Monthly Archives: October 2018

What a difference 6 years makes: canvassing for a Republican in 2018! #WalkAway #RedWave

Published Saturday, October 20, 2018

 

Today was a fascinating day for me.

 

I had to really sit down and reflect.

 

This is the manifestation of my #WalkAway moment and there was more than a little cognitive dissonance as I found myself cavorting around Capitol Hill with a big pile of “sorry we missed you!” flyers for Republican candidate Michael Bekesha, of Ward 6, who is running for DC council.

 

 

You see, while I’ve never been a democrat, per se, I have almost always voted for dems, including Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Senator Al Franken, among others, and a guy you may have heard of, Barack Obama — twice!

 

Six years ago — literally six years ago to the day (a beautiful fall day in zip code 55105), I was canvassing for President Obama to be re-elected for his second term, going door to door in St Paul, MN. I was terrified — and despairing — that Romney could win and the Affordable Care Act would be repealed. I didn’t LIKE Obamacare, I liked one of its provisions, that any state could set up its own single payer option (and like every failed attempt at something decent and beneficial of Obama’s legacy, that too became an impossible dream that even Vermont (Vermont!!) couldn’t realize); additionally, I was worried that abortion would instantly become illegal, overnight. I believed that Romney as a devout Mormon would make sure of that.

 

I had neither of these fears with Trump. Not for a second, not for a millisecond.

 

You know why? Because by 2016, I’d given up on the absurd ridiculous bureaucratic nightmare that ACA devolved into, one that doubled my own insurance premiums so I couldn’t afford health insurance (to say nothing of the deductible I’d have to pay if I DID need to see an ACTUAL doctor) and forced me to pay HUNDREDS of dollars against my tax refund due to the individual mandate since I opted to go uninsured rather than pay for something I couldn’t afford anyway. And frankly, I don’t think Trump would ever touch the abortion issue with an executive order. He talks a pro-life talk to get the religious demographic to vote for him, but he’s no Pence.

 

There is only one person I wouldn’t vote for in a race against Pence and that is Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, I would vote against Pence.

 

I don’t sound very republican, do I? Well, it’s because I’m not. I hate labels, and have long eschewed them. There’s a reason I call myself a progressive patriot. I’m pro-legal abortion (I wouldn’t object to a 120-days-pregnant cut off), I’m for gay marriage (what do you think men who can’t marry other men because society shames them for being gay do? Sometimes they marry women. Some might perpetrate fraud against women and pretend they’re straight). At the same time, I want very secure borders, an America First domestic and foreign policy, where we fix NAFTA (Trump is working on it with the new USMCA) and pull out of the TPP (Trump did that on day one) and bring back manufacturing jobs. That’s all happening plus that garbage individual mandate from Obamacare has already been repealed, thank God. And I have hope Trump will finally get us out of Afghanistan as well and work with Rand Paul to offer a better health care solution, while protecting anyone with pre-existing conditions (the other good component of the ACA).

 

To me, Trump is the one who doesn’t sound very republican. (In fact in his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” he holds up the Canadian single payer health care system as an example of a plan that we could implement in the US; albeit an improved Trump-version of it, of course!) Or at least, Trump seems like a throwback to the populist Republicans of the early 20th century: he’s no corporatist like Paul Ryan or Romney. That’s why even so many Republicans didn’t like Trump!

 

Ever since the 2016 election, I have been hellbent on voting for anyone but Dems. And I do mean anyone. Some people might #WalkAway: I’m going to drag myself out of the clutches of the Democratic Party’s lying scheming duplicitous filthy claws and attempt to collapse their entire house of cards on my way out.

 

Some people might #WalkAway: I’m going to drag myself out of the clutches of the Democratic Party’s lying scheming duplicitous filthy claws and attempt to collapse their entire house of cards on my way out.

 

But after moving to Washington, DC and becoming a registered Ward 6 voter, even considering a Republican for my District Council member initially felt … so alien. I had figured I would vote for the independent or libertarian candidate. But then I found out about DC Log Cabin Republicans-approved Michael Bekesha.

 

This whole concept of an “urban republican” sounded interesting. It had a ring to it. It seemed sophisticated. It seemed like the perfect name to print onto the beige label of a bottle of 2019 Rose from the latest California vineyard. Ok, I thought, I’ll take a sip.

