Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What do we do?

So many petitions to sign, so many letters to write, so many protests to be a part of.  What will work?  What do we do?

I still don't have the answer to that question, but I will continue to spread thoughts, ideas, action plans for the Trump Resistance.

I'm going to post something about the Electoral College vote that will occur next week.  I want to be clear that I think the chances of 35-40 REPUBLICAN TRUMP electors voting instead for Hillary Clinton are slim to none.  But engaging in the types of protests listed below makes it clear that we WILL NOT ACCEPT Trump as President; that the opposition is strong.  Because of this, I am sharing this post that came across my Facebook timeline earlier today:

#TreasonousTrump #PutinsPuppet #SecretCIA #RussianHackers 
"It became clear to me last night that this man is not only unqualified to be president, he's a danger to the republic. I do think the Electoral College should choose someone other than Donald Trump to be president. That will lead to a fascinating legal issue ... but I would rather have a legal problem — a constitutional legal problem -- then to find out the White House was now the Kremlin's chief ally." Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn) House Intelligence Committee 
Hillary's Campaign Roars Back to Life! 
Currently Hillary is ahead by 2.85 Million votes or 2.1% (we may hit 3 million) - Hillary has received more votes than any white male whose run for President. 
Statement made by Hillary for America Chairman John Podesta:
“The bipartisan electors' letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Podesta said. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.”
“Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” Podesta continued. “Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia's interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”
1: Write The Electors (note: their vote is finalized Dec 19th)a: www.asktheelectors.org (email)b: http://directelection.org/ (you pay to have your letter snail mailed)2: Sign these Petitions and Share! (one has 5 million signatures)a: https://www.change.org/p/new-york-attorney-general-eric-schb: https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-make-hillary-cli3: Make These Calls
a: Call your Senators and Representatives to join bi-partisan investigation into the following: Russia's interference in our election, Trump's conflicts of interest and ties to Russia, delay convening of electoral college until investigation is completed and electors are given an intelligence briefing. Find your Senator and Representative here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officialsb: Call or Message the White House - express your support of President Obama's call for a 'deep dive' into our elections and Russia's interferencecall: (202) 456-1111 or via Facebook https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/chatc: Call the Department of Justice and ask that a full investigation is launched into Russia's intervention in the 2016 election Department Comment Line: 202-353-1555Department of Justice Main Switchboard: 202-514-2000IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO SHARE and ACT ON!California Party Chair and elector, Christine Pelosi (daughter to Nancy Pelosi) has written a letter/petition that demands a full Intelligence Briefing on the scope of Russia's interference in our election to elect Trump and the extent of Trump's conflicts of interest with foreign nations/leaders/banks, specifically his ties to Russia. California Party Chair Pelosi is currently asking other electors to sign on. Please forward to any electors you know!https://extranewsfeed.com/bipartisan-electors-ask-james-claPresident Obama has called for a full investigation into the extent of Russian interference and a growing bipartisan effort is underway lead by Senators Chuck Schumer and John McCain - and today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a press conference announcing his support. 13 Republicans are now on board as well as a much larger list of Democratic support in both the House and Senate.Here are links on this:http://www.politico.com/…/obama-orders-full-review-of-elect…http://www.defenseone.com/…/obama-orders-10-year-d…/133789/…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/chuck-schumer-russia-invest…https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/status/808387776232194048http://thehill.com/…/309850-mccaskill-russia-meddling-in-el…
1: Please call the House Oversight Committee and support the call for a bipartisan review of Trump's financials and conflicts of interest at 202-225-5074
2: Please call Senator Dianne Feinstein & ask that she will investigate Russian intervention!Senator Dianne Feinstein Senate Intelligence CommitteeOffice: (202)224-3841SF (415)393-07073: Please call Senator Lindsey Graham and thank him for being the first Republican to act!Senator Lindsey Graham Office: (202) 224-5972Fax: (202) 224-3804: Please call Rep Elijah Cummings to encourage action in investigating Russian Intervention Rep. Elijah Cummings (202) 225-4741Fax: (202) 225-31785: Please call your Senator and Representatives (even if they are Republican) and express your concern and to join in these investigations!https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials6: Call Senator Barbara Boxer's office and communicate support for challenging the Electoral College (202) 224-3553
7: Make plans to Protest in D.C for the inauguration https://www.facebook.com/events/162261777572934/Republican Electors are indeed shifting and we only need 37 to act in good faith in the best interests of our nation!
"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people..."#WeThePeople do hereby request, In light of the #SecretCIA reports and #FBI intel on #RussianHacking and interference of our election, In light of Trump's business ties with Russia and personal relationship with Putin,
In light of Trump's top staff and cabinet picks having personal ties and business relationships with Putin and in Russia demonstrating serious conflicts of interest and allegiance to our Country and her peoples, In light of Trump's actions to obstruct ALL recounts from happening, In light of Trump's clear and egregious conflicts of interest he has yet to address regarding his business ties to foreign nations, banks and powers, In light of Trump's clear demonstration of unfitness to hold the office of the Presidency through his actions and lack of regard for the institutions and organizations the Executive Branch relies on to run in accordance with the duties of the President, In light of a growing bi-partisan effort of Senators and Congressmen calling for a full investigation into Russian electioneering and interference (a possible act of War), In light of the fact that 2.85 million more people voted for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, to be our next President:
We The People demand Congress postpone the convening of the Electoral College, in light of a systematic failure of the 'fourth estate' to keep We the People informed, iIn light of partisan electioneering by FBI Director Comey against DOJ instructions and in direct violation of the Hatch Act,
We ask that the Electors of the Electoral College receive a full intelligence briefing prior to their vote.
We the People support delaying the Electors voting until a later date so this most important and grave duty can be fulfilled with the utmost of responsibility to We The People...
Please contact your Senators and your Representative TODAY and ask they support the investigation - that it is done immedidately - and that they support delaying the Electoral College vote.
Find the contact information for you Senator and Representative here:https://www.usa.gov/elected-officialsHelpful Arguments for an Electoral College that is a fairer reflection of WE THE PEOPLE by Constitutional Law Professor Lawrence Lessig and supported by Senator Boxer and Representative Jan Schakwoskyhttps://medium.com/…/the-equal-protection-argument-against-…AMAZING LINK FOR anyone interested in #TheResistance wanting to take action. Updated weeklyhttps://docs.google.com/…/174f0WBSVNSdcQ5_S6rWPGB3…/htmlview#FINAL NOTE: We are in un-chartered waters. 17 members of the intelligence community, the President and a growing consensus in the House and Senate have concluded our election has been compromised to some degree. It is our absolute duty to ourselves, our nation and our future that we investigate the scope of these actions. We must not allow ourselves to go quietly into the night. Please act. Please don't give up. We must all #FightLikeHill for our Country!
Clinton camp supports intel briefing ahead of Electoral College voteHillary Clinton’s top political adviser John Podesta released a statement on Monday in support of the effort.THEHILL.COM

