A plea for those progressives who want a more progressive country…

First, a question for progressives…

Aren’t you tired of losing ground?

The 2014 election was a disaster for progressives. I know, there were a few bright spots, like all of the “personhood” amendments going down in flames and a number of states increasing their minimum wage. However, overall, it was an unmitigated disaster. And while many on the left seem preternaturally disposed to finding someone else to blame someone or something else on it, we were absolutely at least partly to blame, with our side’s anti-Democratic Party and all-around negative rhetoric in full flower.

If this was a rare event, we could just shake it off and try again next time, but it’s not. In fact, over the past 40 years or more, it’s been a constant. We’re getting better in president years, but whatever gains we make then, we erase with the next midterm election. Only twice in the last 18 election cycles have we come away with Democratic control of Congress and the presidency. And let’s face it; there are two available choice in virtually every election, and Democrats are best of the two. Especially now.

We used to run the show. At one time, we aligned ourselves with the Democratic Party and got the New Deal, financial regulation, Social Security, Medicare, civil rights laws, environmental regulation, food and workplace safety legislation, Medicare and lots more. We were finally on the verge of becoming the nation the Founders envisioned.

These days, the loudest voices in progressive politics seem incapable of supporting the Democratic Party in general, and they demand ideological purity from the best candidates running for office. Because of this shift in strategy, since 1980 an increasingly radical right Republican Party has had far too much influence in the electorate, with Democrats in a functional minority. Despite this, progressive media types hold Democrats to a standard that is essentially impossible for a minority party, and their anti-Democratic rhetoric makes it more difficult for everyone involved. Progressives are seen as ineffective and unlikable, in part because our loudest voices tend to scream at people, instead of speaking to them. We’re no longer popular, and we can’t get anything done. And make no mistake; it’s largely our fault. While those who claim to speak for us demand perfection from everyone else, they demand nothing of the sort for themselves. In fact, they seem to have no idea how the system actually works, and they seem to neither notice nor care that we’ve been losing ground for nearly 40 years.

What do we do about this?

Go here to become part of our foundation: http://www.gofundme.com/PCTCNetwork Continue reading

PCTC Podcast #54 — A PCTC Look at the News

In this episode of the podcast, I switch gears a bit, and look at some news stories today, and cut some extra crap.

Here are links to the articles I mention on today’s podcast:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c389c208-7e2e-11e4-b7c3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3LEbs8NFd 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30364230

http://www.wsj.com/articles/hundreds-of-police-killings-are-uncounted-in-federal-statistics-1417577504

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/black-friday-gun-buys-test-background-check-system-27189123

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-12-06/hiring-surge-shows-strength-of-u-dot-s-dot-expansion-as-bears-turn-tail

Hope you like this podcast better. I want to make it even better, but that takes money. Please help if you can by clicking here and investing in our new progressive network.  You can also help by clicking on some ads, or using our Amazon link to do some shopping. Thank you…

PUBs aren’t so progressive, are they?

Corndog1-384x288It is frightening to me how many “progressives” are patting themselves on the back for some of the results of the 2014 election. Perhaps they’re simply looking for the diamond in a huge pile of horse manure, but let me assure you, there is no diamond. None. There are no bright spots. I know some of you think you accomplished something by getting rid of Landrieu (okay, not yet, but soon), Pryor, Manchin, etc., but let me assure you, you did not.

See, this is the problem… we focus like a laser on specific individual Democrats who are less than perfect, and we lose sight of what’s actually important; which is the majority. See, Landrieu, Pryor and Manchin (oh my!) can each do exactly diddly squat on their own. For that matter, Warren, Sanders, and (formerly) Feingold also can do nothing on their own, without a majority. They need votes from 59 other Senators and a House majority and a Democratic president to get anything done. Continue reading

Republicans just don’t get this concept of rights…

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson

One of the most bothersome things about the Republican Party these days has to be their sheer hypocrisy when it
comes to the concept of liberty. Many claim to be “strict constitutionalists,” but really, which rights do they seem to care about, except the right to bear arms?  When you look at their view of each Amendment in the Bill of Rights one by one, you can see a serious problem.

Amendment I — Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 

Republicans really hate this one. They pretend to love the religion part, because they think it’ll get them votes. But it’s usually phony. What they really mean is they demand their “right” to preachify and annoy us with their religion, and to create laws they know will be struck down in court, because they want to impress their “base.” I mean, God forbid we want to remove the Ten Commandments from the secular courthouse, or make sure our children don’t feel pressured to say a prayer before or after school. However, just try putting a “mosque” in an old Burlington Coat Factory “too close” to where the World Trade Center once stood. You’ll find out just how anti-First Amendment they are. Continue reading

We cause our immigration problems, not the immigrants…

The problem with immigration is that too many people think there is one problem with immigration. Therefore, most of the solutions that are proposed are generally insipid. That’s why they would do little to nothing to actually fix the immigration system, which is beyond broken, for dozens, if not hundreds, of reasons.

It is estimated that as many as 11-12 million undocumented immigrants live in this country, although the number could be even higher than that. You don’t get to 12 million because people are streaming over the southern border. If that many people were doing so, they would hardly be able to do so “undetected.” According to most estimates, just over half of those who are here without documentation are from points south in our hemisphere. And no, they’re not streaming over our northern border, either; the Canadian standard of living has pretty much overtaken ours. There are probably more people from the US streaming into Canada than the other way around. Unless they/re in show business.

So, why do we have so many undocumented immigrants in this country? Where do I start?

There are a lot of jobs here that Americans simply don’t want to do.* (note the asterisk) Continue reading

For better or for worse?

