Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Please Stand By--Fake Outrage Is Next!

Our good friend Bern Notice returns to the blogosphere with an excellent piece this week. I'll admit that I don't keep up too well with the news on the Trump front because some days it's just too painful, and I've got much better things to do, like fighting for democracy and The Lake Erie Bill of Rights (update below).

But Bern's excellent analysis of recent media happenings is something worth spending time on--and so is this short video below which sums up what is really happening in our society. Watch and learn a lot from Carly as she explains this tough topic that needs to be addressed before more lives are lost.

Dog-Whistles, The Republican Party 
and Fake Outrage
by Bern Notice

If you have followed recent news at all, you are likely aware of the death toll in Puerto Rico. (For those that somehow don’t know, it’s a US territory.) You're also familiar with Ron DeSantis’ “monkey this up” comment on Fox News, and how Republicans are exploiting the murder of Mollie Tibbetts.

If for some reason you don’t know, or you are pretending that you don’t know, see the links below:
Donald Trump says gov’t did ‘fantastic job in Puerto Rico’ despite deaths of 3,000 people after Hurricane Maria
‘Don’t monkey this up’: Republican hopeful for Florida governor accused of using racial slur – video
Mollie Tibbetts Murder: Family Members Push Back on ‘Racist, False Narrative‘
Republicans using dog-whistles and trying to use a murder for their personal political gain is not new. The latter (exploiting tragedy) is also used by Democrats. What is rather odd is hearing right-leaning pundits, politicians and “journalists” acting as though this is a new phenomenon.
Let’s not kid each other--it isn’t. The dog-whistles of prejudice and manipulation of an event to push an “anti-other” policy has been around for a very long time. The only difference between now and twenty years ago is that the Republicans and the current POTUS are more blunt and upfront about where they stand and are less likely to care about the consequences of it.

The Right has long appealed to the angry white male as a key part of its base. Trump is a direct representative of that demographic. Fox News, for all intents and purposes, is their official “news” source. If you want a comparison of how true this is, compare their treatment of Donald Trump whom they vigorously defend against any and everything...
Hannity says Trump criticism is fake, until Fox reports it
…vs. Barrack Obama whom they chastised for being a smoker.

The hypocrisy is quite plain to anyone who isn’t biased. And for what it’s worth, I was not Obama’s biggest fan. Nonetheless, the dog-whistles and outright persecution of any minute thing he did was clear to see.

The Mollie Tibbetts murder is also being exploited by Republicans to try to gin up the vote. They are doing so unabashedly, and without hesitation, to try to appeal to the anti-immigrant crowd and white nationalists. Trump is typically first in these forays: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcfCHl4jE7k

Chuck Grassley uses the opportunity to do exactly the same thing with a picture of her behind him, which he later moves to bring up charts about immigration and gang arrests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WdzOrShXAA

In short, Mollie Tibbetts is killed by a Hispanic person who is here illegally, and the Republicans pounce with a policy to point to for “a solution." Yet, when it comes to repeated mass shootings in schools across America and  young lives being extinguished, it’s always too soon to broach the subject of gun control. How convenient is that?
Marco Rubio: Now Not The Time to Talk Gun Control Because ‘People Don’t Know How This Happened’
We can even see it in voter suppression tactics used by Republicans. An example of it is what happened in Georgia this year where a predominantly black town was potentially going to lose seven of it’s nine polling stations under the guise of “not being disabled person friendly.” The logical means of fixing this problem is to hire contractors to bring it into compliance, but not close the polling station. That does not benefit Republicans, and again, it’s not new. Paul Weyrich explains why in 1980: https://youtu.be/pN7IB-d7Hfw

This tactic is still being deployed via voter ID. An example of this is this comment by Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai ahead of the 2012 election: https://youtu.be/EuOT1bRYdK8

Let’s think about a quote from Weyrich: “Our leverage in election goes up as the voting population goes down.” Why does this matter? Because the nation as a whole is becoming more diversified. According to Brookings, white people will make up less than fifty percent of the total population by 2045. If you separate women from that total, it’s even smaller. So if your mentality supports White Christian Male Dominance, this presents a real threat to you.
Reference: The US will become ‘minority white’ in 2045, Census projects
This is why it makes sense for Trump to deny people of Hispanic origin their citizenship. As I write this, Hispanic people who are American citizens and hold valid passports are being deported according to multiple news outlets.
Until 2017, Hispanics were the fastest growing demographic in America. The current fastest growing demographics are Asian and mixed race individuals. In any event, whether you perceive it to be racially motivated or not, the pattern of Republicans wanting to reduce the number of voters for their individual gain is as plain as the nose on your face.

It's mildly amusing to see people who call themselves “moderate conservative Republicans” act so shocked about all that is going on. This isn’t to say that the Democrats have never done it, so don’t bother with that argument. The Democrats are not in power. The Republicans are. The lack of desire to truly call out the antics of the “Alt-Right” are a direct result of playing a low-key version of the very same game for decades.

This is not the extreme right-wing. This is the right wing. It always has been. And until the Republican Party grows a spine and actually shows policy and the will to change who they cater to, you can spare us the apologies. Most importantly, understand that when the expected “blue wave” comes, it won’t be because everyone likes the Democrats necessarily. It’s because of Trumpism and the Republicans' outright refusal to truly fight it. It's the first nail in their political coffin.
BIO: Bern Notice's blog is appropriately titled Seeing through the B.S.  Please leave him a comment here or there and let him know how much you appreciate his fine political analysis. It's better than you'll get on any mainstream media outlet.



On Thursday, August 30, Toledoans For Safe Water filed suit in the Ohio Supreme Court against the Lucas County Board of Elections for denying ?their initiative, the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, ballot access. The bipartisan board voted 4-0 to deny all Toledoans the right to vote on a proposed local law that would have empowered citizens to protect Lake Erie.

