’s investigators become interested in the Green Party and Jill Stein?

It reads like a grocery list.

“The Russian embrace of Jill Stein was anything but subtle,” said Andrew Weiss, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Russian state propaganda outlets like RT had a field day with her strident attacks on the U.S. political establishment, and they seemed to work hand in glove.”

Even her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, has been known for years as someone on the fringes of pro- Russian conspiracy theories. He has repeatedly appeared on infamous Holocaust denier Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad radio show.

In one broadcast on July 19, 2014, the topic of discussion was the recently downed Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which was reportedly taken down by pro-Russian insurgents.

“Someone wrote about three weeks ago that we should expect false flag, a major false flag operation in eastern Ukraine that’s going to be blamed on the Russians. And that’s exactly what has happened,” said Baraka at the time.

For all these reasons and probably others we don’t know about yet, Stein has been a Kremlin favourite since her first run as the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2012.

Her radical base and her love of castigating our government seem to have made her a choice selection to the Russians, whose strategy all throughout Europe has been to finance and incite both ends of the radical spectrum.

They seek to add polarity to our liberal Western atmosphere to destabilize it and take at its expense. Radical groups like the Green Party are their bread and butter.

Clint Watts, an NBC News analyst who has been tracking Russian election interference at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said that Russia’s intelligence agencies “sought to play both sides of the political spectrum to elevate Trump and turn down turnout for Clinton.”

Added Watts, “On the left politically, they sought to dissuade Bernie Sanders voters from turning out to the polls and increase turnout for Stein.”

Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia and an NBC News analyst, said that Stein “most certainly influenced the outcome of [the 2016] election, given the outcome was decided in three states and by 78,000 voters.”

Despite receiving only 1.07 percent of the national vote total, her showing in the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan was greater than Clinton’s margin of defeat and arguably denied Clinton an Electoral College victory.

It was Ralph Nader and the 2000 presidential election all over again.

I think about that picture of that gala banquet in December of 2015, and in my mind’s eye, I just keep seeing that cunning look on Stein’s face as she held up her champagne glass.

It was the look of someone who feels they’ve finally made it. Someone who, at long last, is getting the importance and recognition they have so long felt unduly denied, is loving it- and doesn’t want to think about the Faustian bargain made in the process.

In this world, there comes a time when we all have to realize that the sum of our choices defines who we are. Time to wake up, Jill. Reality has arrived at your front door. You are out of time.

Cold War Two-US Helps Ukraine With Anti-Tank Missiles.

The battle continues.

The United States has authorized the sale of lethal Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, to deter the Russians from attempting further aggression there.

This is the only smart thing we have seen this administration do since bringing retired four-star general John Kelly on board as Chief of Staff. Someone had a good idea and saw that it was successfully carried out.

One wonders who’s responsible.

Senator John McCain, for one, made it clear that he supported this plan, and urged Trump “to fully utilise security assistance funds provided by the Congress to enable Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

This is unfortunately necessary. It’s all part of what has turned into the largest military buildup between Russia and NATO since the end of the Cold War.

Several months ago, two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark.

In response, a defence ministers meeting in Brussels was held later the same day. Germany, Canada and other NATO allies pledged to commit forces to Eastern Europe and the defence of Ukraine.

This current bout of trouble got started in earnest after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. That move destabilized the whole region badly and has made it one of the weakest points in the global order ever since. The violence there has killed more than 10,000 people since then.

In order to understand the context of this struggle, it is necessary first to examine Russia’s strained relationships with most of its former satellite states, particularly Ukraine.

The Kremlin has always had a vested interest in controlling Ukraine. It is an important territorial asset. It allows them a highly profitable pipeline route to Europe. It is home to one of Russia’s few warm-water ports. And it presents a strategic buffer zone between Russia and the powers of NATO.

For all those reasons, Moscow has worked for generations to keep Ukraine in the position of a submissive younger sibling. It was the largest of their satellite states, and the one it took most effort to control. A great deal of bad blood on both sides remains.

Ukraine’s nearly three-year battle against Kremlin-backed separatists in the east erupted into the worst fighting in two years in late January. Exactly why the fighting intensified right then remains unclear. But they started right as Trump took power.

There’s concern this will worsen Russo-American relations, but it doesn’t seem likely given the subservience of Trump to Putin. It’s surprising Trump’s administration allowed this deal to go through, however. Not many saw it coming, including this contributor to Millennial Democrats.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto summed it up best. “So far, whenever we tried to work, we had to face American pressure not to do it and European pressure not to do it.
Now … there will be no American pressure.

Unfortunately for the lovable Mr Szijjarto, Trump got caught and his influence neutered.

A sovereign nation has every right to prevent foreign tanks from constantly rolling through their lands. And Ukraine has been given the means to defend itself.

The new American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles they have just been equipped with will cut through Russian tanks like a hot knife through butter.

Perhaps now the Russians will decide to go home.

