Saturday, November 19, 2016

Write your congressperson.

Letter I wrote to my Republican State Representative: 
Hi Congressman Lummis,
Thank you for your newsletter that I didn't ask for. You wrote to me of executive overreach, so I'm going to write to you about congressional obstructionism. Your political party has been playing a game of brinksmanship that has brought our government to a standstill more than once during a time of severe economic duress. You have obstructed infrastructure spending bills that would have brought much needed jobs to the working class, knowing doing so would increase the political power of the Republican party. Congratulations. You have obstructed "common sense" climate change measures that could save countless people from respiratory illnesses and unclean drinking water. You have obstructed supreme court nominations of perfectly reasonable, centrist nominees. You have created a huge controversy about "security breaches" regarding an attack on a single embassy when the Bush administration suffered 13 such attacks that resulted in 60 deaths. Your political party has become the party of obstruction, lies, and racism. Don't talk to me about overreach because to me that is utterly hypocritical. Sincerely, Amy Ryan

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On How Difficult it is to DECIDE this Presidential Election!

Gee, I'm having trouble, because both candidates are so BAD!

I could vote for the guy who had to ask an advisor twice, on camera, why he couldn't use nuclear weapons, and still seemed unsure... Or maybe I should vote for the woman who worked with Russia, China and the EU to create sanctions against Iran to force them NOT to produce nuclear weapons.

Hm. I'll have to think on this some more.

I could vote for the guy who repeatedly refuses to disavow the KKK, or I could vote for the woman who wants to create a national task force to address violence against African Americans at the hands of police departments. But calling half of the other side "deplorable" was kind of a dick move, you know? Sure, there are a lot of swastika tattoos at those rallies, but she's white herself, so...

This is a real brain twister.

I could vote for the guy who wants to put pregnant girls in jail for trying to get an abortion, or maybe I should vote for the woman who made that historic speech in China about how women's rights are human rights. But don't forget: she's a woman! That's a conflict of interest right there!

Golly, this is a thinky problem!

I could vote for the guy who publicly appealed to Russia to hack the Democratic server to undermine the US presidential election, and has openly praised that horse-riding shirtless bald guy who murders journalists, (Vladimir somebody? The Impaler?!) or I could vote for the woman who brokered a cease fire between Israel and Hamas that lasted for eight years...

Nope. Still not sure.

It's just that she got some important emails mixed in with thousands of other emails on her private server that she wasn't supposed to have even though many government officials have them, and she deleted some emails to protect the privacy of her family and friends. That is MAJOR. Also she talked to somebody about her Foundation while she was in her State Department Office, and she got all those people in Benghazi killed. Sure, the FBI exonerated her of wrongdoing about the emails, she doesn't even draw a salary from the Foundation which sends medicine to AIDS patients worldwide, and I guess there's something about how the Republican Party repeatedly blocked requests from the Obama Administration to increase funding for security at high risk American embassies, but still. It's because of her.

I mean I guess with the guy who's running they were talking about... fraud was it? Like he's being investigated for it? And someone is suing him for rape when she was a child, and she has witnesses? And his like, BEST friend at the time is now in jail for rape? And there are no former presidents endorsing him at all? And also wasn't there something about how he took money from HIS foundation and used it for personal reasons? But is it really stealing if you're already rich?

This is really hard.

She has like, a squishy neck? Like she's old? And she doesn't smile enough. And... and... and...

I think I'll just vote for somebody who can't possibly win.





Friday, September 16, 2016

On The Scariest US Presidential Election in Recent History.

Responsible journalists and commentators have listed ad nauseum all the ways Donald Trump is unfit to be President, but let's give it a go, shall we? He's made it clear using nuclear weapons would be on the table for him as commander in chief. He's made it clear he plans to deport tens of thousands of people and to build a wall reminiscent of the Berlin atrocity. He's promised to prosecute journalists who report things he doesn't like. He has a long, sad history of making deals with small businessmen, and then bilking them out of the money he owes them by sending a team of lawyers to intimidate them, leaving their livelihoods in ruins. Trump University was an obvious swindle by which he cheated hundreds of earnest people, taking their money and giving them absolutely nothing in return. The way he talks about women would not be tolerated in any corporate boardroom anywhere. And who could dismiss his cute little references to assassinating Hillary Clinton, like a petty dictator tries to take out political rivals. He routinely lies in speeches, interviews, and even during presidential debates. To dismiss his praise of reporter-murdering Vladimir Putin as some kind of jujitsu statesmanship is to twist yourself into a pretzel because you're so horrified at the idea of Hillary Clinton running the country.

You shouldn't be.

