The Apology Post


You can apologize. You know you want to. Just do it. Apologize.

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That’s a good start.

What are you going to apologize for? I’ll tell you.

All of you who voted for Trump. Apologize.

All of you who lean left, but bought into the lies told about Hillary. Apologize.

All of you who thought Hillary wasn’t sufficiently liberal, so you voted for Stein. Apologize.

All of you apathetic losers who didn’t bother to vote. Apologize.

All of you who didn’t do everything you could to prevent Trump from coming to power, apologize.

Because you voted poorly, Donald Trump is the president. If you are at all unhappy at everything hes done, and you voted for anyone other than Hillary, or didn’t vote at all when you were able to, then you owe everyone an apology.

And until you offer that apology, your complaints have no meaning. Until you show that you learned you did wrong, all your posts on Facebook about the women’s march, and the restrictions on federal agencies talking about climate change, and all your comments about Nazis, and how Hitler rose to power, all of that has no meaning. None at all. Not until you accept responsibility for failing to do your part.

You can start in the comments. Then continue in person. Spend the next several years expressing your regret and admitting what you did wrong, and then maybe you’ll learn your lesson and remember this when next it comes time to vote.

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The Times Ahead


We’re a handful of days into 2017 now, and in less than three weeks, Donald Trump will be our president. I’d like to recommend at this point that we in Generation X stop trying to revive things that were popular in the 1980s.

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And please, let’s stage an intervention before Shia LeBeouf tries to act again.

Not all of us are pleased at Trump coming into office. His rise to power has invited comments from people like me, comparing him with Mussolini, and others, who have somewhat less historical perspective, comparing him with Hitler.

People are scared of the future, and scared of what Trump might do. So I thought I’d take some time to dash some sanity into all of this and hopefully calm us all down a bit so that we can focus on what matters.

War

Yes, Trump will almost certainly get us into a war. It won’t be with Russia (more about them later), and will probably be in the Middle East. Unlike W, I don’t expect Trump will even give lip service to the idea that we’re not at war with Islam. Quite the contrary; I expect he’ll embrace the concept.

Now I don’t think we’re going to end up in a nuclear war (though this is more plausible than it has been in a while, but still very unlikely). Trump has been quite cavalier in his attitude toward nuclear weapons, but the use of one requires the agreement of the Secretary of Defense, who likely would say, “Oh, hell naw!”

SCOTUS

The Supreme Court is going to have a conservative to replace Scalia, since the Republicans did an excellent job of stealing that nomination from Obama. So we know that we’re likely to have the status quo which, let me remind you, gave us gay marriage and Obamacare.

The real question here is what happens if Ginsberg or one of the other more liberal justices either steps aside or dies? Then we end up with a balance tipped toward the conservatives for a while. How long? Who can say? Much then depends on what happens in 2020. But either way, I don’t expect much to change in the court.

Russia

Trump loves Putin. I expect him to raise exactly zero fingers to stop anything that Putin tries to do, short of invading Western Europe. Not Eastern Europe. Not Central Europe. Not the Baltics. Western Europe only.

Now I don’t think that they’re going to actually invade Eastern Europe, Central Europe or the Baltics. But I do expect them to continue to undermine democracy whenever possible, and that includes undermining it in our country. Congress may take some steps to really investigate what happened during the 2016 election (and kudos to Republicans who are backing this idea), but clearly Trump has no interest in looking into it.

That Muslim registry/Banning Muslim immigrants

Not gonna happen. The courts won’t allow it, and there isn’t really any desire for it in the broad electorate. If these things didn’t happen after 9/11, they sure won’t happen now. All bets could be off if there were another major terrorist attack like that one, but even then, I don’t think we’ll see this.

American workers

Yeah, American workers are fucked, and there’s no doubt about that. The incoming Secretary of Labor isn’t in favor of the minimum wage existing, much less raising it, and isn’t wild about overtime, either. Look to the states to save our collective asses here, though with many states, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Beyond that, no, Trump won’t be bringing jobs back from overseas, he won’t be convincing companies to forgo profit in exchange for keeping jobs here, and coal jobs aren’t going to return, either. In fact, we’re statistically likely to end up in a recession in the next couple of years, so that’s something fun to look toward.

Civil rights

We’re gonna lose some ground. Minorities, mostly blacks, will continue to be blocked at the polls, and I expect that trans* people are going to suffer quite a bit more than otherwise.

But gay marriage is here to stay. Most Americans favor it, the Supreme Court doesn’t like reversing itself only a short time after a ruling, and there isn’t any Constitutional amendment that’s on the horizon against it.