One can only imagine what it must be like for these people, living as they are directly under the cleaver. The current war was started when the Russians came into these people’s town, gave money and guns to the local Mafia, and told them to go start fights around town, which they did. When the police showed up to pacify the situation, the Kremlin pounced.

Citing Ukrainian suppression of the Russian-speaking minority, the Kremlin used the domestic grievances of a sovereign nation as a cheap excuse to have at their robbery and slaughter.They wanted that Crimean port, and so they took it.

It’s sickening, and it forces us to ask a question, as we think back on the early days of Hitler- If we leave Ukraine to its fate, do we deserve better? Who will rescue our children, if we let theirs be fed to the beast?

By this logic, the Pentagon laid its plans.

 State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US had decided to provide “enhanced defensive capabilities” to help Ukraine build its military long-term, defend its sovereignty and “deter further aggression”

The time after Communism collapsed was a hopeful one for humanity, and it’s really too bad Putin ruined that, but nevertheless it is a fait accompli. It’s best to be realistic about it and prepare the necessary restraints.

It’s crucial to remember that what happened to us was the latest in a ten-year timeline of Russian aggression, and not only cyber, as the Ukrainian example proves. This is an international struggle. Putin has his tentacles in every European country’s radical fringe groups, and he’s been causing trouble for everyone, not just us. This long-awaited show of solidarity is a good start.

 

 

U.N. Condemns Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem- Global Stability On Edge.

Donald Trump has got us into the worst fix yet, this time.

The United Nations voted overwhelmingly to condemn his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine voted “no,” and 35 nations abstained, including Canada, Mexico and Australia.

This was about the only respectable thing to do. Rash, reckless, and random is not what adult human beings are about.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley angrily issued a direct threat from the US to pull funding from the world body if it voted to condemn Trump’s decision.

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in this assembly,” Haley said. “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution” to the UN.

Haley said the US will put its embassy in Jerusalem regardless of the vote.
There was also a threat from Trump himself, who mentioned the UN vote at a Wednesday Cabinet meeting. “We’re watching those votes,” the President said. “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
But only a few countries allowed themselves to be cowed by the bullying of Trump, who doesn’t even have the support of his own people, much less of the U.N. or NATO.
Millennial Democrats would like to express our solidarity with the rest of the world’s community. This is an outrage to most of us, too. We hate this awful guy. We fervently hope that the rest of Earth will forgive us his stupidity and sloven. We will make it right as soon as he is gone.
Nation after nation castigated the US at the emergency session of the UN General Assembly, and with good reason. The very fact that an emergency assembly had to be called, because something Trump did caused an emergency, is proof that this administration presents a terribly serious risk for world peace.
Furthermore, it is a violation of international law that leaves the United States and her citizens largely isolated.
And worst of all, we have now got a fracture point in the global order we can’t fix.
This is what Vladimir Putin has been after for a long time. Big trouble everywhere. Destabilization. A cloud of chaos, to cloak an evil plan of world domination. The whole thing reads more like a Japanese manga than it does a serious political discourse. But these are the times we live in.
Speaker after speaker at the UN emphasized their want to dissociate themselves from what Trump did as much as possible. We’re all but cut off because of it. It’s as if we’ve returned in time to the days of Charles Lindbergh, America First, and total isolationism as a policy.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour declared that the decision destroyed Washington’s ability to act as a mediator in peace talks between them and the Israelis, which truly is deplorable. It’s as though Trump is determined to alienate every ally we’ve got.
“What does this decision serve?” asked Mansour. “It serves the powers of extremism … Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated, and why even its closest allies couldn’t turn a blind eye to this decision?”
“Your threats imperil global peace,” said Venezuela’s representative to the UN, Samuel Moncada Acosta.
“This decision is an outrageous assault to all universal values,” Turkey’s Ambassador to the UN, Feridun Sinirliolu, said.  “You can be strong, but this doesn’t make you right.”
Trump isn’t right or strong, but he is in charge of the executive apparatus of the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. The capacity of the United States to exert influence is all but boundless, for good or for evil. And having a madman employed by a foreign dictator at the helm of it is a worst-case scenario waiting to happen for humanity.
Putin is playing the most dangerous game of Russian roulette in the history of mankind, and with the gun held to the head of all humanity. If we get unlucky, and things break down the wrong fracture point, we’ve got the power to kill ourselves completely. We didn’t have that before.
The Turkish president Erdogan is right about Jerusalem being a red line for Muslims. It’s a red line for Christians and Jews, also. And if history has proven one thing without a doubt, it’s that wars fought over religion get really ugly.
We are taking the position that something like the U.N. resolution had to happen, in order to try and calm this situation down. We’re grateful they did it. It’s a big relief to know that sane world leaders like Angela Merkel are still around to keep things from falling apart entirely. America is completely deadlocked with this shambles of a man in charge of it.
Donald Trump had better wake up and realize this is not a game before people start getting killed.

A Constitutional Crisis- Mueller Under Attack.

