There are quotes, and then there are quotes. Tonight, in the debate between Democratic candidate John Fetterman and Republican candidate Mehmet Oz as part of their campaigns to replace Republican Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey, who is retiring, Oz said he wanted abortion decisions to be made by “women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so that states can decide for themselves.”
"Second, there has been much public discussion today of the idea that Democrats are in disarray after yesterday’s letter from the Progressive Democratic Caucus asking President Joe Biden to consider negotiations with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. "
Functioning democracy not only handles controversy, it ultimately requires it. The scientific method, which has much to do with modern Enlightenment Era philosophies woven into the Constitution, progresses on constant cross-examination in good faith. Good Faith implies acceptance of certain ground rules of responsible behavior withing which diverse ideas and innovations vie for favor and confirmation. Disarray is more likely where good faith is lacking.
The prevailing view in the US doesn't look like it's going to include climate change or anything else environmental. Its very absence is quite frightening.
There is a bright spot in the Tale of The 30 Nitwit Progs: the insufferable Pramilla Jayapal is no longer "in consideration" as a potential successor to Nancy Pelosi, who has forgotten more about politics than the condescending legend-in-her-own-mind Jayapal will ever know; that she tossed her staff under the bus as she did is a nice character "tell" that lets you know everything you need to know about a moron so stupid she has herself convinced she's a genius. We may also experience "less is more" from AOC, Cory Bush and Ilhan Omar. I had a bit more to say about the fakakte at TAFM.
As to the coverage of the Fetterman-Oz campaign by the over-educated, under-intelligent, otherwise-unemployable trust fund babies at the Nation's Finest Fishwrap, with friends like these, we need no enemies. The NYT of the Pentagon Papers and the NYT of the past 20 years are two different organizations that wouldn't recognize each other. The mini-me's working there now couldn't rise to Neil Sheehan's ankle.
Stephanie Ruhle had an interesting commenter on tonight who asked a question worth pondering: how come when Kanye West was making attacks over the past 10 years not appreciably different than those made this past week against other minority groups, Adidas and the rest of the corporate scum had no problem making him richer? But it was this line he crosses and all of a sudden he's poison?
The tragedy isn't Tommy Tuberville's ignorance of the basic architecture of the US federal government, it's that likely most of his supporters don't know either. Knowledge is the enemy of autocracy; ignorance feeds it.
so wish folks would read Tim Synder’s The Road to Unfreedom. I don’t know if you would agree but one if the most important reads besides your book, How the South Won the Civil War. Helps to understand the political context and motivations and role of social media. Thank you for the work that you do. Tom Denbow
PS. Diwali, the Hindu holiday celebrating good over evil, knowledge over ignore, occurred here in India two days ago. Wish our leaders would take that to heart!!
When I heard that quote from Mehmet Oz about wanting abortion decisions to be made by "women, doctors, and local political leaders…", My first thought was, "wonderful! Let's put the Governor, state Senators, and state Representatives all tricked out in their hospital gowns, laying on the examination tables, with their feet in the stirrups, so that they can get a feel for what it's like, and thus be able to make truly informed decisions about abortion, knowing how painful and humiliating these procedures can be.
Better than that, it begs the question why John Fetterman did not offer a swift rejoinder about requiring an evangelical Christian pastor, or even a bishop, to be in attendance too. Regrettably, Lieutenant Governor Fetterman is still recovering from the stroke he experienced earlier this year, and with the cognitive dissonance that he is working to overcome. That kind of hard work might be a limiting factor in his ability to respond to Oz's absurdities with a lineal projection of his own about where those absurdities ultimately end up. The idea that patients, physicians, and ambitious politicians need to triangulate where the abortion issue ends up posits its own answer: nowhere where anyone with a heart and soul would ever want to be. It's hard to imagine a more cruel and abusive solution to a self-made problem than that which Dr. Oz and his sleazy cohort have made for themselves.
The list of possibilities goes on. How about a coterie of self-appointed 'influencers' to also be in attendance. Maybe some of the talking heads from the local Fox News Channel might like to make an appearance, because for them, there is no such thing as bad publicity. How about a justice or two from the state Supreme Court, or a state attorney general looking for some campaign fodder to feed on between now and that point in the future when a senatorial seat becomes vacant. This story would go well with any of the crime and the streets hollering that Trump Republicans have become so adept at doing.
