Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker does not appear on this blog very often but her most recent piece got my attention.  Not only does she go after the Republican nominee for President Donald Trump, the representative of her party, she does so in a way that shocked me in it’s strength and depth. I despise comparing anyone to Hitler, so the title of the piece made skepticism my approach upon reading it but the content soon clarifies the title in a way that will likely make you think. Please take your time and reflect on Herr Trumpf…

The grandest of marketeers, Trump has cast a spell over a swath of America, inspiring them not with soaring rhetoric but with dark harbingers of worse to come. In the familiar way of despots, tyrants and kings, he has made the many feel better by singling out the few to fault.

It is not for nothing that many have compared Trump’s brand of rhetoric to some of humankind’s worst, including, unavoidably, Adolf Hitler.

Observing the convention, I was taken back to my uncommon childhood when I was exposed to Hitler’s speeches. My father, a World War II Army Air Corps pilot, was also a kitchen historian who, post-war, studied Hitler in an effort to better understand him. This involved listening to his recorded speeches, which, in the dark, B.A. (Before Apple) era, meant we all listened to them. They made a lasting impression.

Without understanding a word of German, it wasn’t difficult to translate Hitler’s message. The ferocious shouts of thousands of citizens, inflamed by and enamored of this strange little man, merged into a solid note — a deafening roar freighted with the fears and furies of mankind’s primeval past.

There are reasons for the comparisons between tyrants and Trump that transcend mere politics. There is also good reason that so many have accepted Trump as their leader. As one Republican loyalist explained to me: “He’s a tough guy. They think he’s going to punch (bad) people in the face.”

Indeed, Trump promised to end the Islamic State and to protect the LGBTQ community from “the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” just as he has promised to bring back jobs and renegotiate trade deals. The how of these several vows remains a mystery.

More pressing, meanwhile: What will be required of America in the process? How much freedom does law and order cost? We don’t know because Trump probably doesn’t know. What I do know is that the sound and fury I recall from my father’s records are similar to what I heard in Cleveland from decent people who would recoil at the comparison.

 

On night one of the RNC last week Melania Trump wowed the crowd with a great speech.  Of course, it turned out that speech had been given by Michelle Obama back in 2008!  Well Melania should start practicing because the speech that Michele Obama gave on night 1 of this week’s Democratic National Convention will be hard to top.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself…

“We challenge them to ignore those who challenge their father’s citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language from public figures on television does not represent the true nature of this country. How we explain when someone is cruel or act like a bully, you don’t stoop to that level,” Obama said. “No, our motto is: When they go low, we go high.”Image result for image, Michelle Obama

Obama then championed Clinton as a “true public servant” who has dedicated her life to bettering America. “When she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned,” Obama said. “Hillary didn’t pack up and go home. Hillary knows as a true public servant this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointment.

Obama continued, “What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure, she never takes the easy way out, and Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in their life. And when I think about the type of president I want for my girls and all our children, that’s what I want. I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who knows that the issues the president faces is not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.”

While Obama didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, she mentioned how she didn’t want someone “thin-skinned with tendency to lash out” in charge of our nation’s military. “Don’t let anyone tell you that our country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because right now, this is the greatest country on Earth,” Obama said.

The Missouri General Primary Election will be here Tuesday August 2, 2016.  There are two opportunities to stop the craziest of the right-wing wanna-bes running for office.  The first is to defeat them in the Primary on August 2 and if that is unsuccessful by beating them in the General election in November.  Today’s post will be an updated version of Union Schmunion: A Play In 4 Acts…

“UNION SCHMUNIONRIP MIDDLE CLASSRIP MIDDLE CLASS

Act 1,: The day after election day.Ignoring realityRIP MIDDLE CLASS

 

Opens on a “union” worker in his car on his way to work hearing the election results.

 

Announcer: Here are the results of yesterday’s election:

 

Donald Trump won the race for the White House by a slim margin, defeating Hillary Clinton by less than 5,000 votes in Missouri which was a huge battleground state.  In fact, Missouri was the determining factor in the Presidential race.  At the state level, Peter Kinder squeaked out a win to take the Governor’s mansion and the House of Representatives and State Senate remain in Republican control.  Election officials estimate about a 46% turnout of registered voters in Missouri.

 

Worker: on cell phone, calling wife.

 

Hi babe.  I just heard on the news that Trump won the election.   I guess there are a lot of people who are pro-life after all.  Kinder is the new Governor and the Republicans retain majority in the House and Senate.  Maybe now they can get by this “bi-partisan crap” and get some real work done!

