Category: Republicans

Democratic Policies Have Always Reflected Christian Values

Media pundits are in full throttle trying to deal with the novel fact that some Democratic candidates are talking the language of faith in their messages. In IndieDems opinion, some are not getting it quite right. A prime example was a recent Washington Post column by Elizabeth Bruenig.  She included this statement:

“The crux of the (right-wing evangelical) alliance is opposition to abortion and liberal views on sexuality — but the religious left has no such unified identity, in part because it has no such unanimously agreed-on priorities.”

Here is IndieDems comment:

I take serious exception with Ms. Bruenig’s statement that the religious left has no unanimously agreed on priorities. The religious left, and the Democratic Party, agree unanimously on policies that are the most perfect expression of Jesus’ Golden Rule human beings have ever devised: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.

Those bedrock examples of compassion and concern for your fellow man—regardless of race, religion, or ethnic origin—are the guiding lights of American progressives and liberals. Each of them was put in place in the face of bellicose Republican opposition. Today’s Republicans are more united than ever in wanting to destroy them. Their elimination is in Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2020 budget.

Republicans, in short, continue their decades-long assault on Jesus’ Golden Rule. They have simply added to that a war against God’s 10 Commandments, by supporting a President who lives every minute in wanton contempt of the Commandments against adultery and bearing false witness. After two years of flagrant corruption, you can add contempt for “thou shalt not steal.”

The Republicans who do all of this and proclaim themselves to be Christians are, in my opinion, committing outright blasphemy. They certainly display the hypocrisy Jesus condemned when he stated that it’s the ones who make the most of praying in public who are the biggest hypocrites:

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men… But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6

Democrats Appealing to Religion: What’s Up for Christianity?

The media are paying increasing attention to the Democratic presidential candidates who are using the language of religion as a key part of their message. (See Pete Buttigieg shows how to campaign on values in the age of Trump).   The reports focus predominantly on South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose numbers are rising in the polls. In my opinion, some of the media are misrepresenting what Buttigieg is saying by presenting it mainly as a question of his fidelity to the Christian religion. But in reality, he has put it in the more general context of his faith and his interpretation of the true meaning of Christian doctrines. That is something that increasing numbers of Americans identify with.

The fact that more and more Americans do not claim membership in any Christian denomination does not at all mean they have abandoned their religious longings. It simply means they no longer believe that organized religion adequately reflects their religious longings—in fact, are antithetical to them. Christian churches help bring about their own demise by proclaiming that Christianity required being anti-abortion and/or anti-gay. Mankind took a mighty step away from that Dark Ages mentality when individuals said, if that’s the choice, to hell with your religion.

The same way previous generations rejected the idea that Christianity required the Inquisition, burning witches at the stake, supporting slavery, and supporting segregation. The Republicans—and especially evangelicals—who still live with that medieval mentality are reaping what they sowed. His Truth continues to march on, putting militant anti-abortion and anti-gay rights stands on the dust bin of history. And we can thank God for that.

Nielsen Firing Portends New Heights for Republican Misgovernance

The firing of Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, one of Trump’s most faithful lap dogs, because she could not implement his image of a perfect illegal immigration policy has dire implications for democracy and the rule of law in the United States, not only for their immediate consequences, but for what it will tell us about the bankruptcy of Republican governance.

What Nielsen’s firing shows is that there is no way to accomplish Trump’s goals according to the rule of law and democratic norms. His lies, demagoguery, inhumanity, and refusal to face reality have hit a brick wall. Nielsen’s departure, of course, changes nothing. But we know what it portends: Trump will simply double down on his lawlessness and demagoguery. Surely, there are more children and entire families he can place in wire cages in concentration camps —and he will find lackeys even more willing than Nielsen to follow his whims. Attorney General Barr, given his despicable precedence handling the Mueller report, will be the first to fall in line.

But the most chilling of the likely results: Congressional Republicans, led by the ilk of Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, and Lindsey Graham, will once more roll over and play dead as Trump roars ahead with his contempt for the rule of law, democracy, and common human decency toward the suffering of innocent human beings. Any semblance of hope that Republicans will finally rise in support of what we used to think of as America’s basic values will go by the boards. Only the Democratic House of Representatives may save us from total degradation. The rest of us can only pray for its success—and the results of the 2020 tions.

