Category: Opinion (page 1 of 10)

The GOP is No Party For Honest Men

This is the title of an article in the New York Times by columnist Paul Krugman. In it, he argues that Trump and his chief accomplices are lying to Americans about the effects of his proposed tax “reform” plan, which is a thinly-disguised series of tax breaks for the wealthy 1 percent, Wall Street banks and multinational corporations. Appallingly, our very own congressman, Dave Brat, who constantly reminds us that he “is an economist,” is one of the supporters of this package of tax breaks for the rich. You can read the article right here.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Two weeks ago, I said that it seems like every time I write this column, things in this country have gotten worse and worse. They’ve gotten worse. There has been zero progress on curbing gun violence, Trump is lying and flip-flopping on healthcare, he made an asinine decision on the Iran deal against the advice of his national security team and our partners, the humanitarian crisis continues in Puerto Rico, nothing has happened on DACA, there’s no budget, and the Congress is paralyzed by Republican infighting.

Liar-in-chief Donald Trump continues to amaze us every single day, just about every time he exhales, or tweets in the early morning hours from his golden throne. He will say virtually anything to try to distract the American people from the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion and the corruption of our last election. The Washington Post has reported that Trump has made 1,318 false or misleading claims over 263 days since what he termed “the largest inauguration in American history.”

The highlights of just this past week were the simply breathtaking lies that Trump uttered when talking about past Presidents’ respect for our fallen warriors, and even more unbelievable, using our dead Green Berets as political footballs, and lying about that, too. Richard Cohen writes in the Washington Post: “Donald Trump does not possess an ounce of compassion. He is reptilian, knowing only to show his fangs, hiss and attack.” This creature is a moral disgrace.

How does this prepare us for the upcoming election? Trump owns Republicans and they own Trump, from the national level right on down to the local level here in Virginia. You can see it for yourselves in what they’ve done and how they behave. Pence just parrots whatever Trump tells him to do. Sarah Huckabee Sanders covers up the lies with spin, Sessions lies to the Congress, Mnuchin lies to the people, Bannon built his career on lies, and, so it goes down the line.

Ed Gillespie lies by saying that Ralph Northam voted to defend “sanctuary cities” and allow MS 13 gangs back on the streets. There are no sanctuary cities in Virginia to defend. He wants to make Virginia “look more like states to our south.” Seriously? Does he mean states like Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana, which is totally broke? Several years ago, he headed the nationwide Republican effort, called REDMAP, to gerrymander the entire country, including North Carolina, where the courts concluded that the state imposed Jim Crow voting restrictions with “surgical precision.”

Jill Vogel wants to “… take back Virginia the way this president is going to take back this country!” That’s more like, backwards, if she gets elected. Vogel heads a law firm that represents some of the nation’s largest right wing super PACs and their related “social welfare” nonprofit organizations, which are allowed to shield their donors. Among them are Americans for Prosperity, part of the “dark money” political network established by the billionaire Koch brothers, and American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by Gillespie and GOP strategist Karl Rove. She was the author of the outrageous transvaginal ultrasound bill.

Aren’t we getting tired of all this lying?

Trump, and his ilk, are trying to divert our attention from the critical issues that are going to destroy our country under his so-called leadership. As well as being a lying, heartless, ignorant, childish, misogynistic, racist, bigoted slob, he’s incredibly cunning, in an incredibly evil way. When Senator John McCain, former Republican Presidential nominee, and Vietnam War hero, slammed “spurious nationalism” in his Liberty Medal speech, Trump retorted that “I’m being very nice. I’m being very, very nice. But at some point, I fight back, and it won’t be pretty.” Does this sound presidential? It sounds more like a petty gangster to me. Is this the model we want to hold up when rearing our children? Sad.

Make no mistake, America is in trouble. Intelligent citizens capable of critical thinking know that the ballot box is where we decide our communities’ and our country’s futures.

Our last chief executive, speaking in Richmond this past Thursday said, “the most important office in a democracy is not president, not governor, not mayor, it is the office of citizen, because in a democracy, ultimately you decide what kind of politics we have. You decide by what you do and what you don’t do. You decide by whether you are active or whether you are not. You decide whether to use your voice and your franchise to make things better, or whether you succumb to cynicism. The question for you tonight and over the next 19 days is, do you want a politics of division and destruction?—and distraction? Or, do you believe in a better kind of politics, one where we listen to each other and move this country forward?”