Not all of the above links are complete; so I will have to come back and add the appropriate links.  I will be sharing these kinds of posts and articles frequently.  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Russian Oil, Russian Hacking, and Donald Trump

Let's put this together and make sure everybody knows and understands this:

The head of Exxon-Mobil, Tillerson, the man that Trump has reportedly pegged to be Secretary of State, was very much involved with and in favor of an Exxon-Russia-oil (Roseneft) deal. The Obama administration had nixed this deal due to Russia's invasion of the Crimea. The US under Obama, Kerry, and Clinton has taken a somewhat hard line by using sanctions against Russia and its expansionist desires. Now Putin will manage to fast-track that oil deal after all (and probably get rid of the sanctions) by backing Trump. Question: Is there a smoking gun? Is there any evidence of back door dealings between Trump people and the Russians either about the hacking or about this deal and the Exxon guy? We all heard Trump calling on hackers to look into Hillary Clinton, and we know something about Paul Manafort, but that's not the same as a smoking gun. If there was such a smoking gun, would the Repubs even investigate it?

More on all of this later, including relevant links...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Republicans Are Disgusting. Overtime Regulations.

Finally!  Overtime for 4.2 million workers who are treated like dirt by their employers!  

Well.... not so fast.  Nobody is getting out of the no-overtime trap very soon. 

I know this overtime trap well as my husband was stuck in it for several years.

Exempt From Overtime

We all know that employers are supposed to pay time and a half to employees who work more than 40 hours a week.. However, there is a loophole.  If an employer considers you a manager or supervisor, that employer may well get out of paying you overtime if your salary exceeds $24,000 a year. Yes, if you have a whizbang job that involves management activities and you make more than $24,000 a year, you may be considered EXEMPT from those overtime rules.  Your boss can work you until the cows come home and you are stuck -- until or unless you can find another job.

What this has meant is that millions of people who held the title "Manager" but only made $25,000 or $30,000 a year could be imposed upon to work 50, 60, 70 or more hours a week.. because they were exempt from overtime regulations!

Thanks, Obama!

Thanks to President Obama and the Obama-led Department of Labor, on December 1st, 2016 -- next week -- that $24,000 salary cutoff was slated to go up to $47,000 a year--- which meant that millions of overworked supervisors would actually get overtime.. finally.

Here's the way Politico framed it:
The Labor Department regulation, previously set to take effect in Dec. 1, effectively restored overtime pay to the middle class after decades of erosion had reduced it to a benefit available only to low-wage workers.
(That Politico article provides a good summary of this whole issue.)

But No!!