 

Wife: So you managed to get to the polls yesterday after work?

 

Worker: Oh hell no! My vote don’t count anyway, the politicians are just going to do what they want to no matter how many people vote.  The shop steward tried to tell us that since we have about 4,000 members and if you take into account the spouses and grown children that we could have a major effect on the election results.  Who cares as long as the “baby killer” didn’t get elected.  What the politicians do don’t really affect me anyway.

 

Wife: Wasn’t your shop steward saying something about this becoming a “right-to-work” state if the Republicans got in power?

 

Worker: Oh, the union doesn’t know what they’re talking about.  The state can’t do that.  Oh, by the way I’m going to be a little late tonight.  I ‘m going to stop off at Sam’s Club and stock up on beer and snacks for the game this weekend.

 

Wife: OK, I have to go to Wal-Mart later to get some pop-tarts and cereal.  I wish they had more grocery items, their prices are so cheap!

 

Worker: I know what you mean.  I love saving money!

 

Wife: By the way, I have to take the Toyota in for another recall.

 

Worker: OK, I’ll leave you the Mazda tomorrow and get a ride in with Gary.  See ya tonight.  I love you!

 

Wife: I love you too!

 

Act 2:

 

A few months later.

 

Worker is in his car and the news is on:

 

Announcer:  Today in the Missouri House, legislation passed to make the “union security clause” illegal.  The bill will be sent to the Senate tomorrow where it is expected to easily pass and will be presented to the Governor next week.  If this measure passes, workers will be able to avoid paying for the cost of their union representation.

 

Worker calls wife on cell phone: Hey honey, they just said on the radio that the house passed a bill to make it a choice to pay the union.

 

Wife: Wasn’t that what your shop steward was talking about with the “right-to-work” thing?

 

Worker: I don’t know.  She said something about that if this legislation passed we wouldn’t have to pay dues anymore which sounds good to me! The union is always in my pocket.  Wish we could get this deal with the Homeowners Association!

 

Wife: If you don’t pay dues what would happen?  You have been written up a few times, could the company fire you?

 

Worker: Heck no, if I got in trouble they would still have to represent me!  I just wouldn’t have to pay dues anymore.  What a bargain!

 

Act 3

 

Worker in car, listening to the news.

 

Announcer:  The legislation passed by the House and Senate giving workers the choice to join a union or just receive services for free was signed into law today by Governor Kinder.  This measure will make workplaces “open shops” meaning that workers will no longer have to pay for the cost of their representation through union dues.  Governor Kinder says that this law will add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the economy that would have been tied up in dues money.

 

Worker on cell phone with wife:  Hey babe, that law about collecting dues passed.  I’m not going to pay anymore!  I just gave myself a $28.00 a month raise!  Order Dominoes Pizza tonight baby, we’re eating out!

 

Wife: Has anyone else talked about not paying dues?

 

Worker: Oh, heck yeah!  The shop steward was making her rounds again today trying to convince everyone that the amount of protection provided by the small amount of dues paid was a bargain!  What a moron!  She must be getting a kick-back from the hall or something.  If you can get something free, why the heck would you pay for it?  The only thing I would be giving up is the right to attend meetings and vote on contracts and our contracts are crap anyway.  The only time I attend meetings is when we have a contract coming up.  About half the guys at work are planning on not paying dues anymore.  Most of us joined the union because we had to.  Heck the amount of money I’ll be saving by not paying dues means we can get cheese sticks with our pizza every week!

 

Wife: You’re sure that you will still be OK if you get into trouble?

 

Worker:  Yeah, that’s the beautiful part of this whole set-up.  Legally, the union still has to represent anyone who gets into trouble.  We just don’t have to pay dues anymore.

 

Wife:  Isn’t that going to make the union weaker?

 

Worker:  Oh, please!  What do those guys do all day anyway?  The union never did anything for me.  The shop steward was in the room when they wrote me up for being late a couple of times.  Big deal!  Since we got the new alarm clock from Wal-Mart that hasn’t been a problem, I go in and do my job and they pretty much leave me alone.  As long as you don’t make waves, who needs the union?  It’s not like our store owners are monsters or anything.  They’re reasonable people.  All things considered they treat us pretty good, as long as we do our part.

 

Wife:  OK, it sounds like a good deal.  I’ll see you tonight.

 

ACT 4:  Fast forward 18 months.

 

Worker on cell phone:  Hey babe, I’ll be late tonight, the owners have called a special “mandatory meeting”.  Oh well, I can use a little overtime.

