Do Not Despair, America- Our Last Words From Senator John McCain.

R.I.P. Senator John McCain- a good and decent man.

America lost one of its very best recently, in the passing of John McCain. We lost a man with convictions, a man of courage.

A man who sat for nearly six years in a North Vietnamese P.O.W. camp, shot down in his Skyhawk and taken prisoner by the Vietnamese with four fractured limbs and yet still had the inner resources to come back from that so spectacularly that he was an elected American official within the next eleven months. We lost a man who voted with his conscience, instead of his unconscionable party. He will be sorely missed.

McCain was perhaps the last of a dying breed, a Republican with principles and decency. They called him the maverick, which pretty much meant that he cared about America. He was one of Trump’s most outspoken critics all the while that this was going on. At Millennial Democrats, we have looked at him as an ally. He was not among our number, but he was fighting for a lot of the same things.

He sure was worth about fifty billion of the malignant narcissist in the White House now.

McCain asked Presidents Barack Obama and George. W. Bush to deliver eulogies at his funeral, while Trump will stay away. He’s spent the whole event grousing about how McCain’s funeral coverage in the media is “over the top“, and wouldn’t even lower the flags to half-mast until the Pentagon got ahold of him ringing his bell.

He was probably thinking about his ratings, as if the death of one of the best Americans who ever lived would have come in second best, compared to the Apprentice.

Trump sent a cursory tweet on Saturday -“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” but mostly he just pulled childish garbage and turned the whole thing into a commentary about him.

He did not spare one word for the man himself. What a worthless piece of trash.

I try and leave these types of observations to myself, at the very least for decorum’s sake, but sometimes there’s just nothing else to say. Our president is worthless. Worse than worthless. He is actively corrosive. We would be better off pulling presidents at random as if it were jury duty, than we are with this thief who stole our 2016 election. It just kills me some days.

Good thing there’s a nice strong Blue Wave coming along to smash this debauchery of a man right into the ocean, and scour the White House clean again. On November 6th, when we Democrats retake at least the House of Representatives, we will have you in mind, Senator.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here,” the Republican senator and former GOP presidential nominee wrote in a letter read by advisor Rick Davis on Monday.

“Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. Farewell fellow Americans, God bless you, and God bless America.”

God bless you as well, sir. Thank you for all you did for us.

R.I.P. Senator John Sidney McCain III(R-AZ). August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018.

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Economic Inequality Casts Shadow On the Future of Millennials- Voting Is The Answer.

millennial-survey

Economic inequality issues are going to become a crisis for our generation. This is unavoidable. Millennials came of age during one of the worst economic recessions in history, and it hurt most of us severely while making a small few of us incredibly prosperous.

As we stand right this minute, still flush off the bounce given us by the eight years of sound economic practices President Obama put in place for us, it’s tempting for many millennials to feel good about the economy.

Right now we’re all doing pretty good, but that will only last for a single day compared to what is coming next.

Our generation is poised to have the worst income inequality in American history. Only the most well-off will have a say in defining what “we” care about.

In the last decade especially, our economy has begun to disproportionately reward certain types of professions often occupied by millennials, e.g. techies like Mark Zuckerberg, at the expense of those pursuing what are referred to as bedrock jobs, like nursing and teaching.

The discrepancy itself isn’t the story, though.  What’s scary is how fast this gap is growing. And how fast it will soon be getting worse.

Wage rates are stagnant already, and the US trade deficit is declining as well. The negative trade balance is certain to put increasing pressure on our generation, especially with the country now out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

Trump threw the world economic order into complete upheaval with his random scuttling of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). That is certain to help to set the stage for this, as well as the number of lies that Trump has told about how all our economic successes recently are due to the marvel that is him.

As with George W. Bush before him, when people start waking up there will be anger.

Economic issues are going to become a crisis for our generation. We all came of age during one of the worst economic recessions in history, and it hurt almost all of us. This is unavoidable.

But we can choose to solve them. It just means resolution and hard work. We can still turn this thing around. We just need to work hard, focus, and target our messages. It’s critical because, above all, we have to avoid the trap of descending into radicalism, to the left or to the right.

Millennials have many strengths. We are a fiercely progressive bunch, deeply individualized and passionate. We stand out because we are the most diverse generation to date.

42 percent of us identify with a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white, around twice the share of the Baby Boomer generation when they were the same age. We’ve got all the people in the world as part of our numbers. That gives us access to everything humans have.