Except that that long-expected relief was just blocked by a Federal judge who seems to think that this shouldn't be a Labor Department regulation; that, if it was going to pass muster, it needed to be an Act of Congress.  So all of those hard-working people toiling 50, 60, 70 hours a week with no overtime are screwed.. as usual.  The sad thing is that this federal judge was an Obama appointee! 

Close to home.
My husband was one of those employees caught in this exempt squeeze a few years back.  When he was considered a non-supervisory employee, a sales associate, he was eligible for overtime.  But then he was moved into a management position.  The duties and the hours were really difficult.  He was a store manager for a nationwide chain, so not only was he responsible for all of the daily questions, concerns, problems, reports, money, people, etc.. But if the store alarm went off in the middle of the night, he was on call.  If someone couldn't come in and he couldn't find a replacement, he worked extra hours even if it was his day off.  He averaged about 55-60 hours a week.

His company actually did pay a pittance for those extra hours.. about four dollars an hour.  Yep.  Four bucks.

I can't imagine the absolute sadness, the despair actually, of so many people with that "Manager" title who make 30K or 35K and get no overtime.. who were looking forward to some compensation for all of the work that they were going to do during the upcoming Holiday season.  And now.. nothing.     

We have vicious people in this country.

I don't know what to say when I read some of the comments about this.  I don't know what kind of people we have in this country.  Here's an example:
It's not the governments job to interfere and over regulate the private sector.  Employees must negotiate their own benefits.

That kind of comment frustrates me because it is so obviously wrong.  It is the kind of thinking that has been used against workers' rights, minimum wage, overtime rules, for generations now.. As if an employee is really able to negotiate equally with an employer.  As if an employee can always pick up and leave and find a same or better job if the conditions are not right.  

How can people still think that way?  

How can people vote for Donald Trump?

Now, since I mentioned Trump, let me take up that comment about Republicans...  This was blocked by an Obama appointed federal judge.  So why blame Republicans?  Because Donald Trump had said that one of the first things he wanted to do was to roll back this rule, assuming it had gone into effect December 1st. Because you can bet your bottom dollar that the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are mostly Republican voters.  Because the reason that the current ridiculously low bar for overtime pay has remained so ridiculously low for decades is mostly due to Republican legislators and administrations.

There is no joy in Mudville...

Somewhere tonight, in up to 4.2 million households in this country, there is no joy as workers who thought they were going to get some relief, some compensation for those 50 and 60 hour weeks they usually work during the holiday season, are not going to be getting anything.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Things We Can Do

Watch this space for continual updates of Things We Can Do to innoculate the country and the world against the Donald Trump presidency.

Here is the latest update of Things We Can Do..What Do We Do? added on December 13, 2016.  

If you have other ideas or have seen other relevant links, please comment here or on
my Molly Facebook page.  I plan on updating this page at least once a day through the Inauguration.

Peaceful anti-Trump protest.
Photo from peopledotcom .

1. The long Hail Mary pass: Write to the electors to throw that very long Hail Mary pass of getting the Electoral College to vote for the popular vote winner, Hillary Clinton, vs. Trump. Writing to the electors directly is better than signing petitions, though I will include links to the largest petitions here later today. 

More information and links here:
Here's the big 4.5 million name petition on Change.org.  Remember though that the Electoral College doesn't meet in a group; they meet in the state capitals.  We need to appeal to Republican electors in the states that are able to vote as they see fit.  We need about 44 Republican electors to change their votes.

2.  Sign one of the many petitions to Department of Justice to investigate the election, Trump's ties to Russia, etc.  Better yet, CALL the DOJ to insist that they investigate the election. From one of my friends: 

Call the DOJ, Department of Justice at 202-353-1555 and you can speak to a person who will take your information, and it will be forwarded to the correct person to call you. You can ask the questions we've all been asking, like is this Election being investigated for fraud,Comey, Russians, Wikileaks?

3.  Call or write to your CongressCritters, both your Senators and your Representatives.  Make an initial contact.

If you have Democratic CongressCritters, congratulate them on being elected/reelected.  Remind them that they are the only block between Trump (and his merry band of racists and misogynists) and the American people.  Tell your Democratic Congressperson that you are counting on them to do whatever they to help the American people and encourage them in their fight. Mention your key issues; that is, how you may personally be impacted by one of Trump's "promises".

If you have Republican CongressCritters, keep your letters respectful, but remind them that you will be keeping track of their votes.  Also mention your one or two key issues, again, how you may personally be impacted by Trump's "promises".

Keep your letters and emails short, just a paragraph or two.  You may wish to try snail mail; Congresspeople get fewer of those than emails or phone calls.