Her use of a private email server in order to preserve her privacy, considering she's endured one humiliation after another, is not much of a story. Sorry. It really isn't. No damaging material was compromised in her private emails.  She did not risk national security in any way, and no criminal charges have been brought against her. It would be ludicrous to compare Clinton's emails to the actions of David Petraeus, who showed a binder full of top secret government documents to a woman he was having an affair with, and then lied about it to the FBI. In short, Clinton was exonerated of wrong doing. And that much ado about the Clinton Foundation? Absolute bullshit. It's an AIDS foundation that saves lives across the globe. The independent vetting organization Charity Watch gave them an A rating --as highly rated as UNICEF. Hillary Clinton has done a beautiful job combatting the AIDS epidemic, and she served as Senator and Secretary of State very admirably.

Here is an abbreviated list of her many accomplishments over her career: As First Lady she fought to pass the Children's Health Insurance Program, which cut the number of uninsured children in the US by half. As Senator she co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act, which made it easier for workers to unionize, and harder for their employers to stifle them. She also co-sponsored the 9/11 First Responders Bill which helped people suffering health problems from volunteering at Ground Zero, and much more. As Secretary of State, she negotiated a cease fire between Israel and Hamas. She also worked with Russia, China, and the EU to craft trade sanctions that forced Iran to make a deal with the US not to develop nuclear weapons. Think about that. She brought Russia and China to the negotiating table and got what she wanted. To list all her hard work, all the ways she's changed the world, would not fit in this essay. She has worked tirelessly to make the world a safer place for millions.

But that's not what the Republicans want you to believe. They want you to think she was doing secret deals with scary people, that she's corrupt and untrustworthy, that she's incompetent. And you know why they want you to believe that? Because she scares them.

They should be scared. In increasing numbers, the American people are no longer buying the insane Republican ideology that what's good for the rich is good for everyone. How the GOP managed to keep voters believing this ridiculous economic fiction for as long as they did simply boggles the mind. The middle class is not doing particularly well in America, and that should be obvious to everyone. We are being bankrupted by medical bills, paying more for college and housing and saving less for retirement than any generation previous. And why is that? Very simply because the tax code has been quietly rewritten ever since the Reagan presidency to go easy on the rich so they can keep more of their money, while the middle class pays a HIGHER PERCENTAGE of our earnings to the federal government for services that are constantly under attack. The GOP is peddling a heaping pile of fetid excrement to the American people, but we are wising up, and they are losing.

Right now their strategy resembles the writhing death struggle of a pinned rattlesnake: They are scapegoating the brown people. Oh those Mexicans, those Muslims, trying to steal America away from us honest hard working white people! This is the best they can come up with, which is absolutely pathetic.  The GOP has routinely made life more difficult for the middle and lower classes, but they want you to think our woes are the fault of the hispanic guys in the parking lot of Home Depot. You know what would curb the practice of hiring undocumented workers in the US? Put the people who hire them in jail. Simple. They're breaking the law too, right? How about we disrupt their lives just like we rip families of undocumented workers apart when we raid the sweat shop? Let Mr. Joe Public spend a month in jail thinking about what he did. Huh? No? Not gonna happen? Gee. That's kind of racist. People who hire undocumented workers and pay them less than minimum wage face paltry fines for their first FEW offenses, which, when factored in as a business expense, do absolutely nothing to their bottom line. It makes more economic sense for them to keep paying undocumented workers ridiculously low wages and risk those fines, which to me says, hello, THEY'RE NOT BEING PUNISHED ENOUGH. But I digress. This kind of logic does not fly with the GOP. They don't blame the piece of shit white guy who pays desperate people two dollars an hour and works them for twelve hour days in sub-human conditions. He's not the bad guy. No. The poor, terrified, desperately struggling people who are fleeing crushing poverty in Latin America --they're the bad guys.

If this isn't proof of racism in America I really don't know what is.

And Donald Trump has mounted the fire breathing stink-worm of American Bigotry and plans to fly on its ragged wings right into the White House. And people are LETTING HIM. The polls that claim voters believe Trump has more integrity than a woman like Hillary Clinton who has spent her career fighting for working families reveals a shocking gullibility that is troubling in the extreme. Donald Trump must not become president. And that means, for the love of God, vote. You need to vote. Deal with the inconvenience and go to your polling place and vote for Hillary Clinton and get your sticker and go home and watch TV. It is the least, the very least, any of us can do. This is not a time for complacency, folks. The stakes are higher than they have ever been.

To learn more about Hillary Clinton's many accomplishments, click here:

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/09/carly-fiorina-debate-hillary-clintons-greatest-accomplishment-213157

To learn more about Trump's scandalous history:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/feed/things-donald-trump-has-said-and-done-that-in-a-normal-election-would-disqualify-a-nominee/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fb&utm_campaign=20160915feed_disqualify