Marching Against Greed and Ignorance

I made my sign for the Tax March on Friday night, but was too sick to attend on Saturday.

While issues in my personal life kept me from participating in the local Tax March and the March for Science, I stand with my fellow concerned citizens who are trying to stop the current administration’s mad rush to devastate the middle and lower classes financially plus ravage our environment. What’s behind this mad rush? It’s fueled by a “political” formula of sorts: Greed + Ignorance = Power x Stupidity = Disaster.

Call it a formula or a recipe, the result is the same. If allowed to continue unchecked, Trump and the GOP will do more damage to America than Kim Jung Un could ever do even in his wildest dreams. And you can thank the Citizens United decision for that. If it seems like I keep coming back to this, there’s a good reason. Everything we’ve been protesting against is a result of the 2016 election results and how ridiculous sums of money, along with some timely help from Trump’s Russian buddies, conned America.

The amount of money tainting our election process is obscene!

Last week, we had the Tax March to demand that Trump release his tax returns,which shouldn’t be a problem if he has nothing to hide. Apparently, he must be hiding something then. But the Tax March was also an opportunity to protest the sense of entitlement the wealthy seem to feel. Their owned GOP representatives keep coming up with tax breaks for people who don’t need them and aren’t going to use the extra money to create jobs. And here’s why, based on my analysis of information found on open secrets.org.

“In the 2016 election cycle, 12 of the 20 top individual political donors contributed $19,465,831.00 in hard money directly to the Republican party and its candidates.  But that’s not all. Seven of these same 12, plus two spouses not in the list of 12, contributed $166,780,558.00 to Super Pacs supporting conservative causes. And that does not even include corporate contributions as well as other large individual contributors. If they can afford to spend that much to buy politicians, they can damn well afford to pay their fair share of taxes instead of shifting the burden onto the poor and working classes.

Greed and ignorance are a toxic combination when it comes to our environment.

These people, and their corporate brethren, are also the ones fighting to discredit science, whether it’s about vaccinations, global warming, air and water pollution, or food safety. Interestingly enough, they think science is great when it comes up with money-making products companies can sell, but not when it indicates they need to change how they operate. Companies will spend fortunes on tainted research to support their current way of doing things, lobbying state and federal governments and buying elections. They should just spend that money on complying with regulations.

The other thing all this money does is purchase ignorance. Say what? Yes, it buys ignorance through disinformation spread through fake news outlets to discredit climate change and blame environmental regulations for killing jobs and whole industries. And people believed it enough to elect the most dangerous government we’ve ever had.

We need to keep marching, keep protesting and keep pushing back against these threats to our survival at all levels! We must bleed the conservative donors dry by mounting serious races to oust their chosen representatives and replace them with progressives. The conservatives had better be looking over their shoulder, because we are coming after them.

Join the revolution and fight for our rights, our planet and our survival!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

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An Uncivil War: Reclaiming Our Rights From The Red Menace

During my early years in the 1950’s and 60’s, the Red Menace was communism, a totalitarian form of government, primarily promoted by the Soviet Union and Red China, that allowed no dissent and placed ultimate power in the hands of corrupt men of low morals and and non-existent ethics. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall, we thought, with the exception of Red China (and the hemorrhoid known as North Korea), the Red Menace was pretty much defeated. Little did we know that it had just moved to America and found rebirth in the Republican party.

I am quite sure that Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, two of our most important presidents, would be appalled at what their Republican party has become — a tool of the wealthy and corporations dedicated to trampling out individual rights and maintaining dictatorial power. It is beyond shameful. It is treasonous and un-American.

Sour grapes? Partisanship, you say? Not anymore. With today’s vote in the Senate by the GOP to change Senate rules, the last protection against the blatant misuse of power by the Republicans has been eliminated. However, the so-called nuclear  option has one thing in common with real nukes — you can’t escape the fallout.

Perhaps the most telling commentary on today’s situation is a Facebook post by a dear friend that I found both tragic and very much on point. My friend Heather posted, “What is the point of pretending we live in a democracy?” When I saw that today, it ripped my heart out and fueled a burning rage inside. How dare the right wing destroy everything we’d been taught to believe in!