4.  Donate/work to get Foster Campbell, the Democrat from Louisiana in the December 10th Senate runoff, elected to the US Senate.  His election STILL won't give the Democrats the majority, but it will be REALLY close.  His win would mean a 51-49 split, and the Democrats would be one seat closer to gaining control in 2018.  This will put a lot of pressure on ALL Republicans in preparation for 2018.  A Democratic Senator from Louisiana?  Well, remember that Louisiana elected a Democrat, Jon Bel Edwards, as governor just last year.  Look, $5 to $10 can mean a lot.  Consider five bucks!  More if you can!  

More information about Foster Campbell at the links below:  

6.  Keep Trump's favoribility rating low.  Bill Palmer discusses that here at the Palmer Report:
Other ideas and plans:

I haven't yet reviewed this New York Times article, but I'm including the link anyway:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Let's Stop With Hillary's "Flaws"

Please, people, let's stop with the "Hillary's flaws" stuff.

I'm tired of the allusions to Hillary's "flaws" that I have seen in so many posts, so many comments and articles as people try to deconstruct this election. 

Democratic Senators. Photo via C-Span. 

Look, every candidate or politician has flaws, Bernie Sanders, Obama, Elizabeth Warren, every last one. Hillary's flaws are like a hangnail compared to Trump's gangrene. But we got gangrene! 

Perhaps we need to realize that this country is a lot more "flawed" than we ever thought it would be. People watched the man, Trump, mock the disabled reporter; they heard him talk about p#ssy grabbing on the bus and they voted for the man anyway. Meanwhile Democrats say "but Hillary was flawed!" 

Any One of a Dozen Things..

We can all point to any of a dozen things that made the difference in an election this close. It does no good to speculate on which of those things made the "most difference".


A Good, Solid Liberal Progressive Agenda...

We need a good solid liberal agenda that a majority of the people in this country will agree with. And we need to fight against voter suppression so that that majority can actually get to the polls and VOTE.

I don't know how we win over racists and misogynists, the same people who have flocked to Trump. I don't know whether or not we should try to win over these people. I don't know how we win over people like coal miners who believed Trump's lies about reopening the coal mines.. Lies from the man who talked about assaulting women.  I would bet that most of these miners have wives, daughters, sisters.. but they didn't care that the man was a sexual predator; they didn't care that he lied continually; they really think that he is going to reopen coal mines. I don't know how we win over the uneducated white men, of whom 72% voted for Trump. Let's remember that these people have been lied to for decades now by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and they probably only read rightie blogs like Breitbart.  I honestly don't know if we can fight against ignorance and racism.  I don't know that it is worth the fight.     

Now the Democratic Senators...

All of the Democrats have to come together and figure out a way forward.. And we have to give our Democratic Congresspeople support to do whatever they can to block the Republican destruction of our country. I can't imagine what it is like to be one of the 48 Democatic Senators right now.  I hope they realize that they are all that stands between the majority of the people.. as more people voted for Hillary than Trump... and total chaos.

God bless all of them as they work to save the country from itself.

Trump Plus 8 Days and Nights

I have started about a dozen articles since Trump won the Electoral College last Tuesday.  I'd write and dump, write and dump some more, and then I just gave up.   None of those articles sounded very good, so I didn't publish anything.  

From Political Noodle

I have, however, been collecting links to great rants from websites, Facebook friends, people at the Kos, other people who (at least for now) are more articulate than I have been able to be.  I will post these links, about 4 or 5 at a time, over the next few days.

I will say that my emotions have been spiraling up, down, in, and out at an incredible pace.  I wake; I see the sun; I feel good; the holidays are coming.. and then I remember that Trump is the President-elect.  How can that be?  I'm still incredulous; still in a state of disbelief.  I feel as though I'm watching a sci-fi show about a parallel universe..  A universe in which the Germans won WWII, a topic with which many sci-fi shows have played.

But, no, this is now, 2016, and this is the United States of America.  And a reality television star, a man with no experience in government, a man who is crude, racist, and ignorant, is going to move into the White House.. well, at least part time.  President Pussy-grabber.  He's going to make the government of this country into a reality show.  He's going to make the whole world into a big reality show with him as the star.  Except it's really real, unlike most reality shows.  And the outcome just might be deadly.         

I feel better when I check in with my friends on Facebook.. There is comfort in numbers, but the misery, the fear, is everywhere.    

I will write nothing more for now, but the title of this blog, "Both Parties Are NOT The Same", has never been more apt.  After a few years of Trump, maybe we will no longer have to convince people that "Both Parties Are NOT the Same" because the difference will be so, so, so crystal clear.  


Monday, November 7, 2016

That's it, Folks!

Dear, dear friends.. I think I've just about had it. I can barely click a like on a Tweet tonight, nor can I even consider sharing one more article to my Facebook page. Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow morning, but I feel as though I am all "electioned" out. So just a short rant before I check out for the night.. Or maybe for the next two nights!

