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Stare Decisis

Stare Decisis's Journal
Stare Decisis's Journal
February 20, 2019

Amy Klobuchar Is Being Cautious, But Half Loaves Won't Motivate

Senator Klobuchar took a decidedly moderate approach in her town hall, angering some, disappointing others, and confusing even more. She is a pragmatic progressive it seems, but wanted to spend a good amount of time telling us what we can and can't actually have.

For the general election, she clearly believes this is a winning strategy. Her advisers would be wrong. What is more curious is what reason does she have for running to the middle as if she already has the nomination sewn up?

Well for one, there is more chunk of the vote. Rather than running in a crowded left wing, she is trying to dominate the "midwestern middle" of her party. This might work but will inspire no one, a Kerry redux. A large percentage of Democrats in the midwest do not connect with the so called coastals. This is a fine line. Sort of the same territory Tim Ryan tries to navigate but does so clumsily. The danger is middle turns into mediocre, and so much of our precious base of African American women are underwhelmed. Can't have that. There are issues that must be addressed, systemic supremacy, education, crime, economic opportunity, and none of these will be answered with words like aspirations. Don't tell an aggrieved Mom that you will get to it someday. The time is now.

Similarly with healthcare the base of our party is ready for radical intervention, and statistics show a good percentage of the rest of the country as well. Of course the electorate is still vulnerable to messaging manipulation, and maybe she sees that. Maybe she sees this as a 1992 election where the comfortable centrism of the past will sway that much needed 43 percent of whites to vote for her.

Except she is making the same mistake so many do-83 percent of the electorate is not going to be white. About 68 percent will be. Thus, instead of appealing to people scared of losing the status quo, she needs to motivate her more progressive base should the nomination go to her, which she clearly thinks it will.

Because if she won't, that number rises to 72 percent white and the downward spiral of mediocrity continues. Make no mistake she is smart and capable and I believe would be a fantastic President. But telling us "vote for me, and I'll increase your crumb allowance" isn't going to work in a general. Paradoxically, because of the leftward tilt of the participants it might help her now, but we might have entered an era where rather than running to the middle to win an election, the respective nominees run to their wings. This is us vs. them politics. The era of statesmanship and mutual respect, and aisle crossing, that is done.

And we want college. We want economic fairness. We want healthcare. And we are not apt as a whole to be motivated by being told, "someday." For people waiting on the American Dream Express to pull into their dormant station, the time is TODAY. Running strategically is logical but in no way inspirational. Whatever people are telling this enormously bright, talented woman to carve a piece of the base out, rather than outshining the rest is doing her, and us, no favors. It undermines her ability to legislate and reduces our motivation to participate.

It is like a singing competition where people base their songs on the demographics of the audience rather than just going out there and unleashing the full capacity of their talent.

Politically this woman is a songbird. Don't encourage her to run as a lounge act.

February 19, 2019

I Have One Qualification For Me To Consider Your Democratic Nomination Candidacy

You MUST be a Democrat.

Now for an eval from a guy who has been around a few campaigns-

Kamala Harris is the favorite. She is unlikely to win. In fact let me make this easy-no progressive is likely to win. Because there are so many of them running, unless a few drop out, the moderate candidate who can consolidate that wing is in the strongest position.

So who is that? In no particular order, Biden, Landrieu, (if he runs) McAuliffe, Castro, Klobuchar, and Amy can certainly win because of this group, she can most appeal to both wings. In fact I think she is extremely talented and capable, just the kind of person the country needs, who happens to be a woman, but my concern is that one of these above will suck the air out of the room. So who would that be?

Castro. If the young Mayor/HUD Director/wunderkind were a basketball player, he would be a 3 and D guy. A versatile fellow who can play multiple positions, he might be the Kawhi Leonard of this group. A sure All-Star. He is the one most looking forward to the debates in my opinion, because he has impressive oratorical skills, along with Mayor Landrieu. But my guess is he is the one most likely to be annointed by the media as Obama-like and get the moderates momentum. This is important because as an undefined politician, he isn't NOT progressive, he just is not stuck in that corner.

I like Kamala, and I especially feel that the right is most fearful of her-an unapologetic female with an edge that they are already trying to undermine with her base. But her issue is that with Warren, Sanders, and Booker, her shares in key states are likely to be diluted. This changes dramatically if Warren drops, which I doubt she does do early on, because Native controversy or not, she has no reason not to ride this thing out at least to see how N.H. goes. Kamala won't win Iowa. That goes to Liz or Bernie. She can't win N.H.-I give Bernie the edge there. She needs S.C. but Booker and Warren need to have dropped by then, otherwise it goes to one of the moderates, maybe Joe, probably Terry. In fact I think we head to Super Tuesday still wide open, which is both fun and scary. The scenario I see is that Castro pushes Liz in Iowa. He does a solid 2nd place in both N.H. and S.C.

