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Author Topic: Wake Up, America: Take 3  (Read 50903 times)
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Piano man
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« Reply #980 on: Jun 30, 2017, 12:42AM »

Yes, that's how it works... Trump is more popular with GOP voters than congress or even the GOP itself. Why would you think congressional Republicans would side with dems and the "librul" media over their own voters? It's not like Tom Cotton is going to start scoring points with Arkansas progressives.

Trump isn't exactly popular, either. His most prominent proposals--'the wall', the Muslim ban, mass deportations, etc., are opposed by most Americans. TrumpCare seems to poll in the 17% approval range. The fact that his approval ratings are in the 30s and Congress is even lower is not exactly a ringing mandate.

Still I wouldn't expect McConnell or Ryan or Norquist to suddenly embrace bipartisanship, because it's not in their blood. But Trump ran against the GOP, basically, winning over formerly Dem voters, so he has all the political cover he needs to work both sides.

Imagine where he'd be right now if he said, right out of the gate,
Quote
I promised to provide better access to health care, and I meant it. I promised to stand up to the GOP and prevent cuts to SS, Medicare, and Medicaid, and I meant it. I promised to negotiate drug prices on behalf of the American people, and I meant it. I promised to end the ridiculous tax break for hedge fund managers commissions, and I meant it.

I campaigned for forgotten Americans, and I meant it. I ran against the establishment of both parties, but I'll work with anyone who'll help me, and strike back at those who don't.


All of a sudden, the pressure would be on Republicans to get on board and help him keep his promises to American workers, and on Dems to support programs that are better than they might have expected. Instead, he squandered the opportunity and became a patsy of the GOP establishment, and dropped any pretense of any principles at all. Any bipartisan compromise on health care will be far better than what the GOP is proposing, which is more focused on 'keeping our promise to repeal Obamacare' than on any substantive policy issues.
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« Reply #981 on: Jul 10, 2017, 05:52PM »

Went to Texas for a week. Back in the saddle........

SABOTAGE

I saw, today, the best description I have yet seen of the 6 years of Republican obstruction on “Obamacare”. Since the ACA passed in 2010, the GOP (Government of Putin, today) has been throwing nails and tacks in the path of Obamacare, and then complaining about, and refusing to fix, all the flat tires.

That is paraphrasing, but it is dead, spot on. And now, like the dog that caught the car, Republicans control the Congress and the White House, and that disloyal opposition has come back to bite them in the backside. Bigtime.

For 6 years, Democrats virtually begged Republicans to come to the table and work with them to make what was an imperfect law better. Had the GOP (Government of Putin today) done so, instead of wasting more than 60 useless votes to repeal it, the flaws in the bill might have been fixed by now.

Instead, Republicans find themselves unable to write a bill they can pass through the Houses of Congress they have total control of. Six years of spin, misinformation, and lies have come unraveled, and the American people have come to realize what an improvement the ACA was over what it replaced. Its popularity continues to grow, with support approaching 60%.

 And now, Republicans are doing everything they can to force through a horrible “repeal and replace” piece of legislation that even their President has labeled as “too mean”. Mitch McConnell cannot garner anything close to the 50 votes he needs to pass his “Better Care Reconciliation Act”, which has the support of only 17% of the population.

And, McConnell is beginning to understand the scope of the devastation his 6 years of sabotage have wrought on the health care insurance industry in this country. “No action is not an alternative, we’ve got insurance markets imploding all over this country, including in this state”. Kentucky, the state McConnell represents, was the biggest beneficiary of the ACA.

"If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur," McConnell said. He suggests, horror of horrors, Republicans may actually have to reach out to Democrats in order to save them from themselves.

Imagine where we might be if six years ago McConnell and his party had put the good of the American people ahead of the good of their party.
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« Reply #982 on: Jul 10, 2017, 09:18PM »


Imagine where we might be if six years ago McConnell and his party had put the good of the American people ahead of the good of their party.

Wishful thinking.  The real GOP died April 15, 1865.  It's not coming back.  Time for a new party.
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« Reply #983 on: Jul 18, 2017, 06:48AM »

This week's column:

Made in America

There is a website called TWIT, The Week in Trump. One would assume its intent is to parody the asininity of the Twit-in Chief, but rarely is parody needed. Our President is such an asinine ass parody would be redundant.

 
There are so many examples just from this week it is like shooting buffalo in a corral trying to pick a target. Take yesterday’s roll out of “Made in America Week”. The irony and hypocrisy of Drumpf heralding “Made in America” should not be lost on any thinking American.