I am so, so sick of crap like "Hillary is corrupt." I'm sick of Wikileaks. I'm sick of people who can't see the hypocrisy of Wikileaks.. Do they really think the internal communications of the Trump people.. or even the Bernie Sanders people... are that different? I'm tired of people who try to make mountains out of molehills due to incomplete emails. They publish stuff and I can't figure out how they got to A from B due to the words in that email.

I'm tired of people who are fact-challenged. If your only sources are Fox News, Breitbart, Gateway pundit, Rush Limbaugh, etc etc, you have no idea what the facts are. Speaking of "Truth", I'm convinced that any website that has "Truth" in the title is bullsh!t and needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  So ignore anything coming from a website that is named "Truth".  It likely isn't.

Finally, I'm tired of people who actually think that Trump would be a good President. He's a vile human being and the few policies that he has promoted are horrible. Privatizing the highway system? You really think that's a good idea?

So for now that's it. We have an easily brainwashed ignorant public, and politicians are allowed to lie with impunity. A dire combination.
I think Hillary will win, but it will be a very tough term for her and little will get done. But if she can keep the Republicans from enacting policies that increase income inequality and start wars and recessions, reduce Social Security, voucherize Medicare, privatize highways, well, that might be good enough.

Later, mates!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Denial is a River in Trumpland: Taking on Hillary Haters- Or Not?

Denial is a river in Trumpland:  Taking on Hillary Haters.. Or not?

Why We Are A Backwards Country

Our country, the United States of America, despite our technological development and our wealth,   is backwards.  We are starting to have a hard time keeping up with many other developed countries, some of which are passing us up socially and technologically.

Our problems are based in ignorance. Ignorance is the cousin of propaganda and brainwashing.

I posted a silly political Halloween cartoon on my Molly Facebook page over the weekend.  
It was a hit; so far thousands of views, dozens of shares.  (Well, a hit for my page. We haven't yet gone supernova!)

However, one of the people who shared my silly Halloween cartoon got into a "discussion" with a Hillary Hater.

Hillary Haters

There is no use arguing with Hillary Haters.  They have been brainwashed by 30 years of Republican propaganda.

How do you know that someone is a really brainwashed Hater?  Well... just look at this, a comment and discussion on a share of my cartoon.  I did not correct the spelling or grammar.

Same old; same old

They believe that:

  • Hillary is a murderer.
  • Hillary is a thief.  (?)
  • Hillary took money from a mid-East country (probably referring to Saudi Arabia here) for her own personal use.
  • Democrats steal from Middle America instead of working.
  • The Clintons are like the Mafia. 
  • Her list of wrongs is so long (that the commenter can't even list a couple of specifics with sources.)
  • Democrats created racism and sexism.  
  • Democrats created "illegal actions".
Nothing on this list is true, unless you go back to the Democrats of the Civil War era.  Even then, they did not "create" racism; it was here since before the Revolution.

The Braindead Millions

I thought of answering her comments, but it really isn't worth it.  She is completely braindead about Hillary; she will refuse any information or any fact-check to the contrary..  It's just no use.  You just can't argue with Hillary Haters.  It is a waste of time and energy. 

There are some people that do not WANT to know the Truth.  Perhaps she really wants a savior and thinks that Trump is the man.  She really thinks that this man.. who has all of his Trump good manufactured abroad.. will actually somehow compel manufacturing plants to open up again in Ohio and Indiana.

Perhaps she is a serious racist who believes that minorities are all sponging off of her and her family and they don't work.  And she thinks that the ones that do work are going to take her jobs.  Perhaps she just gets her news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and right wing blogs and doesn't realize that they consistently peddle lies, just as their Leader Trump, the King of Liars.

I'm very saddened that so many people in this country are so...ignorant?  brainwashed?.. that they don't know what is true and what is not true.

I just don't know.  But we all bear the cost of the millions of people in this country who think (and write) as my "friend" here.

For the record, here's my Molly Halloween cartoon, based on a cartoon initially published by someecards:  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Megyn Kelly or Newt Gingrich: Who Won?

So did Kelly get the best of Gingrich or did Newt wipe the floor with Kelly as the Trumpsters claim?

I'm watching last night's "discussion" between Fox newscaster Megyn Kelly and that idiot Newt Gingrich.  After watching the whole video (in short clips just to make sure my breakfast stayed down), I remember why I don't watch Faux news and their disgusting "guests" like Newt Gingrich.

Screen shot of YouTube video found HERE.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Why I Think The Country Is Headed In The Wrong Direction

It's not the economy.  It's worse, much worse.

George Washington University recently released a poll which showed, among other things, that 63% of the people think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

While only 30 percent of those polled responded they think the nation is heading in the right direction, and 63 percent said it is on the wrong track, those two figures each swung 3 points in favor of a rosier outlook toward the future. 