I am fully confident that our elected representatives would have no trouble at all laying there on the table, with beatific smiles on their faces, waving to the crowd, while at the same time begging for campaign donations. Yes, siree! I'm sure some car dealership would be more than pleased to be able to sponsor this type of event, because the prurient interest in this sort of thing cannot be overestimated or oversold. Eyewitness News from whatever local TV channel it happens to be would be more than happy to send a full team of reporters and cameramen to give a minute by minute account of the sweating and grimacing those public officials will be more than happy to experience, because this kind of free publicity could not be bought at any price.
I truly hope that the people of Pennsylvania get a good hard look at this Mehmet Oz character, and finally realize just how shameless, craven, and cynical he and his cohort of radical MAGAhat would-be dictators can be. Regrettably, if there is one thing that these two past and current political cycles have shown is that the former president and his willing accomplices and enablers have no shame whatsoever. Satire and ridicule require a sense of shame and absurdity to make their point; and these people have no shame, none whatsoever. The shock for the rest of us is that of all of what has been going on in real time were presented as a work of fiction, no one in his right mind could believe it to be true.
Anybody else exhausted?
In North Carolina, we had a famous basketball strategy called "The Four Corners."
Before I offer my analogy, just let me say on our basketball court, this play took skilled players, unlike the placeholders the GOP is offering up. (See Robert Hubbell's October 25 newsletter "Democratic Quality Candidates").
The point being, Coach Dean Smith had his players keep possession of the ball during the game, denying the opponent the opportunity to score.
It dawned on me, particularly with the challenges in court filings and appeals to the Supreme Court that Clarence Thomas somehow happens to be a key player ruling on, that the GOP is also trying to run down the clock.
If the voters allow them to take the majority in Congress, they will kill investigations still underway.
They will install their most radical personalities on critical committees.
They will create retaliatory (and essentially baseless) so-called investigations of their own against already targeted members of the Democratic Party.
They scream about impeachments, not for cause, but for performance, and to throw meat to their cult-ish followers howling for blood.
It's gladiator sport in the ancient Roman Colosseum in modern form.
However, Coach Dean Smith LOVED and excelled at the game of basketball. Even though he created the Four Corners from his knowledge of the rules, he ALSO helped create the shot clock that would move the college game forward into a new era of new styles, a fast pace, and exciting entertainment for fans. Coach Smith wasn't trying to "cheat" nor was he for breaking rules.
The "MAGA Republicans," however, ARE CHEATING
with fake elector slates and "The Big Lie" election deniers,
gerrymandered districts and dark money attack ads,
voter suppression and "poll watchers" that are intimidating and sometimes armed.
Mitch McConnell kept Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland from receiving a hearing nearly a year before an election. But ignoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death bed request, he rushed a pre-selected anti-Roe nominee through the confirmation process even though VOTES HAD ALREADY BEEN CAST IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
That's spitting on the Constitution.
That's ending democracy.
Heather: Thanks for a great post. In recent months, it appears that you are chronicling not "The Indianapolis 500," but "The U.S. 500,000!" There are not many historians or journalists who could do that, but you are doing a pretty damn good job! Thanks!
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff was in MN yesterday to rally the troops for US Rep Angie Craig. Emhoff is smart, funny, and was amazingly well versed as to what’s happening here in MN. Near the end of his remarks, after charming the crowd for nearly 20 minutes, he got a serious look on his face and said that, for just a moment, he wanted to talk to the men in the room. He then spoke about the need for men to understand that decisions like Dobbs affected them as deeply as it affected the women in their lives and he called on his fellow males to step up their efforts because; “lives are on the line.” The crowd erupted.
Contrast that with candidate Mehmet Oz’s terrifying BS that state officials belong in the healthcare choices of women. Can’t imagine how any rational, thinking person could ignore that, or worse yet agree with it and vote for him. Yet, some will. Just as some folks here in CD 2 will vote for Tyler Kistner, the Republican anti abortion, anti democracy candidate running against Craig.
The county I live in had the second highest voter turnout in the country in 2020 at around 93%. Early voting numbers indicate we may well exceed that this year. After the rally, a large number did door knocking, calling and texting to help turn out the vote. I even took sample ballots to the dog park last night!