 

The Equivalency Principle Rears Its Misguided Head

A recent decision by Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, to change Senate rules on limiting debate set off a verbal battle between him and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer about which bears more of the blame for this and other changes undercutting the Senate’s historic filibuster rule. Once more, some media voices are raised in support of the equivalency principle:

McConnell and Schumer argue over Senate rules change to shorten debate

Others argue the contrary:

Mitch McConnell undid 213 years of Senate history in 33 minutes

IndieDems Comment:

For those always arguing equivalency between Democrat Schumer and Republican McConnell, pray, name me the Democrat supported by Schumer who has gone out of his way to:
–Brag about sexually assaulting women
—Praise neo-fascist demonstrators marching in a Nazi-inspired torch light demonstration chanting anti-Semitic slogans
—Kidnap migrant children and detain them in tent cities, with no regard for reuniting them with their families
—Mock and demean a woman who accused a powerful male of sexual assault
—Mock a handicapped person
—Call various females a dog , “Miss Piggy, bimbo, ugly, of low intellect
–Approve Howard Stern’s calling Ivanka “a piece of a–”
–Demean the military service of John McCain
–Praise the murderous thug Putin
–Call foreign countries “s—holes”
–Accuse Obama of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to hide his real birthplace
–Lie about undocumented immigrants being mostly rapists and criminals
—Tell 8,000+ other lies as President
—Proclaim his love of Kim Un Jong
—Direct his Justice Dpt to go to court to destroy Obamacare, thereby depriving millions of Americans of health care
—Gut Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid while passing a massive tax cut for the rich

The above represents the heart and soul, the innermost character, of McConnell and all Republicans. Mark it well.


The Cowardice of Mitch McConnell

Never before in the history of the Republic have we had a coward like Mitch McConnell in a top leadership office, a man who lives every day in mortal fear that he may offend Donald trump. What is really gut-reaching about McConnell’s cowardice is that he so obviously enjoys being Trump’s lap dog.

A President who practices lying as a way of life being pandered to by a Senate leader who practices cowardice as a way of life. The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican Party made manifest.


For God’s Sake, Democrats. Stop Playing Trump’s Collusion Game

To those of you Democrats enmeshed in endless debate over details of the Mueller report: please drag yourselves out of the weeds, stop just preaching to the choir, and start delivering the American people a message to win the 2020 elections.

Yes, the next step must be to make sure the whole report is released, along with supporting documents. But, please, stop arguing over whether collusion occurred or whether Trump (or his subalterns) did or did not commit a crime called collusion. Whatever you’re going to say about Mueller’s report and Barr’s memo, just drop the word collusion altogether. Whatever the nuances, Mueller is clear: collusion did not occur.

What message relevant to the 2020 do Democrats need to deliver about the Mueller report? Here’s my minimalist version:

“No collusion” in the 2016 presidential campaign? So what? Here’s what we know from the Trump/Republican track record of the past two years:

  • Trump is an asset for Vladimir Putin. Trump is implementing the foreign policies that have Putin’s stamp of approval. He is destroying the Western alliance nurtured by every President since WWII and insulting the leaders of our strongest allies, leaving the United States increasingly isolated internationally. Trump does all that while ignoring the deeds of the murderous thug Putin.
  • Trump’s willingness to kiss Putin’s behind reached its current nadir in his obsequious kowtowing to Putin at their summit in Helsinki
  • Trump accepts the word of this tyrant over the conclusions of U.S intelligence services about Russian interference in our elections. This act, alone, poses a threat to U.S. national security far beyond colluding with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
  • Trump, to this day, has not implemented one serious measure, much less passed a law, to strengthen our defenses against Russian cyber warfare designed to warp our elections.
  • Trump showed his willingness to sacrifice American interests on the altar of pandering to Putin by ushering Russian emissaries into the Oval Office and bragging to them that firing Comey served the cause of good U.S.-Russian relations–and revealed sensitive intelligence reports in the process.
  • The whole Trump organization’s dependence on Russian money is staggering in its implications for posing a threat to U.S. national security. Any individual so financially beholden to an enemy country would be denied a security clearance, and giving him a job would be unthinkable.