 
The first premise of “Made in America Week” is that products manufactured here are superior in quality. There is no problem with that concept. American industrial standards/ regulations and labor laws do insure that most of what is manufactured here IS of the highest quality.

 
The irony and hypocrisy begin when those facts are spewed from the mouth of a President who is the anti-thesis of everything the week is supposed to stand for. He is doing his best (which is, thankfully, not much to brag about) to gut and deconstruct the bodies of those regulations and laws that make American manufacturing the best in the world.

 
His intent is to make America competitive, not by bringing the rest of the world up to our standards, but by lowering our standards to the point the corporations who off-shored our manufacturing, including him, can find here the low wages and freedom from  regulation that took them off-shore to begin with.

 
It’s hard to imagine anything more ironic than Drumpf, whose primary goal in his Presidency is to line his and his family’s pockets, claiming American products are the best. Virtually nothing in any of the Drumpf family’s lines of products are “Made in America”. He is admitting something those of us who pay attention have known for a long time. The products he shills are of inferior quality and craftsmanship.

 
The list of labels from Drumpf labeled clothing, home accessories, etc. would include names like Bangladesh, Mexico, China, Indonesia, and VietNam, but nary a one with the “Made in America” label. The same is true of the furnishings and linens in his $850 a night hotels, which were built with Chinese steel.

 
Drumpf is a cheapskate of the highest magnitude, and has no interest in the Presidency other than what he can make from it for himself. He’s made America a punchline.
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« Reply #984 on: Jul 25, 2017, 05:23AM »

Another week, another deadline........

Democracy in Chains

On Nov. 8, 1954, President Eisenhower wrote, “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” He neglected to mention they were also incredibly rich.

The people he was referring to were ideologues of the highest order, and they endeavored to take over the GOP (not the Government of Putin then). They first succeeded with the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964, but the American people were not yet programmed to their agenda, and Goldwater lost in a historic landslide. A decade and a half later they completed their takeover of the Republican Party and got Ronald Reagan elected as the 40th President of the United States.

Reagan did not fully implement their agenda, but they had momentum towards their goal of full takeover of the GOP (still not the Government of Putin yet). Then the Kochs discovered economist James Buchanan, and a match made in hell pushed the Republican Party, and this country, over the far right edge.

In her book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan For America”, writer Nancy MacLean explores the union of the only southern US economist to ever win a Nobel Prize with the offspring of the far right John Birch Society and it’s effects on the US and its economy. It is not a pretty picture.

Describing Buchanan’s work in an interview with Truthout, MacLean states “In a nutshell, he studied the workings of the political process to figure out what was needed to deny ordinary people -- white and black -- the ability to make claims on government at the expense of private property rights and the wishes of capitalists.”

She goes on to explain, “Koch's team used Buchanan's ideas to devise a roadmap for a radical transformation that could be carried out largely below the radar of the people, yet legally…….. Examples include laws to destroy unions…., suppressing the votes of those most likely to support active government, using privatization to alter power relations…….” Today’s Republican agenda.

Find the full interview here; http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41206-misinforming-the-majority-a-deliberate-strategy-of-right-wing-libertarians

To be continued………





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« Reply #985 on: Aug 01, 2017, 06:07AM »

Another week, another column........

Democracy in Chains II

For those who didn’t have the time, or interest, to read “Misinforming the Majority: A deliberate Strategy of Right-Wing Libertarians”, here are some more of its high points.
The anti-heroes of last week’s column were economist James Buchanan and the Koch Brothers. According to Nancy MacLean, author of “Democracy in Chains”, “It was Buchanan who taught Koch that for capitalism to thrive, democracy must be enchained…… Koch came to realize that if the majority of Americans ever truly understood the full implications of his vision of the good society, and were let in on what was in store for them, they would never support it.”

According to MacLean, it has been described thusly by Tyler Cowen, holder of the Holbert C Harris chair in economics at George Mason University and prime Koch consultant; “with the "rewriting of the social contract" underway, people will be "expected to fend for themselves much more than they do now." While some will flourish, others will fall by the wayside……Worthy individuals will manage to climb their way out of poverty……. That will make it easier to ignore those who are left behind."

“We will cut Medicaid for the poor……..The fiscal shortfall will come out of real wages as various cost burdens are shifted to workers" from employers and a government that does less. To "compensate," this chaired professor in the nation's second-wealthiest county advises, "people who have had their government benefits cut or pared back" should pack up and move to lower-cost, poor public service states like Texas.”

“Cowen prophesies lower-income parts of America "recreating a Mexico-like or Brazil-like environment" complete with "favelas" like those in Rio de Janeiro. The "quality of water" might not be what US citizens are used to, he admits, but "partial shantytowns" would satisfy the need for cheaper housing as "wage polarization" grows and government shrinks.”