Trump has also referred to the high number of people who think we are heading in the "wrong way" in several of his campaign rallies.

As a whole, people who leaned Democratic had a higher satisfaction rate than Republicans.  The percentage of people who think that the country
IS heading in the right direction has been fairly consistent, in many polls taken by disparate polling outfits, at around 30% for the past 3-4 years after we got over the worst of the recession.  

Now some of the "pundits" in the run up to this election believed that the Republicans had an advantage because so many people thought that the country was "headed in the wrong direction".  (That's also how Trump is interpreting this.)  That's what many thought in 2012 as well.  But I lean Democratic, and I ALSO think the country is headed in the wrong direction... but not for the reasons that the pundits think.

My frustration with the direction of the country..  

My frustration, or, some might say, pessimism, has nothing to do with jobs or the economy; I believe that the Democrats under Obama have done a great job pulling us off the cliff of a massive Depression and keeping the economy humming despite constant Republican obstruction.  I don't believe in trickle down crap; none of us should, so I don't think the repetitive Republican calls for lower taxes (that mostly help the rich) and fewer regulations (that mostly help employers at the expense of workers and the environment) have much to offer to any of us.  I do think that the success of Obama economics is evidenced by record breaking job openings and job growth, record breaking low levels of people filing for and claiming unemployment, record low numbers of people being fired from their jobs, and, finally, increases in average wages for "regular" workers and increases in the median family income that we have experienced in the past 2-3 years.

Of course, we could always do better concerning jobs, and the recovery hasn't hit all areas and all demographics equally, but that's not the issue here.

So.. why are we definitely heading in the wrong direction?

Here's my take on the "direction" of the country:  I am very distressed by the idiocy, the racism, the xenophobia, the reactionary regressivism that seems to have overtaken a big chunk of the population of this country as evidenced by the rise of the Tea Party, and, now, by the nomination of a creep like Donald Trump.

Trump should not have had any chance at the Republican nomination, not after that first debate, in which he argued with everybody including Megyn Kelly.  But every time he did something egregious, his numbers went up with Republican primary voters.  Based on those Republican primary voters, he actually DID secure the nomination... and he hasn't been that far away from Hillary Clinton in terms of gaining the White House.

What's wrong with the people of this country?  

The man mocked a disabled reporter, pretty much admitted to not paying any taxes; he conned people into signing up for his "university", he swindled suppliers and workers, he used bankruptcy as a business strategy.. on and on as Kurt Eichenwald itemizes in the latest Newsweek... and now we know his treatment of women has been disgusting.  And yet about 40% of voters will vote for the man.

If that doesn't show you that the country is moving in the wrong direction, I don't know what would.  People buy the crap that is dished out by Fox News, by rightie talk radio, and they don't have the capacity to look something up before they believe it.

Is there any way to reach at least some of these brainwashed Trump voters?  Not before the election; their minds are probably made up, but later?  Or will they continue to live in a parallel universe populated by lies from the rightie press.. and perhaps even TrumpTV?

But a man like Trump should never have 40% of the population of this country supporting him.  It shows that something is very rotten in these United States of America.

Some links...

Just a couple of articles trying to dissect the "wrong direction" sentiment:

From a September article at the Washington Post:  Why most think the country is on the wrong track despite positive economic indicators.  

Is the country moving in the right direction?
 Interesting article, a lot of explanations, but the various pundits don't really get at the reason that I personally feel the country is in the wrong direction.

Monday, October 17, 2016

CNN says the race is still close in 3 battleground states! Except...

"The race is still close in three battleground states!" CNN touts...

Except CNN completely omits the biggest thing about these three states: Hillary Clinton DOESN'T NEED ANY of those three states to win the Presidency. Trump needs ALL THREE. The three states are North Carolina, Ohio, and Nevada.

The Sad and the Glad.. 

O One of the saddest things about these latest polls is that Trump has NOT seemed to have lost much (if any) traction since all of the women came out and accused him of harassment and assault! Does that mean that the remaining Trump voters actually believe that Trump did not do any of this.. or do they think that a pattern of sexual assault is not important when choosing a President?  Who knows?  (68% of the people polled DO believe that Trump assaulted at least some of these women.) Honesty? You've got to be kidding me... 

Another sad thing is this finding from the CNN polls:  

And honesty continues to be a challenge for Clinton, she lags behind Trump when voters are asked who is more honest and trustworthy in all three states

Huh?  Are people really that oblivious to Politifact's honesty assessment? Or do they just not believe Politifact? Politifact shows that 73% out of Clinton's 270 rated statements are half true, mostly true, or just "true"; whereas only 29% out of Trump's 296 rated statements are half true, mostly true, or just "true".

Onto the three states...

As a whole, Hillary is ahead in North Carolina and Nevada; she and Trump are much closer in Ohio.