American Hero

In the irony of a lifetime, it is us Democrats who must now defend Robert Mueller, a Republican, from the slings and arrows of his own party.

According to Democrat Jackie Speier, rumour has it on Capitol Hill Trump is planning to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller as early as later this week. This is not something that could happen in an instant, but the threat is real and the thought is grotesque. It was probably kicked up because of the panic caused by the very idea. As a distraction from the tax plan, this was undoubtedly a big help to Trump.

It’s almost an application of Henry Kissinger’s old “madman” policy, e.g. You’d better make a deal with us because the guy with the keys is crazy. God only knows what he might do. In this case, the implication is, “You’d better back off, and let us have our tax plan victory, or we’re going to destroy your democracy”.

The alt-right propaganda pipeline has been preparing the groundwork for an attack on the Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the last month or so now. It’s really quite despicable. This man held the country together during 9/11, with less than a year’s experience.

What did Trump do during 9/11? He spent the day giving interviews boasting that one of his towers might well be the tallest in the city. At the cost of the World Trade Center. And thousands of lives.

Trump is hardly even going through the motions anymore of bothering to hide that Vladimir Putin is his boss. So he spreads this rumour, and he sends lawyers Mueller’s way next week. He wants to try and bully them into giving the assurance that Trump himself is no longer under fire- ironically, the same assurance James Comey gave freely, before he was randomly fired.

The truth of the matter, though, is that Trump is very much still under fire. In fact, the fire is spreading. The trials haven’t even started yet. Those will be a disaster for Trump.

Once Michael Flynn brings down Jared Kushner, it is very hard to believe he will stay loyal to elderly Donald at the cost of his own future. He won’t be able to take jail, in there wondering what Ivanka is up to. He’ll snitch his way out of everything he can, just like George Papadoupolis.

But long before any of this takes place, they’re going to try every dirty trick in the book.

The possibility that they’re laying the groundwork to get rid of Mueller cannot be discounted. We have passed the point of paranoia. Trump lies whenever he gets the chance. We will have to keep a close eye on how he handles this and be ready to meet up with national resistance efforts coordinated to take to the streets en masse.

Look for a scenario in which he fires the attorney general Jeff Sessions or the current head of the Department of Justice Rod Rosenstein. If either of them should suddenly depart the stage, watch out.

Those are the guys who would have to sign off on the termination of the Special Counsel. As Sessions recused himself and Rosenstein has stated he’d refuse to fire Mueller without cause, it’s unlikely it will happen with the two of them in charge. If they were to be replaced by some alt-right peons wielding rubber stamps, however, it would be possible.

Going forward, it’s important to keep our spirits up and our focus razor sharp. The Republicans have just passed their own demise in the form of this tax bill. We have to focus on winning elections. Every seat is crucial.

 

Earlier this evening, a Republican lobbyist called for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. This pronouncement was made in Arlington, Virginia, to the sparse attendees of random guy Jack Burkman’s fundraiser, held to help cover the legal defenses of Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide facing several felony charges.

“I don’t like what Bob Mueller’s doing. I think Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn have been unfairly targeted, and I see Mueller as a desperate guy, an increasingly desperate prosecutor,” said the unhappy Mr. Burkman, sentiments that are echoed by a growing number of alt-right lunatics. These people have respect for nothing.

It has to be understood that if Trump wins this battle, our democracy will probably not recover.

This is not the same Congress that eviscerated Nixon for firing Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. The crisis we see on the horizon is simply this: If they strong-arm this investigation closed, it will cause a rift of trust between us and our leaders that never heals. It will take hundreds of years to undo the damage.

Putin will work his tendrils in, one millimetre at a time, until they become like strong ropes, tying down a giant for thousands of miles. It is happening all around us, even now. Robert Mueller is the most powerful defence we have against it. When we fight for him, we fight for the country.

GOP Passes Worst Bill In History- Merry Christmas, America.

Here's hoping the GOP eats lunch together!

“This is the point where Republicans in both chambers are staring at the clock and hoping the time to the House and, more importantly, Senate votes ticks away quickly.”

“That doesn’t mean everyone’s on high alert for some late-game problem(s) popping up.”
It’s as if they all think passing laws is a kind of football game. High excitement! Victory, defeat, agony, joy- What a fine piece of theatre it all makes!
Only thing is, the price of admission for it all is pretty high. And as always, it’s the little guy who’ll get stuck picking up the bill.
I was therefore tempted to name this piece “The Ravaging of the Nation by A Puke Orange Cannibal”, but was talked out of it. Still, the phrase does neatly cover the facts.
We’ve repeated ad nauseum what a vicious piece of legislature this new bill is; at this point, everybody knows. But they actually passed it, in spite of it all.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday he anticipates that the deeply unpopular Republican tax bill will win public approval only after its “results” become apparent. What public are we talking about here? The Legions of Hell?