    What American exposed to the above empirical evidence would not believe it’s why our national security agencies deny Jared Kushner a security clearance? And what ignorant yahoo would fail to see the frightening implications of Trump’s going ahead and giving Kushner a clearance?

    It’s not just that Jared is a potential security risk. Trump’s decision brazenly displays the extent to which he is a Russian puppet and poses a threat to U.S. national security far surpassing any collusion in the 2016 election.

Other Voices

Just as I was marshalling my plea to Democrats to get themselves out of the muck and mire of the Mueller/Barr imbroglio and start delivering a forward-looking winning 2020 message, other voices more elegant than mine have already spoken.

George Will, one of America’s prominent conservative voices who quit the Republican Party in disgust over what a moral and intellectually bankrupt party it had become under Trump.

Thanks to Mueller, 2020 won’t be about 2016

(Excerpts)

Thanks to Mueller, the 2020 campaign will not be about the 2016 campaign. It will be about a post-Trump future — if unhinged Democrats can stop auctioning themselves to their party’s most clamorous factions, thereby making Trump seem to be what Mueller’s report does not say that he is: acceptable.

… Russia could pursue its ends without coordinating its activities with a campaign rife with lowlifes and bottom-of-the-barrel Republican operatives.

(Mueller’s report) is a gift to the nation, which now knows what was already a reasonable surmise: that its chief executive’s unlovely admiration for a repulsive foreign regime, Vladimir Putin’s, is more a dereliction of taste and judgment than evidence that he is under that regime’s sway.

An embarrassed nation aches for a president who is one thing: normal. Democrats, however, are looking weirder and weirder while cooking a bouillabaisse of indigestible ingredients…

And, Lo and Behold, President Obama

Obama cautions freshman House Democrats about the price tag of liberal policies

(Excerpts)

Former president Barack Obama gently warned a group of freshman House Democrats Monday evening about the costs associated with some liberal ideas popular in their ranks, encouraging members to look at price tags, according to people in the room.

…some people in the room took his words as a cautionary note about Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal, two liberal ideas popularized by a few of the more famous House freshmen, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

“He said we [as Democrats] shouldn’t be afraid of big, bold ideas — but also need to think in the nitty-gritty about how those big, bold ideas will work and how you pay for them,” said one person summarizing the former president’s remarks.

READ MORE

The Neo-Nazi Trumpists, cont.

There are two examples of the foreign policies followed by Trump and his rabid Republican followers that conclusively demonstrate Republicans have delivered the United States into the hands of people whose mentality is about one degree removed from the mentality of Hitler and the Nazis.

First and foremost, of course, it’s those Hispanic children locked up in concentration camps along our southern border that Trump and his lapdog Republicans give not one damn about.

But let us not forget the children in Yemen suffering  unconscionable horrors in the war being waged by Trump and Jared Kushner’s good buddy, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.  The Saudis under MBS have waged a nearly four-year conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians and inflicted a devastating famine. The same MBS who ordered the murder of his critic, Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

Senate Republicans recently, in a rare display of independence from Trump, voted to 54-to-46 to halt U.S. military assistance for the Yemen war, defying Trump for his defense of the Kingdom after the killing of Khashoggi.

  • Not surprisingly, Trump puppet Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, encouraged lawmakers to oppose the Yemen resolution, calling it “inappropriate and counterproductive” and warning them not to conflate their displeasure with the administration’s response to Khashoggi’s death with the broader issue of the conflict in Yemen. But in a show of defiance, seven Republican senators broke ranks to join the resolution.
  • Also not surprising, Georgia’s Senators Isakson and Perdue voted with the puppets, not the dissidents.

I stated that the mentality of Trump, McConnell, and Kushner is about “one degree” removed from Hitler’s in order to give the Republicans all the fairness they deserve. Personally, I believe two years of Trumpism have proven the Republicans totally mirror-image the Nazis. One simple fact: Trump’s praise for the pro-Nazi demonstrators in Charlottesville—followed by Republicans rallying even more fervently behind him.

Beyond a doubt, the Republicans under Trump have far surpassed McCarthyism in their assault on truth, honesty, and common human decency, and their willingness to use vile slander in pursuit of their ignoble aims. Like Trump’s continuing verbal assaults on John McCain—-followed by Republicans calling more fervently for his re-election.

Trump is, without a doubt, the Republicans’ Der Fuhrer.

