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Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

…As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”
Those words echoed with me throughout the week.  It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great.  We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.
But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us?  If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military?  And if they don’t join, who will protect us?  If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us?  And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?
President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness.  He is wrong.  These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years.  If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.
And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better.  The fate of our Republic depends upon it.
  —  William H. McRaven
Retired Navy Admiral
Former commander of the United States Special Operations Command and former chancellor of the University of Texas system.
Excerpt from his opinion / editorial:  “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President
Found on the web site for The New York Times:  https://wwww.nytimes.com
The link to the on-line version is:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/trump-mcraven-syria-military.html
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On This Day In:
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2017 A True American Hero
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2016 What #AmnestyDon Is Really Afraid Of
2015 What Are You Doing?
2014 The Ideal Man
2013 Daring Ripples
2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

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I am a fiscally conservative life-long Democrat.  I do NOT support the funding of President Trump’s wall.  Other than providing jobs for American workers, there is no benefit to building a wall.  I do support increased spending on Security (border security and almost all other forms of “useful” security) – even increasing it by billions of dollars – IF NECESSARY!!  But building a wall is NOT necessary.  It will do little to nothing to increase our security or decrease illegal immigration.  MOST illegal immigration happens when people lawfully enter the country and then overstay their visa.  A wall – no matter the height, depth or width – will not reduce this.
And, in any case, when our #IdiotInChief was a candidate he promised (as he was such a great negotiator) that we (U.S. citizens) would not have to pay for a wall.  As President, he was going to make Mexico pay for building his wall.  I say:  “Let him get Mexico to pay for it!”  AFTER we have the funds coming in from Mexico, then we can start building the wall.  And furthermore, not one cent is to be spent on the wall until then, and not more than one cent over what has been taken in from Mexico should be spent on the wall’s construction or maintenance.
I am not in favor of a government shutdown.  In this case, the shutdown is entirely President Trump’s fault.  He has been President for almost two whole years and he has done almost nothing to negotiate funding from Mexico, nor demonstrate that building a wall will do more than minimally increase our security.  The “security” money would be far better spent on increasing the enforcement of hiring legal employees and prosecuting employers who hire those without work permits.  This would actually reduce illegal immigration, by reducing demand for illegals.  It would also improve the economy by marginally increasing wages for those at the bottom scales.  This is because there would be fewer workers willing to accept minimum wages, so the price for labor would go up.  That is, if you believe in supply and demand.
To any Democratic office holder who votes in support of building a wall:  I will make a list.  I will check it twice.  And, I will make a donation to any Democratic candidate who runs against you in your next primary.
#NotOneCent
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On This Day In:
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2013 I Hear Voices
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2011 Look! Up In The Sky…
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My mechanic told me “I couldn’t fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”
  —  Steven Wright
[Without any significant accomplishments (which the majority of Americans actually supported) during his first two years as President, #IncompetentDonald chose to use the mid-term elections campaign to spread hate and fear.  The results were a (not surprising) repudiation of the President where the number of Americans voting against Republicans increased from three million votes (Trump vs. Hilary popular vote loss count) to over six million (nationwide total – see image below) in the House and twelve million (nationwide total) in the Senate.  It is only the fact that Republicans outnumber Democrats in States with smaller populations which has allowed them to retain control of the Senate.  In the United States, each State gets two Senators irrespective of the State’s population.  The House, on the other hand, gets Districts assigned based on populations with a minimum of one.  Some of the States with smaller populations (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming) only have one Representative (called “at large”) with their “District” being the entire State.  The Senate is “inherently” less “democratic” for the nation by design.  Additionally, by only having one-third of its members up for re-election in any given election, it is also “inherently” more moderating (i.e. “conservative”) in representing the overall population of both the State and the nation.  (The Senate is the “brake” in this metaphor.)  Because the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election each election period, the House tends to reflect the political swings in the electorate more quickly and more radically – direction and degree – when the country is shouting “Stop” or “Speed-up”.  (The House is the “horn”.)

