Republican-Primary

anonymous asked:

sam ronan hasn't actually changed any of his positions, he's just trying to hijack the republican primary. he's in a deep red district, it's not like running as a dem would change anything so he's just trying to be as much of a pain in the ass for the republicans as possible, which is, when you think about it, an admirable endeavor

He’s not going to be a pain in the ass, if he’s very lucky he’ll break 2% of the vote, establish a reputation as being a novelty candidate, and paint his movement as completely unserious right when they want to be taken seriously.

Google, Trump, and the Arrogance of Power

Google’s search engine runs two-thirds of all searches in the United States and 90 percent in Europe.

“Platform monopolies” like this can squelch innovation. Google might favor its own services, such as Google Maps and Google Product Search, for example. This is one reason why the European Commission hit Google with a record 2.42 billion-euro fine in June.

Why hasn’t Google run into similar problems with antitrust authorities in the United States?

It almost did in 2012. The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition recommended that the Commission sue Google for conduct that “has resulted — and will result — in real harm to … innovation.”

But the commissioners decided not to pursue the case, which was unusual. They didn’t explain their decision, but it may have had to do with Google’s political clout. 

Google is among the largest corporate lobbyists in the United States, and a major campaign donor.

Google also has enough financial power to stifle criticism coming from independent researchers.

Last week the New York Times reported that the New America Foundation, an influential center-left think tank, fired Barry Lynn, a sharp critic of platform monopolies. Lynn had posted a congratulatory note to European officials on their Google decision, and called for American antitrust officials to follow suit.

Since its founding in 1999, the New America Foundation has received more than $21 million from Google (and its parent company, Alphabet) and from the family foundation of Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet who previously served as chairman of New America’s board.

According to the Times, Schmidt didn’t like Lynn’s comments, and communicated his displeasure to the president of the New America Foundation. She then accused Lynn of “imperiling the institution as a whole,” and fired him and his staff.

Few powerful institutions or people like criticism. But it’s never smart to use power to try to stop it.

Consider Donald J. Trump. It may seem odd to mention Trump at the same time I’m talking about Google. Google’s executives tend to be on the left. Eric Schmidt was a major backer of Hillary Clinton.  

But power is power, and Trump has demonstrated a similar tendency to throw his ever-expanding weight around. Like Google, he doesn’t particularly like to be criticized, if you hadn’t noticed. 

Trump also has a record of paying off politicians. During the 2016 Republican primaries, when attacked by his GOP rivals for having once donated money to Hillary Clinton, Trump explained “as a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”

After Trump’s charitable foundation made a $25,000 contribution to a campaign organization linked to Florida’s Attorney General, she decided not to open a fraud investigation of Trump University that her office had been considering. Not quite the Federal Trade Commission, but a similar transaction.

To support his ambitions, Trump has also paid for, shall we say, fake news. His presidential campaign seems to have financed a lot of fictional dirt on Hillary.

Google doesn’t pay for fake news, but it does pay off academics to help sway public opinion and policymakers in its favor.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Google has financed hundreds of professors at places like Harvard and Berkeley to write research papers that help Google defend itself against regulatory challenges of its market dominance. Google’s payments range from $5,000 to $400,000.

This research has been used by Google in courtrooms, regulatory hearings, and congressional hearings.

Some professors have allowed Google to see the papers before they’re published, enabling Google to give them “suggestions,” according to emails obtained by the Journal.

The professors’ research papers don’t disclose that Google sought them out, and don’t necessarily reveal Google’s backing.

I’m not suggesting their research has been faked. But the failure to fully disclose Google’s connection with it does raise questions about its objectivity.

Google and Trump are wildly different, of course, but they’ve been playing much the same game. They’ve used their clout to stifle criticism, paid members of Congress to pull their punches, and bought fake or at least questionable facts to support of their goals.

Whether it’s a giant left-leaning corporation or an unhinged alt-right president, the underlying problem is the same. It imperils our democracy and breeds distrust in our system. Such abuse of power is morally wrong.

I’ll try and simplify the healthcare debate and where we’re at right now (July 26). 

