First round – yay! Second round – meh.
Here are the Colbert clips I mention in the video…
Iranian. Azeri. Vegan. Activist. Muslim-sounding name. Clearly the good folks at Breitbart are trying to prove a point?
If anything they missed a trick – according to the Telegraph, she was also an animal rights protester.
Remember – if the shooter was ‘American. White. Meat-Eating. Christian.’ then the headline would read something like this : ‘YouTube shooting highlights the need to focus on mental health issues’. JLP
Whether it’s through stupidity, unwillingness or incompetence, the Democrat leadership cannot get across the simple message that Donald Trump’s agenda of racism, misogyny and pro-corporatism is bad for the American people, and the mainstream media isn’t much better.
YouTube clip by Dan Rather on The Young Turks on January 22, 2018
“…if most of the media ignore the year-long slow-motion shut down and if Democrats don’t raise enough stink about it, maybe it’s because too many of us have signalled that we’re on board”
Shortcomings with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Throwing millions off their medical insurance by hacking away at Obamacare. Going after Medicare and Social Security. Gutting the staff at the State Department. Rescinding regulations for the sake of it.
Those are just some of the actions Donald Trump has taken since being sworn in just over a year ago, yet in recent days he has been able to frame the word ‘shutdown’ as meaning something that is only harmful to the US military, which already receives more funding than any other nation by a long, long way.
At first I was annoyed at myself for not realising that what the President has done since taking office is effectively a massive shutdown in itself, but I’m not involved with politics and government on a daily basis – the point is so simple and obvious that we have to wonder why his primary opposition, namely the Democrats and, as he calls them, ‘The Fake News Media’, haven’t been highlighting it all weekend?
Thankfully we have people like the legendary Dan Rather to get the message out there. And as he points out, it’s possible that the general public is also complicit to an extent.
As I recently pointed out here on FPP, the likes of Chuck Schumer with his ‘bowl of Jello’ and Nancy Pelosi with her ‘poop Sundae’ simply don’t have the charisma necessary to deliver the kind of soundbites needed to combat Trump’s twitter tirades. Meanwhile we have Dick Durbin gleefully using the word ‘bipartisanship’ as if it also necessarily means ‘fairness for the American people’.
Besides…if anything should have clinched the message battle for the Democrats re the latest shutdown it should have been that absolutely disgusting ad which suggested they would be responsible for any future murders by illegal immigrants. That was nothing short of Hitler-esque propaganda [script most likely written by Stephen Miller] which speaks volumes for the intelligence levels of the demographic at which it was aimed.
The party badly needs new leadership. Whether or not Mitch McConnell keeps to his word on DACA by February 8, the Democrats have left themselves wide open for negative press between now and then for having caved far too easily over the spending bill.
And there I was, very close to writing a post here praising them for finally showing a bit of fight. Why do I allow myself to get so deluded? JLP
PS – As I’m about to publish, Trump has tweeted this :
Even Crazy Jim Acosta of Fake News CNN agrees: “Trump World and WH sources dancing in end zone: Trump wins again…Schumer and Dems caved…gambled and lost.” Thank you for your honesty Jim!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2018
I rest my case.
At the time of posting, the US government is within hours of shutting down because the two main parties are engaged in a blaming war with each other, and one that the Republicans are being allowed to win.
Podcast by ‘Pod Save America’ on January 18, 2018
“If this government shuts down it’s not because of the Dreamers, it is because of what Donald Trump and Tom Cotton and Stephen Miller want to demand in exchange for doing something that they have promised that they would do, which is protect the Dreamers.”
It was a good line; all Nancy Pelosi had to do was deliver it.
The Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives was trying to describe the Republican offer to put off the government shutdown for another month in a deal which had absolutely nothing in it to protect those on the DACA programme who are currently living in fear of deportation.
The line was something like ‘They offered us a bowl of poop with a cherry on top and tried to tell us it was a chocolate Sundae’. She hesitated drastically just before saying the word ‘poop’ – she clearly didn’t want to say it. But she did anyway, and she made what could have been a great soundbite into an even bigger poop Sundae.