Millennials are better educated than Gen X was, we have more college graduates. We are recognized as being tough, resilient, and resourceful.

Yet even still, we make less money and are less likely to be working at all.

This has to change, and the one sure way to see to it that it does is to organize. We’ve got to start getting ready, and we’ve got to start getting busy.

We have to assert ourselves to government and employers about the labor and economic changes that we will ultimately require to succeed.

The only ones who can turn this thing around are we ourselves. And the best way to kick that off is to vote all Republicans right off the face of the earth.

We must vote Democratic until there are no more Republicans.

Roseanne Gets Canned! Social Ostracism in the Trump Era.

Roseanne Gets Canned

The Roseanne revival has been canceled, due to the big mouth and cruel streak of the woman it takes its name from.  She tweeted some repugnant remarks about Valerie Jarrett, a former top aide to President Barack Obama, and got herself fired and her show shut down.

ABC announced it was canceling “Roseanne” within hours of the Twitter outburst, and even before that, consulting producer Wanda Sykes quit.

Trump supporters are furious. They say Roseanne’s free speech is being violated, even though she got fired for being blatantly racist. It is our opinion that they all live in fear of the same thing happening to them.

The same people who today are so concerned about Roseanne’s “free speech” were just celebrating the NFL forbidding players from silently and peacefully protesting during the National Anthem.

Incidents like these have piled up, in every walk of American life. The incident is symptomatic of what the Southern Poverty Law Center has referred to as “the Trump effect“, which it has called a virus in our country. This is bigger than Roseanne(no fat-shaming intended).

Getting rid of uncloseted bigots as ABC has done by ending this show is part of the cure, but the simple fact remains. You’ll never get rid of a disease just by treating its symptoms. You’ve got to get at the root cause to destroy it, and that means getting rid of Donald Trump.

Valerie Jarrett herself pointed out that “The Tone starts at the Top“.

Jarrett, a former top aide to President Barack Obama, reacted with characteristic class and grace to Barr’s racist Twitter rant. She pointed out that we can learn from this, and that the incident should become “a teaching moment.”

That is the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Knowing who she is these days, ABC should have known better than to bring Roseanne back on TV.  Her ugly comments and attitude made the entire project a highly dubious proposition, and it’s not like they were hard to find. All you have to do is sign up for Twitter.

But they do seem to have corrected their mistake, and small wonder. No one with any sort of a life wants to be associated with this.

Even in the Trump era, they know they will lose all their friends.

The comments made by Roseanne about Valerie Jarrett were disgusting and they do not bear repeating. It will suffice to say they were worth getting fired over. But compared to things that Donald Trump has said and done, they were hardly remarkable.

It is pretty sad when the President of the United States of America cannot be held to a higher standard than an aging and demented sitcom comedian, but the simple fact remains. This is where we are.

This is the Great America Trump promised. This is what it looks like, this is what it sounds like. These are its values. This is our environment now.

The time will come when we get out from under this, and when it does, it’s important that we never forget who the bigots were.

Complete and total social ostracism will do a lot to deter a repeat of this sort of thing. It will help to ensure that the next generation doesn’t try and make this sort of a play.

This ruptured attempt at a revival has been emblematic. It’s the Trump presidency in microcosm. Identical failure factors were in play.

What it ultimately comes down to is that you are going to have a much harder time dealing with people when they cannot stand your company, and if you persist in your nonsense too far they will get rid of you.

People don’t want you around if you’re going to insist on always being vulgar and ugly and loud.

If you are an obnoxious celebrity, it’s one thing. If you’re an obnoxious celebrity who’s been elected President of the world’s single superpower, it’s quite another.

In the last analysis, at least one thing has to be conceded to Roseanne. She accurately portrayed the way Trump voters look at the world. She gave them a few laughs, and she gave them something to scream about.

And she gave them all a look at their fate, in the post-Trump era.

First They Came For The Dreamers.

Resist the wall.

On the issue of immigration, America has been brought to a truly sickening pass by its chief executive.

Construction started on a California section of Trump’s border wall on Wednesday.

This time, we have got to get good and mad. If we acquiesce to Trump building that wall, it will be a stain on the country’s honour that no amount of centuries can wash clean.

Ultimately we will do whatever is necessary to save our friends and loved ones, and Trump knows that.

