Tendown August 7, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016

236 is here. This is Tendown 237.

1. Reich v. Hedges

Reich: I think that Hillary will be a good president, if not a great president. This is not just trucking in fear, Chris. But I do fear Donald Trump. I fear the polls that I saw yesterday. Now, polls, again, this early in a campaign still—we’re still months away from the election, but they are indicative. They show Donald Trump doing exceedingly well, beating Hillary Clinton. And right now, given our two-party system, given our winner-take-all system with regard to the Electoral College, it’s just too much of a risk to go and to say, "Well, I’m going to vote—I’m not going to vote for the lesser of two evils, I’m going to vote exactly what I want to do." Well, anybody can do that, obviously. This is a free country. You vote what you—you vote your conscience. You have to do that. I’m just saying that your conscience needs to be aware that if you do not support Hillary Clinton, you are increasing the odds of a true, clear and present danger to the United States, a menace to the United States. And you’re increasing the possibility that there will not be a progressive movement, there will not be anything we believe in in the future, because the United States will really be changed for the worse.

Hedges: You can’t build movements in a political system where money has replaced the vote. It’s impossible. And the Democrats, you know, their bedside manner is different from the Republicans. You know, Trump is this kind of grotesque figure. He’s like the used car salesman who rolls back the speedometer. But Hillary Clinton is like, you know, the managers of Goldman Sachs. They both engage in criminal activities that have—and Clinton’s record, like Trump, exposes this—that have preyed upon the most vulnerable within this country and are now destroying the middle class. And to somehow speak as if we are in a functioning democracy, or speak as if there are any restraints on capitalism, or speak as if the Democratic Party has not pushed forward this agenda—I mean, Obama has done this. You know, he has been as obsequious to Wall Street as the Bush administration. There’s no difference.

2. Clinton's Record

Donald Trump is a scary and unpredictable bigot who should never hold public office. Yet, Clinton is far from being progressive, let alone liberal, and in fact is an agent of the status quo: a nation of unprecedented social inequity, economic inequality, militarism and structural racism. Additionally, there is no evidence to support claims that Clinton will actively support "reasonable" gun laws, LGBTQ rights and parental leave. There is, however, evidence that she will perpetuate legal and institutionalized racial violence against Black and Brown people through the "war on drugs," mass incarceration, economic austerity, militarism, immigration policy, the ongoing subjugation of Native people and summary executions by the police. While Clinton may "heed" climate science, her past and present cozy relationship with the fossil fuel industry does not bode well for her taking a lead in advancing urgent solutions for climate change. Yes, she will support Obamacare because it is in line with her market-based worldview. Still, let's stop perpetuating myths about Obamacare. It is a highly inequitable and ineffective system that mandates people to buy increasingly expensive plans that provide extensively inadequate health care coverage from nefarious insurance companies. Under the reign of Obamacare, the less money you have, the shi**ier the health care coverage you get. We must only support candidates that will advance a comprehensive single-payer healthcare system. In terms of fear about Supreme Court nominees and the overturning of decisions like Roe v. Wade -- as with the 14th and 15th Amendments and the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision -- the age-old problem of federal enforcement and states rights have systematically been reversing Roe v. Wade, particularly within the last 5 years. Even if Clinton wanted to take such action (more than likely halfheartedly), she cannot do anything about those structural realities that impede lasting legal solutions that protect civil and human rights.
At the very least, if you choose to support Clinton out of fear of a Trump presidency, then do so without perpetuating the multitude of myths and lies that portray Clinton as a champion of equity and social justice.
When the federal government issued its latest dietary guidelines this year, the flossing recommendation had been removed, without notice. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.
The AP looked at the most rigorous research conducted over the past decade, focusing on 25 studies that generally compared the use of a toothbrush with the combination of toothbrushes and floss. The findings? The evidence for flossing is "weak, very unreliable," of "very low" quality, and carries "a moderate to large potential for bias."
"The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal," said one review conducted last year. Another 2015 review cites "inconsistent/weak evidence" for flossing and a "lack of efficacy."

Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from the brutal history of American debt peonage and convict leasing is that many of the foundations of racial inequality are economic. Racism and white supremacy are often understood as either psychological or socially constructed ideas, thoughts, and feelings. But Jim Crow’s coercive labor practices; race-based contract housing, redlining, and subprime lending; and today’s cycle of debt and imprisonment remind us that the economic life of racism is arguably its most enduring feature. While public discourse and protocol have changed since the civil rights movement—presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump not withstanding—successful challenges to the deeper material inequities of racialized wealth and opportunity have proved more elusive. The foreclosure crisis triggered by the Great Recession, which impacted twice as many black homeowners as it did white, is another reminder that racism is at its most destructive when intertwined with economic structures that facilitate profiting off the misfortunes of others.