Trump as Hitler Twin: The Link Tightens

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank offers the following:

This is how submissive Republicans have become to Trump
By Dana Milbank

(Excerpts)

  • This is how far Republicans will go in submissiveness to President Trump: they will vote to surrender military spending projects in their own home states and districts to avoid displeasing him.
  • By upholding Trump’s emergency declaration, they will give him blanket authority to take billions of dollars from any already approved construction projects of his choosing—and spend it on a border wall.
  • Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) will decide whether to offer up 11 projects — for air traffic, cyberprotection and training facilities, and more — at Robins Air Force Base, Fort Gordon, Fort Benning and elsewhere.
IndieDems Comment:

With two years of facts and reality staring us in the face, Donald Trump’s mirror imaging of Adolph Hitler has become glaringly apparent and becomes more real with every passing day. Milbank is stating the simple truth: Trump is to Republicans what Hitler was to the Germans of the 1930s. He is their Der Fuehrer, plain and simple.

Republicans have sacrificed any vestige of decency, morality, and loyalty to America on the altar of pandering to Trump’s approval. Trump’s wishes have become Republicans’ commands. And the Republicans’ willingness to betray America’s basic principles to suck up to Trump is far, far from reaching its nadir. They will continue to scream their approval for at least two more years—just like Germans continued to scream their approval of Hitler as the German war of aggression continued and the box cars took more and more innocent people to their deaths.

At the head of the line of Trump’s worshipers stand Georgia Republicans like David Perdue and Johnny Isakson. Who would doubt if they are practicing their Nazi salute? What evidence would say they are not?

GA Senate Votes Today (3/13/19) on Disputed Electoral System Reform

The Georgia State Senate votes today, Wednesday, March 13, on a bill that provides for a new statewide voting system. The measure, House Bill 316, has already passed the state House, and is supported by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

FROM the AJC
Georgia voting machine debate pits election officials vs. tech experts

Excerpts:

  • Georgia lawmakers are preparing for final votes on a statewide voting system that’s strongly supported by government workers experienced in running elections and just as staunchly opposed by computing experts who see an imminent threat to election security.
  • The Republican majority in the Georgia General Assembly is siding with election officials who want to install the new voting machinery…
  • Democratic legislators are aligned with cybersecurity experts who prefer paper ballots bubbled in with pens, a voting method that avoids the inherent risks of a computerized system.

__________________________________________________/

FROM VOTERGA (voterga.org). VoterGA is an independent watchdog group headed by Garland Favorito that closely monitors Georgia’s electoral system.

Will Lobbyists Steer Georgia into $350 Million Boondoggle?

ATLANTA GA – Why would Georgia legislators force taxpayers to buy the most expensive, least secure type of voting system? Why would a governor take out a 20 year bond to pay for a system that has a 10 year life span? Why would a bill authorize new devices to tabulate embedded votes in unverifiable bar codes when six systems tabulate human readable votes? Where is the fiscal note? The answers might be found in which vendors have the most powerful lobbyists.

HB316 has vendor specific language that favors an expensive system proposed by the incumbent vendor, ES&S. The bill attempts to subvert Georgia’s official full face ballot by authorizing small receipts with barcoded voting selections called   “scanning ballots”. The small receipts that studies have proven to be unverifiable are produced by a system that ES&S wants to sell to Georgia and ES&S has doubled down on their lobbying efforts. Former lobbyist Chuck Harper is now the Chief of Staff for Gov. Kemp. ES&S also employs Georgia Link to lobby Speaker Ralston. Founder John “Trip” Martin is from Blue Ridge, the Speaker’s hometown.

In 2002, Lewis Massey successfully lobbied the state to purchase Georgia’s current highly criticized system. He then formed a partnership with Bruce Bowers and John Watson, the current chair of the Georgia Republican Party. They lobby for Unisyn a small voting system vendor that also proposed a system using a similar type of “scanning ballot”. These two vendors and their lobbyists could benefit if specific HB316 language tailored to their systems passes the Senate today.

VoterGA cost estimates confirmed by a new study from the Open Source Election Technology Institute show a statewide implementation costing taxpayers over $150 million initially and over $15 million annually. That is over $100 million more and $8 million more annually than systems which are more secure according to experts like Trump 2020 advisor Tony Shaffer. The $50+ million interest on the bond exceeds the entire cost of a more secure system preferred by experts. Total outlay surpasses $350 million over the next 10 years alone.