I have absolutely no doubt that she was talked into using those words by her staff, and that her hesitation came from a reluctance to resort to that kind of talk.
Well I’m sorry Nancy but if you’re not prepared to get into the fight, maybe it’s time you stood aside and let in someone who is.
And while I do believe that the likes of Pelosi and Schumer and Feinstein are too old for what’s required to take on this particular White House and Republican congress, I don’t necessarily mean ‘old’ in the sense of a numerical age. There are people close to my age who have a similar mindset.
But if issues like the Dreamers and the CHIP programme are being held hostage by the Republicans and the government gets shut down because of it, it’s up to the Democrats to fight tooth and nail to get their side of the story into the public domain, and it really shouldn’t be that difficult. Look how easily the lads from Pod Save America [former staffers for Barack Obama] make it sound.
The Democrats, and indeed everyone living in the real world outside Utrumpia, badly need spokespeople who can properly deliver this simple message. And it shouldn’t take TV personalities like Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey to do it either. JLP
The Republicans and Democrats need to agree on a budget before Friday otherwise the government will ‘shut down’, ie there will be no money to pay federal employees. As the Senate must have at least 60 votes to pass a spending bill, even though the Democrats are in a minority their cotes are needed and thus they have some leverage and they are hoping to use this to finally secure a deal for the so-called ‘Dreamers’ or children of illegal immigrants who have proven themselves to be productive members of American society.
YouTube clip by The Young Turks on January 15, 2018
“…you’re weak, you’re losers, you’re pathetic. How do you expect us to get excited, to show up to the polls, for these loser Democrats who can’t figure out a way to fight against fucking Trump???”
The reason we are outraged by Trump’s recent ‘shithole’ remark [not even going to bother with the word ‘alleged’…we all know he said it] is not because such words that shouldn’t ever be used in politics…in his case, it was all about the fact that he was referring to entire nations of people.
Of course there are times when the use of ‘salty’ language is absolutely necessary, and in this clip of the Young Turks, host Cenk Ungur rightly calls out the corporate Democrats for their meagre attempts to use their leverage in the government spending bill to secure proper legislation for the Dreamers.
It’s not often that Ungur gets this animated – though to be clear, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing because if he went on a tirade for every clip he’d be no better than Alex Jones. This is definitely the kind of time-sensitive issue where a verbal kick up the backside is exactly what it required. Whether it will do any good remains to be seen – I’m not so sure Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi know how to use YouTube, let alone subscribe to the Young Turks.
In one of the most widely reported elections in US Senate history, in the heavily-Republican state of Alabama which Trump won in 2016 by 28 percentage points, accused paedophile Roy Moore was defeated by his Democratic challenger Don James. No, sorry, it was Dan Jenkins. Or was it Doug Jones. Nah, I was right the first time. I think.
Article by CNN.com on Wednesday, December 13, 2017
“You know, part of the thing — part of the problem with this campaign is we’ve been painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light.”
I think I can safely say that I’ve never been this happy about the results from an Alabama Senate race.
You might think this is ‘Fake News’ but when I opened half an eyelid at 4:30am Irish time this morning and looked at my phone, the banner on the CNN notification read : ‘Roy Moore loses’. Surely in pretty much any other race the headline would refer to the guy who won? Well, this wasn’t any other race.
This was an amazing win for the Democrats, albeit with a perfect storm of controversy on the other side, but they still had to pick the right guy and run the right campaign to get him over the line, so bravo.
What interests me right now is how the President will react, and more importantly, how his inner circle will react. Do they sit down with him and come up with a proper spin to present to the media? Or do they sit down WITHOUT him first and come up with a spin to present to HIM? I think we all know it’s the latter.
No doubt the spin will be something like ‘Roy would have lost by even more [Moore?] were it not for the President’s endorsement’. Sure.
Like many articles on TheJournal.ie, the real reading is not in the actual text, rather below in the comments section.
Take this one titled “‘People throw bananas at you or tell you to go back to your country just for asking to see a ticket’“. The inspiration for the article is a campaign run by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Transport for Ireland and Dublin City Council to promote “a message of zero tolerance” towards racism in Ireland.