Yesterday, McCain and Pence cast the deciding votes to begin debate on repeal and replace. The vote was 51/50. Before McCain came back and Pence came in for the tiebreaker, the debate could not have moved forward. 

The vote yesterday wasn’t a vote on a particular bill, it was just a motion to move forward. It’s sort of like releasing the Kraken. The Kraken has not eaten anyone yet, but the gates, which were formerly very strong, are now opening.

There are several ways the Republicans can move forward now:

  1. Repeal Obamacare without replacing it (already voted on)
  2. Repeal Obamacare with a replacement that will severely cut Medicaid, kick 30+ million off insurance and lower taxes on the rich (House version)
  3. Repeal Obamacare with a replacement that will severely cut Medicaid even worse, kick 20+ million off insurance and lower taxes on the rich (Senate version)
  4. “Skinny repeal” (kicking 15 million off insurance in the short term and many more in the longer term)
  5. Some unholy mixture of the above 

They’ve already held a vote on repealing without replacing, but everyone already knew that wouldn’t pass. What they’re doing now by forcing votes on many different versions is finding out where each Republican lies and how many people they’re OK with killing. This is also crucial for Republican primaries. Right wing groups will record how each Republican votes, and the ones deemed insufficiently devoted to killing poor people will be scored badly, which means they might be challenged more successfully by more conservative candidates when election time comes. Democrats and allies will also be keeping track of votes to pressure in the opposite direction, but since many Republicans are in “safe” seats, they don’t have to care about that.

All we can do is block and delay from this point. But successful blocking and delaying is still possible, and we have to keep blocking and delaying until we can change the balance of power in the Senate.

@lesbianahsoka ok so the condensed version is that jeri ryan had an affair with a producer on star trek while she was in voyager and that led to her ex husband trying to reconcile their marriage by going to weird sex clubs in europe but they ultimately divorced her ex husband is jack ryan a politician in illinois who decided to run for senate in 2004 he won the republican primary but newspapers got a hold of the divorce papers from their divorce which were bad enough to hurt his campaign and he dropped out of the race leaving the republicans to not have a well supported candidate so the race was easily won by the democrat barack obama and thats how voyager got obama elected to the senate which later led to him being able to run for president 

Ted and Heidi: Conservative Love

Under the hot gaze of unblinking, glass eyes, Heidi extends her tongue and gently takes her husband’s load. The camera operators may smirk, but they serve their lenses; the conduit to the masses. The masses: the collective third party in this intimate act. Ultimate threesome.

Heidi feels the countless eyes upon her; millions of fingertips upon screens and keys, caressing her as a notion. She is bathed in our attention, and she is hot for it. Sucking it up.

Mustn’t look at the lenses, though. Not for this performance. That would disrupt the theater of it. Like asking Ted as he masturbates in the closet, peeking out through the slats, if the angle is right as she has the hunky, young poolboy, chosen so carefully, eat out her asshole. It only truly works when you pretend the audience isn’t there.

Her Patriarch, her husband, her man, Ted, slides his spoon into her mouth, and gives her a taste. He is the font from which all that she needs flows. Right into her. She is his receptacle. The good wife, as in Biblical times, opening herself to him, to receive what he chooses to give.

All delivered for those cold lenses, for the promise of money, power, and fame. The ultimate Conservative sex act in modern America.

Heidi’s lips close around her husband’s spoon. He gives it a tilt and a swivel, oh so gentle, never so attentive as when the whole world is watching. The gelato slides off onto her hot tongue and begins to melt oh so sweet. Ted pulls his spoon from her mouth.

Heidi swallows.

And it is good.

Democratic Nomination 2020

so I figured I’d give my hot take on 2020 Democratic nomination because why not?

No Country for Old Men:

Jerry Brown: Brown’s name, to my shock, has come up a few times. The first a most major problem is that Jerry is ALREADY 79 years old, and will be in his 80s by 2020. Not to be grim, but it’s mathematically unlikely for a man who is 82 on taking office to live to serve two full terms, even one term would be a gamble. Past the mathematical issue, Jerry is a household name in California politics but over 40 years has never managed to build up a base of support outside is home state. Best known as “Moonbeam” two flopped runs for President hint how round 3 would go even if he was 10 years younger.

