A Sisyphean Task for Bernie Sanders?

    Bernie Sanders, Nov 28 · Facebook

    This is the Republican plan. Huge tax breaks for the rich and powerful. Massive cuts to life and death programs for the middle class and working families of our country. That is why I am going on the road this week to talk directly to working people in Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania about this disastrous piece of legislation. If we stand together we can defeat this horrific bill.


    NBC News - Bernie Sanders hits the trail again, this time to fight GOP tax bill

    by Alex Seitz-Wald, Nov. 28, 2017

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders is traveling to Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania this weekend to rally against the Republican tax bill, his office told NBC News, keeping up a brisk pace of political activity since leaving the presidential race last year and ahead of a potential second one in 2020.

    Sanders, who held a similar series of rallies across the country this year to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, is using the "Protecting Working Families Tour," which is also organized by MoveOn.org and the Not One Penny coalition, to pressure on-the-fence GOP senators before a vote on the tax bill, President Donald Trump's top legislative priority.

    Lexington, Kentucky 18.com:

    “This legislation goes well beyond taxes. If passed, the Republicans will then rediscover the ‘deficit crisis,’ and push aggressively for massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, nutrition, affordable housing and more. That is why I am going on the road this week to talk directly to working people. If we stand together we can defeat this horrific bill,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said in the press release. 

    You can see the entire tour schedule below:

    Friday, December 1 – Louisville, Kentucky

    Saturday, December 2 – Dayton, Ohio

    Saturday, December 2 – Akron, Ohio

    Sunday, December 3 – Reading, Pennsylvania

    Mike in Ohio, from ground zero, at Booman Tribune:

    I have resolved simply to cease communication with Trump supporters about anything remotely related to the current political circumstance. Convincing arguments and rational, evidence based discussions and observations are worthless tools when dealing with these people. I have tried, time and time again, to reel my family and friends back into the folds of humanity when it comes to this.  And I have decided that it is hopeless. There is only one way to deal with this.  You don't reason with a rabid dog. This whole thing has taken on a cult-like feel with Trump supporters.  Things like "honest thought" are simply not even in their universe now. They are gulping this poisonous kool-aid by the barrels full, every day.  They are gorging themselves, round the clock, at the trough of Trumpism. And daily they are sliding more and more into a place where anyone who is not in their tribe is a sub-human mongrel.  I am done with trying to dance around this whole thing, acting as if it's simply another, albeit more polarized than normal, political disagreement. The world they inhabit is irreducibly unhinged.  It is beyond reclamation or repair. They need to be told this, again and again, because it is the truth. There is a narrow line between humanity and inhumanity.  They have crossed so far beyond this line, that it long ago disappeared over their horizon. ..... We are seeing the end game of two generations of relentless propagandizing by the far right. None of which could have happened at the rate which it did without the complete co-opting of corporate media.

    It's not a new phenomena.  Voltaire nailed it over 250 years ago.  "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."

    Once you become conditioned to accepting what you are told, without question, no matter how absurd it might seem to be, you lose the ability to understand the difference between what is good and what is evil. The day where you stop questioning what people tell you, the very moment where you stop morally evaluating the implication of the words you are hearing, you will do things simply because someone tells you.  And you will do it that easily and without a second thought, because they will also tell you that "it's the right thing to do."

    History is flashing a fiery red warning light to all of us right now.  The parallels are undeniable and inescapable.  Only a fool would ignore them, unless one is an accomplice to the evil.

    Paul Krugman, The Biggest Tax Scam in History:

    Of the 42 ideologically diverse economists surveyed by the University of Chicago on the impact of Republican tax plans, only one agreed that they would lead to substantial economic growth, while none disagreed with the proposition that they would substantially increase U.S. debt.

    So it’s a giant scam. And while the exact nature of the scam may be unclear, ordinary American families would end up being the victims either way.

    For suppose those temporary tax breaks did end up becoming permanent, so that the budget deficit soared on a long-term basis. Then what? You know the answer: Republicans would suddenly revert to the pretense that they’re deficit hawks, and demand “entitlement reform” — that is, cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, programs that ordinary families depend on. In fact, they’re already talking about those cuts — they’ve started the switch even before getting the suckers to take the bait.


    ..Under the Senate bill, business owners could claim a 17.4 percent deduction on their pass-through income before paying taxes. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Daines want a higher deduction, meaning that moguls would pay taxes on less of their earnings. It is conceivable that this could benefit some mom-and-pop businesses, but only modestly so. This is really about stuffing the pockets of people like Mr. Trump, who controls his real estate, licensing and hospitality empire through more than 500 pass-through businesses, according to his lawyers... millions of poor and middle-class families whose tax and health insurance premiums would rise under the Senate bill. Republican lawmakers keep talking about how middle-class families would see tax cuts of about $1,000, or about $19 dollars a week, but those cuts would last only a few years before expiring after 2025. By 2027, families making under $75,000 a year would on average pay more in taxes..