But what’s to stop him from pulling this again? What’s to stop him from grabbing any number of us, and holding our needs hostage to use against us later? DACA represents an obvious way to hijack us, but it’s not like there aren’t others; sooner or later, there’s something we all don’t want to lose.

Appeasement never works. Never. All throughout history, the only way to stop a bully from picking on you has been to knock his block off.

Never give Poland to Hitler, as the saying goes. Something has to come along and stop this.

Our leaders have done all they can and achieved remarkable successes, but past a certain point they have no power. We’re not in control of a single one of the halls of government currently.

Now that President Obama has been out of office a year, we’re going to start feeling the results of Trump’s new policy real soon.

To pay for this waste of a wall, there will be no end to new regulations, state and local increases, etc. It’s going to be a gigantic and constant defiling for everyone who’s not a billionaire.

It all comes back to how we take it. There is a point past which they cannot function. If all of us steadfastly refuse to participate, business as usual cannot possibly continue.

One is reminded of the Robert Frost poem beginning “Something there is that does not love a wall,” as he then goes on trying to convince his neighbor not to rebuild one on their property line.

If you truly want to make America great again, you don’t build a wall that symbolizes everything that America shouldn’t be and has always stood up against.

The Wall is an eyesore. Forget about what a waste of money it is, walls as fortifications haven’t done much good since the development of modern artillery.

Wall or no wall, there’s no keeping watch over 1300 miles of borderlands to keep people who are desperate to get here out.

These big nationalist types talk about making America great again by kicking out all the Americans who came from Mexico. But they’re also the ones hiring them on the sly to save money. If Trump really wanted illegal immigration to stop, he’d crack down on these big employers. 

Last week around this time, the Senate rejected a bipartisan plan to save our Dreamers, even at the cost of conceding to the wall. Republican leaders joined the White House, intentionally blowing the likeliest chance for immigration legislation this election year. Nice work.

The White House threatened to veto the measure, which underscored the issue and emphasized what a hot button the issue has become, for both parties. The profound lack of partisan compromise remained as intractable as it’s been for years.

Even the focus on Dreamers, who polls show win wide public support, was not enough to overcome opposition by hard-line conservatives and far-left Democratic presidential hopefuls afraid of angering the voters they’ll soon be begging.

In the meantime, Customs and Border Protection is replacing a little more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) in downtown Calexico, a sliver of the president’s plan for a “big, beautiful wall” with Mexico.

We are down to the line, folks. The long game of the opposition is becoming clearer by the day. The outline of a plot to reverse the entire trend begun by the civil rights outline is taking form as the dust settles.

If the people of this country go back to sleep this time, if we quietly sit back and allow Trump to be normalized, we will never get up again. It will not matter that we aren’t in favor of the awful things they’re doing because we will not have any power with which to stop it.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that we’ve got a year or two at most to turn this thing around. We will do this using the same means we’ve been using all along. Raising public awareness to expose and reveal these people for who they are and what they are doing. Hope is not lost, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work on the part of us all. Please join your strength with ours. Help us fix this. Before it is forever too late.

 

Trump Lawyers Get Scared, Advise Trump Against The Mueller Interview.

#RunningScared

Trump’s lawyers have advised him against sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with special counsel, Robert Mueller, according to four people briefed on the matter. This raises the spectre of a court battle that could drag out for months, over whether the president must answer questions under oath.

It is the opinion of John Dowd, the longtime Washington defence lawyer hired last summer to represent Trump in the investigation, that it’s best to rebuff Mueller’s interview request.

Almost certainly, this would indeed be best for Trump. What’s best for the country and its people is not considered at all.

As a brief aside, if it’s all fake news, why is this even a problem? It’s clear to the world that Donald Trump is hiding something.

Trump has a history of making what the rest of us call lies, and his lawyers call “false statements”. Contradicting himself and blathering on as he does would expose him to charges of lying to investigators. His counselors understandably wish to avoid this.

Dowd’s deputy Jay Sekulow and many other West Wing advisers are reportedly of similar mind. These lawyers believe the special counsel might be unwilling, to subpoena the orange malignance.  For some reason, they think he’d lose in court if he tried to subpoena Trump.

These poor unfortunate souls have managed to convince themselves that Mueller lacks the legal standing to question Trump about some of the matters he is investigating, like the president’s role in lying to the New York Times last summer about a meeting Trump’s son Donald Jr. had with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

They’re also trying to argue that in some cases, such as the time Trump asked James Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to end the investigation into former campaign adviser Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, the president acted within his constitutional authority.  They say he cannot be questioned about acts that were legal. Why, exactly?