Illegal Immigration

It’s been going down for a while, and is likely to continue to become less of a problem as time goes on. There won’t be a repeat of Operation Wetback, and we’re certainly not going to end up with a wall on the southern border. There may be some strategic expansion of the fence that currently exists, but that’s about it.

Medical coverage

The vast majority of the ACA/Obamacare is here to stay. There isn’t going to be much political motivation to allow companies to deny people coverage for pre-existing conditions, restore the annual limits on coverage, or allow them to kick people who are sick off their insurance plans. People do hate having to pay for insurance, and hate it being mandatory, and really hate it being expensive, but they love everything else with the ACA, and you don’t those other things without making insurance mandatory.

I honestly don’t know how the Republicans are going to square the circle on this one. It’s one thing to stand constantly in opposition to health care reform, but it’s a whole other thing to face a room full of voters and try to explain to them why you took away their medical coverage. But they own the problem now, so that’ll be fun to watch.

State level

I expect things at the state level will continue to red up a bit. Republicans already wield a huge amount of power in many state houses and governorships, and I expect that will probably continue, barring the party having some major setback. This will happen for two reasons: Democrats are very lazy when it comes to local elections, and Republicans have done a great job in many states with gerrymandering districts to keep themselves in power.

However, I do expect that much progressive legislation can still happen at the state level. Marijuana legalization, minimum wage increases, mandatory sick days, and the like are all things that have happened at the state level and not the federal. They’ve even happened in red states. And gay marriage started out at the state level, too, so there’s plenty of hope for here.

Summary

Trump can and will fuck up an awful lot. He knows nothing about governing, and like most Republican politicians since Reagan, he’s against the federal government (though less so than many others). He’s refusing to really disentangle himself from his business interests, has displayed shameful ignorance about government, and extreme distrust of our various intelligence agencies. He’s going to be an awful president, and will almost certainly be out by 2021, if not sooner.

He’s not Hitler. He’s not Mussolini. Don’t give him that kind of power. He’s going to be restrained by our Constitution and our courts, and even if he manages to fill every judicial nomination with conservatives, it’d still be years before they could accomplish much, and by that time, he’ll be out of office.

I mentioned Reagan a couple of paragraphs ago, and he’s a useful comparison. Reagan was a very ignorant man on many levels, who didn’t seem to care too much about actually governing and was more concerned with simply looking like, and acting like, the president, while other people did stuff in his name. I think Trump will be more of the same, except less politically savvy, which is saying something, and significantly less effectively.

And in 2018, remember to vote. And in 2020, remember to vote. And vote in 2017 and 2019, too. Vote in every election, because liberals and moderates failing to do so is why we’re going to have Donald Trump as our president. Voters caused the problem, and voters are the solution.

Ok, Are We Done Here?


The Electoral College has had their say, and that’s that: Donald J Trump will be the next president of the United States of America.

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Nicely done, America.

So that’s the end of this. We Democrats lost, despite Hillary getting about 3 million more votes. It’s over. It’s done. We need to move on.

Our next steps? Support Trump’s initiatives where we can. They aren’t all terrible.

But where they are terrible, we need to fight back and stop him. He really is a very terrible person and has much evil planned. He’s a bullying, dangerous, ignorant buffoon. Fight him. Stop him. Plan for 2020.

How Long Will Trump Last?


Will Trump, our future president, wind up being a one-term president, or will he go the distance and get two? Or will something different happen?

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“I ate his liver, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. It was the best, most amazing dinner ever. Truly great.”

So here’s my guess: I think Trump is out before the end of 2019.

Now, why do I think this?

I think this because most Republicans would much rather have Mike Pence in office, and while currently Trump is riding a bit of a wave of success, there is no reason at all to think that will last. If he goes through with his various plans, it’s probable that the recession we’re statistically likely to experience will be much, much worse. When that happens, who will everyone blame? Exactly.

Don’t get me wrong: I loathe Pence and everything he represents. I think he’s a fundamentally bad person because he favors torturing gay people. There’s almost nothing good about him. Almost.

The one good thing is that he’s a mainstream politician. He’s interested in votes, and he’s interested in helping the Republican party. Trump likes votes, but doesn’t owe anything at all to the party. Thus, they’ll be happy to abandon him for someone else as soon as they have a chance.

Trump’s administration is already well-set to be a very corrupt one, starting at the top and going down from there. When it comes time for the Republican party to oust him (either impeachment or forcing him to resign), it’ll happen because of that. And then they’ll right the ship and breathe a sigh of relief.