Of course this debate is particularly timely what with President #DoubleDownDonald having one of his classic press conference meltdowns where he tried to suggest that not all those who protested the statue in Charlottesville were neo-Nazis. By the way, in that tirade, the president alluded to something he called the “alt-left” which proved the very point I made a couple of days ago about false equivalency.
But returning to Ireland, the Journal article cites numerous experiences of racism by public transport drivers of various origins. It’s not all violent, most of it isn’t. But particularly in an area like this, ie racial hatred, the violence is the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and to understand where it comes from you first must acknowledge what lies beneath the water, and there are several examples in the comments section of this piece, much as we’d expect.
The first category, and the easiest to dismiss, is captured by this one…
Yawn!! The Journal is really laying it on today. Its endless. Are they being cynical and using it all for clickbait? Can you not see it just a quango justifying it’s continued existance (and big saleries) by portraying a subjective and selective number of allegations. Whether they are true or not doesn’t really matter as it is about the above. The Journal also love these type of press releases as they get a lot of comments.
Spelling atrocities aside, this is classic conspiracy theory nonsense…much easier to blame those calling out the racism than to acknowledge it.
Next we have the soft denier.
Sadly, we have racists in Ireland but I like to think that the racists are a minority. Of course, one would have to be of a different race to know the reality in everyday life. The actual lived experience is the most revealing.
Did I miss something? Has anyone suggested that racists were in the majority? But at least this person appreciates that they haven’t experienced this kind of racism personally, unlike this final genius of a commenter, a “hard” denier if you will…
The poor foreign taxi men will be on next telling us all how hard their life is and what a bunch of racists us Irish are… Give me strength… If your gonna work dealing with the public especially on crammed public transport your gonna have to listen to a bit of crap every now and again whether your black, white, orange, Irish, Polish, Russian or whatever.. That’s the nature of human interaction, mostly good but sometimes bad, that’s never gonna change no matter how many posters you put up so either accept that your in a foreign land and a minority of people aren’t going to like you, either get used to that fact or get a job in an office…
There is racism all over the world. But it’s not a bloody competition. We can’t justify what happens on our own shores because of what happens elsewhere. We stand up and call it what it is whenever we see it. And like I said earlier, it’s not just the violent incidents we need to call out.
Ever been on a bus when a driver was verbally abused? Or in a shop when it was an employee? Or in a taxi when an Irish driver was telling you stories about scary activities by black drivers? Or at a family gathering when an elder relative used the ‘n word’? I have. And I’m ashamed to say that too often I failed to speak out. I’m actually part of the problem, I freely admit.
Of course I’m not saying we should put ourselves in any danger when out and about but the simple fact is that if we do nothing at all, it will continue.
But one thing we can definitely do is accept that it’s happening, and that will cost us nothing. JLP
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”
Before I start on the theme of this article, have you ever seen a US president more obsessed with his predecessor? It has gotten to a stage where he just throws his name into his statements without any real context.
Anyway…you have no doubt read volumes on what happened in Charlottesville and it is not my wish to delve too much further into the horrific events, at least not here.
What I want to point out is something I feel is crucial for the progressive platform to gain more followers, and it is a very simple one.
Rumour has it that human civilisation once believed premises like the earth being the centre of the universe, or at other times that it was a flat plain as opposed to a spherical planet. Maybe such misconceptions don’t effect people’s everyday life, but then again it’s hard to have a philosophical grasp on existence when you don’t even have the fundamentals correct.
So what I’d like to challenge is the way we label political ideologies as ‘left’ and ‘right’, because it suggests some kind of balance between the two. On the most basic level, what we call the left represents a society that is fair to everyone while the right does not.
But to properly understand where the conflict comes from you first must appreciate how it started. Whether you believe in evolution or creation, there must have existed a time when the human race had no elitism. Then as it became clear that certain resources were more valuable than others, some people took control of them and were selective about those with whom they were shared.
Over time those who had control over the resources got better and better at holding on to that power. Countries with tyrannical leaders simply run roughshod over their opposition, while those which claim to be democracies use a variety of tools to make sure elections go the way of the ruling classes.