The next time someone says that Trump is singular in his attacks on the Khans, consider...

“Cindy Sheehan is a clown,” said Bush’s senior adviser and dirty trickster Karl Rove, whose management of the media ecosystem was unparalleled. The Washington Postreported at the time that Sheehan was a frequent topic of conversation between the president and his advisers. And somehow, some way, Rove’s sentiment trickled down into every pore of the conservative press. Bill O’Reilly called Sheehan “dumb enough” to get “in bed” with the radical left. Glenn Beck called Sheehan a “tragedy pimp” who was “prostituting her son’s death.” Rush Limbaugh said she was somehow lying about having lost her son.

And now consider her views on Democrats.
She sounded unsurprised by the state of the party in 2016, shaken by a primary challenge from a (relatively) dovish, social-democratic coalition led by Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sheehan sighed at the idea of people at the DNC chanting “no more war” at the ex-director of the CIA and getting drowned out by a distinctly Trumpish chant of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
“What Trump says is rhetorically belligerent,” she said. “But what Clinton and the Democrats actually did, it killed people. Why was the Khans’ son in Iraq? Why was my son in Iraq?” (Khizr Khan has made the same point, albeit a little more gently: “As a Muslim American I feel that these policies are not in the interest of the United States of America. ... We have created a chaos.”)
“That’s where the debate should be,” Sheehan went on. “If you support Hillary, I don’t really care, but you need to know what you’re supporting.

7. Trump is cratering.

Not Clinton caused, obviously.  Trump is just a disasterous general election candidate who would have lost to any Democratic nominee.

So why were there so many articles about how Sanders wasn't electable - about how the Trump crackerjack opposition research would have attacked him as a dirty atheist commie such that it would render him unelectable?  Could it be all of that was just nonsense - that Clinton, deeply unpopular Hillary Clinton was, in fact, not a better bet than Sanders to win the general election?  That, much like 1976, this election is a layup for the Democrats to head as left as they'd like without electoral penalty.

And the choice is Hillary Clinton.  Just like she's the choice for neocons, the CIA, and Republican billionaires.

8. Did I Mention the CIA?

9. Always Read Jeb Lund.

Trained for years by a conservative movement that condemns all reporting and excites their every terror without taking steps to alleviate it, they have adopted a commitment to dietrologia that would feel familiar to any shrugging Italian political wonk searching for the hand of intent behind government sclerosis, corruption and indifference.
They have internalized that “behindology” way of thinking, programmed by a system that orchestrates fanatical, verbally violent opposition in ultimate service to gridlock and stasis. They know that things are broken by design, because you cannot break something as vast as America without cooperation and a plan.
They understand on an elemental level that this is partially a game, and no amount of gaffe soundbites can strip away this understanding. There’s a reason why Trump begins every speech by updating the score. You cannot unhouse someone who believes that all politics is surface and all motive hidden by showing them a candidate who makes it so plain that he will say anything to close a deal.
Trump is in on the gag, and by listening to them, he has invited them to be in on the gag too.
Did they know that Trump used to donate heavily to Democrats? Of course he did, that’s how the system works. Did they know that he contradicted himself on two different days? Of course he did, lying is how you get elected. Did you hear him say this crazy shit? Sure, it’s hilarious. Do you care that he’s all over the map? No, because, when push comes to shove, he’s always said he’ll make America great again. That’s the deal he’s trying to close.
There is no answer for these people in the other party, and if there ever had been, the Democratic National Convention tore it apart.
After bearing witness to a near revolutionary insurgency in the Democratic ranks, they watched as the only other candidate who echoed their concerns, Bernie Sanders, knuckled under the power elite that Fox has spent nearly a generation telling them controls the Democratic Party.
They saw Sanders supporters shouted down by chants, as the Democratic old guard spent its final night force-marching the party toward the center, as raw and real a confirmation that both sides of the system congeal in an inviolate, unmoving mass as anyone could have wished for.
Donald Trump now owns the issue of our hollowed-out American economy by default, and he did it barely expending any energy. He did it as easily as a man walks into his living room. He got away with it simply by seeming to mean it — a tactic so simple, only Bernie Sanders also thought to try it.
We will be stuck with Trumpism for a long time, no matter who wins, either vindicated or aged with victimhood and rebottled into some sweeter vintage of human poison. It will be all things to all resentments, a protean sneer at the public record, an endlessly adaptive excuse for itself, a moment’s rootless justification for whatever is demanded next. It is now a faith nearly past the point of argument.
We have created these citizens, nurtured them in their resentment, enamored them of conflict, rewarded their energies with cant and inaction, and taught them to embrace only disbelief. 
10. Recurring Donations for Trump. Forever.

And finally...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time....if there is a next time....

Your pal,


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