He wins TX, and does well in the S.W. and even though Kamala wins CA and a good portion of the coastal pie, his ability to straddle both wings wear her down. Equally important is the electability factor-to the media monsters, Julian will be cast as more electable-you can argue with me, but you would be wrong (how he is cast, not whether or not he is.)

I think unless Beto gets in, Castro wins. I think Castro wins the Presidency. I think this is a good result, much similar in tone to Obama which will satisfy some and aggravate others.

The one caveat is not Beto winning, but Beto splitting Castro's support, allowing for Amy to take Warren's mantle, then consolidate the moderates, and slicing off enough progressive pie to push Harris out after Super Tuesday.

In order as it stands-

1. Castro
2. Klobuchar
3. McAuliffe
4. Harris

This is not a critique of Senator Harris. There is a path to victory for her, but oddly, it is through the midwest, not the coast, and I can explain that later. Any of these other three could potentially win, even Terry, who has a wealth of ties to the fundraising machine needed for the long haul. The one other thing is if Landrieu gets in, he wins Iowa, places in N.H., he walks over S.C. and sweeps all but California Super Tuesday. This guy is the real deal. Talent for days, Clintonesque charisma without the baggage, a tremendous appeal to bridge divides and someone with the teeth to take Trump, or anyone, on head to head.

If he runs, he wins it all. It doesn't matter that you heard it here first, just that you heard it. Yes I know that sounds crazy. For that matter, peanut farmers rarely win the White House. This is a 1976 election. But we have to get it right, because we don't want to follow it up with a 1980 one.

And if I am completely wrong, so what? I figure the more the merrier, debate is healthy, and the more attention our party gets the better. So clean that microwave, it is going to be filled with popcorn.

And there are no bad choices, so let's treat this as what we like best, not what we are settling for.

February 15, 2019

Can the Democrats Win if

no matter who we nominate, word association is Democrat=AOC. I do think she will defer the spotlight to our nominee, which will be probably be one of Harris, Biden, or O'Rourke. I am not going to delve into her merit, I just want opinions. Non political junkies decide elections, keep that in mind.

A lot depends on Biden. I also wonder how early other Dems will read the writing on the wall that their campaign is going nowhere.

But if Beto gets in this thing, all I can say is Texas has a lot of delegates too. My guess is, Beto and Kamala will have quite the championship round.

No guess on that outcome. I just hope they run on the same ticket.

February 4, 2019

"How Are You?"

How can I be surrounded by people and feel like no one is there?

How can I be filled with thoughts but devoid of voice?

How can I not fear my death, but be terrified of the end of my life?

How is it even if it isn't my fingers someone slips through it is my guilt that grips me?

Why is a past that scars more soothing to me than a future that could heal?

Why do I think screaming in pain is more likely to validate a tormentor than activate a healer?

Why must those who forget me be the ones I remember?

Why must so much of my love be wasted and so much of my soul be restricted?

Why do I feel there must be a knife grasped by the hands that would hug?

Why must my sadness be authentic but my joy be artificial?

Why did his son not matter? Why does his son keep asking?

If you have made it this far, I wrote this because a friend kept asking me, when we were friends, "How are you?"

I realized the anguish I felt when an empty rhetorical question wasn't truly seeking a detailed answer. I thought maybe someone reads this and gets it-maybe not many. Maybe not any. But maybe one. The one it was written to reach, the person who now has someone to relate to, to feel a little less alone in their sadness. To feel a bit less singled out by life, a smidge more human in the best way.

Maybe he or she is like me-very ill, in need of a surgery, in fear of the unknown. Desperate to hold onto life because there is so much of it they want to live and so much they want to do. Yelling silently because the answer to "How are you?" is too painful to express vocally.

And I wrote it to those that ask these empty questions. To those who prefer to deny the reality and pursue the banality. But life, and friendship it isn't a Hallmark movie. Being a friend or a lover or a Husband or a Father is more than the appearance of being empathetic; it requires actual emotional commitment, sacrifice, and love.

So I hope this piece matters. I hope someone gets it. And I hope in the future, when it comes to your relationships, ALL OF YOU mean it.

How am I you ask? Alive. Grateful to be.

What else do you want to know?

But don't ask unless you truly want me to tell.


February 2, 2019

Dear Governor Northam: I Too Once Dressed Up Like Michael Jackson

I did not apply blackface. However I did roll up my jacket and wear a glove. I was a kid. A Preteen. I knew better even then. But can you guess why? In the area I grew up in I was exposed to many cultures. I was taught about the offensive nature of such. The history of the minstrel was a very touchy subject with my circle of friends. It was explained to me there was a painful history associated with the ridicule of African Americans. All of this is not to say I am without regrets. But I do think it says that I did not grow up in a white bubble, with only white understandings of the world around me.

