Early this morning, Donald Trump woke up and sent off a flurry of tweets including this one:

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail”!

6:55 AM – 29 Nov 2016

What are we to make of this tweet that defies the U.S. Constitution? In 1989 the Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson ruled that burning a flag in protest is political expression protected by the First Amendment. In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in Afroyim v. Rusk that the 14th Amendment forbids the government from taking away the citizenship of natural born Americans. Is Donald Trump suggesting that congress enact laws to punish flag-burning protesters by incarcerating them for a year and/or stripping them of their citizenship? Based on Supreme Court decisions, if congress did pass such laws, they would immediately be ruled unconstitutional. Read More →

Magic 8 Ball

This is insane. I can’t even begin to predict where it’s going. It’s like federal and constitutional law has never been challenged by someone like him in the role of president-elect and enforcement is something nobody planned for (I have a feeling history has seen this guy before). As though it has always been assumed that anyone interested in the presidency would also be interested in following a standard of decorum, respecting the office, and working within the framework that allows us to share a set of goals while we fight over the finer details. He has no connection to the conventional morality that we all share. We understand that bullish, self-absorbed, narcissism as personal traits would set some members of our families, coworkers, and associates against us in unnecessary ways. Did this guy ever have to hold his tongue in a meeting of colleagues, ruminate on hurting his mom’s feelings, or rethink how his actions contributed to creating a tense situation at a family gathering?  Read More →

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Donald Trump rebels against anything that doesn’t align with his own version of reality in which he is a supreme being adored by everyone. So as Hillary Clinton continues to gain more and more of the popular vote – last reported as a 2.2 million vote lead – he tweeted out more lies.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

…and a little later

“Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem”!

There is evidence from actual vote tallies showing that Hillary Clinton leads by over two million in the popular vote, and there is no evidence that millions of people voted illegally. If there was evidence of voter fraud and the press didn’t report it, then there would be bias. But there isn’t any evidence, so there is no biased reporting. Read More →

racism-hate-fear-tony-puryear-smAll the racists, xenophobes, misogynists, and nationalists across our country heard Donald Trump’s dog whistle “Make America Great Again” and united to vote for Donald Trump to make the Republican party the official party of hate, oppression, and fear. They heard Donald Trump say things about groups they hate, people they want to oppress, and heard him stoke the fires of fear. All these things he said  appealed to them (“He says the things I’m thinking”), so they voted for Trump. Read More →

Now that a few days have passed since the election, we have some demographic statistics that show who supported Donald Trump for president. We know his entire campaign was centered on racism, and disgruntled white Americans overwhelmingly voted for him. And one of those disgruntled white people was David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan. He tweeted, “Our people have played a HUGE role in electing Trump!” and “Anyone telling you this was a vote for ‘unity’ is a liar and they know it!” And it wasn’t just the KKK – Trump had the support of pretty much all of the hate groups in America. Haters attract haters. Read More →

kurt-vonnegut

Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut who was born 94 years ago on this day in 1922. He died in 2007, so this quote obviously refers to the Bush Administration, but I think it will have even more resonance on January 20, 2017.

I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka ‘Christians,’ and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or “PPs”.

I have been in shock since around 10:00 last night when it became clear to me that Donald Trump will be the next president. I have a friend who tells me we get the president we deserve, but what the fuck did we do to deserve a fear-mongering racist, bigoted, egotistical, pussy grabbing, narcissist with the vocabulary of a fifth grader and the temperament of colicky toddler in a hot car seat? I don’t know. I have some thoughts, but I haven’t strung them together yet.

I was going to when I got home tonight, but I turned on the radio and tuned into Greg Vandy’s Roadhouse on KEXP. I’m still listening, and it’s exactly what I need to hear right now.

Greg’s show is a heavy one tonight with old and new songs about the current state of our divided union, and many songs are by people I’ve never heard before, including this song by Radney Foster. It captured my attention first because of the powerful vocal quality and then because it’s a frightening vision of a demagogue’s power over the rubes.

It’s a single that was released in September. I think it will be on his upcoming album due out soon. It’s on my list.

Three ideas I’ve heard today to improve our democracy:

Some people seem to think this will improve voter turnout. So many people have to work on election day and, with the long lines in some precincts, in some states, this makes it more difficult for young, poor, and rural voters to make it to polling places when work, family, and distance impede their participation in our democratic process.
1.a Poor people, young people, and rural people don’t get the day off on national holidays. This would not change the electorate nor enfranchise those currently left out of the process. But if low voter turnout favors Republicans, this change would allow them to claim another “law and order” excuse for suppressing access to the polls.

Read More →

hillary-and-donald-6-sm

Choose wisely.

Here is a list of political songs you need to listen to during the final two weeks leading up to the presidential election on November 8th.

As you may have figured out by now, one of the biggest issues of this election is racism. The first few political songs take us back to the mid sixties through the mid seventies. Yes our nation has made some progress since then, but these songs remind you about what was going on then and makes you wonder why it’s still going on now. Read More →