Petitioners gathered some 10,000 signatures, of which 6,438 were validated, 1,200 more than needed to satisfy the requirements to put the charter amendment before the voters in November. “The Board of Elections exceeded their authority in stripping away the rights of Toledo voters,” said John Michael Durback from Toledoans for Safe Water. He continued, “clearly we can no longer expect progress to come from the top down. The reactionary and illegal actions taken by the Board of Elections prove that the corporate powers, to which our government is beholden, are frightened and encourages me that we are on the right path to empowering Toledoans with direct democracy and protecting the Lake Erie Ecosystem.”

The complaint for a writ of mandamus was submitted by the group’s attorney, Terry Lodge, who observed, “The law is clear that boards of elections cannot deny an initiative from the ballot based on their opinion of its contents. Jon Husted’s ill-informed appointees are censoring public dialogue and stripping the people of their constitutional right to initiative.”

“It is eye opening to realize that it is ‘legal’ for polluters to continue to harm the Lake, but it is ‘illegal’ for the people to propose a law to protect the Lake. We’re not just facing a perpetual threat to our water; the board’s illegal veto is a threat to our democratic rights,” said Markie Miller of TSW. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights campaign will continue as planned in anticipation of rightful ballot access."



1) Please make a donation in whatever amount you can afford to our campaign at www.paypal.me/safewatertoledo. We're a grassroots effort going up against big money, and we need every donation we can get to get the word out about the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

2) Please join the Lake Erie Bill of Rights Volunteers! group on Facebook, where we will be coordinating support between now and election day - including phone calls, canvassing, fundraising, and other campaign efforts.


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Power to the people and not the corporations!

It’s been eight months since Donald Trump signed his tax scam into law. Since then, corporate profits have skyrocketed while working people have actually seen a decline in their wages (after accounting for inflation). 

Nowhere have we found evidence of this mythical $4,000 pay raise that Trump promised working families. In fact, Americans for Tax Fairness research shows that corporations are spending 100 times more on stock buybacks, which benefit CEOs and wealthy shareholders, than they’re spending on pay increases for their employees. [1]

A new report from our friends at the Economic Policy Institute shows that CEO pay at the 350 largest U.S. firms is 312 times more than the average worker―$19 million vs. $62,000. [2]

On this Labor Day, we’re shining a spotlight on the inequalities resulting from Donald Trump’s tax scam for the rich and corporations. 

Senator Bernie Sanders just produced this new video with ATF Executive Director Frank Clemente, which shows how the tax scam is benefiting CEOs and wealthy corporations at the expense of working people. Click here to watch this video and share it on Facebook.

This video is part of ATF’s campaign demanding answers from members of Congress. We demand to know how corporations are using their tax-cut windfall. Are these newfound profits trickling down to working people or padding the pockets of CEOs and wealthy shareholders?

Thank you for standing with working people as we demand an economy and a tax system that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. 

In solidarity,
Craig Johnson
Digital Director
Americans for Tax Fairness

[1] ATF, “How Corporations Are Spending Their Trump Tax Cuts,” Aug. 29, 2018
[2] "CEO compensation surged in 2017," by Lawrence Mishel and Jessica Schieder, Aug. 16, 2018

From the League of Conservation Voters:

Trump and the Republican leadership are attempting to take over the Supreme Court, and the outcome could affect our country for generations.
Trump’s pick, Brett Kavanaugh, is an extremist who has consistently voted against the EPA and basic public health protections. If confirmed, he could radicalize our nation’s high court to the far right for a generation. With him on the Supreme Court, our most basic environmental, health, and civil rights protections could come under siege.

Even worse, the vast majority of Kavanaugh’s records during his years working in the Bush administration have not been released. The people deserve to know his complete history. That’s why we’re giving this fight all we’ve got. There’s a clear path ahead of us — if enough senators take a stand against Brett Kavanaugh, we can save the Court. But we all have to speak out -- and we have to do it now.

We cannot let Trump take over the Supreme Court. A century of environmental and civil rights progress is on the line. Tell your senators to reject Brett Kavanaugh before 9/4 »

We can’t overstate this: There has never been a more serious threat to our environment, public health, and civil rights. Trump is attempting to weaponize the Supreme Court to undo fundamental protections that we have fought so hard to establish.

Brett Kavanaugh’s record shows he will side with the wealthy and powerful over the public interest. In just the past six years, Kavanaugh has:

  • Rejected the EPA's authority to regulate any air pollutant
  • Put thousands at risk for health problems linked to dirtier air
  • Chose polluters' bottom lines over public health and safety
  • Voted to allow mining companies to pollute our waterways
  • Ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to move forward with storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain
  • Upheld a restrictive voting law that disenfranchised tens of thousands of people of color.
These are more than enough reasons to keep Kavanaugh off the bench. But also take into account that since he took office, Trump and his administration have waged a war on public health. Now, there are dozens of active court cases challenging the legality of Trump's moves to dismantle protections for clean air and clean water. Many of these cases may end up before the Supreme Court. If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Court, our ability to protect the health of future generations will be at risk.

We should all be deeply concerned that another Trump Supreme Court justice could codify this administration’s attacks on our health, our welfare, and our democratic system for decades to come. That’s why we cannot afford to sit idly by during this process. The Senate CAN block this extreme nominee, but only if they hear from enough of their constituents now. We need you to stand up for a Supreme Court that will uphold our laws and values. Will you speak out today?

Make sure your senators hear from you. Please, take action today for the Supreme Court before it's too late »

This is no time to feel defeated. There is so much that's worth fighting for — and so much of it depends on the Supreme Court. Please, take action today.

Thank you,

Brooke Still
Director of Digital Strategy
League of Conservation Voters

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