As abhorrent as that sounds, it is an accurate description of the America envisioned by those folks Eisenhower called “stupid”. And yet, with their unlimited money funding a connected network of organizations, like ALEC, the CATO Institute, The Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, and as many as 100 more, it is working. Look how far America has moved in the direction of their perverted vision since the implementation of supply-side Reaganomics.


One of the main reasons it is working is described in this article:
 http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/27538-the-strict-father-is-at-the-core-of-conservative-ideology-and-values

We’ll explore it next week.





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« Reply #986 on: Aug 08, 2017, 05:28AM »

Continuing the theme........

Strict Father

Why has the perverse and, yes, evil, far-right agenda pushed by the Koch brothers through their myriad of NGA’s seen the success it has over the last 50 years? This was the subject of a 2014 book, “Don’t Think Of An Elephant; Know Your Values and Frame the Debate” by George Lakoff, the Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California

 

In it, he describes a policy program designed to pit conservatives, “strict-father morality”, against liberals, “nurturing parent morality” in a cultural civil-war. He defines how the strict father morality applies across the four domains, Libertarian, Neocon, Wall Street, and TEA Party, of the modern conservative movement.

 

The Kochs and their funded groups "faced a challenge in carrying out their goals. They represent an economic and political elite, but they are seeking the votes of middle- and lower-class working people. They need, therefore, to identify conservative ideas as populist and liberal or progressive ideas as elitist—even though the reverse is true.”

 

They recognize “people vote their values and their identities more than their economic self-interests. What they have done is create, via framing and language, a link between strict father morality in the family and religion on the one hand and conservative politics and business on the other. This conceptual link must be so emotionally strong in those who are not wealthy that it can overcome economic self-interest.”

 

It goes like this: “God is the ultimate strict father—all good and all powerful, at the top of a natural hierarchy in which MORALITY IS LINKED WITH POWER (emphasis mine)……God makes laws—commandments—defining right and wrong. One must have discipline to follow God’s commandments. God is punitive: He punishes those who do not follow his commandments, and rewards those who do…… Those who are disciplined enough to be moral are disciplined enough to become prosperous and powerful…….The discipline required to be moral is the same discipline required to win competitions and prosper.

The wealthy people tend to be the good people, a natural elite. The poor remain poor because they lack the discipline needed to prosper. The poor, therefore, deserve to be poor and serve the wealthy……The vast and increasing gap between rich and poor is thus seen to be both natural and good.”

 

There is conservative philosophy in a nut shell. It is a self-centered, greedy, adolescent viewpoint. We can do better.
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« Reply #987 on: Aug 08, 2017, 07:24AM »

Continuing the theme........

Strict Father

Why has the perverse and, yes, evil, far-right agenda pushed by the Koch brothers through their myriad of NGA’s seen the success it has over the last 50 years? This was the subject of a 2014 book, “Don’t Think Of An Elephant; Know Your Values and Frame the Debate” by George Lakoff, the Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California

 

In it, he describes a policy program designed to pit conservatives, “strict-father morality”, against liberals, “nurturing parent morality” in a cultural civil-war. He defines how the strict father morality applies across the four domains, Libertarian, Neocon, Wall Street, and TEA Party, of the modern conservative movement.

 

The Kochs and their funded groups "faced a challenge in carrying out their goals. They represent an economic and political elite, but they are seeking the votes of middle- and lower-class working people. They need, therefore, to identify conservative ideas as populist and liberal or progressive ideas as elitist—even though the reverse is true.”

 

They recognize “people vote their values and their identities more than their economic self-interests. What they have done is create, via framing and language, a link between strict father morality in the family and religion on the one hand and conservative politics and business on the other. This conceptual link must be so emotionally strong in those who are not wealthy that it can overcome economic self-interest.”

 

It goes like this: “God is the ultimate strict father—all good and all powerful, at the top of a natural hierarchy in which MORALITY IS LINKED WITH POWER (emphasis mine)……God makes laws—commandments—defining right and wrong. One must have discipline to follow God’s commandments. God is punitive: He punishes those who do not follow his commandments, and rewards those who do…… Those who are disciplined enough to be moral are disciplined enough to become prosperous and powerful…….The discipline required to be moral is the same discipline required to win competitions and prosper.

The wealthy people tend to be the good people, a natural elite. The poor remain poor because they lack the discipline needed to prosper. The poor, therefore, deserve to be poor and serve the wealthy……The vast and increasing gap between rich and poor is thus seen to be both natural and good.”