It seems to this Millennial Democrats contributor that President Obama had to be questioned, about whether or not he was even born here.

At any rate, this stance puts them at odds with Trump himself.

Trump says he wants to talk to Mueller, but this is most likely desperation and impatience.

Trump’s decision about whether to speak to prosecutors will be one of the most consequential decisions of this whole investigation. Refusing would open the door to the possibility that Mueller will actually subpoena Trump to testify before a grand jury. This would set up a court fight- and a constitutional crisis– of epic proportions, one that would drastically escalate the investigation and would require arbitration by the Supreme Court.

Rejecting an interview with Mueller would carry political consequences, at least outside of his deplorable base. It would make it more obvious, if that is possible, that the president is hiding something. It would also set the stage for a lengthy court fight, which could also prolong the inquiry.

All of this must make it awfully tempting to simply fire the special counsel.

All this is casting a shadow over Republicans as November’s midterm elections approach. If Trump gets a re-election campaign, it is certain to shadow that too.

In other news, while this whole drama with Trump and Russiagate has been playing out, Trump went on stage in Ohio and accused Democrats of committing treason, because we boycotted and refused applause to his ludicrous State of the Union address.

He was boasting about the low rates of black and Hispanic unemployment, as if that has anything to do with him and not Obama. We’re supposed to clap, while he takes credit for what he is actively trying to destroy? This man is a no-good liar. That’s all he is. He speaks with a forked tongue.

“Serve Yourself And Save” was the family slogan as patented by his father. He lives by that.

“Even on positive news like that, really positive news like that, they were like death(?) and un-American,” Trump said at a manufacturing plant outside Cincinnati. “Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Shall we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

We certainly don’t love you very much, Donald.

If there’s anyone in the world who ought to know what treason looks like, it is undoubtedly our forty-fifth president.

That is why his lawyers don’t want him to talk to Robert Mueller.

A Defense Against Fake News- Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

#StopLying

The news on TV this week has all been very good for Donald Trump, although his job performance has been every bit as lousy as ever. The pattern is clear. Whenever he’s got somebody else to point the finger at, his ratings go up.

The cost of Robert Mueller’s investigation has been thrown up in our faces, as if it were an unnecessary expense, or a service performed just for Democrats. Several of the members of Mueller’s team have been attacked as well, and their motives called into question.

For the record, Robert Mueller left a $3.4 million partner job to serve as the special counsel overseeing the law enforcement investigation into whether the Kremlin and the Trump campaign coordinated to impact the 2016 election, according to documents released on Monday at a request from the Washington Post.

Trump has also been receiving undue credit for the economic bounce that Obama worked eight years to assure us. His moronic provocation of a travel ban finally went through, and so on.

All of this is being slowly made possible by a “post-truth” reality defined by the random slanders of an increasingly demented Trump.

The eminent opinion of Kellyanne Conway notwithstanding, there are no such things as alternative facts. They’re just good old fashioned lies.

But here are a couple of real facts. The new administration has declared war on accurate information. And because of that, every last thing with a shred of decency in American society is either under attack or being twisted to evil ends.

Basically, the truth does not suit Donald Trump’s agenda. So he has resolved upon making a new truth. He’s good at this. It has gotten him through a lifetime.

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels said that the key to getting people to believe a lie was in repetition, and that the bigger lies were easier to tell then the little ones.

This viewpoint, which denies objectivity and assumes the worst of everyone, is the cornerstone of fascist philosophy. And under Trump, a number of new ideas are being employed as vehicles to carry and spread the new ideas about.

One of these is a project designed to target social media specifically, a mock-TV news report touting the imaginary successes of President Trump. It is being dubbed “Trump TV” on his official campaign Facebook page.

If the Russians have sent in advisers here, they are certainly doing their job.

Earlier this year upon launching the project, the talking head of Kayleigh McEnany made its mouth speak many a falsehood on the August 6 episode of the new administration’s Trump TV project. It looked like a Trump-Pence lawn sign.

“Overall, since the president took office, President Trump has created more than one million new jobs, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high”, and so on.

Every bit of it is an exaggeration, a theft of credit from President Obama, or an outright utter lie.

Next to her face, a small screen showed various images of a happy, senile Trump speaking to stadiums packed with adoring fans; underneath the images blared the word “Jobs.”