 

I went to Michael’s meet and greet and found out he’s an attorney for Judicial Watch (yay!). I found out he’s pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, and he’s just a cool down to earth guy all around! Super kind and friendly wife, they have a rescue dog, they know DC, having lived here a long time, etc. Good people. When we talked about not paying teachers and cops who work in DC enough to be able to also live (afford housing) in DC proper, he had real solutions to suggest, ones that have worked in other major cities. He’s genuinely worried about the recent uptick in violent crime. He cares about things that matter to every day people, like an aging metro system and getting the government out of the way so people can supplement their income by renting their home out through airbnb. All politics are local, as they say, and I even had a very interesting conversation with him about the role of government in regulating the sale of marijuana.

 

I thought, this is my type of Republican!! (Cue film noir voiceover: I looked in the mirror, and said to myself, could I be … an urban republican? Perhaps. Perhaps that longing and aching for a party … any party … could finally be … fulfilled!)

 

And as I canvassed door to door today, I had great conversations with the few registered Republican voters who happened to be home (or answered the door!) as I dutifully followed the trail of pindrops on the app on my phone. A whole lot more convenient than lugging around 20 pages of voters’ names and addresses on a bulky clipboard the way I did 6 years ago, I can tell you that much. This time, constituents shared that their biggest concern was crime and the quality of public schools. Everyone was nice — exactly the same as when I went door to door to registered Dem voters 6 years ago. Might “nice” be a personality trait of the registered voter?

 

People who vote, I posit, vote because they unconsciously feel that they are following a rule: just as you have to come to a complete stop at a stoplight on red, you have to vote on election day. There’s a good chance that the same people who taught us how to drive, also taught us how to vote — our parents. And this is where the current Dem party leadership takes such a sharp turn away from the Dem party voters. Who are rule followers. The Dem leaders, Feinstein, Pelosi, Schumer, et al, are literally praising rule-breaking — loudly and emphatically — on tv. And all these rule-followers are watching. And shaking their heads.

 

Which leads me from the local political scene to the national one. Being Republican in DC is basically a non-starter … unless you live in the White House and your name is Donald Trump. Bekesha likely won’t win the Ward 6 race but if he doesn’t run, it’s a total surrender to the one-party system that DC is entrenched in. A lot of people thought Trump was wasting his time and money. But standing firm in our views is never a waste. Every time we stand up and speak out, we add another layer to the snowball that eventually triggers an avalanche.

 

And President Trump is speaking very loudly: he’s saying things that ALL rule-followers are hearing. Registered voters from ALL parties. And they’re agreeing with those things. And nodding their heads.

 

One of the things Trump says is if you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country. It’s laughably obvious. He campaigned on enforcing **existing** immigration law. We have rules so that society doesn’t devolve into absolute chaos. No one thinks we put on the breaks at a stop sign so we can appreciate what a lovely job the local municipality did with such a vividly red octagonal accent piece. No one thinks we refrain from budging in line at the grocery store because it’s fun to wait our turn! No. We follow rules because we were taught to respect authority, or to fear authority and the negative consequences of not following the rules. The results are the same, either way: a compliant cooperative populace that *usually* stops at stop signs and doesn’t budge in line. Or kill. Or steal. Or break into someone’s house. Or break into someone’s country. Etc.

 

Even the Hill is coming to terms with the fact that the left has dug themselves such a deep rhetoric grave, that they’ve created an abyss. It’s very hard to scratch and crawl your way out of an abyss — the best strategy is to avoid falling into one (or for crying out loud, DIGGING ONE RELENTLESSLY) in the first place. The Hill retweeted President Trump saying, “The Democrats don’t like being called an angry mob but, really, that’s what they’ve become. They’ve gone so far left, they can’t even believe that they’re over there.” Now, the Hill wasn’t saying that because they agree with Trump, they were sending out a warning to the Dems: I read between the lines and I think the Hill is desperately trying to remind the Deep State (with whom they are a mainstream media partner and for whom they are a bullhorn) to reel back the gasping bloated struggling donkeys-out-of-water the Democrat Party has become.

 

But please don’t conflate “dems” with normal people. Because normal people (classical liberals) like me wanted GTMO closed, to get the hell out of Afghanistan, to put our own people first, to hold the big banks accountable for crashing the economy in 2008, to have job and retirement security for Americans, but the Democrat Party leadership have become such shills for a globalist, border-free, US sovereignty violating world order that they’ve lost touch with the everyday man and woman. No, not the “forgotten man and woman,” the blue collar workers whose lives were devastated by NAFTA and other “free” (globalist) trade agreements, who elected President Trump by an electoral college swinging margin in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, no, I mean the AVERAGE person: the other group of normal, middle-of-the-road, working, tv-watching Americans. And those people PLUS all the forgotten men and women are watching that TV, and they’re seeing with their own eyes thousands of migrant people, mostly men of working age. And they’re reflecting. And they’re drawing a conclusion based on available information, as human beings who aren’t brain-dead are wont to do. And they are agreeing with the sentiments of Tera Marie Major below: this is not a caravan, it’s an invasion.