 It looks like Bob Corker was bought off with that new real estate provision. Susan Collins too gave her assent, despite having taken a principled stance on other key issues this year. Disappointing and tragic.
There should be no mistaking this one. What just passed the House will likely mark a drastic watershed for the United States. The names of the men responsible will soon live in terrible infamy.
The mid- and long-term effects of the plan will be nasty right away; a massive drop in public investment, and a very nasty case of heartbreak and unrest given to the people for the holidays. Trump or no Trump, no one will be saying Merry Christmas this year. Happy Holidays is pretty much out as well.
Decades of declining spending on infrastructurescientific researchskills training and other core government agencies are going to have the same effect on the country as waiting too long to get an oil change.
The United States can’t count on past investments forever. The Washington Post’s Fareed Zakaria said simply that with this legislation, we are ushering in a bleak future.
In other news, according to Democrat Jackie Speier, rumour has it on Capitol Hill Trump is planning to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller as early as later this week. The convoluted process by which this atrocity might possibly take place is its own article. We mention it here because as a distraction from the tax plan, this was clearly a big help to Trump.
It’s almost an application of Henry Kissinger’s old “madman” policy from the Nixon days, e.g., You’d better make a deal with us because the guy with the keys is crazy. God only knows what he might do. In this case, the implication was, “You’d better back off, and let us have our tax plan victory, or we’re going to fire Mueller and destroy your whole democracy”.
They’ve been preparing the groundwork for an attack on the Special Counsel for the last month or so now. It’s really quite despicable. This damage the Republicans are trying to do to this man- a fellow Republican!- and his reputation reads in terrible volumes about the state of partisan polarity in our government. Mueller was the best FBI director in the nation’s history.
Going forward, it’s important to keep our spirits up and our focus sharp. The Republicans have passed their own demise in the form of this tax bill.
All we have to do is take back the Congress in a year. It’s going to take them forever to actually get stuff like their net neutrality rules and their tax plan in place. If we can retake the Congress in 2018, which becomes more plausible by the day, we can still fix this. #TheBlueWave.
Furthermore, young people like us have a perfect opportunity to help. All we need to do is make our voices heard. Ingenuity and determination are our generation’s strong point. Since that cataclysm of a tax plan is passed, we will accept it with forbearance. We’ve got a plan to deal with it. We’re on the path. All we have to do is keep walking forward. Together.
However, just as this article was about to publish, news broke that the House will have to re-vote on the GOP tax plan!
The Senate Parliamentarian found three violations to the Byrd Rule, which governs the budget process that Republicans use for tax reform. These violations have set the bill back a full day of House voting. Democrats have bought us some time.Perhaps a meteor will smite all the Republicans on their way back up the Hill tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

How Libertarians Devour Liberty-Net Neutrality and Other Civic Losses.

A Predator at bay

Net neutrality died this week, but we knew that was coming. It’s a sad state of affairs when five people out of 300 million get to make a decision for all. No accountability.

The man responsible is FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a lifelong and sworn libertarian. We’ve been hearing about all kinds of problems with the adherents of libertarianism as of late, and in this piece, we’ll be looking at why.

Libertarianism.org defines a libertarian as “a person who believes that liberty is the core political value of modern civilization itself, the one that gives substance and form to all the other values of social life.”

There is a rather extreme form of heartlessness hiding behind that high and lofty statement. We have been seeing it more and more in recent years.

When most people think of the Libertarian Party, they think of the dimwitted Gary Johnson inquiring what a Leppo is, on television.

Unfortunately, the people who are really in charge of this are neither dimwitted nor incompetent. They’re actually some of the most ruthless people in the world, in the opinion of Millennial Democrats. Their names are Charles and David Koch, and we have come to know them very well. They’ve got a plan.