From the pollsters at Nate Silver's 538: The 4 most recent polls in North Carolina have Hillary up by 1, up 4, up 4, and up 1.

In Ohio, recent polls show her up 2, up 5, up 9. Trump is up in two polls by 1 and 4. Unfortunately, the most recent poll shows Trump up by 4.

In Nevada, the most recent polls show Clinton up 4, tied, up 6, up 2, up 6, and up 2.

It's possible that Trump has regained a little ground on Clinton over the past few days, as absurd as that seems, but we are looking at CNN polls.  CNN seemed to have under-sampled demographic groups that might have favored Hillary in  a few polls back in September.  I will link to that discussion as soon as I can find it.

The detail demographic breakdown provided at the CNN site is very interesting; married women in Ohio seem to support Trump by a fairly wide margin; married women in North Carolina and Nevada support Hillary.  In all states, unmarried women break for Hillary by a wide margin.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Donald Trump Did Not Grope Me. He really didn't, but..

I am one of the women in the United States that was NOT groped by Donald Trump.  There, I've admitted it.  Donald Trump did NOT grope me.  But.....

Once upon a time I was a young woman.  I was riding buses, el trains, walking down the street by myself, taking cabs home with co-workers.  Men did try to touch me inappropriately.  Sometimes strangers, sometimes co-workers.  I was groped.

Are there any women out there who weren't groped by someone at some time?
Random man groping random woman

I want to make it clear that I have never been raped.

The groping that succeeded was all through clothes.  The unwanted kisses did not "land".  But Trump's bus braggadocio and the parade of women coming forward to claim that Donald Trump groped them or made unwanted physical advances brings back a lot of memories, unpleasant memories.

I did call the police on one man, a man who accosted me on a quiet suburban street just a few blocks from my home back in 1980 or 1981.  However, the police couldn't find that man.  He tried to kiss me, I pulled away, faced him, stared at him for a second, and he ran off.  I remember thinking that if he took one more step towards me I would throw my briefcase at him and scream.  But he took off.  This was during the days before cell phones; as I said, I called the cops when I got home just a few minutes later.  I had been walking down a proverbial quiet suburban tree-lined street on my way home from the train around 8 in the evening.  I was about 28 at the time.  

So.. why don't women come forward?  Why don't they tell people about these things for 20 or 30 or 40 years?  Well, embarrassment and self-blame are the biggest reasons.  You blame yourself for being in the position of getting groped.  You blame yourself for not leaving, not screaming, not running away in the first second; you blame yourself for being alone.. for being by yourself.

The man in the event I chronicled above started walking next to me and talking to me when I was about a block west of the train station.  At first he just walked next to me and tried to engage me in some kind of small talk.  I was pleasant, because women are supposed to be pleasant and I had no reason NOT to be pleasant.  It was only when he grabbed me and said "kiss me" that I pulled away from him.  How did I feel?  Mad AT MYSELF that I didn't walk away from this man when he first started walking next to me.  I should have ignored him or asked him to leave me alone.  The man was not a celebrity, so he had no excuse, as Donald Trump thinks he does, because he is a "star" and the woman WANTED to be grabbed and told to "kiss me."  I did not want that man to kiss me, touch me, or talk to me, for that matter.  

"Grab Them By Their Pussy"   

The first time I was groped I was 17.. a very innocent 17.  I was walking down the street in that same low-crime tree-lined suburb on the day back in 1969 when the US landed Apollo on the moon.  I had started walking with my sister and a friend.  I  can't remember why we were walking as we both had driver's licenses by that time, but we were walking towards our home a half mile south.  We were going to watch the moon landing at our house.

Somehow we got separated, perhaps, being teen-aged girls, we had a squabble.  I don't know.  But I was on one side of the street and my sister and the friend were walking on the other side of the street, about a block ahead.  It was still light as it was summer, perhaps 6 p.m.  A couple of young men that I didn't know were walking towards me.  I paid them no attention, but as they walked passed me, one of the young men grabbed my breast and then, yes, grabbed my pussy through my shorts.  I was absolutely and totally shocked and horrified.  I screamed, the boys ran off, and I ran up to catch up to the other girls.  I don't know if anybody knew who those boys were.

I honestly don't know if I told my parents.  If I didn't, it would be because I would be concerned that my parents wouldn't let me wander the streets by myself or with friends as we were used to doing.  Whenever anybody talks about the first moon landing, I remember that young man coming towards me on that beautiful summer evening on that quiet tree-lined street and grabbing my pussy.  It isn't a good memory.  If only I had stayed with the other girls....

Sharing a cab..

I could go on.  There was the boss's boss's boss with whom I shared a cab to the train station after some kind of office party.  I had barely ever talked to the man.. and he was married.  He grabbed me and tried to kiss me.  I just pushed him away.  I think he actually apologized and nothing was ever said about that again.