Bernie Sanders: It’s pretty clear that Bernie is at least thinking about another run at the Presidency. His problem is in the same as Brown, if slightly less intense. He’s 75 right now meaning he’ll be 79 election day 2020 asking people to vote for a President who will be in his 80s in office is a tall order. I realize that age for whatever reason didn’t hunt the 70 year who eats trash, never sleeps and hates work outs, but I feel like a nearly 80 year old can’t get away with it. I’ve heard many of his supports saying he should run on age alone. Past this Bernie failed to connect with black and latino voters in 2016 and has made a few notable missteps since becoming a mega political figure. More and younger progressives are interested in running and the fandom around Bernie is unlikely to relight with the same flame in 2020, even if it did, it was not enough in 2016, he needs to widen his support outside of white liberals and college kids to win the primary.

Joe Biden: again age is the biggest single problem he’ll be 78 years old on election day 2020, and like Bernie it’s pretty clear Joe is at least thinking about it. Again I think asking voters to have a President in his 80s is a bridge too far. Though the health of the sitting President might be a factor, if Trump very unhealthy lifestyle plus the horrible stress of being President leads to Trump looking sick, weak and unhealthy after 4 years, even a older man who was slim and fit and sharp might benefit next to a fat slow unhealthy mess. Though it might also serve to highlight the risks of an older President. Past age Joe has no geographic or Ideological base. While remembered with a level of fondness by Democrats, his image is as something of a drunk uncle (I know he does not drink) who’s fun and says what we’re all thinking. I’m unsure that translates and the warm fuzzy feeling people have about him as a member of the Obama team I don’t think boost him much. His last two tries to run for President were total failures and his 2015 non-run didn’t show very impressive polling for a sitting VP

Hillary Clinton: While much younger than the 3 other people in this camp (she’ll be a youthful 72 come 2020) and younger than Trump, she’s a woman and as we saw in this campaign women are badly punished for showing signs of age. It seems fairly clear Hillary does not want to run. Her running would set all the former Bernie people’s hair on fire and generally the press would have a field day printing nasty stories and playing the 2016 primary all over again along with “have the Democrats learned nothing?” all pretending that Hillary didn’t win the popular vote and is super out of touch, blah blah blah. What’s more many of her hardcore supporters suffered a soul crushing loss and might not have the energy to gear up for a 3rd bitter battle to the nomination, while many feminists who like Hillary but aren’t worshipers likely feel it’s time for a new younger woman to try to take down the glass ceiling

When you’re famous, they let you do it:

Kanye West: he said he will run for President, if he means it, or remembers saying it, who knows. A lot of people will say in the age of Trump we should count out any rich or famous person. However this over looks that the Republican Primary voter and the Democratic Primary voter are very different. The later is more likely to be college educated for one thing, as well as ethnically diverse and think experience is important. Getting back to West, he’s generally seen as a huge egomaniacal crazy person. His troubles with mental health are public record with his very public break down in November 2016 (and some other things). His ego and weird need to pick a fight with the First couple of hip hop Jay Z and Beyonce has made him a messy and controversial character even with-in Hip Hop and the black community. What’s more is November trip to Trump Tower and on stage weird pro-Trump rant are unlikely to go away. Also there’s the in-laws, his wife is someone a lot of people love to hate, and his step-mother-in-law Caitlyn Jenner has gotten a lot of well earned stick for being a Republican Trump supporter and rather tone deaf on most issues.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: He has a history, low key granted, as a Republican, has not really voiced any support for any policies or issues. On the plus side he’s handsome, can laugh at himself and seems generally likable and well liked. That said there’s no proof he’s smart in any way and much of his history has been playing over the top characters and then over the top characters making fun of the fact that he’s the Rock. All of which might give Democratic votes Trump flashbacks. If he can speak clearly on issues and takes progressive stands on things he’ll have an outside shot, but if he can’t sound like an adult and draw a line under the guy who stars in the Baywatch remake he has no hope

Mark Cuban: As boorish and bullying as Trump, with vague political ideas that mostly circle around Ayn Rand and discount libertarianism Cuban is unlikely to get Democratic voters hot. Voters will likely also dislike his early softening on Trump after the election. That said Cuban has clearly made a lot of money, a lot of Democratic Primary voters loath Trump and might wish for a candidate who only bullies, attacks, and mocks the object of their hate, his money and experience with politics before now puts him above Johnson or West but behind the next guy