 

This is not a caravan, it’s an invasion.

 

 

And here’s some food for thought …

 

Would the Dems be ok with 4,000 Russians illegally crossing our border? We know the answer. If 4,000 Russians attempted to illegally force their way through our southern border, the Dems would be UP IN ARMS. On the national mall, in front of the White House, parading down 5th Avenue, blockading the subways, the airports and the freeways. “Russian collusion, Russian collusion,” they’d chant, like deranged zombies.

 

 

 

Borders are laws. And laws are designed to prevent chaos (and other types of pain, of course). President Trump is right: the Dems have gone so far left, they can’t even believe they’re over there. Everything they’ve done — from showing us that it’s one tier of justice for you and me, and a separate tier for people with the last name Clinton, to the DNC claiming in open court that they have every right to rig the primaries, regardless of what their charter says, to claiming bizarre denial of reality (i.e., there are more than 2 genders, gender is fluid, and attempting to normalize the sexualization of minors by glorifying child “drag queens” as glamorous instead of acknowledging that those MINORS are being exploited by adults) has shown the WORLD that they are losing their minds. They have no idea that they seem crazy. And they operate in an echo chamber (such as the one established and sustained by the crypt keepers of the abyss known as Twitter) so not only do they avoid any real debate that could lead to a change of heart, their existing viewpoint is freakishly and cultishly reinforced, thanks to such a high degree of isolation.

 

And I am so thankful I got away from that cult.

 

Vote Michael Bekesha for Ward 6 DC Council on November 6!!

 

#WalkAway

#RedTsunami

 

Advertisements

The phone call Jeff Bezos received just before his $15 an hour wage announcement

SATIRE: published October 12, 2018

(In no way am I suggesting that any federal agency would threaten the life of a poor defenseless data cloud in order to leverage a multinational corporation into paying its workers enough money to eat food and pay rent. THIS IS JUST AN EXPLORATION of a funny idea I had for a sketch.)

Ring ring [sound of a telephone ringing]

Bezos: Yes, secretary?

Secretary: It’s the CIA for you, sir.

Bezos: Oh. Ok, put them through … [sound of a call being connected] this is Jeff.

CIA: Nice cloud you have there, Jeffrey. Be a shame if something happened to it.

088ABCE5-0164-4F72-B993-521818B1FBEE.jpeg

Bezos: It is. A very nice cloud. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that the CIA chose Amazon to create and maintain it instead of a competitor.

CIA: Don’t thank us. Thank the American taxpayer. Plus, we like to keep abreast of who’s buying pressure cookers & nails.

Bezos: Uh, great. Glad I could help.

CIA: Back to the American taxpayer.

Bezos: Not the post office thing again.

CIA: Oh no, the President is going to get you for that.

Bezos: I hate it when he calls; it’s like talking to an AK-47. Jesus.

CIA: Yes, the man of miracles. Which is what you’ll need if our cloud goes down.

Bezos: My overwhelming preference would be to do whatever it takes to prevent that scenario.

CIA: Agree, agree! Well, Senator Bernie Sanders drafted a really interesting bill. Even named it after you.

Bezos: He’s a socialist commie.

CIA: Which is it: is he a socialist or a commie?

Bezos: Does it matter? He wants the government to mandate my business practices.

CIA: The Stop BEZOS Act — or Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies — would require multi-million dollar companies to cover any cost of government aid programs like SNAP or subsidized housing their workers receive. Guess you could just pay your employees enough money to pay for their own food & rent.

Bezos: Forcing private enterprise to pay the federal government millions? It’s what any good strongman would do.

CIA: In the last year alone, the DC Housing Authority provided more than $130 million in rent payments to the landlords of low income families who can’t afford housing costs. That’s all federal money — siphoned out of middle class American taxpayers’ income and into Section 8 Housing. Want to know how much of that $130 million went to Amazon & Whole Foods employees who live in Washington, DC?

Bezos: No, but I imagine you’re going to tell me.

CIA: Yes, we’ll email you a breakdown by all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. You’re quite the welfare king.