At the end of his remarks, Emhoff asked for a moment of silence in memory of US Senator Paul Wellstone. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Wellstone’s death in a plane crash in Northern MN.
One of Wellstone’s best legacies for me is one of my favorite quotes: “We all do better when we all do better.” We the people. All of us this time!
"Which vision will prevail in the U.S. will play out over the next two years."
I guess that depends on who can vote, or, who feels like they are safe voting in today's environment of voter intimidation.
From the 1619 book: Self Defense chapter: p 262 at the bottom.
"The next year another inccident demonstrated the cost to Black people of exercising their rights to participate in the political process and protect themselves. When Black residents in Ocoee, Florida, attempted to vote in the 1920 Presidential election, white residents there tried to stop them. Poll workers challenged Black voter registration and payment of the poll tax and required that they get their voting status certified by the town's notary, whom white leaders had deliberately sent out of town on a fishing trip. When one black man nevertheless tried to cast a ballot and was twice turned away, he began to document the disenfranchisement of African American voters, which enraged a white mob that had been hanging around the polling station intimidating black voters. The mob threatened to kill him. He fled for refuge to the home of one of the most prominent African Americans in Ocoee, July Perry. The armed mob followed. A mob of around 100 white men broke down the door of Perry's home. The residents inside the home, acting in self defense, leveled their rifles and fired. The battle had just begun as white reinforcements poured in from the surrounding counties. White people murdered or ran out of town over 500 Back residents. Ocoee remained an all-white town for the next five decades."
Written by: Carole Anderson.
So, with a bunch of white guys standing around poll stations with AK-47's? Who plans to vote?
When we started giving gold stars to every student just for showing up, we started eroding the need for critical analysis to ask, "what makes this or that better or worse?" When we started banning Halloween and Christmas so as not to offend instead of to tolerate and embrace, we started eliminating examination of differing opinions as well as the idea that there is room at the table for everyone. The only places left to excel were in sports, where the emphasis was on physical might to achieve one's goal. Competition and brute force immediate victory replaced cooperation and compromise towards longer term goals. All of these changes in our educational effort took place as we dropped courses that support the makings of democracy like civics, debate, history, and comparative literature. What was left is a vainglorious shell that magnifies self and eliminates both the need for self examination and the tools to do so. It denies the existence and importance of community by eliminating consideration of anything other than self and the immediate moment. Yes, the choices we made in "educating" our young started long ago when we turned our back on the most important education of all--to teach ourselves how to think, how to feel, and how to live in peace with our world.
“Oz said he wanted abortion decisions to be made by “women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so that states can decide for themselves.” What invasive bodily decision will men accept the State interfering with? When they go to the doctor for erectile dysfunction, will they make room for “Local political leaders?” Before that Rx for Viagra can be written, our female Mayor must weigh in on your worthiness? You’re impotent? Let’s consult our female city commissioners and State Representative to decide for you.
As per Roe and also VP Harris, I am discouraged (disgusted?) by women friends who parrot the media criticism that Kamala Harris isn't doing anything. Yesterday, as almost everyday, she led a discussion in New Mexico about the impact of the Supreme Court decision on abortion that should be front page headlines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8Bwu4ox1A. She has a command of the facts, the legal chops to identify the threats to society this ruling imposes, and is plain speaking and relates warmly to her audience. Watch it, share it, and stand up to the press who regularly malign our President and Vice President by ignoring their significant achievements.
This! The media behave as it they want the Demos to lose. Why? More fun and money for them. If we want this election, we the People will have to speak to the public from dawn till dawn all over this country. No media will help us. It is to their advantage to have the GOP win. Do they care about the state of this country or its People? No. We care. Many of us are already acting and talking. We need to get bigger about this. We can do it!
Voter here in PA. Even after last night's debate, I will crawl on broken glass to vote for John Fetterman.
Given that between the two Republican "leaders" (this term might be an alternative fact - a Republican fantasy) there is NO platform, NO program and NO policy except to say NO, how are the constituents to vote with NOthing to vote for? If I was a republican voter (a possibility so remote it cant be measured even with quantum mechanics), I would be confused and might not vote at all. Between the babblings of the wizard, the gizzard and the Blonde bombshell (doesn't it just figure that MTG is a blonde?), how could a serious Republican voter come to a decision?