Donald Trump became president on the back of one of these tools, ie supporting a specific group of voters he felt could help get him elected; in this case middle to lower class white men who felt that the civil rights movement had somehow discriminated against them.
Because this movement provided votes for the Republican party, it is considered to be on the ‘right’. And because the obvious racist and fascist leanings of this movement, it has become fashionable to label them as ‘alt-right’. Even with this distinction though, the fact that it is called any kind of ‘right’ seems to lend it equal status to whatever is called the ‘left’.
As the mainstream media fully supports the left-right paradigm, the President can claim, however wrongly, that he is being fair to ‘all sides’.
What we who have been shoved on the ‘left’ of this pseudo-spectrum must do is renounce it. A society that purports to be fair to all citizens is not half the argument. It is the only one. Of course we won’t all agree on how it is to be achieved, but given we believe in fairness, chances are the discussions are going to be devoid of such words as ‘fire and fury’.
Anyone who feels they have to ‘tone down’ their views to somehow ‘be fair’ and ‘not exclude the conservative opinion’ is basically validating the very argument that conservatives want.
The white men who marched on Charlottesville are bigots. Nothing they feel was ‘taken from them’ was really theirs in the first place. To offer them any sense of legitimacy is not being fair, it’s not being balanced. It is turning back the clock on American society to a time when the ruling classes needed only the crudest, most basic tools to hold on to power, as opposed to the more intricate ones they use today.
Progressives need to stop allowing themselves to be defined by a scale that doesn’t really exist.
Whatever you might think about Donald Trump and his administration, their tenure in the White House, a shade over six months old now, has been a rollercoaster ride with something new to report each and every passing day.
The biggest drawback to this obsession with the latest Washington shenanigans is, of course, the fact that although Trump & co might provide us with easy one-liners and online memes, there is also a very serious side to the story in that we are talking about the government of the most powerful nation in the world.
It’s all very well to ridicule the man in power right now – but it’s pointless unless you can suggest a reasonable alternative.
That alternative is the broad tent that is the Democratic Party, and the 2016 campaign in particular has divided it into two distinct factions….the “corporate wing”, essentially those in the most senior positions in Washington right now, and the “progressive wing”, ie those who follow the social equity platform of the likes of Bernie Sanders.
Here is a recent quote from the Washington Post to ponder…see if you can guess which side of the Democratic tent it came from…
“When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that.”
Obviously I want you to think that’s a Progressive, when in actual fact it’s one of the most senior corporate Democrats, Minority leader of the Senate Chuck Schumer.
Ever since the election, Schumer and his counterpart in the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi have been as much under attack from their left as from their right, probably more so. And most of it was deserved.
But there has to be a point at which even progressives realise that the Schumers and Pelosis still represent the front line of the resistance to the current terrifying incarnation of the Republican Party, and once and a while they need to be given a bit of slack, especially when they are making noises that sound like they come straight out of the Bernie Sanders playbook.
I’m not one to give the Democrat leadership too much praise – the best thing that be said about the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is that at least their corporate policies aren’t as bad as their opposition. What I would rather do is change the narrative – it’s not about how much or little we appease the wishes of the “one percent”, rather it’s about formulating policies that are fair to everyone whether it benefits the rich or not.
To promote this mindset I fully understand the need to hold big-donor politicians to account no matter what their stripes. But what do we do when they start using slogans that reflect our agenda?
“A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future”
Of course it’s natural to be sceptical when they start to look as though they’re drinking the Bernie KoolAid. But care must be taken to ensure healthy scepticism doesn’t morph into petulant rejection.
For now anyway, I am willing to give the likes of Schumer a chance. After all, it can’t have been easy to keep 48 Democratic senators united against Trumpcare – you can be sure one or two of the “Blue Dogs” (more right-leaning Democrats) were courted by the GOP and none have budged.
If the Democrats really want to adopt progressive values to their platform – remember they did at their convention last year only many feared it was empty promises on paper – they need to be supported, voted for, and put under pressure when there are any signs of them failing to deliver.
After all, that’sq what being a ‘Democrat’, with a large or small d, is meant to entail. JLP