Smiley faceThere is a tendency to think our society is more screwed up than it’s ever been, and I understand that as a reactionary response. However, what you are actually witnessing is our society trying to un-screw itself up.

There are a lot of things available to us that disgust us, to be sure. Just this week, it was announced that a 26-year-old woman who has been working for years to exonerate convicted mass murderer Charles Manson would be marrying the scumbag instead. You know, because there is nothing that makes a woman hotter than an 80 year old prison inmate with a permanent swastika scar between his glazed-over eyes. Yet, how many right wingers will continue to cite “the sanctity of marriage” to make their bigoted case against gays getting married.

Then, there is former Jello spokesman and everyone’s model dad, Bill Cosby, who allegedly (probably) raped numerous women over the years, and who will get off scot-free. And what about the uproar over Kim Kardashian’s nude photos and Alyssa Milano Tweeting a breastfeeding pic. Or the sanctimonious shitstorm surrounding Honey-Boo-Boo and her mother’s alleged dalliance with a convicted sex offender. How about the ongoing drama in Ferguson, St. Louis and every other city where there are police officers and black people? It’s all a sign that we’re going to hell in a hand basket, right?

Consider the constant fretting over the fact that more people can name the “Real Housewives” or the Robertson clan than can name their Congressperson or the Justices on the Supreme Court. Or the viral videos in which stupid people are asked questions they should be able to answer but can’t?. We’re all becoming a stupid society, right? Continue reading

The Gunloons’ favorite arguments, shot between the eyes.

There is little doubt that the United States has a serious gun problem. The only problem is, we keep electing the NRA-happy Republican Party, and they will never d anything about it. Yes, there is a right to bear arms, but as is the case with all other rights, it is not unlimited. Gun rights seem to be the only rights we have that obligate no one to any kind of responsibility.  One way you can tell we need gun control is because the arguments against it are insipid. No one with a functioning brain can take the most common gunloon arguments seriously. They’re so bad, we have to stop repeating them, and just guffaw at the fol who brings them up.

Here are some of the most-used and most asinine gunloon arguments, and why they’re ridiculous:

Gunloon Argument #1 – Regulation of guns is a violation of the Second Amendment.
Continue reading

A PCTC Classic: Data Proving The GOP Can’t Govern

bush_headupass

Republican incompetence at running government is becoming legendary, and everyone needs to know this, especially with three months to go before the election. When we elect Republicans, or help elect Republicans, we are placing the government into the hands of politicians who truly believe government can’t work, so they struggle to try to prove that premise. And it’s been that way for a while. If you think last year’s government shutdown and the constant brinkmanship is something new, think again. And if you think it’s all about the Tea Party, consider that there are 46 members of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, but this past October 144 House Republicans actually voted to default on the national debt. That’s right; 144 “fiscally responsible” Republicans voted to destroy the nation’s credit to prove something even they can’t explain.

The government actually worked well during the post-war era, when Democrats ran things for 30 out of 34 years from 1946 to 1980. Republicans have controlled most of the government for 30 of the last 34 years, and it shows.

I am a partisan Democrat and very liberal, but this isn’t just about my ideology. It’s easily provable through statistics. Democrats have a strong record of competence, and Republicans have an equally impressive record of incompetence. And since getting the most progressive government starts with state legislatures and a US Congress that is at least competent enough to get the basics right, it’s important that we understand; it’s the Republican Party ideology that is holding this country back.

The Republicanization of the National Debt: The Hypocrisy Burns Continue reading

Why didn’t “Democratic” voters vote? Here’s the REAL Answer

I’m going to try to make this short and sweet. Knowing me, good luck with that, right?

No final numbers have been released, but turnout for the 2014 election has been estimated to be just under 38%. Again. And, true to form, in the five days since that debacle, I have been bombarded with “analyses” from progressive media outlets like blogs and podcasts. They are all longing to explain for me why “Democrats” didn’t show up at the polls. There are sooooo many reasons being proffered, it’s amazing. Here are some of the most popular: Continue reading

The Inherent Danger of Distraction by the Shiny Keys

This country has to stop the contentious bickering that constantly occurs in our politics. We need to put aside minor differences, and get back to building this country into what we all know it can be. And while it doesn’t seem like it at times, progressives are the ones who should be making this happen. It all starts with learning how to ignore the shiny keys.

I started this blog because the “progressive blogosphere” is killing us. The professional left loves to scream about everything. They seem convinced that voters are motivated by outrage. They imagine that every voter is as outraged as they are, and they imagine all of those pissed off people marching to the polls and voting against… what, exactly?

I only ask that, because the bulk of the ire produced by their “Perpetual Outrage Machine™” seems directed at Democrats, who are closer to our natural allies. Republican atrocities tend to be ignored, in favor of a magnification of some minor gaffe that a Democrat has made. Democrats get skewered for not being perfect, while Republicans are hardly discussed at all. Think about it. Whenever the Perpetual Outrage Machine™ talks about a vote on a bill, they focus their ire on the 5-6 Democrats who voted with Republcans. They barely talk about the Republican who either wrote the bill or led the charge against it, or the 232 Republicans who voted in lockstep to pass the bill. The 5-6 Democrats are treated as traitors, even though the bill would have passed/failed if they hadn’t voted. That’s the “shiny keys” effect. Have you ever tried to stop a baby from crying by pulling out your shiny keys and waving them at him/her? Well, as far as the professional left is concerned, we’re the babies who are too easily distracted by them. Much of what they publish is not “the truth,” it’s a distraction. And the GOP loves it when we get distracted like that. Continue reading