If they can remove objectivity from the value system of the country, if they can make it so that people get desensitized and stop listening, then little by little, they can start bringing back the status quo. Graft, big bosses, and corruption. The good old days. 
If only our leaders would just chill, and be cool!! It really all comes down to that. Don’t be thirsty! Just be decent. You’ll do fine. Same thing with the law. Be decent. Treat other people good. Do the best you can. When you encounter others, be a human being about it. That is the true nature of the Good Shepherd.
Our current administration and the powers that combined to create it are so far removed from that benevolent ideal that it has led to all sorts of wild speculations over the years. One looks at the likes of H.W. Bush or Vladimir Putin, and shivers at the thought of Reptilian overlords, lurking about the bowels of Earth.
Unregulated capitalism has proven itself unfit to govern because it has proven incapable of caring for all the members of its populace. In order for a given state to prosper and stay healthy as a whole, a healthy environment for all of its members is a prerequisite. The word liberty is supposed to mean every member’s freedom to participate in and help maintain that environment.
But when and where that is not what liberty means- when it is allowed to mean rather the right of the individual to monopolize resources to the detriment of society by and large- then it is the duty of thinking people to speak out against it. It is a perversion of the ideal we value as liberty.
Where did this perversion come from? What are its roots? And how do we get rid of it? These are the answers our whole system depends on us finding.
In December of 1971, like today, there were a lot of things going on to help give someone agita. It was chaos and confusion everywhere you looked. There was a world’s worth of reasons for this, of course, but Richard Nixon’s being a maniac was arguably the biggest.
This was a primary impetus behind the forming of the Libertarian Party at that time.
The 1960s and ’70s were a time of building groups and having arguments, meant to hammer out what it meant to be a libertarian.
The Institute for Humane Studies was founded in the early 1960s by a former Cornell economics professor to recruit college students and would-be academics. The founder, F.A. Harper, was an important intellectual mentor to Charles Koch, who became a major donor to the group.
It’s been a long fight against these people. Both Charles Koch and his father Fred were active members of the radical right-wing John Birch Society. During its active campaigns against the civil rights movement in the 1960’s they wound up on the wrong side of history every time. In fact, they seem to have set up shop there.
Charles Koch formally resigned from the JBS in 1968. But a number of its core philosophies continue to animate a number of his keystone policy decisions decades later.
The echoes of his past role reverberate in what we’ve come to know as the “Tea Party”, a far-right organization staffed with Birchers of decades past who contend their self-interest against all reasoning. Donald Trump was far from their first choice, but he was a natural outgrowth of these policies.
However, we should not make the mistake of considering libertarian viewpoint and influence from the conservative right alone.  On issues such as economic regulation, public spending, and taxes, libertarians tend to roll with the conservative right. On other issues, such as gay marriage and drug legalization, they find more common ground with the progressive left.
Notice that absolutely nowhere are there any issues on which libertarians align with the center.
Why is this? Politically, liberals are for regulating business and giving more benefits to the middle class and poor. If these things are removed, then there is nothing in the way to stop corporate fascism. This is not a hypothesis; it actually came very close to happening, in a coup d’etat planned out against Franklin Roosevelt’s government by prominent American businessmen as recently as 1934.
Money was funnelled through a pipeline assembled by W. Prescott Bush, father of George H.W. Bush, through the law firm he worked for, the Union Banking Corporation, and through them to Adolf Hitler. Domestically its purpose was to establish a fascist dictatorship in the United States, complete with concentration camps for “Jews and other undesirables.”
The plot was averted in the end. But FDR was never able to bring any of the plotters to justice. They simply had too much money and too much power. He wasn’t even able to rein in Prescott Bush until 1942 when the government seized the assets of Bush’s pro-Nazi enterprises.
The fascist mindset of libertarianism has never gone away. It never conceded defeat to the civil rights movement. It remains the driving force behind attacks on even what minimal safety nets we do have, such as worker’s unions.
The plotters, such as J.P. Morgan and Chase, the Mellons, Rockefellers, and DuPont’s never changed their goal. They simply morphed into a cabal of foundations who exist for one sole purpose- to either control or neuter progressive grassroots efforts. It’s still the same old struggle.
As this article drew toward completion, news broke across America that our president is considering the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his throes of desperation to get out from under Russiagate. If that were to happen, it would drag us through the threshold of fascism. The time to take to the streets may really come. If and when it does, we will be ready.

A Faceless Apparatchik- Putin, The Early Years.

The name of Vladimir Putin has been on a lot of minds this last year. Everyone knows who the Russian president is. And yet, in many ways- many specialists might even say most ways- no one really knows him at all.

Journalist and Putin biographer Masha Gessen provided us with the following anecdote.

‘I remember in 2005 I was asked to write a piece about Putin as a threat to Russia’s newborn democracy. I said you’ve missed the story – he’s not a threat, there is no democracy. And then I realised that the real story was to try and explain who this man was. Because really, nobody knew.’

It is the opinion of sources more venerable than Millennial Democrats that if you know your enemy, and know yourself, you will fight without danger through many battles. We are therefore going to be taking a look at this enigmatic Russian leader, and the strange set of circumstances that installed a complete outsider on the very top floor of the Kremlin.

Let us first say this- Russian politics are highly unpredictable. The court of Peter the Great resembled a carnival sideshow more than it did the orderly court of Queen Anne of Britain. Right down to dwarves and giants.

A certain amount of uncertainty in Russian society should therefore not be viewed, as some early Putin apologists used to argue, as a product of the idiosyncrasies of Boris Yeltsin’s personality. Nor should fault for it be laid completely at Putin’s door. It has been a part of Russian life since the days of Kievan Rus and before.

In 1999, Washington Post writer Daniel Williams referred to Putin as “an all-but-unknown figure, an uninspiring speaker with no known political program — in short, a faceless apparatchik.” He came from nowhere and indicated no interest in politics until just before taking power. But, it’s Russia. So it’s not a total anomaly.

Vladimir Putin was born in 1952 in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), a city still traumatized by the aftereffects of the Second World War.

