36 thoughts on “Democracy

    1. I’m starting to have faith again. Congress is useless–did you see the hissy fit they threw over Warren reading a letter?–and the President is insane, but evidently the legal system still works.

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        1. Well, he can’t replace all of them. And legal experts pretty much agree that if it goes to the Supreme Court, it’ll probably be a 6-2 vote because legitimately conservative judges (as opposed to politically conservative) will rule against the gross extension of presidential power as upsetting the checks-and-balances thing.
          Plus judges tend to shift to the center once they get on a court, I think. Not all, but look at Souter. Plus you need sixty votes in the Senate to seat a Supreme judge, so I don’t think a drone will get on there. In fact, I’m starting to thing that some of the saner Republicans in Congress are looking around and realized how screwed they are: they have all the power but also all the responsibility, and Trump is driving the government off a cliff. At some point, they’re going to have to break with him just to save themselves. His admin is in freefall and from the leaks coming out of the White House, he’s losing it.

          Fingers crossed SNL has Rosie as Steve Bannon tomorrow. That could nudge him toward the door.

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  1. Y’all see the screen capture of the Wikipedia page of that D who voted for Sessions?

    It says “traitor.” Childish but I sniggered.

    I finally had time to read that Salon link about the linguistic and emotive connotations in the campaigns. Now I need to read Lakoff’s books. Thanks Arghers. In a nice way. A TBR addition but a worthwhile one.

    I’m chilling out now about people who don’t even seem to acknowledge the issues. At the time of Women’s March it was a raw wound. So people who were not even acknowledging the history-making while posting as if nothing changed reminded me of the character in Spike Lee’s film – “Get on the bus” -who wanted to go to the Million Man March only to sell cars to marchers. They dumped him on a roadside.

    Nobody is truly safe. Believe that. Expect evidence to be manufactured. This is not latent paranoia showing, it is what oppressive regimes do world wide.

    Be well.

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  2. I’m also encouraged by the number of politicians who are hiding from their own constituents. Not that they SHOULD be doing that — whether or not local citizens voted for the politician, they are constituents, and it’s an outrage that elected officials feel they don’t even have to listen to their constituents if they disagree — but at least they’re being forced to face the reality that there are real, live people offering opinions that are diametrically opposed to what the lobbyists are telling the politicians. I think it bursts the bubble that they live in a little bit, makes it harder to think that “everyone” agrees with them. I know, they’re trying hard to discount the protestors, but over time, I have to believe it will at least shrink the bubble a bit or shows the limits of the bubble.

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    1. I just finished listening to/reading the book by Jane Mayer “Dark Money”. It was a serious eye opener for me. Basically what has happened is that the Koch brother (Charles and David) have funded what is basically a campaign organization that operates year round and all of the time. They have a very sophisticated data crunching organization that tracks all adults in the US; whether they vote, how they’re registered and who exactly might be persuadable to support conservative politicians. They have fired this up since the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. There are also multiple PACs that are funded by not only the Kochs but many other wealthy conservatives. They are determined to send us back to the Gilded Age if they can. I love what so many of us are trying to do, but I think what we really need is to fund some similar grassroots organization that has that data and has the young energy to go out and talk to people one by one over these next two (four) years. I canvassed during the Vietnam War and it was very hard and rather scary. It would have really helped to know who it would be worth talking to versus who to avoid. I’m wishing that someone with some clout would spearhead something like this. We should all keep doing what we can do, what we feel drawn to do, but it will take more to win our country back. (Although Trump and Bannon & Co. are helping turn some Trump voters off pretty quickly.) I actually feel some compassion for the Republicans (and some Democrats); they know that if they defy the Republican hard line that in their next primary election there will be a hard right candidate with potentially millions of dollars up against them. (I’ve heard that the Koch cohort has already raised something like $900 MILLIION dollars for just the next two years. Sorry about this; I too am so relieved that the appeal went the way it did and I have faith that if it does go to trial that the executive order will be found unconstitutional, but I am still so worried about all of this. THANK GOODNESS FOR FICTION!

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  3. And the Washington Post just reported that the Trump administration won’t appeal the immigration ban ruling to the Supreme Court! Although the Post said the Trumpsters might rewrite the portions that the 9th Circuit had the most trouble with. Still, a victory. I’m taking it.

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    1. He doesn’t like to lose, and I’m pretty sure the smart people around him saw the handwriting on the wall.