Image showing Democratic nationwide vote difference in 2018

Democratic nationwide vote difference in 2018

Of course, the comparison of vote totals above – numbers for President, House and Senate – are comparing apples to oranges to bananas.  And / but, they also do NOT take into account the significant gerrymandering done as of the 2010 census, which heavily tilted the House Districts in favor of the Republicans.  This makes the wins by the Democrats even MORE impressive!  It remains to be seen if those changes will remain when we go back into a Presidential turnout.  It also highlights the importance of Democrats working at the State level to regain control of as many State governorships and legislatures as possible heading into the next (2020) census and subsequent House redistricting.  The number of seats is controlled at the Federal level, but the actual redrawing of the Districts is done by the individual States.
This last part, the census and the redistricting is why it is vitally important for the electorate (the voters) to stay active during the run-up to 2020 (the census) and then immediately after through 2022, when the redistricting will normally occur.  In other words, you (voters seeking to make a progressive difference) can’t go to sleep between now and 2022 or the Republicans can continue and increase their relative positions through 2032.   By the way, the gerrymander is not (by any means) unique to the Republicans.  The Democrats have also used it to protect their seats.  The difference is the modern day use of computers to track voters and then specifically target the isolation of opposition voters to maximize their count while minimizing their effect.  For example, one State (Pennsylvania) had 51% of the vote (Democrats), but seated 5 out of 18 Districts (28% of the House seats) in 2012 because Republicans controlled the State legislature.  So, a word to the wise…  If you want to keep the house after 2020, stay awake and stay active!
Finally, for an excellent explanation of Gerrymandering, please read the linked article:  “This is the best explanation of gerrymandering you will ever see“, which appeared in the Washington Post a few years back.  I re-read it every year to remind myself of what is at stake.  —  KMAB]
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As happy as I am with the Democrats re-taking the House of Representatives in yesterday’s mid-term elections…  The “real” election I was on the edge of MY chair for was my daughter running for her first elected office – to be a member of the Contra Costa Community College Board…  And, with 100% of the precincts reporting, the results are in (drum roll please)…..

Image of election results showing Rebecca's victory!

Victory!! 59.39% of the vote!

Image of county election data

County election data breakdown of votes

Congratulations to the “Honorable” Miss Rebecca Barrett!!  (Needless to say, her mum and I were especially happy and proud parents last night.)
LOL!!!  Isn’t it amazing how they go from being introduced as your kids, to you being introduced as their parents.
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On This Day In:
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The divisions are now as physical as they are emotional and intellectual: in the 2016 election, of America’s 3,113 counties, just 303 went to either candidate by 10 points or fewer; 1,196 saw landslides of 50 points or more.  We have self-sorted into private pockets of affirmation, and where we live shapes what we believe.  “These days, Democrats and Republicans no longer stop at disagreeing with each other’s ideas,” argues Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center.  “Many in each party now deny the other’s facts, disapprove of each other’s lifestyles, avoid each other’s neighborhoods, impugn each other’s motives, doubt each other’s patriotism, can’t stomach each other’s news sources and bring different value systems to such core social institutions as religion, marriage and parenthood.  It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes.”
During his campaign, Trump engaged and inspired millions of voters who had given up on government and were desperate for a new vision, a new voice.  Their needs are real and urgent, and have been largely ignored as the President reduced the office to a vanity plate.  He has shown how little loyalty he feels to friends and allies who honor some principle higher than his self-interest.  In the aftermath of Charlottesville, we saw the reverse: we saw his reluctance to turn away from people who admire him, claim him, even if they do so in the name of beliefs that Americans have died fighting to defeat.  There will be more marches, more clashes and, if the white supremacist leaders are right, more lives lost before this latest battle for the nation’s soul resolves.  But it is a historic shame and sorrow that so few Americans can come to that struggle with the faith that their President is on their side.
   –  Nancy Gibbs
From her editorial: “Will the Nation Succeed After Charlottesville Where Donald Trump Failed?
Time Magazine, dtd: Aug. 17, 2017
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The media are desperately afraid of being accused of bias.  And that’s partly because there’s a whole machine out there, an organized attempt to accuse them of bias whenever they say anything that the Right doesn’t like.  So rather than really try to report things objectively, they settle for being even-handed, which is not the same thing.  One of my lines in a column — in which a number of people thought I was insulting them personally — was that if Bush said the Earth was flat, the mainstream media would have stories with the headline: ‘Shape of Earth — Views Differ.’  Then they’d quote some Democrats saying that it was round.
   ―  Paul Krugman
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The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
   ―  Plato
[Actually, I believe this is the “cost” of indifference, the “price” paid is freedom, security and — ultimately — blood.
And, although I am a life-long Democrat, I am not foolish enough to believe the members  of the party I disagree with (Republicans) are unanimously “evil”; misguided maybe, but not evil.  There have been (and will be) evil Democrats and Independents as well.     —  KMAB]
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