After graduating from Leningrad State University, Putin began his career in the KGB as an intelligence officer in 1975. Putin rose to the top ranks of the Russian government after joining President Boris Yeltsin’s administration in 1998, becoming prime minister in 1999 before taking over as president.

The young Putin boasted to his official biographers that he was  ‘a real thug’. One is reminded of Trump, boasting of having punched his music teacher in the eye in second grade.

Putin was one of a generation of young recruits brought into the KGB by chairman Yuri Andropov in the 1970s. Andropov was largely attributed to spearheading the KGB’s efforts to annihilate political dissent. He was also key in the creation of the notorious network of psychiatric hospitals that prominent dissidents were often dispatched to “for treatment.”

In the newborn Russian Federation, Putin was the third prime minister in a row with an intelligence background. It was an early sign of Putin’s predatory tendencies that he rapidly managed to become the head of his former employer, i.e. of the FSB.

One aspect of his rise was predictable. The institutional mechanics that granted his elevation were ripe for someone like him to step in and take over.

The Yeltsin system was held together purely through nepotism, and political succession hinged on his prerogative as the incumbent leader. It was disorganized and corrupt. Excellence is not the term one would choose when describing the Yeltsin regime. He publicly declared Russia to be the “superpower of crime” and the “biggest mafia state in the world”.

The Russian economy performed horribly throughout the 1990s. From 1991 to 1998, Russia lost nearly 30% of its real gross domestic product (GDP). Numerous bouts of inflation decimated the savings of Russian citizens, who also saw their disposable incomes rapidly decline. Capital left the country in a flood, with close to $150 billion flowing out between 1992 and 1999.

The post of prime minister became a sounding-board for potential successors and the security apparatus was the source of its candidates. Three of the four prime ministers appointed in the last 18 months of Yeltsin’s rule came from security.

Yeltsin was not unrealistic in fearing for the future. After all, he and his immediate circle were about the only ones in the country doing well. They had become the new bourgeoisie. Their embezzlement of public property was nothing short of extreme. The people were angry.

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov threatened to build additional prisons, so the Russian business elite could be incarcerated should he come to power.

Following the initial idea of the notorious businessman Boris Berezovsky, known as the “Rasputin of Modern Russia”, the Yeltsin circle- known as the “family” -created a new party, called Unity (Yedinstvo) in order to stymie Primakov and promote another candidate.

Primakov was sacked in May of 1999. By August, Vladimir Putin was handed the keys to the Kremlin.

Putin’s rise to power was intimately tied to Yeltsin’s fear of Primakov, who as prime minister famously played the part of Heel to Putin’s Hero. The narrative proved of vital importance to Putin’s media manipulation, so much so that he has often been referred to as the “TV president.

Unity party campaign-leader Ksenia Ponomareva said the party seemed to have no ideology and no program whatsoever except promoting Putin. And she continues: “Our problem wasn’t only that we supported Putin, but that we actually created him!”

In this fortunate position, free to do whatever propaganda tricks he wanted against the weakened and scattered opposition, he easily won the March 2000 election with a final support of 52 %. We’ve been stuck with him ever since. 

Most of the world believed that the outrage of the world would be enough to inspire the people of Russia to rid themselves of him, but here again, Putin enjoys an advantage peculiar to Russia. Corruption has been a fact of life in Russia for centuries. Most Russians hate it, of course, but life and dour circumstance has taught them to accept it as normal.

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov had the following to say in his new book on the subject, Winter Is Coming.

“Back when Putin first took power in Russia in 2000, the question was “Who is Putin?” By 2007 it had changed to “What is the nature of Putin’s Russia?”

The solving of this riddle is one of the most pressing questions addressing the human race at this time. This is no Donald Trump we’re dealing with. Putin really is what Trump is only playing at- a billionaire tyrant, willing to crush with violence any and all who oppose him. He’s got his claws in us, and he is kicking with all his might to bring us crashing down. In order to prevent his plan to destabilize the global order, we will need to answer Mr. Kasparov’s question.

”.

Dignity and Respect- Victory for Jones, Clear Path for a Democratic Senate!

Stunning upset

As the last precincts closed in the Moore-Jones race, it seemed logical to take note of some last minute reflections.

As of 7:11 P.M., Jones was being given a 73% chance to win, according to the New York Times. Moore was up in the count all night- to no avail. The big city precincts don’t get counted until late in the evening. It must have been humiliating.

Reportedly, the man had already planned his victory celebration. “You smell that?”, said Moore’s campaign manager earlier today. “That’s the smell of victory.” One wonders how they’re liking the smell around now.

As the last precincts are closing, the papers will be readying themselves to declare that the first Democrat to hold office in Alabama in decades has been elected and that his name is Doug Jones.

This is historic. And shocking.

Earlier today, Steve Bannon angrily yelled that there’s a special place in hell for any Republican who refused to vote for Roy Moore. That’s more along the lines of the expectable.