 

There is conservative philosophy in a nut shell. It is a self-centered, greedy, adolescent viewpoint. We can do better.

What alt-left wants (well, that means all democrats), is to throw ethics and responsibility away and create a vacuum in our culture.

eth·ics
ˈeTHiks/Submit
noun
1.
moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.
"medical ethics also enter into the question"
synonyms:   moral code, morals, morality, values, rights and wrongs, principles, ideals, standards (of behavior), value system, virtues, dictates of conscience
"your so-called newspaper is clearly not burdened by a sense of ethics"
2.
the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.

re·spon·si·bil·i·ty
rəˌspänsəˈbilədē/Submit
noun
the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
"women bear children and take responsibility for child care"
synonyms:   authority, control, power, leadership
"a job with greater responsibility"
the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
"the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders"
synonyms:   blame, fault, guilt, culpability, liability
"they denied responsibility for the bomb attack"
the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.
"we would expect individuals lower down the organization to take on more responsibility"

You think that alt=leftists makes a good case for this?
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« Reply #988 on: Aug 08, 2017, 08:12AM »

What alt-left wants (well, that means all democrats), is to throw ethics and responsibility away and create a vacuum in our culture.
When did the president become "alt-left"? Or a democrat for that matter? Don't know

And has anyone told the GOP controlled congress? Because they still seem to think he's one of them.
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« Reply #989 on: Aug 08, 2017, 10:42AM »

What does 'alt-left' even mean in the first place?

Hint: It means nothing, at least in the sense that DD uses it.

DD's approach to understanding what goes on in the world is basically at the level of a schoolyard taunt: If you say 'alt-right' I'm going to say 'alt-left'! LOL!

Never mind that 'alt' isn't some sort of intensifier for 'right'.  'Alt-right' is a self-description of the people who inhabit it, and comprises a sort of loosely libertarian, freewheeling, anti-PC mindset that's quite specific. It's young people (mostly) who aren't really conservative but are sick of liberals. DD's mind runs lamely to the simple idea that you can somehow attach 'alt' to something and make it worse.

Meanwhile, we're expected to take an 'ethics' lesson from someone who invented twin nephews who graduated in the top 1% of their graduating class but were crowded out of UT by affirmative action. Give me a break. The boy who cried wolf is not an ethics teacher.

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« Reply #990 on: Aug 08, 2017, 11:20AM »

Meanwhile, we're expected to take an 'ethics' lesson from someone who invented twin nephews who graduated in the top 1% of their graduating class but were crowded out of UT by affirmative action. Give me a break. The boy who cried wolf is not an ethics teacher.

Not to mention the lesson is in defense of The Donald and/or today's alt-facts/post-truth GOP (unless my near complete lack of interest in his posts has meant I missed something, which is entirely possible).
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« Reply #991 on: Aug 08, 2017, 11:36AM »

What alt-left wants (well, that means all democrats), is to throw ethics and responsibility away and create a vacuum in our culture.

eth·ics
ˈeTHiks/Submit
noun
1.
moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.
"medical ethics also enter into the question"
synonyms:   moral code, morals, morality, values, rights and wrongs, principles, ideals, standards (of behavior), value system, virtues, dictates of conscience
"your so-called newspaper is clearly not burdened by a sense of ethics"
2.
the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.

re·spon·si·bil·i·ty
rəˌspänsəˈbilədē/Submit
noun
the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
"women bear children and take responsibility for child care"
synonyms:   authority, control, power, leadership
"a job with greater responsibility"
the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
"the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders"
synonyms:   blame, fault, guilt, culpability, liability
"they denied responsibility for the bomb attack"
the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.
"we would expect individuals lower down the organization to take on more responsibility"

You think that alt=leftists makes a good case for this?

Oh that's right. The republican party sets a high standard for ethics. Yeah, RIGHT.

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« Reply #992 on: Aug 08, 2017, 01:46PM »

Oh that's right. The republican party sets a high standard for ethics. Yeah, RIGHT.


While democrats oppose ethics, lol!
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« Reply #993 on: Aug 08, 2017, 01:54PM »

And this has what to do with the topic at hand? And, biting into the diversion, no one who supports Drumpf has anything legitimate to say about anyone's ethics or integrity. Drumpf has none of either.
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« Reply #994 on: Aug 08, 2017, 05:54PM »

While democrats oppose ethics, lol!

Tell us the fake twin nephew story again! LOL!


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« Reply #995 on: Aug 08, 2017, 05:59PM »

While democrats oppose ethics, lol!

Here's Kellyanne Conway on the subject, speaking on Fox and Friends. Apparently Republicans think behaving ethically discourages public service.