If you are stuck in the window seat...

The most difficult situations occur when the woman is sitting on the window seat in an el or a bus (or an airplane).  If you try to climb over the abuser, you invite MORE close contact.  Perhaps you can move away if there is room or if you have a coat or a purse that you can somehow maneuver between you and the abuser.

Sometimes, if you are really stuck (which happened to me once on a Chicago subway train--- when the train was stopped due to some kind of problem on the tracks ahead of us), you can say "Please let me out."  and other passengers will come to your assistance.  (That is what I did during that episode.. an episode involving an employee of a client for whom I was a consultant!)  Another passenger actually came to my defense when I got out of the seat and the creepy guy followed me to the exit when the train, after what seemed like an eternity, finally started moving.  The other passenger, a young man, said "Let her alone." 

I did report that man.  He was suspended from his union job. Many other women then came forward and described similar behavior.  But when he had a hearing about why he was being fired, I was the only woman willing to come forward to testify against him.  It was hard.  His attorneys hammered me for not leaving immediately.  I tried to explain that I was on the inside seat and climbing over him would have meant more unwanted contact.  The guy did wind up getting fired for sexual harassment.  Even the union couldn't help him. They were probably happy to get rid of him, as there had been other work place complaints about him not involving sexual harassment.      

"Like Many Women, I was ashamed and blamed myself."

One of the women who was allegedly abused by Trump, Natasha Stoynoff, wrote that “like many women, I was ashamed and blamed myself for his transgression. . . . I was afraid that a famous, powerful, wealthy man could and would discredit and destroy me.”  None of the creeps who groped me were famous, powerful, or wealthy.  But I was ashamed---and to some extent, I did blame myself..

Blame the Victim 

Trump has engaged in "blame the victim" talk when confronted with allegations from these various women.  We all heard him talk about managing unwanted contact on the bus with Billy Bush, but he has insisted that was "just talk".  After women came forward, he went into "blame the victim" mode.  The women were not attractive enough for him to grope, even though all of them looked attractive to me, including the 74 year old woman who was only in her mid 30's when Trump allegedly groped her.  (But, let's be honest, attractiveness has nothing to do with this.)

Today, Saturday, October 15th, Trump said something along the line of "She said she was sitting next to me for 15 minutes.  15 minutes?  Women here would only tolerate one second before... SLAP!"  Yeah, Trump supporters wouldn't tolerate sexual harassment; they are somehow superior to the women who did endure sexual harassment.  (I'm engaging in sarcasm here.)  Blame the victim.  Divide women who have been harassed from women who have not been harassed.  Make the women who have not had the kind of experiences that I had, the kind of experiences the alleged Trump victims had, feel superior to "victims".  

Do I believe these women?  Yes.  As a whole.  Because women try to be "nice", especially if they are with an employer, a prospective employer, a co-worker, or even someone who just starts talking to them while they are walking down the street.  Why does it take them so long to come forward?  Why do they only come forward after someone else comes forward?  First of all, look at what Trump has said about these women.  Also, several of them feel guilty about continued contact with Trump as they STILL thought that perhaps he would help them with a job or a business arrangement.. even after he demonstrated boorish, reprehensible behavior.

Why do they only come forward after someone else comes forward? 

The first one will give courage to the others, as I learned when I reported that guy for trying to kiss me and grope me on the El train.  Why do you need courage?  Well, you may be afraid of being raked over the coals .. or you may feel extremely guilty that you SOMEHOW got in a position when a creep could stick his hands up your skirt.

Well, one last story:

I was sitting in a window seat on an El train many years back when a young man sat next to me.  No big deal, the train was crowded, not many more seats.  The train pulled out of the station.  I felt a mild pressure on my thigh.  I assumed that I had accidentally bumped into the man, and I moved closer to the window.  Then another "pressure".  I moved even closer to the window.  Then a touch on my thigh, under my skirt, that I could not ignore.  I shoved my purse between me and the man sitting next to me and I got out at the next stop, taking the next train home.

I'll tell you what bothered me about that.  I didn't scream; I didn't report the guy to the CTA.  I should have gotten up, pointed to the man and said in a loud voice "This man is a pervert!  Get out of here!"  Or something like that.  But I didn't.  Perhaps the pervert immediately went to sit next to another woman, perhaps a younger woman, and his fingers started climbing.  Perhaps he got farther with her.

But I didn't report the guy; I didn't yell; I didn't scream.  I just left.  The guy was free to move on.  Just as the many women that Trump allegedly groped did not say or do anything, leaving a potential groper and sexual harasser to continue for years, for decades.

Donald Trump?

Enough is enough.  Donald Trump should not be elected President, not just because he is allegedly a groper, but because he is fundamentally unfit to be President.  Character, experience, policies; he's got none of that.
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