Mark Zuckerberg: One of the handful of business people in the 21st century to be a household name. Young, tech friendly he and his company seem the very embodiment of white millennial ideas of diversity and inclusion. Sadly for the Zuck the place one might expect him to most popular, with people under 35 who are on-line a lot is the place he’s the least popular. Justified or not a lot of people get a creepy big brother vibe from Facebook and Zuckerberg has become something of a Hollywood stock villain type, with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor just being a retread of his performance from The Social Network. indeed that movie is a major problem for Zuckerberg, he’s a villain and a creep in a hugely popular movie all about him. Zuckerberg is and always has been a slightly awkward, slightly off nerd, and lacks the charm to fight off attacks that he stole Facebook from someone, he’s too California tech kid to be relatable for much of America. That said weirdly Zuckerberg might play well with older voters who didn’t see the Social Network, don’t understand the problems people have with Facebook and see a young, fairly good looking young man who built a company they know and likely use, who’s used his money to do good stuff, who has a charming and beautiful wife and a multi-ethnic family, basically a kind of anti-Trump. Outside of the story of how Facebook started I’ve never heard any stories of him being a jerk on a personal level, and while we laugh at him feeding cows, some people like when the big city liberals come out and get their hands dirty.

The (White) Dude abides:

Steve Bullock: Freshly re-elected in a bad year for Dems out of a Red state. All sounds good, but the state is Montana, who’s Democratic party is hardly reflective of the national party. In a party headed to the left it’s unlikely a western conservative will get people off. past this he has no national name recognition, and his last name is a British slang term for a testicle, something the internet will love

John Hickenlooper: a two term governor of a key swing state that Democrats need to win, Hickenlooper has a fairly progressive record, will likely make stoners and college students happy because his state has legal pot (even though he didn’t support it, that’s likely to be a detail glossed over by 2020). counting against him is that he’s largely unknown outside his state and political nerd circles, and he has a frankly ridicules name and is skinny and odd looking. A strange looking man with a very weird lass name, politics can be piety that way.

Terry McAuliffe: another governor from a key swing state, but like Bullock and Hickenlooper with very little name recognition outside is own state. Past this McAuliffe will have been out of office for 3 years, the 2017 race is likely to get far more attention than his race and if Tom Perriello replaces him, he’ll have been beaten in what looks and feels like a Clinton Bernie rematch, with Perriello as Bernie, close links to the Clintons will likely get him tarred as a corporate Democrat.

Still feeling the Bern:

Tulsi Gabbard: A lot of ink has been spilled about Gabbard, but she’s young, very pretty, multi-ethnic from a minority majority state with a military record. Her support for Bernie endears her to a block of his voters. However, she’s just a Representative, no one since Garfield has jumped from the House to the Presidency. Again remember Democratic Primary voters different from Republican ones. Her support for Assad has won her alt-right fans, but both those facts will likely be horrifying to most Democratic voters. It’s unclear if she’ll be able to use her status as a minority and woman to hide from attacks based on past homophobia and islamophobia. Finally her early meetings with Trump, her statements about Russia and Putin and the bridges she burned down with non-Bernie supporters in the party are all likely to hurt her badly

Elizabeth Warren: Likely the only person the American Left liked more than Bernie going into 2016, and her being a lady and feminist well known for forcefully speaking her mind warmed her to one group Bernie struggled with, Feminists. That said Warren likely suffered damage by sitting out the 2016 primary as long as she did, hardcore Bernie supporters feel betrayed and did nothing to win the hearts of Clinton fans. Past that Warren’s tone and attacking passion has made her a hate figure for Republicans but not widened her appeal past the left of her own party.

The Senator from somewhere

Sherrod Brown: A populist leftie in a key swing state. Downsides being he sided strongly and early with Hillary, thus is “no longer a progressive” to Bernie supporters. Much ride on if Brown can be re-elected in a state that is getting redder all the time, his raspy voice has never lent itself to rising oration, and it’s a little unclear what he brings to the table, despite his best efforts he’s never captured the left of the party’s hearts and minds the way Sanders and to an even greater degree Warren did before 2015.