My world changed forever when I saw a picture of Emmett Till. The pain African Americans feel-that this is not their country, that people they trusted still view them as renters, at best, that to this day they must talk to pre-pubescent children about how not to be shot down like a dog by the police, that all is blended and synthesized by the sheer outrage and shame I felt when I saw the picture of that young man. And yet I will never understand. I will examine their shoes, cry over them, try to make their walk more comfortable and equal but I will never, ever truly walk in them.

For you Ralph Northam to have behaved in this manner, as an adult, in an era where an esteemed African American male was running for President is not just the height of ignorance, it is the clearest example of a man who did nothing to learn beyond his own culture. There is no excuse for what you did. And that's ok. I don't need an excuse. Just a heartfelt commitment to being a better man. But whether you are in this particular photo, or another, your tone deaf defense of this behavior, not to mention a wildly implausible backtrack is an embarrassment to our party. I am not sure why you think a hypothetical instance of MJ emulation is somehow better-oh wait, yes I do. Because the picture in question shows an embrace of a KKK costumed person. So "Yes I dressed up like Michael Jackson, my bad. but this KKK guy is not my friend." How dare you trivialize racism. No sir Governor, we as Americans do not get to place our racism on a powerpoint graph labelled "continuum." Not anymore. Because to do so is to never truly repent, never truly understand, never truly evolve. A person careening through life crowing "I'm not THAT bad is THAT bad.

Facepalm. Ugh. There is no reason for this other than the desperate preservation of your own career. You do the party no good. You do the AA community no good. The trust is gone. It won't return. But what I will go back to is my earlier statement that a man who behaves like that likely grew up in a white bubble demonstrating well into his 20's neither a sensibility towards racial understanding nor even the slightest inclination towards learning.

So today the once young person now older man stood before us today and said that resigning was the easy way out. That you want to engage in discussion and racial healing and the best way to do that is to stay in office. This tells me only one thing-you still live in that bubble. A servant would recognize that in wait is a wildly talented and highly educated gentleman waiting to take the reins and start a real process of moving forward. But no-Northam decides that he knows best. That just a little more whitesplainin' will do the trick. We as a party will accomplish nothing good by you staying in office.

But Mr. Northam you will accomplish nothing for yourself by staying in either. You will go down in history as a man completely tone deaf, unaware of just how deeply ensconced in his own privilege he is, and as someone who chose as a course of healing-not to step aside to allow for a qualified AA man to ascend and restore the state party's credibility but rather selfishly attempt to convince us how important he is.

And therein lies the point-none of us in public service are more important than the public being served. It took me time to grow as a person and learn. It still does. I look at old photos sometimes with disgust-perhaps for the company I was keeping or simply a shirt I was wearing. I trashed much of my 80's record collection because I came to realize too many of the songs were based on misogyny. But I did learn. More to the point I wanted to.

Mr. Northam you clearly showed today you are not truly interested in learning. A man interested in self-improvement would acknowledge his mistakes, accept the truth of trust being broken and step aside. He would engage in meaningful private conversation we never hear about, he might read The Invisible Man, then re-read it, then step outside of himself to see how the world truly treats people of color.

He would put others first. You don't just stop being racist. That is a process that centers around education, and taking to heart what others suffer through. I don't know you personally so I will grant the possibility you are not a racist. But in my experience if a man had stopped being a racist, I believe he would have been transparent. He would have accepted responsibility, would have made legitimate efforts to self-improve, and most importantly he would have likely started this process at 29, not 59. I wish you well. I truly do. Perhaps if our paths cross we can become friends. But there is a hard reality in the midst of all this-

Mr. Northam you should resign for the good of all. But not solely because you admitted to applying blackface. Not because you might have lived in a bubble of Mayberry ignorance. Not even because it appears you embraced a person in a KKK robe. You should resign because the worst of all lies are those told to yourself. A man spoke today who after 35 years seemed to be still lying to himself.

So what possible faith should we maintain in your ability to anytime soon, tell the truth to US?

January 17, 2019

Ok. Why Not Franken 2020?

If he was unfairly pressured to leave, and there is nothing to suggest truth to the accusations, and if Gillibrand really did cosign a Roger Stone hit job, why not ask him to run?

Have it out. Actually, who would be a better President of the named candidates? Please discuss while I get my popcorn.

January 17, 2019

Prediction Super Tuesday Battle Royale Between These Two-

Terry McAuliffe and Eric Garcetti. Liberal vote too split. Centrists carry the day in an election of pragmatic desperation. It looks like a 1992 scenario.

My Gut tells me there is going to be a President Garcetti.

Oh well. I love LA!