When the RNC gave in at last and got back in touch with Moore’s campaign, even after all that huffing and puffing Mitch McConnell did, that was more like par for the course. And Trump’s ringing endorsement for an even bigger sex offender than himself was like a dingleberry cherry on a steaming sundae.

This, combined with the inexplicable hurling to the jackals of Al Franken by certain members of our own party leadership. It was horrible. It was starting to seem like the unstoppable #BlueWave we were building in November wasn’t going to amount to much.

Then the A.P. called it for Jones.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that we have been gifted a miracle here, and we have got an opportunity to get people back on track. This small Senatorial race may go down in history as a pivotal moment in the history of this country.

It is unreal, how much was riding on this upset. The basis of DNC strategy lately seems to have paid off. It was a very risky gamble, but it paid off. The party has a plausible path to taking control of the Senate next year for the first time.
It is key to remember this, however. Who gambles and loses is a fool; who gambles and wins is a genius. There have been decisions made recently that we did not agree with, but it would appear that Franken did not fall on his sword for nothing after all.
Going forward, we’re going to be focusing on the 2018 elections for all that we are worth. There’s going to be a whole new crop of candidates, coming out of the woodwork. It will be our job to get to know them, to learn who they are working for, and to examine where their true loyalties lie.

The first step is going to be to get our house in order. We have got to find out who the fakers are. There are going to be libertarians masquerading as progressives, again, and they are going to try and attack us in elections all over the country. We know them as the Justice Democrats, Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, and a grocery list of other organizations that might seem like they’re cool but are not.

Both Al Franken and the superdelegate process have been consumed by the need to eliminate the foundation upon which they’ve been building their complaints. We bent over backwards for them. Let’s hope it’s enough, this time around.

 

Tonight the Republicans, who are the true enemy, have just been placed heavily on the defensive. They are the desperate party now, and desperation always causes blunder. Trump’s endorsements have proven toxic to everyone he’s offered. It’s as if that orange color really is radioactivity. 
At the state of the cycle, the math for Democrats winning the Senate majority in 2018 was just brutal. There’s no other word.

But between tonight and the races we won in November, we now have the numbers we need to at least put the Senate in-play. Takeovers in Arizona and Nevada, in particular, look increasingly promising.

Last week the retirement of Bob Corker opened up a seat in Tennessee, where they landed the popular former governor Phil Bredesen as a candidate.

And now we have the first of the three pickup seats we needed a year early, tonight in Alabama.

The math is clearly within the realm of possibility now. Democrats are also claiming a double-digit lead on the generic ballot. Things are very much looking up. All we have to do is hold it together.

Moore is screaming, furious, demanding a recount. We’re sorry, Judge Roy. Tough break. You didn’t get to smell victory, after all. How do you like the smell of justice?

Trust Matters! The Betrayal of Al Franken and the Future of the Party.

Stand Up for Senator Franken

It was never about Donald Trump. It took me until this morning to realize that, but I finally did. Trump did not beat us last year. We beat ourselves.

This is why they speak of the impermanence of a house divided.

Over the last eleven months, an outsider would have come along and concluded that a Manichean struggle of epic proportions was taking place within our troubled borders. A pure, unadulterated, good vs. evil type of question.

On the one hand, you’ve got the greedy, wicked ogre-king, Donald Trump, grabbing for everything, eating up all the people. And on the other, his foes in blue stand small but brightly arrayed to do battle with him. Surely, in the end, justice and God will prevail, and the obscuring cloud will no more blot out stars.

In real life, things are never this simple.

Unfortunately, in our story, the truly terrifying one does not even live within our borders. The ogre-king proves nothing more than a defective robot- and it turns out there are Trojan Horses among the brave armies of blue.

It has been a week to try our souls, and there is no doubt about it. Once again, we find ourselves in the miserable position of being fragmented and disrupted by the enemy, while at the same time losing Senator Al Franken, one of the best guys we had in the Congress.  It’s a sickening state of affairs. They’re laughing at us.

The Democratic Party that Millennial Democrats have been fighting for has always valued due process and due diligence, rather than hasty and emotional throwing of our own to the wolves.

The great thing about being a Democrat is knowing that other Democrats can be counted on to take your back when the enemy throws a low blow at you. If we lose that, we lose everything.

This is exactly what Senator Al Franken was not able to count on recently, and everyone has seen it. As a result, there has been a massive backlash against the leaders of the party responsible. And rightly so.

Furthermore, when we take a look at that specific group of personnel, we’re seeing some familiar names on the list.

First and foremost, you guessed it, was none other than Rape Fantasy Bernie, who did not follow Franken into resignation.

“Sen. Franken has said that he will be making an announcement about his political future tomorrow. The right thing is for him to resign,” Sanders, I-Vt., who ran for president as a Democrat in the 2016 elections, said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. This from a guy who won’t even stand up for abortion.

At times like this, it is hard to hold one’s temper.