Bezos: Do you know how much prices would increase if I paid everyone enough to get off the dole?

CIA: They wouldn’t have to. Instead of making billions, you’d only make millions. Sounds like you’re the one who feels entitled to the handout.

Bezos: This isn’t even communist! It’s fascist! The CIA is calling me threatening to take my cloud away to extort me!

CIA: Our cloud. It’s our cloud. OUR cloud that you enjoy the privilege of maintaining. You’re welcome. And if you don’t like it, you could always set up shop in Cuba. And we can take our business to IBM.

Bezos: No thanks.

CIA: Well, you wouldn’t have to offer health insurance as a benefit there since Cuba has single payer healthcare.

Bezos: Yeah, and only the rich & well-connected get access to the best doctors. Look, I know what this is: it’s blatant redistribution of wealth. This is all Bernie Sanders’ doing.

CIA: It’s not redistributing anything. You get to keep the billions you’ve already made. Look, I made a cool $90k last year & if I died tomorrow, I’d be happy & know I lived a good life serving my country.

FBI: He doesn’t feel joy, CIA. He’s not capable of feeling contentedness so don’t go down that road.

Bezos: Who’s that?

CIA: Oh, that’s just the FBI. Their profilers told us to use pride & your compulsion to avoid societal shame since you don’t feel guilt or empathy like a normal person. But … we’re not going to waste time on that profiling BS. We’re going straight to force.

Bezos: The FBI is on the line!? What?

CIA: They’re always on the line.

FBI: Yeah, PATRIOT Act. Just kidding. FISA Amendments of 2008.

CIA: lol

FBI: ha ha

Bezos: I grew up poor! What about that?

CIA: Lots of people grew up poor. They don’t grow up to be parasites that exploit every loophole in the War on Poverty known to man.

FBI: Yeah, you’re a sociopath.

Bezos: I’m not a sociopath. I’m a philanthropist!

CIA: I’m about to break this cloud.

FBI: Lol, most philanthropists are sociopaths. Although some are narcissists. But, not Bezos.

Bezos: You’re talking about me as if I weren’t here. I can hear you.

NSA: We can hear you.

Bezos: Who the hell was that?

CIA: Ohhhhh. Soooo sorry. That’s now how this works. We ask the questions. You answer them! See? Here’s one I just came up with. What date are you going to start paying your employees a living wage? I have a calendar here. I’m looking at it now. Let me know if you need help. I can help you, Jeff.

Bezos: No, I’m not done asking questions. What’s next? A Basic Income?

CIA: Nope. Even Bernie knows that’s a nonstarter.

FBI: Yeah, that is wealth redistribution.

NSA: if I could just interject with some math

CIA: God, yes, more math! Give us the numbers, you little math lover.

NSA: Um, ok. The ratio of CEO pay to average worker was 42:1 in 1980. As of 2013 it was roughly 300:1.

FBI: That’s out of hand.

CIA: Why do we let a handful of CEO’s take advantage of our people this way? Our countrymen?

FBI: Congress. Those scoundrels.

CIA: What a bunch of rapscallions. And the amount of porn they watch, good grief.

NSA: And the type of porn they watch.

Bezos: What the fuck is this?

CIA: What is what? I’m pulling the plug on Mr Cloud. Who doesn’t love the scent of autumnal rainfall, am I right? Tell me I’m wrong. Singing in the rain!

Bezos: Oh my God, the CIA is threatening me!!

FBI: That sounded more like a promise than a threat to me.

NSA: Yeah, definitely a promise. You shouldn’t have been mean to your workers.

FBI: We know what you did.

Bezos’ Lawyer: You don’t speak, Jeff. Not another word.

CIA: Oh, this is ridiculous. Just pay your workers, for God’s sake. It’s not like we’re sending in the DOL with guns blazing. On a DOL tank.

FBI: No one is being charged with any crime. And there aren’t typically Department of Labor tanks.

DOD: Not that we couldn’t retrofit one for a special occasion.

CIA: Like, for example, storming Amazon headquarters.

Amazon General Counsel: Just exactly how much of a wage increase are we talking here?

CIA: $15 an hour is a good start.

Amazon General Counsel: Jeff, it’s not a terrible demand. We can make it work.

CIA: Do you know how many macrame invisibility ponchos we could make with a billion dollars?

DARPA: Ten.

CIA: Oh, so fewer than I thought.

Bezos: So to recap, you’re holding the cloud hostage until I pay my workers $31,000 a year?