It all read straight out of 1984.

For now, Trump TV is a small operation, cheaply produced and disseminated through Facebook, but it’s clear it will soon be getting bigger. It’s the spearhead of an effort by media giant Sinclair Broadcasting. It’s troubling in the utmost to watch the new administration both sanction and invent new media mouthpieces through which to spread outright lies. This is not a healthy sign.

Since the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, which mandated that equal airtime and coverage be given to the points of view of both major political parties, we have seen partisan organizations like Sinclair worming their way into buying up the whole apparatus. Now a number of them are no longer even American. This state of affairs is a travesty.

Bill Clinton, the most notable target of syndicated conservative talk shows cited the unbalanced nature of conservative talk radio, where “big money” is fueling “right wing talk shows.” This is why we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the very first segment of the alt-right’s information pipeline that we have got to sever is the part of it stretching here from Russia.

Former White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg is one of the strongest advocates for this point of view, and he ought to know. He used to work for Sputnik. But these days, he openly admits the site’s content being “foreign propaganda, not news.”

His claim is that organizations like RT and Sputnik hold a pervasive influence on right-wing, pro-Trump, news websites. “Many of the most popular articles about things like WikiLeaks and pizzagate and other conspiracy theories were prominently featured on the Sputnik website,” said Feinberg.

In a recent Politico article Feinberg described parting ways with Sputnik earlier this year. He felt he was being bullied and pressured to pursue fake stories, including the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. He knew that he was being “fed” questions.

A news site which is funded by a hostile foreign government with the express purpose of reporting fake news and brazenly lying to the people of America is an outrage. There’s no other word for it. Any person who doesn’t understand that is one already lost to the opposition.

A journalist sacked by the Kremlin-funded Sputnik news network claimed that right-wing U.S. outlets like Infowars, Breitbart and Gateway Pundit are joined by RT and Sputnik as functioning parts of this right-wing media ecosystem.

The crux of the problem is that we’re not all being given the same information.

Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center recently produced an analysis of the subject which they entitled Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. In it, they made the following observation.

“We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.”

Democrats remain interested in things like truth and reason. The opposition has discarded those virtues as impractical, if not actively detrimental, to their various causes.

Although Fox itself does still usually take the time to bother putting a veneer of professional journalism on their stuff, they still know who a large part of their audience is, and they cater to it.

If you watch Fox News these days, you won’t just find the usual conservative twist anymore. Much of their old content has become too truthful for many of their viewers. It’s not hardcore enough anymore. These people want uglier mud to sling at their liberal foes. A website called Liberty Headlines will tell you all about it.

This is why Fox has partnered with a more extreme conservative media. One resolved on developing the concept to its evolutionary apex: sheer, pure propaganda.

It seems painfully obvious in hindsight that twenty years of media consolidation has been bad for our democracy.

The exaggerations and falsehoods emanating from right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart News have infected mainstream discourse.

Though the Berkman- Klein report we mentioned earlier does an excellent job of laying out the challenge posed by Breitbart and its ilk, it is less than clear on how to counter it. One very interesting solution has been employed by our neighbors to the North, in Canada, with a surprisingly effective result.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, is a regulatory media commission like the FCC. It is not large and it does not often have a need to make the news. But back in 2011, a rather small decision by a relatively small government agency in Ottawa made a pretty big splash.

In April, a major player in the Canadian media scene, Quebecoir Media, planned a launch of what they called Sun News, or Sun TV. It was billed as a Canadian analogue to FOX News, by which they meant a broadcast news outlet with a skewed and partisan conservative perspective.

But Sun News hit a major snag, in the form of a CRTC rule on “prohibited programming content” that includes “broadcasting false or misleading news.”

That rule means that in Canada they can ban lying in the media.

If the human race is going to avoid a significant degradation of its own condition, then we have to maintain our objectivity. We can’t be lulled to sleep by Trump-brand fairy tales.

It’s time we stopped letting wingnut billionaires clutter up our airwaves with their nonsense just because they’ve got the money to throw their weight around. Legislation must be passed immediately to make perfidy in the American news an official crime.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, but America never stopped being great. If we wish to keep that intact, the removal of state-sanctioned falsehoods would be a very good start. Bring back the Fairness Doctrine, and make it illegal to call poisonous deceit the news. It’s really pretty simple. Just vote a straight blue ticket next year, and get everyone you know to do the same. It is time we started doing laundry.