Chris Murphy: having been in room with Chris Murphy, Chris Murphy thinks he should be President. He’s young, good looking and has laser focus on one easy to understand policy idea that is fairly popular with base Democrats. Sadly for him, that policy is gun control. While nothing he’s saying is radical the NRA will do anything to stop him, and his campaign will likely get attacked early and often by Newtown truers fueled by Alex Jones. bluntly Murphy is not a great speaker or a very interesting guy, nice enough but likely to struggle in any state without be cities with gun crime problems, like say Iowa or New Hampshire.

Cory Booker: He’s young, he’s black, he’s hot. Sadly for Cory every time he opens his mouth people want to hear Obama. Booker lacks Obama’s speaking skills and has failed to impress basically every time he’s gotten a prime time shot at the mic. Past that he doesn’t have a lot of accomplishments to his name, For whatever Reason Bernie supporters went after him hard early in the year for voting against Bernie, if this is a sign of the progressive reaction to him or not is hard to say. Booker seems to be skating on Street Fight 15 years later. Past that Booker is a single man, in politics being young, handsome, and always single makes people talk

Mark Warner: Senator from a key swing state, looks like he was sent from casting to play the President some time between 1940 and 1964. This hinges a lot on what the next 4 years looks like, Warner is not the fire breathing Trump slayer a lot of Democrats want right now, but will they still want that in 2020? Will Warner slowly become a national figure based off being the face of the Congressional inquiry into all things shady Russian and Trump? who can say, if not Warner is too bland and boring, if he’s the claiming face of justice slowly wading toward the truth, thats a leg up

Al Franken: Funny, witty, and good on the attack. Al is the kinda guy millions of liberals are turning to every week, the grandfather of political humor in the style of the Daily Show, as well as of left wing TV (MSNBC’s Maddow got her start with Franken on Air-America Radio) It’s the world he help build that’s keeping millions of Democrats sane. However most of them don’t know this, Al’s more or less been on ice since getting elected though his first book in 12 years might help people rediscover him. Another problem is Franken has been in comedy for 40 years, jokes that were funny and/or off color in the 1970s are surely offensive now, so there are surely hours of clips of Al saying racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic things as joke on SNL and later stand up and in his often crassly funny political books from the 1990s and 2000s

The Ladies doing it for themselves

Tammy Duckworth: A lot of women were put out and also made spitting mad that a sexist monster beat a woman for the Presidency and want a woman badly. Duckworth is a war hero with an inspiring story, a fresh and new face in the Senate. Sadly for her, her disability will surely be an issue, it wasn’t in her Senate race because she was running in a deep blue state, against someone who also had a disability and couldn’t walk well. However a FIT President is important and the standard to be a fit woman President was clearly higher, people won’t be comfortable with a President who has to sit to talk to world leaders. Past that she’s never been a great public speaker and would face “well she’s been a senator for what? 15 minutes?” criticisms

Tammy Baldwin: A strongly feminist Democrat from a state Democrats normally win but lost in 2016 and want back badly. Having heard her speak she’s not amazing but pays the bills. Sadly for her she’s a lesbian, her sexuality, the electability of same, would likely take over her campaign, with people gun shy about “identity politics” it would likely handicap her against more well known candidates.

Amy Klobuchar: One of the longer serving Democratic Women in the Senate, Al Franken’s other half, a well established member of the establishment liberal wing of the party. She likely will suffer by not being as well known as others, she’s also awkward both physically and in speech, funny she’s just a little big too nerdy, to nasally, plus as an establishment woman she’s likely to rub Progressives the wrong way

Kirsten Gillibrand: Young, beautiful, experienced in the Senate and having built on a rock hard anti-Trump record, one of the one’s to watch, the connections to Hillary (a blonde NY Senator holding Hill’s old seat) likely will get those hardcore Hillary supporters behind her, but also runs the risks of setting off progressives, her hardcore anti-Trump stand and not having jumped into the Clinton campaign as forcefully as some may help

