Newt Gingrich is Right

  - promoted by david

In a Times piece covering the disaster of the first weekend of this Presidency, I saw an interesting quote from a despicable man:

“Ultimately this is about governing,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has advised Mr. Trump. “There are two things he’s got to do between now and 2020: He has to keep America safe and create a lot of jobs. That’s what he promised in his speech. If he does those two things, everything else is noise.”

“The average American isn’t paying attention to this stuff,” he added. “They are going to look around in late 2019 and early 2020 and ask themselves if they are doing better. If the answer’s yes, they are going to say, ‘Cool, give me some more.’”

I actually agree with Newt on this.

Hey, What's the Plan?

  - promoted by david

Seems to me the lesson has not been learned by the fake liberal Dems, BMGer types, and smug media people reacting to the Trump win.

These people – “these people” includes you people – believe all they have to do is get the average person to understand how racist Donald Trump is and how dangerous he can be. Once Joe Six-Pack sees this he’ll understand and vote for Democrat next time around. Simple.

What Schmucks. It’s the economy stupid. Period. Everything else is a place to expel anger. People are worse off than their blue collar and middle class parents and grandparents with little hope of retiring to a comfortable life in Florida as they did.

It’s the economy stupid. Not the statistical economy but the real economy. It is sucking for more and more people.

Popularity, Propaganda, and the President

promoted by david

This is cross posted from the blog -

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Trump claims he is wildly popular. Most observers believe this is part of his pathological insecurity, and it is. But it’s also an old tactic for the dictator to take credit for all national successes, and to claim he has the backing and love of all the people.

Donald Trump has only been President for a weekend, and has already broken dozens of campaign promises and made a number of moves on both foreign and domestic policies that have (or should have) Americans and their allies worried. But it’s his remarks concerning crowd size at his inauguration that have raised a lot of eyebrows today, because they are obvious lies, easily disproved. Trump claimed the attendance at the inauguration was historically large, when all observers and all photographic evidence says otherwise. His press secretary Sean Spicer claimed the attendance was the largest ever, a clear lie. KellyAnne Conway, Counselor to the President, said this morning on Meet The Press that Spicer was presenting, “Alternative facts,” a phrase that quickly came under ridicule for being a euphemism for “falsehoods,” as Chuck Todd put it to Conway, or “lies,” as most of us call them. Many people wonder why the Trump administration would present us with such obvious, easily disprovable lies.

Strategic next steps

Pablo's got some ideas on how us marchers can keep putting one foot in front of the other - promoted by hesterprynne

After yesterday’s march, we need to be strategic as we take action to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election.

Much of the damage in 2016 are a direct result of redistricting, voter suppression laws, and other damage done at the state level. After Obama was elected in 2008, the GOP came on strong to win governorships and state legislatures in 2010. This was extremely strategic, because governors and legislatures in place after the 2010 election were in control of the redistricting process that gives us the current House of Representatives.

We need to win big in 2018 and 2020. All politics is local, and the momentum that comes out of yesterday’s march needs to be channeled into winning elections.  The 2017 elections are already on the horizon, and it’s time to begin.

2017 elections:
New Jersey
Governor (open seat, incumbent is term limited)
State Senate – 24 Democrats, 16 Republicans
General Assembly – 48 Democrats, 32 Republicans

Governor (open seat, incumbent is term limited)
State Senate – 19 Republicans, 21 Democrats
House of Delegates – 34 Democrats, 66 Republicans

We also have some work to do in 2018, even right here in Massachusetts. We need to re-elect Elizabeth Warren, and we also need to replace Charlie Baker with a strong progressive who can stand up to the Trump administration.

If you think Charlie Baker isn’t so bad, just think about Baker’s efforts for wholesale charter school expansion and last year’s Question 2. Charlie Baker and Betsy DeVos are virtually identical on education policy, and Baker’s education secretary (James Peyser) is a very aggressive proponent of privatizing our public schools.