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  4. I really am afraid that Bannon/Trump are going to stage a terrorist attack, likely in New York to blame on Muslims.

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    1. I know that many people dismiss that kind of thought as conspiracy theory and silly to think about; I think that there are people in this country who are ‘preppers’ and would actually welcome ‘the apocalypse’; it would prove them right and they seem to want to see things torn down. It is so much harder to build than to destroy.

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      1. Except those people always assume they’ll be all right in the apocalypse. Once they see it coming for them, they shift ground fast. I think that’s what’s happening now. Trump’s favorables keep falling because he keeps doing such awful stuff.

        Hard to believe it’s only been three weeks, isn’t it?

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        1. I have to agree that any but the most determined ‘preppers’ would be seriously upset if their world got turned upside down. Trump brought out a really nasty streak in his most convinced base that loves to see other people’s worlds wrecked. (The ICE raids of the last few days are getting very strong support from them.) It does seem that some people are shifting; farmers in California, people who didn’t think Trump would take away the ACA. But I still think that many people feel pretty untouchable. And the lure of tax cuts can keep a lot of people on the bandwagon. I have thought that until Trump and the Congressional Republicans can really work together that there won’t be so many disastrous actions taken. But then I read what Tom Price can do to the ACA and Medicaid and Medicare and I just think about what it would take to rebuild our institutions if the kind of destruction these Cabinet appointees say they want to do in their respective departments actually does happen.

          And yes, it is amazing what has gone down in these last three weeks. Our shock and awe moment.

          I tend to think about the actors on this national stage and what their motivations and goals are beyond what they ever say. I follow the vectors out and am pretty horrified at the potential for dreadful outcomes.

          I am actually very hopeful that we will survive this challenge to our national identity, however I need all of you authors to still write excellent books for my brain and heart to take vacations from this chaos with.

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      2. The thing I love about preppers – and not the regular ones but I’m-going-to-get-a-missile-silo-to hide-out-in preppers – is their lack of imagination.

        You have dug a bunker and loaded it with guns & ammo & food and you’re screaming bring it on. Then Katrina hits and the first thing that happens is – you have to leave the bunker. (Then you’re screaming where is FEMA?) You go into a missile silo with a tv set up to act like a window to the former world – when everything is over and the world has stopped glowing? You are now under melted sand and a lot of melted sand – even if you can dig out from underneath it, it’s a desert. Where are you going to get the water from once you decide to come out? You have basically gone into a tomb instead of working to keep bad stuff from happening.

        When the Roman empire falls, it’s not Rome which falls. There have been people living in Rome for a couple of millenia pretty much continuously. It’s the frontier provinces that go into the Dark Ages . You want to meet bad times with your fellow humans in a living community – not trying to re-enact Farnham’s Freehold.

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    2. Bannon, maybe, but Trump? He can’t turn the lights on in the conference room.
      And I do think that there are cooler heads watching now. Plus the place is leaking like the Titanic; I don’t think they can keep anything a secret there.

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  5. Soon as I heard “Ninth District,” I knew the ruling as the Ninth is the most liberal district in the nation. Beyond that lie dragons.
    I’ve calmed to sardonic, hoping to become revved on the morrow.

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    1. Yes. As soon as I heard DOJ was appealing Judge Robart’s decision, I said “But Washington is in the Ninth Circuit’s bailiwick.” Then I laughed like a hyena. Why did they think that would work in their favor.

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      1. Because they have no idea of how anything works. Executive orders, shaking hands with foreign heads of state, not pushing merchandise as part of the admin, they’re completely hapless.

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  6. Some people think Pete Souza’s personal Instagram has trolling photo posts that coincide with current White House fails.

    When the lights story hit, he posted a photo of Pres Obama having a meeting in a brightly lit room.

    There’s more, but when I get to Souza’s pics, it is a rabbit hole to WonderPhotoLand for me and I probably forget my name.

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  7. I told myself not to comment on anything referring to the election of Donald Trump and everything that happened after that, but maybe you’ll like to see how the rest of the world reacts to him:

    https://global.handelsblatt.com/politics/german-comedian-launches-global-trump-roast-701676?ref=MzQ4NDA1&utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=contentmarketing&utm_campaign=outbrain-DE&utm_content=German%20Comedian%20Launches%20Global%20Trump%20Roast&utm_term=00161771a3d8eb1feda484e0da0d457022

    Also, I just learned that those hats saying “Make America Great Again” have been produced in China because American-made ones would have been three times more expensive. Go figure.

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