Kamala Harris: A lot of people see her as grown in a lab as an admixture of Obama and Hillary. Young, Beautiful, smart, well spoken, black multiethnic and coming out of the State that is framing itself as the anti-Trumpland. Kamala has downsides of course, first being no one is gonna know how to say her first name, but if Obama got over it so will she, second the “what she’s a been a senator for 5 minutes?” her race is likely to get people talking about “identity politics” though she’s managed to make a good case on that, likely her time as Cali AG will bring the wrath of some parts of BLM but we’ll see how much that matters

Too Slick by half

Andrew Cuomo: Governor of a major anti-Trump strong hold, managed to score some out of state progressive brownie points with a very public free college plan that had both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton next to him. However Cuomo is loathed by the progressive base of his state’s party and is seen by basically everyone in the know as a low-key political mobster, his New York sleaze factor is unlikely to go over well in Iowa or New Hampshire (just ask Chris Christie)

Gavin Newsom: Still young, still pretty Newsom has waited a long time to get from “rising star” to Star but he’s almost there, just has to manage to win the California governorship, but that seems pretty likely. Newsom has the record of granting gay marriages at the unthinkable time of 2004 which likely will buy him support of the LGBT community (or at least it’s professional activists) likewise he’s been pro-pot something likely to endear him to college students, much will depend on what he does with real power once Governor, and many will say that he’s only been in high office a year. Past that many again see Newsom as “establishment” making him not very popular with the left of his state party, how much this will be translated outside of Cali, if his slick California air and style will play poorly in eastern rural early primary states is hard to say
We must find ways for the working class to maintain its dignity, we must find a way for them to have jobs that are satisfying to them, we must find a way for them to contribute to culture. We must find a way for them to feel heard. Which, by the way, are the exact same goals we need to have for oppressed races. We all need the same thing, and until we find a way to give it to more people, we will fight each other for it.
— 

Emma Lindsay, Trump Supporters Aren’t Stupid

This is the most perceptive and helpful article I have ever read on the Trump phenomenon. It is absolutely worth 10 minutes of your time. And the insights it offers about the damage done by shaming culture seems relevant in a lot of registers. 

How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.

I’ll teach you what to look for.

Keep reading

A lot of the people on Facebook and Reddit casually participating in this rehabilitation of George W. Bush are literally too young to remember any of his administration - not as in, they were teenagers or tweenagers, but as in they were not old enough to have any coherent memory of politics for the majority of his term. First-year college students this semester were 10 when Obama came into office. High school sophomores logging onto Reddit for the first time right now may have been born after 9/11.

Thus, we’ve got a whole bunch of people just entering the arena of “having political opinions” who do not remember politics any other way than the vitriolic conspiracy-theorizing on Obama’s religion/birthplace, the inane garbage of the 2012 and 2016 Republican primaries, and the open fearmongering about racial and religious minorities of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

They don’t have any understanding that as recently as 2008, there was still some veneer of decency and tolerance expected of GOP politicians, even as they used racial dogwhistles to bring voters to the polls. They don’t remember how John McCain took the microphone from the woman who called Obama an Arab, they don’t remember that George W. Bush himself was one of the earliest prominent political figures to call Islam “a religion of peace”. They certainly don’t know that Arab and Muslim Americans were once a GOP-leaning block. So they hear such-and-such quote from Bush about tolerance and not judging others and never accepting hatred and assume “Wow! He sounds like a really standup guy! He must have really been putting himself on the line to say that!” when of course he wasn’t, it was simply what was expected. (And at least in theory still is, though when Trump gives his speeches on tolerance and diversity, as with almost everything else, you can visibly tell that he doesn’t give a shit.)

And thus, seeing what Donald Trump is today, and assuming his crudeness and unvarnished racial fearmongering and the undiluted hatred directed at Obama by people in Congress is how political rhetoric in this country has always been, they are very easily misled into believing the “he was a good man at heart who tried his best but was misled” narrative about Bush.

Republicans primary concern is the party, Wall Street, corporate America, then the United States. If the Republicans put the country first, then that means they would have to include people they don’t like,  that they consider inferior to themselves, i.e., minorities, immigrants, the poor, the middle-class, the handicapped etc…