When did Busters become Breitbart believers?

Dick MorrisA friend recently asked if I’ve watched or read Clinton Cash, Crisis of Character, or Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary

The answer is simple. I don’t pay attention to right-wing propaganda. What mystifies me is why such an intelligent, well-informed, and well-reasoned individual would.

Here’s the more detailed response. Feel free to copy and paste it as your response to your Buster friends who are asking you these same questions.

“In the meantime, did you see or read Clinton Cash yet?”

No, and I’m not planning to watch it. It’s right-wing propaganda just like Citizens United’s “Hillary: The Movie” was.

Why would I give a shit what another hit piece has to say, especially knowing it comes from the likes of Peter Franz Schweizer, a “right wing political consultant,” “president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) and a former William J. Casey Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is also Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large.”

“How about Crisis of Character?”

No. Similar reason as above, and to wit:

“The book was denounced by the non-partisan Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service for making “security harder by eroding the trust between agents and the people they protect.”[2] Members of that Association also said that Byrne’s job and role at that time would not have given him the level of access that many of the book’s tales would be dependent upon.[2] Media Matters wrote that in places Byrnes’ account in the book stood in contradiction to his sworn testimony before the Independent Counsel during the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.[4]”

” Or former advisory to Clinton Dick Morris’ book, Armageddon.”

You mean the Dick Morris described below? No. Same reason. It’s right-wing bullshit that I can’t believe you’re buying into.
“Morris said that he would leave the United States if Hillary Clinton were elected president in 2008.[11]
“Morris was the strategist for Republican Christy Mihos’s campaign in the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial race[12] and supported Mitt Romney in 2012, predicting that he would achieve a landslide victory. Blogger Andrew Sullivan has named an annual award after Morris, given for “stunningly wrong political, social and cultural predictions.”[13] He has appeared in the past on the Fox News for political commentary, especially appearing on The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity.[14][15] After the 2012 election, Morris did not appear on Fox News for three months, and the network ultimately opted not to renew his contract.[16]”

UPDATE:

It’s worse than I thought…..

“Now he is the chief political commentator and correspondent for The National Enquirer.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/style/hillary-clinton-dick-morris-national-enquirer-donald-trump.html?_r=0

“How much smoke do you have to be surrounded by before you conclude there’s a fire?”

(To be clear, that’s my friend’s question to me. He knows that I was once a very vocal and active Sanders supporter who, like Bernie, now supports Hillary.)

I think you’re seeing fog, not smoke from a fire. What you call smoke, I call the intentional fog of propaganda and brainwashing. Repeat something enough times and people begin to believe it’s true. It’s how it works.
So, the answer to your question might be, “When it’s really smoke from a fire that some right-winger didn’t light.”

Here’s my only question to you (and to all the Busters who refuse to support Hillary):

When did you start becoming a fan and amplifier of this sort of propaganda?

And, please, don’t come back at me with some personal attack, ok?

I answered your questions as you asked. Now I’m asking you. Why do you trust these sources? Is it because they support the narrative you have about Clinton?

40 years in public life and nothing has stuck. After 40 years of trying, if there was even one ounce of ‘there’ there, wouldn’t something – anything – have stuck to her by now?

No, I am not saying she’s an innocent. Not by a long shot. Sadly, one doesn’t get to where she and Bill are and have been in American politics by being pure. What I am saying is that the entire weight of conservatism has been piled against her, and still no jumpsuit.

What bothers me most is watching some of my friends echoing right-wing propaganda.

 

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Tonight is the perfect opportunity for #Busters to turn the page

Bern as senate leaderLet’s be clear. It won’t do one damn bit of good to turn the Senate back to the Democrats if you throw your vote away on Stein and we end up with Trump in the White House.

The other thing? Sanders has said the process wasn’t rigged. Sanders has made it clear who he wants his supporters to back now.

Obama and Kaine gave him AND YOU props tonight.

Now would be the perfect time for Busters to demonstrate their intellect and their concern for America. You need to find some kind of closure in tonight.

If not now, when?

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What imbecile thought it was a good idea to have this guy lecture America on security-

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Answering children about #Trump and you

To Trump Supporters Everywhere:

Please put aside the fact that this is a campaign ad from Clinton. Please watch it, and then please ask yourself what part of the criticism of Trump contained just in this short piece – his hateful and violent rhetoric, his immature behavior, his complete lack of decency as a human being – isn’t true.

I’ll answer that.

Nothing. Nothing in this video – and so much more about him – isn’t true.

He is unquestionably the most abhorrent, the most vile, and the most embarrassing person this country has ever nominated to be president.

It may be tempting to claim the same of Hillary. She certainly has plenty of flaws. What she is not is an egomaniacal man-child acting like some spoiled brat who knows no bounds and possesses no adult self-awareness or emotional intelligence.

Is that really what this country needs and wants in a president? A bombastic buffoon who mindlessly flings violent, racist, xenophobic, and bigoted remarks around like some chimp at the zoo flinging its shit?

Hey, my kids are grown. They know the truth of this charlatan.