Now, lest you think that I am just mad ’cause we lost in 2016, I should point out a couple of very disturbing things. Key among them are irregularities in the election process, such as Russian hacking and dissemination of Democratic party emails with the intent of influencing voters to elect Donald Trump, and a sophisticated, but illegal gerrymandering process initiated by the GOP designed to establish and perpetuate minority rule in this country. How, un-American can you get?!

Earlier this week at my local Drinking Liberally meeting in Windsor, CT, I got to hear author David Daley discuss the Republican Party’s audacious and un-democratic moves that he articulates in his book “Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy” (Liveright). It is both compelling and freakin’ scary. As Daley emphasized every so often in his presentation, “You may want to order another drink!”

Simply from his synopsis, I would highly recommend buying and reading his book. At the same time, I would also hide any firearms because you might be tempted to pick them up and start a war all on your own. But don’t, yet. We still have options and we can always hope Mitch McConnell dies a horrible, painful death. No, I’m not advocating that anyone attack him, but I sure as hell won’t refrain from celebrating anything bad that happens to him.

Sorry, I digressed, but I feel much better. Anyway, Daley’s book describes how the GOP used lots of outside, dark money (thanks to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision) to gain control of select state legislatures in order to gerrymander redistricting to create perpetual Republican districts. As a result, while total votes favor Democrats, districts are set up to guarantee a Republican victory. It essentially dilutes and even negates non-Republican votes on a scale that reeks of dictatorship.

An article on Daley’s book in The New Yorker highlights this even better with a quote from “Turd Blossom” as he was called by George W. Bush.

“People call us a vast right-wing conspiracy,” Karl Rove told potential donors to the project at an early fund-raiser in Dallas. “But we’re really a half-assed right-wing conspiracy. Now it’s time to get serious.”

Using this “conspiracy,” Mitch McConnell and the whole Red Menace of GOP stalwarts stole the Supreme Court position they just elevated Neil Gorsuch to fill. Here’s hoping he has a fatal accident on the way to take his post. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving right-wing hack!

So what do we do? First, buy all the assault weapons and ammo you can. Then bury them somewhere safe. (I am not advocating violence, but if they think we’re as well armed as their right wing militias, they’ll think twice about starting anything.) Next, stand united with your fellow protestors. This is a communal effort.We are in this together! (Never forget that!) Then, rally to hold the governorships because they can veto any further GOP gerrymandering!!!! Plus, hang on to all state and local seats!!! We have to stop the GOP locally!! Then, we can move up the chain. It’s like the FBI taking out the Mob underlings to get at the bosses!

Our democracy may be on life support at the moment, but it’s not dead! And it’s up to true “blue” patriots to bring it back from the brink! It’s about activism, being united and never surrendering!

DEFEAT THE REPUBLICAN RED MENACE!!!!!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

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A Scorched Earth Defense: Stop Gorsuch At All Costs

With all the distractions involving the Trump-Russia investigation, the AHCA debacle, and the headlong rush to destroy our environment, Trump and the GOP have been hoping to wear the opposition out and assure that Neil Gorsuch is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. THAT SIMPLY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!!!

Confirming Neil Gorsuch would be a unmitigated disaster for everyone who believes in equal rights for all and that corporations should not hold ultimate authority over our lives. He is cut from the same mold as the five justices who produced the Citizens United decision, one of the most egregious crimes ever committed against the American people. It opened up a flood of dark money campaign contributions and allowed the far right to literally buy their way into power.

This allowed extreme conservatives like the Koch Brothers to pour billions into electing tea party Republicans, while corporations poured money into financing obstructionists like Mitch McConnell. It’s a sad truth that if you tell a lie often enough to enough people, they’ll believe it. Consequently, we have Republicans in Congress who are some of the absolute dumbest creatures on the planet. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them switched to wearing loafers because they couldn’t figure out how to tie their shoes.

What’s even worse than their ignorance is their arrogance. They only believe in keeping their party in power, regardless of whether that involves trying to cheat the neediest

Crocodile by water edge with open mouth, Australia.

Americans with the AHCA or trying to sabotage an investigation into possible treasonous activities involving the Trump campaign. They are also some of the most racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic bigots imaginable.

They fear progress as a threat to their place in the world. They want to take us back to a time when white, so-called Christian, presumably heterosexual males ran everything and nobody questioned the husband, the boss or the preacher. That, however, is a world that doesn’t exist anymore, if it ever really did in the first place.