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/27/539791826/top-trump-aide-says-ethics-filings-discourage-potential-government-employees
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« Reply #996 on: Aug 08, 2017, 06:28PM »

Yes there have been unethical democrats. And that isn't right. I said it.

But I won't waste time expecting DD to condemn, much less acknowledge the unethical behavior by the Republicans. Apparently if they are unethical, it is okay by him.
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« Reply #997 on: Aug 15, 2017, 08:58AM »

Another week, another column........

Why Dems Lost

Since the astounding result of last November’s Presidential election there have been endless discussions of how and why it turned out the way it did. Fingers have been pointed in every direction, and the Democrat party needs to be doing an internal autopsy similar to the one the GOP (currently,  Government of Putin) did after the previous one.

For the last three weeks I have been showing why and how this country has been pushed ever further towards the fringe of the right end of the political spectrum. Now it’s time to take a look at how the Dems could possibly have lost to such a horrible and incompetent candidate.

For 60 years after Republican policies caused the Great Depression they were, rightfully, exiled from our political leadership. They were able to get their nose back in the tent when Baby Boomers, who had never known the deprivations of the GOP’s (not the Government of Putin in those days) Depression were swayed by the propaganda of the groups we have previously discussed and elected Reagan and a Republican majority in the Senate.

The Democrats had held power and control for those 60 years by steadfastly representing the American working class and supporting, and implementing, programs that benefitted them. They gave us Social Security, Worker’s Comp., Unemployment insurance, the 40 hour work week, the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, etc., etc., etc.

When the right wing propaganda siphoned enough Baby Boomers to begin changing the balance, Reagan began to dismantle what the Dems had built in their half century of control.

Bill Clinton, in his efforts to re-establish  the Dem’s control, turned to the very people who had historically controlled the Republican party, but were being displaced by the group Eisenhower had labeled as “stupid”. He ceded the Democrat party, lock stock and barrel, to the corporatist, Wall Street crowd that had controlled the GOP (you know) in the lead up to the Depression.

When he did so, he sold out the American working class that had been the backbone of the Democrat party that built the American middle class over the last 60 years. It was those displaced people who, in their desperation over that lost representation, elected the snake oil salesman.

IF the Dems ever hope to win another election, they need to reclaim their party from the right-of-center, corporatist, Clinton wing of the party. Not holding my breath.
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« Reply #998 on: Aug 16, 2017, 01:43PM »

 Good! Good! Good!
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« Reply #999 on: Aug 22, 2017, 06:04AM »

The Column got a title this week. IT is now, "And Then, There's This"...........

"Very Fine People"

Is it possible the Drumpf administration has already/ finally “jumped the shark” and is headed toward the political oblivion it so richly deserves? Based on the fallout from his absolutely horrible press conference last week, it is quite possible.

First of all, let’s make one thing absolutely crystal clear. The “Unite the Right” rally that was at the center of the murderous events that occurred in Charlottesville was promoted and staged by groups from the “alt-right”. They are the fascists, neo-nazis, KKK, and white supremacists who make up the hate-filled fringe on the far right.

These people are scum, and no “very fine people” would march along side them, no matter the issue. Those on the streets with them, were the “deplorables” Hillary Clinton so accurately described in her poorly stated moment of honesty during the campaign.

The President’s attempts at moral relativism in the press conference garnered immediate and far-reaching outrage from across the political spectrum. Two of Drumpf’s business Councils were disbanded when many of the CEO’s appointed to them resigned, en-masse, in protest. Every member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, founded by Reagan in 1982, resigned, signing a scathing letter of RESISTance.

This past Sunday, no Republican member of Congress or representative of the White House would go on the Sunday shows to defend the President or his positions. Many GOP (Government of Putin until they remove Vlad’s puppet) lawmakers spoke out strongly against the President’s statements. This is a clear indication the President’s approval ratings, which are in free fall, are beginning to have an effect on Republican views of the upcoming mid-term elections.

No President in the modern era has had numbers as bad as Drumpf’s at any time in their tenure. Some have had approval ratings as low as his current mid-30’s%, but no President has ever had disapproval ratings of over 61%. Americans are awake and paying attention.

Still, Drumpf has support from over 80% of the Republican base. These are the people who hide behind “history and heritage” to rationalize the treason, hatred, and oppression the monuments to the Confederacy represent. They believe one can be a “very fine person” while marching alongside the small-minded haters of the “alt-right”. They believe there is a moral equivalency between the white supremacists and BLM.

There is a lot of ugliness in this country right now. It starts at the top.
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Better than yesterday, better yet tomorrow.
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