Other prominent figures aligned with the Sanders camp have also called for replacing the beleaguered Senator Franken with a fellow Minnesota Democrat, Rep. Keith Ellison, as support grew Friday for the senator’s resignation. Ellison, of course, was Bernie’s choice for DNC chairman last fall.

The so-called Justice Democrats, a group of former Sanders campaign staffers and other radical leftists, launched a petition asking Franken to resign following the release of a photo showing him gesturing crudely toward conservative talk show host Leeann Tweeden.

It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life to see names I respect join that list. It’s a stain on what has otherwise been a very heroic year for us.

Democrats have stood together in a bloc during this whole nightmare, and saved us from the worst of Trump’s tendencies time and again. Up until now, we have been really proud of all of them. They have represented the will of the people to the utmost extent of their considerable abilities.

Bernie Sanders has not. He wouldn’t even vote to sanction Russia, and that too was a small wonder, considering his campaign was near as tied in with them as Donald Trump’s.

Bernie Sanders has been on the wrong side of every one of the domestic problems encountered by the Democratic Party. From the day the election ended onward. He’s always got his nose into everything we do, all the while making sure everyone knows he isn’t one of us. It would be a joke if it was funny.

The 2016 DNC chairmanship election featured the eventual victor, Tom Perez, running against Bernie’s chosen man, Keith Ellison. It was a mess. It was the primary all over again. Acrimony, screaming, division.

Shortly afterwards, Bernie and Perez set out across America, on the Unity tour that spotlighted how ridiculous the very concept was. That tour did a great job showing everyone we had no Unity whatsoever.

Bernie’s supporters repeatedly booed Tom Perez. Bernie refused to say he was a Democrat. And Bernie used the opportunity to ask for money- for himself.

While he did pay his share of the bill for the Unity tour, he still has yet to raise a single dollar for the DNC’s crucial midterm races. It’s just the same as last year. During the 2016 presidential race, Sanders set up a joint fundraising committee with the DNC — but no money ever passed through it.

There’s no need to recite the whole grocery list; it’s a slow and frustrating process even thinking about it. Everyone involved already knows.

Bernie lied for all he was worth, during the 2016 election cycle. He was promising things that he knew there was no way to deliver. He swore up and down and all around, that in future elections he’ll be running as a Democrat, but has rebuffed invitations to join the Party time and again. He’ll be running as an independent in 2018.

And all the while, as he smiles and nods and plays the part of a kindly old Mr. Rogers, the splintered fragments of Bernie or Bust have been slowly recollecting into razors. #WeWillReplaceYou? Brand New Congress? Arbitrary purity standards to enforce mandatorily on Democratic candidates? Where does it end?

It has to be understood that the radical left hates Democrats far more than they hate Republicans.

Policies and plans don’t enter into the equation in the slightest regard. Even self-interest, or goodwill towards their fellow man, is not enough to change their minds. We have seen this time and time again since Ralph Nader cost us the 2000 election.

During wildfire season, you will sometimes encounter blazes so huge that no amount of water dumped can possibly hope to drench them. Because of the sheer amount of flammable material in its path, the fire will burn and burn until there is nothing left to burn.

For this reason, firefighters will sometimes employ a technique to put it out called a backfire. This term refers to a fire set intentionally to arrest the progress of an approaching fire by creating a burned area in its path, thus depriving the fire of fuel. While the two fires battle, the firefighters come in from behind and mop up from the other side.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the opposition has used the Sanders wing of the party as a backfire, in the hopes of smothering the #BlueWave that started building in November.

Once again, we are going to desperately implore these people- our ideological brethren!- to desist from the destructive course of action we have started on the road toward when we threw Al Franken under the bus, on their insistence. If all that it takes to chase Democrats- or anyone- out of the Congress is an unproven accusation, then we have embarked on a very dark course indeed.

“What you saw today was a lynch mob,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show after at least 35 Democratic Senators called on Franken to step aside. “Let’s not have due process. Let’s not ask anybody any questions. Let’s not have any chance to have a hearing. Let’s just lynch him, because when we get done lynching him, we’ll be so pure.”

Can we not even all agree that it’s bad when Newt Gingrich is speaking on us and making sense? Is this what we want? Has Newt Gingrich become the only voice of reason speaking for Democrats?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then God help us all.

We have something to say to the leadership of the Democratic Party in general. Our trust in you- our faith in you- is the only hope you have of success, next year or any other. It is your job to convince us that our votes will be doing something good.

Your decision to abandon Al Franken in the hopes of winning over lost causes has left your entire base feeling hopeless and left floundering. How do you trust a party that will eat its own, even when they’re really good people? Which way does that leave us to go?

We suggest that you find a way to achieve these goals satisfactorily. While the Democratic Party remains the wholesome institution we have known, we will fight for it. But we will not fight for a shell. Do not be so eager to win the new blood, that you neglect the people who have brought you to the dance. Fix your mistake, and do what it takes to convince Al Franken to stay. This is what Democrats want. And if you break faith with us, we shall not rest.