The state has already been notified that defiance of all cybersecurity experts will lead to extended federal lawsuits that will cost Georgia taxpayers millions more to defend. It also risks federal intervention into Georgia elections. These are just some of the reasons why HB316 has been dubbed a vendor bill, not a voter bill.

Garland Favorito
Voterga.org
404 664-4044 CL

Free Speech on Campus: Is Trump Moving in Right Direction?

Students with a leftist bent have stirred controversy in  recent years by protesting the speeches by right-wing advocates on their campus and, in some instances, barring the rightists/conservatives from appearing.

President Trump on March 2 Trump announced his intent to issue an executive order that would make federal research funding contingent on whether a given college adequately protects free speech.

A Columbia University professor, Musa al-Gharbi, responded with an op-ed “Trump’s proposal to enforce campus free speech will only hurt conservatives.”

Here is my comment:

I oppose Trump in general, but I share his concern that leftists barring their opponents from speaking on campus poses a serious danger to freedom of speech. An Executive Order, much less one from Trump, may not be the answer. But I am glad that a president is using his office in support of one of our basic rights.

And Mr. al-Musa has done his viewpoint more harm than good. He confuses his strong defense of his own self-interests with being a neutral observer offering an objective viewpoint. My judgment is shaped by being filtered through my experience of growing up in the segregated South.

This paragraph in particular caught my attention (redacted for space): “Conservatives have long appreciated that…the success of government initiatives is typically dependent upon local knowledge and local buy-in. Absent these, well-intentioned efforts tend to fail and often cause great harm…As a consequence, conservatives consistently assert that…top-down approaches to social problems are unlikely to yield the intended results.”

Let me substitute a few words that to make my point: “Southern segregationists have long appreciated that…the success of government initiatives is typically dependent upon local knowledge and local buy-in. Absent these, well-intentioned efforts tend to fail and often cause great harm…As a consequence, segregationists consistently assert that…top-down approaches to social problems are unlikely to yield the intended results.”

The segs claimed that laws passed in Washington would not change morality. Well, maybe not, but they did end legal segregation, assure blacks equal access to public accommodations, and significantly strengthen their civil rights. Please, Mr. al-Musa, don’t dust off the old arguments of the segregationist to explain to me why federal intervention to protect civil rights on college campuses is unnecessary and, in the end, self-defeating.

-Tom Barksdale

The Republican Legacy: 70 Years Spiraling into the Gutter

Two years into the Trump presidency, here is what the empirical evidence based on the track record shows.

Republicans are morally depraved people who not only give us corrupt, incompetent government over and over again, but who, since at least the days of McCarthyism, have no shame about doing so. Between McCarthyism and Trumpism, they gave us the criminality, corruption, and malfeasance of Watergate and Irangate. The former included the criminally corrupt Spiro Agnew and the latter was presided over by the only President ever to pay ransom to terrorists.

Republicans assure us they still have no shame and want to continue giving us lies, corruption, and malfeasance as the new political norm by wanting to re-elect Donald Trump in 2020. The Republican Party is the most morally and intellectually corrupt institution in American history.

The spirit of Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, and Spiro Agnew lives on in the hearts and minds of every Republican, embodied in such ilk as Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Lindsey Graham. They worship Trump the way Germans worshiped Der Fuhrer Hitler.

Republicans every day trample underfoot God’s 10 Commandments, Jesus’ Golden Rule, the Constitution, the rule of law, America’s basic moral and democratic values–and common human decency.

The Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, in February 2019 abandoned any pretense that the GOP respected the Constitution’s separation of powers or Congress’ role of exercising oversight of the Executive Branch by announcing his support for Trump’s declaration of emergency powers to deal with an alleged immigration “crisis”  on our southern border–a phony “crisis” manufactured out of whole cloth by Trump’s lies about the numbers of illegal immigrants, their motivations, and the degree of their criminality.

Republicans have just proven everything I wrote by applauding Trump when he stated at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that John McCain was dead.

And we once thought Republicans had reached the bottom of their sewer by mocking a handicapped person and praising neo-Nazi demonstrators.

READ MORE