Friday, January 20, 2017

Last Call For Bernie Does Sacramento

Looks like the Bernie Bros are putting their votes where their mouths are: The Our Revolution gang has taken over the California Democratic Party and looks to leverage control of the largest state party in the country to affect national Democratic priorities.

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) turned out en masse at ordinarily sleepy party caucuses earlier this month, electing a slate of delegates who could be poised to take over the largest Democratic Party organization outside of Washington, D.C. 
As final vote totals trickled in, Sanders backers claimed to have elected more than 650 delegates out of 1,120 available seats chosen at this month’s caucuses. Those delegates will choose the next state Democratic Party chairman, along with other party officials. 
Sanders supporters say they hope to change the very nature of the Democratic Party. 
“One of the issues we’re looking to do is transform the party,” said Shannon Jackson, executive director of Our Revolution, the organization that grew out of the Sanders’s presidential campaign. “This is the first step in that process.”

Our Revolution ran an on-the-ground get-out-the-vote effort, to make sure supporters attended caucuses in each of the state’s 80 assembly districts. The group sent out more than 100,000 emails and delivered 40,000 text messages, Jackson told The Hill. More than 800 Sanders supporters signed up to run for delegate seats. 
Longtime Democratic activists, used to low-turnout caucuses in which only party regulars show up, were stunned by the long lines they faced this year. One party strategist in Sacramento said he waited 45 minutes in line before being able to vote, when he was used to walking in and out in the space of five minutes. 
The surge in turnout, and Sanders backers’ success, caught the attention of elected leaders in Sacramento. 
“There’s a lot of energy in the party right now. We need to move really quickly to harness this energy,” state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) said in an interview, marveling at the turnout in his Los Angeles-area district.

I don't always agree with Sanders guys (to put it mildly) but credit is given where credit is due, all the times I've said "Well then get off your asses and do something to change things if you don't like the party rules" to these guys, well they did exactly that in California.

Getting involved in the local and state party level?  That's precisely what we need a hell of a lot more of and in all 50 states too.  Maybe this is the start of getting the Democratic party turned around.

I'm also very glad to see the Sanders folks finally realize that working from within the Democratic party rather than against it is the far more effective path to long-term victory.  If these are the activists ready to get involved and start filling local and state candidate slates rather than abandoning them to the GOP, then you know what?  That's how representative democracy works, guys.

More power to 'em.  They were told put up or shut up, and they put in the work and got involved.  We need more of that.  A lot more.

And not just in California.  This is a good place to start, however.

Bulls On Parade

Trump, like most authoritarian despots, wanted actual goddamn tanks rolling down the streets for his inauguration parade, because he's a goddamn tyrant.  The Pentagon politely told him no for several reasons.

The military “may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Trump told the Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday. “That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”

Trump spoke about his vision of military parades in vague terms, suggesting it was something he might oversee in the future. But according to several sources involved in his inaugural preparations, Trump has endeavored to ensure that his first day as commander-in-chief is marked by an unusual display of heavy military equipment.

During the preparation for Friday’s transfer-of-power, a member of Trump’s transition team floated the idea of including tanks and missile launchers in the inaugural parade, a source involved in inaugural planning told The Huffington Post. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” the source said, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang, typically seen as an aggressive display of muscle-flexing.

The military, which traditionally works closely with the presidential inaugural committee, shot down the request, the source said. Their reason was twofold. Some were concerned about the optics of having tanks and missile launchers rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. But they also worried that the tanks, which often weigh over 100,000 pounds, would destroy the roads.

“I could absolutely see structural support being a reason [not to use tanks],” a Department of Defense official said. “D.C. is built on a swamp to begin with.”

Two things here: One, these are now the people in charge of the United States of America and its military, the strongest on the planet by an order of magnitude or so.  Two, it wasn't Trump who immediately shot this idea down, like most actual human beings with souls would do.  No, the request to roll tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue actually made it to the Pentagon.

By the way, Trump will get military flyovers.  Lots of them.  The last president to have flyovers as part of an inauguration?  Truman, after being re-elected after the Allies won WWII.  You know, the guy that nuked Japan twice.

We are in dire trouble from the word go.

The Age Of Austerity Is Coming

It's going to be a race to see who can cause more misery with draconian austerity cuts: Paul Ryan and the House (who have been cooking up brutal Medicaid Medicare and Social Security cuts for years and will almost certainly get them) or the Trump regime, who is apparently working on cutting everything else in the budget.

Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned. 
The changes they propose are dramatic. 
The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations. 
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely. 
Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years
The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has helped staff the Trump transition. 
Similar proposals have in the past won support from Republicans in the House and Senate, who believe they have an opportunity to truly tackle spending after years of warnings about the rising debt. 
Many of the specific cuts were included in the 2017 budget adopted by the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), a caucus that represents a majority of House Republicans. The RSC budget plan would reduce federal spending by $8.6 trillion over the next decade.

Congrats, America.  You're not going to get a "government small enough to drown in a bathtub", you're going to get a government that drowns you in one instead.

So many Americans voted for Trump on the basis that he would hurt those people instead of the people ignorant enough to buy his con.  So many Americans are about to find out they were always going to get screwed by him.  Sure, there are plenty of folks who will be content to suffer just as long as it means anyone darker than a paper bag ends up back in crushing poverty, but as I keep reminding people, the majority of Americans on cash welfare, SNAP food assistance, SS disability checks and housing assistance programs are all white people.  When they start really hurting too, maybe they'll come around.

Probably not though.  At least they wont be, you know, black.  Long as Trump can keep that scam going, he can end the New Deal and start a new Gilded Age, no problem.  So as the Trump regime takes power (I refuse to call them "administration" because that would assume they 1) care about governance, 2) are capable of competent governance, 3) aren't a bunch of actual thieves and con artists, 4) aren't a white nationalist movement) this afternoon, remember:

It gets darkest just before it all goes pitch black.

StupidiNews, Inauguration Day Edition!

Donald Trump will be sworn in at America's 45th President at noon in Washington DC today.

This is really less of a news event as it is a warning of impending disaster.

New tag:  Trump Regime.
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