This is also why we need strong, progressive candidates to oppose the Republicans. If we nominate a candidate without a strong, resonating message, we lose. If we nominate a candidate that is tied to DFER, we forfeit a vital argument we need to have to build support for Democrats.

Let’s build a message. Let’s build a movement. Let’s build a party. Let’s build some momentum that will bring us big wins in 2018 and 2020.

Hear the lion roar

It was extraordinary to watch the pictures flood in not only from blue enclaves like Boston, DC, NYC, and LA, but also Oklahoma City, Nashville, Boise, and others far too numerous to list. Today was a great start. But it was only a start. - promoted by david

Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington and across 300 cities from coast to coast and in the heartland saw three million of our fellow Americans rise up, speak out and fight back in righteous indignation against the tyranny of Trumpism.

This is only the first shot of the Resistance Revolution  heard ’round the world in 300 international cities on every continent.

Democracy and Freedom for ALL.  Now and forever !

” With public opinion there’s nothing you can’t do and without public opinion there’s not much you can get done.”   ABRAHAM  LINCOLN

Fred  Rich  LaRiccia

Pope urges Trump to care

promoted by david

In a message sent moments after his inauguration, Pope Francis said :

” At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding farsighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.

Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need.”


Fred  Rich  LaRiccia

Trump is Not a Normal President

Throw sand in the gears of this awful machine, every day. -Charley - promoted by david

National Mall 3/4 empty for Trump inaugural

Trump is not a normal president. Be suspicious of anyone who treats him as normal.

Trump is not strong. He never takes on anyone more powerful than he is. He only targets the weak (clean air and Big Bird are among his first targets). That makes him a bully.

His supporters are desperately insisting that Trump be treated with respect based on norms – the same norms Trump is constantly trampling. Anyone who demands Trump be defined only as a legitimate president based only on his Electoral College win is trying to excuse everything that came after it. They want you to forget Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes with a significantly lower percent of the popular vote (46.1%) than Mitt Romney (47.2%).

Legitimacy is earned. Obama and even George W. Bush immediately worked to reach out to all Americans after their wins and selected cabinets that were mainstream.

In contrast, Trump has spent every day since the election either holed up inside his palace or holding victory rallies reliving his victory last fall. He’s put up a series of cabinet nominees who are fringe anti-public good extremists, vulture capitalist billionaires, or both. He lies constantly, even about trivial things. It’s left Trump as a historically unpopular president-elect, with almost twice as many opponents than supporters. Donald Trump is already less popluar than President Obama has ever been at any point in his eight years as president.

Trump will be violating the Constitution’s prohibition of taking payoffs from foreign governments the moment he takes the oath of office. His ties to Russia are clear and treasonous. It’s not “conflicts of interest.” It’s corruption.

A Demand for Russian ‘Hacking’ Proof

Well, if Prez Trump feels like releasing the info, he's now free to do so. Or not. - promoted by david

I’m surprised by the seeming lack of skepticism at BMG over Gen. James “there are definitely WMD in Iraq” Clapper’s claim that the Russkies hacked the DNC servers etc. and that there’s secret evidence just trust him. Or possibly I’ve only run into non-skeptics here, and haven’t conversed with the skeptics.

The one piece of “evidence” that I’ve seen that Russia did this is a phishing email that Podesta fell for. This phishing email was the least-sophisticated thing imaginable, simply a faked Google email:










This is the most obvious way imaginable to gain access to a password, has been done by many hackers for about as long as the Internet’s been “a thing”. A clever teenager could whip it up in a few hours. How this counts as evidence of Russian hacking… I’m not getting it.

In any case, the reason that I’m writing this is to give some visibility to a memo released yesterday by 20+ very seasoned veteran intelligence professionals, including folks like the former Technical Director of the NSA. They too are skeptical of the Obama administration’s claims on here, and are asking for proof.