    The Republicans voted out the money grabbing tax scam from committee today. there will be no hearings or testimony from economists or constituents, no input from across the aisle. The GOP is dead set on increasing the economic divide in this country, stripping more wealth from the workers and middle class, and perpetuating the plutocracy of the Koch brothers and other sociopathic billionaires who fund the Republicans.

    Like Bernie, we must get the word out to those not informed on it, call our Senators, and expose that this tax plan is an enormous fraud, a con job, fueled by Republican greed, a brazen defiance of everything America stands for, and a tax on the future.


    I fully understand Mike from Ohio’s conclusion. I interact with Conservatives. I have lunch and attend functions with Conservatives. I know that if I or my family were targeted by Trump, they would scatter and not lift one finger to defend me or my family. In Alabama, they would have no problem electing Roy Moore.

    John in Columbus
    As I am typing this message an adoring throng is cheering Trump's every awkward, unpresidential word, in St. Charles, Missouri. MAGA hats are everywhere. Trump is only as unhinged as the 37% hardcore base of his supporters. They love the guy. They high-five each other in person and online whenever Trump insults Muslims, Liberals, and in his not-so-disguised bigoted references to people of color including Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Does anyone really believe Puerto Rico would be in such dire straights if the spoken language there was English?

    Nobody is going to impeach or remove Trump as long as the 37% vote for Republicans in close races in 2018. Those Republicans won't allow it.

    Comment from WaPo , Richard Cohen op ed.

    It must be terrible for you today with all your hopium dissipated after being so close to total snowflake victory. None of the old party mojo works anymore and the great Resistance never amounted to anything. You only have denial based TDS to maintain your zombie like existance for the next 3 to 7 years.

    "hopium", nice - they must have updated your bot vocabulary to contain a few new terms - you must be so excited - if you were human you might even go have a drink to celebrate, but at least you can glow in the warmth of your mellow electric hum.

    I don't know why the right wing keeps pushing this narrative. Trump lost 46% to 48%. I guess you keep bringing it up because it bothers you that you can only win with an archaic undemocratic provision of the constitution. A provision designed by the educated elite to overturn the votes of ignorant people swayed by a populist con man. Trump realized it would take stupid people to elect him and stated it clearly when he said, "I love the poorly educated."

    Your posts illustrate this. You bring nothing interesting or insightful to the table to discuss. You only insult. "Snowflake" "zombie like existence" are just ad hominems meant to provoke not arguments of substance meant to convince.

    Your retarded view of the constitution is quaint and typical of commies who want mob rule at least until they solidify their power. Our system worked very well to protect the rest of the country from the wierdo coastal Stalinists. They can register all the illegal voters they want and it won't change anything. You snowflakes are sputtering like a Prius running out of gas with no battery backup and you are left on the side of the road watching the world go by. I can't even pity you because you worked hard to reach this condition and still defend the worst base behaviors that brought you here.

    Just curious: did you ever try commenting without insulting rhetoric and straw men labeling? Is it that you like making yourself an enemy of a website community? Because if you are trying to persuade, this modus operandi is unlikely to work. Yes, you'll learn what reactions are and can hone your attacks. But they will still be seen as attacks, so....it's an ineffectual way to spend time. Unless you are being paid, in which case the payer is being ripped off.

    Just once I'd like to have an honest conversation with a troll like Peter to find out why they do what they do. I can't think of a single meaningful goal that this accomplishes. I can't imagine how it could be fun. When we agree I like sharing ideas and reading the ideas of others from a different perspective or knowledge base. If we disagree I like the clash of ideas in a substantive debate. I really try to deal with the most important arguments a person makes and not choose the weakest arguments to go for the win. I can get pissed and insulting but always in the midst of the arguments I'm making. The debate is the priority. At least this is what I strive for. I just don't get people like Peter. There're no ideas to discuss in his posts. It's all just insults. Why would anyone spend their time doing that? How can that possibly be a fun or interesting way to spend time?

    I hear they get paid (relatively) well in Bulgaria or Macedonia. What more is there to figure out? The job is to keep us debating dumb obvious shit, hate each other, and avoid taking actual action that would help the situation. Meanwhile we have a Russian mole heading the State Department and dismantling the whole fucking shithouse, and no one seems to care too much. Check out my Spy vs Spy link - this is what Putin trained in, and he seems to be doing it exceptionally well. To our gross disadvantage.

    They call him Rexxon.....

    Too cute by half. Just call him asshole so the point gets across - otherwise people think he's a grownup in the room rather than a compromised traitor.

    Thank you Commissar PP you show clearly that snowflakes have no real interest in discussion. A few sharp words aimed at the Party and the knives come out to silence the 'traitor'. I've never been an enabler of the globalist NWO or the democrat party and an open enemy is not a traitor.

    Komissar? Afraid that's your side of the street. No, an open enemy is not a traitor per se.