In fact, this might even be good for the party, because even though it increases the likelihood of a Democrat winning the presidency in 2020, it does a great job of making the Republicans look like people who are willing to put country before party. That’ll sell well with the voters.

Of course this won’t end the terrible things that Trump has brought to the body politic. But I’ll bet something like this is what happens, just you wait.

Our Last, Best Chance? No.


The Electoral College is meeting in a few days to rubber-stamp the election and make it official: Donald Trump will be our next president.

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Such tiny hands.

Nevertheless there remains a core group of people who really, really don’t want this, myself included. Some of that core group, myself not included, are appealing to the electors to vote for someone else. Anyone else, really, but ideally for Hillary.

This is, to put it mildly, a terrible idea. Can you just imagine? Suppose that we wake up on the 20th to find that on the 19th, the electors, to protect democracy and our nation, put in Hillary instead of Trump. Just think of the great hue and cry we’d get from the Trump voters who would say, not without some inaccuracy, that the election was stolen from them. Never mind that Hillary won significantly more votes than Trump; all they’d care about is that the Electoral College stole away the election.

I can’t picture a worse way for Hillary to begin her time in office. A nation already deeply-divided, with so many people hating Hillary because she’s, well, Hillary, and then compound that with electoral shenanigans. Add to this a Republican controlled House and Senate, and you have a recipe for four years of deeply unpleasant politics.

Now maybe you think this is worth it, and perhaps it is. From what Trump has done so far, I have no faith at all that he’s going to be a decent president. And an argument can be made that the Electoral College exists to stop runaway democracy. Indeed one could argue that due to how extremely unqualified Trump is, just maybe they should put a stop to him. But the only way to do that and make it work would be with a third party candidate, and that’s just not likely.

So, no, fellow liberals. We need to just suck it up and spend the next four years fighting the worst excesses of the Trump regime. At least it’ll give the No DAPL people something to do.

Why I Don’t Carrier About This


Trump and his surrogates are crowing over the roughly one thousand American jobs saved by striking  deal with Carrier to keep said jobs from being moved to Mexico. Hooray, well done, etc, etc.

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The problem is that this deal was struck by making the same terrible exchanges state and local governments often make to keep jobs; they agreed to various incentives and subsidies to keep them from leaving.

This is not, in of itself, terrible, but it isn’t really great, either. I’m not big on the idea of bribing companies to stay here in the USA. It strikes me as a Faustian bargain at best.

Here’s what’s going to probably happen: Carrier will stay in the USA for about two or three years, and then they’ll leave anyhow, possibly because Mexico offers them a better deal. That’s how these things work.

This is why Trump won’t succeed with his plan to bring back millions of American jobs from overseas. The economics don’t allow for it, and greater levels of automation have eliminated the need for many of those jobs.

So don’t give him, or Pence, too much credit on this. I don’t think it’s going to end well, and it certainly hasn’t started all that well.

Trumpocalypse – Toward a Better Tomorrow


I had planned to write today about the various mistakes the Democrats have made and what they need to fix going forward. Then I realized that the first part was covered in a previous article, and the second part was already planned to be covered in this one. So here you are.

We’ve got four years, friends. Four years to try and remake the Democratic party into something better, that can appeal to a broader base. It’s not going to be easy, but we have to try, because the alternative is two terms of a man who’s decided that white nationalism is just fine.

So we’d best get our shit together because we really need to win four years from now.

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Jackass 2020

We Need to Stop Ignoring Key Demographics

“…in their desperation they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand. Some men aren’t looking for anything logical. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” – Alfred, The Dark Knight

It turns out that largely rural, largely poor, largely white voters are still largely voting in large numbers. The time will come when they’re less relevant and outnumbered  by others, but for now, they’re quite powerful.

This is the most important lesson to learn from this election, and we ignore it at our peril. The rural parts of this nation are suffering. They’re desperate, and it’s quite understandable that they are. And as I said the other day, the Republicans respond to this desperation by pandering and promising the moon, the delivering about 60 attempts to repeal Obamacare. The Democrats respond to it by ignoring these people or mocking them as backwards hicks.

This has to change. Trump is no on these peoples’ side, as they’re about to learn. When 2020 rolls around, they’re going to be primed to vote Democrat, but only if we can make it clear to them that we’re they’re best hope, and offer them something other than despair.

Now this doesn’t mean that we have to neglect other demographics. We can still stick up for minorities in all forms. This isn’t a zero-sum game. We can push for plans that will help everyone in need; not just urban blacks and Latinos, but also rural whites.

Yes, this will require a lot more effort than the usual from Democrats, but we can pull it off. We have to, or we’re basically fucked.

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