You Trump Train riders? My advice is that you had better start asking yourselves how you’re going to look future generations in the eye and how you’re going to answer them when they watch videos like this one and ask you why you supported this cretin.

We live in a digital age. Everything is preserved forever.

You won’t be able to ‘pretend’ you didn’t support him. The children are watching him and you.

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Parties, primaries, processes, and paying for democracy

This article from April by Ezra Klein in Vox, “This presidential campaign is developing a legitimacy problem,” is worth reading even though it’s now July.

Bernie future

The videos with it were helpful, too. I especially liked the explanation about why we don’t have a single day for primaries – something I’ve always wondered about.

Seems to me that issue rests at the feet of this anachronistic idea called state’s rights. To the point about a lack of national standards made by a friend of mine, when political parties in 52 jurisdictions get to make up their own rules, why would we expect anything but chaos, corruption, and questionable outcomes? I think we need national standards like single-day primaries and the ‘retirement’ of caucuses – another anachronistic idea that serves to exclude more Americans than it includes.

Tax Status of Parties and the Cost of Elections

I found this article, “Tax-Exempt Political Parties Have Money and Resources to Keep Elections Rigged,” from IVN while researching the question of the tax status of political parties. It’s from 2014. Political parties are, according to IVN, non-profit 527s, not for-profit corporations. Perhaps there was a time when they were for-profit? I’m asking because I don’t know.

Another point made in this IVN piece that I hadn’t really considered before is just the straight-up “operational” costs to have polling places.

Candice Nelson, a professor with American University’s government department, balks when asked whether states should do anything to restrict funding, tax-exempt or not.

“[I]t costs money to put on elections — to have a voting booth and have a place to go and vote,” Nelson said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable for states to pay for the funding of those elections.”

The quote got me thinking about the costs that go into making it possible for us to cast our vote, and that includes campaigning and primaries.

It does cost money, and I do see elections as a function of the public sector that benefits the public good. I think the process should be funded by taxpayers, even those who choose not to participate. That’s their choice. (I’ll get to open vs closed primaries next.)

What I am totally against is privatizing anything that has to do with our electoral process, and that includes how political parties are funded, how campaigns are funded, and how the electoral process itself is funded. Privatizing any (more!) of that would, it seems to me, only strengthen the grip of power those with all the money have already over us and our politicians.

IVN t-shirtPublic service announcement:
I’d like to encourage everyone to kick a few bucks to IVN as I just did and have done in the past. I have the t-shirt to prove it.  ;-)

Primaries

As for open vs closed primaries, I admit to being more for closed primaries under the current process because I tend to think that a party’s members should be the people who choose who represents their party. This is where I’m admittedly not aligned 100% with IVN.

I don’t see primaries as the election. I see primaries as the means by which parties choose whom they wish to represent them. While IVN’s arguments do hold up that, for all intents-and-purposes under the present system, primaries serve in a big way as proxies for the actual election, they are not, in my mind, actually that. Here’s why.

Some people I know will tell you that they plan to cast their vote outside the two parties in November because they don’t like either candidate. If that’s the course they choose to follow because their candidate didn’t get enough support within a respective party, then they still have that as their prerogative.

I also think under the current system that closed primaries are the best way to keep people from rigging the outcomes even more perversely than is claimed that they are today. Democrats don’t want Republicans showing up to cast a ballot in the Democratic primary, and vice versa, just as Greens and Libertarians probably don’t want Democrats and Republicans despoiling their selection processes.

For a really interesting review of primaries in the U.S., see this Wikipedia page, Primary elections in the United States. Per this page, there are only 11 states that have closed primaries.

Now, as I see it, if we had single-day open primaries, then I think these problems are mostly solved. Bear in mind that nothing is perfect; however, under this scenario, everyone can vote, they all do so on the same day so crossing-over is reduced, and unaffiliated voters can participate but, as in any election, only a single vote gets cast. I’d also turn this whole electoral process, primary and general, into instant-runoff voting so that a second, third, and even fourth choice actually has a chance to win.

What I am absolutely all for is more parties. Figuring out how to fund parties seems like the thorniest problem to resolve. I don’t claim to have any answers. I sometimes think publicly funded elections are the best way to go, but then the question becomes how to distribute public funds to the parties? Is it relative and based on size of membership, or is it a flat amount? Then it feels like we’re right back to the question of party membership and open vs closed primaries.

Why have parties at all?

I think it’s human nature. We are not individuals. We are social animals who instinctively, emotionally, and for all kinds of practical reasons need each other to survive. As such, we’re going to coalesce into groups, and groups tend to take positions for or against all sorts of things based on what the group’s individuals collectively want, need, and believe. I think this “for or against” human tendency explains a lot about why there are only two major parties with lots of less popular and less populated parties who haven’t gotten traction. Most people don’t want to be in a group with little to no power and influence.

There’s no question that our political system is clearly broken and rigged to favor the present duopoly. I firmly believe that we need a different way of running our campaign, electoral, and political processes. As those who know me know, I’ve been advocating for years for ideas like the American Anti-Corruption Act and for the work that the people like Represent.Us and MayDay.us are doing on this issue. I support them along with the Independent Voter Network, and hope that everyone reading this will, too.

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