Get out and vote on Election Day, November 7th, so that our Republic may reverse the long, downward spiral to mediocrity that will assign us, as John McCain said, “to the ash heap of history.”

Mike McClary 

Editors Note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and originally appeared here.

The Legacy of Barack Obama

The First Family

In 2008, we elected one of the most progressive presidents in history. Regardless of the relentless negativity, there has been a lot of significant progress since Barack Obama took office. When he took over in 2009, you’ll recall, the economy was in free-fall and America was fast becoming the laughingstock of the world.

If we want to win elections – and in a democracy, that has to be our main goal – we have to make people want to vote for us. Let’s start by accentuating the positive!

Here, then, are two lists of many of President Obama’s accomplishments (with citations) through 2016. Even with the extraordinary obstacles he faced along the way, this President will leave behind a legacy in league with FDR and JFK.

Barack Obama Accomplishments & Achievements List

A comprehensive list of President Barack Obama’s accomplishments & major achievements sourced & updated with a timeline through 2016.

Faking a Mandate

UPDATE: Republicans threatening to shut down government to ram through Trump’s defense secretary nomination

View story at Medium.com

In 1903 the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labor Party broke into two competing factions, as often happens with such movements. This was a bit confusing for everyone, so in an effort to delineate between the two factions people starting calling one the “hard” faction and the other the “soft” faction. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin didn’t find that very useful however, particularly since he was leading the faction being called hard. So in a ballsy propaganda move he told everyone to refer to his own faction as the “Bolsheviks,” from the Russian word for majority. In essence, Lenin was telling people to call his faction the “majoritarians.” And while he was at it he named the other faction “Mensheviks,” which of course means “minoritarians.”

As you may have already guessed, Lenin’s faction was not really the majority. The “Mensheviks” were actually the majority as often as not, and pretty much everyone knew it. Lenin didn’t consider that a problem however. On the contrary, it was exactly the reason he came up with the names. And it worked, because people quickly began to use his new names. Astonishingly, even the “Mensheviks” used the new names!

The votes are still being counted, but Clinton’s popular vote lead is already over 2.5 million. This is because Trump won a number of critical states by only a few hundred thousand votes, while losing others like California and New York by millions. These vote tallies lead to three very troublesome facts: 1) A lot more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. 2) Hillary Clinton actually received more votes than any man who has ever run for president except Barack Obama. 3) Donald Trump won this election with one of the worst vote margins in American history. In fact only two presidents have ever won the presidency with worse vote margins: Rutherford Hayes in 1876 and John Quincy Adams in 1824.

So why do these majority/minority claims matter? Well if you paid attention in your history classes you probably noticed that the specific idea of representing the majority is vital to those who govern, because the idea of representing the majority carries with it the presumption that you have a legitimate civic mandate for your political agenda.

It follows therefore that the larger the majority you represent, the greater your mandate. And while a “mandate” is technically nothing more than an official commission to do something, the term has come to have a meaning more aligned with those greater majorities. Which is to say, in common use a “mandate” is considered to be a type of unique political authority earned when a politician or party wins a landslide victory.

Clinton vs Trump—Seth Myers Asks ‘How Do You Choose?’

With polls tightening with less than two days left, Seth Myers asks ‘what’s the difference between Trump and Clinton anyway?’

What’s the difference between Trump and Clinton anyway? https://youtu.be/9v97xH6Bof0

Posted by Late Night with Seth Meyers on Wednesday, November 2, 2016

 

LTE: Dittmar has strong fiscal record

With no reservations, I support the election of Democrat Jane Dittmar to Congress.

From 1990 until 2002, I was an elected Republican and served two terms as chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. I believed in the Republican Party’s ethics of small government and support of small business. I attempted to live out these values in my votes on the Board of Supervisors and my prior 10 years of service and service years as chairman of the Albemarle County Planning Commission.

We have had enough of Republican obstructionism. We need Jane, with her small-business background and mediation skills, representing us and breaking through the gridlock in Washington to get things done.

Opinion/Letter: Dittmar has strong fiscal record

With no reservations, I support the election of Democrat Jane Dittmar to Congress. From 1990 until 2002, I was an elected Republican and served two terms as chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. I believed in the Republican Party’s ethics of small government and support of small business.

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