 

Wife:  Any idea what It’s about?

 

Worker:  Not really they just said something about some changes.  Maybe we are going to get a raise!

 

Wife:  That would be nice, let me know what happens.

 

Worker:  OK, I’ll call when we get out of the meeting.

 

After the meeting,

 

Worker on cell phone:  You are not going to believe this!

 

Wife:  What happened?

 

Worker:  The company says that starting next week our new pay scale will be topped out at $8.00 per hour!  And they aren’t going to pay any part of our health care anymore!  If we want insurance it is going to cost us $250.00 a month just for me, you and the kids will be another $350.00 per month!  They said that they were “proud” to be able to offer such a good deal for coverage since we have so many employees in our group!  They are also capping vacation time to a maximum of two weeks no matter how many years you have, and the only holiday they are going to close is Christmas Day!  They also said that according to the N.L.R.B. they don’t have to pay overtime until we get past 40 hours a week instead of 8 hours a day, so this meeting is going to be paid in straight time!  Plus, they are doing away with the pension.  They said we have access to a 401k and we better use it because Social Security won’t be there for us.  Can you believe this stuff?

 

Wife:  Oh my gosh, what does the union say about all this?

 

Worker:  We asked about that.  Since the shop steward got a new job six months ago, nobody has kept up with what was going on over there.  Get this, since 70% of the members decided not to pay dues anymore the damn union closed their doors!  Our contract is now void and the company lawyer said they can legally do all this stuff.  The company says that a new Wal-Mart SuperCener is going to be built on the lot where the union hall is now, so these changes are necessary to be competitive.  The company said if we didn’t like the new terms we knew where the door was but be sure it doesn’t hit us in the back when we leave since an injury that happens on company property doesn’t mean it is automatically work-comp!  They also said that the new Wal-Mart was going to be paying $7.50 an hour, but they recognized how valuable our experience is to the company so they are going to pay us $8.00!  WHAT THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO DO?!!!!!

John Nichols of The Nation has a perspective on the upcoming Democratic National Convention and the opportunities in this year’s elections in For A Bolder Vision…

That’s something Clinton and her running mate will have to provide. They must paint the big picture of America as a country where prosperity really is shared, where inequality is addressed, and where marginalized people will know that a strong and functional government is on their side. Clinton should tell the convention and the country that it’s a very big deal that a woman has been nominated by a major party for president, and she should use this evidence of social progress to explain the greater progress she now seeks. There will be doubters—of the nominee’s commitment, and of the prospects for serious change. Clinton should answer them with a bolder vision and a sense of what could be accomplished if we’re prepared to tax billionaires and to ensure that no one who works 40 hours a week will live in poverty; to break up corporate monopolies and renew competition and honest entrepreneurship; to address climate change with the same determination with which we put a man on the moon; to amend the Constitution to get big money out of politics; and, finally, to guarantee the right to vote and to address structural racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-immigrant bigotry, because doing so will free all of us to build on the promise of an American dream that has been too long deferred. She should not hesitate to echo Sanders, who endorsed her on July 12, and Sanders and his supporters should not hesitate to prod the nominee to fully and consistently embrace progressive positions. That prodding, especially on issues of economic and political reform, will make Clinton and the Democrats stronger.

“In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity,” FDR said from the podium in Philadelphia. That was righteous language—aspirational language. And Americans responded by embracing Roosevelt as they had no other president. Clinton and the Democrats who gather this year in Philadelphia owe it not to themselves but to America to aim every bit as high.

Feel the need for some stress relief whenever The Donald makes another empty promise or fabricated fact?  Try the new game app for your smartphone Trump Toss…

Trump Toss – Can You Beat The Donald? App

TRUMP TOSS is the hugest and most fantastic Paper Toss game every made—Trust us! Don’t be a loser—try to beat the Donald! Unlock new levels and items! Don’t miss though, or he’ll call you out!

“TRUMP TOSS LETS ME LIVE OUT MY FANTASIES OF THROWING STUFF AT TRUMP!” — The Donald Haters

“TRUMP TOSS IS HUGE! FANTASTIC! TERRIFIC! WOW! A GREAT WALL OF A GAME!” — Legions of The Donald supporters.

Warning: Trump Toss is so addictive that your toupee might fly off.

Late Late Show Host James Cordon brings his carpool karaoke to the White House and shares some tunes with the First Lady, Fun!Carpool Karaoke

With the close of the Republican National Convention and the longest acceptance speech in modern history this is a good time to plant this seed as we head into next week’s Democratic National Convention, Which of the two nominees is smarter or even a genius?