January 15, 2019

Seeing Disturbing New Trends On YouTube: Black Republicans Co-Signing Racism

I spend some time watching NBA related videos on YouTube. I tend to avoid politics because YouTube to me is for entertainment, Recently I have been seeing strange "recommended for you" videos. Some guy named Brandon Tatum is making a right wing name for himself as a "black truth teller." These types of pawns have always been around. Even Nixon used Sammy Davis Jr. who I don't think was self-loathing. But then came another guy named Adventist Hermes. Real creepy looking fella. Then some others. All of them hitting Lebron James specifically.

Their line is some think tank claptrap about "black victimization mentality." All that amounts to is some neer do well wannabe white privileged self loathers trying to favor with the man but the question is why show it to me? My favorite player by a mile is LBJ. I think he is the GOAT, and if I had to guess will eventually be in politics himself. I am not the only person that believes so apparently because somebody is spending some dollars to discredit him. I am very left. I don't watch idiots and their proxy manhood devices (gun nuts) I don't watch (insert stereotypical middle aged bald screaming tough acting white guy here) I don't watch anything with a username of Eagle, Patriot, Rising or Freedom in the title.

Yet YouTube is shoving garbage in my face.


I want to complain because as much as I click not interested it keeps showing up. The word agenda comes to mind.

January 8, 2019

Talib and Warren Lessons

For too long, really I have say back willing to absorb the daily claptrap of the media as politics as usual. You know, "What can you do?" syndrome.

This was my fault. I went along with the notion that there is a certain expectation of decorum and double standard that I had no choice but to accept.


Fuck that. Look as long as a woman has to face ridicule for makeup, or clothing, or glasses, or hair-anything that can be construed to be "unrelatable", we are tolerating nothing less than misogyny. Full stop. Nothing less so don't sugar coat it. Senator Warren may or may not prove to be the party's nominee but that IS UP TO US. But if she doesn't, it better not be because we bought into some perceived meme of her being "bitchy" or "elitist."

Basically the state of play in this country is that a woman can be anything she wants to be as long as it is not as a woman.

As previously stated: fuck that. I don't know Senator Warren. I never met her. I have met plenty of politicians high and low but not her. I would like to. I believe both her acumen and leadership is outstanding and she would do a wonderful job. I could care less about her lens frames. But some idiots will. And that is where we must defend our own. Those reprobates will never accept or partner with us. They will never like us. They will never stop trying to destroy us. Defend Liz. Stand by her. Convince the fools in this country that there are far more important things than whether or not a President is good company at a wedding; things like the economy, equality, and avoiding global calamity come to mind. I will carry shame for my generation if our grandkids are consigned to a future of unsustainable wet bulb temps, destroyed coast lines, and species extinction because we couldn't get over a fucking pantsuit.

As for Congresswoman Talib-to be honest, I have a different approach. Not a better one just different. For that reason I can tell you what I wont do:

I won't mansplain to a distinguished public servant how she should talk to her constituency. See above. Misogyny comes in many forms. Personally I have no concern whatsoever about what she said and how. I am glad we have honest reps, and I would encourage you to ignore the increasingly irrelevant pearl clutchers in the beltway media. They don't live on the front lines for the battle of this country. And you better believe that in the battle for this country, it won't be linguistic moralizing that saves us.

So save IT. Don't talk to me about lessons media, like you are some wise old sage who knows better. You don't honestly know doodley about Bo Diddley. You want to pretend to carry yourself with decency when the blood of this administration is on YOUR hands. You went after ratings. Well guess the fuck what? This IS YOUR FAULT.

Not mine. Not ours. You never defended Hillary, a woman who has tirelessly worked in public service to our benefit. This is a woman who turned down high paying work to help abused women, in an era where they were still defined by Dawn dishsoap commercials.

No. You ran with a false image, then indirectly assisted in imperiling the free world by your refusal to be honest. Now you want me to complain about passion and honesty? You want Talib to hold back and AOC to lie? You want her to say that 98 percent of this country is NOT getting fucked, that she was wrong all along? No. Cable news is done in this man's home. All of it. That my friends is the only lesson I take from this:

If you know better than to let the snake bite you-don't listen to what it has to say either.

The fool will parse for audible words while the smart ones know it is all just one long hiss.

So tell the snake's charmers what they can do with their flutes.

January 6, 2019

I Think I Know A Check Mate To End The Shutdown

The Government and Military Employee Credit Protection Act. Immediately introduce legislation guaranteeing credit score protections for missed bills due to inability to get paid while working (similar to student loan repayment protections) and make the Senate stop it or Trump veto it.

Once the Republican Party is faced with this choice, end the shutdown or cosign the destruction of military family finances-ballgame.

Dunzo. Ovah. Because if they don't end it, THEN go on to allow permanent financial damage, a key base of theirs is gone forever.

Pass it on. It is time to put a stop to this mess.

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