CIA: $31,200. Which won’t even be enough money to get them off the dole in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, LA or Washington, DC. Would you rather Bernie’s law passes and you can repay every dime of public assistance your workers receive? We can make that happen.

Bezos: $31,000 a year for entry level work?!?

CIA: $31,000 a year for work. Lol, “entry level” work. That’s like saying “conspiracy theorist” to refer to someone who presents a fact-based narrative regarding events of historical import in order to encourage the pursuit of truth and accuracy in the face of unanswered questions. It costs what it costs to live. The government subsidizing the price of food, rent & healthcare has artificially suppressed the cost of labor for decades. Again, this won’t be retroactive. So look on the bright side.

NSA: um, if I could … there’s some more math that might help

CIA: More math, yes, please. The magic word! Everyone loves math.

NSA: In the 1950s, a typical CEO made 20 times the salary of their average worker. Last year, CEO pay at an S&P 500 Index firm was 361 times more than the average rank-and-file worker, or pay of $13,940,000 a year. Meanwhile, the average US production worker earned just $38,613.

CIA: The bottom line is that it costs what it costs to live. We’d rather covertly force one bad actor to do the right thing, and then sit back and watch free market competition among firms cause wages to rise because the other bad actors are now forced to offer higher wages in order to compete in a tighter labor market, rather than pulling the subsidy rug out from under an artificially depressed minimum wage suddenly, impacting all firms simultaneously.

Bezos: So it’s personal.

CIA: In a word, yes. In other news, the floor plans of your new $23,000,000 house in DC look nice.

Bezos: Yeah. The property taxes are going to be through the roof.

CIA: Well, the streets don’t sweep themselves. Look, even if some day on the off OFF chance Amazon was forced to break into pieces under anti-trust law … in the rare instance that monopoly-combatting laws were ever enforced … even if you never made another dollar, you and your family would be set for life, many many lifetimes.

FBI: Again, you might as well be trying to teach a pack of wolves to take a break from gorging on their fresh kill. He’s a broken person. He’ll never feel satiation: he can’t. Neurologically. The neuropathways just don’t connect that way. They never did.

Amazon General Counsel: That’s enough. What do we have to do to end this call.

CIA: What are you willing to do?

Amazon General Counsel: Pay Amazon and Whole Foods workers $15 per hour starting January 1, 2020.

CIA: How about November 1, 2018?

Amazon General Counsel: How about January 1, 2019?

CIA: Ok, November 1, 2018 it is. Have a great day. Bye.

FBI: Bye.

NSA: Bye

DOD: Bye

DARPA: Bye

CIA: Hang up.

DOD: You hang up.

CIA: No, you.

DOD: You first.

CIA: No, you.

NSA: Everyone is getting disconnected now. At the same time. You two — get a room.

Bezos: Unbefuckinglievable

CIA: No, you know what’s unbeLIEVable? Bilking the American taxpayer for millions of dollars ANNUALLY and then jibber jabbering about free shipping. There is NO SUCH THING AS FREE SHIPPING. The consumer is paying for it. How do people not know this?

NSA: It’s because we don’t teach logic in the schools. Also the fluoride in the water probably doesn’t help.

FBI: Don’t forget no one’s parents are home after school to help with homework.

CIA: Ok, who’s calling Bernie to tell him the good news?

[FADE TO BLACK]

 

Author’s note: Bezos changed his tune quite literally overnight. From doubling down on his anti-Bernie messaging through his paid shills on twitter to announcing (in a little over a month!) that a wage increase would be implemented (fewer than 30 days later!). I’m not saying any federal agency had anything to do with it. But if they did, good.

TIMELINE:

Amazon fires back at Bernie Sanders’ ‘inaccurate’ claims about its warehouse working conditions and low wages and workers’ dependence on SNAP (food stamps); from Aug 29: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-fires-back-at-bernie-sanders-inaccurate-claims-about-its-warehouse-working-conditions

Bernie Sanders doubled down on his war with Amazon by introducing a bill named after Jeff Bezos; from Sept 6 https://www.businessinsider.com.au/bernie-sanders-has-introduced-a-stop-bezos-bill-2018-9

Amazon announces $15 minimum wage for all U.S. employees, October 2! https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2018/10/02/amazon-announces-15-minimum-wage-for-all-employees.html

THAT WAS FAST!

 

 

Interesting relevant tweets from the past:

(I called it)

 

 

 

Interesting subsidized housing info (mainly this: more than 1.5 million US households receive housing subsidy):