With Trump at the Helm: "Standby to Roll"

promoted by david

Many years ago I was an enlisted man in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, often underway in the nearby North Atlantic, conducting fisheries patrols. When a change of course was required in rough seas the bridge would pipe the following over the ship’s intercom: “Standby to roll as the ship comes about in heavy weather.” I doubt anyone reading this article will need a layman’s translation as to what that message means and I think that some derivative of that would be an appropriate byline on the cover of any respectable newspaper during the next few days. In my humble opinion, unless someone or some body of authority can prove that Donald J. Trump was elected to the presidency by other than legitimate means, he deserves a chance to govern as president. That said, owing to the negative baggage that Trump carries with him to Washington and the cumulative effects of over 20 years of political history that have seen the country sink only deeper into political division, the prospects of a peaceful transition to a Trump administration characterized by bipartisan or communal amity and comity are about as likely to occur as the Sun rising in the west and setting in the east.

It's Time to Revive the 50-State Strategy

promoted by david

Long story short, we’ve played defense too long. The result is that we have lost seats, most notably in state legislatures.

But crisis equals opportunity, as they say, and while we talk about reaching voters, what we really need is more candidates.

So, for example, Orrin Hatch is up for re-election in 2018. Here’s a handy list of all the 2018 Senate races. Of course Hatch will get a challenger, but all the state senators, state reps, county sheriffs (or whatever) who expect no opposition and will have lots of time to help Hatch? We should surprise them with challengers.

GOOD challengers, ideally, but the current situation calls for rolling the dice more than we usually do.

The old method was to, challenge, say, Rick Santorum with a guy like Bob Casey — swallow Casey’s flaws, and hope he wins. Great — but err on the side of challenging every Republican officeholder. No safe seats, up and down the ticket.

It’s easier said than done. But it will do us good in two ways.

1. Not enough people run for office as Democrats. We need to lower the barriers to entry.
2. We need to energize our base.

Can it hurt? Yes. Guys like Jeff Perry damaged the GOP brand in Massachusetts. But the damage was temporary.

What have we got to lose?

DDS commissioner paints overly rosy picture of employment for developmentally disabled

promoted by david

(Cross-posted from The COFAR Blogsite)

In opening remarks at a conference on employment opportunities for the developmentally disabled late last year, Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Elin Howe gave what appears to be an overly rosy assessment of the likelihood of mainstream jobs for those people.

In her written remarks delivered to the November 30 conference, which was hosted by DDS and the UMass Institute for Community Inclusion, Howe appeared to imply that former participants in sheltered workshops, which the administration has worked to close, have been placed in mainstream jobs at a record rate.

“There are now more people working in individual jobs in the community than ever before,” Howe stated.

But while the numbers Howe cited show an increase in the number of people placed in mainstream jobs since 2013, it appears that most of that increase occurred between 2013 and 2014, before the workshop closures took place. Since 2014, DDS data indicates that the number of people finding mainstream jobs declined rapidly.

Comment of the day: Dismantling our protections

… from ljtmalden:

The reason is they want to dismantle the government. Period. 

Agreed. As far as I can tell, the reason is that many republicans in congress see their victory as permission to dismantle not only the New Deal, but also much of the executive branch and long-standing institutions such as public schooling.

Right on the nose. As we’ve been told, take the autocrat at his word. Or in this case, at his chief advisor’s word. Here’s Steve Bannon:

I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.

Shocked, I asked him what he meant.

“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.

He’s got more than that, now. He’s got the government itself, which is supposed to work for the people. The list of cabinet appointees who are flamboyantly unqualified and/or openly hostile to the agency’s mission, proves the point.

  • DeVos is there to kill public education.
  • Pruitt is there to kill the EPA.
  • Price is there to kill the Affordable Care Act (and privatize Medicare/Medicaid).
  • Perry … Perry doesn’t even know what he thinks he’s going to be doing. Managing the nuclear stockpiles is a big part of the job. (I’d joke and say “Oops” but that kind of gallows humor just turns my stomach these days.)
  • etc.

It’s a “government” run by corporate custodians, billionaires, on behalf of their interests. It is indeed a hollowing out of the institutions that were brought about to serve and protect the public. God knows how long it will take to rebuild them.