8 Personality Traits That Point To Highly Intelligent People (Backed by Science) may provide an answer…

They understand how much they don’t knowrIVAL iq

The smartest folks are able to admit when they aren’t familiar with a particular concept. As Jim Winer writes, intelligent people “are not afraid to say: ‘I don’t know.’ If they don’t know it, they can learn it.”

Winer’s observation is backed up by a classic study by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, which found that the less intelligent you are, the more you overestimate your cognitive abilities.

In one experiment, for example, students who’d scored in the lowest quartile on a test adapted from the LSAT overestimated the number of questions they’d gotten right by nearly 50%. Meanwhile, those who’d scored in the top quartile slightly underestimated how many questions they’d gotten right.

 

They have insatiable curiosity

Albert Einstein reportedly said, “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.”

Or, as Keyzurbur Alas puts it, “intelligent people let themselves become fascinated by things others take for granted.”

Research published in 2016 suggests that there’s a link between childhood intelligence and openness to experience – which encompasses intellectual curiosity – in adulthood.

Scientists followed thousands of people born in the UK for 50 years and learned that 11-year-olds who’d scored higher on an IQ test turned out to be more open to experience at 50.

They’re open-minded

Smart people don’t close themselves off to new ideas or opportunities.Hammett writes that intelligent people are “willing to accept and consider other views with value and broad-mindedness,” and that they are “open to alternative solutions.”

Psychologists say that open-minded people – those who seek out alternate viewpoints and weigh the evidence fairly – tend to score higher on the SAT and on intelligence tests.

At the same time, smart people are careful about which ideas and perspectives they adopt.

“An intelligent mind has a strong aversion to accepting things on face value and therefore withholds belief until presented with ample evidence,” says Alas.

AutoBlog has the story on the smaller numbers at the gas pump in Gas Reaches Lowest Prices In Over A Decade…

Summer travelers have reason to be happy today. The American Automobile Association (AAA) announced that gas prices are lower than they’ve ever been for July in the last 12 years. According to AAA, the national average gas price right now is $2.21 per gallon of regular unleaded. Not only that, but 25 percent of the country’s gas stations are offering gas under $2. The lowest gas prices in the country are in South Carolina at just $1.88. California still holds the title of highest prices at $2.85, just edging out Hawaii at $2.82.

AAA credits the low prices at the pump to a large gasoline surplus in the US and relatively low prices for a barrel of oil. Currently, the US has a 13 percent larger supply of gasoline than it did last year, and that surplus is the largest it has ever been for the US in July. Oil prices are also hovering at about $45 a barrel.

This isn’t the only good news for drivers this summer. AAA expects gas prices to remain low throughout the summer, barring some unforeseen event such as a hurricane, distribution, or refinery issue – or possibly overseas tensions.

Donald Trump aan’t stop talking about his book The Are OF The Deal at his rallies and press events.  Turns out, the ghostwriter of the book doesn’t think much of The Donald.   If fact, he describes his efforts writing the book “as something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.”  Here are some of his other comments from “Art Of The Deal” Ghostwriter Regrets Trump Book, “I put lipstick on a pig.” 

Trump has a “completely compulsive” need for attention, according to Schwartz.

He told the New Yorker that Trump loves publicity so much, that he even enjoyed negative media attention. He recalled writing a story about Trump before agreeing to write “The Art of the Deal” that put one of Trump’s business dealings in a negative light. But Trump praised Schwartz’s piece.Lipstick on a Trump

“I was shocked,” Schwartz said. “Trump didn’t fit any model of human being I’d ever met. He was obsessed with publicity, and he didn’t care what you wrote.”

“Trump only takes two positions. Either you’re a scummy loser, liar, whatever, or you’re the greatest. I became the greatest. He wanted to be seen as a tough guy, and he loved being on the cover,” Schwartz continued.

Trump cannot focus

Trump’s short attention span made research for “The Art of the Deal” challenging, according to Schwartz. Trump did not like sitting for lengthy interviews or answering questions at all.

“It’s impossible to keep him focussed on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes,” Schwartz said. “If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time.”

Schwartz ultimately listened in on Trump’s many business calls for research.

“He loved the attention,” Schwartz said. “If he could have had three hundred thousand people listening in, he would have been even happier.”

Trump ‘lied strategically’

While listening to Trump’s phone calls, Schwartz learned that the real estate mogul was simply “playing people.”

“Lying is second nature to him,” Schwartz told the New Yorker. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”

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