Maybe I’m Wrong About Russia, But…

…it seems to me that if elite Democrats and the corporate media would pursue Wall Street reform, affordable housing, student debt, the wealth gap, or restoring coverage to working people (many of them self-employed –trust me, I know something about this–) who lost health care coverage as a direct result of the ACA, or even some or even any of this with the same vigor with which they breathlessly push the kind of, maybe, no proof yet Russia allegations, maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t find themselves even less popular now than Donald Trump and Mike Pence (who, as you know, lost the popular vote).

Could it be that the Democratic elite have learned nothing from November?  Have learned nothing from the Sanders insurgency?  They learned nothing from Occupy Wall Street, so, really, we shouldn’t be surprised.

But what do I know?  I’m just a self-employed person watching thousands of self-employed people lose coverage.   Trumpcare or Ryancare or whatever you want to call it isn’t the answer. But the worst parts of Obamacare need to be addressed not just by Republicans, bit also by leading Democrats, and not just by Bill Clinton.  Admit the mistakes. Admit that the mandate is unpopular.  Admit that the people who lost coverage matter as much as the people who gained it.  Every last one of them matter every bit as as much.

Outspoken progressives refusing to swallow the Democratic party line, people like HA Goodman, Mike Tracy, and Tim Black, have been saying these things for a long time.  In return, they’re treated like outcasts by the Official Left.  They’re trolled as being crypto-fascists, Bernie Bros,  or whatever else.  Could it be, though, that the Democratic elite are focusing on Russia, or on Kellyanne Conway’s frivolities, or lashing out at progressives because it keeps them from having to push real policy agendas that people actually want?  That is to say, it keeps them from having to take on the interests that fund their (and Republican) campaigns and careers?

Like him or not, Donald Trump was elected because he represented a break from the status quo and from the status quo interests that control official Washington.  Democrats  (and Republicans) would do well to remember that.


Democrats Need to Try Harder

Yes, Republicans need to do some serious soul searching. But so do Democrats. I’m so tired of the Democratic trope about working class white people being bamboozled into voting against their economic self interest. I’m not asking for a civics or history lesson with this post. Trust me, I get it. I’ve studied these things at high levels for many years. So have many of you. What I am asking for, though, is a bold plan from Democrats to convince those white working class voters that Democrats have something better to offer than Republicans. Many rank-and-file working-class white people, especially in rural areas, don’t trust you, Democrats. Many of them trust plutocratic billionaires more. Why? Well, your nominee is a plutocratic millionaire, so there’s that. But they also just don’t believe that you’ll do anything for them economically, because they believe you haven’t so far. Some of you (and I stress “some”) are so busy deriding these people, referring to their communities as flyover country, and mocking them for not getting that you, and only you, care about helping them, that you never stop to consider that your party’s pathetic lack of traction with them might partially be on you. Then, when Republicans come along and say that you don’t care about them, that you’re out of touch with them and their values, you blame the Republicans for pandering. If you’re so great for working class white people, it should be easy to prove it. You should be winning this election easily. But people don’t trust you and they don’t trust Clinton. They also don’t trust the systems that you and your kissing Republican cousins have built for the last half-century. Those of them that support Trump get to swipe at you and at the establishment Republicans in one move. All of that said, I remain neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and cannot wait to vote for Jill Stein.

“All Lives Matter” is the “Dammit, Otto, You Have Lupus” of Political Discourse

all lives do matter, of course they do. but saying that in response to “black lives matter” is, as I’ve heard someone say, like treating breast cancer or lung cancer by saying “all cancers matter.” The systematic murder of black people in this country must be stopped, and so attention must be called to it. our systems don’t flesh out as though black lives matter at all, and so we have to say it. saying it is, in itself, so scandalous, apparently, that it’s an act of subversion. Jesus would say it.



Emailing Jeff Bezos About “Callous” Practices; Amazon As The New Atlantis

Jeff Bezos Says Amazon Won’t Tolerate ‘Callous’ Management Practices – The New York Times.

First Things has this to say, likening the Amazon ethos to Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis:  Amazon is Cruel to Be Kind.  You know that one was sitting in an editor’s hopper somewhere, waiting for other shoes to drop, maybe, after Spencer Soper’s expose about Amazon warehouse conditions a few years ago.  On that note, my email, dateline Allentown, PA, this morning, to Jeff:

Hi Jeff,

You seem sincere in your message to Amazonians re: the NYT piece.

I’m not an Amazonian, but the issue hits close to home because I live
in the Lehigh Valley and spend time advocating for the working poor.

I’m sure you remember the story from a few years ago about the Lehigh
Valley fulfillment center. If that was how management/culture treats a
workforce that, let’s be honest, has next to zero access to the
management bubble (let alone a shot at moving up the corporate
ladder…they’re mostly temps, and that’s intentional), then why would
it be shocking that the culture in other parts of the company might be
similarly toxic?

I applaud your personal efforts to ensure a progressive and fair
workplace for people at all levels…even temps.

all best,

Chris Cocca,

Allentown, PA

photo: CC James Duncan Davison

Almost Every Major Poll Shows Bernie Sanders Challenging or Defeating Clinton and Republicans. Here’s Why | H. A. Goodman

Hillary Clinton is one of the most cynical choices for president in at least a generation.  H.A. Goodman does a good job explaining why.

Almost Every Major Poll Shows Bernie Sanders Challenging or Defeating Clinton and Republicans. Here’s Why | H. A. Goodman.

An aside:  The FBI investigation is going to so thoroughly compromise Clinton’s campaign, it’s not outlandish to think that the real contest a few months from now will be between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.  That’s a contest Sanders wins going away.  Even if Clinton stays in the race, the Bernie movement is only just beginning.  Clinton lost this way to Obama 7 years ago without the burden of a shady record in the executive branch and an email scandal that in every way imaginable precludes her for the office she feels destined for.  Sorry not sorry, Madame Secretary.

Speaking of that War on Women: 56 Million Women Aren’t Working

A few notes:

  • Brietbart is a conservative outlet, so know that going in.  I consider myself progressive.
  • I don’t consider most pro-life stances to be anti-woman by default.  That’s not part of this article, but it is part of the overall conversation.
  • The jobs numbers, overall, look bad.
  • We still fall short on equal pay for equal work.

Why are we hitting an all-time high of woman not in the workplace? We suck at family leave, but that’s not the only answer.  Compared to places like Scandinavia, our capitalism seems not only lacking any true generative qualities, but is, essentially, toxic.

Record 56,209,000 Women Not in Labor Force – Breitbart.