    Exactly what point from your post did you want to discuss? Did you want to discuss whether or not my view of the constitution was "retarded?" Did you want to talk about whether it was the same view held by "commies?" Did you want to debate whether those living on the coast are "weirdo Stalinists?" Did you want to discuss whether we are "snowflakes" or if we are "sputtering like a Prius running out of gas?"

    What point in your post is open to meaningful discussion or serious debate? It looks like nothing but insults to me. That's the only thing you bring to dagblog.

    Hahaha ..Peter you're "I'm the only one who counts" Dear Leader who consorts with real Communist KGB killers, publicly bragged in very Stalinesque fashion about shooting someone on 5th avenue, laundered money from Putin's Commie plutocrat buddies through Trump properties, of course hiding his tax returns, who tells the DOJ which of his enemies to investigate or lock up, who attacks the free press, seeks to purge elected members of his own Party, insists cabinet members must eulogize him at meetings, top staff turnover is extreme tries to hire only fawning sycophantic toadies,  tells lies daily, attacks our allies like Britain while coddling dictators, threatens to annihilate nations, and in the style of Stalin or Hitler relishes the worship of fools and suckers at Adoration Rallies, who are, like you, thoroughly taken in by his con, and indoctrinated in his Cult of Personality....he is an authoritarian, an Amerkanski Stalin.

    Spinoza has got this one covered:

    "Derision is pleasure arising from our conceiving the presence of a quality, which we despise, in an object which we hate.
    Explanation: In so far as we despise a thing which we hate, we deny existence thereof, and to that extent rejoice. But since we assume that man hates that which he derides, it follows that the pleasure in question is not without alloy"

    Good catch, moat, and cause to reflect that trolls have been with us since at least the 17th century. Also the quote makes me think of how such pleasure is a doppleganger for aesthetics. Instead of trying to find and select out "good, better, best" as explained in Albert Sack's classic book on American antique collecting, the troll gets joy out of eliciting what he/she thinks is "bad, worse, worst". In this case: oh, the excitement when a true commie or snowflake is prodded to present him or herself?

    The doppelganger idea is interesting. I will have to mull upon that.
    Spinoza's separation of the despised quality from the person hated doesn't try to sort out what is good or bad but focuses on how the one who despises becomes attached to what they try to get rid of. Nietzsche observed something similar when he said that identifying an enemy as important enough to fight against elevates them and binds you to them.
    So the contradiction involved is blatant in the case of trolls but not absent in other arguments. I regret many of my campaigns to make someone cry uncle. What prize did I expect to receive?

    There is a place, if you can afford the fees, for Trump adorers at the Mar-a-Lago sanitarium.

    Assume you missed the Adoration Rally in Missouri today, conning the rubes with racist trash talk, to distract from cutting taxes for multi-national corporations, millionaires and billionaires, paying for it by stiffing the peasants.


    Thanks for the post, very good, particularly the last 3-4 minutes.

    You are welcome. I particularly appreciate the way Reich ties the strong reactions of the moment to future policy. I see the Sanders meetings the same way. They have a purpose in the present situation and establish a line of communication at the same time.

    Maybe Bernie doesn't get it on his anti-GOP/plutocrat money grab tour of red states?

    From "Maybe Trump knows his base better than we do."

    ...Is it that the Republican Party is cleverly and successfully hoodwinking its supporters, promising them populism and enacting plutocratic capitalism instead? This view has been a staple of liberal analysis for years, most prominently in Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” Frank argued that Republicans have been able to work this magic trick by dangling social issues in front of working-class voters, who fall for the bait and lose sight of the fact that they are voting against their own interests. Both Wolf and Pierson believe that this trickery will prove dangerous for Republicans. “The plutocrats are riding on a hungry tiger,” writes Wolf.

    But what if people are not being fooled at all? What if people are actually motivated far more deeply by issues surrounding religion, race and culture than they are by economics?

    Top comment:

    Of course, it's racism, xenophobia, and cultural bigotry that motivate Trump's base. That's not just something that I feel intuitively. Poll after poll verifies it.

    Trump ran as the avatar of bigots and haters. Look at his acceptance speech. Look at his inaugural address. He didn't hide it. His message was utterly clear: "you people have enemies. They are the blacks, other minorities, immigrants, Muslims, liberals, college professors, and gays. Of all politicians in this country I, and I alone recognize these threats. And, I, and I alone can protect you." That's a paraphrase but not much of one.

    For tens of millions of Americans Trump is the man on the white horse. They perceive him as kicking their enemies in the teeth. For that they will forgive any sin. It doesn't matter to them that Trump is a serial sexual harasser, that he is vulgar, coarse, and filled with inchoate rage. His rage mirrors theirs. That's why Trump's standing in the polls never varies, no matter what he says or does (or doesn't do).

    That's why I've been saying ever since the election that attempting to build bridges to these Trump supporters is an utter waste of time. The bad news is that 38 percent of the public is sticking with him through thick and thin. The good news is that over half the public detests him. Those who oppose Trump need to build coalitions with that majority. In elections to come they need to totally crush Trump and his supporters, not reason with them.

    Why are people so reluctant to accept the truth?

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