Progress comes eventually. You can embrace it and learn to mange it or you can fight it and be destroyed by it. Gorsuch would insure that the Supreme Court helps the right roll back the progress we’ve made to date and prevent any gains. His litany of non-answers to questions from the Senate Judicial Committee, the worrisome nature of many of his lower court decisions and his political leanings leave little doubt that he should not wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice.

In addition, this Supreme Court seat was stolen by the Republicans who refused to even grant a hearing to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. That was a total disregard for tradition and a dereliction of their duty under the Constitution.

This is where Democrats in the Senate must use every tool and weapon at their disposal to block confirmation of Gorsuch! They need to dig up every scrap of potentially damaging informationabout Gorsuch and publicly rake him over the coals. And, if it takes a filibuster, then they MUST filibuster! We are talking about a scorched earth defense with no surrender and no retreat.

What if McConnell and the Republicans invoke the nuclear option? Democrats need to make sure that the Republicans get burned by the fallout. We need to bring government to a screeching halt! At the same time, we need to raise more money, make more phone calls, post more blog entries, participate in more marches until we get enough progressive candidates elected to return control of our government back to all the people!

This is war! Join the fight!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Government for Sale: How The Few Are Screwing The Many

“How much is that Congressman in the window?” A sadly modern take on an old song, which rings with far more truth than is healthy. While money really isn’t the root of all evil, it has certainly played a prominent role. There are those who use it to obtain dangerous levels of power, like the Koch brothers and their fellow billionaires who have used the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision to pour enormous sums of money into elections across the country to help them gain control of our government.

Since the Koch brothers exclusively back conservative Republicans, they essentially exercise control of all levels of our government at the moment. In effect, a cabal of rich people, who are out of touch with the needs of everyday Americans and were never elected, in effect pull the strings in subordinating our rights in favor of the rights of corporations and the wealthy. If you don’t find that scary, you’re either one of their rich friends, one of their pet elected officials or a freakin’ idiot! Sorry, not pulling on any punches on this.

Through their political action committees, they flood districts with media campaigns that distort the truth if not just outright lie to get their candidate elected. (Too bad there isn’t a truth-in-advertising rule that applies to political advertising.) And we have seen what happens when lies and half-truths find a foothold in voters’ minds. That’s how Trump stole the election and how Republicans gained a majority in both houses of Congress.

Now, the Koch brothers are pushing the buttons as Republicans steadily role back regulations designed to protect our environment, provide worker safety and protect us from being ripped off by the financial industry. Most recently, they’re trying to strip us of any chance of getting decent health care by gutting even minimal tax credits in the American Health Care Act. Interesting that those who have the most money raise the biggest objections to government helping those who have the least! They make Ebenezer Scrooge look like the world’s greatest humanitarian!

Today, in another vote you can be sure they were behind, the senate voted to roll back a regulation that would have prevented internet service providers from selling customer usage data, much like if the post office could open your mail and sell a copy of the contents along with the address information. Corporations are taking our money and rights, including the right to privacy!

Currently, another battle is brewing over Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. It’s evident that Grouch will side with businesses against citizens in his decisions as well as favor restricting the rights of racial and sexual minorities.

Here’s what really gets me — Koch and the other rich conservatives spend billions of dollars on getting their candidates elected. They could fund universal health care, erase the deficit and more with that money, which apparently is pocket change for them. Instead, they spend it to gain tax cuts and deprive the less fortunate of essential services. That is pure unadulterated greed! It’s the worship of money and power. That is the worst kind of evil!

They should perhaps consider that nothing lasts forever, including their power. And when their fall comes, they should expect a lot of people lining up to kick them on the way down. In the interim, we can do a number of things to try and mitigate the Koch brothers power.

Call and email your senators and tell them NOT to approve Gorsuch for the Supreme Court under any circumstances.

Support efforts to overturn Citizens United.

Pledge not to buy any of these Koch consumer products if you can avoid it.

-Angel Soft bathroom tissue

-Angel Soft Ultra bathroom tissue

-Brawny paper towels

-Dixie products

-Insulair cups

-Mardis Gras napkins

-Perfect Touch cups, paper products

-Quilted Northern

-Sparkle paper towels

-Vanity Fair napkins & paper towels

-Zee Napkins

While it may not make a huge dent in their income, it’s a start!

Keep the faith and keep up the fight!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

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